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The Order of the Occult Hand

Not every secret society involves mystical chants, blood-chilling rituals, and nefarious plots to take control of the world's banking institutions, and members of secret societies aren't always shadowy figures dressed in hooded cloaks. Sometimes, they're trusted local newspaper reporters.

The Order of the Occult Hand is a "secret society" of American journalists which dates back to 1965, when a crime reporter from a Charlotte newspaper decided to spice up a mundane account of a domestic squabble by writing: It was as if an occult hand had reached down from above and moved the players like pawns upon some giant chessboard.

Joseph Flanders, the Charlotte News reporter who had penned the colorful passage, had managed to amuse his journalist colleagues so much that they decided to form a secret society around this phrase, and it wasn't long before Charlotte News staff reporters attempted to slip the words "it was as if an occult hand" into their own writ…

Annapolis Shooting: False Flag or Bizarre Coincidence?

Since many important details remain to be released, it would be foolish for anyone to declare that this afternoon's shooting at the offices of the Annapolis Capital Gazette in Maryland is a false flag event, devoid of any real injuries or fatalities.

However, it is quite interesting that on June 22-- a mere six days ago-- the city of Annapolis announced several street closures as part of an active shooter drill.

On June 21, Deb Pelt of reported that police departments would be holding an active assailant drill the following morning at the St.Mary's School campus on Duke of Gloucester Street. The article informed residents that Duke of Gloucester Street, from Green to Compromise Streets, will be shut down and all traffic detoured.

The report also stated:

Residents should be aware that real-life sights and sounds may be seen and heard along the periphery of the campus and a variety of emergency response vehicles will be in the area, authorities said.

Of course, it is worth…

Arizona Hauntings: The Ghost of Wilson Canyon

The following story comes from the March 28, 1914 edition of the Madison Journal:

Williams, Ariz.--  In Wilson Canyon, southeast of Williams, is an uncanny spot wherein horses shy and bolt from terrors heretofore invisible to the human eye. At least three wagons have been wrecked there by runaways that started without apparent cause. But at last a veritable ghost has been materialized on the unshaken testimony of two young residents of the locality, Wright Clark and "Tex" Ownby.

They say that on a recent Sunday evening about dusk they were riding down the Wilson canyon trail when their horses became frightened, snorting and prancing in terror. The boys looked to the right and saw, emerging from behind a juniper tree, the form of a man at least six feet in height, with long gray hair and beard, clad in buckskin and dragging an old-fashioned gun about as long as himself.

Boys and horses stood as though enchanted, while the apparition circled them noiselessly. The circle about co…

The Ghost of Matthew Vassar

The namesake of Poughkeepsie's Vassar College is Matthew Vassar, who made regular ghostly appearances to several different families occupying his farmhouse in New York in the years following his death. The following story appeared in the Washington Post on Jan. 31, 1914.

The Playboy's Folly: The Unexplained Death of John R. Fell

When it was reported that John R. Fell had died on the evening of February 22, 1933, inside his hotel room on the island of Java at the age of 43, the news sent shockwaves throughout Philadelphia. Fell was one of the best known jet-setters of the day, a noted sportsman, clubman, playboy and son of the obscenely wealthy Alexander Van Rensselaer and his equally wealthy wife Sarah Drexel Fell.

Because Fell's parents never had to work a day in their lives, neither did John. As a young man he devoted his life to the pursuit of leisure and the "sporting life". He was an excellent polo player, golfer, yachtsman and horseman, and in 1913 entered a horse in the Grand National Steeplechase at Liverpool. He sold his horses in 1916 at the height of the First World War and enlisted in the quartermaster corps.

After the war he ventured into the world of finance, and became a banker in Paris. This foray into the world of banking must have been done purely out of boredom; John had alread…

The Untold Story of Cannibalism in Haiti

From voodoo to zombies, Haiti is a land steeped in mystery and superstition. The outside world knew very little about this island nation until the days of the Second Empire, which began in 1849 after the Haitian military, led by former slave Faustin Soulouque, launched an attack against the neighboring Dominican Republic, which was being bolstered by the French. By the end of the century, Great Britain, Germany and the United States would all stick their noses into the affairs of the Haitian people, and it was the soldiers from these countries who brought back hair-raising tales of human sacrifice, occult rituals and cannibalism.

In July of 1891 a Hungarian mechanic, Maurice Feldmann, was working in the machine shops at a settlement called O'Gorman, about eight miles from Port-au-Prince. At the time, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was a world leader in machine manufacturing, thanks in part to Haitian slave labor. He learned that there was to be a child sacrifice near his home, sched…