Volume 4, Issue 1
7 Haunted Wonders of the World
Also Inside: • Josie Varga Investigates Afterlife Communication
• Case Files: A Night at the Museum
• Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel
• The Legend of Clapham Wood
• Spotlight: Horror Film Actor Cuyle Carvin
• The Dark Side of the Paranormal
• The UFO Invasion of Halloween 1973
• The Smurl Family Haunting
January 2011 Paranormal Underground 1 • The Curious Life of Edgar Allan Poe • Werewolves by Dr. Bob Curran
My name is Thomas “Mr.T” Perryman I am an Ex-Law Enforcement Oﬃcer and Private Investigator that will now concentrate on my examinations of the Paranormal and Crypto Zoology Mysteries.
Through my vast experience and resources I am performing field investigations on these subjects to provide a diﬀerent approach than others. I have great stories from Past Cases and Current Cases to share. My discussions are Entertaining as well as informative. I have written many Books, appeared in Horror films, and host a Radio Show. I am available for Convention Bookings and Appearances.
If you have any questions please contact me personally. I look forward to your next Event and we are all on the Quest to find the Answers! Paranormal Underground
Phone (407) 416-4807
Inside This Issue
INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHTS Josie Varga Investigates Messages From Beyond the Grave Horror Film Actor Cuyle Carvin Researches the Paranormal
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Werewolves by Dr. Bob Curran
SPECIAL REPORT Seven Haunted Wonders of the World
CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites Haunting and History at the Lewis County Historical Museum The Legend of Clapham Wood
Haunted History Nevermore: The Curious Life of Edgar Allan Poe The Smurl Family Haunting
Are We Alone? The UFO Invasion of Halloween 1973
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Ghost Hunter Case Files: A Night at the Museum Flick the Lights Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel
46 50 52
PARANORMAL PERSPECTIVE: GUEST EDITORIAL The Dark Side of the Paranormal
FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR “The Seduction of Damnation” by Michael Kleen
56 January 2011
Contributors Ghost Hunter Comic Publisher’s Letter Calendar of Events Reader Profile: Lois Brokmeier Review of the Month:
4 5 6 8
Investigating the Afterlife
Contributors Karen Frazier Karen is the managing editor of Paranormal Underground magazine. 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. Karen is a partner with Ghost Knight Media.
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’s first book, Paranormal League of America Presents: Researching America’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 artist and writer behind Entities-R-Us, Ghost Hunter Comic. She’s a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer in Hyde Park, New York. You can find her work on www. entities-r-us.com, or contact Terri at email@example.com.
Fred M. Grandinetti Fred is the author of Popeye:
An Illustrated Cultural History and Jack Mercer: The Voice of Popeye. He has also been the host of the New England cable TV show Drawing With Fred for the past 17 years.
Rick E. Hale A native of Chicago, Rick investigates with the McHenry County Paranormal Research Group. A paranormal researcher since the age of eight, Rick is happily married and digs Jazz. He believes in the use of the scientific method in gathering evidence of paranormal claims. The first installment of Rick’s book series, The Geek’s Guide to the Strange and Unusual, will be released soon by Ghost Knight Media.
John “Jack” Kenna Jack is a technical specialist and investigator for the paranormal team SPIRITS of New England in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He is also the case manager for the New England Center for the Advancement of Paranormal Science. Jack has had a strong interest in the paranormal since he was a child and has helped his SPIRITS team conduct numerous client investigations over the past two years, including an investigation for the U.S. Navy in 2010. Jack has been a technician and project leader for the Department of the Army for the last 26 years.
Michael Kleen In 2006, Michael founded Black Oak Media, an alternative media outlet for Middle American art and culture. He is now
the publisher of Black Oak Presents, a digital magazine, and writes a monthly electronic serial, Legends and Lore of Illinois. His research on the paranormal also led him to pen several books about ghosts and hauntings, having most recently published Legends and Lore of Illinois: Case Files. Michael’s Websites are www.trueillinoishaunts.com and www.michaelkleen.com.
Cheryl Knight Cheryl is editorin-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine, director of Publications & Editing Services for Ghost Knight Media, and producer of Paranormal Underground Radio. She has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, and has published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from advanced technology to paranormal investigation. Cheryl’s previous magazine experience includes roles as senior and managing editor for several business publications.
John Lasker Feared by the Pentagon, despised by space-weapons lobbyists, loathed by corrupt African governments, and stalked by UFO hoaxers. That’s life for John Lasker, an investigative journalist who’s originally from Buffalo, New York, and currently residing in Columbus, Ohio. Lasker has written for Wired, Christian Science Monitor, Fate magazine, and Space News, among others. In 2008, he covered the presidential election from central Ohio for Agence France-Press, the oldest newswire on the planet.
Ghost Hunter Comic
Michelle M. Pillow Michelle is an award-winning author writing in many romance fiction genres, including futuristic and paranormal. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything paranormal. She has a photography degree, is currently working toward finishing a degree in history, and is the co-owner of www.TheRavenBooks.com. Readers can contact Michelle through her Website, www.michellepillow.com.
Rob St.Helen Rob has been a paranormal investigator for more than five years. He had his first paranormal experience at the age of 11. Rob is a member of West Coast Ghost Hunt-
ers, based out of Portland Oregon, where he was born and raised. He currently works the graveyard shift at The Heathman Hotel. He has come to find that the hotel is haunted.
then, she has become a motivational speaker encouraging audiences to strive to overcome and sharing the importance of having a positive mental attitude in life.
Discovering her passion for writing as a little girl growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Josie went on to earn a degree in journalism and worked her way up to director of communications and editor for an international trade association where she met and interviewed celebrities, authors, speakers, sport personalities and others. Josie later became a successful communications consultant while authoring her first book, Footprints in the Sand: A Disabled Womanâ€™s Inspiring Journey to Happiness, which was published in 2004. Since
A writer of articles and fiction, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine and a partner for Ghost Knight Media. He has parlayed his avid interest in the paranormal into a top-notch publication and Website â€” www.ParanormalUnderground. net. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, and private residences among his investigations.
Publisher’s Letter Paranormal Underground® Volume 4, Issue 1
How Long Have Aliens Been With Us? By Chad Wilson, Publisher
Publisher Chad Wilson
Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight
Managing Editor Karen Frazier
Science Editor J.D. Harrison
FOs have been with us for as long as recorded history. The modern era of sightings started with Kenneth Arnold spotting a delta wing-shaped craft while flying his private plane near Mount Rainier, Washington, on June 24, 1947. This occurred right before the supposed crash at Roswell, New Mexico — also a delta wing craft.
Proofreader Heidi Ann
Contributors Karen Frazier Dave Galvan Terri J. Garofalo Fred M. Grandinetti Rick E. Hale John “Jack” Kenna Michael Kleen Cheryl Knight John Lasker Michelle M. Pillow Rob St.Helen Josie Varga Chad Wilson Copyright © 2008-2011 — Paranormal Underground® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. As such, Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of its owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. Paranormal Underground magazine is a publication of Ghost Knight Media, LLC.
Before that there had been UFO sightings during World War II, the infamous Foo Fighters. Reports even go back to before the turn of the century when there were sightings of strange, cigar-shaped objects in the sky. And during the Spanish Civil War, one soldier saw a craft that he described as being like a Mexican hat, even going so far as to signing a sworn affidavit many years after the fact. But the history of UFO sightings goes back much further than that. Some UFO References From Ancient History The great conqueror Alexander the Great supposedly had some
extraterrestrial help in taking the city of Tyre. Flying objects shaped like silver shields were seen in the sky above the ancient city, one of which shot a beam of light at the city walls, causing a section to fall, and thus giving his army access to the city. In the Vedic Texts of India, there are stories of flying vehicles, or Vimanas, being utilized by the Gods. The Samaranga contains detailed descriptions of the art of flying, from light aircraft made of wood to larger vessels of flight that required four “quicksilver” engines, as opposed to a normal single engine, due to its weight. The Bible The Bible is full of references to the usage of UFOs, or extraterrestrial craft, helping God’s chosen people, the Israelites, during their escape from Pharaoh and their subsequent flight into the desert. Pillars of smoke by day, and fire by night, led the Hebrews to their day of destiny at the parting of the Red Sea. Also in the Bible, a type of angel, called Cherubim, is oddly reminiscent in shape of a UFO and is detailed in the Book of Ezekiel and other passages of the “good book.” UFOs in Works of Art UFOs can also be found in many older works of art. One
such example is a painting of Christ hanging on the cross while behind him can be seen strange flying objects that are not unlike the objects depicted by Ezekiel. This painting can be found at Svetishoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia, in the former Soviet Union, and was completed in the 17th Century. Why would one put such objects in their art? My theory is that, for some reason, when events of great import happened, strange objects were seen in the skies. This translated into them being put into the paintings, murals, or frescoes. Much like a photograph with an anomalous object, the “signs in the sky” were there, and that was the only way that the artist could be sure to let others know that they were present. Some other examples include: • A manuscript from the 1100s, entitled Annales Laurissenses, that contains drawings depicting crusaders with UFOs in the sky behind them. They depict events from the siege of Sigiburg Castle in France in 776 and are representations of flaming shields that protected the French from the attacking Saxons. • There are also many rock
carvings and pictographs from around the world depicting otherworldly beings and strange craft. This one is from Arkansas, USA, and depicts a clearly circular craft with sections and a flame coming from the back end, while below, humanoid figures look up.
Paranormal Underground® Volume 4, Issue 1
ART Art Director Chad Wilson
Design and Layout Cheryl Knight
On the Cover 7 Haunted Wonders
So What’s My Point? My point in all this is that UFOs of extraterrestrial origin are not a modern invention. They have been around a long time — for time immemorial as a matter of fact. To me, that lends more credence to the fact that alien spacecraft exist and are not some figment of our collective imaginations. The sheer volumes of reports, experiences, and yes, evidence, points to the fact that something otherworldly is going on. Even if only one of the encounters depicted throughout history is true, that would prove the existence of extraterrestrial life and its visitation of this planet. That’s something to think about.
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Calendar of Events February 18–19
Haunted America West Coast Conference Scottish Rite Event Center San Diego, California www.americanspookshows.com/ west.html
International UFO Congress Fort McDowell Resort & Casino Scottsdale, Arizona http://ufocongress.com
February 25–27 MystiCon Holiday Inn Roanoke, Virginia www.mysticon-va.com
ParaCon Oddfellows Building Liberty, Missouri http://paranormaladventuresusa. com/paracon/
EPICCON The Cavalier Hotel Virginia Beach, Virginia http://epiccon.com
Saint Mary’s ParaCon Old Saint Mary’s Hospital Virginia City, California www.saintmarysparacon.com
1st Annual UFO Reykawvik Summit Liberty Hall Lawrence, Kansas www.ozufo.net
The Texas Ghost Show Beaumont Civic Center Beaumont, Texas
Phenomenology 103 Eisenhower Hotels Conference Center & Resort Gettysburg, Pennsylvania www.phenomevents.com
VaParanormalQuest Holiday Inn Lynchburg, Virginia www.vaparaquest.com
Haunting for Hope: A Paranormal Gathering Clear Creek Community Club Silverdale, Washington www.blackwolf-paranormal.com/ haunting-for-hope.php
GhoStock Key West Details Coming Soon http://ghostock.com
Haunted America Midwest Conference Illinois College Jacksonville, Illinois www.americanspookshows.com/midwest.html
Sept. 30–Oct. 2
G.H.O.S.T.S. Paranormal & Wellness Conference & Expo Club Heidelberg St. Catharines, Ontario www.ghostsconference.com
Central Texas Paranormal Conference Norris Conference Center Austin, Texas www.ctparacon.com
The Canadian-American Horror Paranormal Conference The Old Sarnia Jail and Gallows, The Super 8 Motel Sarnia, Ontario, Canada http://www.canamparafest.com
Josie Varga Investigates
Messages From Beyond the Grave By Cheryl Knight
uthor and investigator Josie Varga often wondered about the concept of life after death. She believed in God but was skeptical about the idea of afterlife communication. A former communications consultant and editor, Josie had an experience in August 2003 that forever changed her view of death. She received a visit from her husband’s deceased friend, and her world took on new meaning. Josie then began investigating communications from the afterlife, as well as near-death experiences, and she soon came to believe that while we all experience death in the physical world here on Earth, our spirits live on. Josie’s book, Visits From Heaven, compiles personal experiences from around the world that chronicle visitations from beyond the grave. And her newest book, Visits to Heaven, examines near-death experiences and their impact on those who experience them. According to Josie, if you think you’re going to die, then you’re in for a big surprise. “You always were, and you always will be,” she said. Josie recently talked with Paranormal Underground about her research and recent books that examine life after death. *****
After researching afterlife communication, Josie Varga now knows that life never ends and love never dies.
Q: How did you get into parapsychology and afterlife research? Josie: It began after I received a very special visit from Heaven. The epilogue of my first book, Footprints in the Sand: A Disabled Woman’s Inspiring Journey to Happiness, contains an inspirational e-mail written by my husband’s friend and former boss, Rich, who died during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11. In it, Rich talks about the passing of his father but more so about the importance of living life to its fullest. One night Rich came to me in a vivid dream that would not only forever change my view of the afterlife but also strengthen my faith in God. In it, I saw
myself going through this long hallway. I eventually walked into this room and looked around, seeing a bunch of desks and windows. It was as though my soul was out wandering while my body remained in a deep sleep. All of a sudden, Rich appeared before me. He was wearing glasses and smiled reassuringly at me as he telepathically communicated, “Josie, thank you for mentioning me in your book.” What’s important to note here is that I had never met Rich in person. I had only spoken to him on the phone and knew him through pictures, yet I had no doubt that this was my husband’s friend standing before me. I looked up at him, squinting because it was hard to look straight at him. The only reason I can give for this is there seemed to be a density or fog about us. To this day, I don’t know why I said this, but I looked at him and said, “Rich, you have to give me proof that this is really you.” He looked at me with a comforting glance and walked over to a desk picking up a cell phone. On the cell phone was a picture of him, his wife, and his son. He then spoke to me again saying, “Boston is okay.” I had no idea what this meant, but the next thing I knew I was going through a window and found myself on the street looking up at a pickup truck. In the bed of this pickup truck was Rich
standing behind his wife and son. He looked at me motioning for me to give his family the message. I don’t remember anything much after that except for waking up panting and sweating in a sitting position feeling like something had just hit me in my chest. To make a long story short, after giving the message to Rich’s family, my husband and I found out that his wife had a brother living in Boston and was considering selling her home and moving there. She felt guilty, however, because she had purchased the home with her husband before his untimely death. So his message now made perfect sense. He was letting his wife know that it was okay to sell the house and move to Boston. I honestly did not know what to think. So a deceased friend had given me a message in my dreams that had actually been validated. What next? What did this mean? I had no doubt that I had visited with Rich’s spirit and that he was alive and well, but my ego self had difficulty processing this information. After all I reasoned, if Rich is dead and if he did, in fact, communicate with me, then not only is it confirmation of the existence of an afterlife, but it must be possible for the dead to communicate with the living. Q: Why did you decide to write Visits From Heaven? Josie: I did not realize it right away but my experience would ultimately lead me on a spiritual quest that would later result in my book, Visits From Heaven. At first, I was so afraid. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before. But no matter how hard I tried to forget about the experience, I couldn’t. Then one day while talking to my sister-in-law Shari, she said, “Josie, don’t you realize that you’ve been given a gift?” Her words really struck a nerve as I came to realize that I had, in
fact, been given a gift. Not only did Rich communicate with me, but he gave me information that his family was able to validate. Surely if this had happened to me then others must have had similar experiences. I wrote the book in the hopes of helping the bereaved. I wanted to help share a very important message: Life never ends. Love never dies. Q: Please tell us about the book. Josie: Visits From Heaven contains evidential afterlife communication accounts from around the world. When I set out to find accounts for the book, I had one rule: Every story had to be backed up by some sort
In her books Visits From Heaven and Visits to Heaven, Josie chronicles near-death experiences and contact from beyond the grave.
of proof. Because of this, I did turn down a lot of great stories. But it was important to me that every account in the book be evidential, exactly like my own experience. In addition to the more than 80 accounts, there are chapters written by well-known experts in the field, including Dr. Louis LaGrand, George Anderson, Dr. Melvin Morse, and others. Q: Are there any accounts that stand out for you? Josie: When I was writing Visits From Heaven, I would often com-
ment to my husband that I frequently felt as though someone was standing behind me as I wrote. Imagine my surprise when one contributor told me that her story was so perfectly written that she felt her daughter was “whispering” in my ear. This story is called “Misty Angel.” Her daughter died at the tender age of just 15. On the anniversary date of Angel’s death, her mother and some friends gathered for lunch in her memory. As her mother walked across the road, she heard her daughter’s voice and felt her body holding her back in that spot as a vehicle headed right toward her. Suddenly, another vehicle appeared out of nowhere diverting the first vehicle and pushing it to the other side of the road. This vehicle ended up flipping over before finally coming to a stop. Several people ran to help the driver who was drunk and exited the vehicle without a scratch. When Angel’s mom made her way over to the driver, he looked at her and said, “Where is your little girl?” Her mother was confused and asked him what he was talking about, to which he replied, “The little girl that was standing in front of you. Where is she?” Q: You say in the book that you will not use the term “afterdeath communication.” Why? Josie: An after-death communication occurs when you are contacted directly and spontaneously by the deceased. This does not include communication brought through mediums or any other third party. I do not use this term in my book because I don’t believe it matters whether the communication is not spontaneous or direct. It doesn’t matter whether the message was brought through a medium. The only thing that matters is the fact that the communication occurred.
Paranormal Underground 11
Investigator Spotlight Also, I believe it is contradictory to use the term after-death communication, because I don’t believe we actually die. So in addition to “visit from Heaven,” I prefer to say “afterlife communication.” I coined the term “visit from Heaven,” which refers to a metaphysical experience that occurs when a person is contacted either directly or indirectly through the use of a third party. A visit from Heaven must also be backed up by some sort of proof. Q: How has your experience changed your life? Josie: My life has changed drastically since my experience. I’ve always believed in God and the afterlife, but I no longer believe; I know. There’s a big difference. A knowing changes the core of your being; it’s almost like experiencing an epiphany. You can’t go back to who you were even if you tried. I haven’t looked at life the same way since. I know life never ends, and I also know that we are all here for a purpose. I feel totally blessed, and I also have more faith in God then I ever did. I’ve realized that we are so much more than our bodies. We are spiritual beings having a human experience, not the other way around. Q: Has Rich “contacted” you again since your initial visit from Heaven? Josie: After the book was released, I kept wondering why I had not “heard” from Rich. After all, he is the reason behind the book. Had he not come to me with a message for his wife, I would not be where I am today. Last year, I had a radio interview in New York City, and I was standing out in a common area waiting for the producer of the show to tell me when to enter the studio. There with me was a 17-year-old psychic, named Tony. All of a sudden, Tony said,
“I have a gentleman here for you.” I didn’t know what he was talking about and looked over his shoulder. But then he said, “No, in spirit.” He started describing him, saying that he was a big guy with short hair. I didn’t get it until he said, “He’s wearing glasses.” At that point, I knew it was Rich. Tony told me that Rich said he had heard me and that he had been with me throughout the writing of the book. In fact, he told me that I had angels around me and was being guided by the other side. Then he told me that I was guided to my publisher, ARE Press, and that my next book would be out
Pictured above: Josie with her husband, John. Josie’s first book, Footprints in the Sand: A Disabled Woman’s Inspiring Journey to Happiness, was published in 2004.
four months later than I thought. Just then, we were called into the studio, and I had to partake in the radio show, so I never did get to finish my conversation with Tony. Two weeks later, I received a phone call from ARE Press. Visits to Heaven, I was told, would be released in January 2011. I was telling everyone at that time that the book would be released in September 2010. The book was now being released four months later, just as Rich had told me through Tony. Once again, Rich had paid me a visit from Heaven. Once again, he had given me a validation.
Q: Have you had other spiritual transformative experiences? Josie: Yes, I have had several, but one comes to mind immediately. I was doing a book signing for my book, Make Up Your Mind to Be Happy, when a woman walked in holding a copy of Visits From Heaven. She told me that she had thrown away her copy of the local paper but that day something told her to go back into the garbage and retrieve the paper. When she did, she saw an article about me announcing the book signing. She then got in her car and drove over to the book store. I sensed a deep sadness about her and asked her who she had lost. She told me that her son committed suicide. I then asked her when he had done it, and she responded, “2008.” To this, my mouth dropped. A few days before the book signing, I was working at my desk. The computer screen was in front of me and my desk was to the left of me. I was sitting there typing something when I heard something fall on my papers to my left. I turned around to see a shinny penny looking up at me. I knew nothing had been there before because I had just been working. I picked up the penny knowing that this was a sign, but couldn’t read the date on the penny. I put the penny in my pocket intending to ask someone to read the date for me, but I forgot about it. On the morning of the book signing, I took my warm-up jacket out of the dryer and a penny fell out of the pocket. I then remembered that I had forgotten about it and asked my daughter Erica to tell me what the date was on the penny. She told me that it was a 2008 penny. I could not think of why 2008 was significant, so I put the penny in my jewelry box and got ready to go to the book signing. You can just imagine my shock, when this woman said her son committed suicide in 2008. I always
say that I am where I am for a reason. This bereaved mom was my reason for being at the book store that day. It truly was an amazing experience. I do hope I hear from that woman, because I am saving the penny and would love to give it to her.
nion Brinkley, Mellen-Thomas Benedict, etc, it contains chapters written by well-known experts. Readers will find in-depth information on everything from “Science and God” to “The Reincarnation Case.” I am very proud of all the contributors. Without them, obviously, there would be no book.
Q: Why do some people receive signs and others don’t? Josie: I recently read an article that said as much as 80 percent of people experience some form of visit from Heaven. Very often, we may actually receive signs and not realize it. For example, people who experience what are called telepathic signs very often dismiss them as wishful thinking. You have a strong feeling that your loved one is in the room with you, for instance. Is this a coincidence? Many people dismiss these feelings without giving it another thought. A common sign is hearing music that for some reason reminds you of the deceased. You are crying about the death of your husband and all of a sudden your wedding song comes on the radio. These are signs that are often overlooked. What I say is this … if something happens that causes you to question whether it is a sign from your loved one, it most likely is. Not always, but more often than not it is a sign. Q: I understand that the sequel to Visits From Heaven was just released. When did you decide to write Visits to Heaven and why? Josie: I actually decided that I would write the sequel before I even finished Visits From Heaven. While I was doing research, I came across some incredible near-death experiences and thought it just seemed like the natural next step. There are so many people out there who have had these experiences and don’t even know that they actually had a near-death experience. These
Pictured above: Josie and Dave Tango, from the Syfy show Ghost Hunters.
experiences, like visits from Heaven or afterlife communication, show that there is no real death. We may cease to exist in a physical sense, but we are still “alive” in spirit. And this spirit, not the body, is our true essence. The body just allows us to walk around here on Earth. Q: What is a near-death experience? Josie: The International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) defines a near-death experience as a profound psychological event that may occur to a person close to death or who is not near death but in a situation of physical or emotional crisis. Most people mistakenly believe that we have to be near death in order to experience a near-death experience, but this is not the case. There are some amazing accounts in Visits to Heaven from people who were not close to death but who, in fact, suffered a traumatic event and then had a near-death experience. Q: Can you tell us about this sequel? Josie: Like its predecessor, Visits to Heaven contains near-death experience accounts from around the globe. In addition to many incredible near-death experiences, including ones by famous psychic medium Sylvia Browne, Dan-
Q: What did you learn about yourself while researching and writing your books? Josie: Truthfully, I learned that I am so much more than I think. I’m not just a wife, mother, author, etc. I am not here just biding my time. I’m here for a reason; we all are. We are here to learn lessons. Each one of us has a purpose. Each one of us has the power to make a difference. We all matter. Q: What do you hope your readers will come away with after reading your books? Josie: I hope that my books bring comfort to the bereaved. I hope my readers will know that life never ends and love never dies. Love is stronger than death. Q: Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you would like to add? Josie: One of my favorite quotes is by a biologist named David Searls. He writes, “Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.” When we look at the horizon, it appears to be the end when, in fact, it is not the end and does continue. Death is much the same. It may appear to be the end but, in reality, it is a continuation. ***** To learn more about Josie, her research, and her books, visit www.josievarga.com.
Paranormal Underground 13
Horror Film Actor Cuyle Carvin Researches the Paranormal By Fred M. Grandinetti
ctor Cuyle Carvin has appeared in a number of horror films, including Assault of the Sasquatch, Opponent, Fog Warning, and Victimized. Given the nature of these projects, paranormal activity has played a part of each film’s storyline. “The world of the paranormal is one of my first loves,” Cuyle said. “My love for the paranormal bleeds into the realm of the macabre. I love everything that is dark and dreary.” Cuyle is fascinated with a certain aspect of death, and he prefers rain to sun, cool to warm, and grey skies to clear. “I call myself a Goth kind of a guy stuck in a pretty boy’s body,” he said. Cuyle’s favorite things in life include Halloween, the study of ghosts, and horror movies. “My interest in ghosts derived from my frequent visits to Salem and the tours I went on,” he said. He has also experienced ghost hunts first hand, conducting a few informal investigations with his own equipment and a few friends. “We’ve gone into supposedly haunted locales, and we keep journals and make note of any strange feelings or events during our investigations,” Cuyle said. While Cuyle and his team investigate with ‘the basics’ due to limited funds, they follow a scientific-based approach. And whenever something
Horror actor and paranormal enthusiast Cuyle Carvin’s favorite things in life include Halloween, the study of ghosts, and horror movies.
mysterious occurs, he and his team try to first find a scientific explanation. “I believe if everything is initially based in reason and science, it becomes harder to get things wrong,” he said. “For these same reasons, when something can’t be explained the cause of the mysterious occurrence becomes more fascinating to explore.” Cuyle remembers a paranormal experience that his mother had in the 1970s when she visited a psychic at her country home. While her friend was having a reading, the psychic kept looking at Cuyle’s mother. Finally, the psychic asked if Cuyle’s mother had ever been in her country home before. “No,” was the reply. However, later Cuyle’s mother told her own mother about the psychic’s question. As it turned out, the country house was on the same property
where Carvin’s mother’s parents had previously farmed. The psychic also related information regarding a grandmotherly spirit who she said had not gone to the other side yet. Cuyle feels that with a lot of “persistence and patience,” the paranormal field will become more legitimate in the eyes of science and world culture. “I understand the problems people have with it. The paranormal field is somewhat based on people’s faith that something else is out there,” he said. “I also feel it is ignorant and naïve for people not to consider these strong feelings of faith. There are simply too many stories from millions of people that span generations and eras for too many coincidences!”
For more information on Cuyle Carvin, visit www.CuyleCarvin.com.
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With Hosts Rick Hale & Karen Frazier January 2011
Paranormal Underground 15
by Dr. Bob Curran By Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
ho doesn’t love the idea of a shapeshifter? Being able to tap into that most animal self, running wild and free from the normal human constraints that plague our everyday minds — or, if your mind takes a turn for the Hollywood, a kick-butt Lycan bent on taking down the vampire empire. The book, Werewolves, explores the folklore and myths behind the legendary man-breast. Dr. Bob Curran, a resident of Northern Ireland, is a writer, broadcaster, and cultural educator for several governmental organizations. He has approximately 38 books to his name, mainly on the subjects of history and culture. His title Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts is currently in bookstores. ***** Q: In your book, Werewolves, you delve into a world that has fascinated people for centuries all over the world. What are some of the other cultures, aside from our own, in which the idea of the werewolf is prevalent? Dr. Curran: I think that the idea of the werewolf has to be linked with
Author Dr. Bob Curran has approximately 38 books to his name, mainly on the subjects of history and culture.
the idea of shapeshifting in general and that brings in a number of cultural elements. However, if we stick with the idea of the wolf or perhaps even the bear (because there are also werebears), and assuming that by saying “our own” you are referring to American/European cultures, we can look to Scandinavia. Here wolves are prevalent, and there are ideas of people taking on the attributes of a wolf. This, of course, may hark back to prehistoric
times when wolves competed — perhaps more successfully — with our hominid ancestors for food. Wolf-warriors as, well as men who wore the bear shirt (the baarsaark from which we get the word “berserk”), were considered to be especially ferocious and skilled in the arts of warfare. This appears in Ireland as well with the notion (dismissed in the 1500s by the English historian William Camden) of “The Wolf-Men of Tipperary.” In places, such as parts of South America as well, you have the ideas of werejaguars, and in South Africa there were certainly were-lions (who assumed political anti-colonial associations in the 1940s and 1950s). And in Japan, there is the tradition of werefoxes, which are sometimes considered to be powerful and skillful magicians. The transformation of man into animal, then, is common in many cultures; although it may take different forms because fundamental questions about the nature of humanity are the same. Q: We’re all familiar with the idea of the full moon turning people into werewolves. Where did that idea come from? Dr. Curran: The idea of the full moon being able to trigger the transformation into a werewolf is pretty
spectacular in cinematic terms and is always very dramatic, but it has no basis in folklore. It is largely a device used to create suspense and drama by filmmakers and writers. However, there are some interesting connections with the full moon that can be linked to werewolf tradition. The first is that the moon was the symbol of the Roman goddess Diana, the huntress who hunted by moonlight with a pack of hounds. It is quite possible that the earliest werewolf or wolfman traditions arose out of prehistoric hunting rituals and this, in more classical times, may have been transferred in part to the Cult of Diana. Thus, under Diana’s guidance and under her symbol of the moon, the ordinary man was transformed into the great hunter. There is a second connection that comes from a slightly later time. As medicine slowly began to develop, it was noticed that the rays of the moon often agitated or excited people who were mentally disturbed. Indeed, some experimentation was carried out in French asylums, and the words lunacy and lunatic come from the French la lune, meaning the moon. This uncertain behavior may have found its way into werewolf myth and was seized upon by writers and the cinema. But there is no folkloric evidence of anyone being
Dr. Bob Curran’s latest book, Werewolves: A Field Guide to Shapeshifters, Lycanthropes, and Man-Beasts, examines the deep psychological roots that underlie the linking of human and beast.
Q: Are there other, lesser known, werewolf beliefs that don’t involve what we now associate with werewolf lore, i.e., silver, the full moon? Dr. Curran: There were a number of werewolf beliefs that are not so well-known. For instance, in many Christian countries, such as France or Spain, a child born on Christmas
“The rays of the moon often agitated or excited people who were mentally disturbed.” turned into a werewolf by the light of the full moon, just as there is no basis for the killing of a werewolf only by a silver bullet. In most werewolf stories, a lead bullet will work just as well.
Day was certain to become a werewolf or a vampire (having usurped the birthday of Christ as their own); a child born with hairs on the palms of their hands likewise, and the ille-
gitimate child of a priest (who should have no children) were all destined for werewolfery. Some of these have transferred to other cultures — for example, a child born on a Buddhist holy day is more open to the attentions of demons that may turn him or her into a creature of the night. Q: Why do you think that the werewolf has never been as popular as, say, the vampire in the human imagination? Dr. Curran: The vampire may attribute some of its success to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is a modern classic. However, I think that some of the questions that the werewolf motif addresses are slightly more difficult for us and much more frightening in a real sense. The vampire addresses questions about death: What would it be
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Author Spotlight like never to die or to remain forever young? The idea of the werewolf addresses a different question, that is: Is there some remnant of the beast within us (the beast that our ancestors once were)? That, for many of us, is a very frightening question, but one that at the same time fascinates us. Does it mean, perhaps, that we are part beast? Therefore, I think the idea of the vampire — the questions regarding the dead hold no real threat — is much more popular, and the werewolf is shifted to some shadowy place where the answers don’t have to be fully addressed. Q: Are you suggesting in this book that in some respects there is little difference between men and animals? Dr. Curran: I have to be very careful in suggesting that there is little difference between us and animals as this is not everybody’s belief, and I wouldn’t want to offend. Personally, I do believe in evolution rather than a sort of Adam and Eve type story, and I think that in many respects there’s probably little difference between ourselves and the animals. This, I think, lies at the heart of the werewolf myth and gives a sort of “tension” to the belief, as you suggest. Q: Why are we so fascinated by the notion of “wildness”? Are we repelled by it as well? Is it from this tension that the idea of the manwolf arises? Dr. Curran: I honestly believe that there is still some element of the hominid hunter in all of us — a race memory if you like — and that it is this that gives us our fascination with the “wild.” On the other hand, as civilization has grown up around us and we have become more “cultured,” we have sought to put that
“I believe in evolution rather than a sort of Adam and Eve type story, and I think that in many respects there’s probably little difference between ourselves and the animals,” according to Dr. Curran.
“wildness” behind us. Society has laid down rules and parameters that we can’t cross if we are to call ourselves “civilized,” and perhaps some of us test these from time to time — through things such as cannibalism — which leads us directly to the heart of the werewolf belief. And, of course, we are both fascinated and repelled by this. Q: What is there to be said about werewolf trials, like witchcraft trials? Dr. Curran: In the earliest days — i.e., the Early Medieval Period — the werewolf was considered to be a noble creature. In many of the ancient prose poems, such as the Lais of Marie de France (written around the 12th Century), it is portrayed as a noble knight who had been turned into the guise of a wolf by evil magic. Even in his wolf form, he tends to be heroic and brings himself to
the attention of the king or monarch. Eventually, the magic wears off or is cancelled, and he is well-rewarded by the sovereign. In 1484, however, Pope Innocent VIII commissioned a manual for witch-hunters as part of a war on witchcraft — The Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of the Witch) — compiled by two senior inquisitors, Jacobus Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer. This detailed a number of things that witches could do — one of which was to transform themselves into the guise of animals, such as wolves. This again sparked old fears of the beast living among communities — perhaps at the very heart of the community and linked the werewolf to malign purposes. A series of trials in France around the end of the 16th Century/ beginning of the 17th Century only strengthened such an impression, and the werewolf was connected to diabolic magic. Later, as medicine began to make tenuous advances, the French trials — particularly that of Jean Grenier at the beginning of the 17th Century — were examined in the light of new thinking. Physicians, such as Dr. Johann Weyer, began to suggest that the alleged werewolves might be suffering from a mental condition brought on by their circumstances — many of the accused lived on the periphery of society — and thus an idea of the werewolf as “victim” began to emerge. But the idea of the connection between the beast-man and the witch still remained to some extent. Q: Was the idea of the werewolf simply a device of the Church in order to maintain control? Dr. Curran: I think that the notion of “Church power” had a lot to do with the development of the
werewolf tradition. At the time Pope Innocent VIII began his war on witchcraft, the Church itself was in a difficult position with its power weakened. It had confidently predicted the end of the world and the return of Christ in 1000 A.D., and when that didn’t happen a lot of the faithful began to take its promises and predictions less seriously. Besides which it was under attack from what might be described as early Protestant critics (the Dutchman Erasmus for example) who questioned the conduct and authority of the Papacy. Innocent needed to consolidate the power of the Church and to do this he needed an enemy — witches and werewolves. So, in many respects, the werewolf craze — together with the witch-craze — was indeed, as you suggest, part of an attempt to reinstate Church control. Q: How have cultural impressions of the werewolf changed throughout history? Dr. Curran: As I stated above, perceptions of the werewolf have changed across the centuries. Initially the creature started out as a “noble beast” (during the Medieval Period), then it became connected with witchcraft as the Church struggled to reassert its authority, and then with the medical researches and thinking of such men as Johann Weyer, it
According to Dr. Curran, the notion of “Church power” had a lot to do with the development of the werewolf tradition.
became something of a “victim” of other circumstances — e.g., the full moon — which has translated into many of the books and films that we have today. Q: In your book, you discuss the history of the werewolf.
Q: Do you have a favorite werewolf myth or story? Dr. Curran: Not really. I went to see The Wolfman film and enjoyed it, although this was probably from a filmic point of view as I’ve seen the 1941 version a number of times. But I’ve been reading a number of
“In the earliest days, the werewolf was considered to be a noble creature.” What do you think the future holds for the werewolf ideal? Dr. Curran: I think there are interesting developments for the werewolf ideal. Not long ago I read how animal genes were being used by genetic scientists to treat certain medical conditions in human beings. What does that fusion of human and animal hold for us all? I think the future of the werewolf may lie in the field of genetics. This might give a sort of scientific twist to the idea of the werewolf and would certainly spark off a few more books and films in this genre — perhaps moving it into the realm of science fiction. Q: What inspired you to write about the subject? Dr. Curran: I think I’ve always been interested in where these “horrors” have come from, and like you why they have such a hold on the human mind. I’ve done the same with vampires and zombies. I think werewolves was the next logical and, perhaps, most fascinating step. And it came out when The Wolfman film appeared, so there was a great deal of interest in the subject, and I was responding to that.
stories on werewolves — there have been several collections of stories published to coincide with the film — and some of them are very good. All myths, of course, are fascinating, and I try to read as many of these as I can. Q: Do you believe werewolves really exist? How so? Dr. Curran: I honestly don’t know whether they exist or not. As I said earlier, it’s not whether they do or do not exist, it’s why people would want to believe in them. As to their existence, I suppose again that it comes down to what you mean by “werewolf.” If you’re talking about a person who can actually change his or her shape into that of a wolf, I’m not so sure — though I keep an open mind. If you’re talking about a savage individual who displays wolf-like characteristics, then that’s another matter. Such individuals may very well exist. And, of course, there are individuals who, suffering from a mental condition, may well believe themselves to be werewolves and behave accordingly. So we have to determine what we mean by the word.
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Author Spotlight Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Dr. Curran: No, I haven’t had a paranormal experience. All the “uncanny experiences” I’ve had, I’ve always been able to explain. I took part in a number of radio/TV programs on ghost hunting and didn’t see anything. There was a belief in the part of the world where I came from that only one member of a family could see ghosts and so forth, and this doesn’t seem to have been me. My brother, though, is supposed to have seen a ghost — the spectre of an old woman who previously owned a house where he lived in England. Dr. Curran believes that many readers are fascinated by the idea of the werewolf because it suggests primal power and uninhibited wildness.
Q: What cultures throughout history have werewolf myths? Are they similar or vastly different? Dr. Curran: The basic tension between the beast and the person within us appears in many cultures, but in different forms. I’ve already mention the berserkers of Scandinavia who were renowned for their ferocity, and this motif has also appeared in Irish folklore with the Wolf Men of Tipperary, whose services in battle were allegedly sought by a number of ancient Irish kings and who demanded payment not in money but in the human flesh of a young child — the English historian William Camden writing in the 1500s dismisses this as simply a story and claims that they didn’t exist at all. In Japan, we have the werefox who is cleaver and scheming — almost a trickster-like entity, but not really ferocious. So the notion of the werewolf is sometimes mediated by the cultural mores of the society in which it appears.
Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the werewolf? Dr. Curran: I think many readers are fascinated by the idea of the werewolf because it suggests primal power and uninhibited wildness. Our society has imposed many cultural constraints and barriers that a “civilized person” must adhere to, and I think many of us strain against those imposed limitations. The idea of the werewolf typifies that tension, and we are drawn to it — both fascinated and repelled by it at the same time. Q: What are your favorite werewolf shows, movies, and books? Dr. Curran: I enjoyed The Wolfman film and some short stories — the Night Creatures collection by Seabury Quinn, for example — but with a whole number of things going on, I don’t get all that much time to sit down and read or watch movies for pleasure too often.
Q: If given the chance, would you become a werewolf? Dr. Curran: I doubt if I’d become a werewolf. I suppose I’m too mild-mannered to become a ravening predator. Although, I suppose there’s something of the beast in every one of us. Q: What does the future hold for you? Any new books in the works? Dr. Curran: There’s a lot of work still on. Two new books from Career coming out this year and next — Dark Fairies and Man Made Monsters. Also, I have a series of books for young people coming out in England, new books coming out in both Australia and America — one on the papacy this year and one on bushrangers next. Also, the development of my community work, which is very important to me. Oh, and I used to script comics, so I’m getting back into that a little. ***** Thank you for joining us Dr. Curran! If you’re interested in checking out this or other titles by Dr. Bob Curran, please visit www.newpagebooks.com.
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Paranormal Underground 21
Seven Haunted Wonders of the World By Dave Galvan, Paranormal League of America
he Seven Wonders of the World have long been etched into history — the Statue of Zeus (Jupiter) at Olympia, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Unfortunately, most of these “wonders” are no longer with us. While there are certainly lists out there in the paranormal world that many of us are familiar with, such as “the Most Haunted” places in the world, I thought it was time to compose a “Seven Haunted Wonders of the World” list. Getting on the list wasn’t easy. There are many locations around the globe deserving to be listed. My criterion for a location to make the list was based on two main elements: • History. Without a fascinating history, a location was instantly dropped. Why? Some locations are haunted for unknown reasons, while others are obvious in their hauntings. Without a long history as to why a location is haunted, then they were instantly cut. • Evidence. Not just a case of hard evidence, but I also considered strong anecdotal evidence. These seven locations are in no particular order. Here we go!
In Ireland, Leap Castle’s bloody history and tragic death count have led some to proclaim this site the most haunted in the world.
1) Leap Castle — County Offaly, Ireland More than 400 years ago, in what is now known as the “Bloody Chapel” within Ireland’s Leap Castle, a shocking murder occurred. Leap Castle was then a stronghold of the O’Carroll family, powerful Irish Princes and Chieftains of the area. In 1532, a fierce rivalry for the leadership erupted within the family, ending up in murder. One of the O’Carroll brothers was a priest, and one day as he held mass for a group of his family, his rival brother entered the chapel and fatally wounded the priest with his sword. The butchered priest was said to have fallen across the altar as he died in front of his family. The heinous act of brother killing brother and the
blasphemy of a sacred mass cut short by such an evil event sent an echo of misery ringing throughout the castle. In the mid-1800s, while the castle was being renovated, a dungeon was found. Nothing more or less than a hole in the ground, there was a narrow shaft of a room carved out of a hole in the floor with spikes coming up out of the ground. Human bones were found in the hole, and it appeared as though people had been thrown down into the hole, impaled on the spikes, and left to die. In 1659, ownership of Leap Castle passed in marriage from the O’Carroll family to an English family, the Darbys. The Darby family turned Leap into their family home, with improvements, additions, and
Some of the structure dates back almost 1,000 years. At various times, the castle has held prisoners of war, including French prisoners from the Seven Years’ War and Colonial prisoners from the American Revolution. The cells of its ancient dungeon, the site of uncounted deaths, Edinburgh Castle is said to host the ghost of a headless are said to be an eterdrummer and a piper playing on the battlements. nal place of unrest for (Photo by Klaus Hermsen) numerous spirits. The site is also said to host landscaped gardens. the ghost of a headless In the late 19th Century, descendrummer and a piper playing on the dants Jonathan and Mildred Darby battlements. were looking forward to raising their The hauntings at Edinburgh family at Leap Castle. The occult Castle span out to other areas of Edwas the fashion of the day, and inburgh. The subterranean vaults of Mildred Darby did some innocent South Bridge and a street called Mary dabbling, despite the castle’s history King’s Close, where victims of the and reputation for being haunted. Black Death were sealed up still alive Mildred’s dabbling with magic was to die, also have ghostly reputations. said to have awakened an “elemenIn April 2001, professor Richard tal” with ferocious velocity. Wiseman, a psychologist from the In 1909, Mildred Darby wrote University of Hertfordshire in Southan article for The Occult Review east England, enlisted the help of 240 describing her terrifying ordeal. volunteers to explore the allegedly “I was standing in the gallery haunted sites in a 10-day study. A looking down at the main floor, blind study with these volunteers was when I felt somebody put a hand on conducted over 10 days; some parmy shoulder. The thing was about ticipants were sent into areas that had the size of a sheep. Thin, guanting, high reports of activity, while others shadowy … its face was human, to be were sent to areas that had none. more accurate inhuman. Its lust in its The final report was eye-openeyes which seemed half decomposed ing, as areas that had high reports of in black cavities stared into mine. The hauntings coincided with findings the horrible smell one hundred times involunteers experienced, including tensified came up into my face, giving the sighting of a specter wearing a me a deadly nausea. It was the smell leather apron. of a decomposing corpse.” 3) The Tower of London — 2) Edinburgh Castle — London, England Edinburgh, Scotland Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Edinburgh Castle is a castle Fortress, more commonly known as fortress that stands between the sea the Tower of London, is a historic and the hills in Edinburgh, Scotland. castle on the north bank of the River
Thames in Central London, England. Founded in 1066, the Tower and its surrounding area are known for its ghostly activity. The ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn, who was beheaded in 1536 for treason against King Henry VIII, allegedly haunts the Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula, where she is buried. Her ghost has also been seen walking around the White Tower carrying her head under her arm. Other ghostly visitors to the Tower include Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Pole, and Edward IV’s sons, Edward and Richard, who were said to have been murdered in the tower in 1483. In January 1816, a sentry on guard outside the Jewel House witnessed an apparition of a bear advancing toward him. The guard reportedly died of fright a few days later. In October 1817, a tubular, glowing apparition was claimed to have been seen in the Jewel House by the Keeper of the Crown Jewels, Edmund Lenthal Swifte. He
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Witnesses say The Tower of London is home to the ghosts of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, and Margaret Pole.
Special Report napped would die chained up below the streets of Portland only to have their bodies thrown out onto the streets in the middle of the night. The paranormal activity that has been observed in the tunnels includes sightings of full-bodied apparitions and heat-sensitive cameras picking up figures sitting on an empty couch. Most who have seen these ghostly apparitions assumed they were part of their tour group, only to find out that they were never there to begin with.
The paranormal activity observed in the Portland Shanghai Tunnels includes sightings of full-bodied apparitions and heat-sensitive cameras picking up ghostly figures.
said that the apparition hovered over the shoulder of his wife, leading her to shout out, “Oh, Christ! It has seized me!” Other nameless and formless terrors have been reported, more recently, by night staff at the Tower. 4) Portland Shanghai Tunnels — Portland, Oregon, USA The Shanghai Tunnels, also known as the Portland Underground, are a group of passages running underneath Old Town/Chinatown down to the central downtown section of Portland, Oregon — linking block to block. The tunnels, which connected the basements of many downtown hotels and bars to the waterfront of the Willamette River, were built to move goods from the ships docked on the Willamette to the basement storage areas. This allowed businesses to avoid street traffic while delivering goods. In the days prior to the streets of Portland being paved, the rain would make the dirt and gravel roads difficult for horse-drawn carriages to bring in heavy equipment from the Willamette River to the bars and hotels. So, a series of tunnels was carved out to make the delivery of heavy goods and equipment easier.
However, during the night, the tunnels had a more sinister purpose: This was when pimps, prostitutes, and opium dens filled the tunnels. As it turned out, able-bodied men and women were kidnapped and shanghaied to other cities around the world. The men were put to work on ships, and the women were sent to other cities around the country to work as prostitutes. Most of these people were never heard from again. In some cases, the people were drugged in the local bars above the tunnels and then dragged down below and put in cages to sleep it off. If the drugs they gave them were too strong or the airflow down in the tunnels not sufficient, those kid-
5) Houska Castle — Blatce, Czech Republic Built in the early 13th Century, this castle is an early Gothic design and one of the most impressive castles of its period still standing. Created by and mostly kept in the hands of royalty, this castle is famously known as the “Gateway to Hell.” The castle was built without fortifications — no water, no kitchen, near no trade routes, and with no occupants at its time of completion. Houska castle was not built to house inhabitants or function as a protective sanctuary. It was built because the people of the area thought a hole on the property was a gateway to Hell. Thus, by constructing the Gothic building, they believed they were able to keep the demons presHalf-animal-halfman and darkwinged creatures have been seen in and around Houska Castle. Folklore says that the Gateway to Hell is located within the castle’s walls.
ent trapped in the lower level’s thickest walls closest to the hole. Half-animal-half-man creatures were reported to have crawled out of this hole, and dark-winged creatures were spotted flying within its vicinity. Legend has it that when construction began on the castle, inmates that were sentenced to death were offered a pardon if they consented to be lowered by rope into the hole so they could then report back on what they saw. As folklore has it, when the first prisoner was lowered into the hole, after a few seconds he began screaming. When he was pulled back to the surface, his face had become wrinkled and his hair had turned white. As the tale goes, he had aged 30 years. 6) Gettysburg — Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA You will be hard-pressed to find a location in the Americas as haunted as the Gettysburg Battlefield. Home to many intense battles during the American Civil War, some say the site holds so much intense energy that all types of haunting are present in the area. The area was host to the Battle of Gettysburg, which engaged from July 1–3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the battle with the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War and is
Visitors to Gettysburg have witnessed Union and Confederate soldiers walking on the battlefield, running down streets, or ducking for cover in the early morning hours, only to disappear right in front of the unsuspecting witnesses.
known as the war’s turning point. If you were to stop off in a local pub and ask the barkeep, “Can you tell me where the battlefield is?” the response would be, “You’re standing on it.” While some speculate that the tales of Gettysburg are merely for the tourist’s sake, the locals would beg to differ. Visitors to Gettysburg have witnessed Union and Confederate soldiers walking on the battlefield, running down streets, or ducking for cover in the early morning hours, only to disappear right in front of the unsuspecting witnesses. Other phenomena reported include malfunctioning equipment, phantom voices, EVP captures, and phantom cannon and gunfire.
Visitors to Alcatraz Island report seeing the ghost of Al Capone and the spirits of military personnel. Crying and moaning have been heard in the cells blocks, and the strong odor of smoke has been smelled.
7) Alcatraz Island — San Francisco, California, USA First documented in 1775, this sites name loosely translates to The Island of the Pelicans. The island, which is located in the San Francisco Bay about 1.5 miles offshore, is reportedly the site of numerous ghostly encounters. Often referred to as The Rock, prior to 1963 the small island served as a lighthouse, military prison, military fortification, and federal prison. It served as a military prison that held American Civil War prisoners of war in 1861. And in 1933, the Department of Justice purchased the island specifically to build a maximum security prison. In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area, receiving national landmark designations in 1976 and 1986. Ghostly visitors have included the ghost of Al Capone, who has been heard plucking his favorite banjo from the prison cell he lived in. Also, the spirits of military personnel have been spotted walking the island making sure that all is in order. Crying and moaning have been heard in the cells blocks, and the strong odor of smoke has been smelled during walks by tourists and park employees.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
Haunting and History at the Lewis County Historical Museum By Karen Frazier
ewis County, Washington, is rich with history. The small, rural county in Southwestern Washington sits halfway between Seattle and Portland, with its major towns hugging the I-5 corridor. In the heart of the county seat, Chehalis, you’ll find an unassuming Mission Revival brick building nestled against the railroad tracks, which is very clearly a former train station. From the outside, the building appears to be just another piece of the past, with a classic brick façade that fits well into the historical town. On closer inspection, however, what you will discover is that the building is a treasure trove of Lewis County history. Built in 1912 as a Northern Pacific Railway train depot, the Lewis County Historical Museum operated as a working station until 1972 when Burlington Northern announced plans to close the building and demolish it. Fortunately, a group of citizens led the charge to get the depot placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1975 Burlington Northern leased the building to Lewis County for use as its historical museum. Historical Objects With Ghostly Attachments Inside the former train station the past comes to life. With mul-
Inside the former train station in Chehalis, Washington, the past comes to life. Captured inside the museum was a startling EVP that said, “Please help me.” Pictured above is the children’s area of the museum.
tiple displays demonstrating the cultural and commercial history of Lewis County, visitors can’t help but get a sense of an area proud of its historical roots. Bygone days aren’t the only things that come alive in the museum, however. Along with significant items, ranging from Native American relics to ash-covered Mount St. Helens artifacts, museum insiders and paranormal investiga-
tors feel that a number of ghosts also make the depot their home. “I believe that most of the ghosts are attached to objects in the museum,” said Patty Valdez of South Sound Paranormal Research (SSPR), the first group to investigate the building. Valdez describes evidence seeming to suggest just that. The group captured an EVP that said, “Please
help me,” in the museum’s first floor Native American room. Several months later, they recorded another, this time in the attic. In the same voice with the same inflection it said, “Please help me.” Valdez asked the institution’s executive director, Debbie Knapp, what had been in the Native American display that was now upstairs in storage. It turned out that staff had moved some Native American baskets to the attic in the general vicinity where investigators captured the second EVP. Ghost in the Attic Knapp agrees that much of the haunting seems to be attached to objects, and she’s had her fair share of experiences with the repository’s ghosts. Knapp is no stranger to haunting. She’s a member of Paranormal Investigations of Historic America (PIHA), a group formed to investigate museums and historical sites. Knapp tells the story of a saddle
shelving units sits three or four saddles, arranged neatly in rows. According to Knapp, a sensitive who was visiting the museum walked in the front door and immediately felt that there was an odd-looking saddle somewhere in the building with a spirit attached to it. As she walked through the lower floor, the psychic continued to speak of the saddle, until Knapp led her up the rickety staircase and around the corner. The sensitive immediately gravitated toward the center saddle in the middle row, an odd-looking sidesaddle. Touching it, she became violently ill. Others have noted something strange with the artifact, as well, and many report that the area has a distinct heaviness. While strange things happen throughout the building, the attic seems to be at the epicenter of odd occurrences. It was upstairs where SSPR’s Lori Nelson, who calls the museum “the most haunted location I have ever investigated,” had
During an investigation of the attic, an unseen hand tossed a pencil at the group. in the building’s attic, which stores objects not on display in the main part of the museum. Up the steep, narrow stairs and around the corner to the left, you’ll find a series of open shelves. Atop each of the
a bolt thrown at her. And one night when I joined Knapp and a group of investigators from SSPR for a quick, impromptu exploration of the attic, an unseen hand tossed a
pencil at the group. Sadly, it happened about three minutes after I left, so I missed it. On the same evening, a chair that normally sits in a back corner of the attic seemingly made its way into an aisle, something that Knapp said occurs frequently, yet no one is ever willing to claim they have moved it. Other reports in the area involve the roving smell of a cloying, old-fashioned perfume and the presence of a playful child spirit who hangs out in a crawl space. Many investigators and employees have also reported hearing a childlike disembodied voice when they are upstairs. Kathy Gavin, president of the Lewis County Historical Society and a member of PIHA, has had her own personal encounters in the attic. While conducting a paranormal group tour through the upper floor storage space, Gavin felt as if a small child was touching her. “Somebody tapped me three times on my hip,” Gavin said. At the same time, Knapp was leaning against the crawl space door where many believe the child spirit hides. She was holding the door open with her back. “The door started to press against my back,” Knapp said. “It was like someone was pushing it against me, trying to get me out of the way so that they could close the door.” Knapp and Gavin were also together upstairs when Knapp had one of her most intense experiences in the building. It happened by the saddles.
Paranormal Underground 27
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites “I had just bent over to duck under some duct work,” Knapp explained, “when I felt hands shove my lower back. I stumbled forward and nearly fell. It happened so quickly, but someone definitely pushed me.” Spirits in the Museum It’s not just the attic where things happen. On their very first investigation of the Lewis County Historical Museum, SSPR knew immediately
a display case’s heavy side panel, which had been secured in place with staples, came crashing to the floor near where he was standing. “That about did it,” Knapp said. “He didn’t make fun of our ghosts any more.” Even Knapp’s dog, Gizmo, seems to sense something is present in the train station. “We have a game we play called blanket monster,” she said. “One day I was here working alone
The spirit of Basil Mulford is said to haunt the Lewis County Museum. that someone or something wanted them to know it was there. The team sat in the break room at the back of the building as small groups went out and investigated. As soon as they were gathered, the phone began to ring. When they answered, not only was no one there, but the line was entirely dead. This happened several times throughout the evening. Valdez explained, “At the end of the investigation, Debbie came by. We told her the phone had been ringing.” According to Valdez, Knapp checked the museum’s main phone line and told the group that no one had called all night. Knapp also tells the cautionary tale of a photographer who was taking the ghosts lightly. According to Knapp, he was in the Native American room when he called out, “Okay ghosties, come out and play.” “I told him not to make fun of the ghosts,” Knapp said. The man continued to joke until
on a Monday when the museum is closed. I heard Gizmo’s playful growl out in the hall.” When she came out of her office, Knapp found the Pug-Pekingese mix playing blanket monster on the floor of the corridor, but there was no one there. “I kept calling her, and she wouldn’t come to me,” Knapp said. “All of a sudden, she stopped and took off running to the back dock door. She scratched, barked, and sniffed at the door. I’ve never seen her behave like that.” Other reports include disembodied voices in the museum, toy trains not connected to an active power supply that begin to move on their own, and a few very distinct presences throughout the building. “There’s a man who sits in the research room,” Knapp said. She went on to explain that many of the museum’s volunteers have caught fleeting glimpses of him in the corner as they work. Another former employee who is now on the police force encoun-
tered a spirit one evening as she was closing up the building. According to Knapp, a young girl approached the employee and asked, “Excuse me ma’am, when does the next train leave?” Before the employee could answer, the girl disappeared. The Ghost of Basil Mulford Many also suspect that a onelegged man haunts the museum. People hear his footseps — one step and a dragging sound that occur in repetitive successions outside of the study. Knapp believes that the spirit is the ghost of Basil Mulford, a prominent local businessman whose “store” is one of the museum’s exhibits. The display features many items from Mulford’s store, and perhaps most significantly, a picture of Mulford on crutches with only one leg. That’s not the only reason Knapp suspects Mulford haunts the area, however. Twice when approaching the Mulford exhibit, Knapp caught sight of a fast-moving swish of bluish gray fabric flowing toward the store, as if someone was walking in that direction and she was seeing the tail end of a flapping overcoat. Interestingly, the Mulford display houses a bluish gray man’s hat that Mulford appears to wear in a photograph with a matching overcoat. “I wonder if it is Basil Mulford going to work,” Knapp mused. Given all that goes on at the Lewis County Historical Museum, it just might be.
To learn more, visit www.lewiscountymuseum.org. Read about Karen’s investigations of the Lewis County Historical Museum in “A Night at the Museum,” on page 46 of this issue.
Paranormal Underground 29
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
The Legend of Clapham Wood By Rick E. Hale, McHenry County Paranormal Research Group
hhhh nature. For me there really is nothing better than strapping on the old hiking boots, dressing warmly, taking a leisurely stroll through the woods, and communing with nature around me. I love to listen to the birds sing, watch the animals skitter about, and maybe even hug a tree ... J/K! Forests are supposed to be a place of peace and quiet, a place to be alone with your thoughts. However, the citizens of West Sussex, England, know better. They hold a fear of nature and the woods that grow around them. They know that they should never venture too far into Clapham Wood because if they do, they just might never be seen or heard from again. In a land where everyone has a strange little ghost story to tell and the spirits of this ancient country seem to outnumber their breathing brethren 2:1, Clapham Wood seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest as a place not only of numerous hauntings, but of High Strangeness as well. What is it about Clapham Wood that sends fear into the hearts of the people of West Sussex, England? What unseen and unknowable force resides in this otherwise innocent-looking forest? For centuries, West Sussex
Clapham Wood, in West Sussex, England, is home to events of high strangeness. From ghostly apparitions to UFO sightings, some witnesses claim the Wood is haunted by evil spirits.
thrived as a quiet little village in Southeast England. Generations of locals used the Wood as a place for hunting, fishing, and growing food. However, in summer 1967 all that changed when the residents of West Sussex and the surrounding area reported strange luminous lights floating over and through the woods. At first, folks believed that it was nothing more than lightning or people camping â€” that is until an area resident reported his close encounter with something not of this world: a UFO.
A Nighttime Stroll in Clapham Wood In August 1967, an area man was taking a leisurely nighttime stroll through Clapham Wood when he looked up and beheld the strangest sight he had ever seen. Hovering silently over the Wood at a mere 200 feet was a large triangular, almost boomerang-shaped, craft that hung in the night sky. Almost without thinking, the man knew what he was witnessing, a spacecraft from a different world. Whether
or it was fear or curiosity that held him to the spot where he stood we will never know; however, the man was in such close proximity to the UFO that he was able to provide even more details of his strange sighting. As the man stood there, a smaller luminous object, approximately the size of a car, seemed to break away from the much larger object and proceeded to fly away around the Wood almost as if it was looking for something. Then, the man said that without a sound, the luminous object rose up into the sky and flew off into the night until it was out of sight for good. Thus began the stories and claims by UFO enthusiast that Clapham Wood was a hotspot for visitors from other worlds. And for more than 40 years, flying saucers have been seen hovering over the woods, as well as landing in sparse outcrops, by dozens of witnesses. Vigils have been held in the woods for countless years by those who hope to witness something not of this world. In fact, some of the more scientifically minded flying saucer enthusiasts have sought to prove that UFOs were using Clapham Wood as a landing post in that part of England. To do so, they used Geiger counters to measure the possible presence of radiation — with some very interesting results. Lows levels of radiation have been discovered in the area. Many people would say that such low levels are common and possibly naturally occurring; however, as with most of Great Britain, Clapham Wood is situated upon heavy chalk deposits that contain Potassium 40, a substance that cannot and do not give off radiation. This being the case, what on Earth could possibly have left radiation behind? The answer is simple to those who believe that Clapham Wood is a hot bed of extraterrestrial activity — the radiation is left behind by the landing and taking off of flying saucers.
A Site of High Strangeness Vigils within the Wood have become a popular pastime for the residents of West Sussex, especially the teens. Many a night Clapham Wood crawls with brave souls searching for an experience that goes well beyond the norm.
group of jolly Satanists was responsible for the disappearance of dogs that began in 1975, as well as being responsible for the vanishings of various people over the last decade. When asked why they abducted dogs and people, the initiate nonchalantly replied, “For sacrificial purposes.”
Clapham Wood was used by a sinister cult of Satan Worshippers. It is what folks experienced on these vigils that led to the belief that Clapham Wood is not just a visiting place for little green men, but men of the ghostly variety as well. Many visitors to the Wood have claimed to witness wispy black shapes flitting between the trees, as well as horrific full-bodied apparitions that reportedly physically attack those who venture into the woods. Vigil keepers have reported being pushed, scratched, and slapped by unseen hands. It would seem though that the wood is not just a visiting place for ET and the haunting ground of the spirit realm; apparently, something far more terrifying and far more sinister calls the deep, dark woods home. In 1987, Toyne Newton, Charles Walker, and Alan Brown shocked the Sussex countryside when they published the book, The Demonic Connection, making wild claims that Clapham Wood was used by a sinister cult of Satan worshippers. In 1978, Charles Walker claimed that he was contacted by an initiate of a cult of demon worshippers called, The Friends of Hecate — a cult of black magic practitioners who worshipped the obscure Greco-Roman goddess Hecate, who was said to be a triple crone goddess associated with black magic and crossroads. The initiate claimed that his
Of course, most people would roll their eyes at such nonsense, especially when the initiate claimed that among their number were various civic leaders and leading citizens of the surrounding community. However, some claim that the Friends of Hecate have left behind evidence of their nefarious activities. Near Clapham Wood stands an old manor house that many believe was used by this coven of black magicians. Found inside was evidence of Satanic altars and graffiti on the walls. However, it was the more gruesome evidence discovered that changed the minds of many of the skeptics. The remains of horribly mutilated animals, specifically dogs, were discovered among the occult paraphernalia left behind by this alleged group of high-ranking Satanists. No remains of human sacrificial victims were ever found. Dark, mysterious, and perhaps evil, Clapham Wood is a place that only the bravest Englishman would dare enter. For the most part, the residents of West Sussex view the tales of their forest as nothing more than mere urban legend; however, it is difficult to dismiss the numerous police reports and eyewitness accounts that have been reported since the late 1960s. Urban legend or not, Clapham Wood is feared and respected by many West Sussex residents.
Paranormal Underground 31
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History
The Curious Life of Edgar Allan Poe By Karen Frazier
Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! prophet still, if bird or devil! Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!” Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” —Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven Once upon a midnight dreary, Joseph W. Walker discovered a delirious man wandering the streets of Baltimore in utter confusion. “He appears in great distress … and I assure you he is in need of immediate assistance,” Walker said in a letter. It turns out that the man Walker discovered and delivered to Washington College Hospital was none other than Edgar Allan Poe. It was a mystery, really, what led to Poe’s death, and it is one that remains unsolved to this day. You see, Poe was wearing clothes that didn’t belong to him when Walker found him. He was virtually incoherent — clearly out of his mind. Not only that, but he never recovered coherency long enough
An author of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe died under mysterious circumstances. Was he murdered? Or did he die of alcohol and drugs? To this day, no one knows for sure.
to explain how he came to be in his compromised condition. When he’d left Virginia on his way home to New York just a week before Walker found him, there was no indication that anything was wrong with Poe. According to his physician, Dr. John Joseph Moran, Poe lingered for four days in a state of delirium, calling out the name “Reynolds” frequently. He died on October 7, 1849, at 5 a.m. after speaking his final words, “Lord, help my poor soul.” It is a story fitting an author of
the macabre — death under mysterious circumstances. So mysterious, in fact, that all of Poe’s medical records went missing, never to be found, and many have questioned Dr. Moran’s credibility. His cause of death has been the fodder for scholars during the past century. Was Poe murdered? Did he die of alcohol and drugs? Did he have a disease? Was he the victim of “cooping,” a corrupt election practice where innocents were kidnapped, held hostage, and forced
to vote over and over again in different polling places wearing different clothing? Theories abound, but no solution has ever been achieved. Following Poe’s death, a scathing obituary attributed to an author named Ludwig appeared, claiming that Poe was a notorious drunkard who frequently walked the streets in delirium. It turned out that the author was actually one of Poe’s chief rivals, Rufus Griswold, who had been assassinating Poe’s character for years. Griswold somehow managed to become Poe’s literary executor, and wrote a biography of Poe as a depraved drunk who was constantly drugged out. Although Griswold took his characterization of Poe nearly verbatim from a fictitious work called The Caxtons by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, it became the prevailing view of how the man lived his life, in spite of the fact that friends and family all disavowed the claims made in the biography.
In his lifetime, Poe was best known as a literary critic; however, several of his works gained widespread recognition during his life, especially in the United States and Europe, where Charles Baudelaire translated the stories into French for an appreciative audience. Along with macabre and gothic tales, such as the Telltale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher, Poe also wrote satire, humor, and hoaxes. Poe’s work has provided inspiration for many of the great authors that came after him. Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and H.G. Wells all cite Poe as an influence in their writing. Others claim to be influenced by Poe in an entirely different way. Many psychics, such as Lizzie Doten, claim to have channeled Poe’s Poe’s writings tell stories of madness, murder, and spirit in order to write new the darkness that lies inside the human spirit. Was he works by the author. himself a victim of the very darkness that he wrote Poe’s writings tell stories about? Poe was buried at Westminster Burying Ground of madness, murder, and the in Baltimore, Maryland. darkness that lies inside the human spirit. In his death, did demons overtake him as they and was raised by the Allan family. did so many of his characters? American Gothic As a young adult, he began writing Perhaps Poe himself answered Who was this man, Edgar Allan newspaper stories under the name this question long before his mysteriPoe, who died so mysteriously? Henri Le Rennet in order to support ous death in his story, The PremaPoe is best known as a gothic writer himself. At the age of 18, Poe reture Burial: who wrote tales of the macabre. He leased an uncredited book of poetry “There are moments when, is also widely touted as the father called Tamerlane and Other Poems, even to the sober eye of Reason, of detective fiction, and many feel which received little notice. the world of our sad Humanity may assume the semblance of a Hell — but the imagination of man is no Carathis, to explore with impunity its every cavern. Alas! The grim legion of sepulchral terrors cannot be regarded as altogether fanciful — but, that without Poe, few of the greatest In spite of early disappointlike the Demons in whose company literary sleuths of all time, such as ments, Poe is the first American Afrasiab made his voyage down the Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, author to attempt to make a living Oxus, they must sleep, or they will would ever have come into being. only by writing, and he spent his life devour us — they must be suffered to An American by birth, Poe in multiple writing ventures. As a became an orphan at a young age slumber, or we perish.” result, he mostly lived in poverty.
Poe inspired Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Paranormal Underground 33
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History
The Smurl Family Haunting By Rick E. Hale, McHenry County Paranormal Research Group
malevolent haunt can be a terrifying experience for all those involved. It can quickly turn a once seemingly innocent home into a pure Hell on Earth for all involved. This was the case for a West Pittston, Pennsylvania, family — the Smurls — who were held captive for almost 15 years by a malicious inhuman spirit. In 1974, Jack and Janet Smurl found themselves seeking a new home after theirs was destroyed by a hurricane that came ashore in their Pennsylvania town. Shortly after beginning a search for new digs, the Smurls found a two-story, split duplex in the small mining town of West Pittston where they could raise their two young girls, and Jack’s parents could inhabit the other half of the home. The house and neighborhood seemed perfect; however the family would soon discover that not everything was as perfect as it seemed. Strange Phenomena Immediately Plague the Smurls One night after putting the children to bed, Jack and Janet retired to their room for a little sleep after the taxing move. As Jack and Janet rested in their bed watching television, the couple took notice of a strange, unearthly glow that seemed
to emanate from the back of the small color television. When Jack approached the television to investigate this glow, the TV burst into flames and quickly extinguished itself. Jack was mystified by this strange event; however, he did not give it much thought, believing bad wiring was to blame. After taking
Pictured above: The Smurl family encounters a malevolent haunting within their family home in West Pittston, Pennsylvania.
the TV out to the trash, the couple drifted off to sleep. The couple also soon learned that there appeared to be a considerable plumbing problem in the house. Numerous times the Smurls would discover pools of water forming in areas of the house where plumbing should not be. Jack, ever the jack of all trades, attempted numerous times to fix the plumbing; however, no matter how hard he tried, the mysterious pools of water still formed. Other bizarre but completely innocuous phenomena presented itself over time. Janet discovered numerous claw marks covering the bottom of the bathtub. Animal control was called to see if perhaps some creature, like a raccoon, had invaded the home and left the claw marks. Nothing was ever found. As the years passed and the phenomenon slowly progressed, the strange activity began to occur not only on Jack and Janet’s side of the house, but on Jack’s parents’ side as well. Toilets flushed day and night with no apparent human agent to flush them. Drawers and cabinets flung open and slammed of their own accord. And heavy, almost-labored footsteps could be heard around the home at all hours of the night.
Mary, Jack’s mother, confronted her daughter one afternoon after hearing through the walls what sounded like Jack and Janet having a vicious fight with swear words being exchanged. Janet was awestruck and swore on everything that was holy that Jack was at work and she was busy doing the laundry — a fact later confirmed by Jack when he returned home from work a few hours later. The two women became convinced that something truly odd was happening in their home; however, the men remained unconvinced, believing that everything could be explained by something other than ghosts and goblins. Jack and his father would soon find out differently. Was a Demonic Entity Present in the Smurl Household? The bizarre events at the Smurl household were quickly spiraling out of control, and Janet began to fear for the safety of her family. One afternoon as Janet was doing dishes, she became aware of a swirling black mass forming in the corner of the kitchen, making a strange grunting sound. Janet watched as the shadowy figure moved from the kitchen into the front room and then disappeared through the wall that divided the two sides of the building. Janet immediately rushed over to her in-laws side of the duplex and found a terrified Mary Smurl sitting in her chair staring at the space on the wall where the black form issued from. Mary had indeed seen the black form and hoped that they could soon convince their husbands that their home was in the grip of some demonic entity. Later that night after going out for pizza, Jack and his father came clean concerning their experiences in the home and the strange phenomenon they had personally
ground, and began to rip his clothes off. Jack watched in horror as the previously lovely, young woman morphed into a hideous, old crone that dribbled foul smelling saliva from her cackling mouth. After a few moments of enduring the assault by the terrible creature, the crone vanished leaving Jack on the floor of the front room with a ripped shirt and the sensation of terror in his soul. After regaining his sense, Jack ran up the stairs and told his wife everything that had happened. This was the final straw that the family would suffer. They decided it was time to turn to the only people who could rescue them from this terror that haunted their once peaceful home: the Roman Catholic Church. A book and movie were made about the frightening events that took place within the Smurl household.
witnessed. The two men admitted the only reason they said nothing was because they felt powerless to do anything about whatever this was that had invaded their home. Where can a person go to deal with such odd phenomena? After the meeting at the pizza joint, Jack found it difficult to sleep as his mind pondered the strangeness that had invaded his home and sought to keep his family in the bondage of abject fear. Shortly after turning the television on, Jack became aware that he was not alone. As Jack watched a beautiful woman descend the stairs, he at first thought he was dreaming. But he quickly jumped up and attempted to challenge this unexpected intruder. Before Jack could get a word out, the young woman leaped upon his chest, knocked him to the
The Smurls Turn to Other for Help One Sunday after attending Mass, Jack and Janet took their priest to the side and began to spin a bizarre tale of the strange activity that held their family hostage. The priest, either out of skepticism or perhaps fear of the terrible stories that he heard, suggested that perhaps the phenomena the family was experiencing was nothing supernatural at all, but perhaps the couple’s marriage was in jeopardy and what they needed was marriage counseling and not an exorcist. Jack and Janet were crestfallen. They both had been brought up with the belief that the church’s function was seeing to the spiritual safety and security of the faithful. As the haunting progressed the family discovered that no matter where they ran, whatever entity haunted them was capable of following them anywhere. The entity bothered Jack at his work, almost causing him to be terminated. The entity also followed and harassed
Paranormal Underground 35
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History the family on a camping trip. The Smurl family came to firmly believe in the old saying, “You can run and you can hide, but eventually we will find you.” Whatever this thing was, it also proved to be in two places at one time. When the Smurls returned home from their short trip, they were stopped by their neighbors who told them that while they were gone
business of determining whether or not the home was indeed invaded by a paranormal presence. After touring the home, Lorraine — a light clairvoyant — determined that the home played host to four separate entities. Three were entities that had once been human and lived on the land many years before the split duplex was built. But the fourth entity was a spirit
Investigators captured dozens of EVPs, orbs, and anomalous streaks of light within the household. they could hear what sounded like loud shrieks and bangs coming from inside the house at all hours of the day. Jack and Janet considered again telling the church of their experiences but decided to go a different route ... enter the ghost hunters. A few days after their return from vacation, Janet paid a visit to the local library and read an article in the newspaper about a couple from Connecticut, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who specialized in paranormal investigation. The couple had an impressive success rate of rescuing families who were under siege by demonic creatures. Since the 1950s, the Warrens, who considered themselves Religious Demonologists, were involved in the investigation of literally hundreds of cases of demonic infestation and partook in dozens of exorcisms. Even though the Warrens had been considered highly controversial, even among paranormal researchers, Janet was convinced that if anyone could help them it was the Warrens. A few days after Janet’s initial phone call, Ed and Lorraine arrived and immediately went about the
that never walked the Earth in human flesh; this entity was a demon and had been invited to live on the land by some unknown offense that occurred many years earlier. It had lain dormant for many years but was awakened by the devout religious beliefs of the Smurl family. The Smurls were understandably shaken by this news and asked the ghost hunters how they could rid their home of the evil presence. Ed advised the family what they needed was a blessing and, perhaps, an exorcism. The Smurls stated that they had tried to seek the help of their church, but their priest had treated them as if they were crackpots. Ed told the frightened family that he knew of a priest who could help, but it would take a few weeks for him to open up his schedule. In the meantime, Ed would have investigators come and stay with the family to gather evidence. Awaiting the Exorcist While in the Smurl home, investigators gathered a large amount of evidence of the spiritual entities present. On many occasions, when religious music was played in the home,
the demon responded by shaking the home to its foundation and throwing objects around the house. Two young investigators present also captured dozens of EVPs, orbs, and anomalous streaks of light. After the investigators presented Ed with the irrefutable evidence of a presence in the home, Ed advised the Smurls that Bishop Robert McKenna would soon arrive to rid the home of the wicked spirit. The line had been drawn, and a holy war was soon to be played out. When Bishop McKenna arrived, he immediately called the demon out and went to battle on behalf of the Smurls. The Warrens would later report that after Bishop McKenna performed several rounds of the Ancient Rites of Exorcism, the demon finally left the family. Its departure from the home was signaled by the smell of roses, which is reportedly a common occurrence when an exorcism proves to be successful. The horrible saga of the Smurl family and their dealings with an unearthly evil entity had now come to an end. Many researchers are very careful when examining a malevolent haunting, and understandably so after the Amityville episode. Over the years, many skeptics and researchers have claimed that the Smurl family hoaxed the entire episode. However, the Smurls never gained a dime from their reported experiences in their house in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. A book called The Haunted was written about the events, and a movie was made in the early 90s, but from what I understand the Smurls did not have much say in either the book or the movie. Basically, the Smurl family, like most who experience such phenomena, just want to be left alone.
100 Years After a Devastating Avalanche Took Their Lives, the “Spirits” of Wellington, Washington, Still Remain. Read One Investigator’s Account of How She Met . . . “The Ghosts of Wellington.”
Book Now Available Online at January 2011 Paranormal Underground www.avalancheofspirits.com
Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?
The UFO Invasion of Halloween 1973 By John Lasker, http://store.theebooksale.com/science-fiction/technoir
t was just days away. Hundredsof-thousands of kids were preparing to hit the streets trick-or-treating on Halloween night, October 31st, 1973. But this year was different. Police and government officials across the American Midwest were on edge. It wasn’t a serial killer or poisoned candy they were sweating over. It was those strange lights in the night skies. Too many to count. Call after call kept coming in. People were scared to death, some even saying they saw “humanoids” out in a field. Heck, a U.S. Army helicopter over Ohio had been zapped in midair with a green beam just days ago. Those damn UFOS, some must have been thinking ... What did they want? Even the governor of Ohio, John J. Gilligan, had a close call with what he said was an amber-colored “vertical beam of light.” He had no choice but to tell America during an emotional press conference the UFO threat was real. “I saw one (UFO) the other night, so help me. I’m absolutely serious. I saw this,” he said. It didn’t end there. Members of Congress would also raise the alarm. “The increased sightings nation-
In October 1973, during a wave of UFO sightings, the Coyne Incident caught everyone by surprise. Pictured at left is an artist’s rendition of what witnesses on the ground saw during the event.
ally could lead to a state of panic and hysteria, and we ought to be concerned about it,” said U.S. Rep J. Edward Roush (D-Ind.) at the time. In the warehouse of history, the year 1973 holds a special place. In the United States, the Watergate investigation was slowly putting an end to Tricky Dick’s reign at the White House. In the Middle East, another war between Arabs and Jews raged in the Holy Land. And because America was pro-Israel, the nation’s oil supply was cut off by OPEC, which to this day is dominated by Arab nations. The embargo resulted in an energy crisis of epic
proportions: making 1973 the year of the endless line at the American gas pump. In Vietnam, American troops were slowly being sent home. In sports, four-legged mammoth Secretariat won the Triple Crown, while two-legged murderer-to-be OJ Simpson ran for 2,000 yards in a season, a first for the NFL. Most of these events are all major occurrences in human history, let alone American history — events so compelling that in fall 1973, they would banish an apparent invasion of the United States to the dustbin of historical obscurity. It was an
invasion that started in the American heartland and swept through the Deep South. An invasion not by communists or terrorists nor hippies or devout Christians, but something that is to this day still a mystery. A UFO Invasion Starting in early October, literally thousands of witnesses from Mississippi to Ohio scratched their heads in disbelief at the riddles in the night sky. But they were adamant about what they had seen: Strange bright lights and strange aircraft. Some witnesses even came upon midget-like humanoids who were landing in fields not far from the lights of Midwestern cities. And not all sightings occurred in the Earth’s atmosphere. According to the Associated Press, on October 19, two astronauts aboard the orbiting Skylab told superiors at NASA that they watched a mysterious reddisk pulsating out some distance. In one case, an Ohio sheriff, on an ink-stained late-October night, came too close to pulsating lights hovering over a graveyard on the edge of town. In Mississippi, two men were abducted by gray-skinned creatures with crab-like claws for hands, and they weren’t in costume. The abduction becomes a close encounter that rivals the Betty and
During the Coyne Incident, Capt. Lawrence J. Coyne and his crew of a UH-1H Army Reserve helicopter came into contact with a metallic, cigar-shaped ship — a UFO that was armed with a nasty green tracking beam.
“A tremendous uptick in landings and flybys in 1973, and mostly in the Midwest,” said William E. Jones, director of Mutual UFO Network’s (MUFON) most active chapters; the chapter belonging to the Buckeyes’ of Ohio. “It was an amazing time for UFOs.” Aging paper records, mostly from big city police departments based in the American Midwest, show that on some nights hundreds of calls were made reporting UFOs.
1973 was an amazing time for UFOs, according to MUFON’s William E. Jones. Barney Hill incident. And perhaps the most reliable UFO case of all time occurred during October 1973 — the Coyne Incident. It was an invasion perfect for the witching season. A classic UFO storm to spread the chills. Just as long as the invaders did not destroy the planet.
Many daily newspapers, during a time when most cities had two, were running article after article about the night ordinary people saw ... “that thing.” The national nightly news would soon sink their teeth into the invasion, as NBC, ABC, and CBS ran UFO stories. Even
the Godfather of broadcast news, Walter Kronkite, flew to the scene of a small, mid-American town to interview shaken witnesses. And from one tough governor to many humble home-bound moms, the witnesses from 1973 were more than credible. The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, the most respected UFOlogist group at the time, called the 1973 UFO wave “a flap.” They said UFOs “are back in force,” and the lull in sightings that stretched back to the 1950s was over. This flap reportedly was the inspiration behind Steven Speilberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But this Halloween story, like many horror stories of today, Jones pointed out, had a twist. “I met a veteran of the U.S. Army some time back; he proved this by showing me a valid card that said he was a former officer,” Jones said. “He told me he had an incredible story about 1973 to tell me.” The former graduate of West
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Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? Point was troubled that “he knew something” and needed to reveal it, says Jones, who has spent most of his adult life working for Battelle, a U.S. military defense contractor in Ohio which is believed to have assisted in reverse engineering debris from Roswell. The soldier’s tale would send a chill up Jones’ back. “He told me the U.S. Army earlier that year was in negotiations with some Grays. He was very matter-of-fact.” The invasion, this UFO swarm, was an orchestrated plan to get the attention of the U.S. government, according to the informant. “He said they weren’t getting anywhere with our Army.” And they wanted to make a point.
was headlining Circleville’s Pumpkin Festival, and the newspapers were jammed with stories about UFOs. Well-spoken about the subject, and also well-grounded, Hartinger is a chairman for his county’s parks commission. “Knowledge is not a matter of belief and desire; knowledge is a matter of evidence,” said Hartinger, who says he and his brother witnessed a UFO when they were in their late-teens. He calls it his “no doubter.”
ably to tell us, ‘Calm down. There’s more to life than annihilation.’” Here are some of the trick-ortreat points and displays they made:
April 1973 While it was a little early for Halloween, this single incident shows that you never know who or what may come knocking when you’ve seen a UFO. It was daytime in the small town of Milan, Indiana, and the owner of an auto parts shop and his friend were going about their business. Unexpectedly, two visitors entered the shop, and their ride didn’t need an oil change. One was very tall; the other squat with a long head. Both were very thin. They sported tan gloves and Another Witness to a tan suits that hung loosely UFO Flap on their frames. The owner Echoing what Jones had also reported that their faces looked like plastic. Their to say about October 1973 is Peter Hartinger, who runs the eyes were black and glossy. Roundtown UFO Society, or When they came into the RUFOS for short. Roundtown shop, the owner’s guard dog is in Circleville, Ohio, which is turned yellow and fled. The owner of the auto in central Ohio, a region conPictured above: In October 1973, Calvin Parker and sidered part of the epicenter of parts shop had snapped a Charles Hickson claimed to have been taken hostage by the 1973 UFO wave. couple photos of UFOs six extraterrestrials and forced onboard their apparent space Circleville earned its years earlier in 1967. craft. Local sheriffs and even the famed Dr. J. Allen Hynek namesake by having its street In a robotic tone, the of Project Blue Book firmly believed their Close Encounter visitors demanded he hand grid designed around a of a Fourth Kind to be legitimate. circular-shaped Native Amerithe photos over. MIBs or can earthwork or mound. It Men-in-Tan? They continued is a smallish, sharp, well-kept to demand the photographs. town, one that already is faHe refused and would be hounded by other strange incidents, mous in UFO lore. Two days before Like Jones, Hartinger feels the UFO invasion may have indeed and debunkers, years after. Roswell, U.S. military “weather balloons” fell out of the upper atmobeen a message, yet not to get the sphere and crashed near the city. attention of just the U.S. military but Early October 1973 The weather balloons, Hartinger the entire planet. Early that month, Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan was driving said, gave the U.S. military the “They may have been motivated,” said Hartinger about the back to Ohio from Ann Arbor, creative inspiration it needed for the Roswell cover-up. Grays. “I believe it was a display that Mich., when he reported seeing Hartinger, who’s been researchwas put on. We were close to World an amber-colored “vertical beam ing UFOs for 50 years, remembers War III (due to the Arab-Israel War of light,” as reported in the October 18th edition of the Columbus October 1973 very well. Pat Boone at the time). The display was prob-
Citizen-Journal. At the time of the sighting, he was asked to tell his UFO story on the Dick Cavett Show but refused. Yet during a press conference, he surprised the entire nation with his comments. “I saw this. It was not a plane. It was not a bird. It didn’t wear a cape. And I really don’t know what it was.” October 1973 The Deep South was seemingly under invasion as well. For instance, in Garland, Texas, a woman found a strange yellow “blob” growing and “pulsating” like a beating heart in her backyard. She ripped it open with a garden hoe, and it bled a purple sludge. Scientists figured it was a strange fungus. In Athens, Georgia, a silver eggshaped object landed on a road, and two small humanoids emerged from the craft. A human driver waved a gun at the creatures, and they retreated to their craft. In Falkville, Alabama, a police chief encountered a “man-thing” in a silver suit. In Pascagoula, Mississippi, two men, Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson, were fishing when a 100foot oblong-shaped craft descended out of the sky. Three gray-skinned creatures, each about five feet tall, with one leg and lobster claws for hands, confronted them and levitated the two men into their craft. Eventually, the men were let go. Later on, the two were left alone during a Sheriff’s interrogation, and their conversation was secretly taped. The subterfuge failed as their conversation clearly showed this was no hoax, or the two country boys were damn good at pulling one off. Several other sightings before and after the encounter by credible witnesses supported their story. Representing the U.S. Air Force, Dr. J. Allen Hynek of Project Blue Book
fame interviewed the two men and believed their story.
Mid-to-Late October 1973
Just days before tens-of-thousands of kids hit the streets seeking treats, local police described the city and region surrounding Cincinnati as a “mess” of UFO sightings. Police told the local media — which received many calls of its own — that they took 80 reports of sightings in one night.
peared as “orange- colored objects” and “blimp-shaped objects.” Some had “red lights around the rims with a blue flame — or flare — coming out of the bottom.” And last but certainly not least, in Muskingham County, Ohio, a sheriff was spooked by three glowing lights hovering over the local cemetery. The Coyne Incident But of all these incidents, even the apparent abduction of Calvin
“The Coyne incident stands out because of who the witnesses were.” One “hysterical and screaming woman” told authorities that an oblong craft with blinking lights killed two cows as it landed on her farm. Near the small town of Xenia, Ohio, three creatures with silver skin were spotted on U.S. 35. Police confronted them, but discovered the “creatures” were actually three teenagers pulling a prank by wrapping themselves in aluminum foil. The city of Reading, Ohio, went dark as it experienced several power outages; the local utility quickly blamed shoddy equipment. Near Cincinnati, Sgt. Hugh Oyer chased a white and yellow craft, later saying, “I never believed in UFOs until tonight.” Sheriff deputies near the state’s capital, Columbus, were swarmed with UFO reports for four straight nights. On one night, deputies said they had logged between 30 and 40 reports of shiny objects zig-zagging through the sky. In another part of Ohio, three counties worth, UFOs were described as “grayish discs with red and bluish- green lights”; others ap-
Parker and Charles Hickson, there is an incident from October 1973 that topped them all. Capt. Lawrence J. Coyne and his crew of a UH-1H Army Reserve helicopter came into contact with a metallic, cigar-shaped ship — a UFO that was armed with a nasty green tracking beam. Without question, the Coyne Incident is one of the most credible and mind-boggling cases in UFO history. The case’s witnesses were citizen soldiers who also had solid day jobs: Lt. Arrigo Jezzi, 26, a chemical engineer; Sgt. John Healy, 35, a police officer; Sgt. Robert Yanacsek, 23, a computer technician; and the 36-year-old Crew Chief Coyne, who had spent more than half his life flying helicopters for the Army. “The Coyne incident stands out because of who the witnesses were,” said Ohio MUFON’s Jones, who also investigated the incident. “As cases go, you don’t get much better than that.” It was 10:30 p.m. on October 18th, 1973, when Coyne’s 68-15444 Super Huey of the 316th Medical
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Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? Detachment stationed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport lifted off from Port Columbus (Ohio) airport. At the controls that night was Jezzi, and he ascended to 2,500 feet above sea level and started for home, roughly 100 miles to the northeast. According to Jenni Zeidman, a noteworthy UFO investigator who wrote a meticulous report on the incident, “The night was totally clear, calm, and starry. The last quarter moon was just rising.” Before the Coyne Incident, Zeidman spent many years working for Project Blue Book as an assistant to Dr. Hynek, the project’s lead civilian scientist. Hynek is famous for his “swamp gas” explanation for a UFO case, and as Hartinger of RUFOS likes to put it, “Hynek was being paid by the U.S. Air Force to debunk UFOs.” It has been reported that both Zeidman and Hynek were skeptical at first toward the extraterrestrial hypothesis. However, as their research
with Project Blue Book (1952–1970) moved ahead, they came to believe intelligent beings from another world were visiting Earth. There are also reports of Hynek quietly telling family and close friends that the U.S. military had retrieved “bodies” after “crashes.” When the Air Force dropped Project Blue Book, Hynek and Zeidman moved on to establish CUFOS, the Center for UFO Studies, which documented nearly 1,000 reports during October 1973, the highest amount ever recorded over a three-week period. CUFOS would also investigate a mouth-gaping 27 humanoid cases during the year. … At 11 p.m., as the Super Huey cut through the clear fall night, wrote Zeidman, “Yanacsek noted a single red light on the southeastern horizon.” Cue the creepy music. He kept a bead on the light for a “minute to 90 seconds.” The red light then started to make a line straight
Pictured above is an artist’s rendition of what Capt. Lawrence J. Coyne saw out the cockpit window of his 68-15444 Super Huey.
for the Super Huey. As Yanacsek called out, Coyne also saw “it.” Sensing impact was seconds away, he took the controls from Jezzi and promptly sent the helicopter into an evasive descent. Coyne radioed a nearby air control tower from the city of Mansfield. He sternly asked, “Do you have any high-performance aircraft in this area at 2,500 feet?” No reply. He tried again. Nothing. Then it hit them. Both UHF and VHF frequencies were dead, and the red light was getting awfully close. “Coyne increased his rate of descent to 2,000 feet per minute and his airspeed to 100 knots,” wrote Zeidman. Sometime during this maneuver, air controllers from the Mansfield Tower got through and acknowledged Coyne: “This is Mansfield Tower, go ahead Army 1-5-triple 4.” He couldn’t respond — the helicopter and his crew were headed for obliteration either by this unidentified thing or the ground. Zeidman wrote, “The last altitude Coyne noted was 1,700 feet. Just as collision appeared imminent, the unknown light halted and assumed a hovering relationship above and in front of the helicopter.” At 1,700 feet, the helicopter was paralyzed. The crew would later agree what “the unknown light” was, a cigar-shaped craft with no windows. “A featureless, gray, metallic-looking structure was precisely delineated against the background stars,” wrote Zeidman. The red light was positioned on the front cone nose of the ship. A sickly green light appeared emanating from the back of the UFO; a green light that quickly formed a cone-ish, searchlight appearance. A cone that began to
swivel toward the front of helicopter. Suddenly someone or something was deliberately flooding the cockpit with it. Figuratively, the crew turned green. Within seconds, the cigarshaped ship disengaged from the Super Huey. Jezzi reported that it headed northwest and “snapped out” over Lake Erie without a sound. But like a lot of good horror flicks of our day, and a lot of bad flicks for that matter, Coyne and crew were not out of the woods just yet. That’s when “Coyne noticed that the magnetic compass disk was rotating approximately four times per minute and that the altimeter read approximately 3,500 feet; a 1,000 foot-per-minute climb was in progress,” wrote Zeidman. Yet Coyne told investigators he still had the collective (or throttle stick), pressed forward in descent mode. He had no choice but to pull the collective back, even if it meant disaster. Miraculously, he gained control of the Super Huey at 3,800 feet. Zeidman wrote, “Coyne had been subliminally aware of the climb; the others not at all, yet they had all been acutely aware of the g-forces of the dive. The helicopter was brought back to the flight plan altitude of 2,500 feet, radio contact was achieved with Canton/Akron airport, and the night proceeded uneventfully all the way back to Cleveland.” As they flew, they realized the magnetic compass wasn’t working properly; it would soon be replaced. In fact, Coyne’s Super Huey would never be the same. Twenty years later during a televised interview, Healy said, “She was never any good after that. She was the hangar queen after that. The radios never worked after that. The navigation instruments. Nothing.” Just days after the incident,
Coyne spoke openly and confidently about what exactly happened. “It looked like a fighter plane coming straight for us. The light was traveling in excess of 600 knots. It came from the horizon to our aircraft in about 10 seconds. We were on a collision course. I took immediate evasive action. I cut the
one local paper near Cincinnati. “What are they up to?” The next morning he and the others were asked to draw what they had witnessed. They drew a cigar-shaped looking craft with a dome on top. In that same article, Rene Bouchard, who was on the ground that night, said she saw something
“We looked up and saw ... a big, gray, metallic-looking hull about 60 feet long.” power and dropped into a shallow dive. We dropped to 2,000 feet, and it was headed straight for us. We braced for impact.” But there was none. “We looked up and saw it stopped right over us. It had a big, gray, metallic-looking hull about 60 feet long. It was shaped like an airfoil or a streamlined fat cigar. (And) There was a red light on the front. The leading edge glowed red a short distance back from the nose. There was a center dome. A green light at the rear reflected on the hull.” Coyne was asked about the freakish ascent. “I had made no attempt to pull up,” he said. “All controls were set for a 20-degree dive. Yet we had climbed from 1,700 to 3,500 feet with no power in a couple of seconds with no g-forces or other noticeable strains.” Witnesses to the Coyne Incident In 2003, for the 30th anniversary of the event, a 56-year-old Jezzi would retell his story. He still wasn’t sure what it was. But his memory remained vivid. He said it was like no other aircraft he had ever witnessed. “The first thing I thought was those Commie bastards,” he told
in the same skies the Super Huey would fly through some 60 minutes later. The flying saucers had her and her brother searching the starry night in a nearby field. She remembers lying down in a grassy field for just a few seconds and then suddenly awakening to a tremendous, bright light. “That’s when we saw this brilliant white light. It was as bright as the sun.” They ran for their lives. Thirty years later, she told the newspaper she would be in that same field the night of the anniversary. In the immediate aftermath of the Coyne incident, UFO skeptic Philip Klass tried to discredit the case, saying the Coyne UFO was a “fireball of the Orionid meteor shower.” He and other critics said Coyne must have accidentally caused the helicopter to rise in altitude. “They said the pilot unknowingly moved the helicopter,” said Jones of MUFON. “Coyne said it felt like the object had control.” Hartinger of RUFOS likes to note that Coyne would later be promoted to Major. “They (the U.S. military) didn’t hold it against him,” he said. “A lot of military people would say to Coyne, ‘You’ve got to be nuts,’ but they didn’t. Promoting
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Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? him says a lot.” Corroborating Coyne and crew’s story would be several ground witnesses. In the months that followed, Jones found a family of five who also saw a cigar-shaped craft and a helicopter floating together some 500-feet over the tree tops. Earlier, the family was driving on a typical country road when two lights — one red, one green — made a B-line for their car. The mother, Erma DeLong, pulled over to the shoulder. The lights seemed as if they were heading straight for them, she told Jones. That’s when her set of twins, 13-year-old brothers, jumped from the car. Above the dark webs of thinning tree branches the twins saw what looked “like a blimp ... as big as a school bus.” The craft appeared to be hovering over the helicopter, attested members of the family. That’s when their world turned green. “It was like rays coming down.
The helicopter, the trees, the road, the car — everything turned green,” Ms. DeLong told Jones. The UFO invasion of 1973 offers a lot for those who want to believe that Earth is being visited by a superadvanced species. The Coyne Incident alone is worthy of mainstream attention and respect from both science and the media. And it has an entire host of smaller, lesser incidents propping it up. Arguably, the Coyne incident is the UFO case that could help win U.S. government disclosure. Was the Coyne Incident Caused by Humans and Not ET? The 1973 UFO frenzy that swept the green and gold flatlands of the Midwest can be countered with some disproving evidence that suggests the entire “invasion” may have been of a human kind — conducted from, oddly enough, a U.S. Air Force base with an infamous UFO history: WrightPatterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. And to best understand what
The UFO invasion of 1973 offers a lot for those who want to believe that Earth is being visited by a super-advanced species. The Coyne Incident alone is worthy of mainstream attention and respect from both science and the media.
goes on there, a check of the base’s Website is revealing: “Today, as in the early 1900s, Wright-Patterson is where weapon systems of the future are conceived, tested, modified, and tested again until worthy of acceptance as part of the most responsive deterrent force in the history of military aviation. Yesterday-TodayTomorrow. That is what WrightPatterson is all about. A heritage of a legendary past spurs aerospace logisticians, engineers, and scientists in a quest to ‘keep ’em flying’, faster, higher, further, and safer than man has ever flown before.” Wright-Patt, as the locals call it, is believed to secretly house the flying saucer that wrecked at Roswell in 1947, shipped there with bodies by a B-29 bomber and stored in Hangar 18. UFO folklore also says a second UFO — one that crashed in Aztec, New Mexico, in 1948 — is there, along with the craft’s 16 dead shipmates. What’s more, Wright-Patt was home to Project Blue Book, the Air Force’s investigation of UFOs, which coincidently was initiated in 1947. “Ground Zero” of the UFO flap 1973 is easily just 30 to 40 miles east of Wright-Patt, which is located in Southwest Ohio. Eighty to 100 calls a night about strange lights were being logged from there. The Coyne Incident happened 150 miles to the northeast. Thus, most of the “flap” occurred in the same area that an armada of U.S. Air Force aircraft was heading, day-after-day, beginning October 14th, 1973. Could it be that all those witnesses were looking at ships and crafts from this world? On October 6, 1973, the Yom Kippur War erupted. The Arabs — mainly Egypt and Syria, but with help from 10 other Arab nations such as Iraq — wanted to annihilate
Israel for good. The fourth ArabIsrael war started with the Arab’s surprise two-pronged invasion on the holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur. Along a broad front, the Egyptians crossed over the Suez Canal with Soviet made T-55 and T-62 tanks. In the air, they flew Russian Mig-21s. To the west, the Syrians invaded the Golan Heights, which is close to Tel Aviv, sending 1,400 Soviet tanks into battle. After gains made by the Arabs, however, the Israelis held strong; their American weapons winning a stalemate. Nevertheless, seeing the apocalypse on the horizon, the U.S. government capitulated to the desperate Jewish state, which was threatening to unleash a dozen 20-kiloton nuclear missiles onto to Egyptian and Syrian targets. On October 13, 1973, President Nixon ordered the Air Force to begin Operation Nickel Grass — an air lift of weapons, ammunition, tanks, and other supplies. Hopefully, the arms and supplies would help keep Israel from lighting-up a number of huge Arab cities, which no doubt would bring about a global holocaust. Within hours of orders, air bases across the United States, including Wright-Patt, were buzzing on a mission that would last from October 14th to mid-November. U.S. Air Force planes stuffed with equipment were soon flying over the Atlantic, stopping only in Portugal for more fuel, and then racing down the middle of the Mediterranean Sea to Israel. All told, Operation Nickel Grass resulted in 567 missions carrying close to 22,000 tons of cargo. A percentage were flown out of Wright-Patt, one of the largest air bases in the world. Missions had the aircraft heading east out of Wright-Patt, directly over areas where UFO sightings had
In John Lasker’s book, TECHNOIR: 13 Investigations From the Darkside of Technology, the US Military, and UFOs, coverage includes some of the most impressive UFO cases to date.
reached a boil. Some of the planes involved were C-141 StarLifters, which simply look like oversized passenger jets. Another heavily used plane was the C-5 Galaxy; again, nothing more than an extra large cargo jet. The Egyptians caught on their radar a craft at high altitude moving at a tremendous speed over their troops, but it wasn’t flying from Ohio or from a distant corner of the universe. Later, the U.S. Air Force would admit it was their sleek SR-71 spy plane, conducting surveillance for the Israelis. But what about saucer-shaped or cigar-shaped craft? The kind that can take over the flight of a Super Huey with an apparent green tracking beam? Was the Air Force using Operation Nickel Grass as a cover to conduct secret flight tests of classified aircraft?
Witnesses and Evidence Make a Compelling Case for the Coyne Incident In an interesting side note, Coyne decided to check on the radio transmissions he had made with the Mansfield air-control tower. What Coyne found is a bit eye-opening. The Mansfield Tower had no recorded tape of the response they made to Coyne. There was no explanation as to how this happened. It was a mystery. Was the transmission deliberately erased? And if so, by whom? “I can’t believe that,” quipped Hartinger with deep sarcasm. He said the obvious sabotaging on the part of human hands “gives credit to the case.” Like so many past UFO “flaps” or waves, the evidence left behind is simply mind-bending. In the case of the Halloween UFO invasion of 1973, the gray aliens gave believers one of the greatest UFO encounters of all time — the Coyne Incident. But why this invasion? To make peace among Earthlings as Hartinger suggested? Or could it be, as Jones suggested, that the Grays used the Super Huey as a “trick” in order to convince the U.S. Army and government to give up the “treats”? And, if so, what on Earth would those be? According to the late Kenny Young, a renowned UFO investigator, “The unusual aerial events happening during the October 1973 time-period remains one of the most fascinating of all UFO happenings, an intense and disturbing siege that no dismissive hypothesis or explanatory venture will easily rob of its strangeness.”
This article is an excerpt from John Lasker’s book, “TECHNOIR: 13 Investigations From the Darkside of Technology, the US Military, and UFOs.” To read more from John’s book, visit http://store.theebooksale. com/science-fiction/technoir.
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Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files
A Night at the Museum By Karen Frazier
’ve lived in the small town of Chehalis, Washington, for nearly eight years. Given my passionate interest in the paranormal, it’s almost shocking that I never managed to visit the Lewis County Historical Museum, one of Chehalis’ most notorious haunts, until just this past month. I’ve known about the museum for quite some time. It’s difficult not to, given how well-known it is among members of the community. I drive past it nearly daily, and for almost eight years the voices of people in town who know that I write paranormal stuff have echoed in my head as I’ve driven past. “You need to visit the Lewis County Historical Museum,” they’ve all been telling me for years. “It’s really haunted.” And yet, apparently, I am a procrastinator by nature; however, after eight short years, I finally managed to step foot in what many believe is Lewis County’s most haunted site. My First Visit My first visit to the converted train depot isn’t an official investigation. Instead, my friend Lori Nelson of South Sound Paranormal Research (SSPR) has invited me for a party. Along with people that I really enjoy, the party has two other draws, as well. Cake and ghosts. Although Jim and I are exhausted because we were up all night last
The Lewis County Historical Museum is one of Chehalis, Washington’s most notorious haunts. Paranormal investigator Karen Frazier recently had a chance to investigate the location with South Sound Paranormal Research.
night investigating the Skykomish Hotel in Skykomish, Washington, with our group, Northwest Paranormal Investigation Agency (NWPIA), we head out planning to spend about an hour at the museum. It turns out to be more like three hours. Jim and I enter through the museum’s front door and listen for the sounds of human voices. As we follow the voices, I pass a recessed display on my right and immediately go cold. It’s like a Spidey sense hit. Something in that display reaches out chilling tentacles and wrap them around my insides. Looking in the display, I’m
pretty sure it is the “mom” mannequin. There is something that is not right about that woman — at all. A few feet past the mannequin, the feeling subsides. But only for a few feet. This time, the chill comes from my left — from an all-Americanlooking mannequin sitting at a desk dressed as a telegrapher. I give him wide berth. As I eat my cake, I tell SSPR’s Patty Valdez about the two creepy hits on the way in, trying carefully not to talk with my mouth full. “Oh yeah,” she says casually, “Those two mannequins creep out a lot of people.”
Pictured above are museum saddles that elicited an uneasy response from investigators, a display in the Mulford’s Department Store, and part of the museum’s train display.
At the party, I meet the museum’s executive director, Debbie Knapp, who also happens to investigate the paranormal with Paranormal Investigations of Historic America. I ask Debbie about the two mannequins and she says, “That’s kind of funny. Those two mannequins are much older than the others we have in the museum.” After I’ve had some cake and the party has cleared out of nonparanormal folks, Lori, Debbie, and Patty take me on a tour of the museum. We head upstairs to the attic and look around. There is one spot in the attic — near a bunch of saddles — that causes my Spidey sense to rise again. Frankly, I want to run, but I hold strong. There’s a definite heaviness surrounding those saddles. As Patty explains exactly what happens in the area (please see “Haunting and History at the Lewis
I’m hesitant to say anything in case someone’s just wearing stinky perfume, but when I do, Lori tells me that is a common phenomenon in the attic. Thankfully, no ghost whaps me in the head for using “stinky” and “geezer-like” as descriptors for her perfume. As the group moves back down the stairs, I stay in the attic alone, drawn to the saddles. I’ve just started playing with the Ovilus application on my iPhone, pretty much believing it is a toy, but I want to test it out by the saddles. As I turn on my iPhone, the shelves that hold the saddles start to sway a little. I reach up to touch a bar along the top of the shelves to see if it is, indeed, swaying (it is), and as I do, the Ovilus pops out a single word. “Bar.” Huh. The group gathers to do an impromptu EVP session, because someone has reported hearing a
“I hear voices from down the hall. Since we are the only ones in the museum, that seems odd.” County Historical Museum” on page 26 of this issue), there is a distinct sound on the window behind her. Next, Patty leads us through the attic’s aisles, and I notice the really cloying scent of little old lady perfume. I’m a pretty polite person, and
child’s voice coming from behind a closed crawl space door. After a few minutes, however, my exhaustion gets the better of me and I actually fall asleep standing up. Not wanting to pass out in front of a group of people, I gather Jim and we head home.
The next day, Lori contacts me and tells me that just after I left, a pencil flew at the group from down one of the aisles. I always miss the good stuff. It was probably just the ghost protesting my absence. My Second Investigation Fortunately, Patty has invited me back for a more formal SSPR investigation. The group is pretty casual at the museum, Patty explains, because they’ve investigated it so many times. Also joining SSPR for tonight’s investigation is Black Wolf Paranormal (BWP). As we sit in the break room and have a little pizza before investigating, I keep hearing voices from down the hall. Since we are the only ones in the museum, that seems a little odd. As I listen to the voices, Patty is watching shadows flit. She hears the voices too, so they aren’t in my head. This time. “I’m ignoring them,” Patty says. When it is time to investigate, we go in teams. Two members of BWP and two members of SSPR head out into the museum while I sit in the break room with Patty, Lori, and Billi from SSPR. Patty and I start playing with the Ovilus iPhone application, which keeps repeating the same cycle of words before going entirely quiet. I’m pretty sure I still think it is a toy.
Paranormal Underground 47
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files
Pictured above at left in the museum’s Native American room are Debbie Knapp, the museum’s executive director, and Kathy Gavin, the Lewis County Historical Society president. Above at right are South Sound Paranormal Research team members.
At one point, the Ovilus ap says, “Jim,” followed by “hurt,” and I briefly wonder if Jim is okay before I realize that it’s just a toy. Or is it? More on that in a bit. When the other group returns, they report hearing a disembodied child’s voice in the attic, but little other activity. Our group wanders through the museum, ultimately making our way upstairs where the majority of activity seems to occur. As we sit to do an EVP session where SSPR experienced the pencil toss, Patty tosses a glow stick on the floor and says, “Make it move.” Others watch the glow stick and see it move. Me? Not so much, but I have terrible eyesight and I’m too vain to wear my glasses regularly. After a few minutes, I am suddenly freezing — but only on my right hand and arm. It as if those two parts of me are in the refrigerator, and the rest of me is still in a warm room. At the same time, I smell that same cloying perfume I noticed on my first visit, and others smell it too. For the next 20 minutes, the perfume smell comes and goes. When it comes, the cold comes with it. It’s definitely very interesting. During that time, I sniff every-
one around me to see if they are the smelly ones, and they do the same to me. That, my friends, is definitely one of the more glamorous aspects of being an investigator. Where else but on a paranormal investigation would it be socially acceptable to lean close and smell your friends? Nowhere, that’s where! The other team joins us in the attic, and we all sit quietly. The attic has many random sounds, but it is difficult to distinguish them from sounds of the attic’s ventilation system. Aside from the perfume and the cold, which keeps occurring intermittently, it’s relatively quiet. Finally, we all get up and wander around. Lori stops and notices a teacup swaying on a shelf. It is the only thing on the shelf moving. I try repeatedly to get the teacup to move again by jumping up and down, knocking on the shelf, and walking with heavy footsteps. The teacup doesn’t budge. We head downstairs to the main area of the museum where the two mannequins that previously creeped me out continue to do so. Before I mention how creepy they are, both the members of BWP also comment on the odd sensation they get from them.
As we’re sitting in the break room after our meander through the museum, there is a loud thunk in one corner of the room, as if someone has shifted some of the items stored behind a partition. When we look, no one is there. At about midnight, we wrap up for the evening. When I get home, my freshly injured husband greets me, walking toward me with a pronounced limp and a grimace. Suddenly, the words “Jim” and “hurt” pop back into my mind, as well as my fleeting thought that maybe they actually meant something and I should call him. It seems that about the same time that the Ovilus was producing dire warnings about Jim being hurt, Jim tripped over a puppy and smashed his leg into the corner of the coffee table, an injury that continues to haunt him nearly three weeks later. Can’t really explain that one, other than coincidence. Not bad for a toy. My two visits to the museum have left me intrigued, and I hope that SSPR will invite me again. Although I haven’t had a definitive paranormal experience there, nor have I captured any interesting audio or images, I’d like to investigate more just to see what happens.
TECHNOIR: 13 Investigations From the Darkside of Technology, the US Military and UFOs is loaded with stories the mainstream media are too scared to cover!
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“Investigative Journalism at its Best!” —Canadian Dimension magazine of the January press. 2011 Paranormal Underground alternative news
Flick the Lights Excerpt From Visits From Heaven by Josie Varga
his personal experience comes from author and investigator Josie Varga’s book, Visits From Heaven. In her book, Josie has collected amazing personal accounts of afterlife communication. These inspirational stories come from contributors across the globe. In “Flick the Lights,” Josie’s cousin Maria Campanella recounts an incredible story about Josie’s Uncle Tony.
“I walked over to the window and stared across the street at Barry’s house. All of a sudden, his porch light flicked on and off. I stared in disbelief but thought it was just a coincidence. Then, again, his porch light flicked on and off. My heart was racing as I remembered my words to Barry: “Flick the lights.”
***** On November 16, 2003, my father died after a long two-year battle with glioglastoma, the most common form of brain cancer in adults. Three weeks later, I went to the hospital to have a colonoscopy. While I was under anesthesia, I had a dream or what I now know was a “visit from Heaven.” I saw my father; he appeared in such high spirits and was sporting a broad smile. He said, “Maria, why are you so sad? Look how happy I am. I’m here with everybody. Don’t feel sad for me. We are all happy.” He opened his arms wide, motioning to the people around a long table behind him. There I noticed many of my deceased relatives, including three of my uncles: Carmine, Angelo, and Pellegrino. They were
all sitting around a table, eating and enjoying each other’s company. Then I noticed there was an empty chair at the table and wondered why it was there. I felt as though my father wanted me to pay attention to the empty chair. Once I did, I heard the sound of the nurse’s voice trying to wake me up. I remember not wanting to wake up. I felt so peaceful and calm. I felt such warmth and love, and I wasn’t
ready to let go yet. It was as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. But I reluctantly woke up, and after a brief recovery, my husband drove me home. When I arrived home, I was told that my neighbor Barry had passed away that same day. I was stunned. Could this have been the meaning of the empty chair? Barry had been suffering from melanoma. Even though there was a 23-year age
difference, he and my father had become friends as their cancers had created a special bond between them.
Again his porch light flicked on and off. This time, I felt overwhelmed and quickly ran back upstairs to bed. The following night, I was not surprised to wake up at exactly 3:00 a.m. for the third night in a row. This time I was anxious to make my way over to the window. I now had no doubt that Barry was communicating with me. Sure enough, his porch light flicked on and off as I stared in amazement. At this point, I prayed and told Barry that I knew this was a sign from him and that I was sure he and my father were OK.
***** Before explaining what happened next, I need to go back two weeks prior to this day. Barry showed up at my front door and told me, “Maria, this is the last time you will be seeing me.” I was surprised and said, “Oh, come on, Barry; you are going to be fine.” But he insisted that he would not be getting better. He told me that he was leaving to take his children on a trip to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. The following ***** week he returned from this fateful trip by ambulance only The following night, I to be welcomed by hospice. slept like a baby. I did not During this time, I went wake up at 3:00 a.m. I never over to his house to see him, saw his porch light flicker on and he seemed lifeless as and off again, but I didn’t he lay unresponsive in the need to. I was now a believer. hospital bed, which had been I had asked Barry for a sign, In Visits From Heaven, author and investigator Josie placed in his living room. I and he gave me one. I’m sure Varga has collected amazing personal accounts of walked over to him, rememafterlife communication. Barry was welcomed by my bering this scene all too well, father and is now seated at having just lost my father. that table in a chair that was thoughts of my father and Barry. I leaned close to him, and for once vacant. I walked over to the window and some reason I cannot explain, I teleMany months later, I was stared across the street at Barry’s pathically communicated with him, speaking to Barry’s wife and asked house. All of a sudden, his porch saying, “Barry, when you get over her if she happened to have a molight flicked on and off. I stared in to the Other Side, send me a sign tion sensor light for her porch. Her disbelief but thought it was just a that you and my father are alright. response shook the very core of my coincidence. Then, again, his porch Flick the lights.” I have no idea why being. “No,” she replied. “In fact, light flicked on and off. My heart I chose this method of communicathe porch light hasn’t had a bulb for was racing as I remembered my tion, but it was the first thing that years.” words to Barry, “Flick the lights.” came to my mind. This was yet another validation I quickly dismissed the thought that those in Heaven work in myste***** and went back to bed feeling a bit rious ways. unnerved. The next night I still On the night of his death, the same day as my colonoscopy, I could not sleep. I found myself tossing and turning and finally decided to get out of bed noticing that it was just 3:00 a.m. I made my way downstairs as my mind flooded with
could not sleep, and when I turned to look at my alarm clock, I was surprised to find that it was once again 3:00 a.m. As the night before, I made my way downstairs and over to my window to look at Barry’s house.
To read more from Josie’s book “Visits From Heaven” or to contact Josie, visit www.josievarga.com and www.amazon.com/Visits-HeavenJosie-Varga/dp/0876044992.
Paranormal Underground 51
Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel By Rob St.Helen, West Coast Ghost Hunters
ello, and happy New Year to you all! So as some of you know, I work at a haunted hotel here in Portland, Oregon. January and February are very slow months for just about any hotel, no matter what state the economy may be in. For the first two months this year, we have two floors completely shut down: the fourth and fifth floors. Recently, one of my coworkers took some luggage up to room 510 on the fifth floor for some guests, who had headed straight to the restaurant for some food and drinks before heading up to their room for the night. My coworker was using a bell cart to transport five or six big bags, which weighed quite a bit. The cart was not easy to push. As she reached room 510, she opened the door, propped it open, and carried in the first set of luggage. As she looked back into the hall, she saw the luggage cart move about an inch. Now, room 510 is pretty much smack dab in the middle of the floor. My coworker was only two or three feet away from the door, easily well within range to hear anyone walking by or kids running up or down the hall. When she peeked outside the door, she saw a black shadow against
Pictured above is the hotel’s fifth floor, which is home to strange and unusual paranormal activity. (Picture by Jennifer Parker of West Coast Ghost Hunters)
the wall, but no one was around to cast the shadow. The shadow was in the same area where the bell cart was nudged or moved. *****
Fast forward to a different coworker working in the same room on a different time, day, and month. As she delivered some dry cleaning to the room, she heard the coat hangers being moved around in the closet as she knocked on the door. There was no answer, so she continued to knock — a bit harder this time. She continued to hear the hangers being moved around. By this time, she thought maybe the people inside the room were hard of hearing, so she decided to go ahead and open the door and do what she had to do. When she opened the door, a push of very cold air flowed through her. No one was in the room. She took one step in the room, hung up the clothing, and shut the door. Needless to say, I am a bit excited that we have the two floors shut down right now for the next two months. There are plenty of “active” rooms on both floors, and I want to get into these areas, set up cameras and voice recorders, and see what can be caught. Next month, I will share some stories about the fourth floor of The Heathman Hotel. If you have any questions, please feel free to write me at rsthelen@ westcoastghosthunters.com. I hope you all have a wonderful January!
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Paranormal Underground 53
Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial
The Dark Side of the Paranormal By John “Jack” Kenna, SPIRITS of New England (SoNE)
lmost every investigator in the paranormal field today, including myself, has been drawn into it because they either had their own personal experience, wanted to have their own experience, had a love of the unexplained, were influenced by other investigators they had seen on TV or met in person, or influenced by the Hollywood movies they had seen as kids. Most, if not all of us, came into this field with the same good intentions: to help further the field of paranormal studies and try to help others who were experiencing things that they just could not find a rational explanation for — things that chilled and frightened them to their core; things that could not and cannot be totally explained, even today, by the accepted modern sciences. Paranormal investigators have been and continue to be a very unique, unconventional, and extremely diverse group of people. We come from all walks of life, all backgrounds, all education levels, all ethnicities, and from all parts of the world. It is our diversity that makes us strong, and it is that same diversity that can, at times, tear us apart. It has been and always will be
Not only does “para-drama” hurt the paranormal community, but the “manufacturing” of evidence tarnishes our worthy field of study.
a two-edged sword, as with diversity comes diverse and often clashing ideas, methodologies, opinions, and viewpoints. The Pitfalls of the Paranormal Community Now, none of what I just mentioned is a bad thing, at least not in
and of itself. The true “pitfalls” here in the paranormal community are not the ideas, opinions, or viewpoints we all have, but how each of us treats those that do not agree with us. How we react when someone offers a counter opinion or viewpoint to our own, or how we talk negatively about someone because of the success they are having (or their lack of success for that matter), is where we often do the most harm — not only to each other, but to this field of study which we are a part of. We can be a very jealous, envious, and hurtful lot when we choose to be. And trust me; it’s not a pretty sight. Within our community it is referred to as para-drama, and in many cases can be as bad as what you see or read about high school kids doing to each other these days — and these are adults I’m discussing here. Don’t get me wrong, we are not the only group of people out there that act this way. Believe me when I tell you that I have worked in the engineering and scientific community for more than 26 years, and I have seen this same behavior in these fields of work as well. The big difference, and in my opinion “problem,” is that unlike some of these other
more “established” fields of scientific study and professionals, we tend to wear our hearts on our sleeves, so to speak. We post our outrages and our hurtful and harmful statements and opinions on Facebook, Twitter, and every other means of social network media out on the Internet that we can find, for everyone in the world to see. Instantly posting our unfounded and/or thoughtless opinions, which are usually based in anger or jealousy, as statements of fact. We do this without thought given to the consequences of our actions, not just to those that we have something against, but also without thought to the consequences to ourselves and the paranormal community as a whole. Any of us who have spent any amount of time in this field have seen what I’m talking about here. We have seen the reputations, and in some cases careers, of individuals in our field ruined within a day because of an unfounded and unsubstantiated rumor that someone has posted about them. Some are just as quick to jump on the band wagon with a gang mentality to help spread the rumors, taking what was said as the truth without even discussing it or questioning the source from where the rumors came. Fabrication of Evidence Harms the Community This is not the only problem currently plaguing our paranormal community. There is something even darker and more harmful lurking out there. Something that we all have started to see occurring more often in recent years. The “manufacturing” of evidence by unscrupulous so-called “investigators” is nothing new mind you. It has gone on in this field of study since it was first founded, and it occurs for the same
reasons now as it did in the beginning: to feed ego and try and capture fame and fortune. What did you say? You don’t believe that anyone is in this field to gain fame and fortune? Think again. True, there are a few, a very
their followers, clients, and other investigators who work in this field of study. So what, you may say. Who cares what a handful of untrustworthy people may be doing. The answer is simple: We should all care
“We need to create a true organization of professionals with codes of conduct and a standard of ethics.” few, in the paranormal community who have gained some type of fame and success from their work. We all know who these individuals are, and in my own opinion they have earned their success through their hard work and years of dedication to this field of study. These people have done more than their share to advance the paranormal sciences into becoming a much more accepted scientific field by the general public. They did not and do not “seek” fame and success. That was never their intention. But through their hard work, dedication, and perhaps a little luck, it found them. I’m not just talking about the people you see on TV either. I’m talking about many others who have authored books, led lectures, and worked and sacrificed for years. Through this work, some have become icons in our field of work. There are those, though, who have tried to take a shortcut. They have tried to turn this field into their own private “cash cow” by creating evidence and trying to pass it off as real evidence of the paranormal. They do this just like the old fake fortune tellers did. They create false photos, videos, EVPs, and other false evidence during investigations, especially during their so-called “haunted tours” or on their Internet videos, in order to try and impress
because we are all affected by what they do! Here again, through the Internet and social networks, they instantly distribute their creations to the world, not giving any thought to the inevitable negative impact to our paranormal community and to the credibility of our field of work. Every time a new fraud is exposed, the hardcore skeptics and those who hate, yes hate, the paranormal community use it as an opportunity to stand on their soap box and shout to the world how this proves that we are ALL frauds and the paranormal is nothing but a sham. The Paranormal Field Relies on Personal Accountability So what should and what can we do about it? I personally believe that we need to start by each of us doing more oversight of ourselves and the teams that we belong to. We need to create a true organization of professionals with codes of conduct and a standard of ethics. We need to stop being jealous of the success of others and start working together to advance this field of work into one that is respected and accepted as a legitimate science. It’s all just a pipe dream and wishful thinking, you say? Perhaps. But didn’t all great discoveries and great advancements in history just start off as someone’s dream?
Paranormal Underground 55
Fiction: Featured Author
The Seduction of Damnation By Michael Kleen
he deep, but quiet pond rested near a cluster of four ancient oak trees behind the white, three-story Victorian house. The house itself was accentuated by dark green trim that lined the edges of every window, door, and trellis. The black shingles that covered the roof had cracked under the assault of many seasons, and the paint pealed everywhere the sun reached. Most of the green, clapboard shutters were open, allowing the afternoon light to penetrate the narrow windows. A few yards away, beyond the small grove of black oaks and the pond, lay a thick wood that had been on the property for at least two centuries. The pond’s only confidant, a young woman who was dressed in a plain blue dress, sat beside its stone edges. Tender breezes occasionally blew softly against her long black hair, causing small strands to come out of place and go in any direction, while she reclined in the tall grass, propping herself up by her elbow. Her shoulders sagged like the weight of the world rested on them. She was an only child in a family that had everything. Her father had inherited a fortune, along with her grandfather’s mining company, and spent most of his days in his office. Her family lived far away
from civilization, on the outskirts of a small Pennsylvania mining town. Consequently, her only friends had been the tutor who had instructed her as a little girl and the playmates she had imagined into existence. But that was years before, and it had been weeks since her parents had even had a visitor. She sighed and stared at the reflection in the cool water. Her face was still young, but it was pale and tired. The black rings under her eyes contrasted with her almost milky
white skin. Her eyes stared back at her from just below the surface of the pond — green, jade green that seemed to cut into the otherwise clear water. The young woman watched the small, golden fish dart around so contently and playfully. They frolicked in their unrestricted world, unaware of the bigger world away from their sanctuary. There they found plenty of seaweed, rocks, and small caverns to keep them busy for the entirety of their short lives.
She watched as some fish schooled together, while others floated in place, gently moving their fins back and forth. One of these appeared to stare back at her. She smiled at it meekly before tapping the water with her finger. Ripples distorted her reflection, and the fish vanished behind the rocks and shadows. The young woman sighed and wished that she were one of the fish in the pond. ***** “Abigail!” a distant call sounded. The young woman’s eyes fell downward, gazing at the blades of grass that she played with in her trembling hands. Her shoulders sunk lower. “Abby!” the cheery voice sang again. “Coming, mother!” the young woman shouted with agitation in her voice. She rose slowly, with so much weariness in her movements that she almost stumbled. The shadows from the oak trees covered her as she glided under them toward the house. Occasionally a leaf fell, descending alone to its final resting place on the grass. The wind picked up her thin hair and tossed it around as she walked. She quickly passed a lone willow tree that stood sentinel just a few feet behind her house, while an iron swing, which was erected beneath it, creaked in the wind. The willow’s long ropes swayed toward her as she went by, gently brushing up against the fabric of her dress. The white, wooden porch loomed before her. Its pillars rose high in the air, touching the slate overhang far above. Directly above that was the rounded window, shutters drawn, which looked out upon the yard from her bedroom. Abigail placed her hand on the wooden railing, which was festooned
with ivy, and her shoes clicked with each step on the stone as she pulled herself toward the door. The curtains danced from the inside of the open windows, waving at her as she reached for the iron door handles. She swung one of the two doors wide open, revealing the lavishly drab sitting parlor. Her father sat in a red chair reading a book and smoking his
echoed with a disgusted sound before turning back to the stove. Abigail swiftly climbed the stairs to the second floor. During the day, windows in the individual rooms kept them well lit, but even on the brightest afternoon the hallway was dark, apart from the narrow beams of light that spilled out from the doorways. Though it was only about 15 yards long, the hallway seemed
What Abigail saw in the moonlight excited her curiosity. favorite pipe just outside of the short foyer. He was relatively young, but showed signs of ageing. During the hours when he wasn’t working, his seriousness was never broken except for an occasional dry joke about local politics. “Where’s mother?” Abigail asked tonelessly. Her father pointed in the direction of the kitchen with his pipe. Abby followed the imaginary line through the door to her mother, who stood next to their wrought iron stove. She was bent over, feeding wood into its fiery mouth. Her stained apron and dress bunched on the floor. “What?” Abby demanded when she arrived in the kitchen. Her mother stood up and put both hands on her hips. “You know, I can’t remember,” she said in a tart voice, before immediately turning sour. “For Heaven’s sake, stop looking so dreary,” she lectured. Abigail rolled her eyes, and to the best of her ability, marched out of the room. Her mother turned toward the sitting parlor. “When are we getting a maid?” she yelled. “This housework is killing me.” A dismissive grunt came in response, and the woman
to go on forever until it stopped abruptly at the entrance to her bedroom. There was an eerie silence as Abigail slowly walked toward it. She knew that once she was inside, nothing could follow her. Her bedroom was her sanctuary, sparsely littered with furniture from every stage of her life. Her bed was small and neatly made, with an ornate brass frame and a silk canopy suspended from the tips of the end pieces, high above her head. There was an old rocking chair facing the round window where she spent hours looking out onto the yard. The only other furniture was an oak desk, on which were the various literature assignments that she slaved over during the long evenings. The walls of the room were white, but stained with a light layer of dust, as were the lacy curtains. At first she tried studying, but boredom followed by exhaustion soon overcame her as the words on her paper began to jumble together. The air was so stale, so still, that her mind went numb and she collapsed onto her bed, where she was quickly ushered to sleep. *****
Paranormal Underground 57
Fiction: Featured Author It was dark when Abby awoke. She had no way of knowing what time it was, so she stared at the ceiling, her mind like Locke’s empty cabinet. All the while, she had the vague recollection that it had been the barking of dogs that woke her. In her groggy state, it took a few moments to remember that her family did not own, and had never owned, any dogs. She swung out of bed and rushed over to the window. What she saw in the moonlight excited her curiosity. A young man, probably 19 or 20, appeared to be running frantically through her yard, fleeing from what looked like a pack of dogs. She could almost hear him gasping for breath. Several times he fell, and it seemed as though the beasts would overtake him, but he would always get away. He ran through the grove of oak trees and under the giant willow, its hanging branches whipping him as he went. He ran around the porch and finally hid in the garden shed. The dogs bayed furiously, a devilish look in their eyes, while saliva sprayed from their mouths. They tore at the earth under the shed, frantically trying to get at the man inside. It seemed strange that all the while this was going on, her house was completely silent. Her parents hadn’t heard a thing. Finally, the hounds ceased their wailing and paced around the shed. A second man appeared in the shadows among the grove of trees. Abigail couldn’t see his face, but she could see that he hid himself with a long black coat. Upon his appearance, the dogs scurried away. Then the man, and the strange scene,
vanished into the darkness as mysteriously as they had arrived. Abby wasn’t the kind of girl to be shocked easily, and her curiosity often got the better of her. It was because of this that she decided she would go out to the shed in the early morning to find out who that strange man had been and why the dogs were chasing him. Her heart beat furiously, and she hardly got any more
sleep as the hours ticked by. Her eyes strained in the darkness, trying to keep watch on the lonely shed, but they soon got heavy once again, and she slowly nodded off to sleep. ***** This time she awoke to the pleasant sound of birds chirping. The sun had not yet come up, but its
orange rays were creeping above the horizon. Remembering the events of the night before, she decided that now was the best time to go look for the strange man if she was going to avoid running into her parents, who would surely chase the man off or even summon the police. Abigail crept down the stairs, being careful not to make any sounds. That was nearly impossible on the ancient wooden steps, but she had developed a trick to the venture. Each step was laborious, taken carefully and slowly. She counted each as she went down, as she had done a hundred times before. “Eleven … Twelve …” She was almost to the bottom. “Thirteen …” That was the last step. She let out the breath that she had been holding ever since leaving her bedroom. Now she only had to get outside without alerting her parents, but the hardest part was over. Out in the open, she no longer had to worry about being so quiet. The cool breeze of the morning brushed her cheeks, and sky was slowly getting lighter. There was freshness in the air, yet it was unusually still. The birds had fallen silent, and clouds moved across the sky, so Abigail knew she had to hurry — there would be rain soon. She saw the shed a few feet away and paused to look at it. It seemed the same as it had always been. Could she have dreamed the whole incident? She held her breath as her hand gripped the door handle. As the door clicked and dim rays of light beamed in, she heard a shuffling sound from deep inside. She
hadn’t been dreaming. The man inside winced and covered his eyes as the faint light hit him. Abigail flung the door wide open without any regard for her safety. “Who are you?” she demanded in the most authoritative voice she could muster. The man lowered his arm slowly, his deep blue eyes opening
the yard to the edge of the woods, where he disappeared into the trees. “Wait!” Abigail finally managed to yell, but it was too late. She gathered all of her courage and ran after him, plunging headlong into the dark glade. She had only known him for a few minutes, but she felt as though she had known him forever. He was the man she dreamed
Her heart beat rapidly as she approached the long-abandoned cemetery. wide. He looked like he was afraid. “It’s okay,” Abby said, suddenly feeling sympathetic and offering her hand. “What’s your name?” The man rose to his feet slowly and took her hand to his thin lips, kissing it with the silly romantic gesture of an Alexander Dumas novel. His lips were cold. “Perceval is my name,” he said as he looked right into her eyes. She could see his fear melting away. The man took Abigail by surprise, and a feeling of awe overwhelmed her. She began to tremble. He had to squeeze past her to exit the small-enclosed shed, sending electrical charges through her clenched stomach. Abby held the soft fabric of her dress against her belly and leaned on the doorframe, as though she had just been struck by something. Then, as soon as the strange man was several feet away from her, the feeling vanished and the sickness fled. She gasped for breath. “Where are you from? What are you doing here?” she tried to ask, but the words barely left her mouth. Perceval turned toward her. “I have to go,” he said tonelessly. “Thank you for letting me hide here.” With that, he walked across
about, who she fantasized about while doodling in the margins of her assignments. She couldn’t let him get away now that she had finally found him. ***** The trees in the woods were evenly spaced, but the branches were so thick and numerous that they almost completely blocked out any light. Because of this unusual circumstance, the forest floor was practically barren except for a few lone weeds and moss-covered rocks. Abigail ran down the path, which wound around the ancient stones and forgotten walls. Her heart beat rapidly as she approached the long-abandoned cemetery that she knew was deep inside this forest. It had been an old playground — a safe place she had gone as a child, where she had run around the tombstones, playing games under the watchful eyes of the mysterious woman in the fountain. It appeared to get darker as the trees grew denser and denser around her. Her head jerked instinctively from left to right, triggered by mysterious noises in
the distance. She had long since lost sight of Perceval and began to slowly regret chasing after him. Suddenly she was at the gates. What lay beyond both frightened and saddened her. The fence that had once been iron was now green and rusted. The headstones were faded and some had collapsed. At the center of the cemetery stood the statue of the weeping woman, in the middle of a pool of water, which was filled with the brown leaves of the previous fall. Tears, caused by the erosion of the rain, were stained on her cheeks. Her mouth hung open, but was eternally silent. Suddenly, the man that had commanded the hounds the previous night appeared at the other end of the graveyard. His black cloak blew quietly around him, his face pale and hardened. His eyes burned through Abigail — like her eyes had penetrated the pond and its simple aquatic residents the day before — while raindrops began to fall on the forest canopy. The young woman ran her hands down the sides of her blue dress, feeling the thin cotton fabric, the dirt stains, and the patches that were almost worn through, but her eyes never left the man. “Where is Perceval?” she pleaded. The dark man raised his arm and pointed with a long, gnarled finger at the headstone near her feet. She looked down, the writing faded but the name was clear: Perceval. Abigail fell on her knees and rapped her arms around the stone. Her tears ran off the cold, hard surface as the storm blew in and the tempest crashed down on her. The grim apparition slowly faded into the darkness, leaving her alone.
Paranormal Underground 59
(Forum Name: Milomilford) About Lois
Lois and her husband, Mike, live in Milford, Kansas. Lois grew up in a farmhouse in Massachusetts where she encountered the paranormal.
Age: 46. Currently Resides: South Weymouth, Massachusetts/Milford, Kansas. Status: Married for 23 years. Education: Graduated from public school and then from Stonehill College in 1987 with a degree in psychology. Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius (and I do have a mood ring if anyone is curious). Occupation: I work for the Dept. of the Army, Ft. Riley, Kansas. I work in customer service for the Environmental Division, dealing with conservation, compliance, and pollution prevention.
Q&A Q: What brought you to Paranormal Underground?
Q: Tell us about your family and what you like to do.
Lois: I started out at the Syfy and TAPS forums. I was invited to check out PUG, and I really liked it. I wrote on the PUG forum that it was like going from grade school to grad school! The members were polite and mature but still fun and informative.
Lois: We have two grown daughters, the oldest works in D.C. and is finishing up her bachelor’s degree. The younger is trying to figure out what she wants to do, whether it be working or going to college. Both girls are fiercely independent and determined to figure it out on their own, which leads to many lessons learned the hard way. We also have a nine-year-old greyhound named Spencer. He is a great dog and travels with us when we go camping (my husband’s favorite thing to do). Spencer is a retired race dog (that is code for coming in fourth place
What does your forum name mean? Lois: Milomilford is just a combination of my husband’s first name, my first name, and the town we live in. Q: How would you describe yourself? Lois: I would describe myself as an
open-minded agnostic. It seems the more I learn I just realize there is so much I don’t know. The only thing I know for sure is that ANYTHING is possible. Close-minded people make me cringe because they think they have the answers, but they probably don’t have a clue.
too many times), and he was socialized in a prison here in Kansas prior to our adopting him. The prisoner who was matched with Spencer taught him everything he needed to know about living in a house with people, except how to go up and down the stairs! We do a lot of traveling, and my favorite place to go is back home to New England to see my family. We love to go to historical sites, and even though the kids are grown and gone, we still find ourselves going to the water and amusement parks. I love horses, yoga, thrift shops, and chocolate (doesn’t everyone?). I try to be a good steward of my environment (reduce, reuse, and recycle) and always leave places better than I found them. I am a very patriotic person who supports our military families. I have lived in New England, Kansas, and Germany (loved driving on the autobahn!). My family is quintessentially American with my grandparents coming here at the turn of the century and making their way as farmers, carpenters,
business owners, preachers, educators, and even bootleggers! I think I would like to do a little genealogy research to learn more about my family’s roots.
Q: What would our readers be surprised to find out about you? Lois: I can’t think of anything that someone would be surprised about me other than that I am pretty lucky when it comes to contests. I recently won two round trip tickets and spending money from the local radio station. That was wicked cool! Q: Are you a skeptic or believer? Lois: I am a believer because I have had my own experiences. I grew up in a big, old farmhouse in Massachusetts and had many creepy things happen there. Could have been a child’s imagination, but I think it was more than that. My husband likes to roll his eyes when I tell my story of the steak knives flying out of the dish strainer and landing points up in the pockets of my bathrobe. I also had an experience where someone drew the covers up and tucked me in. This happened in a room at my sister’s house where she was storing many items that belonged to my nephew, who was killed in the war. These experiences have allowed me to open my mind to possibilities that some people would dismiss unless it happened to them. Q: What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Lois: I am interested mostly in the paranormal areas of near-death experiences, what happens after we die, ghosts, hauntings, and whether there are real psychics out there. Q: Who are your heroes? Lois: My heroes are my nephew LCpl Kevin Preach, my mom, my dad, and Teddy Roosevelt.
Picture at left is Lois’ dog Spencer. Above are her daughters Ann and Nan.
Q: What are your favorite books, movies, TV shows, and paranormal shows? Lois: My favorite books are anything by Stephen King and various historical fiction, such as Clan of the Cave Bear, Cold Mountain, and The Alienist. My favorite movies include O’ Brother Where Art Thou, Jaws, The Sound of Music, The Hangover, Grease, The Shuttered Room, Life Is Beautiful, The Sixth Sense, and lots of others. My favorite shows are The Haunted, Ghostly Encounters, Paranormal State, Paranormal Kids, Ghost Adventures, The Walking Dead, Glee, CNN, the History Channel, and the Travel Channel.
testing military funerals. These folks are nuts, and they hide behind the freedom of speech. What a disgrace.
Q: What do you think happens to us when we die? Lois: My current belief about what happens to us after we die is that our body is just left here as a shell and that our essence/soul moves on to reunite with our loved ones who have passed before us. I do reserve the right to change my opinion on this belief at any time. Lord knows I have changed my opinions about a lot of things over the years!
Q: Favorite music?
Q: Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by?
Lois: My favorite music would be a little bit country and a little bit of rock and roll (homage to Donny and Marie here).
Lois: I basically try to live my life by the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I like to keep it simple.
Q: What are your pet peeves?
Q: Any exciting plans for the future?
Lois: My pet peeve would be people who are scofflaws. I really hate when people break the law and feel entitled to do whatever they please regardless of how it may affect others. “Dude, take that mannequin out of your passenger seat and get out of the carpool lane!” In addition, I really get teed off by that crazy Westboro Baptist Church whose narrow-minded views about gays in America somehow justify their hateful behavior and pro-
Lois: My husband and I will continue to travel. I think we will go tubing at Snow Creek in Missouri this winter. I would like to go to D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring, and we are excited about going to Gettysburg in August. Long-term plans would include growing old with my husband, Mike, watching what unfolds for my daughters’ futures, and simply to keep on truckin’.
Paranormal Underground 61
Review of the Month
Investigating the Afterlife Genre: Documentary Directed by: Shane Free Starring: Sean Free, Gary Hubb, and George Wilson
Review by Dave Galvan, Paranormal League of America
n summer 1985, Shane Free was a young man who sat in a movie enthralled by the film Back to the Future. This started the young Free on his quest to make movies. A few years later, he was a junior in high school and personally witnessed “phantom soldiers” on a Gettysburg battlefield. This started his interest in the paranormal. It was only a matter of time before the two interests met. Investigating the Afterlife is produced and directed by Shane Free. The documentary is a narrative of the young filmmaker’s early investigations of paranormal phenomena. A noble effort is made by Free and his production crew in their investigations of several locations, including The Queen Mary; Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s Cashtown Inn; and the Prospect Place Mansion in Trinway, Ohio. “I wanted to make a film on something I personally enjoyed and was interested in,” Free said. The documentary presents an honest look at paranormal investigation from the perspective of a new investigator. Some of the evidence gathered is impressive, while other evidence presented is lacking (such as a spider coming down off a web between the camera and the investigators in the background, which is then presented as an “orb”). Free does have some compelling evidence and personal experiences to
share with the viewer. “I was touched during the ghost hunt at Prospect Place Mansion,” Free continued. “I almost jumped out of my skin!” Free was trying to present ghost hunting without the glitz and glamour of the slickly produced TV shows, which some believe are
ruining the field today. And with that said, he has done a good job showing how a novice hunts ghosts. There are several genuine, real moments in this film, such as when a partner sees an apparition and has a calm feeling wash over him as he sees the apparition dancing with a young girl. His expression and description are so real and genuine that I do believe he saw what he claims to have seen. This man was not lying. While the narrative never strayed from its message of an amateur investigator looking for answers, I did hope to see more of a search for real, legit answers to all things paranormal. While some amazing experiences were recorded, some evidence seemed to be caused by normal factors, such as shadows and the aforementioned orb. It is fair to say, however, that Investigating the Afterlife is a noble effort to feature an amateur’s search for paranormal evidence.
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