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.


  Water is the element that most characterises Venice and it is no coincidence that the most famous and spectacular festivity in the city takes place on the waters of the Grand Canal. The spectacular eventstarts with a magnificent historical procession consisting of splendid,elaborately carved boats complete with hundreds od figures in gorgeous brocadecostumes.
    Even now the Regata Storica is one of the most spectacular, picturesque and moving events of Venetian life, capable of both charming the tourists and exciting the locals.
   A historical procession commemorates the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, in 1489 after she renounced her throne in favour of Venice. It is a procession of 16th century style boats, with the famous Bucintoro, the boat representing the Serenissima, at its head.
    Then comes the competition. The spectators participate with gusto and shouts of encouragement during the sporting events.


A City on Water    The first description of the inhabitants on the lagoon comes from the 6th century AD and was written by the Roman Cassiodoro:
   "It appears as though you slide across fields with your boats because from afar you cannot discern the canals from the sandbanks... and whilst in other cities you tether animals to the front of the house, you, with your houses of wicker and reed, tether your boats".
   Even in those days, the city's relationship with water was clear. It is a relationship that has distinguished Venice and her inhabitants ever since.
Since the beginning of its history, Venice has lived alongside water and transformed it into its major sources of income: salt extraction, fishing and river and maritime commercial traffic.
   Over the centuries the city gradually extended its control of the seas and the ensuing commerce. In fact, the Adriatic was known as the Gulf of Venice.

   The city's development brought with it a transformation in the natural environment: in order to grow, the city needed to make living space out of the water, orchards, fens, mud and sandbanks. More and more land was reclaimed thanks to millions of poles driven into the mud, which then became land to build on. An entire forest of upturned trees lies at the base of the city.
  The Venetians have always placed the utmost importance on water and its regulation: for centuries they have controlled the flow of rivers, even diverting their outlets to prevent the slow but progressive flooding of the lagoon. Over the centuries, the flow of the Brenta, Dese, Sile and Piave rivers has undergone substantial diversions to allow Venice and its lagoon to survive.
Great attention was given to providing drinking water and its use was regulated by specially formed magistrates.

A City of Rowers    Venice was, and to an extent still is, a city whose principal means of communication consisted of canals and the traffic was on water.
   Rowing everywhere is a centuries-old form of transport and continues to survive to this day. Centuries ago, rowing was the ideal training for mariners working for the Venetian military and civil fleet and was indispensable for all Venetians.
   All the patrician palaces had an entrance opening onto the street and another more important and magnificent one opening onto the canal. This is where gondolas were moored, ready to take their masters and guests around the city.

Venetian-style Rowing    As they travelled by boat or ship, Venetians became able seamen and rowers, and were experts in understanding winds, currents and tides.
The surrounding environment forged and conditioned the methods of navigation and lagoon rowing.
   The shallow seabed, the winding canals and the presence of sandbanks called for flat-bottomed boats without a keel. The need for maximum visibility to locate the most navigable routes led to stand-up rowing, while the need for using just one oar through the narrow city canals saw the creation of asymmetric boats that enabled this kind of rowing. The need to freely move the oar in order to push down on the shallow seabed or to slip down narrow canals led to the creation of an open rowlock, the forcola. For the same reasons, the rudder was also abandoned and substituted by the oar.

Gondoliers    Before becoming a category exclusively dedicated to tourism, the gondoliers were the spirit of the city, acting as oar-wielding chauffeurs.
   They either worked for a patrician family or were employed in public service and were available to anyone who wanted to reach any part of the city or lagoon.
This category, which was to become the very symbol of the city, for centuries constituted the heart of the spectacular regattas that were increasingly being organised in the city.

Birth of the Regatta    The regata or rowing race is the most specifically Venetian of local competitive events and has always exerted considerable appeal for both Venetians and visitors.
The earliest historical evidence relates the races to the celebrations surrounding the festival of the Marys and date from the second half of the 13th Century. However, it is probable that similar events were already popular: Venice was essentially a seafaring city and ready reserves of expert oarsmen were a prime necessity.

   The etymology of the term regata is uncertain. Some trace it to the word riga (line), others to the verb aurigare (to compete in a race); and others again to ramigium (rowing); in any case, the Venetian term "regata" entered the main European languages to denote a competitive event raced in boats.
   During the Renaissance regate were organized mainly by the Compagnie della Calza (associations of young noblemen) but from the mid-16th Century, the Venetian government appointed specific noblemen - called direttori di regata - to arrange and supervise the races.

The Competition    A typical regatta has always comprised various races using different kinds of boats and on the occasion of a regatta, the Lagoon in front of St. Mark's and the Grand Canal is always teeming with decorated craft of all kinds, full of passionately keen spectators.
To clear the course of the race and to keep order, the regatta used to be preceded by a fleet of bissone, typical long boats containing noblemen standing in the bows and armed with bows. Their job was to pelt the more unruly of the spectators with terracotta shot. Now the bissone still head the procession before the races, but they no longer perform a disciplinary function.

   The Regata Storica as we know it now, with its commemorative cortege acting as a prelude to the competitions, was conceived at the end of the 19th century for the 3rd Biennale d'Arte as a way of offering another tourist attraction.

  Famous Regattas    Regate were more common in the past than now and were of two main types: challenge events between boatmen or gondoliers and regate grandi, organized as part of the celebrations for some religious or civic occasion.
   For centuries, the regata was also a customary way of marking the accession of a new Doge and Dogaressa, the appointment of important public officials such as the Procuratori di San Marco and of welcoming distinguished visitors to the Serenissima Republic. Dignitaries honoured in this way included Beatrice d'Este in 1493, Anna de Foix, Queen of Hungary in 1502, Henry III of France in 1574, Frederick IX of Denmark in 1709 and the Crown Prince and Princess of Russia in 1782.

   Not infrequently they were also organized and financed by foreign princes, a famous example being the regata of 1686, arranged at the wish of Duke Ernest August of Brunswick, a general who had fought bravely in the service of the Serenissima.

The Historical Procession    This procession is a re-evocation of the welcome given to Caterina Cornaro, wife of the King of Cyprus, in 1489 after she renounced her throne in favour of Venice.It is a procession of 16th century style boats, with the famous Bucintoro, the boat representing the Serenissima, at its head.
   This is followed by dozens of multi-coloured boats with gondoliers in period costume carrying the Doge and his wife, along with Caterina Cornaro, and the highest dignitaries from the Venetian Magistracy, faithfully reconstructing an event from the glorious past of the Marine Republic's, one of the most powerful and influential in the Mediterranean.

The Public Spectacle

    Crowded along the banks, or in the floating stands, or even better in one of the boats moored along the Canal, the spectators participate with gusto and shouts of encouragement during the sporting events.
   As the multi-coloured boats speed past thousands of spectators, crowded along the banks, or in the floating stands, or even better in one of the boats moored along the Canal, an incessant babble acts as the soundtrack to the competition, which has continued for a thousand years and is a perpetual reminder of Venice's close relationship with water, the element showing continuity between the past, present and future of the lagoon city.

Crucial Points
 The traditional reference points of the regatta are:

- the spagheto or cordin, the rope stretched across the starting point in front of the Public Gardens.
- the paleto, a pole driven into the centre of the Grand Canal in front of the Church of Sant'Andrea della Zirada, around which the boats must tum before going back up the course (the first boats round the paleto are traditionally those which take the pennants awarded to the winners).

- the machina, a construction erected on a richly carved, painted and gilded wooden raft, which marks the finish of the race and on which the prize-giving ceremonies are held.


The Gondola    The Venetian boat par excellence, whose origin remains a mystery in spite of extensive research into the subject.
   Once, gondolas were extravagantly decorated by their wealthy and titled owners, whose fondness for ostentation was curbed by a sumptuary edict dictating that henceforth they should all be painted black.
   The rules for construction are extremely strict: the right side must be 24 millimetres narrower than the left (this assymetry is know as lai); the boat must measure 10.75 metres in length and have an internal breadth of 1.38 metres. The gondola is used exclusively for ferrying persons and for boat races. Eight different types of wood are used in its construction and it is made up of over 280 different parts. The only parts in metal are the characteristic "ferro" of the prow and the "risso" of the stern.

   The "ferro" characterises the gondola's prow and guarantees the boat's longitudinal stability, acting as a counterbalance to the gondolier's weight.
   Popular tradition has it that the anterior "pettini" represent the six neighbourhoods of the city and the posterior one represents the island of Giudecca; the double "S" curve is the Grand Canal and the lunette, positioned under a stylised doge's cap, is Rialto Bridge.

Gondolino    Created and used exclusively for the Historical Regatta, the gondolino first raced in 1825. It was designed specifically to make the Regatta more competitive and exciting.
It is lighter and swifter than the gondola on which it is modelled. The current version measures 10.5 metres from end to end, whilst its bottom is 0.65 metres wide.

Caorlina    Sixteen-century prints show that this working boat has faithfully preserved all its traditional features.
   Although used for fishing (the nets marking out fishing grounds are spread with caorline da seragia), the boat serves mainly for trasporting choice fruit and vegetables from the islands to the city market.
   Its distinguishing feature lies the identical shape of the bow and stern, which are elongated and have no boom. The name of the boat suggests that it originally came from Caorle.

Mascareta    A lighter version of the sandolo, used for fishing, racing and boating excursions on the lagoon.
   Its length (6-8 metres)varies according to the number of oarsmen (1-4 oars).
   It appears to have been named after the masked prostitutes who often used this type of craft.

Pupparin    A speedy vessel once used for maritime surveillance or kept by members of the aristocracy as a town boat (barca da casada).
   The poppa (stern) from which the vessel takes its name is expecially prominent.
Rowed with up to four oars, it varies in length from 9 to 10 meters.
   The slender, pointed hull and boldly pronunced bow make the pupparin a refined and elegant craft.

The Forcola    This is the rowlock on which the oar rests.
   Its characteristic form, the result of centuries of experimentation, gives it the appearance of a sculpture rather than a utensil.
   Nothing is left to chance: each curve, each shape, each corner has a precise function. For example, the gondolier uses at least eight different points of the forcola.
Each boat uses a specific forcola for the prow and another for the stern, as they have different measurements.

The Oar    It has a flat blade and is not fixed to the forcola so that it can be removed quickly when rowing along the narrow city canals.
   It varies in length depending on the type of boat.
   The oar is also used as a rudder in Venetian-style rowing and acts as a keel for the flat-bottomed boat.