Friday, August 29, 2014


   Here's another recipe found at www.sweetapolita.com .  She makes such lovely desserts!!

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting

I have a real thing for the 70s. I mean, heck, I was born smack dab in the middle of them, into a family of much older siblings ready and eager to love, spoil, and torment an unsuspecting baby sister, so overall I’d say it was a pretty fabulous era. When I think back to my first memories of cake, they come along with my first memories of life at all: sitting around the dining room table with siblings who, at that time, would have been about 15, 14, and 8. I have particularly fond memories of the family birthday dinners gathered around that same table, eating the birthday kid’s meal of choice: my mom’s lasagna, my dad’s famous barbeque steak dinners, or, any other favourite of the time. There was, though, one thing that didn’t vary: the cake. Throughout the 70s (and possibly the 60s), I remember my mom serving yellow birthday cakes with chocolate fudgy icing. I was so young, but I can envision these cakes in rectangular glass baking dishes smothered with the icing, sprinkles, and colourful birthday candles. I’m fascinated by this, and I’ve asked around: it seems that many others have these same yellow & brown cakey memories of the 1970s. Perhaps it was the combinations of signature colours-of-the-era: golden yellow cake (or, should we say, Harvest Gold) and warm chocolate brown (or Rust Brown) frosting that drew them to this type of cake. The memories overtook me the moment I spotted this classic cake in one of my beloved baking books: Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes, and I knew I had to try it. I also love the traditional layer-cake structure, the homespun feel of it, and the decadent-but-uncomplicated flavour combination of vanilla buttermilk & fudgy chocolate.

With a total of 4 whole eggs + 2 additional egg yolks, as well as buttermilk, butter, and a generous amount of sugar, this cake has a gorgeous texture and is a beautiful golden yellow. The process was different than I’m used to, with a mixing of the egg, a portion of the buttermilk, and vanilla to begin; followed by a whisking of the dry ingredients with the sugar; the addition & mixing of the butter and partial buttermilk; and then adding the initial egg & milk mixture into the batter. Confused yet? It wasn’t any more difficult than the classic butter cake technique, but just different. The switch in technique was a welcome change and resulted in a lofty and moist cake.

The frosting is made in the food processor, which was pretty exciting for me since I am in love with my new food processor and am always looking for a reason to use it. As the title suggests, it was made in an ”instant,” since you just put all of the frosting ingredients into the food processor and, well, process. Was really simple and fun to make, and the result was fluffy, satiny, and rich. As I always do, I used my favourite Belgian bittersweet chocolate, Callebaut, which makes it even more decadent and flavourful. I find that in these kinds of recipes where the main flavour of the frosting or cake is classic chocolate or vanilla, that it’s truly worth using the best chocolate or vanilla that you can get, as the flavours really come through and really are the main attraction. With such a yummy and classic frosting base, though, you can even get a little adventurous and add a few drops of almond extract, or, say, 1/4 teaspoon (or so) of instant espresso for a mocha version. Those are just ideas, but you can use your imagination and add anything you like, or, of course, leave it traditional & simple.
So, here’s the family in our yellow-cake-with-chocolate-frosting days, or, well, 1975. I found this while digging through old photo albums the other day, and I love it. My brother Andy, my mom, me (the baby who seemingly was the only one experiencing gale force winds that day…what was up, and I mean up, with my bangs?), my sister Michele, my sister Linda, and my dad. This was actually taken in California, where we were visiting our relatives. It wasn’t until I had 2 kids, that I really began to appreciate, and become in awe of, what my mom’s life must have been like with 4 kids, and this trip is no exception: they drove all of us, including 1-year-old me, in a station wagon (yes, with wood panel sides, I believe!) the 2,700+miles from Ontario, Canada to California in the peak of the summer months. What I’d give to go back in time and watch that go down!
Here I am a few years later, in my favourite red checkered dress, eagerly awaiting birthday hot dogs and, I would bet, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. It was only a few short years after this party that the 80s were in full swing, and that I discovered frilly white heart-shaped cakes with pink icing flowers from the bakery, where I insisted my mom buy my birthday cakes each year for pretty much the rest of my pre-adult life. Hey, is that a Harvest Gold refrigerator I see? Of course it is! Were you a Harvest Gold household? Avocado Green? Rust Brown?

If you’d like to make this classic delight, here’s the recipe:

From the book Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Instant Fudge Frosting {click here for printable recipe}

Yield: One 8″ triple layer cake; serves 12-16


4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans or spray to coat with vegetable oil. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.
2. Put the eggs and yolks in a medium mixing mixing bowl, add the vanilla and 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Whisk to blend well.
3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, in a large mixer bowl; whisk to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup buttermilk to these dry ingredients and with the mixer on low, blend together. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the side of the bowl and mixing only until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.
5. Bake the cake layers for 28-32 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes; then carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel of the paper liners, and let cool completely.
6. To assemble the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread 3/4 cup of the Instant Fudge Frosting over the layer right to the edge. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and use all but 3/4 cup of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. With an offset palette knife or spatula, smooth out the frosting all over. Place the remaining 3/4 cup frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tube and pipe a shell border around the top and bottom edges of the cake.

Instant Fudge Frosting


6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (no need to sift)
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons half-and-half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
A large food processor is the best piece of equipment to use for the frosting recipe. It whips up the perfect fudge frosting, and there is no need for a boiled syrup.
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Then process until the frosting is smooth.
Sweetapolita’s Notes:
1. For the ultimate version of this frosting, I used my favourite Belgian bittersweet chocolate: Callebaut Chocolate – Pure – Bittersweet – 1 kg
2. For a mocha frosting, you can add 1/4 teaspoon (or more, to taste) instant espresso powder.
3. If you don’t have a food processor, you can make this frosting in your mixer by beating the butter and confectioners’ sugar with the flat beater for about a minute on low speed, followed by another minute on medium-high speed. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until fluffy.
4. Frosting is best used immediately, but holds up nicely on the cake once frosted.
5. Finished cake keeps best in a cake-saver at room temperature for up to 3 days.
6. You may enjoy the previous post 50 Tips for Baking Better Cakes.
Good luck & enjoy!


   Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada, in the United States. The event starts on the Monday before, and ends on the day of, the American Labor Day holiday (August 29 to September 4, 2011). It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.
   Burning Man is organized by Black Rock City, LLC. In 2010, 51,515 people attended Burning Man.  2011 attendance was capped at 50,000 participants and the event sold out on July 24th. A smaller event known as the Smoke Creek Gathering has been opened to the public nearby to give the thousands of lucky people a place to participate.


 1986 to 1989
   The annual event now known as Burning Man began as a bonfire ritual on the summer solstice in 1986 when Larry Harvey, Jerry James, and a few friends met on Baker Beach in San Francisco and burned a 9-foot (2.7-meter) wooden man as well as a smaller wooden dog. Harvey has described his inspiration for burning these effigies as a spontaneous act of radical self-expression.

   The event did have earlier roots, though. Sculptor Mary Grauberger, a friend of Harvey's girlfriend Janet Lohr, held solstice bonfire gatherings on Baker Beach for several years prior to 1986, some of which Harvey attended. When Grauberger stopped organizing it, Harvey "picked up the torch and ran with it," so to speak. He and Jerry James built an 8-foot (2.4-meter) wooden effigy for 1986, which was much smaller and more crudely made than the neon-lit figure featured in the current ritual. In 1987, the effigy grew to almost 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall, and by 1988, it had grown to around 40 feet (12 meters).
   Harvey swears that he did not see the movie The Wicker Man until many years later, so it played no part in his inspiration. Accordingly, rather than allow the name "Wicker Man" to become the name of the ritual, he started using the name "Burning Man".

 1990 to 1996

  In 1990, a separate event was planned by Kevin Evans and John Law on the remote and largely unknown dry lake known as Black Rock Desert, about 110 miles north of Reno. Evans conceived it as a dadaist temporary autonomous zone with sculpture to be burned and situationist performance art. He asked John Law, who also had experience on the dry lake and was a defining founder of Cacophony Society, to take on central organizing functions. In the Cacophony Society's newsletter, it was announced as Zone Trip #4, A Bad Day at Black Rock (inspired by the movie of that name).

    Meanwhile, the beach burn was interrupted by the park police for not having a permit. After striking a deal to raise the Man but not to burn it, event organizers disassembled the effigy and returned it to the vacant lot where it had been built. Shortly thereafter, the legs and torso of the Man were chain-sawed and the pieces removed when the lot was unexpectedly leased as a parking lot. The effigy was reconstructed, led by Dan Miller, Harvey's then-housemate of many years, just in time to take it to Zone Trip #4.
   Michael Mikel, another active Cacophonist, realized that a group unfamiliar with the environment of the dry lake would be helped by knowledgeable persons to ensure they did not get lost in the deep dry lake and risk dehydration and death. He took the name Danger Ranger and created the Black Rock Rangers.
   Thus the seed of Black Rock City was germinated, organized by Law and Mikel, based on Evans' idea, along with Harvey and James' symbolic man. The community grew by word of mouth alone. It consisted of participants only. There were no paid or scheduled performers or artists, no separation between art-space and living-space, no rules other than "Don't interfere with anyone else's immediate experience" and "no guns in central camp".

   1991 was the first year that the event had a legal permit with the BLM (the Bureau of Land Management).  1996 was the first year a formal partnership was created to own the name.

 1997 to present
   1997 marked another major pivotal year for the event since moving from the beach. By 1996, the land-speed-record-holding open playa had hit a critical mass with 8,000 attendees and was deemed too dangerous to continue in the same way with unrestricted driving. To implement a ban on driving and re-create the event as a

pedestrian/bicycle/art car-only event, it was decided to move to private gated property. Fly Ranch with the adjoining Hualapai mini dry lake-bed just east of the Black Rock desert was chosen. This brought Burning Man into the jurisdiction of Washoe County permitting, also circumventing issues with Pershing county and the federal bureau of land management (BLM).  To comply with the new permit requirements and to manage the increased liability load, the organizers formed Black Rock City, LLC (a Limited Liability company).
   With the success of the driving ban, having no vehicular incidents, 1998 saw a return to the Black Rock desert; along with a temporary perimeter fence. The event has remained there since.
   As the population of Black Rock city grew, further rules were established in relation to its survival. Some critics of the event cite the addition of these rules as impinging on the original freedoms, altering the experience unacceptably, while others find the increased level of activity balances out the changes.

  • A grid street structure.
  • A speed limit of 5 mph (8 km/h).
  • A ban on driving, except for approved "mutant vehicles" and service vehicles.
  • Safety standards on mutant vehicles.
  • Burning your own art must be done on an approved burn platform.
  • A ban on fireworks.
  • A ban on firearms.
  • A ban on dogs.
   Another notable restriction to attendees is the 7-mile-(11 km) long temporary plastic fence that surrounds the event and defines the pentagon of land used by the event on the southern edge of the Black Rock dry lake.  This 4-foot (1.2 meter) high barrier is known as the "trash fence" because its initial use was to catch wind-blown debris that might escape from campsites during the event. Since 2002, the area beyond this fence has not been accessible to Burning Man participants during the week of the event.

   At 1:25 AM on August 28, 2007, at the exact moment of the Total Lunar Eclipse, Paul Addis, a well known, longtime Burning Man participant and gadfly of BMorg (the Burning Man Organization), who had previously pranked the Man as early as 1997, set the Man on fire four days ahead of schedule. A replacement effigy was built on-site and installed in time to be burned on Saturday as planned. In June 2008, he pled guilty to the felony charge of destruction of property over $5,000 and was sentenced to 1–4 years in prison. Addis is reported to have been granted parole effective February 2010.


   Because of the variety of goals fostered by participatory attendees, known as "Burners," Burning Man does not have a single focus. Features of the event are subject to the participants and include community, artwork, absurdity, decommodification and revelry. Participation is encouraged.

   The Burning Man event is governed by 10 principles, which are radical inclusiongiftingdecommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expressioncommunal effort, civic responsibilityleaving no trace, participation, and immediacy.
  • Radical inclusion - Anyone who can afford a ticket is gladly welcomed and there are no prerequisites to be part of Burning Man.  All participants are expected to provide for their own basic needs and follow the minimal rules of the event.
  • Gifting - Instead of cash, event participants are encouraged to rely on a gift economy, a sort of potlatch. In the earliest days of the event, an underground barter economy also existed, in which burners exchanged "favors" with each other. While this was originally supported by the Burning Man organization, this is now largely discouraged. Instead, burners are encouraged to give gifts to one another unconditionally.
  • Decommodification - No cash transactions are permitted between attendees of the event, which is in accordance with the principles of Burning Man. Cash can be used for a select few charity, fuel and sanitation vendors as follows:

  • Café beverages such as coffeechailemonade, etc., which are sold at Center Camp Café, operated by the organizers of the event.
  • Ice.  Ice sales benefit the local Gerlach-Empire school system.
  • Tickets for the shuttle bus to the nearest Nevada communities of Gerlach and Empire which is operated by a contractor not participating in the event: Green Tortoise.
  • A re-entry wristband, which allows a person to leave and re-enter the event and may be purchased at the gate upon exit.
  • An airport use fee, payable at the airport upon first entry.
  • Diesel and biodiesel sold by third-party contractors
  • RV dump service and camp graywater disposal service.
  • Private portable toilets and servicing, which can be arranged with the official contractor.

  • Radical self-reliance - Because of the event's harsh environment and remote location, participants are expected to be responsible for their own subsistence. Since the LLC forbids any commerce, participants must be prepared and bring all their own supplies with the exception of the items stated in Decommodification.

  • Radical self-expression - Participants are encouraged to express themselves in a number of ways through various art forms and projects. The event is clothing-optional and public nudity is common, though not practiced by the majority.
  • Communal effort - Participants are encouraged to work with and help fellow participants.
  • Civic responsibility - Participants are encouraged to assume responsibility and be part of a civil society in which federal, state and local laws are obeyed and communicate this to other participants.
  • "Leave No Trace" - Participants are committed to a "leave no trace" event. They strive to leave the area around them in better condition than before their arrival to ensure that their participation does not have a long-term impact on the environment.
  • Participation - Burning Man is about participation.
  • Immediacy - Participants are encouraged to become part of the event, to experience who and what is around them and to explore their inner selves and their relation to the event.


   Art on the dry lake is assisted by the Artery, which helps artists place their art in the desert and ensures lighting (to prevent accidental collisions), burn-platform (to protect the integrity of the dry lake bed), and fire-safety requirements are met.
   Since 1995, a different theme has been created, ostensibly by Larry Harvey, for each year's event. For 2006, the theme was Hope and Fear, and for 2007, it was The Green Man.  The 2011 theme will be "Rites of Passage".  It determines to some extent the design of the Man (although his design and construction, while evolutionary, has remained relatively unchanged) and especially the structure on which he stands (an Observatory for "Vault of Heaven," a Lighthouse for "The Floating World"). These themes also greatly affect the designs that participants employ in their artworks, costumes, camps and vehicles.
   Burning Man primarily features outsider art and visionary art, though a great variety of art forms appear during the event. Creative expression through the arts and interactive art are encouraged at Burning Man. Numerous Theme Camps, registered and placed by the LLC, are created as event and residence centers by sizable sub-communities of participants and use extensive design and artistic elements to engage the greater community and meet the LLC's interactivity requirements. Music, performance and guerrilla street theatre are art forms commonly presented within the camps and developed areas of the city. Adjacent to the city, the dry lake bed of Lake Lahontan serves as a tabula rasa for hundreds of isolated artworks, ranging from small to very large-scale art installations, often sculptures with kinetic, electronic and fire elements.

Artwork is generally viewed as a gift that the artist makes to the community, although art grants are available to participants from the LLC via a system of curation and oversight, with application deadlines early in the year. Grants are intended to help artists produce work beyond the scope of their own means, and are generally intended to cover only a portion of the costs associated with creation of the pieces, usually requiring considerable reliance on an artist's community resources. Aggregate funding for all grants varies depending on the number and quality of the submissions (usually well over 100) but amounts to several percent (on the order of $500,000 in recent years) of the gross receipts from ticket sales. In 2006, 29 pieces were funded.
   Various standards regarding the nature of the artworks eligible for grants are set by the Art Department of the LLC, but compliance with the theme and interactivity are important considerations. This funding has fostered artistic communities, most notably in the Bay Area of California, the region that has historically provided a majority of the event's participants. There are active and successful outreach efforts to enlarge the regional scope of the  event and the grant program. Among these is the 
Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF).
   While BRAF does not fund any installations for the event itself, it relies on the donations from the LLC for a significant portion of its funding, and does facilitate presentation of work created for the event in outside venues as well as offering its own grants for artworks that typify interactivity and other principles and traditions the event.

 Mutant vehicles

   Mutant Vehicles, often motorized, are purpose-built or creatively altered cars and trucks. Participants who wish to bring motorized mutant vehicles must submit their designs in advance to the event's own DMV or "Department of Mutant Vehicles” for approval and for physical inspection at the time of the event. Not all designs and proposals are accepted. The event organizers, and in turn the DMV, have set the bar higher for what it deems an acceptable MV each year, in effect capping the number of Mutant Vehicles. This is in response to constraints imposed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which grants permits to hold the event on federal property, and to participants who want to maintain a pedestrian-friendly environment. Vehicles that are minimally altered, and/or whose primary function is to transport participants, are discouraged or rejected. One of the criteria the DMV employs to determine whether an application for a proposed Mutant Vehicle is approved is "can you recognize the base vehicle". In other words, if your 1967 VW van can still be recognized as a VW van (underneath all that glitter, those glued on dolls heads and attached old cooking utensils) it is considered to be "decorated not mutated" and is less likely to be approved. This criterion led to the exclusion of some "Art Cars", which historically have been a staple of the event. There were over six hundred approved Mutant Vehicles at the event in 2010.


   Bicycles and tricycles are extremely popular for getting around on the dry lake. Mountain bikes are generally preferred over road bikes for riding on the dried silt, which is normally hard but becomes loose with traffic. Participants often decorate their bikes to make them unique. Since lighting on the bikes is critically important for safety at night, many participants incorporate the lighting into their decorations, using electroluminescent wire (a thin, flexible tube that glows with a neon-like effect when energized with electricity) to create intricate patterns over the frame of the bike. Every night during the festival, thousands of bikes and art cars drive around, creating a visual display similar to Las Vegas at night, except that the lights are mobile.

 The Temple

   In addition to the burning of the Man, the burning of a Temple has become an activity at the event. David Best's temple projects were ritually burned from 2000 to 2004.
In 2005, Best stepped aside to allow for another artist, Mark Grieve, to build his own interpretation of a Temple.  Grieve's temples were seen in both 2005 and 2006. However, in 2007 David Best took over the temple building duties for one last time. The 2007 Temple was named "The Temple of Forgiveness." Best has stated that it is time to hand the Temple over to the community, and in 2008 the "Basura Sagrada" 

Temple was a collaboration of Shrine and Tucker Teutsch 3.0, built with the extensive help of their friends and the greater Burning Man community.  In 2009, the "Fire of Fires" Temple for Burning Man was built in Austin, Texas.  In 2010, the Temple of Flux was designed and orchestrated by artists Rebecca Anders, Jess Hobbs and Peter (pk.) Kimelman who formed the Flux Foundation. This group was notable for drawing from a broad section of the Burning Man community, including the large-scale sound camps and other existing BM art groups. The Flux Foundation has since continued to make large-scale public art outside of Burning Man.  The Temple of Flux broke from tradition and was highly abstract in nature, appearing as a series of landforms with canyon and cave-like spaces. The tradition of participants inscribing on the surfaces of the piece has continued though all of the iterations and are usually of a highly personal nature. The 2011 Temple will be the first Temple build in Reno, Nevada. The International Arts Megacrew, helmed by Chris "Kiwi" Hankins, Diarmaid "Irish" Horkan and Ian "Beave" Beaverstock will return to a more traditional style. The Temple of Transition will take the form of a 120-foot tiered, hexagonal central tower, surrounded by five 58-foot tiered, hexagonal towers. The towers are vaulted and lofty, cut with a profusion of gothic style arches.

 Black Rock City

   Black Rock City, often abbreviated to BRC, is the name of the temporary city created by Burning Man participants. Much of the layout and general city infrastructure is constructed by Department of Public Works (DPW) volunteers who often reside in Black Rock City for several weeks before and after the event. The remainder of the city including theme camps, villages, art installations and individual camping are all created by participants.

City Planning

   The developed part of the city is currently arranged as a series of concentric streets in an arc composing, since 1999, two-thirds of a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) diameter circle with the Man Sculpture and his supporting complex at the very center (40°46′9.48″N 119°13′12.36″W / 40.7693°N 119.2201°W in 2007). Radial streets, sometimes called Avenues, extend from the Man to the outermost circle. The outlines of these streets are visible on aerial photographs.
   The innermost street is named the Esplanade, and the remaining streets are given names to coincide with the overall theme of the burn, and ordered in ways such as alphabetical order or stem to stern, to make them easier to recall. For example, in 1999, for the "Wheel of Time" theme, and again in 2004 for "The Vault of Heaven" theme,

the streets were named after the planets of the solar system. The radial streets are usually given a clock designation, for example, 6:00 or 6:15, in which the Man is at the center of the clock face and 12:00 is in the middle of the third of the arc lacking streets (usually at a bearing of 60° true from the Man). These avenues have been identified in other ways, notably in 2002, in accordance with "The Floating World" theme, as the degrees of a compass, for example 175 degrees, and in 2003 as part of the Beyond Belief theme as adjectives ("Rational, Absurd") that caused every intersection with a concentric street (named after concepts of belief such as "Authority, Creed") to form a phrase such as "Absurd Authority" or "Rational Creed". However, these proved unpopular with participants due to difficulty in navigating the city without the familiar clock layout.
   The Black Rock City Airport is constructed adjacent to the city, typically on its southern side. The airport serves a variety of aviation traffic, including private airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, ultralights, gliders, and skydivers.

Center Camp

   Center Camp is located along the mid line of Black Rock City, facing the Man at the 6:00 position on the Esplanade. This area serves as a central meeting place for the entire city as well as contains the Center Camp Cafe, Camp Arctica and a number of other city institutions.


 Villages and Theme Camps

   Villages and theme camps are located along the innermost streets of Black Rock City, often offering entertainment or services to participants.
   Theme camps are usually a collective of people representing themselves under a single identity. Villages are usually a collection of smaller theme camps which have banded together in order to share resources and vie for better placement.
   Theme camps and villages often form to create an atmosphere in Black Rock City that their group envisioned. As Burning Man grows every year it attracts an even more diverse crowd. Subcultures form around theme camps at Black Rock City similar to what can be found in other cities.n to the event.


cocoandbella Halloween treat!
Free Vintage Prison Labels....Print them out!

Just print them out and put them on wine glasses, cups and old bottles.  They add to your theme and are a create touch to any Halloween Party!  
Happy Halloween! See the next page for even more labels.......

more labels

Thursday, August 28, 2014


  On this costume filled, candy gorging out of your minds holiday, chances are there are a few things you don't know, so here are some things you may or may not know about everybodys favorite trick or treat'n holiday.

  • When it comes to candy sales, Halloween makes stores jump for joy (especially in their pocket books).  According to the National Confectioners Association, giving and eating candy during major holidays accounts for about a third of all confections sold annually.

  • Candy is keeping retailers and dentists happy. In 2002, each person in the U.S. consumed approximately 24 pounds of candy.

  • Census researchers report that 1,040 manufacturers in 2001 produced $12 billion dollars worth of chocolate and cocoa.

  • Another 616  candy manufacturers made non-chocolate candy that year.

  • Candy corn is a big portion of those treats made annually. (I don't know why it must be like giving people fruit cake at Christmastime) In fact, October 30th is National Candy Corn Day.

  • There are 106 million potential houses for the kids to go trick-or-treating to.

  • Older kids prefer chocolate more so than younger ones. ( Also throwing eggs, t.p. ing, and kicking over your pumpkin that you slaved all night to carve!)

  • The first milk chocolate was created in Switzerland in the 1800's.

  • The melting point of cocoa butter is below the body temperature, explaining why it mouth.
  • A 1.5 ounce chocolate bar has 15 percent of the daily value for riboflavin.

  • According to Bankrate, you should gauge your candy needs by counting the number of 5 to 14 year olds in your neighborhood. ( I can't in mine because most of them seem to get bussed from out of my area!) The article says you should also get some things for the older kids. (So they don't t.p., egg or kick your pumpkin in!!!)

  • Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day are the biggest candy seller days of the year. (All of them heavily commercialized by big business.)

  • Pop rocks were introduced by General Foods in 1974.

  • The first jack-o-lanterns were made of turnips.

  • Pumpkins can come in white, blue and green also.

  • Pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables despite what you might think, and 99 percent of pumpkins sold in the U.S. are used to make jack-o-lanterns.

  • Trick-or-treating is an Irish tradition where the wealthy would give food to the poor on Halloween night.

  • Costume sales are estimated at over $1.5  billion dollars and Americans spend about $50 million on Halloween cards.

  • In the north of England, Halloween was called "nut-crack" and "snap-apple night.(Those sure make it  sound like some painful trick-or-treating,  especially for boys and men.)


   Halloween is one of the creepiest times of the year. The holiday was molded from ancient Celtic practices, religious rituals, and European folk traditions. Halloween is a time for celebration, candy, and ghostly superstition. The day has long been thought of a time when the dead come alive and watch over the land. These spirits will gather at haunted locations and wander the corners of Earth. The energy surrounding ghosts is said to increase tenfold on Halloween day. The ancient Celtic people would light bonfires and wear consumes to ward off the roaming spirits. In the history of modern man, certain patches of land have witnessed horrifying events of mass murder and carnage. These locations are said to house certain disturbing and ritualistic ghosts. This article will be discussing ten haunted places around the world. Places that might be stricken with an unexplained ghostly phenomenon this upcoming Halloween.

Camp Scott Top Tenz

10. Camp Scott

   Camp Scott is a 410-acre (1.7 km2) compound that is located in the US state of Oklahoma. The former Girl Scout camp is situated along the Snake and Spring Creeks near State Highway 82, in Mayes County. In 1977, Camp Scott entered its 49th year as a keystone in the Girls Scouts of America program. The annual summer camp began on June 12, 1977. Around 6pm on the first day of camp, a large thunder storm struck the area. This caused the dozens of campers to huddle inside their tents for the entire evening. Inside of tent #8 in the Kiowa unit, housed three small girls named Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Doris Denise Milner, 10, and Michele Guse, 9. What happened next cannot be adequately described. The following morning, a camp counselor discovered the lifeless bodies of all three girls. They had been raped, bludgeoned, and murdered. The victim’s bodies were scattered over the surrounding forest land. The event remains one of the worst mass murders in the history of Oklahoma
   In the weeks before the murders, strange events took place around Camp Scott. Personal items began disappearing from the cabins and tents. In one incident, a counselor reported that her doughnuts had been stolen, and inside the empty doughnut box was a disturbing hand-written note. The author vowed to “murder three campers in tent 1.” Because summer camps are rife with ghost stories, the note was treated as a prank and discarded. After the murders, Oklahoma police launched one of the largest manhunts in US history. Detectives ultimately focused their attention on a man named Gene Leroy Hart, who had been free since escaping from the Mayes County Jail four years earlier. He had previously been convicted of raping two pregnant women. Hart was arrested and tried for the crimes, but was ultimately acquitted of the killings in 1979. Later that year he died of a heart attack while in prison.
   During the publicized trial, the camp underwent many accusations, stemming from the fact that the girl’s tent was 86-yard (79 m) from any counselors. Other campers reported that they witnessed a man peeking in their tents on the evening of the murders. The day following the incident, Camp Scott was closed forever. To date, the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders remain unsolved and DNA testing has returned inconclusive results. However, something is said to remain on the grounds of Camp Scott. It has been claimed that when a heavy rain falls, the eerie sound of small girls crying can be heard.     Dark shadows are said to lurk and the sensation of someone walking around you has been reported. Only true thrill seekers will stay a night within the walls of the Camp Scott compound. In an interesting twist, the original Friday the 13th film was released in 1980, which is only three years after the violent murders. The movie franchise has helped insert an urban legend in popular culture that summer camps are creepy and dangerous. Camp Scott just might be.

Phantom Vehicles Top Tenz

9. Phantom Vehicles

   Many areas of the world claim to hold the mystery of a phantom vehicle. A phantom vehicle is a ghostly or haunted mode of transportation, which can take the form of a car, train, ship or plane. In some cases, the objects are said to have a visual flicker. One of the most famous phantom vehicles in the world is located in the Saskatchewan village of St. Louis. St. Louis is an eerie place with a strange past. The area houses a large archeological site, where some bizarre bones have been unearthed. Key discoveries at the site have included evidence of an ancient species of wolf and buffalo, which are approximately 25% larger than modern species. Beads have also been discovered that have indicated a style and decoration of clothing occurring approximately 1000 years prior than previously thought. In 1983, the Canadian National Railway abandoned the rail line that was located south of Prince Albert and north of St. Louis. The tracks were permanently removed, but it seems that the train has stayed.
   On a nightly basis, lights can be seen traveling along the path of the old St. Louis train tracks. The lights are flashy with bright colors. This paranormal phenomenon has been named the St. Louis Light. Thrill seekers from all over the world travel to this area of Canada to view the strange occurrence, which has been described as the carriage lights of a train traveling from the south. The intensity of this activity increases on certain days of the year and the lights bring about strong emotional reactions in people. Silverpilen is a reported subway train that haunts the metro system of Stockholm, Sweden. The phantom train has been described as a silver aluminum model C5 car. This model was manufactured in the middle of the 1960s. During this time, Silverpilen was the only train in the entire Swedish fleet that was silver. It acted as a back-up unit until 1996, but many residents of Sweden have never seen the vehicle and fail to believe in the train’s existence. According to ghost stories from this area of the world, Silverpilen only travels after 12:00 midnight and has been known to stop and invite travelers.
   Upon entering the doors of the train, a fuzzy feeling falls over your body as you encounter a compartment full of ghost life. The doomed passengers are then lost in the train forever or emerge from the vehicle days to months later. On the night of December 29, 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed under strange circumstances into the Florida Everglades. In all, 101 of the 178 passengers onboard the flight were killed in the accident. After the crash, Flight 401 became known for reported paranormal activity, supposedly stemming from the salvage of the plane’s aircraft parts, which were placed on a number of different airplanes after the accident. Over the following months after the crash, employees of Eastern Air Lines began reporting sightings of the dead crew members on board a different L-1011 (N318EA). It was a serious situation and the reports caused officials to remove all equipment that originally came from the doomed Flight 401. After the action, reports of the ghosts stopped.

Clinton Road

8. Clinton Road

   Clinton Road is located in West Milford, Passaic County, New Jersey. The road spans roughly 10 miles (16 km). Over the generations, Clinton Road has gained a reputation for unexplained paranormal activity. Reported visions include a roadside hitchhiking ghost, strange creatures, Satanists, the Ku Klux Klan, and fireside witch gatherings. There are only a small number of houses lining the road and much of the adjoining property is undeveloped publicly owned woodlands. Articles describing abnormal activity on Clinton Road date back to 1905. One legend tells of a ghost boy that drowned in a stream along the road. Supposedly, if you toss a coin into the water off any of the bridges on Clinton Road, the boy will throw it back at you. This area of New Jersey clearly has a long history, with an American Revolutionary War iron smelter being located just east of the road. If you drive down Clinton Road late at night, headlights of a truck may appear out of nowhere and chase you down until you exit the road. Daylight visions have been cited, with people claiming that they have seen people dressed in strange clothing loitering around in the woods.
   People who visit Clinton Road have reported a feeling of uneasiness or mounting dread as they move down the road, sometimes so great that they have to turn back. In 1905, a man named Richard Cross built a castle on the high land peering over the reservoir surrounding Clinton Road. Decades later, the structure fell into ruin when a fire destroyed it. After the incident, the castle became a popular location for teenage parties and reported Satan worshippers and their sacrifices. It is a scary place, and certain people have written to Weird NJ magazine telling of strange occurrences in or near the castle site. This includes people going into seizures and being physically injured. Within certain individuals, the castle is said to produce instant and disturbing visions. Many people have also reported seeing members of the KKK, which is interesting because prior to the US entry into World War II, a German-American Bund maintained camps in the area surrounding Clinton Road. If you are unfamiliar, a Bund member holds a favorable view of Nazi Germany.
   It has been rumored that professional killers dispose of bodies in the surrounding woods. In 1983, this claim was substantiated when a bicyclist traveling on Clinton Road noticed a group of vultures feasting at a spot in the nearby woods. This sparked the man’s interest and led him to the discovery of a dead body. An autopsy found that the deceased individual had been murdered by foul play, but something else initially puzzled police. The victim had ice crystals in his blood vessels near the heart. Pathologists concluded that someone had frozen his body after death in an attempt to mislead investigators into believing he died at a later time. Ultimately the information led to the direct arrest of Richard Kuklinski or The Iceman. Kuklinski is a prolific contract killer and mafia assassin. The six foot five inch (196 cm), 300 pound (135 kg) monster claims to have murdered over 250 men over a career that lasted from 1948 till 1986. It is unclear how many bodies he planted in the area surrounding Clinton Road or if his victims still haunt the patch of land today

The Weeping Woman Top Tenz

7. The Weeping Woman

   La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is a popular legend in the Spanish-speaking cultures of the southwestern part of the US and Mexico. The story tells of a beautiful woman named Maria who suffered from depression and drowned her two young children by tossing them into a flowing river. Maria became haunted by the memory of her kids and ultimately crumbled in inconsolable grief. She would not eat, and walked alone on the riverfront in her torn white gown searching for her boys. She cried endlessly, with periodic fits of screaming and wailing. After weeks of suffering, she ended her life on the banks of a riverbed.  When Maria reached the gates of heaven, she was asked, “Where are your children?” and she replied, “I don’t know, my Lord.” She was not permitted to enter heaven until she found her boys, banished to an eternity of wandering the Earth’s rivers, searching in vain for her drowned offspring.
   Over the centuries, the ghost of La Llorona has become angered. In certain areas of the world she is known to hunt and kidnap wandering children or teenagers that disobey their parents, grabbing the kids by the leg and tugging them into a watery grave. After darkness falls, Maria’s restless spirit walks the banks of multiple bodies of water in the southwest portion of the Americas. In the area surrounding the Santa Fe River in New Mexico, her loud cries have become a curse of the night. The Weeping Woman is a beautiful ghost. She is tall and thin with long flowing hair. Reports have claimed that she can be seen drifting between trees along the shorelines or floating in the watery current. If you are marked by the desire of La Llorona, an untimely and mysterious drowning could be in your future. Some believe that those who can hear her cries are going to die.
   In Mexico, Central and South America, the tale of La Llorona is represented as a cultural symbol that models negative behavior, ultimately looking to prescribe an idealized version of motherhood. The ghost of La Llorona has been reported in many locations throughout North and South America, including a creek between Mora and Guadalupita, New Mexico, and as far north as the Yellowstone River. However, the majority of the reports of the Weeping Woman surround the Santa Fe River. For example, a tall wailing spirit has been repeatedly viewed in the PERA Building near the river. The PERA structure was built on land that once held an old Spanish-Indian graveyard. If you are looking for a good Halloween scare, go explore the Santa Fe PERA structure on a dark evening.

Crybaby Bridges Top Tenz

6. Crybaby Bridges of Ohio

   Over the years, a strange phenomenon has been recorded in the vicinity of specific rural bridges in the US state of Ohio. On certain days of the year, after the Sun goes down, the sound of a baby’s presence can be heard. Most often, a shattering cry is recorded, but in other cases a baby’s laughter or scattered speech is said to plague the area. These bridges have been given the label Crybaby Bridges. The eerie locations usually hold a violent history, with stories involving a baby or young child being brutally killed. One of the most famous Crybaby Bridges is the Rogues’ Hollow Bridge, which is located near Doylestown, Ohio. In 1840, this area of Ohio experienced a large mining boom when coal was discovered in the deep hollows southeast of the village. The area became known as Rogues’ Hollow because the miners had a strong reputation for wild goings and violence. Rogues’ Hollow was congested with saloons, houses of ill repute, disease, dust and Sunday dog fights.
The Rogues’ Hollow Bridge sits deep inside Rogues’ Hollow on an old climbing road. The bridge is located in a remote area and is approachable from only one direction. Due to bad weather, it can only be reached during certain months of the year. The bridge is adjacent to the old Chidester Mill, which is often included in articles describing haunted locations. Loud voices and celebrations are said to radiate around the Chidester Mill. If you dare venture near the Rogue Hollow Bridge on a dark evening, be sure to keep an open ear for the sound of a crying baby. The noise has been reported to come from all directions, often times floating above your head. People have also reported that as they left the bridge, the intensity and volume of the crying increased. The Screaming Bridge of Maud Hughes Road is another reportedly haunted bridge located in Liberty Township, Ohio. The bridge is reputed to have been the site of many terrible accidents and suicides.
A set of old railroad tracks sits 25 feet below the bridge, and at least 36 people are said to have been killed on or around the Maud Hughes Road Bridge. Many different people have reported seeing and hearing usual things around the structure, including ghostly figures, mists, and lights, as well as black hooded figures and a phantom train. These aspirations seem to have an evil agenda and people often report a sensation of wanting to run while crossing the Maud Hughes Bridge. Others have made claims of screaming in their ear, load moans, shrieks, and the sound of a baby crying. Near the town of Salem, Ohio, citizens have reported strange occurrences around the Egypt Road Bridge. The area surrounding this bridge is closed off to the public. The bridge is located at the end of a dead-end and can only be reached from a single direction. Strange occurrences around the bridge have been reported, including the loud cries of a baby. However, unlike other Crybaby Bridges, on Egypt Road these sounds seem to occur during the day and night.

Popobawa Top Tenz

5. Popobawa

   Popobawa is the name of an evil creature that has been terrorizing the East African coast. The spirit is a shapeshifter and has been described as taking many different forms. The being can appear as either a human or an animal, and metamorphose from one into the other. The beast has been viewed during the daytime, but doesn’t attack until the late evening. Popobawa has been reported to abuse men, women and children, but the majority of the incidents are targeted at men. People routinely report assaults and poltergeist-like phenomena surrounding the creature. However, the most feared action is a sexual attack and the sodomizing of adult men. Many people in this area of the world have contacted the police and implicating the Popobawa in rape cases. In the mainstream media, the events have been described as an incident of mass hysteria or panic that comes and goes in waves. The largest outbreaks occurred in 1995 and 2007, when the reports spread all over the East African coast. The victims of the Popobawa are ordered to tell others about the attack, or the creature will return. It seems that the villagers in this area of the world become enraged if you claim that the spirit is unreal or fake in any way.
The Popobawa has been known to attack in many areas along the East African coast. The reports of the creature originated from the area surrounding Zanzibar Archipelago, which holds several islands off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Specifically, the area of Pemba Island is said to be watched by the Popobawa. However, during large outbreaks, the presence of the spirit has been reported in mainland Tanzania. His presence is usually announced by the sound of scraping claws on the roof and a sharp, pungent smell. It has been suggested that the wave of attacks increase during All Hallows’ Eve, when ghosts are said to patrol the night. In most reports, Popobawa primarily attacks men and only in their own beds, resulting in many guys sleeping outside in the streets or on porches after recent attacks. The beast is known to overpower his prey, holding their face to the floor and sodomizing them for up to an hour. His genital area has been described as “significant.” Many Africans believe that the creature takes human form by day, and lives among the people. If you visit this area of Africa, keep a look out for the Popobawa.

The Candy Man Top Tenz

4. The Candy Man

   Dean Corll was a sadistic serial killer that savagely murdered dozens of small boys in the US state of Texas during the early 1970s. He was responsible for the death of a confirmed 27 children. At this time in history, the term serial killer had not yet been coined, and the case was simply known as the Houston Mass Murders. In the early 1960s, the Corll Candy Company was founded by Dean’s mother. The Corll family set up a production facility in their home and turned the garage into a candy store, which was located across the street from Heights Elementary School, in the Houston Heights area of northwest Houston, Texas. Dean became second in command of the candy business and lived in an apartment over the garage. During this time, Dean Corll became known as The Candy Man. He would routinely give out free candy to the local children, in particular teenage boys. The company had a handful of employees and Dean was in charge of hiring the staff, which consisted of teenage children.
   He even installed a pool table at the rear of the factory where employees and local youths would go to hang-out and do drugs. At this time, Dean Corll befriended 12-year-old David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley. In 1968, the Corll Candy Company closed and Dean gained work as an electrician. He killed his first known victim in 1970. Most of the children he murdered were abducted from Houston Heights. He would lure his victims into a van with an offer of a party. He used the help of two teenage boys, David Brooks and Elmer Henley, who were given $200 for every successful capture. He would overpower his victims and perform sadistic rituals. Corll would start by putting his prey on a plywood torture board. He sexually assaulted all victims and usually killed them by strangulation or shooting with a .22 caliber pistol. Upon searching his home, police found multiple wooden torture boards with handcuffs, ropes, sex toys, and plastic covering the carpeted floor. He also owned an odd wooden crate with what appeared to be air holes cut into it.
   On August 8, 1973, Henley angered Dean Corll when he brought his young girlfriend over to his house with another friend, Tim Kerley. The group drank and did drugs and each fell asleep, but when they awoke Corll had handcuffed them all. Elmer Henley reportedly convinced Corll to let him go, so that he could participate in the murders. When his back was turned, Henley took the gun and shot Dean Corll six times killing him instantly. Henley then began to tell the police about the deadly rampage and specify where the children’s bodies were buried. It was the first time that the Houston police department had investigated Dean Corll or even connected the series of rash murders to one person. In a highly publicized trial, Brooks was found guilty of one murder and sentenced to life in prison. Henley was convicted of six of the murders and sentenced to six 99-year-terms.
During the years of Dean Corll’s murder spree, he is known to have frequently changed addresses in the Houston Heights area. He lived in a trailer park, several apartment buildings and rented rooms at private residences. Specifically, these locations include a metal warehouse in the 500 block of West 22nd Street, a run-down apartment building in the 800 block of Heights Boulevard, a house on North Durham and an apartment on East 7th Street. A collection of old structures in the Houston Heights area have witnessed the worst crimes known to man. Dean Corll buried his victims in one of four separate locations, a rented boatshed in southwest Houston, a beach on the Bolivar Peninsula, in woodland near a cabin on Lake Sam Rayburn (owned by his family) or on a beach in Jefferson County. A small group of people living in Houston believe that the ghost of Dean Corll and his victims haunt the city. Reports have surfaced from his grave stone, which mysteriously reads “PFC US Army.” Why he was still given this honor after death is unknown to me.