Friday, June 29, 2012

Number of the Beast

 It's FRIDAY!  Have a laugh, courtesy of Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State!

OK, we all know that 666 is the number of the Beast, but did you know that...

670 - Approximate number of the Beast
DCLXVI - Roman numeral of the Beast
666.0000000 - Number of the High Precision Beast
665.9999954 - Number of the Pentium Beast
0.666 - Number of the Millibeast
/666 - Beast Common Denominator
666 x sq. rt (-1) - Imaginary number of the Beast
1010011010 - Binary of the Beast 6
1-666 - Area code of the Beast
00666 - Zip code of the Beast
1-900-666-0666 - Live Beasts! One-on-one pacts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute.
Over 18 only please.
$665.95 - Retail price of the Beast
$699.25 - Price of the Beast plus 5% state sales tax
$769.95 - Price of the Beast with all accessories and replacement soul
$606.66 - Wal-Mart price of the Beast
$566.66 - Costco/Price Club price of the Beast
Phillips 666 - Gasoline of the Beast
Route 666 - Way of the Beast
666 F - Oven temperature for roast Beast
666k - Retirement plan of the Beast
666 mg - Recommended Minimum Daily Requirement of Beast
6.66 % - 5 year CD interest rate at First Beast of Hell National Bank, $666 -minimum deposit.
Lotus 6-6-6 - Spreadsheet of the Beast
Word 6.66 - Word Processor of the Beast
i66686 - CPU of the Beast
666i - BMW of the Beast
DSM-666 (revised) - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
668 - Next-door neighbor of the Beast
- Number of the Blonde Beast
uh... what was that number again?


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book Reviews: Things That Go Bump in the Night AND The Ghost of Elvis

Things That Go Bump in the Night is the 2004 Barnes and Noble edition of Brad Steiger's work originally published under the name, The Awful Thing in the Attic (1995).

Like the original title suggests, this book explores the concept of what attics can symbolically come to mean when it comes to the world of the unknown.  However, that is only a small facet of this book, which is packed with 176 pages full of various types of paranormal phenomena.

Steiger doesn't really identify himself as a ghost hunter or a parapsychologist; rather, he is a phenomenalogist, collecting stories of the strange and the unusual.  This particular work is a somewhat jumbled and strange mix of well known hauntings and poltergeist stories, but also includes a smattering of missing persons, ufology, and even a few personal experiences.  This was a quick read, well researched, and pretty thorough.  Its a great book for beginners into this field, as well as seasoned researchers looking for an entertaining read.


The Ghost of Elvis and Other Celebrity Spirits (1994) by Daniel Cohen

Daniel Cohen has more books on ghosts and hauntings than I can count, and they generally are pretty good reads.  This book is no exception.  While it is best suited for a younger audience, there are still plenty of entertaining and educational stories about the ghosts of some famous celebrities.  What I loved most about this book was that although there were a few extremely popular ghosts, like Elvis of course, many chapters gave much needed coverage on lesser-known ghost stories and more minor celebrities.  The short length makes it a great book to read in one sitting.

June's Paranormal Factoids

I usually try to share a collection of my favorite links each month, but this month I decided it might be fun to shake things up a little bit.  This month, instead of my favorite links, I'll be sharing a collection of random paranormal factoids that I've run across in my research.  Enjoy!

1. General George S. Patton Believed in Reincarnation

General George S. Patton, WWII military hero, not only firmly believed in reincarnation, but he believed that he was reincarnated over and over again into the military life of a soldier.  It is unclear as to when, where and why Gen. Patton developed this theory, but when asked about the subject by his nephew and biographer the General had this to say:  "I don't know about other people; but for myself there has never been any question.  I don't just think it, I know there are places I've been before, and not in this life."

Evidence of Patton's alleged reincarnation may or may not have occurred when he was a young soldier in WWI.  He was stationed at a tank school in France, and even though he'd never been there before, was able to pinpoint various points of interest, many known only to a few archaeologists, of an old Roman drill ground that once stood there.  Patton even expressed his beliefs in reincarnation with a poem which ends in the following verse:

So forever in the future,
Shall I battle as of yore
Dying to be born a fighter
But to die again once more

WV connection:  George S. Patton's grandfather, also George Patton, practiced law in Charleston, WV and was killed during the Civil War.

2. The Bell Witch and Other Poltergeist Craziness!

Since most people are fairly familiar with the Bell Witch Haunting, I thought I'd share a couple of facts that aren't as well known as the general summary of the story, but in case you need a refresher, check out THIS LINK:

     *An American Haunting was a movie about the Bell Witch that explored the theory that the cause of the
       activity stemmed from a possible inappropriate relationship between Betsy Bell and her father, John.  It
       appears that Dr. Nandor Fodor, parapsychologist, was the first person to present this theory as the
       cause of the manifestations.

    *According to a book written by descendant Dr. Charles B. Bell, the Bell Witch made several predictions
      concerning world events that came true.  The Bell Witch also predicted the end of the world by "rapidly
      expanding heat, followed by a mighty explosion."  No date has been given for this prediction.

    *One of the first manifestations of the Bell Witch was a sucking, lip-smacking noise described as an
      infant nursing.  This sound is often heard at the start of extremely violent poltergeist incidents, and is
      theorized as being a symbolic act of the poltergeist being "born" and suckling "nourishment" to grow.

3. Elvis--Seen: Dead or Alive?

Famous singer Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977.  Possibly the very first sighting of his ghost came within hours of his death when a local farmer spotted The King on his property.  The farmer, who knew Presley well, asked him what he was doing there, to which he replied, "I've come to say goodbye for awhile."  At that moment, the farmer's wife ran out to announce that she had just heard on the radio that Elvis Presley had died.  The farmer turned, and the image of his friend had disappeared.

But it seems that for every story of seeing Elvis' ghost, there are TWO stories of seeing Elvis as a living, breathing person.  The first incident of such seems to be a truck driver who picked up a hitchhiker, who later identified himself as The King. wasn't until 1987-1988 when the sightings really took off, beginning with a spotting of Presley at a Michigan grocery store by a lady named Louise Welling.  Tabloid papers picked up and exploited these stories, and further conspiracy theory provided plenty of "believable" explanations for why Elvis may still be alive.  The most popular theory was that Elvis was in the witness relocation program after he turned in some major drug-dealers.

4. Does Silver Kill Vampires?

Admittedly, this subject has a lot to do with seeing Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter this weekend.  Everyone knows that silver bullets kill werewolves...but does silver really kill vampires?  If so, WHY?

In the movie, Henry explains to Lincoln that vampires have an aversion to silver because silver is a cursed man's curse.  This mythos comes from the idea that Judas betrayed Jesus over a sum of 30 silver coins.  In his remorse, he returned the money, but apparently silver became an accursed metal for the damned.  Despite some um, minor, research into this subject, I easily found where in the Bible it states that Judas was rewarded the 30 pieces of silver, but as expected, not much about vampires, lol.

What I DID find, however, was a much older legend as to why vampires have an aversion to silver.  It begins with the popular mythos of the world's very first vampire, a man named Ambrogio, who, through a series of curses and blessings meted out by Greek god Apollo and his sister Artemis, became what we know as today, a vampire.  It was Artemis who was responsible for the punishment of silver burning the skin.  For history on this subject, I suggest THIS LINK.

For more paranormal fun, be sure to follow Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State on FaceBook!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Maine's "Wreck Island"

I love a great historical ghost story, and this tale from Maine is no exception.  Wreck Island is a small, uninhabited island located 4 miles SW from Friendship Harbor in Muscongus Bay.  Today, it is run by the state as a Wildlife Management Area.  However, it wasn't ALWAYS known as Wreck Island.

The island was originally known as False Franklin until that fateful night in 1768.  On December 4th, the Winnebec was en route from Boston when it was overtaken by a winter storm.  This was a time before lighthouses were built, and the ship smashed against the rocks, killing all eleven crew and passengers aboard.  Some local fishermen came upon shipwreck debris, and went to investigate, where they found the remains of the ship, and every soul on board dead.  Seeing as that the ship was still full of useful goods, the fishermen made seven trips out to retrieve any salvageable supplies they could. 

By the time the fishermen were done with retrieving the goods, another winter squall popped up.  The snow, ice, and high winds forced them to seek shelter on "Wreck Island" and spend a cold, miserable night.  The fishermen would soon learn that the elements would be the LEAST of their worries.

Fisherman Alan Page was the first to awake to a sensation of being strangled.  Through his half-frozen eyelids, he could see that his attacker was wearing the drenched clothing of someone who had been in the water...but bathed in a glowing white light.  One by one the other fishermen were awakened to a sensation of not being able to breath or being strangled...and each reported the same images of the drenched men glowing white.

Later on, it became popular theory that the fishermen were attacked by revengeful ghosts...the ghosts of the men THEY killed.  It was believed that the fishermen, short on supplies and cut off from access, saw an opportunity and took it, killing the crew and passengers of the Winnebec who were so close to death anyway, after their epic struggle with the sea and the elements.

Whatever the true history may be, the island is still a place of mystery.  It sees very little visitors.  Local lobstermen especially go out of their way to avoid the island, some refusing to even call it by its true name, instead, opting to call it Round Island, after the nearest town.  However, those who HAVE ventured to camp overnight at Wreck Island often report being awakened by the sensation of being strangled.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Paranormal Investigations, Hollywood Style

This kind of ties in with my previous post about "cinematic research."  While searching for inspiration for a new blog, I stumbled upon a photo on the Women Who Investigate the Paranormal's Facebook page...the Bill Murray one you see at the top...when I got to thinking about all the movies, good and bad, which feature paranormal investigators in some way. Suspension of disbelief is required for optimum enjoyment.

This post is less of a review thread, and more of a simple listing of some of the movies I am personally aware of on the subject.  If you'd like to add to the list, please comment below!

In no particular order here are five that come to mind right away:

1. Ghostbusters I and II--probably one of my first experiences with an actual movie involving ghost hunting (or parapsychology).  I still love these movies, and will watch them every time I see them come on TV...and I'm proud to admit, WILL quote certain lines where appropriate!

2. Poltergeist--this is another VERY early experience with parapsychology for me.  Even though there's a pretty gory scene that causes one of the researchers to flee the home in fear, I KNEW that this is what I wanted to do with my life, lol.

3. Death of a Ghost Hunter--even with plot holes, the cheesy acting and an audio track from the depths of hell, I still really liked this newer movie, and would recommend it.  If you're not familiar with this one, its about a group of investigators who investigate a "famous" haunted house.  And, as the title suggests, one such investigator becomes what she is searching for.

4. Insidious--This was actually one of my favorite movies in a LONG time!  It is on Netflix, so go watch it NOW if you haven't already!  You will have Tiptoe Through the Tulips stuck in your head for weeks, but its well worth it.

5. Grave Encounters--a televised group of paranormal investigators hunts for ghosts in an old hospital, and get more than they bargain for.  This one is also on Netflix...see if you can name the two most prominent REAL LIFE televised investigation teams that this team is modeled after, lol.

Obviously, some of these titles are more humorous than others...some intentionally, and others NOT so intentionally.  Similarly, some titles showcase paranormal investigators in a more positive light, while others embrace the stereotypical bumbling idiot image that is so often embraced in cinema, especially with the influx of televised paranormal shows.  Trends have gone from concerned groups of scientists with an interest in parapsychology, to fools running around with cameras in abandoned properties.  So what are some of YOUR favorite investigation themed movies?  What are some of the WORST?