Journalist and Penn State research writer Matthew Swayne has been uncovering tales of rock & roll hauntings for years. He joined guest host Richard Syrett to share brand new stories of creepy hell-bound connections of crossroad curses, hometown haunts of Jim Morrison, and The Beatles’ paranormal legacy.
"George Harrison definitely had paranormal or supernatural experiences, or at least the people he was familiar with said he did," Swayne revealed. He linked the ghostly activity to Harrison's 120-room Gothic mansion, Friar Park, which had a reputation for being haunted. Harrison encountered the spirit of former owner Sir Frank Crisp on the grounds of Friar Park, and one of Harrison's assistants witnessed Crisp's ghost inside the house, Swayne explained. John Lennon also had paranormal encounters at his home in The Dakota, he pointed out, noting the apartment building was a notoriously haunted spot in New York City. People claim Lennon frequently saw The Crying Lady, a spirit thought to be a former building manager, Swayne disclosed.
Doors singer Jim Morrison reportedly haunts his childhood homes in Arlington and Albuquerque, and the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica, Swayne continued. He shared a story about AC/DC singer Brian Johnson being visited by the spirit of former AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott. Rock journalist Susan Masino encountered Scott's ghost on several occasions as well, he noted. Swayne also talked about renowned Blues guitarist Robert Johnson, who purportedly made a deal with the devil at the crossroads. According to the legend, Johnson was a mediocre musician until he signed a contract for his soul with a man dressed in black at the intersection of two roads. After that Johnson became the Blues great he is known as today, Swayne added.
Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Lee in Lincoln, Nebraska, told Richard about growing up with an Italian grandmother who believed in the evil eye superstition (Malocchio). "She used to make my mother put our t-shirts on backwards and underwear on backwards... if she felt we had it on us," Lee said. Richard received a Twitter notification from a listener who explained how one can ward off the evil eye. According to the tweet the prayer to counteract evil eye must be learned on Christmas Eve from someone who learned it the same way.
Marcel from London, Ontario, related a two fascinating stories he read in songwriter Jimmy Webb's memoir. In the book, Webb recounts the time he received a phone call from Cass Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas after she found a dead body in a car at Sharon Tate's house. According to Marcel, Cass was the first person on the scene after the Charles Manson murders but she never reported it to the police, opting to contact Webb instead. Another tale involved Webb, fellow songwriter Harry Nilsson, and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, who encountered a UFO while partying aboard a yacht in Santa Monica Bay.