• Commentary,  Contributed Articles

    TWA Flight 800: The Internet Age’s First Conspiracy

    By Maxim W. Furek
    Contributor to Normal Paranormal

    On July 17, 1996, Trans World Airlines flight 800 took off from New York’s Kennedy International Airport in the twilight dusk of sunset. The two-hundred and thirty people aboard were on their way to Paris, France.

    Flight 800 flew at a lower altitude than usual because of another approaching jet. After receiving clearance to climb to cruise altitude, the Boeing 747 jetliner leveled off at 13,700 feet above sea level. Then, twelve minutes after takeoff, the plane exploded without warning. Thousands of pounds of kerosene were dumped from the plane’s center, and wing tanks vaporized and ignited. An orange fireball burned along the coastline as sections of the 747 plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, south of Long Island.

    Twenty-one passengers were from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, heading for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to The City of Light. Sixteen were members of the Montoursville Area High School French Club, accompanied by five chaperones. There were no survivors. 

  • Centralia, PA
    Commentary,  Contributed Articles,  Parapsychology

    Centralia: Gateway to Hell

    By Maxim W. Furek
    Contributor to Normal Paranormal

    Centralia lies on the outer fringe of the Pennsylvania Coal Region. It is a virtual ghost town with broken sidewalks, obsolete street signs, and only a few remaining buildings. A feeling of foreboding greets those passing through the village, who overhear various accounts of strange shadow figures and apparitions lurking around the abandoned structures. The road leading to Centralia is easily mistaken for the Gateway to Hell because, for decades, a massive underground fire has raged beneath the deserted city streets, spewing toxic carbon monoxide and other gasses.

    Of this, a modern-day Hades, writer Katie Machado observed, “On some days, a trip into Centralia might mean seeing smoke rising from the cracks in the highway’s asphalt, while other days, it might mean an eerie gray fog that claims the town after a rainy morning.”

  • Ed and Lorraine Warren in Jim Thorpe, PA in 1988.
    Contributed Articles,  Demonology,  Parapsychology

    The Warrens and the Smurl House of Horror

    By Maxim W. Furek
    Contributor to Normal Paranormal

    One of the most horrific cases of purported demonic possession occurred over a 13-year period in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. The horror took root inside a 92-year-old duplex dwelling located at 328-330 Chase Street that belonged to Jack and Janet Smurl and Jack’s parents.

    From 1974 to 1987, the Smurls and their four daughters were terrorized by howls and blood-curdling screams, pig grunts, kitchen appliances catching fire, and awful odors. Amorphous black clouds materialized inside the lodging. Janet was dragged out of bed by malevolent forces and Jack was sexually assaulted by a succubus, a demon in female form.

  • Jim Morrison's grave
    Contributed Articles

    The Death Conspiracy Theories of Jim Morrison

    By Maxim W. Furek
    Contributor to Normal Paranormal

    He was the charismatic lead singer of the Doors, a 1960s band blending rock, blues, and psychedelia in hit songs including “Light My Fire,” “Touch Me,” and “Riders on The Storm.” Their appeal coupled well-crafted studio songs with Jim Morrison’s overt sexuality, adolescent poetry, and Los Angeles swagger.

    Wearing tight leather and calling himself the ‘Lizard King,’ Morrison’s stage act was typically a drunken, profanity-laced charade of self-destruction, but after he allegedly exposed himself during several concerts, the game was afoot. Morrison fled to Paris seeking refuge from the legalities surrounding a Miami ‘indecent exposure’ incident. He had avoided jail with a pending appeal, bail of $50,000, and a plane ticket to France.

    He wandered the streets of the city, dog-eared folders of poetry in a plastic bag, under his arm, taking in the aura of the ghosts and poets who called this place home. He discovered the Rock and Roll Circus, a nightclub in the trendy Left Bank, and partied there ‘practically every night’ with the likes of Roman Polanski and Marianne Faithfull, the Beatles and Stones. Morrison, who envisioned himself an exiled American poet, arrived in The City of Lights in March 1971 with common-law wife Pamela Courson. Four months later he was dead.