Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Face Off on Syfy Tonight!

Tonight on Syfy's "Face Off" we will enjoy something very creepy - they are going to have to make antique looking doll characters. Fun!

Here's my creepy doll face 

Ed and Lorraine Warren

It's hard not to discuss the vintage era of ghost investigations without mentioning the married couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who became famous for their high-profile investigations and last word on hauntings.

Ed was a lecturer, self taught demonologist, and author and his wife Lorraine was a psychic medium/clairovoyant. In 1952, the couple opened up the New England Society For Psychic Research. The couple authored many books and went on many investigations. 

It was reported that they handled over 10,000 cases in their career, including the Amityville home, and many other notable locations. They covered cases of demons, werewolves, hauntings, possessions, you name it; the whole gamut of paranormal possibilities. 

Ed has passed on and Lorraine, a gentle soul, is in her retiring years after many decades of responsibility for people who are in distress and coming to the aid of troubled those in homes. 

The 2014 film, "Annabelle" was based upon one of their cases where some roommates believed their doll was possessed by the spirit of a little girl. The Warrens took the doll to put in their own family oddities museum, saying it was possessed by something inhuman. 

Interestingly, many of their cases were deemed as something evil, inhuman or demonic. And, coincidentally many of these cases went on to become films; "The Amityville Horror," "The Haunting in Connecticut," "Annabelle," "The Conjuring," and "The Haunted." If there was a voracious appetite for ghost stories in this vintage era, likely their cases sparked it. 

If you call in a demonologist for a case, they're probably gonna find a demon. That's my take on it. I am sure that for some clients, Ed and Lorraine offered comfort, though I'm sure that in a lot of cases they scared the bejesus out of them. I am always concerned about people who have a belief system in place and a business based on a particular belief, like demons, who go into investigations. 

Personally, I've never been a follower. There is a vast majority who admire and revere them as the final word on hauntings, however. I think that what they offered the public in this vintage era was what was available, something between spiritualist movement and church. 

What Ed and Lorraine offered to the field of research, it is that it's okay to go public and talk about these things, even if you might be ridiculed because open discussion is better than doing this in the dark. Given their belief in demons and the like, they were pretty fearless about entering cases head on, and for that they can be respected. 

They were investigators in a period of time in which open talk about ghosts was just beginning and they certainly paved the way for the concept of investigators who go in and evaluate a site. Their techniques or take on hauntings might seem rather vintage today, but no other couple will ever be in on as many intriguing cases likely ever again. It was a mixture of the right people at the right time.

Their books

**April begins a month of mixed para subjects and I'm kicking it off with some awesome posts - 
1st - Amazing Ancient Footprints Found Around the World
2nd - Portals: Severe Thunderstorms and Stunning Paranormal Phenomena.
3rd - The Face of Bigfoot 

Monday, March 30, 2015

1950s SciFi Movies

The 1950s was post WWII, when America was growing and succeeding, buying homes and cars and the youth were driving their own automobiles and gaining independence. Movie theaters were the great getaway, including drive-in's, and the boom in science from the discovery of splitting the atom, made people excited about the "magic" of science and also the horrors or "radiation." It was an ideal setting for over-the-top science fiction movies for couples to gasp and clutch each other and the movie industry to amp it up with 3D glasses.

*Descriptions from IMDB.

The Thing From Another World
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

The Creature From the Black Lagoon
A strange prehistoric beast lurks in the depths of the Amazonian jungle. A group of scientists try to capture the animal and bring it back to civilization for study.

The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

When Worlds Collide
As a new star and planet hurtle toward a doomed Earth, a small group of survivalists frantically work to complete the rocket which will take them to their new home.

The Day the Earth Stood Still
An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

The War of the Worlds
The film adaptation of the H.G.Wells story told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians.

Invaders From Mars
A young boy learns that space aliens are taking over the minds of earthlings.

The Incredible Shrinking Man
When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
A ferocious dinosaur awakened by an Arctic atomic test terrorizes the North Atlantic and ultimately New York City.

It Came From Outer Space
A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert, and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strange.

Donovan's Brain
Yet another version of Curt Siodmak's novel about an honest scientist who keeps the brain of a ruthless dead millionaire (Donovan) alive in a tank. Donovan manages to impose his powerful will on the scientist, and uses him to murder his enemies.

This Island Earth
Aliens come to Earth seeking scientists to help them in their war.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Aliens come to Earth seeking scientists to help them in their war.

American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast.

Forbidden Planet
A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

The Fly
A scientist has a horrific accident when he tries to use his newly invented teleportation device.

Sure, there were a lot of great 50s SciFi classic movies, but there were also some amazing b-movies of the genre that were so bad, they were good - a real cult following.  Here's some - 

Plan 9 From Outer Space 
Aliens resurrect dead humans as zombies and vampires to stop humanity from creating the Solaranite (a sort of sun-driven bomb).

Attack of the Crab Monsters
People are trapped on a shrinking island with intelligent, brain-eating giant crabs. Roger Corman directs.

The Crawling Eye
A series of decapitations on a Swiss mountainside appear to be connected to a mysterious radioactive cloud.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Chariots of the Gods

The 1968 book Chariots of the Gods sparked the equally popular documentary "Chariots of the Gods" in 1970. The impetus for this is a man named Erich Von Daniken.

Erich Von Daniken, who was a in the hotel industry and had a past marked with *run-ins with the law and incarceration, came up with an interesting and unique concept that caught fire and became the hottest new para-concept; that ancient technology and ancient art showed evidence of visitation by aliens from other planets.

His book was a huge seller and the documentary soon followed with equal fervor. In a world that had become jaded about religious texts and the rigid guidelines of the Bible, a young culture was ready to jump on this concept and help further it along, encouraging Von Daniken to come up with more and more and even more examples as he worked his way into the field of archaeology to expand on the hypothesis and create an almost cult-like excitement.

There are many who have made careers based on this alien visitation evidence (ancient alien theorists) and cite Von Daniken often. Ultimately, we can look at any ancient constructions and see what we wish to see. If we wish to see aliens, we will see aliens. If we wish to see Atlanteans, we will see Atlanteans. 

I, myself, tend to lean towards the terrestrial explanation of an earlier branch of man that had more time to cultivate his culture around the earth before Homo sapiens wandered the globe after exiting Africa. 

I believe, like any other speculation, it is an intriguing game of the mind, but no matter what we dig up or find, even our trained archaeologists cannot prove that conclusions are accurate. Things we thought we knew, shift and change as we get more information; such as Neanderthal was not stupid and primitive, but in fact had tools and knowledge, spirituality, advanced capabilities, and even bred with Homo sapiens. 

Chariots of the Gods was a breakthrough in a lot of ways for the culture of the 1970s. It made us question angelic visitations, potential ancient technology, and wonder about our origins with more open minds. For that reason, it has stood the test of time for being a trailblazer. 

Background -
*At the age of 19, Däniken was given a four-month suspended sentence for theft. He left the school and became apprenticed to a Swiss hotelier for a time,before moving to Egypt. While in Egypt, he was involved in a jewelry deal which resulted in a nine-month conviction for fraud and embezzlement upon his return to Switzerland.In November 1968 Däniken was arrested for fraud, after falsifying hotel records and credit references in order to take out loans[7] for $130,000 over a period of twelve years. He used the money for foreign travel to research his book.[5] Two years later, Däniken was convicted for "repeated and sustained" embezzlement, fraud and forgery, with the court ruling that the writer had been living a "playboy" lifestyle. He unsuccessfully entered a plea of nullity, on the grounds that his intentions were not malicious and that the credit institutions were at fault for failing adequately to research his references, and on 13 February 1970 he was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment and was also fined 3,000 francs. He served one year of this sentence before being released. 
His first book, Chariots of the Gods?, had been published by the time of his trial, and its sales allowed him to repay his debts and leave the hotel business. Däniken wrote his second book, Gods from Outer Space, while in prison.

Errors, omissions and plagarism - lots of different complaints about Von Daniken, enough to question his authority and insight on any matters in which he was not trained. Still, no matter the source of a new perspective, once we see something in a new light, it is hard to not see it. Von Daniken opened some doors to questioning science's take on artifacts and that is a good thing. He also made us have another look at Native Legends as reliable witness reports. For that, I am very glad Chariots of the Gods was written and accepted widely by the public.

The Book Chariots of the Gods
The Documentary "Chariots of the Gods"

Saturday, March 28, 2015

1970s Paranormal Television

The vintage era of paranormal adoration found in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, produced a LOT of themed shows. See which ones you cut your para geek teeth on - 

*descriptions thanks to IMDB.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Lovely young widow Carolyn Muir, her two young children, and the maid discover that the New England seaside house they've moved into is haunted by the former owner -- an old salt named Captain Daniel Gregg. Gregg at first resists this intrusion, but he develops a ghostly love for his uninvited guest.

A witch married to an ordinary man cannot resist using her magic powers to solve the problems her family faces.

The Munsters
A family of friendly monsters have misadventures never quite realising why people react to them so strangely.

The Addams Family
The misadventures of a blissfully macabre but extremely loving family.

I Dream of Jeannie
A United States astronaut finds his life vastly complicated when he stumbles on to a bottle containing a female genie.

Tom Slick Monster Rally
Tom has his hands full in this spook race, with competitors such as vampire Count Lew Gosi (with his Red Corpuscle Bloodmobile) and werewolf Lobo Fanguzzi.

Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
A group of friends and their dog (Scooby Doo) travel in a van solving strange and hilarious mysteries.

Dark Shadows
The rich Collins family of Collinsport, Maine is tormented by strange occurrences.

The Incredible Hulk
A fugitive scientist has the curse of becoming a powerful green monster under extreme emotional stress.

In Search Of
Leonard Nimoy hosts investigations into various mysteries.

HR Pufnstuf
The adventures of a boy trapped in a fantastic land with a dragon friend and a witch enemy.

Land of the Lost
A family is thrown back in time and must survive in a dinosaur dominated land.

Tales of the Unexpected

Dramatizations of many Roald Dahl short stories.

Fantasy Island
Tales of visitors to a unique resort island that can fulfill literally any fantasy requested, but rarely turn out as expected.

Land of the Giants
A spaceship from Earth crash-lands on an Earth-like planet on which everything, including the human-like inhabitants, is twelve times the size of its counterpart on Earth.

Twilight Zone
Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Night Gallery
Host Rod Serling presents tales of horror illustrated in various paintings.

Outer Limits
An anthology series of insightful science fiction tales.

The Man From Atlantis
The adventures of a man with amphibious abilities.

Kolchak: The Night  Stalker
A newspaper reporter investigates strange supernatural occurrences in Chicago.

Sabrina and the Groovy Goolies 
Sabrina's involved with a band of monsters, The Groovy Ghoulies; a rock band with Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein; who scare people for their own amusement.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Toon version of the Archie Comics witch who uses her powers to aide the uncertainty of adolescence.

A child ghost who does not want to scare people like other ghosts, he wants to make friends.

Goober and the Ghost Chasers
A dog, able to become temporarily invisible, and his human companions investigate mysteries involving the paranormal.

My Favorite Martian 
A sarcastic Martian comes to live with a hapless young Terran on Earth.

I readily admit that "Twilight Zone" started it for me. "Outer Limits" scared me too much to sit through, "Scooby Doo" was fun, but not very scary, and "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" made me want to be a para journalist!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Pangboche Hand: Mummified Yeti?

The Pangboche Hand was an item from a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas and said to be the hand from a Yeti.

Photo by Peter Byrne in 1958

In 1957, the expedition run by Tom Slick took the first pictures of this legendary hand supposedly held for ceremonial purses in a Himalayan Buddhist Monastery.

Reportedly, Peter Byrne, a member of the team, had taken some bones from the hand when the monks would not allow them to be examined, and replaced them with some human bones bound in cloth.

He supposedly got the bones from Nepal into India by way of the actor, Jimmy Stewart, who sneaked it out on his plane flight out to England. 

It was said in 1960, Sir Edmond Hilary examined the bones while there and considered them a hoax when he saw the human bones mixed in. 

The origin of the supposed yeti skull and hand that the monks held was supposedly from a monk's find. He had gone to meditate in a cave and found a yeti. Years later, he came back and the yeti had passed, so he took the remnants for their prized rarity.

Are you wondering about the findings of analysis on the bones? Well, a London primatologist, William Charles Osman Hill reported that they were hominid and most closely resembled Neanderthal. 

Source:  In 1991, in conjunction with Loren Coleman's research, it was discovered that the Slick expedition consultant, an American anthropologist by the name of George Agogino, had retained samples of the alleged Yeti hand. The NBC program Unsolved Mysteries obtained samples and determined they were similar to human tissue, but were not human, and could only verify they were "near human." After the broadcast of the program, the entire hand was stolen from the Pangboche monastery, and reportedly disappeared into a private collection via the illegal underground in the sale of antiquities. George Agogino, before his death on September 11, 2000, transferred his important files on the Pangboche Yeti hand to Loren Coleman.

It gets more interesting. In 2011, DNA tests were supposedly made on the remains, reportedly finding human DNA. 

Do we know that they tested the actual fingers? What is the chain of possession along the way to prove it's the same sample? We may never have answers on that, but I am certainly glad that there are scientists willing to testing samples and look for definitive answers.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Expedition Unknown on Travel Channel Tonight!

I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat for the first episode of the new Travel Channel show "Expedition Unknown" hosted by Josh Gates. He won our hearts in his stint on "Destination Truth" on Syfy, but I think we all knew he was way too much of a star for them, so gladly he found a new home at Travel Channel where they knew what to do with this world adventurer, archaeology buff, and insightful mind and humorist in the field of all things undiscovered. 

I was worried that there would not be the supporting cast to bounce off on this show, but this show has true content and thrills. Instead of chasing monsters, per se, Josh is chasing after unsolved mysteries, treasures, ancient artifacts and every other Indiana Jones adventure imaginable.

(my miserable photoshop talents)

I have a dream that Josh goes up past Franz Josef Island in the arctic in search of the route the Norwegian supposedly took to end up at Hollow Earth. There's an ongoing mystery that has baffled many, not to mention Franz Josef island is supposedly one never inhabited by people, yet has these interesting stone spheres ....

Tonight's episode of "Expedition Unknown" on The Travel Channel has Josh Gates looking for a Samurai Sword. I can't wait! 

Argosy Magazine: Vintage Male Adventuring

Argosy Magazine was a long-running "pulp" magazine from the early 1880s to 1978. Although it started out as a children's magazine called "The Golden Argosy," several years later, it switched from children to pulp fiction stories and was renamed "The Argosy" in 1888. 

During WWI era, it was turned into a man's railroad magazine for a short period of time. In 1920, it turned into "Argosy All-Story Weekly" and included fiction of all types including some amazing authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs and others. It began to up the amount the swashbuckler and adventure types stories that it contained.

In the early 1940s, it moved out of pulp fiction into slick paper and material moved away from all fiction to more men's magazine informational material. Stories included things like adventuring, war, animals, outdoorsman topics and subjects of manly interest like cryptids including yeti, Bigfoot and others.

Said to have been the first magazine to show Bigfoot pics in 1968, Argosy was a magazine in its prime from 1950s to 1970s. It featured all things men and adventure from Easter Island and Bermuda Triangle to safaris, fortune hunting, tracking cryptids, and fiction works.

This issue (above) was about a Malaysian Abominable Snowman.

Here is a delightful excerpt:

It was Christmas Day. A young Chinese girl named Wong Yee Moi was tapping rubber trees on an estate in South Peark, when she felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to be confronted by a most revolting female, covered with hair, with white caucasoid-type skin and long black hair. She wore a loin cloth and stank as if "of an animal." The female grinned and revealed long nasty fangs. Yee Moi fled in panic for the compound, but not before sighting similar types she thought to be males, standing in the shade of the trees by the river. They had mustaches hanging down to their waists.

It also had a nice article about Easter Island -

Even outdated, these old retro issues are a pleasure to read. The world was open to adventure and seeking the unknown. If ever a magazine needs to be revived - - it's this one!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Desert Man of the UFOs

It's hard to talk about UFOs in the 50s, 60s and 70s without mentioning abductees, but what of contactees? Whereas abductees are taken onto craft supposedly for experimentation and observation, procedures and the like, contactees have communication with alien beings without any physical manipulation/examination or moving to a secondary site.

There was a supposed contactee named George Van Tassel. He was born in 1910 to a fairly well-to-do family in Ohio. He showed promise with his hands and mechanics and led a life of many jobs in the field of mechanic work and had a pilot's license. 

By a strange series of events (like most contactees report), he came across a man who was a loner and owned a prospect near Giant Rock in the Mojave Desert in California. When the loner died during WWII, Van Tassel applied to lease there to develop an airstrip.  

Van Tassel was an airplane mechanic and inspector. He spent years in the newly booming aerospace industry into the late 1940s. Then, he moved his family to a simple existence out by Giant Rock, living in a room dug out by the loner long ago. Van Tassel then proceeded to build a home, an airstrip, a cafe and a dude ranch there.

Interestingly, Van Tassel started hosting meditations in the room under the rock. That very year, he said he was visited by an alien from Venus who woke him up and spoke to him telepathically. He said he was given information about how to build something that could rejuvenate a human's cells, "a time machine for basic research on rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel."

Source:  Van Tassel described the Integratron as being created for scientific and spiritual research with the aim to recharge and rejuvenate people’s cells, "a time machine for basic research on rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel". The domed wood structure has a rotating metal apparatus on the outside he called an "electrostatic dirod". Van Tassel claimed it was made of non ferromagnetic; constructed of only wood, concrete, glass and fibreglass lacking even metal screws or nails. The Integratron was never fully completed due to Van Tassel's sudden death a few weeks before the official opening. In recent times some people who visit the unfinished Integratron claim to be rejuvenated by staying there, and experiencing sound baths inside.

Annually at the rock, Van Tassel hosted a Giant Rock Spacecraft Convention from 1953 to 1978. Guests arrived by car and even by small planes to the air strip to attend. Even George Adamski, the most famous contactee, attended. 

If that wasn't enough, in his "new age" compound, Van Tassel founded "The University of Universal Wisdom" and shared spiritual revelations from his encounters.

As someone who has had contactee encounters and the sorts of universal insights I was given, I do understand his determination to act on knowledge he believes he received from these encounters. I have tried to make sense of my own information and feel free to share it when people want to know. 

I believe there are encounters with other beings, whether they are from other planets or not, I am not certain, but I have my own thoughts on that matter. These are exceedingly similar to those who had "angelic" encounters throughout history. It can make you want to share a new perspective and, in that way, it is eye-opening and mind-opening for the general public. I get more uncomfortable when religious practices are based on it and cults are formed like the sad Heaven's Gate followers that performed mass suicide.

I hope we keep the conversations open. So far as Van Tassel is concerned, I think that he was heading to a destiny. His life seemed to lead to this point where he had a mission and he found the spot and the mission arrived. I understand the feeling. I think he might have had some genuine encounters or something so moving that it motivated him in extraordinary ways.

More info:
Van Tassel's book "I Rode a Flying Saucer"
Giant Rock 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Face Off on Syfy Tonight!

Tonight at 9 EST/8 Central - "Face Off" on Syfy - 
making imaginary friends for kids!

The True Exorcist Story

Most everyone who recalls the 70s also recalls the movie that put a whole nation on edge. "The Exorcist" was a groundbreaking level of horror that took us to our greatest fear - evil possession of the innocent.

The movie was based loosely on a real set of circumstances in the late 1940s to an adolescent boy. It was in 1949, when newspapers began to publish anonymous letters about an ongoing exorcism and possession, that the first kernels of this story came to light.

The child was anonymously named, Roland Doe, born of a German Lutheran family in 1936. He lived in Maryland and was an only child. One of his closest family members to play with was his aunt who was a spiritualist and he became quite interested in the Ouija board.

Following the boy's aunt's death, odd things began to happen from strange noises to furniture moving. The boy was sent to a parapsychologist's home to observe him, where objects began to move. He then referred the family to the clergy.

*I'm admittedly a big confused how a Lutheran child can be exorcised by a Catholic priest when, not only is he not of their faith, but he did not join their faith under a time of duress, either.*

There were several exorcism rituals performed and during one of them, the boy got his hands free from the constraints and used a broken piece of bed spring to lash out at the clergy. Reportedly, growling voices, object movement, and a shaking bed were witnessed.

Something to keep in mind in the subject of possession is this - it's only real if you believe it's possible. 

Some people involved in the case reported that Roland was a spoiled petulant child who had fits when he was not allowed to do things. As well, it was reported the boy was trying to imitate Latin words, not truly channeling another voice. No matter how one looks at the case, it is a matter of belief or disbelief and that colors the way anyone interprets an event. 

We will never know the true nature of what occurred with this boy, but it certainly made for one of the most horrifying movies of all time.

More info:
Book - The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty 
DVD - "The Exorcist
Book - (critical of the case) Possessed: The True Story of an Exorcism by Thomas B. Allen

Monday, March 23, 2015

Vintage Urban Legends

Urban legends - tales that gather more and more steam with the telling, are cautionary tales that are passed around in hushed tones and voices that swear that they are truth, they really happened! 

The 1950s really launched a decade of car-driving youths with a certain degree of anxiety of making adult decisions and too much time on their hands. Urban legends were born from this atmosphere, much like Native tales of the past that admonished children to beware the giant that would eat those who wandered.

The Hook

"The Hook" is perhaps the most repeated legend from the 1950s. The story has been reshaped many times but the basic gist is this - 

A teen boy asks a girl out, they drive off to Lover's Lane and park. Over the radio, a newscaster warns that there is an escaped mental patient with a hook for his right hand. 

The girls starts hearing a scratching sound and gets scared and begs the boy to drive her home. He wants to make out. Finally, she begs and he relents and drives her home. When the arrive, he comes around to open her door, she climbs out and they find a bloody hook in the roof of the car. 

Killer in the Back Seat 

The legend of the "Killer in the Back Seat" begins with a woman driving in her car when someone flashes their lights at her, perhaps drives up beside her and gestures wildly, scaring her as they try to make her pull over. The woman eventually loses them and gets to a gas station where the attendant goes to fill the tank. The attendant tells her there is a problem with her card and could she come inside and clear it up. When she goes inside, he tells here there is a man with a knife in her back seat.

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

If you are noting a car-themed bunch of vintage urban legends, there is a reason. Post WWII children were getting cars and driving during a prosperous time in our history.  Admonishing the youth to be safe on the scary open road came in the form of cautionary tales. Children were leaving neighborhood safety and people they know, and running into all kinds of crazies out there. 

The vanishing hitchhiker is a story that passes through all states and all have the same theme; a person stops for a hitchhiker on a stormy night to help out a fellow citizen. They carry on a conversation, drive along to the destination, and along the way, the passenger goes missing - poof! Vanished! This leaves the driver to wonder if they had just imagined the entire encounter.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Proving Life After Life

Man has always pondered if we continue on after the death of the physical form. Religions have been based on the promise of an afterlife and people have died momentarily, to be brought back with stories of their experiences in another realm.

Raymond Moody began with a few advanced degrees including philosophy and psychology. He eventually became a professor and a forensic psychiatrist. 

(Moody) I don't mind saying that after talking with over a thousand people who have had these experiences, and having experienced many times some of the really baffling and unusual features of these experiences, it has given me great confidence that there is a life after death. As a matter of fact, I must confess to you in all honesty, I have absolutely no doubt, on the basis of what my patients have told me, that they did get a glimpse of the beyond.

In the 1970s, Raymond Moody made the term near-death experience the newest speculation. He compiled stories of hundreds of people who had memories after they lost all vital signs, and their stories seemed to repeat similar themes over and over again until the researcher could not ignore the conclusion - there is life after life.

The 1975 book,"Life After Life" was Raymond Moody's groundbreaking book about these people and their experiences. 

His book was met in the 70s with a lot of criticism and an almost cult-like following of people who wanted to believe. The stories are anecdotal and Moody's own belief system included a belief in afterlife. He was criticized for not taking into account hallucinogenic effects of the mind, as well as using anecdotal cases to prove a scientific point. 

Moody was undaunted by the skeptics and advanced his knowledge of cases of near-death experiences (NDEs). He went on to work with the concept of the psychomanteum, a theater for the dead. This process includes specific placement, items, lighting and state of mind in order to have an encounter with the dead.

It's interesting how very polarizing this subject can be for people. They come to think that believing in the afterlife means believing in God or Heaven, but it's not necessarily a spiritual experience. Perhaps what we are talking about is another aspect of life. Life may not be the finite activity have viewed it as, but is actually a process that unfolds in many incarnations, one of those without the use of the physical/biological form. 

Perhaps a side effect of having died is to move into another realm of existence that no longer needs the shell but adapts to a body-less continuation, as endless as the universe.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hans Holzer: Parapsychologist

I'm continuing on this vintage paranormal month on GHT to cover the 50s, 60s and 70s and the para events/icons/obsessions that made us all para geeks today. I'm covering one of the biggies in parapsychology - Hans Holzer. 

Hans Holzer was born in Austria and ended up settling in New York. He had a life-long interest in the paranormal. Eventually, he ended up teaching parapsychology at the New York Institute of Technology, as well as writing over 100 books on the paranormal and occult. He was involved in researching some of the most notable cases of paranormal activity. 

He believed in the afterlife and ghosts. He believed ghosts to be imprinted and the right people could read their presence. Spirits, however, he believed, could interact with the living. He also believed in spirits being earthbound at times and reincarnation. In fact, many of his findings helped to define present-day takes on hauntings. 

In 1977, Holzer and a medium did an investigation of the Amityville home. The medium said the home was built over an ancient burial ground and that an old Native American chief's spirit had taken over Ronnie DeFao to make him kill his family there. 

On an interesting note, he was a very spiritual man, believing in reincarnation, past lives, also a vegan and a Wiccan high priest. 

Being one of the real groundbreaking investigators in the heyday of the rebirth of spiritual investigations, Holzer was a polarizing figure. It was easy to tear apart any of his claims (as are done today), but there was an audience for his books and shows, findings and insights. Not much has changed in the field of investigation since, as far as rebuking claims. 

Even Dan Ackroyd mentioned that Hans Holzer's influence made him interested in doing "Ghostbusters." 

Today, the next generation, born and raised in Holzer's care, his daughter Alexandra, does investigating and writing about the paranormal. We have had her on Paranormal Geeks Radio before and she is really intelligent, talented, and insightful, definitely someone to watch in the realm of haunting phenomena.

Hans Holzer books
Alexandra Holzer book
More about Hans Holzer 

*Tomorrow's post is Proving Life After Life