GHOSTVILLAGE.COM NEWSLETTER #120 - October 17, 2011
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You canít remove the campfire from the paranormal. The story -- that living, breathing piece of the paranormal that we share with others, that we add ourselves to -- will always be part of the discussion. We can try and turn this study into science, but something will be lost because the living human has always been an integral part of the phenomena. Itís legend. Itís powerful. Itís real. If something paranormal didnít occur, then the legend wouldnít have been born. If something paranormal didnít continue to occur, then the legend would have died off.
Itís Halloween Ė the most legendary holiday we have. Itís right that the day we celebrate monsters and ghosts is a creation of the collective conscience and is based on many different traditions that go back to ancient days when magic stood on center stage for all to see and admire. Halloween is a reminder that itís okay to be scared and to scare. We dress up as the very things we fear to settle our nerves a bit. If we trick-or-treat a mile in a monsterís shoes, maybe we wonít be so frightened the next time we see one, right? Right?!
I embrace the legend that is Halloween. Each year, I write a new chapter into the holiday. I pass on traditions to my daughter and create new ones that she will no doubt pass along to her own children one day. My daughter isnít just trick-or-treating on October 31st, sheís communing with our family's ancestors -- everyone who helped make us who we are and helped mold what we believe today. Okay, getting a bunch of free candy is pretty cool too!
This Halloween also marks the 12-year anniversary of Ghostvillage.com! Iíll take credit for starting this thing, but itís you folks who made it what it is: a global community of believers, skeptics, and the curious. Thank you for all of the personal experiences youíve shared, for the articles youíve written, and for being a part of this global discussion. I appreciate it! I have no doubt 12 years from now weíll still be learning something new about ourselves. Itís an honor to share this journey with you.
Iíd like to say hello and welcome to the many new people Iíve had the chance to meet at the conferences and lectures Iíve been going to these last few weeks. Though the paranormal community has its drama, itís also nice to meet so many great people and be reminded that the good far outweighs the bad here. Thanks for that! And thank you to everyone who picked up my new book,
The Worldís Most Haunted Places, Revised
I have many more lectures and events coming up -- check out the list below. And donít miss me on Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel this Friday night at 9PM, and Iíll be on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood on Sunday October 30th.
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 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
Northern Rhode Island's Paranormal Fest 2011 - Smithfield, Rhode Island - November 13, 2011, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
A Supernatural Evening with Jeff Belanger at the Attleboro Public Library - Attleboro, Massachusetts - November 18, 2011, 7:00 PM
Repeat Offender Event at Mansfield Reformatory - Darkness Radio - Mansfield, Ohio - March 29 - April 1, 2012
Congratulations to Ann Waters of Waldorf, Maryland, who was the September winner of an autographed copy of
Jeff Belanger's book, 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 (October 18, 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.
According to Ken Summers, near what town is the River Styx Ghost Train located?
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, The World's Most Haunted Places, Revised Edition and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
Didn't win? Want to buy a copy? Click on the graphic.
Get to know some of your fellow Ghostvillagers.
|Who's Who in the Village?
>>Pfled<< - member since April 17, 2007
What is your name?
How old are you?
Where do you live?
South Windsor, Connecticut
What do you do for a living?
I am the functional lead on human resources-related software systems at Wesleyan University.
What first got you interested in the paranormal?
I was in 1st or 2nd grade when I first became interested in ghosts and the paranormal. I was browsing at a book sale in the school library intent on buying a Clifford book when all of a sudden I was confronted by the most terrifying image (for a 7-year-old) on the cover of a book. It was a spooky picture of a ghost in a monk's cloak. It really freaked me out. Frightened, I quickly left the library with this disturbing image in my head. For some reason that day and later that night I could not get the image of the book's cover out of my head. So, to make a long story short, first thing the next day I walked into that book sale and bought the book. As it turns out, the book was Christopher Maynard's All About Ghosts. It described a lot about types of ghosts, theories, and also ghost hunting and debunking. It was my absolute favorite book in the world. Unfortunately, in the passing 28 years, the book has since gone missing, but it really played a major influence on my interests.
Do you think we will be able to conclusively prove the existence of the paranormal in our lifetime?
I guess my answer would be in the form of a question. That is, who do we need to prove it to other than ourselves? There will always be freedom of perception, thought and freewill. As long as these exist, there will always be someone who will see things differently, especially regarding something as intangible as ghosts or a haunting. I would however hope that within our lifetime we will find a way to quantifiably measure paranormal activity in the attempts to help predict its seemingly random nature of occurring.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Edy's French Silk
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:
Halloween Nation with Lesley Pratt Bannatyne October 11, 2011 [Video]
The Haunting of Major Graham Mansion by Deonna Kelli Sayed October 5, 2011
The Hunt for Ohio's River Styx Ghost Train by Ken Summers September 29, 2011
Evidence of Ancient Aliens with Peter Robbins September 27, 2011 [Video]
Southern New England Haunts with Andrew Lake September 20, 2011 [Video]
Our last month's theme was The World's Most Haunted Places. Here's what you missed if you haven't checked in since last month:
|Last Month's Theme - Featured Content
Discussion: Waverly Hills
Discussion: Tower of London
Encounters: The Whaley House
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:
Strange Creatures - Beloit, Wisconsin
Tech Savvy Spirits - Covington, Georgia
Freaky Dreams - Morena Valley, California
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, Ghostvillage.com News Editor
Legends Are Born in October
When I began my paranormal career, I wanted anything but a career. I was a storyteller looking to document what I thought was the most interesting topic I could find. I knew it was engaging because I was fully engaged in it, and for many people who start to look into the paranormal, the idea of ghosts and spirits and all that come with them can be something of an obsession. In those early stages, many of us consume anything we can find, and when we can't find the best stuff, it hardly matters to us. It's all good because it's about ghosts. But not all that glitters is gold.
Case in point: A few years ago, after becoming somewhat of an authority on an especially haunted area of my state, I was contacted by a newspaper that was doing their traditional Halloween stories. After the interview, they published an article that included many of the locations I talked about. There was even a map included. There was no follow-up with any of the places or checking of my facts or even permission from some very public areas to use what I had said. My words were truth, and as Web sites and other media outlets got the story, my naming of names spread throughout the area and investigators and researchers hit the field looking to touch the things I had talked about. It was not that I had told any lies; it was a storyteller retelling the most engaging things he had heard.
Innocent, right? One of the subjects I talked about was a local college known for some amazing hauntings, although like most colleges, the back story and the folklore were the real star and the details of the ghosts were secondary. As the head of the library and the college archivist both sat down to breakfast that morning, they saw their college in bold letters (and a special generic clip art picture on the map) and knew they were in for a tough time. There were no ghosts on campus and the stories had been the subject of folklore for years, which they explained to dozens of people who called over the next few days to request permission to investigate. They were just good ghost stories. A letter they wrote to the paper explaining just that never made it to the editorial section.
A few years later I met them both as I was doing research for my book on that area. Both eyed me suspiciously and knew me by name. They gave me a detailed account of what they had gone through and continued to go through because of my article. Of course, as a folklorist, I was bringing the information to the masses, something the newspaper felt was more of a detail than a direction. The women both eventually understood my focus and helped me with the book, as well as helping me a few times since, gather information or to check a detail of a case.
I'm not sure if the line between folklore and fact is any more blurred than it was years ago. We have a tool that can help verify the stories we are told, but so often we can't trust the second source or don't bother to look. A phone might help, but there are deadlines and the stories are not meant to be more than casual reading. Why check facts when you are talking about something as silly as ghosts anyway? The odd thing is that these stories become the foundation of something almost uncontrollable. An article becomes a posting which becomes a blog entry which is used as the background of a book, and before anyone has time to check the batteries in their EMF meters, legend becomes modern haunting.
Don't get me wrong. The folklorist side of me loves seeing this. I am as intrigued by the way information is spread as the information itself. I was thrilled last year when someone cited a personal experience of mine as something that had happened to a friend of theirs, and it wasn't until I pressed that they confessed they heard the story during a ghost tour and wanted to spice it up. The bigger point for those looking for truth is to understand the bringers of that truth. Newspapers don't ask for a list of works cited by those they interview, and when speaking on the record (and all investigators should always assume everything they say to a reporter is on the record) those words become part of the paranormal landscape that over time may harden like cement.
I have already seen these articles appearing in the papers, and for the most part I don't print them because it is hard to say which ones are more newsworthy than the others. I'm not asking people to stop reading them, and I am definitely not asking people to not share what they hear with their friends and other lovers of all things unexplained. Maybe when you do, however, you should include a special disclaimer that might be more accurate than the one you might be tempted to use. Instead of claiming a place might be haunted, we should all start out by saying, "Once upon a time, there was a tale of a haunting."
This month's headlines:
Paranormal museum set to open in Columbia Lancaster Online Columbia, Pennsylvania - October 8, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Radio Personalities Accept Dare to Spend One Night in Haunted Barn Market Watch Volo, Illinois - October 3, 2011 [EXTERNAL NEWS]
Zak Bagans's book Dark World to Hit New York Times Bestseller List Next Week
In Time for Halloween, Jeff Belanger Visits The World's Most Haunted Places
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|Hot Threads and the Ghostvillage.com Community
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the hot topics this month:
"Captured in my room."
How to communicate with the dead.
Religion and Spirituality
Discussion on reincarnation.
Urban Legends, Myths, and Folklore
Traces of the Kraken.
Are ghosts truly real or is it just people wanting them to exist?
Board of the Month -- Halloween/Samhain 2011
What are your Halloween traditions?
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