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Features Archive:

2010 Archive:
Lampooning the Paranormal with Scott Gruenwald
November 30, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Haunted Objects with John Zaffis
November 23, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

History of Ghost Hunting with Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters
November 15, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Ghosts of the Stanley Hotel
November 9, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Haunted Victorian Mansion By 30 Odd Minutes
October 13, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Halloween is for Everybody by Lee Prosser
October 11, 2010

Column - regular feature

A Brief, Unofficial History of Ghosts and their Hunters by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 21, 2010


The New England Ghost Project By 30 Odd Minutes
September 14, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

A Paranormal Childhood with Ursula Bielski By 30 Odd Minutes
September 7, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Parapsychology with Most Haunted's Dr. Ciaran O'Keeffe By 30 Odd Minutes
August 31, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Pop Culture by Aaron Sagers
August 31, 2010


Baseball's Ghosts with Dan Gordon By 30 Odd Minutes
August 24, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Tamara Thorne - Ghost Chronicles
August 18, 2010

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghosts of Gettysburg with Mark Nesbitt By 30 Odd Minutes
August 17, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Fire in the Sky Author Travis Walton By 30 Odd Minutes
August 10, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Shave and a Haircut... There's Ghosts! By Mike Brody
August 9, 2010

Column - regular feature

Tara Normal Comic Book Artist H.C. Noel By 30 Odd Minutes
July 27, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Inventor Bill Chappell By 30 Odd Minutes
July 13, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Roundtable: Part Deux By 30 Odd Minutes
June 29, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Legend Tripping with Christopher Balzano By 30 Odd Minutes
June 22, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Kids and the Paranormal with Dave Schrader By 30 Odd Minutes
June 8, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

12 Rumors about the Mt. Washington Beyond Reality Event By Mike Brody
June 2, 2010

Column - regular feature

The Wisconsin Werewolf with Linda Godfrey By 30 Odd Minutes
June 1, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Live-ish From the Haunted Houghton Mansion By 30 Odd Minutes
May 25, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

One Year Anniversary Show By 30 Odd Minutes
May 18, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Pop Culture with Aaron Sagers By 30 Odd Minutes
April 27, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Starchild Skull with Lloyd Pye By 30 Odd Minutes
April 20, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Haunted Inns on the Cape - Ghost Chronicles
April 1, 2010

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

On the Road with Patrick Burns and Marley Gibson By 30 Odd Minutes
March 30, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Haunted Comedy Club By Mike Brody
March 20, 2010

Column - regular feature

Folklore and Legends with Dr. Michael Bell By 30 Odd Minutes
March 16, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Astrology With Christopher Renstrom By 30 Odd Minutes
March 9, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Women in the Paranormal 2010: Beth Brown
March 8, 2010


A Real Haunting in Connecticut - Ghost Chronicles
March 3, 2010

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

"Live" from Lizzie Borden's By 30 Odd Minutes
March 2, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Robert Nathan by Lee Prosser
March 2, 2010

Column - regular feature

Women in the Paranormal 2010: April Slaughter
March 1, 2010


Cyborgs and A.I. with Dr. Kevin Warwick By 30 Odd Minutes
February 23, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Women in the Paranormal 2010: Dr. Pamela Heath
February 22, 2010


Dr. Michael Bell - Ghost Chronicles
February 17, 2010

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Women in the Paranormal 2010: Marie D. Jones
February 16, 2010


The Haunted Slater Mill with Carl Johnson By 30 Odd Minutes
February 9, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Technology with Inventor Andy Coppock By 30 Odd Minutes
February 2, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Not Your Daddy's Team: The Queer Side of the Paranormal by Deonna Kelli Sayed
February 2, 2010


Shaman Steve Wilson - Ghost Chronicles
January 27, 2010

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Paranormal Roundtable/Debate with the Oddballs By 30 Odd Minutes
January 26, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Edwidge Danticat by Lee Prosser
January 25, 2010

Column - regular feature

2012 and Doomsday Prophecies with Marie D. Jones By 30 Odd Minutes
January 14, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

T. Glen Hamilton - Ghost Chronicles
January 13, 2010

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident with Peter Robbins By 30 Odd Minutes
January 7, 2010

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Surviving the Stanley Hotel By Mike Brody
January 4, 2010

Column - regular feature



August 31, 2010

Paranormal Pop Culture

By Aaron Sagers

Aaron Sagers As the lights go down, the legends kick in. In the dark, summoned up from some collective unconscious or a primitive genetic leftover, fears about an unseen world populate the mind joined by stories of all manner of bogeymen.

Spawned from mythology and religion, those tales told around tribal camp fires were the earliest version of paranormal popular culture long before radio programs, movies and reality-TV investigations. They tapped into the shared experiences of anyone who peered into the unexplained, and inspired the curious to seek out the truth in the shadows.

Over time, society evolved and science resolved some mysteries, but questions about old fears persisted. What's out there and what is to be done about the undead, the haunting dead, the walking dead and the deadly living things in the water, forests and outer space?

So it's a matter of fear and curiosity; for me, that speaks to why the paranormal has not just stuck around in the pop-culture sphere, but has actually become more mainstream.

Despite how much we figure out about our world and universe, there is a nagging awareness that there are some things that haven't been sufficiently explained. Pardon my appropriation of NBC's "The More You Know" jingle, but the more we know, the more we realize there's a lot we don't know.

Electric lighting, ADT security systems, shingled-roofs and aluminum siding -- and all other cozy, protective modern home amenities -- be damned, it is those old fears that spring to mind when the house settling at night sounds a little too similar to mysterious footsteps.

There is a maxim that there are no atheists in foxholes. I would add there are no skeptics alone at night at Roswell, Eastern State Penitentiary, or in the New Jersey Pine Barrens; there is the afraid and the curious.

Still, paranormal entertainment is clearly nothing new, and its predominance and acceptance in popular culture has always ebbed and flowed. However, there's little disagreement that we exist in a period of paranormal pop culture overdrive.

When it comes to strong ratings, box office receipts and top spots on bestseller lists, the entertainment industry can't do much better than paranormal investigators, a bespectacled boy wizard or a vampire who sparkles in the sun -- although lately those three have major competition from zombies, werewolves, aliens, monsters, psychics, demons, and even more vampires.

By my count, there are about a half dozen new paranormal reality-TV programs in production. There are no fewer than 14 paranormal shows appearing on the primetime lineup and nine supernatural silver screen releases this fall. Additionally, the genre is robust with a multitude of themed albums, video games, comic books, blogs, publications, and online chat shows.

Every year another poll is released that confirms why there is an audience for this stuff. If the numbers from Baylor University and Harris Interactive surveys are to be believed, an overwhelming amount of Americans have some belief in the supernatural; and many even claim to have had a personal experience or two. And in my opinion, those believers require an entertainment outlet and community, or paranormal support group, to curb fears and sate curiosity.

Before online social media, Craigslist or Meetup.com, finding a paranormal community was limited by social mores and geography. While many investigative groups existed before 2004, it was the wild success of the relatively new networking site MySpace that permitted paranormal enthusiasts to transcend the borders of their town or avoid potential embarrassment from judgmental PTA members. A paradigm shift occurred where groups could gather and ghost hunt, and attend paranormal conventions, and feel secure knowing they were with like-minded individuals.

Online social media, coupled with the amazingly serendipitous arrival of Ghost Hunters on the Syfy network (formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel) during the same timeframe, ignited a new level of discourse. Although the reality-TV show starring the blue-collar Roto-Rooter plumbers did give a significant boost to the mainstreaming of the paranormal, it and MySpace weren't the sole reason.

Between 2004 and 2005, the Harry Potter book and film franchise was also at its peak, and other paranormal pop culture heavy hitters were making their entrance. Supernatural, Ghost Whisperer, Medium, and Lost made it to television. The Twilight Saga began and Sookie Stackhouse was only on her third vampire adventure. The paranormal investigator Hellboy transitioned from comics to movies, and the zombie genre came back to life with Shaun of the Dead and Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead remake. Satan was even paid his due with The Exorcism of Emily Rose.

So the paranormal became mainstream this time because fear, curiosity, the Internet, and excellent timing. The entertainment industry was more than happy to keep feeding paranormal content to audiences clamoring for more.

No doubt an overexposure of paranormal pop culture will likely set in sooner or later, and it will recede into the shadows once more. But as long as those old fears linger, along with the curiosity to explore the unknown, the stories won't go away and the paranormal will eventually return again to the mainstream.


Aaron Sagers is a pop culture expert. His weekly column examines television, movies, music, video games and comic books. He also has extensive experience writing about paranormal investigation groups, has joined numerous groups on cases and is a sucker for the para-mysteries of the world. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, Frommer's Budget Travel, and MSNBC.com along with many other outlets. He is the editor of ParanormalPopCulture.com.




2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!


Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014