CROSSED CONNECTIONS

Crossed Connections

Told by Barret Ravenhurst, PHD, Owner of The Emporium of Curious Goods.

Written by T. Fox Dunham

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, United States

 

Listen to the narrated version by David Walton on EP27: DECEMBER DARKNESS

Barret Ravenhurst told me a strange tale of telephones and the dead last time I visited Jim Thorpe, PA. Jim Thorpe is a beautiful town at the southern end of what we call the Poconos, a mountainous region of Pennsylvania. Many visit these mountains to enjoy the forests, parks and lakes to ski, hike or kayak. The towns were built during the coal mining era of Pennsylvania and are deeply rooted in Irish folklore and ghost stories.

Barret Ravenhurst runs the The Emporium of Curious Goods, a new age store providing relics and supplies to several religions including Buddhism and paganism. It is a beautiful store, more like a museum that smells of sweet incense and offers decorations of nature and Asian culture to the eye.

When I met Barret on this later day of August, he was a bit astounded by a series of events that had recently transpired. He says the events are hard to follow but all is understood by the end of the tale.

Years ago, they had a wiccan clerk named Debbie. She’d emailed him that her life partner, Bernie, had died of cancer at the age of 56 and asked Barret if he knew anyone who would conduct a Wiccan funeral. Barret knew of just the person: Psychic & Tarot reader, Dave.  Dave said he could do the service on Friday at 8PM, even though he was a stranger to Debbie and Bernie. After the service on Friday, Bernie was cremated and the ashes were scattered Sunday.

Now the Emporium as with all the downtown shops of Jim Thorpe, PA, has terrible pavement in the front. There was a cement contractor doing most of them over, and this contractor left a contract for Barret to sign on that Sunday. Barret decided to call the contractor’s office and leave a message for him to stop in the next day to pick up the contract. He dialed the 610 number listed on his contact information and was surprised when a lady answered. Barret introduced himself, said where he was calling from, and to his further surprise the women seemed to know Barret and even sounded happy that he called. He started to give the message about the contract, and the woman interrupted him: “Do you know who you are talking to, Barret?”

Barret replied with, “Ok. I give up. Who are you?” Her answer nearly made him fall off his chair.

“This is Debbie. We are out in the cemetery scattering Bernie’s ashes right now. I felt my phone vibrate. What number were you trying to call?” He told her, and the number shared no similarity to hers.

Barret thought this was the end of the story, but a little after 3PM, his friend Rick said he was hungry for french fries, so he phoned a nearby pizza place. However, instead of getting the pizza place, he ended up calling Dave, the psychic who performed the wiccan funeral. Again, the number was different. Dave told him he was out of fries and should order Chinese instead. Barret nearly fell out of his chair again.

Often, we hear stories of the dead trying to communicate through various and beclouded devices. Was this another such story? Or just a series of coincidences? What is the telephone connection to the dead? And can we hear their message?

 

THE GHOSTLY GREY CAT

The Ghostly Grey Cat

Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania

Written by Barrett Ravenhurst

Narrated by David Walton

Listen to the audio version from EPISODE 26: Zombie Turkey

 

I have owned the largest New Age shop in northeastern Pennsylvania, The Emporium of Curious Goods, for the past 19 years. For 16 of those years I lived in an upstairs apartment until I bought a 22-room Victorian mansion in the next town. Quite frequently during the apartment living, and still to this day downstairs in the shop, I see a large gray cat! Usually out of the corner of your eye, but then it vanishes when you look directly at it. I’m not the only one to see it. Many customers over the years have said things like, “You know you’re not alone in here,” or they’ll  just outright tell me they saw a big, gray cat which vanished before their eyes! One lady recently told me she saw it lying on a counter and went over to pet it, thinking it was real, and it vanished before she reached it.

Just a few months ago I was behind the counter and four teenage boys were looking at books in the front of the shop. I heard the familiar cat call, “puss, puss, puss, puss,” come from one of them. I looked up to see what was going on and they called back to me, “Hey, do you know you have a cat out here?” I asked them what it looked like and where it was. They told me it was a big, gray cat and had walked around the corner of the counter. Now, the counter in question is against the wall — so if it walked around the corner it had to vanish into the wall! When they looked for it again, they couldn’t find it.

My partner once saw a curtain (hanging at a door in a passageway) flip up at the bottom and then lower again just as if an invisible animal had walked under it. Both one of my clerks and I have actually felt a cat rub up against our leg as we sit behind the counter.

We don’t know where it came from, but we nicknamed it, “Spooky” and when we come in in the morning and find an item thrown off a shelf and broken on the floor, we always say, “Well, Spooky was on the prowl overnight again!”

One odd thing is the fact that the mansion I bought was the site of a suicide years ago. It belonged to a doctor and his wife committed suicide in the carriage house still on the property. She closed the door, turned the car on, and was found many hours later. There are many rumors I’ve heard as to why, but I do not know if any of them are true. But the ending of this story is that it is the most quiet house I’ve ever lived in. No activity at all, no feelings, no vibes, no nothing. I have five cats and at times they seem to follow with their eyes something moving across a room or up a wall, but at the same time I experience nothing.

The only odd thing concerning the cats is the fact that my oldest cat (which incidentally was gray) died of old age problems a few years ago in the house. I buried him under the kitchen window area outside in a large patch of ivy. This has now overgrown the grave site, but all the cats at various time sit on the kitchen windowsill and just stare down at the spot where Salazar is buried. Sometimes their tails twitch and their heads move back and forth as if they are following something outside. I’ve even gone out to look when this happens and there is never anything there (at least I can’t see it)…..but they definitely see and watch something.

It seems strange to me that a house from 1895 which probably had many deaths there over 100 years, plus a suicide, only manifests a recently deceased cat.

26: ZOMBIE TURKEY

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PLAY EPISODE 26:



HAPPY AMERICAN THANKSGIVING!

bloom-playersTo celebrate Thanksgiving, Phil and I have named this episode, Zombie Turkey, episode 26. We bring A Zombie’s First Thanksgiving—a comedy sketch recorded by the Bloomsburg Players about an eccentric couple trying to keep the holiday alive even though most of the world has been overrun by zombies.

 

 

THE GHOSTLY GREY CAT

True Ghost Story

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Doctor Berret Ravenhearst from his Curious Emporium Store in Jim Thorpe PA kicks off new segment, Ghost Stories of Jim Thorpe, PA—a series of true collected tales from northern Pennsylvania. The first ghost story, read by British folksinger David Walton, tells the tale of a ghost cat seen by the owners and patrons alike.

My partner once saw a curtain (hanging at a door in a passageway) flip up at the bottom and then lower again just as if an invisible animal had walked under it.”

 

THE DARK ONES RISE

 

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This is also the first episode playing part one of Let The Dark Ones Rise—an evening of horror authors recorded onsite from the KGB Bar and Club in the East Village, NYC, hosted by T. Fox Dunham. This will be a special available in complete from this podcast feed, but for each episode, they will play one author reading his material. First, we hear Shawn Macomber reading his short story from Savage Beasts, an anthology of stories inspired by horror music from Grey Matter Press.

 

CAVES OF DAMNATION

 

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To finalize the show, after Phil and Fox’s banter, they bring you a new band out of the Czech Republic, playing a dark musical melody meant to be the soundtrack to your darkest nightmares. Nemeur plays this episode from their Shadows of a Druid Album, Caves of Damnation, played with permission from the band.

neum-photoNemuer is an atmospheric dark folk ambient duo from the Czech Republic. Since 2014 Michael Mist and Katarina Pomorska’s main aim has been to immerse the listeners into the world of dark fantasy, eerie dreams, and mystical atmosphere. Nemuer’s soundtrack music features grim captivating tones of acoustic guitar, primordial chanting, female soprano, traditional and unique instruments, and unusual harmonies.Their two recent albums from the upcoming octalogy are interconnected with the dark fantasy novel Michael is currently working on. Each album corresponds to one chapter of the book, which builds to create a singularly intense experience.

 

Follow us on Twitter: @pfwhatafraidof

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Listen for us on PARA-X RADIO at our usual time slot on Saturday nights at 6PM.

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Sponsored in part by Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

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MERCY

(A Horror Medical Thriller Novel from Blood Bound Books.)

MERCY LARGE

By T. Fox Dunham

(Host of What Are You Afraid of Horror & Paranormal Podcast)

FANGORIA gives MERCY 3.5 out 4 Skulls – “Dunham has channeled his many brushes with the other side into the exquisitely rendered, lyrical supernatural hospital thriller MERCY.READ FULL REVIEW HERE.

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Author Tim Waggoner

Part medical horror, part supernatural suspense, MERCY is a hard-hitting fever dream of a novel. I enjoyed the hell out of it!” ~ Tim Waggoner, author of The Way of All Flesh and Eat The Night

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Author David Dunwoody

Pain and poetry flow in equal measure through these pages. Dunham’s prose strikes deep and hits all the right notes. MERCY is unforgettably vivid.” ~ David Dunwoody, author of Hell Walks and The 3 Egos

William Saint is dying of cancer. On most days death seems like a humane alternative to the treatment. Stricken with fever, William is rushed to Mercy—notorious as a place to send the sickest of the poor and uninsured to be forgotten—and finds the hospital in even worse condition than his previous visit. The grounds are unkempt, the foundation is cracking, and like the wild mushrooms sprouting from fissures of decay around it, something is growing inside the hospital. Something dark. It’s feeding on the sickness and sustaining itself on the staff, changing them. And now it wants Willie.

This was my death.

Life is an addiction.

Love is the only force that is real.

Read . . . and understand what I saw. I put it in metaphor. You do not understand what you do not

understand.

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Author of Mercy – T. Fox Dunham

Buy on Kindle at Amazon

Or Buy in Paperback at Amazon


MUSIC LIST

Caves of Damnation from the album Druid’s Labyrinth played with permission by the owner, Nemuer. All rights reserved.

“The Chamber” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Lamentation” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Classic Horror III” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

25: HALLOWEEN NIGHT 2016 SPECIAL

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PLAY EPISODE 25:



T. Fox Dunham, Phil Thomas & PD Cacek bring you this special & extra episode of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Podcast to celebrate Halloween 2016. It was recorded onsite at Uncanny Comics in the King of Prussia Mall, Philadelphia during their Malloween event. They handed out true ghost stories & candy then recorded the episode, joined by horror author PD Cacek who will be a regular part of the show.

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The show opens with an encore of Halloween Night by #indiemusic star Monk Turner. They discussed all things Halloween and paranormal, shared a few baking tips and even interviewed a traveling magician, Doug Stafford, who was on his way to a gig in Atlantic City. Katie Jordan, the show’s occult scholar, returned to talk about some of the darker traditions of Halloween, and PD Cacek shared two ghost stories from New Hope PA, narrated by the British folksinger, David Walton.

 

“I’m a ghost magnet.” Horror Author PD Cacek

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Noir author Paul D. Brazil of Europe gave the show a dark tale of murder and captivity below an English pub, narrated by T. Fox Dunham. And Monk Turner closed the show with a song called ‘It’s a Wicked Life’ (The Hades Song.)

 

“The thing lived in the furnace.” PD Cacek

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The hosts wish you a happy Halloween and hope you’ll enjoy the spooky night with their show. They will be on PARA-X RADIO at a special time on Oct 31st at 8PM and then have an episode for you every week, exploring the darkness on Saturdays at 6PM and from all major podcast services. Fox will be in Richmond on Saturday, November 5th for a special night of noir readers then in Philly for a unique and secretive night of metal bands. Phil’s new horror movie is soon to be released.

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MUSIC LIST

Halloween Night – Calendar – Monk Turner – With permission from the owner.

It’s a Wicked Life – Monk Turner – With permission from the owner.

“The Chamber” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Ritual” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Ritual” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Lamentation” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Classic Horror III” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

24: DAY OF THE DEAD

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PLAY EPISODE 24: DAY OF THE DEAD


 


Horror authors T. Fox Dunham & Phil Thomas dedicate this episode of What Are You Afraid Of? Horror & Paranormal Podcast to the many international holidays that celebrate death. Part of their countdown to Halloween—and the countdown is nearly complete!

Phil & Fox share this episode with special guests Mark Wenger & Dan Doran: directors, scriptwriters and producers of the popular Indie horror film, Terrortory. This delightful and low-budget movie is available on Amazon Prime for free until Nov 1st. The third of their trio, Kevin Kangas, was unavailable but has sent a written interview for the podcast website. The film was produced by Kangas Khan Films and makeup was done by Original Sin FX. The movie is an anthology of urban legends—a lot of slashers and monsters including a pumpkin-head guy, a sad silent clown and a killer drone—set in the woods of Maryland. Mark & Dan talk about their inspiration, filming style, setbacks making the film and give advice for new filmmakers. They offer listeners a special discount on purchases from Kangas Khan Films, but you have to listen to find out how to get it!

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Fox continues Clown News, giving you the latest update on the clown invasion. The clown march is canceled. This is getting out of hand!

Special paranormal correspondent & occult scholar, Katie ‘Montana’ Jordan of returns to talk about the Latin holiday, Day of the Dead or El Día de los Muertos. Listen to the podcast to learn about this rich tradition celebrated in Mexico, Central & South America. Don’t forget your candy skulls! Katie also shares a true ghost story she learned from a guide at the notorious underground tunnels of Portland: The Sad Baby.

“Maybe souls really do come back more prominently this time of the year.” Katie Jordan.

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They feature another true ghost story from author Suzanne Madron who lives in supernatural central, Gettysburg. Shadows Strange & the Thing in the Yard tells the story of a haunting in her home, narrated by British folksinger, David Walton.

The hosts end the show in the spirit of El Día de los Muertos  with the Latino group, The Cuban Cowboys, who perform the open license song, The Devil’s Dance. The cover art is from José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913). More information about this artist can be found on the podcast website. Now make sure to leave an extra plate of dinner for your deceased loved ones with a trail of rose petals to lead them to the table from the grave during this vibrant holiday celebrating life and death.


MUSIC LIST

The Devil’s Dance by Cuban Cowboys is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

“The Chamber” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

“Come Play With Me” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN KANGAS of KANGAS KHAN FILMS (TERRORTORY)

 

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On episode 24, we interview Dan Doren and Mark Wenger, the creators of the indie horror film TERRORTORY. Kevin Kangas, the third of the creative team, was unable to join us on EP 24, so we got an interview for the website. Kevin shares his knowledge of the film industry and wisdom for anyone trying to get started.

TERRORTORY is still available on Amazon Prime. Check out this original indie film.

BUY TERRORTORY.

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What is your mission as a film maker?

My mission, as I see it, is to entertain. I’m not one of those filmmakers looking to “make art” or change the world. I like creating, and I want to entertain people the way I was entertained by watching fun horror movies.

Could you tell us a bit about your inspirations, the movies you liked growing up, the directors you draw from?

My earliest inspirations are all writers, because I started writing at 12 years old, long before I even had a thought to direct or make movies. I read fantasy and horror at a young age, so my inspirations would be people like Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Dean Koontz, Terry Brooks, Jack Chalker, Stephen King, Agatha Christie. Any book that I read that spurred my imagination and made me want to DO that.

Growing up, horror was always the forbidden fruit. My parents became religious when I was around ten, and they started banning all sorts of stuff, from horror to D&D, so naturally I gravitated even more to it than before. My brother and I used to get up in the middle of the night to sneak downstairs and watch movies we weren’t supposed to, from the original Friday the 13th to Escape From New York to Zapped. In middle school when I went over to a buddy’s house for sleepovers, we always watched whatever horror was on one of the two movie channels(HBO&Showtime), which was great. His mom was always working, so we’d catch The Beast Within or Nightmares or Alien.

As for directors that I draw from, obviously John Carpenter to a great degree. I’d love to say I draw from Hitchcock, but that guy was so far ahead of the rest of us that I’m not even sure I understand how he did what he did. But I’d love to try. Also, there’s no way anybody in my age group isn’t influenced by Spielberg, who is probably the greatest overall filmmaker of all time.

What is your background in the industry?

I went to school for computer science, because I was always very computer savvy(before computers were common like today). I’d been writing screenplays for a while, but had never really considered making a movie until I took a film elective. From the first moments I shot film, I began thinking about dropping computer science and making movies. Due to some school trouble(declining grades and a fight with a campus monitor), I ended up dropping out of school, and eventually decided to make a film.

What are some of your earlier films?

“Hunting Humans” is my notorious first film. It still gets a lot of play because of the serial killer they caught with it in his truck a few years back. (google “Adam Leroy Lane Hunting Humans” to check it out) And then very recently they may have caught another murderer with it…the news just broke.

Then “Fear of Clowns” that Lionsgate picked up, and its sequel. Bounty with the legendary actor Tom Proctor followed, and “Garden of Hedon”, a giallo-esque murder mystery with horror elements.

Why do Terrortory? Where did it come from?

It was a weird happenstance. Mark sent me an email out of the blue—I didn’t know him. He said he was trying to get together a horror anthology set in a sort of Bermuda triangle in Maryland that he and Dan had thought up. We could do any story set there—slasher, ghost, monster. Whatever we wanted to. That was appealing.

But I didn’t have any ideas offhand, and I thought I was going to be moving into production of another feature at that point, so I turned him down. A few months later, though, and I knew I wasn’t going to do the feature, AND an idea occurred to me. It was Smiling Jack.

I emailed him back and said I’d be interested in doing one. We went out and shot Smiling Jack a few months later. Some of the other filmmakers he’d gotten didn’t get back with films, so I said I’d do another one. Then another one. And the wrap. Pretty soon I’d done all but two of the pieces, and I think I helped flesh out the mythology of the Terrortory. You can probably see my interest in the Terrortory steers more toward the supernatural, which balanced well with Mark’s slasher and Dan’s real-world technology runs amok stories.

What kind of budget did it need? And how do you spend that money?

From the get-go Mark had said we weren’t spending much money. It had to be very low budget—and since I was footing the bill for each of my segments, that was never a question. I’m not a rich guy. Making low-budget movies is certainly not a big money-maker in this day and age, so if there was any chance of making a profit, we HAD to keep our costs low.

The money is sort of split between FX/props, paying the actors something whenever we can, craft services(which, on my sets, means boxes of fritos and potato chips, and either hot subs or pizza, which are the only restaurants close by to the wooded area we shot in), lens rentals and whatever other things are necessary.

How did you get your actors and writers?

Well, I write all my own stuff. The only time I haven’t in the past is when I work with a writer buddy of mine, Luke Theriault. But I always pass my stuff by him and my UPM Rob Ziegler(who’s also a writer) to get their thoughts about my stuff when I’m done.

Mark and Dan wrote their segments.

As for actors, I have to say that casting is one of the worst parts of making indie movies. I hate it. So lately I tend to write parts for actors I know, and then casting’s easy. But casting was inevitable once I started doing more than one segment, so we listed in Backstage and put feelers out among the community. The Maryland film community is pretty big. But man, on my last segment “The Midnight Clown”, it was hard filling those roles. We had used so many local actors it seemed like we’d used up everybody, so I was sweating casting right up until the week we shot…it was nerve-wracking.

Any new projects on the horizon?

I’m always writing. Right now just trying to take a break, because Terrortory was a brutal two-years of my time. But honestly, I enjoyed the anthology format and I love Halloween, so I’ve been thinking about doing a Halloween anthology. Then there’s always Terrortory 2…I’ve already written the new wrap-around script because I can’t stop my mind from going where it goes, and I think it came up a pretty good idea. The wrap story in an anthology is the hardest part, so having this one already is pretty big.

In the end it will come down to what I feel like doing.

What advice would you give to new film makers entering the industry?

This is always the question I dread getting. Most filmmakers will tell you stuff like “Man, just go out and do it. It’ll be great.”

I’m not that filmmaker. Making movies is hard. It’s not simply a matter of taking that new DSLR you got and pointing it at someone who mouths words.  Just because it’s easier and cheaper than ever to create pretty video with decent sound doesn’t mean it’s easy to make a good movie.

My honest advice is this: Don’t do it. Find something else to do where you’ll get paid an honest wage, because you’re not going to get that making movies. What you will get is tired and broke, and all for the bonus of saying you’re “a director” while the internet takes glee in sniping at you and what you’ve done.

BUT…

If you cannot do that—if you cannot NOT make movies—then do it. If you have a hollow feeling in your gut when you’re not creating STUFF, do it. It’s why I do it…I can’t NOT do it.

The important part then will be to learn your craft. Learn how to write. This is the #1 most important thing to being a director. You need to know how to tell a story on paper first, then on camera.

Don’t write about boring shit in your life; nobody cares about the guy who works at the pizza place who’s pining for the waitress who ignores him(unless he then decides to kill her or her boyfriend). Nobody’s interested in a drama that takes place between two people sitting at a table.

Learn how to shoot with the camera, and I don’t mean on Auto mode. Figure out how f-stops and shutter speeds work. Learn about composition. And for fuck’s sake, don’t shoot every shot from eye-level on a tripod.

Then…go do it. It won’t be easy. The first few things you do will suck, but that’s normal for pretty much anything.

kevin