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  • Cellphones and the Paranormal January 12, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Cellphones and the Paranormal

    Beach this last weekend enjoyed re-reading one of the greatest books ever written on the supernatural, Andrew Lang’s Cock Lane and Common-Sense (1894). Lang, an extremely learned Victorian Scot, has a simple position. There are, he believed, a core of paranormal experiences that repeat themselves in every culture at every time: invisible knocking, levitation, throwing […]

    How to Get Rid of a Poltergeist December 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    How to Get Rid of a Poltergeist

    James McClenon is a sociologist who has written on the paranormal and parapsychology. His books are to be recommended in the highest terms, not just for their arguments, put perhaps most of all for their reasonable yet never irritating openness to the unexplained; something which does not offend even a hoary old materialist like Beach. […]

    Mine Disaster Premonitions at Morfa November 22, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Mine Disaster Premonitions at Morfa

    10 March 1890 one of the worst mining accidents in British history* took place in Morfa in South Wales. 87 miners were killed. A gas explosion had been set off, probably by an unfastened lamp. Interestingly the local community had had forebodings before the explosion. This article came out almost two months later in the […]

    The Wesley Ghost #7: Psychology of the Haunting November 17, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #7: Psychology of the Haunting

    There is a long history of trying to explain poltergeist events with reference to fakery of household members; or extreme angst within the family circle. The first is absolutely credible, given the vagaries of human nature, but difficult to deploy as an explanation when the experiences were so bizarre and so, well, ‘total’ as in the […]

    The Wesley Ghost #6: Feeling the Ghost November 15, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #6: Feeling the Ghost

    Physical manifestations are, after noises, the most common features of poltergeist hauntings. In this sense Jeffrey did not disappoint, but given the sheer richness of the sounds that the family heard: and the three creepy sightings of Jeffrey, the albino mongoose from hell, the casual reader might have expected that the family would have been […]

    The Wesley Ghost #5: Seeing the Ghost November 14, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #5: Seeing the Ghost

    Unusually for a poltergeist case – or is this actually a wider phenomenon? Drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com – Jeffrey was not just heard and felt. He was also seen. There were three occasions. I) On the first Susanna Wesley (mother not Suky) saw a ‘headless badger’ (!) under her daughter’s bed after a fit […]

    The Wesley Ghost #4: Hearing the Ghost November 9, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #4: Hearing the Ghost

    The main feature of the Wesley haunting were the noises that the family heard. For the most part these were banal ghost knocks but there were lots of other more exotic sounds. The following could almost stand as a prose poem: the gobbling of a turkey, (142); dancing in a closed room (142); ‘tingling’ of […]

    The Wesley Ghost #3: Time November 8, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #3: Time

    An important preliminary to the haunting is to sketch out the period of Jeffrey’s activity. Most reference works (and this blog) refer rather carelessly to December 1716-January 1717. But a careful reading of the Wesley files shows that actually the haunting was rather more drawn out than that. First, in a very important passage we […]

    The Wesley Ghost #2: Dramatis Personae November 7, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #2: Dramatis Personae

    Samuel Wesley was an Anglican churchman who had been given in the late seventeenth century, through royal favour, a living at Epworth in Lincolnshire. He was married to Susanna with whom he had nineteen children: including perhaps the two most important figures in early Methodism, Charles and John Wesley. At the time of the haunting […]

    The Wesley Ghost #1: Introduction November 6, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Wesley Ghost #1: Introduction

    ‘The Wesley ghost’ is one of the best attested instances of a poltergeist haunting prior to the twentieth century. There were apparently twelve people living in the Parsonage House (pictured), Epworth (Lincolnshire) at the time of the disturbances, disturbances that centred on the period December 1716 to January 1717: three servants, the Wesley parents and […]

    Flying with the Devil or with the Mind? September 16, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Flying with the Devil or with the Mind?

    This account dates to southern England and 1873, but to judge from some dating clues in the texts the old man who wrote this extract was probably a boy in the early part of the nineteenth century when he heard the story: perhaps in the 1810s or 1820s? It sounds, meanwhile, as if James Carter, […]

    Why Do Welsh Ghosts Jump? August 18, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Why Do Welsh Ghosts Jump?

    Supernatural beings occasionally, like the rest of us, jump. In some cases, e.g. Spring Heeled Jack and the Devil, this seems to be a key characteristic. In other cases it is there in many descriptions: e.g. American wild men. Then, with other bogeys it is only an occasional activity: e.g. fairies and ghosts. However, Beach […]

    The Mystics and Joe Bloggs August 15, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    The Mystics and Joe Bloggs

    From 1889-1892 the Society for Psychic Research asked a series of 17,000 Britons (of all classes and both sexes), whether they had ever had a ‘hallucination’, that is hearing or seeing someone who was not actually there and yet while ‘awake, and not suffering from delirium or insanity or any other morbid condition obviously conducive […]

    The Tower Monster #1: The Witness Account July 15, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Tower Monster #1: The Witness Account

    There follows the single most interesting ghost story Beach has ever read. Perhaps part of its fascination is that it is not clear that it is a ghost story: though something bizarre is certainly going on. In any case, all began when in 1860, in the tenth volume (new series) of Notes and Queries  K.B […]

    Mannerheim and the Medium June 7, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Mannerheim and the Medium

    Beach hates fortune tellers and he loathes séances and he really can’t be doing with mediums (if spirits exist just leave them in peace). But he was struck by this account from the great Mannerheim, Finland’s hero Marshal, who saved the country in three wars against Soviet Communism; even though he lost two of them. This particular […]

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