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I'm so excited to bring you this Halloween episode of AEWCH, with paranormal investigators Dana & Greg Newkirk, who run the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult and their animated doll, Billy*.
We hung out at Michigan Paracon and had a great, in-depth conversation about how to approach the paranormal without fear as the baseline response, the conservatism of paranormal investigators and convention goers, giving haunted boxes CAT scans, how all medicine is haunted, difference and repetition, why curiosity matters, and more!
When I edited the episodes, I realized that I talk a whooole lot in this episode because the Newkirks' research and work is so inspiring and exciting to me. But if you want lots more Newkirk, it's easy to find: Go to their patreon and support it and you get tons of content!
* NOTE: The Newkirks warned me that Billy can cause some audio/visual issues. My ep was no exception! There was a sort of tumbling hiss and crackle throughout the ep that I had to have removed (but there's still some left), and then I had to have another sound issue dealt with, and the video quality wasn't as good as my other eps even though I used the exact same equipment and procedures.
• I support the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult and you should too! They post such great stuff and post so often. The also founded the website Planet Weird, which they don't update much these days, but has a huge archive.
• If you're not listening to Gordon White's magic podcast, Rune Soup, who, even, are you?
• Here's a brief outline of Billy's history with the Newkirks, and a small write up of nkisi figures from the Met.
• Peter Selg is one of my favorite spiritual writers, and he works at the Ita Wegman Institute.
• The first time I heard about a Dibbuk Box was on the podcast Mysterious Universe. Here's the original ep. And here's Kevin Mannis talking about the Dibbuk box, which he invented.
• Chris Kresser talks a lot about the placebo effect. Sorry I botched the details on the story, but there's lots of info on it on Chris's site.
• The Amityville ghost kid, pictured below
• The great book on why something can have a spiritual reality, whether its invented or not, is On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods by Bruno Latour.
• John Tenney is another brilliant paranormal investigator. I planned to have him on the show too, but I didn't have time at the conference. Look into his work; our conversation will happen some day!