Monday, November 30, 2009

Peter Jackson's Ghostly Encounter

Wellington film-maker Peter Jackson says he saw a real ghost once. In London for the premiere of The Lovely Bones - a film he has directed from Alice Sebold's story in which a murdered teenage girl gives her viewpoint from heaven - Jackson said he did not know what a real soul was like. But he told reporters that while he could not swear the spirit in the movie was 100 percent accurate, he had seen a real ghost. "It was genuine," said Jackson, who made a 1996 ghost movie, The Frighteners - co-written with his wife Fran Walsh - starring Michael J Fox. His sighting was in an apartment he and his wife had in Wellington's Courtney Place opposite the St James Theatre, when they first met 20 years ago. "I woke up one morning and there was a figure in the room, she was very scary, she had a screaming face, very accusatory, she was a lady about 50 years old," Jackson said."It was terrifying actually, a very scary image and she was at the end of the bed and she glided across the room and disappeared into the wall. "I sat in bed and thought, have I really seen that?" said Jackson. "Then Fran came in. I told her about it and the first thing she said was: 'was it the woman with the screaming face?"' he said. "Fran had seen the same woman in the same room about two years before." Jackson said that when the St James Theatre was being restored a few years ago, people talked about the legend of the woman who committed suicide after being booed off the stage after a bad show in vaudeville days. "They say she manifests herself in the theatre with a screaming face. Sometimes she's seen - the same ghost. She needs to learn to smile a little."

Voices In Graveyard Mention Billy The Kid; Ghost Hunter Investigates

The news came by e-mail: “Hi Mathias. I may have an interesting story brewing for you,” Jordan resident Kathy Machowski, a ghost hunter a founding member of Beyond the Veil, wrote earlier this fall. “I was in a graveyard not to far from Jordan, and I was doing my ghostie thing. Well, I got an EVP of a man saying, ‘William Bonney.’” Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are sound recordings believed to be the voice of a spirit. Often, EVP’s are not heard at first, but after an investigation, ghost hunters analyze recordings to catch signs of a ghost. Cemeteries are very active with EVP’s, Machowski said. One of Machowski’s recent EVP’s was distinct and quizzical. Someone had mentioned William Bonney, an alias used by Billy the Kid. “I thought, Wow ... William Bonney has never been known to have been in Minnesota,” the e-mail from Machowski continued. “I am going to be going back to see if I can get more EVP’s and to check the headstones.” The ghost hunter returned twice to the Lydia Zion United Methodist Church cemetery in Spring Lake Township, talking and recording. The first time, her EVP’s turned up a woman who did not mention the frontier outlaw, who according to legend, killed 21 men, one for each year of his life.The number is disputed. As was his death, Machowski said. The man who claimed to have killed Billy the Kid never received the bounty placed on the head of his notorious prize, Machowski said. The gravesite of Billy the Kid, born Henry McCarty, is unknown. “With all this information, could he have survived?” Machowski said in an interview. “Maybe. Can’t say.” Machowski’s suspicion had been that he was buried in Lydia, but her search – even for aliases, including his dearest friend’s names – ended empty handed. But after a short ghost hunt last week with the Jordan Independent staff, she analyzed her recordings and wrote another e-mail: “There was a man and a woman there at the graveyard when we were there. Some of the voices are very faint and hard to hear. … When I asked about dropping the name of William Bonney, I got a woman saying, ‘Fame.’” Then, in the same location as she had recorded the first mention of William Bonney, she recorded a man saying, “He’s dead.” A friend of hers searched the gravestones for Billy the Kid’s aliases, as well. He did not find any, but he searched for the birth certificates of the deceased. One of them could not be found, raising further suspicion with Machowski. “That place isn’t that big,” Machowski said in an interview. “And a lot of them have the same name, because you know, a family-oriented town.”

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Evidence Of Life On Mars

Nasa scientists have produced the most compelling evidence yet that bacterial life exists on Mars. It showed that microscopic worm-like structures found in a Martian meteorite that hit the Earth 13,000 years ago are almost certainly fossilised bacteria. The so-called bio-morphs are embedded beneath the surface layers of the rock, suggesting that they were already present when the meteorite arrived, rather than being the result of subsequent contamination by Earthly bacteria. “This is very strong evidence of life on Mars,” said David Mackay, a senior scientist at the Nasa Johnson Space Centre , who was part of the team of scientists that originally investigated the meteorite when it was discovered in 1984. In a 1996 study of the sample, Dr Mackay and others argued that the microfossils were evidence of life, but sceptics dismissed the claims, saying that similar-shaped structures might not be biological. The new analyses, the product of high resolution electron microscopy, make a strong case for the Allan Hills 84001 Meteorite having carried Martian life to Earth. The microscopes were focused on tiny magnetite crystals present in the surface layers of the meteorite, which have the form of simple bacteria. Some argued that these could be the result of a carbonate breaking down in the heat of the impact. The new analyses show that this is very unlikely to have resulted in the kinds of structures seen in the rock. Close examination suggested that about 25 per cent of the crystal structures were chemically consistent with being formed from bacteria. “We feel vindicated. We’ve shown the alternate explanation is absolutely incorrect, leading us back to our original position that these structures are formed by bacteria on Mars,” Dr Mackay said.Dennis Bazylinski, an astrobiologist from the University of Nevada who peer-reviewed the findings, said: “Until now I was on the fence but this paper has really thrown out the non-biological explanation.” However, he added that the study was not a “smoking gun” for life on Mars. “One meteorite is never going to answer such a complex question,” he said. According to scientists, the meteorite was broken off the surface of Mars by the impact of an asteroid, and reached Earth after floating through space for about 16 million years. It landed in Allan Hills in Antarctica. Scientists were able to trace the meteorite back to Mars, as its chemical composition matched the relative proportions of various gases measured in observations of the atmosphere of Mars made by the Viking spacecraft in the 1970s. The meteorite also preserves evidence of liquid water on Mars, suggesting that the planet may have had more suitable conditions for life to develop in the past. The investigation was published in the November issue of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, the journal of the Geochemical and Meteoritic Society. Nasa is expected to announce the findings formally on Monday. The team has also been studying two other Martian meteorites — Nakhla, which landed in Egypt in 1911, and Yamato 593, which was found by a Japanese expedition to Antarctica. In research due to be published shortly, the scientists claim that both of these fossils also show evidence of microbial life. Bill Clinton, then the US President, said of the research in 1997: “It speaks of the possibility of life. If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely be one of the most stunning insights into our Universe that science has ever uncovered. Its implications are as far-reaching and awe-inspiring as can be imagined.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bizarre Calf Mutilations Found On Colorado Ranch

A creepy string of calf mutilations in southern Colorado has a rancher and sheriff's officials mystified. Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks. The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed. But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock. Two officers from the Costilla County Sheriff's Office have investigated the mutilations but say they don't know what's killing the calves. "There's nothing really to go by," said Sanchez, who's ranched for nearly 50 years. "I can't figure it out."A spokesman for the sheriff's office told The Pueblo Chieftain that investigators doubt a person butchered the calves because there is no blood at the scene. "I've butchered a cow before and I know what kind of a mess it leaves," Sgt. James Chavez said. Some in the area believe the mutilations are the work of aliens. An area UFO chaser, Chuck Zukowski of Colorado Springs, has been to the Costilla County pasture to investigate. He told the paper there have been other unexplained calf mutilations in the area, including three in March. One of the other calves, found dead on a ranch near Trinidad, had its ears removed, Zukowski said. "We're trying as much as we can to find a pattern," said Zukowski, who runs a UFO Web site called Sanchez said he has sold off his 32 remaining calves out of fear more would be mutilated. He hasn't decided how he'll manage the remaining 40 animals in his herd. "It's a big loss for a small rancher," he said.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Witchdoctor held over child sacrifice

Police in Ntungamo are holding a 36-year-old witchdoctor who allegedly sacrificed his client’s baby and forcefully had sex with her. Mr Ballam Mugisha from Kagando Kafunjo Sub-county, was arrested last week after he allegedly sacrificed Vangilista Ahimbisibwe’s baby. According to the Police, Ms Ahimbisibwe, 38, a resident of Kiruhura District, had in August sought the witchdoctor’s help after her legs began swelling. The acting officer in charge of Criminal Investigations, Mr Charles Muhereza, said Mugisha convinced the expectant woman to travel to Ntungamo with him for treatment. Getting to Kahengye Sub-county in Ntungamo, the witchdoctor took her to a shrine, where he reportedly had sex with her, claiming it was the most efficient way of administering the medication.The medicineman then held Ms Ahimbisibwe hostage, allegedly using a snake to bar her from leaving the shrine. In the two months, the woman, according to Police went into labour, but the witchdoctor reportedly bludgeoned the newly-born baby. Mugisha then announced that he was travelling to Tanzania to get more medicine, giving Ms Ahimbisibwe room to escape and seek Police help. The Police say they will investigate the validity of the accusations before preferring charges.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Patient Trapped In A 23-Year 'Coma' Was Conscious All Along

A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night. Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed. He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said. 'I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,' said Mr Houben, now 46. Doctors used a range of coma tests, recognised worldwide, before reluctantly concluding that his consciousness was 'extinct'. But three years ago, new hi-tech scans showed his brain was still functioning almost completely normally. Mr Houben describes the moment as 'my second birth'. Therapy has since allowed him to tap out messages on a computer screen. Mr Houben said: 'All that time I just literally dreamed of a better life. Frustration is too small a word to describe what I felt.' His case has only just been revealed in a scientific paper released by the man who 'saved' him, top neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys. 'Medical advances caught up with him,' said Dr Laureys, who believes there may be many similar cases of false comas around the world. The disclosure will also renew the right-to-die debate over whether people in comas are truly unconscious. Mr Houben, a former martial arts enthusiast, was paralysed in 1983. Doctors in Zolder, Belgium, used the internationally accepted Glasgow Coma Scale to assess his eye, verbal and motor responses. But each time he was graded incorrectly. Only a re-evaluation of his case at the University of Liege discovered that he had lost control of his body but was still fully aware of what was happening. He is never likely to leave hospital, but as well as his computer he now has a special device above his bed which lets him read books while lying down. Mr Houben said: 'I shall never forget the day when they discovered what was truly wrong with me - it was my second birth.'I want to read, talk with my friends via the computer and enjoy my life now that people know I am not dead.' Dr Laureys's new study claims that patients classed as in a vegetative state are often misdiagnosed. 'Anyone who bears the stamp of "unconscious" just one time hardly ever gets rid of it again,' he said. The doctor, who leads the Coma Science Group and Department of Neurology at Liege University Hospital, found Mr Houben's brain was still working by using state-of-the-art imaging. He plans to use the case to highlight what he considers may be similar examples around the world. Dr Laureys said: 'In Germany alone each year some 100,000 people suffer from severe traumatic brain injury. 'About 20,000 are followed by a coma of three weeks or longer. Some of them die, others regain health. 'But an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people a year remain trapped in an intermediate stage - they go on living without ever coming back again.' Supporters of euthanasia and assisted suicide argue that people who have lain in persistent vegetative states for years should be given the opportunity to have crucial medical support withdrawn because of the 'indignity' of their condition. But there have been several cases in which people judged to be in vegetative states or deep comas have recovered. Twenty years ago, Carrie Coons, an 86-year-old from New York, regained consciousness after a year, took small amounts of food by mouth and engaged in conversation. Only days before her recovery, a judge had granted her family's request for the removal of the feeding tube which had been keeping her alive. In the UK in 1993, doctors switched off the life support system keeping alive Tony Bland, a 22-year- old who had been in a coma for three years following the Hillsborough disaster. Dr Laureys was not available for comment yesterday and it is not clear why he thought Mr Houben should have the hi-tech screening when so many years had passed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Policeman To Answer Exorcism Charges

A South Australian policeman will face charges early next year related to an alleged exorcism at a church camp. Roger Sketchley, 28, was off duty when he and others allegedly tried to perform an exorcism on a 15-year-old boy in April at a camp run by the Lutheran Church in SA's Barossa Valley.Sketchley was stood down as a senior constable after he was charged with false imprisonment and assault. Sketchley and his co-accused Michael Schultz, 46, who faces the same charges, were not present in the Adelaide Magistrates Court when their case was listed on Friday. Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis ordered the duo to answer the charges on January 15 next year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sting: 'I Saw A Ghost In Our Haunted House'

Sting has claimed he once confronted a ghost which wandered into his room at the dead of night. The singer, who famously sang Spirits In The Material World in the 1980s, said wife Trudie Styler also witnessed the figure, standing with a child in the corner of their bedroom. Sting said he also experienced flying objects and mysterious voices in one of his homes in an interview aired by Radio 2. He said: "I would never have said I believe in ghosts, until I saw one - and I've seen a ghost with my own eyes." The musician, whose former band The Police recorded an album Ghost In The Machine, continued: "I was in bed one night, a very old house I used to live in.
Sting has claimed he once confronted a ghost which wandered into his room at the dead of night.
And I woke up at three in the morning, bolt upright, looked into the corner of the room and thought I saw Trudie standing there with a child - our child - in her arms, staring at me. "And I thought 'well, that's strange - why is she standing in a corner, staring at me?'. And I then reached next to me and there was Trudie, and I suddenly got this terrible chill. And she woke up and said 'Gosh, who is that?' and she saw this woman and a child in the corner of the room." Sting told presenter Claudia Winkleman, in an interview to be broadcast tomorrow night at 10pm, that the figure simply disappeared. He added: "A lot of things happened in that house, a lot of flying objects and voices and strange, strange things happened. "When you live in old houses you get this energy there. Intellectually, no I don't believe in them (ghosts), but I've experienced them on an emotional level."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chinese Diners Eat Live Fish

The film, in which a part-fried fish is shown breathing and wriggling on a plate as it is being slowly eaten alive in a restaurant, has been posted on the video-sharing website YouTube. In order to keep the carp alive chefs cook its body but wrap its head in a wet cloth to keep it breathing, before covering it in sauce and serving in on a plate. The YouTube video shows diners, who are laughing and joking, prodding the fish while it is still moving, before picking it apart with chopsticks. Peta, the animal rights group, called the video, which had more than 120,000 views on YouTube in a week, "disgusting". A spokesperson said: "Every decent person should be shocked when anyone mocks or abuses a helpless dying animal." It is not the first time that the Chinese have been criticised for their extreme eating habits.
Reports have claimed some restaurants offer monkey's brains. Other dishes include rats, dogs, snakes, lizards and baby mice. Last month Stephen Fry was criticised by the Chinese embassy after he singled out the Chinese culture as being the biggest threat to some endangered species. “It is not very pleasant for us to single out a culture, but, if you care about lions and tigers and whales and sharks, it is the Far East and the way they eat, or the way they attempt to cure themselves, that seems to be the biggest threat," he said. A spokesman at the Chinese embassy responded: “I don’t think it is fair to accuse other cultures of having certain negative habits and traditions. “We have our traditions, as the Spanish have bullfighting, and you, until recently, had foxhunting. We did not criticise you or the Spanish for this. Tiger bones for traditional medicine are now banned, to the suffering of the Chinese industry.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mysterious Sea Creature Spotted in Florida Canal

Russ Sittloh says a mysterious serpent-like creature that's at least 20 feet long has been swimming in the canal behind his Madeira Beach home and he wants to find out what it is. "The head will come up and then it will disappear and then the next thing you know, you'll see a couple rolls behind it," Sittloh said. Sittloh has named the creature "Normandy Nessie" after the road he lives on. The 78-year-old retired engineer has also set up a camera to capture video of the creature and so far he's recorded "Normandy Nessie" six times. "When I first saw it (in April) I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was so unreal." But Sittloh is not the only person who claims to have seen a mysterious serpent-like creature swimming around Madeira Beach. Bill Van Aken and his wife, Maria, say they have both seen it."I didn't see the tail come out of the water like Russ did, but I could see the wake that it was leaving. It had to be at least 15-feet or longer," Bill Van Aken said. After watching some of the videos Sittloh has recorded, a biologist with Florida Fish and Wildlife says the creature in question appears to be a manatee. "Like I said, the rate of speed and the size looks indicative of a large adult manatee taking a break and going back down," Andy Garrett with FWC said. But Sittloh insists it's not a manatee. "I've swam with manatees, I've swam with sharks, I've swam with sea snakes, there is no way it's a manatee." Sittloh says it's possible the creature could be an anaconda but he says "Normandy Nessie" has a tail fin that's not consistent with snakes. You can find Sittloh's videos by going to and searching for "Normandy Nessie." Sittloh adds he's seen at least two of the sea creatures and he's concerned they could be dangerous.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Highland Tourists Capture 'Ghost' Near Old Hanging Tree

A French couple touring the Highlands claim to have photographed a ghost on the former site of a hanging tree. The couple claim the spooky figure appears in a photograph they took in the High Street in Fort William, in the West Highlands. The site - the location of the Old Fort's hanging tree - is said to have been known for ghostly appearances since the tree was chopped down in the 1970s. Sophie Mager, 32, and Remy Puckey, 40, from Jaux, just north of Paris, did not see the apparition in front of them but were baffled when it appeared in Sophie's picture. They were spooked further when locals explained the spot was the site of the hanging tree, and there had been previous unexplained goings-on there. The night-time image shows the bright lights of the houses in the town. In front, just before the camera lens, there is a white mist or smoke-like veil blocking the view. But the couple, who work for ground services agents for French airlines, insist the sky was clear at the time and they have not altered their image in any way. Ms Mager said: "It was amazing and I swear that it is not a picture with special effects. "We didn't see the ghost on the spot, but discovered it when we looked on the picture. Many strange things are happening in Fort William."Mr Puckey, who had looked forward to the five-day visit to Scotland because of his late grandfather from Aberdeen, said: "We showed it to the staff of the West End Hotel in Fort William, where we were staying. They too found the apparition intriguing - but scary." The hanging tree had been utilised in the 18th century by successive governors of the fort for the execution of Highland clansmen who fell foul of their regime. The tree, which had stood outside the fort walls for 300 years, was felled in the 1970s to make way for the town's new library and for an outdoor equipment store. When it was cut down, local people claimed that its demise would bring with it the Gaelic witchcraft prophecy of the "Buidseachd" - pronounced "Bootchach" - a curse of ill omen. On the morning after Fort William Library was opened alongside where the hanging tree had stood, staff claimed they came in to find the front door ajar, despite having locked it the previous night. They claimed books, paintings and pot plants were strewn over the floor, empty toilets were flushing, and there were the sounds of canine snuffling noises, although there was no dog on the premises. Meanwhile, an electric typewriter was working on its own but printing characters upside down. Staff were so frightened by this scene that they fled the building.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oliver Cromwell's Ghost Spotted At Hertford Hotel

Puritanical poltergeist activity has taken place at a Hertford hotel according to a ghost hunter's website. For the spectre of England's late Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell, has been haunting The Salisbury Arms Hotel. The Fore Street hostelry, formerly known as The Bell, is home to a host of ghosts according to the site which recounts details of a terrifying encounter.The report, posted on November 11, says: "Once, when the cleaners were working on the first floor, a middle-aged man dressed in black crossed the corridor and walked into the room where a hotplate was kept. He was seen by a cleaner who thought he may be a lost guest and went to assist him. But no assistance could be offered as the room was empty and there were no other exits. The ghost is believed by some to be Oliver Cromwell." The account adds: "There are many features on the inside including exposed beams and a Jacobean staircase. Oliver Cromwell stayed here overnight in 1647 before reviewing his troops nearby.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday The 13th Strikes Fear In The Hearts Of Millions

Henry Ford would have hated 2009, and not just because it's been a tough year to sell cars. Ford, as the story goes, refused to do business on Friday the 13th, and this week marks the third time this year that the 13th will fall on a Friday — the most times it can happen in one year. It's a day when people rearrange travel plans, delay surgery or just pull up the covers and stay in bed until Friday the 13th turns into Saturday the 14th, convinced that even stepping out of the house would cause bad luck to find them the way an anvil finds the head of Wile E. Coyote. "They're afraid something tragic or ominous would happen," said Donald Dossey, a North Carolina behavioral scientist and author who said he named the fear — paraskavedekatriaphobia — proof that he does not suffer from hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, the fear of long words. Some feel they're just being cautious the way Ford, Napoleon and President Franklin Roosevelt were said to have been. Elizabeth Lampert, a consultant in Alamo, Calif., said she doesn't avoid everything on the 13th, but would "absolutely, absolutely" delay something like surgery. "There are only a few Friday the 13ths, so why test fate?" Lampert said. The phobia around the 13th is a cousin to triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. Even today, the Otis Elevator Company knows better than to include a button with a 13 on it in elevators all over the world, said spokesman Dilip Rangnekar. The supposedly unlucky number, triskaidekaphobes say, is the reason behind the explosion of Apollo 13, which took off at exactly 1:13 p.m. (1313 military time) on 4/11/70 (digits that add up to 13, naturally). It's also the number that prompted FDR to alter his own travel plans on any day of the week that landed on the 13th. "FDR would not depart on a (train) trip on the 13th," said Thomas Fernsler, a University of Delaware mathematician who has studied the number enough to earn the moniker "Dr. 13." He recounted a story that originated with FDR's personal secretary, Grace Tully, who said the former president would order the train to leave the station before midnight on the 12th or after midnight on the morning of the 14th. In a final act, FDR died in 1945 on April 12. Thursday, April 12. "He avoided traveling to the beyond on the 13th," joked Bob Clark, head archivist at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The origins of all this fear of the number 13 and Friday the 13th are open for debate. Some say it has to do with a particular Friday the 13th in the 1300s, when some particularly unlucky knights were burned at the stake. Fernsler suspects it may have something to do with Jesus Christ, who was crucified on a Friday after a Last Supper attended by 13 people, one of whom was Judas Iscariot.Dossey has his money on Norse mythology when Loki — referred to in the Encyclopaedia Britannica as a "cunning trickster" — crashed a party of 12 gods at Valhalla. "That's really when the number 13 became unlucky," he explained. It is impossible to tell just how many people out there are changing their plans. But one person who has made a living getting inside people's heads — The Amazing Kreskin, who bills himself as "the world's foremost mentalist" — said he's seen for himself how seriously people from all walks of life take Friday the 13th. "There are many, many people in the business world who do not fly on Friday the 13th," said Kreskin, who legally changed his name from George Kresge Jr. But in Chicago, for example, neither O'Hare International Airport nor United Airlines has noticed any drop in the number of people flying on Friday the 13th. "It's an old wives' tale," said United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski in an e-mail. The same goes for two of the biggest hospitals in the city — Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the University of Chicago Medical Center — where it appears people are just as likely go to go under the knife that day as any other, and aren't rushing to the doctor, either. "When it's Friday the 13th, you wonder if it is going to be busier ... but people aren't coming into the ER panicking, saying 'I just realized it's Friday the 13th, give me Xanax or Valium,'" said Dr. Pedro Dago, a Northwestern psychiatrist. Not only that, but if Wall Street is any indication, Friday the 13th may actually be a lucky day. The stock market, it turns out, tends to do better on Friday the 13th, rising by an average of .04 percent on each of the past 185 Friday the 13ths, according to the Bespoke Investment Group, a Harrison, N.Y.-based investment research firm. That's double the average .02 percent gain, but a little worse than other Fridays, which are generally good days for stocks. And Friday the 13th might be just the thing to prompt people to go ahead with their plans. Lampert, the same consultant who said she would not have surgery on that day, said she originally had reservations about agreeing to a first date this Friday night, but now thinks calendar can work in her favor. "I look at the calendar and say it's a 50-50 shot I'd like him and if I don't it's not my fault," she said. As for Dr. 13, while he loves to point out things like how Fidel Castro and Butch Cassidy were both born on Friday the 13th and notices when he checks into a hotel if his room number adds up to 13, he doesn't want people to misunderstand. "I don't buy any of this," Fernsler said. "I'm just a math guy."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Villager Leaves Mysterious Burnt Footprints

An early morning walk to his farm has left footprints which burnt portions of grass on his village lawn. Villager Sikeli Nadiri, who lives in Daroko settlement, outside Savusavu, is baffled as he tries to figure out the cause of his mysterious brown prints. The incident has attracted fellow villagers to his house to have a feel of his feet trying to find a clue to the mystery. Mr Nadiri said it happened the previous week on Wednesday when he went to his farm to tend to his cows. The ground he walked on were seen scorched the next morning leaving footprints leading from his house to the farm. He said on Thursday, villagers were talking about the strange footprints which had turned brown. He was told of news when villagers noticed that the scorched portions of grass had started from his house.
Sikeli Nadiri showing his footprints which has scorched the grass
Mr Nadiri said he followed the footprints and told the villagers that it was his footprints but he had no idea how the withered portion came about. Last week, police visited him on Tuesday and the ground he walked on during the interview was also affected. The next day, Mr Nadiri said he followed the footsteps he took during the interview and noticed the same kind of footprints. The grass had withered and turned brown in colour. Mr Nadiri said he had two sets of footprints in two separate weeks. He said he didn't step on any chemical before walking to his farm to check on the cows. Mr Nadiri said if he had stepped on chemicals, his feet would have been affected. He said there were no traditional links or history related to his mysterious footsteps. Strange it may seem, the incident has not stirred any fear or trouble in the village as the villagers continue to live their lives as usual.

Ghost Hunters Say Voice Led Them To Bones

A historic Brooke County, W. Va., mansion is at the center of a police and paranormal investigation after skeletal remains were found hidden behind a brick wall. Gene Valentine, the building's owner, told reporters that it all started when a paranormal research group came to the Aspen Manor to hunt for ghosts. While there, some members of the Brooke County Paranormal Society said they sensed someone was buried in a basement wall and said they followed the voice to the area. "A couple of the psychics that were part of that group got physically sick when they went down there and they couldn't figure out why," said Valentine. The paranormal group came to the 76,000-square foot mansion in search of spirits, but had no idea they would find skeletal remains. "It wasn't what we actually went in looking for," said Kathy Larntz, a member of the group. Larntz said they found a bone on the floor, so she picked it up thinking it was probably an animal bone. She kept digging, and as she did, she found more and more bones. Sheriff Richard Ferguson said the bones had "been chopped up into pieces" and had saw marks on them. The remains were removed from the wall and are being sent to the state medical examiner, who will determine if they are human or animal."They found some questionable bones and I still cannot confirm or deny that they're human," Ferguson said. "They appear to be very old, but still intact, and we have no time frame. We're actually looking back into the history of this area." In the meantime, in the former nuns' quarters, Larntz said she, her husband and another investigator made another finding. She said the trio was using electronic voice phenomenon equipment and heard clicking sounds. "Nuns would use these clickers when kids would get like really loud (and) wouldn't settle down, they'd start clicking," she said. Valentine said he isn't surprised by the findings. "I've had a few psychic friends walk through here and they've had really bad reactions in the house," Valentine said. He said he is restricting access to the mansion until the sheriff's department gets more answers. The sprawling Aspen Manor mansion was built in 1895 by the Vandergrift family as a boys' getaway that hosted gambling and cockfights. Later, the Catholic community took over and turned it into an assisted living home where nuns and priests once lived. The mansion has since been converted to a bed and breakfast.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Eerie Screams Spook Villagers

This could easily be a Halloween movie but the murder of a woman, eerie screams, and the discovery of skeletal remains in a well are not spooking moviegoers in cinemas but the residents of Kampung MIC here. All was well in the village until Oct 6 when a woman was found murdered in her house; her 22-year-old son who is the prime suspect had allegedly put her body in a travelling bag and left it under the kitchen sink. That was enough to put the village residents in a state of heebie-jeebies. Their anxiety deepened last Wednesday when the suspect led the police to the skeletal remains of a woman in a well. Since then, several residents have claimed that they are hearing eerie screams. Cleaner Rokiah Sarumin, 60, said she had been living in the area for 30 years but the noises only started after the skeletal remains were discovered in the well. “Initially my neighbour asked me whether I heard screams at night but I just dismissed it as a joke. “However, at about 3am on Friday, I, too, heard screams,” she said, adding that she immediately recited prayers. Rokiah said the screaming continued for several minutes and then died off. Of the woman who had been murdered, Rokiah refuted media reports that she was deaf and mute, saying they had spoken to each other everyday.
House of the dead: Nasrul looking at the house where the man allegedly killed his mother at Kampung MIC in Johor Baru.
Housewife Salmah Hanim, 45, said the eerie noise came from the well. “My house is near the well where the skeletal remains were found and the first time I heard the voice was on Thursday morning at around 3am. “I was terrified and told my husband but he dismissed it,” she said, adding that she planned to talk to her husband about moving out of the area. Rokiah’s grandson Nasrul Amrani, 19, who works in a petrol station, said the suspect hardly spoke to his neighbours. Nasrul said he had only seen the son raising his voice after he had consumed alcohol. Yesterday, Johor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Datuk Amer Awal said police were still trying to identify the skeleton remains in the well. For now, he said all they knew was that the remains were those of a woman aged between 20 and 30 years. He said the police were investigating whether the woman was either a family member or the suspect’s lover. “We are looking through our missing persons record. We also urge members of the public who have someone missing over the last six months to lodge a police report,” he said. He said the suspect was at Hospital Permai for psychiatric evaluation.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Suzie Park, A Real Life Vampire

AS the clock strikes midnight Lady V raises a goblet to her lips and takes several hearty gulps. Finally her thirst is quenched - thanks to the warm human BLOOD she has just downed. By day Suzie Park is a married volunteer who helps disabled kids learn to read, bake cakes and sing songs. But when night falls, she transforms into Lady V - a vampire who sleeps in an antique coffin, shuns garlic and dresses only in black. Suzie, 36, says: "All my life there was something missing, an itch I couldn't scratch. Then six years ago I met a man called Lord Sebastian, who lived as a vampire and introduced me to his ways. "From my first taste of human blood I knew that's what my life was missing. I knew I had found the real me - and Lady V was born." Today, vampire stories featuring the mythical fanged beings who gorge on blood are as popular as ever. Later this month, British pin-up Robert Pattinson returns to cinemas as vampire Edward Cullen in Hollywood fantasy New Moon, the second instalment in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. Meanwhile, the hit US vampire series True Blood is currently showing on Channel 4. According to Suzie, real-life vampires first emerged in the 1980s as an offshoot of the punk movement. The main difference between them and their fictional counterparts is that the human vamps don't bite people to get their fix of blood - and are clearly not "undead" souls trapped in a permanent limbo with an unhealthy fear of daylight. Suzie's own fascination with vampires began when she was a teenager living in New York. She was into goth music, which set her apart from her peers, and she became a loner.
Suzie Park relaxes in her coffin
She says: "My life was in tatters. I had no job, no prospects and was really depressed." Then, in 2003, she went to an underground club and her life took a sinister turn. She continues: "Out of nowhere I felt a tap on my shoulder and a man whispered into my ear. He told me he could save me from my forsaken life. "He was tall and thin and wearing a black cloak that almost reached the floor. He had long black hair down his back. "He was called Lord Sebastian and he took me to an old house on the outskirts of the city. This was the House of Exmortal, a cult where I learned to live as a vampire." In the following weeks Suzie was slowly accepted into the group as they grew to trust her. While by day she worked as a senior clerk for a security company, at night she attended vampire meetings. Sometimes they would prowl the streets by moonlight before returning to sleep in coffins. Garlic was forbidden and the house had to remain a secret from the outside world. The ultimate test came when Suzie was asked to enter the cult's closely-guarded Inferno Room and drink human blood. She says: "I wasn't nervous about trying it, I was excited. It was just another step on the road to becoming a fully-fledged vampire. "When I went into the Inferno Room for the first time it felt so right. I watched as Lord Sebastian cut a vein and trickled blood into a goblet. Then I drank from the cup. It tasted warm and metallic and as it went down I felt a rush of euphoria. "It was almost like the blood was giving me new life, restoring me. I felt like I had finally come home." But in 2005 tragedy struck when Lord Sebastian was killed in a road accident and the leaderless cult decided to disband. Later that year, Suzie was in an internet chatroom when she struck up a conversation with Nottingham electrician Paul Davies, 41. She recalls: "We hit it off immediately and soon we were chatting every night. Paul liked the goth scene and we seemed to have loads in common. "Eventually he asked me to come and live with him in the UK.
Suzie Park's Everyday look
"Although I was very keen, I didn't know how he would react to my vampire ways. I had told him a bit about the cult but not about the twice-weekly blood-drinking. Of course, I don't take other people's - I cut the vein in my left arm and drink my own. "It's the only thing that quenches my thirst and makes me feel alive. "This was the real test of how much Paul cared for me - but in the end he was fine." In 2007 Suzie started a new life with Paul in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Notts, making gothic lamps for a living. Although their home was soon overrun with her creepy memorabilia, he was unfazed by her bizarre lifestyle. Suzie says: "Paul loves my bespoke vampire teeth, which I had made by a professional fangsmith for £60. "My red contact lenses were £120 at a specialist dress hire store. "Sadly, there isn't room for both Paul and me in my coffin, so I retreat there to sleep alone three or four times a week. "It's lined with red velvet and lovely and comfy. Pulling down the lid is also a great way to block out the sound of his snoring. "I'm very fortunate Paul understands what I do and in March last year we finally got married in a truly gothic ceremony, dressed all in black." Earlier this year Suzie began volunteering as a teaching assistant at a home for disabled children. She says: "The kids and teachers don't know about my habit because I don't want to freak anyone out. "In fact, being a vampire isn't as strange as you think. There are loads of us out there in the UK, especially in the bigger cities. "My vampire friends and I aren't bad, so no one has anything to be scared of. In fact, there could even be one living next door to you. You just never know."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Haunted Hotel Scares Up Guests

The tale of a woman who was chopped to bits and burned in the furnace at a northeast Edmonton building doesn't scare people away. In fact, it attracts them. On Halloween, the 1912-era former luxury apartment building turned bed and breakfast was fully booked with guests curious to see the slain woman's ghost. "People just love it," said Mike Comeau, co-owner and caretaker of La Boheme, 6427 112 Ave. According to legend, Comeau says, the building's original caretaker murdered his wife and dragged her down three flights of stairs. "The word is he cut her up in pieces and burned her body in the furnace." The original coal-fired boiler where the gruesome crime is said to have taken place is still in use, though it's been converted to gas.Although the truth of the horrific murder is uncertain and there are no records of it at the city archives, many overnight guests say there's a spirit haunting the creaky- floored antique-style rooms. Last winter, a regular customer was sleeping in suite seven, said to be the most haunted room, when he says his bed lifted right off the ground. "I was screaming, 'Stop!' and I was slapping myself to make sure I was awake," said Larry Finnson, an advertising businessman from Winnipeg. Another time a female employee was doing laundry in the dimly lit basement near the furnace room when she felt someone touch her. She was so startled she ran up the stairs screaming and never came back, said Comeau. "There's a ghost there," said Finnson, who described himself as a skeptic turned believer. "The ghost ain't gonna hurt you but it will freak you out if (it) wants to."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Erie Face On Door No Devilish Prank, Says Homeowner

The Erie Demon, or, the Demon of Erie -- either way, it's perfect for the season. Never heard of it? Neither had Mike Noble -- of Erie -- until, according to him, it showed up at his house earlier this week, just in time for Halloween. Mr. Noble says the previously non-existent visage appeared at around 7 p.m. Tuesday on his 10-year-old son Nate's wooden bedroom door. The face -- clearly visible in the grain of the wood on the outside of the door -- appears demonic, with two menacing eyes, pointed eyebrows, flaring nostrils and an elongated smile. As of Friday afternoon, when a photographer with The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus showed up to take a picture, the Demon of Erie still was visable on the door. Mr. Noble knows there will be non-believers. But he says it's no hoax. "It's weird, it's crazy,'' Mr. Noble said Friday. "I know what you might be thinking and I thought about it as well, but it's there. Others have seen it, and there are photos. It's bigger -- and stranger -- than you might think.'' Mr. Noble says he has brought friends, family and co-workers to his home this week to show them the demon on the door."Their response is always, 'It's weird,' Mr. Noble says. "First, they say that it's 'something' for sure, and then they say it's weird. People are shocked when they see it. My kids think it's weird, but aren't scared by it. They bring friends over and they think it's freaky. It gives us something to talk about.'' Mr. Noble says he and his family have lived in their Erie home for 13 months and have not had any other strange occurrences or demonic-looking shadows come calling. That the demon's face has stayed for several days, he says, proves it's not a shadow cast from a tree or from something else the wind has blown past a window. "You would think something would have given us a hint or that we would have seen it before,'' Mr. Noble says. "I know I keep saying, 'It's crazy,' but other than that all I can think of is, 'It's weird.' "That it's happening around Halloween makes it even stranger,'' he says. "Heck of a time for it to show up. The pictures prove it's no hoax. It's really something, like a little demon.''

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Strange Happenings At Coroner's Office

Workers at an Illinois coroner's office said unexplained sounds and other strange happenings began when a body was left in a cooler for months. Robert Barrett, senior deputy coroner with the Lake County Coroner's office, said workers began hearing strange knocking sounds and glimpsing figures walking around the autopsy room after the body of a woman who died in a nursing home was inadvertently left in a cooler for several months before she was identified, the Chicago Tribune reported. "Some things that have happened here have made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up," said Barrett, who described himself as skeptical of the supernatural."The first time I heard the knocking on the inside of the cooler, I was here at night by myself," Barrett said. "I didn't get up for at least an hour or two, so if anyone did come out I was at a safe distance." County Coroner Richard Keller said he has also had mysterious experiences at the office. "Shortly after I took office I went to check for a pulse on a woman and when I touched her I received some sort of electric shock and was knocked back into a sitting position," he said. "It was quite a surprise. I looked around to see if there were any wires down or something to explain it, but there was none of that."

Kukaniloko Birthing Stones

There are a number of places across the Hawaiian Islands that were sacred to the ancient Hawaiians. Some believe that spirits remain in one particular site in Central Oahu, in the middle of a sugar cane field. Just off Kamehameha Highway, opposite the road to Whitmore Village, there's a dirt path that leads to one of the most sacred and significant cultural sites on Oahu. Welcome to Kukaniloko -- also known as the Royal Birthing Stones -- said to be the geographic center of the island. Centuries ago, high-ranking Hawaiian women were carried here to give birth to potential "ali'i" or chiefs on these unusually shaped "pohaku" or rocks. Today, Kukaniloko is a tourist destination. At least during the daytime. We came back at night with famed ghost storyteller and Hawaiian historian Lopaka Kapanui. "Why are we here at night and not during the day? Well we're here at night because at night is when it becomes unusual," said Lopaka. Unusual feelings, smells, sights, and noises. "Out in the distance for the past few seconds we've been hearing a screeching sound," said Lopaka. And lopaka had a feeling we weren't alone. Do you see what appears to be three figures in the distance? Not only that. "Where I'm shining the light, the beam is where I could see the shapes, right outside the outer perimeter of where we're standing," said Lopaka.And take a look at these photos we took with our digital cameras. They also reveal we may not have been alone. Some of our pictures had orbs, or balls of light. Those who deal with paranormal activity believe that orbs represent spiritual energy. One of our pictures also had a strange white image in the corner. But of all our photos, this one was the most interesting -- and freaky. Lopaka sometimes brings his ghost tours to the Birthing Stones. "On occasions like this where it's absolutely still and there's been no wind, these coconut fronds will begin to vibrate back and forth," said Lopaka. As for the pohaku, legend has it, some of these still have spiritual powers. But is it simply a legend? Lopaka doesn't think so. "Usually I ask a volunteer female volunteer on my tours to sit on this pohaku and we all take a picture of that very special female who does that and on more than one occasion that female will emphatically say they are no longer able to get pregnant or she and her husband aren't trying, and I get a phone call about 3 weeks to half a month later, guess what after sitting on that birthing stone I am now pregnant," said Lopaka. Mere coincidence? One thing's for sure, Kukaniloko, which means "to anchor the cry from within," is a special place. And we'll let you decide if all these images are normal or paranormal.