June 2, 2010
12 Rumors about the Mt. Washington Beyond Reality Event
Article and photos (unless otherwise noted) by Mike Brody
I don't know why US Weekly doesn't have a paranormal edition.
Hot dang, it'd be juicy! This person did this, this person faked that, this person hears voices. The fashion section might be a little lacking, though. "This fall's big color: Black. This winter's big color: Black. This Spring's big color: Black. This summer's big color: Dark grey."
Ever since the spirit world became big bucks, the rumor mill has been in constant motion. This past spring's Beyond Reality Events...ummmm...event at Mt. Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, was no different. The attendees spent the weekend listening to lectures about the ghost world, watching paranormal comedy and going on ghost hunts. And like anytime ghosties get together, shenanigans were afoot. So now, let me chronicle the 12 biggest rumors I've heard from the weekend and put my definitive "True or False" stamp on each of them. (If you could imagine that each time I say "True" or "False" that I said it like John McLaughlin from the McLaughlin Group, that would be sweet. Thank you. I have odd fantasies.)
RUMOR #1 - The Mt. Washington Resort is haunted. TRUE!
At least I think so. Honestly, I'm not being lazy. I really am not. But there truly is no better way to simultaneously get the history of the Mt. Washington Resort and witness freaky evidence than to watch this eight minute video. I'm not lazy!
RUMOR #2 - Mike Brody almost died at the event. FALSE!
Mike Brody cannot die! I'm like folk music. Or cockroaches. A nuclear blast would only delay me! But, yeah, I had a giant infection on the side of my face that required getting cut open and drained a couple days before the event. So I got to walk around all weekend with gauze shoved into my face to soak up the puss. Do you know what's attractive? Open wounds on your face with a soggy wick hanging out. I looked like a leper candle. Maybe next time I have to appear in public I can work on losing a nose or something.
RUMOR #3 - Ghostvillage.com editor Jeff Belanger and Mike Brody looked like they were going to make out. FALSE!
Well, actually, I guess that's true. This is what happens when two close-talkers get together. Let's work on our bubble space, Jeff!
RUMOR #4 - TAPS Paramag editor Scotty Roberts knows the Vulcan Mind Meld. TRUE!
RUMOR #5 - Mike Brody's stand-up comedy routine killed. TRUE!
Because there's two things I'm good at: Stand-up comedy and modesty.
RUMOR #6 - Demonologist Adam Blai threw holy water on Ghost Hunters cast member Amy Bruni. TRUE!
And yet not true. As stated above, Adam Blai is a demonologist. Which in a nutshell means that he deals with the subject of "demons" and sometimes assists in exorcisms. His work is steeped very heavily in Catholicism and Christian ritual and it's not uncommon to find him carrying a bottle of holy water. At one point during the weekend Adam, Amy Bruni, myself, and a couple others were investigating on the property. Adam felt like there could have possibly been something nasty hanging out in the room, so he did some prayers and flicked some holy water around. You know, typical Saturday. Some of it, like a drop or two, landed on Amy's jeans. And then, seemingly literally, all hell broke loose. Somebody must have seen it happened and jumped to conclusions, because it was like an insane game of "Telephone." A couple of random drops of holy water turned to "Adam Blai poured holy water all over Amy Bruni!" turned to "Adam Blai performed an exorcism on Amy Bruni!" It's always interesting when you're at ground zero of something that later on becomes a rumor. It makes you almost never believe a rumor again. Because nothing happened. Amy's head didn't start spinning around vomiting pea-soup. Her hair didn't burst into Medusa-like strands of snakes, smacking everybody within ten feet like an evil Wet-Willy. She didn't morph into the Gatekeeper from Ghostbusters, eat a handful of worms and fly out the window on a broom that she stole from a poor cleaning lady. Nothing happened. Because it was barely a thing. When it happened, none of us even blinked an eye. Except for Amy. For 1/18th of a second you could tell she checked to see if any water got on her shoes and then she was okay. So you heard it here first: Amy Bruni - Possessed. But only with a passion for footwear.
RUMOR #7 - The spirit of the Princess in Room #314 gets jealous and increases her activity when you're dressed better than her. FALSE!
I spent at least an hour in there dressed in a fancy bathrobe that I found in the closet and I didn't hear one peep from the Princess the whole time. And I looked fine. Know what I'm saying? "But Mike Brody. Don't jump to conclusions. She could have been so intimidated by your cottony good looks that she fled to the other side of the astral plane." I agree. It's possible. That being said, I've been to the Princess Room four times now and nothing has ever happened in there. No voices, EVPs, bumps, cold spots, whatever. All I do is sit there by myself and make noises with no reactions. I have, however, heard dozens of stories of other people having serious experiences in there. Which leads to my next speculation: Am I the Princess? We've never been in the room at the same time. I am a snappy dresser. And I'm generally pretty confused about what time it is. If you guys are pulling some Sixth Sense crap on me right now, please just stop. Alright? Princess Brody. It has kind of a Disney feel to it, doesn't it?
RUMOR #8 - In addition to being a psychic medium and television star, Chip Coffey is now a professional rapper as well. TRUE!
His current rapper name is C-Coff. The problem with that is when you say it out loud it resembles the very pirate-y sounding "Sea Cough." Which probably makes sense since most of his songs are about sailors.
RUMOR #9 - The new wing of the Mt. Washington Resort is more haunted than the hotel itself. TRUE!
At least it seemed that way to me.
I can only speak for myself. I've had plenty of small-time experiences in the main building of Mt. Washington. Some EVPS, some EMF readings, flashlights going on and off. Two nights in a row this spring I was awoken to the voice of either a small child or a woman in my room. But none of that seemed scary or powerful. Just "there."
The new wing of the resort is another story.
Whatever is in there is jumpy and mischievous and noisy. Multiple people experienced shadows whisking down the hallway. Breathing was heard in the hall bathrooms when no one was in there. The creepiest one for me was the one I have the hardest time explaining. Adam and I were in a conference hall called the Reagan room. As we walked in, Adam remarked that "Reagan" was the name of the girl from The Exorcist. Oh thanks, Adam! Way to set the mood. Is there a John Wayne Gacy room too? Sigh. Anyway, Adam and I were talking by the rows of chairs. Suddenly, after Adam casually said the word "prayer," there was a loud popping noise about three rows away. It sounded like somebody had pulled the carpet about six inches off the ground and then released it with a snap. It was so loud that I audibly cried out. Yet, the carpet was so new and so tight that there was literally no way a human being could have pulled it without tearing it open somehow. Impossible. As we were remarking about the oddness of this sound, a second one occurred that was now one row away. It was weaker than the first one, but clearly moving closer. Adam then did what he does best, which is say prayers (some would say leg-guitar - but I think he's best at prayers) and whatever was there dissipated. I realize that this sounds crazy in print, but those sounds were very aggressive. When they happened, there was no question that whatever it was was trying to scare us away. Later on that night, we heard a breathy laugh coming from the Reagan Room as well.
So why would the new wing be seemingly more haunted than the "old" wing? Adam has a theory. It's definitely a religious theory, but interesting nonetheless. He thinks it's possible that the previous (and late) owner of Mt. Washington may have had the whole hotel blessed. That means anything that's in the new wing would not have gotten that blessing, since it was decades ago that this would have happened. Although this is clearly just a hypothesis, this could possibly explain why the only real experiences of great magnitude that I've had have been both off of the main hotel property. There's the new wing and then the Bretton Arms side house, where I had quite an experience the year before (link here).
RUMOR #10 - Mike Brody performed Reiki on Jeff Belanger. TRUE!
Believe it or not, I'm a very private person. Even though I'm into some weird things like UFOs and crystals and whatnot, I don't just shout it out to whatever stranger walks by. I don't crave attention in that category. Honestly, I'm a little embarrassed about it. I can't help it, I'm from Iowa. We're not flashy. But when I'm at the ghost conventions, I can come out of my shell a bit more because I know nobody is going to think twice about my eccentricity. Or so I thought. Apparently there are some things that will make a room full of paranormal fans turn their cameras and take note. Like Reiki.
I learned how to do Reiki about a year ago. Reiki, in a nutshell, is the Japanese art of hand healing. The placing of hands facilitates an energy that passes through and does some sort of healing, whether it be mental, emotional, or spiritual. It's not coming from you, but through you. Therefore, according to Reiki practitioners, it will always work. Man, you can't tell by reading this, but I'm already turning red just from writing this. Bah! Anyway, I use it on myself all the time, especially when I'm about to go on stage. It's calming and centering and I feel like it provides worlds of benefit.
Now, at some point in this event, someone found out that I did Reiki. Jeff Belanger was complaining (as usual) about his bad shoulder and suddenly it was suggested that I try it on Jeff.
"But we're in a room with 100 people!"
"Just do it, Mr. Miyagi!"
I protested, but it was to no avail. So I turned a deep shade of crimson and attempted to do something that was very personal to me without attracting any attention. Fail! Suddenly dozens of cameras were being pulled out of their cases. Fingers were pointed, flashes were going off, and I broke the record for most curse words strewn about during a session of Reiki.
Interestingly enough, Jeff, who is probably the most skeptical person I know in the paranormal field, says that his shoulder felt better and remained that way for days to come. Score one for Hoodoo!
RUMOR #11 - Adam Blai's arm was attacked by a demon and had a heart-attack. FALSE!
It makes me chuckle that I even have to address something like this. If you were there, you wouldn't have even noticed he was in pain. Here's what happened:
At 11 PM Sunday night Adam, myself and several people in a tour group were in the new wing investigating. Adam, who is perhaps the most calm person walking the face of the earth, said in a near silent whisper "I am experiencing pain in my left arm. I think I might require emergency assistance." I'm not even kidding. That's how he talks. He's in extreme pain and he talks like a sedated mall cop.
So without hardly a soul noticing, Adam takes off and gets a ride to the hospital which was 30 miles away. Three hours later he's back. Diagnosis: tendinitis. Let me repeat: Not demons! Very cut and dry and logical. At no point did Adam even suggest that evil spirits were involved. But once again, the situation was upgraded to Blair Witch level by rumors. "Adam Blai had a heart-attack because of a demon attack!" According to some witnesses, people were taking off for home in the middle of the night "terrified." Ummm, because somebody plays video games too much? It was a crick in the arm, not Satan. (That is a sentence I never thought I'd find myself typing.) Some day I have a feeling I'll be reading about the Great Paper Cut Demon Attack Incident of 2011. "Oh, it was horrible! That manila envelope was sent Priority from HELL!"
RUMOR #12 - Mike Brody accidentally spent an entire month's rent shipping his t-shirts home . TRUE!
Speaking of Priority from Hell.
Here's a tip:
Read the check-boxes when you ship something FedEx. Turns out when you ship the two 30lb boxes of shirts you were selling at the event "Priority Overnight," regardless of whether you realized it or not, they'll mail them that way. They don't care. And it costs $360. Congratulations Mike Brody, you're an idiot. As I am typing this, I am completing a sale of a troll magnet and various other items from my apartment to try and recoup the loss. The troll magnet just sold for a whopping 99 cents. 99 cents! The world doesn't know your value, Ms. Troll. I'm gonna miss you, Stinky. I'm gonna miss you.
So in re-cap:
1) Mt. Washington Resort is haunted.
2) Mike Brody is alive.
3) Mike Brody and Jeff Belanger: Just friends.
4) Scotty Roberts is a nerd.
5) Mike Brody is full of himself.
6) Amy Bruni is not possessed and loves shoes.
7) The Princess is not impressed with Hugh Hefner wannabes.
8) Chip Coffee is crunk.
9) The "new" wing of Mt. Washington is possibly more haunted than the "old" wing.
10) Mike Brody is a little New Age-y.
11) Adam Blai is getting old.
12) FedEx is expensive when you can't read; Troll magnets are undervalued.