Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 5 Blog Posts from Theresa's Haunted History!

Ghosts of the Past
It's almost New Year's Eve!  We've finally made it through another year and to commemorate the occasion, I thought it might be fun to share with you the most popular blog posts found on Theresa's Haunted History.  I'll give you a brief synopsis...followed by WHY I wrote the piece and why I believe it went so viral.  Hope you enjoy taking a second look at these particular entries that keep haunting me.

1. The Real Rose Red House--(Published May 31, 2011) I adore Stephen King's work, and one of my favorite miniseries was the Rose Red series.  Who wouldn't love the tale of a spooky house with a mind of its own, hell bent on destroying a team of psychic researchers?  Loosely based on several 'true' stories, including the Winchester Mystery House, the Rose Red story, unfortunately is false.  However, some awesome marketing with a book, The Diary of Ellen Rimbaur, a companion movie, and a well-crafted website, has served to confuse the hell out of people.

When I wrote The Real Rose Red House, my intention was simply to tell the true hauntings of Thornewood Castle, the home in Washington state where some of the exterior shots were filmed.  It has an interesting and spooky history all on its own, without the help of the movie's reputation.  But, all those people trying to find out whether or not the story is true seem to find my blog post!  I always know when SyFy or another network airs a showing because the daily stats for this entry skyrocket.

2. Buckley Family Murder--(Published October 5, 2012)  When a fake story accompanied by a doctored photo started making its rounds on the internet close to Halloween, I decided I had to find out the story behind it all and keep all my information in one handy link on my blog.  So, sorry...the Buckley kids did NOT murder their own mother on Halloween...the photo is an art piece.  Originally, most of my hits from this entry came from Facebook group pages as people were eager to share the creepy story.  Now, however, nearly all hits are coming in off of Pinterest.  This blog entry is obviously more popular around Halloween, but it still sees plenty of traffic throughout the rest of the year as well.

3. The Man with Two Faces--(Published March 26, 2014)  After American Horror Story released that its theme for the 2014-2015 season was to be Freak Show, I featured a series of blogs about some of my favorite human oddities, including Edward Mordrake/Mordake, who was said to have a second face on the back of his head that whispered terrible things to him at night, prompting his suicide at an early age.  Originally, the blog was well received, but things took an unexpected turn for the better when, lo and behold...Edward Mordrake actually showed up in a two-part Halloween special of American Horror Story! Although this entry is less than a year old, it skyrocketed to third place overall, thanks to people looking for additional information on Mr. Mordrake, and through a post on a forum about different mysteries that linked to my blog.

4. The Last House Standing--(Published March 20, 2014)  If you've been on Facebook over the past year, I'm sure you've seen the infographic about the little house that survived Hurricane Ike...because it hosted an exorcism there in 1988.  This piece of misinformation got passed around so much, that I felt compelled to blog about the TRUE story of The Last House Standing.  It couldn't have hosted an exorcism in 1988, because it wasn't even built then!  Every time I would see someone post the misleading photograph, I'd share a link to my blog. It's also quite popular on Pinterest for some reason!

5. Lake Shawnee--(Published May 23, 2011) Lake Shawnee is known as one of West Virginia's spookiest places.  It's a haunted, 'abandoned' amusement park-- straight out of a Scooby Doo mystery!  Featured on several shows and in many different articles, Lake Shawnee's reputation as one of WV's most haunted hot spots is becoming comparable with TALA or Moundsville.  I'm just glad that there was enough widespread interest in this location to ensure that an actual West Virginia topic made the Top 5 entries on my blog!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

FREE Parapsychology Course (January 2015)

The Rhine Research Center defines parapsychology as 'the scientific study of interactions between living organisms and their external environment that seem to transcend the known physical laws of nature.  Parapsychology is a component of the broader study of consciousness and the mind.'

It goes on to list the FIVE areas of study within parapsychology:

1. Telepathy-mind to mind communication through a means other than the normal senses.

2. Clairvoyance or Remote Viewing-knowledge of objects, people or events that are hidden via space or time.

3. Precognition-knowledge of an event that has not yet occurred, or information that appears to be transferred from the future into the present.

4. Psychokinesis (PK)-Mind interacting with matter at a distance.

5. Survival Studies-The nature of human consciousness and an examination of whether consciousness survives the physical form.  This includes mediumship research, reincarnation, out of body experiences, apparitions, and ghost activities.

Up until this point, the majority of my interests, and thus work, in the paranormal field have had a fairly narrow focus on Survival Studies, mainly ghosts, apparitions, and hauntings. However, in order to have a fuller understanding of my chosen focus area, I realize the need for a broader education of the entire parapsychology field.

Luckily, I found a wonderful, FREE opportunity!  Starting on January 5, 2015, the Parapsychology Foundation is partnering with the AZIRE to offer a free course entitled Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Theory. Hosted through WizIQ, this course will consist of over 22 video lectures running almost daily through February 14th.  A partial list of speakers has been published, and there are some interesting lectures, ranging from those geared to the beginner to those very specific to certain areas of study.  The majority of speakers are associated with the Rhine Research Center in some way or another and are noted in their field as being top researchers.

This link will give you all the information you need to sign up for the course: Parapsychology MOOC

I'm excited for this and I hope some of you will join me in this endeavor!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Tuesday: Best Christmas Ornaments!

This post is being published a little later than originally planned...I meant to post it right before Thanksgiving, but better late than never, right?  Anyway, I found this collection of awesome ornaments that any paranormal investigator or enthusiast would be thrilled to have hanging on their tree!  In no particular order...

Krampus, from Paranormal Books and Curiosities

1. Krampus:  Paranormal Books & Curiosities out of New Jersey is selling this delightful glass artwork for $14.95.  But who is Krampus and what does he have to do with Christmas?  Look for a Krampus post here on Theresa's Haunted History in December, but in short, Krampus is a beastly companion of St. Nicholas who pays a visit to and punishes the naughty children of northern Europe.  He arrives on the night of December 5, and for those who are particularly naughty, he takes them away to his lair in a sack.

Jersey Devil, from Paranormal Books and Curiosities

2. The Jersey Devil: Also from Paranormal Books and Curiosities comes this more traditional glass bulb ornament featuring New England's favorite cryptid.  This one is a bargain at $9.95.  I really love how elegant these look!  They'll definitely add a more subtle nod to the unexplained on your Christmas tree.

Bigfoot, from Toscano

3. Bigfoot:  This 2010 design from Toscano is a real work of art...and is one of the most festive Bigfoot ornaments I've seen on the market.  It's hand painted resin, which sounds pretty durable, and can be yours for $9.95.

Frankenstein by Hallmark

4. Frankenstein's Monster: Available as part of Hallmark's 2014 collection.  This Universal Monsters favorite is only $14.95 and can be purchased online or at your local Hallmark store.  As an added bonus, this particular ornament has a pretty broad appeal; paranormal enthusiasts will enjoy it, but so will literati and fans of classic horror movies.

Cthulhu, from Amazon

5. Cthulhu: This is a strange little Cthulhu ornament--it resembles more of a classic alien representation with a curly beard of octopus tendrils than H.P. Lovecraft's iconic creature, but its so cute and festive with its lil' Santa hat! Seriously, who wouldn't love that on the tree this holiday season? This one is being sold for $8.45 through Amazon.

Alien, from Bronners Christmas Wonderland

6. Alien: There are tons of awesome alien/ufo ornaments available from a variety of sources and at a variety of price points, but I chose this guy from Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.  He's made in Poland of high-quality glass, and costs $21.99.

Zombies, from Amazon
7. Zombie: What says Christmas more than rotting flesh hanging from the limbs of a pine tree? Amazon is offering a full set of 8 zombie ornaments for $34.95. These are from Tree Buddees and each brain-devouring fiend stands about three inches tall.

8. Mothman:  This one actually comes from my personal collection!  This was purchased many years ago at the annual Mothman Festival, and I haven't been able to find a similar one to share here.  Sorry for the terrible picture...this was a very shiny ornament and I was taking this photo at 3am, so no natural light was available, lol.

*Gotta throw a shout-out to the awesome blog, Ghost Hunting Theories.  When trying to find a particular photo for this blog, I realized that she'd already beat me to a paranormal ornament post, lol!  Check out that list at the link above.*