Sunday, July 31, 2011

As Predicted, Fakes Abound In Wake Of Ghost Apps

As I cautioned last July, there were soon going to be more fake ghosts out there. I mean, aside from those we might believe to be fake, there are now many known fakes being proffered as truth.
From a video posted by paclives692002 on YouTube entitled "Oklahoma Ghosts (Proof? You be the judge) comes this image:
Enhanced Image
And then, over at a website for a paranormal investigation team from northern Alabama, we find this...

Posted by a user known only as "ruby", it's unmistakably identical: the same gingham dress, the same yoke collar, the same tassle belt hanging down low....

How do I know? Because she can be found in this app from GDE Film called "Ghost Capture". This software allows users to deposit a "ghost" into a picture taken with an iphone or similar device. It's meant to be a gag, something fun to laugh about. However, some are out there promoting these as "real".

Steampunk, Meet Ghost Hunting

Saturday, July 30, 2011


You can see more posts and images (including paranormal places I've been) on my Facebook author page.

Upcoming Conferences For October

October 8, 2011 is the Central Texas Paranormal Conference in Austin, TX

October 15, 2011 will be the Pensacola Paracon, a paranormal, horror, and SciFi convention in Pensacola, FL--I'll have to check this one out since I'll be only about 40 mins away.

October 21, 2011 the New Mexico Ghost and Folklore Expo will be held in Albuquerque--must say I like the title of that. It doesn't imply ghost busting but rather the literary and folkloric elements.

October 23, 2011 will be the 2011 ASPE Paranormal Symposium and Film Festival a bit north of there in Taos, NM.

October 28, 2011 the Canadian-American Horror Paranormal Conference will take place in Sarnia in Canada.

Keep updated on others at

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bluegrass Bigfoot

The following report, from LEX18 in Lexington, KY, tracks one local man who believes these creatures have made a home in Anderson County's "Frasierland", so named for the founding family of the area that mysterious vanished. The report concludes with converage about the forthcoming Erickson Project documentary, a "million dollar" venture that has had scientists working for the past 5 years in places like Kentucky, gathering video and DNA evidence they claim will settle the argument. Of course, this is a familar refrain we've heard time and again. One wonders if the over-hyped, often evasive Erickson Project isn't something more worthy of P. T. Barnum.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cryptid Fest
BIGFOOT UFO Cryptozoology Paranormal Conference

McGee Creek State Park
Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 1:00 PM &
Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 10:00 AM (ET)
Atoka, OK

Deep in the heart of Native American country--Atoka, OK--lies 10,000 acres of forest in McGee Creek State Park. With numerous bigfoot sightings in the area, this is a prime location for Crytpo Hunting.

Join professionals from the cast of History Channel's MonsterQuest along with other experts for a full day of crypto, UFO, and paranormal.

Confirmed guests:
MonsterQuest Alumnus
Ken Gerhard
Joedy Cooke
Raven Meindel
Lee Hales
UFO Specialist Nick Redfern
Paranormal Speakers - Larry Flaxman and Pete Haviland
More guests to be announced soon!

The event will take place at the McGee Creek State Park Pavillion. It will run from 1pm EST and continue until you can't keep your eyes open anymore.

Come out and meet the cast for panels, lectures, Q&A and then join them on one of the largest crypto hunts ever!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Canadian Artist's Skill Exemplified In Dark Sculptures

A serpent's delicate skeleton writhes sinously from the hard wood of an axe handle; a human rib cage is squeezed from a vice-wrenched stack of books; simian skulls smile from wooden bases; and dessicated fetuses hold court from bed posts at night. This is the dark world of Canadian wood carving artist Maskull Lasserre...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Temporal Adventures of Royal Naval Cadets

In a recent Smithsonian article online, the tale of 3 Royal naval cadets who, while on a map reading exercise, passed through the small village of Kersey in 1957 to find themselves seemingly in another time.

As one cadet put it years later: “It was a ghost village, so to speak. It was almost as if we had walked back in time… I experienced an overwhelming feeling of sadness and depression in Kersey, but also a feeling of unfriendliness and unseen watchers which sent shivers up one’s back… I wondered if we’d knocked at a door to ask a question who might have answered it? It doesn’t bear thinking about.”

This is fairly similar to the famed incident in 1901 where two well-educated British women swore to have passed through the veil of time to somehow witness a pre-revolutionary moment at Versailles.

Startling details revelaed in the boys' accounts lend credence to their claims, especially when factoring in their ages (and presumed historic ignorance) and the fact that one of the boys didn't even grow up in the area.

Read more about this bizarre account HERE.

It is also similar to the mysterious house that seemingly arrived from nowhere on the shore of a Scottish loch.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Knights of Badassdom Approacheth!!

Harping on LARPing, The Knights of Badassdom stars Steve Zaan, Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Summer Glau (Serenity), Danny Pudi (Community) and a host of other character actors in a romp through a Dungeons and Dragons-esque live action role playing even that takes a turn for the worse (and seemingly funny) when Zaan summons an evil succubus to.... You know what, I don't think the plot points will even matter. It looks funny and that's enough for me.

Mass Disappearance Still Baffles

The unexplained disappearance of more than two dozen Inuit from a village in the icy north is examined over at Mysterious Universe.  Read all about "Village of the Dead: The Anjikuni Mystery"

This is a chilling read, if I do say so myself.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Mystery Bird Appears In Home Movie

In this video, which hasn't survived the passage of time well, a mystery bird is spotted that some liken to a crane (and with its trailing legs, I might agree). However, I note that it seems...stiff. My first thought was actually a kite flying by in the background. I don't know why really it is being presented as a cryptid mystery. I think there could be countless explanations.

A poster on another thread thought it might be an Alp, a mythical creature of Germanic legend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Slenderman Is Coming For The Kiddies!!

"the haunting detail that the photographs were taken on a day on which fourteen children disappeared. He then further explains that the library where the photo was found burned down a week after the pictures were taken. This Slenderman entity was a shadow creature, overly tall and thin. It had long arms that stretch to inhuman lengths to ensnare its prey"

The Paranormal Pastor exorcises the truth from a manufactured legend that took on a life of its own in cyberspace. Read here as he breaks down the anatomy of Slenderman, but be warned: our would-be skeptic soon starts to believe that somehow it could be true.

To me? I'm more likely to believe that every story traces back to its advent on the Internet and that anyone who claims he or she saw this entity back when is simply confusing new information with old memories--or full of it.

What starts as a fascinating article exposing an urban legend in the making becomes a gullible what-if scenario filled with mention of Tulpas and collective consciousness. Sometimes, people's stories--shared or not--are just crap. Not everything is the gospel truth. There are plenty of fantasy-prone individuals out there who have a hard time distinguishing reality from their imagination, especially when fed ready-made motifs from which to elaborate with eerie detail. To discount this, is to discount the very real need for better medical treatment in the country. Especially when faced with overwhelming evidence that the Slenderman legend is nothing more than a concoction for an online contest.

I'm reminded quite simply of The Bowmen and how it, too, took on a life of its own. Read about The Bowmen

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Investigating Zombies In Haiti

From a 2009 article in Men's Journal, comes a first-hand account of traveling in the Caribbean's land of the undead. Although, in claiming to want to get to the bottom of this, I have to wonder if this writer hadn't already read the work of Harvard ethnopharmacologist, Wade Davis. His book, The Serpent and the Rainbow detailed his journey to the island and his claims that tetradotoxin, a poison from the puffer fish, was largely responsible for producing these not-so-dead, but highly-drugged "zombies". While Davis' work remains controversial, many are under the impression that it is still possible--even if the exact recipe eludes science. But as Davis points out , the drug needn't work all the time; you only need a couple of success stories to keep the controling power of the zombie legend alive.

A New Paranormal Facebook?

I signed up for the new site, Project PE, which claims to be something of a Facebook for the paranormal community, but it's less of a social network in the Facebook sense than it is a business network a la LinkedIn and the like. It requires you to fill out your real name, birthday, gender, and current location--all of which can be lied about, if you so choose. Then, once they've sent you a confirmation e-mail, you have to wait at least 12 hours for their personnel to approve you. I'm not sure whether I will be approved or not, since the site seems heavily geared toward "groups"--you know, in the matching t-shirt, let's wave a magical device around way. We'll see. If I get activated, I'll post further reviews on what this site is like.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teller Tells Of The Psychology Of Illusion

The usually aphonic Teller (of magic duo Penn and Teller) speaks! And he's talking about the psychology of illusion--an insight into the mind that would help paranormal investigators. Once you begin to understand the mechanics of the trick, Teller explains, "You aid and abed the trick; because you kinda like the idea, so you're going along with it."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Voodoo Child

A dollmaker extraordinaire on flickr inspired me to tackle my own grunge-esque voodoo doll project. It's not half-bad for a first try. Still, needs work. I went for rough stitching, of course, but if I do another, the stitching will only APPEAR rough. Halfway through this project, I switched over to needlepoint thread, which gave it a thicker, funkier look.

Disney's The Ballad of Nessie

Boing Boing

Mysteries Surround Unexplained Maritime Disaster

Who Forted? examines a maritime mystery from just after WW2. A Dutch merchant ship sent out a distress call from their location off Indonesia. The nearest ship was an American vessel that arrived too late...

"The bodies of all officers and crew were found dead below the ships deck, their eyes open and faces upturned, looking towards the sky. Some men were discovered with their arms outstretched, a look of horror frozen on their faces, though there were no visible signs of injury on the bodies. Even the ship’s dog was found dead, teeth bared, sneering at an unseen danger."

Why mystery befell these sailors? A toxic cargo unleashed? Mysterious, otherworldly forces?

Read More


My long-awaited first novel, The Mound, goes to print this week. I'm very excited about this. Now I can have other critics rip into ME for a change! So looking forward to that. As soon as I have the ordering details, I will post that here. By all means, pick up a copy. I think you will find it an enjoyable summer read.


Saturday, July 16, 2011


STRANGE STATE'S 2nd Annual Paranormal Hoax Photo Contest.

Since the advent of photography, hoaxed images have been the bane of paranormal investigation. From early spirit photography at seances to famous monkey suit incidents, these images have both captured our imagination and fueled our rage. What goes into making a successful hoax? That's the question we pose to you. Are you up for the challenge?

The contest will be open to submissions beginning August 1, 2011 and will end midnight October 15, 2011.

Strange State blog is looking for your best paranormal or supernatural faked photos. It could be a spectral visitor, an alien spaceship, or a monster lurking in the dark - or something more fantastic than all that. Use your imagination, your creativity, and

talent to execute a convincing hoax. The top three contestants will be awarded.

By submitting your images, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions:

1) All entries must be original creations unique to the contestant.

a. Contestants may use whatever techniques they wish to craft a successful
hoax: image manipulation software, props, special effects, or the
presentation of serendipitous images taking advantage of optical illusions
or pareidolia.

2) Three entries are permitted from each contestant.

3) Entries should be anonymous. The winner(s) will, however, need to submit contact information, including name and address to claim the prize(s).

4) By submitting images, you agree to grant limited reproduction rights to Strange State blog and Cullan Hudson for the sole purpose of promoting said blog and this contest. After a period of 18 months, full rights revert to the contestant.

5) Submissions must be posted on the flickr group page for consideration.

6) All entries must be received (posted to the flickr group page) prior to midnight October 15, 2011. Judging will begin October 16, 2011.

7) Vulgar, violent, or especially offensive images will not be accepted.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Skeptic's Eye On The Paranormal

Love this guy's article. Smart read and you can tell he just relishes taking the air out of hoaxers. I can respect that.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Juan of the Dead!!

The Either/Or Disparity Of Bigfoot Movies

Why must Bigfoot/Sasquatch films always either be cute like Harry and the Hendersons (and the offering below) or d-grade horror flicks like Assault of the Sasquatch, full of mutilated bodies and acting so bad that porn suddenly looks like the epitome of the thespian arts? Can filmmakers not produce an intelligent script, artfully executed?

In other realms of fringe study, entertaining films have been made that respect the material and challenge the audience. Why is it Bigfoot keeps getting relegated to the muck? He's considered a "monster"? Hardly, since the vampire genre has produced plenty of solid, artistic films. Why then is this hirsute giant treated to less respect than these others, when clearly (if you follow the work) those avid fans of cryptozoology are serious about the topic. Demand more, I say! Stop apologizing for these offerings like grateful supplicants. Stand up for a better Bigfoot as I stand down from my soap box!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Will Haunted Collectors Shift Focus From Ghost Hunting?

I haven't watched The Haunted Collector (frankly, I haven't watched any of those shows in a long time), but I stumbled upon an article at that calls the show's host, John Zaffis, the 'show killer' because his will put an end to Ghost Hunters. I don't quite see how this blogger thinks the world will jump ship for what amounts to Ghost Whisperer meets American Pickers, but then I've not seen the show. The blog does comment on how, in one instance, Zaffis simply asked whatever ghosts were present (and presumably associated with some knick knack) to knock once to indicate "yes" and twice for a "no" instead of using these EMF gadgets the writer complains have gotten way too expensive since GH hit it big. But isn't the whole yes/no knocking thing simply an old school trick of 19th century Spiritualists? I'm sure it's great for the budget over at The Haunted Collector, but I (and hopefully many others) know what's behind the curtain in OZ.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Notion Of Rods Put Beautifully To Rest

For those of you clinging to that 90s meme, RODS, then let this photographer beautifully dispel the notion that they are anything more than insects....

Check out more of his artfully surreal images on Flickr.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Sci fi Horror weekend October 14,15 and 16, 2011
at the Tulsa Select Hotel

Guests this year include Sid Haig-"Capt Spaulding" from House of a 1000 Corpses, Matthew Waterhouse-"Adric" from Dr Who; John Franklin-"Issac" from Children of the Corn; Courtney Gains-"Malachi" from Children of the Corn; Cory J Udler, Director of Incest Death Squad; and a special Oklahoma Premiere of Mediatrix, written by Paula Duerksen; starring Kaylee Williams and Shannon Lark.
  • Brain Eating contest,
  • Scream Queen contest
  • AND the first ever Pajama Party Massacre dance! Dress in your PJ's or come as your favorite Slasher and party!
  • Movie Room, Photo Ops and more.
Tickets on sale now and vendor space still available
For more info go to
Follow them on Facebook!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Get A Big Scare Out Of Halloween This Year!

Make THIS giant costume and you're sure to get some big scares from your Halloween guests this October. Plan ahead, and you can simply and easily make lots of high-impact haunted house decorations or costumes--even on a recession budget!

More great ideas can be found at the DIY site

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vampyr: Early Cinematic Tale Remains Masterpiece

Brimming with classic elements of German expressionist cinema, romanticism, abstactism and dadaism, 1932's "Vampyr" is visually beautiful and hauntingly ahead of its time. Designed to be silent, the film was rushed into sound upon that technology's sudden arrival.  It lacks a great deal of dialogue and is probably better for it. It's one of the many devices that make this early horror work powerful. No remote hero stands, arms akimbo, ready to save the day in this bleak film about a vampire that terrorizes a sleepy village. Instead we watch as the protagonist delves into darkness to face not only monsters without but the terrifying prospect of his own damnation.

Diffuse and dreamy, "Vampyr" is a cinematic nightmare: monsters of various kinds (shadow people, the undead, ghosts, mad doctors...) move about a plot that meanders, overlaps, ends abruptly, and leaves the viewer with many questions. But this is the nature of a dream.

Helmed by Danish filmmaker Carl Theodore Dryer, and inspired by the 1872 story "Carmilla" by Sheridan Le Fanu, "Vampyr" tells the story of an occult scholar who travels to a village outside Paris to investigate strange goings on. Allen Gray is awakened in the night by a stranger in his room who leaves a package with the instruction that it only be opened upon his death. In learning more, Gray is led by surreal, shadows without source. They lead him to the lair of a mad doctor and a strange old woman--the vampire.

At a nearby manor, Gray finds the man who left him the package. He lives in the gothic pile with a handful of servants and his two daughters, one of whom has become the victim of the vampire. Soon after his arrival, the father is shot. Gray then opens the package and discovers a book about vampires. This device allows the film to explain--to an audience not as well versed on the lore as one today--the bullet points of vampire lore.

Hunting a female vampire in 1932 wasn't the norm, but the evil that preys upon young women of the village is Marguerite Chopin, a woman who had been buried 25 year prior without the rites and blessings of the church. But inexplicably woven with her story is that of a less than scrupulous doctor (and his poisons) and the father of two comely young women who is himself a vampire.

Much of the disjointed and confusing movements of the film form a pattern of psychological realism that, at times, evokes the synaptic irregularity of dreamscapes, but also represents the limited viewpoints of real life narratives.

Another striking fact of "Vampyr" is the lack of Christianity in the defeat of the creature, a staple of almost all writing and films before and for a good deal after its release. Even today, crosses and holy water play integral parts in most vampire films. Only two scenes ever existed that portrayed religious elements, but they ended up being cut from the final versions of the film. And while there is a priest and a nun at hand throughout the film, they serve almost no role in felling the supernatural forces. Ironically, the priest does have a hand in ridding the village of its flesh and blood mad doctor.

While weighed down by a weak leading actor (a concession made to receive the young man's funding for the film) and none-too-easily digested plot, the film is a milestone in horror and shows that early on filmmakers were less concerned with scaring the crap out of audiences than creating art--even art populated by the horrible. A lesson I think many of today's cinematic auteurs should learn.

Spooky Summer Reading

As a part of my summer reading (not that I don't read all year round--what's with that term, anyway???) I picked up The Mammoth Book of Modern Ghost Stories. Don't let the name fool you; by modern, they mean 20th Century and onward. Suffice to say there are some classic must-reads collected in this volume. The highlights include:

"A Man From Glasgow" by Somerset Maugham
"The Visit To The Museum" by Vladimir Nabokov (of Lolita fame)
"The Bowmen" by Arthur Machen (which I wrote about before in the post on mysteries of Mons, Belgium)
"The Ghost of U65" by George Minto is along the same lines, but a much better story thatn Machen's
"Money for Jam" by Sir Alec Guinness (yes, THAT Sir Alec Guinness), which is ostensibly based on true events much like Minto's telling.
"The Lady's Maid's Bell" by Edith Wharton is a wonderfully atmospheric tale that reminds me of Rebecca.
Speaking of which.... "The Pool" by Daphne du Maurier is included as well.
On a humorous note, we find H. G. Wells' "The Inexperienced Ghost" and "Another Fine Mess" by Ray Bradbury.
And rounding it off is probably the best story in the whole collection: A. E. Van Vogt's "The Ghost".

If you're looking for a chill this summer, I recommend this collection.  As well Mammoth has a host of other compendiums on modern and classic horror fiction and nonfiction titles as well.

Policing The Psuedoskeptics

In an effort to counterbalance the mindless naysaying coming from the likes of CSI (formerly CSICOP) and James Randi, an equally acronymic entity has arisen.  From

"Furthermore, oddly enough, [psuedoskeptics] treat Science as if it were some kind of authoritarian "entity" that takes positions and views on issues (their own of course), when it is in fact merely a tool and method of inquiry based on logical principles. In reality, science does not take positions or hold dogmatic beliefs on paranormal or conspiratorial subjects. People take positions, not Science, which holds no more views than my computer does. Science is not a living entity. These pseudoskeptics are projecting their own views and Atheistic philosophy into Science, which they hold as the ultimate authority, aka Scientism. (Oh well, I guess pseudoskeptics need something to worship too)"

A Manifesto For The New Ufology...

From a paper by Paul Budding at some sight called the Terran Tribune: Harbinger of Intersteller News. This is very much in line with what I had posted recently about a growing shift in paranormal exploration. Some are lighting out for the territory; while others are standing firm, reassessing the data, objectives, and scope of various disciplines....

"The Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH) equates to a Living Myth. Many people love the feeling of awe and fascination that goes with the UFO Phenomenon and therefore they will not give up ETH. Giving up ETH would amount to giving up on archetypal awe, fascination, mystery etc. Therefore scientific and academic Ufology lacks confidence in itself precisely because the mythological projections onto the field contain so many archetypal contents and unconscious assumptions. Hence the field senses its own biases and makes it impossible to establish consensus within itself. Indeed for ETH to be the correct explanation there would have to be a coincidence of the myth equating to the reality of the phenomenon and vice versa."


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Paranormal Designs

Check these and other designs out at


A lot of posts, thoughts, links and information on upcoming events can be found over at my author page on Facebook.

Today, you can see....

A not-quite Steampunk ray gun
The Norwegian film, Troll Hunter
A humorous take on a post-apocalyptic Scooby Doo
And more....

Follow the link to start seeing more content from me and Strange State


At, you can get any image you submit, zombiefied by their artists. Visit their website to see other products as well or check out the gallery on Flickr.

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Paranormal-Themed Mockumentary Tripped Over Something In The Dark, Fell Flat

In a by-now highly familiar style, a group of filmmakers delves into the mockumentary stylings of paranormal investigation shows with comedic aspirations. Think The Office meets Ghost Hunters--and then remove the humor. While it may be unfair to judge this project solely on the basis of a short promotional clip, I must remember: that's what they're there for. To sell us on their show.

Tripping merrily to the requisite jaunty tune of indie projects, the promo stumbles over the scattered corpses of jokes too weak to stand up to the forced performances. And this makes me sad; I was quite keen to see what this was about when I first clicked on it. I had high hopes.

A more successful parody of paranormal reality shows would be Ghost Provokers, which does a great job at making fun of Zak Bagans and gang.

Cryptozoology Embraces Social Media

Along with a new logo design, Cryptomundo brings news that Cryptozoocial, a new social networking platform and app for the iPhone, is in the works and will likely launch in the next few weeks. The goal is to allow fans of the parent site to interact with each other and other cryptozoologically minded persons in a less formal environment.

CryptoZoocial joins the growing ranks of niche SocNets, many of which deal with paranormal or fringe science:

These are the first few hits one finds when searching Google. Many more follow. As yet, none have risen to prominence and the quality of each varies significantly. Time will tell if the market can sustain these endeavors, but it would be nice to have a few central sites with which to connect to others of similar interests. The various bulletin boards and rings and the like--remnants of the 1990s--have all but died out.

The new meme is comprised of these social networks, which have portability and interconnectivity never before dreamed of by the old IRC crowd.

This brings with it a host of other problems, as evidenced by Facebook's many foibles and controversies. However, I doubt these bourgeoning sites are unscrupulous as THE 'social network'.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cryptic Strings Go Boing Boing

Over at Boing Boing, this peculiar gem was posted:

"A Reddit user called A858DE45F56D9BC9 has a subreddit that consists of nothing but posts of long random (?) numbers. Is Reddit being used as a numbers-station? A dead-drop? Part of someone's elaborate, psychotic hallucination? A cheesy marketing stunt? An ARG?"

Friday, July 1, 2011

When Bigfoot Attacks (No One Pays Attention)

Saw this book advertised on the Anomalist and clicked on the Amazon link. There are no reviews and the publisher didn't even provide a synopsis. Can't be that great. Still, the cover was kinda awesome and the title is so FOX network.

Still, there is this article of the same title (by a completely different author) that is along the same vein....