If the skies are clear, revelers looking up at midnight will get an eyeful of the second full moon of the month—commonly called a blue moon. The last time a blue moon appeared on New Year's Eve was in 1990, and it won't happen again until 2028.
A blue moon isn't actually blue—as commonly defined, the name reflects the relative rarity of two full moons in a month and is linked to the saying "once in a blue moon."
With this New Year's Eve blue moon, "there is nothing scientific about it, and it has no astronomical significance," said Mark Hammergren, a staff astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois.
"But I believe it does give us some insight into history and makes us think of how our calendar system has derived from motions of objects in the sky."
Blue Moon Error
The popular definition of a blue moon isn't the only one—and it's one that's based on an editorial error, astronomers contend.
The widespread definition of the second full moon in a month stems from errors made in an astronomy magazine, when a writer misinterpreted how the term was used in the Maine Farmer's Almanac.
Later studies of almanacs published from 1819 to 1962 revealed that the term "blue moon" actually refers to the "extra" full moon that can occur in a year due to differences between the calendar year and the astronomical year.
Most years on average have 12 full moons, with 1 appearing each month.
That's because the lunar month—the time it takes the moon to cycle through its phases—corresponds closely to the calendar month.
But the calendar year is actually based on the solar cycle, or the time it takes Earth to make one trip around the sun. This means a year is not evenly divisible by lunar months, so every three years or so there are 13 full moons.
The farmer's almanac further divided the year into four seasons, with each season lasting three months. When a given season saw four full moons, the almanac dubbed the third moon as a blue moon.
Ultimately, a blue moon as defined by the calendar isn't that rare, added Hammergren. The term's significance instead lies in the way it links people to the motions of the cosmos.
"Just being able to recognize that we can have a full moon twice in a month and have [folklore] attached really highlights the fact that humans have been astronomers their entire existence," he said.
OTTAWA, kan. -- A young girl is calling a neighbor a superhero because of what he did when she was trapped beneath a car.
Nick Harris said he doesn't know where he found the strength, but somehow he managed to lift a car off the 6-year-old girl last week, earning himself the title of Superman.
"I just think it's a Christmas miracle," Harris said.
Harris said he has tried time and again to recreate the surprising show of strength that he said surfaced when sheer instinct sent him running to the 6-year-old's aid.
"I just ran over there, I looked, I seen the tire on her, and I lifted the car up to get her out from underneath the car," Harris said. "I don't know how I did it. I've tried three or four times since then."
Harris was dropping off his daughter at Eugene Field Elementary Friday morning when he saw a car back out of a driveway, pinning the girl under its tire. That girl turned out to be his daughter's best friend.
"I was expecting her to have crushed hips," Harris said. "I've had broken toes, because a car just backed over my foot. And here this whole car was on top of her. I wasn't expecting it to turn out as wonderful as it did."
The first-grader was flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City by air ambulance, but didn't have to stay long.
And though some said it was adrenaline that gave Harris his superhuman strength, he said seeing that girl run down the street to give him a hug the next day convinced him there was something special going on.
"They all call me superman now," Harris said. "I'm just a dad. I'm just a dad that was in the right place at the right time. And I was finally able to help and I did something good." Read more of the storyhere>>
Can people really perform Superhuman Feats of Strength?
Adrenaline is a naturally occurring hormone in the body. In response to situations which may be exciting, dangerous or threatening, some people experience an adrenaline rush. Adrenaline also known as epinephrine, is released in such situations and is linked to the 'fight or flight" response.
When epinephrine is released, it creates a super boost of glucose and oxygen, which are sent to the brain and muscles while, other bodily functions are suppressed. This is why some people can perform amazing feats of strength when faced with an emergency. _____________________
Recently a dear friend of mine was taken by her husband to the local emergency room. She has always had heart problems and this was apparently one of those 'big' problems.
Being a small rural hospital, the staff was ill equipped to handle something so major, yet they kept her for a week, while she quickly regressed to the point where her kidneys, then lungs began to fail.
Her cardiologist only makes visits to our small town, every other Tuesday, so by the time he got to see his patient, she was in dire straights. He immediately had her transported to a cardiology unit in a hospital located in the city he works in.
That first night was rough but the next morning was even worse. My friend 'coded'. In other words, she died.
Nurses rushed in, an emergency doctor was called in and with some difficulty, they revived my friend.
It was touch and go for a while, a pacemaker was installed in her chest, chemical balances teetered and her lungs just wouldn't get enough air, to supply the oxygen needed to keep her going.
She spent weeks in the hospital but finally one day, my friend's husband finally got to bring her home. Though weak, she seems to be adjusting and doing well, so we are all releived just to have her home.
I am a straight-forward type of person and more than just a bit curious, so I asked my friend if when she 'coded', did she see a 'light'?
"No." was her reply, "I just saw darkness, then nothing."
"Oh, thank goodness!" I said, "Had you seen 'the light' you might not have come back."
I had an N.D.E. (near death experience), that happened years ago. I didn't see a light either.
One second I was in horrible pain, the next I was 'outside' of myself, looking back at my catatonic face and my mother beside me, in anguish. During these brief moments, I tried to comfort my mother, telling her I was fine but she could neither see, nor hear me.
Then suddenly I was in a dark tunnel and when I opened my eyes, I was in excruciating pain again. At that moment, if I had seen the light so many people describe, I doubt I would have wanted to come back.
So what is death? Do we really die? Well, I see death as a transition from one form to another. Who we truly 'are', lives on.
I think death is as they say, 'a part of life' and just a step to the next reality but I hope and plan to keep this form, this corporeal body for as long as I can. This 'life' is just too interesting and I still have so much to do.
I read something about death that I thought I'd share with you, my readers. Dr. Lanza gives us a scientific look at life and death. - SW ___________________________
huffingtonpost.com- Many of us fear death. We believe in death because we have been told we will die. We associate ourselves with the body, and we know that bodies die. But a new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think.
One well-known aspect of quantum physics is that certain observations cannot be predicted absolutely. Instead, there is a range of possible observations each with a different probability. One mainstream explanation, the "many-worlds" interpretation, states that each of these possible observations corresponds to a different universe (the 'multiverse'). A new scientific theory - called biocentrism - refines these ideas. There are an infinite number of universes, and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. Death does not exist in any real sense in these scenarios. All possible universes exist simultaneously, regardless of what happens in any of them. Although individual bodies are destined to self-destruct, the alive feeling - the 'Who am I?'- is just a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. But this energy doesn't go away at death. One of the surest axioms of science is that energy never dies; it can neither be created nor destroyed. But does this energy transcend from one world to the other?
Consider an experiment that was recently published in the journal Science showing that scientists could retroactively change something that had happened in the past. Particles had to decide how to behave when they hit a beam splitter. Later on, the experimenter could turn a second switch on or off. It turns out that what the observer decided at that point, determined what the particle did in the past. Regardless of the choice you, the observer, make, it is you who will experience the outcomes that will result. The linkages between these various histories and universes transcend our ordinary classical ideas of space and time. Think of the 20-watts of energy as simply holo-projecting either this or that result onto a screen. Whether you turn the second beam splitter on or off, it's still the same battery or agent responsible for the projection.
According to Biocentrism, space and time are not the hard objects we think. Wave your hand through the air - if you take everything away, what's left? Nothing. The same thing applies for time. You can't see anything through the bone that surrounds your brain. Everything you see and experience right now is a whirl of information occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the tools for putting everything together.
Death does not exist in a timeless, spaceless world. In the end, even Einstein admitted, "Now Besso" (an old friend) "has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us...know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion." Immortality doesn't mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.
This was clear with the death of my sister Christine. After viewing her body at the hospital, I went out to speak with family members. Christine's husband - Ed - started to sob uncontrollably. For a few moments I felt like I was transcending the provincialism of time. I thought about the 20-watts of energy, and about experiments that show a single particle can pass through two holes at the same time. I could not dismiss the conclusion: Christine was both alive and dead, outside of time.
Christine had had a hard life. She had finally found a man that she loved very much. My younger sister couldn't make it to her wedding because she had a card game that had been scheduled for several weeks. My mother also couldn't make the wedding due to an important engagement she had at the Elks Club. The wedding was one of the most important days in Christine's life. Since no one else from our side of the family showed, Christine asked me to walk her down the aisle to give her away.
Soon after the wedding, Christine and Ed were driving to the dream house they had just bought when their car hit a patch of black ice. She was thrown from the car and landed in a banking of snow.
"Ed," she said "I can't feel my leg."
She never knew that her liver had been ripped in half and blood was rushing into her peritoneum.
After the death of his son, Emerson wrote "Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature."
Whether it's flipping the switch for the Science experiment, or turning the driving wheel ever so slightly this way or that way on black-ice, it's the 20-watts of energy that will experience the result. In some cases the car will swerve off the road, but in other cases the car will continue on its way to my sister's dream house.
Christine had recently lost 100 pounds, and Ed had bought her a surprise pair of diamond earrings. It's going to be hard to wait, but I know Christine is going to look fabulous in them the next time I see her.
Barry and Brad Klinge of Ghost Lab. Photo: Courtesy of Discovery Channel
Brothers Barry and Brad Klinge are not the typical ghost investigators you normally see on TV. The Klinges conduct scientific experiments in attempts to stir up paranormal activity, instead of goofing off while a spirit may or may not show up.
The Klinge brothers of Everyday Paranormal travel to reportedly haunted locations with their Ghost Lab trailer, a 24 ft. long (converted) car hauler. The Ghost Lab trailer can provide 200,000 watts of electricity to power audio-, video- and photo-analysis stations; flat-screen televisions; and an interactive touch-screen smart board.
The Ghost Lab also contains temperature, humidity and dew point data loggers; various digital cameras, including thermal-imaging cameras; audio recorders; and more than 8,000 feet of video cable. It also houses surveillance video cameras, which are capable of shooting 300 feet away in total darkness with a 180-degree peripheral view.
The Ghost Lab's on-site high-tech lab enables investigators to analyze data on the premises in real time, helping them to more narrowly focus their investigations on known hot spots.
The Klinge brothers hail from Universal City/Schertz area, near San Antonio.
President & Founder of Everyday Paranormal, Brad Klinge (a native Texan), is a 1996 graduate of Southwest Texas State University, with a major in business and a minor in broadcast journalism. Everyday Paranormal is Brad’s full-time job and career.
Brad Klinge has always been interested in the supernatural, which multiplied tenfold in the summer of 1990. It was at this time that Brad witnesseded and filmed one of the most significant supernatural events ever recorded — an actual ghost regiment. It was this experience that drove Brad to form Everyday Paranormal in October, 2007.
Brad's goal is to take supernatural investigation to a new level with common-sense theories and techniques, that so far have led to extraordinary evidence.
Barry Klinge (Brad's older brother), is Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of Everyday Paranormal. He also acts as case manager, does most of the client screening and scheduling.
Barry was born in Denver, Colorado but moved to Universal City,Texas when he was 6 months old. He did a stint in the U.S. Navy and is a Gulf War veteran.
Barry Klinge worked for 12 years as a paramedic before graduating in 2006, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology (physical education).
After experiencing many personal encounters over the years, Barry grabbed the opportunity to conduct professional and scientific research with his brother, Brad. Everyday Paranormal is now his full-time job and career.
Their TV series the on Discovery Channel was created by former professors and graduates of DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township, one being Executive Producer (and creator of Ghost Lab), Alan LaGarde.
You are invited to join the Klinge brothers, along with some of the world's foremost scientific specialists, as they go about devising and testing cutting-edge theories during their Ghost Lab investigations.
Ghost Lab can be seen on TUESDAYS, 10pm E/P on Discovery Channel.
In DARK FIGURE IN WOODS BEHIND HOME, a man near Sarnac, Michighan sees a large, dark bipedal creature with red eyes. The creature changes to 'all fours' and though shot twice, seems completely unharmed, disappearing into the dark forest.
The third report, TEXAS LIZARD MAN ENCOUNTER, a 13 year old boy goes hunting quail with his grandfather. He goes off on his own and at a pond, has an encounter with a tall, scaled lizard man, that enters the water and begins to swim towards the boy. The young man shoots several times and then terrified, runs back to his grandfather who does not believe his tale.
Have you always wanted to fly in space? It will soon be your chance to do just that.
On Monday, wannabe space tourists received a glimpse of their future ride, when Virgin Galactic revealed the first of its long-awaited SpaceShipTwo planes. ("Enterprise" pictured with wings folded upward, suspended from the middle of its twin-fuselage launch vehicle.)
Hold tight though, as a trip into space is going to cost $200,000.00. I guess I better start saving up!
For video and more of this amazing story, read about it on LITS >>
jacksonvilleprogress.com- For years, the good people of East Texas have shared with us their stories of ghosts, haunted houses, unexplained events and other morsel of the macabre.
One lady even told us a story about a alien buried in a cemetery in Wise County — an event backed up by a story in a respected Texas newspaper.
Now, it’s time to put the ghosts into a new book.
And if you have a favorite story, here’s your chance to see it in print, whether you believe it or not.
You can call us at 936-634-7444, send us an e-mail at email@example.com, or write us at 515 South First Street, Lufkin, Texas 75901. Our Web site is bob-bowman.com
Here are some of the ghosts of East Texas.
• In 1843, Milt Andrews built a splendid plantation mansion near Karnack. Sometime later, Andrews’ nineteen-year-old daughter, Eunice, also known as Oonie, sat alone in her upstairs bedroom when a bolt of lightning from a storm struck a chimney and raced down to a fireplace and struck Oonie. She was burned to death.
Over the years, stories rose that Oonie’s ghost never left her bedroom. Eerie noises, odd happenings, and ghostly apparitions soon became common. When the Andrews family sold the mansion to T.J. Taylor, Lady Bird Johnson’s father, in 1902, the ghost went along with the sale.
Lady Bird said she never saw the ghost, but admitted feeling a sense of apprehension and unease in the house as a child.
• At Patriot’s Hill, which stands beside the Sabine River near Hemphill, soldiers in the Civil War guarded the hill to keep Union soldiers from entering Texas. The men stayed at their posts until the war’s end, but many died from starvation and sickness.
Some people in Sabine County say the soldiers’ voices can still be heard on the hill and others claim they have seen men in Civil War uniforms silently standing guard in the woods.
Now that we’ve grabbed your attention, we’re waiting on your story.
* * * Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the author of 42 books about East Texas. He can be reached through his website. ____________________
nicsentinel- My dorm room is haunted. There is something in the dorm room I live in and I'm not the only one who thinks that. Call me crazy or call me creepy, but my roommate and I are not the only ones living in my dorm.
Paranormal is defined as something that cannot be scientifically defined. Some of the occurrences that have happen in my room cannot be scientifically explained.
I'm the first person to call into question a claim of paranormal activity. People say they "see things," and they do, but it is their mind playing tricks on them. Most of the times I discredit what I "see" and just tell myself that I am tired.
The shows about investigating ghosts or hauntings usually have little evidence or cannot come to a conclusion.
If you tell people you've had a paranormal experience, they think you are kidding or think that you are weird.
Two major different occurrences and four different people make up the events that lead me to believe that my room is haunted.
Mid-October was the first time I ever had a feeling that something "not normal" was occurring. All of my roommates were gone for class.
I had just came home from running errands and decided to take a nap before getting ready for the night.
An hour into my nap, I thought I heard someone in my bathroom moving things on the counter.
Not thinking anything of it I drifted back into a half sleep. I wasn't fully asleep, but I wasn't awake.
As I felt myself drifting back to sleep, someone or something whispered into my ear.
Instantly, I was fully awake and could feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins.
The whisper sounded like gibberish, but it was as if someone was telling me a secret and they were right next to me.
I hesitantly stood up to check my room thinking my roommates had sneaked in while I was sleeping, but no one was home but me.
I thought that my head could have been playing games with me, but the events seemed so real.
Not telling anyone about my experience at first was a personal choice. I didn't want people to think I was crazy or making things up for attention.
Nearly two weeks later, one of my roommates was sleeping in my room because my other roommate was out of town and his bed is more comfortable then most.
As he describes it, around 4 a.m. he was awakened by an intense, deep growling noise.
Immediately he sat up thinking it was me making noises in my sleep.
He then said he quickly fell back to sleep so he didn't have to think about what it was.
The next morning he told me about that night, and that's when I first told someone about my experience.
Other things have happened in my room that go unexplained.
Just last week, sitting in my room with a friend doing homework, we heard a growl and both looked at each other with puzzled expressions on our face.
Less than five days ago, my roommate was sleeping in the room by himself when the blinds were hit, like someone dragging their hand down them.
It's really frightening to think there is something else living in your room besides you and your roommate.
We all could be hearing things and feeding off each other's stories, but some things just seem too real.
Call me creepy or call me crazy, but I'm living with something paranormal and in a way, it's exciting.
Imagine my surprise and delight, when this 'Techie Intuitive' received email kudos for assistance rendered. It's nice to have someone else stroke my ego once in a while. :-)
It's not every day a person gets to work with an investigator as professional as Lon Strickler. Lon's Blogsite Phantoms and Monsters, is one of the best sites for paranormal information, investigations and just plain good stories of the paranormal, the weird and the bizarre. His keen insight and careful presentation of facts makes him a top notch investigator, as well as spot on Webmaster.
Enhancement of orb by SW It was my honor and privilege to assist Lon in the 'Perth Orb' Investigation and Update. I examined the still shots captured from grainy video, to reveal the source, the identity of the orbs. I enhanced the photos, then using the graphical information and my inner self to guide me, I was able to create a visual representation of the 'spirit'.
Rick Phillips, 'The Anomaly Man' of THS said in this year's announcement, "this year, like last, we have a bevy of links that appeared on the internet that qualified as anomalous in many areas of ParaNormality - but - mixed in - of course, - we had the tricksters, hoaxers, and just plain unquantifiable information - which we have to include in this day and age of CGI videos and more. Indeed, the coverage by the MSM of the hoaxes is becoming part of the total Fortean story. Such is the state of the anomalous internet world of 2009."
cryptomundo.com: Last night ~ November 30th, police on the west side of San Antonio received a 911 call from multiple eyewitnesses who claimed that they saw a hairy, hominid standing over six feet tall, run out of the woods and kill a deer. The incident was reported to the local media and broadcast earlier today. The witnesses were apparently homeless and responding officers who interviewed them found them to be completely sober and rational, though understandably scared. The police chose not to search for the creature.
I have just returned from a stake out of the area, which is located at the intersection of Loop 1604 and highway 151, about ten miles from where I live. The area is somewhat developed, although fairly wooded and located near several creeks. Most of the area is private property and is fenced with barbed wire.
Obviously I was not about to trespass and I’m still not 100% sure of the exact location of the incident. Reporter Joe Conger from Eyewitness News did visit the exact spot earlier today and told me there were some animal bones present.
I plan on returning there with him tomorrow to look for tracks and other evidence. Ken Gerhard, December 2, 2009, 2:13:02 AM EST. ____________________________
Several callers contacted police last night about a ‘large hairy creature’ By Jim Forsyth
San Antonio News Radio 1200 WOAI: Police dispatchers told 1200 WOAI news they received several calls Monday night about a ‘Sasquatch’ being spotted near Highway 151 and Loop 1604. Several homeless people contacted police swearing they saw a ‘big hairy creature’ which was ‘taller than six foot three’ kill a deer and drag it back into the woods.
Police say the folks reporting the Sasquatch sighting ’sounded scared, and surprisingly sober.’
Police opted not to launch a ‘Bigfoot Manhunt.’
Even more up-to-date, on Wednesday, December 2, 2009.
Police and News 4 WOAI have been getting calls about bizarre sightings.
The callers told News 4 WOAI they saw a large, hairy, Bigfoot-type creature at Highway 151 and Loop 1604 on the West Side Monday. Police got a similar call Monday night at the same location.
Two weeks ago, News 4 WOAI reported that a monkey or ape of some sort was spotted on Southwest Loop 410.
The technicians at J.D.’s Paint and Body Shop showed News 4 WOAI crews footprints on their dumpster, proof of what one described as a “baboon.”
(Click on image for larger view.) mysanantonio.com: It's not Bigfoot, but a hairy animal definitely is lurking around a far West Side body shop.
Following news reports about a woman who told police she had seen the elusive Sasquatch near Loop 1604 and Texas 151 Monday night, workers at JD's Paint and Body Shop on Wednesday released a murky video that shows what appears to be a hairy animal the workers say has been foraging around their trash bin for several weeks now.
Fidel Amaton, who is a technician at the body shop, was the first to see the animal early last month as he was throwing trash into the bin behind the shop. Amaton said it was early in the morning and he still was rubbing the sleep from his eyes when he was startled by what appeared to be a monkey that jumped out of the bin.
He said that unlike the 6-foot-tall “Bigfoot” sighted near Loop 1604, this animal was about 3 feet tall. It bared its teeth and let out a high-pitched hiss before it scaled the fence to the neighboring business.
“I was freaked out because I wasn't expecting to see that early in the morning,” he said. “I just backed up slowly and when it left, I ran inside to tell the guys what I saw.”
He was sure the animal was not a raccoon or a possum, and “the movement it had looked like a monkey.”
Joe Duarte, the shop's owner, and his brother, Adrian, went to look for the animal, but all they found were prints about five inches long.
“We didn't know what to think,” Joe Duarte said.
But he did wonder if the animal could have escaped from the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, which keeps baboons on hand and is located just north of the shop at Loop 410 and Texas 151.
The two immediately called the foundation. Adrian Duarte, the shop's manager, said that a few hours later, two individuals showed up to inspect the prints. He said the men told them they resembled a baboon's print.
Foundation officials said Wednesday they don't know what it is but they do know it's not theirs.
Ty May, a veterinary resource manager at the foundation who's familiar with the incident, said it's not conclusive that the prints found at the business were from any type of primate. May said the research center was “not missing any animals and have not confirmed a sighting of any kind.” Worried about what kind of animal might be foraging from their trash bin, the Duartes set up a video camera to get a better look at the animal.
“I'm cautious to walk over there,” Adrian Duarte said. “I mean, I want to see him, but then again I don't. Those animals can be dangerous.”
Still, they left food on top of the trash bin, including a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, to try and lure the animal out.
The dimly lit and fuzzy footage shows some type of animal climb atop the bin, grab the sandwich and jump back down — all in a fluid motion. But the video camera is too far back, making it hard to clearly make out any of the animal's features.
So the guys at the body shop called the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation center in Kendalia for a second opinion. On Wednesday, Katie Birk, an animal caretaker at the rescue, went to the shop to see the video.
Her initial reaction was a large smile and a laugh.
“You got a little monkey friend on your hands,” Birk said chuckling. She said the creature was “agile” and it's movements resembled an animal “not native to the area.”
The Duartes showed Birk the evidence they had collected, including the prints and tufts of hair. Birk guessed the animal could be a macaque, a primate mostly located in Asia.
Although a macaque isn't as aggressive as a baboon, Birk said that if anyone comes across the monkey, they should walk away, go inside somewhere and wait for it to go away.
Lynn Cuny, the founder of the nonprofit wildlife rescue, said they haven't received any other calls about a monkey in the area, but would help capture the animal. She said while it's not common, they occasionally will capture exotic animals that people have illegally tried to keep as pets.
She said if the animal is captured, it could live at the 200-acre sanctuary, where they have nearly 200 primates.
It has now been nearly two weeks since the Duartes last saw the hairy creature.
As for Bigfoot, well, police aren't convinced it's the real deal.
(Click on image for larger view.)
“She had seen what appeared to be a 6-foot-3 or larger creature covered with fur or hair, and had a very foul odor,” San Antonio Police Department spokeswoman Romana Gutierrez said of Monday's report. “It ran toward the water tower, past 1604, carrying a deer. I know there are a lot of hunting areas out that way... maybe it was a hunter.” ____________________
Ghostly figure seen in photo below. Photo taken in the Red Lion, Wheelton, UK Lancashire Evening Post- Ghosts and Lancashire pubs seem to go hand in hand ... almost as much as the beer and crisps.
There's the legend of Lizzie at The Sun Inn, Chipping. There's rumours of a grey lady at Euxton Mills on Wigan Road. And there are reports of flying CDs at The Wellington Inn, Glovers Court, Preston – to name but a few.
Now a Preston university lecturer has attempted to shed light on why watering holes seem to be linked to the paranormal – booze aside.
Dr Paul Rogers is a senior lecturer in the school of psychology at the University of Central Lancashire and since 2004 has taught a module called The Psychology of the Paranormal.
He said: "I suspect the obvious link is good old-fashioned storytelling. "But with actual ghost sightings – or 'apparitional experiences', as parapsychologists prefer to call them – I suspect it will be a combination of several factors, including prior belief in ghosts.
"Psychologists know that prior expectations shape what we (think we) see. This is particularly robust in paranormal beliefs.
"And 'suggestion' also has a significant impact on our perceptions.
Being told a pub is haunted is more likely to elicit an apparitional experience in its customers."
Other factors which contribute, according to Dr Rogers, include the physical characteristics of many old pubs such as low-beamed ceilings and old paintings.
He added: "Another psychological factor is 'pareidolia'. That is the general tendency to misperceive vague and random visual stimuli. For example, clouds or shadows, having a significant form such as a human figure.
"In addition, previous research suggests that most apparitional experiences occur indoors, in familiar surroundings, when the experient is in a relaxed state of mind."
Dr Rogers studied a digital camera photograph taken in the Red Lion, Blackburn Road, Wheelton, which appears to show a ghostly figure hovering above a woman's shoulder.
He said: "I suspect this can be explained either by double exposure or by pareidolia. That is, the vaporish blur is either a light shadow, a smudged fingerprint on the camera lens or possibly smoke."
David Finch, 39, of Wheelton, who submitted the photograph which was taken at his friend's birthday party, said: "I don't believe in the afterlife and all that but I can't explain the picture. It's done the rounds in the village, everyone has come out with a story." ___________________
desmoinesregister.com- Squeeze the headphones a little tighter, listen really, really carefully and you can hear the voice saying something like ... well, it's hard to say exactly what.
But that's not the point. There was a voice, saying something from the glow in a big, old, spooky Iowa house, sometime between midnight and dawn a few weeks ago. The voice is definitely there. Maybe.
"Yes, it's something," said Mike Brandle of Des Moines. "Oh, it's definitely something. I absolutely believe it."
And that, folks, is the conclusion of one of Iowa's most committed ghost hunters, one of a few dozen people who scour cemeteries and old houses looking for whatever lurks in the shadows.
They've checked out a lot of places around the state. A bunch more are on their list.
The 142-year-old Lee Mansion in Independence is the most recent target of these investigators of the paranormal, the unexplainable, the downright spooky.
Voices in the dark, hands on faces, a shadowy image in an upstairs window and some other strange stuff popped up during a night in a haunted house. Supposedly.
If that seems improbable, so be it, because Brandle and the 50 or so other Iowans who are members of investigative teams welcome the dubious.
"Skeptics make us work harder," said the 36-year-old Brandle, who looks for ghosts at night and works at a home improvement store during the day. "Some people never will believe, and that's up to them. We know what we found at the Lee Mansion and in some other places we've checked."
First, be aware these people are searching for evidence of ghosts, spirits, apparitions, whatever.
They're not in the eviction business.
"That's up to clergy," said Brandle.
There doesn't seem to be any need to cleanse the old Independence house of spirits, although it was a likely candidate for a good old-fashioned haunting.
It was built for Daniel Lee, a lawyer, and his wife, Fannie, in the mid-19th century. They were among the most influential of Independence's citizens, and both died of natural causes in the old house. It later became part of a hospital. That made it prime ghost-hunting property.
"It's an old Victorian mansion that is largely unchanged," said Brandle, a member of an organization known as Des Moines Paranormal. "Nobody has lived there for a long time. The original owners died there.
It was a hospital, so you know there were additional deaths there."
Eight investigators descended on the place the night of Oct. 9. It took an hour for them to set up their cameras, recorders and other electronic equipment. Then they moved through the house, watching and listening. When they left the next morning, they knew there was something a little extra in the place.
"I won't tell you I necessarily saw something," said Joy Haydon of Independence, who was on her first ghost-hunting trip in a house. "I definitely know I experienced something."
For instance, the hands on her face.
"Yes, at one point it felt like somebody's hands were on my face," Haydon said. "Kind of cupped hands on my cheeks. The person with me felt like somebody put a hand on her shoulder."
Haydon said it's not something she expected, or even wanted to happen.
"It just happened," she said. "It was strange, but I wasn't scared."
Neither was Brandle, even though his experience that night is right up there on the weirdness chart.
"We were in the basement, and the audio picked up a broadcast of a football game that was played five years earlier," he said. "We checked with the radio station. There wasn't any rebroadcast and the teams hadn't played a game in the years since. But it's there. I felt like there were chunks of rock hitting me on the foot. We saw a face in an upstairs window. There were lots of EVPs."
That stands for "electronic voice phenomenon." It's apparently how ghosts communicate audibly. You can listen for yourself on the Web site desmoinesparanormal.webs.com.
It's not like when the long-dead Jacob Marley dragged heavy chains through the house and scared the willies out of Ebenezer Scrooge. Or raw hamburger dropping out of the ceiling like in the movie "Poltergeist."
It's more like, "I think maybe I heard somebody say something," and then listening closely a while later when listening to digital recordings. The uninitiated or the skeptical may hear nothing.
Such as in the recording of the voice at the Lee Mansion that supposedly says, "Who's the little tramp?"
Sounds to me like, "sssssssssssssssssss."
There were other recordings offered as examples. I couldn't make out a word. Oh, well.
Just know the investigators plan to continue investigating. They'd love to have people join them. Even skeptics. If they're not too afraid. ______________________
app.com- For as long as she can remember, Barbara Mackey has had a special relationship with animals.
"As a child, I just knew how animals were feeling," the Toms River resident said. "It was all very intuitive; I can't explain, but when I was around animals, I could pick up on things."
That intuitiveness continued into her life as a pet owner, first to her dog, Louis-Philippe, and now to her cat, Mercedes Benz.
"It was something that was always there," she said. "I never delved into it, but now it's part of who I am."
Now, Mackey's ability to know how animals are feeling — call it pet intuitiveness — has led her straight to Animal Planet and the channel's new original series, "The Haunted."
Premiering at 10 p.m. Sunday, "The Haunted" takes an intimate look at stories of people whose animals act as mediaries to the afterworld.
Often the subjects of the most intense paranormal hauntings, animals are commonly believed to be more sensitive to spirits than people. And when spirits afflict pets, the animals aren't the only victims. Owners can also fall prey to paranormal activity and will often stop at nothing to rid their homes and pets of paranormal spirits.
"Animals are more psychic than people," Mackey said. "They go with their sixth sense completely. . . it's pure primal instinct."
A psychic/medium/channeler who has been doing paranormal investigations for more than 25 years, Mackey was approached by a production company for the show and asked to lend her expertise.
"They told me it (the series) was going to be about animals who might have been sacrificed or used for experimentation, or something else and they wanted to get my impressions of what happened in the places they would take me to," Mackey said.
A short-time later, Mackey found herself in what she describes as a one-time "insane asylum."
Immediately, Mackey was overwhelmed by images - not only of the patients who were once housed there, but by the animals who were used in experiments in the building.
"I could pick up the souls of people, picture the dungeon rooms where they were housed," she recalled. "And the animals, the animals that were used in experiments. . . they were terrified. I heard them screaming. . .and it was done in the name of testing."
While being a pet intuitive is emotional draining, Mackey says she sees it as her calling.
"I am their voice," she said. "They cannot speak, but I can tell their story."
Mackey is also slated to appear on the Nov. 29 episode, when she and a paranormal team from Pennsylvania head out to investigate "The Cat Cult."
BY Leigh Remizowski Tuesday, December 1st 2009, 10:10 AM
(Depiction by SW-click on image for larger view)
NYDailynews.com- THIS SAD tale of a Native American tribe has all the drama an aspiring filmmaker could hope for - the upheaval of an ancient burial ground, eerie hauntings and a battle over land rights.
And, most tragically of all, it's true.
After hearing tales of restless spirits of Matinecock Indians haunting Little Neck, Eric MaryEa decided to investigate the history of the tribe.
Tracking down the dwindling group wasn't hard - they are part of his family tree.
MaryEa, a 24-year-old St. John's University graduate, is half Matinecock and half Italian.
He became interested in documenting Matinecock history when his grandfather told him that their ancestors' spirits still haunt the businesses near the intersection of Northern Blvd. and Little Neck Parkway.
"Every native who still lives in the area believes spirits are still here," MaryEa said.
The ghosts have been sighted all over Little Neck, he said. Some employees at a bank are afraid to go into the basement because of banging on the vault. And dishes at a now-closed China shop used to fall off their shelves, MaryEa said.
James Barron, MaryEa's grandfather, said he often feels spirits walking through his home.
MaryEa's documentary, "The Lost Spirits," debuted at the Big Apple Film Festival this fall and was screened this month at the Queens International Film Festival. It chronicles the Matinecocks and their struggles after being pushed off their land in 1931, when the city began widening Northern Blvd.
The land is now home to restaurants, banks and convenience stores. But it used to be green and wooded, said Barron, 74.
"We used to come outside and target shoot right in my yard," he said. "Then, the city started taking it away, piece by piece by piece."
Much of the land cleared for Northern Blvd.'s extra lanes was a Matinecock burial ground. Archaeologists moved the bodies to a mass grave down the street at Zion Episcopal Church.
"They buried them, took their stuff and left them in a pit," MaryEa said.
Matinecocks customarily lay their dead to rest with possessions such as clothing, medicine or tools. Very few of the artifacts made it to the new grave.
"Because the bodies were moved to a mass grave and the grave goods were not reinterred, the spirits are now angry," MaryEa said.
While producing the documentary, MaryEa went on an unsuccessful search for the items at museums where archaeologists said the artifacts were sent.
"No one knows where they are," he said.
What is left is one gravestone - split by a tree growing through it. The inscription reads, "Here lie the last of the Matinecock."
MaryEa hopes his documentary shows the message on the gravestone isn't true.
"I'm standing here, so they weren't the last," he said.
* * *
"The Matinecocks were a noble people who had lived in harmony with nature for over a thousand years on Long Island's north shore. They were willing to share the land with the settlers from Europe, but the settlers wanted it all. The simple ways of the Matinecock were no match for the power of the new settlers, and within a hundred years of the settlers' arrival the Matinecocks were gone."