Episode Page Episode 16…How Pukwudgies got Wikied

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Episode 16…How Pukwudgies got Wikied

In preparation for their summer trip, Natalie Crist and Christopher
Balzano look into the origins of the Pukwudgie legend.

puk7Now one of the most popular figures in the supernatural world, Balzano goes into his early research into the legend and how it came to grow and become what it is today. They explore some of the early references before tackling some of the errors in the lore that have
twisted in recent years.

 

In fact, since the beginning of Tripping on Legends, the creature has been making guest appearances from time to time, from an odd story coming out of Astor, Florida, to a potential transformation into an animal in Indiana.

Watch an interview with a recent Pukwudgie experience in Indiana…

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Excuse the section on Harry Potter…something unseen decided to chime in and was caught on tape.  See if you can figure out what it’s saying.

If you hear more than we do, e-mail us at spookytripping@gmail.com.

Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban
legends at: www.trippingonlegends.wordpress.com

Follow us at: www.facebook.com/trippingonlegends

Twitter: @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano
Instagram: @SpookyTripping

 

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Ghostly Voices and Haunted Love

 

 

With a special Monday Night Live broadcast, Tripping on Legends explores some new revelations about the Singing River Legend and announces its new project.

First, Christopher Balzano gets into how the Singing River legend connects to a similar legend in Mississippi involving mass suicide to explain how the singing came to be.  Along the way, he connects a few more Native American legends and folktales.

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Listen to Epsiode 12…The Story of the Singing River

 

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Listen to Epsiode 13…The Singing River Sings Back

 

Balzano then official announces Tripping on Legends’ new project.  The Haunted Love Project covers one of the most common motifs in the paranormal and the backstory of so many ghosts people see and ghost stories they share.

Love and love lost.

We’re looking for any and all ghost stories, folklore, legends, and unexplained happenings you have that have an element of love and love lost. Shafted brides who commit suicide and haunt bridges, ghostly hitchhikers roaming roads trying to find their lost ladies, even ghost lights said to be lovers playing in the night.

If you have heard a story, experienced a haunting, or know of an odd tale where love is at the center, let us know.

You can reach us at spookytripping@gmail.com.

or post something to us at www.facebook.com/trippingonlegends.

 

Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano

Instagram @SpookyTripping 

 

Episode 33…Why Are All the Women in White

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Listen to episode 33…Why are All the Women in White

What’s your favorite scary movie?

After looking into two classic horror movies last week, Natalie Crist shows Christopher Balzano the movie that gave her nightmares as a kid, the 1988 classic The Woman in White.

They get into stories and legends Balzano has tracked down involving the Woman in White legends and explore some of the other folklore the movie uses to scare the audience.

You can contact us with questions, comments, and the details of your favorite scary movie at spookytripping@gmail.com.

Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban legends at:
http://www.trippingonlegends.wordpress.com

Follow us at: www.facebook.com/trippingonlegends 

Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano 

Instagram @SpookyTripping @NayNayV3

Listen to our show about Poltergeist and Ring:

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The 5 Most Misplaced But Brilliant Ghosts on Television

Throughout history the paranormal has always been an effective plot device.  From Hamlet’s father begging to be avenged to the specters on the edge of Turn of the Screw to the creepy urban legend of the ghost of Silas Scratch in Diary of a Wimpy kid, storytelling becomes easier when you throw in a bit of the creepy and paranormal.  It’s partially the draw of all things ghostly upon the public and partly the idea of rubbing out the clear lines of reality to allow the impossible to happen.  When you tear down the wall, even for a brief moment, and let something unexplained to enter your narrative, you have the freedom to do things that do not need to be explained.  In theory…and when done well.

Sometimes an ongoing story, like a television show that has nothing to do with the paranormal on a week to week basis, dives into old ideas of ghosts to take advantage of that.  At times these shows pull it off, but other times it creates an odd hole in its continuity.

This originally started as a casual joke between Spooky Southcoast host Time Weisberg and I years ago.  We would get to talking about paranormal television shows, and eventually we’d turn our attention to those moments in “normal” television shows that had these odd, misplaced ghost stories.  Each week it seemed one of the cartoons my children were watching introduced a Bigfoot, or an alien, or a ghost.  We eventually took to the air with it one night when the Sox ran late and the guest had cancelled.

After Tripping on Legend’s recent episodes involving a few horror movies, I decided to dust off the old list, which meant searching hard for the erased page out there on the Internet.

Honorable Mention

Two Cathedrals from The West Wing

The greatest episode of television ever, but before the final curtain drops, the President has a telling conversation with his recently dead secretary and life-long friend.  This is only an honorable mention because it is unclear whether she is dead or a product of anger, stress and guilt.  She does, however, interact with her environment, something a hallucination can’t do.

Happy Halloween from Growing Pains

This makes the list because it involves one of the classic ghost urban legend and does it well.  It also has Jamie Luner.  Mike learns another classic dating lesson; no true romance ever started by picking up a beautiful hitchhiker who seems to not know how to get home.  It doesn’t make the actual list because it’s a Halloween episode which is designed to allow that one-off ghost story.

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas from The X-Files

This is only an honorable mention because the show itself tackled the subject of ghosts several times so it becomes disqualified.  Mulder and Scully spend Christmas in a haunted house with Ed Asner and Lilli Tomlin who try to convince them to kill each other or themselves.

  1. Ghost Story from Laverne and Shirley

A spirit from the 20’s possesses a clown from the 50’s and all hell breaks loose.  This actually one of two L&S shows to involve a ghost, the second of which we talked about during our Lady in White episode, but this one was a bit creepier.

This was a real departure for the show, which was based in a slapstick but solid world, and the ghost is presented as a straight spectre and taken seriously.  Well, at least as serious as anything was taken on the show.

  1. Some Kind of Miracle from Grey’s Anatomy

I am not a fan of this show overall, but I have seen enough of it to know that when they mess with traditional storytelling, they usually get it right and give the viewers a memorable moment.

In this episode, Denny, the recently dead fiancé of one of the characters comes back to walk the halls of the hospital and encourage Grey to return to the living.  The idea is that he’s trapped, a classic paranormal idea used throughout time.  The final moments of his scenes are the most uplifting paranormal flashes I have ever seen captured on any kind of film.  They bring the idea of Denny back a little later in the show, but it plays more like he’s a figment of her imagination, and possibly her sex drive.

  1. The Phantom Brigade from GI Joe

This was one of my first exposures to the paranormal.  If you really think back on episodes, and even story arcs, of the old GI Joe cartoon, it feels like they had a copy of The Power of Myth with them in the writing room.  They had no problem bring in mythical characters and plotlines.  They even tackled such fringe topics as mind control, ancient aliens, and cryptozoology.  Let’s face it, even Serpentor was just a modern-day Frankenstein.

This episode was even different from those.  The idea these souls are trapped on this planet blew my mind while forming my ideas of what a ghost was and why ghosts stayed with the living.  The scene towards the end where each one talks about the object which binds them is actually heartbreaking.  Tim and I tossed The Phantom Brigade out during the writing of Haunted Objects, and it even made it into the introduction of the book.

  1. Afterlife from St. Elsewhere

    People have forgotten about the brilliance that was St. Elsewhere.  It’s remembered more for how it ended or the stars that came from it than for the impact it had on prime time dramas, especially hospital shows.  Like Grey’s Anatomy, it was always willing to introduce an odd narrative form to tell a different kind of story.  It not only often stepped outside of the box, it threw the box away.

    In this episode, Howie Mandel’s character,  Dr. Wayne Fiscus, is shot while on duty.  He travels to the afterlife and experiences heaven, hell, and the places in between, including coming back to the hospital as a ghost.  The writers make an attempt to weave humor and sadness into his journey, mainly because those are roles Fiscus brought to the show in the first place, but some of the scenes are downright spooky.

1. The Beast in the Black from the Greatest American Hero

Some of the scariest moments on television ever.

High school teacher and part-time hero Ralph is allowed to enter a spooky abandoned house to strip it for antiques his students can sell to raise money for a class gift.  There in lies one of the first things I learned about ghosts that has stayed with me until today.   It is always a bad idea to disturb trinkets and chandeliers when the house is haunted and the mirror is a vortex to another dimension.

The idea that a ghost could physically attack you and even trap you in another dimension stayed with me, and predated Poltergeist by over a year.  I still see those eyes sometimes at night.  The show itself is based on the idea of aliens, which makes a ghost story not too far off the mark, but the show was grounded in that reality and not in the paranormal world.  The idea that Ralph could not just use his alien technology but rather needed help from a psychic sets this episode apart.

The Lady in White

This story appeared, although a little differently, in my first book Ghost Adventures.  As a few more details have come out over the years, as well as being further removed from the situation, I’m now able to reveal that this story takes place in my old house.  The people involved are my parent, but I had changed their names in an attempt to avoid that old idea that peole who look into ghost stories ALWAYS have stories that involve their experiences.

Linda and Leo lived in their Goffstown, New Hampshire, home for eighteen years.  Located in a rural section outside of Manchester, it seems the ideal sight for something supernatural to happen, but it wasn’t until the death of a close family member that they were visited by a mysterious and comforting presence.

IMG_E4678“It wasn’t her.  Even when she was young, Millie had a chubby face.  Always had that heavy look.    She was dainty.”

Shortly after the death of Leo’s aunt, Linda was lying on the couch in the den when she felt someone in the room with her.  After a few seconds she looked up to see a young woman dressed in white standing at the doorway, looking up with a blank expression.  “She looked like she was lost and she didn’t realize what was going on.”  After a few minutes, the woman moved a little backwards and disappeared.

Linda described the woman as all in white, wearing a nightgown of see-through linen.  She was in her thirties, was of average height, with long curl red hair that came out the bottom of a scarf or something else on her head.  Linda most remembers the expression on her face, “like she was just passing through,” and the fact she could see through her.

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The location of the stain…and me back in my rock and roll days.

Over the next year and a half Linda saw the woman about ten more times, always at night, always at the doorway of her den.  “I would stare at her.  I would try to figure out what she was doing there and then she’d be gone.”  Linda says there was nothing that would preface the woman arrival and it happened during any season.  She would just appear.  The woman never tried to talk to Linda.  In fact, Linda says the woman never seemed to see her there and never tried to interact in any way.  She does say that the appearance of the ghost was comforting and soothing.

Linda had had other experiences but she had explained them away.  Once, when her husband was in trouble while taking a trip in West Africa, she had sensed something was wrong and, “sent my guardian angel to help him.”  When he arrived home safe he said he had felt something at the moment she had sent it.  Then there was the mysterious stain on their ceiling that remained although they painted over it several times, bleached it and investigated to find no pipes or trails of water leading to it.

Leo, who is in security, is much more of a cynic and still has trouble explaining away his experiences with the woman in white.  He saw her several times, at the foot of his bed and in the same den and his description of the woman is the same.  She never looked at time but stared straight ahead, with a blank expression, and then be gone in a few seconds.  He doesn’t like to talk about it.  Neither Leo nor Linda mentioned it to until they moved to Nashua, New Hampshire, two years after the appearances started.

Village-Augustina-Postcard-2.pngBoth feel if they had not moved, the woman in white would still visit them.  This leads me to believe the spirit must have something to do with the sight.  When Leo and Linda moved in the house was only two years old.  The first owners have moved out shortly after moving in, but Linda claims it was not under any unusual circumstances.  Before that, the land was undeveloped and owned by a local Catholic school.  The school had a convent which housed several dozen nuns although over the years their numbers have reduced.

goffstownCould one of the nuns who enjoyed walking in the woods behind her convent still remain tied to the land?  Linda feels this might be a good explanation, but is quick to dismiss the head piece as a habit, or the woman, while comforting, as particularly religious.

The current owner of the house says the only trouble with the house has been trying to plow the rock driveway in the winter during their early years there.  They have added a garage to the property and have nothing but good things to say about the property.

The Ghosts Come at Night…Two True Stories

The ghosts come out at night.

That’s what they all tell us at least.  Whether it’s an old ghost story, and legend, or a talking head on a paranormal show, there’s something about a dark and stormy night that sets the table for an encounter.  Reasons are sometimes provided.  Pseudo-scientists, obsessed with explaining the paranormal using the idea of waves will talk about the sun’s radiation being lessened and how that allows other energies time to shine.  Other will say that with the lack of light our other senses are heightened.   The truth may be we’ve been told ghosts will come when the lights go out, and so we’re ready for them.  Either way, there’s something about being defenseless, in your bed, that makes those shadows or creaks come alive and reveal the dead.

DSCN1211Maybe those sleeping moments are the reason.  You’re subconscious and dream world bleed into reality and create hallucinations.  Maybe you’re more awake when you’re asleep.

Over the years I’ve collected dozen of stories with two common elements; beds and ghosts.  These are not moments of sleep paralysis or Old Hag Syndrome; they’ll be another post about those.  Instead here are two stories of people who put their head on their pillow expecting a good night’s sleep, but something happened on the way to dreamland.

The Bedroom

Jason is an eighteen year old son of Portuguese immigrants who have lived in the Fall River/New Bedford area since their arrival in America.  Members of his family have had numerous experiences, including a ghostly kidnapping of sorts in a chapel near Isben, but Jason remembers what happened most in the second house they lived in when he was only ten.

The landlord told them the three bedroom apartment on South Main Street in Fall River had a history of “weird” things happening, but Jason’s father didn’t believe in that sort of thing.  There had been reports by people living in the apartment of and neighbors had said things were found moved and there were sometimes noises coming from the kitchen when no one was in there.

For the first four months nothing unusual happened and the whole family ignored the cold spots that occurred randomly in the house.  “It was summer, and sometimes you’d have to wear a coat in the kitchen sometimes,” Jason relates.  He and his family were never sure what rooms would get cold or for how long.

It was Jason’s room that became the source of tension in the house.  One night, around 1:00 in the morning, Jason got up to go to the bathroom.  When he returned to the room the window was open.  He remembered having closed it but shut it again and returned to bed.  He tried to go back to sleep, but he opened his eyes again when he heard his window slowly opening again.  He raised his head and there was no one in the room.

DSCN1200“I was too lazy to get up and close it, so I tried to forget it and went back to sleep.”  He couldn’t though.  As soon as he put his head back down, the window slammed shut.  He sat up and watched as the window opened and closed four or five times while he watched.  He ran out and slept on the couch.

Over the next few days he begged his parents not to make him stay in the room and they eventually broke down and moved his little sister in there.  After a few nights she experienced the same thing and “flipped out.”  Jason says he was young at the time and there might be another reason, but the family moved out less than a month later.

Goodbye

After arguing over where we would live, I decided in 1999 to move from Boston to Orlando, Florida, to be with my fiancé.  Jenna and I were living on Park Drive in Boston with another friend of ours, Amy.  Nothing had ever really happened in the apartment, although we would often have the feeling we were not alone or that we were being watched.

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Also, Karma, Jenna’s cat, would attack the walls.  I would photograph her when she would do this, but I never picked anything up.

 

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After we loaded all my things into a moving truck we went to bed because Jenna and I were leaving in the morning to start the twenty-one hour drive to Orlando.  Because my bed was packed, I slept on our comfortable couch.  I was woken up at about four in the morning by a kiss on my cheek.  At first I thought it was Jenna or Amy, but it seemed odd for either of them to come out and kiss me.  Her face was right next to mine, close enough that I have kissed her back.  I remember thinking my face was even still wet from the kiss.  The only word I can use to describe her expression is bittersweet, like she was going to miss me but was happy for me as well.  She had these intense, squinted eyes, like when someone you know is trying to send you a message without saying anything so other people don’t pick up on it.  I turned to get a better look at her, and instantly she appeared across the room near the girls’ bedroom, like she was on a sliding dolly.

IMG_E4683The girl now standing by their door was slightly shorter than either of them with her hair coming down off her shoulders.  I could not make out her face, and as I was about to say hello, she turned to leave and disappeared.

The Backroom

Back in the day I posted stories of my experiences or rumors I heard about haunted locations throughout the state.  Eileen (I’m pretty sure that’s not her real name, but more than 15 years later I have a hard time remembering what it might actually be) e-mailed me concerned over strange experiences she was having that she had no real frame of reference for.  It was my first time talking to someone who was coming to me for help, and it was a trial by fire to get to the heart of what was happening while trying to confort her and help her understand what might be going on.

 

Eileen belongs to a generation that sees the paranormal as fiction.  Ghosts are fine for the movies and eerie stories on Halloween, but the only true spirit is the Holy Spirit and tales of demons and things that go bump in the night are more cautionary tales for people who invite bad things to happen to them.  She believes there are powers that cannot be explained, but if it happens to you then you wanted it to or it is a sign that something is wrong with you.  That is what her Catholic upbringing taught her, and that is what she believed until she started to experience things that challenged what she felt about the other realm.

Eileen moved into her three family duplex in Chelsea 23 years ago with her small daughter and husband.  Almost immediately she experienced things.  The first night she had trouble sleeping and sat awake next to her husband.  She was beginning to dose off when she noticed a figure in the room.  Although there was no sound a dark shadow figure moved into the room and to her husband’s side of the bed.  Although she could make out no features on the form, she got the feeling it was female as it bent over, picked up her husband’s pants and went through the pockets.

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Although Eileen noticed something odd about the feeling of the house, it was not until her three year old daughter began to tell her there was a ghost in her room that Eileen started to get suspicious and remember that first night.  She would run from her room screaming, Ghost in room.”  Soon after her daughter developed an imaginary friend named Ekky who spent four or five years with them until she “moved to Florida”.  Eileen did not think too much of it because she understood it was normal and healthy for a child to have such friends.  Over the years her daughter would bring up the subject of the ghost in a nonchalant way, Eileen believes mainly because people did not believe her and Catholic did not believe in such things.

But other unusual things happened.  Items would disappear and things would be misplaced and Eileen would tell herself it was her own fault.  She had just forgot where she put it down.

Eileen’s daughter entered her late teens and she became more and more uncomfortable in the room.  She refused to sleep sometime, never saying why, but it was clear there was something there she did not like.  Once when she was twenty she went to sleep in her mother’s room.  When they woke in the morning there was a cat at the foot of the bed although they did not own a cat and the house was locked up and secure.  They opened the door and shoed the cat out with a broom.

IMG_4281.JPGIn 2002 Eileen moved into her daughter’s old room and the occurrences began to happen more and more.  One time she woke up to find her house sweltering.  Sometime during the night the thermostat and been turned up and the cover had been thrown across the room.  Another time she came home to find the orange juice she had left out spilled over her calendar and some papers she had on the kitchen table.  The table was soaked but the glass was sitting straight up.

Although she does not feel the ghost is threatening, it has recently began to touch her.  Once she felt her hair being lifted as she lay in bed.  The most disturbing incident involved another night time meeting.  Eileen was again lying in bed when she felt her leg being lifted up by her big toe.  She closed her eyes and regained control of her leg.

There have been renovations that might account for some of the occurrences.  The duplex is three floors and has been shared by family members over the years.  At one point the house was gutted out and evidence of a fire was found, although she has not been able to find any account of it in old newspapers.  There has also been construction on the second floor as her brother prepares to move in, although he is now giving it second thoughts.  He led Eileen on a few goose chases after making up stories about the ghost in the house, but now he is finding it more and more uncomfortable to do the work to repair the house.  He will not say why, but he does not like to be in the house alone.

IMG_4297Either does Eileen’s daughter.  She still gets uncomfortable in the room, although she does not feel afraid.  According to Eileen, she seem more upset by the whole thing, as if she had convinced herself that the things that had happened to her as a child were her imagination.  To hear Eileen now talk of those things makes it seem more real.

They have reversed roles because Eileen does not fear the female spirit in her house.  Nothing has happened in a while and the spirit is most obvious when she is not thinking about her.  Eileen wants to talk to her, but does not know what she will say.  She is now convinced she is not going crazy in her old age but that now, maybe because everyone has moved out, she has found a new roommate.