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April 30, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-Six: Z is for Zooform Phenomena

It's the last day and I'm more than a little sad to see it go. I wasn't sure how things would go, but I've enjoyed writing and reading the different posts for the challenge, so most likely I will be a part of it again next year.

On to the letter Z and zooform phenomena.

April 29, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-Five: Y is for Yeti

Yeti, otherwise called the Abominable Snowman, has been the object of great speculation and even ridicule throughout recent history. Even thought Yeti is referenced constantly in popular culture, I have found there is much the average person understands about this famous cryptid and the legends surrounding it.

April 27, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-Four: X is for X-Files



For those of you who are new to my blog, I am a huge X-Files fan. I was there when the pilot was initially announced and then aired. I remember reading about the show in the local newspaper. Back then Fox was positioning the show as a based-on-reality series, like they got all of the episodes straight out of real FBI X-files.

April 26, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-Three: W is for White Raven

Have you ever seen a white raven? I haven't. But does that mean that such a creature could not exist? Everyone knows that all ravens are black, right?

Apparently there is such a thing, but I've never observed one in person. Whether the picture I found of a white raven is real or doctored I cannot tell you for certain. But what this post is about is the paranormal, more specifically about philosophy and how it relates to the paranormal and science. During the A to Z Challenge I have touched on quite a few paranormal topics. Some I think require quite a bit more suspension of belief to even entertain in your mind, while others are much more believable.

April 25, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-Two: V is for Voodoo

I'm sure you've heard of voodoo. How could you have not? The term is thrown around all the time: voodoo economics, voodoo dolls, voodoo computers, voodoo tactical, etc. Anytime someone wants to say something is weird and promises vaporware "magical" results, the term voodoo seems to come up. What is it about voodoo that inspires its extreme usage in our vocabulary?

April 24, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty-One: U is for Ufonaut

A ufonaut is a being that simply occupies a UFO. Some people prefer the term "saucernauts" but it presents a problem when UFOs that are not a saucer shape are spotted (such as the notorious triangular shaped crafts). We have astronauts, but when an astronaut is really a being from another planet it is called a ufonaut. And despite what people might think, ufonauts come in a variety of "races" or types.

April 23, 2013

Free Copies of Gracie the Ghost Eater!

I mentioned before that my children's book Gracie the Ghost Eater received a complete cover overhaul. As part of the celebration of the new cover, I will be giving away free Kindle copies of the book on Amazon. This includes not only Amazon.com, but also Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.jp, Amazon.ca and Amazon.br. Click on any of those site names to be taken straight to the Kindle edition of the book on that site.

When will the free books be available, you ask? For right now it will be two days, April 29th through April 30th. The promotion starts roughly at midnight on the 29th and stops roughly on midnight on the 30th (US Pacific Time or California's time zone). I'd love to see downloads across the globe, so feel free to share this information with anyone who might be interested. I wrote the book primarily for children, but adults can enjoy it as well. So spread the word!

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twenty: T is for Table Tipping


Although it's not practiced very much now, table tipping used to be one of the more popular forms of seance during the Victorian Period. It's a means of communicating with the dead that many of the present-day living do not really understand.

April 22, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Nineteen: S is for Scrying


The Mirror of Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings

Scrying is another form of divination you have likely witnessed in movies and maybe even in real life, but you just don't know that term for it. It was part of the events that lead up to the Salem Witch Trials that are so famous.

So what is scrying?

April 20, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Eighteen: R is for Runes


Runes are literally the letters of the old Germanic languages before the Roman alphabet was adopted. You have likely seen runes before, such as on the materials for the Lord of the Rings movies or books. While it might look like cool writing, there are people who believe that runes are more than just letters. These people actually think that runes hold the secret to divination.

April 19, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Seventeen: Q is for Quabbala



Quabbala is essentially Jewish mysticism, a subject that is difficult to fully grasp since it is enshrouded in deep mystery. Still, you can see signs of quabbala in modern Jewish culture as well as in the ancient text of the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament.

Instead of focusing on what God wants from mankind, quabbala attempts to hone in on the very essence of God. And of course a line of study that seeks to see God behind his mystical veil is controversial, especially among Jews.

April 18, 2013

April 17, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Fifteen: O is for Old Hag Syndrome


Imagine this: you are dead asleep one night when you suddenly wake up to an unseen force pushing down hard on your chest. You can barely breathe and your limbs are inoperable due to the force. You can look around the room, hear sounds and even smell odors, but you cannot utter a single word. In this state you cannot summon help, even if someone is asleep next to you! You also smell something weird or funky and might even hear heavy footsteps approaching your bed or see glowing red eyes in your room. The incident likely repeats itself frequently, maybe even a couple of times a week. The feeling usually lasts about thirty seconds or so, long enough to make you feel like you're being held underwater.

What do you do?

April 16, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Fourteen: N is for Necromancy


Necromancy is yet another term we often use without understanding what it means. Many people use necromancer as a name for someone, particularly a man, who practices black magic. While this usage is somewhat accurate, it does not entirely capture the meaning of the word.

Necromancy is a form of magic that allows the practitioner to communicate with the dead. Does that sound like seances or the work of a medium? While it might, keep in mind that I said necromancers practice black magic.

April 15, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Thirteen: M is for Mediumship



Everyone has heard of psychics and most people have heard of mediums, but most people don't know the difference between the two.

A psychic is a person who claims to have the ability to perceive what is normally hidden from a person's senses. This can include auditory, visual and other such stimuli. Some psychics claim to perceive things from the past, present and/or future. Mediums, on the other hand, literally act as an intermediary between the living and the dead. While some might debate it, I would argue that mediums must use psychic abilities to achieve this communication.

April 13, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Twelve: L is for Levitation


Have you ever seen someone levitate off the ground or a bed and float in the air for a while? Neither have I, but I've read plenty of accounts of claimed levitation. While the most prominent examples of levitation likely come from magicians who use optical illusions, there are traditions of levitation among occultists and practitioners of mainstream religions like Hinduism, Gnosticism, Helenism and Christianity.

April 12, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Eleven: K is for K2 Meter


Have you ever watched a ghost hunting show on television and noticed the people looking for the ghosts use a handheld device that looks kind of like a stud finder? The device lights up, apparently indicating spiritual activity in a certain part of a building and everyone gets really excited. The name of the little device those ghost hunters were using is a K2 (or K-II) meter or EMF meter.

April 11, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Ten: J is for Jersey Devil


The Jersey Devil is perhaps one of the best-known cryptids in the United States. The creature draws in quite a few tourists to New Jersey's Pine Barrens as people who are curious about the legend attempt to sneak a peek of it. In fact New Jersey's hockey team, the New Jersey Devils, is even named after the Jersey Devil. But what makes this cryptid so fascinating?

April 10, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Nine: I is for Incantation


Incantation is one of those words we hear and use all of the time, but do we really understand what it means?

Digging down into the word's etymology, we find that "incantation" is derived from the Latin word "incantare" which means "to chant upon" or in other words to chant a magical spell. So incantations are just spells that are cast by repeating words. Sometimes those words are said just once, while other times they are repeated over and over.

April 9, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Eight: H is for Hellhound


Hellhounds are a cryptid that is featured in mythologies from around the world. A hellhound is usually black, larger than a normal dog, possesses supernatural strength and often has red or yellow glowing eyes. Some people who claim to have seen a hellhound say the creature smells extremely foul. In some accounts the canines are even able to talk.

One of the most interesting characteristics of hellhounds is that they move like phantoms. They have been known to move through walls and cover great distances in an instant as well as disappear without a trace. Some cultures believe that staring into a hellhound's eyes can be fatal and that its howl signals or even triggers death. In fact, hellhounds are called the Bearer of Death by some people.

The main function of hellhounds is to watch the entrances to the world of the dead to keep the living out and the dead in. This is why hellhound sightings often take place near cemeteries. Sometimes hellhounds are sent from the land of the dead to hunt down lost souls. And sometimes hellhounds are used to guard treasures.

People claim to have seen hellhounds all over the world and even in modern times.Some of the most recent sightings have been in the United States, with some theories stating that the famous Beast of Bray Road is actually a hellhound.

Cerberus from Greek and Roman mythology is perhaps the most famous hellhound. He's been referenced in many modern works, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and my latest children's book Gracie the Ghost Eater.

April 8, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Seven: G is for Greys (as in Aliens)



Picture an extraterrestrial in your mind.

You likely are visualizing what is called a "grey" or a grey alien. They are humanoid beings with dark grey skin, large eyes, large heads, an undeveloped muscular structure and have a curious absence of ears, nose and sex organs. Greys also don't have body hair and their legs are quite a bit shorter than ours, making them look a little awkward or... alien.

April 6, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Six: F is for Flame Messages

Today's post addresses a little-known psychic or seance method known as flame messaging. As the name suggests, flame messaging involves the person who is seeking communication with spirits using a flame as a medium. Some people prefer this method of seance because it is easy to perform alone.

April 5, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Five: E is for Ectoplasm


Do you remember that scene in Ghostbusters when the little green ghost goes straight through Bill Murray's character, Peter Vankman? Vankman is covered in green slime that is called ectoplasm.

Well, forget about that, because it's not like "real" ectoplasm.

April 4, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Four: D is for Dowsing


I took a couple of folklore classes in college, which were wonderfully fascinating. In one of those classes we covered dowsing, which is such an interesting subject. My professor pointed out that the building where our class was held was named after a man who made his life's fortune dowsing for water, which unsettled some people in my class.

April 3, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day Three: C is for Calling the Corners


Have you heard of witches calling the corners (or quarters as some say) and wondered what it meant? It's a term that's often used but not really understood even by some witches. What's even more confusing is there are many magical traditions that use a calling of the corners in one form or another.

April 1, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Day One: A is for Astral Body


It's the first day of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge so today is all about the letter A. I'm sticking with a paranormal theme for the challenge, so today's post is about astral bodies.

What is an astral body, you say? The idea comes from the teachings of Plato, who talked about an astral plane of existence. Essentially it is your form or body on that astral plane, which you could say is another dimension.