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Paranormal Underground

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Volume 3, Issue 12

December 2010

Catherine Holderby SPEAKS to the Spirits of Gettysburg

2010: Paranormal Year In Review

Behind the Scenes at The Myrtles Plantation Memories in Stone: The Earliest Ghosts of Gettysburg The Kecksburg UFO Crash of 1965 Also Inside: • Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel • Case Files: Investigating the Klondike • TV Watch: Conspiracy Theory • Movie Review: Dead End

• December Book Review: forUnderground Mars 2010 Packing Paranormal

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• Reader Poll: A Christmas Carol Favorites

My name is Thomas “Mr.T” Perryman I am an Ex-Law Enforcement Officer and Private Investigator that will now concentrate on my examinations of the Paranormal and Crypto Zoology Mysteries.

Through my vast experience and resources I am performing field investigations on these subjects to provide a different approach than others. I have great stories from Past Cases and Current Cases to share. My discussions are Entertaining as well as informative. I have written many Books, appeared in Horror films, and host a Radio Show. I am available for Convention Bookings and Appearances.

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If you have any questions please contact me personally. I look forward to your next Event and we are all on the Quest to find the Answers! Paranormal Underground

Phone (407) 416-4807

December 2010

E-Mail flmvp@hotmail.com

Inside This Issue

ISSUE SNAPSHOT

FEATURES INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Catherine Holderby SPEAKS to the Spirits of Gettysburg

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SPECIAL REPORT 2010: Paranormal Year In Review

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CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites Behind the Scenes at The Myrtles Plantation

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Haunted History Memories in Stone: The Earliest Ghosts of Gettysburg

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Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Feral Cat Debbie’s Christmas Gift

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Are We Alone? The Kecksburg UFO Crash of 1965

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PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Ghost Hunter Case Files: Investigating the Klondike A Date With . . . Chip Coffey Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel

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FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR

DEPARTMENTS Contributors Ghost Hunter Comic Publisher’s Letter Calendar of Events TV Watch:

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Conspiracy Theory

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Reader Profile:

“Vocal Indifference” by Wayne Harris-Wyrick

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Thomas Perryman

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Reviews of the Month:

PARANORMAL FANTASY AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Elisabeth Naughton

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A Christmas Carol Packing for Mars Dead End

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Contributors Heidi Ann Heidi Ann has been a paranormal enthusiast since childhood when she had her own encounter. Her personal experience led her to question the world around her. Heidi is a mother of three sons, works as a special education paraprofessional in a middle school, and loves watching television shows and reading books on the paranormal.

Paul Bottini Paul has written several eBooks about haunted sites, UFO sightings, and cryptid lore. When not writing, Paul travels the countryside in search of UFOs, hotspots of high strangeness, ethereal beasts, and anything remotely paranormal. Paul also designs Web graphics and animations. Visit his Website at http://zzyzxparanormal.com for more information.

Jenny Brown Jenny has always been fascinated with the unknown and paranormal activity. She has had a few experiences in her life that she’s not been able to explain or debunk. After joining www. paranormalunderground.net and meeting fellow paranormal enthusiasts, Jenny investigated a reportedly haunted location. However, after investigating herself, Jenny said she learned just how easy it is to manufacture paranormal evidence or misconstrue experiences as being paranormal.

Susan Fair Susan works for a library and a newspaper, lives in the country, and is a freelance writer and photographer. She describes herself as proj-

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ect-oriented, curious, and inspired. Susan has been published in Taps Paramagazine, Gettysburg Experience, and several other publications.

Karen Frazier Karen is the managing editor of Paranormal Underground magazine. After living in a WWIIera apartment 20 years ago where unexplainable things happened, Karen began to search for answers about the paranormal. Now she combines that interest with her professional experience as a copy writer and technical writer to help bring Paranormal Underground to the public. Karen is a partner with Ghost Knight Media.

Terri J. Garofalo Terri is a paranormal investigator, as well as the artist and writer behind Entities-R-Us, Ghost Hunter Comic. She’s a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer in Hyde Park, New York. You can find her work on www. entities-r-us.com, or contact Terri at terri@entities-r-us.com.

Rick E. Hale A native of Chicago, Rick investigates with the McHenry County Paranormal Research Group. A paranormal researcher since the age of eight, Rick is happily married and digs Jazz. He believes in the use of the scientific method in gathering evidence of paranormal claims. The first installment of Rick’s book series, The Geek’s Guide to the Strange and Unusual, will be released soon by Ghost Knight Media.

December 2010

Cheryl Knight Cheryl is editorin-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine, director of Publications & Editing Services for Ghost Knight Media, and producer of Paranormal Underground Radio. She has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, and has published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from advanced technology to paranormal investigation. Cheryl’s previous magazine experience includes roles as senior and managing editor for several business publications.

Michelle M. Pillow Michelle is an award-winning author writing in many romance fiction genres, including futuristic and paranormal. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything paranormal. She’s also a photographer and cohost of Raven Radio. Readers and listeners can contact Michelle at www.michellepillow.com.

Rob St.Helen Rob has been a paranormal investigator for more than five years. He had his first paranormal experience at the age of 11. Rob is a member of West Coast Ghost Hunters, based out of Portland Oregon, where he was born and raised. He currently works the graveyard shift at The Heathman Hotel. He has come to find that the hotel is haunted.

Jill Stefko, Ph.D. Jill has studied the paranormal since 1957, including parapsychology, cryptozoology, Fortean phe-

Ghost Hunter Comic

nomena, anomalies, UFOs, aliens, demonic possession, and exorcism. She hosts workshops and lectures and has been a guest on radio talk shows and local TV. Jill investigates alleged cases of the paranormal and counsels experients. She is the Feature Writer in the paranormal topic for www.suite101.com.

Chad Wilson A writer of articles and fiction, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine and a partner for Ghost Knight Media. He has parlayed his avid interest in the paranormal into a top-notch publication and Website — www.ParanormalUnderground. net. Chad has investigated with East

Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, and private residences among his investigations.

Ronald Wolf Ronald has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines in three different countries. He is a former newspaper owner who specializes in photography and writing. Historical research, research of the occult, and interview skills make Ronald a natural writer of the paranormal. His voyage into the supernatural started in the fifth grade when he read his first Hans Holzer book. Ronald presently writes a weekly column entitled Things That Go Bump in a Canadian Night.

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Wayne Harris-Wyrick Wayne is the director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, part of Science Museum Oklahoma (www. sciencemuseumok. org), where he’s known as the Celestial Wizard. He writes a monthly astronomy column for the state’s largest daily circulation newspaper. He’s the editor of the Report, the quarterly publication of the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation (owfi.org). Wayne writes non-fiction articles and short science fiction stories. His favorite form of writing is micro-fiction (complete stories under 100 words).

If you are interested in contributing articles, artwork, or design ideas to Paranormal Underground magazine, e-mail editor@paranormalunderground.net.

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Publisher’s Letter Paranormal Underground® Volume 3, Issue 12

December 2010

www.ParanormalUnderground.net

EDITORIAL

Life as We Know It

Publisher Chad Wilson

Publisher@paranormalunderground.net

Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight

Editor@paranormalunderground.net

Managing Editor Karen Frazier

KarenFrazier@paranormalunderground.net

Science Editor J.D. Harrison

Proofreader Heidi Ann

Contributors Heidi Ann Paul Bottini Jenny Brown Susan Fair Karen Frazier Terri J. Garofalo Wayne Harris-Wyrick Cheryl Knight Michelle M. Pillow Rob St.Helen Jill Stefko, Ph.D. Chad Wilson Ronald Wolf Copyright © 2008-2010 — Paranormal Underground® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. As such, Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of its owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. Paranormal Underground magazine is a publication of Ghost Knight Media, LLC.

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W

ith the recent NASA arsenic still present, sticking to the discovery of an arsenicDNA like glue. eating life form found So, it seems things are as they at the bottom of a California lake, it were. We still have no proof that life seems that we are set for a revolution forms can evolve any other way than in our thinking of how life evolves. If as we know it. “Real” science has this discovery is legitimate, it would saved the day; we Earthlings are still seem that life like us could not the predominant species in the Galalways be the case. axy. Or is that what they Being carbon-based want you to think (insert life forms, we subsist on wink here)? oxygen, good old H2O, Could it be that the as well as various proteins, powers that be, in order unlike the bacteria found to preserve the status quo, by NASA in California that have discredited the find survive on arsenic, which is to keep us commoners poisonous to humans. And from going into a panic, even though the bacteria is rioting, and overthrowing Chad Wilson, carbon-based, like all life on their carefully constructed Publisher Earth, it is different enough regime? The sad truth is to make one think about what the that we will probably never know. possibilities might truly be. Chances are that NASA probI would normally be happy ably did find something at the botabout the prospect that science had tom of a lake in California, and they been proven wrong. I get annoyed followed proper procedure — they with the notion that Earth’s scienare scientists after all. tists somehow have all the answers. I do believe there are life forms However, since NASA’s groundthat feed on arsenic out there, as well breaking announcement, there have as an infinite number of other things. been reports that NASA jumped the There are probably life forms that gun. Some say the reported arsenicare not carbon-based at all, but built eating life form may not eat arsenic on such things as silicone, or whatafter all. They claim NASA rushed ever strikes your imaginative fancy. to judgement. Will our society ever be ready New claims say the NASA specto look past the human race as the imen was contaminated, because only life form, intelligent or otherthose studying it did not properly wise, in the Galaxy? Time will tell. clean it of arsenic before dissecting Until then, my hope is that everyone it; thus, when they delved into it, keeps an open mind to the possibilithe bacteria was contaminated by ties of our Galaxy and beyond.

December 2010

Paranormal Underground速 Volume 3, Issue 12

December 2010

www.ParanormalUnderground.net

ART Art Director Chad Wilson

Design and Layout Cheryl Knight

On the Cover Gettysburg, PA, U.S. www.avalancheofspirits.com

Promotions Promotions/Marketing Karen Frazier

KarenFrazier@paranormalunderground.net

MySpace

www.myspace.com/paranormalunderground

Twitter

http://twitter.com/ParanormalUG

YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG

Advertising Interested in Advertising in Paranormal Underground Magazine, on our Website, or in our Podcasts? Call 1-714-646-4197 or e-mail: editor@paranormalunderground.net

Send comments and letters to: editor@paranormalunderground.net.

December 2010

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Calendar of Events 2011 February 18–19

Haunted America West Coast Conference Scottish Rite Event Center San Diego, California www.americanspookshows.com/ west.html

February 23–27

International UFO Congress Fort McDowell Resort & Casino Scottsdale, Arizona http://ufocongress.com

February 25–27 MystiCon Holiday Inn Roanoke, Virginia www.mysticon-va.com

March 11–12

ParaCon Oddfellows Building Liberty, Missouri http://paranormaladventuresusa. com/paracon/

March 11–13

EPICCON The Cavalier Hotel Virginia Beach, Virginia http://epiccon.com

March 12

Saint Mary’s ParaCon Old Saint Mary’s Hospital Virginia City, California www.saintmarysparacon.com

March 18–20

1st Annual UFO Reykawvik Summit Liberty Hall Lawrence, Kansas www.ozufo.net

March 18–20

The Texas Ghost Show

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www.avalancheofspirits.com

Beaumont Civic Center Beaumont, Texas http://texasghostshow.eventbrite.com/

March 24–27

Phenomenology 103 Eisenhower Hotels Conference Center & Resort Gettysburg, Pennsylvania www.phenomevents.com

April 1–2

VaParanormalQuest Holiday Inn Lynchburg, Virginia www.vaparaquest.com

April 1–3

Haunting for Hope: A Paranormal Gathering Clear Creek Community Club Silverdale, Washington www.blackwolf-paranormal.com/ haunting-for-hope.php

June 3–5

GhoStock Key West Details Coming Soon http://ghostock.com

December 2010

June 10–11

Haunted America Midwest Conference Illinois College Jacksonville, Illinois www.americanspookshows.com/midwest.html

Sept. 30–Oct. 2

G.H.O.S.T.S. Paranormal & Wellness Conference & Expo Club Heidelberg St. Catharines, Ontario www.ghostsconference.com

October 8–9

Central Texas Paranormal Conference Norris Conference Center Austin, Texas www.ctparacon.com

October 28–30

The Canadian-American Horror Paranormal Conference The Old Sarnia Jail and Gallows, The Super 8 Motel Sarnia, Ontario, Canada http://www.canamparafest.com

December 2010

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TV Watch

“Conspiracy Theory”: Jesse Ventura Gets Gutsy By Chad Wilson

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have to admit that at first, I wasn’t a big fan of TruTV’s Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura. Initially, it struck me as a show that gave little new information on some really old stories. After watching one episode of the show, Host Jesse Ventura seemed overly dramatic, and the show itself came off as seemingly mindless, testosterone-filled fun. The episode I had initially watched and drawn this conclusion from was about Area 51, but I knew there were more episodes out there. So I tried another. The second episode I watched featured Plum Island . . . and I was totally blown away. Not only was I brought up to speed on what I already knew — Montauck Monster, animal testing facility — but I also learned new information: It was founded and run by former Nazi scientist Eric Traub. I also learned that they want to move the facility to Kansas, the heart of our nation, a horror story waiting to happen. But that is for another article. Here’s what I realized after sinking my teeth into Conspiracy Theory: Never give up on a show after one episode. My opinion on Jesse Ventura changed as well. He’s a damn gutsy guy. Whether he’s charging into the

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Jesse Ventura leads the Conspiracy Theory team in an effort to uncover the truth behind some of history’s most bizarre conspiracy theories.

nation’s capitol to confront those with answers or traveling to top-secret locations to uncover things he’s not supposed to uncover, he asks hard questions and expects honest answers. The bottom line: Conspiracy Theory does entertain and sometimes even informs. Jesse Ventura while at times over the top, gets his point across in a way that you can’t soon forget.

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While watching the show, I wondered if his experience in politics helped shape his portrayal of the stories at hand. His keen insights into how “the system” works just might be what gives this show its edge. He seems to have a knack at knowing when and where to dig for the truth. Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura can be watched Friday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on TruTV.

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Visit:

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December 2010

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Investigator Spotlight

Catherine Holderby SPEAKS to the Spirits of Gettysburg By Susan Fair

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t’s a dark November evening on a trail through the woods somewhere in Gettysburg. Two ghost hunters walk along chatting and fiddling with their recorders, when they are startled by a sudden rustling; a figure in 1800’s style dress emerges from the shadows. “Holy shit!” exclaims one of the ghost hunters, while the other one almost drops her recorder as she looks up to see a figure grinning and clutching a hat to her head, her masses of blond hair blowing in the wind. “Oh, it’s just Catherine,” one of the ghost hunters says. “Hey, I thought that was y’all,” the attractive, husky-voiced woman greets them and follows them out of the woods: She’s anxious for a cigarette. Long before ghost hunting became the phenomenon that it is today, iconic Gettysburg ghost hunter Catherine Holderby, has been quietly putting in years and years of research and investigation — despite the fact that the first EVP she ever caught in Gettysburg advised her to “Turn around and run.” As a matter of fact, she has now put in so much time on the battlefields that the ghosts have been known to ask for her by name. Other investigators even occasionally introduce themselves to the spirits with, “I’m a friend of Catherine’s.”

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Catherine Holderby shares her experiences and unique connection to the spirits of Gettysburg, reportedly one of America’s most haunted locations.

Born in Ohio on October 31st, Catherine eventually landed in Maryland, about an hour’s drive from Gettysburg. Here, for the first time, she shares her experiences and her unique connection to the spirit residents of America’s most haunted location. ***** Q: What was your first paranormal experience in Gettysburg?

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Catherine: It was a beautiful spring evening; the sun was just setting . . . when my husband pointed to these two guys running across Cemetery Hill. I said, “Umm, Honey, I do not see these men you are watching.” He kept trying to point them out — it was a very clear, bright night. Nope, not for my eyes to witness! Then, there appeared to be a bluewhite ball of light traveling with us along the fence line. It darted in front of us and shot across the street. It was circling around and then darted into what was then woods. We were in awe at what we just saw, the hair standing up on every inch of our bodies. Then, damn if it didn’t come back out of the woods to entertain us again. A few twists and turns and quick darts, leaving a tail it finally disappeared for good into the woods. Paranormal? I have no explanation for it. Q: How often do you visit Gettysburg? Catherine: It’s very rare that more than two weeks go by and I have not been to Gettysburg. At times, I will just stay there if I know I am going to be there a week or two at a time. I have been studying the different moon cycles, so four days before a full moon to four days after, and

Catherine Holderby photographs a train in Gettysburg (above at left) and investigates near Culp’s Hill (above at right).

four days before a new moon to four days after, I try to be there. If there is any kind of solar storm, comet, or special sky show of any kind, I try to be there. Q: Has anyone ever accused you of being obsessed with Gettysburg? Catherine: Am I being accused of it now? (laughs) Q: You seem to have a knack for catching EVPs where the spirits are actually interacting with you. Tell us about some of the EVPs you have gotten in Gettysburg, including ones that don’t seem to be related to the battle, and why you seem to have such a connection with the spirits there. Catherine: Maybe it is the style and approach I use that has somehow made a connection with the paranormal side of Gettysburg. I try to see things in their view and treat them

as a once-living spirit. I apologize when I have been absent for a long time period; when leaving I always give an estimated time when I will be returning. I say “Hello,” “Goodbye” (and I get “Good-byes” back!), “Thank you,” and “Please.” I introduce new people I bring with me. Crazy? I don’t think so — in any event, I get responses! My husband drove up one night to meet me . . . when I caught an EVP calling him a very nasty name. I was getting some vulgar EVPs there until I corrected them. I had my girls there and introduced them. I told the ghosts to behave themselves. The next day we returned and caught an EVP saying “Welcome back girls.” My daughter’s name is Tera, and I have one saying, “Welcome back Tera.” I have them saying they love me and “I have always loved you, Babe.” Not sure what that is all about! I get a British woman. She gave

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me a warning I guess: “Nothing’s safe for Catherine.” Another one, at the mass gravesite, said, “I have a missing persons.” I had one last year call my dog “Bad girl!” — at least I think it was referring to her. (laughs) I’ve had them take rides with me in my car, not by invitation mind you. I caught them saying, “Let’s get out of this thing!” I really don’t drive that bad! The strangest one by far . . . I captured an EVP saying, “Let’s build a spaceship!” and another one called my husband “Batman.” Q: You’re well known for an experience you had years back where you heard and caught on tape the sound of a horse and wagon on the battlefield. Can you tell us about it? Catherine: There was an experience that took place on the anniversary of the battle, July 2nd. It was my daughter, step-daughter, and I.

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Investigator Spotlight

Iconic Gettysburg researcher Catherine Holderby stands on the Trail in Gettysburg, using a saber as a “trigger object” (above at left). She captures EVPs in the Wheatfield in Gettysburg (above at right).

We had spent most of the evening at this spot. We were all tired, hungry, and needed a restroom break. As we prepared to leave, the three of us heard this loud, and I mean loud, audible clanking/rolling noise start coming toward us, hauling butt! There was nothing in sight as we heard it coming closer and closer. In the tapes, you hear it get right up on us, and we can clearly hear a horse exhale loudly right next to me. We all heard it, saw nothing, and caught it on both recorders. Q: Do you have anyone you consider a ghost hunting mentor? Catherine: When my girls and I caught the EVP on July 2, we took it into town to one of the ghost tour places. They had us wait for the tour guide to arrive back. He found it quite awesome himself — matter of fact, he still plays it on his tours today to get their attention. We talked for hours that night and began a wonderful friendship.

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He took me under his wing, gave me the guidance and info I needed to take off running on my own. We are still investigating together. Thank you Larry Phelps! I would like to mention a wonderful person who blows me away with his science knowledge . . . he has taken the time to go into detail with me over many a question — thank you David Rountree! Q: Any advice for someone ghost hunting in Gettysburg? Catherine: First and foremost, remember this is a battlefield — Gettysburg is not a haunted house at some carnival! Show the respect and honor these men deserve for laying their lives down when called to duty. Try to learn some of the history. Understand what actually took place and the significance of the battle. Visit the Visitor Center — they have maps to get you around. Once you find your area, settle in for a bit. Try discussing what took place there — maybe throw in a question or two as

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if to yourself. Set the stage so as not to seem a threat or enemy. Discuss things from that time era; read, sing, or play music. It doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom! I suggest you do not provoke out there. The veterans of the Civil War wanted this park to be as captivating as it is today. They wanted it to be a place where people would bring their families to enjoy the day. In honoring them and their wishes, remember what the park is for. If you are planning a trip to Gettysburg, you won’t be disappointed! You may not see a ghost, nor capture one on cameras or recorders, but it will leave a lasting impression on you. ***** Catherine Holderby has appeared on numerous paranormal radio shows discussing Gettysburg and her EVP research there. She is a contributor to the recently released book “Weird Encounters: True Tales of Haunted Places.”

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With Hosts Rick Hale & Karen Frazier December 2010

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Special Report

2010: Paranormal Year In Review By Heidi Ann and Cheryl Knight

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n this year’s “Paranormal Year In Review,” we highlight just a few of the noteworthy encounters reported during the past 12 months. 2010 was another year full of jaw-dropping, thought-provoking paranormal conundrums. What was your favorite paranormal event of the year?

with what appears to be two ghost children in the background. English was on a ghost tour of St. Mark’s

JANUARY • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the UK released its final figures for UFO sightings after the UFO division was closed down at the end of 2009. Its final report showed that reports of UFO sightings had tripled in 2009 (643 sightings within the UK). • Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, England, has been a long-time magnet for paranormal activity. A report of a UFO sighting and a runin with large wolf-like creature in the first week of the New Year proved 2010 was destined to be no different. • January also saw the return of the legendary cryptid Chupacabra. Cesar Garcia and Juan Miranda of Horizon City, Texas, believed the Chupacabra was responsible for the slaying of 30 of their chickens. • Renee English, of New South Wales, Australia, snapped a photo

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Cemetery in Picton when she took the picture, and she swears no children were in the area at the time. • Dr. Jeffery Long appeared on the Today Show with Meredith Vieira. Long, who has written the book Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, says near-death experiences prove the existence of an afterlife. His research showed that the experiences are so similar no matter the age or cultural upbringing that it can only be explained by an afterlife.

FEBRUARY • An Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand, man said he captured a photograph of an apparition in the window of St. Bathans Post Office. Andrew Watters had traveled to St.

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Bathans, near Alexandra, to search for ghosts that reportedly haunt the building. After taking plenty of photos, a friend spotted the shape of a woman in the window of the post office. • Roy Shaw was walking his dog Sydney in Exmouth, England’s Phear Park when he saw a large flying craft with blinking lights land at the other end of the park. When a four-foot translucent figure began silently approaching him, he decided it was time to run. • In what seemed like a real-life zombie movie, a woman proclaimed dead came back to life in the Columbian city of Cali. The unusual occurrence took place in a funeral home. When workers were planning to apply formaldehyde to the 45-year-old woman’s body, she suddenly started breathing and moving. It turned out the woman was a victim of Lazarus Syndrome. • Kevin Horkin, a businessman from the United Kingdom, announced he wanted to buy an Abergele, North Wales, castle for

£850,000. He plans to turn Gwyrch Castle into Britain’s first ‘psychic school of excellence.’ “It will be somewhere where psychics can go to meet like-minded people, to further their interests, and develop their psychic senses,” Horkin said. • A dead creature of unknown origin and species washed up on the Bay of Islands northern shore in Canada. The strange-looking carcass was approximately 15 feet in length and had a pointed 10-foot tail. It also had a single flipper-like appendage on its right side and looked to be decapitated.

MARCH • Two vials supposedly containing two ghosts exercised from a house in New Zealand went on sale on eBay. The seller claimed the vials contained the spirit of a former owner of his home that had been haunting the residence. • Jonathan “The Impaler” Sharkey, a self proclaimed vampire living in Florida, announced his plans to run for President of the United States of America. Sharkey, who claims to be related to Vlad II the Impaler (Dracula), hopes to move to Washington, D.C. soon to get the process started. • Fiona Hartigan, a mother of two, recently photographed a strange-looking disc over the streets of Sydney. The UFO was said to

emerge from a blazing light in the clouds, descend on a busy street, and then zip off silently into the sunset. Hartigan claimed that as she got out of her car to take photos of the sunset, the disc appeared. • The Netherlands prison system began hiring psychics to help prisoners learn to “love themselves.” Paul van Bree, a clairvoyant, was hired to contact deceased loved ones of the prisoners. The loved ones are said to provide love and guidance to the prisoners. • A daytime sighting of a UFO flying over Wan Li University in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, was filmed. Many students witnessed the spinning saucer hovering above their campus. While UFOs are common in China, and March saw an upswing in sightings, experts were debating whether the video was legitimate or a hoax.

APRIL • In Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, farmers claimed to have witnessed UFOs “lasering” their sheep with an unidentified light. The farmers believe there is a connection between the lasering and their sheep being found with their brains and other internal organs missing, and only a “neat hole” left on the carcass. • When the Al Ghad newspaper published a story about aliens landing near the town of Jafr, it caused widespread panic among the residents, including Mayor Mohammed Mleihan. Mleihan sent his security forces in search of the aliens and came close to evacuating his 13,000 citizens. It all turned out to be a giant hoax, a joke Mleihan and Jafr residents did not find amusing.

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• Twenty percent of people on Earth believe that aliens are already living among us disguised as humans — 23,000 adults in 22 countries were questioned in this poll. The survey showed the highest percent of believers are found in China and India (40%) and the lowest (8%) in Belgium, Sweden, and the Netherlands. It also showed that men (22%) are more likely to believe than women (17%) and that the majority of believers are under 35 years of age. • Stephen Hawking suggested that instead of seeking alien life out, humanity should be doing everything in its power to avoid contact. Though speculative, he surmised that an initial contact between humans and aliens could be very much like what happened when Christopher Columbus first landed in the Americas, which turned out bad for the Native Americans.

MAY • A photograph of a ghost taken at a hotel in England turned out to be an iPhone hoax. A series of hoaxes have been turning up since the ghost app was introduced for the iPhone that allows users to place “ghosts” in their photos. • A New Zealand man was reportedly attacked by a trio of “vampires” near the city of Wellington. The three bit him and drank his blood, causing the victim to pass out. Two of the vampires were arrested; the third is still at large. • The first crop circle of 2010 was reportedly found in a field in Wiltshire, England, a popular location for the mysterious designs. • The Paranormal Museum

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Special Report in Asbury Park, New Jersey, has opened an exhibit dedicated to the Jersey Devil. The museum will display many artifacts related to the Devil, including reproductions. • In November 1995, the Wem Town Hall was destroyed by a fire. Amateur photographer Tony O’Rahilly was there taking pictures when he captured the image of a ghost girl standing in the fire. The photo

made headlines around the world. O’Rahilly had always claimed the photo was not faked (he died in 2005), but now a postcard with what appears to have an image of the same girl has surfaced. It appears this famous photo has turned out to be hoax. • Individuals from the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy (TBRC) reported finding possible Sasquatch tracks in Southeast Texas over Mother’s Day Weekend. The best track was studied closely by TBRC members. They found it to have many non-human characteristics.

JUNE • Nearly 200 crop circles appeared in just one formation close to Warminster, Wiltshire, UK. Some say the location is the UFO capital of England. The circular 90m (300 feet) design is believed to represent the passage of the Moon and Sun. The entire crop circle contains 193 rings, including six larger circles and a seventh in the middle. • A small church in Argentina

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became inundated when thousands of pilgrims descended on the town of Yerba Buena after two men noticed a red substance running down the face of a depiction of Jesus. The pilgrims believe that it is blood flowing from a wound on his head caused by the crown of thorns worn at his crucifixion. • Does Jim Morrison’s ghost haunt a West Hollywood restaurant? According to Christina Arena, general manager of Mexico’s, a restaurant that’s been open for about a year, he does. She believes that the late Doors singer roams the restaurant in the afterlife. The building Mexico occupies was formally “The Doors Workshop.” There have been reports of lights mysteriously turning off and on and bathroom door handles jiggling on their own. • Iconic paranormal host and investigator Yvette Fielding decides to leave the hit TV UK show Most Haunted after 10 years. Fielding made the announcement in a statement posted on Antix Productions’ Website, which is the show’s production company.

JULY • Using computer graphics, Stephen Hawking developed his concept of what aliens must look like. Hawking is almost certain there must be other life in the Universe. His depictions of the aliens ranged from terrestrial carnivores and herbivores to lizard-like species that are capable of gliding through the sky. • Lake Chany, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Russia, has seen the death of 19 people over the past three years. Blaming the deaths on a Loch Ness Monster-like creature called “Nesski,” local fishermen have demanded that a proper inves-

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tigation be conducted on the deaths. • July brought more reported sightings of Chupacabra in Texas. Two sightings within a 10-mile stretch of each other occurred in North Texas. There was also a sighting in Oklahoma. • A UFO sighting in China caused the Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan Airport to close down for an hour. The following week a UFO was seen hovering over a city park for an hour in China’s Chongqing province.

AUGUST • What many believe to be the face of Jesus has turned up in two crop circles near Hungerford, Berkshire, UK. Just off the M4, the two circles, with 250 foot diameters, are almost identical. • Police in Port Stephens, Australia, are having to deal with a slew of speeders on one particular stretch of road. People believe that if they drive too fast on a certain stretch of Lemon Tree Passage Rd., that the ghost of a motorcyclist once killed there in a crash with a speeding car will drive up behind you. A few videos of the ghost light coming up behind cars have been posted on YouTube. • Another religious crop circle surfaced in August. Following July’s two crop circles depicting the face of Jesus, the Holy Grail has now appeared. The 300-foot-long creation turned up in a field in Wiltshire. It was created right under the noses of investigators watching the area that night. • Christopher Kaiser, 29, was tragically killed by a train while ironically ghost hunting for the spirits of people killed in a train crash on August 29, 1891, near Statesville, Georgia. The sounds of the crash

can be heard on the anniversary of the tragedy, according to legend. Kaiser was on the trestle at 2:45 a.m. when a real train surprised the ghost hunters, who then ran for their lives. All but Kaiser were able to escape.

SEPTEMBER • The world famous Enfield Poltergeist recordings are unlikely to have come from a human origin, according to research published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. The recordings were made between 1977 and 1978 at a house

on Green Street in Enfield, UK. The investigation showed that the sounds did not make normal sound wave patterns. This brings investigators one step closer to proving the existence of the Enfield Poltergeist. • Wymering Manor, which has a long history of haunting and is said to be the most haunted manor house in Britain, went up for sale for a mere £375,000 pounds. Twenty to 30 different spirits have been sensed in the house by investigators over the years. • Sonar equipment is being used for the first time by monster hunters in their hunt for Nessie’s English cousin “Bow-Nessie,” which is reportedly living in Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake. There have been seven reported sightings in the past four years. • UFO researcher Robert Hastings held a conference this month in Washington, DC. The conference focused on UFO activity in and

around nuclear weapons sites. Former USAF personnel gave testimony at the conference of not just sightings, but of UFOs tampering with the nuclear sites.

• The Society of DEAD (Direct Evidence After Death) are planning to investigate the site of the Titanic sinking. The group hopes to take their trip next April, and has report-

OCTOBER • Chinese scientists with the Hubei Wild Man Research Association asked for international help in their hunt for the mythical Yeren. A cousin of Bigfoot, Yeren reportedly live in a mountainous region in the Hubei Provence of China. • 2012 may not be the end of the world after all, according to the Mayans. A new book claims the conversion of dates on the Mayan calendar is flawed and may be off by up to 100 years. The infamous date may be well in our future or already have passed. • The British Center for Fortean Zoology is planning an expedition in hopes of tracking down India’s version of Bigfoot, the Mande-burung. The group planned to head to Northern India into the Garo Hills on October 31, 2010. • Paul the Psychic Octopus died in his tank in Germany. Paul had predicted the winners in several World Cup matches, including the final. Paul was two years old.

NOVEMBER • Christchurch Paranormal Investigators founder Anton Heyrick theorized that earthquakes heighten paranormal activity. He based his theory on the increase in reports of paranormal activity following the September 4, 2010, earthquake in Canterbury, New Zealand.

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edly had some interest from big networks on their expedition. • Jessie Grayhouse was on vacation with his family in Savannah, Georgia, when he captured a ghost child running across a cemetery, leaping into a tree, and then falling back out and disappearing. The video was shot in December 2008 but just came to light after the family finally acquired a copyright on it.

DECEMBER • Residents of a house in the locality of Chiñigue, Chili, were the victims of pyrokinesis (when objects inexplicably burn without any apparent cause) after their furniture began to mysteriously burn. Investigators are looking into the events. • The skeleton of a man nearly twice the size of a normal man was discovered near Tuzla, Bosnia. Workmen found the remains after digging under the foundations of a house and uncovering a marble slab. Roman weapons and coins were also found in the grave. • Prospective buyers of a reportedly haunted South Wales castle, called Llantwit Major Castle, are being asked to write 1,000 words on their plans for the building and how much they would pay for it. The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Dutch sailor from the 17th Century.

Paranormal Underground 19

Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites

Behind the Scenes at The Myrtles Plantation By Ronald Wolf

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eath by poison, hangings, murder, and gunfire — no these aren’t scenes from a daytime soap opera but reported happenings from The Myrtles Plantation in the West Feliciana Parish town of St. Francisville, Louisiana. Myrtles is a site so full of history, legends, and ghosts that I can only scratch the surface of events and encounters in this article. The original owner of The Myrtles Plantation, General David Bradford (1760-1808), had his runins with the good and bad aspects of society. Even President George Washington had a price tag on Bradford’s head. Bradford was born in America to Irish immigrant parents and was one of five children. He became a successful attorney, businessman, and deputy attorney general for the county. Why did Bradford leave his family and thriving business behind? No one knows for sure, but we do know that he became involved in the infamous Whiskey Rebellion, and legend has it that President Washington placed a price on the man’s head for his role in the affair. President John Adams would later pardon Bradford in 1799. The Whiskey Rebellion took place in Western Pennsylvania and really

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A site of many tragedies over the years, The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana, is the home to disembodied footsteps and voices, vanishing objects, and ghostly apparitions.

began as a series of grievances over high prices and taxes forced on those living along the frontier at that time. In later years, Bradford had such a rich and adventurous life, that it would make the perfect miniseries for TV. Over the years, books were written about The Myrtles and TV shows were produced at the plantation. Legends are a huge part of the plantation. According to one legend, three Union soldiers were

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killed in the house after they broke in and attempted to loot the place. It was here that they were shot and killed, leaving bloodstains on the floor that could not be cleaned no matter how hard the maids scrubbed. Paranormal Encounters at The Myrtles Plantation Today, hand prints in mirrors, footsteps on the stairs, mysterious smells, and vanishing objects are

Ghostly hand prints and even apparitions are said to appear in the mirror pictured above at left. And according to Hester Eby, director of tours at The Myrtles, paranormal activity has been witnessed on the property for more than 20 years.

all part of the norm at The Myrtles Plantation. Hester Eby, director of tours at The Myrtles, has been an employee and a witness to paranormal activity at the plantation for more than 20 years. She explained that one of her paranormal experiences happened on a normal day . . . or so it would seem. “I was getting ready to greet the guests,” Hester said. “I saw a couple get out of their car, but the man was way ahead of his wife and their little girl dressed in a pink and white dress. She was right on her mother’s heel like she was playing. When the woman came in, the little girl was not there. I knew I saw the girl. There was no way the girl could have left so quickly.” As Hester closed the front door, she heard a child’s voice saying, “Hello there.” “She started giggling from the end of the porch way. No one was on the grounds at all,” Hester said. “We have a few neighbors, but they’re at a very good distance, and

their children are off to college.” Does a Spirit Child Reside at The Myrtles? There are many places at the plantation where Hester has experienced paranormal activity — in the lady’s parlor, behind the couch, her clothes felt like they were being tugged on. “The way a child would do if they wanted to tell you something and you’re talking to someone else,” Hester explained. “The first time it happened I thought I had caught my clothes in something and thought nothing of it. It happened a couple more times, and I thought it was kind of strange,” she said. “The experience was real. I could feel their little fingers.” “I had a lot of things happen, and I even had my name called before. These things are just to let you know that they (spirits) are around,” Hester added. “It happens all the time.” She admits she has scared herself before. “The only time I was concerned, very much so, was when

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I was upstairs early one morning turning off lights that we thought we turned off the night before.” As Hester was walking from one wing of the house to the next, she heard very heavy footsteps walking behind her. “It sounded as if someone had boots on, and they were walking behind me.” When she stopped, the footsteps would stop. The minute she started walking, the footsteps would begin again. The footsteps stopped when she walked backward down the stairs so she could keep an eye on what was behind her. “I guess they thought I was going to hurt myself, and it stopped completely.” Hester is very excited to be part of the plantation. “It’s beautiful, it’s old, and it’s haunted. It is a peaceful place. We label the place a home of beauty and intrigue.” The plantation has tours every week, including a biweekly mystery tour and daily historical tour. “We have a little bit for everyone,” Hester said.

Paranormal Underground 21

Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History

Memories in Stone:

The Earliest Ghosts of Gettysburg By Susan Fair

They say there was a very big battle here,” said Mark Nesbitt of the monument-strewn fields of Gettysburg, and no, he’s not stating the obvious. The former park ranger and current proprietor of Ghosts of Gettysburg is talking about the fact that history and legend — as well as evidence gathered by modern paranormal investigators — point to the fact that Native Americans inhabited, worshipped, and even fought on the land that would, in 1863, become home to the biggest battle of the Civil War. And the spirits of those Native Americans are among those said to have put in appearances generations before the Battle of Gettysburg. Some have maintained that Gettysburg’s reputation as one of the most haunted locations in the world is due, in no small part, to overactive imaginations combined with the perpetuation of ghost stories by tour companies, not to mention the abundance of authentically dressed re-enactors and tour guides in town. But Gettysburg’s haunted history began long before the “ghost tour” concept was even thought of, and before an American Civil War was even imagined. Pre-Civil War Hauntings Emanuel Bushman, born in 1821, was a life-long Gettysburg

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Gettysburg’s haunted history began long before the “ghost tour” concept was even thought of, and before an American Civil War was ever imagined.

resident. It was on his family’s farm that the legendary Native American “Battle of the Crow” was said to have been fought. He chronicled some home town stories of the paranormal from the early 1800s in a town newspaper, the Gettysburg Compiler, in the 1880s, telling of “. . . the many unnatural and supernatural sights and sounds heard and seen on Round Top and the Indian Field . . . won-

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derful stories of ghosts and hobgoblins seen there in the still hours of the night . . . the Indian warwhoop could be heard, and the hunters chasing the prowling wolf . . .” Nesbitt also relates a pre-Civil War story about Devil’s Den, the dramatic outcropping of boulders that was the scene of many a life-and-death struggle during the battle’s second day. “Some hunters got lost around that area — this was before there were roads there — and they saw a figure that could have been Native American,” Nesbitt said. “It sort of motioned to them and they started following, and it led them to safety. They went to thank the guy, and he had vanished.” Oddly, the first ghost sighting associated with the 1863 battle involved not a Civil War soldier, but George Washington astride a white horse. An official report of this came from no less a figure than General Joshua Chamberlain, hero of Little Round Top, as he marched his troops along a moonlit road into the fray at Gettysburg: “Now from a dark angle of the roadside came a whisper, whether from earthly or unearthly voice one cannot feel quite sure, that the august form of Washington had been seen that afternoon at sunset riding over the Gettysburg hills. Let no one smile at me! I half believed it myself

— so did the powers of the other world draw nigh . . .” It was mere days after the battle, which claimed approximately 10,000 lives, before those same casualties began to reappear in a more surreal form. At the George Rose Farm, the scene of much bloodshed during the battle, a worker returning at twilight was faced not only with the grave mounds of freshly — and not well — buried soldiers, he also claimed he saw luminescent forms ascending from these graves. Believing he was observing the souls of the soldiers leaving their bodies, the man is said to have fled the property never to return. A veteran of the War of 1812, not much scared 70-year-old John Burns. When he got word that the Rebs were invading town, the Gettysburg resident picked up his gun and hit the battlefield, fighting alongside the famed Iron Brigade. It took multiple gunshot wounds before Burns finally crawled from the battlefield. So it can’t be easily dismissed when he later claimed to have been confronted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier near where he had fought by McPherson’s Woods. Proven not one to back down from a fight, Burns nonetheless reported that he “walked away rapidly” from the apparition, never to return to that area of the battlefield again. Even park rangers, who are traditionally not fans of ghost stories, have been known to relate the early stories of the haunted fields of Iverson’s Pits. When General Alfred Iverson led his brigade into a senseless bloodbath at the hands of the Yankees, he left behind nearly 500 dead soldiers lined neatly in the field where they had fallen. Not long after the battle, the stories go, farmers plagued by ghostly encounters and phantom rebel yells soon abandoned all attempts at working the field where Iverson’s men seemingly continued to live out their final hours.

With a mountain of paranormal activity reportedly taking place in and around Gettysburg, is it possible that an “environmental condition” contributes to the hauntings?

Evidence Emerges From the Gettysburg Landscape It was as early as 1905 when what may be the first piece of ghostly evidence emerged from the Gettysburg landscape. “We believe it is the first documented paranormal activity,” said Cashtown Inn Owner Jack Paladino of an eerie, perplexing photo that has fascinated visitors for decades. At first glance, the turn of the century wet plate photo shows a man casually standing on the front porch of the Cashtown Inn, which was used as Confederate headquarters and was also the scene of the first death in the gathering battle clouds over Gettysburg. But to the man’s right, standing more formally, is another figure — a figure that is not only wearing what appears to be a Confederate uniform, but is also, when compared to the other man on the porch, inexplicably transparent. If Gettysburg was prone to paranormal activity before and during the battle, as well as immediately after, could it be that there is literally an underlying condition that makes the area predisposed to such activity? Perhaps the 1863 battle, with all its casualties, just happened to be fought on a location that was already “haunted” and not the other way around. At least part of the answer may

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be found just beneath the hallowed ground of Gettysburg itself — the layers and layers of rock — a strange formation unusually close to the surface called by geologists the “Gettysburg Basin,” which took shape 200 million years ago during the Triassic period. Noted paranormal expert Joshua P. Warren, whose research on the Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon was recently profiled in a scientific journal, said that it is those multiple layers of rock that may be perpetuating some of the ghostly goings-on in Gettysburg. “You have layers of the earth that have different types of rock in which they are able to store up a charge until a critical point when something occurs that alters the environment,” he said. “With the emotional energy loaded into that place and time . . . the potential for haunting is great.” Environmental conditions have long been theorized by the paranormal community to be a contributing factor in hauntings. But with the serious scientific work being done by a new generation of researchers like Warren, coupled with the knowledge of pre-Civil War paranormal activity in the area, we may finally be inching closer to understanding the “how” of the haunting of Gettysburg.

Paranormal Underground 23

Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures

Feral Cat Debbie’s Christmas Gift By Jill Stefko, Ph.D., www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/stevko1901

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nimal-Psi (or Anpsi) refers to animal psychic phenomena. Some animals are said to have psychic abilities, including sensing their own imminent death. There have been many cases of animals sensing their demise by going to a favorite place to die or reaching out for a final petting. The following is the story of one such animal . . . James Herriot is the pen name of the late James Alfred “Alf” Wight, British veterinarian and author. Known for his true animal stories collected during his practice, Herriot wrote over a dozen books. Herriot once told of his meetings with a cat named Debbie, who seemed to know she was “on the way out.” Herriot’s Initial Meeting With Debbie, The Feral Cat One of Herriot’s clients, pet owner Mrs. Ainsworth, called the veterinarian to tend to one of her three basset hounds. Upon arriving at the Ainsworth residence, Herriot saw a small black cat sitting by the warmth of the hearth. He told Mrs. Ainsworth that he didn’t know she had a cat. Mrs. Ainsworth introduced Herriot to Debbie, saying the feral cat stopped by her home several times a week to eat the dinners they offered.

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Herriot noticed that Debbie had stayed by the fireside the entire time he was there. Herriot Makes Friends With Debbie Herriot visited the Ainsworth home frequently and observed the cat always by the fireside. The dogs seemed quite used to the cat by then, as

they would lazily sniff her and then nod back to sleep. Yet Debbie just sat by the fire and ignored the basset hounds. One day, Herriot decided to make friends with Debbie and stretched his hand toward her. She leaned away. He talked softly to her

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and was able to pet her cheek with one finger. Debbie responded by rubbing his hand with her head. However, Christmas morning soon arrived, and Herriot received a phone call from Mrs. Ainsworth requesting his help. She was apologetic, but he could hear the distress in her voice. She said there was something very wrong with Debbie and he should hurry over. When Herriot arrived at the Ainsworth residence, he saw Debbie lying motionless on the hearth and a small black kitten snuggled next to her. He asked what happened and was told Debbie hadn’t visited in several weeks. Yet, when the cat finally showed up again, she came in carrying a kitten. She then went to the fireside, put the kitten on the hearth, and lay down beside it. Herriot examined Debbie and discovered she had a malignant tumor. Mrs. Ainsworth asked if she should be put to sleep. But there was no need to do so, because she was in a coma and would soon die. Mrs. Ainsworth kneeled down, stroked Debbie, and cried. After Debbie passed away, Mrs. Ainsworth picked up the small black kitten and said he was the best Christmas gift she had ever received.

Source: www.suite101.com.

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Paranormal Underground 25

Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?

The Kecksburg UFO Crash of 1965 By Paul Bottini, http://zzyzxparanormal.com

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he year was 1965. The date, December 9th. Bill Bulebush gazed up at the fireball slicing through the early evening sky. Without warning, the anomaly banked 90 degrees, plummeting into a nearby forest. Bulebush, a native of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, immediately forgot about the ’64 Corvair he had been tinkering with. Only minutes prior, Bill had overheard transmissions on the Chevy’s CB, from as far away as Ohio, describing the enigma he had just observed. Overcome by curiosity, the local man hopped into the cockpit of “Detroit steel.” Firing up his metal stallion, Bill raced into the night in search of the mysterious downed object. Cresting a ridge, the Corvair’s headlights illuminated the ravine below. Sizzling sulfur choked the crackling night air. In the gully ahead, the once-airborne entity now hissed among singed foliage. Whatever the anomaly was, Bill would be alone with it for the next 15 minutes — ample time for a detailed view of the strangeness piercing the veil of rural America. An acorn-shaped craft of unknown origin cooled in the nearby

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On December 9, 1965, a UFO crashed into a forest in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania, leading to a controversy that still rages today.

grove. “It looks manufactured,” reasoned Bulebush, as he approached the enigma on foot. Bill noted what appeared to be hieroglyphics spanning a band around the base of the anomaly. Fearing the object may be an incendiary device, Bill turned, retreating through the brush behind

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him. The inquisitive voices of nearby residents permeated the undergrowth around the frazzled man. Undeterred, Bulebush reached his Corvair and made a beeline for the safe haven of his home. Word truly does travel quickly among small towns. Shortly following Bill’s discovery, law enforcement

and military officials arrived on scene, denying access to a curious public. From the depths of the woods, an ethereal, blue smoke wafted into the atmosphere. ***** On the outskirts of town, Bill Weaver, age 19, simultaneously monitored an emergency broadcast on his car radio. The transmission provided sketchy details about the crash-landing. Young and questioning, Weaver veered his vehicle toward the south end of the Kecksburg woods. Because the military had thus far failed to secure this particular area, the adolescent was given a front row seat to the anomaly. Bill joined a small group of onlookers who had already found the loophole in the Armed Forces’ blockade. Drenched in Space Race hype, the initial assumption was that the unfamiliar object must be a Soviet satellite. Whatever the observers were witnessing had wedged itself into the loose soil. From an indiscernible point on the vessel, Bill noticed a phosphorescence, akin to a welding arc, incising the darkness. The military soon caught sight of Weaver and his fellow onlookers and ordered them to vacate the vicinity. With the initial sighting of the fireball, WHJB, a radio sta-

Regional newspapers initially ran stories describing an enigmatic craft falling from the sky, only to later recant their claims of UFO activity.

found himself racing toward the alleged site. Murphy arrived on scene around 7:30 p.m. to find the area swarming with soldiers. Exploiting a chink in the military’s armor, John was able to snap off numerous photos of the mysterious craft. Moments later, the armed presence in the area would confiscate the crucial pictures in question. However, there are reports that John was able to get a roll of film out, and the pictures were seen by his coworkers. Accompanying the journalist was a throng of curious onlookers. John interviewed as many of the townsfolk

A convoy emerged from the forest with a large, acorn-shaped vessel . . . tion broadcasting from neighboring Greensburg, would be inundated by frantic callers. News Director John Murphy could smell a hot story like a home-cooked meal, and in no time

as possible. During the interim, the number of military personal in the woods increased drastically. ***** Around 9 p.m., Bob Gatty, a

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local journalist for The Tribune Review, arrived on scene. Gatty would later corroborate claims of a strong-armed occupation at the site. Too much firepower, many declare, for anything not of topsecret nature. Kecksburg resident Robert Blystone shortly thereafter witnessed an empty flatbed trailer, flanked by military Jeeps, disappearing into the woods. Approximately two hours later, Blystone watched the convoy reemerge from the forest, transporting a large, acorn-shaped vessel beneath a tarp. The local’s account would be corroborated by numerous witnesses who observed a mysterious object hauled out of town under cover of night. Although regional newspapers initially ran stories describing an enigmatic craft falling from the sky, these same periodicals later recanted, only to report law enforcement recovered “absolutely nothing” from the site. According to UFO researcher Stan Gordon, it’s this type of suspicious mishandling of the truth that

Paranormal Underground 27

Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? makes the Kecksburg Incident one of the most intriguing anomalous crashes to date. Compiling eyewitness accounts, reporter John Murphy worked tirelessly on a documentary, titled Object in the Woods, which detailed the events of December 9th, 1965. Shortly before the program was set to air, Murphy was visited by a pair of suit-clad men claiming to be government agents. Following a clandestine conversation between the news director and the two mysterious individuals, Murphy decided to no longer pursue the conundrum. Not only was John’s enthusiasm for broadcasting Object in the Woods stymied, but the reporter subsequently refused to discuss the incident about which he had been so passionate. When Murphy’s program did air, to the dismay of those around him, the content of the documentary was severely edited. Coworkers felt the meeting between the

government representatives and John deterred the journalist from broadcasting the truth. According to those close to Murphy, the reporter would never

Murphy was killed under mysterious circumstances by a hit-and-run driver. again be the same, becoming a mere shell of his former inquisitive self. In 1969, John Murphy’s imposed silence was forever assured when he was killed under mysterious circumstances by a hit-and-run driver in Southern California. ***** Although, for a time, researchers believed what crashed in Kecksburg may have been the re-entry capsule of a Soviet spacecraft known as Cosmos 96, popular opinion is now inconclusive on the subject. Cosmos

Just what did fall to Earth in 1965? Was it an otherworldly spacecraft? Or could it have been a meteorite as some claim? We might never know for sure.

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96 was set to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere the day the Kecksburg Incident took place. However, according to conflicting reports, the satellite either

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returned to the planet somewhere above the Indian Ocean or in Canada, 13 hours prior to the anomalous crash in Pennsylvania. Is it possible that during Cold War hysteria, the United States had released false information regarding the foreign vessel? One may never know. Could the enigma falling to Earth in 1965 Kecksburg have been a sizable meteorite? Such speculation seems possible, although a meteorite would fail to explain corroborating accounts of actual spacecraft, mysterious hieroglyphics, and a 90-degree directional change of the object in midair. An initial step toward understanding the events of December 9th, 1965, would be to travel to Kecksburg yourself. The rural hamlet, located in Westmoreland County, is nestled in the Southwest portion of the “Keystone State” near Highway 982. From the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Interstate 70/76), exit 91 (Uniontown/Lingonier/Hwy 31/711). Take a right onto Hwy 31 and travel approximately one and a half miles until turning right again onto Clayspike Road. Six miles ahead, you’ll find the quaint town of Kecksburg. Be sure to bring your cameras. You never know what evidence may have slipped through the collective fingers of investigators before you.

100 Years After a Devastating Avalanche Took Their Lives, the “Spirits” of Wellington, Washington, Still Remain. Read One Investigator’s Account of How She Met . . . “The Ghosts of Wellington.”

Book Now Available Online at December 2010 Paranormal Underground www.avalancheofspirits.com

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Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files

Investigating the Klondike Restaurant and Bar By Karen Frazier

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estled on the banks of the Columbia River just west of Portland, Oregon, the City of St. Helens maintains a small-town feel with a wonderful Pacific Northwest flavor. Much of that comes from the weather. During my early November visit, I drove through drizzle — and spectacular fall foliage — along Columbia River Highway, which meanders its way along the river and passes through St. Helens on its way to Portland. St. Helens, Oregon, is a town that prides itself on its unique Halloween-y credentials. When you visit, the town’s paranormal pride shines through. Upon checking into the local Best Western and entering our room, my son, Tanner, and I found a St. Helens’ paranormal brochure on the desk. The brochure featured the town’s walking tour of hot spots. Hollywood, it appears, discovered St. Helens and decided it had the perfect feel for something slightly spooky. Both Halloweentown and Twilight were filmed there, and visitors taking the walking tour can visit Bella’s house, the parking lot where Edward rescued Bella, and many local businesses where the ultimate rescue fantasy unfolded. I didn’t visit.

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West Coast Ghost Hunters teamed up with Northwest Paranormal Investigation Agency members for a recent investigation at the Klondike Restaurant and Bar. Pictured above (top row from left to right) are investigators Rob St.Helen, Rocky Smith, John Collins., William Becker, Karen Frazier, and Jim Frazier; bottom row from left to right are Jayme Coates, Bert Coates, and Tanner.

The tour ends with a stop at what is perhaps the most notorious of St. Helens’ spooktacular locations: the Klondike Restaurant and Bar. If you’re a Paranormal State fan, then you may have heard of the Klondike. That’s because it was recently featured on a Paranormal

December 2010

State episode. It is the Klondike that Tanner and I have come to see. John Collins and our friends at West Coast Ghost Hunters (WCGH) invited us to tag along on their investigation. Going in, I know nothing of the Klondike other than it is the former St. Helens Hotel.

A Brief History Once upon a time, the Klondike restaurant was the St. Helens Hotel. Constructed in 1906, the Klondike once housed all kinds of people associated with the mill and shipping industries. Throughout its long history, the Klondike has been many things: a rooming house, a hotel, and a brothel. Part of the building was demolished in the 50s, but one wing remained. Today, the Klondike is a fourstory building that has nothing to do with the Yukon or the Gold Rush. It is a dining and social hot spot in St. Helens. The restaurant sits on the main level. Beneath it lies a basement used for storage, and upstairs are two floors of empty and dilapidated rooms just waiting for restoration. Closing Time! Tanner and I arrive at the restaurant at 8 p.m. It is a happening place in St. Helens on a Friday night, although we arrive close to closing time. We sit with the WCGH Team — Rob, William, John, Jennifer, Rocky, and Loren — and enjoy a really good meal. My garlic shrimp with garlic mashed potatoes should keep any residual Twilight vampires or their minions at bay, because while it tastes really good going down, I am going to positively reek of it for the rest of the night. As I eat, I notice a little card on

While investigating the Klondike Restaurant and Bar, the team encountered a strange shadow that appeared to “play” with them while they investigated in the bar area. It seemed as if whatever was there wanted the team to move on.

clear out quickly. During dinner, three of WCGH’ more sensitive members, Loren, William, and Rocky, have been mentioning that the place definitely has a feel to it. Frankly, I’ve been too interested in my plate o’ garlic to notice. All I’m really feeling is the need for a breath mint. As the restaurant clears and the staff cleans up, WCGH goes to work hauling in equipment. Suddenly I feel inadequate. While I had arrived with a few cameras, a voice recorder, and several Go Girl energy drinks

The shadows appeared to be playing with the team. the table. We have arrived, it seems, on the eve of a big event. Paranormal State is airing its Klondike episode the following night, and the restaurant is poised for a big viewing party. Nine p.m. is closing time at the Klondike, and the restaurant and bar

to keep me awake, WCGH begins hauling in tubs and tubs of equipment. On top of one sits a bag of candy. Once I notice that, I forget to pay attention to what else they bring in — but really, it’s a lot of candy, and not all of it has sugar in it.

December 2010

The Bar Comes Alive As John and his team set up equipment requiring thousands of yards of cords designed specifically to trip me when I thrash around in the dark, I find myself drawn to the bar. Those who know me will suggest that this is hardly a psychic draw, but rather more of an attraction to what lines the shelves behind the bar; however, we have specifically promised to stay away from all of that delicious, intoxicating goodness. Instead, I am drawn toward a feeling in the back booth. The bar is narrow and creaky. There is a bar, a small aisle, and a single row of wooden tables. The spot that draws me is the back table, and I go in and sit down amidst the creaks and groans of wood, my aging knees, and the old lady sounds I occasionally make on sitting or rising. Then I watch a shadow flick first along the wall below the mirror, and then above the giant cooler where they keep the beer. The shadow

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Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files appears to be playing with me, but I enjoy sitting and watching it. Rocky enters the bar and also immediately begins watching the shadows play. Idly, we discuss possible causes for the shadows; however, none play out. Then Rocky gets brave and heads to the edge of the bar where we are seeing the shadows. He is hit with immediate heaviness, as am I in his wake. There just may be something here. Things happen in the bar, I later learn. It seems that the bar is a place where, when tension flare among staff, glasses shatter. This leads John to the brilliant plan that we will stage a little scenario of tension later in the evening, just to see if we get a response. More on that in a bit. William joins me in the bar. He is a sensitive who is very quiet about his abilities, but I have seen some pretty accurate information come from him. As I am talking about what is in the bar, two things happen in the very same moment.

William says, “He doesn’t want to talk.” At the very same moment as William is saying this, I feel a push on and through my lower back, propelling me toward the bar’s exit. We take the clue and leave for a few moments. As we exit into the main restaurant, I feel a rush of something move past me in William’s wake. It is cold air, heaviness, and something sort of unexplainable, but it is very present. “Is it following you?” I ask William. “I think it is,” he tells me. Throughout the evening, the bar proves to be an active place. The shadows continue, as do interesting feelings of inhospitality. Much later, as we all grow more tired and buzzed on sugar and caffeine, we have a ghost box session with some interesting potential results. Later, we try John’s experiment. Rob pretends to be a drunk who just lost his job demanding a drink. Vari-

West Coast Ghost Hunters investigator Rob St.Helen monitors the Klondike investigation, which included photo, video, and full-spectrum investigation in the bar and second and third floors of the restaurant.

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December 2010

ous team members jump into the scenario at appropriate times in an attempt to ramp up the tension. After our little improv session, William tells us, “I don’t think they believed a word of it, but boy did they find it funny.” As we are closing out the evening, there is one more spot of brief excitement surrounding the bar. Rob, who had loudly been demanding a beer during the improvised scene, discovers an open and full Corona sitting behind the bar right where he was. For just a moment, we consider the possibility that the bar ghost gave Rob his beer, but it is later determined that the owner poured a small part of a beer and left the bottle in the spot, and we just didn’t notice it in our acting zeal. Second Floor Once WCGH has set up, John leads us on a walk-through of the building in small groups. Rocky, Tanner, Jennifer, and I follow John upstairs to the former hotel. The owners are working to fix the place up, and right now it is in pretty rough condition. Some of the tiny rooms are down to only studs, while others are still full rooms with closets and little sinks in the corner. The floor looks downright hazardous in a few places, which promises to ramp up the difficulty level as we avoid camera, cords, and falling through the floor while walking around in the dark. As we hit the second floor, I am immediately struck by two things. It is very “heavy” on the landing and in the area leading down the hallway to my right. Also, there’s a really creepy looking mannequin off to the left that will continue to startle me every time I come up the stairs for the rest of the evening. We stop on the landing, and Rocky and I discuss the feeling that is there, while John peeks down the

hall to the right. Suddenly, John sees a foot and leg come out of a door down that hallway and then quickly pull back in. Here’s what’s interesting about that landing and the hallway to the right that so bothered Rocky and me. We later learn two things about it. First, it is widely known that a murder was committed right there on the landing; however, we were unaware of that fact as we stood there. Second, if you watched the Paranormal State episode featuring the Klondike, Ryan Buell had a little incident there, feeling as if someone had been touching him all over. As we return to the landing from the right hallway and head up to the third floor, I notice a shadow at the end of the hallway flit from the room on the right to the room on the left. Rocky and I give chase, and Rocky says that he definitely feels something in the room on the left. Third Floor Later in the evening, I investigate the third floor first with William, Jennifer, and Tanner, and again later with Rob, Tanner, and Loren. During the walk-through with John, I am immediately drawn to a room directly across from the landing, and more specifically, a closet in that room. Each time we go up there, I am pulled as if magnetically into that room. William senses a woman with an “A” name.

Unaware at the time that a murder was committed on the landing of the second floor stairway, Rocky and Karen felt that “something” was present along with them. At the same time, John spotted a foot and leg coming out of a doorway down the hall.

Tanner, and Loren. Rob, Tanner, and I keep hearing something — a woman’s voice. There is only one other woman with us, and we radio down to the restaurant and ask her to talk. We can’t hear her. To all three of us, it sounds like someone is crying. Rob radios the group in the restaurant and asks them not to talk so we can follow the crying. We follow it down to the second floor to a tiny room and closet in the back. The crying stops. “Are you lonely?” Rob asks.

Strange things definitely happened at the Klondike. “Anna?” I ask. “No,” he says. “Agatha.” A few minutes later he changes his mind. “Annabel,” he says. “You were right. She’s lonely.” Later, I am on the third floor again. This time I am with Rob,

From behind Loren, both Rob and Loren hear a whispered, “Yes.” Finishing Up It is about 4:30 a.m. when we decide to pack up, although given that it shifted from Daylight

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Savings Time at 2 a.m., it is really only 3:30 a.m. WCGH breaks down their equipment quickly and efficiently. There is much evidence to review. Both Rob and Jennifer took full-spectrum pictures while moving throughout the building. There are a few shots laden with possibility, however, nothing concrete. I’m still reviewing audio — I have hours of it. If I find anything, I’ll post it in Paranormal Underground’s EVP gallery at www.paranormalunderground.net. In the end, strange things definitely happened at the Klondike. It is a cool place that warrants further investigation, and it is a really cool historical building to boot. Thus far, most activity during our investigation falls in the realm of personal experience, although in many cases these experiences were shared personal experiences that seemed to invite further study into just what is happening at St. Helens, Oregon’s Klondike Restaurant.

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Personal Experiences

A Date With . . . Chip Coffey By Jenny Brown

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hip Coffey is a psychic medium who has been on the TV show Paranormal State and is the main contributor to the show Psychic Kids: Paranormal Children, both on the A&E Network. When I found out he was coming to Seattle for a Meet & Greet Symposium and Investigation, I naturally jumped on the opportunity. Yes, I’m the same skeptic who is completely jaded by all the other shows bombarding us with so-called “paranormal evidence.” However, Chip just struck me as a very genuine person whom I would very much like to meet. On October 20th, 2010, I got that opportunity. The event took place in the old Women’s Century Club, now the Harvard Exit Theatre, in Seattle, Washington. The building was built in 1925 and converted to a movie house in 1968. In 1980, a second auditorium was added in the third-floor ballroom. The Women’s Club still holds meetings in the lobby, which maintains the air of the 1920s with its fireplace, grand piano, and period furnishings. Even the theatre attendants dress as 1920s movie house employees. The theatre is rumored to be haunted by five to seven spirits, both male and female. Some witnesses claim to have seen apparitions or

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Seattle, Washington’s Harvard Exit Theatre is home to reported paranormal activity, including ghostly apparitions and disembodied voices. Jenny Brown recently investigated this intriguing site with psychic medium Chip Coffey after a recent symposium.

heard whispers, and the spirits are said to have made their presence known in a variety of other ways. There were three types of tickets available for Chip’s show: General Admission, VIP, and Super VIP. VIP passes allowed you to meet and get your picture taken with Chip, while the Super VIP passes gave you all that, plus the chance to take part in an actual investigation conducted

December 2010

by Chip. As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I got the Super VIP pass. A Down-to-Earth Guy With a Message The night began with a description of Chip’s background and his ventures, and then the audience was invited to ask questions. I have to say, Chip is hysterical. He’s not at all what you would expect from a reality TV

star. He is extremely personable, very positive, and deeply devoted to teaching others about his gift and helping them understand their own gifts. I know what some of you might be saying: “Chip’s a joke, a fraud, and just in it for the money.” Well, he is in it for the money by his own admission, but he compares himself to any other person with a day job. Being a psychic medium is his day job, so why shouldn’t he make money at it? When you put it that way, it makes sense. He didn’t come across as arrogant or condescending; he was just a matter-of-fact, down-toearth guy with a message. One of the first things he said to us before we got into the questionand-answer portion of the show was that the number one question people ask is: “What’s up with the scarves?” His reply was simple. “I love scarves.” No reason behind it, no special meaning; the guy just loves scarves. He talked about how he came to terms with his gift as a child, and what it was like growing up in an environment where that sort of thing just wasn’t talked about. That, he says, was his inspiration for the Psychic Kids program. A lot of the questions people asked were not about him as much as how to deal with their own gifts and fears. The main theme in his answers was “No fear, no doubt,” which he also preaches to the children he works with. He said that you have the control over the gift, and it’s just a matter of learning not to be afraid of your abilities. His message to the masses was very uplifting and positive, and you got the feeling those people walked away empowered and less afraid. I asked him two questions when I got my chance. His answer to my first question basically confirmed what I already knew: Spirits are either Earthbound or in the spirit realm; there is no bus that goes back

While investigating in the auditorium, the group saw strange shadows moving around and heard disembodied voices. They also tried out the Ovilus in an attempt to communicate with any spirits present.

and forth between the two. The second question was more direct. I wanted to know what he really thought of the Paranormal State episode “I Am Six.” I have to refer you to www.aeTV.com if you don’t know the story of that episode, because an explanation would take up my entire article. Chip does believe that the girl profiled in the episode, Laura, is possessed and that she invited the entity in and let it define her existence. He also said she suffers from Warburg Syndrome, a type of incurable muscular dystrophy that is quickly taking its toll. The next portion of the symposium consisted of psychic medium readings. This is where I was in full skeptic mode. Several people asked to speak to their loved ones. Some of the things Chip claimed they said were very personal, and they visibly shocked the participants who’d asked the questions. One woman asked why her son committed

December 2010

suicide five years ago. He told her the 19-year-old couldn’t cope with his emerging homosexuality, and the boy was sorry he took, in his words, “the coward’s way out.” I know what you’re saying, “Even I could’ve guessed that one.” You’re right, you probably could have. There were quite a few others who got quality time with their loved ones; some funny, some obvious, and some extremely moving. The one that stood out to me was the last reading of a man whose child had suddenly died at 14 months old. Chip said the small boy’s spirit told them to have another child because he would come back as that child and have the life he was denied. Reading that last paragraph, I realize it sounds very trite. But all I can tell you is, having been there and experienced it firsthand, I truly have no explanation as to how he came up with those answers. It wasn’t the golden ticket to non-skepticism for

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Personal Experiences me, but it definitely opened me up to the possibility that there’s more out there than I previously thought or accepted. I’m not going to get into the meet-and-greet/photo portion, as it was pretty much what you’d expect. We lined up like cattle and waited to be herded into the room for our turn with Chip.

to hold my ground and tell myself it was just my eyes playing tricks on me as they were trying to adjust to the darkness and my brain was trying to process what I thought I was seeing. The thing that got me, though, was that I wasn’t the only one seeing these same shadows moving back and forth in the back corner. We saw a flash of very dim

Shadows appeared to block the dim glow from just outside the doors. An Investigation Results in Unusual Activity The final segment of the night was the investigation — the part we were all waiting for with bated breath. I brought my digital recorder in hopes of catching some sort of evidence of paranormal activity. I figured if you couldn’t catch something with a guy like Chip Coffey, odds are you weren’t going to catch anything on your own. Well, I didn’t catch anything on my digital recorder, but that still doesn’t explain the things that I saw and felt. We conducted the investigation sitting in the darkened auditorium using Chip’s Ovilus. Okay, quit giggling everybody! It’s an actual tool used to detect spirits with the use of a word generator. You’ve seen them used on all the paranormal TV shows. It is a contraption that spits out words like a Speak & Spell, as if the spirits are actually communicating through it intelligently. I’m not completely sold on these pieces of equipment as definite proof of paranormal phenomena, but it was fun to play with. Now, here’s where my skepticism got a run for its money. We were sitting in the dark, and most of us were looking to the back left corner of the auditorium where a lot of us had noticed some movement. I tried

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light, almost as if a theatre attendant were checking the seats. There were shadows that appeared to block the dim glow from just outside the doors. Some people said they felt like someone had just touched them. Even more people said the air around them was suddenly extremely cold — to the point of giving them shivers. Others, including Chip, heard whispers in answer to a few of the questions he was asking. An Attempt at Debunking Our Evidence So, let’s debunk these claims, shall we? The flash of light: There was a crack in the doors that was letting a bit of light trickle into the room. The doors probably moved just enough to let a little more light in and cause a flash-like appearance. The shadows blocking the light: There were several employees still wandering around the building cleaning up while we were investigating. One of them could’ve walked by the doors and blocked the light from the outside, as opposed to the inside. The feeling of being touched and the extreme cold: We’re in theatre seats fairly close to each other. There’s a slight breeze from the air ducts. We’re sitting turned in our

December 2010

seats at awkward angles, and one’s muscles could have twitched a bit giving the sensation of touch. There was also a heavy draft coming from the front doors of the theatre. The whispers: There are 100 people in attendance. Even though Chip stressed not to whisper, and if you did to fess up when he asked, who’s going to risk sounding like an idiot saying it was them? Just when I thought I’d figured it all out, I saw two things I couldn’t explain. The first was the sight of a shoulder and side of a person standing up from a seat and walking out of the auditorium. I saw what looked like a blazer, as if one of the patrons of the theatre were getting up to leave after the movie. It was pretty vivid; and while it could’ve been my subconscious seeing what I wanted to see, I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. The second thing I couldn’t explain was what looked like someone poking their head over the balcony to look down on us and then quickly ducking back down. Could it have been an employee? Perhaps, except the outline wasn’t dark or solid enough to make me brush it off completely as a living person peering over the balcony. All in all, it was a really great night with a lot of really nice people and one of my favorite TV personalities. I had a lot of fun listening to Chip tell hilarious stories and answer a lot of questions from a very eclectic group of people. My sarcastic nature was in overdrive, and I had to restrain myself from snickering out loud at some of them, but Chip handled them like a pro. I walked away from the experience still a skeptic; but with each experience I have, my mind gets just a bit more open to the possibility that the unknown isn’t as unknown as I once believed.

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December 2010

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Personal Experiences

Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel By Rob St.Helen, West Coast Ghost Hunters

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ello again! I’m back for another edition of “Tales From The Haunted Heathman Hotel.” This month, I would like to talk about the hotel’s early history, as well as my first personal experience while working at The Heathman. The Heathman Hotel (originally called The New Heathman Hotel) was built in the mid to late 1920s, opening its doors in 1928. Early on, KOIN Radio occupied the Mezzanine level of the building, and during their time there, they held parties, dances, and radio shows on the property. In 1955, when the TV era came into play, the radio station needed more space for their equipment, so they moved into a larger building, now known as The KOIN Tower. The mayor at the time (19171933) was a gentleman by the name of George L. Baker. He did many good things for the City of Portland, Oregon, but he also had a “bad” side. As mayor, he utilized fraternal societies, like the Masons and the Elks, to further political ambitions. He was even supported by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) during his mayorship. It was reported that from 1933 until Baker’s death in 1941, the KKK would hold gatherings at The Heathman. During this time, corruption, prostitution, and other nefarious dealings took place at The Heathman.

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While standing between the two pods pictured at left, Rob felt his shirt collar begin to rise. A while later, he felt something unseen tug on his pants.

My First Paranormal Experience at The Heathman Hotel My first paranormal experience while working at the hotel happened on my very first night of work. I was standing between two pods, just watching my coworker showing me the ropes, when all of a sudden my shirt collar began to rise. At the same time, my right side became cold. Being new, I really didn’t want to say anything and have my new coworkers think I was making things up, or just plain crazy. About a half hour later, my pants were tugged on, as if a little kid wanted attention. My second night at work, I felt I needed to say something about the

December 2010

previous night’s events, and I began telling my coworker about it. He quickly responded, “That’s normal.” He wasn’t the least bit surprised. He continued to tell me stories about a “knocking” on the piano. A knocking could be heard at the piano until the cover over the keys was opened. Once you opened the cover, the knocking would instantly stop. I have witnessed this particular phenomenon a number of times. I can’t help but wonder if this is a spirit from back in the KOIN Radio days when they would have live shows and the piano was a key instrument. Maybe once the cover to the keys was opened, the spirit was able to play again, thus stopping the knocking . . .

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Paranormal Underground 39

Fiction: Featured Author

Vocal Indifference By Wayne Harris-Wyrick, 3rd-Place Winner — Third Annual Short Story Fiction Contest

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errick stared at the Petri dish and slammed the arms of his chair with both hands. “Damn bacteria,” he muttered. “You should be growing. The book said you would grow in sodium nitrate, so why aren’t you growing? If you don’t grow by tomorrow morning, my semester project is ruined.” He spun around in his chair and stabbed the television remote ON button. The 10:00 news was on. The local NBC affiliate channel 4 was interviewing an archaeologist and a linguist, announcing their latest find from studies in the Middle East. “Dr. Brendon,” the reporter said, “please describe your remarkable discovery.” The camera panned to a tight two-shot of the reporter holding his microphone down to a bald head. Attached to the head was a male body that had lost many battles with late night snacks. He held a safari-type hat with which he continually fanned himself. “Well, in a nutshell, Dr. Randall and I,” he said waving his hand at someone off camera to his right, “discovered that we used to have six vowels instead of the five we have now. We all know A E I O U. There used

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to be another one, but it disappeared about three thousand years ago. We’re not exactly sure how it disappeared, maybe some kind of vowel shift, but we do know that the vowel and all its human sounds no longer exist in any language on Earth.” “This is an amazing discovery!” the reporter enthused, seeming

genuinely interested. “Dr. Randall,” he said as the camera widened its field to include a brown-haired woman a foot and a half taller than the reporter, “how does one discover a missing vowel?” “One of our first clues,” she said, scratching the side of her nose, “came in studying ancient Hebrew. Originally, Hebrew was essentially a one-vowel

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language, almost exclusively using the missing vowel. When the vowel vanished, Hebrew suffered more than most languages. For many years we’ve known that ancient written Hebrew texts were virtually devoid of vowels. Apparently, when the vowel disappeared, Hebrew writings contained almost nothing but consonants. What few vowels remained must have looked odd to them, as they often replaced them with a non-letter symbol representing some unspecified vowel. “It was apparently a very powerful vowel. We discovered one of the last known usages of this vowel on a fragment of clay tablet describing the Israelite flight from Egypt. It was a three-word phrase spoken by Moses. Each of the words contained this vowel, and the phrase roughly translates as ‘I know the entire Egyptian army is after us, but there’s a damn red sea in the way.’ We found an earlier usage from an unspecified speaker who apparently uttered a phrase that means ‘Let’s finish this battle with Jericho tomorrow. It’s getting late.’ “We then began studying several of our modern languages. Virtually all show evidence of the missing vowel. We believe it was in common

use in many, if not all, of them. This was a very ubiquitous vowel.” She scratched her left cheek. Dr. Brendon took up the narrative. “Evidence of the missing vowel exists in many of our modern languages.” He fanned himself harder. “It seems that in the branch of Indo-European that evolved into the current Eastern European languages, like Polish, Slovak, Czech, Croatian, and others, this vowel occurred primarily in proper names.” “This is fascinating work,” the reporter said, pulling the microphone back. “Thanks to both of you. Linda, back to you in the studio,” he smiled. Had Derrick watched any other station anywhere on the planet, he would have known that the really big news stories of the day all centered around the alien spacecraft that had landed in Washington, and its occupants’ request to meet with the President. “I’m hungry now. I can’t wait for these stupid bacteria to grow.” Derrick drove to a McDonald’s, or rather “McDon ld’s” as the sign proclaimed. “You’d think after selling a few trillion burgers they could afford to buy a vowel,” he thought. “Welcome to McDon ld’s,” the menu said to him. “Order whenever you’ve decided.” Derrick scanned the menu. “I’ll take a Big Mac.” “Would you like fries with your order?” “Yes, a regular order, please.” “Something to drink?” “Coke, please.” “Little, medium, big, or huge?” “A large one.” “Big M c, fries, big Coke. Your bill comes to $4.41. Drive up to the first window.” At the window, Derrick looked at the cashier, but couldn’t decide if it was male or female. He handed

the cashier a five dollar bill, took his change, and proceeded to the next window. The same person, or a virtual twin, handed him a bag. “Your order, sir. Enjoy your McDon ld’s food.” It was only by a most unusual set of circumstances that Derrick was able to eat this particular hamburger. Twice during shipping to the processing plant, the cow from which the two patties were made vanished from the truck

The Secretary of State shrugged at the President. An hour ago, the most pressing business of the President concerned the paternity suit filed by the former Secretary of Labor. The Secretary of Defense stood by the doorway scanning the office. The right mouth continued, “We are from a planetary system in the spiral arm just around the corner from you. However . . . your telescopes

The alien figure seated in front of the President’s desk smiled. and reappeared three days later in the rancher’s herd, only to be sold back to McDon ld’s. Since the rancher counted his herd only once a month, the triple sale went unnoticed until after Derrick had finished his meal. By then it was too late to do anything about it. ***** “Captain, uh, Kirk? How the Hell did you get a name like Captain Kirk? And where did you say you were from again?” said the President of the United States as he scowled. The alien figure seated in front of the President’s desk smiled, at least what the president took to be a smile. The mouth on the right side of the alien’s face formed a bowlshaped curve, while the lips of the left mouth merely quivered. “Well,” said the right mouth, “my real name ... would be totally unpronounceable by your speech organs,” the left mouth continued, “so I chose . . . a name you could speak and would recognize.” The right mouth’s smile widened. “I must say, though, your biological perceptions . . . contained little truth about the nature of other galactic species. The Gorn, for example . . . are very kind and gentle creatures.” The right tongue licked the left lips.

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can’t see it due to interference from intergalactic dust. We call ourselves . . . well, you couldn’t pronounce it. Let’s just call us Communicators.” “How the Hell can you speak English if you’re aliens?” the President bellowed. “Now that’s simple.” The right mouth’s smile extended around the side of its head. “Communication . . . is our business.” The left mouth twitched at the outer corner. “We speak . . . many languages. We have to in our line of work.” The President closed his eyes and massaged his forehead. “And what line of work might that be?” “Interstellar wireless phone service,” the right mouth said. “‘The Universe Connects Through Us,’” the left mouth said. “We’re the largest interstellar wireless company in the Galaxy.” “Interstellar wireless phone service?” the President said with a hesitant voice. “You’ve come all this way, hundreds of light years . . .” “Thirty-seven thousand nine hundred and eighteen light years,” the right mouth corrected him. “. . . Thirty-seven thousand nine hundred and eighteen light years just to sell us intergalactic phone service?”

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Fiction: Featured Author “Oh no,” the right mouth said. “We’re not in sales. And we won’t have a sub-ether net in this part of the galaxy for . . . another 29 of your years. Until then, you’ll have to make do with light speed communication.” “We’re with Language Acquisition.” As the left mouth spoke, the upper left pseudopod reached deep into a fold of skin — or perhaps a pocket, it was difficult to determine which — and pulled out a small cube. A holographic image of the Milky Way appeared above the cube, color-coded in 17 colors. Red, purple, and orange dominated the galaxy. “The red represents us. Most of the rest represents our two main competitors. There are another dozen or so smaller companies. The lower right pseudopod produced a grape from another pocket fold — and popped it in the corresponding mouth. A dribble of grape juice rolled down his chin, but the tongue lashed out and snared it. “You Earthlings grow the best grapes in this section of the galaxy,” the right mouth said. “It could be your most valuable intergalactic export. As I was saying, our company has the service in the areas marked in red. You are a bit outside our area, but we plan to add this part of the galaxy as soon as possible.” The President stood and stared out of the window for a few seconds. “What is Language Acquisition?” ***** Derrick finished his Big Mac and fries and decided to brush the taste out of his mouth. When he went into the bathroom, he discovered a lidless tube of toothpaste with his Siamese cat sitting on the tube licking the oozing paste. “Ralph,” he yelled, swatting at the cat, “get out of here!” He rescued the toothpaste tube too late. “Damn it. Now I’ll have to go out again. Well, what else do

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Paranormal Underground

I need? Hmm, deodorant, soap, shampoo. I guess that’ll do it.” As he drove into the Wal-Mart parking lot, a dark cloud passed overhead. That’s odd, he thought. The weatherman didn’t predict rain. Better roll up my window. As he was about to enter the store, he heard a sizzling sound and two pops. He looked up just in time to see “Wal-Mart” become “W lM rt.” The gods must have a thing against a’s today, he thought. He walked into the store and to the “He lth nd Be uty” section. He found the deodorants, and picked up a container. The deodorant label said ‘B n.’

“What is going on today?” All of the box labels said ‘B n.’ He picked up a bottle of his normal shampoo, only to read “Johnson’s B by Sh mpoo.” “Did somebody lose the world’s supply of a’s?” Derrick frowned as he walked around the corner to the soaps. He picked up his preferred type, and read “S fegu rd” on the package. Derrick inspected the product boxes. “Where the Hell did every letter uh go?” He froze in mid-step, trying to utter the beginning letter again. “Uh, eh, ih, oh,” He couldn’t pronounce the letter. ***** “We create languages,” the alien’s right mouth said. At least the lips of the right mouth moved. The sound came from the left mouth that was busy chomping a bunch of

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grapes. The President stared at each mouth in turn. The right lips continued, “Occasionally we come across a planet that is in desperate need of intergalactic wireless telephone communication. The problem is, they don’t always recognize that need.” The left mouth, finished with the grapes, took up the lip movement. The sound continued from the left mouth. “You see, once in a while we find a planet whose inhabitants have yet to develop a written language. It is impossible for such a culture to sign a contract or to sell the service among its people.” “That’s where we come in,” the right mouth took up the conversation. “We create languages for these cultures so we can consummate the proper contracts.” The President sat down, staring at both mouths at once. “What does all this have to do with Earth?” he asked. The left mouth grinned so wide it appeared the head would split in two. “To create a language we have to have the letters. They just don’t exist in pre-literate societies.” The right hand pulled another cube out of its pocket. “This map displays all literate cultures in this sector of the galaxy. Another map of the galaxy floated in front of the President. The stars were shaded in one of six different colors. “We find planets with more letters than they actually need and appropriate them to create the new language. The gray stars have no planets. The white stars have no intelligent species and no evolutionary chance on their own for at least . . . fifty million of your years. They’re the domain of Genetics and Evolutionary Sciences.” “Appropriate them?” the President asked. “The blue stars have newly emergent intelligent life, or creatures on

the verge of developing intelligence. Intelligence Training works those planets. You know, they’ve finally improved on those black monoliths.” “Appropriate letters?” the President said more loudly. “Now the green stars have fully developed intelligence and the prime

planet. We temporarily transplant the alien vocal tract into the borrowed creature and determine the vocal tract’s ability to speak the letter.” “It’s amazing that the basic life forms recur all across the galaxy,” the left mouth took up the narration again. “The animal you call, uh, cow

“We’ve developed a way to clone the vocal tract of any life form.” markets for Sales,” the left mouth said. The left hand pointed to one of the stars on the 3-D map. “This one is you, but Installation just can’t keep up with demand right now. You still have a few years to wait. The red ones are current customers.” “What do you mean ‘appropriate letters’?” “I’m getting to that,” the right mouth said. “Some planets just never develop enough letters for a really good contract. They are the ones in yellow. Perfectly good planets for our service, but not enough letters. There are some planets which use a lot of letters. More than they need, really,” the right mouth said. “So we occasionally take one.” “Take one? You take a letter?” “If it fits a developing planet’s need.” “What does that mean,” the President asked, “‘fit the planet’s need’?” “Well, not every letter sound can be spoken by every culture around the galaxy. Before we can use a letter, we have to make sure it fits the vocal capabilities of the planet’s inhabitants. We’ve developed a simple process to test it.” The right mouth continued the explanation. “We’ve developed a way to clone the vocal tract of any life form. So we, uh, borrow a few local inhabitants from the letter donor

is very similar to the creatures we are currently developing a language for. By the way, we hope you don’t mind the experimentation we performed with them. We had to take a few up to our ship for some tests. We did return them. It turns out that your letter A fits our newest clients-to-be to a T.” “And that’s what we’re here to discuss with you.” ***** “S fe Gu rd,” Derrick muttered. “B by Sh mpoo, B n. Something’s wrong here.” He turned to the girl next to him. “Excuse me. Cn you red wht this lble sys, plese?” The girl looked toward Derrick, her eyes opened very wide. “I’m not supposed to tlk with strngers,” she mumbled and then skipped between the rows of product shelves. He inspected the product boxes. “Sifeguird, Johnson’s Biby Shimpoo, Bin.” Funny, something had seemed wrong before, but everything looked fine now. Derrick put the packages in his shopping cart and walked down the aisle to the checkout. He hummed the tune from his favorite signing group, the Beitles. “It’s been hird diys night,” he sang to himself. ***** “We need your letter ‘A’ for

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some clients-to-be in the Gamma Quadrant. We’ve tested it thoroughly, and it fills the need for our contract perfectly. Prints nicely in microscopic print too . . . so we are taking it from you,” the left mouth said. The President jumped up from his chair and grabbed the alien’s left nose. “You can’t just go around taking letters,” he screamed. “Ah, ahhh, ahhhhhh, mooooo,” the left mouth said. “Mr. President!” the right mouth said. “Please!” “Mooooo!” said the left mouth. The President let go of the nose. “You can’t take our letters. They’re ours.” “Well, technically speaking, they are ours. We gave you language. Well, G and E did. But then your species went on to develop a few letters of your own. We want it back now. And you can’t really stop us. It’s already happened. We’ve just saved the last few A’s for our conversation here. In either case . . . we’re prepared to make you a most generous offer. In exchange for the ‘A,’ we are offering your planet a 40% discount on whoever in the galaxy you call most when we get you hooked into our service. Pretty good deal for a vowel you’ll never even miss.” ***** Derrick sit down in front of his desk, gribbing the biology book off the shelf. “Dimn inierobic bicterii, you should be growing! I put ill the right stuff in there. It’s right here in the book.” Derrick stopped and stired it the book. “Oh dimn,” he thought, “I think I used the wrong stuff.” He glinced at the Petri dish and then giwked open-mouthed. He siw red, blue, ind green bicteria filling the dish below the sticker “sodium nitrite.” Derrick smiled. “Well, I must hive used the right stuff ifter ill.”

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Paranormal Fantasy Author Spotlight

Elisabeth Naughton By Michelle Pillow, www.michellepillow.com

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aranormal romance author Elisabeth Naughton left teaching Junior High science to write full time. Her debut release, Stolen Fury, was heralded by Publisher’s Weekly as “A rock-solid debut.” It also was recently nominated for two prestigious RITA awards by Romance Writers of America in the Best First Book category and the Best Romantic Suspense category. Elisabeth pens novels from her home in Western Oregon where she lives with her husband and three children. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out at the ball park and daydreaming about new and exciting adventures. Her latest novel, Entwined, book 2 in the Eternal Guardians Series, released in print and e-book on July 27, 2010. It can be found everywhere books are sold. Please join me in welcoming Elisabeth Naughton! ***** Q: In your book, Entwined, you delve into the world of Greek gods and ancient myths. What inspired you to write about this? Elisabeth: I have always been a huge fan of Greek mythology and the ancient stories. When I was writ-

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ing Stolen Fury, my debut release, I spent a lot of time researching mythology for the plot. In that book, the characters were searching for three ancient Greek relics that depicted the Three Furies, the

According to paranormal romance author Elisabeth Naughton, “The probability that we are the only planet in the solar system that exists in the life zone of a star is pretty slim.”

goddesses of punishment in crime in Greek mythology. When I got done with that book, I knew I wanted to do something else that centered on the ancient stories,

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and because I’ve always loved the possibility of the paranormal world, I decided to combine the two. Q: When world-building, did you base your story off of known myths throughout history? Elisabeth: My world is heavily rooted in Greek mythology. The warriors in my books are each descended from one of the great heroes from the ancient myths. Zander, the hero in Entwined, is a descendant of the famed hero Achilles. He, like Achilles, is a great warrior who seems to be immortal. He’s lived longer than any of his warrior kin and has watched kings come and go, as well as those he loves. He’s been injured just about everywhere a man can be injured, and yet has never taken a mortal wound. But like his forefather Achilles, he has a vulnerability. He just hasn’t found it yet. Q: What myths or legends inspired you? Elisabeth: I think all myths inspire me in one way or another. I love reading mythology from any culture. The Aztec myths are fascinating. Irish folklore can keep me awake for hours. And I can easily

Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet?

get lost in the gods and goddesses from ancient Egypt. Historians believe Tolkien pulled from many myths when he created The Lord of the Rings. Someday, I’d love to do that with a series myself.

Elisabeth: I would love to meet the characters from my books — descendents rooted in Greek mythology. They look human, act human, are part human, but have a little something extra as well.

Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Elisabeth: Well, personally, I think people are always fascinated by what they don’t understand. Would I really want to meet a vampire or werewolf on the street? I don’t think so, but the idea those creatures might exist is what intrigues me and many others as well. Human beings by nature are always trying to wrap their minds around things they don’t understand, and the paranormal is one instance where a logical answer just can’t be found, no matter how long you look. And no matter what, someone will always claim they have evidence that will probably leave you guessing even more. Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies, and books? Elisabeth: I was a HUGE fan of The X-Files before it went off the air. I still watch it in reruns. I also enjoy paranormal romances where, even though I might get scared, I know things are going to work out well in the end. Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Or are you a skeptic? Elisabeth: I used to teach science, and I remember talking to my students about the millions and millions of stars in the universe and the millions and millions of planets circling those stars. The probability that we are the

Q: If given the chance, would you become a character from your book?

“I would love to meet the characters from my books — descendents rooted in Greek mythology,” Elisabeth said.

only planet in the solar system that exists in the life zone of a star is pretty slim. That means the chance that life exists elsewhere, beyond our reach, is highly likely. Do I believe in aliens and little green men? I believe there is a lot I don’t know, and anything is possible. As for the supernatural right here on Earth? Again, I think anything is possible. Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Elisabeth: Nothing exciting like a haunted house or being abducted by aliens. Mostly, my interaction with the supernatural occurs in those déjà vu moments many of us experience. Something will happen that I could swear already happened, or it’s similar to something I pictured happening. Not entirely sure what that means.

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Elisabeth: No. The hero in Entwined has a real issue with being immortal. Looking at the world through his eyes, it wouldn’t be fun to live forever while everyone else around you comes and goes. It would be like that movie Groundhog Day, one day blending into the next with no endpoint in sight. Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a supernatural being? Elisabeth: I don’t think I’d believe it. Which means, hey, maybe I’ve already come in contact with something from the supernatural and just don’t know it! Q: What does the future hold for the Eternal Guardian Series? Elisabeth: The second book, Entwined, released on July 27, 2010, and will be followed by book three, Tempted, in February 2011. I’m contracted for two more books in the series after Tempted (currently untitled), but readers can expect them to hit store shelves about every six months. ***** Learn more about Elisabeth Naughton and her work at www.elisabethnaughton.com.

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Reader Profile

Thomas Perryman

(Forum Name: ThomasMrT) About Thomas

paranormal investigations and cryptozoology quests. He is a great worker/ investigator that I do not deserve.

Status: 308 in Dog Years . . . do the math.

Q: What would our readers be surprised to find out about you?

Currently Resides: Boston, Massachusetts/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Orlando, Florida. Status: Single (rent to own). Zodiac Sign: Libra (I epitomize the Scales of Justice). Occupation: Private investigator and author.

Q&A Q: What brought you to Paranormal Underground? Thomas: The excellent writing within the magazine that I found very impressive. What does your forum name mean? Thomas: Well, I’m a boxer, and I have always been referred to as Thomas Mr.T. I would rather use my name, or an abbreviation of it, and NOT hide behind a fake name or handle. It is like that at sport sites and entertainment sites — very negative, where people slam others under their false name and then pat him or her on the back and praise him or her in public. Q: How would you describe yourself? Thomas: I fight for the underdog

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Thomas is a believer who is interested in most paranormal phenomena, including UFOs and cryptozoology.

and stick up for them. Sometimes I assume the underdog status and then have to work to overcome it. I definitely have light and dark sides within me. I have the Clark Kent Boy Scout within me, and I have the primal animal as well. I started Boxing at the age of seven and still do to this day. Who in their right mind wants to get hit about the head over and over?

Thomas: I guess that would be my acting — hell it surprises me as well. Someone recognized me from a bit part on Thunder in Paradise, a Hulk Hogan show from the past. Been in a few films and TV projects — yet NO Syfy channel movies, my career has not slipped that much . . . LOL. Q: Are you a skeptic or believer? Thomas: Definitely a believer, but sometimes I come off as a skeptic. If I have debunked something, then I am regarded as a skeptic; if I support a theory with information or facts, then I am regarded as a believer. Q: How long have you been investigating paranormal phenomena? Thomas: It started by mistake in the late ’80s while I was on a criminal case.

Q: Tell us about your family and what you like to do.

Q: Are you a member of a paranormal group?

Thomas: Well I am a very extraverted person, hell a performer, but I have a very open and public life. Yet, I also retain a private life. I tend to keep my family life very private due to my past law enforcement positions. My oldest son helps me in my

Thomas: No, I prefer to work alone, and I hire experts for my cases and investigations. Right now I have on retainer an ex-FBI forensic photo analyst that worked with me on a Lake Monster investigation, and he is returning for a UFO book.

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Thomas often investigates the paranormal, including going on cryptozoology quests. He is a paranormal author who has written about his adventures in the paranormal.

Q: What is the best paranormal evidence you’ve captured to date? Thomas: Well, I really hit for the fences in my lake monster book. I don’t want to sound like I’m pushing the book, it just all came together during this investigation. Q: What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Thomas: Honestly, all of it. I am working on a UFO book, I did a lake monster book, and I am planning a very special ghost investigation shortly. I enjoy the paranormal, yet I think of cryptozoology as a separate category. Yes cryptozoology is lumped into the paranormal, yet I think they are both night and day. I enjoy both fields, but I know over time I will lean toward cryptozoology subjects. Q: Talk about any paranormal experiences you have had. Thomas: I’ll be brief, but I had a real UFO encounter in Kentucky in my teens, and I shot a crossbow at the traveler’s vehicle. I had ghost encounters at a friend’s home that can still be experienced to this day. I had a missing person case that ended up within the realm of the paranormal — I was

working a serial killer case in the past. I am following Bigfoot’s trail as we speak.

Q: Who are your heroes? Thomas: My Uncle Charlie “The Tomb” Perryman. He was a police officer and a pro-boxer. I followed in his footsteps, and he was a great role model and trainer. He made me an honorable and respectful person when I could have been a not-so-very-nice person. Q: What are your favorite books, movies, TV shows, and paranormal shows? Thomas: I have an 1897 Arthur Conan Doyle first edition. I have a late 1800’s book by author Herman Melville. I enjoy the Ian Fleming books and movies of James Bond 007. Love Romero & Raimi Films. TV shows, well I tend to watch the History Channel and Discovery Channel a lot. My cable provider just removed Nat Geo Channel so it is time for me to relocate. Paranormal shows, I watch them and have mixed feelings on the programming..

have disbanded, like Midnight Oil, Genesis, etc. I like all kinds of music. I go from Punk to Classical. For example, I love Public Image Limited with Johnny Rotten (ex-Sex Pistols) to the four classically trained English ladies of the group BOND.

Q: What are your pet peeves? Thomas: Tardiness and stupidity. Yes that was direct, but you asked. LOL. Q: What do you think happens to us when we die? Thomas: We still exist, but not in a way that we can understand. Our minds are still too young to comprehend the other existences. We are still just above the caveman with stones. We are currently well tailored, and we have the iPhone. Q: Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Thomas: Be strong, fight strong, love strong. Sounds like a Hallmark card from Hell. LOL.

Q: Favorite music?

Q: Any exciting plans for the future?

Thomas: I lean toward New Wave, 80’s British Invasion, and Dave Gahan. Most of the bands I like

Thomas: More investigations and more contributions to Paranormal Underground.

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Reviews of the Month

What Is Your Favorite Version of A Christmas Carol? By Heidi Ann

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hen someone says “paranormal movie” what comes to mind? How about Sixth Sense, Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, or a Halloween favorite? But what about a Christmas paranormal movie? While not always top of mind, one of the best “paranormal stories” ever written is a Christmas classic. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is not only a heartwarming tale of redemption, but also a good, oldfashioned ghost story. There have been at least 50 versions of the Dickens’ classic made into film or for television broadcast. From the 1901 short film Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost to a 2010 Doctor Who television adaptation — and everything in between — there’s seemingly a version of A Christmas Carol for everyone. I’ve seen many different versions, but my favorite by far is the 1951 British masterpiece Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim (also known as A Christmas Carol in the United States). This black-and-white version is perfection, as Sim embodies the character of Scrooge like no other actor I’ve ever seen. While anticipating the return of Scrooge and company to my television this December, I began wondering what versions other PUGsters liked best. So I asked some www. ParanormalUnderground.net members if they would share their favorite version of A Christmas Carol. A front-runner quickly emerged . . .

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Member Picks “I’d have to go with the 1951 UK version starring Alastair Sim. How can you go wrong with the black and white version? All the rest simply don’t measure up.” —BornAware “My favorite A Christmas Carol movie is the black and white 1951 version with Alistair Sim. It is my favorite because I think it portrays

“I’ve seen so many versions over the years, and the only two that really stick are the classics: George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge and The Muppet Christmas Carol. I have to stick to the classic tale from 1984 with George C. Scott as my all-time favorite.” —almosthunted “My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the 1999 TNT version, directed by David Hugh Jones, starring Patrick Stewart. Although it may not be the best version or the best directed, there is something about Patrick Stewart’s portrayal of Scrooge that I look forward to watching every year. I enjoy his acting style, and he has an all-time classic voice that really lends itself well to this role.” —Gene “My favorite is A Christmas Carol with Alastair Sim. I grew up watching that version. To me, it’s truly a classic . . . and I love the classics.” —wrightghost

the era accurately as I think it would have been. I also like seeing the cameraman in the mirror — a blooper that they left in. Besides, Charles Dickens was one of the first ghost hunters.” —GhostBreakers

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“My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is from 1984 with George C. Scott as Scrooge. This was the first version of the story that I had seen, and I fell in love with the story of how someone can change. It also became a family tradition to watch together and understand the true meaning of Christmas.” —duckie7694

“That is a simple answer. Being a Star Trek nerd, the version with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge is my favorite. If only they could have somehow incorporated a rip in the time space continuum to explain the three visiting Christmas spirits, it would have been the ultimate Christmas Carol . . . that and maybe a Klingon Bob Cratchit.” —Barek Halfhand “I think my favorite was Scrooged with Bill Murray, probably because I remember it from childhood. The idea of seeing yourself — past, present, and future — like that is intriguing, though I’m not sure it’s a literal journey I’d want to take!” —MichellePillow

“My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge. Clips from this version were featured prominently during The X-Files’ 6th season episode, “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas,” and that is how it came to my attention. I am a sucker for the sound and visual feel of old black-and-white movies, so I made sure to watch it in its entirety. For sure, this is my favorite.” —ourobouros2K2 Editor Picks “My favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the 1999 TV movie with Patrick Stewart. His portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge is so passionate

“. . . My favorite by far is the 1951 British masterpiece Scrooge, starring Alastair Sim.” “My favorite A Christmas Carol is the Alastair Sim version, mainly because it was the first version that I saw when I was a kid, and I think it is the scariest version. The acting and cinematography made the movie really enjoyable. The ghosts were great.” —movieman1500

and intense, it completely captured and held my attention from beginning to end.” —Cheryl Knight, editor-in-chief “I have two favorites, actually. The first is Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, because I loved watching it when I was a kid. It was my first introduction to the story, which I

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then went on to study several times in various school Lit classes. The other is the 1951 version starring Alistair Sim, who is, without a doubt, how I have always pictured Ebenezer Scrooge in my mind.” —Karen Frazier, managing editor “A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of my all-time favorites, and I literally have seen them all. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be a toss up between the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge, and the 2009 Disney version with Jim Carey as Scrooge. Both are true to the original story as Dickens wrote it, and surprisingly, the Disney version was extremely accurate in conveying what was written in the story to the screen. It was the only version that I have ever seen that showed Scrooge taking the halfpence from Jacob Marley’s eyes as he lay there freshly dead and muttering, ‘Tuppence is Tuppence,’ just like the book.” —J.D. Harrison, science editor “Patrick Stewart’s version comes to mind, but my all-time favorite is Alastair Sim’s black and white version. Mickey’s Christmas Carol, from 1983, also ranks up there with my all-time favorites.” —Chad Wilson, publisher

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Reviews of the Month

Packing for Mars:

The Curious Science of Life in the Void By Mary Roach

Book review by Karen Frazier

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ur family has more than a passing interest in the space program. Dick Scobee, the astronaut charged with piloting the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, was one of my husband’s relatives. Jim has talked a little about his Uncle Dick throughout our marriage, which furthered my interest in the logistics behind putting a man in space. Apparently, I am not alone in my fascination. In her most recent book, Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, author and journalist Mary Roach gives readers a peek under the space program’s skirt. What readers discover is just how anal the program really needs to be in order to send a human being hurtling out into zero gravity. Roach is well known for tackling the arcane, as she did in previous books such as Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, but she always does so in a way that both entertains and informs. Packing for Mars is no different. It turns out that space programs in the United States and around the world leave nothing to chance. Nothing. This is a fact that Roach communicates well in Packing for Mars. With her characteristic style

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that combines exceedingly thorough research (Roach takes a zero G space flight, tries some delicious NASA food, and field tests a space

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toilet) and a terrific sense of humor, Roach walks readers through things NASA and other space programs test that mere mortals wouldn’t even dream could be an issue in zero gravity. Among the talk of zero-gravity toilets, space elimination, weightless sex, some of the world’s worst cuisine, and the effects of not showering for long periods of time on space missions, Roach takes the readers on a fascinating, funny, and sometimes gross journey into exactly how thorough space programs are in pursuit of space exploration. Whether you have an interest in space exploration or not, you’re sure to find Packing for Mars a fascinating and educational read that will leave you realizing astronauts are even bigger heroes than you could ever have imagined.

Dead End Genre: Horror Movie Directed by/Written By: Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa

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love Christmas . . . everything about it. The smells, the tastes, the feeling in the air, and of course the Christmas movies. From A Christmas Carol to A Christmas Story and Love, Actually to A Very Brady Christmas, I have a list of “must see” movies I watch every December. I decided to search “The Vault” to see if I could find a new title to add to my “Christmas Movie Must-See” list. I came across Dead End . . . but will it make the cut? The Harrington family, Frank (Ray Wise), Laura (Lin Shaye), and their children Richard (Mick Cain) and Marion (Alexandra Holden), along with Marion’s boyfriend Brad (Billy Asher), are taking their annual Christmas Eve trip to grandmother’s house. For 20 years, Frank has taken the interstate to reach his mother-inlaw’s, but this year he finds himself very tired, and while the rest of the family sleeps, he decides to take a back road in hopes the scenery will keep him awake. It doesn’t. A near head-on collision jolts the entire family awake. And with frayed nerves all around, the Harringtons continue on their trip through the woods. But this is no ordinary trip to Grandma’s. When

Frank notices a “lady in white” (Amber Smith) holding a baby on the side of a dark, deserted road, he stops to help. A stop he never should have made. So, did Dead End make my “Christmas Movie Must-See” list? Close, but not quite. Having never heard of the movie before I watched it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was a very good, very suspenseful little gem of a movie. The acting was so convincing that when they were bickering in the car, I felt like I was reliving one of my own holiday road trips with my boys. This movie reminded me more

of the classics from the 50s or 60s than a 2003 horror flick. Most of the “horror and gore” is left to our imagination instead of forced down our throat, which to me is far scarier. Dead End had me on the edge of my seat almost from the getgo, and I surprisingly had no idea where it was going. While it won’t be on my “Christmas” list, as it really didn’t evoke any feelings of the holiday, it will definitely be a movie I recommend to friends and will probably watch myself from time to time. Another great find from the vault.

In Dead End, the Harrington family take an annual Christmas trip to Grandma’s house. Unfortunately, the family gets lost along the way and runs head-on into a mysterious and dangerous stranger.

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December 2010 Paranormal Underground