Ghost Tours of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana is an old and beautiful city. New Orleans has a culture all its own and an interesting and storied past. It is a ghost hunters playground. Imagine ghost tours, vampire tours, and entrancing  cemeteries full of crypts and mausoleums. Follow those tours up with fresh beignets and you are living a paranormal tourists dream.

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tripadvisor.com Lalaurie Mansion

Lalaurie Mansion

Lalaurie Mansion was once the home of Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine. It is still standing and is located at 1140 Royal Street. It is said that the mansion is haunted by the slave men and women that were tortured and killed by Madame Lalaurie in the  1800’s. Delphine Lalaurie was a Creole socialite who married her third husband and moved into the mansion in 1832. Delphine was known at the time for her elaborate parties where she hosted the elite of New Orleans society, but she had another side to her that was pure evil. Delphine was incredibly abusive to the slaves that worked within and around the mansion. A neighbour of the Lalaurie family witnessed Delphine chasing a young slave girl through the mansion with a whip. The two ran until they reached the roof and the child jumped to her death to avoid the wrath of Madame Lalaurie. The neighbour complained to authorities and although the Lalaurie’s were never prosecuted they did fall out of favour with their high society friends.

On the evening of April 10, 1834 a fire broke out in the mansion. Those that put out the fire were shocked when they found a barred door in the attic. Behind that door they found a scene that must have haunted their dreams for the rest of their lives. At least a dozen slaves were found either bound to the walls or strapped to make-shift operating tables. Men had had their fingernails ripped out, their eyes had been removed,and their genitals mutilated, while women were found disemboweled, with mouths sewn shut,and one woman had her limbs broken before she had been stuffed into a cage where her broken bones set at unusual angles .  Different body parts and heads were strewn around the torture chamber and a bucket full of organs was discovered. Most of the people were dead and those that were not begged to be put out of their misery. News of the atrocities spread as quickly as the fire had and a mob began to form. Although slavery was still an acceptable practice in Louisiana at the time, there were rules regarding their treatment and this was way over the line. It is said that a carriage burst through the gathering mob and the Lalaurie family made their escape.

Here are a few examples of the ghost tours of New Orleans

Cemetery Walking Tour in New Orleans

New Orleans Horror Tour

New Orleans Supernatural Tour

New Orleans Voodoo Tour

New Orleans Vampire Tour

The story goes that they ended up in France. Delphine died on December 7, 1849 (or as some say December 7, 1842). I am left hoping that she did not continue to abuse, torture, or kill anyone after she left New Orleans.

The Lalaurie Mansion went through different owners who would report hearing screams of agony, and of seeing the apparitions of slaves on the balconies and on the grounds. The Lalaurie Mansion has been converted into luxury apartments and I wonder if the screams can still be heard?

Another city for the bucket list.

Cheers,

The Other Half

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Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Origins

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is located in Louisville, Kentucky and its construction began in 1908. By July 26, 1910 the Sanatorium began to accept Tuberculosis patients. Over the years the Waverly Hills Sanatorium became a city in and of itself. As many large hospitals were in their heyday.

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eventbright.com Waverly Hills Sanatorium Tour

Operating History

By 1926 a brick sanatorium had been built that was meant to house 400, or so, TB patients. The sanatorium closed in 1961 and was renovated and re-opened in 1962 as a geriatric facility. It operated as such until is was closed in 1981. (therealwaverlyhills.com)

Ghosts

According to prairieghosts.com there is a ghostly little girl who likes to run up and down in the third floor solarium. A small boy who carries a ball has been reportedly seen as well. How about witnessing a ghostly hearse pulling up to the back of the building to drop off ghostly coffins? That would make my hair stand on end.

An apparition of a woman with bleeding wrists has been seen and heard crying for help. There have been reports of the spirit of a man dressed in a white coat seen walking in the kitchen. Cooking can be smelt in the kitchen and cafeteria specifically the aroma of freshly baked bread. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium is known for the sound of footsteps and doors that close on their own, often by slamming shut.

Ever tried an escape room? Check out this one in Louisville

Legends of the 4th and 5th Floors

Room 502 has seen tragedy in the past. It is said that in 1928 a nurse who worked at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium hanged herself in Room 502. While in 1932 a nurse working in Room 502 fell from the roof patio. It is not known if the nurse jumped, or if she was pushed, to her death.

According to prairieghost.com the 4th floor is the area with the most activity witnessed during a tour they took. Doors were heard slamming from the section of the 4th floor that is too degraded for humans to enter. Prairieghost.com reportedly saw a “clear and distinct silhouette of a man cross the lighted doorway, (it) passed into the hall and vanished into a room on the other side of the corridor.”

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

 

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Byberry Mental Hospital

Byberry Mental Hospital

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Image result for byberry mental hospitol
npr.orgByberry Mental Hospital holds a special place in history. Images taken there highlighted the need for changes to be made in the treatment and housing of the mentally ill. Byberry is where many conscientious objectors worked during WWII. One of those CO’s was a compassionate man named Charlie Lord. Charlie Lord would sneak a camera into the hospital and he captured 36 photographs that were later published in Life magazine in May 1946. “The photos reminded the American people of photos from Nazi Concentration Camps. So it created a kind of mass uproar, nationally.” (npr.org)

The conscientious objectors had witnessed attendants that would often use violence to try to control the mentally ill patients. The attendants would use items such as cut-down broom handles, or rubber hoses filled with buckshot to strike the patients. Attendants would even choke out a patient with a wet towel around the neck of the patient as the attendants had learned it would not leave any evidentiary marks.

Two buildings in particular housed living nightmares for the patients of Byberry Mental Hospital. The “incontinent ward” was where men were kept mostly naked with no furniture, activities, music, or bathroom facilities. It was a large concrete room full of urine and feces. Another building was referred to as “The Death House or Violent Ward” where the patients would often attack each other using whatever they could turn into a weapon. This building contained a room that held row upon row of patients strapped down to the frame of their beds.

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Byberry Mental Hospital opened in 1907 and in spite of all the bad publicity it received in the 1946 Life article it did not close until 1987. I am left hoping that conditions improved for the patients housed there after “The Conscientious  Objectors from Byberry started a national association that helped train and professionalize workers at state hospitals.” (npr.org)

Before Byberry was eventually demolished, it had been reported that the catacombs were spooky and haunted by ghosts of former patients with one that was a particularly violent entity. It was also reported that Satanic Rituals were said to have been performed on the grounds as well.

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

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The Autopsy Of Jane Doe Review

“The Autopsy Of Jane Doe”- 2016. rated R. 1hour & 27 minutes.

A gory supernatural thriller set in a morgue. It’s not a movie for the squeamish but it has lots of jumps and creepiness to thrill even the hardcore horror fan.

A mysterious woman’s body is found at a gruesome crime scene. The police have asked a father and son mortician team need to figure out what happened. Through the autopsy, things get stranger and stranger and more questions are raised. If they don’t solve this mystery soon it could become bad for them…very bad!

Director: Andre Ovredal: A great job giving a feeling of overall creepiness

Emile Hirsch: The son

Ophelia Lovibond: The son’s girlfriend

Brian Cox: Great job as the father

Olwen Catherine Kelly: Amazing job as “Jane Doe”

This movie is “a cut above the rest”

I actually saw this movie twice. The first time I thought it was ok but it didn’t grab me. When I saw it the second time, I realized this movie really is creepy and some parts gave me a good scare (elevator).

I learned a lot about funeral homes and what an autopsy is all about with this realistic movie.

Anyone who loves gore and a smouldering creepy movie this is it. There is some corpse nudity and with the graphic autopsy definitely not for kids.

Trivia: Stephen King said, “Visceral horror to rival “Alien” and early Cronenberg. Watch it, but not alone”.

I give “The Autopsy Of Jane Doe”  a 7/10.

Its scary, gory, nudity and some great acting. What else do you need in a movie!

Buy The Autopsy Of Jane Doe here with Amazon

Enjoy the show.

Cheers!

Bill

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The Athens Lunatic Asylum

In this post, we will take a walk through the Athens Lunatic Asylum. Abandoned asylums must be the spookiest type of buildings to visit. In the past, I have spent time visiting within the walls of an asylum that was still operating and that was unsettling enough.

The unsettling and spooky feeling likely comes from the combination of the asylum architecture and the mental illnesses that the patients experience.

I admire the professionals that work with and help the patients and I admire the strength of those that suffer from mental illness and have to deal with not only the symptoms but the societal stigma and judgement that comes with their illness.

The Athens Lunatic Asylum
The Athens Lunatic Asylum

Insane Asylum Horror-Athens Lunatic Asylum also is known as The Ridges- Athens, Ohio

The Athens Lunatic Asylum was originally built in 1874 to treat those afflicted with tuberculosis. The hospital was built to accommodate 550 patients and was overcrowded almost immediately. By the 1950s the institute housed almost 2,000 patients. These conditions caused abuse to occur between the staff and the patients and among the patients themselves.

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Dr Walter Freeman II, alchetron.com

The Athens Lunatic Asylum is one of the hospitals where Dr Walter Jackson Freeman II, known as the Father of the Lobotomy, performed over 200 Transorbital Lobotomies on patients suffering from mental illness. In 1936, Dr Walter Freeman and neurologist James Watts developed the prefrontal lobotomy. Watts eventually parted company with Freeman when the latter began to only perform the transorbital lobotomy. Dr Walter Freeman became known as a showboat and performer who once killed a patient in Iowa when he was distracted by the press that he had invited to witness his work. Dr Freeman once conducted 228 transorbital lobotomies during a two-week period in West Virginia in 1952. He charged $25 per lobotomy at the time.

A strange occurrence happened in the Athens Lunatic Asylum when patient Margaret Schilling went missing. Ms Schilling’s disappearance was not noticed immediately, likely due to the overcrowding of the facility. Margaret was reported missing on December 2, 1978, and was not found until January 12, 1979. Ms Schilling’s dead body was found on the floor of a locked room in the abandoned TB ward on the top floor of the hospital. She was naked at the time of death as she had removed her clothing and folded them in a neat pile. Ms Schilling’s decomposing body has left a permanent stain on the concrete floor. It has been reported that the ghost of Margaret Schilling has been seen in the window of the room she died in. (historicmysteries.com)

margaret schilling  The Athens Lunatic Asylum
historicmysteries.com

Many believe that Margaret Schilling died of a heart attack after accidentally locking herself in the unheated room of the attic/top floor of the asylum. She was not discovered for more than a month but likely had been dead for a few weeks. It is believed that she left the stain because of decomposition that may have been accelerated by the direct sunlight that would have hit her body. People have tried to remove the stain but it has proven to be permanent.

Would you be brave enough to wander through an abandoned asylum? Have you done it before?

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

 

 

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Ghost Radar: Legacy

Do you want to have some fun? Or do you want to be scared witless? Or maybe you just want to start a conversation? If you want any of those things I have a suggestion for you. Get yourself the Ghost Radar Legacy app for your iPhone or Android. Then explore and let us know if you discover any paranormal activity.

Ghost Radar: Legacy

Ghost Radar Legacy is an app for smartphones. It can be downloaded for free from the App Store and soon you will want to throw a little money at it to get rid of the ads. I chose to spend $2.79 CDN (I think) to get rid of the ads and add more storage by purchasing the basic package. If you only wish to be rid of the ads it will cost only $1.39 CDN to make that happen.

Lesia Miller Schnur, otherwise known as the Haunted Librarian uses the app on her smartphone during paranormal investigations. Lesia says “Ghost Radar: Legacy is easy to use and generates some interesting — and relevant– words. In addition, I am successful in capturing orbs and light anomalies by watching the energy signals.”

Spud Pickles has created the app and says that it is for entertainment purposes while it is a “portable application designed to detect paranormal activity.”

Garden Shed, Hut, Scale, Garden Design

Navigation Tabs

Vox- the radar utilizes a proprietary algorithm that analyses quantum flux.

“The manufacturers caution that this is not an EMF detector; nor does it detect gravity.” (Miller Schnur)

Radar- the program runs an intelligent energy detection that identifies intense energy signals in different colors.se signal of energy. The scanned area can vary from the immediate up to 50 yards away.

Words– the program will display words across the radar screen it keeps track of these words and once set up the program can email the results to you.

iPhone Screenshot 2
Ghost radar

Spud Pickles has a spot on the internet where Ghost Radar app users can share the results from their investigations. The stories are interesting and entertaining and some are just plain spine-tingling. I know that I look forward to spending some time with this app while exploring different locales. I’m happy to report that so far it hasn’t found any spirits in my home but I’m not surprised by that as we are the first occupants of this house. I will let you all know what I find as I will be travelling soon. I am excited that I may have entertaining stories to tell.

 

Cheers,

The Other Half

 

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Is There a Ghost in my House?

One of the most unnerving and scary experiences you can have is when you are asking the question “is there a ghost in my house?” I know there are people that will immediately believe your home is haunted while others will be very skeptical. But if you are truly curious or concerned about your home being haunted I invite you to read on to learn what you should do and what steps you can take to rid yourself of the roommate that doesn’t help with the rent or mortgage. We are here to help you figure out an answer to the question “Do I have a ghost in my house?”

Was That Bump in the Night a Ghost or Bad Plumbing? Do I have A Ghost In My House?

First of all, we are going to delve into the signs that your house has a ghost resident. If you are searching the internet to see if your house is haunted then you must have some suspicions.  Stephen Wagner has written an article entitled, 16 Signs That Your House is Haunted, for thoughtco.com where he lists the signs of different types of hauntings that one may experience. We will discover part of that list in this article and I will add my own insights to help you determine if you need to seek further help to evict your ghost.

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Do I have a ghost in my house

According to Stephen Wagner the signs of a “typical haunting” are:

Unexplained noises– such as footsteps, scratching sounds, knocking, and the sound of items dropping. I have lived in a home with phantom footsteps and it was a bit unnerving but I was not scared of the spirit, I actually thought it was a friendly spirit who did not need a lot of attention and it was not annoying. If I heard knocking from inside the walls I would get a plumber in to look at the pipes. My sister once lived in a large ranch-style home and you would hear the water coming through the pipes from the basement and the length of the house when you start to run the bath or shower. It was funny sounding but knowing what caused the sound took any fear away. Obviously, if you are hearing scratching sounds the first thing to do is check for any trees outside the home that may be scratching the house when the wind blows. If the scratching is not from trees then maybe you have a rodent problem. I do believe that unexplained noises can signal a ghost presence but make sure you investigate the alternatives before calling in any experts.

Lights turning on and off– Stephen says that these happenings are rarely witnessed by the homeowner, instead, the owner will notice that lights, or televisions, or radios are turned on after they know they turned those devices off. Lights can flicker due to electrical shorts, and the same for any electronic devices. If a short has been ruled out then you can take the turning on and off of lights or devices as a sign of a spirit. I have a friend who lived in Military Housing, known as PMQ’s up here, with her husband when they experienced lights going on and off by themselves and changes in the setting of the thermostat that neither of them had done. They made friends with the spirit and dealt with the little tricks it liked to play. They soon moved to a house of their own and after spending all day moving and unpacking they sat down with her adult children to eat supper. Sure enough, the dining-room chandelier turned off and then on by itself. My friend said out loud, ” That’s enough, Little Fingers, you don’t live here and you need to go back where you came from.” That was the only incident they experienced and it is assumed that Little Fingers went back to the PMQ.

Is There a Ghost in my House?
Amityville Horror House

Items disappearing and reappearing– “This is known as the Disappearing Object Phenomenon (DOP) or the borrower’s phenomenon, and it’s the familiar experience of not being able to find a regularly used item- say, your set of car keys- which you believe you placed in a spot you routinely place them. But they’re gone and you look high and low for them with no success. Sometime later, the keys are found- in exactly the place you normally put them.” (2017, S. Wagner) You know that this is a sign of a spirit entity if the item is found later, sometimes weeks later, in an obvious place that would not have been missed during a search for the missing item, such as on the kitchen island that you walk by several times a day. Anyone can misplace an item but if we search our memory and retrace our steps we will likely locate the item. Unless you have a tricky ghost residing in your house of course.

Unexplained shadows– These shadows are usually seen out of the corner of your eye, they are swift moving and sometimes take the shape of a human. If you are experiencing Shadow Figures that want to be seen and make their presence felt I would suggest that you immediately seek professional paranormal investigators as they are the type of spirits that can affect your health and your personality. You do not want to share your house with them. IMHO.

Are your pets acting weird?– If your dog or cat has started to stare at nothing, with their hair raised, and a growl or a hiss you may just have a ghost in your house. I have written about dogs and their senses here.

Who is there?– If you feel like you are being watched, specifically in certain parts of the house at certain times you may live with a ghost. Or someone has placed a nanny cam in the teddy bear on the shelf.

Now let’s move on to the signs that are considered strong to extreme evidence of a haunting.

Mild psychokinetic phenomena– This is when you SEE the lights go on and off by themselves or you SEE the furniture move or the door close seemingly on their own. If you SEE the door unlock, or the doorknob turns or FEEL someone sit on the side of the bed while you are lying in it…you likely live with a ghost.

Shove off– If you have been pushed, shoved, brushed by, or poked you are living with a spirit entity. There is nothing else in the natural world that could explain the touches. The difficult thing about these experiences is that unless they leave some type of mark on you the touches are hard to prove.

Keep it down– Are your evenings spent listening to murmuring voices, or whispers, or cries of agony? First I must say that I feel very badly for you. How dare the ghosts be annoying. We, humans, need our sleep and no one likes to have someone or something whisper in their ear during the night. The more people that hear the voices the better as paranormal investigators will like to know that the spirits are disturbing more than just one person in the home.

Cold spots– This is a commonly known phenomenon where the temperature in a room feels normal and suddenly just a small portion of the room is dramatically cooler or downright cold. It naturally sends a chill up your spine and the hair rises on your arms. This is a telltale sign that your home is haunted.

Do you smell that?– If you haven’t changed to a new perfume or cologne or taken up cigar smoking but you smell these odours you can blame that freeloader roommate of yours.  Wouldn’t it be great if ghosts only created odours like freshly baked bread and cookies or a full turkey dinner? Ghosts have been known to create pleasant and foul odours.

Now we are going to reach the third plateau of hauntings and move on to the EXTREME signs.

Is There a Ghost in my House?
We were renovating our basement and I saw this. Scared me for a moment.

The extreme signs are also referred to as poltergeist phenomenon and they include:

Moving or levitating objects– This is when dinner plates slide across the table, or photos fly off the walls. Furniture glides forcefully across the floor and crosses hang upside down. I cannot imagine how terrifying it would be to have these occurrences happen in my home. It must be harder to stay than to go. I know I would leave if I was in my right mind and would only return if paranormal investigators accompanied me.

When the bump in the night becomes the bump upon your body– Imagine being punched, slapped, pushed, or scratched so viciously that it leaves marks or bumps on your arms, chest, or legs. No thanks. I wouldn’t even pack. I would just run. Thankfully this type of paranormal experience is very rare.

Apparitions– These are physical manifestations of spirits and can appear as mists, a blob-like shape, or a full-body human form. These are rare but have been known to even appear as solid human forms that disappear while being viewed.

The writing on the wall– The last type of sign that your house is being haunted is unexplained writing on your walls, or handprints, and footprints.  I remember watching a television program about ghosts and hauntings wherein a medium confronted a spirit that had been overbearing and abusive when alive. The medium ended up backed against a bedroom wall and when they took temperature readings of the wall to the left and right of her there was a heat signature in the distinct shape of handprints. I could envision this large, rough man leaning forward to yell in the face of the medium. She felt physical and emotional intimidation within that bedroom.

Now that you know you have a spirit in your home you will want to seek some help. I cannot stress this next point enough; do not attempt to communicate with the spirit yourself.  DO NOT use an Ouija board, or a seance to reach the great beyond. So…if you want to know if Ouija boards are dangerous…click here

Who you gonna call?– Research and contact a local paranormal investigator and ask them for their help. Paranormal investigators will listen to your experiences and bring a variety of equipment along to explore your home. A paranormal investigation team can include a psychic medium, a tech specialist, a historical researcher, and numerous other individuals that will spread throughout your home and see if they can collect any evidence of spiritual entities. They will complete their investigation and reveal any evidence they have collected or communications that the medium has experienced.  Sometimes the conclusion is not what you want to hear, but more often the conclusion is just what you had been suspecting and the advice can change your life.

If you are experiencing mysterious happenings I encourage you to seek assistance. Do not try to deal with it yourself as you can inadvertently invite in evil entities. Ain’t no one got time for that! Get the help of professionals, someone who takes your concerns seriously. Let us know how it all works out. Take care.

Until next time.

Cheers,

Bill and the Other Half

 

 

 

 

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Do Cats See Ghosts?

Cats are amazing creatures that are fiercely independent, tough, and yet cuddly and playful. In this article, we hope to give you some information about cats that will be new to you. The history of cats will be discussed and so will the question of: do cats see ghosts.

Ancient Egypt and Beyond

We all know that it was the ancient Egyptians that gave cats the allusive egos that they have to this day. Cats were treated as Gods and somehow today’s domestic cats still know that and feel they should be still be treated like the royalty they believe they are. According to catsinfo.com, it has been, 4,000 years since the first cats were domesticated. The ancient Egyptians allowed cats to live in their Temples and cats were worshipped. Anyone who killed a cat would face the death penalty.

Cats that died were even mummified. Those Egyptians sure loved felines. Other ancient civilisations continued the domestication of cats and cats were eventually taken to Italy where they began to spread throughout the rest of Europe. The Pilgrims brought cats to North America with them. The shorthaired domestic cat is said to have spread from Egypt and the longhaired domestic cat spread from Turkey and Iran. Cats appeared in India and then went on to China and Japan.  World domination was afoot!

Super Powers

Cats just seem to have a sense of themselves, they are emotionally secure, and they are wise. As the Facebook meme says ” Dogs are like a 21-year-old, ready for fun and they love people. Cats are like a 45-year-old, wise enough to dislike people.”


Perhaps Mark Twain put it best when he stated, “If animals could speak the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow, but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”


According to iizcat.com cats will give you signals when they see a ghost, those signals can be:

The out-of-no-where poofy tail and flat ears. If you have seen a cat react this way you know how weird it looks. It is a strong physical reaction to something that the cat thinks is freaky, creepy, or bizarre.

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Do Cats See Ghosts

It is a sign that something humans cannot see is present when your cat stares at nothing. Okay, Kitty, you are freaking out the humans. What do you see? Have you noticed that when they stare at nothing “it” always seems to be near the ceiling? Veterinarian Rachel Barrack of Animal Acupuncture told the Dodo that,”When cats appear to be staring into space, they may be detecting subtle motion, as their vision is much more acute than ours.”

How about the mysterious bump in the night that you would usually attribute to the nocturnal roamings of your cat until you realise your cat is next to you. I guess that requires further investigation. In the daylight.

So…do cats see ghosts?

I tend to think that the clearest form of communication a cat can use is its hiss. That lets you know they are angry, or seriously uncomfortable with something or someone. If a cat is puffing out their tail, flattening their ears, arching their backs, raising the hairs on their backs, and hissing your cat could be saying, “I don’t trust your new boyfriend” or “look out for the evil spirit floating above you.” I like to think that cats would have our backs.  We are after all their employees and good help is hard to find.

 

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