Throw some salt over your shoulder and enjoy this 1977 Encyclopedia Britannica short documentary, The Occult: Mysteries Of The Supernatural, hosted by Christopher Lee who famously starred as Dracula in a string of British horror films of the 1950s and 1960s. ESP, Kirlian photography, black magic, telekinesis... Oh, how I miss this particular strain of high weirdness media that was so prevalent in the 1970s.
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This summer on remote U.S. Forest Service land in eastern Oregon, cowboys discovered five, young purebred bulls dead, drained of blood, and their tongues and genitals removed with almost surgical precision. Who or what did this and why remains a mystery. (Insert "I'm not saying it's aliens..." joke here.) Silvies Valley Ranch has offered a $25,000 reward for information that could lead to answers. From National Public Radio:
"A lot of people lean toward the aliens," (Harney County Sheriff's Deputy Dan) Jenkins says. "One caller had told us to look for basically a depression under the carcass. 'Cause he said that the alien ships will kinda beam the cow up and do whatever they are going to do with it. Then they just drop them from a great height."
Jenkins says the cases have been tough, with little evidence and no credible leads.
On his whiteboard, he has a running list scrawled in green marker with the top theories. What's clear: It isn't bears, wolves, cougars or poisonous plants. Nor were the animals shot.
The FBI won't confirm or deny that it's looking into the multiple slaughters.
image: Silvies Valley Ranch
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Vivian Gomez posted the above home security cam video to her Facebook page. She writes:
"So I woke up Sunday morning and saw this on my camera and am trying to figure out...what the heck?? First I saw the shadow walking from my front door then I saw this thing....has anyone else seen this on their cameras?? The other two cameras didn’t pick it up for some reason."
Internet commenters insist that the mysterious creature is Dobby the house-elf from Harry Potter, but following Occam's razor, the simplest explanation is that it is an extraterrestrial.
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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.
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
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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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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In the early 1990s, Harvard psychiatrist John Mack studied hundreds of people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens and wrote multiple books about his research. He invited Chris Carter to sit in on one of Mack's regression hypnosis session with a self-proclaimed abductee, an experience that Carter says informed his vision for the X-Files. Read the rest
Winona Ryder signed on as star of a forthcoming Netflix drama about the high weirdness, conspiracy theories, and paranormal reports around the Montauk Project, alleged US government experiments on Long Island involving time travel, psi-ops, and teleportation. 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
In my friend Ronni Thomas's latest short documentary, meet parapsychologist Dr. Stanley Krippner, who in the 1960s ran the sleep lab at Brooklyn's Maimonides Hospital where he tested whether sleeping subjects could experience a form of dream telepathy.
Krippner is loved by paranormal researchers, believers, and skeptics alike. He's been honored with lifetime achievement awards from the mainstream American Psychological Association yet ESP researcher Charles Tart says "Stan belongs on the Mount Rushmore of parapsychology. Krippner famously conducted experiments with Timothy Leary and the Grateful Dead. In fact, in 1971, he enlisted the help of the Dead's audience in trying to mentally transmit an image to a sleeping psychic 45 miles away. Irvin Child, the late former chair of Yale's psychology department, wrote in the American Psychologist journal that he believed "many psychologists would, like myself, consider the ESP hypothesis to merit serious consideration and continued research if they read the Maimonides reports for themselves." Krippner's career is mind-bendingly weird and amazing.
"Transmitting Thought: The Maimonides Dream Lab: A New Film by Ronni Thomas for Morbid Anatomy Museum Presents!" Read the rest
Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram, known for kidnapping hundreds of school girls, are fleeing their forest hideouts to escape "mystical bees" and "mysterious snakes" that are physical manifestations of the people they have killed. Read the rest
At The Awl, Matthew Phelan created something wonderful: the text to go with a fake cover article from The Atlantic, "The Politics Of The Next Dimension: Do Ghosts Have Civil Rights?", that appeared for barely a moment during a montage during 1984's Ghostbusters.
Until the beginning of the current fall semester—when Columbia University abruptly shuttered its psychology department's program in paranormal studies—Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz and Dr. Peter Venkman had been conducting research into extra-sensory perception and recurring manifestations of what they call vaporous apparitions and psychokinetic activity. "Psychics, ghosts, floating stuff, to the lay person. But to us it's way more technical," Dr. Venkman explains, half ignoring me as he rifles through the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet, then fixing me with a cold stare. "Stuff floats for a lot of different reasons."
It'd be neat if The Atlantic quietly slipped this into their archives. Read the rest