Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 3/30/11

Time for the paranormal news!

AOL News posted an article covering a group of researchers who are trying to determine if life actually began on another planet.

A university institute is being set up in Russia to study a string of recent Yeti sightings in Siberia. Mail Online posted the article here.

American Idol contestants were moved out of the mansion they were staying in after several complaints that the house was haunted. Right Tv posted the article here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Popularity of the Paranormal

Twenty years ago, if you told someone you believed to ghosts, you were likely to get a strange look. Or a shrug. Or an argument.  Even though people liked telling ghost stories they were thought to be pure imagination at its best by just about everyone. But things have changed.

Nowadays, a huge percentage of the population believes in ghosts, or aliens, or some sort of fantastical creature. For the most part, these people aren’t thought to be crazy or lying. People are starting to accept that there might be more to the universe than we ever previously thought.

It almost seems strange that people would turn away from the idea of scientific evidence and look for more. But science doesn’t have all the answers. There are some things we may never be able to prove. Some things you just have to experience for yourself to understand.

So why are people turning away from scientific proof and looking into the world of the paranormal?

There are a lot of theories about why all things paranormal are popular right now.

-One of the most common ones is that because people are experiencing economic hardship, they are looking everywhere they can for help. For answers. Even for an escape from reality. And the paranormal is one place that can supply that.

-Another theory is that because information travels so fast (with the internet and all) people are able to easily share their paranormal experiences. If stories of ghost sightings (or aliens, or whatever) keep popping up over and over again, people begin to be more accepting of the idea.

-There’s also been an explosion of shows and books on the paranormal lately that attempt to prove or understand paranormal phenomenon. And many people have this strange reliance on the media. Sort of like ‘If it’s in a book, it must be true” mentality.

-Many people have also been experiencing hardships with their religions and churches. A lot of the big mainstream religions have faced a lot of bad press lately, which causes people to question them. Many churches disapprove of the idea of discussing the paranormal but once someone’s left a religion, the whole word of paranormal phenomenon becomes something that can be explored.

-And there’s always the fact that many people just enjoy a good strange (occasionally creep) story. Paranormal is fun.

Of course, I’m loving the fact that paranormal is hot right now. It’s something that’s always fascinated me. I hope it’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere. But I’m curious about what everyone else thinks.

Why do you think paranormal is so popular right now? Do you think its popularity is a good thing? Do you think it’s a trend that’s going to stick around?

Also a reminder that there are only a few days left to get your short story or poem in for the writing contest. Entries are due April 1st. Details can be found here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Creature Feature: Trolls

Trolls are immensely popular among story tellers, writers, painters, and artists today. Few creatures in the media have been as popular as the troll. So when I decided to research them I was shocked at how little information I could find about their history. Here’s what I did find.

The earliest known troll stories come from Norse legends. They mostly describe them as large, ugly and dim-witted. Most of them have a bad disposition and can have a liking for human flesh. They are thought to live in caves, near rocks or under bridges and some of them live in small groups. It’s thought that if trolls are hit by sunlight, they immediately turn to stone. Some stories say they are afraid of lightening.

The most common type of troll is referred to as Jaete, which means giant. Another type of troll includes the Huldrefolk, which is thought to be more human-like and beautiful.

There’s a place in Norway called Trold-Tindterne (troll peaks) that is full of large stones once though to be trolls that had turned to stone during a great battle.

For a creature with such a negative image, they are certainly beloved by many.

If you know anything about trolls let me know. I’d love to learn more about them!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 3/23/11

This week in the paranormal...

Recent lizard sightings in Europe have stirred up debate that the lizards might actually be The Tatzelwurm, a cryptid lizard. Forteantimes has the article here.

AOL News posted several articles about aliens including one about rocker Sammy Hagar's belief in ET's and piece about Nation of Islam and the role UFO's play in their beliefs.

Phantoms and Monsters posted a video of a possible Bigfoot taken in Florida and a video of a strange noise that caused the earth to shake in Florida (there's no evidence of earthquake activity.)  Scroll down below the Bigfoot video to see the other article and video.

The UFO Clearing house posted a description of a mothman sighting in Japan shortly before the recent disaster. You can find it here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Dead Call

There’s a relatively new phenomenon that’s been a hot debate topic among the paranormal community. It’s called the dead call. I thought I would bring it up for discussion on here.

The basic concept is that after someone dies they occasionally make a phone call to one of their loved ones. Sometimes the spirit says a word or phrase and the people receiving the call can recognize the familiar voice of their loved one. Other times there is static or silence on the line when someone picks up. There have even been a few cases where a dead call left a message on an answering machine or voicemail.

The call is almost always traced to the number of the deceased person. Sometimes it’s a number that has been disconnected for years. But the dead call happens mostly with people who have died recently. Quite a few people have reported this happening, though I haven’t had any direct personal experience with it. I have heard a few examples of dead calls and sometimes they are pretty chilling.

Here's a link to an example of a possible 'dead call' and a link to a story about a phone making a series of calls after an accident, long after the phone owner had died.

Modern technology has changed the way we interact with each other. Do you think that technology could allow for the deceased to interact with us as well?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Creature Feature: The Banshee

To continue celebrating St. Patrick’s day, I thought I would talk about another Irish creature, the banshee.

The Banshee is a female Irish spirit with the ability to foresee death or appear at the death of someone important. The banshee legend also exists in parts of Scotland as well. In the Irish legend she is actually only tied to five specific families- the O’Neills, the O’Conners, the O’Briens, the O’Grady’s and the Kavanaghs.

Banshee’s can take on many different forms including old women, young maidens, crows, weasels or other wild animals. In female form she is usually thought to wear a black, white or grey cloak and have fair colored hair.

The most memorable part of the legend is the banshee’s cry, which is supposed to sound like the cross between a woman’s wailing and an owl. Banshee’s are not thought to travel long distances but will mourn a death of someone even living a great distance away. Some legends also say that the banshee carries a silver comb which she will often leave on the ground to entrap anyone who tries to pick it up.

It’s easy to see how people could hear strange cries at night and attribute them to something supernatural or see a bird or other animal before someone died and think it to be a banshee in disguise. There haven’t been any recent banshee sightings in years making this legend one that may just fade into history books and legends.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 3/16/11

A reserve deputy in El Paso lost his job because of his hobby- paranormal investigation. has the article here.

5 women in Japan were facing charges for charging exorbitant fees for services such as exorcisms. This article ran prior to the earthquake, so I'm not sure if anything will come of it, but I wanted to remind people that credible paranormal groups don't charge for their services. The Mainichi Daily news has the story here. My heart is with everyone in Japan right now.

Just a reminder that submissions for the writing contest are due on April 1st. You can find the details here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ghost Hunting 101: The Importance of a Good Reputation

Everyone has a reputation. Some of them are good, others are, well not quite so good. But in any business or endeavor it’s important to build and maintain a reputation that’s positive. You never know who you are going to run into or who you might work with in the future.

I was reminded of this lesson last week while out shopping with another ghost hunter from my team. We ran into a fellow ghost hunter from another group and got chatting. He proceeded to tell us about several ghost hunting groups he's worked with in the past. He also told us his reasons for leaving each group. All his reasons had to do with the people he worked with. Many of them were, in his words, difficult, unprofessional, or just plain nuts. And he named names.

His casual conversation was really his way of warning us to avoid certain groups and people. And though I believe in giving everyone a fair chance, if one of those individuals contacts our group, I’m going to proceed with caution. I value my reputation and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize it. If people respect you professionally it can open all kinds of doors. You certainly don’t want to go around closing doors just by being careless.

 So here are some tips to help you build and maintain a good reputation.

  1. Treat everyone with respect. This should go without saying but some people forget that the person waiting on you today could be your boss tomorrow.

  1. Don’t act crazy, at least not in public. This is another no-brainer (or should be) but in a field with ghost, Bigfoot, and UFO enthusiasts running around there are plenty of odd individuals.

  1. Run your group (or site, or whatever) like a business. If someone e-mails you, take the time to respond. Return phone calls. Be one time. Keep your word. And take the time to invest in business cards. They aren’t expensive.

  1. Take initiative. Don’t sit around waiting for good things to happen. You have to go out and find opportunities. If people see you trying to get things done and working towards a goal, they’re going to think more highly of you.

  1. Proof read any correspondence. If your website, advertisements, e-mails, or letters look like a kindergartner wrote them, no one will take you seriously.

  1. Work on building relationships. Even after we investigate a site we try and keep in contact with the owners afterwards. I never want a client to feel like we abandoned them. And most of our investigations come from our clients referring us to other people so it has paid off well for us to keep in touch. Many of our previous clients have become friends and I love getting to work with them.

  1. Be friendly. No one wants to be around someone who is constantly negative or complaining.

  1.  Be a hard worker. Enough said.

  1. Help other people out when you are able. Occasionally we take guests out on investigations and I love getting to teach them and work with them. The looks on their faces when we see or hear something strange is worth it every time.

  1.  Be yourself. Nothing puts people off more than someone not acting genuine.

Feel free to add on with your own suggestions!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Creature Feature: Leprechauns

With St. Patricks Day just around the corner I thought I'd share some fun facts about leprechauns with you so you can impress your friends!

7 things you may not know about leprechauns

1. Leprechauns are always male

2. They are actually a type of Irish fairy

3. The pot of gold they carry contains 1 gold coin for every year they are alive

4. If you see a leprechaun he can't escape until you look away

5. Leprechauns originally wore red waistcoats

6. They are cobblers by trade

7. Leprechauns are often mistaken for Clurichan, drunkard trickster fairies

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 3/9/11

 This week in paranormal news aliens seem to be the hot topic.

AOL News posted an article about some previously classified UFO related documents released by the British government. You can find the article here. They also put up an article about a NASA scientist who claims he may have found evidence of extraterrestrial life in a meteorite.

The lake monster photo of Brownessie may be nothing more than an old tire. posted an article and photos here.

Also a video claiming to be a witness video to the paranormal M6 crash has popped up online. It seems a bit set up to me, but you can be your own judge. Check it out here. What do you think?

In other news,

Michael Offutt was nice enough to pass on another blog award this week, The One Lovely Blogger Award. You can visit his blog here.

I've decided to pass on the award to the same group of bloggers I awarded the stylish blogger award to since the rules are basically the same. The list can be found here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Reincarnation or Something Else?

A while back a family friend mentioned an article he had come across about a young boy whose parents claimed he was the reincarnation of a World War II pilot. I was pretty skeptical but weird as the story sounded I decided to look it up for myself. What I found surprised me.

There are numerous stories, articles, books and videos online that tell of young children with the ability to remember previous lives. Many of them have been able to describe their previous lives with detail and alarming accuracy. One boy in Scotland was able to pinpoint the surname of his previous family and describe the island and house he once lived on. A trip to the island confirmed his story. The boy thought to once be a World War II pilot described details of his plane and earlier family perfectly. Another boy even claimed he was his own grandfather.

 Obviously not every child has, or remembers, these past life memories, or we would all have had them. And there’s always the possibility that the child, or the parents are making things up. But most of the testimony I have seen appears to be genuine. Some of the parents even fight the idea because they don’t believe in reincarnation. It’s a phenomenon occurring throughout the world. The memories seem to occur between the ages of 1 and 6 and fade as the child gets older. So what’s going on?

Reincarnation certainly isn’t a new idea. Several religions strongly believe in the idea that the soul passes into another form when we die. It’s a major aspect of Buddhism. And though I’m a Christian I think it’s possible that God could send people back to earth on occasion. It’s sort of a comforting thought really that our loved ones could still be hanging around with another family or even with our own, trapped in a new body.

I think it’s something that needs studied and researched. A lot of the previous research has been less than scientific at best. There’s a lot of knowledge we could gain from understanding this better. And there’s so much we could learn from simply listening to children.

So tell me,

Do you believe in the idea of reincarnation?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Creature Feature: The Mongolian Death Worm

In the southern part of the Gobi desert, a monstrous worm is thought to live under the sand by many of the locals. It’s become the subject of many stories mostly because it sounds like something strait out of a science fiction novel.

The Mongolian Death Worm is thought to be 2-10 feet in length. It hibernates in the sand most of the year but emerges to feed on various local plants. The Mongolians say that it has strange projections on both ends, is a dark red color and has the ability to spew poisonous acid and deliver a deadly electric shock when threatened. Touching the Mongolian Death Worm means instant death because of its high level of toxicity.

While many people have gone looking for it, no one has come back with any evidence that it actually exists. Most of the Mongolian stories are based on legends and folklore passed down from previous generations. Of course, the desert is very large and there’s always the possibility that an undiscovered creature like this could be living away from the eye of humans. Real or legend, this is one monster I hope I never cross paths with.

Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren. Cryptozoology A-Z. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999. Pages 186-187

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 3/2/11

This weeks round up was a bit of a challenge to collect as I had to wade through quite a collection of articles about Charlies Sheen's odd behavior to find the paranormal stuff. But here it is!

ForteanTimes has an article about using science to explain orbs spotted in moden photos. You can find it here.

Another Bigfoot hunt is on in North Carolina. Digtri has the article here.

Emirate24/ posted an article about a judge who blamed his bad behavior on a jinn. Remind me to keep that excuse handy for the next time I get in trouble.

I've also been awarded The Stylish Blogger Award by my friend Michael at LSC Kismet. You can check out his blog here. This award works like a chain letter. I have to pass it on to ten people and share ten things about myself as well. Here are ten random things about me.

1. I've had just about every job known to man at one point or another. I've been a grocery bagger, a hair stylist, a pharmacy technician, a telemarketer, a factory worker, a clerk at a gas station, even a waitress for an entire 3 hours. And that's just to name a few. Strangely enough I was never fired from any of them. I usually just get fed up with something and quit. I've been at my current job for a solid 4 years though so apparently I'm getting better. 

2. I love the color blue. I'm weirdly obsessive about it.

3. I'm terrified of spiders. And slightly creeped out by lobsters, because they remind me of large spiders.

4. I love all things artistic and creative. Writing, drawing, painting, dancing,  and random crafts are all things I enjoy.

5. I have two cats and a pet ferret. I love all animals but I am especially fond of whales and dolphins.

6. I'm working on editing my first novel. I'm starting to feel like I may never finish it, because I hate editing.

7.  I once crashed a part because one of my friends told me it was something she wanted to do before she died. It led to a completely crazy night where I was almost arrested twice and I wasn't even drinking. Hey, I was just doing my duty as a good friend.

8. I don't drink. Or smoke. I've never had any real interest in either.

9. I really want to live near the ocean someday.

10. I have no idea why the spacing is so weird on this post and I can't seem to fix it. So your eyes will just have to deal.

Here are my ten awardees!

Awardees should pass on the award and share ten things about themselves!