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Showing posts from August, 2015

The curse of Claudius Smith's boots

In Orange County, New York, three men died while wearing a pair of boots once worn by an outlaw who hanged on the gallows. The following is a true story based on accounts that appeared in newspapers in the closing years of the 19th century.

The story begins during the Revolutionary Era with an outlaw named Claudius Smith, a Loyalist guerilla leader who, along with three of his sons and other gang members, terrorized a part of Orange County known as Smith's Clove. Although Smith was regarded as a folk hero, historians agree that he never killed anyone. However, one of his men did rob and kill someone- an American patriot hero, Major Nathaniel Strong. In October of 1778, Governor George Clinton posted a reward for Claudius Smith, who was captured and hanged in the town of Goshen on January 22, 1779.

After he was escorted to the gallows in Goshen, he kicked off his boots just as the rope was placed around his neck. His last words were, "My mother said I would die like a trooper…

The Killer Hellhound of Bourg-en-Foret

Stories and myths about phantom dogs have been around for centuries and are prevalent in every part of the world. Most of these alleged apparitions are harmless, but the same cannot be said about the phantom mastiff that appeared in France during the winter of 1929.

The story of Bourg-en-Foret's killer hellhound might have been dismissed as a mere legend, were it not for the fact that it involved a distinguished and well-known novelist and journalist named Pierre Van Paassen. Van Paassen made a name for himself as a journalist in the years leading up to World War II, interviewing everyone from Adolf Hitler to Winston Churchill. His background as a Unitarian minister lends even more credulity to this incredible story, which, if told by a less credible witness, would probably have been dismissed as sheer fantasy.

In the winter of 1929 Van Paassen rented a cottage in the tiny French village of Bourg-en-Foret and it wasn't long before he discovered that the house was haunted by t…

5 things we can't stand about the paranormal community

Here at Journal of the Bizarre, we like to say that we're the Donald Trump of paranormal websites. Like Trump, we're outsiders on the fringe who like to speak out against the establishment (the establishment in this case being other sites devoted to the paranormal, extraterrestrials, cryptozoology, conspiracy theories and the like). As a result, we've made many friends as well as many enemies within this community. And, like Trump, we refuse to be apologetic.

That being said, we'd like to point out five things that piss the hell out of us about this "establishment". You know who we mean- the guys with 50,000 Twitter followers who crank out shitty ebooks by the dozen, frequent guests on paranormal radio shows (as well as many hosts), and those who never miss an opportunity to make appearances on every reality TV show devoted to hunting ghosts, catching Sasquatch or finding evidence of ancient aliens.

So, if you're one of those "establishment" pe…

The day "little men from outer space" took down a radio station

The strangest incident in the history of radio.

Long before there was Howard Stern, Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, there was Pat Burns. Burns, who died in 1996, was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and made a career out of being controversial. His radio show, which aired on Montreal's CKGM from 1965 to 1969, helped transform the fledgling 10,000-watt station into a Canadian broadcasting powerhouse. The cantankerous Burns was the Canadian equivalent of Joe Pyne, and both men would be responsible for influencing future generations of confrontational radio and television hosts like Morton Downey, Jr. and Bill O'Reilly.

Like Art Bell and George Noory, Burns would also occasionally delve into offbeat topics. In 1968, one frequent caller to his radio show was a strange woman with a Dutch accent who liked to ramble about "little men from outer space". Little did Burns know, however, that this mysterious caller nearly pulled the plug not only…

Keep Looking Up!

Although Jack Horkheimer died five years ago, his legacy continues to live on in the hearts and minds of millions of stargazers who were introduced to astronomy thanks to his PBS show.

Thanks for the memories, Jack, and we promise that we'll keep looking up!

Proof that Abraham Lincoln wasn't really Abraham Lincoln.

Although volumes have been written about the life of Abraham Lincoln- considered by many to be our greatest president- much remains unknown about his ancestry. After Lincoln's death in 1865, biographers made the claim that he was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, who came to America in 1637 from England and who spawned a New England political dynasty that includes a Maine governor, two Massachusetts governors and two Massachusetts representatives. It is a historically accepted fact that Samuel Lincoln, who died in 1690, was the progenitor of our nation's most famous political family.

On the other hand, we also have the image of Lincoln as a backwoods, self-educated rube who grew up dirt poor in a log cabin-- a far cry from the British bluebood background that some have attributed to him.
Oddly enough, it may turn out that Honest Abe wasn't related to Samuel Lincoln at all, nor was he of English descent. Evidence seems to suggest that Abraham Lincoln was, in actuality, Germ…