Thursday, September 29, 2011

The World’s Creepiest Places by Dr. Bob Curran

A book that might have been better titled The Worlds’ Creepiest Stories is by Dr. Bob Curran, a writer and world traveler who seeks out those places where horrible things happen to people, mostly children.

Dr. Curran’s 203 page book is replete with tales and histories that present the worst in humanity and how the evil actions they committed afflicted their locale or venues, such as:

Bachelor’s Grove in Chicago, Illinois
Capuchin Cemetery in Palermo, Sicily
Dragsholm Castle in Denmark
Gore Orphanage Road in Cleveland, Ohio
Leap Castle in County Offaly, Ireland
Mortemer Abbey in Normandy, France
Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky
Yumbulagang in the Yarlung Valley, Tibet
And seventeen other sites.

If you’re a reader who seeks after human depravity and/or spooky places created by awful inhumanities, Dr. Curran’s book is for you.

A story about children injected with fluids, by a Dr. Kroh, that swelled their heads, creating grotesque monsters who end up killing the insane scientist, will put you off your lunch. [Page 65 ff.]

A story about wayward magic at a rectory in Warleggan (Bodmin Moor, England) is a bit more tepid than others, but is still spooky enough to give a reader chills. [Page 155 ff.]

A story about a phantom wagon, driven by a skeletal being, who when asked where he was going in such a hurry said “To Hell” is recounted in a Chapter about ghosts and hauntings in Africa. [Page 136 ff.]

The book is chock full of tales that indicate the world is full of spooks, and bad people.

Such stories aren’t this readers cup o’ tea but we have friends who feast on such ghastly offerings, and this book will serve their needs for fright more than adequately.

The book is $15.99 and may be purchased at fine bookstores, and at internet venues such as or Powell’s and Barnes and Noble.

The book is published by New Page Books, a division of The Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

James Clark notes paranormal credibility

James Clark, one of our favorite international writers about things strange, notifies his fan base that a paranormal group has gotten an imprimatur from the British government.

Click HERE for James' column/blog for The Morton Report

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ghosts Everywhere!

Two books about ghosts and haunted places have landed on my desk, and I have no idea why or where from.

I’m not a ghost-guy, although I have had a few run-ins with ghosts at our Fort Wayne operation.

But that’s neither here nor there.

I have Jim Harold’s Campfire: True Ghost Stories and Jeff Belanger’s The World’s Most Haunted Places to suggest to you ghost hunters and ghost aficionados.


Mr. Harold’s spicy accounts of ghost encounters replicate what others have bumped into on those rare occasions when a ghostie-thing is cavorting around.

Mr. Harold provides 256 pages, give or take, of personal accounts with ghosts, related to him by his podcast listeners. (Mr. Harold has two very popular webcasts: Campfire and The Paranormal Podcast.)

Each Chapter, there are 71, is a ghost tale, from listeners of Mr. Harold’s podcasts.

As I read them, I got chills from many – and I’m not a guy who chills easily.

Chapter 9 (Page 37), The Girl in the Attic, was particularly spooky; a Lindsay from North Carolina tells that she and a playmate ended up playing games with a girl who turned out not to be there. (The account is much better, of course, than my paraphrase.)

Chapter 22 (Page 77), The Shadow Knows, from Jeff in Indiana, tells about a shadow that had no source, but appeared to him, his wife, and others, while they were pursuing anomalist activity in an old building.

Chapter 33 (Page 116), The Thing in the Woods, related by Tim in Nevada, presents an incident that UFO aficionados might find intriguing, along with those who think the woods harbor strange and mysterious entities, of which Tim’s is one: a small light that transmogrified into a ten by fifteen foot tall Predator-like (from the movies) creature.

Chapter 53 (Page 180), Mr. Synchronicity, from Steven in California, provides a slew of events that go beyond coincidence.

Mr. Harold closes the listener-offered stories with what he “says” is the spookiest story of all – offered by LeAnn in Utah, involving an Ouija board, a Lava lamp, and Lucifer, the devil. (Page 247-8)

I’m not, as I wrote above, a big ghost story fan, but I liked this book and found the stories given to Mr. Harold by his fans to be credible and charming, in an “I’m not there” way; that is, I was spooked, like a person who visits a carnival’s haunted house, but knew I was safe, as the ghosts and spookies were just in the book, and not in my bedroom, where I read the book.

(Although at 4:30 a.m. I was awakened by a bump in the night which, after reading Mr. Harold’s book, brought my covers over my head. Yep.)

The book is published by New Page Books, a division of The Career Press, Inc., Pompton Plains, NJ and can be found at or Powell’s (online) and other book venues, or via

Jeff Belanger’s The World’s Most Haunted Places [Revised] lists thirty-three places or sites where ghosts haunt humans, continuously, places such as The Queen Mary (ship), Hibbing High School, The Alaskan Hotel, Empress Theater, Suicide Forest (in Japan), The Tower of London, and more.


Mr. Belanger supplements his tales with historical references and citations, making his 285 page book a fount of certified ghost episodes.

Mr. Belanger is a superb writer, scholarly in his approach, which weighs heavily with me.

I was entrapped in the stories, and found that ghosts, or whatever they are, show up in the oddest places and the usual places where one might expect to find ghosts: The Catacomb Museum, The White House, The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Muncaster Castle, and the Waverly Hills Sanatorium.

Mr. Belanger writes that Boggo Road Gaol, in Brisbane, Australia has had occasion to experience ghosts – prisoners and guards alike.

”A guard killed in 1966 has been spotted in the jail by guards and visitors alike.” (Page 201)

And Ernest Austin, a convict who murdered an 11-year-old girl, went to the gallows, in 1913, even chuckling as he swung at the bottom of the 13-foot rope that killed him.

His laughter is said to be heard in the early mornings in the jails cellblocks. (Page 199)

The Skirrid Mountain Inn also had many hangings, promulgated by Protestant Squire John Arnold who emulating an Anti-Papist Judge working at the behest of King James II in 1685, hanged many Catholic and Catholic sympathizers at the Inn, many of whom still haunt the place to this day. (Page 157).

Big Nose Kate’s Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona has ghosts breaking drinking glasses on a regular basis. (Page 87 ff.)

And the Whaley House (museum) in San Diego, California, where the Whaley family, in 1856, built their dream house, on the site of hangings of ne’er-do-wells, suffered family tragedies of their own: child-deaths, a child suicide, child poisoning.

The ghosts of the family and some of those ne’er-do-wells continue to haunt the premises to this day. (Page 241 ff.)

Mr. Belanger presents a plethora of ghost accounts, all bolstered by historical notes that provide credibility for the tales imparted.

I found myself as intrigued by the historical asides as much as the ghost tales, maybe more so.

The book is awash in interesting stories, human-interest stories as news-media might put it.

It’s a good read, but also a nice reference book for those who like the outskirts of history.

It can be found at, of course, Powell’, and other book sellers, plus online at, the publishers site.

For more information, about the authors and the books, you might access

If you like ghost stories, these two books will please you (and maybe scare you) plenty.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Freudian or Jungian UFOs?

Matthew J. Graeber’s “article” from Magonia 52, May 1995 about UFO mother-ships or airships posits the idea that the cylindrical ships spotted since early times right up into the modern era may have a sexual psychical component.

You can access Mr. Graeber’s thesis by clicking HERE

As readers here know, or should, we do not think UFOs are psychical projections or quantum creations, although we have conjectured that quantum mechanics seem to have a bearing on the ‘tangible” objects we designate as “flying saucers” and quantum theory may help explain UFOs, as they appear today.

(Triangular UFO craft, for us, are military prototypes, and don’t factor into our conjectural observations here and elsewhere.)

As for Mr. Graeber’s sexual symbolism for airships, the idea is not anathema to us, but it is a psychological stretch, just as Carl Jung’s hypothesis was in his book Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of things Seen in the Skies [Princeton University Press, 1978].


And even though the current thrust in many UFO circles is toward the concept that UFOs are projections of the human psyche or mental impressions coming into the minds of select individuals (from extraterrestrials supposedly), for purposes as yet unknown, we think that persons who imagine UFOs or see them mentally when they don’t exist in any tangible, real form are in need therapy of a serious psychological kind.

However Mr. Graeber would disagree:

Although we might expect to make little headway towards resolving today’s UFO enigma by comparing it to past mysteries, we may, nevertheless, examine both present and past UFO events as being comprised of optically perceived images or imagery that occasionally have an extraordinary effect upon the individual(s) who either observe or come into close proximity with them.

Mr. Graeber’s views are both Freudian and Jungian.

But if UFOs or mother-ships resonate as a sublimated sexual symbol with someone, as Mr. Graeber delinates in his piece, we think that that person should hie themselves off to a psychiatrist immediately. They have serious terrestrial problems.

Nonetheless, Mr. Graeber’s views should have a hearing or reading; they are pondered sensibly and unsensationally.

He closes with this:

Perhaps we have discovered enough about the mythical, sexual, and marked psychic background of the god-ships to determine that their origin is most likely the human unconscious, and not some alien planet situated at the edge of the cosmos. For it seems highly unlikely that a visiting alien intelligence would be so human-like as to possess similar intrapsychical processes regarding the development of their technology, their exploratory aspirations, and their myth-making tendencies.

Not a view we espouse necessarily, but a cogent suggestion by Mr. Graeber.