In 1973 an advertisement appeared in some occult/paranormal magazines which invited people to join “America’s most exciting new Society”. Your payment of $10 enrolled you as a charter member of The American Society for the Occult Sciences. One of the bonuses you received after joining was a vinyl record LP which included How to develop your ESP and What is Witchcraft? Both sides of the album were narrated by Hans Holzer. Here, for your enjoyment is that recording.
Side One: Develop Your ESP
Side Two: Facts about Witchcraft
In the first Haunted Hooey I described some tricks that people have employed during séances to create what would seem to be supernatural happenings. In this brief post I’ll describe what some people have done to convince others that a location is haunted.
Believe it or not dry ice not only makes cool looking fog and smoke but it is also used to help create the illusion of spectral denizens. In my original Haunted Hooey post I wrote about people using a mouth full of beans to spit out to create “rapping” sounds; well dry ice, which should not be put in your mouth, can create bumps and bangs in a much more sneaky manner. A person can carry around small chips of dry ice in their coat pocket and whenever they feel so inclined can throw or flick those chips around a room. Now after the “taps” have been heard the only thing they have to do is keep people away from the chip of dry ice until it evaporates. In some cases the evaporation of the dry ice chip will even catch the flash from a vigilant camera-person and create a spooky “mist” which, since coming from the same direction as the “tapping,” must have been the ghost! Another trick utilizing dry ice is performed by slightly compressing a plastic water bottle and placing a small chip inside. Tighten the cap and place the bottle somewhere; as the dry ice evaporates the bottle will start to inflate causing the plastic to snap and pop. In a dark location the sources of the sounds will almost never be found, especially since once the bottle fully expands the sounds will stop and if the bottle is discovered, well, it’s just an empty water bottle.
For those of you, who have ever seen a magician “float” a small object or dollar bill the illusion is created by the use of a monofilament thread, usually made of nylon called “invisible thread”. Even up close and in a well-lit area invisible thread is difficult to see which makes it perfect for close-up illusions. In cases of “haunted” locations the string can be pre-attached to small objects, like a ball or a sheet of paper, to make them move. Once the string is broken or dis-attached from the item it almost completely undetectable. Although invisible thread tends to be very “breakable” if multiple threads are used they can move much larger objects, although only slightly, but sometimes slightly is enough to convince those looking to be convinced. I have also seen a person attach a long strand onto their fingers so that it will, when the arm is raised, brush against the face of someone standing near them creating the feeling of “cobwebs” touching their face.
Believe it or not strange voices can sometimes be recorded on a digital recorder before they are recorded on a digital recorder! If that sounds confusing…it is. There have been two instances in which I found “investigators” faking EVPS, but playing EVPS. What?
The trick goes something like this. An “investigator” records weird whispering words into their recorder before anyone arrives then after others get to the location and during the EVP sessions the hoaxer plays their recordings while pretending to make recordings along with everyone else! Of course the sounds are sometimes heard as they are being played so people will check their devices and guess what? Some people will have recorded them! Boom! EVPs! Of course EVPS don’t show up on everyone’s recorders, including the person who originally recorded the voices which were played to hoax the EVP in the first place.
More to come in part 3: Cold Readings