Brown River Queen cover art

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Zoo Pics and Poltergeists

This week's entry will be a veritable potpourri of subjects and images. Which is writer-speak for 'I feel like hammered excrement so I'll be posting a lot of pics to hide the fact that I currently command the wit and wisdom of canned tuna.'

Will there be more EVP evidence from the Oak Hill cemetery investigation of three weekends ago? Yes there will. There is even a naughty cursing ghost, the first I've encountered. But I suppose if you're dead and trying to sleep the slumber eternal and some dude shoves an elaborate microphone in your face, you tend to might get a bit testy.

All in good time, though. Let us begin tonight's journey with a visit to the Memphis Zoo.

The obelisk just inside the Zoo ticket gates.
Well, let's back up a step so I can offer a brief word of advice concerning MapQuest, GPS navigation, and the perils therein. I plugged the address of the Zoo into my MapQuest app and set out, sure of arriving at my destination with no fuss.

But, unless the actual Zoo is housed in a derelict gas station surrounded by what appears to be a heavily-contested strip of gang territory, the GPS system has no freaking clue where the Memphis Zoo actually sits. 

"You have arrived at your destination," chirped MapQuest, as the Crips and the Bloods engaged in a running firefight over a few square yards of barren, cracked concrete. "Drive, drive, DRIVE," shouted Siri, in an uncharacteristic display of emotion, as my Android devices scrambled for cover beneath the back seat.

We did find the Zoo, after resorting to the age-old practice of asking bemused humans where the elephants are kept. 

Once at the Zoo, we were greeted by the obelisk pictured above. I assumed the fanciful animal-based hieroglyphs were merely decorative, until (too late) I translated them to be a warning, which reads "Cursed are all those who dine at the zoo eateries, for they shall suffer the Wrath of the Angry Colon, and how, yeesh."

I love the Memphis Zoo. I really do. But people, bring your own snacks -- I didn't expect great or even good food in a zoo diner, but what we were served was abysmal even by the most relaxed standards. In fact, I observed a Komodo Dragon, which prefers to dine on dead rotting flesh, grimace and spit out whole a snack bar hamburger before beating the offensive mass into a pulp with his muscular tail and saying, in passable English, 'there's really just no excuse for that.'

So. Don't trust your GPS and for the love of all that is good and true do NOT eat at the Zoo, unless you can cajole one of the gorillas into sharing an orange and you can probably do that just by saying "give me half of that or I have to eat in that place" while pointing at the snack bar. 

But now, on to the pics!

Thus quoth the raven -- "Will somebody please wash these freaking rocks?"

No, you want Yoda. Little Green guy, lives in a swamp. I sell life insurance.

I am done with you now. The exit is to your right. I said good day, sir.

"Call me an iguana again. I DARE you. Say iguana again."

Yeah, the MGM lion? My uncle Louis. 
Sorry, pal, frolicking hours are only 8 till 5. Union rules.

Wolf? Who's a wolf? I'm a Pomeranian. Come on in, we can play some catch. C'mon, kid. Arf arf?

Those are the best of the pictures I took at the Memphis Zoo. If you get the chance, you should visit one day. The creatures are truly remarkable, and they seem happy there. 

More Oak Hill Cemetery Investigation EVPs!

As both regular readers of this blog know, the last two entries have dealt mainly with an investigation of Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama. Led by the crew from Expedition Unknown, we wandered the historic cemetery after closing hours, searching for instances of the paranormal. 

I captured a few possible examples of EVP (electronic voice phenomena, i.e, ghostly voices) and recorded some odd utterances by Expedition Unknown's SP-7 'spirit box' device. I've already linked the the evidence I found so far after starting the arduous process of reviewing many hours of audio.

As you might recall, I took two digital recorders to Oak Hill. I left one behind accidentally, but it was recovered the next day and mailed back to me by one of the gracious Oak Hill volunteers (thanks Renee!). So I've finally been able to compare audio captured by one recorder against audio captured by the other. 

For instance, my Zoom mic recorded the words 'get out' while we visited the Erswell vault. Luckily, my Olympus recorder caught the same occurrence. I've posted links to both recordings below, so you can compare them.

In the instance above, I believe the Olympus unti was closer to the SP-7 and also perhaps aimed right at it, thus the clearer recording. 

I located another series of words created by the SP-7 and recorded by my Olympus device. And when I say words, I mean naughty words.  First you'll hear a female voice say 'get the blank' and then a male voice says out. Listen for yourself! This was also captured in the Erswell vault.

Testy, testy.

But perhaps the most interesting EVP of all came through well after our group left Oak Hill, leaving the cemetery empty -- or was it?

I propped my magnetic recording device on top of a marker while an EVP session was taking place. The magnetic detection box was off, but my Olympus didgital recorder was attached to the box, and was running, recording sound.

Which it managed to do after being left behind all night long. Yeah, my new Zoom mic beats the little Olympus in terms of recording quality, clarity, sensitivity, and such, but the Olympus captured 12 hours and 37 minutes of deserted cemetery audio.

And here is a voice, from nowhere, about 3 hours in....

And that's not the only utterance. I can hear a voice, but can't make out the word or words on this clip. Can you?

I'm still going through the 'empty graveyard' audio, and will hopefully have more next week!

In Closing

Re-write on All the Turns of Light still in progress, blah blah blah. You've heard all that before and I imagine you're as sick of reading it as I am of writing it.

Wish me luck and a sudden burst of manic speed, please.

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