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Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 6

Zombiism Across Cultures Haunted History: Day of the Dead Do Shapeshifters Really Exist? The Legend of Pemberton Hall

November 2008

Also Inside: Diary From a Haunted Hotel Roundtable Debate: Zombies TV Watch: Ghost Adventures Featured Authors: I’ll Tell by Sandi Kennedy November 2008 Paranormal Underground

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By the Sea by Chad Wilson

The Day of th INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Chelle Thomas Searches for Answers

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SPECIAL REPORTS A Cultural Look at Zombiism

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Shapeshifter Lore

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CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites: The Legend of Pemberton Hall

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Cryptids: Jackalope Myths

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Depart Publisher’s Note 4 From the Editor 6 T.V. Watch: Ghost Adventures 7 Reader Feedback: 13 Zombies Recommended Reading 13 Member Profile: Zero79 38

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Paranormal Underground November 2008

he Dead Issue HAUNTED HISTORY Day of the Dead Honors the Deceased

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FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR “I’ll Tell” by Sandi Kennedy

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“By the Sea” by Chad Wilson

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PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Diary From a Haunted Hotel

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Life With the Breathing Impaired

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tments Poetry Corner

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Roundtable Debate: Zombies

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Reviews of the Month: 42 Book: Voodoo Dreams DVD: Diary of the Dead Theater: Quarantine Paranormal News

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Publisher’s Note Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 6

November 2008

The Scienti

www.ParanormalUnderground.net

EDITORIAL STAFF Publisher Chad Wilson

Managing Editor Cheryl Knight

Assistant Editors Lauren Fletcher Karen Frazier Mindy Kinnaman Lisajoyce Vegara

Contributing Editors Chad Wilson Jaime Johnesee

Science Editor Binoo’mukua

Proofreader Claudia Ghidella

Contributing Authors Karen Frazier Carolyn M. Hughes Jaime Johnesee Sandi Kennedy Mindy Kinnaman Michael Kleen Cheryl Knight Bri Larkin Chelle Thomas Chad Wilson

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

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hat is a theory? Away from the laboratory a theory is just a hunch or speculation. A lot of us get along just fine operating day to day acting on hunches and speculation. However, in the scientific world, hunches and speculation are only the beginning. If you asked a scientist what a theory is, he might say a theory is a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature, or the natural world, by gathering many facts over time. Even though some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them, theories allow scientists to make predictions about as-yet unobserved or unexplained phenomena. In steps the field of paranormal study, which includes various anomalous sightings and unexplained happenings that defy the normal, everyday world as we currently see it. What Is the Scientific Method? Does the paranormal contradict how things are “supposed to work”? How does one explain a haunting, or the observance of strange objects in the sky, objects that defy the way things are said to work, according to modern physics? Through science, we can observe said phenomena and by using a common method — the scientific method — establish how these strange events

Paranormal Underground November 2008

Chad Wilson, Publisher

fit into our world view. But what exactly is the scientific method? The scientific method refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, and the acquisition of new knowledge, or correction and integration of previous knowledge. In order to be considered scientific, the methods of inquiry must be based on the gathering of observable, empirical, and measurable data, or evidence, subject to specific principles of reason. Even though procedures differ from one field to the next, all scientific methodologies consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, as well as the formulation and testing of the hypothesis. Designing Experimental Studies Through the design of experimental studies to test the hypothesis put forth, researchers propose hy-

Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 6

ific Method

November 2008

www.ParanormalUnderground.net

ART STAFF Art Director potheses as explanations of phenomena. These steps must be able to be repeated by other scientists, as well as yield predictable future results. Facets shared by differing scientific methodologies are objectiveness, to reduce biased interpretation of results, and the sharing and archiving of all data and methodology, to be available for future, careful scrutiny by other scientists or professionals in the respective field. Called full disclosure, this practice allows the statistical measuring of the reliability of data to be established. Furthering the Paranormal Field by Sharing Data This all brings me to my point: In order to be taken seriously by the scientific community at large, the various paranormal investigative groups, including those on television and other mediums, need to share the data they collect and compile. In order for the field of paranormal study to grow, researchers need to be open and honest about their findings. Of course, I understand that confidentiality is crucial in some cases, which must be upheld. But, when the opportunity allows, researchers must share data and findings to further the paranormal field. How can one quantify the paranormal? This might be achieved by compiling investigative data into a

common database. This would allow data to be correlated and then hypotheses to be formed. This, in turn, would make room for theories about the paranormal and, hopefully, the eventual declaration of paranormal theories as scientific fact. It would further the field, increase interest in its study, and scientifically answer the age-old question, Is there life after death? Then again, there would have to be an unprecedented cooperation between the myriad of paranormal groups and researchers, and this could prove tough. Egos would need to be put aside, or this type of cooperation would fail. In my opinion, I think it will be the smaller groups, working through a spirit of cooperation, that will turn this type of idea into a reality. Through the sharing of ideas and information, we can find concrete, sound answers as to what paranormal phenomena actually is. One day, I believe that we will have those answers. Will we uncover proof of an afterlife, or something else?

If you’d like to submit a letter to the editor or publisher, provide feedback on magazine content, make suggestions for future issues, or submit news items, please e-mail Editor@ paranormalunderground.net.

Chad Wilson

Design and Layout Cheryl Knight

Cover Day of the Dead Movie Poster

PROMOTION STAFF Marketing Director Jaime Johnesee

MySpace Admin. Chad Wilson www.myspace.com/paranormalunderground

YouTube Admin. Karen Frazier www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG

Web Site Admin. Chris Johnesee Copyright © 2008 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of ParanormalUnderground. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of ParanormalUnderground. 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.

November 2008 Paranormal Underground

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From the Editor

Honoring Our Ancestors

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aranormal Underground’s November “Day of the Dead” issue focuses on the topics of Zombiism, Shapeshifters, and the Day of the Dead. In our “Special Report: A Cultural Look at Zombiism,” Mindy Kinnaman discusses beliefs and rituals involving zombies across cultures. Also, in “Special Report: Shapeshifter Lore,” Chelle Thomas documents shapeshifter legends around the world. Turn to pages 10 and 14 to read more from our Special Reports. In Haunted History, Jaime Johnesee takes a look at Dia de los Muertos, a day in which those who celebrate it honor the souls of the deceased. Here is an excerpt from this month’s column. “My favorite part of this holiday is the stories told about those who have passed. In my mind, it is such a beautiful and poignant way to pass on family history from one generation to the next. Of course, the candy isn’t half bad either.” To read more about Day of the Dead, see page 22. Our Investigator Spotlight features GhostDose and Paranormal Underground member Chelle Thomas (AKA Amara). She has been investigating the paranormal for more than 15 years. See page 8 for Chelle’s Q&A. In our personal experiences section this month, we have our continuing series “Diary From a Haunted Hotel” (page 32) and “Life With the Breathing Impaired” (page 36). In “Diary,” Carolyn Hughes

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continues to share with us her experiences from within a Gettysburg Hotel. Here’s a quote from this month’s diary: “I was sitting at the desk facing the cabinet watching the news when a movement caught my eye. I watched the master key, which was sitting directly in the middle on the top of the cabinet with the cord right next to it, move across the cabinet to the edge and fall off.” And in “Life,” Bri Larkin shares her family’s experiences from within

their haunted house. Here’s an excerpt from this month’s entry: “As we were visiting in the living room, the door slams started. Everyone got quiet. My friend headed down to the basement to see if he could track it down. He couldn’t. He came back upstairs and stood in the doorway, between us and the basement door he had just passed through. All of the sudden, we started hearing the basement door open.” In this month’s Haunted Sites article on Pemberton Hall (page 16), author Michael Kleen documents the legends behind the location’s supposed hauntings by a murdered coed and a distraught dorm mother. The October issue’s Round-

Paranormal Underground November 2008

table Debate panelists provide their perspectives on zombiism (page 40). And in the Reviews of the Month, Mindy Kinnaman gives her take on the book Voodoo Dreams, the DVD Diary of the Dead, and the new movie Quarantine. Ghost Adventures is the subject of this month’s T.V. Watch (page 7). The three-man investigative team uses their “extreme” ghost-hunting style to document paranormal occurrences around the world. This in-your-face, documentary-style production will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jaime Johnesee tackles the Jackalope in our cryptids feature (page 20) and tells us what zoologists and cryptozoologists believe is really going on with Jackalope sightings. In this month’s Member Profile, we get to know more about Paranormal Underground and GhostDose member Zero79 (page 38). Also, we have two featured authors this month. Sandi Kennedy is our second-place short story contest winner. In I’ll Tell, a horrible accident leads to an unexpected relationship between two brothers. In Chad Wilson’s short story, By the Sea, one business man finds out the true meaning of voodoo love. Check out page 24 to read Sandi’s second-place entry, and turn to page 28 to read Chad’s Zombie short story! I hope you enjoy the November issue of Paranormal Underground!

~ Cheryl Knight Managing Editor

T.V. Watch

‘Ghost Adventures’ Returns to TV

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n July 25, 2007, millions of viewers tuned into the Sci Fi Channel to watch Ghost Adventures, a documentary about a team of paranormal researchers investigating locations in Virginia City and Goldfield, Nev. Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin — known as “extreme ghost hunters” — came back from their ghost-hunting expedition with footage and audio of a fullbodied apparition, a shadow person, electronic voice phenomena, and a brick flying across a room. In Virginia City, the team visited the Old Washoe Club, where they claimed to catch a full-bodied apparition walking across the screen. At the Goldfield Hotel in Nevada, a brick was thrown from one side of a room to another. On Oct. 17, 2008, more than a year after the original documentary aired, Ghost Adventures returned to T.V. sets across the country, but this time via the Travel Channel. Demonic Activity Investigated at Bobby Mackey’s On the Travel Channel T.V. series premiere, the Ghost Adventures team investigated Bobby Mackey’s Music World — dubbed Hell’s Gate as a result of its supposed demonic activity — in Wilder, Ky.

During its second airing, the “in-yourface” paranormal crew visited the Houghton Mansion in North Adams, Mass. Formerly built and owned by A.C. Houghton in the mid-1800s, this prominent family experienced several tragic deaths in a short period of time. Ghost Adventures investigators Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, and During their Nick Groff — known as “extreme ghost hunters” — have caught investigations, the team footage of a full-bodied apparition, a shadow person, and a brick acquaints themselves flying across a room. with the general area; interviews locals about Idaho Penitentiary, and a former the hauntings; and goes psychiatric hospital. face-to-face with the evil spirits who In a cast interview on www.travelreportedly haunt these locations. channel.com, Host and Lead InvesWhile the show is full of extigator Zac Bagans said, “You can be citement and edge-of-your-seat the . . . man with the biggest muscles, suspense, there are a few attempts and when you’re in a dark room, and to debunk the alleged paranormal you can’t see two inches in front of evidence captured by the team. The your face, and you start hearing voices, team leaves their discoveries up to or you’re getting pushed, grabbed, or the viewers to contemplate. scratched, you can’t fight back.” Bagans added the team spends Domestic and International 12 hours “locked down” in the Investigations to Air locations being investigated, which In future episodes of Ghost Adfurther adds to the show’s suspense. ventures, Bagans, Groff, and Good“These are the places that have win will investigate the Moundsville the activity that we need to docuPenitentiary, Riddle House, Sloss ment on video,” Bagans said. Furnaces, Edinburgh Vaults, the Old

November 2008 Paranormal Underground

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Courtesy of the Travel Channel

By CHeryl Knight

Investigator Spotlight

Chelle THomas

Searches for Answers By Cheryl Knight

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his month’s Investigator Spotlight features GhostDose and Paranormal Underground member Chelle Thomas (AKA Amara). Chelle, age 30, has been investigating the paranormal since she was 15. Her interest in paranormal events began as a young child. “My grandparents home and my parents home were haunted,” she said. “When really weird stuff that you can’t explain happens over a time, you develop an interest as to the who, what, when, where, and why.” This desire for information drove Chelle to go out and search for answers. And over the years, she has investigated dozens of sites with coworkers and friends. Read on to find out more about Chelle’s investigations. *****

Q: Talk about your most impactful paranormal experiences.

Chelle: There have been several. I think one that has stuck with me the most is the haunting at my grandparent’s old farm. As a small child, I would play in the cellar where they stored the fruits and vegetables for winter. There used to be a man down there that I always thought was my grandfather. He kept telling me, “I’m Floyd, not your grandfather.”

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I’d just giggle and thought my grandfather was pulling my leg. One year, near the end of winter, when all the produce had been long gone, the man gave me a really ripe apple. He said, “Take this to your family. I’ll take a bite, and you take a bite, and tell them that you’re playing with Floyd. They’ll tell you I’m not your grandfather.” I remember he was always sweet, and we’d play for hours. So, I took the apple up to the first floor and stood there waiting for the adults to stop chatting. I was probably four or five at the time. My grandmother noticed what was in my hand. When I explained what I thought grandpa had told me, the whole room got quiet. My grandfather had been sitting at the table the whole time I was downstairs. The adults flipped out and searched the basement, telling us kids to never go in it again. They thought some guy was getting in there. I told them, “He said his name was Floyd, and that you would be OK with him.” Again, silence. I came to find out that Floyd was my grandfather’s grandfather, and he had just disappeared one day. There were rumors of what had happened, but nothing 100%. From then until my grandparents sold the house, we were banned from the cellar.

Paranormal Underground November 2008

Chelle has been investigating the paranormal for more than 15 years. Here cases range from residual to demonic.

Q: Describe your paranormal team.

Chelle: While we don’t have an official name, we’re very eclectic and include a range of personalities, from skeptics to believers to spiritualists. We try to do an investigation from all aspects. Q: What prompted you to go out on investigations?

Chelle: You know the saying “curiosity killed the cat”? Well, I’m not dead yet, and I’m still checking things out. Q: Please talk a bit about yourself.

Chelle: I’m a pretty open and honest person. If someone wants to know something about me, I normally don’t have a problem sharing. I like to live life “spherically” looking at all aspects and absorbing what I can. Q: How many investigations have you been on to date?

Chelle: Too many to count! I’ve been on eight so far this year.

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Q: What different types of locations have you investigated?

Chelle: I’ve investigated a wide range of locations, including homes, outside locations, and commercial areas. Q: What are your primary roles while out on an investigation?

Chelle: I’m a total hands on person. I’ve done research, technical, spiritual, and evidence review. Q: What are the most common types of equipment you use on investigations?

Chelle: Voice recorders, cameras, intuition, and that “other” sense. Q: What have been your most exciting cases to date, and what happened on those cases?

Chelle: I’ve had several residual hauntings that really knocked my socks off, as well as seeing the “holy grail” of the paranormal field, fullbodied apparitions. There were some demonic investigations that I’d wished I had called in sick on (lol). Q: What have been some of the scarier moments you’ve had while investigating, and how did you handle those instances?

Chelle: We were investigating a poltergeist/demonic case. Candles were lighting and putting themselves out, books were thrown, and one of the investigators was thrown to the floor. It was pretty crazy for a while, especially when we started cleansing the place. But, if you keep a cool head and show the entity that you’re not going to take their crap, they tend to clear out. Q: What have been the most significant EVPs that you’ve captured

During an Apr. 11, 2008, investigation at Comfort Hill in Wellsburg, N.Y., Chelle and seven other investigators snapped more than 200 pictures of the site. Pictured above is the spot where Chemung County’s first auto fatality took place on Jul. 5, 1914.

during investigations?

Chelle: I’ve had quite a few, from an entity calling out an investigator’s name to answering questions to telling us to look somewhere specific. Q: What has been your best video and photographic evidence caught to date?

Chelle: I’m a little leery about this area because of all the new information coming out. It’s really hard to use video/photos for evidence with the technology today. Though, there is a family portrait that was done with a Polaroid after my mother passed that gave me pause for a while. Q: How did you go about becoming trained as a paranormal investigator?

Chelle: I’m pretty much self-taught. I’ve read books and researched on the Web. When I first started, there wasn’t a huge interest or much easily gotten information. It was mostly trial and error.

Q: Please tell us about any future investigations you have planned.

Chelle: There’s a children’s hospital that later became an elderly care facility near Watkins Glenn that I’d like to check out. Q: What sites do you have on your wish list to investigate?

Chelle: Waverly, castles, and old sites in Scotland. Too many to list! Q: What words of wisdom would you offer amateur ghost hunters investigating for the first time?

Chelle: Take the time to know your equipment, and make sure you have a first aid kit because you’ll be bumping around in the dark in unfamiliar places. Have a checklist of the gear/ necessities you think you’ll need. And no matter what people tell you, “being cool” is a hard thing to do the first time you experience something unexpected. Also be sure to respect the area you are investigating.

November 2008 Paranormal Underground

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Special Report

A Cultural Loo By Mindy Kinnaman

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he idea of the dead bursting from the ground and shuffling about, looking for some tasty living being to gnosh on seems a bit far-fetched. I admit it does in that sense, but if you think about reanimated corpses in more of a Frankenstein mindset, it starts to seem a bit more real.

Cornish, for example, resurrected two dogs by placing their bodies on a seesaw to circulate their blood. He then injected the bodies with adrenalin and anticoagulants. Had the California government not stepped in, Cornish would have taken his experimentation to the next level, as he was able to find a The Science of Zombies prisoner condemned to Zombiism has appeared execution willing to be in cultures across the world brought back to life. for thousands of years. The One of the most Epic of Gilgamesh mentions notable of the group, Brukhow Ishtar threatened to honenko, captured the “knock down the Gates of results of his experimentathe Netherworld” in order tion on film. He figured to “let the dead go up to eat out how to sustain a live the living.” dog’s head that had been Centuries later, zombies severed from its body. could be found in Norse Anyone with access mythology and the cultures to the Internet can see the of countries, including Chiresults of Brukhonenko’s na and India. The people of work in reanimation. Ary’s France, during the Middle work in robotics led him Ages, believed that the dead to create a living robot would rise from graveyards operated by a disembodied Zombies can be found in Norse mythology and the cultures of countries, including China and India. at night to seek revenge for rat brain. The rat operated slights made against them a bionic arm, and the rat during their lives. soon learned to draw. Mary Shelley got the idea for But that doesn’t mean that Finally, Lord Dippel could have her novel Frankenstein from Eraspeople have not experimented. been the real-life version of Victor mus Darwin’s alleged reanimation Scientists such as Dr. Robert CorFrankenstein. He worked in the of dead matter and from galvanism, nish, Dr. Sergei Brukhonenko, Guy laboratory of Castle Frankenstein, the use of electricity to reanimate the Ben Ary, and Lord Johan Dippel all experimenting in areas of anatomy, corpses of animals and, in one case, experimented on reanimation. immortality, and alchemy. He also

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a freshly killed murderer in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1818. Nowadays, galvanism has been replaced by electrophysiology, which has played an important role in advancing medical technology in the study of the brain, heart, muscles, and other parts of the body.

Paranormal Underground November 2008

ok at Zombiism Scientists as far back as the 1930s investigated the claims of zombiism. Dr. Louis P. Mars wrote in the journal Man: A Record of Anthropological Science in 1945 how he was unable to find anyone who actually had seen a zombie. He stated mass hysteria

relative, causing them to believe that the person was indeed a zombie. Wade Davis, a Harvard professor and author of The Serpent and the Rainbow and Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie, found the cause of zombiism stemmed from the use of a coup de poudre — a poison including The Faith of Zombie tetrodotoxin, the same When people think poison in fugu, the of zombies, in addition puffer fish — and dissoto thinking of the walking ciatives, which caused dead in a George Romea person to enter a ro film, their thoughts death-like state where often stray to voodoo their will is at the (sometimes called mercy of the bokor. vodun) ceremonies Millions of people in which the dead are practice voodoo, and controlled by a bokor, a each year, many of Voodoo sorcerer. the religion’s followers Voodoo came to travel to the African the United States, South nation of Togo to America, and Caribbean celebrate Epe Ekpe, a countries, such as Haiti, New Year’s Eve festival as slaves were brought Voodoo practitioners travel to the African nation of Togo to celebrate Epe Ekpe, a that celebrates family West from Africa. It New Year’s Eve festival that celebrates family and voodoo. Zombies are thought and voodoo. is in the African and to walk among the living during the Epe Ekpe celebration when the Egungun Zombies are Haitian practices that dancers perform in a trance-like state. thought to walk most stories of zombies among the living durare heard. regarding the arrival of mentally ill ing the Epe Ekpe celebration when The voodoo religion claims travelers in towns would cause the the Egungun dancers perform in there are two types of zombies: residents to cry that they were bea trance-like state. It is believed people who return from death to ing haunted by zombies. that if an Egungun is touched, the serve as slaves and souls stolen from People in the town would say person will die due to the power of people by the bokor to give him/her the visitor resembled a long-dead the zombie. more power. was alleged to have robbed graves in the name of research. Authors — including H.P. Lovecraft and Richard Matheson — and B-movies from the 1930s onward caught on to the stories of reanimation, thus infecting popular culture with the idea of zombies.

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Special Report

Zombies have seen a recent surge in popularity as films such as Diary of the Dead and the comedy Shaun of the Dead, new video games such as those in the Resident Evil series, and books such as Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead have hit store shelves.

The Narcisse Zombie Case Haiti became famous for its zombies after a man named Clairvius Narcisse supposedly arose from the dead. On April 30, 1962, hospital records show that Narcisse walked into the emergency room at Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles. He was feverish and full of aches, but doctors could not diagnose his illness. Three days after entering the hospital, Narcisse died. The attending physicians signed his death certificate. Narcisse’s body was placed in cold storage for about 20 hours, and then he was buried. Narcisse claims that he remembers hearing his doctors pronounce him dead while his sister wept at his bedside. But he actually did not die at all, and he was “resurrected” with a “zombie potion” and forced to work on a sugarcane plantation for a zombie master. When Narcisse’s zombie master died in 1964, Narcisse wandered the island in a drug-induced daze. It supposedly took years for the toxins that

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had been used to transform him into a mindless worker to wear off. Finally, in 1980 Narcisse ran into his sister at a marketplace. While she was unable to recognize him, the stories he told her of their childhood together convinced her that he was indeed her long-thought dead brother. Zombies Today Today, zombies are primarily seen in movies, such as those in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series of films. Zombies have seen a recent surge in popularity as films such as Diary of the Dead, I am Legend, and the comedy Shaun of the Dead; new video games such as those in the Resident Evil series; and books such as Max Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead have hit store shelves. The zombies differ greatly from Frankenstein’s monster or a zombie under the control of the bokor. Instead, these zombies are mindless,

Paranormal Underground November 2008

shuffling beings hungry for the flesh of the living. What creates zombies is a vast pool that includes possession, as seen in the Spanish horror film [•Rec]; scientific experimentation gone wrong, such as in the film 28 Days Later; and toxic spills, as in the horror parody Return of the Living Dead II. No matter how the zombies are created, their methods are similar: seek out the living and then bite and tear at their flesh until the victims either die or are reanimated as a zombie. Most often, the way in which to kill zombies involves destroying the brain. However, some zombies, such as those in 28 Days Later or its sequel 28 Weeks Later, can be destroyed simply by killing their bodies through fire, gunshot wounds, or bombs. No matter what, zombies in popular culture show a harrowing future in which zombies are responsible for the fall of civilization. Human survivors are few and live together in tribes, worrying more about their own survival than things such as politics or war. The Future of Zombies? The idea of zombies running rampant across the world seems terrifying, and I’ll be the first to say it is my worst nightmare, no matter how far-fetched it may appear. However, as science continues to improve and scientists go outside of the boundaries for legal experimentation, who is to say that an accidental or intentional zombie outbreak could not occur? Books on how to avoid becoming lunch for a zombie, such as Brooks’ Zombie Survival Guide seem humorous now, but as advances are made in the scientific arena, maybe it would not be such a bad idea to keep the books on hand . . . just to be safe.

Reader Feedback

Do You Believe in Zombies?

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aranormal Underground recently asked a few of its readers: “Do you believe in zombies?” Here’s what they had to say: Don S.: No. I don’t believe that the living dead could exist. Once a body is dead, there is no connection from the brain to the muscles. That’s not to say that I don’t believe in ghosts or other supernatural phenomena, but I don’t think that zombies exist. ***** Roni W., Bothell, Wash.: Zombiism — an interesting topic. I believe in the

possibilities of many things; however, zombies are a tough idea for me to grasp. It sounds impossible in theory, but I believe Zombies originate from Voodoo, and I put nothing past that practice. I guess I would have to say I am still open to the idea but still a bit skeptical. ***** LCellini: When I think of zombies, I define them in two different ways. The first one is that it is an undead human or someone who has died and is now living again.

I do not believe that type of zombie is real. I think that once you’re dead, you stay that way. I do, however, think it’s possible to be in a druginduced zombie state. I’ve seen people who live their lives for drugs, and in that state they seem zombie-like. These people aren’t dead, their bodies are just running on the drugs they’ve ingested.

Recommended Reading

Zombies —The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist’s Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic

—Frankenstein

by Wade Davis

by Richard Matheson

by Dr. Arnold T Blumberg and Andrew Hershberger

—Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie

—Herbert West—Reanimator

—The Magic Island

by H.P. Lovecraft

by William Buehler Seabrook

by Wade Davis

—Zombiemania: 80 Movies to Die For

by Mary Shelley —I Am Legend

—The Rising

—The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead

by Brian Keene

by Max Brooks

by Brian Keene

—The Walking Dead

—World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

—Book of the Dead

by Robert Kirkman

by John Skipp

—Dead in the West

—Risen

by Joe R. Lansdale

by J. Knight

—Plague of the Dead (The Morningstar Strain)

by Max Brooks —The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia by Peter Dendle

—City of the Dead

—Cell by Stephen King

—Zombeena by Mirry Rose

by Z. A. Recht

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 13

Special Report

Shapeshifter Lore By Chelle Thomas

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chooses. To speak of these beings is normally taboo for the culture because “practitioners” are said to lean toward evil tendencies. The Navajo’s traditional name for skinwalkers is Yeenaaldooshii, which translates to “with it, he goes on all fours.” In most cultures, there are different versions of shapeshifters, as well as their own sets of traits. Whether they count it as fact or fiction is another story. Within the Navajo tribes, skinwalkers are said to hex or harm others. There are some rare occurrences where this isn’t the case, and the skinwalker actually protects or helps an individual. The Algonquin tribes called their skinwalkers Windigos, and they too have negative connotations. In the Far East, creatures known as the Huli Jing are animals that can take human form. Often times, they denote an animalistic trait, such as a tail or animal eyes, which gives them away. In one story told within this culture — Madame White snake — a snake-woman falls in According to Navajo legend, a skinwalker can basically take love with a man, and the story the form of any animal or living creature it chooses. Within the Navajo tribes, skinwalkers are said to hex or harm others. recounts the trials they faced.

dark movie theater grows quiet, the suspense building, roiling with anticipation. At the front of the auditorium, painted larger than life on a giant screen, back-packers stumble through a dark foggy forest. Clouds whisper past a silvery full moon. Suddenly, a snarl erupts from the darkness, and the adults freeze. A strange shadow looms in front of them, blocking their way. The creature is easily nine feet tall and covered in thick, dark fur, its lupine muzzle drawn back to reveal large gleaming teeth. The audience holds its breath; they are positive that this monster will eventually claim these unlucky travelers’ lives. Shapeshifter Legends Across Cultures Over the years, werewolves and other such monstrosities have held the attention of moviegoers and literature enthusiasts by the frayed ends of their fears. They’ve lurked in our closets, roamed our dark streets, and haunted us in our nightmares. Most people scoff at the very idea that shapeshifters truly

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exist . . . then, there are others who truly believe. The Navajos have quite a few stories about “skinwalkers,” or their version of shapeshifters. According to legend, a skinwalker can basically take the form of any animal or living creature it

Paranormal Underground November 2008

The Japanese Yokai are similar to the Huli Jing. Yokai are a class of obake, creatures in Japanese folklore that range from the evil oni (ogre) to the mischievous kitsune (fox) to the Yuki-onna (snow woman). Some possess part-animal and part-human features. Shapeshifting Symbolism The Hopi’s and some other tribes use a version of shapeshifting in their ceremonial healing rituals and in forms of sympathetic magick. Carlos Castenada, one shamanic practitioner, explained it as using the attributes of that animal for specific purposes. For instance, if you wanted to create a calm, peaceful, loving result, one would use “deer magick,” as that animal represents those qualities. The Meso American Aztecs believed in the Nagual, or Nahual, either animal forms people take on or animal guardians they were linked to for life. This example is a lot like what happens in the story, The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. In the Greek mythos, many a deity has been said to shift into different animals, or even take on a different human form. They have also cursed humans into animal forms, as in the story of Arachne, a weaver who was turned into a spider because she claimed that she could weave fabrics that were more skilled than that of those of the goddess of arts and crafts, Athena. Within the Norse tradition, there were warriors known as Beserkers. They were known for their fierce fighting skills that bordered on the psychotic and deranged. The name beserker translates to bear or wolf shirt.

The warriors would wear the pelts to imbue themselves with the powers of the bear or a wolf, and sometimes certain ceremonies were performed to further imbue them with the powers. In some cultures, to become a skinwalker, one has to kill a family member, and then a special ceremony is performed. Shapeshifters in Literature The shapeshifter also appears in literary works of art as well, as in Earth Sea, where the sorcerer Ged turns into a sparrow, or even the age old fairy tale of the Frog Prince, where a witch turned a prince into a frog, and the princess releases him from his form by a kiss. The same goes for the story of Beauty and the Beast and current movies such as Underworld, where werewolves and vampires duke it out. Sometimes writers use the idea of a shapeshifter as a subliminal and narrative tool, especially in literature where transformation can take on many levels of meaning. The story Little Red Riding Hood and the Frog Prince are prime examples. The Physiology of Shapeshifters The physiology of a shapeshifter differs between cultures, but they also have a lot of similarities. There are even different “species” of shapeshifters. There is the kind that uses raw physical means

to shift. This way can be extremely painful for the practitioner, as the change takes place on the molecular level. Limbs twist, bend, and morph; internal organs even change. There is what is known as the “fold-over” type, where new flesh forms over the top of the original body, forming a second skin. There is also the “switch between” kind that basically have two bodies, and the practitioner switches between the two. Finally, there is the astral kind. This is commonly used by shamanic practitioners, who go into deep meditative states in order to shift. Sometimes, this is seen either in the physical form or as an ethereal shadow that covers their bodies. Common Shapeshifter Mythos Some common mythos of shapeshifters is that they avoid light, and can become a black mass (as common with a lot of Navajo legends) that they turn into to quickly escape anyone hunting them. They are fast, agile, impossible to catch or kill, can hear human thoughts, or even have a myriad of magickal abilities. One Native American myth states if you speak a skinwalkers’ real name, you render the practitioner powerless. According to legend, the moon doesn’t always have to be full for a practitioner to shapeshift either, as common movies and literature portray. For more information on this topic, visit http://arachnophiliac. info/burrow/mythology. htm - story of Arachne.

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 15

Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites

The Legend of Pemberton Hall By Michael Kleen

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t is a familiar story. Angela is staying in an all-girls dormitory at a public university that has just let out for break. For whatever reason, she is unable to go home like the other students. She shares the dorm with only two other individuals: a stern headmistress named Mary and a lonely and eccentric janitor. With nothing else to pass the time, Angela leaves her room and ascends to a quiet corner of the fourth floor to play the piano. As she settles onto the bench and begins to play, she is unaware the janitor has crept up behind her. Leaving her no time to scream, he attacks — perpetuating unspeakable acts upon her body with a knife or an axe before running off to parts unknown. With her last ounce of strength, Angela drags herself to the headmistress’ room for help. Mary, however, has locked the door and gone to sleep. She is unable to hear the student’s scratches and garbled pleas. The next morning, Mary opens her door to find Angela dead in the hallway with her fingernails embedded in the wood. Stricken with grief, Mary loses her mind and spends the rest of her tortured life in a state hospital. The Roommate’s Death This is one variation of a story known to folklorists as “the room-

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mate’s death.” First written down by Linda Dégh in her essay “The Roommate’s Death and Related Dormitory Stories in Formation” in Indiana Folklore 2 (1969), she had heard it from a student at Indiana University who had been told the story as a freshman in 1964. In the original version, the killing took place in a sorority house, and it was the victim’s roommates who discovered her body. Todd Webb, in Too Good to Be True: The Colossal

Pemberton Hall is the oldest all-female dormitory in the state of Illinois. Book of Urban Legends (1999) by Jan Harold Brunvand, wrote that he first heard the story while he was an undergrad in Georgia in 1983. The incident, interestingly, was alleged to have occurred at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. The story is told, Brunvand explained, “as a warning to freshmen by upperclass students or by resident advisors in the dormitories.” It is a story that feeds on the fears of collegebound women all over the country. Thanks to unabating interest, the

Paranormal Underground November 2008

version of “the roommate’s death” told at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) in Charleston, Illinois, has taken on a life of its own. The victim and the victim’s unfortunate guardian have both transcended their ordeal and now haunt the hall as ghosts. Over the years, an old plaque dedicated to one of the first directors of EIU’s Pemberton Hall, a popular urban legend, and a touch of wishful thinking have combined to create one of the most enduring oral traditions in East-Central Illinois. The story itself is incredible, but in this case, the truth behind it is almost stranger than fiction. Building Pemberton Hall Pemberton Hall is the oldest allfemale dormitory in Illinois and was the brainchild of Livingston C. Lord, president of Eastern Illinois State Normal School (as EIU was called at the time) from 1899 to 1933. In 1901, Lord went before the Appropriations Committee of the Illinois state legislature and asked for $60,000 to build a woman’s dormitory on campus. The committee denied the funding after telling the nonpartisan Lord that he “had made a fairly good joke,” according to the Eastern News (Oct. 22, 1965). One senator, Stanton Pemberton, took the idea seriously and began to lobby on Lord’s behalf.

Finally, in 1907, President Lord and Senator Pemberton plied $100,000 out of the legislature for a dorm and an accompanying gymnasium. Two years later, as the construction neared its final stages, the state Appropriations Committee added $3,000 to finish the basement and attic. The completed hall, named after Senator Pemberton, housed up to 100 women and officially opened on January 4, 1909. Miss Estelle Gross became the first headmistress, but only served in the position one year before being succeeded by the now infamous Mary Hawkins. Senator Pemberton was enamored with the new dorm, which he said possessed “a fine, high-sounding name.” President Lord was also proud of the building and once remarked, “I never go by in the evening when the girls are in their rooms and the lights [are on] in all the windows without feeling anew the satisfaction of it,” according to the Eastern Illinois State College Bulletin.

college life and imposed strict rules on “her girls,” which included a 7:30 p.m. curfew and 10:30 p.m. bedtime. Church was the only place coeds were able to go unchaperoned. Mary Hawkins left her position at Pemberton Hall in March 1917 and died at the age of 41 on the night of October 29, 1918, at the Kankakee State Mental Hospital in the shadow of the influenza epidemic and the end of the First World

general paresis, a condition of motor paralysis and softening of the brain. General paresis occurs as a result of late-term — or tertiary — syphilis, which sets in a decade or more after infection and triggers abnormal eye reflexes, dementia, dramatic mood swings, and even seizures. Two years after Mary’s death, the university hung a bronze tablet near the entrance commemorating her service. The tablet remains there to this day.

The Ghost of Mary Hawkins It is unclear exactly when urban legend and historical fact merged to create the tale of the ghost of Mary Hawkins. Storytellers cannot even agree on which character the name of Mary belongs to — the murdered coed or the distraught dorm mother. Sometimes Mary manifests herself as a prankster or a young woman who scratches at doors, leaves footprints, or wanders up to the fourth floor dressed in nothing but a white gown. Other times, she is a benevolent matriarch who makes sure doors are Mary Hawkins: locked at night and warns her girls Head Matron of trouble. Some writers have atThe old-English look and tempted to clear up the confusion feel of the dormitory was well by suggesting that two ghosts may The old-English look and feel of the dormitory was well suited for its first full-time mabe at work; one of the unfortusuited for its first full-time matron, Mary Hawkins. tron, Mary Hawkins, who had nate victim and the other of Mary emigrated from Great Britain in Hawkins, who has come back War. Hospital orderlies discovered 1901 and possessed all the stoic air from the dead to watch over her girls her body at 5 a.m. the next day. of an Edwardian Englishwoman. She as she once did in life. Her obituary read: “She was a was a pleasant looking woman with The earliest article I found about woman of education and refinement curly, dark hair that she pinned up the Pemberton Hall legend was written and a most efficient person in the in the fashion of her day. Born in by Karen Knupp in October 1976 for position she occupied. Very seldom, 1877, Hawkins assumed the position the Eastern News. Knupp explained indeed, does one find in the same of dorm director in August 1910 the story, having been told for “years individual good business ability, a when she was 33 years old. and years,” was handed down from most excellent housekeeper, and a “As head of Pemberton Hall,” veteran Pem Hall residents to incomfine influence over young women.” she once wrote, “[the residents] are ing freshmen through an oral tradition Her death certificate listed the under my control entirely,” accordthat even included using the story as a cause of death as “general paralysis ing to the Eastern News (April 1967). topic in their speech classes. of the insane,” otherwise known as She had no patience for libertine Some of the eerie events she

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 17

Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites

As Pemberton Hall nears its 100-year anniversary, interest in the legend of Mary Hawkins seems unabated.

chronicled included a girl who saw a light emanating from a fourth floor window, a resident assistant who found that the lounge furniture rearranged itself, and a strange encounter with a girl wearing a white gown who went around asking for safety pins before she disappeared. Knupp noted that some residents had celebrated their unique heritage by holding a “Mary Hawkins Day” the previous spring. In November 1976, Knupp wrote a follow-up article after a 1921 resident of Pemberton Hall, named Stella (Craft) Temple, contacted her and told her she knew the origins of the ghost story. Temple explained that a coed named Uterpa Sharps, a 30-year-old student with an interest in hypnotism, liked to scare the younger girls by jumping out of the janitor’s closet. Temple, who if she had actually lived there in 1921 could not have known Mary Hawkins (who would have been deceased at that time), claimed that, “No one would tell Miss Hawkins. She wouldn’t have any monkey business like that. She

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was English and very strict.” If it was true that she knew Mary Hawkins, then the events featuring Uterpa Sharps must have taken place before 1917. At any rate, she suggested Uterpa’s strange behavior was the origin of the legend, not a murder. After some investigation, I discovered that Euterpe Sharp (as her name was actually spelled) graduated from Eastern in 1919. Euterpe served as illustrator for the 1919 Eastern yearbook, the Warbler, and also participated in making crafts for a visiting third grade class in December. Her senior quote was, “It is better to wear out than to rust out.” However, I found no mention of Estella (as her name was actually spelled) Craft in 1919, 1920, or 1921. She was, however, listed among the senior class in 1922. That means, if these events are to be believed, that Estella must have been a freshman when Euterpe was a senior. Regardless, she could not have gone to Eastern when Mary Hawkins served as dorm mother, and it is likely her recollections of Mary were passed down to her from other residents.

Paranormal Underground November 2008

Changing Stories Surrounding Murder Because Mary departed Eastern during the First World War, most storytellers allege the murder occurred around that time. Some have used the sporadic publication of the school’s newspaper, which actually had to do with war rationing, as proof of a conspiracy to cover up the murder. The details of when either Mary or the coed met their unfortunate end have changed sporadically. There exists a general consensus that it took place over winter break, but an October 1984 Daily Eastern News article suggested May as the month the murder occurred, and an article published in 1982 claimed it transpired during spring break. Jo-Anne Christensen, in her book Ghost Stories of Illinois, depicted the crime being committed during a furious thunderstorm, which also suggests springtime. The National Directory of Haunted Places, written by Dennis William Hauck, challenged all of those accounts by changing the year of the murder to 1920, long after the real Mary Hawkins was deceased. The details of the incident, including why and how Mary or the girl was killed, where they stayed in Pemberton, and even who killed them have also changed over the years, and the accounts have become quite inventive. Diane Schneidman, for example, wrote that the homicidal janitor’s wife had died, implying that grief and desperation drove him to murder. Some writers, such as Daily Eastern News staff writer Jennifer Lavery, have weaved other historical events into the narrative. Not realizing Mary Hawkins had no relatives living in the United States, Lavery believed that a John Hawkins, who appeared in the Coles County court records in May 1917, had gone to trial for the murder of his “sister” Mary. During one of the notorious

haunted houses held in Pemberton Hall, the guide told visitors Mary’s room had been number 308. One student attending that particular event told Daily Eastern News reporters that Mary had been having an affair with a married professor before she was killed. The murder weapon, though usually consistent, has changed as well. With a variety that any fan of the game Clue would appreciate, it has been alternatively described as an axe, blunt object, bare hands, and even piano wire. Ghost Stories In 1984, William M. Michael, a writer for the Decatur Herald and Review, spent the night in the fourth floor piano room. Needless to say, he reported no encounters with a ghost. But, for every tale of disappointment, there is one that seems to confirm something strange is taking place inside the 99-year-old walls. The same day Michael’s article was printed, a story appeared alongside it that recounted one woman’s experience with the ghost. Patty O’Neill, also a writer for the Herald and Review, lived in Pemberton Hall for three years and claimed she had awoken one night in spring 1981 to see a young woman dressed in a nightgown standing beside her bed. Thinking it was her roommate, she tried to ask the girl what was wrong, but the intruder turned around and walked away without a reply. Patty’s eerie tale was reprinted in Beth Scott and Michael Norman’s book Haunted America, which launched the story of Mary Hawkin’s ghost to national fame. Another bizarre incident occurred in 1984 when one Pemberton Hall resident discovered small, black footprints that appeared on the floor of her room. “They seemed to be the prints

of someone tip-toeing across the room, and the prints proved impossible to remove,” Michelle Mueller wrote in the Daily Eastern News. “The prints led from the door to the closet and back out to the door.” Other experiences included doors locking and unlocking, furniture moving by itself, electronic disturbances, and the faint sounds of footsteps or a piano playing on the fourth floor. One former resident director even claimed her fiancé felt someone smack him on the rear end, even though she was on the other side of the room. Kelly Bryan, a Pem Hall resident in 2002 and 2004, said she never experienced anything unusual while living there and didn’t believe in the story, although she noted that the basement always gave her the creeps.

Over the years, Pemberton Hall has opened its doors, as well as its notorious fourth floor, around Halloween. “From what I’ve read, I just don’t think it has much basis in reality,” she said. “If you really believe in it, you’re more likely to blame things on the ghost.” Over the years, Pemberton Hall has opened its doors, as well as its notorious fourth floor, around Halloween in an effort to raise money and entertain students. According to an article in the Daily Eastern News, the tradition of turning Pem Hall into a haunted house began in 1978. “The stories that have haunted Pemberton Hall and the secrets of the fourth floor will finally be available for public scrutiny,” Glover wrote. “On Saturday, the one and only fourth floor will be opened for the first time in many, many years.”

The event was repeated the next year for a small 50-cent fee. Apparently, the experience wasn’t well received since the Resident Housing Association haunted house was moved to an abandoned residence on Seventh Street in 1983. “The act will be more convincing than the usual RHA haunted house at Pemberton Hall,” the project chairman commented in a Daily Eastern News article about the move. The haunted house did add its own contribution to the legend, however, when drops of fake blood were left on the floor and the piano keys, giving a chill to anyone who was lucky enough to venture up there. Pemberton Hall resumed its haunted house in 1997, complete with an actress playing the X-Files theme on the fourth floor piano and a man in a black robe who told the story to groups of bemused college students. The Pemberton Hall Council opened the dorm once again in 2001, although the haunted house was strictly confined to its lower levels. Because of safety concerns, visitors were only allowed to peek at the mysterious fourth floor. 100th Anniversary As Pemberton Hall nears its 100-year anniversary, interest in the legend of Mary Hawkins seems unabated. Its inclusion in books on Illinois ghost stories has become obligatory, and a steady rotation of students arriving each year at Eastern Illinois University guarantees the story will be passed down from one generation to the next. For the young women of Pemberton Hall, the spirit of Mary Hawkins will always be there with them, watching, protecting, and playing pranks. Michael Kleen is the publisher and executive editor of Black Oak Presents, a digital journal of Middle American art and culture (www. blackoakmedia.org/index.html).

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 19

Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids

Jackalope Myths By Jaime Johnesee, Zoologist

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o you remember America’s Funniest People? Those that do will undoubtedly remember the Jackalope character, voiced by host Dave Coulier and officially named “Jack Ching BadaBing” after a viewer contest to come up with a character name. The character would laugh a lot while playing mean tricks on people (usually to punish those who had been mean to others). Its catchphrase was, “Fast as fast can be, you’ll never catch me!” Part jackrabbit, part antelope, the Jackalope is a cryptid reported long before America’s Funniest People was created. Myths About the Jackalope There are many myths surrounding the Jackalope (also known as an Antelabbit, Aunt Benny, and a Stagbunny), and it’s hard to believe any of this long-lived myth is real. Some say the Jackalope can imitate any noise, including the human voice. They say that it likes to confuse those hunting it by hollering out, “It went that way!” or something similar. It is said the females can be milked and their milk can be used for medical purposes as a sort of cure-all. Some say if you put out a bowl of whiskey, the Jackalope will come to drink, and once drunk, will

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be easier to catch. There are even stories of a flying Jackalope in South Dakota. This creature is the supposed result of a chicken and Jackalope mating. A Famous Jackalope President Ronald Reagan held a special spot in his heart for this mythological creature, and even had a Jackalope head hanging on his wall at

his California ranch. He enjoyed teasing reporters and visitors with stories of how he caught the creature. With a twinkle in his eye, the president would relay his story for anyone who would listen. Interestingly, hardly anyone ever questioned him about his tales. It was something he apparently got quite a kick out of. Many people used the legend of the Jackalope as a way to trick tourists.

President Ronald Reagan held a special spot in his heart for this mythological creature, and even had a Jackalope head hanging on his wall at his California ranch. He enjoyed teasing reporters and visitors with stories of how he caught the creature.

Paranormal Underground November 2008

There is even hunting licenses available for tourists to purchase in Douglas Wyoming; of course, Jackalope season only lasts one day, Feb. 30. What Is a Jackalope? So what exactly is a Jackalope? What have people been seeing that looks like a rabbit with antlers? The answer is quite simple: Most zoologists and cryptozoologists believe the Jackalope is nothing more than a rabbit afflicted with the Shope papillomavirus, also known as Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (CRPV). The disease causes tumors on or around the head of the afflicted. The growths can be large enough to interfere with the animal’s ability to eat and move. Shope papilloma is the first virus seen in mammals that causes cancer. It is also the virus that was studied and used to create the human papillomavirus vaccine. The tumors that result from the disease can look exactly like antlers; they are not only just as dense as antlers, but they are made up of the same material, Keratin. Since we have yet to see a natural chimera (animal that is half one species, half another), I highly doubt the Jackalope is anything more than a rabbit afflicted with CRPV. An unnatural chimera was recently created in Japan using the two rodent species, the Mus musculus (house mouse) and Apodemus sylvaticus (wood mouse). Scientists injected embryonic stem cells from a wood mouse into the early embryo of a house mouse. However, this is the first time such a chimera was not only created but allowed to live for more than a few days. I just can’t see a rabbit/antelope pairing occurring in the wild, nor can I see logistically how mating might occur between the two, what with ladders being in short supply in the wild. But, as always, you be the judge.

Most zoologists and cryptozoologists believe the Jackalope is nothing more than a rabbit afflicted with the Shope papillomavirus. This virus is also known as Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus.

This is a picture of a mounted cottontail rabbit at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Kansas. It was caught near Topeka and has a severe infection of the Shope papillomavirus.

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 21

Haunted History

Day of the Dead Honors the Deceased By Jaime Johnesee

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ia de los Muertos is often world to enjoy the Earthly pleasures I watched as the family laid observed on Nov. 1 and 2 they have long since left behind. beads and candles on the grave of in an effort to honor the The cupboard doors are left open the patriarch of their family. (He was souls of the deceased. Sometimes to keep the souls from being able to the only one buried on American confused as a pagan holiday, anyone stay behind either by accidentally getsoil.) I sat and ate with them as they can celebrate Dia de los Muertos. ting shut in a cupboard or by intentiondined on his favorite foods. It is a time for family to get together ally hiding in a closet. At the end of the I learned so much about my and remember their ancestors. celebration, the souls will then have to friend’s grandfather that day; it While this particular holiday amazed me. It also made me originated in Mexico, similar holirealize I had learned more about days are celebrated around the him than I knew about my own world, including in Brazil, Spain, grandfather. We went back to their Europe, Asia and the Philippines. house around dusk and began A beautiful celebration, it beopening all the doors in the house. gins with a picnic in the cemetery As we talked and joked, we eating breakfast and lunch, surwaited for a parade to come by. rounded by the graves of family It was a small parade of no more in a symbolic gesture. Dining with than 30 people who were playthe relatives lets their souls know ing instruments and singing. We they are still loved and rememwalked and sang and enjoyed the bered, even hundreds of years night together, making a celebralater in some cases. tion for the souls that were to It is not just the living that gather around us. have a place at the feast. Plates Moving along the streets, we are piled high with food for the stopped at a park where an imdeceased and left upon their promptu band set up, and the pargraves so that they too may feast ty really began. Skull masks and Claudia Ghidella and enjoy time with their family. Dia de los Muertos is a often observed on Nov. 1 and 2 in all sorts of candies came almost The family then decorates the out of thin air. What began as 30 an effort to honor the souls of the deceased. gravestones of their loved ones people wound up as a gathering with beads, glitter, and flowers. of a hundred or more. After spending hours at this lunreturn to where they came from. Carts had been set up and were cheon, the family returns home and I was lucky enough to take part selling coffin- and skull-shaped canopens all the cupboards and closets in a Dia de los Muertos celebration dies, as well as scary-looking masks (to in their home in preparation for the when I was 17. It will remind me of keep the evil souls away from you) and night’s festivities. It is believed that my time in California more so than sopapilla (cinnamon and sugar-coated the souls of their family return to the any theme park. fried bread dipped in honey). Some

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Paranormal Underground November 2008

of the people we were with that night told me of the altars they had set up in their homes to allow their ancestors to feast and enjoy the sights, scents, and sounds presented just for them. I was told that later after the celebration, the living would eat the food the dead had enjoyed in spirit in order to become even closer to their deceased relatives. As the sun rose over the city, the party wound down, and the people began making their ways home at ease, knowing their loved ones had been honored and that those spirits would return to whence they came, sated and happy. It might seem like a pagan ritual to some, but most of the participants in the parade I joined in were actually Catholic. Some see the holiday as being about resurrecting the dead. However, it is really about honoring family. The family members that would be considered black sheep are not usually “included” in the celebration. Their graves stand bare, and they are not given a large plate of food. (Some families still give a small amount of food or liquor for their soul’s to enjoy, but for the most part they are cut out of the celebration.) I was told the celebration and events that take place during Day of the Dead differ depending on where you live. The events I had seen were true to the practices of those who grew up in and lived in rural Mexico. Even though certain aspects are different, the idea and feeling is the same. Graves are decorated out of love and respect, and altars of food and drink are set up for the souls of those that are loved. My favorite part of this holiday is the stories told about those who have passed. In my mind, it is such a beautiful and poignant way to pass on family history from one generation to the next. Of course, the candy isn’t half bad either.

During some Day of the Dead celebrations, carts are set up to sell coffin- and skull-shaped candies, as well as scary-looking masks (to keep the evil souls away from you) and sopapilla (cinnamon and sugar-coated fried bread dipped in honey). Some families set up altars in their homes to allow their ancestors to feast and enjoy the sights, scents, and sounds presented just for them.

The Day of the Dead might seem like a pagan ritual to some, but most of the participants in the parade I joined in were actually Catholic. Some see the holiday as being about resurrecting the dead. However, it is really about honoring family. It is a time for family to get together and remember their ancestors.

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 23

Fiction: Featured Author

I’ll Tell By Sandi Kennedy

Brother’s are supposed to be best friends,” my dad would tell us anytime we got into a fight. The usual stuff. Just plain annoying and teasing each other like most siblings do. Nothing we wouldn’t ever grow out of. I guess we are best friends like my dad said we would be. I see my brother every night. We play chess just before bedtime like we always did when we were kids.

Georgie looked like I kicked him in the gut. I hated it when he called me Timmy. I was almost a teenager; it was time to drop the m-y, but every time I told him that, he would say he would stop calling me Timmy when everyone stopped calling him Georgie. So, we played chess by the light of the flashlight until Georgie would

***** “Georgie give me the flashlight,” I whispered, angrily prying the light from his little hands. I may have been four years older than him, but Georgie was strong for an eight year old. “You’re gonna break it, gimme,” I demanded. “I gotta fix it Timmy,” he said whining loudly. “Shut up. Mom and Dad will hear you,” I pleaded. I yanked the flashlight from his grip and tried the switch. It seemed like our game would be called for lack of light, then I remembered Georgie put the batteries in. Sure enough, when I unscrewed it, the batteries were upside down. “You bozo. You put the batteries in backwards,” I grumbled. “I never did it before Timmy.”

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stead of smacking him in his pumpkinhead, I would take his king. It wasn’t always easy. I guess I taught him well. He learned a lot of things from being my shadow and all. He was always following me around like he was afraid I was going to leave him. I wanted to leave, and I think he knew it, but I never wanted to leave him. I wanted to leave our home. I wanted to leave when Dad drank and hit Mom. I wanted to leave when Mom hit us. *****

fall asleep. We usually averaged about two games. I mostly let Georgie win . . . that is, until he got cocky. I remember how his head looked like a pumpkin in the flashlight’s glow. His missing teeth only added to the jack-o’-lantern effect. He’d start boasting about how he was such a good player, and he was, but I never let him know it. In-

Paranormal Underground November 2008

I found a place to go that was as close to leaving as I could get at my young age. At night, I would slip out of the house and go there. I discovered the woods near our house was a very popular place to go. I found many treasures there. I read my first Playboy by the light of the trusty old chess flashlight. I often felt funny using it to illuminate such an innocent game knowing what sights that light had seen. I also had my first drink there. I understood in a way why my dad drank. To escape. But I didn’t really understand why. I knew why I needed to escape, and that’s all that mattered then. Somehow I thought by the time I

reached the bottom of that bottle, I would have all the answers to my prayers. It was nearly full when I found it. A fifth of whiskey was not much bigger than a bottle of Coke, I thought. I could probably drink it in a couple of gulps. It smelled horrible, but being a novice, I took a huge swig. It burned so bad my eyes teared, but I forced it down. I never felt so sick in all of my life. Instead of tossing it into the ravine like I should’ve done, I tucked it into the hollow of a tree. I would be back many times, and when I felt desperate enough, I’d take another swig. I took the last drink from that bottle the night Georgie found my hideaway, and that was the last drink I ever had.

alright Mom?” What could I say? What could she say to a 12 year old? I was surprised she didn’t hold it back. She told me he was gone, and it seemed like we both were relieved. I remember a smile forming on my face that I tried my best to reverse to a grimace. I knew my mom was scared, and this was not an entirely joyous time, but I also knew we would be alright from then on. “Go to bed Tim and don’t wake your brother okay?” I think it was the first time she had ever called me Tim. I felt like I was the man of the house. I would be responsible for protecting them now.

*****

I passed the light over fresh claw marks in the dirt and down the ravine.

Things were getting really bad at home. Dad had been drinking all day. Georgie and I had been sent to bed early, but we snuck out to the top of the steps to hear the commotion downstairs. I was old enough to know they were fighting over Dad’s affair with a waitress at the diner. He was leaving us. I didn’t want Georgie to hear it, so I made him go to bed. “But our game,” he worried. “Not tonight,” I gave him a nudge. “You have to go to bed too,” he scolded. “In a little while, I want to make sure Mom’s okay.” I really just wanted to make sure Dad left. I waited at the top of the steps until I heard my mom coming. I wasn’t afraid of her; she only hit us because Dad would make her. I knew she loved us. I hid because I didn’t want her to know I knew about Dad, but she saw me. “Timmy?” she sniffled. I came out slowly. “Are you

***** Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why I went to my place, but I did anyway. Maybe to say goodbye to a place I no longer had any use for. I can’t understand any more why I groped in that old hollow tree for that bottle of whiskey. Maybe a celebratory toast to a new life. The one I had been dreaming and praying for every time I went there and stared up at the stars in search of hope. I drank, and he saw it. I think I felt his eyes before I heard his voice. “Timmy!” he said startling me.

I flung the bottle from my hand. “What are you doing out of bed Georgie?” I demanded as if I had every right. “I thought you were leaving, so I followed you.” Georgie had the little tattered suitcase that held the chess set in his hand. “Why did you bring that?” I tried to distract him from the empty bottle he was moving uncomfortably close to. He knew the look of that bottle all too well for a little boy, and his eyes flashed when he saw it. “You’re drinking Dad’s stuff!” I stood up. “No Georgie, it’s not Dad’s. I wasn’t drinking . . .” I couldn’t finish my sentence. “I’m telling Mom. You’re gonna get her in trouble if Dad sees it’s gone.” I pleaded, “No Georgie, listen.” Of course he didn’t, and a surge of anger and frustration came over me. I grabbed his arm and tried to make him listen. He struggled with no results, so he did the only thing he could do, the only thing he thought would make me let go. “Dad. Dad!” he yelled at the top of his lungs. I felt my arm swinging toward his face, and when I connected his arm broke free from my grasp. The case of chess pieces broke open and rained down black and white figures all around us. Georgie looked at me with tears welling in his eyes, and then he was gone. ***** The dark woods swallowed Georgie up in one gulp. I grabbed the flashlight and headed after him. I knew the path well enough to manage it in the dark. The moonlight made it fairly easy to walk through if you had the guts, but to run was different.

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Fiction: Featured Author I thought for sure Georgie would not be hard to catch. I shined the light up the path, and I saw him where he had stumbled over some branches. He quickly recovered, and with my light now shining the way, he ran. I shut the light off to out-smart him. I regret that now. I had the same feeling as I did when he got cocky about beating me at chess. I took his king out from under him. His scream pierced the air. My heart pounded out of my chest as I raced up the path. I frantically raced the light around searching for any sign of him. I passed the light over fresh claw marks in the dirt and down the ravine. Georgie lay at the bottom motionless. The blood trickled over the rocks and combined with the shallow water making a crimson river. I had never seen so much blood, not even when Dad broke Mom’s nose. He was dead I assured myself, not even any reason to check. I wanted to go down and cradle his lifeless body and tell him I was sorry, but the fear of falling down the embankment and being caught down there stopped me. I stared at him until I could no longer take the sight of him bleeding out. A fear came over me. What if Mom came to check on us in our rooms? Then another, the chess pieces. They would know that I was with Georgie if they saw them. I had to get them. I went back and shined the flashlight frantically. I saw the case and the pieces were all around it. Where I had hit Georgie was a clearing which made finding the pieces easy. They were all there, all except for the white king. Georgie’s king. I put them all back in their

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spaces in the case, and I didn’t realize the irony then, but I didn’t search long for it either. I knew in my heart where it was, and sure enough, when I went back for one last look, it was down in the ravine with Georgie. It was not unusual that he would have it in his hand. He thought it brought him luck when we played, like by holding onto it tight he charged it up or something so I couldn’t take it as easily. I thought it was unusual that he clutched it so tightly even as he fell. It didn’t matter, I had to get back with or without it. I could feel the lump in my throat as I turned, and I began to sob. I had to fight it, and I hit myself in the stomach with the flashlight. I couldn’t go home hysterical. I fought it hard, and I choked back the tears. How would it look if I cried all night? I put it out of my head. I had to be completely unaware of where he had gone or that he was even gone. I crept in the house and snuck into bed. ***** The next thing I remember is my mom calling to us for breakfast. I had done such a good job of fooling myself that the first words out of my mouth were, “Georgie get up.” I felt numb. My mom called again. “Coming!” I threw my covers aside and jumped out of bed. She hadn’t checked on us; she didn’t know, I thought to myself. I wished she had known when I was

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asleep. I couldn’t take much more of this pressure. I dreaded hearing, “Where is your brother?” Answers to that question raced through my head as I walked to the kitchen. Should I make up a story about why Georgie would go out at night alone? Maybe he was looking for Dad. Someone for sure had to have heard him yelling for him. Or should I play dumb. I didn’t know, and I hadn’t thought about what I’d say before that moment. I decided it would be better to play dumb. I wasn’t such a good liar. I felt sick as I approached the kitchen doorway. I could see my Mom’s back to me as she stirred up some eggs. I calmed myself as I passed into the room, and I stopped dead. I readied myself to see Georgie’s empty chair and all of the questions that would come. The chair was not empty though. I stood in shock and disbelief at the sight of Georgie sitting there. He sat looking down at his plate waiting for his portion of eggs and bacon. A flood of relief shot over me as I sat down. “You want toast?” my mom asked. “Yes.” I didn’t take my eyes off of him. He didn’t answer Mom; he just kept looking down. I wanted to talk to him, but I didn’t dare. I wanted to beg him not to tell Mom about what happened. I wanted to tell him I was sorry I hit him, and I’d never do it again. Everything was going to be okay now; no use in upsetting her anymore. I began to think something was very wrong with Georgie just then. He must have hit his head pretty hard. He was never that quiet in the morning, and he was

still dirty from the ravine. Mom would never let him sit at the table looking like that. “Tim,” my Mom turned to me, passing my breakfast right through Georgie’s head. “Where’s your brother?” Georgie raised his head and stared at me and smiled like he did when he called, “Checkmate.” Obviously, my Mom didn’t see him. “I don’t know,” I lied into his eyes. “Georgie,” my Mom called. “Georgie!” I sat at that table and just stared at him, never moving until the police arrived. My mom didn’t let them question me much because she thought I was in shock, and I was. I wanted to tell them when they asked me, “Do you know where your brother is?” “Yes, he’s right here staring at me!” No one saw him though. It’s just my guilty conscious, I thought. He will go away when they find him, but he did not. ***** They found him two hours later. It had rained heavily over night, and the ravine flowed with water. Georgie had been washed down a couple of yards from where he had fallen, but he still had the king clenched in his hand. I heard the detective ask my mom about this. The detective walked into the living room and sat next to me on the couch. I could see Georgie peeking out at me from under the side table by the sofa. The detective bowed his head and put his hand on my

shoulder. “I’m really sorry about your loss.” His other hand disappeared into his coat pocket. “Here, this is yours.” He held out the white chess piece. I didn’t want to touch it, but the detective tucked it into my hand. “Do you know why he had it with him?” I felt his eyes studying my expression. “I don’t know.” That was the easiest answer. After questioning my mom, he already believed that my brother had gone out to look for my dad, and that’s how I left it. The detective got up to leave, and as he passed by the end table, Georgie was gone too. It was over, or so I thought. Case closed. The day had finally come to an end. My mom was sedated, but I was not alone. My aunt had come to take care of us for awhile. My dad had not been reached yet. That night, I could not sleep. I laid there wondering if Georgie had been alive and if he had drown from all of the rain that night. I agonized thinking I could have checked. I’d never know. ***** They didn’t do too much forensic stuff back then. They didn’t check to see if his lungs were filled with water. They didn’t question the bruise under his left eye. If they weren’t satisfied with the answers, they didn’t dig any deeper. It was deemed an accident. He fell and hit his head. Open and shut case. But when that case shut, another one opened. Every night ever since. I am talking of course about the chess case. I knew he was a ghost, but I was never afraid. I watched him open the case and set up the pieces at our game table. When he was

done, he motioned for me to come and play. I just shook my head rejecting his invitation. I figured words made no difference, and then he spoke. “I’ll tell.” Had I heard this? “I’ll tell,” came again, and worrying that my aunt would hear, I got out of bed and sat with Georgie. I tried to talk to him, but he never answered. He just played. I wondered what he would tell. Would he tell my Mom that I was there? Would he tell that he wasn’t looking for our Dad, he was looking for me? He wouldn’t tell me, so I just played with him. I thought he might go away after the funeral. I even put his white king in his coffin. But that night, there he was, a king in hand. I had grown accustomed to his nightly visits, and as the years went by, his threat of telling grew less and less concerning. I had even thought of telling my mom or dad, who had returned to us to die, sick with cancer. I didn’t tell because I was afraid Georgie would leave. He had no reason to stay other than telling on me. I think my dad saw him before he died. I heard him say his name. I hope my mom saw him before she died. I’ll never know because he won’t tell me. I wondered if he told her? If he did, he should be gone shouldn’t he? No reason to stay if he has told. But he does stay every night. Maybe he’ll tell me before I die someday what he has threatened to tell. What I don’t want to hear . . . that he was alive.

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Fiction: Featured Author

By the Sea By Chad Wilson

H

e stood looking out over the ocean, the crash of the waves on the beach far below stirring up old memories. They were pointless yet poignant memories of life before his Mistress and her terrible beauty. That was before. Now he served her and only her. In her infinite wisdom, she had chosen him. Alone he stood vigil, awaiting her wonderful return. And in her graciousness, she allowed him his small memories of life before her and of how miserable he was before she arrived. Now, a zombie in her service, he stood watch, waiting to see her boat of golden sail upon the vast horizon, hoping beyond hope to catch a glimpse of her resplendent beauty. The Watchers, they were called, though how he knew this was beyond him. A memory stirred, quivering into existence before his mind’s eye, like smoke billowing forth on the wind. And he remembered. *****

Harry Chaplain had been his name, a prominent businessman on holiday in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He had arrived the day before by Cruise Line, having

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gone ashore with the rest of the tourists from the ship, gawking up and down the busy shop streets, buying local wares from vendors at their stands. Harry had entered a local watering hole in the hopes of acquiring a guide to show him around

the island. He had figured the local dives might hold those knowledgeable about the local history and geography of the land. He hadn’t taken into account what else they might know, such as how one

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became a victim once outside the eyes of the local authorities, a situation he soon found himself in. An ever-tightening gang of local toughs quickly approached Harry, their grimy appearances betraying their obvious crass upbringing, the smell of body odor prevalent as they closed in. He had been ready to fight them all if need be, having some knowledge of Taedwondo. The thugs had circled around him warily, occasionally making fake lunges at him. Prepared for the worst, Harry was surprised when a soft voice spoke from somewhere within the crowd. The group parted and a slight figure all in black, wearing a veil stepped forward. “I am Jezel. Come with me if you want to live,” she said in a soft accented voice, her small frame a tiny defense against the hulking monstrosities behind her. Her scent was alluring as he took her hand. They slipped, almost like ghosts, past the brutish circle and out of the room, soon finding themselves in the street outside. *****

He looked at the mysterious woman closely, her slight figure hiding a beauty and grace evident

in the simplest of her movements. Intrigued, he followed her silently into the descending darkness of the coming evening. In the distance, a dog barked and children played, but he was only aware of her and the smell of the evening cook fires, their smoke hanging heavy in the air. Coming upon a medium-sized hovel, he followed her through a carpet-flap doorway into the dark interior of the abode. Figures moved around in the smoky room, their shapes indiscernible in the gloom. Jezel quickly led him through to the back, a kitchen by the smell of it, then on through an old rickety door into the basement. The smell of mold assailed his senses as the small shadow in front of him stopped at the bottom of the stairs. He could feel her closeness in the darkness, smell her scent mixed with that of the mold, and for some reason, he thought of a cemetery, freshly turned earth, and the smell of decaying flowers. His eyes detected a flickering of candlelight as she turned in the half-light of the altar he now saw on the far side of the small chamber. With dripping wax and a multitude of strange objects, a small stained wooden statue and an ornate knife, or was it a dagger, littered the top of the box that served as shrine. The lithe form in front of him knelt down as if in prayer. A moment, and then she was on her feet again, turning to him as she removed her black hat and then her veil. Beauty beyond measure was all he could think of as she swept up to him with upturned face. Dark of hair and skin, lips the color of

blood, her eyes piercing his soul in their blackness . . . pools of the darkest night. He started to speak but was hushed by a small, delicate finger to his lips. “Shhhh,� was all she said as she pulled him to her and kissed him fully upon the lips. He felt himself drowning in her small but powerful presence as he slipped into a sort of blissful half-awareness. Thus, drunk with her intoxicating aroma, he complied. Next, Jezel grabbed a goblet from atop the altar, its dark red liquid spilling slightly as she brought it to his lips. The salty liquid burned fire down his suddenly parched

throat. Harry drank it until the cup was empty. She smiled at him in all her resplendent beauty, a knowing look in her eyes. He tried to smile back, but felt himself falling softly into the warm embrace of sleep. His head swimming, he felt himself slipping to the floor and into darkness. *****

He stood upon the cliff overlooking the sea. A Watcher in her service, awaiting her return. She had promised him her love in return for his eternal devotion. Jezel had been her name, and her presence promised everything his heart desired.

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Fiction: Featured Author He could see the others atop the cliff with him. Funny, he thought it had been only him; but then again, Madame Jezel had many followers. Though, she loved only him, or that is what she had said that night when he had become her zombie lover. A seagull cried far overhead as it wheeled in closer to the Army of Jezel, named as such by the local populace who feared the voodoo princess. How he knew this again eluded him. A memory flashed before him once again, and he was back on that fateful night when he had joined the ranks of the undead.

was drug across the bare earth to just below the throne. Jezel looked down at him, coldness upon her person. Standing up, she raised her hands, her gown being removed by muscular men who wore no shirts. Her chest heaved as she cried into the night. “I summon you, oh Goddess of the night, Ayida-Weddo. Come to me so you can guide me in my work. I bring you Harry Chaplain; his soul is yours. In return, I only ask for his undying servitude.

*****

Harry had awoken to the sound of drums in the distance, his mind a fog. The first thing that struck him was the heat, stifling in its intensity. Then, the realization that the drums were close by. He opened his eyes a crack, and then wider as he took in the spectacle that surrounded him. At first, the dancers were a blur, but as his eyes adjusted to the light, he was able to pick out details of those who filled the outside clearing that they occupied. A fire roared as semi-nude figures, men and women, danced wildly around it, almost as if possessed. Upon a throne overlooking all, sat his lover, the Mistress Jezel. Dressed in a regal gown, her dark breasts exposed to the warm night air, a look of nobility in her eyes. She glanced his way, as he lay on the ground, arms and legs bound. “Enough,” was all she said, and the dancers immediately stopped. “Bring me the American.” Grabbed by rough hands, he

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Raising a bowl handed to her over her head, she gave a shout and then pored the liquid down Harry’s throat. Gagging on the thick mixture, Harry felt himself drowning on the vile fluid. Numbness spread from his stomach to his chest, all the way out his extremities, making its way slowly to his head. His vision clouded, as the world winked away, and all he could see was darkness. And all he could hear was the slowing beat of his heart, until even that was gone, and he was left alone with his thoughts. Coldness sprang up to consume his whole body, and the smell of fresh turned earth invaded his senses . . . *****

Guide me oh Serpent and Rainbow, guide me in the work at hand. Deliver me his soul so that I may serve you.” And with that, she fell silent. Harry was brought to his knees, his head pulled back and his jaw forced open. Jezel, terrible and beautiful, stepped before him, her dark body covered in perspiration. Her eyes just whites, she hissed as if possessed.

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. . . a thud, the scrape of metal on wood, and then fresh air. Harry blinked in confusion. He was hauled up and out onto the dirt, flopping feebly to the ground as he tried unsuccessfully to stand. In his field of vision, he saw his Mistress. She knelt before him, kissing him upon his lips. Then he was held down once again as Jezel brought out a serrated knife, the pain unimaginable as she commenced cutting out his heart, it still beating in her outstretched hand. Blood dripped down her arm and onto the ground as she said the final words. “And his soul is yours oh great Ayida-Weddo, and his body is mine.” Her body shook as his soul passed through it. He could feel himself going up and out into a great darkness permeated by a multi-colored strand. The Serpent and the Rainbow had come to consume his soul. All

that was left was him as he gazed upon his wonderful Mistress Jezel. *****

He stood upon the cliffs, looking out over the sea. He had stood by the sea since that fateful night, standing exactly where she had left him and told him to stay until her return. He had waited faithfully; he would wait forever if need be. To him, all that existed was her; all else was for naught, and so he would wait until her return. His reverie was broken by the sound of an approaching car on the dirt road up above. A car door slammed and footsteps approached. He could smell her as she came toward him, excitement flooding through what was left of his being. “So, you have been faithful. In that case I will let you serve me. Look at me!” Her voice was music to his deadened ears. He turned to glance at her, her face framed in the setting sun, a vision of loveliness. Eager to do her bidding, he waited in anticipation. Beside her stood a nondescript gentleman in suit and tie. “My friend here doesn’t think you will do as I say. He says I am weak and can control no one.” A pout formed on her beautiful lips as spoke. Harry started to say, but you control me, anything for you my Mistress; but the words would not come. All he could do was look forlornly upon his Master. “Show him; show him that I own you, that you are totally devoted to me. Jump from the cliff so that he can see how much you are mine.” A look of expectant happiness spreading upon her features as she said the words.

Taking one last look at his beautiful Mistress Jezel, Harry ran toward the cliffs edge, plunging over the side. As he flew through the air, the ground rushing to meet him, he thought of how happy he had made his Mistress and Master. Then he thought of nothing as he smashed into the ground. *****

Above, the Mistress Jezel watched as her zombie servant did her bidding. She didn’t need to

prove anything to the man beside her, he was only her driver. She just liked the sense of power it gave her to come out here occasionally and have her zombie minions throw themselves to their demise. With a smile on her face, Jezel and her driver made their way back up the hill to her car. There would be others . . . tourists, locals, whoever happened to catch her eye. And then, she would have another zombie slave to do her bidding, here by the sea.

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Personal Experiences

Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn M. Hughes

W

hen I began working as a night auditor a year and a half ago at Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters, located on the Gettysburg battlefield, I anticipated experiencing nothing more interesting than having some bizarre request from a guest. However, I never expected my “spirit” friends to visit so often or to hear so many accounts of activity from unsuspecting guests. I never thought they would alert us to their presence in so many creative ways, or for there to be so much activity involved. I am of the personal belief that spirits only want us to know they are still here and not to forget what happened here, for it is on this ground that they truly gave their “last full measure of devotion.” Here is my ongoing diary of my experiences within the hotel . . .

Monday, August 25 5:10 p.m. Next to the desk in the office is a two-drawer file cabinet. Laying on top of the cabinet sits the machine to make room keys, the master key to program the machine, along with a box of keys. The master key is secured to the machine with one foot length of cord.

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I was sitting at the desk facing the cabinet watching the news when a movement caught my eye. I watched the master key, which was sitting directly in the middle on the top of the cabinet with the cord right next to it, move across the cabinet to the edge and fall off. To say I was stunned would be an understatement. It didn’t move quickly, but seemed to be deliberately pushed across. I retrieved it and tried repeated-

I watched the master key . . . move across the cabinet to the edge and fall off. ly to recreate what I just saw. Nothing I did, including hanging part of the cord off the side, made it move from the center.

Tuesday, August 26 1:36 a.m. I went into the breakfast room to get my fourth cup of coffee. I

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keep the coffee urn on top one of the antique cabinets located there for easy access for my many trips during the night. On the front of the cabinet are two doors latched with a ornamental piece of wood. I had opened that cabinet the afternoon before to get supplies. As I stood there getting coffee for the fourth time, I watched one of the cabinet doors below me fully open. I literally had to step back to get out of the way. I checked the latch and it was moved to unlock the doors. On previous occasions during my time working there, I had found all cabinet doors open in the middle of the night. However, I have never seen them opening as it happened.

Tuesday, August 26 3:36 a.m. I was sitting in the office reading. I suddenly noticed a significant drop in temperature. It became so ice cold so quickly that I went to get my fleece jacket. It sounds ridiculous, but it was one of those bonechilling cold blasts that seemed to fill the office. I walked into the lobby, and the temperate gauge read 76 degrees and appeared normal. I ventured back

into the office and was once again hit with ice cold air. I was unable to get warm for about 10 minutes. Then, just as quickly as it started, the air temperature in the office returned to normal. It was some time, however, before I could remove my jacket. I felt chilled to the bone.

Friday, August 29 5:11 p.m. I was sitting at the desk in the office, and a coworker, Carrie, had a request for extra towels from one of the guests. She went to the laundry room but found the door locked. She asked me if I locked it, and I told her no. She then unlocked it and went into the laundry room. When she came out with the towels, she told me the back door was also locked. I did not lock that door either!

Friday, August 29 6:18 p.m. Carrie came into the office and told me it smelled like pipe tobacco in the lobby. I walked out and, sure enough, smelled that wonderful, sweet cherry pipe tobacco I have often smelled out on the battlefield when there was no one visible for miles. I asked her if anyone came into our “no smoking” lobby with a pipe, and she said no. It was strongest in the area behind the counter where we stand. It lasted for just a few minutes, then was gone.

Friday, August 29 8:10 p.m. Carrie was getting ready to leave, and we were both in the office. We both heard the front door open. She

I was sitting in the office reading. I suddenly noticed a significant drop in temperature. It became ice cold so quickly that I went to get my fleece jacket.

walked out to the counter, walked all around the lobby, and came back white as a sheet. She said there was no one there. She told me she saw the front door open, but no one came in. Yes, I know, it happens all the time. She quickly departed for the day.

Friday, August 29 8:20 p.m. Carrie and I had been talking earlier about the attic and the fact that when it gets dark and we have that door open for any reason, we like to keep the light on because it is creepy up there. I had to go back into the laundry room to check on something (namely, the back door) and saw my coworker had left the attic door open. I saw the light was off, and I quickly thought I would close it on my way back. As soon as I returned

from checking the back door, I walked to the attic door to close it and saw the light was on. First, Carrie was unaware of anything that had been happening with the doors. When she told me both doors were locked, I couldn’t stop laughing. I then explained to her what had been happening. Second, I had another coworker, Courtney, tell “the boys” we need to be safe and not unlock the doors. I did the very same thing on my next all-night shift. My “friends” went from unlocking the doors to now locking the doors, including an inside door. Well, at least they are locking them now. However, I will still be checking them every half hour all night long.

Thursday, September 4 10:57 p.m. Courtney stepped outside the office through the side door and im-

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Personal Experiences front counter. Again, no one was in the lobby.

Tuesday, September 9 3:55 a.m.

“I was sitting at the desk in the office, and a coworker had a request for extra towels from one of the guests. She went to go into the laundry room but found the door locked. She asked me if I locked it, and I told her no. She then unlocked it and went into the laundry room. When she came out with the towels, she told me the back door was also locked. I did not lock that door either!”

mediately smelled a sweet, foul, rotting smell, which overwhelmed her. She said, “It turned my stomach.” She walked down the breezeway on the side of the office and when she came back, the odor was gone. I spoke with Courtney about this and she described the same, sickening stench I once smelled in this same location several months ago. I told her my thoughts on this, that it might be a slip or opening in a window of time, and what we were smelling was rotting bodies. She agreed the description of the smell matched her thoughts as well.

Monday, September 8 6:40 p.m. My coworker, Carrie, was heating up our dinner in the microwave in the laundry room. I stepped back into the room to say something to her

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and looked to my left to check on the back door. It was locked. I asked Carrie if she had locked it, and she said, “Oh, no, I did NOT lock that door.” I laughed and said, “Well, they are certainly doing what I requested . . . locking the door and keeping us safe.”

Monday, September 8 8:30 p.m. I was sitting at the desk in the office and heard the front door open. I walked the three steps to the front counter. No one was in the lobby.

Monday, September 8 8:36 p.m. I was, once again, in the office and heard the front door open. I, again, walked three steps to the

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I was getting one of the many cups of coffee I drink during the night, and it came into my mind to do some EVPs. Whenever something comes into my mind without my consciously thinking about it, I go with it. It usually brings results. I spent about an hour and a half (starting about 2:30 a.m.) in the breakfast room and lobby speaking with a soldier. More on that below. I walked back into the office and stood there listening to what the soldier said when I heard a loud creaking noise. I immediately looked toward the source of the sound and watched the seat on the chair move or “un-depress” like someone got up from sitting in it. This is not the first time I have witnessed this. Courtney has witnessed this several times as well.

My EVP Session As soon as I turned on my digital recorder, I knew from the blinking light that someone was trying to speak with me. I have communicated with the boys on the battlefield thousands of times via EVP. On my first playback, I realized it was not our friend in the attic. He is always frantic and uses my name frequently when he speaks with me. The sound of his voice is completely different from the low, slow deep voice I was listening to. Sometimes, a soldier speaks very clearly; other times, they need some practice. We must remember they have no physical body and have to learn to speak in spirit. This was definitely

the case with the soldier I was speaking with. Initially, I was using my digital recorder in the breakfast room. I decided to go into the lobby and see if he would speak there with me. As soon as I stepped into the room, I noticed a marked temperature drop. When I checked the thermometer on the wall, it read 75; however, the air around the front counter and in the lobby itself was ice cold. I thought that I should be seeing my breath — it felt that cold. I proceeded to ask several questions: (1) What is your name?; (2) What state are you from?; and (3) What regiment did you fight with? On playback, there were definite answers to my first two questions. It was difficult to understand what he was saying because he spoke so slow and with such a low tone. However, he must have become frustrated with my last question because his answer was a very loud “I’m from the South.” I immediately tried to confirm this with him, but he was silent. I noticed the temperature in the lobby was no longer ice cold. After several more attempts of recording him speaking to me, I decided to try again on my next all-night shift. It was clear he was done for the night. I have since listened to the recordings with Courtney. We both heard the same thing on playback. His answer to my first question (What is your name?) appears to be either Tom or John. His answer to my second question (What state are you from?) appears to be Alabama. There is no doubt about his answer to my third question.

Tuesday, September 9 7:10 a.m. I was in the process of checking

I was in the office doing some paperwork when I heard the front door open. I walked the three steps to the front counter. There was no one in the lobby, and no one in the breakfast room.

out people at the front desk, and I stepped into the office for something and heard that loud creaking sound once again. I looked at the lounge chair and saw the seat move up. I had not been in that chair since 5:40 a.m. No one else was in that office during this time.

Saturday, September 13 9:20 p.m. I was in the office doing some paperwork when I heard the front door open. I walked the three steps to the front counter. There was no one in the lobby and no one in the breakfast room.

Sunday, September 14 2:40 a.m. I was sitting in the office reading when I heard a series of loud

bangs, which sounded like something heavy was hitting the front of the building. I immediately went to the front door, opened it, and looked outside. There was no one there, and everything appeared peaceful and quiet out on the battlefield.

Sunday, September 14 2:43 a.m. Once again, I was sitting in the office reading when I heard two loud bangs, which, once again, sounded like the front of the building was being hit with something heavy. I went to the front door, opened it and looked outside. There was no one there, and everything appeared peaceful and quiet out on the battlefield.

Stay Tuned . . .

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 35

Personal Experiences

Life With the Breathing Impaired By Bri Larkin

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became friends with a person who was involved with Paranormal Activity Investigators, or P.A.I., from Kansas City. As I shared my experiences with him, he mentioned my story to his group, and they decided to come visit us. I’m glad they did, as I have formed lasting friendships with many of the members. They are the kind of people who try to get to the bottom of things. They don’t scare easily, and they have no problems debunking something they have found to be explainable. Needless to say, they debunk quite a bit. Because of this, I trust this group very much with my story and our experiences.

and the basement door he had just passed through. All of the sudden, we started hearing the basement door open. My friend shifted over, and as he did, the door closed. We all watched

***** Upon coming to visit, the team took a few pictures and conducted interviews with us. Once they were convinced we weren’t bona fide crazy, they started their work. As we were visiting in the living room, the door slams started. Everyone got quiet. My friend headed down to the basement to see if he could track it down. He couldn’t. He came back upstairs and stood in the doorway, between us

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as the basement door opened again, then closed. It happened one more time before my friend said, “Okay, you can knock that off right now.” The basement door opened slightly, closed itself with a very audible “click!” from the latch, and never opened again. In fact, I don’t ever remember the door doing that again after my friend told it to stop. Thanks buddy! As strange as it was to have that happen, I was more relieved than anything that it happened in front of a group of people. It had opened like that a couple of times before, but I was always alone, and personal experiences aren’t that great when it comes to convincing others. It’s wonderful to have extra sets of eyes to help verify! *****

“As we were visiting in the living room, the door slams started. Everyone got quiet. My friend headed down to the basement to see if he could track it down. He couldn’t. He came back upstairs and stood in the doorway, between us and the basement door he had just passed through. All of the sudden, we started hearing the basement door open.”

Paranormal Underground November 2008

The following year I found out I was going to have a baby. Interestingly enough, the phenomena pretty much ceased for the duration of my pregnancy. I really didn’t notice much going on at all. The next major thing that happened was after my baby was born. I started seeing flashes of light.

“One day, I was playing with my baby and the dog on the kitchen floor. I saw that flash again. I quickly regained my sight to see both the dog and baby staring at me, bewildered.”

At first, I thought the wiring was going nuts, but these flashes would happen during the day when I didn’t have any lights on. It always seemed to happen right in front of my face, as quick as a blink and so bright that it momentarily blanked my vision for second. I seriously thought something was going on with my eyes. I had my eyes examined just to find out they were fine. I then started thinking maybe I was seeing things. There had to be an explanation. ***** One day, I was playing with my baby and the dog on the kitchen floor. I saw that flash again. I quickly regained my sight to see both the dog and baby staring at me, bewildered. Of course, I couldn’t ask them what they saw, but judging by how they looked at me, they were as

confused as I. I sighed, a little relieved, but knowing I couldn’t take what a baby and a dog MIGHT have seen as anything proof-worthy. A week later, I was sitting on my couch. My husband was at the kitchen sink. The flash happened, again in front of my face, and right away, my husband exclaimed, “What was that? Are you taking a picture?” I was silent for a very long moment. Someone else had seen it. It wasn’t my eyes, and it wasn’t my brain. He told me he saw the reflection of it on the window and trim. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was the last time I ever saw the flash of light. It was almost like it wanted a confirmation of sorts, because when it happened before, I’d never say anything. Was it a message, perhaps?

But what kind of message is that? “Do you like flashbulbs? I like flashbulbs. Here, have a flashbulb. That is all.” Whatever, Rain Man. Maybe something was pulling my leg. Maybe it had a camera and wanted to snap off a few candid shots. Who knows? If that’s the case, I’m showering in my bathing suit. ***** Like I stated when I started this column, we’ve had different phenomena that we simply can’t explain. We’ve had a LOT of it. I’ve never been able to track down a reason for the flashes, other than faulty wiring or thinking I was getting crazier than a pet coon, so if anyone has had similar experiences, I welcome your stories and/ or explanations.

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 37

Member Profile

Mark Allen Themas (Zero79) Age: 29. Born: Clinton, Iowa. Currently resides: Camanche, Iowa. Status: In a relationship. Education: High School. Zodiac Sign: Ares. Occupation: Automotive Mechanic. When did you join GhostDose and/ or Paranormal Underground? May 2008. What brought you to GhostDose and the Underground? Google. What does your member name mean? “Zero.” Literally. How would you describe yourself? I am slightly insane, but find myself to be quite normal by today’s standards. Plus, I’m about two percent redneck. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I don’t see a whole lot of my family, except on special occasions. I do enjoy putting together model cars. Favorite music? I like anything from classical to metal, except rap.

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What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? I watch a lot of Sci Fi movies, Serenity, Event Horizon, The Fifth Element, The Lost Boys, and Queen of the Damned are some favs. My favorite book is Final Exits — The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die. What are your pet peeves? Having to repeat myself. Long lines. Crappy customer service. Mark Allen Themas is a skeptical believer who is most interested in “classic hauntings and bumps in the night.” People who keep their Mark has conducted small ghost hunts. driver’s seat like its a recliner. Telemarketing. was young. It had a number of negaI can go on forever. tive and positive effects on my life, and is the driving cause behind my Are you a skeptic or believer? interest in the paranormal. Skeptical believer. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Classic hauntings; bumps in the night. Have you ever studied the paranormal? Not professionally. I’ve done small ghost hunts. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. I used to hear and see strange things when I

Paranormal Underground November 2008

What do you think happens to us when we die? Ascension to another existence perhaps. One day I will find out. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? All we need is a little patience. Any exciting plans for the future? I am going to save a bunch of money by switching to Geico.

Poetry Corner Things to Declare at the Border By Sandi Kennedy

On a trip down to old Mexico Tom’s friends had just begged him to go They jumped in their car And went bar to bar The tequila did not cease to flow It was a wild night But they had every right To cut loose from those hard college days It was Tom that was warning It’ll be hard in the morning To return to their studious ways It did not make them think And they continued to drink To the border for one last shot As they toasted, “Ole!” Someone said, “Hey!” “There’s someone that we forgot.” “Tom fell asleep in the chair, and we left him there.” “I can’t believe that we left him.” So they hopped in the car To return to the bar Whose lights were now really quite dim They knocked on the door And the man sweeping the floor Reluctantly did let them in “I think he caught a ride, from someone inside.” The old man said with a grin “He’s probably in bed, resting his head, which is where you boys should be.” “Now run along home, don’t continue to roam.” “Everything will be fine in the morning,

Reaching By Chelle Thomas

There’s the rub, aye, there’s the vein

Twin souls drift on the torrid currents Thrashing, kicking, fighting to stay alive Life throws them into the fray But they find a way to survive Candle flames lick in the breeze Casting shadows in corners dark Frustration and confusion hollow there Biting deep, leaving their mark Stitching together the pieces So many years of hurt and pain Is there hope for these kindred paths?

For two wandering travelers Forever on the lonesome course Step lightly, their motions wary Waiting for that foul recourse Hours wander, days pass uneventful Have their paths crossed and twined? Releasing the walls that have built Or are the ghosts too hard to leave behind?

Dancing Home

you’ll see.” With the ring of truth in his voice And no other choice The boys decided to go But as they drove to the border They sensed some disorder Tom was with border patrol He was wrapped in a sheet And he had dirty bare feet He looked a bit shaken as well He rambled about a tub full of ice and showed us a slice, On his side that he said hurt like hell The border patrol guard studied Tom hard Then he finally spoke “Just before you, I let a guy through. And I thought it was just a joke. He had this huge case, And he seemed out of place So I asked him what he had there.” “He turned and he smiled, his eyes kind of wild. A kidney, if I must declare.”

By Karen Frazier

when her days come to twilight in the peaceful hush that is the end of her life she dances with her Maker a soft, slow waltz to a song that whispers welcome Home earth slips away leaving only gossamer fluttering behind to brush those she loves with an echo of her presence when the day comes for each of her beloved to begin the dance her voice will joyfully join in singing louder than the rest

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 39

Roundtable Debate: Zombies

Skeptical Believer: A View on Zombies By Mindy Kinnaman

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ntil earlier this year, I as I like to call it, zombigeddon). had never thought about I know it sounds silly, espethe idea of zombies as cially since there are organizamore than a way in which I could tions, such as the Institutional scare the ever-loving bejeebers Review Board (IRB), who specifiout of myself. cally work to make sure scientists In early September, I read do not grossly abuse their powan article about mad scientists, ers as researchers; however, in and included in preparation for the list were four a school project scientists who have this semester, I experimented with learned that the reanimation. It IRB is not infalwas then, with that lible. article, that I began Even in this to wonder if zomday and age, bies could exist. people have been Now, of found abusing course I do not their power, and believe in zomwhile the science bies in the George involved has not A. Romero sense: been reanimathe recently detion, who is to say ceased coming to Mindy Kinnaman says that zombiism is that somewhere, indeed a possible reality. life, whether off in some clandesthe autopsy table tine laboratory, or six feet under, a scientist is not and wreaking havoc as they go working on bringing the dead about trying to eat the living, one back to life? bite leading to turning humans For me, it’s that unknown that into a quivering, snarling, whitemakes me think that this could hot balls of zombie terror. happen. It is that which leads me But, thinking about reanimato believe that we could possibly tion experiments used over the find ourselves one day running past 200 years leads me to wonder and battening down our hatches if, one day, a scientist could acfrom the shuffling dead. cidentally reanimate a corpse leadSure, I will not believe it until ing to a zombie Armageddon (or I see it, but I do still wonder.

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Paranormal Underground November 2008

Skeptic: Dead Is Dead By Karen Frazier

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oodoo folklore sughas total control over our acgests living people can tions or behaviors is to disclaim be turned into zombies our personal responsibility for when two powders enter the our choices. As for the living dead — dead blood stream. The combination is dead. Life has left the body. of the two powders supposedly The energy that makes us alive is causes a death-like state where no longer there. the person who has absorbed the Without life energy, our powder is subject to the will of bodies are noththe voodoo priest ing more than who has given the inanimate objects. powder. And if our life This appears force is no longer to be the basis of there, then we are the belief in zomnot there to fall biism — not reaniunder the control mation from the of another. dead, but a living, Reanimating a breathing human dead body, in my who is in a “deathKaren Frazier says the dead do not opinion, is just as like state.” reanimate. possible as bringIn order for ing my kitchen one to believe in table to life. I just zombiism in this can’t see it happening. form, one must believe there is a That being said, I’ve lived in way to make a human being allow this world long enough to know their will to be completely subjuthere are things we just don’t gated to another. know, and there are possibilities I do not believe this is posfar beyond what we can visualize sible. or imagine. Even in states of extreme Who knows — maybe tomorintoxication — whether alcorow I’ll wake up, and my kitchen hol, other drugs, or in states of table will be dancing a jig. hypnosis — human beings have If that happens, ask me again some level of choice in their whether or not I think it is posbehaviors. sible that zombies are real. I may As humans, we are not powhave a different answer. erless. To claim that another

November 2008 Paranormal Underground 41

Reviews of the Month: By Mindy Kinnaman

Book: Voodoo Dreams

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ot much is known about the Queen of Zombi, voodooienne Marie Leveau, but author Jewell Parker Rhodes takes a shot in her 1993 novel Voodoo Dreams. The book follows Marie throughout each aspect of her life: from her birth and childhood to being pushed into the arms of two different men, and finally discovering and accepting her heritage. Leveau’s grandmere never wanted her granddaughter to follow in her mother’s footsteps and tried everything to hide her past. But after marrying a sailor at her grandmother’s insistence, Leveau finds herself drawn to

a voodoo priest, John. John recognizes Leveau’s gift, but rather than let her explore her gift, he uses her for his own selfish showmanship. As Leveau struggles to find herself, she soon makes a mark on the people, who long for her help and magic. Parker Rhodes’ book reads as though she had inside knowledg to Leveau’s life, as though she had gotten her hands upon Leveau’s own diary. In fact, you may have to remind yourself that the book is fiction. • I give Voodoo Dreams 5 out of 5 gris-gris.

DVD: Diary of the Dead

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y cinematic hero, George A. Romero, is back with his fifth zombie flick in the 2007 film Diary of the Dead. Diary takes a unique twist on the zombie genre, utilizing the handicam storyline, as seen in [•Rec], Cloverfield, and of course, The Blair Witch Project. Viewers will find themselves right up in the action, as though they were part of it themselves. (Hint: take some Dramamine or pack of barf bag if you get motion sickness easily.) The story follows a group of college students making, fittingly, a

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zombie film. As news reports of a zombie outbreak hit the airwaves, the students decide to head home to the safety of their families. Of course, no road trip zombie movie is complete without finding, well, zombies. While the film has plenty of the necessary gore, it also has a few laughs, including, “I think he wants more than your license and registration,” said as the students try to drive past a zombie highway patrolman. • I definitely give Diary of the Dead 5 out of 5 reanimated corpses.

Paranormal Underground November 2008

Movie: Quarantine

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emakes of international horror films have a new companion with Quarantine, the remake of the Spanish horror film [•Rec]. Quarantine is fun because it deviates slightly from your normal zombie film. TV presenter Angela Vidal is filming an episode of her show Night Watch when the firefighting crew she was shadowing is called to an apartment building to help a woman in need. Soon after, the residents of that building find themselves trapped and fighting for their lives from a zombie-like infection that is raging through the building. While Quarantine is not a shot-for-shot remake of [•Rec], it does keep a lot of the same scenes from the original. Of course, if you have not seen [•Rec], well, you will find yourself jumping and screaming, or like one of the students I work with, leaving the theater in fear. Quarantine does have some failings from its counterpart [•Rec], the biggest of which would be changing the cause of the zombiism from an unknown virus to a case of biological warfare. To be honest, I’m bored of the fear mongering perpetuated using any form of terrorism. Another problem is that the soundtrack, though light, takes away some of the tension of the original, which had no soundtrack other than the screams and growls of the people in the building. In all, Quarantine is not a bad remake, and to be honest, I really enjoyed it — especially watching the reactions of those around me who had no idea of the scares jam-packed into this film. • I give Quarantine 4 out of 5 infected bites.

Paranormal News

Ghost Hunters SpinOff Coming Soon

Ghosts R N.E.A.R. Episode 44 Online

More UFOs Sited Over Stephenville

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ci Fi Channel has ordered a pilot for another spin-off of its popular Ghost Hunters show. Tentatively titled Ghost Hunters: College Edition, the show features a group of students going around the country to seek out paranormal activity. The students will be guided by an experienced ghost investigator. Producers have not determined if any cast members from Ghost Hunters will be involved in the new project. Ghost Hunters, which launched in 2004, scored an all-time high of 2.7 million total viewers after its Oct. 8 episode.

Livescifi.tv to Air Two Special Episodes

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ivescifi.tv will hold two special investigations in November and January. Shows can be viewed at www.livescifi.tv. Nov. 15 — Groveland Hotel: In Search of the Paranormal 12-hour LIVE Investigation Broadcast. Watch the team as they venture to the Gold Country to this historic hotel and investigate the claims of it being haunted by the resident ghost Lyle. Jan. 6, 2009 — Gettysburg/ The Fansworth: Join the team as In Search of the Paranormal conducts LIVE, interactive investigations of Gettysburg and the Fansworth hotel.

he new Ghosts R N.E.A.R. episode, show 44, is now available for viewing online at www.nearparanormal.com/GhostsRNEAR.html. Keith and Sandra Johnson interview ghost hunters Brian Harnois and his fiancee, Michelle Wilmot. This edition of Ghosts R N.E.A.R. is dedicated to the memory of N.E.A.R. investigator/Ghosts R N.E.A.R. production assistant, Laura Casey.

Historic Granada Theater Extends Investigation Time

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he Historic Granada Theater in Ontario, Calif., is extending its tours for serious paranormal investigators. The current 60- to 90-minute historical tours will still be available for the casual visitor. Now, a four-hour basic investigation — on any night of the week except Sunday — is available with unrestricted access to the Emmons Building and the Granada Theater. The basic investigations run from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. An overnight investigation option is also available from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Fridays and 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturdays. Groups will have full access to the theater and adjacent building and one or two guides to make sure everything runs smoothly. If your team is interested in visiting the Granada, visit www.freewebs. com/investigategranada for more information.

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ccording to WFAA-TV, Stephenville, Texas, residents have reported more UFO sightings. About 75 UFOs were reported over the state of Texas this summer, and many of those reports were from Stephenville. The City had its fair share of chaos in January, when a mass UFO sighting sparked controversy. In addition to reporting UFOs, some witnesses reported seeing flares. And while the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth confirmed there were seven F-16s training in the area at the time, witnesses said they saw the mysterious lights long after the fighters had gone.

Ghost Hunters Social Network Created

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he Sci Fi Channel has created “Join the Hunt,” a new social networking community that encourages users to share their paranormal experiences. Site users can contribute paranormal photos and stories, as well as view photographs and vote on whether the structures pictured are haunted. Also available are tutorials that detail how tracking equipment like electromagnetic field detectors and electronic voice phenomena recorders work. Additionally, site members can ask “the experts” from the show questions.

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November 2008 Paranormal Underground