A companion on this paranormal quest.

I may love the the idea of paranormal things, but I know I would be unable to execute a complete investigation by myself. At the first suspicious creak of a floorboard or the guttering of a candle’s flame, I would shriek and bolt … if I were alone.

When I realized I wanted to get serious about chasing shadows, I sent out the call for a partner, or partners, who could steady me. Predictably, most of my friends and family laughed. When it comes to my interest in all things creepy, I am a biological sport. (Ten points to anyone who can name that reference BEFORE following the link I’ll provide in a minute.)

The first person to answer my call for a paranormal study-buddy was Artemis Omble. I was surprised. We hadn’t seem each other in years, and the circumstances of our original meeting had been … unusual. In hindsight, though, it makes perfect sense that the core of our little group will be Artemis, my husband (Ogre) and me. After all, more than two decades ago, on the weekend before Halloween, we visited Ed Gein’s grave together.

Artemis is starting her own blog, called OmbleMeanders. She’s the mostly-skeptical yang to my I-want-to-believe yin. As we begin working on investigations, we will be hosting a Facebook page where we can interact directly. (Along with the other members of our group.) In the meantime, you might want to pop over to her place to say hey and have a look around. (You gotta go see the weird photograph she found under the linoleum of her kitchen floor.)

P.S. Ogre, you are on notice. ‘Might want to get something up on your photo blog before I announce you to the world.

So what’s the biological sport reference?


A dark Halloween. (2011)

Thirteen years ago – in what I now recognize as a 3-day-long manic state – I made a tripod website called Dark Touchstones. (Remember tripod websites?) As a special treat to myself, I spent much of Halloween day bringing that content to The Paranormalist. Have a look by visiting Dark Touchstones – a lifetime’s worth of creepy stuff, circa 1997.

NOTE: Most of the tags listed below actually refer to the content of Dark Touchstones. (Apparently I can’t tag pages, only posts.)

P.S. If I were writing Dark Touchstones now, my favorite authors (with their best) list would now have to include Joe Hill and Heart Shaped Box.


I didn’t spend the whole day in front of the computer, though. At about 5p, my 16-year-old son and I decided to raid the old costume trunks and take our dog trick-or-treating in Anoka. (We might be past the age for such things, but Fierce Guard Dog is only 13 months old.)

I donned the dog-suit and fashioned myself a leash and collar from a scrap of red velvet, duct tape and a belt. We put our dog in a one of my favorite t-shirts. (Get it? I was the dog, the dog was me.) The boy opted to dress as a rather dashing pirate. As we rummaged for pirate-y accessories, we found a pair of devil-wings that looked to be the right size for the dog, so we put those on him too … which messed with our “theme” but looked cute.

We didn’t really trick-or-treat of course, though some friends we visited did scrounge up a biscuit for Fierce Guard Dog. Instead we met up with my husband for a walk through the loveliest Halloween evening we’ve had in years. Sadly, there were few costumed children dashing through the warm night, and most of the houses were dark, their stoops devoid of pumpkins. I am reluctantly beginning to believe that Halloween, as we knew it, is dying.

Still, the crescent moon rode bright in the cloud streaked sky, the leaves crunched as we kicked through the gutters and the dog’s devil-wings flapped as he pranced along beside us.

Now, to finish my nostalgic day, I’m going to settle in with a handful of fun-size Milky Way bars and the classic 1978 film, Halloween. (In which there are many glowing jack-lanterns, and my favorite holiday is eternally preserved.)


Image by wwarby via Flickr