Monday, December 19, 2016

Holiday Break

I wanted to let everyone know that I'm taking a break from the blog until January since this time of year is so hectic. I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a Happy New Year! : )


Thursday, December 15, 2016

UFO Socks

Check out these cool socks I found last weekend! : )


If you want a pair of your own, head to the nearest Urban Outfitters or get them on the website:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

21 Supernatural Encounters

The Lineup recently posted a list of 21 real-life supernatural encounters, and some of them are pretty creepy, so I wanted to share them here. You might want to avoid reading these right before bed or when you're alone. ; )

http://www.the-line-up.com/supernatural-encounters/?sf43908420=1

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Haunted Airbnb Rentals

The Destination America website recently posted a list of five of the best haunted Airbnb rentals in the world, so of course I wanted to share it here. If you're planning on visiting London, Essex, Savannah, New Orleans, or Saint Paul and want to stay in a haunted Airbnb, check out the list. : )

http://www.destinationamerica.com/thehauntist/five-of-the-best-haunted-airbnb-getaways/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=thehauntist&sf43736098=1

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Movie Spotlight: The Crooked Man

The Crooked Man is a 2016 Syfy original movie starring Dmitrious Bistrevsky, Angelique Rivera, Reilly Stith, Marco Rodriguez, Michael Jai White, and Cameron Jebo. A young girl suffers a violent death at a slumber party after 12-year-old Olivia sings a nursery rhyme that summons a demon called The Crooked Man (Dmitrious Bistrevs). Olivia (Angelique Rivera) returns to the town six years later, and when people who were present the night of the slumber party start dying, she's certain The Crooked Man is back.

Syfy movies have a tendency to be silly (which is one of the reasons I like them), but The Crooked Man is pretty creepy and better than most of the Syfy original movies I've seen. (Ghost Shark is still my favorite though.) The actors were great, especially Angelique Rivera and Cameron Jebo, and the movie was better than I expected, so that was a nice surprise, : )

My rating: 7.5/10


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Monsters in America Art Show

If you live near Portland, Maine, and are interested in cryptids, head to the International Cryptozoology Museum for the Monsters in America art show! The exhibit runs through December 31st, and if you can't make it to the museum, you can see the art here:

http://monstersinamericashow.blogspot.com


For more info about the International Cryptozoology Museum, check out their website:

http://cryptozoologymuseum.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

Greek Mythology Book Sale!

This isn't paranormal, but I wanted to let everyone know that two of my books will be on sale for 99¢ November 25th-28th (for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday), so if you like Greek mythology, I hope you'll check them out! : )

For I Am Zeus: A Collection of Plays About Greek Mythology

For I Am Zeus: A Collection of Plays About Greek Mythology contains six short plays about the most entertaining of the Greek gods. Join Zeus as he suffers through marriage counseling, makes an indecent proposal to his sisters, and tries to sleep with anything that moves.

https://www.amazon.com/Am-Zeus-Collection-Plays-Mythology-ebook/dp/B0085H0MH6/

Goat Herpes and Other Problems

It's Willow's first day on the job at Godly Acres, the world's premier rehabilitation facility for gods and goddesses, and she might be in over her head. Sex addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, goat herpes...you name it, there's a Greek god who has it. Will she be able to help these gods and goddesses work through their issues? Find out in Goat Herpes and Other Problems! (Goat Herpes and Other Problems contains the plays "Godly Acres," "Godly Acres: Bitch Session," and "Playing Doctor.")

https://www.amazon.com/Herpes-Other-Problems-Crystal-Smith-Connelly-ebook/dp/B00KNDYRXA/

Monday, November 21, 2016

Haunted California Beaches

I love California, so I'm always interested to read Backpackerverse's articles about the Golden State's haunted and paranormal spots, like this list of their ten most haunted beaches. I usually avoid the beach, but I've actually been to three of the beaches on this list (Venice Beach, Santa Monica Beach, and Marina Beach)...I didn't see any headless ghosts, shadow people, or possibly demonic horned creatures who speak in Tongues though. : )

http://backpackerverse.com/best-beaches-in-california/

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Review: The 37th Parallel by Ben Mezrich

The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America's UFO Highway is a 2016 book by Ben Mezrich. Volunteer sheriff's deputy/microchip engineer Chuck Zukowski has been interested in UFOs since he was a teenager and often travels with his family to investigate reports of an extraterrestrial nature. When he discovers that mutilated livestock has been found on a ranch in Rush, Colorado, Chuck decides to get to the bottom of this incident and several other mutilations that have occurred around the "UFO Highway."

The 37th Parallel is a fascinating book, and I was surprised to learn that there have been more than 10,000 cases of unexplained animal mutilation over the past fifty years. I didn't know much about the UFO Highway, but basically it's the 37th degree of latitude and touches Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and it has seen a fair amount of possible extraterrestrial activity (you can find info about some of these events that have occurred along the 37th Parallel here: http://nypost.com/2016/09/04/this-investigator-chases-aliens-along-americas-paranormal-highway/). The entire book was interesting, but the parts I enjoyed the most were the accounts of Chuck's visits to the Roswell UFO Museum and Research Center and the UFO Watchtower in Hooper, Colorado, since those are places I've also visited. : )

My rating: 8/10

You can check out Chuck's website here:

http://www.ufonut.com/


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Death By UFO?

I recently came across a list of people who died after encounters with UFOs, and since I reviewed a book on this topic not too long ago (Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind...you can find my review here: http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2016/09/book-review-close-encounters-of-fatal.html), I wanted to share it here. It's an interesting article, and the cases of Jonathan Lovette and The Guarapiranga Reservoir Man are particularly disturbing.

http://listverse.com/2016/11/02/10-people-who-died-following-interaction-with-a-ufo/

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Bigfoot Magnet

I found this cool Bigfoot magnet at It's Sugar in Myrtle Beach, and I thought some of you guys would like it. If you want one of your own, you can find it here:

http://www.ephemera-inc.com/I-ve-got-nothing-to-prove-to-you-people-p/6534.htm


Friday, November 4, 2016

Book Review: Shadow People and Cursed Objects

Shadow People and Cursed Objects: 13 Tales of Terror Based on True Stories...or are they? is a 2016 book edited by C. Le Mroch (the creator of Haunt Jaunts, a website I've linked to many times on this blog). Ten authors contributed stories to this anthology, and after you read each story, you can flip to the back to find out whether it was based on a true story. Here's a little about the stories:

"The Busby Chair" by Alice J. Black: A cursed chair causes the death of anyone who sits on it.
"The Storm on Promise Land Road" by Ken Teutsch: A father and daughter are caught in a ghostly storm.
"Bye, Bye, Blackbird" by Emerian Rich: A cursed necklace brings trouble into a woman's life.
"The Gypsy's Curse" by C. Le Mroch: A woman receives mysterious phone calls related to a haunted pond she visited as a child.
"The Black Flowers" by Barry Charman: Two funeral directors find an empty black coffin (which is made from a dead hanging tree) outside the gates of their funeral home with instructions to bury it.
"The South Will Rise Again" by Keith Karabin: Two armies (one human and one ghostly) battle in Virginia's Great Dismal Swamp.
"Lady Winters' Mirror" by S. Mickey Lin: A woman buys a haunted Victorian mirror at an auction.
"Doomsday, Every Night at Five" by Evan Dicken: A child's deceased grandfather appears in a broken TV set and makes some disturbing premonitions.
"Fatty and the Nothing Man" by Sean Ealy: Bullies lock a classmate in a haunted house and soon come to regret it.
"Murder for Dummies" by Carl Barker: A young girl goes backstage after a ventriloquist's show and discovers that the dummy is really the one in charge.
"Pedro" by C. Le Mroch: Ten-year-old Kyle blames his imaginary friend whenever he gets in trouble, but Pedro might not be as imaginary as Kyle's father believes.
"The Mannequin in the Middle of the Road" by C. Le Mroch: After a man hits a mannequin that was lying in the road, he puts it in the trunk of his car...and the mannequin isn't happy about it.
"Comeuppance" by C. Le Mroch: A woman stays in a haunted hotel on a business trip.

I enjoyed all the stories in Shadow People and Cursed Objects, but my favorites were "The Gypsy's Curse," Lady Winters' Mirror," and "Comeuppance." If you enjoy reading about ghosts, haunted objects, and things like that, you should definitely check this book out. : )

My rating: 8/10


Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite day of the year...I always wear a costume, even if I don't go anywhere, and I usually start planning it by July or August. Here are some pictures of Halloween costumes I've worn over the years. : )







Friday, October 28, 2016

Horror Movie Locations

Since Halloween is in a few days, I thought it would be a good time to share this article about horror movie locations. If you love horror movies like I do and are interested in seeing where some of them were filmed (such as Psycho, The Shining, and The Amityville Horror), this list should be pretty helpful. : )

http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/haunted/photos/horror-movie-locations?soc=TCsocial_20161012_66750566&adbid=10154567112553851&adbpl=fb&adbpr=15672033850

Monday, October 24, 2016

This Year's Halloween Costume: '80s Ghostbuster

Since Ghostbusters was my favorite movie of 2016, I decided that I'm going to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween this year...I didn't want to use the same costume I wore in 2014 though, and I love '80s costumes, so I combined the two. Here are a few pictures of my '80s Ghostbuster costume, and of course I'll post some pictures of me wearing it (with crimped hair, red fingerless gloves, Ghostbusters earrings, and lots of bracelets) after Halloween. : )



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

California Cryptids

Since Los Angeles is my favorite city, I like to keep up with Backpackerverse's articles on paranormal California. Recently I came across one about the most mysterious cryptids in California, so I thought I'd share it here...if you'd like to learn about the Lone Pine Mountain Devil, Tahoe Tessie, the Fresno Alien, and seven other cryptids, check it out! : )

http://backpackerverse.com/california-cryptids/

For more interesting articles about paranormal phenomena in California, you can find the Paranormal California Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/paranormalcalifornia/



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book Review: Ghosts from Our Past by Erin Gilbert and Abby L. Yates with Andrew Shaffer

Ghosts from Our Past: Both Literally and Figuratively: The Study of the Paranormal is a 2016 book by Erin Gilbert and Abby L. Yates, with Andrew Shaffer. It was featured in this summer's Ghostbusters movie as a book written by Erin (Kristen Wiig) and Abby (Melissa McCarthy), and since I loved the movie so much, of course I had to buy the book! The book consists of three sections: Erin and Abby's experiences, their research, and their methods. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones), and Kevin the receptionist (Chris Hemsworth) also contribute to the book.

Future paranormal investigators will be interested in the chapter that lists all of the things you might need before you take part in a paranormal investigation and the section that talks about the most haunted types of locations (houses, theaters, hotels, battlefields, prisons, hospitals, and cemeteries).
The chapter on malevolent spirits is really interesting, and the authors give examples of each class of spirit from least malevolent to the ones most likely to kill you:

Class 1: ghostly mist
Class 2: disembodied hand
Class 3: The Night Man (ghost of a sailor who warns people if a storm is coming)
Class 4: John Belushi
Class 5: The Hastings Fountain (a fountain of blood)
Class 6: kelpies (ghost horses)
Class 7: Krampus

Ghosts from Our Past is funny and very informative, and though it was written as a movie tie-in, it actually seems like it would be helpful for real-life paranormal investigators. If you're a fan of the new Ghostbusters movie or are just interested in paranormal investigation, you should check out Ghosts from Our Past. : )

My rating: 9/10




Here's my review of Ghostbusters:
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2016/07/movie-spotlight-ghostbusters-2016.html

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Movie Spotlight: The Conjuring 2

The Conjuring 2 is a 2016 movie starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Frances O'Connor, Madison Wolfe, Simon McBurney, and Franka Potente. Demonologist Ed (Patrick Wilson) and clairvoyant Lorraine (Vera Farmiga) Warren travel to London to take on the case of the Enfield haunting and try to help a single mother (Frances O'Connor) of four get rid of the evil spirits in their house. Like the first movie in the series, The Conjuring 2 is based on a real case that the Warrens worked on; the Enfield Poltergeist is a well-known case and is known as "England's Amityville." The Hodgson family was terrorized from 1977 to 1979, and the Warrens were called in when the youngest daughter started showing signs of possession.

The Conjuring 2 is pretty creepy and featured great performances from all of the actors. I really liked Vera Farmiga on Bates Motel and Patrick Wilson on Fargo, and they're great together as the Warrens in The Conjuring series. I hope there will be many more movies about the real cases Ed and Lorraine worked on...the scariest book I've ever read is The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and there are many cases in the book that would make great (possibly terrifying) movies.

My rating: 8/10




Here's my review of The Conjuring:
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2013/11/movie-spotlight-conjuring.html

My review of The Demonologist:
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2014/02/book-review-demonologist-by-gerald.html

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Give Hell a Chance on sale!

Give Hell a Chance: A Book of Plays is on sale for 99¢ through October 5th! It contains nine plays about Satan...and you've never seen him like this! Join Satan as he meets his long-lost son, deals with his teenage daughter's desire to start dating, and tries to work through his issues with God in therapy.

https://www.amazon.com/Give-Hell-Chance-Book-Plays-ebook/dp/B01L68QK3A/

               

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Zombeavers

Zombeavers is a 2014 horror comedy movie starring Rachel Melvin, Hutch Dano, Cortney Palm, Lexi Athins, Bill Burr, Jake Weary, and Peter Gilroy. A group of college students are attacked by zombie beavers while spending the weekend at a cabin in the woods. (Nothing good can come from staying at a cabin in the woods...haven't these people seen The Evil Dead? Or Friday the 13th? Or The Cabin in the Woods?)

Horror comedy is one of my favorite genres, so I'm glad I watched this movie (thanks, Netflix!). The cast was great, and I loved the ending. Zombeavers is bloody, funny, and ridiculous (in a good way), and it'll make you stay away from dams for the rest of your life. I love animals, but those beavers were real assholes. ; )

My rating: 7.5/10


Monday, September 19, 2016

A Tribute to Murray, the World's Cutest Hamster

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you've probably seen some pictures of Murray, the world's cutest hamster. I'm sorry to say that Murray passed away last night...he spent the last few hours of his life sleeping in my hand, and I was holding his tiny paw when he went. He died exactly two years after we brought him home, and I always did my best to make sure he knew how loved he was (by kissing him all the time and spoiling him rotten). He made me really happy, and I'm going to miss him so much. Here are some of my favorite paranormal/horror pictures of him.













Thursday, September 15, 2016

My Favorite Bad Movie: Hobgoblins

Hobgoblins is a 1988 movie written and directed by Rick Sloane and starring Tom Bartlett, Paige Sullivan, Steven Boggs, Kelley Palmer, Billy Frank, and Daran Norris (who you may have seen on Veronica Mars or iZombie or heard in Team America: World Police). When a group of alien/goblin creatures escape from a movie studio, a young security guard named Kevin (Tom Bartlett) must try to capture them before they kill his friends.  These hobgoblins somehow know where Kevin lives and are hellbent on making his friends' wildest fantasies come true right before slaughtering them.

I discovered Hobgoblins in high school when I saw it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It was the worst movie I'd ever seen, but I felt like I really needed to own it, so I bought it on video and later bought the MST3K version when it was released on DVD. (I also bought Hobgoblins 2, but haven't felt the need to watch it more than once.) I'd much rather watch a terrible movie than a mediocre one, and Hobgoblins is glorious in its awfulness; it includes the worst fight scene ever seen on film (but it might be the best fight scene involving two guys sparring with garden tools), as well as the worst phone sex line and strip club ever. (Here's a good tip: If you come across a place called Club Scum that's managed by a guy named Roadrash, maybe don't go in.) When a hobgoblin attacks in one scene, it's obvious that someone just threw a stuffed animal from off-camera and the actress is holding it to her neck and rolling around with it (or as they said of the hobgoblin attacks on MST3K, "Someone's rubbing puppets on us!"). If you enjoy bad movies, Hobgoblins is a great one to watch. : )

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Free Book: Paranormal Jokes and Haiku

Paranormal Jokes and Haiku is free September 14th-18th! : )


Paranormal Jokes and Haiku explores the lighter side of the paranormal...you won't get scared reading these poems and corny jokes about ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, and other creatures of the unknown! The book contains 49 haiku and 26 groan-inducing jokes from paranormal blogger Crystal Smith-Connelly (of the blog Why would you want to be normal when you could be paranormal?).

Why do they call him Bigfoot? Are they trying to Make him self-conscious?

What is a ghost's favorite instrument? The boo-kulele


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Halloween Decorations 2016

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you probably know that I'm obsessed with Halloween...so of course my Halloween decorations are already up (and have been since August 31st). I could only do a small Halloween display this year, but here are some pictures of what I've done so far.  : )







Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Review: Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind by Nick Redfern

My brother gave me Nick Redfern's Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind: Suspicious Deaths, Mysterious Murders, and Bizarre Disappearances in UFO History for Christmas last year, and I'm glad he did because it's one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. I've been interested in aliens/UFOs since childhood, and I've read a lot of books on the subject, so of course this one was right up my alley. Here are a few interesting things the book covers:

-Joao Prestes Filho, who basically melted in front of doctors in June 1947
-James Forrestal, the first U.S. Secretary of Defense...he died after supposedly jumping from the 16th floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1949, but some believe that he may have been pushed because he knew too much about UFOs
-Pont-Saint-Esprit (France), where hundreds of people had hallucinations of terrifying creatures in August 1951
-JFK and his connection to UFOs: He'd told William Holden of the Air Force that he wanted to tell the public what he knew about the UFO cover-up, and rumor has it that there's a CIA document stating that JFK knew the truth about the Roswell crash and told Marilyn Monroe about it.

If you're interested in UFOs, you should check out Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind; it's one of the most interesting books I've read on the topic, and I really enjoyed reading it. Nick Redfern has written several books, and I'm definitely going to read some more of them. : )

My rating: 8/10


Thursday, September 1, 2016

September: The Month of Bigfoot

I've never thought of September as Bigfoot Month, but according to Haunt Jaunts' calendar of paranormal/horror festivals, there are three Bigfoot festivals this month, so I guess September is the month to celebrate Bigfoot. First up is the International Bigfoot Conference in Kennewick, Washington, which takes place September 2nd-4th.

http://www.internationalbigfootconference.com/

That same weekend (on the 3rd), there's also the Bigfoot Celebration in Willow Creek, California.

http://www.redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=3689

Minerva, Ohio's Minerva Monster Day takes place on September 23rd and 24th and will focus on Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Minerva Monster, and the Beast of Whitehall.

http://minervamonsterday.com/

Check out Haunt Jaunts for a list of all of the fun paranormal and horror festivals going on all year. : )

http://www.hauntjaunts.net/paracons-horror-fests/


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ash vs Evil Dead on DVD

Ash vs Evil Dead comes out on DVD today! I'm a fan of the Evil Dead movies (and I'm obsessed with Evil Dead the Musical), so I've been excited about this show since I first heard about it...I don't have the Starz channel though, so I haven't been able to watch it yet. I'm pretty excited to go buy it today so I can finally see it. Ash vs Evil Dead stars Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Jill Marie Jones, and you can get it on DVD and Blu-ray right now! : )


Friday, August 19, 2016

The Aykroyd Family Business

Everyone knows that Dan Aykroyd wrote and starred in Ghostbusters, but many people might not realize that the Aykroyd family has had some real-life experience with the paranormal.  Samuel Aykroyd, Dan's great-grandfather, regularly held seances in his home and was fascinated with ectoplasm; his grandson Peter (Dan's father) would watch from the doorway as a young boy and ended up writing a book called A History of Ghosts: The True Story of Seances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters (which I'm requesting from the library right now, of course). For more info, check out this article:

http://mentalfloss.com/article/82942/real-ghost-hunting-history-aykroyds

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Spirits of Serial Killers

I've always felt that people are generally scarier than ghosts because humans are capable of some really awful things...but what about evil people who stick around after they die? The Occult Museum published a list of a few serial killers who are allegedly trying to continue their reign of terror from beyond the grave, so check out the article if you want to find out what Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and Jack the Ripper have been up to in death.

http://www.theoccultmuseum.com/5-sadistic-serial-killers-whose-spirits-still-remain/

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Lazer Team

Lazer Team is 2015 movie starring Burnie Burns, Gavin Free, Michael Jones, Colton Dunn, Allie DeBerry, and Alan Ritchson. Four men find a battle suit at a UFO crash site (from a crash that was caused by one of the men shooting fireworks) and must use the suit's powers to save the planet from evil aliens.

I enjoyed Lazer Team...it's funny, entertaining, and has aliens, so what's not to like? The four leads were great...especially Colton Dunn, who I loved as one of the hilarious animal control guys on Parks and Recreation. There's a sequel in the works, and I'll definitely watch it when it comes out on DVD. : )

My rating: 7/10


Thursday, August 4, 2016

ScareLA

If you're as obsessed with Halloween as I am, and you happen to be in L.A. this weekend, you're definitely going to want to check out ScareLA, a convention dedicated to the awesomeness that is Halloween. Unfortunately, I won't be able to go because I'm already back in Charleston, and I hate that I have to miss it since it sounds like the best thing ever. ScareLA takes place August 6th and 7th at the Pasadena Convention Center, and you can get all the info here:

http://2016.scarela.com

If you go, make sure to see Nilbog: the unauthorized musical parody of Troll 2...I saw it during my L.A. trip and loved it (and I haven't even seen Troll 2). : )


Monday, August 1, 2016

America's Top UFO Festivals

Most people have probably heard about the Roswell UFO Festival, but if you can't make it to New Mexico, there are a few more UFO festivals you can check out. Contact in the Desert, the Utah UFO Festival, the International UFO Congress, the McMenamins UFO Festival, and the Massachusetts UFO Festival are some other great UFO festivals, and you can find out more about them here:

http://vegasseven.com/2016/06/02/festivals-of-mystery/

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Taking a Break

I just wanted to let everyone know that I'll be taking a break from the blog until the beginning of August...I'm going to L.A. tomorrow, so I'll be too busy to work on the blog until I get back. : )

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Ghostbusters (2016)

I've been looking forward to the new Ghostbusters movie for a long time and have been really annoyed by all the negative people who have been claiming it would be terrible. I saw the movie today, and I'm happy to report that all of those people have been proven wrong...I knew I'd like the movie, but I loved it even more than I thought I would! Paul Feig was definitely the right person to direct this movie, and the script (by Feig and Katie Dippold) was great...I loved the plot, and I laughed just as much as I did at the original Ghostbusters.

Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are awesome and badass as the new Ghostbusters, and Chris Hemsworth is hilarious as their not-too-bright receptionist. The special effects are incredible, and some of the ghosts really creeped me out (the haunted mannequin just might give me nightmares). If you go see it, make sure to stay through the end credits, or you'll miss some good stuff. I feel bad for the people who refuse to see this because they think a movie can somehow retroactively ruin their childhoods (which is pretty much the dumbest thing I've ever heard)...they're missing out on such a terrific movie. Watching Ghostbusters was the most fun I've had at a movie theater in a long time, and I really hope there's a sequel. Though I grew up with (and still love) the original Ghostbusters, Gilbert, Yates, Holtzmann, and Tolan are the Ghostbusters I want to be.

My rating: 10/10

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ghostbusters Comes Out Today!

There's really only one movie I have to see in the theater this summer, and of course that movie is Ghostbusters. I know there's been a ton of negative talk from sexist drama queens who think a remake of a movie can ruin a childhood that already happened, but I think it's going to be awesome! I'm going to do my best to see it opening weekend and get my review up before I leave for L.A., and for now I'll leave you with Screenrant's article about reasons to be excited for the movie. : )

http://screenrant.com/reasons-to-look-forward-to-ghostbusters-reboot/

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book Review: My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

I read Grady Hendrix's Satan Loves You a few years ago (and since I write plays about Satan, of course I loved it), so I was really excited to read his new book, which is called My Best Friend's Exorcism and takes place in Charleston, SC, which happens to be my hometown. Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since the age of 10, but sophomore year of high school, things begin to change between them...because 1988 is the year Gretchen gets possessed by the devil.

My Best Friend's Exorcism is funny, gross (and the gross parts are described so well that they're really easy to envision), and chilling, and Hendrix writes teenage girls really well (he also writes possessed teenage girls really well). The exorcism scene was one of the best exorcism scenes I've ever read, and I hope someone makes a movie version of this book because I'd love to see that scene on the big screen. Also, I'm pretty obsessed with the '80s, so I loved all of the '80s references in the book. My Best Friend's Exorcism was everything I hoped it would be, and I definitely recommend it. : )

My rating: 10/10


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Movie Spotlight: The Boy

The Boy is a 2016 movie starring Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle, Ben Robson, Jett Klyne, James Russell, and Lily Pater. Greta (Lauren Cohan) agrees to be a nanny for a family in England and learns that the 8-year-old boy she is supposed to take care of is actually a life-sized doll (easiest job ever!). After she breaks a few of the family's rules, odd things start happening, and Greta wonders if "The Boy" is more than just a doll.

If the people I worked for introduced me to their "son," and he was obviously a doll that they wanted me to treat like a real person, that would be my cue to leave, but that would be a really short movie, so of course that's not what happened in The Boy. Despite the fact that the way the characters treat the doll is pretty ridiculous, I enjoyed the movie and thought that Lauren Cohan and Rupert Evans gave great performances. I wouldn't say the movie was scary, but it was creepy, and if there's a sequel, I'll definitely watch it. : )

My rating: 7.5/10


Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Real Lady Ghostbusters

Since the new Ghostbusters movie is coming out soon, and I'm not a whiny idiot who thinks a remake with female Ghostbusters can somehow ruin a childhood that already happened, I thought it would be a good time to share this article I came across called "The Real Lady Ghostbusters: Meet the Most Influential Female Paranormal Investigators in the Field Today." Some of the women included in the article are Amy Bruni (formerly of Ghost Hunters), Amy Allan from The Dead Files, and Lorraine Warren, who is probably the world's most well-known female paranormal investigator (thanks in part to The Conjuring). : )

http://weekinweird.com/2016/06/18/the-real-lady-ghostbusters-meet-the-most-influential-female-paranormal-investigators-in-the-field-today/

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Roswell UFO Festival 2016

This year's Roswell UFO Festival starts on July 1st, and if you get a chance, you should definitely go...I went in 2013, and it was so much fun! The festival offers lots of interesting lectures by UFO experts, and you can see who the guests will be here:

http://www.ufofestivalroswell.com/ufo-festival-guest-speakers/

Check out the UFO Festival's website to see what fun stuff will be going on this weekend! : )

http://www.ufofestivalroswell.com/

Friday, June 24, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Ava's Possessions

Ava's Possessions is a 2015 movie starring Louisa Krause, Whitney Able, Deborah Rush, William Sadler, Wass Stevens, Zachary Booth, Dan Fogler, Carol Kane, and Lou Taylor Pucci. After a priest exorcises a demon from Ava (Louisa Krause), she cannot remember the past month and must attend a Spirit Possessions Anonymous support group in order to avoid jail time for the things she did while possessed. She tries to get her life back on track, but that would be easier if the demon weren't trying to come back.

I've watched a bunch of movies about demonic possession, but I think this is the first one I've seen that deals with how the victims move on with their lives once the demon is gone...it's a really cool concept for a movie, and I'm glad I found Ava's Possessions. Louisa Krause was impressive, both as possessed Ava and Ava-after-demon. If you like movies about possession, you should check this one out...it's a fun movie with a new take on the demonic possession genre. : )

My rating: 7.5/10


Monday, June 20, 2016

Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum

I just found out about a cool museum in North Carolina...it's in Littleton, which is a 5 1/2 hour drive from where I live, so I probably won't get to go, but I thought some of you guys might be interested. It's called the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum, and according to the museum's website, it's "dedicated to the study and display of creatures and phenomena not recognized by traditional science," such as Bigfoot, ghosts, cryptids, river monsters, and UFOs. Sounds like my kind of museum! : )

If you'd like to visit the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum, you can find all the info you need on their website:

https://crypto-para.org/


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Paranormal California

I'm spending ten days in L.A. this summer, and though I won't have much free time since I'll be filming my web series while I'm there, of course I had to do some research about paranormal stuff that I might be able to see on my trip. I found a website called Backpackerverse that has lots of great information about the paranormal side of California, so I thought I should share it here:

http://backpackerverse.com/


I thought the article about Griffith Park was interesting since I'm going to a concert at the Greek Theatre...I'm sure I'll be too focused on Flight of the Conchords to notice any ghosts though. ; )

http://backpackerverse.com/paranormal-activity-at-griffith-park/

This article might come in handy too:

http://backpackerverse.com/haunted-places-to-visit-in-los-angeles/

I've been to the Hollywood Wax Museum, but I haven't been to any of the other places on the list. : )

Monday, June 13, 2016

Book Sale!

Since I'm so excited to film my web series about Greek gods in therapy this summer, I'm putting both of my Greek mythology books on sale! They're 99¢ today through June 16th, so I hope you'll check them out! : )

For I Am Zeus: A Collection of Plays About Greek Mythology:

https://www.amazon.com/Am-Zeus-Collection-Plays-Mythology-ebook/dp/B0085H0MH6/

Goat Herpes and Other Problems:

https://www.amazon.com/Herpes-Other-Problems-Crystal-Smith-Connelly-ebook/dp/B00KNDYRXA/

Friday, June 10, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Krampus

Krampus is a 2015 movie starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Chonchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Krista Stadler. When the Engel family gets together right before Christmas, tension and fighting cause young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose his Christmas spirit. This summons a demon known as Krampus, who is hellbent on punishing those who are without Christmas spirit.

I'm not generally into holiday movies, but Krampus is my kind of Christmas movie...fun, creepy, and so entertaining! I'm always happy to see Adam Scott and David Koechner, so of course I loved them in Krampus, and everyone else gave great performances too. : )

My rating: 8/10


Monday, June 6, 2016

Ghostbusters: The LEGO Edition

Digital Wizards Studios decided to make a five-minute LEGO version of Ghostbusters, and it's really impressive! Eight artists spent 2,000 hours making this, so check out all their hard work. : )

http://ghostbustersnews.com/2016/06/01/ghostbusters-gets-retold-with-lego/

If you liked that (and why wouldn't you?), you can see more of their LEGO videos on their YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/digitalwizardz

Thursday, June 2, 2016

MUFON Books

MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) recently announced that they're going into the book business, and I'm pretty excited about it since I'm always looking for more books to read about aliens/UFOs. Their website has sections for the Top 100 UFO Books (I'm sure I'll be adding a bunch of those to my wish list.), MUFON Classics, Featured Authors, and Featured Books. You can check out MUFON (and submit your own UFO book if you have one) here:

www.mufonbooks.com

And you can follow them on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/mufonbooks/

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Movie Spotlight: The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave is a 2016 movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, and Zackary Arthur. It's based on a young adult novel by Rick Yancey. After an alien invasion has devastated the world, 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) tries to rescue her 5-year-old brother (Zackary Arthur) before the fifth wave of attacks.

The 5th Wave is an unsettling movie about the horrors of alien invasion and a teenage girl's willingness to do whatever it takes to save her brother. It seemed more realistic than most alien movies (not over-the-top like a lot of them), and the aliens were real jerks. All of the actors gave great performances, especially Chloë Grace Moretz, who has been great in everything I've seen her in. : )

My rating: 7.5/10


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

New Ghostbusters Trailer

It's no secret that I'm excited about the new Ghostbusters movie...it's directed by Paul Feig (who directed Bridesmaids and a few episodes of Arrested Development, the greatest show of all time) and stars Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones, so there's no doubt in my mind that I'll enjoy the movie. The movie's second trailer was recently released, so of course I had to share it here:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/new-ghostbusters-trailer-shows-more-895312

Less than two months to go...I'm planning on seeing it opening weekend, of course! : )




Sunday, May 22, 2016

Madame Tussauds Ghostbusters Experience

On July 1st, Madame Tussauds New York is debuting something that sounds pretty awesome: Madame Tussauds Ghostbusters Experience! The website describes it as a"paranormal encounter" and "hyper-reality experience" where you'll explore the subway, Ghostbusters headquarters, Times Square, and a haunted mansion with the 2016 Ghostbusters...and you might even get to bust some ghosts yourself. Advance tickets are available now and run from $29.75 to $49.75. I wish Madame Tussauds Hollywood was doing this too since I'll be in L.A. this summer. : )

https://ghostbusters.madametussauds.com/

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The X-Files: The Haunting

The X-Files: The Haunting is a 1996 graphic novel by writer Stefan Petrucha and artist Charles Adlard. It includes five different stories:

"Hallow Eve": When odd deaths occur around recently-excavated bones believed to be those of Eve, the first female, Mulder and Scully try to find out why people are dying while in possession of the ancient remains.

"One Player Only": A computer programmer snaps and kills three coworkers and a security guard, and a virtual reality program he was working on may be the cause.

"Falling": A group of kids mistakes Mulder, who is suffering from radiation sickness, for an alien.

"Home of the Brave": Mulder and Scully are held hostage by white supremacist survivalists in Georgia.

"The Silent Blade": A man goes to work and kills nine coworkers with an antique sword rumored to be haunted by the demon slayer who once owned it.

I've been a fan of The X-Files since it first aired, but this is the first X-Files graphic novel I've read. Though I didn't enjoy it as much as some of the other graphic novels I've read (such as Archie, Jem and the Holograms, or Army of Darkness), I do want to read a few more in the series. : )

My rating: 7.5/10


Friday, May 13, 2016

Happy Friday the 13th!

If you're looking for something fun to do to celebrate Friday the 13th, Haunt Jaunts to the rescue! Check out their website for a list of haunted attractions that will be open today...if you live in Passaic, NJ, Rosharon, TX, Plano, TX, Canton, OH, Bedford, TX, or Wright City, MO, you're in luck!

http://www.hauntjaunts.net/haunted-attractions-open-friday-13th-2016/

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Movie Spotlight: The Forest

The Forest is a 2016 movie starring Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Eoin Macken, and Yukiyoshi Ozawa. When Sara Price's (Natalie Dormer) twin sister goes missing in Aokigahara Forest (aka Suicide Forest), Sara goes to Japan to look for her. When she arrives in Japan, Sara meets a reporter (Taylor Kinney) who agrees to venture into Suicide Forest with her if he can tell her story...can they find out what happened to Jess, or will the spirits of the dead get them first?

I first read about Suicide Forest in World's Most Haunted Places magazine in late 2014, so of course I was interested to see a movie about it. I thought The Forest would be scarier (though to be fair, it's rare that I find a movie that scares me), but it was still a good movie with great performances. I was surprised by the ending too, and I like when that happens. : )


My rating: 7/10



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Happy Paranormal Day!

In case you didn't know, today is Paranormal Day (though shouldn't every day be Paranormal Day?)! In honor of this awesome holiday, I'm going to share my posts about paranormal places I've visited. : )

Roswell...finally! (The post that started it all):
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2013/07/in-1982-i-went-to-movie-theater-for.html

The International UFO Museum and Research Center:
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-international-ufo-museum-and.html

Visiting the UFO Watchtower:
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2015/05/visiting-ufo-watchtower.html

Encounters: U.F.O. Experience
http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2014/09/encounters-ufo-experience.html


Also, since it's Paranormal Day, my book Paranormal Jokes and Haiku is on sale for 99¢...the sale runs through May 9th. : )

http://www.amazon.com/Paranormal-Jokes-Haiku-Crystal-Smith-Connelly-ebook/dp/B00U1SPTZM/


Paranormal Day Party

Friday, April 29, 2016

Ghostly Goodbyes

The Occult Museum has some really interesting articles on their website, and I recently came across one about people who got to say goodbye to their deceased loved ones after they passed. Not getting to say goodbye to someone before they die can affect a person for a long time, so it's nice to read these stories from people who got a second chance.

http://www.theoccultmuseum.com/10-heart-warming-ghost-stories-final-goodbyes/

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Web Series on Indiegogo

The Godly Acres Indiegogo campaign is live! Please help us raise some money to pay our awesome cast, feed the cast and crew, and buy any props and costumes we still need. If you contribute, there are some great perks you can get (stickers, magnets, keychains, books, etc.), and if you can't donate but would still like to help us reach our goal, please share the Indiegogo link on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks so much! : )

https://igg.me/at/godlyacres/x/13783874

Monday, April 25, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Anguish

Anguish is a 2015 movie starring Ryan Simpkins, Annika Marks, Karina Logue, Amberley Gridley, Cliff Chamberlain, Ryan O'Nan, and Paulina Olszynski. Teenage girl Tess (Ryan Simpkins) has been on medication for mental illness since childhood, so when she moves to a new town (Annika Marks) and begins seeing a dead girl everywhere, her mother (Annika Marks) assumes Tess is having hallucinations. However, a local priest (Ryan O'Nan) suggests that things may not be as they seem...and that something sinister might be at work.

I wouldn't call Anguish a scary movie, but it does seem more realistic than other movies dealing with possession. The movie has a top-notch cast, and Ryan Simpkins gives an especially impressive performance as Tess, a tormented girl  who discovers that she has an ability that's both a gift and a curse.

My rating: 7/10


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies

Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies is a 2012 movie starring Bill Oberst Jr., Jason Vail, Chip Lane, Jason Hughley, Christopher Marrone, Baby Norman, and Don McGraw. When I saw this movie listed on the Directv guide, I just had to watch it...I liked Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and how am I not gonna watch a movie called Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies? The movie begins with little Abe Lincoln beheading his zombie mother, then skips ahead to Lincoln (Bill Oberst Jr.) as President...a President who must kick zombie Confederate ass in order to save his country.

You might think that a movie about Abe Lincoln fighting zombies would be terrible, but this one wasn't bad and kept me entertained. Bill Oberst Jr. was great as badass, zombie-killing Lincoln, and Baby Norman was impressive as Lincoln's former girlfriend/current prostitute Mary Owens. If I'm being completely honest, I enjoyed this movie more than I would ever enjoy a serious movie about Abraham Lincoln (or any other Presidents). ; )

My rating: 6/10


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Top 10 Most Haunted Islands

I'm always interested in finding out about haunted places (and if you read this blog, I'm guessing you are too), so when I came across this list of the ten most haunted islands, I had to share it here. The list includes Mexico's Isla de Las Munecas/Island of the Dolls (which I've mentioned before on this blog because it looks creepy as hell), California's Alcatraz Island in California, and England's Isle of Wight. If you've ever wanted to visit a haunted island, you can find out what to expect here:

http://theparanormal.ca/haunted_islands.html

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

UFO Researchers and Mysterious Deaths

I'm reading a book called Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind, which is about mysterious deaths and disappearances in ufology, so when I came across an article about UFO researchers dying under mysterious circumstances, I thought it was pretty interesting. When I went to Encounters: U.F.O Experience in Myrtle Beach a few years ago, there was a list of ufologists who had died under mysterious or suspicious circumstances, and I remember being shocked at how many names were on the list. Sure, it could be a coincidence that so many people in a relatively small field died relatively young, but it's not unfathomable that they could've died because they knew too much.

http://thehorrormoviesblog.com/2015/08/09/many-ufo-researchers-die-under-mysterious-circumstances


Monday, April 11, 2016

My Web Series

This isn't paranormal, but I thought some of you might be interested, so I'm posting it anyway. : ) I'm so excited to go to L.A. this summer and film the Godly Acres web series, which is about Greek gods and goddesses (and Medusa) in therapy...if you'd like to keep up with what's going on with the web series, come follow us on Facebook! : )

https://www.facebook.com/godlyacres/

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Paranormal Movie Trailer: The Conjuring 2

I watch lots of paranormal movies, and most of them don't scare me...but The Conjuring is an exception (you can read my review here: http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2013/11/movie-spotlight-conjuring.html), so I can't wait to see the sequel. The trailer for The Conjuring 2 is out, and it looks like it will be just as scary as the first one:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4089iv_the-conjuring-2-main-trailer-hd_shortfilms

I saw The Conjuring on DVD, but I might have to see the sequel in the theater...luckily, it's coming out pretty soon (June 10th). : )

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Bradford Exchange: America's Most Haunted

Courtesy of Haunt Jaunts (I sure do get a lot of ideas for blog posts because of them), here's something you guys might be interested in...collectible haunted houses! The Bradford Exchange (who sells an awesome Muppet Show clock that I love but can't afford:  http://www.bradfordexchange.com/products/119436001_the-muppet-show-cuckoo-clock.html) is planning to release a series of America's most haunted houses...there will be five houses, including the Amityville House, and they'll cost around $60. For more information, check out this post on the Haunt Jaunts website:

http://www.hauntjaunts.net/the-bradford-exchange-making-a-most-haunted-collection/

Friday, April 1, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Freaks of Nature

Freaks of Nature is a 2015 movie starring Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Josh Fadem, Joan Cusack, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Ed Westwick, Patton Oswalt, Vanessa Hudgens, and Denis Leary. Dilford is a peaceful town where humans, vampires, and zombies get along just fine...until the alien apocalypse happens. Now the humans, vampires, and zombies are fighting each other, and human Dag (Nicholas Braun), vampire Petra (Mackenzie Davis), and zombie Ned (Josh Fadem) must work together to rid their town of the aliens and help Dilford return to the way it used to be.

I watched Freaks of Nature for Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, and Denis Leary, and even though they weren't in the movie as much as I would've liked, I still enjoyed it. Freaks of Nature is a fun movie with a big surprise near the end, and I like that it isn't just a vampire movie, zombie movie, or alien movie...it's ALL THREE!

My rating: 7.5/10


Monday, March 28, 2016

Ghosts of the Stanley Hotel

If you're a fan of Stephen King, you probably know about the Stanley Hotel...it's the hotel that inspired The Shining, and the 1997 miniseries (starring Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay) was filmed there. The Stanley Hotel is in Estes Park, Colorado, and on April 8th-11th, they're hosting Ghosts of the Stanley Hotel (presented by Strange Escapes), which will feature lectures, meet and greets with celebrity guests, and a paranormal investigation of the hotel. It's sold out, but you can get on the waitlist here:

http://www.strange-escapes.com/events/stanley-hotel-april-8th-11th-2016/

If you go and would like to write a guest post about it, please email me at crystalsmithconnelly@yahoo.com and let me know. : )

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is a 2015 movie starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, and Jim Beaver. In 1887, the ghost of Edith Cushing's (Mia Wasikowska) mother comes to her with a warning about Crimson Peak.  Fourteen years later, Edith marries Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and moves to England with him to live in his mansion, a haunted estate known as...Crimson Peak. Upon arrival, Edith is greeted by an adorable dog, and she asks if she can keep him...and since this is a horror movie, we all know how that's going to turn out. : (

Crimson Peak is a visually stunning movie with great performances from everyone. The ghosts are some of the scariest-looking ghosts I've seen in a movie, and Thomas and Lucille (Jessica Chastain) are the creepiest siblings ever.

My rating: 7.5/10


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Once Bitten

Once Bitten is a 1985 movie starring Jim Carrey, Lauren Hutton, Cleavon Little, Karen Hopkins, Thomas Ballatore, and Skip Lackey. A 400-year-old vampire (Lauren Hutton) seduces a high school student (Jim Carrey) in a Hollywood nightclub because she needs the blood of a virgin in order to maintain her youthful appearance.

I love Jim Carrey, and I've never had a chance to write about any of his movies for this blog, so I was happy to finally see Once Bitten. Although I didn't like it as much as some of his other movies (Dumb and Dumber and The Cable Guy are my favorites), it was an enjoyable movie, and Jim was great in his first leading role. Once Bitten has Jim Carrey, vampires, and a dance-off...what's not to like? ; )

My rating: 7/10


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Police and the Paranormal

I recently came across an article called "10 Cops Share Their Scariest Paranormal Encounters," and it's pretty creepy, so of course I wanted to share it here.

http://www.theoccultmuseum.com/10-cops-share-their-scariest-paranormal-encounters/

There's also one about firefighters:

http://www.theoccultmuseum.com/14-firefighters-share-their-scariest-paranormal-encounters/

If you're a police officer or firefighter who has had a paranormal experience on the job, feel free to tell me about it in the comments...I'd love to hear about it. : )

Friday, March 11, 2016

TV Show Spotlight: Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry

The E! network began airing a show called Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry a few weeks ago, and since I run a paranormal blog, of course I thought I should check it out. I watched the first episode, where 19-year-old medium Tyler Henry, who discovered his power at the age of 10, delivers messages from the spirit world to Jamie Pressly, Bella Thorne, NeNe Leakes, and John Salley.

I don't know whether Tyler (or anyone) really has the power to connect with the dead (I'm open-minded though...I do run a paranormal blog, after all), but the show is entertaining to watch, and Tyler brings comfort to the celebrities he meets with, so I'll probably watch more episodes. Hollywood Medium With Tyler Henry airs Sundays at 10:00 p.m. on the E! network.


http://www.tylerhenryhollywoodmedium.com/
http://www.eonline.com/shows/hollywood_medium

Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Spotlight: More Than Ghosts by Alex Matsuo

When I went to AtomaCon last November, I attended two panels by Alex Matsuo, founder and director of the Association of Paranormal Study. Her panels on haunted theaters and demonology were so interesting that it really made me want to read her books, so I started with More Than Ghosts: A Guide to Working Residential Cases in the Paranormal Field, which was published in 2015. In the book, Matsuo teaches the correct way for paranormal investigators to effectively handle residential cases, touching on things such as the differences between investigating residential locations and public locations, researching a property's history before an investigation, equipment you'll need, and how to protect yourself during an investigation.

Though I don't actually want to take part in a paranormal investigation, I find the subject fascinating, and Matsuo clearly knows her stuff. More Than Ghosts is very in-depth and informative, and Matsuo gives the information in a way that is interesting and easy to understand. If you've ever thought about getting involved in paranormal investigation, you should really read this book. : )

My rating: 10/10 

http://alexmatsuo.com/
http://associationofparanormalstudy.com/


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Haunted Hotels

If you enjoy the paranormal and traveling, why not stay at a haunted hotel on your next trip? If you're not scared to sleep in a room with spirits, go to paranormal travel website Haunt Jaunts and check out their list of haunted hotels. You can find the list here (if you're going to California, you're in luck...they have a bunch of haunted hotels):

http://www.hauntjaunts.net/find-haunted-places/haunted-hotels-us/

If you do stay at a haunted hotel (or ever have before) and would like to write a guest post about it, please email me at crystalsmithconnelly@yahoo.com. : )

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Goosebumps

Goosebumps is a 2015 movie starring Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee, Jillian Bell, and Ken Marino. When Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) moves to a new town and accidentally unleashes monsters from the manuscripts of neighbor/horror author R.L. Stine (Jack Black), Zach, his friend Champ (Ryan Lee), Stine's daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush), and Stine himself must try to get the monsters back into the manuscripts before they destroy the town.

Even if I hadn't read R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series as a child, I would've watched this movie because I love Jack Black. Goosebumps is geared toward kids, but I'm 35, and I really enjoyed it. All of the performances were great, and Zach's aunt (Jillian Bell) and the two cops (Amanda Lund and Veep's Timothy Simons) were hilarious. Goosebumps is a fun movie, and I'll definitely watch the sequel (I'd love to see a Fear Street movie or TV show too). I'm glad that monsters can't really come out of books since I mostly read suspense books, and those are full of murderers. ; )

My rating: 8/10


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Paranormal Podcast: The Cryptid Factor

I recently found out that Rhys Darby has a paranormal podcast, and I'm a little annoyed that I just found out about something awesome that I could've started listening to a few years ago. I've been a fan of Rhys since his time as Murray Hewitt on Flight of the Conchords (if anyone has ever wondered why I named my hamster Murray, now you know), so of course I had to check out his podcast. It's called The Cryptid Factor, and he hosts it with David Farrier and Leon "Buttons" Kirkbeck. For anyone who doesn't know, a cryptid is an animal whose existence has not been proven or accepted by science (Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, etc.). I've only listened to one episode so far, but it was pretty entertaining (plus I like listening to Rhys because his accent is THE BEST), so I'm definitely going to listen to more. If you'd like to listen to a fun, interesting podcast, you can find The Cryptid Factor here:

https://m.soundcloud.com/the-cryptid-factor

Make sure to check out the Facebook page too...it's a great way to keep up with cryptid-related news. : )

https://m.facebook.com/CryptidFactor/

Sunday, February 21, 2016

TV Show Preview: People of Earth

When I was watching the Angie Tribeca marathon a few weeks ago, TBS showed a preview for an upcoming show that I'm sure I'll like. It's called People of Earth, it stars Wyatt Cenac, Ana Gasteyer, and Oscar Nunez, and it's about a support group for people who have been abducted by aliens. I haven't been able to find a premiere date yet, but you can watch the People of Earth trailer on the TBS website. I'm really looking forward to this show. : )

http://www.tbs.com/videos/people-of-earth/season-1/extras/1735102/people-of-earth-trailer.html

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Movie Spotlight: The Final Girls

The Final Girls is a 2015 movie starring Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam Devine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig, and Nina Dobrev. Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends go to an anniversary screening of Camp Bloodbath, a slasher movie that starred her now-deceased mother (Malin Akerman), and end up trapped in the movie after the theater catches on fire. They must defeat the movie's villain in order to escape Camp Bloodbath and return to their real lives.

I've wanted to see The Final Girls ever since I first heard about it, but I don't think it ever played in any of the movie theaters in my town, so I'm glad I finally got to see it on DVD. I loved Alia Shawkat on Arrested Development (aka the greatest show of all-time), and I'm a fan of Malin Akerman because she was great in Rock of Ages, Childrens Hospital, The Brothers Solomon, Burning Love, and some other stuff, so I was really excited to see this movie. The Final Girls has a great cast, and it's a fun movie that also has some pretty emotional moments (between Max and her mother's Camp Bloodbath character). I loved the ending, and I hope there will be a sequel since I'd like to see more of these characters. My two favorite movie genres are comedy and horror, so I love when the two genres go together to make something awesome. : )

My rating: 8.5/10


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Asheville Ghost Tours

My husband and I went to Asheville, North Carolina, on our anniversary trip a few months ago, and we didn't have time to go on a ghost tour since we only spent one night there, but I picked up some brochures for some ghost tours that sounded interesting. The one that really caught my interest is called the LaZoom Haunted Comedy Tour. Comedy and the paranormal are two of my favorite things, so I'm sure I would enjoy the Haunted Comedy Tour, and I hope I'll be able to check it out the next time I go to Asheville. Tickets are $21, and the tour is only for those who are 17 or older.

http://www.lazoomtours.com/tours/haunted-tours/

Ghost Hunters of Asheville offers a few ghost tours: Downtown Spirits, Haunted Montford, Graveyard Ghosts, and Ghosts & Grapes. Ghosts & Grapes is for adults only and costs $65; the other tours are $20 for adults, $13 for kids and teenagers 6 to 15, and free for kids under 6. Guests get to use ghost-hunting equipment on all of the tours.

http://www.ghosthuntersofasheville.com/

If you take any of these tours and would like to write a guest post about it, please let me know (at crystalsmithconnelly@yahoo.com)...I'm always looking for guest bloggers. : )

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Hell and Back

Hell and Back is a 2015 stop-motion movie starring Nick Swardson, Mila Kunis, Bob Odenkirk, T.J. Miller, Rob Riggle, Susan Sarandon, Danny McBride, Maria Bamford, Kerri Kinney-Silver, H. Jon Benjamin, David Koechner, Brian Posehn, J.B. Smoove, and Paul F. Tompkins. (Wow, there are a lot of good people in this movie!) When best friends Remy (Nick Swardson), Augie (T.J. Miller), and Curt (Rob Riggle) break a blood oath, Curt is sucked into Hell, and Remy and Augie must do everything in their power to save him.

Since I've written quite a few plays about Satan, Hell and Back was right up my alley...and with this cast, there was no way I wouldn't like this movie. Bob Odenkirk was an awesome devil, and now I really want him to play Satan in one of my plays someday. The rest of the cast was great too, and I liked the movie's version of Hell. I also really liked the running gag with Paul F. Tompkins' Annoyed Lost Soul being inconvenienced by Hell's tame punishments, like the Taco Bell-Pizza Hut not serving pizza. Hell and Back is a fun movie (that looks so cool because of the stop-motion animation) with horny trees, a pole-dancing angel (who the devil is in love with), and a great cast, and I'm really glad I got to see it. : )

My rating: 8/10


Friday, February 5, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is a 2015 found footage movie starring Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Dan Gill, Ivy George, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Krawic, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Hallie Foote, and Don McManus. A new family moves into a house that stands on the spot where Katie and Kristi (from the other Paranormal Activity movies) grew up and finds a video camera that can see spirits, as well as some disturbing videotapes. They realize that something evil is in the house...and it wants their daughter.

Like the other Paranormal Activity movies, The Ghost Dimension succeeded in building tension and making me feel uneasy during the whole movie. In this one, we finally get to see the demon, but the effects in this part of the movie seem out of place in the Paranormal Activity series (everything in the other movies generally looks realistic, but the demon and some of the effects definitely did not). The Ghost Dimension was creepy, but it didn't make much sense. Despite the fact that this is supposedly the last Paranormal Activity movie, I hope they make another one since most of the fans seem unhappy with this movie being the end of the series.

My rating: 6/10


Monday, February 1, 2016

Encounters: U.F.O. Experience in Anaheim

In September 2014, I visited an exhibit called Encounters: U.F.O. Experience in Myrtle Beach and loved it. (You can read about my experience here:  http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2014/09/encounters-ufo-experience.html). If you live in or near Anaheim, California, now you can see it for yourself at the Anaheim Garden Walk...you can get all the info here:

http://www.latimes.com/socal/weekend/news/tn-wknd-et-0117-ufo-exhibit-20160117-story.html

It's a really cool exhibit, so if you're interested in aliens and UFOs, make sure to check it out. : )

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Movie Spotlight: Zombie Shark

Zombie Shark is a 2015 Syfy channel movie starring Cassie Steele, Ross Brity, Roger J. Timber, Sloane Coe, Becky Andrews, Ladson Deyne, Leslie Castay, Laura Cayouette, and Jason London. Four friends must spend their vacation fighting off "zombie" sharks after a virus-infected shark escapes from the island's research center.

Since I reviewed Ghost Shark for the blog (http://paranormalcrystal.blogspot.com/2013/10/movie-spotlight-ghost-shark.html), of course I had to review Zombie Shark too. As with Ghost Shark, the deaths in Zombie Shark were hilarious, but not quite as creative as the ones in Ghost Shark. The acting in Zombie Shark was generally better than the acting in most of the other Syfy original movies I've seen, and Roger J. Timber stole the show as Lester, the desk clerk who feels comfortable telling resort guests that a burrito gave him "the squirts." I would've liked to see more of him in the movie and would definitely watch a Zombie Shark spin-off all about Lester (Get on it, Syfy!). Though I wouldn't call Zombie Shark a great movie, I did enjoy it and really liked the ending. : )

My rating: 6/10