Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Amish Mafia?

Gone are the days when networks like the Discovery Channel and TLC featured programming that allowed viewers to get their dork on.  The channels that used to be a nerd’s favorites are now filled with programs that focus on finding obscure places to hunt for gold and building custom guns and motorcycles.  While the Discovery Channel’s newest venture may be entertaining, it in no way fosters the pursuit of knowledge, Discovery’s original goal.  It’s actually opposite, airing what seems to be a dramatization as a reality show and exploiting a minority population.  The most disappointing aspect of the new show, “Amish Mafia” is that it’s actually quite entertaining, but would fit in better on HBO than the Discovery Channel.  The network should not present a show as a true reality series when it’s obvious that it is scripted.

 On December 12, 2012 Discovery aired the first episode of Amish Mafia.  It opened with a disclaimer telling viewers that the Amish Church denies the existence of the Amish Mafia and to protect participants and their family members some identifying information has been changed.  There aren’t any scenes that have that little ‘Dramatization” disclaimer in the corner, so I’m led to believe that the entire thing is a re-enactment.  In fact, as the show goes off there’s another disclaimer that reads, “Recreations are based on eye witness accounts, testimonials, and the legend of the Amish Mafia.” So in other words, what you have just seen is totally fabricated based on stories the producers were told.  


It seems as if the fiasco that followed TLC’s, Discovery’s sister channel, “Breaking Amish” taught them something.  After “Breaking Amish” aired it came out that much of the show was scripted and faked, but there was no disclaimer saying so.  After catching a lot of flak over the fakery, Discovery jumped on the sudden fascination with the Amish (there was also “Amish at the Alter” on the National Geographic Channel and Neve Campbell starred in the Lifetime Movie “An Amish Murder”) but included the disclaimer.

Even with the disclaimer, Amish Mafia has been catching heat for not being a reality show.  So much so that last week another new episode aired that gave cast members the opportunity to ensure viewers that what they were watching was real.  As evidence they produced a local genealogy book that records all Amish births in the area.  Sure enough, their names were in there.  And that proves, what? That they were born Amish?  The show explains that the Mafia members haven’t been baptized into the Amish Church so they can operate outside it’s laws.  I’ve never heard of a show that had to air a special to validate itself.  But as much as I hate to admit it, I’m entertained by these guys.  Just as with some of the haunted house stories we’ve written about, we have to ask if the quality of the story is worth foregoing  a basis in reality.
When you start digging around the internet you can quickly find a mountain of evidence that Amish Mafia is fake.  The first red flag pops up with Alan Beiler, the show’s black Amish guy and Godfather Levi’s event planner.  Up until December 14, Beiler operated several websites that were taken down after the show’s premiere.  Before it was scrapped his website stated what the show told about him, that he was born in Brooklyn and was adopted by the Beilers when he was 9.  It also listed various jobs Belier had held in the entertainment industry and led some to wonder if he was a paid actor.  Beiler worked on National Geographic’s “Amish at the Alter” and was a production assistant on a movie.  The website, BlackAmishMan.com featured ideas for several shows, which included Amish reality shows, buggy races, and pimp-my-buggy contests…sound familiar to any viewers?  Sure sounds like Beiler is the mastermind behind many of the shows storylines. 

The "real" Alan Beiler on right

Surely if these guys were all paid actors, the casting directors responsible for their hiring have since been fired.  Watch the show for a few minutes and you’re bound to get frustrated by John, the lowest guy on Levi’s totem pole.  He seems to stammer through what he’s supposed to say.  There’s just a goofy quality about him that makes it hard to believe he’s part of any organized thought. 

In case you haven’t caught the phenomena that is “Amish Mafia,” the show is set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania where a large Amish population lives.  The show revolves around Lebanon Levi and his gang of thugs.  Levi is described as the protector, judge, and jury for the Amish community.  He describes his role as “keeping the peace and making sure everyone’s following the rules.”  I suppose he and his gang are exempt from following those rules?  The Discovery Channel website says that Levi exists above the law.

Nevermind the fact that the show seems to depict Levi and his gang breaking numerous laws on camera without any concern.  Either they really are above the law, or the stunts were staged.  More on that later.  Similarly, the Discovery Channel’s show “Moonshiners” depicts a handful of rednecks making illegal liqueur.  I find Moonshiners entertaining as well, especially when it comes to Tickle, but I wonder how the cast can continue to make moonshine after they’ve been on TV doing so.  Wouldn’t local law enforcement just stake them out until they busted them?  I’m starting to see a pattern here. 
“Lebanon Levi,” the Amish Mafia’s leader, puts you in mind of a young Tony Soprano.  According to the show he came to power after John’s father stepped down as the protector of the community, and for a price, offers protection to local businesses and keeps the peace within the community.  A little digging turned up an old Myspace page belonging to Levi King Stoltzfus of Richland, PA.  
In one episode Levi is found doing construction work, which is supposed to be a cover, a way to make legitimate money.  In reality, Levi is co-owner of C&L Siding, Decking, and Roofing.  It seems as if before television cameras came around Levi made a living roofing houses.  Some more digging revealed that Levi is a member of Richland's Neptune Fire Co.  At a Richland Borough Council meeting last year Levi was given permission to set a trailer on fire and put it out for a Discovery Channel documentary.  Then we watch the  final episode this season and see the trailer, Levi’s new office, go up in flames, but they said it was Merlin’s, Levi’s Amish Mafia boss rival, doing?

During the first episode rap sheets for Levi and the others were shown and started a big controversy.  The arresting agency appears as the Lancaster County Police Department.  Locals were quick to point out that there is no such agency.  There is the Lancaster County Sheriffs Department and the Lancaster City Police Department, but the Lancaster County Police Department does not exist.  The criminal records are real, to an extent.  Records have been found for four of the show’s cast members.  Levi was arrested in Shelby, OH for DUI, and has also been arrested for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and two other DUIs.  

The show plays up the relationship between Levi and Esther, John’s sister.  Levi has always been interested in Esther, and she uses this to her advantage.  In one episode she gets Levi out of town and the  two take a vacation in Florida.  There Esther reveals to Levi that she has two children.  It seems there’s a lot more she could have revealed.  Esther’s full name is Esther Freeman Schmucker.  Before Amish Mafia Esther was shopping around for modeling gigs.  She has a profile on the dating website PlentyofFish.com where she says she drinks socially, has children and wants more, does not do drugs, and lists her job as “insurance policies.”  She also has accounts on Formspring, MySpace, eBay, and Twitter.

Esther rides a mechanical bull

Esther’s Twitter account was active after the show’s premiere, touting her new relationship with Twitter user @TheRealMirkat, a rapper who took to the site to brag about the sexual exploits that went on between the two.  Esther, posting as @ecstasy686, and Mirkat tweeted back and forth about how in love they were.  Mirkat wasn't shy about posting pictures that seemed to show him using drugs. Since then both the accounts have been deleted.

Esther's profile pic
Esther’s actual criminal history includes arrests for disorderly conduct twice, and a DUI.  John, who may or may not be Esther’s real brother (they share the name Freeman Schmucker and Esther is 2 years older) has his own real disorderly conduct charge.  He’s also been arrested for marijuana possession and a hit-and-run. 

Depicted on the show as Levi’s right-hand man is Alvin.  He’s the quiet, might-be-crazy one.  “Nobody gets to Levi without going through Alvin.”  Alvin Stoltzfus Lantz has a criminal record for a DUI and for fleeing from police.  On his arrest records his occupation is listed as ‘construction’ so he may actually work for Levi.

The motivation for the forming of a group such as the Amish Mafia is cited on the Discovery Channel’s website as the real-life 2006 school shooting in Nickel Mines, PN.  A truck driver shot and killed five children at an Amish school. Critics are quick say the show is disrespectful to the victims and families involved in the actual tragedy. 

Several articles quote people who live in the Lancaster area and know the cast members.  They say they are nothing like the characters depicted on the show.  Levi seems to have been a party guy for a while, but had settled down somewhat, until he became the leader of a religious organized crime syndicate.  The residents deny the existence of an Amish Mafia.

Others say the Amish make an easy target to exploit because of their beliefs.  Most do not watch television or even have their picture taken, so they’re not likely to come out with a public argument against the show.  The racketeering that is depicted on the show would be of interest to FBI’s Violent Criminal Organizations unit and subject to RICO charges.  Local law enforcement officers have went on record saying that if there was any such organization in the area they would know of it. 

So what do I think of Amish Mafia?  I wish they had done what the History Channel did with the Haftield’s and McCoys; made a mini-series.  Instead of exploiting an actual tragedy, make one up, cast a gang of Amish thugs to fight back, and let me watch it.  Just don’t claim that it’s real.  Give the viewers some credit.  It’s like professional wrestling.  It doesn’t take the fun out of it just because it’s fake.  With a little polishing Amish Mafia would have some great characters and potential storylines.  Don’t put a pothead on screen bumbling around trying to act out tall tales.  The Amish Mafia has become a legend, but legends aren’t reality.  They do make great TV movies though.  Amish Mafia belongs on Showtime or HBO, not the Discovery Channel, but we’ll support another season.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Many Faces of Bigfoot

Tales of large hairy creatures that walk around on two legs and stand seven to ten feet tall exist in the folklore of cultures on every continent except Antarctica.  The possibility of an unknown ape-like creature wondering the woods has captured the imagination of believers and skeptics alike, and has became so commonplace that Bigfoot has found his way into popular advertising today.  We’re going to look at the history of the phenomena, theories on the creature, and how it is viewed around the world.

The term “Bigfoot” was coined in 1958 by a California newspaper.  Sightings in the logging community of Bluff Creek propelled the creature onto a national platform.  Hundreds of footprints, roughly 16 inches long and 8 inches wide, were found near the logging site.  Upon arriving for work, loggers repeatedly found their equipment disturbed and large tracks everywhere.  Foreman Jerry Crew made a plaster cast of the tracks and took it to a local newspaper.  The editor called it “Bigfoot” and the article was picked up by the Associated Press, going nationwide. 

Newspaper clipping of 'Bigfoot' tracks
Nine years later, what is either the most famous Bigfoot evidence ever captured or the most elaborate and widely believed hoax ever perpetrated was captured on 16 mm video camera by Roger Patterson  and Bob Gimlin.  The footage became known as the ‘Patterson Film.’  On October 20, 1967 the two men were riding horses when they came across the creature crouching behind a large stump.  Patterson’s horse was startled.  He dismounted and grabbed his video camera.  While critics have insisted the film is a hoax, Patterson believed he caught a female Bigfoot on camera.
Stories of hairy wild men go back as far as recorded history.  In fact, The Epic of Gilgamesh, said to be the first book ever written, contains such a beast as a character.  The Sumerian poem was found recorded on stone tablets, said to be 4000 years old.  The first written account of an encounter comes from Norwegian explorer Leif Erikson, who discovered America about 500 years before Columbus.  Erikson told of encountering huge hairy creatures with black eyes.

Tales of Bigfoot creatures have long existed in Canada among natives.  The Shalish tribe called the creature Sasquatch, meaning 'wild man of the woods.' Native Americans across the continent have stories about the hairy wild man.  President Teddy Roosevelt recounted a tell about an encounter with the creature by a trapper in his book The Wilderness Hunter.  Frontiersman Daniel Boone was said to have shot and killed a ten-foot creature he called a Yahoo. 

The 20th century saw tales of Bigfoot encounters, some violent.  In 1924 prospector Albert Ostman claimed to have been abducted by a Sasquatch and held captive in British Columbia.  The same year Fred Beck and four other miners in Ape Canyon, Washington claimed to have seen the creature, who threw rocks at their camp.  Most modern reports lead one to believe that the creature is an herbivore, eating plants only, or an omnivore, living off vegetation and hunting small game.  
The Jacob's photo  -Juvenile Bigfoot or bear?
Bigfoot critics argue that there is no scientific evidence to support the belief that the creature exists.  They point out that large numbers of them would have to exist in order to maintain a breeding population, and couldn’t go unnoticed. 

Theories about Bigfoot range from a previously unknown species to interdimensional aliens.  Bigfoot critics believe reports of sightings are usually misidentified animals or hoaxes.  More scientific theories hold that the creature is a descendant of the extinct Gigantopithecus, a cousin of the orangutan.  Others believe it is the missing link connecting man to his ape-like predecessors.  

Sasquatch hitching a ride on Nessie

Some of the more out-there theories say Bigfoot is an alien, citing the influx of UFO sightings before and after Bigfoot sightings.  Others believe the beast is a demon.  Some believe it is an interdimensional being, sometimes able to become invisible or disappear to avoid being seen. It has been published that in the 1970s UC Berkley came into possession of two of the creatures, but they escaped through the 4th dimension and wandered the lab invisible for weeks.  Stephen Hawking was there, and could prove it all if he would come forward.   
The Illusion Theory of Bigfoot  says that sightings of the creature are the result of electromagnetic exposure or hallucinations brought on by oxygen deprivation.  The archetype theory speaks more to the function of such sightings.  People are fascinated with the idea of a wild man, and an unconscious attraction to returning to the wild.  The tales are told much like urban legends, used to teach lessons within a society.
While Americans have been captivated with Sasquatch for centuries, reports of similar creatures exist all over the world.  Most prominent is the Yeti, or Abominable Snowman of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal and Tibet.  Native followers of the Bön religion used to believe the blood of the creature had mystical properties and could be used in ceremonies.  The 20th century saw a huge increase in the frequency of sightings due to Westerners climbing Everest and other mountains in the region in search of adventure.  Large footprints were found by climbers, who were told by Sherpas, belonged to the Wild Man of the Snow they called 'metoh-kangmi.’  A journalist reporting on the phenomena mistranslated the word metoh as filthy, and substituted ‘abominable.’ Thus, we have the Abominable Snowman.  
Khumjung Yeti scalp
Adventurers came across the Khumjung monastery that had what they claimed to be a Yeti scalp.  Largely regarded as a hoax, testing on samples have came back inconclusive.  In 1959 actor James Stewart helped to smuggle a ‘Yeti hand’ out of the country.  Bones from the hand were replaced with human bones and taken from a monastery.  Testing revealed the bones were closely related to a Neanderthal.  
Alleged Skunk Ape
Alaskans tell of the Urayuli, a Bigfoot-like creature found in the tundras of Southwest Alaska near Lake Llaima.  Sightings have been reported since 1956.  The Urayuli is said to have luminescent eyes and according to folklore were once children who got lost in the woods and became the hairy beasts.  The Urayuli’s arms are said to reach it’s ankles and it is said to emit a high pitched scream like that of a loon.  Florida has its own Bigfoot-like creature known as the Skunk Ape that calls the Everglades home.  Its name comes from the smell its reported to give off, similar to rotten eggs or methane.   
Sarah Palin bags an Urayuli
In Australia the Yowie is a part of aboriginal folklore and sightings continue today.  The Mapinguary is Brazil’s Bigfoot counterpart.  Its said to be nocturnal with red hair and a frightful scream.  It is sometimes depicted with its mouth in its stomach, an interestingly common variance.  African folklore tells about the Chimiset, an ape-like creature with reddish or yellow hair that’s as comfortable in the treetops as on the ground. 

The Chuchunaa is Siberia’s Bigfoot, speculated by some to be the last surviving paleo-asiatic aborigines.  Locals claim it is a man-eater and has withdrawn to more remote areas to retreat from encroaching civilization.  The Nguoi Rung is another name for the Vietnamese Wild Man.  It has gray, black, or brown hair and has been seen alone and in packs.  Orang Pendek lives in Sumatra and is smaller, standing three to five feet tall. Locals say that they have backward pointing feet to confuse anyone who tries to follow them.  
In the 1970s a rash of sightings were reported near Fouke, Arkansas.  The deaths of livestock was blamed on the creature, which inspired the film The Legend of Boggy Creek. Associated with sightings were foul smells, described as a combination of a skunk and a wet dog.  It was said to have bright red eyes the size of silver dollars.  In 1972 sightings in Missouri led to reports of the Missouri Monster, or Momo.  The Mogollon Monster dwells in eastern Arizona and is sometimes reported with red eyes.  It’s described as smelling like a combination of dead fish, decaying peat moss, a skunk, and the musk of a snapping turtle.  In Ohio reports are still being made of the Grassman, and date back to 1869.  It is said to live off grass and other vegetation and travel in groups.
Ever since the Patterson film came to public attention rumors have flew that it was an intentional hoax.  Whether hoax or actual evidence, it has inspired generations of both Bigfoot hunters and hoax perpetrators. Recent years have seen numerous hoaxes and YouTube is filled with so many hoax videos its impossible to separate them from possible genuine sightings.  

In August of last year a Montana man made history with an attempted Bigfoot hoax, though certainly not in the way he had intended.  44 year-old Randy Lee Tenley donned a ghillie suit, used by the military to camouflage snipers, and ran out onto the highway in hopes of inciting Bigfoot sightings.  Unfortunately, he was struck by the car of a 15 year-old girl who was unable to avoid him.  He was then struck a second time by the car of a 17 year-old girl.  Tenley died as a result of the impacts.

Why have reports of ape-like creatures been reported all over the world for hundreds of years? It seems that nearly every culture has their own variation of the creature and their own name for it.  Maybe it functions as a cultural archetype, warning children to not wander off while allowing adults to daydream about a simpler life.  Or maybe there actually are a population of elusive animals not yet known to the scientific world, occasionally posing for a tourist’s camera.  Until definitive proof is captured, stories of Bigfoot and his cousins will continue to circulate and fill tabloid papers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Angus Jones Meltdown with Guru

Angus Jones, the half man from “Two and a Half Men” made waves recently when he made a video with controversial preacher Christopher Hudson denouncing the show he works on. Jones urged viewers to not watch the show, calling it “filth.” Said Charlie Sheen of Jones’ actions, “With Angus’ Hale-Bopp-like meltdown it is radically clear that the show is cursed.” Sheen was fired from the show in 2011 after he infamously made anti Semitic rants toward studio exec Chuck Lorre while most likely on a bath salt binge.

Angus’ blowup isn’t the only controversy surrounding the video.  In it, he is accompanied by controversial pastor Christopher Hudson.  Hudson’s YouTube channel, Forerunner Chronicles, has a long backlog of videos of Hudson’s sermons, on topics including Jay-Z’s illuminati membership, comparing President Obama to Hitler, and most lately stating that the gas crisis in New York City will lead to cannibalism, including the famous line, “Your baby might start looking like chicken wing.”

Here's a clip from the infamous video:
19 year old Jones found religion while attending a Seventh-Day Adventist church with his father and brother.  When he last renewed his contract he became the highest paid child actor in history, earning $300,000 an episode.  The studio has some time to figure out what to do about the Jones situation.  He didn’t appear in the last few episodes of the past season, as his character went off to join the army, and isn’t due back to begin shooting on the next season until later this year.

Jones and Hudson hadn’t met before the day the now infamous video was shot in Jones’ trailer on the Warner Brothers lot.  The video was supposed to be of Jones giving his Testimony, declaring the good things God has done for him.  The focus, instead, went straight to the denouncement of the televisions show. In the video he told Jones, “Your videos have been a blessing to me,” before going on to say that he couldn’t work on a show like Two and a Half Men and be a true god-fearing person.  Jones’ parents recently split up and in the video he talks about his feelings of ‘inauthenticity’ and feeling empty inside.  His mother has been quoted as saying she fears her son is being exploited by the church.

According to insiders when the video was released co-star Ashton Kutcher stormed into the studio executives’ offices and demanded Jones be fired.  Jones soon released another statement apologizing for his comments. “I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that.”  He did not clear up whether he still feels like the show that’s made him the highest paid child actor ever is filth or not. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church released a statement saying that Hudson and ‘Forerunner Chronicles ministry is in no way associated with their church. Hudson’s work has been associated with The Voice of Prophecy Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Los Angeles where Angus Jones worships.  His “Forerunner” tag comes from John the Baptist who was the forerunner to Jesus Christ.  Hudson has no formal ministry, his work consists of the videos he puts online. 

Christopher Hudson of Forerunner Chronicles

Among Hudson’s Forerunner videos are sermons on Jay-Z’s illuminati membership as we mentioned, saying his “Blueprint” albums are evidence of his climbing of the Masonic ranks and reveal a Satanic plot.  He also compares Obama’s healthcare plan to Hitler’s policies.  One video announces Beyonce, like her evil husband, is using her music to move people away from God and toward accepting homosexual practices.  He has a whole series of sermons online dealing with the NOW (New World Order conspiracy).  He accuses Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor of devil worship, speaks on a conspiracy involving Japan and HAARP, and insists that Rick Ross’s music production is all about spreading Satanism.  He says Oprah is a disciple of Satan and that Hurricane Sandy was a harbinger of a food shortage that will lead to cannibalism and famously “Your baby might start looking like a chicken wing.” 

Hudson has a criminal history he hasn’t commented on in regard to his online ministry.  In 2005 he was stopped by police in New York and cited for driving an uninspected car with a suspended license and registration.  Months later he was charged with driving without a license again when he was involved in an accident.  This past April Hudson was arrested in Columbus, GA for driving on a suspended license and failure to obey a traffic device.  He managed to post bail and was given probation for the offenses, but New York caught wind of it and he found himself back in the Nassau County Correctional Facility on Long Island due to his outstanding cases there.  His lawyers were able to reach an agreement and after his fines were paid Hudson was released.  I get the feeling that Hudson is less religious guru and more paranoid conspiracist, but we’ll let you decide for yourself.  His YouTube channel, Forerunner777 contains hours of videos expressing his views.  A self-proclaimed charismatic prophet working for the lord…makes you wonder how things would have turned out if Charlie Manson had internet access back in the day….

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The W-Files: Ed and Lorraine Warren

Trailblazing paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren have a case log that rivals that of Fox Mulder and surpasses any ghost hunting group operating today.  Before TAPS and Zak Bagans turned spirit seeking into a mainstream hobby, the Warrens were involved in what are arguably the most important instances of paranormal activity in history.  They brought media attention to the paranormal without appearing beside Anton LaVey dressed in devil suits and supporting Satanism.  They brought a scientific point of view to claims of the supernatural at a time when the subject of ghosts were nothing but laughable among scholars and the public at large.

Sometimes I think of my research as likened to string theory.  All these Medicine Show attractions are connected, possibly even vibrating on the same spooky frequency (my theory is if audible it would be close to the chord of E minor.).  Along the Lost Creek String, a butterfly effect has led us from one subject to the next for some time now.  Our journey has led us to delve into the Warren’s case files.  

Ed and Lorraine Warren

There are plenty of skeptics quick to dismiss the Warrens as charlatans, frauds who exploit families and the public to make a buck.  When asked about such claims the Warrens say they have never charged for their services.  When they had to travel for investigations, they did ask that their accommodations be paid for.  Other than that, their income is only from book sales and movie deals.  While not charging for their services, this is another case where the stories are so sensational we are entertained.  Whether some details were fudged a tad, or every claim of paranormal activity the Warrens ever made were complete fabrications, I have no problem paying $8 for one of their books I’m waiting to arrive from Amazon.  I’ll pay that admission price to hear about the Smurl haunting from their perspective.

Ed and Lorraine Warren were high school sweethearts.  Ed lived in a haunted house as a child and wouldn’t go inside until one of his parents arrived home.  Lorraine saw auras around people from the age of nine and later developed her psychic abilities into something more.  The two met on a blind date. Lorraine wrote in her diary that night, “This is the man I’m going to spend my life with.”  She says as she thought of him she wasn’t seeing the lanky teenager she had went to the movies with, she saw him as an older man, the portly fellow she indeed spent her life with. 

While Lorraine cultivated her psychic abilities, Ed studied demonology and became well versed in the occult.  The Warrens were called in on some of the most famous paranormal cases of the late 20th century.  The Smurl haunting and the Amityville Horror have already been discussed at the Medicine Show, you can read about them in our archive.  Ed sadly passed away in 2006.  Lorraine continues to carry on their legacy.  She has appeared on several episodes of A&E’s Paranormal State, gives speaking engagements, operates the Warren’s Occult Museum, and heads up the New England Society for Psychic Research. Here’s a look at a few more of the cases the Warrens worked on.
The Real Haunting in Connecticut

Here’s that “based on true events” meme again.  “The Haunting in Connecticut” was released to theaters in 2009.  Not a bad movie in our opinion.  While a lot of artistic license was taken to make a scary movie, Loraine Warren says what really happened in Southington, Connecticut was much scarier than any movie could be.  In the 1980s Allen and Carmen Snedeker moved their family into a rental house on 208 Meridian Avenue in Southington.  She had been traveling 100 miles each way taking her son, Phillip, to the University hospital to receive treatments for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  There is some controversy as to whether the Snedekers were aware of it before they moved in or not, but the house they rented had formerly been the Hallahan Funeral Home.  Carmen says they found out after discovering mortuary equipment in the basement and inquiring to neighbors. 

Spooky phenomena that would continue for two years began soon after they moved in.  Phillip and his brother made the basement their bedroom and soon reported seeing apparitions.  His parents at first attributed this to the treatments he was receiving for his cancer.  Then Phillip began to change.  His personality became dark.  He wrote dark poetry and began wearing leather.  Things came to a head when Phillip attacked his cousin who was staying with the family.  With no other choice his parents had him committed to a mental hospital.  Before he left, he warned them that when he was taken away the evil would attack everyone else. 

Sure enough with Phillip gone the activity continued, and increased. Unseen hands touched them, more apparitions were seen, and strange noises were heard. One apparition was described as having high cheekbones, long black hair and pitch black eyes while another frequently seen had white hair and eyes and wore a pinstriped tuxedo.  Its feet seemed to constantly be in motion. While cleaning the kitchen, Carmen claimed the mop water turned blood red. While taking a shower the shower curtain mysteriously wrapped itself around Carmen and nearly suffocated her. The table would be set for dinner and when the family entered the room they would find that the dishes had put themselves away. Both Carmen and her niece claimed to have been fondled by the unseen hands.
The Snedeker Home
In desperation the Snedekers contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren.  The Warrens came to the house and stayed for nine weeks.  Research suggested that one or more former employees of the Funeral home had been involved in necrophilia (getting freaky with dead bodies) and possible necromancy (practicing dark magic involving dead bodies).  There was a trap door in the master bedroom that held a hoist that had been used to bring coffins up from the basement.  The family reported hearing the chains moving in the night.  Upon investigating Ed says he saw two women dancing in circles.  When he approached them they disappeared.  Ed gave a great piece of investigating advice about this incident, saying you shouldn’t approach an apparition because you could disrupt the molecular and magnetic fields being used to manifest.  Just let the apparition come to you.

Soon both Al and Carmen were claiming to be raped and sodomized by the entity on a regular basis.  They went on the Sally Jessy Raphael show to talk about their story.  The Warrens experienced the smells of decaying flesh, witnessing people being slapped by the demon, and hearing what sounded like hundreds of birds taking flight.  The Warrens decided it was necessary for a full-scale exorcism to be performed.  Once this was done, the family seemed to be freed of their oppression from the evil entity.

To see an interview with Carmen and learn more about the case watch the following video:

The Haunting of West Point

While attending a scheduled lecture on the paranormal and their findings, the Warrens were met with an unexpected request when they arrived at West Point in 1972.  Upon arrival they were escorted to the office of Major Donald Bolling who briefed them on occurrences happening in the home of West Point’s Superintendent.  After the scheduled lecture and dinner, the Warrens went to the Superintendent’s home.

The Superintendent’s quarters was officially known as the Sylvanus Thayer Mansion.  The Warrens met with the General and his wife who told them nothing macabre or tragic had ever happened in the house’s history.  Nevertheless they were experiencing strange occurrences.  Most notably a bed downstairs would constantly un-make itself and a mischievous pickpocket spirit would take wallets and other belongings from guests, later to be found upstairs in the master bedroom. Although they themselves had not seen any, apparitions had been reported  by staff over the years.

In the kitchen they were shown a cutting board with a wet spot.  The General told them that no matter how many times or how hard they tried to dry the spot, it would reappear wet.  Continuing through the house Lorraine felt a presence in one of the back bedrooms.  She saw John F. Kennedy standing next to her. The General confirmed that this was the room Kennedy used when he visited West Point.  
Lorraine Warren
In one upstairs bedroom Lorraine picked up the spirit of an elderly woman.  She described her as a very wise woman who shared a burden with a man in her life, but the man wasn’t her husband.  They were then told this was the room where Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s mother had stayed while her son was the West Point Superintendent.

The room in which the bunk that un-made itself was stayed locked.  The General unlocked it for the Warrens and they found the bed, of course, unmade.  In a trance state Lorraine was contacted by the spirit a black man who seemed attached to the room.  Through communicating with him she ascertained that he had served as a soldier and had been accused, though later acquitted, of murder.  He told her his name was Greer.  She believed the room was where he was held during the murder investigation and couldn’t cross over because of his guilt and feelings of having lost his honor.   Lorraine says she assisted the man in successfully crossing over.

The Warrens admitted they couldn’t locate the presence responsible for the mischief, although it could be deliberately hiding from them.  The missing wallets and belongings were especially troubling as it was the job of the Superintendent to entertain top military brass in the home.  Apparently they weren’t too disappointed with the answers the Warrens provided.  Just over a week later they received a phone call asking if they could please do something about the ghost of a civil war soldier who was refusing to leave one of the dormitories and they were in need of the space.

The Brookfield Demon Murder Case

This case not only involves the expected paranormal activity and demonic possession, but also an actual murder.  It began in July of 1980.  David Glatzel accompanied his parents to visit friends.  He fell asleep there.  Awakening from his nap, he saw what he described as an old man who appeared charred and had hooves.  He was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. 

His mother thought it was only a nightmare he’d had, but he saw the man again at their home.  This time David claimed the old man turned into a beast and flew, and was inside the house.  He said the old man muttered, chanting, and said he was coming for his soul.  Later that night David appeared to be beaten by an unseen entity.  This began happening on a regular basis.  The family had a Catholic priest come bless the house but it didn’t have any effect on David. 

12 days after the first incident the family contacted Ed and Lorraine Warren.  David’s mother witnessed unseen hands choke her son.  Lorraine, being a clairvoyant, sensed a black, misty form next to David which she said suggested a malevolent presence.  David’s condition worsened.  He began to growl and hiss, spoke in unknown languages, and recited biblical scriptures and passages from Paradise Lost by John Milton.  Around this time Arne Johnson, the boyfriend of David’s older sister Debbie, came to stay with the family during their troubling time.  The Warrens arranged for three exorcisms to be performed on David.  Arne would assist the clergy in restraining David when he would thrash about with what was described as supernatural strength and even levitate off the bed.
The Glatzel home
During one of these sessions David was asked to name the demon inside him.  He recited 43 names.  Ed later went into the study to attempt to confront what the family had come to call “the Beast.”  Ed says the 43 demons came at him “like a kaleidoscope” and called it the most frightening moment of his life. 

During the final exorcism Arne became so frustrated with sympathy for David he taunted the demons, demanding they enter him and leave the boy alone. It seems they did.  A few days later Arne went out to run some errands and says he was attacked by the demon.  He saw a demon he described as looking exactly like the devil, pointing at a tree.  The car mysteriously went out of control and hit the tree.  Another encounter with the Beast at his own home is when Arne believes he truly became possessed after looking directly into its black eyes.

David’s condition got better, but the activity never completely subsided.  He still asked to sleep with the light on years later.  Meanwhile Debbie and Arne moved back to their place and Debbie was hired by Alan Bono as a dog groomer at his dog kennel.  Arne’s behavior changed and Debbie feared that he too was possessed.  Debbie said Arne would go into a trance and growl, and then later have no memory of it.

The Warrens arranged for a series of exorcisms on Arne, one that involved three priests directly from the Vatican.  When multiple rites proved unsuccessful the priests knew the story would end in tragedy.  The Warrens even contacted the Brookfield police department to warn them that the situation was becoming dangerous.

A scene from the film "The Demon Murder Case"

On Feb. 16, 1981 Arne called in sick to work.  He went to the kennel where Debbie worked.  Bono took the group out to lunch.  Everyone had some wine, Bono more than the others.  When they returned Arne fixed Bono’s stereo.  According to an account given by Debbie Glatzel, Bono then invited them upstairs to his apartment.  The television was turned on and the volume was very loud.  Bono became agitated and began punching his fist into the palm of his hand.  Debbie decided it was time to leave.  Bono grabbed Debbie’s niece Mary, also a kennel employee, by the arm and wouldn’t let go.

Arne demanded Bono release her.  Mary broke free and ran for the car.  The two men stood squared off.  A growling sound came from Arne, there was a flash through the air, and then Arne walked off into the woods.  Bono continued to punch his palm.  Then he fell.  He had suffered several stab wounds on his chest and stomach.  Bono died hours later.  Arne was found two miles from the scene and taken to jail.  It should be mentioned that this was the first murder that ever occurred in the town of Brookfield.

The day after the murder Loraine Warren called the Brookfield police telling them Arne was possessed.  A media frenzy ensued.  Arne Johnson’s trial began on Oct. 28, 1981 in Danbury, Connecticut Superior Court.  His lawyer entered an unprecedented plea of not guilty by reason of demonic possession but the judge quickly ruled that no such defense existed and instead accepted a plea that Johnson had acted in self-defense.  The Warrens and others involved in the case tried to offer testimony on Johnson's behalf but was not allowed to speak in court.  After three days of deliberation the jury returned a guilty verdict and Johnson served 5 years of his 20 year sentence.

A Demonic Werewolf in London

The story of Bill Ramsey first came to the attention of the Warrens when they caught a news story about him on television.  When they watched the segment of the man who had attacked people and claimed to be a werewolf, Ed became interested.  Lorraine, perhaps because of her clairvoyant abilities, felt a desire and need to help this man.

So Ed and Lorraine traveled to London where they met Bill Ramsey and learned his story.  Bill Ramsey told them how his trouble began when he was nine years old. While playing outside Bill felt a strange coldness come over him.  There was a very foul odor.  Bill said he felt a change within himself.  He no longer felt like a child.  There was a coldness inside him that would remain for years.  His parents called him inside. Images of himself as a wolf flashed through his mind.  He tripped on a fence post and fell.  He heard an animalistic growl then realized it was coming from him.  Bill seized the fence post which had been moored deep into the ground, and the nine year old tore it out of the earth.  By the time his father rushed to him he was tearing the metal fencing attached to the post apart with his bare hands.  Bill knew something had happened that couldn’t be undone.

Bill Ramsey grew to be a man and married.  He worked as a carpenter and started raising a family, and then the incidents began again.  One evening while driving home he suddenly felt a searing pain in his chest.  His breathing became irregular and a cold sweat covered his body.  The pain in his chest got worse and Ramsey headed for nearby Southend Hospital.  He made it into the emergency room, praying this wasn’t one of his wolf episodes.  A nurse on duty saw him arrive and rushed to his side.  Another, seeing the poor condition he was in, followed with a gurney.  They swiftly moved Ramsey into one of the emergency room examination stalls.  Ramsey felt a rumbling, like gas at first, start in his stomach.  The rumbling traveled up his chest and an awful roar erupted from his mouth.  Bill felt his hands curl into claws.

Ramsey said before he knew what he was doing he grabbed one of the nurse’s arms and sank teeth his into her. It just so happened that a rookie police officer was making his usual rounds and entered the hospital to hear the roaring coming from the exam room.   When the cop arrived Bill was crouched in a corner of the room with a wild look in his eyes and growling like a wild animal.  As the officer came near him he picked up a chair and threw it across the room.  With the help of an intern who also came running, they subdued Ramsey and a powerful sedative was administered to him. 

The next thing Bill knew he woke up in an ambulance, heavily restrained to a gurney.  He had no idea where he was or what had happened.  He was on his way to a mental hospital.  The incident earned him a short stay there.

Bill’s case gained wide attention when he drove himself to the Southend Police Station on July 22, 1987 and asked officers to lock him up because he was a danger to himself and others.  During the conversation with the police officer Bill became enraged a hurled the police officer, who was much larger than Ramsey, across the parking lot.  It took six other police officers to restrain Ramsey and get him into a cell inside.
John Zaffis, Lorraine, Bill Ramsey, and Ed in Connecticut
From there Bill’s wolf-like behavior continued.  He growled and was somehow able to wedge his head and arm through a small hatch in the door.  He snarled and snapped at anyone who came near.  Another sedative was administered and members of the local fire department were able to free him from the hatch. 

Ed and Lorraine Warren surmised that Ramsey was possessed by a “werewolf demon” and insisted he needed an exorcism immediately.  Ramsey traveled back to Connecticut with the Warrens.  They took him to Bishop Robert McKenna at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Monroe.  In attendance were Ramsey, the Warrens, McKenna, and four off-duty police officers who had agreed to assist should McKenna become out of control during the rite.  Bill says he didn’t expect any results from the exorcism but McKenna said he recognized the demon in Ramsey immediately and knew the exorcism would be successful.

Half an hour into the rite McKenna touched a cross to Ramsey’s head.  Ramsey began to thrash about.  His lips pulled back from his teeth and his hands formed into claws.  The urge to attack the bishop overtook him.  As he lunged for McKenna two of the off-duty cops grabbed him.  Ramsey continued to snarl and growl.  As the bishop spoke in Latin Bill felt something happening inside him.  He suddenly felt weak.  The coldness in his body subsided.  Bill felt the wolf leaving his body as he lost consciousness.  Ramsey finally found peace and has since been free of any further possession.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Clinton Blood Clot latest in Benghazi Cover-Up?

Those are the headlines not from the USA Today, or CNBC, but conspiracists will definitely consider it, if not adhere to it. I’ve mentioned before how lately with the Medicine Show one blog has mysteriously led to another, and this is another of those cases.  The evening after I posted on the top conspiracy theories of 2012, which included David Petraeus’ extramarital affair as a maneuver to get out of giving congressional testimony, I walked through the door from work to see Hillary Clinton on the news.  According to the story just days before she was to give her testimony as acting Secretary of State when the attacks on the Benghazi consulate occurred, she fell critically ill with a blood clot in her brain.

If you’ve read any of the other medicine show articles, you’ll see that we try to be as bipartisan as we can and offer a fair, skewed from both sides, point of view.   We trust no one.  While not quite convincing myself, my first thought was of how conspiracists could be convinced that this latest development was a part of the Benghazi cover-up.  They would see it as a backup plan.  The Big Government machine had tried distraction tactics with an affair involving the head of the CIA, but Petraeus had been made to give his testimony despite his resignation.  Now here we have a woman, who’s popularity rating while serving as First Lady was once of the highest in recent history, and people tend to be more sympathetic toward women.  And Clinton wasn’t out sleeping around as her husband Bill or Director Petraeus had done.  She had a serious medical issue.  Would that garner enough sympathy to excuse her?  To conspiracists, this could spell cover-up more plainly than what had been one of the biggest conspiracies of the year with Petraeus. It is evolving.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

If master strategist Petraeus could plan announcing an affair a year in advance, the Clinton conspiracy’s groundwork could’ve been laid when she took a fall and her staff attributed it to dehydration due to the flu.  She suffered a concussion from her fall and testing revealed a blood clot in her brain…at least that’s what the government is telling us, and the government wouldn’t lie would they?

Is it possible that Clinton’s health scare was a tactic to at least stall the congressional hearing into the “sloppy work” with the Benghazi attacks?  As you’ll recall from a previous blog and news coverage for the last three months, four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11 and Secretary of State Clinton caught her share of the heat over the controversy. 

Whether the outrage of an anti-Muslim video that got its 15 minutes was the catalyst for the attacks or if they stemmed from an all together different matter, the Obama administration was quick to become the target for the tragedy.  Opponents said better handling of intelligence could have prevented the loss of four American lives. 

Former Presidential candidate and senior United States senator from Massachusetts John Kerry is poised to take Clinton’s seat as Secretary of State.  From the view at Lost Creek, we don’t necessarily think Hillary’s health scare was part of an Obama administration cover up of, what, an alien base or the President’s illegitimate child? But as the forensic tech that died after blogger Andrew Breitbart was pulled into that conspiracy, we’re sure it won’t be long until Hillary’s aneurysm will be drawn into the Benghazi conspiracy.

For the record Hillary’s actual diagnosis is cerebral venous thrombosis, a rare and serious condition but one from which Clinton is expected to recover from.  Had she not been the Secretary of State instead of your average Joe worrying about healthcare struggles, the rigorous tests preformed on Clinton wouldn’t have been done and her condition would likely have progressed to cause a stroke or actual hemorrhage.

"They have no idea about my Illuminati confirmation at Bohemian Grove!"