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At Sarah and Brent Hinze investigate Prebirth Experiences. They define these as when "a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent, etc., receives communication from a child before she is born, or in many cases, before he was even conceived." I hadn't heard of this particular variety of psychic (or spiritual) phenomenon before. It seems like a strange offshoot of past-life communication... except that instead of talking with people who once existed, you're communicating with people who are waiting to exist in the future. My question is: what if a 'parent' communicates with their child-to-be, but then they end up never having a child. Who, then, were they chatting with? Would the Hintzes define this as an imposter pre-birth experience? (via Holy Weblog)
Categories: Paranormal, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 22, 2004
Comments (173)
Yet another ghost is up for sale on eBay. This one has received huge amounts of media attention (stories about it on CNN, MSNBC, etc.) thanks to a sob story that goes along with it. Last year this woman's father died. Now her eight-year-old son Collin thinks that the ghost of his grandfather is still living in the house. So the highest bidder will get the ghost of the grandfather (plus the grandfather's walking stick). The one condition is that the winning bidder has to write a letter to Collin assuring him that the ghost has relocated. I have just a few things to say about this. First of all, the really scary thing about this auction is the amazingly huge font that the woman feels compelled to write in. What's up with that? (oops, wrong auction). Second, the woman says that her father was a nice guy, but Collin thinks the grandfather's ghost is evil. In situations like this, the kid always knows best. Therefore, the ghost is evil. And finally, will an evil ghost that isn't trapped in some kind of physical container (a jar, coke can, toaster, etc.) willingly move houses? Unlikely. So all you're really getting is the walking stick. And the woman doesn't even provide a picture of that.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sun Dec 05, 2004
Comments (12)
The Leicester Mercury has a short article on the strange case of seven-year-old Stephen O'Hara, the 'Boston Superboy' who was able to bend forged steel and break wood with his mind. His case attracted a lot of attention back in 1920, and was widely suspected to be a hoax, though he was examined by a professor from New York University who seemed convinced of the reality of Stephen's powers, stating that "the boy is surrounded by an extraordinarily strong magnetic field" (kind of like a real-life version of Magneto). Unfortunately Stephen lost his powers when he turned twelve. He died while serving in World War II, at the age of 30.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 22, 2004
Comments (3)
I came across the LiveJournal page of Chris (corourke), on which he ponders the reality of the Santa Rosa Institute of Advanced Genetics. Upon checking it out, the site had me confused for a while also. At first glance it appears to be a legitimate biotech company with two products in development: Genuflex (an anti-aging drug), and Envigor (a drug that decreases the need for sleep). So far, so good. I know there really are companies developing products like this. But then if you do a google search for the 'Santa Rosa Institute' links to the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency start coming up. The FVZA rails against the Santa Rosa Institute, denouncing it as a front for vampire research. For instance, here's the FVZA's take on Envigor:

Recently, the Santa Rosa Institute has been pushing Envigor, a drug designed to help people stay alert when working overnight shifts. Study results trumpeted in an Institute press release suggest that Envigor helps people stay awake and alert all night, with no apparent side effects. Of course, the Institute left out one minor detail: ENVIGOR IS MADE FROM VAMPIRE BLOOD.

Obviously the FVZA is a joke, but the question is: is the Santa Rosa Institute also a joke? Is it a fake site created by the FVZA, or is it a real company that just happens to have become a target for the FVZA's satire? For a moment I was inclined to think the SRI might be real, because a further search uncovered real-looking press releases from the SRI on other sites. But then I noticed something: a hidden vampire reference on the SRI site. If you click on the 'Home' link, a link to the FVZA Museum surreptitiously appears in the right-hand corner. It's easy to miss. So it appears that the Santa Rosa Institute is a fake site created by the FVZA. Though it's definitely a fairly elaborate fake.
Categories: Paranormal, Websites
Posted by Alex on Mon Nov 15, 2004
Comments (27)
image Someday I'm going to get tired of checking out the haunted things for sale on eBay, but not yet (I'm easily amused). So here's the latest haunted offering. It's a Porcelain Doll Possessed By the Dead. I've got to hand it to the seller. That's a spooky looking doll. And the story that accompanies it is pretty good as well.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 10, 2004
Comments (13)
Here's a good link for Halloween. It's the final email correspondence of Mark Condry, as posted by his friend Eric. It takes about 15 or 20 minutes to read through in its entirety, but it's a good story if you've got the time. And no, it isn't real, though it tries its best to seem real (but if you believe in the supernatural, maybe it could be real). It was written (or posted to the web, if you believe the site) by Eric Heisserer, a Hollywood screenwriter. I won't ruin the story by giving it all away. I'll just say that it describes a house that lures people to their doom by leaving them strange clues that eventually lead to the mysterious room on the second floor.
Categories: Paranormal, Websites
Posted by Alex on Sun Oct 31, 2004
Comments (19)
The Tacoma Washington News Tribune reports on a Vanishing Hitchhiker legend local to Mount St. Helens. (in case you're not familiar with it, the Vanishing Hitchhiker urban legend goes like this: a guy picks up a hitchhiker who then mysteriously vanishes from inside the moving car. He realizes that the hitchhiker was a ghost.) Following the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, many drivers in the area swore they saw a woman dressed in white thumbing a ride by the side of the road. She would get in the car and eventually say "The volcano is going to erupt again between Oct. 12 and 14." Then she would disappear. Sure enough, lava did emerge from the volcano on Oct. 12 of this month. Spooky!
Categories: Paranormal, Places, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 29, 2004
Comments (3)
I've seen many haunted things offered up for sale on eBay: haunted glass jars, haunted Coke cans, haunted toasters, haunted rubber duckys, even a haunted Gmail account (which, I'll now admit, I offered $10 for, but got outbid). So it seems inevitable that someone would finally try to auction an entire haunted house on the site. But based on what we're told in the article, the woman's evidence for supernatural possession seems a little sketchy. A few flying objects and weird noises. That's it. She's going to have to do better than that if she wants the serious haunted curiosity collectors, like Michael Jackson, to step up and start bidding.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 29, 2004
Comments (3)
ABC News reports on a Washington State school district that has banned Halloween celebrations this year, in part because "Halloween celebrations and children dressed in Halloween costumes might be offensive to real witches." Now it's great that the school district wants to teach the kids to be respectful of different beliefs, etc... but in this case their decision seems a bit confused because witches are not, in fact, real. A real witch, historically speaking, would be someone who possesses supernatural powers. The Wiccans call themselves witches, but I'll go out on a limb and wager that they don't possess any supernatural powers. Therefore, they aren't real witches, in the historical sense of the word. So there really should be no need to worry about hurting their feelings during Halloween.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Mon Oct 25, 2004
Comments (34)
image If you hurry, you still have time to bid on the latest eBay sensation: a genuine Irish Ghost in a bottle (as opposed to a fake Irish ghost in a bottle). When I saw this, it immediately conjured up fond memories for me of the original Ghost in a Jar, but this new item seems to have a far longer pedigree than the Ghost in a Jar did. It is said to contain the ghost of a rogue 19th century landlord who took his own life after getting a young girl pregnant. And this is the best part of all: it's caught the attention of Michael Jackson, who reportedly is bidding on it. The price is already up to £1,550. It'll be interesting to see how much it ends up selling for.
Categories: eBay, Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sun Oct 10, 2004
Comments (5)
Here's what the setup to this little piece of video says:
Supposedly this is a car commercial that never aired. I'm thinking that it is more probably a very good student project using Computer Graphics. About 2 seconds into the "commercial" notice something moving along the side of the car, like a ghostly white mist that looks humanish.
All I'm going to add is that this really, really got me.
Update: Here's another link to the movie, in case the one above is down.
Update: Comments have been closed on this topic.
Categories: Paranormal
Posted by Alex on Sat Oct 09, 2004
Comments (235)
Do you think you're not superstitious? Then test it using this simple little experiment devised by John Stilgoe:

Stilgoe's Law: to test if you are really NOT superstitious.

Bring a photograph of your romantic partner, or of a son or daughter to a meeting. Here is an ice pick. Will you poke out the eyes in the picture? Will you poke out the eyes for ten dollars? Most students will not do this, the image has the power of a voodoo doll.

-- suggested by Professor John Stilgoe, Harvard Magazine, (Jan.-Feb. 1996) pp. 36-42.

Personally, I would fail. (via Liquito)
Categories: Paranormal, Psychology
Posted by Alex on Sat Sep 04, 2004
Comments (15)
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