Welcome to Stavanger. Now, let me show you something you definitely won’t find listed in the tourist guide: Our own, obscure murder house.

Stavanger Murder House

 

Mirza Ghulam Hussain was not a good man, to put it mildly. In July 2007 he killed his brother-in-law, Zahid Mahmood Butt (both originally from Pakistan). He chopped his body in pieces in which he buried in the flower bed in the garden. The body was buried in seven parts, and put in trash bags with the internal organs removed. They were found six months later by the police cadaver dogs. A pretty grotesque and messy case that could be something straight out from a song by Cannibal Corpse. At that time, this wasn’t a common crime scene to witness in tiny Norway (and still isn’t) and the police really struggled with the case. Other than family conflicts with money involved, the motives stayed unclear. Mizra was sentenced to 19 years by Stavanger District Court. In addition, he was also convicted for molesting young boys between 1989-2001.

Mizra died in prison a few years later (at the age of 59) and his daughter took over the property. She stated in an interview that this is still her dream house from which she refuses to move out from, despite the grisly murder that took place and the whole notoriety surrounding the area, hanging over it like a constant black cloud. Still, the house has just decayed and rotted away over the past 13 years. But at least someone placed some flowers in the windows, trying to make it a little more cozy, it seems. What happens next with the property is uncertain. I decided to snap some pictures before it might eventually get demolished.

 

Stavanger Murder House

 

Some articles about the case (in Norwegian)

Vanja and I recently had a trip to Paris, and of course visited Disneyland Paris as it’s a part of our “routine” when we travel there. This time, our favorite attraction “Phantom Manor” had been given some upgrades and the first reopening since 1992. First of all, Vincent Price’s introduction in the opening area was back once again, with original excerpts as well as previously unused material from his 1990 recording. The French actor Bernarde Alane is doing the parts in French. They’ve also tied the story of the manor a lot more into the attraction itself, which in my opinion makes it even more “horror”. So, good work by the “renovators”, and two thumbs up from us!

 

Below is an older photo from our second visit, which was in October 2012. The facade remains the same.

Phantom Manor

 

 

I filmed a little bit of the hallway and the attraction, where the hallway had some very nice additions regarding the paintings on the wall. Photos wouldn’t really do them justice, so I decided to make some animated gifs from the videos I captured. Enjoy:

 

The painting in the hallway featuring the Phantom, showing both his previous human side and what he eventually becomes.

 

 

Another painting in the hallway, showing a duel in front of Phantom Manor.

 

 

The loading area, where you get into the “doom buggies”. A new addition to this area, is that the bride is now present on top of the stairs.

 

 

And of course, the upgraded animatronics of the Phantom in all his glory, from inside the attraction (the cemetery part)! His upgraded version has more fluid movements and overall looks much better.

 

For more photos from Disneyland Paris, and other places,  check out my SmugMug page: https://tomte.smugmug.com/Travel

 

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We had a great Halloween celebration (as always, as it’s our favorite time of the year!) and here are some photos.

Vanja and I didn’t have a specific theme for our costumes this year, so we picked something a bit more random:

Halloween

 

Halloween

 

Halloween

 

And of course, we had some Halloween cupcakes and cake! They’re watching…

Halloween

 

Halloween

 

Halloween

 

Vanja’s brother playing Super Castlevania IV, no-damage run.

Halloween

 

And I carved two pumpkins. The smallest one was left all alone in the grocery store, so I just had to buy it, that poor thing.. and it ended up as a Cyclops pumpkin, which we put out on the porch to welcome the kids who came trick or treating.

Halloween

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