Tomorrow, Thursday, December 10th, author and paranormal investigator Nicole Beauchamp guests on The Haunted Librarian Show to discuss her new book, Haunted Bay City, Michigan. Tune in at 9 PM EST on Midnight.FM as we discuss several of the stories haunting this historic town.
Tri-City Ghost Hunters Society, https://www.facebook.com/TCGHS/
Slander in the Age of Post-Truth: Burke Ramsey Files Defamation Lawsuit
JonBenet Ramsey rests in eternal peace alongside her mother and half-sister Elizabeth in St. James’ Episcopal Church Cemetery across the street from my daughter’s school. It happens to be my church’s cemetery, as well. It is a small, quiet cemetery. I pass it at least twice a day during the school year. Every time I drive by, I think of JonBenet. Her murder was a tragedy that persists because no one has ever been arrested or convicted for the crime. Americans with their fascination with true-crime books and TV shows are consumed with her death.
Twenty years ago 6 year old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was murdered in her Colorado home. Her parents, John and Patsy, along with her brother, Burke, were suspects early on in the investigation. All three were cleared (see http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/29/us/jonbenet-ramsey-murder-fast-facts/). However, this didn’t stop one “documentary” from naming Burke as the killer. The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey debuted to lukewarm reviews capitalizing on the public’s infatuation with this tragedy. Ultimately, CBS may pay substantially for its recklessness.
The 2-part production was riddled with slanderous accusations. It was clear that the network merely sought to capitalize on ratings and advertising dollars. Producers dismissed the conclusions of law enforcement and multiple witness testimony concluding that Burke, who was 9 years old at the time, committed the murder. They’re wrong, but in the age of “post-truth,” this did not matter. All CBS saw were dollar signs. Hopefully, they will pay—and pay dearly. Burke Ramsey filed a staggering $750 million dollar defamation lawsuit this past week (see http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/jonbenet-ramsey-cbs-lawsuit-1201949899/ for more information).
Shortly after the series aired several “news” outlets suggested that JonBenet’s body was exhumed. It wasn’t; however, it sold a lot of tabloids. According to The Oxford Dictionary, post-truth means “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Although routinely applied to political arguments, post-truth is when facts are ignored and replaced by emotional opinions. Needless to say, this is dangerous territory. By making an emotional appeal that someone—anyone—should be held accountable for JonBenet’s death, the producers believe that they can get away with framing Burke. They shouldn’t though.
Media is rampant with slanderous comments. There are numerous laws against and related to slander. However, law enforcement routinely avoids charging someone. Often the only recourse is civil court, which is expensive. To some, it is easier to defame and to get away with it while profiting. That is why this case is important. If Burke’s legal team is successful, they may be able to set a precedent for others seeking remedies in similar actions. Similarly, they rely on Hulk Hogan’s defamation case against the now defunct Gawker Media to bolster their case. These cases may pave the way for others with limited income to successful sue for defamation.
The paranormal community has its share of profiteers who slander others in order to make a quick buck. This article is meant to place them on notice. Don’t make up stories about the living or the dead. (Yes, the dead cannot sue for slander, but it’s unethical just the same.) In addition, don’t repost or share stories that you suspect to be fake. Paranormal researchers should hold themselves to higher standards. By doing so, they establish credibility and limit their exposure to potential lawsuits.
Evidence Ghosts Exist
Last week, I tweeted this link, http://whatculture.com/science/10-compelling-pieces-evidence-prove-ghosts-real.php. I previewed the slideshow and was fascinated by what I read. Contributor Tom Baker assembled a lot of compelling evidence. The topics ran the gamut: how haunted real estate affects prices, the Stone Tape Theory, the prevalence of ghosts in popular culture, the vast number of ghost sightings, and a fake photograph with a couple that make you pause. There are 10 slides, each offering a separate reason why ghosts may really, really be real.
I would love to expand on the reasons; however, I would do the article an injustice. You should scroll through them on your own. If I had to pick one reason I would write about how scientists, ones who have advanced college degrees, have studied and are still studying paranormal activity. This is encouraging! More paranormal investigators should participate. Remember: Amateur astronomers have discovered planets. Think of what you can contribute.
This article lists 13 colleges and universities that studied paranormal activity, http://mentalfloss.com/article/54450/13-university-sanctioned-paranormal-research-projects.
Article discussing what happened to parapsychology research, http://news.discovery.com/human/psychology/whatever-happened-to-parasychology-130624.htm.
Research continues at the University of Virginia, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/there-is-a-paranormal-activity-lab-at-the-university-of-virginia/283584/.
Historic—and Possibly Haunted—Garden District Mansion for Sale
Located in the Garden District in New Orleans, the former Harris-Maginnis Mansion has hit the real estate market. Again. Currently operating as a bed and breakfast (B&B), the home can revert back to a private home and can be yours for the discounted price of $4.9 million.
Designed by the famous architect James H. Calrow in 1857, the house was built for the cotton broker Alexander Harris. Harris and his child bride, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Thompson, moved into the sprawling home in 1858. On July 19, 1896, Harris died from yellow fever. The young widow remarried and sold the home in 1879.
The next owners were John Henry Maginnis and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tweed. [Note: Both women were called “Lizzie.”] Maginnis was a cotton baron. While vacationing at another residence, Maginnis was struck and killed by lightning on July 4, 1889—only 10 years after purchasing the home. Tweed held onto the property and willed it to her only daughter, Josephine, in 1921. Josephine and her husband split their time between New York City and Europe; therefore, Josephine gifted the 13,000 square foot home to the New Orleans chapter of the American Red Cross in 1939.
The American Red Cross used the home as a headquarters from 1939-1954. Dr. Clyde E. Crassons purchased the building and converted it back into a private residence.
The home has changed hands several times. Mr. and Mrs. Schreiber remodeled the home and converted it into a bed and breakfast. Hollie Vest, a Tina Turner impersonator, purchased the home in 2001.
Even more noteworthy is that the home has been listed for sale a lot. Like, a lot. It was listed in 2012 for $2.85 million. It sold in 2013 for $1.6 million. And now it is for sale again. Originally listed for $5.475 million, the sale price has been reduced to $4.9 million. The new owners can leave the home as an operating B&B or convert it back into a private home. I would not be surprised if the beautiful home reverts back. That seems to be the trend with historic properties.
Now known as the Magnolia Mansion, the home is not marketed as haunted. However, the B&B Website does provide some interesting stories and photographs of possible hauntings. Activity seemed to commence during the renovations. Another Website proffers that the ghosts are friendly. One tucks guests into bed at night while another child “plays” in the hallways. I don’t know if the home is haunted. I would love to investigate, though. Who knows? Maybe the next time I’m in the Crescent City!
Because I Believe
This past week I was approached and asked how a Christian could write a blog about the paranormal. Simply stated: How can I claim to be a “Christian” when I blog as The Haunted Librarian? Anyone who has read and studied the Bible knows of the vast array of paranormal activities it illustrates.
The “paranormal” is the unknown. According to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, the paranormal is an adjective “designating or of psychic or mental phenomena outside the range of normal.” The paranormal is comprised of ghosts, miracles, angels, U.F.O.s, and the like. Anything that cannot be logically or scientifically explained falls into this category.
Initially, I was drawn aback by this question/accusation. My first thought was “What is the ulterior motive?” Unfortunately, I am skeptical about the honesty and intentions related to this question. Why is anyone interested in my blog as it relates to my personal life? However, I decided this would make an excellent topic for a blog posting.
I was stumped as to how this person or any person defines the word “Christian.” Webster’s defines Christian as “a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ, or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus.” I am a practicing Episcopalian. The Holy Trinity is a Christian doctrine acknowledging that God appears in three forms: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. See there? That word “ghost” means spirit—as in dead. If you speak to Jesus, who is dead, then you are speaking to a ghost. Moreover, The Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, is God at work in the world, who leads me toward truth in Jesus and is an important part in my life.
The Christian population is large—very large. Worldwide, there are 2.2 billion Christians (http://www.globalreligiousfutures.org/religions/christians). There are three main groups within Christianity: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestant. In addition there are three additional ecclesiastical blocs. In total, there are over 33,000 denominations. Yes, recent statistics state over thirty-three thousand denominations. That’s a lot of people with a lot of beliefs!
My blog is one avenue I use as a personal release to share my feelings toward experiences that are not “of this world,” and this includes spirits, angels, and also some topics that are based on assessing the experiences that others share. Some of this material that may not fall into what everyone considers the “angel” category. Furthermore, a lot of my writing focuses on exposing people who exploit the vulnerability of one’s spirit. As my sub-heading states: I research, investigate, and write about all things paranormal. If you don’t like it, don’t follow my blog. If you want to use my blog to judge me, then you are severely misinformed and misguided. You are not my judge—only God is.
Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone. (John 8.7)
I’m The Haunted Librarian. Been this for awhile. A man is attempting to impersonate me by setting up fake haunted librarian Web sites. His first one was shut down. His second one will be, as well. All of this in an effort to harass me. His actions are malicious. He’s very, very upset about a few blogs I wrote exposing a #ParaScammer pseudo-artist who lied about his art. There are many lessons here. One of the major lessons is: Do your research. Before you purchase anything from a Web site, investigate to see whether the artist is legit.
Another thing this man is attempting to do is harass my friends. Although my friends aren’t in the paranormal community, they do discuss, research, and investigate our lost society: specifically, the abandoned lives of past generations. Matthew Christopher runs a few great sites: Abandoned America, https://www.facebook.com/abandonedamerica.us/?fref=ts; https://instagram.com/abandoned_america/; https://twitter.com/abandonedameric. Check him out.
My other friend is Sean Galbraith. He is an urban explorer. Check out his Web site and social media, http://seangalbraith.com/, https://twitter.com/seanphotos, https://www.flickr.com/photos/smlg/.
These two men inspire my research in the paranormal. No, not every location I explore is haunted. Every location I explore has a story. It is our responsibility to listen and to retell the stories accurately.
The API Gals Return to BlogTalk
Exciting News: The API Gals are returning Internet radio this month! After a brief hiatus and some positive changes, the API Gals are joining BlogTalk Radio. The new venue provides for two new programs: Archer Paranormal Radio and The Haunted Librarian. Archer Paranormal Radio features Lisa Shackelford and Lesia Schnur as they welcome guests and discuss all things paranormal.
In addition to the hour-long show, Lesia Schnur transforms her blog, The Haunted Librarian, into a 30 minute paranormal news show. Both shows will be available online and as podcasts. Join the API Gals and tune in!