GHOSTVILLAGE.COM NEWSLETTER #118 - August 18, 2011
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Picture Yourself Legend Tripping: Your Complete Guide to Finding UFOs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Urban Legends in Your Own Back Yard -- Jeff Belanger’s new book, DVD, and Web site. Enjoy the trip! http://www.legendtripping.com/
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Thank you to everyone this past month who sent well wishes regarding the passing of Lee Prosser last month. His widow, Debra is especially grateful for the outpouring of support. Due to your contributions, she was able to cover the costs of his cremation. Thank you for your generosity. Debra has offered to continue writing Lee’s “Bide One’s Time” column. She penned her first one this past month. Debra could still use your prayers and positive energy as she mourns the loss of Lee.
One of my favorite endeavors is hiking. I love hiking up mountains, through the woods, and if there’s a legendary location buried somewhere in there, all the better! What is it about dark woods, creepy forests, and old gnarled trees that gets our thoughts turning to the paranormal? Part of the reason is it’s the correct setting. The forest -- especially an unfamiliar forest -- is confusing, frightening, and can be wrought with danger. Wild animals, maybe there are people living out here who don’t take kindly to outsiders, or maybe there is some unseen force lurking around you. The trees themselves are full of life and have stood witness to sometimes centuries of history. Perhaps the emotions… or even spirits… of the past can be trapped here.
Next month I’m releasing the second edition of my first book, The World’s Most Haunted Places. One of my new chapters is on the Aokigahara Jukai near Mt. Fuji in Japan. This place, better known as “Suicide Forest” is one of the most active locations in the world for people who want to take their own life. Dozens of people each year wander into the forest with no intention of coming out. Near the heads of the hiking trails there are signs pleading with visitors to call for help if they are feeling suicidal.
The Jukai first became a destination for this horrible practice around 1960 after the release of Japanese author Seichō Matsumoto’s novel The Black Sea of Trees, where the star-crossed lovers in the book end their lives in the Aokigahara Jukai. The romantic Shakespearian idea resonated with some Japanese readers who went to the actual woods to fulfill the same destiny as Matsumoto’s fictional characters, and a dark legend was born. One suicide makes the news and provides others with the idea that this is the place to take your own life. As more come to do the same deed, the word spreads, the legend grows, and the woods are stained. The spirit of that place is now covered with the horrible sadness and desperation that can only come from suicide.
Visitors today look at the twisted trees, they know how many come out here each year to end their own life, and even the most non-sensitive shudder a bit at the thought of bodies out there lost right now. Souls, ghosts, spirits out here in the woods. That emotion is trapped in the trees and woods. It feeds on itself and on those who come through. The place is haunted and haunting. You don’t need to believe in ghosts for that to be so. It needs to be haunted because the living need to take extra care for our fellow humans who might need help. The dark reputation of the Jukai has taken many lives, there can be no doubt. But how many more lives has it saved? How many people came here with the intent of taking their own life until some kind person saw that desperate look in their eyes, took them by the hand and said, “Let’s go talk about it.” We need our ghosts. We need our haunts for so many reasons.
We’ll explore haunted woods this month on Ghostvillage.com… join the discussion!
It’s mid-August, which means the busy fall season is closing in. I have more lectures and events planned for this fall than ever before and I’m still adding more. Later this month you can come see myself and Dave Schrader from Darkness Radio and the Travel Channel’s Paranormal Challenge at the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts; I’ll be in Chicago, Texas, Colorado, all over New England, and more! See a complete list further down in the newsletter.
Get ready for a haunted fall, my friends!
Enjoy the rest of the newsletter below.
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com
Facebook: Jeff Belanger
This is the place to find out where author and Ghostvillage.com founder Jeff Belanger will be speaking on the subject of the
paranormal. If you're interested in booking Jeff for a conference or other event, please visit:
http://www.jeffbelanger.com/lectures.shtml for more information.
|Jeff Belanger's Upcoming Events
A Weird (Massachusetts) Evening with Jeff Belanger at Hubbard Memorial Library - Ludlow, Massachusetts - August 18, 2011, 6:00 PM
Darkness Radio's Dave Schrader and Jeff Belanger haunt Lizzie Borden's - Fall River, Massachusetts - August 26-27, 2011
Chicago Ghost Conference - Chicago, Illinois - September 30 - October 1, 2011
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the South Hadley Public Library - South Hadley, Massachusetts - October 5, 2011, 6:30 PM
Central Texas Paranormal Conference - Austin, Texas - October 8-9, 2011
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Billerica Public Library - Billerica, Massachusetts - October 13, 2011, 7:00 PM
Haunted History Night 2011 - Wareham, Massachusetts - October 15, 2011, 6:00 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Athol Public Library - Athol, Massachusetts - October 18, 2011, 5:30 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Luna Gallery - North Conway, New Hampshire - October 22, 2011, 7:00 PM
A Supernatural Afternoon with Jeff Belanger at the Nashua Public Library - Nashua, New Hampshire - October 23, 2011, 2:00 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Uxbridge Free Public Library - Uxbridge, Massachusetts - October 24, 2011, 7:00 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Winthrop Public Library and Museum - Winthrop, Massachusetts - October 27, 2011, 7:00 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Middleborough Public Library - Middleborough, Massachusetts - October 29, 2011, 6:30 PM
The Stanley Hotel Cabin Fever Event - Ghost Adventures and Darkness Radio - Estes Park, Colorado - November 3-6, 2011
Congratulations to Jeff Breckenridge from Blacklick, Ohio, who was the July winner of an autographed copy of
Jeff Belanger's book and DVD, Picture Yourself Legend Tripping and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
How to win: Entries will be accepted up until 5:00 PM (eastern time) tomorrow (August 19, 2011).
At 5:00 PM, we will draw a winner at random from the correct entries that have been received. You no longer have to be the first,
but you only have until 5:00 PM to get your answer in. If you click on this link:
http://www.ghostvillage.com/index.shtml#winner, you see
today's date, and "We have a winner!" that means the contest has ended. Sorry, please try again next month. To submit your entry, simply
reply to this email with the correct answer.
On to this month's question: This question can be answered by reading a page on Ghostvillage.com. Remember, reply by 5:00 PM tomorrow to
be eligible to win.
What is Wayne Harris-Wyrick's day job?
At 5:00 PM tomorrow, we will announce the winner on our home page.
Good luck! (Only Ghostvillagers who have not won a prize from us in the last year are eligible.)
This month's prize:
We're giving away an autographed copy of Jeff Belanger's new book and DVD, Picture Yourself Legend Tripping and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
Didn't win? Want to buy a copy? Click on the graphic.
The Supernatural Calendar is the place where thousands will learn about your events of interest to the supernatural world. The service is only available to registered members of the message boards, and it's free!
Ghostvillage.com now syndicates our calendar of events so other Web sites can also display these supernatural happenings at no charge! To learn more about
installing our calendar of events RSS feed, please visit our syndication
page. Adding your own local events to our calendar is more important than ever!
August 26: Lizzie
Borden House - Private Investigation Event
September 2: Dragon*Con
Belanger on Paranormal Straight Talk
September 10: Jeff
Belanger on Liveparanormal - Ghost Host
Setpember 27: Jeff
Belanger on the Paranormal Palace Radio
September 30: Chicago
Ghost Conference - Chicago, Illinois
October 8: Central
Texas Paranormal Conference - Austin, TX
Get to know some of your fellow Ghostvillagers.
|Who's Who in the Village?
>>Maelinde<< - member since September 1, 2007
What is your name?
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Arlington, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth Area)
What do you do for a living?
I am the functional lead on human resources-related software systems at Wesleyan University.
What got you interested in ghosts and the supernatural?
I'm a sensitive and have been able to sense and communicate with spirits for most of my life. It started when I was 6 and saw my grandfather's spirit shortly after he passed away. We were able to communicate and that made me not miss him so much.
Do you think there are any government conspiracies afoot to hide the existence of paranormal activity?
While I'm not sure if they really are trying to hide the existence of paranormal activity, I think the government does fear what they do not understand. I'm sure they are aware that paranormal activity does indeed exist, but they may not be able to explain some of these things well enough.
What's your all-time favorite movie?
This is tough, as I love to see movies... I'm going to go with Serenity which was based on the TV series, Firefly.
Our "Features" section is a place for editorials, research articles, open letters to our readers, and other content of interest to
Ghostvillagers. If you have a topic on your mind, agree or disagree with something you read
recently, we want to hear from you! For guidelines, click
New features added since our last newsletter:
Live-ish From the Haunted Fearing Tavern
August 16, 2011 [Video]
In Defense of Paranormal Reality TV by Deonna Kelli Sayed - August 8, 2011
Gone From Sight by Debra Prosser - August 3, 2011 [Column]
The Psychology of Being Watched By Wayne Harris-Wyrick - August 2, 2011
The Paranormal Pastor Robin Swope
July 26, 2011 [Video]
Living Voices: Dr. Dave Oester By Deonna Kelli Sayed - July 20, 2011
Our last month's theme was Remembering Lee Prosser. Here's what you missed if you haven't checked in since last month:
|Last Month's Theme - Featured Content
Memorial: Remembering Lee Prosser
Features: Christopher Isherwood, Time Loops, and Ghosts - Features Archive
Features: Marjorie Myrene Hart - Features Archive
Features: Clairvoyance, Ghosts, and Music - Features Archive
Features: To Light A Candle - Features Archive
We receive personal encounters from all over the world. Many are scary, some are touching, but they are always profound. If you would like
to share your own experience, please click >>here<<. Since our last newsletter, we added the following new encounters:
Enlightened Rosary - Phoenix, Arizona
Spooky Third Floor - Wethersfield, Connecticut
Haunted Cinema - Brighton, United Kingdom
The New House - Phoenix, Arizona
Haunted School Bathroom - Philippines
Signs from the Departed - Malibu, California
Haunted State Park - Ohio
This is the place to find news items on paranormal happenings around the world. If you have a news item you'd like to submit, please see our
From the Desk of Christopher Balzano, News Editor
I received an e-mail from a teacher in Idaho who volunteers with a Girl Scout troop. She thanked me for my Internet site, which is dedicated to ghost stories and legends from Massachusetts, because she used them with the girls. They sat around the campfire reading stories found on my site, a little bit of paranormal to go with merit badges and S’mores. If anyone was looking for a sign ghosts have become part of our everyday life, look no further than Troop 413.
It was not the first e-mail I had gotten like this. In fact, I get more greetings from educators and people working with kids these days than ghost hunters and people with haunted houses. Usually they do not know I am a full-time educator who uses the paranormal as a way to get people excited about reading and to teach my students everything from how to find facts and pull out details to a way to unlock the connection between literature and the history surrounding it.
It would seem I am not alone. This month there have been at least half a dozen articles about educators using the paranormal in their classrooms. It being summer, most of the stories revolved around programs designed to keep students’ minds sharp while class was not in session. From Arizona and Nevada to Pennsylvania and Georgia, schools and libraries are creating paranormal themed reading and history programs, and the students are eating it up. This isn’t just getting them to pick up Twilight or Harry Potter. These are real ghosts they are discussing and reading about, and real connections they are making to the paranormal in their community. Sometimes local paranormal investigators are donating books and time to assist them.
I was asked down to the principal’s office this afternoon. Never a good indication. When I arrived I saw her sitting with the head of the registrar and a young boy of about 12. “Chris, you do that ghost thing don’t you?” She pointed to the boy who I learned was the son of the woman who was responsible for getting kids into the school. “Jack is sleeping over his friend’s house Friday and the place is haunted. Any suggestions on what he can do?” I quickly ran back to my room and got a carefully marked copy of one of my books.
As I handed it to him, I looked at my principal’s degrees hanging from the wall. Can ghosts be useful as a teaching tool? Ask the woman with a doctorate in education from Florida State University who gives her ghost expert Language Arts teacher a very long leash.
Of course, this is not new to us at Ghostvillage. Almost three years ago, Jeff launched Ghostvillage for Kids, and since its creation it has provided resources about the paranormal in a young person’s life and resources and lesson plans to help educators bring ghosts out of the attic and onto the blackboard. The news from across the country confirms the truth of the site’s purpose. Ghosts can be used in the classroom, and in the hands of the right teacher, the results can be scary.
Look for more updates to that part of Ghostvillage and the continued link in the news between those communities bringing poltergeists to the little ones.
This month's headlines:
Internet hoax photo revives legend of tragic Mira’s ghost Wales Online Carmarthenshire, Wales- August 16, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Ghost hunters take on Latino homes on From Beyond Accidential Sexiness July 31, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Paranormal Playground CBS News 42 Huntsville, Alabama - July 25, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
AU’s Parapsychology and Consciousness Conference Early Registration Now Open
Preservation and paranormal groups raise $2,500 for Selma Mansion The Times Herald Norristown, Pennslyvania - July 20, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Council to relocate Newbiggin Hall haunted house family Sunday Sun Newcastle, England - July 17, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
WANT THESE HEADLINES ON YOUR SITE FOR FREE? Syndicate our news! If you have a Web site or
blog, you can syndicate our news feeds to your site for free. Join the growing list of Web sites who carry our news by visiting our
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|Hot Threads and the Ghostvillage.com Community
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that was automatically sent to you when you registered and click on the account activation link in the email (note:
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immediately come through). There are always great discussions going on in our huge
message board community. We hope you'll get involved. It's free to register if you're not already a member. Here are some of
the hot topics this month:
Religion and Spirituality
The use of crosses at cemeteries: What part do crosses play in undead spirits?
Automatic Writing: Share the how-to's.
Are you a skeptic? What would it take to change your mind?
In defense of paranormal reality TV: discuss the pros and cons.
Charging for investigations.
Board of the Month -- Haunted Woods
What is it about the setting of a forest that lends itself to so many ghostly legends?
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