Thursday, July 28, 2011

Supernatural Friday: Confessions of a Paranormal Investigator:Interviewing Carol Smith, Head of Richmond Paranormal Society

1.) -Please tell us why when you first had your first paranormal experience?
It was at a radio station I was working at in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania back in the 70’s. My shift was midnight to six a.m. A newsman had reportedly hung himself in one of the studios. I saw a man bending over the receptionist’s desk one minute as I headed into one of the studios. I stopped and backed up to look again, but he had vanished.

2.) – What started you doing investigations?
I’ve been always interested in the paranormal, but it used to scare me. In the past few years, I started watching shows like Ghost Hunters and realized spirits are people. They’re the energy we all have. They just don’t have bodies anymore. I wanted to communicate, help, and validate their existence.

3.) – When it appeared Richmond Paranormal Society had no one to lead the group what made you decided to take it over?
I didn’t want RPS to fall by the wayside. We have good people in our group and when Greg got too busy, he asked me if I would be interested in becoming the organizer.

4.) – What is the most rewarding thing about paranormal investigating?
I really enjoy working with team members when we do an investigation. It’s fun to show the others any new equipment you may have just gotten. It’s also great when we demonstrate how to work a piece of equipment that’s unfamiliar to a team member. I like learning from each other. Plus, it’s exciting when a spirit person leaves some EVPs on your recorder or “poses” for a photo.

5.)—Do you read books on the paranormal?
Yes, doesn’t everyone? :->

6.)—Among the books on the paranormal you have read, name a favorite one?
Wow, there’s so many it’s really tough to name one favorite. But, generally, I read books about haunted places in Virginia, the US, and Europe.

7.)—Besides these kinds of books, do you watch any of the paranormal TV shows (not just the investigator ones, but any of the others too)? Which one is your favorite?
I like Celebrity Ghost Stories. Actually, I’ll watch just about any show that has a paranormal theme.

8.) – Have you ever thought about writing a book on the paranormal?
Yes, but so far I haven’t attempted it.

9.) – Besides ghosts, are you interested in cryptos (Bigfoot, sea serpents, lake monsters, extinct animals…) and UFOs?
I’m not so much into crypto zoology. But, I’m very interested in UFO’s. I believe there is other intelligent life in the universe besides us. How could we be the only ones?

10.) - Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.).
I’m married and my husband is one of RPS’s staunchest skeptics :-> We have six furry felines (all rescues). I love reading—biographies, books on medieval England, Magick, first person accounts (like diaries of soldiers) and of course paranormal topics. I went to VCU and graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work.

11.) - Tell where people can find the Richmond Paranormal Society?
Here is the link to our site: . You can look at our Pages tab without joining. But anyone should feel free to join. You don’t have to go on investigations. Everyone is welcome: Believers and skeptics.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Is this not a strange fashion statement? Would you wear this outside of a costume contest?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Supernatural Friday-Do Monsters and Ghosts Feel the Cold or Heat?

It's hot and humid here in Virginia. What the West suffered earlier this week, now we on the East Coast are feeling the effects, too. Do ghosts or monsters feel the humidity like we humans do?

I mean, spirits are those mortals who passed away from our plain of existence. Supposedly, you no longer need to eat, drink, or have any other mortal body functions. Do they still feel, even if it's a sort of memory? I always asked that question during an paranormal investigation when we're either sweating due to extreme heat or freezing to death. I haven't gotten an answer to that question yet.

What about Bigfoot or a lake monster, or even the Mothman? Because he's called the Jersey Devil, does that means if New Jersey's weather is in the 100s, he's fine, because we equate devil with Hell? And Hell means hot--right?

I know that the Sasquatch has to feel the heat, with all that fur/hair covering its body. As for the lake or sea serpent, it can duck beneath the surface to keep cool--unless the water levels start dropping. So the next time you decide to overwater your lawn, think of that poor lake monster who might die due to hardly any wster in its environment.

I'm not even going to talk about aliens or UFOs, even though I think the Mothman is an alien than anything paranormal. Like any tourist to somewhere else, they'll just have to do their research on what sort of clothing they should pack in their suitcases!

Next time, you relax in your AC or stay indoors in your heated house during the winter, think about all those phantoms, monsters and extinct beasties that have to suffer the weather too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


While on a investigation with Richmond Paranormal Society, we found these three trees growing together, out of a fallen fourth. Had the tree trunk on the ground still lived and the other three grew from it? Very strange.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Supernatural Friday: Welcome to Fright Night

“I am Peter Vincent, vampire killer!” Peter Vincent-Fright Night (1985)

“Welcome to Fright Night For real!” Jerry Dandridge (1985)

Next month, on August 19th, the remake of Fright Night will be released in theaters. This time David tenant will play Roddy McDowell’s role, Larry Vincent, with Anton Yelchin as Charley Brewster and Colin Farrell as the vampire, Jerry Dandridge.

In always believe in giving a remake of a film or TV series a chance. Sometimes the remake is as food as the original, other times, better, I think, but again many times the remake falls flat on its face.

Let’s talk history about the original. It actually is homage of sorts to a real American horror host, Seymour, who hosted Fright Night and Seymour’s Monster Rally in Los Angles in 60s to early 70s, and presented—and heckled—low-budget horror and science fiction movies. He was noted for his style of criticizing the movies he presented in an offbeat and funny manner, usually appearing in a small window which would pop up in the corner, tossing a quip, then vanishing again. Sometimes he would, using blue-screen, appear in the middle of the movie, apparently interacting with the characters in the movie. He passed away after quickly succumbing to stomach cancer and died on March 9, 1975. His real name was Larry Vincent, and he was an actor. (See the connection to the vampire flick, Fright Night now? The name of the show and the host’s last name?) As an actor, Vincent scored some minor roles on the TV series GET SMART, I DREAM OF JEANNIE, MANNIX and MISSION and IMPOSSIBLE as well as Amos Coffin, the member of a witchcraft coven in the movie The Witchmaker (1969); as Andrew the gardener in The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant (1971), and as a strangler in Doctor Death, Seeker of Souls (1973).

He called the watchers of his show, Fringies, and yes, that’s what I still am. Here’s a couple of clips of his show on YouTube: and a not visual one but verbal--

Now you know a bit of the history of the first film. Besides Roddy McDowell, it stars Chris Sarandon as the vampire and William Ragsdale as Charley Brewster. Besides McDowell’s Peter Vincent, I loved Evil Ed (Stephen Geoffreys) in this film. Watching the trailer for the remake version of Fright Night, the Evil Ed played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse in that one looks too nerdy. The punker look just worked more for me. What do you think? Not too sure about Colin Farrell either—looks too bad boy for me. Yes, as someone who writes paranormal romance under a pseudonym, vamps as bad boys are all and good, but for this horror film, I am not sure he omits the darkness that Chris Sarandon did. Will Farrell be able to pull it off? I admit to loving David Tennant ever since he played the 10th Doctor in the Doctor Who TV series (trivia note: he was the second Scotsman to play the Doctor). Will David wear Roddy’s vampire killer shows well? It’s to be seen. But like I said, I will give the film a chance, even though I am big fan of the original.

In 1985, a novelization, Fright Night, by Craig Spector and John Skipp was published by TOR Books. In 1988, Fright Night was also spun-off into a comic book series by Now Comics. It ran for 22 issues until July 1990. Both may be out of print, but do look for them.

What do you expect of this movie? Good? Bad? Scary? Plan to see it in the theater, or wait until DVD, Redbox, or Netflix? Or maybe not see it at all?

"Oh, you're so cool, Brewster!" Evil Ed in Fright Night (1985)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Supernatural Friday: Night of the Crimson Moon

Darkness roamed that night ,
A cold, oily shadow
Pausing, it sniffs the air
Searching, searching,
For the sweet scent of children.

Freed from the bowels of the earth
Where it slept for a hundred years
Waiting for that one special night--
The night of the crimson moon.

The ominous moon hung low in the sky
Seemingly hungry as the beast.
Prowling the skies for innocent stars
Not unlike the monster,
Who hunted for human prey.

But some sixth sense told the people true,
Keep the little ones indoors,
And keep watch so that they didn't stray outdoors.
Various protections at locked windows and doors.
Keeping out those not allowed in.

When a blushing dawn danced over the horizon,
One touch of warm, golden finger
And the creature recoiled.
Chased away, it bolted for its lair of darkness,
Back to sleep for another hundred years.

Maybe, just maybe,
the crimson moon night came around again
Humankind might forget,

That the night holds more than the darkness
And a plump child would fill the hunter's belly.

This an original poem by Pamela K. Kinney, so is copyrighted by her. Please do not take and post elsewhere without permission. But do share the link with friends to come and enjoy it.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Supernatural Friday: Ghostly Tales of the American Revolution, At Least in Virginia!

Some Revolutionary ghostly tales direct from my upcoming “Virginia's Haunted Historic Triangle: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locations.” These are three chapters of places from Colonial times plus during the American Revolution. The book will be released July 28, 2011.

Happy haunting 4th of July, and enjoy!

Surrender Field-Yorktown

Surrender Field is where the English and German armies threw their weapons down at the feet of the American Continental Army and the French. Yorktown residents also came to watch the formal surrender. Though bitter about it all, the losing side had to do this, as the terms of surrender had been signed at Moore House on October 19, 1781. Today this historic area is a national park. Tourists walk where soldiers had marched in defeat and where others who had triumphed stood and cheered.

In 1984, one visitor to the park found the place filled with crowds. He heard drums and fifes. A familiar melody was being played. He and other tourists searched for the musicians playing it, but couldn’t find them. Even stranger, they heard laughter and cheers from out of nowhere. He later learned that this has happened over and over for many years. Is this a residual of what happened that day back in 1781? Does what was felt that day manage to reach through time and space to those who stroll the park? Good question.

You can find Surrender Field and maybe experience this yourself by driving along Moore House Road (Route 288) to Surrender Road. And if you hear the faint sound of drums that day and see a specter of an English soldier marching in sadness, don’t be surprised. After all, sometimes history lives on even after death.

Cornwallis Cave-Yorktown

Lord Cornwallis occupied Yorktown, staying in the Nelson House. It was something he always did; occupy the best house in areas he and his army invaded. Unfortunately, this time, it would be his last stand. This was 1781, and the Continental army would battle the English and German forces here.

It took the combined American and French armies and a battle between the French and British fleets in the Chesapeake Bay to seal the fate of General Cornwallis and his British troops at Yorktown. From September 5th through 9th, the French forced the British navy to retreat to New York. General Cornwallis became stranded.

During the siege, people fled to a cave off the shores of the York River to hide from bombardment from the Continental army. According to legend, Lord Cornwallis himself took shelter here; legend also says he cowered in a corner for most of the siege. Is this true? Whether this is so or not, this place is called Cornwallis’s Cave to this day.

Interesting note, trapped against the York River, many of the English soldiers tried to escape by swimming across its waters. Suddenly, a squall came up and swept them away, drowning many of the soldiers. How strange something like this appeared at this time, wouldn’t you think? As for others of the English and German forces, they perished by artillery fire that kept coming and coming. Cornwallis had no choice but to surrender.

The English army left, and Yorktown grew quiet for the rest of its life. Except for the legends of voices heard coming from the cave—frantic, frightened voices. It is hard for any group of people, much less one, to get inside due to metal bars across the entrance. Yet, there are those who claim to hear these voices coming from inside the cave. For some spirits, the war is still happening. Other phenomena are orbs captured in photos taken of the place.

My husband, Bill, and I were there, met by a friend, Mark Layne. We had walked through the town, pausing at Nelson House and couple of other places, and then we went down to the shore to find the cave. We found it. I took some photographs of it, and then drew close with my digital recorder, hoping to catch some of these spectral voices. I didn’t. As for peering into the cave itself through the bars, I saw some trash inside, but not phantoms. For me that day, the voices were silent.

The next time you stroll along the river and hear frantic voices coming from Cornwallis’s Cave, ignore them and keep walking. No doubt these are people long past in need of any help.

Party On at Raleigh Tavern-Colonial Williamsburg

If you feel the need to get a bite to eat, but don’t want to eat inside if it’s a nice day, then Raleigh Tavern has a bakery behind it. There are ham biscuits, Sally Lunn bread, rolls, queen’s cake, ginger ale, cider, root beer, and even mouthwatering gingerbread can be gotten there. Then you can find a spot somewhere in the backyard of the tavern and enjoy a quick lunch in pleasant surroundings.

Built around 1717, the tavern was popular. Many came, including important people of the day. Local gossip and current events set the scene here.

Besides good food and drink, gambling seemed to be another pastime here. When the ground was excavated here, dice boxes had been found. One man who also was a butcher, John Custis, had lost heavily at gambling and was discovered dead, his throat cut. Important decisions about the Patriots’ revolt against the British also took place here, and many balls were also held here. In the Apollo Room, George Washington received a surprise birthday party. Night after night, gala parties happened, with the last one to do with Marquis de Lafayette. Not long after that, in December 1859, fire raged through the tavern and it burned to the ground. When Colonial Williamsburg began restoration of the Historic Area, the tavern was rebuilt on the foundations of the original one.

Three years before the fire and after the place had closed for the night, one man wrote a letter to a friend, talking about something strange that happened to him. Samuel Armistead walked his dog on an evening in January. When he drew close to the tavern, he heard laughter and sounds of merriment going on in the building. He knew that the place had been quiet for years and it was dark that night. A hint of tobacco wafted to his nose. Curious, he peeked through a window and found it empty of life!

Modern times were no exception to the ghostly goings-on of the tavern. A custodian for Colonial Williamsburg heard laughter and music himself one night as he was cleaning up in back of the building. He drew closer and smelled pipe tobacco. All noises ended when he peeked inside.

If you chance to walk past Raleigh’s Tavern when it is already dark and happened to spy a light coming from its windows and heard laughter, just keep on going. The only parties being held there are only for the dead, and not the living.

Check out the book when it is released, or preorder it now:
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