Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Newsweek Bigfoot Edition

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

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

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ghostly Claim Leads to Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Paranoia Reviewed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cryptid Culture

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Haunted Wayne County Asylum For Sale

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

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

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

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

According to the HauntedUSA website:

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 16, 2015

Zebras on the Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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