Showing posts with label Paranormal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paranormal. Show all posts

25 November 2021

[Blog Tour] 'Christmas at Hembry Castle' (Hembry Castle Chronicles) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction

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[Blog Tour] 'Christmas at Hembry Castle' (Hembry Castle Chronicles) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
Christmas at Hembry Castle - Tour Banner 

The Book:

Christmas at Hembry Castle
(Hembry Castle Chronicles)
By Meredith Allard
  • Publication Date: 1st December 2020
  • Publisher: Copperfield Press
  • Page Length: 120 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/Victorian/Holiday

The Blurb:

You are cordially invited to Christmas at Hembry Castle.

An unlikely earl struggles with his new place. A young couple’s love is tested. What is a meddling ghost to do?

In the tradition of A Christmas Carol, travel back to Victorian England and enjoy a lighthearted, festive holiday celebration.

Buy Links:

[Blog Tour] 'Christmas at Hembry Castle' (Hembry Castle Chronicles) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
Christmas at Hembry Castle - Cover

'Christmas at Hembry Castle' - Excerpt:

Preparing for Christmas at Hembry Castle was a months-long affair. In September, Mrs. Graham, in consultation with the Countess of Staton and Lady Daphne, created her festive menus for breakfasts, luncheons, teas, dinners, and other celebrations from the first of December through Twelfth Night. She gathered ingredients in October and cooked and baked in November and December. Mrs. Ellis once asked Mrs. Graham how many pies she baked in a Christmas season, to which Mrs. Graham replied, “Somewhere between one hundred and ten thousand million.” Everyone always clamored for pies—mince pies, pork pies, turkey pies, pigeon pies, raised game pies, squab pies, steak and kidney pies, roast chicken pies, beef and potato pies, cheese and onion pies, and more mince pies. Mrs. Graham baked enough for the family and their many guests, enough for the villagers, enough for the farmers, enough for all England it seemed. Pies were all Mrs. Graham knew these days.

Sometimes, when Mrs. Ellis was taking tea in her sitting room, bent over the house accounts, her head popped up at the call of “Pies!” ringing from the kitchen. “Pies! Pies! Pies!” When Mrs. Ellis went to investigate, she saw Mrs. Graham and her maids elbow-deep in pastry, nutmeg, sugar, milk, eggs, suet, beef, apples, currants, raisins, brandy, and lemons. Indeed, mince pies were most popular this time of year. Mrs. Ellis always tip-toed away, leaving them to their “Pies!”

A constant stream of visitors flowed through the ancient halls of Hembry Castle throughout the month of December, and Hembry Castle would not be caught out before its guests. The maids dusted every volume in the library, buffed every droplet of the chandeliers until they gleamed, turned on the gaslights, and set glowing candles on the shelves. The footmen polished the silver and laid bowls of pomegranates, oranges, and spices on every flat surface, the scents of cinnamon and citrus filling the air. His lordship and Lady Daphne busied themselves writing Christmas cards, and Lady Daphne made a decoupage display with the colorful cards they received. Mr. Ellis was only slightly embarrassed by the arrival of a box of Christmas crackers ordered by Lady Daphne, who had been so charmed by the bon-bons and poems inside the tissue paper at her first Christmas at Hembry Castle. The butler set his wire-rimmed spectacles back on his nose, coughed, winked, then finally accepted the box from the impatient delivery boy.

Feathered trees lined the shelves, proudly displaying their cotton stars and glass ornaments. The warm spicy scents of the season were soon overpowered by the fresh greens dragged inside by the gardeners, and suddenly the midwinter wasn’t quite so bleak. Holly with its star-shaped leaves and red berries was made into wreaths for doors both inside and out. Mistletoe hung discreetly from the Roman arches, leaving giggling maids and grinning footmen scurrying when footsteps headed their way. Pine boughs lined the banisters and framed every door. Sometimes, after their guests had gone for the day, after they partook of Mrs. Graham’s scrumptious delights, as they sat before a hot fire with a good book and a cup of tea, both Frederick and Daphne found some respite from their worries. What they would not admit, even to themselves, was that Christmas at Hembry Castle in the Year of Our Lord 1871 was all a performance with Lord Staton and Lady Daphne primed for the stage. The grand old house looked festive enough, though neither the earl nor his daughter were much in the holiday spirit. Still, they played the role of Gaiety as if wearing smiling Greek masks. Father and daughter did their duty to every guest expecting a grand celebration.

Frederick and Daphne found still another reprieve when some of the farmers dragged in the tall Christmas tree, freshly chopped from the forest. Frederick meant to speak to Clayton, to say hello, to inquire after the farmer’s family, wondering if he had made it to London after all. He had heard rumors, you know, his lordship, and he wanted to be certain all was well. Clayton turned his apple face away, slightly less brown in the winter months, ignoring Lord Staton’s gestures toward anything resembling conversation.

After the tree was set upright everyone gasped as the highest point nearly touched the cathedral ceiling. By way of Prince Albert, sadly passed nearly ten years to the day now, Christmas trees had become the fashion in England and no stately home was complete for the holiday season without one. After the mess of needles was cleared away it was time to decorate with strings of sparkling beads, candies, tinsel, paper ornaments, and candles nestled within the branches. Everyone, from the maids to his lordship, laughed aloud at the lovely sight. It was, Mrs. Ellis said to a passing maid, the most beautiful tree anyone had ever seen. Hembry Castle looked, sounded, and smelled like Christmas. Then she thought of Lady Daphne and her grandson and hid her tears behind her handkerchief.

[Blog Tour] 'Christmas at Hembry Castle' (Hembry Castle Chronicles) By Meredith Allard #HistoricalFiction
Meredith Allard

Author Bio:

Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical Loving Husband Trilogy. Her sweet Victorian romance, When It Rained at Hembry Castle, was named a best historical novel by IndieReader. Her latest book, Painting the Past: A Guide for Writing Historical Fiction, was named a #1 new release in Authorship and Creativity Self-Help on Amazon. When she isn’t writing she’s teaching writing, and she has taught writing to students ages five to 75. She loves books, cats, and coffee, though not always in that order. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Visit Meredith online at www.meredithallard.com.

Connect With Meredith Allard:

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2021/07/blog-tour-christmas-at-hembry-castle-by.html
Christmas at Hembry Castle - Tour Schedule Banner

31 December 2020

[Book Blast] She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald #HistoricalFiction

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She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald
She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald
Book Title:: She Sees Ghosts―The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls
(Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series
Author:: David Fitz-Gerald
Publication Date:: October 25, 2020
Publisher:: Outskirts Press
Page Length:: 270 pages
Genre: Historical/Supernatural
 
She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald
She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (book cover)

The Blurb:

A blazing fire killed her family and devoured her home. A vengeful demon haunted her. Ghosts of the Revolutionary War needed help that only she could provide. A young woman languished, desperate to survive, and teetered on the edge of sanity.

Mehitable grew up in a freshly tamed town, carved from the primeval forest. Family, friends, and working at the mercantile filled her days and warmed her heart. For Mehitable, life was simple and safe, until tragedy struck. When her family perished in their burning home, she retreated into a world of her own making.

As a young girl, she had seen glimmers, glimpses, and flickers of the spirit world. She closed her eyes. She turned her back. She ignored the apparitions that she never spoke of, desperately hoping they would leave her in peace. She was mistaken.

Grief-stricken, Mehitable withdrew from the human world. Ghosts were everywhere. They became bolder. She could no longer turn her back on the spirit world. Her friends feared for her survival. Nobody understood her. She would have to find her own way.

Fans of TV’s Ghost Whisperer and Long Island Medium will especially love She Sees Ghosts. This historical novel features memorable characters and delivers bone-tingling, spine chilling goosebumps. It stands on its own and it is the next installment in the Adirondack Spirit Series by the award-winning author of Wanders Far―An Unlikely Hero’s Journey. David Fitz-Gerald delivers a historical novel with a bittersweet ending that you won’t see coming.

Would she save the spirits’ souls, or would they save her? Only time would tell.

The Trailer:


Buy Links: 

Amazon 
  • She Sees Ghosts is FREE on #Kindle for a Limited Time
David Fitz-Gerald

Author Bio:

David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means that he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing. She Sees Ghosts―A Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls is the next instalment in the Adirondack Spirit Series.

She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald
She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald

Social Media Links:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

Book Tour Schedule:

She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Part of the Adirondack Spirit Series) By David Fitz-Gerald
She Sees Ghosts - The Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls (Tour Schedule)

23 October 2020

The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream [Trailer Included]

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The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream
The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream (screengrab)
With this week's announcement that The Infamous American Horror Story Murder House will open to the public for the first time ever, homeowners Dr Ernst von Schwarz and his wife Angela Oakenfold have now revealed the list of participants for the three-day, 24-hour first-ever live stream event from the notorious historical Los Angeles monument. 

Murder House - Trailer:

Kicking off at dusk Thursday, October 29 and closing out at sunset Sunday, November 1, The Murder House livestream event will feature 15 cameras set up throughout the 10,000-square foot home streaming live throughout the entire weekend.

Beyond The Murder House live stream, viewers will see daily programming (details below). While the live stream is open to all via the ticketed event, The Murder House will open its doors to a few lucky ticket holders. Six fortunate (or unfortunate)--two per each of the three nights--Murder House fans in the terrifying basement all while being live streamed to the world (while a doctor monitors their vital signs and psychological condition).

The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream
The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream (screengrab)

An initial outline of the weekend's events is as follows:

  • The first-ever paranormal investigation will be carried out by Exorcist Bishop James Long, who has appeared on "Ghost Adventures," "The Possessed," "Gates Of Hell," "Exorcism Live!" and "Portals To Hell"
  • Famous psychic and white witch Patti Negri from "Ghost Adventures" will lead the houses first-ever seance
  • Michelle Belanger, vampire expert and acclaimed author who has been seen on "Paranormal State," "Portals To Hell " and "The Real Vampire Files" will delve into the haunting world of the occult
  • Prolific historian and Halloween expert Lisa Morton will take us on an exploration of the history & traditions of Halloween
  • Tarot expert Sasha Graham will explain the world of tarot and one lucky ticket holder will get a virtual reading live on air
  • Energy healer Satish Dholakia will give advice on how to protect yourself from negative energies and unwanted evil entities
  • Psychiatrist Dr Waguih Ishak will discuss the addictive nature of horror and the pathology of fear
  • Homeowner and cardiologist and Professor Dr Ernst von Schwarz will delve into the history of medieval torture techniques
The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream
The "American Horror Story" Murder House Is Opening To The Public For The First Time Ever For Paranormal Halloween Weekend Live Stream (screengrab)
  • Tickets are on sale now at www.themurderhouse.com. In addition, a commemorative t-shirt for the event will be on sale on the website. 
  • A portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to the Baby2Baby charity.
SOURCE: The Murder House

14 October 2020

Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest"

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Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest"
Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest" (screengrab)
Halloween is not cancelled! The Dark Zone Network announces their biggest Live Streaming Virtual Paranormal Event yet! The revolutionary and innovative creative team at The Dark Zone Network is at it again! 
This time, the people that brought you ground-breaking television like Ghost Hunters, Ghost Mine, Mountain Monsters and more, thrill and entertain viewers with four fully packed days of ghost hunting and Halloween festivities - music and celebration at the world's most haunted ghost ship, the Queen Mary. Do not miss their latest—and BIGGEST--live streaming, interactive, fully immersive virtual global event - "The Queen Mary - LIVE: A Virtual Haunt and Music Fest!

  • Never before has anyone had full and unrestricted access to the Queen Mary. Because it is currently closed to the public, every level, every haunted area will be virtually accessible by anyone watching the live stream. For the first time, the world's most haunted ghost ship will reveal her secrets to The Dark Zone's world-wide audience.
Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest"
Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest" (image via TheDarkZone.tv)
Hosted by renowned resident apparitionist Aiden Sinclair, partner Becca Knight and The Dark Zone's Susan Slaughter, viewers will be treated to more ghost hunting over four days than seen on most reality ghost hunting shows. This is a fully immersive, interactive experience as viewers watch the locked down camera feeds from the safety of their living room couches, looking for shadow figures, objects moving or even full-bodied apparitions. When they spot them, and they always do, they'll communicate directly with The Dark Zone and the on-site investigators to tell them where to investigate next.

Because it's their favorite holiday, The Dark Zone will host a full, live-streaming Halloween party and Day of the Dead celebration. TDZ proudly announces music performances from Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco, Dead Sara, Metalachi and Sound Barrier as well as celebrity guests Kane Hodder (Jason from Friday the 13th), Chad Lindberg (Supernatural), Calico Cooper (Alice Cooper's daughter/Beasto Blanco's lead singer), and Britton Buchanan (The Voice). 

Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest"
Stars Of "Friday the 13th" & "Supernatural" Along With Musical Guests Silversun Pickups, Filter, Beasto Blanco Join The "Queen Mary Live: A Virtual Haunt & Music Fest" (image via TheDarkZone.tv)
There will even be a virtual costume contest with prize giveaways. Oh, and there will be ghosts - and ghost hunters. 
  • This event will feature some of the biggest names in the paranormal ghost hunting community to search around in the deepest, darkest depths of The Queen Mary looking for what goes bump in the night

Step into The Dark Zone on October 29th through November 1st for four terrifying nights of Halloween on the haunted Queen Mary. Tickets are only $19.99 for this once in a lifetime, live streaming, fully immersive, virtual event. 
  • Go to www.thedarkzone.tv for tickets and more info. Live, multi-channel stream available to view on Roku and Apple TV. 
SOURCE: The Dark Zone Network

22 February 2020

Jack Osbourne And Katrina Weidman Plunge Into A New Season Of Petrifying Paranormal Activity When 'Portals To Hell' Returns On Friday, March 13

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Paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman descend into all-new eerie encounters in season two of Travel Channel’s hit series “Portals to Hell.”
Paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman descend into all-new eerie encounters in season two of Travel Channel’s hit series “Portals to Hell.”
Descend into all-new eerie encounters when Travel Channel's hit series, "Portals to Hell," returns for Season Two on Friday, March 13, with a special two-hour episode beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT. 

Avid paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman resume their chilling journey to historically haunted locations in the United States, confronting sinister stories of the supernatural as they seek concrete evidence that a spirit world exists. 

Eight additional hour-long episodes will move to their regular 10 p.m. ET/PT timeslot beginning Friday, March 20.
"This season is intense," said Weidman. "Jack and I purposefully explore locations that embody the darker side of the paranormal, as we try to understand why certain places evoke more sinister activity than others. It's exciting to see what new discoveries we can make in the paranormal field. Yet as we explore the unexplained, we can only presume to know what we're working with. At the end of the day we really don't – and that's the scary part."
The undaunted duo will face their most fearsome cases yet, as they uncover disturbing tales from bygone pasts and unnerving paranormal activity. Osbourne and Weidman filter through extensive research, utilize advanced scientific equipment and enlist a network of specialists, including psychic mediums, to try and exhume answers behind these terrifying hauntings.
"Katrina and I are breaking down walls – literally," said Osbourne. "We have unprecedented access to a number of locations and are also the first team to ever investigate some of them for TV. They're incredibly active sites for the paranormal, and we're going all in to try and capture substantial evidence."
Paranormal investigators and “Portals to Hell” hosts Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman.
Paranormal investigators and “Portals to Hell” hosts Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman.
In the special two-hour season premiere, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman head to Paulding, Ohio, to investigate the Old Paulding Jail – an almost 150-year-old site rumored to be haunted by the spirits of former inmates, sheriffs and even the victim of a horrific, 60-year-old cold case crime. The pair find it hard to uncover the truth in a sea of rumors, cover-ups and theories of what happened to the young woman who was murdered. They call in a trusted psychic in their search for answers. Determined to find out more, Osbourne and Weidman break down the last remaining sealed jail cell in the basement … and are shocked to discover large bone fragments scattered within. Now, the possibility of not only contacting spirits, but also solving a town's most infamous murder is on the line. As the investigation deepens, Osbourne has a paranormal experience that will forever change him as an investigator and truth seeker.

Upcoming Episodes: 

“Thomas House Hotel” Location: Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee 
Katrina Weidman and Jack Osbourne travel to Tennessee to investigate a once-thriving natural springs resort where guests fell victim to the deadly waters. A recent flare-up of paranormal activity has them asking if a dark force has checked into the century-old hotel. 

“Fort William Henry” Location: Lake George, New York 
Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate the site of one of the bloodiest massacres in Colonial America. The team embarks on a mission to find out if the paranormal activity is the echo of dead soldiers or something more sinister. 

“Iron Island” Location: Buffalo, New York 
In snowy Buffalo, New York, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman investigate the Iron Island Museum, a century-old building that has undergone several evolutions as a church and funeral home, and is rumored to house not one, but two, portals.

“The Ohio State Reformatory” Location: Mansfield, Ohio 
Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman travel to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, an abandoned maximum-security prison notorious for its barbaric treatment of inmates and malevolent spirits haunting it, where they obtain exclusive access to paranormal hotspots never investigated before for television. 

“Haunted Hill House” Location: Mineral Wells, Texas 
Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman travel to Mineral Wells, Texas, to investigate for the first time for television, the Haunted Hill House, an infamous location that’s plagued by rumors of murder, prostitution and devil worship. The team uncovers the truth of this hellish home and discovers that the claims of demonic activity may not be that far-fetched.

“The Croke-Patterson Mansion” Location: Denver, Colorado 
The 130-year-old Croke-Patterson Mansion has haunted its previous owners with a string of bad luck and untimely deaths. In a TV exclusive, Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman encounter a mirrored portal and discover why this mansion holds the title, “The King of Haunted Houses.” 

“The Shanghai Tunnels” Location: Portland, Oregon 
Katrina Weidman and Jack Osbourne gain unprecedented access to the infamous Shanghai Tunnels of Portland, Oregon. They've been called on to determine if two newly restored tunnels are safe for public tours after a recent spike in violent paranormal activity. 

Video: Sneak Peek - Season Two Premiere


"Portals to Hell" is produced by Osbourne Media and Critical Content for Travel Channel. For Osbourne Media, the executive producers are Jack Osbourne and Peter Glowski. For Critical Content, the executive producers are Jenny Daly and Tom Forman. Elaine White executive produces the series for Osbourne Media and Critical Content. For Travel Channel, the executive producer is Vaibhav Bhatt, Julie Meisner Eagle is vice president of production and development, Matthew Butler is general manager and Henry Schleiff is group president of Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.

Jack Osbourne inside Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.
Jack Osbourne inside Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.

About Jack Osbourne:

Jack Osbourne is the president of Osbourne Media and is best known for MTV's reality show "The Osbournes," SyFy's "Haunted Highway," and A+E Network's "Ozzy & Jack's World Detour." 

He has not only starred in multiple series but also developed and produced original unscripted content, including NatGeo's Wild's "Alpha Dogs" and "Surviving the Apocalypse," along with various pilots and development projects for Bravo, CBS, A&E, MTV, WeTV and TRVL. 

Osbourne appears in and serves as Executive Producer of "Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy Osbourne," which will premiere at this year's SXSW festival. Osbourne is also an adventurer and paranormal investigator who has documented harrowing face-to-face encounters with the unexplainable in some of America's darkest and most remote regions. Most recently, he was featured on United Kingdom's live "Celebrity Haunted Mansion" alongside Jason Hawes ("Ghost Hunters," "Ghost Nation") and is currently filming season two of "Portals to Hell."

Katrina Weidman at Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.
Katrina Weidman at Ohio’s haunted Old Paulding Jail.

About Katrina Weidman:

Katrina Weidman is a paranormal researcher and investigator, host and producer. 

She rose to national recognition in her role on A+E's "Paranormal State," working on hundreds of cases of unexplained supernatural phenomena and interviewing thousands of witnesses alongside world-renowned paranormal researchers. 

Weidman also served as co-host and producer of "Paranormal Lockdown" on TLC and Destination America, as well as Chiller's "Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies" (2012) and "The Truth Behind More Movies" (2013). 

She frequently gives talks and lectures at paranormal conferences and conventions around the world.

Video: Behind the Scenes - Making of Season Two

7 February 2019

New Film Explores Recent Sightings of Chicago's "Mothman"

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Terror in the Skies official poster
Terror in the Skies official poster
Illinois is known for its miles of prairie, and for being a state rich in history… but what if that rich history isn't quite what you've been told? 
In this new film, from award-winning production company, Small Town Monsters, and director, Seth Breedlove, explore hundreds of years of terrifying reports of encounters with massive, winged creatures around the "land of Lincoln". From Alton's man-eating Piasa Bird legends, to recent sightings in Chicago of a creature said to resemble Point Pleasant, West Virginia's infamous "Mothman", Terror in the Skies unlocks a centuries-old mystery.

Journey to the heartland of the midwest in this new documentary which offers a startling, in-depth look at an ongoing phenomenon. The feature-length film was shot around the state of Illinois in September and acts as much as a guide to the constantly changing terrain of the land as it does an introduction to a reality-altering subject. Breedlove contacted numerous witnesses and investigators who claim to have seen massive beings in the sky as recently as last year. One of the most recent, and popular stories to hit major media in recent years has been an ongoing wave of sightings of a red-eyed, shapeless creature dubbed, the "Chicago Mothman"; an event which is also covered in great detail in this film.

Production still from "Terror in the Skies"
Production still from the film
The first trailer for Terror in the Skies gives a brief look at moody footage captured in September, along with glimpses of the winged beings themselves. The film promises to open viewers minds to the possibility that such a thing could exist by way of believable witnesses and fascinating photographic, video and audio evidence. Small Town Monsters made waves in 2017 with their documentary titled The Mothman of Point Pleasant; a film that Terror in the Skies acts as a "spiritual sequel" to and one that will be followed up in 2020 with by the final film in their "Mothman trilogy" titled The Mothman Legacy.

Small Town Monsters is funding Terror in the Skies, as well as a second film (MOMO: The Missouri Monster) through a Kickstarter campaign launching Thursday, February 7th and running through March 9th. The campaign offers backers the opportunity to have their names added to the credits of the films, or have the chance to appear on-camera, alongside posters, apparel, DVD copies of the films and more.
Terror in the Skies is narrated by author, musician and television personality, Lyle Blackburn. It is co-written by Seth Breedlove and Mark Matzke, with cinematography by Zac Palmisano, an original score by Brandon Dalo, and sound design by Jason Utes. SRV Films and Santino Vitale are handling VFX and the film contains original illustrations by Matt Harris and Brian Serway. The film is produced by Seth and Adrienne Breedlove. Authors, Loren Coleman and Troy Taylor are featured alongside numerous others.

The Trailer:


27 October 2018

Older Than Dracula: In Search Of The English Vampire

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The Premature Burial. Antoine Wiertz (1854)
The Premature Burial. Antoine Wiertz (1854)
The story of Count Dracula as many of us know it was created by Bram Stoker, an Irishman, in 1897. But most of the action takes place in England, from the moment the Transylvanian vampire arrives on a shipwrecked vessel in Whitby, North Yorkshire, with plans to make his lair in the spookily named Carfax estate, west of the river in London.


But Dracula wasn’t the first vampire in English literature, let alone the first to stalk England. The vampire first made its way into English literature in John Polidori’s 1819 short story “The Vampyre”. Polidori’s vampire, Lord Ruthven, is inspired by a thinly disguised portrait of the predatory English poet, Lord Byron, in Lady Caroline Lamb’s novel Glenarvon (1816). So the first fictional vampire was actually a satanic English Lord.

It is nearly 200 years since this Romantic/Byronic archetype for a vampire emerged – but what do we know about English belief in vampires outside of fiction? New research at the University of Hertfordshire has uncovered and reappraised a number of vampire myths – and they are not all confined to the realms of fiction.

The Croglin Vampire reputedly first appeared in Cumberland to a Miss Fisher in the 1750s. Its story is retold by Dr Augustus Hare, a clergyman, in his Memorials of a Quiet Life in 1871. According to this legend, the vampire scratches at the window before disappearing into an ancient vault. The vault is later discovered to be full of coffins that have been broken open and their contents, horribly mangled and distorted, are scattered over the floor. One coffin only remains intact, but the lid has been loosened. There, shrivelled and mummified – but quite intact – lies the Croglin Vampire.

Elsewhere in Cumbria, the natives of Renwick, were once known as “bats due to the monstrous creature that is said to have flown out of the foundations of a rebuilt church there in 1733. The existence of vampire bats, which sucked blood wouldn’t be confirmed until 1832, when Charles Darwin sketched one feeding off a horse on his voyage to South America in The Beagle. The creature in Renwick has been referred to as a “cockatrice” – a mythical creature with a serpent’s head and tail and the feet and wings of a cockerel – by Cumbrian County History. But it’s the myth of the vampire bat that has prevailed in the surrounding villages and is recorded in conversations in local archives and journals

What picture emerges then in this history of the English vampire? The Croglin Vampire has never been verified – but it has an afterlife in the 20th century, appearing as The British Vampire in 1977 in an anthology of horror by Daniel Farson, who turns out to be Stoker’s great-grandnephew.

The Nightmare. John Henry Fuseli (1781)
Nightmare in Buckinghamshire
But there is one case that has no connection to fiction, the little-known Buckinghamshire Vampire, recorded by William of Newburgh in the 12th century. Historical records show that St Hugh, the Bishop of Lincoln, was called upon to deal with the terrifying revenant and learned to his astonishment, after contacting other theologians, that similar attacks had happened elsewhere in England.

St Hugh was told that no peace would be had until the corpse was dug up and burned, but it was decided that an absolution – a declaration of forgiveness, by the church, absolving one from sin – would be a more seemly way to disable the vampire. When the tomb was opened the body was found to have not decomposed. The absolution was laid inside on the corpse’s chest by the Archdeacon and the vampire was never again seen wandering from his grave.

The Buckinghamshire revenant did not have a “vampire” burial – but such practices are evidence of a longstanding belief in vampires in Britain. Astonishingly, the medieval remains of the what are thought to be the first English vampires have been found in the Yorkshire village of Wharram Percy. The bones of over 100 “vampire” corpses have now been uncovered buried deep in village pits. The bones were excavated more than half a century ago and date back to before the 14th century. They were at first thought to be the result of cannibalism during a famine or a massacre in the village but on further inspection in 2017 the burned and broken skeletons were linked instead to deliberate mutilations perpetrated to prevent the dead returning to harm the living – beliefs common in folklore at the time.

‘Vampire graves’ have been found at the abandoned village of Wharram Percy in Yorkshire. Paul Allison via Alchemipedia,
‘Vampire graves’ have been found at the abandoned village of Wharram Percy in Yorkshire. Paul Allison via Alchemipedia, (CC BY)
Vile bodies
The inhabitants of Wharram Percy showed widespread belief in the undead returning as revenants or reanimated corpses and so fought back against the risk of vampire attacks by deliberately mutilating their own dead, burning bones and dismembering corpses, including those of women, children and teenagers, in an attempt to stave off what they believed could be a plague of vampires. This once flourishing village was completely deserted in the aftermath.

Just recently at an ancient Roman site in Italy the severed skull of a ten-year-old child was discovered with a large rock inserted in the mouth to prevent biting and bloodsucking. Then skull belongs to a suspected 15th-century revenant which they are calling locally the “Vampire of Lugano”.

There has been a wealth of other stories from the UK and other parts of Western Europe – but, despite this, thanks to the Dracula legend, most people still assume such practises and beliefs belong to remote parts of Eastern Europe. But our research is continuing to examine “vampire burials” in the UK and is making connections to local myths and their legacy in English literature, many years before the Byronic fiend Count Dracula arrived in Yorkshire carrying his own supply of Transylvanian soil.The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:
Sam George, Senior Lecturer in Literature, University of Hertfordshire
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

13 June 2018

Based on the Real Life Story of Jack Parsons, 'Strange Angel' Explores the Intersection Between Genius and Madness, Science and Science Fiction

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STRANGE ANGEL - Poster
STRANGE ANGEL - Poster
CBS All Access announced today that its latest original drama series, STRANGE ANGEL, will launch on its service in Canada on Thursday, June 14
⏩ New episodes of STRANGE ANGEL's 10-episode first season will be available on demand weekly on Thursdays exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in Canada, mirroring the series' roll-out in the U.S.

STRANGE ANGEL, a drama series created by Mark Heyman ("Black Swan," "The Skeleton Twins") and based on George Pendle's book of the same name, is inspired by the real life story of Jack Parsons and explores the dramatic intersection between genius and madness, science and science fiction.
Jack Parsons (Jack Reynor), a brilliant and ambitious blue-collar worker in 1930s Los Angeles, works as a janitor at a chemical factory but dreams of building rockets that will take mankind to the moon. As he helps pioneer the unknown discipline of rocket science by day, by night Parsons is pulled into a new occult religion created by Aleister Crowley, performing sex magick rituals to bend the world to his will and make his fantastical dreams a reality.
The cast of STRANGE ANGEL includes Jack ReynorRupert FriendBella HeathcotePeter Mark KendallMichael GastonGreg Wise, Rade Šerbedžija, Zack Pearlmanand Keye Chen.
STRANGE ANGEL is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Scott Free Productions. Mark HeymanDavid DiGilioRidley Scott and David W. Zuckerserve as executive producers. Clayton Krueger serves as co-executive producer, and David Lowery ("A Ghost Story," "Pete's Dragon") directs and executive produces.

Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons
Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons - book cover
About the book the TV series is based on:
Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons

ROCKET SCIENTIST KILLED IN PASADENA EXPLOSION screamed the headline of the Los Angeles Times. John Parsons, a maverick rocketeer who helped transform the rocket from a derided sci-fi plot line into a reality, was at first mourned as a scientific prodigy. But reporters soon uncovered a more shocking story: Parsons had been a devotee of black magic.

George Pendle re-creates the world of John Parsons in this dazzling portrait of prewar superstition, cold war paranoia, and futuristic possibility. Fueled by childhood dreams of space flight, Parsons was a leader of the motley band of enthusiastic young men who founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a cornerstone of the American space program. But Parsons's wild imagination also led him into the occult- for if he could make rocketry a reality, why not magic?

With a cast of characters including Howard Hughes, L. Ron Hubbard, and Robert Heinlein, Strange Angel explores the unruly consequences of genius.
STRANGE ANGEL
STRANGE ANGEL  (image via BoingBoing)

"Strange Angel" - Trailers:




12 February 2018

The 'Mandela Effect' And How Your Mind Is Playing Tricks On You

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(Image via Shutterstock)
By Neil Dagnall, Manchester Metropolitan University and Ken Drinkwater, Manchester Metropolitan University


Have you ever been convinced that something is a particular way only to discover you’ve remembered it all wrong? If so, it sounds like you’ve experienced the phenomenon known as the Mandela Effect.

This form of collective misremembering of common events or details first emerged in 2010, when countless people on the internet falsely remembered Nelson Mandela was dead. It was widely believed he had died in prison during the 1980s. In reality, Mandela was actually freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013 – despite some people’s claims they remember clips of his funeral on TV.

Paranormal consultant Fiona Broome coined the term “Mandela Effect” to explain this collective misremembering, and then other examples started popping up all over the internet. For instance, it was wrongly recalled that C-3PO from Star Wars was gold, actually one of his legs is silver. Likewise, people often wrongly believe that the Queen in Snow White says, “Mirror, mirror on the wall”. The correct phrase is “magic mirror on the wall”.

Broome explains the Mandela Effect via pseudoscientific theories. She claims that differences arise from movement between parallel realities (the multiverse). This is based on the theory that within each universe alternative versions of events and objects exist.

Broome also draws comparisons between existence and the holodeck of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek. The holodeck was a virtual reality system, which created recreational experiences. By her explanation, memory errors are software glitches. This is explained as being similar to the film The Matrix.

Other theories propose that the Mandela Effect evidences changes in history caused by time travellers. Then there are the claims that distortions result from spiritual attacks linked to Satan, black magic or witchcraft. But although appealing to many, these theories are not scientifically testable.

Where’s the science?
Psychologists explain the Mandela Effect via memory and social effects – particularly false memory. This involves mistakenly recalling events or experiences that have not occurred, or distortion of existing memories. The unconscious manufacture of fabricated or misinterpreted memories is called confabulation. In everyday life confabulation is relatively common.

False memories occur in a number of ways. For instance, the Deese-Roediger and McDermott paradigm demonstrates how learning a list of words that contain closely related items – such as “bed” and “pillow” – produces false recognition of related, but non presented words – such as “sleep”.

There’s a theory online that nuclear research experiments caused the world to shift into an alternate reality where Donald Trump became president
There’s a theory online that nuclear research experiments caused the world to shift into an alternate reality where Donald Trump became president.(Shutterstock)

Memory inaccuracy can also arise from what’s known as “source monitoring errors”. These are instances where people fail to distinguish between real and imagined even. US professor of psychology, Jim Coan, demonstrated how easily this can happen using the “Lost in the Mall” procedure.

This saw Coan give his family members short narratives describing childhood events. One, about his brother getting lost in a shopping mall, was invented. Not only did Coan’s brother believe the event occurred, he also added additional detail. When cognitive psychologist and expert on human memory, Elizabeth Loftus, applied the technique to larger samples, 25% of participants failed to recognise the event was false.

Incorrect recall
When it comes to the Mandela Effect, many examples are attributable to so called “schema driven errors”. Schemas are organised “packets” of knowledge that direct memory. In this way, schemas facilitate understanding of material, but can produce distortion.

Frederic Bartlett outlined this process in his 1932 book Remembering. Barlett read the Canadian Indian folktale “War of the Ghosts” to participants. He found that listeners omitted unfamiliar details and transformed information to make it more understandable.

This process is called “effort after meaning” and occurs in real world situations too. For instance, research has previously shown how when participants recall the contents of a psychologist’s office they tend to remember the consistent items such as bookshelves, and omit the inconsistent items – like a picnic basket.

The pseudoscientific belief puts differences between memories and the real world down to glitches caused by time travel.
The pseudoscientific belief puts differences between memories and the real world down to glitches caused by time travel. (Pexels)

Schema theory explains why previous research shows that when the majority of participants are asked to draw a clock face from memory, they mistakenly draw IV rather than IIII. Clocks often use IIII because it is more attractive.

Other examples of the Mandela Effect are the mistaken belief that Uncle Pennybags (Monopoly man) wears a monocle, and that the product title “KitKat” contains a hyphen (“Kit-Kat”). But this is simply explained by over-generalisation of spelling knowledge.

Back to reality
Frequently reported errors can then become part of collective reality. And the internet can reinforce this process by circulating false information. For example, simulations of the 1997 Princess Diana car crash are regularly mistaken for real footage.

In this way then, the majority of Mandela Effects are attributable to memory errors and social misinformation. The fact that a lot of the inaccuracies are trivial, suggests they result from selective attention or faulty inference.

The ConversationThis is not to say that the Mandela Effect is not explicable in terms of the multiverse. Indeed, the notion of parallel universes is consistent with the work of quantum physicists. But until the existence of alternative realities is established, psychological theories appear much more plausible.

About Today's Contributors:
Neil Dagnall, Reader in Applied Cognitive Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University and Ken Drinkwater, Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Cognitive and Parapsychology, Manchester Metropolitan University


This article was originally published on The Conversation


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