The Real 3D Pet Sematary

Upon hearing Matthew Greenberg is hired to do a remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary I remembered my first experience of the movie.  It was a truly terrifying movie because of the setting and peripheral events making it a true 3D experience. I watched Pet Sematary for the first time as a young child at the family’s old farmhouse in Connecticut.  It is one of those scary type of old houses built in the 1800’s.  Complete with secret passageways and even a mud floor basement. It is probably haunted if not the feel would leave one believing every old creek and bump in the night was due to paranormal activity.

It was a late warm summer night when we started the movie.  The window was open to let in a cooling breeze.  The Lights turned off so the only eerie glow in the room was cast from the television.  Strange shadows danced about the room as it flickered.

Just as the movie reaches it’s climatic moment it happened.  Something big moved past the window.  We know it was big because its footsteps thumped in the soft grass.  With each impact the animal huffed.  The kind of huff that is a mix of an exhale and a growl, low, rumbling.

In an instance the gun rack was emptied.  Light flashed about the room from both the overhead lights and the flashlights that each armed occupant now carried. It amazes me how fast all of us moved  both to secure the area and to search for whatever it was outside.

The oddest thing, we never found what it was that moved past the window.  No animal left lurking in the yard and no tracks left in the soft ground outside of the window.

(via /Film)

Odd: Xavier Institute for Higher Learning In Real Life

Xavier Institute for Higher Learning Meet Your British Counterpart.  A Ribble Valley businessman put in a bid to buy the Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales.

Gwrych Castle is a 19th century mock castle ne...
Image via Wikipedia

His intentions is to open up a school or retreat for the psychically gifted.

“It has always been one of my ambitions to open a psychic retreat somewhere and this would work on several fronts.

It will be somewhere where psychics can go to meet like-minded people, to further their interests and develop their psychic senses.” He said.

(via Lancashire Telegraph)

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Exploring: Paranormal Activity

A Review of Paranormal Activity Paranormal Activity is the first good horror movie I have watched in a long time.  They succeed in playing off the audiences fears, crawling into our head and best of all they do it without belittling their work with shock gimmicks.  It was also very entertaining to watch.  I give this movie a 9 out of ten and would recommend watching it.

The Story

After some strange things happen to Katie, her boyfriend Micah sets up a video camera to capture the events.  The paranormal occurrences increase in frequency and significance, leaving Katie more and more distraught -- and determined to put an end to the terror.

Immaculate Reality

They did such a great job establishing the setting and creating a feel of a real home video.  I actually felt uncomfortable like I was some kind of peeping Tom watching some ones private life.  The immaculate reality was maintained throughout the entire movie.

The Parts In-between

I was so impressed with the great discipline demonstrated in this film.  The choices taken by the director, producers and writers deserves a big kudos.  There is so much said without words.  More of the movie and story happens in the moments between the dialogue and action.  This reminded me of the line in Almost Famous when he is talking about what makes music so great are the moments left out and missed beats.

The Fear of the Unknown

Paranormal Activity draws it’s strength by playing off the fear of the unknown, the greatest of all the fears.  I was so impressed with what they chose to show the audience and what parts were left just off screen.

This gave them greater control over the budget so that they didn’t have to waste money on special effects that would not do as much justice as the audience’s imagination could.

Laying the Eggs of Terror in Your Mind

By subtly using our imagination to fill in those parts the movie is able to crawl into our minds and gets us thinking.

The experience of the movie is enhanced by how they would suggest and nudge the audience in the direction desired.  Showing us the more believable moments of paranormal interaction and our minds fill in the rest based on each participant’s desires.  The skeptic would not see more then they would believe and the believer would fill in all kinds of spectacle that would occur off screen.

The Conversation Generated

The amount of conversation that was generated from watching the movie is also another testament to it’s quality.  We actually found ourselves pausing the movie about 30 min in and shared personal stories of encounters with the unexplained and our own warning tales about using Ouija boards.

For me the theatrical ending was brilliant.  I'm glad they used it instead of the other although both are included on the DVD.

Favorite Parts

  • The foot prints
  • Standing beside the bed
  • picture in the attic
  • Ouija board
  • Ending

Though not an owner Paranormal Activity is a must see.

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Ghost Sighting In St Bathans Post Office Window

Ghost-picture-st-bathans-up-closeAndrew Watters took a picture of what appears to be a ghostly apparition.  The picture is of the old St Bathans post office near Alexandra. Could this picture be proof of the afterlife, a more natural phenomenon like clouds or is it faked?

For most they will believe what they want.  For me the value in a picture like this one is it’s inspirational value.  To dare to dream that ghosts walk amongst us.  That phenomenon beyond our current science knowledge occurs all around us. The questions it raises is what makes it worth sharing.


(via The Southland Times)

Peter Jackson Shares His Ghost encounter

Man with the spirit of his second wife.
Image via Wikipedia

"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," Peter Jackson said.

What a fun, evocative way to describe the visage seen… the woman with the screaming face.    Though unnerving full apparitions are rare and the sharing of an experience of one is rarer.

I enjoyed hearing about Jackson’s haunting.  It’s hard at times to share these experiences.  With the public stigmatism presuming those that share these experience to be nuts.  The difficulty in collecting empirical data.  The unreliability in human senses and memory recall and the denial of the experience after it happens all lend to making sharing them hard.  All that aside many people have these experiences.

This reminded me of when Ghost Hunters International was investigating the St James Theatre.  Unfortunately they did not get footage of the woman with the screaming face.

"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."

(via Stuff)

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What is Your Visual Ghost Apparation Experience?

Ghost-hunters-i'm-not-guiltyIn Ghost Hunters episode "I Am Not Guilty" (season 5, episode 10) we get to see captured infrared footage of a ghost! Watching it reminded me of my experience with a residual haunt I like visiting in which fully visible Civil War ghosts appear.

I want to hear about your experience with a fully visual ghost.

My Ghost Experience

Battle of Gettysburg painting
Image via Wikipedia

My most memorable experience is also one outdoors.  I loved going ghost hunting around the old Civil War battlefields and even more I got a kick out of bringing friends along for, what I lovingly called the Gettysburg battle reenactment.

It is a residual haunting.  This made the haunt a predictable and a repeatable experience for others.  I would drive around the battlefields very late in the evening, 2-4 am.  On or near the night of a full moon this way there is more natural visible light.

The battlefield would get a low lying fog that would creep across the ground.

Starring out across the battlefield I would notice movement at first.  Then focusing in on the location of the movement forms would appear in the fog.

An entire scene from the battle of Gettysburg would manifest.  Union and Rebel soldiers clashing flashing of musket fire and then it would fade away as quickly as it appeared.

What is your experience with a visible ghost haunt?

Jay and Grant's Experience

In "I Am Not Guilty" the Ghost Hunters team are investigating Doctor Mudd's house. Jay and Grant go outside to look into the claims of Civil War reenactors encounters with full visual apparitions.

While walking around they catch a ghost on the infrared camera. It's an amazing moment which I particularly like that they have a split screen showing the infrared footage and a regular camera view.  The ghost is clearly visible  in one camera and nothing moves in front of them on the other one.  Watch a clip of the footage below.

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Ghost Hunting at The Gates to Hell

GHI investigates a castle reputed to have been built over the gate to hell.  In the Czech Republic Houska Castle.  This is a great episode with some really neat activity.  Watch the episode streaming online above.

I love when GHI went around Houska Castle and discussed the various tales and history of the location that could fuel the activity that the site presents.  My top two points brought up are:

  • The construction of the castle is contradictory to the typical reasons for building a castle.  It's location does not provide any strategical benefit and it does not have any natural resources within it to keep it's inhabitants alive during a long siege if one were to occur.
  • The local lore about the "pit to hell" that the castle is believed to be built over.  The tale of this large and believed to be bottomless pit:  The local leader offers a pardon to any death row prisoner who would be willing to get lowered into the pit to find out how deep it goes.  They get a volunteer and lower him into the pit.  After a while the prisoner panics and screams pleading to be pulled up.  They aren't able to discern how deep the pit goes.  The prisoner's hair all turns white and he goes insane.  He is committed to an insane asylum where he dies several days latter.  I love this spooky tale and they tell it better within the context of the show.
Houska Castle, Czech Republic
Image via Wikipedia

******spoiler alert**************

There are many points of activity that I liked from this episode here are my favorite two:

  • The investigators are in the attic getting ready to do an EVP and decide to antagonize some activity from the place.  He throws a rock and challenges anything around to do the same.  A moment latter there is a sound like something being thrown back.  I love that, since it could be a sign of an intelligent haunting.  Unfortunately that team did not have any kind of infrared on them nor did they have any of the full spectrum cameras to scan the area for any kind of animals.  Some have claimed that there could have been a cat but the sounds are of something thrown not falling and bouncing and not any kind of critter scurrying along.  Listen to it yourself and let me know what you think of it?
  • They are in the basement with the "devils chair".  The camera is on the investigator in the chair and a hanging pot next to the chair while they are checking out the area.  The pot suddenly moves while the camera is still on it.  No one was near the pot and because of the style of shooting being done any kind of wire work would literally glow in the shot.  It's really cool watching this happen.

A couple of things I wished they had done better with this episode... some lost opportunities.

  • I wished the GHI team could have got their hands on some of the cool sonar equipment.  Like the stuff being used in Egypt to search for hidden chambers through rock.  What I would like to see is someone use that equipment on the floor of the room that is supposed to be over the pit to hell.  This way they could verify if there is a giant pit under the castle and maybe even determine how deep it actually is... though if it is a deep as it is rumored to be then that equipment would not have the power to detect it's full depth.
  • There is a part when the GHI team brings in a dog.  The theory is that animals can perceive things that are out side of human perception.  I thought this was a great idea but the execution and processing of the data was sad.  First I wished they would have rigged the full spectrum camera onto the dogs head this way we could see full spectrum what the dog was focusing on.  Secondly the GHI team does not read the dogs body language and misses some odd things in the dogs behavior.  When watching that scene focus on the dog's behavior.  Repeatedly the dog stops focuses on something quickly while the dogs tail and ears drop into a more submissive position.  The dog lets it's attention linger on whatever it is that caught it's attention then the dog makes a kind of growl/bark sound and goes about it's business like normal raising up it's tail and ears.  This behavior repeats a couple of times and in some interesting places / directions.  I wished the GHI team would have picked up on that behavior since it is suspicious and the dog was trying to alert the team to something.  After watching that scene with the dog what do you think of the dogs behavior?

This was a fun show with many paranormal events that are there for us to watch and speculate on.

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Eureka: A Different Perspective On Paranormal

Eureka episode 311 Insane in the P-Brane takes on the paranormal... Eureka does ghosts, I love it.  It is refreshing to get another look at the subjects of ghosts and paranormal activity.

I found it very fun to watch Jack and the citizens of Eureka wrestle with paranormal activity.  Insane in the P-Brane really played in one of my Eureka what ifs: would the scientists heads explode if confronted with a paranormal experience like the ones Warehouse 13 faces?

They took the high road and did not poke fun at or denigrate those who are interested in the paranormal yet they did not ignore the prejudices within the scientific community.  I was really pleased that the one scientist was afraid to admit who his mother was for fear of it ruining his career.  Then when he was "outed" he was not treated as an abnormal but merely the info was handled as a peice of evidence to explain why that character presumed the activity to be ghosts.  In fact they recognized that his research has merit for detecting things in another dimension.

The biggest problem when a person is confronted with a paranormal experience is they tend to jump to a conclusion based on their narrow experience of reality and personal belief system.  This tends to leave two main sides to the situation.  The scientifically minded person who's belief system tends to dismiss the phenomenon with some rational explanation claiming the experience to be fraud.  Like magnetic fields caused by some hidden tech.  The other main side to the situation are the spiritualists who's belief system claims otherworldly influence like the scientists claiming that his mother  is causing the disturbance from the other side.  Not easily provable, repeatable and only allows the experience to always exist and be personal.  This is a false dichotomy, why not look into the possibility of explaining the activity and holding it in an unproven theory category until all of the facts can be sorted like what Jack did in this episode.

The best solution is an open minded one.  Some things can not be explained until our knowledge and language develops to a point to allows for understanding and communication.

What are your thoughts on the paranormal?

Do you tend to fall into one of the two main camps?

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Hunting Ghosts at Fort Miflin and the Frankenstein Castle

Logo05200 Ghost hunts are really fun to watch, especially when they catch something on film and tape.


While Jason and Grant were at Fort Miflin in Philadelphia, PA, the GH encountered many Paranormal things. (see it in the Project: Shadow HQ)

I have experienced something similar to the face Grant saw once a while checking out Civil War battle fields at night. I know that shock. But the image of the man cooking at the wood stove, and the vaporous footsteps on the thermal cam still gives me chills.

The voices at the Frankenstein Castle (see it in the P:S HQ) creep me out. I really don't know that else to say about them. The events at the Frankenstein Castle made the hairs on my neck stand up because they were able to get on tape so many of the common paranormal phenomena that so many of us experience. This was a great episode with a crossover from Destination Truth.