Monthly Archives: July 2013

Flies and Hauntings: “You can’t really kill what’s already dead.”

Hey folks! I’m on page 218 of the first volume of House of Darkness House of Light, the true story of the events that happened in the movie The Conjuring, written by Andrea Perron, the oldest daughter. I’ve got to be honest. I was initially intimidated by the size of these books (the third and final book is yet to come), but at this point I’m pretty sure that there’s virtually no chance of me not buying into all three volumes. I’ve been sucked into the story all weekend, and I’ve not been able to think of anything else in the last two days. It is such a good book!

Early on in their story, not long after moving in, the Perrons experienced supernatural and never-ending amounts of flies that seemed to come from nowhere. This was in the middle of a very cold and snowy winter. No amount of swatting or extermination could solve their problem. It was making them crazy, and along with other bone-chilling events, it was gradually tearing a family apart.

Most likely, when you think of flies and hauntings, you think of the famous scene from the movie The Amityville Horror from 1979. Usually when I hear someone describe flies as being a sign of a haunting, I get the instant urge to roll my eyes. You won’t find many “experts” in the paranormal who are willing to validate flies as being harbingers of things to come in a haunted location, though Lorraine Warren supposedly told Mrs. Perron that this was the case. Referring to their nasty fly situation, Warren is quoted in the book as saying “You can’t really kill what’s already dead.” In The Conjuring, James Wan apparently chose to nod to Alfred Hitchcock and use birds as a harbinger, rather than flies. It could be that birds play a role in the book as well, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I’ll admit I’m conflicted. It just seems so Hollywood to me… and like talk of “demons” (which I’m sure I’ll be discussing soon), it seems to require a certain kind of religious belief that I don’t usually buy into. But I’ve done lots of researching into this story and the Perrons recently, and unlike the questionable history of the Amityville haunting, and though I don’t know the family personally (though I’ve enjoyed recently being connected with Andrea on Facebook), I really believe their story. So here it is. I feel like I have to tell you that all of this is really making me re-think my position on evil harbinger flies.    

 

Thoughts? Experiences? Fly swatter recommendations?

Related Posts:

The Conjuring Movie Review

The Conjuring Movie Review (Big Séance)

True Haunting: Reads Like Fiction… But it’s Not! (Big Séance)

Andrea Perron's House of Darkness House of Light trilogy (Big Séance)

Andrea Perron’s House of Darkness House of Light trilogy (Big Séance)


Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden on Lifetime?

 

Christina Ricci Photo Credit: David Shankbone

Christina Ricci
Photo Credit: David Shankbone

This is apparently not breaking news, but it was news to me today. I was watching Christina Ricci’s interview on today’s The View, where she was promoting the new movie, Smurfs 2, in which she lends her voice for the character of Vexy, a bad Smurf. Early on in the segment it was briefly mentioned that she is working on a film about the famous ax murderess, Lizzie Borden, and she plays the role of… duh… Lizzie. The ladies were poking fun at the fact that she has played so many dark characters. Christina talked about how she loved the darker roles and often saw humor in them. (It was funny seeing her talk about these darker roles while wearing a bright and sunny polka-dotted outfit.)  

According to The Herald News, the Lifetime movie (bummer) just finished filming a few days ago. No word yet on when we’ll get to see it.

Also from The Herald, it is interesting to find out that the curators of the famous Lizzie Borden house were not even contacted or used as a resource for the film, other than asking to borrow the famous couch that resembles the original. They turned them down (good for them).

Anyway, I’m totally still pumped.

Just in case you didn’t grow up learning the chant, or if you don’t watch SyFy or the Travel Channel and are therefore unaware of the Lizzie Borden story, let me catch you up.

 

Your Lizzie Borden Study Guide

In 1892, in Fall River Massachusetts…

Lizzie Borden…

did this…

to her father…

and this…

to her stepmother.

She used this. 

The jury…

announced that Lizzie (cough cough murderer) was not guilty. (Rrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight…)

She died in 1927. 

Be sure to come back and visit the Big Séance for all your remedial learning needs. 

Sources: 
http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x273440786/Lizzie-Borden-film-is-a-wrap
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/LizzieBorden/bordenhome.html

 

Related:

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters... So What? (Big Séance)

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters… So What? (Big Séance)

Have you “Liked” Big Séance on Facebook yet? 


Messenger Between Worlds: True Stories from a Psychic Medium

I’m not exactly sure why I find books by mediums so fascinating. Actually, that’s not true. I admire mediums… and as someone who is obsessed with learning about spirit communication and the afterlife, I’m envious of their ability to reach out to the Other Side, often helping souls, both living and deceased, at the same time. Sometimes when I read a string of books that are so serious or about paranormal research or something heavy, I just end up needing to put whatever I’m reading down. I end up breaking my rule, which is to never start a new book when there’s one that still needs to be finished. And it’s like a breath of fresh air. Messenger Between Worlds: True Stories from a Psychic Medium by Kristy Robinett was my most recent breath of fresh air. 

About five months ago I discussed Kristy Robinett here on the blog after hearing her interview on a podcast. I found that just listening to her was a comforting experience. She is so very genuine, she has a beautiful personality, and she has some fascinating stories. Her book was teased in the interview at that time, but I had to wait months since it was released only a few weeks ago. It was well worth the wait.

From the back of the book: 

At the age of three, Kristy Robinett predicted her grandmother’s death. When she was eight, the spirit of her deceased grandfather helped her escape from a would-be kidnapper. This captivating, powerful memoir is filled with unforgettable scenes: spot-on predictions, countless spirit visits at home and school, menacing paranormal activity, and Kristy’s first meeting with two spirit guides who became her constant allies. Born into a strict religious family, Kristy believed she was cursed and hid her  psychic abilities for many years. Over time, she learned to use her talent to do good in the world, and now she has decided to share her incredible story. Follow Kristy’s emotional journey through a difficult childhood, stormy marriages, conflict with faith, job loss, and illness—and the  hard-won lessons that opened her heart to true love and acceptance of her unique gift.

My emotions took a few turns while following Kristy’s journey, and I think most readers can relate to many of the struggles. Throughout the first half of the book, I found myself frustrated that not only was she often not treated kindly, but not accepted for who she was and the reluctant gift that she was given. I think that’s why for a long time she couldn’t find herself. But it’s easy to cheer her on. Haven’t we all had those “what am I SUPPOSED TO BE when I grow up” moments? I’m 35 and I’m still having them. I think we all want to land on the right track. Some of us don’t know we’re on the wrong track, and some of us know but we’re not entirely sure what train to hop and where it’s going… and how to pay for the ticket… and what will be waiting for us when we get to that mysterious destination, anyway? Well I found myself smiling and truly happy for her as she took a giant risk and bravely jumped onto the right track for the rest of her journey… and because she’s so young, there’s a lot of track left, with plenty of stories yet to tell. Okay, enough trains. But seriously, I look forward to reading about the next part of the journey.

Yes, the book is about the medium author herself, but if you’re wanting the stories of spirit communication in her readings, of helping to solve cold cases, of the conversations with spirit guides, don’t worry. If you’re looking for validation from the various messages she gets, it’s here. Those beautiful moments, the heartfelt stories, the changed lives… those gems can be found throughout as well.

I truly loved it! Thanks for being brave enough to share you life with us, Kristy!

If you haven’t heard or seen Kristy Robinett, I wanted to give you the chance to see and hear her below. The first is video of a recent radio show appearance that I enjoyed. Below that is Kristy’s appearance from this last October on the Ricki Lake Show. Kristy has several other videos online. For more info, visit KristyRobinett.com.

 

 

 

Related Articles:

The Conjuring Movie Review

The Conjuring Movie Review

Running with the Bulls

Running with the Bulls

Death Perception

Death Perception

 

 


Survey Says (Answers!)

Because I know Renae Rude has been holding her breath for days to find out how close she was (You totally rock, Renae!), I wanted to reveal the answers to the teaser post from earlier this week. The answers are accurate as of July 14, 2013. Ready? Here we go with an exciting link-filled post!

 

What are the all-time top 4 search terms for Big Séance?

 

 

  1. Thomas Edison and the phonograph (By far the winner… I’m convinced this post is used in a curriculum for a course somewhere. When fall gets here there will be a few days where old Tommy will get 60 or 70 hits each day. One day it was over 400.)
  2. Jimi Hendrix (Can you believe it? I think the name exists ONCE on ONE of my earlier posts. Fascinating.)
  3. Black Eyed Kids
  4. Marcello Bacci

 

What are the all-time top 4 Big Séance blog posts?

 

 

  1. Thomas Edison and the Phonograph (Naturally… he thinks he’s so brilliant.)
  2. Communicating with Dead Celebrities and the Famous (Same post where Jimi Hendrix resides… there’s a pattern here.)
  3. Memories of the Stanley Hotel (Yay! **In my announcer voice** –> This is Stanley’s first nomination and first win for his role on the Big Séance blog.)
  4. Black Eyed Kids (They’re sneaky. Can’t get rid of them.)

 

 

Care to know what the all-time LEAST viewed (as of today) post from the Big Séance is? (This was not asked in the teaser earlier this week.)

  1. Holiday Spirits (Kind of shocks me! Since I know you missed it, check it out.)

 

Out of 132 countries, what are the top 5 all-time countries that represent my readership? (This one might not be so tough.)

  1. USA
  2. UK
  3. Canada
  4. Australia
  5. France

 

Who are the all-time top 4 commenters? (Apparently not a word.)

  1. Randy Keller (Renae’s correct answer! 🙂 )
  2. Brandie Sellers/Maria Laing (A tie!)
  3. Lee Allen Howard

 

As always, thank you all for supporting the blog, being loyal readers, sharing posts with friends, and for playing along! Till the next post… 

 

Peace!

 

Related Posts:

One-Year Anniversary and 173rd Post! (Big Séance) 

Big Séance 2012 in Review! (Big Séance) 

The First Semi-Whenever I want Big Seance Statistics Awards! (From June 2012) (Big Séance)

 


A Sign from the Guides…

Photo Credit: Jessie Eastland

Photo Credit: Jessie Eastland

I want to tell you a really cool story tonight. Unfortunately, it is not my story to tell, but my sister has given me permission to pass it along to you.

 My sister and her partner had just pulled up in their car to pick up a carry out order at Chipotle. She stayed in the car, which was near a patch of grass with running sprinklers that were giving the car a shower. While she was waiting, she decided that there was something on her mind, an important decision, that just might require some special guidance. She brought the issue up to her guides and asked for some kind of sign. It was then that the sprinklers turned off next to the car. She thought, “Was that my sign?” With her eyes closed, she asked for further clarification to know if her guides were with her and listening. Suddenly, two women exited the restaurant and walked by my sister’s car, where she still had her eyes closed. The first two words that came out of one of the women’s mouths was “Spirit Guide”. Message received. 

After leaving the parking lot with their food, she immediately called to tell me the story.  

Isn’t that exciting?! My very first post on February 5, 2012 (225 posts ago), was about Spirit Guides. I’m not sure I’ve specifically brought the subject up since then, which kind of surprises me. Around the time of that first post, I was spending a lot of time trying to get to know my spirit guide (who I refer to as Merlin), learning about channeling, taking a channeling class at Ahtah Sanctuary, and reading waaaay too many books on the topic for me to handle. Right now though, I’m a bit out of practice and haven’t been meditating, working on intuition, or developing a relationship with my spirit guide. I’ve tried very hard over the years, but my sister tends to be a little more gifted in her sensitivity to these things. Her story makes me want to get reacquainted with Merlin and get validation that he hasn’t given up on guiding me.  

 

Do my readers have any stories or experience with getting incredibly clear or special validation from your guide(s)? 

 

Two books I’d recommend on the topic: 

 

Ask Your Guides: Connecting to Your Divine Support System
by Sonia Choquette

Opening To Channel: How To Connect With Your Guide
by Sanaya Roman and Duane Packer

Related Articles: 

5 Ways to Hear Your Spirit Guides and Angels More Clearly (psynergywellness.com)

You Have a Spirit Guide (Building the Bridge)

 


Haunted Summer Reading Part One

I wanted to share with you a reblog, which happens to be my very first guest blog post, from News From The Spirit World. Please enjoy Haunted Summer Reading Part One and look for Part Two at Newsfromthespiritworld.com soon.


Survey Says…

 

Today I went through the fascinating stats that WordPress provides bloggers. Care to play some Big Séance Feud? Submit your answers or thoughts to any or all of the questions in the comments and after a while I’ll tell you in a comment of my own (unless there is silence and crickets…). The prize for the winner is, as I tell my students, my love and respect.  You’re now incredibly pumped, right?

 

  1. What are the all-time top 4 search terms for Big Séance? (Hint: 3 of the 4 are names of people, the fourth is a topic.)

  2. What are the all-time top 4 Big Séance blog posts?

  3. Out of 132 countries, what are the top 5 all-time countries that represent my readership? (This one might not be so tough.)

  4. Who are the all-time top 4 commenters? 

 

Related Posts:

The First Semi-Whenever I want Big Seance Statistics Awards! (From June 2012) (Big Séance)

ESP Trainer (Big Séance)

Join the Radio Sweep Experiment… What do you hear? (Big Séance)

Communicating with the dead… What do you believe? (Big Séance)

 

 


The Conjuring movie review

First of all, if you are a fan of this genre of film, YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! You WILL see this movie! (Although… some of you may want to see an afternoon matinee so that when you leave the theater you can go to a park, watch the bunny rabbits play, and soak in the last hours of sunlight before you’re home checking rooms and corners.)

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, we can get to the review and the details. Last night I attended an advanced screening of the much anticipated film, The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Evening), Vera Farmiga (A&E’s Bates Motel), Ron Livingston (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), and Lili Taylor (The Haunting, HBO’s Six Feet Under, and TV’s Hemlock Grove). The film is directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious), is rated R, and opens in the United States on July 19, 2013.

There are multiple reasons why I’ve been so excited to see this film, but one of them has to do with the fact that the screenplay for The Conjuring (written by Chad and Carey Hayes) is based on the case files from actual events involving the Perron family in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. These files are from two of America’s earliest, most experienced, and most loved paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Wilson and Farmiga). Outside of the paranormal circle, this married paranormal team will be most remembered for their involvement in the real events of the Amityville haunting that later spawned a book and movie. Many of the people more intimately involved in the field know this duo to be paranormal rock stars.  But the events depicted in this film happened before Amityville and before this rock-star status.

Even though the film is told from the perspective of the Warrens, there is a tormented family in this story as well (as is common in the haunting genre) … the Perrons. Livingston and Taylor take on the roles of real life Roger and Carolyn Perron who struggle to keep their five daughters safe and protected from the horrors going on in their secluded country house (built in 1736) which has an incredibly dark history. Many of the ads, trailers, and TV spots for the movie have been playing up the fact that this case might not be known to you because it was just too disturbing for you to know and was kept quiet for almost 40 years. But now the world is ready … or so the ads say.

It is my understanding that after Andrea Perron, one of the daughters, wrote two volumes about the experiences in 2011 entitled House of Darkness House of Light, it drew more attention to the story. The movie is not based on this book, but as I mentioned earlier, the screenplay is based on the Warrens’ case files. As far as I’ve read, the family and Lorraine (Ed Warren passed away in 2006) seem to approve of the film and are fully behind the events depicted in it. In a YouTube video where Andrea reviews the upcoming film, she states “I expected something entirely different. I expected Hollywood to do what Hollywood does, and yet in some ways this is a very quiet and studious film. You would never know that from the trailers, but that’s their job… to entice an audience. It’s also about the love of a family. It’s also about people who came to help, who felt that this was the most significant and compelling, and dark and disturbing story that they had ever heard in the course of a fifty year career.” She also mentions that the film “truly captured what we endured.”

According to the production notes (a lengthy but fascinating read that can be downloaded from the movie site), Lorraine Warren, who is looking good and in her 80s, is quoted as saying “When I walked inside, I immediately knew it was haunted. There’s a feeling that comes over you, almost like a veil, it draws your energy because the entity needs it in order to manifest; the only way to get that energy is from you. It was really heavy in that house and being on the set brought all that back. It was uncanny. I’m very fond of James. He wanted to get everything right, and I’m excited about the film.” According to the Warrens, this case was the “most intense, compelling, disturbing and significant investigation.”

I found the film incredibly spooky and satisfying, and in a way felt like I was watching something that was released from a time capsule. You really do feel as if you’re watching events from 1971. I don’t have the film production vocabulary to accurately describe it, but the whole thing was shot in a stylistically retro way. Even the design of the ads and the title seem very period. Along the same lines, I’m a huge fan of minimal special effects and computer generated imagery in horror films, and I feel like this had to have been a goal of the production team. Instead, for the most part they used sound, dark corners, squeaky doors, and a really good makeup team… just like the old days. It made the whole thing way more believable, and spookier, in my opinion. The last film from this genre that I saw do this so well was The Woman In Black. But before I move onto the next paragraph, let me be very clear. Like me, you may be fascinated with the history and story, and it is truly a great film, but… This. Film. Is. Scary.

I’m going to avoid busting out spoilers, but the acting in this film was spectacular. Lili Taylor for sure had what must have been some incredibly difficult scenes to film. In the production notes she has some interesting things to say about preparing for her character and blowing her vocal cords. I love Patrick Wilson (who doesn’t?) and Vera Farmiga earned my respect after being hooked on the first season of Bates Motel this year. In such an uncomfortable story, seeing the very loving and beautiful relationship and camaraderie between Ed and Lorraine made me very comfortable when I needed it.

A few interesting bits of information about the production. James Wan decided to film The Conjuring in chronological order. I don’t know why this always makes me happy to hear, but it just makes sense to me. Also, as with many famous films of this type, according to production notes there were apparently several strangely paranormal incidents that happened to various individuals involved in the production of the film, including incidents involving Lorraine Warren and the Perron family members visiting the set.  

Now before you run off to buy your tickets (and remember, it doesn’t open for a few days), let’s stop for a minute and discuss the ads and trailers. Don’t try to pretend like the television spots with the two claps and the sharp tug of the leg in bed didn’t horrify you. And if you think those were the only two scary parts that were thrown away for advertising, think again. I find it interesting that in only one of the three main movie trailers do they even introduce us to perhaps the two main characters, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The other two are your typical “family in a haunted house” trailers, although in the third trailer they made an interesting decision to add commentary from the real Perron family members. So depending on what trailer you saw, you may have been expecting a slightly different movie. The shorter TV spots have had a mix of all of the trailers and include the Warrens.

Thank you for visiting the Big Séance! Check out the trailers below and make sure to go see The Conjuring! (Leave the bunnies at the park.)

 

 

Related Articles:

The Conjuring and its True Story (rhinews.wordpress.com)

‘The Conjuring’ commercials are freaking me out! (Entertainment Weekly)

 


Walnut Grove Cemetery, Boonville Missouri…

 

I have been so excited to share this post with you. A few days ago I was on my way back home from a Kansas City trip and I decided to take one of the Boonville exits off of Interstate 70. I’ve driven past the area so many times over the years, and except for a nighttime detour from construction on the highway a while back, I’d never really toured the historical river town. This time around I’d take my time and look for a cemetery. It took a while, but I found one… and what I find it was! This cemetery just may have made its way to my top two or three favorite cemeteries. I hope to visit again this fall to capture the colors and the trees at their most beautiful. As you’ll see from the photos, someone has been doing a wonderful job taking care of, protecting, and preserving this beautiful park-like cemetery. Kudos to them. Please enjoy this tour through Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville, Missouri. 

 

 

For more information about Boonville, visit goboonville.com.

Related Posts: 

Assumption Cemetery, O’Fallon, Missouri (Big Séance)

Cravens Cemetery, Camden, Missouri (Big Séance)

Cemeteries: Concordia and Emma, Missouri (Big Séance)

Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri (Big Séance)

Forest Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance)

Lexington’s Old Catholic Cemetery (Big Séance)

Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri (Big Séance)

Two Smoky Mountain Cemeteries (Big Séance)

Just a Stroll through a Random Cemetery on the Way Home (Big Séance)

 

 

 


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