Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 6
ar e! 1-Ye ry Issu rsa e v i nn
Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures Lisa Abney of H.S.P.R. Are Ghosts Made of Dark Matter?
Also Inside: Batsquatch! Diary From a Haunted Hotel
Boxing With Shadow People
The UFO Agenda
Waverly Hills Audio Experience
Where Nightmares Dwell
Winchester Mystery House Fifteen Miles to Villisca
June 2009 Paranormal Underground
SpeakJet Ghost Box
1-Year Annive INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Fear No Evil: Zak Bagans Confronts the Darkness on Ghost Adventures Lisa Abney: Researching the Other Side
The Ins and Outs of Paranormal Investigation
28 31 32
Revisiting Reincarnation: A Follow-Up Past-Life Regression
Waverly Hills Audio Experience Benefits Stomp Out Cancer
Boxing With Shadow People Have You Seen a Shadow Person?
CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites The Mystery Behind the Winchester House Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Flying on Wings of Terror Haunted History Harry Price: Paranormal Pioneer Are We Alone? The UFO Agenda: The Roswell Incident
Paranormal Underground June 2009
From the Editor
Calendar of Events
TV Watch: Unsolved Mysteries
Member Profile: Ryan Tackitt
ersary Issue! CULTURAL BELIEFS Eastern European Beliefs in the Paranormal: Where Nightmares Dwell
QUANTUM MUSINGS Don’t Go Toward the Light . . .
FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR “An Unhealthy Obsession With Anal Probes” by Rick E. Hale
“Gods of the Forgotten Age” by Chad Wilson
tments Equipment Update: SpeakJet Ghost Box digitaldowsing.com
Diary From a Haunted Hotel 72 73
Ghost Hunter Case Files: Fifteen Miles to Villisca “Feeling” the Queen Mary
64 66 70
Paranormal Observatory Extreme Makeover: TAPS 76 Reviews of the Month: 80 Book: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies DVD: Mars Attacks! Theater: Star Trek Ghost Hunter Comic
Tell us what you think: E-mail your comments to email@example.com.
81 June 2009 Paranormal Underground
Publisher’s Note Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 6
PUG Celebrates First Anniversary
EDITORIAL Publisher Chad Wilson
Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight
Managing Editor Karen Frazier
Science Editor J.D. Harrison
Contributing Editors Lauren Fletcher Mindy Kinnaman Lisajoyce Vergara
Contributing Authors Jim Frazier Karen Frazier Terri J. Garofalo Ghosthunter50 Rick E. Hale J.D. Harrison Carolyn M. Hughes Mindy Kinnaman Cheryl Knight G. Lewis Scott Mannen Ryan Tackitt Lisajoyce Vergara Dorinda M. Wheeler Chad Wilson
Send comments and letters to: Editor@paranormalunderground.net.
o, here we are, June 2009. Last year at this time we were releasing our very first issue of Paranormal Underground. I had no idea how it would turn out. It seemed most everybody didn’t have time to write or edit. Life does take precedence over a hobby. But to us, this was more than a hobby. It was a passion. So, one year ago, there we were, Cheryl, J.D., and I . . . hope, eagerness, and ambition our only ammunition. And, let me tell you, we hit the ground running and haven’t looked back since. From the initial three editors/writers, we have grown to more than 15 contributing authors and editors, plus the authors who have only appeared in the magazine one time. I see good things for the e-Mag on the horizon. My initial mission with Paranormal Underground was to educate the masses by bringing the paranormal to our readers, through the investigator spotlights and other stories that comprise the magazine. In my eyes, we have far surpassed that original goal. My goal for next year is threefold. First, I want to get the word out, grow our membership on the Website (www.paranormalunderground.net), and let those who seek acceptance and understanding know that they have a home at Paranormal Underground. Secondly, I want to feature more investigations and to figure out what makes the paranormal tick.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Chad Wilson, Publisher
Most importantly, I want to engage our readership with new and exciting articles about the paranormal, for in the end, it is you, the readers, who make it possible to do what we do here at Paranormal Underground. I do make this promise, we will always be truthful in what we write, building a level of trust and understanding between the e-Mag and our readers. To me, that is more important than to sensationalize. Here at Paranormal Underground, we are all about seeking the truth, exploring the unexplained, and moving ever forward in our pursuit of answers. Thank you for reading our e-Mag. We hope you will stick around for the continuing journey. It’s going to be a fun one.
June 2009 Paranormal Underground
From the Editor Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 6
A Look Back at Our First Year
Art Director Chad Wilson
Design and Layout Lauren Fletcher Karen Frazier Cheryl Knight
Art Editor Claudia Ghidella
PROMOTIONS Marketing & Ad Sales Karen Frazier
YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG
Copyright © 2008-2009 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of Ghost Knight Publishing. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of Paranormal Underground magazine. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine.
his issue marks the one-year anniversary of Paranormal Underground. We are so thrilled to hit this milestone, and we plan on being around for many more years to come. In the past year, we’ve tackled many controversial topics, including demonology, spirit photography, alien abduction, instrumental transcommunication, electronic voice phenomenon, exorcism, reincarnation, quantum physics, cultural beliefs, cryptozoology, and near-death experience. Our goals for each article are to discuss new information and ask thought-provoking questions about the paranormal — for it’s through ongoing research, discovery, and sharing of knowledge that this field will move forward. I’d like to give a big Thank You to all of our readers. I hope you keep sending in your suggestions for future articles. And I can’t express my appreciation enough to the Paranormal Underground editing, writing, and design team. So, I am going to mention each contributor by name! • Chad Wilson • Karen Frazier • J.D. Harrison • Bri Larkin • Claudia Ghidella • Jim Frazier • Mindy Kinnaman • Dave Galvan • Carolyn Hughes • Rick Hale • Lauren Fletcher • Ryan Tackitt • Lisajoyce Vergara • G. Lewis • Michael Kleen • PJ Gaenir • Chelle Thomas • Tanner • Jaime Johnesee • Emily Taylor
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Our first issue was published in June 2008. One year later, we’ve grown and added an excellent team of writers and editors.
• Justin McIntosh • Bob Davis • Chris Johnesee • Sean Varner • Sandi Kennedy • Lisa Abney • Valarie Wood • Jenny Brown • Danny Kutrick • Morgana • Brook Bechen • Rob Neilands • Ghosthunter50 • Dawkins • Regan Vacknitz • Jordan Burnes • Peter Navarro • Scott Mannen • Marshall Dudley • Terri Garofalo • Dorinda Wheeler • Charyl Miller Pingleton Also, thanks to Shannon Sylvia, Stanton Friedman, Steven Raebel, Laura Locke, Zak Bagans, Keith and Sandra Johnson, Troy Taylor, Bill Homann, Rita Ballard, Carol Bowman, A.P.A.R.T. of Washington, Jeffrey Keene, Stan Romanek, Mark Macy, Rae Abney, Teresa West, and Melanie Dunford. I hope everyone enjoys our one-year anniversary issue. Please keep the feedback coming. We love hearing from you!
~ Cheryl Knight Editor-in-Chief
Calendar of Events June 5-6
The Great Western Ghost Hunt Hosted by Ghost Search Investigations Tonopah, Nevada www.ghostsearchinvestigations.com
July 17-19 The Haunted Hills Conference The Golden Chain Theatre & The Historic Broken Bit Hosted by Spirit-Events Oakhurst, California www.spirit-events.info
Through the Veil: A Paranormal/ Metaphysical Convention Atlanta Hilton Atlanta, Georgia www.throughtheveil.org
1st Annual “NorCal-ParaCon 2009” Paranormal Conference Monterey Marriott Monterey, California http://norcalghosthunters.com/norcalparacon09.html
Mysteries of the Universe Conference 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Ingrigue Park Place Hotel Kansas City, Missouri www.mouconference.net
2009 Paranormal Symposium Angel Fire Community Center Angel Fire, New Mexico www.aspefiles.org
HauntedCon 2009 Hotel St. Michael Prescott, Arizona http://www.hauntedcon.com/
1st Annual Earth Spirit Celebration 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hosted by Here and Back Again Lincoln, NE www.hereandbackagain.com
The Great Lakes Paranormal Convention Old Recreation Building Eveleth, Minnesota http://www.darkplainsradio.com/ event.html
The Scare Fest The Lexington Center Lexington, Kentucky www.thescarefest.com
East Central Indiana Paranormal Conference Ball State University Muncie, Indiana http://bsuparanormal.org/ecipc/
Weird 09: Wiltshires Premier UFO & Paranormal Conference Athenaeum Theatre Warminster, Wiltshire, UK www.mystical-county.org.uk
1st Annual North Central Indiana Meet & Greet and EXPO Honeywell Center Gym Wabash, Indiana firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas City Paranormal Conferences Kansas City, Missouri www.kcparacon.com
East Coast Paranormal Investigators Conference 2009 Fort Mifflin on the Delaware Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://aphs.org
MUFON 2009 International Symposium Denver, Colorado www.mufon.com
The Ohio Paranormal Convention Hara Arena Dayton, Ohio http://ohiocon.southernohioparanormal.org
10 a.m.-11 a.m. CDT S.O.U.L.S. Fest Paranormal Conference Julie Rogers Theater Beaumont, Texas www.soulsparanormal.com
ParaNooga — A Paranormal Investigator’s Convention Chattanooga, Tennessee www.paranooga.com
June 2009 Paranormal Underground
Another “Montauk Monster” Is Found
ccording to a www.msnbc.msn. com report, another strange creature has washed up on New York’s coast, with some labeling it another “Montauk Monster.” One bystander says the new remains smell like “rotten garbage.” A similar carcass was discovered last July after appearing at a popular surfing spot near Montauk, New York. The carcass was being kept in a cooler full of ice. Some suggest there might be a link between the creature and the nearby Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Several bloggers put forth that the original “Montauk Monster” may have been a viral marketing ploy for an indie movie. Others speculated that it might have been a decomposing dog, pig, or raccoon.
UFO Caught on Film in Documentary?
t may be the first time that a UFO has been captured on video during the making of a UFO documentary. Airing next week on VisionTV’s documentary anthology series Supernatural Investigator is the Gray brothers’ latest film, The White Mountain Abduction.
According to an e-mail press release, the subject of the film is Betty & Barney Hill, the first couple to publicly disclose that they were abducted by aliens. While filming at the abduction site in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, on the 47th anniversary of the event, the Gray Brothers caught a real UFO on tape. The documentary follows Kathleen Marden (the niece of the Hills) and Stanton T. Friedman (Ufologist) as they retrace the route the Hills took that fateful night in 1961. While Marden and Friedman, authors of Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, were being interviewed in the woods, a series of strange moving lights appeared in the sky behind them. Cameraman and documentary filmmaker Rob Spence managed to capture the bizarre event on high definition video. Experts who analyzed the video ruled out any known conventional aircraft or natural astrological phenomena. According to the Gray brothers, what was really amazing was not the UFO itself, but the timing. “I have never seen anything that I would have called a UFO before, and the first time I do, we are at an abduction site filming our first UFO documentary, and we have Betty Hill’s niece and the world’s most famous Ufologist in the frame watching it! I mean it is just so perfect! We couldn’t believe it. But it happened,” said codirector Adam Gray. “I remember the next morning when Stanton showed up for filming, and he noticed that his watch had stopped, and for a moment I thought, that’s what happened to the Hills after their encounter!” What the lights were remains a mystery. The White Mountain Abduction is the 4th documentary by filmmakers Adam and Andrew Gray on the paranormal. The documentary is scheduled to air June 2 at 10:30 p.m. on Vision TV.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Belleview Biltmore Responds to Brent Fair/TAPSCON Allegations
n his defense of “postponing” TAPSCON2, Brent Fair recently made several allegations against the Belleview Biltmore, located in Belleair, Florida, that he says led directly to the cancellation of the event at the hotel. These charges can be viewed in Paranormal Underground’s blog at www.paranormalunderground.net/site/?p=813. To get the Belleview Biltmore’s side of the story, Paranormal Underground asked the hotel for their response to Fair’s allegations. The hotel’s attorney quickly replied to our Managing Editor Karen Frazier with an e-mail response and supporting documentation. According to Tom Reynolds, who serves as local legal counsel for the owner of the Belleview Biltmore Hotel, “In a nutshell, our client categorically denies Mr. Fair’s false and defamatory allegations of wrongdoing.” To view the Biltmore’s complete response, visit Paranormal Underground’s blog at www. paranormalunderground.net/ site/?p=841. This includes letters sent between Fair’s former attorney and the attorneys for the Belleview Biltmore, as well as a detailed list of charges for TAPSCON1.
Tunguska Event: New Theory From Russian Scientist
Triangular-Shaped UFO Reports on the Rise
Ghost Caught on Camera in Museum
r. Yuri Labvin, president of the Tunguska Spatial Phenomenon Foundation, says that a UFO deliberately crashed into a meteor to save Earth about 100 years ago — on June 30, 1908. The result of the “crash” was the Tunguska event, a massive blast estimated at 15 megatons that downed 80 million trees over nearly 830 square miles. Eyewitnesses reported a bright light and a huge shock wave, but the area was so sparsely populated no one was killed, according to www.foxnews.com. While many scientists think the blast was caused by a meteorite exploding several miles above the surface, Labvin thinks that quartz slabs with strange markings found at the site are remnants of an alien control panel, which fell to the ground after the UFO slammed into the giant rock. “We don’t have any technologies that can print such kind of drawings on crystals,” Labvin was quoted as saying by the Macedonian International News Agency. “We also found ferrum silicate that can not be produced anywhere, except in space.” The shockwave from the explosion is estimated to have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.
riangular-shaped UFOs were the most popularly reported UFO type in April, with 27 cases in 15 states, according to non-scientific results from UFO Traffic Reports. Most UFO Traffic Report cases come from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) database, with just a few original reports coming directly from witnesses. All reports are classified as to the object’s shape, according to www.examiner.com. Another agency that takes UFO reports is the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) out of Washington state. There were 27 reports of triangle UFOs in April, up from 19 reports in March. A close second is the Bright Light classification with 25 April reports, down from 45 March reports. And coming in third were 23 April reports of round, circular, or disc-shaped objects, down from 25 March reports.
Lake County Ghost Hunters on BlogTalkRadio
ake County Ghost Hunters is now on BlogTalkRadio, discussing current news, paranormal theories, experiences, and upcoming events. The group was created for those interested in paranormal and metaphysical topics. Visit their BlogTalkRadio page at www.blogtalkradio.com/LCGH.
ghostly image has been photographed at a museum in Gloucestershire, prompting speculation that the spirit of English scientist Edward Jenner could be haunting his former home. The attic doorway with the ghostly figure is pictured above at left; the right side of the photo is without the phantom image. In the photo, you can see the hazy image of a man sitting on a chair in the attic of the Edward Jenner Museum in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. The picture was taken by BBC photographer Chris Sandys, who said, “I don’t believe in ghosts myself, but this is strange,” according to Yahoo News. Sandys, who was taking images for a story on the museum’s Ghosts in the Attic exhibition, added, “As soon as I’d taken a panoramic photo, I reviewed the image on the camera and straight away noticed this strange formation of light, shaped like a figure, through the doorway in the next room. Without moving I did a few takes to try and work out what had caused it but couldn’t see anything. It was so weird.” Jenner was the pioneer of smallpox vaccination and the father of immunology. He was born in Berkeley in 1749 where he spent most of his career as a doctor in the town before he died in 1823.
June 2009 Paranormal Underground
“Unsolved Mysteries” Returns to Spike TV By Karen Frazier
icture this. It’s September 1987. Reality TV is in its infancy. One Wednesday evening, you turn your television to NBC, and you are captivated by spooky music, the unmistakable voice of Robert Stack, and vignettes that look into the unknown and unexplained. Since its first airing more than 22 years ago, Unsolved Mysteries has become one of the most successful reality TV franchises in the history of American television. The Robert Stack Years The original Unsolved Mysteries stayed on the air with Stack in the driver’s seat for 10 years. During that time, the show was virtually uninterrupted — with the exception of a few time slot changes and a switch from NBC to CBS in spring 1998. After Stack’s departure, the show continued for another year with actress Virginia Madsen (The Haunting in Connecticut) acting as the host. After the original airings of the show went off of the air in 1999, the show continued in reruns in 2001 and 2002 on Lifetime television. Repackaged Episodes After a break of nearly 10 years, Unsolved Mysteries returned to television in 2008. This time, it is being aired on Spike TV. Although the
stories are the same, the show has a new look. Hosted by actor Dennis Farina (Law & Order, 2004-2006), the new Unsolved Mysteries has re-edited old episodes with Farina’s narration. The five-season package focuses on the more dangerous, action-oriented cases originally aired on Unsolved Mysteries. Aside from a new host and the repackaging of old episodes, Spike TV’s Unsolved Mysteries relies on the tried and true format, presenting real-life cases of unsolved crimes, missing persons reports, and paranormal phenomena using actors to play principals in the stories. Update! While the stories haven’t changed, the show does feature new wrap-ups and updates on previous stories. If, like me, the unsolved nature of the stories always left you feeling vaguely dissatisfied, then you may enjoy the repackaged episodes. Where the show in its original format left more cases unsolved than solved, the intervening 10 years have allowed more of the mysteries to be sorted out. Like the original version, Spike TV’s Unsolved Mysteries encourages viewers to call in any tips they might have about the contents of the program.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Hosted by actor Dennis Farina, the new Unsolved Mysteries has re-edited old episodes with Farina’s narration.
If you enjoyed Unsolved Mysteries as it appeared hosted by Stack, then tune into Spike TV’s repackaged episodes. While Stack’s distinctive narration is missed, the stories are still compelling, and the updates are satisfying. And, as Stack always pointed out, who knows . . . you might help solve a mystery. The new Unsolved Mysteries airs on Spike TV. Check local listings for air times.
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June 2009 Paranormal Underground 11
Zak Bagans Confronts the Da By Scott Mannen and Karen Frazier
n Wednesday, July 25, 2007, at 9 p.m., millions of paranormal fans turned their televisions to the Sci Fi Channel and were instantly captivated by Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, and Nick Groff. The award-winning Ghost Adventures documentary, which detailed the trio’s adventures through haunted Nevada, featured the team’s investigation of several haunted locations, including the now infamous Goldfield Hotel, home of the flying brick. Led by Bagan’s tough-talking confrontational approach with ghosts, and peppered liberally with the word dude, Ghost Adventures was an instant sensation that left fans clamoring for more. A little over a year later, the eagerly awaited Ghost Adventures series premiered. Hailed as entertaining, scary, and one of the most convincing paranormal shows on television, Ghost Adventures brings a weekly adrenaline rush to fans every Friday night via its new network, the Travel Channel. Recently, Paranormal Underground spoke with Nevada resident and filmmaker Zak Bagans to discuss the upcoming season 2 of Ghost Adventures. ***** Q: Tell us how the Ghost Adventures team was originally formed and how you met your team members. Zak: I moved to Las Vegas in the 90s. I met Nick Groff maybe six or seven years ago here in Las Vegas. I used to be a wedding DJ. I met Nick when I DJ’d his wedding. When we sat down to discuss the wedding, we talked about my film school background, and Nick was involved in film school as well.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
arkness on Ghost Adventures We became friends. One day we started talking about the paranormal — I was obsessed with the paranormal. He had a fascination with it too. We started talking about it and one thing led to another. We invested time, effort, and money. Nick knew a cameraman, Aaron, and we wanted to see if we could get him on a shoestring budget. The three of us got in my car one day, and we explored mining towns in Nevada. We got hundreds of hours of footage and evidence that changed all of our lives. We glued a bunch of the evidence together in a documentary format, and we entered it into some film festivals. In the New York International Film Festival, we won for Best Feature Documentary. And in the Eerie Horror Film Festival, we were nominated for Best Feature Film. One thing led to another, and we wound up on the Sci Fi Channel. The way that the three of us met, our chemistry, our diversity — we made up a really cool crew. As we gained knowledge, we saw where we needed to be. The documentary was a year and a half in the making — we were new to it. We were fresh. We weren’t professional investigators, and we didn’t know a whole lot of stuff. We just went out there with a curious side to explore this. After we were done filming, we did non-stop research and exploring. We worked with experts, such as Mark and Debbie Constantino, Dave Schrader, and a lot of people in the industry, and that’s how we gained our knowledge. That’s why we formed the Ghost Adventures Crew — the GAC. I think you can read books and try to gain knowledge through that, but we like learning from other people. So, we formed the GAC to share tactics.
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 13
Investigator Spotlight Q: Did you investigate the paranormal prior to filming Ghost Adventures? Zak: I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a kid. I’ve always been interested, and so has Nick. We were new to investigating. Q: Are you a believer? Zak: I believe in ghosts just as people believe that dogs exist on this planet. It’s just that easy for me to say. When you become a believer, your perception of life, people, society — it all looks different. You want to grab people, shake them, and say, “This really happened.” When you have an experience that’s so real, you really want to spend the rest of your time showing others what you experienced. And that’s what I’m doing. In Season 2, we had a very powerful investigation where there is also an unsolved murder case. I feel the person who is said to haunt this place got inside of me. To experience that, to hear the evidence — how can you not believe? Q: What was the first experience that made you a believer? Zak: My experience occurred in Michigan about six years ago. I moved into this little historic shipyard town called Trenton. I moved into a really old apartment building that sat on a historic park. About a month after I moved in — for that entire month — I smelled a dead body smell in my room that never went away. After about a month, I went to bed one night, and at 3 a.m., I was awakened by a woman screaming my name, “Zachary.” She screamed for a few minutes. This happened for about six or seven nights straight. Then on the seventh night, when she was
screaming my name again, I woke up. I was sleeping on my stomach. I was screaming because someone was on my back. I was screaming, “Get off me, get off me!” All of a sudden, about 30 seconds later, the pressure was gone. I flipped over and sat up, and there, standing in the corner of my bed, was a woman. I couldn’t make out facial features. I knew by the silhouette — I could see her hair. She was dead still. In that moment when I looked in her eyes and she looked at me, it was like a jolt of electricity went through my body. Then she started to move away from me. That’s when I got up and turned my light on. I was shaking — my heart was beating like a rabbit. I turned my light on, and there was no one there. I left my door open, went outside, and sat in my car for about an hour. Man that was scary. I ended up moving out of there really quickly. It scared me. But I’d experienced something really powerful. A lot of people ask what is beyond our death. That has been a fear of mine — the emptiness at the end of life. It was scary at the time, but it turned into a comfort to know that there was something after death. What I do now is because I think what I experienced was meant to happen to me. And now, after hundreds of investigations, I consider myself a professional investigator, and I will be that for life. I will continue to search for the unexplained, but it is now becoming explained by different calibers of evidence we are receiving. Q: Are you skeptical of anything? Zak: I’m skeptical of Bigfoot. I’m skeptical about every haunting I go to and every investigation.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Investigators Aaron Goodwin, Zak Baga enthusiasts with their award-w Ghost Adventures. (Photos co
We become believers on every single location by going there and locking ourselves in for 12 to 13 hours. I believe in ghosts 100 percent. Ghosts are real. How they’re there, why they’re there, how they’re talking to us . . . those are the questions we want to answer. We have to document it before we say the place is haunted. Q: What would you say to skeptics? Zak: There are always going to be skeptics. As long as I know in my heart and my mind 100 percent what I’ve experienced, that’s the most important thing. I’d love to try and disprove the skeptics and turn them into believers — but as long as I know and my crew knows what happened to us, that’s what I truly care about. Q: Talk about your style of investigation?
ans, and Nick Groff entertain paranormal winning Travel Channel TV show ourtesy of the Travel Channel)
Zak: I appreciate the Travel Channel — they have allowed me and my crew to investigate the way we want, with no big camera crews. There is rawness there. We use a lot of emotions. That is the one thing that describes my investigation style — emotional energy. When we create emotions, we are creating an energy. We feel this is like turning a light on in a dark forest and having bugs attracted to it. That’s how we feel we get some of the evidence we do. Every investigation, every episode we shoot, is so different. Nothing is written or scripted. We have a location, we know its history. We do a full-on investigation. Who are these people? What have they done? If we know that, we utilize it in our investigations. We interview people. We bang on doors to get any information we can. We become
the location. It’s within those walls and those rocks that are containing something that we are trying to uncover. If you can become acclimated with the location, you will get a better response. When we walk in there, we’re not interviewing a rock. We don’t just wave a bunch of equipment around. We go with explosive personalities, we create emotional energy. We go there as if they’re intelligent. We know we come across intelligent and residual entities. Residual — they don’t know we’re there. But there is intelligence. If we can taunt and provoke the darker energies and get a response (if we can get scratched), we know we are dealing with intelligence. Intelligence equals life. Life on the other side is life after death. That’s a very powerful thing. Q: I notice that quite often you use a confrontational approach with the spirits. Why do you do this? Zak: We don’t taunt all of the time. We focus more on the darker hauntings because that’s what got us started — a darker haunting in my life. I respect the afterlife. I respect spirits. We try and help the living to not think they are crazy. We want to help those people who shake and cry because they are so frightened. We will taunt to elicit a response. Getting that evidence and showing those people is closure for them and gratification for us. But in doing that, we come across spirits we feel are trapped there. We recently called upon a person so I could tell them to get help for this spirit. And if they don’t, I’ll come back with someone who can help, because I can’t go to bed at night knowing I’ve captured a voice of a spirit that is unrested and may be trapped and held there by a
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 15
Paranormal Underground June 2009
demonic spirit. It’s a sad thing when you come across that. I don’t want the public perceiving us as the taunting, provocative ghost hunters. We do that only to the bad spirits who we know are attacking the living. We try and help the living. But when we come across nice, passive spirits, we stay there and try and get them help. We just did that last week. It is not our place to tell spirits to go to the light. There are people who are more qualified to do that. We’re investigators. However, when we do get that, we have people we send out there to help as well. Q: What are dark entities? Zak: I think it is two things: a demonic entity that is not a human spirit, and then there are evil spirits who were evil in life. Like at Bobby Mackey’s — you have a well-known satanic worshipping site. There was a decapitated head thrown down a well. People have claimed this place is a satanic worshipping site. You’ve got a place like that and God only knows what happened in those walls. That kind of energy is amazing. When those two guys were being hung in the gallows, they said that they would forever haunt those grounds (Bobby Mackey’s). Forever. You’ve got some energy there that maybe the environment doesn’t know how to handle. When you go there, you taunt, you get scratched, and that validates that there is something there. We just had a live event at Bobby Mackey’s. We brought people there, and the second night, things started going bad in the basement. We had to have people leave. Archibisop James came and was doing an exorcism. About 20 people were there
During their investigations, Aaron, Zak, and Nick acquaint themselves with the general area, interview locals about the hauntings, and go face to face with the evil spirits who reportedly haunt these locations. For Season 2, viewers will be spellbound in front of their TV sets as the team goes into uncharted territory.
when he had holy water in his hand. It flew 20 feet across the floor. Three scratches were on his hand. We got that on video. Q: Have you ever experienced anything like a possession or a poltergeist? Zak: Yes. I have experienced a possession. This happened while filming Season 2. I don’t think it was a demon. It was a different spirit. It freaked Nick and Aaron out. They said I didn’t even look like myself. It became very serious very quickly. We had to call upon some-
body. I think this may be our leadoff episode for Season 2. It was an amazing experience — crazy to say, I like it. This is my life. Possession is a very serious thing. We work with an archbishop exorcist who we talk to almost every week. He guides us in what to do if we do become possessed. There are things we do to protect ourselves. We have experienced poltergeist activity. In our documentary, we saw some debris move — that is insane when you’ve never seen it before. You don’t see something move — you feel as if it is almost a
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 17
Investigator Spotlight There are things I have been trained to do to help cleanse my house. It’s been cleansed three times. It happens with Aaron and Nick a lot. It comes with the territory, but we know how to help this situation. We understand the risks of what we do. People need to understand that. We’re going out there and fighting back for the living people that are victims of these attacks. Q: Why do you choose to be locked into locations overnight?
The Ghost Adventures team doesn’t back down from investigating the world’s most haunted locations. The crew has investigated Moundsville Penitentiary, Bobby Mackey’s Music World, Houghton Mansion, Riddle House, Sloss Furnaces, NJ Psychiatric Hospital, Edinburgh Vaults, and Idaho Penitentiary.
shockwave of darkness that penetrates the inside. When you see that, it manipulates your emotions. You’re feeling the energy of someone else. I’m not psychic, but you become sensitive to spiritual energy after you’ve done this for so long. You can do things for hours and feel nothing, and then all of a sudden you take that one step and boom — the hair on the back of your neck stands up. The places that we’re choosing are notorious for demonic entities and poltergeist activity. Hostile people are very active — hostile spirits are more active. Q: Has anything ever followed you home? Zak: Yes — it’s something that
Aaron, Nick, and myself deal with a lot. It’s not a fun thing, but it comes with the territory. Bobby Mackey’s was the first time anything followed me home. I had a friend come over wearing a rosary on her neck. We ended up passing out in one room. When we woke up, the cross of Jesus was ripped off of her necklace. It was laying in the center of the floor in my guestroom. I’ve had another person scream because my Palmolive bottle was hovering over my sink and slammed back down. I have seen dark figures in my room where I have woken up and seen them surrounding me.
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Zak: It’s been an awesome experience. The Travel Channel has let us do whatever we want to do. They let us preserve the rawness that we never wanted to lose with the documentary. When we get locked in, we really get locked in. I don’t want somebody breaking in and contaminating our investigation. We do that to preserve the integrity of the evidence. Getting locked in is a crucial and integral part of preserving that evidence. Q: Talk about the flying brick from the Goldfield Hotel. Zak: When you get a really good piece of paranormal evidence, you’re gonna hear the buzz. Skeptic buzz. That thing that flew when we were down in that room at the Goldfield Hotel was amazing. It’s a very eerie place. We were down there and heard a series of noises, and after this happened we caught a weird voice and another voice that said Nick’s name. We couldn’t see anything in that back room except through our LCD screens.
During a Season 2 episode, Zak Bagans believes he was possessed.
Meet The Ghost Adventures
Crew Zak Bagans
Age: 32 Birthplace: Washington, D.C. What got you interested in the paranormal? About six years ago in Michigan, I was taunted by a spirit who I literally ended up coming face to face with. I was afraid, and I ran from that experience, but now the tables have turned. This occurrence set the foundation for my life-long quest for answers about what I encountered. Favorite Location Investigated: Every location I investigate is different because of its unique history, appearance, and the eyewitness accounts of paranormal activity we uncover, which makes it hard to favor one over the other. I love to investigate all of the reported hauntings and learn about a place’s supernatural occurrences that may be a product of a dark history. Place you are most looking forward to investigating: I anticipate investigating every location. Not knowing what I will encounter at each new site amplifies my interest and excitement for any upcoming investigation.
Age: 33. Birthplace: Oregon. What got you interested in the paranormal? I started in this field when Zak and Nick asked me to go with them on their first paranormal investigation at the Goldfield Hotel in Nevada. To be honest, I had a low interest in ghosts until I had my first paranormal experience at the Washoe Club in Virginia City. After the experience, I was so shaken up that I quit and never wanted to ghost hunt again. However, I soon became hooked and since then, I have the urge to find out more about the afterlife. Favorite Location Investigated: Scotland Vaults. Place you are most looking forward to investigating: All of them. Each domestic and international location is different, and I can learn from every paranormal spirit. I just hope I make it out in one piece.
Age: 29. Birthplace: California. What got you interested in the paranormal? I’ve always wanted to know what else exists beyond our realm. Favorite Location Investigated: Bobby Mackey’s Music World, NJ mental hospital, and Preston Castle. Scariest Paranormal Encounter: I was at the mental hospital in NJ. I was locked inside a morgue for an hour, and I could hear knocking sounds on the metal slab door. I captured a creepy EVP that said “DIE.” When I finally was released from the morgue, I was struck, and a hand print appeared on the side of my face. It was extremely scary to be physically attacked and not be able to see who is assaulting you. Place you are most looking forward to investigating: Poveglia Island, Italy. The history of this location alone makes it a unique place to investigate for the paranormal. I have been looking forward to going to this location for five years now.
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Investigator Spotlight The Ghost Adventures team uses revolutionary “ghost hunting” equipment in their search for evidence of the other side. Devices used during their investigations include The Ed Box, an Electromagnetic (EM) Pump, a Dark Light, and the Video Ovilus.
As soon as we walked in, you could feel it as if you were walking through that circular thing on Stargate Atlantis. We just saw something fly — this brick. When we saw that, this shockwave hit us. We took off running because it was scary as hell. Nick was completely wiped out — he couldn’t speak and talk. I was the opposite. When we analyzed the footage, we discovered that the brick wasn’t the only thing that flew — but a board picked up in the opposite direction and hit a cement wall. It was like a whirlwind. We never knew we captured that. We sent the raw footage to a video guy who found the board and other stuff flying up. It was like a whirlwind of debris. It was an amazing thing to experience. Q: Talk about Season 2 — what’s in store? Zak: With our new episodes, this is the most excited I have ever been in
my life. The three of us have been to some awesome locations. We’re not trying to outdo Season 1 — it’s just the way things are panning out. It’s amazing. The most important thing — we’re becoming more scientific. We have a top notch scientist — Bill Chappel with Digital Dowsing who is partnered with us. We can tell him ideas for equipment, and he’ll build it for us. Nearly every investigation, we’re trying a new piece of equipment and adding that to our arsenal. It’s one thing if you hear or see something unexplained. But it’s another thing when you have two or three pieces of scientific equipment to support that experience. Most recently on some of our investigations, we captured something on video that was amazing. But there were two other pieces of equipment that helped us prove it was paranormal. That’s something we didn’t know about when we did
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our documentary. One of the most important things of Season 2 is the science. The other thing that separates us from others is our emotional energy. We meet a lot of people on our episodes. We bring in a third party so we can hear their analysis of our evidence. We like that. Sometimes they pick up things we didn’t see. Q: What would you say to amateur ghost hunters who may not understand the risks of what you do? Zak: Understand the history of where you’re going. Understand
The Ghost Adventures crew teamed up with Darkness Radio for an allnight investigation of Bobby Mackey’s Music World in January 2009. Exclusive “won’t-want-to-miss” video footage is coming soon to travelchannel.com.
what happened there. Do your research and find out who’s there. Not all haunted places are haunted by darker hauntings like we focus on. Watch us — you can see what can happen if you do what we do. Understand the risks of what you get yourself involved in. People love the paranormal. They want to experience this for themselves, and they should. Pick up a digital camera and a digital recorder. Those are your simple tools to get started. The first thing people need to do to be welcomed as an investigator is get your first piece of evidence. Get a $20 digital recorder at
Wal-Mart and go ask a few questions somewhere. Don’t take it to the point of where you have to taunt and provoke. You can if you want, but if you want to do that, watch one of our investigations and see what happens to us. We’ll show you what can happen if you take it to the level that we do.
of the places has been called the most haunted place in the entire world. It’s taken us a year to secure this place. I don’t think anyone’s done it before. This is going to be one Hell of a lockdown. No pun intended. These investigations we’ve done have been absolutely frickin’ amazing — I can’t wait for Season 2 to get going.
Q: Can you tell us more about season two of Ghost Adventures?
Zak: We’ve signed on for 26 new episodes, which we’re currently filming. And we will be making a major announcement soon about a live event in October. Season 2 will premier in June. One place got us excited because a university archeological dig has uncovered some creepy things — it puts everything to a whole new realm of what we’ve ever been involved with. We’re excited — in a couple weeks we’re heading overseas. One
Ghost Adventures premiers Friday, June 5, at 9 p.m. on the Travel Channel. Check your local listings for more information. For more of our interview with Zak Bagans, listen to our podcast (Paranormal Underground Presents) at www.paranormalunderground.net and select the “Podcast” tab at the top of the Home Page. More information about Ghost Adventures can be found at http:// www.travelchannel.com/TV_Shows/ Ghost_Adventures and www.ghostad venturescrew.com.
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Researching the Other Side By Cheryl Knight
s a paranormal investigator with more than 15 years experience, Lisa Abney’s passion for researching “the other side” hasn’t faded. She is the cofounder, lead investigator, and paranormal and occult specialist for Haunted South Paranormal Research (H.S.P.R.), a not-for-profit organization based in Tampa, Florida. The group investigates claims into the supernatural, ghost/poltergeist activity, hauntings, and locations where unexplained activity has occurred. H.S.P.R. conducts an investigation and then intensely analyzes all evidence. “We are committed to maintaining a strong organization, founded upon the mission to provide excellent, professional service and develop an active learning environment that supports research and education,” Lisa said. She began studying paranormal phenomenon at an early age after several unexplained events in her life. While not a skeptic by any means, she is very cautious to call every unexplained experience a paranormal occurrence. “We approach each investigation with an open mind and a scientific attitude to enable us to search for the truth,” she said. Paranormal Underground
Q: Please talk a little bit about yourself, both personally and professionally.
Lisa Abney is the cofounder, lead investigator, and paranormal and occult specialist for Haunted South Paranormal Research.
recently spoke with Lisa about her experiences, insights, and discoveries in the paranormal field. Read on to find out more about Lisa and H.S.P.R.!
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Lisa: I am a mother of three, wife to a wonderful husband, and if you hang out with me, you’ll find I really love to laugh. While I take the paranormal VERY seriously, I believe life is a ton of fun, and if you aren’t really enjoying things, you’re not really living. With that said, I hate having to talk about myself, so I’ve chosen to have people that I work with give their ‘two cents’: “I am a huge supporter of Lisa. From the first time I spoke with her, I knew there was something very refreshing about her and the H.S.P.R. team. The passion, drive, and ability to communicate with all aspects of the paranormal was very professional. “They have been a blessing to me and our radio listeners. Not only are they amazing to see and work with in the paranormal field, but Lisa’s compassion for people and ability to bring respectability to paranormal research is very impressive. Not only is she a great investigator but also an effective writer and communicator to a wide variety of listeners and readers.” —Steven Raebel, Host/Producer
of Michigan Paranormal Underground Radio and Founder of the Michigan Paranormal Project “Grab a chair, a cup of coffee (trust me, you’re going to need it) and be ready for a wild ride. Conversations with Lisa are no less defined as enlightening. I have never meet anyone who is more driven. Her inquisitive nature has led her to ask questions about subjects most people don’t dare speak of. “She is a wealth of information and also willing to share what she knows. Her twisted sense of humor and love for dancing zombies never ceases to amaze me. She will always be ‘The Infamous Zombie Wrangler!’” —Magz, BlkCatBruja Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, books, and Web sites, and why? Lisa: I do watch all the shows. It’s important for me to see how the paranormal community is represented. I’d have to say my favorite show is Haunting Evidence, which sadly has been canceled. It’s a real shame because Haunting Evidence really was doing a service by working cold cases. Documentation is very important, but helping spirits find justice and peace takes paranormal investigation to a whole new level. As far as reading, I try to get a hold of everything that comes down the pipe. Magazines, books, online blogs, you name it! This field has a lot of very talented people in it, and they are a wealth of knowledge. The experiences and knowledge they are sharing is really vital to better understanding and my own development. Q: How long have you been investigating the paranormal? Lisa: Without the use of equipment, 15 years. By this, I mean visiting a
Lisa Abney has a bit of fun with the Tampa Bay Ghostbusters.
site to check out the energy and see what it was all about. But as an investigator with all the bells and whistles, 10 years. Q: What interests you most about the paranormal? Lisa: The evidence, hands down. There is nothing better than walking away from a site and not having to say, “You should have been there!” I love the digital age and the fact that I can share my evidence with people, get opinions from other researchers, or show clients they are not just imagining things. Physical evidence takes the validity of claims to a more scientific level of viable proof. Q: When and how did you first became interested in the paranormal field? Lisa: The very first time was after I watched Ghostbusters. Sure you can laugh all you want, but it came out when I was about seven years old and there was an answer to the “what do you call this” question I had.
I even have a third grade paper where we were to list what we wanted to be when we grew up and mine says (very poorly spelled) “para-psychologist.” So giggle and sneer if you please, but there was some truth to that movie that really gave me a personal spring board. Thank you Dan Aykroyd! Q: Have you had any personal paranormal experiences prior to becoming an investigator you’d like to share? Lisa: I had many experiences as a child, and those left me wondering, was I actually sane? Or was this something that “happens” to other people? Looking back as an adult, it’s easier to see or classify what I had seen. The worst thing I experienced as a child was an inhuman type creature that, to this day, is something I will never forget. Q: What prompted you to take the next step and go out on investigations?
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Investigator Spotlight Paranormal Project, Maryland Ghost Hunters, and KMPS to do the Henryton Project. I cannot stress enough just how exciting our work has been on this massive investigation. Q: How many investigations have you conducted to date? Lisa: The past few years have been much busier, but in total, I would say about 60. I don’t like to really count. In my opinion, what really counts is how you handle each situation. I don’t care if you just started working in this field, or if you have been in it for 50 years, we all contribute to making it move forward. Q: What is your primary role while out on an investigation?
Lisa Abney takes photos at Henryton State Hospital during a recent investigation. A documentary about the research conducted at Henryton is currently in the works.
Lisa: There are many reasons why I decided to go out and investigate, but the biggest reason was to help others with their experiences. There have been times in my life when I would have given anything for someone to have said, “Oh, this is what is happening to you.” But I didn’t have those answers when I needed them. So if I can help people better understand or even feel more secure in a strange environment, then all better. Q: Talk about your paranormal group and its mission. Lisa: Two words: help and document. Personally, I am very committed to these two things. Watching your clients have a better understanding or even relieving them of the stress of a non-paranormal event
is something many people need. I would like to see a future where the spirits all around us are better understood or classified for future generations to deal with and document on their own. Q: Have you worked with any other paranormal groups? Lisa: We have worked with Apollo Paranormal research out of Tampa, Florida, and they are a wonderful group of researchers and friends. We got the chance to team up with them for the Cuban Club here in Historic Ybor City, and I couldn’t imagine the night going better. We will be joining up with them again in the near future to do a few more investigations. Also we have teamed up with PRRS, Maine Ghosthunters, Michigan
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Lisa: Jill of all Trades. Seriously though, lead investigator. Whatever needs to be done, I will make a go at doing it. It is very important to me to make sure my team is doing well and focused on what their goal is. Q: What different types of locations have you investigated? Lisa: Private homes, a theme park, cemeteries, historic locations, and just about anywhere we are allowed. I have also been working with a child’s toy that has strange EMF and KII activity, even though there is nothing inside it but stuffing — so that’s fun. Q: What are the most common types of equipment you use on investigations? Lisa: Our team has a ton of equipment, most of which stems from my husband Rae’s desire to experiment with everything. But I always rely on my camera (still and video), digital voice recorder, and EMF detector. More recently though, the KII has been a focus of experimentation.
Meet The H.S.P.R. Team Lisa Abney H.S.P.R.’s cofounder, lead investigator, and paranormal and occult specialist. Lisa began studying paranormal phenomenon at a very early age after several unexplained events in her life. While not a skeptic by any means, she is very cautious to call every unexplained experience a paranormal occurrence.
Rae Abney H.S.P.R’s cofounder, lead investigator, and tech specialist. After experiencing many paranormal events dating back to childhood, Rae began searching for answers by studying the various religious beliefs concerning life after death. His studies of paranormal phenomenon range from hauntings to poltergeist phenomenon and demonology.
Marcus Koch H.S.P.R.’s team video specialist and documentarian. Aside from being a special effects artist and horror filmmaker, he is also the group’s
debunker and skeptic. With a good eye and ear for picking up on things that may seem paranormal at first, he can analyze footage and audio, under heavy scrutiny, to figure out what could cause various anomalies.
multitude of locations, including live investigations broadcast on radio, The Shanley Hotel, and Henryton State Hospital.
Jenni Field H.S.P.R. investigator. Jenni is a psychic/medium who first became aware of her abilities at a very early age. She uses both a psychic and psychological aspect when participating in an investigation. Jenni uses her gift to help and improve the existence of both the living and the dead.
H.S.P.R’s research specialist. She often insists on being called “Giles,” much to the chagrin of her fellow team members. Alanna searches the Web and goes to the local library for any and all pertinent information in regard to upcoming investigations, i.e,. resident history, location history, and any previously published paranormal activity.
The original founder of Michigan Paranormal Project (MPP). MPP was founded in 2005 to document spirit activity. Steven has left his snow-covered residence in Michigan to join our team in sunny Florida. He has been interested in paranormal activity since a very early age. Steven has experienced paranormal experiences most of his life. He has done investigations in a
H.S.P.R. investigator. Paula has always believed in life on the other side. She was always the one with the creative imagination . . . the dreamer. It wasn’t until much later in life that she understood where her childhood was directing her. Paula’s studies include Paganism, alternative religion practices, unexplained phenomenon, and a vast array of paranormal events.
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Investigator Spotlight Q: Please tell us about recent investigations and events. Lisa: We are currently working on the Henryton Project in Maryland, but are also revisiting some private residences and most likely going back to Busch Gardens for further investigation of the Crown Colony House. I look at it like this: You end up getting the places you were meant to investigate. So if we do one investigation for a whole year of research then what we were supposed to be doing was devoting that much time to one place. Q: What have been the most significant EVPs you’ve captured during investigations?
H.S.P.R. catches an apparition on film during a recent investigation of the Cuban Club in Tampa, Florida.
Q: What have been your most exciting cases to date, and what happened on those cases? Lisa: Getting the opportunity to investigate at Busch Gardens here in Tampa was really cool. However, getting to work on any case is exciting because you never know what lesson you are going to learn. Q: What case will you remember the most and why? Lisa: Henryton. I have deep personal experiences that have left me a different person from the one that first walked onto that property. They were not bad either. That complex and the spirits that dwell there are the most interesting thing I have ever come across. It
reaffirmed things I always knew were real and has taught me how to trust my gut better than before. Q: What have been some of the scarier moments you’ve had while investigating, and how did you handle those instances? Lisa: I can say watching things fly across a room would have to be the thing that scared me the most. Honestly, how long are they going to fly around a room until you end up being the target? That made me uncomfortable and nervous, but at the same time I didn’t want it to stop — at least not until I could try to photograph it, which, by the way, I was unable to do, darn it!
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Lisa: Henryton, hands down! We have never collected anything better in the EVP department than what we collected there. They are clear, intelligent, and downright amazing. I would have to say the situation has been one of fate. We were working with the best people (PRRS and Steven Raebel) and everything just fell into place. It was the first time I heard my own name called out four different times, full sentences, and direct intelligent communication. Just amazing. Q: What has been your best video and photographic evidence caught to date? Lisa: The Cuban Club turned out to be a surprise as we did get an apparition on film. Also, a private home here in Tampa produced very interesting photographic evidence. Q: Whose work in the paranormal field do you respect the most? Lisa: That is a loaded question! There are many people in the field whose hard, amazing work has never
Could this be a ghostly figure captured on camera by H.S.P.R. at the Cuban Club?
been seen or will never see the light of day. So to those that do it for the challenge of finding answers and helping others, I gotta say they are at the top of the list. Personally, I have been floored by Jenny Stewart’s work from PRRS, Hans Holzer, Charles Fort, Steven Raebel, Dr. Diane Hennacy Powell, Ed & Lorraine Warren, and many others. The reason why I am drawn to their work is simple —- I don’t care if you love them or hate them, they are committed to this field. Q: How do you go about becoming trained in this area? Lisa: Study, study, and then go study some more. Anything you can get your hands on is the best place to start. Folklore, historical accounts, paranormal books, the Internet, and, if you’re lucky, find someone that can help train you with all the ins and outs of the actual investigation (equipment, reviewing, and professionalism).
But, in the end, commitment is the one thing that will help you stand the test of time. Q: What words of wisdom would you offer amateur ghost hunters investigating for the first time? Lisa: Do this for the right reasons! I can’t stress enough that this field needs and deserves really good, strong people to take it into the future. If you have a passion for educating people about the existence of life beyond death, you’ll do fine. But this field is hard work, and if you are committed to helping others, you’ll be amazed where the spirits will guide you. Q: Please tell us about any future investigations you have planned. Lisa: Currently our big project is Henryton. I cannot stress enough how that place has really had an effect on myself, my team, and the other teams involved. It is truly an amazing location and as close to a
controlled environment as you can get. It’s ominous, beautiful, and eerie all at the same time. I am counting the days until I return. Q: What sites do you have on your wish list to investigate? Lisa: The LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans is at the top of the list. I have family that comes from there, and the legend of it excites me to no end. So if I could, that is where I would start. I just have to convince the owner to let me in. I would even like to do an EVP session at the site of the Titanic’s sinking just to see if there is residual activity. But there are several different spots in the world I would love to take a crack at, but that pesky “not being super rich thing” keeps getting in the way. Q: What plans do you have for the future? Lisa: Everything, anything, and all of it.
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Boxing With Shadow People By Rick E. Hale
t is finally time for bed after enduring one of the worst days imaginable, a day where virtually nothing has gone right. You woke to find that last night’s storm knocked the power out, causing you to be late. As you make your way out to the car, you discover that one of your tires is flat as a pancake; great, another 15 minutes to change a tire. When you arrive at work your boss jumps all over you about another day being late and says if it happens one more time you’re fired. We’ve all had days like that, but right now it doesn’t matter; you have successfully navigated the day from hell, and it is time to lay your head down on the cool side of the pillow and grab the good night’s sleep you have dreamt about all day. Or so you thought. Screaming for Mommy Sometime, shortly after closing your eyes, you hear a strange sound — like someone has invaded your sanctum. Your eyes fly wide open as you inspect the inky darkness of your room, wondering what the noise was. It sounded as if someone was breathing or perhaps dragging their fingernails along the wall. All of a sudden you are gripped with the undeniable feeling of abso-
The shadow person, as we call them today, appears in practically every culture.
lute dread and remember the days when you were a child and woke up screaming for your mommy because you just experienced the worst nightmare of your young life. Well forget it my friend, because those feelings of dread from your younger years do not even come close to what you are
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feeling at this moment. At first you think you must be losing your mind; if someone had come into your home, you would have noticed it. You laugh at that line of thinking and begin to close your eyes again . . . when you hear it, a low raspy laugh that sounds as
if this invisible intruder had been gargling with glass all their life. There is now no denying it; you are not alone, and because you can’t see them it scares the living daylight out of you. And then the sight of a swirling black mass in the corner of your room catches your eye, and your heart, mind, body, and soul are rendered completely helpless by some evil spell this creature has put on you. You can’t move a single limb, and all you can do is scream in your mind as the dark, foreboding spirit takes its final shape as a dark human totally devoid of color or light. You have just had your first experience with a shadow person and can do nothing about it. Just a Cheesy Horror Story? Sounds like some kind of cheesy horror story doesn’t it? Only if that were true. Thousands of people the world over have reported having a similar terrifying experience that makes them never want to close their eyes again. Shadow people appear to be the hip, new trendy field of study in paranormal research; many radio shows that cater to folks of our rarified interests devote many hours to the discussion of the Shadow Person, with stories as equally horrendous as the one I told above. However, there really appears to be nothing new to this terror that comes in the night. The shadow person, as we call them today, appears in practically every culture. In Europe of old, this phenomenon was known as a Succubus or an Incubus. These demonic spirits would come to the good Christian soul in the middle of night and suck them dry of their energy and vital juices. The Succubus was a female demonic spirit that would have her way with a man until his body
was completely depleted of energy and its vital juices. An Incubus was a male demonic spirit that would attack and rape a sleeping female, attempting to impregnate her with its wicked seed. As Europeans moved west into the New World, they brought such tales of nightly visitations with them, and the witch craze gripped the New World and its colonies. Those who experienced a visitation by one of these spirits called it the “Old Hag.” The Old Hag was believed to be a local woman in league with the prince of darkness, stealing a man’s vital juices for a malevolent spell. You may look back on these stories and think, well this was just the mind of ignorant, uneducated people held hostage by their own superstitions or limited understanding
This Entity brings with it a feeling of absolute evil and dread. of the world around them. This may be true, however, in our so-called enlightened times of the 21st Century, we are still reporting seeing such beings at night. Or, we may catch a fleeting glimpse of these dread-inspiring creatures in the middle of the day. Stories About Shadow People Those reporting a visitation by a shadow person all report the same thing, which may give one the impression that these creatures are organized and love scaring the bejeezus out of unsuspecting folks. They describe the entity as first appearing like a swirling black mass that seems
to appear out of nowhere. The being then begins to form the more articulated form of a large human being with no discernible features such as a mouth, nose, or face. However, the majority of people report that the entity has two red glowing orbs where its eyes should be. These eyes, reports state, seem to be looking straight into your soul, reading your thoughts, feelings, and most definitely your fears. They describe the entity’s movements as being fast but disjointed — almost as if they don’t feel comfortable with the form they have taken. All those who experience a shadow person report the same thing; this entity, being, creature — whatever it is — brings with it a feeling of absolute evil and dread. Those who made the phenomenon of the shadow person their primary field of research believe the entity may be a product of the use of black magic. They also have a theory on what this creature may be. In ancient Tibetan black magic, there is talk of a being called a Tulpa, or a Thoughtform. The Tulpa is a creature created from the thoughts of a practitioner of the dark arts and is formed for one thing and one thing only, malicious intent. The Tulpa, when used for revenge, can cause a person to lose their job and family, and after everything else is gone, it can cause a victim to lose their mind, possibly causing that person to commit suicide. After the Tulpa’s nefarious task is completed, it vanishes — almost as if it had never existed at all. Seems like a plausible theory; however, when the witness is asked if they have any enemies that may delve into the dark arts, nine times out of 10, the person will answer no. Bummer, back to square one. Another theory concerning the shadow person is they may be some
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Special Report kind of inter-dimensional traveler with the ability to gain access to our world. Those who accept this theory believe a dimension or alternate reality of pure darkness has overlapped into ours, and beings from this alternate reality are able to (more or less) step into our world at will. This would explain why they appear in shadow, because that is exactly what they are. Others feel this phenomenon affects those who either knowingly or unknowingly have been abducted by aliens at some time in their life, and the shadow people are sent by the offending aliens to check up on what they may consider to be their property. The problem with this theory is that many who experience a shadow person show no signs of ever having been an abductee. The experience seems totally random and may happen only once. These are the three prevailing theories as to what these creatures may be, but what does mainstream science have to say on the subject? Possible Explanations for Shadow People? Mainstream researchers tell us that the human mind, acting in chorus with the human eye, has a tendency to look for patterns in light and shadow. This condition, called pareidolia, may be the reason behind the person seeing what they think is a shadowy entity. They say that with pareidolia, your mind is literally playing tricks on you when the lights and shadows come together. I suppose this would explain why people who say they have been visited by a shadow person claim to see it out of the corner of their eye, and when they look dead on, the form dissipates. The mainstream also claims the shadow person phenomenon can
be blamed on sleep paralysis â€” a condition that occurs when the brain awakes from a REM state, but the body paralysis persists. This leaves the person fully conscious, but unable to move. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes. They also state that pareidolia comes into play when a person sees dark shapes from normal shadows
Does the condition known as pareidolia explain shadow people?
that play across the wall. The other theory mainstream researchers have is that certain kinds of drugs abuse can cause some people to see these shadows. A few years ago, a person very close to me got hooked on OxyContin after going through a pretty tough back surgery. As his addiction progressed,
Paranormal Underground June 2009
he began to see dark, shadowy entities in the house and believed these creatures wanted to kill him and drag his soul to hell. After going through detox, this person was able to kick the habit, and the shadows vanished. I love this person very much, and Iâ€™m glad they were able to kick the habit because overcoming an OxyContin addiction is worse than kicking heroine. For those suspicious sorts who read this, no it was not me. I Have Seen a Shadow Person This explanation seems very plausible; it is a proven fact that illicit drugs and certain prescription drugs can and do play tricks with the mind. But what of the people who experience a shadow person and are the clean-living type? When I was 18, I investigated a haunting. I was attacked by what I described as a shadow person. I have never used a dangerous drug in my life, nor am I a big drinker, and such is the story of many who have this rare and terrifying experience. I personally knew of a young girl who was so terrified to sleep at night because of shadow people, she had to be checked into a hospital for exhaustion and mental illness. She scared herself right into a psychiatric ward. If it was not for my own personal experience with a shadow person, I would be inclined to believe mainstream science explanations, but I can tell you this, shadow people are very real and very frightening.
Rick E. Hale is a 35-year-old native of Chicago. A paranormal researcher since the age of eight, Rick is happily married to a wonderful wife and digs Jazz. Rick believes in the use of the scientific method in gathering evidence of paranormal claims.
Have You Seen a Shadow Person? By Dorinda M. Wheeler
ave you ever seen something out of the corner of your eye only to look, and it seems to escape? Or, have you ever had the feeling you are being watched, but when you look up there is nothing there? How often do you get a cold sensation or a feeling of dread or impending doom? These are typical characteristics of encountering what is often called “shadow people” or “shadow folk.” Shadow people are often described as two-dimensional, black silhouettes, usually in the figure of a man or boy. They are often described as being about four feet tall, although there have been reports of much taller shadow people. Sometimes, they are not fully formed and tend to be just a black mist with little to no shape. Normally, there are no facial features like one might see on an apparition. I have heard of glowing, red eyes on a shadow person, if there is any facial feature at all. These beings seem to move very fast along walls and disappear through a wall or closed door. It’s almost like they want to watch you, but don’t want to be seen doing it. There are a few different theories as to what these beings could be. One
theory is they are apparitions that could not gather enough energy to fully evolve into a clear human form. Another theory is that they were never human to begin with. That they are from another dimension. I’ve heard some say that they occur where there is a high amount of
Shadow people have been mentioned in folk tales all over the world throughout history. Just what are they?
electromagnetic field — also known as an EMF. This makes sense to me because where EMF readings are abnormally high, it is said people feel as if they are being watched, feel impending doom, have an overwhelming feeling of dread or paranoia, and occasionally hallucinate.
This isn’t a new phenomenon. It has been mentioned in folk tales all over the world. Throughout history, these shadow people were considered demonic phantoms from other dimensions, or even from outer space. If shadow people have been around for so long, I wonder why they aren’t spoken about as often as ghosts or spirits are? One theory could be that people didn’t mention them as much throughout history because of superstition. Maybe people were afraid if they spoke about shadow people, the shadow people would hurt them. Superstitions are almost always fear-based. Now that people are out in the field trying to prove that ghosts, spirits, entities, and all kinds of different paranormal things exist, maybe that is why we are starting to hear more about this phenomenon. We’ve advanced so much just in the past few years that I’m sure we’ll be finding more things to investigate. People are coming out of the closet, so to speak, in regard to being involved in a haunting. I’d love to see more people seeking answers to what the paranormal actually is. So, I encourage you to get out there and do just that!
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The Ins and Outs of Pa By Ryan Tackitt, Paranormal Investigators of Central Texas
o after reading up on ghost hunting and how to form a paranormal investigation group in the past few issues of Paranormal Underground, you put together a team and bought some equipment to use during your investigations. You’ve also found a house to investigate. So what’s next? The main thing to know . . . you can’t just walk into an investigation and expect results. That would be nice, but it just doesn’t happen that way. Much to the surprise of people getting into this field, it’s rather boring. Should You Go Into the Investigation “Cold”? It starts with doing an interview with the people at the residence. The who, what, when, and where is needed before you can provide the why. If you don’t know what’s going on at the house, you can’t investigate properly. Now this is a point of debate between groups. Some think that to do a proper investigation, the team needs to go in cold. This refers to the group not knowing anything about the house whatsoever. Others contend that in order to do a good investigation, you have to know something about what’s going on. This is the part that is up to you and your group alone. It’s also
possible to do it both ways. You can switch back and forth on investigations and see what the results are. My own paranormal research group is going to do this. For our next investigation, the lead investigator and researcher are the only ones that will know the history and activity at the house. You are wondering about the researcher’s role. Every team needs one; this is the person that finds information about anyone and anyplace that you can possibly imagine. The researcher on my team is great at this, she finds stuff out from the county tax office and other places that she won’t tell me about. Most of this information can be found for free if you know where to look. Setting Up the Investigation After interviewing and researching, the group needs to set a date. Believe it or not, this can be the hardest part of the investigation. It’s probably not so hard if everyone worked a Monday through Friday 9 to 5 job, but that’s not the case with my team. After the date is set, the time and meeting place is a cinch. We investigate when the client has the most activity, so it doesn’t matter if it’s day or night. We will try to mimic the exact conditions as much as possible. We aren’t on TV, so
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Remember, you don’t have to provide proof of th quality investigati
we will be there during the daytime if needed. Everyone meets and forms a parade to the residence; the setup period is about to begin. Usually, the client will give a tour of the residence to the team while someone unpacks and starts the setting up of equipment. Then, we have a team of two go in and get baseline EMF readings (both with the lights on and the lights
aranormal Investigation handed out to the groups, plus some are placed as static DARs to record between group rotations. Flashlights are also handed out along with other sensor monitors. My team recently made some vibration sensors, and those will be set up in the places where they will work the best. Other stuff like EMF detectors, camcorders, thermometers, and the sort can be carried by the groups.
he paranormal to the world, you only need to do a tion for your client.
off) and log them onto a picture of the layout of the house. During this period is when the static cameras are set up. They are put in the best location and pointed at the best angle for what we need them for. Cable is run throughout the house and needs to be secured so no one trips on them. Other equipment like Digital Audio Recorders (DARs) are
Conducting the Investigation Now once everything is set and ready to go, it’s up to the group leader on how to do the rest. Is one group going in at a time, or can two groups work at once? Most houses should only require one group inside at a time. This will reduce the chance of evidence-gathering contamination. Also, one person needs to stay at the command post and log in when a group goes in and comes out, who the group was, and what equipment was taken in with them. Weather, geophysical, and solar conditions need to be recorded. The phase of the moon also comes in handy. This will hopefully produce a pattern of when paranormal activity is the most common. You will also need a command post. This is the location — usually outside the residence — where people that are not investigating stay. Television monitors and whatever
else you have setup (like laptops) are kept here. Despite being outside, it’s good to keep the noise down in this spot so it doesn’t contaminate the DARs inside. Now, you have groups going in and out; how long they stay inside is up to them. It doesn’t make any sense to give them a time limit if the activity starts up a minute before they have to come out. Also, change up the team every now and then. Sometimes you can get interesting results by sending in an all-female group versus a mixed group. Remember, the client is in charge of the investigation as to how long it goes on and what areas can be investigated. Also remember to sign a liability form for the client, releasing them from any liability in case a team member gets hurt. There are several of these forms online that you can use as long as you have permission from the original source. You have reached the end of the investigation, and it’s time to pack up. Remember to save any data on the DVR or laptop before turning it off. Have a checklist of equipment so you know you have accounted for everything before leaving the investigation. This is the time that everyone pitches in to clean up and pack up. Review notes and make sure everything is in order before leaving.
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 33
Reviewing the Evidence Once everything is finished up at the site, head home and get some sleep. Reviewing of the evidence is a long and tedious chore, and it’s going to take some time. If you have multiple people doing this, it will go by much faster. Usually it’s good to have two people go over the same evidence twice in case one person missed something. Keep a list of possible or strange activities so it’s easy to find later. As for software and video programs I prefer to use what is provided by the manufacturer of the instrument. Our DARs have built-in programs for downloading and converting to a .wav file. Then I like using Soundforge for analyzing EVPs. You can also use Audacity if you don’t want to spend any money; it’s free online. I also use the software program that the manufacturer provides for video; in this case it’s a program made by Sony for the camcorder. Ifranview is a free program I use for analyzing digital pictures. Revealing the Evidence Once evidence is reviewed, you need to set up a time to go see the client and explain what you found.
I use a form that I give the client detailing what we found, and then I provide a disk that has the evidence on it for them to keep. The main thing you need to remember with clients is . . . be honest. If you don’t find anything, you don’t find anything. Be straightforward with the client so you don’t hurt your group’s reputation. Chances are, you
This is an exciting field that needs strong groups looking for paranormal evidence. won’t find anything that first night and will have to schedule multiple investigations to get positive results for or against paranormal activity. Another thing I recommend is that the group leader or team come up with a list detailing what they will consider paranormal. So much is open for debate on this that we keep it simple. We must have considerable evidence to make us believe a
Paranormal Underground June 2009
place is actually haunted. So far, my group has encountered only one place we believe is haunted, and it’s a cemetery. We have a residence we believe has possible activity, but the evidence there could easily be debunked. In conclusion, what you see on TV during an investigation is only a smidgen of what actually happens. TV has to edit it all down to an hour and make it interesting, or the show doesn’t get the ratings it needs to stay on the air. While investigations can be fun and exciting, they can also have boring times — like when you’re sitting in the command post just watching a static camera for an hour. So don’t despair, and don’t give up. This is an exciting field that needs strong groups looking for paranormal evidence. Remember, you don’t have to provide proof of the paranormal to the world, you only need to do a quality investigation for your client.
Ryan Tackitt is the founder of Paranormal Investigators of Central Texas. You can e-mail Ryan at email@example.com for more information.
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June 2009 Paranormal Underground 35
Revisiting Reincarnation: A Follow-up Past-Life Regression By Karen Frazier
may have been a puppet in a past life . . . or someone who wore puppet clothes. It’s hard knowing. Now that you’re thoroughly confused, I’ll back up a bit. In our September issue on reincarnation, I embarked on a paranormal adventure. I had a past-life regression hypnotherapy session, and then I wrote about it for the magazine. That was six months ago, and I felt it was time to follow up. Some of you may recall in my last session, my conscious and critical brain yammered on and on. I was hoping that this time, with a few more paranormal adventures under my belt, my mind might quiet down a bit so I could submit to the process. ***** Once again, I found myself in the office of Rita Ballard, who is a wonderful hypnotherapist. I explained my purpose for this session, and Rita told me the script she was using would be a bit different from the last time — then we got started. We went very quickly through a few scenes from my childhood. Rita told me to just notice what I saw so I could remember it later. I didn’t have to tell her what I was seeing. My whole session took place in my mind. First, Rita took me quickly backward through my life. She told
My first thought was, “My GOD, I’m a puppet!”
me to see a scene from when I was 15 or 16. I saw girls in mullets (although we called them bi-level haircuts) and Flashdance-style clothing hanging out at a counter. It was fairly hazy, but the image stayed in my head and wouldn’t go away. The clothing/
Paranormal Underground June 2009
hairdo sounds about right for when I was 16. Flashdance came out in 1983. I turned 17 in December of 1983. Shhh . . . don’t tell anyone. Next, I saw a quick scene from when I was four. I saw myself twirling in a brown dress. Well, I didn’t see myself. But I did see the brown dress twirling as I turned in circles. I still like to twirl in circles when I am wearing dresses (which isn’t very often), so I would not be surprised if this image was accurate, as well. Which brings us to the puppet. I went into a mist and came out in a past life. As she had before, Rita told me to first notice my feet. This is a terrific strategy for me, since I love shoes. I can relate to shoes. If I look at shoes — cute, ugly, or otherwise — I will remember them. So I looked at my feet. My very first thought in my conscious mind was, “My GOD! I’m a puppet.” That’s because the shoes were weird pointy-toed things. Next, she had me look at my legs. More puppet clothing. I was wearing what can only be described as tights that terminated in the aforementioned pointy shoes. There were also two facts in my head I knew to be true. I don’t know how I knew — I just did. First, the year was 1338. Second, I was a dude. I was wearing some kind of a weird pointy hat on top of what can only be described as shiny, brown, girly hair.
Definitely a puppet, right? At this point, I was certain in my critical brain that there was no way the picture I had of this goofy kid could be accurate. Then I got on Google and searched 14th Century clothing when I got home. Here’s the very first picture I came across:
Okay — so the boy-dress I was wearing (I believe it is called a tunic) in my vision was green and yellow, but the rest was uncannily accurate. Here’s what I learned about the young man I was seeing through hazy pictures in my head: It was the mid14th Century. The boy originally lived with his parents in what appeared to be a little dark house made of some kind of solid material (maybe stone or wood) that was coated with something that looked like mud. It was tiny and very dark inside. The floor looked as if it was packed dirt. There were what appeared to be two straw mattresses by a hearth on one side of the home, and a hefty wood table by a giant stone fireplace on the other side. A gray-haired woman cooked on a kettle over a fire. The little-14th Century boy didn’t live in this house for very long. Rita asked me to view significant events from this young man’s life. Nothing I saw as significant to the young man related directly to him.
Instead, everything that he considered significant involved a grand lady who wore a progression of beautiful puffy dresses and lots of jewelry. I got the impression that his entire life was given in servitude to this woman — but that he was perfectly happy that way. He was happy he could serve his lady, and he never gave a thought as to what his life would be if he was allowed to live his own life. He was choosing to live out his life of complete subjugation to the woman happily and peacefully. Rita didn’t take me to this young man’s death, but suggested I take the wisdom he gained in that life and bring it to this one with me. What I took away with me was his sense of total happiness and peace in spite of not having what I would consider any real life of his own. He was a guy who went with the flow and found happiness wherever he was. This actually makes some sense to me. I am an extremely strongwilled person. For most of my life, I have been determined to bend the world to me rather than flowing with my world. Recent events in my life brought me to a new understanding of how to find happiness in life — and much of it has to do with going with the flow and finding peace and joy in each moment. This young man understood and lived that in ways that I have only begun to glimpse. Let’s take a look at the historical accuracy of what I saw based on some quick and dirty Google research. My vision of 14th Century clothing was dead-on, especially clothing worn by the male servants of nobility. Many of these servants served either the man or the lady of the house, and they performed a number of household duties. A Google search on Medieval peasant housing brought up the following image — which is almost exactly what I saw — although the house in my regression was much
smaller than the house pictured here:
According to HistoryOnTheNet. com, “The house would have been very dark and smoky inside as there is no chimney and only a small window.” And, “It has two rooms, one containing the hearth that would have been the main living area. The other room contains a stone oven.” Both of these are consistent with the pictures in my mind during hypnosis. If you look at the picture above, it also appears that the floor was definitely dirt. Once again, what I saw was uncannily accurate, and it holds up well under closer scrutiny. Does this mean that I didn’t have some prior knowledge about the Middle Ages, the living conditions, and the clothing they wore? Of course not. I definitely have come across all sorts of information about medieval times in my travels. That being said, I have no conscious recollection of knowing that 1338 was smack dab in the Middle Ages until I looked it up when I got home. What I do know is this. Whether what I saw during hypnosis was an actual past life or whether it was symbolic, it doesn’t really matter. The understanding that I walked away with is the same. Both the last time I had the hypnotherapy and this time, the information I received was remarkably prescient for where I was/am in my life. In the end, what matters for me is the understanding I take away from any experience. Past-life regression has helped me come to grips with things I needed to understand, right when I needed to understand them. As far as I’m concerned, that is what really matters.
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 37
Waverly Hills Audio Experience Benefits Stomp Out Cancer By Karen Frazier
n 2002, Jake Wheat — of www. streetblastradio.com — went with the Louisville Ghost Hunters Society to record a program from Waverly Hills Sanatorium. During that tour, he recorded an EVP of a woman saying, “You’re not supposed to be here.” Since then, Wheat has returned to Waverly Hills to learn the history of the sanatorium and record the paranormal events that take place within its walls. The result is The Waverly Hills Audio Experience, an 80-minute audio CD that Wheat is selling to benefit the organization Stomp Out Cancer, a non-profit that raises money for the John Hopkins Sarcoma Research Center, which studies Ewing’s Sarcoma. The cause is one that is close to Wheat’s heart, because a friend died from the disease. We are currently airing excerpts from this recording in our Paranormal Underground Presents . . . Waverly Hills Audio Experience Podcast on our Website at www.paranormalunderground.net. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium Audio Experience is available for download on iTunes: 100% of the proceeds go to Stomp Out Cancer. For more information about Stomp Out Cancer, visit http://www. stompoutcancer.com.
The Waverly Hills Audio Experience features an 80-minute audio CD. All proceeds from CD sales go to Stomp Out Cancer, a non-profit organization.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
AVAILABLE� ON iTUNES!�
100% Of The Album Proceeds Go To StompOutCancer.com�
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 39
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
The Mystery Behind the Winchester House By Lisajoyce Vergara
an Jose, California, is the largest city in the Bay Area, located roughly 50 miles south of San Francisco and 390 miles north of Los Angeles. The city also houses one of the most well-known historical mansions, which is also said to be one of the most haunted: The Winchester Mystery House. Deathly Afraid of . . . Death The house was home to Sarah and gun magnate William Winchester, the only son of Oliver Winchester, owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The couple had a daughter, Annie Pardee Winchester, who was born July 12, 1866, but died only a few weeks after her birth. Sarah became depressed over their daughter’s death. Later, more tragedy would follow the Winchesters. In 1880, William’s father passed, and the following year, William himself died of tuberculosis. Through Sarah’s misfortunes, she deeply felt her family was cursed and sought out a medium for advice. The medium told Sarah she believed a curse was upon the family because the guns they made had taken many lives. The spirits were seeking deep vengeance. Sarah would have to move away and travel West
The Winchester Mystery House is home to doors and windows that open up to walls and staircases that lead nowhere.
to start a new life. The medium also explained that she would need to build a large house to safeguard herself, as well as to house the spirits who had fallen victim to the guns. She advised, “You must never stop building the house. If you continue building, you will live forever. But if you stop, then you will die too.” With these words of caution, Sarah obeyed and began constructing the house.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Constructing a Mad House With the help of Sarah’s inheritance of more than $20.5 million, she began building her fortress in 1884 and did not stop until her death in 1922. The 160-room Victorian mansion was no ordinary mansion. Since Sarah was forewarned that her life was in grave danger from the spirits, she ended up turning her house into a mad house full of mazes. There are doors and windows
that open to walls and staircases that lead nowhere. One particular staircase leads to a ceiling. In the kitchen, there is a secret door from the ceiling. Today, the house is a major tourist attraction that allows visitors to explore the mysteries within. Tourists to the house will also encounter Sarah’s obsession with the number 13. For example, one of the many chandeliers in the house had 12 candle-holders but was altered to accommodate 13 candles per Sarah’s request. Also, every Friday the 13th, a large bell on the property is rung 13 times at 13:00 (1 p.m.), to pay tribute to the Winchesters. The house is also open for special flashlight tours at night for such holidays as Halloween and Friday the 13th. For more information, visit www.winchestermysteryhouse.com. Photos courtesy of www.winchester mysteryhouse.com.
The Winchester Mystery House is a 160-room, Victorian mansion built by Sarah Winchester, widower of gun magnate William Winchester.
The House That Sarah Winchester Built Cost: $5,500,000. Date of Construction: 1884–September 5, 1922 (38 continuous years). # of Stories: Prior to the 1906 Earthquake: 7; presently: 4. # of Acres: Originally: 161.92; presently: 4. # of Basements: 2. Heating: Steam, forced air, and fireplaces. # of Windows: Frames 1,257; panes approx. 10,000. # of Doors: Doorways 467, doors approx. 950 — not including cabinet doors.
# of Fireplaces: 47 (gas, wood, or coal burning). # of Chimneys: Presently: 17, with evidence of 2 others. # of Bedrooms: Approx. 40. # of Kitchens: 5 or 6. # of Staircases: 40 — total stair steps = 367. # of Skylights: Approximately 52. # of Gallons of Paint Required to Paint Entire Home: Over 20,000. # of Ballrooms: 2 (one nearly complete, and one under construction).
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 41
Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures
Flying on Wings of Terror By Rick E. Hale
ince the early 1980s, residents surrounding the majestic slopes of Mount St. Helens and those who dare challenge the elements and ascend its unforgiving terrain have reported witnessing a bizarre and terrifying creature flying in and around the mountain. Those who have witnessed the winged monster all provide the same description that would even give the most die hard horror film buff the heebie jeebies, not to mention make evolutionary scientists sit up and take notice. Batsquatch Scared the Hell Out of Witnesses Witnesses describe a large, purple-skinned creature with piercing blood red eyes, membranous wings, and dagger-sharp claws at the ends of its bony fingers. Those who have seen the creature up close report that the face does not resemble that of any known bird but rather the violent determined face of a gorilla. And those poor folks who have been unfortunate enough to see the creature and hear its eerie growling have given the monster a name closely resembling that of another mystery beast that is said to haunt the snowy peaks of the mount: They call the winged terror Batsquatch, and the residents all agree that this creature scares the living hell out of them. For the past 20-plus years, Batsquatch has been seen swooping
from its hidey hole among the cliffs of Mount St. Helens and stalking the small livestock and dogs of local farmers. Many a night the slumber of a farmer has been disturbed by the frightened scream of a chicken or the bleating of a lamb. When the farmer races to see what the commotion is about, he has witnessed his prized property being carried away in the blood-stained
Could Batsquatch, Kongamoto, or Ahool be descendents of the Pterodactyl?
clutches of this elusive beast. It would also appear that the depredations of Batsquatch extend beyond stealing farm animals to human prey. The local Native Americans tell tales going back many centuries of young children being spirited away in the dagger claws of the horrifying monster. Of course, I must add that
Paranormal Underground June 2009
such stories are possibly anecdotal and have no basis in fact, but if they are real, hey, a guy’s gotta eat, right? Does Proof of Batsquatch’s Existence . . . Exist? As with any beast that populates the mysterious crypto-zoo, is there any documented proof of the existence of such a horrific fiend? Apparently, there is. In 1994, mountaineer and extreme sports enthusiast Butch Whittaker was preparing to scale the wall of Mt. St. Helens when he was startled by the eerie call from a ledge several hundred feet above his head. His attention was drawn to a bizarre creature — that should live only in nightmare — taking flight from the ledge. Ever mindful, Butch whipped out his camera and snapped off a few pics of the disturbing beast. Some believers think that the fuzzy photos taken by the mountaineer constitute the best evidence as to the reality of the creature. Of course, those who take a more skeptical stance say the pictures are nothing more than a giant purple blob of nothingness. Also in 1994, another unnamed climber watched as a similar creature flew in front of a moving semi and was struck. The mountaineer claimed that he watched as another bat-like nightmare swooped down and carried its injured pal off to a cave several hundred feet above his head. The mountaineer later claimed
that he got the sense that the uninjured beast was caring for the injured creature like a mother cares for its young. Is it possible that more than one Batsquatch exists on the mountain? Well, if the tales of Batsquatch are not enough to convince you that our small animals are not safe, and there is an ever-present threat of buckets of guano falling from on high, I invite you to consider the tales of a similar creature that is said to haunt the skies of Sub-Saharan Africa and has been seen for centuries by the local natives . . . Are the Kongamoto and Ahool Real Animals? In his 1923 book, In Witchbound Africa, world traveler, explorer extraordinaire, and all-around neat guy Frank H. Melland briefly speaks of a nightmarish monster that holds the locals of the area captive. While traveling in the region, Melland hears a tale of a giant red-skinned, flying beast with membranous wings and blood-gored fangs that flies through the area’s night skies. The Kongamoto, as the locals call it, is said to take flight after the sun dips below the horizon and silently swoops down to carry off their small animals and occasionally a small child for a nightly snack. Intrigued by such tales, Melland shows the locals a picture book filled with illustrations of prehistoric animals. Melland was shocked when the natives pointed to a picture of a creature that was believed to have been extinct for more than 65 million years: the pterodactyl. The explorer was startled further when the natives pointed to other dinosaurs that still populated the landscape. Melland and many crypto-geeks believe that Sub-Saharan Africa may be some kind of hidden prehistoric world that survived the great extinction. Thousands of miles away, a
Those who have seen the Ahool describe the creature as having a body the size of a twoyear-old infant, a 10- to 20-foot wingspan, tusklike teeth, and daggerlike claws. Are Batsquatch, Kongamoto, and Ahool real? These three similar creatures are from three separate continents thousands of miles apart. They all have similar characteristics and a similar nasty demeanor and blood lust.
creature much like Batsquatch and Kongamoto is said to call the dense Javan rainforests home. The creature that has been more heard than seen derives its name from its haunting call that many locals here heard at night . . . “Aaaa-hoooolll.” Those who have seen the Ahool describe the creature as having a body the size of a two-year-old infant, a 10to 20-foot wingspan, tusk-like teeth, and dagger-like claws. Just like its kin from America and Africa, the Ahool has been witnessed carrying off small animals and a child or two back to its hiding place in the dense rainforests. It is believed that to speak of the creature is to invite death, and the locals are very reluctant to talk with outsiders about the winged terror that haunts their night skies. So are Batsquatch, Kongamoto, and Ahool real? These three similar creatures are from three separate continents thousands of miles apart. They all have similar characteristics and a similar nasty demeanor and blood lust. I hate to quote a James Bond flick, but it sounds like an enemy action to me. If Batsquatch, Ahool, and Kongamoto exist, what the hell could they possibly be? Some
feel that these three creatures are holdovers from the great dinosaurian apocalypse that wiped over the lizard kings tens of millions of years ago. A second explanation states that these creatures are a previously undiscovered species of fruit bat. This explanation in and of itself is patently ridiculous. The common fruit bat is really no larger than a softball and certainly does not crave human flesh. A third explanation states that tales of these flying nightmares are nothing more than old wives’ tales told to keep bratty kids in line. I mean, really, could you imagine a parent telling little Bobby or Sally that if they don’t behave they will be left out in the cold, dark night to await the coming of a beast that will flay the skin from their bones and turn them into guano. Somebody, please call child services and hurry. Me, I’m leaning toward explanation one.
Rick E. Hale is a 35-year-old native of Chicago. A paranormal researcher since the age of eight, Rick is happily married to a wonderful wife and digs Jazz. Rick believes in the use of the scientific method in gathering evidence of paranormal claims.
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 43
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History
Harry Price: Paranormal Pioneer By Chad Wilson
agician, showman, entrepreneur, and some even say con man, Harry Price was anything but ordinary. One of the founding fathers of modern paranormal investigation, his methods and practices are still in use today. Born in Red Lion Square, London, in 1881, Price was a man before his time. Becoming interested in stage magic around age 8, his fascination with the tricks of the trade eventually led him to use that knowledge to help debunk prominent psychic mediums of the day. One such psychic was William Hope, a spirit photographer in the 1920s. By secretly switching Hope’s photographic plates with some that he had marked, Price was able to expose Hope’s fraudulent photographing techniques. Price also helped expose and convict fraudulent medium Helen Duncan in 1944 under the Witchcraft Act 1735. She was one of the last individuals to be convicted under this act prior to its repeal. Price brought to light the trickery employed by Duncan when he revealed that her spirit manifestations were only regurgitated cheesecloth and her ectoplasm was no more than egg whites. Duncan was convicted and served nine months in jail.
Price Comes Under Fire for His Beliefs Lacking any real training in science, Price was nonetheless an amateur inventor who created some of the devices he used during his investigations. A member of the Society for Physical Research (SPR), he had a turbulent relationship with the organization. He was lauded for his attempts at uncovering fraud in the paranormal community in his early career, but was chastised for his later profession of belief in and pursuit of the paranormal. The photograph above of paranormal investigaHis formation of the Nator Harry Price was taken by spirit photographer tional Laboratory for Physical William Hope in 1922. Research in 1923 was due in part to his strained relationship with the SPR. He was also called into ing with Price for a five-year period question by skeptics of the day for his and participating in more than 30 support of psychic Stella Cranshaw, individual sittings. who he had met while taking a train. Once Price completed his work They struck up a conversation in with Cranshaw, he moved on to testing which it was revealed that the 21-yearother psychic mediums, even trying to old Cranshaw had been suffering from scientifically measure some aspects of strange phenomena for years (rapping the séances. It was through his work noises, cold chills, and household with the flamboyant Baron Albert von objects inexplicably taking flight). Schreck-Notzing of Munich, GerUpon hearing this, Price asked many, that Price adopted the Baron’s if Cranshaw would be willing to publicity-seeking methods to help undergo testing. She agreed, workdrive interest in his research.
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During this time period, Price turned from debunking mediums to a pursuit of genuine phenomena. It was at this point in his career that the major schism with the SPR developed. Price Investigates the Infamous Borley Rectory Most famous for his investigations of Borley Rectory from 1929 to 1939, he wrote two books on the Rectory, The Most Haunted House in England (1940), and The End of Borley Rectory (1946). During his initial investigations there, he claimed to have first-hand experience of much of the previously reported phenomena, such as ringing bells, rapping noises, and seeing objects that had been moved from one place to another. He also collected accounts from many witnesses, previous tenants, neighbors, and locals who had experienced phenomena at the Rectory. He even devised a year-long investigation using 40 hand-picked individuals who had responded to an advertisement. He issued each individual a handbook, the first of its kind to detail how to conduct a paranormal investigation, including what equipment to use. Price’s books set the standard for future investigations, and he took his place as a true pioneer in the field of paranormal investigation, bringing ghost hunting into the public eye and setting a standard that still persists today. On March 29, 1948, Price died of a heart attack in his home in Pulborough, West Sussex, UK, at the age of 67. He left behind his wife, wealthy heiress Constance Mary Knight. He also left a lasting legacy that is still felt to this day. No longer was the “strange and unexplained” only within the purview of hard core skeptics, professional scientists, or the true believer. Harry Price brought the paranormal into the mainstream and set standards for others to build upon.
Taken in 1922, this picture was said to show a spirit emerging in front of a group at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures. Pictured at center is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The picture was exposed as a hoax.
Taken in 1922, this picture depicts paranormal investigator Harry Price (at left) and a supposed spirit. It was later shown that William Hope, a spirit photographer in the 1920s, had substituted the photographic plates that he was given for ones that had been tampered with to create the illusion of the second figure in this picture. This was only one of many hoaxed spirit photographs that Price helped to expose.
Harry Price spent years investigating Borley Rectory. He even devised a year-long investigation using 40 hand-picked individuals. This photograph was taken in 1892.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?
The UFO Agenda: The Roswell Incident By Chad Wilson
ince 1947 the United States, as well as the rest of the world, have been subjected to the various conspiracy theories involving the crash of an unknown object in the desert of Roswell, New Mexico, on July 7, 1947. Much speculation and theories as to what actually happened that day abound. Whether the crashed object was a wayward military balloon or an alien spacecraft, the fact still remains that something did crash at Roswell that particular summer day. One of the main conspiracy theories that emerged from the incident was the claim that our government reverse-engineered alien technology found aboard the crashed Roswell object, giving us the transistor, the laser, the integrated circuit, fiber optics, stealth technology, as well as a metal called “memory metal,” or Nitinol. Memory Metal: Did it Come From Alien Intelligence? Rumored to have been developed at Battelle in Columbus, Ohio, soon after the Roswell crash, Nitinol is a combination of the metals titanium and nickel, and displays some of the same properties as the Roswell mystery material as described by Roswell Intelligence Officer Major
The Roswell mystery of 1947 remains unsolved to this day. And after 50 years of the U.S. government changing its story, questions still abound.
Jesse Marcel. The material forms a crystal structure capable of undergoing a change from one form of crystal structure to another under extreme temperature change. Basically, the lightweight material was extremely flexible and would spring back to its original smooth shape. Some say the Roswell metal was almost weightless. Could Nitinol be a by-product of
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reverse engineering from an extraterrestrial material? What gives many researchers pause when examining the Roswell case are the multiple versions of the U.S. government’s explanations of what did happen at Roswell, not to mention missing documents and compelling witness testimony. The U.S. government’s explanations of events, both at the time of the Roswell crash as well as for the
50 years following it, don’t answer many of the looming questions still out there. Questions and Answers Don’t Match Up What of the small bodies, reminiscent of typical Grays, that were seen by witnesses to the event. Military officials supposedly asked local Roswell embalmer Glenn Dennis if he had hermetically sealed coffins for children available. They also asked him how to best preserve a body. The Air Force claims that the witnesses actually saw the remains of military dummies that crashed to the ground after being dropped from high-altitude balloons; however, those supposed dummies were adult male size, and the bodies seen by witnesses were only about 3 to 4 feet tall. Also, the dummies in question were not in use until the 1950s, long after the events at Roswell took place. And according to Physicist, Lecturer, and UFO Researcher Stanton Friedman, “One of the silliest official USAF stories is the crash test dummy nonsense . . . None were dropped anywhere near the two crash sites, and none were dropped earlier than six years AFTER the 1947 events.” The military also claimed that witnesses were suffering from distortions of memory. Why would witnesses make themselves open to ridicule by coming forward with their personal experiences? Are all the witnesses lying or suffering from memory distortion? While we may never know what really happened on July 7, 1947, there are those out there that continue to seek answers to this ageold mystery: What really happened during the Roswell Incident?
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June 2009 Paranormal Underground 47
Eastern European Belie
Where Night By J.D. Harrison
ast dark forests . . . small isolated villages whose inhabitants cower in their homes when darkness blankets the land . . . vampires, werewolves, and the walking dead. These are a few of the thoughts we conjure when we think of Eastern Europe and the paranormal, and rightfully so. For years, authors have filled their books with tales based on these beliefs, and more recently, Hollywood has romanticized them for the silver screen. But do the ideas that we associate with Eastern Europe really reflect their views on the paranormal and what they believe? In this article, we will examine these beliefs and superstitions, and compare them to similar beliefs from other cultures around the world. The Eastern European, or Slavic, culture is comprised of many varying traditions and beliefs regarding the paranormal, which change from region to region. Rooted deeply in tradition, the early peasant societies of Eastern Europe were considered paganistic, as they worshiped nature because they believed that spirits inhabited all aspects of the natural world. As organized religion progressed, Greek Orthodox and beliefs in Jewish Mysticism and practices
merged with the early paganistic practices, giving the Eastern Europeans a unique perspective on the paranormal. As a result, emphasis was rarely placed on familiar or family spirits. Instead, paranormal events were focused on a large area or region, i.e., instead of a house being haunted, the forests or fields were haunted. Spirits in Eastern European traditions are rarely benign. Many of these beliefs center around the dead rising or returning to bring harm to the living. And as we will see, great lengths were taken to ensure that those who recently departed remained where they were placed. The Strigoi, Kudlak, Vampir, and Wampyre Vampires . . . In the West, when we think of vampires, many of us think of a dashing man in fine clothes who circulates among the living at night in order to obtain his next victim, hurrying back to his coffin before the sun rises in order to avoid the certain death that daylight will bring. This is an image presented to us by Hollywoodâ€™s version of Bram Stokerâ€™s Dracula. This is a romanticized version that takes a generous portion of artistic license when
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efs in the Paranormal:
tmares Dwell interpreting the original Eastern European belief. In Eastern Europe, the vampire is not as romantic and less handsome. Known by many names that vary from region to region, the Eastern European version is rarely associated with drinking the blood of the living. Instead, it destroys its victims through physical or psychic means. Almost always associated with the appearance of epidemic or misfortune, villages would band together and begin searching for the suspected vampire. The first suspects were almost always those who had passed within the last 40 days. Many scholars attribute this to the time between the death of Jesus and his ascension. As vampires were believed to be evil, most felt that this was a mockery of the divine and a practice that evil beings strived to do. Also, those who had died an unnatural death, such as accident victims and suicides, unbaptised children, or those who were thought to practice witchcraft, were also suspects. It was also believed that if an animal such as a cat or dog jumped over the body of those recently deceased, that person could become a vampire. Any corpse recently buried that met these criteria was exhumed, and
precautions were taken to ensure that the suspected vampire could no longer harm the living. It was believed that the vampire could not be destroyed, only contained, and different measures were taken to ensure that the dead stayed buried. How Do You Kill a Vampire? In Western cultures, it is believed that driving a stake through the heart of the creature is sufficient to destroy it. While based on Eastern European practices, it is not the case. The PanSlavic tradition required that stakes of ash wood be driven through the heart and stomach of the suspected vampire, not to kill it, but to anchor it to its resting place. In some cases, the hands and feet of the corpse were bound with chains, and a scythe was placed at the throat of the corpse. The belief behind this practice was that if the corpse tried to rise from its resting place, the scythe would decapitate the corpse, immobilizing it. Another practice was to stake the corpse in the prescribed manner, and then decapitate it and place the head facing down. By doing this, it was believed that the vampire would become confused and be unable to rise. Practices like these varied from region to region, but all had a com-
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In Eastern European mythologies, beliefs in the werewolf outdate those of the vampire due to the early tribal beliefs in nature spirits.
mon purpose: to prevent the dead from rising and harming the living. Preventive measures were also important to the Eastern Europeans when it came to dealing with the vampire. The use of garlic as a talisman was widespread, and it was commonly hung in windows to ward away any unwanted spirits. It was also placed in the coffin of persons who were likely to become vampires, along with a crucifix to prevent them from rising and bringing harm to the living. An unusual practice in place at the time reflected the belief that vampires had an obsession for counting. Because of this, millet or poppy seeds were placed in the coffin with the corpse and scattered throughout the cemetery and along
the road leading to it. By doing this, it was felt that the vampire would be forced to count the seeds, thus slowing its ability to harm the living. Another common belief was that before a vampire could rise, it had to consume its burial clothing. To prevent this, the clothing was sometimes nailed to the coffin, or a block of wood was place under the chin of the corpse. Iron, not silver was believed to weaken the vampire, and objects made of this metal were commonly placed in coffins before burial. Burial practices usually occurred in stages over a period of several days, and were strictly adhered to, for it was believed that any deviation in the ritual would cause the de-
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ceased to become a vampire. Beliefs in a vampireâ€™s intent vary by region in Eastern Europe, but several are common to the area. The first is the belief that the vampire always attacks members of its family, friends, or people who owed it a debt in life. Then the vampire would move on to harm others. This belief is similar to the local haunting beliefs of Celtic Western Europe, as there it was believed that the dead could return to harm members of the family or their friends. Another interesting belief is that the vampire can leave the area to lead a normal life elsewhere, even raising a family. This belief is highly suspected as having roots in cases of premature burial. Premature burial was common during the period when vampire belief was at its height in Eastern Europe. This is mainly due to the rural nature of the area, where few understood the dying process and medicine. In reported cases of the time, due to the superstitious nature of the people, the unfortunate ill or dying person was considered an abomination and either shunned or put to death. In cases where a vampire was rumored to rise from the grave and assume a normal life in a village where they were not known, it is felt that the person was probably the victim of a premature burial, and knowing the consequences of their return to the village, they took their chances elsewhere. Vrykolakas, Lyacon, Loup-Garou, Wehrwolf, Werewolf Full moons, silver bullets, and pentagrams on the palm of the hand . . . These are some of the images that come to mind when we think of the werewolf. A being that changes from man to beast and rages against the living; but what are the origins of the belief in werewolves?
The concept that humans can assume the form of an animal is not a new one. This concept can be traced back thousands of years to the beliefs of primitive societies, such as the shamanistic belief in shape shifting. Many of these early cultures, especially early Native Americans, believed that the shamans of their group had the ability to assume the form of an animal by allowing the spirit of that animal to enter them. In doing so, they received the powers and attributes of that animal, allowing them to receive a better understanding of the natural world around them. This belief is associated with the belief in nature spirits, and as mentioned earlier, early Eastern European cultures were firm believers in this concept. But what did the Eastern Europeans believe regarding werewolves? In Eastern European mythologies, beliefs in the werewolf outdate those of the vampire due to the early tribal beliefs in nature spirits. However, these beliefs are similar to that of the vampire in that both creatures are believed to be caused by the inhabitation of one’s body by an evil spirit. The Eastern European werewolf does not require a full moon to make the transformation from man to beast, but rather can transform at will. In Russian peasant societies, it is believed that by sticking a copper dagger into a tree and inciting an incantation during the full moon, one can cause the spirit of the wolf to enter the body, and thus become a werewolf. Poems and reports of werewolves are well documented throughout the middle ages. Many have been studied in-depth by scholars, leading to the belief that many of these early accounts were related to mental illness, a disease known as porphyria, which causes delusions
and symptoms that resemble some characteristics of wolves. Some have linked reported werewolf attacks to early reports of serial killers. One such case is that of the werewolf of Poligny. First told in 1521 by Johann Weyer, it involves the disappearance and death of approximately 20 children in the Eastern regions of France. They ranged in ages from 4 to 11. Supposedly, a traveler through that region wounded a rather large wolf that had attacked him on a path in the woods. Following the blood trail of the animal, he tracked it back to a small hut located deep in the forest where he encountered Michael Verdung and his wife, who was busy cleaning Verdung’s wounds.
Eastern Europeans believed that werewolves could transform at will. Inspecting the area, he came across the partial bodies of many small children who appeared to have been eaten, and he immediately reported it to local authorities. The original document states that “Verdung was tried and burnt at the stake without mercy of strangulation.” Other stories of the period are similar in nature and do appear to be early accounts of possible serial killings. Eastern European societies also had several recommended methods for warding off the attack of a were-
wolf. One belief that we see in both modern day and in early times is the use of wolfsbane. The plant is highly poisonous, and at one time was used by Eastern Europeans to mix with meat and poison the wolves that strayed too close to their villages. While silver is not believed to be able to kill a werewolf by Eastern Europeans, it is believed that a medallion of silver placed around the neck of a suspected werewolf will prevent them from changing. It is also believed that if a werewolf is stabbed by a silver dagger, it will force the beast to immediately change back to human form. Even another belief is that a werewolf needs their clothing in order to change back into human form. There are several accounts of jilted lovers and wives who destroyed the clothing of their suspected werewolf lovers, condemning them to wonder the Earth forever in the form of a wolf. Ruskalla, Ruskalli, Rusalka The ruskalla is a nature spirit in Eastern European beliefs that inhabits the woods and fields. Always a woman, she is often seen wearing white and is known to have long wet hair. Within this mythology, the ruskalla lures men into the woods, as their beauty cannot be resisted, and feeds on their life force. This is very similar to the ancient Sumerian belief in the succubus Lilith. Other similar beliefs in these types of spirits can be found in the European beliefs in the banshee and the ancient Greek beliefs in Sirens. Beliefs such as these fall into the category of moral cautionary tales, reflecting the religious beliefs of the period that is was taboo to have pre-marital relationships. In every instance except the banshee, these female spirits lure men to their
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Cultural Beliefs The Rusalka were believed to be the spirits of young women who were unbaptized, drowned, or were murdered near water. It was believed that their spirits wandered the forests at night begging travelers to baptize them so they could achieve peace.
deaths through sexual relations. Taken from Eastern European accounts of the ruskalla, Philippa Rappoport of the University of Virginia writes of the ruskalla in her paper, “If It Dries Out, It’s No Good: Women, Hair, and Rusalki Beliefs”: “In contrast to the bride, there is a female folk figure in traditional East Slavic lore whose hair is permanently loose and uncontrolled; she is the rusalka. The rusalka of traditional beliefs is a powerful and enticing figure. She is described as a pale, lithe, often beautiful female spirit who lives in the water, forests, and fields. “She sits with other water spirits on the shore, yelling and laughing or dancing and singing in the moonlight of clear, summer nights. She is known to swing on tree branches, waiting to entice an unsuspecting male passer-by, whom she often
attacks and (perhaps inadvertently) tickles to death. The Rusalka’s characteristic physical attributes are her long, light-brown, blond, or green, loose hair, her blazing eyes, and her magnificent breasts. “She is noted for her beautiful voice and melodious laugh. On the rare occasions when the rusalka is dressed, she wears white. In addition, some sources report that if the rusalka, and especially her hair, ever dries out, she will perish . . .” The rusalka were believed to be the spirits of young women who were unbaptised, drowned, or were murdered near water. Not considered particularly malevolent, it was believed that they could be put to rest if their death could be avenged. It was also believed that their spirits wandered the forests at night begging travelers to baptize them so they could achieve peace. They were said to carry a comb that could
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conjure water when needed, as it was believed that if a rusalka’s hair dried out, they would perish. One ritual that was practiced throughout the region was that of the Rusalka Week (Rusal’naia). During early June, the rusalki were believed to be at their most dangerous, and swimming during this week was strictly forbidden. At this time, it was believed that the Ruskala left their watery graves and swung on branches of birch and willow trees by night awaiting someone to enter the water. A common feature of the celebration of Rusal’naia Week was the ritual banishing or burial of the rusalka at the end of the celebration, which remained a practice in Russia until the 1930s. The paranormal beliefs of Eastern Europe are so numerous that I have tried to condense the most common ones here in this article, offering regional names of each so that the interested reader may conduct further research into the subject. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I would highly recommend to anyone that you continue the fascinating journey that research into Eastern European paranormal beliefs has taken me, and I’m sure that you will find, just as I have, it truly is a place where nightmares dwell. Until next time.
J.D. Harrison is a working archaeologist with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and archeology and a minor in history. For the past 30 years, he has studied demonology, spirit manifestation, Cabalistic ritualism, and many other aspects of the paranormal. He has focused his studies on topics like Paganism, Wicca, Druidic, and Celtic practices, and many other obscure religious ritualistic beliefs and practices.
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June 2009 Paranormal Underground 53
Don’t Go Toward the Light . . . By Jim Frazier
hy is it that the last thing people do in this life is to go toward the bright tunnel of light? Get a clue, people. Light can travel a billion feet per second. It can come to you. The Gravity of the Situation Just as I finished building my wife a SpeakJet ghost box for Mother’s Day, her new Tennessee Spirit Mike arrived in the mail. Thankfully, it came pre-assembled, because I still haven’t got the glue residue off my fingers from the last paranormal black-box project. The Tennessee Spirit Mike is apparently used for capturing EVPs, and since it sits inside of a lightweight aluminum box, it isn’t really a microphone at all. Consider my curiosity piqued. A little Web-surfing reveals the Tennessee Spirit Mike to be a highly isolated gravity transducer, meaning that it picks up small fluctuations in local gravity and converts them to an electrical output, in much the same way as a traditional microphone does with atmospheric pressure fluctuations (sound). In fact, the gravity sensor is packaged inside both a Faraday Cage (for electromagnetic isolation) and a layer of viscoelastic polymer (like the gooey black stuff they put under cars to
insulate road noise). Thus, it should be well insulated from both stray EM fields and audible sound, allowing it to greatly amplify anything that isn’t background noise. The object is to plug the Spirit Mike into your digital voice recorder (or tape recorder for those of you who think civilization peaked with
The Tennessee Spirit Mike is a highly isolated gravity transducer; it picks up small fluctuations in local gravity and converts them to an electrical output.
the 8-Track), set it on a stable surface, and let it interact with whatever else in the room speaks gravity. Why gravity you ask? Same question I had. According to the marketing literature, the latest research
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indicates that disembodied souls communicate through gravity. Now, exactly whose research indicated this, and how did they draw their conclusions? I haven’t got a clue, but it’s far from the least plausible thing I’ve ever heard. Since the paranormal, as a field of scientific exploration, is at best in its infancy, we’re not likely to get anywhere without chasing down a few blind alleys. So, like a Basset Hound in hot pursuit of a dumpster full of pork chops, off I go . . . For the sake of argument, let’s explore the possibility that ghosts really do communicate by means of gravity interactions, instead of the more traditional means of complex (yet well understood) electromagnetic interactions. What the heck do we know about gravity? Aside from the whole “falling apple vs. Isaac Newton’s noggin” aspect, we know both very much and very little. We know how strong it is, but not why it is that strong (or weak, compared to the other fundamental forces). We know how it varies with distance, but only at the kind of distances we can directly measure. We know that it interacts with mass, but not why or exactly how. In fact, that shiny new $8 billion particle accelerator under Lake Geneva (the one the National Enquirer says will rip a hole in the fabric of
the universe), was built in large to recreate the force carrier that imbues matter with mass, the long-postulated but ever-so-elusive Higgs Boson. Gravity obviously attracts mass to itself, and appears to bend electromagnetism, but whether the attraction is really a direct force or just a side effect of curving space, is an open debate. Figure out how gravity fits together with the rest of the quantum forces, and you win a prize. Hint: What do Sweden and dynamite have in common? The Dark Heart of the Matter Since this does happen to be a paranormal periodical, there must be some point all this talk about gravity, right? Some cosmic tie-in between Newton’s Apple and Casper the Friendly Ghost? After all, what’s the point of making a Hollywood Blockbuster if it doesn’t sell Happy Meals? So, let’s ask ourselves what we know about ghosts, or at least think we know. I would say that we don’t actually know squat, be we can draw some preliminary conclusions/hypotheses from what has been observed (both by witnesses and during investigations). Ghosts aren’t solid objects, which is why clear and concise photographs have been somewhat difficult to obtain. It appears that they can be felt, although some individuals are obviously more sensitive to this than others. As soon as someone figures out a way to accurately record touch, then you’ll really see some skeptics rethinking their positions. Ghosts tend to interact with objects, but usually in a very blunt fashion, with doors opening and closing, unexplained footsteps, and the occasional brick being flung at Zak Bagans after he talks ghostsmack. As far as I am aware, no Rubik’s Cube has ever solved itself, which would imply the forces in play tend to be broad-natured in scope.
Could ghosts be made of dark matter?
Sure smells like gravit’e to moi. All of this begs the question, what could ghosts possibly exist of that would only interact through gravity? Funny you should ask, because I just happen have an idea. One of the central issues in cosmology and astrophysics right now is why the mass of all the observed matter in the universe is only about a third of what it should be. This is based on what we can observe and what we know about the mass of the particles that we can observe. We can tell what a star is made of by the spectrum of light it emits, and we know what any particular isotope of any particular atom weighs down to several decimal places, but there’s quite simply a lot more gravity out there than the night sky can account for. Therefore, scientists (the same people who tend to scoff at the very notion of ghosts) have come forward with various competing theories to explain where this “missing
mass” comes from. One of the leading contenders is something called dark matter, which interacts with normal (baryonic) matter through gravity, but completely ignores electromagnetism. Of course, one would think that anything that comprises two-thirds of the known universe would be stunningly easy to detect, but of course it never works like that. At their most basic level, all of our senses function based on electromagnetic interactions, including the highlysensitive instruments that we use to extend and quantify our senses. That makes it really difficult to find something that, for the most part, doesn’t have anything to show for itself. I’m probably not the first person to suggest this, but since ghosts are obviously made of something (albeit something insubstantial), is there anything out there that fits better than dark matter? Certainly something to think about.
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Fiction: Featured Author
An Unhealthy Obsession With Anal Probes By Rick E. Hale
uestion: If we, as humans, were to abduct an extraterrestrial — and since we are alien to him — would it still be considered an alien abduction? Let’s find out. As I navigated my car down the bumpy country road, I couldn’t help but have amusing thoughts concerning the case that I was about to investigate. Approximately two weeks ago the American UFO Society received a report from a strange fellow, Bubba Ray Noonan, who recounted for us one of the strangest tales of alien contact in the history of organized UFO investigation. A story so absurd, it caused my rather boring superiors to laugh uproariously. At first they were going to just reject the account out of hand, but I was able to convince them that this story was so strange how could it not be true. They finally agreed, and I was sent on my way to personally investigate and interview Mr. Noonan. “Turn right, and you will have reached your destination.” I was torn away from my reverie by the soft, female voice of my trusty GPS. Without it, I more than likely would have never found my way to the small town of Williams Hole, Illinois. I couldn’t help but wonder where the hole was. As the ramshackle old house came into view, I blurted out, “Wow, way to reinforce those stereotypes Bubba Ray.” Scattered about the front lawn, if
you could call it that, were discarded parts of a vehicle that did not seem to be present. An old sofa piled with beer cans to one side was what actually brought my car to a halt. And, undoubtably the pride and joy of the front yard decorations was a flag that read, “NASCAR, spoken here,” nailed to the front porch awning. Please keep in mind I am not an elitist in anyway. My own family is from Alabama; but this was too much. When I approached the front door and prepared to knock, I was startled by the loud barking of a large dog and the human voice that shouted, “Goddammit, Brutus, shut the hell up.” Bubba Ray no doubt. The door flew open and a large man wearing a racing T-shirt and oil
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stained jeans stood in front of me. “What?” was all he said. “Um yes.” I managed to stammer out, taken back by this man’s rather brusque manner. “My name is Paul Watkins. I’m an investigator with the American UFO Society. You called us about the alleged contact you had with an alien entity.” I could tell that my greeting somewhat softened my host’s demeanor when a big toothy grin crossed his face. “Well goddamn boy, I thought you folks thought old Bubba Ray was nothing more than a crackpot. There ain’t nothing alleged about it. Come on in and make yourself at home.” ***** Upon entering the home, I somehow was not surprised by the uncleanli-
ness and the suspicious pile of cold medicine boxes that were piled in a trash can just through the kitchen door. “Have a seat son, make yourself comfortable,” Bubba Ray announced as he cleaned off a recliner. “The maid comes on Wednesday.” I just smiled as I sat down. “So how do we do this?” Bubba Ray asked as he sat down on the couch across from where I sat. “Well,” I said as I placed my digital tape recorder on the table, “do you mind if I tape this?” Bubba Ray responded with a shake of his head. “Basically what I want is for you to just give me a full account of what happened to you and your companions on that warm, summer night.” “First off, Paul,” he said sitting back in his chair, making himself comfortable, “for the record, I just want it to be known that I do not believe in this weird stuff. But, after the experience, I can say without a doubt that we are not alone in God’s good universe. I guess you could say it happened like this.” Before we started the interview, Bubba Ray reached to the side of his chair and pulled up a bottle of beer. I looked at my watch — 9:45 a.m. “Oh where are my manners, you want one,” he asked holding out a frosty tall boy in my general direction. “Oh, no thanks. It’s a rule not to drink while on the job.” Bubba Ray set the bottle next to him on the recliner and said with a laugh, “Suit yourself.” “Well Mr. Noonan, shall we begin?” “Yep,” he replied as he took a long, hard drag from his bottle. “Well, on the weekend this incident happened, it was myself, the Pierce brothers, and my sister’s boy, Tommy.” Noonan let out a laugh at the mentioning of his nephew’s name. “What is so funny about your nephew?” I ventured.
“Well, that boy is a weird one to be sure.” “Why?” “Tommy seems to have an unhealthy obsession with anal probes.” Shocked by the matter-offactness of his reply and the cryptic nature of his statement, I could not come up with a decent question. “Well, we’ll get to that later. This is how it played out.” ***** We had just arrived at the lake we were going to fish at the next day. Me and the Pierce boys take these trips three times a year. I guess you could say it clears our heads. We had just finished setting up camp as the sun began to set, and decided it would be a good idea to drink a few just to get things started. As we sat around the campfire, Tommy was
“Before we made our move, the creature seemed to realize that something was about to happen.” the first to notice the strange light that moved slowly several hundred feet about our head. “Uncle Bubba, what is that?” Tommy said pointing at the light that looked as if it was getting closer and coming in our general direction. “It’s just an airplane,” one of the Pierce brothers responded. Tommy was 13 and liked to think he saw things. “You should be . . .” Before I could finish my sentence, there was load boom over our heads and a strong wind that knocked us out of our chairs and dumped us on our asses . . . and we watched as a
flying vehicle the size of a one of those small school buses landed just beyond some trees about a hundred feet away. The four of us knew what we had seen, but no one wanted to admit it. This was no flying machine from our world. I can tell you that. After we stood up and brushed ourselves off, the four of us looked at each other in stunned disbelief. If it was just me and the Pierce brothers, we could blame the whole thing on the beer we drank that night, but Tommy was with us, and the boy hadn’t downed a single beer all night. We saw what we saw, and there was no getting around it. “What should we do?” one of the Pierce brothers finally spoke up. Without even givin’ it to much thought, I said, “Well, the only thing we can do. Let’s go see what the hell that was.” The four of us turned in the direction where the craft had landed and made our way into the thick trees. When I look back at that moment, I wish I never would have been such a fool. After a few moments of walking, we could finally see a dim light ahead of us, kinda like a semi truck was idling in the middle of the forest. As we came close to the light, I was the first of our group to see the strange creature that must have been piloting the otherworldly craft. I yelled at the guys to hit the ground as they saw the creature too. It is somewhat difficult to explain what it looked like, but in a way it looked like a chunky midget with a giant lightbulb shaped head and a single eye in the middle of its head that gave off a faint orange glow. I can tell you this, this was a child of God. “Oh my God,” Tommy stammered out. “Is that what I really think that is?” For a long moment, the four of us watched as the creature shoved a shovel like machine into the ground
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 57
Fiction: Featured Author that gave off a soft whirring noise and seemed to suck a clump of dirt up into a bottle that was attached to the handle. Whatever it was hadn’t seen us yet, and good thing because an idea popped into my head . . . an idea that seemed positively brilliant at the time. ***** “Well boys,” I said, “I say we have a moral obligation to all those folks, our fellow humans who have been abducted by these little mother suckers over the years.” “What’s that?” one of the Pierce brothers. Those boys were never that smart. “Dumbass, we nab the thing and take it back to town and call the media. By the end of the weekend, we’ll be millionaires.” “Yeah, and we can give it an anal probe.” At Tommy’s words, the three of us just stared at him. I always knew that boy was strange. “All right, ya’ll, let’s get him, it, whatever the hell it is.” Now, I want you keep in mind we had absolutely no idea what we were doing. From all the rumors I had heard about these space beings, they were supposed to be supernormal or something. But, and maybe it was all the beer we had drunk earlier, we decided to be good Americans and take this creature as our own. We fanned out in four directions, all the while staying quiet as a church mouse not wanting to alert the thing to our presence. I could only hope Tommy didn’t get to him first. I didn’t want the boy to stick anything up its whazoo, that is, if it even had one. Before we made our move, the creature seemed to realize that something was about to happen. It looked up and around with that giant orange eye scanning the trees for something it could not see and slowly began to back toward its spacecraft. Before it even knew what hit it, one
of the Pierce brothers rushed out of the shadows and tackled the weird little space midget to the ground. The alien let out this unearthly scream/yell that almost sounded like a cow giving birth to a two headed calf. The rest of us rushed out of the woods and stood around the ugly, little sucker that seemed to be shaking with fear. “What do we do?” one of the Pierce boys asked as we looked down at the creature. “This,” I replied drawing my fist back and cold cocking the little bugger right in that thing he called a face. At this point, our healthy buzz was now gone, and sobriety took over. I think the four of us came to the unspoken agreement that perhaps this was not the smartest idea. Tommy found some rope, and we tied the creature down to a camp chair and began to inspect our catch. Ugly was certainly not the best word to describe what this creature was. Grotesque was more like it. As I already said, it had a single, orange eye in the middle of its giant head, but it had no mouth, which made us all wonder how in the hell did this thing eat or speak. And its skin seemed to have the texture of a snake. “You know what I think,” one of the Pierce boys spoke up. “I think we
Paranormal Underground June 2009
should do what these little buggers are supposed to have been doing to us for years. We should do some kind of experiments on it.” At the word experiments, the creature began to shake with fear and let out a strange little whimper, from where I do not know. “Yeah,” Tommy shouted excitedly, “let’s do like it has probably done to other humans, let’s give it an anal probe.” “Goddammit, Tommy,” I shouted. This was the third time he had suggested such a ridiculous thing, and to be honest, I was getting tired of hearing it. “We are not giving the goddamn thing an anal probe. Shut your mouth and go get my tool box out of the back of my truck.” Tommy’s smile disappeared as he turned and walked toward my truck with the his head held low. A few moments later, the strange boy returned lugging my tools and dropped the box in front of my feet. For a moment, I searched around and found what I was looking for, my hunting knife. As I approached the alien, holding the knife in front of its big, orange eye, it began to shake even harder. “We’re going to do some experiments all right.” Before I could start
to cut, one of the Pierce brothers said, “Hey do you all hear that?” For a moment, we listened to the sounds of the forest around us, a strange humming noise became evident, and all the night animals and insects became quite. “Yeah it’s weird, almost like a . . .” Before I could finish my sentence, a bright light filled the sky, and the humming noise became unbearable, almost as if it penetrated our bones . . . and then blackness. ***** For a moment, I watched Mr. Noonan as he took a long drag off his sixth beer and a vacant look came over his face. “When we woke,” he finally said, taking another drag, “the space creature was gone, and the four of us had a horrible headache. To be honest, it’s hard to say how much time had passed and how long we had been asleep, but the ice in the cooler was melted and the beers were warm, so it could have been hours.” “Sounds like a rescue mission,” I commented. “Yeah, I guess they never leave a man behind either. And the funniest thing was when Tommy came to, the rest of the day he complained that his butt hurt. Ha, I guess he deserved it.” After I made my goodbyes to the highly inebriated Bubba Ray Noonan, I got into my car and reflected upon the story I was just told. Is it entirely possible that these four simple backwoods men really experienced such an event? It certainly would appear so, as of yet none of them have gone to the media to tell their odd story. Obviously they were not looking to gain anything. And as I thought about Tommy and his rather unhealthy obsession with anal probes, I burst out in laughter as I drove away, leaving Bubba Ray’s house in a cloud of dust.
Paranormal Underground’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest
aranormal Underground is holding its 2nd Annual 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 Paranormal Underground, as well as nonmembers. Contest rules include: • 1,000 to 3,000 words (submissions under 1,000 words and over 3,000 words will not be considered eligible for the contest. • All submitted works must not have been previously published. • If you are submitting artwork and/or photos to accompany your fiction, please site the source of the artwork/photos. • Due by August 15, 2009. • Submit to email@example.com. 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. We will be awarding prizes for first through third place, which will be announced on paranormalunderground.net soon. Second and third place winners may be published in future issues upon recommendation by our editors. Our judges include Paranormal Underground’s Publisher Chad Wilson, Managing Editor Karen Frazier, and Science Editor J.D. Harrison. Judging criteria includes: • Story originality • Paranormal theme creativity • Text fluidity Submissions will be compiled and sent to the judges by the editor-inchief, and all judges will not know who wrote each submission until after judging is completed. Winners will be announced based on a ranking system, which will be compiled from first to last place. When e-mailing your submission to the editor, also include your name, story title, e-mail address, word count, and illustrations, if any. If you have any questions regarding the contest, please e-mail editor@ paranormalunderground.net. Last year we had a great response, and we hope to see even more writers join us in our second short story contest. Good luck everyone, and we look forward to reading your submissions! June 2009 Paranormal Underground 59
Fiction: Featured Author
Gods of the Forgotten Age By Chad Wilson
“With hoary age, they sit upon the thrones of old. Standing betwixt man and his lofty goals, the desire to be Gods themselves in ages to come. Now they are forgotten, all their toils undone.”
nd with those soft-spoken words, the age of old ended and the new began. Sam Hein closed the weathered book, its pages parchment thin, brittle, and delicate. Closing his eyes, he mourned the passing of the familiar. Enough. Sam opened his weary eyes, orbs like the sun, for the power of ancient times coursed through his veins. His area of interest was the fall, the dying down. Soon would come the winter and the time of Morrighan, but until then Sam held court. His entourage was small compared to most, mainly the various Pagans and witches. The occasional warlock also made his presence known, but the werewolves coupled with the vampires were enough to check any aspirations that so often arose from that ilk. The Magi, the Were-kind, and the Elder-kin, those were his main adversaries. But he was stronger than all of them combined. In him was
centered the whole of the Eldritch forces, which gave the world its dark mystery and otherworldly aura. Known as The Wicker Man to some, Jack-of-Knaves to others, and various other names too numerous to list, he was the embodiment of the season. Within him were all the chills and frights one got while alone in the night, the lonely howl and the wale of the tormented soul. The
“Your debt has been repaid in full. The purchase, knowledge untold; the price, your soul.” total opposite of his counterpart, The Green Man, he walked in the shadows revealing himself only to those few privileged enough to strike his interest. ***** He turned down the narrow lane, his destination lay at the far end amidst the fog and chill damp.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
A man by the name of Paul Enrite, a man who dabbled in secrets best left unknown. Tonight, the erstwhile Mr. Enrite would see and get more than he bargained for. For to dabble in the secrets of the world was to invite unwanted attention upon oneself. Too bad Enrite would learn this fact the hard way. With a sweeping step, Sam knocked upon the door to the abode of the condemned. Light spilled yellow upon the cobbled lane, the odor of hashish strong from within. Many a dark scholar found the secrets they sought within drug-induced dreams. They thought they were seeing visions, but were in actuality seeing the spiritual representation of the real world. Mundane as the world might seem, it was actually a magical place, filled with the wonders and miracles of the Divine and the despairs and depredations of the Infernal. The reckoning began with the flick of a wrist as Enrite choked up, the air caught in his clenched throat. Veins protruding from his sweaty brow, Enrite tumbled to the floor. Sam stepped swiftly in, shutting the door behind him with a mere thought. Kneeling down over his still-living target, he peered into the
man’s terrified gaze. “Your debt has been repaid in full. The purchase, knowledge untold; the price, your soul.” Snapping the foolish Magi’s neck, he snatched the quickly escaping essence of man, placing it in the small jar upon the cord around his neck. Turning, he opened the door and stepped across the threshold, looking over his shoulder one last time at the deceased. Glassy eyes stared back, a testament to the power of death. In the shadows he walked, avoiding the bright lights, until he was well away from the Lane of the ill-fated Enrite. ***** Making his way to the center of town and the gallows pole, Sam drank in the odor of death, its stink strong upon the chill autumn wind. He reveled, singing and dancing drunkenly, for it was a heady wine this death. None could escape its grasp; the pull of the grave was as certain as the cycles of the moon. He twirled beneath the bodies that still hung upon their ropes, like so much dead weight in the breeze. Across the way came the Undertaker, his partner in crime, carrying the tools of his trade. A tape for the measurements and a pad on which to write the deceased’s tale; with a nod to Sam, the Undertaker set about his task. Quickly and with deft skill, the Undertaker went about his work, finishing with a smile as he wrote down the final figure. With a wave, he departed Sam’s presence to return to his workshop and begin his labor. A box and a plot of Earth were all that man was allotted in the end; it was all he could ask for and all he should expect. Next, Sam waltzed across the
square, the Courthouse his destination. So many had been tried and condemned in its stifling confines, and at its heart sat a vile, living beast; a mockery of justice, one who’s time had come. All the pain and needless suffering was now coming back to this creature to be paid in full. A measure of justice for one blind to it. One corrupted by power and soon to be consumed by it. Judge Harlan Maker, scourge of the innocent, champion of crime, sat behind his decaying, wooden
desk, a testament to his legacy. Sam loomed tall, casting a shadow across the chambers. “Harlan Maker, judge you are not, judged you will be for your crimes against the innocent and weak. Long have you upheld all that is vile and cruel in this world. I say, no more.” With that, Sam fell silent, a hush descending upon the suddenly chill
room. The weight of corruption fell upon the room and the Judge, giving a shriek, clutched his chest, his black heart thudding loudly in the shadowy darkness. Sam stepped forward. “Judge Maker, you are judged and found lacking. Let your penance be known. Death. Death upon your blackened brow.” Leaning forward, Sam leered at the evil chancellor. His breathe smelling of sulfur and brimstone, the fires of hell glowing from within his eyes. Judge Harlan Maker gave a howl, his life fleeing into Sam’s grasp as it left his body. Quickly Sam fed it into his jar and sealed it shut once again, lest his charges escape. Looking around the quiet chambers, he laughed as he saw the back end of a bolting page. The boy had seen too much, but what was one more lunatic for the bin. For that is surely what the page would become if he insisted on telling his story. What did it matter if he got him now or later, in the end all came to him. In the end, he was the one they took solace in. Throughout the night he continued his task until soon his jar was filled with the sparks of the dead. Trudging through the increasing cold, he thought back to who and what he was. He was the steely blade, the choking hands, and any manner of murderous, horrendous, gruesome death. That was just it; he was death, the dying call, and anything past that was of no consequence to him. The quiet of the grave was not his purview; that belonged to Lugh and his mistress Morrighan. Theirs was the world of rot and decay. They might have dominion over the kingdom underground, but his king-
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Fiction: Featured Author
dom was the night sky, the burning bonfire, and the fields at harvest. His life was freedom as opposed to their life of eternal servitude to the dead. His was the dying; they only had ghosts, the spark already removed by Sam. For that was what he took from each dying being, turning the soul into only a shade of its physical self — to be sent on to the Underworld, where they resided for a spell, awaiting their time of rebirth. ***** Sam made his last stop of the night. Soon would come the deep chill of the coming winter and his time upon this Earth would be at an end. He always thought maybe he could beat it this time, and his hope grew as he neared his destination, the old cemetery on the far side of town — long full of Sam’s victims, he himself had lived many lifetimes. Nearing its rusty iron gates, he peered into its dark confines,
searching for his latest victim. Seeing a hooded figure at the far end, he hurried along, a chill running through his being. Yes, this one last soul and then he must plan; plan a means to live again. Why could he not remember his victim’s name? Stepping up to his foe, Sam gave a gasp as the figure, hulking in stature rose. Extending a humongous hand, palm up, a mute testament to his power, Lugh glowered fearlessly at Sam Hein. “I am at the twilight of my life, the threshold of which I despise to cross. Away from me foul brute, let me live in peace,” Sam whispered, as fear erupted from his lips. Lugh only stood in silence, muted by the storm that raged behind his eyes. He only pointed at the jar around Sam’s scrawny neck. Sam, knowing his intent, backed up quickly, turning to flee, only to see before him Morrighan, a wicked
this, the hour of winter.” With that, a wind cold as the grave rose up, consuming Sam’s soul. He staggered back toward the giant Lugh and was promptly sent sprawling from a crushing blow to his head. Blood dripped upon the ground, his vision becoming blurry. The last sight he saw was a spiked boot rushing down to meet his face. His last thoughts . . . Such a fleeting thing is life, born one age, die the next, only to be reborn and continue the cycle once again. ***** Morrighan walked over to the limp form — Sam’s face a mass of crushed tissue and bone. Reaching down, she grabbed the weathered book from inside the corpse’s coat. She also plucked the jar from around the now-dead Sam Hein’s neck and tossed it to her lover Lugh. Catching it in the air, Lugh hugged the jar full of glowing motes to his chest, cooing at it in loving adoration. Stroking it, he placed the jar in a pouch on his side. Then he turned and looked at Morrighan in loving adoration as she recited from the book. “With hoary age, they sit upon the thrones of old. Standing betwixt man and his lofty goals, the desire to be Gods themselves in ages to come. Now they are forgotten, all their toils undone.”
“With hoary age, they sit upon the thrones of old. Standing betwixt man and his lofty goals, the desire to be Gods . . . ” smile upon her lips. “Better give him what he wants Sam. It will only make it easier on you in the end. We all have our day, and yours has come upon you in
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Clutching the book protectively, she beckoned for Lugh to follow. Together they disappeared into the cold, winter night, escorting the dead to their home below.
Paranormal Underground Is Holding Its . . . 2nd Annual Short Story Contest (See page 59 for more information)
Submissions due by August 15. E-mail stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 63
Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn M. Hughes
hen I began working as a night auditor a year and a half ago at Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters, located on the Gettysburg battlefield, I anticipated experiencing nothing more interesting than having some bizarre request from a guest. I never expected my spirit friends to visit so often or to hear so many accounts of activity from unsuspecting guests. I never thought they would alert us to their presence in so many creative ways, or for there to be so much activity involved. I am of the personal belief that spirits only want us to know they are still here and not to forget what happened here, for it is on this ground that they truly gave their “last full measure of devotion.” Here is my ongoing diary of my experiences within the hotel . . .
opened up. Typical cannon fire sound; however, there are no cannon demonstrations at 11 p.m. at night. The battlefield was still in winter hours and had closed at 7:00 p.m.
Well, that was interesting. The guests did not hear it, but both the owner (who was offsite) and I heard it.
Mon., Mar. 30
Wed., Apr. 1
11:09 p.m.: I was in the lobby, sitting behind the front desk playing on the computer. I heard a series of very loud booms, accompanied by the floor shaking and the windows rattling. I ran to the front door, opened it, and stepped out. I thought certainly one of the guests had heard it. There was no sound, and no guests’ doors
I was telling the owner of the hotel about the “cannon” sounds I heard on Monday night. He asked if it happened around 11 p.m. I verified that it had and asked him why. He said he heard several very large booms at that hour at his home. He lives approximately two miles from the hotel on Day One battlefield.
11:00 p.m.–3:45 a.m.: Beginning at 11 p.m. and continuing until 3:35 a.m., there were intermittent, loud cannon fire sounds. It varied between every 15 minutes to every 1/2 hour. Each time, several loud booms were followed by vibrations in the floor under my feet and rattling of windows. At one point, I was standing behind the front desk facing the
Pictured at left is the CD player that shut itself off, came back on, played one song, and then shut itself off again.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Mon., Apr. 20
front door, and I heard a very loud boom. I watched the front door rattle and then felt the percussion hit my body. It was amazing.
Tues., Apr. 21 7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m.: At 7 a.m., a gentleman and his son approached me at the front desk. The gentleman asked me if we had any fireworks the night before. I explained to him that Gettysburg only has fireworks on July 4th and on New Year’s Eve. I asked him why. He said that he and his son awoke to what sounded like fireworks in the middle of the night. I asked him if he could recall what the time was and what room they were staying in. He said that it happened several times between midnight and 3 a.m. I explained that it was phantom cannon fire and that I had heard it as well. They were both very excited and went into breakfast. At 7:11 a.m., another gentleman approached me at the front desk. He said he heard small arms fire in the middle of the night and some very loud booms. I asked him if he could recall what time he heard these sounds and what room he was staying in. He said he heard the small arms fire around 1 a.m. and the loud booms started at around 11:30 p.m. and continued throughout the night. He explained to me that he was a hunter and was very familiar with the sounds of small arms fire, but that he had never heard anything like the loud booms. Once again, I explained the phantom cannon fire and suggested perhaps he was hearing the sounds of battle. I told him we receive a lot of reports of the battle sounds from guests and that I, too, had heard the cannon fire the previous night. He was very excited and went into the breakfast room.
Pictured above is the hotel wing where six guests heard phantom cannon fire.
A total of six guests each came to the front desk that morning. Each guest had heard the same loud booms from approximately 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. When I asked them which rooms they were staying in, I discovered that they were all in the same wing. Given the fact that one wing of our hotel was where 4 out of 6 artillery pieces were situated, it would make sense. For it was in the afternoon of July 1, 1863, that Lt. James Stewart’s Battery “B” of the 4th U.S. Regular Artillery was severely engaged and barely escaped capture on the ground where the hotel now sits. The opposing artillery always aims for other artillery pieces, so this area would have been taking heavy artillery hits. This is the first time I can document that so many guests heard the same phantom cannon fire at the very same time I was hearing it. Also, this is the first time that so many guests experiencing this same event were also staying in the same proximity of each other — the same wing of the hotel where artillery pieces were placed at the time of the battle.
Sat., Apr. 25 5:30 p.m.: Carrie and I were behind the desk in the lobby chatting
and waiting for guests to check in. I mentioned to Carrie that the Civil War music CD had ceased playing. I told her that I hadn’t heard it for at least the last hour. She said she had set it to repeat when she arrived earlier in the day, and it had been playing the entire time she was here. Carrie agreed that it had been off for at least an hour also. (Although I love Civil War music, it gets to be a bit much when the same CD is played over and over, day in and day out.) I tentatively asked, “Do you want me to turn it back on?” Carrie replied, “No way!” We both laughed. Not 10 seconds later, the music came back on. Carrie asked me if I wanted to turn it back off, and I said, “No, obviously the boys want to hear it.” One song played: “Bonnie Blue Flag.” As soon as the song ended, the music stopped. It never came back on again. The chorus to the song is: “Hurrah, Hurrah, For Southern Rights, Hurrah! Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag that bears a single star!” General Lee’s Headquarters sits on our property.
Stay Tuned . . .
June 2009 Paranormal Underground 65
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files
Fifteen Miles to Villisca By Chad Wilson
warm breeze blew through the town of Clarinda, Iowa, as I exited my truck at the local Super 8 Motel. There were no such luxurious accommodations at my true destination, Villisca, Iowa, a mere 15 miles north up US-71. The local forecast was calling for a possibility of rain, a prospect I wasnâ€™t too sure about in regard to my part-time profession, or should I say passion. I am a ghost hunter in my spare time, and I had come to this little corner of Iowa to meet some new friends and investigate a mysterious location: the Villisca Axe Murder House. The Axe Murders Almost 97 years ago, on June 10, 1912, two adults and six children were found brutally murdered in their beds in a small house in Villisca, Iowa. The heinous murders were unlike anything the town had seen before. Residents of the small town changed . . . forever. Dozens of suspects were examined by detectives, accusations and rumors abounded, but in the end, the crime went unsolved. The murderer, or murderers, were never brought to justice. And during the past century, an abundance of paranormal activity has been reported in the house where the murders took place,
On the road to investigate the Villisca Axe Murder House.
including cold spots, photographic and video anomalies, and EVPs, among others. I was going to Villisca to find answers . . . and evidence. After moving all my gear from my truck to the motel room, I quickly got online, gave updates to some friends, and made a few phone calls. Then, it was time to settle in for the night. Tomorrow would be a big day. I would be meeting some new friends, and then we would be investigating a location that Troy Taylor calls one of his three mosthaunted sites.
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Getting Ready to Investigate I awoke early on the day of the investigation, immediately looking forward to 5 p.m. when I was supposed to meet most of the others for a dinner before the trip to Villisca. Our group was to consist of a few online friends . . . Liz (Lillyjay), Joyce (Cowbud) and her friend Sherry, Bri (SinisterGrin) and her husband Mike, and me, Chad (Sith13). After picking up Liz at the local Hy-Vee and meeting the others in our group, we headed over to Jâ€™s Pizza and Steak House for burgers. There we met Joyce and Sherry,
with Bri and Mike meeting up with us later. At first, I felt a bit shy meeting my new friends, but soon we were all chatting about life, in general, as well as the night that was before us. Dinner was soon over, and after paying we were off to Villisca. We made our way toward our first destination, The Olson-Linn Museum, where Darwin Linn, the owner, was to meet us for a tour. The tour was comprised of a brief narration at the museum, which detailed life in Villisca during the time of the infamous Villisca Axe murders, as well as some of the suspects and people involved in the case. We then drove through town while Darwin pointed out prominent buildings during the era of the crime. We arrived at a cemetery where Darwin showed us where some of the players in this pivotal event in the town’s history were buried. Finally, we were guided to the house — a small, unassuming dwelling from years gone by. We parked on the quiet street alongside the house. Getting out, I looked around at the neatly trimmed lawn, the barn out back, and the house itself. A stark white against the early evening sky, the scene was beautiful and peaceful — the pink and bluish-grey hues of the sky a perfect backdrop. Bri and Mike soon arrived, and after some pictures of the group in front of the house, we made our way inside where Darwin gave us a recounting of the day of the murder. We elected to forego his recollection of any paranormal events experienced by others, deciding to see what we would experience for ourselves. Thus armed, our adventure began. The Scene of the Crime We sat in the parlor of the old, rickety house. The floorboards shook when you walked, and the floors were uneven. This was first
Almost 97 years ago, on June 10, 1912, two adults and six children were found brutally murdered in their beds in their small house in Villisca, Iowa.
tested by Liz, who rolled an old soccer ball around. Sure enough, it looped around the old, uneven floor. There had been reports of the ball moving of its own accord in the past, and I felt that part of the myth had been successfully debunked with our simple test. Next, after setting up my camera upstairs in the children’s room as well as a digital voice recorder in the closet going into the attic, we all settled in the parlor once again to talk and get to know one another. We chatted for some time until Bri detected a temperature drop on her thermometer, and both Mike and I noticed an increase on our respective EMF detectors. This activity did not last long, and to me felt like it was on some sort of cycle. First the EMFs would steadily increase from 0 to 2, then the temperature would drop, and finally it would drop back down to almost 0 again, with the cycle starting over from there. This happened for a good 20 to 30 minutes, around three to four
times, until it dropped to near 0 the last time and stayed there. There was no electricity within the house, so the source of the EMF spikes were mysterious. At this point, we took a break outside by the barn. There was a strong breeze as we sat on the porch of the barn, and the frogs and crickets could be heard in the background. It was a peaceful night at a place that had seen so much unrest. Wistfully, I returned to the house with my friends, this time to the upstairs bedroom. We got comfortable and soon found ourselves back to chit chatting. I always found it strange how easily people slipped into the comfort of talking to the deceased as if they were still around. We try to make a connection in our own minds. We attempt to comfort the departed in our own way, telling them it will be okay, that they can move on. And this is exactly where we found ourselves as we tried to communicate with whatever spirits might have been present at the Villisca Axe Murder House.
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Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files Do EMF Spikes Represent Possible Paranormal Activity? We were still sitting in the children’s room upstairs, when Bri noticed a temperature drop in the adjacent room. She could feel it around her ankles as it moved across the room. She tracked it down the hall, and as it passed her husband Mike, his digital EMF meter spiked up to 5. My Trifield EMF Meter, which I had my flashlight trained on as it sat on the floor near the entrance to the same hallway, also spiked up to a five. According to Bri, the temperature had dropped a total of 10 degrees during the period leading up to the spike in EMF activity. I also noticed that when the EMF spiked, a jolt went through my body, almost like a shot of electricity. Was that what it felt like to encounter a ghost? We waited a while, but nothing further happened. So we returned downstairs to investigate the blue room. It was in this room that the two girls who were sleeping over as guests of the Moore family had been murdered. As Liz and Bri sat in the room, I approached the door from the parlor, and as I did, my shadow cast upon the bed, maybe even like the murderer had done on that night so long ago. It was at that moment that the EMF meter Liz was holding lit up. Was that an indicator of fear on the part of a child’s ghost? I recreated the same scene, and got the same result. (I need to reiterate that there were no electrical sources within the house.) At this point, I retreated from the room, sorry I had possibly caused the further torment of an Earthbound soul. It was at this point that I pondered the thought that we were creating more questions rather than finding any answers.
It was in this room, the Blue Room, that the two girls who were sleeping over as guests of the Moore family had been brutally murdered.
Did We Capture Paranormal Activity at Villisca? Next, we all settled in the parlor once again, as Bri and Mike would have to leave soon. We talked for a bit longer and said our goodbyes. When we returned Liz was ecstatic, as a soda bottle she had left in the middle of the room was now underneath the chair against the far wall. We found out later that Bri had inadvertently kicked it as she exited the room. Liz was a bit disappointed, as she was looking for proof of the paranormal during our investigation. But had we already found solid evidence of a haunting inside the Villisca Axe Murder House with our EMF and temperature spikes? Liz, Joyce, Sherry, and I returned upstairs to the children’s room to ask more questions, and hopefully come away with some answers. So, there we sat, a darkened room, the wind blowing lightly outside. Peaceful, yet almost expectant, as if something was waiting. But, in the end, we were the ones left
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waiting, as nothing further happened that night. Sherry retired to the barn to sleep, and the rest of us returned to the parlor once again. And it was in the small hours of the morning that I came to terms with the ghosts of Villisca and the fact that I would leave the investigation with more questions than answers. What caused the combination EMF spikes and temperature fluctuations? I decided then to come back again one day, and try to find the answer. Soon, we were done with our investigation, packed up our gear, and headed back to Clarinda. And while I did not find the answers I was looking for, I had come away with new friends and a new appreciation for paranormal investigation. In an upcoming issue, we will reveal our evidence findings of our time at Villisca, including any photographic or video anomalies, EVPs, and personal experiences. Stay tuned . . .
(RyanNREMTP) Age: 33. Born/Currently resides: Waco, Texas/Elm Mott, Texas, just outside of Waco.
Who, and Torchwood. And I can’t forget Monty Python. Favorite music? Rock, mainly with frequent bouts of Celtic music.
Status: Married with two evil boys.
Any other favorites? Food.
Education: Some college, mostly for obtaining different EMS certifications.
What are your pet peeves? People
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius. Occupation: Paramedic. What brought you to Paranormal Underground? I was looking at different paranormal forums, found the magazine, and loved it from the start. What does your member name mean? First name and my national registry paramedic certificate. How would you describe yourself? Very anal and investigative by nature.
Ryan loves evidence collection and listening to EVPs.
Tell us about your family and what you like to do. My wife is a vet tech, my oldest son is 6, and my youngest is 2. I enjoy outdoor stuff like rock climbing, camping, hiking, paintball, and golf.
who don’t use blinkers. I want a bumper stick that says, “Turn signals are for intelligent people only.”
Who are your heroes? I never kept up with heroes much; closest one that I can think of is Han Solo.
Are you a skeptic or believer? Believer in what I see, but a skeptic for anyone else.
What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? TV shows are Ghost Hunters, NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Doctor
What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Evidence collection. I love listening to EVPs.
Talk about any paranormal experi-
ences you might have had and how they have affected you. Long story short, I had my first paranormal experience when I was about 6 or 7. I remember walking down a hallway in my house and seeing a white form move across the hall from one bedroom to another. I had been heading to the bathroom but suddenly thought I might be able to hold it awhile longer. I had small encounters over the years that don’t really stick out. Last year, I was on duty and was walking outside a cemetery where my group had caught some great EVPs, when I saw a brown fog-like form move across the ground about 50 feet in front of me. After it disappeared, I heard a female voice behind me say, “Excuse me.” When I turned around, no one was there. What do you think happens to us when we die? I strongly believe in reincarnation. I have memories of earlier lives that I can’t have gotten from anything in this lifetime. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Patience, patience, and more patience. Everything happens for a reason; you just need to find the reason. Any exciting plans for the future? Just more of the same thing. Working and investigating when I have time.
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“Feeling” The Queen Mary By G. Lewis
t was about 1987, and we had been out driving around when I spotted this big ship moored in the harbor. We decided to check it out and drove to the parking area, parked, and then walked up the ramp to the ship. It was huge, and I was quite amazed. We wandered around the top deck for a bit before entering the ship. There weren’t many people around. A woman asked if we wanted to go on a tour, but we declined and instead just started walking around. We had the run of the ship and could go anywhere, including the multi-level engine area. A lot of areas weren’t even renovated and were in their original state. I remember entering a couple of staterooms that were restored, but they smelled musty. We found our way into what I now know is the restaurant/ ballroom. Then, it wasn’t restored. The pillars had peeled paint, and there was a raised area like a stage, just off the polished wood floor in the back. My first strange experience came when we opened a heavy, metal door. It led to the landing of a steel staircase that was painted gray. I stepped through the doorway right after my husband had stepped through. I no sooner had my other foot on the landing when I was
The Queen Mary, located in Long Beach, California, is said to be home to a plethora of paranormal activity.
overcome with fear, terror, and grief. I wanted to cry, was physically shaking, and ice cold. I couldn’t move or speak. My husband said something to me, but I couldn’t answer. He reached over and tried to pull me off the spot, but he couldn’t move me. I don’t know how long the experience lasted, probably just a minute. The staircase led down to the first-class swimming pool. If you’re familiar with the Queen Mary, then you know about the little girl who drowned in the pool. I didn’t know
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about this until decades later. We kept walking around and ended up on a walkway that overlooked the multi-deck engine room area. Again, a feeling came over me. It was like the feeling you get when you take in a big breath when you’re terrified and something very bad is about to happen. All I wanted was to get out of there. I begged my husband to leave, and as we walked back to the car, I took one last look at that ship and knew that I never wanted to go back.
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Hey Kids, You Can Build a Ghost Detector at Home! By Jim Frazier
ne fine day my lovely wife informed me that she had an “electronics project” for me. Now let me just say that there are two things I have learned never to do in this life; one is say “no” to my wife, and the other involves screaming Arabic at a Secret Service protective detail. Both are colossally bad ideas, but sometimes a swift death truly is the better option. Okay, so perhaps I exaggerate a little, and my wife did ask nicely before handing me the kit that she had recently purchased from digitaldowsing.com ($59.00). The device in question, once assembled, is basically a high-gain untuned radio receiver that feeds a speech processor (SpeakJet) chip, with a small amplifier driving a tiny speaker and an optional earphone jack. The SpeakJet chip converts a stream of digital ones and zeros, generated by the radio receiver from ambient electrical noise, into human speech allophones. The general idea is that an intelligent entity could learn to manipulate electrical noise in such a manner as to create a quasi-intelligible output. By this point, if you’re still reading, it’s either because you’re interested in doing this yourself and have questions, or you find me amusing and want to know how long I’ll be sleeping on the couch. For the first
Can an intelligent entity learn to manipulate electrical noise in such a manner as to create a quasi-intelligible output? Try the SpeakJet and find out.
group, I’ll attempt to answer all of the questions you might have come up with. For the other group, figure 2-6 days with time off for good behavior. Building the SpeakJet Ghost Box What would a randomly-driven speech processor sound like? Picture Steven Hawking’s wheelchair and voicebox accidentally rolling down 10 flights of stairs, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It does say “ready” when you power it up, so you can tell if it’s working or not, and the manufacturer does clearly warn that you may
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hear very disturbing sounds. No biggie, since I already live with two young boys, but I did appreciate the heads up. What does the kit consist of and exactly how much “assembly” is required? The kit contains an unfilled printed circuit board (about 2.5 inches square), several small resistors and capacitors, a power regulator, 3 IC chip sockets (with matching IC chips), a 9V battery clip, and a speaker slightly larger than a nickel (everyone’s fillings are safe). At a minimum, you’ll need to drop about $3 on a plastic box to hold the board, and you might want
New Ideas in Paranormal Equipment By Karen Frazier
hen talking with Ghost Adventures Zak Bagans for the profile in this issue of Paranormal Underground, he mentioned that they were working a lot with Bill Chappel of Digital Dowsing (www.digitaldowsing.com) to come up with equipment for their investigations. This is not the first time that Bill Chappel and Digital Dowsing has been brought to my attention. Many seasoned investigators are taking notice of Digital Dowsing’s innovative approach to paranormal investigatory equipment. While you may not be able to have Bill Chappel develop custom equipment for your investigations, you certainly have access to the products that he develops for investigation. All products can be ordered on the Digital Dowsing Website. The Ovilus I is a small, handheld device that takes EMF readings and converts them into phonetic speech. It has two speech modes that sample the environment and turn it into speech.
Here is an overview of some of the equipment available from Digital Dowsing. The Ovilus I — $199 The Ovilus I is a small, handheld device that takes EMF readings and converts them into phonetic speech. It has two speech modes — speech and phonetic — that sample the enviThe Paranormal Puck takes environmental ronment and turn it into speech. measurements while collecting EVP, data logIt also has a talking EMF ging, PC video capture, and PC audio capture. mode and yes/no mode. In level mode, you can watch the energy in the environment Talker Phonetic Speech Kit — change, and in dowsing mode, $59 it will operate like a pair of dowsing This is the kit that can be used rods. The speech mode is generto create the SpeakJet box. It conated from a word list containing a sists of a circuit board and SpeakJet few hundred commonly used words. chip. When assembled, the talker kit The phonetic mode uses allophones can convert electromagnetic energy to generate speech. into allophones. You can view clips of the SpeakThe Paranormal Puck — $159 Jet box in action in Paranormal The Paranormal Puck is a USBUnderground’s galleries by visiting connected box that takes environwww.paranormalunderground.net. mental measurements while collecting Digital Dowsing also advertises EVP, data logging, PC video capture, custom-build services for paranorand PC audio capture. Included with mal equipment. If you’re looking for the puck is PC software that can be something new and innovative for loaded onto your Windows laptop your next investigation, then confor analysis in the field. Like the sider one of these unique pieces of Ovilus, the Paranormal Puck features equipment. speech and phonetic modes.
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The SpeakJet kit contains an unfilled printed circuit board, several small resistors and capacitors, a power regulator, 3 IC chip sockets (with matching IC chips), a 9V battery clip, and a speaker slightly larger than a nickel.
to spring for the 99-cent battery clip. You’ll need something to mount the circuit board inside the box (I used some short nylon spacers from Home Depot along with #6 nylon screws), and access to a variety of drill bits. I will warn you now that “assembly” involves a fair amount of soldering (about 50 total solder joints). Making Extra Modifications During Assembly Now myself, having come of age during the Tim Taylor years, cannot leave a good design unmessed with. I just had to pimp this ride, so I added an On/Off switch, a speaker-cutout switch, a headphone jack, and volume control potentiometers for both the speaker and the headphones. I don’t recommend making design modifications unless you really know what you’re doing, but then I don’t recommend having children either. If you’ve never soldered before, then you might want to consider sleeping with someone who has, or at least treating them to beer and pizza if they aren’t that kind of a friend.
In truth, it’s not a terribly difficult thing to learn, but it is fairly easy to ruin the circuit board or smoke a transistor if you’re not careful. Then there’s the safety aspect, since the solder melts about 200°F hotter than your skin does. If you do accidentally burn your fingers, be extra careful not to drop that really hot soldering iron into your lap. Almost guaranteed you make some paramedic’s top-10 list if you do. If you are still undeterred and want to experience the joy and satisfaction that comes with “do-ityourselfing,” then you will need to get a soldering iron and a few supplies. The iron should be between 15-20 watts, and should have a small wedge-shaped point. Avoid soldering guns, as they are far too powerful for this type of delicate work. If you aren’t sure of the difference, then just go with this simple rule: If it has a trigger, and it looks like it could melt through an engine block, then save it for repairing your radiator. You will also want to get some small lead-tin solder (63/37 or 60/40 PbSn), a small sponge, magnifying
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glasses, and a 12-pack of good imported beer (for when you eventually have to go begging for help). Back in the late 80s, I took a six-week course in NASA-grade soldering (at taxpayer expense, of course). This was so that I could be prepared in the unlikely event that I had to MacGyver a circuit board on an underway nuclear submarine. Since most of the stuff I worked on dealt directly with the reactor protective systems, the Navy felt that it was important for me to have better than “government-work” soldering skills. Every joint I soldered in that school was meticulously prepared, fastidiously made, and then carefully inspected under a microscope. Since that time, I’ve had to do a lot of “quick and dirty” jobs in the field, even once having to solder together a computer serial cable with a 6-penny nail and a propane torch. My point is, once you understand how to do it, it doesn’t have to be perfect or even pretty to work. The concept, in and of itself, is pretty simple. You prepare the connection, usually by stuffing the component lead or wire through the appropriate hole, after cleaning the leads and board with an eraser and some alcohol. Rubbing alcohol works very well, although Vodka might do in a pinch (but I’d save that for when you drop the iron in your lap). Make damn good and sure you’re in the right hole, because getting molten metal back out of a tiny metal-lined hole can be a challenge (this is usually when the circuit board dies, and you use language that you promised Mom you wouldn’t). Don’t cut the excess leads of the component until after you solder it, since you can bend them inward a little to hold the component in place while you solder. Once the joint is prepared, dab the tip of the iron with a small bit of
solder (this is called “wetting”), and quickly wipe it off on a wet sponge. Then, barely touch the iron tip with the solder and apply it to one side of where the circuit board pad and the lead meet. After a second or two, apply the solder to the opposite side of the pad. The solder, being basically a thin wire made of lead and tin, will melt quicker than the Polar ice caps, and flow toward the heat. There is also a chemical reaction involved, but I’m not here to teach you science. Once you see the solder flow, remove the solder from the pad, and lift the tip away from the board by drawing it up the lead a little before pulling it away completely. If this takes more than about 5 seconds, back off and reassess what you are doing wrong, because overheating the metal pad can burn it right off the board, and all components are temperature-sensitive to some degree. You should now have a small cone of shiny metal, and the component will be stuck to the board. Let it cool before you touch it, or that first shot of Vodka will not be celebratory. You can now trim the excess leads with a pair of cutting pliers. When the board is complete, clean it with a small brush and rockstar-like quantities of alcohol. Completing Assembly of the SpeakJet Box Once the circuit board is built, you have to place the IC chips in their sockets, which is actually the trickiest part of the whole project. Assuming you got the sockets soldered in correctly, you will now discover that the chips leave the factory with their tiny rows of pins spread too wide to fit in the sockets. A little bit of gentle bending against the edge of the socket is usually in order.
Do all the pins on each side of the chip together, and try to bend both sides equally. Again, gentle is the operative word, since the pins only need to deflect a smidge before they’ll fit. Once the pins are all safely started into the socket, push the whole chip squarely down until it stops flush. Now before you do this, you need to be aware that some chips are very sensitive to static electricity, and your body is like a magnet for it. If you don’t have access to a properly grounded antistatic wrist strap, then you’ll want to at least ground yourself before you touch the chips. Remember back in school when you would touch the knob on a metal door after walking on carpet? That small painful jolt you got was just the grounding of your built-up static charge. That’s basically what you need to do before you even take the chips out of their static-resistant bag. If you have a portable tool or
appliance with a three-pronged plug and a bare-metal case, then you can probably just plug that in and touch the case to dump any charge that you might have accumulated. I would also resist the temptation to moon-walk on deep pile shag carpeting, for oh-so-many reasons. Now that the board is complete, and you have the battery leads and the speaker connected, you can either drill the speaker hole and mount the whole thing in its case, or you can set it all on a nonconductive surface, connect up the battery, and have your own stream of consciousness test run as Steven Hawking bounces down the stairs. Just be sure to mount the speaker in such a way that you can get the cover off to replace the battery. Congratulations, you have a new and semi-valuable job skill. Prepare to be slept with, perhaps even fought over, by teams of adventurous paranormal investigators that need your know-how. I knew you could do it.
Once the circuit board is built, you have to place the IC chips in their sockets, which is actually the trickiest part of the whole project.
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Extreme Makeover: TAPS Edition By GhostHunter50
’m a big fan of the Sci Fi Channel’s Ghost Hunters TV show. It’s always interesting to see what the TAPS gang might discover as they investigate the most-haunted locations in America. But, sometimes, the action gets a little dull. A friend of mine recently asked me, “If you had a chance to direct and edit one episode any way you wanted, what would you do?” After giving it a little thought, I told him I’d try to do something less serious and more fun. Perhaps I’d produce a kind of “blooper” episode, since I’m a big fan of comedy. With this concept in mind, I decided to put together a pictorial essay that illustrates a few of the scenes from my own unique version of Ghost Hunters. (Original pictures from www.scifi.com.)
Scene 1: As our story begins, it’s another ordinary day outside TAPS headquarters in Warwick, Rhode Island. But inside, the excitement is just starting to build.
Scene 2: They’ve got an investigation to do! Grant reveals the location to the team: They’re going to historic Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia!
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Scene 3: Tango becomes the object of a practical joke after falling asleep during Grant’s briefing. Oh, those wacky investigators!
Scene 4: The crew heads out for the ride to the fort. But, oh no! Looks like some pranksters have been messing with one of their vehicles . . .
Scene 5: After cleanup of the van and a long drive, the TAPS personnel finally arrive at Fort Mifflin. Uh-oh . . . Looks like they’ve got some competition on this one!
Scene 6: The tour of the grounds begins inside one of Fort Mifflin’s many tunnels. TAPS is told they are the very first paranormal team given access to this dark, foreboding, and seldom-seen area.
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Scene 7: The team reviews the camera angles with the hope they are positioned in the best spots for recording paranormal activity.
Scene 8: The investigation is underway! It doesn’t take long before Jason and Grant hear some strange, squeaky noises within one of the fort’s buildings.
Scene 9: Jason explains to the TV audience how incredibly difficult it is to capture paranormal evidence on video.
Scene 10: Investigator Kris Williams carefully monitors all cameras at TAPS’ “Command Central.”
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Scene 11: What’s this? The thermal camera has picked up something interesting here!
Scene 12: The show’s camera crew retaliates after having to listen to Grant explain the meaning of “EVP” for the 87th time.
Scene 13: Evidence-gathering is completed, and now Jason and Grant meet with the fort’s caretaker for the serious task of revealing their findings in painstaking-detail.
Scene 14: Jason and Grant head for home. They didn’t find a great deal of paranormal activity on this investigation . . . but that’s the nature of ghost hunting. Now, it’s on to the next case!
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Reviews of the Month: By Mindy Kinnaman
In Your Library:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
bout a month and a half ago, I mused, wouldn’t it be awesome if someone thought up a zombie story set in the 18th Century? Almost immediately I received a reply from author Jen Lancaster telling me I should check out Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As an English major, I felt it would be wrong to let this gem slip past me. As the title implies, this book combines the lovable Jane Austin epic with those creatures I love most, flesh-eating zombies. The Bennet sisters are notable zombie slayers, who, when they’re not using their martial arts skills killing the undead, are trying to find themselves husbands. Second eldest sister Elizabeth is
the moodiest of the lot, and instantly finds herself butting heads with Mr. Darcy, who is also renowned for his zombie slaying prowess. Throughout the book, Elizabeth finds her feelings change, but all the while, she vows to stay true to the Queen and save the country from the undead that roam England. Pardon the pun, but I devoured this book as soon as it arrived. I thought this story would just butcher Austin’s original work, but in fact, the zombies complement the story, making it more fun. I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
States government, a retired boxer, a doughnut salesperson, and other unique characters try their best to stop the invasion. In addition to the humor that Burton brings to the film, I especially enjoy the cast, which features such greats as Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Benning, Natalie Portman, Michael J. Fox, Sara Jessica Parker, and many more. • I give Mars Attacks! 4 out of 5 “flying saucers.”
• I give Star Trek a super-duper 5 out of 5 “Vulcan Neck Pinches.”
• I give Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 5 out of 5 “brains.”
ne of the most popular film and television franchises of all time is finally back on the big screen. No, I’m not talking about Hannah Montana; I mean Star Trek. J.J. Abrams — of Cloverfield, Lost, and Fringe fame — has brought us a re-imagined version of Star Trek that is worthy of love from Trekkers and non-fans alike. Star Trek starts at the beginning of how the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise is first brought together. The crew works through their first mission together in a fantastic, action-packed film. The film stays true to the canon of the original series while making us fall in love with the show, whether it is for the first time or all over again. Karl Urban’s dead-on portrayal of Bones McCoy, Chris Pine’s Shatneresque sprawl in the captain’s chair, and Zachary Quinto’s performance as young Spock bring this film to life. I cannot recommend this enough!
On Your Small Screen: artians have invaded Earth, and it’s up to a star-studded cast to save all of humanity. Tim Burton’s 1996 dark comedy Mars Attacks! brings to life the trading card series from the 60s in a bright, fun-filled romp that is sure to elicit giggles from any alien fan. The aliens set out to trick the planet into believing that they “come in peace,” but as the bodies — or should I say red and green skeletons — start dropping, the United
Paranormal Underground June 2009
Ghost Hunter Comic
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