Archive for April, 2006

Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads

Via an anonymous commenter, an excellent supernatural investigation site, Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads.

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Ghost hunting summit

From the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle:

Ghost hunting isn’t as glamorous at it looks on television.

That’s just one of many common misconceptions Western New York Paranormal, a local team of paranormal investigators, wants to clear up.

“Most of our investigations are going out and sitting around in a dark house, taking pictures and shooting video,” said Dwayne Claud, an investigator with the team.

To set the record straight, the group launched the first Supernatural Summit on Saturday at the Army Reserve Center on North Goodman Street.

“We think that putting on a conference like this will help to educate the public,” Claud said.

The conference blends the scientific methods of hunting the supernatural — ghosts, spirits and other unexplained phenomena — with the spiritual approach of psychics and tarot card readers.

On the first day of the conference, shoppers browsed among crystals, candles and books. Others attended workshops focused on the history and methods of ghost hunting, like “Ghost Hunting 101” and “Orbs: What Are They Really?”

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Code in the DaVinci Code decision

From The BBC:

The judge who presided over the failed Da Vinci Code plagiarism case at London’s High Court hid his own secret code in his written judgement.
Seemingly random italicised letters were included in the 71-page judgement given by Mr Justice Peter Smith, which apparently spell out a message.

Mr Justice Smith said he would confirm the code if someone broke it.

“I can’t discuss the judgement, but I don’t see why a judgement should not be a matter of fun,” he said.

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Terrifying specter haunts pub

From the Yorkshire Post:

A TERRIFIED landlord is calling in a priest to exorcise his Yorkshire pub after he confronted a ghostly apparition causing mayhem to his premises.

Roger Froggatt, of the Low Valley Arms, was left severely shocked after seeing the ghostly figure of a woman dressed all in white when he went to what he thought was a break-in at his Barnsley pub around at 1.30am yesterday.

But it was when he went to check the toilets that he got the shock of his life.

In front of him stood the grotesquely disfigured apparition of an elderly woman dressed all in ghostly white.

When she turned to look at him he saw half her face was missing, from her cheekbone down to her jaw.

He and his wife Kathryn were so terrified they called the police who also witnessed spooky goings-on.

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Shipyard calls in vicar to expel ghost

From the North West Evening Mail of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria:

STRANGE spirits have scared the life out of BAE shipyard workers, prompting top brass to call in ghost-busting experts.

A specialist in paranormal research and the shipyard’s chaplain, Reverend Di Hervey, will visit the Pipe Shop on Ferry Road next Tuesday to exorcise the spirit.

They have been called in after paranormal occurrences caused things to go bump in the night.

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Suspected killer claims to be 300-year-old werewolf

The murder suspect linked to Vampire Freaks (see posts below) has some issues:

Jeremy Steinke is accused of a horrific crime: Killing a mother, father and their eight-year-old son in Medicine Hat. Now the mother of the 23-year-old suspect is speaking out, saying her son has been maligned in the media.

Acquaintances of Steinke have told the press that he claimed to be a 300-year-old werewolf who liked the taste of blood. But Jacqueline May paints a different picture of her son, who is charged with three counts of first degree murder for killing a family. His 12-year-old girlfriend has also been charged.

“He talked to me about anything,” says May. “He would say, ‘Mom, I love you,’ and I would tell him I love him.”

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NY Post vs. Vampire Freaks

The New York Post gets shrill about Vampire Freaks.

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Croatia revives vampire — for tourists

So if the vampire is revived and kills all the tourists, what will that do to Croatia’s economy.

KRINGA, Croatia (AFP) – As evening mist slowly embraces this village in the heart of Croatia’s picturesque Istrian peninsula, a few young enthusiasts gather in a bar trying to revive the legend of a 17th century local Dracula.

Sitting in a red velvet chair in the “Vampire” bar, decorated with garlic wreaths and lamps with crosses, Mladen Rajko explains how local tourist authorities launched a project last year called “Jure Grando, the Vampire from Kringa”.

“No one is claiming that vampires or evil forces exist, all we want is to promote a documented legend in order to boost what we can offer tourists,” says Rajko, 28, head of the nearby municipality of Tinjan.

Be careful Rajko. So who is their local version of Count Dracula?

In his 15-tome work “The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola”, which was published in 1689 in Germany Valvasor tells the story heard when he visited Kringa.

According to the legend, for 16 years after his death and burial Grando terrorised his former fellow-villagers, notably his widow.

At night he wandered the area knocking on the doors of houses, many of whose inhabitants later died, it said.

The lustful demon paid regular visits to his widow, forcing her to continue fulfilling her marital duties.

Eventually, in 1672 a group of nine local men decided that they had to put an end to the menace.

Upon opening his grave they saw Grando, his body intact, smiling at them.

After the first attempt to drive a hawthorn stake through his corpse failed because the wood rebounded, the bravest of the nine eventually managed to decapitate the body, bringing to an end Grando’s reign of terror, the legend said.

“Grando already has all the characteristics of future literary vampires — who appear some 150 years later — he is a cynic, challenges both civil and church authorities and is sexually active,” explains Boris Peric, a writer who investigated the issue.

Actually, those characteristics probably describe a lot of the tourists too.

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Frankenstein on trial in Indiana

From the Northwest Indiana Times:

VALPARAISO | The chains around the waist of the massive creature clanked noisily as he lumbered through the courtroom. Too large to fit easily into the witness stand, he flopped clumsily into the seat.

“He left me, he abandoned me,” the creature said, abdicating responsibility for the four murders in question. All the while, Victor Frankenstein, the creature’s creator, sat at the defense table with a blank stare.

The debate over who was to blame — Dr. Frankenstein or his creation — played out in the Porter County Courthouse on Tuesday evening.

The mock trial, conducted by the Valparaiso High School Speech and Debate team, was part of the annual “VALPO Reads a Book!” civic event to encourage reading and conversation in the community. Organizers chose Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” as the book this year because of its universal themes.

What a great idea. You’ll have to read the full story to find out the verdict. Before you do though, if you’re familiar with the book, is Dr. Frankenstein guilty or innocent of the acts committed by his Monster in your opinion?

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Accused killers met on vampire site

No it wasn’t here. It was Vampire Freaks. From The Chronicle Herald in Canada:

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — In one photo, she can be seen holding a gun to the camera as she professes her love for goth, punk, dark poetry and death metal music.

In another, she’s pretending to cry, black teardrops drawn in eyeliner marking her cheeks.

The images of a preteen girl, now accused of killing her parents and younger brother, were part of her website on the Internet, where she is said to have met the co-accused in the slayings, the Calgary Herald reported Tuesday.

The two were arrested in Saskatchewan on Monday after the bodies of the deceased were discovered in their Medicine Hat home Sunday afternoon.

“I go crazy if I’m kept inside my house for to (sic) long,” the girl wrote in a Feb. 23 blog entry.

The 12-year-old girl cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

A classmate of the seventh grader told the Calgary Herald she was “feeling really sad” because the girl was one of her closest friends.

The friend told the newspaper the girl was a good student, earning marks in the 80s and above, but started to change about six weeks ago. Her well-scrubbed look turned goth with dark eyeliner and black nail polish, she said, referring to the teen subculture characterized by a preoccupation with macabre themes of death, darkness and sometimes vampires.

The people at Vampire Freaks are discussing it in this message thread. raging angel nailed it in my opinion:

So, did they find the body in Jet’s apartment [he’s the founder of Vampire Freaks, Carnacki]? No? They didn’t?

So why is anyone surprised that two out of five hundred thousand are murderers? Cleveland has a higher ratio of killers than this place does.

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