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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

December 7, 2011

Ghostly Lowdown on American Horror Story

by Deonna Kelli Sayed

American Horror Story is currently the top-rated Wednesday night cable TV show in the 10 pm time slot. FX has landed ratings gold with this creepy scripted drama featuring award-winning actors and creative plot lines that includes ghosts in full body rubber S&M suits.

How can anyone pass up that type of haunting?

The show details a family as they leave behind bad memories of Boston for an opulent Victorian L.A. home with a macabre history that includes (but is not limited to) a doctor who cut up and reassembled his toddler son and a subsequent string of violent, untimely deaths. The home is locally known as "The Murder House" - and for good reason.

It seems no occupant gets out alive, for the most part.

The cast includes a bunch of dead people who do not appear as dead people. They walk among the living in three-dimensional Technicolor. The ghostly residents plot, plan, interfere, and intervene in the lives of the home's occupants. This house has "power" that seeps into the blood of anyone who dares to enter the door. (However, the writers have yet to reveal just how the house obtained its power.)

The ensemble includes the Harmon family (husband, wife, and teenage daughter), actress Jessica Lange as a murderous neighbor and former house owner, her dead son, the Harmon's ghostly maid, Daddy Harmon's recently murdered mistress, and a variety of other dead people who roam the grounds.

This is one show where dying results in more on-camera time.

Paranormal Pop Culture

The supernatural is always great fodder for popular culture (and the blog, Paranormal Pop culture, is a great place to read about this). In my book, Paranormal Obsession, I delve into how ghost hunting reality shows are impacting American society as well as the avocation of paranormal research. You better believe that shows like American Horror Story will also find their way into our collective language and, ultimately, into local case claims encountered by paranormal groups.

I watch American Horror Story with particular interest specifically because I am a paranormal investigator. Ghost hunting reality TV shows provide the approachable, how-to process neatly packaged in a one-hour time slot. American Horror Story offers a progressive plot that captures viewers week-to week while exploring many philosophical components of ghosts and spirits discussed by paranormal investigators. The show also banks on commonly cliched fears of the supernatural.

Some of the main characters are the dead who are trapped in the home and can appear fully fleshed to the living. These spirits can physically attack and even impregnate.

Paranormal Philosophy of American Horror Story

Let me illustrate a few philosophical issues of interest to paranormal investigators (warning: spoiler alert!):

The show provides a fictional yet interesting perspective regarding spirit world rules. Ghosts can see one other and counsel, help, and plot against the living. These very issues are contested among paranormal investigators. Some ghost hunters feel spirits are benign and external to us. Others believe that we are vulnerable to physical and psychical attacks from the unseen, or subject to spirit attachments. The show explores these concepts in a variety of creative ways.

The show also fleshes out self-awareness among the dead. Some ghostly characters do not realize that they are dead or they are specifically looking for retribution for their violent death. Again, these same themes come up in discussion among paranormal investigators.

Many investigators feel hauntings are caused by trapped or lost souls. Some spectral residents of the home are trapped on-site until their remains are unearthed and actively seek to find ways for the living to discover their bones so that they may be free to leave the home.

However, souls can leave one day a year - on Halloween - but are obliged to return to the "lawn" upon sun up.

A new character, a medium, was recently introduced as a way to move the plot along by communicating with the departed. This character reveals to the teenage Harmon girl that she has mediumship abilities. This teenage Harmon girl is also in a consensual sexual relationship with a ghost - who is also having sex with the girl's mother.

Talk about a paranormal soap opera!

The on-site ghosts are experienced differently depending on who sees them. Example: the maid appears as an elderly, wise woman to women yet men see her as a young seductress. Parapsychologists suggest that we individually experience sentient energies in different ways. Some may see, some may smell, or some may just "sense a presence." Of course, American Horror Story takes a very dramatic, Hollywood spin on the matter, but it illustrates the point that we may pick up on spectral energies in varying manners and provides an entertaining, highly sexed example of how that occurs.

Between Hollywood and Real Paranormal Research

American Horror Story is a dramatized TV show that uniquely blends cliched Hollywood concepts of ghosts with some very contemporary philosophies circulating in the paranormal community. The show provides an intriguing interpretation of how ghosts and spirits may operate. Yet, American Horror Story also promotes the idea that sentient energies are quite maniacal and can physically harm the living.

Paranormal investigators will enjoy American Horror Story but need to be aware of how the show may impact the way people experience and report case claims.

I'm willing to bet it won't be long before some paranormal group receives a claim involving a full-bodied apparition in a leather suit.

This brings a whole new meaning to "shadow people."

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