Monday, October 31, 2011

Haunted Reputation Alive At Overholser

The Jack O' LanternsRecently, on a visit to the Overholser Mansion, an historic (and some affirm haunted) home in Oklahoma City's Heritage Hills neighborhood, some unusual things were experienced by visitors:
"A staff member was taking a guest to the Carriage House to retrieve something left in there from the being of the evening's special tour. The building was locked and the person was fumbling for the right key and trying to see it in the faint pool of light above the door when a sound was heard from inside. The two looked at each other and the staffer said, 'I thought [name witheld] had already left.'  He rapped on the door and called out but there was no response...until four raps were heard clearly by the two standing at the door. 'Open up, will you?'   When no one appeared at the door the staffer shrugged and set to putting the keys in the locks. At that point, both people observed the door shake and the knob rattle, just as if some one was pulling on the door from the inside. Rattled, the staffer stooped and opened the mail slot and glanced in but could see no one. Quickly now, the door was unlocked and the people entered, a rapid check of both floors of the small carriage house revealed there was no one else in the building and no explanation for what both had seen and heard."
Another guest in attendance, Ann Boyd, has had some limited psychic experiences herself.  So, it was not altogether suprising to find as she was visiting with another guest on the 3rd floor ballroom that peculiar things occurred. The other guest refused to go into the tower room (an area others have had experiences in) and reported a shortness of breath. With Boyd's encouragement, the two women walked into the room just off the tower to explore the space where the woman felt breathless. Once there, the other woman insisted, "I can't stay in here."  Boyd reported feeling a familiar tingling chill she encounters whenever "spirits" or paranormal activity are encountered. The air around her chilled deeply despite her warm clothing and the heat of the building.
Boyd also reported being in conversation with another woman in the house and the word 'ouiji board' kept popping into her head. It was as if a sign had popped over her head, flashing a warning not to use a ouija board. For some reason, Boyd felt she needed to warn this woman not to use one. Timorously, she broached the topic: "This may sound very strange but have you ever used a ouiji board? I keep getting this word in my head for some reason." The other woman froze and her eyes got bigger.  "Yes, I did--once--and it was not good!" She finally replied after a pause. "I will never use that again. How did you know?" "Okay, I had this deep impression you were to be warned to never consult one of those things. So strong, I felt I had to ask and say something."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Navy Sought Scientific Help In Detecting Radio Signals From Mars

A Military Telegram From August 22, 1924 Appears To Request Assistance
From Civilian Scientists In Tracking Radio Signals Emanating From Mars
For A Decidedly Precise Window Of Time. Was The Navy Aware Of Some-
thing That Eluded All Else? Source.

Historic Appearance Of Lisbon Ghost

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weird US Authors Reference Strange State Writer (Me!) In Newest Book

The authors of the Weird US series have written Weird Oklahoma and on page 91 they reference me. I haven't seen the book yet, but I'm keen to locate a copy ASAP to find out in what manner I am referenced. Hopefully for something good. Although, I could easily imagine myself being cited as "that idiot who has been going around saying..."  Fingers crossed! :-D  Check out the book here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shot To Death: Haunted Attracted Incorporates Theme Park Camera

Taken at various scare moments. Check out more hilarious shots here.

Haunted Inns Across The Country

USA Today ran an article on 10 great places to sleep with ghosts. A few in the list were familiar, but many others I hadn't really heard of before--or at least I'd forgotten their tales.

Featherbed Railroad B&B Resort in Nice, CA--A railroad worker haunts this unusual resort comprised of nine furnished cabooses.
Red Garter B&B in Williams, AZ--A bar and bordello until the 40s, Red Garter is home to Eve, a former "worker" who still touches the guests.
1906 Pine Crest Inn in Tryon, NC--Some claim a psychic vortex can be found here and furniture has been reported to have moved on its own, even blocking a guest's door with a dresser.
Penny House Inn in Eastham, MA--17th century sea captain and a woman named Charlotte make appearances.
John Denham House in Monticello, FL--130 year old inn hosts ghost hunting weekends.
Black Horse Inn in Warrenton, VA--Former Civil War hospital haunted by a laughing nurse.
Magnolia Mansion in New Orleans, LA--Things move about in the rooms at night.
Ghost Rails Inn in Alberton, MT--A former owner stalks the halls.
Colonel Taylor Inn B&B in Cambridge, OH--Congressman and Civil War vet, Joseph D. Taylor haunts the old house where beds rock by themselves.
Foley House in Savannah, GA--Human remains discovered here confirmed a deathbed confession by a former owner of having slain a guest in self-defense.  Mysterious noises and cold wash of air greets visitors who stay here.

Costume Inspirations For Women Tired Of Being Cold On Halloween And Looking For Outfits With More Than Six Square Inches Of Fabric.

In counterpoint to the dilemma facing many woman this halloween (slutty vampire or slutty nurse?), Take Back Halloween challenges the limited conceptions of what inspiration a woman has when choosing a costume.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Skeptical Inquirer's Radford Gives Top 10 On Why No Bigfoot

While Benjamin Radford, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer makes several salient points that aren't usually well-addressed by Bigfoot proponents, he makes a few obvious gaffs as well. Read the list at Discovery and decide for yourself. I found #8 particularly telling of his grasp on the scientific realm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Light Up Your October Nights

I picked up these two candle lanterns for less than two dollars each at one of those discount pottery warehouse stores that seems to sell everything but pottery (but you can get glasses and dishes for like 25 cents each!!) The glass jar makes really cool shadows on the wall in the sunlight and the tin can Jack-O-Lantern is really awesome when the pumpkin candle burns inside during the night.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These....

The masterful website is the bastion of superior Halloween decor. But the blog also contains some interesting and insightful recollections from childhood. In perusing these, I find this post and attendant comments to be quite spine-tingling. Do you have similar memories?

"Growing up in my parents' house, my brother and I shared a room. We had an old wooden cross on the bedroom wall. It looked more like something that Peter Vincent would have in his home, and I'm pretty sure that's the look we were going for back in those days, since we also had skulls and devil masks, and weird lamps in there as well.

One night, late, I was trying to fall asleep and noticed my brother was stirring. He sat up and looked like he was still sleeping. He turned to the wall and looked up at the cross. Then he reached up and removed it, and then reached down and sat it on the floor and went back to sleep.
I should have yelled "DUUUUDE!?!?!?!!?" but I was kinda frozen with fear. And probably remained that way until the sun came up."

And from this post's comments section: said "I remember once, waking up to my brother talking to me in his sleep. He pointed to the window and said something along the lines of, "there are men outside the window." We were on the second floor so, naturally, I took it as evidence of an alien visitation and remained spooked for the night."

The Gill-Man said "Oh man, I used to HATE sharing a room with my little brother, for the very reason that he'd do weird shit in his sleep like this. One time, he started singing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen", only he got stuck on the line about "Satan's Power", repeating it over and over again: "to save us all from Satan's Power, Satan's Power,Satan's Power,Satan's Power". I was pretty sure ol' Scratch had possessed him!"

Marrow added "My cousin was having a sleepover with her friend once, and in the middle of the night she woke up. Then her friend suddenly sat up, got to her feet and stood straight up on the bed for a few seconds. Then she got down on her hands and knees and crawled around on top of the bed, still half asleep, but looking scary as hell. When she saw my cousin, she stared at her strait in the eyes and didn't move. When my cousin asked what she was doing, she replied "YOU TOLD ME TO DO THIS" and insisted that she forced her into it, then finally went back to bed."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Paranormal Investigations Could Learn From The Past

Since its independent (and arguable) discovery in 1959 by Friedrich Jurgenson in Sweden and Attila Von Szalay in the US, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) has grown to be the biggest tool used (and misused) by paranormal teams across the globe.

In the early years of experimentation, a greater degree of success was achieved when stochastic resonance was employed to amplify the signal. Generally, this was in the form of background 'white noise'. But these days, one would be hard-pressed to find any team doing this.

What happened to the work of these pioneers?

I have a clue, but I'll keep an open mind for the moment.

It seems that most people these days view (consciously or otherwise) the whole ghost hunting / paranormal investigation meme as having manifested over the past decade with the advent of several reality programs on basic cable.  But for many of you, the truth is entirely different.

In reading an account in a book of mine about a ghostly voice recorded on tape, a Maryland-based paranormal team was mentioned and it struck me that this was around 1986, decades before the dawn of Ghost Hunters. Furthermore, when I researched topics for my book, I often stumbled across various psychical groups and ghost hunting assemblies with lofty sounding names dating back decades earlier.

We sometimes forget that there have been trailblazers and mavericks (no, not the vehicles) on the paranormal path for many years. They did some groundbreaking work, experimenting with equipment and methods, trying out new hypotheses and discarding things that didn't work.

Was that the case with stochastic resonance in EVP experimentation? Or is it that after a while, when the guides and how-to's started coming out, and then the television shows, people just became lazy. We went from eager minds and learned men to the disciples of Ghost Hunting For Dummies.

So, remember in doing your own research to actually do some research. Learn from others besides those on TV and be willing to throw out anything. This field is wide-open; there are no set laws.  If break-throughs are to be made, it will be by the intelligent-minded mavericks who put more effort into research than into promoting their team.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Throughout the 1970s, in three separate American cities, mysterious "lines" similar to monofilament fishing line were spotted stretched tautly across the sky, seemingly attached to nothing.

In one location, the line remained taut for more than a month before it must have "snapped" and fallen in a coil to the yard of a home below. Another incident involved several boys who claimed to have spent an hour reeling in such a line before it snapped and, again, fell to the ground in a neat coil.

Retrieved filaments were taken to DuPont for analysis.  While they couldn't pin it down exactly, it was chemically similar to Nylon. Rhode Island University conducted tests under a Dr. Vargas. Vargas first believed the lines to be hollow, but upon closer examination found an odd substance at the center.

In Georgia, a man pulled in many yards of another suspended string that was comprised of a "fluffy, shiny, white substance," and still another that was a "hard-finished green material".  An Ohio man had to get neighbors to help reel in a 1000 feet of a line that was, as the others, much like a monofilament fishing line.  They group filled eight spools of the stuff before it snapped and the tendril floated away on the wind.

What were these mysterious lines? Did they tether invisible alien craft? Were they the product of elusive and extremely large spiders? Are these the tentacles of Cthulhu? Is someone fishing for US?

Maybe it is simply another of these inexplicable memes that erupt from time to time, like "the Mad Gasser" or "Springheel Jack".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Halloween From The Skeletons

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Halloween Party Ideas

The holiday will be here before we know it, so you may already be planning your get-together. Do they seem, despite thematic changes in decor, to be the same thing year after year? Why not inject a little something different in this year's event. One idea is to host a writer's party (for all you authors and would-be writers out there).  The idea is to host something of the kind of soiree that gave inspiration to Frankenstein; when Mary Shelley, her husband, and several other noted writers were all challenged to come up with the best horror tale. You could have your guests write these out (microfiction or short short stories) or, better still, they could spend this month penning the terror that will be unleased in a reading during the party. Your decorative theme could be anything, but maybe a gothic castle on a stormy night would lend a literary air to the readings nicely. And for such a upscale and learned event, you might want to eschew your typical body parts in a jar theme and embrace one of the more stylishly spooky ideas presented by the likes of Martha Stewart.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


As the nights grow longer and the darkness yields our deepest fears, you'll be glad to know you can revel in all the chills this season has to offer between the covers of this haunting supernatural thriller--all at a special LOW LOW price!!