10/28/11  #643
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This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such trick-or-treating tales as:

- Was Shakespeare Homosexual? -
My Louisiana Ghost Story -
- Do UFO Occupants Surf the Internet? -
- The Lost Meaning of Halloween -
AND: Haunted Phone Calls

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~







Oxford educated Shakespearean scribe Stuart Robb spent over 30 years before his death caught up in the great controversy as to who really penned Shakespeare's works. Christopher Marlowe, Edward de Vere and Sir Francis Bacon have all been considered "suspects."

The arguments are many but include: o Shakespeare's lack of education and breeding, as well as the fact that his parents were illiterate. The plays were of such a magnitude that only an individual with a university education could have written them.

o Is it possible the "real" Shakespeare could not even sign his own name, as six different signatures when compared, do not match and are virtually illegible scribbling.

o No renderings of the playwright were done before his death which was the case of almost everyone in the theater.

Upon his death, the parish registry listed him as a "Gent," NOT an actor or dramatist, and a sack of grain was etched upon his headstone.

THE REVEALING OF SECRETS IS NOT FOR WORLDLY USE, BUT FOR THE EASE OF A MAN'S HEART In November 1623, the First Folio of the plays of Shakespeare, were published. The folio is one of the most closely studied works of English literature, yet it raises more unanswered questions, as more than one life long student of Shakespeare points out. One month earlier Francis Beacon, one of the leading figures of the English Renaissance, had published a "code book" which are said to reveal the untold -- highly explosive- story of the hidden marriage of Elizabeth.


This two audio CD set narrated by the feisty Stuart Robb along with our complete "Confidential" Dossier by Sean Casteel exposes one of the greatest conspiracies and hoaxes of all time which have left Shakespearean fans scratching their heads. Why such a hoax? And more important -- why has it been covered up, and why are scholars afraid to tell the truth?

This Fall (2011) movie goers will watch this epic controversy unfold upon the big screen starring Vanessa Redgrave and Rhys Ifans in a film titled ANONYMOUS released by Columbia Pictures.

This Audio CD set and book are now available for the SPECIAL PRICE OF ONLY $17.00
(Plus $5.00 for shipping.) You can't find this book for this special price anywhere else.

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Was Shakespeare Homosexual?
By Sean Casteel

In late October, a movie called "Anonymous" was released that deals with the famous "authorship controversy" surrounding the writings of William Shakespeare. The new film is the work of Roland Emmerich, whose previous efforts have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide. Emmerich has such blockbuster hits to his credit as "Stargate," "Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012." Meanwhile "Anonymous" looks to be a similar kind of big budget affair but one that doesn't rely on special effects to carry the movie.
A few months ago, Global Communications published a short booklet of mine called "Shakespeare's Confidential Dossier: To Be Or Not To Be?" that summarizes the many arguments against William Shakespeare being the true author of the plays and sonnets credited to his name. Like the movie, part of my booklet deals with the notion that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, might have been the actual genius involved, although other candidates like Christopher Marlowe and Francis Bacon are examined as well.
Most of us grew up being taught that "Shakespeare" was the sole author of the greatest body of literature to have ever been created by a single person. What the available historical record actually tells us, however, is simply that an actor and grain merchant named William "Shakspere," or some other variation of the spelling, lived and died in the English town of Stratford-on-Avon. There are no records of him having attended any local school, and some believers in the twists and turns of the authorship controversy even allege that he might have been a complete illiterate who only served as a front for someone else.
Another argument sometimes made about the true identity controversy involves the idea that Shakespeare the author may have been homosexual. This idea is explored by writer Bertram Fields in his book "Players: The Mysterious Identity of William Shakespeare." 
"Homosexuality was certainly not uncommon," Fields writes, "in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Bacon and Marlowe were homosexuals, as was James I, though he married and had children. But, at least in public, homosexuality was not considered acceptable. Indeed, a convicted 'sodomite' could be subject to the death penalty."

Oscar Wilde believed that Shakespeare, like himself, was homosexual, and others have reached that same conclusion. This is used to argue that, since the Stratford man was heterosexual, the two could not have been the same person.

There are those who believe that Shakespeare's use of heroines who dress as males in five separate plays - "As You Like It," "Twelfth Night," "Two Gentlemen of Verona," "Cymbeline," and "The Merchant of Venice" - suggests that the Bard found sexual ambiguity appealing.  Or it may have been a simple, crowd-pleasing plot device.

But it is the sonnets that are most often cited as evidence of his homosexuality. The sonnets differ from the plays in that they express more of the inner emotional workings of the poet, his loves and disappointments, as opposed to the more objective observations of human behavior Shakespeare employed in his plays. In the sonnets, he pours out his heart to "a fair youth" who is also the "master-mistress of my passion."

Fields explains that the same sonnet, number 20, goes on to tell the youth that nature "pricked thee out" with something of no use to the poet, which seems inconsistent with a homosexual relationship. This could be intended to throw readers off the track, while it is also possible that the "love" Shakespeare expresses is both homosexual and platonic at the same time.

There is also the possibility that the relationship was physical and erotic, but that the youth played only a passive role that was not reversed.

The youth to whom Shakespeare was referring is usually thought to be the Earl of Southampton, whose appearance is so effeminate that for many years his portrait was assumed to be that of a woman. The portrait is "that of a very girlish young man in his late teens, unbearded, with highly arched eyebrows; a sensuous, cupid's bow mouth; and very long brown hair. He wears a large red-and-black earring, an extremely wide lace collar with matching cuffs, and a provocative expression. One hand seems to stroke his braided hair with long, tapering fingers."

Fields says that the elongated, heart-shaped face of the youth, while beardless and softer in its lines, seems the same as later portraits of the earl as an adult, even with the long brown hair and dandified clothing.

"It is easy to see why," Fields writes, "the subject of the portrait was thought to be a young woman. Studying the pale, effeminate image evokes Shakespeare's lines from Sonnet 20: 'A woman's face, with nature's own hand painted, Has thou, the master-mistress of my passion.' It also makes it conceivable that the poet felt a longing for the young earl that went beyond metaphoric love. But it is just as conceivable that he never allowed the longing to go beyond poetic expression."

There is also the more familiar "dark lady" of the Sonnets, with whom it is obvious Shakespeare the poet had a sexual relationship and for whom he felt extreme erotic desire. This is especially evident in Sonnet 151.

"It seems clear that, with lines like 'rising at thy name doth point out thee,' 'To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side' and 'for whose dear love I rise and fall,' Shakespeare is making punning references to his being sexually aroused by the subject of the poem. If he's talking to the dark lady, this certainly indicates that he's heterosexual or at least bisexual."

There are those who argue that the dark lady sonnets were actually written for the fair youth, and Fields acknowledges that we cannot know for sure.

"While it is difficult to be certain about the matter, the evidence seems to weigh against the conclusion that Shakespeare was homosexual," Fields writes. "More likely, in the sonnets, he was simply more than usually effusive in expressing his 'love' for the fair youth - probably in the belief that his expressions were private. In addition, he had the unique capacity to understand and sympathize with a character's homosexual longings, whether or not he had experienced them himself.
"Since it seems highly probable that the Stratford man was heterosexual, we can't rule him out as Shakespeare based on his sexual orientation. Still, the threat of the public perceiving Shakespeare and Southampton as gay lovers may have played a critical part in a concerted effort to identify Shakespeare with the Stratford man after the latter's death."
Director Roland Emmerich is himself openly gay, according to a Wikipedia entry about his life and career. Whether that figures in his choice to make an entire movie about the possibly gay Earl of Oxford and the authorship controversy in general is an open question at this point. But it's an interesting historical problem in any case, and one not likely to be resolved by "Anonymous" or any other treatment of the subject for a long, long time.
Sean Casteel's booklet "Shakespeare's Confidential Dossier: To Be Or Not To Be?" is also available at Amazon.com as a Kindle Book.


My Louisiana Ghost Story
By Andrew Evans

In an unnamed house in an unnamed town in a state named after King Louis XIV, I met a ghost.

We were never introduced properly – in fact, the housekeeper denied any and all ghosts the minute I walked in.

“Oh no, it’s not haunted – at least I’ve never seen anything,” she announced as she led me through the grand entryway and into the hallway dressed up with fall flower arrangements. The century-old house was massive – one huge square room after another, and each one decorated with antique parlor furniture, huge potted plants, heavy-framed mirrors and paintings, and crystal chandeliers that hung like glowing, upside-down wedding dresses.

It was a beautiful Southern mansion that like so many in Louisiana, now functions as a luxurious bed-and-breakfast. The housekeeper showed me my suite for the night – a tremendous king-size bed that weighed a few tons, smothered in a pile of pillows and with more white lace and satin than a royal christening.

I set my bags down on the floor and took in the size of the room—an immense place, cathedral-like.

“You’ll be staying alone in the house,” the housekeeper added, “There are no other guests tonight.”

I was afraid that would be the situation. It’s not the first time in my travels that I’ve been the sole inhabitant of some oversize, historic property. I’m used to it, though it’s not always comfortable.

“As long as you say it’s not haunted,” I joked, but the housekeeper did not laugh. In fact, she looked a little concerned.

“No, it’s not haunted,” she reassured me, but two seconds later, she began to elaborate. “Oh, there are stories, but nobody’s ever seen anything.” She paused, “I’ve never seen anything.”

I asked her to tell me more about the “stories” and out of the housekeeper’s mouth tumbled one Grade A Southern ghost story. Apparently the Cajun family who owned the house two owners ago reported the ghost of a little girl who, when she was alive, used to get locked up in the wooden closet under the stairs. Locked in the dark she would kick and scream against the door, a habit that she carried on into her next life.

Despite closing that door every night, the Cajun family noticed the closet door would always be wide open in the morning. Eventually, they began leaving little toys inside the closet at night to appease the unhappy little ghost.

The housekeeper told me this as if it were perfectly normal—and in my travels I’ve gathered that ghosts are pretty normal in Louisiana.

“Last year we had a Halloween party in the house and a lot of people dressed up as the ghosts that haunt their own houses. Guess what my costume was?” The housekeeper was suddenly cheerful again, “I dressed up as the little girl from under the stairs!”  She wore a short black dress, put her hair in pigtails and walked around with an armful of toys.

I think I could have handled just about anything—if the housekeeper had told me that someone had hung himself in the foyer, or that the mansion was under some swamp curse, or that it was built on top of some old French cemetery—well, I would have coped fine with any of those.

But no—instead she was describing a bothered little girl ghost trapped in a closet with an armful of old-fashioned toys. Now that was super creepy.

The housekeeper offered to spend the night in the house as well, but I said no—I’d be fine in the house alone. At least, I thought I’d be fine.

Honestly, I thought very little of her ghost stories. I’ve traveled to enough odd places and gathered my own private collection of unexplained phenomena that I prefer to keep private and unexplained. I wasn’t ready to add an old Louisiana mansion to my list—it almost seemed too banal.

My Cajun housekeeper was friendly and welcoming. She showed me around the town and introduced me to nearly every person we ran into. I ended up having dinner with her and her husband at the local seafood restaurant and for hours we swapped stories and laughed.

“In Louisiana, you’re a friend until proven otherwise.” That’s what everyone had told me and I had found it to be quite true. From the minute you met someone, they were genuinely warm and hospitable.

It was only when she drove me back to the house that the housekeeper mentioned the ghost again.

“Oh, you’re gonna hear things tonight. You will,” she laughed nervously. Her approach had changed from a few hours earlier when she flat-out denied any kind of haunting.

I laughed it off and waved goodbye to the two of them as they drove away, then unlocked the door with my key and entered the house alone.

A few lights has been left on in some of the rooms and I did not feel the need to start walking around the huge house to turn them off one by one. Instead I made my way to my first-floor bedroom and then into the bathroom where I changed for bed and brushed my teeth.

That’s when I felt it—that really dreadful sensation of being watched by someone else. I felt coldness on the back of my neck and my spine tingled. I stared at my face in the mirror but there was nothing else there—no apparitions or vague reflections. I left the room and then shut the glass-paneled bathroom door, certain that I was simply scaring myself.

I sat down at the table, opened my laptop and began answering e-mail. It was a quarter ‘til eleven and the glow from my computer pulled me away from any fears and kept me focused on the mundane realities of our digital lives.

At eleven o’clock the noises started.

Sh-sh-sh, sh-sh-sh-sh.

A pair of feet shuffled across the bathroom floor. I turned towards the door I had just closed. It was still closed—the only entrance into that room. The noise repeated itself—a pair of feet shuffling across the floor then stopping right at the other side of the bathroom door.

My fingers froze on the keyboard and I tried to think rationally. Certainly, the sounds had come from someone walking, and it was from inside the bathroom.

Yes, I was scared. My mind went through all the other things that might be making the noise—someone else entering the house, some (very large) wild animal scurrying about—but no, those had been feet pattering along the floor.

That’s when I crawled into the giant bed and took up my defensive position, armed pitifully with my cell phone and laptop.

At midnight, I heard a loud thump upstairs. Then another followed by another.  Soon there was clatter all about—dull thuds, a few bangs, followed by the sound of someone (or many?) walking around on the second floor. I remained frozen in my bed, tweeting my terror out into the great digital cloud.

“There are strange noises coming from upstairs.” I was using Twitter to document the paranormal event that was unfolding around me.

Yes, I was terrified. I hadn’t taken the housekeeper seriously and now it was nearly midnight and I was stuck in a giant bed in a giant mansion that had suddenly come alive with strange noises.

No, they were not simply “old house” noises that old houses make. There was no air conditioning or heat running. It was not simply the humid air turning cooler and the house settling back into its foundations, as many Twitter followers tried to explain to me. I was confident that I was the only person in the house, and yet the sounds from upstairs had me convinced someone else was moving around up there.

A few minutes later, I heard the sound of someone running down the stairs. Whatever it was had joined me on the first floor. I stared at the bedroom door, then reverted to Facebook chat for some kind of small comfort.

I chatted with friends in different countries, explaining my dilemma—that I was wide awake in a house which was most likely haunted by a traumatized little girl and that honestly, this was the kind of adventure on which I’d be happy to take a pass.

Eventually, the footsteps went back up the stairs and the clatter intensified. I wanted to laugh—but couldn’t—as I read my Twitter friends arguing about the existence of ghosts, all the while I was listening to what sounded like bowling balls rolling around on the floor above me and doors slamming shut.

Via social media, I began to get a flood of real-time advice on how to deal with my real-time haunting. Some said to confront the “thing”, others said to call the police and report intruders, a few insisted I turn on the TV, some said to pray to St. Michael, others said St. Joseph was better with this sort of thing. The Hindus in India said to burn incense. My friend who’s a nun in Europe told me to leave the house immediately (which did not make me feel better about my situation).

I don’t remember sleeping much, but eventually my body grew so tired that I lay down, wrapped up like a mummy in my blankets. The house became silent once more, and for several hours I listened to the stillness, still terrified but hopeful that the worst was over. All I had to do was make it until morning.

I awoke at around 4 a.m. to the sound of tinkling glass, which grew louder and louder. It was the sound of crystal glasses clinking against crystal. Then somebody was stacking china.

My mind reflected on everything I had heard through the night.  I mentally begged the ghost(s) to shut up so that I could get some sleep. I thought of the last family who had lived here, how they had appeased the ghost with toys. I had no toys to offer—the only thing I had in my bag was a small harmonica that I had recently purchased. For a second I was relieved, as if I had something positive to offer the ghost, but then I realized that if I suddenly heard a harmonica playing in the darkness I would probably die of cardiac arrest.

And so I stayed in bed until morning, not sleeping and not moving. I waited until I heard the housekeeper arrive and begin preparing breakfast back in the kitchen—only then did I crawl out of bed, open the bathroom door, take a shower and get dressed. I took my bags out into the car, then re-entered the house through the kitchen.

The housekeeper acted nonchalant. She gave me breakfast and chatted about the weather until I finally interrupted. I told her what happened—all the different sounds that I had heard, and how I had been kept awake for most of the night.

She responded with a few confessions. “You know, my son won’t even set foot in this house. He’ll come to the door but won’t ever cross into it.” As a teenager, he played with the owner’s son inside the house and had one creepy experience that kept him away ever since. The housekeeper also told me about her little niece talking alone upstairs, chatting with some unseen friend. Then she told me about the “professional” ghost hunters who had come in and recorded floating orbs and EVPs and plastered the images all over the internet—all the ghost buster stuff that’s lately become so popular on television.

And yet she would never admit that she had any proof of anything. She needed the house not to be haunted, which made sense to me. (If I worked all day in a big old Southern mansion, I would not want it to be haunted either.)

Still, as we talked, the housekeeper repeatedly acknowledged the very real possibility of some kind of ghost, as well as the owner’s own understanding that the house was special. Perhaps that’s why she keeps telling people the house is not haunted.

“If there is something in the house, then we don’t want the wrong kind of people coming in and provoking it —we don’t want anyone bothering it.”  That seemed the right attitude, although I am personally unacquainted with Southern ghost etiquette. Yet I was surprised by the housekeeper’s duality on the subject.

All that I know is that I stayed alone in that house all night long, during which time I heard a lot of unexplained noises.

Yes, perhaps my mind played tricks all night, maybe giant raccoons were wearing people slippers and running up and down the floors. Maybe the neighbor kids snuck into the house and played tricks on me.

Or maybe, just maybe, there was a ghost of a little girl, who escaped her prisoner’s closet beneath the stairs and ran amok all night, down and up the stairs, jostling the crystal and china, then giggling to herself as she scared the crap out of that tall Yankee gentleman holed up in the guest room.

Source: National Geographic


Do UFO Occupants Surf the Internet?
By Diane Tessman

What a disturbing thought, or what an exhilarating thought: Do UFO occupants read Conspiracy Journal?

Let’s just go back to the general Internet: I wonder if one reason there are many more UFO sightings these days, especially of unidentified craft close to the ground, is that we humans now have our extremely active cyberspace world into which, of course, aliens in our skies can easily tap.

Have the aliens gotten to know us on an internal basis which was harder to do when there were only phone lines, radio, television and the occasional abduction as a way of knowing the actual populace of Earth? It seems the aliens may also have sent a probe or two to peek in human windows, but is not like the world of the Internet with tens of millions of humans pounding their keyboards. The Internet opens inner human intelligence, or lack thereof, for all to see.

Yes, aliens probably have dealt with military/governmental organizations for years, but they are not the common people. This cyber-window into the human psyche is a new one, look how it’s developed in the last ten years!

Of course there were always human books and movies, but these are mostly created by people who have the ability and often, the right business connections. So, the mind and spirit of the common people was still an area which might have proved difficult on which to get an accurate and detailed perspective.

Many believe that the ancient astronauts gave humankind a head start toward civilization and maybe even enlightenment. There is evidence that aliens interacted more with ancient people than they interact with modern people. It seems likely there was a broad program of genetically mingling with Earth’s humanoid species which may well have created Homo sapiens.

In ancient days, aliens must have known common people better. If Homo sapiens are hybrids, then the aliens could still see themselves in their new creation and had a handle on what was within our mind and spirit. However, the years have passed and what is deep within common humankind must be more of a puzzle to the aliens now. We do not even know if this is the same group of aliens who were the "ancient astronauts;" most likely, a wide diversity of alien species is involved with Earth, both then and now.

It is easy to moan and groan as we think how stupid, ignorant, and rude some Internet entries are! Oh, my, what the aliens must think of us!

However, human intelligence and just plain goodness, is also all over the Internet. There are sites working for peace, working to end hunger, working to save the environment, fighting to end cancer, and so many other good causes.

Also, there are sites happily guessing at quantum physics, the "electrical universe," and all sorts of high strangeness, including UFOs. I would assume the aliens think this is great fun, too.

Cyberspace opens individuals to honest, heartfelt interaction with other individuals. Sure, there is the opposite side of that too. However, I know from my own experience, that my friend of over thirty years and I have established a deeper and richer friendship than ever before, through e-mailing. She and I lived side by side in California for years, we kept track of each other when I moved to Europe, she gave me a place for my dogs, cats, and me to stay when I moved back from Ireland, and we kept contact. Then suddenly, two years ago, we started e-mailing, she still in California and me in Iowa. Now, we can express thoughts which "in person," we just never had a chance to think or say; these are thoughts not about just ourselves but about all sorts of fascinating subjects, such as UFOs and quantum concepts.

The aliens can no doubt hack into personal "e" communications, too, and see the light and dark aspects of we common folk. They can read how much we value special friendships, how much we love our families, our dogs and our cats, how much we worry about being able to provide for those we love, and so much more.

Of course I am assuming that the aliens are computerized. I noticed in an account of a crashed saucer, that a book was found in the craft with strange hieroglyphic-like writing which was perhaps the captain’s log. From this, we could guess that the aliens had computers eons ago but the computers tried to take over and the aliens said, "No more computers!" A more likely explanation is that the human who told of this crashed saucer over forty years ago, somehow described it wrongly or misunderstood what he saw. Or perhaps the alien captain was just a reactionary who loved to write in a written log.

It is likely that the aliens do have advanced forms of Ye Old Computer. And I bet they enjoy the Internet, learning all about us in a very internal, personal way.

Apparently, despite all the insanity on the net, the aliens have not turned away from humans, because there are more sightings than ever before, and many of them suggest that the logical next step is for these alien craft to land. There have been so many low-flying UFOs recently over highways that one wonders if they plan to land on the freeway.

What might be most important to aliens, is that they can now perceive the diversity of human thought and how adaptable we are.

Are there astral entities? Well, sure, how can they help me?

Are there fairies and elves? Well, look at these photos from the Irish meadow.

Are some aliens from the Human Future? Well, I can handle that!

Can life-forms shape-shift? We’ve never seen that in our world but we can envision this.

Are some aliens of a dark nature? Sure, we humans are light and dark too.

Did three saucers crash near Roswell? Well, let’s hear the details! Did teenage aliens driving badly cause a disaster for the aliens? I can relate to that.

In short, through the web, movies, television, books, MUFON, through friends fascinated by the same, and particularly through the basic human ability to adapt, we common people are up for anything! We have our inherent human adaptability, we will survive!

The aliens know we stand on the precipice of huge advancement in technology. We now have high tech toys which would have seemed like magic 12 years ago, or at least like science fiction. Perhaps the aliens know that their even higher technology can now be perceived by us not as magic or the basis for another religion, but as simply amazing technology. Now the aliens feel the lines of rational communication with humans are open.

Our species is at first frightened, then shocked, then we settle down and we can handle it. We adjust to change. We can adapt to whatever truth or truths there are, about alien life and its flights in Earth skies. As

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was fond of saying, "The people of Earth are light years ahead of their petty, bickering governments."

Our ability to adapt has been perceived by the aliens as they surf the net, and this might be the deciding factor in their decision to try to force UFO disclosure by earth governments and even the deciding factor in their decision to land and meet the common individual, who also busily surfs the net. We do have common ground.

To learn more about Diane and her work, visit her website at:www.earthchangepredictions.co

The Stone-Throwing Ghost of Guyra

In April 1921, the small farming community of Guyra was rocked, literally, by an apparent stone-throwing spirit and series of other unusual happenings. Along with the ghostly attacks, an elderly woman, with a potato in each hand, vanished into thin air, a young girl was shot in the head by her kid brother, the town’s Police Sergeant was ordered far away “for a rest” and the town was visited by a close personal friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This week, weirdaustralia explores the events that bedevilled Guyra, but captivated the nation, as witnessed by those who reported them.

The ghostly activity began around 8 April when the Bowen family experienced “tremendous thumpings” on the walls of their tiny four-roomed weatherboard cottage, located about half a mile outside Guyra on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Soon, these unexplained banging sounds would be accompanied by more destructive showers of stones raining down upon the house. After initial investigations by the Bowens, there appeared to be “no human agency” involved in the wall banging and stone throwing.

These apparently supernatural attacks appeared to revolve around the Bowen’s daughter Minnie, described rather unflatteringly in a 1954 Sydney Morning Herald article as “a thin, dark, little girl with an impassive face” and academically as “not clever, and backward for her age at school”.

Wherever young Minnie went within the house, those “tremendous thumpings” would accompany her. Stones would crash through her bedroom window and land on her bed. As the attacks increased, soon every window in the house was broken. Not surprisingly, the family was left bewildered. Calling on their neighbours for help, word about the haunting quickly spread and the locals came to the family’s defence.

“Night after night, the men of the township threw a double cordon round the cottage. Night after night, the stone-throwing and the thunderous rapping on the walls continued.”

The Sydney Morning Herald revisited the Guyra Ghost mystery in a feature published on 9 March 1954 titled: A Staff Correspondent Recalls The Unsolved Riddle Of Guyra’s Ghost. The article included the following account:

“On the night of April 15 Minnie sat in a well-lighted bedroom, watched by two police officers and a number of other people. Outside ‘in weak moonlight’, 50 men patrolled the silent fields.

“About nine o’clock the silence was shattered by a loud knock on the bedroom wall, followed by two further thumps. Their force was such that the entire building shook. The women inside the house were white with fear, but Minnie remained impassive.

“A Mr Davies, who was interested in spiritualism, suggested to the child that she should ask a question, and she immediately said, ‘Is that you, May?’ naming her half-sister who had died some months before.

“Observers heard nothing, but Minnie claimed later that May had said to her, ‘Tell mother I am in heaven, and quite happy. Tell her it was her prayers which got me here, and I will look after her for the rest of my life.’”

It appears the spirit of May had a strange way of “caring” for her mother. The article continued:

“There were no further disturbances that night. But two days later the Bowen family returned from the fields to find that heavy shutters and battens, nailed over broken windows, had been smashed and piled on the verandah.

“A few nights later, when the outside of the house was illumined by a spotlight, two large stones struck a wall against which a policeman was standing.”

These constant supernatural attacks soon took their toll on everyone in the town. The local Police Sergeant, who had kept vigil at the Bowen’s house over many nights, experiencing the constant onslaught of flying stones and loud banging, soon cracked under the strain. He was sent far away from the town by his superiors “for a rest”.

It may not have only been the supernatural stone throwing and banging that took their toll on the Sergeant’s nerves, however. The town seemed to be suffering a run of bad luck.

Just days before the vindictive Guyra Ghost began its reign of terror, the townspeople of Guyra had been baffled by another mystery, the unexplained disappearance of an 87-year-old Irishwoman, Mrs Doran.

On 5 April, a farm worker had reported seeing Mrs Doran “walking across the fields with a potato in each hand. She topped a rise and was gone”.

Even after search parties had thoroughly scoured the entire district looking for the elderly woman, no trace of her was ever found. Mrs Doran and her two potatoes had seemingly vanished into thin air.

With the disappearance of poor Mrs Doran and the continuing stone-throwing attacks, it was little wonder the nerves of everyone in Guyra were frayed. And the town’s apparent run of bad luck was set to continue.

Nobody in Guyra now felt safe without a weapon and it was reported that “the women of the district began to sleep with guns within easy reach of their hands”.

Just how a gun is supposed to protect one from unseen supernatural forces remains unclear, however.

Unfortunately, this sudden reliance on firearms for protection led to near-tragedy. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in Guyra Mystery. Stone Throwing Continues on 30 April that:

“A revolver left handy on a bedroom table in a tradesman’s house near the railway station, in case the ghost walked in, was picked up by a little boy of five years. He evidently thought it was a toy pistol, and fired it. The bullet entered the skull of his sister, aged 6, and, owing to its dangerous position, cannot be removed.”

Thankfully, the girl survived the accidental shooting.

Were the people of Guyra simply letting their imaginations get the better of them?

After interrogating young Minnie, a breakthrough in the perplexing case was announced by the police. They declared they had a full admission that the Guyra Ghost was a hoax.

“They [the police] suspected that some of the people among the volunteers, who kept a vigil around the house, were ‘sympathetic’ in relation to ghosts…In conjunction with an admission by a young member of the Bowen household — a girl named Minnie — that she had done a little atone throwing on her own account…”

So, was it now case closed on the Guyra Ghost? Were those volunteers “sympathetic in relation to ghosts” hurling a few rocks at the house during the night?

Could a young girl described as being “not clever, and backward for her age at school” instigate an elaborate hoax that fooled her family, her neighbours and, for a time, the police? Or, was she simply telling the police what they wanted to hear in her admission.

The people of Guyra remained unconvinced. “They do not regard the child’s confession of having thrown a few little stones as a solution of the matter.”

Unfortunately for the Bowens, the stone throwing continued despite the police having cracked the case. Mr Bowen reported that the house was again struck by a number of stones during the night. Minnie was inside the house at the time. Mr Bowen “immediately rushed outside with his gun and fired several shots in the direction whence he thought they had come.”

Following further outbreaks of stone throwing and wall banging, in May Minnie’s parents, at their wits’ end, shipped her off to her Gran’s house 60 kilometres away in Glen Innes.

While this solution brought relief to the people of Guyra, it was now Glen Innes’ problem. On 11 May The Sydney Morning Herald reported in Guyra Stone-Thrower Shifts Quarters. Operations At Glen Innes, that:

“The Guyra ghost has removed his venue from Mr Bowen’s house to that of Minnie’s grandmother (Mrs Shelton), who resides in Church Street, Glen Innes…

“…Shortly after the last night noises were heard like stones bumping on walls, the neighbours made inquiries, and the police were sent for…

“…Constable Stewart was sent along to investigate, when he and several others who had arrived were walking round the house a stone hit the window of Alf Shelton’s bedroom, breaking a pane of glass and becoming entangled in the curtain. This stone was of ordinary white metal, and was similar to many others on the footpath in front of the house. The constable kept a close watch, with Minnie inside the house, and while there heard four or five distinct sounds resembling knocks against iron at a distance, but he was not sure whether they emanated from inside or outside. He came to the conclusion that the girl was responsible, and declined to stay any length of time.”

It appears Constable Stewart was very keen to get out of that house as soon as he could.

“After his departure the inmates of the house and the neighbours outside were emphatic in their statements that they heard many noises up till midnight as of stones hitting the walls or the roof.”

It appears that the paranormal activity faded as suddenly as it had started. After a short stay with her Gran in Glen Innes, Minnie’s parents took her back home, and the activity soon “faded away”.

Dead sister’s spirit or poltergeist?

The events that took place in Guyra and Glen Innes over several months in 1921 seem less likely to be the doings of the spirit of a dead girl but more the result of poltergeist activity. After all, nobody witnessed any apparition, and apart from Minnie, nobody heard any disembodied voices. And one suspects that perhaps Minnie was simply telling people what they wanted to hear when she recounted her apparent conversation with her dead half-sister.

On 22 April, The Sydney Morning Herald explored this possibility in Guyra Mystery. Attributed To Poltergeist – Recorded Cases:

“One of the many people attracted to during the last few days by the uncanny happenings there was Mr. H. J. Moors…”

Mr Moors was a businessman with interests in the South Pacific. He was also fascinated with psychic phenomena and was a close personal friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was made aware of the case after reading an article in The Sunday Times.

After spending time talking with Minnie, police and locals involved in the events, Mr Moors was convinced that the supernatural events “were not the product of trickery, or the ghost of Minnie’s half-sister May, but the result of poltergeist activity”.

Today, investigator Paul Cropper, who is writing a book on the subject, agrees with Mr Moors’ assessment of the case. “The Guyra Ghost is possibly Australia’s best known case of a poltergeist…”

“It’s a fascinating case, and it contains almost all of the characteristics of these kinds of cases worldwide,” he told the Guyra Argus. “My own feeling is that the Guyra haunting was the real thing, and that young Minnie was unconsciously the focus – and possibly the source – of some genuinely strange events”.

Source: Weird Australia


The Lost Meaning of Halloween
By Christan Hummel

All Hallow's Eve, Hallow E'en, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Samhain. By whatever name it has been called, this special night preceding All Hallows day (November 1st) has been considered for centuries as one of the most magical nights of the year. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest.

As ubiquitous as Halloween celebrations are throughout the world, few of us know that the true origin of Halloween is a ceremony of honoring our ancestors and the day of the dead. A time when the veils between the worlds were thinner, and so many could "see" the other side of life. A time in the year when the spiritual and material worlds touched for a moment, and a greater potential exists for magical creation.

The name Halloween (originally spelled Hallowe'en) is a contraction of All Hallows Even, meaning the day before All Hallows Day (better known as All Saints Day), a Catholic holiday commemorating Christian saints and martyrs observed since the early Middle Ages on November 1.

It has become commonplace to trace its roots even further back in time to a pagan festival of ancient Ireland known as Samhain (pronounced sow'-en or sow'-een), about which little is actually known. The prehistoric observance marked the end of summer and the onset of winter, and is said to have been celebrated with feasting, bonfires, sacrificial offerings, and paying homage to the dead.

Despite some thematic similarities, there's scant evidence of any real continuity of tradition linking the Medieval observance of Halloween to Samhain, however. Some modern historians, notably Ronald Hutton (The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, 1996) and Steve Roud (The English Year, 2008, and A Dictionary of English Folklore, 2005), flatly reject the commonly held notion that November 1 was designated All Saints Day by the Church to "Christianize" the pagan festival. Citing a lack of historical evidence, Steve Roud dismisses the Samhain theory of origin altogether.

"Certainly the festival of Samhain, meaning Summer's End, was by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar, and there was a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen," Roud notes, "but however strong the evidence in Ireland, in Wales it was May 1 and New Year which took precedence, in Scotland there is hardly any mention of it until much later, and in Anglo-Saxon England even less."

Ancient rites

In ancient times, this day was a special and honored day of the year.

In the Celtic calendar, it was one of the most important days of the year, representing a mid point in the year, Samhain, or "summer's end". Occuring opposite the great Spring Festival of May Day, or Beltain, this day represented the turning point of the year, the eve of the new year which begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year.

And while celebrated by the Celts, the origin of this day has connections to other cultures as well, such as Egypt, and in Mexico as Dia de la Muerta, or the day of the dead.

The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held in abeyance during this time, allowing a special window where the spirit world could intermingle with the living. It was a night when the dead could cross the veils and return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, or clan. As such, the great burial mounds of Ireland were lit up with torches lining the walls, so the spirits of the dead could find their way.


Out of this ancient tradition comes one of our most famous icons of the holiday: the Jack-o-lantern. Originating from Irish folkfore, the Jack-o-lantern was used as a light for the lost soul of Jack, a notorious trickster, stuck between worlds. Jack is said to have tricked the devil into a truck of a tree and by carving an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, he trapped the devil there. His pranks denied him access to Heaven, and having angered the devil also to Hell, so Jack was a lost soul, trapped between worlds. As a consolation, the devil gave him a sole ember to light his way through the darkness between worlds.

Originally in Ireland turnips were carved out and candles placed inside as lanterns lit to help guide Jack’s lost spirit back home. Hence the term: Jack-o-lanterns. Later, when immigrants came to the new world, pumpkins were more readily available, and so the carved pumpkins carrying a lit candle served the same function.

Festival for the dead

As the Church began to take hold in Europe the ancient Pagan rituals were co-opted into festivals of the Church. While the Church could not support a general feast for all the dead, it created a festival for the blessed dead, all those hallowed so, All Hallow's, was transformed into All Saints and All Souls day.

Among the practices associated with Halloween during the Medieval period were the lighting of bonfires, evidently to symbolize the plight of souls lost in purgatory, and souling, which consisted of going door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for "soul cakes" and other treats. Mumming (or "guising"), a custom originally associated with Christmas consisting of parading in costume, chanting rhymes, and play-acting, was a somewhat later addition to Halloween.

Again, however, despite the obvious similarities between old and new, it's an overstatement to say these Medieval customs "survived" to the present day, or even that they "evolved" into modern Halloween practices such as trick-or-treating. There's no direct historical evidence of such a continuity. By the time Irish immigrants brought the holiday to North America in the mid-1800s, mumming and souling were all but forgotten in their home country, where the known Halloween customs of the time consisted of praying, communal feasting, and playing divination games such as bobbing for apples.

Today, we have lost the significance of this most significant time of year which in modern times has turned into a candy fest with kids dressing up as action hereos. The secular, commercialized holiday we know today would be barely recognizable to Halloween celebrants of even just a century ago.

Many Christians believe that participating in Halloween is a form of involvement in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. However, many consider the modern-day Halloween activities of most to be harmless fun.

Many cultures have ceremonies to honor their dead. In so doing, they complete a cycle of birth and death, and keep in line with a harmony and order of the universe, at time when we enter into the cycle of darkness for the upcoming year.

As you light your candles this year, keep in mind the true potency of this time, one of magical connections to the other side of life, and a time to remember those who have passed before us. A time to send our love and gratitude to them to light their way back home.

Source: paranormal.about.com


'Wihtikow' Legend Comes Back to Life

You might say Nathan Carlson has a possession obsession, with a keen interest in cannibalism on the side. The University of Alberta Native Studies student is doing a research project on the wihtikow (also known as ‘whetigo’ and ‘wendigo’) the evil spirit said to have haunted northern forests in former times.

There are still people in Slave Lake who heard stories about such spirit possession from their grandparents. In them, a person possessed by the evil spirit would turn to cannibalism. He could only be stopped by someone with stronger medicine (magical or spiritual power), or by decapitation.

Having perused the historical record, Carlson has found that Lesser Slave Lake area had its share of wihtikow stories.

“Lesser Slave Lake seems to be a ‘hot spot’ of wihtikow activity,” he said in an e-mail to The Leader last week. “I have heard of two cases happening at Mitsue Lake, both involving cannibalism.”

It is fairly widely accepted locally that Mitsue (a Cree word meaning ‘eating’) got its name because of incidents of cannibalism that happened there in the latter part of the 1800s. Leo and William Giroux of Slave Lake confirmed that in an interview for a story on wihtikow that appeared in The Leader on Jan. 8, 1992.

The Giroux brothers said that the person possessed by wihtikow could be cured, but once they’d eaten someone, it was too late.

“A wihtikow would kill a whole camp and stay there till he ate up everyone,” said William.

There doesn't seem to be any written records of the Mitsue area wihtikow activity. At least Carlson hasn’t found any, although he mentions the story in his thesis. But one of the more famous cases, for which there are official records, happened at or near the present townsite of Slave Lake in the summer of 1887.

“A woman by the name of Marie Courtoreille apparently turned wihtikow, and to prevent her from committing murder and cannibalism, she, herself, was executed by her husband and stepson.”

The two men were tried at Ft. Saskatchewan and received sentences of six years each.

A case at Trout Lake is also on the books. Here’s what Carlson says in his thesis:

“In 1896 a man traveling through the woods with his family reported having a strange vision of a creature that apparently made him insane. He and the villagers believed he’d turned into a windigo and as his condition worsened, he was locked in a cabin. One eyewitness, a fur trader from Scotland, stated that he hardly looked like a human being at one point. The man was eventually executed by the frightened villagers, and huge logs were piled on his grave to make sure he couldn’t come back to life, as he had vowed to do unless a priest came to the village within three days. Strangely enough a priest did arrive, apparently the first ever in that area, and found all the villagers huddled in a shack, fearing for their lives.”

It was this incident that Carlson heard about from his grandmother, leading to his decision to investigate it in his university studies. His research has turned up 35 such cases, although only one of them documented actual cannibalism.

A man was convicted of killing and eating his wife and five children near Athabasca Landing and was hanged at Ft. Saskatchewan in 1879.

Carlson says he’d like to publish his findings on the matter in an academic journal or as a book, or both.

Source: The Lakeside Leader


Haunted Phone Calls

Ghost are trying to make contact with living friends using mobile phones, a paranormal expert claims.

The number of mystery calls to mobiles attributed to spooks has rocketed by 43 per cent in the last four years, a study found.

Spectre investigator Phil Hayes from Paranormal Research UK believes a third of all hauntings are now through mobile phones.

The calls often feature heavy static and the voice sounds faint and distant, he revealed. Nine in ten show as "withheld number" or "000000000000" on caller ID.

Statistics show two thirds of all paranormal phenomena feature sounds, with just 20 per cent being actual sightings of ghosts and 15 per cent based on smell.

Around half of audible hauntings were captured on voice recorders by specialist spook hunters, with eight per cent coming through TV or radio.

New research shows one in three Brits claim to have seen an apparition in a photo or captured paranormal footage on their mobile.

The study by Tesco Mobile revealed Paranormal Research UK have seen a 70 per cent upsurge in paranormal evidence in the last year due to people using their phones.

More than half of Brits claimed they would try to capture a sighting of a ghost — but one in five admitted they would be terrified and run away.

Three in five people say they know someone who has experienced paranormal activity, with half having felt an unexplained shiver down the spine when entering a room.

Phil Hayes said: "There is evidence to suggest that ghosts can use phones to communicate, with reports of people receiving phone calls from deceased relatives."

Lance Batchelor, CEO of Tesco Mobile said: "We'd recommend those brave enough to capture any spooky sightings should MMS or email their pics to the paranormal society for investigation.

"Keep your camera phone on the highest quality resolution setting and use the recorder to capture the noise of any spectral sounds."

According to Stephen Wagner of Paranormal.about.com, cell phones, cordless phones, telephones...have become indispensable parts of our daily lives. With them we can connect with just about anyone anywhere from virtually anywhere. Voices, conversations and the business of every day moving at the speed of light on microwaves, along wires, through fiber optics, across the sky, under the ocean and sometimes into space and back. Is it possible, however, that these electronic gadgets that we've come to take for granted sometimes make connections beyond what can be logically explained?

Consider these true stories from people who have had unexplained, puzzling and sometimes downright unnerving experiences with their phones.


Many years ago, when married to my first husband, I received a telephone call at about 4:20 a.m. It was my elder brother telling me he had just gotten married. The call woke up my husband and I spoke with my brother for about five minutes. I hung up and went back to sleep. About a week or so later, I was visiting at my mother's home and this same brother was there with his wife. I thanked him for calling me... and I got this odd stare and his mouth fell open. He told me he had called our mother, but he had never called me at all. I turned to my mother and she related the entire conversation she had had with him, and then I related the entire conversation I had had with him - and these conversations were literally identical and at the exact same time. - Barbara


This strange incident happened in our home at Christmas. My husband had his cell phone on our dining room table and it was turned off for the evening. My purse was in our library, where my husband was playing a computer game with our daughter. In my purse I had my cell phone turned on. As my husband and daughter were playing, my cell phone rang. My husband picked it up and it said the incoming call was coming in from his cell phone! He thought our son was playing a prank on him and ran into the room we were in and told our son to stop messing around with his cell phone.

We laughed at him and asked him what he was talking about. He said, "Your phone just rang and it said the call was coming in from my phone!"

This is where things get weird! My son and I were both in the same room together talking and neither one of us had left the room. We weren't even in the same room as my husband's cell phone at all. My husband checked his phone and sure enough it was off just as he had left it. We can't figure out how a call came into my phone from his phone when his phone was off and there was certainly no one in the room with his phone! Strange indeed. We were all pretty mystified over the whole incident for sure! - Janine T.


My mum usually picks me up from work and she doesn't work far from me. One Tuesday night, we were driving home when I asked her how my dad's computer classes were going. My dad usually attended the computer classes every Tuesday night. She said she didn't know as she hadn't spoken to him about it. She asked me why. I replied, "Well, when I was speaking to him he said he was having some trouble. They had been given three assignments to complete, but he couldn't finish assignment number two as the computer wouldn't 'save as.' I think he eventually managed to do them all though."

"Oh, right." she said. That night, with the conversation with my mum forgotten, I was sitting watching TV, when my dad knocked on my door. He said, "I was speaking to mum earlier about the conversation you had about my computer class. How did you know we had three assignments and I had trouble with the second one?"

Confused, I said, "You told me that on the phone."

"No, I didn't. There is no way you could have known that because I have just come from my computer class. You had the conversation with mum before I went, and what you told mum happened tonight. I couldn't have known we had three assignments as I missed last week's class."

We both just sat there looking at each other trying to figure out how I knew what was going to happen before it did. I was sure we had spoken on the phone about it, but how could we if it hadn't happened? The strange thing is, I can remember my dad telling me what happened on the phone, but I can't recall how, where and when. - Cian B.


Sometime in 1999, our phone was out. My mother was at work and I was asleep when the phone rang and woke me up. I answered the phone, but didn't hear anything. I listened and then this man said something that I did not understand. I said, "What?" Then the man repeated himself.

He said, "Is this the barber shop?"
"No," I said. Then I didn't hear anything else. The phone sounded dead, so I hung up. But I soon realized that the person sounded exactly like my grandfather, who had been dead for four or five years. The phone wasn't even working at the time it rang, because after it had rung I picked it up and the phone was still out! I'm convinced it was my grandfather. - Judy W.


My sister has had some pretty interesting activity on her answering machine and phones. I have heard messages from the other side left on her answering machine. We know someone or something is trying to communicate with her using electronic energy as the mode. What we both want to know is how we can better receive these messages. The messages are sometimes hard to make out, yet some of the words are very clear. These messages are not left by human vocal chords (that much we know). We do not know where to go for this. I mean, it is not like we can call Ghost Hunters or anything! She recently has had a good friend pass away, and I also have had a friend pass. It could be one of these two ladies, or it could be any lost soul in need of assistance. Today's message said (as far as we could make out), "I'm calling from the afterlife. Pick up the phone." - Patrice T.


I was asleep one Sunday morning and heard the phone ringing. I tried to wake myself enough to answer it and when I did... it was my father. I was stunned. He had a big voice, like James Earl Jones, so there was no mistaking who it was. He asked me how I was doing. I'd just had major surgery a few weeks earlier and was in recovery. He asked me if I'd heard about the death of two people. I told him I hadn't. He told me that things would get better and to hang in there, he loved me and he had to go. When I hung up the phone, it was as if I stepped from another level back into this one. I immediately called my siblings to tell them daddy called! My father called on September 13 - the second anniversary of his death. - Michelle


I worked as a telemarketer to earn a little money before fall quarter started for nursing school. A friend was a manager there and got the temporary position for me. I had been working there for a couple of months. There was a dialogue on the monitor in front of us to read from while talking with people. The computer dials the number, so I had no say in who I call. I cannot remember the last name of the folks I called this one day, so I'll just use the name Smith.

The phone rang and a man answered the phone. I asked to speak to Mr. or Mrs. Smith, please. The man very nicely said, "It depends on what you want." So I went into my spew of mailers for donations for the particular charity we were doing that day - spew being the number of letters they would have to send and what to do with any money they should get back. I asked if I was speaking to Mr. Smith. He answered with a chuckle, "Yes. And just how much in postage would I have to pay? I'm on Social Security, and my wife and I have to watch our money pretty close." I think it was like $3.40 in postage.

As I was explaining the amount of money and options to mailing, a woman comes on the call and says, "Hello."

I said, "Excuse me, I was talking to Mr. Smith."

The woman said, "Miss, I'm sorry, Mr. Smith has been gone for three years now. He passed away."

I asked, "Is there someone else there I could have been talking to?"

She said, "No, honey. I'm here by myself. Can I help you with something?"

By her voice, I believe she was being sincere. Stunned, I said, "No, thank you, ma'am. You have a nice day."

When the call was disconnected, I looked at the girl sitting beside of me. She said, "Terrie, are you okay?" I guess my face was pale and I had a vacant stare on my face. I went out to a break right then, and proceeded to tell my friend, who was also the manager of the floor. She went in and called the main office and asked them to pull my operator number calls for the day. I told her the name and the next day she called, concerned someone may have been in the house with the woman and she didn't know; she sounded elderly to me.

The answering machine came on and sure enough, she sounded like an elderly woman to my boss. Shelly left the number to our office and asked that the woman call back and reverse the charges. The woman called back a few hours later and just said she was fine. She recalled the phone conversation and thought maybe I was a prankster. - Terrie

Source: The Sun

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