Anita's Notebook - Life is better with stories!


  • About This Blog

    A picture of Anita Wirawan in Anchorage, Alaska.

    My name is Anita Wirawan and I love stories :).
    Stories can: make you smile -- show a deeper meaning behind something -- or even change your life.
    I started this blog in 2008 after my brother Jody died & over the years it's become my notebook for stories.

    My mission is to find the best stories to share with you.
    So go ahead... look around and read some stories!

    If you have questions or comments, text (909) 264-8248 or email me using the form below...

    Yes I will answer :) just make sure you put in your email address:
  • **What are people saying about the stories on Anita's Notebook??**

    Love the stories I've read so far,can't wait for another one!
    -Melissa N




    hey anita this story was mind blowing and scary .I n my friends freaked out after reading this story ,awesome job man !!!!!!!


    i wanted to thank you for all of your amazing stories.
    -Paniz S


    i couldn't choose one so i chose all they were all gr8
    -Karina C


    I love it honey....stuff like that makes me tear up every just goes to show the bond of siblings no matter how much they agree and disagree.
    -Tonja H


    This is much more believable then that stupid rugrats theory thanks for putting the truth out there :-D
    -Ivy S


    Haaiiii (: i just started reading your blog, you are amazing :o!^___^ lol
    -Angie M




    that was soo scary ^ ^ those red eyes gave me the creeps lol


    I like more stories as it's near Halloween. I find them quite interesting while I'm in bed for the night. Keep up the good work
    -Tracey C


    That was an awesome story personaily i love slender man so this story just made my day
    -Evie M


    i read all of ur stories lol i just love scary stories ^ ^


    I enjoyed the article about Hello kitty's history. I learned many things throughout this article and had a few laughs as well.
    -Charity M


    I love this story, I love to read your storys before I go to sleep its very exciting and it just makes me wanna read more and more ... Anita, I love your stories just keep them coming. :)


    This is a beautiful and heartwarming story. Thanks!


    Loved both stories the scary one nd the boy with the coins nd mean waitress :) cant wait for more stories :D


    i liked it! can you send me all your new storys plz


    -Doralina P


    Hope you post more scary stories. :D, Loved this! Now we all just need a campfire and some smores :D


    it helps me to just come here and look up stories. it also helps me past the time by when im not tending to childern. i loved the story of bloody mary. its my favorite thing to read about. so thank you for puting up this notebook.
    -Desiray M


    I like this better than the more "traditional" Cinderella stories, frankly.


    Hi Anita, So this isn't a question, but I recently saw your posts about the Hey Arnold! truth and then, about the Rugrats truth. I just wanted to say thank you writing these posts. I have been wondering the real stories for a long time, hoping that the "truths" I kept reading about were untrue. And now I know they are. You saved my childhood=o) Also, I love stories too=o)


    The stories you've posted so far have really fueled my interest in legends
    -Joyce S


    Lovely. Last night I read it, as if I'm a child. The more I read the more I was delighted. I wanted that this be real :). Thank you, I love this.
    -Lizbeth W


    Oh my god , this is so weird i been looking for answers like this for many years thank you! : )


    More STORIES PLEASE ! I love them !!!
    -Brianna C


    I have been reading your stories for a long time and you have inspired me to look further in to things than just the obvious. you have made my life so interesting, THANK YOU. (:


*Ghost In The Tunnel: The Haunting Story Of Colonel Barog*

Picture of the haunted Barog Tunnel in India.There’s a certain train tunnel in India that’s become the source of many strange stories.

It’s never actually had a train go through it in the many years since it was made. Instead it’s become a place where people go test their courage by walking into the deep, dark tunnel to try to make contact with the ghost that haunts it…


I came across this story after getting an email from longtime blog reader Yash, who wrote:

Hey Anita can you send some ghost stories from India I would love to see a ghost story from India.

It set me on the lookout for Indian ghost stories, and this one about the Barog Tunnel caught my eye right away because there’s a true story behind it.

The story starts with a man called Colonel Barog, who was the engineer in charge of blasting a tunnel through a mountain for the Kalka-Shimla Railway.

Picture representing Colonel Barog making the Barog Tunnel in India.Colonel Barog ordered the tunnel to be built from both sides of the mountain at the same time, this way everything would get done faster and he’d be sure to earn public praise for his good work.

The two work crews set to doing the grueling work of digging and blasting through the solid rock at each end of the mountain. Since they couldn’t see which way they were going, Colonel Barog instructed them to follow his calculations on which way to dig. The plan was that the two tunnels would meet in the middle and become a single tunnel that a train could go through.

However, when the two crews got to the middle of the mountain they couldn’t get the tunnels to meet up …no matter how much they kept digging! After a while it became clear that Colonel Barog’s calculations were wrong, way wrong. As in, life shattering, publicly humiliating kind of wrong.

The government was so angry with Colonel Barog for making such a mistake that they made him pay a fine and publicly reprimanded him. And the people in the work crews, well they were furious since their hard work had been all for nothing.

Surrounded by people who seemed to hate him and unable to live with the humiliation any longer, Picture of the door to the abandoned Barog Tunnel in Barog, India.Colonel Barog made a fateful decision. He rode his horse to the dark entrance of his unfinished tunnel one day and killed himself …and he has never left the place since.


Colonel Barog was buried in a grave not far from the abandoned tunnel and almost right away there were rumors of his ghost being seen lingering nearby. Meanwhile a new engineer was hired, and with the help of a local shaman, was finally able to make a new tunnel through the mountain. The new tunnel was named Barog Tunnel and a nearby city named Barog City after Colonel Barog, in remembrance of his story.

Yet the ghost of Colonel Barog did not feel at peace. Over the years many people were frightened out of the new tunnel by the apparition of Colonel Barog riding his horse from one end to the other, over and over again as if in frustration.

The site of the other tunnel, the abandoned one, became a place that people would dare each other to go into.

It’s an eerie place that has water dripping from it’s ceiling and is mostly filled with water. And after a few steps inside it gets very dark. The government put a metal door over the front to block the entrance into it, but someone broke the lock and now anyone can just push open the creaky old door and go inside.
Ghost Of Colonel Barog In Tunnel


People who walk into the tunnel have experienced strange things, like seeing the ghost of Colonel Barog hovering above the water or even hearing him talk to them from the darkness.

In fact getting the ghost of Colonel Barog to talk to them is one of the main goals of people going into the abandoned tunnel, as it’s said that if he likes a person he will sit down and talk with them. I’m not sure I could have a talk with a ghost without having a heart attack at some point in the conversation, but that’s just me.

In recent years the abandoned tunnel has attracted much attention and has been widely regarded one of the most haunted sites in India. Ironically all this haunting activity has made the tunnel (and Colonel Barog) far more famous than it ever could have been otherwise. I wonder what Colonel Barog would think of that?

Well there’s only one way to find out… if you’re ever in the area of Barog, India how about you go into the abandoned tunnel and ask him for me :-D.


*Greed And Gold: The Story Of King Midas And The Golden Touch*

Picture of King Midas from the story of the golden touch.Ever heard of the saying ‘the golden touch’ (as in, “she has a golden touch, everything always works out for her no matter what”)?

That saying comes from a story in Greek mythology about a man named King Midas who gained the power to turn anything into gold with just a single touch, but it didn’t work out quite like he expected…


One quiet evening King Midas was sitting in his beautiful palace counting his many piles of gold. Suddenly two of his guards burst through the doors and into the room. They were practically out of breath and each one was gripping an arm of a strange looking being, a half-man half-goat creature called a satyr.

Picture of Silanus the satyr, teacher of Dionysus.It only took a second to see why the guards had to grip onto the satyr, the creature was so drunk that another drop of wine would probably make him pass out.

The guards quickly explained that they had found the satyr stumbling around the royal rose garden with a jug of wine in his hand and singing loudly to the moon. They wanted to know if King Midas thought the creature should be thrown into a dungeon or simply tossed outside of the city gates.

King Midas, however, knew that doing either of those would be a very bad idea. He recognized the satyr as a good friend of Dionysus, the god of wine and chaos. Dionysus wasn’t someone whose bad side you wanted to get on that’s for sure, so King Midas ordered the guards to let the satyr go at once.

“Welcome to my palace honorable Silenus!” said King Midas to the satyr, “Sorry for the rough treatment, the guards didn’t recognize who you were.”

Silenus replied with a smile and mumbled something about getting lost from his group while they were out partying. Then he stumbled sideways over to a nearby table and fell asleep right on top of it.


Picture of King Midas counting his golden coins.King Midas was a clever man and realized that he had a chance to make the strange situation with the satyr into a way to earn the favor of Dionysus. And maybe, if he was lucky, he might even get a nice pile of golden coins for his trouble.

King Midas wined and dined Silenus, treating him as an honored royal guest for quite some time. Then he personally escorted Silenus on the road back to where Dionysus was holding festivities.

Dionysus was so grateful for the return of his beloved friend that he immediately told King Midas he’d grant whatever wish he wanted, no matter what it was.

Well King Midas couldn’t believe his incredible luck. His first thought was to wish for a life-sized mountain made from golden coins, but then he had another idea that made his eyes sparkle with excitement.

“My wish is for anything I touch to turn into gold,” he said quickly, before Dionysus could change his mind.

Dionysus paused for a moment, then said “Are you sure this is what you really want? Perhaps …something else… would be better.”

But King Midas was adamant, what could be better than an endless supply of glittering gold?

“So be it,” said Dionysus and granted the wish.


Picture of King Midas demonstrating the golden touch.

King Midas rushed back to the palace to show off his newfound power to the people there. He walked up to a tree in the royal courtyard and touched a branch with his fingers and immediately the entire tree turned to solid gold, leaves and all.

He had a marvelous time turning every object in the courtyard into piles of gleaming gold right before the eyes of his astonished subjects, and that night a feast was held in honor of his new abilities. But as he bit down on his food he got a nasty shock on his teeth –the food had turned to solid gold in his hand.

Picture of the food of King Midas turned to gold.Frantically King Midas grabbed portion after portion of food, but each time it turned to gold. He tried to take a drink of wine to calm himself down …but the wine turned to solid gold as soon as it touched his lips.

By this time he was in great distress and everybody at the large table was noticing. “I’m going to starve to death! he said in exasperation.

What happened next changed King Midas’ life forever. Princess Aurelia, wanting to comfort her father, got up from her chair and gave him a reassuring hug. Instantly her entire body was transformed into solid gold.

Standing before him, where his daughter used to be, was now a beautiful but lifeless golden statue.


King Midas was insane with grief, his lust for gold had taken away the one thing he truly cared about in the world. He knew that his only hope now was to go back to Dionysus and beg to get rid of the golden touch. But when he got there he found that Dionysus did not want to cooperate.

Picture of King Midas in the Pactolus river.“You yourself chose this gift, and now you want to return it?”, said Dionysus raising an eyebrow.

King Midas begged and pleaded, he told the story of what happened to his daughter and how he would trade all the gold in the world to be able to have her back as she used to be. At this Dionysus finally relented.

“Go to the river Pactolus and wash yourself in the water. Then all will be as it was before you received your gift,” said Dionysus waving him away.

King Midas wasted no time going to the river Pactolus. He put his hands in the water and where the river flowed over them there were bright streams of gold. From that day forward the Pactolus river has always had gold mixed in with the sand on it’s riverbanks. More importantly though, the Princess Aurelia was restored to her former self.

King Midas was never the same after this experience, now even just the thought of anything gold would make him shudder. He retired from running the kingdom and was often seen walking through the forest admiring the simple pleasures of nature. But his favorite thing to do by far was even more simple: to sit and have a nice dinner …while enjoying every delicious bite of food and sip of wine, with no gold to be seen anywhere.

1 Comment  

*Embracing Stories: Shoutout This Week To Jessica*

A heart representing story shoutouts on Anita's Notebook.I’ve been sending shoutouts out with the weekly email to subscribers for a while now, but for some reason have never thought to post them on the blog too. 0_o

…well… now’s always a good time to start right?

Anyway the shoutout this week is to Jessica, who wrote:

I love stories and embrace them in my life too.I wish you good luck.

Thank you so much Jessica. I really like how you described it as embracing stories in your life, I totally get that. As far as I’m concerned the more stories the better X).

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*The Hobbit: The Strange Story Of How JRR Tolkien Came Up With The Idea*

Picture of Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey.No doubt you’ve heard of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, it’s one of the top bestselling books of all time and has even been made into several movies.

But did you ever wonder how JRR Tolkien even came up with the idea of hobbits in the first place?

Turns out that hobbits were originally inspired by the strangest of things: a blank sheet of paper.

JRR Tolkien was working as a teacher in the early 1930′s and one day he was sitting at his desk grading a pile of papers his students had recently turned in. Frankly he was bored of it but it was a task that had to get done, so he continued to go through page after dull page.

Suddenly he came across a paper that for whatever reason the student had left completely blank. This was a breath of fresh air for Tolkien and gave him a bit of an escape from the dreary work he had to do.

He stared at the piece of paper for a bit and then suddenly, for no particular reason, wrote “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Picture of the book cover of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien with Smaug on the front.The thing is, JRR Tolkien had no clue why he wrote that line …or even what hobbits were supposed to be. But in the days afterwards the line stuck with him and he just couldn’t get it out of his mind. He said about this later on:

Names always suggest a story in my mind, eventually I thought I’d better find out what hobbits are like.

So JRR Tolkien started to write about hobbits to find out what they were like, and two years later he had completed one of the bestselling books of all time.

I wonder if that student who turned in the blank page ever had any idea of what kind of impact their decision had on history. One thing is for sure though, next time you randomly come across a blank page don’t ignore it, you never know what could happen in you start writing!


Thanks for reading this blog :).

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