All posts by Mike Huberty

Co-Host of See You On The Other Side podcast
Lead Vocalist & Bassist for Sunspot

174 – Mothman: Evil Incarnate with Loren Coleman

This week we have two 50th anniversary tragedies that we talk about on the podcast, one musical and one paranormal. The first is that in Madison we’re acknowledging the half-centennial of the death of Otis Redding, whose plane crashed into Lake Monona on December 10th, 1967. He was only 26 years old, just a year off the cursed 27 Club.

The second tragic anniversary has many more overtones of high strangeness. The Silver Bridge collapsed in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on December 15th, 2017 thirteen months to the day after the first reported sighting of the Mothman.

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The Mothman as drawn by an eyewitness in 1966.

The Mothman was a winged humanoid with red eyes that people were seeing in the area as well as getting an overwhelming sense of dread.  Once the mothman sightings started happening, other paranormal events began rearing their head. Reports of Men in Black, UFOs, prophetic dreams, and a strange grinning man by the name of Indrid Cold started circulating and everything culminated in the tragic Silver Bridge collapse that killed 46 people on December 15th, 1967.

Researcher John Keel famously collected all these stories and really created the modern narrative of the Mothman with his book, The Mothman Prophecies, in 1975.  It famously becomes a big Hollywood movie in 2002. When Keel became unable to do press for the film, he called upon his old friend  Loren Coleman to handle the interviews.

loren coleman mothman evil incarnate
Allison Jornlin with Loren Coleman (second from left) at the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

Now to say that Loren is a noted cryptozoologist is an understatement, he’s one of the most respected researchers in the field and I’ve been reading his books for decades. He wrote Mothman and Other Curious Encounters in 2002 and even John Keel called it “the most complete overview of the phenomenon.”

Fast forward to 2017 and the Mothman is back in the headlines. This time with alleged sightings all over the Chicagoland area. Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts has been going to the location of the sightings that have been reported and creating videos of the area to help people visualize them. It’s an eye opening look into the painstaking investigative process. Check out her YouTube channel to see her dozens of on-location videos at http://www.youtube.com/mothman.

The anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse, December 15th, is also  Loren Coleman’s latest book comes out , Mothman: Evil Incarnate. The Mothman hasn’t been content to be in the shadows. Loren talks about the Mothman Death Curse and the misfortune that seems to surround people who find themselves investigating this strange phenomenon decades after the original incident, book, and movie.

This episode is not only a great primer in the history of the Mothman case, but it’s also an insightful look into how Loren Coleman became one of the world’s greatest cryptozoologists as Allison and I get to discuss his investigative process with him.

To get a signed copy of Mothman: Evil Incarnate, click here to buy a signed copy from Loren’s awesome International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

In the episode, we also talk about Wendy’s visit to the Mothman museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia and her pilgrimage to the new Silver Bridge. Wendy watched The Mothman Prophecies and listened to the original book this summer on a roadtrip and you can check out her reactions above as part of Scott Markus‘ fun video series “A Ghost Hunter Watches”.

One of the things that was surprising about the Mothman story is how UFOs and weirdness seems to occur in Point Pleasant as well, it’s like they didn’t just get one X-File, they got the whole cabinet. Indrid Cold was a mysterious character who showed up during the events and asked people about the lights they saw in the sky. He made mysterious phone calls to Keel, talked to the local reporter, and even was said by one report to speak to someone telepathically.  He was so smily and strange, they called him The Grinning Man.

We don’t feel there’s been enough attention given to Mr. Cold so for this week’s track, we decided to write him his own song. This is Sunspot with “The Grinning Man”.

A form made of chaos
it can smell the blood on you
this planet haunted by us
and the owners want their due

a thin veneer
hiding a zone of fear

it knows your wobbliest spots
sees inside your darkest of hearts
knows every little trick that helps you lose your soul

a banshee screams
burned right into your dreams

When the black wings flutter and red eyes look about
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go out
then the telephone rings, there’s no one at the end
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go dead

it knows your wobbliest spots
sees inside your darkest of hearts
this planet haunted by us
the owners want their due

a thin veneer
hiding a zone of fear

When the black wings flutter and red eyes look about
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go out
then the telephone rings, there’s no one at the end
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go dead

173 – Santa Claus Is Real: Toys, Traditions, and Tulpas

Ho ho ho, friends, it’s a Yuletide tradition for us to uncover the weirdest stories we can about the Christmas season and this Holiday is no different. In the past we’ve covered everything from Krampus to Icelandic Christmas monsters to Holiday ghost stories and Alien Jesus, but we’ve hardly talked about the star of the show in most children’s imagination over the holidays, and that is Santa Claus! It’s St. Nick’s Day on December 6th, so we thought this is the perfect week to talk about him.

In this episode we go through the long history of Saint Nicholas, from his beginnings as a young holy man in 4th century Turkey who came from a rich family and was a deeply generous bishop who saved young women from lives of prostitution to eventually being venerated as a saint because he brought three murdered children back from the dead and he telepathically appeared in the dreams of Emperor Constantine. Awesome, right?

And while Saint Nicholas was a hugely popular saint in Europe in the Middle Ages, he wasn’t always a bearded fat man in a red fur suit who cam e down your chimney,  that didn’t happen until he came to the New World and was popularized as a character in Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas” poem in 1822 and Thomas Nast’s illustrations in the 1870s. And of course, Coke spent a ton of money advertising the jolly old elf too, helping out with that red and white suit he’s famous for.

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Santa needs some of that “old school” Coca-Cola so he can stay up all night to bring you gifts!

Because Christmas itself is a little bit of a Pagan holiday (burning the Yule log a the Winter Solstice has been going on way before Baby Jesus), there’s a touch of Pagan in our Santa Claus, influenced by Odin and his eight-legged horse! And of course even Saint Nick can’t please everyone, because some Christians think that Santa is actually an avatar of Satan. And while most of us might think that’s kinda funny, the same Puritans who gave us Thanksgiving (ahem… and the Salem Witch Trials) also banned Christmas and made celebrating it a punishable offense. There was too much drinking, too much revelry, and just too much fun for them. The Puritans thought of it was a wasteful and decadent celebration, so they banned it in the New World and in England for a few decades in the Seventeenth Century.

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Maybe Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans knew something about St. Nick that we don’t…

Truly my favorite part of this discussion though is when we start getting down to brass tacks. Santa Claus is real and people have been reporting sightings of him for awhile now. Yes, the same way they report sightings of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs. Kids and adults have seen Santa under the tree, they’ve seen him and his sleigh flying over their houses, they’ve seen him peering into their bedrooms… Yeah, I was taken aback as well.

So, what is it? Is there really an immortal who lives at the North Pole and stops time every year on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to the good boys and girls of the world? Could hundreds of millions of children believe him into existence? A tulpa created with the Christmas wishes of centuries of kids? Could there be something supernatural happening and the kids just interpret it as Santa Claus, kinda like the High Strangeness UFO discussion we had with Robbie Graham and Mike Clelland? That’s gotta be up for you to decide. For me, it’s like my Mom always said, “If you believe in Santa, he’s real.”

A few years back, we participated in a Christmas benefit album for the Salvation Army, we put our own spin on a track called “Hey Santa” by Madison songwriter Joe Snare, who put the compilation together.

 

Hey Santa,
You’ll be coming soon,
I cut my hair and changed my tune,
I’m a brand new man this year.
Hey Santa,
I’ve been counting days,
I cleaned up all my nasty ways,
I got your message loud and clear.

That lump of coal you gave me last year really made your point.
I’ve toned it down a notch or two,
look how I cleaned up this joint.
You’ve got Christmas right there in your hands,
Hey, Santa, won’t you give me one more chance?

Hey Santa,
I’ve been clean and straight,
you got no need to hesitate,
put me on the witness stand.

I couldn’t help but notice how my tree was kinda bare,
last time Santa came to town, you didn’t leave a present there.
You’ve got Christmas right there in your hands,
Hey, Santa, won’t you give me one more chance?

Hey Santa,
When you fill your sack,
don’t forget about me, Jack.
Because I’ll be looking out for you, you know.

Now you and I know I’m not quite an angel or a saint,
I’m doing everything I can,
to be someone that I ain’t.
You’ve got Christmas right there in your hands,
Hey, Santa, won’t you give me one more chance?

172 – Science of Superheroes: Comic Books Versus Reality

Superheroes are bigger than ever. Between two versions of The Flash, Batman in the movies and a young Bruce Wayne on television,  Ghost Rider getting featured on network television, or even Doctor freakin’ Strange getting his own movie, we’ve come a long long way from the 1970s Incredible Hulk where they changed Bruce Banner’s name to David because they didn’t want the show to be too comic book-y and CBS thought the name Bruce was “too gay”.  Stay classy, 70s TV execs!

So this episode has a little bit for everyone who loves superhero stories and their weird blend of fantasy and science fiction.

This is the water jetpack user we talk about in the episode.

Then we bring on author Jen Reinfried to discuss her latest superhero-themed novel, Grim Vengeance. It’s a tale full of genetically manipulated superhumans (“Evos” and “Synths”) running around the Northwest city of Redborough. The story is narrated from the villain’s perspective and they tell the story of the city’s protector, Grim,  a nearly blind superhero who isn’t afraid to be the judge, jury, and executioner for Redborough’s criminal element. Jen gives us all the details on the release of her new novel as well as its inspirations in our discussion.

jennifer reinfried grim trilogy
Author of A Grim Trilogy, Jennifer Reinfried

If you’re interested in reading any of A Grim Trilogy, just check out the site right here, it’s a steal at 99 cents a book on Kindle and you can get signed physical copies as well!

One of the things we discussed in this episode that we hate hate hate is when superheroes gain extra powers just so that the story line can be resolved. It’s a cheat when writers do that because we deserve a well thought ending. When the Greeks did it, they called it Deus Ex Machina, “the God from the Machine” because they would often end plays with a Greek God coming down and solving the problem and the apparatus they used to lower them onto the stage from above was called “the Machine”. Shows and movies still do it all the time, they write themselves into a corner and they have something magical which you didn’t know about previously save the day. Think how suddenly Rose has the power of the Time Vortex in “Parting of the Ways” from Doctor Who, or the complete cop-out “Star Child” ending of V: The Final Battle (also created by the man who brought us The Incredible Hulk TV show), or the many times Adam West’s Batman had just the right tool on his utility belt for whatever job was required.

Anyway, we thought it was a cool title for a song and it deals with the augmenting of humans, which fits perfectly into Jennifer’s novel. Anyway, it’s the soundtrack to those of us counting down the days to the Singularity, here is Sunspot with “Deus Ex Machina”

When I’m online,
I’m in the congregation,
a collective mind,
Deus Ex Machina.
Info addicts,
digital sinners.
We need our fix,
Deus Ex Machina.

I was 403 but now am found,
upload my prayers up to the cloud,
my final Sacrament will be,
an upgraded me.

Porno buffet,
I’m the Rocking Horse Winner,
Straight or gay,
Deus Ex Machina.

Download our souls on microchips,
upload our hopes to a matrix.
A 2.0 baptism
worship the system.

Collect me,
protect me.
Just please don’t disconnect me.
We will live forever,
zeroes and ones.

Unflesh me,
and bless me.
Take this sick body from me.
This meat is weary,
this mortal coil is done.

We don’t have to suffer, we don’t have to die,
no commandments to run our life.
We will pray to a new God,
a God we create.

One that doesn’t judge, one that doesn’t smite.
One that doesn’t care about wrong or right.
Data into blood,
Transubstantiate.

I was 403 but now am found,
upload my prayers up to the cloud,
my final Sacrament will be,
an upgraded me.

Collect me,
protect me.
Just please don’t disconnect me.
We will live forever,
zeroes and ones.

Unflesh me,
and bless me.
Take this sick body from me.
This meat is weary,
this mortal coil is done.

Deus Ex Machina.
Thy will be done.

 

171 – Darkest Hour: The Paranormal Life of Winston Churchill

It’s getting near the  end of the year, so that means it’s  Oscar-bait time and one of the performances getting great reviews this season is Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Of course, Gary Oldman isn’t afraid of a radical transformation (just see his work as a computer-generated dwarf in the movie Tiptoes) and the skinny Oldman gets out the fat suit to play the more squat Sir Winston. The movie looks good and I’m a sucker for World War II flicks, especially set during the Blitz .

While we all know Churchill from his amazing speeches and his steadfastness in the face of the Nazi threat, he also had plenty of supernatural experiences as well.

In this episode we talk about

So, there’s plenty of stories about the paranormal life of Winston Churchill, but as the “Last Lion” of the British Empire, he was a man very much of his time with an aura of greatness that proceeds him as almost no other leader of the Twentieth Century. He was a great author, orator, leader, and politician and helped shape our world.

We mention him in our song “No Place Like Home” because it’s that greatness that this song is looking for, the idea that you have to run away to find your purpose because you’ll never find it where you grew up. But we don’t always get to choose where we are most needed, where we are most valuable. Churchill was perfectly suited to his time and his place, but even when it doesn’t feel like it, aren’t we all exactly where we are supposed to be?

I was looking for any kind of way out,
I’ve been planning my escape since the day that I was born,
I took a map, threw a dart, and hit a target.
Anywhere but here was a better place to be for me.I am the puzzle that is missing lots of pieces,
I am  the paint by numbers that don’t all add up.
I am the Christmas gift with batteries not included,
I am the greatest book you ever read whose ending sucks.I said that I was coming back as a big shot,
when I found more of my kind,
I promised I would have a laugh at the townies,
the poor bastards left behind.I left town like a prison break,
Anywhere was better than this place,
I thought I was a rolling stone,
When I went out to the Twilight Zone,
But in the end there’s no place like home.There must be some kind of error in the geography,
I’ll never grow old in this locality,
I’m Buck in the 25th century,
I felt like Dorothy, but don’t call me Dorothy.
I always felt like I belonged in the 70s.
or with Churchill or even DaVinci,
but the further I run from this proximity,
The bigger the hole gets inside of me.

I’m still the puzzle that is missing lots of pieces,
but I’m not lonely anymore.
We’re all expatriates confused by our coordinates,
The cosmic refugees who washed up on this shore.

I left town like a prison break,
Anywhere was better than this place,
I thought I was a rolling stone,
When I went out to the Twilight Zone,
I left town like a prison break,
Anywhere was better than this place,
I thought I was a rolling stone,
When I went out to the Twilight Zone,
But in the end there’s no place like home.
No place like home.
No place like home.
No place like home.

P.S. – Here’s the awesome map of UFO sightings we talk about in the episode from our friend, John. UFO sightings in Wisconsin broken down by city!

170 – City of the Dead: Taking on the Mackenzie Poltergeist with Fred Fogarty

Adventurer and storyteller Fred Fogarty has been working with City of the Dead Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland for over a decade. He leads ghost walks into the Covenanters’ Prison and the ‘Black Mausoleum’ in Greyfriars Graveyard, home of the infamous Mackenzie Poltergeist. It’s his job to stay calm when the Mackenzie Poltergeist attacks, inflicting physical effects on tourists including scratches, bite marks, bruises, welts, vomiting and loss of consciousness. We met Fred for the first time at the Chicago Paranormal Conference and since then we’ve known that we need to have him on the show! So, Fred was back in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and Allison went down to interview him in person with me Skyping in to make snarky remarks.
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Fred in front of George Mackenzie’s Tomb
 In addition to being a tour guide, Fred has spent the last five years developing a system of well-being that makes improving and maintaining mental health accessible, fun and enjoyable, and firmly where it belongs: within YOU. It’s called MindSpaOdyssey and you can check that out right here!
Now, in the episode you hear about the history of the Black Mausoleum and how the Mackenzie Poltergeist attacks began. It’s named after George Mackenzie, who helped orchestrate the murders of over 18,000 Scotsmen in the name of unifying them all under the Church of England during a period known as “The Killing Time”. After Charles II restored the Monarchy in the late 1600s, he wanted everyone back under the Anglican Church (where he was in charge). The Scottish were promised 50 years earlier that they could practice their Presbyterianism (in fact they signed a Covenant to do so, so they were known as the Convenanters.)
George Mackenzie imprisoned them, made them live under subhuman conditions unless they would submit to the will of the English Crown and Church and most of them died sad deaths in the Covenanters Prison and were buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard Cemetery onsite. When Mackenzie finally died, he was buried in a mausoleum which was on the site as well. In 1998, a vagrant broke into Mackenzie’s tomb and ransacked the place and that’s when the unusual attacks began on the living who visited the tomb.
Now, I mentioned the City of the Dead ghost tours before because I think it’s one of the best ghost tours in the world (and certainly my favorite). I took it on a vacation a few years back and believe I was touched by the Mackenzie Poltergeist myself! And man, my camera was crap at the time, but here’s some pictures and the journal entries I made the next morning after we took the tour!
City of the Dead Ghost Tour – July 25th 2008 10pm
The Greyfriars Courtyard, already spooky
We walked back to the hotel to get our jackets and raced to St. Giles’ Cathedral to the tour. We almost didn’t get there because it was nearly a half-hour walk from the hotel. There was at least 60 people on the walk and we made it just in time as the group started to move.  We went to Greyfriars Cemetery where over half a million bodies were buried (mostly plague victims) and got great views of Edinburgh Castle (which blew our minds, it’s situated on a hill overlooking a chasm, this city is improbably beautiful , like the Epcot Version of a Scottish city, where parts of it look like models from afar. )
The Black Mausoleum at night
The real scary story was from the Covenanters Prison and the Mackenzie Poltergeist. We went into the Black Mausoleum which was scary as Hell (and they juice you up with stories of attacks and knockouts ands such there) and told some good ghost stories but cheapened it with someone jumping out and causing a fake scare (the guide apologized and said his boss makes them do that.)
Inside the Black Mausoleum, I have no idea why I canted the angle of this picture!
I didn’t feel anything, except for a tapping on my left shoulder, but I think that was my imagination combined with adrenaline. The tour was great fun, though, and we loved it.
The view of Edinburgh Castle from Greyfriars was astounding and you can see how it influenced Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, JK Rowling, Charles Dickens, and Robert Louis Stevenson.  
Now that’s a  castle!
So if you’re in Edinburgh, don’t miss this tour, for real!
Fred is also going to be at the first ever Hawaii ParaCon, taking place July 13-15, 2018 and we talk about this in the episode as well. This is going to be a really special destination kind of event, and if you’re interested (and you should be, it’s the Paranormal in Paradise!) then make sure to check it out, it’s going to be something spectacular!
This week’s song of course is inspired by that right bastard George Mackenzie and the energies of hate and vengeance that swirl around inside the Black Mausoleum and the Kirkyard. It’s a new Sunspot track called “The Killing Time”.

The air is thick with hatred and envy,
Souls that aren’t just looking for some peace,
A madness that we dare not comprehend,
the angry dead are looking for revenge.

All gone in the killing time
All gone in the killing time

Seething rage, unceasing hate
To burn the living kind,
Mercy and kindness slayed with the headsman’s blade
All gone in the killing time.

169 – Hunting The Witch’s Familiar: Dr. Martin Walsh And The Zanzibar Leopard

The last time we had Dr. Martin Walsh on we discussed his experiences in Zanzibar during the Popobawa panic in the mid-90s and we knew that there was more that we wanted to talk to him about. Not only is Dr. Walsh an anthropologist who has studied social phenomena for decades, he’s also one of the leaders of the search for the Zanzibar Leopard, a unique species of big cat thought to be possibly extinct.

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A stuffed version of the Zanzibar Leopard

Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Tanzania and because of that separation, it’s thought that the leopard native to the island developed in isolation for thousands of years. It became smaller than mainland leopards as well as literally “changing its spots”,  but it also was a victim of local folklore and that has contributed to its disappearance.

As Dr. Walsh wrote with his partner in the quest for the leopard, Dr. Helle Goldman in their work, “Killing the king: the demonization and extermination of the Zanzibar leopard“, while there has always been friction between humans and leopards (with documented attacks on livestock and even children) a legend that the leopards belonged to witches made the beasts a feared animal much of the time.

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Helle Goldman reviewing camera trap footage in September 2017

But that ended after the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution. A witch-hunter named Kitanzi led a movement to eliminate these witches from the island, and slaughtering the leopards was one way of getting that done. This extermination continued all the way to the 1990s and by that point a researcher hadn’t documented a wild Zanzibar leopard sighting since the 80s. In rural areas of the island though, reports of the leopard still turn up and that’s where our heroes have to look.

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Another view of the faded stuffed leopard in the Zanzibar museum

Walsh and Goldman are following the case of the Zanzibar leopard like a Bigfoot hunter or a Nessie aficionado, they’re cryptozoological investigators who are hunting a mysterious animal and trying to find any evidence of its continued existence. That’s what this interview is all about and if you’re interested in cryptozoology or African culture,  there is a lot for you to enjoy in this episode.

martin walsh zanzibar leopard
Walsh interviewing local wildlife expert Shabani Imani in September 2017 (he’d recently fallen out of a coconut palm!)

In fact, in this interview, Martin talks about how sometimes people claim to have the leopards and they’ll contact Tanzanian wildlife officials saying they’ve captured one. One time they even said that they had leopard cubs in captivity, but when the proof was required, all they really seemed to be were a couple of (admittedly very cute) kittens.

martin walsh helle goldman zanzibar leopard
These look like leopard cubs to you?

If you’re academically inclined (and even if you’re not, it’s a fascinating read), please check out  Drs. Walsh and Goldman’s papers on “Cryptids and credulity: the Zanzibar leopard and other imaginary beings” and “Chasing imaginary leopards: science, witchcraft and the politics of conservation in Zanzibar“. We encourage you to check out their blog as well, it’s an awesome resource in learning how to hunt cryptids scientifically!

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Dr. Martin Walsh

Now, not that this obsession consumed Martin (that we know of!) because the Zanzibar Leopard was killed off by superstition and political unrest, but the song this week inspired by the conversation is a little more about the Captain Ahab-esque hole that you can dig yourself into when your interest becomes an obsession, this is a new Sunspot track called “Chasing Devils”.

You dreamed of danger
you dreamed of risk
You dreamed of chasing devils dusk to dawn and waiting for their kiss
You wished for abuse
Hoped for neglect
Wishing for an oppressor you could fight and a cause you could insurrect

You want to roam
far away from home
but these imaginary devils
are all better left alone
And when they’re found
they won’t make a sound
because the creatures of the night will be gone
when you finally come down

You wanted action
You made it hot,
But the more you got the more you needed and the more that you got lost.
The taste of danger
the sweet of risk
When you’re busy chasing devils you’re too high to know you’re sick

You went to roam
far away from home
but these imaginary devils
were all better left alone
When they were found
they made no sound
because the creatures of the night were all gone
when you finally came down

And, hey, we’ve got a double dose of art this week, Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts was so inspired by the conversation that she wrote a poem, check it out!

Imaginary Animals

The leopard in the dark,
Was it ever really there?
Eyes dilate to welcome the night,
Body bristling,
Holding your breath,
Shuddering,
As it passes beside you,
Close enough to brush your skin.
That is certain.
Isn’t it?
Some sensation fanned out within,
Tasting it,
Feeling the heat,
Fingers of energy,
Reaching out and scalding,
Wheels of light,
Spiralling deep inside,
Spinning,
Dizzying,
Then nothing.
Conspicuously alone,
Again.
Left wondering,
What remains,
When the sacred night crumbles?

168 – Stranger Things and Soul Cakes: Facts You Didn’t Know About Halloween

Hey, it’s Halloween time again and we’ve been watching Stranger Things 2  to get in the mood for our favorite holiday. Especially because the new show takes place during the Halloween of 1984.  And while we’ve explored Halloween a couple times in the past, including the urban legends that surround the holiday and an in-depth discussion of the phenomenon of Devil’s Night, there’s still plenty that we can learn about the holiday.

stranger things milwaukee paranormal conference
Outside the Jabberwocky’s Ball at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference – Wendy and I are hanging out with our friends Corey from Phantasmagoria Photo and Scott Markus from What’s Your Ghost Story.com It was a Alice in Wonderland-themed event, so we went simple with the costumes!

So, with all the nostalgia of Stranger Things 2 from Ghostbusters to Dragon’s Lair, we decided to reminisce a little about our own Halloweens past as well as look to discover some facts that we didn’t know before about the Holiday. And we did! From soul cakes to snapdragon, Allhallowtide to the origin of the word “bonfire”, we cover a ton of little known fact about the best holiday out there.

Plus we even uncover a new story (to us) about the 1980s’ Satanic Panic! There’s tons of fun in our 2017 Halloween special.

If you’re looking for fun songs to enjoy for Halloween, look no further than our Sunspot Halloween playlist – we’re counting down our personal favorite songs that are perfect for the Holiday! Follow our Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/othersidepodcast to see all of the songs!

This week’s Sunspot track is inspired but the nostalgia of Stranger Things because we’re going back to the Junior High Fall dance. This industrial-ish number is all about how the little things of your youth, like your first heartbreak or your first kiss can affect the rest of your life, for good or for bad. We’re an accumulation of our experiences and our emotional reactions are often developed by events that happened to us when we were very different people. It’s hard to escape that “Ancient History”.

The little boy was glassy eyed
they kissed on the pumpkin hayride
just another notch on her notebook
he wrote a note in seventh hour
he passed it on through her best friend
but in phy ed is where it would sour
he would never be the same
his heart was bitter now
all his lungs inflamed
she knew what she was doing to him
Ancient history
always sneaks up on you
ancient history
will never let you go
ancient history
remembers every putdown
ancient history
always comes round
The little girl was terrified
and at the harvest dance, he lied
when he whispered a secret in her ear
She thought she was gonna die,
but the parking lot was just so big
And then there was nowhere that    to hide.
she would never be the same
her heart was bitter now
all her lungs inflamed
and he knew what he was doing to her
Ancient history
always sneaks up on you
ancient history
will never let you go
ancient history
remembers every putdown
ancient history
always comes round

167 – Paranormal Pumpkin: Billy Corgan and the Shapeshifters

When Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins was on the Howard Stern show promoting his new album, Ogilala, Howard and Robin were grilling him on his relationship with everyone’s favorite radio host/internet conspiracist, Alex Jones. Corgan (who now goes by his full name, William Patrick Corgan) has been on Infowars three times.

Billy Corgan – Infowars Interview #1 Trend On Facebook

So, Howard asks Billy about the reptilians as a joke and Billy Corgan proceeds to see that he’s seen a shapeshifter. Oh yeah! You can hear some of the interview at this link, but he doesn’t get too detailed because he said he fears for his career and the lives of his loved ones. He is still freaked out about the whole thing

billy corona shapeshifting
Billy Corgan rocking!

We talk about everything we can find on Billy and the reptilian shapeshifters, and also other paranormal experiences that he’s reported. He’s always been a sensitive guy and has had his eye on the spiritual and we go over some more of his conspiratorial ideas, craziest moments, fights with Courtney Love, the ghost of David Bowie, and more. You’ve got to expect some paranormal business from the man who starts one of his most famous songs with the line, “The world is a vampire”…

Wendy and I were always huge fans of The Smashing Pumpkins, so it was fun to relive some of our favorite musical moments from the 90s and if you’ve never heard the band before, this little ditty from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, might be their most paranormal track (lyrically at least). It’s called “We Only Come Out At Night”.

So The Smashing Pumpkins recorded two of their albums with Butch Vig, one of the greatest producers of the alternative rock generation. They recorded the entirety of their debut album, Gish, at Smart Studios right here in Madison, Wisconsin.  When we recorded at Smart in 2001, we tried to get all the stories of our favorite bands, including The Smashing Pumpkins. There was a particular effect in the studio that they called “The Pumpkinizer” that helped get the Pumpkins their distinct hard rocking guitar sound. We tried to find a way to “Pumpkinize” our tracks a little bit when we recorded this track. This was the track we used to close our Sunspot sets for years, it’s called “Summer Day”.

The purposelessness of a summer day,
well I don’t know where the road will lead me next,
I asked my old man what will become of me and he said,
“Nothing is all you do and it’s all you’ll ever be.”

It might make you sad that this is my home,
it might seem too bad that this is all I know.

A purposelessness for a summer day,
nothing is all I do and it’s all I have to be.
It’s all I’ll be…

A driftless waste of space,
another welfare case,
you can’t make me grow up.
I won’t waste my time,
on your assembly line,
you can’t make me grow up.

A lazy lawn chair and an ice cold drink,
why on earth would I ever want to change?
Ambition falls away as I drift to sleep,
this moment’s gone but it was mine to keep.

It might make you sad that this is my home,
you’re just like my dad what do you know?

The purposelessness of a summer day,
nothing is all I do and it’s all I have to be.
It’s all I’ll be…

A driftless waste of space,
another welfare case,
you can’t make me grow up.
I won’t waste my time,
on your assembly line,
you can’t make me grow up.

It might make you sad that this is my home,
you’re just like my dad what do you know?

The purposelessness of a summer day,
nothing is all I do and it’s all I have to be.
It’s all I’ll be…

A driftless waste of space,
another welfare case,
you can’t make me grow up.
I won’t waste my time,
on your assembly line,
you can’t make me grow up.

166 – Based On A True Story: Supernatural Suspense with L. Sydney Fisher

After being fascinated with writing and having paranormal experiences at an early age, supernatural suspense author L. Sydney Fisher decided to use people’s real stories of hauntings, possessions, and demonic activity as fodder for her fiction. Her Bradford Haunting series is inspired by a real murder in the 1970s and the strange events that followed in Tupelo, Mississippi, which some of them,  she witnessed herself.

 

l. sydney fisher
L. Sydney Fisher
Her paranormal investigations have led her to write the Haunted History series as well, focusing on more legendary sites around Northeastern Mississippi, so we discuss how she does her paranormal research and the process of how she turns people’s experiences into exciting fiction. Her latest book is The Devil’s Board.

l. sydney fisher

One of the things I like about Sydney’s work is that it’s inspired by true events as opposed to claiming its a documentation (ala The Amityville Horror). Fiction and narratives are meant to be exciting, and horror and suspense are meant to thrill you viscerally. Sometimes you have to go a little extreme with the story to make that happen, and real-life events aren’t usually that extreme.

When you’re researching paranormal claims, it’s really easy to want to exaggerate and make things more dramatic to excite your audience, or in many authors’ cases, to sell your book. When it’s fiction, it gives you that freedom to exaggerate what actually happened to heighten the drama and it gives readers like me (who are generally skeptical of big paranormal claims) permission to turn our BS detectors off and just enjoy the story. The fact that it started with real events, helps make it exciting without straining credulity, and I really appreciate that.

To check out Sydney’s work, please click here to visit her website at LSydneyFisher.com

l. sydney fisher
Hey, baby! It’s TCB time! 

Since L. Sydney Fisher is out in “Elvis Country” and our
conversation about The King of Rock n’ Roll dominated the beginning of the conversation, we thought it’d be a perfect time to sing about the real conspiracy theory that Elvis faked his own death.  Here’s Sunspot with “The King’s Not Dead”!

Well the King’s not dead baby
You know the King ain’t dead.
He faked his OD on the potty
Flew to Brazil instead

I saw Elvis Presley
At the Burger King in Kalamazoo
He just wanted some peace and quiet
And a Double Whopper too.

Well the King’s not dead baby
Hell no the king ain’t dead
He was on borrowed time from organized crime
after Nixon made him a fed.

I saw Elvis Presley
He was an extra in Home Alone.
He’s wearing a sweet turtleneck
Under the beard he had grown

Well the King’s not dead baby
Oh no the King’s not gone
Misspelled his middle name above his grave
So that we’d know it’s a big con

I saw Elvis Presley
Outside a store in Nashville
He was looking for his microphone
Cuz he’s got some time to kill.

I saw Elvis Presley
riding on a unicorn
Doing karate kicks with Bigfoot
And saying it’s alright mama, you don’t have to mourn.

165 – Apocalypse When? More Adventures with Tea Krulos

Freelance writer and adventurer Tea Krulos is back this week with Wendy, Allison, and I to give us an update to what he’s been up to over the past year. In the past, Tea has written about Monster Hunters and Real-Life Super Heroes and now we catch up with him as he researches his next book, The End.

Hanging with Tea Krulos at the Riverwest Public House

The End is all about what you think. That’s right, we’re talking the end of the world, from doomsday preppers to climate scientists. Tea’s been having some wild adventures this Summer as he catches us up with his trips to ZombieCon, which is the worldwide meetup of the Zombie Squad, who are not exactly what you think they might be… while they use the symbolism of being ready for a zombie outbreak, they know it’s ridiculous. Sorry Charlie, George Romero-style Walking Dead zombies just ain’t real and aren’t really possible.

But there’s all kinds of emergencies, from hurricanes to floods to a terrorist strike, that could lead to a similar situation as a zombie apocalypse. The power goes out, cell phone service is down, it’s dangerous to be out at night… you don’t need a horde of the undead for that to happen. The Zombie Squad teaches disaster preparedness by using a zombie nightmare as the example, it’s a fun way to handle a serious topic.

Tea Krulos in front of the Luxury Doomsday Condos!

We get the real skinny on Tea’s trip to the Doomsday Luxury Condos in Kansas and hear all about what happens in that giant 14-story abandoned missile silo that might eventually serve as something like Fiddler’s Green from Land Of The Dead, a place where people can enjoy luxury comforts even if the world is burning around them. It sounds amazing and Tea got to take the grand tour.

Tea Krulos at the Wasteland Weekend

Finally, we hear about his trip to Wasteland Weekend which bills itself as the World’s Largest Post-Apocalyptic Festival. And it sounds like a real blast (a Master Blaster!) to hang out with people living their Mad Max fantasies and partying like they’re in the video for “California Love”.

Finally, we get a preview of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2017, which is shaping up to be an amazing weekend full of awesome events, including a performance by Wendy and I at the Jabberwocky’s Ball on Saturday night, haunted history tours in Waukesha and Milwaukee, and recent guest David Parr doing a seance magic show at the haunted Brumder Mansion on midnight Friday the 13th!

Two things not to miss on Sunday’s event…

Our beloved Allison Jornlin is doing a new presentation on Milwaukee Forteana. This time she’s rediscovering the work of some of the area’s greatest paranormal researchers and she’ll be bringing that to life 10am on Sunday.

The Haunted Road Trip panel hosted by yours truly at 1pm, that’s going to be discussing awesome places that you can goto in Wisconsin to do some legend tripping for a day (or night)trip! That’s 1pm on Sunday and it’s in the bar, so we can knock one back.

Tobias from The Singular Fortean Society will be going after the Chicago Mothman at 3pm. There’s tons of new information out there about the sightings and our very own Allison has been hunting that sneaky bastard down all over the Windy City. If you want a quick refresher, just take a listen here!

Click here for more information and we’ll see you a at the convention!

One of the commonalities about all these people preparing for the end of the world, is that they’re expecting something to happen. Apocalypticism has been with us for a long time. The expectation that some huge defining moment is going to happen in our lifetime, from Charles Manson anticipating a black versus white race war to Coast To Coast AM-fueled Y2K fever, it’s a desire that some great thing will happen in our lifetimes where we can prove ourselves, where we can test our mettle. It’s the ultimate rite of passage, can you survive the end of your species?

This Sunspot song is about that feeling, where you’re waiting for a moment to change your life, like when you hear about your grandfather and World War 2 or the Great Depression. It’s wanting to be a part of history that can change the world and therefore it changes your life. Well, sometimes you just gotta do it for yourself, like in this song off our second album, “Don’t Tell Me I Missed The War”.

All my heroes are on MTV,
they’re on a movie screen,
and they like to eat Wheaties.
And I don’t trust the President,
and hate the government,
and I’ve been waiting all my life,
for one defining moment.

Tell me what to do with,
all this aggression I feel,
because self-repression just leads,
to more depression.
And I don’t want to be another,
wheel in human traffic,
I want to prove myself,
but I am just a demographic.

So tell me what to believe,
and I will follow.
Just tell me what to think,
I know you’re always right.
Disillusionment is payback,
for never having to put up a fight.

Don’t tell me I missed the war,
don’t tell me that it’s all over now.
Don’t tell me I missed the war.
And I don’t know how,
I got so jaded.
And I don’t know why,
independence is so overrated.
Don’t tell me I missed the war.

All my heroes have been,
programmed for me,
so they could guarantee
my complacency.
And I still don’t trust the government,
even though it pays my rent.
And I’m still waiting for that,
one defining moment.

So tell me what to believe,
and I will follow.
Just tell me what to think,
I know you’re always right.
Disillusionment is payback,
for never having to put up a fight.

Don’t tell me I missed the war,
don’t tell me that it’s all over now.
Don’t tell me I missed the war.
And I don’t know how,
I got so jaded.
And I don’t know why,
independence is so overrated.
Don’t tell me I missed the war.