Author Varla Ventura is a lover of all things strange, freaky, and terrifying. During Friday's show, she discussed her work documenting the many fascinating supernatural and paranormal experiences of influential women. She began by sharing her own personal experiences with seances, noting the importance of serious consideration and respect when participating in one. Ventura highlighted the hidden aspects often overlooked in paranormal investigation shows, pointing out the edited content fails to depict the extensive time and patience required during seances. "Having somebody who can conduct it with respect and also protect themselves and others is a really important thing because it's a vulnerable situation," she cautioned, adding it could lead to traumatic experiences if not handled respectfully. She acknowledged having both successes and failures in contacting entities.
Ventura delved into historical instances related to seances, citing Mary Todd Lincoln's involvement in conducting seances at the White House. She referenced the spiritualist movement's rise and fall in the United States around the mid-1800s, noting its focus on communing with the dead to gain wisdom. Ventura recounted the intriguing story of Emily Grant Hutchings, who claimed to channel Mark Twain's ghost via a Ouija board, resulting in a published novel. She elaborated on Hutchings' life, her controversies, and the legal disputes that followed the publication of the book.
Ventura highlighted other influential figures like Pearl Curran, known for channeling an entity named Patience Worth and providing perspectives on how the spiritualist movement empowered women's voices in an era when societal restrictions limited their opportunities. She touched upon the Society for Psychical Research's interest in figures like Leonora Piper, who allegedly channeled various personalities while under scrutiny from skeptics aiming to authenticate psychic phenomena. Ventura also covered ghosts, banshees, and weird holiday tales.
Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program. Ruth from Maryland expressed gratitude to George for playing his version of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" on the show, as she is from Baltimore and has a strong connection to Poe's works. She shared a story about finding at her workplace not one, but two hardback books of Poe's complete collection, which she believed to be valuable. She marveled at the coincidence, suggesting it to divine intervention and thanked George for indirectly sparking her desire for the hardback by playing "The Tell-Tale Heart."
Michael in Texas referenced an earlier caller's mention of encountering a demon. Michael described his encounter with a similar phenomenon that he referred to as "the loose," witnessing it recede from his house walls recently. He discussed being diagnosed with alcoholic liver cirrhosis and being given a grim prognosis by doctors. Not accepting this fate, Michael admitted seeking alternative end-of-life treatments involving spiritualism and plant medicines. He reported significant improvements in his health, including gaining weight and feeling wonderful despite the dire prognosis.
Melissa from Bristol, Virginia, shared insights regarding the impact of the spiritual realm on the current state of the nation, expressing her belief that the nation is engaged in a profound struggle for its soul due to its collective departure from God. She recounted a moment she believes she was warned about her Lord's imminent return. Melissa also told George she felt guided by the divine toward a deliverance ministry, akin to exorcism. A veteran nurse of 22 years, she emphasized the existence of genuine medical conditions but underscored the reality of spiritual afflictions.
The final half hour featured a replay from 1/27/2015 of veteran film and TV writer Laurice Molinari on the nature of angels and demons.