All posts by Mike Huberty

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

186 – The Slenderman Mysteries: Investigating the Internet Bogeyman with Nick Redfern

In May of 2014, a vicious crime shocked Wisconsin and made headlines across the United States. Two junior high school girls attempted to stab their friend in a sacrifice to an Internet horror story known as “The Slenderman”. While the victim thankfully survived, it left the world wondering, why would these girls commit such a horrible crime and what is The Slenderman?

The Slenderman Mysteries
The pic that started it all

Created as part of a challenge on an Internet forum to create a scary paranormal character, artist Eric Knudsen Photoshopped a tall faceless figure with tentacles on his back around some kids and featured some creepy text. It was a scary pic and the popularity of the character exploded over time as people added the Slenderman  to more and more images and created short text stories that people could copy and paste on Internet forums. The common slang for “copy and paste” is “copypasta” and people adapted that term for horror stories and called it “creepypasta”, which was extremely popular with young teens (who love horror stories, I know I did!)

Unfortunately, young people can become obsessed with stories, especially dark ones, and that can lead some to horrific behavior like we saw in Waukesha. But beyond that, people are starting to have actual “Slenderman sightings” in the real world. Are people’s obsessions creating tulpas, and giving form to a fictional Internet Bogeyman?

As a prolific author of books and articles, Nick Redfern is always on the forefront of the paranormal community. We’ve had him on the podcast before and we’ve been dying to bring him back. This time he’s released a new book, The Slenderman Mysteries, and Allison and I get all the details.

Full disclosure, Allison and I are both featured in the book. As lifelong Wisconsinites, whenever something unusual happens here that has a relationship with the paranormal, we try to check it out thoroughly. I had my own experience near Waukesha, Allison discovered a strange coincidence,  and indeed Wendy Lynn is tour guide for Waukesha Ghost Walks, so we all have a stake in what happens and how it’s represented.

the slender man mysteries nick redfern

It’s a lively and informative conversation and some of the things that Nick uncovered in this book are fascinating and terrifying. He is extremely respectful of the tragedy while exploring all the avenues and we reflect that in this discussion.

Also, since Nick is a massive Ramones fan, we had to do a Ramones tribute for this episode. It’s Sunspot inspired by the Ramones with a song about “The Slenderman”.

9 foot tall in a suit and tie
Oh Oh Oh the Slender-man
He came from the woods to terrify
Oh oh oh the Slenderman
He’ll crawl inside your headspace
It looks like he erased his face.

From the basement of the Internet
and made out of belief
are we peeking through the Gates of Hell
when we close our eyes to dream?
They thought that he was fiction
But he’s creeping into fact
and when you feel long arms around you
you best dare not turn your back.

Your nose bleeds and you’re sensing dread
Oh Oh Oh the Slender-man
the Pied Piper of the World Wide Web
Oh oh oh the Slenderman
Ooh those tentacles are gross,
Comin’ through Lovecraftian cosmos.

From the basement of the Internet
and made out of belief
are we peeking through the Gates of Hell
when we close our eyes to dream?
They thought that he was fiction
But he’s creeping into fact
and when you feel long arms around you
you best dare not turn your back.

 

185 – The Oscar Love Curse: Legends and Lore of The Academy Awards

From Joan Crawford to Sandra Bullock, Bette Davis to Hilary Swank,  actresses who win Academy Awards are said to have been cursed in love shortly after. In fact, everyone from Forbes to National Public Radio to The Washington Post have talked about it.

For example, Emma Thompson wins Best Actress for Howard’s End in 1993 and by 1994, it’s revealed that Kenneth Branagh was fooling around with Helena Bonham-Carter on the set of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein a year later. They’re divorced in 1995.

Reese Witherspoon wins for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk The Line in 2006, five months later she is divorced from her husband Ryan Philippe.

Renee Zellweger is dating Jack White (from The White Stripes) in 2004 and she wins Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain, several months later, they split up.

And those are just a few of the more modern examples. Hollywood breakups have been happening to Oscar winners since the Academy Awards started, but is there any truth to the “Oscar Love Curse”? And is it always women who are unlucky? What about the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor winners?

Hollywood Ghost Tour guide and WhatsYourGhostStory.com founder Scott Markus joins Wendy and I to get the facts behind the Oscar Love Curse and we also dish some more fun paranormal facts about Hollywood’s biggest night, The Academy Awards.

oscar love curse
1999 Gwyneth sure seemed happy, two months before her breakup with fellow Oscar winner, Ben Affleck

This week’s song is all about relationships collapsing and the feelings afterwards, it’s Sunspot’s ode to bitter breakups, “Eat Out My Heart”.

I’ve been waiting so long for you to call,
but now you’re finally here and I’m a wreck.
Worked out a little, even did my hair,
but I’m not the man I used to be back there.

I hope you have an ugly boyfriend,
I hope you’re working at a carwash,
I hope your life went down the drain and everything is not okay,
I hope your best years passed you up.

I dodged a bullet,
One or two since then,
You’re not the only one who still calls me up.
I’m still the jerkoff who listens to your problems,
I never told you all the times,
I’d wished you died in a car crash.

I hope you have an ugly boyfriend,
I hope you’re working at a carwash,
I hope your life went down the drain and everything is not okay,
I hope your best years passed you up, I hope your life sucks.

I’m eating out my heart.
I’m eating out my heart.

And I’m not happy for you,
That you’re a better person without me.
I’m so glad you decided to apologize,
When I’m too numb to care,
I’m just too numb to care.

I hope you have an ugly boyfriend,
I hope you’re working at a carwash,
I hope your life went down the drain and everything is not okay,
I hope your best years passed you up.

184 – Something In The Way: The Death and Afterlife of Kurt Cobain

February 20th, 2018 would have been Kurt Cobain’s 51st birthday and it’s  hard to believe that he’s been gone for over two decades. Nirvana sold 75 million albums which puts them in the upper echelon of recording artists, but more than that, Kurt Cobain was one of the, if not the, last rock star.

He was aloof and artistic. He hated his fame while being drawn to it. He was the antithesis of the 80s Sunset Strip rocker, eschewing their glammed up hypermasculinity and virtuoso guitarists for dirty sweaters and simple melodies.  He seemed to spite the media, but they worshipped him.

kurt cobain ghost
Live fast. Die young. That’s how a musician becomes an icon.

Long before we watched every move artists made on Twitter and were a party to their private lives on YouTube and reality television, there was a sense of otherness to our celebrities. Kurt Cobain played guitar simply and sang his heart out with a tuning of his own, but he was not just like us. There was a quality to him that matched the era and he inspired an entire generation that was ready for a change. He was the last of the mainstream rock n’ roll heroes, and just like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, he died at twenty-seven years old, apparently of a heroin overdose and suicide by shotgun.

And when he died, it ripped people in my generation apart. We were the ones who listened to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as Freshmen in high school and we made the Alternative Nation the soundtrack of our lives. Kurt Cobain was the John Lennon, he was the epicenter of the movement, and his passing also symbolized a feeling that it was over. The bands that came up in Nirvana’s wake (Bush, Silverchair, etc..) felt like warmed over seconds. The moment had passed. It was the last time that Rock ruled and it was nearly the end of American mainstream culture. By the end of the decade, Hip Hop was the number one genre, MTV only showed videos sometimes, and the alternative movement turned into Nü-Metal. Kurt’s death was the beginning of the end.

Other podcasts and documentary films have covered all the conspiracy theories surrounding his death and those range from his wife Courtney Love hiring a singer to kill her husband (even her wacko father thinks she did it) to the idea that the CIA tried to kill him because he was pro-Clinton (and George H.W. Bush was a former CIA director.)

kurt cobain ghost
Chicks dig that hat, man.

But what interests us the most is that just because Kurt died doesn’t mean that people haven’t still seen him around. He inspired the kind of loyalty and love in his fans that we just don’t see anymore. He wasn’t just a popular musician, he was a rock deity and he entered the pantheon the only way you can… with his untimely death.

Here are just a few of the Kurt Cobain ghost stories out there, it seems like he’s had a very healthy afterlife so far.

kurt cobain ghost
Statue of a crying Kurt Cobain in his hometown of Aberdeen, WA

For this episode, we cover the last song off of Nirvana’s breakthrough album, Nevermind. A dark moody classic, “Something In The Way”.

Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
But it’s okay to eat fish
‘Cause they don’t have any feelings

Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm

Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
But it’s okay to eat fish
‘Cause they don’t have any feelings

Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm

183 – Controversy: The Prince Murder Conspiracy

Prince is one of the least divisive musicians out there, everyone likes at least one Prince song. His mastery of multiple instruments made it so that he could write songs in almost any genre, moving from a Rock guitar jam to a sexy R&B bump and grind to a Pop piano ballad effortlessly. His death in April of 2016 really hit home not just for people like me who grew up with his music, but multiple generations of fans. After his passing was ruled an overdose,  But for fans of conspiracy theories and the dreaded Illuminati, the idea that The Purple One was just another tragic victim of the opioid epidemic was too much.

First off, his last Instagram post is a picture along with the text  “JUST WHEN U THOUGHT U WERE SAFE…”

prince murder
Was Prince’s last Instagram post a warning?

People took that as some kind of warning and it is kind of an eerie thing to say right before you died. Some people think that was a message that he knew he was going to be murdered.

In the 1990s, Prince took on the record companies and even legally changed to an unpronounceable symbol to try and get out of his contract with Warner Brothers. He even appeared at a press conference with the word “slave” written on his face.

prince murder
Slave written on Prince’s face

Famous black comedian, Civil Rights pioneer, and late-in-career conspiracy theorist Dick Gregory even came out and connected TMZ, Time Warner, and Warner Brothers to Prince’s death.

And Prince wasn’t afraid of a little conspiracy himself. On Tavis Smiley’s PBS show in 2009, Prince mentions that he saw a Dick Gregory speech and was so inspired by Gregory’s discussion of chemtrails and conspiracies, he wrote a song about it.

“Dreamer” off his album LOTUSFLOW3R talks of chemtrails in the sky and how everyone in the neighborhood is fighting soon after. The idea behind chemtrails is that there are chemicals in the jetstream behind aircraft and those chemicals are either 1. controlling the weather or 2. acting as destructive mind control agents to influence behavior.

Why would someone do this? Well, the modern prevailing conspiracy theory is population control. A smaller group of humans that is kept in check by fighting with each other instead of the prevailing power structures is easier to manage by the elite that rule the world.

So, was Prince murdered for his beliefs? Well, you’re going to have to listen to the episode for our opinion on the subject! But at the end, we treat you to an acoustic Sunspot cover of the Prince classic, “Delirious”!

I get delirious whenever you’re near
Lose all self-control, baby just can’t steer
Wheels get locked in place
Stupid look on my face
It comes to makin’ a pass, pretty mama
I just can’t win a race
‘Cause I get delirious
Delirious
Delirious
I get delirious when you hold my hand
Body gets so weak I can hardly stand
My temperature’s runnin’ hot
Baby you got to stop
‘Cause if you don’t I’m gonna explode
And girl I got a lot
I get delirious
Delirious
Delirious
I get delirious whenever you’re near
Girl, you gotta take control ’cause I just can’t steer
You’re just to much to take
I can’t stop, I ain’t got no brakes
Girl, you gotta take me for a little ride up and down
In and out and around your lake
I get delirious
Delirious
Delirious

 

182 – Saucer State: A Unified UFO Theory with Paul Cornell

Working in TV, comics, and novels, writer Paul Cornell has created stories for some of the greatest fictional characters of all time. Doctor Who to Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes to Batman. He’s a Hugo award winner, has a podcast about Hammer Horror Films, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of UFO lore and mythology. Paul and artist Ryan Kelly have used that knowledge in an original creation that brings the most UFO lore I’ve ever seen in one place, the critically acclaimed comics, Saucer Country and Saucer State. 

Focusing on Arcadia Alvarez, the Mexican-American governor of New Mexico and Democratic presidential candidate, Saucer Country is all about her possible alien abduction experience and the strange events that occur around her candidacy. All along, they recount stories from real UFO lore like George Adamski’s visits with Venusians, mystery airships from the 19th Century, Betty and Barney Hill, and much more.

The sequel, Saucer State, is all about what happens once Governor Alvarez becomes President Alvarez, and the collected edition has just been released.  From Jefferson Airplane to the Pioneer plaque, the references come fast and furious and besides Taken, the Steven Spielberg-produced SciFi channel mini-series from 2002, this is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a “unified theory” of UFO mythology, a fictional story that ties everything together.

In this interview, you’ll learn all about the real UFO lore that inspired Paul Cornell to write Saucer State and Saucer Country. We even cover a little bit of ghosts and fairies as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about Paul, including links to his works, please check out his website right here.

And we thoroughly recommend Saucer State, this is the fictional work that’s putting Tom Delonge’s Sekret Machines to shame! He even promises that unlike another fictional property that uses real life UFO mythology as an influence in 2018 (ahem, Mr. Carter), there is an ending in mind and the story will be completed in the next volume.

pioneer 10
The Message on the Pioneer 10

One of the groups vying for power that we talk about in Saucer State are the Bluebirds, who take an extremely materialist view toward the UFO phenomenon, an approach that they call “Nuts and Bolts”.

see the light, don’t close your eyes
go to sleep, you’re paralyzed
somewhere the dreams and memories mix
and our little friends are playing tricks

a violation of our sentience
Like the old hag sits on your chest
when they put you into program mode,
don’t think that you’re a guest.

Nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and

Wet machines with lucid dreams
Are we just hardware under the seams?
When you feed your head with magic beans
Will we find out who’s behind the scenes?

a violation of our sentience
Like the old hag sits on your chest
when they put you into program mode,
don’t think that you’re a guest.

Nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and

Wet machines with lucid dreams
Are we just hardware under the seams?
When you feed your head with magic beans
Will we find out who’s behind the scenes?

181 – Ghost U: Haunted Colleges with Matthew Swayne

Last time we talked with Matthew Swayne it was about his book Haunted Rock & Roll, but he’s also written a book called America’s Haunted Universities: Ghosts that Roam Hallowed HallsAs a research writer at  Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, Swayne has first hand access to university legends and ghost stories. Born on Halloween, paranormal stories have always interested him (he’s also written a book on country music’s greatest ghost stories and was a columnist for one of my personal favorites, the new version of Omni!) In this conversation, we go into his favorite and weirdest haunted stories (plus I even get in a plug for Madison Ghost Walks Haunted University of Wisconsin Campus Tour!)

Click here to pick up your copy of America’s Haunted Universities: Ghosts That Roam Hallowed Halls.

Connect with Matthew Swayne on Twitter here

For the song this week, we picked our own Sunspot track about college unrequited love, instead of being Hot For Teacher, we’re Hot for TA in our song “More Than My Degree”. Fun Fact: scenes from the video were shot on Bascom Hill in front of Abe Lincoln’s statue, which has its own haunted story (and you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out!)

I know you’re my TA but this is more than math,
and there’s a certain number I’d like to discuss after class.

I’m not nervous about this test, or that problem set
A passing grade in this dumb class is not what I hope to get.
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you more than my degree?

You don’t have to worry, I know what this is about
“Office hours” is a clever slang for making out

Can’t you see, it all adds up, like Bernoulli’s equation
When I get your prime below mine, I’d even forego graduation
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you more than my degree?

Just like science, I’ll be straight and tell it like it is:
I think that you’re really great, I wanna have your kids
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you,
Do you know I want you?

The things that you explain
what do they mean?
I don’t care
Just keep on looking at me,
Just keep on looking at me.

All the others in our class
don’t seem to get it
They wanna learn,
and I want extra credit!

I’m not nervous about this test, or that problem set
A passing grade in this dumb class is not what I hope to get.
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you more than my degree?

Every time you say isosceles,
you make it sound so dirty,
Age won’t matter,
when I’m 26 and you’re 30,

Do you know I want you?
Do you know I need you?
Do you know I got to have you?
More than my degree.

Please stand so,
please stand so,
please stand so close to me,
Please stand so,
please stand so,
please stand so close to me.

180 – Small Town Monsters: Hunting Cryptids With Lyle Blackburn

Texas cryptozoologist and paranormal researcher Lyle Blackburn has been hunting mysterious animals since he saw The Legend of Boggy Creek as a kid. A 1972 movie about a strange Bigfoot-like creature who was seen in the small town of Fouke, Arkansas starting in the 1950s, it became a traveling film sensation that made the stories renowned across the United States and had a significant impact on a young Lyle Blackburn.

LYLE BLACKBURN
Lyle Blackburn in Fouke, Arkansas at the site of the Boggy Creek sightings

And Lyle has used his inspiration to not only write two books about the Boggy Creek Monster, but also a lesser-known case (which totally needs its own movie!) about a Lizard Man who was sighted in Bishopville, South Carolina.

As a filmmaker, he’s produced and narrated two  films with the Small Town Monsters team, one on Boggy Creek and one on the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and they’re currently working on one set in Wisconsin (oh yeah!)

In his “Monstro Bizzaro” monthly column in Rue Morge magazine, he often delves into the lesser known cryptid stories and legends from all over America as well.

In this interview, we go in-depth with Lyle Blackburn about his favorite monster stories, his investigation style, and the difference between cryptids in different parts of the country. It’s a fun fast-moving discussion that will help you find some investigation inspiration!

Links for Lyle:

For this week’s song, we were inspired by Lyle’s quest for the lesser-known monster stories and cryptid tales of America’s wonderful smaller cities and towns, because even in the “Middle of Nowhere” the weird will find you!

It looks like apple pie and county fairs
baseball games and Sunday prayers
but something strikes uncanny all the same

Watch for the devil hiding concealed
hide from the children in the cornfield,
because you know that nothing is the way it seems.

We don’t need to lock our doors
Cuz evil don’t need to knock
And on every main street square
Lurks a Force under the block
Somewhere in America
The dead will start to walk
In the middle of nowhere
You can’t escape the dark

Watch for the devil hiding concealed
hide from the children in the cornfield,
because you know that nothing is the way it seems

We don’t need to lock our doors
Cuz evil don’t need to knock
And on every main street square
Lurks a Force under the block
Somewhere in America
The dead will start to walk
In the middle of nowhere
You can’t escape the dark

179 – The Scholar and The Psychic: Chasing the Dead with Scott Porter and Stephanie Burke

While home on break from college, Scott Porter saw a woman he thought was his mother making breakfast in the kitchen but when he came in to eat there was no one there.  Stephanie Burke was just a little girl when she saw her grandmother’s ghost and then started regularly communicating with spirits who visited her in the house she was raised in.

These paranormal experiences eventually led them both to lives of investigating the unknown. Stephanie became a psychic medium nd co-host of the Spooky Southcoast Radio show, while Porter joined the Tennessee Wraith Chasers who eventually starred in the shows Ghost Asylum and Haunted Towns on Destination America.

You can find Stephanie’s website at stephburke.com and learn more about Porter at tnwraithchasers.com, including links to where you can see investigate with them coming up.

Stephanie and Porter will be joining the fun at the Hawaii Paracon July 13-15 of this year, a first of a kind event for the islands, so make sure to check that out if you’re interested in some ghost stories and meeting fellow paranormal enthusiasts in the most beautiful place on Earth.

hawaii paracon
A paranormal paradise calls to you…

You can also follow Stephanie on Twitter as @workitburke and get in touch with Porter at @PorterTWC

Now Stephanie was just at the Lizzie Borden house for a Kindred Spirits episode and Porter and the Wraith Chasers have investigated it as well. It’s a Bed and Breakfast now and it just made us think a little bit that it’s funny that we want to stay in these places where horrible things happened. In Iowa, they have a place called the VILLASCA AXE MURDER HOUSE – are we hoping something rubs off on us? It’s this morbid curiosity that binds paranormal investigators to each other, so we used that curiosity as inspiration for a little acoustic ballad, “Spend The Night”.

I’ll spend the night in a killer’s bed
gonna spend some time in their head
i’m here to speak to the dead
and I’ll spend the night

I’ll spend the night in a murder scene
hoping some rubs off on me
No I don’t get queasy
and I’ll spend the night

Is it a fear I want to face?
is it the memory of the chaste?
Is it the blood I want to taste?
I just don’t know.
Is it a lust for the profane
or a dream of the insane?
Well we just can’t explain
But we’ll spend the night.

I’ll spend the night on a battlefield
Where the wounds never healed
we’ll see what the worms reveal
when I spend the night

I’ll spend the night with a gallows pole
In my hand, Charon’s obol
I’ll sleep in a six foot hole
and I’ll spend the night

Is it a fear I want to face?
is it the memory of the chaste?
Is it the blood I want to taste?
I just don’t know.
Is it a lust for the profane
or a dream of the insane?
Well we just can’t explain
But we’ll spend the night.

178 – Born In the Caul: Spirituality and Vodou with Louvel Delon

Louvel Devon is the owner of Chicago’s Occult Book Store. In business for almost a century, it is the oldest book store of its kind in the world. Louvel was born “in the caul” which means that he came out with part of the amniotic membrane still covering him (because it’s often over the face they call this a “cowl” or “veil”) and it’s a good omen for the child, often indicating he or she will go on to great things! From an early age, Louvel had a fascination with the spiritual and eventually he turned his interest into his business.

Louvel committed to his spiritual side by following his journey all the way to Haiti to be initiated as a Hougan, a male Haitian Vodou practitioner, but his story is also a great lesson in perseverance and making your own luck. Louvel Delon started working at the Occult Book Store when he was sixteen and became part of Chicago’s spiritual and magical community from an early age. By staying tight with the people in the circle, he eventually was able to take the reins and is now moving the store into its second century.

In this interview, you’ll have a chance to hear some of Louvel’s interesting upbringing (his memories start before he was one year old and some members of his family thought that he might be a “walk-in”, which is when an older, more advanced spirit enters the body), his leadership of the store as they become more than just a place to buy books, but a home for magic in the community, and he gives us a crash course in Vodou. If you’re interested in learning something about how real Vodou is practiced in the Modern Age (not just what you see on TV or in tourist shops), then you’re going to get a lot out of this discussion with Louvel Delon!

To see Louvel in action at his store, check out this interview that Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts did with Louvel Delon for her Haunted Road Trip channel, it’s a good preview for our longer form discussion in this episode.

This week’s song takes its inspiration from the death curse aspect of Voodoo that’s been so sensationalized over the years, the idea that even if there’s nothing wrong with you, you can die because you believe in the curse. It’s a phenomenon called  “Voodoo Death” after a paper written in the 1940s by American sociologist, William Cannon.

This song is based on one of the coolest spells in Dungeons and Dragons inspired by Black Magic. According to the D&D wiki, “You utter a single word of power that instantly kills one creature of your choice, whether the creature can hear the word or not.” Chuck Palahniuk uses the same idea in his novel, Lullaby, as well. In this case, it’s a single word that can have an extraordinarily deleterious effect on those who believe in it: “no”.

Prettier than a lullaby,
My least favorite turn a phrase,
A single syllable can be,
As nasty as a death ray.

The only reason you’re alive,
Is because she’s not in one of her moods,
The only reason you’re still warm,
Is because you’re being pursued.

In a word,
She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.

Your ego bleeds like a stuck pig,
As you soak up the rejection.
Yeah, it sucks you’re out of luck in,
Using your erection.

Poked through like a voodoo doll,
Ripped a hair right out from your head,
You failed your only saving throw,
And now you’re gonna be dead…

In a word,
She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.

Prettier than a lullaby,
My favorite turn a phrase,
A single syllable can be,
As deadly as a blade.

In a word,
With a word,
In a word,
With a word,
Power word, kill.
In a word,

She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.
Power word, kill.
Power word, kill.

177 – Mothman Delusion: A New Year’s Resolution for Paranormal Research

The biggest paranormal story in the Midwest in 2017 was the winged humanoid sightings over Chicago and we have covered the Chicago Mothman extensively over the past several months. First in episode 159, we interviewed the editor of Phantoms and Monsters blog where many of the Mothman sightings have been reported, then we brought on the great cryptozoologist Loren Coleman who just released a new book Mothman: Evil Incarnate.

What’s the Mothman? A dark winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, made most famous by a series of sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the late 1960s. The sightings were followed by UFOs, Men in Black, and a tragic bridge collapse 13 months after the initial sighting.

The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Fast forward to 2017 and the Mothman has been reported seen over the Chicagoland area dozens of times mostly to a blog called Phantoms and Monsters. My sister Allison has been looking at the stories and then doing investigations of the sites of each reported sighting over at her YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/mothman.

As she was digging she found inconsistencies in more and more of the accounts even going so far as having a private investigator look into a possible police report that was a featured account over the Summer. (She didn’t find it and either did the Chicago Tribune.) Plus, 3 out of the 4 Mothman reports that came into Illinois MUFON came from the same IP address (meaning same Wi-Fi network, meaning the same house.) She began to get skeptical whether or not there really are winged humanoids flying over Chicago.

For her efforts, she’s been interviewed on Midnight In The Desert  and featured on the Mysterious Universe blog, but needless to say it hasn’t made her popular with the Chicago Mothman investigators. So for this first episode of 2018, we wanted to give the Chicago Mothman one more discussion because it was such a big story around these parts. Sure, we’ll come back when there’s a “break” in the case, but the important part is that in this episode we talk about our renewed resolve to use the scientific method in our paranormal research (and Patrick Swayze, but you’ll have to listen to figure how he fits in!)

Joining us for this discussion are two Chicago Forteans, Madeline Kate from Measuring The Circle podcast and Sam Maranto, the state director of Illinois MUFON (who received some of the original reports!) Allison Jornlin of course is involved, as is Tobias Wayland of the Singular Fortean Society, who has been collecting the Mothman stories as part of the original Chicago Mothman Taskforce – he even shares a Mothman story from Rockford that he interviewed the witness personally!

It’s a good frank discussion about the Chicago Mothman – doubts, inconsistencies, disinformation campaigns, hoaxes, and all, as well as how we can try to all get along better as Fortean researchers.

UPDATE: Here’s an extra interview with a Mothman researcher (and Chicago native!)

And for this week’s song, we used some inspiration from good old Carl Sagan, the man who coined the phrase “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. His book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is a treatise on the scientific method and critical thinking. Yeah, it’s a buzzkill but if we’re ever going to convince the skeptics we gotta take getting the facts seriously. Here’s Sunspot with “House of Cards”.

It’s a demon-haunted world
and you don’t get to dig a grave in my backyard.
you know we have to be the candle in the dark
You can’t build a dynasty on a house of cards.You might think that you’re a monster but you’re just a quack
talking a lot of smack setting the whole field back
a lotta tall tales comin piling up to nothin
looking for the clicks and acting like like a d$%@.

it’s a curiosity, all this privacy
anonymity, who can you believe?
You can tell me all day ‘bout the trash you heard
doesn’t matter how absurd unless stand by your word

All this animosity comes down to money
You’re misrepping all the data just to fit your theory
You wanna sell books or you want some truth?
It sure looks to me you ain’t much of a sleuth

It’s a demon-haunted world
and you don’t get to dig a grave in my backyard.
you know we have to be the candle in the dark
You can’t build a dynasty on a house of cards.

Extraordinary claims, extraordinary proof
winged dudes on the roof kinda sounds like a goof
we need a real witness not all anonymous
how bout some testimony don’t sound like baloney.

Detail needs to be there, you know they’re gonna nitpick,
eaten by the cynics, defeated by the skeptics
t’s need to be crossed, you can’t just gloss,
over all the small stuff or things are gonna get rough.

Gotta share the data, info wants to be free,
transparency, no secrecy,
It takes all kinds of different minds
if we want it to be better, we gotta work together.

It’s a demon-haunted world
and you don’t get to dig a grave in my backyard.
you know we have to be the candle in the dark
You can’t build a dynasty on a house of cards.