“Being A Man of Science, Jekyll Whispers Under His Breath … ‘oh shit!'”
MY NAME IS TODD ATTEBERRY. For better or worse, this is my site and my story.
I believe in myth, legend, ghosts and yes, I believe in fairies.
My grandfather was a grave digger. I grew up in a haunted house. I find myself living there again, alone this time. The first time I saw a ghost I didn’t even know to be afraid. I’ll admit my sentiments on that is somewhat changed. I come to this shit naturally.
I’m not a reliable witness. I’m thought mad on two continents by people who know me well. They’re wrong of course, I’m completely sane. Decadent? Yes. Depraved? In all likelihood. Sobriety isn’t necessarily my strong suit, but at times an alternate state can open doors that otherwise might remain closed. Life is an experiment and deserves to be lived with passion.
THESE ARE MY STORIES. Most of them come from other places, from a wide variety of sources. It’s not scholarship. They’re folk tales, and folk tales change based on who is telling them. I like to start with facts, which makes me different. But don’t mistake me for a historian. I’m a storyteller.
But the folk tales, stories of haunted houses and graveyards – have more of an effect on history than we realize. They are beliefs that are shared by a community, passed down from generation to generation. Urban legends usually have some basis in fact. Often the opposite of the legend. But those beliefs shape history.
Does it really matter if the Blood Stone was the site of human sacrifices, when for two thousand years people have believed it so? That’s history itself.
And so we have this site. It’s my diary, journal, sketchbook. It’s where I go, who I meet, what I see, what I believe and what I do in my spare time. It’s a journal of haunted places, occult belief, a dash of paganism, real witchcraft, where to travel and why, occult gardening and of course, love.
Since my love has lately skidded into the ditch, the journal has become a place to investigate those feelings, both through my own experiences and through literature. The romantic poets went through it all long before we were born. There’s a lot of wisdom to be gleaned from them.
Someday maybe it’ll be a book or a motion picture … it will read better than it was lived, I’ll tell you that. For in the end, horror is about facing and conquering fear. That’s sometimes messy.
You were warned.
NOTE: If you really must reach me, you can do so by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WHO AM I ANYWAY?
I find poisons and potions and the horticultural habits of the ancients fascinating, and so have my own witch’s garden. Since I really don’t care a lot for sunny days, I also made it a moon garden, so I have a place to hang out at night.
If you want to know what I told my own kid about paganism, magic and witchcraft, there’s this.
And if you want to know what it was like growing up in the gothic midwest of the 1970s, there’s this as well.
I have an unhealthy attraction to things dark and mysterious, and frequently travel to places where something ghastly has occurred. Which results at times in the sudden realization that I’m sleeping in a bed where a hundred years ago, the former occupant shot himself and has been seen periodically since.
I’ve stood on the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
AM I A PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR? Not a chance. There’s only one way you’ll ever believe in the paranormal. If you see something with your own eyes, or hear a story that makes you believe. If EVPs were going to prove the existence of a great beyond, Zack Bagans would have the Nobel Prize by now.
I go to haunted places, and I love a haunted inn, pub or hotel where I can sit and soak up the atmosphere. There are places where you can feel that something might happen at any moment. And that my friends, is the best you can hope for. That and a good single malt scotch to pass the time while you wait on spooks. Or a shot of absinthe, depending on what type of spooks you’re looking for. These things must be handled delicately.
As I said, it’s personal experience that will make you a believer, and having a nip or two won’t dissuade you from believing if something happens.
Occasionally it does. I heard the giggle of Washington Irving’s niece at Sunnyside, his home. I saw the white lady in The George and Pilgrim Inn in Glastonbury, England. I’ve lowered my camera to see colonial era soldiers watching me, and nearly had the shit knocked out of me in the old Talbot Inn, in Bardstown, Kentucky. Weird shit happens and you can’t predict it, and spirits don’t appear on cue or with any regularity.
I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER and my works can be found in The Wytchery, featuring prints, greeting cards, limited edition prints and gifts. Stock photography and digital downloads are of course available as well.
I’ve been featured in depth by SmugMug, that fine family company which hosts websites for photographers. You can read that here …
My photography and some of what you read on this site has been featured in a startling variety of places. The fucking Smithsonian links to this site. I seem to field a lot of questions from school children who want to know about the murderess Lavinia Fisher, who was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina in 1820. Charleston kids also want to know about pirates as well.
I also recently found myself telling Lavinia’s story in the book Haunted Charleston: Scary Sites, Eerie Encounters, and Tall Tales.
I’ve been credited in Footloose Pilgrims: A Journal of Moped Travels Through Europe by Dick Lynam and Bill Lynam, The Secret Life of Sleep by Kat Duff and The Economic Survival of America’s Isolated Small Towns, Gerald L. Gordon. I list those here because they didn’t ask permission, and thus deserved shamed for having trusted such a notorious source.
In addition to gracing the walls of swanky homes and offices throughout the country, my photography has shown up on the covers and inside pages of History and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley, by Jonathan Kruk, and Haunted Long Island II, by Lynda Lee Macken, as well as Gap Creek by Robert Morgan.
You can also find me credited in the following fine publications and websites: The New York Times, The Boston Herald, BBC, The Guardian, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Broadway World, Indianapolis Post, NY Daily News, Fodors, Country Living Magazine, Town and Country, House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping. Clients include: The Daughters of the American Revolution, a.k.a. the D.A.R, The Civil War Trust, Plimoth Plantation, History Press, Algonquin Press, Black Cat Press, Historic Hudson Valley, Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, Philipsburg Manor, Horseman’s Hollow, Sunnyside, SmugMug, The Stony Brook Environmental Conservancy.
We make music for pagans, under the name of Folkswitch. It’s not a band, but a project with a name. we take poetry of the romantic era and set it to music. The kind of music that forty years ago would be found in the cars of people driving down country roads, looking for spooks and smoking an awful lot of dope. Why pagans? They have the best taste in music, aren’t afraid of things adventurous, revere the artists of the past and burn the best incense. You don’t have to be pagan, but the incense helps.
Enough about me. “WHO are YOU?” said the caterpillar.