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Paranormal
Manchester artist John Hyatt took some photographs of the landscape around Rossendale in Lancashire. But when he later enlarged those he images he noticed they showed tiny winged creatures that looked like fairies.




Hyatt told the Manchester Evening News:
"It was a bit of a shock when I blew them up, I did a double take.
"I went out afterwards and took pictures of flies and gnats and they just don't look the same.
"People can decide for themselves what they are.
"The message to people is to approach them with an open mind.
"I think it's one of those situations where you need to believe to see.
"A lot of people who have seen them say they have brought a little bit of magic into their lives and there's not enough of that around."

Hyatt's fairy photos are currently on display at the Whitaker Museum in Whitaker Park, Rossendale.
When not photographing fairies, Hyatt is director of MIRIAD (the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design).

So what could those things in his photographs be? I have no idea. Perhaps they're just insects. Perhaps they're bits of floating pollen. Or perhaps they're something else entirely.

I doubt the shapes have been photoshopped in. That seems too easy.

I'm also pretty sure Hyatt didn't prop the figures up with hatpins, which was the technique used by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths to create the Cottingley Fairies.
Categories: Paranormal, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 04, 2014
Comments (12)

Some of the new developments include a device called the "soul phone," which is described as "an instrument that works like a telegraph through which people in spirit communicate."

Also learn how to communicate with the dead via regular phones: "Brazilian researcher Sonia Rinaldi... has been helping people by making phone calls to the beyond since March 2001. The majority have been for parents who have lost their children. Sonia writes, 'With this technology controlled by the Beyond, the call is not from the Beyond. They enter our terrestrial phone calls.'"

I guess that means you can talk to the dead on your iPhone. I wonder if there's an app for that?

A lot of the other stuff at the conference seems to be old-fashioned mediumship.
Categories: Death, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sun Feb 23, 2014
Comments (1)
A house for sale in Dunmore, PA is getting lots of buzz (and multiple offers) because its owner has described it as "slightly haunted" in the real estate listing.

Built in 1901, this Victorian home in the Hollywood section of Dunmore features 1850 sf of living space with an additional 1350 sf of partially finished space. Original hardwood floors throughout entire home. 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. Off-street parking. Freshly painted. New moulding throughout entire first floor. Slightly haunted. Nothing serious, though. e.g. The sounds of phantom footsteps. A strange knocking sound followed by a very quiet (hardly noticeable, even) scream at 3:13am, maybe once a week. Twice a week, tops. And the occasional ghastly visage lurking behind you in the bathroom mirror. Even still, this occurs very rarely and only in the second floor bathroom.

According to Forbes, the owner of the house, Gregory Leeson, "readily admits that he doesn’t believe in ghosts or hauntings." He described the house as haunted "to be funny." Although he says he genuinely has heard "voices, footsteps or doors slamming from time to time."
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 23, 2013
Comments (0)
Back in July, security camera footage of supposed paranormal activity in a Whitstable shop (boxes floating off shelves and hovering in the air) did the rounds on paranormal websites.


Turns out the paranormal activity was manufactured by a pair of magicians for a new UK TV show, The Happenings. The premise was to try to convince a town "via trickery and fakery" that it's haunted.

Doubtful News points out that the show didn't do very well in the ratings. Therefore, "more saw the You Tube video of the hoax without ever knowing the truth behind it!"
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 19, 2013
Comments (0)
In 2004, the researchers Jacqueline Woolley, Elizabeth Boerger, and Arthur Markman conducted a study at the University of Texas at Austin in which they told young children (ages 3 to 5) at a childcare center about the "Candy Witch." This was the script they used:

'Let me tell you about the Candy Witch. I have never seen the Candy Witch so I don't have a real picture of her. But somebody made a doll that looks like her, and I have a picture of that. Here it is. This is what she looks like. (Speaker shows picture of a Candy Witch doll and passes the picture around.) She's a really nice witch. And do you know what she loves best of all? Candy! She eats candy for breakfast, and candy for lunch, and candy for dinner. She has to brush her teeth a lot!

Do you know where she gets all that candy? Well, I'll tell you. Every Halloween night, after the kids are all asleep she leaves her house and flies around. And she carries with her a big bag of toys – brand-new toys. And do you know what she does with those toys? I'll tell you. Some children don't want all that candy they collected. They'd rather have a toy instead. So, their mom and dad call the Candy Witch on the phone and tell her to come. Then they leave their candy for the Candy Witch to take, and she gives them a new toy in its place. This way, she gets all the candy she wants, and the kids get new toys!

(She always leaves a few pieces of candy though; she doesn't take it all.).
Now, some kids don't want the Candy Witch to take their candy and leave a brand-new toy. So she won't come to their house. But other kids really do want the Candy Witch to come to their house and leave a toy for them. She only goes to the houses of kids who want her to come.'

In the write-up of the study [PDF], published in the journal Developmental Science, the researchers said their goal was to find out how easily the children could be made to believe in a "novel fantastical being." Would they totally accept the Candy Witch, because an adult had told them about her? Or would they, at even such a young age, be skeptical? They found that the majority of the kids did express belief in the Candy Witch after Halloween. However, "not all children accepted the Candy Witch, and that those who did exhibited a range of belief levels."

Since 2004, the experiment has become somewhat famous, and it's been taken to mean that children aren't quite as credulous as once thought. They can be fooled pretty easily, but they're not entirely passive sponges soaking up whatever they're told.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the experiment left one question unanswered: How many kids believed that line about the Candy Witch being "a really nice witch"? She sounds a little malevolent to me, swooping into people's houses and stealing their candy. Are we seriously supposed to accept that she isn't up to something? Perhaps that was the real test of credulity, and all the kids flunked it!

In fact, maybe these "researchers" were part of a covert PR team hired by the Candy Witch to convince everyone that she's "really nice." And then, when we all have our guard down — that's when she'll strike!

So this Halloween, watch out for the Candy Witch!
Categories: Paranormal, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 31, 2013
Comments (0)
Two years ago the Brooklyn Public Library uploaded a video to YouTube detailing the presence of a ghost in the library:
On October 28, 1977 Agatha Ann Cunningham went missing during her kindergarten call trip to the Brooklyn Public Library. She was never found. The legend says that her ghost haunts the lower level decks of the Central Library.



But even though the entire library administration insists that Agatha's ghost is real, the Brooklyn Daily has some questions. For instance, they wonder why the news clipping about Agatha's disappearance that's briefly shown on screen seems to be a doctored version of a 1979 New York Times article about the disappearance of six-year-old Etan Patz from the Soho neighborhood of Manhattan.




Perhaps this is a case of a hoax within a hoax. The library might be planting fake pieces of information to make it seem as if Agatha's ghost is a hoax, to hide the fact that the ghost is actually quite real!
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sat Oct 26, 2013
Comments (1)

The story here is that this video supposedly comes from security camera footage of a Sep. 14, 2003 paranormal event at a Wingate Hotel in Illinois. Though it wasn't until Sep 2012 that it was posted on YouTube.

Screaming was heard coming from room 209. But no one was checked into that room. So some guy named John (a security guard?) is sent to investigate. He enters the room and reports that the carpet has been ripped up, the shower is on, and all the furniture is turned upside down. But the room is empty! Also, as John enters the room, a ghostly figure can be seen exiting it.

Of course, we actually see very little of anything in the video, except for the ghostly image, which could be easily faked. We also hear the audio track. But again, that could easily be faked.

The biggest problem, however, is that it's apparently impossible for anyone to identify exactly which Wingate Hotel in Illinois this occurred at. The poster of the video explains that, "Due to legal matters, I am not allowed to say any more information regarding the exact location of this hotel. Please stop asking. Thank you!"

Following the rule that information is only as good as its source, this video has no identifiable source at all. So that suggests...

However, by googling "Room 209 Wingate Hotel" I found this recent negative review posted by someone who stayed in Room 209:

Carpet in room (209) was wet, foot stool was left on top of the cair, empty shampoo bottle from previous guest was still in the shower, a Coors Lite beer from the previous guest was found in the fridge.

It was Room 209 in a Wingate in Saskatchewan. But maybe the ghost is on the move!
Categories: Paranormal, Videos
Posted by Alex on Sat Oct 26, 2013
Comments (8)
[Since Halloween is fast approaching, I thought I'd do some ghost-themed posts.]

Back in 1935, the town of Landeshut (which at the time, I believe, was in Germany, but now is in Poland) had a bit of a problem. A ghost was scaring the residents. The specter had often been seen walking in a dark outer street near the hospital.

People were getting so frightened that the town decided to take the unusual step of offering a 50 marks reward for anyone who could capture the ghost. Fifty marks was about $20. According to the Inflation Calculator website, that would be $330 in today's money.

That doesn't seem terribly generous for such a difficult task. Though perhaps the meagerness of the reward wasn't an issue since I'm not sure how anyone was supposed to capture the ghost. Also, what would the town do with the ghost once it was captured?

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any follow-up to this story. So the fate of the Landeshut Ghost remains a mystery.


The New York Times - Jan 6, 1935


(above and below) Views of Landeshut




The San Antonio Light used the Landeshut Ghost to try to sell classified ads
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 25, 2013
Comments (0)
New Zimbabwe reports that two witches who crash-landed in a suburb of Harare — after flying around in their winnowing baskets, which is the preferred method of transportation of Zimbabwe witches — were not actually witches. It was all an "elaborate hoax." As part of their witch disguise, one of the women had an owl with her — apparently having an owl is a sure sign of being a witch in Zimbabwe — but this owl had been bought "from a man who captured it in a grinding mill building."

The witch hoax was dreamed up by several "self-styled prophets" who talked the women into playing the part. The idea was that the prophets, having shown that they could bring witches out of the sky, would appear powerful and would attract more customers.

The women got the bad end of the deal because they were hauled off to prison. The brother of one of the women said, "What [she] did is embarrassing. She does a lot of other embarrassing things including pretending to be a witch because of the love of money.”
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 23, 2013
Comments (0)
Sylvia Browne admits she was "mistaken" about claiming back in 2004 that she had communicated with the ghost of Amanda Berry. Since, ya know, it now turns out Berry wasn't dead. But did Browne make a mistake (i.e. she somehow misinterpreted what spirit was talking to her), or was she just making it all up? Does she understand the difference?

Sylvia Browne: fans lash out at 'psychic' over false Ohio abduction prediction
guardian.co.uk

One of the world's most recognizable self-proclaimed psychics was wrong yet again about the fate of a missing child, and her followers on social media are taking her to task. Browne's prediction about the fate of Amanda Berry was not her first attempt to explain the fate of a child, but her fans on social media demanded acknowledgment from the self-proclaimed spiritual leader.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Fri May 10, 2013
Comments (7)
Artist Tracey Snelling has created an installation which she calls Last House on the Left. It consists of 4 miniature houses from horror films (The Birds, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the Amityville Horror. It's the Amityville Horror Dutch Colonial that caught my eye. If I ever did have a brick-and-mortar hoax museum, it would make a great addition!


Snelling's miniature houses feature sound effects as well as tiny LCDs that play clips from the films when you look through the windows. The installation is currently on exhibit at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.

The Stark Insider blog has posted a video of the Amityville house on display:



Update: According to Tim Farley, today (March 6th) is the 37th anniversary of Ed & Lorraine Warren investigating the Amityville Horror house with a TV news crew.
Categories: Art, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Wed Mar 06, 2013
Comments (0)
Thousands of people in Cambodia are flocking to see a "magic log" that was found at the bottom of a pond earlier this month. It's a big log (42 feet long). But what makes it magical, in the eyes of the people journeying to see it, is that it appears so well preserved for a log that's been underwater for a while. From Sky News:

Battambang province local, Nem Nay, explained to Reuters why he believed the log was magical: 'What I think is, why does this log not rot, even though it stayed underground for over a hundred years? It is still in such good state, unlike some metals, which would have rusted if it stayed underground for that long. I have never seen such a well-preserved log before, so when I heard the news, a group of villagers and I came to see it straight away', he said.

Some of the log's visitors hope it can cure them of their illnesses. But the majority seem to be hoping that the log will reveal winning lottery numbers to them if they rub talcum powder on it.
Categories: Paranormal, Religion
Posted by Alex on Tue Jul 31, 2012
Comments (7)
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