Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Collecting Vintage Paranormal Games


It was hard to grow up in the 50s, 60s, and 70s without running into some para-themed games. Some were the rage, others more obscure. What did we have to pick from? Here's a fun jog through our past and some items you can buy now if you want to complete you para geek memorabilia collection. 

I don't plan to just show you ones from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but also links to buy them now if you want a bit of your happy para-geeks memories! Enjoy


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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Face Off tonight on Syfy


Tonight on "Face Off" on Syfy - "Dressed to Kill." The contestants must design a stylish horror villain and the special guest is Clive Barker!




UFOs: What Happened at Shag Harbour?



October 4, 1967, a large object was witnessed by man to fall into the the water in a fishing village called Shag Harbour in Nova Scotia. The police and Coast Guard were called in to see what had happened. Eventually, the Air Force and the government chimed in on the investigation.

Almost a dozen people at just after 11 pm, witnessed this crash, reporting a low-flying orange lit object with a sound like a bomb whizzing by. 

It was such a reliable witness account that search and rescue were deployed. One group in a car said they could see something floating on the water. It was immediately considered a possible small plane crash.

Local boats were dispatched and a rescue team and yet no floating debris, bodies or other evidence of a crash was found in the water. Once it was confirmed, no planes were missing, the rescue search was called off. 

It was then labeled a UFO incident and underwater search planned.  Divers came in and dove for three days, reporting nothing found.

Canadian newspapers reported some dark object being hauled off and rumors began. It would seem that something definitely had crashed into the water, but why wasn't it found? The mystery remains today.

In retrospect, sorting through witness reports, others had reported four orange lit objects that night. One meticulous witness (a constable) expressed his take on what he was seeing - a 60-foot object with four lights on it. He reported that he then saw a yellow light moving slowly over the water and leaving a yellowish foam in its wake. It moved into the distance, diving under the water. This observation sounded rather purposeful instead of accidental. 

There is a phenomena called "USOs" which are "unidentified submerged object." These are UFOs that come and go from the water. 

In the height of Cold War paranoia, there was talk of a Russian plane and American involvement. Even though the story died out locally for a time, there was a nagging residue it left behind of unanswered questions. They found nothing? How could they find nothing when something was very evidently in the water? More meticulous interviews with the witnesses elucidated more details and some things that didn't add up about search and rescue.

For the most part, at the time period this occurred in the latter 1960s, it would seem that civilians and government workers alike were afraid to be attached to statements that might haunt their lives, their security and their careers.

Even after all this time, there are only two things we know for sure about this incident. 1. Something that was lit up, did crash into the water that night. 2. There seems to be information withheld into the true nature of what it was. 






MORE INFO:
Book - Dark Object: The World's Only Government-Documented UFO Crash 

More on the incident

Incident revisited


Monday, March 2, 2015

EVPs: Sarah Estep


Vintage Para Month - let's go back in time to someone who made early great strides in the field of EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon).  

Sarah Estep, a paranormal researcher, passed on to the other side in 2008. She now has the answers, no doubt, but it would not surprise me that, if one can get answers from the dead, she would work diligently to answer them.

In 1976, she made her first recording on reel-to-reel tape. Remember that scene in "The Changeling" when after the seance, the main character replays his reel-to-reel and finds out that the questions they asked during the seance were recorded, even though they didn't hear them at the time? A classic EVP session--a dream one, really, since the spirit answered all their questions and clearly, as well.


After reading "Handbook of PSI Discoveries," about recording the dead, Sarah announced to her family that she was going to ask questions of the dead and see if she could get answers on recordings. They thought she was being eccentric, but Sarah was driven. She had lost grandparents as a young child and felt there was no afterlife. She sought information on the paranormal her whole life, hoping to come up with an answer.

When Sarah instructed, "please tell me what your world is like," she got the class A (all listeners hear the same thing clearly), she was replied with "beauty." Over time, a male voice who identified himself as "Styhe" became a voice that presented itself for 10 years for Sarah. For years, she gathered recordings with exceptional results including other languages and even music.




When she first started out, she thought it was a fluke, sometimes it would be silent for weeks, then a series of replies again. She believed she got a wide variety of people answering including relatives and famous people. 


In 1982, Sarah started AAEVP (American Association - Electronic Voice Phenomenon). She published a newsletter and sought to share information with others around the world. She eventually published a book, "Voices of Eternity."

Although she passed away in 2008, Sarah left us with a legacy of wonder. She was driven since her childhood to answer the great question of where we go and she found a means by which she had a particular talent. If you are interested in listening to her recordings, you can find them on this page.


One interesting thing to take away from what she did is this; she didn't have to go to a haunted site to talk to the dead. The dead came to her. That is one secret many do not wish to talk about because we think very linear - we must be in the location we think the spirit would be "trapped" when, in fact, the spirit realm has utter freedom. You simply have to call upon them, as you do when you are in distress or visiting a family member's grave. You call out to them, and they come. 




Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pop Culture Paranormal Icons From Our Youth


I'm beginning the Vintage Para Month (covering all things paranormal from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s) with a posting about the Paranormal Icons of our youth. And, one thing we know is that we were born and raised in a paranormal milieu that created the para geeks were are today! (Enjoy some theme songs with the shows)

Vincent Price


With a tall lanky presence, charm, penetrating stare and distinctive voice, Vincent Price was well cast in every movie he chose to pursue. In his youth, he went to London to study fine arts and ended up theater.  He did not start out to do horror, but once in that genre, he found his niche and was one of the most beloved horror movie actors of all time. Some of his movies included; The Fly, The House On Haunted Hill, Pit and the Pendulum, The Last Man on Earth, and House of Wax. It is impossible to be in lov with horror and not have at least several Vincent Price movies we loved.




The Munsters


It's hard to believe that "The Munsters" show only ran from 1964 to 1966; talk about having a cult following! As a kid, I was comforted by the family because I often felt like the niece, Marilyn, who was "normal" girl in an abnormal home. Considering the scary haunted house on the hill I grew up in, I understood how the Munster family felt being the odd ones out, but they seemed to revel in their own monstrous joy, whether the outside world understood or not. This alternate universe that involved a home filled with the paranormal and horrors, shaped many of us kids growing up and seeing it was kind of cool to be dark. 




The Addams Family


This 1960s TV series featured a romantic offering of ghoulish delight, a family that was eccentric, dark, gothic, and enchanting. The Leave It To Beaver family could never compete with this odd mix. This series literally paved the way for the love of gothic, dark and dismal, especially when the beloved character, Wednesday, and her devious and torturing ways and overall depressive pallor won our hearts.


Jeannie


The series "I Dream of Jeannie" lasted from 1965-1970 and took advantage of our fascination with the space program as we were just first landing on the moon. What if one of our All-American heroes, a diligent and nerdish astronaut came across a bottle with a genie in it and found himself stuck with a servant for life that was bent on doing good for him, but only bumbled up his life even more? How many boys wanted Jeannie and how many girls wanted to be her? Come on, admit it, at some point you did rub a bottle and make a wish....



Kolchak



It doesn't matter what para-geek you talk to, you are going to get a comment that Kolchak was the equivalent of what X-Files Muldar was in the 90s as far as para influence and being glued to the TV set. Kolchak: The Night Stalker was a short lived series (74/75 season) with a serious cult following. This bumbling reporter driven to be in the right place and the right time to run across the paranormal and always manage to not get a clear picture, was our favorite and his cases were eerie and disturbing. There were no budding para geeks who didn't want his job (and his convertible).



Scooby Doo Gang


This para-themed cartoon ran from 1969 to 1976. During that run, a lot of para-geeks were glued to the TV screen, waiting to see if they would finally fine a genuine para event or just a butler wanting to knock off his employer. They were cool enough to drive a van, but young enough to be great heroes for youthful precocious investigations. It is perhaps one of the most collectible para shows from the past in which adults seek out any and all toys and figures as the identifiers of our para-geek transition as a kid into the love of ghosts and horror. 




Samantha Stevens


The 1960s to 1970s opened our minds to lots of alternative ways to live. No, TV wasn't ready to portray gay characters and men and women living together without benefit of marriage, but they were just fine with portraying quirky spooky families and women with strange witchcraft powers. Samantha Stevens just wanted a normal life with a normal husband in a normal neighborhood, but her history as a witch from a long line of witches made it impossible. And we loved every minute of it. How many of us tried to twitch our noses? 




Uncle Martin/Lost in Space


What do you do when a martial crashes in your neighborhood? Take him and pretend he's your uncle until he can fix his ship, right? Well, that was the premise of the 1960s show, "My Favorite Martian." Ray Walston and Bill Bixby were a dynamic duo trying to hide the reality of an antennae wearing interplanetary survivor. Come on, didn't you at some time try moving things around by pointing your finger and waving it?



Rod Serling


Rod Serling, the philosopher for us para geeks. "Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery" were just two of this brilliant writer and narrator's works. We could not miss an episode, but we almost surely watched it from under a blanket with our feet tucked up off the floor. Rod made us ponder our place in the universe, the arrogance of our self significance, and the very foibles of our egos that might bring us down when faced with a true enemy or challenging paranormal situation. He had mood, storytelling, tense acting, and moral lessons down pat! We still can't get enough. How many people indulge in the "Twilight Zone" marathons when Syfy Channel shows them?




Leonard Nemoy




We para geeks regarded Leonard Nemoy in the role of Mr. Spock as our intellectual hero, but when he moved into the 70s and hosting "In Search Of," we were certain this man understood our very souls. The series ran in the 70s and into the early 80s. It covered ever para subject that could whet our appetites. When the series came out on DVD in a set recently, people rushed to buy it, even at the cost over $100! This was really our first series of para info shows that made us want to go hunt answers.



Barnabas Collins/Dark Shadows



From the mid 1960s to the early 1970s, a soap opera of a new flavor appeared on TV. "Dark Shadows" got a great following who wanted romantic, gothic, with dark tones. Just imagine a dramatic soap opera version of "The Addam's Family." Barnabas Collins, the lead character, was a 175-year-old vampire. Although to some he might be an unlikely sex symbol, he had a following of swooning women who thought dark and brooding was h-o-t! 



Boggy Creek Monster



I still remember going to see "The Legend Of Boggy Creek" with my older brother when I was turning 10. In one scene, I jumped into the guy next to me's lap when the "hairy beast" was at the door when they opened it. I had never considered the concept of a hairy wild thing in the woods before, but right after that pseudo-documentary, I went out into the woods wearing a heavy jacket, gloves, and a football helmet, spending an entire summer looking for one. For most of us, this was a pivotal point of interest in Bigfoot and nothing was ever the same again. The movie showed us that, anywhere there was countryside, there could be the Tall Ones. The Fouke Monster became and overnight curiosity. 



Patty the Bigfoot




Although the controversial Patterson film was shot in 1967, today it is still debated hotly. The figure walking across the creek bed with swinging breasts appeared to be a female Bigfoot and fans lovingly named her Patty for Patterson's expedition. Many saw this film on release soon after, but for some of us, like us kids who didn't necessarily watch late-night TV, we were older when we saw it. For me, it was in the documentary "Mysterious Monsters" with Peter Graves and also on "In Search Of." It made everyone stop and think a moment. I still cannot imagine today creating a costumed person who could get anywhere near that appearance.




Uri Geller



This illusionist really took the world by storm by doing all kinds of interesting metal-bending tricks. He supposedly made watches stop and could tell about hidden drawings, and much more that made everyone ooh and ahh. In a time in the 70s when psychics like Jeane Dixon and others were the hot item, he became a sought after personality on variety shows, documentaries and public appearances. He ended up being a millionaire many times over and supposedly dowsed for minerals for mining companies. The legitimacy of his talents were disputed openly and honestly by magicians who showed how it was done. 



Erich Von Daniken 




Erich von Daniken had a sorted history including being jailed for embezzlement and arrested for falsifying documents and having no background in archaeology, but bringing forth a concept of aliens coming to the Earth long ago and proof of their technology in the ancient buildings and glyphs around the world. He was considered a pseudoscientist to many, but to others, he was a cult leader of a new era of questioning our origins. "Chariots of the Gods" shaped a generation in the 70s into seeing outside of evolution and creationism and seeing a possibility of the earth being seeded. No matter what we might think of him as a mind or as an upstanding citizen, he did make us look at archaeology with a new bend and for that many are thankful.


Betty and Barney Hill



Supposedly abducted by aliens in 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were the first to ever talk about the human-alien interaction process. They opened up a new era of perfectly normal suburban folks being abducted, examined, returned to their beds, and often times forgetting it until hypnosis. It nagged at the back of our minds for some time until more and more people came forward with their stories and it got harder and harder to ignore.

Casper the Friendly Ghost



Casper the Friendly Ghost and his buddy Wendy, were favorites of kids from the 50s onward. He didn't want to be a spooky nasty ghost scaring others, but he wanted to spread his happy ghost messages. Having a ghost like Casper around sounded like a pretty good deal to most of us kids. In fact, if ghosts were like that, we had nothing to fear, right?



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