Written by Alex Cayas
With the Oz Paranormal and Spiritual Expo coming up on September 24th, Alex stole some time with Sydney based Mentalist, Hypnotist and Mind Magician, Phoenix to chat about his work and what he will be dazzling VIP's with at the EXPO. Phoenix is a highly praised Mentalist performer and trainer. Having worked both internationally and domestically Phoenix has WOWED audiences and clients with his skill and experience.
We all are familiar with the word Mentalist but for those playing at home can you define it for us?
"Mentalist" is an umbrella term for someone who has studied the arts of the mind, from body language reading, to psychological profiling, influence, hypnosis, memory training, speed math, deception detection, "magic" & performance arts, as well as other mind "arts". These skills are combined to create the illusion of being psychic, or "reading minds".
Do you see a similarity between what you do and what Mediums claim to do?
ABSOLUTELY I do. You would be amazed at how many mediums I see and know, and can do exactly what they're doing, and more often that not, better. The argument of are there "real mediums" is age old... I'm yet to be personally convinced, however how do we explain simple occurrences such as thinking of someone for the first time in a long while, only to hear from them the next day? Knowing that the phone will ring before it does, and other phenomena? Whether they are legitimately psychic or charlatans is really for the viewer to decide, I am NOT psychic, so see what I do, and see what they do, and form your own decisions.. As always, you be the judge... Ultimately, it's all entertainment, & I'm looking forward to seeing the skill level of the mediums present at the expo!
Without reliving too much can you explain how you are able to hypnotize people? The mind seems so strong how do you slip behind that?
This answer is longer than a quick answer, however I will say that strength of mind doesn't have much to do with being hypnotized. If anything, the stronger the mind, the better the result. Too often we think of "intelligence" as simply being academic. Lawyers, Doctors, and some of the "smartest" people you might think of are BRILLIANT hypnotic subjects. As are sporting stars, artists, performers - common theme? Yes, emotional intelligence, creative intelligence, physical intelligence - the more intelligent someone is the better subjects they make. It is simply a matter of allowing a trained professional to guide your mind in a certain direction. If you wish to fight against being hypnotized, you can.. easily. I have no need to waste time trying to hypnotize people against their will, when there are plenty of people who would love the opportunity to experience how powerful their minds are and have an incredible experience. I won't be performing any hypnosis at this year's expo though, "Psyche!" uses most other areas of mentalism, and creates the illusion of being "Psychic".
Written By Amanda Moloney
In the late 1960’s to early 1970’s, in the San Francisco area, people became terrorised when a man, who became nicknamed the zodiac killer began his killing spree. To this day the identity of the Zodiac Killer still remains a mystery although many suspects have been put forward. A total of 5 known people were murdered by this man and he sent taunting letters to newspapers about what he had done. In some of these letters he actually claims responsibility for 37 killings although the police have no evidence to back those claims up so to this day he is only attributed to 7 victims including 2 survivors.
The next day 5th July 1969 a man called the Vallejo police department and claimed responsibility for the attack on Darlene and Michael, he also claimed that he was responsible for David and Betty Lou 6 months earlier.
A month passed, August 1st 1969, the killer sent 3 letters to 3 separate newspapers, The Vallejo Times Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle and The San Francisco Examiner. The letters claimed again that he was responsible for both of the killings at Lake Herman and at Blue Rock Springs and that if the letters weren’t published on the front page he would spend the whole weekend killing. He also included a coded cipher in all three letters which he claimed revealed his identity. When the Chronicle published their letter the Vallejo police chief also wrote claiming that they didn’t believe these were from the killer and wanted him to offer more proof.
August 7th 1969, another letter arrived at the San Francisco Examiner; this was the first letter in which he called himself the Zodiac. In this letter, in response to the police chief, the killer gave details of both murder scenes that hadn’t yet been made public. The coded cipher was cracked the next day, but did not reveal any identity, it only explained how he enjoyed killing people and they would be his slaves in his afterlife.
On September 27th 1969 two college students Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shephard were picnicking at Lake Berryessa. They were approached by a man wearing a black hood and sunglasses. He also wore a bib over his shirt that had a white circle with a cross through it and he carried a gun. They were tied up and stabbed repeatedly. Back at their car he drew the circle with cross symbol on their door and carved Vallejo and the dates of the previous murders on there with his knife. At 7.40pm he rang the Napa County Sherriff’s Office and reported his latest crime, the police missed him at the public phone booth by minutes! The victims were discovered by a fisherman and his son when they heard screaming. Cecelia was still conscious and was able to describe the attack before lapsing into a coma and dying two days later. Bryan managed to survive.
November 8th 1969 another coded card turned up, this one contained 340 characters and at this point in time has still not been deciphered and on November 9th 1969 he sent another letter taunting that just after he had shot Paul Stine, two police officers had actually stopped and spoken to him, this was published in the Chronicle with the police officer explaining what had happened.
Exactly one year to the day of David and Betty Lou’s murder December 20th 1969 the killer again sent a letter with a sample of Paul Stine’s shirt in it, he claimed he wanted the lawyer Melvin Belli to help him.
March 20th 1970 Kathleen Johns was driving with her 10 month old daughter on Highway 132 near Modesto. She was also 7 months pregnant. They were held captive in a car for 90 mins by a man who had offered help until her and her daughter eventually jumped out of the car and hid. He searched and when he could not find them he drove away. Kathleen made her way to the Patterson Police station where she recognised the composite sketch of Paul Stine’s killer and stated that was the man who had them in his car.
Over 1970 many letters now began to arrive.
April 20th, April 28th, June 26th, July 24th, October 7th. In all his letters he either claimed responsibility for something or claimed he was going to do something, he also sent maps and ciphers saying it was locations of bombs. He had started to sign his letters with what became known as his symbol. A circle with a cross through it, he also put the number of his apparent victims here. In the signature he also put SFPD meaning San Francisco Police Dept and a 0 representing their capture rate. As the letters progressed the number he wrote for his apparent victims increased. He also claimed that he killed Sgt Richard Radetich on June 19th 1970 by shooting him in the head, but the police maintain that murder does not belong to him.
Paul Avery worked at the chronicle and covered the zodiac case in depth. On October 27th 1970 he received a letter stating that he was doomed, it was taken seriously so it was shown on the front page of the newspaper. After this Paul received an anon. letter stating there were similarities between the zodiac killings and an earlier case from 1966.
Could the below cases also belong to the zodiac killer:
October 30th 1966 Cheri Jo Bates an 18 year old student stayed late at the campus library, she was found dead the next morning brutally beaten and stabbed, a short distance from the library. On November 29th 1966 two letters were sent the Riverside Press and the Riverside Police department claiming responsibility for her death. On April 30th 1967 the paper, the police and Cheri Jo’s father all received another letter stating that she had to die and there would be more. Could this have been his first murder and it was completely missed?
On March 13th 1971 zodiac sent a letter to the Los Angeles times crediting the police for making his connection to Cheri Bates but stated they were only finding the easy ones and there were lots more out there. On March 22nd 1971 another zodiac letter was received by Paul Avery at the Chronicle. In this letter he claimed he was responsible for the disappearance of Donna Lass on September 6th 1970. She has never been found.
On November 13th 1972 the Vallejo Times Herald ran a story where the Santa Barbara Sherriff Counties Office postulated that the murder of high school students Robert Domingos and Linda Edwards on June 4th 1963, who were both shot in the back and chest may actually belong to the zodiac killer as well.
January 29th 1974 was the final letter received that can properly be attributed to the zodiac killer. He signed this letter me-37 SFPD-0
Many letters came through after this time but none could actually be proved as authentic zodiac letters by experts in the field. Most were put down to copy cats who wanted the publicity that the zodiac was getting. Arthur Allen Leigh became a prime suspect as well as his good friend Don Cheney however DNA evidence later proved that they both may be innocent. Several other names have been thrown around as suspects including Jack Tarrance, Richard Gaikowski, George Hill Hodel Jr, James Phillips, George Tucker, Earl Van Best and Louie Myer. At this point the case remains open and unsolved, Louie Myer confessed on his death bed that he was the killer and while a lot of evidence actually lines up there is still not enough for a conviction. The story of the Zodiac Killer has spawned many books, TV productions and movies.
Written by Peet Banks
On Friday 13 January, 1882, at 8:13pm in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage, New York, a group of individuals got together to flout superstition!
The evening was initiated by Captain William Fowler, a man surrounded by 13’s. As a boy, he attended New York City’s public school number 13 until his 13th year, and as a builder, assisted in the erection of 13 of the city’s buildings. On April 13 he commanded union volunteers and participated in 13 major battles in the US Civil War. He resigned his military post on 13 August, and on 13 September bought the Knickerbocker Cottage, which he operated until selling it on Friday the 13th of April… He was also a member of 13 social and/or secret societies – the Thirteen Club being one that he founded.
At the Thirteen Club’s first meeting, 13 attendees sat around a dinner table, consumed a 13 course meal (including a lobster salad in a coffin shape), under a banner which read “Morituri te Salutamus.” (translation: we who are about to die, salute thee.)
Guests were encouraged to do everything they possibly could against superstition. No salt was to be tossed over their shoulders, all attendee’s walked under a ladder, and umbrellas were definitely opened indoors. Mirrors were cracked, and although not mentioned, I’m sure that if they had access to a black cat, it would’ve also been taken along.
One year after its inception the club secretary reported that “out of the entire roll of membership, whether they have participated or not at the banquet table, NOT A SINGLE MEMBER IS DEAD, or has even had a serious illness. On the contrary, so far as can be learned, the members during the past twelve months have been exceptionally healthy and fortunate.”
I’m sure Captain Fowler was disappointed to not die on a 13 – he passed away on 6 July (6+7=13???), 1897, of a stroke (or apoplexy as they called it in his death notice).
On 24 March, 1914, The Telegraph (Brisbane) reported that a similar club was formed in London.
“…a company of sceptics formed a Thirteen Club in London, as a protest against superstition. On the way to dinner the members passed under ladders, they sat down in thirteen’s at separate tables, broke mirrors, opened umbrellas over each other’s heads, spilt salt and helped their neighbours to it. Crossed knives and forks and did many other equally foolish and daring things. The club no longer exists, but it was not superstition that killed it. The percentage of mortality, or even of evil fortune, among its members has not been higher than the average rate applicable to the community as a whole.”
On 10 October 1896 the Newcastle Morning Herald had a public notice stating that a Mr Marquardt, the only surviving passenger of the SS Drummond Castle, had joined the London Thirteen Club. From his point of view, superstition did not exist, as he had occupied berth 13 on the ship – which struck rocks at 11pm near the island of Ushant at the south-western end of the English Channel. The only other people rescued were two crew members, with 242 other passengers and crew drowning.
Australia was not to be outdone by the USA or London. On 23 August, 1932, the Daily Mercury reported:
“That 13 is an unlucky number is laughed at by the Rose Club, a strange coterie of Melbourne. Limited to a membership of 13, the club meets on the thirteenth of every month, and there are 13 ‘buds’, or associates who take places made vacant by death or departure from the State. Each member has his own beer mug of earthenware, with a pewter top and 13 roses embossed. The mugs were made specially in Germany where such manufacture is treasured art.”
(Note: I find it very typically Australian that the writer was more focussed on what the members were drinking their beer out of, rather than what went on at the club.)
Written by Danni Remaili
Melbourne Meet Up at the historic Mitre Tavern
T’was a cold and rainy Melbourne evening on Friday 22nd July, when my partner Alyce and I made our way to Melbourne CBD to meet with the one and only Beth Luscombe of Access Paranormal for the national tour of Eat, Drink and Talk Paranormal. Beth had reserved a spot at the historic Mitre Tavern for anybody and everybody, old faces and new, to join in the conversation and meet new people of the paranormal field or interested in the paranormal.
So we parked the car, (forgot the umbrella [how very un-Melbourne of us]) and walked to the Mitre Tavern down a cobble stoned alley lined with lanterns. For a second I felt as though I was walking the streets of London once more; Beth sure knows how to pick her locations. She has unknowingly (or knowingly) set the atmosphere for a spooky and enjoyable evening already. Although we had arrived a little late and missed out on seeing my dear friend Bill from Australian Paranormal Society, Beth texts me and assures the para-party was still well and truly alive. We entered the tavern and were greeted with rustic furnishings and old pictures on the wall which framed the halls that led to a private section just for us paranormal Melbournians. I had never been to the Mitre Tavern; I was impressed! Instantly we felt welcomed; some faces I’d seen before and some I hadn’t.
I’ve been living in Melbourne for 2 years now having moved from Sydney, and although Melbourne isn’t as large as New South Wales, Melbourne’s paranormal teams are growing. And just like NSW, they are communal and active as hell. Events and tours happening, and even when they’re not happening, the teams are working on their next event or investigation.
After I hugged the bajeezus out of Beth (hadn’t seen her since Paracon and missed her heaps), a gentleman named Alvin moved some chairs around to fit us in the circle. Now I had Liked many of the Melbourne paranormal teams on the good ol’ FB but had only met a handful of them face to face. Tonight, that changed. I had the privilege of meeting Paranormal X-Files peeps Sarah and her partner Jimmie, Glen, Martin, Rie and Chris who is a good friend of Alvin’s. So while I got speaking with Sarah on all things Black Rock House Paranormal Tours (can’t wait for the next tour!), our partners Jimmie and Alyce bonded over all things music and percussion instruments. Turns out they’re both drummers! Sarah and her team were taking Beth on a tour the following evening (go Facebooking to find out specific details and visit Beth Luscombe’s page Access Paranormal for a live video on the tour). As the night progressed we got sharing our paranormal experiences and stories.
We spooked ourselves, and perhaps even had passers-by slow their pace as they walked by. So occasionally we went off topic (I blame the wine) but it was such a great atmosphere. I felt as though I had known these guys for years! I got talking to Alvin on all things pagan too. I came into the paranormal on the back of my pagan interests and he invited Alyce and I to a drumming circle; can’t wait to look into this one. Alvin tells me there are more pagan groups and events than Melbourne lets on. I had no idea! I remember telling him that living in the Hills (The Dandenong Ranges), I am surprised there aren’t many pagan events. Yes these last two Winter Solstice’s I have celebrated in my own house with my close friends and that was fine enough for me, but I’ve felt more of a yearning to share these pagan festivals with larger groups; and let’s face it, it’s nice being around like minded people. This meet-up was exactly what I needed. The rush and monotony of full time work can get in the way, so it was nice to make some time to unwind and relax with like-minded people and network.
It was so nice having my partner along for the ride too as I wanted her to be involved and ease into the awesomeness (thanks Mean Girls for coining this term) that is all things paranormal! One of the best things about events like these? Anything goes. Anybody and everybody is welcome, and para peeps have an amazing ability to provide a sense of inclusiveness that is very rare now days. Please, please stay tuned as Beth Luscombe’s Eat, Drink and Talk Paranormal events makes its way around the country. For those who are well and truly embedded in the Australian paranormal scene, it’s a perfect opportunity to get your team’s events promoted. For those who are new or even just curious as to what’s happening in and around your suburb or town, and just want a spooky night out, just rock up! Get in contact online and start the conversation. We need to support events like these; we need to support each other and pump energy, funds, time and effort into these local events that keep the Australian paranormal scene alive and on the map. Australia has a lot to give and I’ll repeat what I said this evening at the meet up; “it seems almost everybody has a paranormal story… this is a safe environment to do so.” Shout out to Beth Luscombe of Access Paranormal for organising these events and keeping us all united. It was a pleasure meeting you all.
Peace, Love and Brown Rice
Written by Alex Cayas
Congratulations to Renata Daniel owner/operator of Newcastle Ghost Tours who placed second in the 2016 North Coast and Legendary Pacific Coast Tourism Awards in the category for Cultural Tourism. The awards looks to increases awareness, preference and conversions for all destinations from Great Lakes in the south to The Tweed in the north.
"Its always a great feeling to be recognized and receiving an occasional pat on the back" says Renata. "Winning this last award was a huge milestone for me as I was really running against businesses all the way up the North Coast of NSW so I am terribly proud of this achievement."
Renata has always been an advocate for follwoing for passion "certainly there are days when I wonder why I am doing what I do especially since it usually ends up costing more than I would ever make. So its certainly not about the money. But I continue to have magical experiences that more than make up for not having pennies in the pot. I have met wonderful people, been and seen amazing places and have had the opportunity to follow my passion"
2016 has already been a big year for Renata and its not over yet. The second OzGhost Cruise taking place in November is all ready to set to sail, regular ghost tours at Maitland Gaol started this year, speaking at Paracon Australia in May and hosting Brian Cano in Newcastle following the conference , plus constantly delivering engaging tours in and around the Newcastle region.
It is no wonder when asked her secret to her success she offered this "I don't have a secret to success except to keep working hard and never giving up."
Written by Danni Remaili
Danni speaks with Attila Kaldy of ‘Moonlark Media’ and ‘Validate’ and VIP presenter of the Oz Paranormal and Spiritual Expo Sydney about life as a filmmaker, paranormal investigator and researcher.
So for those who are new to the paranormal investigative world, (and I say “new” because if you’re already involved you’d most definitely know of this phenomenal man), but Attila Kaldy is possibly one of the most influential filmmakers of the Australian paranormal platform and paranormal investigator of our time. He and his family have infiltrated almost all aspects of the paranormal and are not afraid of pushing the boundaries.
With the Oz Paranormal and Spiritual Expo coming up at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney hosted by our favourite para-peep Peet Banks, I just had to pick the brain of a Ghosts of Oz favourite. Attila Kaldy chats about his role in the upcoming expo and what we can expect from his VIP presentation.
Danni: Attila Kaldy, co-founder of Validate and Moonlark Media, and very dear friend of Ghosts of Oz for many, many years, how are you this evening?
Attila: Great, thank you!
D: So Attila, you’ve done so much in your very short time on Earth (and possibly more in other universes knowing your crazy work ethic), but just to name a few recent projects: in 2007 you launched the series Paranormal Investigators and has been continued over the years. Then in 2012 with your daughter Michelle, My Project UFO took off and asked so many heavy and controversial questions that audiences needed to hear. 2013 saw Phasmophobia (GOO may have made a cameo appearance in that one) and 2014 was In Tenebris (Into the Darkness) as part of the Paranormal Investigators series, this time hosted by Andrea your wife, and Beth Luscombe from Access Paranormal. But tell us, there has been the completion of, in your words, Moonlark Media’s “most ambitious” documentary project to date, Desolate: Urban Exploration in Hungary. Why Hungary? What sparked this journey?
A: Danni, this made perfect sense. My heritage is Hungarian and it just seemed like the perfect fit – a father, daughter and a good friend who has never been exposed to a European culture embark on a road trip to discover abandoned historical locations, but also tap into the paranormal in a country that does not entertain the idea of ‘messing’ with the supernatural. It is quite a mouth full, but the ingredients were so damn attractive, that as a freelance producer and enquirer of the unexplained it was without question – I just had to do it! The story of the journey seems to have surfaced a unique genre that combines travel, urban exploration and the search for paranormal phenomena. I have been searching for the right content that offers a unique taste and I think I’ve found what I‘ve been looking for.
D: You’ve merged 3 of my favourite things together: travel, culture and the paranormal! And just watching the trailer of ‘Desolate’, your cinematography is just exquisite. You and your family are very blessed to have such talent take you around the country, showcasing and launching documentaries true to the Australian paranormal world. What do you hope to do on an international scale now that you’re well and truly paving the way for a paranormal Australia on a global level? If I were to ask you, your reason behind why you do what you do?
A: Thank you, Danni. I am extremely proud of my family and I owe them everything.
We’ve just launched our own VOD channel on Vimeo and I’m happy with the way things are. You have more control over your content (also being global), how and when it’s released without the stress of pitching it to the right network and being concerned about deadlines and how they dissect your work. I’ve been down that road before and it’s not a very pleasant trip.
The reason why I do what I do is because it’s not enough just to exist – I want to live and express life through what I’m passionate about.
D: What did you find most challenging about the production and pre-production of Desolate?
A: You’d probably get the same answer from all producers about their production – raising the funds.
D: With that in mind, Australia is getting psyched for the Oz Paranormal and Spiritual Expo in Sydney, happening at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre on September 24 and you will be on the VIP Program hosting “Urban Exploration and Fusion with Paranormal”. What can expo go-ers expect from your presentation?
A: Certainly a variety of information but importantly how we can expand our ideas and not limiting ourselves to what we see on major networks or even regard as norm.
D: What do you hope for expo go-ers to walk away with after your VIP presentation?
A: I hope that the audience recognises that there are so many countries in the world that beg to be explored, but also to have the confidence, with the right preparation, to visit and investigate these places.
D: Finally, with your experience as a filmmaker, paranormal investigator and father, what advice can you give young budding paranormal filmmakers wanting to create their own projects? Things to look out for? Things to avoid?
A: Don’t hesitate to contact the right people for advice, pursue your dreams and keep hammering away until you are satisfied with what you have achieved.
D: Perfect advice! Thank you so much Attila for taking time out to speak with me it has been a pleasure hearing from you once again
A: Thank you for the opportunity, Danni.
Written by Peet Banks
The Initiation Well, also known as the is a 27 meter staircase leading straight down to an underground tunnel system. It is part of the Quinta da Regaleira estate in historic Sintra, Portugal.
One of the wells contains nine platforms, said to be reminiscent of the “Divine Comedy” by Dante and the nine circles of Hell.
At the bottom of the wells there is a compass over a Knights Templar cross, which is said to have been Monteiro’s herald and a sign of his Rosicrucians.
Very little is known about the wells and what they were actually used for. One is said to be 88 feet deep. Regardless of their original purpose, they are definitely beautiful to behold, and their planning and construction is genius.
I can’t find any record of any hauntings at the Initiation Wells, but I’d love to get down there with my equipment to find out! Not sure if I’d like the walk back up though.
Situated in Mulgoa NSW on 654 hectares of picturesque land, 50 minutes form Sydney’s CBD and a stones throw form Penrith, Fernhill Estate was built in the early 1800’s and offers beautiful surroundings of heritage and intrigue. Janine Louise has been running tours at the mansion regularly for the past few month and now is ready to open the "Ghost Files" .
One of the newest Ghost Tourism experiences to hit the Sydney scene this year is the Spirit Investigations at Fernhill Estate presented by Sydney Medium Janine Louise. "The Fernhill Tours have been very successful thus far. Especially, that Fernhill Estate is a brand new location and has only been open to the public for the first time in January this year." says Janine. Whenever a new location or experience opens up curiosity take hold and lovers of the Paranormal quickly update their Paranormal Bucket List.
In the case of the Fernhill Estate Janine is painting a vivid picture that there is lots to explore and guests are sure to fall in love with the place, just as she and her crew have "We love everything about the Estate. The 4km stone wall driveway leading to the homestead and the feeling you have that runs through you while driving there, the spectacular views, the acreage, the sheer beauty of the extensive modified landscape blended with the natural vegetation and that’s before you even reach the million dollar homestead. All the magnificently, mason built Old Colonial Grecian dwellings, the craftsman ship, architecture and prestigious styling in and around the buildings. The 19th Century sandstone that has you hypnotised and seems to tell you stories. The millions of dollars spent on the elite interior design leave you almost breathless. The spectacularly designed cellars underground that don’t seem to end. Along with the overwhelming, feeling of time."
Sign us up please! The tours run regularly and sell out quickly with guests expressing their gratitude for the professionalism, education and the historic information presented on the tours about the Estate and the introduction into how energy and Mediumship works in a practical and hands on environment. "Just way too surreal." states Janine when asked why this is must for any keen Aussie Paranormal lover to visit and explore "I’m not quite sure you will ever experience another estate like this. The untold stories are spine chilling and very real."