Thursday, July 18, 2013

Issue 126 – The Murder Bordello, Part 1

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Here's last night's show about Ghost Hunting & Paranormal Ethics.


It's timely that I've done a radio program about Ghost Hunting & Paranormal Ethics. Of course, fake para-celebs never think the rules of proper conduct ever apply to them.

The story goes back a few weeks. I was looking for a story and came across a press release that concerned Ghost Lab's Brad and Barry Klinge and Chip Coffey teaming up for a new series. It promised to shock the viewer it as going to be scary but true.

Really? Turns out, it's not a TV series but will go direct to DVD. A real studio doesn't produce it. The Kling Brothers will handle the distribution, meaning they get all the money and don't worry about ratings, reviews, and being able to pass muster with the debunkers.

After a little digging, we found out why they chose this house and not the actual site. Because the original site is now a vacant lot. The house that stood there was burnt to the ground back in 1897 by the townspeople. Empty lots aren't too sexy.

As for the impending DVD program, Chip Coffey gets a pass on this one, as he's just the hired help like he was on Paranormal State. We can find no wrong in his actions unless he gets a psychic reading from an unhaunted home, something he's done in the past.

The final villain is Russ Keeler of After Midnight Paranormal Investigations, who charges big money for ghost hunters to go into an unhaunted house. Especially with a DVD coming out, there'll be a line of ghost hunters down the street ready to fork out money to go into the house, buy fake books, t-shirts, etc.

Now let’s begin the story.

If you happen to stop in the sleepy little town of Galena, Kansas you'll probably hear about the Murder Bordello, where locals claim as many as 50 people were killed during the 1890s

It was run by Ma Staffleback, her husband and two sons. Local miners, flush with earnings from working the mines, would go the house seeking some female companionship. Problem is, they also stood a chance of being rolled and killed. The Stafflebacks' took the adage "The family that kills together goes to jail together" to heart. All four were tried and convicted in 1897 for murdering Frank Galbraith. The story hung around and was local legend status. We jump ahead 100 plus years and like in the Merle Haggard song, people along the famed Route 66 wondered Are the Good Times Really Over?

The once proud highway has been in decline ever since the I-40 and other interstates and bypasses were built back in the 60s and 70s. Towns and communities are struggling to recapture the glory and the tourist bucks. A group of investors restored a gas station and turned it into a snack bar/gift shop known as 4 Women on the Route and the money began flowing in. Attention turned to a long dilapidated house on the corners of Main and Front Streets—right on Route 66.

Making it a bed and breakfast was tossed around, but that was too tame, as by now, the rumor mill had begun operating. People began to say that the house was none other than the Murder Bordello. Going through records, we couldn't find any claims that the house had ever been the site of such slaughter. Nor have we found any record of it being a haunted house. But, just as with the Amityville Horror and the Haunting in Connecticut, the haunting train was starting to depart and this train didn't have a reverse gear.

The mayor jumps in saying the Bedside Book About Bad Girls: Outlaw Women of the American West, has inspired his interest--or was it tourist dollars? "The Joplin Globe" started to run stories about the house and its bloody history. Other local papers ran with the lurid tale. A story of murder, prostitution and a rumor of a cache of gold dust buried somewhere on the property sold papers during a time when the newspaper business is on its deathbed.

By this point, everyone was excited to have such a local treasure. It could be a much-needed local source of income.

Russ Keeler came along and convinced the property owners that if they spent thousands of dollars to renovate the property and bring in antique furniture, the home could look like it did 100 years ago.

If that was done, he could bring in thousands of dollars from ghost hunters, both groups and individuals, to come in overnight set up their equipment to collect evidence. He used the After Midnight presence within the paranormal field in order to sell the site to the paranormal community. You can really have that spotlight shine on you and your team if you get a TV para-celeb to come to the site. It's much even better if they feature it on their TV show.

If it's not on network or cable TV, that’s okay, due to the fact that what the networks are looking for has changed. Unless you can post cable ratings like the Long Island Medium, don't bother knocking. Many are going with direct to DVD projects pioneered by the Booth Brothers who have produced many such programs. A few years ago, Ryan Buell and Chad Calek did a documentary called American Ghost Hunter. You make all the money because there aren't producers or distributors to contend with. You also have lots of artistic freedom.

Chip Coffey had repeatedly tried to get back on TV and to follow up to his modestly successful book. He was happy to join the guys from Ghost Lab who'd been in talks with Keeler to be the first to investigate the Murder Bordello and sell it to the public.

However, the brothers from Ghost Lab are no stranger to credibility issues.

- They faked an EVP on a fake paranormal show. There was a claim something happened but no camera managed to pick it up.

They made much of the video of a shadow person in Tombstone, AZ. It was easily debunked within 5 minutes.

They went to Alcatraz, and got an EVP saying, "I can't forget what I have done." The only issue – the voice and accent happen to be the same as one of the brothers from Ghost Lab.

Their Lizzie Borden investigation is debunked.

So in a sense you had the perfect storm for paranormal fakes.

- Town needing tourist dollars

- Property owners willing to ignore paranormal deception

- A ghost hunter and team willing to bend the rules of ethics in order to get famous

- A former TV ghost hunting team knowing those 15 minutes of fame expired a while ago and just maybe a DVD series can buy them more time

- Former TV psychic who now works as a phone psychic looking to cut into Theresa Caputo's fame

- A public that buys paranormal claims without any facts

Fortunately, because of good people who stand up for the truth, even when it's not popular, we extend a big thanks to someone who cares, and that person is Carolyn McLean.

Her story starts next week. See it here: The Murder Bordello, Part 2

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