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 Post subject: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:52 pm 
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Hi Folks:

I was remembering something that was common in my neighborhood where I lived when I was a kid, and I was curious about how many of you had simular stories or legends that use to scare you as children.

As I have stated before, I grew up on the South Western corner of Chicago in a ethnicaly mixed neighborhood that was called Mt. Greenwood. It was named so, because before it was anexed into the City of Chicago in the yar 1920, it was actualy the town of Mt. Greenwood. IT even had, and still has as far as I know, it's own news paper.

Anyway, most of the houses in Mt. Greenwood had detached garages, (garages that were not attached to the house). Some of the older, creepier looking garages were thought to be inhabited by these mythological wearwolf like creatures called "bums." Theory has it, that real "bums" or hobos would often take up residence in old or abandoned garages when Mt. Greenwood was a town, and parents would warn their children to stay away from those old garages, because some times those hobos could be insane or dangerous in some way. Children often have a tendency to blow things way out of portion, so the lenend of the "bums" began and endures even to this day.

According to Mt. Greenwood lor, bums were monsters very much like wearwolvs. they made their homes in old wooden garages during the day, and came out at night to pray on unsuspecting children who were out after dark. Summer time was when bums were most feared and beleived to be most active, as that's when children were allowed to be outside later, because of there being no school. The house were we lived actualy had two garages. One was a brick garage that my father and Uncle Bill built, and the other was a wooden structur which faced towards the aly. It was actualy a chicken coop that was converted into a garage. That garage was where all our bikes were store, along with a other odds & ends. When I was about 8 or 9, it was rumored that our wooden garage had a bum living in it, and I did get scared for a little while. I would put my bike closest to the door so I would only have to step in about a foot to get it. My younger sister, FORGET IT. I had to get her bike out and put it away for her every day. I got over my fear of the "bums" before she did, being that I'm older.

We had two other "creepies" that lurked in the dark shadows of Mt. Ggeenwood on those warm Summer nights. One such creature was know as the "Hmm Hmm" called so because A, he, she or it was such an aweful beeing that one wouldn't dare say what it was, and B, the most plausable reason, or at least my reason, we didn't know what it was. It was just the "hmm hmm." The "hmm hmm" like bums, had a particular liking for children, but children often admonished their parents and older siblings to watch out for the "hmm hmm."

Finaly, the 3rd "creepie" to complete this "terrible trio" was simply called "the monster." "Bums" were in a class all their own, but the "hmm hmm" and "the monster" where the most commonly talked about, probably because they were the most enigmatic.

Anyway, those are the 3 terrifying characters who use to "stalk" us at night and who the older kids, and in later years, we use to tell stories about to terrorize younger children.

Any of you fine Halloweensters out there have a local childhood "bum," "hmm hmm" or "monster" you would like to share here on this threat?

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:03 am 
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What a great idea for a thread! My husband has a great ghost story about Stones River National (Civil War) Battlefield here in Murfreesboro. He is often requested to tell it around Halloween. But I cannot remember the details. I will have to ask him to tell it to me again so that I can get it right.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:41 am 
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Interesting story, Mike. It's amazing what people will do to scare kids into being safe. I can see where it might be a big problem to have unknown persons "living" in your garage and wondering if you're going to come face to face with a strange man when you open up the door. I guess it worked wonders in Mt. Greenwood :D

What exactly was the hmm hmm suspected of doing to its victims?

No local legends in my neighborhood, but there were a few 'round about in other places close by - mostly things like lake monsters, etc. Nothing so specific as a Bum or a Hmm Hmmm!!

When I was little, I really didn't need any help scaring myself. There were a few movie "monsters" that stuck in my mind and scared the <deleted> out of me well enough. My sister didn't waste any time taking advantage of this, though, and that was the worst part! She would tell me "it" (whichever particular "it" was on my mind at the time) was in the crawlspace in the attic, and the attic was our bedroom. Cool room, but not at night when she would whisper in my ear that it was coming for me. My grandmother absolutely loved to watch scary stuff. She was just a little Greek lady from the old country!! She would turn all of the lights out and sit on the floor in front of the TV with me in her lap, and we'd watch things like "The Outer Limits". Looks like I get my love of all things scary honestly :P

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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:05 am 
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Come to think of it, novody really knew what the "hmm hmm" did to you when "it" caught you. There have been arguments about what the "hmm hmm" was and what the "hmm hmm" did to people. The most commonly excepted explanation for the "hmm hmm" was that it was something derived by the devil himself, and if the "hmm hmm" got you, you would dissappear, either to some horible place, he "it" would devour you. I've heard stories about the "hmm hmm" that ranged from grotesue little dittys about how "it" tore it's victims apart, and others how "it" burned his victims alive. My personal fav, was the legend that nobody ever knew, and if they found out, you could never say "it's" name, hence it's called the "hmm hmm." Our own imaginations did all the scaring when it came to this enigmatic creature of the night.

Of course, Mt. Greenwood lor was not the only sources of a good scare when we were kids. My introduction to the world of vampires, wearwolvs, witches, haunted houses, ghosts and the like was the day time tv show "Dark Shadows."' It was on "Dark Shadows" that I saw a vampire bare his fangs for the first time. It was on "Dark Shadows" when I saw a guy transform into a wearwolf and kill for the first time. So I had plenty of scary nights because of what I saw on "Dark Shadows.' The wearwolf scene, particularly, scared the bejeebers out of me. My mom had a tutoring business she set up in our basement. She was tutoring, and I was the only other one home. It was a dark and stormy day, so the atmosphere was just right. It happened right at the end of this particular episode. Chris Jennings, right before my eyes transformed into a wearwolf, brok out of his room, and attacked a bar maid. I hardly slept a wink that entire night.

The good news was, that "bums," the "hmm hmm" and the "monster" were relatively easy to avoid. Stay in groups, dont' stayout too late, and what ever you do, stay out of old abandoned, creepy looking garages. With Barnabass Collins or Chirs Jennings, it was a different story.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:14 am 
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Oh, how I loved Dark Shadows when I was around 13! I think I'm a little older than you, Mike, so I wasn't altogether frightened by it the way you were. Well, maybe a little. But I was mostly enthralled. It gave me a great motive to race home from school! And Barnabas still occupies a special place in my heart. He wasn't my first introduction to vampires in movies or stories, but he was the best. I still believe he was the original "conflicted" vampire. Even though the production values of Dark Shadows weren't high, the concept of that character was brilliant.

I'm not sure the writers altogether knew how Barnabas was going to catch on. They didn't cast him especially young or handsome. In some ways he looked more or less the way you'd expect a vampire to look. And he was very threatening at first, very scary. But then they gave him this terrific story line, and all the girls were in love with him.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:03 am 
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Murf, I am 51, so I was about 7 when I started watching "Dark Shadows." Believe it or not, I got into "Dark Shadows" because I had a 'little boy' crush on Victoria Winters. (Alexandra Moltke) Later, I got crushes on Catherine Collins, who was Angelique before that, and on Daphenie Heridage. As I watched, I got into the story line and all the strange things that happened. Barnabs Collins was became my hero because of the way he woudl use his brain to defeat his enamies. He also had a very elaquent vocabulary. I would try to emulate the way he spoke, and often had fun poked at me because of that.

The thing to remember is that "Dark Shadows" was actualy a typical day time 'soap opera' which were very low budget back in the 60s and early 70s. The 'soap opera' followed a 'forumla' that was brought about in the hay day of radio. Anyway, Barnabas Collins started out as a villian, and was only supposed to do a short "sting," and be defeated some way, very much like the character of Laure Collins. The show's ratings really took off, however, so he became a permanant part of it.

"Dark Shadows" left the air in the Spring of 71. I was almost but not quite 11 at the time, so at a guess, I would say that you were about 5 years older then me.

I, too, would race home on my bike from school to catch "Dark Shadows." It is truely one of my fondest childhood memories.

One interesting side-note. During the "Leviathon People" episodes of "Dark Shadows," I noticed a lot of simularies to that creature and the "hmm hmm." One couldn't look up on the Liviathon people withoug going insane or dieing. The same was said of the "hmm hmm," in Mt. Greenwood Lor. Wouldn't it be interesting to see how Barnabas Collins would deal with the "hmm hmm." I often pondered that question after I saw Barnabas bare his fangs. My little 7 year old mind would ask over and over again; What would Barnabas Collins do if he encountered the "hmm hmm?"


Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:30 pm 
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Yes, I would say I was 5 or 6 years ahead of you. I was 15 in 1970. Your birthday is in July, I believe, whereas mine is at Christmas. Maybe 5 1/2 years difference.

The actor who played Barnabas (Jonathn Frid? Something like that) was trained as a Shakespearean actor. That's probably why his diction seemed so sophisticated. Well, that, and the probability that the writers wanted him to sound more elegant, of another time. I had read somewhere that they didn't intend his character to become permanent, but that happens sometimes on TV, of course--the Fonz, even Frasier Crane on Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:55 pm 
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His name is Johathin Frid. I saw him in person at the "Dark Shadows" festival at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City. That was back in the Summer of 93. I actualy rode all the way to Manhatton on my motorcycle, which back then was a 1988 Yamaha Venture Royale. I also got to meet Lara Parker, Jim Feif, and a bunch of others, and we even had dinner with some of them sitting at our table. That was one of the most fun times I ever had.

I was born on July 25th, 1960, so I think you're right in the ball park. About 5 and a half years.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:31 am 
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Yep. I turned six at Christmas of 1960.

That sounds like a lot of fun, meeting the Dark Shadows people at that convention.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:02 am 
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It was fun. The only down moment was that Joanna Going (Victoria Winters from the 1991 Revival "Dark Shadows" series) was unable to come. As I said before, Victoria Winters was my personal fav from that show. Juanna Going was a wonderful Victoria Winters, too.

Mike



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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:32 am 
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I remember that early '90s prime-time revival. Joanna Going was very pretty. I believe Ben Cross played Barnabas. He was a better-looking Barnabas than Jonathan Frid, but for some reason, that version of the series never really took off.

Did you ever watch the vampire series Moonlight, with Alex O'Laughlin & Sophia Myles? It came out around 2007-08, ran for 16 episodes before it was cancelled. Our family got that one on DVD, and we still lament its cancellation. It was a good show, we thought. O'Laughlin is back now in Hawaii Five-O, and Sophia Myles is doing a TV series in England, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:30 am 
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For one thing, Ben Cross was a bit younger then Johnathin Frid was when he started playing Barnabas Collins. That's probably why he looked better.

I never saw this "Moonlight" series, but I was sad to hear that the "Dark Shadows" revival was cancelled, but it came as no suprise. All they did was do a remake of the original story with a few slight changes. If it were up to me, I would have taken up where the original series left off.

There has been tons of talk about a new "Dark Shadows" movie which supposedly stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, but I have yet to see a trailor for it.

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:54 am 
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Pumpkin_Man wrote:
There has been tons of talk about a new "Dark Shadows" movie which supposedly stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, but I have yet to see a trailor for it.


I see Jonathan Frid and Lara Parker are going to be making an appearance in the movie. I hope Burton gives this the same mood as he did with Sleepy Hollow, which is one of my favorite Halloweentime movies.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:56 am 
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I've been hearing about a Johnny Depp/Tim Burton Dark Shadows for a while, too. I hope it happens. I'd love to see Johnny as Barnabas, I think.


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 Post subject: Re: Childhood or Local Legends Unique to Where You Lived
 Post Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:00 am 
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I don't know enough about the various celebs in order to know whether Johnny Depp would be a good "Barnabas Collins" or not. All I know is that if the movie actualy does come out, I definately will go see it.

I have heard that it will likely be very different from the "Dark Shadows" that we knew and loved, but if the changes are for the better, meaning, that they don't turn Barnabass Collins into a baseball playing, Italian food cooking, "cool guy," who lives in a modern house with an attached garage, like they did with "Twilight," then it might be good.

Mike


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