Looking for the best in paranormal news? Browse my favorites for January 2020. (Throughout the month, I’ll be linking to these and other stories at Twitter. Many will also appear at my Facebook page, Fiona Broome News.)
January is usually a slow month for ghost-related news stories. (Perhaps everyone is busy with their New Year’s resolutions.) Here are a few that I found most interesting.
A Surprising Christmas Tradition
You may already know this, but it surprised me: People used to tell ghost stories at Christmas. It was an annual tradition. Once I learned about this, Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” story made more sense. Here’s an interesting peek into that history.
Released in 1963, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” features a line that largely gets overlooked by most people these days, despite the fact that it seems so out of place as far as today’s modern Christmas traditions go.
While describing the activities that are certain to take place around the holiday season, the lyrics to the classic hit state, “There’ll be scary ghost stories, And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago…”
I don’t know about you, but in my world, telling ghost stories is something that is typically done around summertime campfires or reserved for the month of October, not December 25.
Perhaps the reason Christmas ghost stories are so foreign to me is because since the mid-1800s, the holiday has run in the direction of light, commercialism and all things uplifting; however, this wasn’t always the reality regarding Christmas.
Once upon a time, the holiday was the subject of scorn and disdain among many of our ancestors. During the Protestant Reformation, the Puritans banned Christmas in England, associating it with drunkenness and other misbehavior. It was restored as a legal holiday in England in 1660, but remained disreputable in the minds of many people. Even in the United States, many early colonists refused to take part in the mysterious holiday, with some even associating it was Satan.
It wasn’t until the 1800s when men like Washington Irving, Charles Dickens, and other authors reconceived the holiday, emphasizing family, children, kind-heartedness, gift-giving, and Santa Claus, that Christmas as we know was first born.
For the rest of that article, visit The Forgotten Christmas Tradition of Telling Ghost Stories in Appalachian Magazine.
In an earlier (and curiously similar) article with a strong, pagan editorial slant, People Used To Tell Ghost Stories At Christmastime, another writer explained:
“This led to ghosts and their stories becoming a staple of Christmas traditions yet again, especially in England. By the time 1891 rolled around and humor writer Jerome K. Jerome published his collection of Christmas ghost stories, Told After Supper, it was a common custom. “Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve,” he wrote, “they start telling each other ghost stories.’ “
So now I understand the timing of Dickens’ story. And, of course, I’m intrigued by the murder mystery (of Jacob Marley) that starts the Dickensian TV series on Amazon Prime.
The Ghost Detector
The Ghost Detector looks… odd. I’ve seen so many “news” articles about this product, I’m not sure which are genuine and which are just promotional. Many of Amazon’s five-star reviews could be fake, as well. And, the top one-star review at Amazon suggests it’s just a heat sensor.
Mostly, I’m skeptical because this product claims to differentiate between angels and ghosts. Well, yes, in a religious context, angels are not ghosts.
But when we’re investigating a site that might be haunted, I’m not sure how a crystal (even a digital one) could tell the difference between the spiritual energy of angels, ghosts, shadow people, poltergeists, and so on.
If this interests you, take a look at the actual item at Amazon. Read the reviews. I’m not sure I’d trust this enough to spend over $70 on it: Ghost Detector from Baketan. (Also, compare it with their similar – and less expensive – Ghost Radar product.)
Ghost Nation / Brooktondale (airs 19 Jan 2020)
If you’re watching Jason Hawes’ ghost hunting series, Ghost Nation, and you’d like to know more about the Brooktondale house in the January 19th episode, The Apparition of Amelia, see this article:
BROOKTONDALE, N.Y. –– Paranormal investigators from the Travel Channel show Ghost Nation took a trip to upstate New York to check out the haunting of an old Speed family home built in 1850.
The house is currently occupied by David Torrey de Frescheville, a California man, who moved to the area ten years ago to pursue a graduate degree at Cornell University in landscape architecture and archaeology. He’s been living at his current address, The Phyllis Rose house as it’s called by the property owner, for the past five years.
David lives with his 87-year-old mother and the home health aides which provide her with around the clock care.
From his very first night in the home, David said that they’ve been seeing ghosts. His mother, he says, was the first to experience them…
For Ley Line Researchers
I use ley lines to predict where ghosts will be reported. Oh, they’re just part of my formula, and it can be a complex process. So far, my accuracy is around 80%. And in New Orleans’ French Quarter, I was able to predict paranormal phenomena within ten feet.
That’s why I pay attention to news stories like this one. I’m not a UFO expert or even an enthusiast, but this story is so odd, I think it’s worth noting if you’re using ley lines for locations around the UK and Ireland.
There are many strange reports in the world of UFO phenomena, and some of the oddest and most frustrating of all are those times when strange craft have allegedly come down to present possible evidence, only to be swept away into the mists of time to be condemned to a limbo of speculation and debate. One of these was dubbed the “Welsh Roswell,” and the weird saga begins in the Berwyn Mountains of Llandrillo, Merionethshire, Wales. Here is a remote and largely uninhabited land of moors, rugged peaks, and grassy fields, the mountains composed of six separate summits, and in 1974 this expanse of wilderness would be ground zero for one of the most intriguing and debated UFO incidents on record.
At approximately 8:30 PM on the evening of January 23, 1974, people in the quaint villages of Llandderfel and Llandrillo, were startled to hear an enormous boom and to feel the earth shake beneath them, and when looking outside the night sky was filled with a brilliant light that seemed to travel over the mountain peaks…
To read the rest of that article, visit the site where it was originally published: the Mysterious Universe website.
Writers’ Paranormal Encounters… Just Imagination?
Another article at Mysterious Universe describes paranormal experiences of famous writers.
…Among tales of ghosts, the weird, and other assorted high strangeness some of the witnesses that stir the curiosity are those of writers and authors, many of these historic, beloved figures. These are people who have sprung whole worlds from their imaginations that readers have traveled to in droves, and yet sometimes some of the strangest things about them lie not in their fiction, but what rather the odd experiences that happened to them in the real world. Here we take a look at a selection of talented and well-known writers with paranormal experiences just as bizarre as anything they have ever written about.
One of the most notable American writers in history was John Ernst Steinbeck Jr., winner of the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature and author of such beloved classics as Tortilla Flat (1935), Cannery Row (1945), East of Eden (1952), and his Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Steinbeck grew up in the Salinas Valley of California, in the United States, and indeed this is where much of his fiction finds its setting, and it also happens to be the location of his boyhood home, which is supposedly quite haunted…
To read more about Steinbeck’s experiences as well as other authors’, visit the Mysterious Universe website, where the full article originally appeared.
The Creepiest Haunted Objects, Ever?
This story isn’t exactly about ghosts, but haunted objects. Really creepy ones. I’m not sure even “Haunted Collector” John Zaffis would want to collect this kind of item.
The odd story involves the leader of the expedition that excavated the [Tutankamen] tomb, the British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter, whose discovery of King Tut’s tomb made him an overnight celebrity. Although Carter seems to have escaped the supposed curse relatively intact, never having any particular misfortune and dying over a decade later in 1939 after a healthy life, one of his best friends, Sir Bruce Ingram wasn’t as lucky. At some point Ingram was gifted a mummified hand for use as a paper weight…
That content was originally published at the Mysterious Universe. Click that link to read the entire, gruesome article.
So far, those are the best – or at least most interesting – news articles for this month. Check this page regularly for updates.
Or, follow me at Twitter, where I post these and other paranormal-ish links as I find them. Or, add me at Facebook (Fiona Broome News) where I share my own news, plus news topics that interest me the most.