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Showing posts from March, 2016

Ghost soldiers in the sky

Ghost stories have been attached to virtually every bloody conflict in world history, from the Battle of Gettysburg to the Second World War. The same holds true for the First English Civil War, fought between the Parliamentarians and Royalists between 1642 and 1646, when Lord Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell led their forces to a victory over the Royalist forces of Charles I.

In 1915, as German zeppelins raided the coastal towns and villages of Britain, an amazing story nearly three centuries old was recalled, concerning a battle so ferocious and bloody that the the scene was captured by forces unknown and vividly projected in the sky, creating a macabre moving image of warfare in the heavens.
The following story appeared in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph on February 10, 1915:

London, Feb. 9.-- Warfare in the heavens was witnessed by the king's own emissaries 272 years ago in Northamptonshire, when the ghostly battle on high amazed the good people of the land and caused no little uneasine…

A Mysterious Haunting in Atlantic City

I recently visited Atlantic City for the first time in my life, expecting the city to resemble the portrait of Atlantic City that had lived in my mind thanks to old books and movies; the playground of Frank Sinatra and Cosa Nostra mobsters, the home of opulent resorts like the famed Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel, the birthplace of salt water taffy. But, much to my disappointment, it became quite clear that the Atlantic City of my imagination was but a fantasy. Today, it is a place of vacant properties, high unemployment rates and shattered dreams-- in recent years, the unemployment rate has hovered somewhere around 25%, and crime is rampant.

It is, quite frankly, a city that seems haunted.

Naturally, this visit inspired me to investigate Atlantic City's storied past, and I stumbled upon a pair of strange stories.

A remarkable series of hauntings took place in Atlantic City in 1899, when, for a period of several nights, an apparition was reported to have been seen emerging from the ocea…

Are ghosts the dreams of the dead?

As a paranormal researcher, I've always admired the work of Britain's Society for Psychical Research because of the society's commitment to finding scientific and logical explanations for the unexplained. Since its founding in 1882, the SPR (as they are known today) has extensively studied everything from psychic abilities to run-of-the-mill hauntings, reporting their findings in a series of publications and journals. The so-called paranormal investigators of today would be well-advised to study these old reports and journals, since they offer valuable insight into the world of the unknown. Unlike today's "ghost hunters", the members of the Society for Psychical Research do much more intensive scholarly research into the paranormal than the men and women who try to make a name for themselves with night vision cameras, EVP recordings and a YouTube channel.

One of the most notable early members of the Society for Psychical Research was one of its founders, Fred…

Haunted Brooklyn: The Great Theatre Fire of 1876

The chilly evening air was no deterrent for hundreds of New Yorkers on December 5, 1876, who flocked to the Brooklyn Theatre, on the corner of Washington and Johnson streets, to watch the incomparable Kate Claxton perform in The Two Orphans. After all, it was her portrayal of Kate in this adaptation of the French play which earned her worldwide fame and cemented her reputation as one of America's leading actresses. Some would say that it was the hottest ticket in town.

They had no idea how right they were about that.

Just before the play's final act, a stage manager saw flames coming from stage left, the result of a canvas backdrop resting against a bright spotlight. Two stagehands attempted to beat out the small conflagration with broomsticks. The actors went back on stage for the final act. Kate Claxton whispered to the other actors, imploring them to leave the stage, but they refused. The show must go on. Surely the theatre staff would get the small blaze under control befor…

More Evidence of America's Ancient Race of Pygmies

In April of last year we published an article about an ancient race of pygmies that once inhabited America. Archaeological evidence supporting this theory was championed by several leading researchers of the 19th century such as Joseph Henry, who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and John Haywood, the renowned Tennessee historian and lawyer. These men pointed to the amazing discoveries unearthed near the central Tennessee town of Sparta in 1820, when several adult human skeletons-- approximately two feet in length-- were unearthed during an excavation. Astonished by this discovery, Henry sent his own team of Smithsonian archaeologists to Sparta, where, on October 7, 1876, they unearthed a 26-inch long skeleton of an adult male.

We recently decided to follow up on this strange race of American pygmies and came across other interesting finds which offer further proof of this mysterious tribe.

In 1896, a farmer from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, named John Lupping …

Debunked: The popularity of Bernie Sanders

If you've spent any time following politics at all this year, you're probably under the impression that Bernie Sanders has engendered a "movement" (or a flat-out revolution, as many of his followers insist). Yes, you've probably heard about the tens of thousands of rabid, salivating fans who show up at Sanders rallies. You may have heard about his fundraising prowess, and you may have even seen some of the Sanders merchandise being sold online (such as the "Burn one for Bernie" hash pipe, which can be yours for just $60). And, no doubt, you've probably noticed that you can't scroll down your Facebook newsfeed for two seconds before encountering at least a half-dozen pro-Bernie posts.

Since Bernie has indeed chalked up a few impressive victories over Hillary Clinton so far in 2016, what I'm about to tell you may be a total shock. The cold, hard truth is that....

The popularity of Bernie Sanders has been grossly exaggerated.

Forget about win t…

The Eye of the Idol: A True Story of Hindu Vengeance

The following story would be a perfect fit for an Agatha Christie novel or a Charlie Chan movie were it not for the fact that it wasn't the creation of a mystery novelist or a Hollywood screenwriter. It is the true story of the strange murder of the wife of a British general, the general's suicide, and a priceless jewel stolen from a sacred Hindu idol.

The incredible saga unfolded on August 24, 1908, when the body of an elderly woman was found in a summer house in the village of Seal Chart, not far from the town of Sevenoaks in Kent. The victim was Mrs. Caroline Luard, the wife of Major General Charles E. Luard. She had been killed with a revolver. Gone from the victim's fingers were several expensive rings, including one ring with a very large diamond surrounded by seven or eight smaller diamonds.

When Inspector Scott, of Scotland Yard, arrived at Sevenoaks he left no stone unturned in his search for clues. Police kept a watch on all surrounding highways and byways, dozens…