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“A Murky Path Down Archer Avenue” short documentary

When I’m not out filming projects in locations that I probably shouldn’t be at, I’m most likely reading books, online articles, magazines, you name it.  I’ve been a big geek for history and mythology for as long as I can remember so very few narrative types hit the sweet spot for me as ghost stories do.  Creepy tales–are they real or not?  did they happen or are they completely bogus?–tend to be a nice collision of rumors, darkly wishful collective thinking, and factual history.  That’s the type of cocktail that filmmakers seem to enjoy and I’m no different.  Big-time, international legends (Robin Hood, Mulan, Pecos Bill, etc.) are widely celebrated, as they should be, but I’ve always felt that lesser-known, community-based stories are often underrated and underexamined.

There can be an inclination to throw away local legends (the kind all of us here on earth are bombarded with from time to time) when they don’t hold up to scrutiny.  Fact-checking is best served in courts of law, not necessarily when it comes to telling fright stories.  Ancient paper files disintegrate, get lost, catch fire, and are intentionally discarded.  People lie and others make mistakes.  It happens all the time.  History–the concise, crunchy kind that we cling to nowadays–can be more delicate and elusive than we’re comfortable admitting.  One flawed or misread vintage article can easily send a researcher down the wrong street.  We must give space and respect for legends and how they function in fleshing out the bigger pictures of sociocultural values.  If you squint and turn your head a certain way, there’s more truth being revealed than you may realize.

Chicago, Illinois is similar to many other big cities in the sense that it has a messy history.  Lots of people came crashing towards a chosen area during a time when institutionalized documentation wasn’t quite on the same level that we have today (to put it mildly).  Sometimes rumors and legends are all that we have left.  They fill in the gaps where files fall short.  Folks in the earliest decades of the 20th century, and beforehand, had a difficult enough time keeping track of the living so when it came to the dead….the details can get easily muddled.

A lengthy, old travel route coursing through Chicago and certain suburbs, Archer Avenue is heavy in history and graveyards which means that ghastly stories are inevitable.  The value of these tales–and the value of neighborhood legends in general–is that they’re reflective of the histories of their respective locations.  Religious obsession?  Covered.  Guilt, fear, and fascination regarding displaced peoples?  Absolutely.  Industrial Age tech shock:  scary innovative equipment and automobiles turning machines into new monsters to watch out for?  Very much there.  The ever-present threat of poverty?  Constantly highlighted in bright, blazing lights.

What were the past preoccupations of the people in your area?  Dig into whatever the rumors are and you’ll gain plenty of insight.

The Archer Avenue stories presented in this short documentary are captured in their quickest essences.  This is only a brief, 13-minute adventure–history, and twists on history, as a kind of carnival ride–not a day trip.  It’s designed to spark your curiosity.  The beautiful, awful, silly, unnerving folktales included here call for further investigation and in-depth reading.  It may seem like there are too many creeps crammed into a singular line of land to be believed–do they ever bump into each other and, if so, what happens then?–but remember that these are tales circulating around just one street in Chicago so you can imagine what the rest of the city is like…..

*This is a guest post written by Derek Quint, Director of Addovolt Productions

*Derek Quint is an independent filmmaker based out of Chicago and the director of the short documentary, “A Murky Path Down Archer Avenue”.  “A Murky Path Down Archer Avenue” is an entertaining and fast-paced ride through the folklore of Chicago’s spookiest street.  This project is narrated by Michael Marius Massett and features music compositions by Andre Miguel Almaraz and Michael Marius Massett

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Paranormal

Scientists attempting to open portal to a parallel universe

Does a mysterious mirror world lurk in the shadows of perceived reality? It could explain a lot

Could 2019 be the year humans open the first portal to a shadowy dimension which mirrors our own world?

Scientists in Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee hope so, and have completed building equipment they are to test this summer which may allow us the first glimpse of a parallel universe which could be identical in many ways to our own, with mirror particles, mirror planets and possibly even mirror life.

That is according to Leah Broussard, the physicist behind the project, who described the attempt to reveal a hidden shadow world as “pretty wacky” in an interview with NBC last week.

The discovery of a concealed mirror world may sound like science fiction from the Stranger Things series, but it has been repeatedly suggested by physicists as a tempting means of explaining anomalous results. However, as yet, hard evidence such a realm exists has refused to manifest itself.

One set of anomalous results, and the ones which inspired the research, date back to the 1990s, when particle physicists were measuring the time it took for neutron particles to break down into protons once they were removed from an atom’s nucleus.

Two separate experiments saw the neutrons broke down at differing rates, instead of decaying and becoming protons at exactly the same rate, as was expected.

In one, the free neutrons were captured by magnetic fields and herded into laboratory bottle traps, and in the other they were detected by the subsequent appearance of proton particles from a nuclear reactor stream.

Those particles fired out in the stream from the nuclear reactor lived on average for 14 minutes and 48 seconds – nine seconds longer than those from the bottle traps.

It may sound like a small difference, but it has troubled scientists.

But the existence of a mirror world offers a credible explanation: That there are two separate neutron lifetimes, and it could be that around 1 per cent of neutrons could be crossing the divide between our reality and the mirror world before crossing back and then emitting a detectable proton.

The new experiment will fire a beam of neutrons at an impenetrable wall. On the other side of the wall, a neutron detector will be set up, which normally would expect to detect nothing.

But if the detector does register the presence of neutrons, the theory is that they may have gone through the wall by “oscillating” into the mirror world – becoming mirror neutrons – and reappearing in this universe, and more specifically the lab in Tennessee.

“Only the ones that can oscillate and then come back into our universe can be detected,” Ms Broussard told the New Scientist in June.

Furthermore, the team will set up magnetic fields on either side of the wall, which they can alter in strength. It is hoped certain strengths may assist the oscillation of the particles.

Despite the tidy theory, the team is playing down the chances of revealing reality’s shadowy twin.

“I fully expect to measure zero,” Ms Broussard said of the initial tests.

But if they do detect a neutron on the far side of the wall, it could have profound implications.

“If you discover something new like that, the game totally changes,” Ms Broussard told NBC.

The existence of a mirror world could also explain our universe’s lack of the isotope Lithium 7, which physicists believe doesn’t match the quantities the Big Bang would have created.

The detection of high-energy cosmic rays which come from beyond our galaxy could also be explained by the existence of the mirror world.

They are too powerful to have travelled only through the observed universe, but if they had oscillated into the mirror realm and then back out again, it could explain why that is the case.

Source www.independent.co.uk

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Haunted Eddy Brothers House: Séances and Bizarre Phenomena

In 1874, uncanny events were happening in the home of William and Horatio Eddy, two middle-aged illiterate brothers, and their sister, Mary.

According to newspaper and Spiritualist accounts in 1874, mysterious incidents were happening in a small Vermont farmhouse near Chittenden where the Eddy’s lived. They resided in a two-story building that was reported to be infested with supernatural entities.

People came from all over the world to experience them in the house that Spiritualists dubbed the “Spirit Capital of the Universe.” Prominent attorney Henry Steel Olcott was a skeptic until he experienced the paranormal incidents.

The Eddy Brothers’ Early Years

William and Horatio were descended from a long line of psychics. Mary Bradbury, a distant relative, was convicted of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. Their grandmother had second sight and often went into trances and spoke to entities that no one else saw.

Their mother, Julia, was known for scaring neighbors with predictions and visions although her husband, Zepaniah, condemned her powers as the work of the Devil. She learned to hide her gifts from the cruel and abusive man.

When the couple had children, strange poundings began shaking the house, disembodied voices were heard in empty rooms, and, allegedly, babies vanished from their cribs. They were discovered in the house and outside.

As William and Horatio grew older, their paranormal powers strengthened. Zepaniah beat them with a rawhide whip. He tried everything he could to stop the paranormal incidents by abusing them. The events continued. He doused the boys with boiling water, on the advice of a “Christian” friend.

An illustrated sketch of the Eddy Brothers
An illustrated sketch of the Eddy Brothers

When this didn’t work, he allowed this friend to drop a hot coal into William’s hand to exorcize the devils. When he realized that he couldn’t stop them, he was furious.

The boys couldn’t attend school. The strange events, including invisible hands throwing books, levitating desks and objects flying about the room, kept happening.

Zepaniah realized they had money-making potential, so he sold them to a traveling showman, who, for the next fourteen years, took them all over America, Canada and Europe. He challenged audience members to try to awaken the boys from their trances, as part of their performance.

The Eddy’s were locked into small wooden boxes to see if they could escape. Hot wax was poured into their mouths to see if they could produce spirit voices when they were unable to talk. Skeptics poked, prodded and punched the entranced brothers. On several occasions, they were stoned and shot at by angry crowds.

The brothers moved home after their father died. They and Mary opened the farmhouse as an inn, the Green Tavern.

Eddy Brothers’ Validity Challenged

Were they genuine or a hoax? Henry Steel Olcott challenged the authenticity of the events at Eddy House. He had no interest in the paranormal before he read about the brothers in the Spiritualist newspaper, the Banner of Light. Although skeptical, he knew that if the stories were true, they were important in physical science.

Olcott traveled to Vermont, accompanied by newspaper artist Alfred Kappes. They planned to investigate the weird events in the Eddy farmhouse. If the stories were a hoax, they would expose the Eddy’s in the Daily Graphic newspaper as charlatans. If they were genuine, Olcott would confirm the validity of Spiritualism. He was determined to be fair and unbiased.

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott

Olcott’s first impression was that the brothers were belligerent and unfriendly. They weren’t the scamsters he expected. He attended an outdoor séance. A group of ten participants gathered in front of Honto’s Cave, named in honor of the Native American spirit who often appeared there. Olcott investigated the cave and found no other egress. Horatio was the medium for the séance.

He sat on a stool in the cave’s opening and was draped in a makeshift spirit cabinet formed by shawls and branches. As Horatio sat there, a gigantic man, in AmerIndian clothing emerged from the cave. While Horatio spoke to the spirit, someone cried and pointed toward the top of the cave.

There was another enormous AmerIndian. A spectral female materialized on a ledge. Ten specters appeared during the séance. After the séance ended, Olcott and Kappes carefully searched the cave and the surrounding area for footprints. They found none. Olcott found the séance convincing but wanted to try to detect fraud in the farmhouse.

Kappes and he carefully examined the large séance room. Olcott drew maps, charts and diagrams and took numerous measurements because he was sure he would find false panels, secret doors and/or hidden passages. He found nothing. He convinced the newspaper to hire experts to examine the house. Carpenters and engineers were the consultants. They found nothing unusual.

Eddy Brothers’ Validity Established

Each séance was basically the same. Guests sat on wooden benches in the room. A platform was lit by a kerosene lamp, in a barrel. William, the primary medium, got on the platform and entered a small cabinet. Soft voices whispered in the distance.

Often, it was singing, accompanied by phantom music. Musical instruments soared over the heads of the audience, disembodied hands appeared, waving and touching spectators, odd lights and unexplained noises appeared. The first spirit emerged from the cabinet. They materialized, alone or in groups. Some seemed solid; others, transparent and otherworldly.

Olcott examined the spirit cabinet and platform and found no trap doors or hidden passages. There was no room in the cabinet for anyone other than the medium. Olcott was familiar with the work of stage magicians and fake mediums, but couldn’t find any of their trickery in the Eddy house.

The apparitions sang and chatted with the sitters. Phenomena included rappings, moving physical items, spirit paintings, automatic writing, prophecies and levitations.

Olcott concluded that such a show would have required actors, costumes and would have cost a fortune. The brothers were nearly penniless. Olcott believed that fraud would have been physically and financially impossible.

Olcott documented the paranormal events in the newspaper and wrote a book, People from Other Worlds. The book contains meticulous drawings of the apparitions, the grounds, the house and blueprints of its construction that proved there were no hidden passages.

He collected hundreds of affidavits and testimonies to the events and reproduced dozens of statements from respected tradesmen and carpenters who examined the house for trickery.

The Eddy Brothers: Post Script

The Eddy brothers and Mary went their separate ways. Horatio died on September 8, 1922; William on October 25, 1932. Some people are inclined to dismiss the events as fiction; however Olcott’s extensive documentation and investigations imply the events weren’t a hoax.

He was skeptical and analytical during his ten-week stay at the farmhouse and he became a believer.

Sources: Dennis William Hauck, Haunted Places, Penguin Books, 2002., Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, FactsOnFile, 1992., Troy Taylor, “The Strange Mystery of the Eddy Brothers,” www.prairieghosts.com/eddy.html Accessed on October 20, 2011. By Jill Stefko

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The spirit of child consoles his mother at his funeral

This story is from a few years ago but I have only just heard about it recently.

A video shared on Facebook from the Philippines shows a mother crying inconsolably at her sons funeral when all of a sudden a white balloon floats from his coffin and towards the mother.

The video was shared by grieving mother Joy Ganda Viber-Alambers.

Witnesses at the funeral believe that the balloon was moved by the spirit of the seven year old boy Trebby who died.

Joy commented next to the video on Facebook “I would like to believe that this was his last mission”

In the video you can see the balloon floating from the coffin and towards the mother. When she looks at the balloon it changes course and moves towards her and around her. She talks to the balloon and hugs it.  It hangs around her for a few seconds before floating away.

What do you think of it?  Was it the spirit of the child saying goodbye to his mother?

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