Why Evan Peters Is. Everything.

Nope, not a typo. I have to emphasize the importance of this statement by ending the sentence, immediately followed by a new sentence which consists of one word.

So now that we have grammar validated, allow me to expound on this hyperbolic statement.  Exhibit number one:

And here’s the second piece of evidence:

And why not go for three?

And my favorite incarnation:

This guy…he is the real deal.

Born on the cusp of Capricorn/Aquarius in one of the greatest cities for baseball, food and culture in the nation, his stock continues to rise.

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The bad news…he is only twenty nine…which is way beyond my “axis of creepy”. So he is safe from my charms.

However, as a consumer of fine television with incredible writing teams (see “Turn: Washington’s Spies), I can definitely appreciate his talent and versatility.  Evan manages to bring vulnerability, charm, and compassion to every role in which he portrays, which for some is quite the challenge. He managed to make Tate, “the beautiful monster”, likable and relative.  No small task.  His heinous and anti-social behavior in many of his roles should make for a creature that viewers love to hate.

Except you can’t. Not completely.

Maybe it’s those dead shark eyes of his that draw you in, looking for the glimmer of humanity. Or that easy grin that cauterizes his trustworthy, Midwestern/German face. Or that you just don’t want to completely turn your back to him because, well, you may not trust him as much as you thought.  In any of those scenarios one thing is evident.

Evan Peters has complete command of your attention.

And you’re not turning away.

Full  disclosure: AHS is the only body (clever pun) of work I’ve seen of his so I can’t elucidate properly on his entire collection of genius.  I probably would expect his characters to be a cross between “Jimmy” from “Freak Show” and “Kit” from “Asylum”. One dimensional at first glance, but later pulling back the many layers of the motivations for their behaviors.

Or maybe I’m getting confused with who he really is.  Maybe he shows us more about himself personally in every character he’s played than we are aware.  Isn’t that really what most performers do anyway?

To validate, I’ll allow Evan to speak for himself:

I guess creepy comes natural to me – I hate to say that.”

“But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”

“There’s something that’s sexy about a guy who has the strength to kill somebody, but is also vulnerable enough to be in love. It’s just those two sides – like, I don’t know why, but women for some reason aren’t attracted to normal guys, like, guys who are in between.”

(Much respect to IMDB for those quotes.)

Honestly, there’s always room on my Victorian fainting couch in my cottage on the shores of the Irish Sea for one of the many incarnations of Evan Peters.  I guess he’s not safe from me after all. Or I, unfortunately, from him. For he is one I seek out by which to be entertained. Because…he.is.everything.

Until the tea kettle rattles and the storms roll in…




The Beauty, The Banker, and The Beau: A True Tale Of Victorian Romance

For most history enthusiasts, an afternoon at a museum is a prime way to while away the hours. The endless supply of artifacts, coupled with pieces of period dress and the dim lighting conspire to make one’s imagination soar through time. And who doesn’t love the smell of must and mildew that is reminiscent of the library? (ahh, libraries…well, that’s another story…)

When I was in college, I worked in a museum that was housed in what was once a beautiful old church. I loved going in and walking through the galleries and displays, alone with just my thoughts, conjuring images of those who had touched the wooden handle on the butter churn, or who had ridden tall in the weathered saddles. I had the ideal job, not only because I am enamored of times before electricity and social media, but my writer’s vision is greatly piqued when I am surrounded by what has been or what could be. Also, I am just a nerd. *pushes up glasses*

So, imagine my delight when it came to my knowledge that there was a way I could connect with my own family lineage in an honest to goodness, historically registered home.  And with close family members as docents, I could not imagine a more perfect way to spend an afternoon than to sort through the treasures.

In doing so, I had a brief, and unexplained occurrence.  But before I divulge further, take a moment to learn the history…

The Marshall house was built in 1885, commissioned by Abram Marshall for his new bride, Belle Crowe Marshall.  Married June 4, 1884, the young couple was the epitome of success on the Kansas plains. Abe was a highly successful business owner, five total, which included a bank.He  also claimed over 1,700 acres of farmland in Lincoln County.  All told however, he was reported to own over 25,000 acres in surrounding counties as well.  His wife Belle was one of the five bevy of beauties who hailed from Iowa.  She was the daughter of English immigrants who came to America from the Isle of Lazare in the English Channel and with her fair skin and dark hair, she attracted much attention.  Belle and her family originally settled in Iowa, but came to Kansas to visit her cousins, the Ryans.  And when they would come to town, they would garner the attention of many of the young men, full of swagger and promise.  And this is how she met Abe. Marriage was soon proposed, and Belle and her family soon made Lincoln County their home. Two of her sisters, Lydia and Minnie, also married bankers, her sister Emma married the first sheriff of the county, and her sister Julia married a land owner and county treasurer. The family was well-respected and enjoyed prosperity.

And then Frank Chase moved to town.

Charming, athletic,and adventurous, Frank moved to rural Kansas from New York.  He set foot in the county, assessed the powerful holdings of Abe Marshall, and proceeded to open his own bank, right across the street from Abe’s bank.


Then, it was reported that folks around town would see Mrs. Marshall rising her white horse through town and tethering it in front of Frank’s bank. Then, it was reported that they would be seen riding their horses together or, even riding a tandem bicycle.


It was further noted that Abe was silent on the topic.

Presumably, this went on until the bank panic of 1893. Unable to shake the fear of failure, Frank closed shop and headed out to California in 1895 to raise oranges and dabble in real estate.

And the tongues of Lincoln County stopped wagging. Abe held steady through the crisis and had great success with his bank. He and Belle had three children and employed household staff, including Gentleman Jim, the son of a slave who had made his way north. He was devoted to Belle and the children and would correct anyone who said he worked for Mr. Marshall.

“I am in the employ of Mrs. Marshall”, he would reply.

Curiously, as the years went on, Belle would take extended trips. She would be gone for entire summers and she would always travel alone. Word had it she was out West…

In the meantime, Abe was elected mayor, and later to the state legislature. He had a golden reputation, was fair and honest as the day was long. his son Ben was successful in the family business but not afraid to help out on the farm.  One daughter married and moved to Denver, and the other continued to live at home.  He was a good man.

Abe died on December 11, 1930. Not too long after Belle moved west. She sold the home to Mr. Ben Yohe, who continued to keep it a gem of the community. He married twice, and upon the death of his second wife, Lucretia, the home was willed to the county’s historical society in the late 1980s. It is now open to the public for private tours and has hosted the Abraham Lincoln Look-a-Like Contestants at their annual breakfast.

But back to Belle…

On May 31, 1931, an elderly man tottered into the county courthouse to see the about getting a marriage license. The dapper man, dressed in a suit and hat, stated his name and intentions to the surprised clerk.

“I want a (marriage license) for myself and Mrs. Belle Marshall. “My name is Frank F. Chase and I am 69 years old and I believe her age to be 66.” The clerk filed out the paperwork and once in hand, Frank left the office and was seen getting into a shiny new car. The car, it was later reported, went to the home of Mrs. D. B. Day, the former Julia Crowe. Inside the parlor was the Rev. H.C. Bradbury, the town’s elderly Presbyterian minister whose blessing of the marriage of Frank and Belle had finally come to fruition.

Incidentally, the Kansas City Star, a major Midwestern newspaper, ran this story June 21, 1931. That’s how we know what Frank said to the clerk. It’s notable that he said he “believed” Belle’s age to be sixty-six.  That’s the mark of a good man.

Now, back to the present.  A year ago I was in town, wanting to take some pictures of the house.  Two family members and I entered the parlor on a warm and windy September Sunday afternoon and as we stood conversing we heard several loud concussive thumps coming from upstairs.  The hair raised on our arms as a chill circulated through our words.  Loudly I proclaimed, “We are family and we don’t mean to bother you. We will only be here  few minutes.”  With that the noises ceased.

My story is not the first to be told regarding strange occurrences in the house.  But I guess I may chalk mine up to squirrels. Maybe.


The Importance of Being Earnest…ly Skeptical

draculaIn the world of the “paranormally passionate”, there exists two hemispheres of thought: the believer and the doubter.  For the sake of playing up stereotypes, the believer intuitively knows every knock, whisper, and scent is proof of the existence of communication from the other side.  There are endless conversations with ghosts, encounters with elementals, and fights for souls.  Psychics are sought and tarot cards read and horoscopes consulted if there is a burning question about future love, finances, and career changes.  They don’t question production methods when watching any reality television show dedicated to investigators prowling around abandoned hospitals who manage to witness things *just* to the right or left of the screen.  Believers have devotion that is unflappable, even in the face of derision.  Which they face. Alot.

Skeptics, conversely, look at any unexplained event as less than ghostly. Rats in the walls? A crumbling foundation? Detached retinas? There is always a logical and reasonable explanation for creepy bangs, groans, and white floating orbs.  And yes, while they may enjoy getting an adrenaline rush from being scared, they don’t necessarily believe it is anything but what they have allowed themselves to experience. In other words, they put themselves in a weird, dark place and it would be logical that they would feel heightened awareness and overly sensitive to stimuli.  These folks only use the word “haunted” when describing the famous mansion at Disney World (or Land…their choice.)

But what about those who inhabit both worlds? The Mulder and Scully mashups who eagerly search for things that can’t be seen in the daylight but don’t really expect to find anything. Or those who have no innate psychic abilities but enjoy new age jewelry and have crystals in their homes because they are aesthetically pleasing.  Where do they fit in?

O.K., full disclosure.  I am a Ghost Adventures girl. I’ve watched every season and I’ve read both of Zak’s books and Nick’s as well.  Frankly, I like my paranormal investigators slightly socially awkward and highly reactive.  “Why?” you may ask. “These do not seem to be good reasons based on, well, anything.”

And that would be true.  Except…

It’s entertaining.

I’ve watched the show evolve and the cast change over the past ten seasons and rarely does my attention waver. It’s intriguing. But do I always buy what is happening?  Really?


Do I like watching people my own age engaged in a career that they love?


Can I appreciate their earnest attempts to prove they’ve encountered the paranormal.

Absolutely. Or I wouldn’t watch the show.  My screen time is pretty limited.

Personally, I’ve had encounters that I can’t explain. I’ve also had experiences that I wanted to make paranormal when it was pretty obvious that they could be easily debunked. But have I lost my interest in researching and going on ghost tours?  Not at all.

The fact that I am an open-minded skeptic only works to keep me motivated in my own journey.  Hearing other talk about what they have seen, heard, and/or felt,( and not just through their five senses, mind you) is endlessly appealing to me and I am honored when someone chooses to share a story.

But there are always questions in the back of my mind: was the air conditioning on? Is it a highly intensive area filled with electronics?  Was it a reflection from headlights?

When doing something that brings you joy, thrills, shivers, and bountiful bushels of curiosity, pursue it earnestly.  Bathe in it, breathe it in; welcome it to your life and make room for it on your couch. But always leave room for that little voice in your mind that sounds like “ehhhh” when things don’t ring true. It’s O.K., really. They can share a litter box.

Keep an open mind and I’ll see you when the next storm brews…