Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012--Y'all!

The answer is "no, I have not received a kiss on New Year's." Perhaps that is why I do not celebrate. Too many disappointments. I'd rather go to bed and just make the new year roll in without any promise of romance.

I wish y'all a happy celebration, as I realize many people stay up and get drunk and go out and party and such, so please make it home safely and get that kiss--but make it count. Not just anyone will do. Kiss the person you hope to have throughout 2012 with you.

Talk to you in 2012.

The Birds

(My homage to "The Birds" in my home)

Life is a weird chain of events.

In 1961, man started a housing boom in Monterrey, California and in his hastiness, there were leaky septic tanks that infected plankton that fed the fish that birds caught and ate. This created a toxic situation in which the birds were dying and disoriented and flying into buildings. This set of circumstances, along with Alfred Hitchcock wanting to top his last film, "Psycho" and having read a story by Daphne du Maurier about birds attacking a Cornish family, he saw an ideal vehicle for a new movie that would become one of the best thrillers of all time and I put it in my top 5 movies of all time, "The Birds."

At first, Hitchcock tried mechanized birds, like remote control planes, but these looked very fake. After much work with optics specialists, new techniques were utilized, awards were won, and the movie came across surprisingly real for an early 60s film. The mechanical birds were used in a few small pieces in the film, like when the birds swayed inside their cage on the car ride, but otherwise, filming techniques and real birds made this amazing movie graphically real. They also had to subdue the happy sunny colors of Bodega Bay to get the proper atmosphere. There is something to be said about Hitchcock's tenacity and desire to suspend reality and give the proper amount of mood and atmosphere.

So, had man not been in a rush to build new housing in Monterrey California and had Daphne du Maurier not written a story of birds attacking an isolated farm, and had Hitchcock not have done a super hit in "Psycho" and wanted to top it, none of this would have come together.

So, the next time your day gives you nothing but bad shit, just remember--from shit comes compost--from compost comes healthy robust growth.

Blogs That Caught My Attention in 2011

I'm a Bigfoot F-R-E-A-K. I like my men tall and hairy, what can I say?

My serious BF hangout has become Bigfoot Evidence. The comments that go back and forth are crazy interesting, edgy, angry, and hopeful. I never know what's next on the news reported there or the things people say. I totally love it--very addictive. If you don't follow it, you're missing out a hugely fun place to comment!

I am also a huge fan of North American Bigfoot with Cliff Barackman from my new favorite show, "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet. I might have a wee bit of a crush on him. I'm not sure what it is, perhaps the Oregonian feel, the wise eyes, the intelligence, the outdoorsy nature....

I am also a werewolf freak and a bit of a closet shaman-type. The blog The Wolf's Eyes has my attention and I never miss a post. This author is highly intelligent, spiritual, and seriously respectful of all things wolves and shapeshifting. Perhaps it's the romantic in me, but this blogger seriously knows how to create a world I'd love to occupy.

I was an English major and can write everything, except poetry, but that doesn't stop me from admiring the hell out of those who can write it and the most exceptional new poet I follow is at Memento Mori. You cannot read any of her poetry without walking away feeling like someone peeked into your soul.

This photography blog, Cory Piehowicz is just as odd and quirky as my mind. I might have a blogger crush from afar.

I enjoy peering into someone's world, especially when they have a great sense of humor. My Own Private Idaho is hilarious and a beautiful insight into a wise old soul's life when he is thrust into Idaho after being raised in California. He's so out of place and yet making it work.

It's been a zombie year for me and I really found a fun place in Zombies Everywhere. In fact, after hosting the Blogger Virtual Zombie Walk this year, I handed it over to him to manage and I know it's in great hands!

Another zombie freak who makes the most amazing items and soap (the hemp is awesome) that I totally adore, is the blog "It's on Random." She's adorable, fun, fresh, and gives me lots of stuff I didn't see coming! I'm just a big fan!

Dr. Heckle is a great getaway. He puts up hilarious pictures several times a day and lets the commenters just have at it with their wittiest caption.

"Bubba's Place" has cool photographs and witty poetry. He's a gracious host and you really feel welcome there. I love being part of the tribe.

Now, I follow the maximum, 300 blogs, and the ones I really go to daily are on my blog list on the bottom left of the blog. Check them out, I obviously recommend them all.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Recap

2011--the first entire year since I was 21 in which I was not married. What did it bring?

6 books on Kindle and Nook (click Sharon Day books button on the left)
Trips to many abandoned places, ghost towns, haunted locations, and ghost hunts
Interviews for newspapers
A contract signed for a book going to print in April
My first dates since I was 16!
A TV news interview
A blogger virtual zombie walk event online
Participating in a zombie walk with 4000 people
Loads of new friends - a real tribe of supportive people
Growing the blog
Doing a radio show online
My first Bigfoot hunt
A vacation at a resort
Lots of new ghost hunting opportunities

Oh, hell, this is only a portion of the list!

My plans for 2012?

To be regularly published in print. I have lots of upcoming books:

"They Come Out At Night (A Book To Read By Candlelight)"
"Spirit Vessels: Why Some Buildings Are Haunted"
"Growing Up With Ghosts" - The story of growing up at Aspen Grove told by me and my family members.
"Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse (1960s)"
"Paranormal Geeks" (check out the button on the right hand side of the blog if you want to help me by letting me interview you anonymously for the book)
*Several fiction books including a SciFi and paranormal romances

I expect to grow the blog with a lot more news in the field and new research, some humorous pieces as always, adding in a lot more video taken on trips and in crazy places you may never want to visit in person. I'd like to try my hand at some 5-minute documentaries. I also would like to grow other paranormal realms on the blog from PSI to horror, Bigfoot to UFOs. I hope to conduct some interesting studies in 2012 in the realm of the paranormal and I will be sharing those regularly. Generally, I've come to know that you can't predict what I'll do next. Even I don't know! So, hold on tight and continue to be the best damn tribe of friends and inquisitive minds a woman could ever know.

Thanks for always being with me. The voyage is crazy and wild, scary and exciting, but I always feel safe knowing that y'all wish me the best. I promise to continue to pay that forward.

Foreign Horror Films: Which To Watch?

I'm addicted to Scandinavian horror. I know people who strictly like French or Australian. There is something about a culture's ability to present horror that brings something new and fresh to it.

Here's some countries and a sample of their horror films:


These are harsh, barren, detached and disturbing--

"Let the Right One In" (my favorite vampire)
"Dead Snow" (my fav zombie)
"Sauna" (my fav drama/horror/historical)

"Troll Hunter" (one of my favs of all time!)


These are gothic and atmospheric, sexy and forbidden--

"Deep Red"
"Black Sabbath"



These are usually legend-driven and spirit/technology related--

"The Ring"
"The Grudge"
"One Missed Call"


These are gritty, rough, psychologically draining, harsh, and repentant.

"Wolf Creek"
"Lake Mungo"

"Long Weekend"


These are fast-paced, rough, stylish, and have a twist --

"Switchblade Romance"
"In My Skin"


Honestly, if you tend to like indie horror because you're sick of the milked down crap the big studios do--definitely go foreign! It's like finding hardcore porn after watching "Red Shoe Diaries" continually for years. It kick-starts your love of horror all over again with novel approaches, new settings, and faces you don't know from a zillion other films.

Bats! Bats! Bats!

Bats are mammals. They are of a grouping called Chiroptera (hand/wing). Can you believe bats make up about 20% of all mammals? Bats are good for eating insects and for pollinating plants. Even though they are beneficial, they still freak people out, worrying they'll fly into their hair. The smallest bat is about an inch, the largest is about 4 feet.

When I was a kid, we had bats behind our shutters outside our windows. The squeaking would keep us up at night. My mom got the brilliant idea to relocate them. She had my brother and I hold a blanket out, she took a broom, lifted the shutter out, swooshed them into the blanket, while they were flopping around, we closed up the blanket and took them to the barn to let them loose again. That is a harrowing experience I do not want to relive, a few times they flopped onto our shirts and heads. We were lucky we didn't get bitten. My mom had lots of great ideas, like burning the trash inside the house in our fireplaces. She once put an aerosol can into the fireplace and we came home to find the fireplace all blackened with soot and my mother's eyebrows burned off. My favorite experience with bats as a kid was tossing rocks in the air at twilight and seeing how accurately they could chase them. I've been on several ghost hunts that included bats flying around while investigating. So long as I'm wearing a hat, I don't mind. With as much hair as I have and everything that falls into my hair getting tangled, that is something to make me shriek during a hunt. Actually, the only thing during a hunt that would make me shriek!

In the mood for a movie? ("Bats")

If you are scared of bats, just take a look at this and see if you don't go "aw...."

On an up note, there's a whole different bat worth watching....

The Philip Experiment: Ghost Creation

In the 1970s in Canada, a group of parapsychologists created an unusual experiment (video here of show about it). They believed they could make up a fictitious ghost with a story about a life that never existed and concentrate on it enough to produce ghostly results created by expectations and the minds of the people participating, all of whom were not known to be psychic. Here was the story they devised:

Philip was an aristocratic Englishman, living in the middle 1600s at the time of Oliver Cromwell. He had been a supporter of the King, and was a Catholic. He was married to a beautiful but cold and frigid wife, Dorothea, the daughter of a neighboring nobleman. One day when out riding on the boundaries of his estates Philip came across a gypsy encampment and saw there a beautiful dark-eyed girl raven-haired gypsy girl, Margo, and fell instantly in love with her. He brought her back secretly to live in the gatehouse, near the stables of Diddington Manor - his family home.
For some time he kept his love-nest secret, but eventually Dorothea, realizing he was keeping someone else there, found Margo, and accused her of witchcraft and stealing her husband. Philip was too scared of losing his reputation and his possessions to protest at the trial of Margo, and she was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Philip was subsequently stricken with remorse that he had not tried to defend Margo and used to pace the battlements of Diddington in despair. Finally, one morning his body was found at the bottom of the battlements, whence he had cast himself in a fit of agony and remorse.

The group eventually was able to produce table rocking, rapping, and more activity, but no actual apparition. It was considered a success and subsequent experiments were done using other fictitious people.

So, what was happening? Was it PK (psychokinesis--movements created by thought)? A latent psychic ability giving rise as the group worked together to one goal? Was it possibly the attracted another spirit by concentrating? We can't make any conclusions. Had the evidence been, say, an EVP of someone saying "I am Philip," we can't make any assumptions and, as I know from the ghost hunting field, even if it said "I am Philip" that could be projected from a person in the group or even something else using that name.

This is a tough field of study, but we are learning much from experiments such as this. I plan in 2012 to do a lot of unusual experiments in the field and we can work together on here, going over the findings and making some conclusions.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Paranormal Romance Novels

I used to write romance novels. I never got any published, but the problem with my writing was that I was very fixated on mood and atmosphere and dark and unusual characters. My editor said, "you should write horror," and so I made the transition. And then, years later, paranormal romance became a burgeoning category. I am working on some paranormal romances, but working to get my nonfiction out first. I am not without a lot of reading in the genre and I'm very finicky about what I like.

Here are my two favorite authors that I liked so much, I kept them after the divorce (the other 100 romance novels I had to keep me warm at night, I donated to some other poor woman who needed to believe there were passionate men out there).

Karen Marie Moning

"To Tame a Highland Warrior" is just one of a series of Highlander ones she did that are unbelievably raw, sexy, strong, mysterious, and so gratifying that, like mine, you will wear them down until the covers are barely hinged in place any longer.... As an adolescent, a young man runs away and is taken in by a kind clan leader who trains him to be a man, but the laird has a beautiful daughter who tags along this older teen and adores him from afar. He realizes he might have a family madness within him and leaves, vowing to never corrupt her with his family history of violence. What he doesn't know is the secret within - that he is a very special breed. Fate brings them back together and, well, he does not make it easy for her. I don't just give this book double thumbs up, I give it double yums up! There are many highlander ones in this series and all very awesomely sexy, but this is a very good one to start with.

Teresa Medeiros

"After Midnight" and "The Vampire Who Loved Me" are two books that aren't just "vampire" stories, but are about good and evil, family and bonds. They are ridiculously sexy, wickedly sensual, and take you to another world. I love these books because I can jump right back into the scenes in my head when I re-read them. I like these ones on a chilly night with some hot Earl Grey and a warm blanket.

I suggest these be the two you start out with. They are unbelievably high quality writing, sexy, virile, yummy, dark, and exciting. Then, move on to some of the new up and coming paranormal romance writers depending on what subject matter you love. Do expect that by the end of 2012, I should be releasing one of my own and being a writer of erotica and horror, expect it to keep you hot during the next Christmas snows.

Psychic Projections?

1966 Ted Serios a bellhop from Chicago claimed to be able to project thoughts onto Polaroid film. Interestingly, some of his best results were when he was drunk. This seemed to open a psychic pathway for him, some believed. By holding a Polaroid camera and focusing on the lens very intently, he was able to produce dreamlike pictures of his thoughts on the film; he referred to these images as "thoughtographs. Sometimes, the photos were all white, other times all black, and occasionally when Ted was drunk, an image would show.

The noted mathematician and magician Persi Diaconis was apparently paid to watch Ted Serios perform during which Persi claimed that he caught Serios sneaking a small marble with a photograph on it into the little tube attached to the front of the camera he used. "It was," Persi said, "a trick." When looking at the photos--it seems rather feasible when you see the rounded look of them and the fuzzy edges (below).

A psychiatrist named Jule Eisenbud. Eisenbud (1908-99) was a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado Medical School and a charter member of the Parapsychological Association; he wrote numerous articles on psychiatry and psychoanalysis based on his experiments with telepathy. However, his best-known (and only commercially successful) book was The World of Ted Serios: "Thoughtographic" Studies of an Extraordinary Mind (1967).

I recently purchased this book. You might ask, "why get a book about a hoaxer?" Well, how better to have a very open mind when investigating paranormal claims if you have a body of work to observe in which someone did perform a hoax? You need to know about the explainables (debunking) as you do about the unexplainables in this field. I am and always will be a skeptic first. What intrigues me about this case the most is that a drunken everyday unknown from Chicago was able to impress so many intellects in the field. This also makes me wonder if perhaps people who have a psychophysiology that is conducive to attracting spirit activity might actually affect Polaroid film. It would be interesting to see if such a burst is possible and if a person can affect film. I have no reason to think they can put their images in their head on film, but they might be able to create a strange overexposure. It might be interesting to even work on an experiment involving undeveloped film in a room where activity is known to occur and see if, like audio recording devices, an image can be laid down without using the camera.

Winter Reading: Weird USA

The book Weird USA: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman is a book that every one of my readers should have on his/her shelf.

There are also versions of this for the states, so look for "Weird Arizona" and "Weird Virginia" and all the other states too! If you're hoping to hit the road and see weird, scary, and insane places in your own state when the snow thaws, start planning now. I absolutely love this book series.

Did you know that...

In Neptune, NJ on Essex Road, long ago in the late 1800s families of albinos lived there, deep in the woods. The legend has it that they got sick of people coming and looking at them, so they started murdering them in a slaughterhouse.

The Melon Heads of Michigan: The story says there was a kid with a huge melon head and he got made fun of. The parents moved to the middle of the woods. They started inbreeding and hated society. They made a breed of huge-headed people who would make a high-pitched scream before attacking. It is said that if you go into the Allegan woods, you will find weird carvings in the trees, skulls, and pentagrams.

The book is filled with tons of local legends, mysteries, unexplained things, paranormal happenings, and the plain old weird and bizarre. It is not only super fun reading, but it's my take-along book when I travel. I like that the stories are short depending on if I'm waiting for a flight or sitting in a motel room and sometimes I get so inspired by a local legend, I have to go chase it.

I actually put this on my top 5 favorite paranormal reference books.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Stake Land" Reviewed

This 2010 movie was described as, "Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation's abandoned towns and cities, and it's up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent's New Eden."

I heard so many good things about this movie ahead of time and was anxious to see it. A darling man gave me this video and told me to see it. He and I have the same taste in movies, so I was not surprised that I would like it so much. It had a feel like "The Walking Dead" in some ways and "Jericho." I really appreciated the heartland feel to it, the narration by the teen boy, and the settings. It never felt like a set built to feel like an abandoned world filled with death. It actually felt like it was filmed in such a world.

Mostly, I appreciated that it made no apologies. There was no violence just for effect and the characters were so removed from the horror, that as a viewer, I too was removed. It was a very delicate dance to get that across without cutting the viewer off. We still felt a touch of care because of this boy narrator and that little island of hope and innocence he maintained for the carefree world he once knew. It had a unique take on an apocalyptic theme, taking the situation and showing the social implications in subtle ways, such as using vampire fangs as a kind of currency and way to show your power and ability in the new reality.

The directed maintained a good balance of action to narrative and you really felt that anything could happen. You could not predict the plot which I greatly appreciated. The insight into the kid's altered world at a critical time into manhood was brilliant. There was no better sex or age to make this main character. He was coming into adulthood with a need for an elder male's guidance, a new set of priorities, and the raging hormones, indecision and insecurity that made it the ideal point of view.

Of the apocalyptic movies I have seen (and there's a lot), this is in my top 5, most definitely. I highly recommend it! I saw two worthwhile horror movies in 2011; "Insidious" and "Stake Land." The only two that I ended up owning and that says a lot because I am really cautious to only acquire movies I know I will want to see again and again.

Mind Fuck: Death and the "Other" Dimension

I've talked before about heaven possibly being the fourth dimension and how in our 3-dimensional world, we draw on a piece of paper something we wish to build and then we build that in our 3-dimensional world. It is a prototype, a facsimile missing the extra dimension of depth. A 2-dimensional being, not having that depth perception, does not understand or comprehend our world. If we could pluck him from his 2-dimensional world out to look down upon his world, he would suddenly have a perception that would make his world seem rather shallow and lacking.

People in near-death experiences often explain upon returning to life that the other world was the real world and this one was shallow and empty in comparison. In the other world, they had light, colors and a sense of being one with everything that is missing in this scattered and seemingly unrelated world of 3-dimensions. Were these experiencers of NDEs momentarily plucked from our 3-dimensional world and allowed access to that viewpoint that shows our world to be a prototype, a facsimile?

If you don't mind me fucking with your mind a bit more--imagine this: If a photo is a facsimile of you and it is in the 2-dimensional world, then in the 3-dimensional world there is a you that the "you" in this 3-dimensional world is only a shallow facsimile of. In other words, you are 3-dimensional photo of your true self in the 4th dimension.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Brilliant Designs

It's hard to believe, but two years ago, my co-author and best friend, Julie, was wondering what she would do with her life. She was blogging, but not sure about the next step. Well, in those 2 years, she's developed her artistic skills and photography, grown her blog, gone on lots of ghost hunts and taken up urban exploration, published 2 books and signed contracts for 2 print books coming out and designed book covers.

Here's just some of what she's up to:
Her Blog
CafePress Designs for Zombie Housewives
Her Designs Business---need custom cover art for your ebook?
Her designs from her photography on wicked awesome CafePress Items
Her Etsy Shop with her crafts inspired by abandoned Arizona sites

I'm so proud of her. She is not only the kindest and funniest human being in the world, but super talented and successful. Check out her stuff and see what I mean. My "Sis" is awesome!

UFOs - Bigfoot - Ghosts

You can't be in the paranormal biz without noticing that others in the field can be proprietary, gossipy, backstabbing, and competitive. The same thing happens in the Bigfoot industry and UFO fields. But, when you put the three research groups together, you find something interesting--they often are not helpful to each other, even though they are not outright competitive.

Why is that?

There's some snobbery in each community. To a ghost hunter, the concept of aliens is ludicrous, Bigfoot would have been found by now. The only true unsolved mystery is the afterlife and phenomena which is reported more than UFO or Bigfoot sightings.

To a UFO researcher, craft from outer space has more evidence than any other phenomena and it involves governments covering it up. People are having encounters with researchers from other planets. That is as real as you can get. It is of this world and another world, but not the paranormal one, the universe!

Bigfoot researchers see chasing ghosts as a passive sport and based upon religious and belief systems about the afterlife. To them, often times, UFOs are nothing but known craft and unknown craft all from this world. Bigfoot is biological. It is something that could be caught and proven, unlike aliens and ghosts.

Interestingly, some open-minded researchers in recent years have been looking at an interesting trinity called "portals." This theory is that there are places around the world where for a limited time, sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures, UFOs and ghost lights and apparitions are seen all in one place.

I think it helps us all to open our minds to the other fields. I regularly follow BF and UFO researchers because techniques can crossover and events can occur simultaneously or in a certain region. It makes sense to help each other. I personally have experienced all 3 fields myself with experiences and they changed my attitude forever. No one area is a more worthy research avenue than another, but if we're lucky and we're supportive of information and conversations cross-fields, we can actually get a new perspective and we all win.

Designing Horror Vignettes For Your Home

I love being single, especially because my ex was not a horror person--at all! I can now let little bits of my horror tendencies out, along with other loves like gardens and Celtic/Nordic touches. Around my home, I have little vignettes to remind me of important influences. Here's just a few I put together and how....


I have spent a lot of time in cemeteries and I just adore their beauty and their mournful qualities. I had some garden statues of gargoyles and a cherub and celtic cross, so I put them up atop of a book case with some plants woven into them to make them look established, and I have a nod to cemeteries.

"The Birds"

The movie "The Birds" was my favorite horror movie of all time as a kid. The scene at the playground with the birds on the monkey bars I thought was the best single impact horror scene ever. I wanted to recreate that in my apartment. I took the old wood screen I found at an abandoned trailer park and put it in the corner of the apartment to help keep some of the extra light from coming in because I like to watch horror movies in my bright room, and I put a steamer trunk (from the same site) on its end with a plant woven into the screen to make it look like it's always been there, then lined up lots of black birds. The effect is stunning, especially when backlit during the day.

Instructions on how to make vignettes

If you love something, do not spread it all around. Like saying "I love you," it ends up meaning less when it's used too freely and all over the place. When you do a vignette, it should take up no more than 4-feet wide. The exception to this would be if you chose one wall for tons of pictures. If you do that, I suggest you either make the frames all the same and the mats all different or the mats all the same and the frames all different so that the eye travels around with interest instead of seeing a neat, orderly row of similar frames and mats and assuming the content. Also, considering mixing other things in with photos. In my home office, I have my book covers on canvases and mixed them with Halloween masks.

Try and make it fit in. If you're using a modern table but vintage old clocks, consider putting down a lace cloth. Add plants and rust to items to try and make them look like they've been there forever instead of having a shelf full of dolls that say LOOK AT US! Try and mix your dolls up amongst your stacked books on the shelves.

One vignette a room is enough. You will end up making a museum if you try to put clusters all over the room. They lose their impact, as well. If you think your vignette says who you are and is awesome, consider up-lighting it with can lights to really show it off.

Have fun with groupings looking for elements that integrate nicely. I had a mirror with rusted leaves and two sconces with leaves that were rusted which I hung in my dining room to show my love of autumn. I then took an autumn leaf from my Bigfoot hunt and dipped it in wax and hung it from the mirror and added two beautiful prints from Gothicrow that add to the autumn feel and show art that I adore. Now, my dining room is an autumn theme without screaming because it's a mix up that looks like I added things on over time.

Let me know what kind of vignettes you have around your place. I'm curious to learn what others are doing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ghost Hunting Equipment: What To Buy

Are you looking for a paranormal experience, not necessarily to enter the paranormal research industry? What you need is cheap and simple compared to the hunters. You actually have a better chance of encountering something if you carry just a few items and spend your time concentrating on your arena.

Rent a very haunted room at a haunted inn. Be sure you've done your research and heard what others have said, that the room is active. Don't go alone. Bring at least 1-3 other people so that there are plenty of witnesses and different personalities. Some people are simply "weird" magnets. And, some combinations of people are more attractive to activity.

You can always count on me to be brutally honest. I do not want to see people financing a bunch of wahoo's who think they have the hottest, latest, most important piece of ghost equipment.

Do not buy ghost apps for your phone, ghost boxes, anything that spits out random words or scans radio frequencies. It's entertaining but it has NOTHING to do with the paranormal. It is not worth it to buy EMF meters, unless you're looking for electrical issues. Do not worry about having night vision or even digital camcorders because your chances of capturing a visual are very low. If you are a betting person and you want the best odds--here's what you need:

1. Your senses. You need your full attention on your environment, its sounds, the movement of dark against traces of light, goosebumps, the feelings of being watched--all your senses working accurately and without distraction. Do not stare down at a meter that will not tell you if a ghost is there, but will only take you away from the task of having a paranormal experience.

2. Baby powder. Cheap. Simple. Low-tech. Sprinkle it onto a table top, place some light items, a ring, some coins, a pen, and you can even roll a piece of paper into a funnel and tape it closed, turn it upside down and place it atop the powder, but be certain that this does not move when the heater turns on and do not use the ceiling fan if you're doing this technique. I suggest you do this on a table as far away from where your group is sitting because that is a "safe" place in the room far enough away from you for mischief and also less likely any of you will forget and move something on the table. Sometimes, our senses aren't trained yet and we could miss the tiny scrape of something moving. If you put enough interesting things, including a folded dollar bill on the table, you might just find evidence something was there when you didn't hear it.

3. Jingly things--either a string with bells or a wind chime--place one each door of your room. An early warning device of doors opening and closing is a good thing. If you simply want to know if they opened while you slept, consider taping the doors when they are locked so if the tape unseals, you know.

4. Digital voice recorder. You can get these as low as like 34.99 for some models. Sometimes, when you are there, you will not have a damn thing happen to show itself, but if you have a voice recorder, there is every chance you might capture something you did not hear, something imprinted right onto the device. I would suggest that you go online and get the free program Audacity. It works quite well and makes it possible to see the sound wave forms and make alterations in the sound quality if necessary to hear it better.

Simple guidelines: Do not taunt. It's useless. Do talk amongst yourselves for a time to get the room "used" to you and make you more real and approachable. Include the other side in on your conversations like you would do a person at a party listening to your conversation. If you're renting a room, consider turning the light on in the bathroom and closing the door. When everyone is sitting around the room, anything moving within or in front of that slit of light coming out from underneath will be easier to see. Keep in mind too that you are likely to hear people in other rooms, outside, and in the hallway. As hard as it is, do not consider any voices, children screaming or footsteps from the hallway as paranormal, even if you swing the door open and don't see anyone. There is no way to tell, so you will have to just let that experience go.

I wish you luck and if you wish to add to your tools, I would tell you that it depends on whether you want to prove to others you experienced the paranormal or if you simply want to witness it, because witnessing it is free.

Well, I probably get asked the most by people wanting to ghost hunt, "what equipment do I need?" I'm so glad people ask. Why spend money on things that are not helpful or expensive and useless? Many in the industry (especially those who profit) will tell you what you NEED to hunt. You don't NEED a damn thing. You have yourself! The human body is still the best piece of equipment to detect ghostly activity.

First, I would ask you--what is your motive for hunting?

1. Do you want to have a paranormal encounter?
2. Do you want to prove to someone that their home is haunted?

If you answered yes to #1:
My suggestion is three things: Windchimes or a string with bells, baby powder, and a hand-held digital audio recorder (more on that below). You will never prove or impress anyone with any evidence you get. It can always be disputed and interpreted differently by different people with different motives and belief systems. The fact is that, if you run around with meters and cameras and are not sitting still, encountering your environment and noting changes, you will not have a paranormal encounter. To have an experience, I would suggest that you and at least one or two other witnesses, get a room in a haunted inn, a particularly haunted room. Consider hanging wind chimes on the doorknobs of closets and bathroom door and sprinkle some baby powder on your bedside table and place a few coins in it and see if they moved in the morning. Let yourselves settle down for the night and study the room in the dark. Why the dark? You can discern movement better when light is blocked and your pupils are fully dilated. If you buy one piece of equipment to capture something you might have missed, I would suggest a hand-held digital audio recorder. Olympus has some fairly cheap models you can pick up anywhere like Best Buy, et cetera. Go online and get the free program Audacity and use that to listen to the audio because then you are able to make adjustments if you need to and slow down, speed up, see the sound wave forms on the screen. It's very easy to use. The only reason I would say this equipment is good is because if you want to witness something paranormal, you may be there all evening and not have anything to knock you over the head and make you go "aha!" But, you can do an EVP session, still listening and looking around you, with no distractions and then go home later and listen to those recordings. In the instance of EVPs, they are another possible way to capture something that your senses did not. Then, you will have covered all the bases.

Chupacabra: Chalupa-cabra

According to the urban dictionary, a chalupa-cabra is a chupacabra who has an unnatural infatuation with mexican food, especially chalupas.

Get the Tee--hee hee! $16.85.

You can always join those hoping to have sightings at the Facebook page.

Now, don't you feel properly informed?

Best Movie Characters Ever

Quint from "Jaws"

Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean"

Miranda from "Devil Wears Prada"

Navin from "The Jerk"

Carrie from "Carrie"

Tell me some of your fav's.

Scary Real Estate

Here's just some creepy real estate. I never have wanted to live in a normal home. I grew up in a Civil War Hospital! I dream of the day when I can buy something not intended to be a home, something with a strange or dark past. Here's just some cool ones to consider if you're of the same odd bend....

A funeral parlor?

This sale includes two parcels. One is vacant and is used for parking buy zoned residential and is approximately 1362 Sq. Ft. and the other is 2,748 Sq. Ft. with a building on it that is approximately 5,552 Sq. Ft. The larger parcel is zoned C2A. Shown by appointment with the listing agent. Proof of ability to purchase required to showing. HUGE PRICE REDUCTION! SUBMIT AN OFFER! Also in Commercial. $799,000."

A Hospital?

Want a church for $45,000 in Pennsylvania?

Looking for a funeral home in DC?

Scary home?

An abandoned fort?

Ft. Carroll in the Baltimore area was built in the mid 1800s. It was left abandoned where wildlife took over and urban explorers.

An abandoned seminary?

Don't you see a lot of potential in this DC area National Park Seminary? According to WebUrbanist (I LOVE THAT SITE), The first buildings on the campus were built in the late 1880s, starting and an inn and followed by bars and gambling. More structures were added as the site became a finishing school for girls before the complex was converted to a military hospital during WWII. Though they are currently still abandoned as shown in the photographs above, developers plan to turn these unique buildings into housing units in the near future.

While your mind is on this tour, consider an abandoned amusement park, cemetery, or schoolhouse. If you can imagine converting it, it's out there for sale....

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sex and the Single Ghost Hunter: Falling In Love

I'm finding interesting realities about the way men and women fall in love -

A man can fall in love because a woman is beautiful and they had awesome sex and if she has a good personality, that's a bonus.
A woman can fall in love with a personality and if there is beauty and awesome sex, that is just a bonus.

A man can fall in love because a woman laughs at his jokes.
A woman can fall in love because a man can laugh at himself.

A woman can tell herself she's in love because she doesn't want to be alone.
A man can tell himself he's in love because he wants regular sex.

This is all still a mystery. I await falling in love at my ripe age. I still await a New Year's kiss I never got. So many things I missed out on. Mostly, just the romantic notion of having a man look at me with adoration and seeing him light up at the sight of me. I want to know what it's like to have someone tell me he loves me without having to keep saying it until he finally snaps it back at me impatiently or comments the dreaded, "luv ya" instead of "I love you."

I try not to have too many unrealistic romantic wishes at my age. It's not like I'm entering the single world fresh, young, and able to make a guy's head spin because his pants are getting tight. Most men my age are jaded, have had the love of their lives already, and the women broke their hearts.

I go up against the ghosts of their past, but who better than a paranormal investigator, huh?

I go at it like everything else, arms open, falling, catching the wind in my hair, and believing someone will catch me. It's worked when I left my miserable marriage. It worked when I built up my blog. It worked when I wrote and published books. Had I not believed I could have done any of those things and not tried, I would not be where I am today. I kept going even when the odds seemed impossible because in the worst case, I could stay where I was and in the best case, I could win a long-awaited love.

2012: The Year of ???

Everyone starts looking to the year ahead. There are a few ways we project that year.

1. 2012 is an extension of the patterns at the end of 2011. Doomed, continue to be doomed -- perhaps even MORE doomed.

2. 2012 is a clean slate - anything is possible.

I've talked about cognitive distortions before and it's true. Your strongest emotions come from cognitive distortions--beliefs set in your mind that are not based on reality, so emotions are not realistic or, in other words, not logical emotions.

1. The cognitive distortion above is "Because it's been this way, it will always be this way." That is obviously not true. If that were true, we would still be in elementary school. Even if you try to have the same day twice, you can't. Something always jumps into the mix and changes it.

2. This is a logical conclusion. Since we do not have the ability of prophecy (at least not with any testable accuracy), we cannot know the future. There is a chance of bad things and a chance of good things, but one thing we know is that it won't be all one or the other and the mix will be a balance and so it all works out in the end when you look at the graph curve and the median score.

Want to know some cognitive distortions? Here's a list of things that have no basis in rational thinking, but by believing them, we make ourselves miserable:

(taken from "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns, M.D.-- I consider it my mental health bible)

Mind Reading: Assuming what people are thinking. You can't know why people seem distracted or snippy. It may have nothing at all to do with you. Going from your ego and assuming it's about you is a vain position and will lead to hurt feelings.
Disqualifying the Positive: Someone says you're witty and you think, "They don't know any better." You continue a line of self-loathing.
Labeling: "That guy is a dick!" Once someone labels, they negate the entire human into one judgmental word. Labeling frequently leads to anger.
Magnification: You get a "b" on a final paper. "This is horrible!" It goes from not the grade you hoped for to the end of the world.
Should Statements: We "should" on ourselves and "must" ourselves. Where did these rules comes from? Why MUST we adhere to what we SHOULD do? This leads to rigid thinking and perfectionistic standards.
Emotional Reasoning: If you feel uneasy, there there must be a real danger. People who consider themselves sensitives and empaths often use this as if it's some kind of early warning system of something dangerous when in fact it's something else going on in the mind that led one down the uneasy path. You can have a sudden fatalistic thought and not even be aware of it and then you feel nervous and you don't know why so you look around you for a way to explain it.

I'm going to make a bet that everyone uses these, probably daily. Stop yourself some time when you get really upset, out of proportion to the situation and find out what you're telling yourself, which distortion do you have? The one I find people doing the most is the assumption that people should to the right things or consider them when out and about in the world. You get a lot of undue stress.

So, what is up for the year of 2011? Here's the truth--the actual events won't matter so much as what you make of them. You can adapt to new realities and go with the flow, get rid of judgment and "fair" and "unfair" and you will have an amazing and magical year because you will grow instead of digging in you heals. Lots of opportunities will present themselves in the next year. Don't hide from them, negate them, or belittle them. Shake their hands. 2012 isn't the end of the world. It's the beginning of new experiences.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Favorite Shows

Restaurant Impossible (Food Channel)

I love makeover-style shows. In fact, I wish there was a show where someone fat and neglected and feeling a lack of confidence takes control of their work, personal and physical lives and has a dramatic makeover and takes life by the balls and unsettles those who didn't believe in them. In Restaurant Impossible, I really enjoy seeing a restaurant getting a complete makeover from menu to decorating and reopening to happy customers. It makes me happy to see someone take something and make something better out of it. It also makes you realize why a helluva lot of restaurants go under.

Big Bang Theory (CBS)

This is just fun. I LOVE nerds! I love quick wit and dialogue and quirky people. This show is just everything I adore!

Finding Bigfoot (Animal Planet)

I know it's not "real" research and it's all edited to hell to fit the time period, but I love going in the woods with this adorable gang and their cranky sourpuss leader. I like to see them in the dark, listening intently, interviewing locals, and just pondering the mystery of Bigfoot. I find myself as compelled by the personalities as by the purpose of their voyage. And, admittedly Cliff is so cute, I just want to pinch his rosy cheeks and he runs an awesome blog.

Destination Truth (Syfy)

Josh Gates, in khaki's, traveling to insane places, spending the night, and yucking it up with the locals and his team--need I say more? Fun! Fun! Fun!

Two and a Half Men (CBS)

I liked the show before, but after a few seasons, I got real sick of the same routine over and over again. I didn't like Charlie Sheen's character being single and sleeping around and getting drunk all the time, nor did I like him in a relationship. It was just so one-dimensional. In comes Ashton and I suddenly love the show again. I love the dynamics of the precariousness of Alan's relationship with Walden. The only thing that would make this totally rock is if Alan gave up his job and worked for Walden as his personal assistant and used that to try and be popular with the gals.

The Biggest Loser (NBC)

I'm compelled to see people face their worst issues. You think their weight is their worst issue, but it's really what's going on inside their heads. To see these people do things they never imagined doing and living up to their potential and then coming out of it so changed, you can't help but be moved. And, damn, I have to admit, they all look amazing thin. It rather confirms the way seeing bone structure and muscles really shows the beauty beneath the skin.

The Walking Dead (AMC)

Take "Jericho" and "Dawn of the Dead" and you have the most awesome zombie show that could ever be created. I just adore this show and that it's willing to go graphic and rough and even kill off the good guys. They ended the last season, killing off a child. You just don't know what it'll do, but you have to find out what's next. The very best drama show I have EVER seen.

Quiz: What Natural Disaster Could You Survive?

It's quiz time again, my sweeties. Count your a's, b's, c's and d's and see which one you get the most of.

1. When it came to sports when I was younger, I tended to be...
a. Fast/sprinter
b. Sly/smart
c. Sturdy/strong
d. Cowardly/quitter

2. My dream vacation...
a. Mountains/snow skiing/snowboarding.
b. Beach/surfing/parasailing.
c. City/museums/culture.
d. Summertime/countryside/B&B inn.

3. I am NOT scared of this...
a. Tight spaces.
b. Water.
c. Falling.
d. Storms.

4. When it comes to safety, I tend to...
a. Follow rules and posted signs.
b. I notice things that aren't quite right and trust my instincts.
c. Run from anything dangerous.
d. I am prepared for emergencies.

5. In the middle of drama and emergency, I tend to...
a. React immediately without thinking.
b. I evaluate the situation and my resources and then act.
c. I stick it out and try to make it better, keep my stand on the matter.
d. I run away and don't confront.

Now, count your a's, b's, c's and d's and see which one you have the most of. Scroll down and find out what natural disaster you could survive!

a. Avalanche
b. Tsunami
c. Earthquake
d. Tornado

Friday, December 23, 2011

Those Questions We Most Want Answered

(**Don't miss it--the zombie gals have zombie holiday recipes up**)

Come on, if we had some omnipotent being at our beck and call, wouldn't we have a thousand questions we've waited to hear the REAL answer to? Here are some of the most asked ones people want to know the answer to. What are yours?

Is there a God?

Who made God?

Is Heaven a location? Where?

If someone dies at 99, does he look 99 in Heaven?

Is there an afterlife?

Are there souls all around us living people, watching us shower and have sex?

Is there life on other planets?

Are there other dimensions?

If I'm married to someone in life, am I stuck with them in the afterlife?

Are there pets in Heaven?

How did the universe begin?

How big is the universe? Does it end? And if it does-what's there? A wall?

Why did God design us?

Do aliens visit the Earth?

If I got one question, I'd have to be very detailed and specific:

"Does my consciousness and awareness of myself as a person and all my experiences in this physical existence translate into another form after the physical death of my body so that I am able to live in a death-less existence and still be conscious of what I was in this present world?" (Oh, come on, you know when people make genie wishes, they also get screwed for not being specific enough!)

Wanna Buy a Particle Accelerator Facility?

Do you have an extra 6-1/2 million dollars? Do you want 135 acres of Texas real estate complete with a 20-year-old facility built with the future hope of being a particle accelerator but never got completed? There are 8 buildings and 14 miles of underground tunnels. How much did your government spend on this debacle? A cool $2 billion. This from the same government who wants to relocate the Montauk Facility on an island off of Long Island to Kansas--testing chemicals and illnesses on animals that would be right in our heartland. Look what it did for Lyme disease? Oh, what a wonderful and tangled web they weave. If only they spend that money on researching tide power and solar power! At least we'd all still be healthy and have something to show for it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Neanderthal and Me!

Did you know that Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons interbred? The conclusion has been that Neanderthals were not a different arm of man, but were just another race of man. Europeans are the result of interbreeding and that delightful and special red-haired gene--

It's believed that early 1900s scientists interpreting the fossils of Neanderthal had a very biased and prejudiced interpretation of this version of man, seeing him as ape-like and brutish and a completely different divergence of man. Their stocky bodies were perfect for the cold climate in which they inhabited. It is estimated that 1-4% of modern European and Asian DNA is of Neanderthal origin. Pale skin and red hair might very well be a reminder.

Remains found in Gibraltar of a late version of Neanderthal shows the child to look like this -

(the new revised version of what Neanderthal looked like)

(Obviously, one of his descendants--Techno-viking)