Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Haunted Carbondale Oakland Cemetary

 Turning right on Oakland Avenue where it intersects with West Main Street  and heading north will soon bring you to Oakland Cemetary. While Oakland Cemetery is older and has the mystery sarcophagus which visitors can see at any time, Oakland Cemetery has far more incidents of ghosts and just downright strange incidents. Both J. C. and Luella Hundley, whom you might remember from the earlier article on Hundley House, as is Hundley’s son (and prime suspect in their murder) Virgil. There is at least one zinc tombstone in the cemetery. Zinc proved a popular material for tombstones for a period in the 1870s as it was cheaper and easier to form than granite and did not oxidize like bronze. However, stones made from it are hollow and thus more susceptible to damage than granite or bronze work is. With some searching, oblong depressions can be found along the north edge of the cemetery in blocks 80, 81 and 82. This marks the area of a Potter’s Field where transients and those too poor to afford a funeral and stone were buried, generally in a cheap wooden coffin. As the coffin decayed, the ground above it collapsed forming the depression. During the late 1800s, when the ICRR ran along the north side of the  cemetery,  if a hobo or transient was found dead on the train, workers would wrap them up and, when the train passed by a local cemetery like Oakland, pitch the body off the train into the cemetery, where it would receive a pauper’s burial the next day. Those unfortunate souls may account for the ghostly lights that passersby at night on North Oakland have reported seeing floating along the north edge of the cemetery and over the abandoned ICRR railbed (tracks were removed in the 1990s). In case you fancy a short road trip, similar lights have been spotted along the railroad tracks near Boskydell and Makanda.

There have also been reports of a young woman dressed in white seen walking among the stones on the eastern side of the cemetery. This may related to the stone of Thelma Wise, age 26 at the time of her death. Her stone, also in the eastern part of Oakland, reads “Murdered by Unknown Hands”, though official records indicate she died a suicide in Chicago and returned by her family to Carbondale for burial.

There is also the Schwartz Mausoleum, also located in the eastern section of the cemetery.  People have reported it illuminated from inside after dark as well as finding the doors unlocked on occasion.  One story tells of a young man who, while in the cemetery after dark (don’t do this, it is a violation of Carbondale city ordinances), saw the lighted mausoleum and found the door open. Bravely, or foolhardily, he entered only to see the image of a young woman in a stained glass panel at the other end of the crypt turn and look at him. Naturally, he passed out, only to wake the next morning on the cemetery grass outside the mausoleum . Up until about a decade ago, a visitor to the mausoleum early in the morning (after 6 a.m. , remember those ordinances), a visitor would often find holy candles and cards on the low steps leading to the door. However, in recent years, either those who left them have stopped or the city has been much more diligent about removing them.

So take your pick:  glowing lights, ghostly woman or spooky mausoleum.  Just be sure to visit Oakland Cemetery during daylight hours and content yourself with watching from the road after dark.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Stocking Stuffers


Not only is this the time of year for big holiday game purchases, like Star Wars Armada from Fantasy Flight, Fortune and Glory from Flying Frog or Horus Heresy:  Betrayal at Calith from Games Workshop, any of which will set you back $100 or more, but the season also calls for smaller presents as well, for stocking stuffers, secret Santas or gift exchange. For these, you want a game that provides a lot of fun without melting down your pocketbook. Here are some suggestions:

1.       Love Letter from AEG. This is Castle Perilous Games & Books Selected Stocking Stuffer of the Season for several reasons.  First, Love Letter is a lot of fun, plays quickly and offers quite a bit of replay value, especially with the number of variants that AEG has released.  In addition, it boasts a great price point at $9.99 for the basic game and only $10.99 for the Batman, Hobbit and Adventure Time variants. There’s even a Letters to Santa version if you want to get really thematic. Add in that the game is attractively packaged in both boxed and clamshell versions and you have a great stocking stuffer.

2.       Timeline from Asmodee. Gnome Games picked this one as its Stocking Stuffer of 2015 for the same reasons Castle Perilous Games & Books chose Love Letter (In fact, Gnome Games selected Love Letter as its Stocking Stuffer for 2013).  Timeline comes packaged in an attractive tin that fits neatly into a stocking, has an equally attractive $14.99 price point and offers plenty of replayability. Add in the fact that it actually teaches a bit of history and you have an all-around great choice.

3.       Fluxx from Looney Labs.  At $16 to $20, Fluxx is a bit more expensive than the first two options but still comparatively cheap and comes in a wide variety of variations. You can buy Nature Fluxx, Stoner Fluxx, Star Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Batman Fluxx or even, should your tastes run that way, just plain Fluxx. The number of Fluxx games make it relatively easy to find a version that would appeal to anyone on your Secret Santa or gift exchange list. In addition, since the rules change with every game, even with every hand, Fluxx, whatever version you buy, offers immense replayability.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Uncommon Magic Cards

 It took awhile but we now have almost all of our uncommon Magic cards sorted and alphabetized so tell us what uncommons you are looking for and we will  be glad to pop back into the Magic storeroom and see if we have them.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Unofficial Halloween

 Got curious as to what had happened with Unofficial Halloween this year so took a drive around last night about 10 p.m. Saw one good sized house party on West Main but nothing along South University or S. Illinois. did see one couple waling on Illinois dressed as Deadpool and an angel but no indication as to where they were heading. I did hear that a number of students were out Friday night in costume but assume they were heading to private parties as nothing looked open on the Strip

Saturday, October 24, 2020

New GW Releases

 New Games Workshop releases for Halloween

This week we release Warcry Catacombs, the latest edition of skirmish warfare in the Age of Sigmar!

We also release a Warcry Catacombs Board Pack and Warcry Carry Case, together with four new Warcry Warbands.

An from the 41st Millennium, we release the long-awaited Space Marine Terminator Chaplain Tarentus. We can only get 5 of these for Halloween release so if you want one, be sure to pre-order it.

 Gang warfare on Necromunda goes to the next level – literally – with the release of the Gang Stronghold scenery set!

The Orlocks receive an update with the House of Iron book, together with Gang CardsOrlock Dice and a brand-new boxed set of Orlock Arms Masters and Wreckers.

The battlefields of the future shake again with the release of the Adeptus Titanicus Rulebook, together with the Crucible of Retribution expansion and Open Engine War Cards Pack.

And, from Black Library, Warcry, Blood of the EverchosenInferno! Volume 5 and Warhammer Horror: The Reverie.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Candy Scavenger Hunt

Carbondale Main Street will host a scavenger hunt for candy on Halloween afternoon. Apparently you get a sheet with clues and decipher the clues to find the tables throughout downtown. Spoiler alert:  one of the tables will be located here.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Haunted Carbondale Faner Hall


Faner Hall, named after SIUC Professor of English Robert Faner, who died in the 1960s, stands like a wall on the SIUC  grounds as if it divided the old part of campus from the new.  Dedicated in 1975, a campus legend says it was designed so as to frustrate any student protestors who attempted to take over the building as the administration could quickly seal off individual sections. A classic example of the Brutalist style of architecture popular at the time, the building houses many of the departments comprising SIUC’s core curriculum-anthropology, philosophy, English, criminal justice and economics among others, and if the stories are true, at least one ghost.

According to those who have reporting seeing, the ghost appears as a female student in her early twenties, with shoulder length brown hair, wearing a striped sweater (not the Freddy Kruger type), jeans and carrying a book bag. According to the story explaining her presence In what is after all a building of relatively recent construction, she fell, slipped or jumped from an upper floor of Faner onto the concrete plaza below. Of course, given the style of Faner’s construction, it would be very hard for anyone to fall from an upper floor of the building and a search of news records unsurprisingly turned up no reference to any such death. Still the stories persist and were fairly common on campus during the 1990s

Encounters with the girl generally took place during the evening and most often involved custodial staff cleaning up after most students and faculty had department for the day but enough students were in the building for evening classes that seeing one more did not seem out of place, at least at first. The most common stories involved a custodian sweeping in the hall, the girl walks past, the custodian turns around and the girl is gone.  Another common story involved the cleaner sweeping the hallway, again the girl walks past, this time in the same direction. The girl turns a corner, the janitor follows a few seconds later and the girl has vanished. Granted, anyone who has ventured into Faner knows how easy it is to get lost in there,  but it is not bad enough that someone can vanish in less than 5 seconds.

The best story of the Faner ghost involves one of the women’s bathrooms. A custodian was in  it cleaning, when a young woman walked in and, ignoring the cleaner, entered one of the stalls and closed the door behind her. The woman went ahead with her work and finished cleaning, except for that one stall. Some fifteen minutes had passed and the custodian realized the girl had not emerged. Wondering if there was a problem, she walked over to the stall and asked “Excuse me, are you OK?”  No response. She knocked on the door. The door slowly swung open , revealing the empty stall.

It appeared the Faner ghost might have departed the building, as no new stories about her cropped up for several years. Then on one of last year’s Haunted Carbondale tours, one of the participants said she had worked as a staff member for one of the departments in the building and had, as part of her job, worked late a number of evenings in the building.  On several occasions, she heard a knock on the office door and opened it to find no-one there. At least twice, she opened the door to see a young woman walking away, not responding when she called after her. Maybe the Faner ghost does still walk the halls of the building after all.

A student was killed during the construction of Faner Hall when a load of construction materials fell on him, but since the DE story reports he was a fraternity member, it is doubtful he returned as a girl carrying a backpack.