Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Things That Go Bump 2013, Issue #2

Welcome back, gentle readers, for another edition of Things That Go Bump.

For tonight's entry, I visited three local cemeteries in an attempt to record another EVP voice.

I used my Zoom H1 recorder, along with a couple of new toys -- a magnetic pickup mic and my germanium microphone, all shown below.


I began my tour of cemeteries with a visit to Oxford's largest, which is also the final resting place of William Faulkner. I parked my truck at the caretaker's shop and made my way to the nearest shade.

Graveyards don't look particularly sinister in daylight, do they? I realize I'd get much more dramatic photos if I did this at night. Of course, I'd also probably get to have fascinating conversations with the local police.

And out in the county, I might also meet up with tweakers and vandals. I'd rather avoid the company of both.

Three old above-ground vaults. I noticed the top was shattered on one.

Yep. Broken, and the contents exposed...

What, you were expecting skulls and femurs? Sorry to disappoint.

Here's the complete EVP session, if anyone cares to listen to 15 minutes of my babbling.

I caught two odd sounds. The first is a single short bell-like noise, which I didn't hear during the recording. It occurs about a minute and a half in, and it sounds like this:


Right after I say '...have anything to say,' you'll hear it. I then looped it to repeat 6 times, and amplified the heck out of the 7th iteration.

Interesting, at least to me.

My second possible EVP occurred during the failure of my Ramsey Tri-Field meter batteries. They were fresh, but after about nine minutes of use they failed.

I was about to hook up my new magnetic mic when I looked down and saw the Ramsey was lit to full deflection, indicating a powerful magnetic field. But the K2 wasn't lit. I then realized the Ramsey was simply going nuts because its batteries were dead (that's how it acts when they go poof).

Listen to the clip. You'll hear a voice say OH really loud, before I say the same thing.


This would be a great clip if it wasn't already debunked. Karen listened to it and said 'that's you, no doubt about it.' And she should know, so I guess I said 'oh' twice without realizing it.

That's why you should never go ghost-hunting alone, kids. If I'd had a partner, or at least a video camera, I'd have realized that was me without getting all excited, thinking I'd caught a Class A. Bummer.

The magnetic mic caught nothing but silence during its two-minute test.

You can hear all that below, in the full Oxford EVP session:



My next stop was a small graveyard just outside Tula, Mississippi. I've visited here before and caught a couple of interesting sounds.

Tula is very quiet. The wind had died down a bit, which my mic appreciated.

I tried the magnetic and the germanium mics, but caught mainly silence. The germanium mic did record some bursts of static and clicks, but I couldn't make anything out of the noise.

That's it, on the grave above.

Here's the complete Tula session, including the mag and germanium portions. I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary.



My final stop was the tiny, remote graveyard called Midway.

I have a number of family members buried there. Here is one W.D. Gardner, for example, a great-grandsomething who was quite dapper, for his day:

I wandered among the headstones, talking and hoping for a faint reply.

If I got any answers to my questions, I couldn't hear them. The complete session is below. Maybe you can hear something I can't!


And that wraps things up for my Saturday ghost hunt. One possible ringing bell, one case of mistaken identity.

Oh, and editing video ITC sessions?

At this point, the ghosts of Edison and Tesla would have to promise to show up to get me to wade through another eighty gazillion frames of random splotches of color.

I'll do more EVP work for next week's entry.


I'd like to present you with a few photos and stories of paranormal incidents you may not have heard of before. These are obscure, but I think they're fascinating!


Maybe you've heard the story of James Worson, who many paranormal sites and researchers will claim vanished into thin air during a drunken footrace in September of 1873.

If you haven't heard the story, I'll retell it briefly here. James Worson and two pals, Hammerson Burns and Barnham Wise, entered into an ale-fueled bet one night, after Worson boasted he could run all the way from Leamington to Coventry without stopping.

With Burns and Wise following along in a horse-drawn carriage, Worson set out, laughing and joking. According to the legend, he was about 3 miles into his twnety mile run when he stumbled, screamed, and fell.

Fell, but never struck the ground. He vanished, quite literally, into thin air.

So what happened? Did an inter-dimensional portal open long enough to gobble up the hapless Worson? Was he spirited away by, um, spirits?

I'm going to vote for 'none of the above,' because what many so-called paranormal sites and researchers fail to mention is that these events were first recounted in a short story by Ambrose Bierce.

I totally rock this 'stache.
The story is entitled, perhaps not surprisingly, 'An Unfinished Race.' It was published in 1873. There are people who still assert Bierce was merely reporting actual events. I refer these people to the latest issue of Weekly World News, which features Bat-Boy on holiday with Nessie in Atlantis.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that author Ambrose Bierce himself vanished without a trace in 1913, though Mexican bandits are a far more likely culprit than wandering interdimensional portals.


I've read a lot of strange stories over the years. Most of them share many of the same characters and events -- shadows in the night, ghostly voices, tragedy, misty shapes at the windows.

The story of Gef, who may or may not have been a talking mongoose who appeared on the tiny Isle of Man in the 1930s, features none of these things. Instead, you have a smallish furry animal which at first bedevils and then befriends the inhabitants of a lonely farmhouse.

Only one person claimed to have ever gotten a good look at Gef. Several heard him describe himself thusly:

“I am a freak. I have hands and I have feet, and if you saw me you’d faint, you’d be petrified, mummified, turned into stone or a pillar of salt!”

Legendary ghost hunter Harry Price himself was involved in the investigation. Some aspects of Gef's activities are classic poltergeist antics, while others are strange. Very, very strange.

Look, go read the story for yourself. Do I believe it's true?

Probably not. but it's so far removed from the usual gamut of ghosts and goblins I thought it worthy of inclusion this October.


Taken in 1964, the famous 'spaceman' photo:

The photo was taken by Jim Templeton. The subject is his daughter, Elizabeth. Mr. Templeton took 3 photos of Elizabeth while on an outing at Burgh Marsh and saw nothing amiss until his film was developed (1964, remember?).

The middle photo contained the image of the 'spaceman.'

Kodak examined the negatives, and claimed they hadn't been tampered with.

Mr. Templeton claimed he was visited by Men in Black about the photo.

Skeptics claim the 'spaceman' is nothing but Templeton's wife, seen from behind.

I don't see that, but who knows?


Did I mention I am in a movie?

Well. I am.

Click here for details. The movie goes live Halloween, with a sneak preview at the Powerhouse here in Oxford on October 30!

Well, that's it for tonight. I admit I'm tired and more than a little frustrated -- I cannot wheedle, beg, coerce, or threaten Corel Video Studio Six to cough up an MP4 movie of last week's ITC sessions in any kind of usable format. Oh, I can see the video well enough while I'm editing -- but when I convert it to a playable video file from the Corel native editing format, I get nothing but a green screen with audio. I spent a good five hours trying to figure out why, and I simply have no idea.

Maybe I'll the clips ready for next week. Wish me luck!


  1. As always, such interesting posts - I loved the "other ghost stories for us to enjoy" - those kind of accounts are always so fascinating because while based in fact, you never know exactly what happened. Great post as always, looking forward to the movie!

  2. If you are getting a green screen, there's some kind of codec problem, I think.

    1. Argh! The video file was corrupted. After hours of trying with that file, I shot another couple of videos and they worked perfectly. I was so sure it was something I was doing wrong I never considered trying another file.