Volume 4, Issue 6
The Anguished Man A Haunted Painting?
Dr. Barry Taff
Lake Erie Lights Uncovered!
What Is the White River Monster? How to Investigate Historic Sites
Also Inside: • Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel • Case Files: Shhhhhh ... • TV/Web Watch: Ghost Detectives • Authors Candice Gilmer and Susan Kronick June 2011 • Ghost Hunter Comic
My name is Thomas “Mr.T” Perryman I am an Ex-Law Enforcement Oﬃcer and Private Investigator that will now concentrate on my examinations of the Paranormal and Crypto Zoology Mysteries.
Through my vast experience and resources I am performing field investigations on these subjects to provide a diﬀerent approach than others. I have great stories from Past Cases and Current Cases to share. My discussions are Entertaining as well as informative. I have written many Books, appeared in Horror films, and host a Radio Show. I am available for Convention Bookings and Appearances.
If you have any questions please contact me personally. I look forward to your next Event and we are all on the Quest to find the Answers! Paranormal Underground
Phone (407) 416-4807
Inside This Issue
INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Dr. Barry Taff: Paranormal Pioneer
SPECIAL REPORT Museums 101: How to Investigate Historic Sites
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Susan Kronick: Sarah, They’re Coming for You
CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Arkansas’ White River Monster — Serpent or Penguin?
Are We Alone? Lake Erie Lights
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Ghost Hunter Case Files: Shhhhhh ... Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel The Anguished Man
28 32 34
PARANORMAL FANTASY AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Candice Gilmer: A Storyteller at Heart
FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR “Final Revenge” by Gisela Woldenga
DEPARTMENTS Contributors Ghost Hunter Comic Publisher’s Letter Calendar of Events TV/Web Watch: Ghost Detectives
4 5 6 7 8
Contributors Heidi Ann
Heidi Ann has been a paranormal enthusiast since childhood when she had her own paranormal encounter. Her personal experience led her to question the world around her. Heidi is a mother of three sons, works as a special education paraprofessional in a middle school, and loves watching television shows and reading books on the paranormal.
Cheryl is editorin-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine, director of Publications & Editing Services for Ghost Knight Media, and producer of Paranormal Underground Radio. She has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, and has published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from advanced technology to paranormal investigation. Cheryl’s previous magazine experience includes roles as senior and managing editor for several business publications.
Terri J. Garofalo Terri is a paranormal investigator, as well as the artist and writer behind EntitiesR-Us, Ghost Hunter Comic. She’s a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer in Hyde Park, New York. You can find her work on www. entities-r-us.com, or contact Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
J.D. Harrison J.D. is Paranormal Underground’s science editor. He 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 other obscure religious ritualistic beliefs and practices. J.D. is neither a skeptic nor a believer in the paranormal, but instead believes that scientific observation is best served from a place of neither skepticism nor belief.
John Lasker Feared by the Pentagon, despised by space-weapons lobbyists, loathed by corrupt African governments, and stalked by UFO hoaxers. That’s life for John, an investigative journalist who’s originally from Buffalo, New York, and currently residing in Columbus, Ohio. John has written for Wired, Christian Science Monitor, Fate magazine, and Space News, among others. In 2008, he covered the presidential election from central Ohio for Agence France-Presse, the oldest newswire on the planet.
Steve Litteral Steve is the director of Visitor Services at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens in Rockford, Illinois. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Army and has earned an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in history, as well as a master’s degree in military history. Steve has also written several
articles about local history in Midwestern newspapers and has worked with the paranormal community for several years.
Michelle M. Pillow Michelle is an award-winning author writing in many romance fiction genres, including futuristic and paranormal. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything paranormal. She has a photography degree, is currently working toward finishing a degree in history, and is the co-owner of www.TheRavenBooks. com. Readers can contact Michelle through her Website, www.michellepillow.com.
Sean Robinson Sean has always had an interest in the paranormal due to his childhood fascination with horror movies. “But I never really believed in it. I loved ghost stories but always thought of them as nothing more than adult fairy tales with no basis in fact.” It was when Sean got “the painting” that his beliefs were challenged. When things started happening around the house, he chalked them down to imagination. But as the activity increased, he began to think there could be something paranormal about the painting. “You could say my real interest in the paranormal began with the painting.” Sean is married to Dawn, with two children Curtis, 21, and Kenan, 12. Sean and his family live in the coastal town of Maryport on the edge of the Cumbrian Lake District.
Ghost Hunter Comic
Jill Stefko Jill has studied the paranormal since 1957, including parapsychology, cryptozoology, Fortean phenomena, anomalies, UFOs, aliens, demonic possession, and exorcism. She hosts workshops and lectures and has been a guest on radio talk shows and local TV. Jill investigates alleged cases of the paranormal and counsels experients. She is the Feature Writer in the paranormal topic for www.suite101.com.
Rob St.Helen Rob has been a paranormal investigator for more than five years. He had his first paranormal experience at the age of 11. Rob
is a member of West Coast Ghost Hunters, based out of Portland Oregon, where he was born and raised. He currently works the graveyard shift at The Heathman Hotel. He has come to find that the hotel is haunted.
Chad Wilson A writer of articles and fiction, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine and a partner for Ghost Knight Media. He has parlayed his avid interest in the paranormal into a top-notch publication and Website â€” www. ParanormalUnderground.net. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills,
the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, and private residences among his investigations.
Gisela Woldenga Gisela has been writing her entire life, having first been published in the early 1980s. She writes short stories, childrenâ€™s stories, and poems for various magazines in the U.S. and Canada. You can find Gisela on Facebook, as well as at Artbookbindery. com and gisellewoldenga@hotmail. com.
Are you interested in contributing to Paranormal Underground? If so, send an e-mail to: email@example.com.
Publisher’s Letter Paranormal Underground® Volume 4, Issue 6
Body of Work
EDITORIAL Publisher Chad Wilson
Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight
Science Editor J.D. Harrison
Proofreader Heidi Ann
Contributors Heidi Ann Terri J. Garofalo J.D. Harrison Cheryl Knight John Lasker Steve Litteral Michelle M. Pillow Sean Robinson Jill Stefko Rob St.Helen Chad Wilson Gisela Woldenga
Send comments and letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2008-2011 — Paranormal Underground® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. As such, Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of its owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. Paranormal Underground magazine is a publication of Ghost Knight Media, LLC.
ith the June 2011 issue featuring recent investigations, our of Paranormal Uncontent continues to evolve. Without derground magazine, our talented writers and editors, none we hit our three-year anniversary. of this would be possible. Thanks to During our first three years, we’ve everyone who has ever contributed provided the magazine, for free, to this magazine, which includes a list to our readers. We also added a too long to include here. print-on-demand option on www. In January 2009, we began podMagcloud.com after casting “Paranormal Unreceiving a high demand derground Presents ...” to make paper copies of with guests like Ufologist the magazine available Stanton Friedman, Ghost Adventures’ Investigator for purchase. We started the magaZak Bagans, and Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach. zine three years ago as a And in July 2010, we behobby, which has turned into almost a full-time gan broadcasting Paranormal Underground Radio job — a job that we love Chad Wilson, to do. We have built a live on www.ztalkradio. Publisher paranormal community com every Thursday that we are very proud night. We’ve talked to of, including the magazine, Web researchers Dr. Barry Taff, Marcus Leader, and Yvette Fielding, as well radio show, and forum members. I need to give our contributing as local paranormal teams NEPA, forum members a big thank you for WPRS, and ALPHA Ghost Team, sharing their personal experiences, among many others. opinions, and research with us, for We are always looking to that is how we continue to make expand your experience when you progress in the paranormal field, click on www.paranormalunderthrough the sharing of information. ground.net, so keep your eyes open We always strive to bring you the because we have more, much more, in the works. best in paranormal coverage, ranging We will continue to bring you from information on the hard-working top-notch content month in and researchers from your local paranormonth out. If you would like to mal investigation groups, to personal offer feedback, please e-mail us at experiences from our continuously editor@paranormalunderground. growing reader base, to insights into net or publisher@paranormalunderthe world of para-celebs and your ground.net. favorite paranormal TV shows. Please continue to join us as we From special reports on paranorExplore the Unexplained at Paramal investigative techniques, to invesnormal Underground. Until next tigator spotlights on local paranormal month ... groups, to ghost hunter case files
Calendar of Events June 3–5
GhoStock Key West Details Coming Soon http://ghostock.com
Volume 4, Issue 6
Haunted America Midwest Conference Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois www.americanspookshows.com/midwest.html
Ghost Hunt at Sloss Furnace with Dustin Pari, Ashley Godwin, and Scott Tepperman of Ghost Hunters International Birmingham, Alabama http://slossfurnace.eventbrite.com
Ghost Camp coming to the Lewis County Historical Museum Ages 8–13/Cost $6 per camper 5–7 p.m. Call 360-748-0831 to register Flashlights will be furnished
Overnight Ghost Hunt at Pythian Castle (7 p.m.–3 a.m.) Springfield, Missouri http://www.paranormaltaskforce. com/events.html
2011 MUFON Symposium Hyatt Regency Irvine, California http://2011mufonsymposium.com/
Paranormal League of America: The Conference Beaverton, Oregon www.paranormalleagueofamerica. org/conference.html
ART Art Director
September 30–Oct. 2 G.H.O.S.T.S. Paranormal & Wellness Conference & Expo Club Heidelberg St. Catharines, Ontario www.ghostsconference.com
Central Texas Paranormal Conference Norris Conference Center Austin, Texas www.ctparacon.com
Design and Layout Cheryl Knight
On the Cover “The Anguished Man” Artist Unknown (Painting owned by Sean Robinson)
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Interested in advertising in Paranormal Underground Magazine, on our Website, or during our Radio Show/Podcast? Call 1-714-646-4197 or e-mail: email@example.com
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Ghost Detectives: Top-Notch Paranormal Programming By Chad Wilson
host Detectives, brought to you by Northeast Pennsylvania (NEPA) Paranormal, is the subject of this month’s TV/ Web Watch. In addition to being broadcast on local Northeast Pennsylvania TV station Fox 56, the series can also be found at http:// vimeo.com/channels/ghostdetectives. The local television and Web series details the investigations of NEPA Paranormal, which operates out of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and looks into paranormal cases from all over North East Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. Created by Lee Moon, the series stars group cofounder Bob Christopher and his team of professional investigators, including Bob’s wife Kathy and his daughter Katie, as well as Mike Merrit, another cofounder of the group, among other team members (see photo caption). The group takes us along on investigations at Gettysburg; the Jim Thorpe Inn in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania; and the Scranton Electric City Trolley Museum, among other haunted locations. We also get to follow the team as they investigate a cinema and cemetery. While I really enjoyed the personal experiences detailed at the front of the show, during which the history of each site is detailed, I especially liked the choreography,
Top Row (left to right): Wayne Hiller (Scranton Trolley Museum Manager), NEPA’s Bob Christopher, Kathy Christopher, Mike Belveduto (Detective Vincent), Lee Moon, Bill Ulichney; Bottom Row (left to right): Kim Shiner, Mark Hromisin, Alissa Caridi, David Conklin Jr., and (at bottom of photo) Steve Shoemaker.
which was extremely well done. Crystal clear and superior camera shots make this show top-notch, setting it apart from other shows like it. And while NEPA does encounter unexplained happenings during their investigations, the members of the team are always on the lookout for logical explanations. They also freely admit when they just don’t find any paranormal activity at all. Another element that is fun and different about Ghost Detectives is the intro and outro of each show, which features “Detective Vincent,”
a gumshoe character who introduces each show and details the next episode at the end of the current show. Overall, I enjoyed Ghost Detectives. The camera work is professional, and the opening credits are phenomenal as well. I look forward to future seasons of this program. Look for Ghost Detectives on the Web at http://vimeo.com/channels/ghostdetectives, or if you find yourself in the Northeast Pennsylvania area, on Fox 56. You can also look for NEPA Paranormal at www. nepaparanormal.com.
Dr. Barry Taff: Paranormal Pioneer
By Michelle Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
arapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff has dedicated much of his life to studying the paranormal. Formally trained in the medical field with academic credentials in psychophysiology and biomedical engineering, he’s brought his knowledge of brain and body to his paranormal research. In 1969, he began working in UCLA’s parapsychology laboratory as a research associate, training people to harness their latent psychic potential. That same year, Dr. Taff himself was the subject of a paranormal study as his psychic abilities were put to the test and later published in a scholarly journal. In the lab, he extensively studied telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition (now called remote viewing) over an eight-year period. During this time the study revealed that people could indeed be trained to develop their abilities. But, his real interest lay in fieldwork. With more than 43 years in the field and over 5,000 cases under his belt, many of which focus on ghosts, hauntings, doppelgangers, apparitions, and poltergeists, Dr. Taff has become a world-recognized authority on paranormal phenomena. Aside from his haunting and psychic research, Dr. Taff also holds several medical patents, has written screenplays, enjoyed racing cars, and
With more than 43 years in the field and over 5,000 cases under his belt, Dr. Barry Taff has become a world-recognized authority on paranormal phenomena.
has an interest in UFO research. His first book, Aliens above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown, was released in June 2011 from Cosmic Pantheon. You can find out more about him or his work on the Web at www.BarryTaff.net.
***** Q: You’ve had a pretty interesting career, one that I’m sure several people would be jealous of. Dr. Taff: Well, if they were in it, they might not be. Most of the time
I just sit around and talk to people. Once in a blue moon, you’re in the right place at the right time and something happens, so you’re able to document it, observe it, and learn something from it. The things I’ve learned over the past 43 years have been amazing. Q: Out of those 5,000 cases you’ve investigated, what percentage would you say are “active” cases? Dr. Taff: Active is a very rudimentary term, and a very subjective one. The chance of us running into something while we’re there for two hours in one evening is the chance of winning the lottery. It’s astronomical. Here strangers come into people’s homes, they don’t know us, they don’t know anything about us, and we ask a lot of personal, intrusive questions into their medical and psychological backgrounds, the psychodynamic of the family. We take measurements of the environment and of the people; look at their medications, how long they’ve been taking them. And the chance of something reacting while we’re there is, again, like the chance of winning the lottery. We’re always at the mercy of whatever we’re dealing with, and you never know. We go into every case expecting nothing to happen, and most of the time that’s exactly what happens: nothing. Q: When you go into these situations, asking people personal information, do you find that most people are forthcoming and honest about what is happening? Dr. Taff: Most of the time they are straightforward. Sometimes, though, they are less than truthful in regard to the psychodynamic of the family
Pictured above: In the infamous “Entity” case, Doris Bither faced a malevolent entity at her Culver City, California, home in the early 1970s.
Pictured above: During numerous investigations at Doris Bither’s home, strange arcs of light were captured and witnessed by several individuals in attendance.
— if it’s a dysfunctional family, their at each other’s throats emotionally. If it’s a very caustic environment, they’re not going to admit that to strangers. Who wants to air their dirty laundry in public?
One of the ways I personally analyze what is going on is by the amount of fear being displayed by the person. If the people seem to like it, I question the validity of the event. Most people with a brain don’t
Paranormal Underground 11
Investigator Spotlight like these things. It’s very disruptive and unnerving, and we don’t know what it is or how to get rid of it. It’s not so much about what they’re saying, compared to how they’re saying it — the tone of their voice, their articulation, their body language, their intonation; all of this is relevant.
During a 1989 investigation of Jackie Hernandez’ San Pedro, California, home, investigator Jeff Wheatcraft was found in the attic hung on a nail attached to the rafters, with a piece of cord around his neck.
Q: Is there a degree in parapsychology, or is it more of a field of study with experts in various other areas (anthropology, psychology, etc.) taking part? Dr. Taff: One person got a doctorate in parapsychology — Jeffrey Mishlove from UC Berkeley. They made him work his butt off, more so than the average doctorate candidate. Of course, even if you have that degree from a major university, what are you going to do with it? Who’s going to hire you? No offense to Dr. Mishlove. They did offer a master’s degree program at Kennedy State University years ago. It was abandoned due to
Dr. Taff: Loyd Auerbach is setting up a program at the University of Virginia. These are important; however, when that’s said and done, you spend your time, energy, and money on these classes that will teach scientific protocols, discipline, and methods for doing scientific research. What are you going to do when you have your degree? You’ll be shunned. I was shunned, and I didn’t even have
“I was shunned, and I didn’t even have a degree in parapsychology.” lack of interest and lack of money. The real-world applications for parapsychology are few and far between. It’s been used in law enforcement, selectively. It’s been used by the military with remote viewing, remote influence, and things of that nature. That’s been about it. There are healers or medical intuitives like myself, but as far as putting it to use in a pragmatic way, that has not come to pass. We just don’t know enough about it. Q: Aside from higher, formal education, are there programs you recommend for those who wish to further study?
a degree in parapsychology. Academic parapsychology is not a place I recommend people to go, because if you want to make a living off of it, you’re in trouble. Parapsychology wasn’t even a science until 1969, when Dr. Margaret Mead, a well-known anthropologist, stood up at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, did a filibuster, and got them to accept it. The Parapsychological Association was formed. Q: Switching a little bit from the formal study of the paranormal to the popularity of paranormal
in pop culture. Do you have any favorite paranormal shows? Dr. Taff: There is not one paranormal reality TV show on television that I watch. In my opinion, it’s a waste of time and energy. They misrepresent the field. They misinform the public. If you’re producing a paranormal reality show, you have got to have something happen at least once per show, which means you have to do one of three things. You fake it. You embellish or exaggerate everything that happened to make it look relevant and important. And/ or you populate the show with a bunch of wackos. The formula is pretty basic, but if you have to wait for something to happen for a show to work, the logistics are going to be terrible. Q: What interests you most about the paranormal? Dr. Taff: When you see a 220-pound man picked up and thrown around the room like a rag doll, yet no heat is produced, you’re seeing an event that is impossible based on what we know about the universe. The energies we know of — magnetism, nuclear forces, and gravity — before they would make an
event like that occur, the amount of heat liberated by that process would burn not only the person, but everything in the room would catch fire. Not only does that not happen, the room gets colder. We’re looking at a force of nature that works without heat. The data collected on this is massive. I’m convinced that the kind of energy we’re seeing, with objects flying around the room, can theoretically take us to the stars and back. It could possibly alter time and space and change the way we run the planet — without heat. Q: This case of the 220-pound man, was this a real case you worked on? Dr. Taff: Yes, it’s from Chapter Three of my book, Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown, called “The Hazardous Haunting of 1989.” Jeff Wheatcraft was one of our assistants, and something tried to hang him in the attic of the San Pedro House. Fortunately, someone else was up there and they saved him. Then, many months later, the woman (of the house) had moved. I was unavailable, but Barry Conrad and Jeff went up there to meet
During the 1989 San Pedro home investigation, this saucer-shaped light anomaly was photographed. Psychokinetic energy continually manifested itself into visual, auditory, and olfactory paranormal phenomena at the home.
Dr. Taff: Investigator Gary Boehm heard a moan. It was pitch black. He fired the camera as Jeff was being picked up by this clothesline wrapped around his neck and pulled over the rafter. He grabbed the shot just before Jeff was about to be pulled up tight against the rafter. It was amazing. Jeff had a rope burn on his neck, and he developed post-traumatic stress disorder. Before, he didn’t really believe that much, but this totally messed his life up, big time. I think we’re looking at the tip of a very large iceberg here. We’re being shown something. The question is what are we going to do about it? We have got to get beyond the
“Jeff and his chair were levitated into the air and thrown ...” with Jackie Hernandez. Jeff and his chair were levitated into the air and thrown across the room to the ceiling. He was knocked out. And, yet, the room got ice cold before it occurred. Q: Is the picture of the man hanging from the rafters in the attic real or a reenactment of the actual event?
question of: Is it real? We know it’s real. What we need to know is what we can do with it. Q: Before you got into this field, did you have any personal paranormal experiences? Dr. Taff: Yes. Part of it was curiosity, but the curiosity was provoked by psychic experiences as a kid. Precog-
nitive, clairvoyance, out of body — these were all very normal for me. I thought everyone had them. Then I learned at a very young age that most people either don’t have them or they don’t discuss them. I’d know things people were thinking ... what they were doing when I wasn’t with them. The first instance I remember was when I was 10 years old and in the fifth grade. During recess, this little blonde girl came walking toward me, and (like a colored x-ray) I could see that under her dress was a plastic bag attached to her side, and there was a tube going into her. Remember, I was 10 years old. I didn’t know what a colostomy was. So, I went up to her and asked her what it was. She panicked and ran and got a teacher, who brought me to the principal’s office. The principal thought that I had snuck in the girls’ bathroom. I said, no, that it was there as a color x-ray. Then I looked at him and said, “You have that appendix scar that never healed properly. It’s always purple.” He called my parents and said, “What is he?” My parents said, “Don’t ask.” Q: So did your parents understand about your abilities?
Paranormal Underground 13
Investigator Spotlight Q: Does that thing travel? I’d kind of like that one.
During the 1989 San Pedro investigation, Dr. Taff and his fellow investigators photographed these strange light anomalies. The homeowner had previously heard strange noises and seen an apparition of an old decaying man in her children’s bedroom.
Dr. Taff: No, they didn’t want to even deal with it. They just wanted to stay away from it completely. Q: Now that you are a paranormal investigator, do you work with groups? Or do you prefer to work solo? Dr. Taff: I’ve never worked with a group. I’ve worked with different people over time; most have come and gone. I worked with a man named Barry Conrad for more than 20 years (up until a year ago). He’s been a good friend and colleague. Now I work with a very gifted man named Jack Rourke, a psychic and researcher, and Alex Mistretta, a researcher. We don’t have a name, we just go out, and we don’t charge people ever. Q: Are these mainly poltergeist type cases? Dr. Taff: Right. 90% of my cases are poltergeist, but it’s really hard to say when one thing ends and another begins. It’s all intertwined. Is there really any real difference between a ghost and a poltergeist? It could all be the same thing. It’s a question of interpretation.
Dr. Taff: Yeah, we’ll call it Rent-AGeist. We had a case in Hollywood that was still active. It’s in Chapter One of my book. There’s a body buried under the house from 1922 of a woman named Regina. There have been a lot of psychokinetic manifestations. There’s a headstone there since no one wanted to pay to have the body excavated. Q: What do you say to “hardnosed” skeptics of the paranormal? Q: Clearly, by reading your book, we can learn about some of the more fascinating investigations that you’ve done, but what about the most comical— those that aren’t necessarily filled with evidence, but are memorable nonetheless? Dr. Taff: In 1971, in Van Nuys, California, I met a nice family involving classic poltergeist activity and apparitions. At one point, they were finding money floating down from the ceiling. Thousands of dollars were found. I asked if they were upset by this. They said yeah. I asked, are you declaring it? They said no. Well, then it’s free money. Imagine that. They had a 17-year-old son who was a football player. He saw one of the apparitions one night while going to the bathroom. He locked himself in and wouldn’t come out of the bathroom until morning. Another case, not in the book, took place in the mid-70s in an old building Rudolph Valentino used to live in. A family living in one of the apartments would eat dinner, pile dishes in the sink, go out, and when they came back everything would be clean.
Dr. Taff: I’ll give you an example. I was on a show in 1978 to talk about the field in general. There was an actor, John Bennett Perry, who said he “didn’t believe in this sort of garbage.” So I said to him, on the air, “Who cares if you believe; you’re an actor. If you were a scientist or did academic research and studied the data and then didn’t believe it, you could say something. How can you comment on something you know nothing about?” It’s really easy to be a skeptic if you don’t know anything. Q: What is it like being Dr. Barry Taff? Dr. Taff: It’s like being a stranger in a strange land. I think I was born 2000 years too early. The older I get, the less I have in common with more people. The best thing is to leave a legacy — that you’ve left the world in a far better place than when you entered it. ***** To learn more about Dr. Taff or his book, Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown (June 2011, Cosmic Pantheon), visit him on the Web at www.BarryTaff.net.
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Paranormal Underground 15
Museums 101: How to Investigate Historic Sites
By Steve Litteral, Director of Visitor Services, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens
ave you ever wanted to investigate a local museum or historic site for paranormal activity? I work at a Victorian mansion in Illinois, and I may be able to give you some tips on how to gain entrance to places that have seemed impenetrable in the past. First Things First One of the first things you want to do is to contact a staff member and introduce yourself and your team to learn about the history of the site. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many investigators call out of the blue and ask for an investigation right away. This is a little too fast. The staff at the site is very invested in the interest and protection of the location, and they do not know you or your team. You want to build a relationship so that the staff and/or volunteers feel comfortable with you and know that a priceless artifact will not go missing or break “mysteriously.” Also, you may learn many things about the area or site that you have never known before. The staff will also want assurances that you will be
respectful of their site and not treat it as a “haunted house” on Halloween. Even though most contemporary paranormal investigation teams are very scientifically-based, the staff may not be aware of this. When some museum personnel hear the words “paranormal investigation,” they think of the movie Ghostbusters. In the movies, the Ghostbusters were not exactly respectful of property. Many museums and historic sites have a board of trustees, so be prepared to make a presentation to the board to solidify the relationship. In some cases, the staff’s hands are tied if a board member decides that an investigation is not in the best interest of the location. Volunteer Work Some staff members may still be hesitant, so you can do things for them to make your relationship more appealing. One thing you could consider is to volunteer some of your valuable time to benefit the location. Today, many small museums and historic sites are finding it hard to survive in this current economic climate. There are museums and
historic sites closing all across America because of a lack of funding or volunteerism. One way to make a definite positive impression is to ask to volunteer for an event, or on a regular basis. Most museums only ask for a few hours a month, and there are many different opportunities from being a docent to transcribing historic documents. This will not only help the location, but you can also add this to your resume and your team portfolio. It will demonstrate to your clients that you care about the places you investigate and you are not trying to exploit them. Speaking Engagements Another great way to gain favor with the staff is to help them plan a speaking engagement or a “paranormal/night tour” of the museum or location. I have been fortunate to work with several great paranormal groups in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin that have been more than willing to help me with fundraisers, and it has really helped our relationship a lot.
We have planned several speaking engagements where members of a paranormal society would speak about the equipment they use, their own personal experiences, and the current theoretical debates within the paranormal community. These were successful and made some extra
funerals took place before the invention of the modern funeral home), and the guests were entertained and learned something about history. These have become so popular, that now we do them all year round, and they are not exclusively “Halloween-type” events.
“One of the first things you want to do is to contact a staff member and introduce yourself ...”
money for the museum. Since the speaking engagements were popular, we expanded these to blend the speaking engagement with a “paranormal tour” of the museum afterward. This was a nice blend of the paranormal with historical education. The speaker would mystify them with tales of the paranormal, and then I would talk about Victorian Spiritualism and their mourning customs. We would have the museum decorated as if there was a funeral going on in the parlor (where most
The prices of admission to these events were very profitable and were great fundraisers for the museum. This is also a way to make the museum board happy, since their primary goal is fundraising. If you can bring in people and money, they will be eternally grateful. Another selling point to the museum or historic site staff is that these types of events bring in a different demographic of customer. Many museums, especially house museums, are always striving to find more ways to lure younger custom-
ers to their site, as well as to teach a younger generation about the site’s history. I have found that many young people and other guests that would normally never visit a house museum have darkened our hallways because they heard “it was haunted.” But, they left with a better knowledge of local history and the impression that their community has such a beautiful place to visit. In Closing If you are fortunate enough to investigate a museum, remember to learn all of the rules and regulations of the historic site and where the switches for the lights are located. One of the staff members will most likely be there with you, and most of these people are either salaried or volunteer. So, make sure to be respectful of their time, and try to start and finish your investigation at the agreed time. Your team may want to purchase some form of liability insurance in case there is an accident and a painting falls or a piece of furniture breaks. This will help the curator to sleep better at night. I hope you have a great experience working with museums and historic sites, and good luck with your investigations!
Steve Litteral is the director of Visitor Services at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens in Rockford, Illinois.
A great way to gain favor with museum or historical site staff is to help them plan a speaking engagement or a “paranormal/night tour” of the museum or location. Always remember to be respectful of the site and its personnel.
He is also a veteran of the U.S. Army and has earned an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in history, as well as a master’s degree in military history. Steve has also written several articles about local history in Midwestern newspapers and has worked with the paranormal community for several years.
Paranormal Underground 17
Sarah, They’re Coming for You By Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
uthor Susan Kronick is not new to researching the paranormal. With a Ph.D. in paranormal studies/psychology from Union Institute and Graduate School, she works as a psychology professor at Palm Beach State College and Barry University, as well as being a psychic medium in South Florida. Her new book, Sarah, They’re Coming For You, released in eBook format September 21, 2010, from wildchildpublishing.com and can be purchased online.
explains the origin of the family’s battle with the rogue ghosts. Sarah must face the ghouls at the castle head on or lose her soul forever. The book is based on many reallife experiences I have encountered. I am a psychology professor, as well as a medium, and have researched my family genealogy back to Austria. Q: How did you get into studying the paranormal?
***** Q: In your book, Sarah, They’re Coming For You, you delve into the world of hauntings and the afterlife. What inspired you to write about this? Susan: Sarah is inspired by actual events from my own life. Having the ability to see spirits since childhood, I have been fortunate to have had many such visits, which included some of my deceased relatives. I have also had experiences with not-so-friendly spirits and entities over the years. I melded my ghostly encounters with having traced my maternal grandmother’s family history back to Austria. Then the storyline kind of just fell into place. Q: Did you base your story off of personal experiences or known myths throughout history?
Susan Kronick’s new book delves into the world of hauntings and the afterlife.
Susan: The main character is Sarah, a psychology professor with the ability to communicate with spirits. Throughout her life she has been tormented by the restless spirits of the dead who are not at peace. The only way Sarah can end her haunting is to make the journey from her home in South Florida to her family’s ancestral castle in the tiny Alpine town of Meiningen, Austria. Along the way she encounters many eclectic travel companions who accompany her to the fortress. The unexpected discovery of her great-great-great-great grandfather’s diary, begun in the year 1818,
Susan: Having the abilities of both a psychic and a medium since childhood, I was both fascinated and confused by the paranormal events I experienced and took to be normal. I always sought to understand the phenomena scientifically. Earning a master’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in paranormal studies/ psychology has given me the training as a scientist that provides another perspective for investigation of supernatural phenomena. Q: Do you have an area of concentration that you’re particularly interested in? Susan: I am fascinated by the different types of haunting that occur, such as a residual haunting as compared to a genuine spirit. I am intrigued by precognition, having made many accurate predictions over the years, as well as having been on the receiving end of some. I am also interested in retro time
Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
travel and the concept of time warps. Having studied quantum physics, I know how much closer we have come to discovering a scientific explanation for many supernatural occurrences. Q: Do you investigate hauntings with a team? Susan: If I am investigating for a friend or acquaintance, I initially check out the situation by myself. But if I detect some phenomenon, I will return with another medium to validate or dismiss my initial findings. In the case of an investigation for a client, or if there is a reporter or camera crew in tow, I always bring an assistant. I usually have an assistant who is also a medium, and I assume the role as a scientific investigator, ruling out all possible psychological and/ or natural occurrences for the phenomena. However, my own abilities as a medium are an additional advantage. If there are genuine paranormal events going on, I can collaborate. Q: What advice do you have for those interested in studying the paranormal? Susan: Keep an open mind. Do not assume every situation is indeed paranormal. Once it has been determined there is paranormal activity, be sure to accurately document the phenomena. All witnesses to the events should be interviewed separately and out of earshot of the other witnesses to rule out collaboration or suggestions among the witnesses. Also, if there is more than one medium, they should each walk the premises separately before comparing notes to ensure independent fact-finding. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Susan: Much of our culture is so grounded in conscious reality. Many
Sarah, They’re Coming for You is based on many of Susan’s real-life experiences.
believe that what we are capable of seeing with our eyes is all there is. This is particularly true of those not blessed with the gift of seeing spirits. Regarding life after death, we want to believe there is something that awaits us after our demise, hopefully a reunion with our loved ones (including beloved pets) who passed on before us. I believe the fascination with the paranormal comes with the exposure to such events, which cannot be disputed, and provides evidence that such phenomena exists. Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies, and books? Susan: I love the original Poltergeist movie, as well as a made for television movie called The Two Worlds of Jenny Logan with Lindsey Wagner. As far as TV shows are concerned, I like Ghost Whisperer, Medium, and Paranormal State. My favorite books are Time and Again by Jack Finney and The Fortune Teller’s Daughter by Susan Wilson.
Susan: I have been blessed with both psychic and mediumship abilities since childhood. Throughout my entire life I have experienced countless paranormal experiences! As a psychic, I have accurately predicted countless events over the years, both happy and sad. As a medium, I have investigated many a haunting, as well as communicated with many spirits. One of the coolest experiences was at my own wedding. Two of my psychic friends attending the event, who did not know each other, informed me on separate occasions that they saw my late mother in a blue-gray dress walking down the aisle during the ceremony! Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a ghost? Susan: I come into contact with ghosts all the time! I am always fascinated by the experience. Every ghost has a story, even if they are just saying, “Hello.” Q: What does the future hold for your writing? Susan: I have started a second novel called The House on Gingerwood Lane. It is about an old Victorian house that has the ability to transport its occupants back to the year 1892. Q: Have you ever been to a psychic and/or had a past-life regression? Susan: Most of my friends are psychic. My husband was described to me many years before I met him. I was also told I was the reincarnation of my great-great-great grandmother Dora! *****
To learn more about Susan, visit http://susankronick.webs.com/.
Paranormal Underground 19
Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures
Arkansas’ White River Monster Serpent or Penguin? By Jill Stefko, Ph.D., suite101.com Feature Writer
n 1937, there were numerous sightings of a large creature in the White River, which runs through Arkansas. Four people signed affidavits that they had seen this huge monster. And by summer’s end, thousands of curiosity seekers had invaded the town of Newport in hopes of seeing this strange critter, which had been nicknamed Whitey. A Legend Is Born During the first week of July, tenant farmers on Bramlett Bateman’s plantation told him they saw a monster in the river. Fishing was poor, and they believed this creature was the reason why. Although Bateman was skeptical, he went to the river to see this strange beast for himself. He was not disappointed. After he saw the monster, he contacted D. N. Graves of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Bateman wanted to dynamite the eddy in the river and kill the creature, as Bateman and his tenants believed the monster was dangerous. He was denied permission by Graves because it is illegal to dynamite inland waters. Whitey had settled into a routine. He would surface in the late-after-
noon and stay up for 5 to 15 minutes before diving back into the water. Bateman said Whitey was about 12 feet long and four to five feet wide. Graves thought it might be a deep sea creature that swam up the river and had become trapped in the deep eddy. News about the strange creature attracted visitors to the area. Some brought cameras, others brought dynamite sticks. One brought a machine gun! Deputy Sheriff Z. B. Reid glimpsed the monster and said it looked like a giant catfish. Dr. Dellinger, zoology professor at the University of Arkansas thought that it might be a gigantic sturgeon. One had recently been caught in the Tallahala River in Laurel, Mississippi. W. E. Penix announced that he would make a rope net, 40 by 15 feet, with eight-inch mesh to snag the monster. He said it would take 10 days to construct the net and would accept donations to help with this project. A West Memphis radio station was making arrangements to broadcast the attempted capture live. Both fell by the wayside due to financing. Marion Dickens, Newport Chamber of Commerce president, hired experienced ex-Navy diver
Charles Brown to go into the river and see what he could find. The town posted signs by major roads and invited members of the press to attend. Stores were closed. A communications system was set up so the event could be broadcasted. According to Brown, visibility in the eddy was less than a foot. The dives lasted for several days, but in the end, Whitey was not cooperative. Sightings Over the Years The next spate of reported sightings was in 1971. The locals had noticed that the monster appeared to have about a 40-year cycle of making its appearances. There were theories about this. One of the more creative ones was that the creature lived in the Sargasso Sea and swam to the river to lay an egg. The same person told a story about how a monster sank a shipment of gold during the Civil War and theorized that alleged sightings of Japanese submarines in the river during World War II may have been the monster. Another story goes that fisherman Cloyce Warren and two of his friends were in a boat, fishing, when a water spout appeared about 20
feet from their position. It was the monster. They said its back was 20 or more feet. Warren took a Polaroid picture of it and sold it to the Newport Daily Independent. Fourteen-inch long and eightinche-wide tracks of a three-toed creature were found on Towhead Island by an anonymous witness. Bent trees and crushed vegetation evidenced that something very large had walked there. A CBS news crew arrived in town and went to the island. The police had made casts of the tracks. The witness said he had seen the tracks, sporadically, for the past several years, but had not thought much of them until he heard about the monster sightings. The last sighting was probably the most terrifying. Ollie Richardson and Joey Dupree were in their boat near Towhead Island. The boat bumped into something, then rose out of the water on the back of a huge creature. February 1973: Senator Robert Harvey introduced a bill that the part of White River running from Jacksonport to Possum Grape be designated the White River Monster Refuge. The bill passed. It became illegal to harm or kill Whitey. Other Sightings In 1948, people near Clearwater, Florida, were astonished that there was something strange visiting their beach. Whatever it was, was gigantic and left large three-toed tracks as a calling card. The biggest toe was 13 ½ inches long. It was possible to estimate the creature’s weight from the indentations in the sand. Whatever it was weighed about three tons. Ivan T. Sanderson, an eminent cryptozoologist was doing a TV series for NBC. He and a crew flew to Florida so they could make plaster casts, take measurements, and interview those who saw it. Fishermen and other locals saw something 15 or 20 feet tall waddling
about the beaches and marshes on two legs. Four pilots, independently, told Sanderson that they saw something black and gigantic splashing around the banks of the Suwannee River. One man appeared to be sheepish when he spoke to the cryptozoologist. He admitted that he might be crazy, but the creature resembled a giant penguin. The critter was seen off and on from February to October and then it disappeared. Sanderson was wary of the possibility that what he was investigating was a hoax. He asked some engineer friends to design a machine that could make such deep footprints. Their conclusion was that such a machine would be too expensive to build. It would be extremely difficult to control because the only point of contact with the ground was the two feet. It would have to be large enough to weigh three tons and small enough to go through the trees and thickets. They reached the conclusion that it was easier to accept the possibility that a giant penguin existed than the existence of such a machine to explain the sightings.
Three toes tracks like those found in Florida have been found in other places. The other tracks were found in Pennsylvania along the banks of the Monongahela River in 1966. Biologist Roy P. Mackal believes Whitey is a case of a known animal living outside of its natural habitat or that people, not knowing what the animal is, could not identify it. He believes Whitey is an elephant seal that swam up the Mississippi River to the White River. The problem is that the natural habitat of the seal is in California, from San Francisco to Baja California. The animal would have had to swim to the Panama Canal to reach the Atlantic, then the Mississippi. Plus, they do not leave three-toed tracks. Could Whitey be the same animal that was seen in Clearwater? Three-toed tracks and huge. Could Whitey also be a giant penguin? This seems to make more sense than a seal swimming through the Panama Canal. But like all things paranormal, it is likely we will never know for sure.
Article source: Suite101.com
Local artist, Josephine Graham, envisions Whitey’s capture.
Paranormal Underground 21
Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?
Lake Erie Lights By John Lasker Strange lights are appearing again over the lake with the creepy name ... is it a hoax or UFOs?
n a brisk fall night, the crescent moon over Lake Erie is a blood-red orange. In the background, dark waves lap rhythmically onto the beach. It is picturesque in many ways. But the serenity is about to be shattered. Out some unknown distance over the lake, several pulsating lights chillingly materialize from nowhere. The lake front is not far from the hardscrabble city of Cleveland, Ohio, and the lights are described as “orbs.” Out of thin air they appear over the lake and are usually witnessed near a local nuclear power plant. Apparently, the “Lake Erie Lights” have returned once again, and they have locals talking — some loudly, some in hushed tones. But some are wondering whether a new wave of UFO sightings over the lake with the creepy name is the real thing or a hoax. If the new lights and their videos are a hoax, it would be a shame for Ufology because Lake Erie has a long history of mind-boggling paranormal activity. To start, the lake is named after a Native American tribe called the “Erielhonan,” meaning the people
Lake Erie has been the location of several UFO encounters, as well as multiple sightings of unexplainable light anomalies.
with “long tails.” They were also called the “Cat” or “Raccoon” people. What’s more, the region was a hot-bed of abolitionism leading up to the Civil War, a time when the locals on the highlands south of the city told outsiders to beware of the lake’s “Wizard Lights.” Some thought they were distressed ships on fire, but daybreak revealed no wreckage,
dead bodies, or survivors. One hundred and fifty years later, on a cold winter night in 1988, a UFO described as large as “the Goodyear Blimp” appeared on the lake. Stunned witnesses said it seemed to be struggling to get off a sheet of ice that was not far from the lake’s shore. As a crowd of witnesses grew, the craft set loose a squadron
of smaller, triangular-shaped craft that buzzed the witnesses. A local Coast Guard team saw the entire episode unfold right in front of their eyes, but within hours the team was apparently strong-armed into silence by military officers from Ohio’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. What’s more, the civilians who saw the oblong craft soon had their
“If you take all of the people in Ohio who are interested in this subject, I bet half of them are from that part of the state,” said Ohio-based William E. Jones, state director for Ohio MUFON, or the Mutual UFO Network. “A lot of folks up there have seen things over the years. More people are interested up there. I don’t know why.”
“... He’s captured dozens of orbs and bright lights that appear to be silently hovering over Lake Erie.” homes buzzed by an alleged unmarked black helicopter. It’s one of the best-documented UFO cases in the history of the U.S. Twenty years later, one of the Coast Guard personnel there that night is still not sure what he saw — or is he? Since 2004, the Cleveland Ufology Project (CUP), has documented 40 sightings from Northeast Ohio and from the miles of Lake Erie beaches. The best and latest occurred at the beginning of 2010. A witness saw a triangular-shaped craft with amber lights (go figure) vanish over the lake. CUP was founded in 1952 and claims to be one of the oldest UFO-spotting groups in the country, if not the planet. “It’s a hot spot,” declared local ufologist Aaron Clark about the beaches of Lake Erie near Cleveland. “Some believe there’s a UFO base on the bottom of the lake.” One thing is certain, the Lake Erie UFO hype is real: Literally millions have viewed Internet videos of the Lake Erie UFOs. The Cleveland Office of Homeland Security has, to an unknown degree, investigated the sightings. In 2007, an “orb” was videotaped over the Key Bank Tower during a peace rally, and the incident made it on the CBS nightly news.
Eyewitness Accounts Historically, the total number of eyewitness accounts is unknown because there are so many of them. Stories of “strange ships” on the lake have been circulating since at least the 1800s. Ask anyone who lives near the lake: either they’ve seen something odd or know of someone who has. For some, what they saw will remain the mystery of a lifetime. For a few others, it will take over their life. As it did to Michael Lee Hill, a musician who lives just feet away from the beaches of Lake Erie in the Cleveland suburb of East-
lake, which is where the “Goodyear Blimp” UFO was sighted. Roughly five years ago, Hill was walking down the beach when something caught his attention out of the corner of his eye. Hill told this journalist that he saw a top hat-shaped craft hovering and pulsating over the shoreline. “It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, I did not get that one on tape, but it sparked my interest in trying to film them.” After that first encounter six years ago, the visitations began in earnest. Soon after, he started taking a video camera to the lake front. Since then he’s captured dozens of “orbs” and bright lights that appear to be silently hovering over Lake Erie. He’s downloaded many of his videos to YouTube. Hill isn’t the only Eastlake resident who recently saw something strange over the lake. Gary Strauss is not a UFO enthusiast. “Not at all,” he said. “I’m not one of those UFO people.” He’s a chemist and a supervisor at a local laboratory. He’s also lived on the lake in his own home since 1984. He lives in the same neighborhood as Hill, but both have never met. Early on the morning of June 21, 2007, Strauss and his son saw
This photo reportedly shows unidentified lights over Lake Erie.
Paranormal Underground 23
Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?
Area newspapers, dating back to the mid-1800s, tell tales of people along the shore in that period who saw unexplained lights over Lake Erie and thought they were from burning ships.
four bright lights high above the water — all shaped like the tip of a Sharpie marker. He said the lights were parallel with the shoreline, positioned at 11 o’clock and 30 degrees above the horizon. At first the lights were flat, he said. Then one vanished. Then another. Soon all four were gone. Suddenly, they reappeared in the shape of a diamond. Then they went flat again. This went on for more than an hour. He called Eastlake police, and they dispatched an officer. Strauss said the officer also saw the lights. He remembers the officer saying, “What is that?” The following day, his son checked the Internet for lights over Lake Erie. He viewed one of Hill’s videos and shouted: “That’s it! That’s what we saw. That’s what it looks like!” But unlike other Lake Erie witnesses, Strauss doesn’t believe the lights are extraterrestrial. Strauss has contemplated other explanations. Planes. Boats. Canadians out to fool gullible Americans. But none of those seem plausible to him. “I per-
sonally think it’s the government,” he said. “They’re experimenting with some type of technology. Maybe it’s the aerospace industry.” Strauss believes the lights may be some type of exotic radar innovation. “They’re bouncing radar off some type of object. Some form of radar reflection technology. I’m just making an educated guess.” An example of radar reflection technology has been applied to Laser Geodynamic Satellites or LAGEOS spacecrafts. Publicly, the U.S. government says two are in orbit, and both are roughly the size of a basketball. They are made of brass and partially covered with a retro-reflection material that returns light in the direction it comes from, similar to a road sign. It is believed that lasers have been used to illuminate them from space. Could U.S. space interests have developed a satellite that can re-enter the atmosphere? Is the U.S. government secretly testing these satellites over Lake Erie? Nevertheless, the Lake Erie lights have struck a chord of intrigue
within his mind. “I look outside a lot more. I want to see it again,” Strauss said, “and this time, I’m going to have my camera.” Asked if he’s becoming obsessive, like Richard Dreyfuss’ character Roy Neary of Close Encounters, he’s said no way. “No. I’m not obsessive. Absolutely not.” The Eastlake police actually had two witnesses see those lights that night. A detective, who wished his name not be used for publication, said he too saw the lights, but from a different vantage point. The Eastlake police asked the Cleveland office of Homeland Security to look into the sighting. The unnamed detective said the Homeland Security office discovered that on the night of the sighting, the Canadian Coast Guard was near the opposite side of the lake searching for a man who had been reported missing. Using a helicopter, the Canadian Coast Guard was dropping flares, connected to miniature parachutes, over the water. Later it was discovered the man had drowned. Strauss believes it couldn’t have been flares because the lights were in a straight line, then vanished, and reappeared in a diamond formation. When trying to explain the Phoenix Lights, the military used the same explanation. Nonetheless, is the aerospace industry or the military, or Cleveland’s NASA John Glenn Research Center, conducting secret tests over Lake Erie? Due to the amount of classified military research conducted during the Bush administration and now ongoing, it’s hard to dismiss the military explanation as to “What else?” the Lake Erie lights might be. A Military Connection It has been widely reported that the Bush administration funneled billions of dollars to the aerospace
industry during this last decade to develop space-based weapons and super-powered radar sensors all in the name of missile defense. Supersecret military space planes and space bomber programs are also believed to have been revived. Killer satellites loaded with lasers and missiles were on drawing boards.
tional Space Station hardware, for example. The chamber is scheduled to test NASA’s new spacecraft, Orion, which is planned to take the U.S. back to the moon by 2020. Recent upgrades to the Plum Brook site will also allow it to test “next-generation lunar landers, robotic systems, and military and commercial aircraft.” And don’t forget what’s just a three-hour drive away from here: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, considered by many to be a top-secret research facility for the Air Force.
The Pentagon’s U.S. Space Command is still desperate to build the ultimate space radar so to protect U.S. space assets and also to be able to tell the difference between a balloon decoy in space from a mushroom-cloud inducing ICBM. And while the Obama administration promised to gut the missile defense budget and never weaponize space, the current White House cut just a sliver off missile defense spending. Nevertheless, The Pentagon or NASA will never say publicly if secret research is ongoing over Lake Erie. One reason why that may be the case is it would be a lot easier to retrieve plummeting technology from the shallowest of Great Lakes instead of some residential area. The evidence for using the lake’s airspace as a testing ground leads to NASA’s Plum Brook site in Sandusky, Ohio, a small town on Lake Erie, 50 or so miles west of Cleveland. The site is home to the world’s largest space environment simulation chamber, called the Space Power Facility. The chamber is 100 feet wide and 122 feet long. “It was designed to test space hardware … in a simulated low-Earth orbit environment,” stated NASA’s Website. The tests performed there in the past are impressive: the Mars Landers, Solar Sails, as well as Interna-
Ship on the Water In the 1860s, and for sometime before that, those who lived on the highlands south of Cleveland were perplexed by a mystery on the lake — they called the phenomenon “The Wizard Lights.” One such account of these lights occurred on the night of Oct. 29, 1867, when something strange — and bright — appeared out on the lake. Many thought it looked as if a
that heavy winds had opened crevices in the lake, sending gas ignited by lightning spewing into the air. One hundred and twenty years later, however, many credible witnesses would swear the “mysterious lights” on the lake was a ship, but not from this planet. A More Modern-Day Sighting On a cold, clear winter’s night in early March 1988, Sheila and Henry Baker were driving their three children to their lake-front home, which is not far from where Hill has shot many of his videos. But as they neared the waterfront, Sheila’s attention was drawn to something odd over the lake. It appeared to be … hovering? She went down to the beach. And there before her, was something much “larger than the Goodyear Blimp.” It was a gun-metal colored, “football shaped” object. Bright white light poured out of each end. It was dead silent. Then it began to
“... Many credible witnesses would swear the mysterious lights on the lake was a ship, but not from this planet.” steamer was in distress and on fire. “The object appeared to be some 200 or more feet in length upon the water and about as high above the water as an upper cabin steamer,” stated one witness. “The sky and water were beautifully irradiated by the light during its great brilliancy.” The witness continued, “The resemblance which this light bore to that of the burning steamer was so strong that I confidently expected the arrival of the boats from the wreck during the night.” But none came, nor did any wreckage wash ashore. There was some speculation
“teeter-totter.” The ice underneath it began to rumble and implode with thunderous cracks, she said. It appeared to be struggling. Perhaps trying to escape to the stars above — far from this strange planet and into infinity. Perhaps those aboard knew their presence, their destruction right there in these icy waters, could lead to some unfathomable consequences for the billions who lived here. Several years later during an interview with Cleveland’s largest daily newspaper, the Plain Dealer, Sheila Baker leaned over to a reporter and
Paranormal Underground 25
Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? insisted: “I saw it.” So did several others. And as the crowd grew, the vessel became more active. Bursting out of the apparent mother ship were several triangularshaped, Cessna-sized crafts. One buzzed a woman and her dog that cowered and whimpered. Another approached two young Coast Guard personnel called to the scene. A picture was taken of a smaller craft and published in the Plain Dealer. Still in their Chevy Suburban, the Coast Guard team gave a running report back to their base, said the Bakers, who also told their story to MUFON investigators. “Be advised the object appears to be landing on the lake … Be advised there are other objects moving around it.” For more than an hour, this continued. Ice cracking. Pulsating bright lights going on and off. Small ships buzzing the larger. Then like most UFO encounters ... it vanished. Nothing but chunks of ice, dead silence, and a handful of witnesses and their shock of a lifetime. The Bakers said the Coast Guard personnel were “ghost faced.” This UFO story, like many prolific UFO tales, has spread across the Internet. And in this particular case, the story is accompanied by a copy of a Coast Guard incident report. Whether it is legitimate is a mystery. A search of Archives.gov and other records was not successful, and Ohio Coast Guard public affairs officers said the 1988 report was shredded. Nevertheless, the incident report stated, “The Large Object was almost on the ice” and “Smaller objects began hovering in the area where the large object landed and, after a few minutes, they began flying around.”
The incident made the local press the following days, which brought out the skeptics. One local astronomer said witnesses were looking at the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, coupled with “spontaneous gas emissions.” But skeptics weren’t the only apparent naysayers to get involved in this UFO case.
A Final Perspective John Knaub was on the beach that cold, clear night. He’s retired from the Coast Guard and lives in Virginia. When told he is linked to one of America’s great UFO mysteries, he laughs out loud. “I did not see any cigar-shaped ship. All I saw were lights. It was not a
“We saw multi-colored lights, but they were not flares.” Later on the night of the sighting, the Bakers decided to call the local Coast Guard outpost. “They told us, ‘It was out of their league and out of their hands,’” Sheila Baker reported to MUFON. “A person in command there, and he got on the phone with me, and that’s exactly what he told me. That they had to forward all their information to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (in Ohio). They said they were not allowed to investigate it any further and that they were told to stay out of it.” She also was told NASA was getting involved. MUFON investigators tried to interview the two young Coast Guard personnel but were rebuffed by their commanding officers. Twenty years later, however, one of the Coast Guardsmen there that night spoke to me. And if you believe what he said, you might think the Bakers and other witnesses were stretching the truth and that the Coast Guard’s own report is indeed a fake. If you don’t believe what he has to say, than you might think the U.S. military grabbed the man’s forearm and twisted it until he cried for mercy, his career, and his government pension.
UFO,” he said. Knaub said his station on Lake Erie began getting a high number of calls saying something odd was going on out on the lake. The station figured someone might be in distress. Knaub said that when they arrived, they did see lights. It should be noted that Knaub was the only witness to be reached by this reporter. Extensive efforts were used to reach the others, but none could be found. For two years after that night, Knaub was harassed by UFO enthusiasts wanting to know what he saw. “It was ridiculous.” Up until now, he was “sick and tired of talking about it, and I refused to talk about it.” When told he was “ghostfaced,” he again laughed. What about the sounds of exploding ice? “I don’t remember it. We saw multi-colored lights, but they were not flares,” he said. “We went there to see if someone was in distress. But there was no boat.” When asked what he thought it was then, Knaub replied, “I have no clue.”
This article is an excerpt from John Lasker’s book, “TECHNOIR: 13 Investigations From the Darkside of Technology, the US Military, and UFOs.” To read more from John’s book, visit http://store.theebooksale. com/science-fiction/technoir.
Paranormal Underground’s 4th Annual Short Story Contest
aranormal Underground magazine is holding its 4th 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 AND nonmembers of www.paranormalunderground.net. Fiction themes may include paranormal, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and spiritual. Contest rules include: • Stories due by September 1, 2011. • Stories must be a minimum of 1,000 words and a maximum of 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. • Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first-place winner will be published in our October issue. We will be awarding prizes for 1st through 3rd place as follows: • First Place: Publication in Paranormal Underground Magazine; a Sony ICD-UX512 digital voice recorder; and the option to take part in an upcoming “Paranormal Underground Radio” Web broadcast. • Second Place: Choice of shirt from Paranormal Underground’s Gear Store and possible publication in Paranormal Underground magazine. • Third Place: Any book listed in Paranormal Underground’s Bookstore (valued at $25 or less) and possible publication in Paranormal Underground magazine. We will have three to five judges, who will be announced in a future issue. Judging criteria includes the following categories: • Story originality • Paranormal theme creativity • Text fluidity Submissions will be compiled and sent to the judges by the editor-in-chief, and all judges will not know who wrote each submission until after judging is completed and scores are tabulated by the editor-in-chief. 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/photos, if any. Please spellcheck your entries and ensure that they are print-ready. We reserve the right to edit all fiction published in the magazine, but will obtain each author’s approval prior to publication. If you have any questions regarding the contest, please e-mail email@example.com. Last year we had a great response, and we hope to see even more writers join us in our 4th Annual Short Story Contest. Happy writing!
Paranormal Underground 27
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files
Shhhhhh ... By Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
recent investigation brought to mind something ghost hunting teams must come up against quite a bit — the secret location. I don’t suppose you can blame people who want to have an investigation kept secret, especially when it’s some place as intriguing as an abandoned hospital, where I went with Wichita Paranormal Research Society (WPRS) on February 19, 2011. I can understand why property owners wouldn’t want the location public. Once a location is made famous, it runs the risk of being overrun with ghost hunting enthusiasts who do not bother with something as pesky as the legality of getting permission before trespassing. The way I see it, if you want your investigations to be taken seriously, you have to be professional. If you can’t be bothered to get permission and research the location you’re planning on investigating — from the current owners to the historical facts — the rest of your investigation will probably appear just as careless and the evidence speculative. So, the lesson is simple. Get permission and respect the wishes of the property owner. Your group’s integrity will get around and you will be trusted. And I think we can all
Pictured above at left: This bloody-mouthed moose stood guard in one of the many abandoned patient rooms at a top-secret location that WPRS recently investigated.
agree, trusts equals getting called for the really cool gigs. That’s exactly how WPRS was invited to investigate this abandoned hospital, and why I was put through a long pledge of secrecy that included a taxidermy moose and candy bars. OK, OK, so there was a moose and there were candy bars, but they had nothing to do with a pledge. The candy came from my diet crasher (aka WPRS Head Techie and
para-vlogger) Bob Gilmer. As for the bloody-mouthed moose, it stood guard in one of the many abandoned patient rooms. Perhaps the moose is in charge of eating those who break in illegally? Old hospitals always stir a bit of excitement in the paranormal field because of their very nature. Hospitals are places of life and death, and of extreme emotions.
Pictured at right: This reportedly haunted location once housed a hospital, nursing home, haunted house, and war-game facility.
I grew up hearing stories from the nurses in my family of tales of hospital hauntings and unexplained phenomena around the dying. This particular hospital was converted into a nursing home before closing as a medical facility permanently in the early 2000s. Afterward, it served as a haunted house, which is evident by the creepy doll heads and blood red paint dripping off of old bathtubs and wheelchairs. Next, it was used as a battleground for war games, with tiny white pellets left to litter the floor. I have to wonder what the former residents thought of the makebelieve soldiers running ops through their territory. The Investigation It seems that on every investigation I attend I forget something. This time it was a flashlight. I found myself alone in a dark hallway, loaded down with my journalism and investigation equipment. Iâ€™ll admit, my heart began to beat a little heavy. Iâ€™d never been to the location and had no idea where I was. The smell of dirt and mold hung thick on the stale air. Chunks of concrete had crumbled from the walls onto the floor. The hall vaguely resembled a hospital, with doors on either side leading into inky darkness. For a moment it was pure silence, and as my eyes adjusted I saw damp puddles on the floor and mold climbing the walls. I wondered if I would be brave enough to step forward on my own but never got
the chance to answer the question as two investigators came in the door behind me carrying equipment. I followed them to the old ambulance bay. It looked more like a crumbling urban warehouse than anything close to a sterile hospital. For having closed as a medical facility less than 10 years prior, the building showed a massive amount of wear and neglect. Yet, in the middle of this twisted metal and concrete stones were the
eerily contrasting hallway handrails and medical equipment. Patient assist tubs, a plethora of wheelchairs, lace burgundy curtains, and antique chairs gave testament to the recent nursing home residents. As I toured the facility, getting my bearings as the investigative crew set up their cameras, I found it strange that so many elements should come together in one building. A hospital bed was jammed in a corner next to a small recliner in one
Paranormal Underground 29
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files of the rooms. In the next, holiday decorations, boxed and forgotten, rested with plastic skulls and blood painted doll heads. Empty soda bottles and forgotten coffee cups were shoved into tiny maintenance rooms, hidden inside cabinets and on countertops, left to litter the floors and nurses’ station. Metal-tipped darts stuck in the 30-foot decorative ceiling, and tiny white pellets covered the sides of the hallways, as if kicked away by foot traffic after the shooting was done. Medical use bathtubs were stained with dripped red paint, while the same colored handprints trailed down a wall. It was in this specialized neglect that we did our investigation. The hospital is set up with a nurses’ station acting as the central command, with eight hallways fanning out from it in a star-like pattern. The halls — labeled with the letters A through F, “Hospital,” and “Entryway” — were the focus of the paranormal reports. Most of the hospital’s reports came in the form of sounds, with a few captured EVPs. One investigator had her hair
EVPs picked up by investigators included someone cursing at a provoking investigator, the words “on fire,” and a faint “come home.”
pulled. A contractor left and refused to come back because of doors opening and closing. One of the doors, which had been removed, was heard to open and close. A nurse alarm went off when there was no power and was caught on audio. There are also sightings of shad-
someone cursing at a provoking investigator, the words “on fire,” and later a faint “come home.” One investigator heard a sigh in their ear in the same hall where, on a previous investigation, someone saw a small, blue shadow person move from one side of the hallway
I was put through a long pledge of secrecy that included a taxidermy moose and candy bars. ow people, as well as a small blue shadow person seen by employees. A couple of full-body apparitions have been reported, but after spending the night in the place, it’s easy to see how the play of flashlights, shadows, and an extreme amount of haphazardly abandoned equipment and furniture would create tricks of the eye. With no personal experiences to share from the night, it’s hard for me to say. Was it because WPRS was training potential investigators? Was it just a quiet night? Or were the residents of this former hospital/ nursing home at peace with nothing to say? True investigators realize that, no matter how potentially wonderful a location is, that doesn’t make it a hotbed of activity in and of itself. There is a confluence of things that must come together, and in the end it might just end up being luck — being at the right place at the right time. By investigating, we up our odds of finding those moments, as so do we by going to places that have personal experience reports. It can be disappointing, yes, but it comes with the territory. If ghosts were around every corner and easy to find, there wouldn’t be a need for investigators. The EVPs picked up by other investigators were few — a sigh,
to the other. This night was quiet, which leads to only one proven conclusion about the location: This night was quiet. So, why, you might ask, would I choose to share the story of this particular investigation? Three reasons. One, because the idea of discretion among investigators and those who contact them is important. Two, because it can’t be said enough — get permission before you investigate. Your relations with the public will form your reputation for better or worse. Three, just because a location seems to have all the makings of a haunted goldmine doesn’t mean it will produce paranormal phenomena on demand. It’s important not to force the evidence. Some nights will be quiet, no matter the potential. Oh, and because Bob Gilmer rigged my *brand new* ghost box and taught me how to use it, which means I have a new toy to play with on future investigations. I’m chalking this one up as a learning experience.
A special thanks to WPRS for letting me tag along on another investigation. Readers can check out WPRS on the Web at www.WichitaParanormal.com. Or, read more about my adventures at www.MichellePillow.com.
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Paranormal Underground 31
Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel By Rob St.Helen, West Coast Ghost Hunters
The last spot I want to talk his month I don’t have about is the break room. I was in much of a story about the the break room the other night at haunted Heathman Hotel, about 2:30 a.m., watching some but instead I have an update of TV (working hard). Everything what’s been going on as of late. was working perfectly ... my cell In the last month or so, phone had four bars, the TV was we have seen a few dark shadon, and I was watching Ghostows walking past us inside the busters. restaurant front doors, seen by All of a sudden, my cell two different people describing phone rebooted by itself, the it to me the same way. As for lights flashed three times, and the me, I have been in the back of TV changed channels by itself the kitchen after taking care of (changed about five channels). some business and while washI had to change the TV station ing my hands, I have seen a dark back to what I was watching. With shadow appear on the wall, as the lights flashing like they did, well as “walk” right behind me. I which I had never seen before was alone at the time. in my three years of being at the Another hot spot of late has Heathman Hotel, I figured I had been the fourth floor, from room better call up to the front desk 410 down, the “little girl” has been where my coworker was working making herself known again. My at the time. coworker told me that he heard I asked him if he had anything light footsteps behind him. When “All of a sudden, my cell phone rebooted by itself, happen and he said, “No. Everyhe turned around and told the the lights flashed three times, and the thing is boring up here.” All of this little girl to make some noise, a TV changed channels by itself.” happened in about two or three few seconds later he heard light minutes. knocking on the elevator door. There have been some He also told me that the night footsteps walking with me. After saycoworkers who also told me prior he felt something rub his ing, “If you would like to walk with that they have seen a few shadows cheek when he was sitting down in me, that’s fine, I don’t mind.” in the break room; one coworker the chair on the fourth floor. He Also, my coworker and I have even told me that she thought she said it felt “almost like cob webs” seen a small white mist on the fourth saw a chair move. and like a “sweaty palm feel.” floor. Until next time! As for me, I too have heard little
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By Sean Robinson
t all started when my grandmother left me an old painting, called The Anguished Man. She told me that it was a gift from a family friend who had told her that the artist had used his own blood mixed in with the oils to paint it. The man had committed suicide shortly after finishing it.
My grandmother also told me she felt there was something very strange about the painting, and that since acquiring it she often saw the shadowy figure of a man in the house and heard strange noises. I have tried to find out the name of the artist and if the story was true, but I have been unable to do so. I
“It was said that ‘The Anguished Man’ was painted by an artist who had used his own blood mixed in with the oils to paint it. I could not confirm this tale, as well as the report that he committed suicide after painting it.”
loved the painting despite it being a little disturbing, but, because my wife didn’t really like it, I stored it away in the cellar. When Things Started to Get Interesting A few years later, the cellar was flooded, and we moved the painting to my parent’s garage for storage until the cellar dried out. When I got the painting back, I decided to put it upstairs in the spare bedroom, and that is when things really started to get interesting. We began to see the dark figure of a man; it was always just in the corner of the eye at first, or quick fleeting glimpses, but we all experienced it at various times. At night, we began hearing banging and creaking noises, and then we heard crying and moaning. I suppose these noises could have been coming from outside, but they felt like they were inside the house. The noises began getting gradually worse. We even heard crying coming from the corner of our bedroom. We started seeing a dark figure standing at the bottom of the bed, apparently just staring at us. It had the appearance of a tall, middleaged man, but his features were not very clear. We noticed numerous cold
spots around the house, and our dog began behaving very strangely, sometimes refusing to go upstairs. One morning, my wife felt someone get into bed with her. She thought it was me, but when she turned around, she found herself staring into the eyes of this strange man, who quickly faded away. My wife is unsure if she was fully awake, so this could be put down to lucid dreaming. An Attempt to Gather Evidence Turns Up ... Something I put the painting away in the cellar again and things settled down. We still heard occasional noises, but
came from outside the house, but others were different. These sounded like they came from inside the bedroom. I recorded a strange scraping sound, as well as the sound of a loud bang, like something falling. But in the morning, nothing was disturbed. I also recorded the bedroom door suddenly swinging shut, despite there being no drafts in the room. Everyone in the house was sleeping when this was recorded. Shortly after moving the painting, my wife felt someone stroke her hair in the bathroom, and I saw a strange, fog-like mist at the top of
â€œI recorded the bedroom door suddenly swinging shut ...â€? they could possibly have come from outside the house. After posting the videos on YouTube, and attracting a lot of interest, I decided to try and get some actual evidence. So, I moved the painting back into the top bedroom. I set the video camera up and recorded for approximately eight hours over three consecutive nights. After spending several hours looking at the footage, I found I had recorded a lot of different noises. Some sounded like they
the stairs that vanished as quickly as it came. I also began to experience intense feelings of anxiety and dread, and I suffered from terrible nightmares. At one point, it felt like I was being repeatedly and violently lifted up out of bed. An Investigation to Come ... I am currently awaiting a full paranormal investigation, but until then, I will be keeping the painting in the cellar.
Paranormal Underground 35
Paranormal Fantasy Author Spotlight
A Storyteller at Heart By Michelle M. Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
had the pleasure of meeting author Candice Gilmer at a joint book signing a few years back. If you follow my other articles in Paranormal Underground magazine, you know that I’ve had my first paranormal investigations with the Wichita Paranormal Research Society (WPRS). It was at this same signing that I met the group, including Candice’s husband, WPRS Investigator Bob Gilmer. Needless to say, we’ve talked several times since. Writing has been a natural evolution for Candice over the years. She’s been telling stories since she was old enough to speak. “What started out as merely reciting the words of Cinderella when I was three, developed into a love for stories and storytelling that, to this day, rules my life,” Candice said. Like any good storyteller, her stories get bigger with every telling. Her latest release, book three in the The Moonlight and Shadows series, Broken Shine, can be purchased online at Amazon.com and in bookstores. ***** Q: In your book, Broken Shine, your hero Liam is an immortal Knight Templar. What inspired you to create such a character?
as possible. They thrived for 200 years and were wiped out by a greedy French king and the Pope he kept in his back pocket. I found it fascinating that such a massive organization like the Templar Knights could be removed so easily and wondered what happened to them. How did they disappear? Where did the literally thousands of knights go? Q: What myths or legends inspired you? Author Candice Gilmer has been telling stories since childhood.
Candice: Well, I liked the idea of mythical creatures living in the world — vampires, werewolves, dragons, yeti, all of them somewhere. But I always thought there should be some kind of police force for them, some organization that kept them in line. And the Immortal Knights Templar were born. Q: When world-building, did you base your story off of known myths throughout history? Candice: I had to do a lot of studying of the Knights Templar, because I wanted to be as true to their history
Candice: I’m inspired by the wonder of “what if,” and of the idea that love shall always triumph over pain and good will always win over evil. Without those, to me, stories would be impossible to read. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Candice: I think they want to know the answer to “what if” as well. What if this dogma is right, or that belief? What if that wasn’t just a shadow. What if my grandmother can come back to comfort me after death. It’s fascinating stuff to think about, whether one believes in ghosts or not. Or the idea of the paranormal in general — the old adage that there’s a grain of truth to every fantasy story.
and talk to them. I think that would be a very interesting experience. Just hanging with a vampire. Or a werewolf. Or a dragon.
What would a vampire really be like? What about a werewolf? Would they live like the rest of us or be ruled by their passions? Again, the what if’s are hard to resist.
Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a ghost?
Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies, and books?
Candice: Um, scream, I’m sure. Or shake my head and tell them to go away. Depends on my day, I think.
Candice: I was a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fan. And probably my all-time favorite paranormal-themed movie was Fallen with Denzel Washington. It’s an extremely scary tale about a demon that can leap from person to person by touch. I can’t listen to that song “Time Is On My Side” by The Rolling Stones without getting a shiver up my spine. Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Or are you a skeptic? Candice: I believe that there is a great deal in the world that we can’t explain, and we probably will never be able to explain, which makes it interesting to debate the connections. I do believe that everything is connected for one reason or another, and we find what we are supposed to find, whether it be people, things, or experiences. Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Candice: I’ve had a few paranormal experiences. Probably the most common thing that has happened to me, and still does on occasion, is my muses and guardians sending me to bed. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was up late, working on a story or something on the computer. Behind me, there was a loud bang, and I leaped about three feet in the air. Shaking, I found a stack of DVDs thrown across the room, from one side to the other. No one was in the room, and my husband had been in bed for a few hours.
Q: What does the future hold for your writing?
Needless to say, I ran through the house and climbed into bed. Since then, when I am staying up too late or working too hard on a project, I will have similar experiences happen — books falling over, toys coming on, and things tipping over. Now, I just raise my hands and say, “Fine, I’m going to bed.” Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet? Candice: The nice kind. Actually, I’m not sure who I’d want to meet. Maybe one that was incredibly forthcoming about what it’s like truly being a mythical. Like the little things ... would vampires drink bagged blood, and how would they spice it to make it taste better? Or would a werewolf really remember what they did in wolf form? Q: If given the chance, would you become a mythical creature? Candice: I don’t know that I’d want to be a mythical creature more than I’d want to just hang out with one
Candice: I’m working on quite a few pieces right now in the paranormal romance and the contemporary romance genres, as well having a manuscript doing the rounds within the industry. I continue to create more stories, a process I just love. And editing, not my favorite, but the creation of the writing in getting there is amazing. Q: Have you ever been to a psychic and/or had a past-life regression? What did they predict for you? Candice: Yes, I have been, and they predict interesting things for me and my future — good things that I can’t wait to happen. However, as much as I love getting psychic readings, my least favorite part is the lack of a time schedule. Because I’m impatient, I want to know, dang it, if in seven months, or seven years, if I’m going to be on the bestseller list. Q: Have you ever been abducted by aliens? Candice: Um, no. And I never wanted to be.
Thank you for joining us, Candice! To learn more about Candice and her books, visit CandiceGilmer.com.
Paranormal Underground 37
Fiction: Featured Author
FINAL REVENGE By Gisela Woldenga
Ron, make sure you fix the tap in the bathroom.” Emily’s voice sounded sharp and demanding. “And the fence is missing a plank; you promised to replace it. Then there is the ladder up to the attic. I could break a leg going up there.” Ron nodded behind his morning paper. “I’ll get to it.” “That’s not good enough. I want it done today.” Emily smacked the coffee cup down on its saucer. “I’m going out for groceries. Make sure something is done when I get back.” “Okay, okay. Can I finish the paper?” Ron felt the hair rising on the back of his neck. Emily didn’t answer, and just gave him a steely look. After she had gone, Ron put down the newspaper. “Yes, ma’am! I’m on it,” he mumbled. Every morning she came up with something new to do. She just couldn’t stand him sitting there and enjoying his last cup of coffee. He realized he had let things slip for a bit. But was Emily going to push him around like this all through his retirement? Not if I can help it, he thought. She needs serious talking to. He sighed. “Better get to it.” He went into the basement and got his toolbox. Since Emily had given it to him for his birthday, she made sure it was being used as much as possible. What to do first? The fence. At least it was outside in the sunshine. If Emily would just not nag and nag all the time, but let him do things at his own speed. During the next two days, she
discovered a few more jobs to be done. Ron had slowed down a bit. I’m not running myself ragged, he decided, which again gave him the usual, “Get going! Don’t sit around.” A few nights later, Emily complained of not feeling well. “I’ve caught something, maybe the flu. I’m going to go bed and take a pill. Bring me up some milk and honey. Not too hot, mind you.” As usual, not a please or would you? in her vocabulary, Ron thought. An idea grew in his mind. What if he spiked her milk with a bunch of her sleeping pills and painkillers, enough to — put her to sleep for a long, long time? Maybe into a coma? That would be the end of her demands. He emptied the rest of her pills into the hot milk and stirred until they had dissolved. The honey would cover any strange taste. He stood by watching her drink the milk. When she had finished, she lay back with a contented sigh and closed her eyes. “Good night,” Ron said, as he left the room and closed the door behind him. That night, he slept on the couch. In the morning, he went into the bedroom. Emily was still, white, and cold. “I’ve killed her,” Ron whispered to himself. He scratched his head. “That’s not really what I had in mind.” How would he get out of this dilemma? He needed to make it look like a suicide with a proper suicide note. He went to his desk and took out paper and pen. Next, he looked for notes
Emily had written: grocery lists, to-do lists, Christmas lists. Carefully copying her handwriting, he fashioned a note. When he had finished, he read it out loud, “I am unhappy and cannot go on. Sorry, goodbye, Emily.” Ron then called 911 and tried to sound agitated. The ambulance attendants confirmed her death and took her away for an autopsy at the hospital. Five Years Later A knock on the door startled Ron out of his half-sleep. He opened one eye. Who would knock at this hour? It could be a trick of the weather. The wind was certainly strong enough to bump the loose board on top of the door around. Ron made a mental note to finally fasten it securely. As a matter of fact, the noise was starting to annoy him. He heaved himself out of his chair, went downstairs, grabbed his toolbox from the workbench, and walked back up the creaky steps. Ron opened the front door and braced himself, expecting to be pushed back by a blast of wind. Nothing. It was deadly still outside. Ron couldn’t even feel the slightest touch of air on his face. Puzzled, he blinked into the darkness. The trees outlining the footpath leading to the street were barely visible. His senses sharpened. Something wasn’t normal. He had heard the howling of the wind before. On top of the door, the board hung on its side. No sweat. With a big nail in one hand and gripping the hammer with the other, Ron fastened the piece of wood and added
another nail on the bottom, just for good measure. The atmosphere around him felt eerie. Each sound of the hammer echoed as if he was standing in a tunnel. Ron shook his head and went back into the house. No sooner was he sitting in his favorite chair when he heard the wind again. It whistled down the chimney, rattled the windows, and added a strange note to its customary howl. Almost like someone singing, Ron thought. It moved up and down and ended in what sounded like a growl. If it hadn’t been for that, he would have thought it was a woman’s voice. He went back to the door and turned the handle as quietly as he could. What am I doing? he chided himself. Nobody is listening. He opened the door a crack. No sound; no wind. This, he had to investigate. He put on his shoes, took a flashlight off the shelf, and stepped outside. The sickle of the waning moon showed through the tree branches. Its faint, silvery light wasn’t enough to illuminate Ron’s path. Carefully, he made his way forward. Ahead of him the old oak tree stretched its bare, gnarled branches over a wooden fence to the upstairs windows. Strange, Ron thought. I never saw it before, but it looks as if the tree is trying to get into the house. He hadn’t quite finished the thought when he felt a slight breeze. In just a second or two, it rose to a blast that rode on the singing tone Ron had heard before. At the same, time he was being lifted. Frantically, he tried to grab onto anything in his way to keep his feet on the ground — all in vain. He was caught in a maelstrom of air that spun and twisted him around and around. The noise was deafening. Ron closed his eyes, the dizzying spin spiralling him higher. When he forced his eyes open again, he saw
the oak tree’s big branch whizzing by his head. The upstairs window came closer. Ron covered his face with both hands. He knew there was no avoiding a collision. With a crash, he sailed through it, glass flying everywhere. He didn’t know how long he had lain on the floor of the bedroom: seconds, minutes? He touched his face and looked down at his hands. The glass should have cut him, and he should be bleeding. But like a miracle, he couldn’t find anything wrong. Slowly, Ron got to his feet. Emily’s bedroom. Except for the bedding, nothing had been disturbed since her death five years ago. Again he remembered how she had died. The best way for her — and especially for him. He was still congratulating himself for filling her last glass of milk with a cocktail of painkillers and sleeping pills. The suicide note he had drafted had convinced everyone. The last five years had finally been peaceful for Ron. He directed his life as he wanted to, without
there sent a shiver down his spine. But what other choice did he have? Ron wrapped his hand in an old towel he found under the bed and broke the remaining glass slivers out of the window frame. He looked out. Good, the oak tree’s branch was close enough to get a hold of and to inch himself along. From there he could climb down, as long as the wind wasn’t going to throw him around again. Ron hoisted himself onto the windowsill. Breathing hard from the effort, he finally found himself sitting on a sturdy branch. He searched for a good foothold to get down. So far all was quiet. As he looked up at the bedroom window, he saw something swirling around, like smoke, grey and filmy, changing into . . . a face? Ron held his breath. The face moved, the eyes smiled, strands looking like hair floated around the apparition. Emily? Couldn’t be, could it? She was dead, had been for five years. Then Ron noticed a hand with a finger
He emptied the rest of the pills into the hot milk ... Emily’s nagging, complaining, and demanding voice in the background. Wonderful years. So, what strange power had thrown him into her bedroom? Then Ron remembered: Today was the anniversary of Emily’s death. Was her ghost coming back to haunt him? Why did she wait five years? Ah, Ron thought, judging her character, she might have wanted to lull him into complacency. Enough of this, he told himself. He turned the doorknob. It didn’t move. “Darn, I kept it locked all these years,” Ron grumbled. The door was too heavy to break down. The window was the only way out. He was not a superstitious man; however, imagining what could be out
wagging at him. He heard a sound, at first like a whisper, then louder, and finally it became a hollow laughter. By this time, Ron had scrambled some ways down the oak tree when something — or someone — shook him hard. The face appeared above him, and two hands were grabbing for him. He screamed and dug his fingernails into the tree’s bark to hold on. A violent blast of wind made him slip. He felt his fingernails give way. The last thing he saw was the pointed end of the oak tree’s branch breaking and rocketing toward him. When neighbors found him the next morning, they stared and wondered aloud, “We thought only Vampires were killed this way ... with a wooden stake through the heart.”
Paranormal Underground 39
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