Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 5
Keith and Sandra Johnson Take on Demonic Cases
Interview With an Exorcist
Haunted Sites: Gettysburg & Waverly Hills
Vampirism, Witchcraft, & Werewolf Lore
The Ingredients for Zombification
Demonology Throughout History
Diary From a Haunted Hotel
The Jersey Devil
October 2008 Paranormal Underground
Ghost Hunter Case File #1: Waverly Hills Sanatorium
The Hallow INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Two Against the Darkness: Keith and Sandra Johnson Take on Demonic Cases
SPECIAL REPORTS Interview With an Exorcist
By Demon, Possessed?
Two Tales of Possession
Witchcraft: A Dark History, A Peaceful Present
Werewolf Lore of the Harz Mountains
Alaina’s Plight: A History of Halloween
Vampires in Literature and Media: The Myths and Truths 38
CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites: Waverly Hills Earns its ‘Most Haunted’ Reputation
Haunted Sites: Gettysburg: Vision-Place of Souls
Cryptids: The Jersey Devil Legend Lives On Are We Alone?: Star Gods
Paranormal Underground October 2008
From the Editor
TV Watch: A Haunting 8 Recommended Reading 19 Reader Feedback: Demonic Possession
Member Profiles: Spooky Amara
ween Issue HAUNTED HISTORY Zombification & Witch Trials: A Look Back
Artwork by Claudia Ghidella
CULTURAL BELIEFS Demonology: History, Beliefs, and Practices
The Most Remarkable Proceedings: Witchcraft in England 1640-1690
QUANTUM MUSINGS Demonic Possession: A Subconscious Consequence
tments Equipment Update: Digital Camera Illusions
Roundtable Debate: Demonic Possession
“The Proper Way” by Sean Varner
Reviews of the Month: 106 Book: Hostage to the Devil DVD: The Exorcism of Emily Rose Theater: Ghost Town PUG/GD Site News
FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Diary From a Haunted Hotel
Ghost Hunter Case File #1: Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Life With the Breathing Impaired
94 October 2008 Paranormal Underground
Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 5
From the Editor
Karen Frazier Mindy Kinnaman
Chad Wilson Jaime Johnesee
Design and Layout
Mindy Kinnaman Cheryl Knight Chelle Thomas Karen Frazier Bob Davis Binoo’mukua Morgana Chad Wilson Carolyn M. Hughes Jaime Johnesee Michael Kleen Jim Frazier Mark Themas Sean Varner Bri Larkin PJ Gaenir
Web Site Admin.
Send comments and letters to: Editor@paranormalunderground.net. MySpace: myspace.com/paranormalunderground YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG Copyright © 2008 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of ParanormalUnderground. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of ParanormalUnderground. 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.
e’ve reached our fifth issue of Paranormal Underground! And in our special “Halloween issue,” we focus on the origins of Halloween, demonology, witchcraft, vampirism, and werewolf lore. Our Investigator Spotlight features Keith and Sandra Johnson of New England Anomalies Research. Their work in the field of demonology is tireless, fearless, and inspiring. We also hear from Father Juiles, a Roman Catholic Priest, who offers an inside look at the practice of exorcism. The magazine debuts another new column within our Personal Experiences section this month: “Ghost Hunter Case File #1” will give you a look at Chad Wilson’s recent investigation at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky. Chad encountered some interesting ‘activity’ during his overnight investigation. And in the Haunted Sites column, Chad also delves into the mysterious happenings reported at Waverly by visitors from all over the world. Plus, Carolyn Hughes provides an in-depth look at one of the most haunted sites in America: Gettysburg. Carolyn shares a historical, and personal, profile of Gettysburg and the many paranormal events that have happened since the Civil War ended so many years ago. Haunted History takes a look back at the Salem Witch Trials, as well as zombification. Want to know the ingredients of how to make a zombie? Be sure to check out page 58 . . . The October issue’s Roundtable Debate panelists provide their perspectives on demonic possession. And in the Reviews of the Month, Mindy Kinnaman gives her take on the book Hostage to the Devil, the DVD The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and the new movie Ghost Town. A Haunting is the subject of this month’s TV Watch. The show presents first-hand accounts of the paranormal and intersperses interviews with witnesses and cinematic reenactments, complete with creepy music. It’s definitely a fan favorite among paranormal enthusiasts. Jaime Johnesee tackles the Jersey Devil in our cryptids feature and tells us her theory on ‘what’ this cryptid really is. Also in this issue, Binoo’mukua takes a look at the history, beliefs, and practices of demonology. In the Member Profiles, we get to know more about Paranormal Underground and GhostDose members Spooky and Amara. Also, congratulations to our short story contest winner, Sean Varner. Check out page 76 to read Sean’s first-place entry! Other features and departments in this month’s issue include: “Are We Alone? Star Gods”; “Diary From a Haunted Hotel”; “Life With the Breathing Impaired”; and “Equipment Update: Digital Camera Illusions.” I hope you enjoy the October issue of Paranormal Underground! In our November issue, we’ll take a look at the Day of the Dead, more on zombiism, skin-walkers, and cultural rituals involving death.
Paranormal Underground October 2008
~ Cheryl Knight Managing Editor
little less than a year ago, Cheryl Knight and I were discussing the paranormal field and ways we could get the word out about the wonderful investigations taking place and progress being made by so many tireless paranormal researchers. After kicking ideas around, we decided to start our own magazine. Our mission was to facilitate a free flow of information for the paranormal field at large in a fun and informative way. Talking with our friends Chris and Jaime Johnesee, we discussed our ideas for a paranormal eMagazine. The groundwork was laid, and within a few months, we were well on our way toward achieving our goal: the electronic publishing of our very own Paranormal Underground magazine. Not knowing what to expect, our readers were a bit surprised at the quality of our first issue. Since then, we have gradually improved with each issue, and now seek out interviews with the individuals who have a significant impact on the paranormal field. Initially, we went by the moniker, “Seeking the truth through science.” However, our Managing Editor, Cheryl, received feedback that we were alienating some of our readership with this tagline. So, we decided to change our stance to be more accepting. Yes, it is important to take a critical and skeptical approach toward the paranormal, but we also were aware that the initial experience had to be personal in nature; hence, our Personal Experiences section was born.
All this brings me to my point: science and the paranormal. How does one go about quantifying the unexplained? The question of is there life after death has been asked since the epiphany of the cycle of life first entered the mind of early man. To a scientist, in order to be considered mainstream, as opposed to fringe, the variables dealing with the subject in question must be defined; in other words, seeing is believing. Is it necessary to prove scientifically that the afterlife exists? The various religions around the world have many followers, but as far as I know, God’s (or any other deity’s) existence has not been proven. My point is this: People will believe what they will, whether science agrees that it exists or not. That is how it is in matters of faith; you either believe or you don’t. Whereas science says that the existence of ghosts/cryptids, or what have you, has not been proven to their standards as of yet, believers of the paranormal don’t necessarily need scientific verification for what they’ve experienced first hand. The fact remains that there are unexplained phenomena in this world. Science is by its very own definition that which increases our understanding of the world around us. Paranormal investigators are seeking to do the same thing: understand the world around us. So, in essence, scientists and paranormal investigators have a lot in common. Each is attempting to explain the great unknown, the greatest of which is death and what comes after. This is not to say that one shouldn’t go into each investigation using equipment and a sound meth-
Chad Wilson, Publisher
odology to help document activity. All of these things are important. Collecting data and impartially evaluating that data is critical to finding legitimate answers. On a personal note, it gives me hope to think that when I die I will still continue on. And while I believe in an afterlife, I don’t accept all paranormal reports at face value. However, I can’t dismiss them as false either just because I don’t have scientific data saying they are real. So . . . here we are, publishing our fifth issue of Paranormal Underground magazine. I hope you are enjoying the articles in each issue, and we will continue to try and generate articles that interest you and provide in-depth thought and discussion. Please e-mail me at email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!
If you’d like to submit a letter to the editor or publisher, provide feedback on magazine content, make suggestions for future issues, or submit news items, please e-mail Editor@ paranormalunderground.net.
October 2008 Paranormal Underground
Sweden’s Loch Ness Monster Possibly Caught on Camera
Nicolas Cage Spooked by House
ctor Nicolas Cage refuses to sleep in his New Orleans home, according to www.contactmusic.com. Despite paying nearly $3.5 million for the estate, he is too spooked to stay there. In 2007, Cage bought the LaLaurie Mansion — reportedly the most haunted home in the historic city. It was constructed during the 1830s. “(It’s) in the Vieux Carre — which is called the French Quarter,” Cage said. “It’s a very notorious house, it’s a very famous house, meaning it’s allegedly the most severely haunted house in the United States of America . . . that’s what they tell me. So at any given moment, I have five or six ghosts surrounding the house, all looking up at this haunted temple, and I’m in there.” The building is said to be haunted by former slaves of Madame Delphine LaLaurie and Dr. Louis LaLaurie. And since leaving the hands of the LaLauries, the mansion at 1140 Royal Street has seen many owners and uses, including a boarding house, public and private schools, a furniture store, saloon, and luxury apartments. Cage said he was aware of the legend before making the purchase. He added, “(I’ve gotten) five or six requests from parapsychologists’ groups to come into the house, and I won’t let them in — because of respect. If there’s something in there, I don’t want them being exploited.”
weden’s own version of the Loch Ness monster, the Storsjoe or Great Lake monster, has been caught on film by surveillance videos, according to an association that installed the cameras. The legend of Storsjoe has been passed on for nearly four centuries, with some 200 sightings reported in the lake in Central Sweden, according to http://afp.google.com. “On Thursday at 12:21 p.m., we filmed the movements of a live being. And it was not a pike, nor a perch, we’re sure of that,” said Gunnar Nilsson, the head of a shopkeepers’ association in Svenstavik. The images, which were filmed in late August, have been posted on a Web site dedicated to the Storsjoe monster (www.storsjoodjuret.nu). A long serpent-like creature is seen swimming in the murky waters. The association, together with the Jaemtland Province and local municipality of Berg, installed six surveillance cameras in the lake in June, including two underwater devices. Three cameras are on the islet and two are submerged at about 10 meters in the water. On the islet is another camera surveying the island, a DOME-camera. One of the other cameras is a FLIR camera, which uses thermal vision technology and scans heat signatures and movement from ‘interesting’ sightings. These sightings are transmitted to the Web site. The association employs one person full-time to review the recorded video footage each day. The project, which has cost 400,000 kronor (43,000 euros/$62,500 dollars), is aimed at resolving the mystery of the Swedish Nessie.
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Fictional depiction of a lake monster.
The first sighting dates back to 1635, with the most recent sighting coming in July 2007. Witnesses say they see a long, serpent-like beast with humps, a small cat or dog-like head, and ears or fins pressed against the neck. “A highly-advanced system on one of the cameras detected heat produced by the cells, indicating that it was a live being,” Nilsson said. “It’s very exciting and quite spectacular.” Nilsson admitted, however, that the project was also “aimed at improving business around the lake.” “The monster has helped us,” he added. Some 20 more cameras are due to be installed soon, including one at a depth of 30 meters (100 feet) to catch any movements under the winter ice. According to news posted on www.storsjoodjuret.nu, the association was contacted by a producer at NBC, who asked to send a camera crew to Sweden and observation point Svenstavik to make a documentary about the ‘beast.’ “The plan is that the documentary will be aired on the Sci Fi channel,” the Web site said. “At this point in time, nothing is decided. We will announce on the Web site when we know more.”
What Really Happens in a Near-Death Experience?
Ghost Hunting 101 Class Set for Nov. 14
eith and Sandra Johnson will teach a Ghost Hunting 101 class in East Sandwich, Massachusetts, on November 14, at Sandwich Community School. The New England Anomalies Research leaders will be giving a presentation highlighting their experiences as paranormal investigators. Topics discussed will include orbs, apparitions, electronic voice phenomena (EVP), and demonology. A presentation will also include EVP and video from actual investigations. To learn more about the class or to register, visit http://www. scslearn.org.
Paranormal Event Calendar Paranormal Seminar for the San Joaquin Valley in Central California • October 10-12 • Oakhurst, California • www.ccpifresno.org Central CA Paranormal Investigators (CCPI) is sponsoring the first Paranormal Seminar for the San Joaquin Valley in Central California. The event will be held at the historic Sierra Sky Ranch in Oakhurst, California. The main focus for this seminar is continuing education for those who are interested in learning more about ghost hunting. In addition to speakers lined up for the Saturday seminar, there will be a séance on Friday and Saturday nights; Q&A session with the speakers on Sunday morning; two investigation sites to choose from on Friday and Saturday nights; vendor’s arena; and an opportunity to meet and net-
n a new near-death study called AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), doctors will examine patients in hospitals in Europe and North America who reach a state called cardiac arrest, according to www.livescience.com. “Contrary to popular perception, death is not a specific moment,” said leader of the study Dr. Sam Parnia, University of Southampton in the U.K. “It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and the brain ceases functioning — a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.” Science has long struggled to define death and to determine when the precise moment of death occurs. Now though, most doctors consider death more of a process than an event. A person is thought to have died when they stop breathing, their heart stops beating, and their brain activity ceases. “During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present,” Parnia work with other ghost hunters and paranormal groups. The Michigan Paranormal Conference • October 18-19 • Garden City, Michigan • http://ghostwatchers.org This two-day event includes speakers, psychic readings, and vendors. You must be 18 or over to attend. Topics include UFOs and ghosts.
said. “There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process.” Previous research suggests about 10 to 20 percent of people who live through cardiac arrest report lucid, well-structured thought processes, reasoning, memories, and sometimes detailed recall of events during their encounter with death, according to the report. The AWARE researchers want to find out what happens to the brain when a person’s body has started to shut down, whether it is possible for people to see and hear during cardiac arrest, and what’s going on during out-of-body experiences. The launch of the AWARE study was announced at an international symposium at the United Nations September 11. FallsParaCon • October 25 • Wichita Falls, Texas • www.fallsparanormal.com Hosted by Texoma Researchers Investigating Paranormal Phenomena, the goal of this conference is to enlighten and inform others regarding the paranormal field, and for those interested to obtain a better understanding about what paranormal investigators do.
October 2008 Paranormal Underground
“A Haunting” Provides Spine-CHilling Fun By Jaime Johnesee
hat first began as two feature-length specials called A Haunting in Georgia and A Haunting in Connecticut soon turned into its very own series as viewers clamored for more shows. And in December 2005, Discovery Channel launched the TV series A Haunting and held its breath. Three years later, the show is still going strong and is a favorite among paranormal TV show viewers. Spooky Ghost Stories The show presents first-hand accounts of the paranormal and intersperses interviews with witnesses and cinematic reenactments, complete with creepy music. Quite different from the current trend of paranormal shows, A Haunting will remind you of sitting around a campfire trading spooky ghost stories. It will hook you in the first few moments; your hand will pause on the remote control and a shiver will run up your spine as you watch the show’s eerie opening. The tales portrayed on the show will leave you breathless, perched on the edge of your seat wondering if what you have just heard really happened. Covering all types of hauntings, from the benign residual hauntings all the way to demonic possessions, A Haunting reveals each
tors’ portrayals make for an interesting and engaging show. Unnerving music and split-second shots of fake, yet creepy, ghosts or demons makes the show more fiction than fact, but even in the face of that you still will wind up glancing over your shoulder during the show expecting some menacing force to be watching you. A Haunting reveals each experience in a grandiose and spine-chilling fashion.
and every experience in a grandiose and truly spine-chilling fashion. Covering accounts from all over the United States, and even Europe and Japan, the Discovery program shows stories from all walks of life and all types of family units. More Fiction Than Fact A typical episode of A Haunting starts off with the background of the people involved and the home or business where the activity occurred. Then it moves on to dramatic reenactments of the encounters the homeowners have dealt with. Along with the families, paranormal investigators also tell their stories of what occurred during their investigation of the location. The live interviews interspersed with the ac-
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Not Your Normal Paranormal Unlike the reality-based paranormal shows on TV today, A Haunting takes you into your imagination and tells you to decide for yourself. The show presents no actual evidence and does not provide any photos, video, or electronic voice phenomenon captured during investigations that took place in the locations shown on the program. Presenting each personal experience as fact, A Haunting may not be the most nonbiased paranormal program on air, but it is extremely entertaining and appeals to that part of us that enjoys being scared. While the events depicted on the show may be more drama than fact, they prove to be interesting and fun to watch. Just remember that A Haunting is long on dramatizations and short on evidence, but if you’re in for a good scare, this is the program for you.
Join GhostDose.com and ParanormalUnderground.net for Our:
2nd Annual Halloween Chat! Date/Time: Oct. 31, 8 EST/7Central/5 PST Where: www.ghostdose.com (home page)
October 2008 Paranormal Underground
Two Against t
Keith and Sandra Johnso By Cheryl Knight
ore than 35 years ago, Keith Johnson set out on a path that most won’t tread — a path that included hope, danger, learning, determination, and an abundance of faith. It included encounters with spirits, shadow people, poltergeists, and demons. Having grown up in a Rhode Island house with an abundance of paranormal activity, Keith wanted answers. “I grew up in a ‘haunted’ house, so to speak, and was exposed to some phenomena at an early age,” he said. “This certainly piqued my interest.” Because of these paranormal experiences, Keith, along with his twin brother Carl, decided to research demonology — a choice that was influenced by their Christian upbringing. So in the early 1970s, Keith and Carl attended a lecture given by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren at Rhode Island College. And even though Keith and Carl were only teenagers at the time, they quickly developed a lifelong friendship with the Warrens, often studying and working with the duo. Keith and Carl were also invited to join a paranormal research organization at Rhode Island College, called Parapsychology Investigation and Research Organi-
zation (P.I.R.O). Their first major investigation was a case of ‘demonic infestation.’ “You’re Going to Think That I’m Crazy” Keith and Carl received their first case by placing an ad in a local Rhode Island newspaper. Located in
Keith Johnson became a paranormal investigator more than 35 years ago.
Harrisburg, Rhode Island, the case involved an inhuman entity. Arriving at the 18th century farmhouse in Harrisburg, their first impression upon entering was one of oppression, which convinced them from the start
Paranormal Underground October 2008
that the haunting was genuine. The air was thick with tension and hostility; they could tell that Carolyn, the client, was truly upset, as her whole family had been terrorized by an ‘entity.’ The young mother, in her 30s, was visibly shaken, and the stress levels were strongly felt as Keith and Carl entered the house. It was the first of many instances over the years where they heard someone exclaim, “You’re going to think that I’m crazy.” Their first visit took place on a sweltering night in August. One room in particular was very cold, like an icebox, according to Carl, despite the heat. A further mystery was the fact that the windows in the room would not open due to the expanded wood, which would indicate humidity and not cold. Some other things that the family experienced . . . a general feeling of heaviness, the children were seeing something strange coming into their bedrooms, and the family’s dog and cats were becoming agitated, with one pet even being found stabbed to death in a cage it had been left in outside the home. According to the homeowner, Carolyn, one of the first incidents that happened was when she was rearranging some clothing in her closet. One of the hangers flipped
on Take on Demonic Cases off the pole and started rapping her on the head. On the first visit to the farmhouse, Carl observed a shadowy, cloud-like figure — suggestive of human form — coming down a corridor when he went up the stairs alone. Unfortunately, no one else was able to verify Carl’s sighting. After a full investigation, Keith and Carl were able to verify that quite a bit of phenomena was taking place at the residence. With this in mind, they called the Warrens due to their experience in the field. The Warrens, in turn, brought in clergy and a blessing of the residence was performed. This solution seemed to nullify the activity quite a bit, though it didn’t totally get rid of it. On a side note, after NEAR was founded, they went back into the same farmhouse, but this time a different family was in residence. Though they were experiencing paranormal activity, it was nowhere near the level verified at the first investigation years earlier. Dealing With Demonic Cases Keith has worked with The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and was featured on the hit Sci Fi channel series Ghost Hunters as a consulting demonologist. With his strong faith, he has assisted many
clients undergoing spiritual problems and negative phenomena and is a demonology consultant for TAPS, New England Paranormal, and many other paranormal research organizations. Keith founded New England Anomalies Research (N.E.A.R.) with his wife, Sandra, in October 2004. “I became interested in investi-
Sandra Johnson began investigating several years ago after meeting Keith in a theater group.
gating the paranormal when I met and married Keith,” Sandra said. “I began assisting Keith with potential inhuman cases (his specialty), and it has been my passion ever since.” N.E.A.R. cases primarily deal
with inhuman spirits . . . or demons. On each case, N.E.A.R. members arrive at the location with the intention of educating the residents on why this has happened, what they plan to do about it, and how to permanently keep the forces out of their homes. Through prayer, the N.E.A.R. team asks for an intercession and introduces positive energy into the home while banishing the negative. Keith considers this a cleansing ritual, much like a regular housecleaning, as he goes from room to room ‘sweeping away the negative.’ Upon leaving a residence, Keith prays that nothing of an unholy nature will follow him home. Keith has never been paid for his appearances on Ghost Hunters, and NEAR performs all of their services for free. Today, after five hundred-plus investigations, Keith and his wife, Sandra, continue to reach out to those who don’t know where to turn for help. Paranormal Underground recently talked with Keith and Sandra about their paranormal research, investigations, and involvement with Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State television shows. Read on to find out more . . . *****
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 11
Investigator Spotlight Q: How long have you been investigating the paranormal?
Keith: I joined my first paranormal investigative organization 35 years ago, while Sandra began actively investigating along with me several years ago. Q: Have you had any personal paranormal experiences prior to becoming an investigator that you’d like to share?
Keith: When I was five years old, my mother was about to drink a glass of water . . . when suddenly, the water mysteriously vanished with an audible slurping sound, leaving the glass empty. My family termed this our ‘thirsty ghost.’
Lorraine Warren, and studied their approach to the paranormal — or as they would put it, ‘psychic research.’ I figured that they had to start somewhere, and that perhaps my desire for pursuing this field wasn’t so unusual after all. Q: What other paranormal groups have you worked with to date?
Keith: Some of our affiliations and collaborations include The Atlantic Paranormal Society (obviously), Paranormal Research Society of Penn State, New England Paranormal, Ghost Research Foundation, Maine Paranormal Research Society, Spirit Encounters Research Team, Connecticut Paranormal Research
cur in my own home. In the 70s, I was a member of the paranormal research group Parapsychology Investigation & Research Organization, out of Rhode Island College. I’ve of course worked with The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and have been featured on the hit Sci Fi channel series Ghost Hunters as a consulting demonologist. When not investigating potential inhuman hauntings or involved in the production of Ghosts R N.E.A.R., I enjoy spending time with family and lecturing and conducting classes on the paranormal. I’ve also been an actor and singer. I was involved with Trinity Rep Extension, in Providence, Rhode Island, and have been seen as an extra in such films as Meet Joe Black and Amistad. I’m in the midst of writing a book chronicling my investigative experiences and am employed as a tour guide (interpreter) at Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Sandra: At the age of 19, I had a personal experience that I didn’t actually witness myself. While sleeping, a family member happened to look in the door of my bedroom and witnessed a tall, shadowy figure, Sandra: My interest in the described as wearing a hooded paranormal actually began robe and obviously not human, when I met and married standing over my bed. Keith. I began investigating This family member was as an assistant demonologist so shocked and disturbed by with The Atlantic Paranorwhat he had seen, he could mal Society (TAPS) and not bring himself to tell me Keith and Sandra Johnson, pictured with Ryan Buell, joined the eventually branched off to about it until a few days later. Paranormal State team during several investigations in 2007. cofound N.E.A.R. and focus I feel that this could be more on assisting clients with representative of a watcherpotential inhuman hauntings. shadow person. In other words, My view of the paranormal is Society, Paranormal Investigators of though I had not yet begun working objective, and I consider myself an Rhode Island, etc., to name a few. in the field, this spirit took an interopen-minded skeptic. The psycholoWe also do quite a bit of longest knowing I would be the ‘rightgy and physiological aspects of alleged distance mentoring with many more hand man’ (so to speak) of a worldhauntings is a particular interest. individuals and organizations over renowned demonologist. I can usually be found by Keith’s the phone. These entities do not share the side, either investigating with N.E.A.R. same sense of time we do. or assisting another organization with Q: Please talk a little bit about negative or inhuman hauntings. When yourselves, both personally and Q: What prompted you to take the professionally. not case managing investigations or next step and go out on investigaworking on production of Ghosts R tions? Keith: As mentioned, I’ve had an N.E.A.R., I enjoy spending time with interest in the paranormal since I was Keith: As a teenager, I admired my husband and our 19-year-old son a teenager when I had phenomena ocpeople like Hans Holzer, Ed and
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Keith, and assisting with classes and lectures on the paranormal. I’m a graduate of CCRI and Sawyer School. Q: What are your primary roles while out on an investigation?
Keith: Firstly, as paranormal investigators, we collect as much data as possible, utilizing scientific methods and equipment as well as the five senses. If the investigation is conducted at a private residence and involves a family or an individual; we also do as much as possible to educate these people as to the causes of what they are experiencing. If the phenomena are particularly intense or disturbing, we offer to intervene on their behalf in the form of a spiritual cleansing. Q: What are the most common types of equipment you use on investigations?
specialty — inhuman cases. The most important tools N.E.A.R. has are our compassion, our powers of observation, our logic and common sense. Q: What is your definition of demonology?
Keith: Demonology is the study of the demonic realm . . . its history, nature, and how it has and continues to actively affect the human realm. Q: What interested you in the demonology aspect of the paranormal?
Keith: It was mainly our Christian faith, combined with early experiences of what may be considered
learning from others who have years of experience in this field. Q: What different types of locations have you investigated?
Sandra: We have investigated historical cemeteries that have a reputation for being haunted, historic locations, private homes, and even abandoned buildings when we have permission and feel that the cause is appropriate. Q: What have been your most exciting cases to date and what happened on those cases?
Keith: Cases where preternatural spirits were involved, because this sometimes has resulted in the greatest amount of activity. Both people and heavy furniture have sometimes been moved about during these cases. They are obviously also the most dangerous cases. Q: What case will you
remember the most Sandra: Unfortunately, and why? N.E.A.R. doesn’t have a production company Keith: There are so behind it to provide many, but the one I some of the more will remember most expensive equipment vividly is my first major seen on many of the case, because it was Keith and Sandra Johnson head up New England Anomalies Research (N.E.A.R.), television shows featur- which handles cases primarily dealing with inhuman spirits . . . or demons. the first time I outright ing other paranormal dealt with a case of research groups. demonic oppression. So, we rely on less personal encounters with inhuman expensive versions, and this seems to spirit entities. Sandra: One of the cases that stands be adequate for our purposes. out in my mind was a case that was We use what you would find in Q: How do you go about becoming originally supposed to be used for a the average paranormal investigator’s trained in this area? Ghost Hunters episode. The owner equipment case: analog, digital and of the property (not the client) ultiKeith: This is difficult because outnightshot video, digital and analog mately made the decision he did not side of specialized clergy (primarily audio recorders, film and digital want the home on national televiCatholic), there is no official training cameras, EMF detector, and temsion, so it was decided that a group in the field of demonology. One perature gauge. be dispatched to assist the clients must study a great deal of available The difference is we also carry with no media involvement. information on the subject and be many religious items such as blessed Adults and children were being willing to spend a great deal of time oil and holy water because of our both psychologically and physically
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 13
Investigator Spotlight harassed by something in the home. The mom actually had a scratch spontaneously appear on the side of her face during the investigation. At one point she claimed she knew the interfering entity was close to her and, because the other investigators had been summoned to another part of the home to research other activity going on, I was alone with the client. I switched on my audio recorder and said, “By the authority of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you will be put down and nullified.” Later, listening to the tape, we discovered the client had been correct — there was something present. The entity had mocked me by saying, “Put me down” . . . “Nullify.” The first time being mocked by an inhuman makes an impression.
out to be a missing person from a past generation, although the family involved had no knowledge of this until they did some research into their family history. Q: What has been your best video and photographic evidence caught to date?
Keith: Plasma-like lights that have suddenly appeared, seemingly in response to a verbal statement one of us had just made. Q: Do you have any photos from investigations that you could share for the article?
Keith: Yes. This one was taken at an abandoned mill site in Foster,
Q: What have been some of the scarier moments you’ve had while investigating, and how did you handle those instances?
Keith: Cases where poltergeistlike activity is occurring, as well as cases of demonic possession. We’ve had to avoid moving objects as well as physical attacks. Having an active faith in God has also helped tremendously in these cases.
to add to the article, she commented, “I don’t think I’m getting anything on this tonight.” When no one answered, she turned around and saw that no one was there. She almost instantly snapped a photo with her digital camera; the photo revealed what appeared to be a descending plasma light in the otherwise completely darkened surroundings. Q: Talk about N.E.A.R. and how the group has helped impact the paranormal community.
Keith: With N.E.A.R.’s focus being centered on inhuman hauntings, we are continually being approached by other organizations for assistance and advice. We try to make ourselves as available as we can given the constraints of family and day jobs. We also try to educate whenever possible by conducting seminars and taping episodes of Ghosts R N.E.A.R. dealing with negative hauntings and how to approach them. Q: What paranormal events do N.E.A.R. run or help facilitate?
Sandra: We’ve actively participated in Paranormal X: The Gathering, which was an event Keith Johnson is pictured with fellow paranormal investigators organized by Ray Dowaliby (husband of Lisa Dowaliby Brian Harnois, Mike Dion, and Lisa Dowaliby. and editor-in-chief of Scars Q: What have been the most Magazine). We are also annual significant EVPs that you’ve speakers at Univ-Con. RI, which has a long reputation for captured during investigations? We also, of course, run our own being haunted. Sandra: We’ve been lucky enough to weekly paranormal TV talk show, A reporter from Ghost Magacapture some very impressive EVPs, Ghosts R N.E.A.R. zine had made a request to accomincluding one recorded in a cempany us on a field investigation and Q: What has it been like working etery where one of our investigators this was the location we chose. on the TV shows Ghost Hunters asks, “Are you walking through the Sandra was taking video footand Paranormal State? graveyard?” and a voice loudly and age in night-shot when she distinctly clearly answers, “Yes!” heard footsteps coming up from Sandra: Very interesting because Another time the name “Beabehind her. Assuming it was another you never know what will happen trice” was clearly captured during investigator and feeling rather disapwhile the cameras are rolling . . . an investigation. Beatrice turned pointed there would be no evidence or are not rolling. We’ve had the
Paranormal Underground October 2008
At left, the N.E.A.R. team captured a strange anamoly during an investigation at Ramtail Road in Foster, Rhode Island, in June 2004. At right, Sandra Johnson films on location for Ghosts R N.E.A.R., a paranormal TV talk show.
opportunity to meet and work with some wonderful people. Because of our particular field of expertise, sometimes even the camera crew will request a blessing because of inexplicable equipment failure or because of uneasy feelings. One of the early episodes of Ghost Hunters, which was filmed for the first season and involved a case of alleged demonic possession, could ultimately not even be aired because the content was deemed too disturbing and controversial for public television. It did include footage of Keith having to perform an impromptu exorcism. I shot footage of the initial visit when we were originally asked by Bill and Nancy Washell (of the former Maine Paranormal) to consult, and we show this as part of our presentations. Also, on one of two episodes of Paranormal State that we were involved with, Keith also had to perform an impromptu exorcism. Q: Who’s work in the paranormal field do you respect the most and why?
Keith and Sandra: Al Tyas, who is the founder and former director of DC Metro. Besides being a close personal friend, Al has always proven himself to be a thorough researcher, as well as an extremely capable and knowledgeable investigator.
Q: Please tell us about any future investigations you have planned.
Sandra: There is a case of demonic possession that we’ve been asked to assist with. While the details are, of course, confidential, it does seem to be legitimate. We also have several field trips planned to various sites that have a history of paranormal activity, such as the Bridgewater Triangle in Massachusetts. Q: What sites do you have on your wish list to investigate?
Keith: Historic Gettysburg, PA. Believe it or not, we haven’t made it there as yet! Also, the Old Adelaide Gaol, which is located in Adelaide, South Australia. It would be quite an experience to be able to investigate there. Q: What words of wisdom would you offer amateur ghost hunters investigating for the first time?
Keith: Be careful, study as much as possible, keep an open mind, and don’t hesitate to ask advice from more experienced investigators. We all had to start somewhere. Q: What would our readers be surprised to find out about you?
Sandra: That Keith and I are basically very quiet and down-to-earth people, who love nothing better than
a quiet evening with family and close friends. Some may be surprised to know that Keith and I both met and fell in love while in a theater group. Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows and why?
Sandra: Ghosts R N.E.A.R., because it is a paranormal TV talk show that we have put together ourselves, and we feel it is very unique. We also like A Haunting, because it documents actual cases and presents a seemingly accurate portrayal. Much of the paranormal programming on The History Channel is educational and of a high quality, as well. Q: Have you ever had the chance to visit GhostDose.com or ParanormalUnderground.net? If so, what are your thoughts on the sites?
Keith: We have visited the GhostDose forums and the E-Zine. Sandra, in particular, appreciates the strong opinions voiced regarding paranormal programming and paranormal study, in general. In contrast to reality television, it is on sites like these that learning can truly take place through thoughtprovoking debate and the sharing of ideas and experiences. For more information about N.E.A.R., visit www.nearparanormal. com. You can also view Ghosts R N.E.A.R. video archives on the site.
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Interview WIt By Chelle Thomas
xorcism. This one word has evoked powerful feelings of fear, wonder, and uncertainty among the masses for centuries. And while movies such as The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose drastically dramatize exorcism, this practice is not just Hollywood myth. Exorcism is the practice of evicting demons or evil entities from a person (or place) who is believed to be possessed. This ancient practice, which some believe originated from Shamanistic beliefs, is a part of the belief system of many countries. The exorcist, the person performing the exorcism, is most often a member of the clergy or an individual with special ‘powers or skills.’ Often, prayers and religious material are used during the ‘rites of exorcism,’ and the exorcist may invoke God, Jesus, and/or several different angels and archangels to intervene with the exorcism. Paranormal Underground recently talked with a Roman Catholic Priest from upstate New York who has performed exorcisms for more than 62 years. (Note: We have changed the name of the interviewee to protect his confidentiality, as well as those around him.) *****
Q: How long have you been a priest?
Father Patrick Juiles: For as long as I can remember. I was an orphan and grew up in a Catholic orphanage. It only seemed natural for me to take the vows. Q: Tell us about yourself.
Father Juiles: There’s honestly not much to tell. I’m just a boring, old man who’s lived a rather long life.” Q: What are your views on demonology, as well as demonic possession?
Father Juiles: That whether people are willing to admit it or not, there is something out there that preys on the souls of people. It can be anyone, whether they have done something to warrant it or not. Q: What does ordained mean, and why must you be ordained to perform an exorcism?
Father Juiles: Ordainment basically means you have passed all the tests and learned all the lessons to properly conduct yourself as a priest. You have the blessings from God and the hierarchy to give the Lord’s Word; you are, in a sense, consecrated. Basically, you are inducted into what is considered a Holy Order.
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Though it is a very popular belief that you must be ordained to cast the demons out, I have found many in different cultures and belief systems that are able to do this without being ordained. Q: Why is the ritual of exorcism not considered a sacrament?
Father Juiles: Some do; some don’t. The ones known as renegade priests do feel it is, while the ones who are, Paranormal events are common I guess you could strong smells and things shaking say, more devout, don’t. I honestly never understood why those who claim to be here to help God’s children could feel that way. Q: How many exorcisms have you personally performed or been a part of?
Father Juiles: More than I would
th an Exorcist have liked. Some of the cases were true cases, others, sadly, were not. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the two, but the signs are there. Q: What are considered signs of demonic possession by the Catholic Church?
Father Juiles: Erased memories, convulsions, major changes in personality or behavior, fits, n during an exorcism and include fainting, speaking in tongues, knowg and flying across the room. ing future events, an intense hatred for holy things, extreme physical strength, and knowing things that are distant or hidden.
whole exorcism; I was basically there to help. Q: When was your last exorcism performed?
Father Juiles: I’m still doing them. Hopefully there won’t be any more, but the last one was early this year. Q: How did you first get involved with performing exorcisms?
Father Juiles: I was asked to help a dear friend and fellow priest. Q: In the exorcism cases you have participated in, would you say there is a certain type of demographic that typically becomes demonically possessed? (i.e., A very religious person? Males? Females? Young? Old? etc.)
Father Juiles: An attack can happen to any person, no matter of race, age, sex, or how devout they are. Q: Are there any demons in particular that you have run into? Any more than once?
Q: When was your first exorcism performed?
Father Juiles: I have had a few who have claimed to be a specific demon. The thing to know is that they are liars and feed off of fear.
Father Juiles: In 1946. I was 35 at the time. I didn’t perform the
Q: I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to speak the name of a
demon. Is that true, and if so, why shouldn’t one speak their names?
Father Juiles: Yes, it is not wise normally due to the fact that people don’t understand the power of a name. It’s like inviting a vampire into your house. You give it the power to control and contort your reality. Q: What advice would you give someone who thinks a demon is trying to possess them?
Father Juiles: Seek advice and help. Look at it from all angles. Protect yourself, but don’t go overboard until you know what is happening. Q: What paranormal events are common during an exorcism?
Father Juiles: Smells, things shaking and flying across the room, voices. The smells are the worst though; the rest you learn to ignore. It’s the entity’s way of distracting you. Q: Have you ever been injured during an exorcism? If so, how?
Father Juiles: If you perform an exorcism, be prepared to be injured in some way. Again, the entity is trying to distract you so the exorcism fails. Q: Can you name the items necessary to perform a successful exorcism?
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 17
Special Report Father Juiles: There are various tools, holy water, cross, etcetera. Depending on the faith, the tools will vary. A good strong will and mental acuteness are your best weapons. Q: What would you like to say to those individuals who don’t believe that a person can be possessed by a demon?
Father Juiles: It’s difficult to know what to say to them. I have learned to let skeptics believe what they wish; they will see when it is important for them to see. Q: Would you talk about your most memorable exorcisms, and could you describe what they involved?
A Demonologist’s Kit
o, what does one use to protect themselves from and even fight against the forces of darkness? Here are some items you might find in a demonologist’s kit.
Father Juiles: I try to keep each case as confidential as possible. It is my way of respecting the unfortunate person involved. You see, there are a lot of movies and horror writers making big money on a sad situation with no thought to those who have gone through the ordeal. I have seen first hand what this can do to a person. Q: What is the range of visits it takes for an exorcism to be complete?
Father Juiles: It depends on the case. Some it’s one day, others many.
First off is the holy book of your choice, the scripture and verse to protect you from the minions of the dark one. Also, bring along the rite of exorcism to drive the demons from wherever they might be found.
Holy symbols have represented the faith of the true believer since religion became an institution. Through them, the power of the respective deity manifests to fight the demonic presences.
Eucharist is used in the holy communion, representing the body of Christ, and is administered to the possessed.
You’ll definitely see Holy Water in a demonologist’s kit. It is blessed by the priests of the faith, and used in the rite of exorcism and in the blessing of a domain.
Q: Have you ever seen a case where a person is possessed, cleansed, and then repossessed at some point later?
Father Juiles: Sadly, in a few rare cases there are repeat afflictions. Q: What else do you feel is important to address on this topic that we haven’t already covered?
Father Juiles: If you or anyone you know plans on taking this road to help perform exorcisms, please fully prepare and study. It’s not something to toy with.
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Witches, Vampires, Zombies, Demons, and Werewolves A Witches’ Bible: The Complete Witches Handbook —by Janet Farrar and Stewart Farrar
Werewolf: A Story of Demonic Possession —by Ed Warren, Lorraine Warren, Bill Ramsey, William Ramsey, Robert David Chase
Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches —by Charles G. Leland
The Werewolf Book: The Encyclopedia of Shape-shifting Beings —by Brad Steiger
A Witch’s Halloween —by Gerina Dunwish Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of Halloween Symbols —by Edna Barth
Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah —by Colm A. Kelleher and George Knapp
Halloween —by Silver Ravenwolf Discerning Spirits: Divine and Demonic Possession in the Middle Ages —by Nancy Caciola Possessed —by Thomas B. Allen
The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist’s Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic —by Wade Davis The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead —by Max Brooks
Dracula —by Bram Stoker The Vampire Chronicles —by Anne Rice
The Possessed —by Troy Taylor The Dark Sacrament: True Stories of Modern-Day Demon Possession —by David Kiely, Christina McKenna Interview with an Exorcist: An Insider’s Look at the Devil —by Jose Antonio Fortea
The Vampire Book: The Complete Encyclopedia of the Undead —by J. Gordon Melton The Complete Vampire Companion —by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and J. B. MacAbre The Vampire Omnibus —edited by Peter Haining Vampires or Gods? —by William Meyers
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 19
By Demon, P By Chelle Thomas
uge debates have sprung up over the topic of demonic possession. Though the topic of possession tends to be kept hush-hush in different cultures, if one delves deep enough, evidence and information can be found. There are two specific religious sects that have butted heads and have conflicting views on the topic. For centuries, there has been divergence and controversy between them. These issues have been between the Christian faith and Pagans. Christian Beliefs Within the Christian beliefs, a person becomes susceptible to a possession if their spirit is weak. Any number of actions is considered to be a cause of this. Not being faithful to the religion, promiscuity, and any of the seven deadly sins are just a few of the acts that could put your soul into jeopardy. Though the Christian church recognizes the possibility of a person becoming possessed, stories of such are normally kept under wraps. There could be any number of reasons for the church to do this, as only a few become public and gain notoriety. Several movies and books have
been written based on true stories. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was loosely based on a German college student, Anneliese Michael (1952-1976), as well as The Exorcist, which was based on a story about a young boy. Though the writers took an artistic twist to their horrific experiences, if you consider the known facts of these cases, the similarities are shocking. In one rare handbook on possession, Christian experts write that symptoms of a possession include, erased memories, convulsions, major changes in personality or behavior, fits, fainting, or speaking in tongues. And if you compare the Old Testament with the New Testament, youâ€™ll notice differences in the types of possession. In the Old Testament, only one example is given, and that one is questionable. In the New Testament, there are several examples, giving specific details. Some believe that this topic was given more
Paranormal Underground October 2008
POssessed? attention as a result of the insurgence of possession claims. Pagan Beliefs Delving into Pagan views on possession reveals varying answers and beliefs. Within the Pagan faith, there are many sects, but most agree that there are at least two types of possession. There is internal possession, where the entity is within a person, and there is external possession, where the entity attaches to a person and draws energy off of them. Though they don’t exactly call it demonic, they do feel it is a negative spirit. The internal instances do have some of the same symptoms that the Christian faith cite, while external possession has a few different ones. Known commonly as a “hag,” this spirit or entity latches onto a person and draws out energy externally. This scenario creates many
different symptoms in an individual. These entities tend to be a little sneakier in some instances, and a person may take months before they realize what is going on. The victim often appears tired, drawn out, or even listless. There are reports of nightmares, and sometimes the diagnosis of sleep paralysis is given. The belief is that the hag feeds off of this energy and may appear to the person in a form of a nightmare. Some reports show that the hag may even make itself known to scare the person in order to get more energy to feed off of the victim. Though Pagans are more open to the topic than most other religions, and they speak openly of cases and instances, there is less public attention given to their experiences and knowledge. Why this is, few can say. While the Catholic Church tends to keep the subject under wraps, Pagans tend to take the subject head on, perhaps because there are still so many misconceptions about the Pagan faith, including that many see Paganism as a joke or believe it’s only a fairy tale of sorts. “We protect those we care about; we don’t pick up our skirts and run for the hills, nor do we sweep it under
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 21
Special Report the carpet,” according to Steven Coleman, a high priest of the Gardnerian faith. “We take the topic of negative spirits and entities harming those we love very seriously. “It’s not something to be ashamed of; it’s something that needs to be acknowledged and taken care of,” he said. “I’m very sad to see those of different faiths treating this as a taboo subject, and treating people suffering from possession like they have the plague. They need guidance and our help, not our condemnation.”
Though there are priests who don’t shun the belief or practice as Father Juiles explained, they quickly become known as ‘renegade priests’ if they don’t get the church’s permission to help those who are possessed. Their reputation becomes something akin to that of the character, Fox “Spooky” Mulder from the TV show The X-Files. In fact, several countries have outlawed the practice of exorcism,
demonically possessed as having mental or physical problems. Schizophrenia, grand maul seizures, and epilepsy are three common diagnoses. Many doctors scoff at the idea of an entity possessing a patient, let alone the fact that there are energies out there capable of doing so. Whatever your view on the subject, possession seems to be one of those topics that either brings on big debates, or is vaguely talked about and left alone. The bottom line: Demonic possession will remain taboo to most religions for the foreseeable future.
The Catholic Church’s Take According to Father Patrick Juiles, a Roman Catholic Priest, the Catholic For More Church doesn’t Information . . . exactly shun the To find out practice. Father Juiles more on demonic (who is using a pseudpossession and onym) said that it’s beliefs, visit: hard to explain why —http://forum. those in the Catholic uncoverreality.com/ church are so hesitant rest-pieces/20306about helping those demonic-posseswho are demonically sion-exorcism.html possessed. (views on posses“Perhaps it is sion and Annelseen as old school iese’s story as well beliefs, something as audio) Several countries have outlawed the practice of exorcism, the ritual to banish the outdated, but there —http://www. demonic entity possessing a person, because of the high mortality rate the Christian are those of us who newadvent.org/ ritual has accrued. are there for those cathen/12315a.htm who need us,” he (Christian Encysaid. “The Christian clopedia entry on the ritual to banish the demonic enpractice honestly deals in areas they possession) tity possessing a person, because of truly aren’t fully aware of. I believe —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ the high mortality rate the Christian they are well meaning and try to rule Demonic_possession (Wikipedia’s ritual has accrued. out other possibilities. I’m not saying article on demonic possession) those of the Pagan faith are jumping —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Medical Beliefs the gun, not by any means. Their Exorcism#Exorcism-related_deaths_ Many doctors have labeled faith deals with this entire issue a and_traumas – Mortality because of those who believe they are being whole lot better than ours.” exorcisms
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s of e c n e efer n come r t s lde ssessio ns. o e Th nic po meria u o dem m the S fro The R om Churc an Catho rise in h blames t lic posse the numb he ssio er o increa n cases on f ‘dabb se of peo the ling ’ i p n pag le anism .
Many cuneiform tablets contain prayers that beseeched certain gods for protection from possession.
n tur . e r e uld mov o t w ag uldn’ huge t; h e s o “ Th tly; I c e this y che e h k h m nig felt li s on the. T g.” It wa b re a e l m i n a t h h ’t ig on we o u l d n ove r w p o r t e I c wa s ’s r ack m r i fe a v i c t g a t t ha —A
Many doctors scoff at the idea of an entity possessing a patient, let alone the fact that there are energies out there capable of doing so.
re mo o n l is going a u r t n n ri us tha ple, o a g “Pa ngero a tem da urch, que.” under o h s to c Mo land, F Pagan ) Gar nt of k (PAN d i v a ide or —D d Pres Netw an ness are Aw
Seve outl ral cou nt aw exor ed the ries hav e pr ban cism, the actice o ish t poss he dem ritual to f o e beca ssing a nic enti mor use o person ty ft ta , tian lity rate he high ritua t l has he Chri saccr ued .
s iest r p ic hol wn as ey t a e C e kno ’ if th m o S h’s om ests bec de pri churc ose ega et the elp th . n e ‘r n’t g to h sed do ission osses p m per ho are w
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 23
Two Tales of By Mindy Kinnaman
he idea for one of America’s most frightening films came about after journalist William Peter Blatty read a blurb in a newspaper about an exorcism performed in St. Louis, Missouri. Blatty hit roadblocks in trying to tell the real story and instead wrote The Exorcist. Many have heard that the film was based upon true events, but few know precisely the incidents that occurred. Author Thomas B. Allen finally was able to shed light upon the actual incident when he published his 1993 book Possessed. While Blatty’s story relied solely upon hearsay, Allen was fortunate enough to not only interview one of the event’s participants, but also obtained a copy of the diary kept by one of the two priests who led the exorcism rites.
Possessed vs. The Exorcist: The Differences Many similarities and differences can be found between the two books, and the differences are perhaps the easiest to note, especially when one takes into account the fact that the film needed to sensationalize an exorcism simply for entertainment value. An easy difference comes from the fact that The Exorcist follows a young woman named Regan whose
terrifying ordeal takes place in her family’s home in the Washington D.C. suburbs. The real case involves a young boy, who Allen named Robert Manheim to protect his identity, whose possession begins in his family’s home in the Maryland suburbs
Raymond Bishop, who realize they must take action to perform an exorcism. Regan, on the other hand, was subjected to a battery of numerous tests that failed to diagnose her, and even when Father Damien Karras is introduced to Regan, it takes a great deal — even being vomited on with pea soup — before he finally agrees that something is wrong with the child and asks for help. Another interesting difference between the two stems from the fact that Regan has one successful exorcism. Robbie first experienced a failed exorcism back in his home state of Maryland. The exorcism was so disastrous that the priest leading the rite was horribly wounded, resulting in permanent damage to one of his arms. While a priest was injured during Robbie’s first exorcism, it was the most severe incident to occur during Robbie’s possession. Smaller injuries, including a broken nose, also occurred, but unlike The Exorcist, no one was killed.
of D.C. but follows him to St. Louis, Missouri, where he stays at his aunt and uncle’s home. It at his uncle’s home that Robbie is ‘diagnosed’ by the parish priest Father William S. Bowdern and St. Louis University professor Father
Possessed vs. The Exorcist: The Similarities Of the similarities between the two cases, some seem present in all stories of people possessed by demons — speaking in strange languages, speaking with a voice that does
Paranormal Underground October 2008
f POssession not seem to belong to the individual, and making personal threats to the exorcists — but the most fascinating similarities are those that seem specific only to the two stories. The way in which the possession manifested itself in the two teenagers is incredibly similar, though Blatty had not been exposed to anything more than gossip about the case. Each possession began by the family complaining of hearing rustling sounds in the walls, as though mice or some other rodent had taken up residence. Checks by exterminators could provide no insight into what caused the sounds. Soon after the rustling began came cases that seemed reminiscent of telekinesis. Furniture would move across the room, and beds would tremble as both Robbie and Regan lie upon them. The final similarity in the manifestation of possession for Robbie and Regan comes from the fact that both were witnessed to have levitated. For Regan, one can imagine the scene from the film in which she rises six feet in the air as Father Lankester Merrin and Father Karras shout, “The power of Christ compels you!” Early on in his possession, as Lutheran Pastor the Reverend Luther Miles Schulze tried find a
cause for Robbie’s behavior, Schulze invited the boy to spend the night in his home. As the two were trying to sleep, Schulze witnessed Robbie sliding around the room, just above the floor, on a blanket that remained perfectly flat. Though not as dramat-
ic as Regan’s levitation, the instance does show a remarkable similarity. Sexual Innuendo The sexual innuendo shown in The Exorcist also occurred in Robbie’s possession. Father Bishop’s
diary often noted instances when Robbie would mime masturbation or make comments about his or others’ genitalia. While not entirely similar between the two, even the vomiting of split-pea soup was similar to Robbie’s possession. Throughout the nights in which Father Bishop and Father Bowdern held exorcism rites, Robbie would close his eyes and spit unnatural amounts of saliva at the two priests and others in the room assisting in the exorcism. Father Bishop, in his diary, wrote that Robbie never once missed the person at whom he spat, even with his eyes closed and as barriers were held up between Robbie and his target. Fact vs. Fiction The film ends with yet another similarity between the two cases: the fact that neither Regan nor Robbie had any memory of the events that transpired during their possessions. Considering the events that transpired in each case, it is probably for the best. Examining both The Exorcist and Possessed allows readers and viewers to see how close the fiction ties into the fact and how much more frightening the real story can be.
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 25
Witchcraft: A A Peacefu By Bob Davis & Karen Frazier
ention the word witchcraft and many images come to mind. Harry Potter. Charmed. The Wizard of Oz. Fairy tales. All of these are stereotypes of witches that have been portrayed in popular culture and have become embedded in the collective psyche of what a witch might be. In reality, witchcraft is entirely different than the one-dimensional portrayals that have played out in our literature, movies, and other popular culture. A History of Fear and Prejudice As English colonists began to settle in the new world, their bigotries and beliefs came along with them. Cultural elements colored the regional attitudes of the settlers. No group was more affected by the regional beliefs and attitudes than the Calvinists in New England. Originally split into two primary groups, the Separatists (Pilgrims) and Puritans settled in New England in force. Calvinists believed in preordination. They knew, without a doubt, that they were chosen by God and that this had happened eons ago. They believed that there was a book that had existed since the beginning of time that listed each of the
Calvinists — the good and the bad; however, no one knew for certain exactly who was listed in the book or how. So, they watched for signs. A streak of good luck was a good indication that they were chosen. A streak of bad luck made people suspicious. Unlike the colonists in Jamestown, who struggled to survive in a small group, the Separatists — and especially the Puritans — came en masse. Their beliefs were strong. Their purpose was to build a “city on the hill” — a theocracy fixed on the goal of creating God’s country in the New World. Their reason for existing was to create a government ruled by the letter of the church law. Separation of church and state did not exist. The Puritans saw themselves as the ‘chosen people,’ whom God had given the task of providing In recent years, witches have begun to step out of the shado a beacon of righteousness to the the Craft. While this meets with more acceptance today tha world. In their belief, they were the misunderstanding about the practice of witchcraft. example of what was possible when the world was run by God’s word. Plymouth had formed peaceful They were also positive that relations with the locals, this would they were facing the ultimate risks, change in the years to come. Misbuilding their ‘city on the hill’ in the trust turned to fear and hatred, and devil’s backyard. And the devil was then, ultimately, war. The Pequot sorely vexed by what they were doing. War in the 1630s and King PhilThe local Indians produced lip’s War in the 1660/70s caused the earliest problems for the Purithe colonists to crack down on the tans. Though the colonists of New
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Dark History, ul Present most New Englanders to turn against the Quakers. Puritans outlawed giving Quakers housing, transportation, or letting them attend religious meetings. Punishments included imprisonment, whippings, fines, beatings, and banishment. The reaction of the Quakers was to gather in increasing numbers in Puritan lands to pray for the persecuted and the persecutors. This set the stage for what was to become one of the great shames of our nation — the Salem Witch Trials.
ows and proudly declare themselves as practitioners of an it did even 10 years ago, there is still a great deal of
Indians in the area. More disturbing to the Puritans than the Indians were the influx of members of the Society of Friends, the Quakers. Somewhat similar to the Separatists in beliefs, the Quakers had little respect for the Puritan pecking order. This attitude caused
A Gathering Storm in Salem In the early 1690s, the Puritans became politically unstable as a political split separated the worldly from those who wanted to remain true to the church. In the small town of Salem Village — a suburb of Salem Town — political upheaval separated those who wanted to continue attending the church in Salem Town from those who wanted to separate and form their own church in the village. A powerful family in Salem Village, the Putnams, used their power to bring a new minister to the village. The reverend Samuel
Parris signed a contract to take over the village’s parsonage. In return for his services, he received a salary, firewood, and ownership of the parsonage buildings. The real estate aspect of the deal enraged many in the village. As a result, the next election brought many reformers to power. Though they could not remove Rev. Parris, the reformers could refuse to collect taxes or firewood for him and his family. The rift between Reverend Parris and the villagers brought about a geographical split of the village. In the Northwest, the Putnamcontrolled villagers supported Rev. Parris and opposed the more cosmopolitan people who were in alignment with Salem Town. The anti-Parris people stopped attending the Salem Village church and, instead, made the hike to Salem Town to attend services. The sharp drop in parishioners put Parris in danger of losing his parish. At the Parris home, conversations about these difficulties were frequent, and Parris’ nine-year-old daughter, Betty, and his 11-year-old orphaned niece, Abigail, couldn’t help but soak up the stress. Early in 1692 the harsh winter set in. Betty Parris and her cousin Abigail amused themselves playing
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Special Report with fortune telling and other spiriwho had so afflicted them. In Februto her benefit and admitted her tual games with Parris’ West Indian ary, the afflicted girls accused three guilt, accusing the other two women. slave, Tituba. As the weeks passed, women as witches: Sarah Osborne, Tituba then made a claim that hit the weak and sickly Betty began to Sarah Good, and Tituba. the community like a thunderbolt. demonstrate odd behavioral signs. Once the official accusations had She claimed that there were many She was often found sitting motionbeen made, the authorities became witches and they were organized, but less, staring across the room. involved. The accused were all outsidshe didn’t know them all. This set Whenever she was in this ers. Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good of a frenzy of activity and accusation state and someone spoke to her or were not exactly pillars of the comthroughout Salem. touched her, Betty would let out a munity. One of them used to swear at Over the months of the spring scream and begin muttering gibpassers-by and the other would sit on and summer of 1692, the accusaberish. Sometimes she ran and hid her porch smoking her pipe. Tituba tions continued. The afflicted girls under a table. A few weeks later, was a slave from the mysterious West were like rock stars. They were Abigail began acting similarly, brought around to the church with the addition of behaviors doors of other towns where they such as barking and running on were used to locate witches in all fours. those communities. The girls As the girls’ behavior would stand at the door as the became more erratic, the adults parishioners exited. in the Parris home became Each person was touched by increasingly disturbed, leading a girl. Suddenly, the girls would Rev. Parris to summon the local stiffen and act as if they were physician to examine the girls. choking, or they would claim to Because the village doctor was see a dark shape standing with unable to discover any physical the accused (this became known causes for the girls’ afflictions, as spectral evidence). The acother physicians were called in. cused were immediately arrested Finally, the local physician anand whisked away. The afflicted nounced that the ‘evil hand’ was girls were pampered and spoiled. on the girls. The accusations increased. To be certain, a neighbor A pattern emerged. Those who commissioned Tituba to bake a were allies of the Putnams, Rev‘witch cake’ made from rye meal erend Parris, and most accusers and the urine of the afflicted girl. lived on the west side of the vilThe cake was then fed to a dog, lage, while those who were most and the dog’s reaction indicated often accused lived on the east that witchcraft was present. side of the village and attended Following the finding of the church in Salem Town. witchcraft, things began to As the summer wore on, the In 1692, 141 people were arrested and accused of being degenerate. Up until this time, jails filled with accused witches. no accusations of witchcraft had a witch, and the numbers of court cases grew to be close Altogether, 141 were arrested. to 1,000 because of the civil suits levied against accusers ever been made in Salem. Now, and accused. The numbers of court cases grew however, other similarly ‘afto be close to 1,000 because of flicted’ girls began to behave erthe civil suits levied against accusIndies. Moreover, she was the one ratically, as well. All told, seven girls ers and accused. who introduced the afflicted girls to were ‘afflicted’ in the same manner At one point, Robert Hale, pasfortune telling and ghost stories. as Abigail and Betty. tor of the church in Beverley heard All three women initially proUnhappy with the implication rumors that his wife was about to be claimed their innocence; however, of darkness and evil surrounding his accused. In a restaurant, Hale enTituba had the spirit of survival. She daughter and niece, Reverend Parris countered one of the afflicted girls. knew how to make things happen pressed the seven girls to tell him The two made eye contact and the
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afflicted girl began to grab her throat and choke. Hale leveled his gaze and told her, “If you make one more sound, I will sue your father for everything he has.” The girl cleared her throat and walked away. Hale’s suspicions grew. He watched as a bailiff held rag dolls over fire, then under water. The afflicted girls screamed in pain, then gasped for air. He wondered how the bailiff could cause this to happen unless the bailiff was a witch. The accused had not touched the items. The more he wondered, the more danger he was in. A growing number of people began to wonder, as well. Increase Mather, father of the more famous Cotton Mather, seriously began to question the use of spectral evidence in the trials. He pointed out that if a gun was used in a crime, the gun could be examined; however, in the trials, evidence that no one could see and examine was being used against the accused. The magistrates ordered the trials stopped. The accusations ceased. In time, charges were dropped, and those in jail were released. One of the magistrates publicly apologized for his participation in the affair. Reverend Parris admitted “errors in judgment” and apologized. Many others, however, were not held accountable, including the afflicted girls. No charges were ever brought against any of them. When it ended, the surviving ‘witches’ went home. Today, the term witch hunt has come to signify the searching out and deliberate harassment of those
(as political opponents) with unpopular views. Such witch hunts are all too common, even today. Instead of searching for actual witches, witch hunts take the form of harassment against political, racial, religious, and disease groups. The McCarthy hearings of 1950s are a well-known example of this. To this day, societies throughout the world hunt that which they fear through suspicion, finger-pointing, and accusations. We must look
to the people of Salem Village to warn us to be ever vigilant. Witchcraft in the Modern Day Modern-day witchcraft has a different face than the dark concepts of witchcraft that characterize its past. In most cases, witchcraft is incorporated into the practice of religion. There are several religions that
incorporate witchcraft and the use of magick and mysticism. The most commonly cited religion of witchcraft is Wicca, also known as The Craft. An initiatory secret society that requires initiates to wait a year and a day before induction, Wicca is often practiced in covens — small groups led by a high priest and/or priestess. Wicca is rooted in Earth-based spirituality. One of its major tenants is known as the Wiccan Rede, “If it harm none, do what you will.” While many people associate witchcraft with evil or the dark arts, the Wiccan faith is one of love and peace. Resultantly, Wiccans generally have a holistic view of the world, seeing the interconnectedness of all forms of existence. They believe in respecting life in all of its forms. Many Wiccans believe in the Law of Threes or the Law of Return, which states that every energy the witch sends out into the world returns to them threefold. Because of this, it is better to treat others with love, generosity, and respect, since the witch receives these things back threefold. Many of the tenants of the Wiccan religion can be found in the Book of Shadows, a primer of Wiccan laws, ethics, rituals, and spells. The pentagram commonly associated with The Craft represents protection, the human body, the hand, the element of Earth, and perfect balance. Many Wiccan rituals coincide with the transitions of nature — solstices, equinoxes, and lunar phases,
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Artwork by Claudia Ghidella
for instance. Wiccans celebrate eight Founded by Victor and Cora Anderstanding and fear, as well as by culseasonal festivals — called Sabbats. son, the Feri Tradition places strong tural stereotyping in popular culture Rituals surrounding these Sabbats ofemphasis on sensuality and sexual and the media, witches throughout ten take place outdoors. The rituals mysticism. Practitioners worship the years have felt as if they needed are a means of connecting with the three Goddesses that are believed to to hide in the shadows lest they sufDivine, as well as a way of connectbe the three parts of the human soul. fer unwanted consequences at the ing with the inner-self. Judeo-Paganism — also known hands of those who misunderstand While Wiccans do put their as Quaballah — is seen by many their craft. craft into practice through the use as another form of witchcraft. In recent years, witches have of spells, they have many ethical The Quabalistic tradition includes begun to step out of the shadows codes that prevent casting a spell on mysticism and magick as a means of and proudly declare themselves as another against their will. Spells are bringing about desired results. practitioners of the Craft. While this merely the means by which WicThere are many other forms meets with more acceptance today cans accomplish magickal action. of witchcraft, as well — most which than it did even 10 years ago, there Spells can consist of incantations, place an emphasis on doing no is still a great deal of misunderstandrituals, actions, or any combination harm and bringing about good ing about the practice of witchcraft. thereof. Some forms of Many still assume that spells include poppets, all witches perform which are a wax or clay black magic — drawimage of a person to be ing on the powers affected by the spell; of evil to do harm the use of amulets of to others. magickal herbs or poToday’s witches, tions; and scrying (such however, are stepas gazing into a crystal ping up and educatball) for the purpose of ing others about the divination. peaceful, spiritual Wicca is not the only nature of their craft. modern-day version of While there are witchcraft. Stregheria is a some who practice modern-day Italian witchblack magic, it recraft that was popularized mains on the fringes in the 80s. Followers of of modern witchStregheria place an emcraft, much as there phasis on ancestor worare dark groups of Spells can consist of incantations, rituals, actions, or any combination thereof. Some forms of spells include poppets, which are a wax or clay image of a person ship. They also worship extremists that justify to be affected by the spell; the use of amulets of magickal herbs or potions; and the goddess, Diana, her evil in the name of scrying (such as gazing into a crystal ball) for the purpose of divination. brother, Dianus (Lucireligious ideology on fer), and their daughter, the fringes of most Aradia. major religions. Unlike Christians, however, folthrough the use of magick. Some At its core, however, witchcraft is lowers of Stregheria do not see Lugroups do believe that hexes and far different from what it has tradicifer as the embodiment of evil, but curses can be placed on others — tionally been believed to be. There rather as a benevolent god of the but only in self-defense. are witches in all factions of society sun and moon. Like Wicca, eight who live lives of kindness, peace, festivals are celebrated in StreghOvercoming Prejudice beauty, and connectedness with eria, although some also follow the Unfortunately, fear of the unall elements of life. That being the ancient Roman festivals. known has led to years of prejudice case, one can only hope that people Another group that practices and persecution against practitiowill set aside their fear and seek to ners of witchcraft all around the witchcraft in the modern day is understand that they have nothing to referred to as the Feri Tradition. world. Brought about by misunderfear from the witch next door.
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Werewolf Lore of the Harz Mountains By Chelle THomas
ales of witches, werewolves, and vampires have run rampant for centuries in many different cultures. Rumors of dark, hairy, or ghastly ghoulies roaming gloomy streets at night, preying on hapless victims has thrilled, petrified, and entranced fiction fans; but real-life stories have been a part of cultures around the world as well. No culture or region is more steeped in legend and lore than the Harz Mountains in Germany. In fact, even in current times sightings and reports are still popping up. In some areas of the Harz, witchcraft is still popular and practiced. There is a celebration on May 1, known as Walpurgisnact, where the ancient pagan festival celebrating the coming of spring and honoring their matron saint, Walpurga, have been intertwined.
erected where he was killed, and a candle was lit by residents of Whittlich to ward off his return.
Military Reports of Werewolf Sightings There have even been military reports on werewolf sightings at the Wenigerath (Morbach) U.S. Air Force Base in Germany. One legendary creature, known as the Morbach monster, is said to have been the last known werewolf killed in the area. The ‘monster’ was reportedly Thomas Johannes Baptist Schwytzer, a deserter from Napoleon’s Army and a veteran of the disaster at Moscow. A local woman cursed him, after he killed all of her family. A shrine was
In 1988, U.S. Air Force soldiers at the Morbach Air Force Base, while on patrol, noticed that the candle was out. Shortly thereafter, there was a sighting next to one of the security fences of a “large hairy animal, like a dog, standing on it’s hind feet.” Upon seeing the soldiers, it leapt a three-meter fence and disappeared into the woods. When the men brought in dogs to track the ‘werewolf,’ the dogs refused to follow, shaking and growling where they stood. Whether this story is true or not, the soldiers definitely felt ill at ease.
How to Kill a Werewolf The way the locals killed/exorcised known werewolves was intense, to say the least. They’d lop off the werewolf’s head, perform an exorcism, and then toss the head into a river, where the weight of their sins would hold them down.
One pilot reported, “Morbach is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by woods. It gets really creepy when the fog rolls in.” Harz Mountain Werewolf Lore Some German cultural beliefs on the werewolf include an item known as a ‘wolf belt.’ A person wishing to turn into a wolf would strap on a belt, and they would be transformed. Made from wolf skins, they believed that the spirit of the wolf would take them over. Drinking from enchanted pools of water from the Harz Mountains was also believed to change a person. People who died of a mortal sin were thought to come back as blood-drinking wolves. In fact, some German cultures grouped the vampire and wolf together, believing the two were in fact one entity. The Brothers Grimm have many stories and lore that they collected from the German common folk, which included amazing tales of witchcraft and werewolves. Many of the people they interviewed spoke about their stories either from personal experience or from an ancestor’s stories. Whether you believe in things that go bump in the night or not, the fact that there are many credible sources relaying first-hand encounters with ‘creatures of the night,’ is enough to give one pause.
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Alaina’s Plight: A History of Halloween By Binoo’mukua
laina’s brow furrowed with worry as the Celtic sun crept lower in the evening sky. The days had grown shorter, the nights crisper, and once again it was time for the festival of Samhain. Tonight, the spirits of her ancestors, along with the Gods, would walk the Earth, and she would join the others as had been done since time immemorial around the bonfire, to offer a sacrifice that would ensure the coming year’s harvest. As the light of day began to fade, Alaina’s concern deepened. This had been a bad year for her, losing her husband to illness earlier in the spring; she had been solely responsible for the planting and harvesting of the crops that would ensure her survival through the long dark winter, and had no time to have her offering properly sanctified by the Druids. “I am sure the Gods will understand,” she thought to herself. “Besides, I have always had my offerings sanctified before, and look what happened to me last year. At least I am making an offering, and that will have to be good enough.” But no amount of reasoning would calm her as she continued to recall the stories that she had heard as a child of those who made improper offerings to the Gods and the consequences they suffered . . .
***** Halloween. Crisp autumn nights, ghost stories, costumes, and candy. These are the memories invoked in many of us as we think of Halloween, a time of year we celebrate with parties, costumes, and trick-or treating. But Halloween was not always the same holiday that we celebrate today, and has origins that are thousands of years old, dating back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. Samhain, a Gaelic
Halloween has origins that are thousands of years old. word literally translated meaning “summer’s end,” was a festival held by the Celts to mark the coming time of darkness and ensure the return of summer and a bountiful harvest. Usually held in late October or early November, it was also a time the Celts believed the dead walked again and the Gods roamed the earth. Without appeasement, the spirits would wreak havoc on crops, homes, and even the living.
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Each year during this time, the Celtic priests, or Druids built a large bonfire, and people of the community would gather to burn crops or sacrifice animals as offerings to the Celtic Gods. They wore costumes made of animal skins and danced around the fire as the Druids told their fortunes for the coming year. When the festivities were over, each Celt would fill a bowl with glowing embers from the sacred fire to re-light their hearth fires at home to ensure luck and protection through the long months of winter. *****
Alaina recalled the tales that Mala had told her as a child. After Alaina’s parents had been killed in a Roman raid, Mala and her husband Elnor had raised her as their own, and had always been kind to her. Mala had often told her of the importance of a properly sanctified offering, explaining that the God’s demanded respect in every way and considered an offering not sanctified a great insult. The results were always swift and brutal, and Mala related many tales passed down to her from her grandmother of those who failed to make the proper sacrifice. The window had grown dark as Alaina realized she was out of time. As she carefully donned her costume
Artwork by Claudia Ghidella
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Special Report made of rabbit pelts, she thought to herself, “The Gods are fully aware of what I have endured this year, and why I was unable to sanctify my offering. I am giving twice the amount considered proper by the Druids with this bushel of apples; surely they will see this and take pity on me.” Alaina realized there was no more time to worry over her plight. “This will just have to do,” she said as she picked up her basket of apples and headed off into the night to join the procession leading to the fire . . .
Alaina knew that at least for now, all was well. As Mala and Elnor approached, Alaina rose to her feet trying to replace the apples that had fallen from the basket. “Oh my dear, why do you carry such a heavy load?” Mala asked as she helped Alaina with the apples. “I just want to be sure that the Gods will smile on me this time,” Alaina replied as she averted her eyes. Mala was always able to tell
***** Around 800 A.D., Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 as All Saint’s Day as part of an attempt to convert the reluctant Celtic people to Christianity. Knowing this was the time the Celts celebrated the festival of Samhain, the thought was that a convergence of the two celebrations would occur, and the Celtic people would become more accepting of Christian beliefs. At the time, this celebration was known as Hallowmas, which is derived from the Middle English term “All-Hallowmas,” meaning All Saints Day. The evening before was the Celtic celebration of the dead and was referred to as “All-Hallows Eve,” which later became Halloween. *****
As Alaina hurried into the night, she could see the long line of torches on the path that led up to the sacred fire. The apples were heavier than she had thought, and she wished that someone were there to help her bear the load. “I’ll never make it in time,” she thought to herself as she stumbled on a root in the path. “Alaina, is that you dear?” It was a familiar voice, and
placed his offering of a bound fowl on top of Alaina’s basket. “We must join the others. I am sure the Gods will smile on what we have to offer.” . . . ***** In the mid to late 19th century, the potato famine had ravished Ireland, and the working conditions in the factories of England were deplorable. Many English and Irish immigrants began to flood the United States in search of a better life. With them came their traditions of Halloween and it rapidly spread throughout the country. Children would dress as the dead and go from house to house seeking offerings of appeasement or ‘treats,’ and thus was born ‘trick or treat.’ As these practices spread and became more community-based, parties, festivals parades, and trick or treating became the norm, and the American Halloween lost all of its original religious connotations as it became a tradition unto itself. *****
The time had come, and Alaina approached the fire to give the Gods their due. “Have mercy for I mean no disrespect,” she thought to herself as she placed the basket on the fire. Alaina watched as the flames grew and flickered wildly, consuming her offering and then dying again. “That was quick,” she Artwork by Claudia Ghidella thought. As she turned to speak to when she had told a fib, and Alaina Mala, something caught the corner did not want her to know that she of her eye, and she turned back to was hoping that a large offering the fire. Glancing into the coals, would make up for her oversight. Alaina could see what appeared to “Remember what I have told be a face. you my dear, respect the Gods, and “How can that be?” Alaina they in turn will show you favor,” thought. Where her basket had Mala responded as she smiled and been, she could distinctly see two placed a hand on Alaina’s shoulder. eyes, a nose, and a mouth. “I must “Come, you two,” Elnor said as he be seeing things,” she thought as she
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drew closer for a better look. Suddenly, the eyes opened and stared at Alaina filled with a malice that she could feel throughout her very soul. Alaina screamed . . . ***** One tradition that is practiced by many during Halloween is the carving of a Jack-O-Lantern. This tradition is based on the legend of Jack. In Celtic lore, Jack was an evil man who drank and treated people badly. Jack was rumored to have trapped the Devil and made a deal with him to never be tempted. When Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his bad ways. He was also denied entrance to Hell because he had tricked the devil. However, the devil gave him a burning ember and placed it in a turnip as a lantern so Jack could see as he wandered the night for eternity. This Celtic tradition originated when burning embers were placed inside hallowed-out turnips and carried by the Celts as lanterns. As the Celts adopted Christianity, the devil and Heaven were added to the legend. Brought to America by the Irish, they found that pumpkins were more plentiful than turnips and easier to carve, and the tradition was born. *****
“Alaina, what is wrong?” Mala asked as she placed her arms around her. “I thought I saw something in the fire,” Alaina told Mala as she looked around for a place to sit. “My dear, there is nothing there but the remnants of the offerings and the coals. Are you feeling well dear?” Alaina could see the concern in Mala’s face. “I’m fine Mala. It has been a long day, and I’m just tired. I think I
will be going soon.” Alaina glanced into the fire, but there was no face, only offerings and embers as Mala had said. “I must have worked myself up by worrying,” Alaina thought to herself. “I should gather my coals and go home” . . . ***** Today, modern Halloween is one of the biggest commercial holidays in the United States, but many practices are still rooted in Celtic tradition. Dressing in costumes, trick-or-treating, and carving Jack-OLanterns are just a few. Tricks are still played as the spirits were believed to have done in Celtic times, and Ghost stories are still told to remind us that the spirits walk the night on Halloween, making it one of the most popular holidays in this country.
Dressing in costumes, trick-or-treating, and carving Jack-O-Lanterns are present-day Halloween traditions based in Celtic tradition. *****
Alaina traversed the path home from the festival with the soft glow of the coals from the sacred fire lighting her way. “I feel so foolish,” she thought. “I practically scared Mala to death. I’m sure she’ll be here first thing with a cure or remedy that I don’t need. Oh well, that’s Mala.” And Alaina smiled briefly, seeking comfort in Mala’s concern for her. She still felt uneasy about the visage that she thought she had glimpsed in the coals, but as the evening went on, she found the feeling passing. Reaching her cottage, Alaina
took the sacred coals to the hearth and started a fire. “This year will be better,” she said, “I just know it.” There was a gentle breeze blowing with a hint of the winter to come as Alaina prepared a small meal of bread and cheese, and she felt a slight chill as she reached for the shutters to her windows. “It will be cold tonight,” Alaina thought as the shutters blew open and a fury of wind entered her cottage. Dropping her meager meal, she ran to the window in a feeble attempt to stop the wind. As she reached the ledge, the fury had become a maelstrom, and it took every ounce of Alaina’s strength to keep from being blown back into the room. Holding on to the widow sill and wondering how such a storm could spring up so unexpectedly, Alaina felt a familiar presence, one she had felt earlier, and suddenly she was filled with dread. Slowly turning, she noticed the whirlwind of fire that was growing in the hearth. A whirlwind with a face, the same face she had seen in the coals earlier. As it grew, so did the wind and the feeling of malice that now pervaded her entire being. As the whirlwind filled the room, the wind reached its crescendo, and Alaina could hold on no longer. As her screams rose through the trees outside, a flock of ravens roosting for the night took flight. Her last thought was that Mala would be disappointed. Across the village, Mala rose from her seat by the fire with a puzzled look on her face. “Did you hear that Elnor?” Elnor replied as he reached out to tighten the shutters on the windows, “I’m sure it was just the wind my dear. I’m sure it’s just the wind” . . . ***** Happy Halloween!
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Halloween’s Roots By Chelle Thomas
very year, about this time, when the wind begins to crispen and the leaves become a montage of reds, oranges, and yellows, children and adults alike begin to get that festive air. Children, in particular, daydream and plot out characters they wish to portray for just one night. Dressed as ghastly ghouls, monsters, and their favorite heroes, they traverse from neighborhood to neighborhood knocking on doors in hopes that the inhabitants have something yummy to give. Known as Halloween in modern cultures, this delightful holiday actually has ancient roots. First celebrated in preChristian times, it has been known as Samhain, Hallowmas, All Souls Day, Devils Night, Hallowmas day, and by many another names. Interestingly enough, many customs and traditions from those roots are still practiced today, even though their meanings mostly have been forgotten. For instance, our modern-day Jack O’Lanterns actually started out as carved gourds and turnips with candles to illuminate sacred symbols in an effort to ward off evil. There is an interesting Irish story about a
man named Jack, who was a lazy, but shrewd farmer. Apparently, he was running from some local villagers whom he had stolen from, when he met up with the Devil, who claimed it was Jack’s time to go. Jack struck a deal with the Devil. If the Devil turned himself into a coin, Jack would give the money to
the villagers in payment of what he had stolen. The Devil could then disappear, and the Christian villagers would then fight over who had stolen the coin, thus securing the Devil with more souls.
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The Devil agreed and turned himself into a coin, promptly jumping into Jack’s coin purse, only to find that Jack had placed a cross in it as well. Once the Devil was trapped, Jack made him swear he would not take his soul. Unfortunately, Jack’s life had been too sinful to enter Heaven, and later on, when Jack died, he realized he had nowhere to go. Cast out into a dark void, Jack asked how he would see where to go. The Devil mocked him by throwing a burning ember that would never go out at Jack, who then carved a turnip out and placed the ember inside. He then wandered the Earth with the ember lighting his way. He became known as the Jack O’ the Lantern. The costumes we dress in today even go back to pagan origins. First used to scare off ghosts and ghouls, early pagans believed this was the time of year when the veil between the living world and the dead was at its thinnest. To protect themselves, villagers would dress in ghoulish costumes so they could either scare or blend in with the spirits. Other pagan cultures saw this as a time to celebrate. The ancient calendar was actually separated into two halves, a light half, where living
things thrived and grew, and a dark half, where things were cultivated and became dormant. There is a popular Greek myth about why these two halves came into existence. The abduction of Persephone tells a tale of Persephone, Demeter’s daughter, who is abducted by Hades. After the loss of her daughter, Demeter allows the Earth to become barren. Knowing he may soon loose his bride, Hades tricks Persephone into eating three pomegranate seeds. Once reunited with her mother, Demeter immediately knew something was wrong and got Persephone to admit she had eaten while in the underworld. Hoping to ward off a fight, Zeus deftly works out a deal to save Earth by appeasing Demeter and abiding the laws (because once you eat something from the underworld, you are destined to stay forever). So, he ruled that for half the year Persephone was to stay with her
mother, helping her make the Earth warm and fertile, and the other half of the year, she would stay with Hades. And thus, the seasons were created. It is on Hallowmas that Persephone is honored, as the dark time of the year begins.
Oh! – First loved of boyhood! The old days are calling, When wood-grapes were purpling and brow nuts were falling! When wild, ugly faces were carved in its skin, Glaring out through the dark with candle within! —John Greenleaf Whittier So, now that you know more of Halloween’s origins, will you look at the Jack O’Lantern or the seasons in a new light?
Did You Know? • Some Celtic cultures see October first as the start of the New Year. • Apples, gourds, and pumpkins have always been sacred to this holiday. • It is thought that spectral lights flickering over peat bogs caused the Jack O’Lanterns creation. For more information about Halloween’s roots, visit: —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Samhain —http://www.samhain.com/samhain.shtml —http://www.chalicecentre.net/ samhain.htm —http://www.wicca.com/celtic/ akasha/samhainlore.htm —http://www.religioustolerance. org/hallo_sa.htm —http://www.aheartsease.com/ nuke/modules.php?name=Content& pa=showpage&pid=42
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Vampires in Litera The Myths a By Mermoelf (Morgana)
have loved vampires ever since I can remember. I’ve studied literature and art dealing with vampires, and have seen most vampire movies that have been made (the good ones, that is). I have been very interested in the myths and culture, not a fanatic, mind you, but I do find them very intriguing. So, I’m going to present to you an inside look at the vampire culture, from my perspective. Most of the fanatic vampires get their appearance altered, such as tattooing, hair dying, teeth sharpening, elongating eye teeth, and even rib removal. However, most practicing vampires are just like anyone else. Vampirism is a religion of sorts and should not be taken lightly; it should be respected as all religions should be respected. Vampire Types There are four different types of vampires. The first, Immortal Blood Drinkers, are considered ‘physical vampires’ and are most similar to the undead vampires of popular fiction. Within the culture, vampires like this are believed least likely to exist. Another type of vampire is the Mortal Blood Drinkers. There are historical records of common mortals drinking blood for various
reasons: some for cultural beliefs, some thinking that drinking it will give them power, and some drinking their enemy’s blood to give them strength, as well as to show defiance. There are also Unintentional Psychic Vampires. Most of these vampires don’t know they are vampires,
feeding on others’ psychic energy unconsciously. Usually, these types of vampires have some sort of illness and are older than their victims, and their bodies need the energy to survive their illness or to help them feel better.
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But people of any age, even children, can fall into this category. This type of vampirism is considered dangerous because neither the vampire nor the victim know the energry drain is going on. Finally, there are Intentional Psychic Vampires. In my opinion, these are the ones that should be feared the most. They can astral project themselves to sleeping victims and feed off of their energy. When they die, as all of us do, they can become Earthbound entities and continue feeding as they did before. Psychic Vampires Belief in psychic attacks has been highly criticized, and many skeptics say that this type of vampirism is impossible. But, there have indeed been cases and theories of such occurrences around the world. However, according to the late English occultist Dion Fortune, who was a leading authority on psychic attack, getting people to admit such attacks is hard to do because of skepticism and fear of seeming to be mentally unbalanced. “I am of the opinion that psychic attacks are far commoner than is generally realized, even by occultists themselves,” Fortune said in her work
ature and Media: and Truths on psychic attack, Psychic Self-Defence (1930). However, dismissing the possibility of psychic vampires would be like dismissing the possibility that there are genuine psychics in the world. Victims of psychic vampires have said they feel drained, as if the life force has been taken from them. Feeling weak and even ill, they go to the doctor, thinking they are sick. However, the doctor may tell them they just need more rest and that there is nothing wrong otherwise, even after medical testing. Most Intentional Psychic Vampires usually don’t announce themselves as such. If you were a serial killer, would you announce it? Probably not. In some cases, people that have been victim to a Psychic Vampire attack seem to get the urge to do this themselves. Maybe it is subconscious, or maybe they are aware that they were attacked and found the experience interesting or enlightening. No one really knows. Being a witch (not Wiccan),
I do have protection from this. Studies and knowledge have kept me from attacks. I do know many different people within all of the types of vampires that I have discussed so far . . . well, except of course, the Immortal Vampires. That would be a trip knowing one of those, but then I would be one already if I did. *laughs* Most Vampires I have known usually are very spiritual and/or tied to the elements in some way. A lot (but not all) are Atheists; they don’t believe in organized religion. Most prefer to be in balance with nature, which is why many times you will find much of the Vampire clans also to be Witches, like me. I am not Wiccan though. That has become too commercialized, and it really brings the culture down, in my opinion. I am considered an Earth/Grey Witch, old school learning, since I was 16 years of age. But that is another story altogether. So, I bring you to this . . .
Bloodletting Rituals Most ‘real’ vampire clans actually do have bloodletting rituals. But this is not an evil nor violent ritual. It is actually very serious and sensual. All participants are there of their own free will and do not have to do anything they don’t want to. While some partake in the rituals, others are there as monitors and protectors of all who participate. Everything is very clean, and everyone is tested and drug-free. Those are the main rules. This is what a real, modern-day vampire clan is all about, not the silliness you see on TV or hear about from those who have never been involved. Most vampires are people who you wouldn’t even think are vampires. Most have regular jobs, families, and are just your average regular family person, maybe even your neighbor. It is very private and not all flamboyant as it is sometimes portrayed in the media. I can not go into any major detail on what goes on during these rituals because it is a very private society. And unless you are within the community, there is
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Special Report only so much that can be said about it. I can say that some do bloodletting as a personal practice with one partner. Usually they take a blade and make a cut, drinking wound to mouth. In ritual settings, more so than other times, it is more of a community thing; clan members use a blade and drain their blood into a chalice that all drink from, almost like a ‘blood brother/sister’ type of ritual; however, a group ritual is viewed as being ‘stronger.’ Sorry, I can say no more about this as my old clan would not be happy with me. All I can say is that from what I’ve experienced, these rituals are in no way evil, devil work, satanic, or even violent. Misconceptions abound with this subject, which I hope that I helped clear up. Vampires in the Media and Literature Looking at myths surrounding vampires in the media and literature, there are many different ideas and opinions about what can kill a vampire, scare them, and what their abilities are. The most well-known myths on killing a Vampire include: • Stake to the heart • Cut off the head • Ingestion of garlic or Holy Water • Sunlight • Drinking from the dead • Burning • Heart removal Their most well-known abilities that vampires have are: • Great sense of smell, sight, hearing • Flight • Speed • Superhuman strength
• Psychic powers The most well-known fears of the vampire are: • Mirrors (no refection) • Crosses (blessed ones); have to believe in it or it doesn’t work • Blessed objects • Garlic and Holy Water There are so many different books about vampires. Some of the oldest ones include: —Vampyre by John Polidori, 1819. This was the first vampire short story written in the English language and was inspired on the same night as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.
—Feast of Blood by Varney the Vampyre, 1845. This was the first vampire novel ever written and was taken from the Penny Dreadful serial. —Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu, 1872. Carmilla, the first female vampire in gothic literature; one of the works that inspired Bram Stoker. —Dracula’s Guest by Bram Stoker, 1897. A lost chapter that was left out of Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula novel. —Dracula by Bram Stoker, 1897. A must read.
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—The Vampire’s Kith and Kin by Montague Summers, 1928. A detailed study in vampires written by the eccentric priest, Montague Summers. Bringing Myth and Realism Together Bram Stoker’s Dracula seems to be one of the best and most famous Vampire tales. What is great about the story is how it combines the real Vlad Dracula with the myths of the fictional undead Vampire. Vlad Dracula, Vlad Dracul, Vlad the Impaler, Dracula, Nosferatu, Vampire, and Creature of the Night are some of the many names he has been called. It is said in history (some believe, some do not) that Vlad drank the blood of his enemies to show his strength of his victories over them. However, stories of Vlad have changed so much over the years. It is better to read material from a scholar who has researched that time period or literature of that time period to know for sure. Even then, how do we really know? Hmmm . . . I personally do believe in some of what we’ve talked about here, but there is always more to learn. I have seen fact and fiction and have heard and read stories about all I have written here. I’ve even had my own experiences with it. But, who knows what is truth and what is fiction anymore. Honestly, if there really was such a thing as an Immortal Vampire, I would probably wish to be one. Maybe that sounds a bit on the crazy side, but I can see the beauty in some things others can’t . . . I guess. Hope you enjoyed reading this small bit of what I love. Much blessings and well wishes to all. Vampire Kisses.
Vampire Reference Books Complete Book of Vampires, Ghosts, & Poltergeists by Leonard R. N. Ashley The Complete Vampire Companion by Rosemary Ellen Guiley and J. B. MacAbre The Dracula Cookbook of Blood by Ardin C. Price Northern Shadows: An Illustrated Guide to Canadian Vampires by John Arkelian Treatise on Vampires and Revenants by Dom Augustine Calmet V Is for Vampire: An A to Z Guide to Everything Undead by David J. Skal Vampire: The Complete Guide to the World of the Undead by Manuela Dunn-Mascetti The Vampire Book: The Complete Encyclopedia of the Undead by J. Gordon Melton The Vampire Encyclopedia by Matthew E. Bunson The Vampire Gallery by J. Gordon Melton Vampires: Restless Creatures of the Night by Jean Marigny, translated by Lory Frankel
Vampires in LIterature Blood and Roses: Vampires in 19th Century Literature edited by Adele O. Gladwell The Blood is the Life: Vampires in Literature edited by Leonard G. Heldreth & Mary Pharr Blood Read edited by Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger & Brian W. Aldiss Living Dead: A Study of the Vampire in Romantic Literature by James B. Twitchell The Quotable Vampire edited by David Proctor Reading the Vampire by Ken
Gelder The Vampire in Literature: A Critical Bibliography by Margaret L. Carter and Robert Scholes The Vampire Omnibus edited by Peter Haining Vampire Readings: An Annotated Bibliography by Patricia Altner Vampires: Encounters with the Undead by David J. Skal Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula by Christopher Frayling
Vampires on Film Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The Film and the Legend by James V. Hart & Francis Ford Coppola Dracula: The Vampire Legend on Film by Robert Marrero The Ingrid Pitt Bedside Companion for Vampire Lovers by Ingird Pitt The Quotable Vampire edited by David Proctor Reading the Vampire by Ken Gelder The Vampire Film by Alain Silver & James Ursini The Vampire Omnibus edited by Peter Haining VideoHound’s Vampires on Video by J. Gordon Melton
Myth and Reality Bloody Irish by Bob Curran Children of the Night by Tony Thorne Countess Dracula by Tony Thorne The Embrace: A True Vampire Story by Aphrodite Jones Food for the Dead by Michael E. Bell Forests of the Vampires: Slavic Myth Liquid Dreams of Vampires by Martin V. Riccardo Piercing the Darkness by Katherine Ramsland Private Files of a Vampirologist:
Case Histories & Letters edited by Jeanne K. Youngson Real Vampires by Daniel Cohen Something in the Blood by Jeff Guinn and Andy Grieser Transformations edited by Time-Life Books & Jim Hicks V Special Edition by Father Sebastian, Michelle Belanger and Layil Umbralux The Vampire: In Legend & Fact by Basil Copper The Vampire in Europe: True Tales of the Undead by Montague Summers The Vampire Lectures by Laurence A. Rickels The Vampire of Tradition: A Casebook edited by Alan Dundes Vampires: The Occult Truth by Konstantinos Vampires, Burial & Death: Folklore & Reality by Paul Barber Vampires Among Us by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Vampires and Vampirism: Legends from Around the World by Dudley Wright Vampires or Gods? by William Meyers
Dracula Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The Film and the Legend by James V. Hart Dracula by Elizabeth Miller Dracula: Between Tradition and Modernism by Carol A. Senf Dracula: Prince of Many Faces by Radu R. Florescu & Raymond T. McNally Dracula: Sense & Nonsense by Elizabeth Miller Dracula: The First Hundred Years by Bob Madison Dracula: The Novel and the Legend by Clive Leatherdale In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires by Raymond T. McNally The Origins of Dracula edited by Clive Leatherdale
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
Waverly Hills Earns its ‘Most Haunted’ Reputation By Chad Wilson
estled in the hills of Northern Kentucky, Waverly Hills Sanatorium sits along the ridge of Waverly Hills within the city of Louisville, Kentucky. The Tuberculosis hospital was dedicated on Wednesday, October 20, 1926, and served as a home to thousands of tuberculosis patients over the many years of its existence as a hospital, until its closure in June 1961.
It reopened in 1962 as Woodhaven Geriatrics Hospital, remaining open until 1981, when it was closed allegedly due to patient abuse. Changing hands over the years, Waverly Hills was at one time going to be a prison, but this fell through due to neighborhood protests. Then the idea of turning the building into apartments fell through because of lack of funds.
Fact or Fiction? —An estimated 60,000 or so patients were said to have died at Waverly Hills and Woodhaven over the 55 years of its operation. However, at its worst, the death toll was only 162 deaths per year, which puts the actual death toll around 8,000. A lot of deaths, but nowhere near the mythic proportions presented in the stories told. —The Body Chute was not an actual chute, but had a rail system that allowed for supplies to be brought up from the railcar at the bottom. It also allowed for the bodies of the deceased to be taken discreetly out to awaiting hearses. —The veracity of the claim of the young, pregnant nurse who hung herself is questionable, as the pipe she supposedly hung herself from didn’t exist at the time of her death. That is not to say that a young, pregnant nurse did not hang herself at Waverly, only that she did not use the pipe she was alleged to have used.
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The location was even proposed for the location of the tallest statue of Christ on the planet by then owner Robert Alberhasky. Much like “Christ the Redeemer” in Rio de Janeiro, the statue was to be 150 feet tall and situated atop the old sanatorium with a chapel, gift theater, and gift shop located in the building below. Funding also fell through on this, and the owner sought to have the structure condemned and torn down, only to be denied by the county. Frustrated, he tried to undermine the foundation with a bulldozer, which ultimately failed. He then sold it to the current owners, Charlie and Tina Mattingly, in 2001. Currently, the Mattinglys, who also live on the property, hold both historical and ghost tours on the site, as well as a haunted house in the weeks surrounding Halloween. Tours are available for a fee, and the proceeds go toward the restoration of Waverly Hills. Recently, plans have been announced to turn Waverly into a hotel, while restoring the haunted fourth floor into an area available for investigation by ghost hunters,
Historical and ghost tours are held at Waverly Hills Sanatorium, as well as a haunted house in the weeks surrounding Halloween. Tours are available for a fee, and the proceeds go toward the restoration of Waverly Hills.
thrill seekers, and the curious. The $18 million project is hoped to be completed by 2010. The Entities of Waverly Hills Sanatorium Lois Higgs: One ghost believed to reside at Waverly is that of Nurse Higgs, who used to reside on the second floor. She has been identified as the full-bodied apparition that was caught on camera in June of this year. Even though it was only her head that supposedly apported, in paranormal circles that is still considered a full-bodied apparition. Old man and his dog: Reportedly this homeless man and his dog had taken up residence at the old, decrepit institution. He and his canine companion were brutally murdered and then thrown down the third floor elevator shaft. Their spirits are said to haunt
Waverly, especially around the third floor elevator. The clicking of his dog’s nails can also be heard at times, as the spectral hound roams the darkened halls of Waverly Hill. Timmy: The most well-known of the children entities alleged to haunt Waverly Hills. He can be found on the third floor, as well as on the second floor, where I encountered him during a recent visit to Waverly Hills. However, EVPs captured at this location include an older-sounding entity saying, “I’m Michael.” Maybe the entity on the second floor is actually an older spirit named Michael, and not Timmy at all. Young Nurse: The young, pregnant nurse who is said to have hung herself in room 502 reportedly haunts the fifth floor, especially room 502.
Doctor in lab coat: This entity was seen by Troy Taylor on his first trip to Waverly Hills in 2002. It was while on the fourth floor that he saw the figure of a man with a white drape, possibly a lab coat, walk across the hall to the other side. When a search was conducted, no one was found. This was one of only two ghosts that Troy Taylor has ever seen. Shadow people: These are shadow-like apparitions that look like humans but are black in coloration with no discernible features. There are three known types of shadow people that are said to dwell at Waverly Hills: • Shallows: Shallows are very hard to discern close up or straight on. The can be seen however in a person’s peripheral vision. One way to facilitate the observation of shallows is to have one person walk down the hallway
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
The allure of Waverly Hills draws ghost hunters and thrill seekers from around the world, as well as a few unscheduled guests; trespassers break into Waverly Hills almost nightly and are hit with a hefty fine.
where shadow people are observed, turn around, and walk slowly back to the group, arms outstretched. The group, in turn, focuses on the person, which supposedly makes it easier to see the Shallows. • Solids: Another form of Shadow Person is the Solid. Similar to Shallows, Solids are visible, even straight on, with no discernible features. • Black Masses: A Black Mass can range in size from a tennis ball to an all-engulfing mass of dark shadow, engulfing hallways and all those present in said hallway. Elemental know as Big Black: This entity is said to roam the third and fourth floors of Waverly. Mike Flickner, a professional with
30 years of experience with the paranormal thinks this entity, also known as Big Black, has always been present on Waverly Hills, even before the construction of the hospital. According to Mike, an Elemental is basically neutral and only reflects what the contactee puts into the encounter. If the person encountering it is angry, then the entity will show anger, so it is important if you do come across this force of nature that you either walk the other way or get happy real quick. The Five Floors of Waverly Death Tunnel: The Death Tunnel, or Body Chute, as it is some-
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times called, originally extended 500 feet from the hospital to the bottom of Waverly Hills. Even now it is a daunting 425 feet long. 1st Floor: The first floor houses the lobby, the electrotherapy room, as well as the gift shop and the morgue. 2nd Floor: The second floor is the location where the apparition of Lois Higgs’ head was supposedly captured in a photograph on June 13, 2008. The chapel and cafeteria are also located on this floor, and the entity known as Timmy is said to play with his ball on this floor. This is also the floor where Troy Taylor saw one of the only two ghosts he has ever seen.
The spirits of a homeless man and his dog are said to have taken up residence inside the darkened halls at Waverly Hills Sanatorium after being murdered and then thrown down the third floor elevator shaft.
3rd Floor: On this floor, a homeless man and his dog were murdered and thrown down the elevator shaft. Their ghosts are seen here upon occasion. 4th Floor: The most haunted floor at Waverly Hills; this floor, along with the third, contain a large portion of the shadow sightings, though they are seen on other floors as well. 5th Floor: This floor contains the infamous room 502, reported to be haunted by the ghost of a single, young nurse who allegedly hung herself here after learning she was pregnant. A swing set was also up here for the children to play on, and some say you can hear children talking
and playing on the roof from time to time. Take a Tour at Waverly So, what can one learn from Waverly? Maybe from within the walls of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, an answer can be found to the question, â€œIs there is life after death?â€? Sometimes the spirits of the dearly departed linger on beyond death, and if you listen closely enough, or are in tune with the spirit world, maybe you can see the dead walk and hear the dead speak from across the veil. Morbid to some, to others it gives hope. Visit Waverly Hills and make up your own mind.
Scheduling for tours, half-night stays, and complete overnight stays will begin on January 2, 2009, at 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. (EST). The office is open for scheduling on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. If you call to schedule a halfnight or overnight stay, you must pay in full by credit card when you call and make your reservations. The Waverly Hills Office phone number is (502) 933-2142.
Have you had your own encounters at Waverly Hills? If so, write firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about them.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
Gettysburg: Vision-PLace of Souls By Carolyn M. Hughes
ine miles north of the Mason-Dixon Line in Pennsylvania sits a small town known as Gettysburg. Approximately 2.7 million people a year visit the National Park at Gettysburg. For it was here during three days in July 1863 that two great armies consisting of approximately 172,000 men and boys, one from the North and one from the South, came together to do battle. When the dust had settled, 51,000 casualties would lay in places that would come to be forever known as the Wheatfield, Devilâ€™s Den, Little Round Top, Iversonâ€™s Pits, Triangular Field, the Angle, and the Peach Orchard, just to name a few. More men and boys died on the battlefields of Gettysburg on those three days than anywhere else on U.S. soil. Thousands of tourists, however, are experiencing much more than learning about what occurred on these once-peaceful fields. Reports of Civil War soldiers suddenly appearing and just as suddenly disappearing, cannon and musket fire heard in the night, strange smells, the sounds of moans and screams, orders given by phantom voices,
cold spots in a field on a hot summer day, and unexplainable images appearing in photographs have been occurring for years. With so much intense emotion, death, despair, and paralyzing fear experienced by tens of thousands of men and boys on the 25-squaremile battlefield, it appears that there
Thousands of tourists to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, experience much more than just learning about what occurred on these once-peaceful fields. Something strange is happening here.
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is some impression left on the atmosphere. Is there any surprise that even immediately after the battle the citizens of the town would report specters walking those bloody fields? Or that so many soldiers who were instantly obliterated by cannon fire would not realize that they were dead? The importance of what occurred in and around the town of Gettysburg cannot be dismissed and contributes to what seems to be occurring there. The Battle of Gettysburg In June 1863, the American Civil War had been raging for two years. General Robert E. Lee, head of the Army of Northern Virginia, with Confederate President Jeff Davisâ€™ approval, decided to invade the north and, for the second time, bring the war onto Northern soil. Such a move would allow the besieged farmers of Virginia to plant their crops relatively undisturbed. His original destination was Harrisburg. However, a Confederate spy discovered the Union army advancing from the south, and Lee was forced to change his plans and turned his army to meet the Union advance.
The Gettysburg battlefield, the site of bloody battles between Union and Confederate armies, is said to be home to the spirits of those men and boys brutally killed in 1863. One sighting includes a barefoot man wearing a floppy hat and dirty, ragged clothes walking around the huge granite rocks and boulders, which has long been known to the locals of the area as ‘Devil’s Den.’
On July 1, 1863, the two great armies collided at the small town of Gettysburg. The battle began with Confederate troops skirmishing with a Union cavalry division on Herr Ridge, west of town. After the arrival of Major General John Reynolds’ First Corp., the outnumbered Union forces managed to hold at McPherson’s Ridge, and even drive the Confederate army back. The Union was successful until the afternoon when they were overrun by additional Southern troops and driven back through town to regroup on Cemetery Hill. The Union troops feverishly worked on their defenses all through the night as the remainder of the Union army
arrived and took positions. On July 2, the Union army was positioned on Cemetery Ridge, on the east, facing Confederate forces on Seminary Ridge to the west. The battle continued when Lee ordered an attack against both Union flank positions. Confederate Lt. General James Longstreet’s move on the Union’s left flank position broke through Union Major General Dan Sickles’ advance lines at the Peach Orchard, which left the Wheatfield and Plum Run (AKA Bloody Run) scattered with dead and wounded, and turned the rocky area known as ‘Devils Den,’ at the base of Little Round Top, into a bloody disaster area. Confederate General Richard
Ewell’s attack against the Union right flank was unsuccessful against the Union army, who were entrenched on East Cemetery Hill and Culp’s Hill, even though they were able to take possession of the southern and lower slope of Culp’s Hill. On July 3, Lee made the decision to attack the Union center on Cemetery Ridge. At 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, the Southern artillery opened a bombardment that continued for approximately two hours, engaging the massed guns of both sides in a thundering contest, but did little damage to the Union battle lines. Never before or since has an artillery duel the magnitude of this one taken place on United States soil.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites The cannonade, claimed by some to All who had been to Gettysburg straight line from a surprise volley of be the loudest sound ever heard on would remember. rifle fire. The men who were killed the North American Continent, was were later buried in shallow graves on heard as far away as Pittsburgh, PennSomething Strange Is this spot on Oak Ridge, which is now sylvania, about 200 miles to the west Happening Here known to locals as “Iverson’s Pits.” and over several mountain ranges. Immediately after the battle, Peck Forney, great-grandson General George E. Pickett led locals would encounter phantom of John Forney, related to me that one of the most incredible efforts in spirits walking where thousands of his great-grandfather had difficulty military history — a massed infantry bloodied bodies once lay. At the hiring and keeping hands to work his assault of approximately 12,500 time of the battle, John Forney fields. Farm workers reported mysteConfederate troops across the open owned a 150-acre farm west of town. rious lights and a milky-colored mist field toward the Union center on It was here on the afternoon of July rising from the ground on the land Cemetery Ridge. They marched 1 where Union troops were coneast of the farmhouse. Soon, even across the one-mile-wide the local townspeople would field in what was described as avoid traveling at dusk on the “parade-like fashion” while Mummasburg Road which cuts being pounded by artillery and through the farm. The area rifle fire. where most of the paranormal Through it all, Pickett’s activity has been reported is men reached but failed to break “Iverson’s Pits” where those the Union line, and the glorious doomed North Carolinians effort ended in disaster. In 50 were once buried. minutes, approximately 10,000 At the start of the battle on in the assault had become casuJuly 1, John Burns, a 69-yearalties, and the attack, forever to old veteran of the War of 1812 be known as Pickett’s Charge, and citizen of Gettysburg, was now history. The charge, decided to grab his old musket although bravely executed, was and joined the 2nd Wisconsin repulsed with severe losses. infantry of the famous Iron With the failure of PickBrigade in their fight against ett’s Charge, the battle was the 1st Tennessee Infantry effectively over. Lee’s retreat, on McPherson’s Ridge. John which included a 17-mile-long Burns was wounded three wagon train of wounded, began times and survived the battle late on the afternoon of July 5 to become a national hero. in a driving rain. Behind him, However, it was his experience this small town of only 2,400 in the very woods where he was left with a total of more fought five years after the battle than 51,000 casualties, includthat left him speechless. Almost immediately after the Battle of Gettysburg concluded, ing one civilian casualty, a local many visitors to the Gettysburg battlefield began to recount He was walking along on similar stories of amazing encounters with deceased soldiers. woman by the name of Jennie a path near the McPherson Wade. Additionally, 5,000 farm when a Confederate dead horses and the other soldier stepped into his path wreckage of war presented a scene of cealed and protected behind a stone and aimed his rifle directly at him. terrible devastation. wall on a ridge located on today’s Burns immediately turned around The war was to rage for two Doubleday Avenue and fired upon and swiftly walked out of the woods, more terrible years, but the Conthe advancing Confederates. never to return to that path again. federacy never recovered from the Brig. General Alfred Iverson’s During the following years, losses of Gettysburg. The battle itself brigade of North Carolina troops many visitors to the Gettysburg would be referred to as the “High suffered heavy casualties (70%), with battlefield began to recount similar Water Mark” of the Confederacy. many of the men dropping dead in a stories of amazing encounters with
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soldiers. Heard repeatedly was a sighting of a barefoot man wearing a floppy hat and dirty, ragged clothes walking around the huge granite rocks and boulders, which has long been known to the locals of the area as ‘Devil’s Den.’ This description could easily match battle-hardened veterans of the 15th Georgia Infantry and the 1st Texas Infantry who swarmed over this position after capturing Captain James Smith’s 4th New York Artillery battery. During the filming of the 1993 movie Gettysburg, there were numerous reports from the reenactors hired for the film of strange things happening in their encampments. One of the most famous stories is of a local woman who was giving reenactors rides in her pick-up truck back to town after a day of filming. She watched everyone depart from her truck and started on her way home. Glancing in her rearview mirror, she noticed two soldiers sitting in the back of her truck. She pulled over to question them, but they were gone. It has also been reported that when the dailies were reviewed of the shots filmed of the famous ‘Pickett’s Charge’ scene, there were many more soldiers who appeared on film than were actually on the field during the shooting. Park Rangers and Licensed Battlefield Guides manning the National Visitor Center front desk were answering more and more questions regarding cannon blasts and musket fire heard in the dead of night, or responding to inquiries regarding phantom campfires burning that appeared to melt into the mist in what is known today as the Valley of Death. Phantom smells such as sulphur (the main ingredient in gunpowder), sweet cherry pipe tobacco (a favorite of the Southern soldiers), cold spots in an open field during hot, humid
Approximately 2.7 million people a year visit the National Park at Gettysburg, the site where more than 51,000 men and boys lost their lives during a three-day battle in July 1863.
summer months, screams and moans being heard while walking in a field day or night, and cameras malfunctioning in an area known as Triangular Field were routinely experienced by many visitors to the Park. Throughout the summer, with the pre-approved permission of the National Park Service, Civil War reenactors schedule small demonstration events on the battlefield for the enjoyment and education of the tourists. However, there have been countless reports of visitors witnessing a reenactment on a day when there was not one scheduled or reports of visitors having witnessed soldiers marching in unison upon the fields, only to see them disappear before their eyes. It wasn’t until a former Park Service Ranger decided to write a series of books relating the stories told to him in his capacity as ranger that the world became aware of Gettysburg
as one of the most-haunted locations in the United States. Mark Nesbitt’s six books on the “ghosts of Gettysburg,” coupled with many Web sites that started to appear on the internet dedicated to “Gettysburg ghosts,” further spread the news that something of a paranormal nature was occurring on the fields where death held so many in its firm grip so many years ago. In 1994, the first ghost tour appeared in Gettysburg. As of the date of this writing, there are more than 10 such ghost tours of the town. Hundreds of encounters with the soldier spirits of the Gettysburg battlefield have been documented in books and on film. And the number of encounters keeps growing. I could continue to relate to the reader all the well-known stories of paranormal activity that have occurred over the years on the Gettysburg battlefield. These stories
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
At ‘the Angle,’ a sight of intense fighting and death during the Battle of Gettysburg, my friend and I witnessed multiple full-bodied apparitions of soldiers who appeared to be from the Civil War period.
have been regurgitated repeatedly in books and on Web sites on the net. Instead, I will share a few of the many hundreds of incidents I have experienced while visiting the Gettysburg battlefield in the seven years that I have been living in the area. My Personal Experiences and Encounters The Angle: A friend of mine came to visit and wanted to see and perhaps experience something paranormal out on the battlefield. He was adamant and quite vocal in his belief that there were no such things as ‘ghosts.’ After several hours and visits to several prominent locations on the battlefield, it was approaching the park’s closing time — 10:00 p.m. I decided to take my friend to the Angle, which is the location of the Union’s
position during Pickett’s Charge. It was here on a hot, humid afternoon of July 3, 1863, where the climax of the three-day battle occurred. ‘The Angle’ was a point in the Union line where the rock walls formed a 90-degree angle. The Confederates who survived the intense artillery barrage, musketry fire, and deadly double shots of canister of the charge and who made it as far as the Angle were outnumbered and cutoff from any reinforcements. Soon, anyone left in the Angle was either captured or killed. The fighting here was brutal. The remaining Confederate units near the Angle slowly retreated and made their way back toward Seminary Ridge after realizing no reinforcements were to come, leaving behind their dead and wounded. It was a crystal clear night with a
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bright full moon when my friend and I reached the Angle. We could easily see that we were the only living souls for miles around because the area is completely open. As we were making our way over to the 71st PA infantry monument, which sits right in the corner of the Angle where two stone walls meet, I was thinking about all the men who struggled so valiantly and died so horribly on that very ground. Suddenly, we both heard the sounds of running directly to our right. We both turned at the same time and saw a man run past us. He was wearing a floppy hat, what appeared to be a dirty torn shirt, and ragged pants, and he was carrying a very long rifle. I’m 5’2”, and it looked to me that the rifle was almost as tall as I was. No sooner did I utter the
On an oppressively hot afternoon of July 2, a small wheatfield became a confusing whirlpool of fighting and death. By the end of the afternoon, the ground would be soaked with the blood of thousands of lifeless bodies.
words, “What the hell was that,” when once again we heard the sounds of more running. Instantly, we turned toward the sounds and saw three more men who came rushing past us. Two of the men were wearing that same floppy type of hat, which looked very dirty, light-colored pants, and print shirts. The third man was not wearing a hat but was also wearing dirty, light-colored pants, and a solid, soiled shirt. He was barefoot. All three had those long, deadly looking rifles in their hands. I actually felt a breeze brush my face as they passed, they were so close. My friend immediately chased after them, and I started snapping pictures. He came back within a minute with a stunned look on his face. They were gone. I purposely did not describe to him what I saw,
but asked him what he saw. He described to me almost exactly what I had observed, except he noticed the rope belts holding up the pants on two of the men. There was one more critical point that I had observed, and I wanted to hear him say that he had seen it as well. I did not have to wait long. “Carolyn, they were at least a foot off the ground,” my friend said. “They were not on the ground; they were above the ground.” Yes, I noticed this as well. Nothing showed up in the photographs I took except the back of my friend as he chased after them. My friend is now a firm believer in the spirits who inhabit Gettysburg and its surrounding battlefields. The Wheatfield: My mom, who is 78 years old, and I often visit the Gettysburg battlefield. We have
taken many tours together studying regiment by regiment, action by action what happened on those three days in July 1863. When we are not taking tours by day, we are visiting by night those we refer to as “our spirit friends” who linger on in that space. On one nightly visit, we decided to stop by an area that is today referred to as ‘the Wheatfield.’ On an oppressively hot afternoon of July 2, a small wheatfield became a confusing whirlpool of fighting and death. By the end of the afternoon, the wheat would be trampled, the area would exchange hands several times, and the ground would be soaked with the blood of thousands of lifeless bodies. Thankfully, when we arrived, we were the only ones visiting the Wheatfield this cool, autumn night. We decided to walk to the center of
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites the Wheatfield to take some pholocation that has been reported to In the hands of the Confederates, tographs and try to get some EVPs. have a significant amount of activity. Devil’s Den soon became a haven We were only there a few minutes I already had many interesting expefor Confederate sharpshooters who when we started to hear loud thumpriences in Devil’s Den, but usually I practiced their deadly craft on Union ing sounds. avoided the area because of so many targets on Little Round Top. We stood silently listening to the tourists. Once again, my mom and I Mom and I decided to roam sounds, which appeared to surround found ourselves surprisingly alone. around the area near the ‘Devil’s us. There would be one loud thump, Considered a curiosity by local Den’ sign, which sits directly in front a few seconds of silence, and then residents long before the battle, the of the huge boulders and across another thump. Both of us were huge granite formations and steep from what is known today as the frozen to the spot, turning in a circle cliffs of Devil’s Den provided height ‘Slaughter Pen.’ Across from the and trying to see what was makand protection for the Union artilsign, there is a parking lot with a ing those sounds, but we could see lery battery placed on the summit stone wall and a small creek known nothing but the field, monuments, and brought into play on July 2. as Plum Run or ‘Bloody Run.’ At and the two cannons of the time of our visit, a Winslow’s N.Y. battery. thick tree line still stood I asked my mom across the creek. what she thought was I was shooting making those noises, pictures and speaking and she said it sounded out loud to my spirit like something heavy friends while my mom hitting the ground. I stood next to me. Sudimmediately agreed denly, we heard what and mentioned bodies. sounded like a great Yes, just like that. It was many people wrestling then that the sounds with the bushes near appeared to get louder the tree line across as if they were coming Plum Run creek. closer. My mom, norI mentioned to my mally fearless, decided mom that it was probshe had heard enough ably a group of kids and wanted to go to trying to frighten us “I stepped over to the wall and looked down into the creek at the ‘Slaughter another location. and decided to aim my Pen.’ I could not see a thing coming across the small creek as I continued to As we were walking flash pictures. There was not a ripple in the water, and yet the sound of loud camera in that direction back through the field, and flash. Instead of the splashing was directly in front of me.” I turned and looked at noises stopping, they the ground behind me. became louder. All I It was then that I saw depressions Unfortunately, it would also could think was that there were a lot starting to appear in the half-cut prove to be a trap when the Confedof them, and they were determined. wheat on either side of the path we erates attacked from three directions So, I continued shooting my were on. I literally watched as the at once. Huge piles of rocks and camera and lighting up the area with wheat was squashed down by some large boulders caused battle formamy flash. The next sounds that came unseen force. tions to fragment. Officers lost conwere those of what appeared to be a This was not the first time I had trol of their commands and soldiers great many people splashing through witnessed this on the battlefield, but lost their way in this stone menagerthe creek. I stepped over to the wall I didn’t want my mom, who was ie. Men scrambled behind boulders and looked down into the creek at already a little nervous, to decide it for protection from the shower of the Slaughter Pen. I could not see a was time to leave the battlefield enbullets, shells, and canisters. thing coming across that small creek tirely. So, I didn’t mention it to her. The battle lines surged back as I continued to flash pictures. Devil’s Den: The next area we and forth until the outnumbered There was not a ripple in the visited on this evening was another Union troops were forced to retreat. water, and yet the sound of loud
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Fields of Death and Honor I have one request of anyone who visits the National Park at Gettysburg. Please remember that tens of thousands of young men and boys died in Spirits Do Roam Gettysburg excruciating agony and in horrifying I have heard cannon firing in the ways, leaving behind rivers of blood to dead of night when there are no artilsoak the fields and hills of Gettysburg. lery demonstrations on the battleTake the time to learn about what field, smelled sulfur, walked through happened during those three days in icy cold spots in the middle of PickJuly 1863. Too many times I have ett’s Charge on blistering, hot days, crossed paths with people who have heard the spine tingling rebel yell no respect for those who gave their directly next to me while standing in lives here and treat the battlefield as a wide open field, had a playground for ghost my digital camera with hunting. What occurred a fully-charged battery here is part of our great mysteriously stop worknation’s history and not ing while standing in to be forgotten. It truly is Triangular Field, only hallowed ground. to begin working norOne of the heroes mally once I stepped of the Battle of Getout of that field. tysburg was Joshua I have smelled Lawrence Chamberlain. many times the aroma At the time of the battle, of sweet, cherry pipe he was a Colonel in the tobacco in a wide Union army with the open, empty field, 20th Maine and reached heard fife and drum the rank of Brigadier playing many times in General by the end the night, heard and of the war. Brig. Genwitnessed footsteps eral Chamberlain was depress in grass walkawarded the Medal of Pictured above is the 20th Maine Monument, located on the left flank of the Union line on Little Round Top, where Brig. General Joshua Lawrence Chambering beside me, in front Honor for his defense lain delivered his prophetic speech at the monument’s dedication in 1889. of me, and behind me of Little Round Top. on numerous occaHe survived the sions. I’ve also heard war, despite receiving I have no doubt at all that there gunshots echoing through the Valley what was thought to be a mortal are many soldiers who still inhabit of Death late at night. wound at Petersburg, and went on to those houses that were once used I have taken more than 100,000 later serve four terms as the Goveras hospitals where men and boys photographs of the soldier spirits nor of Maine. experienced unspeakable pain and who inhabit the town and fields of In 1889, at the dedication of the horror and died lost and alone. I Gettysburg in every form imagin20th Maine monument in Gettysburg, have no doubt at all that there are able and some unimaginable. I have he prophetically spoke the following many soldiers who still walk those several thousand EVP recordings words, which I think appropriately once bloody fields and hills where where a soldier is yelling commands describes what is happening here: “. brother fought against brother, in or shouting descriptions of what he . . In great deeds something abides. many instances in brutal hand-tois seeing, or calling me by my name On great fields something stays. hand combat, and left in their wake and asking me for help, or even Forms change and pass; bodies disapunbelievable and indescribable huanswering my questions. pear; but spirits linger to consecrate man carnage. I have recorded the sounds of ground for the vision-place of souls.” splashing was directly in front of me. As suddenly as the sounds started, they stopped. My mom decided she had enough fun for one night.
battle on numerous occasions on a peaceful, hot summer’s day or cool, quiet autumn night. I also have a diary that is published in this magazine (“Diary of a Haunted Hotel”), documenting the experiences I have while working as a night auditor at the Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters, which is located on Day One battlefield. I have seen them, heard them, photographed their images, and recorded their voices. Night or day, it doesn’t seem to matter.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids
The Jersey Devil Legend Lives On By Jaime Johnesee, Zoologist
f you happen to make your way to Southern New Jersey one of these days, some locals might warn you to steer clear of the Pine Barrens. Why? Because that area is home to a legendary cryptid called the Jersey Devil, a creature that has worked its way into the pop culture of the area. The Jersey Devil started out life as the supposed child of a Mrs. Shroud (in some versions of the tale, Mother Leeds) of Leed’s Point New Jersey. The story goes that Mrs. Shroud’s 13th child was born with deformities and shunned as evil by the community because of those deformities. It was not uncommon at the time the legend was born for people to view such deformities as being the responsibility of the devil, usually in retaliation for an unknown sin caused by the child’s mother. In the Jersey Devil’s case that sin was his mother saying that she hoped her child was born a devil. Or was the child shunned and made to live in exile by his own family because they were tyring to avoid fear, embarrassment, and worry that they would be called witches for having given birth to such a child? More Than 2,000 Devil Sightings Reported There are a few versions of the legend, yet the one consistent fact is the place in which the birth
This newspaper illustration of the New Jersey Devil comes from Philadelphia Evening Bullentin, January 1909. It was drawn from an account of a Devil sighting by Nelson Evans of Glouchester, New Jersey, USA: “It was about three and a half feet high, with a head like a collie dog and a face like a horse. It had a long neck, wings about two feet long, and its back legs were like those of a crane, and it had horse’s hooves. It walked on its back legs and held up two short front legs with paws on them. It didn’t use the front legs at all while we [he and Mrs. Evans] were watching.”
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occurred, Leed’s Point New Jersey. The sightings of the Jersey Devil began in the early 19th century. A naval hero, Commodore Stephen Decatur is noted as seeing the Devil as he was firing cannonballs during a military test of the cannons. He claimed the creature flew across the sky, was hit by one of his cannonballs and it just flew away. Another one of the witnesses to the Devil is Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother. Joseph Bonaparte is credited as seeing the Devil during a hunting trip in Bordentown New Jersey. Whether he truly did see the creature and actually made this report seems to be simply myth, as I could find no paperwork on it. More than 2,000 Devil reports have been made over the years, some by very credible witnesses like Police Officer James Sackville. Other reports are not so credible, such as by a man known to be the town drunkard. Some never saw the creature at all and only witnessed its footprints. While others heard its shrill cries and stumbled upon the remains of some poor animal thought to have been the creature’s dinner. One man who saw the Devil maintained it stood around three and a half feet tall, had a face like a horse, a head like a dog, with a long neck and long back legs like a crane’s but with horse hooves.
Smithsonian Gives Its Opinion on the Devil After the many sightings before and during 1909, the Smithsonian was called in to give its opinion, along with science professors from Philadelphia, on the Jersey Devil. The scientists at the Smithsonian believed the Devil might possibly be a prehistoric creature from the Jurassic period. But even a prehistoric creature could not live the 200-plus years the Devil legend has been around. In fact, in 1987 in Vineland New Jersey a German Shepherd was found chewed up and torn apart less than 25 feet from its chain. Strange tracks were found around the remains and were never able to be identified. Of course none of the reports mention the condition of the tracks or whether it had rained the night before or that day, perhaps causing the tracks to be ruined or distorted by the weather. For ages the Jersey Devil has been blamed for everything from failing crops to the loss of livestock, and it even was thought to be an omen foretelling of wars and droughts. Some believed the Devil appeared every seven years; some thought he only appeared to warn of impending doom. Some said the creature could not be killed. They pointed out the Commodore’s firing a cannon at it, as well as instances where locals shot the monster and yet it rose up and flew away as though unharmed. Many people strongly believed the Jersey Devil was the spawn of Satan himself. But, everyone seems to agree that his visits ended badly for someone. Cows stopped giving milk, crops withered and died in the field, trees were toppled. The Devil became synonymous with destruction and ruin. Of course people often look toward a scapegoat when hard times befall them, so it’s not much of a stretch to imagine a creature known as ‘The Devil’ being cast into that role.
One of the animals that is believed to be confused as the Jersey Devil is the Sandhill Crane, a large grey bird with red eyes and a red cap of feathers.
Was the Devil Created to Set Kids Straight? Whereas some believe the Devil was real and others called it a prehistoric creature, many thought the Jersey Devil to be nothing more than local legend and a mere folktale to scare the kiddies into being good. In that region more kids heard “Be good or the Devil will get you” than ever heard of the boogeyman. One of the skeptics that truly believed the Devil was nothing more than a folk story was Superintendent Robert Carson of the Philadelphia zoo. Carson offered a $10,000 reward for capture of the Devil. The reward has never been collected. In the other direction folks from the Arch Street Museum had their own idea regarding the Devil. They painted a kangaroo with green stripes, added a set of false wings, and touted the critter as being the Jersey Devil captured and living in their zoo. It was a fantastic publicity ploy that served the museum well even though it was immediately
clear that what they had was a rather unhappy painted kangaroo. A Case of Mistaken Identity? One of the animals that is believed to be confused as the Jersey Devil is the Sandhill Crane. A large grey bird with red eyes and a red cap of feathers, it is one animal that seems to fit the bill as far as the description of the Devil goes. With long dark grey legs ending in a flat webbed foot, a long neck, and a bill that could be described as like that of a horse’s head, the Sandhill Crane is a likely culprit. Is that what the Devil is? I can’t say. I have never seen the Jersey Devil and have not spoken to anyone who has. I would love to track down the Devil, but like Robert Carson before me, I believe he will never be found. Is the Devil real, a hoax, or just the unfortunate legacy of some poor deformed child? Could there really a creature out there that can live hundreds of years, fly, and still continue to terrify New Jersey today? I leave that decision up to you.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?
Star Gods By Chelle Thomas
trange observations of unusual aerial craft and visitors have been documented throughout history. The most interesting of cases pre-date technology that would deem these reports as other possibilities. From Egyptian hieroglyphs to Nazca geoglyphs to pictograms and petroglyphs around the world, graphics portraying extraterrestrial life have existed for thousands of years. Early Drawings and Carvings Depict Unknown Figures In Blythe, California, there are massive land carvings known as geoglyphs. Only able to be seen fully from the air, Native Americans carved or built from stone intricate pieces of art. These curious pieces of art can be found all over the world. While the drawings in Blythe depict geometric designs, human forms, and animal figures, other drawings around the world show ‘unknown’ figures. Some, like in the Plains of Nazca in South America, depict creatures and figures that have no known connec-
tion to anything ‘of this world.’ Elaborate swirls, zig zags, and strange designs litter the area for miles. One has to ask, why would the inhabitants of that area put so
much effort into a task if it was meaningless? Legendary Stories About ‘Star Gods’ In Marcahuasi, Peru, there are stone carvings that depict animals and people that are not even native in any way to that area. Considering the era these carvings are thought to have been created, there is no way the people of Marcahuasi could have known about them, yet they have an unnerving accuracy to them. Early North and South American cultures have many legends of the Star Gods, a race of visitors from the ‘sky home’ who came to Earth to teach the inhabitants survival skills, as well as share their knowledge of astronomy. The ancient Mayan culture had extremely accurate star charts, some of which would not have been able to have been known without the aid of the major telescopes we use today.
From Egyptian hieroglyphs to Nazca geoglyphs to pictograms and petroglyphs around the world, graphics portraying extraterrestrial life have existed for thousands of years.
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Hopi Beliefs About the ‘Star People’ There is a Blackfoot legend about how the Sun
God fell in love with a maiden and took her with him to his home in the sky. Amongst other tribes, there are stories about Star Children who were progeny of the visitors. These children were treated with the highest respect, and as the legend goes, once they reached a certain age, their parents would return for them. The Hopi believed that their Kachinas were mediators to the Star Kachina, or spirit. The stars on the Star Kachinas belt, match those in Orion’s Belt, which the Hopi believed the star people came from. Physical descriptions and depictions from the legends and art vary from humanoid to the images we are familiar with in today’s society. Different Races of Life Visiting From Outer Space? All throughout the various Native Cultures, the legends all seem to coincide — that there are different races of life visiting us from outer space, and they are in fact intelligent and mostly benign. Skeptics commonly claim that all UFO sightings are either frauds or the product of an over-active imagination. The question that we must ask ourselves is, “With so much intriguing evidence from pre-technological cultures, are we truly alone?” For More Information . . . To find out more on this topic, visit: —www.alienmania.org/ancientaliens.html has some good videos as well as information. —www.americanparagliding.com/ intaglios06/index.htm has excellent aerial shots of some petroglyphs —www.newciv.org/nl/newslog. php/_v39/__show_article/_a000039000038.htm — more on geoglyphs —www.crystalinks.com/ufohistory.html
Ancient drawings depict creatures and figures that have no known connection to anything ‘of this world.’ Elaborate swirls, zig zags, and strange designs litter the area for miles. One has to ask, why would the inhabitants of that area put so much effort into a task if it was meaningless?
Geoglyphs are classified as rock art, which also includes pictographs and petroglyphs. Pictographs are rock paintings while petroglyphs are rock engravings. One of the largest carved human figure lies about 850 miles south of Nazca.
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Zombification & Witch Trials: A Look Back By Jaime Johnesee
t is the week of Halloween, and you sit, feet up on the couch, watching a young woman stumble away from a horde of hungry zombies. Or perhaps you are watching a movie about a group of women casting spells and bringing paranormal vengeance down upon their classmates. No matter your scare of choice, you, along with millions of others around the world, have come to relish the spine-chilling horror this time of year brings. And while those movies and television programs we enjoy on TV about witches and zombies may seem like far-fetched fantasy, the fact remains that these two icons of Halloween are indeed real and do occur in the world outside Hollywood. In this article I will explore both the terrifyingly real and horrific Salem Witch Trials, as well as the eerie and disturbing world of zombies. The Real World of Zombies While they don’t actually eat brains or human flesh at all, zombies have been documented as existing. In the Caribbean, there have been several cases of people who were proclaimed dead only to return to life, terrifying their community. Haiti became famous for its zombies after a man named Clairvius Narcisse supposedly arose from
the dead. In 1962, his brothers sold him to a zombie master because he refused to sell his share of the family land. But not long after being sold into slavery by his family, Clairvius fell gravely ill. On April 30, 1962, hospital records show that Narcisse walked into
Haiti became famous for its zombies after a man named Clairvius Narcisse supposedly arose from the dead.
the emergency room at Schweitzer Hospital in Deschapelles, spitting up blood. He was feverish and full of
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aches, but doctors could not diagnose his illness. His symptoms grew steadily worse and three days after entering the hospital, records indicate that Narcisse died. The attending physicians, including one American, signed his death certificate. Narcisse’s body was placed in cold storage for about 20 hours, and then he was buried. Narcisse claims that he remembers hearing his doctors pronounce him dead while his sister wept at his bedside. But he actually did not die at all, and he was ‘resurrected’ and forced to work on a sugarcane plantation. When Narcisse’s zombie master met a very real death in 1964, Narcisse wandered the island in a drug-induced daze. It took years for the toxins that had been used to transform him into a mindless worker to wear off. Finally, in 1980 Narcisse ran into his sister at a marketplace and immediately recognized her. As his memories came rushing to the forefront of his mind, he ran to meet her. While she was unable to recognize him, the stories he told her of their childhood together convinced her that he was indeed her longthought dead brother. The Zombie Project It was Narcisse’s case and the interest in it from Dr. Nathan Kline,
Harvard ethnobotanist and anthropologist Wade Davis gathered four different samples of the ‘zombie dust’ from eight regions of Haiti during a 1982 investigation into zombification. He found that although many of the ingredients varied, there were four that remained consistent throughout: the tetrodotoxin from a pufferfish, the venom from a toad, the secretions of a tree frog, and human remains.
a New York psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopharmacology, that spurred a study known as The Zombie Project, a study into the origins of zombies conducted in Haiti between 1982 and 1984. Kline theorized that a drug was at the root of Narcisse’s condition and that such a drug might hold some important medical uses. His research led him to the Harvard Botanical Museum, one of the world’s foremost institutes of ethnobiology, where he was referred to Harvard ethnobotanist and anthropologist Wade Davis, a 28-year-old Canadian who was pursuing a doctorate in biology at that time. Kline asked Davis to go on assignment to Haiti and uncover the secret behind zombification. Davis agreed, even though he did not believe in the reaility of zombies, and set off to Haiti in early 1982 to research Clairvius Narcisse’s case.
‘Zombie Dust’ reportedly causes the victim’s heart rate and breathing to slow to the point of being almost undetectable.
The Ingredients for Zombification When Davis arrived in Haiti, he immersed himself in the culture of the Bokors (Zombie Masters and Voodoo priests), and although they maintained they were able to create zombies by stealing part of the victim’s soul, Davis eventually learned that it was the use of plant and animal parts that did the trick. After gathering four different samples of the ‘zombie dust’ from
was declared dead, they were buried quickly. The fast burial had more to do with the heat and humidity of the climate than anything. The witch doctor/Zombie master/Bokor would then dig up the victim, wait for the toxin to flush from the zombie’s system, and then force-feed them a potion made of Datura Stramonium (also known as Zombie Cucumber). This drug is said to cause hallucinations that can
eight regions of Haiti, Davis found that although many of the ingredients varied, there were four that remained consistent throughout: the tetrodotoxin from a pufferfish, the venom from a toad, the secretions of a tree frog, and human remains. Using the mixture of tetrodotoxin from a species of pufferfish and mixing in the secretions from a certain type of toad was said to cause the victim’s heart rate and breathing to slow to the point of being near undetectable. And once the ‘zombie’
be used to break a victim’s mind and spirit, as well as cause memory loss and, in high doses, even paralysis and death. A Sound Methodology or a Rush to Judgement? Had Davis actually discovered the secrets behind the creation of zombies? Davis’ theory appeared to be sound yet several of his colleagues scrutinized his work carefully, stating that he may not have done the experiments properly. Several researchers also questioned his ethics as he participated in what amounted to grave robbing to recover human remains for the zombie powder. Many questioned whether he remained scientific with his laboratory tests on the powder. They also claimed that some of Davis’ claimed zombie victims were people suffering from mental illness and even cases of mistaken identity. Did Dr. Wade Davis make the ultimate discovery with Clairvius Narcisse, or was he merely taking one case and using it as proof that this was indeed how zombies were made? That is a question that may never be answered. But next time you watch the movie Serpent in the Rainbow, loosely based on the nonfiction book written by Davis, keep what you’ve read here in mind. You might just look at the movie a little differently.
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Haunted History The Infamous Salem Witch Trials Speaking of movies one of my favorites is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I just get a kick out of the scene where the villagers call for a witch to be burned. The logic that they use to determine if the lady is a witch is hilarious. For those who might not have seen this film, the scene begins with them likening witches to wood because they both burn, therefore witches are made of wood. And since wood floats in water and ducks also float in water, the logical conclusion in this scene is that if the woman weighs the same as a duck, she is a witch. The sad thing is that the reasoning displayed in this movie scene is just about the same sort of logic displayed during the infamous Salem witch trials. A very sad and dark part of American history, the witch trials ended with the deaths of many innocent people. In just three months, 19 people were hung and another was pressed to death before he could even go to trial. The entire mess began with a little girl who more than likely suffered from convulsive ergotism, which is a condition brought on by ergot poisoning, or in more basic terms, eating moldy bread. Betty Parris (daughter of Samuel Parris, the town reverend) had started running around, hiding under furniture, throwing fits, screaming through convulsions that contorted her body, and complaining of a fever. There is no real way of knowing what physical malady Betty may
have suffered from, but it was deemed to be more supernatural than natural, and Betty Parris was thought to have been bewitched. And the belief that the girl was being plagued by devils due to witchcraft really caught fire when her friends, Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, and Mary Walcott, also began showing the same symptoms as Betty. Dr. William Griggs was called in to examine the girls, and finding nothing that would suggest physical illness, he suggested a supernatural one. A widespread belief that witches had targeted the girls coupled with the doctor’s suggestion made this scenario even more likely to the townsfolk. And as more girls were afflicted with the same problems that plagued Betty and her friends, the town grew frightened. Eventually, Betty Parris and Abigail Williams named Tituba, (a slave owned by the Parris family) Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborn as their tormentors. This began the hellish period that would only end in tragedy, grief and misery. Spectral Evidence Deemed Enough Against ‘Witches’ The prominent members of the town stood behind the girls, who continued accusing people they disliked. And if some unlucky person failed to make the youngsters happy, they were next in line to be called a witch. Those that were identified by the
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girls as witches were jailed and given a farce of a trial. At their trial, the girls made up spectral evidence (the only thing that counted in testimony against a witch), such as, “I saw her dancing around the fire with the Devil’s hand in her own.” The supposed spectral evidence was simply more lies from the girls, who said they had seen the accused acting in some supernatural way that could only be a result of witchcraft and a bargain with the devil. The trials of Tituba, Good, and Osborn might have ended in the women receiving nothing more than an admonishment, but Tituba confessed to being a witch, and thus a frenzied witchhunt began. Tituba claimed a tall man from
Pictured above is an 1876 illustration of the courtroom, known as William L. Shepard, or Granville Perkins, as appears on page 453 o California in 1849 Vol. 1, by William A. Crafts, Samuel Walker & C).
Boston (obviously Satan), who sometimes appeared in the forms of a dog or hog, had asked her to sign his book and do his works. She then implicated Good and Osborn as her accomplices, claiming they flew through the air on their witch poles. This doomed the innocent Good and Osborn to death. Bug having confessed, Tituba was jailed, being momentarily spared the hangman’s noose. No One Safe From the Accusations of Witchcraft No one was safe during the witch trials, and even the ex-minister of the parish, George Burroughs, was accused of witchcraft, even though he had moved to Maine long before the witchcraft ac-
cusations began. This was the one accusation that troubled many of Salem’s residents. Giles Corey’s case was another. In his eighties at the time, Corey refused to stand trial when he was accused of practicing witchcraft. He was arrested on April 18, 1692, along with Mary Warren, Abigail Hobbs, and Bridget Bishop. The following day, they were examined by the authorities, during which Abigail Hobbs confessed that Corey being a wizard. Corey refused to plead (guilty or not guilty), was committed to jail, and subsequently arraigned at the September sitting of the court. The reason he refused was because he knew the trials were unjust, and he wanted his farm to go to his sons rather than the state; if he were found guilty of witchcraft, Corey’s estate would then belong to the state rather than transfer to his family. Because of his refusal to plead, Corey was pressed to death under the weight of stones, a process that took two days. He died on September 19, 1692. He is the only victim of the trials to have been pressed to death. And on September 22, 1692, Cory’s wife was hanged with seven others. These eight individuals were the last victims to die in the Salem Witch Trials.
“Witchcraft at Salem Village” and illustrated by F.O.C. Darley, of Pioneers in the Settlement of America: From Florida 1510 to . The central figure is usually identified as Mary Walcott.
The Salem Witch Trial Frenzy Subsides As autumn continued, the town settled down and
spectral evidence was increasingly tossed out the door. From that point on, there had to be clear proof that the person on trial was a witch. And with these new rules in place, 28 of the last 33 trials ended in acquittals, prompting many of Salem’s residents to wonder how many innocent people had been put to death. A sad note to these events: The relatives of those that were convicted and hanged were sent a bill for court costs and the cost of hanging. By the end of the trials, 19 people were hanged, four died in prison, and one was pressed to death. Between 100 and 200 people were jailed and accused of being witches, and two dogs were executed as being the familiars of Satan. This period was indeed a terrible time in American history, but a time that most will never forget. In 1992, the 300th anniversary of the trials was marked in Salem and Danvers by several events. A memorial park was dedicated in Salem with a stone bench for each of those executed in 1692. And Danvers erected its own new memorial and reinterred bones unearthed in the 1950s, assumed to be those of George Jacobs, Sr., in a new resting place at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead. In 1992, The Danvers Tercentennial Committee also persuaded the Massachusetts House of Representatives to issue a resolution honoring those who had died. When it was finally signed on October 31, 2001, more than 300 years later, all who were found guilty in 1692 of witchcraft, were finally proclaimed innocent.
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History, Beliefs, and Practices By Binoo’mukua
ince ancient times, people throughout the world have sustained a grounded belief in the powers of good and evil. This epic struggle is the foundation for many of the world’s religions, and has been documented in some of the earliest known writings of mankind. Within the annals of history we see many cultures with references to that associated with the dark side of these religious beliefs: The Demon. In some cultures they are feared, in others they are worshipped, but they have not always taken on the evil reputation that they have today. In this article, we will examine the study of demons, or demonology, and the role it has played throughout the religious history of the world. We will also examine the role of the demonologist, especially as it pertains to Western beliefs and the position they have taken in the doctrine of European religious ideas. Demonology Defined According to the MerriamWebster dictionary demonology is defined as: 1. The study of demons or evil spirits. 2. belief in demons: A doctrine of evil spirits. In the Western world, demonology is a branch of theology that studies demons within a religious context. The demon, which comes from the Greek
word “daimon,” meaning genius or spirit, is considered a malevolent being in western societies and one to be feared, but this has not always been the case. In ancient times, many cultures — such as the Egyptians, Sumerians, Hindus, and Semites — worshipped forms of demons as deities. In these cultures, the demon was believed to have a more benign nature and could be helpful, if not an integral part of everyday life. It was not until the onset of Christianity that the demon took on the persona
Saint Anthony recorded his conversations with demons and the temptations they offered him. that we associate with it today. During the Middle Ages, people were making an attempt to better understand the natural world around them. Science was a budding interest, but religious belief ruled the day, and attempts were made to associate everything within God’s order, or hierarchy. People of the Middle Ages also strongly believed that demons, or ‘Satan’s Minion’s,’ were ever present in their world, intent on the downfall of man. This was due to the writings of
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many religious scholars of the time. Many of these men were monks in the early Catholic Church, and based their writings on the diaries of saints who had written of encounters with Demons and their temptations. One of these Saints considered by many in the field to be the founder of demonology is Saint Anthony. In 1868, Charles Kingsley, a scholar in the field of demonology wrote, “On the lives of St. Anthony and his compeers was founded the whole science of demonology with the peculiar literature, its peculiar system of jurisprudence.” In his writings, Saint Anthony recorded his conversations with demons and the temptations they offered him. He meticulously wrote down every detail of each demon that visited him and developed prayers that were effective in ridding one of demons. In his lifetime, he developed a large following of monks and taught them what he had learned about his trials. Early Writings Detail ‘Demons and Their Powers’ Another source of information drawn upon and studied by medieval scholars was that of the Coptic texts and Gnostic Gospels. Considered by some theologians to chronicle the works of early Saints, and those associated with Christ, these books were
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Cultural Beliefs not included in the Bible we know today, but contain many interesting ideas and beliefs on Christianity. One of these books from the Apocryphal Texts, The Book of the Secrets of Enoch, chronicles the rebellion of Satan and his minions in Heaven and their fall to Earth. Many early Jewish writings were also studied for clues about demons and their powers. King Solomon, the builder of the first temple, was said to have the power to â€œsummon the angels of Heaven and the demons of Hellâ€? and command them. While several works exist claiming to chronicle these powers, such as the Book of Wisdom and The Book of Solomon, their authenticity is in doubt, and many scholars feel that these claims cannot be validated and attribute them to legend. As the early centuries of the Middle Ages passed, many works on the subject of demons had been compiled. The general belief was that Satan and his minions were real and could affect the daily lives of everyday people with the ultimate goal of their destruction. The church supported these beliefs and, as a result, a plethora of influential works on demonology arose, resulting in one of the largest travesties of justice the world has ever seen: The witch trials of Europe.
who terrify men in their dreams. 7. Demons: Formed from semen and its odor when men and women copulate. 8. Deceptive Demons: Demons who appear as men and sometimes women. 9. Clean Demons: Demons who assail only holy men. 10. Demons: Demons who deceive old women into thinking that they fly to Sabbat. In another such list, the demonologist Binsfeld (1589) drew up a list ascribing the demons attributed to the seven deadly sins. They are: 1. Lucifer: Pride 2. Mammon: Avarice 3. Asmodeus: Lechery 4. Satan: Anger 5. Beelzebub: Gluttony 6. Leviathan: Envy 7. Belphegor: Sloth While these works dealt with various demons and their powers, their main purpose was to support the courts in the ongoing witchhunts. It was felt by many that by showing the power of the demon and their influence over man, a person practicing witchcraft could be better recognized and bought to trial. However, of all the various treatises written on demonology throughout the Middle Ages, the one considered by scholars as the most important During a 200-year period in Europe, it is estimated The Witch Trials of Europe and most influential of all, and the that more than 200,000 men, women, and children In 1525, the lawyer Paullus one responsible for sending literally were burned at the stake as witches. Grillandus wrote a treatise regardthousands of innocent people to their ing Satan and the powers he had deaths, is the Malleus Maleficarum. justifies a tenant breaking his lease.) over man. This work became very 3. Incubi and Succubi: Demons influential in the courts of Europe The Hammer of Witches who seek relations with women and regarding the witch trials that were First published in 1486, the Malmen, respectively. taking place at the time. leus Maleficarum (The Hammer of 4. Marching Hosts: Demons that Many of the judges had no idea Witches) was written by two Dominiappear like hoards of men making how to seek evidence for witchcraft, can scholars, Jakob Sprenger (1436much tumult. and it is felt by many that Grillandusâ€™ 1495) and Prior Heinrich Kramer 5. Familiar Demons: Demons work laid the foundation. By the late (1430-1505). The book itself was who eat and drink with men in imita1500s, several influential works on dea compilation of folklore on black tion of the angel of Tobit. monology were in place that allowed magic, coupled with church dogma 6. Nightmare Demons: Demons the courts of Europe to legally pursue on heresy, and was written with one
a witch from accusation to death. Works by authors such as Remy, Boguet, Guazzo, and Sinistrari were highly consulted as they went so far to chronicle individual demons and their powers over mankind. One example comes from the work of Alphonsus De Spina. In a work from 1459, he listed 10 varieties of devils and their powers. These are as follows: 1. Fates: Demons who prophesy the future. 2. Poltergeists: Demons who cause mischief in the home. (Note: De Spina states that a poltergeist
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goal in mind: to enforce the Biblical verse of Exodus 22-18; “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Divided into three parts, the Malleus Maleficarum quickly became the handbook of all witch hunters and inquisitors as it described in detail how to detect a witch, how to torture a witch into confession, and most importantly how to convict and sentence a witch. With the initial publication of this work, there were many people and groups all over Europe who opposed the witch hunts. Considering them barbaric and travesties of justice, many municipalities would not support the inquisitors or the traveling courts that went from town to town seeking out and executing the accused. In 1484, Heinrich Kramer, one of the authors of the Maleficarum, obtained a papal bull from Pope Innocent VIII to silence opposition to the witch hunts. At the time, the prevailing belief was that Satan’s goal was the complete and utter destruction of man, and any relationship to Satan or his minions were considered an abomination, especially witchcraft, since it was explicitly mentioned in the Bible. With the granting of the papal bull, towns could no longer keep the inquisitors out, and the witch trials of Europe began. Burned at the Stake Over the next 200 years across Europe, it is estimated by many scholars (considering this a low-end figure) that more than 200,000 men, women, and children were burned at the stake as witches. From 1486 to 1669, the Malleus Maleficarum was published and re-published for a total of 29 times. In later years, especially during the late 1500s, many noted demonologists began to question the viability of the book. Two noted scholars of the time, Remy (1595) and Del Rio (1599) had both published their treatises on demonology, and by then were
considered the eminent authorities on the subject. However, they could not break the hold that the Malleus Maleficarum had on the courts. By the late 1600s, due to the age of discovery, a more scientific view pervaded society. As a result, the hold that the Catholic Church had on local governments relaxed, and the witch trials, along with the Malleus Maleficarum, faded into history. The effect that the Malleus Maleficarum and the resulting witch trials had on society has been debated for years. One scholar is quoted as saying about those responsible for the book and the trials, “A thinking man has the right and duty to condemn the demonologists as obscurantists who set back the orderly development of
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he does not exist.” civilization several hundred years.” (Russell Hope Robbins 1959). Deomonology in Today’s Society Today, demonology is considered an orthodox branch of theology, and the demonologist is considered a true scholar. Studying demons and the belief in demons, today’s demonologist is aware of the various cultures throughout the world and their beliefs regarding these beings. One facet of demonology that played an increased role in the 20th century is that of the authentication of demonic possession. Many of today’s demonologists are ordained priests or ministers and remain acutely aware of the problems facing us in today’s society.
When a case of supposed demonic possession is reported, sometimes a church, especially the Catholic Church, will have the case examined by a demonologist. This is done to ensure that no other underlying factors, such as mental illness or disease, are responsible for the afflicted person’s condition, and also to warrant if an exorcism, the practice of expelling a demon, is needed. While an exorcism is almost never granted, there have been several documented cases within the 20th century when they have. The demonologist will always approach these investigations from a scientific viewpoint, questioning relatives and acquaintances of the afflicted, as well as the person themselves, searching for clues that would point to a case of true demonic possession. When the demonologist feels that they have gathered enough information, a report is then given to their church along with the recommendations of the demonologist. In most all cases, the underlying cause is either mental illness or disease, and the demonologist will recommend a form of treatment to the afflicted and their family. In the rare event that an exorcism is needed, the governing church will assign an exorcist to the case, and the rite of exorcism will begin. Demonology has come a long way from its initial intent, and has influenced many throughout the centuries, in both good and bad ways. As with any science, the more knowledge gained, the more solid the belief, but many of you may be wondering, “Is this real?” All I can tell you is that the belief in any religion falls to a matter of faith, and faith is as individual as the person it resides in. However, I will leave you with this old saying from the French poet Baudelaire as food for thought: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he does not exist.”
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Do you Believe in Demonic Possession?
aranormal Underground recently asked a few of its readers: “What are your thoughts on demonic possession?” Here’s what they had to say: Marissa Bowden (Damini): Although I am skeptical when movies like The Exorcist and The Exorcism of Emily Rose depict demonic possession as a violent change of personality and appearance, I wonder how possible possession is. Many violent crimes have been committed, and the insanity plea is used by people claiming that they were possessed (or not in their right minds) when committing their crimes.
One of the most notable crimes was the DeFeo murders where Ronald DeFeo claimed he was possessed when he killed his family. Andrea Yates, who was depicted as a good Christian mother, killed her children and claimed possession as her defense. While the claim of possession
can be used as an excuse or an attempt to escape from the consequences of their actions, only the devil could influence people to commit such violent acts. ***** Valarie Wood (Val): Demonic possession? Or evil people? I have run into an evil person or two. As for demonic possession . . . I don’t know if it exists or not, but I do know I DO NOT want to run into one. *****
MidniteRed: My thoughts on demonic possession are mixed, to say the least! I’m Pagan so I don’t believe in demons, although some of the accounts I’ve read make me wonder. I think a lot of cases of possession are mostly mental illness.
As far as accounts of the possessed knowing languages and having excessive strength, I know that the human body is capable of tremendous energy when one least expects it. Having a breakdown and letting
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go of all inhibitions could certainly release a lot of that strength. The same can be said of knowing supposedly unknown languages. I heard of a man who was possessed and began speaking in Russian; of course he had never studied it. Turns out his roommate was learning Russian and would pace the hallway practicing the language in the middle of the night. It seems the possessed man’s brain had retained what it heard while he was sleeping and spit it back out in the middle of the possession. It may sound crazy but is it really any crazier than being possessed by a non-human entity that has nothing but evil intentions? *****
GhostHunter50: Although it’s perfectly legal, I think demonic possession is over-rated. It may appeal to some, but I really don’t care to own a demon. Too much of a hassle. I’d rather just have a dog. However, what others do in the privacy of their own home is up to them. I just hope they keep their demons under control and keep the noise down. *****
Jeanne Marsh (JJ): To me, the greatest enigma is not whether demonic possession is possible, but
whether it is probable. Clinical insanity could mistakenly be labeled demonic possession and vice versa. Before modern medicine, strange behavior was often attributed to possession.
In the Bible, Luke 8:26-38 describes Jesus confronting a man living among the dead in tombs outside the city and asking for his name. The man responded, “Legion, for we are many.” Discerning the man was possessed, Jesus drove the demons from him into a herd of pigs. Fast forward the clock to current times: Would demonic possession be the ‘go to’ diagnosis for this man? Not likely. Drugs, therapy, even involuntary hospitalization would be enlisted to mitigate his unacceptable behavior. Demonic possession is not a valid psychiatric diagnosis recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV because scientific tenets do not consider options outside the physical or natural realm. This clash of diagnosis really becomes an argument of whether scientifically enlightened culture has an edge over centuries of faith. Since I believe legitimate demonic possession exists, my gut inclination would be to treat spiritual ailments with spiritual remedies. The problem is, unlike Jesus, I have precious little ability to discern demonic possession from clinical insanity. *****
Jordan Lee Burns: Demonic poscouldn’t. It came over her very fast, session is defined as control over and she fought it. Although she canhumans, animals, or objects by the not describe how, she said that she devil, or one of his demons. I myself overcame the demon and cast it out have never experienced any type of of her body. Then she went to her demonic possession, but I have been sister’s room and prayed with her all told of experiences from people night. She never told her parents. very dear to my heart. I would like These two experiences are to share these encounters with you, those of many that have not been but for the sake of incrimination and cataloged in some type of scientific other reasons, both people in these record. However, that does not two stories I am about to tell will be mean that they didn’t happen, or did given pseudonyms and will not be for that matter. The two “demonic told of which relation they are to me. possessions” are very different; This first experience was told however, I do believe both to be true to me by a man we will call Leslie. events. In Leslie’s case, the experiOne afternoon, he was out hunting ence sounds more of a story than in the woods he owned behind his an actual happening, but since I do house. While sitting against a tree, believe it happened, I think that the he heard a noise and turned to it. demon simply used the dog’s spirit Since there is not much low brush to communicate with him because a in Leslie’s woods, dog’s spirit is much he clearly saw an easier to break than “While the claim of adult Beagle walking a human’s (in my possession can be used opinion). toward him. The dog looked fine, And in Layla’s as an excuse or an so he called it, and case, we find it to attempt to escape from the dog came and be very similar to the consequences of stopped about five ones we have heard their actions, only the feet in front of him. all over the world. Then the dog I believe that the devil could influence stood on its hind people to commit such devil was just trying legs. Then it opened to scare the girl away violent acts.” its mouth and spoke. from her very active Leslie said that he ways of worship, and couldn’t understand if that was the case, what the dog was saying, but he said then he prevailed. he felt very cold as if he were being I understand that these stories slowly killed. Leslie then picked are far fetched, but please underup his gun and shot the dog seven stand that I am in no way implying times. It took all seven bullets to that these stories hold any truth. I bring it down. am only implying that these experiThe next experience happened ences were told to me to be truth, to a girl named Layla. At the time of and that I believe that they did the account Layla was very close to happen. God and put all her love into worYou may or may not agree with shipping him. One night when she me, but if you don’t there are many was asleep, she said that a demon other cases that have been cataloged tried to possess her. She described it and investigated that can be found as if she had two bodies, and she was in a library, or over the Internet. All trying to get them to line up, but she you have to do is look.
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The Most Remark
Witchcraft in Engl
By Michael Kleen
itch trials. The very notion brings to mind old woodcuts of rufflecollared Puritan ministers torturing confessions out of women tied to wheels, or of mobs of angry peasants hurling accusations at one another. It conjures images of mass hysteria — a dark age of fear and intolerance — and dozens of human pyres lighting the crimson sky. The European witch trials have undoubtedly left an impression on the minds of those interested in the darker side of history. Unfortunately, contemporary popular culture has left us with a somewhat distorted view of England’s attitude toward witchcraft during this period. The educated elite were not of one mind on the matter, and the common people did not attack and kill any elderly woman unfortunate enough to be caught working with medicinal herbs. Although roughly 10,000 witch-related executions took place in Europe between 1450 and 1750, witchcraft trials were sensational and fairly uncommon. Witchcraft in 17th Century England Historians Barry Reay and Alan Macfarlane both believed that accusations of witchcraft resulted from a breakdown in neighborly relations, and were not the result of
religious persecution or the deliberate suppression of an ancient nature religion. Charms and conjurations, though against the law, were regularly used in rural England. Violence and legal recourse only occurred after a long series of frustrating incidents related to the practice. Robin Briggs, in his book Witches & Neighbors, went so far as to argue that witch beliefs were largely tolerated among the common folk and that European courts acted with caution and restraint in the face of the fantastical evidence presented to them. Witchcraft in 17th Century England was, in fact, a popular culture that both confused and fascinated the ruling elites. Aside from a few pamphleteers and so-called “witch finders” — like the shipping clerkturned-amateur prosecutor Matthew Hopkins — the English nobility, clergy, and scientific community viewed witchcraft with a skeptical eye. It is telling that pamphleteers worked so hard to try and convince literate people of the existence of witchcraft. Like today, sensationalism and profit also drove the printing presses to churn out lurid accounts of trials and alleged liaisons with the devil. The Divels Delusions was typical of these pamphlets. Printed in 1649, it related the story of two “notorious witches,” John Palmer and Elizabeth Knott, in Hartford County, England.
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In 1652, an incident regarding the so-called ‘W in London. The debate over the authenticity of the persons involved, illustrated how Engli about witchcraft to further their own agenda
land — 1640-1690
“It had been very difficult to convince me of that which I find true, concerning the wiles of that old serpent the Divel [sic],” the author began, suggesting that until witnessing the confessions of Palmer and Knott, he had not been a believer. In his confession, John Palmer claimed that he had been a witch for 60 years. The author tells us that the people of Palmer’s county were “long gratified [with his] conjurations, that time and ignorance stiles him a good witch, or a white witch.” The author, however, made no such distinction and quickly pointed out the deceptive powers of the Devil, who he accused of “tempting and deluding those who are led captive by him, namely an inordinate desire to know more than his maker hath thought fit for him to know.” John Palmer, quite shockingly, not only confessed to being a witch, he confessed “to be the head of the whole colledge [sic] of Witches, that hee [sic] knows in the world.” He also confessed to giving “suck to two familiars,” which was a sure sign that he had made a compact with the devil.
Witch of Wapping,’ sparked controversy of the case, and the high social standing ish elites manipulated common beliefs as.
The ‘Witch of Wapping’ In 1652, an incident regarding the so-called ‘Witch of Wapping,’ a woman by the name of Joan Peterson, sparked controversy in London. The debate over the authenticity of
the case, and the high social standing of the persons involved, illustrated the divide between popular and elite culture in England and showed how English elites manipulated common beliefs about witchcraft to further their own agendas. The author of The Witch of Wapping (1652), one of the first pamphlets to describe the accusations against Joan Peterson, was all too ready to accept the testimony at face value. He began his relation by writing, “many are of opinion, that there are no Witches,” and then set out to educate his peers regarding what seemed to be common knowledge among the yeomanry. “There are two sorts of Witches,” he explained, “which the Vulgar people distinguish by the names of the Good Witch, (I wonder how that can be,) and the Bad; by reason, when one bewitcheth a party, the other unwitcheth him again.” Joan Peterson appeared to be both. At her trial, Joan was accused of committing several benevolent acts of witchcraft, such as curing a headache and revealing in a pot of boiling water the face of a woman who had bewitched cattle, as well as acts of maleficium, such as causing a man to go into fits after he withheld payment for having been cured of an ailment. One of Joan’s neighbors also related that a black cat (which vanished from plain
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Cultural Beliefs sight when confronted) tormented her and her baby. Most fantastically, a maid in the employment of Joan Peterson testified that one night, when they laid together in bed, a squirrel came and “her Mistress and it talkt [sic] together a great part of the night.” The author of the pamphlet then explained, “but being demanded what they discoursed on, she replied that . . . she was so bewitched by it, that she could not remember one word.” Joan’s son also had allegedly told his school friends about the squirrel. “These and other strange things being proved against her,” the author concluded, “she was condemn’d to be hanged at Tyborn of Munday [sic] the 12 of April, 1652.” Not long after, another pamphlet, entitled A Declaration in Answer to Several Lying Pamphlets Concerning the Witch of Wapping (1652), circulated that accused the plaintiffs in the trial of outright fraud. It alleged that in an elaborate plot, three men, Abraham Vandenbemde, Thomas Crompton, and Thomas Collet, had manufactured the charges against Joan Peterson after she refused to help them accuse a different woman of witchcraft, who had also refused to do the same against one Anne Levingston, because Anne had been given an estate by the deceased Lady Powel that some of the men thought should have been willed to them. The “confederates,” as the three were called, were afraid of being prosecuted if Joan went to the authorities with the plot, so they traveled to Wapping, near to where Joan lived, and procured a warrant from a Justice of the Peace to “apprehend the said Petersons person, and to search her house for images of clay, hair, & nails… but upon strict search
and diligent inquiry could find no such thing.” If this account can be believed, it suggests that the three men, persons of independent wealth, were willing to cynically exploit witch beliefs for their own ends. Not believing in witchcraft themselves, they conspired to pay off some lowly persons who they thought would readily cooperate. Even after two women refused, they still persisted in their original notion that it would be an easy undertaking to silence these women with accusations of witchcraft. Joan Peterson was obviously of lower social standing, since the judge thought nothing of believing the men and giving them access to her home. Regardless, Joan denied the charges that she used witchcraft to murder the Lady Powel, saying, “she never used sorcery or Witch-craft, neither had she ever heard of the Lady Powel.” Despite her denial, a group of women searched her for marks, but “the searchers could find nothing on her body which might create the least suspition [sic] in them of her being a witch.” After further questioning, she was “searched againe [sic] in a most unnatural & barbarous manner, by fower women whom they [the confederates] themselves for that purpose had brought along with them, on [sic] of which women told the Justice that there was a Teat of flesh in her secret parts more then other women usually had.” During Joan’s trial, several doctors testified that the Lady Powel died of “Dropsie, the Scurvey, and the yellow Jaundies,” and not of witchcraft. Regardless, “many women persons of mean degree (and of ill fame and reputation) were produced against her.” The author also described the testimony of a man who had sought
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out Joan Peterson’s help for his illness and recovered, but “afterwards relapsed, and the reason that was urged to induce the Court and Jury to believe that he was Bewitched.” “Many other witnesses were produced,” the author continued, “but could only swear to generalities, hear-says, and most absurd and ri-
It is telling that pamphleteers worked so hard t existence of witchcraft. Sensationalism and pro out lurid accounts of trials and alleged liaisons
diculous impertinences.” Several of these witnesses, he alleged, were strangers from the courtyard who Thomas Cromton paid to testify against Joan Peterson. At the end of the trial, the judge found Joan not guilty of bewitching the Lady Powel, but convicted her of being a witch and ordered her execution.
to try and convince literate people of the ofit also drove the printing presses to churn s with the devil.
The Case of Mary Foster Because a trio of strangers deliberately sought out evidence to win a conviction against Joan Peterson, the Witch of Wapping was an unusual case. In most circumstances, charges originated among community members who had exhausted several means of dealing with maleficium before they brought a suspected witch before the courts. A few of these tests and precautions were graphically illustrated by the pamphlet, A Relation of the Most Remarkable Proceedings at the late Assizes at Northampton (1674). This publication concerned the trial of Mary Forster, who allegedly used witchcraft to kill 30 sheep and burn down their owner’s house along with two of his barns. Mary, the author of the pamphlet described, was a woman over 50 years of age who was the wife of a poor cobbler. The victim was Joseph Weedon, “a farmer of good ability or repute, being generally respected and beloved,” who began selling some of his sheep for butchering at a cost of fourteen-pence per quarter animal. Mary Forster offered to pay twelve-pence, but Joseph refused. Mary allegedly responded with the words, “you had better let me have it, for you shall have more Mutton shortly lye upon your hands then you know what to do with.” Throughout the following week, Joseph discovered each morning that several sheep “strangely” had their legs broken in several places. He suspected witchcraft, so “according to their tradition,” he took one of the maimed sheep and burnt it alive, so that the witch would come out of hiding. While the sheep was burning, Mary came over and asked what the yeoman farmer was doing. “According to another old observation,” the
author related, Joseph scratched her on the face with a knife when he found his fingernails weren’t sharp enough. Mary threatened to sue, so Joseph agreed to pay her twenty shillings, not a small sum at the time. Afterwards, the townsfolk accused her of publicly stating, “it was the devil in her shape that received it of Weedon, and now she had thereby the power to do him further mischief.” Over the next week, several fires destroyed Joseph’s property, in spite of over twenty persons standing guard. After her public threats, the townspeople immediately suspected Mary Foster as the culprit. They took her before a judge and had her examined. Allegedly, a jury of women found upon her body “several strange and unusual excrescencies which appeared exactly like a Sows Teats.” Mary immediately confessed that she had burnt the barns down, claiming that “the Devil carryed [sic] her up by the Arms to the top of the Roof, and there with her Touchwood she set fire in the Thatch.” Mary asked for Joseph Weedon’s forgiveness, but the court sentenced her to hang regardless. Curiously, the author recounted that a man from London “scarce believing any such thing as Witches in nature,” visited Mary before she was executed and asked her to perform some trick for him. She relented and instructed him to fetch a large, dry basin. “She gets in it upright,” the author described, “& after the muttering a few unknown words, was carried several times around the room.” The Acquittal of Jane Kent Not every accusation of witchcraft resulted in a conviction, and the line between who has a witch
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and who wasn’t was often blurred. The Old-Bayly proceedings report for June 1-2, 1682, contained an informative account of the trial of a 60-year-old woman named Jane Kent, who was indicted for “using several Diabolick arts” involving the death of a five-year-old girl named Elizabeth Chamblet. Elizabeth’s father had sold the elderly woman two pigs but refused to relinquish them without receiving payment beforehand. Soon after, his daughter Elizabeth “fell into a most piteous condition, swelling all over her body,” and later died. Fearing for his wife’s safety, the father consulted a doctor who “advised him to take a quart of his wives water, the pairing of her nails, some of her hair, and such like, and boyl [sic] them.” After mixing the concoction, he swore that Jane Kent screamed in pain and became bloated. Other persons testified that the old woman had a teat on her back and other unusual marks. Despite that testimony, the jury found her not guilty because she produced “evidence that she had lived honestly, and was a great pains-taker, and that she went to church.”
nesses. That particular broadside related the story of a young man from Beckenton, Somersetshire, who was allegedly bewitched by an old woman who, perhaps ironically, threatened him with a warrant after he publicly accused her of witchcraft. According to the anonymous author, “within a few days after this Young Man fell into the strangest fits that ever Mortal beheld with Eyes.” He also claimed to have seen the old woman in his bedroom mocking him during the fits. A girl by the name of Mary Hill also had several altercations with the
‘Broadsides’ Diseeminated News About Witches In early modern England, news was disseminated not only in pamphlets, but more widely on what were known as broadsides. These were large pieces of paper with woodcuts and sensational stories printed on the front. They were cheep to reproduce and were sold at street corners and in taverns. Broadsides like the one entitled Great News From the West of England (1689) contained detailed descriptions of how witches were discovered and tested, often in front of a large crowd of wit-
old woman, and afterwards “something arose in her Throat . . . and at the same time [she] fell into violent fits . . . and in the midst of them, she would tell how she saw this old woman against the wall, grinning at her.” Not uncommonly in these cases, a few days later the girl vomited dozens of foreign objects including nails, handles of spoons, pieces of iron, and “above Two Hundred crooked pins.” The townspeople, numbering around 100, tested the old woman by escorting her near the house where Mary lived without the girl’s knowledge. A member of
In early modern England, news was disseminated not only in pamphlets, but more widely on what were known as broadsides.
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the crowd brought Mary outside, where she reacted violently to the sight of the accused witch. A short time later, a Justice of the Peace ordered a jury of local women to search the accused, and the jury found “several purple spots, which they prickt [sic] with a sharp needle, but she felt no pain.” The old woman was then taken to a river near town. Her legs were tied and she was thrown into the river three times, but each time she “did endeavour [sic] to the uttermost . . . to get her self under, yet she could not, but . . . did swim like a piece of cork.” Each time a greater number of people showed up to witness the event, since many had been skeptical. The crowd threw a “lusty young woman” in at the same time to serve as a comparison, and she sank (but was saved from drowning). That was, according to the account, enough to convince everyone who was present “the Truth of this thing.” The town Rector, churchwardens, over-seers of the poor, and constables all signed the broadside to attest to its accuracy. Witchcraft Accusations Usually Resulted From Community Altercations These examples are only a handful of the available literature on witchcraft in 17th Century England. Unfortunately, the majority of pamphlets and broadsides pertain to testimony from incidents that went to trial. We will never know how many men or women were suspected of witchcraft, but who lived out their lives unharassed by the courts. Witchcraft accusations almost always resulted from some kind of altercation between two or more members of a tightly knit community. These encounters were frequent
enough for English commoners to develop their own means of diffusing them without having to resort to formal prosecution. Scratching the suspected witch on the face, burning the afflicted animals, and consulting â€˜goodâ€™ witches were all acceptable methods. Legal redress was only sought after all acceptable methods failed, or when the maleficium was especially grievous. Unusual marks or teats on his or her body, the presence of pins or wax dolls in his or her residence, or the confession of the accused themselves were all considered evidence that the accused was in league with the devil. A jury of women expressly chosen for that purpose by the court usually found the alleged marks. Most frequently, witch confessions contained fantastical claims of supernatural power alongside lurid details of sexual liaisons with the devil. It is possible that, in the face of a death sentence, the accused sought to appear to be as powerful as his or her peers imagined, but any explanation for these sensational confessions is bound to be speculative. The height of witch trials in 17th Century England occurred alongside great social and political upheaval. In the shadow of civil war, the beginnings of experimental science fought with both alchemy and revolutionary leveling movements over the minds of the growing middle class. Between 1640 and 1690, witchcraft trials captured the imagination of the poor, the middling sort, and the ruling classes. But by only a decade later, a mechanistic view of nature gained in popularity, and any remaining holdouts in the learned classes had largely abandoned a belief in both alchemy and witchcraft.
Laws designed to prosecute witchcraft were taken off the books or no longer enforced. When studying historical witchcraft, it is important to realize that no human society has ever been free of the phenomenon. Seventeenth Century England, certainly no exception, was a culture at the precipice of
modernity. While the educated elite struggled to uncover the secrets of nature through sustained, scientific inquiry, the common folk retained their belief that nature held power that could be tapped to inflict health or harm. In their world, there were no coincidences.
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A Subconcious Consequence? By Jim Frazier
’ve never been an advocate of demonic possession. I prefer to rent my demons. People outgrow them all of the time, and they are impossible to get rid of on Craig’s List. From a purely scientific standpoint, there is no basis whatsoever to support possession by demonic spirits (although possession is nine-tenths of the law). However, demons, paragons of malevolent evil that they are, have always struck me as invention of human beings — a way to keep the easily frightened in line.
ern life is that people no longer have to work together to survive, resulting in more competition for dwindling resources. That competition leads to an increase in negative energy, highly concentrated in small areas.
tion the effects of well-established mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. It follows that, while a person could just as easily be ‘possessed’ by Casper the Friendly Ghost, no one tends to pay any attention when someone is acting unusually nice; but just try flying under the radar when you feed mommy’s jewelry to the garbage disposal. Science Can’t Rule Out the Existence of Demons All things being equal, mental illness is far and away the most likely cause of possession. But from a purely scientific standpoint, I can’t see anything that would rule out the existence of spirits or demons.
A Subconscious Consequence? That being said, the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Physics (see my wife’s brilliant article in the August Issue) cannot rule out “All things being equal, mental illness is far and away the most the possibility that human Jim Frazier is a nuclear engilikely cause of possession.” thought does influence the neer. While he is highly skeptiuniverse. While demons may cal about paranormal phenomena, he believes that there is much in the be a human manifestation of evil, a Mental Illness and universe that is beyond our current level subconscious consequence of huDemonic Possession of understanding — so if the paranormal man existence is anger, and there is There are some people who are exists, then logical explanations lie in a lot of it floating around out there. more susceptible to the influence of quantum mechanics. One of the side effects of modemotions around them, not to men-
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Poetry Corner Left Behind
What I’ve Left
By Karen Frazier
By Chelle Thomas
Drifting along the darkened street Frustrating and brooding Autumn leaves drifting as I pass Once they held wonder and awe
Left behind we watch As you drift away Unable to comprehend How you can smile At a time like this Your eyes are on the heavens Ours are on the horizon As we look forward and see Emptiness in the space That you now occupy Your consciousness expands outward Into the universe Our consciousness shifts inward To probe a wound Raw with your leaving We wonder at your peace In the presence of our pain Unable to understand Your smile of compassion At our turmoil Lost in our physical selves We never take the time To experience the process Of another Becoming Spirit And when we do We wrap ourselves in grief Instead of bursting with the Joy At the Grace of a loved One Returning Home
Mind weak from the ponderings Too many to get a grasp The years pass on, But memories never fade Unfamiliar faces pass, Little flames in the wind Until a new spirit rises Sadness wraps it’s steely grip
I Sit in the Darkness
A new purpose born from grief A delicate flower in a torrent of darkness Stay the hand that raises in strife Don’t make the same mistakes others have A tear stained face recognizes me Heart torn, mind broken. With wordless understanding She drops the knife Twin souls melded in sorrow One in shame, the other regret.
vam•pir•ic By Mark Themas
By Chad Wilson
In the darkness I sit, cold, silent, alone. The night is my protector, the shadows my lover.
I cut deep within Still these wounds do not bleed There is no release from this pain There is no light in this abyss
The moon, bright and full, fills me with a longing. Mischief is in my heart, and my soul laughs in its beautiful glow.
Surrounded by this cold Forgotten by all Screams that echo Tears that drown
Free, so free, my midnight requiem. And I sit in the darkness, and I know I am home.
Left for the dead Shunned by the living I will never be for I never was
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 75
Fiction: Featured Author
The Proper Way By Sean Varner
very day I sit here on a hill, overlooking the small, Pacific Northwest town of High Valley. I’m always here. New Year’s, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and back to New Year’s. Times change, but I remain. I am a constant. Sure, I may have evolved, but nevertheless I remain. I’ve seen decades worth of people. I’ve seen the happiest moments of their lives take place, and in most cases, their deepest fears realized. I know more about my surroundings than any human ever would. I notice the smallest changes in the world that others are too preoccupied to see. For instance, we had a bad thunderstorm the other day. Bad enough to cause a pine tree to split in half and fall over. No one else knew besides me. Sometimes, I wondered if these humans inside of me were zombies. They were so focused on the moment that they didn’t see the bigger picture. They didn’t take time to notice the finer details in life. Actually, I’ve managed to notice a lot of things no one else has through the years. Things as simple as a tree falling over, yes, but other, more sinister things as well. Let me start from my creation.
***** I was built here in the year 1977 by a team of humans. I can’t describe to you how good it felt to be slowly, but steadily, assembled. First, you are nothing. As you come to realize what is happening, you begin to feel. Feel the rain beating against your unfinished frame. Feel the warmth of the sun beating down on your walls. In retrospect, those were darker times, but I digress.
I was heartbroken a few hours later when I watched as The Wife lugged her husband’s corpse into the cellar. Soon after I was completed, a rich-looking man and his wife moved inside of me. Oh, how it felt to have them living inside for the first time! I’ll never forget the day the man swept the woman in the white dress off her feet and carried her through the doorway. It was quite exhilarating on my part to have
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the responsibility of watching and protecting them. They had given me life, so I had to return the favor and protect them from the elements. For the first few months, everything went fantastically well. I kept the rain out and the heat in. I cared for the both of them very much. One night that all changed. For hours, I watched as they argued with each other. It started off as their typical marital spats would. Then, it escalated rapidly. The Husband knocking furniture over and throwing anything he could find at The Wife. At one point, he even punched his hand through me. I was heartbroken a few hours later when I watched as The Wife lugged her husband’s corpse into the cellar, her hands bloodied from the kitchen knife, and my carpet bloodied as a result of her dropping it. She buried him there in the dirt floor of the cellar. That’s one of the things no one knew about except me. No one ever found him. She moved out soon after that, and I assumed that I would never see her again. Actually, I assumed and hoped I would never see her again, but I was wrong. Thirty years later, she would show up at my door once more.
I looked inside, worried that he might have been injured. Relieved, I saw him get up. He hadn’t been injured. What I saw instead, though, was that he had fallen on top of The Girl, crushing her. She had only been six.
***** At that point, though, I had a brand new owner. I was happy that I would be able to put my past behind me and looked forward to a brighter future with my new inhabitants. This time it was a family. The Father, The Mother, and The Baby. This couple did not fight, did not argue. They were the happiest people in the world as far as I could tell. Slowly, The Baby grew up and they expanded their family. The Girl was born two years after they moved in. Four years later, a set of twins joined in on the bliss. I watched the father and mother raise those children, watched the children play in my backyard year after year. In retrospect, those were darker
times, but I digress. For 20 years we lived and worked together. As I fulfilled my obligation of protecting them from the harsh elements of the world, they fixed me up whenever something of mine was not quite working. By now, The Baby had gone off to live on his own. How quickly he had grown up! How quickly they all had grown up! The end of an era was upon me, though. One day, I watched as The Father came out of his house with a toolkit and a big smile. I saw him coming and felt relieved. I had been experiencing a relatively severe amount of pain in a particular spot of my roof the past few days and was anxious to have it
repaired. The problem, however, was that from the time the pain started, it had been raining. This meant that The Father wouldn’t be able to fix me until it stopped. In a way, though, it was a blessing in disguise. The rain seeped through the weak part in my roof and traveled inside the house, which alerted The Father. This was more painful than usual, but it was well worth it. Now, on the first beautiful day in a long while, he leaned his ladder against me and climbed up. From the moment I felt his weight on me, I sensed there would be a problem. I was weaker than my normal self. As he walked over to the injured spot, I knew I wouldn’t be able to
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Fiction: Featured Author hold him. I tried. Really, I did. But . . . but I couldn’t help it. I was tired and weak. At any rate, there was a loud crack and thud as he fell through me and into me. I looked inside, worried that he might have been injured. Relieved, I saw him get up. He hadn’t been injured. What I saw instead, though, was that he had fallen on top of The Girl, crushing her. She had only been six. The family moved out quickly. More quickly than The Wife had after she killed The Husband. The family hated me for what I had done to their child. But it wasn’t my fault . . . or was it? I’ve always wondered since. Nevertheless, I was alone once more. ***** I suspect, although I’m not certain, that this was the point at which the tale began to grow about the house. Teenagers would walk by and point. I’d hear them whispering, “It’s cursed” or “It’s haunted.” I felt as if everyone was making fun of me. I began to grow self conscious of myself. Moss grows on me as years pass without anyone moving in. I grow lonelier. Oh, so lonely! Well, a group of teens spent the night in the house once. They mocked and made fun of me the whole time, but at least I had company. For some reason, though, they ran screaming from the house that night. I figured that the whole incident could only damage my already tarnished reputation. ***** Six years passed since the family left, and I began to give up hope that anyone would reside in
me again. Then, I heard her. She told me that she had been speaking to me ever since her father killed her, but that I just hadn’t been listening. Then, I heard her and saw her. She told me that she had been appearing to me ever since she died, but that I had been blind to her. Not now, though. Now, she was my only companion. She did not judge me like those who were alive did. She saw me for who I was. Now, I wasn’t the only one who knew about the dead man in the cellar. She knew as well. No longer did I have to keep
I began to realize that humans were better off dead than alive. They were more beautiful. And they could speak to me. secrets. I could share them with someone. I finally had someone to actually talk to. Not just watch, but actually converse with. Through her, I managed to meet The Husband whom The Wife had killed years earlier. We three grew close. We were all that each other had. I began to realize that humans were better off dead than alive. For one, they weren’t so critical. They were more beautiful. And they could speak to me. From then on out I resented any
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living human. Prior to this I wanted humans to live in me. Now, I wanted them to venture inside so that I could kill them. So that they would become my companion. So that they would become more beautiful. I was doing them a favor. Unfortunately, no one came for another four years. But then one day, The Wife returned. I didn’t recognize her at first glance, but the ghost of The Husband did. He knew her right away. I asked him if he forgave her, and he said he did. He said he was close to murdering her the very night that she had murdered him. She had simply done it first. Who could blame her? I’m not entirely sure why she returned. To cover her tracks? Were the police working on a cold case? Or perhaps she wanted to get rid of her old demons? Whichever the case, she entered the house and gazed around, memories pouring into her head. Us three devised a plan to kill her. We wanted her to join our group. Each of us played a part. The Girl was to lure her into the living room. The Husband was to appear to her. Then, I was to collapse my living room roof on her. If she was still alive, the two of them were to beat her with pieces of the rubble until she died. And so the plan was carried out. Surprisingly, she didn’t like the idea that we had done this to her. But she would get used to it. They would all get used to it. ***** For the past eight months, a new family has been renovating me. New everything! And I intend to fulfill my obligation and repay them . . . the proper way this time.
Results Are In For Paranormal Undergroundâ€™s First-Ever Short Story Contest
Sean Varner First-Place Winner 2nd Place:
3rd Place (Tie):
Brooke Bechen Liz Hernandez
Honorable Mentions: Peter Navarro Jordan Burnes
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 79
Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn M. Hughes
hen I began working as a night auditor a year and a half ago at Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters, which is located on the Gettysburg battlefield, I anticipated experiencing nothing more interesting than having some bizarre request from a guest. But, I never expected my “spirit” friends to visit so often or to hear so many accounts of activity from unsuspecting guests. I never thought they would alert us to their presence in so many creative ways, or for there to be so much activity involved. I am of the personal belief that they only want us to know that they are still here and not to forget what happened here, for it is on this ground that they truly gave their “last full measure of devotion.” Here is my ongoing diary of my experiences within the hotel . . .
July 23 and 24 My long-time friend Paul and his son Mark came down from Boston to visit Gettysburg. Paul is an author and was attending a book signing at the Visitor Center. While Paul has been coming to Gettysburg for at least 10 years, this was Mark’s first visit since he was a young boy. (He is now 24 years old.) I was able to reserve a room
at the hotel for Paul and Mark’s visit. In fact, it was the same room I stayed in when I first visited Gettysburg in 2000. When my mom and I stayed in that room, we had a lot of paranormal experiences. I thought it would be interesting for them to stay there too, and hoped they would also have some experiences. I was not disappointed. When I said goodbye to Paul and Mark on the evening of July 24,
“At 4:00 a.m., I woke up with an incredibly sharp pain in the middle of my back. The pain was so bad that it brought tears to my eyes.” I had no idea what they would be experiencing in that room. Mark emailed me the following day, relating what happened to him in the early morning of July 24. “My dad and I went to bed around 11:30 p.m. Around 12:00 a.m., the phone rang once, and dad picked it up. There was complete silence. He then called the front
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desk, and they said they didn’t call. I suspected mischief from the boys. Then, when I told my mom the next day about it, she said she got a call around 12:30 at night. It rang once, she picked it up, and there was just a dial tone. (This happens frequently at the hotel.) Around 1:00 a.m.–2:00 a.m., I was awakened by my dad’s snoring. Then, something happened to my body. I must have fallen into a sleep, but when I opened my eyes, I tried to say something because I sensed something was wrong. I tried to move my body, but couldn’t do it. My entire body was paralized (sic) and my voice didn’t work. I could only move my eyes. I tried to yell to dad to help me, but for a good minute or so, I couldn’t do anything. It was scary. Then, I slowly got my voice to speak loud and louder. I felt like something hit my chest when I woke up paralized (sic).” (Mark’s father told me his son yelled out to him at exactly 2:11 a.m.) This is one of the things that happened to me in the same room when I visited Gettysburg for the first time in March 2000. This is exactly what I wrote in an e-mail to a friend at the time: “At 4:00 a.m., I woke up with an incredibly sharp pain in the middle of my back. The pain was so bad that
it brought tears to my eyes. Also, I found as I lay there, that I could not move. I tried, many times, to turn on my side, but was unable to do so. I laid there in bed flat on my back for two hours in pain until my mother woke up. I told her that I couldn’t sit up and could she please help me. She helped me to sit up, but when I tried to stand, I couldn’t straighten up. She then lifted up my T-shirt to see if there was something there. It was then that she saw that I had a bruise in the middle of my back over my spine approximately the size of a half dollar. I did not remember hitting my back at all the day before, and I did not have any pain when we went to bed the previous evening.“ Could Mark and I have experienced what a Civil War soldier experienced on that same ground 145 years ago when he was wounded? We both were in the same exact area and both experienced the same paralysis. Mark said he felt something hit his chest, and I had a wound on my back (entrance, exit wound)? This particular experience has never been reported before nor since by any of the thousands of guests who stay at the hotel aside from Mark and myself.
Monday, July 28 4:35 p.m. I was busy re-stocking some nonperishable items that I needed for the next morning’s breakfast set-up. This entails time spent in the laundry room where the deep freezer and refrigerators are located, carrying various items to the middle room where we prepare breakfast, running to the front desk lobby area to assist my coworker with guests checking in, and answering the phone or responding to those guests who require immediate attention.
I was sitting at the manager’s desk finishing the audit when I heard the front door open. Given the fact that I had locked that door at midnight, I was out of my chair like a shot. In two seconds, I was standing at the front counter looking at a locked, closed front door.
In other words, it can be pretty hectic during this peak check-in time. My coworker remains at all times at the lobby desk covering it while I’m completing these tasks. When I first arrive at 4:00 p.m., I always move the laundry carts so they will not impede my movements when I have to get in and out of that area quickly to handle any of the above. On one of my trips back into the laundry room, I immediately spotted one of the laundry carts that I had moved out of my way only minutes before placed directly in my path. I proceeded to move it again to another location out of my way. Several minutes later, I was back in the laundry room and, lo and behold, the cart was now moved directly in front of one of the refrigerators where I was headed. Once again, I moved the cart, this time to different location. Five minutes later, I was back in the laundry room and once again the cart had ‘moved’ to an area that required it to travel around a large table,
but it was still in my way. Okay, boys, I don’t have time for this. Please knock it off. No more moving carts. Note: The floor is level, and this has never happened to me before.
Saturday, August 9 12:46 a.m. I was sitting at the manager’s desk finishing the audit when I heard the front door open. Given the fact that I had locked that door at midnight, I was out of my chair like a shot. In two seconds, I was standing at the front counter looking at a locked, closed front door. I immediately stepped to my left toward the breakfast room to examine the entire lobby and that area. As soon as I had stepped to the end of the counter, I heard the lobby floor in front of me creaking as if someone was walking across it. I followed the progress with my eyes until it stopped after about five ‘steps.’
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Personal Experiences where I would be working in the morning next to the counter. As I walked up to the counter at 5:45 a.m. to begin getting breakfast together, I noticed that the bin had moved four feet to my left from the original position where I placed it on the previous evening. This area is within my view the entire night while I sit and read. I never heard it move and didn’t notice that it had moved during my many trips through that room during the night.
On one of my many trips into the laundry room, I noticed that the attic door was wide open after I had closed it upon my arrival at 4:00 p.m. I pulled it closed tight again, making certain I heard the ‘click.’ Five minutes later, I found the attic door wide open again.
I was standing there staring at the floor when I heard a snapping sound coming from the breakfast room. It sounded like someone snapped their fingers. My head spun around, and I looked into the breakfast room. There was no one there. I stood there for several minutes waiting for that proverbial other shoe to fall, but nothing happened. I went back into the office to finish the audit.
Saturday, August 9 5:45 a.m. At 8:00 p.m. the evening before, I had emptied the garbage bin in the middle room where we assemble the breakfast items, placed a fresh bag into it, and positioned it close to
Friday, August 15 5:07 p.m.
I arrived at 4:00 p.m. to begin my shift and was busy running between the front desk and the laundry room getting the non-perishable items together for breakfast in the morning. My coworker was covering the desk and the phones so that I could accomplish everything that needed to be done in advance. She is a sweet, elderly lady who sits on a high stool behind the counter. One of the things I always do when I first arrive is to be sure the attic door, which is located in the middle room between the office and the laundry room, is closed to keep the heat out of the office that drifts down from the attic. On one of my many trips into the laundry room, I noticed that the attic door was wide open after I had closed it upon my arrival at 4:00 p.m. I pulled it closed tight again, making certain I heard the ‘click.’
Paranormal Underground October 2008
Five minutes later, I found the attic door wide open again and followed the above-mentioned procedure once again. I questioned my coworker, asking her if she opened the attic door. She said she never left her chair or the front lobby area. Twenty minutes later, I noticed the attic door was wide open. Once again, I questioned my coworker and received the same response. Once again, I made certain the door was closed tight and heard that ‘click.’ It was at this point I realized that I forgot to say “Hi” to our friend in the attic. So I laughed, said my hellos, and continued about my duties. No more incidents with the attic door occurred that night.
Friday, August 15 7:46 p.m. I was finishing up some early paperwork in the office and stepped into the lobby to see how my coworker was doing before she left for the evening. Immediately I noticed that something didn’t appear right. The sun was just going down and it was still light outside, but the breakfast room was dark. I walked into the breakfast room and all the lights were turned off. I asked my coworker if she turned them off, and she said, “No, why would I do that?” The switch for the breakfast room lights is located in the middle office where I was previously working. I turned it back on. A side note, the elderly lady who works with me on Fridays does not believe in anything paranormal. She refuses to discuss it with any guests who come in asking questions. The few times that I have mentioned things to her, her reaction is always the same. She raises her eyebrow, shakes her head, and totally shuts down.
Saturday, August 23 12:32 a.m. I was sitting in the office finishing up the audit when I heard the front door open. Given the fact that I had locked it at midnight, I became alarmed. I immediately jumped up, walked the three steps to the lobby, and saw the door was closed. The front door has a pressure bar across the top, and when opened, it takes some time to close. After checking the lobby, breakfast room, and the door itself (it was still locked), I returned to the office to finish the audit. Those of you who read this column know that this occurs frequently. Thanks boys! I was beginning to get tired, but had no trouble staying awake the rest of the night.
Monday, August 25 3:50 p.m. When I arrive at work, I always park in front of General Lee’s Headquarters. Yes, this was his headquarters for the three days of the battle. As I opened my car door, the very strong, pungent smell of cigar smoke hit me hard in the face. I looked around to see if there was a visitor for the museum that is located in the headquarters building with a cigar. No one was in the area. As I walked up to the main building where the hotel lobby is located, the very strong cigar odor seemed to accompany me the entire way. It wasn’t until I opened the door and stepped into the lobby that it dissipated. I hesitated to even mention this, except that this is the same reception I have been receiving the last three days I have worked at exactly the same time I arrive. My arrival times on those three days were different. I always check the area for
Pictured above is one of the many rooms at the Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters where paranormal activity abounds, including sightings of full-bodied apparitions, hearing cannon fire, being touched, and having items move around by unseen hands during the night.
cigar-smoking visitors and never see anyone. I will make a note of the frequency of this occurrence. We continually hear many comments from guests who stay in the suite that is located on the top floor of the building where General Lee made his headquarters. One comment that is repeated more than any other is the smell of cigar smoke in the suite. There is no smoking allowed in the historic building. Given the fact that this building was used for strategic meetings regarding the battle, the possibility certainly exists that at least one of his generals smoked a cigar.
Monday, August 25 4:3o p.m. One of the first tasks I always undertake when I arrive for my shift is to replenish the stock in the breakfast room so I don’t have to deal with that the following morning. The chairs surrounding the tables are
always pulled out from the day shift’s vacuuming, and the bowls of sugar on the tables are usually askew. I went around to all the tables, pushing the chairs in and centering the sugar bowls on all the tables. I walked to the back of the room and was checking on items there when I heard the front door open. No more than one minute had elapsed. I turned around and saw three chairs pulled out from the tables and all the sugar bowls located on the five tables moved to the side of the tables near the edge. I checked on my coworker, but she was well into the procedure of checking in one guest, with another one standing on the other side of the lobby (away from the breakfast room) waiting for check-in. The last time the sugar bowls ‘walked’ across the tables was approximately a year ago, and it happened in the middle of the night when I was there alone.
Stay Tuned . . .
October 2008 Paranormal Underground 83
Waverly Hills Sanatorium: My By Chad Wilson
t was with much trepidation, and a small amount of fear, that I approached Waverly Hills Sanatorium on a hot and muggy night this past August. I had heard many things about what one might find inside, mainly from the Internet and documentaries on TV, but I really had no idea what to expect. It was on this night of the new moon that I drove up the long-curving, tree-lined road, the trees actually touching the sides of my vehicle in spots. The structure itself loomed before me. The layout of Waverly Hills Sanatorium is simple enough. The only visible structures remaining are the laundry room — where the owners Charlie and Tina Mattingly live, an introductory movie is viewed, and a ghost hunting class is taught — and the main structure itself, which towers over the whole area, an imposing five stories tall. As I pulled up to the checkpoint, I was greeted and directed toward my destination. Parking at the far end of the large gravel parking lot, my anticipation grew as I climbed out of my air conditioned vehicle into the humid Kentucky dusk. I could see the others in my group, which numbered
about 30 to 40 people, gathering at an old gray hearse on the edge of the lot. Staying off to the side and keeping to myself, I surveyed the situation. You could see the flashes of cameras from other groups already on two-hour tours going off inside of the building and along the various open-aired verandas, which ran along all the floors except the first. Atop the high, middle tower, I spotted gargoyles leering down at us. They presented quite a looming image as the sun set behind the surrounding trees and darkness began to fall upon the group. As one of the tour guides approached, I quickly took my place among the other seekers of truth, or thrills, as it seemed in some cases. Me, I took it all with a half-serious air. I honestly didn’t think the investigation would yield any paranormal results. I had an open mind, but I was skeptical. Yes, I was here to investigate, but mainly I was here to learn, this being my first-ever ghost hunt. So, it was with a strange glee, the butterflies circling in my stomach, that I followed the group down the unlit path, the dark shadows of various pieces of old machinery off to the side.
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During my investigation at Waverly Hills, one of m snapped this shot of me on August 31 at 6:05 a.m.
We were on our way to our first destination, the old laundry room. This was where we were to take a two-hour class prior to our eighthour overnight investigation. Thus began my journey into the unknown, culminating with a trek through the dark halls of old Waverly, where who knew what awaited me.
er Case File #1:
y Brush With the Paranormal
my co-investigators for the night, Dacie Dale, . Central, revealing a strange ‘mist.’
The Ghost Hunting Class Our first destination was a small room where we were taught by a very knowledgeable gentleman named Mike Flickner. He brought us up to date on the history of the paranormal, including one of the first researchers of the unknown, Harry Price. He then went through the vari-
ous fields of study, and the various methods and pieces of equipment used in modern-day ghost hunting. He also gave a rundown of the various entities and what we might expect within Waverly itself, even relating some personal experiences he and others had at Waverly. It was a very informative class and well worth the $50 price tag. The most prevalent type of entities are alleged to be shadow people, which are categorized into three types: • The Shallows: The Shallows are shadow people that are very hard to see when close up due to their almost non-existent nature. They are better seen in one’s peripheral vision at a distance. One such method to detect them is to send someone out to a certain distance down the halls of Waverly, and have everyone focus on that person. Then, have that person turn around and walk slowly back to the group, arms outstretched. This was tried late in the night with the teacher of the earlier class, Mike, but my night-vision is not the best, so I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about, though my fellow investigators supposedly saw something. There was a lot of that going on that night. I guess my eyes just aren’t attuned that well to the subtle influ-
ences of the paranormal, though I did have a few experiences earlier in the night, which I will get to soon. • The Solids: These are basically entities that look like people, except with no discernible features, and being black in coloration. Being of a more solid substance, Solids can easily be seen with the naked eye, even up close. • Black Masses: These range in size from a tennis ball to an all-encompassing form that darken entire hallways in their passing. Another type of entity encountered within the halls of Waverly is the Elemental. According to Mike, this Elemental is basically a force of nature, and is referred to by the staff as Big Black. This entity behaves like a Black Mass, and it is recommended that if you see the hallway ahead of you growing dim, quickly head the other way. Next on the list of entities are full-bodied apparitions. One such entity was reportedly photographed on the second floor of Waverly on Friday, June 13, 2008. Lois Higgs, a nurse at Waverly, had jumped to her death upon learning she had contracted tuberculosis. She was supposedly caught on film, as a female head can be seen looking to the side in the photo taken.
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Personal Experiences oppression, as the full weight of the old structure bore down on me, its storied past a testament to its dark reputation. First, we were led around to the various hotspots on the first floor, including Electroshock Therapy, the Morgue, the Gift Shop, and the Lobby. Next, we headed up to the second floor and toured the Cafeteria. During this part of the tour, my camera refused to work, at first because I had it set incorrectly. However, once I got it working properly, it worked intermittently at best for the rest of the night.
One of my co-investigators for the night, Roberta Bennett, found a blue ball, which an entity named Timmy was said to play with. Bouncing it upon the cold, concrete floor, Roberta would try and coax the young boy out to play. After much sweet-talking, we seemed to finally get some activity, as the ball rocked back and forth on its own, stopping, and doing it again.
According to our teacher Mike, an apparition of just a head is still considered a full-bodied apparition in paranormal circles. Finally, there are the invisible ghosts, the only clue to their presence being the movement of objects, or the hurried whispers over ones shoulder. All in all, Waverly offered up a heavy menu of entities, enough to last one a lifetime of ghost-hunting investigations. The Tour Before the Investigation Once class was adjourned, we were divided into two groups, with one group taking floors 3 through 5, and the other taking floors 1 and 2, as well as the Death Tunnel. Lucky for me I got the Death tunnel first, as in hindsight, I don’t think I could have taken it later, as it is quite a walk down and then back up. So, there we were, looking down the dark opening of the Body Chute,
or Death Tunnel as it is affectionately called. We were given the option to wait at the top, but I hadn’t come all this way to wait at the top. So, I decided to lug myself and all my equipment, and it was a lot of equipment, all the way to the bottom. Easy enough, but then came the task of the long climb up. Sweating and breathing heavily, I finally made it back to the top. Unfortunately, with too many people on hand, a lot of talking from those around me, and trying to navigate safely down a darkened Death Tunnel, I wasn’t able to observe much. I was extremely glad to relieve myself of the bulk of my equipment once we returned to our home base, the aforementioned Laundry Room. After a quick break, we were led inside, through a tunnel only accessible via the Laundry Room, to the interior of Waverly Hills Sanatorium. My first impression upon entering the interior was one of
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The Investigation Begins Once the tour guide left us to our own devices, I started down the hall that led to the cafeteria. Strangely, he had almost seemed to refuse to go down that hall, even though he had said it was one of his favorite areas. Almost wanting to tempt the ghosts of Waverly, I had half made my way down the dark, lonely hall alone before losing my nerve and scurrying back to the false safety of the various groups as they wandered to and fro around me. I soon found myself solitary once again as I stood in the stairwell between the first and second floors. As I stood there in the dark, all alone, I contemplated my next move. Should I try to find a group to tag along with? Or should I try and conquer my fear of the dark and go it alone? So, swallowing the fear in my throat once again, I set off into the darkness alone, or was I? The silence was deafening, the blood pounding through my ears as my heart raced. But almost like an old friend, the darkness seemed to welcome me, and I relished its comforting effect. Yes, I was investigating within Waverly alone at this time, but
somehow the darkness seemed to protect me and keep me safe. It was at this point that I entered the one place that was the worst in my mind, the old Morgue, with its original three body trays still intact. Earlier, our tour guide had dragged out one of the trays so that we could get the full effect. And as he pulled it out, the ominous loud screeching made everyone in the room jump. So there I was, standing alone in the Morgue. I seemed to lose my voice as I attempted to collect some EVPs, all words fleeing my fearaddled brain. What to say? I managed to meekly ask, “Is anyone in here?” before stumbling around in the dark and hurrying from the room. As I made my way down the hall, I passed the occasional group doing EMF sweeps and collecting EVPs of their own. My camera became a comfort as the light of its flash dispelled any imaginary phantoms. I soon found myself in the Lobby, and silence settled in once more. I could almost feel the past denizens as they moved about in the darkness of the columned room, the dust heavy upon the old and worn furniture that stirred in my passing. Making my way to the second floor, I was now in dire need of companionship. It was while by the second floor balcony that I met Dacie Dale and her Aunt Roberta. They would become my constant companions throughout most of the rest of the night. They struck me right off as colorful and engaging individuals, and I took an instant liking to them. We spent the next three or so hours exploring the darkness, making our way first to the cafeteria, where I swore it smelled like an old school cafeteria . . . but that could have been the drywall.
We next went to the first floor Gift Shop, where Roberta said she felt temperature changes. Being new to the game, I found that I could not correctly work my IR Thermometer with “K” Type probe in the dark. I made a mental note to practice using my equipment until I knew it like the back of my hand so that this situation didn’t arise next time. Dacie later said of the Gift Shop area that she felt like her Aunt was looking down over her shoulder in the dark, when in fact her aunt was actually sitting in the chair next to her. An Invisible Playmate? It was while we were travelling the halls on the second floor that I would witness what I considered my first ‘confirmed’ paranormal experience. Roberta found a blue ball, which an entity named Timmy was said to play with. Bouncing it upon the cold, concrete floor, Roberta, and occasionally Dacie, would try and
coax the young boy out to play. After much sweet-talking, we seemed to finally get some activity, as the ball rocked back and forth on its own, stopping, and doing it again. At one point a young man walked by and said it was only a breeze, but when I reached down to feel, I could barely detect any such breeze. Surely it wasn’t enough to move the ball. Later when a particularly strong gust of wind blew through, I thought for sure the ball would roll off down the hall. Strangely, the ball stopped, almost as if Timmy was saying, it is not the wind, but me. While all this was going on, Roberta and Dacie, who I think have special gifts, kept referring to the entity of Timmy as Michael, and at one point Dacie talked of a little girl named Sarah. Only later did scrutiny of the video I had taken at the time reveal some interesting EVPs. One was where Dacie asked if the entity
As I stood alone in the Morgue, with its original three body trays still intact, I seemed to lose my voice as I attempted to collect some EVPs, all words fleeing my fear-addled brain.
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While the above digital picture, taken by my co-investigator Dacie Dale, at first seems like just a blurry shot of a room on the first floor of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, after further review, we noticed an interesting image in the upper right-hand portion of the photo. What do you see?
wanted to play, and a little girl replied eerily, “Yes.” Also a few times, an older male voice can be heard to say, “I’m Michael.” Another bit of excitement that occurred during the first half of our tour was that Waverly was invaded by trespassers, which is supposedly a common occurrence. Security chased them up to the fifth floor where they were caught and detained. It cost each of them a cool $250. Ah, the exuberance of youth. We also heard rumors of a young girl becoming possessed by a spirit up on the third floor. I only heard about it in passing and that the Waverly staff had asked her to leave. It was now 4:10 a.m., and it was
time to switch out with the other group. I made my way down to the Laundry Room for a well-deserved break. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Dacie and Roberta had stayed behind on the third floor of Waverly, becoming lost until I found them around 4:45 a.m. But I’ll get to that in a bit. After changing batteries, and taking a bathroom break, we headed back in. This time we climbed the stairwell up to the third floor, where we were given a brief tour, mainly consisting of the elevator where a homeless man and his dog were brutally murdered, having been thrown down the elevator shaft. Then we trudged up to the fifth floor, where we were shown the ever-popular room 502 and given
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general rules about where we were and weren’t allowed to go. Lastly, we were taken to the fourth floor. And as we stood outside the door in the stairwell, our guide told us a little story. The Mysterious Fourth Floor It seems some young teens had decided to break into Waverly for a thrill, bringing along an axe to facilitate entry. The authorities had been alerted to trespassers and had in turn called the owners. All had converged on the old stone edifice, only to hear a commotion and carrying on coming from the fourth floor. Upon further investigation, they found the following scene: One of the teens was hanging
. . . It was at this point that our guide swung open the door, revealing the fourth floor, supposedly one of the most haunted floors at Waverly: The domain of the shadow people . . .
halfway out of a small 12” x 12” window, the rest of the teens were on the other side of the door. They were hysterical, screaming that, “They wouldn’t let them out.” The adults present were clearly puzzled, and so the teens were asked who wouldn’t let them out? Their response was the people on the other side of the door, in the stairwell. It was at this point that one of the authorities reached over and easily swung the door open. A side note to this is that something had scared the teens. It had frightened them so much that they had taken the axe and beat eight-inch gouges into the metal door. It was at this point that our guide swung open the door, revealing the fourth floor, supposedly one of the
most haunted floors at Waverly: The domain of the shadow people. Picture this: a long central hall that runs the length of the fourth floor, small rooms on both sides, and an open air veranda beyond that. All light has been covered on the floor, and the guides urge you to refrain from using a flashlight. This is because as your eyes adjust to the darkness, they start to pick up on the ambient light that creates bands of light and dark, extending down the hallway, until a corner is reached. It is as you look at these bands of light and dark that you notice the shadows, flickering across the lighted spaces, almost as if people are walking across the openings. They are very subtle, and hard to see, but they
are there all the same, having seen them with my own eyes. Maybe it’s a trick of staring too long, but regardless, it is an eerie effect, and one that leaves you wondering if something or someone might actually be present. The fourth floor of Waverly was the most unsettling to me, and I found it difficult to traverse its halls alone, though I did try. I can only explain it like this: Early in my investigation, the darkness seemed to create a sort of safe barrier from that which might lurk within it, but it was on this floor that I felt that the darkness itself was something to be feared. It was different. It was while on my attempt to go it alone on the fourth floor that I
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Personal Experiences encountered my companions from earlier, Dacie and Roberta. They had elected to stay within Waverly when most of us had gone down to take a break in the Laundry Room. They had quickly become lost in the maze of corridors, until our chance meeting once again. After explaining what they had missed, most importantly matters of safety, we set off to explore the darkness of the fourth floor. It was Roberta who brought to my attention — as we met up with another group — that a young man had stayed behind, alone in the dark. But when we attempted to find him, it was to no avail, almost as if he had vanished. A mystery maybe, but then again, he could have gotten around us in the darkness. It was at this point we were alerted that the lead tour guide, Mike, would be attempting to pick something up on the FLIR one floor down on the third floor. Dacie and Roberta headed that way, while I decided to go in the opposite direction, on up to the fifth floor. An Unwanted Guest The fifth floor of Waverly is small in comparison to the other four floors. I believe it has a total of five rooms, with 502 being the most well-known. Prior to visiting Waverly, I had heard that the myth surrounding room 502 — where a nurse was said to have hung herself — was a result of countless retellings of the legend, sort of like a paranormal grapevine. So, I decided to check out another room instead of 502, where a nurse reportedly jumped (or was pushed) out of a window. It was here, alone in the dark once again, where I got the feeling that I was a trespasser. It felt like I was not wanted, plain and simple. So, seeing as how discretion is the better part
of valor, I beat feet. In other words, I quickly left, making my way to the third floor where I was just in time to catch the FLIR demonstration after all. (I later found out, after viewing my photographs from the night, that I was actually in room 502 when I got that uneasy feeling.) Knowing nearly nothing about the FLIR, and how it was supposed to work, I could only think of the controversy that surrounded this particular piece of equipment. I basically knew that the controversy involved the improper use of the FLIR. Looking at its screen as we stood there in the dark, I recognized its familiar yellow and red coloration.
It was here, alone in the dark once again, where I got the feeling that I was a trespasser. It felt like I was not wanted, plain and simple. There was much murmuring as a shadow was supposedly picked up further down the hall using the FLIR. Mike had Roberta walk down the hall to just before the shadow person. He then had her turn around and walk back slowly toward us, arms outstretched. This was to “draw the shadows out.” We all focused intently on Roberta. I saw nothing, but as I said earlier, my night-vision is not the greatest. Mike and the others saw a shadow off to Roberta’s side, with a bigger one behind her. Again, I saw nothing, only a shadowy darkness.
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Believe me, I wanted to see what my fellow ghost hunters saw, but it was not meant to be. Then it was Mike’s turn to walk down the hall, Roberta holding the FLIR this time around. His hope was to try and draw the shadow out, which was still hunkered down at the far doorway. But the shadow, seemingly being stubborn, refused to move. It was while this was being discussed that I noticed movement in the ambient light of a doorway three doors down. This went on for a few minutes, with Dacie noticing also. It was then that the thought occurred to me, what if the shadows came up behind us? So, looking dubiously around, it was with a sigh of relief that I saw nothing there. At this point, the distant shadows refusal to move was perplexing even our guide Mike. Finally, a flashlight was shown upon the culprit shadow, with all expecting it to flee. Imagine the shock displayed when it still didn’t budge. It was then that Mike let out an audible tsk, and stated, “It is only a door.” It seems we had been staring at a shadow thrown by a half-closed door this entire time, the FLIR picking it up as a dark purple shadow. Laughing at ourselves, once again the group split up, with Dacie, Roberta, and me heading back up to the fifth floor. A Lasting Connection We had heard that ghost children had been heard playing on the roof area in the past and wanted to see if we could get a repeat of our earlier encounter with Timmy. The ladies wanted to check out the floor, and I, weary from the long night, followed quietly along, Roberta grabbing a ball we found along the way. Exploring the floor and roof, we had no further encounters there. It was
Strolling slowly along the antiquated halls, I found myself on the veranda, the sun making the sky a dark pink. I thought back to days gone by and how the former residents of Waverly must have enjoyed just such a beautiful morning scene.
on the roof, in the very early dawn, the light just starting to lighten the night time sky that we decided to take a break. Mike and some others smoked, Mike telling tales of happenings and encounters within the structure below. It had been a long night. As I sat upon the roof of Waverly, a cool breeze washing over my weary form, the lights of a just-awakening Louisville, Kentucky, in the distance, a feeling of peace descended upon me. A few of us from the tour sat upon the black, asphalt roof, most everyone else having left for the night. I could hear my newfound companions Dacie and Roberta talking quietly off to the side. Looking at them both, I thought back to the experiences we had shared.
Wordlessly, we made our way down the stairwell, stopping on the second floor because someone in our group had heard that you could smell food sometimes in the cafeteria in the mornings. Again, I smelled that faint “cafeteria” smell that I had detected earlier in investigation. Strolling slowly along the antiquated halls, I found myself on the veranda, the sun making the sky a dark pink. I thought back to days gone by and how the former residents of Waverly must have enjoyed just such a beautiful morning scene. Breathing it all in, we turned and made our way out of Waverly Hills to return to our respective homes. Of course, as soon as I stepped outside my camera, which had func-
tioned erratically most of the night, started working perfectly. I decided then and there, as I stood in the gravel parking lot looking up at its old façade, that this building, with its many stories and secrets, would always have a special place in my heart. For in some odd way, I felt a connection. I was leaving Waverly a changed man, my amazement with the unknown renewed. Whether it is due to the history, the beauty, or the allure of mystery — or maybe all those things combined — I will always consider Waverly a testament to all that is secret and wonderful in this world.
Stay tuned . . . in our next issue, we’ll present further evidence from Chad’s investigation at Waverly Hills.
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Life With the Breathing Impaired By Bri Larkin
n my previous article, I told you about the beginning of paranormal phenomenon we have experienced in this house. The footsteps that had terrified me continued, but I noticed that they happened mostly when we had guests sleeping upstairs. Many of the guests relayed what they had heard in the middle of the night, and to my surprise, most of them didn’t seem as frightened as we were about them. Probably because they were happy they weren’t the ones living here. ***** One account had to do with my best friend’s fiancé. While the rest of us were asleep, he had gotten up to get a drink of water. As he was going upstairs back to bed, he heard footsteps following him. When he got to the top, he turned, still hearing the steps. He was expecting to see my friend behind him. There was no one. In a very calm voice the next day, he told me he wasn’t frightened by what happened. He felt as if someone was just, “checking up on
him or seeing who he was.” I was certainly startled, as we had never breathed a word of our experiences to anyone. *****
All of the sudden, voices started whispering gibberish. It sounded like five or six people all talking at the same time. After that, the footsteps would occur three or four times a week, regardless if there was anyone up there or not. They would seem to happen at 11:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., but it wasn’t constant. Once I heard them while
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working on schoolwork at four o’clock in the afternoon. I thought my husband had come home. The dog started going crazy, but it was just the two of us for an additional 30 minutes. That day, my husband found us sitting outside, waiting for him. ***** Then the voices started. Now, during my research since this all started happening, I’ve heard of others having this exact same experience. I know I’ve read about it more than once, and found it odd how “common” it was. After getting ready for bed, we would lie down and talk for a bit before one of us fell asleep. During the spring the following year, we lay down and began talking. All of the sudden, voices started whispering gibberish. It sounded like five or six people all talking at the same time. There were words spoken, but they were so soft and muffled that we couldn’t make out any. We stopped and stared at each other. “Do you hear that?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he replied. “Go see if someone is out there! Check the basement!” Judging by how white my poor husband’s face was, I knew he was worried. We both sat up and the voices stopped. I turned on the light. Slowly, my husband grabbed a gun and crept into the hallway. He took a flashlight and shined it through the windows before heading downstairs, bless his heart. He came back to bed after what seemed like an eternity and said, “No one’s there. Everything is locked.” I had been clutching my dog, who was growling softly. “Well, whatever it is, let’s just try to go to sleep,” I offered, pitifully. As soon as my head hit the pillow again, the voices returned. The soft, giggly gibberish lasted 15 minutes. Then it stopped. ***** In the next few weeks, we would hear the voices and sometimes soft music. The music reminded me of the old, war-time love ballads we often hear big bands of the era play. Once, I swear I heard the Irving Berlin hit, “What’ll I Do.” I even started humming it a bit as my husband stared wide-eyed at the ceiling. “At least they’re serenading us,” I nervously joked. “Uh-huh . . .” As time went on, the phenomenon took on different forms, but I’ll save those for another time. Instead, I’ll leave you with this:
“Gone is the romance that was so divine. ‘Tis broken and cannot be mended.
The footsteps would occur three or four times a week, regardless if there was anyone up there or not. They would seem to happen at 11:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., but it wasn’t constant.
You must go your way And I must go mine. But now that our love dreams have ended . . . What’ll I do When you are far away And I am blue What’ll I do? What’ll I do with just a photograph To tell my troubles to? When I’m alone With only dreams of you That won’t come true
What’ll I do? What’ll I do with just a photograph To tell my troubles to? When I’m alone With only dreams of you That won’t come true What’ll I do?” —Irving Berlin ***** Is it a ghostly message to us, or a spectral yearning of an era long dead? Maybe time will tell.
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The Mirrors By PJ Gaenir
t was around November 1996. I decided to take a shower in the evening hours, and I’d taken my clothes off. My hair was getting long then, so I was leaning over sideways brushing it. I was looking at my hair in the mirror (which is over the bathroom sink), which comes down to about chest-level. I suddenly noticed that my eyes seemed unusually golden. A few times in the past this has happened. The brown will seem oddly “backlit” and the gold part becomes more obvious. It is actually startling even to me, this ‘light’ in the eyes, and others have commented on it. It had only happened a few times and had always been when I had felt very ‘tuned in’ spiritually. I had considered since some entities seem to have rather bright eyes perhaps it was just a signature of that (too much time in the astral plane or something). But I could see no reason for my eyes to look like that right then. I’d been tuned out of anything PSI for a long time. I studied the remote viewing topic, but other than dreams, my life was amazingly dull, mundane . . . nothing but work and just another day. It Began With Golden Eyes The golden struck me as interesting in a curious, I-wonder-why sort of way, and I ceased brushing and leaned forward toward the mirror to
look closely at my eyes, wondering. And my face began to change. My stomach tightened as my breath caught, and I froze, just staring. It almost seemed to flow. Slowly. Steadily. The structure was shifting. I can’t say it was overtly physical. I don’t mean my hair or eyes changed color, or anything like that. It was like the bone structure of my face began to ‘change its relationship to itself.’
“I stared at my face in awe. I think my mouth opened slightly. It was so different.” I had only seen this happen to somebody once before — years before I had seen this occur with a deep trance channel. At that time, the visual had disconcerted me so strongly that I was uncomfortable for a week afterward. I was in too much awe and surprise to do anything but watch. My eyes seemed to get more deeply set. A bit wider apart. The space under my cheekbones got more hollow. My cheekbones themselves got a bit
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higher and much sharper. My lips and nose both thinned. I was frozen. In awe. In fear. In confusion. I kept thinking, I have to be imagining this! As my face continued to morph, I began to realize, though, that it was really happening. That perhaps it WAS just my perception, OK, fine, but it was as real to my vision as anything else. My face continued to shift subtly, as if the bones were getting more comfortable under my skin in a new position. I don’t remember physically feeling anything. I could simply see it. This probably took about eight to 10 full seconds to occur. Anybody who’s been to a rodeo knows how long eight seconds can be. And then it seemed complete. My New Face I stared at my face in awe. I think my mouth opened slightly. It was so different. It wasn’t just different. It wasn’t me. I abruptly realized that I was looking in the mirror at somebody I had never seen before. Not a version of me. A completely different person. A man. In his late 40s or early 50s. I began to get conceptuals then. He was hard, psychologically. A little cold and mercenary. Very smart. Ruthless. I stared at the face. Thin and a bit predatorial. Quite unlike my own soft face.
And then I made the mistake of looking back at my eyes again. He could see me. I could see him. He saw me looking at him and knew that I saw him. Knew that I knew that he knew, and so on. A psychic version of looking into endless facing mirrors. Suddenly, the whole impact of recognizing his sentience, his foreignness in my face, and all the related emotions hit me at once. I screamed and literally dived out of the way of the mirror. An Anomalous Experience? I stood around the corner in the hallway with my back to the wall, hyperventilating. I wondered if it were possible that such a strange experience could be real. How could it be possible to see another person in my face? Actually, that part was incredible, but I considered as I stood there that I’d actually heard of that happening in certain kinds of scrying. But more astonishing to me was how could I sense so much about him? Gathering up my courage, I stole back and peered around the corner, just quickly enough to look in the mirror. It seemed as if he were still there — yet fading; my face looked ‘half and half’ between us. I pulled back out of sight of the mirror again and thought, If I could hallucinate something so strange, why would I? And why would there be such concepts along with it? I felt pretty clear about his intent. He was just ‘checking me out.’ My impression was that if I met this man in person, I would think to myself, This man is an assassin. And yet, I didn’t have the sense that he had any bad intentions toward me . . . or good, for that matter. My impression was that he was simply gathering information about me. Getting the feel of me. Feeling
I abruptly realized that I was looking in the mirror at somebody I had never seen before. Not a version of me. A completely different person. A man. In his late 40s or early 50s.
inside me, seeing what I was like. Like it was a job. Not like he had any personal motivation for doing so. I peered around the corner again and into the mirror. He was gone. It was just my own face. So I went back into the bathroom and stared at my face for a few more moments in the mirror. It looked perfectly normal. I thought, How strange! And then I took a shower. I mentioned it to a friend or two in e-mail right after that. But I figured, it was just an ‘anomalous experience.’ I’ve certainly had unexplainable things happen before. I’ve long ago given up insisting there be a logical explanation for everything. So at that point, I really just didn’t give it any more thought. My Friend Patrick It was nearly a year later that Patrick (an alias), a fellow interested in remote viewing, finally caught up with me. We’d been trying to get together for months, but time, space, and circumstance had never allowed
it before. I was traveling, and he stopped by for a visit. He was a real potential for the remote viewing field. He had brains, money, discernment, and he was sane. He had a business and contacts that could provide potential funding or support, at least management of something ‘real’ for the field. That could find real applications, that could be more important and effective than the various little one-man schools, most of whom were part-time, under-funded, or too cosmic for business. So, I considered him an important ‘potential’ for the field. Who knew what the future might bring, someday down the road, with someone who really understood remote viewing and had the ability to put it into a constructive situation? He was aware of my personal research, work, and communications in the field, and he knew that I was in some ways ‘in touch’ with many aspects of the subject, viewers, and students. So we had a mutual interest in meeting each other and talking about remote viewing and so on.
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Personal Experiences A Mysterious Meeting Patrick’s the kind of person who doesn’t say anything without having chewed it over in his mind at length. He speaks carefully and quietly, as if he is spell-checking each sentence before he releases it to you. A wealthy businessman, he is conservative and intelligent and seems a decent human being. He’s the sort of person that I took pretty seriously. He was of average height, and I guessed he was in his late 30s or early 40s. He was trim and seemed very healthy. My gut-instinct was to trust him. My impression from talking with him via phone and e-mail prior to meeting him was that he was uncomfortable exchanging personal or important information through those mediums. You know, some people feel like it’s not . . . secure. I didn’t know why he’d feel like that. He didn’t seem paranoid to me otherwise, but how would I know. But anyway, he clearly was uncomfortable and had said he really wanted us to meet in person. We ditched the class, had a bite to eat, and went walking around the grounds of my hotel. Patrick said he had something he wanted to talk with me about that he hadn’t wanted to do via e-mail or phone. He didn’t know what to make of it, he was a little disturbed about it, but he really wanted an objective opinion. He clearly thought he had something unusual, as if he was a little nervous about telling me lest I think him crazy or something. (The guy seemed the benchmark of respectability, so that was unlikely.) It was obviously something important to him. I was thinking, He is going to tell me about some experience he had during remote viewing practice. But as it turned out, this was an experience that happened to him before he was in any way involved in remote viewing when he was just a family-oriented businessman.
A Shared Experience He began his story . . . one day, he’s in the bathroom, and he looks into the mirror. Something about his face and eyes gets his attention. He continues staring just for a moment, and it begins to seem as if his face is changing, somehow. Shifting. At this point, I interrupted excitedly, almost jumping up and down, “Wait! That happened to me too!” He seems surprised, but he says, “Wait, let me tell my story first so you know it’s mine and not influenced by yours.” So I agreed, tried to restrain myself, and sat down on a small stone bench. He said that during the experience he was awed, amazed, and confused, and he stared at himself as
He looked into his eyes, and he saw that the man saw him, and knew that he knew . . . like some kind of psychic loop. the process continued and his face changed more and more. Eventually, he was looking at the face of somebody he had never seen before. Another man. A younger man. He looked into his eyes, and he saw that the man saw him, and knew that he knew . . . like some kind of psychic loop. And something spurred him to react as if it were a threat. Whereas I had screamed and thrown myself backward, he lurched forward — and suddenly he was looking down into a room. As if he had somehow gone THROUGH the mirror and was now hovering near the ceiling in a room somewhere.
Paranormal Underground October 2008
An Unusual Mirror There was an armoire in the room. And a standing full length mirror. There was a man standing right in front of the mirror, like inches from it. It was the younger man he had seen in his face. Dark haired. Next to him and slightly behind him stood another man, a bit older, with greying hair, glasses, and very solidly built. Just as Patrick found himself in the room, the older man was leaning out and putting his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. As if the young man had reacted to Patrick’s ‘coming through at him,’ and the older man was steadying him. And there were conceptuals, like I had conceptuals, and awareness of the context of the people and situation. Patrick felt that this was something deliberate. This man looking into the mirror was specifically focusing on Patrick, personally, for some reason. He felt the older man was cold, ruthless. Assassin-like ruthless. He felt the younger man was really not like that. The overall impression was of a ‘training’ scenario. Like the older guy was some kind of expert, and he was training the younger guy in how to use the mirror to tune into people. And then Patrick was ‘out’ of it, standing in the bathroom. He stared at himself in the mirror. Did he imagine it all? The visuals of the room — they had been so real, just like he was there. He had never encountered any experience like that in his life. He had no idea what to make of it. Patrick said that the two guys did not know he was in the room. Though they apparently did know that something untoward had happened during their session. But they were not aware of him watching them at the time. And he said he couldn’t hear either of them — he could only see them.
A Turn for the Worse So as I mentioned earlier, this event happened to Patrick long before he had any association with remote viewing at all. He was just a businessman minding his own business when this experience hit, and he had no idea what to make of it. He was a fairly normal, healthy, and happy guy. Three weeks after the event with the mirror, Patrick had a massive heart attack and came very close to dying. After a multiple bypass operation, he was forced to partly-retire from his work at a young age, to rest. Understandably, he was more than a little upset at having seemed fine and then nearly dying, and not being certain how his future health was going to be was pretty frightening as well. After some time, he got interested in remote viewing. He had heard someone talking about it on the radio, and he went and got some methods training. He immediately saw the potential of remote viewing, business potentials, and more. He was thinking seriously about investing his skill and experience into something that might contribute to the remote viewing field, both training and applications. Something that could be the first ‘real’ and very serious venture in the field. We had talked about what we could do to perhaps work together in some way to make this happen. What Are the Odds? So, having told each other our stories, then we had to wonder. What are the odds this same type of experience would happen to two people? What are the odds both of us would feel we were ‘targeted,’ as opposed to this just being some ‘odd psychic experience?’ Especially since neither of us were at all paranoid; I didn’t believe such a thing existed really, and he had never even considered something seemingly psychic like that back then.
Oddly, and maybe this is because I am really dense, it had never really occurred to me that my experience was in any way related to remote viewing. I had so many odd, and often ‘dark side,’ experiences prior to ever hearing of remote viewing that I figured it was just another one. But what are the odds we both would describe sensing an individual so similar, the assassin-like quality? What are the odds that both of the individuals (us) would be fairly heavily involved (eventually) in
remote viewing — and eventually in close contact with each other? Patrick said he wondered if remote viewing is not limited by time or space, might it be possible for someone in the future to look at a situation, and target the key players in that situation backward (in time) to perhaps affect the future?
Well, from what I hear, the most commonly reported suspicion about physical remote influencing is the Soviet (and other) attempts (and demonstrations) to give an individual a heart attack. Could it be possible that he was targeted backward in time, to take him out of the future picture? Our plans for remote viewing took a different turn later. He went on to provide some founding capital and leadership for a remote viewing organization. Addendum Much later, Patrick is at a meeting in Southern California related to parapsychology that included mostly Ph.Ds from around the world. He notices a man sitting across the room, stops short, and stares. The man is greying, solidly built, and wears glasses. He reminds Patrick of the man he had seen in his experience. He is intrigued, scared, and a little creeped out. But Patrick walks over to the man, told him the story, and asked the man if it was him! The man laughed and said no. And after talking with the man, Patrick didn’t feel it was the same guy. He didn’t have the same sense. He supposed there were probably plenty of people with that general physical description. Still . . . I told Patrick that I thought it was hilarious. I kid him that it’s his evil twin in the nearest alternate reality. And I feel reasonably sure that if I ever meet the man I saw in my face, I will recognize him. There is nothing to say that these people were Americans. After all, armoires and standing full-length mirrors are actually more common in many other countries than in this one. And much of the world looks and dresses pretty much the same as the average american. I don’t know what any of this means. I’m just reporting what happened.
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Renee (Spooky) Age: 29. Born: Brockton, Massachusetts. Currently resides: Southern Massachusetts.
boring and very, very intreresting to read for anyone who has a zeal for the paranormal. I would and will continue to pass on recommendations for this maga-
Status: Married at heart. Education: Bachelor’s degree in business, certified in paralegal, and some psychology and radiology.
Who are your heroes? Excellent question! My biggest hero is my uncle Eddie who passed away on New Years day of 2004 after a four-year battle with non-hodgkins lymphoma. I saw a man who endured bravely til the end, who fought a good fight, and inspite of the pain he felt (which was a lot), strived to be a good parent and husband.
Zodiac Sign: Cancer! Occupation: Business associate in advertising. When did you join GhostDose and Paranormal Underground? June 2, 2008/August 13, 2008. What brought you to GhostDose and the Underground? I had the good fortune to get to meet some of the members outside of the Sci Fi community and got to have a look around and see that GhostDose is a very good community that encourages free thinking on the subject of paranormal, with as little restriction as possible on the speech. It is a very nice break and atmosphere as opposed to some of the more restrictive forums around. Paranormal Underground was recommended to me by some of these members, and checking it out, I found that the articles are never
school friends give me but also my father. I guess it has to do with the fact that I was always very much into the paranormal and always going out of my way to try to study it or encounter places that were known to be haunted. Plus, I love Halloween, and horror movies or books were always my favorite.
Renee is a skeptic who tries to be as fair-minded as possible.
zine for anyone that I come across that is captivated by anything of the paranormal nature. What does your member name mean? ‘Spooky’ is actually a nickname that not only did my high
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How would you describe yourself? In one word, eccentric. I also do not consider myself as someone that is above learning from my mistakes, nor do I have a perfect impression of myself. I try to be as fair-minded as possible and do try to see all sides of a story. Admittedly, I am an impatient person that really does need to work on that more. I’ve also been described by others who know me as someone that is known to root for the underdog or
stand up for others who may not be treated well. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I have a pretty good-sized family, many live around here in Massachusetts, but a couple of brothers, an aunt, and mother who reside in Florida, which I visit periodically. Even though seperated by miles, we try to stay close in contact as much as possible. As far as things I like to do, I love to draw and paint, as well as read a good suspense or horror book. Also, I know this will sound very nerdy, but I love researching things and learning something new. I also love doing anything outdoors, including fishing and camping. But I also love to explore old ruins or cemetaries and ghost hunt whenever time will allow, which for the past couple of years time has been tight for ghost hunting :(. Above everything else, I love spending quality time with my husband. Favorite music? Probably the kinds I listen to most are classic rock and 80s, especially the metal in the 80s. However, I love most kinds of music and am known for listening to songs from the 50s all the way up to current songs. So if it’s rock, oldies, reggae, metal, pop music, country, progressive, new age, etc., I am bound to find some songs I like very much from each of these genres. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? Until recently, Ghost Hunters was one of my favorite shows, but since the Halloween episode and their handling of the aftermath, it left quite a bad taste in my mouth, and
it’s been downhill since. I do enjoy Ghost Hunters International mostly because of the places they explore. I also like watching Haunted History or Most Haunted, at the very least for entertainment value. Some of my favorite books were The Stand by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon, all The Witching Hour book series by Anne Rice, and Door to December, Icebound, The Bad Place, The Voice of the Night, and Dark Rivers of the Heart, all by Dean Koontz. Some of my favorite movies are the zombie movies by George Romaro.
“Ghostly encounters have always been the most interesting to me, perhaps because of personal experiences of this nature.” Any other favorites? I like watching Animal Planet or any interesting documentary pertaining to history. What are your pet peeves? Mean people, bullies, heavy traffic, animal abuse, coworkers who have a blatant lack of regard for the rest of the team. Are you a skeptic or believer? I am a skeptic. What areas of the paranormal
interest you the most? Ghostly encounters have always been the most interesting to me, perhaps because of personal experiences of this nature. Have you ever studied the paranormal? Yes. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. I am careful about who and where I talk about my experiences. It really can be touchy, especially when it’s an experience you’ve personally had. In addition, I try to be very careful with how I treat others who wish to share their experiences. I do not like to give any opinions on them, unless specifically asked. Even then, I try hard to be careful with my words. What do you think happens to us when we die? I sincerely do not know. However, I believe that it’s just the end of the line at that point. But I am open to other possibilities. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Basically, never forfeit your personal morals despite whether or not they are popular around any particular group of people. Also, religious or political discussions at work are a no no. I wish I could say patience is a virtue, but that’s something I need to learn to live by someday. :) Any exciting plans for the future? Me and my better half did an informal commitment ceremony, but we are planning to make it formal within the next year or so. I am excited about that, and then plan to do some traveling in Alaska and some day settle down in peace and quiet in West Virginia somewhere.
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Chelle Thomas (AmArA) Age: 30. Born: Elmira, New York. Currently resides: Corning, New York. Status: Divorced. Education: High School and some College. Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius. Occupation: Warranty Agent, Call Center. When did you join GhostDose and Paranormal Underground? I joined earlier this year under the name Andromeda, but couldn’t remember my password (LMAO), but joined under the nick AmArA recently :D What brought you to GhostDose and the Underground? I’ve heard a lot about it from other people, and decided to check it out for myself. What does your member name mean? It’s short for Amaranth; it’s a tropical flower that symbolizes immortality. A friend of mine gave it to me years ago when I was dealing with a severe sickness. Who are your heroes? I know this is going to sound cheesy, but my father. He’s been through a LOT, and he’s still an amazing caring person. Anyone who could go through the life he has and still be a sweet, honest, and caring person definitely deserves something!
How would you describe yourself? I’m the dork that has no issues completely embarrassing myself just to make a person smile or feel better. Sometimes my big heart gets me hurt/walked on, but I keep on going! Tell us about your family and what you like to do. OMG, there’s so much to tell! I have an amazing family; growing up was a little rough, but I think these are the best years we’ve had in a long time. As far as what I like to do, it’d be a lot easier to list what I don’t
can be an expensive hobby, LOL! Any other favorites? Honestly, as geeky as this sounds, I also do research on ancient cultures and beliefs. What are your pet peeves? People who seriously want to stay ignorant and mean, and fight to be that way. Are you a skeptic or believer? I tend to be a little of both. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Hard to say, I have deep interest in all of it! Have you ever studied the paranormal? Yep. I started when I was pretty young.
Chelle is a skeptical believer who loves to read and watch paranormal shows.
(LOL)! I have a *ton* of interests and like to keep myself busy. Favorite music? My absolute favorite band is Disturbed. They have a lot to say and voice it well! Pretty much, I’ll listen to just about anything. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? I love paranormal shows, though some are better than others. I have a wide range of things I’ll watch or read. I tend to devour books, so that
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Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. There have been several. I think one of the two that has stuck with me the most is the haunting at my grandparents old farm. They used to have vineyards around their home, and that particular house had been in the family for quite some time. As a small child I would play in the cellar where they stored the fruits and vegetables for winter. There used to be a man down there that I always thought was my grandfather. He kept telling me, “I’m Floyd, not your grandfather.” I’d just giggle and thought my grandfather was pulling my leg. One year, near the end of winter, when all the produce had been long gone, he gave me a really ripe apple. He said, “Take this to your
family, I’ll take a bite, and you take a bite, and tell them that you’re playing with Floyd. They’ll tell you I’m not your grandfather.” I remember he was always sweet, and we’d play for hours. So I took the apple up to the first floor and stand there waiting for the adults to stop chatting. I was probably four or five at the time? I believe it was my grandmother that noticed what was in my hand. When I explained what I thought grandpa had told me, the whole room got quiet. My grandfather had been sitting at the table the whole time I was downstairs. The adults flipped out, and searched the basement, telling us kids to never go in it again. They actually thought some guy was getting in there. When I told them, “He said his name was Floyd, and that you would be OK with him.” Again, silence. I was devastated. The man was really gentle and never did anything to scare or hurt me. Come to find out, Floyd was my grandfather’s grandfather, and he had just disappeared one day. There were rumors of what had happened, but nothing 100%. From then, until my grandparents sold the house, us kids were pretty much banned from the cellar. What do you think happens to us when we die? I have a weird view on what happens. It’s just an idea at the moment, so it’s still a work in process. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Seriously, don’t sweat the small stuff, and even the big stuff don’t get too stressed over. Life may throw you lemons, but look at the obstacles in life as learning opportunities. Any exciting plans for the future? Tons! I always have big plans for adventures or something new.
Paranormal Underground Congratulates Chris and Jaime Johnesee on the arrival of their baby boy, Declan
September 19, 2008 9:34 a.m. EST 8 lbs., 1oz. 21 inches October 2008 Paranormal Underground 101
Digital Camera Illusions By Mark Themas
igital cameras have become a very popular tool in paranormal investigating. Gone are the hassles of loading film and waiting for it to be developed. Now it’s as simple as point, click, and view. However, the digital camera can fool us into thinking that we’ve captured something paranormal when, in fact, there is a perfectly ‘normal’ explanation. To really understand how this can happen, you need to know more on how a digital camera takes an analog picture to the digital world. Just like a conventional camera, a digital camera has a series of lenses that focus light to create an image of
a scene. But instead of focusing this light onto a piece of film, it focuses it onto a semiconductor device that converts the light into electrical charges, using sensors much like solar cells. Unfortunately, these cells are colorblind. They only keep track of the total intensity of the light that strikes its surface. In order to get a full color image, most sensors use filtering to look at the light in its three primary colors. Once the camera records all three colors, it combines them to create the full spectrum. This is one reason that the camera is a valued device. The camera captures the full spectrum that it
views. Our eyes only see a portion of this spectrum. Recording Colors One way to record the colors is to permanently place a filter, called a color filter array, over each individual photosite. By breaking up the sensor into a variety of red, blue, and green pixels, it is possible to get enough information in the general vicinity of each sensor to make very accurate guesses about the true color at that location. This process of looking at the other pixels near surrounding sensors and making an educated guess is called interpolation. Shutter speed is the amount of
These photos illustrate what happens when using a digital camera in low light, which causes slower shutter speed. The picture at left shows a light that seems to be trailing. The same picture (center) is filtered, showing that the lights have a source from a lightpost, as well as lights at a local gas station. At right, this digital shot taken inside Waverly Hills Sanatorium is puzzling. Did the camera capture a bug illuminated by the flash? Or is it something else?
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In this photo, light rain has seemingly caused multiple “orbs,” which can result from reflection of light off solid particles (e.g., dust, pollen), liquid particles (water droplets), or other foreign material within the camera lens.
time that light can pass through the aperture. Unlike film, the light sensor in a digital camera can be reset electronically, so digital cameras have a digital shutter rather than a mechanical shutter. Aperture is the size of the opening in the camera. The aperture is automatic in most digital cameras, but some allow manual adjustment to give professionals and hobbyists more control over the final image. Learn Ideal Camera Settings So how can a camera this complicated make a mistake? The key is combination. When talking about the color filter array, interpolation was mentioned — where the sensors detecting the color make an educated guess. This, combined with a longer shutter speed from low light conditions, can cause color bleed, creating a ghostly aura look, light drag that can look like a fast-moving colored streak, or an ‘orb’ from a longer exposure time, commonly from an object moving quickly in the path of the lens. Even the tip of a finger can look like a ghostly white apparition in the corner of a picture. Using a flash or an alternate
light source, along with having your This digital shot from inside Waverly HIlls Sanatorium shows a digital camera set white light source “zipping” out of the doorway and transforming on the highest into a pink link. By turning this shot into a negative, or changing the contrast settings in a photo editor program, it appears that a bug is resolution/ISO the cause of the “anomaly.” and speed, can help prevent these errors and minimost PC photo editor programs you mize the possibility can clean up the picture with filters of seeing something that may not be to adjust color, hue, saturation, what it seems. brightness, and contrast, as well as Digital cameras use a light senremove florescent light. sor to detect lighting conditions. If I have found that another helpyour camera fails to take a picture, ful tool is to change the picture to it is likely that the light source is a negative. This can help when the too low. Hold your camera very objects in question are bright colors. steady when taking a picture. Or, You never know what might appear use a tripod. . . . a light post, bug abdomen or bug Less light will cause a slower wings, dust, or proof of something shutter speed, resulting in having supernatural. to hold your camera steady for a There will always be doubts bit longer. when the supernatural is thought to Higher-priced cameras use be caught on film. The best we can higher quality filters and sensors do is to doubt our evidence first and that help prevent errors. However, convince ourselves of proof second. if you have a less-expensive camera, Good hunting. knowing your camera and its functions and limits can provide you with Do you have any anomalous photos that are just as good as an expensive camera. digital photos that you’d like Utilize Photo Editor Program So, how do you disprove something that looks real? Well, with
to share? If so, e-mail your photos to email@example.com.
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Roundtable Debate: Demonic Possession
Believer: There Are Demons Among Us
Skeptical Thoughts on
By Jaime Johnesee
hearts that you can’t help but feel honhave seen real evil in this world ored to know them. They have seen at the hands of humans, but these entities and their works with their I also believe that there lies a very own eyes, and I believe them. deeper evil, an evil that can encomI would prefer to live out the pass a soul and take over the minds rest of my days never having seen a of its victims. demon or someone who has been I believe in demons. I’m not taken over by one, but if something talking about the Buffy the Vampire wicked my way comes, I know exSlayer-type movie demons; I mean the actly who I would call for help. real thing. Entities that roam the Earth Even though I have never seen with no physical form, that have never (and hopefully will never see) a dehad a body, and are pure darkness. mon or one possessed I have never by a demon, I do witnessed a demon believe in them. There for myself, but I lies in each human the do believe they are capacity to do incredout there, and I do ible works of good or believe they are able incredible works of to possess a human. evil. It’s my opinion While I’m sure that that these unseen most people claiming entities whisper in the to be demonically ears of those who turn possessed turn out toward the dark. to have a psychologi- Jaime Johnesee believes that demons do exist in the world of Basically, in my cal or physiological the living. mind, evil exists in the culprit, such as world. The evil caused schizophrenia or deby human hands can sometimes be mentia, I also believe that a few cases so great it can make one wonder are real. They are exactly what they if the hands were indeed human. claim to be and are doing the work Sometimes, I don’t believe they are. of evil simply to destroy men’s (and I think that once in a while a women’s) souls and minds. person loses their humanity and alI believe also in a family (the lows the darkness to take over. I may Johnson’s) who spend their time and very well be deluding myself with their lives helping those afflicted by this notion, but I’d prefer to delude demon possession and oppression. myself than believe humans alone Keith, his wife Sandra, and his twin could be responsible for the more Carl have a calling and have made horrific events in history. I’d like to it their mission to help those who think that some old evil was whisperwould have nowhere else to turn. ing in the culprit’s/victim’s ear telling The Johnson’s are wonderful them just what to do. people with the best of intent and giant
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he topic of exorcism has fascinated me from the first time I had heard about the film The Exorcist in my early teenage years. At that time, I was a practicing Christian, and I believed wholeheartedly that Satan could infiltrate the soul of a person with weak or nonexistent faith. Now, in my latetwenties, I am an agnostic believer, meaning that, while I do believe in God, I do not follow formalized religion. I still believe in the possibility of demonic possession, but I also cannot help but question how much Mindy Kinnaman thin of possessions are influevents during a posse to an inhuman posses enced by some form of mental illness. For this month’s issue of Paranormal Underground, I read Thomas B. Allen’s Possessed and watched The Exorcism of Emily Rose, both of which posit that the exorcisms involved could be explained by mental illness. Since I was not involved in either case — or any exorcism for that matter — I cannot definitively say mental illness was not a factor, but the believer in good and evil inside me cannot help but think that individuals could be possessed.
Believer: n Exorcism Kinnaman
I would not be surprised if science were to one day show that both mental illness and demonic possession could co-exist within an unfortunate soul. As shown in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, science can explain how someone could speak in a deeper, more terrifying voice while using his/her second set of vocal cords. Science could also explain the feeling of multiple demons inside of a person with schizophrenia. But how could science explain some of the more paranormal aspects of demonic nks that paranormal possession? What about esion lend credibility ssion. the telekinesis used, such as in Possessed when witnesses reported seeing furniture and religious relics fly across the room? What about levitation? In Possessed, the victim of possession, Robbie, was even seen floating across a floor by the first priest called in to review his case. Until science can explain all aspects of a possession, I will continue to believe that they are possible and that both science and religion can go hand in hand in these instances.
Skeptic: Evil Exists in the Realm of Human Beings, Not the Supernatural By Karen Frazier
hile it sometimes feels just are. They exist with no inherent like my dogs or certain value judgments attached. people are possessed It is we, as human beings, that by demons, I have a difficult time assign value judgments to the forms believing that demons exist in a parathat the energy takes in our obnormal sense. served universe. From Merriam-Webster, the I believe that — to a large extent — our beliefs, value judgments, definition of skepticism is as follows: and thoughts create the reality we “2 a: the doctrine that true knowlexperience. My thought is this: edge or knowledge in a particular Those who experience demonic area is uncertain 3: doubt concernpossessions have a ing basic religious belief and fear strong principles (as immorenough that it drives tality, providence, and their experience. revelation)” Much as our mindset There are some can affect our physiother definitions as cal health, it can also well, but I tend to fall affect our emotional into the two definiand spiritual health. tions above. It has been shown Since it is imthat our mindset can possible to prove a Karen Frazier believes that our influence — or even negative, I cannot say mindset can affect our physical, create — symptoms. for certain that super- emotional, and spiritual health. Fear is a powerful natural demons don’t emotion. exist, but demonoloWhen we fear something, there gy is one of the paranormal subjects is a tendency to spend a lot of time that I have always had a great deal of thinking about that which we fear. It difficulty getting behind. is logical that if we spend a great deal While I do believe that evil of time fearing something, we can exists, I believe it exists in the form manifest the symptoms of what we of the living and not as some invisfear in our lives. ible force from another plane of I do believe that those who have existence. received help from demonologists Everything that exists in the have received genuine help, because universe is ultimately energy that is the demonologist can eliminate the derived from the same source and fear of demons; however, I believe made up of the same stuff. The very the demons that are being eradicated basest elements of the universe are by the field of demonology are interneither positive nor negative, neither nal and not paranormal. good nor evil. Matter and energy
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Reviews of the Month: By Mindy Kinnaman
Book: HOstage to the Devil
alachi Martin makes some bold claims in his book Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans, and that is just in the book’s updated preface. Originally published in 1976, the 1992 reprint allowed Martin to present his views on the evils pervading society and how they have influenced possession by demons. I would not have minded Martin’s opinion had he given statistics to back up his claims, and instead I was left feeling as though this book was more fiction than non. Maybe then I would have
been able to read the true stories with an open mind. The cases Martin presents provide a nice contrast to recent claims that few exorcisms have been conducted since 1900. The cases also allow readers to see the wide array in which people are possessed and exhibit signs. Martin’s writing is a bit cliché, but readers should still find themselves interested in the meat of the cases. I say read this if you would like to see something a bit more contemporary than The Exorcist or Possessed. • I give Hostage to the Devil 2 out of 5 crucifixes.
DVD: the Exorcism of Emily Rose
ossessed by Satan, or insane in the membrane? That is the question posed in the 2005 film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, a fictional telling of the exorcism of Anneleise Michel, a young German woman who died during the process. The film combines two of my favorite things: scary stories and courtroom dramas. It’s Law and Order meets The X-Files. Seriously, I could recommend this film based upon premise alone. Of course, that is not the only reason why you should see this film. The story is so creepily awesome — I mean, it has evil spirits in a girl wreaking havoc! Emily Rose seemed like your average college student until she began seeing Satan. Emily was not keen on him, but Satan couldn’t get enough of
her and decided it was time to move in . . . to her soul. Emily’s parents were not excited about having the Prince of Darkness inside their daughter, and they soon arranged for an exorcism. After Emily dies during the exorcism, the priest is put on trial and must convince a jury that Emily wasn’t as mad as a monkey on a tricycle. Using flashbacks throughout the film, viewers have an opportunity to decide if Emily was indeed riding a trike or trying to get it through to Satan that things just weren’t going to work out. Watch and judge for yourself which happened – just don’t watch it in the dark, alone in your apartment like I did unless you are okay with being scared by your cat. • I give this 3.5 out of 5 souls.
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host Town will have viewers asking three important questions: Is it really possible to die after a colonoscopy? Will said death really cause one to see ghosts? And does no one in New York City look both ways before stepping into a street? British comic actor Ricky Gervais stars in this new comedy as dentist Bertram Pincus, and his reputation for humor holds up under viewer scrutiny. Poor, antisocial Bertram goes in for the most loathed medical procedure, the aforementioned colonoscopy, and soon finds himself able to see and speak to ghosts. As any new psychic would, Bertram finds it a bit too creepy. Seriously, who wouldn’t find a naked ghost waking you up in the middle of the night uncomfortable? Bertram’s new gift forces him to come out of his shell, and the results are absolutely hilarious. That does not mean this film is all fun and games. A word to the wise, bring tissues and feign a sneezing fit when it gets all sweet and the tears start to roll. You will deftly avoid being known as the person who cried during a Ricky Gervais film . . . unlike me. • I give this delightful romp 4 out of 5 specters.
Paranormal Underground/GhostDose Site News
Congratulations PK and Handyman
Live Halloween Chat Set for Oct. 31
veryone at the Underground and the Dose would like to give Handyman and Penguinkeeper a big CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of their baby boy, Declan. He was born on September 19 at 9:34 a.m. EST. Declan was 8 lbs., 1 oz. and 21 inches long!
Poll Results: Do You Believe in Reincarnation?
ast month, Paranormal Underground asked its members and site visitors if they believed in reincarnation. Here are the final results: 62% 24% 3% 0%
Yes No I’m Not Sure Maybe
Check Out Val’s Avon Site
or all you Avon lovers out there, make sure to check out Val’s Avon Web page at http://valariewood.avonrepresentative.com/. You won’t want to miss their Holiday catalog.
t’s almost time for our annual Halloween chat! We hope you join GhostDose.com and ParanormalUnderground.net for our 2nd Annual Halloween Chat. Here are the details: • Time: 8 EST/7 Central/6 PST • Where: www.ghostdose.com on the home page Hope to see you there!
Short Story Contest Results!
hanks to everyone who entered the Paranormal Underground short story contest! We had so many great entries that it was hard for our judges to select a winner. Here are the final results: Winner: Sean Varner 2nd Place: Sandi Kennedy 3rd Place (Tie): Brooke Bechen and Liz Hernandez Honorable Mentions: Peter Navarro and Jordan Burnes
hostDose is undergoing some changes. You’ve probably noticed by now that Skiz has redesigned the home page to be more interactive and customizable. Also, make sure to check out the new Video section of the site to view paranormal videos. And, as always, come on into the Forums areas for paranormal discussions, or just to chat.
Web Sites to Check Out
n this month’s issue, we profile www.therealwaverlyhills.com and www.villiscaiowa.com. Make sure to check out these sites, which feature information on two of the most-haunted locations in the United States.
t the offical Web site for Waverly Hills Sanatorium, you can view all kinds of information about the old tuberculosis hospital. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, the site is said to be haunted by spirits, shadow people, and even a ghost dog. At the Web site you can: • Learn about Waverly’s storied past. • Read about its different hauntings. • Preview paranormal photos and listen to EVPs taken by ghost hunters investigating the property. • Learn about the restoration going on at Waverly. You can also learn how to schedule a tour at this haunted site. Waverly offers four-hour and eight-hour ghost hunting tours and two-hour historical tours.
t the site for the Villisca Axe Murders of 1912, find out about the history, the house where the gruesome murders were committed, and how to schedule an overnight stay at the house. Tours offered include overnights, daytime, and lamplit tours. Visit www. villiscaiowa.com and find out why Villisca is an ultimate destination for so many ghost hunters.
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