Monday, November 7, 2016

Post Halloween Q&A with Author, Ashley Nestler

Halloween is never quite over (for some of us, at least). Today, I do a little post-Halloween Q&A with author, Ashley Nestler. Be sure to check out her work as well!

TA:  Describe your typical Halloween.

AN: My typical Halloween is binge watching horror movies, handing out candy, and pigging out on candy myself!  I also love going for a nighttime walk.  The wind on Halloween is just the most interesting feeling.

TA: What about Halloween appeals you?

AN: I adore the lore around Halloween (Samhain).  I am Wiccan, so I do believe that souls come to visit us on Halloween.  I also set out food and drink for travelling souls, and I love how that day seems to connect life with death.

TA: Halloween all year round or one day a year?

AN: Halloween year round, absolutely!  I always leave some Halloween decorations up.  I am just a bit obsessed.


Friday, October 28, 2016

The Depreciation Lands Museum Halloween Lantern Tours, 2016

Happy Halloween! Here is a quick video I took just before the Halloween Lantern Tour at the Depreciation Lands Museum! This year I was a storyteller, telling a ghost tale from days of old...

I also added creepy music for extra atmostphere.

Music credit:
Gone Beyond by Kevin MacLeod

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Store, Coupon Code, and Last Events for 2016


As the seasons change and the weather cools, much is brewing up over here!

First, I am happy to announce that my store, Antiquity & Illusion, is now open. Not only does it consist of items like my photos, music, movies, and books, it also includes my product line of the same name. :) The product line consists of items such as candles, wax melts, potpourri, aroma beads, and other items inspired by my music and books! Some of the items have been included in fundraiser gift baskets, and even a subscription book box that also featured my novel, Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1).

I will be posting more products there soon, but here is the link to the website store:

I also have a storenvy:

More products will be going up in the next week.
There is also a coupon code for first time visitors. Just type in the code ANTIQUITY at checkout and receive 15% off of your first order!

In addition, I still have some events left in 2016, including a couple where I'll have my new wax melts and other products. :)  Visit the SHOWS & EVENTS page for details.

There is much more to do this year and I'm already being set up for events in 2017. Much more is to come. 

Thanks to everyone. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Day 20: The Witch of Monongahela...

Sometimes it's the smaller towns that have the richest history. Including haunted history.

One such town is one hidden among the steel city of Pittsburgh, PA, just among the Monongahela River. That town is Monongahela.

Now those of you that read my main blog and view my website, you likely know that I am a re-enactor of history at the Depreciation Lands Museum in AllisonPark. Last summer, I also posted an article on this webzine about The Deacon, the museum's benevolent resident ghost.
Now every Halloween, the museum puts on their Lantern Tours each year with an ever changing theme. Last year's theme is a dramatized reenacting of the witchcraft trial of real life 17th century accused 'witch', Mary Bliss Parsons in Colonial America. And I was the one playing Mary Parsons.

Now as I was reading over the script for the Mary Parsons witchcraft trial tour and doing research, I came across another interesting figure (also being portrayed in the lantern tours event). And that is Mary or "Moll" Derry, who was also known as the Fortune Teller of the Revolution and/or The Witch of Monongahela.
According to a brief description in a sample from Thomas White's book, Witches of Pennsylvania: Occult History and Lore (a book that is definitely on my 'to read' list), Derry was born in Germany during the year 1760. During the Revolutionary War, she moved to America with her husband, who was a Hessian soldier.
After the war ended, they moved to Fayette County in the 1790s. It is said that Derry lived in Georges Township until her death from old age in 1843 (which would have made her 83 at the time of her death).

Throughout her lifetime, Derry was said to have told fortunes, removed hexes, and cured ailments. There is even a story of how she tried to help a young woman by warning that young woman of what seemed to be an abusive fiance. Unfortunately, the young woman did not listen and she was later found dead. Derry was also said to have a vengeful side to her, and pity the fools that dared cross her. There are many stories of curses and affliction place upon those that angered Derry, from farmers having their livestock mysteriously perish to men that tormented her having their lives cut short by hanging.
Either way, her reputation as "the most well-known witch of the western side of the [Pennsylvania] state" made her a legend long before her earthly life ended.
What is even more curious is that in a time that is known to severely frown upon practices of any type of magic, Derry (and probably even others) managed to somehow slip beneath the radar of the witchhunts and trials. It is suggested that perhaps people feared crossing her just that much. It definitely makes you wonder. Then again, history really is a giant, mysterious labyrinth with many different and unexpected twists and turns.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 19: Pennsylvania's Witch Trials...and a Little on Salem...

Day 18: The Blue Albino Woman or The Witch of Topeka Kansas

Today I venture outside of the lines of the state of Pennsylvania in which I live.

One night this passed Halloween season, I was watching Destination America and caught a few programs covering supposedly real life ghostly encounters. One legend in particular caught my attention, one that I had never heard of before until I was watching that program. And that was of a legend from Topeka, Kansas about a specter known as the Blue Albino Woman (or "Witch") haunting Rochester Cemetery, located on the northwest outskirts.

The legend tells of a disfigured woman born with bluish white skin, white hair, and whose eyes were also red, according to some reports. As a child, she was teased mercilessly by her classmates. Upon growing into adulthood, the teasing continued, mainly by the neighborhood children that feared her. During the day, she glared at them while they (the children) were on their way to school. Nightfall was when she would venture out and wander the town (due to her skin condition, going out in the sun reportedly caused her great pain, therefore resorting her to going out mainly at night). The friendless woman is said to have died in 1963 from mysterious circumstances. That was when residents began reports of seeing a glowing white female figure walking through the area after dark. The most frequent sightings seem to be along Shunganunga Creek, which flows near Rochester Cemetery where the woman was buried.

Several individuals are said to have had encounters with her, including some employees at a nearby Goodyear Tire Factory and residents that see the apparition quite often (sometimes as much as once a week). Some of those individuals were featured on the Destination America program I happened to catch. One of these individuals was a woman by the name of Jessica Streeter, who had ventured into the cemetery on her birthday for some romance and fun with her boyfriend. According to her interview on the program, she and her boyfriend were getting it on when the 'witch' came up from the ground and started chasing them. And not in an 'I'm just trying to scare you off' kind of way. According to the account, the witch seemed to be out for blood. In fact, Streeter was afraid of the possibility of the woman following them home. So much so, that she performed a sort of ritual at the door as a way of trying to fend the 'witch' off.

Another account featured on the program belonged to that of a man by the name of James George. 

Now interestingly, Mr. George himself commented on an article of the Blue Albino Woman as reported on the website In his comment, he states that while what Destination America said on their show was based in fact, the producers did take some liberties. He then provided his own telling of his story.

One of the embellishments on Destination America's part that I immediately noticed upon reading George's recounting was when the program's report stated that the woman was captured and buried alive in the cemetery by a group of thugs (which is also re-reported by Muldersworld). However, George's telling (along with the tellings of others) states that she died under mysterious circumstances. So while the thug story could be possible, there doesn't seem to be any confirmation of that, at least as far as I could see.

Anyway, the version of George's account given by Destination America is as follows:

He was in a department store with his mother, shopping for back to school clothing. While shopping, he managed to wander into a rather dark corner of the store where a group of mannequins were being stored. As he was checking them out, one moved and turned to face him, turning out to be the blue albino woman. It was then he screamed, sending his grandmother running over to him. It was then his grandmother also saw the woman and told her that she was not welcomed there. Then she glided passed them and out the door.

Now here is an excerpt of George's story in his own words (you can read it in its entirety in his comment on the Muldersworld article or at

It was August of 1964 and I was trying on clothes in the dressing room of the children's department on the second floor of Pelletier's Department store which my Grandmother was Manager of. It was time for me to get my new school clothes. School was going to start soon and I would be entering the second grade.
Suddenly the door to the dressing room flew open and there stood a tall veiled woman dressed entirely in black. Her red eyes were visible through the dark veil as she reached out a gloved hand towards me. As the arm came closer I saw with horror the pale almost bluish flesh of the arm between her sleeve and glove. I let out a scream and she froze in her movement. Appearing behind the tall frightening figure was the small stature of my Grandmother. Summing up the situation quickly my Grandmother forcibly ordered, "Leave! You are not welcomed here!" The veiled woman slowly turned as I crouched back against the wall. I heard my Grandmother repeat, "You are not welcomed here." She then ordered, "Now leave!" The tall figure with the red eyes and bluish skin silently glided past my Grandmother and towards the stair well. I ran to my Grandmothers arms and watched, along with the employees that had come running when I screamed, the frightening figure descend the stairs and quickly disappear.
I was to learn later that this was the Albino Woman who had died the next year. I was not to learn until four years later why she had sought me out...

Again, you can check out the entirety of his story (and it is quite interesting) in the comments section at or at (you can also see an image of his painting featuring the blue albino woman).
Other reports include drivers seeing her lurking in the Rochester Cemetery at night, prowling the interior woodlands near the cemetery and the creek. Some children have even reported waking up late at night to seeing her gazing into their windows.
So if you happen to be driving by the Rochester Cemetery in Topeka late at night, you just might catch a glimpse of the legendary Blue Albino Woman, also referred to some as the Witch of Topeka, Kansas.

Tiffany Apan is a critically acclaimed independent recording artist, a stage/film actress, author, and award-winning producer/writer. You can find more about her at her Official WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebook, and her production company website. She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers. She also does freelance writing, and editing. Her own stories are available at SmashwordsBarnesand Noble NOOKAmazon, and other retailers. Her novel series, The Birthrite Series, is also available in both ebook and paperback form. In addition, she is a contributor to Ravenous Monster Webzine.