By Martin Montoya, Staff Reporter
Interested in the unexplainable? Former web design student Bryan Higgins said he was a paranormal investigator, who retired after years of encounters with the unknown.
After about 50 paranormal encounters throughout his life and all his local investigations, Higgins still shows pictures and videos of what he claims is his scariest encounter, he said.
In November 2011, Higgins investigated a supposed haunted house with a few friends along to help, he said.
To make the study as thorough as possible, a daytime walkthrough was required to catch anything unusual before night fell, Higgins said.
Searching through the house with a video camera, Higgins said he and his team spent a long time in a particular room, where a member of his team spotted a red substance on the floor right before they were going to leave.
Higgins told his team that it was probably only candle wax because of its shiny red appearance, he said.
In a video shown to the Chronicle, a member of Higgins’ team can be seen crouching down to touch the liquid, which wicked up onto his finger and caused him to drag his finger across the floor in confusion while he desperately tried to rid himself of what they now believe to be blood.
In the video, Higgins pointed out how the team’s footprints were underneath the red liquid, which had not been there previously and seemed to be undisturbed and fresh, he said.
“We didn’t spot it, didn’t trample it, step on anything, all of a sudden this red stuff shows up on the floor,” Higgins said.
Later that night, traveling back to the house again, the team wandered into the attic of the abandoned house, and Higgins said that he and his team were tearing up floor boards when they came across old newspaper articles.
In the articles were stories discussing appearances of blood. Higgins said the articles called them “blood miracles,” and a church was calling it the “blood of Christ.”
Also among their findings were books and other documents containing blood appearances, and the description of the substance in the documents correlated to exactly what they saw, he said.
“This place is so damn haunted,” Higgins said.
Upon another visit to this house, Higgins said their equipment, infrar e d cameras, electromagnetic force detector and regular cameras, which had been charged up and ready to go, no longer had sufficient battery life 20 minutes after arriving at the house.
The only piece of equipment working was the voice recorder, Higgins said, which allowed him to continue his investigation by going into the blood room alone.
H i g g i n s was going into the room to t r y and record an Electronic Voice Phenomenon, or EVP, a technique used by ghost hunters who want to try and communicate with entities not of this world, he said.
Higgins said to conduct an EVP session, everyone present must remain as still and quiet as possible while someone asks a question out loud and then falls immediately silent, so as not to contaminate anyone’s recordings, making sure to note any sounds made.
This allows investigators to turn up the white noise in the recording around the silent area, where essentially no noise should be in the house, he said.
“It’s real as hell. It’s not a joke, I thought it was and found out the hard way,” Higgins said.
After his team made their thoughts clear that Higgins is crazy to go in the room by himself at night, he went into the blood room alone, only equipped with his voice recorder, he said.
“I have the scariest stuff you will ever hear,” Higgins said.
In the room, Higgins started talking in a not-so-friendly way to whoever may have been listening, and as he spoke a shadow moved across the back window of the room, he said.
“Don’t go there, NO! Chill,” he said in the recording.
Higgins can be heard in the recording saying the encounter was creepy and leaving the room, afraid and aware that he was not alone.
“You should hear this, there is this unearthly voice,” Higgins said.
Upon later examination of his EVP session when Higgins turned up the white noise on the recording, a voice can be heard plain as day, he said.
“I told you not to come in here, AHHHH!” said a voice heard in the EVP recording.
Higgins said his thoughts are that the voice heard is not a person who has passed from our world.
“It sounds like a damn demon,” he said.
Shortly after his investigations, Higgins said something started following him, and messing with him.
Higgins said noises were coming from all corners of his home, the door was being knocked on and the doorbell rang with no one around and no lights on outside triggered by the motion sensor.
Higgins said a streak of blood came out of his wall, which he has left there for the chance to be able to test it.
“Things don’t make sense, but there is some kind of supernatural explanation as well,” he said.
After having these encounters persistently occur over time, Higgins said he decided to have a medium accompany him and his team to the investigation site to perform a cleansing.
Higgins said the medium did her own walk around through the house, when she came to the filthy basement, she entered alone.
Upon ascending back into the house, Higgins said the medium was crying uncontrollably, because she had sensed bodies buried down in the basement.
As the team and the medium continued through the house to go on with the cleansing, she began to communicate with something in the house.
Higgins said that she told him, “It’s here. It’s right behind me.”
Higgins said he has video and photo evidence of the medium becoming inhabited by something not of this world, and said he had to perform an exorcism on the medium, who was there to cleanse the house and yet needed to be cleansed herself.
“I didn’t think I was going to have to participate in the actual exorcism,” Higgins said.
Using oils and holy water the medium brought with her, Higgins said he and his team started saying prayers and burning sage while sprinkling the inhabited medium to rid her of whatever invisible evil was making her jerk violently and make wretched faces.
“She was a nice lady until she became possessed,” Higgins said.
After exorcising the medium, Higgins said they then consecrated the house so no evil spirits could escape.
“It scared me. I was pretending I wasn’t scared, but I was deathly afraid,” Higgins said.
Higgins said he can’t explain what happened at the investigation site that night, but he thinks it was a demonic entity.
“Everybody has their demons, I just think it’s part of our own experiences we have to deal with,” he said.
Having had encounters with the unexplainable at a young age, Higgins said he first came across a ghost at the age of five.
Higgins said he used to live in a house that was itself haunted, and living there definitely affected his outlook on life.
“All those experiences really affected me as a kid and it kind of left stains in my mind,” he said.
By Jonathan Baca, Staff Reporter
On a Saturday afternoon, a group of high school students were standing outside a North Valley nightclub, wearing all black and covered in blood and gearing up for a night of popping out from behind walls, doing their best to scare the wits out of people.
The House of Freakz and Beatz, a haunted house in Gravity Nightclub that was designed and built by the students of the Academy of Trades and Technology (ATT) charter high school, has a dual purpose, said Gravity owner, Andrew Cordova.
The brainchild of Cordova and ATT president Henry Lackey, the haunted house was a way to give the students real world experience in the trades they have learned, wh i l e giving them a real paycheck and creating a safe, all-ages place for young people to party during the Halloween season, Cordova said.
“Bringing them in here has been a blessing. They got to design and build it, and it stands for itself. It’s crazy to think that it was done by high school students, and I’m very proud of that,” Cordova said.
According to atths. com, ATT is a charter school geared toward students who have struggled with or even dropped out of other high schools. Students graduate with a diploma and experience in the trades of Construction Technology and Graphic Design.
After deciding to go ahead with the project, the students had blueprints ready a few days later, and after being paid to build it, nearly two thirds of the students stayed on as volunteer actors in the haunted house, Cordova said.
“The ones that have stuck around are the ones that are really, truly into it, and they’ve been great. It is great to see them have fun with the acting, scaring people,” said Kenneth Cornell, club promoter and one of the organizers of the event.
Cornell said he has had double duty as an actor himself, playing a bloody ax-wielding psycho, a guard in the house’s insane asylum room, and his personal favorite; wielding a real, working chain saw.
They had to remove the actual chain for safety, but Cornell said it isn’t any less terrifying.
“You hear that chain saw, and you can smell it, it’s right there in front of you and your brain doesn’t stop to think ‘is there a chain on that?’ You just freak out,” Cornell said.
The haunted house features ten scenes, including the Lonely Cabin, the Psych Ward, and The Graveyard, and at least a handful of zombies, Cornell said.
The sets were inspired by classic horror films like the Exorcist and the Omen, which Cornell said are some of his favorites.
Aside from the handmade sets and some lights and sound effects for atmosphere, the house relies mainly on the makeup, costumes, and skills of the actors for the big scares, said volunteer, Ashley Harris.
Harris said for her there is no better feeling than popping out and knowing she really made someone jump.
“It just gives you the jollies inside,” she said.
On Halloween night, in addition to the haunted house there will be a dance party and costume contest, with DJs, and go-go dancers, Cordova said.
Cash prizes will be given out to the scariest, funniest, and sexiest costumes, Cordova said.
On Friday and Saturday night after Halloween, there will be 16 and over dance party events, and on Nov. 1 Brazilian DJs Darth and Vader will be spinning house music at a Star Wars themed party, he said.
For Cordova, hosting events for the under 21 crowd is important, because when kids have nowhere to go, they will create their own events, where drugs and alcohol flow freely and people get hurt, he said.
“I believe that the kids should have a safe environment to come and party, with the right security policy and safe atmosphere. Instead of doing things out in the middle of a field in the West Mesa and overdosing, they’re in a controlled environment with supervision,” Cordova said.
Every night since the haunted house opened, ATT has had a booth outside, giving kids information about the school and letting them know that it is never too late to go back and get a diploma, Cordova said.
After running out of funds in the middle of renovations to the nightclub, Cordova said he spent $30,000 on the haunted house, hoping to raise some money to finish his club, and hopefully help some kids in the process.
“We’re really crossing our fingers that, one, we’ll get students to ‘drop back in’ to high school, and two, that we’ll at least get back some of our capital investment,” Cordova said.
For more information, check out houseoffreakzandbeatz.com, and for more information on the Academy of Trades and Technology, visit atths.com.
Dear CNM Chronicle,
Thank you for turning the spotlight on the working lives of Part Time Faculty at CNM. Chronicle reporter Daniel Montano did a great job gathering different perspectives on their compensation and working conditions. It’s really a pity that CNM representatives are unwilling to comment meaningfully on a story that focuses on the people who teach more than two-thirds of the classes at our campuses. Prior to being hired as a Full Time instructor in SAGE, I spent two years teaching as a part timer and I can remember the uncertainties associated with the position. I taught unfamiliar courses on short notice and waited anxiously to see if I would be fortunate enough to get a schedule for the next semester. And my paycheck was a lot smaller than it is now. It’s time that CNM administration acknowledged the contributions of Part Time faculty.
There are more than 750 Part Time Faculty teaching classes at CNM this semester. Information the Union has gained through surveys of these employees indicates that more than a third of this group seeks to make their living solely from employment at CNM. Labeling these employees “Part Time” is a damaging misnomer. It creates an impression that these are transitory employees who ‘fill in’ for the institution when needed. In fact, many of the faculty have taught at CNM for years and often teach more courses annually than their “Full Time” counterparts. Given the ratio of Part Time to Full Time faculty at CNM a student could quite likely complete a 2 year Liberal Arts at the College and take all of their coursework from Part Time faculty.
Recently CNM President Kathie Winograd has publicly stated that CNM needs to address the competitiveness of Full Time Faculty compensation “to attract and retain great employees”. As Union President I couldn’t agree more. But why no mention of Part Time Faculty? This is the group of employees that does the heavy lifting of the teaching load at CNM. Shouldn’t there be an urgent focus on attracting the best faculty at CNM across the board? As I stated in the article, underpayment of Part Time faculty is part of a national problem. The Governing Board and CNM administration should act locally by seeking to compensate, hire and retain the best faculty period. The students at CNM deserve no less.
Editorial, By The Chronicle Editorial Board
A group of us here at the Chronicle just got back from the Associated Collegiate Press Convention in beautiful New Orleans, and we would like to thank everyone who helped make this trip possible.
The Chronicle is run by a small group of students still learning how to write, design, and produce weekly newspapers, and it really is beneficial when CNM allows us to go to conventions like these so we can bring back what we have learned and make our paper better.
We hope to inform, entertain, and educate our readers even better now that we have learned so much at the bi-annual convention.
Even though the cost of these conventions comes from our own budget, the people here at the Chronicle would still like to acknowledge everyone who helps us to get to these conventions, who help us to achieve more and make the paper better with each issue, as well as allowing us to learn beyond our campuses.
CNM is truly a special school, because of the people who work here who believe in the students, and give students opportunities they would not otherwise have if they did not attend this great school.
So again, thank you to everyone who helps us achieve our goals of making a better paper for all of us to enjoy.
By Stacie Armijo, Staff Reporter
One of the best parts of Halloween is eating decadent candies, and home-made treats can be tastier than knocking on doors and hoping for something good to eat, Chef and part-time Culinary Instructor Julian Griego said.
Griego shared with the Chronicle one of his favorite recipes, full of tricks to make delicious treats for Halloween parties.
After Griego graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, NV, he came back to his hometown of Albuquerque, where he worked at some of the most highly regarded restaurants in the city, including Savoy, Seasons and Marcello’s Chophouse, he said.
By Daniel Montaño , Senior Reporter
For parents, keeping their little monsters from running into something truly scary while trick-or-treating means knowing the safest neighborhoods to go to, and Albuquerque has some of the best neighborhoods in the country for Halloween fun according to Zillow.com
Zillow annually ranks the best cities in the United States, and although Albuquerque just narrowly missed making the top 20 this year, our fair city has held that honor in the past, according to their website.
Beside which neighborhoods tend to be the most generous with candy treats, the website’s real-estate data experts calculate which neighborhoods top the list by looking at home values, how easy it is to walk the streets, population density, and most importantly crime statistics, according to their website.
According to Zillow’s most recent data, topping the list for Albuquerque is the Altura Park neighborhood, which consists of homes surrounding Altura Park on Morningside drive and bordered by Indian School Road to the north, Washington Street to the east, Constitution Avenue to the south and Carlisle Drive to the west.
The data said the Oso Grande neighborhood on the southwest corner of Spain Road NE and Eubank Boulevard NE, is the next best place to go, and Academy Hills on the southwest corner of Academy Road NE and Eubank Boulevard NE came in third.
Fourth and fifth place went to Peppertree-Royal oak, west of Tramway Boulevard NE, between Academy and Spain roads NE, and Embudo Canyon east of Tramway Boulevard at Indian School Road NE, according to the website.
Even for trick-or-treaters who live in another part of town, the drive to these neighborhoods should prove worth it in pounds of glorious candy, chocolate and other sugary snacks.
Here are the artworks entered for this years Halloween Cover Contest
Art Cover Winner KRISTIN TORRES-GURULE
By Nick Stern
Halloween is right at Albuquerque’s doorstep and that means kids and families in costumes, hoping for “something good to eat,” will be as well.
Instead of spending the fall holidays at home it could be nice to get out and experience some of the many events this city and the surrounding areas have to offer.
Dragons House of Horror is a very spooky haunted house in Rio Rancho and is occupied by horror legends such as Michael, and Jason who make scaring their guests a personal affair, according to the dragonshouseofhorror.com website.
“If you’re looking for high quality and personal service in scaring you, you’ve come to the right place. At Dragons House of Horror we’ll give you the attention and personal service you’ll come to expect and enjoy and fear,” the site said.
The Haunted Scarecrow is another place for a good scare and is in downtown Albuquerque at Warehouse 508, according to the hauntedscarecrow.wix.com website.
The Tours of Old Town has exciting ghost tours to offer anyone looking for a scary outdoor experience and even offers moonlight ghost tours that are held at 10 p.m. The nightly tours involve a 90 minute walk with ghost stories, history, and investigations of the paranormal within the haunted locations of Old Town, according to toursofoldtown.com.
“Legends, folklore, ghost stories, and history come to life as you depart on an intriguing excursion through 306 years of haunted history…founded in 1706, and for over three centuries people have lived and died around the Old Town Plaza,” the site said.
The tour is led by a professional tour guide and is lit by lanterns while guests search for lost souls who have made Old Town their eternal home, according to the website.
The site said that tourists, residents, and employees have all experienced unexpected phenomena from sightings of vanishing apparitions to voices without bodies within one of the most actively haunted locations in North America.
Many people who have taken the tour have had good experiences and have taken a lot from it, according to customer feedback on the website.
“I’ve lived in Albuquerque for 20 years and learned more about Old Town during this tour than all my years in the city,” said Mark and Taylor M. of Albuquerque.
If students are looking to enjoy a show in the spirit of the season, the Albuquerque Little Theatre is performing Mel Brooks’ classic, Young Frankenstein, according to albuquerquelittletheatre.org.
Tickets can be purchased online or at the theatre’s box office and is being performed until the third of November, according to the events schedule.
The production features classics like “the Transylvania Mania” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and is guaranteed to be a great time, the site said.
“Young Frankenstein is scientifically-proven, monstrously good entertainment…and the only place you’ll witness a singing and dancing laboratory experiment in the largest tuxedo ever made!” the site said.
Dia de los Muertos will also be celebrated in many ways this season, and Old Town will be hosting Dia Del Dulce on Halloween this year, according to the Albuquerque Old Town website.
The page encourages guests to dress in costumes and to bring family members for trick or treating, a pet parade and animal costume contest, Halloween performance, as well as a people’s costume contest.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) also has an annual community gathering called the Dia de los Muertos Despedida that celebrates with music, traditional food, poetry, and chocolate, according to the nationalhispaniccenter.org webpage.
“Music, poetry, Mexican chocolate, and pan de muerto. This is a great event for all ages,” the site said.
The 2013 Marigold Parade is also happening this year on November 3, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., according to the muertosymarigolds.org website. The site said the parade begins at the Bernalillo Sheriff’s substation at Centro Familiar and Isleta, and ends at the Westside Community Center at 1250 Isleta Blvd. SW, where there will be music, altars, food, and art vendors.
There are many events in Albuquerque to choose from and the Chronicle hopes everyone will be safe and find something awesome to do for this year’s Halloween holiday.