Friday, 31 December 2010

A time to reflect

Photography by Camil Tulcan, found on Found Shit.

Ouija Board

I went back to Michigan for Christmas, and down in my mom's basement is all of my old board games. Right below Clue and right above Battle Ship in the stack of games on the shelf was my old William Fuld Talking Board Set made by Parker Brothers. I snapped a few pictures of the board using my Holga camera. Some of them came out quite strange, and very other worldly. Enjoy!

The Sounds of Dr. Who

Transmissions From The Twilight Zone

Episode 126: 'Living Doll'. Eric's step-daughter has a new doll she loves very much called 'Talky Tina'. Nasty Eric, however, hates the toy and has hidden it in a dustbin, weighing the lid down with two bricks. Pleased with his day's work, he decides to treat himself to some nuts...

Interesting to see Telly Savalas with (some) hair, and in the standard villain role he usually played before becoming all noble and 'who loves ya, baby'.

'The Twilight Zone' is my favourite TV show.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The Holy Grail

A Journey into Darkness......

The life of an Urban Explorer can take you into the darkest places you really never care to think about............

P.S. Please ignore the weblink at the end of the piece - the site doesn't exist anymore!!!

A foggy day in Earlham Cemetery......

Yesterday I wandered around an overgrown cemetery in a twilit mist, there I saw the ghosts of another era. Today, the fog enveloped a fine city and I heard the explorer's call to another garden of the dead, so I packed my Urbex bag and headed out into the day.

The cemetery was huge and so I spent a good time walking around, taking in the sights and the colours of this place that is a place of sadness to many. Fallen headstones beg to be uprighted, statues of angels, their faces half-eaten by wind, rain, snow, sun and time.

A memorial to the fallen of wars from long ago stands as a silent sentinel to the lifeless forms of the heroes of another era - one can imagine the sombre processions in an Edwardian time and the tears of a world to whom Churchill gave some light.

All around, many of the headstones have fallen into disrepair, forgotten and decaying, some lost forever within clusters of trees and wild overgrowth, some with their identities lost through erosion over time.

Here and there, little metal markers with a single number, cast by the Victorians, stand at varying degrees, letting you subtley know where you are and where you can find a loved one.

The ghosts of yesteryear stay silent today.

In mist and shadows, the urban explorer walks......

I chased ghosts for a long time, but now I'm an old ghosthunter, disillusioned by the actions of others, dismissive of the many. But hunting ghosts took me to places that many forget about or simply don't see anymore, the places are the true ghosts of the past.

There is a sacred place not far from my home, an old cemetery where the mists drift like an old Hammer horror movie, creating scenes that live on the edge of imagination - captured in digital form, moments are caught showing that there is life after death......

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Dr Who?!?

Dr. Wolfgang Adolfus Ratfink Von Petal, that's who!

I had literally just sat down, randomly flicking through the channels, finding myself confronted by this slice of early seventies surreal humour on BBC2. Yes, it's Patrick Troughton guest starring in The Goodies!

Actually, Pat's performance is a bit silly, but some of the other scenes in this episode are surprisingly risqué, and the fight scene at the end is Goodies slapstick at its finest.


Can you feel the force?

French mechanical men The Droids play their 1977 hit 'The Force' whilst a hostage from the future is forced to dance. I know it's wrong, but I just can't get enough of this sort of music at the moment.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Maya Deren meets Marcel Duchamp: Witch's Cradle

Ten Years After

Priceless BBC archive material from 1973, as 'Blue Peter' celebrate the tenth anniversary of Doctor Who with the help of suave incumbent Jon Pertwee, and some clips that, incredibly, the BBC would wipe shortly after this show. The Hartnell / Troughton transformation, for example, only exists as part of this recording.

Seeing this as a child was incredibly exciting for me as it was the first evidence that my Dad wasn't just making things up about the history of the programme, and the brief glimpses of it's long and mysterious past haunted my imagination for years to come.

Monday, 27 December 2010

For all Mankind

Science opened up the door

Tam Lin

The ballad of 'Tam Lin' was first written down in 1549. It's one of the oldest, oddest and most enduring of all folk songs, with literally hundreds of different versions and variations on the central theme of enchantment, true love and transformation.

In 1970, Roddy McDowall directed a film version, which retained the essential strangeness of the subject matter but added some groovy elements, some clever updates and music from the brilliant Pentangle. The music I've added to the clip is a Pentangle outtake (not from the soundtrack), and I've messed about with it.

You may well wonder what's going on. The following extract may or may not help.

"They'll turn me in your arms, lady,
Into an esk and adder,
But hold me fast, and fear me not,
I am your bairn's father.

They'll turn me to a bear sae grim,
And then a lion bold,
But hold me fast, and fear me not,
And ye shall love your child.

Again they'll turn me in your arms
To a red het gand of airn,
But hold me fast, and fear me not,
I'll do you nae harm.

And last they'll turn me in your arms
Into the burning gleed,
Then throw me into well water,
O throw me in with speed.

And then I'll be your ain true-love,
I'll turn a naked knight,
Then cover me wi your green mantle,
And hide me out o sight."

Friday, 24 December 2010

Have a very Haunted Christmas

What Ghostly Skeleton Santa said...

Occult Britain

Northern ghosts...

As I'm spending Yule 'op North and ghosts are as about as Christmassy as I get...

Okay,'s time to meet him!


My much loved copy of 'The Golden Bough'. It's nowhere near as Christmassy (or clean) as Dolly Dolly's, but it is very nicely designed.

No more shopping days

Ghosts of Woolworths: Bedford, December 2010. Midland Road entrance.

Church Square entrance.

Woolworths Christmas pasts:

I particularly like the Pacman boardgame and the separate inclusion of Memorex and Philips tapes.

I hope everyone here gets the traditional stocking filler of a multipack of cassettes.

Pat Regan predicts cumbria earthquake

Earlier this week you may have heard there was an earthquake over in cumbria with a reading of 3.6 on the richter scale..

Pat Regan, a cumbria resident himself is an author of UFO books and books on pagan beliefs..
Here we find him waxing lyrical about the relationship between UFO's and earthquakes. It was taken 3 month's ago and he mentions a hell of a lot of UFO sightings in cumbria itself which (in his eye's) must mean there's gonna be an earthquake..

Thursday, 23 December 2010

It's magic - y'know.

Space is the Place

The Pioneer Plaque was placed aboard the Pioneer 10 space probe launched in 1972. It was intended to give extra-terrestrials an idea of what mankind looks like and the position of the Earth in space. The nude figures upset some of the more conservative types at NASA but its designer, the mighty Carl Sagan, managed to get it approved a few days prior to launch.

The Voyager Golden Record is carried aboard the two Voyager space probes launched in 1977. It too has diagrammatic information but no nudity to upset the cosmos. The disc contains a variety of sounds, languages and music for alien intelligences to puzzle over. The 'Sounds of the Earth' section is presumably NASA's version of BBC Sound Effects recordings, including Wild Dog, The First Tools and Horse & Cart for example. Of the international musical selections America is represented by Louis Armstrong and Chuck Berry, whereas Britain has Anthony Holborne's "The Faerie Round" from Pavans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort. Space Rock it ain't.

In four billion years when our sun turns supernova and destroys the Earth and solar system, the Pioneer and Voyager probes will hopefully still be journeying through the cosmos. Proof, if it were needed, that the 1970s will outlive not just ourselves, but the entire planet.

CE3K Mix

Okay, i only noticed after i put up my previous post of that album cover that the lovely Phantom Circuit posted a piece of the brilliant TOMITA's version of CE3K..

So... And i hope you dont mind.. Excuse my indulgence etc..
I thought i'd post my mix up here just in case we have any Close Encounters fans hiding in here..

The movie haunts me still and always has ever since i first laid eyes on it from the age of 5.

Please enjoy.. you'll find some gem's in here.. ;)


Close Encounter with a Haunting Cover

As you may know i'm a bit of a keen follower of the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.. Some of you may have recently heard my mix tape based on the movie. (plug plug)

A like minded buddy of mine recently acquired this gem from the US.
An electronic version of the CE3K soundtrack from an artist called 'The Synthetic Society', which causes much confusion as the music is actually from a US electro band called 'The Electric Moog Orchestra'.. never mind..

Anyway.. Have a look at this rather splendid and ethereal cover...

Venus in a Space Uniform Shining in Fluorescent Light

OK, here's another one for the Close Encounters fans. I always especially enjoyed the "tape recorder starting up" effect, but there are many reasons to relish this.

The track first appeared - under the heading "Venus in a Space Uniform Shining in Fluorescent Light " - on Isao Tomita's album The Bermuda Triangle, which was initially available on coral pink vinyl inside a gatefold sleeve with delirious artwork by Don Punchatz (this tribute includes the full original artwork).

As Tomita explains in the sleeve notes, the LP contains an encoded message: "Each side of this record contains coded data in the form of certain sound effects. The message can be recovered if the electrical signal from the record is interfaced with the input of a micro computer programmed to the TARBEL system".

Unfortunately, nobody on this planet seemed to have a computer programmed to the TARBEL system...

The RCA edition was imported to the UK, but with the "Nipper the dog" logo on the labels censored with black tape. The mysterious disappearance of Nipper was probably less to do with aliens than the fact that in the UK the logo belonged to HMV.

Merry Xmas

"She's Coming Home" by The Wailers.

Cheryl Charles Revisited (5)

As a fitting finale to this week's mini Cheryl Charles Duo tribute, here's the last track on their 1980 LP 'Rhapsody', 'A Close Encounter With The Doctor' which (as you might think) blends John Williams' music from 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind' and the 'Doctor Who' theme to mind bending effect.

Perhaps we could start a petition to have this version replace the ridiculously overblown arrangement they're using at the moment?

This one's for fellow FO'er KO, by the way. I hope the reality matches the fantasy.

Big Value Christmas Book

Merry Christmas, you lot!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Cheryl Charles Revisited (4)

Onto Side 2 of the 1980 Cheryl Charles Duo LP 'Rhapsody' now. Passing by a slightly stodgy medley of '633 Squadron', 'Dambusters' and 'Land Of Hope & Glory', we alight upon 'Club Rock', an uptempo party number which showcases the male member of the duo who may or may not be called Charles, it's not terribly clear.

The self-penned song must be drawn from their years of experience of life on the road, and has a winningly wobbly vocal, some interesting John Shuttleworth synth diversions and extraordinary lyrics ('sweat dripping from the drummer's neck, a hairy band, a funky set'). Marvellous.

The Festival

Lest we become too obsessed with the minutiae of the 1970's, here's a short film about the Festival Of Britain.

On May 3rd, 2011, it will be sixty years since the Festival opened and, in October 2011, sixty years since Churchill had the site cleared, but it remains a pivotal event in my hauntological calendar.


1976: Dave Prowse presumably too busy filming the first Star Wars movie, so Jon Pertwee (kicking his heels between Dr.Who and Wurzel Gummidge) steps in to tell the kids how to navigate the deadly roads of seventies Britain...

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


(originally posted at my old blog over three years ago, but I think it needs to be here now..)

The above advertisment once appeared on the back cover of many UK comic books. For the record, this scan was taken from Hulk Weekly issue no. 58, dated April 10th 1980. Examining it now, I still feel a brief flicker of interest; a vague trace element of the profound excitement that overtook me, as a child, whenever I saw it. I actually sent off for the character, posting my signed receipt with three cut-out character names and 20p to Palitoy. Then, after an almost unbearable period that felt like 28 weeks, rather than days, Boba arrived on the doormat. It was a Thursday morning, just before school. I remember it like it was yesterday. The box was plain white and rather small, but I knew immediately that it contained Boba. I think I may have let out a screech of delight as I bounded down the hallway to snatch him up triumphantly. Of course, the actual Boba Fett figure was far less impressive than the advertisement suggested. And yet, even though all my other Star Wars figures have long gone, Boba remains with me...

I suppose that the almost unbearable period of anticipation imbued this Boba Fett figure with an extra level of personal historicity, and I suspect it will remain with me forever. And yet I feel very little when holding or observing the object itself. It is merely a relic, a dead thing. Strangely, it's the original advertisement that seems to hold a little jolt of haunted electricity. The connection with the child lies somewhere within it...

Do They Know It's Mithras?

Bracken House Sundial

Tis the season of gift giving and so here is probably the first ever occult charity record.  Taking processed sounds collected during a walk from Tottenham Court Road, through Crowley's Holborn, beneath the pealing bells of St. Paul's to the remains of a Mithraeum at Walbrook.
For more details and download here

On Bracken House, discovered during the walk and strangely pertinent to recent activities in London...

This building (1955-1959) is named after Bernard Bracken, former chairman of the Financial Times, which was published here until the 1980s. The building was among the first post-war buildings in the City to be listed and its redevelopment retained the entire outside facade, including the elegant astronomical clock approximately 1 metre in diameter bearing at its centre a face of Winston Churchill, a personal friend of Bernard Bracken. 

Mischief, merriment and love to all Conscientious Found Objectors.

Cheryl Charles Revisited (3)

Yet more from the Cheryl Charles Duo LP 'Rhapsody', this time a self-penned instrumental entitled 'Interstellar Rhapsody'. Starting off with a showy little intro, the track proper wooshes in sounding like the theme for 'Das Boot' (if it had been set in space) before leading into a middle eight that reminds me of the incidental music for a Cliff Michelmore feature on the Costa Blanca. Nice, and the best is still to come!