Creepy Doll 2020 Contest Is Open

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The History Center of Olmsted County (Rochester, MN) held a Creepy Doll 2019 Contest last year. The “contestants” were vintage, old, and well-worn. The contest was very popular, with a circa 1850’s handmade doll missing her right arm winning. (See https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2019/10/25/creepy-doll-contest/) All nine dolls were placed on exhibit. This year offers nine new—well, technically old—dolls for consideration. In-person voting started on October 1st, and virtual voting runs October 14-24 (links below). The winning doll will be announced on October 28th and will be crowned on Halloween. Learn more about the dolls Thursday, October 22nd when Dan Nowakowski, Curator at the History Center, joins me on The Haunted Librarian Show.

Doll 1: Arsenic and Old Lace; Doll 2: Squeaks; and Doll 3: Stanley Kubrick are displayed above.

Doll 4: Bela Lugosi; Doll 5: Frankenstein; and Doll 6: Shirley Jackson are displayed above.

Doll 7: Victorian; Doll 8: Lady MacBeth; and Doll 9: Mrs. Danvers are displayed above.

Each doll sits in themed vignettes with information regarding provenance, materials, and information regarding the doll. It is quite exciting to see these dolls on display! The center has come up with a clever way to pass down stories of former residents while exposing the collection to a wider audience.

Toy dolls remain popular. According to The Toy Association, retail sales of dolls in the U.S. in 2019 topped $3.22 billion dollars and accounted for nearly 12% of the $27 billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, most dolls don’t make their way into historical centers. That’s why this collection is important. It chronologizes the history of the county.

Although last year, I had a clear favorite, this year is a challenge. I’m leaning toward one of the porcelain beauties. I look forward to voting!

Tune in every Thursday at 9 PM EST on Midnight.FM as I chat with people who are working in the strange and unique.

For more information and to vote, visit:

Website: https://www.olmstedhistory.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OlmstedHistoryCenter/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olmstedhistorycenter/

ITC: A Short Primer

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Instrumental Trans-Communication, commonly known as ITC, is communication with non-living creatures. The communication can be one-way or two-way, where a person converses with the non-living entity. ITC is the bread-and-butter of TV paranormal shows. Further, there are lots of devises you can use to capture this communication. One of the most popular is the Frank’s Box, named after Frank Sumption, who died of a heart attack at the age of 60 in 2014. Even though Frank is credited with inventing the modern Ghost Box, he was not the first. Ghost Boxes have captured the imaginations of inventors and investigators for decades.

Spirit communication can be captured on audio or video. Typically, paranormal investigators incorporate both in an investigation setting up infrared cameras to capture movement and sounds and voice recorders. Many teams have added some form of a spirit box into their repertoire of tools.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) supposedly stated that he was working on a devise to communicate with spirits. Scientific American author Austin C. Lescarboura clarified Edison’s comments in the October 30, 1920 issue. Edison, much to the disappointment to the Spiritualists, was not working on a devise to communicate with the dead. In fact, he did not believe that it was possible.

In 1941, photographer Attila Von Szalay (dates unknown) recorded “phantom voices” on his 78-rpm records. Working with Raymond Bayless (1920-2004), Von Szalay published these findings in 1959.

Attila Von Szalay.

During the same year, Friedrich Jurgenson (1903-1987) captured mysterious voices while recording bird calls. Jurgenson claimed his dead mother was attempting to communicate with him.

Jump to 1980 and the supposed Spiricom, devised by George Meek and operated by psychic Bill O’Neil. Ultimately, these “communications” were possibly debunked by Dr. Terrance Peterson. The Spiricom didn’t come to full fruition and sits unused to this day.

Then came Frank Sumption, Sr. In 2002, Frank took a radio and altered it to scan the white noise on the AM band. Frank did not realize a financial boom by making his boxes. Instead, he gave them away. Today, the 180 boxes are highly sought after.

Frank Sumption, Sr.

After Frank’s untimely death, interest in ITC communication is as strong as ever. And there are legitimate researchers using spirit boxes and documenting their findings. Check out Tim Woolworth’s collaborative site ITC Voices, http://itcvoices.org/.

Frank’s work paved the way for others to build their version of a ghost box. Beware, there are some who overprice and sensationalize “communication” with the recently deceased. With that in mind, try one out. You may be surprised at the results.

Coming 2021: Haunted Old South Pittsburg Hospital (OSPH) Opening a Museum

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October kicked off with a bang on The Haunted Librarian Show. The new owner of the Haunted Old South Pittsburg Hospital (TN), Ronnie, updated listeners on the progress of cleaning up the favorite destination for paranormal investigation teams. He has a volunteer team totaling 35 people! That’s incredible. But Ronnie had more exciting news for listeners: In 2021, the venue will open a proper museum honoring the doctors, nurses, and staff who tended to the community over the years.

A rare opportunity fell into Ronnie’s lap when the hospital was sold in a tax sale. Ronnie, a paranormal investigator often visited OSPH and experienced some of the most compelling evidence of the location’s haunted reputation. After contemplation, Ronnie decided to purchase the dilapidated hospital but only if he was able to make it part of the Old South Pittsburg community. And he has.

Ronnie and his volunteer team have cleaned and rehabbed the 68,000 square foot facility. Further, he has met with historical society members in order to obtain the true stories of events and people rumored to be haunting the location. Some stories were not accurate; others were embellished. During this time, Ronnie and the staff have spent a lot of time in the building, and the spirits have noticed.

Anyone visiting OSPH prior to its 2018 closure would remember the condition of the building and the grounds. Basically, it wasn’t kept up. Remember, it is a large building. The owner may have lacked staff or funds. No matter the excuse, Ronnie has pledged to make the location safe, inside and outside. During the deep cleans and renovations, Ronnie and the staff have uncovered objects of historical significance to the rural community hospital. A parking lot token was unearthed; a bone saw discovered. While collecting these items and verifying them with the local historical society, Ronnie with the staff developed a plan: They would create a museum to display the items, while also telling the stories of the doctors, nurses, and staff who served the community.

Currently, the museum will be housed in the back of the hospital, where the Emergency Room Entrance is located. The initial plan consists of glass cases holding the items that the volunteers are finding, along with photographs and hospital plans. Next year, 2021, is the anticipated grand opening. In the meantime, book your tickets to the many public events already scheduled or book a private investigation. OSPH is back and open for business. Find out why it is considered one of the most haunted locations in America.

Cyndi Lauper Knows Tarot

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Cyndi Lauper played psychic “Avalon Harmonia” in 5 episodes of the incredibly popular crime show Bones. The guest role allowed Ms. Lauper to share her passion: Tarot Cards. Lauper has read Tarot cards for decades, and she wants to use her hobby to help another passion: Helping LGBTQ youth who find themselves homeless.

In 2008, Cyndi Lauper co-founded True Colors United (https://truecolorsunited.org/), a non-profit organization aimed at helping LGBTQ youth who are homeless. “According to a recent study from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth.” Their mission is to end LGBTQ youth homelessness. Please consider donating.

Prizeo.com is holding a raffle where one lucky winner will receive a Tarot reading from Ms. Lauper, 2 VIP tickets with a special Meet-and-Greet to one of her future concerts, and loads of merchandise. Raffle tickets with a minimum donation of $10 are entered into the drawing; however, people can purchase ticket bundles that include exclusive items. For instance, a $350 donation/entry comes with an autographed Rider-Waite Original Tarot Card Set. (Swoon) No matter the amount, True Colors United is a most worthy organization. Please consider entering, and if you win, let me know. I’ve entered and hoping many of my readers join in.

To enter: https://www.prizeo.com/campaigns/cyndi-lauper/tarot-cards?utm_term=701+Cyndi+%2F%2F+Int-cyndi&utm_campaign=701+Cyndi+%2F%2F+Int%2FLAL&utm_medium=paid_social&utm_content=701+Cyndi+%2F%2F+CL-rwrd-img05-tarot+%2F%2F+UEP+-+10158621887243908&utm_source=facebook

Academic Paranormal Degrees–Yes, They Exist

Prestigious colleges across the country housed paranormal programs. One of the most famous was at Duke University, https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2014/03/30/duke-university-what-happened/. Today, those programs have been extinguished only to re-emerge at small, independent schools. Join me this Thursday, as I talk with Heather Leigh Carroll-Landon, Ph.D. on her experience earning her degree.

As one of the panelists for the new paranormal education group Ghost Education 101, Heather shared how ordinary household gadgets can be used in paranormal investigations. No need to spend a lot of money in order to start your exploration into the unknown.

Tune in for the live show at 9 PM EST or listen via the archives on Midnight.FM.

Lucille Frank’s Final Resting Place No Longer a Secret

Lucille “Lucy” Selig Frank with her husband, Leo.

August 17, 1915 was a tragic day in American history. On that infamous day, Leo Max Frank, whose sentence for killing 13-year-old Mary Phagan two years prior was commuted by outgoing Georgia Governor John “Jack” Marshall Slaton to life in prison, was lynched in Marietta, Georgia. No one was ever arrested or convicted for Frank’s kidnapping from the Georgia State Prison Farm in Milledgeville and the lynching. Further, it is widely believed that Frank did not, in fact, commit the crime. Frank’s body was shipped to New York for burial. Lucille “Lucy” Selig Frank remained in Atlanta, dying on April 23, 1957 of heart disease at the age of 69. For decades, her final resting place remained a mystery; however, we now know that she is interred at Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery.

Lucille remained faithful to Leo throughout her life; she never stopped mourning Leo’s murder. After Leo’s murder, Lucille, age 27, carved out a life as a widow in Atlanta. She never remarried, working as a salesclerk at various retail businesses. Lucille would sign her name as “Mrs. Leo Frank” and never shied from her tragic legacy. When she died, her remains were cremated, generating speculation and scrutiny. and held at Patterson’s Funeral Home in Atlanta. Her internist Dr. James Kauffman said, “Leo might have been killed, but she served a life sentence.”

During a time of anti-Semitic unrest in Atlanta, the funeral home contacted Lucille’s family to hand over her remains. Alan Marcus, her nephew, took possession and drove around for roughly 6 months with the remains in the trunk of his red Corvair Monza. In 1964, Alan and his brother, Harold, took the urn to Oakland Cemetery, where they dug a hole between the graves of Emil and Josephine Cohen Selig, Lucille’s parents. For 40 years, Alan kept his secret.

In 2004, Alan disclosed where Lucille was buried to author Steve Oney, whose seminal book And the Dead Shall Rise, the Murder of Mary Phagan and Lynching of Leo Frank (2003) remains the best and comprehensive look at the infamous event.

Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is one of the best examples of a rural garden cemetery (https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2013/09/16/historic-oakland-cemetery/). It seems fitting that Lucille shall spend eternity tucked between her parents. Although her grave is technically unmarked, it is not without adornment. A small plaque of an angel with an inscription sits nestled between her parents’ tombstones. In death, may she find peace.

Alex Matsuo, Singing & Spooky Stuff

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Alex Matsuo

Alex Matsuo joins Lesia this Thursday night.

Show Description:

Podcasts and YouTube videos are incredibly popular, especially paranormal themed ones. Due to COVID, a lot of ghost investigations have been sidelined. Alex makes several suggestions on how to cope during the quarantine. In addition, author of 4 books on the paranormal, Alex proffers insight into paranormal investigations and other topics, shares some of her stories, and talks about joining Tik Tok and the Ripple Effect challenge on The Haunted Librarian Show.

Bio:

Alex is a paranormal researcher, singer, and author. She is the founder of the Association of Paranormal Study and runs the blog and YouTube channel, Singing & Spooky Stuff. She was recently seen on Travel Channel’s Most Terrifying Places in America, as well as Truth or Legends in Your Hometown. In addition, she is the host of the podcast, Informal Paranormal. Alex has written several books about the paranormal including, The Brave Mortal’s Guide to Ghost Hunting, The Haunting of the Tenth Avenue Theatre, More than Ghosts: A Guide to Working Residential Cases in the Paranormal Field, and The Haunted Actor. She holds an MA in theatre from San Diego State University and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Social Media Links:

YouTube.com https://www.youtube.com/user/athespiangirl

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/matsuoalex/

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Alex-Matsuo/e/B00I4JEKR8%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Household Gadgets for Paranormal Investigating: Electroscope

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You don’t need to purchase expensive gadgets to investigate. There are plenty of household items at your disposal that may generate better results. I learned of a few watching the Facebook Live Ghost Education 101 session with Philip Wyatt, as host, and Heather Leigh Landon, who presented “Non-Technical Paranormal Investigation Tools” last Tuesday. Here is a link to the presentation: https://www.facebook.com/101483755012255/videos/974627249720267. All of the panels are archived and accessible online. While I own quite a bit of the items mentioned, I did not own an electroscope; therefore, I made one!

From the YouTube creators Science Buddies, https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=wso0FqcnG7g&fbclid=IwAR3gm8kgYKUA0L3jsN4rGCE_TZXsgs5TLqtJIMGvgY3WU10bzoDc8oBqoRU&app=desktop, I learned how to create an electroscope from items I already owned. It was rather easy to make and more fun to experiment with.

The electroscope works on the static electricity theory whereby everyone produces static electricity. Although there is much discussion on whether a person who dies maintains her energy, the concept presumes that a ghost has energy and gives off that energy that can be measured with different paranormal tools. The electroscope measures these electrically charged ions that are not visible to the naked eye. The electroscope that I made measures the static electricity when the teardrop-shaped aluminum foil resist and pull apart.

Make your own with the following items:

  1. Metal uncoated hanger;
  2. Pliers;
  3. Straw;
  4. Pencil;
  5. Piece of cardboard;
  6. Scissors;
  7. Hot glue gun;
  8. Piece of aluminum foil;
  9. Glass jar;
  10. Tape.

Watch the short video from the link and create your own electroscope.

In order to test the theory, you will need a piece of Styrofoam and piece of wool. You will also need the remaining hanger from above. Rub the Styrofoam over the wool to create static electricity. Then bring the Styrofoam close to the curved metal without touching it. Notice how the aluminum foil pulls apart. It will be slight. Next, rub the Styrofoam over the piece of wool. Again, bring the Styrofoam close to the curved metal. The aluminum foil teardrops will close back together. Finally, rub the Styrofoam over the wool. This time touch the Styrofoam to the curved metal. The aluminum foil will noticeably pull apart. This is how static electricity works.

Of course, my homemade electroscope decided to work differently. The foil might be too thin. The teardrops move together. I had to take them out and flatten them more in order for them to hang together touching. Once I did that, bingo—it started to work! The flaps separate quickly. I didn’t even need the wool (I reside in Atlanta and don’t own any wool clothing). All I did was rub the Styrofoam on my cotton shorts.

In ghost hunting, the electroscope measures when a ghost passes by as the aluminum foil will separate and pull apart, showing that static electricity is near or touching the curved metal. The key is for no one to be walking or resting near the electroscope. This invalidates the experiment.

Once I begin investigating again, I will bring my homemade electroscope along to test out. I will keep you posted on any developments!