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Features Archive:

2011 Archive:
 Paranormal Peeps and Holiday Traditions
December 29, 2011

Littlest Mummy (A Christmas Story) By Richard Senate
December 21, 2011

Wartime UFOs with Mack Maloney
December 20, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) with Mike Markowicz
December 13, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

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

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Paranormal Roundtable with David Rountree and Paul Browning By Deonna Kelli Sayed
November 17, 2011

Legends Are Born in October By Christopher Balzano
October 17, 2011

Halloween Nation with Lesley Pratt Bannatyne
October 11, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

The Haunting of Major Graham Mansion by Deonna Kelli Sayed
October 5, 2011

The Hunt for Ohio's River Styx Ghost Train by Ken Summers
September 29, 2011

Evidence of Ancient Aliens with Peter Robbins
September 27, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Southern New England Haunts with Andrew Lake
September 20, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Pop Paranormal Culture and Middle Eastern Legends with Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 13, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Legend Tripping with AdventureMyths by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 12, 2011

Out of Place in Time and Space with Lamont Wood
September 6, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

TAPS Academy Comes to Town by Deonna Kelli Sayed
September 1, 2011

The Amityville House with Christopher Quaratino (Lutz)
August 30, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Springfield, Missouri’s 150th by Debra Prosser
August 26, 2011

Column - regular feature

Paranormal Pastoring by Rev. Sherrie James
August 22, 2011

Live-ish From the Haunted Fearing Tavern
August 16, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

In Defense of Paranormal Reality TV by Deonna Kelli Sayed
August 8, 2011

Gone From Sight by Debra Prosser
August 3, 2011

Column - regular feature

The Psychology of Being Watched By Wayne Harris-Wyrick
August 2, 2011

The Paranormal Pastor Robin Swope
July 26, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Living Voices: Dr. Dave Oester By Deonna Kelli Sayed
July 20, 2011

Living Voices: Richard Senate By Bobby Garcia
July 13, 2011

What's in a Name? Let's Try "Paranormalogy!" By Rev. Sherrie James
July 6, 2011

Caged and Staged by Katie Mullaly
June 23, 2011

The Haunted Dibbuk Box with Jason Haxton
June 14, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Ghost Hunter's Grant Wilson
June 13, 2011

The Haunted Book by Lee Prosser
June 10, 2011

Column - regular feature

Raymond Cass - EVP Pioneer by Bobby Garcia
June 9, 2011

Illinois Haunts with Michael Kleen
June 7, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Artist Paulina Cassidy
June 2, 2011

Alien/Human Hybrids with Barbara Lamb
May 31, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Author Marley Harbuck Gibson
May 26, 2011

Biblical Apocalypse Prophecies with Dr. Robert M. Price
May 24, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

America's Strangest House by Deonna Kelli Sayed
May 23, 2011

Two-Year Anniversary Special
May 17, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Artist Jackie Williams
May 13, 2011

Wiliford by Lee Prosser
May 12, 2011

Column - regular feature

The Spirit Box with Psychic Chris Fleming
May 10, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Violating the 13th Amendment Paranormal Style by Reverend Sherrie James
May 6, 2011

Inside the Church of Satan with Joshua P. Warren
May 3, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - Terri J. Garofalo, creator of Entities-R-Us
April 28, 2011

Haunted San Francisco with Loyd Auerbach
April 26, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Future Predictions with Dr. Louis Turi
April 12, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spring of Culture at Ghostvillage - H.C. Noel, Creator of Tara Normal
April 7, 2011

Pennsylvania Bigfoot with Eric Altman
April 5, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Spontaneous Human Combustion with Larry Arnold
March 29, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Japanese Earthquake Ghosts, 2011 by Lee Prosser
March 28, 2011

Column - regular feature

UFOs with Stanton Friedman
February 8, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Ophiuchus with Astrologer Christopher Renstrom
February 1, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Crashing the Ghost Adventures Shoot
January 11, 2011

30 Odd Minutes - webcast

Marjorie Myrene Hart by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2011

Column - regular feature

October 17, 2011

Legends Are Born in October

By Christopher Balzano

When I began my paranormal career, I wanted anything but a career. I was a storyteller looking to document what I thought was the most interesting topic I could find. I knew it was engaging because I was fully engaged in it, and for many people who start to look into the paranormal, the idea of ghosts and spirits and all that come with them can be something of an obsession. In those early stages, many of us consume anything we can find, and when we can't find the best stuff, it hardly matters to us. It's all good because it's about ghosts. But not all that glitters is gold.

Case in point: A few years ago, after becoming somewhat of an authority on an especially haunted area of my state, I was contacted by a newspaper that was doing their traditional Halloween stories. After the interview, they published an article that included many of the locations I talked about. There was even a map included. There was no follow-up with any of the places or checking of my facts or even permission from some very public areas to use what I had said. My words were truth, and as Web sites and other media outlets got the story, my naming of names spread throughout the area and investigators and researchers hit the field looking to touch the things I had talked about. It was not that I had told any lies; it was a storyteller retelling the most engaging things he had heard.

Innocent, right? One of the subjects I talked about was a local college known for some amazing hauntings, although like most colleges, the back story and the folklore were the real star and the details of the ghosts were secondary. As the head of the library and the college archivist both sat down to breakfast that morning, they saw their college in bold letters (and a special generic clip art picture on the map) and knew they were in for a tough time. There were no ghosts on campus and the stories had been the subject of folklore for years, which they explained to dozens of people who called over the next few days to request permission to investigate. They were just good ghost stories. A letter they wrote to the paper explaining just that never made it to the editorial section.

A few years later I met them both as I was doing research for my book on that area. Both eyed me suspiciously and knew me by name. They gave me a detailed account of what they had gone through and continued to go through because of my article. Of course, as a folklorist, I was bringing the information to the masses, something the newspaper felt was more of a detail than a direction. The women both eventually understood my focus and helped me with the book, as well as helping me a few times since, gather information or to check a detail of a case.

I'm not sure if the line between folklore and fact is any more blurred than it was years ago. We have a tool that can help verify the stories we are told, but so often we can't trust the second source or don't bother to look. A phone might help, but there are deadlines and the stories are not meant to be more than casual reading. Why check facts when you are talking about something as silly as ghosts anyway? The odd thing is that these stories become the foundation of something almost uncontrollable. An article becomes a posting which becomes a blog entry which is used as the background of a book, and before anyone has time to check the batteries in their EMF meters, legend becomes modern haunting.

Don't get me wrong. The folklorist side of me loves seeing this. I am as intrigued by the way information is spread as the information itself. I was thrilled last year when someone cited a personal experience of mine as something that had happened to a friend of theirs, and it wasn't until I pressed that they confessed they heard the story during a ghost tour and wanted to spice it up. The bigger point for those looking for truth is to understand the bringers of that truth. Newspapers don't ask for a list of works cited by those they interview, and when speaking on the record (and all investigators should always assume everything they say to a reporter is on the record) those words become part of the paranormal landscape that over time may harden like cement.

I have already seen these articles appearing in the papers, and for the most part I don't print them because it is hard to say which ones are more newsworthy than the others. I'm not asking people to stop reading them, and I am definitely not asking people to not share what they hear with their friends and other lovers of all things unexplained. Maybe when you do, however, you should include a special disclaimer that might be more accurate than the one you might be tempted to use. Instead of claiming a place might be haunted, we should all start out by saying, "Once upon a time, there was a tale of a haunting."

Christopher Balzano is' News Editor and the author of numerous books. To learn more about Chris, visit him website.

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