Friday, July 29, 2016

SOS Shepherdstown Haunting

Shepherdstown, West Virginia lies along the Potomac River.  Chartered in 1762, it's arguably the oldest town in the state and is home to Shepherd University.

The town was a focal point for both the American Revolution and the Civil War and is rich in history, the arts, and ghost.

Shepherdstown has long been known for its high amount of ghostly activity, perhaps due in part to the area's involvement in the conflict between the states.  During the Civil War, the town was overrun with the dead and dying, and countless buildings were used as makeshift morgues and hospitals.

Recently, Nick Groff's series, Ghost of Shepherdstown, has brought a lot of awareness to the
numerous hauntings in the small community.

The Society of the Supernatural recently spent some time in Shepherdstown for some filming, below is an investigation we conducted at one of the town's haunted cemeteries.  Apparently, the spirit of a horseman went by during our time at the spot, check out the video for more.



Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mandatory Exorcism Classes

Spain's University College of Barberan and Collan has added compulsory classes in Exorcisms to its curriculum.

The college is connected to the public research institute Complutense University of Madrid.  Curiously, aside from standard student fees, the college is funded by Spain's Defense Ministry.

Father Jose Antonio Fortea Cucurull was recently called on to teach a course entitled "The Evil" for almost 200 students.  The class included information related to the devil, hell, exorcisms, and possessions.

According to reporters with El Diario, the aim of the obligatory program is to "promote intellectual, physical and moral development" of its students.

Cucurull has in the past, been connected to the Vatican's chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth.  Father Amorth, now 91, claims to have conducted over 160,000 exorcisms in his twenty four year career.  He publicly stated that the child abuse sex scandal that rocked the Church was evidence of Satan's presence.  He further claimed that Pope Benedict had agreed with him regarding the need to cast evil out of all corners of the Holy Church:

"We have cardinals who don't believe in Christ, bishops connected with demons.  Then we have these stories of pedophilia.  You can see the rot when we speak of Satan's smoke in the holy rooms of the Vatican."

Father Cucurull has written a treatise on demonology and a manual on exorcism.  He has lectured in a number of countries on topics related to the demonic and states:

"The devil has horns and a color, is an incorporeal entity...that roams the world."

He also writes a popular blog "Blog del padre Fortea," Father Fortea's blog, dealing with many of the topics he discusses in classes and interviews.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chased into Hell by the Devil

May 15, 1687, three British naval commanders docked their ships under the Mediterranean volcano Stromboli off the coast of Sicily.

The Captains went ashore for a hunting expedition.  Several junior officers and crew members accompanied them to the volcanic island.

At 3:14 in the afternoon, the assembled hunters saw two strange men race past them and down the beach.  The man in front was dressed in gray, and the figure pursuing him was in all black.

Captain Barnaby, on observing the figures, exclaimed:

"Lord bless me, but the first man looks like my next door neighbor, Old Booty the London brewer.  But I don't know the other one behind."

The figure in black chased Old Booty directly into the "burning mountain."  They disappeared inside and there followed what the witnesses described as a "terrible noise."

Captain Barnaby asked a Mr. Spink and other junior officers to recored the details of the incident in their log books.

The British vessels eventually returned to Gravesend, England on October 6th of that year, and Captain Barnaby's wife was there to meet him at the docks.

In the course of conversation, Mrs. Barnaby stated:

"My dear, I have got some news to tell you.  Old Booty is dead."

The Captain replied:

"Yes, I know.  We all saw him run into hell."

Captain Barnaby relayed the story of the strange pursuit to his wife, who proceed to tell one of her friends.  The woman in turn took the story to Old Booty's widow.

Mrs. Booty was so outraged that she launched a lawsuit against the Captain, seeking damages for slander.

The case went to trial with Booty's widow seeking one thousand pounds in damages.  Mr. Spink and twenty other officers all swore in court that they had witnessed the strange pursuit as Old Booty was run into hell, just as reported by Captain Barnaby.

The log books were also examined, and they all agreed on the details, within two minutes, of Booty's death in England.

The clothes that the old brewer was wearing when he died were also brought into the courtroom, and again, the officers all testified that they matched the clothing worn by the man on the beach in Stromboli.

The charges against Captain Barnaby were dismissed and the trial documents were entered into the Westminster records.

The judge hearing the case reported:

"Lord grant I may never see the sight you have seen.  One, two or three men may be mistaken, but 20 or 30 cannot."

This story was reported in a couple of different publications in the 1970s, including Fate Magazine.  There's no record as to whether anyone has taken the time to research Westminster records to verify the proceedings in court documents from the period.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Midnight in the Desert with Heather Wade

Great time last night on Midnight in the Desert with Heather Wade.  If you've never listened to the show, check it out.  Heather took over for Art Bell, big shoes to fill to say the least, and she's done a remarkable job.  She's a real natural and the hours flew by.

Monday, July 25, 2016

SOS Ghosts of the Antietam Battlefield

The Battle of Antietam took place on September 17, 1862.  It was the first major battle of the American Civil War that took place on Union soil.

It is also the bloodiest single day battle in American history, with a combined total of 22,717 dead, wounded, or unaccounted for.

The battlefield is a haunting reminder of the tragedy of war and the bloody conflict that raged on American soil when brother fought against brother.

And there are other haunting aspects of this sacred soil.  Numerous people report strange experiences on the battlefield.  Whispered voices, phantom gunshots, the boom of cannon fire and ghostly apparitions of soldiers from another time.

Phantom drumming has been frequently reported on the battlefield and strange light anomalies have been seen by many witnesses over the years.

Bloody Lane, the site of some of the most intense fighting during the battle, is a hotspot of activity and is perhaps the most intense area of the battlefield overall.  An observation tower lies at the end of the lane and offers a wide view of the site.  From the tower, witnesses have seen strange things on the field including what they thought were civil war re-enactors who were there one moment, and gone the next.

The Union's famous Irish Brigade fought at Antietam and attacked the Confederate line at Bloody Lane.  The Brigade lost over half of it's 1000 men during the assault.  The intensity of this area has lead to many reports, including phantom voices shouting "Faugh-a-Balaugh," (clear the way), the Irish Brigade's Gaelic battle cry.

There's no doubt that the intensity of the battle, the suffering, and the resulting trauma unloaded a massive amount of energy and poured it into the land.  This is a place that is forever scarred by what happened here and the residual energy alone likely accounts for many of the reports of haunted activity.

The Society of the Supernatural had a chance to conduct a rare, daytime investigation on an area of the battlefield.  Check out the video below for a glimpse of what we captured.


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Friday, July 22, 2016

SOS at the Silver Queen

Back at the end of May, Society of the Supernatural was in Virginia City, Nevada for a number of investigations.

Spending time in Virginia City is like stepping back into the old west.  There's history around every corner and the whole town seems to be filled with specters.  Many locals talk freely about the abundance of ghostly activity.

Dave Spinks and I had a few nights at the haunted Silver Queen Hotel in the heart of the city.  Here's one of the videos of our investigation of this amazing location:

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

July BEK Update

The monthly BEK updates have been very popular, so as long as there are relevant stories, I'll continue these regular posts.

This month's collection of links on the creepy black eyed beings that are continually reported around the world kicks off with an article from Coast to Coast AM highlighting Listsverse and its run down of ten unsettling encounters with black eyed kids.  Included is one of my cases from the 1950s:

Next up, an account of a black eyed shapeshifter in Nebraska.  The account describes a man around 18 or 19 years old dressed like a typical "goth" who stopped the witness on a city street and asked for money.
The account turns even more bizarre as the witness claims the man's form shifted as he was in the midst of a strange discussion with him.
I'm posting this one with the disclaimer, I personally doubt it's authenticity, but, read it for yourself and make of it what you will:

Finally, another recent report making the rounds on the internet.  As usual, the creepy little dark eyed thing is trying to get inside, this time with the excuse of wanting to use the telephone.  This is actually a common request in black eyed children reports and is one of those oddities where the kids seem out of synch with modern times.  In this day and age, there are few people who don't have cell phones, kids included, and fewer and fewer homes have landlines anymore.