Monday, January 16, 2017

Haunted eBay Items

Having been in the field for so long, I have quite a collection of haunted items. In the "old days" so to speak, such items weren't very desirable to most people. The paranormal wasn't part of pop culture and people who ended up with haunted or cursed objects just wanted rid of them.

Today, it's a different story. Several reality television shows have featured haunted objects. Everyone is aware of the Ed and Lorraine Warren collection that includes the infamous Annabelle, and there are museums devoted to haunted objects.

Because of popular interest, haunted items have become a business. On any given day, a check of popular auction site eBay will reveal an interesting selection of offerings. Many of them are of questionable origin. People buy based on faith or intuition, or perhaps just fascination. How, after all, do you prove on a listing that an item is haunted?

Haunted dolls are a category in and of themselves and make up a large portion of items usually listed for sale. So do rings and pieces of jewelry purported to have spirits or djinn attached to them. Aside from that, there are often more curious items that show up. Perusing current listings, here are some of the more interesting things currently on offer:

First up...well, I'm not quite sure what to call this exactly. As is typical in many of these listings, there are a string of key words in the title to draw attention and this one really tries to run the gamut. It's noted as:

'Satanic, Demonic, Antique, Rare, Haunted, Occult, Voodoo, Ritual, Black Magic, Djinn."

They must have run out of word count before they got to ghost, or perhaps more importantly, alligator because this item is actually some kind of taxidermy creation of an alligator's head with a crystal bowl. I'll let the description speak for it:

"The skin of what appears to be a small alligator encompasses a crystal or thick glass bowl-in which, bone fragments, ash and even incense could be used for ritual purposes. The presence of the skin serves as a summoning element that represents death, and with this, it became a powerful aid in numerous dark, necromantic rituals over the years.

This one has a buy it now option with the low price of $250.00 plus shipping. More info here:

Next up, a listing for a haunted key. Keys are another popular haunted item with numerous listings. This one in particular is from the Rogers Hotel Room 404 in Waxahachie, Texas. The listing opens like this:

"Authentic Haunted Hotel Room Skeleton Key and Fob Historic Rogers Hotel Waxahachie Texas Bonnie & Clyde Stayed Here!
Genuine hotel room skeleton key and fob to a CONFIRMED haunted hotel. room 404."

Now, like me, you probably read that and assumed that 404 was a haunted room and that Bonnie & Clyde stayed at the hotel. But reading a bit further down in the listing, we learn that yes, the 4th floor is reportedly haunted but there is no detail offered about room 404 itself.

We are also told at the end that:

"Frank Sinatra and Bonnie & Clyde are rumored to be past guest at the Rogers Hotel."

There's plenty of accounts of the hauntings at the Rogers so it's certainly interesting in that regard. Some digging into historical records may reveal whether or not some of these historical figures stayed at the hotel, but personally, for a price of $999.00, plus another 75 bucks to ship it (yes you read that right) I would expect this key to have been in Clyde's pocket the day they were shot.

If you're so inclined to bid, check it out here:

Next up, if you're looking for something more than an item to display on a shelf, then look no further than the haunted furniture section where you'll find this gem. Fair warning, you're going to need very deep pockets for this one:

Haunted Wolfe Manor Couch.

Featured in numerous ghost hunting shows, including Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. From the listing:

"...this antique couch was a hub of activity within the Wolfe Manor. A spirit laid on the couch and communicated with Zak, even to the point of verbalizing Zak's name.

It is truly a one-of-a-kind haunted couch."

On that matter, the listing is certainly accurate. Wolfe Manor has been torn down and this is one of the items rescued from it before the bulldozers moved in. This rare item can be yours for a mere $14,000.00:

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Native American BEK Encounters

Lon Strickler over at Phantoms & Monsters has just posted a brief piece about some BEK encounters on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The reservation, in South Dakota, is Oglala Lakota territory. It's a world that most people never step foot into. Steeped in history and tragedy, the reservation is much bigger than people often realize, covering an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Typically, Native Americans have a very different perspective on supernatural events due to their unique cultural worldview.

What's really intriguing about these accounts is that I have similar reports from one of the native reservations in the Southwest. Although I have not written about these accounts, I have discussed the topic briefly in a couple of interviews.

Additionally, I've recently received word of some encounters on yet another reservation in a different part of the country. Why the sudden rash of accounts of BEKs on Native land?

According to the report of Phantoms & Monsters, the BEKs that appeared on Pine Ridge asked to come inside, requested food, and during one encounter, asked for blood.

Read more here:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chimera Farms

How close is the world coming to creatures actually created in a lab?

Genetic creations, hybrids, it all seems to be rushing towards reality.

"We are not near the island of Dr. Moreau, but science moves fast. The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming, "I want to get out" would be very troubling to people."

 --David Resnik, ethicist for the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more in my new article, "Chimera Farms" in the new issue of Politics, Prophecy and the Supernatural available at:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Serpent Mound UFO Sighting

The Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio is a three foot high effigy mound. Though the site was first documented in the 1840's, much about it still remains a mystery. Originally, the mound was attributed to the Adena culture, but studies in the 1990's pointed to a much earlier construction.

The site has long attracted those who pursue the mysterious and some believe there is a possible Ancient Alien connection. The television show of the same name has in fact featured the Serpent Mound, drawing possible correlations between the ancient site and extraterrestrial visitors.

I received the account below from a witnesses who had an unusual sighting at the Serpent Mound. The encounter reportedly occurred in 2014. The sender chose to remain anonymous, probably due to the fact that the mound itself is a designated historic landmark and the park currently closes at sunset. Due to the sensitive nature of the site, no one is allowed on the mound itself, or on the grounds after hours.

"My girlfriend and I had heard a lot of stories from friends about the Serpent Mound and strange things going on out there. My cousin had told me that he'd seen a UFO himself out near the mound and we were really curious to see if we could spot one. We were out near the park one night, some friends of my cousin live out near it and the three of us decided to go in. Honestly I knew that we were not supposed to be in there but we didn't get on the mound or anything, we just walked into the parking area and we were sky watching.

We were probably only there about ten or fifteen minutes when we heard this weird buzzing sound. It was like an electrical vibration sound. We were looking all around and it sounded like it was coming from above us. My girlfriend was getting freaked out, she thought we were going to get into some real trouble. We went up to the little museum on the chance that the sound was someone there, but it was of course closed. 
The walkway from there leads over to the mound and there's a viewing tower right by the mound. That's when we realized the sound was getting louder and that's when we spotted the three orange lights. 

They were these three round balls of light and they were over top the Serpent Mound. From where we were, they were about the size of basketballs I guess, but it looked like they kept expanding and getting bigger, then contracting and getting smaller to the basketball size. This could have been a trick of light I guess because as we were standing there, these three orange lights were going back and forth over the length of the serpent. They were tracking the line that the serpent follows. They were all in a line and there was at least a couple of feet or more between them. They did this pattern a bunch of times, picking up speed as they went back and forth. We were all frozen to the spot watching and then my girlfriend made a sound. It was sort of a cry and gasp I would call it. It was weird because when she did this, the orange lights suddenly stopped in mid air, right around the middle of the serpent. It was almost like they had heard her. They just hovered there for a few seconds, then suddenly, they shot straight up into the sky. The went so high and straight up that in a second or two, we couldn't see them at all, they had faded into the sky.
We hightailed it out of there as fast as we could all swearing that we would never go back. It was exciting, but it was really scary at the same time.
The other thing I remember is there being a smell like burned air. We all felt like those lights were aware of us before they took off."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winged Creature Attacks in the Bronx: 1904

From reports published in the New York Times on June 22, 1904, we learn of a problem faced by policemen working a lonely post in the Bronx. According to numerous officers, a giant winged creature was causing so much turmoil that the location earned the nickname "the hoodoo post."

Some thought the creature was merely a large, aggressive owl, others were convinced it was something of a more supernatural nature. According to information posted in the Times:

Acting Captain Wilson of the Bronx Park Police Station last night asked the Superintendent of the Zoological Gardens to try to take into custody a big brown 'owl' for which the past three weeks has been scaring the policemen who were assigned to Post 16, which is one of the most lonely posts in the gloomy old Bronx.

For many days, it was believed that a winged demon had deigned to hover over Post 16, and the policemen who were assigned to duty there came into the old station in the Lorillard Mansion night after night with wonderful tales of what had happened on the hoodoo post.

Policeman Patrick J. Hickey said it was the most horrid thing he had ever encountered.

"It's not an owl, it's a devil with wings. Sure I know an owl when I see one, but no man ever seen an owl with wings six feet wide. And it "whooo's" like a ghost in a graveyard too, when it's not growling beneath its breath. Why men, he's no owl; he a devil; and I'm going to get transferred."

After Hickey was transferred, a German policeman was assigned to Post 16, which takes in Lorillard Lane. The German policeman had only been on the post an hour one night when he came running into the station house to report that he had seen the creature, shouting at his fellow officers:

"I've seen it! It had a stick on its claw, and it tried to smash my head. When I ducked, it ducked too, and I had to run behind a tree. I think it is supernatural, that's what I think."

Policeman Walter Kane was the next one assigned to the now infamous post but he put in for a transfer in a hurry after reporting that a strange, winged creature had knocked his helmet off while he was patrolling the lane.

Next up was Policeman Frank Campbell, sent to the Bronx station from a downtown Manhattan precinct. He was on duty on Post 16 for only two nights when he encountered something strange that flew down out of the trees and attacked him. Campbell had not heard about the other reports from previous officers on Post 16. He entered the station with his face scratched and his helmet battered in and wrote out his report:

"Shortly before midnight, encountered a dark, flying object with four legs and two wings, the beast attacked me, if it was a beast, and I fought back. Has the resemblance of a tall, slim man at times, and at other times assumes the form of a mountain dwarf."

On the night of June 21st, Julius Wensch, a resident of the Bronx, ran into the police station and shouted for help. He told Sgt, Appel, who was at the desk, that he had been attacked by something wild that "yelled like a tiger." He said the strange thing had carried away a young woman who was in his company, and he asked for police assistance. Policemen Ollet and Baker were sent to rescue the girl, and they found her running through Lorillard Lane screaming. She explained that a "wildcat with wings" had attacked her and had torn the feathers from her hat. The policemen went back to the station and reported that it was undoubtedly the big, brown owl which had been frightening policemen for the past three weeks. The acting Captain notified the Bronx Park folks and a squad of men were sent out to capture the thing at midnight.

Curiously, there are no further reports about this string of attacks. No record of an owl or any other creature being captured, or, of any further sightings.

What were all of these people encountering in the Bronx? Was it a devil as one officer proclaimed, or was it an owl, or even Mothman?
Perhaps there was a rational explanation, or perhaps it was something unearthly. Unfortunately we'll never know exactly what the creature was so we're left with a curious historical note of some unusual encounters.

Original sources: The New York Times, and Kate Massingill writing in the Magonia Exchange List.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Grinning Man and Floating Fish

I've always been intrigued by accounts of "grinning men," from my own encounter with one on a remote back road, (detailed in Strange Intruders), to the accounts collected by John Keel.

Although not as well known or as wide spread as other weird humanoids, encounters with these odd characters do seem to happen frequently enough to leave a collection of tales to ponder. Of course, as with a lot of other phenomena, many questions are left in the wake of these encounters.

Researcher Jamie L. Brian just sent me this transcription of a grinning man account from an episode of Ground Zero Radio. It's a brief report, but very puzzling. The report was given my a man named Clay who called in from Ohio to relate his childhood experiences with a grinning man. From his quick description, it sounds as if Clay suffered from sleep paralysis, and it's during these incidents that a grinning man appears:

"I'm 43 years old now. When I was a child, all the way up until I was in my early teens, I would have such fear [trying to sleep] that I could not move. I could open my eyes and there would be a man wearing big overalls and a big work shirt, you know, like a plaid type of work shirt. He had white-grayish hair. His eyes were like black sunken in holes and he had perfect teeth when he smiled. And when I would focus on him, he would float up through the ceiling.

And I would have this for many years, and sometimes there would be these, the only way I can describe them is, like black fish floating around the room when he came in. That's the only way I can describe them. Almost like black spots."

Original source: Ground Zero Radio with Clyde Lewis - June 21, 2016.