March of the Shadow Gnome

The Sun ( UK)  has a report from General Geumes, Argentina indicating the town is being visited, and intimidated by a mysterious “gnome.” Additionally, this devious little fellow was captured on video, unfortunately it’s not available for embedding.

Jose Alvarez who shot the cell phone video had this to say… “One of my friends was so scared after seeing that thing that we had to take him to the hospital.”

I will try and keep an eye out for follow ups on this. Pretty awesome story, true or not, and the video is a great addition to what will no doubt become a legend with some legs in the area.

– Prof. Gruntsplatter


They Came For the Mayor

Ken Williams (aka Don LaRose) was the mayor of Centerton, Arkansas for 6 years until this March 5th when he resigned. His reason for resigning – 30 years ago he believes he was abducted and brainwashed by Satanists. He claims he was not aware of his tormented past until he recently was injected with a “truth serum.”

This “truth serum”, which is unnamed in the article, caused these memories to come rushing back, and he realized he had a wife and two kids in his previous life as Don LaRose. Williams said he left his wife and kids to protect them from the Satanists and changed his name and started a new life.

The ReligionNews Blog details the story further, their take is slightly different and fills in some of the back story. LaRose became Pastor of a Hessville Baptist church in 1978. At some point he told his parishioners that he was abducted by a cult in in Maine, New York back in 1975 for “blaspheming Satan”. He says they gave him multiple shock treatments to erase his memory and took him from Maine to Minneapolis and dumped him off. In 1980 he began acting strangely and telling people the Satanists were after him again for criticizing cults. He claims to have seen one of the Satanists through the window of the church while delivering a sermon, no one present at the sermon saw anyone suspicious. The next day LaRose did a runner and disappeared.

He floated around for a few years before settling in Arkansas, and ultimately wound up a multi-term mayor in Centerton under his new identity, an identity he stole from a man who died in 1958.

LaRose/Williams now claims, at least to some media, it was an underworld crime organization rather than a Satanic cult that was or is after him. He is quoted here as saying that he lived in fear of being found out ever since, and now that he’s been outed feels he may be in danger again. This suggests he didn’t need the “truth serum” to recall any of this and his Grandson isn’t buying the tale at all.

Here’s a peek at “Satanic Panic: The Creation Of A Contemporary Legend” on GoogleBooks if you are unaware of the of the Satanic Panic movement. A more concise summary can be seen here courtesy of the Skeptics Dictionary. The media space this idea consumed in the 80’s really was absurd. Geraldo Rivera pretty much built a career off of it as well as numerous moth like pop-psychologists drawn to the fictional satanic flame. There was never any evidence uncovered that organized and violent Satanic Cults existed.

Spookatorium 019

Episode 19 is now up, this time out we take a look at an alleged forbidden tome called Oriuagor, and the superstitions and warnings associated with reading the work. We also look at the very real likelihood that it’s all a marketing hoax.

Next we review the life and death of Anna Goldi who was immortalized as “The Last Witch of Europe” after her execution 1782 on bogus allegations of witchery in a small Swiss town.

Lastly, we look into two fabled giant serpents, the Lindorm in Scandinavia, and the Tatzelwurm reported to live in the Alps throughout Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland. For a comprehensive look at the Tatzelwurm evidence and lore check out the feature over at

The sounds this time around are supplied by…


With background accompaniment from

Thanks as always for checking out the show, feel free to comment and don’t forget to check out the Flickr group and other features of the site.

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 019

– Prof. Gruntsplatter

Spookatorium 018

Welcome to episode 18, some of the little improvements I have been hoping to do for awhile finally got taken care of, so hopefully you’ll like those.

This time out we look at the legacy of Mary Toft, she was involved in a hoax in 1726 that drew the attention of the King of England and inspired perhaps the most famous of any trick in a magicians repertoire. Her story is outlined further in the book “The Girl Who Gave Birth To Rabbits: A True Medical Mystery,” which I am hoping to check out before too long.

Next we take a trip down south to check in on a couple of mysterious creature sightings. One is believed to be a possible Skunk Ape and the other dubbed the Beast of Bolivia, is killing dogs in South Carolina. In addition ran a recent article on the possibility of using hi resolution satellite imagery to search for elusive breeding colonies of various cryptids.

Finally we take a look at the theory of palingenesy, the alchemical idea inspired by the work of Greek philosopher Lucretious that sought to explain ghosts and apparitions chemically, rather than metaphysically. The thought was that a body’s form resided in its salts, and by applying heat to those salts, you could regenerate the form of a dead or destroyed plant or animal as an apparition. This one is pretty interesting and I have been meaning to cover it for a few weeks so I hope you find it curious.

The sounds this time around are supplied by…


With background accompaniment from

Thanks as always for checking out the show…

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 018

– 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 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…


With background accompaniment from

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

Johnny One Leg’s Great Adventure

This is one of those stories that is almost too absurd to believe…

John Wood had to have his leg amputated following a plane crash that killed three members of his family in 2004, including his father. If the story ended there we’d all stop for a second to feel for the guy and go back to what we were doing. The story however does not stop there.

When the leg was amputated Mr. Wood put in a request with the hospital that he wanted the leg after it was removed. It was his wish to have the bones to hold onto so that when he eventually died he could be cremated as a “full man.” To his surprise, he was presented, not with the bones, but with the fleshy leg and foot combo by the funeral home attending to the matter. He kept the leg in his freezer and despite becoming a bit of a macabre joke, all was well.

Then Mr. Wood got behind on his bills and his electricity was shut off. It was decision time for Mr. Wood, but after the plane crash, loss of family and amputation he wasn’t going to take another hit from the power man. He cut the screen from his front door, wrapped the leg in it and tied it to a a couple posts to let it dry in the sun. Once it dried he put the remains inside his barbecue smoker for safe keeping.

He eventually became homeless and was living out of a van which he also ultimately lost. His family had put all of his belongings in storage for him while he dealt with his situation. Eventually the bill for the storage space went unpaid and the contents of his storage space were put up for auction. Including the barbecue.

Enter Shannon Whisnant, the buyer of the smoker from the storage auction. He found the leg, and notified the police. Wood’s family saw the story on the news and came forward with their story. Crazy eh? Well… there is more. After surrendering the leg to police Wishnant has since changed his mind and decided he paid for the leg and wants it back to use in a Halloween display in intends to charge admission to and is willing to go to court to fight to have it back. The police have said “he doesn’t have a leg to stand on”. (yes, the police really did say that) they will return the leg to Mr. Wood to hang on his rear view mirror or whatever his next great idea is.

– Prof. Gruntsplatter

The Yamabiru Are Coming!

Long sequestered in the mountains of Japan, the Yamabiru have decided their time is at hand. Urbanization and reforestation efforts have ignited the flames of migration and the long silent Yamabiru have teamed up with their forest brethren and come down from their isolated realm to feed. Feasting on the blood of the humans that have inadvertently rousted them from their quiet existence, they have been known to gorge upon their victims to the point that they reach 10 times their normal size. So clandestine are the methods of the Yamabiru that frequently their victims are unaware they have been visited until they discover the bloodied point of entry and the predator has moved on.

The Japanese see three options in confronting this invasion. They can dramatically reshape the environment to something less hospitable in the hopes that the Yamabiru return from whence they came; they can fight them off with poisons and chemical warfare, or they can concede and accept their place in the food chain. All of these are obviously dramatic and carry their own hazards. However, in these dire times when nature is rising to subjugate humanity the dramatic may be the last hope.

– Prof. Gruntsplatter