43 – Bigfoot and Aliens and Ghosts, Oh My! Behind the Scenes at Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015

It’s a special episode as this week we’re recording from on location at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference!

Mike and Wendy combine forces with Milwaukee Ghosts’ Allison Jornlin and Madison Ghosts Walks tour guide Lisa Van Buskirk! The event takes place at the Irish Cultural Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where a large chapel-like area hosts the main speakers for the conference, and a few side rooms host booths for attendees like us.

The Irish Cultural Center was a great setting for the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015
The Irish Cultural Center was a great setting for the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2015

It’s a regular party at our booth, which has a color-changing disco light and is conveniently situated directly adjacent to an Irish Pub within the conference center. We meet plenty of nice people while sharing information about our podcast and ghost tours, and we ask willing volunteers to share with us the weirdest thing they have seen or experienced.

See You On The Other Side, Milwaukee Ghosts, and Madison Ghost Walks' fabulous booth
See You On The Other Side, Milwaukee Ghosts, and Madison Ghost Walks’ fabulous booth

Kicking off the conference was Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts’ presentation on Milwaukee Forteana (which is another word for unexplained and weird stories!) The main room really was a beautiful old church that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at in the 50s!

Milwaukee Ghosts presentation
Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts, talking about famous cases of weirdness from the Brew City

A lot of the presenters and speakers have made appearances  on our podcast before, so it was great to catch up with some of them, from Roswell investigator Don Schmitt to MUFON representative and Star Trek writer, Mark O’Connell

Hanging out with MUFON's Mark O'Connell, another featured speaker
Hanging out with MUFON’s Mark O’Connell

The exhibitor hall is a hustling, bustling place with a continuous din of excited conversation clearly audible throughout the interviews.

The exhibitor hall was packed all day long!
The exhibitor hall was packed all day long!

The stories range from ghosts to Ouija board to the unknown/unexplainable experience- the very kinds of topics we enjoy discussing on our show:

  1. Justin shares a couple experiences he had with a ghost who haunted his friend’s apartment in West Bend.
  2. Malia (of the band Ocean Rush) tells a terrifying tale of her encounter with a giant black mass that appeared as she performed “Don’t Fear the Reaper” in her studio.
  3. Vicki lived in a home which was inhabited by a musician ghost who would appear when she played the piano, and would wake up her son in the night with the song “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
  4. Haley had a week of terror during a stressful time in her life which included a weird presence touching her wrist and pulling her hair, her cat going crazy for no reason, and other unexplained happenings.
  5. Lisa had a roommate who seemed to be surrounded by unexplainable occurrences. Were these events caused by the spirits of tragically lost family members?
  6. Jackie & Shannon, of Stateline Paranormal Investigations, visited a graveyard in Poplar Grove, Illinois. At the same time and place within the graveyard, Jackie acquired an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) clearly stating “Here I am. He killed me.” and Shannon got a photo which revealed flames emerging from the ground.
  7. Nicki tells about a mysterious miniature hand print that appeared on her bedroom wall. Although it was initially quite frightening, the marking eventually brought a positive experience to her.
  8. Maria saw BIGFOOT! But maybe not where you’d expect…
  9. Chris of The Zombie Squad tells about an apartment he lived in that was above a haunted restaurant.
  10. Kristan of The Rundown Live talks about GIANTS! While doing some research, he discovered information about abnormally tall/large skeletons of people, which some believe could have been human/alien hybrids.
  11. Monica tells the story of her own childhood experience with a Ouija board. Through routine playing with the board, she and her brother started getting answers that actually checked out and led them to a local graveyard that they did not previously know of.
  12. David and Dave, fellow podcasters from Blurry Photos, share what drew them into the world of “weird stuff”. Then they share their own weirdest experiences: a dream so real it could have been an actual alien abduction, and a visit from a giant shadow presence that may have actually broken a hole in the living room ceiling.
  13. Tea Krulos, event organizer and author of the brand new book, Monster Hunters: On the Trail with Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators (also our featured guest in Episode 25), recaps the day and receives a special delivery from none other than Bigfoot herself during the interview!
Mike and Wendy with Tea Krulos, the man behind the Con!
Mike and Wendy with Tea Krulos, the man behind the Con!

Featured Song: Bigfoot Polka by Sunspot

See that guy across the floor, he needs a good barber,
That hairy dude is desperate for a cute dancing partner.
None of the girls ever give our hirsute friend half a chance,
The main problem is that his feet are just too big to dance.

Oh Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman,
is he ape or is he human?
He might be the missing link from chimp to humanity,
but when we dance those gosh darn feet are just too big for me.

You might think that he’s innocent, like he just wants a friend,
but he’s not the sweet beast we saw embrace the Hendersons.
Bigfoot’s stumbling around, he’s had a little too much beer,
I’m not gonna, how about you, tell him “get out of here”?

Oh Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman,
is he ape or is he human?
He might be the missing link from chimp to humanity,
but when we dance those gosh darn feet are just too big for me.

This is bad, he’s getting mad, he’s gonna make a scene,
He’s grunting and pounding his chest, he’s looking right at me.
He grabbed a beer barrel and threw it right on the dance floor,
And now’s the time I think we all should polka out the door.

Oh Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman,
is he ape or is he human?
He might be the missing link from chimp to humanity,
but when we dance those gosh darn feet are just too big for me.

Feet too big, feet too big, feet too big to dance, Hey!
Feet too big, feet too big, feet too big to dance, Hey!
Feet too big, feet too big, feet too big to dance, Hey!
Bigfoot’s come, we better run from those feet too big to dance, hey!

42 – Secrets of the Vatican: Pope Francis and UFO Disclosure

Once again, Mike and Wendy are joined by Milwaukee Ghosts’ Allison Jornlin for a discussion on some upcoming web articles that Pope Francis is going to finally disclose that alien life has visited Earth and we’re going to make real first contact. Why Pope Francis and what does Catholicism have to do with extraterrestrial life? Well, the Catholic Church has been setting up the possible existence of aliens for years now, and that’s what we discuss about the podcast.

Mike mentions that he finished his marathon in Minneapolis on Sunday and they discuss their appearance on BBC Radio 5 discussing the #charliecharliechallenge.

Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on YOU?! #nikeplus #minneapolis #marathon

A photo posted by sunspotmike (@sunspotmike) on


But first, we preview the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference where Allison will be a featured speaker on Milwaukee Forteana and we’ll all be hanging out recording the next podcast and talking to attendees to get their weirdest stories.

Okay, so Pope Francis, popular among people outside of just Catholics because he’s brought new life into an old Church with his Liberation Theology politics (Catholics are usually economically liberal and socially conservative, like the political opposite of Libertarians) more tolerant attitude on social issues versus the hardline of Pope John Paul II and the unpopular-in-the-United-States Benedict.

So, with Pope Francis setting the world on fire with his decrees and allegiance with the poor, is he the one who’s going to reveal the existence of aliens to us? There’s been several articles this week that he might do so on June 5th(!) or perhaps a little later in the month.

It’s not like Catholics don’t have a fascination with outer space, in fact, there’s a Vatican Observatory located in an extinct volcano in Italy (as well as a branch in Tuscon, Arizona of all places!) and the Vatican lead a special conference on extraterrestrial life in 2009. Pope Francis himself in 2014 declared that he would baptize Martians if they came to Earth and wanted to become Catholic.

The Vatican Observatory and the scientist priests that work there have also been featured in films like The Omen (the birth of the Anti-Christ is foretold in star alignment just like the Star of Bethlehem) and Arnold Schwarzennegger’s blockbuster movie, End of Days (Mike proceeds to do a horrible Ah-nuld accent through much of the podcast once they start talking about this film.) Allison thinks that they might be using the observatory to look for Biblical prophecy and signs of Armageddon (not the crapola Bruce Willis movie, please) or Revelation.


Ged to da housekeepah

Then this breaks down to a talk about Asteroid Day which is coming on June 30th and all involved declare their love for Brian May, the guitarist of Queen and astrophysicist, who is an advocate of the new holiday.

Jaws was never my scene And I don’t like Star Wars

Finally, the discussion goes into whether or not Jesus and Satan were aliens, which is the premise of the John Carpenter classic, Prince of Darkness (which you can watch on Google Play or iTunes right now for not even $3, so if you haven’t seen it, stop what you’re doing and go watch it right now.)

Anyway, the conversation ends with a discussion on how it’s a touch hypocritical that the Church looks down on Astrology and Divination, yet looks to the sky for Biblical prophecy and signs from the stars, so what do they know that we don’t? We hope to find out this month when the Pope finally declares that aliens live among us and we for one welcome our new extraterrestrial overlords.

Song of the Week: “Messiah Complex” by Sunspot

When Constantine saw the cross,
burning in the sky,
Another bleeding heart thinks they can fix our broken lives.
While you’re waiting for your vision,
In your existential dread.
These bargain basement martyrs
Still just wind up dead.

It’s the messiah complex,
that happens before childhood’s end.
But just because you’re not alone,
doesn’t mean you have a friend.

So save yourself,
in a world full of victims,
Spending their whole life,
waiting for the knife.
Save yourself,
we got to save ourselves,
Or we’ll never survive.
No one gets out alive.

They tell us we have sinned,
they tell us we are cursed,
and if you want to get to Heaven,
you’ve got to walk through Hellfire first.
So you’d like be a saint
Well, here’s my advice,
all that crushing guilt is just empty sacrifice.

It’s the messiah complex,
that happens before childhood’s end.
But just because you’re not alone,
doesn’t mean you have a friend.

So save yourself,
in a world full of victims,
Spending their whole life,
waiting for the knife.
Save yourself,
we got to save ourselves,
Or we’ll never survive.
No one gets out alive.

41 – Charlie Charlie, Can You Play? Supernatural Party Games from Bloody Mary to The Candyman

Taking the Internet by storm this week, it’s the “Charlie Charlie” game! Is it really summoning a Mexican demon? Ummmmmmm, probably not, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a fascinating origin and relationship to teenage supernatural party games. A little mix of the Ouija Board (which, don’t worry, will get its own show sometime soon!) to Bloody Mary, “the pencil game” started off as something relatively harmless and became a crazy sensation on the Internet over Memorial Day Weekend of 2015.

So, who do we have to thank for that? Well, it’s been a slow news week and Americans are going on vacation. That’s exactly when the media decides to indulge its weird side and talk about hashtags. So #charliecharliechallenge became a quick Vine video that a million teenagers could do this past weekend.

Here’s Mike asking the question, “Charlie Charlie, Can You Play?”

Mike and Wendy discuss the origins of the game and how it’s not really a Mexican demon (because why wouldn’t it be #carlitocarlito?) and how the original game is based on trying to talk to the sport of an abused child. But why do the pencils move? Well, that’s explained by the most powerful force in the universe (well, the second most powerful, we all know the most powerful is Hulkamania, brother.) So, that leads them into a discussion of the classic game, Bloody Mary!

Derived from an early twentieth century game where a girl walks up a darkened staircase backwards with a candle and a mirror and will supposedly see the face of her future husband, the legend of Bloody Mary (or Mary Worth) became a popular game in the 1960s and has been played at sleepovers and middle school parties ever since.

There’s a reason that the adolescent mind is fascinated with the paranormal and the conversation turns to science for a second as they discuss the developing mind and why these games are so popular for that age group.

Mike and Wendy then tackle “Light as a feather, stiff as a board” and how it’s a game that’s been played since at least the 17th Century. In fact, the famed English diarist, Samuel Pepys talks about it, as a ritual performed to protect against the plague in London. And that’s not the first time that sacred rituals have been turned into children’s games…

So Bloody Mary has influenced pop culture in a big way as well. First of all, in a few not really good movies, except for Paranormal Activity 3, which Mike helped promote as part of his Madison Ghost Walks haunted history tour. Here’s Wendy with a t-shirt, along with one of the sound guys at our favorite bar, The Frequency. paranormal activity 3

Then, Mike and Wendy talk South Park, Candyman, and Beetlejuice, as some more Bloody Mary influences on some of our favorite movies and TV!

This week’s song, “Charlie Charlie” by Sunspot

Oh Charlie Charlie,
can you tell me if you’re here?
Oh Charlie Charlie,
can you be my secret seer?
Charlie Charlie,
what is the meaning of it all?
Oh Charlie Charlie,
what am I deserving of?
Oh Charlie Charlie,
will I ever fall in love?
Charlie Charlie, show me the writing on the wall.

Oh Charlie Charlie,
was your innocence destroyed?
Oh Charlie Charlie,
does it all come down to Freud?
Charlie Charlie,
what is the meaning of it all?
Oh Charlie Charlie,
did you have a sick father?
Oh Charlie Charlie,
why do you even bother?
Charlie Charlie, show me the writing on the wall.

Are you an angel,
are you a devil?
Or are you just a soul who got lost along the way?
A little game with the great unknown,
to play for what the future holds,
I’m frightened but I just can’t look away,
So Charlie Charlie can we play?

Charlie Charlie, Can You Play? Links

What is the #CharlieCharlieChallenge, and why do teens love it so much?

“The Charlie Charlie Challenge — Contacting the Demonic”, L.A> Marzuli Blog

Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it’s gravity

40 – The Ghosts of Hollywood Boulevard: A Haunted Travelogue

Mike went on a trip last weekend to California and decided to go down the path of some well-known spirits while he was out there, he read an article that said that the ghosts of Hollywood Boulevard had the most haunts per capita of any place in Los Angeles, well, he just had to check it out.

Stop 1 – Hollywood And Vine

Photo May 15, 7 02 54 PM

Photo May 15, 7 02 35 PM

At this famous intersection, it’s said that the ghost of Lon Chaney (the original cinematic Phantom of The Opera) would wait by the bus for failed audition after failed audtion, and it’s sad that’s where continues to wait years after his death.

Photo May 15, 7 05 00 PM

Photo May 15, 7 03 04 PM

Stop 2 – Pantages Theatre

This famous theatre was built by billionaire/crazypants Howard Hughes, and he’s still said to roam the halls. However, Wendy thought the story of the lost wardrobe director who was guided through the darkness by an invisible hand to be even more chilling.

Photo May 15, 7 07 08 PM

Stop 3 – Hollywood and Highland

Photo May 15, 6 13 28 PM

Photo May 15, 6 13 31 PM

This strange Egyptian-themed outdoor mall is right next to the Kodak Theatre and the Loews Hotel, it’s the Hollywood when they tell people on American Idol that they’re “going to Hollywood”. It’s also the site of the old Hollywood Hotel, where the cinema’s first teenage heartthrob, Rudolph Valentino, is said to still haunt.

Photo May 15, 6 13 39 PM

Stop 4 – Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Photo May 15, 7 30 02 PM

Probably the most famous theater in Los Angeles, this is the place where you see the stars put their hands in the concrete. There’s a vengeful ghost of a murdered actor who is said to prowl the theater and there’s the tale of Fritz (plus we mention a scary display from one of the theater’s spirits-in-residence.)

Stop 5 – Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Photo May 15, 7 32 54 PM

We take a step back to Hollywood’s more glamorous past with the Hollywood Roosevelt. Mike and Wendy tell a ridiculous story from the last time they visited there together, and then we talk about the spirits of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift who are said to still haunt the building.

Photo May 15, 8 13 21 PM

Photo May 15, 8 13 24 PM

Stop 6 – Griffith Park

Photo May 15, 12 56 42 PM

Photo May 15, 1 05 34 PM

Mike needed to do some hills to prepare for his upcoming marathon and decided to tackle the road to Griffith Observatory, a strange place indeed, not only cursed by a scorned heiress and is home to the spirit of a suicide, but is also the residence of a pair of lovers who were killed by a felled tree in the middle of the act itself!

Photo May 15, 12 48 17 PM

Photo May 15, 1 09 31 PM

Photo May 15, 1 07 57 PM

Stop 7 – The Seventh Veil

Photo May 16, 2 22 16 AM

Well, since Mike grew up as a monster Mötley Crüe fan, it only seemed right that he visit the famous gentlemen’s club that is said to have inspired their song, “Girls, Girls, Girls” (funny enough Mike didn’t realize that song was about a strip club until a few years ago, having listened to it for years he just thought it was about propositioning girls. Only when he was walking in Paris and stumbled across the Crazy Horse, did he realize, “Oh my god, Mötley Crüe was talking about a strip club!”)

But the name, “The Seventh Veil” not only comes from an Oscar-winning movie (with the always awesome James Mason!), it is also a biblical reference, one of the few gentlemen’s entertainment places to have such a pedigree!

Oscar Wilde, writer of The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as The Centerville Ghost (so he himself was no stranger to paranormal fiction!) wrote a play in Biblical times called Salomé, about the daughter-in-law of King Herod and introduced the concept of the Seventh Veil into his story. The girl performs the Dance of the Seven Veils (something of his complete invention, because the kind of dance is not mentioned in any of the histories) but it was based on the Middle Eastern dances where the girls had veils and Orientalism and Egyptology was very chic at the time – places like the the Oriental Theater and even Hollywood & Highland today were all about that early 20th century fascination with the Middle East!

Ghosts of Hollywood Boulevard Links

Encyclopedia Britannica on Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Haunting

Haunted Hollywood: Where the A-List Ghosts Hang Out, Joal Ryan, Yahoo! omg

The Ghosts and Monsters of the Cursed Griffith Park, Creepy LA

“Haunted Hollywood: 4. Howard Hughes & the Pantages Theater”, Encyclopedia Britannica Blog

This week’s song, “Spotlight” by Sunspot

She always did what what she was supposed to do,
she never cried, or complained.
But she never knew where she was going to,
if this was right, why was it so mundane?

Looking back was a bad dream,
of near misses and lost opportunities,
but when she picks up that mic at Friday Karaoke,
she’s finally who she wants to be.

Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey,
and not the drama of her life.
An American Idol that might be temporary,
She just wants her little place in the spotlight.

She always did what she was told to,
please and thank you, yessir and no ma’am,
but no one cared what she was going through,
work at this, study that, marry him, and don’t look back.

Cuz what she saw was a bad dream,
of near misses and lost opportunities,
but when she picks up that mic at Friday Karaoke,
she’s finally who she wants to be.

Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey,
and not the drama of her life.
An American Idol that might be temporary,
She just wants her little place in the spotlight.

39 – A Deadly Haunting: An Interview With Deborah Moffitt

With notes of The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, and even the under appreciated (in Mike’s opinion anyway) Dead Again, Debbie Moffitt’s A Deadly Haunting is a tale of a California family under supernatural siege in the 1980s.

The story begins with a supposed Santeria ritual performed by a Guatemalan caretaker in the house of Deborah’s grandmother-in-law (she was trying to keep the old woman alive so that she could keep her job and not be kicked out of the country), that opened up a doorway to a demon that terrorized the Moffitt family for years.

The activity began in a house they were renting out, where they thought that the tenant was making strange objects appear in the house in locked rooms and was drawing strange symbols on the walls. The tenant denied any wrongdoing, but gave them one day notice and moved out. Then in another house they were renting out, they were asked by the tenant whether or not someone died there. And in their own house, weird stuff (like their tenants’ underwear) kept on showing up in her mother-in-law’s room and objects on the shelves would turn backwards. In the beginning it was like a game, because they would ask this unseen presence to do things, move stuff around, and it did. But for a long time, nothing threatening was happening.

Until they rented the house again to a couple named and Tom and Michelle, and over time Michelle began to show signs of abuse. When Tom moved out under mysterious circumstances and a stranger later told her that Michelle was found in a landfill, the phenomena started getting more sinister.

When they moved into a new house, they didn’t think that the presence was following them, but three weeks into their new home, a message was left in soap on their mirror, “Talk to me”. And then messages started appearing regularly on the mirror, strange symbols started appearing on the walls, and telling them not to go into the attic. At this point, the whole family became very isolated and wouldn’t have people over to the house except for paranormal investigators (including an associate of our former guest, Loyd Auerbach, the couple who hit mainstream consciousness from The Conjuring, Ed and Lorraine Warren, a Voodoo practitioner, and well-known parapsychologist, Dr. Evelyn Paglini) . The presence, which Debbie would call Mister Entity (but asked to be referred to as Prince), focused all his negativity on her mother-in-law, physically assaulting her, ripping up her clothes, and terrorizing her. She claims that the presence didn’t mess with her or her child, but said that her mother-in-law “belongs to him”.

That’s where the story gets medieval, where Mister Entity told her that her in a past life, her mother-in-law was promised to him by Satanism-practicing monks in a Seventeenth-Century French monastary as a sacrifice. But when the ritual didn’t go down, the presence said that it didn’t matter and he still wanted her even after hundreds of years. And her father-in-law was one of those Satanic monks.

So the relationship between her in-laws starts deteriorating, and a spear even appears in the bed next to her mother-in-law and Mister Entity says that he wants the father-in-law to perform a “blood ritual” on her. Deborah refused, angering the demon, and the terror continued until 1992.

A Deadly Haunting Links

Deborah’s Website, A Deadly Haunting

This Week’s Song: The Keep On The Borderlands by Sunspot

Some days you are my prisoner,
some days you are my guard,
sometimes you are the one thing,
between me and the Dark.

And all the safe and reassuring words,
couldn’t protect any of the herd from,
self-loathing and boredom.
So lock your doors, don’t make eye contact,
and maybe you’ll get out intact,
humbled, embarrassed and ignoble.

So keep on,
keep on,
keep on,
keep on.

38 – Zombie Apocalypse: Science And Superstition Behind… Brains… Brains…

The Zombie Apocalypse. The past decade has seen the living dead explode like no other monster. Vampires had a kick for a little while and ghosts had their due after The Sixth Sense, but really, zombies have been the focus of a dozens of movies over the course of the past decade and at least two TV shows currently running (including cable’s most popular show, The Walking Dead.)

Mike has been obssessed with zombies since he was a little kid and he even mentions his traumatic first encounter with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (where he was tortured by his sister, frequent podcast contributor, Allison Jornlin of Milwaukee Ghosts), and that’s where the discussion begins, as should any discussion with impact of zombies on pop culture, because that film is really where our traditional idea of flesh-eating zombies comes from. Taking his inspiration from Richard Matheson’s brilliant I Am Legend adaptation, The Last Man on Earth (Vincent Price, not Will Forte) and also from the Arabic legend of the “ghoul” (flesh-eating djinn that hang around graveyards, sound familiar?), Romero created a new kind of shuffling terror, more dangerous in numbers than alone.

But the term “zombie” comes from Haitian voudou mythology and that leads to a discussion of the book,The Serpent and The Rainbow, which featured a much more traditional version of the walking dead. Where a bokor (voodoo sorcerer) would use a special zombie powder to turn its victim comatose to the point where people would think he was dead and bury him. Then later the body would be dug up and the man would be taken to a plantation to work as a slave for the bokor (or whoever he was doing the sorcery for.) The non-fiction book, The Serpent and The Rainbow, goes into detail about the world’s most famous zombie, Clairvius Narcisse, a man who died and was buried in 1962, but came back to his village very much not dead in 1980. The book is a more scientific look at the case and also the zombie powder (made from the toxins of a Caribbean puffer fish and a toad), while the movie was a completely fictional retelling, only using the idea of the researcher looking into the zombie powder as a launching-off point into magical horror (however, it’s a pretty sweet movie.)

With that, Mike and Wendy discuss fast zombies and zombie movie remakes for a little bit before getting into how a zombie apocalypse could really happen. First talking about toxoplasmosa gondii, which is a brain parasite that only grows in the stomach of cats. When it infects rats, it makes them run towards felines because it wants them to be eaten so that it can get into that cat belly! Terrifying that it can change rat behavior into something completely suicidal, but even more terrifying is that 50% of humans are already carrying the parasite. Could this be a reason that we domesticated cats and can it affect our behavior? Well the jury is still out because the science is controversial, but a link was found between the parasite and schizophrenia.

The conversation turns towards how even the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta have been using the idea of a zombie epidemic to teach crisis preparedness, going so far as publishing a graphic novel about what people should do if a zombie apocalypse were to lurch its way through America. And then the talk finishes with how a television station that Mike used to work for, Newschannel 8 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, accidentally sent a warning out about the dead rising from the grave on its Emergency Broadcast System in 2013. Just how did that happen?

Zombie Apocalypse Links

Watch The Night of the Living Dead online for free

“Based On A True Story: The Serpent And The Rainbow“, Cinema Suicide

CDC Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic Graphic Novel

“TV zombie-attack warning a false alarm”, La Crosse Tribune

“Return Of The Puppet Masters”, Corante, story about Toxoplasma gondii

Today’s Song is “I Was A Teenage Zombie” by Sunspot.

I was a teenage zombie
1313 Mockingbird Lane
other kids liked sports
I wanted brains

Hey now, the saw is family
Hey man, don’t you lose your head
It’s the Night before the Day after the Dawn of the Living Dead

I’m on the cover of Fango
I’m in the Grand Guignol
I’m a Famous Monsters late night picture show

We’re just right down from Elm Street
It’s the Last House on the Left
You know we never mind uninvited guests

Nicer than the Manson Family
Let’s go paint the town RED
It’s the Night before the Day after the Dawn of the Living Dead

I’m on the cover of Fango
I’m in the Grand Guignol
I’m a Famous Monsters late night picture show.

37 – The Roswell Slides: Donald Schmitt and America’s Most Infamous UFO Crash

The Roswell Slides are on all paranormal lovers’ tongues this week as they get ready for a huge unveiling in Mexico City on May 5th. Well, to get ready for it, we’re going in on the grandaddy of all US UFO cases, the famous crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. It’s the story that’s been made famous by countless television recreations on shows like Unsolved Mysteries or Sightings as well as several books about the event.

Mike and Wendy Lynn go deep into the history of the case for those of you who might not know all the theories and the stories, starting with the “flying saucer mania” of 1947 that started it all, to the debris found by Mac Brazel, to the press release sent by the Roswell Air Field saying they found a flying saucer and later denial, saying it was just a weather balloon.

The history of the mythos surrounding Roswell as we know it really starts in 1980 with the publication of a book, The Roswell Incident, and that’s where it starts to get interesting, rumors of alien bodies taken back and dissected, pop culture mentions in Independence Day, Alien Autopsy specials on FOX in the 1990s, controversy with the investigators (including today’s interviewee, Donald Schmitt), stories about mutant children, hey look, it’s even former President Bill Clinton chiming in!

Once we get through the history, we do an in-depth exclusive interview with Donald Schmitt who has investigated and will be part of the team presenting the Roswell Slides on May 5th at an event in Mexico City hosted by Jaime Maussan, sometimes known as the “Mexican Art Bell”.

Schmitt’s first book, UFO Crash at Roswell, was the basis for the Golden Globe-nominated Showtime film, Roswell, (starring Kyle MacLachlan and Martin Sheen) and we talk about how he went from UFO investigator to UFO author to a consultant on a major film.

Then we get into what everyone’s been waiting for, the Roswell Slides, which are Kodachromes that might show non-human bodies being worked on in the 1940s and the pictures were originally taken by someone with a connection to President Eisenhower. We go in deep on the slides, how they were found, how they were investigated, and a preview of what the big presentation is going to be on May 5th.

Roswell Slides Links:

Roswell Investigator, Thomas Carey and Donald Schmitt’s website

BeWitness May 5th Live Streaming from Mexico City Pay-Per-View

This Week’s Song: “Don’t Shoot First” by Sunspot

don’t believe everything you read
don’t believe everything you see
you don’t have to understand
you don’t have to be my friend
you might not like what I have to say to you
but that don’t mean it’s not the truth

don’t shoot first
this messenger has traveled
so far from home
don’t shoot first
I only came to tell you
you’re not alone.

when you just can’t see past your nose
you think that all your doors are closed

you don’t have to understand
but one day you’ll have to comprehend
You might not like what I have to say to you
But that don’t mean it’s not the truth

don’t shoot first
this messenger has traveled
so far from home
don’t shoot first
I only came to tell you
you’re not alone.

36 – Paranormal Lit 101: Victorian Horror with Brian J. Showers

Joining Mike and Wendy today is Swan River Press publisher and author, Brian J. Showers. Brian is a college friend of both of them and left to live Dublin, Ireland in 2001.  Since leaving, Brian has written several books and become a publisher of all kinds of Gothic ghost stories as well as an expert in Victorian Horror.

They begin the conversation by discussing Brian’s interest in weird stuff, which began with Haunted Wisconsinwhich showed him that you could have legends and haunted history right in your backyard and it didn’t have to be in a Transylvanian castle. The conversation turns to other great Wisconsin connections to the weird like Arkham House in Sauk City, Wisconsin which published Lovecraft, to The Ridgeway Phantom.

When Brian moved to Ireland and found out that influential Victorian Horror writer, J. Sheridan Le Fanu was buried right up the street, he was influenced to learn more about his neighborhood, the Rathmines, in Dublin. In addition to writing a book on a walking tour of his new city,  he edited a book of short stories inspired by Le Fanu, and then wrote a collection of ghost stories inspired by the Rathmines – becoming more connected to Dublin by creating more weird and the wonderful tales of the Irish capital.

Dreams of Shadow and Smoke: Stories for J.S. Le Fanu

 

The conversation then turns into more of how the Victorian Horror story has influenced so much of modern culture and how in that era, Spiritualism (with mediums, séances, and the like) became a gigantic cultural phenomena, and its fiercest proponent was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We talk about the friendship between Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini (another Wisconsin connection, he was raised in Appleton and lived in Milwaukee for three years), who was a great Spiritualist debunker.

That brings us to Wendy’s story of getting a private tour of Swiss home as a foreign exchange student and Mike brings up his favorite episode of the show, Voyagers!

Victorian Horror and Paranormal Literature Links

Swan River Press

The Bleeding Horse and Other Ghost Stories

More details on the friendship between Conan Doyle and Houdini

Announcement for new Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini TV Show 

 Featured Song: Carmilla by Sunspot

Proper little misses sharing,
little bloody kisses,
and every fire starts from just a spark.
Our secret experiments,
on your angel innocence,
don’t matter what you look like in the dark.Just you wait until the sun goes down, down, down.
when she whispers you’re hers forever now.Carmilla,
desire comes at you sideways,
Carmilla,
Would you dare to speak her name?

Pretty porcelain cheeks,
tender sweet little tweaks,
I’m getting sick of always pretending.
Just a few more sleepless nights,
I know you’ll hold our secrets tight,
I’ll miss our visits more than anything.

Just you wait until the sun goes down, down, down.
when she whispers you’re hers forever now.

Carmilla,
desire comes at you sideways,
Carmilla,
Would you dare to speak her name?

35 – Sympathy For The Devil: What Lovecraft and ISIS Get Wrong About The Yazidi

Joining Mike and Wendy today is Milwaukee Ghosts’ founder, Allison Jornlin, for a discussion about a Kurdish ethnic and religious group currently in the news for being attacked by ISIS, the Yazidi. You guys remember The Kurds, right? They’re the ethnic group who believes in women’s rights and is cool with democracy, basically they’re the good guys in the Middle East whom the rest of the people in the area are constantly persecuting. Saddam Hussein loved to “re-educate them” and the Islamic State isn’t much nicer to them. Well, one of the reasons that the Yazidi is so unpopular in the halls of Middle East High is because Sunni Muslims believe that the group worships the Devil. Yeah, that sounds bad, and that’s why we get at the heart of the truth in this episode.

To get the conversation started right, they discuss current beliefs about The Devil, as the Vatican hosts a special exorcism course this week in Italy (they’re calling it a pastoral emergency.)

In the Yazidi religion, which borrows heavily from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Zoroastrianism, when their lead angel Taus Melek (they call him the Peacock Angel, and use Avian imagery to describe him), originally refused to bow to Adam (of Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden fame) , it’s similar to the pride that leads to the Fall of Lucifer in Christian mythology. But instead of pride, Taus Melek refuses to bow to Adam because the human is an earthly creation and not a heavenly one. He has a disagreement with God, but in the end, they make up and the Peacock Angel ends up feeling bad for what he has done and reconciles with the Almighty. So, one of the major figures in their religion is basically a redeemed version of Satan. And that’s where the misconceptions come in.

H.P. Lovecraft famously makes them the bad guys in his short story, “The Horror at Red Hook”:

“Most of the people, he conjectured, were of Mongoloid stock, originating somewhere in or near Kurdistan—and Malone could not help recalling that Kurdistan is the land of the Yezidis, last survivors of the Persian devil-worshippers.”

We made Wendy read one of the author’s most notoriously racist and lazy stories for this episode and we find out what happens when we sacrifice a virgin at the altar of Cthulhu.

But Lovecraft isn’t the only one, The Exorcist, uses Yazidi imagery as well in their portrayal of Pazuzu, the demon who takes over the body of Linda Blair’s character in the film. The avian imagery of the idol that Father Merrin (Max Von Sydow, the “old” exorcist) encounters in his travels through Iraq is one of Hollywood’s most famous visual depictions of The Devil. Basically, they took a Yazidi image, Taus Melek, and told everyone that it was going to possess the souls of their daughters – can you see why these poor people get such an unjust reputation?

We get into a little more of the Yazidi creation myth, appropriate because Wednesday April 15th was the Yazidi New Year, so Happy New Year, Yazidis! And then we finish up the episode with this week’s song.

 

Yazidi Links

The Vatican, “Course of Exorcism, Prayer, and Liberation”

CNN, “A Yazidi captive’s tale: Sold by ISIS as a sex slave”

H.P. Lovecraft, “The Horror At Red Hook”

The Exorcist Connection, The Telegraph, “The Devil Worshippers of Iraq”

Featured Song: Barbwire Heart by Sunspot

Hold my outrage tight to me,
Righteousness like a shield.
My indignation,
is a wound I’ll never heal,Slights and jabs and every little pain,
Long memory plays every scar again.

In this barbwire heart,
beats my rosary,
without its angry rhythm,
I don’t know who I’d be.

Picking my scabs bloody,
Reinfected every sore,
Every step I take is,
Towards evening the score.

Slights and jabs and every little pain,
Long memory plays every scar again.

In this barbwire heart,
beats my rosary,
without its angry rhythm,
I don’t know who I’d be.

34 – Ascension: Carol Mills’ Evolution from Atheist to Psychic Medium

Mike and Wendy start out the show with a quick discussion on how Mike is happy that they didn’t mention the Twin Peaks revival in last episode’s song about The X-Files, “Don’t Mess This Up” because now it looks like that revival is in jeopardy of not happening. After going through the definition of medium last week, they talk a little bit about the interview. Mike once again described why he doesn’t believe in orbs when it comes to ghost pictures and the importance of keeping an open mind when talking to people with extraordinary claims.

Then we talk with Carol Mills on how she grew up in a family of atheists and had never even been interested in the paranormal until the loss of her dog, Jake, who she calls her spirit animal soul mate. It was Jake communicating with her from the other side that led her to believe that she was sensitive to spirits that wanted to communicate with the living.

From there, we talk about how she senses spirits and other entities and doesn’t ever sugarcoat the messages that she receives. She does mention how she has been getting many dark readings as of late and we discuss a little the war between the light and the dark for human souls. We talk about “in-betweeners”, entities that aren’t human but fairies and goblins that like to mess around with humans. She talks about her “ascension”, a word she uses for her evolution to someone who doesn’t believe to someone who can pierce the veil, and how her life changed when she started her business as a psychic medium.

Then we finish with a message for all the podcast listeners to “Stay in the light!” and we play a song inspired by the interview, “Ascension”.

Carol Mills and Psychic Medium Links

Carol Mills Psychic Medium Website

“Orbs Debunked!”, Troy Taylor 

“In-Betweeners and Others”, Photoblog on Carol Mill’s website

Song:Ascension by Sunspot

The dark and the light they want you.
everyone competing for your mind.
Your mind.
You can see things like no one else.
you’ve got to leave your friends behind.
Behind.Your life’s no longer a bore,
Secret wars and hidden doors,
you’ve found.Opened your third eye to see,
thrown back the veil of secrecy,
unbound.Ascension,
Ascension.
You’re an X-man now.
More than a human now.

Ascension,
Ascension,
Ascension,
Ascension.
You’re an X-man now.
More than a human now.

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

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