The Archive of the Afterlife in Moundsville, West Virginia bills itself as the “National Museum of the Paranormal.” It’s packed with oddities that are historical, and in some cases, allegedly haunted or cursed.
You’ll find relics from the former West Virginia State Penitentiary, such as what the museum claims is the the lost execution cap to the electric chair “Old Sparky.” There are also battle-damaged artifacts from European battlefields from World War II.
A majority of the room is filled with supposedly haunted items from residential paranormal cases and collected from here and there. Some say a few of these items seem to be more “charged” than others, such as the Annie portrait, the mutilated effigy doll, and the aforementioned execution cap.
The rest of the room harbors funerary and mortuary items, which includes two embalming tables, one embalming pump, and two service display caskets. One casket is for adults and the other is for infants. The funerary items are accompanied by an array of funeral home advertising and signage.
The museum is located on the second floor of the Sanford Community Building, which is formally known as the Sanford School or the 3rd Street School.
Know Before You Go
Seasonal hours (April 1 to November 30): Tuesday to Saturday, 1-6 pm. Off-season hours (December 1 to March 31): Friday to Saturday, 1-6 p.m. $5 per person. It's located on the second floor in room #202. Keep in mind that the museum is geared at not only entertaining its guests, but also having some information for educational purposes. All ages are welcomed, but there may be some content that the guardian(s) may want to be wary of for their little one(s). Added, the museum's personnel stresses that each person enters at their own risk and that they are not responsible for any physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual harm that may be experienced by each individual guest.
Excerpted from the New York Times, this article describes how psychics are moving to more online readings and the rising popularity of consulting psychics during this stressful time.
What, if Anything, Can Psychics Tell Us About All of This?
Demand for their services has illuminated another kind of health crisis.
A few weeks before the U.S. presidential election, Zulema Hormaeche, a tarot reader in Los Angeles, chose a card to reflect the state of the nation. It was the one that depicts a tall building struck by lightning, with flames bursting from the top and occupants leaping to their deaths. “The Tower,” she said, “is the end of a system as we know it, the end of an era as we know it.”
Ms. Hormaeche has an intimate understanding of the ways this year upended people’s lives and sapped their optimism. She has peered into a huge number of homes during virtual consultations. Her clients tell her they are eating and drinking more, and that they feel desperately lonely. And sometimes they mention even more troubling details. One client, she said, described a dream in which she harmed her children.“All of us are feeling the fear of everybody,” Ms. Hormaeche said, and that fear, coupled with uncertainty about when it might abate, has caused demand for spiritual guidance to soar. According to data from Yelp, interest in businesses in the somewhat niche “Supernatural Readings” category more than doubled in April. Keen, an online marketplace for psychics, has reported a steep rise in customers.
These consultations function almost as armchair counseling sessions: clients can open up and have their thoughts reflected back at them through a nonscientific — even mystical — lens. And while there is good reason to doubt the material of psychic readings (the mystical realm being inherently unknowable, or at least, endlessly interpretable), these consultations provide comfort for some.
Steven Rosenbaum, writing for Mediapost, has an intriguing article regarding tonight's Jupiter Saturn conjunction. He is not an astrologer but his article has great insight. Be sure to get to place where you can see the horizon, close to sunset, and view the spectacle.
On Monday Jupiter and Saturn will appear to align in the southwest sky in the northern hemisphere. If you look up into the night sky, you might just be able to see it. Monday is an important day. It's the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. So, days get longer on Tuesday. But the so-called Great Conjunction is more than an astronomical event. It’s an astrological one as well.
It’s the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Let’s pause here for a brief introduction from the Fifth Dimension, performing “Aquarius -- Let The Sunshine In.” Please feel free to sing along with this blogpost if you so desire. So, what does this mean for you, my reader, hoping for 2021 to bring new consciousness and new hope to a weary world? Plenty, as it turns out.
But first, the astronomy. When astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky in 1623, Jupiter and Saturn were seen to travel together across the night sky. Jupiter caught up with and passed Saturn, and this astronomical event was dubbed the “Great Conjunction.” It was an astronomical once-in-a-lifetime event. And on Monday, it will happen again.
Astrologists are even more excited. Because Monday is also the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, “a sign that’s all about humanitarianism, enlightenment, independence, and radical thinking.” I’m not making this up, it’s posted by the astrologist Astrea Taylor on the website Patheos. “This shift will bring a huge influx of Aquarian energy into our lives for quite some time,” writes Astrea. The Age of Aquarius. Let that sink in.
According to Astrea, it’s a 2,000 year astrological cycle that promises a new age on earth -- an era of humanitarianism, ideals, brotherly love, peace, visionary spirituality. But also an era of technology and science. Some astrologers refer to this conjunction point as a “critical degree,” where old things die out and new and positive things come into being.
The song "Age of Aquarius" is etched into my brain. It's from the musical "Hair" -- a show I may have seen on Broadway as a small child. I absolutely remember owning the cast album. Here’s what I do know. "Hair" opened at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in October 1967. The show opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for a remarkable 1,750 performances.
The Fifth Dimension’s version of the song “Aquarius” won both a Grammy for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal in 1970. The original Broadway cast recording (that I owned) sold nearly three million copies in 1969.
But then, a twist. The song was used on November 3, 2016 to accompany the entrance of Melania Trump to a rally in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. CNN had a clip of the song’s unauthorized use on-air back in 2016.
Among the lyrics, in case you don't have them burned into your brain as I do: Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding. No more falsehoods or derisions, golden living dreams of visions. Mystic crystal revelation, and the mind's true liberation. Aquarius. Aquarius. So, at the very least, someone from Melania’s advance team has a sense of humor.
But the songwriters of Hair" didn’t appreciate the joke. James Rado, Galt MacDermot, and the estate of Gerome Ragni demanded that the song not be used again for Trump's campaign. Citing the lyric “harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding,” Rado said, “The Trump political campaign is a far cry from the utopian vision of the new Aquarian age. We want to make sure they discontinue using the song.” So, there is that. LINK:
So, just to review Monday the stars align, the age of Aquarius begins, and there are 29 days until Trump leaves office. So, no more falsehoods or derisions --If you believe the words from the original cast recording of "Hair."
But it's 2020, so expect clouds. Astronomers are excited that Jupiter and Saturn will appear closer together on Dec. 21 than they have since the Middle Ages. The alignment is known as the “Christmas Star” because of the star in the Bible that led the three Magi to baby Jesus. Astronomers believe a conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and the star Regulus around 2 B.C. created a bright point of light that could align science and Christian tradition. To see this year’s light show you’d better be quick: NASA warns that “both planets will set shortly after sunset.”
Whatever the stars portend, it should bring a monumentous 2021. Get ready to see it in the sky on December 21 which also happens to be the solstice....