Browsing CategoryMysteries

The Winchester Mystery House

24,000 square feet, 160 rooms, 38 years of construction, and who knows how many restless spirits — it’s the Winchester Mystery House!  I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write about this place.  The House is located in San Jose, CA and it’s truly bizarre.  Two of my dearest friends told me about the Winchester House back in 2008, and when my husband and I spent our honeymoon in San Francisco we decided we had to try and go check it out. There are many different versions, but the basic story goes that in after the death of…

Forrest Fenn’s Buried Treasure

As puzzle and adventure fans, it seems like we’re always trying to find ways to inject artificial adventure into our modern, normal, “boring” world.  But would you go looking for a real treasure buried by a genuine treasure hunter? 82-year-old Forrest Fenn, called a “Real-Life Indiana Jones,” has spent his life digging for artifacts and treasure all around the world.  Fenn is a fascinating enough character already, but his free-for-all treasure hunt has been making headlines.  Somewhere out there, “in the mountains north of Santa Fe,”  Fenn has buried a small antique chest filled with $1 million worth of artifacts…

The Warning

It was 10:00 before I finally made it back my dorm room, exhausted from an evening of rehearsals and group meetings.  While the thought of drafting papers or doing reading assignments was overwhelming, the thought of cross-referencing all those little numbers into that book I had checked out was irresistible. I sat down at my desk and set out the book and note, starting from the “WELL” I had discovered earlier and moving forward.  D-O-N-E.  A congratulatory message to start. Though exciting at first, the work quickly grew tedious.  I found myself having to check and re-check letters as I lost…

The Sequence

Despite feeling overwhelmed by the amount of data it presented, that little piece of paper burned a hole in my pocket all the way to the dining hall.  I argued back and forth with myself over whether I really needed to eat anything that day, and it was all I could do to grab the first plate I saw, bringing out the note before I had even sat down. I quickly lost my momentum, however, as my eyes darted over those numbers again.  So many numbers, zero context, somehow it felt like there wasn’t even anything to figure out.  Those…

To the Stacks

stacks

  I held the small piece of paper in my hand. RB155 .N27 2005 The “2005” jumped out from the rest of the text.  Clearly a year, but what about the rest?  Stumped, I leaned back in my chair and looked around again, wondering whether someone was watching from afar to see how long it took me to solve the first clue.  I watched the rows of bookcases that filled half of the room, searching for a pair of eyes peering through the books or the slight movement of a figure staying just out of sight.  My surveillance didn’t last…

Asleep in the Library

Asleep in the Library

    It was late autumn of my first year of college, and in my effort to keep clinging on to the ultra-studious persona I had cultivated in high school, I had been making myself go to the library after my early class and study until lunch.  But that early class was early, and the library was always so cold.  Most mornings, my time there was spent with my head resting on my folded arms, Franz Ferdinand’s only two melancholy songs playing on loop through my headphones while I drifted in and out of a doze.  Those cubicle-style desks just…

Obscura Day and Atlas Obscura

Obscura Day 2012

  Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  What a perfectly spooky setting for a post about Obscura Day, “an international celebration of unusual places” coming up on April 28th. Obscura Day is presented by Atlas Obscura, an online atlas of strange and unusual places around the world.  The website covers a wide range of places, from museums of the weird, natural phenomena, famously creepy cemeteries, abandoned prisons, haunted historical landmarks, and more. Participants of Obscura Day are encouraged to seek out these places and enjoy them, independently or through one of the many events organized in celebration of the day.  Events range from historical…

The Time I Stumbled Upon Britannia Manor Part II

This is Part II of the story, catch up with Part I here! We turned down the road that passes right by the construction site for Mark III, though it was hard to see much in the dark.  When we reached the intersection where I had turned around and left during my previous visit, we now found a man in a neon security vest with a flashlight.  We rolled down our window and he asked us what event we were there for.  That seemed like a weird question at the time (what else would we be there for?), so we…

The Time I Stumbled Upon Britannia Manor Part I

Sometimes the most interesting discoveries are waiting for you, right under your nose.  All you have to do is look for them.  This is the story of one of those discoveries. When I was living in Austin in 2010, my daily commute to work took me down a busy highway deemed “one of the most scenic urban drives in central Texas.”  The road winds through massive hills where the rock has been dramatically cut back to accommodate the highway, passes over Lake Austin and through Barton Springs, and provides such breathtaking views that the drive to and from work was often one of my…

Room for Rent in Historical Clarke Mansion

mansion

  As a mystery fan, I have a strong affinity for old buildings and houses (and the secrets they might keep), so imagine my delight when I stumbled upon an amazing Craigslist ad the other day for an apartment in the historical Clarke Mansion in The Castro in San Francisco.  I wasn’t familiar with the mansion when I read the listing, so what caught my eye instead was the following line in the ad’s description:  “The most unique part of the apartment is the circular bedroom, which is actually in a turret and is reached by a spiral staircase.”  A bedroom…