Category Archives: Blog

Ghost Photo from St. Charles, Missouri

We’re always looking for cool ghost photos and this one was taken by a man named Edison Shaw when they were on a ghost tour in St. Charles, Missouri. Of course, I’m partial to ghost tours (my Madison and Minneapolis  haunted history tours will start again when the weather warms up!), but Edison was on the tour with his brother and when they heard the story about this particular building, they just took some photographs with their digital camera. Here’s the first one that they took, looks fairly innocuous to me.

IMG_0647

So, here’s where the fun begins, check out the window in the next photo that was empty in the first one.

IMG_0646

Okay, never mind the orb because, well, I don’t believe in them (the arrows were added in the photos that were sent to us.) But how about that window, huh? Yeah, these photos were taken in quick succession of each other, so what’s in the window, huh, what’s in the window?

whats-in-the-box

Indeed, what is in the window? Let’s get a closer look, shall we…

IMG_0645

This is from the blown up photo that they sent u. Now, it could completely be Pareidolia (that’s where you see familiar faces and shaped in things just because our mind is trained to see patterns and also to recognize people, that’s why we have such unique faces – and your cat, does not) but it sure looks like a dark figure with glowing blue eyes looking at us from the window – have the White Walkers crossed The Wall already and invaded St. Charles, Missouri?

White_Walkers

Okay, all fun aside, great ghost photo. Now, I talked to Edison’s brother and he swore that they don’t alter the photo in any way. They didn’t notice anything weird in the window at the time and it wasn’t until they were checking out the photo later and saw the  Now, I’m not saying there’s a ghost in there, but I am saying that there’s it sure looks like something or someone in that second photo that’s not in the first. And I totally when to go on the St. Charles, Missouri haunted tour now! Thanks to the Shaws for sending in the photo and their buddy Gary for sending it in the first place.

What do you guys think? Do you have ghostly evidence, EVPs, or photos that you’d like us to share, discuss, or talk about on the podcast? Then send it in!

RIP Angus Scrimm – The Tall Man and Phantasm’s Paranormal Influences

Actor Angus Scrimm passed away yesterday at the age of 89. If you’re a horror fan, then you’ll remember him as the evil undertaker, The Tall Man, from the Phantasm film series (the one with the flying silver balls that stick in people’s heads.) Number one, what an awesome stage name (he was originally born Lawrence Rory Guy). Number two, he was the one guy in the Phantasm movies that looked like he was some kind of an actor in real life. You can see why he was such a memorable presence in this supercut of his greatest moments from the highlights of the franchise (namely Phantasm 1 and 2).

Phantasm was mostly recently making the sci-fi news rounds because Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams mentioned how much that he loves the movie and that he created one of the characters (Captain Phasma) as an homage to the film, the character even wears a special reflective mirrored armor like the scary balls that fly through the air in Phantasm. Abrams also gave Scrimm a recurring role in his TV show, Alias, because he was a fan of the actor.

Not that the other characters and actors in Phantasm weren’t memorable and  didn’t give it their best shot. Especially Reggie Bannister, you just gotta love that guy. I still use the phrase “Hot as love” sometimes when I’m done playing a song.

Angus Scrimm’s late in life success in the horror genre was preceded by a long career in entertainment journalism as well as being a go-to guy for writing liner notes on the insides of records – which was a thing back in the day when people used to buy albums, and he even won a Grammy for his work in the music industry!)

I always heard that he was a nice guy at horror conventions and his dedication to the character even as the budgets of the Phantasm sequels started getting less and less. So, I’m raising a glass to a life well lived.

I celebrated my eighteenth birthday with my first meal as a full vegetarian, a trip to the adult book store (who knew that Al Bundy’s favorite magazine was a real thing?), and a viewing of Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead, so the series has always been close to my heart. My friends and I were big fans of the series in high school because we appreciated Reggie’s dirty innuendos, the gross-out horror of the flying balls killing people, the surreality of the filmmaking, and the mashup of (spoilers for a 37-year old movie) beings from another dimension that enslave human souls after we die.

The Tall Man’s most memorable quote besides bellowing “Boyyyyyyyy!” is “You think when you die, you go to heaven. You come to us!” which is a special kind of terror. You grow up your whole life thinking that when you die, you go to a  “better place” (unless you’re a Calvinist that just believes most people are going to Hell anyway). But Phantasm introduced to me the idea that maybe the afterlife wasn’t wonderful at all, that there is something worse than death, a place you could never escape where you were turned into a zombie Jawa slave for eternity.  A reimagining of Hell where The Tall Man took the place of Lucifer and owned you.

Now, that’s some scary business right there and in some of the world’s earliest cultures, the Afterlife isn’t fun at all. In fact, if you’ve ever studied the Epic of Gilgamesh (the world’s first action hero!) you’ll know that death to the ancient Sumerians meant unpleasantness for the rest of eternity. They feared the dead who “live in darkness, eat clay, and are clothed like birds with wings” and would eat the living if they escaped the Underworld.

In Maori culture in New Zealand, the bodies of the recently deceased needed to be brought back to their families immediately and rituals performed or the spirits might become angry and decide to bring more family members to the other side. 

So, while there might be an evolutionary advantage to believing in the afterlife, it doesn’t mean that we necessarily believe in a Heaven filled with naked angels strumming on harps, but also that Hell could be programmed into our primordial belief systems and it’s that antediluvian angst that Phantasm excels at accessing. In the world of the film, there is no “happily ever after”, The Tall Man is coming from another dimension to enslave the souls of the Earth and the main characters have to figure out how to stop him.

 

But interestingly enough, Whitley Strieber’s sequel to his book Communion (who in my opinion has influenced our modern views ideas of aliens more than any other creator) was called Transformation, which came out in 1988, the same year as Phantasm II. The main idea of Transformation was that the aliens that he claimed to have been abducted by all his life in Communion, were here in a spiritual capacity and not just a scientific experiment (and I don’t know if that would have been a relief to South Park‘s Eric Cartman or not…)

But in Transformation, the aliens are here and visiting us to help recycle our souls, which starts blending two formerly very different strains of paranormal belief into one (albeit Mormonism and Scientology have been doing this for a longer period of time, but Transformation is really when I got my first taste of it.) This mixture of aliens and an inescapable afterlife of servitude is what makes Phantasm such an mindtrick and it was all brought to life in such effective terror by the performance of Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man. Thanks Lawrence Rory Guy, for the awe-inspiring personification of a perfectly horrifying, yet ancient, idea.

Save The Mounds – Has The Entire Wisconsin State Legislature Never Seen “Pet Sematary”?!

So wherever you stand on the political spectrum we all know one thing, disturbing burial sites is a quick way to get murdered by something supernatural. In fact, it’s so common that there’s even a page on TVTropes.com about it. Everybody from The Brady Bunch to the family from Pet Sematary knows that you don’t mess with sacred burial grounds, of First Nations people or otherwise.  Wisconsin even has the largest concentration of burial mounds in the United States. So, doesn’t the legislature at least have Netflix or a MovieBox near the Capitol?

save the mounds
Sometimes, dead is better.

Obviously the Wisconsin State Legislature needs to start watching some horror movies because what they’re planning might unleash a whole host of terrors on the unsuspecting mining companies who they think they’re doing a favor for.

Not only are they disrespecting ancient sites that are millennia old but they’re also putting all the property owners and mining company’s employees lives at risk for the inevitable paranormal backlash that is going to come from the desecration of these sacred sites.

For the love of God, people, please watch Poltergeist. You can even watch the remake, Sam Rockwell doesn’t get all the love that he deserves anyway. He can play an everyman as well as a little kooky, do you remember Moon? C’mon, he carried that movie all by himself.

Save The Mounds
Hey guys, remember when we “verified” that there were no human remains before we took all that money from the mining company? Yeah, bad idea.

What this bill will do is let people much more easily challenge existence of human remains on burial sites that currently exist on their land and then be able to intrusively start digging into the ancient mounds in order to look for buried human bodies and if they can’t find any in their selective testing, then the burial site is taken off the register and the land is open for mining, development, whatever… Would you let someone dig up your grandmother’s cemetery to “verify that human remains” exist there? These mounds are the same thing as the cemeteries and you don’t just dig those up, out of respect, as well as out of fear of spiritual repercussions.

This isn’t about the culture war between Left and Right or Republican and Democrat, this is about respecting cultural and religious heritage (as well as saving innocent lives.) When they created the Catacombs in Paris (out of necessity, not profit), it was done with religious sanction by the people of the city. The Ho-Chunk Nation isn’t sanctioning this at all, in fact they’re actively fighting it. They’re scheduling a rally on Tuesday, January 12th at the Wisconsin State Capitol. If you can’t make the rally, you can also show your support by signing the petition.

And just for a final reminder, we all better watch this awesome Ramones video for their track, “Pet Sematary”. We need to Save The Mounds or this might be the last song a lot of innocent people will hear.

Martin Scorsese to produce biopic on Byron Janis, Paranormal Pianist

Now here’s some Friday news that gets me in a good mood.  The man who brought us Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese, is producing a movie based on the autobiography of pianist Byron Janis. Okay, I know you’re saying, “who cares?” because you saw The Piano and at about the time you saw a buck naked Harvey Keitel, you had seen all you ever wanted to see about people tickling the ivories.

But what makes this one special is that Janis’ autobiography was titled Chopin and Beyond: My Extraordinary Life in Music and the ParanormalJanis was an exceptional musician who was selected to perform in the Soviet Union in 1960 and brought cold Russian audiences to tears almost 25 years before Sylvester Stallone successfully ended the Cold War by defeating Ivan Drago. But not only that, he’s had lots of paranormal experiences.

His early playing career began with a strange attraction to Chopin (Polish Pride, where you at?!) and his music, but he even tells a great story of seeing Chopin’s death mask cry while he was having dinner with Uri Geller. Now that famous spoon bender always gets my Skeptic Spidey Sense going, but it was the 70s and Uri was ubiquitous on talkshows back then, so I can understand (hey, everybody likes hanging out with celebs!)

Anyway, Janis’ website even includes a recommended reading list for people that want to expand their knowledge on the subject, so you gotta hand it to the guy for his commitment to the strange and unknown. Much of his belief stems from his otherworldly connection with Chopin (everything from his aunt exclaiming that he looked just like the great pianist when he was born to discovering two unearthed pieces from the composer in 1967) and the connection that the Polish pianist often talked about  “other worlds.” That’s not the only connection that Chopin made with a living person after his death, but we’ll have to save that for a special podcast episode!

Whether the movie focuses on the paranormal aspect of Janis’ career or just on the music, I’m looking forward to checking it out. Scorsese has hardly let me down (except Shutter Island, who didn’t see that ending coming from a thousand miles away? It was like a well-directed but generic Twilight Zone episode) and I’m excited to see what they have in store for us.

Looking For Love In All The Weird Places… ParanormalDate.com

Good news, everyone! The Android and iOS apps for ParanormalDate.Com are live! What’s that? If you’re heard of things like JDate.com (for Jewish singles) or Christianmingle.com (for Gentile singles) then you kinda know what this is about already, except instead of looking for people who are the same religion as you, you’re more interested in their openness to new beliefs (or if they’re just into ghosts, aliens, conspiracy theories, etc…)

Nobody wants to be judged by their potential significant other for what they believe in and let’s say you’re a psychic medium, well, your first date with a Richard Dawkins-spouting atheist is probably going to be some kind of a bust. And let’s be real as well, if you can’t respect another person’s beliefs, you’re going to have a hard time staying in love with them.

Now, I’m a happily married man and not in the market for a love connection, but I decided to log in to the site to check it out and let you know what it’s all about.

paranormaldate.com logo
It’s hard not to love that motto…

Let’s start out with the tagline, “You Are Not Alone”. Clever, I like it. Makes you think about aliens, makes me think about Doctor Who, and it makes people feel that they’re not out there by themselves believing in fantastic things in a very ordinary world.

The questions on the profile are pretty straightforward, things like “What do you like to do for fun?” “What’s your favorite book or movie?”, and “Who is your greatest inspiration?” It only gets a little on the strange side when it asks, “What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?” So that part is like most traditional dating sites, I assume, so that people can suss out your common interests and see if they want to talk to you further.

The other parts of your profile are similarly straightforward, asking about your eye color, if you’re a smoker, drinker, vegetarian, etc…

There is an online diary where you can write journal entries for others to see and give a little more insight into yourself and where you are in life. That’s a good way to see what’s going on in the community, you can sort by age, but you can’t sort the diaries by location so you might be reading someone’s thoughts in California or New York and not necessarily close by. But this is the Internet, where long distance love happens!

If you’re looking to meet people in a more Tinder-like experience, then that’s where the encounters section comes in, and then you can start looking through people nearby and mark the ones that you’d like to meet.

The only paranormal thing I’ve really seen so far is the Astrology section and that’s where it gives you your horoscope for the day, which is nice, but not necessarily paranormal enough. Here’s what I’d like to see from a paranormal dating app and let me know if you’d agree:

paranormaldate.com
Hey, there’s Bigfoot waiting for his ride…

Being able to sort people by WHAT paranormal stuff they believe in 

I’m into ghosts, UFOs, meditation, and more, but when people start talking about crystals, giants, alternative histories, and the akashic records, I’m kinda rolling my eyes. Not saying that stuff isn’t true, just saying that it’s not something that I’m particularly into and wouldn’t necessarily want to date someone who is.

paranormaldate.com
What’s your sign, baby? You know that my Scorpio could fit perfectly in your Virgo…

Automatic matches by astrological sign or Numerology

Now I’m not the world’s biggest believer in astrology or numerology (I’m a huge skeptic on both of those things) but I do think that it would be fun to see “who the universe picked” for you based on those belief systems. They know your birthdate and your full name when you sign up (and they could ask a lot of questions about where you were born, the number of letters in your parents’ names, etc…), how about a feature that integrates that knowledge and helps select the kind of people that your sign would attract? Chinese restaurants have had the exact same placemats since I was a little kid and they could tell us that…

paranormaldate.com
And now I’ve made you hungry.

Local Meetups With Speed Dating

I know, I’d wanna go to these things just so that I could advertise the podcast, because anybody who’s on paranormaldate.com obviously might be interested in a listen but also so that people could meet each other in a safe situation where they might be more comfortable in a “mixer”-type situation. And can you imagine speed dating, just bring your own Zener Deck and if they can predict your cards, well, then you’ve just made a psychic match!

Hey, it worked for Bill Murray didn’t it? (And with Gwendoline from Charles In Charge to boot, yowza!)

Anyway, if you’re looking to meet likeminded individuals it seems like it would be fun, and we’re interested in supporting any kind of service that brings people together to talk about the unknown. We’re not the kind of people who would make a fake account just to troll others looking for love online, so we’re not going to get too deep into the site, but it looks legit (at least I didn’t see any Ashley Madison chatbots so far) and if you have any experiences with paranormaldate.com or have some hot love success stories, then we’d love to know about it!

 

Paranormal Stories You Might Have Missed While Watching Making A Murderer

Well, you were probably watching Making A Murderer over Christmas and New Year’s and I can’t blame you, it was riveting television of murder, law enforcement corruption, and class-based oppression that unfortunately happened in our home state of Wisconsin. But while you were signing that petition to free Steven Avery, the world of the strange didn’t just roll over and play (un)dead. Here’s some paranormal stories you might have missed over the Holiday Break:

Hillary Clinton UFOs
Look at that smile… does she know something?

The big story is that in her quest for the presidency, Hillary Clinton seems to be courting the UFO conspiracists now by claiming that “Aliens may have already visited Earth” and that she’s “going to get to the bottom of it”. Her campaign chairman, John Pedesta, former Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton is a UFO fan and in the past has said his biggest regret is not getting the disclosure that we’re all hoping for. So we know at least there’s someone on her team who cares (but who knows how much of that could be just disinformation…)

President Bill Clinton has spoken publicly about Roswell on a number of occasions because the 50th anniversary of the “crash” was under his watch. He’s claimed that they did look at all the documents from the time and it was just a weather balloon, that there was no alien crash there.

Well, at least they’re talking about it, but my personal favorite presidential UFO tale is still the noble Jimmy Carter, who sticks by his story of seeing something, even if he isn’t convinced about extraterrestrials…

The next big story has been making the Facebook rounds, that of an “800-year old cell phone” with numbers in cuneiform discovered in Austria. You might have seen it on Twitter or in your feeds over the weekend.

800 year old alien cell phone
Mork calling Orson… come in Orson…

Ah, but the truth is much more boring. Looks like it was a creation of German artists in 2012 and the photos of it, dissociated from the original art project started making the Internet rounds. It’s a heartbreaker if you love Ancient Aliens and time travel stories like I do, but don’t buy it!

This next story is more in the science fiction realm and it’s exciting! Japanese scientists have developed a device that can predict what words you’re about to say before you say them. They’ve traced words to the specific brain waves and it “reads” the brain waves and predicts the words.  While some sites have been talking about the potential for drones to be operated “telepathically”, I think it’s a lot more exciting for paralyzed patients, wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to help them talk?

In Doctor Who, their time machine, the TARDIS can telepathically read the minds of what the travelers are hearing and translate the language for them so that they understand. Now THAT is a sweet use for a telepathic machine. The Doctor explains that to Sarah Jane Smith in a great story called “The Masque of Mandragora” (and whaddaya know, you can watch the whole thing on Daily Motion!)

sarah jane and the telepathic tardis machine
Helluva mask there, pal…

Last but not least, here’s a my favorite conspiracy theory of the week. The Oregon wildlife refuge that was occupied over the weekend by a “militia” looking to protest the federal government’s treatment of private land rights. The protest was led by a guy named Ammon Bundy, whose father Cliven Bundy has been doing this kind of thing for years in Nevada. Now, whether you’re sympathetic to the protestors or not, doesn’t matter, because the theory that they’re actually government agents and his statements are designed to lure other extremist groups out of hiding to be captured by a government-led sting operation is so wonderfully bonkers that it’s a joy to behold.

We’re looking for links to weird news and any interesting paranormal stories that you might find (or write!) Just send them over to mike@sunspotmusic.com and we’ll check them out, analyze, and link to them here on the See You On The Other Side blog!