Happy Birthday Paranormal Field!

I just wanted to take the time to say happy birthday to the paranormal community.  The modern spiritualist movement was founded 163 years ago on March 31st 1848.  It was this day, the Fox sisters claimed to have made contact to an entity the dubbed Mr. Splitfoot but later claimed it was the ghost of a murdered peddler named Charles Rosma. 

Though it doesn’t sound like much, Margaret, Kate, and Leah Fox are largely responsible for the birth of modern day paranormal investigation.

The best part of this whole thing is that Margaret Fox admitted the sisters had hoaxed the whole thing.  In 1888 published in the New York World a confession was given by Margaret.

“When we went to bed at night we used to tie an apple to a string and move the string up and down, causing the apple to bump on the floor, or we would drop the apple on the floor, making a strange noise every time it would rebound. Mother listened to this for a time. She would not understand it and did not suspect us as being capable of a trick because we were so young.”

“Mrs. Underhill, my eldest sister, took Katie and me to Rochester. There it was that we discovered a new way to make the raps. My sister Katie was the first to observe that by swishing her fingers she could produce certain noises with her knuckles and joints, and that the same effect could be made with the toes. Finding that we could make raps with our feet – first with one foot and then with both – we practiced until we could do this easily when the room was dark. Like most perplexing things when made clear, it is astonishing how easily it is done. The rapping are simply the result of a perfect control of the muscles of the leg below the knee, which govern the tendons of the foot and allow action of the toe and ankle bones that is not commonly known. Such perfect control is only possible when the child is taken at an early age and carefully and continually taught to practice the muscles, which grow stiffer in later years. … This, then, is the simple explanation of the whole method of the knocks and raps.”

Margaret also talks a little bit about the psychology of the people whom they duped.

“A great many people when they hear the rapping imagine at once that the spirits are touching them. It is a very common delusion. Some very wealthy people came to see me some years ago when I lived in Forty-second Street and I did some rappings for them. I made the spirit rap on the chair and one of the ladies cried out: “I feel the spirit tapping me on the shoulder.” Of course that was pure imagination.”

I have always loved this story and it is nice to see 163 year later, people are still perusing something that was admittedly based on a lie.  Happy Birthday Paranormal Field!!!!

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This Sunday (2/27/11) busy busy busy

For anyone interested, I will be incredibly busy this Sunday; however I invite anyone reading to join me.  Starting from 3-6pm EST at www.strangefrequenciesradio.net you can catch Jason Korbus, Robyn McKinney and myself doing our weekly show.

The show kicks off with our free talk segment. This is where we gab about the latest weird and bizarre news pulled from headlines around the world, get into a discussion about some topic, paranormal or otherwise, and maybe even open the phone lines to get your opinions on the issues of the day.

At 4pm Eastern we’ll talk to Tom Biscardi. In August of 2008, two law enforcement officers from Georgia claimed to be in possession of a Bigfoot body they found while hunting in the woods. They released a series of videos on Youtube which went viral, and even had a live press conference on CNN. It was all a hoax. There was no Bigfoot body. One of the people at the center of the fallout was a Bigfoot researcher named Tom Biscardi, who claims he was not only duped, but that his group, Searching For Bigfoot, was swindled out of $50,000. Mr. Biscardi, a Bigfoot hunter with over 35 years of experience, joins us today to bring to light what he calls the true, never before told story of the events behind the event known as “Bigfoot Black Friday” as chronicled in the newly released film “Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax.” To find out more information, visit: WWW.SEARCHINGFORBIGFOOT.COM

It should seriously be a good time; you don’t want to miss it. 

From 7-8pm EST I will be a guest on Behind the Paranormal with Paul and Ben Eno and you can check them out at www.behindtheparanormal.com.   We will be discussing how I went from true believer to skeptic, the “theories” and methodology of ghost hunters and criticisms of western science and epistemology. 

From 8-9pm EST I will be returning to L.E.P. Radio over at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lepradio to talk about healthy skepticism, the history of paranormal investigation and its reliability. 

Hopefully you all join me, if you are unable I will post direct download links when they become available.