Saturday, 27 May 2017

Turn off the Dark – The Curse of the Spider-Man Musical

Turn off the Dark – The Curse of the Spider-Man Musical


Now, many of you who know me, know, I am a huge Spider-Man fan, have been my entire life, I have quite the collection of Spider-Man merch, which grows weekly, but I, like many other Spider-man fans, was truly surprised when I learnt that my favourite web-slinging superhero was going to be the basis of a Broadway musical!

 “Spider-Man:Turn Off The Dark” is a lofty achievement indeed, a Broadway play like no other, it has been described by musical contributor and Co-Writer, U2's “The Edge” as “elements of rock and roll, it's elements of circus, it's elements of opera, [and] of musical theatre. “
In fact, this play has very strong musical performances, with song writers including Bono and The Edge from U2, but it's real ability to impress theatre goers is the live action sets of Spider-Man swinging through the sky scrapers of New York, there is no less than 27 scenes of either Spider-Man, or The Green Goblin doing acrobatic flying scenes in this play!

 The play has been fairly successful so far and has earned some terrific critical reviews, and fan accolades, but there is a darker side to this play, “Spider-Man:Turn Off The Dark” appears to have been cursed, with numerous accidents and deaths associated with its cast and its producers, a larger than average budget, the longest “preview” period in Broadway history ( a staggering 182 preview showings) and a lot of rewrites!

 “Spider-Man:Turn Off The Dark” has been plagued with problems right from its conception back in 2002. Tony Adams was employed by Marvel to produce the big budget spectacular musical. He approached Bono and Edge about writing music for the project, and they in turn approached Tony award winner, Julie Taymor to direct.

 In 2005, just as contracts were about to be signed, Tony Adams suffered a stroke, which led to his death two days later. Although a huge blow early on, the creative team behind the musical decided to follow their instinct and carry on with Tony Adams partner, David Garfinkle, as the lead producer.
 The Musical was then delayed numerous times in 2007, it is speculated, and indeed stated anonymously (1), that this was due to “still unresolved creative decisions by the team head producer, Julie Taymor”.

 By 2009 the budget had run into considerable debt, a staggering $25 million in the red, in March the same year, the show, which had never seen an audience had publicly announced a $52 million budget, a record for Broadway.
 Disney, in 2009, began its takeover of the Marvel company, but, even though Disney had considerable success with its own musical stage shows, offered no interest in purchasing, or investing in the Spider-Man musical, leaving the production somewhat in financial limbo.

 Bono then asked Michael Cohl (A Canadian Concert Promoter) to come on board as producer, who then raised the money needed to move forward. This fund-raising venture then, in turn caused the production opening day to be postponed whilst funds were raised, from February 18th, 2010, pushed back until December 21st 2010.
 By this stage, it was being reported that the budget of the show was a staggering $65 million and that costs were as high was 1 Million dollars a week.

 Again, the show was postponed, this time until January 2011, then again until February 2011, due to “A tremendous amount of creative commotion behind the scenes”, which equated to rewrites, rehearsals, dialogue issues and some tweaking of the final number.
The production finally debut on June 14th 2011, with an estimated costing of $75 million, the biggest budget ever recorded for a Broadway play, and like stated early, the longest running “preview” showing of any Broadway Musical in History!

 Finances and rewrites were not the only issues plaguing this production, death (as we have seen earlier with Tony Adams) and injuries also plagued the cast and production. In November of 2010, cast member, Kevin Aubin broke both his wrists in a rehearsal presentation for ticket agents. He was sent flying through the air during the performance and crashed out of control in a “sling-shot” styled manoeuvre, the same flying performance would later injure another actor (who remains anonymous (2) ) breaking both his feet!
This led to further problems for the production with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration fining the show for breaches of the work place safety act.

 Another cast member, Natalie Mendoza, was struck in the head by a piece of equipment in the very first preview performance of the production, causing concussion, Mendoza chose not to report the incident to the producers right away, but instead tried to perform the acrobatic flying sequences the following night, going against her doctor’s orders, only to find herself in trouble as her condition worsened.
 She was replaced for the next two weeks by her understudy whilst she recovered and returned to the musical, only to quit after an injury to another cast member, at the end of December.

 That incident was one of the more horrifying ones for the cast, actor Christopher Tierney was standing on a piece of scenery about 6 meters (20 feet) in the air, when he fell, his safety harness cord had not been attached, nor secured, leaving Tierney to plunge into the orchestra pit below, fracturing his skull and breaking four ribs, as well as damaging his back. Tierney was taken to a local medical centre and released for rehabilitation for his extensive back injuries on December 28th, 2011.

 Another injury happened to T.V. Carpio, the actress portraying the villainess, Arachne. Carpio's injuries eventually led to her departure of the musical, whilst the exact injuries have never been disclosed, it is thought Carpio suffered a neck injury, possibly whiplash, or something similar from flying around the set during the production.

 In July 2012, a technician working on the musical, Jason Lindhal, 27, committed suicide in the Hudson River, his fully clothed body was discovered floating near the George Washington Bridge.

In 2013, Daniel Curry, an actor on the stage show, suffered serious leg trauma after a piece of set equipment pinned him to the ground in an apparent stunt gone wrong accident.

 Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, despite all of its bad luck, has gone on to be a critically acclaimed and much loved Broadway Musical showcase (although there are just many critics against the show as there is those for it), even spawning a CD and related merchandise, and becoming somewhat of a “pop-culture” reference in television shows, including nods in the recent “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon and in comic “Simpsons Super Spectacular 14” - where the show is lampooned and also in video game “Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom”, where if one plays as Deadpool against Spider-Man, Deadpool, if he wins states ”Maybe it would have helped if you turned of the dark”....

This is a Broadway “curse” to keep an eye on, for at the time of writing this, I don’t believe the “curse” story to be fully told....

researched and written by Allen Tiller in 2013
Previously unpublished,
Revised 2017 - © 2017, Allen Tiller, Eidolon Paranormal

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

History's Mysteries: Antikythera Mechanism

Antikythera Mechanism

Discovered in a Greek shipwreck in 1901 and recovered by diver, Elias Stadiatos, comes the Antikythera Mechanism, a mysterious little device that confused researchers and historians for over 100 years about what it was used for.
The mechanism is the oldest known scientific device to date, speculated to have been built in Greece in around 100 BC, and lost for over 2000 years.
The mechanisms use was only recently discovered, it is an astronomical clock that determines where the stars and other celestial bodies are positioned with the most extraordinary accuracy.

If you would like to learn more about this incredible device, please follow the links below

©2013 Allen Tiller

first published 15 Jan 2013

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

History's Mysteries: The Bloop

The Bloop

In 1997 a mysterious noise was recorded under the pacific ocean, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were recording whale sounds when they picked up a very strong, very low frequency sound, they nicknamed “The Bloop”. It was said to be a similar sound, when sped up by 16 times, to that of someone throwing a rock in still pond of water “bloop”.
The sound was recorded several times, until it mysteriously stopped.

There is no known animal in the oceans of the world that is big enough to make a sound so deep and of the frequency recorded.
Bombs, submarines, man made disturbances, volcanoes and earthquakes were ruled out as being the source of the sound.
This left a lot of room for speculation by scientist, paranormal enthusiasts and cryptozoologists, with Cthulhu, The Cloverfield Monster and Poseidon all being put forward as explanations, another put forward is that this “bloop” could be some large sea monster we have not yet discovered.

In 2012 a different theory was presented, that the sound was that of an “ice-quake”, an event that happens in Antarctica often, where glacial ridges melt and slide into the ocean, creating a long slow underwater booming sound. Some people believe this is not the actual answer, and that the “bloop” is indeed something else, something alive....
to hear the sound, visit here:
for more information

©2012 Allen Tiller
first published 8 Jan 2013

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

History's Mysteries: The Baghdad Battery

The Baghdad Battery

Found just outside Baghdad, Iraq in Khujut Rabu in 1938, were a group of fist sized earthenware jars, thought to be around 2000 years old.
The Jars, consisting of an earthenware shell, a stopper composed of asphalt, an iron rod, that runs from its lid through to its base, and a cylinder of copper which surrounds the iron rod, were these the worlds first batteries?

The discovery was made by German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig in 1938, who in 1940 published a paper on the subject.

Our history books tell us that Count Alassandro Volt first made the discovery of current being produced when he placed a probe of two dissimilar metals against a frog, a very weak current was generated, he then set about placing his probes in different chemical solutions instead of the living tissue, and replicated his electricity generation, and thus the “voltic pile” or electric battery was born in 1800!
So did Volt invent the battery or did he rework something the ancient Iraqis had already invented?

For more information, please follow the links below

© 2013 Allen Tiller
first published 8 Jan 2013

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

History's Mysteries: The Baigong Pipes

The Baigong Pipes

Mt Baigong in Qinghai Province, China was the home to an unusual discovery in 2002 when U.S. Scientists, on the trail of dinosaur fossils, investigated three caves at the bottom of the mountain and stumbled across a set of mysterious pipes.
The pipes, known to locals for thousands of years are about 40cm in diameter, and span the length of the caves, out into a nearby lake, and incredibly up to the top of the mountain.
Locals say the pipes are extraterrestrial in origin, and were part of an ancient alien base, other explanations include fossilised tree roots, whatever the case it is an interesting and mysterious find.

Read more about the pipes below.

©2013 Allen Tiller
first published 7 Jan 2013

Wednesday, 12 April 2017



What is Braucherei?
Bruacherei was brought to the United States by early Germanic immigrants who fled religious persecution in their homelands, these Immigrants would later be referred to as the Pennsylvania Dutch.
This magical system is based around aspects of Christian Theology, European Folklore, superstition, ceremonial magic, witchcraft rites and shamanism, also added in some areas is Native American Indian practices. The magical system can be traced back as far as the 2nd Century.
Much of the magical system is based on three sets of writings, “Egyptian Secrets” by Albert Magnus, “Long Lost Friend” by John George Hohman and also the"Romanusbuchlein". The religion relies very heavily on the power of God and Christ, and incorporates the mystic and magical teachings and philosophies of early Christian mystics
The heart of the religion remains in Pennsylvania, and as one travels further out of the state the religion blends more into Shamanistic and Neopagan practices and loses some of its Christianity aspects.
Modern day Braucherei practitioners include Chris Bilardi, Jack Montgomery and Rob Chapman. These gentlemen are bringing the old ways back into the limelight through books and websites.
Like all religions it has a good and bad side, the light workers are known as practitioners of “Pow-Wow” the “night-workers” are known as the “Hexerei” or “Hexers”
This is the darker side of Braucherei, this is what the Pennsylvania Dutch consider, in their terms, “witchcraft”. It is the practice of hexing, using malevolent magic to cause hurt and harm. It is a self-serving form of the Braucherei, utilising demons and spirits to serve for ones own gain.


Pow-wow is the Braucherei practitioners of good and light, it teaches healing and protections against evil by utilising charms to protect against the evils of hexes and witchcraft.

Pennsylvania Dutch Hexes

The Pennsylvania Dutch are a colorful folk when it comes to decoration, many barns are adorned with colourful symbols that also appear on birth certificates and in other places
these colorful symbols are known as Hex Signs, a term coined by author Wallace Nutting in his book “ Pennsylvania Beautiful” in 1924.
Hex Signs utilize motifs, usefully featuring hearts, wheat, birds, tulips and colours, some also use a very distinctive bird known as a “Distelfinks”, also common is the usage of Stars, the moon and sun.
At some point ion the late 1800's people in the area started painting the hex signs on their barns as a way to ward of witchcraft, bad luck and other evil doings, They became even more popular after the 1928 “Witch Craft Trials” dubbed by one local newspaper as “The weirdest and most curiously fascinating in the history of jurisprudence."

Researched and Written by Allen Tiller 2012 

Many thanks to Rob Chapman for his assistance in editing this page

Please visit Robs site at
First published on the Eidolon Paranormal Website 2012
© Allen Tiller

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Curses: The Curse of Gloomy Sunday

The Curse of Gloomy Sunday


Reszo Seress, A Hungarian born songwriter living in France, trying to make a living was determined to become an internationally famous songwriter, but failing dismally. Every song he composed and put forward to recording companies got rejected, but he never gave up.

His girlfriend would constantly fight with him, urging him to find a real job and throw away this dream that wasn’t happening for him.
One day, she was more cruel than usual and Seress and his Fiancee had a fight over his song-writing dream that saw them breakup.

The day after, a Sunday, Seress was in his apartment, sitting at his piano, outside was dark and gloomy, and so was his mood. As the rain began to fall he muttered to himself, “what a gloomy Sunday”, his hands fell on the piano, and from them came a strange melancholy melody that encapsulated his morose mood, his feelings about losing his girl and the gloomy Sunday weather.
Within Thirty minutes Seress had composed the song “Gloomy Sunday”.

His first attempt at selling the song failed, rejected by the publisher, but on his second attempt, it was sold, Seress was about to become a published writer with a promise that his song would be available worldwide.

Within months of the song being printed, strange happenings began that were said to be linked with the song. In Berlin, a young man requested the song be played by a band in hotel, the young man went home, complaining to his family he could not get the sad melody out of his head. He took a revolver and shot himself in the head.

In the same city, a week later, a young woman was found hung in her apartment, near her body the police found a copy of the sheet music for “Gloomy Sunday”.

In New York City, two days later a young secretary gassed herself, in her suicide note she asked for “Gloomy Sunday” to be played at her funeral. Within weeks an 82 year old man jumped to his death from a seventh floor window after playing the song on his piano.
The same week a young man jumped of a bridge in Rome to his death after hearing the song.

It didn’t take long for a journalist to put the stories together and start reporting in the media of the alleged links between the song and suicides. Streams of bizarre stories associated with the song were reported in Europe, the BBC banned the song from being played on their radio network.

Seress, now happy he was published tried to contact his ex-fiancee, only to learn from the police that she had committed suicide by poison, next to her they found a copy of the sheet music for “Gloomy Sunday”.

Billie Holiday, the soulful jazz singer recorded a version of the song in 1941, although she didn’t commit suicide there is much speculation that after her recording of “Gloomy Sunday” her carer decline was directly related to her recording of the song, it wasn’t too long after that she died from a drug overdose.

Allen Tiller

first published 8 Jan 2013