Episode 028

Our 4th Halloween episode, this time we have fiction from Orrin Grey & Ambrose Bierce. In addition we look at the life of clairvoyant Marinus B. Dykshoorn.

Marinus B. Dykshoorn, passed away last month. He was believed to have gift from a very early age that went beyond clairvoyance. At his funeral guests came forth with stories of his miraculous healing powers, powers he’d expressly asked them not to reveal. Dykshoorn also assisted police with various investigations and unearth buried treasure, but through it all he chose to keep a relatively low profile.

Ambrose Bierce was born in Ohio in 1842. No one is quite sure when he died or what became of him. It’s theorized he died in 1914 or 1915 before a firing squad loyal to Poncho Villa’s army, but there are conflicting reports. Between Ohio and a shallow grave in Mexico, Bierce fought for the North in the Civil War, rose through the ranks, suffered a head wound, distinguished himself repeatedly by serving three tours and returning to his brigade after his injury. He was granted the honorary title of brevet major for his service.

After the military, he worked in journalism, and in 1871 at the age of 29, his first short story was published. After a stint in England, and a brief period working as an agent tasked with fighting off thieves attempting to rob mining company shipments, he settled in the San Francisco area. Here he returned to magazine work. It’s during this time Bierce begins the penning the satirical definitions that would later become his most famous work, The Devils Dictionary.

Several books follow, many of which include supernatural tales that have gone on to become classics and continue to exert their influence. In 1913 he crosses into Mexico and that’s about the last thing any one is sure of.

This isn’t near all the interesting bits of Ambrose Bierce’s life, remarkable as it may sound. He was a character of history, beyond his literary contributions to both satire and the weird tale. I’ll end with a quote from the man.

“A writer has ever present consciousness that this is a world of… fools and rogues, blind with superstition, tormented with envy, consumed with vanity, selfish, false, cruel, cursed with illusions, and frothing mad.”

I read a short vignette by Bierce called “John Mortonson’s Funeral,” first Published in 1906.

Orrin Grey, (pictured at the left) is a rising talent in the realm of supernatural horror. His appearances in the anthologies Bound For Evil, Historical Lovecraft, The Mothman Files, Candle In The Attic Window and others earned him his first collection of short stories. Never Bet The Devil and Other Warnings, is due in the first quarter of 2012 from Evil Eye Books. Grey will be co-editing his first anthology next year, not yet titled, the collection will focus on fungal monsters.

Orrin reads his vignette, “The Big, Dark House By The Sea.”

Additionally, Orrin has a great little essay regarding his take on supernatural horror over at Strange Horizons. For more information about Orrin Grey’s work you can find him at orringrey.com

Music this time from…

SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
TOM WAITS
JILL TRACY
METAL CHURCH
FANTOMAS
SHINJUKU THIEF
THE CHURCH
THE DAMNED
ATRIUM CARCERI
CARPATHIAN FOREST
THE CRAMPS
TRIAL
KING DIAMOND
THE ROHAN THEATRE BAND

Episode 028 – Spookatorium

You’ve got pumpkin on your breath,

Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 026

Welcome to the 3rd annual Halloween episode, Episode 26. This time around we pay tribute to Harry Houdini who left this mortal coil on Halloween back in 1926. In addition to the stupefying feats of conjuring and illusion he was best known for, Houdini spent 30 years exhaustively researching spiritualism and the paranormal. Sitting with and studying the techniques of the best known mediums of the day, and ultimately being unconvinced that the were capable of their grandiose claims.

Next we take a look at electro-magnetic fields as they relate to investigating the paranormal. Looking at the reality of what the fields are, and the leap of faith required to draw some of the conclusions that investigators seem to draw from them. Aside from that there is just a whole lot of music.

Tunes this time out from the likes of…

1. PESSARY (1:05)
2. DECEASED (4:23)
3. GOTHICA (9:38)
4. THE PROTAGONIST (18:26)
5. MERCYFUL FATE (23:44)
6. NIGHTMARE LODGE (28:36)
7. BENESTROPHE (32:14)
8. THE ROHAN THEATRE BAND (46:44)
9. STEROID MAXIMUS (51:47)
10. DEATHSPELL OMEGA (55:30)
11. HOCICO (60:00)
12. THE ACCUSED (66:45)
13. THE BLEEDING LIGHT (67:54)
14. MEGAPTERA (76:45)
15. BAUHAUS (83:30)

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 026

Cheers,
Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 024

Welcome, after a long delay,  to Episode 24. Computer issues and chain stores downloaded their grief upon my doorstep in a flaming paper bag. Hopefully, I will get back to a proper schedule now and that some of you are still listening…

First up, we revisit the legend of “Oriuagor,” a tome purported to drive insane those who dare read it. First touched upon in Episode 19, an email submission cracks this one open again. I had largely written it off as a marketing gimmick for someone seeking to fabricate a new Necronomicon, but a submitter from Denmark suggests that the legends at least are known there, and the work of fiction we discussed previously was born of those legends.

Next up we look at reports of a lake monster in Minnesota’s Lake Pepin, quaintly, if not predictably, known as Pepie. A local paddle boat operator is offering $50,000 for evidence of Pepie’s existence. I’m sure he’d be happy to sell you a boat ride to go have a look. Next in Pennsylvania there have been at least four reports of a large bird or bat like creature stalking the back roads over the last year. The descriptions vary slightly, but the witness reports are pretty interesting.

Finally, we brush upon the subject of Demonology, and the its inherent bias and delusion when approaching the paranormal. There is an excellent article from noted Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach on a similar tract that can be found here. Beyond that the balance of skepticism and belief is looked at as well as the definition of skepticism as it relates to the unknown. For me skepticism is an informed state of indecision, however much of the skeptical community seems just as zealous in the their disbelief as those who think every orb caught on film is the ghost of some thing or other. Intellectual curiosity gets pushed from the equation and genuine research suffers when your mind is already made up and it’s detrimental to the greater understanding that I hope most people involved in such things are seeking.

Music this time supplied by…

MASCHINENZIMMER 412 (1:05)
CLOCKDVA (5:50)
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (9:54)
LUDICRA (21:15)
DEAD WORLD (25:29)
HAUS ARAFNA (29:49)
TIGER LILLIES (33:23)
BLOOD AXIS (44:08)
CHRISTIAN DEATH (48:16)
DISGRACE (52:14)
HELTIR (60:47)
NOISE UNIT (64:29)
OLD MAN GLOOM (69:20)
GGFH (72:46)

With background accompaniment from
LAIBACH

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 024

Happy Friday the 13th,
Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 022

Episode 22 is upon us, this go around we examine numerous instances of a aural phenomenon described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead as the sound of the soul separating from the body. Buzzing and grinding sounds that build to a crescendo have been associated with everything from Near Death Experiences, Shamanic Rituals, Old Hag Syndrome and other forms of transcendent consciousness. An excellent article, called “Her Sweet Murmur” by Greg Taylor (which you can read if you click the link there) from the collection Dark Lore Vol. 1 summarizes these connections and we take a look at this one component of the article which goes further into exploring some additional sounds.

Then we travel to Ohio to review the story of the Loveland Frog. A 3-4 foot bipedal frog like creature allegedly spotted on the back roads around Loveland, Ohio in 1955 and 1972. While evidence is limited to eye witness testimony and there are reports that at least some of it may have been exaggerated or hoaxed it remains one of my favorite crypto tales.

Finally we take a look at the discredited work of Dr. Johann Beringer. He believed in the early 1700’s that fossils were in fact cast off ideas carved by the hand of God. His collection grew to encompass bizarre specimens like birds with fish heads, and even stones that bore the name of God.

It was later revealed he was duped by colleagues and they were all forgeries, but not until Beringer had published his work. Humiliated, he supposedly spent his remaining days and fortune trying to buy back copies of his book, Lithographia Wirceburgensis, which you can view through the link. His story is, perhaps, a cautionary tale for those Intelligent Design fans out there.

The sounds this time around are supplied by…

CHAOS AS SHELTER (1:05)
WYRD (4:36)
NOVY SVET (9:53)
SISTRENATUS (25:31)
BODY CHOKE (28:25)
NEW MIND (32:18)
MOTH MASQUE (36:38)
BACKWORLD (45:19)
AGNES BERNELLE (49:55)
KHOLD (53:28)
SKINNY PUPPY (60:15)
BRUTAL TRUTH (63:55)
CAUL (66:45)
NEFILIM (70:19)

With background accompaniment from
BURZUM & NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 022

Thanks as always for tuning in… and congrats to Aspen, the winner of the Blood of the Black Owl “S/T” CD in our first drawing.

- Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 017

Well, this was intended to be the second annual Halloween episode… it is a bit late. Listen to it through pumpkin shaped headphones if you will. Halloween is a time of year and a feeling in the air, not simply a day on the calendar.

This episode looks into ghostly sightings and communication with the dead through various gadgetry. Our first stop is among the urban legends and paranormal sightings on a secluded lane known as Zombie Road in western St. Louis County. And looks briefly at investigations by missourighosts.net and the Missouri Paranormal Research Group.

Then it is off to 1930’s Britain for a peek at the contraptions of the Askir-Jobson Trianion Guild, who with information they claim to have received from a deceased colleague created devices to facilitate communication with spirits.

Another person who more recently claims to have received instructions from entities on building a device to communicate with the dead is Frank Sumption. His creation, quaintly called “Frank’s Box” or “The Ghost Box” uses more modern electronics to create what he believe is a live EVP receiver. You can check out the schematics for the device here, Coast to Coast AM did a show on the subject as well that you can check out here, and I have included a video of the device in action for you to judge for yourself.

Finally, we take a look at the theories behind the talking board, or Ouija board, from the Spiritualist and Atomatistic points of view. You can find a mess of Ouija stories and transcriptions here at the Grave Addiction site and I’d recommend checking out the Museum Of Talking Boards for a great photo gallery of various talking boards over the years.

In addition the ghastly harmonies of the following break up the sound of my voice…

LOUIS ARMSTRONG
THE ROHAN THEATRE BAND
BLACK MAYONNAISE
HADIT
THE DEAD BROTHERS
ULTHAR
MERCYFUL FATE
GOATVARGR
BAUHAUS
MONDBLUT
SCHLOSS TEGAL
DARVULIA
THE HANDSOME FAMILY
THOSE POOR BASTARDS
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES
HEID
AH CAMA-SOTZ

With background accompaniment from
GEOMATIC
A MURDER OF ANGELS
INNANA
BRIGHTER DEATH NOW

Thanks again for having a listen, my apologies for the lateness of the episode. The next one should come much faster, and I have a few stories saved up for the site as well.

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 017

- Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 016

Greetings onlookers, a new episode is up featuring the delicate melodies of the following

NAZCA
DANTE’S VOODOO CABARET
DOWNLOAD
SPEKTR
IN GOWAN RING
POSSESSED
GRINDERMAN
PITCH SHIFTER
CAT RAPES DOG
DELLAMORTE
FRED LANE
SISTERS OF MERCY
NOVEMBER NOVELET
ARCANA
DIAPSIQUIR

With background accompaniment from
DEVA-LOKA
NOVATRON
ATOM INFANT INCUBATOR

Beyond that I also give a quick recap of recent articles from the site and offer up some new coverage. A collection of escape artists are seeking to set the world record in a one day relay of over 80 escape performances, while a grizzled old school freak takes the law into his own hands.

A pillar of the pharmaceutical industry is working on a virtual reality rig that gives the user a window into the schizophrenics world, and then there is this look at how schizophrenia fits into the evolutionary chain.

Another team working on solving our world’s energy issues are looking at cow stomachs as the golden ticket to solve our woes… environmentalist/animal rights advocates heads explode at the conundrum.

There are couple of stories from the lab regarding brain surgeries with unexpected results. One involving a skull that passed its expiration date, and another where a young boy is catapulted into the land of posh.

Also a look at some research on the Orb Phenomenon from researchers associated with NASA and the Vatican where they find that orbs are indeed of paranormal origin. I think the question remains quite open, but they feel convinced.

That’s it for this episode, next one should come much sooner. The Spookatorium Caravan relocated in the last month and I will be able to get going now on some of the additional things I want to do to make the show better. Including finding a better microphone solution…

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 016

Keep your wiggle funky,

- Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 015

Welcome to the newly renovated Spookatorium. With episode 15 I have expanded the focus beyond music and pulled open the beaten old trunk of the strange and unusual. Each episode will feature a handful of curious tales and the website will be updated frequently with additional content as I find stories of interest.

This trip out features tracks from
PROCER VENEFICUS
COLD NORTHERN VENGEANCE
COIL
DOLORIAN
SPECTRAL LIGHT & MOONSHINE FIREFLY SNAKEOIL JAMBOREE
THE TIGER LILLIES
CHRISTIAN DEATH
TSOL
MYRKR
TRIAL
RWAKE

With background accompaniment from
ANGEL OF DECAY
ANIMA MUNDI

In addition you will hear the moving tale of the death of a vampire peacock struck down in one of the shadowy corners of New York City, and the citizen who would not let its passing go unnoticed. I have a haunted lighthouse to tell you about, and ladies and gentleman, you can buy it for a dollar! I also take a look at the alleged tales of haunting in a remote Michigan town. A small town in Mississippi sees a strange creature on the loose, and doesn’t jump to cryptoid conclusions! An amphibious giant from beneath the sea with a hostile message is made an example of by the Dutch.

Prof. Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 015

Cheers,
Prof. Gruntsplatter