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Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 2

The Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull Vaile Mansion Encounters Superstitions Across Cultures The Search for Cryptids

July 2008

Also Inside: Top 10 Paranormal Sites Mysteries of the Universe Conference

Destination Truth Personal Experiences Featured Author Paranormal Trivia July 2008 Paranormal Underground

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Features 8

Investigator Spotlight Bill Homann, caretaker of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, talks about his investigations into the skull, its possible origins, recent findings from the Smithsonian, and Mayan calendar doomsday predictions.

Case Files of the Unknown Haunted Sites

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This month, we take a look at Vaile Mansion, the Top 10 Haunted sites in the United States, and the Myrtles Plantation.

Cryptids

Departments From the Editor

Zoologist Jaime Johnesee discusses the ongoing search to discover new species around the globe, as well as the possibilities of new discoveries.

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Letters to the Editor

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Paranormal News

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TV Watch

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Equipment Update

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Member Profiles

34

Paranormal Trivia

35

Personal Experiences

40

PUG/GD Site News

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Are We Alone?

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Journalist Mindy Kinnaman reveals insights from the recent Mysteries of the Universe Conference held in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cultural Beliefs

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Archaeologist Binoo’mukua examines several wellknown superstitious beliefs and the cultures from which they originated.

Fiction: Featured Author

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Author Jaime Johnesee takes us into the world of George, a genetically altered Gigantopithecus. However, the government’s plan to create and test a new type of soldier quickly goes awry.

Paranormal Underground July 2008


From the Editor

Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 2

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ur second issue of Paranormal Underground includes three new columns, Personal Experiences, Paranormal News, and Letters to the Editor. As we receive reader feedback and hear about your additional areas of interest, we’ll continue to add new features and departments in an effort to give you what you want to read. I’m also excited to announce that Paranormal Underground is holding its first-ever short story contest. If you are a writer of fiction, love to write about the paranormal, and would like to see your story published in one of our upcoming issues, then this contest is for you! See page 31 for more details. Our July Investigator Spotlight features Bill Homann, current caretaker of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull. Homann has turned up some interesting findings during his research into the skull’s possible Mayan origins. Author Chad Wilson delves into the story behind the skull, Homann’s investigations, and recent Smithsonian scientific findings. This month’s TV Watch spotlights the paranormal adventure show Destination Truth. The popular Sci Fi Channel reality series features host Josh Gates and his investigative team searching for legendary cryptids. Also this month, our Haunted Sites section previews Vaile Mansion; the top 10 haunted sites in America; and the Myrtles Plantation. In our Cryptids feature, Zoologist Jaime Johnesee discusses the global search for mythological creatures. And in the Are We Alone? column, Mindy Kinnaman reveals insights from the first-ever Mysteries of the Universe Conference, which was held June 7 in Kansas City. The conference was sparked by the recent flurry of UFO activity in the United States, as well as an increase in reports of paranormal activity in Kansas City. In his series on Cultural Beliefs, archaeologist Binoo’mukua takes a look at the most popular cultural superstitions. In the member profiles, we get to know more about GhostDose and Paranormal Underground members Ydnim, Penguinkeeper, Sithy, MysticalKnight, and Nevynmo. And in the Fiction: Featured Author column, Jaime Johnesee (Penguinkeeper) engages us with her story about George, a genetically engineered, government fighting machine. Also make sure to check out this month’s Equipment Update review, which offers a brief summary of popular ghost hunting equipment. I would like to give special thanks to Mindy Kinnaman, Karen Frazier, Jaime Johnesee, Chad Wilson, and Binoo’mukua for their help with this month’s issue of the magazine. I hope you enjoy our July issue of Paranormal Underground and look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions for future issues. E-mail Editor@paranormalunderground.net with comments on this issue and suggestions for future articles.

~ Cheryl Knight Managing Editor

July 2008

www.ParanormalUnderground.net www.GhostDose.com

Managing Editor

Cheryl Knight

Assistant Editors Science Editor

Mindy Kinnaman Karen Frazier Binoo’mukua

Contributing Editors

Chad Wilson Jaime Johnesee

Contributing Authors Art Director

Mindy Kinnaman Jaime Johnesee Chad Wilson Binoo’mukua

Design and Layout

Cheryl Knight

Chad Wilson

Cover Photo: Mitchell-Hedges Skull. Gale Press. ©BBC 1996.

We’d love to hear your suggestions for future issues, so please let us know what topics interest you! Send comments and letters to: Editor@paranormalunderground.net. Check out our myspace: myspace.com/paranormalunderground

Copyright © 2008 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of www.ParanormalUnderground.net. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of www.ParanormalUnderground.net. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of www.ParanormalUnderground.net.

July 2008 Paranormal Underground

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Letters to the Editor

Surprised! As I eagerly awaited the first issue of the Paranormal Underground eMagazine, I tried to imagine how it would look. I assumed it would resemble a newsletter, more so than a magazine. Boy was I surprised! Your eMagazine was not only very professionally done, it was all-inclusive as well. I had no idea Laura Locke was so deeply involved in investigations. Bigfoot, ufology, short stories . . . there were so many facets to this magazine, providing something for everyone. Why not settle in for a good read? When things online are slow . . . you know where to go! —Aprilee Lawson

A Subscriber The eMag is absolutely GLORIOUS! I had no idea what to expect. (MK you have found your nitch.) Congrats to all the contributors. Laura’s article was excellent. I’m a subscriber. You can be sure of that. Tip of the hat to all involved! —Lotto333

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

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Investigator Spotlight a Must Great job on your first issue of Paranormal Underground. I especially enjoyed the profile of Laura Locke. I like seeing the different approaches and philosophies of various paranormal investigative teams, especially those investigators who aren’t on television. I hope that you will make the Investigator Spotlight a regular feature in your magazine. Thanks for all of your work on Paranormal Underground. I look forward to reading your next issue. —Karen Frazier

Psychology of a Haunting I enjoyed reading all about Laura Locke. Sometimes I wonder why paranormal studies are often paired with psychology, but the more I read and hear about poltergeists, the more it makes sense. Plus a questionable experience I had about 20 years ago happened shortly after a mildly traumatic inner family drama. Our minds are very active and very strange! Reading about Laura’s education and experiences reminded me of this. —MidniteRed

An Open Mind If I can be of assistance with your site, please let me know. I am only too willing to help those in need of a hand in proving/disproving the so-called paranormal. Whilst it is not my specific field, I do have a very open mind to all that is unknown. —Ron

Paranormal Underground July 2008

Member Thoughts “Looks fantastic, and I’m very impressed with the layout! Great job, y’all! —Ydnim “It is extremely well done!” —NoWhammies “Cheers on a job well done Miss Editor, you did an amazing job, and the eMagazine is just beautiful. Way to go!” —Penguinkeeper “Sithy your work is GREAT!” —MidniteRed “Nice work guys!” —Cowbud “. . . it looks absolutely amazing . . . great job everyone!” —Mattedfur “I am very impressed and wish you the best of luck!” —Spooktacular Girl “You are all very gifted. MK did a great job; Sith for his great writing skills; Handyman and PK rock for getting the site up and running; and Skiz for his help as well.” —Nevynmo “I’d love to see an article on imaginary playmates and the possibility of some being paranormal instead of imagined. I’d also love to have an article covering the psychological effects living in a haunted house can have on a person or family.” —Penguinkeeper


Paranormal News

Wake Up and Smell the Ectoplasm

UNIV-CON Set for September 11-14

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ware Radio can be heard every Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Blogtalk Radio. Hosts Brian Harnois and Donna LaCroix urge you to “Wake up and smell the ectoplasm.” The show features notable members of the paranormal community and a call-in section. BWare is on the fast track to being one of the top paranormal radio shows out there. Tune in and enjoy at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ BWareRadio.

Michigan Paranormal Underground Radio

NIV-CON will take place September 11-14 at the Penn Stater Hotel. The conference will be moving away from the convention-feel that it developed over the past few years, moving more toward research and education. “Some of the people we’re bringing in this year are really extraordinary,” said 2008 conference manager Topher Young. Distinguished speakers include: Robert Englund: Best known for playing the fictional character Freddy Krueger in the horror film A Nightmare On Elm Street and its seven sequels. Michael Shermer: Science writer, historian of science, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating and debunking pseudoscientific and supernatural claims. Josh Gates: His work and travels have taken him to more than 50 countries around the world. Josh

Ghosts R N.E.A.R. Episode 40 Released

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ichigan Paranormal Underground Radio is a fantastic program on Blogtalk Radio. Steven Raebel from Michigan Paranormal Project broadcasts the news and experiences you want to hear. You can listen to Michigan Paranormal Underground Radio at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Steven-Raebel. Make sure to visit their MySpace page at www.myspace. com/midwestparanormalraido.

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ver wish you could watch a great discussion on the paranormal without the commercials? Then Ghosts R N.E.A.R. is the show for you. Co-hosted by Keith and Sandra Johnson, and joined by Senior In-

works as a host and actor of Destination Truth on the Sci Fi channel. Bill Birnes: Publisher of UFO Magazine and writer and editor of more than 25 books and encyclopedias. Additional speakers include • Brian Harnois • Chad Calek • Ryan Buell • Chris Moon • Tiffany Johnson • John Sabol • Ghost Divas • Deborah Blum • Loyd Auerbach • Konstantinos • Chip Coffey • Dave Schrader • Michelle Belanger • Lorraine Warren vestigator Carl Johnson, this show gets down to the heart of the most interesting topics in the paranormal world. The show features a wonderful camaraderie shared by the show’s three co-hosts as they inform and entertain their viewers about various paranormal topics. Episode 40, “Three Demon Hunters Part III,” has just been released, so make sure to check it out! Visit http://nearparanormal.com/ GhostsRNEAR.html and click on Show Archives. Ghosts R N.E.A.R. episodes are more informative than many of the paranormal shows on television today!

July 2008 Paranormal Underground

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TV Watch

Destination Truth Takes Us Along for the Ride By Jaime Johnesee

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ave you ever wanted to join in on a group searching for Sasquatch? Now, you can do just that, and you don’t even need to leave your couch. Sci Fi channel’s Destination Truth takes viewers along on a journey to discover the truth about the world’s most famous cryptids. Armed with cameras, audio recorders, and a thermal imager, these new-age explorers set off around the globe in search of creatures undocumented by science. As an investigation team tromps through the wilds of Africa in pursuit of a flying dinosaur, searches for

Yeti in the mountains of Nepal, or tracks down giant anacondas in the Amazonian jungle, the show takes us with them for all the laughs, scares, and disappointments. Even if you don’t believe in the animals they are searching for, Destination Truth is worth watching for the exotic locales and the laughs alone.

Destination Truth Quickly Gathers Steam Host and star Josh Gates approaches every case with a scientific mind and a sarcastic joke. Using field zoology techniques, Gates and his crew set up camp, surround it with cameras and sweep the area for the animal they are trying to uncover. First airing on June 6, 2007, Destination Truth quickly gathered a large following in its first season. And, at the end of its second season, its popularity did not waiver. Following Sci Fi channel’s popular series Ghost Hunters, Destination While the show uses humor in each episode to entertain its Truth’s ratings have audience, its pursuit for the truth remains an ever-present held steady through its theme. Destination Truth is a show that breaks the mold of reality television. second season.

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Paranormal Underground July 2008

Traveling with Josh Gates are Brad Kuhlman, producer; Araceli Haldeman, assistant producer; Casey Brumels, camera operator/co-executive producer; Erica Shusha, camera operator; and Michael St. Hilaire, audio technician. Executive producers Neil Mandt and Michael Mandt have presented viewers a reality show that far differs from anything else in that genre today. In a style that is more fitting to a Discovery Channel program, this show lends Sci Fi Channel credibility and substance. More documentary than the ‘adventure series’ it is touted as, Destination Truth is the perfect destination on Wednesday nights. Team Searches for Mythological Creatures While the show uses humor in each episode to entertain its audience, its pursuit for the truth remains an ever-present theme. Destination Truth is a show that breaks the mold of reality television. It is a refreshing change of pace for paranormal reality programs. Its investigative team uses science to discover and hunt for cryptids — animals that have been spotted and reported, but not seen or classified by scientists.


Photos: www.scifi.com

Some cryptids they have already searched for in the first two seasons include El Chupacabra, Yeti, El Lobizon (the werewolf) and Mokèlémbèmbé (a type of African swamp monster). Having visited Africa, South America, New Guinea, and Vietnam, there is no telling where the crew will head next. If anyone is likely to capture Nessie or Bigfoot on film, it just might be the Destination Truth cast and crew. In fact, on November 28, 2007, Gates and his team found three mysterious, full footprints and two partial prints in the Himalayas. One footprint was about 13 inches long. While Gates could not identify what had made the prints, he said they were “very, very similar” to other tracks found in that area and attributed to the Yeti. One scientific explanation for the many tracks found in the Hima-

layas is that as the sunlight hits the snow in which the tracks are located, or the temperature changes, that the tracks can change shape and size. So what might have been smaller animal tracks actually transform into something quite larger, and could lead

open as to whether the tracks are authentic Yeti prints or the misinterpretation of another animal’s tracks. Those who live in the foothills of that area are skeptical of Gates’ claim, saying they are more than likely the prints of a mountain bear.

On November 28, Gates and his team found three mysterious, full footprints and two partial prints in the Himalayas.

Go Along for the Ride With Destination Truth So, if you’re looking for a little adventure from the comfort of your living room, sit back and relax as Destination Truth takes you to far-flung corners of the world to wade through swamps, trek through mountains, and hike through jungles. Make sure to bring along some popcorn as you watch the team put their own lives on the line to reveal the truth about some of the world’s most well-known mythological creatures.

one to think they are the tracks of a much bigger creature or animal. But the tracks found by Gates and his crew were located in rocky soil near a river, so that leaves the question

July 2008 Paranormal Underground

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Investigator Spotlight

Bill Homann & The

By Chad WilsoN

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he year was 1924, and the world was between the Great War and the Great Depression. It was a time of grand adventure and exploration. Philanthropists, such as Frederick Albert (F. A.) Mitchell-Hedges, scoured the world for lost treasures of the past. Taking an expedition to British Honduras, known as modern-day Belize, Mitchell-Hedges had made his way to Lubaantun in the hopes of finding Mayan artifacts in what he deemed a part of lost Atlantis. He had brought along with him his adopted daughter, Anna, as he could not bear to part with her, and she spent the next seven years, on and off, with him on his explorations for lost artifacts. A Crystal Skull Is Found The archaeology team had been working for days in Lubaantun — a pre-Columbian, ruined city of the Maya civilization — trying to reach the spot where Anna had first caught sight a few days earlier of the flash of sunlight that radiated off an object from among the rubble. She had spotted it while walking along the tiers of the Mayan

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pyramids, something she wasn’t supposed to do. Ever since, her father and his men had been moving debris feverishly in search of the mysterious object. Once the team had cleared enough rubble away, the moment of truth arrived, and on Anna’s birthday no less. Being the smallest, she was lowered down into the narrow opening. Looking around inside the small area, she quickly spotted it. Grabbing a hold of the smooth, cool object, she yelled for her father’s men to pull her up. As she came out into the sun, the object in her hands quickly became a brilliant display of light. Dazzling in the sun, she held it up to her father as he beamed down at her. She held a skull, made of crystal, perfect in every detail. The light shined through the skull, as Anna’s father took it in his hands and held it up for all to see, a murmur of amazement and awe spreading throughout the crowd. And so began the storied history of the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull . . .

Paranormal Underground July 2008

The current caretaker of the Mitchell-Hedges crysta spirituality and understanding his inner self, life, an crystal skull was a living entity, a philosophy that H

A Spiritual Connection The current caretaker of this enigmatic object is Bill Homann, 8th degree black belt master in Ryukyu Kempo, which was developed in Okinawa. He is also a student of Ekencar, and the Rosicrucian teachings — including being tolerant of new ideas and maintaining an inquisitive spirit about “the truth of all things” —


Skull of Love

al skull, Bill Homann has always been interested in nd the world. The Maya and Hopi believed that the Homann subscribes to as well.

have influenced him to this day. Living in Indiana, Homann is co-owner of Homann Karate Do in Crown Point, Indiana, with his son Brett. “I’ve always been interested in spirituality and understanding my inner self, life, and the world,” Homann said. He was originally introduced to the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull in

a magazine, and immediately felt a strong connection to the object. “It kind of tripped something inside of me,” he said. “It has a real persona, which you definitely feel while you are in its presence.” The Maya and Hopi actually believed the skull was a living entity, and as Homann put it, “I very much believe that also.” Homann also believes that nothing happens without a reason, and it was on his birthday on April 11, 2007, that Anna Mitchell-Hedges gave him the skull to care for. Homann had taken care of MitchellHedges for the last eight years of her life, and during that time, she taught him how to care for the skull and what her ultimate vision for the skull was: keeping the skull public to allow people to connect with it. Homann explained that at his first meeting with Anna in 1981, he felt as if he had known her forever. They became instant friends. “When I saw the crystal skull for the first time, it felt like meeting with an old friend,” he said. “There was a feeling of respect, connection, and communication with it. I felt compelled to work with it.”

Continuing the Investigation Since meeting Anna MitchellHedges, Homann has been investigating the origins and “potential” of the skull by traveling the world, including a recent trip to Belize, where he searched for another crystal skull. During the expedition, Homann and his team trenched through treacherous jungles, braved rough waters off the Honduran coast, and survived alligator-infested rivers. The investigation did uncover a hidden Mayan temple that could possibly house more Mayan treasures. “With the amount of things that are happening in the world, the crystal skulls have a pivotal role to play in minimizing that stress and change.” A Skull With a Mission Homann believes that the crystal skull in his possession holds a significant amount of power within its confines, and that it is actually “programmed” to open the heart of man — the heart chakra — to universal consciousness and love. Basically, he feels that the skull is multidimensional and uses energy to help people be more aware that mankind, animal life, and mineral life are all connected.

July 2008 Paranormal Underground

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Investigator Spotlight

“This consciousness and love is more important than ever because of the Mayan 2012 doomsday prophecy,” he said. “And as we draw closer to that period of time, it is my duty to bring the skull to those who are interested in what it has to offer.” Homann also thinks that the skull works with the different energy

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lines on the planet, and more importantly, that it’s working with many of the other crystal skulls in existence. On a recent trip to the Cannes Film Festival, Homann did something he hadn’t done before. Working through a company in England, he spent a week on a yacht off of Cannes and Monte Carlo with a special purpose in mind.

Paranormal Underground July 2008

“I was able to work with small groups, three to six at a time, who were wanting to see and experience the energy of the skull,” he said. And, according to Homann, the skull seemed to have a mission, drawing certain people to its energy. “It was more or less orchestrating everything going on during the experience,” he said.


Where Did the Crystal Skull Come From? Is the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull really anything more than an exquisite piece of artwork? To some, it is much more. Deemed by many archaeologists, scientists, mystics, and art critics as the world’s most mysterious artifact, the origins of the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, as well as the many other crystal skulls in existence, are still pondered today. Some say the skulls came from the lost kingdom of Atlantis, which had received the skulls from space aliens. Others tales have the skulls accompanying the Knights Templar in the Crusades or channeling deceased spirits. And there have even been claims that the crystal skulls emit strange lights and sounds, depending on the alignment of the planets. The skulls are between 5,000 and 36,000 years old, according to some researchers. Others believe that the Mayans used the crystal skulls to manipulate the Earth’s rotation, to store knowledge and secrets of the future, or to heal. “There are many stories and beliefs about what the skull is, where it came from, and how it was made,” Homann said. “I cannot honestly say I know for sure any of those answers. No one does. It is up to each individual to come to their own conclusion and belief around this. It should be experienced in order to get an intuitive feeling about what it means for you.” However, Homann’s personal opinion follows the beliefs held by the Maya, Hopi, and various indigenous tribes. The Maya claimed that the skulls were brought to their continent by another race, while the Hopi stated that the skulls were brought up from underground in the Maya Peninsula by survivors of the Third World, which was destroyed by water, and given to the people there.

Homann thinks the crystal skulls are, in fact, tools given to mankind as a gift, one that will help man find answers in his time of need. The Skull of Doom or The Skull of Love? The Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, now known as the Skull of Love, was originally deemed the Skull of Doom by F. A. MitchellHedges, who was known as getting a

bit of a kick out of riling people up. The Mayans actually called it the Skull of “Doon,” a Mayan word for respect. This name reversal seemed to play out again at a recent meeting between Homann and a Hopi Elder. In January 2008, Homann continued his investigations into the skull’s effects by meeting with Hopi Elder Grandfather Martin, who upon his arrival in Sedona, Arizona,

Ahead of His Time F

rederick Albert (F. A.) “Mike” Mitchell-Hedges (October 22, 1882–June 1959) was an English adventurer, traveler, and writer — many considered him a personification of Indiana Jones and James Bond. Mitchell-Hedges spent some years alternating between Central America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some sources say he was a mercenary, others that he was a British government spy, and still others thought he was independently wealthy and traveling for diversion. According to the current Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull owner, Bill Homann, F. A. Mitchell-Hedges “believed that a life without adventure is a life not worth living.” And he lived this philosophy daily by searching for the treasures of the world. Mitchell-Hedges was born October 22, 1882. During the course of his life, his occupations ranged from stockbroker, antique dealer, explorer, archaeologist, big-game fisherman, lecturer, writer, and poet. Through his many adventures, he met such famous people as General Hague, General Alexander, General Eisenhower, General Montgomery, General de Gaulle, Churchill, General Lee Christmas, as well as

F. A. Mitchell-Hedges donated 3,700 artifacts to various museums around the world, all collected at his own expense.

the infamous Pancho Villa, whom he rode with on a few raids. An avid fisherman and author, he set many fishing records in his day, as well as penning six books. A legend in his own time, Mitchell-Hedges was viewed as an awe-inspiring visionary by those who knew him. Mitchell-Hedges died in 1959, leaving behind a legacy that is felt even today. Numerous treasures of this world have passed through his hands, including timeless items such as the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull and the Russian Virgin of Kazan. He also donated 3,700 artifacts to various museums around the world, all collected at his own expense.

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Photos: James Di Loreto/Courtesy Smithsonian Institution

Investigator Spotlight

Dr. Jane Walsh, Smithsonian anthropologist, and Scott Whittaker, director of the Smithsonian’s Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Facility, examine the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull. Silicone molds of the skull’s carved features were analyzed by SEM for evidence of tool marks.

foretold a prophecy of doom. However, after spending the next day and a half with the skull, his prophecy changed to one of hope, joy, and possible peace. Homann returned to Sedona for the Summer Solstice on June 21, and was joined by the Mayan spiritual leader from the Lubaantun area, Shaman Leanardo. The group held a ceremony on the ancient Hopi land, which has been used by the Hopi for peace ceremonies. Homann shared a PowerPoint presentation of the skull’s history during the event, which was held as a fundraiser for the Mayan Cultural Center being built in Belize near where the crystal skull was found. The Skull Is Examined Anthropologist Dr. Jane Walsh has more than 35 years of research experience at the Smithsonian. And during her department’s recent examinations of several crystal skulls,

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including the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull, they used light and scanning electron microscopes. Walsh said that all of the skulls she examined had modern tool marks, and some of those tool marks were more modern than others.

“Where the skulls come from ultimately doesn’t matter, because it’s the effect of the skulls that matters most.” —Bill Homann When asked about the HewlettPackard (HP) tests run on the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull in 1970, Walsh said that the HP tests were

Paranormal Underground July 2008

Dr. Jane Walsh, of the Smithsonian, said that all of the skulls she examined had modern tool marks, some more modern than others. In 1992, a hollow, rock-crystal skull was sent to the Smithsonian anonymously. A letter accompanying the 30-pound, 10-inch-high artifact suggested it was of Aztec origin.

done, “simply to tell whether or not the skull was glass or quartz crystal.” But the scientists at HewlettPackard were able to uncover a potential clue to the mystery of the crystal skull. Tests revealed that the skull was not only made from a single piece of natural quartz, but from “piezo-electrose” silicon dioxide, the type of naturally occurring quartz that is widely used in modern electronics. Piezo is Greek, meaning “to squeeze,” and electrose means “to get a charge from.” The fact that the crystal skull is made from this type of quartz means that it actually has a positive and negative polarity, just like a battery. It also means that if you apply pressure to the skull, or squeeze it, it is capable of generating electricity. Alternatively, if you apply an electric charge to the crystal skull, it changes its shape without, in any way, affecting its mass or density. As noted, the skull can be squeezed to generate electricity, but


once the direction of pressure is reversed, the direction of electrical polarity in the crystal also reverses. In the case of the MitchellHedges crystal skull, the scientists found that it was “vertically piezoelectrically oriented,” meaning that its X-Y-Z axis runs directly through the center of the skull, from top to bottom. This means that if you apply an electric charge to the top of the crystal skull, not only does its shape change microscopically along the X-Y axis, but also the electric current passes only in the direction from the very top of the skull’s head straight down in a line defined by the top-tobottom or the Z axis. Was this just a coincidence, or did the creators of the skull have this X-Y-Z axis in mind as they planned the skull’s orientation? Crystal, unlike other materials, has an amazing ability to hold electrical energy and oscillate at a constant and precise frequency. This suggests that, in theory, the crystal skull may be able to hold electrical energy — potentially a form of information — and send out electrical impulses or vibrating waves of information. Does the Skull Contain Power? Does all this mean that the Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull holds some form of mystical or supernatural power? Some say yes, while others say a resounding no. In Walsh’s examinations of the skulls, she has not found that any have special powers. Though, according to Homann, this finding is a matter of personal opinion, as the skull is different things to different people. “To her, the skull is just an object of no apparent worth, while to another it could be the answer to all our world’s problems,” Homann said. Walsh claims that most of the early skulls found are the work of Eugène Boban, a Frenchman who

served as the official archaeologist of the Mexican court of Maximilian. She also wrote in her article, “Legend of the Crystal Skulls,” published in the May/June 2008 issue of Archaeology magazine, that the Mitchell-Hedges skull does not reflect the artistic or stylistic characteristics of the Aztec or Maya from which they are professed to have come. According to Bill Homann though, the Maya claim to have received the skulls from another race, so that would explain the discrepancies in the varying styles. According to the Mitchell-

Hedges official Web site, “The enigma of the skull, however, does not end with just its making. The zygomatic arches (the bone arch extending along the sides and front of the cranium) are accurately separated from the skull piece, and act as light pipes, using principles similar to modern optics, to channel light from the base of the skull to the eye sockets.” The eye sockets, in turn, are miniature concave lenses that also transfer light from a source below, into the upper cranium. Finally, in the interior of the skull is a ribbon prism and tiny light tunnels, by

An Accidental Find A

nna Mitchell-Hedges, or “Sammy” as she was affectionately called by her adopted father F. A. Mitchell-Hedges, was born Anne Marie Le Guillon on January 1, 1907, in Port Colborne, Canada. She was the sixth of 10 children. At the age of 10, F. A. MitchellHedges adopted Anna after her mother’s death in childbirth. At first reluctant, she eventually warmed to Mitchell-Hedges’ presence, and so began their 43-year relationship. She accompanied him on some of his travels in South America, the Caribbean, and abroad, and was the one who accidentally found the now infamous Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull in the ancient Mayan town of Lubaantun. A fisherman like her father, Anna was also a good shot with a pistol and was outspoken for women’s rights. She and her father had “a special magnetism and always seemed to be in the right situation, surrounded by the right people, at the right time,” according to Bill Homann, who took care of Anna the last eight years of her life.

Anna Mitchell-Hedges found the a crystal skull at the ancient Mayan town of Lubaantun.

Anna was also experienced in the hotel industry, having had her hand in running two such establishments. She spent two years in St. Lucia in South Africa at a hotel purchased for her by her father, the eventual sale of which led to her father buying the Russian religious icon, The Virgin of Kazan. Anna also helped run a hotel in Kitchener, Ontario, for six years. After moving to England, where she lived with relations for a number of years, she eventually returned to Kitchener where she welcomed thousands of visitors to her home to show them the crystal skull. In April 2007, Anna passed away after having lived a long life, dying at age 100.

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Investigator Spotlight which objects held beneath the skull are magnified and brightened. The optical effects were the result of how the skull was carved, which also enabled art conservator, restorer, and expert on religious icons Frank Dorland to realize how precise the workmanship had been. Dorland spent more than six years working with the skull, during which time he observed that there was a type of “layering” on top of the skull, which made the skull behave like an amplifying glass. Evidence of an even more mysterious nature is found in both the handground and natural prisms and lenses, which also channel illumination from the base and distribute images and light.

ell-Hedges crystal skull, Homann wants to make it available to people fighting for world peace, one being the Dali Lama, who he is supposed to meet in August. He also hopes to meet with the UN Peacebuilding Commission that will soon be traveling to different parts of the world to meet with world and spiritual leaders. “That’s something that is very important to me,” Homann said.

in to see the skull. He also welcomes many local visitors, some of whom attend his series of crystal skull workshops. “Some people are drawn to the skull, and I want to make it available to them,” Homann said. “I will do my best to communicate the message of the skulls through lectures, conferences, research, workshops, documentaries, and traveling around the world.”

The Message of the Skulls One of Homann’s other goals is to make sure that people hear about the lives and work of F. A. Mitchell-Hedges and his daughter Anna. When it comes down to it, Homann’s own research has lead him to believe that the skulls might hold otherA Meeting of the Skulls? worldly qualities. So, are the skulls made “I believe the main mesby modern craftsmen or sage that the skull is trying to are they Mayan artifacts? share with the world is for all Homann responded that of us to drop our egos and to for some of the skulls, it is work and support each other as hard to say for sure. But he if we are all one,” he said. “That still believes the skulls have all living beings contribute to a definite purpose, and that the whole and all are sacred. they do have an effect on We are not separate from each those around them. other; we are all connected “Not everyone can feel through love. Rather than live it, though those with psychic in our own single-minded conabilities can pick up on it sciousness, we need to embrace very easily,” he said. “Where unity consciousness.” In 1924, F. A. Mitchell-Hedges set out on an expedition to British the skulls come from ulHomann also feels that Honduras, known as modern-day Belize, in a quest for Mayan timately doesn’t matter, the crystal skulls are here to artifacts. While in Lubaantun — a pre-Columbian, ruined city of because it’s the effect of the help man connect to a higher the Maya civilization — F. A. and his daughter, Anna, reportedly skulls that matters most.” consciousness. And, in the found the now infamous Mitchell-Hedges crystal skull. In Homann’s own invesend, he believes that each intigations, he has worked with dividual should learn as much As for the general public, the several other crystal skulls around as possible about the skulls before skull is available to anyone who is the world. He firmly believes that drawing any conclusions. interested. According to Homann, each has its own “special gift and “It is up to each individual people come from around the world job,” and he hopes that one day to come to their own conclusion to see the skull. soon, the different crystal skulls will and belief around where the skulls Last month, Homann had visibe brought together. come from and what they mean,” tors from France and Germany fly As far as the future of the Mitchhe said.

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The Face on the Skull I

n October 1964, art conservator, restorer, and expert on religious icons Frank Dorland was given permission by Anna Mitchell-Hedges to conduct six years of testing and experiments on the crystal skull that she owned. During the many years of Dorland’s research where he personally displayed either the crystal skull or the models and photographs of it to thousands of viewers, the common reaction was silence and awe. But occasionally, someone would ask Dorland if it was possible to “put a face on the skull.” The answer to that question was yes. It was indeed possible to put a legitimate face on the crystal skull through a science known as forensic reconstruction: creating a portrait indicating the original appearance of a former person. The portrait is built on the foundation of the skull or its remnants. In fact, this particular science has made such great advances in the past few years that it has garnered high levels of legal acceptance because of its incredible accuracy. A Quest for a Portrait It wasn’t until 1986 that Frank Joseph, a historical writer in Olympia Fields, Illinois, contacted Dorland. Joseph suggested showing a model of the skull to Dr. Clyde Snow, a renowned physical anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma. Dorland readily agreed to ship his plaster cast of the crystal skull to Joseph so he could proceed with Snow on the project. Snow minutely examined the

cast and, after careful deliberations, concluded that the skull was definitely not simply an artist’s conception of a skull, as many had claimed. He said that the skull, in fact, was a carefully made copy of an actual skull of a young female.

After careful deliberations, it was concluded that the crystal skull was definitely not simply an artist’s conception of a skull but a carefully made copy of an actual skull of a young female.

This classification fueled Joseph’s project, and he became intent on finding a top forensic scientist to undertake a reconstruction of the face on the skull. Months later, Joseph phoned Dorland, telling him that he had found one of the top forensic teams

available. They also agreed to conduct a preliminary study to determine if they could go ahead with a facial reconstruction. The team included Peggy Caldwell, collaborator with the anthropology department of the Smithsonian Institute, and detective Frank Domingo, composite artist with the New York Police Department. Joseph forwarded the plaster cast to the team, and Dorland sent a set of 8” x 10” glossy photographs of the skull to help them in their work. Putting a Face on the Skull The team soon sent Dorland a report of the preliminary examination, which showed that the skull was a copy of a real skull of a young female of the Mongoloid race who was between the ages of 25 and 29. The team was then able to proceed with the actual reconstruction of the face, which would have been pointless if the skull had turned out to be merely an artist’s conception. While the actual facialbuilding process is detailed and lengthy, a simple explanation is that known anatomical reference points and the tables of various depths of soft tissue are carefully followed. The layers of muscle, flesh, and skin are laid over the bare skull until the facial features are finally complete. After a few weeks, Dorland received a final report from Peggy Caldwell and a photo of the drawing made by detective Frank Domingo. See the above picture.

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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites

Calling on History: The Vaile Mansion By Mindy Kinnaman

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n the midst of Independence, Missouri, a town famous for being the home of President Harry S. Truman, stands a Victorian mansion with a haunted history. The Vaile Mansion, located at 1500 N. Liberty Street, towers over the modern residential homes that line the northern Independence neighborhood. Built in 1881 by Col. and Mrs. Harvey Vaile, the Vaile Mansion has played a variety of roles: home to the Vailes, women’s college, inn, private asylum and sanitarium, water company, and retirement home. Today, the home is a historic site operated by the City of Independence and features daily tours and holiday events for the family.

Volunteers who work in the Vaile Mansion are hesitant to talk about the stories that have prevailed regarding the home’s haunted status. Occasionally, visitors can find a tour guide who will talk about the haunting, but only in private.

will tell visitors Mrs. Vaile died of cancer, but they also speculate that she could have taken too much morphine for the pain. Rumors abound, however, that Mrs. Vaile killed herself after her husband was accused of mail fraud. Regardless of how Mrs. Vaile died, visitors and tour guides have reported seeing Mrs. Vaile’s ghost looking out of her bedroom window, which overlooks the visitors’ parking lot. Others have seen her in her bathroom.

Hauntings at Vaile Mansion Other spirits have been reported in the home, as well. One guest had been standing in one of the upstairs rooms during a A Sordid Past Christmas tour. She stood Beautiful to those who by the window overlooking experience it, the Vaile Manthe south lawn, when she One Vaile Mansion tour guide reported seeing a couple standing sion features 31 rooms, nine heard someone playing with at the top of the stairs in the foyer. The elderly couple, most likely marble fireplaces, painted ceil- residents from when the home served as a nursing home, stood one of the doorknobs. The ings, flushing toilets, a built-in adjacent room, however, there, holding hands, until they faded from view. 6,000-gallon water tank, and was empty. a 48,000-gallon wine cellar. A tour guide, who Col. Vaile labeled the home MaiIn 1889, Mrs. Vaile died. Conspoke off the record, reported seeson d’Or, mansion of gold. But the troversy and questions surround the ing a couple standing at the top of beauty hides a sordid past. details of her death. Tour guides the stairs in the foyer. The elderly

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couple, most likely residents from when the mansion served as a nursing home, stood there, holding hands, until they faded from view. The tour guide stated that she never stayed in the house alone following that incident.

Photos: Mindy Kinnaman

Tours at Vaile Mansion Tours run daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week from Apr. 1 to Oct. 31. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and running through Christmas, the Vaile Mansion features holiday-themed tours. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for senior adults, and $2 for children ages six to 16. Children under six are free. From November 28–December 30, Vaile will hold its “Queen Victoria Christmas” tours during normal hours of operation. In addition, visitors can purchase a pass, which will allow them to tour the Vaile Mansion; 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home, another haunted site in Independence; and the Bingham-Waggoner Estate. Tickets for the combination tour are $12. For more information, contact the Independence Visitors Bureau at (816) 325-7340.

Vaile at Christmas

Photos: www.vailemansion.org/

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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites

Top 10 Haunted Sites in America By Jaime Johnesee 1. The Myrtles Plantation Saint Francisville, Louisiana

will leave you in awe. If you happen to visit the Myrtles around Halloween, you will be able to enjoy their Halloween Extravaganza. For more information, visit www.myrtlesplantation.com or call 225.635.6277.

2. Lemp Mansion St. Louis, Missouri

Known as one of America’s most haunted places, the Myrtles Plantation (built in 1796) is a place that has felt the pain of the Civil War and seen the horrors of slavery. People come from all over the world to visit the Myrtles. Whether they come to try and catch a glimpse of the infamous Chloe, a female slave who is rumored to have poisoned the plantation owner’s family in the early 1800s, or whether they are trying to hear the sound of drums echoing from the foundation of a building, the Myrtles doesn’t disappoint. Wildlife artist John James Audubon used the Myrtles as the setting for many of his water colors. Aside from being the site of reported hauntings, the Myrtles is rife with beauty. With the gorgeous surroundings of the plantation, whether you see paranormal activity or not, the friendly service and delightful tales

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haunt the mansion. Some speculate that the activity started after a string of tragedies plagued the Lemp family, including four reported suicides. Whether or not the Lemp family was indeed cursed as some claim, their dark story adds intrigue to a site once dubbed “America’s most haunted.” Haunted tours are given on Monday evenings. For more information, visit www.Lempmansion. com or call 314.664.8024.

3. Whaley House San Diego, California

The Lemp Mansion, a familiar sight to St. Louis residents since the late1860s, is famous for being one of the nation’s most haunted buildings. William Lemp, the first owner of Lemp Mansion, turned the mansion into a Victorian showpiece. The mansion was transformed over time from the stately home of millionaires to office space to a decaying, run-down boarding house. It has now been restored to a banquet hall that includes a fine dinner theatre, restaurant, and bed and breakfast. Paranormal experiences are said to take place year after year at the mansion, mystifying both guests and ghost hunters. The ghosts of several Lemp family members are said to

Paranormal Underground July 2008

The Whaley House is well known for paranormal activity. Built in 1856, Whaley House has seen its share of misery. There have been many deaths associated with the house, most notably the hanging of Yankee Jim Robinson for stealing a rowboat. No one knows the exact site of Yankee Jim’s execution; the only thing known for sure is that he died on the Whaley property, before Thomas Whaley owned it. Other hangings occurred on the property


before the house was constructed, and a Whaley family member committed suicide on the property. There also are reported hauntings by Thomas and Anna Whaley, as well as a young girl and a woman. Now owned by the Save Our Heritage Organization, the Whaley House is open for tours. For more information, visit www.whaleyhouse. org or call 619.297.7511.

4. The Queen Mary Long Beach, California

Docked in Long Beach, Calif., the Queen Mary is one of the world’s most famous haunted ships. After the ship’s construction was finished in 1935, the Queen Mary was officially handed over to the Cunard White Star Line on May 12, 1936. She was designed to be a passenger ship, yet in 1940, HMS Queen Mary was outfitted as a troop transport. Retired in 1967, the Queen Mary was purchased by the city of Long Beach, Calif., that same year and transformed into a hotel. Since then, guests aboard the opulent ship have reported seeing and hearing paranormal phenomenon. Guests claim to see full-bodied apparitions throughout the ship, and there are reports of entities touching guests in the pool area and theater. The most haunted area of the ship is said to be the engine room where an 18-year-old sailor was crushed to death trying to escape a fire. And in what is now the front desk area of

the hotel, visitors have seen the ghost of a “lady in white.” A Ghosts & Legends of the Queen Mary tour encompasses a 25,000-square-foot area and takes guests through locations not accessible to the public. For more information, visit www.QueenMary.com or call 562.435.3511.

6. St Augustine Lighthouse St. Augustine, Florida

5. Waverly Hills Sanatorium Louisville, Kentucky

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is said to be the home of several hauntings. A wood tower was constructed in 1586 to help the Spaniards guide ships into port. In 1683, the wooden tower was replaced by one made of stone. And in 1859, lighthouse keeper Joseph Andreu fell to his death from the tower, prompting some to believe one of the ghosts that resides at St. Augustine is the keeper. In total, at least three keepers and four children have died at St. Augustine. In 1870, the lighthouse was rebuilt as it appears today. The U.S. Lighthouse Service was disbanded in 1939, and the light house was automated, with the Coast Guard given the duty of guiding in ships. The lighthouse still stands in the same spot that the wooden tower was constructed 422 years ago. The lighthouse is open for tours, including a Dark of the Moon after hours paranormal tour. For more information, visit www.staugustinelighthouse. com or call 904.829.0745.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium was one of America’s top tuberculosis hospitals of its day, opening its doors in 1910. Waverly functioned as a tuberculosis hospital until 1961 and opened in 1962 as WoodHaven Medical Services. It remained a geriatrics center until 1980, when it was closed by the state. Thousands of deaths on the grounds of Waverly contribute to the idea that Waverly is one of the most haunted places in America. A massive building, complete with a body chute, Waverly holds decades of history within its walls. Haunted or not, its past is intriguing and gives us a window in which to see what the TB hospitals of the time were like. Ghost hunting tours are available at Waverly, and if you plan to be in the area during Halloween, be sure to visit the haunted house. For more information, visit www.whshistory.com or call 502.933.2142.

7. Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the early 1800s, Eastern State Penitentiary was a new prison

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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites for a new time. The thought was that criminals were a product of their environment and that by keeping them in solitude, they would become penitent; hence, the word “penitentiary.” Opened in 1829, Eastern State received its first criminal in October 1829, and in 1836 construction was finally completed on Eastern State. On August 12, 1924, Eastern State received its most unusual criminal. Pep, the “cat murdering dog,” was sentenced to life at Eastern State by Governor Gifford Pinchot. In 1965, Eastern State was declared a historic landmark, and by 1971, it was abandoned. The City of Philadelphia saved Eastern State from being demolished in 1980 by buying it from the state, and in 1988, the Eastern State Task Force was assembled to restore the building. As early as the 1940s, officers and inmates reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences in the ancient prison. And the ghost sightings have only increased since Eastern State was abandoned in 1971. Eastern State is open for daytime and twilight tours, as well as an annual haunted house. For more information, visit www.easternstate. org or call 215.236.3300.

8. The Stanley Hotel Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel, built in 1909 by F.O. Stanley, features 160 acres, 138 guest rooms, and magnificent architecture and landscaping. Famous visitors include Molly Brown, the Emperor and Empress

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of Japan, countless movie stars, and Stephen King. It was King’s book, The Shining, that gave the Stanley national and worldwide attention. King fell in love with the beauty of the Stanley. It was during his stay that the activity he encountered within the walls of the beautiful hotel gave him the idea for the majority of his book. Located less than six miles from the Rocky Mountain National Park, there is more to do at the Stanley than ghost hunt. However, if it’s ghosts that you are after, the Stanley appears to be the spot for you. Many paranormal claims come from Stanley guests year after year. The Stanley is available for weddings and events, as well as for those who wish to stay overnight. Ghost and history tours are offered daily. For more information, visit www.stanleyhotel.com or call 800.976.1377.

9. Bell Witch Farm and Cave Adams, Tennessee

The Bell Witch Farm’s history dates back to 1817, when farmer John Bell and his family began to experience paranormal activity. The farm consisted of 320 acres of rich farm land that lay along the Red River. The Bell family lived a peaceful life there for the first 13 years; however, in the summer of 1817, some members of the family began seeing strange-looking animals around the property. Then, late at night, they started hearing knocking sounds on the doors and outer walls of the house. Later, noises were heard in the

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house — such as sounds of a rat gnawing on the bed post, chains being drug through the house, stones being dropped on the wooden floors, and gulping and choking. It was believed at the time that Kate Batts, a neighbor of the Bell’s who was said to be a witch, was cursing them. On December 20, 1820, John Bell died, and Kate Batts was accused of poisoning him. Kate Batts left the town in 1821, promising to return in seven years, which she did. She again promised to return in 107 years, but many local residents believe she has never left and continues to haunt the area, as the property and the cave are reportedly rife with paranormal activity. Tours of the John Bell cabin and Bell Witch Cave are now available. For more information, visit www.bellwitchcave.com or call 615.696.3055.

10. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery Bachelor Grove Woods, Illinois

Bachelor’s Grove (sometimes seen as Batchelor’s Grove) is one of Cook County’s oldest cemeteries and the site of one of the most famous ghost photos ever taken. The cemetery has had numerous reports of paranormal activity, ranging from full-bodied apparitions to orbs and Electronic Voice Phenomena. Ghost hunters have also reported seeing strange floating blue lights, a brilliant zooming red light, a mysterious ghost house, and phantom cars that appear and disappear. For more information, visit www. bachelorsgrove.com.


Myrtles Plantation: A Tale of Two Hauntings By Chad Wilson

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orthwest of Baton Rouge, along Highway 61, sits one of America’s most haunted locations: the Myrtles Plantation. It is believed to be genuinely haunted, although the identity of some of the ghosts themselves, and the method of their demise, has recently been brought into question. The most famous of the Myrtles Plantation ghosts is Chloe, supposed slave and lover of Clark Woodruff, who poisoned Clark’s wife and two of their children in revenge when she was spurned by Clark.

Sarah Mathilda, died first, followed by two of her children a year later. The female wearing the green bonnet or scarf, as Chloe is known to wear, can be traced to an old woman who was said to haunt the plantation by previous owners. Her identity remains a mystery. In the retelling of the story about the lady in the green bonnet, the legend grew, making its way through

Murders at Myrtles The question of the number of murders occurring at the Myrtles is also a point of contention, with 10 being the standard figure given. According to records, only one murder has occurred there, and even that legend has run afoul of the rumor mill. In 1871, then owner of the house William Winter was shot by an unknown assailant. According to tales, he made his way into the house and up the stairs. Upon reaching the 17th stair, he collapsed into his wife’s arms and died. However, historical records revealed that he collapsed where he was shot and died, so his ill-fated journey into the house and up to the 17th stair never happened.

A Discovery Is Made Researcher David Wiseheart was so intrigued by this story that he spent countless hours in Louisiana trying to track down information One of the Most Haunted about the plantation, and While stories like the two this story in particular. documented above make for It was while looking interesting tales, they are far Despite several twisted legends, guests of the Myrtles Plantation still experience unexplainable events on a consistent basis, including the through old records that from the truth. However, dehe made the discovery that appearance of full-bodied apparitions, ghost children at play, and spite several twisted legends, unexplainable noises. a slave girl named Chloe guests of the Myrtles Plantahad never existed. Nor tion still experience unexdid the name Cleo come up, another the proverbial grapevine, until we get plainable events on a consistent basis, name the slave girl is known by in the story we have today: A slave and including the appearance of full-bodied variations of the same story. lover of Clark Woodruff, after being apparitions, ghost children at play, and It was also a known fact that Clark spurned, seeks revenge and accidenunexplainable noises. was so devoted to his wife that he nev- tally poisons his wife and children. Its ghosts will remain a mystery er remarried after her death. FurtherWhile apparently not a true story, though, as its legend seemingly grows more, it is historical fact that Chloe’s it has taken on a life of its own in the in the telling. Maybe someday, its supposed victims actually died tragitelling. And today, it is difficult to tell ghosts will be revealed, but until then, cally from Yellow Fever. The mother, truth from fiction. we must sit and wonder.

July 2008 Paranormal Underground 21


Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids

The Search for Cryptids By Jaime Johnesee, zoologist

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ith so many new species and subspecies being discovered every year, it is not impossible to believe that certain animals might exist that are uncategorized and awaiting discovery. This belief led to its own branch of science known as cryptozoology. In its infancy, cryptozoology was laughed at and thought to be a pseudo-science. But, as an increasing amount of new creatures started being discovered, cryptozoology earned its place alongside its sister, zoology, as a serious area of research. While zoologists spent their time categorizing and learning about known species, cryptozoologists learned to separate myth from reality in the search for cryptids. What Are Cryptids? Cryptids are animals whose existence has been reported but not yet proven. One of the most famous former cryptids is the okapi. A relative of the giraffe, its markings clearly resemble a zebra. Until 1902 when Sir Harry Johnston discovered and classified this creature, the okapi was thought to be nothing more than a myth. It now stands as the mascot for the International Society for Cryptozoology. The ex-cryptid many may have heard of is the platypus. First seen in 1797 by settlers outside of

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The ex-cryptid many may have heard of is the platypus. First seen in 1797 by settlers outside of Sydney, the platypus was thought to be a joke. A local governor was so perplexed by the creature that he sent specimens to England for further study.

Sydney, the platypus was thought to be a joke. A local governor was so perplexed by the creature that he sent specimens to England for further study. These specimens were believed to be a hoax perpetrated by Chinese taxidermists in order to swindle money from the gullible. It wasn’t until 1802 that the animal was finally accepted as a real creature. Another famous former cryptid is the giant panda. Until 1869, this beast was thought to be nothing more than local legend and myth. Père Armand David was given a dead specimen by hunters in late-

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March of that year. He was quoted as saying, “This must be a new species of ‘Ursus’ [bear family] . . .” Later that year, he wrote to Alphonse Milne-Edwards — a well-known mammalogist and ornithologist of the times — asking him to include a description of the bear, saying, “I have not seen this species, which is easily the prettiest kind of animal I know in the museums of Europe; perhaps it is new to science!” A Search for the Unknown For hundreds of years, animals that were thought to be legend have


been proven as fact, and some animals thought to be extinct, such as the coelacanth (a fish believed to be extinct for 65 million years until a living specimen was caught alive and well in 1938) have been found to still exist. The oceans and remote jungles of our planet are still unknown to us. In fact, more is known about the moon than about the Atlantic Ocean. This fact alone is enough to make one wonder if some cryptids could indeed be out there. Let us not forget architeuthis, the giant squid. Once believed to have been called Kraken by sailors, architeuthis had not been seen alive before September of 2004. More than 500 photos of the giant cephalopod were captured by Tsunemi Kubodera of the National Science Museum of Japan in Tokyo and Kyoichi Mori of the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association. Many were caught dead over the past 200 years, and some of the deceased were found washed up on public beaches. But the Holy Grail for marine biologists searching for the giant squid was to capture one on camera alive and well, which was finally accomplished in still photos in 2004 by crews from the National Science Museum of Japan and the Ogasawara Whale Watching Association. The giant squid was captured by the same group on live video in 2006.

The okapi, one of the most famous former cryptids, wasn’t discovered and classified until 1902.

Confusing Real-World Animals for Cryptids As history shows, cryptids can indeed be found to be real creatures. Are Sasquatch or El Chupacabra real animals? Could we possibly be taking our children or grandchildren to visit Bigfoot in a zoo one day? Only time will tell, but as developers and loggers clear more jungle and forest, it is quite possible more about these creatures may be brought to light. As a zoologist, I believe many of the stories passed down through generations about some of these cryptids, but I also believe many of these might actually be real-world animals that human imagination paints as more. For example, let’s look at the giant anaconda. While such an animal may actually exist, it is far more likely that people are seeing a regular fullgrown green anaconda, which can grow as long as 30 feet and weigh as much as 500 pounds. Having worked with an anaconda, I can tell you firsthand that having one come at you can trick your mind into thinking it is larger than it actually is. The anaconda I dealt with was considered small at 16 feet, yet in my mind it was more like 70 feet. In the water, the anaconda is lightening quick, causing it to look like it is longer than it actually is. On land, however, these snakes are cumbersome and have a hard time moving. One of the main reasons they spend 90 percent of their life in the water is because of their weight, which could actually cause them to suffocate if they are on land for too long. The mokèlé-mbèmbé in Africa is another possible cryptid that might be a case of confusion. Most zoologists think it can be explained away as hippopotami. Often described as reddish in color and aggressively attacking boats, the mokèlé-mbèmbé has made several people scratch their heads in wonder.

The mokèlé-mbèmbé in Africa is another possible cryptid that might be a case of confusion. Most zoologists think it can be explained away as hippopotami.

What most people are unaware of is the natural secretion hippos use as protection from the sun. Colorless at first, this fluid turns anywhere from pink to brown within moments of being secreted. This actually gives the animal the appearance of being blood red and is often referred to as blood sweat, causing some to believe the hippotami have red skin. Hippos can be extremely aggressive, especially when protecting their territory and during breeding season. They are even known to attack boats. Witnesses might see patches of this red skin and attribute the attack to a sea monster. Cryptozoology: Fact or Fiction? I could be wrong about the giant anaconda and the mokèlé-mbèmbé, but that is what a cryptozoologist does: researches animals that have not been classified. They have to be able to separate fact from fiction, as well as embellishment. Cryptozoologists must look at the stories given them and weigh the character of the person telling the story, the events surrounding the account, and what naturally occurring animals might have been in the area at the same time. A difficult, often thankless, and usually scoffed at career, cryptozoology is a passion and a way of life more than simply a job to those who pursue it.

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Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?

Mysteries of the Universe Discussed at Conference By Mindy Kinnaman

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recent rash of UFO and with a great influx in the Kansas City ence, Padgitt selected people she other paranormal activimetropolitan area. had interviewed on a radio show ties inspired a Kansas City, “There is definitely something she had hosted for five years. The Missouri, resident to host a confergoing on,” she said. show allowed her to meet with a ence on the topics. Margie variety of well-known people Kay Padgitt, director of in the paranormal field, and QUEST Investigation because several were people Group, organized the from the Kansas City area, first-ever Mysteries of the she was able to bring them in Universe Conference, to speak at the conference. held June 7, 2008, at the She also sought out the Intrigue Park Place Hotel leading authority on UFO in Kansas City. research, Stanton Friedman, The conference was cofrom Canada. sponsored by the QUEST “He’s a very nice, downInvestigation Group and to-earth person,” Padgitt said. 7th Planet Productions. Friedman published his Padgitt received help in first book on the UFO crash organizing the conference in Roswell, New Mexico, in from her assistants, Ma1966 and began lecturing on ria McKenzie and Tamie the topic the following year. Approximately 100 people attended the Mysteries of the Universe Dorsch, and volunteers He has published more than from the QUEST Investiga- Conference, which covered near-death and UFO studies, paranor80 papers on the subject. mal experiences, and NASA coverups. tion Group. The one-day During the conference, event featured speakers and Friedman addressed his own a trade show. investigations into the UFO In addition to organizing the phenomena and what he deems Increase in UFO Sightings event, Padgitt spoke on her expe“Cosmic Watergate.” Leads to Conference riences as a clairvoyant, a UFO Padgitt decided to host the contactee, and how the contact Speakers Share Their conference after a rash of UFO increased her abilities. Research With Attendees sightings, alien abductions, and alien When it came time to choose Other speakers during the contact from across the country, her fellow speakers for the conferevent were Director of the Kansas

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Paranormal Underground July 2008


City chapter of the International Association for Near-Death Studies Chris Brethwaite, who spoke on life after death; Bill Hamilton, who talked about the impact of planetary science and biological theories on UFO studies; journalism professor and author Jason Offut, who reviewed two of his books on paranormal experiences; and Vince White, who discussed NASA’s cover-ups regarding Mars. Offut enjoyed the conference and thought the diverse topics offered something for every guest. He was awed when offered the invitation to speak. “I thought, wow, I’m actually going to be speaking at a UFO conference,” he said. “Normally, my speaking engagements are at universities.” Offut’s first session focused on his book Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots. During his second session, he talked about his upcoming, yet untitled, book regarding paranormal events located within in a 100-mile radius of his home in Northwest Missouri. One of the stories Offut shared with his audience was the story of Mike Markham, a 21-year-old from Stanberry, Missouri, who decided he would build a time machine in 1995. Markham was not building the machine to better mankind; instead, he wanted to go a few days ahead to get lottery numbers. In 1997, Markham disappeared. “Where is he?” Offut asked. “When is he? Nobody knows.” Speaker Says NASA Covers Up Vital Information Vince White felt compelled to participate after receiving Padgitt’s invitation to speak. “My conscience directed me to speak on this,” he said.

White’s research led him to beSecond Conference Already lieve that NASA covered up the fact Being Planned that Mars holds enough frozen water Padgitt has high hopes for next that, if melted, would covyear’s conference. She er the planet in 30 feet of has planned to expand water. He said that NASA the conference to two also doctored photographs days to include a combiof Mars published in Nanation of guest speakers, tional Geographic in 1955 including Stan Romanek, because the photographs who photographed an showed a planet that alien in his window durclosely resembled Earth. ing one of his more than Leading UFO research “I’m really troubled 100 alien sightings. authority Stanton that the public is not Padgitt also plans Friedman addressed “Cosmic Watergate” being given the whole to hire a public relaat the conference. story,” White said. tions firm, because “NASA stands for Not while she had a great A Straight Answer. It’s response from across hard to believe, but it’s what you the country on the recent conbegin to see when you start looking ference, there was not a lot of a that makes you believe.” local response. The location may Approximately 100 people atchange, but the conference will tended the Mysteries of the Universe still be held in Kansas City in June Conference, and all proceeds from or July of 2009. the event benefitted the QUEST “Believe me, it’ll be worth atInvestigation Group. tending,” she said.

Quest Investigation Group

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he QUEST Investigation Group is a non-profit organization that combines professional psychics and researchers to help solve missing persons cases, homicide cases, UFO reports, and paranormal investigations. Director Margie Kay Padgitt has worked with law enforcement agencies and private detectives since she was 16 and has played a role in locating 27 missing persons, murder victims, and perpetrators. Families and law enforcement agencies can utilize the QUEST Investigation Group’s services free

of charge. Families and law enforcement agencies seeking the help of the QUEST Investigation Group are encouraged to contact Padgitt by email at margiekay06@yahoo.com or by phone at (816) 833-1602. The QUEST Investigation Group is open to anyone interested in studying the paranormal. Membership is $25, and meetings are held in Independence, Missouri. Membership includes field trips, online newsletter, online chat list, and study of the paranormal. For more information, visit www. ufokc.4mg.com/investigations.htm.

July 2008 Paranormal Underground 25


Cultural Beliefs

Superstition and Cultural Beliefs:

Where Did It Begin? By Binoo’mukua

“Very superstitious, writing’s on the wall …”

— Stevie Wonder, Superstition, 1972

““Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” “Break a mirror and seven years of bad luck will follow.” “Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.” Superstition, the belief that performing certain acts or reciting specific verses in order to ward off evil or bad luck, pervades cultures throughout the world, but have you ever wondered how these beliefs and practices got started? In this article, we will examine some popular beliefs, superstitions, and their cultural origins in hopes of shedding some light on the mystery that surrounds them. Where Do Superstitions Come From? What is superstition? According to Merriam-Webster, superstition is: “1 a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation; b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition; 2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary.”

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Since time immemorial, people throughout the world have harbored a strong belief in superstitious rituals. But why? What is the cause of such strong belief in something seemingly improbable or, as the dictionary puts it, believing in something “despite evidence to the contrary”? We have all been told that every

One culture, in particular, took this belief to the extreme — the Celts. To them, a God or Goddess ruled every aspect of the natural world. The sun, moon, trees, rocks, water, earth, all were inhabited and controlled by a respective deity, which brings us to our first superstition: knocking on wood.

myth, legend, or belief has a root in some fact, but is there any fact for the basis of superstitious belief? Let’s examine several well-known superstitious beliefs and the cultures from which they originated to see. It is known that early man was a keen observer of the natural world. To them, the natural world was filled with Gods, for only the power of a God could answer for the marvels they observed but could not explain.

Respecting the Sidhe How many of us have done this? We say something like, “My car is doing fine,” and then we knock on wood, or “I should do well on the exam,” and then knock on wood. But where did this superstition begin? It is believed to come from the Celtic belief that the Sidhe, or fairy folk, inhabited the trees of the forest. To the Celts, the Sidhe were Godlike and prevalent in almost every aspect of their lives. While the Celts did not worship the Sidhe, they were believed to have God-like powers and were to be respected, and even feared in some cases. Those who pleased the Sidhe by respecting nature and the cycle of things were rewarded, while the Sidhe punished those who disregarded the natural order of things. The Celts believed that by knocking once on a tree and thinking of the favor

Paranormal Underground July 2008


you wanted, the Sidhe would grant it as long as you had been astute in your respect for all things natural. The second knock on the tree signified “thank you,” showing respect for the Sidhe. As Irish immigrants came into the United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, they bought the superstition of knocking on wood with them. Unlucky Number 13 One of the most well-known superstitions today is the belief that Friday the 13th is a day of bad luck and ill omens. This belief is dated to the times of early Christianity, and actually has several origins, all of which proved to be bad days for those involved. One explanation for this superstition comes directly from the early Christian church. Many believed that The Last Supper occurred on a Friday and that 13 people attended. Judas, the betrayer of Christ, was the 13th guest, making this an unlucky day. This is also the basis of another superstition, “It is bad luck to seat 13 guests at the dinner table.” Another popular basis for why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky takes place during medieval times. Around 1100 A.D., during the first and second Crusades, the Knights Templar was created by the Vatican to protect Christian pilgrims as they journeyed to the Holy Lands. The Knights Templar quickly grew in numbers, wealth, and political power, despite their holy vows of poverty. As their power grew, the Vatican’s new Pope, Clement V, became concerned. Influenced by King Philip IV of France, who had helped Clement rise to power, they plotted together to confiscate the Templar’s accumulated wealth. On Friday, October 13, 1307, the Pope excommunicated the

Knights Templar for breaking their vows of poverty and decreed that every Knight be arrested. As Pope Clement V’s order spread throughout Europe, the Knights Templar were hunted and killed, their wealth confiscated and turned over to the church, with King Phillip IV receiving a fair share. A more in depth version of this story was made popular by Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, but much of this cannot be confirmed on a historical basis and is considered fiction. However, the Papal decree of October 13, 1307, can be verified, and this is thought by some scholars to be the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition.

too, has its roots in the middle ages, and once again, originates from a lack of scientific understanding. During the Middle Ages, people were making an attempt to better understand the natural world around them. Science was a budding interest, but religious belief ruled the day, and everything was placed into God’s order or hierarchy. Studying the human body was considered taboo, as the body was considered a temple of God and to study it was to desecrate it. As a result, how the body functioned was left to speculation. During this time, salt was a precious commodity and believed to have healing properties. This coincided with the belief that the body was made up of “salts and vapors,” which had to be balanced in order to prevent disease. People of the Middle Ages also strongly believed that demons or “Satan’s Minions” were ever-present in their world, intent on the downfall of

Many charms and amulets are believed to “ward off” the Evil Eye.

Keep the Bad Spirits Away Another popular superstition is that of throwing salt over your left shoulder to ward off bad luck. This,

July 2008 Paranormal Underground 27


Cultural Beliefs man, and that they sought the salts of man to feed upon, giving them energy to wreak havoc in the natural world. It followed then, that if a person spilled salt, a pinch was quickly tossed over the left shoulder. This was done to appease the demon that lurked there and prevent any harm to the spiller, for the word “left” in the English language is derived from the Latin sinestre or sinister, which means “from the left.” Religious doctrine of the time taught that God and everything good was associated with the right, while Satan and everything evil was sinister, or associated with the left, and this is why we throw salt over our left shoulders. God Bless You! How many of you have offered a blessing when someone sneezed? Once again, this practice seems to have roots in medieval times. As was mentioned earlier, understanding of the human body and its working during this period was minimal, and it was believed that when a person sneezed, the heart actually stopped. At this time, a person was considered vulnerable to the ever-present Satan and his minions, and the sneeze itself was deemed the expulsion of a demon or evil spirit that had taken up residence within the person. A blessing, such as “God bless you,” was quickly offered as a protective charm after the sneeze to ward off the re-entry of an evil spirit that the tormented soul had just rid itself of. This superstition also has another root related to the same period. During this time, disease was one of society’s greatest fears. Little was known about medicine, plague, cholera, smallpox, and

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other diseases that were common throughout the Middle Ages. Many of these ailments started with coldlike symptoms, and saying “God bless you” when someone sneezed was felt to help ward off disease. Peering Into the Soul One of the oldest and most culturally diverse superstitions that still exists today is the belief in the Evil Eye. This is the belief that some people have the power to cause misfortune or even death just by glancing at you. Scholars believe that this superstition has its origins in ancient Sumeria, when civilization was just taking root. Forming weak settlements without organized protection, early people had an innate fear of strangers.

If a stranger passed through a village and some form of disaster followed — such as drought or famine — it was blamed on the stranger in an attempt to understand the disaster. As people spread and came into contact with other cultures, this belief propagated and became quite strong in Eastern European and Mediterranean cultures, which hold the common belief that the “eyes are the doorway to the soul” and that allowing another to gaze into one’s eyes bares the soul to that person, making one vulnerable to the power of the Evil Eye.

Paranormal Underground July 2008

During the Middle Ages, belief in the Evil Eye was so strong, people with “lazy eye” or variations in eye color (one blue, one brown, which is a genetic anomaly) were excommunicated from society and shunned. Many charms and amulets are believed to “ward off the Evil Eye,” and it is common practice in many societies to present newborns with these talismans to protect them and grant lifelong protection. Superstitions in the 20th Century All of the popular superstitious beliefs examined here have some root in fact, even though tenuous at times. There are of course many more that would take volumes to explore, such as black cats crossing your path (related to a belief in witches), walking under a ladder brings bad luck (common sense?), and breaking a mirror brings seven years bad luck (related to the belief that the reflection is a portrait of the soul). And with the explosion of today’s electronic communication, texts and e-mails abound with the next generation’s superstitious beliefs. For example, how many of you have received e-mails regarding a situation that can be fixed if you “forward this e-mail to 10 people you know”? Somewhere, someone down the line will swear that it worked, and another superstitious belief will be born. Or is that an Urban Legend? Did I say Urban Legend? That’s a whole new can of worms, one that we’ll open in next month’s article . . . knock on wood. For a more in-depth discussion on superstitions and other similar topics, visit the “Think Tank” forum at www.ghostdose.com.


Fireworks and the Paranormal By Chad Wilson

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ireworks have been used in some form for more than 2,000 years. The first fireworks date back to the Han dynasty (200 B.C.) and consisted of chunks of green bamboo. The discovery of its explosive properties may have resulted from someone throwing bamboo on a fire when dry fuel ran short. The resulting explosions are caused by air escaping from within pockets of air that form because of the bamboo plant’s rapid growth. The air inside the hollow reeds expands when heated and bursts through the side of the section of bamboo with a loud bang. The resulting bang frightened people and animals so badly that the bang was believed to scare spirits away as well, most notably an evil spirit called the Nian. This spirit was believed to eat crops and people. This spirit is most commonly represented in the Lion Dance that is performed during the Chinese New Year, the long lion actually being a depiction of the Nian.

Fireworks Scare Away Evil Spirits It soon became custom for the Chinese to throw green bamboo onto a fire during the Lunar New Year. This was done in order to scare spirits, especially the Nian, away, and helped ensure the happiness and prosperity of the people for that year. Soon, other occasions saw the use of the bursting bamboo, its bang overseeing weddings, coronations, and even births. This “bursting bamboo,” or pao chuk in Chinese, continued to be used over the next 1,000 years. Bamboo baskets containing items to ensure good luck are often offered at traditional Chinese weddings. Basket contents include incense, candles, a paper umbrella, and firecrackers. Gunpowder Debuts in Chinese Fireworks Gunpowder didn’t see use in fireworks until its discovery in China during the Sui and Tang dynas-

ties (600-900 A.D.), the most likely source of its discovery being by alchemists searching for an elixir of life. Included in the alchemical records of the time was one particular mixture consisting of sulfur, saltpeter (potassium nitrate), honey, among other ingredients, and was said to burn with a large, bright, hot flame that burned the hands and face of the original alchemist tending to it. Intrigued by its properties, alchemists continued experimenting with the mixture, trying to find ways to make it more powerful. Though not as powerful as modern gunpowder, it did burn very hot and bright. Called huo yao, or the “fire chemical,” it was soon found that if it was put inside of bamboo tubes before being thrown in the fire, the resulting bang was much more powerful. This was due to the expanding gases produced by the burning of the gunpowder. Today, firecrackers have become a fixture in cultures around the world.

July 2008 Paranormal Underground 29


Fiction: Featured Author

George By Jaime Johnesee

I

scurried over the center console and tugged on John’s seatbelt, but it wouldn’t budge. Frantically, I began combing the car for any type of sharp instrument to cut the belt off of him. The only thing I could find was a chewed up saw blade. I hoped the few teeth remaining would actually work. It took some doing, but finally the belt was free. I opened his door and climbed out of it, dragging him from the wreck into the underbrush on the side of the highway. We had to move, and move quick; it was still after us, and it was fast. I half-carried, half-dragged John through the thick brush until I felt safe enough to rest. John came to; the gash on his head was oozing blood quickly. I had taken my sweater off and wrapped it around his head to try and staunch the flow of blood. For an expensive sweater, it was not doing such a good job. I was wondering if I should have looked around the car once more before I left it. The urgency I felt, the NEED to get out of there was so compelling that I didn’t stop to think. Now I wondered if John had a first aid kit in the car; I asked him, and he said a groggy no.

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I felt relieved; I loathed the idea of going back to that car. For all I knew, IT might already be there, even though I knew it had nothing to do with the car wreck. The wreck had been unfortunate timing, but it

was eerie just the same. If we hadn’t crashed the car, we’d be safe by now. Well, at least safe for the night instead of stuck in some damn woods with John injured and that Thing most assuredly hot on our tail. We didn’t waste much time resting; we couldn’t. We struggled through the thick brush until we

Paranormal Underground July 2008

couldn’t keep going, our strength depleted. We hid in a small rock outcropping, and as John fell asleep, I began to look back at the events that led us here. * * * Three weeks earlier John and I were working at GenCorp creating a DNA profile for a Gigantopithecus. We had no clue they were actually going to create one from that profile. Imagine my surprise when John and I found out the company had added a few things to the DNA so they could create and test a new type of soldier. We were sickened and repulsed by the idea; however, we were simple scientists. The higher ups didn’t care what we thought. Big mistake! George (or GX132) was much brighter than we could have ever expected. Not only was he intelligent, he was emotionally distant, much more so than we had ever thought. I begged the company to terminate the project, but they were pleased with George’s progress. In their minds, emotional detachment was a good thing. I disagreed, but I had a mortgage and a brand new car to pay for. I continued working with


George until he tried to attack me George then looked at us and for the third time. After that, I was began running toward us. His thick done. I asked to be transferred and feet pounded off the linoleum and was surprised when the request was echoed through the concrete corgranted. John also could no longer ridor. John and I began to run. We stomach working with George, who made it to the parking garage, the was terrifyingly quick at picking screams and shrieks of our coworkthings up. ers echoing behind us as we ran. He knew 48 different types Tears streamed down my face as I of sign language, allowing him to thought of the deaths of my friends. converse in more than 20 countries. We made it to John’s car and He could dismantle and reassemble began pulling out of his designated any gun we gave him. The 9-foot tall, space. I looked back in time to 650-pound beast was trouble. see George burst into the parking I knew it, GenCorp knew it, and garage, my scream alerting John George knew it. He grew ever more to the fact he was coming after us. violent as time went on. He did not George was running fast but even he care that John and I were no longer couldn’t outrun John’s Mercedes. working with him; at least not that we All was going fine until John and I noticed. I feared stopped for gas for the world if he brought We had to move, and and that creature, that out his laptop. thing was ever unI asked move quick; it was still leashed upon it. what he after us, and it was fast. him I received was doing, and regular updates he said he had I half-carried, halfon George always been dragged John through through a friend afraid something who had taken the thick brush until I like this could over my position. happen. He had felt safe enough to rest. Meg told me implanted an every day about Avid microchip George and how in George. John he was growing ever more intelligent. signed onto the GenCorp Web site She never seemed to worry the way and began tracking him. I did about George escaping. She To our horror, George was only should have. a couple dozen miles behind us. We left the gas station and headed * * * west hoping to get far enough away John and I were in the break from George to spend the night room talking about that very unsomewhere. imaginable horror when the alarm John was really scared and was sounded. We ran down the hall to driving too fast when he hit a chunk the Special Projects Unit in time to of tire and lost control. We came to see George crashing through the tworest in a ravine. inch steel door, Meg in his grasp. She I scurried over the center conwas either dead or had been knocked sole and tugged on John’s seatbelt, unconscious. He was slamming her but it wouldn’t budge. Frantically, I body into the white concrete walls began combing the car for any type until there was no doubt in our minds of sharp instrument to cut the belt that she was dead. off of him.

Paranormal Underground Short Story Contest

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aranormal Underground is holding its firstever short story contest. If you are a writer of fiction, love to write about the paranormal, and would like to see your story published in one of our upcoming issues, then this contest is for you! The contest is open to members of GhostDose and Paranormal Underground, as well as nonmembers. Contest rules include: • 1,000 to 3,000 words • Due by August 15, 2008 • Submit to Editor@paranormalunderground.net The first-place winner will be published in our October issue. They will also have the option to become a regular contributor in our Featured Author column. Second and third place winners may be published in future issues. Our judges include Chad Wilson (Sithy), Jaime Johnesee (Penguinkeeper), Binoo’mukua, and Nevynmo. Judging criteria includes: • Story originality • Paranormal theme creativity • Text fluidity When e-mailing your submission to the editor, include your name, story, e-mail address, and word count. If you have any questions regarding the contest, please e-mail Editor@paranormalunderground.net. Good luck everyone, and we look forward to reading your submissions!

July 2008 Paranormal Underground 31


Equipment Update

Tools of the trade By Chad Wilson

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hen one is ghost hunting, there are various pieces of equipment that are used. Not all equipment is necessary though; it’s all a matter of personal choice and affordability. In addition to the necessary flashlights, batteries, notepads, and pens, there is also the equipment, though meant for other fields, which have come to represent the norm for a ghost hunter’s toolkit.

Digital Camera

Digital Camcorder

35mm Camera

A digital camcorder is a necessary tool if you wish to conduct research interviews or try and record ghost activities. You might want to get one with a hotplate that allows the attachment of an Infrared Illuminator. Price range: $350-$1,000

Film cameras have their place in the paranormal field, some claiming it is harder to fake photos from a 35mm camera as opposed to a digital camera. Price Range: $7-$6,500

IR Illuminator

Ranging in price from right at $100 up to a whopping $8,000 for the Canon EOS 1DS Mark III, digital cameras are easy to use and to download to a PC. These cameras are typically small and compact in nature, making this the ideal device for taking those ghostly pictures. Price range: $100-$8,000

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This device emits Infra Red radiation, helping cameras equipped with night vision to see better in dark areas. Price range: $35-$200

Paranormal Underground July 2008

IR Thermometers

In order to detect cold spots and to document temperature changes, you need to have a thermometer. The Infra Red thermometer is just one of many types of thermometers available. Price range: $30-$140


EMF Detector

Electromagnetic Fluctuation Detectors, or EMF Detectors, are used to detect electromagnetic fluctuations in the environment. This is an important device to have along during an investigation, as electromagnetic radiation can cause hallucinations and sickness in humans and animals. EMF detectors are always handy to have to help rule out that possibility. Price range: $13-$200

Polaroid Camera

Digital Audio Recorders

Your Ghost Hunting Gear Connection

For that all-important EVP work, this is one piece of equipment that is almost a must for all serious investigations. It can be used to record investigator observations as well as the voices of the dead. Price range: $50-$150 • http://cemeteryghosts.com/

Ambient Air “K” Type Probe In order to check the ambient air temperature in an area with an IR thermometer, you need one of these. Price: $30

• www.bluemoonghosthunt ers.com/ghosthuntingkits.htm • www.getghostgear.com/ • www.ghosthuntershop.com/ • www.ghosthuntingequipmentfor sale.com/ • http://ghosthuntingequipment store.com/ • www.ghost-mart.com/ • http://ghoststop.com/index.htm

Equipment Cases

• www.ghoststore.net/ • http://ghoststudy.com/detectors. html • www.ghost-trackers.org/store.htm • www.lessemf.com/ghost.html

The Polaroid has been one of the most recommended type of cameras to use in paranormal investigation. This is mainly because of the instant access investigators have to photos. However, at basically $1.00 a photo, the film for this camera be quite expensive. Some investigators recommend using this camera in known hot spots. Price Range: $40-$350

• www.lonestarspirits.org/store.html • www.paranormalghost.com/ equipment.htm • www.prairieghosts.com/detector. html Finally, to protect your investment, what better way than through equipment cases of varying sizes and quality. Price range: $11-$130

• www.spyville.com/ghost-hunters. html • www.theghosthunterstore.com/ • http://toolsforghosthunters.com/

July 2008 Paranormal Underground 33


Member Profiles

Mindy Kinnaman (Ydnim) Age: 28. Born: Independence, Missouri. Currently resides: Kansas City, Missouri. Status: Single. Education: Bachelor’s degree in English, with an emphasis in journalism. I am halfway through my master’s degree in higher education administration. Zodiac Sign: Libra.

Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I have a huge family: two brothers, two sisters, two brothers-in-law, a soon-to-be sisterin-law, three nieces, one nephew, and a soon-to-be niece or nephew. When I’m not busy with work and school, I love to sit at Starbucks and work on my novel or write up short stories. I also love to read and knit. Favorite music: While I listen to pretty much anything, I love alternative music. Some of my favorite

Occupation: Administrative assistant at the University of Missouri–Kansas City through June 25. Beginning July 1, I will begin a new job as an assistant residence life coordinator at Avila University. I am also a freelance reporter with The Kansas City Star.

Any other favorites? To have fun with this, my absolute favorite haunting is The Alamo (and not just because San Antonio is the greatest city). The idea that Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, and the rest of the heroes continued to fight for their lives after Santa Ana’s troops killed them is absolutely amazing.

When did you join GhostDose? August 7, 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? I loved the camaraderie we all had on the Ghost Hunters forum at the Sci Fi Web site, so I decided what the heck and joined up. What does your member name mean? It’s my name backward! Who are your heroes? My mom for pushing me really hard and teaching me that working hard will get you far. Also, Katharine Hepburn who stood up for what she believed in and helped show women that it was okay to be independent and fight for what you believe in. How would you describe yourself? Eclectic. I love to be different, kooky, and fun.

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How I Met Your Mother, Ace of Cakes, and pretty much anything else on Food Network. When it comes to paranormal, I love watching true (or seemingly true) stories like A Haunting and investigation shows like Destination Truth and Monster Quest. My favorite books are the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series by Jasper Fforde; Good Omens: The True and Accurate Predictions of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett; the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz; and anything by David Sedaris and Laurie Notaro. My absolute favorite movies are El Orfanato (The Orphanage) and El Laberinto del Fauna (Pan’s Labyrinth).

Mindy is a “believer.” She has had many experiences that lead her to believe there’s something out there.

bands and artists are Bowling for Soup, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Norah Jones, Edwin McCain, and Jack’s Mannequin. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? When watching TV, I pretty much always tune in for My Name is Earl, Scrubs, Deadliest Catch, The Office,

Paranormal Underground July 2008

What are your pet peeves? People who cannot drive, people who have no manners, and people who take out their anger on you when you’re only trying to help them. Are you a skeptic or believer? Believer. I have been fortunate enough to have many experiences that lead me to believe there’s something out there. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Historical hauntings and EVPs. I will admit to the fact that I often listen to EVPs in


the dark while I’m alone until I’ve scared the bejeebers out of myself.

items we inherited was his stereo. I sat in my bedroom doing my homework one day when the volume changed on the radio. I would have passed it off as a defect had I not watched the volume knob slide up to full blast, down to low, and then back to the level I originally had it at. Call it wishful thinking, but I like to think it was my grandfather saying goodbye since we didn’t have a proper goodbye. The most prevalent ghosts I dealt with were when I lived in an all-girls Catholic high school, which used to be a nunnery. Throughout the year I lived there, I experienced the building’s three ghosts: a nun, a young boy, and something that I can only describe as evil due to the fact it was a pitch black, shapeless form that exuded the most terrifying and hateful feelings. The experience taught me a lot of things, most importantly, tolerance of spirits, as

Have you ever studied the paranormal? Not formally. I find the information out there fascinating though. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. In my 28 years, I’ve had several experiences. The first occurred when I was eight and would be woken up at night to something tugging on my blankets. It escalated until one night my siblings and I heard something walking in circles around the floor of my bedroom. We huddled in one bed in fear, all too scared to leave and return to our own beds. We called for our parents, but they swear they never heard us, even though they were less than 50 feet away from us. Another incident that really impacted me was when I was 11. My grandfather died, and one of the

I now have the confidence to tell a ghost to leave or ask it not to show itself to me. What do you think happens to us when we die? I don’t fully know, but I believe there has to be more to death than simply not being. But then, I wonder things like do plants have an afterlife, and my head starts to hurt. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Like Earl, I believe in karma, so I believe that when you do good things, good things happen. It’s hard to not get upset when you do good and you only get bad in return, but even then, I keep reminding myself that good things will happen. Any exciting plans for the future? I’m starting my new job, presenting at a national conference (hopefully!), and finishing my master’s degree. More member profiles

Test Your Paranormal Knowledge The Winchester Mystery House 1. What was Mrs. Winchester’s favorite number? She had her favorite number hidden all over her house . . . including the number of windows in many rooms and the number of steps on several staircases. 7 10 13 17 2. How many kitchens are in the house? 6 3

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3. What is so grand about the Winchester House Grand Ballroom? It had no windows

It was made of gold

It cost $9,000 to build and the walls/ceilings were constructed using no nails

The Jersey Devil 4. Which TV program that deals with the paranormal had an episode titled, “The Jersey Devil”? Charmed

Supernatural

X-Files

5. The Jersey Devil has superhuman power! What is it that he can do? Fly Read Minds Become Invisible

Most Haunted Lift heavy objects

6. What is the devil’s trademark? A deep growl

Ear-piercing scream

A long tail

Protruding fangs

ANSWERS: 1. 13

2. 6

3. It cost $9,000 to build ...

4. X-Files

5. Fly

6. Ear-piercing scream

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Member Profiles

Jaime Johnesee (Penguinkeeper) Age: 30. Born: In the USA. Currently resides: Here *points to her house*. Status: Married, you all know Handyman, my beloved Education: Bachelor’s degree in zoology. Zodiac Sign: Virgo.

Favorite music: Jazz, big band, swing, and really anything that isn’t country or death metal. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? My favorite TV shows are Dexter, CSI, CSI: NY, Bones, House, How Clean Is Your House, and Ghost Hunters International. My favorite books are any Dean Koontz book, Kathy Reichs’

Occupation: No paid occupation right now. Mostly, I spend my time working on GhostDose and Paranormal Underground.

Any other favorites? I love to write. Almost everything I write can be found on GhostDose, with the exception of my novels. No, I have not been published yet. I am also grateful to Shari Ferbert and www.AFFTER.org for all her work in raising funding and awareness for the research of fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia patients. What are your pet peeves? My pet peeves are liars, thieves, and backstabbers. Are you a skeptic or believer? I am a skeptical believer. Like most of the members on GhostDose and Paranormal Underground, I have had my own experiences with the paranormal that have made me wonder, but also like most, I want proof. I would like to see the paranormal studied from a more scientific angle.

When did you join GhostDose? July 10, 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? My Skiffy pals brought me both to GhostDose and to Ghosthunters Playground. What does your member name mean? I was a zoo keeper for 14 years and a penguin keeper for the last two of those years before fibromyalgia set in. I was told I could no longer keep doing my dream job and lifelong goal.

Jaime finds hauntings and cryptozoology fascinating. As a zoologist, she worked closely with many different animal species for more than 14 years.

Who are your heroes? My husband, my mom, and Cowbud. How would you describe yourself? At this moment, I would have to say round. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I love to read, write, and work on GhostDose and Paranormal Underground Web sites.

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Temperance Brennan series, Jeffery Deaver (love the Lincoln Rhyme series), Patricia Cornwell (Kay Scarpetta series), and Donna Andrews. My favorite movies are The Thin Man series, On the Road series (with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope), It Happened One Night, Caddyshack, Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, and all of Vincent Price’s movies.

Paranormal Underground July 2008

What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? I am most interested in hauntings and cryptozoology. As a zoologist, there is nothing more intriguing to me than uncharted species.

Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Do no harm, and never lie. Any exciting plans for the future? Well, I have a baby on the way. And then there is the plotting of world domination, but I think that will have to be put off this summer while we work on the nursery.


Member Profiles

Chad Wilson (Sithy) Age: 37. Born: Waukeegan, Illinois. Currently resides: Louisville, Tennessee (soon to be California). Status: In a relationship. Education: High school. Zodiac Sign: Aries. Occupation: Warehouseman/receiver, sometimes writer. When did you join GhostDose? June 15, 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? Sci Fi was becoming very volatile, and a group of my friends came to the Dose. I did too. I was following the love of my life there as well. What does your member name mean? It started out as Sith13 on Sci Fi (the sith from Star Wars and 13 being my lucky number). My named morphed into Sithy thanks to the ladies of the forum. lol Who are your heroes? Free thinkers. Without them, we would be stuck in the Dark Ages. I also admire individuals who stand up against the established norm and push the boundaries of society. How would you describe yourself? I’m a free thinker, not afraid to test the limits of how things are supposed to be. I try to be kind, loving, caring. I care about my fellow man. But, I don’t feel sorry for those who can help themselves and don’t. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. My family includes my two kids, Brad, who is 17, and Katie, who is 14. It also includes one

of the most important people in my life, Cheryl, who is my soul mate, as well as her son, Corey. Favorite music: Classical, alternative, new age. Basically anything except some rap music. I really don’t like country, though there are a few older songs and bands that I like. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? My favorite TV shows are Doctor Who, Ghost Hunters, Star Trek: TOS, Star Trek: TNG, anything to do with roller coasters and theme parks, as well as the paranormal and normal

Chad enjoys writing, reading, and watching movies. He’s a “skeptical believer” who looks at the world as a magical place.

world, including many documentaries and shows on the History Channel, Discovery, and the Learning Channel. My favorite books are anything and everything. I have read about Atlantis, ancient rituals of various Paganistic cultures, the Koran, Indian beliefs, Japanese gardens, and many more. I also like most fiction, but especially H.P. Lovecraft. I have also read the Bible extensively. Among my favorite movies are Star Wars, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Spiderman, and grade B horror.

Any other favorites? I really like quiet and the solitude of no noise, so I can think things out, come up with new ideas, and write fiction. What are your pet peeves? People or organizations who try to tell other people what to believe and how to live their lives. Are you a skeptic or believer? Skeptical believer. I look at the world as a magical place, full of wonder, events, and experiences that we cannot explain. It is probably something that is perfectly natural in the grand scheme of things, but we just don’t understand it yet. It is that which makes life exciting, the not knowing everything, the surprise. But I also feel that there are too many groups out there making “the search for the paranormal” about themselves and not truly about furthering the field. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Everything. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. I had two experiences at two different homes that I lived in. What do you think happens to us when we die? I believe in reincarnation. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Free your mind. Be open to new things. Don’t be afraid of change. Any exciting plans for the future? Spend the rest of my life with my soul mate Cheryl. Oh, and do some ghost hunting along the way. More member profiles

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Member Profiles

Cheryl Knight (MysticalKnight) Age: 39. Born: Long Beach, California. Currently resides: Orange County, California. Status: In a relationship. Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach. Zodiac Sign: Gemini. Occupation: I am a senior editor for a global market research and consulting company, as well as a freelance writer and editor for several publishing companies.

ences, no matter how trivial they appear to be. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. My daughter Chrystal is 18, and my son Corey is 13. I have wonderful children who have taught me a lot. I have two younger sisters who are twins, one younger brother, and an older sister who passed away in 2000. I have three nephews and three nieces, with another niece or

When did you join GhostDose? June 14, 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? Pynki had been talking about a cool, new paranormal site, so I went and checked it out! I’ve been there ever since. What does your member name mean? I love all things mystical and paranormal, which I combined with my last name. Who are your heroes? My children, who teach me new things every day. I greatly admire those who stand up for others and try to make the world a better place. How would you describe yourself? I am positive and friendly, and I like to laugh and be silly. I love to make new friends and build relationships. But I have a serious side as well. I like to achieve and work hard. I face my fears head-on. I don’t believe in coincidences, and I try to learn from my experi-

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Cheryl is a “believer,” and is most interested in finding out why and how intelligent hauntings occur.

nephew on the way. I love to write, read, watch movies, listen to music, watch my son play sports, and watch Doctor Who with Chad! Favorite music: I love all kinds of music. My favorite singers and bands include Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, Michael Buble, Green Day, Tool, Foo Fighters, The Bravery, White Stripes, Nine Inch Nails, Alice in Chains, Collective Soul, The Cure, Duran Duran, and Nirvana.

Paranormal Underground July 2008

What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? I love reality TV and documentaries. My favorite TV shows are Heroes, Lost, Amazing Race, American Idol, Survivor, Ghost Hunters, A Haunting, Haunting Evidence, Weird Travels, Ghost Hunters International, Haunted History, World’s Scariest Places, Most Haunted, Forensic Files, Body of Evidence, Investigative Reports, City Confidential, Cold Case Files, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Star Trek, and I Love Lucy. I love most movie genres, but my some of my favorite movies are While You Were Sleeping, Ever After, Signs, The Sixth Sense, Contact, The Shining, Silence of the Lambs, Braveheart, The 13th Warrior, A Time to Kill, LA Confidential, The Untouchables, The Pelican Brief, The Insider, The Princess Bride, There’s Something About Mary, Groundhog Day, Moulin Rouge, and The Wizard of Oz. I also love the Star Wars, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Die Hard, and Lethal Weapon movie series. My favorite books include the Celestine Prophecy; Many Lives, Many Masters; Breakthrough: The Next Step; A Time to Kill; The Shining; The Stranger; Saved by the Light; The Outsiders; The Maltese Falcon; and In the Heat of the Summer. Any other favorites? I love to travel, watch my favorite sports teams, and go to concerts. I love creating, editing, and designing Paranormal Underground. It is a dream come true for me to create a magazine about something that I’m passionate about.


Moderator Spotlight: Nevynmo Age: 34. Born: Human. Currently resides: The Void. Status: Unknown, still trying to find it. Education: Massage therapy, Eastern medicine, people watching, and a mastery in smart ass. Zodiac Sign: I’m a Ram. Occupation: Watcher of the flock. When did you join GhostDose? June 13, 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? Helped The Boss put it together and brain storm.

Who are your heroes? Phoenix, my mom, Electra. How would you describe yourself? I laugh all the time. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. My family and I like to be outside, play, and just be together. Favorite music: All. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? Anything sci fi, cartoon, comic, NCIS, History Channel, Irish folklore, all movies. What are your pet peeves? Liars. People who avoid answering questions. The word “hoping.” Are you a skeptic or believer? At times I am both.

What does your member name mean? No one.

What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? The reality of it

What are your pet peeves? Dishonesty, negativity, and excuses.

when I was young, including seeing full-bodied apparitions. These and other experiences that I’ve had in my life drive my interest in the paranormal. And the things that are still yet to be uncovered in the world . . . what an exciting prospect.

Are you a skeptic or believer? Based on everything that I have experienced, read about, and heard about, I am a believer. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Intelligent hauntings and finding out what makes them occur. Have you ever studied the paranormal? Not formally, but I am investigating the paranormal this summer with Sithy, Cowbud, and Lillyjay! Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. I have had many experiences, starting from

What do you think happens to us when we die? I think that when someone dies, the spirit moves on to a wonderful place, where learning and revelations happen. Our souls go to this place and make insights and discoveries. I do believe that the spirit transcends the body, and when the time is right, spirits can visit their loved ones and friends, even though we might not always know it is happening. Maybe the spirits that stay behind here on Earth want to be here,

and how we are all connected. How family will stick around just to make sure you’re OK. Have you ever studied the paranormal? No, it runs in my family. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. There are too many to count. What do you think happens to us when we die? We all stand in judgment at some point. I believe in Heaven and Hell. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? “People do what they really want to do,” “Life is too short, so just laugh,” “Actions speak louder than words,” “Breathe,” and “I have the power.” Any exciting plans for the future? Buy a home and a car. Maybe take over the world if I can fit it in . . . don’t want to move on, or don’t know they have died. At some point after physical death, I believe some spirits are reborn, and others reach a level that allows them to go to a higher plain of existence. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing,” Albert Einstein; “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known,” Carl Sagan; “Live, love, learn,” MysticalKnight. lol Any exciting plans for the future? Spend the rest of my life with my soul mate, Chad. Be here for my children. Travel, investigate the paranormal, write, and have fun!

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Personal Experiences

A Passing Chill

The Ghost at Work

Shadow of a Doubt

By Mark Themas

By Morgana

By Chad Wilson

I was checking out a graveyard in Albany, Illinois, in July 2006. It was about 11 p.m. on this warm summer night, a light breeze blowing. I was walking about 12 feet ahead of two of our team members, talking, watching my EMF meter, and taking pictures. About 45 minutes into the investigation, I had something “pass” through me. Imagine when you get a “chill” or a quick shiver. I had an extremely cold feeling shoot from my back to my chest. It was strong enough to double me over and take my breath away. I shouted, “Take a picture!” but it was too late. It was gone as quickly as it had arrived. The only thing that showed up in the picture was a green streak that I believe to be a street light in the distance. The incident took me a good five or 10 minutes to shake off. I have never had anything like that happen to me before or since.

It was 1989, in Milford, Connecticut, and I was opening a shop I worked at and making coffee . . . No one was there but me. The gate was down and locked. I had this feeling like I was being watched. And sure enough, I looked to my right, and there she was. A fullbodied, female apparition. She was wearing a colonial dress with long sleeves with lace fringe. I could even see the cameo on the lace around her neck. She just looked at me . . . so I just looked at her. The next thing I know, she starts moving farther into the back room. So, being me, I followed. And when I got to the back of the room, she was gone. I then researched the land and uncovered that there were early settlements on that property. I never saw her again after that. But, it was a great experience.

Have you had any paranormal experiences? Paranormal Underground is looking to publish stories of personal experiences. If you have a personal experience that you’d like to share in an upcoming issue, please e-mail Editor@paranormalunderground.net with your story. Thanks!

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Paranormal Underground July 2008

When I was seven or eight, my family and I had moved from Zion, Illinois, to Guntown, Mississippi. We moved into an old, two-story house in the country. Soon after moving in, I remember seeing a small shadow figure looking at me from around the corner. It seemed to increase in frequency, as it would always be visible in the corner of my eye, and always peaking around a corner. But whenever I would look, it would be gone. This continued, with most of the sightings happening in that particular house. I soon noticed that when we would go into a small pine forest in the back, where all the trees were only four feet tall at the most, the shadow person would follow me, almost as if it was curious. The figure was about three feet tall and looked almost like a Jawa from Star Wars, except it did not have a hood on its head, but instead a featureless, black face. Eventually we moved into another house, and the figure disappeared, for a while. Soon it returned though, and seemed to follow me, always in the corner of my eye. This continued until I was about 10, and then it abruptly went away, never to return. What was it? Maybe it was an overactive imagination or the stress of a major move. Or, maybe, it was something else.


Paranormal Underground/GhostDose Site News

Happy Anniversary GhostDose

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e at GhostDose want to thank all of you for making our very first year a wonderful one. Without your support and help, the Dose wouldn’t be the beautiful site we all know and love. We’d like to thank our 340 members for all their contributions to the site. You are the most wonderful members any site could hope to have, and it’s because of you that we are what we are today. Cheers to a fantastic first year and many years to come!

New Poll on PUG

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e have a new poll up on the Underground’s home page. Do you believe in the paranormal? Make sure to vote!

RBGTL Holds Jewelry Sale

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BGTL has started her online jewelry store at http://the-crazy-crafter.blujay.com. GhostDose members will receive 20% off their purchases; make sure that on the order form you include your GhostDose name. RBGTL’s handcrafted jewelry is gorgeous. And even if you’re not a Dose member, the prices are absolutely perfect for any budget. The quality is outstanding, as well.

Short Story Contest!

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aranormal Underground is holding its first-ever short story contest. If you are a writer of fiction, love to write about the paranormal, and would like to see your story published in one of our upcoming issues, then this contest is for you! The contest is open to everyone, so see page 31 for more details!

Friends of GhostDose and the Underground

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his is where we will include a listing of our friends. If you want your site put on the list, please e-mail Penguinkeeper@ghostdose.com. Take a look at our friends’ sites and have fun. They all are wonderful and informative sites that we know you’ll enjoy.

Site Update

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e on the lookout for a new “connection” between GhostDose and the Underground. GhostDose owner Skizmflop and PUG owners are working together to link the sites in such a way you wouldn’t know they weren’t the same site. In the future, you can expect to see what’s happening on GhostDose on the Underground, and vice versa. There also might be a buddy system; if someone on your friend’s list signs on to either site while you’re on, you will be notified. We are also considering adding an IM feature. Keep watching as both sites grow together! On June 26, Skizmflop moved GhostDose to a new server. This should take care of the critical errors members were getting. If you still get critical errors, please note the time and date and let Penguinkeeper know. We’re working hard to make your Dose experience enjoyable.

Birthdays July Cavuto RetardOBot Starscream77 M2327

August Fozio1 Crymsyn Penguinkeeper Tam

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ew England Anomalies Research (N.E.A.R.) is owned and operated by Keith and Sandra Johnson. Together with Keith’s twin brother Carl, N.E.A.R. is best known for their study and assistance to those plagued by demons. Make sure to check out the Demonology Articles, True Tales of the Paranormal, and the Demonologist Forum. Check out Ghosts R N.E.A.R. archives to see episodes of their fun and informative show. N.E.A.R. paranormal can be found by visiting http:// nearparanormal.com/.

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aranormal101 is operated by GhostDose and ParanormalUnderground member LauraLocke and her friends. Featuring forums for the serious and not so serious views on the paranormal, Paranormal101 has a great thread instructing people on the use of the most popular ghost hunting gear. With fun and knowledgeable operators, you can find the answers you are looking for. The site can be viewed at http://paranormal101.proboards91. com/index.cgi.

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July 2008 Paranormal Underground