My tale of the mysterious doppelganger, Sinister Entity, keeps rolling along. I signed on to do a week long book tour this month, starting on May 20th. Here are the stops where you’ll find reviews, interviews and blog posts straight from my diseased mind. I’ll update the links on the SIGNINGS and APPEARANCES page during that week so you can get right to the ruptured heart of things.
OK, I’m well aware that hillbilly TV is the hot thing right now. Duck Dynasty is the #1 reality show on the boob tube. Everything southern is in, from crazy kids with too much time on their hands to gator wrestlers, loggers, pawn shops and everything in between. So it was only a matter of time until Syfy caught on and melded rednecks with ghosts, giving us Deep South Paranormal.
My immediate family are the only ones in the line that are sided with the Yanks. All of my cousins and aunts and uncles can be found in North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. I may live in New York, but I love listening to Gretchen Wilson and Shooter Jennings and pretty much walk around looking like Larry the Cable Guy once the warm weather sets in. I can appreciate the love of the south (though I am no fan of the heat and humidity that comes with the territory).
Fans of shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures may not take a shine to this addition to ParaTV because it’s not really about the ghosts. Nope, Deep South Paranormal is about the folks who like to traipse around haunted places in the dead of night. And oh what a group they’ve assembled.
When you look at the cast, your eyes immediately go to the 2 ZZ Top dudes with beards that leave me green with envy. The true star of the show is old man Hart, a colorful Cajun who walks around with a gris gris stick to call on spirits. He’s fast talking, funny as hell, and introduces us to colorful terms like getting the frissons, which means the shudders. I could watch this guy all day.
Then there’s Keith, our narrator (who makes every episode sound like we’re setting down to catch the latest Dukes of Hazard) and rocker. Keith looks like he’s half asleep most of the time, but he does have a nifty little trick of playing his guitar to pique the interest of any nearby spirits.
Randy is young and brash and has more tats that an Attica lifer. He’s perfectly paired with Hart. Young and old really work well together and you can tell they genuinely like one another.
Jonathan is the head guy and seems to be the more level headed of the group. He’s aided by Benny, who is another funny good old boy, Kali (Randy’s sister) and Kevin, the gadget guy.
So, what makes this show tick? So far, it isn’t the ghosts. Even though they’ve investigated plantations and a saw mill, I’m more amused by watching them feed their friend’s pet gators, suck the breath from a frog for voodoo protection, pluck feathers from a live rooster and go mudding with their trucks.
Is Deep South Paranormal adding anything new to the world of paranormal investigations? No. But they are fun to watch. And it’s about time we had a ghost hunting show where everyone doesn’t walk around as dour as the Tall Man in Phantasm. Thanks Syfy.
While I was perusing the bookstore on Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast website, I came across a tale of a true haunting in the Union Screaming House in Missouri called The Uninvited, by Steve LaChance and Laura Long-Helbig. I’m a sucker for a true ghost story, but the cover sealed the deal for me.
Here’s the publisher’s description of the book:
In this true and terrifying firsthand account, Steven LaChance reveals how he and his three children were driven from their Union, Missouri, home by demonic attackers.
LaChance chronicles how the house’s relentless supernatural predators infest those around them. He consults paranormal investigators, psychics, and priests, but the demonic attacks—screams, growls, putrid odors, invisible shoves, bites, and other physical violations—only grow worse. The entities clearly demonstrate their wrath and power: killing family pets, sexually assaulting individuals, even causing two people to be institutionalized.
The demons’ next target is the current homeowner, Helen. When the entities take possession and urge Helen toward murder and madness, LaChance must engage in a hair-raising battle for her soul.
Yeah baby, that’s the kind of high strangeness that motors my boat. Now, I know that with a lot of these ‘true haunting’, books, there are usually more misses than hits. Poor writing and/or simply insane premises have me throwing these books against the wall by page 20.
Not so with The Uninvited. The writing is crisp and tense, delivering some solid tingles to the spine as LaChance (now a paranormal radio host) relays the events his family and a subsequent family went through at the Union House. If even half of what LaChance reports is true, the place needs to be burned to the ground and sown with salt (yes, I’m a huge fan of The Haunting). Objects crash to the ground, the air is ripped in two with maniacal screams, people are pushed, scratched, possessed. Simply nuts.
I will give LaChance major props. The moment he realized the house was haunted, and not in a friendly Casper way, he grabbed his three kids and hauled ass. He gets even more kudos for befriending the next family that moved in after him and wearing himself thin trying to help them.
The Uninvited is a very fast read that is almost impossible to put down. A definite solid addition to your paranormal library.
Read any good true ghost stories lately? Let us know and share the night terrors.
Growing up across the street from a cemetery, I never thought I’d actually want to hang out in one, especially one that is purpotedly the most haunted cemetery in the northeast. But, thanks to fellow Monster Man Jack, we packed up our gear and headed for the Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut on a cold but sunny Saturday. You can watch the video of our visit here.
A little background on the Union Cemetery. It first came to be in the late 1700s and still hosts new internments today. Sightings (and even recorded ones) of The White Lady, a pair of glowing, menacing eyes, voices, shadows and physical interactions have all taken place there. No one knows the origins of the apparitions that are heard and seen in and around the cemetery. Ed and Lorraine Warrren spent a great deal of time walking & investigating the grounds and even wrote a book about it called Graveyard.
Jack and I and our friend Anthony went there during the day because the cemetery is small and heavily policed at night. Vandals laid waste to the graveyard last August and we saw plenty of broken and shoddily repaired tombstones. A word of caution. If you go there at night, you will be arrested. It’s a small cemetery, flat and open and surrounded by 2 main roads. Knowing this, we set about doing a daytime investigation, since I believe that although the freaks come out at night, true hauntings don’t have a time clock.
The star of the Union Cemetery show is the White Lady. She’s been seen drifting through the rows of gravestones, pretending to be hit by cars outside the cemetery gates, only to disappear, and sometimes weeping over the loss of something or someone we may never know. We set out to see if we could capture her, or any other spirits, on audio. All will be revealed as you read on…
When we first arrived, we spent a good deal of time walking through the cemetery, trying to read tombstones hundreds of years old, and just getting a feel for the place. Because it’s so tiny and open, I didn’t get that special tingle up my back I tend to feel in large bone orchards.
We tried EVP sessions at multiple locations, taking turns asking questions and often leaving the recorder atop graves in the hopes that someone would want to reach out to us. At one point, I laid down on a very old grave in an attempt to get closer to any spirits, and put myself in their shoes. The tombstone had a creepy angel head etched on it, as you can see below.
There’s also an old Baptist church connected to the cemetery. When Jack was there over 15 years ago, he caught what looks to be a face in one of the windows. We took lots of pics this time around. It could have been a trick of the light, as each glass window also has a plastic covering. Add sunlight and treee branches to the mix and anything can happen, but it adds to the spooky factor.
Before I get to the EVP part, here are some more pictures of the cemetery…..
Paranormal ‘experts’ claim that running water can provide energy for spirits to make themselves known. We found a good sized creek that runs along the back end of the cemetery. Could that be what energizes the White Lady?
OK, now for the good stuff. We weren’t just out to find the White Lady, but we did devote one EVP session exclusively to her. About a minute in to the session, Jack asked if she was here with us. My daughter, Ivy, did the first level of audio review. She and I both found audio bits that could have been footsteps and a possible sigh, but it was the answer to the question put to the White Lady that made our hair stand on end. We heard a soft but firrm “Yeah.” We play it several times in our Union Cemetery Monster Men episode. Click on over to hear it and tell us what you think.
We’re leaving it open for debate. Did we see the White Lady? No. Did she speak to us? Maybe. Will we return? Definitely. We’ve only just begun.
Have you ever been to the Union Cemetery? If so, do you have a story to tell? If you live in the New York tri-state area and know of other haunted cemeteries, let me know. We’re always up for a dalliance with the dead.
Want to help me haunt the world?
For folks in the US only, spread the word about my novel, Sinister Entity, as well as the companion story, The Graveyard Speaks, on Twitter, Facebook, you name it, and you can win a Prize Pack that includes signed copies of my first two books, Forest of Shadows, & Evil Eternal. Think of it as advancing literacy and a love of the paranormal.
Here’s how you do it. If you’re on Twitter, tweet the books with a link to them (Amazon, B&N or Samhain) with the hashtag #HunterShea. Promote them on other social media platforms and send me the link either on my FB fan page (link to it on the right) or email me at email@example.com. Once I see it, you’re in the drawing.
The reviews right out of the gate have been fantastic. “A skillful blend of supernatural terror and blood-chilling suspense; the result is an intriguing and unique tale that will leave your heart pounding in your chest long after the final page has been closed.” — Matthew Scott Baker, Shattered Ravings Reviews
“Sinister Entity is a great, chilling ghost story with a satisfying twist on the usual. Sinister Entity – for a good scare, but keep the lights on.” — Fresh Fiction Reviews
One winner will be announced Friday, April 19th. And knowing me, I’ll have some extra goodies to give out.
***Congratulations to Gem Blackthorn who won signed copies of Forest of Shadows and Evil Eternal! Thank you to everyone who participated. — Hunter
Today marks the start of something new for me. Every couple of months, I’m going to post a hodge-podge of places to go and people to see on the internet, all of them horror and paranormal related. These are the locations, people and achievements that have captured my imagination and gratitude. They are wellsprings of inspiration, information, entertainment and mental edification. Find something that interests you and give them a lookey-loo…
Congratulations goes out to Robert Rumery on the publication of his first comic, The Grove, from WhatTheFlux Comics. If you know me, you know I’m a horror comic junkie. Nice job, Robert. I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it.
Looking for great horror books at steep discounts…or even free? Author, editor and all around cool dude in a loose mood, Brian James Freeman has started eHorror Bargains, your one-stop-shop for the best in horror. All of your horror deals are right here. Stop by and load up your e-reader!
Book Reviews. I have 2 places where you can go to get tons of book reviews (and if you’re an author, query them to have your book spotlighted). The first is Oh, for the HOOK of a BOOK. Super reviewer Erin covers multiple genres as well as author interviews. She is the hardest working book reviewer out there today and a lot of writerly types owe her our gratitude.
Another mega-review site is Matt Molgaard’s Horror Novel Reviews. Matt and his team do an excellent job of reviewing not only new horror works, but classics and older hidden gems. If you need to stock up your horror library, this is the place to go. Then head to eHorror Bargains and see if you can get some of them without busting your budget.
Bigfoot. You know I can’t help myself from throwing something about the hairy fella in here. Huge thanks to Scott Albright who brought this post to my attention (actually, it’s as large as a novella) about Bigfoot and why no one has found their bones or bodies. Author Robert Lindsay did some yeoman’s work putting this together. Must read for all you squatchers!
Ghosts & The Supernatural. The definitive place to get everything you need about the world of the paranormal is Jeff Belanger’s Ghost Village. This is the Bible for everyone interested in what lies beyond the veil. You can also sign up for their free monthly newsletter.
Books. I’m super excited that my book release partner on April 2nd is the uber-talented Jonathan Janz. His new book, The Darkest Lullaby, comes out the same day as my Sinister Entity. Here’s a link to a review of his book. He has one of the coolest cover in the Samhain library.
Podcasts. My newest podcast addiciotn is Darkness Radio, a radio show broadcast out of the Twin Cities. You can listen to their archives online or through iTunes. These guys have a damn good time talking about the world of the strange and the unexplained. Love their take on things.
OK, that about does it for this month. I hope you stop by some or all of these great places and supoprt them. If there are hot spots you think I should know about, send them to me and I’ll include them in future posts.
Grant is gone. Amy’s home with her beautiful baby girl. New folks are attempting to fill some big shoes. And that’s not all of the changes we’ve seen on Ghost Hunters this season.
We all knew things would never be the same when Grant rode off to start his own board game company. For a lot of us, they haven’t been the same since they shipped Kris Williams off to GHI, never to return. (And boy, has GHI gotten an unceremonious burial at sea. I’d love to know the back story on that show). For my money, the best season was when it was just Jay, Grant, Steve, Tango and Kris. It was the perfect team size and they just clicked.
Along with the personnel changes this season came a totally fresh design to the show. From ditching Mike Rowe as the narrator in favor of Jay – who does an admirable job, to creepier music, slicker editing and even some quick recreations of spirits walking the halls, Ghost Hunters has a completely new look and feel. The Monster Men went through all of the new moving parts in our latest podcast that you can watch below.
I will say that overall, I think the changes were long overdue and breathe some new life into the show. I would like to see them investigate more homes and actually try to help people. I don’t get a sense of urgency when they visit another abandoned asylum. If it’s haunted, who cares? Just steer clear and everyone’s happy. And let’s stop giving hotels and restaurants a boost in foot traffic because they were featured on the show.
Now, I know that a lot of you that come to this blog and chain watch the show. What are your thoughts on the changes so far? Who do you miss more, Grant or Amy? Who are your favorite teams? Is it Britt and KJ, Jason and Steve, Michelle and Tango? Or how about Maddie and Jay? Since my new book, Sinister Entity, is coming out in a few weeks, I’ll give away a free copy of my first book, Forest of Shadows (Sinister Entity is the sequel) to a random person who comments on this post.
I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’ve watched every episode since the start and I’ll be there until the end.
Somehow, the phenomenon of the eerie Black Eyed Kids (from here on known as BEK) slipped under my radar during my formative years as a paranormal junkie. Apparently, strange pairs of children with deep, unnatural black eyes have been ringing people’s doorbells for decades. They’ve been linked to UFO appearances as well as ghosts.
People who encounter BEK get an immediate creepy vibe from the kids. It’s more than just their otherworldly eyes. They talk like they’re from another time and place and exude an undercurrent of menace. Their main goal seems to be to get you to invite them inside. They’re just kids after all. What’s to fear? Just who they are and why they show up asking to use phones or for directions to places that don’t exist is anyone’s guess.
I first heard about them about a year ago on Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast. I’ve been intrigued ever since. Today it’s easy to dismiss them as teens popping in some contacts and playing a practical joke. But what about encounters with BEK in the 50s and 60s? Custom, cosmetic contacts were not something easily attained by anyone, much less local jokers.
Again, no one has any idea what’s behind BEK. But it is enough to give you pause the next time your bell rings at night.
Are BEK news to you, or is it something you’ve always known about? What are your theories? Too bad In Search Of isn’t around to whip up a creepy episode. Anyone have Leonard Nimoy’s number?
I’m going to write more about BEK in the coming months, but I thought I’d start you off with an excellent post I found on the Para-Rational blog. If you’re going to cut your teeth on BEK, this is the place to start. Here’s a taste and feel free to click over to read the rest of the post.
After combing through the storied about Black Eyed Kids that I can find, there are several traits that seem to commonly apply to run ins with Black Eyed Children.
They Travel in Pairs – Most encounters with Black Eyed Kids are with two of them. Why this is, I can only surmise as they need two to take down their prey? One is usually the speaker while the other stands by silently. Could it be that one is focusing on their mental attack while the other is verbally communicating with the chosen victim?
Black Eyed Kids Appear in Youthful Form – The normal situation is for the Black Eyed kids to apprear as a pair of kids in the 10 to 16 year old range. Reports of younger kids are less common and there are a few reports of them appearing as adults as well.
The Insist on Getting Your Permission – Another universal trait is that they need your permission to enter your home, your car or to help you with something. In some way you must invite them into your life. Why? This sounds like a classic vampire trait, could this be where that part of the vampire legend came from? Every story so far has come from people that have refused. I am guessing those that said yes are not around to tell their story.
Black Eyed Kids are Psychic – Another common element among Black Eyed Kid Stories is that they seem to be able to know what we are thinking and will show it by answering questions before we ask them, or by anticipating our actions. This is very bad, because that means they are in our heads. This also mean that they are able to do the next thing to us.
They Can Compel Our Actions – Commonly when people encounter Black Eyed Kids, they find themselves opening doors for them, or moving to help them without consciously deciding to. All indications are that they Black Eyed Children can compel our physical actions to help them achieve their goals.
Their Eyes are Completely Black – This is obviously where Black Eyed Kids got their name. When victims break their trance, they quickly realize that the beings in front of them have completely black eyes. No white, just bottomless, black orbs. Some debunkers have claimed that it could be kids with contacts or with the condition of Mydriasis. If it was just this one trait, I might work with that theory, but this goes well beyond just having black eyes!
Their Clothing is Unusual and Drab – Another common element is that their clothes look old fashioned or even hand made. This goes along with their strange manner of speaking showing that they don’t seem to have a grasp of human mannerisms. This reminds me of the stories about the Men in Black that appeared in Point Pleasant in the 50′s and 60′s.
To read the entire post, please click here.
I never thought the Syfy channel would become the mecca for ParaTV, but thanks to the runaway success of Ghost Hunters, the network churns out new ghost-themed shows quicker than Willy Wonka on meth. The latest entry is STRANDED, a new take on the old theme, created by Destination Truth’s own Josh Gates. Now, Josh is by far my favorite para-celebrity because he doesn’t take things too seriously, but serious enough to put his life on the line while searching for the uknown. I swear that man is going to at least lose a limb while schlepping through the jungle looking for dinosaurs or an Africanized Bigfoot. It’s also produced by Jason Blum, of Paranormal Activity and Sinister (by far the scariest movie of 2012) fame.
The premise of Stranded is simple. Take a handful of real people and drop them in one of America’s most haunted locations for 5 days. Arm them with cameras and some basic ghost hunting equipment and let the good times roll. No camera crews or Syfy production folks to get in the way. The best part is, no matter how scared they get, they can’t leave.
I mentioned in my previous post on Ghost Mine that I liked the idea of making folks investigate a haunted location for more than the obligatory night. That way we all get a better feel for the place, and allow enough time to stumble upon some real scares.
In the first episode, three twenty-somethings (exes Sarah and Sean and their non-believing friend, Xand) are dropped off on Star Island off the cost of New Hampshire. Their mission : to stay at the haunted Oceanic Hotel and find out if spirits really do roam the halls. The hotel has been shut up for the oncoming winter, ala The Shining. Anyone care to place wagers on whether Xand changes her tune about the paranormal?
When they arrive at the empty hotel on the first night, a book is left behind explaining the haunted history of the hotel. Ghost Hunters fans should remember when Jason, Grant and the team investigated the hotel a few years back. The trio spend the next 5 days living in the dark in the shuttered hotel, jumping at noises and filling up hours of night vision recordings.
Kudos to Sean for coming up with the creepiest method for ghost hunting – ever! It seems the spirit of a little girl likes to open and close the doors of the hotel rooms on the 4th floor. Sean decides to raid the nursery (a kind of prop for tourists to get their chills) and tie little nooses around their necks, with the other end on the door knobs. If any door is openened, they’ll know because the doll will be out of place. What we’re left with is a long, dark hallyway filled with strangled dolls on either side. They should have renamed it Hangman’s Hall.
They do get a disembodied voice giggling and there are odd sounds every night. It’s just enough to put them on edge, which, as a viewer, is where we want them. It ain’t fun until the skeptic cries, and in that sense, Stranded doesn’t disappoint.
The first episode was interesting, but I’m hoping it can crank things up in future episodes. Personally, I’d like to see them bring in some older, more grounded people who are less prone to suggestion. The trio in the first episode were on edge the moment they stepped onto the dock. I wish they hadn’t been given any info on the stories of the hotel. It colors their perception of things. Better to let them discover the paranormal for themselves. Use graphics to clue the viewers into the history.
For those of you who saw it, what did you think? Para-good, or para-bad?
I’ll be staying tuned. Hey, Syf, feel free to drop me off any place you’d like. Let’s see how a horror author holds up in a haunted house.
Let me start off by saying that I fully understand that all paranormal TV shows are entertainment. Some slant more to the entertainment side than others, but I’m not fooled into thinking everything I see on my television screen is a pure scientific approach to exploring the supernatural. The fact that there are no real scientists conducting experiments is enough to dispel that myth.
Syfy’s Ghost Mine has become, by far, the single best paranormal show on the air in very little time. Why it works so well is pretty simple and I’m sure other production companies will be working hard to imitate them.
We all like to be scared from time to time. If we didn’t, there wouldn’t be any amusement parks, and for real kicks, we’d watch reruns of Matlock. Even without the threat of ghosts lurking in the dark, an abandoned mine is scary as hell. It plays on our fear of the dark, claustrophobia and, well, you can die pretty easily in there. Mines are about as safe as Congress is effecient.
Ghost Mine focuses on a hearty band of miners looking for gold in the long abandoned Crescent Mine in the hills of Oregon. The mine itself has a rich history of the unexplained. They are joined by 2 paranormal investigators, the intense and gadget-loving Patrick Doyle and his partner, Kristen Lumen, a red haired beauty among the rough and tumble men. She can certanily hold her own and has to fight against the tide of supersitions about having women in a mine. It seems that other mining teams have bailed out on the Crescent Mine because of the supposed spirits that drift in and out of the tunnels.
What makes this work has nothing to do with the paranormal. It has everything to do with the miners themselves who make up one of the most interesting casts of characters on TV today. From the grizzled veterans Papa Smurf and Grey Beard (everyone has nicknames they’ve earned from years working in mines) to the fast talking Bucket and a pair of “Greenhorns” who are down on their luck and hoping to save their family’s finances. you can’t turn away. Just learning how these guys go about securing the mine and how much work goes into extracting gold is enough to hook me. Just think Axe Men with ghosts.
This is the first show that doesn’t zip in to a location and haul ass out the moment they think they’ve caught an EVP. We get to really explore the mine with them, and become emotionally invested in the miners.
Add in shadows that appear against laser grids, creepy voices and cabins being struck with the force to knock things off the walls, and you have must-see Para TV.
I admit to feeling my own walls closing in when Patrick and Kristen walk deep into the grave-black mines, searching for the heart of the haunting. The evidence they catch is compelling, but nothing can stop men with gold fever. The spirits in the mine, disturbed by the blasting, have also dispersed out of the mine, haunting the miner’s wives and children in a nearby B&B. Everyone’s on edge, including the viewers.
Ghost Mine is both informative and eerie. I’d be happy watching an episode dedicated only to mining as much as I would one centered on the ghost hunters.
As an added bonus, we get hints that the Masons might have something to do with the restless spirits. Conspiracy nuts, don your foil hats and strap yourselves in!
I’m a horror writer, and I’d be happy as a pig in you-know-what if I came up with a plot and characters this fascinating. So I’m not going to worry whether everything or not is real. I’m enjoying the ride.
The only negative is that the show has a very short run. Note to SyFy, feel free to cancel The Haunted Collector, find a new mine and get cracking on a full season.
If you’ve watched Ghost Mine, I’d love to know your thoughts about the show. Where would you rank it in the pantheon of modern Para TV?