Sunday, June 14, 2015

Back on Coast to Coast AM

Thanks to everyone who tuned in last night for my latest interview on Coast to Coast AM.  Guest host Connie Willis and I chatted for three hours.  If you missed the show, it was a wide ranging discussion on topics such as ITC spirit communication, haunted Virginia City, Djinn, Grinning men and much, much more.  Show archives are available at the Coast to Coast AM  website linked below.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Haunted Washoe Club

The Washoe club was built in the 1870s in the heart of Virginia City, Nevada.  It had private gaming rooms, offices and even a dance hall.  All designed to cater to the city’s wealthy elite, rich from the area’s mining operations.
There’s a long list of ghostly encounters at the Washoe club.  Apparitions have been seen darting through various rooms and standing at the top of the spiral staircase.  Phantom voices have been heard by countless people, objects move and odd sounds emanate from nowhere.

The first floor bar is still in operation, so you can sit and have a drink while admiring the bullet holes in the ceiling, another visual remnant from the building’s storied history.  Another reminder is “the crypt,” an area that, in the past, served as both the bar’s cold storage and an overflow morgue.  Virginia City was, after all, the wild, wild west.
The old building gained a lot of attention after Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures filmed at the location, capturing a full body apparition on camera.  The club has used the show’s popularity to its advantage, displaying a number of items donated by the Ghost Adventures cast, all on display in the Haunted Museum beyond the bar.

On my recent trip to Virginia City, I had a chance to spend some time in the Washoe.  The location is certainly an active one.  EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) are easy to pick up, and we had great success with communication devices such as the Frank's box and the GeoBox.

The interest generated over the last several years led the club to offer ghost tours on a regular basis, so you can now stroll through many of the building’s vacant rooms and listen to tales of ghostly encounters.  Even better, the building is also available for overnight rental so that ghost hunting groups can spend the quite hours attempting to collect evidence of some of the spectral residents. 
As a piece of western history alone, the Washoe club is worth seeing.  Restoration is ongoing and you can even “join” the Washoe club to get discounts on tours and events.

Special thanks to Bette Weimar for taking some time to speak with us about the club's history and the ghost alleged to haunt it.

For more information, see the site’s website below:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Muledeer Chronicles Reviewed

I always have an interest in books about Native American lore revolving around the skinwalkers, the deadly witches of southwestern tribes.  Over the last several years, tales of the infamous “Skinwalker Ranch” in northern Utah have made the term more familiar to those interested in the paranormal, but the lore has a long history among the tribes of the four corners region.

The latest offering on the topic is “The Muledeer Chronicles A Skinwalker Book,” by Erick T. Rhetts.  Rhett’s bio says that he grew up on the east coast of the United States and now lives out of the country, so he doesn't appear to have any direct ties to the southwest.
The Muledeer Chronicles purports to be a true account based on the journals of a Paiute Indian prospector.  The claim that it’s a true story has caused a bit of controversy with some other reviewers.  I’m not going to pass judgement on that aspect one way or the other, except to state that there are a couple of curious contradictions in the account if it is indeed a true tale.  One notable example is the Paiute author of the journals giving measurements in centimeters instead of inches.

That being said, I enjoyed the story and its integration of some small bits of skinwalker lore.  The book reads rather like the text version of a “found footage” movie, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it makes for a quick pace.  Coming in at only 80 pages, I can recommend it if you have an interest in all things skinwalker related and can detach from worrying whether or not it’s a factual account.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

UFOs or Earthlights?

May 7th, 1968.  Sanford, Colorado.
Town Marshal Felix Gallegos and his family witnessed a series of strange, red balls of light shooting up from the ground and into the sky.

Gallegos reported that he after he arrived home on the night of the 7th, he looked out the picture window and saw a red ball of light streak up from the ground and into the sky.  Seconds later, another similar object followed the same course.

Gallegos called for his wife and children to come over to the window, and they arrived in time to see a third red orb take off.  Gallegos stated that the object was...”in a straight line, headed south about six feet off the ground.”
While the Gallegos family continued to observe the area, they witnessed five more objects leaving the ground in a similar fashion.  Some went straight up into the air, others took off at about a 45 degree angle.

The Marshal believed that the objects were taking off from the Keith Morch farm, located about ¼ mile from the Gallegos home.
He telephoned Mrs. Morch who reported that she had also seen the objects, which appeared, form her vantage point, to originate about two blocks from her house. 

Did the witnesses observe some type of natural phenomena similar to earthquake lights?  While there are similarities, no further reports were made in the region at the time.  Similar glowing orbs have been reported in varied locations over the years, but the jury is out on exactly what they are.
Of note in this case is that none of the witnesses described an actual craft or object.  Additionally, an examination of the ground from which the objects appeared to have taken off yielded no physical evidence.

Also of note is that Sanford lies in the San Luis Valley, an area long known for a wide range of high weirdness including UFO reports and cattle mutilations.

The original report on this case appeared in the A.P.R.O Bulletin for July-August 1968.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Continued Growth of Slenderman

A horror movie based on the Slenderman web series, Marble Hornets, has been in the works for quite some time but has yet to see the light of day.  With all the attention on the disturbing figure over the past year (much of it the result of an attempted murder involving young girls) it was probably inevitable that more media outlets would jump on the subject.

Entertainment news site, Variety, has reported that Machinima, the Warner Bros. backed digital media company is partnering with horror writer Clive Barker for an upcoming live-action series based on the web series Creepy Pasta. 
Barker is best known for his creation of iconic horror stories such as Hellraiser and The Books of Blood.

The new series, titled “Clive Barker’s Creepy Pasta,” will bring horror fan fiction to live action and feature internet urban legends and memes such as the Slenderman and Ben Drowned from the site Creepy Pasta.
Countless news sites reporting this story are incorrectly listing Creepy Pasta as the origin point of the Slenderman mythos.  He actually had his genesis on “Something Awful” an internet based forum.

Since his creation, the figure has found his way into various forms of media, often, in a thinly veiled disguise, but the new series will portray the figure directly and derive it's story line from the internet tales.

Barker’s not the only writer currently being influenced by the Slenderman though.  The character, or rather, something very similar looks to be coming to Batman comics this fall.  Recent solicitations for upcoming issues reveals the introduction of a new villain, called “Mister Bloom.”  Cover images reveal a tall figure in a dark suit without human facial features.  Obviously we won’t know how similar the character is to the Slenderman until the stories hit the newsstands, but the physical resemblance is clearly present.

Slenderman, it appears, is not quite done spreading his horror.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Wolf that you Feed

Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned from one of my Native American teachers, was the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, despite anything occurring in life, or in the world around me.

This is a universal, spiritual concept that many people have trouble putting into practice.  Recently, someone asked how I worked at maintaining such a positive outlook, and I referenced the story of the battle of the two wolves.  After I related it, I was surprised to learn that they had never heard the tale, so I'm posting it here for any readers not familiar with it.

There are many versions of the short piece, most often it is related as coming from a Cherokee elder, but I have no idea what the true origins of the story are.

One evening, a Cherokee elder told his grandson that there is a battle that goes on inside every person:

"My son, inside each of us, there is a battle taking place between two wolves.

One is evil.  This wolf is anger, jealousy, self-pity, resentment, envy, sorrow, and all the negative feelings.

The other wolf is love, peace, serenity, compassion, generosity, kindness and all the positive emotions.

The grandson thought on this for a few moments, than asked the elder,  "which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The wolf that you feed."

It's a simple, yet beautiful lesson.  The wolf you chose to focus on, will dictate the nature of your day to day life.  Feed the negative wolf, and be an angry, bitter, miserable person.  Feed the positive wolf, and be a happy, balanced person who finds enjoyment in each day.

Remember, you're the only one who can feed your wolf.  Which one do you choose?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thanks Washington!

This is much belated due to all my recent travel, but thanks to another sold out lecture, this one in Washington, D.C.  Again, I really appreciate all the support and it was another great group of people.

We canceled the Baltimore lecture due to all the recent strife in that city and prayers continue to go out for all those suffering through the turmoil.

I'll try to post a few of the fantastic accounts that people reported to me at the two lectures.