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 027

Holy Cats! After three years in the ground the Spookatorium has returned.

In this episode we look at Cotard’s Syndrome a psychological affliction where the sufferer believes themselves to be dead, missing organs or simple non-existent. We’ve got some publishing news from Gray Friar Press, Dark Regions Press, Tartarus Press and the new Phantasmagoria Journal. Then it’s into the catacombs beneath Paris, and a secret workshop in the dome of the Pantheon with UX and arguably secret society urban explorers and preservationists.

Author Richard Gavin speaks on the ideas behind his bleak tale In The Shadow Of The Nodding God from his collection Omens published by Mythos Books, and gives a reading of his vignette Notes On The Aztec Death Whistle. In addition to Omens, Richard has two other collections of short stories available - Charnel Wine & The Darkly Splendid Realm are available from Dark Regions Press.

Music this time

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
WESTERING
RASPUTINA
PAIN TEENS
CELTIC FROST
PHALLUS DEI
FAITH & THE MUSE
SLOPPY SECONDS
GOATVARGR
GOD BULLIES
ABANDONER & ANGEL OF DECAY
MALARIA!

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 027

Tell your friends, warn your neighbors!

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 025

Welcome to Episode 25, once again it has been too long… This episode features some potentially landmark news from the world of Cryptozoology, but first things first…

Out of the gate we discuss the bizarre affliction that has come to be known as Morgellons disease. This condition, as yet unrecognized by the medical establishment, includes such symptoms as the growth of multi-colored fibers from the body that have been reported to move autonomously, and strange crystalline or granular residue that appears within lesions all accompanied by the feeling of insects crawling under the skin. The CDC has begun looking into it after several years of requests from those that suffer from it. However in some medical circles it continues to be looked at as a psychological rather than physiological condition. Then there are those that see the condition as a result of something more nefarious.

After that we take a look at a set of core components by which hauntings might be judged in order to come up with some type of standardized scientific perspective on what occurs in a haunting scenario. Along the way we touch a bit on Patternology and the Fortean perspective of holistic review rather than compartmentalized observation.

Finally, a piece I had to re-record after some breaking news today altered the story dramatically. Bigfoottracker.com, now working in cooperation with Searchingforbigfoot.com have announced that they have a Bigfoot corpse in their possession, and will be presenting their collected evidence on August 15th at a press conference in Palo Alto, CA. The creature is said to have been discovered in Northern Georgia, and additionally live creatures were also seen in the area at the time. This has been a twisted tale that first appeared on Cryptomundo.com about a month ago. Since that time several evidence free, taunting videos were posted and removed by the members of Bigfoottracker, and the alleged pathologist they had reviewing the corpse was found to be a fraud. The group admitted to hoaxing the pathologist story, but maintained they did have a body. Today a press release was issued fleshing out that claim, and there has been a leak of a photo. The story was covered by local papers but I didn’t see much else in the way of mainstream coverage, but I suspect that will be changing very soon. The photo is compelling, and I look forward to hearing more details from the press conference.

Music this time from the likes of…

AVRIGUS (1:05)
JOY DIVISION (5:30)
TSOL (10:12)
BLACK MESSIAH (20:12)
SCRAP.EDX (23:04)
BEYOND DAWN (27:00)
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS (37:37)
EISREGEN (41:48)
GOD (45:56)
INADE (49:52)
FRONT 242 (64:20)
NAILBOMB (68:43)
DEATH IN JUNE (71:23)
NACHTMYSTIUM (76:03)

Background:
NAMANAX
DUAL

That’s all for now, I will hopefully have some additional information on the Sasquatch story in the coming days. I’m also hoping to clear out some of my back log of stories by updating the site more frequently between episodes of the show.

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 025

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 023

Episode 23 has arrived… tin foil hats are optional but fashionable. This time we take a peek at the life of Thomas Dyott. Dyott amassed a sizable fortune selling patent medicines under such tantalizing names as Roberton’s Infallible Worm Destroying Lozenges & Vegetable Nervous Cordial. The fortune was sizable enough to enable him to build a “utopian” village, called Dyottville (what else?) that conveniently allowed him to skirt labor laws to perpetuate his business.

From there we peek behind the curtain of opportunist psychiatry and look at the phenomenon of Spirit Release, the process of psychiatric exorcism. In fairness to the recent stories I’ve done on the exorcism/possession upswing (here’s another one), I thought we’d look at some charlatans of a different color. As well as a brief overview we look at the case of Askinra, a spirit that reportedly tormented a man who was possessed by the spirit when he was murdered in a past life.

Finally we look at the Mormon theory that Bigfoot is actually the earthly incarnation of the biblical Cain. It is accepted among some within the church that Bigfoot is in fact the doomed Cain milling about the earth as penance for the murder of his brother forever wracked with misery and virtually immortal.

Music this time supplied by…

HARVESTMAN (1:05)
BAD SECTOR (4:38)
HOLLENFURT (8:24)
GARMONBOZIA (17:35)
BELBORN (20:48)
FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY (23:44)
IMPETIGO (28:50)
LAMENT CONFIGURATION (40:19)
GOLIAH (44:16)
SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE (47:58)
BETHLEHEM (55:35)
DIE VERBANNTEN KINDER EVAS (60:36)
GAURITHOTH (63:23)
RUHR HUNTER (67:54)

With background accompaniment from
HYBRYDS

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 023

That’s it until next time…

Prof. Gruntsplatter