October 2009 Paranormal Underground
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Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 10 October 2009 Ghost Adventures 7-Hour Live Show — Oct. 30! Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Haunted Sites The Deadly Curse of Dudleytown Case Files Investigating the Old Wheeler Inn Haunted History Hauntings at the Baker Hotel Are We Alone? Extraterrestrial Life: Living Creatures Beyond Our Earth TV Watch: Being Human Features Three Unusual Characters Also Inside: • Ghost Hunting 101 • Being Undead Really Sucks! • Diary From a Haunted Hotel October 2009 Paranormal Underground • Buying Thermal Imagers 1 2 Paranormal Underground October 2009 Inside This Issue FEATURES INVESTIGATOR UPDATE Ghost Adventures Crew Takes on the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum 16 SPECIAL REPORT Ghost Hunting 101 22 CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites The Deadly Curse of Dudleytown 26 Haunted History Hauntings at the Historic Baker Hotel 32 DEPARTMENTS Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Holy Crap! Being Undead Really Sucks 34 Are We Alone? Extraterrestrial Life: Living Creatures Beyond Our Earth 38 Fiction: Featured Author “False Reading” by Sandi Kennedy 40 Paranormal Fantasy Author Spotlight Mandy M. Roth Being Human 44 Thermal Imager Selection duckie7694 (Kristina) 46 Tales From the Road — The Hunter Speaks: Investigating the Old Wheeler Inn 48 The Lady in Blue 54 Equipment Update: PUG Member Profile: PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Diary From a Haunted Hotel Publisher’s Letter From the Editor Contributors Calendar of Events Paranormal News TV Watch: Review of the Month: 5 7 8 11 12 14 56 60 62 The Other Side: A Practical Guide to Teen Ghost Hunting Ghost Hunter Comic October 2009 Paranormal Underground 64 3 Benefiting Make-A-Wish of Toronto and Central Ontario! Friday, October 30, 2009 from 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. (ET) WHERE: Workers Arts and Heritage Center, Hamilton Custom House 51 Stuart Street, Hamilton, ON CANADA L8L 1B5 With Special Guests: “Rescue Mediums” Jackie Dennison and Alison Wynne-Ryder Haunted Ontario Author Terry Boyle Psychic and Author Robbie Thomas Hosted by: Meadowvale Spookies Paranormal Research Team For More Information: http://msprtspooktacular.eventbrite.com 4 Paranormal Underground October 2009 Publisher’s Letter The Truth With an Agenda Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 10 October 2009 www.ParanormalUnderground.net EDITORIAL Publisher Chad Wilson Publisher@paranormalunderground.net M have supposed in our own minds. y question to our readThe problem in all this is ers this month is this: If when each separate viewpoint is you go into a given situpushed as fact. The victor of this ation trying to prove your point, battle of viewpoints touts what claiming that point as the truth, is they consider as irrefutable eviit still the truth? In other words, if dence of their claims an agenda is involved, around as a badge. does that color facts to It is very difficult that individual’s belief to go into a situation to the point that the with an unbiased and truth then becomes neutral stance. Our vionly a personal opinsion is more often than ion and nothing more? not colored by events The reason I ask is that have happened in because I have noticed our life. for some time that But to me, neuthere are many indiChad Wilson, trality is key. Realizing viduals in the paranorPublisher that we don’t have all mal community who the answers and workthrow out their opinion ing together toward a as if those opinions are common goal, the understanding inarguable truths. of the paranormal, should be at the So, at what point does the truth forefront of our minds, instead of wander from the territory of unbithe petty squabbling that oftentimes ased fact into the realm of personal goes on in the paranormal comopinion? munity. To me, there are very few We need to put our personal known facts about the paranormal. agendas aside and together try to Yes, you can apply a scientific viewseek a better understanding. That point to any phenomena experiway, we can share in the truth of enced, but there is obviously a point whether an afterlife exists . . . or not. when we begin to deal with unknown variables that, as of yet, have not We welcome your comments to this been satisfactorily quantified. topic: Please visit our forum at www. That is when we begin to paranormalunderground.net/site/ venture into shaky territory, and forum/index.php?act=idx and tell us the truth reverts from that which we what you think! know into the realm of that which we Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight Editor@paranormalunderground.net Managing Editor Karen Frazier KarenFrazier@paranormalunderground.net Science Editor J.D. Harrison ScienceEditor@paranormalunderground.net Contributing Authors Heidi Ann Karen Frazier Dave Galvan Terri J. Garofalo Rick E. Hale Carolyn M. Hughes Sandi Kennedy Cheryl Knight Kim Kowalczyk Dr. Rita Louise John w. Martin Michelle M. Pillow Andrew Selfridge Ryan Tackitt Chad Wilson Send comments and letters to: Editor@paranormalunderground.net. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 5 Ghost Knight Media, LLC Are you an author, paranormal group, event planner, or documentary filmmaker looking to promote your book, event, Website, or media project? If so, Ghost Knight Media can help! Our services include: • Editing • Writing • Art Design • Promotion • Production Let us help you tell your story or promote your event, Website, or media project. www.ghostknightmedia.com 6 Paranormal Underground October 2009 From the Editor Will Ghost Adventures Make Live Show History? Volume 2, Issue 10 October 2009 www.ParanormalUnderground.net ART Art Director I n this month’s Paranormal Underground, we chat with the Ghost Adventures Crew to find out what they have in store for their seven-hour, live investigation at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum on October 30th. During the lockdown, technical experts will be available on the outside to analyze data in real-time, and viewers at home will be able to interact with the broadcast through Webcam monitoring and by texting in tips to the crew as they pursue their investigation. Team members Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin promise to use revolutionary ghosthunting equipment never seen before on live TV. Special guests will include Chris Fleming, Mark and Debbie Constantino, and Dave Schrader, among others. Ghost Adventures’ live show sounds like a must-see for paranormal enthusiasts. Visit www.travelchannel.com/Ghost_Adventures_Live/ video/sneak-peek.html for more information about the live show. Also in this month’s issue, we feature descriptions of the different types of haunting and various equipment said to catch paranormal activity; what you need to know before buying a thermal imager; a review of the new book The Other Side: A Practical Guide to Teen Ghost Hunting; and profile the BBC Three series Being Human. In our Case Files of the Unknown, this issue features the deadly Paranormal Underground Chad Wilson Design and Layout Cheryl Knight Artwork Claudia Ghidella curse of Dudleytown; hauntings at the historic Baker Hotel; legends surrounding vampires; and a discussion regarding the possibility of extraterrestrial life. And our Personal Experiences section includes Diary From a Haunted Hotel, Investigating the Old Wheeler Inn, and The Lady in Blue. I’d also like to congratulate Sandi Kennedy, the winner of Paranormal Underground’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest. Sandi’s winning entry, False Reading, is featured on page 40. Ann Smathers and Richard Tingle placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in this year’s competition. The judges had a tough time rating this year’s entries. The competition was fierce. Congratulations to everyone for a wonderful showing! Also, make sure to check out our podcast with Zak, Nick, and Aaron of Ghost Adventures at www.paranormalunderground.net/ site/?p=2024. I hope you enjoy this issue. Happy reading! ADVERTISING Ad Sales Karen Frazier KarenFrazier@paranormalunderground.net MySpace www.myspace.com/paranormalunderground Twitter http://twitter.com/ParanormalUG YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG Copyright © 2008-2009 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of Ghost Knight Media, LLC. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of Ghost Knight Media, LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. ~ Cheryl Knight Editor-in-Chief October 2009 Paranormal Underground 7 Contributors Heidi Ann Heidi Ann has been a paranormal enthusiast since childhood when she had her own encounter. Her personal experience led her to question the world around her. Heidi is a mother of three sons, works as a special education paraprofessional in a middle school, and loves watching television shows and reading books on the paranormal. Karen Frazier Karen is the managing editor of Paranormal Underground. After living in a WWII-era apartment 20 years ago where unexplainable things happened, Karen began to search for answers about the paranormal. Now she combines that interest with her professional experience as a copy writer and technical writer to help bring Paranormal Underground to the public. Dave Galvan Dave is the cofounder/director of the Paranormal League of America and has been hunting ghosts since 2002. He is an experienced paranormal investigator in Portland, Oregon. Dave writes articles for Paranormal Underground using his vast knowledge base about paranormal equipment and investigation. His 8 first book, Paranormal League of America Presents: Researching Americaâ€™s Haunted Locations; A Paranormal History is currently available at Amazon. Dave can be contacted at www.paranormalleagueofamerica.org. Terri J. Garofalo Terri is a paranormal investigator, as well as the author and illustrator of Entities-R-Us, a Ghost Hunter Comic. For more information, visit www.entities-r-us.com. Rick E. Hale A native of Chicago, Rick is the cofounder of the Greater Illinois Ghost Society. A paranormal researcher since the age of eight, Rick is happily married and digs Jazz. He believes in the use of the scientific method in gathering evidence of paranormal claims. Carolyn M. Hughes As a night manager in a haunted hotel on the Gettysburg battlefield, Carolyn has had ghostly experiences both at work and while on the battlefield. She considers the ghosts of the soldiers that haunt Gettysburg as â€˜her boys.â€™ Carolyn shares her experiences with Paranormal Underground in her column, Diary of a Haunted Hotel. Paranormal Underground October 2009 Sandi Kennedy Sandi was born and raised in Camden, New Jersey, and currently still resides in South Jersey with her husband and two sons. According to Sandi, Paranormal Underground has opened up a world of writing in her that she never knew existed. She has been writing ever since she came upon the Paranormal Underground Website in summer 2008, and someday she hopes to publish a book of short horror stories and poems. She is a true believer in the paranormal, having witnessed ghosts on several occasions throughout her life. Cheryl Knight Cheryl is editor-in-chief of Paranormal Underground. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 20 years. Cheryl is combining her three loves, writing, editing, and the paranormal, to bring you Paranormal Underground each month. Her previous magazine experience includes roles as Senior and Managing Editor for several nichemarket publications. Kim Kowalczyk Kim is the founder of Ghost Breakers Paranormal Research Organization and has more than 30 years of experience investigating the paranormal in the U.S. and abroad. He is a retired criminal investigator, and has also been an investigator for the U.S. Army, worked for the Juvenile Justice Commission, and was an undercover detective with the Pinkertonâ€™s Detective Agency. Kim has formal education and training in crime scene processing and evidence collecting, disciplines he uses in paranormal investigation. Dr. Rita Louise Rita grew up in a haunted house, but this is not where her interactions with ghosts ends. For the past 20 years, she has worked with paranormal groups around the country as their psychic investigator. Rita is the author of the books Avoiding The Cosmic 2X4, The Power Within, and her newly released book, Dark Angels. She is the founder of the Institute of Applied Energetics and the host of Just Energy Radio. As a naturopath, clairvoyant, and 20-year veteran in the human potential field, she has provided insights into these unseen dimensions for thousands of clients around the world. For more information, visit www.soulhealer.com or listen to Rita live at www.JustEnergyRadio.com. John W. Martin John has studied metaphysics for more than 30 years. He was also in military intelligence throughout the Desert Storm era. A resident of Dawson Springs, Kentucky, John spends most of his time studying the paranormal, building Websites, and developing games. He can be reached at his Website, www.yallways.com. Michelle M. Pillow Michelle is a multi-published, awardwinning author of paranormal fiction. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything paranormal. Sheâ€™s also a photographer and cohost of Raven Radio. Readers and listeners can contact her through her Website, www.michellepillow.com. Andrew Selfridge Andrew is an investigator with Central Oklahoma Paranormal Studies. A police officer by trade, he brings seven years of law enforcement experience and critical thinking to his investigative approach, with a strong emphasis on the purity of data collection and preservation of evidence. Andrew believes that a critical approach to paranormal phenomena is essential, but also believes that a human, compassionate mentality is required when dealing with clients living with anomalous activity. Chad Wilson A writer of articles and fiction, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground. He has parlayed his avid interest in the paranormal into a top-notch publication, Paranormal Underground magazine. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, and private residences among his investigations. Paranormal Underground Magazine Is Looking for Volunteer Writers, Photographers, or Graphic Artists Ryan Tackitt Ryan is the founder of Paranormal Investigators of Central Texas (PICT). He is a certified paramedic working in Waco, Texas, and a part-time EMS instructor at the local community college. He created PICT after meeting with coworkers who believed in the paranormal. Ryan has had many personal paranormal experiences over his lifetime and realizes that science can only explain so much. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org October 2009 Paranormal Underground 9 10 Paranormal Underground October 2009 Calendar of Events October 2–3 Chicago Ghost Conference Portage Theater Chicago, Illinois www.chicagohauntings.com/conference.html October 2–4 Saskatoon Body, Soul, & Spirit Expo Prairieland Park Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada www.bodysoulspiritexpo.com/expo/ October 3–4 VAPRCON 2009 Hosted by Vonore Area Paranormal Research Old South Pittsburg Hospital South Pittsburg, Tennessee http://vaprcon.webs.com/tickets.htm October 9 The American Paranormal Conference 3 p.m.–10 p.m. EDT Scottish Rite Auditorium Fort Wayne, Indiana www.ameriparacon.com October 9–11 East Coast Paranormal Investigators Conference Fort Mifflin on the Delaware Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://aphs.org October 10 S.O.U.L.S. Fest Paranormal Conference 10 a.m.–12 a.m. CDT Julie Rogers Theater Beaumont, Texas www.soulsparanormal.com October 16–17 October 24 Allegan Paranormal Conference Historic Griswold Auditorium Allegan, Michigan http://strewnpapers.com/_clients/ mpe/conf2009.html October 16–18 PhantomCon Hosted by The Western North Carolina Paranormal Research Society Brookford Community Center Hickory, North Carolina www.phantomcon.com October’s Other Side at the Old Mill 7 p.m.–10 p.m. Dundee Old Mill Dundee, Michigan http://tangledwishes.com/events.php October 31 The Arizona Paranormal Research Society Paranormal Conference Black Canyon Conference Center Phoenix, Arizona www.tazps.com/PHX_2009_paranormal_conference.html October 31 Spookapalooza Haunted Lincoln Theater Decatur, Illinois www.americanspookshows.com/ October 16–18 Extreme Paranormal Conference Kingsgate Marriott Hotel & Conference Center Cincinnati, Ohio www.extremeparacon.com/ November 6–8 October 17 Michigan Paranormal Conference 1 p.m.–9 p.m. — Bailey Rec. Center Westland, Michigan http://ghostwatchers.org October 23–25 Haunted Computer Paranormal Conference Holiday Inn Express Wilkesboro, North Carolina www.hauntedcomputer.com/paranormalconference.htm October 23–25 ACE Paracon Social Paranormal Conference Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center Pigeon Forge, Tennessee www.americannewsmagazine.com Paranormal Investigators Convention Ramada Airport South and Conference Center Charlotte, North Carolina www.ls-pic.org/ November 6–8 Awakenings: Developing Your Psychic Potential Ramada Inn, Grand Rios Brooklyn Park, Minnesota www.darknessevents.com November 6–8 7th Annual UFO Crash Retrieval Conference Tuscany Suites & Casino Las Vegas, Nevada http://ufoconference.com/ October 2009 Paranormal Underground 11 Paranormal News Children in Panama Claim to Have Killed an Alien Explorers Find Sumatran Yeti B ritish explorers and scientists from the North-Devon-based Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), a mystery animal research organization, recently spent two weeks on an expedition in search of a yeti-like creature in Indonesia. The four-man team searched the jungles of Sumatra for what locals call the “orang-pendek.” The upright-walking creature may be related to both the orang-utan and the much larger yeti of mainland Asia, according to www.northdevongazette.co.uk. During the expedition, CFZ member Dave Archer and local guide Sahar said they saw the creature at a distance of around 100 feet as it squatted in a tree. Archer describes it as broad shouldered, with a large head, black skin, and dark brown hair. A line of darker fur was visible on the spine. He also said the coat of the creature was similar to that of a mountain gorilla. Sahar saw the creature, which was the size of an adult male chimpanzee, jump down from the tree and walk away on its hind legs. Photos of the expedition are said to be available soon. More information on the group’s adventures in the jungles of Sumatra can be followed online at the CFZ Website, www.cfz.org.uk. 12 A creature from another planet, animal, or hoax? Reports out of Cerro Azul, Panama, say an unknown creature was killed by two frightened children, aged between 15 and 16. The children, who saw the creature at a water fall, stoned it to death because they were afraid of being attacked. According to http://momento24.com/en/2009/09/16/panama-youngstersclaim-to-have-killed-an-alien/, the children were playing around on a hill when they spotted a cave entrance and a creature that was approaching them. Authorities did not comment on the incident. Woman Falls to Death While Ghost Hunting in Toronto L ast month, a 29-year-old woman on a ghost-hunting mission was killed after falling three stories at a University of Toronto building. A man and woman tried to jump from one level of the building to another, and while the man was able to make the jump, the structure the woman was standing on gave way and she fell, according to http://news.aol.ca/article/ghost-hunting-woman-falls-todeath-at-u-of-t/704245/. The woman was pronounced dead at St. Michael’s Hospital. The duo were hunting for ghosts in the 134-year-old building, which they believed was haunted. The identities of the two have not been released. Paranormal Underground October 2009 UFO Filmed by Chinese Scientists During Solar Eclipse ‘Lost World’ Discovered in Papua New Guinea A S cientists of the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing, China, believe they have filmed 40 minutes of an unidentified flying object (UFO). It happened during this summer’s solar eclipse. And according to www.dailymail. co.uk, a year-long investigation is under way to find out what the object is. Dozens of students also claimed to have seen the object during a rooftop observation of the July 22 solar eclipse. Nine or more of the students claimed they photographed the UFO. The UFO reportedly changed color and shape. Confessions of an Exorcist Premiere Set for Nov. 7 M ichigan Paranormal Encounters, in association with David Heavener Entertainment, will present the world premiere of Confessions of an Exorcist in Allegan, Michigan, on Saturday, November 7. The premiere will take place at the historic Regent Theatre at 8 p.m. Confessions is the pilot movie for a new TV series that relates true stories of demonic possession focusing on crimes against children. And according to Pastor Gregg Vernon, of The Refuge and the Center for the Arts, Faith, and Worship, the series “promises to open up a dialogue about spiritual realities not seen since the film The Exorcist.” For more information, visit www.confessionsofanexorcist.com or call 661802-1270. lost world populated by fanged frogs, grunting fish, and tiny bear-like creatures has been discovered in a remote volcanic crater on the Pacific island of Papua New Guinea, according to www.guardian. co.uk. Scientists from Britain, the United States, and Papua New Guinea found more than 40 previously unidentified species when they climbed into the kilometerdeep crater of Mount Bosavi. It is believed they are the first team of scientists to do so. The team explored a jungle habitat that teemed with life, which evolved in isolation since the volcano last erupted 200,000 years ago. The exploration lasted only five weeks, but what biologists discovered was amazing — 16 frogs that have never before been recorded by science, three new fish, a new bat, and a giant rat, which may turn out to be the biggest in the world. Unfortunately, Papua New Guinea’s rainforest is currently being destroyed at the rate of 3.5% a year, the scientists said. The team of biologists included experts from Oxford University, the London Zoo, and the Smithsonian Institution. They were joined by members of the BBC Natural History Unit, which filmed the expedition for a three-part documentary. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 13 TV Watch “Being Human” Features Three Unusual Characters By Heidi Ann W hat happens when a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost cross paths? On BBC Three’s series Being Human (seen in the United States on BBCAmerica), the unusual trio decide to share a rented flat and try to lead normal lives — or as normal as you can get when you’re a monster. John Mitchell (Aidan Turner) and George Sands (Russell Tovey) are porters at a hospital in Bristol, England, with big secrets to hide. Mitchell is a handsome Irishman with a thirst for blood, and George is a shy, quiet man with an aversion to the full moon. The two decide to team together in an effort to help each other to be more ‘human.’ When they rent a house from Owen (Gregg Chillin), they discover they have an unexpected third roommate, Annie Sawyer (Lenora Crichlow), the ghost of Owen’s fiancée who died in a tragic fall in the home. The trio do their best to blend into the neighborhood and lead ordinary lives, but outside forces are constantly working against them. Death Isn’t the End, It’s the Beginning Mitchell’s journey began as a soldier in the first World War when he was transformed into a vampire by vampire leader William Herrick 14 The British supernatural drama-comedy series Being Human stars Lenora Crichlow, Russell Tovey, and Aidan Turner as three twenty-something characters sharing a house in Bristol. The strange trio try to live a normal life. (Jason Watkins). But Mitchell eventually decides to give up blood after losing control on a date and turning Lauren (Annabel Scholey), a nurse at the hospital, into a vampire. This decision doesn’t sit well with Herrick, who is determined to bring Mitchell back into the fold. Paranormal Underground October 2009 George’s transformation started during a holiday in Scotland when he became lost in the woods with an American tourist. The two were attacked by a werewolf, and the American was killed. However, George, who was only scratched during the incident, was sentenced to a lifetime of anguish. Fleeing his family, he relocated to Bristol where he met Mitchell, who saves him from a group of vampires trying to kill him. George must now learn to cope with what he refers to as his “time of the month.” Annie, who was engaged to Owen, had her life tragically cut short when she died in a fall down the stairs. She is now trapped between life and death and must try to figure out what she needs to do before she can move on. Things turn complicated when it becomes clear her death wasn’t an accident after all. A Season of Emotional Highs and Lows Season 1 of Being Human was a roller coaster ride of emotions for the program’s viewers, as the three friends learned to control and contain their primal instincts. The primary characters of the show battle inner and outer turmoil, switching between incredible highs and lows. Mitchell dealt with his guilt over turning Lauren into a vampire and as he fought Herrick’s attempts to lure him back. He was mistakenly accused of being a pedophile after befriending a neighborhood boy, and had to make a gut-wrenching choice after the boy is hit by a car. Viewers even watched as Michelle returned to the vampires and then cheered as Season 1 of Being Human was a roller coaster ride of emotions for the program’s viewers, as three friends learned to control and contain their primal instincts. few abilities to a spirit full of supernatural powers. Viewers also followed George’s storyline and his painful monthly transformations into a werewolf. They shared in his happiness at finding another werewolf to help guide him, but also in his anger upon discovering the werewolf was the one responsible for transforming him months earlier. George also fought with his emotions as he started falling for Nina (Sinead Keenan), head nurse at the hospital. As Season 1 ends, questions are answered while new questions Arise. he again chose to leave them. Annie’s story grips the show’s audience as she struggled to accept and understand her death, found a kindred spirit in fellow ghost Gilbert, and uncovered that she had been murdered. Fans watched as she grew from a meek ghost with Questions Are Answered While More Questions Arise The first season of Being Human ended dramatically when George, in an attempt to save Mitchell, tricked Herrick into meeting him in a final showdown on the night of the full moon. A showdown only one could survive. As the season ended, while some questions were answered, other questions popped up. Who is the professor, and why is he looking for the three friends? Will Nina, who was scratched by George after he transformed, become a werewolf too? Is Annie forever trapped on Earth after choosing to save Mitchell instead of using the door to death? Fans will have to wait for Season 2 to find out the answers. The Cast Aidan Turner: John Mitchell Russell Tovey: George Sands Lenora Crichlow: Anna “Annie” Clare Sawyer Jason Watkins: William Herrick Sinead Keenan: Nina Gregg Chillin: Owen Annabel Scholey: Lauren Dylan Brown: Seth Sama Goldie: Janey Clare Higgins: Josie Mykola Allen: Bernie Dean Lennox Kelly: Tully October 2009 Paranormal Underground 15 Investigator Update Ghost Adventures Crew Takes on the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum By Karen Frazier and Cheryl Knight O n Friday, October 30, the crew from the hit Travel Channel TV show Ghost Adventures is slated to take on their biggest project to date. This time, the trio of extreme ghost hunters — including Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, and Nick Groff — are planning to tackle the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia, for a seven-hour live televised lock down. During the lockdown, technical experts will be available on the outside to analyze data in real-time, and viewers at home will be able to interact with the broadcast through Webcam monitoring and by texting in tips to the crew as they pursue their investigation. This special Halloween event will air on the Travel Channel from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. ET. After the lockdown, the Ghost Adventures Crew will be returning to what they consider business as usual — kicking off Season 3 of Ghost Adventures with a 90-minute special episode set to air Friday, November 6. In that episode, Bagans, Groff, and Goodwin will investigate The Island of the Dead in Venice. Recently, Bagans, Goodwin, and Groff sat down with Paranormal Un- 16 derground editors Cheryl and Karen to discuss their past ghost adventures and their upcoming live event. ***** THE LIVE EVENT Karen: Tell me about the live event on October 30. What can the viewers expect? Zak: The live event is going to be seven hours of live investigating. It is going to be a live event unlike any other because we are still going to be preserving our lockdown. The Ghost Adventures Crew has found a way to preserve the three of us being locked inside. That’s a huge deal because so much evidence is audio and video. With a large crew, there can be contamination. We go to great measures to make sure the three of us are locked down. escorting in different people that we chose, who will investigate with us for an hour. We have Mark and Debbie Constantino. We’ll be going over EVP footage live. You can’t get any more real. You can’t get any more proof positive that things are going on. We’re bringing in a sensitive — Chris Fleming of Dead Famous. He’s a great guy, and he’s got new equipment. We’ve got a guy who is bringing a piece of equipment that is unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. Nick: This is by far one of the biggest things we will experience and experiment with. We are extremely excited with what this guy is going to experiment with. It will be absolutely amazing if we capture something. First time ever on live television. Ghost Adventures’ 7-Hour live show will be fully interactive. We have a series of robotic cameras. We have patch-in spots where we’ll be holding live cameras. We’re going to be bringing people in at different hours during the lock down. The lockkeeper is going to be Paranormal Underground October 2009 Zak: We also have Dave Schrader of Darkness Radio, who has been with us since day one. He is overseeing our live evidence review base. He’ll be working with the show’s main host. Pictured from left to right: Aaron Goodwin, Nick Groff, and Zak Bagans are set to begin Season 3 of Ghost Adventures on November 6 — courtesy of the Travel Channel. We’re going to have guys we chose who are reviewing our online monitors; a few others will be reviewing our digital recorders. This live event is catered to people at home and to be interactive. Karen: Do you have a spot planned where you will be locking Aaron in? Nick: We’re definitely going to be doing things like that. Zak: It might not just be Aaron. We may be bringing in random people. Nick: October 30. Seven hours starting at 8 p.m. Eastern. It’s going to be fully interactive. Go to www.travelchannel. com to read up about the event. ***** CASES OF POSSESSION Cheryl: Zak, during your investigation at Preston Castle, you seemed to be taken over by something. Can you talk about that? Zak: Yeah — it was more like a partial possession. It is the first time that I felt something manipulate my mind. There was something in me; however, I had recollection of it. At times, I would almost forget things. I do remember looking at Aaron and Nick and not knowing full details of who they were. There were a couple things that led up to it. I recently experienced a full possession in Italy, which was completely contrasting from what I experienced at Preston. Because there was an unsolved murder at Preston, because it was abandoned, because there’s still unrested information involving it and you’re also involving a person who was violently bludgeoned to death, that was only adding fuel to a possible haunting. When we started our investiga- October 2009 Paranormal Underground 17 Investigator Update I felt safe. It was Anna Corbin’s room. Nick and Aaron came and found me, and they saw that orbs were disappearing into my head. Cheryl: I remember that you were kind of singing or whistling down the hall. Zak: It’s funny, because I don’t remember doing that. I saw that on the video, and I said, “What’s that? Who is that whistling?” And they said, “That was you.” Nick: It took us off guard. We were really creeped out about it. We didn’t know what happened to Zak. In the basement, Aaron and I saw Zak as an old lady. His face changed. His face drooped down, and he looked old. Aaron: It was detailed. Nick: After we left the location, it was like this thing was lifted off of him, and he was like himself again. Cheryl: Nick, tell me about your possession experience at Moon River Brewery. After filming three seasons for the TV show Ghost Adventures, Aaron, Nick, and Zak have all had startling encounters with possession. tion, we had countless activity that was being backed up by pieces of equipment. Our EM box was completely drained of power. Then our Ed’s box was triggered after we heard a scream and captured a mistlike figure walking down the hallway. There were four things that led up to what I think was a partial possession 18 from Anna Corbin. I remember something took over me. I had tears going down my eyes. I’m a tough-natured guy, and I lost it. I didn’t feel like me. I felt sad. Aaron and Nick looked at me and thought I looked like an old woman. I took off. I found a room where Paranormal Underground October 2009 Nick: Mine was the opposite of Zak’s. Mine was pure evil. There were a lot of things leading up to what happened to me. It was very bizarre because we were hearing voices and knocks responding to us. It was intelligent, but evil. Aaron kept capturing balls of energy (orbs) flying and following the contour of my body and hitting me in my head. Zak: They weren’t dust or bugs. We know what those are. Nick: The orbs appeared in frame and disappeared into my head and my face. The weirder part is that I slowly drifted away in my mind and I totally blacked out. I don’t remember anything until I saw it on video later. Seeing myself react like I did — I have no memory of this. The only thing I do remember is these voices in my head saying, “Kill them, kill them.” Everything else was a blur. That is my only recall. “Kill them, kill them.” I’m glad Zak turned on his flashlight and took me out of that basement, because after we left it was like something was lifted, but my whole energy was drained. I couldn’t go on. It was very scary. Cheryl: Did you get over that right away? Nick: It affected me big time. It opened my mind up to partial possession and showed me that things can take over your mind and body and control it. I didn’t believe in this stuff. I have to see with my own eyes, hear it with my own ears, or experience it. Once that happened to me, it opened up my eyes tremendously, and I knew we were dealing with something far greater than what we thought we were dealing with. It taught me to be more cautious. Cheryl: Aaron, have you had any experiences with possession? Aaron: Yeah, I have actually. The episode in Italy (the first episode of Season 3 on November 6) was crazy. I had something enter my body and I got light headed and felt like I was going to black out. We all got out of the room, and I felt better. And then Zak experienced his possession. Cheryl: Aaron, in the pilot episode in Virginia City at the Miner’s Cabin, you had some experiences and you decided not to continue to the Goldfield because you were shaken. Can you tell us about that? Aaron: I’ve been a camera operator, and they asked me to be involved. I had no idea what I was becoming a part of. In my first experience, something entered my body and passed through me. It was terrible. And then I got the EVP at the Miner’s cabin: “It’s of the devil.” I’m a religious guy and that scared me bad. When we got back, I was done. I felt tricked. But it was fun. Once you have an experience, you want to know what else is out there. I had no idea the show was going to be even more extreme, but now I’m all for it. I get scared — I can’t help it, but they feed off of that. Zak: That’s why we use him as bait. He’s like a wounded minnow in a shark pool. Aaron: I used to hate it. Now I understand it. It really, really scared me, and I still am scared. We’re not entertainers. If our personalities come across as entertaining, then I guess we’re just downto-earth guys. We put a whole new style to what we do, and it works great for us. Nick: I think at the same time, we do come across as some sort of homicide detectives because there are unsolved mysteries that we investigate. With the paranormal connections we get, we’re putting two and two together and telling the homeowners to look more closely at certain things. Zak: We’re paranormal investigators, homicide detectives, and we’re like those hard core journalists. Karen: Nick, at Essex County Hospital, you locked yourself in a morgue drawer. What prompted you to do that? “That’s why we use him as bait. He’s like a wounded minnow in a shark pool.” I’ll be honest, Nick and Zak will say, “Hey, we’re going here.” And I get really nervous. That’s why I laugh a lot. I get scared and I just have to laugh. ***** Ghost Hunters? Filmmakers? Actors? Karen: Do you consider yourself to be ghost hunters, filmmakers, actors, or something else? Zak: Together we are all paranormal investigators. This is what we do. Nobody held an audition for this show. This is something that came from our fascination with the paranormal. This is our passion. We know they exist, and it changes your life when you do. We’re getting closer and closer to proving that ghosts do exist. Nick: I actually didn’t know the door was going to lock when it shut. It was just something that just came to my head. I wondered what kind of voices I’d get where thousands of bodies were laid down to rest. There had to be some kind of trapped energy in this morgue. I got in there and was in there for an hour, and I started hearing hands push against the slab doors. I heard someone walking around. I heard someone knock. When you’re in complete darkness in a morgue and you’re hearing this activity, it’s not your mind playing tricks on you. And then I captured a Class A EVP that says, “Die.” That’s why we do it. We go above and beyond to capture paranormal evidence. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 19 Investigator Update for the walk-through. It’s amazing, and it helps us. Paranormal evidence is like getting evidence on one piece of equipment and then backing it up with another. In Season 3, you’ll see us using even more equipment. Karen: What advice do you have for people who want to have their own ghost adventures? The Ghost Adventures Crew is extremely open-minded when it comes to paranormal investigation, and the team often tests out new equipment. Karen: At the Ancient Ram Inn, you were working with Wiccan rituals. Tell me about that. How did that work for you? Zak: There’s no limits we’ll stop at to try and get evidence of the paranormal. We use emotional energy — and that makes us different. When we found out that place was on a 5,000-year-old pagan burial ground, what better way to try to open up that doorway than to bring a Wiccan in? That was one of the times we actually said, “Enough is enough,” when we heard a very large growl from behind the altar. But we captured great evidence at the end of the night. We got some great stuff, and that’s what we’ll do to get evidence. Nick: We’re extremely open-minded to trying new things to capture paranormal evidence. That’s what it’s all about — to see what works the best to capture paranormal evidence. There is more than life after death. Cheryl: Which equipment has your best evidence come from? ***** EQUIPMENT, EVIDENCE, AND ADVICE Aaron: The video goggles. Those things are amazing. Cheryl: You use different techniques to try and enhance your experiences. Could you talk about the equipment you’ve used and the results you’ve had? Zak: When we’re on every episode with those video goggles; we’re walking around and they are answering our questions with 100% pinpoint accuracy to what we’re looking at or pointing at. At the Mansfield Reformatory, it started saying the guy’s name who took us Zak: The three of us know that ghosts exist, but the equipment helps us. I want to bring government scientists, police officers, judges — I want to get like 10-15 people to come in with us and witness it. You can’t argue with that. Science can’t prove it because it can’t happen on cue. The equipment we’re using is there to better validate what is happening. The equipment is gaining more credibility for us. 20 Paranormal Underground October 2009 Zak: Know the history. Type in haunted and your city into Google. Call the location and get permission. Don’t go without permission or you will get trespassing charges against you. Get a cheap recorder. The cheaper the better because it gives background noise on which a spirit can form an EVP. Don’t do it at your house though. You don’t want to know about the voices coming from your house. Take your digital recorder to a haunted place. Ask questions. Leave long pauses. Nick: I would recommend not going in by yourself. You never know what you’re dealing with. Know the consequences. Go in with two to three people at least. You never know what’s lurking behind you. Aaron: I’ve got the most important one. Trust your instincts. Your body is your best piece of equipment. ***** For more information about the live, seven-hour Ghost Adventures show, visit www.travelchannel.com/Ghost_ Adventures_Live/video/sneak-peek. html. Zak, Nick, and Aaron also answered Paranormal Underground magazine reader questions during a recent Paranormal Underground Presents podcast. Visit www.paranormalunderground.net/site/?p=2024 to listen to the podcast. Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington A Ghost Knight Media, LLC Documentary www.avalancheofspirits.com A century after an avalanche killed them all, many passengers remain trapped at Wellington â€” unable to make it Home. This is their story. Coming March 1, 2010 October 2009 Paranormal Underground 21 Special Report Ghost Hunting 101 By Dr. Rita Louise, www.soulhealer.com D o you hear bumps in the night? Does your hair stand on end when you walk into a room? Maybe you feel as if someone is watching you or perhaps you think you see someone out the corner of your eye, but when you turn to look no one is there? What you may be encountering in those unsettling moments is a ghost. So before you go running out of your house screaming, let’s take a moment to talk about ghostly encounters and those that investigate this phenomena. A ghost is believed to be the spirit or soul of a person who has remained on Earth after death. When a ghost has taken up residence in a location, it is referred to as a haunting. There are two different ways in which a ghost inhabits a location. The most common type of haunting is a residual haunting, which is typified by ghostly energy that is static or goes through a number of movements over and over again. It can be likened to watching a movie clip that repeats itself or a record album that has a skip in it, causing the needle to jump back to an earlier point on the album and begin again. The second classification of haunting is the classic haunting, in which the ghost displays intelligence and interacts with the people in the environment. It is not uncommon during a classic haunting for items to be moved around, for lights or 22 Whether investigating a residual or intelligent haunting, researchers should possess a basic set of tools to use. electrical appliances to turn on and off, to hear voices our sounds out of nowhere, or to be touched, tickled, stroked, or even shoved. These ghosts often reflect the personality of an individual, even after their death. With this type of haunting, the aroma of flowers, perfume, cigarette smoke, or other scents that are associated with the individual are often detected. So whether you think you are being haunted by a ghost and want to have a group of trained professionals come to your home or are interested in investigating all that goes bump in the night but don’t know where to begin, here’s some information that Paranormal Underground October 2009 can help you get started. It is held that ghosts are electromagnetic in origin and they create these fields when trying to manifest into this dimension. The energy that is given off by a ghost causes disruptions in the location’s magnetic field, thus making it detectable by specialized equipment and psychics alike. Because the presence of a ghost can be detected by specific types of equipment, a ghost hunter can become well equipped with a number of affordable pieces of equipment, many of which you may already own. From basic to advanced, there are many different types of equip- ment you can use to detect an otherworldly presence. For someone thinking about participating in an investigation, this doesn’t mean you have to own every piece of equipment in order to perform a reliable investigation. It does mean that you should at least possess a basic set of tools to use. Basic Equipment 35mm or Digital Camera: For a beginner, having a camera is probably the easiest and least expensive way to begin. Pictures, whether digital or recorded on film can capture paranormal activity — activity that is often invisible to the naked eye. This is especially true in the case of documenting the presence of orbs and ectoplasm. Notebook & Pen or Pencil: Simple as this may be, it is always a good idea to have something to record any notes, findings, or experiences you may have during an investigation. Flashlight: Many times an investigation will take you to a dark or foreboding location, such as a cemetery, old warehouse, abandoned building, or other place that is dark or without electricity. In these instances you will need to have a portable light source. Extra Batteries: Depending on the paranormal activity of a location, batteries oftentimes will mysteriously and unexpectedly lose their charge, leaving you in the dark. Regardless of the type of equipment you use, make sure you bring extra batteries along to replenish depleted ones. Intermediate Equipment EMF Detector: The Electromagnetic Field Detector (EMF) is probably one of the most important pieces of equipment to own if you are serious about doing an investigation. In addition to detecting the energy fields of ghosts, it is a key tool to use when taking baseline readings of a site. A baseline reading is a preliminary evaluation of a location, where investigators identify any existing or man-made electromagnetic fields, such as those created by power lines or electrical appliances. Digital Video Camera: Video cameras can be a useful investigation tool. Unlike still cameras, a video camera will document any activity in its entirety, including the length of time the phenomena occurs, the surrounding conditions, as well as the phenomena itself. A tripod to rest the video camera on is also helpful, especially if it is going to be left in a stationary position to record the activity in a specific location. Tape Recorder With an External Microphone: There is no better way to capture Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs) than through the use of a tape recorder. Whether using a traditional tape recorder with high-quality tapes or a digital recorder, an external microphone should always be used. A detached mic will eliminate the sounds of internal gears and turning wheels that can contaminate your recording. perature changes. A change of 10 degrees or more from the ambient temperature (the temperature of the surrounding area) can indicate an ethereal presence. Psychics as an Investigative Tool In addition to tools such as cameras, meters, and gauges that are used by ghost hunters, many groups also utilize the services of trained psychics as a means of gathering information about a site. This is the role I play when working with ghost hunting groups. Finding a true psychic to work with can be a real asset to the quality of your investigation. They can play an invaluable role in supporting the efforts of any paranormal investigation. Like a good piece of equipment, a psychic can help to detect anomalies as well as provide additional insights into the nature of activity encountered. If your group decides to include the use of a psychic as part of the investigation team, there are a few items that should be considered. To maximize the objectivity of the inves- Finding a true psychic to work with can be an asset to your investigation. Advanced Equipment Motion Detectors: Motion detectors can be used to sense the movement of unseen forces. Many need to be plugged into an outlet, but battery operated ones are also available. Before you go out and buy one, decide which type will best support you investigatory needs. Thermal Scanner: A thermal scanner or non-contact thermometer can be used to detect rapid tem- tigation, it is critical that the psychic go into a location ‘cold.’ This means that they do not know the details of the location or of any activity that may have been encountered by other members or the property owner. Telling the psychic the history of a property can cause the individual to become ‘contaminated,’ which can make it difficult for them to differentiate what they perceive from what they have been told. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 23 Special Report When conducting research, never go on an investigation alone, and always be respectful of the people, places, and situations you encounter. Conducting an Investigation With at least a basic kit of equipment in hand, you are now ready to explore the world of paranormal phenomena. Before you begin, there are a few ground rules to consider. First, never go on an investigation alone, in addition to personal safety, you never know what may happen. Next, consider the fact that ghost hunting groups are often judged by their behavior and professionalism so always try to be respectful of the people, places, and situations you may encounter. To do an investigation, the first step is to select a location. Locations can include cemeteries, old buildings, historic sites, private homes, and businesses. Always get permission to be on a site. This will keep you from getting in trouble for trespassing. Before you begin a formal investigation it is a good idea to do some research on the site. Talk to the owner, check out old newspapers, or contact the local historic society to see if anything happened there in the 24 past. It is also a good idea to evaluate the terrain for potential hazards and to identify places where you can setup stationary video cameras, motion detectors, or tape recorders. Most investigations occur after dark, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. These hours are considered the ‘psychic hours’ and are believed to be the best time to record paranormal activity. When you get to the selected location, walk around to get a feel for it. Next, set up any stationary equipment and take baseline readings of the site. Then let the investigation begin. Take pictures, shoot video, record for EVP, and take meter readings. Take them everywhere and anywhere, especially if you feel something or get a reading on another piece of equipment. When you are done walking around a site, turn your stationary equipment on and let it run while you and your group are out of the area. When you have finished collecting your data, it is time for analysis. Here, each picture, video, and Paranormal Underground October 2009 tape is reviewed for evidence of a haunting. This is probably the most important part of any investigation. As you review your materials, be skeptical. Look for earthly causes of any phenomena. Was someone smoking in the area? Was the room or location dusty? Where there reflective surfaces that could be the cause of the anomaly in your image? It is important to make sure your evidence will stand up to scrutiny by eliminating any other explanations. This will give your data more credibility. As you pore over your data, what you will find is that not every location you go to will have ghostly activity. You may discover that many of the things you initially detected during your investigation actually have real-world explanations as opposed to supernatural ones. What keeps many ghost hunters going is that one-in-five chance that this investigation will be the ‘real’ thing. When your analysis is done, presenting your finding to the home or property owner or sharing your results with others is often done. Many groups also post the results of their investigations on their group’s Website, sharing the outcome of their investigation with the rest of the world. If you are interested in ghost hunting, there is a plethora of information available on the World Wide Web. Here you can find articles about ghost hunting in general, stories of other people’s ghostly encounters, places that sell ghost hunting equipment, and even sites hosted by ghost hunting groups in your geographic area. Article source: www.articlesbase. com/self-help-articles/ghost-hunting-101-60417.html YOUR AD HERE! Advertise in Paranormal Underground 1-714-646-4197 (Karen Frazier) • • • • • • • Affordable Rates Target Audience Long-Term Exposure More than 3,625 readers per issue More than 20,320 Unique Page views per issue Our Website is viewed by 5,200+ visitors per month, with 48% of that being new traffic Our podcasts have an iTunes subscriber and listener base of 3,700+ individuals • Daily dynamic Website content For more information, contact KarenFrazier@paranormalunderground.net October 2009 Paranormal Underground 25 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites The Deadly Curse of Dudleytown By Rick E. Hale, The Greater Illinois Ghost Society, with Budd Lewis W ell-hidden by the years of growth in the back woods of Litchfield County, Connecticut, along the ominously yet aptly named, “Dark Entry Road,” sits an enigmatic ghost town that has gained quite a reputation over the years as one of the most haunted and terrifying locations in North America. Dudleytown is one of those locations that has had such a terrible reputation over the years, it is almost impossible to separate fact from fiction and truth from urban legend. Those who have visited this eerie ghost town, which is nothing more than a few foundations grown over with weeds and trees, all seem to come away with stories that would keep even the toughest guy awake at night with nightmares. If the stories concerning this lost gem of Americana is true, Dudleytown could only be described as a town cursed and set up for disaster from the very beginning. Those who have made Dudleytown the focus of their paranormal meanderings claim that the sad, little town was cursed well before its first foundation was laid in the late 1700s. It is widely believed that the Curse of Dudleytown, as it’s known, began across the pond in Great Britain when the Barons Dudley committed a horrible act of treason in the royal court of King George II. No one is really sure 26 Known as one of the most famous paranormal sites in Connecticut, Dudleytown is said to be a deserted town just past the Cornwall bridge in Litchfield County. (Photo: Rob Dupuis) what that act was and why it offended the King; however, the treason sent the Dudley clan fleeing into the night for their very lives to the colonies of America and Connecticut. Strange and Unusual Happenings in Dudleytown By 1800, Dudleytown was considered a small and struggling community in the backwoods of Connecticut. Unlike the other towns Paranormal Underground October 2009 that thrived and prospered in the area, Dudleytown experienced so many problems that they appeared to go well beyond coincidence and hovered in the realm of the truly strange and unusual. No matter how hard the farmers tried, proper crops would never grow on the land. Some feel that the soil may have been too acidic to allow anything to grow, while others believed that the very ground was cursed by the local Native American tribes who held the place as being evil and the abode of wicked spirits. Perhaps this is what contributed to the hysteria that soon overtook the small community and forced many to either flee or commit suicide. One of the strange experiences at Dudleytown was that the general population never grew past 50 people at the most. The town had such a reputation for being cursed that new and interesting people did not want to even come near the town. Those who stuck it out in Dudleytown reported strange lights and terrifying apparitions that flitted among the trees even during the light of day. It was reported that suicide became a huge problem in the struggling town, with at least one citizen going mad each month and hanging themselves in the haunted woods that surrounded Dudleytown. Reports of demonic possession were commonplace, and strange sicknesses that did not touch the surrounding communities broke out in Dudleytown, virtually wiping out the community overnight. By the second decade of the 1800s, Dudleytown was completely abandoned and never again would another human soul live upon its haunted land. One of the Most Haunted Locations in the World? In an interview with Playboy Magazine, comic actor and serious researcher of the paranormal Dan Aykroyd declared that Dudleytown, Connecticut, was the most frightening place in the United States — and rightly so. Although the land is private property owned by the “Dark Entry Forest Association,” which issues warnings that trespassers will be prosecuted, many intrepid ghost hunters ignore the law and venture into one of the most haunted locations in the United States — if not the world. Investigators visiting Dudleytown have reported seeing glowing orbs circling the air, hearing whispers and laughter echoing in the woods, and many other strange phenomena. (Photo: Rob Dupuis) Those who have paid this desolate area a visit have reported so many strange experiences that one would think someone is trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Many have reported strange voices crying out from among the trees and have witnessed dark entities flitting about the surrounding forest. Others have reported an intense feeling of dread and sadness as they walk among the remains of colonial village. Others have reported an intense desire to kill themselves and join the spectral citizenry of Dudleytown that seems to beckon them to their fate. When one considers the strange tale of Dudleytown, Connecticut, they must consider the possibility that this little ghost town, and the stories surrounding it, are nothing more than urban legend. However, if even a few of the stories are true, then the ruins of Dudleytown are not a place to be taken lightly, and only those with many years of paranormal research and investigative experience should consider paying this cursed town a visit. A Man With a Tale to Tell As an investigator of the strange and unusual, I have never believed that personal experience constitutes hardcore evidence; however, it does give the investigator a good place to start. Sure, reading about the history and the various bizarre spectral activity that allegedly occurs in the spooky, old, abandoned village of Dudleytown is swell, but what of reading the experiences of an actual person who experienced it? I will admit I have never been to this ancient eldritch town of eternal night; however, Budd Lewis has, and he is a man with a tale to tell . . . “The whole goddamn state is haunted.” The first time Budd heard these ominous words, he was taken October 2009 Paranormal Underground 27 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites Pictured above: A tourist takes pause on a path to Dudleytown. (Photo: Rob Dupuis) aback by the strangeness of them. Budd and his wife had just moved to Danbury, Connecticut, and had taken up residence in an old, ramshackle apartment building. This was where he encountered the strange personality of Bill Haddon, the grizzled, old maintenance man of the building where he and his wife now lived, and a man that Budd described as the first real ghost hunter he had ever met. It would be this old, New England Yankee who would guide him through his first foray into the unknown. And the experience would change Budd’s life forever. It wasn’t until Bill discovered what Budd did for a living that Bill would approach him and tell him about all the weird things that happened in the state where he was born. You see, Budd is a writer of dark fantasy and even darker horror — at one time rising to lead writer for famed and fabled horror and sci-fan- 28 tasy publications Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella. He also worked for 20 years creating monsters, aliens, and cool ways to kill people in dozens of films, TV shows, and animation. Budd currently plies his dark craft on the Internet and any haunted house he can find. It wasn’t surprising that Budd and Bill struck up a quick friendship, and the two gentlemen soon began tromping through some of the darkest regions of Connecticut on their search for things that defied science and flew in the face of common sense. Budd would soon learn just how haunted Connecticut truly was. Eventually, Budd and his wife made plans to move to Los Angeles, and the week before the move, Bill took Budd into the forests and hill country of Ancient Connecticut to show him the vast wonders that just waited to be discovered. They first investigated ancient Stonehenge-like structures that were Paranormal Underground October 2009 either built by the ancient Native American tribes that once populated the state in abundance, or by Europeans who visited this land centuries before they were supposed to have been here. Bill also filled Budd’s head full of the ghost stories that were prominent to the area. The old storyteller told Budd of a ‘local feller’ who transformed into a raving beast and tore his unsuspecting family limb from the limb, only to run off into the forest to bay at the full moon for all time. He relayed the tale of a mother who, while cooking dinner, accidently set her home on fire and destroyed her entire family. Bill talked of marauding tribes that tortured and murdered an entire village of white settlers, whose troubled spirits could still be seen skulking around the foundation of the long gone home where the genocide took place. Connecticut turned out to be a place of not only great tragedy but great mystery as well. But the greatest mystery was just about to be revealed. Dudleytown: A Dead Zone? Budd desperately wanted to go and search for more ancient graveyards and their moss-covered tombstones before departing to Los Pictured at left: Dark fantasy and horror writer Budd Lewis will never forget his visit to Dudleytown, where he encountered a foreboding location with strange mists and unnatural sounds. Angeles. And when he told Bill so, Budd could see the wheels turning in the old man’s head; suddenly, the bright light of remembrance filled Bill’s eyes. “Well, this ain’t cemeteries, but then again, it is kinda. The whole place is a dead zone. Wanna see it?” The fire within Budd’s imagination was immediately stoked, and all he could wonder was whether or not his friend had saved the best for last. Budd bravely asked what this dead zone was called. “Dudleytown,” Bill responded. And soon enough, Bill’s raspy voice called to his younger friend, “We’re going up Bald Mountain.” The bumpy ride over the ancient, rutted roads of Western Connecticut reminded Budd of the Disney attraction, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” And after a ride that seemed like an eternity, the duo came upon a weather-stained sign nailed to a gnarled tree that read, Dark Entry Forest. The ominous sign filled Budd with dread, and his first reaction was to ask Bill to turn the car around and head back to the bright lights of the city. As the two men drove over the rough bumpy road, Budd began to take notice that although it was broad daylight out, as they ascended the mountain it became increasingly darker — almost as if night had once again taken hold. Could this strange phenomenon be their first contact with something otherworldly . . . or even something dangerous to their souls? Or was the sudden darkness merely due to the fact that they were flanked on three sides by the shadows of the mountains that kept Dudleytown hidden? Before Budd could answer the question, Bill’s voice tore him away from his reverie. “Are you ready?” Budd had no choice to think, as his friend’s lanky form was already out of the car and moving quickly up the path. Budd was indeed ready. As the two travelers made their way into the village of Dudleytown, Budd could only wonder why the settlers would leave the thriving metropolis of Cornwall and come to this spooky place of desolation. What was it about this dark, foreboding location that attracted these long dead, brave men and women? It certainly wasn’t the prospect of raising prosperous farms as the sun’s light was blotted out by the dense trees and mountains that surrounded the area. Almost immediately Budd’s mind jumped to the dark conclu- sion that perhaps the settlers were a coven of witches and warlocks who indulged themselves in the practices of black magic and worship of the dark overlord of wickedness. It was as this thought raced through his mind that Budd realized he was alone — his guide having disappeared among the gnarled trees and foundations of this eldritch settlement. Budd was afraid. Inside a Living Forest “Yo,” Budd called out into the darkness, hoping that his friend and guide would come running. At the same time, he could not help but notice the chimney stacks that rose Pictured above: A rock wall on the path leading to Dudleytown. It has been reported that there are no natural forms of life in the area, including small animals. The former residents of the town are said to have been plagued with mental illness. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 29 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites Budd stole a brief glance at his companion and noticed that Bill was still grinning from ear to ear. That’s the moment when Budd realized that Bill, brave ghost hunter, loved this dark and desolate place. Bill was home. Pictured above: Adventure seekers spend a “creepy night” camping out under the stars in the middle of Dudleytown. (Photo: Rob Dupuis) high into the sky of the forest — like the smokestacks of hell. As Budd began to search for Bill, he fell, just missing falling headlong into a stagnant pool of water that was blacker than night. “Did ya fall?” Budd looked up to see the outline of his friend and mentor standing over him. “Gotta watch that.” “Yeah,” Budd muttered. And then, something began to happen. Budd noticed it started simply as a rustling of the leaves as a light wind blew. But then, unseen among the treetops, the owls joined in the haunting melody. Budd looked over at Bill to see the old man grinning, with a freshly lit cigarette perched upon his lips. Huge raindrops began to fall, joining in the sounds of a forest that seemed to come alive — the sound 30 was like a deep bassoon filling the air. The chimneys, or the smokestacks of hell, now joined in the chorus as the wind whipped up and blew over the tops, causing the deep resonating sound. If a living forest seemed strange to Budd Lewis, the best was yet to come. The music of the forest rose in crescendo, and inky black mist that had a life of its own began to pour from the trees and surround the two men. Budd could see shadows moving among the mist, dancing what seemed the eternal ballet of the forever damned. Was this the phenomenon that caused the long dead and forgotten settlers to lose their minds? Did this pervasive feeling of foreboding convince these men and women that they did not belong in this forest? Were these shadowy things the cause of the heartbreak that drove some to flee and some to take their own lives? Paranormal Underground October 2009 More Witnesses to Dudleytown Phenomenon Budd would eventually return to this ancient land and forgotten settlement. On the country’s 200th birthday, he led an expedition of friends, business associates, and the media down Dark Entry Road into the heart of Dudleytown. As the witching hour approached, the wind began to pick up and the forest came alive once again as the inky black mist pervaded the area and shocked this cadre of witnesses. As the cameras rolled and the reporters, well, reported, Budd could not help but wonder whatever happened to Old Bill Haddon. Was the old man still tromping through the hills and trees of Connecticut searching for ghosts? Or did he finally find his rest and join his ancestors who had gone before him? Budd would never know. And what of Dudleytown? Does this place of mystery still exist? Absolutely, and it still sends chills down the spines of those who dare traverse Dark Entry Forest. What about Budd Lewis? Does he ever plan on heading back into that ancient forest to rediscover that which he once feared? I hope so. And I hope that he takes me with him. Make sure to watch for Paranormal Underground’s special Haunted Sites issue, due out later this year, which will include more of Budd Lewis’ travels and adventures in Dudleytown. HOPE� TO FIND A CURE.� TO FIND A BETTER WAY.� TO HELP ONE VICTIM.� TO NOT FEEL ALONE.� TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE.� TO INSPIRE & HEAL.� DONATE� &� GIVE HOPE!� Stomp Out Cancer, Inc.Đ StompOutCancer.comĐ P.O. Box 117Đ Fairdale, Kentucky 40118Đ Info@stompoutcancer.comĐ www.stompoutcancer.comĐ October 2009 Paranormal Underground 31 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History Hauntings at the Historic Baker Hotel By Ryan Tackitt, Paranormal Investigators of Central Texas I n 1877, a man by the name of A. Lynch settled a town in Texas, naming it Mineral Wells. Shortly thereafter, the town became famous for its water having medicinal values. The Crazy Well was dug in 1885; people claimed the water in the well could cure various disorders. The water was bottled and shipped all over the United States. People came to Mineral Wells to be cured by the water, either by drinking it or bathing in it. By 1926, a man named T.B. Baker arrived in Mineral Wells and spent $1.25 million dollars to build a beautiful hotel, called the Baker Hotel. Soon enough, the Baker would be considered one of the most haunted hotels in the area. T.B. Baker also owned several other hotels in Texas, including the Menger in Austin, another reportedly haunted hotel. A Once-Burgeoning Hotel Now Sits Abandoned The construction of the Baker began in 1926, and the 14-story hotel opened its doors on November 22, 1929. Various famous people stayed at the Baker, including Clark Gable, Will Rogers, Roy Rogers, Ronald Reagan, and even the Three Stooges. One rumor even had the 32 Pictured above: A historic shot of the Baker Hotel, abandoned since the early 70s. During two investigations of the hotel in 2000 and 2001, researchers captured evidence of paranormal activity. infamous Bonnie and Clyde staying at the hotel under false names. The hotel served as military dependent quarters for a three-year period during the Second World War. During its heyday, the Baker was host to some of the most famous big bands of the era, such as the Dorsey Brothers, Lawrence Welk, and Guy Lombardo. The Baker was also the second hotel in the United States to have a swimming pool, and it was the first in Texas to have a pool in front of the hotel. Paranormal Underground October 2009 The Baker finally closed its doors in 1963 and sat abandoned till 1965 when a group tried to reopen the hotel. This move proved futile, and the hotel closed again for the final time in 1972. Since then the hotel has sat on East Hubbard Street deteriorating as each day passes. The building has 14 stories (which puts it on the international list of skyscrapers), 452 rooms, two complete spas, and claims to be the second U.S. hotel with a swimming pool and the first Olympic-size swimming pool in the United States. The Historical Hotel Housed Paranormal Activity Stories of paranormal activity began long before the closing of the hotel. The story told most often about paranormal activity within the Baker involves a woman on the seventh floor. The woman was reportedly the mistress of the one of the hotelâ€™s managers. She became upset with happenings in their affair, leading her to jump off the top of the building to her death. The woman is usually seen roaming the seventh floor, and her perfume is reported to have been smelled in her room on the southeast corner of the hotel. She also is reported to become friendly with certain men and flirt with them. Maids also report finding lipstick prints on glasses in rooms that no one has been staying in. The date of her death has never been confirmed; in fact, confirmation of her actual existence is lacking as well. Another reported paranormal incident involves the sound of dishes and silverware clicking. This single phenomenon was reported by a group of World War II veterans and their wives when they entered the Brazos Room on the first floor. Music and conversations were also heard by the group. The Brazos Room was the main dining room and dance area of the hotel. A more recent story comes from employees at a bank across the street from the Baker Hotel during the 1990s when the hotel sat empty. During the day, employees would notice windows opening and closing throughout the building. And while no one actually saw them open or close, they also could not figure out a pattern as to why certain windows were open while others werenâ€™t. It was never discovered who was opening and closing the windows while the hotel was supposedly empty. Stories of paranormal activity abound at the Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells, Texas, including the sounds of dishes and silverware clanking and the manifestation of full-bodied apparitions in the empty hotel. Paranormal Investigations Held at the Baker Hotel In October 2000, two different paranormal groups in Texas were asked to conduct an investigation at the Baker Hotel. Both groups reported having numerous personal experiences, and they each caught photos of orbs they deemed to be paranormal in nature. Psychics were part of the investigation as well, and they had experiences that included seeing ghosts throughout the building. In June 2001, another group recorded a man screaming near one of the elevators, which has since never been replicated or debunked. One psychic, in particular, believes there might be up to 49 different spirits residing in the historic Baker Hotel. Currently, most paranormal occurrences reported at the hotel stem from people visiting the building, who are not allowed to venture inside. Some claim their snapshots taken through windows and glass doors show paranormal activity. Unfortunately, many stories about the hotel are passed down from generation to generation or from teenager to teenager, with each story becoming bigger and scarier with each telling. Today, it has become almost impossible to tell the real experiences from the urban legends. To this day, the Baker Hotel can be seen from far away on the Texas horizon. Currently, a group is looking at the costs of refurbishing the hotel and restoring it to its former glory. If the Baker Hotel is reopened to the public, will the spirits still remain? There is extensive information regarding the history of the Baker Hotel, both paranormal and normal, at the following Websites: www.bakerhotel.us www.texasescapes.com/TexasPanhandleTowns/MineralWellsTexas/BakerHotelGhosts.htm www.tshaonline.org/handbook/ online/articles/MM/hem4.html October 2009 Paranormal Underground 33 Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Holy Crap! Being Undead Really Sucks By Rick E. Hale, The Greater Illinois Ghost Society W ouldn’t it be great if we could cheat our own death? You know, just walk up to the old Grim Reaper, hold your middle finger up to his blackhooded face and declare, “Screw you, dude. Not today, not ever.” This has been a fantasy of mankind since we understood death and the lack of understanding about what comes next. Many have done what they could do to slow down the clock and give the appearance of youth. Men and women spend millions on anti-aging creams to take away the wrinkles and give the illusion of vitality. Both sexes plunk down their hard-earned cash to get the fat sucked out of their rear-ends, and some even purchase oxygen chambers in the belief that this will slow down the aging process. However, I got some bad news, and I hate to sound maudlin, but death will have its due. You are going to die. Get over it. Can We Escape Death? Might we have an ‘out’ though? Well, if we are to believe what certain myths from the old world tell us, not to mention the countless books and movies that have been produced over the years, there just might be a 34 way to escape that most notorious of terrors . . . death. Go to any major city, like Los Angeles, New York City, or New Orleans. Frequent any night club that caters to the Goth set and tie a sign around your neck that simply reads, “Mr. Vampire, take me. I’m yours.” Sounds a bit ridiculous does it not? However, there are thousands of people who seek some supernatural creature to bring them into the undead fold. Folkloric vampires are loathsome, pitiful creatures. In the Western world, the vampire has become a cultural icon — a rock star of the darker set, if you will. There is a very lively counterculture in the U.S. alone of folks who dress in black clothes, sleep by day in coffins, and spend thousands of dollars to allow a dentist to put them through the painful process of elongating their canine teeth to give them appearance of their favorite undead romantic anti-hero. Of course, the great majority of these folks are completely harmless. Paranormal Underground October 2009 I have had the pleasure of knowing quite a few vampire-worshipping people over the years, and I can tell you that they are anything but dangerous. They are normal, very much alive people, just like you and me, living out a dark fantasy . . . sort of like trekkers, but without the pointy ears and that damned Prime Directive. Portrayals of the Vampire But as is the case with any subject heavily immersed in mythology, portrayals of vampires in literature and movies generally vary from the most common folkloric descriptions. Take for instance the media portrayal of a dashing, slick, Euro aristocrat who lives in the fog enshrouded mountains of Eastern Europe and happens to have a love for evening clothes. What about the numerous tales of the infamous duo Louis and Lestat? In reality, most descriptions of folkloric vampires are far more terrifying and not nearly as attractive. A ‘real vampire’ — as described in many cultures — is a loathsome and pitiful creature that looks more like a corpse than the super sexy creature you’d see up on the big screen or one brought to life by the pen of a horror novelist. These folkloric vampires are reanimated corpses that crawl from their grave wearing their death shroud. The vampire haunts the village they once inhabited and feeds upon their friends’ and neighbors’ flesh. Makings of a Vampire and Attempts to Quell Them According to the folklore of Eastern Europe, a vampire is not created by mystical union between vampire and applicant by exchanging blood. Suicide, which is believed by the Christian church to be the ultimate sin against God, is the most common method by which a person becomes a vampire. So a person who ‘offs themself’ is forced to wander the world in a death-like state, being a nightmare to all who once knew them. And because the suicide victim wasn’t allowed to be buried in hallowed ground, friends and family took certain precautions to keep the dead in their grave. Bodies were buried upside down to trick the undead into thinking they were digging themselves out of their grave when they were actually digging themselves deeper into the bowels of the Earth. Iron spikes were driven into the skull of a suicide victim because it was believed that the brain was the ‘seat of the soul,’ and doing so would kill the soul and keep the suicide victim in the grave. A tombstone was also used as a precaution to keep the returning revenant in the grave. Heavy stones were placed over graves with the person’s name inscribed upon it — it was believed that a name had great power and could bind the corpse to the grave. In many Slavic countries, a murder or an outlaw was considered a prime candidate for returning from the grave. A child born with teeth or hair was especially feared because they would one day return from the grave to prey upon their friends and “The Vampire” by Philip Burne-Jones (1897) family. Even a black cat jumping over the grave of a fresh corpse was believed to bring a person back from their grave. People today might consider these practices the superstitions of a few ignorant, European peasants. However, these beliefs were firmly entrenched in the minds of millions who believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the dearly departed could return from the grave and feed upon the blood and life force of the living. Consider if you will the strange story of Peter Plogojowitz. The Strange Case of Peter Plogojowitz It’s 1725, and Serbian Peter Plogojowitz was the typical peasant of the day. He cultivated and plowed a harsh land that gave very little back, considering the blood, sweat, and tears that he put forth every day in the hopes that perhaps he could put a little food in the bellies of his wife and children. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 35 Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures vampire’s head from his body and All that would come to an end the grave was probably the gases burned his heart to ashes on a stone. when Peter was crushed to death escaping from Peter’s body. The depredations of the undead Peby a cart he was hooking up to his And as for the violent reaction ter Plogojowitz was put to an end. horses. The sad, mundane life of when the priest poured the holy waPeter Plogojowitz had come to an ter on the corpse — again it was most A Scientific Explanation to the end . . . or so it would seem. likely caused by the gases escaping Peter Plogojowitz Account Several weeks after Peter’s from Peter’s body. Case closed on Looking back on the strange burial, several citizens of the village the strange and terrifying story of case of the Serbian vampire, modern were terrified when it was reported Peter Plogojowitz. day medical science has an explanathat he was seen walking the streets It would be easy to dismiss all tion concerning what the villagers of the village at night. Many villagers cases of vampirism on escaping gases witnessed that day. The ruddy, bloatshuttered their windows and securely and decomposing organs if it were locked their doors at night to not for the fact that all major keep the dead farmer out. cultures throughout history has When reports came to light some story concerning a creathat Peter’s friends were dying ture that seeks to prey upon under mysterious circumstanctheir fellow man. es, the citizens of this small In ancient Babylon, the Serbian village banded together undisputed cradle of civilizaand shouted with one voice, tion, there was the story of the “Enough is enough.” Lilitu, a group of evil spirits The historical account of that flew through the air at what came next reads like a night and crept into the rooms cheesy horror film. The angry of newborn children to feed villagers and the village priest, upon their blood and steal with pitchforks and torches in their souls. hand, made their way to Peter’s The Chinese culture has grave. They were on a mission the Jiang Shi, an animated to rid themselves of a loathcorpse that returned from the some, satanic creature. dead to feed not on the blood When Peter’s corpse was of their victims but on their lifedug up, the villagers’ suspicions force, or their Chi, by sucking it were proven correct. The body through their nose as they slept. of Peter was discovered to be The Aztec believed in and in relatively good health. His greatly feared a demonic spirit body was bloated and red, and a called the Cihuateteo. This evil small trickle of what appeared to ghost had a skeletal head and be blood was on the lips of the stalked the jungles of ancient “Le Vampire” lithograph by R. de Moraine in Féval alleged vampire. His hair had Mexico, feeding on those (1851–1852). grown and his nails were longer. unlucky enough to be in the To the villagers, this was proof jungles at night. ed flesh they witnessed is actually positive of the sinister nature of their And the Japanese had a fairycommon to a deceased individual friend and former countryman. like creature, called the Kappa, who because gases build up in cavities of Here is where the historical acfed on the blood and the flesh of the body and have nowhere to go. count gets a little weird. When the unsuspecting victims. Since embalming a corpse was priest poured a bottle of holy water Due greatly in part to the mythnot a common practice during Peon Peter’s body, he was said to let out makers of Hollywood and the fertile ter’s day, the red liquid oozing from a hideous scream and attempted to minds of authors the world over, the mouth of the corpse was probattack the crew that dug him up. The it would appear that the myth and ably the major organs decomposing. villagers were able to beat Peter back legend of the vampire is here to stay, The hideous scream that came from into the grave and eventually cut the even if they don’t get it right. 36 Paranormal Underground October 2009 Results Are In For Paranormal Undergroundâ€™s Second Annual Short Story Contest Congratulations To Sandi Kennedy First-Place Winner 2nd Place: Ann Smathers 3rd Place: Richard Tingle October 2009 Paranormal Underground 37 Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? Extraterrestrial Life: Living Creatures Beyond Our Earth By John W. Martin, www.yallways.com E xtraterrestrial life refers astrobiology. Astrobiologists comcreatures. On Earth, all living beings to any living matter found bine elements of astronomy, biology, are formed from the following elebeyond Earthâ€™s atmosphere. and geology in their search for life ments: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, This can include everything from beyond our world. and nitrogen. Subsequently, these single-celled organisms on an asTo find extraterrestrial life, are the elements believed necessary teroid to advanced civilizations on one must first establish a definition for life. Water is also considered other planets. of what it means to be alive. At its a vital component since all life on For centuries, humans have most basic level, a living creature is Earth requires this basic substance. wondered whether extraterrestrial life capable of unassisted reproduction. Some scientists have recognized exists somewhere in outer space. the possibility that life on other In fact, the earliest theories worlds may not resemble earthly regarding otherworldly life were organisms in any way. They proproposed by the ancient Greeks. pose alternatives to the notion of The Greeks postulated that if carbon-based life forms. the universe was infinite, then For example, one popular there could be an infinite numtheory is that extraterrestrial life ber of worlds possessing life. could be silicon-based. Such Some early religious texts, such organisms would live in highas those from Judaism and Hintemperature settings and posduism, also suggest the existence sess a crystalline form. Another of extraterrestrial organisms. possibility is that life could The first modern theorists utilize ammonia as a substitute to suggest extraterrestrial life to water. Finally, some theorize published works in the 16th and that life could exist inside the 17th Centuries. Many of these plasma of stars. scholars faced criticism and Martian meteorites (such as the one pictured above) Researching How Extraterpersecution from the Catholic supposedly contain unusual compounds and structures Church. However, as astronomrestrials Might Look that indicate extraterrestrial life activity. ical knowledge increased, the Some researchers have theory that extraterrestrial life specifically researched on how existed became more credible. extraterrestrial life might look However, for most scientists, a more and act. These scholars focus on Establishing a Definition of thorough set of criteria is required. those characteristics most common in Since Earthâ€™s organisms provide Extraterrestrial Life Earthly life, such as vision and limbs. the only known examples of life, Study of extraterrestrial life has The more species on Earth these have become the model for grown over the last several decades, with a certain feature, the more that theories regarding extraterrestrial and this field of research is known as feature may be found in extrater- 38 Paranormal Underground October 2009 restrial life. However, the exact manifestation of these traits would depend on a life form’s natural environment. Gravity, temperature, atmosphere, light, and other variables would impact the form an organism takes. For example, life surviving in a high-gravity setting may have a stronger skeletal structure for support. Most scientists researching possible extraterrestrial life have had to rely on Earth-based data. Thus, they utilize long-range telescope readings and computer projections for most of their information. However, a few extraterrestrial missions have focused on the search for life. These include several recent missions to Mars, such as NASA’s Viking rovers and Beagle 2 probe. Scientists believe Mars may once have possessed planetary conditions conducive to supporting life. For example, evidence of water has been found on this planet. Thus, missions to Mars have included soil sampling to test for organic matter. Other probes have investigated several moons in our solar system, including Jupiter’s ice-covered Europa and Saturn’s giant Titan. Scientists Continue to Search for Definitive Proof Currently, there exists no definitive proof of extraterrestrial life. The only tangible evidence that life might exist beyond Earth comes from microfossils of organisms lodged in meteorites found in Antarctica. However, this information is not conclusive. Thus, scientists continue using a variety of data to speculate on where life might exist and what form it might take. Paranormal Underground Magazine Is Looking for Volunteer Writers E-mail: email@example.com Article source: www.articlesbase. com/science-articles/ufo-phenomena-unexplained-objects-in-ourskies-698677.html October 2009 Paranormal Underground 39 Fiction: Featured Author False Reading By Sandi Kennedy (1st-place winner: 2nd Annual Short Story Contest) S am Ness felt around in the black, silk satchel for a necklace. There were only a few left. He glanced at the stone pendant attached to the end of the long rope. It was green. That meant wealth, or so he told the old housewife at the end of her session. “This will give you financial energy,” he told the woman. “It will bring you good luck in all of your investments.” He handed it to her, and she in return slid a twenty across the tabletop. “Thank you so much,” the woman gushed. “I can’t wait to go home and tell my husband.” Sam’s lips curled up into a sly grin. “Good night Miss, and tell your friends to stop by. Tomorrow’s the last night of the carnival.” “Yes sir, I will. Good night.” People were easy for him to read. He had many good years of practicing. If they wore a big rock on their hand, he told them, “You just got engaged. You’ll have two kids and be very happy.” No one ever came back and said, “You were wrong, I had triplets and am miserable!” They came in for the entertainment. They came in out of curiosity. Could they glimpse the future? The truth? Everyone had common threads . . . love, death, worry about money, hating a job. Nobody wanted to hear that their future was crap. Sam gave them hope for 20 min- 40 utes of their time and 20 bucks. Not too many people came in with high expectations; it was the ones who did that he felt sorry for. Like this lady whose husband just got laid-off. She believed everything he told her. Hey, for 20 bucks she just got a morale boost as he saw it. She could be sitting in a room with a shotgun in her mouth. Now she had hope for the future. ***** Sam peeked out the window of his trailer that doubled as his psychic reading room. It was eleven o’clock, and there were a few people scat- Paranormal Underground October 2009 tered around — mostly the clean-up crew. He would be pushing out tomorrow around this time. There wasn’t much to pack up — just the red satin awning staked into the ground outside the entrance of his trailer and a couple of signs advertising his amazingly accurate readings. He had his tarot cards, and he led séances, but he refused to use a crystal ball! That was much too cliché and old Hollywood for him. Most of these yokels would really go for it though. They always fell for the piece of crap necklaces he gave them. Even if they didn’t buy his psychic abilities, they always felt like they got their money’s worth because of a stone on a piece of string. He’d have to give out key chains tomorrow. They didn’t go over as well, but they’d have to do. Just one more night in this hick town and moneyon-wheels would be off to Las Vegas just in time for Halloween, a big money-making time for him. Sam folded the table and slid it behind a small sofa. The red curtain covering his doorway fluttered, and at first he thought it was a breeze, but after a moment, a small, white hand grasped the edge. The curtain parted, and he could see it was a young girl spying him. “Miss, I’m sorry. I must have forgotten to hang my sign. I’ve finished my last reading for the night.” The girl entered further into the room. “No, you didn’t forget. I just wanted to ask you something.” Sam cut her off abruptly. “These readings take a lot out of me. I can’t do any more tonight. Come back tomorrow, please.” He walked toward the girl, but she didn’t move. In the shadows her eyes were still piercing. They were large and beautiful. Sam felt a weakness looking into them. He resigned and inquired, “What do you want to ask?” “How do I make them go away?” He gave her a half-cocked look, and she seemed agitated by it as she continued. “The people . . . the dead people.” Sam let out a long breath of air. “I suggest that you go home and go to sleep. In the morning, whatever drug you’re on should be out of your system.” The beautiful eyes flashed with anger. “I thought you of all people would believe me!” Her anger turned to tears. “I’m not crazy, and I’m not on drugs!” Sam put his hands on the girl’s shoulders. “Calm down. Here, just sit a minute.” He led the girl to the sofa. “Are you telling me that you see dead people?” He tried to sound serious even though it sounded like a line from that movie. “No, I don’t see them. I hear them.” The girl nervously tugged at her long, dark hair. “I want them to stop.” Sam was skeptical, and he figured that one of the carnival crew was pulling his leg, but he played along. “When did you realize that you had the gift dear?” The girl recoiled. “Gift? It’s a nightmare.” She shook her head in disbelief. “I’ve been like this ever since the accident.” “What do they say to you?” He pulled a stool over and sat by the girl. “They tell me all kinds of things, like how they died and they want me to tell their families that they’re okay — that they are still here with them.” Sam rubbed the gray stubble on his chin. “Interesting,” he muttered. “Is that what they do to you too?” the girl asked, looking more intently at him. “No. Well they aren’t around me all the time, only when I call them at a séance.” Sam had his act down pretty good and sometimes even he bought his own bull. “That’s not what the lady says. She says she’s always here.” The girl bit her lower lip, scraping off a patch of pink lip gloss. “Who’s here?” Sam leaned in closer to the girl waiting for the punch line. No one knew him here. He didn’t talk about his family. This girl was a real good actress, but this was about to go nowhere. Taffy says thanks for keeping her in your prayers.” The girl stormed out, and Sam watched her disappear behind the game booths. No one knew that he called his sister Taffy. When he was little, he couldn’t say Kathy; it sounded more like Taffy, and it stuck. The only people that knew were his mom and sister. They’ve been dead for years. You can’t find that on the Internet. He wished that he hadn’t been so quick to dismiss the girl. He felt every nerve in his body jolting. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to sleep, so he grabbed a bottle of vodka from under the sink. He sat and he drank. He thought of the young girl and how he wanted what she had, a true gift. ***** Sam felt every nerve in his body jolting. Now, he wouldn’t be able to sleep . . . “Kathy,” she said as if she hadn’t quite gotten the name right. “Kathy’s here?” Sam asked, still trying to make sense of it. The girl shifted uncomfortably in her seat before speaking. “Who is she?” He let out an airy laugh. “Look, I appreciate all the effort you put into this, but joke’s over. You found my relatives on the Internet. Found an obituary for my sister. I get it, bravo!” The girl sat up rigidly. “Why do you find this so hard to believe? It’s what you do for Christ’s sake!” The girl jumped up and headed for the door. “I can’t believe I came to a fraud for help. I’m sorry I wasted your time and mine.” Sam was dumbfounded. The girl threw open the curtain. “By the way, Sam woke up cramped on the old sofa, with the sour taste of vodka in his mouth. He propped himself up and felt the phlegm shift in his chest, triggering a fit of coughs. He smoked, but he thought he must have a chest cold as much as he’d been coughing lately. Funny how a cigarette made him feel much better. He lit one up and, still wincing from his headache, made his way outside. Sam sat down on the metal steps of the trailer. The morning air smelled like a combination of popcorn, cotton candy, and cheap stuffed animals. There were signs of life other than him, not necessarily intelligent. A couple of guys were poking around the machinery of the Tilt-A-Whirl. He wondered if that would be tonight’s news. “Young October 2009 Paranormal Underground 41 Fiction: Featured Author couple killed when ride goes wild.” Sam felt like he was surrounded by idiots, and yet he never felt so much at home. Life on the road with the carnival was every boy’s dream. His thoughts soon turned to the girl. He took one last long draw of his smoke and then flicked it into the dirt. It would be a long day. Most people didn’t start showing up until 4:00 p.m. That gave him plenty of time to pick up a new distraction to give to his clientele — just in case he didn’t have enough key chains. He hoped this last night would be a good one so he would have plenty of cash when he got to Vegas. Sam liked to play the tables. He thought about how much money he could make if he could get the girl to tag along. It was a long shot, but he was a gambling man. ***** Sam got back around noon from his shopping excursion. He hadn’t done too badly at the local dollar store. He actually found crystal ball necklaces. Two for a buck. “It’s Anna, and I know you’re the Amazing Ness, but you want me to call you Sam,” Anna said sarcastically. Sam smiled and nodded. “Anna, listen. I’m sorry. I thought it was a joke. You know, let’s go pick on the old freak.” He could see he was softening her up. “Yeah, I guess it sounds pretty crazy,” Anna agreed. “So, it’s the last night of the carnival,” Sam struggled to engage her. “Are you traveling with them to the next city?” She shook her head. “No. It’s just a summer job. I live close-by. You?” “No,” Sam said with an air of haughtiness. “I’m heading to Vegas. Somebody’s got to point all of those sinners in the right direction.” “Those sinners are paying for your retirement,” Anna reminded him. He appreciated her humor. She would be great company on the road. He would have to play hell to convince her that he wasn’t a dirty old man, but he was sure that when she saw the Truth hurts; lies kill. He was walking past the beer garden when he saw her. She was busying herself about the roulette booth, so he decided to go over and strike up a conversation. “Hi.” He dared not say any more until he gauged her reaction. He was certain that she was still pissed off. She looked up only momentarily. “Well, since you’re psychic, I imagine you already know what I’m thinking.” Sam smiled nervously and put his hand to his temple. “Get lost.” She smirked at him and said, “You are as good as they say.” “Well, I’m not that good. I don’t know your name.” 42 money, she would be onboard. “If you’re not working tonight, why don’t you come over and reconnect a few people with their dearly departed?” Sam touched her arm. “Maybe it isn’t the curse that you think it is. You could make a really good living.” She pulled away. “I wouldn’t know what to do. I’m not good with people like you.” “You’ll be fine,” he assured her. Sam reached up and gave the roulette wheel a good spin. “Okay, maybe.” Anna smiled timidly and quickly added, “The last one. I want to watch you first, alright?” Paranormal Underground October 2009 “Sure.” Sam agreed with slight reluctance. All he needed was for her to correct one of his readings. “Oh, but Anna. I have to explain that what I see may not be what you see,” Sam could cover his bases pretty well. “I won’t interrupt you,” Anna agreed. “Stop in around 9:00,” he said. The roulette wheel clicked slowly to a stop on the number 13. Sam glanced at it. “Just my luck,” he mumbled as he turned and walked away. ***** That night, Anna was right on time, and it couldn’t have been at a more awkward moment. Sam had a lovely drunk couple, underage no doubt. “I want to know what me and my man are gonna name our baby,” the sloppy drunk girl asked. Her tattooed boyfriend pulled her close. Sam looked up and acknowledged his guest’s arrival, “Anna.” The young couple broke out in hysterical laughter. “Not even close. I’ll give you a hint Amazing Ness. It’s a boy.” Anna seemed annoyed by them and coldly said, “Your boy’s name is going to be James, after his daddy.” The couple seemed unaffected by what she said, so Sam reiterated it, “James. Your son’s name is going to be James.” “James?” The guy lurched forward. “I wouldn’t name my dog James.” The name seemed to resonate with his girlfriend though. “Come on, let’s go. This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” The drunk blonde gathered her boyfriend to his feet and looked at Sam as if he better not breathe another word. Sam felt very powerful. He could make or break these people, and given that they came in to make a mockery out of him he opted for the latter. “I think it’s wonderful to name your son after his father.” Sam looked around for Anna. She must have ducked behind the curtain to avoid the impending scene. “Jeannine!” The boyfriend flung the girl’s arm from around him. “You told me it was mine, and it’s Jim’s baby?” “No Markie! He’s wrong. We’re gonna name our baby Mark.” The angry young man stumbled out of the trailer. The girl’s eyes blazed with anger. “Asshole!” She grabbed her necklace from the table and made a hasty retreat. Sam felt a bit of remorse come over him as he heard the girl call after her boyfriend. “Don’t feel bad. They weren’t meant to be together.” Anna poked in from behind the curtain. “Are you sure about that? They seemed like a perfect match to me,” he added. “Very sure. She’s going to marry James and be very happy, and he’s going to open up a tattoo shop.” Anna tucked her hands in her pockets and rocked on the heels of her feet. “The truth just saved them from a miserable life. You could have said they were going to name their boy Mark because you saw the tattoo on her ring finger. A little observation goes a long way. A little lie won’t hurt anyone.” Sam was too embarrassed that he had missed such an easy mark, so he didn’t mention it. He studied Anna hard. “A little lie? I call it as I see it. I always have. What people take away from it is up to them.” His try to rationalize was in vain. “You can’t play with people’s emotions. The truth hurts, but lies kill,” Anna said with an uneasiness in her voice that left Sam feeling quite disturbed. “Look, this is my bread and butter, and it’s been very good to me. Nobody gets hurt. Entertainment purposes only. It’s on the sign. You’re pretty good, and I just thought that if you gave it a try you’d like it, but you got to have thicker skin. You can’t save everyone.” Anna looked as if she was deep in thought. “So do you want to or not? I usually have a few more come in this time of night.” Sam peered out of the side window. “No,” Anna spoke. “No one’s coming.” She sat down in the chair across from him. “Okay, if that’s what you foresee then maybe you could tell me my future,” he teased, trying to lighten the tense moment. “You have no future,” she said blankly. Sam chuckled, “This is a joke. I knew I should have trusted my gut.” “It’s not a joke, but you are.” Anna leaned in and whispered, “Truth hurts; lies kill.” Sam sat up in his seat. “What the hell does that mean? Look girl, fun’s over. I’m too old for this cat and mouse crap. Time for you to leave.” But Anna didn’t leave. “Do you remember a lie you told to a boy at this carnival last year?” Anna asked. “That his girlfriend was cheating on him?” Sam sighed. “Is that what this is about? I’m sorry darling that your boyfriend dumped you. I probably did you a favor. Maybe I saved you from a miserable life,” Sam tried to use her words against her. “The truth would have saved me from my misery. I wasn’t cheating on him,” Anna scorned. “You’re better off without him,” Sam asserted. Anna began to laugh, “I sure didn’t feel better off as he choked the life out of me.” As soon as Anna spoke the words, deep black and blue marks developed around her throat, and her face transformed into a ghostly white. Sam gasped as he sat horrified at the sight in front of him. “What’s the matter Sam? Aren’t you psyched that you’ve finally connected to the spirit world?” Anna stared at him as her eyes became black and lifeless. Sam started coughing and wheezing uncontrollably. “You should’ve really had that checked out, but let me save you the trouble,” Anna said, as a smile emerged from her lips. “It’s cancer, and it’s terminal. You have three months to live, if you can call it living.” Sam sunk into his chair. Anna got up, and Sam instinctively reached for his .45 that had been tucked into the back of his pants. Sam watched in terror as Anna slowly floated toward him. “Rest in peace,” Anna whispered in Sam’s face, as she slowly turned and passed through the side of the trailer. ***** The sound of a single gunshot rang through the carnival, and Sam slumped to the floor — a bullet between the eyes. Anna smiled. She could rest now. Sam didn’t really have cancer. A lie for a lie . . . truth hurts; lies kill. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 43 Paranormal Fantasy Author Spotlight Mandy M. Roth By Michelle M. Pillow O ctober is an exciting month for lovers of the paranormal. The veil between worlds becomes a little more transparent, goblins and ghouls traipse the neighborhoods in search of candy, and all over the world people are celebrating — Halloween, Samhain, Ancestor Night, Feast of the Dead, All Hallows Eve, Old Hallowmas, Hallowmass, Samana, Samhuinn, Samonios, The Feast of Sam-fuim, and Geimhreadh. It is why I chose this wonderful month to begin a series of monthly paranormal fantasy author interviews. First, a little about me, your interviewer: I’m a multi-published, award-winning author writing in many fiction genres, including futuristic, paranormal, historical, contemporary, fantasy, and dark paranormal. I’m also a co-owner of The Raven, where readers can enjoy a free, ongoing story; Raven Radio biweekly show; and paranormal blog. I’m a photographer, a skeptical believer, and a huge fan of Paranormal Underground magazine. So, you can imagine my excitement in being a small part of such a wonderful team! For my first interview, I thought it highly appropriate to invite my Raven co-owner, an extraordinary paranormal and dark urban fantasy author, Mandy M. Roth, to join me. Mandy and I have coauthored sev- 44 eral titles together and cohost Raven Radio. She’s highly prolific with more than 50 published books and a book cover artist. Her latest book, Force of Attraction, releases this month (October 9) from Samhain Publishing. ***** “I’d most likely end up best buddies with (a vampire) by the end of the night.” Q: In your book, Force of Attraction, you delve into the world of futuristic paranormals with vampires, shifters, and shamans. What inspired you to write about this? Mandy: I have big love for anything sci-fi and futuristic. Combine that with my passion for the paranormal and you get Project Exorcism (series name). Q: When world-building, did you base your story off of known Paranormal Underground October 2009 myths throughout history? Mandy: I’ve borrowed from the Eastern European vampire myths, legends of were creatures from all walks of mythology, and also a good deal of Native American-like supernatural aspects. I also took from history and humans’ ignorance to things they don’t understand or fear. So many times throughout history humans have tried to destroy what they don’t understand. In my series, Project Exorcism, the people on Earth gathered all the supernaturals and loaded them on multiple space vessels, sending them off to unmanned, habitable planets. Only one of the many crafts actually arrived at its assigned destination. The others crashed on various planets, causing the supernaturals on board to have to integrate with the humanoids at each location. Some did so without issue. Others, like the main villain in the storyline, decided to seize control and take advantage of everything at his disposal. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Mandy: I think the unknown element is what draws so many people to the paranormal. Your imagination is really the only limit. Plus, throughout history man has turned to the supernatural and myths to explain what they couldn’t understand. I think it’s just natural. Q: Do you have any paranormal pet projects? Mandy: I cohost/coauthor a free online, ongoing paranormal story and radio show with fellow author Michelle M. Pillow (hey, you might know her . . . grin). Michelle: Nope, the name isn’t ringing any bells, lol. Q: Does your family have any special Halloween traditions? I know it’s your favorite holiday. Mandy: Halloween is a big deal here at the Roth house. I even have a Halloween tree (similar to an Xmas tree). We generally bake themed cookies, cakes, gingerbread houses, bob for apples, make popcorn balls, and carve pumpkins (one year my brother had a pumpkin so big that an electric handsaw was required to carve it). We’ll often do some themed craft projects here, as well as talk about Samhain and All Hallows Eve. I always dress up and pass out candy for the local kids. We also watch the cartoon version of The Legend of Sleepy Hallow every Halloween. I’m not sure why, but I love that movie. phen King, Dark Shadows TV show from way back when, Being Human on the BBC, and countless others. Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Mandy: Of course. Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Mandy: Growing up, I dabbled a lot in things better left unsaid. During that timeframe, many unexplainable things happened to me. As I grew up, matured, and stopped the insanity, the oddness around me lessened but never fully went away. Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet? Mandy: Vampire, werewolf, werecat of some sort just to make it even, a faerie, goblin, zombie, ghost, the grassman, bigfoot, etc. Okay . . . any. The only one I’d not want to meet is the Mothman. He wigs me out for some reason. Q: If given the chance, would you become a vampire? Mandy: Heck yeah! I don’t have any aversions to blood, living forever sounds good to me, and I already avoid sunlight as much as possible. Can I take my answer back if vam- “Growing up, I dabbled a lot in things better left unsaid.” Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies, and books? pires turn out to be hideous, drooling, mindless monsters? Mandy: Dracula by Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, early Ste- Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a vampire? Mandy M. Roth’s latest book, Force of Attraction, releases October 9 from Samhain Publishing. Mandy: Honestly, I’m known to take things in stride. I’d most likely end up best buddies with it by the end of the night and be chatting it up on the Net or cell phones the next night. It’s just the way I am. I do know I’d annoy the poor thing with endless questions on the myths surrounding them. Q: What does the future hold for your writing? Mandy: I have a Harlequin Spice Brief releasing sometime in the near future and am hoping to fill my schedule at my current publishers as well. Other than that, the sky is the limit. ***** Thanks for joining us, Mandy! You can learn more about Mandy, her artwork, and her books at her Website, www.mandyroth.com. For The Raven, visit www.ravenhappyhour.com. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 45 Personal Experiences Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn M. Hughes W hen I began working as a night auditor almost three years 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. 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 . . . Following construction at the hotel, three separate incidents occurred in the hotel’s laundry room, where loud, unexplainable bangs were heard. Sun., Aug. 30 11:30 a.m.: Carrie was standing at the front desk working on the computer when she heard a noise coming from the attic above her. She described it as sounding like a ball bouncing, because the sound was constant and in a definite pattern. Carrie said she looked up and “watched” the ceiling directly in front of her and followed the sound moving approximately three feet back and forth. She reported that it went on for at least five minutes. There was no one in the attic at the time. 46 Mon., Aug. 31 Tues., Sept. 1 1:08 a.m.: I had just finished the audit and was sitting in the office reading when I heard a very loud bang. I immediately turned toward the noise, which appeared to sound to me as if someone had hit the door leading into the laundry room very hard with their fist. I quickly walked to the locked door, opened it, and discovered no one in the laundry room. 1:30 a.m.: One of our other night auditors was sitting in the office attending to business. She heard a very loud bang on the door leading into the laundry room. When I questioned her about it later, she said that she thought someone had hit the door with their first very hard. She immediately walked to the door and listened to hear if there were any noises on the other side in the laundry room. She described to Paranormal Underground October 2009 A chair in the hotel’s office repeatedly moved positions within minutes of Carolyn exiting the office. With no other coworkers in the hotel at the time, the event has been unexplained. At left: The original position of the chair. At right: The new position of the chair only minutes after Carolyn returned to the office. me what she perceived as an intruder in the laundry room who was moving heavy objects around. (The only heavy objects occupying the laundry room are the 75-pound to 100-pound laundry carts.) She immediately called the police. When the police arrived, they inspected the laundry room and found that nothing was moved, nothing was out of place, and there was no intruder. The outside door leading into the laundry room was still securely locked. This was the third such incident involving a loud bang that occurred in a 10-day period. I had experienced it twice (documented in September’s edition on August 24 and above on August 31). The other night auditor had experienced it the very next night after my second experience. Interesting to note that construction had just been completed, in which a part of the laundry room had been partitioned off to expand the breakfast room. Since I was expecting some activity of this nature with the construction going on, I was not surprised. I guess the boys are not happy about the changes! Mon., Sept. 7 8:15 p.m.: I was walking through the office and noticed the owner’s chair had been turned away from his desk, was moved two feet, and was now facing the wall. I thought perhaps Carrie had moved it inadvertently before she left for the evening. I promptly moved it back into its proper place and went out to the lobby to answer the telephone. I finished taking a reservation and turned and walked back into the office. I immediately noticed that the owner’s chair was, once again, turned away from his desk, moved two feet, and was, once again, facing the wall. Okay. I’m totally alone here, and I did not do it. I laughed and verbalized, “Got it boys; I’m really not alone here. Thank you.” There were no more incidents with moving chairs that night. ing on the porch to indicate something had hit the building, and there wasn’t any damage to the building itself. If you are a frequent reader of this column, you will realize that this happens all the time, day or night. Note: The direction this part of the building faces was in the direct path of artillery and small arms fire during Day One of the Battle of Gettysburg. Sat., Sept. 19 7:13 p.m.: Once again, my coworker Barb and I were standing at the front desk chatting. Once again, I heard a very loud bang that sounded like something hit the front of the building. Carrie heard a noise coming from the attic above her. It sounded like a ball bouncing. Sat., Sept. 12 7:08 p.m.: Barb, my coworker, and I were standing at the front desk chatting. I heard a very loud bang that sounded like something hit the front of the building. I immediately asked Barb if she heard it, and she replied that she had heard it. I went outside. There was noth- Once again, I asked Barb if she had heard it, and she replied in the affirmative. Once again, I went outside and there was nothing on the porch to indicate something had hit the building. And, there wasn’t any damage to the building itself. Typical. Stay Tuned . . . October 2009 Paranormal Underground 47 Personal Experiences: Tales From the Road —The Hunter Speaks Investigating the Old Wheeler Inn By Dave Galvan, Paranormal League of America I t was a warm August day, and we were still getting over a bit of a heat wave in Oregon. I was sitting in the living room playing with my kids when the phone rang. It was Katie, the owner of the Old Wheeler Inn, a historic Bed and Breakfast built in Wheeler, Oregon, in 1920. Katie was a bit concerned, and I could tell by her voice she was more than daunted. She purchased the hotel the previous March and knew it was haunted from the get go. She wasn’t concerned about it. The ghosts had always seemed inviting, almost nurturing to the guests. Everyone always walked away from the place feeling rested and taken care of. But recently, the feeling was different. The feeling was that of being uninvited and unwelcome. Her own home and her place of business were literally telling her and her husband they shouldn’t be there. Remodeling Stirs Up Negative Paranormal Activity After a detailed discussion with Katie, and the revelation that the feeling of foreboding started around the time they started major redecorating of the hotel, I had heard enough. It sounded to me like whatever was there didn’t like things changing around the Inn. Aside from the foreboding feelings, unexplainable shadows were 48 The historic Old Wheeler Inn has a history of haunted activity. But after remodeling part of the hotel, that activity has turned negative and foreboding. being seen, and guests reported items in their rooms being out of place. Katie agreed to allow me and my ghost hunting group, Paranormal League of America (PLA), to conduct a full investigation at the inn. We picked a date for the investigation, and I hung up the phone and called Zoe, a woman I had worked with years earlier, and someone who had an amazing ability to talk to spirits. I was skeptical when Zoe first told me about her abilities, but when I took her to her first case and captured EVPs that actually seemed to be in conversation with Zoe, I Paranormal Underground October 2009 became a believer. The fact that she also knew the name of the person who originally built the house was even more amazing to me, as I had never given her the address of where we were going. She had no way of looking it up beforehand. Zoe had been spending her spare time training her daughter, Alanna, who also appeared to have psychic abilities. For this reason, I also asked Alanna to join up with PLA. Prior to my research into the Old Wheeler Inn, I contacted my friend and fellow ghost researcher Martina Baker, founder of the Pa- cific Paranormal Research Society. I knew that she and her husband had investigated the Old Wheeler almost 10 years ago, and I wanted to know about her experiences there. She informed me that they didn’t discover anything intelligent in the old building at the time; however, they did capture some amazing EVPs in the basement that sounded like heavy breathing. It was nice to get a heads-up on that, as we would later discover something similar. On the Way to the Inn I picked Zoe and Alanna up at the scheduled time, and we made the long drive out to Wheeler. The town boasted a whopping population of 390 people, but it actually had a thriving tourist industry. More than 100 years ago, the town was originally constructed as a village of sorts — as a place for loggers to stop off on their long journey into the Oregon mountains. Today, the hotel had a reputation for being haunted, and many tourists sought it out, thinking it was their chance to come face to face with a ghost. In fact, Katie had mentioned that just the week before our investigation, a family from New Hampshire visited and stayed at the Inn because they heard it was haunted. The drive to the inn was beautiful, and after a couple of hours we made it to our destination. The Old Wheeler Inn was a larger, goldcolored building that had been in existence even before the town was incorporated. A Tour of the Property Begins With Spirit Activity After we met up with Katie, she walked us around the inside of the hotel, which was freshly painted and had an elegant but simple look. Katie eventually led us to the basement, where Zoe immediately felt the presence of a female who had died there. Zoe claimed the spirit was that of a prostitute who was murdered by a client who had thrown her down the elevator shaft. Katie then began to tell us of the history of the building. It turns out the building was originally built as a brothel to service the local lumbermen. The Northwest Coast is actually riddled with buildings that were houses of ill repute back in the day. The basement of the Old Wheeler Inn used to be a clinic — The Rinehart Clinic as a matter of fact. Originally designed to treat arthritis, it eventually was a weight-lose center and a general health clinic. The remnants of the clinic that closed in the late 1970s still survive to this day: tile on the floor, glass partitions standing, and an x-ray room that still has “General Electric X-ray Machine” stamped on strategic locations. It was almost like going through time to see everything that was down in the basement. Old remnants of the clinic’s floor-plan still stand, while the basement is currently used for storage of items used in the hotel. The clinic even used a room The Old Wheeler Inn is a large, gold-colored building that has been in existence since the 1920s. The interior is freshly painted and has an elegant but simple look. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 49 Personal Experiences: Tales From the Road —The Hunter Speaks through solid concrete foundation. After I noticed that Katie was distracted, I asked her if she was OK. She shook it off and said, “Yes,” and continued. It should be noted the EVP ended at this point. Zoe speaks with the spirit of a nurse, while her daughter, Alanna, looks on. that was rumored to have been the county morgue at one point. When inspecting this room, drawers were still labeled with words Cotton Swabs, Caustic Chemicals, IV Tube, and so forth. One drawer even appeared to be filled with old prescription bottle caps. And an old linen closet still had hematology reports lying on the floor. Katie said she found boxes of those reports dating back to the 1930s just laying around; it was as if the clinic closed in such a hurry that they didn’t care what was left behind. Since I prescribe to the ‘take only pictures/leave only footprints’ philosophy of ghost hunting, everything was looked at, inspected, and put back in its proper place. I did have my audio recorder going the entire time we were investigating the basement. When Katie gave us the initial tour of the basement, she told us of her experiences there. Just a week prior, she found the skeleton of what 50 appeared to be the head of a rat just lying on a shelf, which wasn’t there the day before. Everything started to get worse, until at one point she came down to the basement and a shadow crossed her path. She was the only one down there. The next day, Katie had called me. So, there we were in the basement of the Old Wheeler Inn, and Katie was standing in the spot where she saw the unexplainable shadow from the previous week, when she suddenly appeared to get distracted. Upon analysis of the audio evidence, it was at this exact point in the investigation that I discovered an EVP of a man speaking in the background. It was distant, and sounded like he was talking to someone. Since I was the only man within distance of the basement, and since there was literally no one in the hotel at the time, as well as Katie’s obvious distraction at the time, I have labeled the EVP as ‘paranormal.’ My recorder is good, but cannot go Paranormal Underground October 2009 The Investigation Gets Under Way After the tour, we decided to get our investigation going. Katie wanted to observe, so she went upstairs to tell the maid that she would not be available in the event of a phone call. During that time, Zoe, Alanna, and I went into what used to be the boiler room. Right away, Zoe felt a presence in the corner of the room. It was dark, and we could hardly see anything in front of us. Alanna and I started taking pictures during this time, as Zoe spoke with the spirit. During this time, she gave the spirit her hand, and told him that it was OK to go into the light to face his judgment. Zoe and the spirit seemed to talk for a long time, and after it was over, Zoe bent over. The interaction had obviously taken a lot out of her; she had a tear in her eye. She said she needed a break before continuing any further. We all went outside, and I mentioned that I had noticed the name Dave spray painted on the wall of the basement. This obviously caught my attention, as Dave is my name. Fortunately, it’s common or else I would have needed to change my shorts right there. It was at this time that Zoe told me what the spirit had said to her. She said his name was Jonathan Edwards, and he came here to meet his best girl to elope. He was murdered either in the hotel or close by, in 1928, and had been there ever since. She said he was in great pain when he died, and even used the word ‘torture.’ She could feel his fear — fear he has had since after his death more than 70 years ago. Zoe asked me to touch her hand — the same hand Jonathan had touched when she was guiding him into the light. It was ice cold. Katie came down the stairs during the conversation and joined us. I asked her if the name John Edwards rang a bell, and she claimed it didn’t, though that boiler room gave her chills at times. Katie told us that when she came by this hotel the first time, she knew she had to own it, and after talking to the current owners, she found out it was for sale. She purchased it within about a week and moved in. More EVPs Are Captured as the Investigation Continued After Zoe was able to bring herself out of it, we continued on with the investigation. The boiler room happened to be next to the hallway where Katie saw the shadow. The hallway was noticeably warmer. We ventured to the next room, a rather large space that had a beautiful wooden case hanging on the wall, It looked to be designed to hold some type of supplies. Zoe mentioned that it was used for pharmaceuticals, and that there was a spirit there: a woman, older, a nurse. The woman had worked almost her entire life in the clinic. Zoe started to rattle off some names, and just before she started addressing the woman herself, an EVP was captured on my recorder. A man’s voice said, “No.” It is unclear if the voice was that of an intelligent spirit trying to tell us to stop, or that of residual energy, a voice that just replays itself over time. Zoe spoke with the spirit, and, according to her, doctors of the old clinic gave some patients arsenic as a way of making them lose weight. The nurse was standing there in front of the cabinet, guarding it after all these years, apparently doing everything she could to keep people from giving arsenic to patients. After a brief conversation, and with permission from Katie, Zoe told the spirit that she could still reside there in the basement. She was free to overlook the hotel as well, provided that she didn’t cause anyone harm. We then walked to the grand staircase, a beautiful wooden structure that was designed as an entrance from the street. A residual EVP was captured here, the voice of a woman saying, “Goodbye.” We slowly walk to an empty room, which Zoe claimed was used as an operating room. Many of these side rooms had a lot of residual energy that seemed to seep out from time to time. Zoe made another startling claim — that there were multiple rapes in the operating room, as well as a few in the examining room. While Katie and I were discuss- ing the foundation of the building, a residual EVP was recorded of a woman. Words could not be made out, but it sounded like she was practically lecturing at someone. The next spot we investigated was the elevator shaft. Originally, the elevator came down to the basement, as sometimes patients would stay in the hotel above. Years ago, a previous owner remodeled the elevator shaft completely, and in doing so found an unexpected surprise — a bucket holding human bones but no skull. The owner of the hotel at the time picked up the bucket and walked it over to Dr. Rinehart, the grandson of the man who used to run the clinic at the Old Wheeler. According to the story, he gave the doctor the bucket of bones, and never heard anything else about it. While we were looking at the bottom of the elevator shaft, an EVP was recorded. Obviously residual, it simply said, “Dad?” Pictured above: What’s left of an original window in the old library of the clinic. An EVP of breathing was captured while this picture was taken. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 51 Personal Experiences: Tales From the Road — The Hunter Speaks Pictured: Zoe confronts an angry spirit in the old x-ray room. A Startling EVP Is Captured The most dramatic experience we had at the hotel was when we entered the old x-ray room. Right when we entered, a man’s angry voice was recorded on the recorder. He was heard saying, “Go home!’ The x-ray room is now used for storage by the hotel, but when the clinic was active, the setup was quite interesting. The x-ray technicians would stand behind a wall when each x-ray was being taken. The equipment itself was removed ages ago, probably sold to another clinic. But around the wall that the technician would stand behind was a small compartment that was used to hold the finished x-ray film. The room next door had a connecting compartment, which the doctor would take the film out of and read. The four of us were standing in the room when Katie mentioned she was getting dizzy. Zoe asked me to escort her outside. I walked with Katie across the basement toward 52 the door. It seemed that she felt better instantly, but I felt a little fresh air would be good for her anyway. We came back a couple of minute later. Alanna immediately told us that we would need to stay out of the room. Zoe was throwing holy water in strategic locations within the room, and the mood was more than serious. I motioned to Katie that she would want to stand away from the door. The conversation that we heard on my audio recorder was one sided, as the recorder did not pick up anything else from the spirit that was there, but the argument was revealing. Something was telling Zoe to leave, and she was telling him to go as well. After about a five-minute ‘fight’ with the negative spirit, Zoe forced him out — almost like one would see in the movies. “Go to Hell where you belong,” she finally said. Zoe came out and told us what had happened. A technician that used to work in the clinic was still there, and he was making life miser- Paranormal Underground October 2009 able for those who came to the hotel to stay, as well as making the afterlife miserable for the spirits that were still there. It was a very tense situation that Zoe and Alanna were able to handle together. We slowly walked out the door as Zoe reassured Katie that the nasty spirits that presented themselves were gone. The place should be a little calmer for people who came to stay at the hotel. We did capture one more EVP before we finished up that night. It was while we were walking through what used to be the clinic’s library. There was a broken window with a boarded up wall behind it. And as I had walked up to the window to take a look, I recorded an EVP that sounded almost like heavy breathing, similar to what my colleague Martina had experienced in almost the exact same spot when she conducted her earlier investigation. A Follow-up Investigation Planned at the Old Wheeler Inn While Zoe was confident that the negative spirits were “sent packing,” it was my experience as an investigator that not all spirits always make themselves known during investigations, and even the most sensitive psychic might not be able to detect them. It was decided on the drive home that we would need to come back to make sure everything was still kosher. I spoke with Katie prior to leaving about us coming back in a month to try it again, and she agreed. I hope that PLA has helped Katie find out more about what is going on in her hotel, and that we will continue to assist her whenever she needs us. Our next, more-formal investigation of the Old Wheeler Inn will take place before Halloween, and I’ll make sure to report the details of our findings here in Paranormal Underground. Paranormal Underground Has A Book & Equipment Store! Visit http://astore.amazon.com/paranorunderg-20 and check out our book and equipment recommendations! October 2009 Paranormal Underground 53 Personal Experiences The Lady in Blue By Kim Kowalczyk, Ghost Breakers Paranormal Research Organization I was born and raised in Pleasant Plains on Staten Island, NYC. In the mid 1960s when I was around 15, I (like all the other kids) hung out downtown in front of the corner drug store. One afternoon, one of the girls who lived a few towns away needed to leave for home, so I offered to walk her to the train station. Both sides of the train station in our town were elevated about 20 feet above street level. Both only had one way up and down and no way to get from one side to the other without going down to the street and crossing under the trestle and back up the other side. Otherwise, it was a long drop if you tried to jump. The southbound side had three or four flights of stairs leading to the platform with only a small overhang for shelter. The northbound side had about the same number of stairs but went straight up to the platform. (to where the lady is standing in the photo on the bottom center of this page). On the northbound side was also a building (see photo at lower left) that had the old ticket counter and waiting area. You could still get inside for shelter, but it wasnâ€™t used for much else at the time. It was the mid 1960s in Staten Island, NYC, when Kim and an acquaintance saw a mysterious Lady in Blue, who was wearing a nice, blue dress with a big, wide-brimmed, blue hat. Did the duo encounter the paranormal at the train station that day? 54 Paranormal Underground October 2009 ***** As we walked down the sidewalk toward the station, we had to pass the southbound stairs, go under the trestle, and up the northbound stairs to get to the northbound train. We approached the southbound side, and sitting on the bottom step was a very old woman wearing a nice blue dress with a big, wide-brimmed blue hat. As we got closer, we could see that she was not pale-complected, but white with bright red lips. We laughed to ourselves and commented on how bad this old woman looked with all that white makeup. It would be the last time we would laugh that day. ***** We passed by within a few feet of the old woman, and she looked as real as anyone, just a bit stranger looking. She seemed pleasant, however, and smiled a big smile at us as we passed. We then walked the next 100 or so feet, went under the trestle, and turned to walk up the stairs to the northbound side. We took the first step, then looked up to the top, and there was the old lady looking down at us smiling. (She was standing about where the lady in the photo to the left is at the end of the platform.) We quickly looked at each other in amazement, and then looked back at the woman, but she wasnâ€™t there anymore. We continued climbing to the top of the stairs that were at the northern-most end of the platform. When we reached the top, the lady was not on the station platform. We walked half-way down the platform and into the waiting area, but she wasn’t there either. So we came back out. Sort of half laughing about the whole thing, we then noticed the lady was standing at the top of the stairs where we just walked up and where we first saw her. But we didn’t pass her? We stepped back inside for a brief moment to get hold of ourselves, and when we came out again she was at the far, opposite end of the platform with her back to us. She was looking in the direction of where the train would come from. ***** We went to the right and to the opposite side of the platform from the old woman to wait for the train, since my acquaintance wanted to get on the first car. We stopped and turned around, and the lady was no longer there. Now we were concerned that maybe she had fallen off the platform or that we were totally crazy. Maybe we just missed seeing her all those times. But, we hadn’t turned our backs on her long enough for her to get to the waiting room, and now the train was in view coming into the station. We could see the whole platform, and it was empty except for us. I told the girl I would go check to see where the old lady went after “My blood ran cold when I noticed the Lady in Blue sitting behind the girl, smiling at me as the train pulled away.” The train pulled in and stopped. The girl got on the first car, and I went up to her window and knocked on it to say goodbye. ***** The Lady In Blue was not palecomplected, but white with bright red lips. she got on the train. We stood looking in the direction of the incoming train with the full station in view. I waved goodbye as the train pulled out of the station only to have my blood run cold when I noticed the Lady in Blue sitting behind the girl, smiling at me as the train pulled away. I ran home and kept calling the girl until she got home and answered the phone. I told her what I saw, and she said that when she paid the conductor, she changed her seat and there was no one else there in the car. Now, not many people believe this story, but we both experienced it. I never saw the girl again and never told the story until I was in my 30s. Since then, I have heard of other people having a sighting there of the Lady in Blue. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 55 Equipment Update Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse When Purchasing an Entry-Level Thermal Imager By Andrew Selfridge, Central Oklahoma Paranormal Studies T he thermal imager has become a hot item on a few of the most popular paranormal TV shows currently on the air. As a result, many real-world investigators are clamoring to get their hands on one. What is a thermal imager? It’s an optical device that uses a thermal sensor to ‘paint’ an infrared picture based on the heat that objects emit. The school of thought here when applied to ghost research is that one should readily be able to visualize cold surface spots or possible entities with one of these devices. Another application is that they can easily spot heat sources (such as animal or human) against cooler backgrounds. This is important to me personally because when not ghost hunting, I like to make the occasional search for bigfoot. As you can imagine, this would be a handy tool for that type of investigating as well. Unfortunately, when it comes to thermal imagers, there are two roadblocks: money and more money. Only when you’ve come to grips with this fact can you begin your search for an imager. Thermal imaging equipment is broken up into two categories, cooled (older, cheaper systems) and 56 uncooled. There are more important decisions to make with regards to what imager you choose based on price point and intended application, but I will go into that later. Cooled Thermal Imagers Let’s start off with the cooled technology. These are the older systems from the late 70s and throughout the 80s. These systems, such as the Probeye line from Hughes or Unfortunately, when it comes to thermal imagers, there are two roadblocks: money and more money. Only when you’ve come to grips with this fact can you begin your search for an imager. Paranormal Underground October 2009 Agema Imagers, used either highpressure argon or liquid nitrogen and dewars to cool their sensors enough to paint an infrared picture. These systems are bulky, require massive power considerations, are a general pain to use, and not wholly suited for paranormal usage. Most of these systems do not have a ‘video out’ mechanism, so it is just a viewer only. These systems also have a steep learning curve, and due to the high-pressure gas-cooling systems, could be dangerous as well. In addition to all of these negative factors, you must then locate a source for the cooling gas. In the case of the Probeye line, you must purchase research-grade argon of 99.9997% purity. As if that wasn’t a big enough pain, you then had to find a way to pressurize the bottles to 6000psi. This used to be done by means of an apparatus called a Haskell booster pump, but finding these are like finding new parts for a DeLorean. The ONLY good thing about these systems is that they are easy to come by and cheap on the wallet. Tradeoff is that it is a nightmare trying to locate a method of cooling them, spare parts, or any kind of service. This was my personal case of buyer’s remorse. I had a Western A thermal imager is an optical device that uses a thermal sensor to ‘paint’ an infrared picture based on the heat that objects emit. The school of thought here when applied to ghost research is that one should readily be able to visualize cold surface spots or possible entities with one of these devices. Another application is that they can easily spot heat sources (such as animal or human) against cooler backgrounds. (Photos by: Jeffrey Haynes) Sensor DCI thermal imager (digital conversion of the Probeye). I was never able to find a supplier for pressurized argon or a method to take regular argon and pressurize the bottles to 6000psi. Sounds like a pain in the butt, right? Right. That brings us into the modern era (and sticker shock) of uncooled thermal imagers. Uncooled Thermal Imagers The technical term for modern uncooled sensors is “uncooled microbolometers in a (insert resolution here) focal plane array.” What does that mean? I don’t know, other than the resolution listing of modern sensors has to do with the amount of simultaneous temp “pixels” used to paint the thermal picture. Modern uncooled thermal imagers sport a variety of features, such as differing color pallettes, picture-in-picture overlays, temp spot reading and tracking, controls over temp display (min/max), still image or even video capture, and so on. As the features pile up, so does the price tag. There has been a recent revolution in cheaper, smaller thermal arrays, but this is not necessarily a good thing, and I will address that in following paragraphs. For now, know that there are several brands out there, each with their own intended application (none of which involve ghost hunting). Some of the popular brands of uncooled imagers that are available today are FLIR, Fluke, Testo, Eagle, and Bullard. Prices can range on the low end from $2K all the way up to $10K (and higher for military-grade units). Things You Should Know Before You Buy OK, so you have decided to sell a kidney and get a thermal imager, so which one to get? Before starting on this section, I will lay out a couple cautionary points that will save you some heartache and buyer’s remorse. Steer clear of any imager branded Wahl, Irisys, or Heetseeker. These imagers have virtually zero resolution. They do make some higher-end units out there, but the majority of their units boast IR sensor resolutions of 16x16. That’s right, 16 pixels by 16 pixels. These sensors are used in high pedestrian traffic areas to count the number of people that traverse a certain point and are not meant for any kind of advanced thermography. Recently, these low-end sensors have been repurposed at airports to detect travellers with fevers (not overly accurate, but they are still being used). These imagers are worthless for anything but counting people walking through a door and have zero resale value. This is important to know because eBay and other sites are littered with these low (or no) resolution imagers from folks trying to recoup their money (usually around $3.5K). Do some research before spending. I have decided in the next three months or so I will be in the market for an imager, so by reading this article hopefully you can have an informed decision should you wish to purchase one. Buying a Thermal Imager With the buyer’s warning out of the way, I will go into the entry-level options available. (Before we begin, it should be stated that the purpose of the unit dictates its price, and you should have a clear idea of what you want before putting down the cash. Let’s take the FLIR/Extech i5 for example. The price on this October 2009 Paranormal Underground 57 Equipment Update If you want a unit that displays temperatures and show color palettes, then you want a unit designed for industrial/home inspection. In the $3-3.5K range, you can go with the FLIR bcam or bcam SD unit. (Photo by: Andrea Bernardi) newer, low-cost imager (designed for home inspection and nothing else) has reached $1995 — new with warranty. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Yes it is a FLIR, the same brand as what TAPS uses, but it is hardly the imager you see on television. First off, it sports pretty low resolution as well (80x80). While this might be satisfactory for introductory home inspection work, it is not well suited as a general purpose imager. Many home inspection associations out there feel that a sensor with the resolution of 120x120 is the bottom limit for practical use. (As of this writing, FLIR just released the i7, identical to the i5 except with a larger 120x120 58 imager, slightly larger Field of View (FOV), and costing $3K). Since we are not using these devices to inspect homes, it really becomes a matter of choice. The i5 also has a restricted lower operating temperature of 32 degrees F. This means you will not be able to use it below freezing, and I know there are many times I am out investigating below those temperatures. Another limiting factor is the 17 degree FOV. Using this imager would be like looking through a paper towel tube. This unit does have the ability to accept a memory card for taking stills, but has no way to export the video. Finally, the unit has a refresh Paranormal Underground October 2009 rate of 9hz, which is low end, and would produce choppy motion images as you move it. Remember, this unit is designed for taking stills during a home inspection, and due to the reduced resolution would be unsuited for any kind of work in the paranormal. That being said, you can use it, but it will be limited, and if you are purchasing it with the expectation of the same performance that you see on TV ghost shows, you may be disappointed. For a video of the FLIR/ Extech i5 in action, check out the following link: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aoAPqWEftC4 It should be noted that if you want the unit to display temperatures and show color palettes, then you need a unit designed for industrial/ home inspection. In the $3-3.5K range, you can go with the FLIR bcam or bcam SD unit. This unit is capable of MPEG-4 video files over USB, has a 120x120 detector, wider FOV, and can operate down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. You’re still stuck with the 9hz refresh though. I’ll explain why that is important later. These imagers designed for inspections have the benefit of being portable, lightweight, and come with tons of aftermarket accessories More Imager Options Another option, also by FLIR, but also available by thermal camera makers such as Bullard, ISI, ATN, Eagle, etc., is purchasing a thermal imager intended for use with Firefighting, law enforcement, or navigation augmentation. These units are not designed for building inspection, and generally do not display temperatures or color palettes. Usually these systems display only black and white images, with white being the warmer temps, hence the term ‘white-hot.’ These imagers pack a lot more resolution into their cores, are generally much more rugged than their inspection counterparts, and have wide FOVs designed to see heat sources at greater differences. The option in this category that I am looking at purchasing is the PathfindIR system by FLIR. This is a ruggedized, sealed, 320x240 resolution imager with a refresh rate of 30hz for smooth, fluid-motion video. This unit is not designed for building inspection or the like, rather it is designed to be a nighttime driving aid for your vehicle. The resolution, wide FOV, refresh rate, video out option, and price point are all attractive options to consider. Here is a video of the PathfindIR system by FLIR: www. youtube.com/watch?v=SbfRT8n8AJs. This system can be had for roughly $2.5K â€” new with warranty. This is the system that I am leaning most heavily toward, because it has the best sensor and video for the price. Even though it was designed to be mounted on a vehicle, it would be really easy to run it off of a battery pack or with a bench top power supply. Another plus for my line of research is that since it was designed to pick up heat sources at great distances, it would be perfect for my occasional bigfoot expedition. Remember, this system is not designed to display temperature, and only has a white-hot palette. The exchange for no color or temp display is great resolution, video out, wide FOV, ability to operate in freezing temperatures, and real-time refresh rates. Remember! To wrap this up, just remember that when purchasing a thermal imager, keep in mind your application and your expectation of performance. In the new $3K and under market, you can get the FLIR i5, i7, or PathfindIR system. The first two offer color palettes and temperature display, but have lower refresh rates, no video out, limited range of operational temperatures, narrow FOV, and lower resolution (smaller, fuzzier images). The PathfindIR system has sharper resolution, ability to operate in freezing temps, wider FOV, and video out, but does not have color palettes or temperature displays. So, ultimately, you have to ask yourself what you can live with and what you cannot. It should be noted that the FLIR units that TAPS uses (with large resolution detectors and video out) all start in the $9K range and up. I know this article may sound like a FLIR advertisement, but they are the company that has the most to offer in lower-cost, entry-level thermal imagers. My last piece of advice when purchasing a thermal imager is to meet with the factory representative and demo the models that you are looking at purchasing. Actually seeing and getting to use these devices for yourself can answer all of the little nagging questions you may have, and should give you a good idea of which direction you should go when purchasing a thermal imager. As far as the used-market goes, stay away from older cooled-sensor systems, cheap 16x16 sensor systems (junk), or heavily worn and beat up fire department imagers (unless the price is right). It goes without saying that you should test the system prior to buying, as this is not an item that you will be able to take back to the return desk at Wal-Mart. Do your homework and try to get a representative to demonstrate the unit you are looking at. This way, you will be armed with the knowledge to make a sound purchase and avoid thermalcam buyerâ€™s remorse. When purchasing a thermal imager, meet with the factory representative and demo the models that you are looking at purchasing. Getting to use these devices for yourself can help answer your questions and give you a good idea of which direction you should go when purchasing a thermal imager. (Photos by: Jeffrey Haynes) October 2009 Paranormal Underground 59 Member Profile Kristina (duckie7694) About Kristina Age: 33. Born/Currently resides: Inglewood, California/Los Angeles, California. Status: Married. Education: High School Graduate. Zodiac Sign: Aquarius. Occupation: Care coordinator/office manager. ***** Q&A What brought you to Paranormal Underground? Kristina: MysticalKnight told me about the site. Pictured above: Kristina (in blue) with her dad, brother, sisters, niece, and nephew. What does your member name mean? Kristina: Duckie is the nickname my husband gave me, 76 is the year I was born, and 94 is the year I graduated. How would you describe yourself? Kristina: A mixture of strong, independent, fun, silly, goofy, but also serious when the situation calls for it. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. Kristina: My family is dysfunction at its greatest, but I love them all. We can talk about each other but have each other’s back. I like to read, go to car shows, watch racing (I am such 60 a guy in that sense), meeting new people, and going to the movies. Who are your heroes? Kristina: My grandfather is my only hero. He taught me to be the strong person I am today. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? Kristina: TV shows — True Blood, Being Human, Sons of Anarchy, dramas; paranormal Shows — Ghost Adventures; books — Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; movies — Silence of the Lambs. Paranormal Underground October 2009 Favorite music? Kristina: Don’t really have a favorite; listen to a variety of music. Any other favorites? Kristina: Favorite theme park ride — It’s a Small World. That was the first ride and last ride we would go on as a family. What would our readers be surprised to find out about you? Kristina: I can pick up stuff with my toes; it freaks my husband out. Also, I have tattoos and piercings; always wanted tattoos since I was a child. What are your pet peeves? Kristina: People who cannot follow directions or coworkers that answer questions that are directed to me. Are you a skeptic or believer? Kristina: I am both a skeptic and a believer. I have had a few experiences that might be paranormal or might have just been my mind playing games with me. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Kristina: That there might be more after death. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. Kristina: It was the day of my high school graduation. My grandfather had passed away almost a year before. I was waiting to sit down and saw my grandpa standing in the audience. I looked around for my family, and when I looked back he was gone. I believe he was there because he wanted to make sure that I graduated and letting me know that he was proud of me. Pictured above: Kristina poses in a million-dollar demo car, the Imprint RLS, by Alpine. She loves go to car shows and watch racing. (The RLS started out as a standard Mercedes-Benz RL, but after 18 weeks the Alpine crew transformed the vehicle into one of the most amazing demo cars in mobile electronics history.) What do you think happens to us when we die? Kristina: I like to think that we find peace. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Kristina: The words of wisdom that I live by are . . . do unto others as you would have done unto you. Any exciting plans for the future? Kristina: Thinking about having a baby or adopting a child. Pictured above: Kristina stops to take a picture with Kim Coates at the 2008 Long Beach Grand Prix. Coates is a Canadian actor who has worked in both Canadian and American movies and television series. October 2009 Paranormal Underground 61 Review of the Month The Other Side: A Practical Guide to Teen Ghost Hunting Book by Dave Schrader, Patrick Burns, and Marley Gibson Review by Karen Frazier I n The Other Side: A Practical Guide to Teen Ghost Hunting, Darkness Radio’s Dave Schrader, Haunting Evidence’s Patrick Burns, and young adult author (the Ghost Huntress Series) Marley Gibson join forces to provide a comprehensive manual to paranormal investigation for the aspiring teen ghost hunter. While the paranormal community as a whole debates whether or not it is appropriate for teens to be ghost hunting, the reality of the situation is that they are. With the popularity of the Cartoon Network’s The Othersiders, as well as other paranormal shows featuring teens, it seems that no matter how much debate there is, the bottom line is that teens are getting involved in the paranormal in large numbers. Whether they enter into the field in a responsible manner or not depends largely on what they learn from those adults already in the field. Enter The Other Side. It is immediately apparent the book’s authors realize that instead of arguing whether or not teens should ghost hunt, the paranormal community as a whole needs to give them the information that allows them to become responsible, well-informed ghost hunters. The Other Side lays the foundation to do just this. 62 For teens who are ready to investigate the paranormal, The Other Side is a must-read, comprehensive ghost hunting guide. Written in an accessible voice, The Other Side is an easy read that covers the basics of ghost hunting from those who have been there — and it does it very well. From the outset, the authors inject a healthy dose of reality by pointing out that ghost hunting is something that should be a passion — not a profession. They also mention that, in spite of what you see on television, not every ghost hunter is going to be the next big thing and have their own reality show. It seems an obvious Paranormal Underground October 2009 statement — but the field is rife with adults who believe this, so naturally teens might, as well. Throughout the book, practical advice rules the day. The authors encourage healthy skepticism, point out that often ghost hunting involves a lot of sitting around and waiting, and discuss the potential causes of photographic anomalies such as orbs. There is advice on forming a team, reviewing evidence, finding places to investigate, and more. The book even covers more esoteric topics in practical terms, such as psychic protection, working with mediums, and dealing with darker forces. The Other Side is a muchneeded, practical guide that covers ghost hunting — from beginning to end. All of the advice is sound and lays out realistic expectations for any teen who wishes to enter the field of paranormal investigation. Not only does it help teens get into the right mindset for ghost hunting, but it then provides the practical advice they need to begin doing responsible investigations, using equipment appropriately, and analyzing any evidence they come across. For teens (or adults) who are ready to join the rank and file of paranormal investigators, The Other Side is a must-read, comprehensive ghost hunting guide. Ghosts, Cryptids, Spirituality, Paranormal Media . . . Come Join the Discussions on Paranormal Undergroundâ€™s Forum at: www.paranormalunderground.net October 2009 Paranormal Underground 63 Ghost Hunter Comic Have a Suggestion for an Article? E-mail: Editor@paranormalunderground.net 64 Paranormal Underground October 2009 AVAILABLE� ON iTUNES!� 100% Of The Album Proceeds Go To StompOutCancer.com� October 2009 Paranormal Underground 65