THE ‘DARK WORLD’ OF GHOST ADVENTURES’ ZAK BAGANS—A MUST-READ!

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Into the Shadows with the Lead Investigator of the Ghost Adventures’ Crew, 2011 (VB Books)

Whether you are a fan of the hit TV series Ghost Adventures, or just learning about it for the first time, this telling autobiography by the show’s creator and star, paranormal investigator, Zak Bagans, is quite a story! His experiences have been frightful, his commitment arduous, and his passion and honestly unflagging. A must-read. Below, is the Foreword to Dark World: Into the Shadows with the Lead Imvestigator of the Ghost Adventures’ Crew, Zak Bagans (with Kelly Criger), VB Books, 2011.

Foreword

There is arguably no topic in human history that incites as much contemptuous disbelief and passionate dedication as the existence of life after death. As humans, it is our natural instinct to belittle what we don’t understand, and then follow with statements of derision and ridicule. Even mentioning that ghosts might exist can cause instant damnation and persecution among the religiously devoted and staunchly pragmatic, which causes many people who have had a paranormal experience to remain quiet about it. Maybe that’s the greatest achievement of the dead: they’ve convinced the world that they don’t exist, so the majority of us are either disinterested in proving it otherwise or too convinced in our own beliefs to recognize a new viewpoint. Yet most of us are at least curious to know what happens when we die; some may say that information is even a right of humanity, that if another world exists after our physical bodies die, then it’s our right to know about it.

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Artist’s rendition of the “entity” that would trouble Bagans as a child.

I wrote this book for several reasons. First, I want to take you on my seven-year journey through the world of paranormal investigation from the documentary film in 2004 through the many seasons of Ghost Adventures. I want to tell you about the things that didn’t make it onto the screen and dig deeper into the most significant events that did. We sometimes spend four days filming an episode and have to boil it down into one hour, so there’s always stuff we want to show, but don’t have the time to. And sometimes even the most significant phenomena that we capture have to be covered quickly because of time constraints.

Second, I want to use our adventures to address leading theories on life after death….

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Al-Azif #3, May/June 1998

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Table of Contents

3 • Editorial (Al-Azif, #3 May-June 1998) • essay by Peter A. Worthy
5 • The Night Music of Oakdeene • short story by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
13 • In the Airlock • (1989) • short story by Ann K. Schwader
22 • The Lost Scrolls of Mu • (1997) • short story by John R. Fultz
26 • Folks of Innsmouth: Fisherman • poem by Franklyn Searight
27 • Broadalbin (Part 1 of 2) • short story by John Tynes
35 • Strange Affliction • (1987) • short story by Delia Shiflet
45 • Re-Quest Denied • (1998) • short story by Stanley C. Sargent
52 • Stalked by the Moons • short story by Perry M. Grayson
63 • Ubbo-Sathla • (1997) • poem by Ron Shiflet
63 • Within the Machinery of Light • (1973) • short story by Alan Gullette
69 • The Strange Fate of Alonzo Typer • (1991) • short story by Robert M. Price
74 • The Prodigies of Monkfield Cabot (Part 1 of 2) • (1997) • novelette by Mike Minnis

The Twilight Pariah, a Horror Novel by Jeffrey Ford, An Excerpt…

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From TOR…

Three friends go looking for treasure and find horror in Jeffrey Ford’s The Twilight Pariah—available September 12th from Tor.com Publishing.

All Maggie, Russell, and Henry wanted out of their last college vacation was to get drunk and play archaeologist in an old house in the woods outside of town. When they excavate the mansion’s outhouse they find way more than they bargained for: a sealed bottle filled with a red liquid, along with the bizarre skeleton of a horned child

Disturbing the skeleton throws each of their lives into a living hell. They feel followed wherever they go, their homes are ransacked by unknown intruders, and people they care about are brutally, horribly dismembered. The three friends awakened something, a creature that will stop at nothing to retrieve its child

From Publishers Weekly…

College students on summer vacation become amateur archeologists and unearth a legendary ghost in Ford’s humorous suspense yarn set in present-day upstate New York. Slacker English major Henry narrates the adventures of his hometown friends, amiable football hulk Russell and single-minded archeology major Maggie. By day they work mind-numbing jobs, but by night they’re joined by Russell’s boyfriend Luther to provide muscle for Maggie as she excavates around the derelict mansion on the edge of town. She’s convinced there must be something unique in the ancient outhouse. Their discoveries lead them to the town’s historical library, legends of a Devil Baby, a smoke monster, and a 127-year-old woman. After loved ones are attacked, the crew enlists the help of crusty Professor Medley to vanquish the ghost. Ford (A Natural History of Hell) meticulously builds the unnerving mystery in this brief, succinct story, bringing it to a cleanly executed but rushed ending. Endearing characters, elegant descriptions, and imaginative monsters make this a breezy beach read for horror fans. (Sept. 2017)

 

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Chapter 1

She picked me up at sunset in that ancient lime green Ford Galaxie she’d rebuilt and painted two summers earlier when she was into cars. It came around the corner like it’d busted out of an old movie. She sat there behind the wheel, leaning her elbow on the door frame. There was a lit cigarette between her lips. She wore a white men’s T-shirt and her hair was pinned up but not with any accuracy. Every time I’d seen her since we’d left high school her glasses were a different color. This pair had pink lenses and red circular frames.

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“Out hopped three little red men…” Art by Ian Hinley

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Jack and His Golden Snuff Box. Art by Ian Hinley.

 

Based on the English fairy tale “Jack and His Golden Snuff-Box”…

“…he felt in his pocket, and drew the little box out. And when he opened it, out there hopped three little red men.”

“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell”, a Chilling Vintage Ghost Story by Edith Wharton (Restless Spirits: Ghost Stories by Women 1872 – 1926)

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Antique Austrian “Tereszczuk” Lady’s bell crafted of ivory and bronze. (Pinterest)

The Lady’s Maid’s Bell

Edith Wharton, 1905
(1862 – 1936)

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“The Lady’s Maid’s Bell” originally appeared in a 1902 issue of Scribner’s Magazine.

0CC7EADF-B75C-4738-A503-D37EBCC19C47The author of novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, and travel books, Edith Wharton achieved both popular and critical acclaim during her lifetime. Born Edith Newbold Jones into the most exclusive New York society, she was educated at home by governesses. At age twenty-three she made a proper society marriage to Edward Wharton, scion of a prominent Boston family. Although she had early displayed writing talent, it had been discouraged, and her career did not get fully underway until she was thirty. Wharton’s marriage was never happy, and after her divorce in 1913 she took up permanent residence in France. A devotee of the ghost story, she claimed that “till I was twenty-seven or eight, I could not sleep in the room with a book containing a ghost-story,” and that “I have frequently had to burn books of this kind, because it frightened me to know that they were downstairs in the library!” Wharton’s ghost stories, among the finest of her time, provide chilling investigations of gender roles and relations. “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell” made its debut in Scribner’s Magazine in 1902. It most recently appeared in The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1985).

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I

It was the autumn after I had the typhoid. I’d been three months in hospital, and when I came out I looked so weak and tottery that the two or three ladies I applied to were afraid to engage me. Most of my money was gone, and after I’d boarded for two months, hanging about the employment agencies, and answering any advertisement that looked any way respectable, I pretty nearly lost heart, for fretting hadn’t made me fatter, and I didn’t see why my luck should ever turn. It did thoughor I thought so at the time. A Mrs. Railton, a friend of the lady that first brought me out to the States, met me one day and stopped to speak to me: she was one that had always a friendly way with her. She asked me what ailed me to look so white, and when I told her, “Why, Hartley,” says she, “I believe I’ve got the very place for you. Come in tomorrow and we’ll talk about it.”

The next day, when I called, she told me the lady she’d in mind was a niece of hers, a Mrs. Brympton, a youngish lady, but something of an invalid, who lived all the year round at her country-place on the Hudson, owing to not being able to stand the fatigue of town life.

“Now, Hartley,” Mrs. Railton said, in that cheery way that always made me feel things must be going to take a turn for the better; “now understand me, it’s not a cheerful place I’m sending you to. The house is big and gloomy; my niece is nervous, vapourish; her husbandwell, he’s generally away; and the two children are dead. A year ago I would as soon have thought of shutting a rosy active girl like you into a vault, but you’re not particularly brisk yourself just now, are you? and a quiet place, with country air and wholesome food and early hours, ought to be the very thing for you. Don’t mistake me,” she added, for I suppose I looked a trifle downcast; “you may find it dull but you won’t be unhappy. My niece is an angel. Her former maid, who died last spring, had been with her twenty years and worshipped the ground she walked on. She’s a kind mistress to all, and where the mistress is kind, as you know, the servants are generally good-humoured, so you’ll probably get on well enough with the rest of the household. And you’re the very woman I want for my niece: quiet, well-mannered, and educated above your station. You read aloud well, I think? That’s a good thing; my niece likes to be read to. She wants a maid that can be something of a companion: her last was, and I can’t say how she misses her. It’s a lonely life . . . Well, have you decided?”

“Why, ma’am,” I said, “I’m not afraid of solitude.”

“Well, then, go; my niece will take you on my recommendation. I’ll telegraph her at once and you can take the afternoon train. She has no one to wait on her at present, and I don’t want you to lose any time.”

I was ready enough to start, yet something in me hung back; and to gain time I asked, “And the gentleman, ma’am?”

“The gentleman’s almost always away, I tell you,” said Mrs. Railton, quick-like”and when he’s there,” says she suddenly, “you’ve only to keep out of his way.”

I took the afternoon train and got out at D station at about four o’clock. A groom in a dog-cart was waiting, and we drove off at a smart pace.”

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