100 – Ghostbusters: The Real-Life Inspiration Behind The Film

Episode 100! And we’re celebrating our first patron on the See You On The Other Side Patreon – thank you John!

This week we bring in Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts again to discuss every paranormal investigator’s favorite film the week that the reboot comes out.  Growing up in the 80s, the film was a huge influence on all of us because not only did it introduce the idea of spirits as a physical force (handled through the particle accelerators that the ghostbusters carried on their backs) that could be explored through science, it also was a humorous introduction to the world of parapsychology, which seeks to explain the non-material world through mainstream and repeatable scientific  experiments. Plus it was funny and was the kind of film that worked just as well for kids as it did adults.

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Mike’s first degree.

Dan Aykroyd calls the paranormal his “family business” and in this episode we get into the details of his relationship to Spiritualism as well as the real-life influences behind the film, from Jack Parsons, L. Ron Hubbard, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to J.B. Rhine and Dr. Charles Tart (the influence behind the great opening scene to the film!)

Also, we just talked about The Conjuring 2 and we discover in this episode that Gozer (the first film’s Big Bad) was a name invoked during the Enfield Poltergeist and that’s where Dan Aykroyd got the name. Too awesome! We cover everything from the cartoon show to the new movie’s star, Melissa McCarthy’s supernatural experiences in this episode.

Here’s the link to the Tim Ferriss podcast with Malcolm Gladwell, where the journalist says that even he believes in ghosts!

Here’s a link to some of the sacred texts that inspired Tobin’s Spirit Guide.

And we’ve got a brand new Sunspot song inspired and dedicated to growing up with Ghostbusters. Here’s our song, inspired by their classic commercial, it’s called “Ready To Believe You”.

When I was a boy I had the terrors and they came every night
I lied awake, so terrified, never daring to close my eyes.
I thought that I would be at the their whim for the rest of my days,
until I saw a flick that said I didn’t have to be afraid.

I didn’t have to be afraid.

I was hoping for a sequel but I guess I’ll just have to take a reboot,
I don’t care that it’s all women and if you do, you’re just a tool.
I can’t believe it’s 0-16 and this stuff is finally cool.
I wanna meet a girl who says that “there’s no Dana only Zuul”

There is No Dana Only Zuul.

Choose the form of your destructor,
Would you rather be a cynic or a fool?
Choose the form of your destructor, baby.
Because if you don’t, they will choose for you.

And the man said who you gonna call?
You know who. You know who.
And the man said who you gonna call?
We’re ready to believe you.

From Samhain to the Bogey man, they fought nightmares across this land,
From Devil Dogs to demi-gods, they never worried about the odds,
Got no time for the EPA or their silly bureaucrats – they hate that.

They hate that.

Slimer was funny when it started but that class five free roamer just got old quick,
So did the junior busters, hey who wants to see a bunch of kids?
Gozer was a traveler and he traveled his butt right into a beatdown,
And then they showed that prehistoric b how we do things downtown,
How we do things downtown.

Choose the form of your destructor,
Would you rather be a cynic or a fool?
Choose the form of your destructor, baby.
Because if you don’t, they will choose for you.

And the man said who you gonna call?
You know who. You know who.
And the man said who you gonna call?
We’re ready to believe you.

99 – Strange Town: Billy Driver And Mark Morrow Talk Texas Ghost Hunting

One of our favorite bumper stickers for a long time said “Keep Austin Weird”. Austin is a lot like our current city of Madison (except a WHOLE lot bigger and warmer) with the capitol and state’s flagship university keeping things interesting. They’ve also got a lot of hippies, just like us. We’ve been going to perform in Austin at least once a year since 2002 and it’s one of our favorite cities (in fact, we were just there in March!)

Keep Austin Weird

So, when we heard about Strange Town, a cool Austin-based ghost hunting show with two musicians as the main investigators, well, hot damn, we knew we had to have them on the show. Mark Morrow and Billy Driver are the two paranormal investigators who form the core of Strange Town.

Mark Morrow and Billy Driver of Strange Town
Mark Morrow and Billy Driver of Strange Town

First meeting while crewing a TV production in Austin, Mark and Billy found their conversation turning towards ghosts and supernatural phenomena. With both of them having a penchant for the paranormal as well as skills in media production, it was only natural that the next step would be to get together their own ghost-hunting show based around haunted sites that they knew about in Texas.

So far, they’ve completed two seasons of the show (and even more impressively, as a two-man investigation and production operation!), and it’s shown on Austin’s PBS Station , KLRU-TV (as well as online, where you can watch ALL the episodes right here). But they’ve also been featured on Destination America’s Ghost Brothers earlier this year as special guest investigators at the site of a famous hotel.

A lot of the fun of listening to this podcast is to hear to the Spirit Box EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) that Mark and Billy get while they  are doing the investigations. They shared some of their best evidence with us for this episode.

If you don’t know what a Spirit Box is, it’s an electronic device that quickly scans through radio frequencies randomly and the hope is that the spirits in the room can use the energy of the radio frequencies to speak through the white noise. Mark and Billy certainly got some excellent EVPs from their investigations and one of the best was at the Magnolia Hotel in Seguin, Texas.

magnolia hotel seguin texas
The Magnolia Hotel. Do you think they offer room service?

Seguin, Texas is about 50 miles south of Austin near New Braunfels. The Magnolia Hotel was originally built by Texas Rangers in 1840 (we’re not quite sure if Chuck Norris was part of the original team.) Its most famous story is about a pharmacist that was staying there in 1874 by the name of William Faust.

Faust became infatuated with his wife’s sister and decided that the only way he could have her was by murdering his wife. She was staying with some friends in New Braunfels when Faust snuck into their home and took an axe to a figure on the floor of a bedroom that he thought his wife was staying in, but it wasn’t her. It was Emma, the daughter of his wife’s friend. Faust was able to get a couple whacks at his wife before he ran, blinding her (and she never would testify against him, saying that she never actually saw who attacked her), but the suspicion eventually led to him and he was executed for the little girl’s murder.

Mark and Billy got some awesome EVPs at the Magnolia and it sure does sound like they talked to Emma, who’s watching over the room that her murderer escaped to after killing her brutally, if accidentally.

Strange Town is DIY-ghost hunting with awesome production values but not the sensationalism of most cable ghost shows. It’s so authentic you can feel the Texas heat as well as enjoy the enthusiasm of this supernatural duo.

And if you want to check out some music, Billy plays with the excellent Gooding, a great rock band we’ve seen several times when they’ve toured through Madison in the past (which is a really fun coincidence!) And speaking of music, this week’s Sunspot track is inspired by our conversation and the saga of poor Emma, the girl whose murdered spirit still haunts the Magnolia Hotel.

Emma, it’s time to go to bed,
Tonight you share your room with your mama’s friend
It was a quiet and peaceful night in 1874,
Oh Emma, you weren’t supposed to be on the floor.
Oh Emma, you weren’t supposed to be on the floor.
Emma, I just pray that you never opened your eyes,
And I just wish you gave that bastard some kind of fight.
Cut down by the axe of some no good druggist,
Oh Emma, you died in the Texas dust.
Oh Emma, you died in the Texas dust.
Faust saw what he did and he ran terrified,
But before that he took his blade to his wife’s eyes,
And she said she never saw who committed the crime.
Oh Emma, the wrong place at the wrong time.
Sorry Emma, the wrong place at the wrong time.
But he never got that far.
But he never got that far.
Emma, I hope you got your revenge,
That you’re the one guarding his soul’s prison.
They say he’s trapped forever and he’ll never leave the room.
Oh Emma, sometimes we still hear you,
But Emma, sometimes we still hear you.

98 – Ghosts On The Mississippi: 2016 Haunted America Conference Recap

This weekend Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts, Wendy, and I had the privilege to attend the 2016 Haunted America conference in Alton, IL run by one of the Midwest’s spookiest storytellers, Troy Taylor.

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See You On The Other Side meets Haunted America’s Troy Taylor!
We’ve been to Alton, Illinois before. In episode 30, we interviewed one of the area’s haunted tour guides, Luke Naliborski in a live podcast/performance! It’s a small town on the Mississippi River known for being the birthplace of Robert Wadlow, the tallest man in history at 8 feet 11 inches tall! Known as the Alton Giant or the Giant of Illinois, Wadlow was known for his gentleness, but sadly died at only 22 years old. Both Sufjan Stevens and Andrew Bird have played songs about him.

robert wadlow statue
That’s one big dude!
But we weren’t there just to feel short, we were there for ghosts, spirits, and all the weirdness that we could handle! Friday night, we got in pretty late so we missed the first panel, but we did make it in time for the masquerade ball. Hands down, the best costume was the shadow people. At the party, we all got to share some stories of paranormal experiences and that was a lot of fun, but my favorite was the theory that “The Titanic was an inside job”! I had never heard that one before, so it was fun to learn a new conspiracy theory.

shadow people masquerade ball
Shadow people dressed up at the masquerade ball. I turned the contrast up a bit in the pic, but that’s pretty close to exactly what their costumes looked like. Pretty good, huh. I think they might have actually been Shadow People.
Saturday morning, the first presentation was by Dr. Alan Brown, who regaled the crowd with stories of his visits to haunted bed and breakfasts across the United States. Of course, his most provocative location was the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana (and you can hear our in depth exploration of the Myrtles Plantation in Episode 77.)

Up next was Paranormal Sarah , who we also saw at the Paradigm Symposium in May, but this time she focused more on the psychology of why we are attracted to the paranormal.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley took the stage after that and you’ll have to listen to this whole episode to really get our take on it. I’ve been, of course, a fan of Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s books practically since I first started getting into reading about strange topics and her latest obsession is the Djinn, a malevolent force that was banished by God after the creation of man to another dimension. They talk about the Djinn in the Koran and it’s what eventually we would call in the West, genies. But we’re not talking about I Dream of Jeannie here. She uses the Djinn as sort of a paranormal unified theory, that they’re shapeshifters who are also responsible for UFO sightings, Bigfoot, Shadow People, and more.

genie djinn robin williams
You ain’t never had an evil shapeshifting friend like me!
During the breaks, we kept on visiting the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult with Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews of Planet Weird. From cursed blades to a terrifying idol they call “Billy”, to a strange cursed Appalachian totem and a haunted Ouija board planchette, the museum was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to bring them on the show.

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Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts with Planet Weird’s Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews (and Billy!)
One of our favorite objects was the black mirror, that people say if you stare into it, you’ll start getting dark thoughts. So, of course, we had to take a look!

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Wendy looks into the cursed Black Mirror and can’t believe what she sees!
mike cursed mirror
Mike is terrified at what lies on the other side of the mirror
After lunch, Troy Taylor came up with his writing partner, Rene Kruze, and he talked a little bit about some of his favorite investigations. It was fun to listen to a master storyteller at work and talk about some of his weirdest encounters. Troy, having founded the Alton ghost tours, is of course a man after my own heart and he also doesn’t trust orbs in ghost photos, so we really have something in common!

Scotty Roberts from the Paradigm Symposium then gave a presentation on his own paranormal experiences in Egypt, while also getting into who might be perhaps the historical Moses. There’s a great article right here where he goes into some depth on who he feels might be the real Moses and it gave some fascinating background on a personal experience that he later had at that man’s tomb.

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Intrepid Magazine and Paradigm Symposium’s Scotty Roberts with Wendy and Allison
After Scotty, it was Sherri Blake from Haunted Heartland Tours talking about the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV and the history of a very dark place. She had some great research and pictures and the one photo I wish I could have taken all weekend was the reaction shot of Wendy when she saw a picture of where the surgical icepick goes in during a lobotomy (hint, it’s in your eye socket)!

frontal lobotomy
Ouch!
Allison went to a spiritual protection seminar with Rosemary Ellen Guiley afterwards and in the episode she shares a little of Rosemary’s wisdom about protecting your soul and your psyche (even from the Djinn!)

Overall, the Haunted America Conference was a fun couple of days and well worth the 6 hour drive from Madison. We’re always looking for kindred spirits in the paranormal field (see what I did there?) and we made a bunch of new friends and inspirations for show ideas. One of the most exciting things about conferences is meeting other people with open minds and open hearts when it comes to the mysteries of the universe. It’s easy to forget how amazing and wonderful the world can be and just dwell on the worst aspects. The pointlessness, the boredom, the indifference… the more you focus on those things, the more they rot you from the inside.  It’s easy to be “Cynical” and that’s the title of this Sunspot track, but it helps when you meet other people who are as excited about the possibilities of this universe as you are.

As I sit here just existing,
Nothing moves me I am listening,
Desperate for some inspiration,
To break my lowered expectations.

The graffiti on the wall,
Might as well be a Bible,
There’s no justice of fair play,
There is no Hell or Judgment Day.

I look out of my window,
and I’m blinded by monotony.
The darkness of a world so bright,
It makes me want to shut my eyes.

So cynical,
The world will eat me whole,
If I let it get the best there is of me.
Trapped in a rut,
The world has kicked my butt,
And I will look no more for truth or meaning again,
I will look no more for truth or meaning again.

When I say I’m realistic,
I really mean I’m nihilistic,
If we’re gonna be solipsistic,
We might as well be hedonistic.

I look out of my window,
and I’m blinded by monotony.
The darkness of a world so bright,
It makes me want to shut my eyes.

So cynical,
The world will eat me whole,
If I let it get the best there is of me.
Trapped in a rut,
The world has kicked my butt,
And I will look no more for truth or meaning again,
I will look no more for truth or meaning again.

97 – The Christian Whistleblower: An Interview With Jeffrey Daugherty

Jeffrey Daugherty spent twenty years of his life as a Christian preacher and over a hundred thousand hours studying the New Testament in its original language. By looking at the native text, he started seeing a stark difference in the books written by the apostle Paul versus the apostle John.

These differences led to a crisis of faith for Daugherty, who was conflicted between his discoveries and the Church that he had given his whole life to. He had a family to provide for and his entire existence revolved around his affiliation with his church, from where he lived to what he ate to who he spent his time with. As he talked to his elders and asked them about the contradictions, his concerns were swept under the carpet with the “God works in mysterious ways” response or being told that his interpretation was mistaken or his faith just wasn’t strong enough.

But that wasn’t enough for Jeffrey Daugherty. He saw an agenda in the writings of Paul, an agenda of control and manipulation that seemed contradictory to the teachings of Jesus. Using the modern standard of the Bible, the King James Version, Daugherty saw changes in the text over time, once by being vetted and translated by the Roman Empire early in Christianity’s history and again by the English king in the Seventeenth Century.

He re-edited the New Testament so that the books are in chronological order and with Paul’s writings removed and this Diamond New Testament is the place he believes you should start if you really want to understand what Jesus (who Daugherty refers to as Yeshua to separate him from the character created in Paul’s testament) was trying to say.

Moving on from there, with his Final Message From The Last Apostle book, The Christian Whistleblower finds an extraterrestrial alien agenda in the original language of the writings of the Apostle John. And then his book, Apostle Paul Anti-Christ, is about the fear and guilt used to control humanity by studying the original text of  Paul’s writings.  His books are absolutely fascinating and to say his writing and research is provocative is a massive understatement.

This is more than your standard “organized religion is a scam to control humanity by unscrupulous bishops and priests”, Daugherty is flat out saying that a dark being is using Christianity itself to set the stage to take over our planet.

And if that is the kind of idea that you find fascinating like we do, then you’re going to want to learn more about The Christian Whistleblower and check out more of his books and videos. His combination of scholarship, earnestness, and dynamic presentation might even make you a believer.

This week’s song is an unreleased Sunspot track that we arranged for acoustic guitar and violin, “Flesh and Blood”.

Why did you let them take control.
of your mind?
Why couldn’t you see the could burst,
in your eye?
And I won’t believe
in a love that deceives
and I won’t waste my faith foolishly
on cosmic rays
and mysterious ways
that never gave a damn for us anyway
And heaven and earth can fade away
and the mountains might fall
and all the power to which we pray
might never answer our call
Flesh and blood is all we’ve got to survive
and I know
There but for grace or lack of, go I
You dreamed of Hell but you forgot
to look inside
The gravity of your hate weighs you down,
so why don’t you fight?
And the tragedy of humanity
is to know our shells might be empty
and do you feel no shame
for all these lives in vain?
Who would kill themselves just to honor his Name?
And heaven and earth can fade away
and the mountains might fall
and all the power to which we pray
might never answer our call
Eloi Eloi
Lama sabachthani
Eloi Eloi
Lama sabachtahni
And heaven and earth can fade away
and the mountains might fall
and all the power to which we pray
might never answer our call
Flesh and blood is all we’ve got to survive
and I know
There but for grace or lack of, go I.

96 – An Atheist In Heaven: Paul Davids and the Ghost of Forrest J. Ackerman

Forrest J. Ackerman was the editor of the Famous Monsters of Filmlanda magazine that he founded in 1958 to discuss his favorite thing – fantasy, science fiction, and horror movies. The magazine would go behind the scenes with special effects and stories on the people involved with the production.

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The first issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland

The modern definition of a geek is someone in a circus sideshow who would run after chickens and bite their heads off. They would eat anything and this is where the modern idea comes from. We geeks love to learn anything and everything about their favorite pop culture. I used to devour books about Doctor Who when I was a kid, reading production diaries and stories about the set in addition to the actual shows and novels. The Internet makes it easy today to keep up on your favorites, but back in the 50s when Famous Monsters of Filmland came out to cash in on the first wave of classic Hollywood monster films finally hitting the TV airwaves, it was the only place to hear more about your favorite films.

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Jim Rose and The Enigma from the classic X-Files’ “Humbug” episode, featuring the original circus sideshow definition of a geek

As a young Paul Davids grew up in the Washington D.C. area in the 50s, he fell in love with the fantasy and science fiction films of that era. He made home movies and sent stills in to Famous Monsters magazine which would publish them and encourage building a community of aspiring imaginative filmmakers. After he grew up, he joined the Hollywood Circus during the American New Wave of auteurs (a movement that spawned legends like Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg.)

Paul Davids Forrest J Ackerman
Paul Davids and Forrest J. Ackerman at a Comic Con signing

Davids became a personal friend of Ackerman (who everyone called ‘Uncle Forry’) and spent a lot of time at the “Ackermansion”, the editor’s Hollywood home with massive amounts of movie memorabilia that he would open to visitors on weekends.

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Forrest J. Ackerman surrounded by a little of his movie memorabilia

Paul Davids would go on to become production coordinator on the original Transformers cartoon (one of my personal favorites!) A few years later, a personal UFO encounter in Los Angeles (which he describes in the episode) would lead him to produce the Showtime movie, Roswell (which we talked about in-depth with Don Schmitt about in an earlier podcast.) His close friendship with Ackerman would lead to the production of a documentary called The Sci-Fi Boys as well in 2006, detailing the influence that Famous Monsters had on a generation of filmmakers from John Landis to Peter Jackson who would end up taking over the blockbuster film industry.

Roswell Movie
The 1994 Roswell movie that introduced the most famous UFO crash to the modern generation

While both Paul Davids and Forrest Ackerman loved their fantasy and science fiction films, neither of them were religious and Forry himself was an atheist who didn’t have any belief in the afterlife. Which is why when he jokingly told his close friends that if there was some kind of life after death, he would try to communicate with them, they all had a good laugh.

Forrest J. Ackerman passed away in December of 2008 at the ripe old age of 92, but he had the last laugh. Within two weeks of a special tribute to Ackerman at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre (a place we also talk about in our Ghosts of Hollywood Boulevard episode), strange things started occurring to his friends. Davids himself started getting weird messages and synchronicities and after too many of them occurred, he started taking his evidence to any scientist that would listen. By 2010, he’d already written an article for FATE magazine detailing his experiences.

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Cover of An Atheist In Heaven

The result of his research and all the strange occurrences are his documentaries,  The Life After Death Project Volumes 1 and 2 where he gives all of his proof of what he’s experiences since his friend’s death.  Davids also recently completed a book with Dr. Gary Schwartz (a scientist who doesn’t shy away from researching the afterlife) called An Atheist In Heaven: The Ulimate Evidence of Life After Death

For this week, we thought it would be fun to try a Nerdcore song as part of our tribute to one of the world’s greatest geeks, who continues to influence, even from beyond the grave! This Sunspot track is called “Behind The Curtain”.

For a whole generation
he was the inspiration
stoked the imagination
of the Monster nation

Didn’t buy predestination
or a soul relocation,
No belief in Heaven,
or any reincarnation

But at his end of aspiration
his human cancellation
they think he’s playing tricks
afterdeath communication

So they put this complication
under examination
and now they give the Afterlife
reconsideration

Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain,
Because he’s somewhere in between,
Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain who,
you’ll hear from the dark side of the screen.

So this famous monster
is now an Atheist in Heaven.
And he’s still having fun
and he’s still making puns

He said he would come back someday
that he would communicate
but no one could anticipate
his paranormal wordplay

And if you think they’re cracking,
they lost their comprehension,
That there ain’t no action,
no final destination.

These guys have a conviction,
that his spirit is still living,
It’s really their Uncle Forry,
Scientists believe the story.

Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain,
Because he’s somewhere in between,
Please pay attention to the man behind the curtain who,
you’ll hear from the dark side of the screen.

95 – Ed and Lorraine Warren: From The Amityville Horror to The Conjuring 2

Ed and Lorraine Warren were the Jay-Z and Beyonce of the paranormal set for decades. After establishing the New England Society for Psychic Research (notice the titular similarities to the science-minded Society for Psychical Research in the UK and the American Society for Psychical Research in New York City) in Connecticut in 1952, Ed and Lorraine could be found lecturing all over the New England college circuit. More films and books have been based on their exploits than any other real-life paranormal investigation team. They even have an Occult Museum  in their home in Monroe, Connecticut.

 

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Lorraine Warren and her Hollywood portrayer, Vera Farmiga

With ties to most of the famous cases of hauntings and demonic possessions of the Twentieth Century, their controversial claims have given them thousands of hours of airtime on radio and television and have sold millions of books.  Ed carried a business card that just said “Demonologist”, Lorraine has claimed to be clairvoyant and psychically sensitive. They are famously portrayed by Academy Award nominee Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The books and films based on their exploits all say “Based on a true story” but you know how far that the film industry likes to stretch that.

We decided to take a look at some of their most famous cases and see what the real story was behind Ed and Lorraine Warren’s involvement.

Annabelle

In the movie The Conjuring, Annabelle is about the scariest nastiest doll you can imagine. There’s nothing cute or sweet about this thing. In real life, it’s a Raggedy Ann doll that actually you can see why a little kid would want to play with it. They keep it in their Occult Museum with a sign that says “Warning: Positively Do Not Open”. The Warrens often told the story of how they got the doll from a 28-year old nurse who saw it acting strangely and held a séance where it was said that the spirit of a seven-year old girl was inhabiting the toy. Eventually the Warrens have to take the doll to their museum because they think it is inhabited by an inhuman presence. Ed even claimed that someone mocked the doll and died in a motorcycle crash an hour later. But that claim, like the rest of the claims about Annabelle, you have to take the Warrens on their word, which makes it feel a little more pedestrian than paranormal.

The Amityville Horror

This Long Island house had a real-life horror story when Ronald ‘Butch’ DeFeo ended up killing his entire family there in 1974. A year and a half later, George Lutz  bought the house and lived there for 28 days with his family in 1975, they claimed they saw everything from an evil pig with glowing red eyes to blood oozing from the walls. They recorded forty-some hours of audio and author Jay Anson turned that into a book that sold ten million copies and that was turned into a movie franchise.

Eventually the lawyer for Ronald DeFeo claimed that he made the whole thing up with the Lutz family to try some kind of possession defense in a new trial for his client. But when the Hollywood money showed up, they all ended up suing each other.

This interview from the great MonsterTalk podcast is with Marvin Scott, who brought the Warrens in after the book came out to do a séance there. Here’s the transcript from the interview and it shows that while the Warrens came to be closely associated with the case, they never even met the family who had experienced The Amityville Horror:

Marvin Scott: Whatever it was the Lutzes believed was in that house, it did not manifest itself the night I spent in the house 23 years ago with a group of parapsychologists who conducted a séance. The demonic force was supposedly the strongest in the sewing room, where Lorraine Warren conducted another séance by candlelight. Other than a brief chill, after all it was February, I felt nothing unusual.

Lorraine: But it did to me, Marvin, because I said to you, “Marvin, I hope this is as close to hell as I’ll ever get.”

Marvin: Not I. The only persistent voice I heard that night was that of my crew, wanting to know when we were going to have the sandwiches we had brought along.

The Devil Made Me Do It Murder Case

This one is the saddest I think because it involves someone actually getting killed. The Warrens investigated a 12-year old boy who was acting strangely and told his mother that she was possessed. After several exorcisms, the Warrens claimed that the demonic entity had been driven out of the child’s body, but said it was possible that it could take up residence somewhere else.  Several months later, a friend of the boys’ mother ends up killing his landlord and his lawyer claims that Arne Cheyenne Johnson (the murderer) shouldn’t be held responsible for reasons of “demonic possession”. The judge calls baloney of course, but he Warrens encouraged all the demon talk. Do they feel at all responsible?

A Haunting in Connecticut

This case about the Snedeker family in the 1980s has demonic sexual assault, but even Ray Garton, co-author of the book about the case says that it’s not non-fiction and that the family couldn’t keep their story straight and he saw abuse and addiction covered up by tales of demonic possession. Here’s his quote:

When I found that the Snedekers couldn’t keep their individual stories straight, I went to Ed Warren and explained the problem. “They’re crazy,” he said. “All the people who come to us are crazy, that’s why they come to us. Just use what you can and make the rest up. You write scary books, right? Well, make it up and make it scary. That’s why we hired you.

So, once again, having a good tale to tell trumps the truth. But star Virginia Madsen at least has a good ghost story from the hotel that the cast and crew of the film version experienced.  She even retold it at the Chicago GhostCon we were at last October.

The Conjuring

the conjuring ed warren
Hey Ed, I don’t know how to tell you this…

Just one of the best horror films of the last decade. But the truth is a little different than the fiction. While the Perrons seemed to live in a nightmare of a haunted house, the Warrens made things worse and not better. The eldest daughter Andrea Perron has written a trilogy about what she says happened in the house and includes how her father almost came to blows with Ed. A writer has even defended the reputation of the supposed witch who the Warrens claimed took possession of the mother, Carolyn.

The Enfield Poltergeist

The Conjuring 2 is based on this case of a poltergeist terrorizing two English girls in the 1970s. But while the real story is quite exciting, it looks like the Warrens weren’t really involved. Check out this interview on Darkness Radio from one of the researchers. He said that they just showed up out of the blue one day and didn’t even really investigate it. So, while the movie might be great, the “Based on a true story” aspect of it should be treated more than ever with a grain of salt.

So, in the end, it seems that over the decades, the Warrens have been more interested in perpetuating their myth and making money off of stories then they were in actually helping people. Or maybe they believed their own stories, who knows.

Speaking of myths, we talk a little bit about the latest research that using cell phones can cause cancer (a story that I’ve been obsessed with over the past two weeks), but it looks like the study might not be the smoking gun that I thought it was.

But the idea that neither of them cracked about the truth even a little bit in five decades of being in the supernatural spotlight is its own kind of beautiful . Even if everything that the Warrens said was a lie, they still were able to trust each other and that’s what inspired this week’s Sunspot track, “The Only Faith”.

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh

If you told me all the fairy tales were true,
and all the saints, Valhalla, and voodoo.
They’re waiting for us with a room ready in Bellevue,
but the only faith I ever had was you.

Why were you the first to go
and I’m left talking to a shadow?
I’m doing my best don’t you know to be brave
Do you feel me walking on your grave?
Do you feel me walking on your

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Show me a sign that I’m not crazy too
cuz the only faith I ever had was you.
The only faith I ever had was you.

A cross and holy water, sprinkled on somebody’s daughter,
we found a story wherever we looked to,
All these decades past and I’m still holding fast
cuz the only faith I ever had was you.

Why were you the first to go
and I’m left talking to a shadow?
I’m doing my best don’t you know to be brave
Do you feel me walking on your grave?
Do you feel me walking on your

Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Show me a sign that I’m not crazy too
cuz the only faith I ever had was you.
The only faith I ever had was you.

94 – Bizarre Magic: The Weird Adventures of Daniel Rumanos

The world of the paranormal and the world of entertainment are intrinsically bound together. From Moses and his Burning Bush to Valerie Bertinelli getting Touched By An Angel, we tell stories to each other about the things that might sound crazy if they would happen in our regular life. But those stories help us believe.

Really, would The Exorcist have been so scary if it wasn’t Roman Catholic priests battling a demon who serves a master that fifty-seven percent of Americans believe exists? That’s not The Creature From The Black Lagoon or even George Romero’s zombies (who I thought might be real after a particularly traumatic Night Of The Living Dead viewing as an easily impressionable six-year old), we’re taking about The Devil, baby.

daniel rumanos
Daniel Rumanos in the flesh

But we’ll get back to Ol’ Scratch soon enough (we always do). First, let’s talk about this week’s guest. Daniel Rumanos is a Baltimore-based entertainer who performs bizarre magic. Okay, that’s a pretty cool name, but what is bizarre magic all about?

Rumanos describes it as story-based magic, you tell a tale to go along with the tricks. Part of the performance is creating a greater magical “outside” world with which to tell the story and then the tricks serve to spice up the performance. In our Houdini & Doyle episode, we talked about how some magicians in the Houdini era deliberately told their audiences that they had supernatural powers, and that set an atmosphere of wonder during the performances. While most modern mainstream magic shows use comedy to set the mood, Bizarre Magic uses the power of a supernatural or horror story to evoke an air of mystery. But today’s audiences don’t believe that these modern bizarre magicians actually have supernatural powers.

If David Copperfield makes an elephant disappear right before your eyes, you don’t really think that David Copperfield is a sorcerer who is invoking a supernatural power Gandalf-style to make the elephant disappear. It’s still wondrous and amazing, but you know that it’s a carefully constructed man-made illusion. If someone told you that David Copperfield is actually a wizard, it might flash as a possibility before your eyes for a second (how did he make that German goddess Claudia Schiffer fall in love with him after all?) but then you’d have a laugh because we all know that stage magic is an illusion and it’s great, but it’s not supernatural.

So, now let’s go back to the Devil and this is where it intersects with Daniel’s life. While a bizarre magic show might create a Lovecraftian world of sorcery and monsters which the tricks and stories take place in, there are events that take place all the time where someone’s faith has prepared them their entire lives for an atmosphere of wonder and paranormal experience.

When people go to a traveling religious revival event, their Christian faith has already done the groundwork to set the mood. If a majority of Americans believe that there is an actual Satan who is actively trying to deceive, seduce, and tempt humanity to do horrible things to each other, well, then you’ve got a pretty good setup for a traveling stage show where the magician (preacher) does battle versus the Devil and his minions (sinners in the audience.)

Bob Larson is a former radio host and present-day exorcist had been doing these types of shows, traveling from town to town in what Daniel Rumanos calls the “carnie” tradition. It’s a religious revival show where as the character, Ron Mephisto, he was one of the sinners planted in the audience to say the horrible things that he’d done in the name of Satan. Dressed up like whatever Goth culture was in at the time, Ron Mephisto would get up onstage and his soul would be healed by Bob Larson The Exorcist.

Daniel describes these events as being more about the show and downplays the religious aspects a bit. He said that while they would make the lights flicker at appropriate times, the audience saw many more things in the performance than they actually created and that it was their imagination that filled in most of the paranormal blanks. Collection plates would fill up when people saw the power of the Lord channeled through his faithful servant Bob Larson.

Now, imagine if you were in a Catholic Mass and Jesus came right off the crucifix and transubstantiated into the communion wafers and wine right before your eyes. That would make you believe wouldn’t it? That would make you cough up a little more cash that week when the ushers bring around the donation baskets.

That was the essence of what they were doing, a Bizarre Magic show where the audience’s faith created the suspension of disbelief. And after a few years of that, Daniel eventually wanted to be the exorcist instead of the sinner and started performing as one himself.

This led to a Coast To Coast AM interview in 2007, where his credentials as an exorcist weren’t vetted nor were his claims. While I almost always enjoy George Noory and his show, this kind of thing is the perfect reason to take the guests’ claims with a grain of salt. And to listen to all of the claims on paranormal “reality” shows with caution. Bob Larson had his own special on the Sci-Fi Channel called The Real Exorcist and well, we know how real that is.

Houdini was a magician that knew the tricks used by Spiritualist mediums to fool people who wanted desperately to believe in their loved ones’ souls surviving death. Rumanos does some of his own paranormal debunking and that’s gotten him into trouble with paranormal reality superstars like Zak Bagans who threatened to sue Rumanos a few years back.

Daniel Rumanos grew up loving stories of the macabre and now he writes his blog, Weird Adventures, where he creates the world in which he performs his bizarre magic shows. The stories on the blog are creepy and in a Lovecraft-meets-The Dresden Files sorta way and it’s a lovely fiction.

While the magician and writer says he’s seen some things that he cannot explain, he also says that since he cannot explain, he prefers not to try. The stories that he weaves on his blog and in his shows are entirely his own.

While the character that Daniel Rumanos has created for himself seems to be shrouded in a little bit of mystery, he seems to me like a paranormal trickster. He’s a showman who’s seen Oz behind the curtain and blends his love of classic horror and fantasy stories with illusion and magic. I try not to judge the beliefs of people who are on the show (they might all be right for all I know!) but it’s a little refreshing that he doesn’t make any fantastical claims of his own.

That gave us the idea for this week’s song about how sometimes we all feel like impostors, like we’re making it up as we go along. This Sunspot track is called “In Plain Sight”:

I’ll sit and listen to the worst things in your life,
I’ll be crying on the outside but I don’t care about your plight.
Looking side to side to find a mask to emulate,
when the camouflage wears off, you’ll be the first to run away.

The wheels spin and the lies begin,
I’ll confabulate a feeling,
to learn the tricks I need to fix,
to keep everyone believing that,

Nothing’s broken,
in my emotion.
I must be cracked,
cuz I’m not right.
Some kind of monster,
just an impostor,
a freak that’s
hiding in plain sight.

Observing close and keeping notes, of the right way to behave,
To infiltrate and analyze, maybe one day invade.
I’ll shake your hand, I’ll nod my head, pretend to give a damn,
I’ll respond to every cue, but never understand.

The wheels spin and the lies begin,
I’ll confabulate a feeling,
to learn the tricks I need to fix,
to keep everyone believing that,

Nothing’s broken,
in my emotion.
I must be cracked,
cuz I’m not right.
Some kind of monster,
just an impostor,
a freak that’s
hiding in plain sight.

93 – Missing Planes: From The Bermuda Triangle to MH370

Before the wreckage of this last week’s crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 ended the mystery surrounding what happened to the Airbus A320, cable news immediately jumped on the story. Missing planes are big business. Traveling in the modern age means flying, and flying means getting in a metal cylinder and hurling through the sky at hundreds of miles an hour. For myself, it’s the surrender of control that makes it terrifying. Not that I know how to fly, but I’m at the mercy of the pilot, someone I don’t usually even see. My life is in his or her hands, that’s a lot of trust to place in someone that you don’t know, only reassured by the fact that their lives are in their hands as well and whatever happens to me, happens to them. So that helps. And also knowing that your chances of dying in an airline crash are extraordinarily low, you’ve got a better chance of being struck by lightning or bitten by a shark than going down in a plane.

Amelia Earhart missing plane
Amelia Earhart, female aviation pioneer, and the first famous case of a plane disappearance

Now what happened to EgyptAir 804 was probably terror-related (they were already in Cairo airspace when they just turned around for seemingly no reason), but since aviation has only been with us for a little over a hundred years, we have an excellent record of its history. Missing planes are news now because it happens so infrequently. And when it happens, when all the safeguards humans have created to protect themselves during air travel fail, then it’s a big deal. But what if it’s something more than just human or mechanical error, what if it’s something paranormal in nature?

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 airplane
The actual Boeing 777 that carried flight 370 – picture by photographer Laurent Errera

The most recent flight to disappear was Malaysian Airlines Fight 370. Taking off in Kuala Lampur, the flight was supposed to land in Beijing, but never did and was said to have crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. The mystery behind that missing plane lasted for months until a piece of wreckage washed up on an island near Africa in the Indian Ocean.

Conspiracies abounded from Flight 370 from North Korea shooting it down to a CIA coverup to the plane being commandeered to land in Russia. Of course, 5% of people even believed that it had something to do with aliens or supernatural activity.  Those people are my favorite. But reliable aviation experts and different authors have challenged the authenticity of the debris, saying it was planted. A new photo that showed up last week has made the veracity of the wreckage more likely, however, and as the public slowly loses interest in the flight, the final mystery might never be solved.

The Bermuda Triangle The Devil's Triangle
The Devil’s Triangle

But the most famous place that planes have disappeared has to be the Bermuda Triangle. The three corners are Miami, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the island of Bermuda in the mid-Atlantic Ocean. Popularized by author Charles Berlitz in his 1974 book, The Bermuda Triangle.

flight 19 bermuda triangle
The crew of Flight 19 (courtesy of Getty Images)

The most famous case of disappearing planes over the triangle comes from December 5, 1945. Flight 19 was a bombing training mission run by Lieutenant Charles Taylor, a flight veteran. Their compasses ended up not working, the planes got lost over the mid-Atlantic and five planes and 14 men were lost at sea and never found. Later, they sent out another plane (a flying boat) to go search for the missing planes. Those 13 men and that plane were never recovered either. 27 people lost in one day. Steven Spielberg would later use this in Close Encounters of The Third Kind as the planes are discovered in the desert and later their pilots are returned to Earth by peaceful alien captors.

close encounters of the third kind flight 19 missing planes
Hey Flight 19, better late than never!

Berlitz found several incidents of missing planes over the Bermuda Triangle, particularly in the late 1940s (one case even happening on July 3rd 1947 – the date of Roswell! A topic that Berlitz also wrote a book on). By the late 1970s, the Bermuda Triangle was a well-known paranormal topic. When there was no concrete evidence as to why planes might go missing over the area,  Berlitz wasn’t ashamed of throwing in paranormal explanations (it was the 70s, man.) He even theorized that the sunken city of Atlantis had something to do with it!

Just as fast as the topic took off, though, the Coast Guard was trying to debunk it. They even have an entry about it in their official FAQ.

While there has been several movies to tackle the Bermuda Triangle directly (the most famous starring Hollywood royalty, John Huston) and The X-Files’ episode “Triangle” as well as The Greatest American Hero‘s “Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” did investigations into the mysterious area, the most famous piece of pop culture with a missing plane took place in the Pacific Ocean and not the Bermuda Triangle. Oceanic Flight 815 left Sydney, Australia for Los Angeles in 2004 and was never found. That gave us LOST, a mid-Aughts cultural phenomenon that changed the way that we watch television.

lost oceanic flight 815
The wreckage of Oceanic Flight 815

Serials, where one episode of the story leads into the next and need to be watched in sequence, was not very popular with television producers for a long time. Why? Because it made it so you had to see every episode in order to “get it”. It was much easier to produce something where a viewer could casually come in and out and miss episodes. In the 1970s that made a lot of sense. When homes started getting VCRs in the 1980s that trend could change, but still people had trouble programming them (i.e., my parents).

In the 2000s, with the popularization of DVRs and a generation of people who were comfortable with the technology, you could finally create a series where you could trust that the episodes were watched in the correct sequence. You could create longer and more complicated storylines, like chapters in a novel. Whether LOST accomplished that during its six-season run is debatable, but it certainly popularized the story of a missing plane and the supernatural hijinks that happened around the survivors on a mystical island.

While LOST provided a happy ending for at least some of the passengers (SPOILERS!), unfortunately we cannot be certain about the real tales of missing flights. As we recorded and wrote this, Egyptian authorities still haven’t found the  full wreckage of flight 804, all of the human remains of Flight 370 are still nowhere to be seen, and of course, Flight 19 has been gone for well over half a century.

While The Bermuda Triangle might be bogus, the fear of flying has affected everyone from Isaac Asimov to John Madden (who always drives to football games across the country in a special RV.) The modern cable news obsession with missing planes only serves to heighten this fear and it almost makes me long for the days when the most sensationalist piece of television was In Search Of… something that never masqueraded as news.

This week’s song was inspired by the tales of lost airmen and boat crews in the nefariously nicknamed, Devil’s Triangle.

You see a light,
when you’re in the deep,
just on the surface,
somewhere above your reach.
But you’re too far, to be found.

If you wanna meet the Devil, you have to go down.

It’s not a Kraken that will sink your Battleship
You could get snared by a Calypso and not even know when you’ve been whipped,
Triangle.
It’s not the sharks who will devour when you drown,
It’s the chicken of the sea that will pull you all the way down.
Triangle.

You see a light,
when you’re in the deep,
just on the surface,
somewhere above your reach.
But you’re too far, to be found.

If you wanna meet the Devil, you have to go down.

It might feel like it’s a joyride,
heading toward Davy Jones.
But it’s a doorway to the dark side,
that will leave you skull and bones.
Triangle.
It doesn’t matter, Atlantean or Amazon,
your eyes stay open as you suffocate
gutted and gorged upon.

You see a light,
when you’re in the deep,
just on the surface,
somewhere above your reach
But you’re too far, to be found.

If you wanna meet the Devil, you have to go down.

92 – Bridging the Gap: 2016 Paradigm Symposium Recap

What a fantastic weekend as Wendy and I attended the Paradigm Symposium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The mission of the event is to bridge the gap between academic thinking and alternative studies  and you could see it in action because the speakers treated each presentation like it was a college lecture.

john ward scotty roberts
Mike, Scotty Roberts, John Ward, and Wendy Lynn
The guys behind the event were Scotty Roberts and John Ward from Intrepid Magazine, which is a publication after my own heart, dealing with everything from science fiction to alternative history and archaeology. It was a massive undertaking, but completely worth it, because it provided us with a ton of inspiration for new episodes, new friends, and of course, lots of new things to ponder.

In the episode, Wendy Lynn and I cover all of the speakers that we got to see during the convention and tell a little bit about the topics that they covered.
Micah Hanks and Mike Huberty
Me and Peter Capaldi, I mean the brilliant Micah Hanks!
Here are some links to the speakers so that if you hear about something you like during the podcast, you can come back and click on the link to learn more (and of course, we’re going to be asking all of these fascinating people to come on the podcast sometime soon!)

Micah Hanks – Secret societies, Yale’s Skull and Bones and its connection to America’s foreign policy think tanks. This dude can speak! And he’s got one of the best paranormal podcasts out there, The Gralien Report.

Jeffrey Daugherty (The Christian Whistleblower) – Was Jesus an alien? He doesn’t answer that for you, but his literal translation of the books of the New Testament certainly makes you think and it’s delivered in a helluva style!

Laird Scranton – Connecting the ancient abandoned site of Skara Brae on Scotland’s Orkney Islands with Africa’s Dogon Tribe and ancient Egypt. Heavy on the symbolism and linguistics, he’s obviously done his homework.

Dr. Rita Louise – Did aliens mess with our DNA early in our history? Could humanity be a lot older than we suspect? Lots of alternative history here!

Lon Milo Duquette – Revelations about King David and Solomon and their possible connections to the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.

Peter Robbins – The Rendlesham UFO Incident – it’s the United Kingdom’s very own Roswell and he can deliver the case for it as convincingly as they come.

Paranormal Sarah – Sarah Soderlund is a Twin Cities-based parapsychologist and author who also goes by the online name Paranormal Sarah.

Rocci Stucci – Political talk radio host and paranormal investigator, his EVP from an investigation with Scotty and John almost made me lose voluntary bladder control.

Travis Walton – The world’s most famous alien abductee and the man behind the classic Fire In The Sky, which was very influential on me when I was younger, watching the new documentary, Travis The Movie, which gave the non-Hollywood perspective of his incredible experience.

Listening to him talk was really one of the major highlights for us because there are few people on Earth who have been more affected by the UFO phenomenon than him. Most of us who love aliens and the paranormal choose this field. He did not. He was thrust into the situation out of his control and it’s affected the course of his entire life. But forty years later, plenty of polygraph examinations, and six men whose story hasn’t changed a bit mean that he’s part of the lore forever now and has one of the most convincing cases out there.

And he’s a guitar player too, so that makes him extra awesome.

Mike and Wendy Lynn with Travis Walton
Holy cow, it’s Mike and Wendy Lynn with Travis Walton!
Dan Madsen – Star Trek fan club president with an inspiring story of how the vision of Gene Roddenberry forever changed the life of a young man.

John Ward – Real deal archaeology and adventure into ancient Egypt. Some of it was above my head, but it looked like a lot of fun!

Richard Dolan – Fantastic UFO researcher who gives an outline of the possible alien agenda. Will we ever see disclosure? What do the aliens want? Why won’t the government tell us. He connects all the dots and gives a plausible case of the reasons behind the secrecy.

Scott Wolter – Forensic Geologist behind the TV series, America Unearthed. His research into a Minnesota artifact known as the Kensington Rhinestone discovered in 1898 leads him on a search for Norse expeditions into North America in the 14th Century (the original Minnesota Vikings – were they still a losing team even back then? Ha!) or maybe  he suggests, the Knights Templar tried to claim the continent for themselves after being banned from Europe. Lots of symbolism, history, and fun.

Paradigm Symposium Final Panel
All the guests for the final panel
Overall, what really made the event was the incredible access to these great researchers, the open minds of every one, and the absolute friendliness of the group. Wendy and I felt tremendously welcome by people we’d never met before and by the end we were looking forward to the next time we could see them and share more stories, adventures, and just discussions about all the things that we don’t quite understand in this universe, but love to explore. That’s the kind of atmosphere of positivity and a judgement-free zone that we all hope to find ourselves in every once in awhile, to be free to find our own truths.

Since we were quite affected by hearing the real story of Travis Walton, for this weeks’s song decided to use a cover we recorded awhile back where we actually used a little bit of Fire In The Sky in the video we made. Since we borrow footage from that movie, Communion, Close Encounters, and A Trip To The Moon we thought it would be the perfect time to introduce the Sunspot version of one of the The Killers’ best tracks, “Spaceman”, their song about UFO abduction, into our podcast.

91 – Paranoia: The Strange Case of Christopher Saint Booth

Quick update on some fun things this week, Wendy and I will be at the Paradigm Symposium paranormal convention in Minneapolis this weekend, so look out for us and let’s hang out if you’re there!

Also in more fun haunting news, I just launched St. Paul Ghost Walks which is the first haunted history walking tour of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota (I like to call it the Evil Twin) and that launches this Friday the 13th! 

And there’s still time to vote for our band, Sunspot, in the Madison Area Music Awards – if you voted in the first round, it doesn’t cost anything to vote for us in the FINAL round (ends May 19th). If you haven’t voted, it’s five tax-deductible dollars and every penny goes to helping out music education in Madison area schools. It’s a cause we believe in deeply and are proud to have been supporting this charity since the beginning.

This week, I got to take some time to talk to a creator after my own heart, Christopher Saint Booth. As a musician, film producer, and paranormal investigator with a superb sense of style, he and his brother Philip bring glam chic and a distinct sophistication to the world of the weird.

christopher saint booth
Christopher Saint Booth at the Chicago Paranormal Convention

I met Christopher at the Chicago Ghost Conference (Episode 61 of the podcast has our haunted wrap up) when Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts  grabbed a copy of his book, The Exorcist Diary: The True Storywhich is an adaptation of the original journal kept by the priest who was performing an exorcism on a boy named Roland Doe, and that was the real-life story that would eventually inspire William Peter Blatty to write the pea-soup barfing, crucifix-humping movie that we all know and love, The Exorcist.

In our conversation, we start with his career as a musician on the Sunset Strip in the late 70s and early 80s and his move into art director on various films (hey man, he got to work on Dreamscape, the film where people could travel into each other’s dreams and we’ve talked about it on this podcast a bunch of times!)

In addition to some fun Hollywood stories, Christopher shares with us some of his real life paranormal experiences that he’s also documented in an autobiographical book called PARANOIA – The Strange Case of Ghosts, Demons, and Aliens.

While he’s always been into horror movies, what I think is interesting is how the brothers stumbled upon becoming paranormal filmmakers. They were filming a movie called Death Tunnel at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky, a legendarily haunted hospital that has been closed for decades. In the script, they used the real legends of the sanatarium for inspiration.

But the real show was what was happening behind the scenes. They got so much footage of weird stuff occurring while they were filming that they were able to make a documentary, SPOOKED – The Ghosts of Waverly Hills Sanatorium with weird footage, EVPs, and haunted history of the famous building.

And that documentary led them into a brand new direction, being able to create fictional movies based on the historical legends and then going in depth on the truth behind them, a real mix of the paranormal and pop culture. This was a fun interview full of anecdotes, paranormal tidbits, and a discussion on following your passion, whether it’s musician or filmmaker or gourmet hamburger artist (or a veggie burger artist for me!)

It’s that discussion of living your life with passion that inspired this week’s song, “The Wilderness of Almost Was and Never Were”. Everyone has their own definition of “selling out”, so the trick is to make sure you understand it or someone else will define it for you.

What happened to the kids who got lost in the blur,
The wilderness of almost was and never were.
You used to plan, you used to scheme,
We used to curse the old regime,
What did you surrender. for legal tender,
Was your price more than your dreams?

When they come to you to sell out,
Just promise to put up a fight,
And realize you’ll never be so close as you are tonight.

Drowning in your memory, and you’ll drown right in your hurt,
The wilderness of almost was and never were.
We used to fight and get worked up,
We said up.
What do you remember about your surrender?
Did you get your damn closeup?

When they come to you to sell out,
Just promise to put up a fight,
And realize you’ll never be so close as you are tonight.
When they come to you to sell out,
Just promise to put up a fight,
And realize you’ll never be so close as you are tonight.

A rock band's journey into the afterlife, UFOs, entertainment, and weird science.

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