Blake’s Commentary –
5. Castello di Amorosa – The Medievals get a lot of bad publicity. Okay, so they tortured people. At least they were creative with it by using iron maidens, maces, stretching mechanisms, etc, all we have now is waterboarding and psychological torture (I envision being stuck in a room with no light and being forced to listen to the Frozen soundtrack 24/7). Where is the fun in that? That’s just mean. The Medievals had it right, the show is just as important as the pain. This isn’t scary, Matt, but, instead, something that should be looked upon with awe.
4. Fort Ord – While not quite as intimidating the multitudes of empty asylums and sanitariums in the US, ghost towns/bases are pretty spooky. This one, if the picture is representative, strikes me as strangely more so than some of the other pictures I have seen of abandoned bases/towns. Nice pick.
3. Paris Catacombs – Leave it to the French to find a way to literally bury the skeletons in their closets. I suppose they had to put them somewhere, I mean, the only war that France won was against itself, right? That’s a lot of dead people that need to be buried.
2. Winchester Mystery House – Always wanted to visit this place. May have to put down the money sooner or later. I just hope it’s not too touristy by the time I get there. Probably already is though. Great classic pick, Matt.
1. Auschwitz Concentration Camps – This would not actually scare me. It would just depress me, maybe even anger me, but, scare? Nah. I would just imagine the intense feeling of the weight and thickness in the air of the horrors that took place in those camps. It would be suffocating to be sure. However, I doubt I would be scared by it.
5. Castello di Amorosa. Wait, why does a winery have a torture room? That seems odd. Still, it’d be one thing if it was actually the room where the people were tortured. But it’s not. It’s a replica, and everyone knows replicas aren’t scary. Plus, I’m guessing most people have drunk enough wine by the time they get to the room that they really don’t care what’s in it.
4. Fort Ord. What’s worse than your run-of-the-mill ghost? A military ghost. Why? I don’t know. They just are.
3. Paris Catacombs. A Wall of Skulls and Bones was the name of my hardcore rock band in college. Few people were frightened by us. Most were just bored.
2. Winchester Mystery House. More Americans have been killed with guns since 1960 than have been killed in every war combined since 1776. If there are ghosts, I truly, truly hope they’re haunting gun manufacturers and the NRA leaders, who exploit the American people by propagating unjustified fears in order to sell more guns, despite the fact that by any measurement their product kills more people than they save.
1. Auschwitz Concentration Camps. Earlier this year I watched Shoah, a nine-hour documentary about the holocaust. It consists entirely of present-day footage (from the time it was made in the 80s). It’s mostly interviews, and many of the interviews are played over footage of the ruins of the concentration camps. A good part of the film focuses on Auschwitz. Hearing the stories of the survivors while seeing pictures of the ovens is a haunting and unforgettable experience. It’s a powerful reminder that the sins of the past just don’t go away. Memories of pain and suffering and evil hang over the locations like a cloud.