All posts by Wendy Lynn Staats

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

257 – I Know What I Saw: Monsters, Myths, and More with Linda S. Godfrey

It was Thursday, July 18, 2019; an oppressively hot Wisconsin evening, the kind of day where the humidity is so great that the air actually feels heavy on your skin, and stepping outside results in immediate fogging of your glasses. It was the perfect time to retreat indoors to an ice cold air conditioned space, one filled with hundreds of full bookshelves and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee (which was probably more popularly enjoyed over ice on this day).

While some people perused the endless aisles of books at Madison’s west side Barnes and Noble book store and others paraded their children through the toy area, a curious group of locals gathered in the back of the store. They weren’t there for a book club or to partake in a craft project. This group was gathered to hear wild tales of hairy beasts, mischievous little people, and ominous winged creatures. It was an interview with one of Wisconsin’s most well-known cryptid researchers, Linda S. Godfrey!

Listening to the author reading her own words! Photo by Scott Markus.
Linda’s brand new book!

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to talk to Linda. She’s been a popular guest on See You On The Other Side several times and inspired Sunspot songs “Mystery” and “American Monsters“, both of which we perform regularly at shows. I’ve seen her present at several paranormal conventions, and I respect the work she does and her meticulous approach at exploring the very unique world of cryptids. I’m a big fan. Having just read her newest book, I Know What I Saw, I was especially excited to delve into the world of monsters, myths, and how on earth the two seem to be manifesting in our world continuously.

We made some special bookmarks to celebrate Linda’s visit to Madison and her new book, I Know What I Saw!

Linda kicked off the interview by reading a passage from the book, a fitting introduction explaining how she was originally drawn into the world of the weird as a reporter at a local newspaper, assigned to the now infamous Beast of Bray Road case. She reported the case with impressive rigor and became very familiar with some odd sightings around Wisconsin.

The Beast opened the door into cryptid research, and decades later, scores of people reach out to Linda to share their experiences with every imaginable kind of creature. Her open mind and excellent listening skills make it easy to understand why people aren’t afraid to tell Linda about things that others may be less willing to accept.

Not only does Linda collect eyewitness accounts, but she frequently does her own investigating. She’s logged many hours in the Kettle Moraine area of SouthEast Wisconsin, known among paranormal circles for being a supernatural hotspot, and has gone on stakeouts for creatures in wooded areas. Our discussion covered many different types of monsters: Unknown upright bipedal canines, bearwolf, sasquatch, manbat, batsquatch, diredog, and that’s just to name a few. Linda even shared her info about the Haunchies so near and dear to our hearts (check out our episode about Haunchyville for more on that Wisconsin legend)!

But, as LeVar Burton would say, “don’t take my word for it”! The book I Know What I Saw is loaded with monster stories of every ilk, and knowing these aren’t (necessarily) fiction but are experiences reported by real people gave me the feeling that WE’RE SURROUNDED. I’ll be keeping my mind, and eyes, open and ready to have my own experience… And when I do, you better believe Linda will be the first person I share it with!

To hear more of Linda’s intriguing experiences and investigations, here are some of our past discussions:

Once again, Linda has provided excellent song inspiration with her book title! This week’s Sunspot song is self-explanatory: I KNOW WHAT I SAW!

And stalking from the murk 
came something strange 
Just in a second 
everything changed 

A walking nightmare 
sudden abnormality 
A chimera that broke my reality 

You might say impossible 
when I was struck dumb with awe 
It might break all the natural law 
but I know what I saw 

A glimpse into the infinite 
A peek behind the veil 
When you finally see yourself 
on a cosmic scale 

Some moments I remember 
with perfect clarity 
Like when I saw the creature that stretched my credulity 

You might say impossible 
when I was struck dumb with awe 
It might break all the natural law 
but I know what I saw 

And stalking from the murk 
came something strange 
Just in one second 
everything changed 

A walking nightmare 
sudden abnormality 
A chimera that broke my reality 

You might say impossible 
when I was struck dumb with awe 
It might break all the natural law 
but I know what I saw 

I know what I saw.

255 – Professor Paranormal: Parapsychology Pedagogy with Loyd Auerbach

With the litany of web sites and television shows on the topics of ghost hunting, psychic mediums, and theories of the unknown, it’s easy to get swept up in what is entertaining, but not necessarily good/correct information. The X-Files may have popularized the expression “The Truth Is Out There,” but how many paranormal investigators make the effort to apply proper research methodology when looking for the truth?

Today’s guest, Loyd Auerbach, has built his career around researching the paranormal in a scientific manner. His impressive combination of academia, open-mindedness, and careful investigation makes him uniquely qualified to responsibly educate us on the topic of Parapsychology.

Loyd was an early guest on See You On The Other Side, back in 2015 when we were still in the double-digit episode numbers. I recommend checking out that episode to dive deeply into his extensive educational background, and hear Mike fanboy out at the opportunity to talk to one of his heroes:

Parapsychology Fact vs Fiction: An Interview with Loyd Auerbach
http://www.othersidepodcast.com/27

But this time around, Mike was on vacation, so Allison Jornlin of Milwaukee Ghosts and I had the opportunity to converse with Loyd. The timing was perfect, as both Allison and Loyd will be presenting at Hawaii Paracon in less than two weeks!

Loyd’s interest in the paranormal and psychic abilities dates back to his youth, with ghost stories and television shows peaking his curiosity. Entertainment such sitcoms Topper and Dark Shadows, reading classic Greek Mythology, and monster movies fascinated him, as did the study of science and other “nerdy” activities. His natural inclination was to admire psychic abilities- not fear, chide or ridicule them.

By the age of 13, Loyd was reading works by J.B. Rhine and his colleagues. He formed a parapsychology club in high school (endorsed by Rhine himself!), which opened doors to meeting other luminaries in the field. His early exploration of the topic provided a perfect foundation for continuing studies at JFK University.

So, what is involved in earning a degree in the field of paranormal/parapsychology? Loyd’s rigorous graduate academic studies included history of parapsychology, laboratory research, field investigation of real-world cases, physics and parapsychology, anthropology and paraspychology, neuropsychology, statistics and more. Clearly, choosing this career requires unabashed devotion to an extensive amount of work.

Years and numerous case studies later, Loyd points the skeptics to research and evidence of psi/psychic abilities. Compelling data/statistics behind the Ganzfeld studies and the Stargate remote viewing program “shows that there’s something really here.” And his own extensive work with psychics/mediums has provided evidence that humans have a tap to an information source that is undeniable. However, he is unabashed in putting “a big question mark” next to cases where the proof is not present.

Loyd recounted one entertaining case, dubbed “The Sexorcist”, in which a house was haunted by the energies of an extremely amorous couple. This brought to light the possibility that a residual type of haunting does NOT require that the origin of the “residue” be deceased… A myth perpetuated by modern ghost entertainment. What would it be like to witness a ghost of someone still living? Apparently, some people have seen apparitions of their own self. Can you say…

My paranormal perspective continues to grow, thanks to guests like Loyd. For those striving to develop their own psychic abilities, he recommends beginning by making sure to write down (or sharing with another) any personal experiences/feelings that you think may be paranormal. The conscious labeling/acceptance that you are experiencing something can help identify patterns in the body/mind which can bring light to when/why these things are happening.

And with his strong dedication to education, Loyd was the perfect person to recommend books for us to read and expand our own knowledge of the paranormal. Here’s a starter list we went through, which very well may be the beginning of a See You On The Other Side Book Club (join our Patreon community here!):

You can also further your own education through online classes available at the Rhine Research Center, many of which are taught Professor Paranormal, Loyd Auerbach himself!

You can find Loyd online:
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/loyd.auerbach.author/
Twitter at https://twitter.com/profparanormal
Email at profparanormal@gmail.com

For the song this week, we took one of Loyd’s most well known quotes, “Faith is belief without proof. Faith is fine, but don’t call it science.” and put our own spin on it. Here’s Sunspot with “Bull$h!t Detector”.

When there’s smoke ya know there’s gotta be some fire
When you talk you show that you ain’t a liar
Put your money where your mouth is and step up to the plate
Ya gotta back up your story or I’m just gonna cut bait

Faith is nice but proof’s a little better
You’re setting off my bull$h!t detector
If it don’t pass the test for the professor
Then I don’t need you
Unless you’re true

Show me don’t tell me, no pink elephants, don’t tease
If you want me to stay I need some evidence, so please

Faith is nice but proofs a little better
You’re setting off my bullshit detector
If it don’t pass the test for the professor
Then I don’t need you
Unless you’re true
Faith is nice but proof’s a little better
You’re setting off my bull$h!t detector
I need something more than just conjecture
Cuz I don’t need you
Unless you’re true

X is for Xenoglossy: Speaking in Unknown and Primeval/Spirit Languages

As we approached the last few letters of the 2019 A to Z Blog Challenge, the letter X loomed ominously before me. With so few “X” words in the English language, let alone in the subset of paranormal topics, what would make for an interesting topic to write about? Luckily, I found a word that will surely remain in my back pocket for future Scrabble games that also describes a fascinating paranormal phenomenon: XENOGLOSSY!

Derived from the Greek words for “xenos” (foreigner) and “glossa” (tongue or language), Xenoglossy is a term purportedly coined by French parapsychologist Charles Robert Richet. He is also credited with originally using the word “ectoplasm”, the slimy substance that would materialize at seances during the Spiritualist movement and was fondly popularized by the character of Slimer throughout the Ghostbusters movies. Richet was adamant about finding scientific explanations for paranormal phenomena and did extensive investigating of psychic mediums. But his research led him to believe that mediumship was a form of extrasensory perception rather than communication with the dead, as many mediums claimed.

At Spiritualist seances, a popular activity was for a psychic medium to “channel” the spirit of someone who had passed on. The voice and/or accent of the medium would change to align with the personality of the deceased, and even their mannerisms and facial countenance would appear different (remember Whoopie Goldberg’s character in “Ghost” when she channeled the Patrick Swayze character?). While this activity could be exhilarating for friends and relatives witnessing the medium in action, it’s a party trick rife for fraud.

Much more perplexing (and difficult to fake) is the situation wherein a person appears to channel someone fluent in an entirely different language. This is not the same as speaking in tongues, or “glossolalia”, which is a more random vocalization common to certain religious movements. Xenoglossy is when real language emerges from someone.

Many believe that Xenoglossy is evidence that spirits can indeed be contacted from beyond by using a human vessel or channel. One medium from the Spiritualist movement, Laura Edmonds, who natively spoke English and knew just a bit of French, would converse fluently with visitors from afar in Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, Hungarian, and Native American languages. Although Laura was doing the talking, she appeared to be channeling deceased friends of her visitors. Her father, John Worth Edmonds, was a well respected judge and initially claimed to be a skeptic. But after witnessing his daughter’s multitude of paranormal experiences, he eventually experimented with mediumship himself and became an advocate. I have to admit, if one of my trusted family members started having fluent conversations in a language they never studied, I’d probably become a quick believer, too!

Other cases of Xenoglossy suggest that it is proof of reincarnation. In some instances, the person speaks a very ancient language that has been extinct since well before the medium’s time. One such controversial case involved an English medium known as Rosemary who claimed to be controlled by an ancient Egyptian “Lady Nona”. She was reported to have used 140 different phrases common at the time the Temple of Luxor in Egypt was built, as confirmed by reputed Egyptologist Howard Hulme.

A more modern example of Xenoglossy occurred in 2007, when a Czech motorbike racer suffered a serious crash while racing in Glasgow. Although he was known to have a very limited English vocabulary, apparently while being rescued he spoke English fluently with the paramedics.

Whether Xenoglossy is truly an example of spirits from beyond crossing into our human realm, proof of reincarnation, or something else going on, it’s a phenomenon that currently defies explanation and therefore is worth examining further. And if that’s not enough for you, it’s worth 21 Scrabble points, so file that spelling in your paranormal Rolodex for your next board game night!

F is for Faeries: Friend or Foe?

Many of us were first introduced to fairies when we were young children. We were enchanted by Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, and wished we had our own Fairy Godmother to grant our wishes the way Cinderella’s did. In the summertime, we imagined fireflies were magical creatures sprinkling our backyard with fairy dust. And when a loose tooth finally freed itself, a simple right of passage went from mundane to miraculous with the promise of a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

My young imagination savored the notion of having a cute little mystical friend at hand. It would be like having a small pet who would entertain me with endless visual delights of sparkling aerial acrobatics; a wee companion who would not only entertain, but also provide serious guidance when I struggled with a big decision… A petite personal adviser of conscience. I loved immersing myself in the fairy stories so prevalent in library books, cartoons, and movies.

But one night, this fascination leapt right from the whimsical world in my mind to the physical world. I saw a fairy with my very own eyes.

I awoke in the middle of the night and there she was: Pale with dark, silken hair to her waist, wearing a long, flowered gown of blue and green. She was closer to actual human-size than the tiny fairies common to folklore, yet still seemed mystically miniature. Near the foot of my bed was a clothing dresser about four feet high, and she was standing tip-toed on a chair, examining the top of the dresser. I remember her looking over at me at one point, but I said nothing, and she turned back to her work of perusing my dresser top in the near darkness.

Although the vision was fleeting, it remained in my mind the next morning as I shared it with my sister and parents. While I’m sure they assumed I was dreaming, I knew the truth: I had witnessed the one and only Tooth Fairy in my bedroom! Some things don’t need to be explained, one just knows, and this was one clear cut case of simple gut instinct. She was obviously looking for a tooth, lost recently by either my sister or myself, and I had awoken to see her hard at work, and presumably eventually she would leave a monetary gift in exchange for our tooth sacrifice.

The fairy I saw in my childhood bedroom was a lovely, good, kind fairy. The legendary fae were not always creatures of good tidings, though. They had a reputation for wreaking mischief and havoc, and for sabotaging their human neighbors if certain demands weren’t met. We explored the history and folkore from Ireland in Episode 187:

Luck O’ The Irish: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Mythss, and Legends
http://www.othersidepodcast.com/187

Thank goodness it was the Tooth Fairy that I saw, and not one of the dark fae known for doing much more unsavory work! Had that been the case, I may not be around today to tell the tale, for many a story tells of creatures stealing young children from their beds in the night (as illustrated when David Bowie’s dreamy but evil goblin character Jareth snatched baby Toby RIGHT OUT OF HIS CRIB in the movie Labyrinth!). We covered this terrifying concept in depth in Episode 204, where author Joshua Cutchin shared some of the supernatural child-snatching tragedies from his book, “Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions“:

Thieves In The Night: Faeries, Aliens, and Child Abductions with Joshua Cutchin
http://www.othersidepodcast.com/204

I am relieved that what I saw was not one of “Satan‘s Little Helpers” (that’s not a typo) either. Elves are another example of childhood golden books instilling a belief that tiny mythical creatures are cute, fun, and helpful. But we learned that this is not always the case in Episode 175. Indeed, the original jovial assistants to Santa weren’t there to help, they were there to hurt:

Elves: More Than Just Santa's Little Helpers
http://www.othersidepodcast.com/175

Ultimately, my personal fairy experience was positive and fun, a manifestation of some of the magic I so enjoyed reading about from the page into the very real space of my own room. But if you awake in the night and see one of these folk has visited, bear in mind that it may not be a visit of good tidings…

76 – In Pursuit of the Paranormal: An Interview with Matthew Jesso

Although we haven’t been hit by snow like the East Coast this week, we’ve been experiencing a nasty deep freeze here in the Midwest. I had the misfortune of catching a cold, but Mike was lucky enough to escape to California for a little sunshine and a whole lot of awesome musical instruments (and musicians playing them) at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2016 convention.

While he was there, Mike searched high and low for anything paranormal, weird (aside from the wild assortment of freaky musicians everywhere- Hey, as one of them, I’m allowed to say that!), and/or otherwise interesting to those of us into that kind of thing. If you didn’t already get the chance to check out his blog posts, his intriguing investigative reporting and commentary can be found in articles such as The Best Occult Imagery at NAMM 2016 and Moog at NAMM 2016: Synthesizers and the Sound of Horror.

Back in Wisconsin, I had the pleasure of conducting my first interview with a paranormal investigator by the name of Matt Jesso. Another Midwesterner hailing from Minnesota, Matt has spent years working with people who have experienced the unknown or inexplicable phenomena, and works without compensation to help find resolutions – or at least clues – to many mysteries.

As a Parnormal Investigator, Matt reviews claims from people who experience something “beyond the realm of understanding”. After gathering information about what is happening, he determines whether an in-home investigation is appropriate. He does Electronic Voice Phenomenon analysis, both for recordings made on investigations in which he participated as well as recordings sent to him from other investigations. The goal of each investigation varies depending on the objective of the client, and depending on the nature of the claim, he may involve other members of his network experienced professionals in the paranormal (demonologists, psychics, mysticologists, mediums, remote viewers, and clergy people) to collect as much information as possible.

Matt had a curiosity about the paranormal from a very young age, reading everything he could about it. He discovered that, through information and understanding, he could overcome the fear that often accompanies experiences with the unknown.

One way people find Matt is through the web site Paranormal Societies, an “internet Rolodex of paranormal investigators” willing to help people in search of haunting assistance.  Matt became friends with Bill Wilkins, the founder of Paranormal Societies, through Twitter, and joined the database so he could provide his service to those looking for help. Matt, like many other investigators, does not charge for his services, but offers to help as a kind gesture.

Part of our discussion touched on this blog article: “Too Many Ghost Hunters” written by our very own Mike Huberty, and Matt shared his opinion on the current trendiness of ghost hunting.  Although he agrees that the field is a bit saturated at the moment, but  the true professionals will continue to work together and have a very strong community that will thrive beyond the current ghost hunting craze .

Some of Matt’s expertise comes from reading works of famous parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach, who has an extensive history of his own in-home paranormal investigations. We learned a lot from Mr. Auerbach in our own Episode 27 – Parapsychology: Fact vs. Fiction, so I thought it was cool to hear Matt reference some of those concepts.

Audio and video recorders, EMF detectors and K-II meters are some of the tools used in Matt’s investigations.

The topic of orbs did enter our discussion when Matt shared the scariest experience he has had.  Upon seeing a video of himself surrounded by many orbs, Matt admitted he was frightened. However, he uses prayer to protect himself from negativity and determined it was a positive, rather than a negative, sign.

I brought up that Mike is a “non-orb guy”, and Matt agreed that orbs are overblown. But he did have a story of a compelling video of an orb. Here it is… The original footage:

And in slow motion:

What do you think? Mike shares his opinion at the end of the episode.

You can reach Matt online through the following channels:

  • Twitter: @mattjesso
  • Periscope:  @mattjesso  (He broadcasts from “The Paracave” every Sunday at 5 PM Central Time) #paracave

Featured Song: Paranormal Sleuth by Sunspot

Searching for an answer
A paranormal sleuth
So many questions
But where can I find the truth?

I won’t be frightened, I won’t be weak
It’s only in my mind
My dread will be abolished
by the evidence that I find

I’ll keep on looking
listening, feeling for a sign
Power in the knowledge,
Whether sinister or divine

I won’t be frightened, I won’t be weak
It’s only in my mind
My dread will be abolished
by the evidence that I find

48 – Lost Souls of Nashville: A Haunted Travelog

This week, Mike and Wendy catch up after an incredibly busy week. Whilst Mike was in the process of relocating from Minneapolis to Madison, Wendy took a spontaneous road trip to Nashville to spend some time with her sister.

Nashville is, of course, rich with music and history. While in the city, Wendy took the time to visit a few locations that have legends of ghosts.

Stop 1: Gaylord Opryland Resort

This enormous resort, located on the former location of the Opryland USA Theme Park, is rumored to have the ghost of a woman dressed in black who wanders its many atriums and hallways.

Stop 2: Union Station Hotel

Several different ghost stories surround this location, including the theory that the ghosts of a derailed train linger at their last living stop, as well as a recurring scene of a soldier bidding farewell  to his lover as he leaves for war, never to return.

Stop 3: Ryman Auditorium

“The soul of the city”, Ryman Auditorium has a long history of incredible musical acts. Many of these performers are rumored, after death, to continue visiting the theater they so adored.

Featured Song: Soul of the City by Sunspot

There’s energy in the air
A sold out show tonight
A command performance
From the afterlife

I know it’s not my home,
But I don’t wanna go.

It’s not just a theater
The spirits live and breathe here
It’s not just a building
It’s the soul of the city

They whisper in the aisles
about the spirit of The King
Long after he died
He came to hear his baby sing

I know it’s not my home,
But I don’t wanna go.

It’s not just a theater
The spirits live and breathe here
It’s not just a building
It’s the soul of the city

 

 

43 – Bigfoot and Aliens and Ghosts, Oh My! Behind the Scenes at Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015

It’s a special episode as this week we’re recording from on location at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference!

Mike and Wendy combine forces with Milwaukee Ghosts’ Allison Jornlin and Madison Ghosts Walks tour guide Lisa Van Buskirk! The event takes place at the Irish Cultural Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a large chapel-like area hosts the main speakers for the conference, and a few side rooms host booths for attendees like us.

The Irish Cultural Center was a great setting for the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015
The Irish Cultural Center was a great setting for the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015

It’s a regular party at our booth, which has a color-changing disco light and is conveniently situated directly adjacent to an Irish Pub within the conference center. We meet plenty of nice people while sharing information about our podcast and ghost tours, and we ask willing volunteers to share with us the weirdest thing they have seen or experienced.

See You On The Other Side, Milwaukee Ghosts, and Madison Ghost Walks' fabulous booth
See You On The Other Side, Milwaukee Ghosts, and Madison Ghost Walks’ fabulous booth

Kicking off the conference was Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts’ presentation on Milwaukee Forteana (which is another word for unexplained and weird stories!) The main room really was a beautiful old church that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at in the 50s!

Milwaukee Ghosts presentation
Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts, talking about famous cases of weirdness from the Brew City

A lot of the presenters and speakers have made appearances  on our podcast before, so it was great to catch up with some of them, from Roswell investigator Don Schmitt to MUFON representative and Star Trek writer, Mark O’Connell

Hanging out with MUFON's Mark O'Connell, another featured speaker
Hanging out with MUFON’s Mark O’Connell

The exhibitor hall is a hustling, bustling place with a continuous din of excited conversation clearly audible throughout the interviews.

The exhibitor hall was packed all day long!
The exhibitor hall was packed all day long!

The stories range from ghosts to Ouija board to the unknown/unexplainable experience- the very kinds of topics we enjoy discussing on our show:

  1. Justin shares a couple experiences he had with a ghost who haunted his friend’s apartment in West Bend.
  2. Malia (of the band Ocean Rush) tells a terrifying tale of her encounter with a giant black mass that appeared as she performed “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in her studio.
  3. Vicki lived in a home which was inhabited by a musician ghost who would appear when she played the piano, and would wake up her son in the night with the song “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
  4. Haley had a week of terror during a stressful time in her life which included a weird presence touching her wrist and pulling her hair, her cat going crazy for no reason, and other unexplained happenings.
  5. Lisa had a roommate who seemed to be surrounded by unexplainable occurrences. Were these events caused by the spirits of tragically lost family members?
  6. Jackie & Shannon, of Stateline Paranormal Investigations, visited a graveyard in Poplar Grove, Illinois. At the same time and place within the graveyard, Jackie acquired an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) clearly stating “Here I am. He killed me.” and Shannon got a photo which revealed flames emerging from the ground.
  7. Nicki tells about a mysterious miniature hand print that appeared on her bedroom wall. Although it was initially quite frightening, the marking eventually brought a positive experience to her.
  8. Maria saw BIGFOOT! But maybe not where you’d expect…
  9. Chris of The Zombie Squad tells about an apartment he lived in that was above a haunted restaurant.
  10. Kristan of The Rundown Live talks about GIANTS! While doing some research, he discovered information about abnormally tall/large skeletons of people, which some believe could have been human/alien hybrids.
  11. Monica tells the story of her own childhood experience with a Ouija board. Through routine playing with the board, she and her brother started getting answers that actually checked out and led them to a local graveyard that they did not previously know of.
  12. David and Dave, fellow podcasters from Blurry Photos, share what drew them into the world of “weird stuff”. Then they share their own weirdest experiences: a dream so real it could have been an actual alien abduction, and a visit from a giant shadow presence that may have actually broken a hole in the living room ceiling.
  13. Tea Krulos, event organizer and author of the brand new book, Monster Hunters: On the Trail with Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators (also our featured guest in Episode 25), recaps the day and receives a special delivery from none other than Bigfoot herself during the interview!

Mike and Wendy with Tea Krulos, the man behind the Con!
Mike and Wendy with Tea Krulos, the man behind the Con!

Featured Song: Bigfoot Polka by Sunspot

See that guy across the floor, he needs a good barber,
That hairy dude is desperate for a cute dancing partner.
None of the girls ever give our hirsute friend half a chance,
The main problem is that his feet are just too big to dance.

Oh Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman,
is he ape or is he human?
He might be the missing link from chimp to humanity,
but when we dance those gosh darn feet are just too big for me.

You might think that he’s innocent, like he just wants a friend,
but he’s not the sweet beast we saw embrace the Hendersons.
Bigfoot’s stumbling around, he’s had a little too much beer,
I’m not gonna, how about you, tell him “get out of here”?

Oh Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman,
is he ape or is he human?
He might be the missing link from chimp to humanity,
but when we dance those gosh darn feet are just too big for me.

This is bad, he’s getting mad, he’s gonna make a scene,
He’s grunting and pounding his chest, he’s looking right at me.
He grabbed a beer barrel and threw it right on the dance floor,
And now’s the time I think we all should polka out the door.

Oh Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman,
is he ape or is he human?
He might be the missing link from chimp to humanity,
but when we dance those gosh darn feet are just too big for me.

Feet too big, feet too big, feet too big to dance, Hey!
Feet too big, feet too big, feet too big to dance, Hey!
Feet too big, feet too big, feet too big to dance, Hey!
Bigfoot’s come, we better run from those feet too big to dance, hey!

38 – Zombie Apocalypse: Science And Superstition Behind… Brains… Brains…

The Zombie Apocalypse. The past decade has seen the living dead explode like no other monster. Vampires had a kick for a little while and ghosts had their due after The Sixth Sense, but really, zombies have been the focus of a dozens of movies over the course of the past decade and at least two TV shows currently running (including cable’s most popular show, The Walking Dead.)

Mike has been obssessed with zombies since he was a little kid and he even mentions his traumatic first encounter with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (where he was tortured by his sister, frequent podcast contributor, Allison Jornlin of Milwaukee Ghosts), and that’s where the discussion begins, as should any discussion with impact of zombies on pop culture, because that film is really where our traditional idea of flesh-eating zombies comes from. Taking his inspiration from Richard Matheson’s brilliant I Am Legend adaptation, The Last Man on Earth (Vincent Price, not Will Forte) and also from the Arabic legend of the “ghoul” (flesh-eating djinn that hang around graveyards, sound familiar?), Romero created a new kind of shuffling terror, more dangerous in numbers than alone.

But the term “zombie” comes from Haitian voudou mythology and that leads to a discussion of the book,The Serpent and The Rainbow, which featured a much more traditional version of the walking dead. Where a bokor (voodoo sorcerer) would use a special zombie powder to turn its victim comatose to the point where people would think he was dead and bury him. Then later the body would be dug up and the man would be taken to a plantation to work as a slave for the bokor (or whoever he was doing the sorcery for.) The non-fiction book, The Serpent and The Rainbow, goes into detail about the world’s most famous zombie, Clairvius Narcisse, a man who died and was buried in 1962, but came back to his village very much not dead in 1980. The book is a more scientific look at the case and also the zombie powder (made from the toxins of a Caribbean puffer fish and a toad), while the movie was a completely fictional retelling, only using the idea of the researcher looking into the zombie powder as a launching-off point into magical horror (however, it’s a pretty sweet movie.)

With that, Mike and Wendy discuss fast zombies and zombie movie remakes for a little bit before getting into how a zombie apocalypse could really happen. First talking about toxoplasmosa gondii, which is a brain parasite that only grows in the stomach of cats. When it infects rats, it makes them run towards felines because it wants them to be eaten so that it can get into that cat belly! Terrifying that it can change rat behavior into something completely suicidal, but even more terrifying is that 50% of humans are already carrying the parasite. Could this be a reason that we domesticated cats and can it affect our behavior? Well the jury is still out because the science is controversial, but a link was found between the parasite and schizophrenia.

The conversation turns towards how even the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have been using the idea of a zombie epidemic to teach crisis preparedness, going so far as publishing a graphic novel about what people should do if a zombie apocalypse were to lurch its way through America. And then the talk finishes with how a television station that Mike used to work for, Newschannel 8 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, accidentally sent a warning out about the dead rising from the grave on its Emergency Broadcast System in 2013. Just how did that happen?

Zombie Apocalypse Links

Watch The Night of the Living Dead online for free

“Based On A True Story: The Serpent And The Rainbow“, Cinema Suicide

CDC Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic Graphic Novel

“TV zombie-attack warning a false alarm”, La Crosse Tribune

“Return Of The Puppet Masters”, Corante, story about Toxoplasma gondii

Today’s Song is “I Was A Teenage Zombie” by Sunspot.

I was a teenage zombie
1313 Mockingbird Lane
other kids liked sports
I wanted brains

Hey now, the saw is family
Hey man, don’t you lose your head
It’s the Night before the Day after the Dawn of the Living Dead

I’m on the cover of Fango
I’m in the Grand Guignol
I’m a Famous Monsters late night picture show

We’re just right down from Elm Street
It’s the Last House on the Left
You know we never mind uninvited guests

Nicer than the Manson Family
Let’s go paint the town RED
It’s the Night before the Day after the Dawn of the Living Dead

I’m on the cover of Fango
I’m in the Grand Guignol
I’m a Famous Monsters late night picture show.

34 – Ascension: Carol Mills’ Evolution from Atheist to Psychic Medium

Mike and Wendy start out the show with a quick discussion on how Mike is happy that they didn’t mention the Twin Peaks revival in last episode’s song about The X-Files, “Don’t Mess This Up” because now it looks like that revival is in jeopardy of not happening. After going through the definition of medium last week, they talk a little bit about the interview. Mike once again described why he doesn’t believe in orbs when it comes to ghost pictures and the importance of keeping an open mind when talking to people with extraordinary claims.

Then we talk with Carol Mills on how she grew up in a family of atheists and had never even been interested in the paranormal until the loss of her dog, Jake, who she calls her spirit animal soul mate. It was Jake communicating with her from the other side that led her to believe that she was sensitive to spirits that wanted to communicate with the living.

From there, we talk about how she senses spirits and other entities and doesn’t ever sugarcoat the messages that she receives. She does mention how she has been getting many dark readings as of late and we discuss a little the war between the light and the dark for human souls. We talk about “in-betweeners”, entities that aren’t human but fairies and goblins that like to mess around with humans. She talks about her “ascension”, a word she uses for her evolution to someone who doesn’t believe to someone who can pierce the veil, and how her life changed when she started her business as a psychic medium.

Then we finish with a message for all the podcast listeners to “Stay in the light!” and we play a song inspired by the interview, “Ascension”.

Carol Mills and Psychic Medium Links

Carol Mills Psychic Medium Website

“Orbs Debunked!”, Troy Taylor 

“In-Betweeners and Others”, Photoblog on Carol Mill’s website

Song:Ascension by Sunspot

The dark and the light they want you.
everyone competing for your mind.
Your mind.
You can see things like no one else.
you’ve got to leave your friends behind.
Behind.Your life’s no longer a bore,
Secret wars and hidden doors,
you’ve found.Opened your third eye to see,
thrown back the veil of secrecy,
unbound.Ascension,
Ascension.
You’re an X-man now.
More than a human now.

Ascension,
Ascension,
Ascension,
Ascension.
You’re an X-man now.
More than a human now.

31 – Live from Little Rock, AR: An Interview with Linda Howell of Haunted Tours of Little Rock

This week we bring you a special bonus episode, outside of our regular weekly release, because we had an exciting opportunity while en route to Austin, TX.  After leaving Alton, IL (see Episode 30), our next stop was Little Rock, Arkansas, where we had the pleasure of meeting and talking with local paranormal expert Linda Howell. Linda is the guide for Haunted Tours of Little Rock, which showcases the historical locations and stories of many hauntings in the area.

Linda is also author of the book Haunted Little Rock, which takes the reader on a self-guided tour of historical/haunted sites in Little Rock. It’s a wonderful companion to bring along if you want to see the sites on your own, but if you aren’t able to make it to Little Rock, the book paints wonderful pictures of the locations while telling the very interesting tales of ghosts and spirits who inhabit these places.

Mike is happy to see the Revolution's sandwich board with our show on it!
Mike is happy to see the Revolution’s sandwich board with our show on it!

The location of the interview was at Revolution Room, located in the downtown river market area, and very near the actual “Little Rock” where the city first originated.  Although it was quite gloomy and rainy outside, we found Revolution to be a warm and welcoming place for talking about the haunted side of Little Rock.

We really enjoyed talking with Linda, as she has an incredible wealth of information on the history and hauntings in the area, and is a wonderful storyteller with a very open mind. When you’re in Little Rock, make sure to schedule time for her tour… We definitely hope to someday!

Mike and Wendy with Linda Howell of Haunted Tours of Little Rock
Mike and Wendy with Linda Howell of Haunted Tours of Little Rock, following our live interview