Cornstalk’s Curse

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Cornstalk’s Curse: Not the Source of Mothman

Fifty years ago, Mothman flew into the imaginations of the residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a small town in the western part of the state. For 13 months, eyewitnesses recall seeing a 7’ tall, red-eyed winged creature. Though it never threatened anyone, its size was menacing. Mothman may have snatched a German Shepard. Other than that, it did not kill or maim. It merely fascinated. To understand the Mothman phenomena, one must look at the possible explanations as to why a creature would appear in an isolated part of a small state. One such explanation is Cornstalk’s Curse.

One local legend states that a chief of the Shawnee Indians placed a curse on the area as he lay dying from multiple gunshot wounds. Keightughqua, loosely translated as “maize plant” or “Cornstalk,” was gunned down at Fort Randolph in 1777. Some claim that his last words were to place a curse upon the land where murdered. Mothman is not a consequence of a curse. Indeed, it is doubtful Cornstalk cast a curse at all.

Keightughqua, Hokolesqua, and Colesqua are all the same man. His colloquial name translates to “maze plant” or “blade of corn.” Today, he is referred to as Cornstalk. Records of Cornstalk’s birth do not exist. His birth is estimated to be between 1720-1735, possibly in Ohio. Eventually he ascended to Chief and led raids to keep the British out of Ohio. Fort Randolph was built as an outpost near Tu-Endie-Wei, “Mingling of the Waters” or “Where Two Rivers Meet.” The Battle of Point Pleasant commenced on October 10, 1774, between the militia of Virginia and the Shawnee and Mingo tribes. A peace treaty was signed and the battle ended. The Revolutionary War impeded peace. Three years later, Cornstalk returned to the fort to alert soldiers of an impending raid. Soldiers held Cornstalk, his son, and other Indians from the Shawnee tribe. After a Virginia soldier was killed, soldiers inside the fort turned on Cornstalk and his entourage. He was murdered on November 10, 1777. In 1794 the town was officially chartered as Point Pleasant. Initially he was buried at the fort. In 1840 his grave was unearthed for a street. The few artifacts, mostly 3 teeth and 15 bone fragments, were interred in an aluminum tin can at the county courthouse. Finally, in 1954 the Mason County courthouse was razed and the remains were re-interred at the Tu-Endie-Wei Park. None of the credible historic accounts of Cornstalk’s life and tragic death mention a curse. Was there a curse? Highly doubtful. However, this does not deter people.

Supposedly the curse was to last 200 years, thereby ending in 1977. Believers identify several unique events as proof of the curse’s existence. These include floods, airline crashes, and Mothman.

Disaster records only show events beginning in 1907. Did the curse lay dormant for 130 years? Doubtful. In fact, the events are not truly unique.

West Virginia sits in coal country. Coal was discovered in West Virginia in 1742. The first commercial coal mine opened in 1810. Fifty-three of 55 West Virginia counties have coal deposits. Of those, 43 have “mineable coal.” Today, coal is mined in 28 counties. In 1907 Monongahela coal mining accident claimed 361 lives. It remains the deadliest US coal mining accident. Unfortunately, Monongahela is 3 hours away from Point Pleasant. It’s not remotely close to the land where Cornstalk was murdered. Therefore, this accident was not caused by the curse.

Few people point to a couple of floods in West Virginia as being the direct result of the curse. They specifically cite the floods of 1913 and 1937. West Virginia has experienced large-scale flooding. However, the floods in 1913 and 1937 were neither the largest nor the deadliest within the 200 year period that the curse supposedly covered.

According to a ranking of the “Deadliest Floods in West Virginia, Ranked by Fatalities,” the deadliest flood occurred in 1972. The Buffalo Creek flood killed 125 people and injured more than 1,100 people. It left nearly 4,000 people homeless. Heavy rainfall, though not extraordinary, was to blame for the dam breaching; however, the fatalities could have been considerably less had the Buffalo Mining Company not turned away sheriff deputies and begun evacuations. Most importantly, though, is that this dam is located in the 2outhern part of the state, 2 hours away from Point Pleasant. The curse was not responsible for this flood. It was an act of nature.

The second deadliest flood occurred on August 9, 1916 at the Cabin Creek and Coal River valleys. Early reports claimed the number of deaths may reach as high as 150 people. Sadly, the deaths numbered between 40-60 people. The monetary damage totaled $5 million dollars. A heavy downpour was responsible for this flood. According to Google Maps, Cabin Creek is an hour and 15 minutes away from Point Pleasant. It is nowhere near where Cornstalk “cursed” the land.

On the contrary, proponents of this turn to the floods of 1913 and 1937. The Parkersburg Flood of 1913 was a flood closest to Point Pleasant. It was hardly the deadliest. This flood was caused by the accumulated snowmelt. Although it was an inconvenience for local residents, the flood was not deadly. There was a larger flood that year. It occurred a few days prior to this flood; however, it did not impact or affect the area. There may be some confusion about the two floods among people who believe in the curse.

The other flood cited as related to the curse is the flood of 1937. This was a flood that affected a large area and numerous states. In West Virginia, it was centered around Huntington. Five people died locally of the 400 people in the entire valley. Although 25,000 people were affected and economic damages totaled $17 million, this flood did not cause the most damage in West Virginia. Further, West Virginia fared much better than the other states.

Neither of these floods can be considered devastating to West Virginia generally or Point Pleasant specifically. They do not support a curse. In fact, they discount it when one considers all of the other natural disasters in the state.

On June 23, 1944, the deadliest tornado to strike the state landed in Shinnston, West Virginia. One hundred and fifty-three people were killed in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Nine miles from the Monongah mine, the Shinnston tornado formed at 8:30 PM. The F4 tornado killed 66 people in Shinnston and surrounding area. Several tornadoes spawned from severe storms across the Appalachian region. To date, this remains the deadliest tornado to hit the state. Shinnston is 2 ½ hours from Point Pleasant on the other side of the state. Although this was a tragic natural disaster, it was not the consequence of Cornstalk’s curse.

A tragedy did occur in Point Pleasant. On December 22, 1953, a petroleum barge exploded killing 6 men and injuring 22 others. The barge was empty and docked for cleaning. One would presume that a curse would affect a fully loaded barge with full of employees.

Only one event directly relates to Point Pleasant and includes Mothman. In 1967 the Silver Bridge connecting West Virginia with Ohio collapsed. Witnesses claim to have seen Mothman lingering by the bridge prior to the collapse.

Cornstalk may or may not have cast a curse. However, the curse is not the basis for Mothman. But that’s okay since there are many, many more possible reasons for Mothman sightings.

 

Note: This piece is part of a larger manuscript Mothman: Debunking the Debunking written by Lesia Miller Schnur. If citing this paper, please remember to cite the author, title, and blog site. Thank you!

 

Biog: A New Column Featuring Mini-Biographies

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Biog: A New Column Featuring Mini-Biographies

Get ready for a new feature. “Biog” is a new column profiling people in the paranormal community. It will consist of written sketches of people performing incredible tasks in our community. Blogs may be multi-part articles depending on themes, subject-matter, and content. I’m flipping through my address book and jotting down questions personalized for each friend. It’s been fun, and I look forward to sharing the interesting factoids I have learned.

In the meantime, enjoy my nifty graphic.

The Dead Files Confront a Skin-Walker

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The Dead Files Confront a Skin-Walker

Spoiler Alert: This article contains elements from the episode.

The season 8, episode 5 of The Dead Files saw Amy Allan confronting a skin-walker. Skin-walkers come from the Navajo Indian culture. They are shapeshifters who disguise themselves as animals. The difference in this episode is that this skin-walker takes on the image of a known person, either dead or alive, so that the person encountering the skin-walker will feel relieved. Boy, were they wrong.

The Navajo Nation is centered on Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Their culture is rich with folktales. According to NavajoLegends.org, the skin-walker is a medicine man or witch who has turned evil. These walkers shapeshift into 4-legged animals; “The term yee naaldooshii literally translates to ‘with it, he goes on all fours.’”   This was not the paranormal problem at this location, Indiana.

Amy never addresses if this skin-walker is tied with Native American lore. Her description showed a spider-like creature that drained the souls from a person who died on or near the property. Amy spoke of a car accident that occurred between the 2 houses in 1979 where a 16-year-old boy died. Amy claims that the skin-walker stole this boy’s soul. However, it collects souls, many souls. This specific creature is extremely old and has always existed (as opposed to being born human). In addition to stealing souls, this creature borrows images of living people to trick the living. The concern is for the elderly patriarch of the family.

One of the short-term solutions Amy suggests is for the family to contact a shaman. Dictionary.com defines a “shaman” as “a person who acts as an intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc.” As with many other families on The Dead Files, this family was still searching for one when the episode debuted. Maybe the production company should employ a shaman, and I happen to know one who would be fantastic and a huge help. Just a thought!

Mothman: Debunking the Debunking

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Mothman: Debunking the Debunking

This summer I’m busy finishing my manuscript: Mothman: Debunking the Debunking. The book takes a look at Mothman, the sightings in 1966, the explanations that were proffered, and finally, how these explanations don’t pan out. Here’s a teaser:

Mothman: Debunking the Debunking

Fifty years ago, Mothman flew into the imaginations of the residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, a small town in the western part of the state. For 13 months, eyewitnesses recall seeing a 7’ tall, red-eyed winged creature. Though it never threatened anyone, its size was menacing. Mothman may have snatched a German Shepard. Other than that, it did not kill or maim. It merely fascinated.

An Urban Legend Is Born

Couples Steve and Mary Mallette and Roger and Linda Scarberry were looking for a good time. The abandoned ammunitions factory was perfect for night exploration. On the evening of November 15, 1966, they drove out on West Virginia Route 62 with Lonnie Button. Their destination was the McClintic Wildlife Management Area, a vast wildlife preserve in Mason County, 5 miles outside Point Pleasant. The area included an ordinance works housing a TNT factory from World War II.

The party of five reached the shackled chain-linked fencing. As the car’s engine ran, the young adults spotted something: a 7’ tall, red-eyed winged creature.

Quickly, they turned the car around and sped off reaching speeds upwards of 100 mph. The creature pursued, flying alongside. The car screeched to a halt at the Point Pleasant Courthouse, located in downtown. The courthouse housed the local police department. The five adults ran inside to alert Deputy Millard Halstead of the frightening flying creature that followed them into town. The deputy went outside; however, the creature was gone.

Roger Scarberry attempted to capture the image of the creature onto paper. He drew an overly simplistic blob-like shape with glowing eyes. He shared it with Deputy Halstead, who filed a police report. Mothman was born.

Follow my blog for publication updates.

 

Don’t Feed the Buell

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Don’t Feed the Buell

According to the Urban Dictionary, the saying “Don’t feed the bears” is a cautionary statement made to E.R. doctors who may over-prescribe narcotics. “Hey, doc, don’t feed the bears” means don’t prescribe the meds or even handout the meds because the bears get hungry and will return for more.

An earlier metaphor using the same words directed people to not feed the bears (in this case people without money to pay for food) because they will remain lazy and not seek employment.

Although the meanings have evolved, the message is clear: Do Not Feed. Alternately, feed at own risk. Over the past week, my social media feed has quite a few references to Ryan Buell. After reading the posts, all I could think was: Please people. If you’re really a fan, stop feeding him. Do. Not. Feed. The. Buell.

Ryan D. Buell erupted on the paranormal scene while a college student. He founded the Paranormal Research Society (PRS) at Pennsylvania State University, a.k.a. PennState). The group garnered media attention and his popular paranormal TV show Paranormal State debuted in 2007. The show lasted 6 seasons, ending in 2011. Ryan enjoyed great status as a young Catholic man seeking answers from the paranormal world. He made connections with psychic Chip Coffey and paranormal investigator and demonologist Lorraine Warren. By all appearances he was setting up himself for a lucrative career in the paranormal field post graduation. However, his life took a turn. He didn’t graduate. Instead, he lost sight of himself and the road he was to follow.

The popular show ended in 2011. He quickly began to profit by selling DVDs of the show, books, and the like. Sadly, a lot of the items were paid for but not being shipped. This began to concern his fans. Shortly after, Buell announced he was battling pancreatic cancer.

In an effort to jumpstart his career, he announced a paranormal roadshow titled “Conversations with the Dead” in 2014. He booked other paranormal celebrities to join, he created a schedule with venue locations, he sold tickets, and then he cancelled. Unfortunately, he failed to reimburse most of his fans who had already pre-purchased tickets and paraphernalia. It ultimately cost him his friendship with Chip Coffey.

Last September 18, Buell was arrested and extradited back to Pennsylvania. He was facing 2 felony charges related to his refusal or inability to return a rental car. Eventually, bail was lowered and he bonded out. His hearing was last November. Today, Buell is out of jail.

There’s a great deal of speculation about Ryan’s erratic behavior. His own mother publicly implored his fans to stop enabling him. She drew attention by stating he wasn’t battling cancer but something else. Fans quickly surmised it was alcohol or drug abuse. Ryan seemed to lay low and remained silent…until this week.

Q&A

Ryan is back on Facebook. He is hocking signed copies of his book. For $45, he will send you a signed book. He’s even posted a video showing him mailing a package out. Undoubtedly to restore faith to all those people whom he stiffed in 2014. Although troubling, this isn’t the most serious issue. He is now live streaming Q&A (Question and Answer) sessions via Facebook. I watched a few.

He needs to stop. Merely looking at him, one can surmise there is something wrong. The 34-year-old 6’2” man has lost a lot of weight. A lot. He appears drowsy. I’m not a drug counselor; however, he was slurring his words. He looked out of it. Actually, he lacked focus. And it’s sad.

I wish that he would take time off, repair his personal life, fix his mental health, heal his body, and get it together. His fans are rooting for him to pull through this. But his fans are concerned. Very concerned. One can scroll through the comments which overwhelmingly beg and urge him to seek professional help. He won’t get the help until he is forced to. He must forage for food on his own. Don’t feed the Buell. If he is to recover, he must do it himself.

Book2

 

Haunted Plank from the Amityville House Makes Travel Channel Debut

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Haunted Plank from the Amityville House Makes Travel Channel Debut

Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum returned last month with new episodes. The February 9th episode titled “Amityville Haunting, Ghost Army, and Fugitive Golfer” highlighted a piece of wood from the infamous Amityville Horror house. The demonic possession story was a hoax (see previous 2014 article at https://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2014/03/19/amityville-horror-hoax/); however, it doesn’t mean that this piece of wood doesn’t give off bad vibes. It means there may be another story, based on facts, that should be considered.

Interest in Amityville has not ebbed since the 1977 publication of the book, The Amityville Horror. The movie franchise alone has grossed over $170 million dollars. Add TV adaptations and books, and that’s one healthy moneymaker. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the book’s publication. Expect more media coverage.

TheAmityvilleHorrorCover

Given the interest in Amityville, the house makes the requisite rounds on paranormal shows. This is not the first, probably not the last either, time that Travel Channel has showcased the Amityville house. Paranormal Paparazzi (2012) incorporated the house in 3 segments in 2 episodes. One was particularly insightful. Kathy Lutz’s son and George’s step-son Christopher Quaratino claimed that George practiced black witchcraft in the home, causing the paranormal activity to spike. Needless to say, expect more books and versions to emerge.

Greg Newkirk, director of the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and Occult, appeared on the Mysteries at the Museum episode discussing the plank. Greg and Dana Matthews co-founded the website Week in Weird, www.weekinweird.com, in 2007. Both Greg and Dana contribute articles, and postings are weekly. The articles are thought-provoking and quirky, while remaining true to the blog format: concise. The site has advertisements, a source of revenue; however, they don’t disrupt the reading of the articles. They’ve segued their site into 3 entities: Week in Weird (@WeekinWeird), Planet Weird (@WeirdHQ), and The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult (@theparamuseum). In 2013, they created the traveling museum to take their stories and artifacts on the road. They’ve collected artifacts from past paranormal investigations and allow the public to handle them. The museum is the modern-day version of curiosity cabinets which featured oddities and bizarre items and peaked in interest during the Victorian era. Visit http://paramuseum.com/ for 2017 dates and more information.

While it is easy to fall back on popular tales, the paranormal world has so much more to be explored. The Amityville plank is a reminder that the original story was made-up and exaggerated for profit. Instead of focusing on the heinous murders and concocting reasons for a demonic possession, readers should question whether George exploited the murders while practicing black magic. He didn’t move into a haunted house; however, he may have created the negative energy by dabbling in something beyond his comprehension.

Dry Spell in Horror Movies

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Dry Spell in Horror Movies

Seems we’ve hit the doldrums for horror movies. A dry spell has taken over. The much anticipated, and over-hyped, 13th installment of Friday the 13th has been shelved—indefinitely. That’s never a good sign. The spell will lift by late April; however, there are 5 movies to plan for.

This summer brings 5 large budget horror movies to the big screen.

  1. The first is the highly anticipated franchise horror film Alien: Covenant, debuting on May 19. Fassbender
  2. The Mummy, reboot of the 1932 Boris Karloff movie of the same name opens June 9th and stars Tom Cruise. Casting is skeptical, which may tank the film before it even opens. BorisKarloff
  3. Stephen King’s book adaptation The Dark Tower arrives July 28, 2017. Idris Elba stars as “The Gunslinger.” He is the actor to watch break out in this genre.  IdrisElba
  4. In the sequel category is Annabelle 2, opening August 11, 2017. This date is tentative as the movie has already been pushed back once. Watch to see if “The Nun” in this movie tied into “The Nun” painting from The Conjuring 2 (2016) and will be a separate storyline in next year’s The Nun. James Wan may have created his own universe where his movies are interwoven more than Patrick Wilson cross-over roles. Annabelle2
  5. Finally, It has a release date of September 8th. This marks Stephen King’s 2nd summer movie and probably most anticipated from his legion of fans. “Pennywise” terrified viewers in the 1990 mini-series. Now he gets the large screen effects to scare a new generation into therapy for coulrophobia. Pennywise

There are other movies to hold us over until summer—just barely. They’re low-budget films that don’t have much star power. However, if the reviews are solid, then check them out.

RH Negative Blood ≠ Alien Life

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Evelyn De Morgan / Public Domain

RH Negative Blood ≠ Alien Life

The RH negative blood supports alien pro-creation articles are making the Internet rounds. Again. The articles profess that people with RH negative blood are aliens. The theory is that people who lack the Rhesus factor and are RH negative are not of this world. Translation: They must be extraterrestrials. Unfortunately, the nonexistence of a substance does not support the existence of another. That’s a logical fallacy. So, sorry, folks. If you’re RH negative, you’re still just merely a human.

People try to prove that extraterrestrials exist all the time. They look toward the skies searching for unidentified flying objects (U.F.O.s). They lift up the narratives from Roswell, New Mexico. They document stories and process evidence. And that’s good. However, they should not use RH negative blood theories as the basis for their claims.

Ten to 15% of the population are RH negative. The largest percentage, 40-45%, are Europeans, with Spaniards and French people of Basque origins being the bulk of these people. Rhesus negative blood types lack Rhesus factors, protein substances in red blood cells. RH negative blood is the result of a natural mutation of the genes. However, the alien life claims aren’t new. A Google search finds online articles dated from 2010.

Articles claim that RH negative people share similar characteristics including higher intelligence, lower body temperatures, empathetic, sensitivity to heat, and highly tuned senses. Physical characteristics are red hair and blue/green/hazel eye color. Finally, they cannot be cloned—who has even tried? Notwithstanding the last item, this is an exhaustive list of highly desirable traits. Coupled with these characteristics, people turn to several ancient texts: the Bible, various pre-Christian writings, and the Book of Enoch. From these writings, various theories emerged.

Theory 1 states that RH negative people are direct descendants of Jesus Christ. This theory claims that “pure” RH negative people are of Scandinavian origins. Sadly, there isn’t a “pure” RH negative designation. You’re either RH negative or you’re not.

Theory 2 uses the Bible, specifically Genesis 6, as evidence that fallen angels (human-like creatures) impregnated women creating hybrid creatures. The theory claims that these “angels” were a parallel race who came down from the skies to procreate. Unfortunately, this misinterprets the Bible. It’s also an over-simplification of the creation stories.

The “Truth Theory” claims that this blood type is linked to specific ancient tribes. Well, yeah, duh, that’s genealogy. When your DNA is processed, you find out where you’re from. Therefore, it makes sense that people with RH negative blood would be related and that relationship would go back for centuries to the beginning of mankind. A stronger study would track RH negative people and whether the mutation can be passed to children.

The final piece of evidence is that the largest number of people claiming to have been abducted by extraterrestrials are RH negative. Again, this is a logical fallacy. I would love to see the survey that produced this “conclusion.”

Not having the antigen doesn’t prove the existence of alien DNA. It supports a mutation. However, as an antidote I proffer that I am RH negative. I would like to think I have a high IQ, but I’m not in the genius range. My body temperature does run lower than normal; however, I started tracking this after undergoing chemotherapy and treatment for breast cancer. I’m neither a red head nor have blue/green/hazel eyes. I have yet to be cloned, but that’s because it’s illegal. On the other hand, I submitted my DNA to Ancestry.com over 9 weeks ago and have not received the results. Maybe I’m now on an RH negative watch list for possible cloning. Hmm.

Evidence Inadmissible in a Court of Law

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Evidence Inadmissible in a Court of Law

Some of The Dead Files episodes carry a disclosure stating that the evidence discovered and discussed are inadmissible in a court of law. Essentially, the disclosure means there may not be proof of a crime or proof to obtain an arrest and conviction. It’s an important disclosure. It also prevents Amy Allen from claiming a specific person committed a crime on TV. She may theorize; however, she shouldn’t conclusively make these assertions. In most of their cases, stories are collected and presented to Amy for possible confirmation that a crime may have been committed. In “Feeding the Fire,” the stories lead the viewers to believe that the man who confessed to the crime really didn’t commit the crime. This is a serious non-paranormal problem. Too many murders remain unresolved by people making false confessions.

This episode attempts to link the murder of Linda Jane Phillips to Henry Lee Lucas, a one-eyed drifter who claimed to killing hundreds, if not thousands, of women. Instead of setting the matter to rest, it creates many more unanswered questions.

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Linda Jane Phillips was born on October 27, 1943. The 26-year-old school teacher disappeared on August 8, 1970. Her mutilated body was found on August 10. She sustained 26 stab wounds. Further, she was sexually abused. Her death was established as August 9th. The case sat cold for 14 years.

Enter Henry Lee Lucas. Lucas had already killed his mother. He served time and was released in 1970. By 1975, he was back in jail. In 1984, he confessed to a slew of murders. Linda’s was one he listed.

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Lucas’ confession may have been false. The historian interviewed on the episode stated that police were unsure Lucas actually committed the murder. This was not always the case. Police in 1984 were all but certain. As proof, Lucas was able to discuss elements of the case; however, none of it was withheld from the media or it was things killers may know. Further, Lucas self-confessed to these crimes. Back in 1984, Kaufman County D.A. William Conradt seemed overly confident they caught their man. Conradt went on the record professing his firm belief Lucas did in fact murder Linda. He based his opinion on Lucas’ now famous quote: “There are just some things so terrible that you can’t forget them.”

Conradt was overzealous to close this case. He should have been more skeptical of the unsolicited confession. It is clear that Lucas sought “serial killer” status. Lucas’ number of victims shifted from 360 to 600 to 3,000. He recanted many of his “confessions.” In Texas, he was convicted of killing 11 people and received the death sentence for one. Then Governor George W. Bush commuted the sentence to serve 6 life sentences plus 210 years. Lucas died in jail of a heart attack in 2001 at the age of 64.

This episode highlights the ultimate tragedy in murder cases. Many self-professed killers didn’t commit the crimes. They were seeking fame, glory, audience appeal. Too many police departments are satisfied with confessions and refuse to re-open cases. The tragedy becomes two-fold. 1) Police departments lack interest in solving cases where the confessed killer turns out not to be the actual killer. And 2) Momentary closure pales in comparison when the victims’ families realize the killer is still at large. That just may be the case for Linda Jane Phillips.

Phillips

 

“Feeding the Fire”

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“Feeding the Fire”

The Dead Files proffers interesting cases with unique perspectives on possible paranormal events. Nearly every episode adds to the paranormal discussion by highlighting a different possible reason for the encounters. Season 9, episode 11 “Feeding the Fire” was filmed in Kaufman, Texas. A 60-year-old man was convinced the paranormal activity ended his marriage. He lives on a large lot in one mobile home, while his ex-wife and three daughters line in another. Some of the pieces of “evidence” supporting the activity were images from phantom bruising. Phantom bruising crops up in several other TV series and movies. They are not immediate links to hauntings.

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Phantom bruising are bruises that appear for no particular reason. Rather the reason is unknown to the “victim.” Rarely discussed on ghost hunting shows is that phantom bruising is explainable in most circumstances. Legitimate reasons include vitamin deficiency, exercising, affects from medication, signs from aging, and diabetes. To be clear: Most phantom bruising is caused by real world reasons. That’s not saying that all phantom bruising can be explained away.

Vietnamese people call unexplained bruising “ghost bites.” These bruises show up in various locations—on the thigh, under the arm, etc. Noting locations helps debunk these events. It is helpful to take pictures to build a case for paranormal bruising of unknown origins. As always, document everything. As with a crime scene, each piece taken together creates the larger story. See the next blog on what I mean.