I don't drink wine, but living in Northern California I still end up visiting wineries in Napa and Sonoma with friends and visitors. Next time we're headed on a wine tasting trip, I'm going to suggest we hit the spooky spots described in this Mysterious Universe guide to haunted California wineries, starting with this one:
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Sitting within the wine country of Sonoma, California is a winery called Bartholomew Park Winery, and it is imbued with quite a colorful past that perhaps makes it unsurprising that it should be haunted. In its days before putting out fine wines, Bartholomew Park Winery underwent several metamorphoses, being used at one time or another as a women’s prison, a hospital, and a morgue, before becoming a vineyard and winery in the 1830s, after which it was acquired by European immigrant Agoston Haraszthy, who also happens to have been the owner of the equally haunted Buena Vista Winery, which we’ll get to later. It then became the Hacienda Cellars winery, with the wine cellars being right there in the old hospital, going on to become the Sonoma Valley Wine Museum and then the Bartholomew Park Winery in 1992...
This rather grim past came back to haunt the winery in the 1970s, perhaps literally, when the body of a former prisoner at the old prison was supposedly found buried within one of the walls of the establishment, and the main building and its basement are situated right atop what was once the morgue. Since the beginnings of the winery there have been tales of employees hearing disembodied voices singing or whispering, as well as moving objects, roving cold spots, footsteps when no one else is around, and the eerie sound of a piano playing.
Welcome to 2018.
Here's an archived clip of ghost-hunting vlogger Moe Sargi having an oops moment. This peek behind the curtain was supposedly left in a now-removed original posting due to an editing error. The interesting thing, though, isn't the embarassment of a paranormal poseur, but the fact that the only consequence is a new layer of kayfabe: both his official twitter account and channel are currently "occupied" by an anonymous-style "hacker" character, Project Zorgo, who supposedly forced him to post the obviously-faked video.
Ah, but is it this the real fake Project Zorgo?
Millions of subscribers! The future of entertainment! The older you are, the more likely you are to bring something with you, cultural receptors from an earlier media age, that means this kind of thing (if not this exact thing) somehow manages to fool you. But Sargi's tween fans just want him to knock it off and go back to the spooky basement crawls. Read the rest
Paranormal investigator Christian J. Devaux of Tolland, Connecticut called 911 to report an intruder in his home. While on the phone with the 911 operator, Devaux fired two shots at the intruder. Police finally arrived but found no evidence of a home invader. Devaux claimed it could have been a ghost. From the Journal Inquirer:
Troopers also found problems with Devaux’s sworn statement, where he described firing the two bullets as warning shots that he intentionally aimed over the intruder’s head. Investigators found that scenario unlikely, however, after a ballistic analysis showed that the two bullets had punctured a wall in Devaux’s home less than three feet off the floor.
After state police uncovered even more inconsistencies — including shell casings discovered in front of Devaux’s supposed firing location — Devaux told troopers that “there are some things he just can’t explain, like seeing ghosts.”
Devaux then told state police that he has been a paranormal investigator for five or six years and most recently encountered an apparition at the former Mansfield Training School and Hospital, investigators said. Devaux said that while he did not want to be considered “insane,” he had to allow for the possibility that the intruder was of supernatural origin.
Devaux was "charged with illegal discharge of a firearm, making a false statement to police, second-degree reckless endangerment, misusing an emergency call, and disorderly conduct." Apparently he had made a similar call in 2011 and police turned up no sign of an intruder then either.
"Man charged with firing gun at ‘ghost’" (Journal Inquirer) Read the rest
This unbelievable video was reportedly captured earlier this month by CCTV cameras in Inner Mongolia's Baotou Railway Station. From Mysterious Universe:
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Is this a video of a ghost train? The comments run the gamut from definitely ghost train to an image from a parallel universe to a secret military cloaking train to a reflection in a window of a nearby train to a hoax. The Daily Express online says the last scenario is supported by debunker Scott Brando, who claims it’s a merger of two videos and dates back at least to 2012 to a railway station in not the Baotou Railway Station in Inner Mongolia but the Polezhaevskaya station in Moscow.
Caltech posted video of a stable plasma torus, created by engineers using water and a dielectric plate: "lightning in a bottle, but without the bottle."
In addition, engineers working with the plasma noticed that their cell phones encountered high levels of radio frequency noise—static—while they were in the same room as the experiment. It turns out that the plasma ring emits distinct radio frequencies. "That's never been seen before. We think it's because of the piezo properties of the materials that we used in our experiments," Pereira says, referring to the materials' ability to be electrically polarized through mechanical stress—in this case, the flowing of water.
They've got no idea what it might be useful for, but have already filed a patent on the method for genereating the torus. Commercial proposal: a pretty random number generator to replace the lava lamps in Cloudflare's HQ. Read the rest
Heather Dockray and a band of amateur queer ghost hunters rented Trump's childhood home on Airbnb and found some creepy stuff, which of course begs the question: were they non-professionals seeking queer ghosts, or were they seeking queer non-professional ghosts? Read the rest
You could be the next proprietor of the Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada. Packed with kitschy-creepy clown figurines, paintings, and mannequins, it's conveniently located next to a cemetery with the graves of residents and prospectors who died of a strange plague in 1902. Reportedly the ghosts of some of those folks haunt the Clown Motel. You could own it for $900,000 so long as you contractually agree that the Clown Motel won't shut its doors. From Mysterious Universe:
The greasepaint ghouls came from Leona and LeRoy David, a brother and sister who built the motel in 1985 and chose the site next to the cemetery because their father was buried there. They put their small collection of clown memorabilia on display and ran the inn until 1995 when they sold everything to Bob Perchetti, whose family has lived in Tonopah for four generations and most certainly knew the haunted history of the motel and its clownish contents...
Seven-year employee Marlena Dufour says she’s seen apparitions and moving mannequin hands and has heard disembodied voices. Dufur told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that a guest had a room key mysteriously disappear. However, it’s the clowns that cause the most trouble. While many guests come dressed as clowns and enjoy the experience, others have walked into the office and screamed or fainted.
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Rest in peace, Kosmo. Read the rest
Redditor Old_Gumbo_McGee captured a photo of this triumphant ghost escaping its lightbulb prison. And just yesterday, Linklightt posted the shot below of another specter emerging from a hot cup of Joe. Who you gonna call?
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We've posted previously about Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP), the weird sounds in electronic recordings that some paranormal researchers insist are actually voices of spirits. But I didn't realize that EVP is part of a larger genre of ghostly phenomena called Instrumental Transcommunication "said to occur on devices as varied as television sets, radios, computers, handheld devices such as ipods or iphones, and even fax machines," according to Mysterious Universe. In the 1970s and 1980s, one popular medium for these ghosts in the machine were television sets. (Remember Tobe Hooper's excellent 1982 film Poltergeist?) From Mysterious Universe:
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Throughout the 1970s and 80s the ITC phenomenon as it relates to TV really got its roots, becoming quite popular with researchers of the weird, and there were numerous supposed video and audio recordings of these TV bound ghosts at the time. The investigators in these cases claimed that this phenomenon had even been documented with TVs that were turned off or completely unplugged.
One of the pioneers of using televisions to try and pick up signals from the dead was a German ITC researcher named Klaus Schreiber, who used an apparatus that he called the “Vidicomin,” which used a video camera aimed at a TV set that was switched on but not attached to an aerial, and the signal looped the output from the camera back into the TV. This loop was said to produce dramatic results, with various faces apparently blooming out from the white noise on sets, and on one occasion an actress from Austria named Romy Schneider supposedly clearly appeared on a TV in one such session years after her death.
In 1960, parapsychologist Anthony Donald Cornell donned a bed sheet and attempted to scare an audience watching an X-rated film in a movie theater. Why? Cornell, a believer in ghosts himself, wanted to understand how people reacted during "apparitional experiences." Today at the BBC, University of Oxford experimental psychologist Matthew Tompkins explores Cornell's strange experiments and considers how his methods may have contributed to the study of "inattentional blindness." Indeed, the ghost in the movie theater experiment is not unlike Daniel Simons and Christopher Chablis's classic "Selective Attention Test" from 1999. If you're not aware of that experiment, the video below is a must-see. From the BBC:
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For Cornell, the experiment was another failure. None of the audience reported anything remotely paranormal. Many saw nothing unusual at all: 46% of the respondents had failed to notice the Experimental Apparition when Cornell first passed in front of the screen, and 32% remained completely unaware of it. Even the projectionist, whose job was to watch for anything unusual, reported that he had completely failed to notice the apparition. Those that did see ’something’ were not particularly accurate in their descriptions....
For me, these failures to see are by far the most exciting part of the experimental series. The pleasure of reading Cornell’s original reports, which were published in 1959 and 1960 in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, is that he writes in matter-of-fact academic prose. He dutifully reports numbers and exact quotes from participants, and walks the reader through the details of his experimental designs without a glimmer of apparent irony.
Last week, a motorcyclist tragically died on a highway near Stanton, Kentucky. A fellow nearby, Saul Vazquez, snapped a photo of the scene from his truck and was surprised to see what appears to be an apparition floating above the deceased. Vazquez posted the image on Facebook but when reached by Lex18 news reporters would only say that "the photo has not been altered."
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The world's most famous haunted house, 108 Ocean Avenue (formerly 112 Ocean Avenue), in Amityville, New York is on the market again. This is the Dutch Colonial home where in 1974 Ronald DeFeo, Jr. killed six family members and, four years later, George and Kathy Lutz and their children reported that they were terrorized by evil demons. Their story became the basis for the Jay Anson's 1977 book The Amityville Horror, director Stuart Rosenberg's 1979 film adaptation, and a slew of crappy sequels that followed.
Listed at $850,000, the five bedroom, 3.5 bath home on the Amityville River includes a large boat house and slip.
According to the realtors, "There've been four owners since the murders, and none of them ran out of the house screaming, and there were no strange experiences [such as murder.]"
If I bought it, the first thing I'd do is reinstall the demonic pig'e eye windows.
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For $1.5 million, you can be the proud new owner of Westland, Michigan's Eloise Complex, a building that started in 1839 as a poorhouse and has served as a tuberculosis ward and insane asylum before closing in 1984. During the Great Depression, it had as many as 10,000 residents. Oh, did I mention that it's haunted?
The main five-story building is 150,000 square feet wile the site contains a 19th century fire station, decommissioned power plant, and two maintenance building. Bonus, it backs up to an eighteen hole championship golf course!
Here's the real estate listing.
"Own a former mental asylum" (MLive)
"Haunted Former Mental Asylum For Sale in Michigan" (Mysterious Universe)
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Brandon Hodge has a world-class collection of ouija board planchettes and other devices for talking with the dead. My favorite Fortean filmmaker Ronni Thomas shot this mini-documentary about Hodge and his magical museum. (Morbid Anatomy Presents)
And below, my favorite Ouija Board scene from a movie, "The Exorcist" (1973). Captain Howdy!
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Pol Clarissou's Lil Ghost Garden, made for the virtual pet-themed PetJam, is a pleasant desktop companion. I love the design of his ghost character, a sympathetic looming moonface whose shadow body trundles dutifully around what begins as a sparse garden. Read the rest
Search "haunted" on eBay and you'll find a slew of junk that its owners claim is spooked in some way. Usually, that invisible something extra will significantly bump up the asking price. Read the rest