As Christmas falls over Victoria, the team at Twisted History would like to wish all our friends a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year. A big thank you to everyone who joined us in 2016, and we hope everyone will get into the spirit of the festive season. If you are around any of our locations over the holidays we would love to see you. May 2017 bring new ghostly adventures to everyone.
Christmas
 
According to Christian theology, the Christmas holiday commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whose teachings form the basis of the Christian faith. Christians didn’t begin celebrating Christ’s birth until the third century A.D., when Roman church officials settled on December 25 (the Bible doesn’t mention the exact date), probably to coincide with already existing pagan winter festivals. Today, Christmas is not the most important Christian holiday–in fact, it ranks fourth after Easter, Pentecost and Epiphany. Yet since the 19th century, when Australians began to celebrate Christmas in the way we think of today–including traditions such as decorating trees, sending holiday cards and giving gifts–it has grown into the biggest commercial holiday of the year and is now celebrated by the vast majority of Australians, Christian or not.
 
The Legend of Saint Nicholas
 
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. Much admired for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas became the subject of many legends. It is said that he gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. Did You Know? The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
 
The Ninth Reindeer
 
Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was born over a hundred years after his eight flying counterparts. The red-nosed wonder was the creation of Robert L. May, a copywriter at the Montgomery Ward department store. In 1939, May wrote a Christmas-themed story-poem to help bring holiday traffic into his store. Using a similar rhyme pattern to Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” May told the story of Rudolph, a young reindeer who was teased by the other deer because of his large, glowing, red nose. But, When Christmas Eve turned foggy and Santa worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver gifts that night, the former outcast saved Christmas by leading the sleigh by the light of his red nose. Rudolph’s message—that given the opportunity, a liability can be turned into an asset—proved popular. Montgomery Ward sold almost two and a half million copies of the story in 1939. When it was reissued in 1946, the book sold over three and half million copies. Several years later, one of May’s friends, Johnny Marks, wrote a short song based on Rudolph’s story (1949). It was recorded by Gene Autry and sold over two million copies. Since then, the story has been translated into 25 languages and been made into a television movie, narrated by Burl Ives, which has charmed audiences every year since 1964.
 
Coca Cola Helped Shape the image of Santa 
The Santa Claus we all know and love – that big, jolly man in the red and white suit with a white beard – didn’t always look the way he now does. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. The magical transformation of the Coca-Cola Santa happened in 1931, becoming a man wholesome and kind in appearance. In 1931 the company began placing Coca-Cola ads in popular magazines. Archie Lee, the advertising executive working with The Coca-Cola Company, wanted the campaign to show a wholesome Santa who was both realistic and symbolic. So Coca-Cola commissioned American illustrator Haddon Sundblom to develop advertising images using Santa Claus — showing Santa himself, not a man dressed as Santa. The iconic branding colours of Coca-Cola were used, red, black and white
 
New Tour Location - Cape Otway Lighthouse
Twisted History is very excited to be running ghost tours and paranormal investigation tours at the Cape Otway Lighthouse. Are you brave enough to join us in the oldest remaining lighthouse on mainland Australia?
Once the sun sets over the Great Ocean Road, the oldest lighthouse in mainland Australia comes alive. Join us for a ghost tourof the the lightstation precinct as we take you back to a time of isolation, illness and shipwrecks.
Explore the telegraph station, workshop and bodystore before climbing the stairs of the lighthouse which has been in continuous operation since 1848. Maybe you will hear the cries from those shipwrecked on the cliffs below.
People who are sensitive to ghosts are rarely disappointed. From the Lighthouse Keeper's wife to a four year old girl whose body was stored in a cupboard, you never quite know who is following your group!
Ghost Tours will be running from Wednesday to Sunday nights at 8pm and Investigations on Saturday nights at 9.30pm, starting from December 27th. Bookings are essential and can be made online at www.twistedhistory.net.au/book-now.html or 1300865800

 
Serviceton Railway Station Investigaton - 28th January 2017
Join the team at Twisted History for our first outside investigation of 2017! Be quick as places are limited!
Possibly Australia's most haunted railway station. No longer used, this time capsule is a reminder to the time of great Victorian steam travel. Built on what was believed at the time to be the border of Victoria and South Australia, you won't believe what is hidden inside. Both states had different rail gauges so passengers had to disembark go though customs before boarding a new train.
Rarely investigated this largest building is a labyrinth of rooms over three levels. From a Dining Hall, Ballroom, Accomodations, Hotel, Morgue and Police Cells where convicts were chained to the wall.
Do you have what it takes to explore this location....
We recommend to stay in Kaniva, Vic or Bordertown Please note Serviceton is located on the Victorian/South Australian border (437 km from Melbourne and 294 km from Adelaide)
Bookings essential on 1300865800 or www.twistedhistory.net.au/book-now.html
 
Friday the 13th January 2017
Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in by many, and it's origins date back thousands of years. The superstition surrounding this day may have arisen in the Middle Ages, "originating from the story of Jesus' last supper and crucifixion" in which there were 13 individuals present on the 13th of Nisan Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday. Others believe that it's more of a spooky day.
So if your brave enough why not join us at the Cape Otway Lighthouse for a ghost tour. The Cape Otway staff will then follow the ghost tour with the horror movie Babadook. More details on the movie and bookings can be found on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/Cape-Otway-Lighthouse
 
Chinese New Year 2017
The Year of the Rooster will be ushered in for Chinese New Year on 28th January this year in Chinatown.

For those born in the years or people born in a year of the rooster (1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005), 2017 is considered a bad year. 

"Roosters" are hardworking, resourceful, courageous and talented... 
 
The Chinese New Year Festival in Melbourne will run between 27th January and 12th February. If you haven't seen the Chinese Lions accepting the offerings from the various restaurants along Little Bourke street, or the firecrackers going off - it is very much worth the visit!!
 
And of course our Chinatown Murder Tour will be running on the Friday and Saturday nights as usual!
 
 
 
TOURS
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation Tour
7 nights a week!!
 
Cape Otway Lighthouse Ghost Tour
Wednesday-Sunday
Cape Otway Lighthouse Investigation
Saturday nights
 
Chinatown Murder Tour
Friday and Saturday nights
 
Carlton Murder Tour
First Saturday of the month or by appointment
 
Melbourne Murder Tour
Third Saturday of the month or by appointment
 
Blackwood Hotel
Selected Sundays iin 2017
 
Serviceton Railway Station Investigation
January 28, 2017
 
GIFT VOUCHERS
Do you know someone who is hard to buy for, or a person that has every thing. Why not buy them a gift voucher for a Ghost Tour, Investigation Tour or a Murder Tour!! For more information and to order, please call 1300865800
or online at www.twistedhistory.net.au/book-now.html


 
Sunday, 25th December
CLOSED
 
Monday, 26th December
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation

Tuesday, 27th December
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Wednesday, 28th December
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Thursday, 29th December
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Friday, 30th December
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Saturday, 31st December
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Cape Otway Investigation
 
Sunday, 1st January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Friday, 6th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
 
Saturday, 7th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Cape Otway Investigation
 
Friday, 13th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Horror Movie Cape Otway Lighthouse

Saturday, 14th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Cape Otway Investigation

Friday, 20th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Saturday, 22nd January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Cape Otway Investigation

Friday, 27th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour

Saturday, 28th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Cape Otway Investigation
Serviceton Railway Station Investigation

Sunday, 29th January
Geelong Gaol Ghost Tour
Geelong Gaol Investigation
Chinatown Murder Tour
Cape Otway Ghost Tour
Blackwood Hotel Investigation
 
CHRISTMAS TRIVIA

Engineers that designed the Voyager Space Mission planned things out so it would avoid planetary encounters during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
 
There is a village in Peru where people settle the previous year's grudges by fist fighting. They then start the new year off on a clean slate.
Telling scary ghost stories is an old Christmas Eve tradition that has died out in the past century.
It is estimated that the song "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin is the best selling single in history with over 100 million copies sold.
Paul McCartney earns nearly half a million dollars every year from his Christmas song, which many critics regards as his worst song ever.
Many of the perpetually open Denny’s restaurants in the USA were built without locks, which was problematic when they decided to close down for Christmas for the first time in 1988.
During the Christmas of 2010, the Colombian government covered jungle trees with lights. When FARC guerrillas (terrorists) walked by, the trees lit up and banners asking them to lay down their arms became visible. 331 guerrillas re-entered society and the campaign won an award for strategic marketing excellence.
Nearly all of the most popular Christmas songs including ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Chestnuts roasting…’, and ‘I’m Dreaming of a white Christmas’ were written by Jewish people
During the Christmas of 1914 (World War 1), a truce was held between Germany and the UK. They decorated their shelters, exchanged gifts across no man’s land and played a game of football between themselves.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is the only record to get the UK Christmas Singles Chart Number One twice, once in 1975 and again in 1991.
The Nazi party tried to turn Christmas into a nonreligious holiday celebrating the coming of Hitler, with Saint Nicholas replaced by Odin the “Solstice Man” and swastikas on top of Christmas trees.
The US playing card company ‘Bicycle’ had manufactured a playing card in WW2 s that when the card was soaked, it would reveal an escape route for POWs. These cards were Christmas presents for all POWs in Germany. The Nazis were none the wiser!
We frequently abbreviate Christmas as X-mas because of ancient tradition. X is the Greek letter “chi” which is an abbreviation for the word “Christ” in Greek
Japanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner, thanks to a successful marketing campaign 40 years ago. KFC is so popular that customers must place their Christmas orders 2 months in advance
The people of Oslo, Norway donate the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree every year in gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during WWII.