Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Daily 2 Cents: Zaffis' Haunted Collection Moving -- In Search of an Apparent Past Life -- Stealthy Beings


Zaffis' Haunted Collection Moving to Massachusetts

ADAMS, Mass. — Paranormal researcher John Zaffis received approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals to use McBride Funeral home as a museum to house his haunted artifacts.

The Connecticut native has been collecting so-called "haunted artifacts" for 40 years. He also runs the Paranormal and Demonology Research Society of New England, which he founded in 1998.

Zaffis' show "Haunted Collector" aired for three seasons on the Syfy channel, from 2011 to 2013. On the show, Zaffis and his crew investigated haunted areas and searched for an item linked to the haunting.

Zaffis said these are the items he would like to display in the former funeral home.

"A haunted item can be a statue, a piece of furniture, it can be jewelry, and it can be anything across the board. I have thousands of items in my barn that have been removed from many different investigations I have been involved with over the years," Zaffis said. "Basically, I have been collecting this stuff for 42 years and I have quite the collection of things that have been removed."

Zaffis said he would like to use the main building of the Liberty Street property to rotate a display of his artifacts and provide tours.

"I have collected a lot of things worldwide so there are things from all different kinds of environments, and the way I would want to structure it is to walk through it like the regular museum environment and be able to tell the different stories about the items," he said.

He said he plans to return the second level to its original use, an embalming room. He said it would be optimal for "ghost hunts" the public could take part in.

The first floor of the second building would be used as a lecture hall for guest speakers and the capacity for 30-50 people and the upper level will be used as an apartment for him to stay when he is in town.

He added that the small building off the second building will be used as a gift shop.

McBride's closed nearly three years ago with the retirement of funeral director Anthony McBride, ending three generations of a family business.

Zaffis said he often receives request from people who want to see the collection. He said he has been looking for a better location to have an actual museum and Adams seems to be the perfect place

"I have been looking around at different buildings and this is a good spot because I wouldn't have to change much of the structure of it," he said. "It's the perfect environment. A nice small New England-type setting … It's a quiet community, and this looks like something that would fit within the area."

Zaffis' representative Mark Tetlow said paranormal television programs have become very popular. He said they have heard from thousands of people wordwide who are interested in the collection and that the museum will draw traffic into town.

"We drive a lot of tourism no matter where we go with these lectures," Tetlow said. "We bring in people that are on TV week in and week out and people come from other countries to see them. People will come and they will come quick."

Tetlow said people that visit will have to stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants.

Board member Michael Mach agreed with Tetlow and said he feels the museum will only be good for Adams.

"Anytime we can get anything to come into this town it’s got to be a good thing," Mach said. "Anything that draws people into town is good."

Zaffis came to the board looking for a variance to have his museum in a R-4 residential district.

Chairman Peter West stepped away from the board because he represents the McBride family in the sale of the property.

He said the north side of the building had acted as the rectory for the nearby church (now the Masonic Lodge) and was in a residential zone until 1984. The McBride family started operating the funeral home there in the 1920s before any zoning existed.

Board member Peter Gutmann said he felt Zaffis should seek a special permit instead of a variance because the museum is a business. He said this would also allow the board to add regulations to the permit.

Building Commissioner Don Fitzgerald said because the primary function of the building will be a museum and the gift shop is secondary, a variance is the correct method of action.

"From the building code point of view, I could look at this and say there is absolutely no difference in how the building is being used," Fitzgerald said. "Whether it is a paranormal museum or a funeral home, the use is exactly the same from the outside."

The former McBride Funeral Home closed in 2011. It will soon host 'haunted artifacts' from Zaffis' collection.
Fitzgerald said the town has nothing in its zoning bylaws about museums so the case enters a "gray area."

He did say, however, if the museum becomes disruptive, the variance could be revoked.

But the board felt the hours of operation Zaffis proposed would not conflict with the few residents in the area.

The hours would be between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Zaffis said there will be paranormal investigations, paranormal educational lessons, and paranormal equipment demonstrations.

He added that the paranormal community tend to be a quiet bunch.

"It’s not a very rowdy crowd," he said. "They aren’t people that fall off the Richter scale. They are more interested in hearing the lectures and seeing the artifacts. … I have never been at any event where there has been any sort of a chaotic environment."

He said he may also hold special lectures on Thursday and Sunday afternoons.

Fitzgerald said the district may be residential, but looks like a commercial district with McDonalds, C.T. Plunkett School, the Elks Lodge and the Mason Lodge all in the area. Big Y Supermarket is also across the street.

He noted that some of these establishments operate until 2 in the morning anyway, and the lodges serve alcohol.

Zaffis said he has no intention of serving alcohol at his establishment because he is "interested in the other kinds of spirits."

"This is something I have always wanted to do, and at this point in my life, I am looking for an area where I can get it set up so it can continue after I am gone," he said. "That’s my big motive."

The few residents in the district were all notified of the meeting. None came to speak out against the museum. - iBerkshires

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Stealthy Beings

Upper Providence Township, PA - 7/16/2012: We have had 2 encounters with "beings", who take on the appearance/color of their surroundings. Our sightings include 1 in my car in our driveway where this being took on the color of the interior of my vehicle. The 2nd encounter was at the back of the house where this being was able to jump (we heard where it landed), from the ground to the next story deck then proceeded to the top of the house. Stealth seemed to be it's objective and we are puzzled as to why we "caught" these beings quite accidentally. Finally, "we" have witnessed what I describe as air craft of sorts. Lots of them. 2 in particular have been witnessed by myself and in combination with other individuals. These are triangular in shape and huge and not moving, stationary over the house. I have some iPhone video and a friend later did a sketch of what he saw. We are not UFO or alien hunters and have no desire to attract the attention of a bunch of nut case whack jobs. Thank you very much. If your group is legit, I will be willing to speak with you, as what I have stated here is not all we have witnessed. The first entity/being I saw was featureless as if it was wearing a mask for fencing. It's whole body was the same color, all of it.The being was sitting in the front seat of my car. This was quite starling and magnificent. I am a "lock" freak. I lock everything up tight and even reported this to the local police as a break in to my vehicle but did not tell the police officer I saw an alien creature only that "someone" was in my car. I believe this location/general area is full of lots of unexplainable activity and your group may be interested in investigating. Thank you. - MUFON CMS

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Reincarnation: In search of an apparent past life

On Tuesday morning of this past week — New Year’s Eve — I received a telephone call from a quite pleasant lady who, after apologizing for calling me during the holidays, said that she had never read anything in my column concerning reincarnation and asked if I was familiar with or interested in the subject. I told her that I was guilty on both counts but had never written a column on it because I did not know how much interest there was among the residents of the Heartland. The story she shared with me, however, was fascinating enough to “test the waters.”

Linda — not her real name — began by stating that she was a 34-year-old divorced mother of two who had grown up in the Ozarks and never lived more than 25 miles from the home she grew up in. She described herself as a “typical country tomboy” who began roaming the fields and woods of the family farm at a young age. Her father noticed her fascination with the natural world and began taking her for what she called “learning walks” that involved sharing such knowledge as edible mushrooms and plants, harmless and potentially-dangerous snakes and insects, and how to read the tracks on a trail or muddy creek bank.

“I lost my first ‘boyfriend’ when I was 15 when he came over on a nice Saturday during the spring and we went for a walk in the woods to a few spots that I knew had produced some nice mushrooms,” she told me. “We were walking down the trail and I picked up a blacksnake that had just shed its skin so it was shiny black. I asked him if he didn’t think it was beautiful and I guess he didn’t, because he suddenly remembered something he needed to do at home and never came back.”

It was on one of the learning walks with her father that the first subtle hint of what has become a lifelong mystery for Linda led her to consider the possibility she had lived before. They were walking across the field when she spotted a speckled king snake — commonly known as a salt and pepper snake in most of the Ozarks — and quickly picked it up. She commented to her father that she was going to take it back to the house and let it go in the yard to keep poisonous snakes — primarily copperheads — out of the yard.

“He asked me how I knew that and I couldn’t tell him,” she said. “I hadn’t heard it or read it anyplace. I just knew.”
King snakes are immune to the venom of pit vipers and do indeed kill and consume them.

Throughout her lifetime, there have been other incidents and situations that led her to wonder if she had lived before.

“If I have drop of Native American blood passed down to me, I don’t know it,” she told me, “but from the first time I saw one in a movie, I was absolutely fascinated with them. The strange thing was that I never felt the urge to study or read about them, because I already seemed to know. Once, when I was about 8 years old, we were watching a TV show and they showed what was supposed to be a Cherokee man wearing a full war bonnet, I got mad and told my folks the actor looked like a Sioux and no Cherokee ever wore anything like that. To this day I have no idea how I knew that.”

The thought of being a reincarnated Native American had never crossed her mind until her parents, supporting her search for knowledge, took her to visit a traditional Cherokee village in Oklahoma when she was 15.

“I was watching a lady weave a basket when a gentleman, who looked like he was at least in his 80s, came over and placed his hand gently on her shoulder. ‘Young one,’ he told her, ‘I had a vision when I looked at you. For a while you did not look to me as you do to others. I saw a young Cherokee maiden about your age, dressed in the way of the old ones. I think the Spirits showed me how you looked in another life.’”

Stunned by his statement, she began a journey of discovery that has now continued for nearly 20 years and will undoubtedly continue until she either finds the answers she seeks or she passes into spirit.

I have reached the limit of the column for this week, but as soon as possible in the coming weeks I will continue describing Linda’s odyssey in search of her apparent past life. There is more to be told, and the story becomes more fascinating the deeper into the mystery she explores. - CCHeadliner

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Haunted by spirit of man who died in accident, woman seeks help from exorcist

A woman said to be disturbed by the spirit of an accident victim for months reportedly rid herself of the apparition following treatment by a traditional healer in Ipoh.

According to Makkal Osai, Nalamma Thangavelu, 34, had been tormented by a pair of eyes staring back at her whenever she looked into a mirror.

Her family then took her to see a traditional healer, who gave her spiritual and motivational talks, and encouraged her to pray and read the Hindu text Bhagavad Gita daily.

The healer claimed the eyes belonged to a man who had died in an accident Nalamma encountered on her way home from work a few months ago.

After three weeks, Nalamma started to feel better and was given flower-scented cleansing (mandi bunga) for six days. A month later, she was back to her normal self. - Malaysia-Chronicle

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UPDATE: Vanessa is doing well. She's up walking the halls of the hospital without assistance...still using a bit of pain medication when needed. As soon as the 'plumbing' gets going again, I believe she'll be on her way home...though, that's just a judgement call. Thanks again for your well wishes...Lon

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