Friday, April 29, 2011

Creature Feature: The Jersey Devil

One of the most popular cryptids in the US is a creature known as The Jersey Devil. It’s thought to have a horses head, hoofs, red eyes, and a large set of wings. It walks upright and hangs out in the Pine Barrens in New Jersey.

The legend surrounding The Jersey Devils started in 1735, when a woman supposedly gave birth to a cursed child. The child was so ugly that it was thrown out into the wild, where it grew into a monster. People mostly forgot about the legend until a rash of sightings occurred in 1909. Hundreds of people claimed to see the monster and search parties were formed to hunt down the creature. Several people claimed to have ‘caught’ The Jersey Devil but turned out to be simple hoaxers. Eventually the scare died down and people went on with their lives. Many people believe it was actually an elaborate real estate hoax intended to drive down the price of property.

Occasionally, someone in the Pine Barrens claims to see something resembling this creature. While few people live in fear of the Jersey Devil today, it does make a pretty good campfire story.

Coleman, Loren and Jerome Clark. “Cryptozoology A to Z The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature.” Simon & Schuster. 1999

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 4/27/11

This week in paranormal news... posted an article about the Mineral Point vampire spotted around Wisconsin in the 1980's. You can read it here. It's a pretty amusing little story.

An article about the Mongolian Death Worm was posted on Aol News.

Paranormaldailynews has an article about SETI suspending the use of their radio dish scanners, designed to listen for alien signals, due to a lack of funding. You can find the article here.

Also, my blog is now available on Kindle. You can get the details here or click the little button on the sidebar if you want to know more about it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ghost Hunting Lessons from Supernatural

7 Ghost hunting lessons from the show Supernatural

1. Be prepared. Bring all the equipment you may need. Guns, knifes, ammunition, flames throwers, salt. You know, the basics.

2. Do your research. And keep track of every bit of information you come across. You never know when you’re going to cross paths with an earthbound spirit or a werewolf.

3. Ride in style. A good set of wheels is important for every ghost hunter. You want something with a lot of trunk space. You need room for all your ‘tools’ plus you never know when you might have to transport a body.

4. Dress appropriately. Jeans and a t-shirt work great when you’re climbing through a dusty attic. But not so great when you’re imitating an FBI agent. Or a police officer. Or a doctor.

5. Make friends in all the right places. Connections are important. Especially if those connections have supernatural abilities that can be used to bail you out of trouble at the last minute.

6. Don’t tick off a demon. It’s just never a good idea.

7. Keep your priorities in check. Friends and family should always come first. In a world full of monsters and evil, everyone needs a few good people they can trust to watch their back

Friday, April 22, 2011

Creature Feature: The Ohio Grassman


The are a lot of primate-like cryptids described in the stories and legends of the world. North American is especially fond of these creatures with unique variations in the Pacific area, Florida, and the Midwest. For now I’m going to focus on one local to me, the Ohio Grassman.

The Ohio Grassman is basically some sort of unknown ape. It’s thought to be 4-8 feet in height and is usually described as having a red or brown tint to its fur. It’s been spotted throughout various locations in Ohio but the largest concentration of sightings are from the northern part of the state. Sightings have occured in urban areas, fields, and woodland locations.

There are a couple of traits the Ohio Grassman exhibits that are not usually described with other ape-like cryptids. The first thing unique to the Ohio Grassman is the ability to build living structures. Several large nest-like structures have been found that people claim belong to these animals. The nests are mostly built out of vegetation and tree branches. The other thing unusual about the Ohio Grassman is that it’s been seen traveling in groups. People who believe in this creature claim it lives in small family groups which migrate in order to find food and resources.

Could this be an Ohio Grassman structure?

Of course, if these animals are really travelling in numbers, it seems strange that real evidence of their existence hasn’t been made available. But maybe there are a small number of these guys hanging around. For now I’m going to just keep my eyes (and ears) open.

Do you think the Ohio Grassman could be a real creature? What about the other ape-like cryptids in the US and the world?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 4/20/11

The has an article up about possible big cat sightings in Tennessee. posted an article about a possible photo of a thunderbird and the stories that go with it. Do you think the photo is real?

A man's claim that he was unjustly fired because of his use of psychic ability on the police force, was thrown out of court. Manchester Evening News has the article here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Astral Projection

Astral projection is one of those things that’s always sounded kind of bizarre to me. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it’s basically the ability to let the mind (or soul according to some people) leave the body and travel around. Sort of like a realistic dream where the person has complete control over what’s happening. Even though it sounds like something out of a strange sci-fi movie I though it might be a fun topic to post about. So I did some online research to see if 1. if it’s actually possible and 2. if I could do it.

First I had to figure out how to astral project. I actually had no idea how it was done but quickly discovered a wealth of information all over the internet. Here’s my version of how to astral project based on the sites I read. You can check out the links at the bottom of this article if you want more detail or want to learn more about this.

Steps to astral projection

  1. Relax. Most people attempt to astral project before they fall asleep. Make yourself comfortable and stay in a controlled environment. Some people suggest listening to relaxing music while others insist silence is crucial. I think it just depends on what works for the individual.
  2. Meditate. Meditation and controlled breathing are important in getting to the point where astral projection is possible. Try and block any outside thoughts from sneaking into your head. Clear your mind and focus on what you’re doing.
  3. Affirmations. Say some sort of affirmation to yourself explaining what you are trying to do. Something along the lines of ‘I’m going to leave my body’ or ‘I’m going to look at myself sleeping.’ It’s also recommended to tell yourself to remember everything that happens.
  4. Visual Exercise. Do some sort of visual exercise to leave your body. One suggestion is to pretend a rope is hanging above you. Then proceed to attempt to pull yourself out of your body by pulling on the rope (with your mind not your physical body.) Another technique is to try and visualize yourself floating out of your body. Or try and roll out of your body using just your mind.
  5. Vibrate. Enter what’s known as the vibration stage. If you are doing the exercises correctly you should eventually begin to feel your body tingling or vibrating. It’s a sign you are close to achieving astral projecting.
  6. Projection. This is the point where you leave the body and are free to travel through the dream world.

It’s also apparent from what I read that this is something that takes quite a bit of practice to achieve.

Here’s what happened when I tried.

 The first night I got to step 4. I used the rope exercise to attempt to get out. I also tried rolling out as well. I wasn’t successful but I did end up being more relaxed and slept better than normal.

The second night I used a combination of the rope exercise and the floating out of the body thing. I actually managed to get to the ‘vibration’ state. It actually surprised me because I wasn’t really convinced it was a real thing. It’s a similar to the feeling you get when your foot falls asleep except it occurs throughout multiple limbs (or the entire body) simultaneously . I have to admit it scared my a little when it happened. I didn’t manage to ‘get out’ but I did get another good night’s sleep from the experience.

So I haven’t been able to do it so far. I can’t say if it’s real but a lot of people claim to do it. Maybe it’s a possibility. I think I’m going to keep trying. It’s kind of fun and it seems to be helping me sleep (I have insomnia so that’s a big deal.) And maybe one day I’ll get to experience it.

Here are a few of the sites on astral projection

Have any of you tried to astral project? Has anyone been able to do it? I’d love to hear some stories about it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

And the Winner is...

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Jennifer Jackson! Her poem Siren's Song is the winner of the paranormal writing contest. Be sure to check out her blog Everything it & Tales to see more of her work. She's pretty talented-it's worth a trip over there. :)

Here's the winning poem

Siren's Song

Follow my song
Gentle man for you
Are too long at sea
Steer your boat
Slowly along
So you may come to me

Your journey must be
Your burdens hard to bear
No one can love you
Like I can
Passion we will share

Speed your ship
Faster still
Oh, my savior, race!
I am much too
Delicate for such
An awful place

I am here
Near the rocks
Waiting to go home
So very hungry
I have become
And, like you, I am alone

Follow my song
Gentle man for you
Are too long at sea
Steer your boat
To the rocks
How happy I shall be

Jennifer, here's your graphic. You can post it anywhere you like.

Thanks everybody!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 4/13/11

This weeks news..

A woman in Ausralia claims to have seen an animal that resembles a lemur running down the street. The Bulletin posted the article here.

A new 'Nightcrawler video has been circulating the internet. You can see it here. If you aren't familiar with the videos, they are basically strange looking white creatures that appear to walk across screen. There's a lot of debate about whether or not the videos are real. You can see what the original video looks like here and decide for yourself.

AOL News posted an article about a man opening a UFO hotline here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ghost Hunting 101: Matrixing

Today I thought I’d talk a little about a term used a lot in ghost hunting-matrixing. (Sorry guys, I’m not talking about the movie.) Matrixing is our brain’s way of finding familiar shapes and images in patterns or objects. Our minds are designed to look for shapes we recognize so we know what we’re looking at. It’s the same basic principle behind staring at clouds and finding shapes in them. Our minds see what they want to see. It’s also the basis for a lot of those holy figures in cheese sandwich stories that keep popping up in the news. People figure if it looks like a face it must mean something. Even if that’s not always the case.

It's easy to find shapes in clouds.

While this can be pretty cool, it can actually be a problem when you’re ghost hunting. You will be looking at a picture or a video and suddenly you notice something out of place. You stare to figure it out. Before long it takes on human characteristics and you have yourself a ghost. At least that’s what it looks like. The truth is, most of the time these ghostly figures are completely random. So when were investigating, we have to learn how to discern what is real and what our minds see.

One of the most common causes of these images are reflections in glass. Glass has this weird quality that causes reflections to take on all kinds of shapes. Any image that appears in windows or mirrors should be studied VERY carefully to make sure the image is actually paranormal. My team tries to take multiple shots of each photo so we can compare what can be seen in every shot. If something appears in one shot, then disappears in the next, it’s a little more interesting. This technique also helps us identify light sources and other possible explanations.

The 'faces' in this photo aren't ghosts-they're smudges.

If something in a photo looks out of place, you should try and determine if it’s part of the object(s) in the photo. Are there tree branches outside or patterns on a wall that form it? If so, it’s probably not paranormal. A true ghost is going to look separate from its surroundings.

The best way to avoid matrixing is to not jump to conclusions. Take time to study every video and picture in question. Once you understand what matrixing it, it becomes much easier to spot and understand.

So tell me, have you ever seen an image in a picture or video that you just couldn’t explain?  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Creature Feature: Mokele-mbembe

In the lush vegetation rich Congo River basin, both locals, occasional missionaries,
and travelers have claimed to see some sort of large reptilian creature in the river. It’s described as a large animal with a small head and long neck. Some accounts say it has a horn. Those who claim to have seen it say it makes a terrifying sound. Its description is similar to a type of dinosaur known as a Sauropod.

The people of Africa call it the Mokele-mbebme. Some people think the creature is more of a spiritual being that exists in the stories and traditions of the people. Others insist the creature is real. Numerous expeditions have been launched in search of Mokele-mbebmbe. Other than a few mysterious footprints, no solid evidence has been found to confirm its existence.

Perhaps there was a time when a small population of dinosaurs lived there and the stories were passed to each new generation. Or maybe people just let their imaginations get the best of them when they saw something they couldn’t explain. And, just maybe, there really is some undiscovered reptile wandering along the river.

What do you think? Do you think the Mokele-mbembe really exists? Could there be an undiscovered population of dinosaurs living somewhere in the world?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weekly News Round-up 4/6/11

AOL News posted an article explaining that a recent string of UFO sighting in Chicago were actually caused by the release of some Chinese lanterns. It's a good reminder to not jump to conclusions! has an article about a recent incident where worms fell from the sky on to the heads of unsuspecting students. You can read about it here.

Part April Fool's day joke, part educational mascot, a 'monster' was created by United Utilities. News and Stars posted the article here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Product Review: The Green 30mw Laser Pointer Pen Style Star Holographic Projector and Laser Point

This past week I had my first chance to use a new bit of ghost hunting technology, the laser grid. A laser grid is basically a laser pointer that has thousands of small points that are cast on a wall or surface. Most of them are sold with clamps that allow the beams to stay lit. This allows you to leave a grid in a room with just a camera to monitor it. The idea behind using the laser grid is that it is supposed to help visually catch the movement of shadows in a space. People often claim to see strange shadows in haunted locations and this is a device that is designed to make those shadows easier to document.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to capture any activity with it.

We actually had several problems with the model we were using, The Green 30mw Laser Pointer Pen Style Star Holographic Projector and Laser Point (yes that’s its real name.) The main problem was that after turning the laser on, the beams would dim after several minutes and become almost invisible. We had to constantly restart the grid throughout the night. I looked at reviews on Amazon prior to writing this and many other people have complained about this problem as well. Also, the lights were invisible on our IR camera so even if we saw something with our eyes, we would have no way of documenting it on film.

Ultimately, while I think the idea of the laser grid is a good one, this is an object I would not recommend purchasing, unless you just plan on using it for a fun light show. I might have a better opinion of a stronger version of the laser grid. I give The Green 30mw Laser Pointer Pen Style Star Holographic Projector and Laser Point 2 out of 5 ghosts.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Creature Feature: Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen is the stage name for Carlos Irwin Estevez, a creature originally found in New York but that has migrated to California. Sightings of Charlie Sheen have occurred on TV and movie sets, seedy hotels, and brothels. This guy is mostly known for his roles as an actor but has lately become infamous for his erratic (and possibly drug induced) behavior.

Charlie Sheen has several calls including the phrase ‘winning’ and ‘tiger’s blood’ which may be used to attract a mate or potential advertisers. He is often found surrounded by both paparazzi and porn stars which makes him easy to track. Charlie recently enjoyed some extra attention in the media when he set a record for the most Twitter followers in the shortest amount of time. Obviously this is a creature who doesn’t mind being found so don’t expect him to be hiding in the woods any time soon. If you see this creature you may want to alert the authorities or get an autograph.

Ok, Charlie Sheen really isn’t a paranormal creature (I hope.) Happy April’s Fools Day everybody!  And thanks to Jennifer who supplied the idea for this post. J