We’re upping our game on the #podcast, growing as we gain more fans and support. Expect new episodes at a faster rate and more depth. Thank you to all our fans for making our odd format a success! The show belongs to all of us, and we’d love to hear your input on future shows.
WEB SERIES AFTERLIFE SESSIONS SHARES EPISODE 16 WITH PHIL & FOX!!
Zach Smith & Perry Johnson join us as co-hosts on episode 16. Zach & Perry are the famed #paranormal investigators from the popular web series, Afterlife Sessions, nearly a cable series on Destination America. (Pick ‘em up!) Z&P have been encountering #ghosts all of their lives, and for four years, they’ve been out documenting their ghost hunts with professional production quality. They know how to tell a story. The duo hang out with us for this episode, telling us their many ghost experiences and how they produce such a quality show—and some of their encounters are chilling.
Zach contributed our true ghost story, “Tommy”. It’s a story about his first paranormal experience with a childhood friend. Jon Prive narrates the story.
#Afterlife Sessions travels around the country investigating the paranormal and educating their audience about the history of each location and the spiritual realm. With emotional episodes and stirring evidence, Afterlife Sessions aspires to turn skeptics into believers.
(Four years of episodes. Two friends, Zach & Perry, explore the ethereal plane. They document their exploration using professional quality and tell a story. Check out their episodes on the above channel.)
Check out this photo they shot of a Shadow man on their recent expedition at Malvern Place. A shadow figure is often associated with a demonic presence– a terrible and powerful force of darkness with intelligence, a dark incorporeal being full of hate. Christians call them Demons or Fallen Angels. Pagans call them Nochd Sidhe (Gaelic for Night Spirit.) Such demonic presences were never alive and infect buildings with their parasitic energy. This was caught by Zach & Perry.
Many haunted by a demonic presence, or Shadow Man wake up to such a sight watching them as they sleep. They have two options–a religious exorcism or attempt to flee their home. Neither always works. The demon returns or follows the family. It is a terrible war.
On Episode 16: Ghost Hunter – we talk about Zach & Perry’s recent #paranormal investigation in Iowa at Malvern Manor–a place of the forgotten, the lost, even in the death
Jessica McHugh reads a chapter from her new horror-erotica novel from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing: The Train Derails in Boston. Warning . . . this is not for children.
Rebecca Malone has problems. Not just the alcohol. Not just her husband’s inane attempts at writing a bestselling novel, their teenage daughter’s promiscuity, or her certifiable mother. Not even her lover, who wants to take her husband’s place in Cherrywood Lodge, the famous estate she now calls home. Her biggest issues start the moment she discovers a chest of ancient mahjong tiles in the basement of her new house, causing her life to spin out of control with hallucinations, sexual deviances, and grisly murders. Is the mahjong game haunted? Or are Rebecca’s problems part of a different game, started before she was born?
British #folksinger David Walton returns with his version of an eerie folksong, The Grim King. Once again, he haunts us with his mournful melody.
We have some fantastic stuff coming up as we prepare for #Halloween. We’ve interviewed #zombie author David Dunwoody and Cody Meirick who is doing a documentary on a popular and controversial horror folklore series: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
We need your true #ghost stories. Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for listening, and check out our website:
So we’re adding to the content of our podcast presence online with reviews, articles and online content. To start with, I’m going to serenade our audience with a review of the last episode of Wayward Pines: Bedtime Stories. This was the second season finale. I comment on the climax of the season and the spirit of the show.
I view many series on Netflix I normally wouldn’t watch. I get bored and look for stuff to listen to while I work. I’d heard a few details about Wayward Pines, realized I had missed the whole wacky Twin Peaks craze, so I decided to give it a go. I mildly enjoyed the early episodes, expecting some sort of dramatic reveal. Were they inside a computer virtual reality? Was this all in his head? Another planet? By the episode with the varying aging, I realized because of the changes in aging, suspended animation was involved—and the rest of the show blossomed before me in a satisfying and disappointing array of self-congratulation. Yeah. I was a smart author.
Night is a local boy from my neck of Penn’s Woods, so I give him a little leeway; however, I do feel he can be too obvious like he’s telling stories for the little boy he was and doesn’t consider how much plot has evolved since the days of Twilight Zone. He got lucky with The Sixth Sense because no one had yet connected his name to the Twist. Now, like the song, it’s round and round and round and round again.
So great. They’re all in the future.
Still, the writing wasn’t bad, and what a tremendous character played by Toby Jones as Doc Freddie Pilcher—the megalomaniac with a savior complex who dances on the nadir between good and evil, as is so very human. I love seeing Jones, even relate to him (my friends would shudder if they heard me say that) and of course if Shammy had known that they were getting a season two, they probably would not have had him killed by sister-cide. (Still, don’t ask me how killing him turned the power to the fence back on. I don’t know why she couldn’t have held the gun and typed on his keyboard.)
So I binged it right before the 2nd season started, and I was mildly interested, after seeing the town in the hands of the SA. (Yes. Again, Shammy is indulging in childhood images of Nazis without any real imagination in his own creation. I mean, they even had the brown suits, jackboots and bundt meetings!)
Wayward Pines . . . uber alles. . .
But his writers do play the frustration well. As each episode of the limited season plays, leading the last tribe of humanity closer and closer to annihilation, you wouldn’t mind seeing the whole sleepy town burn down just to see that idiot-kid Jason end up in a ditch with Eva while the Russians bomb the Reichstag. I don’t suffer fools well, and neither did our hero, Dr. Yedlin, surgeon of Boston. Of course, Jason’s mate and mother assassinate him—at the same time. Ouch! I’m so glad Yedlin violated his medical ethics, letting him die in surgery, becoming just as villainous as Jason so our young dictator wouldn’t have to pay the therapy bills. All would now be well and good, except those pesky Abbies are marshalling their forces at the wall to take back their land and avenge the death of their tribe. Hell hath no fury . . . So no food. Crops won’t grow. A bunch of Hitler youth in charge. All their medicine spent. They decide to go back to sleep and look at things fresh in the morning—a couple of centuries later.
So I waited for this episode all week, waiting to see the big finale. I kept thinking: I can’t wait to see them do something unexpected. What’s going to happen we can’t foresee? How will Ol’Doc Yedlin save the +400 or residents whom he can’t put into stasis. Will he find a way to bridge the gap between humans and their great-great-great-great-great-great … grandchildren
This episode, Bedtime Stories, took a surprising turn beyond anything I could have foreseen. The writers decided not to do a damn thing to change the course of events, just let the entire plan unfold as it was designed in previous episodes. I couldn’t have predicted that predictability, but I should have known better as it’s a central theme to the show.
The biggest disappointment was the broken morality of Doctor Yedlin. He did nothing to save the +400 even when he had the chance. Yes. It was Jason’s selection plan, weeding out the weak and undesirables, but Yedlin does nothing to upset it when they come for the townspeople in trucks—this time reversing the old SS routine by leaving residents to die, not taking them away to machines. It was all the late Jason’s plan, so in an act of complete cowardice, Yedlin decides not to interfere, saving him from the responsibility. It’s was all the dead kid’s fault, so his ego as the good gunslinger was still intact. Of course, he does save a few people close to him with his new found power before he fulfills his plan of genocide, thus deciding a little who lived and who died.
I thought the Nazi was dead..?
One of the positive points of the show is the use of themes threaded through the plot structure. We were first opened up to the possibility of biological warfare when Pilcher’s sister tried to kill the town by infecting herself with small pox. This made for good foreshadowing for Yedlin’s final solution to the abbie problem. (See what I mean about the hero-problem? There are no heroes on Wayward Pines, which is why my wife dislikes it so much.) Yedlin in a final blaze of glory injects himself with a triple cocktail of lethal diseases that Pilcher kept in his medicine cabinet and plans to offer himself as an hors d’oeuvres to the Abbie Nation, though he might have tried offering the native population infected blankets. This, in his flawed medical wisdom, would wipe out the abbies and given the future generation of Piners a chance, which again is compete bullocks since these diseases didn’t exterminate a primitive human race. Then enters Kerry, mom-mate to the late Jason. She’s learned of what Yedlin plans and decides she should be the one who sacrifices herself. She’s had enough of second chances, and when last we see her, she’s stepping through the fence riding an opiate cloud.
In a final and rushed moment of choice, CJ is confronted with the impulse to shut down the sleeping population in the pods, but he decides there is hope because of a dead woman. He struggled with the god-like choice for about two seconds as a quick kick to the spiritual arc of the show.
And don’t forget that terribly awkward montage of about three people in the town protesting when they realized they had been left behind to a version of I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty) sung by Johnny Cash. We never see the rioters, just hearing the couple of poor interns yelling from the side and the sound of broken glass. Phil and I put more effort into our sound effects on the podcast.
This is what I take from the final episode:
Night is a nihilist. Everyone goes bad in this show, and they’ve lost all chance of redemption. Even our heroes fail us, acting in weakness. In the end, Yedlin chooses his race over the abbies, deciding only one can survive. Hey! I’m a student of human history, and I’m depressed enough after studying our long history of war and immorality. I don’t need it on my television, too. I watched this show to see good triumph over evil, for the better angels of our nature to rise. Why couldn’t Yedlin find a way to reach out to the abbies and create a bridge? They certainly spent enough time establishing they can communicate. And why did the ground suddenly regain its fertility? Here I was thinking I was so smart because I theorized that the abbies had some kind of connection to the fertility of the land, that the earth had corrected the destructive nature of humans by bringing them closer to her womb. Nope. Hey look. Brief seen of a bean plant growing for no reason or explanation. In writing, we call that Duex Ex Machina. I’ve met 6th grade authors that know how to plot better. I am so disappointed.
I’ll watch season 3. The concept is rich enough to provide potential and possibilities to any author lucky enough to write for it. I wonder if I’d feel differently if I read the books; of course, we always say that.
So on Wayward Pines race comes first. There can be no living together or tolerance of those different from you. All leaders become fascists. And if there was a god judging humanity, no wonder she pulled the plug. The town is meant to be a microcosm of human nature, a Petri dish, and the results are in. Humans aren’t worth saving. If anything, the abbies give me hope.
My wife wanted to watch Doctor Who instead. As soon as I get my head out of the oven, I’ll go watch to give me hope. Always listen to my wife. If the network decides to do Season 3, please, a little more faith in people
On their July #podcast, Phil & Fox bring you a new true ghost story from New Hope, PA, an excerpt from Bob Pastorella’s new bizarre-southern noir novel MOJO RISING, an interview with #medium Jamal Brown and . . . the zombies are back!
Their new and original true #ghost story is from local author & Bram Stoker’s winner, PD Cacek. This is the first of several from the talented horror author, written about a beloved and bucolic town in #Pennsylvania, New Hope—an artist’s town on the #Delaware River. Fox knows the town well, going there often while growing up, visiting the many shops and Inns. Where there’s history, there’s #ghosts. It is considered America’s most haunted town and is even featured in a documentary—link below. PD is featured on the show. PD’s first ghost story is called The Spinning Ghost of the Pineapple Inn. Below is the full story also featuring PD’s experience as a horror author and the prologue explaining her love of New Hope, PA. The complete audio story can also be found at Soundcloud, read by Patricia Thomas (Phil’s Mom!) Thanks Patricia!
The winner of both a Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Award, P.D. Cacek has written over a hundred short stories, six plays, and five published novels. Her latest THE SELKIE, is currently available on Amzon.com. (And the story behind its creation will be coming soon…) A native Westerner, Cacek now lives Phoenixville, PA…home of BLOBFEST, and only a short walk away from The Colonial Theater where the famous “Run Screaming From Theater” scene was filmed. When not writing, she can often been found either with a group of costumed storytellers called THE PATIENT CREATURES (www.creatureseast.com), or haunting local cemeteries looking for inspiration.
PD Cacek has become a member of the haunted family at What Are You Afraid Of? Podcast, and she has already contributed much. More stories are coming in the future from this talented horror author. She was also featured on the ghost & paranormal documentary America’s Most Haunted Town from Luminence Films.
Phil Thomas and T. Fox Dunham engage in their usual banter. They did a Facebook poll, asking fans what they’d want written on their gravestones. They got some surprising results which they feature on the show. They also talk about writing, the summer and the new RINGTONE based on the show’s theme song.
Fox interviews psychic and medium crusader, Jamal Brown, creator of the Facebook group, Psychic Research. Jamal is a counselor to those with spiritual problems and those with fear about death. He talks about his out-of-body-exerience while in a coma.
Scripture from Jamal:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
A new drug called Mojo is tearing through Southeast Texas, directly competing with Juney’s own product. What starts as a minor annoyance quickly spirals into something much more serious once Juney discovers his cook murdered and his brother mysteriously missing, the Mojo trademark left at the crime scene. Mojo Rising is a strange trip through a world of thugs and junkies, hallucinations and apocalypses. Some doors you walk through, you can’t come back in.
“If you’re looking for a pulpy fast-paced southern-fried sleazed-out hard-boiled blast of bad drugs and weird crime, Mojo Rising’s got you covered in spades. Just go easy on the Mojo, alright? You open up the doors of perception, you never know who (or what) might break on through.” — Jeremy Robert Johnson, author of Skullcrack City
“Mojo Rising is a surreal, violent, Southern gothic addiction, set to a soundtrack by The Doors, luring you out into a rippling darkness from which you may not ever return.” — Richard Thomas, author of Disintegration and Breaker
And finally, those wacky #zombies return for the SUMMER ZOMBIES! Come hear those undeaders at play in July in this humorous sketch. They frolic and eat spleens.
FUN-COMPOSE this summer!
T. Fox Dunham hosting the podcast live reading event in Philly.
And thank you to James Chambers, Swaney Hatton, Robert Dunbar, John Foster, Lisa Mannetti and Phil Thomas for joining the podcast in Philadelphia for the second of their live reading events, hosted by T. Fox Dunham. This will be released as a special podcast, following their recorded live event in NYC at the KGB Club coming quite soon.
John Foster, Robert Dunbar, Swaney Hatton, Lisa Mannetti, James Chambers & T. Fox Dunham
They had a fantastic audience and are planning another live author event in Philadelphia on September 10th. The reader list is still being determined. If you’d like to be a reader at one of their live author events, artist or musician, please send the show an email at the below address.
Philly needs more literary events, and they’re just getting started bring the art back to this great temple So let’s re-animate the artist heart of this city!
The show has some exciting things scheduled for the future including more live events in Philadelphia, folklore-collecting trips and new material, interviews and stories. They will also be releasing t-shirts for on-demand order.
This will be about the spinning ghost at the Pineapple Hill Inn B&B (eventually), but I actually have to start a year earlier…
I was in Philadelphia for a writing convention when a friend asked if I’d like to visit someplace called New Hope. He said it was a quaint, “artsy” town on the Delaware and thought I’d enjoy it.
I said I would love to…and so begins the adventure.
New Hope was quaint and, at the time (this would be in the late 90s, before Dunkin Donuts and the Mondo Condos moved in), very much an “artsy” type of town—but there was something else about it…for some reason it felt like home. Now, I’d never been to Pennsylvania before, none of my family had lived in Pennsylvania (that I know of) but from the moment I got out of the car I felt like I’d lived in New Hope my entire life.
My friend was taken somewhat aback when, instead of having him show me the points of interest, I showed him. He even accused me of lying to him about having never been there before because obviously I knew the place. We were crossing South Main Street at the time and I was just about to tell him I had never been then when I suddenly stopped moving. In the middle of the street. I didn’t hear the squeal of brakes or the blare of car horns and I don’t think I knew I realized I was holding up traffic until my friend grabbed my arm and hauled me onto the sidewalk.
He asked me what the hell happened and I told him I’d just thought of the plot for a novel set in New Hope—beginning, middle, end, with character names and, here’s the twist, I told him, ghost stories because my New Hope…the one I had just thought up in my mind (I thought) was haunted.
That’s when he again accused me of pulling his leg about having never been there before because, he told me, New Hope was haunted.
Yes he was, and he even showed me a couple of books in Farley’s Bookshop: Ghosts in the Valley and More Ghosts in the Valley, by Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey.
Now, I love ghost stories and stories about real hauntings, but for some reason (that I figured out later) I didn’t buy either book. I would, later, but that part’s still to come.
Now, back to my novel idea….
For the rest of the afternoon I couldn’t get the plot out of my head, the only trouble was that I felt I needed to be in New Hope in order to write it, and that was going to be a problem. I lived in Colorado, my sons were still in school and, most importantly, I had very limited funds. There was no way I could afford to live in New Hope at that moment in time, but it didn’t stop me from writing down plot points and stories about the “ghosts” that haunted my New Hope. But those notes and stories were the only things I could write…the novel just sat in the back of my mind waiting.
I thought it would have to wait forever, just one more book that never gets written, but then things happened.
A story of mine was up for a World Fantasy Award and while at another convention (this time in Rhode Island) a man (tall, good looking, wearing white shorts and a white shirt…ghost-like) suddenly appeared and asked if I was going to attend that year’s World Fantasy Convention. (It wasn’t until later that I discovered he was one of the judges. My story won, by the way.) I told him I was going to attend and we small talked for another few minutes and then he asked what my next writing project was.
Usually, I would give a very brief description of whatever story I happen to be working on at that moment, but this time I told the man in white about the novel I wanted to write that would be set in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
The man said “Oh, I know New Hope, my brother owns a house there that has a basement apartment. I’ll tell him about you.”
I thought he was just being nice and put the whole thing out of my mind until, a months later, the man in white (who I came to know as Peter Schneider) called and said “Great news, my brother’s tenant died and you can have the apartment for a couple of months.”
I still honestly don’t know how, but I packed up my computer, some furniture, clothes and headed for New Hope where I spent the next seven months writing the novel that almost got me killed on Main Street. The novel still sits next to my desk, waiting, after all these years for a final edit…but I think it was just a catalyst. One of the first things I did when I got into town was go to Farley’s and by those two books. I also took the Ghost Tour and discovered that the stories I’d written in Colorado for my novel…where very similar to the ones I’d read in the book and heard on the tour.
I really can’t explain that any more than I can about why I feel so much at home there.
I just think New Hope sometimes has that effect on people.
Okay, that’s the backstory…. prolog
I was home in Colorado when I got a call from a man named Robb Child who told me he was going to make a documentary on New Hope (America’s Most Haunted Town, Luminence Films, 2001) and, after having read some of my accounts of “ghostly encounters” in the New Hope on-line blog, asked if I’d be interested in being part of it.
Of course that meant I’d have to move back to New Hope for a month or so…
I told him I’d love to do it, but didn’t know if it would be possible. The home situation hadn’t changed plus, I knew the apartment I’d rented before had new tenants. I said I’d think about it and get back to him. It wasn’t a week later that Peter Schneider’s brother, Chris, called to let me know the apartment was vacant and would be for a month or so and asked if I had any plans on coming back to New Hope.
I’m not saying there was anything supernatural about this turn of events, but the timing was pretty remarkable bit, don’t you think?
And there I was back in New Hope, about to participate in a documentary about its ghosts and having more fun that I thought was humanly possible. So when Robb asked if I’d be willing to spend a night at a haunted Inn I jumped at the chance.
The Pineapple Hill Inn B&B is a few miles south of New Hope, and has its share of ghosts. I didn’t know it was haunted, but I had seen the Inn a number of times on my trips up and down River Road and each time I passed, I slowed down and stared up at the small window on the third floor just beneath the peak of the roof. I don’t know why…or at least I didn’t until Robb told me that was the room I’d be spending the night in—the room haunted by the sounds of a spinning wheel.
Well, it wasn’t a headless monk or the Kissing Bandit (who haunts the halls and the room directly beneath the one I was in and who occasionally wakes ladies with a kiss on the cheek), but it was the room I seemed to be drawn to so that had to count for something.
That night when we arrived, as in all the best gothic ghost stories, it was dark and stormy; and after taking a tour, where I found out I’d be the only guest in the original front section of the Inn, we shot a little footage for the documentary in the Kissing Bandit’s room. While filming we all heard someone walk up the hall and stop at the room’s door. Of course there was no one there when I opened the door, but we did capture the sound on the video.
After filming, Robb left, the Innkeepers retired to their house on the other side of the Inn’s back patio and I, alone, went up the long, narrow back stairs (the original servants’ stairs) to my room.
Was I scared? No, I wasn’t…however, before retiring I did open my door and, looking down the long dark staircase, asked that no one—Kissing Bandit or not—come calling. I’m not sure what I would have done if I’d heard someone coming upstairs that night…
I’ve seen recent pictures of the room on the Inn’s website and the new Innkeepers have done it proud. It’s gorgeous, not that it wasn’t when I stayed there, but it is changed. Now there are two bedrooms with the bath/dressing room in between. When I was there it was a one bedroom, which you entered from the stairs, and a cozy living/TV room you entered through the dressing area.
After shutting (and yes, locking) the door, I set down my overnight bag and, with the rain beating against the roof overhead, I walked over to the window I’d only seen from the road and stood looking out of it was a few minutes.
Since I wasn’t particularly sleepy I decided to watch a little TV before retiring.
There was a spinning wheel in the room for décor, but it obviously was not the original (or even an antique). Robb had given a video camera and audio recorder (this was back before much of the really neat Paranormal Investigation equipment was readily available), which I was to set up before going to bed, so I put them on the coffee table facing the imposter spinning wheel (in case something happened while I was awake I’d be able to reach over and turn both on) then settled back on the sofa.
While some gangster movie provided background noise, I was putting down some ideas for a story in a notepad (the old-fashioned paper kind) when I suddenly couldn’t breathe. Not only could I not catch my breath but my heart was racing and my face was literally dripping with sweat…but as strange as this may sound, I was absolutely calm. It was almost as if I was just watching what was happening and not a part of it.
I even made a note of that—“Very strange. Can’t breathe. Not scared.”—as well as the time, about 11:45, then just sat there, scribbling about what I was experiencing until, some ten or fifteen minutes later, as suddenly as it had started it stopped and it was as if nothing had happened. My breathing was normal, my heart no longer felt like it was trying to pound its way out of my chest and my face and forehead were dry to the touch.
“What the heck just happened?”
I waited to see if it (whatever it had been) would happen again, but it didn’t. It was almost an hour later when I turned off the TV, turned on the camera and recorder and went to bed.
Now, let’s be honest…given where I was and what had just happened to me, you’d think I’d be a tad nervous about shutting my eyes, let alone going to sleep, wouldn’t you? But that wasn’t the case at all. With the sound of rain hitting the roof and window…but not anything that sounded like a spinning wheel…I fell asleep almost immediately.
Sometime later, I woke in the dark to what sounded very much like the whirr of a spinning wheel. I would have gotten up and tiptoed into the living room to see what was going on but I couldn’t move.
And no, I wasn’t dreaming. I was wide and lying flat on my back. My left arm bent at the elbow, left hand curled under my chin, and right arm was straight at my side and my entire body felt numb. I couldn’t so much as wiggle my toes or turn my head to see the time on the bedside clock. And while I should have been terrified, I wasn’t. As with the previous “incident” in the TV room, I was absolutely calm
I just lay there, staring up into the dark and listening to the whirring sound that had awakened me. Considering there was nothing much else I could do at the moment, I tried to think of a rational explanation for the sound and finally decided it was the sound of the room’s forced air heater kicking on.
I wasn’t surprised that people had mistaken that for the sound of a “haunted spinning wheel.” When you’re staying the night in a room and know it’s supposed to be haunted, you will naturally assume any sound that’s out of the ordinary will be the sound you expect to hear.
Case closed. Mystery solved.
I fell back to sleep but later woke again to the whirring sound which. This time, however, the sound seemed louder, as though the spinning wheel was at the foot of the bed. And, once again, I could only lay there and listen—in the same position I’d been when I woke the first time, my body numb.
But I was still sure about what I was hearing.
“Yeah,” I said out loud, “it’s the heater.”
And fell asleep.
The third time I woke up (same position, etc. etc.) the whirring sound was LOUD, so loud in fact, that I yelled “Okay, okay, I hear you!”
And back to sleep I went.
The next morning I woke up to a bright day, curled up on my left side and got out of bed just as the room’s heater come on. It wasn’t the same sound I’d heard the night before.
Oops. Naturally, I had to apologize.
“I’m sorry,” I said to the empty room, “I made a mistake. I did hear you.”
After making amends, I checked the video camera and recorder in the living room. The video showed the spinning wheel hadn’t move all night and the only sound you hear on the recorder is me saying “Okay, okay, I hear you” and my apology but not the whirring sound.
After I dressed and packed, I picked up the room’s “Guess Comments” book from the mantelpiece above the room’s gas fireplace and flipped through the pages while I waited for Robb to come and collect me. Besides glowing reports on the Inn and food, a number of guests commented that occasionally the air in the TV room suddenly seemed to get “stuffy” and “thick” around midnight, others wrote only on the beauty and peacefulness of the room…but almost all of them wrote of hearing “a soft whirring sound” in the night.
None of the comments mentioned that the sound got louder and seemingly closer, but I think that was only for my benefit since I’d try to dismiss it.
When Robb arrived I told him what happened and, while making our way down the backstairs, was just coming to the part about feeling as if I couldn’t breathe when I reached out and grabbed the newel post on the first landing. The moment my hand touched it was an instant replay of the previous night: I couldn’t breathe, my heart began racing and I must have looked like I was going to pass out because Robb asked if I was okay.
As I was gasping for breath, I told him this was exactly what I’d experience the night before and stepped back to lean against the wall. The moment I took my hand off the newel post, however, I was fine—my breathing returned to normal and my heart stopped racing. It was literally as if someone had thrown a switch. I touched the newel post again and immediately began gasping. I let go and I was fine.
So what happened? Here’s what I think:
The woman who occupied the room originally was a servant and spinner who suffered from consumption (tuberculosis). Besides spinning, she may have also been a maid or serving girl (I had the feeling she was young) who would have naturally used the back stairs. The stairs are steep and for someone whose breathing was already compromised, she’d probably have to stop and catch her breath on the landing (and hold onto the newel post to steady herself). The spinner died in her room, in her bed…perhaps flat on her back with her right arm at her side and her left crooked at the elbow with her hand tucked under her chin.
Can I prove any of this?
Did I really hear what might have been a spinning wheel?
I heard something.
Do I think the room is haunted?
Is it possible that I only imagined experiencing the physical manifestations?
Perhaps, but this sort of thing has happened to me before.
I don’t see dead people, usually, but sometimes it seems I become them.
Fox Dunham & Phil Thomas bring you episode 14 of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Podcast. The authors continue to explore the darkness, building an archive of entertainment and experience in both the paranormal and artist community.
On this installment, they begin with a true ghost story sent by recent musical contributor, DJ Dead Zone or Jason from Manchester, England. The Grey Man is a story about a terrifying paranormal experience that happened to Jason when he was a lad told for the first time to the podcast. And Jason is sure the Grey Man will return for him one day. The true ghost story is beautifully recorded by our British folksinger, David Walton.
Follow DJ Dead Zone on Twitter at: @newo394r
Phil & Fox share a few more true ghost experiences from Gettysburg, Cape May and even tell the story of Phil’s extra-dimensional car. Fox shares his knowledge on clearing negative energy using herbs and magick. We also give a shout-out to some of the major female horror contributors to the field including Lisa Morton, President of the Horror Writers Association and Ellen Datlow, the best anthologist in dark fiction.
We complete our interview with famed ghost story collector Charles Adams III, known for such anthologies as Ghosts of Cape May, Ghosts of Gettysburg and many more volumes from 30 years of tales he collected. We are thrilled to have this immense talent on the show and one of the creators of the paranormal sector. Thank you Charlie. Our admiration to you.
Fox closes the show as one of the last of the Dark Five in preparation for the first of our live author’s series. Let the Dark Ones Rises, recorded and hosted by T. Fox Dunham at the KGB Bar & Club in the East Village of New York City, will premier in July featuring John Foster, Shawn Macomber, Daniel Braum and J. Anthony Stone reading works from Grey Matter Press, editors Anthony Rivera and Sharon Lawson.
As the last of the Dark Five, not to be confused with the Final Five, Fox reads from his new horror novel, Mercy, out from Blood Bound Books from a live reading in Philadelphia. Shawn Macomber, who reviewed the book for FANGORIA, interviews Fox about his writing and life, talking about surviving cancer, enduring life with the disease and writing to free his soul.
We close the show with a song from one of our new musical partners, Mystary & Mystary Records, creators of ambient horror music. We use music from their album 2706 in this episode for the true ghost story and at the end of the show. More information can be found here, and the album is available on iTunes & GooglePlay.
It was a remarkable show again rife with great talents, and we have so much amazing material yet to come including interviews and material from some major players in the paranormal and writing community, on-site investigations of such places as Satansville & the Cult House, plus new special episodes of our author reading series.
WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? – LIVE AUTHOR SERIES #2
“Darkness Comes to Philly”
WHAT: An evening of Philadelphia & New York horror authors reading their dark tales in Philadelphia. Hosted by T. Fox Dunham and recorded for a special episode of What Are You Afraid Of? Podcast
WHO: Six of the brightest (or darkest) rising stars in the dark fiction firmament, including: John Foster, James Chambers, Lisa Mannetti, T. Fox Dunham, Sawney Hatton & John Dunbar
WHERE: Alma Mater restaurant and bar, 7165 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA
WHEN: Saturday June 25, 3:30PM to 7PM
WHY: Fun, madness and to support Philadelphia’s rapidly growing literary scene
Food and drink, music and madness as the dark fiction crowd descends on Philadelphia’s own Alma Mater. In addition to the readings, the eerie musical styling of INSERT MUSICIAN will get us in the mood. The event will be recorded for the podcast “What Are You Afraid Of?” and there is no cover charge for the event. https://almamaterphiladelphia.com/
For more information on the authors reading, please visit:
Fox & Phil are out there exploring the darkness, collecting true ghost stories and dark writings from around the world in person and through email. Send your paranormal experiences to email@example.com.
Well, we’ve had the self-discipline to get you 13 episodes, and we’re going strong. This is a momentous episode for old lucky 13. NEW THEME SONG!!! We’re no longer using open license horror music for our opening. We have a unique theme song composed just for us from author & musician, Michael Garrett. All I had to do was write him three op-ed pieces. Nice trade! The theme song is a creepy mix of simple piano and an odd scratching noise: something trying to get in or trying to get out? Then, we hear a familiar theme of techno that picks up the beat, leading into a cascade of piano. The song ends in simple and ominous way.
In addition to the new theme song, we have commissioned artist Dyer Wilk to do some new cover art for the podcast. We improve every episode.
On this episode, we bring you our usual stew of ghost stories, paranormal & author talk, interviews and even a new techno dark sci-fi song from a British DJ, Dead Zone. Follow Dead Zone on twitter for new updates from his music: @newo394r
Author Tori L. Ridgewood sent us a series of small ghost events from her home in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. The piece is read brilliantly by British folksinger David Walton. We put the story in as a special treat at the end of this update.
Phil & Fox discuss more true ghost phenomenon, have their usual banter, and then we lead into our interview with folklorist and author Charles Adams III. We’re rather proud of this one. Charlie has been collecting and writing true ghost stories from the east coast for decades. He was doing it when the term paranormal didn’t exist, and we’ve all seen his books in museum gift shops and libraries. We feature part one of this interview on the show.
Phil Thomas with ghost story legend Charles Adams III
Charles Adams III Bio:
Charles J. Adams III was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1947 and resides there today. Adams has been a speaker
at the International Ghost Hunters Alliance and GhostWorld conventions in Gettysburg, Pa., and at regional paranormal conferences in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He has been interviewed on ghostly topics in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and on several American radio and television stations. He has also appeared on The History Channel’s “Haunted America: New York” and “Haunted America: Philadelphia” programs and has served as consultant and on-air “expert” for programs on hauntings and ghosts on The Learning Channel, MTV, and The Travel Channel. His latest television work is a segment at the haunted Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia for The Travel Channel’s “Mysterious Journeys” series. He has produced, written, and conducted “ghost tours” in Lancaster County, Reading, Hamburg, and Philadelphia, Pa.; Cape May, N.J., and Greenwich Village, New York City. His stories have been selected for inclusion in several anthologies, including “Classic American Ghost Stories” (August House Publishing). At the personal request of the producer M. Night Shyamalan, his book, “Bucks County Ghost Stories” was used as a prop in the 2002 movie, “Signs,” which stars Mel Gibson. A U.S. Navy veteran, Adams has also been a singer and keyboard player in rock bands since his high school days. Adams has also written numerous commercial jingles and songs, and several have been recorded and released on CDs and music videos.
T. Fox Dunham talks about issues in the horror writing community and reads his letter to the Horror Writer Association core members and leadership, written at a time of great turmoil for all authors involved with the organization. He reads his essay, The Strength is in the Membership which talks about how it is up to the authors to make their association better through their individual actions.
John Foster, co-host for episode 5 returns with an interview about his new novel from Grey Matter Press, Mister White as one of the Dark Five. We will feature a special episode from the KGB event, Let the Dark Ones Rise, after episode 14.
This is leading up to the release of the What Are You Afraid Of? Special, Let the Dark Ones Rise, recorded live at the KGB Bar & Club in NYC. This will be released shortly after episode 14 featuring authors & host T. Fox Dunham, Shawn Macomber, Daniel Braum, John Foster and J. Anthony Stone (Ol’ Stoney). This is the first in our special artist & author series which will be coming to you over the next year, celebrating the best in Indie creation.
The Dark Ones Comes to Philly!
What Are You Afraid Of Podcast will be hosting our next event at the Alma Mater Restaurant in Mount Airy, Philadelphia. Confirmed horror authors who will be reading so far are T. Fox Dunham, John Foster and horror icon and HWA membership committee chairman, James Chambers. A few more will be added.
JUNE 25th 2016, 3.30PM
Alma Mater (the former North by Northwest (NxNW)) is in the heart of Mt. Airy in Philadelphia at 7165 Germantown Avenue.
We close the show with a special musical treat from British techno composer Dead Zone, a mix of beat and borg, inspired by those bionic zombies. Assimilate!
TRUE GHOST STORY
Submitted by Tori L. Ridgewood
Kirkland Lake, Ontario
We’ve had some unexplainable events in our house, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada. And I know we’re not the only ones — this town is rife with homebody ghosts!
But here are three vials of ghostly fun to pour into the general cauldron…
About two years ago, while my husband was away at school (four hour drive from home), he would Skype me every night to chat with us, often just before the kids were ready for bed. They would say goodnight, I’d take them upstairs, and then we’d have some quiet time to talk before logging off for the evening.
One night, after I had gone upstairs with the kids, he was waiting patiently on his end of the computer connection. The living room was empty. The television was off.
He heard a voice.
He’s never been quite sure what the voice said, but it was definitely something. He’s a skeptic, so he didn’t pay much attention, other than to be mildly surprised and mention it to me in passing later on.
But there was more…
One night, I woke up and saw a figure in our room. My daughter was in the bed, and the figure was distinctly menacing and terrifying. It was next to my side of the bed. I tried crying out, then curled my body over my daughter and pulled the blanket up around us both, over our heads. When I looked next, it was gone.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen a figure in my bedroom, watching me sleep, and I can never be sure whether I was truly awake, but it happened in this house and in our home in Swastika.
A few weeks ago, my husband told me that he saw something reflected in a picture mounted on the wall. It looked like a woman in a long nightgown, and he thought I had gotten out of bed for some reason. But when he turned around there was no-one there…and I was wearing cozy purple jammies that night. So what did he see?
I’m certain there is a presence in this house… And I’m certain that it’s actually benevolent. It likes us. Whatever I saw next to the bed, I think our resident spirit shooed it away.
Philly & Foxy return for our Spring-Summer season, bringing you dark stories, paranormal adventures and information for the working author.
We have a lot on Episode 12, preparing for some big stuff. Two true #ghost stories recorded for you, sent to us from listeners. The first, Civil War Camp was sent to us from West Virginia, recorded by British folksinger, David Walton. We end the show with a sad tale of lost souls to this world from TM McLean from his time working at a British army base in Germany, The Hatch Girl of Hohne.
The Olympic swimming pool at the army base. Listen to the story to learn why it was built.
The end will get you. Places remember…
The army base looks so peaceful, doesn’t it? Once, ovens burned…
We have two interviews tonight. The first is with one of the Dark Five, author J. Daniel Stone. We read with Ol’Stoney at the KGB Bar & Club in NYC in early April, hosted by the podcast.
That recording will be presented as a special event in May. We also have Harrison Astroff joining us from Stacks Entertainment to tell us about his international streaming company—the future of the industry.
Phil tells the story of the Jenny Wade house, the location of the only civilian death during the American Civil War in Gettysburg.
An orb captured during a tour of the Jenny Wade House
We include photos he mentions on the show. He captured an orb–photo evidence of a spirit.
An orb captured on the grounds.
PMMP delivers to us a new noir story, a flash piece by author Aaron Fox-Lerner called Under the Bridge.
It’s a powerful episode, the beginning of a great summer for the podcast.