Tuesday, 30 May 2017

History's Mysteries: Carnac Stones

Carnac Stones

3,000 megalithic stones arranged in perfect lines over a distance of 12 kilometres on the coast of Brittany in the North-West of France make the awe-inspiring sight of the Carnac Stones.
Myths abound around these stones, the most well know myth being that each stone represents a Roman Legion turned to stone by the Wizard Merlin, another myth involves pagan soldiers in pursuit of Pope Cornelius turning the pagans into stone .
The stones are dated to around 4500BC, it is unknown who built them or why.


©2013 – Allen Tiller
First published in 2012

The Cursed Wedding

The Cursed Wedding

 Most little girls dream of the perfect fairy-tale wedding, marrying their Prince Charming on a bright spring day, their family around, Father gives them away to the Prince, waiting with a big grin on his face, but a tear in his eye at the end of the aisle, a perfect day to start a perfect union born in love, to last an eternity.
 I imagine Maria Vittoria dal Pozzo thoughts as being very much along those lines, she had met her Prince, an actual Royal, Prince Amadeo of Savoy, Italy, son of King victor Emmanuel II.

 Although the King disapproved of the low rank of Maria's family, who was marrying up in his eyes, her families accumulated wealth impressed him enough to allow the wedding to go ahead, actually, it would seem the good King was bribed by Maria's family to make sure the wedding proceeded.

This be when the alleged curse was first imagined, did another man place the curse, knowing his beloved Maria was to be married no matter what?

 Could it have been someone on the groom’s side of the family, not liking the future Princess, or how her family influenced the King so easily with money. One can only speculate, as the truth will probably never be known, but one can postulate that this is indeed the starting point for what was to become the worst ever wedding recorded in history.

 Trouble started almost immediately for the young Princess to be, before the wedding had even happened, Maria's wardrobe mistress had hung herself in the dressing chamber, when she was supposed to be hanging the wedding dress!
 Maria, like almost all of us, even those not claiming to be superstitious, promptly ordered a new gown for the occasion, fearing the other had become tainted by her hand maidens suicide.

 On the wedding day, May 30th, 1867, the Brides procession prepared at the Castle, then began to travel towards the Church. They had not gone far when the Colonel, who was proudly leading the procession on his horse, fell from the beast, and died in the street, the apparent cause of death was “sunstroke”.
 The Colonel was replaced at the head with another of the Kings Guard, and off they went again, only to be stopped at the closed Palace gates.

 The gatekeeper was called for, but did not come forth, so someone was called upon to search for him. The Gatekeeper was found dead, lying in a pool of his own blood, his throat slit.
 For some, two deaths on the wedding day would be enough to stop the proceedings and reschedule for another time, but the Princess was determined to be married, so, as soon as the gates were opened, the procession again began to move towards the Church.

 The Ceremony went exceptionally well, despite the bad luck of earlier in the day, and everything seemed like it might end happily ever after, until.. the best man, who was dressed in his most regal and formal attire, decided to inspect his ceremonial pistol, which happened to be loaded. As he was inspecting the gun, looking down the barrel the gun discharged, shooting him in the head and killing him.

 The King, decided it was time to get out of the Church and head to the station before anyone else died, so the entire wedding party headed towards the station. On the way, the Official who had drawn up the wedding contract, collapsed from sunstroke, this didn’t stop the Kind pressing ever on.
 The wedding party arrived at the Train Station, with the King now in a bit of a bother about the deathly goings on, only to see the Stationmaster fall onto the tracks and be killed.
 The King now ordered everyone to forget the procession and head back to the safety of the castle before any more deaths prevailed. Everyone returned to their carriages, a garrison of mounted officers were called, they flanked the carriages to try and stop any more deaths occurring, this however was not enough, for one more man was to die on this dreadful day.
 The Count of Castiglione, dressed in his finest military attire for the wedding, including his much-loved medals, fell from his horse under the wheels of a carriage, he would have survived if it were not for one of his chest medals piercing his heart and killing him.

 The wedding day over, the new Bride and Groom had an incredible, but dreadful,  wedding story to tell, and one would think after such an ordeal, they would have a happy and joyous life... but the curse did not stop on the wedding day.

 In 1870, Prince Amadeo was declared King of Spain, and Maria, his wife, The Queen. The couple had their own country of which to rule over and do as they see fit, but within three years, the Kings court had fallen into a shambles, and the King, not being able to find a way to recover, abdicated the Throne.
 The couple, severely deflated, returned to Italy, where they lived as The Duke and Duchess of Aosta.
 In 1873, at the young age of 29, Maria died through complications of giving birth to her third son.
 Amedeo went on to marry his young niece in 1888, and in 1890, he too died...

It is not known what led to such a catastrophic Wedding day, but one can clearly see how a curse can be attributed to such catastrophic events.

Written by Allen Tiller in 2013
Previously unpublished
Revised and edited 2017
© 2017, Allen Tiller, Eidolon Paranormal

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