Category:
Paranormal

Doris Munday, the woman who controlled the weather

When she was in her forties, Doris Munday realized that she had the power to control the weather. All she had to do was look at a location on a map, visualize what kind of weather it needed, and then concentrate hard. The weather would obey her command.

Shepherds Bush Gazette - Oct 7, 1971



This power came with a cost. Controlling the weather would leave her feeling fatigued, and it also seemed to cause her bad luck. After she had sent rain somewhere, her washing machine might blow up, or someone would run into her car.

She also felt that she didn't get enough credit for her powers. She complained, "Everyone always says when the rain falls, 'Oh well, it is a coincidence isn't it', and I don't even get a thank you for my time and trouble."

Hounslow Middlesex Chronicle - Jan 26, 1973



Daily Mail - Jan 24, 1973



And on occasion she made mistakes. She once wanted to send rain to South Africa, but accidentally sent it to Rhodesia instead.

Hamilton Spectator - Jan 22, 1973



She confessed that she didn't know why her powers worked, they just did. She speculated, "I think I have stumbled on some kind of electrical force which is rarely known."

The Guardian - Dec 23, 1968

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 28, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Paranormal, Weather

Twin Telepathy

1965: Two eye doctors published an article in the journal Science detailing what appeared to be a form of telepathy found in two sets of twins. The brainwaves of the twins seemed to be linked. When the brainwaves of one changed (by having him close his eyes), the brainwaves of the other twin would change also, even though the two were in separate rooms.

The doctors examined 16 sets of twins, but only found the linked brainwave phenomenon in two of them. Why these two? The doctors speculated that they were "serene" whereas the other twins demonstrated "impatient anxiety and apprehension about the testing procedure."

It's surprising the doctors got their article published in Science, since that journal doesn't usually consider anything that smacks too much of parapsychology.

You can find a copy of their Science article ("Extrasensory Electroencephalographic Induction between Identical Twins") here.

More info about twin telepathy at Psi Encyclopedia.

Los Angeles Times - Dec 22, 1965



Science - Oct 15, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 12, 2023 - Comments (5)
Category: Paranormal, Science, Psychology, Twins, Lookalikes & Doppelgangers, 1960s

Healing Mummified Hand

Although the mummified hand supposedly healed 500 people, I've only been able to find one description of a "cure":

One old lady who had been unable to raise her paralysed arm above her heart for ten years was one of the pilgrims who tested it, and in three days she was able to raise her helpless arm over her head.

Saskatoon Phoenix - Feb 8, 1928



Sydney Sunday Times - Feb 5, 1928

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 12, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Paranormal, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1920s

Bad perm caused loss of psychic powers

Oct 1950: Jacqueline Sisson sued her hairdresser for $20,000, alleging that scalp burns she suffered while getting a permanent wave caused her to lose the psychic powers she relied upon for her stage act. Specifically, she had lost the ability to know what musical tunes audience members were thinking of.

As is typical of stories like this, the media never ran a follow-up to report the outcome of her lawsuit.



Los Angeles Times - Oct 12, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 21, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Paranormal, Predictions, Lawsuits, 1950s

ESP Girl

In November 1964, 5-year-old Kenneth Mason went missing. The police searched the river where he was last seen, but failed to find him.

Then 15-year-old Linda Anderson came forward and offered to use her psychic powers to help the police find Kenneth. Her father put her in a hypnotic trance, to activate her powers, and she declared, "The boy is not in the river, but is in a house." So the police began searching houses in the area.

Charlotte Observer - Nov 14, 1964



Linda Anderson, ESP Girl



In addition to being able to locate missing children, Linda also claimed to have the power of "dermal optical perception." She could read through her skin (as opposed to through her eyes). The media dubbed her "ESP Girl."

Lewiston Daily Sun - Nov 14, 1964



A skeptical physics professor, James A. Coleman, doubted that she could see through her skin and challenged her to prove it.

Bangor Daily News - Feb 11, 1965



She lost the challenge.

Nashua Telegraph - Feb 15, 1965



And then Kenneth Mason was found. Sadly he was dead and in the river after all. So much for the powers of ESP Girl.

Daily Kennebec Journal - Mar 12, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 04, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Paranormal, Predictions, 1960s

Death By Yoga?

Robert Antoszczyk died on June 3, 1975. That much everyone agrees on. But how he died is more controversial.

Robert Antoszczyk



Initial reports claimed that he went into a yogic trance and projected his spirit out of his body, but that he didn't know how to re-enter his body. So he died. This explanation remains popular with the Fortean crowd.

The official explanation, which emerged later, is that he died from a cocaine overdose. However, his friends and family always contested this, insisting that he was very much into clean living and never drank, let alone took drugs.

Over at medium.com, Nick Ripatrazone has an article in which he explores this case, as well as the broader interest in 'astral projection' during the 1970s.

Palladium Item - June 30, 1975



NY Daily News - July 3, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 03, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Forteana, Paranormal, 1970s

The housewife who became pregnant after watching Uri Geller

March 1974: a Swedish housewife claimed that, after she watched Uri Geller on TV, her contraceptive coil got bent out of shape, thereby causing her to become pregnant.

Given that the housewife was never named, I'm going to assume this story sprang from the overly fertile imagination of the "Sunday Mirror Reporter in Stockholm".

Uri Geller references the event in his biography, posted on his website, but gives no more details than are available in the Sunday Mirror story, which suggests that, at the very least, he was never sued by the Swedish housewife.

Sunday London Mirror - Mar 17, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 10, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Paranormal, 1970s, Pregnancy

Swindle’s Ghost

'Swindle's Ghost' is a term for an optical illusion that some psychologists have offered as a possible scientific explanation for ghost sightings. Actually, I doubt that many sightings are a result of this phenomenon, but I like the name.

Newsday Special Correspondent Paul Brock (May 15, 1967) offered this explanation:

One after-image, which psychologists believe has given rise to many reports of nocturnal apparitions, is called "Swindle's Ghost." It was first described by the American psychologist P.F. Swindle, about 45 years ago.

It can be summoned up by anybody. Using no more ectoplasm than a table lamp, friends can join you in this weird experiment, right in your own living room. Choose a dark moonless night and draw the drapes securely so that no stray light from street lamps or passing cars enters the room. Group the chairs near a table or floor lamp with one person directly alongside it to switch it on and off.

First, everyone must remain in the darkened room for at least 10 minutes before the experiment begins, so that the eyes can adjust completely to the darkness. Then, each ghosthunter must look steadily toward the lamp but not directly at it. They must keep perfectly still and keep the eyes from moving during the time the room will be illuminated and immediately afterward.

Now turn on the lamp for a full second. Turn it off. Shortly after you will see the whole scene loom up in the darkness with startling clarity, and the ghost impression will last for some time. Not only will everything appear exactly as it was when the light was on, but many precise details will be evident which could not possibly have been noted during the brief illumination...

The same optical illusion occurs when someone reports that he has seen a ghost in a graveyard at night. If a man is passing a graveyard at night and the moon breaks through the clouds just as he is opposite a white tombstone, in a few minutes he might see a vague white form loom up before him. The moon's illumination has created the 'ghost' which the man actually does see, but which is only an after-image— in the image of "Swindle's Ghost."

Some more info in the book Systems Theories and A Priori Aspects of Perception:

Swindle observed that if one experiences a very bright flash, one achieves a very powerful positive afterimage that may last over a period of hours. "Swindle's Ghost," as it is referred to occasionally, is a conscious image sustained purely by cortical activity; it is an image created by a stimulus that is not present during later observation. In spite of the absence of a distal stimulus, the image is very real. Observations by Gregory, Wallace, and Campbell (1959) and Davies (1973) attests to just how real it is; if a Swindle's Ghost image is a corridor, and one walks down it in total darkness, one seems to be walking, briefly, through his or her own afterimage.

You can find Swindle's original article here:

Swindle, P.F. (1916). Positive Afterimages of long duration. American Journal of Psychology, 27, 325-334.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 15, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Paranormal, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, Psychology, Eyes and Vision

Ghost Tape Number Ten

From Wikipedia:

Operation Wandering Soul was a propaganda campaign and large scale psychological warfare attempt exercised by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War...

U.S. engineers spent weeks recording eerie sounds and altered voices, which pretended to be killed Viet Cong, for use in the operation, with the intended purpose of instilling a sense of turmoil within the enemy, the desired result being for the soldier to flee his position. The tape, dubbed Ghost Tape Number Ten, was played on loudspeakers outside U.S. bases.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 10, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Military, Paranormal, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Animal psychic clears dog of eating owner

After Dean Goodman crashed his car into a canyon in early 1978, something ate his body. His mother assumed it was his German shepherd, Prince, who had survived the crash and remained at the scene for three weeks until Goodman's body was found. She wanted the dog put down.

More details from Skeptical Inquirer magazine (Winter 1978):

this gross injustice was narrowly averted when North Hollywood psychic Beatrice Lydecker interviewed the dog and found that Prince had in fact been wrongfully accused. "I have this ESP with animals," Mrs. Lydecker explained. "Prince had been traumatized by the accident. All Prince could talk about was his dead master."

Coyotes and wild dogs, the German shepherd said, had eaten the body, despite Prince's valiant efforts to drive them off. The canine hero's life was spared, owing to this timely information. A local police sergeant observed, "She says she got the information from the dog—and I've no evidence to dispute that."

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Feb 28, 1978



As far as I can tell, Beatrice Lydecker is still active, and still talking with animals. She's got a website where she sells various "natural products," as well as her book: You Too Can Talk With the Animals.



Beatrice Lydecker - 1988 press photo

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 04, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Paranormal, Dogs, 1970s

Page 1 of 4 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •