Wednesday, October 13, 2010


first Oktoberfest in 1810

   Many people have heard of Oktoberfest.  Some know it as a German celebration.  In fact, it is the largest and longest celebration in Germany.  In Germany, it is celebrated across the country.  However, many people don't know how Oktoberfest began.

Early Oktoberfest Beermaids
   Its origins have roots in Bavaria where it began in Munich.  Oktoberfest started on October 12, 1810 as a way to celebrate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.  As was customary in those days royal marriage celebrations extended for several days.  On October 17, a horse race was held at the city gates in which the citizens of Munich were invited to watch.  The horse race proved to be a popular event with the citizens and it started a tradition of an annual celebration which included horse racing until 1938.

A German folk Band Member

Tapping of the first keg of Oktoberfest
   By 1811, Oktoberfest became a type of fall agricultural festival and by 1818 beer pubs and street performers added to the festivities.  By 1887, the traditional garb of lederhosen (leather britches) and dirndls (dress of southern Germany) became the thing to wear to the festival.  Various food became associated with the festival such as bratwurst and pretzels.  The celebration gradually spread throughout Germany and is now celebrated in many places throughout the world.
modern day Beermaid

   In Munich because of the more seasonable weather, Oktoberfest begins in mid-September and lasts 17 days.  It ends on the first Sunday of October.  However, Oktoberfest days can vary today by local. 

Horsedrawn beerwagon

   Although the horse race was eventually abandoned, many characteristics of the early Oktoberfest celebrations have been retained, if not expanded upon.  Munich's annual celebration is still held on the original sit, Theresienwiese ("Theresa's fields"), in front of the city gates.  The agricultural show continues to be a feature, though it is only held every third year now.  The tradition of beer and food stands, begun in 1818, continues today and is perhaps the most significantly developed aspect of Oktoberfest.

another beerwagon
   The modern celebration has replaced the small tents with giant brewery-sponsored beer halls that can hold up to 5,000 people apiece. 
One of the many beer tents

Oktoberfest Facts
  • In 1997, Oktoberfesters consumed more than 5 1/2 million liters of beer, about 45,000 liters of wine, and almost 165,000 liters of nonalcoholic beer.
  • The local name of Oktoberfest, "Wies'n", is derived from Theresienwiese, the name of the field on which the festival is held.
  • The festival halls in Munich can seat 94,000 people.
  • The beers that the Munich breweries produce specially for Oktoberfest contain 4.5 percent alcohol.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio,  which claims to hold the "largest authentic Oktoberfest" in the U.S., draws about 500,000 people to its celebration.


   In the United States and all around the world are hundreds of haunted places.  But did you ever think that while on vacation, the place you choose to sleep could be the very place a ghost or spirit is looking over you?  Haunted hotels are known to be the most haunted places on earth.


Kate Morgan
Hotel Del Coronado
      This hotel is located in California and is known to be haunted since 1892.  It is also considered to be one of the top resorts in the U.S.  There have been reports of voices and apparitions coming from all floors of the hotel.  It is also reported that Kate Morgan, a young woman in her 20's was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.  Her body was found on the steps to the front entrance of the hotel.  Ms. Morgan is she ghost haunting the rooms of the Hotel Del Coronado.

Stanley Hotel

Stanley Hotel ghost
   The Stanley Hotel is located in Colorado and has a lot of hidden secrets and history behind it.  Author Stephen King is known to stay in this hotel when in need of inspiration.  His best selling book, "The Shining" is based off of the Stanley Hotel.  There have been reports of children laughing, mostly in the ballroom, and sounds of piano playing.  The ghost is known to be Freelan O. Stanley and his wife, who was once a piano player.  He has been known for stealing guest jewelry and visiting their rooms in the middle of the night.

Crescent Hotel and Spa

Crescent Hotel ghost
      The Crescent Hotel and Spa is known to haunted since 1886 and is located in Arkansas.  The ghosts and spirits in this hotel are not so friendly and are considered to be dangerous and don't enjoy guests.  It has been reported that the spirits appear through mirrors and seems as though they are trying to reach out.  Guests and staff members have recorded seeing hands come through the walls and mirrors.

Myrtle's Plantation

Myrtle's Plantation ghost
   Myrtle's Plantation has been proven to be one of the most haunted hotels in America.  This hotel is located in Louisiana.  Built in 1796 by General David Bradford was a place meant for this man and his family.  But today is haunted by 10 ghosts that were murdered and didn't leave the earth on a good note.  Most of the ghosts are known to be children.  There are reports of a little girl skipping up and down the stairs, then disappears.

Provincial Hotel

Provincial Hotel ghost
    The Provincial Hotel is located in New Orleans and was built many years ago. It is known to be haunted by soldiers and hospital patients that have suffered throughout that time period.  There have been reports of screaming and moaning of wounded soldiers along with blood stains that disappear seconds later.  Also, there are feelings of being watched and followed.  A lot of these paranormal activities have been caught on tape by ghost hunters.

Heathman Hotel
   Heathman Hotel is located in Oregon.  There have been reports of multiple ghosts lurking the halls and rooms of this ancient hotel.  The ghosts and spirits are known to do odd and spooky things.  To let their presence be known, there are reports of moving objects, tapping, and faces appearing in dark corners.  There have also been cold spots in one particular area in a room and voices have been recorded on an EVP.

Carolina Hotel
   The Carolina Hotel is obviously located in North Carolina and has been visited by many paranormal investigators.  The investigators discovered this hotel is being haunted by William Jocoks.  Mr. Jocoks was a man that lived in the hotel for over 20 years and was known to be a very angry man.  His appearance is what spooked a lot of guests that entered their rooms.  The described him as a large, tall, heavy-set man, dressed in an all black suit.  It has been reported that a feeling of being watched was constant and William was always playing jokes. The man would always turn the door knobs as if trying to enter the room and appear on the foot of the bed several times a night.

Sagamore Hotel

   In New York there are plenty of haunted hotels, but this one seems to get more attention than others.  There are reports, once again, of multiple ghosts that appear to be less friendly than most.  It is proven that a little boy haunts the golf course and pulls off the wall tricks on the golfers when on the course.  The boy is known to throw golf balls from behind trees and a loud burst of laughing is always heard afterwards.  On other occasions, there are reports of a woman dressed in all white, entering every room of the hotel at different times of the night.  The identity of the spirits are unknown. 

Ramada Plaza Hotel
   There is not much information on this hotel and the paranormal activity that occurs.  Guests have spoken and admit that something different happens everytime to a different person.  This hotel is located in Wisconsin and is built on well-known land.  It is proven that this hotel was built on top of underground tunnels that were used by Chicago gangsters.  The tunnel ends in the hotel's basement.  Walter Schoreder was the owner of this hotel and was murdered on the property.  He is the spirit lurking the halls of his enchanted palace.  Walter is known to turn the lights off and on in the rooms and the faucets turn on mysteriously.  There have also been reports of screaming and banging on the walls