Category Archives: Cursed

Sometimes The Paranormal Finds You

Are you familiar with the story of the Amityville Horror House? Everyone became aware of this legendary ghost story when the original film was released in 1979. The story that inspired the movie is supposed to be true.

A family had moved into a beautiful house in the town of Amityville, on  Long Island, about 45 minutes from New York City. The house was vacant because a year earlier a man shot and killed six family members there.  After the Lutz family moved in, they began to be terrorized by invisible entities that seemed intent on harming them. After just 28 days the Lutz family moved out.

I travel quite a bit for work. No, it’s not to anywhere beautiful or exciting. It’s mostly in the northeast part of the United States. On Monday of this week I was traveling for work and as I often do after a long day of driving, I seated myself at the hotel bar and ordered a beer and dinner.

As often happens, a stranger sat down next to me. While watching the sports news and eating our dinner, we started talking; first about sports and then about our jobs and families. When he found out that I used to work on Long Island occasionally, he immediately said, “Did you ever go see the Amityville horror house?”

I replied that I had once considered it as I drove by the Amityville exit, but chose not to because I didn’t want to be delayed further by the brutal evening rush hour traffic.

(What’s really horrifying is that the Amityville story has spawned a couple dozen Amityville themed movies including the ridiculous one above)

My evening dinner companion then told me that one day he and his family drove five hours just to see the Amityville horror house. That’s a wholesome way to spend family time together, huh?

They parked their car on the street in front of the house and got out to take pictures on their cell phones. My friend Doug said that he first tried to take a picture, but his phone screen was just static. Then his wife and kids tried taking pictures on their phones and the same thing happened. Four peoples phones wouldn’t function, as if the house itself didn’t want to be seen. But after they drove away, their phones returned to normal functioning. How’s that for creepy? Some things just can’t be explained.

I asked my new friend if he minded if I told his story on #ThePhilFactor and he gave me permission. Him spontaneously telling me that story when I’m in the midst of Paranormal Month, was an interesting coincidence, and it gave me a fun idea. If you’ve ever had your own ghost/paranormal story, would you like to be a guest author on #ThePhilFactor and tell your story? If so, message me in the comments.

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil

Is Walled Lake, Michigan Cursed?

Four children were murdered in Oakland County, Michigan in 1976-1977. The small rural county was paralyzed with fear as a killer preyed upon their children. Folklore has it that in the 1970’s The Walled Lake Killer would kidnap children from the Walled Lake Amusement park pictured above.


He or she then allegedly took the children to the tree at night, where he murdered them, tossed their shoes up in the tree, and buried them in a nearby field. The tale is purportedly an urban legend, but the fact remains that there was a shoe tree and the four deaths have never been solved. The killer was never captured. Perhaps he or she moved on to another town.

The previous two paragraphs above were written by me in November of 2013 as I teased the upcoming release of my fictional book The Sneaker Tree.

If you like Stranger Things, you’ll love this weekend beach read book.

The book isn’t about the deaths in Michigan, but the history of Walled Lake, Michigan had some eerie similarities with the plot of my book.

Walled Lake looks like a beautiful place doesn’t it?

Walled Lake was founded in 1825. The sleepy, little town is a western suburb of  big city Detroit. In 2010 it’s census revealed less than 7,000 residents and the crime rates are relatively low.

This past September another tragedy rocked this lake town. A Walled Lake man shot his wife, daughter and dog before being shot to death by police. His daughter was the only survivor. Since that day I’ve noticed a fair amount of traffic coming to The Phil Factor to read my 2013 post about sneaker trees and The Walled Lake Killer. That got me to wondering if other people were thinking the same thing as me?

With these two horrific tragedies having occurred in the same small town, I started to wonder if it’s possible that Walled Lake Michigan is cursed just like Hawkins, Indiana in Netflix’s Stranger Things?  What do you think? Can a place be cursed or forever haunted?

Have a great Fri-Yay! ~Phil


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