Tag Archives: haunted house

250 – How To Be A Paranormal Detective: An Interview With Greg Lawson

After serving in the US Army, Navy, and Air Force (I guess the Marines weren’t recruting that day!) Greg Lawson became a Sheriff’s Deputy and Mental Health Officer near Austin, Texas and has now been in law enforcement for almost three decades. In that time, he’s also pursued his interest in paranormal research, dabbled in acting, music, and has written several books, fiction and non-fiction on supernatural topics.

His new book is called How To Be A Paranormal Detective and it’s a how-to book hoping to help would be Mulders and Scullys in using the same skills he learned in trying to find the truth behind crimes to try and get the best evidence possible of paranormal activity.

Greg looking like a badass

In this interview we cover:

  • Some of Greg’s most peculiar cases
  • How he investigates a haunted place (lots to learn from this one!)
  • The importance of finding the terrestrial explanations first before jumping to paranormal conclusions
  • His work interviewing Roswell witnesses

The story from the interview that most affected me was the one Greg tells from his Pizza Hut Assistant Manager days about his employee that had a seizure right after saying “They’re here…” (you’ll love that one!) It’s fascinating and terrifying and we used that energy as inspiration for this episode’s song, “The Captured Soul”.

They’re here
they appear
they feed
on fear
and what they say you don’t need ears to hear

You’re beamed
to a dream
you’re frozen and can’t scream
your consciousness outside the atmosphere

There’s no escaping
hallucinating
you can’t run
from your fate
inside your mind

A prisoner locked in
trapped and forgotten
the captured soul
with a body left behind

You can feel
the unreal
your brain a spinning wheel
you know they’re there but you can’t reveal

Immobilized
Paralyzed
Delusional and hypnotized
There’s no one you can beg, none to appeal

There’s no escaping
hallucinating
you can’t run
from your fate
inside your mind

A prisoner locked in
trapped and forgotten
the captured soul
with a body left behind

219 – Buried Alive: 30 Hours In The Coffin Challenge

On October 21st and 22nd, Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts  participated in the Coffin Challenge at Six Flags Great America outside of Chicago, Illinois. What was the challenge?

  • Lay in a coffin for 30 hours straight
  • Only one 6-minute break per hour for the bathroom
  • Only be able to use their cell phones for 13 minutes per hour
  • Playing music and scaring the people at all hours of the night
  • Only six 15-minute food breaks throughout the 30 hours

Allison texted me about it a couple of weeks ago and she was incredibly excited to be part of it. 3000 people (including me!) submitted to be chosen for the coffin challenge and spend those 30 hours in the Northern Illinois cold in a casket. Six people were chosen and my sister made the cut.

It began at 1pm on Saturday October 20th and she couldn’t have started off any more stoked to be there…

Right around 2am in the morning is when things started getting unpleasant as the torture commenced. You see, to make it hard on them, the ghouls from the haunted houses at Fright Fest decided to keep them up…

And that’s where Allison started losing it. Sleep deprivation is a classic way of torturing people and making them want to give up, and we’ve seen it in fiction from Lost to A Clockwork Orange. This night she was tormented by the Six Flags workers as well as a little nightmare ear worm (as many beleaguered parents can attest to, including myself) called “Baby Shark”. That was put on blast for the coffin challengers from 3 to 4am.

So, did she make it? You bet she did. And in this episode, we talk with Allison about her experience and how she soldiered through the Six Flags Coffin Challenge of being buried alive for thirty hours. Also, we get some cool ghost stories from the Gurnee, Illinois area with Scott Markus from WhatsYourGhostStory.com (he used to work Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America himself back in the day!)

And that’s not all! We learn a little about:

  • Taphophobia – the fear of being buried alive
  • Famous people that were terrified of being buried alive themselves
  • Real cases of people being buried alive as late as 2015
  • Where the phrases “saved by the bell” and “dead ringer” come from

The Sunspot song this week uses the metaphor of being buried alive to talk about the ways that we can create our own “Cask of Amontillado” through lies and self-deception. When you lie, you have to pile on more and more in order to avoid being caught, and after awhile it just feels like you’re “Buried Alive”!

When your heart is sick from beating,
cuz this double life you’re leading
ain’t no fun.
You need to find your bearing
‘fore you’re staring down
the barrel of a gun.

Cuz every lie just builds on every lie
You’ve got a crypt but you ain’t gonna die
only as good as your latest alibi.
The more you struggle, the more you’re tied
left in a hole where you’ll never see the sky.

You’re buried alive

When your mind is tired of roiling
‘cuz the rope just keeps on coilinga
’round your throat.
You better find some kind of spin
or you’re gonna swim
the dead man’s float.

Cuz every lie builds on every lie
You’ve got a crypt but you ain’t gonna die
only as good as your latest alibi.
The more you struggle, the more you’re tied
left in a hole where you’ll never see the sky.

You’re buried alive.

 

104 – The Paranormal MD: Mary Marshall’s Quest Into The Unknown

We first encountered Mary Marshall at the Chicago Dark Shores Ghost Convention last year where she put on a presentation delving into the scientific investigation of the paranormal. She’s based out of Hoffman Estates  in the Chicagoland area (which I just wanted to mention so that we could all enjoy this picture from a Sunspot show in Hoffman Estates a few years ago.)

mike drinking 2 beers
$2 32 oz beers in Hoffman Estates. Now that was a helluva show!

While Mary isn’t an actual Paranormal MD (it’s a nickname) she does advocate a scientific approach to exploring the paranormal and has helped found paranormal studies classes at several colleges. We always appreciate a science-based approach here and another thing that I like is that they don’t charge money or offer exorcisms or cleansings.

That’s always been kind of my issue with a lot of paranormal investigation teams. Cleansings and exorcisms don’t really have any scientific basis whatsoever, unless you’re using some kind of psychological explanation for everything and are claiming that the ritualistic aspect of it makes people feel better. And that people feeling better can have some psychic effect on the space (an atmosphere of fear doesn’t usually contribute to a happy home.)

paranormal md
The Paranormal MD

Okay, so Mary Marshall the Paranormal MD goes into depth with us on several of her supernatural experiences, including her original encounter with an evil entity from when she was a teenager and a case of ball lightning that she experienced with her daughter. She elaborates on her latest adventures with us as she recently completed a DVD with our buddy Jay Bachochin from WPI Hunts The Truth where they explore Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine Forest, which is 100 miles of woods that have plenty of weird legends associated with them.

Jay is a huge Bigfoot fan and he and Mary describe their adventures like as “a dollar store version of Mulder and Scully on a dime store budget” and Mary gives us a preview in the podcast about what we can expect from the upcoming documentary.

When Mary shared with us her first experience with the paranormal she talked about how the room she went into had an overwhelming stench of sulfur (an element that smells like rotten eggs or skunk, and is often associated with volcanos.) In the Bible, sulfur is called “brimstone” and it’s a smell often associated with Hell and demonic activity. We thought that “Sulfur” might make a cool name for this week’s Sunspot paranormal music track.

it was the sulfur
it was the brimstone
it was the night
it was the blackness
it was the madness
when you lost your sight
there are moments that matter
there are fixed points in time
and what you do right here
will be with you to the end of your life.
be careful what you burn
and all you’ll taste is the sulfur
of how right you thought you were
be careful what you burn
and all you’ll taste is the sulfur
of how right you thought you were
it was the sulfur
it was the anger
it was the wrath
it was the vengeance
the lack of penance
you strayed from the path
there are moments that matter
there are fixed points in time
and what you do right here
will be with you to the end of your life.
be careful what you burn
and all you’ll taste is the sulfur
of how right you thought you were
be careful what you burn
and all you’ll taste is the sulfur
of how right you thought you were