The Green Man: Myth and Legend

On a quiet, bright August day in 1919, 9-year-old Ray Robinson, his sister, and a group of friends were walking along the roadside in New Castle, Pennsylvania in search of excitement or simply something to pass the time. The group walked until something caught their eye: a bird’s nest, perched high in a tree next to an old trolley trestle. Ray, the adventurous type, decided to climb the trestle to get a closer look, but in his effort to scale the tree and avoid falling, he reached for a wire that once powered the trolley. Sadly, the wire was still active and Ray was electrocuted. In the recent past, about a year prior, another boy had died from touching the wire after two weeks in hospital. Ray survived the incident, though he was severely electrocuted. His face was terribly disfigured, his nose and eyes were destroyed, his arms were maimed, and he lost one hand completely. He endured tremendous suffering and was considered a medical marvel by the doctors and nurses who worked to keep him comfortable during his recovery.

Unfortunately, in the 1900’s, it was customary to hide the “shame” of a disfigured child, so Ray left the hospital and wound up isolated in a room in his family home. Many Victorian homes during that time featured rooms that had drains and plumbing in them, so it was easy enough to keep Ray away from the public eye. He wasn’t mistreated, but his family would eat separately from him and he was hidden away from the world. Ray tried to make the best of his situation, listening to baseball games on his radio and learning braille. He also learned to make wallets, belts, and doormats out of old tires. As a young adult, Ray moved from the main house into a small apartment that his family had created for him in the garage and it wasn’t long before he began to crave freedom. It was about that time that Ray began walking the highways alone at night and an urban legend was born. On many a quiet night on a stretch of State Route 351 in Koppel, Pennsylvania, Ray Robinson could be found tapping along the roadside with his cane. Locals would even make a point to drive the road he was mostly seen on in order to catch a glimpse of the walking urban legend. For the most part, Ray hid from his neighbors and those looking to gawk, but he would sometimes exchange a conversation or a photograph for beer or cigarettes. Ray met many people on the road, some simply curious and others heartlessly cruel, be he was undeterred. He was even struck by cars on more than one occasion, but Ray would take his nightly walks until he retired to Beaver County Geriatric Center. He died there in 1985 at the age of 74.

So…Ray Robinson was a man who lived and died in Pennsylvania who was the victim of a terrible accident and set of circumstances that forever changed his life. He was NOT a glowing mutant… Stay with me here. It’s quite fascinating to think that Ray is the reason this urban legend exists, but nevertheless, it does. On the outskirts of Pittsburgh, there sits a derelict railroad tunnel. It’s covered in graffiti and filled with road salt, but this is where visitors claim to see the Green Man. It’s called the Green Man Tunnel and it’s said that teens who drive their cars into the tunnel, turn off their lights, and call out to the Green Man will be rewarded with a visit from this creature. Supposedly, his skin is tinged green from an electrical accident and, if he comes close enough to touch your car, his electrical charge will either stall the engine or make the car difficult to restart.

The Green Man is also sighted in Youngstown, Ohio, in a rural spot called Zombie Land. There, the horribly disfigured Green Man said to have been electrocuted by a lightning strike (or in an electrical accident, or turned radioactive while working at the power plant, depending on who you ask,) wanders the roads at night with his glowing green skin. He chases anyone he comes across and teenagers still drive out to the area at night hoping to catch a glimpse of the creature.

These accounts should be taken with a grain of salt and I have no idea where the glowing green skin came from. Perhaps Ray’s affinity for a particular green plaid shirt or other green clothing reflected off his skin as motorists cast their lights at him? He was apparently quite pale due to a lack of being outside during daylight hours. It’s also been said that Ray’s nose, or what was left of it, would often become infected and turn green. Perhaps that’s where the name came from.

Green Man’s Legend Continues to Glow

http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/19981031green4.asp

October 1998

“Pat Temple, now 58 and a printer who works the overnight shift at the Post-Gazette, says the Green Man made such an indelible impression on him that he’s written a story to keep it alive for his grandkids. His tale goes back to 1956 when he and Ray Griffin were 16-year-old Lawrenceville pals.

“One evening in June,” he writes, “Ray and I were hanging out with two other friends — Guy Muto and Jim Walsh — and as we had nothing better to do, Ray suggested that we go up to see the Green Man. This was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

They piled into Temple’s ’51 Ford and headed north for the Turnpike, which they took to Route 18, then followed that to the light in Koppel, turning left on Route 351.

“As soon as we started up the road,” his story continues, “Ray announced that is the road the Green Man always walked on. There was a long silence and I could feel the goosebumps and when we finally did say something, we seemed to be whispering.”

Perhaps inevitably, Temple recalls that “it was a bit foggy and the visibility was not real good at times.” As they came around a bend, “Ray yelled, ‘There he is!’ and the car lights shined directly on the Green Man.”

Temple, who was driving, describes nervously hitting the brakes, then the gas, then the brakes, while chattering with his similarly freaking friends.

They turned around and passed the Green Man once more, but were too terrified to stop.

Still, their exploit was impressive enough that older boys actually spoke to them about it. “We were still the same jerks that we were before … but now we were minor celebrities.”

That summer, Temple returned many times — sometimes with those buddies, sometimes with others. In fact, he recalls traffic jams caused by cruisers who actually stopped to talk with the Green Man. The first time Temple did that, he got a parking ticket (he came to believe that “the local police used the Green Man to make the township a few extra dollars”).

Later, after asking the Green Man if he could, Temple snapped some color photographs of him.”

Basically, if you grew up in Western Pennsylvania in the 1950’s, you knew the legend of the Green Man. You also might have met him along the road, had a smoke and a beer with him, and learned that he was one of the nicest people in the world. Apparently, he was a pretty cool dude.

tmg-gift_guide_default

Now, I know what you’re thinking… “Where does Mel Gibson fit into all of this?!”

Well, I’ll tell you.

Around 2000, a chain letter began circulating about a particularly famous individual who had been severely beaten, his face disfigured like Ray Robinson’s, and had rocketed to stardom. As chain letters go, it was pretty well written and a lot of people fell for the content. It had supposedly been written by Paul Harvey, a radio commentator, but nothing could have been further from the truth…except for this story/chain letter from Snopes.com. I didn’t edit it because I wanted the true terribleness and unbelievability of this to really shine.

“Here is a true story by Paul Harvey. Pass it to anyone who you think would find it interesting and inspiring. You will be surprised who this young man turned out to be. (Do not look at the bottom if this letter until you have read it fully.)

Years ago a hardworking man took his family from New York State to Australia to take advantage of a work opportunity there. Part of this man’s family was a handsome young son who had aspirations of joining the circus as a trapeze artist or an actor. This young fellow, biding his time until a circus job or even one as a stagehand came along, worked at the local shipyards which bordered on the worst section of town. Walking home from work one evening this young man was attacked by five thugs who wanted to rob him. Instead of just giving up his money the young fellow resisted. However they bested him easily and proceeded to beat him to a pulp. They mashed his face with their boots, and kicked and beat his body brutally with clubs, leaving him for dead. When the police happened to find him lying in the road they assumed he was dead and called for the Morgue Wagon.

On the way to the morgue a policeman heard him gasp for air, and they immediately took him to the emergency unit at the hospital. When he was placed on a gurney a nurse remarked to her horror, that his young man no longer had a face. Each eye socket was smashed, his skull, legs, and arms fractured, his nose literally hanging from his face, all is teeth were gone, and his jaw was almost completely torn from his skull. Although his life was spared he spent over year in the hospital. When he finally left his body may have healed but his face was disgusting to look at. He was no longer the handsome youth that everyone admired.

When the young man started to look for work again he was turned down by everyone just on account of the way he looked. One potential employer suggested to him that he join the freak show at the circus as The Man Who Had No Face. And he did this for a while. He was still rejected by everyone and no one wanted to be seen in his company. He had thoughts of suicide. This went on for five years.

One day he passed a church and sought some solace there. Entering the church he encountered a priest who had saw him sobbing while kneeling in a pew. The priest took pity on him and took him to the rectory where they talked at length. The priest was impressed with him to such a degree that he said that he would do everything possible for him that could be done to restore his dignity and life, if the young man would promise to be the best Catholic he could be, and trust in God’s mercy to free him from his torturous life. The young man went to Mass and communion every day, and after thanking God for saving his life, asked God to only give him peace of mind and the grace to be the best man he could ever be in His eyes.

The priest, through his personal contacts was able to secure the services of the best plastic surgeon in Australia. They would be no cost to the young man, as the doctor was the priest’s best friend. The doctor too was so impressed by the young man, whose outlook now on life, even though he had experienced the worse was filled with good humor and love.

The surgery was a miraculous success. All the best dental work was also done for him. The young man became everything he promised God he would be. He was also blessed with a wonderful, beautiful wife, and many children, and success in an industry which would have been the furthest thing from his mind as a career if not for the goodness of God and the love of the people who cared for him. This he acknowledges publicly.

The young man . . .

Mel Gibson.

His life was the inspiration for his production of the movie “The Man Without A Face.” He is to be admired by all of us as a God fearing man, a political conservative, and an example to all as a true man of courage.”

A thousand miles of NOPE.

The young man was absolutely NOT Mel Gibson. Not even close. Gibson’s father did move the family from New York to Sydney, Australia, when Mel was only 12 years old, but the similarities end there. Just another interesting twist on the Green Man/Charlie No-Face/Ray Robinson legend. I’ve even seen photos of Ray used to accompany this chain letter to add a touch of credibility. Just ridiculous.

Have you ever met Ray Robinson? Do you or your family members have stories about him or tales from your part of the country about the Green Man or Charlie No-Face? We want to hear about it!

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

Hauntheadscast@gmail.com

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Urban legend of green man.

http://weekinweird.com/2011/09/26/green-man-true-pennsylvania-legend/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Robinson_(Green_Man)

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/charlie-no-face-legend-true-story

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Raisin the Dead: The haunting story of Jan Bryant Bartell and the spooky happenings in her Manhattan home.

Shadowy figures in the corner, strange noises in the night, and a little dog that senses an unseen and unearthly presence. This, dear reader, is only a glimpse into the life that was the haunted reality of Jannis “Jan” Bryant Bartel. Bartel was a poet, lecturer and off-Broadway actress. She appeared in such plays as “Bell, Book, and Candle,” and “Night Must Fall.” Her poetry was published in several magazines. Bartel’s experiences prompted her to write a detailed account of her time at 14 West 10th Street in New York titled Spindrift: Spray from a Psychic Sea. I’ve found a copy of the book at a reasonable price (copies range anywhere from $40-150) and look forward to reading it, though it hasn’t gotten terribly good reviews. I’m wondering if Bartel’s accounts are so far-fetched that they simply can’t be believed or if the language is a turn-off. Apparently, it’s wordy and wandering. I thought adding her story to the ever-growing Haunt Heads collection of creepy fare would be entirely appropriate given that the Halloween season is upon us and so, without further delay, it’s time to cuddle into a corner of the sofa, snuggle down into a blanket, and chew off all of your fingernails.

It’s 1957 and Jan Bryant Bartell has just moved into the top floor apartment of 14 West 10th Street in Manhattan. Her husband, Fred G. Bartell, was a restaurateur who was seldom home, his work often causing him to work late and spend weekends away. Most notably, Fred ran the Riverboat restaurant once located in the Empire State Building. Jan found Fred to be a difficult companion at times. He was a WWII veteran who suffered from PTSD and was prone to outbursts, but by all accounts, Jan herself was rather difficult. She was spoiled and neurotic and suffered from clinical depression. I suppose they were well suited in their brokenness. There was little to be done for depression in the 1950’s-60’s and the condition absolutely colored Jan’s writing. It’s believed that she attempted suicide on more than one occasion, though this is pure speculation.

Contact with the other side…

Interestingly enough, Jan possessed psychic abilities, but the presence of these abilities only amplified her anxiety once the activity in her home began to escalate. Her attempts to understand what exactly was happening were fruitless and she even called in self-appointed psychic expert and ghost hunter Hans Holzer to find some sort of peace or resolution. If Holzer’s name rings a bell, it absolutely should. Holzer investigated the Amityville Horror House with Ethel Johnson-Meyers in 1977 and has written over 140 books on the paranormal and unexplained. Holzer wrote a nonfiction book about the house, “Murder in Amityville” (1979), which formed the basis for the 1982 film “Amityville II: The Possession”; he also wrote two novels, “The Amityville Curse” (1981) and “The Secret of Amityville” (1985). In the end, Holzer was unable to silence or dispel the spirits in the house and all of Jan’s attempts to find peace ended in failure and only added to her distress.

From the nypost.com:

“The strange occurrences started out small: a sound of footsteps following her up the stairs, a brush against the back of her neck even when her hair was tied up, a strange rotting smell that would seemingly come and go like wispy smoke.

Things got darker. Shadows that no light would touch, a mysterious chair their dog would snarl and growl at as if it contained some invisible enemy. Then a phantom, shriveled grape that appeared in the dead center of a clean dinner plate, even though the couple hadn’t bought grapes in months. She found furniture inexplicably moved from its usual place. The sound of crashing glass chased her around the building.

Most unsettling was the odors that appeared out of nowhere: one fragrant, like ancient perfume, the other a “rotting miasma” that was offensive. Then one day, a vision of a man appeared. Bartell reached out to touch it.

“What was it I touched?” she wrote. “A substance without substance. Chilly, damp. Diaphanous as marsh mist or a cloud of ether. I could feel my fingers freeze at the tips. They were numb, and yet they tingled. In the split second between contact and recoil, the scent came. Fragile and languorous. And sweet; unbearably, cloyingly sweet.”

I find myself flashing back to Edgar Allen Poe’s The Telltale Heart and wonder if there isn’t a festering organ hidden somewhere beneath the floorboards.

In 1973, social and economic changes began to affect their neighborhood and Jan and Fred finally settled into a home in New Rochelle, NY. Some reports say that Jan committed suicide in the bathroom on June 18, 1973, prior to the publication of her book. Others say that Jan died of a heart attack. She was 51. Fred went on to manage other restaurants in New York and passed away on September 8, 1980, in New Rochelle, NY. (Through additional research, I did find a Frank Bartel that passed away on April 1, 1978.)

Other Residents

As we well know, one haunting does not a haunted hot-spot make! For your consideration, some other haunted and unnerving occurrences at 14 W 10th St.

A man known only as Dennis said he lived in the house for several years and also experienced paranormal activity such as lights going on and off and “little clips and visions of women in long gowns going from room to room.” Dennis was a photographer and musician and would often invite women to his apartment to photograph them. He said on more than one occasion that women would run out upon seeing a woman in a long flowing black dress followed by a cat. Is anyone else having a hard time believing that women were running from a ghost and not from Dennis himself? He’s a “photographer?” Anyway… Activity has been reported at the location as recently as a few years ago.

Joel Steinberg, a disbarred New York criminal defense attorney, attracted international media attention when he was convicted of manslaughter after he beat his adopted daughter to death at 14 West 10th Street in November of 1987. Hedda Nussbaum, an author of children’s books who was employed by Random House, watched as Steinberg beat 6-year-old Lisa Steinberg to the ground while under the influence of crack cocaine. Nussbaum was not charged in the killing. The couple had illegally adopted Lisa after Steinberg had been asked to find a suitable home for the child. He instead took her home and raised her with Nussbaum. As of 2006, Steinberg maintained his innocence.

From the NYT article on the case from March 1989:

Joel B. Steinberg was sentenced to 8Y to 25 years in state prison yesterday in the death of 6-year-old Lisa Steinberg, the girl he helped raise. The penalty was the maximum he could have received, and the judge said he would recommend strongly against parole.

Mr. Steinberg received the sentence without any sign of emotion, except for slumping slightly in resignation at what he knew was coming.

Before the sentence was imposed, Mr. Steinberg – sounding like the lawyer he was until his disbarment – addressed the bench, at first dispassionately, almost clinically, going over bits of evidence presented in the trial, and then moving into a rambling monologue about Lisa’s death and his role in her life. By the end, his voice was breaking, although he said that he felt no remorse because he had not caused her death.

”I feel that pain every day,” he told the judge. ”It’s my loss. I’m a victim, as was everyone else who knew Lisa.”

When police first entered the home, they found Lisa beaten into unconsciousness. She died of a brain hemorrhage in the hospital 4 days later. Police also found another of Steinberg and Nussbaum’s children “tethered to a playpen by a length of rope.” The clothing of the child and the mattress on which he was sitting were covered in urine.

Leanna Renee Hieber, author of Eterna and Omega, writes, “Tucked within a famed high-end real-estate area where most of the gorgeous townhouses have stately stoops climbing to glorious first floors, 14 descends down below the sidewalk before you—as does the energy of the building, dropping off sharply. Just walking by it gave me a sinking, troubled, pressed, and fraught sense; the sense that the building is, in and of itself, a distinctly negative presence and that something is deeply wrong there.” She goes on to call it “A Manhattan version of Amityville.”

Truly, there is a darkness cast over the location. As many as 44 murders are said to have occurred there and it seems as if the paranormal tales won’t let up anytime soon. The house has been cut up into 10 separate apartments, but apparently, a spooky vibe still lingers.

Would you spend the night?

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheads.podbean.com or wherever you binge your podcasts!

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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NOTE: Haunt Heads will return the middle of January 2019 with new blog posts and podcasts to binge. Stay tuned and, most importantly, STAY SPOOKY!

S2 Ep. 18: Raisin the Dead

 

NEW EPISODE AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD!

hauntheads.podbean.com

This week, Katie has some Halloween history and spooky lore about Stingy Jack and Janine presents a snippet of the life of Jan “Jannis” Bryant Bartel, her haunted house, and the novel she wrote prior to her untimely death. Many spooks abound! The happiest of Halloweens to all of our listeners and we will see you in the New Year! (Likely sometime in mid-January)

This episode contains divinations, shadowy corners, witchy workings, and All Hallows lore, and a mysteriously appearing raisin (of all things.)

TRIGGER WARNING: 1hr:3mins, discussion of Joel Steinberg/murder of Lisa Steinberg. Those who do not want to hear about violence toward children, please be aware.

Intro/Outro: Fox & Branch

foxandbranch.com

Sources:

nytimes.com

circlesanctuary.org

newgrange.com

nypost.com

https://www.leannareneehieber.com/

Jan Bryant Bartell’s novel Spindrift: Spray from A Psychic Sea

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Spirited Discussion: An Exploration of Spirit Photography

I don’t have many photographs. I’ve always found that to be rather odd. There are photos of various incarnations of me, but not of those around me. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but I think it might be because photos are a little creepy. Think about it. You snap a photo of your friend, have it printed, and frame it for your wall so that your friend can stare at you dead-eyed while you perform daily tasks. See? Creepy. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I think that’s why I’ve come to enjoy creating photo albums on social media. Facebook allows me to choose when my friends stare at me. Choice makes it less creepy, I think.

When my great grandmother passed, we got several items from her estate including a bunch of photos of her in small gilded frames. The photos are black and white. One from a church function (she was a member of the Salvation Army and is wearing her uniform) where she’s drinking wine with a few other people and a bunch of others depicting important events in her life. The one that always jumped out at me and simultaneously gave me the heebie-jeebies was a photo of her smiling face, her eyes staring out from the photo seemingly without purpose. It hung in the hallway in a frame given to her as a wedding gift and I always felt as if it was watching me. The eyes seemed to follow as I passed and I frequently ducked under it or sped past it in avoidance. It didn’t help that the nail the photo hung on was bent, causing it to fall off the wall randomly. At least that’s what I reasoned.

A few years after she passed, my uncle got married, an event that calls for much photo taking. I spent at least an hour standing amongst my relatives while the photographer took shot after shot. It wasn’t until we went to pick up the photos and began flipping through them that we noticed something odd. At the top of all of the group photos, hovering toward the right edge of the shot, was a white fog. It looked as if someone had been smoking and the cloud was lingering, but nobody was smoking around us that day. The photographer told us that the film he used was high quality as was the paper the photos were printed on. There was no explanation. In frustration, my grandmother asked the photographer to come by the house and made everyone get dressed up so the photos could be taken again. We spent a couple of hours in various parts of the yard and in the parlor recreating some of the shots. The photographer left and set about the task of developing only to find that the same thing had happened. My grandmother was furious. I listened as she complained to the photographer over the phone, standing in front of the photo of my great grandmother. Suddenly, there was a crash and I looked down to see that her photo was on the floor but it didn’t look like it had fallen from a nail. Rather, it appeared as if it had jumped from the wall, landing at least a foot and a half away. Perhaps my great-grandmother was upset that someone was trying to crop her out of the family photos? Perhaps someone was smoking around the time the photos were taken or there was some strange trick of the light? Perhaps I’ll never know, but something tells me the photographer didn’t intentionally add the fog to the photos he shot. And even if he had, it wouldn’t have been something he randomly thought up. Spirit photography, the “capture” of deceased individuals in photos, was quite popular in the 19th century and in some cases, the faces that appeared on the finished product weren’t even dead.

The practice originated as a farce in the 1850’s, stereo cards that depicted specters hovering over the heads of unsuspecting individuals. They were simply for fun, amusement until a man named Mumler figured out he could turn it into a money-making endeavor.

“Spirit photography was first used by William H. Mumler in the 1860s. Mumler discovered the technique by accident after he saw a second person in a photograph he took of himself, which he found was actually a double exposure.” There’s actually a very famous photo by Mumler of Mary Todd Lincoln with her husband’s ghostly form standing behind her. “Seeing there was a market for it, Mumler started working as a medium, taking people’s pictures and doctoring the negatives to add lost loved ones into them (mostly using other photographs as a basis). Mumler’s fraud was discovered after he put identifiable living Boston residents in the photos as spirits.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_photography)

Another spirit photographer, William Hope (1863-1933), was quite famous for his work and many people visited Hope in order to capture their deceased loved ones on film. The psychical researcher Harry Price tried to defraud Hope by marking his photographic plates with the logo of the Imperial Dry Plate Co. Ltd. Price knew that the logo would be transferred to any image Hope produced using these plates, but Price must have switched them out for another set because none of his images contained the logo or any identifying marks that Price had placed on them.

William Stainton Moses, a cleric, and spiritualist claimed that the process of spirit photography was directly related to a substance called ectoplasm which allowed spirits to come into physical existence. The substance is said to form when a medium is in a trance-like state and expresses through the mouth, ears, and/or nose. It’s gauze-like and flowing and, to be perfectly honest, really fucking creepy. It’s said that ectoplasm begins clear or invisible and gradually darkens or becomes visible, draping itself over the entity with which the medium wishes to communicate. Some mediums stated that ectoplasm had a very strong odor and could not exist in certain light conditions as it would simply deteriorate. Darkened rooms and candlelight were the weapons of choice for these individuals and, given that participants could barely see what was happening, the excuse that ectoplasm was light sensitive was quite convenient.

The psychical researcher Gustav Geley defined ectoplasm as being “very variable in appearance, being sometimes vaporous, sometimes a plastic paste, sometimes a bundle of fine threads, or a membrane with swellings or fringes, or a fine fabric-like tissue”. Arthur Conan Doyle described ectoplasm as “a viscous, gelatinous substance which appeared to differ from every known form of matter in that it could solidify and be used for material purposes”.

Science doesn’t recognize the existence of ectoplasm and researchers have duplicated the effect using items like muslin and gauze, but it sure is interesting that mediums at this time thought to create such a fantastic lie. For someone in the 19th century who had just lost a loved one and wished to communicate with the other side, the appearance of ectoplasm likely blew their minds.

“The Society for Psychical Research investigations into mediumship exposed many fraudulent mediums which contributed to the decline of interest in physical mediumship. In 1907, Hereward Carrington exposed the tricks of fraudulent mediums such as those used in slate-writing, table-turning, trumpet mediumship, materializations, sealed-letter reading and spirit photography. In the early 20th century the psychical researcher Albert von Schrenck-Notzing investigated the medium Eva Carrière and claimed her ectoplasm “materializations” were not from spirits but the result of “ideoplasty” in which the medium could form images onto ectoplasm from her mind. Schrenck-Notzing published the book Phenomena of Materialisation (1923) which included photographs of the ectoplasm. Critics pointed out the photographs of the ectoplasm revealed marks of magazine cut-outs, pins and a piece of string. Schrenck-Notzing admitted that on several occasions Carrière deceptively smuggled pins into the séance room. The magician Carlos María de Heredia replicated the ectoplasm of Carrière using a comb, gauze and a handkerchief.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectoplasm_(paranormal))

Carrière wasn’t the only one duping onlookers with homemade ectoplasm. Other mediums of the time would use potato starch smoothed over textiles, egg whites, soap, gelatin, and even cut-outs from the newspaper. Some would swallow and regurgitate cheesecloth in order to wow their attendees and one was even found to have hidden cheesecloth in his rectum, pulling it out when the time was right. Sadly, many fell for these tricks of the trade and paid large amounts of money to mediums, desperately seeking one more message from their deceased family members and friends. I’m still not sure how you could mistake a scarf and a rubber glove for ectoplasm, but I suppose if the lights were low enough you wouldn’t know what you were seeing. It’s no surprise that the exposing of this aspect of many Victorian-era seances led to a rapid decline in physical mediumship.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that mediums are still very much a thing and I’m well aware that there are people in this world who will defend the practice to the bitter end. I’m not saying that every medium is fraudulent, nor am I saying that going to visit a medium is a waste of time. I’m simply saying that if you go to a medium who insists on operating in near darkness and buys stock in cheesecloth and rubber gloves that person might be a charlatan.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for your continued support of my spooky work. I greatly enjoy posting articles to my blog and getting feedback from all of you. It is truly the highlight of my day when I pop onto WordPress to find your posts and comments. Right now, Haunt Heads is going through a bit of a change. Mimi has decided to take a step back from the podcast in order to focus on other things. I’m excited for her to have more time for her art and to create beautiful things, but she will be sorely missed. I’ll be taking on the responsibility to create new podcasts on my own and will continue to bring you creative, creepy content.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

Stay Spooky, Y’all!

 

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