Monday, November 30, 2015

Rememberance Day for Lost Species

It's easy as a cryptozoologist, to get caught up in the pursuit of "undiscovered" species, but it's important to remember that our planet's known creatures are disappearing at a rate of three every hour.

To help bring awareness to this sad rate of loss, November 30th has become Remembrance Day for Lost Species.

Has native elders say, "we are all connected," and the loss of each species effects us all whether we consciously realize it or not.

Has activist Vanessa Vine states:

"This is a chance to learn and tell the stories of those lost in the sixth mass extinction, and to renew commitments to those remaining.  Extinctions are invariably linked to the loss of cultures and places too."

This year, around the world, groups are gathering to toll the bells for what we've lost.  Various other regional organizations are holding events to raise awareness.

Check the pages below for information on events in your area.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

A very Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Have a wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Newsweek Bigfoot Edition

There's been a lot of talk about the special edition of Newsweek magazine spotlighting Bigfoot.  Some confusing online information led people to believe the issue had come and gone, but it has just hit the newsstands this week. 

The issues features a range of articles, and of course, lots of graphics and photographs.  Nice to see interest in the hunt for Sasquatch continue to hit the mainstream.

Available at most magazine retailers, snap it up while you have a chance. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ghostly Claim Leads to Lawsuit

In much of the western world, hotels are more than ready to brag about any spirits that are alleged to haunt their corridors.  In fact, some establishments conduct their own ghost tours, hoping to further convert interest in the paranormal into cold, hard cash.  But in some places, publicity of a ghostly nature is viewed as a very negative thing that's bad for business.

Case in point, the Emerald Hotel in Thailand.  Emerald owner Jindala Taimuangphol has filed a lawsuit against Asian celebrity singer Kandy Rakkaen.  The reason for the lawsuit?  Rakkaen claims she encountered ghosts at the hotel when she stayed there last summer. 

Rakkaen posted about her experience at the Emerald on her Facebook page stating:

"The hotel doesn't have any standards and is haunted by ghosts."

The hotel's lawyer, Chatchi Chansai claims that the posting cost the Emerald business and led to the cancelation of a company seminar that was scheduled at the location.  He wants compensation from Rakkaen for the lost profits and claims he's "trying to protect the hotel's reputation."

Kandy Rakkaen has since removed the post from her page, but did clarify her comments further in a statement:

"I only condemned the hotel's service.  Water ran out from my air-conditioner and the hotel only put a bucket under it.  About the ghosts, the subject is each individual's belief.  This should not have turned into a controversy at all."

In an effort to further dispel the idea that there are spirits lurking in the Emerald, the hotel has offered a free night's stay to the press to prove there are no ghosts present.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paranoia Reviewed

I met Christopher Saint Booth and his brother Philip years ago when we were all appearing at ScareFest in Kentucky.  I ended up sitting at their table with them for ages, deep in conversation about a wide range of paranormal topics.  It was easy and natural to talk with these guys and I even had a few people ask if I was a third Booth brother.  Must have been the hat and long hair! 

If you're somehow not familiar with their work, you have no idea what you've been missing.  The Booth brothers are the masterminds behind such films as "Spooked The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium," "Children of the Grave," and "The Possessed," among others.  Several of their films have run on SyFy and they're available on DVD.

Recently, Christopher has released a book: Paranoia, The Strange Case of Ghosts, Demons and Aliens.  The book is full of inside stories from Christopher's years as a filmmaker exploring various haunted locations and there's plenty of creepy stories along the way like his encounter with a black eyed child.

This book is a great look inside not just a creative mind, but a creative heart.  Christopher's emotional reactions to many of the situations he has found himself in over the years shows us exactly what kind of person he is and how he got there.  Personal trials and thoughts are on the table as he leads us from his childhood in England up through his work on various successful films.  Here's a quote that I found especially powerful:

"When we live our life to the fullest potential, obstacles cannot get in our way.  For we are precise, a beautiful driven spirit that will stay the course.  It's okay to get lost as long as we are found.  Every morning when you wake, make it your soul mission to be who you are meant to be.  Everyone dies but not everyone lives."

Beautiful words from a beautiful spirit.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you like to read about paranormal experiences and creative people, I highly recommend you add it to your library. 

Paranoia, along with DVDs of Booth Brother films can be found online at:


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cryptid Culture

It's been quite a while since there's been a regular magazine dedicated specifically to the field of Cryptozoology, well the wait is over.  The first issue of Cryptid Culture has just been released.

Now, I know some people think that magazines are a dead format, but personally, I still enjoy them.  Back in the 70s and 80s, before the Internet, one the biggest points of contact between researchers were the numerous specialty newsletters and magazines devoted to things like Cryptozoology.  Few remain anymore, a couple of exceptions being the Journal "Flying Snake" out of England, and the monthly newsletter, "The Bigfoot Times."

But Cryptid Culture promises to focus on more than just Sasquatch.  According to their statement:

"Cryptid Culture Magazine is a new print publication based on Long Island, NY.  The idea for this magazine began in early 2015 when Brian Richardson, founder and designer for Mythic Articulations, came up with the idea of an art magazine that could gather all of the 'cryptid art' and artists he was discovering through his company.  Expanding that, we began to believe there might be an audience for such a magazine if it could include not only visual art but fiction, essays, poetry etc. as well as content covering the influence of cryptids on books, film, TV, gaming, fashion, social media and science; really anything that might fall under the purview of 'cryptid culture' including interviews with cryptozoologists.

I just received the first issue and the mag is off to a great start.  Highlights include Linda Godfrey on the Beast of Bray Road, a nice piece on Loren Coleman's International Cryptozoology Museum and a profile of my colleague Ken Gerhard.  But that's not all, there are more articles and lots of artwork in both color and black and white.

I hope this magazine sticks around for a while, I'm really looking forward to future issues.  If you're interested in cryptids, give it a shot.  The first issues is available at the following website:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Haunted Wayne County Asylum For Sale

One of the most haunted locations in Michigan is up for sale.  The 50 acre site includes a fire station from the 1800s, a decommissioned power plant and, the focal point, a mental asylum.

The property began as a poorhouse and farm in 1839 and, over time, grew to a sprawling complex with 76 buildings, railroad stations and its own police force.  The site was virtually a city unto itself with a population in the thousands and even its own zip code.

The "Eloise," as it is known, was once Wayne County's largest psychiatric hospital.  Named after the daughter of Detroit's postmaster, the asylum itself operated until 1979 when the last patients were finally relocated.  The medical wing lasted until 1984 before it too finally closed.

The site is in the small town of Westland, a suburb of Detroit about 40 minutes from downtown.
While many of the original buildings are long gone, the asylum itself still stands, and countless, haunting tales come from those who visit it.

According to the HauntedUSA website:

"Explorers were rumored to have discovered jars of human body parts, documents outlining strange medical procedures, and creepy snapshots of patients in the abandoned buildings that were torn down in the 1980s.  More recently, a spectral woman wearing white has been rumored to be seen in the upper floors and on the roof of the old D building."

The site has gone on the market for 1.5 million dollars and is listed by broker Mike Deighan of O'Keefe LLC in Bloomfield.  Deighan thinks the haunted land would make a great spot for families:

"I think you could do retail on the frontage of Michigan Avenue, and I think you could do multiple family, single family or senior housing on the back side."

The "backside" apparently, is where the old cemetery is located.  A spot reputed to be even more haunted than the asylum itself. 

There are numerous accounts of spirit activity from all areas of the property.  Ghostly apparitions, moans, growls and disembodied voices are regularly reported.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Zebras on the Run

Throughout the chronicles of Cryptozoology, there are countless reports of "out of place" animals.  Kangaroos in the Midwest, Bengal tigers wandering across American farmland, and monkeys spotted in neighborhood trees where no monkeys should be.  Inevitably, when these incidents are reported, someone immediately claims the animal must have escaped from a circus.  But how often is this actually the case?  Well, it certainly was the reality in Philadelphia this week when a pair of Zebras led police officers on a wild chase through the streets of the city.

The animals are part of the UniverSoul Circus, in town for a series of shows that wrapped up on Sunday.  Somehow, the pair got loose from their site at Fairmount Park and took off for a run around West Philadelphia.  Circus officials are still unsure how the animals got free.

According to ABC Action News, the zebras had a thirty minute run, dashing through the parking lot of a Planet Fitness and several other businesses before darting into traffic.  Fortunately they were safely captured. 

Animal rights activists are using the incident to once again call on the circus to end its animal acts:

"Wild animals in circuses that's expected to happen--you can't control wild animals,"  stated Jackie Cane of Animal ACTivist of Philly.

Marianne Bessey, another speaker for the group pointed out that it was fortunate that no harm occurred to people or the animals during the incident:

"They saw a chance to escape, took a run for it and then ended up in traffic, and people probably honking at them, almost causing accidents."

The recovery of the animals means that, this time at least, there shouldn't be any reports of out of place zebras grazing in Philadelphia gardens.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Prayers for Paris

Darkness has fallen on France. 

Tonight the Eiffel Tower and much of the city are plunged into blackness after the violent terrorist attacks.
Prayers go out for all those in Paris suffering through this tragedy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thought Crimes

In the dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, author George Orwell described a government that not only attempted to control the words and actions of its citizens, but a government that even tried to control the thoughts of its citizens.

In the novel, the infamous "Thought Police" are in charge of preventing what the government dubs "Thoughtcrimes."

It all sounds like fantastic fiction, but if you think it can't happen here, then you'd better reconsider.  Detection systems for "pre-crime" are now being actively tested and people have even been arrested based on computer algorithms. 

Read more in my new article, "They Know What You're Thinking" in the current issue of PP&S news, available here:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Haunted Hartford Jail

Next stop on the Haunted Indiana tour was an old haunted jail in Hartford City.  The jail was built in 1879 so it's seen its fair share of history.  The building is large, two floors plus an attic and basement that includes tunnels.  One side of the building consist of the original cell block while the other side is residential.  Yes, you read that right.  You see, in the old days, Sheriffs and their families actually lived in the same building that the jail was in.  Imagine growing up in that!

The long history of the jail includes prisoner deaths as well as the deaths of some lawmen while they were in office.  There was even an infamous "dirty cop" who is connected to the Hartford jail.

Dave Spinks and I did a lot of investigating in this location and had some amazing results.  Now, Dave is an ex-law enforcement officer so needless to say, some of the spirits were none to happy about his presence in the cell block.

We had a wide range of phenomena during our time on site including phantom cell doors slamming, shadow figures and disembodied voices.
But, hands down, my favorite report from this place is that there is supposed to be what's been described as a "troll" on the premises!  For years I have collected accounts of various "little people" from around the world so it's always interesting to me to find such reports at haunted locations.  The being has been reported/encountered by numerous people in a couple of different locations in the building.  Of course we set up cameras to watch those spots in the hopes that we'd catch something on film.  Footage is still being reviewed at this time.

We had a chance to try some unique experiments in the jail, including the use of a Jacob's ladder to amp up the energies.  Additionally, the entire building is built on a foundation of solid rock, limestone to be specific, and it literally glistens with quartz.  Those familiar with the limestone theory and the idea that quartz causes higher levels of paranormal activity will know what the implications of this are.  We do discuss it some in the video.

This broadcast was lengthy, and I have to say, if you don't have time to watch it all, skip to the last part (about the 3:15 mark) when we go into the attic.  We saved what's up there for a surprise to viewers and it didn't disappoint!

If you're interested in doing an investigation at the jail, the owner, Dann Allen is a great host.  Book your time by going here:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Slenderman in Disguise

Most of you reading this blog are likely familiar with the notorious Slenderman, a figure created as part of an Internet challenge that has, over time, taken on a life of it's own to various degrees.  I've written at length about the possibilities that Slenderman is becoming a tulpa through the power of the collective conscious.  There's a chapter in my book Strange Intruders about Slenderman like sightings and the potential explanations for what may be behind this.

But even for those who don't believe in the potential of an entity being created in such a fashion, what can't be denied is the impact this character has had on those who do profess belief in his existence.

Last year, we saw the tragic case of two pre-teen girls who attempted to murder a classmate, all based on the idea that such a "sacrifice" would enable them to go live with Slenderman in his forest mansion.  The case made national news and was a disturbing reminder that we need to pay attention to the continued development of Slenderman and the ways that such Internet ideas have an impact on our day to day lives beyond the computer screens.

A while back I wrote about other inroads this creepy character had made into our culture, including a comic book character apparently modeled after him.  Check that post out here:

Recently, I had a chance to watch an episode of "CSI Cyber," the newest version of the popular CSI series.  As the name implies, the latest version focuses on cyber crimes.  Now in it's second season, the show is hitting a lot of important computer related issues and it certainly did with the recent "Red Crone" story.

In the episode, investigators are on the trail of two missing boys who have become fascinated with a website and forum dedicated to an entity known as the "Red Crone."

In the storyline, the two boys are following a series of clues using an app downloaded from the Red Crone site.  The clues will supposedly lead them to a forest mansion where they can meet the Red Crone.  If you're familiar with last year's tragic case, then this will sound all too familiar.

I won't spoil the show for you in case you haven't seen it, but I will say that the story does not end in an attempted murder.  I suppose the producers wanted to create some space between the show and the actual Slenderman case.

Needless to say, there are several parallels however, including the large following that the mythical figure has and the belief that the two young boys have about meeting the Red Crone. 
The show is available on demand in most areas, check it out for another unsettling look into how something like the Slenderman can leap from the virtual screen and effect human lives in a disturbing way.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Haunted Hartford Speakeasy

Next stop on the Indiana paranormal week was an old haunted Speakeasy located in Hartford City.  This space is on the second floor of a historic building located across from the town's courthouse.

The Speakeasy operated during the entire period of prohibition (1920-1933).  It was the era of bootleggers and gangsters and locations like the Hartford Speakeasy catered to all levels of society from the working class to the wealthy.

Dave Spinks and I were joined by our friend, Mike Ricksecker of Haunted Road Media and it was a great to have an extra investigator on this one.  Dave had some technical problems with the live feed, so this video is a bit shorter, however, Mike also shot a sequence for his Haunted Roads series.  It's well worth a look as we gathered some great evidence so check out both videos below.  And for more information on Mike's books, check out his website at:


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ryan Sprague's Hidden Auditorium

As many of you can guess, I'm constantly asked about the Black Eyed Children and the numerous accounts that continue to surface.  Yes, it's true that I wrote the first full study of the phenomena, but as I like to point out, other researchers had documented some the bizarre encounters before my book hit the shelves.  For more on that, see my previous post here:

Unlike many researchers who get offended when someone else beings to examine the same phenomena, I more than welcome additional takes on the topic.  So far, there aren't any other books in print, but there are people writing about the subject.  In fact, my friend Ryan Sprague has just written an excellent piece on the BEKs in his column "Hidden Auditorium" on Jim Harold's blog. 

Ryan interviewed both myself and journalist Brian Bethel prior to writing his piece.  If you're interested in the topic, please follow the link and give it a read, it's worth the time and Ryan puts his own unique voice in his reporting.  While you're at it, keep an eye on this young man as I expect to hear much more from him, especially in the UFO field.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Revenant Acres

In rural Northeast Indiana, there's a creepy old farmhouse known as Revenant Acres.  Sitting on 30 acres with open fields around it, the house is one of those that gives you and odd, unsettling feeling as soon as you pull in the drive.

The house dates back to the 1800s and there's little known about its history or the many residents that have lived in it over the years.  Interestingly, one of the tidbits that has been discovered about the home is that the property was first bought by a family named Van Meter.  I found this, at the least, curious since there's a famous case from 1903 dubbed the "Van Meter Visitor."  Now, those incidents took place in a small town called Van Meter in Iowa and involved a bizarre bat-like creature and paranormal events that terrorized the town.
You may think I'm grasping for straws with a connection, however let me say this.  I was surprised when I heard about the possible Van Meter connection and when I had the chance, I did some research.  As it turns out, the town of Van Meter, Iowa, was named after Jacob Rhoads Van Meter, a man originally from Indiana.  Again, perhaps it's mere coincidence, but it's strange at the least.  Maybe there's something to the theory that paranormal activity follows certain family names and lines.

Revenant Acres itself is reputed to display a wide range of paranormal events.  Disembodied voices, poltergeist activity and strange lights have been reported by various investigating teams.  There are also reports of possessions taking place on the premises.

My colleague Dave Spinks and I spent some time in various locations in the region prior to Halloween, and this was the first stop on our tour.  Needless to say, it didn't disappoint and we had some incredible experiences. 

If you'd like to check out the investigation that Dave Spinks and I did, the live stream portion is available to view online.  Check it out:

If you have a paranormal team that would like to investigate the house, it is available for booking, however, it does stay filled up well in advance, so be sure to schedule early.  The hosts are great and you can contact them at the Revenant Acres website below: