Master, may I have another fly, please? I’m so hungry…..

Last week my husband and I were attending another one of our son’s football games (we won, by the way, 30 – 17… just sayin’! *happy dance*  Woohoo!!!) While sitting in the stands, my attention got distracted from a few levels down below on the bottom bleacher. I was watching my son’s game when all of a sudden this light brown, rather large moth kept fluttering around and walking back and forth as people passed it by. As focused as I was on the game, I couldn’t help but to keep looking at the bug. It was like I was oddly fascinated by it, drawn to it in a creepy way. It kind of made me feel like Renfield, but without the bug crunching appetite. *thank goodness!*

 

Notably known as “The Fly Man”, R. M. Renfield is a fictional character from the widely renowned horror Gothic novel, Dracula written by Bram Stoker in 1897. Under the care of Dr. Jack Seward and his insane asylum, mental patient Renfield falls victim to the alluring spell of the infamous Count Vlad Dracula.  “The vampire, whose abilities include control over animals such as ratsbats and spiders, comes to Renfield with an offer: if Renfield worships him, he promises to make him immortal by providing an endless supply of insects and rats, as Renfield believes that blood is the source of life.” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renfield

Anyone familiar with this iconic story knows that Renfield likes to munch on insects, like a movie-goer with a tub of popcorn. *Eeeww… sorry, I had a brief shudder moment just thinking about it.* As grotesque as it sounds, according to Stoker’s famed novel, Renfield honestly did believe it gave him immortality.

Now we all know that this is not true, but there actually is a medical condition referred to as Renfield’s Syndrome. It’s also known as Clinical Vampirism which is the obsession with drinking what? BLOOD! (Insert theatrical sound effects here…. *bum bum BUMMM!!*) That’s right! The act of people really doing this is nothing made up.

“The earliest formal presentation of clinical vampirism to appear in the psychiatric literature, with the psychoanalytic interpretation of two cases, was contributed by Richard L. Vanden Bergh and John F. Kelley in 1964.[1] As the authors point out, brief and sporadic reports of blood-drinking behaviors associated with sexual pleasure have appeared in the psychiatric literature at least since 1892 with the work of Austrian forensic psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. Many medical publications concerning clinical vampirism can be found in the literature of forensic psychiatry, with the unusual behavior reported as one of many aspects of extraordinary violent crimes.[2][3][4]” ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinical_vampirism

Wow! With that being said, upon doing research I discovered that those who have Renfield’s Syndrome include a variety of people. Some are happy to make public their “need to feed”, while others are extremely private about it. Even some serial killers have been known to have this blood-thirsty condition.

For example:

Richard Chase, a.k.a. “The Vampire of Sacramento” (California), killed six people in one month. He ate from their flesh and drank their blood. In December 1980, he committed suicide in his prison cell. He overdosed on the anti-depressant medication prescribed by his doctor that he had been saving up for quite some time.

Fritz Haarmann, a.k.a. “The Vampire of Hanover” (Germany), killed at least twenty-seven people. He committed many of his murders by biting through his victims’ throats. In April 1925, he was executed by guillotine. His last words? “I repent, but I do not fear death.”

Peter Kürten, a.k.a. “The Vampire of Dusseldorf” (Germany), killed at least nine people. It was reported that he drank the blood of several of his victims. In July 1931, he was executed by guillotine.

Roderrick Justin Ferrell, a sixteen year old who claimed he was Vesago, a five hundred year old vampire. He joined a group of teenagers that referred to themselves as “The Vampire Clan”. In 1998 Roderrick became the youngest person to be put on death row in the United States. He was found guilty of murdering a couple in Florida. Since his conviction, his penalty has been reduced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

 

And this last one….. not a serial killer, but still a very disturbing story!

 

James P. Riva, a.k.a. “The Schizophrenic Vampire”, a deranged individual who claimed that he was a seven hundred year old vampire. In April 1980, he stabbed his elderly grandmother in her heart and then shot her four times using bullets that he had painted gold. Prior to setting her house on fire in a poor attempt to cover up his heinous crime, he drank her blood. In 1981 James was sentenced to life in prison for second degree murder and arson in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

 

 

 

As fascinated as I am by the whole idea of vampirism that has been romanticized by the Gothic era and Bram Stoker’s amazing novel, Dracula, I would never justify any such act as the above mentioned by the twisted individuals that harbored such a horrific darkness in their hearts. What they did was completely unfathomable.

But…. Do I love a good vampire tale? Of course I do! I mean, come on…. I recently wrote a short story titled, My Phantom Traveler based on the lore. One of my all time fave films is The Lost Boys! Still love the grandpa in that movie, he cracks me up every time I see it! Him using Windex as aftershave when he went to see the old widow Johnson…. lol…. crazy stuff!

So, do vampires really exist or is it all just folklore? For those who have Renfield’s Syndrome, it’s pretty real to them……

Hmmm….. a little something to ponder while sinking one’s fangs into their next meal…. *thinking to myself as I run my tongue across my naturally pointy teeth.* (and yes, I’ve often been told that my pearly whites resemble those of the fanged creatures.)

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Image result for renfield gifs

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“I…. Am…. A Man!”

Joseph Carey Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”.

On August 5,1862, Joseph Carey Merrick (who was often incorrectly referred to as John Merrick) was born in Leicester, England. His parents were Joseph Rockley Merrick and Mary Jane Merrick. During his early years in life, Joseph Carey began to suffer from extreme facial and body deformities. He appeared to have thick and lumpy skin. His lips became rather enlarged, and a bony lump started to grow on his forehead. One arm and both feet also grew to be enlarged and during his childhood he had fallen, damaging his left hip which caused him permanent lameness.

At the age of only eleven years old, Joseph Carey’s mother passed away. The cause of her death was bronchopneumonia. His father remarried not long after. Wrongly, he and his new wife rejected Joseph, treating him like an outcast. Joseph Carey was forced to leave home, finding shelter at the residence of his uncle, Charles Merrick.

At thirteen years old, Joseph gained employment working at Freeman’s Cigar Factory in Leicester. And then, in December 1879, at seventeen years of age, he joined the Leicester Union Workhouse. A few years later in 1884, Joseph got in contact with Sam Torr who was a showman. Joseph suggested that Sam should put Joseph up as an exhibit because of his unusual deformities.

Torr agreed on the proposition and along with a group of men who managed Joseph, they came up with Joseph’s exhibit’s name of “The Elephant Man”. After touring for some time, Joseph made a trip to London to be put on exhibit in a penny gaff located on Whitechapel Road which was rented by Tom Norman who was also a showman. Norman’s shop was located right across the street from the London Hospital.

Frederick Treves, who was a surgeon from the hospital, visited Norman’s shop. Dr. Treves automatically showed interest in Joseph Carey Merrick. The doctor invited Joseph to the hospital to be examined and photographed. This made Joseph feel uncomfortable, like an animal, and he refused to return to the London Hospital. This angered Dr. Treves and oddly enough, Norman’s shop was closed by local authorities. Upset by it all, Joseph decided to seek another opportunity elsewhere and joined a gentleman by the name of Sam Roper who owned a traveling circus that toured throughout Europe.

As time went on, Joseph was unfortunately robbed in Belgium, abandoned in Brussels, and finally made his way back to the London Hospital. Dr. Treves allowed Joseph to stay the remainder of his life at the hospital, free room and board. With daily visits from Dr. Treves, the two men quickly formed a remarkable friendship. Even the wealthy elite, including Alexandra, Princess of Wales visited Joseph.

And then, on April 11, 1890, Joseph Carey Merrick sadly died at the age of twenty-seven years old of asphyxia which is a condition where the body is seriously deprived of oxygen. It was believed that he was awake, attempting to get up from his bed just prior to his death. He was found stretched across his bed with a dislocated neck. Perhaps the weight of his head was too much for his neck to support. His skeletal remains can be found on display in the Royal London Hospital, which is a large educational facility in London, England.

It’s said that one of Joseph Carey Merrick’s favorite poems was:

“Tis true my form is something odd,                                                                               but blaming me is blaming God.                                                                                Could I create myself anew,                                                                                               I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole                                                                                      or grasp the ocean with a span,                                                                                         I would be measured by the soul.                                                                                 The mind’s the standard of the man.”

 

 

“I am not an animal! I am a human being! I … am … a man!” ~ Joseph Carey Merrick, a.k.a. “The Elephant Man”.

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Here is the artwork that I created in honor of Joseph Carey Merrick simply titled, “The Elephant Man”. Prints, pillows, blankets and even stationary…. available only at Fine Art America!

(“The Elephant Man” ~ by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints, tote bags, coffee mugs and so much more available only at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-elephant-man-sheila-renee-parker.html!)

 

“Spooky Random Fact: #18”

“Spooky Random Fact: #18”

“The Unknown Woman of the Seine”, or more beautifully known as “L’Inconnue de la Seine”. 

“Who was she?”, you may ask. Well, back in the late 1880s a young woman’s body was pulled out of the Seine River located at the Quai du Louvre in Paris. The local officials theorized that the cause of death was suicide since there was no evidence of foul play. Now here’s where the story gets a little strange. It was alleged that the Paris morgue’s pathologist at the time was so completely awestruck by the young woman’s beauty that he created a death mask of her face. Kinda creepy, right?!

And as if that wasn’t disturbing enough…. Apparently the pathologist wasn’t the only one who was charmed by the vision because a large amount of copies were made of the unknown beauty’s death mask throughout the years. As macabre as it may sound, the copies rapidly made their way in the fashion of Parisian Bohemian society. This mysterious belle has even been the inspiration that has led to the creation of countless literary works.

Did ya know that her beauty was so captivating that it even….. Well, ya gotta read more at L’Inconnue de la Seine 😉

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Can’t Stop The Feeling!

It was one morning a little over a month ago, I was in my car on my way to work when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the image of fluorite stone randomly popped into my head. As I was nearing the stop sign of the intersection, I was like, “wha??”. Thought it was odd because I wasn’t even thinking anything remotely to the subject of healing stones. But of course, being the person that I am, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I openly took it as a sign from the Universe. So, when I got to work and had a free moment, I began researching fluorite and its meaning.

And that was when it hit me! Upon my research I discovered this…. “Fluorite is a highly protective and stabilizing stone, useful for grounding and harmonizing spiritual energy. When working with the upper Chakras, Fluorite increases intuitive abilities, links the human mind to universal consciousness, and develops connection to Spirit.”https://www.healingcrystals.com/Fluorite_Articles_107.html

“Fluorite crystals cleanse your mind, body and spirit. On a psychic level, they are very protective stones, protecting you from outside influences and drawing off negative energy.  They balance both sides of your brain to bring mental clarity and rid your mind of any mental or creative blocks. They also cleanse and stabilize your aura, cleansing, purifying and dispelling anything within your body or energy field that is not in perfect order. Fluorite crystals are said to rid your aura of any cording—meaning any unwanted energy lines from other people.”  ~ https://www.energymuse.com/blog/placing-fluorite-crystal-home/

It literally gave me goosebumps! Why? Because on so many levels I’ve been going through a major lifestyle change. I’m eating healthier, exercising daily, creating a much more positive atmosphere, I’m being more open to my abilities and expressing them to others in hope to help people embrace their special gifts. I mean, so many wonderful things are happening and I have never felt so at peace before in my life!

So, by the image of the beautiful fluorite stone coming to me, I had to tell my husband about it! We then decided to order some fluorite beads to make our own necklaces. I made myself a sweet little choker, one so that I could easily layer it with other necklaces if I wanted. For my husband, I made him nearly an 18 inch necklace.

I’ve been wearing my choker every day now for several days and I cannot express the mental clarity it’s given me. I honestly believe in the benefits of fluorite! It’s even helped me “see” things better psychically. I feel like it’s helped me open my third eye all the more.

I also like layering it with my necklace adorned with a moldavite pendant. Moldavite is excellent for…. “Connectivity, Moldavite carries an intense frequency, a fusion of earthly and extraterrestrial energies that are quickly felt, often dramatically in those who resonate with its power. Holding Moldavite for the first time often produces a sensation of heat, felt first in the hand, then progressively throughout the body. In some cases the heart chakra is activated, experienced as a pounding pulse, followed by sweating or flushing of the face, and an emotional release that may range from laughter to tears. Moldavite’s frequency may take some getting used to, but its profound ability to accelerate one’s personal and spiritual evolution makes it highly sought after in the metaphysical world, both for its life-altering capabilities and as a catalyst for drawing in Light to aid in Earth’s healing.” ~ [Simmons, 262][Simmons/Warner, 30-32][Hall, 187]

“Moldavite is a powerful aid for meditation and dream-work, as well as increasing one’s sensitivity to guidance, intuition and telepathy, and the ability to understand messages sent from higher realms.”[Simmons, 262-263][Megemont, 126]

Together, or wearing separately, the fluorite and the moldavite stones create such an amazing sense of well-being! Some people may say that it’s simply the placebo effect induced by reading materials, but I would dispute that because I know what I feel and I cannot deny that. Things that would have bothered me in the past, now have no affect on me at all. I just let them “roll off my back”. My mental clarity has greatly improved and the beautiful, warm energy that I feel surrounding me, the Universal connection… beyond words! It’s all so inspiring!!

Life is a blessing, live it to the fullest!

Love & Light, my friends! ~ Sheila

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

My fluorite choker layered with my moldavite pendant.

 

 

TGI…. the Weekend!

Happy Saturday, one and all! Have a fab weekend and as always…. Be blessed! 💋

Life Is Beautiful ….. So, Keep Shining! You are definitely loved!!!!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

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Art of Yesteryear

Happy Monday and Happy September, everyone! This month is already off to a stormy start as Tropical Storm Gordon begins to make its way up the Gulf Coast. Those of us who live here on Alabama’s coastline are pretty well safe, but will continue to keep a watchful eye on the impending weather. If you’re on the Gulf Coast please be mindful as well and remain safe.

Over the weekend I was going through some of my old things, sorting through what to keep and what to get rid of, and I stumbled upon an old photo album of some art that I painted many moons ago. Not only canvas art, but I’ve also painted on wine bottles, flower vases, etc… anything I can tickle a brush on.

The following photos are of the pieces that I’ve painted. They were so much fun to create. I no longer have them, they’ve all been purchased and placed in loving homes. (Yes, I know I speak fondly of my art, that’s only because I’ve always been so passionate about my creativity! As any artist should be. 🙂 )

 

Wishing you all a beautiful week!

~ Much Love & Light, Sheila 💋

 

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Haunted Swamp”

Ahhhh…. The Haunted Swamp. Nefarious place or a peaceful location? I guess that’s up to the individual and their experience.

Recently, my husband and I checked out a place called Bear Creek Swamp located in Prattville, Alabama. It was nearly a three hour drive that we took early in the morning to attend our son’s football game that was scheduled to occur later that night. The reason why we left so early was because my husband and I had already researched the city of Prattville, which was founded by industrialist and architect, Daniel Pratt in 1839. We love historical places so we took the opportunity to look around!

Upon our research, we looked for areas known for paranormal activity. That’s when my husband stumbled across some online articles about Bear Creek Swamp, also referred to as “The Haunted Swamp”. What he shared with me were some pretty interesting things. We read about ghostly sightings of Confederate soldiers, Creek Indians, early settlers, and even an apparition of a woman desperately in search of her lost child that will lash out at anyone who repeats three times, “We have your baby!”

People have even made reports of seeing floating orbs and phantom car lights that chased them down the road, that’s if their vehicles didn’t stall without plausible explanation. Yep, some say that their cars have actually “died” and wouldn’t start back up while encountering the freakishly paranormal activity of The Haunted Swamp.

Also, sightings of none other…. the big, hairy beast himself, Bigfoot! His echoing howls have been heard by various people claiming the validity of this creature. Oh, and we dare not leave out the elusive, legendary Chupacabra whose sightings have been reported as well.

And as if all that wasn’t enough to make one want to become a nail biter, there’s the Creepy Doll Graveyard where 21 porcelain dolls were found on top of bamboo stakes back in November, 2014. Who or what was behind this macabre creation? Who knows? The origin of such a morbid finding has never been discovered, or revealed.

Now, in finding Bear Creek Swamp, it seemed like it took my husband and me forever before we finally found it. Of course, we used our GPS and it sent us to a bridge that crossed over Bear Creek on Alabama State Route 14. We knew that wasn’t the exact location mentioned in the articles. Keep in mind, we weren’t able to find any road signs about Bear Creek Swamp, but did that stop us from our search? No way! We were determined to see what all the hype was about with The Haunted Swamp!

We traveled down a couple of paved roads that were near the bridge, but quickly knew that we were still in the wrong spots. My husband and I were just about to give up when we passed a dirt, gravelly looking road. He said,  “Hmmm…. wonder if that was the road?” Getting tired of driving around I asked him, “Wanna go back to see?” He was like, “No, uh huh… let’s just keep going.” But when he said that, I could tell that he really did want to go back to see if that old road was the correct one. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked him. “Go back.” He said without any hesitation.

That’s when I found the nearest place to turn our car around. I’m glad we did because once we turned down the old road, we were in awe of our surroundings! We weren’t even a mile away from Alabama State Route 14 when we noticed the swamp that was on both sides of the road. It was lush and green with a beautiful serenity about it! It was a road that appeared not traveled much and had very few residences on it. The entire time we were on the road, not once did we encounter another vehicle. It was absolutely quiet there. The only sound we heard was from a small, man-made drainage culvert. Trees were all over the place, moss was abound and I couldn’t resist taking some of the beautiful moss home. (The next day I put the moss into a crystal bowl and added some tiny, white wire lights to create a stunning coffee table centerpiece. One word…. “Gorgeous!”).

While going down the road we did stop and get out of our car a couple of times. Did we experience anything ghostly or otherworldly? Did we see our beloved Bigfoot and/or  Chupacabra? Nope! Didn’t see anything, hear anything, nor smell anything of the sort. (Smell? Why would I say that?? Because Bigfoot has always been known to have a foul odor about him. Poor guy…. you’d think that with all the water around there that he would take a bath every once in a while. 😉 )

Everything that we researched basically had supernatural activity at night. We didn’t stay there until nightfall because the main reason why we were in Prattville was to attend our son’s football game, which was far more important to us. So, that’s why we visited Bear Creek Swamp during the day.

What we did experience at The Haunted Swamp was tranquility and beauty. It was like stepping back into another time as we made our way down the unpaved road. No sounds of the hustle and bustle of a nearby city, no streetlights and buildings. Only vibrant green scenery and tall trees surrounded us. The occasional breeze that blew off the water was cool to our skin, taking away the humid, August day’s heat.

I was raised as a country girl, so I found myself extremely comfortable there. It made me reminisce the times when I was growing up on the old road that I did with my best friend. Together, she and I were always finding our way down hidden trails that passersby often forgot about.

My husband found himself reminiscing as well. He loved the place, too. We will happily go back at the next given chance!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

My artwork titled, “The Haunted Swamp”.

The Haunted Forest 3

(“The Haunted Swamp” ~ Digital artwork by Sheila Renee Parker. Prints available at Fine Art America!)

 

 

(The coffee table centerpiece that I created using the moss from “The Haunted Swamp”.)