Tag Archives: paranormal fun

Dr. Silkini’s Ghost Show: Do the Dead Return? Spooks Sit Beside You!

 

Do the dead return? Spooks sit beside you? Wow, a Ghost Show! I’d love to go! It’s even from a theatre in my home town! The only problem is that I’m several decades too late… and a McDonalds sits where the theatre once was. I did, however, get to see a few movies there as a kid though. Annie and Goonies are the ones I remember the most. 

The above poster, which Joe and I discovered in a very cool new antique store in Lexington, led me to reading and learning about a part of history I knew very little about. Should I be embarrassed about this? I’m now fascinated! I’ve not been able to find a similar version of this poster from another theatre, which may also be why this was marked at $145. I didn’t buy it, of course… oh but I wanted it really badly. If I had to make a guess, I’d say it was from the 1950s, but I’m not entirely sure. The piece of tape above “Thursday”, is covering what I assume is probably the word “MIDNIGHT”. The store, The Country Peddler, has so many similar posters and banners, including lots of oil painted canvas advertisements (not sure what else to call them) from as early as the 1800s , plus lots of large nostalgic items, like jukeboxes, for example. Check it out if you make it to Lexington.

 

The Midnight Ghost Show…

The concept of the ghost show was apparently started by Elwin-Charles Peck in 1929. Really it was a stage magic show inspired by the popularity of spiritualism, and the tricks were the same ones used by the charlatans and fraudulent mediums of the time. People (mainly kids and teens) went for the séances, conjuring, flying ghosts that glowed in the dark, terrifying stunts, and audience participation. Often there were staged blackouts, where tricks would then be played on audience members, making them believe there was a “spook” near them.

In the 1930s and 40s these traveling “midnight ghost shows” were very popular in small towns around the country. Peck inspired a generation of copycats, all known as “ghost masters”, that took the ghost show to an all new level in the 40s and the 50s. The most successful of these would be Jack Baker, whose stage name was Dr. Silkini. It is said that humor is what Baker added to the already popular ghost show formula to make it so wildly successful. The concept struggled to keep the attention of an audience through the 60s and 70s, mainly due to the popularity of television. Jack Baker died in 1980.  

I’m really bummed that I missed this craze. I bet it was really fun. Were any of my readers fortunate enough to have witnessed any of these shows from the time period? I’d love to hear from you!  

 

Want more info? 

The main sources I used for this blog post come from two wonderful articles: Matt Novak’s The Rise and Fall of the Midnight Ghost Shows and Jim Knipfel’s Dr. Silkini’s Asylum of Horrors.  I urge you to check these sites out if you want to learn more. 

 

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Shop Home for the Holidays (Big Séance)

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Old School Locker (Big Séance)

 

 

 

 

 


Psychic Skill Items Revealed!

Psychic Skill Items Revealed! This is a photo I took the evening of the original blog post, and the items have remained in these exact places since then.

 

For the previous post, where I introduced the exercise, visit Fun with Psychic Skill!

 

The Brick

The item on the left is a brick from the Lexington High School/Middle School that I, along with several generations of my family, attended in Lexington, Missouri. I actually attended from the fourth to the eighth grade. The school, which was built in 1927, was demolished ten years ago. I was hoping someone would get some energy from this item.

A photo of the demolition of the old school. This view is of the main entrance on the opposite side of the view you see in the black and white photo above.

 

The Boy with the Fish

The item on the right is a ceramic boy with a fish that was given to me by an uncle when I was little. I’ve always had it somewhere in my room or in my home since then.

 

 

So how did you do?

Sam Crust mentioned an award in his description, which makes me wonder if he could have been seeing the shiny gold plate with inscription glued to the front of the brick. He also mentioned a toy (specifically, Huckleberry Hound), which is a standing character (two legs, arms, facial features, etc.) similar to my boy with the fish. 

Kevin D’Arcy mentioned “ceramic”, which is a good call. I can also see how he may have gotten a “bobble head type figure” from my boy with the fish. 

Paranormalogistically mentioned the characteristics of “square or rectangular” and “box”, which would connect with my brick. I can also see how she could get “bumpy texture like hobnail glass” (which I had to look up to know what it was) with the boy with the fish. She mentioned “keepsake” as well, which I would consider both of these items to be. 

Both Phyllis and Brandie Sellers used the word “box” in their descriptions, connecting them to the brick. 

Randall Keller listed several colors, which you could argue is represented somewhere in both items. He also used the term “rectangular”, connecting it to the brick, and “smooth textures”, connecting it to the boy with the fish. 

 

Shall we try this again sometime? 

I really had fun doing this and I hope you found it interesting… or at least entertaining. I’d love to try it again sometime, would you? And if anyone decides to try this on their own, let me know. I’d love to participate. 

To those who practiced their psychic skill for this exercise, thanks so much! 

 

 


Fun with Psychic Skill!

Inspired by Debbie at Spirits and The Paranormal, I’ve decided I want to have a fun little exercise to test everyone’s psychic skill! Here at Big Séance, these “call to action” posts sometimes bomb. DON’T LET THIS ONE BOMB! It’ll be super fun. Please reply and give it a try! I tried it on Debbie’s page and I was way off!

The Exercise

I’ve placed two objects right here on my desk. They’re sitting to my left as I type. They’re not usually in this location, but they’ve been in my possession for years. This evening I took a picture of these two items on the desk, and it is this picture that I’ll share when I reveal the items on Sunday. I’ll keep these items right here on the desk until we’re done with the exercise. The items don’t necessarily have anything in common with each other, I just thought it would be interesting to try this with two. Can you identify or describe even a few of the characteristics of one or both of the items? 

Give it some thought, close your eyes, meditate, whatever it is that will tune you into my desk and these items.

Some things to think about before replying in the comments… 

    1. What colors do you see?
    2. Are you picking up any energy from either of the items?
    3. What shapes or sizes do you see?
    4. What texture? What materials?
    5. Or just flat-out tell me what the two items are.

 

I’m excited to hear from you! Please be brave and give it a try! Ready GO!

 

The items from this exercise have been revealed! Visit Psychic Skill Items Revealed for more!

 

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15 Reasons to Befriend a Paranormal Nerd Today!

Today is February 5, 2014. It is also my 2nd Blogiversary! In honor of this day, I give you 15 candid reasons to befriend a paranormal nerd! Hopefully, some of you will be encouraged to find a new friend TODAY! Or maybe you’re sitting at home with a spirit box or set of dowsing rods in your hands. Yeah I’m talking to you! No plans this weekend? You’ll want to share this immediately!

 

15 Reasons to Befriend a Paranormal Nerd Today!

 

1.    As we tend to very open-minded, we don’t think you’re crazy when you tell us about your experiences, but depending on what subgroup of the paranormal we belong to, don’t be offended when we set out on a mission to “debunk” it. 

2.    Think you have a ghost or spirit trying to contact you? We’re likely to have a plethora of meters and gadgets to help make that connection, and we can’t wait to show you how it all works! And if our gadgets don’t spark a conversation, we’ve always got plenty of friends who claim to be “sensitive”.


3.    According to my friend Tim, we “know whether it’s time to buy a new lamp or if Aunt Matilda’s threat to haunt you was legit.” Ohhh Tim… does this come from experience? 

4.    We can help to explain our favorite acronym lingo, such as EVP, ITC, EMF, IR, UV, OBE, ADC, DBE, ESP, PK, K2, and mG.

5.     On a serious note, according to Rachel, “They are intuitive and empathic. They don’t see the world in black and white, they see many more colors! Plus, there is a sense of peace about them. Maybe it’s because they have some insight on the afterlife.” I absolutely love Rachel’s way with words. 

6.    Are you at a party or with a group of people who tend to be on the boring side? That awkward silence doesn’t bother us. We’re used to carrying on conversations with ghosts that typically don’t answer back, therefore we don’t easily get bored. Though we’ll likely keep the conversation going, don’t be offended if we accidentally blurt something like “If you can hear me, knock three times” or “How did you die?”


7.    Are small animals disappearing from your neighborhood? Have no fear. We’re on it… and we know exactly what a Bigfoot call sounds like!

8.    We’ll be the first to tell you that your no-good horrible very bad day was not your fault, because Mercury is in retrograde!

9.    We’ll prove or disprove the orb photo taken at your nephew’s birthday party in no time flat! (Ahem… the ones who know what they’re talking about will tell you that even though it appears to have a face inside, or devil horns, or a personality, or like to be called “Beverly”, there are eleventy-thousand likely explanations for it, and then let you decide for yourself.)

10.  We paranormal people who are also investigators are often willing to invite others to the next big investigation! And we can’t wait to share our favorite stories or our “Class A” EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena).


 
11.   Not feeling well? Going through a bad experience? We can break out the crystals and send you rooms full of “love and light”!

12.   We know how to begin the research to learn the history of your home, or genealogy research to learn about your ancestors!

13.   Ever suspect your family pet of learning how to access the refrigerator while you’re sleeping? We’ve got night vision cameras. Just ask us. 


14.   Need sage for house blessing or clearing? We know just where to get it. 

15.   Need to borrow a black shirt, polo, or hoodie? Take your pick. Oh sorry… here’s some tape to cover up that logo.

 

Through social media, I went to some of my friends and faithful readers for help on this one. I’d like to thank Rachel, Tim, Stacey, Cassie, Cathy, and Dar for their additional thoughts and contributions to this post!

 

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10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a "Coffey Talk" near you! (Big Séance)

10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a “Coffey Talk” near you! (Big Séance)

 

 


Béla Bartók, Wet Goblins, and the Post Halloween Blues

Me doing to nerdy Halloween thing with my kids at school. That's me in front of the crackling and almost warming digital fire for spooky stories.

Me doing the nerdy Halloween thing with my kids at school. That’s me in front of the crackling and almost warming digital fire for spooky stories.

I doubt I’m the only one, but I get so worked up and excited about Autumn and the Halloween season that it’s already on my mind in August (no doubt you’ve noticed). By the time Halloween actually arrives, it is similar to the feeling that many people get every Sunday. You try to relax and enjoy the only day left of your weekend, but you end up wasting the day dreading the miserable Monday blues. Sound familiar? But on Halloween Eve, I found myself shoving those annoying “it’s almost over” feelings aside, as I did my best to plan this year’s schtick for my kids at school. A teacher nerdy teacher never knows how middle school students will react to something we think is cool. Some things have backfired on me. I often get the eye roll. (Gosh I HATE the eye roll.) But I took a risk and decided to try something very different this year. I think it worked. Why in the world would I allow my kids to have fun at school on Halloween when there are lessons to learn and endless assessments to take? Because it’s FUN, it’s already on their minds all day, and it only happens once a year! Traditional learning can peace out for a day. But here’s my little secret. On Halloween, it’s probably more about me than it is them. But hopefully it’ll be one of the memorable days they remember before forgetting about me forever…. until two or three years from now when I pull up to the drive thru for my morning egg and cheese biscuit while they try to figure out why I look so familiar. Sigh.

Our school’s amazing and friendly librarian allowed me to peruse a few spooky books for a great story to read aloud. I chose the familiar-to-most (but not the students, apparently) urban legend “Knock…Knock…Knock” from More Short & Shivery by Robert D. San Souci.  You know this one, I promise. Two teens stranded in a broken down car (under a tree) on a night when a convicted murderer, “the Hangman”, escapes the local asylum. One teen decides to leave to go get help while the remaining frightened teen hides in the back seat waiting to hear a sign (three knocks) on the roof of the car, signaling that help has arrived. I don’t need to go on, do I?

I lit a crackling digital fire on the screen behind me (it really seemed to warm the room), and with a flashlight, did my best to pull out my third-place-in-Storytelling-at-the-state-speech-and-debate-tournament-circa.-1995-skills. First period was just practice. By second period, I had it down! The kids loved it, and I think they were surprised that they were hearing a story so scary from a teacher at school. Then they thought it was cool that it was from their library.  I was lucky… and it was fun (but very tiring by the end of the day).

Then I had them get out a piece of paper and a writing utensil. A few groans. I put a spooky haunted mansion picture on the screen for inspiration, and I played Béla Bartók’s third movement of Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, written in 1936. Years later, this piece was used in the now classic Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining. They were to listen and creatively write a short spooky story over the eight-minute duration of the piece, with a couple of minutes at the end to wrap it up. I suggested a few paragraphs, but was surprised to see so many students writing an entire page or more. And they were excited about it! We turned the fire back on and read as many of the stories as we could. There just HAS to be some future authors from my school. So many of them left their stories for me to read that I now have a rather large stack to make my way through at some point. Many of them were excited to take them home to either finish or share with others. I was very tempted to seek permission to share a few of them here. 

Here’s a great recording of the Bartók piece. Why not try the same writing activity? Let me know how it goes!

 

 

So, you see? We were nerdy. AND we had fun! AND we were educational… and all because I wouldn’t have had the focus for much of anything else on All Hallows Eve.

 

The rest of the evening started out a little strangely. It rained off and on all day. By 6:00 I still hadn’t set up in the front yard for the trick-or-treat schtick. I was about to make alternative plans in front of the television when I heard goblins walking the sidewalks outside. I should have known that sprinkles wouldn’t keep kids away from candy. So I missed a few, and the “schtick” was modified and I rushed around moving it to the front porch. My awesome neighbors were already participating as I was almost caught bah humbugging on Halloween. There weren’t nearly as many kids out as usual, but we saw some cool costumes and had lots of fun, as always. It was sure cold and windy though. 

I hope everyone enjoyed the run up to Halloween! The good news is there’s still plenty of Autumn left, and my eye is already on that big Turkey Dinner in a few weeks! 

.

By the way! Before I sign off, I’m not sure who has written the absolutely lovely reviews of my blog on TopParanormalSites.com, but I really appreciate it! Thank you for reading!

 

Peace Out!

Patrick

 

You might also like: 

An Evening With The Uninvited (Big Séance) 

Skin and Bones (Big Séance) 

Angel Moments: Music as Mediation… Or is it? (Big Séance)

 

 


Communicating with the dead… What do you believe?

 

It has been a while since I’ve done one of these. Can you match the categories with the correct columns? (Don’t think too hard on this one.)

Find the answers in the comments. 

(From the Baylor Religion Survey, 2005, n = 1636)

 

 

1. Strongly Agree

2. Agree

3. Undecided

4. Disagree

5. Strongly Disagree

 

 

Source: Bader, C., Mencken, F, & Baker, J. (2010). Paranormal America: Ghost Encounters, UFO Sightings, Bigfoot Hunts, and Other Curiosities in Religion and Culture. New York & London: New York University Press.

 


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