Thursday, August 30, 2012

Baltic UFO Explained?

Remember this? That mysterious "crashed ufo" image that stirred up some speculation ever since it was first discovered on sonar by some Swedish treasure hunters in the Baltic Sea last summer? Well, turns out it's formed by the intense pressures places upon rocks that are trapped in and tumbled by glaciers. Although, there still might be some contention about THAT. Read more here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It was a dark and stormy night...

Weathering the effects of Hurricane Isaac (the darkness, howling winds, and rain) put me in the mood for classic, cheesy horror. Given the fact that on-demand technology seems to outstrip actual on-deman offerings, I headed over to YouTube to see what full-length features were lurking about in their public domain postings. To my delight (and, frankly, surprise) were two fairly decent films:

Horror Hotel (1960) with Christopher Lee--A young college student, studying the history of witchcraft,  heads to an old Massachussets town where she falls into a trap set by a long-lived coven bent on blood sacrifices.

Horror Express--(1972) Finds Christopher Lee meeting up with Peter Cushing and an outrageously over the top Telly Savalas as they try to stop a murderous creature on a train from China to Russia. In a bizarre mix of the Love Boat meets horror by way of a Sherlock-Holmes-style whodunnit in retelling what is so obviously "Who Goes There?" (aka "The Thing"), Horror Express could have easily ridden off the rails, but the perfomances are such fun (Cushing at being acused of being the monster: "Monster? We're British, you know!") that you hardly notice or even care about such insignificant details.

Mysterious Epitaph Explained

A mysterious inscription on a Salt Lake City grave has, with some historical digging been explained. It would seem her husband was of less than sound mind and, sadly, her headstone will forever bear the scars of his disturbed ramblings. You can read about this strange monument HERE.

Monday, August 27, 2012



The sound of the glass dome covering him made his tiny gears whirl, first in a slow spin of wakefulness, then at a panic stricken pace. Something had gone very wrong. . .again. Malfisto quickly hopped into action, busily unfolding the many hinges of his eight mechanical legs from his sedate form of an intricate metal brooch no bigger than a coat button.
     ‘Hey! Hey you!’ he called through the glass at the distorted image of the girl as she gathered her tools, ‘What’s all this about?’
      The girl didn’t turn around, but continued at her task. ‘You know very well, what this is about. You got me into this mess. . . you will get me out.’
      ‘Now, just wait a minute! Hold up!’ he cried, tapping his front legs against the glass, ‘How many times do I have to tell you? My reprogramming didn’t make the mess!’
      ‘Tell me. . . who did it?’
      Malfisto slid his legs off the glass and crouched. ‘Again. How many times do I have to tell you? I DON’T KNOW!’
      The girl shook her head and sighed, unsatisfied. ‘I don’t care for that answer.’
     ‘Well. . .that’s all I got for ya, Sister,’ Malfisto huffed, ‘Still after all these months, that’s all I got.’

‘Hmm. . . ‘ said the girl simply.
      ‘You know. . . I’ve been thinking, since all this happened,’ Malfisto mused, ‘Who ever said this wasn’t some elaborate scheme anyway? You’re in your mess because, in a way, you ultimately wanted the mess. Believe me, back home, those who know are elated. It was the mess they wanted you to be in. Better late than never. . .’
      'Yes,’ the girl sighed, ‘All an elaborate scheme, Mal. All of it so that I could be seen as the victim. Poor little Ophelia Priestwood and her never having a say. But look! She has done her duty to the family! How good of her! Well, I’ve been taken advantage of my whole life, and I tried to remedy that by leaving home, leaving my first born, and coming here to study. Getting to spend real time in a metalwork of my very own, creating my mechanical paradise. It was the best choice I had ever made for myself, then you arrived. . . ‘
     ‘Hey! I was already here, remember? Your insane brother toted me along during his time of study. He couldn’t have gotten along without me in his freaky-deaky greenhouses, and then, well, I guess I don’t know what happened after he left. It was like a long sleep. When I woke up, he had gone back home without me, and you were in your, er, predicament. So, see? If there is a victim here, it’s definitely me! Actually, I was surprised to find you here at university. Must’ve rode in on the coattails of Alistair’s brilliance. . . as crazy as it is.’
        ‘That isn’t true, so shut the hell up!’ Ophelia snapped angrily, turning around with her tray full of tools, ready to begin.

         ‘Look, I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t mean that! Really!’ Malfisto backed up against the far side of the glass dome, as the girl sat on her swivel stool in front of him. She strapped on her specialized goggles featuring interchangeable magnifying lenses, slipped on a tight fitting leather glove onto her left hand and with no further ceremony, lifted the dome and quickly swiped him.

A swift poke of a tiny screwdriver among the intricate gears and Malfisto fell limp in her hand, paralyzed. Ophelia slipped off the protective glove, shifted a magnifying lens over her right eye, and then another, her eye enlargement, distorting her beyond recognition.

At least he could still speak, not that it would do him any good, but he could try, while he was still able. ‘I’m a rather amazing toy, aren’t I?’

‘Hmm-hum,’ Ophelia murmured under her breath without pausing her work.

‘See, that’s all I was ever made for, to be a plaything for you and Alistair. And I gotta say, it was fun. You were always much more the better playmate. Alistair had a bad habit of taking me deep into the woods, get all wrapped up in some weird plant, then take it home instead of me! See? I’m just now getting my memory back! I’ve just worked myself back to my old self, before the alteration! Now you’re just coming along and jacking my insides all up again!’

Ophelia switched between tiny drivers and tweezers, then sighed and sat them down. ‘Still no memory of what happened six months ago, then?’

‘Nope, nothing.’

‘Shall I tell you?’

‘That would help.’

‘Whomever reprogrammed you before cared nothing for my sanity.’ Ophelia switched magnifying lens again and took up her tools as she spoke, poking very precisely. ‘But, I must say, it was brilliantly done. After Kate was born, I wanted to go away, and stay gone, merely looking at my brother repulsed me to my very core. But then, a few months ago, I suddenly could think of nothing else, but to get back to him. So, I did.’

‘Yeah, okay. That choice had nothing to do with me.’

‘Oh, yes it did.’ Ophelia insisted, ‘I didn’t understand what was happening, then I heard the whirl of gears in my head, driving me to madness, wanting nothing but him. You were there, secretly attached to my skull, whirling your gears, effecting my thoughts and emotions.’

‘Oh. . .’

‘Yes, and now, what you helped create, you will will help destroy.’

Malfisto could now no longer speak and his body contracted until he was neatly folded back into his tight button form. Ophelia lifted the skirt of her dark dress and attached him to her protruding pregnant belly. His gears whirled at a continuous frantic speed. The startled fetus inside recoiled and howled in pain.

 By DS

Slender Man: A Cancerous Canard

With recent interest being shown by the likes of SyFy's Paranormal Witness, we're hearing more these days about the Internet-born meme known as Slenderman. Despite a well-known origin, many still firmly believe in the reality of Slender Man--or, at least, something like him.

The phenomenon began within the murky depths of a "paranormal pictures" photoshop contest hosted on Something Awful Forums back in the summer of 2009. This contest asked participants to manipulate previously-established images into something creepier. One user, Victor Surge, presented two black and white photos of children with a mysterious, extremely tall being dubbed "Slender Man". Pseudo-journalistic text accompanied the images, adding a further layer of verisimilitude.

“We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time…” – 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.

One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man”. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. – 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.

From this inauspicious beginning, the legend took hold and spread like some dark plague of paranoia throughout the world. In time, "he's real" type stories began cropping up from various online posters who swear they've had real-life encounters with such a being. Even if the actual "Slender Man" had been made up, they say, he was based on a very real entity the creator likely saw.

Slender Man doesn't really seem to do anything to terrorize; it seems sufficient that he simply is terrifying. In this way, he reflects the changing culture we live in, one that moves too quickly to do more than recount legends and myths in shorthand. We have within most of us a wealth of readymade motifs, archetypes, and tropes fueled by countless pop-culture references, horror films, novels, and the like to fill in the gaps any tweeted legend might offer. Another example of this would be the Black Eyed Kids meme, which I have discussed before HERE.

Slender Man is not the first zeitgeist to slip into that gray realm of I-swear-it's-really-real. In 1970, English journalist Frank Smyth wrote an article for Man, Myth and Magic, wherein he manufactured the ghost of a mad vicar who, in life, robbed and killed boarders to his rooming house. In the years since that article, at least eight books have recounted the tale of the vicious vicar, citing it as "true". Even after the author appeared on television to explain the hoax, many "witnesses" adamantly claimed they had see the clergyman. All of this being, of course, quite reminiscent of works such as Arthur Machen's The Bowmen.

We can easily play around with what-if scenarios, such as: What if WE created these manifestations by focusing on them? I think of the SORRAT (Society for Research on Rapport and Telekinesis) experiment wherein a group focused on creating a ghost named "Philip" with only their minds, manifesting him from sheer thought. This is like the Tibetan concept of a Tulpa, a thoughtform that manifests from the mind of an adept. If the Tulpa is strong enough, it can, in turn, manifest its own thoughtforms.

But these are actually all very facile explanations that do little more than comfort and coddle the minds of those who (for whatever reason) WANT to believe. The truth, it seems, is much harder to grasp. Although, if anyone, I suspect Slender Man could give it a try.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


There's some horror in the Hollow--some well-tred horror, I suspect. But I digress... Anyway, you can read more about this indie film HERE

Monday, August 20, 2012

Flash Fiction Contest

Get your pens out, sharpen your pencils, boot up your computer.... Do what you must, but submit your best flash fiction (less than 1,500 words) by September 30, 2012. The top 4 (or if there are only 4 entries, all) will be featured throughout October.  The final judging will take place October 10th.

These entries can be scenic or atmospheric or contain a fully realized plot; they can be experimental or epistolic. Be creative!! Be Original!!


A Few Rules...
(totally borrowed from another contest)

No entry form is needed. This is an on-line competition.
You can enter only once.
The flash fiction contest is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
There is no restriction on theme or style apart from being within the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Horror--In short, something that would interest this site's readers.
Word limit 1500.
The winning stories must not have been published previously.
Copyright remains with the author. However, entry grants Strange State / Cullan Hudson rights to showcase these works for up to one year.
Notification of receipt of entry will be by email.
Stories cannot be altered after they have been entered. Judging is done anonymously.
The judges' verdict is final.
Entry will be taken as acceptance of these conditions.

submit entries to: s t r a n g e s t a t e o k @ (Yeah, remove the spaces. I don't need breast enlargment spam)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Who Forted: The Live Action Adventure

The minds behind Who Forted are ready to launch their much-anticipated documentary Planet Weird: A Documentary. It's strange, it's irreverent, and it may be the best paranormal thing you watch this year.

If you're in shouting distance of Enid, OK (about an hour north of the Oklahoma City area) tomorrow, there's no reason to be bored. Ghostlahoma kicks off the haunting season early with an event that's more than just a "conference". Yes, there will be speakers and vendors (including Whorl Books, selling copies of Strange State and The Mound), but there is also an art walk, a car show with classic hearses and "haunt" rods, as well as giveaways, free beer (yeah, you heard me) and--I believe--some haunted tours are in the works. This should be a blast!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


At roughly 1500 words, this bit of micro fiction will hopefully inspire your own entry into Strange State's Flash Fiction writing contest. Good luck!


Crap! That was the worst flight ever in the history of aviation. Anyway, miss you already. This summer is gonna suck balls without you.  But I guess it will be a good experience.  If I don't learn crap at this internship, it will look good on my application. I mean, come on. They'll take one look at it, see Oxford Physics Department, and space on the rest.  LOL! I hope you're working on your tan, I don't think England has seen sun in weeks. Thought this was summer!!  The host family is really nice.  They're always cutting these really corny jokes.  I don't get half of it.  I mean, they're speaking English and yet... So much for my impression of a bunch of cold, stiff-upper-lippers.  :-D  The dad's a professor at Oxford himself and his wife bears an uncanny resemblance to the Queen.  I'll send you a pic.  There's a son around my age and their daughter is in her 20s. She's visiting right now with her fiancee.  Well, I gotta run, but I miss you big time and hope you're keeping busy.  The summer will be over before you know it. LOVES YOU!!

CNEXT CHAT with (Trish)
Mike:  Hey! You there?
Mike:  ?
Trish:  Hey, baby! Just got home from work.
Mike:  I keep forgetting I'm five hours ahead. LOL!
Trish:  Derrrrr. You dork :D
Mike:  LOL! Some scientist, huh?
Trish:  That's my genius. Just don't go looking for any braniac girls while you're there!!
Mike:  Nobody but you, sweetie! :-D
Trish:  I mean it, not even a sideways glance! >:|
Mike:  LOL! As if I could (he says feigning earnest sincerity)
Trish:  Goofball. You forget I know all about your unnatural peripheral vision and how you can practically read a book on the side of your head.
Mike:  Hardly. But you know my weird googly lizard eyes are just for you.  8-D
Trish:  Awww... You really know how to charm a girl. :D
Mike:  I'll e-mail you a video I just took. There are these really weird clouds. It's like the sky is one giant piece of fluffy corrugated cardboard. I think it's called undulatus. I'll search online. But it looks like it's glowing. It just the glow from the city, but it's cool anyway. Wish you were here.
Trish:  Awesome. Yeah, send me the video. And put your cute face in it. I miss yoU!!
Mike:  Just tried to send it, but something's wrong with the site. Maybe the file is too big.
Mike:  Trish?
Mike:  You there?
Mike:  Damn chat window. Must have frozen up. Don't know if you're getting this. I'll try to send you an e-mail.


Sorry about that. Site froze up, I guess. Anyway, I'll try to get that pic to you.  It's really weird.  I mean, it went from being cool to being weird and then REALLY weird. We were all standing in the garden (backyard to you and me) looking up at the sky and those strange clouds when we noticed that it was actually some bizarre optical illusion. I mean it was there, but it wasn't way up in the sky. The freaky cloud was probably only 15 or 20 feet about the roof. And it was glowing on its own. It wasn't the lights from the city. I'm thinking some physics experiment ran amok over at Oxford. LOL! It's kind of creepy. It's still there. I've never seen anything like this.


This shit is freaking me out. We finally got tired of looking at the weird cloud, so we come inside to turn on the TV and see if there's something on the news.  No TV. Mr. Miller can't get anyone on the phone either.  The internet seems to be working, but I can't pull up hardly any websites. I can access my cnex homepage and pull up my mail, but I'm not sure you're getting these e-mails. I'll keep trying.


Now it's really getting scary. About an hour ago, the cloud sort of...descended.  It was like someone was covering us with a big glowing blanket.  We're all inside. We've got the windows shut and blocked in case it's some toxic gas.  Fuck. I seriously want to go home now.


Maybe it's going away. The glow is getting fainter. I'm just too tired to stay up. It's like 3 in the morning. Hope you get these. Love you. :(


No, it didn't go away. It got worse. I woke up this morning and everyone was already up. We looked outside, but...I don't know how to put this. We can't see outside. The windows are covered in this milky looking rubbery tarp thing. It's translucent, so it lets in some light. Not much though. It's sticky and its composition doesn't seem very consistent, like the rough texture of a fruit rollup when you hold it up to the light. It's thicker in some places and thinner than others in a sort of stripe pattern. It's a milky white, rubbery, sticky, striped fruit roll up draped over the house like a fumigation tent. And it freaks the shit out of me!!

We're going to try to get outside.


The cloud is gone outside. But it's gray and foggy and still and quiet. I'd feel like we are the last people on earth if it weren't for a truck that passed by awhile ago. The people inside looked dead. There was just this vacant look of their faces like they'd just gone through hell. I thought of Eastern Europe for some reason. Refugees. Anyway, there are fruit roll ups on all the houses. It's like someone has boarded up the whole town and put dust cloths down over the furniture. At least we're out in the fresh air. It wasn't a gas, I guess. The lack of communication is really getting to us. We tried to find the neighbors, but no one's home. Other than that one car, we haven't seen anyone else. The Queen is losing it. Mr. Miller is trying to be brave, but... The sister is hysterical--especially since her fiancee seems to have run off in the middle of the night. Maybe it was this morning. Their car is still here, but he's gone. Ran off I guess. The only person who doesn't seem messed up by all this is the son. He has this weird calm about him. He doesn't exactly smile and laugh, but his face is so...pleasant. Gives me the freaks. I miss you. I'm beginning to think I'm not going to see you again and it scares me. I love you, baby.


Is this an attack? Terrorism?


More weird shit. Went outside again with Daniel, the son. Cripes, he's like some sort of citizen of Stepford. Anyway, we're looking at the giant tarp thing, trying to use some science about all this. As I'm looking at it, I spot this flash of light or something out of the corner of my googly lizard eyes. It's like an eye floaty though. If I look toward it directly, it disappears. But if I stare at the tarp and just look at it peripherally, I can just make out the faint outline of something in the sky above the house. It's like...looking at glass in water. I only get hints of it. I think there's something invisible over the neighborhood. I don't know if it's me cracking up or there's some sort of UFO or military weapon or interdimensional portal or mass hallucination going on. I just know it's weird and scary.


Fuck!!! I just showed the rest of the family the strange invisible structure in the sky. I'm not crazy. They see it, too. The odd thing is--now that I think about it--Daniel (the Stepford Son) was looking at it the whole time we were out there earlier. I'm sure of it. He knows something, but to be honest, I don't think I've heard him really say more than 5 words since the cloud showed up. Everyone else has been yelling and screaming and crying. I just never noticed. It's like he KNOWS something. Maybe I'm getting paranoid.


We're bolted inside! We've hammered the doors and windows shut and covered them with whatever we can find. We went out to look at the thing again when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Moving toward us are two shapes, like men walking in fog.  Smaller, but only slightly. Strange, dark forms. So gaunt. It scared the fuck out of me. I didn't want them to see that I could see them. They just kept creeping over to us. I pretended to be staring at the fruit roll up tarp while I reached out for a large shovel only inches to my right. I grabbed it real quick and swung it at the shadow. I hit it!! There really was something in the nothing. Something we can't see, something I can only glimpse. It screamed. It was like a rabbit's scream if it were loud like a lion. It scared the piss out of me. That's when we all ran back under the tarp and started boarding up the house. I don't know if you are getting these messages or if I will ever see you again. Know this: I love you.

NOTE: This was a dream I had on 8/12/2012. I awoke at 5 am to jot this down before I lost it all. As the notes took shape, I saw how easily they could lend themselves to an epistolic format as e-mails.

Copyright 2012 Cullan Hudson

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Cornish Litany: Invocation For Keeping Away The Heebie Jeebies

"From Ghoulies and Ghosties
and Long-leggety Beasties
and All Things that go Bump in the Night,
Good Lord deliver us!"

The Cornish Litany is a litany (prayer or invocation) that was popularized through souvenir crafts earlier in the last century, much like the multitude of Irish blessing and "Footprints in the Sand" plaques that adorn homes throughout the world.

The following postcards were published in the late 1920s; yet, interestingly enough, they are rendered in the art nouveau style of an earlier period.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Making Faces With Pareidolia

A random polygon generator constantly makes shapes until a facial-recognition algorithm detects a "face."

It's weird and telling. It's also informative for those in the paranormal field, reminding us how much "random" can look like something recognizable, especially when we want it to.


Hello? Anybody Out There?

In going through my site, I have noticed that a great number of websites and blogs in my links and "following" lists have now gone dormant or been deleted altogether. In one case, an entry has not been posted for more than three years. Is this indicative of a larger exodus among parabloggers or simply a part of the ebb and flow online writing? Have these older sites been replaced by a fresh crop of musers? Am I, at over 5 years old, considered geriatric among these denizens of the digital wastes?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Crazy Eyes Have It

Joe Navarro, a former FBI Counterintelligence Agent and author of What Every Body Is Saying is an expert on nonverbal communication. Among the more telling aspects of this are the eyes. Many among us have, by now, heard how if someone looks up and the left, it means one thing; if they look down and to the right, it means another. However, writing in Psychology Today, Navarro presents other indicators to an individual's emotions and cognitive states.

While he doesn't mention it here in his article on eyes, I am curious about how some people seem to exhibit "crazy eyes"--that is, that wide-eyed look that accompanies a fantastic story, as if the speaker is trying to use their eyes to physically force you to believe their statement. Some have posited that this look imitates the wide-eyed look of a child in hopes of fostering a sense of innocence and sincerity.

I'm still looking for semi-reputable sources of research on this. I'd certainly like to read more about "crazy eyes", as I have often witnessed it in paranormal witness testimony, including a woman who told me once of some hybrid bigfoot babies that lived in a cage at some woman's Oklahoma house. As I find more, I'll certainly share that data with you. Til then: beware the googley eyes!!

[FYI this is what I was watching that led to this topic: ]

Retro-Inspired Poster Designs For Classic Trek Eps

See More Here

Summer is Winding Down....

Which only means Fall is just around the corner, bringing Hallowe'en with it. Shop early for uniquely designed gifts at Kreepy Girl by freshEIRE design.