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Detecting the Paranormal

Date Saturday - July 13, 2019
Host Richard Syrett
Guests Greg LawsonMark Dawidziak

Law enforcement officer Greg Lawson joined guest host Richard Syrett (Twitter) to discuss his work as a paranormal detective, and how he applies crime investigation and detection techniques to cases of the paranormal. Unlike what one sees on television, investigating a paranormal event involves more than an EMF detector, black shirt, and cool acronym name, Lawson suggested, noting TV investigators have no training in proper interview/interrogation techniques. "They think the who, what, when, where, why, and how is the end of the interview... that's the beginning of the interview," he said.

You investigate the circumstances, the evidence, and the testimony, and then you establish what you believe happened, Lawson continued. It is imperative to understand the information process associated with a paranormal investigation. Witnesses must be vetted for stress and mental illness, and locations must be examined for soundness, low frequency energy, and carbon monoxide, he explained, pointing out one case he worked on was caused by a small CO leak. Lawson outlined three ways a witness can know something (they were told about it, they saw it, or they did it), and two methods of asking questions (reconstruct past events, create new knowledge).

Lawson shared details of the Haunted Hill House case in Mineral Wells, Texas. After arriving on property he immediately shut off the power and identified any residual electromagnetic frequency that he could identify (fluorescent light ballast). He also metal detected in the backyard where he discovered a knife likely used in a murder case from a decade ago. According to Lawson, while examining the house, he was struck in the back of the neck by a small rock from a playful ghost who is known for throwing rocks. He also experienced a door inexplicably opening on him twice while in the house. "There's no way that this door accidentally opened up... but it happened twice," Lawson admitted.

Film & TV Vampires

In the first hour, author and journalist Mark Dawidziak talked about television and cinematic vampires. He recalled his first memory of seeing a vampire on screen at seven years old when he watched Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. In the film, Bela Lugosi reprises his role of Count Dracula. "He's just magnificent in this film and that performance put me under the spell of vampires," Dawidziak said. He covered The Night Stalker, a classic from 1972 in which an investigative reporter comes to believe a serial killer in Las Vegas is a vampire, as well as the ABC daytime serial Dark Shadows featuring the brooding vampire Barnabas Collins. According to Dawidziak, Jonathan Frid's portrayal of Barnabas Collins dramatically changed the nature of film and television vampires, transforming them from frightening monsters to more the humanized and romantic characters (seen in Angel, True Blood, and Twilight).

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Bumper music from Saturday July 13, 2019

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