GHOSTVILLAGE.COM NEWSLETTER #122 - December 16, 2011
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The holiday season is here! When you have a four-year-old, like I do -- it's magic. It’s supernatural. It’s awesome. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Santa Claus these days. My friend Al told me recently that he was struggling with telling his four-year-old daughter about Santa Claus. “It’s the only lie I’ve ever told her,” he said. I was quick to respond that Santa is not a lie. He’s a legend. All legends have a solid foundation in someone’s reality. From there the story grows and evolves; it becomes part of a collective human experience. Legends are real. The point can’t be argued.
Of all the legends in America, there can be none as prominent, or as real, as that of St. Nick. Like Bigfoot, I don’t have to tell you what Santa looks like, where he’s from, or what he does. The very name is synonymous with his deeds, but before there was the holiday hoopla, there was a man—a regular man who was the foundation of something extraordinary.
Nicholas lived in the land of Myra around 300 A.D. He was the only child of a wealthy family and was orphaned at a young age. A true philanthropist, and inspired by a person named Jesus who lived long ago, Nicholas gave away his wealth. He left gifts for children in their shoes, he was known to toss small sacks of gold through open windows, and to lavish affection upon the poor.
The Catholic Church canonized him shortly after his death, making him St. Nicholas. Incorporating Nicholas and his spirit of generosity into the Christmas season was a natural fit for the Church.
Over the centuries, Nicholas’s story was passed around through a natural folklore process. He was copy-catted by others who took joy in giving away money and toys to poor children. As the centuries passed, his legend grew to mythic proportions and took on supernatural attributes.
The Dutch people called this figure “Sinter Klaas,” and brought him over to New York when they arrived in the seventeenth century. Washington Irving wrote about this figure in his History of New York where he described the arrival of the Saint on horseback, but it was a poem penned by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823 that defined Santa Claus, his sled, the reindeer, what he looks like, and his chimney-arrival behavior. That poem is called “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known as “The Night Before Christmas,” and in 1931 the Coca Cola Company made the figure of Santa in a red suit with white fur trim a cultural icon as part of their advertising campaigns.
The first time a child meets Santa Claus, it’s like meeting the world’s biggest celebrity. Most of us never forget the racing heartbeats, the giddy excitement, or maybe even the fear of meeting this omniscient, supernatural being who can lay your most desired toy under the Christmas tree, or crush you with lumps of coal and sticks in your stocking.
As we get older, our ideas of Santa morph and evolve until many of us actually become Father Christmas—either at the office holiday party or when we have children of our own. The Santa experience offers genuine miracles on both sides of the fluffy white beard in a world where most mysteries are dying off at an alarming rate.
I don’t care if you’re Christian or not. I'm a paranormal guy. I believe in possession. In Judaism there’s the concept of the “Dybbuk,” which is a type of spirit possession. This possession can be a bad thing: like if you're inclined to drink too much or do drugs, a spirit that did that in life may cling to you and push you over the edge; or it can be a good thing: you're trying to get healthy and exercise and a spirit who did that in life may be drawn to you to help. We get possessed by good ideas, gut instincts, and inspiration all of the time. We also get inspired by great legends... like Santa Claus.
Santa's legend and story has spread throughout the world. Each Christmas we get inspired... nay, possessed by this good spirit. I'm thrilled my daughter is eagerly awaiting St. Nick visiting our house in a few weeks.
By carrying on these traditions which were based on a real man, I become part of the legend. I write myself into the story. I write my daughter into the story in the hopes that one day she too will become possessed by the spirit of Christmas. That she will be reminded to behave because someone is out there watching, that she will feel the urge to give to charities a little more, that she will know there’s still magic in the world.
Believe in Santa, Al. His legend is real. He’s real. He’s you. He’s me. He’s a bit of all of us. And next year he’ll be back, because we’ll never stop needing him.
Let’s discuss holiday spirits this month, Ghostvillagers! And if you’re looking for any last-minute gift ideas for the paranormal person in your life, check out my books. I have autographed copies for sale here (http://www.jeffbelanger.com/books.shtml), or you can buy them at a discount at online retailers.
Thank you all for an amazing 2011. My family and I wish you and yours much laughter, love, and legends in 2012!
Enjoy the rest of the newsletter below.
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com
Facebook: Jeff Belanger
This is the place to find out where author and Ghostvillage.com founder Jeff Belanger will be speaking on the subject of the
paranormal. If you're interested in booking Jeff for a conference or other event, please visit:
http://www.jeffbelanger.com/lectures.shtml for more information.
|Jeff Belanger's Upcoming Events
Shanley Hotel Lock Down - Napanoch, New York - January 21 - 22, 2012
Dead of Winter Event 2012 - Lizzie Borden House - Fall River, Massachusetts - February 25, 2012
A Supernatural Evening - New Braintree Public Library - New Braintree, Massachusetts - February 4, 2012, 7:00 PM
Phenomenology 104 - Parapalooza - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - March 22 - 25, 2012
Repeat Offender Event at Mansfield Reformatory - Darkness Radio - Mansfield, Ohio - March 29 - April 1, 2012
Congratulations to Merri Burnett of Geneva, New York, who was the October winner of an autographed copy of
Deonna Kelli Sayed's new book, Paranormal Obsession: America's Fascination with Ghosts and Hauntings, Spooks and Spirits and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
How to win: Entries will be accepted up until 5:00 PM (eastern time) tomorrow (December 17, 2011).
At 5:00 PM, we will draw a winner at random from the correct entries that have been received. You no longer have to be the first,
but you only have until 5:00 PM to get your answer in. If you click on this link:
http://www.ghostvillage.com/index.shtml#winner, you see
today's date, and "We have a winner!" that means the contest has ended. Sorry, please try again next month. To submit your entry, simply
reply to this email with the correct answer.
On to this month's question: This question can be answered by reading a page on Ghostvillage.com. Remember, reply by 5:00 PM tomorrow to
be eligible to win.
Does David Roundtree believe it's possible to combine both the metaphysical and the technological?
At 5:00 PM tomorrow, we will announce the winner on our home page.
Good luck! (Only Ghostvillagers who have not won a prize from us in the last year are eligible.)
This month's prize:
We're giving away an autographed copy of Jeff Belanger's new book, The World's Most Haunted Places, Revised Edition and a Ghostvillage.com window sticker!
Didn't win? Want to buy a copy? Click on the graphic.
Get to know some of your fellow Ghostvillagers.
|Who's Who in the Village?
>>Magik62<< - member since August 27, 2008
What is your name?
David L. Kern aka Magik which is a nickname I got when I worked in a magic shop while in Jr. High School
How old are you?
Where do you live?
What do you do for a living?
I design and sell T-shirts, I'm the owner of Freaky Tee's.
What first got you interested in the supernatural?
My first experience with ghosts came after my Grandmother called me after my grandfather died in 1975. The problem was that she had died herself 13 days before he did. Once I realized that it was her,
static grew on the line until I couldn't hear her anymore. But ever since I have fully believed not only in ghosts but that she watches over me. I have lived in three houses that were haunted including the current one.
Do you think there’s a time of year where ghosts are more active?
Although ghosts always seem to be active, I do believe that you get better EVP results in the fall and the winter.
Do you have any holiday traditions in your family?
Being married to a Filipina, not only are birthdays a big deal but so are death anniversaries. Plus, if the Christmas tree isn't up within a week after thanksgiving, and Christmas carols on the radio,
my wife gets real cranky. Personally though, my favorite Christmas song is "I Think My Christmas Tree is Haunted."
Our "Features" section is a place for editorials, research articles, open letters to our readers, and other content of interest to
Ghostvillagers. If you have a topic on your mind, agree or disagree with something you read
recently, we want to hear from you! For guidelines, click
New features added since our last newsletter:
Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) with Mike Markowicz December 13, 2011 [VIDEO]
Ghostly Lowdown on American Horror Story By Deonna Kelli Sayed December 7, 2011
The Curse of H.H. Holmes with Jeff Mudgett November 29, 2011 [VIDEO]
Paranormal Roundtable with David Rountree and Paul Browning By Deonna Kelli Sayed November 17, 2011
We receive personal encounters from all over the world. Many are scary, some are touching, but they are always profound. If you would like
to share your own experience, please click >>here<<. Since our last newsletter, we added the following new encounters:
Licorice Scented Saxophones - Tacoma, Washington
Spooky Deparment Store - Saginaw, Michigan
In the past month, hundreds of new people registered for free to join our supernatural discussion! Have you?
|Hot Threads and the Ghostvillage.com Community
If you have registered for our message boards but haven't validated your account yet, it's simple to do! Look for the email
that was automatically sent to you when you registered and click on the account activation link in the email (note:
some bulkmail filters may block this email, so you'll need to check your bulkmail folder if the validation email didn't
immediately come through). There are always great discussions going on in our huge
message board community. We hope you'll get involved. It's free to register if you're not already a member. Here are some of
the hot topics this month:
Plagued by spirts.
Religion and Spirituality
Religion and Ghosts - does religious belief matter in ghostly phenomena?
Information on the deceased by looking at a picture?
Real Orbs vs. Snowflakes
'Tis the season with lots of particles in the air, how do you differentiate orbs from snowflakes, etc?
Can Ouija Boards be haunted?
EconoLodge in Gorman, California.
Discuss the television series Paranormal Witness.
Back to share a picture.
Board of the Month -- Holiday Spirits
Do you have any paranormal holiday traditions?
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