All posts by Mike Huberty

Co-Host of See You On The Other Side podcast Lead Vocalist & Bassist for Sunspot

239 – Lone Star Spirits: Austin Ghost Stories with Monica Ballard

Austin, Texas is one of our favorite places in the world. In addition to the wonderfully warm Texas sun, hundreds of live music venues to catch great bands at, rich history, and the amazing tacos, it’s the welcoming friendly people that keep us coming back year after year. This last trip to the SXSW festival was no different becuase we had a chance to meet up with Monica Ballard from Austin Ghost Tours, and she gave us the skinny (or rather the skeletaly, hey!) on some of the most notorious haunts of the capital city.

Monica is a paranormal researcher and one of the top Austin ghost tour guides. She even wrote the book on the most legendarily haunted hotel in the city, The Driskill. You can pick up a copy of her book, True Haunted Tales of the Driskill Hotel: Volume 1 right here.

We met Monica at the Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, one of the oldest buildings in the city and the launching off point for the Saturday night Austin Ghost tour.

In business as a store or saloon for over 160 years and built by the German immigrants who were flooding into Texas in the mid-Nineteenth Century, the building at 3rd and Red River is now known as the Moonshine Patio. It’s right downtown by the Austin Convention Center and it’s one of the oldest buildings still standing in the area.

Monica sat us down by the fireplace and regaled us with the stories of her own experiences with paranormal activity and what drew her to Austin in the first place.

Mike and Wendy interviewing Monica at the haunted Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill

Then we went outside to investigate and discuss some of the other haunted buildings on the same street, which are fascinating because compared to the high-tech high rises that surround them, these old houses look positively ancient

It’s a packed episode live on location and here’s some of the things you’ll hear about in the lively discussion…

  • The ghost in Monica’s own life that made her believe there’s something else out there
  • Whose spirits are haunting the Moonshine Patio and what the bartenders, waitresses, and hosts have all seen there
  • How a strange voice led Monica to a synchronicity that taught her the real name of one of the Driskill Hotel’s “suicide brides” (you mean there’s more than one?!)
  • The ghosts of 3rd Street and what it takes to make the spirits in those old blidings react
  • How Monica gets great EVPS and results using a Spirit Box (or a “Shack Hack” as she calls it!)

For the song this week, we’ll be covering a rock n’ roll number about the Driskill Hotel written by an amazing and far-too-often overlooked 90s band. Since we’re running behind on getting back from the trip, we’ll be posting it live as soon as we finish. But in the meantime, enjoy the interview!

Special thanks to Scott Markus of and Victor Hidalgo of for assisting with the recording this episode!

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – March 15th, 2019

Another week done already? We have lots of groovy paranormal stuff for you on the way, but here are some awesome stories of the weird from this week!

Mystery infections traced to blood-shedding religious ritual

Researchers said Wednesday that they were initially puzzled how 10 British men had become infected.

Tom DeLonge will try to prove the existence of aliens on new History show
AV Club News

Here’s the first show coming from the To The Stars Academy…

Scientists build ‘time machine’ in experiment which defies the laws of physics
The Sun

SCIENTISTS have built the world’s first time machine — sort of. 

Spirits And Demons – How Worried Should You Be?

It is mentioned in the Talmud… that someone who eats peeled garlic, onions, and eggs kept overnight “forfeits his life, and his blood is upon his own head.”

Robbie Williams admits he’s afraid of ‘hitchhiking aliens’ after visiting a ranch plagued by paranormal events on new UFO documentary
The Sun

ROBBIE Williams admitted he fears being “taken over by hitchhiking aliens” during a visit to a ranch plagued by paranormal and UFO-related events. 

Robbie Williams – Arizona

Speaking of Robbie Williams, here’s his track about alien abduction!

New episode coming soon recorded on location with one of Texas’ best haunted tour guides!

See you on the other side of the weekend!

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – March 8th, 2019

Greetings from Austin, TX everyone!

We’re down here for the SXSW film festival and we’ll be collecting some cool stories and interviews for upcoming podcast episodes. In the meantime, have you been checking our Facebook page? We’ve been going live from some interesting haunted locations on the way down, including the infamous Stull Cemetery in Kansas as well as Oklahoma’s most haunted restaurant!

But we’re still keeping an eye on weirdness in the world and here’s five fascinating stories we saw this week!

Loch Ness monster captured on camera TWICE in just five days

Here we go, the world’s most famous cryptid is back bigtime with two sightings in less than a week!

‘Elixir of Immortality’ Uncovered in 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb

A yellowish liquid found in a bronze pot dating back some 2,000 years is not wine, as Chinese archaeologists initially thought. It’s actually an “elixir of immortality” concocted during ancient times.

Modern Spiritualism: Meet the young people who believe they’re communicating with the dead
BBC Three

BBC Three Millennials are doing what Generation X-ers weren’t interested in, and that’s returning to Spiritualism.

Astronomers Around the World Are Training in Case a Giant Asteroid Threatens Earth

On October 12, 2017, a 20-meter asteroid passed just 50,000 kilometers (31,000 miles) from Earth. For weeks, dozens of astronomers from labs around the world mobilized, measuring everything they could about the asteroid in preparation for an impact. Once again, we’re entering Rendezvous with Rama territory and Arthur C. Clarke proves prescient!

Goblins terrorise villagers, kill livestock and crops

The residents Sigola’s Ziqaweni Village are living in fear say that they thought they vanquished a gang of invisible goblins last year who were responsible for the murder of some local children. With over 30 cattle dying mysteriously this year so far, some of the villagers think the goblins are back.

All the times Tom DeLonge references UFOs, mysteries of universe in songs
punk rock and UFOs

Our friend Mike Damante, who we’ve had on the show several times, did a round-up of the times that former Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge (presently from the To The Stars Academy) mentioned aliens or paranormal stuff in his songs. Make sure you check out the blogpost to see how many pop-punk classics you remember! The episode will be late next week because we’ll be at the festival. But please follow us on Facebook so you can keep up with the weirdness we’re finding deep in the heart of Texas! See you on the other side of the weekend!

238 – Swamp Gaslighting: Project Blue Book Smackdown with Mark O’Connell

You might say that Mark O’Connell knows a little bit about Dr. J. Allen Hynek, the astronomer who was in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book. There, Hynek was charged by the military to investigate UFO reports across America and then summarily disprove them. In fact, Mark O’Connell literally wrote the book on Dr. Hynek called The Close Encounters Man.

We’ve had Mark on the show several times before and it’s always a treat. He’s written for Star Trek, has a UFO blog, and he even joined us for a remembrance of Bill Paxton, because Mark had written a script that Bill wanted to direct in the late 90s but unfortunately it never came to fruition.

So you think when the “History” Channel decided to create a show called Project Blue Book where J. Allen Hynek is the lead character, they might contact Mark because they were look for true life stories for their show. Well, the answer to that one is a big fat no. They decided to go on a little more fantastical route.

Aiden Gillen as J. Allen Hynek talking to an alien in a water tank. Hynek biographer Mark O’Connell is not amused.

We kicked off the episode by discussing the trip Allison just got back from in Woodstock, Illinois before we started the recording. She was following the trail of a Mothman sighting she read about on The Singular Fortean because it sounded somewhat like the Flatwoods Monster story that actually forms the basis of the second episode of the new show. Allison also attended the Chicago premiere where the producers and Hynek’s son were in attendance.

But Hollywood history be damned, we talk about the real stories behind the man. J. Allen Hynek basically invented how we study UFOs, how you scientifically look at each report and take a look at each piece of evidence from the weather to the planets to the phase of the moon to the position of the stars, and you eliminate all the terrestrial explanations before you move into the extra-terrestrial. We also get into:

  • The real story of how Dr. Hynek first moved from the desk to the field investigating UFO cases for the Air Force
  • The cases that converted J. Allen Hynek from a skeptic into much more open minded about the reality of strange lights in the sky
  • How Hynek became UFOlogy’s Enemy #1 by suggesting some Michigan sightings might be just “swamp gas”
  • Mark’s favorite case from his own UFO investigations as a MUFON investigator (and what’s going wrong with some of the MUFON politics and investigative methods lately.)
The real guy and Littlefinger…

Hollywood loves to say things are “based on a true story” and then proceed to make them wildly inaccurate. Here, we understand that fiction is fun, but that often the best parts of even fantastical stories (like haunted houses, UFO sightings, etc…) are the parts that keep us grounded to the Earth. By fictionalizing the story to an X-Files extent, you’re doing disrespect to the actual man.

Hynek’s investigative techniques and open mind are what made him a legend in UFOlogy. He was dealing with a lot of things that couldn’t be proven and his mission to discredit UFO sightings is what made it all the more impactiful when he found cases where he could not find an answer. It was his rigorous scientific method of investigation that made the difference, not secret government informants or Werner von Braun.

For the song this week, we were taken by the fact that sometimes the media thinks we’re too dumb to think for ourselves. There is a language and shorthand to cinema that is meant to trigger our emotions quickly and too often producers think that they can exploit our beliefs with special effects and “dramatizations”, sacrificing quality for spectacle. Well, we’d rather hear the truth about Hynek and here is Sunspot with “Disinformation Nation”.

Don’t trust your eyes
and question what you see
They’ll tell you lies
the don’t care about history
A story to bewitch
that is designed to find your switch
you’ll never see it coming
when they activate your programming

Disinformation nation
Disinformation nation
How loud can you shout with a
a mouth inside a mouth
we’re just hardwired for manipulation
Disinformation nation.

You’ll see all things new
with a mind that’s clean
A brain tattoo
imprints and memes
A tale to push your trigger point
Finding the weakness at the joints
Looking for a crowd to whip
and you’ll jump when your sequence is tripped

Disinformation nation
Disinformation nation
How loud can you shout with a
a mouth inside a mouth
we’re just hardwired for manipulation
Disinformation nation.

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – March 1st, 2019

Happy Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (look it up, it’s a real thing!)

Let’s get our weird on…

6 Possible Scientific Reasons for Ghosts
Scientific American

Many people believe in ghosts, but could there be scientific explanations for some of our paranormal experiences?

Zombie rat CYBORGS controlled by the human MIND in ‘Frankenstein’ tests are steered through maze in bizarre experiments
The Sun

SCIENTISTS have created mind-controlled rats that can be directed through a maze by the power of human thought. WHAT?

Inside the Secret Sting Operations to Expose Celebrity Psychics

Are some celebrity mediums fooling their audience members by reading social media pages in advance? A group of online vigilantes is out to prove it.

Pablo Escobar ghost in his Monaco building demolition

This is a pretty good video, what exactly is moving around right before this building goes BOOM?! 

Robot ‘GOD’: AI version of Buddhist deity to preach in Japanese temple

A JAPANESE robot has been created to preach the teachings of Buddha in colloquial language at the Kodaiji Temple in the ancient city of Kyoto.

Judas Priest – Metal Gods (Live Vengeance ’82)

Speaking of Metal Gods, here’s a Judas Priest classic when they were at the top of their game. Let’s get Hellbent for Pleather! This week we talked about curses and cursed objects, take a listen right here

See you on the other side of the weekend!
Mike and your weird SYOTOS podcast crew

237 – Curses: From Evil Eyes to Jinxed Buildings

Since the Academy Awards were this weekend, we thought we’d do a uick update to our Oscar Love Curse episode that we recorded the same time last year (and to quote another Academy Award nominee from this year, another one bites the dust… Sorry, Brie Larson, you’re the latest victim of the Oscar Love Curse!)

But celebrities are just one of the many things that people are superstitious about and we all do it to some extent. Have you ever called some piece of clothing like your tie or your hat or even your socks, “lucky”?

Do you ever perform a little ritual before doing something important? Maybe shave a certain way because the last time you did it that way, you had an amazing date? Or listen to a certain song because it gets you pumped up and you feel you need that confidence? That’s just basic human nature. We do things to try and convince our mind that success is on the way, it’s just a little bit of magical thinking in our lives, but sometimes it seems to help.

But what happens when something horrible happens to you while you’re wearing a certain t-shirt or a pair of shoes or while a song is playing in the background? Do those things become “unlucky”? Well, that’s the question we tackle today as we discuss curses!

In this episode, Wendy and I are joined by Scott Markus from, Allison Jornlin from, and paranormal author C.E. Martin (check out his Stranger Than Fiction book!) to talk about strange cases of cursed objects, people, and even bulidings!

You can give someone the Evil Eye and not even know it…

Allison has done some research into the Italian Evil Eye called Il Malocchio and it can curse you without the person even knowing it. Often the eye is caused when someone looks at you with envy or extreme jealousy.

Some families have special rituals to combat Il Malocchio but they are kept very secret and can only be passed on one night of the year. In Ronnie James Dio’s family, he was taught that throwing up your rock fist was actually a defense against the Evil Eye and that’s one of the reasons he chose it as his onstage symbol and it’s now been assimilated into the rest of heavy metal culture.

C.E. Martin (here’s his author page on Amazon) has had his own experiences with three curses in his life and he describes them here in his own words:

1. I was cursed at birth. My paternal grandmother, a member of the cultish “Eastern Star” organization, actually showed up at the hospital after I was born and proclaimed to everyone that she wished I’d been still-born. She hated my parents eloping, and took it out on my my entire life–until I was an adult and I realized I didn’t have to take her $%^T anymore. 

2. I’m fairly certain my ghost stories book is cursed (Mike’s note: he’s talking about Stranger Than Fiction, but don’t be scared, it’s a great book!) Writing it took more than two years, filled with bad luck: my daughter’s scoliosis diagnosis, the ensuing therapy and surgery, my wife being in a car wreck, my fall down the stairs at home, my dog unexpectedly dying, my title being stolen, and my recent banning online for mentioning it on paranormal forums (to name a few of the calamities in that period). Best of all, the other day, as I was leaving work, I was thinking about the book as I walked toward the exit from the law office. I was wondering how I could promote the book’s 2 free days online. My thoughts were interrupted when not one, but two large pigeons flew into/rammed the glass of a large picture window I was walking toward, one right after the other. (they bounced off, recovered and landed safely on some nearby power lines). Definitely an omen of the banning that was coming the next morning. 

3. A friend in the USAF removed a Nazi SS ceremonial dagger from a bunker in Italy that US forces opened up after the Italians had sealed it following WWII. The bunker had sat, sealed up for decades. US Forces were examining using it, and my pal was doing security on the site. He decided to stroll around inside and found it abandoned–as in, everything was there as if the Nazi’s had just teleported away or something. So he took a souveneir. Over the next few years, he had a whole string of terrible luck, including  his child getting some kind of strange fever that resulted in brain damage (the little boy was borderline mentally retarded after that and had lots of developmental problems). Eventually, my friend buried the dagger in the backyard of his base-housing quarters right before he and his family moved to their next base. The bad luck did not follow them.

In Scott’s book, Voices From The Chicago Grave, he talks about the curse of ‘Cap’ Streeter. George Wellington Streeter was a boat captain who was ferrying passengers from Milwaukee to Chicago on Lake Michigan when a storm capsized his boat near where Superior Drive is in modern Chicago. At the time, however, it was just a sandbar on the edge of the lake. Cap decided to stay there, claim it as his own (even independent from the United States) and made a living by creating a shantytown and garbage heap there. Following scuffles with local law enforcement and some time in jail, Cap cursed the area and some very weird and sad things have happened in the locality since.

Elma Lockwood, George Cap Streeter, and Spot

We also discuss my trip to the Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, where you can see a variety of “cursed” objects from Ed Gein’s Cauldron to Jerry Lewis’ clown costume from a movie he thought was so bad that he never released it (and indeed said that he would not let it be shown until years after his death) The Day The Clown Cried.

Here’s the waiver that you sign at Zak Bagans’ Haunted Museum

While we were waiting in line, my wife saw a girl with waist length brown hair and a blue/grey dress running across the parking lot, and then <poof> there was no little girl there. She said the girl looked 5 or 6 years old. I missed the entire thing because I was working on the waiver that you see above, but it was interesting because it was outside and not anywhere near the cursed objects.

Bagans does claim that the mansion is haunted, so maybe it was some kind of residual energy from the family that lived there for decades before it was turned into the museum. We looked for pictures (they talk about the family and the original house’s owner, Cyril S. Wengert, on the tour) and did find several photographs but none seemed to match up to the girl.

Either way, I was jealous! The weirdest thing I saw was a marionette that semed to move on its own and I had guides tell me conflicting stories about whether it was animatronic, or it had moved when the guide bumped the stage, or it was a ghost(!) So, that experience could be chalked up to whatever I choose to believe.

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Welcome to the Demon House!

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And it seems that’s how curses live and die, by what we choose to believe. That seemed like a good message for a song, that we’re always struggling against our own heads. They say there are only seven different kinds of conflict in storytelling and while one of them might be “Man vs. Supernatural”, it seems like the battle that is most applicable when you’re fighting a curse is “Man Vs. Self”. Conquering your own fears and superstitions is what this week’s song is all about.

this is our jihad
our fight is a spiritual war
battling our basest instinct
it’s so hard to ignore
and we’ll take that to the morgue
The fortune tellers will predict
but your conviction is the trick
superstitious fiction
don’t let yourself be deceived
a curse as good as you believe

Devour the cowards
drunk on the will to power
Man vs. Self we go down mean
The toughest fight you’ll ever face
is taking on the whims of fate
be more than the dice roll of your genes

Don’t believe everything you read
you don’t need everything you see
you’re more than your credit score
don’t buy in when you should drop out
don’t forget what it’s all about
These are the moments that define
these are the times that will go down
history to the victor
don’t you mess around
you better make your seconds count

Devour the cowards
drunk on the will to power
Man vs. Self we go down mean
The toughest fight you’ll ever face
is taking on the whims of fate
you’re more than the dice roll of your genes

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – February 22nd, 2019

Hey strange friends!

If you missed our discussion on music and the paranormal this week, then make sure to take a listen. Wendy, Allison, Scott, and I talk about how dancing and singing can bring about paranormal experiences and some of the traditions that have been using these ideas for millennia. Then we bring on industrial music pioneer Praga Khan from Lords of Acid to discuss his experiences with the supernatural (and in particular, what happenened to him while he was working on the Necrofusion with Ghost Adventures’ Zak Bagans!)

Here’s some of the coolest paranormal news this week…

Neuroscientists Say They’ve Found an Entirely New Form of Neural CommunicationScienceAlert

Scientists think they’ve identified a previously unknown form of neural communication that self-propagates across brain tissue, and can leap wirelessly from neurons in one section of brain tissue to another – even if they’ve been surgically severed.

 Click here to read the full article.

New NASA team dedicated to finding aliensFox News

NASA is starting to take the search of extraterrestrial intelligence more serously and is creating a new division for that purpose. Think you’ve got “the right stuff” to join?

Click here to read the full article.

Magical thinking: Is Brexit an occult phenomenon?

Occult terms are bandied about all the time by both sides of the Brexit divide and while this article looks more at the artistic and symbolic side of it, author Gary Lachman might argue that magick actually is behind these cultural movements.Click here to read the full article.

Astronomers are asking kids to help them contact aliensVox

In 1974, we broadcast a signal into space called “The Arecibo Message”. It contained information about humanity in order to lead (hopefully friendly) intelligent alien life to our world. 45 years later, they’re working on an updated version.

Click here to read the full article.

Psychics in the ’Hood Jewish Journal

What does it mean to be psychic and Jewish? It’s not something you read about all the time, which makes for some interesting reading with this article.

 Click here to read the full article.

Matisyahu – Rastaman Chant/One dayYouTube

Speaking of Jewish mysticism, Matisyahu takes reggae and hip hop and infuses it with a Hasidic sensibility. Here he is singing Bob Marley’s “Rastaman Chant”, a song that itself is inspired by Rastafari recitations of the Old Testament Psalms, bringing the whole cultural mash-up thing to a different level.

Click here to listen to the song.

New episodes come out every Monday night, we’ll see you on the other side of the weekend!

Stay Weird!


P.S. – If you’re having fun listening to the podcasts, reading the newsletter, and checking out our songs every week, why not join our Patreon community? Click here to learn more.

236 – The Sound Of The Supernatural: Music And Metaphysics With Praga Khan From Lords of Acid

Music is universal across human culture. Doesn’t matter what language you speak or where you from, singing and dancing is an essential part of the human experience, just ask Kevin Bacon…

If anyone ever asks you about cocaine consumption in the 1980s, just point them here…

There was a video that made the rounds a few years ago that showed normally unresponsive Alzheimer’s Patients reacting to the music of their youth. And it underlines the point that songs can activate a part of our brain that conscious interaction cannot get to. Frank Zappa famously called “writing about music” like “dancing about architecture”, because you’re trying to describe something through reading and writing that can only be experienced through listening. We’ve talked about binaural beats before (and even created a Star Trek-inspired binaural beats song!), which are two frequencies played in each ear that are a different pitch by a certain number of Hertz, your mind processes that difference and according to an automatic process in our brains called “Frequency Following Response” will start producing brainwaves at that Hertz.

And these brainwaves are associated with different states of consciousness, such as meditation and deep sleep. So, science has shown that music provides a natural and automatic way to alter your consciousness. But we knew how to do this long before we had the technology to measure Hertz, we did it through rituals and dance.

When we talked with Dean Radin about his book, Real Magic, the real lesson that stuck is that magic actually can work, but that the ceremony is the most important part of it. Somehow, it’s the going through the motions that puts your mind into gnosis (A Greek word that means to literally “knowledge”), which is an altered state of consciousness that seems to be key in creating real changes in the brain, where psychic phenomena (“magic”) can happen.

That seems to be a modern explanation for something that Shamans have known for millennia. In fact, research has even been done into how altered states of consciousness can play a role in Native American healing and how they achieve those states is through music and dance.

We also talk about the tradition of the sweat lodges, a ritual meant to promote healing, where participants sit in a small hut that gets hotter and hotter while being led in sacred prayer and songs by tribal elders. There is also the jingle dress dance which is a sacred dance of healing that was popularized in the Twentieth Century by a girl who performed the dance to save her own life from the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918… and it worked!

Interestingly enough, when it comes to rituals, you don’t even have to be the one performing the most extreme part to feel the most altered. Being there might be good enough. In fact, there was a study done about extreme rituals (where some of the participants were dancing and some others were temporarily piercing their bodies) and they found that the piercers didn’t necessarily achieve any greater altered state than the non-piercers. To the surprise of the researchers, every participant seemed to have been affected by the ritual in an equal way.

And when it comes to extreme rituals and altered states and dancing, the first thing we think about in the modern world is a rave. Hours of non-stop dancing, drugs, and crazy costumes, all add up to a recipe where people can enter this particular state.

Belgian electronic musician Praga Khan is probably best known for his outrageous techno and industrial act, Lords of Acid. With hits like “Pussy” and “I Must Increase My Bust”, them, they’re known for tongue-in-cheek sexually charged dance anthems.

As Praga says in the interview, when Lords of Acid come to a city it’s a chance for that town to let their freak flag fly. People get dressed up in fetish gear and come out to celebrate . We talked to him to preview his show in Milwaukee at the Miramar Theatre on March 7th, but we also wanted to discuss the album he made with Zak Bagans called NecroFusion, where Zak sent Praga EVPs and then the musician put beats behind them (even Bobby Mackey makes a guest vocal appearance!)

For this episode’s song, we wanted to make sure to capture some of the ridiculous oversexed raver energy that made the Lords of Acid so much fun in the first place. We thought we’d leave subtlety far far behind and just go ahead and say what they didn’t on the NecroFusion album, I want some “Ghost Sex”!

I’m gonna haunt ya
scare the pants off ya
I think tonight you’ll believe
A spooky surprise
you might not believe your eyes
when you see what’s under Casper’s sheet

Ghost sex
I want some ghost sex
Ghost sex
I want some ghost sex
Get down with a phantasm
A face full of ectoplasm
Yeah I’m gonna do it with a specter tonight.
This apparition is a freakin
And you’ve got my K2 peakin’
A paranormal lover from the other side

you might be a little scared
if you’re unprepared
I’m gonna capture you on EVP
But don’t get creeped out
tonight I’m gonna find out
just why they call her “The Brown Lady”

Ghost sex
I want some ghost sex
Ghost sex
I want some ghost sex

Get down with a phantasm
A face full of ectoplasm
Yeah I’m gonna do it with a specter tonight.
This apparition is a freakin
And you’ve got my K2 peakin’
A paranormal lover from the other side

This Week’s Best Paranormal News – February 15th, 2019

Happy Friday !It’s your weird friend Mike again and I hope everyone had as good a Valentine’s Day as Dan Aykroyd did in Ghostbusters…

Hey now! But just because love was in the air doesn’t mean that there also weren’t spirits as well. Here are the most interesting paranormal stories this week…

Kidnapped Tanzanian children found mutilated for witchcraft

In the most disturbing news of the week, Tanzanian children were cut apart for magical rituals. This is the “Demon-Haunted World” that Carl Sagan warned us about. We’ve discussed Tanzania (mostly Zanzibar) and some of its’ paranormal superstitions with Dr. Martin Walsh, who spent a good deal of time there.

Click here to read the article

Move Aside Tom Lee: A Texas Psychic Claims To Predict Crypto Prices Accurately

Cryptocurrency has been all the rage for speculative investors for the past couple of years. Feeling lucky? A Texas psychic says that she can predict Bitcoin prices, maybe it’s time for me to invest!

Click here to read the article

Ex-slugger Jose Canseco joins pursuit of Bigfoot, aliens

Former Major Leaguer Jose Canseco is following up his tweets last week about aliens and time travel with an offer to accompany him on a search for the sasquatch! It only costs $5,000 and the spots are limited to 5 people. There’s even a phone number to sign up. Call 702-374-3735 for details (and then tell us if you go!)

Click here to read the article

Saudi antiquities site, long seen as haunted, tries to woo visitors

Al Ula is a remote corner of Saudi Arabia home to a pre-Arab people long since disappeared and proclaimed by the Prophet Mohammed to be been haunted by the evil djinn. In fact, in 2012 the Saudi Arabian government ordered the area open, only to re-close it after students started reported djinn sightings. But even the djinn can’t stop capitalism and they’re going to try and turn it into a tourism destination. Is it just me, or does that sound like the beginning of a horror movie?

Click here to read the article.

Why Kids Always Claim To See “Ghosts”

Probably because hauntings are never too far from my mind, my 2-year old often asks about ghosts. She hasn’t seen one yet (even though I’ve looked in the closet a few times) but lots of kids say they see them. Some might actually see them, but it looks like there’s also an answer in developmental psychology.

Click here to read the article.

Kids See Ghosts by Kanye West and Kid Cudi ft. Yasiin Bey

Speaking of kids seeing ghosts, Mos Def, Kid Cudi, and Yeezus himself combine forces on this track. Kanye and Cudi named their partnership after this song and it’s a perfect one to listen to while you read this week’s newsletter. Click here to listen to the song.

If you haven’t heard this last episode with author Louis Proud, you shouldn’t miss it. (Click here to listen.) It will make you think in new ways about poltergeists and Spontaneous Human Combustion (What?! You don’t think about those things all the time?)

The whole team will be be back the saddle for the next episode and we’ll see YOU on the other side of the weekend!


P.S. If you’re enjoying the stuff we do, please consider joining our Patreon. Click here to check it out.

235 – I’m On Fire! Spontaneous Human Combustion and Poltergeistry with Louis Proud

Spontaneous Human Combustion just doesn’t seem to get the recognition in the paranormal world that it used to. I remember when I was a kid checking out books on weirdness from the library, they almost never failed to include this picture…

All that was left of Mary Reeser

Now I know that people randomly starting on fire might not be as sexy as demons or aliens, it’s one of the only strange phenomena where we get real physical evidence. This is more than witness testimony and above you can see poor Mary Hardy Reeser, 67 years old. Her body burned alive for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Mary moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in 1950 so that she could be closer to her son after her husband died. One day she gets ready for bed, sits down in her armchair, and in the morning they find her body reduced to ash. Her shrunken skull and her leg below the knee (still in its slipper) are all that is left. The surroundings are singed but the fire was mostly confined to her. What could have started her on fire?

Even when a body is cremated and the corpse is burnt for two hours at 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, there are still bone fragments left at the end, not just ash. A regular house fire burns at around 1100 degrees Fahrenheit and that’s when the whole house is on fire! It would have to be much hotter than that to burn a body that completely. Just what could do that to her body?

That’s the question Louis Proud tackles in his latest book Borderland Phenomena, Volume One: Spontaneous Combustion, Poltergeistry, and Anomalous Lights (Click here to check it out on Amazon) and with hearty endorsements from such luminaries as Jeffrey Kripal, Gary Lachman, and Whitley Strieber, you know that you’re in for some good reading.

Louis is our first guest from Tasmania(!) and became interested in what he calls “Borderland Phenomena” when he was in his late teens and started experiencing extremely intense episodes of sleep paralysis. After hearing about an unusual history of paranormal experiences in his own family, he decided to start exploring the “Borderland” for himself. That’s where he discovered the link between classic poltergeist cases, anomalous lights like ball lightning, and Spontaneous Human Combustion.

Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts joins me and Louis to discuss these topics:

  • The real story of Mary Reeser, the most famous modern case of SHC
  • What is pyrokinesis?
  • Could SHC be some sort of “subconscious suicide”?
  • The Great Amherst Mystery Poltergeist Case from the late 1800s
  • Connecting a human agent (like an ultra-emotional teenager) in Poltergeist cases to mysterious fires and anomalous lights
  • What is ball lightning and could that be causing the bodies to burn so intensely?
She’s a firestarter, a wicked fire starter…

For the song this week, we wanted to exploit one of the original myths about Spontaneous Human Combustion. When cases of people mysteriously starting on fire were documented in the Victorian Era (when scientific exploration of the paranormal started in earnest), they blamed it on the demon drink. In fact, Charles Dickens even has an alcoholic character burn to death spontaneously in his novel, Bleak House, all the way in 1852. The combination of impoverished living conditions and the mass production of alcohol caused the 19th Century to be a pretty drunken age. Hey in the early United States, we even had an uprising because of a Whiskey Tax!

The Women’s Suffrage Movement that evolved in the late 19th Century to expand the right to vote also carried along with it many elements of Spirituality and of course, Temperance, or abstaining from alcohol. Saying that Spontaneous Human Combustion could result from alcoholism was a perfect paranormal way of trying to convince people that alcohol should be illegal. And by the early 20th Century, they succeeded (in the United States, at least.)

So, we took that idea and ran with it. When you’re drinking, sometimes you feel unstoppable, just like you’re on fire. As Axl Rose once sang, “When you’re high you never, ever wanna come down”. But you know that when you’re drinking, the hangover eventually comes and that fire burns out. Hopefully it won’t take you with it. Here’s Sunspot with this week’s paranormal song, “I’m On Fire”!

Against the wall, I’m not ready to show my face
Another shot, I’m running hot with every taste

Runs through my fingers (and the burning grows)
Across my chest (and the burning grows)
Every extremity (and the burning grows)
is possessed (and the burning grows)

I’m on fire,
I’m on fire,
A human volcano, a flesh inferno with a burning crown.
I’m on fire,
and then the fire burns out.

I close my eyes as I get ready to unload,
Just another sip, I’ll lose my shit, and I explode.

Runs through my fingers (and the burning grows)
Across my chest (and the burning grows)
Every extremity (and the burning grows)
is possessed (and the burning grows)

I’m on fire,
I’m on fire,
A human volcano, a flesh inferno with a burning crown.
I’m on fire,
and then the fire burns out.