Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Trump Presidency: Scarier than the Scariest Ghost

This is an unconventional post from the normal ghost story postings that traditionally appear on this ghost blog. But, with that being said, the thought of Donald Trump becoming leader of the free world is not only a nightmarish scenario, it is scarier than the scariest and most dangerous of ghosts one could ever imagine. Sometimes I think that Mr.Trump could benefit from an exorcism.

John F. Kennedy wisely said, “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” The words of our beloved former President Kennedy, whose life was tragically taken by the assassination of a madman in 1963, are especially prophetic for the 2016 United States Presidential election. So were the words of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, in saying, “The only danger that America really needed to fear would come from within: If destruction is to be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
The importance of being informed this election year and voting wisely is more important than at any other time in our country’s recent history. What is at stake is stark! I have tried to think like Trump supporters in an attempt to assess why they would support such a candidate, but I have found that task impossible and incomprehensible.
I feel that voters have a moral imperative to become more informed about the actual facts about the real Donald Trump and not just swallow his hype and attention-getting sound bytes. To do so would mean that voters should study the policy differences of both candidates and become informed about the Constitution of the United States of America - ( at least more informed about the U.S. Constitution than Donald Trump, who apparently believes it has 12 articles in it, seems to be ). It would mean reading reliable sources and viewing universally trusted and more non-partisan news media on television and radio and on the Internet rather than limiting themselves to the bias and frequent misinformation of the pundits on Fox News (an apparent favorite of Trump supporters).
Below are some actual facts about Donald Trump, based upon his own words and behavior displayed in his rallies and other public appearances. These are facts that voters need to know:
Mr. Trump’s style, personality, racism, narcissism, and insults are not patriotic, much less presidential. Such style does not lend itself to the ability to govern, to accept compromise, or to understanding the viewpoints and objectives of others. As a representative of the US, he engenders more an image of distrust, win at any cost, and selfishness.
Mr. Trump’s personal criticism of one American-born citizen and its extension to an entire population is the epitome of class racism. In addition, it reveals a basic flaw in Mr. Trump’s childish bullying practices and paranoia: the rulings that are deemed as “unfair” because he didn’t get what he wanted.

Mr. Trump’s proposal to build a wall separating Mexico “and have Mexico pay for it” promotes a first step toward isolationism, a tactic that will, without a doubt, cause harm to the US economy, citizenry and our country’s image throughout the world. His position for non-support of NATO is another step toward dangerous isolationism.

Mr. Trump  has spoken of global warming as a hoax, but seeks permits to build a(nother) wall to protect his golf course in Scotland (citing coastal erosion and a rising sea level). This is a prime example of his hypocrisy.

Mr.Trump changed his position on gun control, especially in regard to assault-type weapons. While once supporting an assault weapons ban and longer waiting periods, his recent switch is an effort to gain NRA support and paint Mrs.Clinton as one who would “abolish the Second Amendment”.

Mr.Trump made an extraordinary plea for a foreign power to continue cyber espionage against America. In Donald Trump’s own words: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said at a press conference in Miami, Florida on Wednesday. “I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press!”

Many have questioned whether such a call by a presidential candidate is a crime or is treasonous. At the very least, it is a statement that makes it apparent that Mr. Trump lacks the judgment and temperament to assume the role of the president of our country.  Federal law does say that it's illegal to "counsel or induce" someone else to commit a crime, and a former federal prosecutor says Trump's statement "approaches the line."

Mr. Trump’s persistent criticism of Muslims and his suggested ban on immigration are counter to long-established values and practices that are inherent in the Constitution and in the American experience. His brash blanket statements reveal the wrong things about American character.

 In the poignant appearance of Muslim lawyer Khizr Khan and his wife whose son, Humayun, an Army captain who posthumously received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2004, is a testimony to the cruel injustice of Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim ban and his ignorance of the U.S. Constitution  and to his apparent lack of awareness of what really makes America great already. 

As his wife, Ghazala, stood silently by his side, Khan held up a copy of the Constitution and asked Trump if he had ever read it and said, “You have sacrificed nothing.”

You can view, by clicking the link provided here, the heart wrenching appearance of this intelligent, patriotic, and grieving Muslim mother and father in their DNC convention appearance talking about the loss of their son and passionately addressing  Mr. Trump for his Muslim discriminatory statements.

Quoting Tony Schwartz, the ghost writer of The Art of the Deal, a man who learned a lot about Mr.Trump during his writing process, "People are dispensable and disposable in Trump’s world. If Trump is elected President, the millions of people who voted for him and believe that he represents their interests will learn what anyone who deals closely with him already knows—that he actually couldn’t care less about them."

The possibility that Donald Trump could be elected as President of the United States of America is a frightening one. If that were to happen, it would be a constitutional disaster for our democracy and a catastrophe for our country’s  freedoms, safety and security. I am paraphrasing the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, when she stated that the fact that anyone who can be baited with a Tweet has no business anywhere near the nuclear codes. And to think that, as a nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump will soon be given, as is traditional, National Intelligence Security briefings! These are all the types of thoughts that keep me awake at night.

Note: My various blogs are, not only meant to be informative for various types of reading audiences on various subjects, but are also intended to be promotional and lend public exposure to my published books.

I am the author of three award-winning children's books that aim to advocate for the well-being, education, and entertainment of children. The books include What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World Strangers (published by Headline Books, Inc.), Scary Ghosts and Playful Ghosts: Children's Tales of Fright and Delight (published by Crimson Cloak Publishing), and The Bully and the Booger Baby: A Cautionary Tale (published by Write Solution Ink).

Readers may also access book information, as well as useful information and resources that advocate for the education, well-being and entertainment of children by visiting my book website, Melissa Harker Ridenour Books.

Purchase information for these books can be accessed via my Amazon Author Page.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Trans-Allegheny Asylum: One of the Ten Most Haunted Places in West Virginia

 When Virginians decided to rid themselves of their “insane,” they determined that moving them west of the Alleghenies would prove the best solution. So the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, was built in Weston, WV between 1858-81 and was soon known as one of the largest and most fantastic hand-cut stone masonry buildings in the United States..
The psychologically troubled who were admitted to the asylum over the years of operation brought with them a plethora disturbing energies, according to parapsychologists. Today the facility, which became the
Weston State Hospita, has become a museum as well as a destination for seekers of haunted places.

Purportedly, according to rumor from the locals in the area, the asylum is haunted with the souls of the insane who passed there. Many people who were admitted to the asylum were admitted there for reasons as benign as laziness, overly-religious zeal, women’s emotional troubles exacerbated by menstrual cycles, birth control, and superstition.

The asylum was intended to house about 250 people but the population there peaked in the 1950s with over 2,400 patients. In 1994, the asylum was forced to close and has never been reopened as a mental facility. However, they offer regular tours, haunted tours, and a haunted house in the fall.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Haunting of the West Virginia State Penitentiary

 West Virginia State Penitentiary is considered by many to be the scariest haunted prison in America. Considering the many stories of  hauntings and the history of the prison inmates, it is obvious why.

West Virginia State Penitentiary was opened in 1876 with 250 inmates. If you view any picture of the prison, you will see a Gothic and very spooky looking building. Even if the prison wasn’t reportedly  haunted, it would still spook many.

It was decided that the prison would be extended in 1929; however, the construction was not completed until 1959. In these two decades, the prison was greatly overcrowded with some cells having three inmates each.

West Virginia State Penitentiary has been the scene of many executions over the years it was operated as a prison, either by hanging or electric chair. However, executions were not the only deaths in the prison:  Illness, overcrowding, and riots resulted in the deatsh of  many inmates too.

The Haunting 

Over the years. visitors and paranormal investigators have reported being touched or feeling ‘something’ close to them, many have also felt that someone is watching them. Not only does this prison give most people the spooks because of the Gothic construction and appearance, but also sightings of three different ghosts have been frequently reported.

The Maintenance Man

This is the most popular of the three hauntings. During the period that the West Virginia State Penitentiary was a jail, a prisoner working as maintenance man used to spy on the inmates and reported the other inmates bad behavior to the guards. One day when he was in the bathroom the maintenance manager was attacked by several inmates and killed. He is said to be lurking in the bathroom where he was savagely murdered, but he makes no contact with the living.

Robert the Inmate

Robert was an inmate who was violently murdered by the prison guards who were known to be physically abusive towards the more hard core inmates. They would beat them to ‘near’ death, but this time ‘near’ was too far and they killed Robert. His remains are said to be buried behind one of the walls in the prison. Robert’s spirit reportedly walks the prison to this day terrifying anyone with whom he comes in contact.

Avril Adkins

There is also the story of Avril Adkins. He was sentenced to hang by the neck until death. He was taken to the gallows for hanging but something went wrong during the execution process, and Avril fell through trap door and landed on his head having serious head injuries. Reportedly, the guards picked him up, took him back up the gallow stairs and hung him again. This time he died. Many visitors to the prison say they have seen him walking around the gallows where he died.
West Virginia State Penitentiary is now closed as prison.However, it is operated as tourist attraction.

More Stories

More stories of ghosts and hauntings can be found in my book, Scary Ghosts and Playful Ghosts:Children's Tales of Fright and Delight. It is a collection of ghost stories targeted to middle grade to teen readers. It also includes a researched chapter addressing the question as to the existence or non-existence of ghosts. Purchase information for the book, as well as for my other children's books can be accessed via my Amazon Author Page.

Readers may also access book information, as well as useful information and resources that advocate for the well-being and entertainment of children by visiting my book website, Melissa Harker Ridenour Books.