On the deaths of Mark and Debby Constantino

Constantino

I didn’t know the Constantinos nor have I had any contact with them. Like many of you, I saw them on a few episodes of Ghost Adventures. They were known for, among other things, paranormal EVP research. On learning of their deaths, I have to admit that I almost posted a few snarky remarks.

The post sat in my draft box for a couple of months until I decided to work on it today. Perhaps the tragedy of the murders in Paris pulled me back to this old post of another tragedy.

As many of you already know, the Constantinos were in the process of a divorce when the murder/suicide occurred. Debby Constantino had a restraining order on Mark which points to the total impotence of a court’s restraining order.

While I may have had some issues with Ghost Adventures, okay a lot of issues. I have resolved to enjoy it as nothing more than entertainment.  In all  honesty, I don’t think that I am ready to watch an episode with the Constantinos — perhaps one day. In the meantime, I lament the tragedy of the Constantinos and the other victims of domestic violence.

Pray for the family …

“Sure relationships include arguments, but pain is not a side-effect of love.”
― Tyler Oakley, Binge

Fire on the mountain

♫ Fire on the mountain run boys run ♫

Sunrise over Table Rock, seen from Wiseman's V...
Sunrise over Table Rock, seen from Wiseman’s View looking east across the Linville Gorge. Photo taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 in Burke County, NC, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps there should be a sign posted reading “paranormal sites are flammable” as yet another paranormal location burns. In this case, Linville Gorge of North Carolina, the location for the “Brown Mountain Lights”, lost over 2,000 acres. It is believed that a careless camper left his campfire unattended.

Should they find the camper, I propose as punishment that he wear a Smokey the Bear costume while replanting those 2,000 acres. Just an idea.

What are the lights? I don’t know, but I believe that it is a natural phenomena. BTW you can read Joshua P. Warren’s research of the lights at http://www.brownmountainlights.com/. I highly recommend it. You can also check out more on Warren’s work at http://www.joshuapwarren.com/

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be … ghost hunters

♫ Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be … ghost hunters. ♫

Okay, as it turns out, while some Mothers may not want their sons to be cowboys, some Mothers at J.E. Jones Elementary in Wisconsin don’t want their children exposed to ghost hunting.

“We’re not going in there with Ouija boards, dowsing rods, to conjure things up. This is not the point. We’re there to document what may have been reported,” paranormal investigator Noah Leigh told a local news reporter.

A modern ouija board plus planchette
A modern ouija board plus planchette (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All in all, it sounds far more interesting than my elementary art class where my buddy Carl was sent to the principal for eating the watercolor paints. I mean WTF Carl — geez — and he ate pencils too.

Of course, some of the religious families are opposed to their children ghost hunting. I suppose, if I had a problem with the course, my objection would be to give the kids more reading, writing, and arithmetic. Having said that, I really don’t know the course load of the students, maybe they don’t need the extra time with the 3Rs.

I guess “misusing” instruments to document alleged paranormal activities is as harmless as the paint in Carl’s stomach. Yes, Carl survived.

source: http://whofortedblog.com/2013/11/23/whiney-wisconsin-parents-dont-want-their-children-taught-how-to-hunt-ghosts/

 

 

 

Burnin’ down the house … the haunted house that is

lebeaux plantI was saddened to learn of an historic site that was allegedly burned down by alcohol-fuel ghost hunters. The historic LeBeau Plantation survived for 160 years until destroyed by a fire caused (allegedly) by (alleged) paranormal investigators.

These so-called ghost hunters have been charged with burglary and arson. While the blame clearly lands on these alleged paranormal investigators, I wonder if they share all of the blame. Perhaps some of the blame belongs to paranormal TV shows like “Extreme Paranormal.”

lebeaux plant2In the episode “New Mexico State”, the Extreme Paranormal team set fire to the old penitentiary. I blogged about the show saying, “In its first episode, The boys go to New Mexico State. They display their “extreme” ghost hunting techniques by setting fire to the floor. […] Oh yes, I can just see the hordes of copy-cat paranormal investigators.” (link) Did paranormal TV influence our alleged fire bugs? Were they copy-cats or nothing more than vandals. I don’t know.

All I know is that firefighters risked their lives putting out a fire, and that an historic site was lost. Perhaps the mantra of any paranormal investigator should be “responsibility.”

Review: Sundark: An Elle Black Penny Dread

Sundark: An Elle Black Penny Dread
by Elizabeth Watasin

Series: The Elle Black Penny Dreads
Paperback: 184 pages
Publisher: A-Girl Studio
ISBN-10: 193662205X
ISBN-13: 978-1936622054

Available at Amazon
Sundark: An Elle Black Penny Dread (The Elle Black Penny Dreads) (Volume 1)

(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)

My thoughts:

Barry says — excellent!

Okay, let me reveal my bias, I love Elizabeth Watasin. Bear that in mind when looking at my score of 5 stars. Watasin’s stories have a sort of Blaylock (The Aylesford Skull), George Mann (Newbury & Hobbes) or a Mark Hodder (Burton & Swinburne) dark paranormal, steampunk vibe. Having said that, Watasin creates strong female characters along the lines of Tardi’s Adèle Blanc-Sec or Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher.

In this case, Watasin’s Sundark character is a telekinetic agent named Elle Black. The story is a fast-paced fun read. I have to admit that the vampire tease at the end of Sundark really worked. I am ready for the next episode.

There is a list of names (a who’s who) at the back of the book that may help the reader. Watasin includes some nice artwork and there is a small tease for her book Bones. While Risen, Bones and Sundark are set in the same alternate reality, each book is a stand-alone story. Just between you and me, Sundark may be the best of Watasin’s stories.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I give Sundark a solid 5 stars out of 5. I mentioned Kerry Greenwood on Facebook when speaking about Watasin’s novel and Watasin replied, “who’s Kerry Greenwood?” While Greenwood may not be a household name now, she will be in a few years. The same may be said of Elizabeth Watasin, she may not be a household name next week or next month, but if she continues to produce great books …

Product description:

Sundark: An Elle Black Penny Dread, is the latest gaslamp fantasy from speculative fiction storyteller Elizabeth Watasin, who delights in bringing you shilling shockers immersed in Gothic Victorian mystery, women sleuths, and the eldritch vestiges of a steampunk, paranormal London. Enjoy this twist of lesbian historical fiction and look for more of Elle Black as she wrestles with the ‘small’, local horrors Secret Commission agents Artifice and Jim Dastard are too busy to take on.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Author Elizabeth Watasin. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The many dangers of ghost hunting

vintage ghost

While some ghost hunters may fear malevolent spirits during a ghost hunt, another danger may be the occasional BB-gun armed vigilante. As it turns out, a woman fed up with ghost hunting trespassers used a BB-gun on this group of paranormal thrill-seekers.

“Jessica stated that a female with blond hair (later identified as Amey) came out from the residence next to the tunnel and told them they needed to leave,” Lipe said. “As the male was getting back into the vehicle they observed some type of firearm in (Amey’s) hand. Jessica said she saw the female cocking the firearm, and as they drove off she (Amey) fired it at them, striking the rear of the vehicle.”

[…]

“Brandi stated that she had a Red Rider b.b. gun, and as the vehicle was leaving she pointed the gun and fired it at the vehicle, but she was unaware that she hit it,” Lipe stated in his report.

source

What do we learn from this? Use caution while investigating, look out for the living, be aware of your surroundings, get permission to investigate the location, and most importantly wear BB-proof body armor.

Ghost Hunters S09E08 The Ghost Hasn’t Left the Building

gh09e08Ghost Hunters “The Ghost Hasn’t Left the Building” not to be confused with Ghost Lab‘s “Elvis Has Not Left the Building” (link). I’ve got to say, in a head-to-head match up, I think Ghost Lab did the better job.

Sadly, in both cases, the investigation was better more than an hour-long infomercial for the Shreveport Auditorium.  On the plus side, Amy returned from maternity leave — I couldn’t help but laugh at the contrived exchange between Jason and Steve about Amy’s return. It came off as so staged and faked that I wondered if they were actually happy that Amy returned. Are they?

While the GH team heard some unusual sounds, to be honest can you determine what is unusual to THAT Auditorium with only a one night investigation? The team did very little to recreate the sounds or the mysterious photographs.

I got a chuckle when Amy and Adam saw a tall shadow. Of course, the cameraman missed it so we the audience missed it. Describing the shadow they said that it looked like it had color to it — like white —yeah. Maybe it’s just me but I usually don’t say that something has color in it  — white.

Later Britt gave me a laugh when he said with a straight face that he was investigating the nearby graveyard to see if the ghosts from the graveyard are going to the Auditorium. Seriously Britt? How are you going to determine if there is some sort of ghost leak? Maybe a trail of ectoplasm?

Tango and Steve had their comedic moments and I saw a brief glimpse of the old Ghost Hunters. All in all, while they have had better investigations, the show was entertaining.

Are you interested in learning more … take the haunted tour. Yes, they have a haunted tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghost Hunters International: The Final Season

Ghost Hunters International: The Final Season
will be available for purchase as a DVD August 27th and a lot of people are unhappy about it. Many fans felt that the Syfy channel’s reluctance to say that GHI was cancelled meant that GHI would/could return to TV. Sadly, that idea or hope was dashed with the title on the DVD’s cover “The Final Season.” Sorry True Believers — surprise (if you had read Gnostalgia more often you wouldn’t have been so surprised).

Still others, in the True Believers category, are upset by the label “actor” assigned by Amazon and other retailers by the star’s names.  Wake-up and smell the coffee, retailers have been labeling the ghost hunters as actors for years.

The packaging of the DVD is very odd. It is some sort of moon photoshop-effect with a partial cast. For reasons only Syfy knows, Paul Bradford and Scott Tepperman were dropped from the cover? Bradford is having trouble finding anyone who will admit to approving the cover, “Ive now written to both @Pilgrim_Studios and @SyFy in regards to the GHI Final Season DVD Cover…. Someone has to have Okay’d this….”

GHI was a “red meat” paranormal show for me; I loved to tear into that show and give it a good shake. Frankly, a paranormal investigation requires more than just a few days and their conclusions, based on these brief investigations, were woefully simplistic. Having said that, I think the locations were eye-popping beautiful. I’d love to visit those locations. The bones of a good show are there; I think that the execution, for a myriad of reasons, was lacking.

Update Ryan Buell Surgery

ryanbuellAs many of you know, Ryan Buell, the host of Paranormal State, has been suffering from Pancreatic cancer. Ryan recently went through an operation that removed one organ and a piece of another. He is “stable and resting in the ER.”

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time. I know that I speak for many when I say that I look forward to seeing you ghost hunting again.

Paranormal State
Paranormal State (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ben Hansen claims to have seen a UFO

ben-hansen-fact-or-faked-paranormal-files

Ben Hansen, host of the canceled parashow “Fact or Faked,” claims to have seen a UFO flying over the skies of Huntington Beach, CA on May 3, 2013.

I was stretching from my workout, I looked up to the sky. Nearly directly above my head at about 70 degrees altitude from the southwestern horizon, I instantly focused on a triangular shaped object traveling at a very quick pace toward the northeast. I quickly ascertained that the object was a craft of some sort and not birds flying in formation because at each point of the triangle was a large white sphere. The spheres and craft traveled in perfect coordination as if it was part of one solid structure.

Did Ben see something or was it a desperate attempt to be relevant in the eyes of paranormal enthusiasts? Whatever you may think of Ben or his credibility, you have to admit that Ben knows how to fill out a UFO sighting report.

For Ben’s complete report go to:

http://www.benhansen.com/#!ufo-sighting-5313/cn9s

If I remember correctly, the FoF team in Season: 1 Episode: 7  of Fact or Faked Haunted Mansion Mist / Starlight Intruder “Fremont UFO” debunked a similar claim as a nocturnal hang glider with lights. Maybe it was just another hang glider giving the former FoF leader the finger?