Zombie Icon George Romero Has Died

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Zombie Icon George Romero Has Died

George Romero turned zombies into box office magic in 1968 with his Night of the Living Dead. Mr. Romero succumbed to complications from lung cancer on Sunday, July 16, 2017. He was 77 years old. He loved attending horror conventions, and his fans adored him. He will be missed.

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Check out some of the in-depth tributes from these publications:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-me-george-romero-20170716-story,amp.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/16/movies/george-romero-dead.html?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/07/16/537589005/george-romero-night-of-the-living-dead-director-dies-at-77

#18 on Top 50 Paranormal Blog & Websites for Paranormal Investigators

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#18 on Top 50 Paranormal Blog & Websites for Paranormal Investigators

It’s nice to be recognized! Last week I was honored to receive an email from Anuj Agarwal informing me that I was listed on his “Top 50 Paranormal Blogs and Websites for Paranormal Investigators” at http://blog.feedspot.com/paranormal_blogs/. I’m at #18!

I’m thrilled at being listed amongst other paranormal bloggers like Week in Weird (#1 spot) who enjoy sharing stories, news, and everything paranormal. The listings vary from international ghost hunters to publishers in the specific genres. I’ve even found some new folks to follow. Check out the list!

 

 

John Bernecker, Stuntman on The Walking Dead, Has Died

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John Bernecker, Stuntman on The Walking Dead, Has Died

News traveled quickly that veteran stuntman John Bernecker, age 33, died from blunt-force trauma following a fall on the Senoia, Georgia Raleigh Studios’ set of The Walking Dead.

Bernecker was practicing a fight scene on a high rise balcony when he lost his footing and fell over 25 feet. He was placed on a ventilator until family could arrive at the Atlanta Medical Center. He died Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Atlanta office has opened an investigation. Production on the popular zombie series has been temporarily halted.

Ghosts of Shepherdstown Brouhaha—It Hasn’t Been Debunked as Fake

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Ghosts of Shepherdstown Brouhaha—It Hasn’t Been Debunked as Fake

This week saw Destination America’s sophomore series Ghosts of Shepherdstown under attack as “faked” in order to “make good television.” While tracking down the story, it was difficult to locate the originating source that actually calls the show out. In fact, the original article does NOT. The subsequent articles misconstrue the intent of the first article to kick up some paranormal dirt.

Destination America’s Ghosts of Shepherdstown debuted last year. It features ghost hunter Nick Groff, formerly of Ghost Adventures, Paranormal Lockdown, and Ghost Stalkers; Elizabeth Saint, an actress and paranormal enthusiast; and Bill Hartley, a Civil War re-enactor and ghost hunter. The first season explored strange phenomena occurring in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Billed as “America’s most haunted town,” Shepherdstown is a small college town. Thomas Shepherd received a land grant in 1734 and established the town as an outpost. The town was officially formed in 1762 as Mecklenburg. The name changed to Shepherdstown honoring Shepherd shortly after the Civil War. It sits on the Potomac River and is home to a small college. The town’s population peaked at 2,137 in 2012 and currently sits at 2,095. This is one small town!

Dread Central posted an article on July 3, 2017 penned by Steve Barton. He claims that the show has “recently come under the microscope.” He cites another article in The Inquisitr whereby the director of the local visitor’s center was quoted as saying parts of the show were “staged and faked.” The article contains an Editor’s Note stating Barton used an earlier version of The Inquisitr’s article noting it was misleading. The note describes an error with incorrect quotations and original sourcing.

Julie Johnson wrote the July 3rd article in The Inquisitr. This article quotes “critics” who claim the show is scripted and hires actors as witnesses. Further, the author points to Paranormal U.S. and posts on the online forum LiveSciFi to highlight viewer skepticism. Paranormal U.S. is a website run by Donna, no last name is provided. She writes of a life-long interest in the paranormal and blogs about haunted locations. Ms. Johnson does not refer to Donna by name nor links to any of her blogs in the article; therefore, she may or may not be the person stating Shepherdstown looks staged.

LiveSciFi is a forum where paranormal fans and viewers chat. They have one bulletin board devoted to Shepherdstown. The forum “Is Ghosts of Shepherdstown Fake?” began July 20, 2016. The last entry was posted on March 31, 2017. There are 17 posts from 12 people. The consensus from these para-fans is that the show seemed faked or staged but none proffered much in the way as evidence. One user, Lee Keensnach, proclaimed the show fake because one of the “witnesses” has an IMDb page.

Yes, one of the “witnesses” was played by the actor Bradley Nnadi. He appears in the pilot. Considering the show utilizes re-enactments, it’s reasonable to expect actors to be hired to play other roles. This hardly supports the show being faked. Further, most reality television shows are scripted. It doesn’t mean they are fictitious; it’s an industry standard. Finally, note the last entry date. It is a full 3 months since the Dread Central article was posted. None of the posts refer to the quotation from the visitor center’s director.

But then there’s the quotation from Marianne Davis, the director of the visitor’s center. Specifically, the article states: “parts … are staged (locations were changed) and fake (ghost stories were changed) ‘to make good television.’”

First, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the word usage of “staged.” While the Dread Central article used it to mean “made-up,” here it clearly means “locations were changed.” Pay attention to the direct quote. Producers changed the locations. It doesn’t mean stories were fabricated; it means the producers used different locations. Unfortunately, the author doesn’t explain why this occurred. However, there are numerous reasons why: inability to film, location no longer exists, safety issues, etc.

The second part is more problematic—just slightly, though. Taken at face-value, the quote states that paranormal stories were altered for production reasons. Again, there may be reasons for this. Fear not, though. The author helps with the interpretation. She provides the exact quotation from the original article: “Davis said some of the locations or ghost stories were changed by the show’s producers ‘to make good television.’” Read it again. Ms. Davis does not say the show was faked. She merely states that stories were altered. Again, no reason is provided. Sadly, paranormal trolls latched onto this quote and ran with it proclaiming that the show has been debunked! Well, not exactly.

The original-original now original article is from January 25, 2017. Mary Stortstrom wrote the article “Strange Things: “Ghosts of Shepherdstown” Gears Up for Second Season” in The Journal. Ms. Davis is quoted as stating the above; however, she further states that some of the stories are from long ago. Ms. Davis nor Ms. Stortstrom provided examples of such changes. Ms. Davis’ comments were positive and encouraging. She merely spoke about the impact the series has had on the town and tourism.

Nick Groff jumped out in front of the Dread Central article by posting a response to his Facebook page. In part, he points out that Dread Central did not provide the original content or research for their article—they regurgitated information from another site. Next Mr. Groff states what is addressed above: At no time did Ms. Davis say the show was faked. At no time did she say the stories were made up.

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And it’s true. Marianne Davis never said those things. Therefore, to publish articles claiming she did is misleading. To further state the show has been debunked as fake is libelous—not unless the author provides solid evidence and examples (which none have been provided to support these stories). Reality TV has been around for a long time. It’s not a secret that locations and stories are scripted to fit the constraints of the genre. Moreover, the paranormal community should be skeptical, but that skepticism doesn’t mean everything is faked. It means that more research should be conducted. Frankly, it means that more locations should be explored and more stories shared. To be clear: None of these stories support this show as being faked. Neither the Dread Central or The Inquisitr stories interviewed Mr. Groff or his team. Nor did they interview a sufficient pool of people. Sorry one blogger and 12 fans aren’t critics. They’re a blogger and fans.

 

Note from Lesia: I usually do not provide sources for my articles. However, I have pasted them below. Thank you for reading.

Sources:

http://www.dreadcentral.com/ghosts-shepherdstown-debunked-staged.html

http://www.inquisitr.com/4343034/is-ghosts-of-shepherdstown-real-or-fake-critics-claim-nick-groffs-show-is-scripted-witnesses-are-actors/

http://paranormalunitedstates.com/

http://forums.livescifi.tv/threads/is-ghosts-of-shepardstown-fake.2226/

http://www.inquisitr.com/4343034/is-ghosts-of-shepherdstown-real-or-fake-critics-claim-nick-groffs-show-is-scripted-witnesses-are-actors/

http://www.journal-news.net/news/local-news/2017/01/strange-things-ghosts-of-shepherdstown-gears-up-for-second-season/

http://paranormalunitedstates.com/

 

 

The Haunted Librarian Is Speaking at Dragon Con

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The Haunted Librarian Is Speaking at Dragon Con

Join me in Atlanta over the Labor Day weekend (September 1-4) at Dragon Con. I’m excited to announce that I will be attending as a “PRO” and speaking. Woo-hoo!

I’ll post more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, click on the link (http://www.dragoncon.org/) to find out about the world’s “largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe.”

“Leaves No Doubt” Amelia Earhart Survived Crash

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“Leaves No Doubt” Amelia Earhart Survived Crash

On July 9th at 9 PM EST the History Channel debuts the 2-hour special Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence. The show is premised on a long-lost black and white photograph showing a Caucasian male facing the camera while a Caucasian female sits on a dock with her back toward the camera. The photograph was recently discovered by amateur historian and retired US Treasury official Les Kinney. Experts claim the photograph “leaves no doubt” that Earhart survived her around-the-world flight in 1937.

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Amelia Mary Earhart (July 24, 1897-unknown) became the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean. An accomplished pilot, Earhart sought to fly around the world in 1937. Fred Noonan, her navigator, joined her on the fateful adventure as they left from Miami, Florida on June 1, 1937. With 7,000 miles of the 29,000 miles left, Earhart and Noonan disappeared in the Pacific Ocean near the Marshall Islands on July 2.

Eighty years later, the History Channel special claims that Earhart and Noonan survived by evidenced through the clear black and white photograph. Experts compared the images of the man and female with Noonan and Earhart. They point toward a blurry object in the background stating that it is the 38 foot remains of Earhart’s plane. They make a convincing argument. Unfortunately, the photographer was executed by the Japanese who called him a spy. None of the other people involved or associated with the governments in Japan, America, or the Marshall Islands are alive. Further, the Japanese destroyed all records; therefore, the image cannot be corroborated. However, the image does not seem to be doctored.

Earhart’s disappearance has captured the imaginations of people. Human bones were discovered on a remote island in 1940. Initially, the bones were identified as male; however, they were never confirmed as male. The 13 bones subsequently disappeared. Last month TIGHAR, the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, announced plans to use bone sniffing dogs to search the island of Nikumaroro for the remaining bones. The group has searched the island and waters surrounding it numerous times.

The photograph adds to Earhart’s mysterious disappearance. It may support the theory that she and Noonan died as castaways or political prisoners instead in the air. Regardless, many people continue to search. Hopefully Earhart and Noonan’s remains will be found one day and properly buried so their families and admirers may know what became of the intrepid adventurers.

Ghosts, Aliens, and Bigfoot: Rob Lowe Believes

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Ghosts, Aliens, and Bigfoot: Rob Lowe Believes

Quintessential 80s heartthrob has a new mission in life: To Believe. The Lowe Files debuts on A&E on August 2nd. The show features Rob Lowe and his two adult sons, Matthew and John Owen, as they search for the unknown. According to the Huffington Post article, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rob-lowe-bigfoot_us_595333bce4b0da2c731f9140, they may have found something.

Rob Lowe enters the paranormal reality TV market at a good time. Perennial favorites like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have run their course. Ghost Hunters ended its run after 11 seasons last year, while Ghost Adventures is still airing new episodes; however, lead investigator Zak Bagans has segued his career into several spin-offs, most recently Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks. Other fan favorites like The Dead Files have shortened seasons to maximize viewership. Ghost Brothers entered its sophomore season investigating the over-exposed locations seen on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures. It’s time for a new angle.

Enter Rob Lowe.

Lowe erupted onto the cinema screen in 1983 as “Sodapop Curtis” in the S.E. Hinton adaptation The Outsiders. Although he was already working in television, Lowe found success with teen favorites Oxford Blues and St. Elmo’s Fire. His career has come full-circle as he has been steadily employed in the television industry since 1994. Now he is trying his hand at reality TV. He is joined by his sons in the 9 episode season run. Episode one features the trio at the haunted Preston Castle, former reformatory school located in Ione, California. The season finale questions the existence of a North American wood ape, the Ozark equivalent of Bigfoot. Tune into A&E at 10 PM Wednesday, August 2nd. Hopefully, Lowe will find new locations and fresh content. Otherwise, he may not make it to season 2.

View the trailer here: https://youtu.be/eqXZq-rKfew.

Ghost Brothers Returns to Destination America

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Ghost Brothers Back on Destination America

Looking for new episodes from a paranormal series? Tune in to Destination America at 10 PM EST for new episodes of Ghost Brothers. Season 1 premiered on DA in 2016. Ratings were strong; therefore, it relocated to TLC (formerly known as The Learning Channel). However, it quickly returned to DA. The show follows three friends as they explore haunted locations. Season 1 locations were the typical over-exposed ones nearly every show explores. Unfortunately, Season 2 offers the same. Most of the locations are the ones from Ghost Adventurers. This is disappointing.

But it is summertime and the paranormal show offerings are slim. Check your local cable listings for Destination America. It is only available in certain markets. Certain episodes are also available by streaming directly from DA. Destination America has not committed to a third season. If you enjoy the show, start binging.

The Crooked Man is Greenlighted

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The Crooked Man is Greenlighted

The Conjuring 2 contained an eerie children’s nursery rhyme, “There Was a Crooked Man.” It’s based on a real person, Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie (1582-1661). The rhyme is about relations between Scotland and England. In the movie, it played when a children’s toy was wound and displayed a tall, slender hunched man. It was announced last week that the movie The Crooked Man has been greenlighted with pre-production beginning. It becomes the 4th movie spin-off in the Conjuring franchise. Although a tentative release date has not been released, it will follow The Nun, which hits theaters July 2018.

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Mike Van Waes is attached as the writer. His IMDb.com profile lists two writing projects; neither finished. James Wan will produce for New Line Cinemas. It is unclear if the historical “Crooked Man” will be tied to the movie or if the political tensions between England and Scotland addressed. Audiences will have to patiently wait. In the meantime, enjoy the rhyme.

 

Lyrics:

There was a crooked man,
And he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence
Upon a crooked stile:
He bought a crooked cat,
Which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together
In a crooked little house.

SourceL http://www.rhymes.org.uk/there_was_a-crooked_man.htm

Jaws Debuted 42 Years Ago Today

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Jaws Debuts on June 20, 1975

The blockbuster film Jaws (1975) debuted 42 years ago today. It is one of my all-time favorite movies. To celebrate, here are some facts about the movie:

  1. Based on the book by Peter Benchley, who appeared in the movie as the “Interviewer” on the beach. The book is very, very different from the movie.
  2. This was Steven Spielberg’s first large-scale film. He was initially concerned about being typecast and complained: “Who wants to be known as a shark-and-truck director?”
  3. The opening scene, “Chrissie’s Last Swim,” took three days to shoot. It is one of the best opening scenes according to WatchMojo.com (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74BE-_jsEmc).
  4. Roy Scheider’s famous “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” line was adlibbed.
  5. An alternate title was Stillness in the Water.
  6. The estimated budget was $8,000,000 and grossed over $470,000,000 worldwide. It is the 7th highest grossing ever film in the US.
  7. The film was nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture, which it lost. It won for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, Original Dramatic Score.
  8. Three mechanical sharks were built for production and nicknamed “Bruce,” for Spielberg’s lawyer Bruce Ramer. None of the sharks worked well; therefore, the movie doesn’t have many shots of them.
  9. John William’s iconic theme music was dismissed as a joke by Spielberg.
  10. Richard Dreyfuss’ character “Hooper” dies in the novel and original script.

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The movie is a staple of streaming services; however, it is only for rent/purchase. It is summertime after all.