Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Debate Turns into Argument

by Chris Chaos

A discussion, as of a public question in an assembly, involving opposing viewpoints. A formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.

An oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation. Usually the negative aspects of a debate.

I routinely avoid debating with most people since the art of a debater usually degenerates into an "argument that I must win!" People do not use debates to learn from someone that holds a different opinion, nor to educate themselves and not even to try to convince another of their viewpoint. Many appear to be bored or just like to be a troll and start issues among people different than themselves.

There are some very familiar and consistent occurrences that manifest during the debate as it withers into an argument that is governed more by winning than being correct or fair during. Some participants may be simply uninformed, uneducated, sore losers, attention seekers or blatant liars. Another symptom of a bad debate is that people are more worried about speaking on their topic and refuse to hear the opposing side. How many times did you reasonably listen to another with a different opinion and then did a 180 degree turn once you realized that your information was incorrect or invalid? Debates are multi-sided and all views are valid, so hear them out. Another very
important piece of information to remember during a debate is that there is a huge difference between an opinion and facts.

A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. A personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

Something that actually exists; reality; truth. Something known to exist or to have happened. A truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true.

A debate is supposed to be the presentation of your side and injected into a group of others whom do not share your particular point of view, experiences or opinions. A positive debate should find middle ground and never descend into an argument. If dealing with opinions that are so conflicting that middle ground cannot be reached, it would be smarter to just avoid further contact rather than entertain an argument. Some common end result and extinction of debate examples are below. Of course the examples given are not "all across the board", but occur with such frequency that they must be included. As with any large group there are many variations.

When attempting to debate with a Christian (this can include far right, born again or any of the various branches of Christianity):
Although the topic varies, the debate starts and then usually concludes with nothing concrete or logical and finished in an argument with a variation of: " My/The Bible/God says you are going to hell." The leverage here is that the Christian thinks that by instilling fear into an adversary it will scare them back onto their side. Regardless of the topic being discussed it usually boils down to a difference of opinion, lifestyle and personal beliefs.

When attempting to debate with a Conservative: 
Usually the conservative's adversary is a liberal and they define a conservative's ideals as outdated, racist, sexist and in need of progress. Conservatives usually feel that others should conform to these mentioned ideals which will obviously create conflict among others with opposing viewpoints.In an effort to cling to their traditions, values and way of life, sometimes they forget that others live their lives differently. Usually culminated with the attitude of "Since you do not do as I do and believe as I believe, you are un-American (to a traditional conservative) or un-Christian (to a religious conservative)."

When attempting to debate with a Liberal:
Many self labeled liberals come from well off families who handed them everything on a silver platter and come equipped with an attitude of entitlement. Real world experience is not their strong point and some of their opinions will be based in fantasy, sugar coated or not very realistic. Encountering conflict is not in their experience and they usually do not know how to properly deal with opposing viewpoints or people different than themselves. When a liberal, as described here, senses that they are in the wrong or are losing a topic of debate the conversation will conclude with you being called a Racist and/or a Bigot, homophobe or something not even remotely related to the
conversation. Again the topic does not bear weight and it doesn't even have to make sense or be logical.

When attempting to debate with a Gay: 
While pleading for acceptance, all the while flaunting specifically and intentionally what the other person in the debate finds offensive, intentionally pushes buttons to anger those of opposite lifestyles and social beliefs. Demands other to be tolerant of their behavior and choice, but constantly infringes on others beliefs. Usually ending with a variation of "I hope your child/wife gets raped." "I will scratch your eyes out bitch." or "I could slice my wrists, bleed on you and give you A.I.D.S." All the while playing on the fears of those that sit opposite of them.

When attempting to debate with The Average Entitled American: 
Some how Adolf Hitler will get brought up or ignorant name calling will ensue.

Of course this list could go on forever along with including all the various stereotypes and groups that you can think of, but you get the point.

(source of definitions: www.dictionary.com)

For more writings of Chris Chaos visit:

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


by Chris Chaos

I cannot recall the exact time frame but I believe it was over the course of 2006 into 2007 (prior to 2008 when the American economy collapsed) I kept seeing a number constantly pop up on the caller ID and I had no idea who it was (they did not leave a message), so I googled the number and it came back to Jim Henson Studios in California, interesting. During this time frame Axis Video was doing mostly underground material so I was wondering what the Henson Company would want with us.

After I returned their call, they (based out of California) wanted to set up a conference call meeting to discuss setting up a sister satellite site in the Philly Metro area. This was also the time frame when Philly was a hotspot for filming activity, M. Night Shyamalan was in full force and Will Smith was setting up shop back in Philly.

The phone call was fast paced and contained massive amounts of information that would take me days to digest. They chose us due to our track record with our previous video work and also because of our connections with the documentary “A World Without Boundaries”. (Some notable organizations and familiar Hollywood faces were attached) Over the next 3 years they wanted us to work on the project of securing the grounds, rights, equipment, permits, antennas, personnel etc and build this from the ground up. (it was a $500 million deal)

This was a bit out of our league since our expertise was strictly in producing videos and not securing rights, licenses, permits and the right to construct a massive studio. The instructions were clear and the studio had to be based in the Philly Metro market and built from the ground up to their specifications and could not be nestled into an existing building. No one in Axis Video knew anything about construction nor how to secure the appropriate licenses to start the process, so we had to delicately decline this wonderful offer. We wanted to take a more minor role and not be the one spearheading the whole project since we were far from qualified.

During this time period (approx 2007) you may have remembered us recruiting through various head hunting companies concerning this business matter. Construction, managers etc…from the top to the bottom…..once after all the initial legwork was complete and the building and network was set up we would just have almost unlimited funding to complete projects and develop talent for this expanded entity. A new television network for the East Coast….

You may have also remembered us looking for what we referred to as the “Philly 20”…basically what it was if selected through a display of hard work and dedication you would have been the go to person and the #1 pick for any production work in the area that we were involved in. Example would be if an event was happening in the Philly area and you were a photographer, you would be approached 1st to photograph it. Examples of artists/talent/skills that were needed were: photographers, house band, videographers, actors, models, DJs, directors, sound operators, stagehands, electricians etc etc etc. A top notch budget was in place and the minimum pay out for any work performed under this new entity was $600 (the payment block was set up for this amount even if it was only 1 hour worth of work performed) It was a wonderful opportunity but many of the people that enrolled to be interviewed for the opportunity flaked and caused a huge set back in the plans…then the economic collapse of 2008 occurred and put a hold on ANY expansion, especially in the entertainment field.

This was a slight blemish on the face of Philly and some of the people that operate here, but we hope the economy comes out of the slump so we can pick up where we left off.

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


by Chris Chaos

Many opportunities can present themselves and it can be quite difficult to sift through them all and determine what is worth devoting your time to. This situation occurred to us back in 2008 when we were approached by a well known cable television channel to produce a "ghost hunting" themed show based on the work that we were doing with our Jersey Devil documentary and our plans to film a documentary and write a book series that eventually became known as "CURSED: An Explanation of the Unknown". An actress that we used in one of our shorts connected us to the producers and we were highly appreciative.  Being approached by the producers of the channel was mighty interesting to us and this was also prior to the fad of all the current “ghost hunting” television programs. They wanted to follow us around as we conducted office and field investigations in the search for the Jersey Devil and also the various abandoned and supposed haunted locations that we were investigating at the time.

In initial meetings this project seemed promising until they starting dictating terms that would end up being misleading and false for the viewers. We wished to conduct legit investigations, research and provide the evidence backed by science that we collected, but they stated that if nothing was found that we would have to embellish it with "exciting“ insertions of E.V.P.s, orbs, sounds and other encounters that may have not occurred. using logic we countered back that there is no scientific based concerning orbs or E.V.P's and they have been disproven many times over. They countered with "It doesn't really matter, we wish to entertain the audience, not educate them." We rebelled and stated our points again on how we wished to conduct legit investigations and provide the results without embellishments. The producers restated their terms and said "Take it or leave it.“ They wanted me to sign a waiver that included following their script and give them permission to take creative liberties in the editing process to use as they see fit. I didn't want to go through all that we did and would just to have our findings distorted and manipulated.

The pay per episode with the addition of riders and perks were very enticing, but compromising and allowing the producers to manipulate the information would just defeat the whole purpose of the documentary that we have been working on for many years. For the most part each episode was almost as scripted out as a sitcom or a movie. There were certain points that we had to make and we had to find something "haunting" or "positive evidence" in each show, if not, it would be added in later.

We had one last meeting hoping that we could have our terms reconsidered and we could do a straight up investigative show without anything fake or misleading being inserted into the program. The producers wouldn't budge and stated that the clause would still be in effect that things might be added to spice the show up at their discretion. So we declined and moved onto the next project.

So here we are heading into 2015 with an awesome track record and much information for our Jersey Devil documentary called "THE SEARCH FOR THE JERSEY DEVIL" (along with 2 books on the subject) and the CURSED series which will contain 3 books.

Cursed: An Explanation of the Unknown:

Cursed: Revisited


(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey.  He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com) 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

DEBORAH SMITH LEEDS: Did she give birth to the Jersey Devil?

by Chris Chaos

The facts:
Deborah Smith was born in 1685 in Burlington County, New Jersey and died as Deborah Leeds in 1748 in Atlantic County New Jersey. She was a Quaker and married Japhet Leeds giving birth to 12 of his children. Deborah was the daughter of Daniel Smith and Mary Murfin. There is much speculation and much of the details may have been lost to time. In those times it was an old practice to name the first son after the parents, which in her situation was not true. Deborah named her first son Robert, and her sixth son, Daniel, bore the name of her father. Japheth's father was also named Daniel. Her first child Mary was born 1704, and her last known child by Japheth, Hannah, was
born 1726.

Some information provided supports the idea that Deborah was not the daughter of Daniel Smith and Mary Murfin:
"Mary's (Murfin) Granddaughter Hannah Callender wrote a diary & listed her Grandparents' children & Deborah is not listed. Extracts from the diary of Hannah Callendar--Daniel & Mary Murfin Smith were her Grandparents.All info on dates (birth & death) taken from Daniel Smith's family Bible June 20, 1759 by Hannah Callender--
'The Diary of Hannah Callender Sansom--Sense & sensibility in the age of the American Revolution,' Edited by Susan E. Klepp & Karin Wulf."

Much research would need to be conducted to find a birth record , perhaps in old Quaker meeting records of Burlington County, New Jersey, we can't be sure. We do know that there were several Smiths who attended Quaker Meetings along with her husband's family.Checking census records for the area, Deborah and Japhet did have a confirmed 12 children. In the Leed's Point area she is the only person that fit the profile of Mother Leeds without embellishment. The time frame was right on also since most legends place the Jersey Devil's birth in 1735. Since her last (confirmed) born child was born in 1726, in 1735 Deborah would have been 50 years old. Back in the 1700's it would have been highly unlikely that a woman in her 50's would have had a successful birth due to the primitive medical care. This might lead us to speculate and explore the possibilities that the 13th child was born handicapped, mentally retarded or disfigured over a real life devil or beast.

There are also political/religious reasons for the legend of the Jersey Devil to appear. Deborah was a Quaker and possibly converted to Episcopalian after she married Japhet. He was also a Quaker but in 1688 had a falling out with his church and then converted to Episcopalian and was christened at St. Mary's of Burlington in 1703. This rift may explain why Deborah was accused of being a witch and how the word "devil" made it into the Leed's/Jersey Devil's name.

Originally the Jersey Devil was called the Leed's Devil, it was not until the 1900's the Jersey Devil name came around. Other names he was called were Hoodle-Doodle Bird, Wozzle Bug, flying hoof and winged dog.

Abstract of Japhet's will from 30 NJA1st 295-296:
1736, Feb. 5. Leeds, Japhet, of Great Egg Harbor, Gloucester Co., yeoman; will of. Wife, Deborah. Sons-Robert, land bought of Benjamin Jennings near a brook, formerly called Wigwam Creek, southeast to Holly Swamp brook; John, land, 200 acres, bought of his uncle Felix Leeds, by the south branch of Landing Creek; Japhet, the plantation I live on by the Bay northwest to Maple Swamp; Nehemiah, land adjoining Jeremiah Addams; James (youngest son), land bought of Benjamin Jennings, adjoining his brother Robert's; and Daniel, not 14. Daughters-Mary, eldest (alias Somers), Sarah, Deborah, Dorothy, Ann and Hannah. Cedar swamps on Bever Run and
Proprietary Rights to the sons. Executors-sons John and Japhet. Witnesses - Jeremiah Adams, Abel Scull, Isaac Addams. Affirmed 15
Dec., 1748.
Lib. 6, p. 10.
1748, Nov. 4. Inventory, L213.17.3; made by Abel Scull, Joseph Johnson.

Here are the names and information concerning the children of Deborah and Japhet Leeds:
1. Mary, born 1704; married Samuel Somers.
2. Robert, born 1706; married Abigail Higbee.
3. John, born 1708; married (first) Rebecca Cordery; (second) Sarah (Mathis) Coate.
4. Japheth, born 1710, died 1781; married Rebecca Woodward.
5. Nehemiah, born 1712; married Elizabeth Woodward.
6. James, born 1714.
7. Daniel, 1716; in 1757 surveyor general of New Jersey; married (first) Susannah Steelman; (second) Rebecca Steelman; his children
were: Susanna, married James Scull (q. v.) ; Dorcas, and Rachael.
8. Sarah, born 1718; probably married Thomas Wilson.
9. Deborah, born 1720; married Hugh Neale.
10. Dorothy, born 1722; married Jonathan Husted.
11. Ann, born 1724; married Nathaniel Thomas.
12. Hannah, born February 18, 1726, died November 24, 1762; married Peter Steelman.
13. The Jersey Devil also known as the 13th Child.

To follow along with the documentary, go here:

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

THE PURGATORY HOUSE/ROAD (UPDATED 3-26-15) Route 70 and Purgatory Road, Vincentown NJ

by Chris Chaos

A nice little gem in Vincentown along Route 70. There are many legends and stories that go along with this location; we will touch on a few of them.

Updated Video

There are tales of orgies, animal sacrifice and ghosts haunting this location. One of the legends that attempts to explain the ghost girl (that lived in the house) was that a 17 year old girl named Maria Alacon died in a car crash in 1978 on Church Road and 541 as she was heading back to Lenape High School from lunch. They say the accident decapitated her. In this crash Brian Pittman (from Main Street in Vincentown) was also killed. The driver of the car lived but people claim it wasn’t his fault for at the time there was no traffic light at this intersection and they were hit by a large truck carrying logs.

Maria's mother was very religious and knew of the evil sources that the house possessed and finally left the property.

 Purgatory house

Some say a girl still lives on the property. Could this be Maria? Some say the kitchen floor shakes from the captured anguish and anger in the house. The current owners decided not to tear the house down due to the historic value and the legends that surround the location.

Many people wonder why the road and this location had the name Purgatory in it. The Oxford Dictionary also states that the word Purgatory refers to streams that flow in a ravine. Purgatory Road takes its name from Purgatory Run because the road crosses the headwaters of that stream. The toponym “Purgatory Run” dates to at least 1838 and is generally associated with Bear Swamp. Purgatory Run may have received its name because it may have contained enough water to make its presence known, but not enough water to power a mill, thereby making it a source of suffering. Bear Swamp could have brought temporary suffering to the landowner, likely a member of the Prickett family. I am sure the swamp was quite a dismal place, although, once the owner had harvested the Cedar trees, I suspect he no longer felt the place was a purgatory.


UPDATE: The Purgatory House caught fire and burned down in Sept of 2011. The cause is under investigation


We were out with a client and afterwards found ourselves right next to Purgatory Road and the Purgatory House so we decided to stop and obtain an update. As we have known there was a fire a few years back and the place burned down, all that was left is a pile of rubble and the chimney along with a temporary lake that formed due to the melting snow and the torrential downpour that occurred today.

Based on the "Coming Soon" signs along Route 70 in the same area we can only assume that shortly this property will also be sold to developers to make mini malls or more housing developments. 

The Purgatory House was an interesting location with a haunting past and we are glad that we were able to document it prior to its untimely demise.

Additional Info for the Purgatory house:

1699 Route 70
Southampton, NJ 08088

Sold for $125,000 on Sept 19, 2003

Status Not For Sale
House Size 4,000 Sq Ft
Lot Size 1.39 Acres
Year Built 1962
(Taken from public record)

For more information:

(Chris Chaos is a long time resident of South Jersey who once again resides in and writes from Gloucester City, New Jersey. He is a filmmaker, a business owner, writer, urban explorer and investigator of the odd and weird, a proud parent, happily taken and a connoisseur of hot wings. Chris can be reached at AxisVideo@aol.com)