What Social Media Sandboxes Are You Playing In?

Recently I was inspired by Lorelle on WordPress, who in her post Bye-Bye Facebook: Changes in the World of Social Media, says that “you need to play in the sandbox where your audience plays.” Since creating Big Séance, I’ve been hesitant to play in too many social media sandboxes, but it is becoming clear that social media is once again beginning to change. Right now, your social media community options for finding me are limited to Facebook and Twitter (@BigSeance). Most of the community interaction and traffic to Big Séance tends to come from Facebook and search engines, and very rarely from Twitter.

 

Where are my readers and listeners playing the most? 

Please tell me where I need to build the next Big Séance community! 

 


Mysteries Over Martinis: A Special Guest Post!

mysteries over martinis, big seance guest blog postMystery Martini

Ingredients:

1 Part Absolut Wild Tea

½ Part Lime Juice

¼ Part Simple Syrup

4 Whole Blackberries

 

Directions:

Muddle blackberries in a shaker. Add Absolut Wild tea, simple syrup and lime juice. Fill with ice cubes. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a blackberry and let the spirits flow.

 

Both the guest blog post below and the delicious Mystery Martini above are by my new friend, Lisa Lloyd. She has a fascinating story and a very interesting blog. You should check it out! Thanks, Lisa!

 

Mysteries over Martinis: Spellbinding Spirits Served with a Twist

Lisa_Lloyd_mysteries_over_martinis_big_seanceMy name is Lisa Lloyd. I write a blog called Mysteries over Martinis in which I combine my passion for storytelling with my allure for unexplained phenomena and serve it up with a mystery-themed cocktail. It’s a recipe for intrigue!

 

I was born and raised in Iowa City, IA. My fascination with mysteries began at an early age. My favorite past times were telling stories, playing Clue, searching corn fields for crop circles and helping Scooby Doo and the gang solve mysteries. The introduction of the television show Unsolved Mysteries opened my eyes to a variety of unusual phenomena. The bizarre cases intrigued me and fueled my curiosity to make sense of it all.  I often tried to seek out books, programs and anyone who could offer insight into possible explanations.

 

The passing of several family members peaked my interest in life after death. This prompted me to experiment with the Ouija board as a young adult. One particular occasion seemed to indicate that I was communicating with several of my deceased family members. My mother is the youngest of 14 kids so my extended family is enormous but also very close. My mother, aunt, two cousins and I took a girls trip to Lake Okoboji where my cousin had a cabin. After a day on the lake, we returned to the cabin for a few cocktails. My cousin brought out her Ouija board and we thought it would be something fun to do. We went into it thinking it would be entertaining and probably not much more.

 

We began with a prayer to protect ourselves from any negative entities. My cousin and I had our hands on the planchette and asked if a spirit wished to communicate.  At first the planchette moved slowly and didn’t make much sense but then it began to move more fluidly. A spirit claiming to be our grandmother began communicating with us. She had died in 1968, long before my cousins and I were born. She said she was, “proud of her babies” which would have been directed at my mom and aunt. She went on to give us her birth date and date of death. This was interesting because my cousin and I didn’t have that information other than perhaps the years in which those events occurred. She then told us our aunt wanted to step forward. After our grandmother said goodbye, the energy of the planchette changed which surprised us. It became sharper and the spelling wasn’t as good as it had been with our grandmother. Our aunt was sarcastic much like she was in life. To try and validate that we were speaking with spirit, my mother asked her where their aunt’s quilt was located. My mom knew the answer but the rest of us did not. The board revealed that it was in a special box under her bed. My mom confirmed this to be true. She then revealed that my cousin, who was pregnant at the time and living in Wisconsin, would move back to Iowa because her husband would have a “water opportunity.” She then said her baby would be a boy and the next baby would be born in Iowa. All of this came to fruition. She even chimed in saying, “Lisa knows more than most, strong ties to the paranormal.” It seems this was some foreshadowing of where my path would take me. We ended up speaking with 4 departed loved ones during that session, each one demonstrating a different kind of movement with the planchette. The information was incredible and the experience left me with more questions than answers.

 

In 2006, a sudden illness landed me in the intensive care unit. My fight for life resulted in what I can only explain as a near-death experience. At the time, my condition baffled the medical staff.  My organs had begun to shut down and I was in excruciating pain. I was struggling to breathe because my lungs were filling with fluid. Suddenly, everything went dark. I thought the doctor’s had sedated me but I discovered later, this was not the case. The darkness quickly transitioned into a beautiful golden light. Being engulfed by the radiance was the most euphoric moment of my life. Within a matter of seconds, I was physically pulled away. I was back in the hospital bed enduring horrific pain and watching the medical team frantically work on my body. Soon after I was stabilized, everyone left the room. I was lying in bed and as I scanned the room, I noticed a familiar shadow being cast on the wall. It was the profile of my aunt who had passed away years before. This was the same aunt who said I had strong ties to the paranormal. When I did a double take, the shadow was gone. I felt this was her way of letting me know she was watching over me. This event thrust me into a world of strange phenomena and made me a magnet for those who are a part of it.  I never advertised my beliefs in the paranormal but I also never denied them. I think of myself as pretty easy to get along with. I believe that my open mind and friendly disposition have made me somewhat of a paranormal therapist. I attract people who want to tell me about their encounters or who want to learn more about specific topics. I found myself almost counseling friends and family by trying to help them make sense of their experiences. Even those who don’t believe in the supernatural would ask me to recount stories just because they found them interesting. Many of which would say that the way I presented the information at least made them think. I found these instances incredibly gratifying.

 

Having my own near death experience, encounters with spirit communication along with a wealth of other strange occurrences has escalated what was a simple interest in the unexplained into a personal quest for purpose. I moved away from my hometown in December of 2013. I created Mysteries over Martinis as a way to stay connected with those who utilize me as a resource. Not only do I want to help but I want to educate and provide a platform in which people can share their own brushes with the bizarre. My blog can be found at www.mysteriesovermartinis.com. If you’ve had a mysterious encounter you’d like to share, please e-mail me at mysteriesovermartinis@gmail.com. I can also be contacted via the Mysteries over Martinis Facebook page. Be sure to ‘like’ it when you stop by. Weirdness is always welcome. Cheers!

 


The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween, with Special Co-Host Karen A. Dahlman – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #17

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Karen A. Dahlman, The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween, The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #17

In this episode, I chat with special guest co-host, Karen A. Dahlman! My favorite holiday is just around the corner, and so we reminisce about Halloween memories, the month of October, and some of the legends, lore, and symbols of Halloween! You may remember her from Episode 5, talking about The Spirits of Ouija.

 

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween!

 

Topics discussed in this episode:

What’s the Halloween season like in California vs. the Midwest?

We talk about our memories of trick-or-treating, and Karen will surprise you with the tale of her last time partaking in this fun tradition.

With perfect timing, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, two of my favorite paranormal television shows, finally return. We review the most recent episodes and talk quite a bit about the ghost of the little girl on the Queen Mary.

My visit to A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century at the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis.

What’s the lore about death and mirrors?

Are we disconnected with death in 2014? Death, the Spiritualist Movement and the 19th Century. Mary Todd Lincoln and séances at the White House.

Karen, a leading expert on the Ouija, tells us about some of the superstitions regarding the talking board.

Will Karen or I hold séances on Halloween?

Is it really true that during this time of year the veil is lifted between the living and the dead? Karen says yes, and she teaches us about The Law of Critical Mass in physics.

Remember the myth of tampered candy and razor blades in apples?

Divination games played on Halloween in the Victorian time period, including waiting for your future love by staring in a mirror (not creepy at all, right?), and the “dumb supper”.

Spirit Communication with candles and flame. 

The number 13 and the story of the 13th floor. Myth?

Some facts and jokes about Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns!

Halloween (The Jack O’Lantern Rag) by Arthur Manlowe (1911)

Karen tells us why she loves Owls, which are viewed as symbols of Halloween.

Bet you didn’t know what the witch’s broom symbolizes.

Avoid having bad luck on Halloween. Be careful! (Actually, these are myths…. supposedly.)

Are there ways to have GOOD luck on Halloween?

Both Karen and I share our favorite Halloween candy!

Have you ever bobbed for Apples?

The top haunted attractions for 2014 in the US!

Karen teaches us how to have fun with panty hose on Halloween! 

 

For More on Karen A. Dahlman:

karenadahlman.com

Karen’s Books on Amazon

Karen’s Facebook Page

Twitter: @KarenADahlman

And check out my review of The Spirits of Ouija.

 

Thanks again, Karen!

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky Music featured on this episode is from Sam Haynes. You can find more about Sam and his music at http://www.hauntmusic.co.uk/. Thanks, Sam!

 

 

Record your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


Retro Halloween Safety

I have quite a treat for you. Below are three Halloween Safety videos dating from 1977 to the early 1980s. I had a great time watching these several times just a few nights ago. For me, there is so much nostalgia packed in these videos, but also some rules and scenarios that seem so funny in 2014. Remember the overblown fear of razor blades and tampered candy, even though no cases even exist? It’s mentioned below. 

I wonder if I actually watched any of these as a child. I can just picture myself in one of my elementary school classrooms, watching the film strip with the familiar crackle in the background. I wonder how children these days would take to watching these? I’m considering showing them to my students at school in a few weeks, just to see what they think.

 



 


Death and Mourning in the 19th Century and the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion

This past weekend, friend and past guest of the Big Séance Podcast, Victoria Cosner Love, invited me (ahem… strongly encouraged me to leave my crypt) to a fascinating event, which appropriately fit the season, in my opinion anyway. It was my first visit to the absolutely beautiful Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis. “A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century” is an annual mourning event there. 

An interesting fact is that the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is right next door to the famous Lemp Mansion and the Lemp Brewery Complex, and so the neighborhood is always an interesting place to find yourself this time of year. (Incidentally, the boys from Ghost Adventures just featured the Lemp Mansion and Brewery in their most recent episode, and the Ghost Hunters spent some time there a few years ago as well.) 

The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is reported to be haunted as well, and I did talk to a few people in the know, but this event didn’t focus on the paranormal aspects of the place.

 

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_4

 

As you may know, I’m obsessed with staircases, especially grand ones in a historical location like this mansion. So I had to lead with the photo above, with one of the volunteers appropriately mourning in character at the front entrance. 

I was very surprised to also run into several friends, some of whom I’ve never met in person, like my new friend Ginger of Missouri History and Hauntings. I got to meet a few other fascinating and knowledgable people, as well. I’m so very glad I went!

So back to the event itself. Here’s a description of the event, taken directly from their site:

This is an open house style event, during which guests are free to visit exhibits throughout the Mansion and learn not only about mourning customs of the 19th century but illness, medical treatments, wakes, funerary practices and more from costumed volunteers and museum staff.

As well as visiting with our informative volunteers, guests get a chance to see a amazing collection of original objects related to death, mourning and medical practices, from private collections, that are on display just this one day every year.

 

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I loved the event, but I look forward to going back again soon, perhaps to get a general tour of the place, plus they have plenty of activities. I encourage anyone in the area to visit if you haven’t been. 

I would have loved to have been able to get more shots of the home, but this event was well-attended, which is a good thing, but it made it difficult to get really good photos. But I hope you enjoy the shots that I did capture.

 

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I loved the feel and the color of this beautiful, yet oddly shaped corner. I need to find more information about this room. 

 

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The Year of Halloween: An Interview with Eva Halloween – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #16

big-seance-podcast-celebrate-october-happy-halloween-banner

 

In this episode, we sit at the séance table with the haunted hostess of TheYearOfHalloween.com, Eva Halloween. Eva and her site is a massive collection of resources that helps readers to celebrate Halloween all year long!

 

Eva_Halloween_the_year_of_halloween_big_seance_podcast“I was a lot less interested in talking about my personal feelings about Halloween 365 days a year, as much as I really had a love of kind of curating what’s out there and bringing it to people, and say here’s the best of things in all manner of ways that can bring that kind of creepiness and spooky fun of Halloween alive all year round without it necessarily having to be 365 days of pumpkins or black cat cutouts. There’s lots of ways to have that kind of fun feeling all year.”  –Eva Halloween

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Favorite Halloween Memories and Traditions
  • Trick-or-Treating
  • Contributors to The Year of Halloween
  • Makeup and Costume Tutorials
  • Halloween DIY Projects
  • Art & Inspiration
  • Annual Costume Contest
  • Friday Night Features
  • 31 Halloween Activities
  • The Peculiar Photos of Ransom Riggs
  • Last Year’s TYOH Talking Witch Commercial
  • Does Eva ever tire of Halloween?
  • What Goes On at TYOH During Other Times of the Year?
  • Sneak Peek at what’s coming up for the rest of the season!

Acadia Einstein’s SuperficialGallery.com

 

For More of The Year of Halloween:

Google+: Eva Hallowen

Twitter: @EvaHalloween

Facebook: The Year of Halloween

Tumblr: The Year of Halloween

 

Thanks, Eva!

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky Music featured on this episode is from Sam Haynes. You can find more about Sam and his music at http://www.hauntmusic.co.uk/. Thanks, Sam!

 

 

Record your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.

.

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!


Pumpkins and the Annual Trip to Rombachs Farm (2014)

White Pumpkins from Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

 

I hope you enjoy some photos from our annual visit to Rombachs Farm for our 2014 family of pumpkins, soon to be jack-o-lanterns (aka “punkinheads”).

 

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, pumpkin patch, big seance

Rombachs Farm, Punkin Blvd, pumpkin patch, big seance

Family of Pumpkins 2014, Big Seance

And these are the three we adopted. Stay tuned for the jack-o-lantern post coming up, about a week before Halloween! Can’t wait! 

 

 

 


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