Tag Archives: tales of the city

Tales of the City, New EVP, Lizzie Borden, and 300!

I’m having one of those unmotivated, yet excited, but distracted “look there goes a chicken” weeks. I decided that this evening I wouldn’t fight it. So… here’s a plethora of bloglish for you! 


A.   Armistead Maupin’s The Days of Anna Madrigal hit shelves today and also arrived ON MY DOORSTEP!

Why are you bugging us about this non-paranormal book, you ask? Let me explain. It must have been about eight years ago when an ex of mine had inspired me to start reading the Tales of the City series. Reading was something I absolutely never did unless I was getting a grade for it, and I could count every book I’d read for pleasure my whole life on one hand and still have a few fingers left. I agreed to borrow the first book just to humor him. I absolutely fell in love with it, which led to me finishing the first six books from the series. I was shocked to find that I was quickly becoming obsessed with reading. For that first year I read a book a week, on average, though mostly fiction titles. Then the seventh “Tales” book, Michael Tolliver Lives, was written a year later, followed by Mary Ann in Autumn a year or two after that, and now the ninth and final volume (according to Mr. Maupin himself) is sitting right next to me! 

Obviously, I read almost all paranerdal non-fiction now, and I’ve slowed down quite a bit (due to family, investigations, sitting in this chair and blogging), but it is all due to my ex and the brilliant Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. My current “to be read” shelf has been put on hold for the time being. Reading about and catching up with Anna Madrigal will be a special moment.


2.   Cemetery recordings and two possible EVP artifacts.

For the first half of my visits for my grave adoptions this last fall, I took an audio recorder along, which is pretty typical for me. This week I finally made my way through those recordings. It seems as though no historic cemetery (at least the ones I find) managed to escape the noisiness of our new modern highways and interstates. It is sometimes hard to imagine many of them being secluded in the quiet country as they were intended. More and more I’ve realized that our society has been shoving cemeteries aside, like we’re ashamed of them or don’t know what to do with them. How do I know? People still comment in disgust or confusion as to why I spend so much time visiting or taking photos from the cemetery. Lately my answer has been… Why not?! Basically, not too many people care to even notice that they’re driving right by these cemeteries, as beautiful headstones cling to life on the edge of a retaining wall meant to separate the living from the dead.

Sorry. One of those “look there goes a chicken” moments. Back to my recordings. In much of the audio, you can’t even hear my voice over the traffic. I even captured a big rig blowing a tire while I was visiting Johnnie. I’m not sure if he jumped, but the birds in the trees next to us didn’t like it. Truthfully, I’m sure I jumped at least a few feet in the air. From all of the photos I’ve been taking, you’d never know these beautiful and historic plots of land were so noisy.

So because of all the noise, I decided that for the remainder of the visits I’d focus on what really mattered and leave the recorder in the car. It’s a wonder I was able to catch two possible EVP artifacts from my visits with Johnnie. Honestly, I probably would have written the first two-syllable muffled voice off if it hadn’t been captured again two weeks later at the same instant (as I was turning and leaving). They both sound very similar. Now the fact that they’re similar and happen at the same time on two different visits is impressive, but could also mean there’s likely to be some explanation. I haven’t decided if I’ll share them or not. I’ve learned my lesson on getting excited about an EVP and sharing it right away. Plus, I’ve been away from EVP for a while and may be out of practice. More to come. Maybe.


C.   Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden movie airs Saturday.

This past July, I shared news that Christina Ricci had just finished filming a Lifetime movie about the infamous (and alleged) ax murderess, Lizzie Borden! It finally airs this Saturday! Watch this preview!



4.   My next post will be number 300!


I don’t even know what to say about this one. 300 is a big deal, right?! It is so unbelievable to me! What does one write about for his 300th post?! 

Thanks for reading! Peace!



A Haunting Trip Down San Francisco Market Street… then and now…


I’ve never been to San Francisco, but I’ve often wanted to visit because it looks so beautiful, plus I’ve always been a HUGE fan of Armistead Maupin and his Tales of the City series of books that take place there.

But… have you seen this video?

I’ve gotten trapped into watching this whole thing many times in the last few years after I found it initially. It is a trip down Market Street. It was apparently originally thought to have been filmed in 1905, but was really filmed  four days before the big San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

It isn’t paranormal at all, but it is so haunting to watch for several reasons. First off, who isn’t impressed with footage from 1906? You can learn so much about history just from the video. For instance, these people were reckless and not afraid of getting run over or trampled by a horse! Apparently there weren’t any traffic laws. I am fascinated by the children chasing the cars down the street or running ahead of the camera. I wonder how many kids in 1906 would have even been able to identify a video camera and knew what it was? The heavy coats and dresses are interesting to me, considering it was filmed on April 14th (my birthday… it’s a stretch… but it’s another thing that makes it haunting). Also, maybe it’s just me… but it is strange to see a video from so long ago that shows people strolling, walking, and strutting just like we do today! You mean people didn’t walk differently 100 years ago? 🙂 I wonder if these people imagined we’d be watching and learning from them over 100 years later?

Secondly, imagining the destruction and lost life that happened just four days after the hustle and bustle of a normal day in San Francisco is truly haunting. According to USGS, it is estimated that 3,000 lives were lost and 28,000 buildings were destroyed.



I’m not sure if the same people who filmed the above video filmed the footage after the destruction, but it seems genius that it is filmed in the same manner. Both videos have been paired next to each other so that you can compare.



And lastly, a trip down the same street in 2005. The same hustle and bustle… only different. To me, the neatest things about this version are the cyclists and passersby that seem fascinated with the filming, just like in the original footage. And even cooler, it finishes off with the same historical building at the end of the street that apparently survived. I don’t know enough about San Francisco to tell you anything else about it… but it’s cool.

Will people watch and learn from us in 100 years?




Ghosts Among Us…

It was the year 2008. My family and I had already been bitten by the Ghost Hunters (T.A.P.S.) bug, and I remember many nights watching Crossing Over with John Edward before bed in my old condo. Other than always having a love for a good scary movie, that was pretty much the extent of my paranormal life.

A few years earlier an ex had inspired me to start reading the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. Reading was something I absolutely never did unless I was getting a grade for it, and I could count every book I’d read for pleasure my whole life on one hand and still have a few fingers left. I agreed to borrow the first book just to humor them. I absolutely fell in love with it, which led to me finishing the entire series of eight books (and rumor has it there is a ninth in the works). I was shocked to find that I was becoming obsessed with reading.

Now, back to 2008. I was walking through the bookstore (RIP Borders) and was struggling to find more fiction titles to add to my “to be read” shelf. On a bargain shelf next to the checkout I found James Van Praagh’s Ghosts Among Us and decided since it was cheap it was worth the try. O… M… G…

Seventy-some books later, most of them from the spiritual or paranormal genre, I look back and realize it probably isn’t any more mind-blowing than many of the other books I’ve read since, but it was the first, and it really kick started what I’ve been calling my “spiritual shift”. I loaned the book to my mother, who loved it as well. I have since loaned it to a few other people… and when I didn’t get it returned I went out and replaced it to put it on my shelf again (I’ve since created the “I am selfish with my books and don’t loan them out” rule. Don’t worry, I’m sure this rule will end when they halt the production of physical books…don’t get me started…or once I have to buy another book shelf or two.)

From the back of the book…

From a very young age James Van Praagh was aware of a dimension that most of us cannot see, and he has dedicated his life to explaining it to the rest of us. The New York Times bestseller Ghosts Among Us takes us on an incredible journey into the spirit world that brings to light one of our greatest mysteries – what happens to us after we die?

Go HERE for more about James Van Praagh…



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