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BOA : Audio


Chris Balzano & Tim Weisberg

(2 Hours, 21 Minutes)

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(Full Show MP3 : 2 Hours, 21 Minutes)
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(MP3 A : 70 minutes)
(MP3 B : 71 minutes)


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In honor of Halloween, BoA:Audio explores an obscure aspect of the spirit world with Chris Balzano and Tim Weisberg, authors of the book Haunted Objects. Over the course of the conversation, we'll examine the thorny questions like what constitutes a haunted objects v. a ghost's prop as well as how and why objects may get haunted. We'll hear a myriad of fantastic stories, including haunted tools, a seemingly possessed piece of demonic posterboard, and, yes, Robert the Doll. We'll also delve into tangential areas like psychometry and Ouija Boards. Plus, the final half hour features a lively jam session discussing and deconstructing the field of ghost hunting.

In total, it's a rich blend of ghost stories and theories that embraces the spirit of the season with Chris Balzano & Tim Weisberg.

Full Preview: We kick things off a fresh bio / background on Chris Balzano as well as an update on what he's been up to since he last appeared on BoA:Audio. We then get the bio / background on Tim Weisberg and find out what generated his interest in the paranormal as well as his many projects in the field. Next, we have Tim extrapolate on a point he makes, in the book's forward, that Haunted Objects allowed him to move beyond trying to prove the paranormal and, rather, just enjoy a good ghost story. This segues into Chris talking about he expected a backlash to the book, but was pleasantly surprised that it resonated with more researchers than he expected.

We then examine the philosophical question posed at the beginning of Haunted Objects, which asks whether an object is haunted or if is merely a 'prop' in a haunting and we ponder whether it is even possible to answer that question. Chris explains how they tackled this question and aimed to create some 'ground rules' for determining the nature of the objects. We then find out how Chris and Tim found so many stories for the book, including one unlikely source for their research. From there, we discuss how haunted objects may allow for a new realm of scientific research because they offer the possibility for repeatable results that can be examined in a lab.

Diving into some of the stories found in Haunted Objects, we begin with the story of the Wampum belt of the Wampanoag Native Americans in Massachusetts, which was stolen during King Philip's War and, some suspect, may have caused a curse which spawned the strange activity found in the infamous Bridgewater Triangle. Following that, we hear the story of "Uncle Webb's tools," where a deceased man's tools seemed to take on a life of their own and attempted to send a message, of sorts, to a relative who had wrongly claimed them. Breaking the 4th wall, somewhat, we talk about Chris and Tim's decision to include in the book their own stories of personally encountering haunted objects.

Next we discuss how some of the objects detailed in stories found in the book appear to defy the laws of time and space, making the entire subject all the more perplexing. To that end, Chris shares the story of a 'haunted book' which moved to locations within a house at a speed and distance that should be impossible even for a ghost. This leads us to talking about the quintessential haunted object: Robert the Doll. We start by discussing how Robert has taken on an anthropomorphous quality as his fame has grown. We then have Chris recount the story of Robert the Doll, providing his origin story, the tales that emerged surrounding him, and how he became a major Key West, Florida attraction. He also shares his firsthand account of visiting Robert and the infamous 'Robert's Rules.'

Getting into a similar realm which sits alongside haunted objects, we hear about the work of Pam Patalano, who practices psychometry and can 'feel' the psychic background of objects that she touches. This leads to some discussion on sentimental value placed on objects and how that may connect to the spirit world as well as how haunted objects seem to be, more often than not, innocuous items rather than precious ones. Next, we dig into the story of a bloody piece of posterboard, from the infamous Freetwon State Forest, that tormented Chris and kept reappearing amongst his research files. Tim also shares the story of getting a message from the alleged Amityville Killer, Ronnie DeFeo, warning him about looking into the case.

Looking at another area which exemplifies the nebulous nature of haunted objects, we discuss Ouija Boards. Chris reflects on his early days 'playing' with a Ouija Board and how there were 'rules' associated with the devices, including how spirits are said to be attached to the board. Tim also shares a tale from John Zaffis about how the dealt with a Ouija Board which was said to possess a terrible spirit. Chris then tells the story of 'Federal Government,' the creepy spirit which contacted him via the Ouija Board and made some troubling claims. We also find out if the authors have ever looked at stories of people who get transplants and take on aspects of their donor.

Leaving Haunted Objects, we then look at the world of ghost hunting, beginning with Binnall's concerns that the current method of ghost research simply isn't producing compelling evidence proportional to the manpower and time spent on these 'ghost hunts.' Tim, a veteran of many such expeditions, shares his thoughts on the delineation between serious researcher and 'weekend warriors.' Chris shares his take on the changing nature of ghost hunting and opines that it is unfair to expect 'thrillseekers' to advance the science of ghost research. Tim also offers the observation that reality tv techniques have created a proverbial 'standard,' which may not necessarily be the best style for the overall field.

Chris and Tim continue this jam session on ghost hunting ethnography by musing about how "working together" may actually hinder paranormal research, since competition can drive better work by competing research groups. This leads to some talk about the need to turn the proverbial microscope onto the ghost hunters, themselves, to see if their behavior and/or body activity may be generating the spirit activity. We also talk about the difficulty in applying science to ghost hunting, especially since many ghost hunters are using scientific equipment which they have no idea how to operate and then using those 'results' as 'proof.' Jumping off of that point, we ponder whether humans have reached the point where they simply cannot perceive what is on 'the other side,' beyond EVPs and nebulous pictures.

Heading towards the close, we ponder the idea that perhaps finding out the solutions to paranormal mysteries will never be as gratifying as the actual search has been. And, going in a totally bizarre direction, we get Chris' take on Mitt Romney's presidential run, since Chris has long been a proponent, in a non politicized way, of the idea that Mitt Romney is the antichrist. Wrapping things up, we find out what is next for Chris and Tim, including potential future books from Chris and more exciting events from Tim and Jeff Belanger's Legends Trips.

Chris Balzano Bio

Christopher Balzano is the founder and director of Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads, an online collection of legends and ghost stories from Massachusetts and the surrounding states. He has been a contributor to Jeff Belanger's Encyclopedia of Haunted Places and Weird Massachusetts and was one of the writers behind Weird Hauntings. His writing has been featured in Haunted Times and Mystery Magazine and has been covered by the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Standard Times, and Worcester Magazine.

Christopher is the author of several books about regional hauntings, including Dark Woods: Cults, Crime, and Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest and Ghosts of the Bridgewater Triangle, as well as the collection of true ghosts stories Ghostly Adventures and the new how-to paranormal book Picture Yourself Ghost Hunting.

His website is Mass Paranormal Crossroads - masscrossroads.com

Tim Weisbger Bio

Tim created "Spooky Southcoast" along with Matt Costa in late 2005, seeking to combine an entertaining and interactive talk show format with the world of the paranormal. Tim is also the author of "Ghosts of the SouthCoast" and co-author of "Haunted Objects: Stories of Ghosts on Your Shelf," and has been featured on The History Channel, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel and LIVING TV. Tim is also the co-owner, along with Jeff Belanger, of Legend Trips, an event company focusing on paranormal expeditions. A sports writer by trade, Tim also covers the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots for The Standard-Times.

His website is Spooky Southcoast - spookysouthcoast.com

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