"Many historians, I fear, still think of ghosts as the province of a small number of specialist ‘historians of the ghostly’, such as Peter Marshall, Sasha Handley and Shane McCorristine. They are prepared to acknowledge that belief in ghosts, like other supernatural beliefs, can be illuminating of the culture of a particular time and place." Yet "Every half decent historian has had this experience: for a moment, the past seems more real than the present, and the absence of the dead an absurdity." Why Historians Need Ghosts, an article by Dr. Francis Young. [more inside]
Outlander fandom had reached epic levels of drama. William Shatner has intervened as fans harass the actors and production staff . Shatner's assistant has created a website dedicated to fighting online bullying among Outlander fans. It's not like Outlander fans are alone, One Direction fandom has contributed a lot to the tinhatting phenomenon. Of course, long before 1D, Supernatural fans have always been pretty inventive in their creative take on reality. PS, we talk about Outlander over here on FanFare, without the drama.
Children of the Stones (previously) is the revolutionary 1977 British children's television drama telling the story of an astrophysicist and his son who arrive in the village of Milbury to study the giant Neolithic stones which surround it, and the community which is held in a strange captivity by the psychic forces generated by the stones. For BBC Radio, writer and comedian Stewart Lee explores the ground breaking television series and examines its special place in the memories of those children who watched it on its initial transmission in a state of excitement and terror. [more inside]
Jezebel ran a Scary Story contest this year, here's the wonderful (though sometimes badly edited) results. Need more? Then check out last year's winners, especially the one titled "Look at Me".
Dreadpunk feels like a perfectly natural term for the recent trend in Gothic-inspired horror and fantasy. Typified by the popular series Penny Dreadful, the word implies a subversive take on fog-drenched Victoriana, tales of the supernatural mixed with late 19th-century aesthetics, and the recent wave of Gothic horror like The Woman In Black and Crimson Peak.
Richard Siken (previously) published his second book of poetry, War of the Foxes, in April. Supernatural fans thought it was fanfic - specifically Wincest - and have used many lines to fuel their own slash. Meanwhile, Siken himself has become involved in Sherlock slash. The Awl's Adam Carlson interviews Siken about all this and more, including I Can Haz Siken.
Suspense was a thriller-style radio drama that ran on CBS from 1942 to 1962 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest Old Time Radio (or "Golden Age Of Radio") series and model for "The Twilight Zone". In addition to theme music by Bernard Herrmann and scripts by leading mystery authors of the day, Suspense also featured a stunning roll call of big-name Hollywood stars, often playing against type or in more lurid material then the movie studios would allow. While nearly all 947 episodes are available online (exhaustively comprehensive previously) the sheer number of episodes can be daunting. Old Time Radio Review is halfway through the series with a convenient rating system to finding the best - why not enjoy these Youtube versions of a few episodes starring Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Robert Taylor, Orson Wells, Agnes Moorehead (again), Cary Grant, and more
Bad Memories is a supernatural horror radio play by Julian Simpson. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 07 January 2011, as an installment of the Friday Play. The play won a 2011 BBC Audio Drama Award in the category of Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama. [more inside]
"I don't think you're an angel! I think you're a smelly man in a smelly coat!" A very special Supernatural Christmas parody.
Everybody's got to start somewhere, right? So why not enjoy Charity Scanvenger Hunt organizer and Supernatural star Misha Collins' excruciatingly earnest acting debut in the 1999 educational film NO BRAINERS ON TAXES.
"Echo Point" is a chilling, sound-rich supernatural radio drama written by Australian author Louis Nowra. Originally aired on BBC Radio 4, it is now available on SoundCloud via producer/director Judith Kampfner. [more inside]
TV REWIND! You're watching Supernatural, late season 3. (Welcome back! Spoiler alert!) Demon hunter Dean Winchester has sold his soul to a demon to resurrect his brother Sam, a deal that Sam is determined to break before Dean's payment is due.
"A hunt for a dragon in New York City ends with some unexpected changes for Sam and Dean. With the clock ticking down on Dean's deal, can the brothers pull together to save the city?"You're now watching The Other Side, a 25-minute Supernatural fan film created as a volunteer labor of fan love. Written by novelist Naomi Novik, The Other Side is the first episode in a series exploring how fannish tropes, a tricksy dragon, gender issues, and a teeny tiny film budget could have sent Sam and Dean's story in a very different direction. [more inside]
Ever watch one of those shows set in a town with odd happenings (ie, Gravity Falls, Eureka, Twin Peaks), and wish you could listen to their community AM radio station? Welcome to Nightvale [Podcast] has you covered. [more inside]
Supernatural supporting actor Misha Collins is holding another international scavenger hunt this year. Called GISHWHES (for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), last year's attempt broke the standing world record for largest scavenger hunt (the rhino hunt (previously) was only a test run). This year's list has not yet been released, but there is a video featuring selections from last year's, including the Christmas tree that flew into a Canadian airport's airspace (which was not the same Christmas tree that mysteriously appeared on a farmer's field.
It was the last few weeks before I left 2000AD and I was looking forward to starting work on my next creation: Misty. I took the title from the film, Play Misty For Me and my plan was to use my 2000AD approach on a girls’ comic: big visuals and longer, more sophisticated stories with the emphasis on the supernatural and horror. Pat Mills on the creation of Misty, a comic full of "pacts with the devil, schoolgirl sacrifice, the ghosts of hanged girls, sinister cults, evil scientists experimenting on the innocent and terrifying parallel worlds where the Nazis won the Second World War." The Guardian's Jacqueline Rayner recalls Jinty, Tammy, Misty and the golden age of girls' comics.
A drunken parish clerk set it on foot out of revenge, the Methodists have adopted it, and the whole town of London think of nothing else
250 years ago newspapers like The Derby Mercury featured breathless reports on the Cock Lane ghost. Fanny Lynes wouldn't rest until her husband was hanged for having poisoned her, and the story, supported by a Clergyman, led to crowds paying to visit the house. The street outside was sometimes impassable due to the large number of spectators present at the séances until the Lord Mayor of London had to intervene, and he duly appointed a commission to look into the matter. Notables such as Dr Johnson spent a fruitless night next to a coffin before it was revealed that the truth of the matter was more mundane. [more inside]
In February, Supernatural supporting actor Misha Collins promised his 200,000+ Twitter followers pieces of a live rhino if they got the stars of Supernatural on the cover of TV Guide. They succeeded, and followers who sent in an SASE received a piece of a rhino jigsaw puzzle. Holders of the puzzle pieces were entered into a most unusual scavenger hunt. (Full story via Fandom Wank.)
An eight-year, extremely large study (p = 1.34 × 10-11) has found statistically significant results that point towards a human capability for precognition. Reviewers for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology are puzzled by the paper but cannot find any flaws in its methodology. Is this confirmation of the fluid nature of time? Or is it simply another candidate for the Journal of Irreproducible Results?
Supernatural, best known for his battles with (MC) Juice and his appearances on the Wake-Up Show, freestyle raps the entire lineup (8:33) of this year's Rock the Bells (Hip Hop) Festival as they sit behind him, leaving rap legend Krs-1 saying "That's the essence of emceeing...I'm just floored." [more inside]
Charlie's Angels. Simon & Simon. 21 Jump Street. Baywatch. The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. And of course, The X-Files. His filmography spans nearly 40 years, and his habit of using profanity onset was immortalized in the classic episode Jose Chung's From Outer Space (sorry, no video), but in the end, he really loved those guys, and they loved him. He was lured out of semi-retirement and back to Canada to executive-produce and direct Supernatural for the WB (later CW). Kim Manners died of lung cancer in LA on January 25, 2009.
Ghosts, apparitions, angels, spiritual visitations and views of the future "The relationship between photography and the spirit world of ghosts, apparitions and angels during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a blending of popular belief and scientific fraud. The lack of sophistication in the public in an age of deeply held religious values and the generally accepted belief that the camera recorded truth allowed the unscrupulous to exploit the situation for financial gain...This online exhibition explores the diverse interactions between mortals and the spiritual world..." [via Bouphonia]
If you watched a lot of television in the 70's, you'll recognize this ad. An authoritative baritone informs us of a startling new motion picture about psychic phenomena, the Bermuda Triangle, near death experiences (with fittingly, a sequel), Bigfoot, the Shroud of Turin, the Lincoln Assassination, or Noah's Ark. "Showing for one weekend only!" (More beyond the door...)
The Coffee Pot Ghosts. In November of 2000, a Maryland woman bought a black Krups coffee maker from Sears. Shortly thereafter, her lizard died mysteriously, strange white lights appeared and she began experiencing “classic Poltergeist phenomena of every description.” Then the spirits began to speak.
Despite the vast number of religions, nearly everyone in the world believes in the same things: the existence of a soul, an afterlife, miracles, and the divine creation of the universe. Recently psychologists doing research on the minds of infants have discovered two related facts that may account for this phenomenon. One: human beings come into the world with a predisposition to believe in supernatural phenomena. And two: this predisposition is an incidental by-product of cognitive functioning gone awry. Which leads to the question ...Is God an Accident ?
This is a fascinating essary from the current Atlantic reprinted apparently in full for non-subscribers
In the wake of Vietnam, the US military were demoralised and prey to some fairly crazy ideas. They thought they could train 'super soldiers' with psychic powers. In this first extract from his revealing new book, Jon Ronson describes how their aspirations were perverted in the prisons of Iraq. [from The Guardian]
Violet Books catalogs Antiquarian Supernatural Literature, including literary ghost stories, Victorian science fiction, Yellow Nineties Decadence, H. Rider Haggard & haggardesque "Lost Race" novels, Marie Corelli & other occult romancers, Rafael Sabatini & Jeffery Farnol & all vintage swashbuckling historical romances, Yukon adventures, jungle tales, Sax Rohmer & all weird thrillers, classic detectives, vintage children's & young adult fantasies & series books, vintage westerns, and all things old, fictional, adventurous, and weird. Make sure to check for the titles that have dustjacket scans.
The Fantastic in Art & Fiction - Cornell University's bank of nearly 300 images of the fantastic, the grotesque, the macabre, the marvelous and more "from works spanning a period from medieval manuscripts and printed incunabulae, to the early twentieth century."
CocoWeb (trans) is a project which has assembled 516 manifestations of the Bogeyman in Latin America. The list includes the well-known Coco or Cucuy, a dark figure who makes an appearance in the art world as the subject of one of Goya's Caprichos. Any Hispanic child can tell you about La Llorona, a grieving woman who walks in the night (familiar enough to be used in a controversial got milk? ad). In South America they can tell you about the Sack-Man, on of the original bogeymen, who walks in the darkness, looking for children to throw into his sack.
One fine morning in December 2001, Petr and his son took their bicycles and embarked on a photo tour of psychic Rotterdam. The tally? Six tree spirits, two invisible entities, one grinning skull, one 'evil square', one sinister game of basketball, and a UFO.
In Ghostly Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn, an "American author who lived in Japan, becoming a naturalized citizen, from 1891. His 1904 volume Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things is perhaps the work for which he is best known today; it continues to serve as an introduction of non-Western supernaturalism to a Western audience".[more]
The meaning of Stuart Adamson Glenn McDonald: “Supernatural is death music to me now, in a year when the last thing I need is more contemplation of death. The gift the end of a record gives us, and so too the end of a career or a life, is the opportunity to go back to the beginning again... All my grandparents are dead. The leader of my favorite band is dead. Two of my favorite writers are dead, and one of the others hasn't published a book since 1963. We too will vanish, whether in flames or our sleep or capitulation.... Mean what you are. Do nothing that can be undone, and live or die with the consequences. Live in such a way that if you tell people to stay alive, and then die nevertheless, they will know that what you and they believed together was stronger and truer than anything that merely happened”
There was not a cloud in the sky. Scary things afoot near Hartsville, TN. Electric bulbs light in your hand. Birds fried by electric surges midflight. Mysterious police dressed in black. Blown out transformers. And -- a Bigfoot.
Wacky! even Kooky, what do you think it is? It seems that these days every other post has something to do with politics or dotcoms, Art Bell is coming back and it would be fun to do something of his range. How about best/funniest ghost/supernatural pic you can find on the net and then your explanation. There was mine.