Sounds of the Weird: Volume One

418+1zL0BWL._SL500_AA280_Sounds of the Weird is a soundtrack of audio experiments meant to accompany research into unusual phenomena. Each volume of the collection is crafted using, in most instances, ambient sounds from the time periods and locations of specific anomalous experiences. Sometimes melodious, other times discordant Sounds of the Weird strives to be a new strange experience beyond those which prompted the creation of the collection. You can get your copy from Amazon buy clicking here.

This CD and the music contained on it are not meant to be a comprehensive study of the topic for which the volume was named but all sounds/songs were created specifically to be listened to while researching certain topics.

Michigan’s 10 Most Haunted Cities for 2013

ROYAL OAK, Mich. — Citizens who are easily scared or who are fascinated by the paranormal may be wondering where they can find — or hide from — the cities in Michigan where they’re most likely to encounter ghosts and paranormal phenomena. To help the communities enjoy their Halloween season, paranormal researcher John E.L. Tenney has once again identified Michigan’s Top 10 most haunted cities.

After losing the top spot on the list, four years ago, Detroit is back at number one.

“The top ten cities include places for believers and skeptics, living or otherwise,” says John E.L. Tenney, Tenney is a well-known veteran paranormal researcher, the founder of WeirdLectures.com, national lecturer and author. Tenney’s organization collects and compiles e-mails, news stories, letters, and historical documents to create the list. “People are not only interested in paranormal phenomena allegedly occurring in their community,” he says, “but they use those experiences to connect with neighbors and other residents and share in a new kind of oral history.” The real excitement in these haunted cities, Tenney says, comes from exploring them in person and absorbing their essence.

All the cities on Tenney’s list have incredible histories to share. Self-guided walking tours are a fun, relaxing, and healthy way to see these communities. Every year, some citizens worry needlessly about the list, which has become a “rite” of the Halloween season. But not to fear, Tenney says. “The only thing some residents are really afraid of is if this list will have an effect on the marketability and value of the homes in their community. The reality of the situation is that researchers and scientists would pay anything to get their hands on a truly haunted house.”

For more information, visit WeirdLectures.com.

The 2013 Top 10 Haunted Michigan Cities (2012 rankings in parentheses)

1. Detroit (4)*
2. Kalamazoo (3)
3. Jackson (1)
4. Mount Clemens (9)
5. Ann Arbor (8)
6. Flint (5)
7. Battle Creek (7)
8. Lansing (-)
9. Traverse City (6)
10. Grand Rapids (2)

*The five most commonly reported locations within Detroit:
5. The Whitney
4. Indian Village
3. Corktown
2. Historic Fort Wayne
1. Detroit Public Library

CBS Radio Workshop: A Report on ESP

The CBS Radio Workshop was a dramatic radio series that aired on CBS in the 1950′s. Subtitled “radio’s distinguished series to man’s imagination,” it blended fiction and non-fiction news accounts. In this episode from 1956 the concepts of ESP, Dowsing, Precognition and Telepathy are covered. Starring John McIntyre and Raymond Burr.

CBS Radio Workshop: A Report on ESP

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Unconventional Conventions – John Keel 1966

John Keel is regarded by many as a pioneer in the field of Fortean studies. He popularized, and indeed may have created, the terms “Men In Black” and “Ultraterrestrials” but Keel is most well-known as the main researcher and investigator of the Mothman experiences. He wrote a number of books including The Mothman Prophecies, Disneyland of the Gods, Our Haunted Planet and Jadoo. He challenged the commonly held belief that flying Saucers, cryptozoology and hauntings were unique and separate experiences. In an interview Keel stated that,”The objects and apparitions do not necessarily originate on another planet and may not even exist as permanent constructions of matter. It is more likely that we see what we want to see and interpret such visions according to our contemporary beliefs.”
Without Keel the “paranormal community” would be lacking in much of its insight and humor.

Here for you enjoyment is a lecture by John Keel recorded during a UFO convention in 1966.
John Keel, UFO Convention 1966

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The World’s Most Haunted Location

I am very frequently asked by people, “Where is the most haunted place in the world?” My answer is always the same, “If any place is haunted, it’s the Earth.”

Now, although many people think that I am trying to be funny, which I am, I am also being serious. So, let’s try a little thought experiment.

If ghosts are what people generally believe them to be, the remaining energy/consciousness of a human being who has died, then each person could potentially become a ghost when they pass out of this realm.
I’m bad with math but I can make this easy on myself and you…so hold on.
Since human beings have been “human beings”, (we’ll just go with the genus Homo which will put us around 2 million years ago), estimates of population would show that approximately 75 to 105 billion have been born and died on planet Earth. Now, let’s say that some “ghosts” have passed on and or perhaps never became ghosts; I’ll be generous here and say that out of the 100 billion deaths 85% either never became ghosts or are ghosts that have moved into a different existence that doesn’t interact with us on Earth. That leaves us with approximately 15 billion ghosts still residing with us on this planet.
Now that we know we might have as many as 15 billion “ghostly” friends wandering around we need to look at where they could be. The total land surface area of Earth is about 57 million square miles, of which about 57% is uninhabitable leaving us with about 15 billion acres of land.

See why I was so generous by saying 85% of the ghosts are “gone”? I makes it easy for me to do the math.

So, 15 billion ghosts divided by 15 billion acres of land equals 1 ghost per acre… at least.
So why are people traveling all over to investigate ghosts?
Isn’t there at least one right next to you?

American Society for the Occult Sciences: Hans Holzer Recording

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

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Haunted Hooey – Part One: Shifty Seances

Throughout the course of the last 30 years I have on many occasions been invited to, and indeed have partaken in, séances, psychic readings, table turnings/liftings, and all other manner of so called spiritualistic or psychical events. In all of those instances I attended not only to hopefully witness some miracle of unexplainable origin but also satiate my curiosity as to how the phenomena would be made manifest. During the early years of my delving into the world of anomalistic phenomena I realized that I needed to know how I could be tricked. The mind is a complicated but easily fooled machine and with this realization I made the decision to join as many guilds of magic as I could. I threw myself into the study and practice of illusions, mentalism, stage hypnosis and all other manner of trickery which could fool the senses and even more importantly might alter my ideas about actual supernatural phenomena. Now, I’m sure that many of my former breather in the world of magic will be somewhat dismay at this article and details which it will reveal but it is more important, to me, to expose some of the ways which people have fooled so many for so long. I am in no way saying that all psychical experiences are some manner of trickery but I simply want to show how it was done so that those who might one day be introduced into “strange” situations may be able to truly discern if something is blatant hoaxing.

The original séances:
Beginning the late 1800’s séances and mediumistic parlor sittings were becoming a common experience in Europe and America. Traditionally these séances were held in rooms which, at some point of the séance, could be made totally dark. The stage magician F. Shields wrote:

“A dark room is necessary, and I do mean dark, dim or dusky will not do. If the séance is to succeed you must not be able to see the hand in front of the face.”

When it comes time for the “spirit” to make itself known it will be an absolute necessity to have a free hand. But how is this to be accomplished when hands are all on the table? Mentalist William Larson explains how to free your hand.

“Have each guest place his hands on the table in front of him. The fingers should be outstretched. The thumbs should be about three inches apart. The fourth, little finger of each hand should touch the fourth finger of the person next to them”.

By doing so a “psychic -circle” will be formed. Larson continues:

“If anyone of us tries to move a hand or hands, those next to him will know. When you are ready to “black out” the room you should request the guest at your right to do so. Have only one light in the room and make sure it is slightly behind you and to your right. The light is placed so that naturally when you make the request of your guest he will use his left hand. Now, however, instead of placing your right fourth finger on his left fourth finger, you span your left hand so that the left thumb is touching the left fourth finger of the guest at your right.”

Now, obviously all manner of trickery can happen in the dark since you have a free hand.

As early as 1900 “Tapping” had become all the rage at séances and it was commonly known throughout circles of practicing magicians that, as magician Stephen Trulow said, “five to six small beans placed in the mouth and blown one at a time to act as a response to a questioner can provide a variety of “taps” unequaled by spirits.”

Another “strange happening would be the appearance of small luminescent lights while the room was dark. The mentalist Dunninger talked about creating these spirit lights in his “Mystic Series” pamphlets.

“A piece of piece of black cardboard with a good daubing of luminous paint is placed under the medium’s shoe along the instep. Naturally this is kept towards the floor until the lights are turned off. The leg is then lifted and swung to and fro. The glowing object appears and responds to the mediums desires. The foot is of course returned to the floor when the lights are snapped back on.”

Now these are simply a few of the tricks that magicians, and some mediums, used in the deception of others. There are literally thousands more with many being very elaborate. The goal in revealing these “tricks” is so that a casual observer or even a well-versed researcher of the supernatural understands that in many instances deception is more easily created than you may think it is.

In part two of Haunted Hooey we’ll look at Dry Ice and Cold Readings. Stay Tuned.

5 ideas for new paranormal reality shows.

As the networks run out of ideas on how to make people wandering around in the dark interesting I have five new variations on the paranormal theme. How many more can you think of?

5. Lil’ S.C.R.E.A.M.E.R.S
Follow the adventures of Supernatural Coalition Researching Eerie Anomalous Matters Everyday Really Seriously as they run around in the dark, scream and run away from the things they don’t understand. This dark gritty reality show takes viewers inside the real world of children who are basically just afraid of the dark. No one on the team is over the age of eight.

4. The House
In an effort to document the strange phenomena occurring on one of America’s most haunted houses a camera will be set up in the living room to broadcast 24 hours a day for 2 years. Viewers are invited to spend hours of their lives staring at the live-feed in the hopes that something will happen. Will it happen? What will happen? Watch and wait and watch…and wait.

3. Paranormal Beach
All of the best looking paranormal investigators in the country descend on one of the world’s most exotic beaches to exchange the information they’ve uncovered… while uncovering each other. Night-Vision has never before revealed images so startling…and sexy.

2. ParaPets
Every week viewers will watch clips of dogs, cats, birds and other pets freaking out at what might be paranormal phenomena but in many cases will be fireworks and loud trucks.

1. X-Treme Ghost Fighting
It looks like only one person is in the ring but wait for the battles to begin! No really, it’s mostly just one guy in a ring yelling at nothing and swinging his arms around, but maybe something will eventually happen!

10 UFO Books to read this summer (2012)

Every now and again I get asked for book lists, so here is one!  This summer why not take some time and check out some classics of the UFO field. These 10 books will give you a pretty well-rounded idea as to what the UFO community is thinking, where it’s been and where it’s going. Some are a little older but the information they contain will really help out with sparking some fun and interesting thoughts. So here they are in no particular order. Have fun!

The Expanding Case for the UFO – Morris Jessup
They Knew too much about Flying Saucers – Gray Barker
The Threat – David Jacobs
The UFO Evidence – Richard Hall
Passport to Magonia – Jacques & Janine Vallee
Operation Trojan Horse – John Keel
The Hynek UFO Report – J. Allen Hynek
Flying Saucer Occupants – Jim and Carol Lorenzen
Flying Saucers Top Secret – Donald Keyhoe
The Abduction Enigma – Kevin Randle, Russ Estes and William Cone

Amercia’s First Zombie Experiments!

As the general population’s love of zombies continues to grow I thought I’d post this interesting little article from out of my files for all those who are convinced that a zombie apocalypse is eminent. Not only does the article give a brief glimpse as to what the world of “science” was like at the turn of the century but it also provides some more weird clues as to how we may be truly headed for an undead disaster. Also, notice that when the creatures are brought back to life…they’re angry.

Doctor Discovers Secret of Life and Death

The secret of life and the vital principle of its source have been uncovered by an Indiana physician. A lengthy series of experiments have been conducted, all leading conclusively to the support of the theory advanced by the investigator, and the success of the experiments have been sufficient, according to the physician’s associates, to convince even the most skeptical member of the profession that the Indiana doctor has brought to light a most important discovery. The physician is Dr. C. W. Littlefield, a  well-known practitioner of central Indiana, whose home is in Alexandria, and whose laboratory also is located in the gas belt city. For fifteen years Dr. Littlefield has pursued his investigation and experiments and only recently consented to make public the result of his laboratory work.

During all this time the physician has confined his experiments to cats, dogs, monkeys and other lower animals and, only upon one occasion was it found possible to test the potency of his discovery on a human being. In this solitary case his theory was proved as correct as when its workings were applied to animals of the lower form. Dr. Littlefield asserts that his experiments have demonstrated to his satisfaction and to the satisfaction of his medical associates some of the following facts:

Life is not dependent upon organic function as a principle.

It may be infused into organized bodies even after the organs have ceased to perform their legitimate offices.

Where death has been caused by means not impairing tissue formation or induced by causes not destructive of organs vital in their purpose, life may be recalled and a perfect resuscitation may be secured by the employment of the most simple agents.

In short, Dr. Littlefield makes the astounding assertion that he can bring the dead back to life. But, as is obvious, he qualifies his assertion with the declaration that his methods are inoperative where death has been occasioned by tissue or organic destruction which cannot be repaired or replaced. The Indiana physician asserts that the secret of life, in substance, is violate magnetism.

In demonstrating his theory the doctor employs a solution of saline origin, with salt as the basis, saturated with oleo; resin and exposed for several hours to an atmosphere of free ammonia. The chemical thus formed, he declares, is an exact reproduction of conditions existing in the human body. Here, however, the volatile magnetism is drawn into the body from the atmosphere through the lungs and finding present In body tissue mineral compounds the potent atmosphere is at once absorbed, held in bounds, and later compounded by natural processes with the tissue and organic formations. In other words, by securing through artificial means the solution which has proved so effectual in his experiments, the doctor asserts he is only duplicating on a small but comprehensive scale what occurs in the human body when air enters normal lungs and becomes the life-giving atmosphere of a normal body.

Having secured this saline solution, Dr.Littlefield reduces it to a powder. It is this powder that he has employed throughout his long course of experiments. For instance, having put to death a dog or cat by drowning and allowed the corpse to remain long enough to convince anyone following his investigations that all life is extinct. Dr. Littlefield takes the corpse and, without preparation of any kind, places it upon a heated stone or porcelain plate, brought to a temperature corresponding to that of the normal body, and covers it thoroughly with a light layer of the powder. Within three or four minutes from the time the powder has been coated over the dead body signs of life manifest themselves, and within fifteen minutes after the resuscitating methods were begun, in every instance, the subject has returned to normal life.

Possibly one of the most peculiar features of the doctor’s experiments is the fact that, upon regaining consciousness and life in every instance, the beasts have displayed an intense anger. This, after an hour or so, however, wears away, and the subjects become greatly attached to Dr. Littlefleld, refusing to be separated from him. Cats, the experimenter has discovered, are probably less responsive to his methods than animals of similar importance In the animal scale. This doubtless is due to the fact that a cat, having been killed by drowning, suffers more than other animals and following resuscitation, usually evince symptoms of pneumonia or lung inflammation, due to the irritation and exposure induced by direct  contact with the water. In such cases, however, a few drops of the powder administered internally have served invariably to relieve the sufferer and restore the subject to normal condition.

Dr. Littlefield asserts in a statement prepared some time ago that he has not yet discovered how long a time may elapse between death and the time of attempted resuscitation before his theory and its operation become ineffective. A cat remained dead two hours and during this time was allowed to remain in the hot sun until rigor mortis had set in. The corpse was then placed upon the heated porcelain and powder applied and the animal returned to consciousness within five minutes. The experimenter has allowed a number of flies and bees to remain dead for twelve hours and has succeeded restoring life within two or three minutes. Only upon one occasion was the potency of Dr. Littlefield’s theory  tried upon the human being. This occurred some years ago, when the experiments had not reached their present perfect end finished state. Upon this occasion a boy who had fallen in the water through the ice was given up as dead by physicians summoned to restore life by the usual artificial means. Dr. Littlefield, however, secured permission to make an attempt to resuscitate the lad and, taking his body to his laboratory a mile away, immediately submitted it to the powder treatment. In fifteen minutes, together with a continuance of the other means of restoring life, the boy revived and evinced no unusually abnormal symptoms. Dr. Littlefleld makes his statement without reserve that he is positive, as in the instance already recited, his theory is successful in operation on human subjects.

The origin of the experiments which have led to the discoveries had its source in the doctor’s desire to discover, if possible, whether it were practical to rebuild injured or impaired tissues. The course of the experiments finally led into the channel they have now taken, and for a number of years the investigator has confined himself to the work in hand, abandoning his former researches. The magnetic influence can easily be seen by placing a drop of the liquid with minute particles of solid substance in it under a microscope. The particles can be seen flying back and forth with indescribable energy and life. These original experiments were based on a careful study of the various compounds that enter into the formation of the different tissues of the body and were, for the most part, an attempt to group both the organic and the mineral compounds in the exact proportions in which they appear in healthy tissues.

During his investigation the doctor noticed that the changes of atmosphere frequently affected his patients. There were times not noticed by the healthy person when a patient was much worse than at others. The doctor deduced that this is because there is not the great amount of volatile magnetism in the air at the times referred to. At least the conditions of his patients led him to investigate, and the conclusion followed that there was an unknown power separate from the chemical, operative, but indefinable. After several years, Dr. Littlefield declares he succeeded in compounding a liquid that absorbed or gathered this force from the atmosphere. This he now calls the volatile magnetism, formed with the salt as its basic feature.

Article & Photos originally published in 1902