Thursday, December 8, 2011

Episode 15 - The Christmas Tree Ship

The tragic tale of the Christmas Tree Ship.

Painting by artist Eric Forsberg

The tradition and generosity of Captain Santa and The Christmas Tree
Ship lives on each year through the efforts of non-profit charity Chicago's Christmas Ship . Chicago's boating community reenacts the arrival of the Rouse Simmons and distributes Christmas trees to deserving families that would not otherwise be able to
enjoy a tree during the holiday season.

Captain Schuenemann, center

Elise Schuenemann

Friday, December 2, 2011

Merry Creepmas

Here is the first of our month long Creepmas-centric shows, He Sees You When You're Sleeping....

I do hope you've been good little boys and girls.

Listen to He Sees You When You're Sleeping... now!

Music from this podcast can be found on A Scary Little Christmas . Christmas With The Devil is a cover of the Spinal Tap song, by Judith Owen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Episode 13 - The Fire Spook

Cow molestation, spontaneous fires and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - The Fire Spook (although, I really wanted to call this episode "Old Macdonald Had A Farm, and on That Farm He Had a Spook!").

Listen now - The Fire Spook

The Fire Spook

From top left, clockwise: Mary Ellen McDonald; Dr. Walter Price; H.B. Whidden; Detective Carroll

The Macdonald farm

Curious visitors at the Macdonald farm



Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away...

When I came home last night at three

The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door... (slam!)

Last night I saw upon the stair

A little man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away

- William Hughes Mearns

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Witch

The first of our All Hallow's Read series, where the Cabinet offers up a creepy, fictional tale from some of our favorite authors in celebration of Halloween.

The Witch is a short story from Shirley Jackson, who Stephen King dubbed "The Godmother Of Horror." Although you probably do not recognize her name, you've likely read her story, The Lottery or experienced the far reaching influence of her book The Haunting Of Hill House. Disney's Imagineers were so taken by Hill House, they even worked a dramatic moment from the book into the Haunted Mansion ride.

Jackson certainly knew how to weave a spell with her words, it was said by many that "She used a broomstick as a pen." Most of her stories lull you into a sense of familiarity and coziness. That's when she hits you. Hard

Jackson's interest in the supernatural and the occult was no secret - but she was secretive about it. Anyone who visited the family's house could see Jackson's collection of books, amulets, devices and various memorabilia. They always lived "in old strange houses, with lots of rooms, with attics that were cobwebby and strange. It was always an atmosphere in which things like poltergeists were very possible. There was a real Halloween atmosphere there, all the time." Said her son, Laurence.

Jackson isn't everyone's cup of tea - it takes a very special sort of person to appreciate her work. However, if you're here, this likely refers to you

You can listen to our version of The Witch HERE

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All Hallows Read - 2011

All Hallow's Read is a "new tradition" for Halloween, from one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. Gaiman's proposal originates from this post, made just prior to Halloween of 2010. In it he says: "You know, there aren't enough traditions that involve giving books...I propose that, on Hallowe'en or during the week of Hallowe'en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they'll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they'll enjoy." 

Now, I really like candy, but I like stories more. So, here at the Cabinet Of Curiosities we're going to put our own little spin on All Hallows Read by offering up a number of creepy and disquieting tales of our own. Think of it as our Halloween treat to you...or maybe we'll slip in a trick or two.

Stories about witches, ghosts, otherworldly monsters, written by the best - Shirley Jackson, maybe some Phillip K. Dick and even a classic tale for the whole family...

Fret not purists - regular episodes of the Cabinet will continue throughout the month as well.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Driving Miss Josephine - Episode 12

The Cabinet's first offering for the Countdown To Halloween  - Driving Miss Josephine. Poor Josephine...all she wanted to do was get out of the house.

Listen now -  Driving Miss Josephine - Ep. 12

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sounds From The Cabinet

A mix featuring some of our favorite music from past episodes - Kate Bush, Bauhaus, Spires That In The Sunset Rise and more!

Sounds From The Cabinet

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Creepy In LA

One of our favorite blogs featured an interview with your hostess, Sarah Troop and the Cabinet! Creepy LA combines two of the things we love most in this wide world, creepy stuff and our beloved city of Los Angeles.

Creepy LA Gets Curious

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Unknown Compelling Force - Part II

Photographs for the episode "An Unknown Compelling Force," examining the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

Its all fun and games until someone loses their tongue...

On the way to "Mountain Of The Dead."

The search and rescue team find the skiers tents, cut open from the inside

Memorial for the nine

An Unknown Compelling Force

Episode 11 - An Unknown Compelling Force
- nine dead skiers, a missing tongue and traces of radiation = WTF?!

Listen To "An Unknown Complelling Force" - now!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Episode 09 - The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

The horrific tale of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

Yes, we're burning can you help us please?
Yes, we're begging, we're on bended knees
Oh, My Little Shirtwaist Fire.

Ep. 9 - Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire - March 25, 1911

I wrote this story the month leading up the the 100 year anniversary in March, intending it to go public on the anniversary date - it is now May. I tried recording it a few times but could not get through it - it was just too difficult for me. I tell the story because I feel strongly, it should not be forgotten - nor should any of the people who endured it.

List of victims.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Serving Up Fresh Shows!

New show tomorrow on Conversations Through The Veil. I suggest you go out and buy yourself a'll need it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Walk Among The Dead

Join me for another screening of The Cabinet Of Curiosities first visual episode featuring Linda Vista at the subject's location itself - historically haunted, Linda Vista Hospital, this Friday the 13th! I am proud to announce the episode is considered the official historic documentary on this location by its owners.  Afterwards, tour this century year old building - I may even be your tour guide - if your luck hasn't run out...

Linda Vista Community Hospital
Friday, May 13th 2011
610 S. St. Louis
Boyle Heights, CA. 

7:00 P.M. 
$25 per person
Walk Among The Dead - Friday The 13th Edition

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ep. 08 - Paranormal History 101

An in depth look at a great milestone in paranormal history.

"Never forget the importance of history. To know nothing of what happened before you took your place on earth, is to remain a child for ever and ever."

Paranormal History 101

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Spook House

The Villa Montezuma

Photo by Michael Ravner

Photo by Phil Douglis

An example of  stained glass work in the house

Monday, February 14, 2011

Isn't It Necromatic?

Count Von Crazy
Elena's tomb

Elena's Corpse
Von Cosel holding a photograph of Elena 

The starship Countess Elaine

Von Cosel with the death mask of Elena he created

Be Our Valentine

Isn't It Necromantic? Our Valentines' Day gift, just for you

Isn't It Necromantic? - Ep. 04

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The BEKs - Episode 2

I've been carrying this story in my back pocket for years now. Although its kind of nice to dust it off and share it, there's a part of me that feels like it "belongs" to my little circle of friends who heard the story from Brian. Ridiculous, I know. 

There is so much to discuss about the case - its archetypes, the crazy stories that have erupted, the theories.

Jason Offutt, an author, teacher and blogger has probably delved into the subject more than anyone. Once upon a time there was a series of lectures of his on BEKs up on You Tube. Sadly, they have been removed. Some of what he has to say can be found on his blog
 From The Shadows .

On the podcast I mention the many retellings of Brian's original story and how nothing really compares to his original version. In result, the story I recount was as much Brian's as possible - I tried to utilize as many of his words as I could so, I cannot really take credit for "writing" much of this episode. Here is the story in Brian's own words:

don't really know what I'd call this story if I was submitting it
for publication in Fate or something of its ilk. "Brian vs. the Evil,
Black-eyed, Possibly Vampiric or Demonic But At Least Not Bloody
Normal Kids" doesn't have much of a ring to it. (Shrug.) :)

But that's at least an accurate title.

As so many things do, it all started out innocently.

My Internet Service Provider used to have offices in a shopping center
before they moved to their (comparatively) lush accommodations
elsewhere. There was a drop box at that original location. The monthly
bill was due, and thus, there but for the Grace of the Net I went.

It was about 9:30 p.m. when I left. From my relatively isolated
apartments, it's about 10-15 minutes or so to downtown (Abilene has a
population of about 110,000).

Right next to Camalott Communications' old location is a $1.50 movie
theater. At the time, the place was featuring that masterwork of
modern film, Mortal Kombat. I drove by the theater on the way into the
center proper and pulled into an empty parking space.

Using the glow of the marquee to write out my check, I was startled to
hear a knock on the driver's-side window of my car.

I looked over and saw two children staring at me from street. I need
to describe them, with the one feature (you can guess what it was)
that I didn't realize until about half-way through the conversation
cleverly omitted.

Both appeared to be in that semi-mystical stage of life children get
into where you can't exactly tell their age. Both were boys, and my
initial impression is that they were somewhere between 10-14.

Boy No. 1 was the spokesman. Boy No. 2 didn't speak during the entire
conversation -- at least not in words.

Boy No. 1 was slightly taller than his companion, wearing a pull-over,
hooded shirt with a sort of gray checked pattern and jeans. I couldn't
see his shoes. His skin was olive-colored and had curly, medium-length
brown hair. He exuded an air of quiet confidence.

Boy No. 2 had pale skin with a trace of freckles. His primary
characteristic seemed to be looking around nervously. He was dressed
in a similar manner to his companion, but his pull-over was a light
green color. His hair was a sort of pale orange.

They didn't appear to be related, at least directly.

"Oh, great," I thought. "They're gonna hit me up for money." And then
the air changed.

Right before I experience something strange, there's a change in
perception that comes about which I describe in the above manner. It's
basically enough time to know it's too late. ;)

So, there I was, filling out a check in my car (which was still
running) and in a sudden panic over the appearance of two little boys.
I was confused, but an overwhelming sense of fear and unearthliness
rushed in nonetheless.

The spokesman smiled, and the sight for some inexplicable reason
chilled my blood. I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in.
Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what
it could possibly be.

I rolled down the window very, very slightly and asked "Yes?"

The spokesman smiled again, broader this time. His teeth were very, very white.

"Hey, mister, what's up? We have a problem," he said. His voice was
that of a young man, but his diction, quiet calm and ... something I
still couldn't put my finger on ... made my desire to flee even
greater. "You see, my friend and I want to see the films, but we
forgot our money," he continued. "We need to go to our house to get
it. Want to help us out?"

Okay. Journalists are required to talk to lots of people, and that
includes children. I've seen and spoken to lots of them. Here's how
that usually goes:

"Uh ... M ... M ... Mister? Can I see that camera? I ... I won't break
it or anything. I promise. My dad has a camera, and he lets me hold it
sometimes, I guess, and I took a picture of my dog -- it wasn's very
good, 'cause I got my finger in the way and ..."

Add in some feet shuffling and/or body swaying and you've got a
typical kid talking to a stranger.

In short, they're usually apologetic. People generally teach children
that when they talk to adults, they're usually bothering them for one
reason or another and they should at least be polite.

This kid was in no way fitting the mold. His command of language was
incredible and he showed no signs of fear. He spoke as if my help was
a foregone conclusion. When he grinned, it was as if he was trying to
say, "I know something ... and you're NOT gonna like it. But the only
way you're going to find out what it is will be to do what I say ..."

"Uh, well ..." was the best reply I could offer.

Now here's where it starts to get strange.

The quiet companion looked at the spokesman with a mixture of
confusion and guilt on his face. He seemed in some ways shocked, not
with his friend's brusque manner but that I didn't just immediately
open the door.

He eyed me nervously.

The spokesman seemed a bit perturbed, too. I still was registering
something wrong with both.

"C'mon, mister," the spokesman said again, smooth as silk. Car
salesmen could learn something from this kid. "Now, we just want to go
to our house. And we're just two little boys."

That really scared me. Something in the tone and diction again sent
off alarm bells. My mind was frantically trying to process what it was
perceiving about the two figures that was "wrong."

"Eh. Um ...." was all I could manage. I felt myself digging my
fingernails into the steering wheel.

"What movie were you going to see?" I asked finally.

"Mortal Kombat, of course," the spokesman said. The silent one nodded
in affirmation, standing a few paces behind.

"Oh," I said. I stole a quick glance at the marquee and at the clock
in my car. Mortal Kombat had been playing for an hour, the last
showing of the evening.

The silent one looked increasingly nervous. I think he saw my glances
and suspected that I might be detecting something was not above-board.

"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you
know," the spokesman said soothingly. "Just let us in, and we'll be
gone before you know it. We'll go to our mother's house."

We locked eyes.

To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock
(which was engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it
away, probably a bit too violently. But it did force me to look away
from the children.

I turned back. "Er ... Um ...," I offered weakly and then my mind
snapped into sharp focus.

For the first time, I noticed their eyes.

They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs
reflecting the red and white light of the marquee.

At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a
look of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate:
A) The impossible had just happened and B) "We've been found out!"

The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes
glittered brightly in the half-light.

"Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We
don't have a gun ..."

That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that
point by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun."

He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The
spokesman's final words contained an anger that was complete and
whole, and yet contained in some respects a tone of panic:


I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up
behind me) and tore out of the parking lot. I noticed the boys in my
peripheral vision, and I stole a quick glance back.

They were gone. The sidewalk by the theater was deserted.

I drove home in a heightened state of panic. Had anyone attempted to
stop me, I would have run on through and faced the consequences later.

I bolted into my house, scanning all around -- including the sky.

What did I see? Maybe nothing more than some kids looking for a ride.

And some really funky contacts. Yeah, right.

A friend suggested they were vampires, what with the old "let us in"
bit and my compelled response to open the door. That and the "we'll go
see our mother" thing.

I'm still not sure what they were, but here's an epilogue I find chilling:

I talk about Chad a lot. He's still my best friend, my best
ghost-hunting companion and an all-around cool guy. He recently moved
to Amarillo, but at the time this happened was still living in San
Angelo of Ram Page fame.

I called him and talked to him briefly. He had two female friends with
him at the time, both professing some type of psychic ability.

I started telling him the story, leaving out the part about the black
eyes for the kicker. One of the women (we were on a speakerphone)
stopped me.

"These children had black eyes, right?" she asked. "I mean, all-black eyes?"

"Er ... Yes." I said. I was a bit taken aback.

"Hmmm," she said. "One night last week, I had a dream about children
with black eyes. They were outside my house, wanting to be let in, but
there was something wrong with them. It took me a while to realize it
was the eyes."

I hadn't even gotten as far as them wanting to come in.

What did you do?" I asked.

"I kept the doors and windows locked," she said. "I knew if they came
in, they would kill me."

She paused.

"And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."

So, from this extra-long post, we have three unanswered questions:

A) What did I see?

B) What would have happened if I opened my car door?

C) Why does Chad always get the cool psychic chicks? ;)

Susperia provided by: 
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
Peeping Owen - Michael Giaccino
David Bowie - Scary Monsters (Super Creeps)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ep. 01 - The Little Foxes

The incredible story of the Fox sisters.

Play Me

Artwork from the animated short film, The Fox Sisters, created by Elianna Morningstar and Stine Nymad Svensson. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Little Foxes - Ep. 1

I try to verify as many facts as possible for each episode in result, one of the people I contacted for The Little Foxes episode was Tracy Murphy, the caretaker of the original stone foundation of the Hydesville home, pictured above. By the time she replied I had already recorded the episode but, she provided some further information of interest. The salesman, whose remains were discovered, was Charles B. Rosna. Not only was his case found but his family Bible as well. The pair of items are on display at what is now considered to be the heart and home of the Spiritualist movement,

Tracy also reports that the original house was moved to Lily Dale in 1916 and in Sept. 1955 the cottage burned to the ground. There is a Memorial Meditation Garden and a stone marker in its place now. On the original property a man by the name of John Drummond built a replica but that too was burned to the ground in 1983. 

1852 lithograph of the Fox sisters, Margaret, Kate and Leah. 

Susperia provided by:
*I'll Read You A Story by Colleen
*Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan