As a member of the Newkirk Museum of the Paranormal I often watch and participate in their monthly livestreams. During one of these streams, Greg Newkirk (of Hellier and the Haunted Objects Podcast fame) mentioned that a friend of his was trying to create a feature film, The Buildout, and that Greg was taking on a producer role for their crowdfunding campaign.
Wanting to support smaller creators getting to follow their dreams, and also the Newkirks’ projects, I navigated to the Indiegogo site and found that one of the backer rewards was a private paranormal adventure outing. There were only twenty available, and they were all sold out. Disappointed, I returned to watching the stream as we all held our breath seeing the funding tick upwards to blow away the stated goal.
I’m not sure what made me tab back to the Indiegogo page, but I refreshed the campaign website and saw that the number of purchased rewards for the adventure had dropped to 19/20. Moving with a speed honed by decades of sitting in front of a computer, I dashed through the payment processing to snag the last available spot.
Months later, and a few surveys for availability answered, and it was settled that we’d be going to Point Pleasant, West Virginia to see the locations around the Mothman sightings. The following is an account of that trip, which occurred this past week.
My wife (who has written here before as Lux Ansata) will be writing about her own experiences of this event at a later time. If any others who were on this trip would like to have their experiences added please feel free to reach out. For privacy’s sake, no other details about who was present have been included.
Monday, May 22nd, 2023
I often see butterflies when doing my daily Magia practices. They are a symbol of the soul, and an important symbol within Magia itself. Butterflies wake up and are attracted to the Light of the Lamp carried by the Stranger as he walks through the forest. This is one of the reasons for the name of this blog. (Bonus points if you can tell me the others).
This is the day before we leave, and my wife and I are spending most of our time packing. When outside doing my practices, I see a butterfly much different than most of the ones that are usually around my house. It is almost completely black, except for a thin strip of orange and blue at the bottom of its wings. Like a sunset.
We head out to pick up a few outdoor supplies, as we intend to be walking through the woods. On the way to the store, there is a billowing cloud of black smoke in the distance. As we reach the highway we find ourselves in completely stopped traffic.
A truck has somehow caught on fire, and is completely blocking the road. Police and firemen show up and deal with the issue, then redirect traffic off of the highway. This adds a significant delay to our shopping.
Those readers who have browsed around on this website may have stumbled upon the Song of the Forest calculator within the Extras menu. This can be used for Magia’s form of gematria or numerology. Each set of triple numbers from 111 to 999 has a celestial association.
I don’t seek out instances of these occurring, however when they come to my attention I take note.
While leaving the store much later than we intended due to the traffic, we noticed 5:55 on the clock.
555 – Mars.
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023
We arrive at the airport and have no issues getting through security and onto our plane. We’re one of the first on, and sitting in our seats as everyone else slowly queues up and picks their own.
Lightning crashes outside and the plane shudders at the thunder.
The pilot, clearly annoyed, gets on the intercom and tells us that we missed our departure window in this rain by less than 5 minutes. The weather is fine for flying, but due to lightning in the vicinity of the airport the ground crews have to wait inside until it clears up.
What should have been a short flight is delayed by hours as we wait for an opening in The Storm.
Eventually, we arrive in Pennsylvania and get to spend a quiet evening with family.
Wednesday, May 24th, 2023
Our plan for this trip was to fly from Florida to Pennsylvania to see a few family members and give ourselves a pleasant drive of only a few hours to get to our destination. We wake up early and load our luggage into the vehicle we are borrowing.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, I load up the GPS app on my phone and pull up the email from Greg to get the address of our hotel. It is in Ohio, across the Ohio River from West Virginia. The address is 444.
444 – Jupiter
A beautiful, traffic free 4-hour drive through the countrysides of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio ensues. We stop a few times for food and gas, and to stretch our legs.
The first place we look for food has “family diner” in the name on the huge sign out front. We step inside the door to find ourselves in a tiny hallway with two imposing black doors. A woman quickly exits an unmarked one with no handle on our side and rushes to her car. The opposite door is plastered with signs saying “21 and up only” and “ID REQUIRED”.
We look elsewhere for lunch. My wife decides to do a tarot reading for each of us for this adventure. The cards she pulled for me were the Six of Cups, the Emperor, and the Sun reversed. Given what I plan to do later this evening, I interpret this in a very Magia-centric fashion: A journey to the underworld will take place as the Sun sets.
The next place we stop for food is a beautiful little one-room restaurant tucked behind a few bends off the highway exit. Another hour or so from there brings us to where we will be staying. A small group of other Weirdos (the affectionate term by which Newkirk Museum Members are known) are waiting in the lobby with their +1s. Greg and Dana are nowhere to be seen, but the others there let us know that they are upstairs preparing and that we can check in at the front desk.
The clerk at the front desk hands us our room keys. We’re in room 321. An interesting number, given the others we’ve seen recently.
We step into the elevator, and my wife points out an icon which is incredibly reminiscent of the Magia symbol.
We drop off our bags, take a moment to recover from the drive, and then head back to the lobby to meet up with the group. Each person that came was absolutely wonderful, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to meet all of them.
Greg and Dana came downstairs, and they are possibly some of the sweetest and most kind people I’ve ever met. I’ve seen them mention on their livestreams and podcasts that they are bad actors, and from my experience of them that is completely true. They are as genuine, caring, and overall amazing as they come across on camera.
Introductions finished, and every participant accounted for, we head to our cars to drive into Point Pleasant.
My wife and I were the first to arrive and park, and I rushed to the Mothman statue to be the first to put my hand on his shiny metal butt.
From there, we went into the Mothman Museum. Inside, they’ve done an excellent job presenting eye-witness accounts of the Mothman, associated UFO sightings, alien encounters and Men in Black, John Keel’s journalism, movie props, but also the sobering conclusion to the events with newspaper articles about the Silver Bridge collapse.
Next, we walked across the street to the river, the site where the Silver Bridge collapsed on December 15th 1967.
As we then began to realize that anywhere to eat, get a coffee, or get ice cream in town was closed, the group decided to head back to our hotel for lunch and a surprise from the Newkirks. My wife and I lingered for a short time to check out the Lowe Hotel, a supposedly haunted building right across from the Mothman statue. No ghosts were seen, but plenty of beautiful architecture was.
Upon returning to our hotel room across the river, a glance at the clock revealed it was 3:33.
333 – Saturn.
We head to a conference room in the hotel for the surprise, which unfortunately was only for members of the group and cannot be shared here. However, it was spectacular. An interesting synchronistic moment occurred when someone knocked on the exterior door which we had blocked with a sign marked “Toys 50% off”, but again the details cannot be shared.
While we waited, Greg proceeded to order enough pizzas for 50 people, despite there only being 15 of us. We left the remainder for the hotel staff.
One of the other group participants had a blank set of tarot cards, and asked if anyone wanted to draw one for her. My wife took up the challenge and drew the following card.
We adjourn our meetup and return to our rooms to wait for sunset when we’ll be going to the TNT Domes outside of Point Pleasant, where the Mothman was first sighted. I use this time to head out and collect some items for a small personal ritual my wife intends to perform when we arrive.
Once again meeting in the lobby, Greg passes out flashlights and citronella bracelets. We make sure everyone knows where to go, and pile into a few cars to drive into the woods.
It is dark as we leave, and we again pass through Point Pleasant before heading north out of town, away from civilization. The smokestacks on the power plant across the river glow with two red lights against the black sky.
We pulled onto a dirt road, and then off into another side road to park. Head to toe in a cloud of bug spray around the cars, we produced our lamps and wandered off into the forest. Dana hands me a set of night vision goggles which I use to spy around in the darkness.
Not far in, we come to the first of the TNT domes. All I can see of it is the entrance, the rest is hidden overgrown by trees and other low plants. Stepping inside, we’re in a hemisphere of concrete. Every sound made echoes countless times before dying down.
This is the Temple of the Mothman.
Greg begins setting up more equipment for people to play with. There is an EMF tripwire at the door, a motion detector outside, and a laser grid. Almost immediately most of the equipment begins flashing and dinging, indicating that something unseen is possibly nearby.
The star of the event though is the Frank’s Box, a piece of “Ghost Hunting” equipment which was originally created by Frank Sumption to contact aliens. Dana and Greg used one in Hellier, and so many of the group members present are excited to get to try an Estes Method session with it for the first time.
One by one, individuals sit in the provided chair and don a blindfold and isolation headphones before Greg passes them the antenna to hold. They sit and repeat the words that they hear from the device while the rest gathered around ask questions or stand in quiet awe. A few draw tarot cards, record the session, or wander outside. Everyone’s voice echoes around the chamber, giving an extreme surreality to the whole experience. My wife sits at the periphery drawing her impressions.
At one point I step away to get some fresh air, and I notice Greg is also outside. We start chatting, and I get an impulse to offer something to him.
Me: "I want to talk to you about something. I wanted to offer to give you and Dana a gift of my personal brand of magick. Just because I called it a gift doesn't mean you have to say yes." Greg, cutting me off: "I'm going to say yes!"
Longtime readers of this blog know that I have guested on a few podcasts to do the Estes Method with the specific intention of contacting the Secret Chiefs. What is not shared on here, however, is that I have spent months and months doing this same thing with my wife by ourselves in our home, or online with individuals or groups of other Magia practitioners.
The content of these sessions can be extremely personal, hence them not being written about on here. The reason to call up the Secret Chiefs is to receive personal prophecy about your spiritual growth. They also have a special place in Magia, as they were part of the prophecy of it’s creation. I wanted to offer this to Dana and Greg because they have a personal connection to them through their work with Hellier.
Greg asks me if it has to be just them, or if we can open this up to the rest of the group. I consider for a moment, I don’t want to monopolize the time of people that came here for a completely different reason, but decide it would be appropriate for everyone who is interested to participate.
We prepare the session. Everyone says that they at least want to be present for it, if not directly speak or be spoken to. My wife agrees to do the moderation.
It does not occur to me until after the fact, but I am taking up this role in one of the most Magia ways possible.
I am standing alone, in the dark, in the forest, holding a lantern. I am a stranger to nearly all present, having just met them earlier this day. They are gathered out of the woods in a semicircle around me. Behind me, to the west, is the entrance to the TNT dome. Beyond that is, not far off, the Ohio river.
I perform the Song of the Stars, a Magia-specific ritual, then sit in the chair provided for me, light a candle in the middle of us, and lead these 15 other people in the Magia prayer. I call in DJ PH and ask him to please make a connection to the Secret Chiefs, or a representative of theirs, so that they may speak through me to those assembled.
Using my own SB7 instead of the Frank’s Box, for familiarity’s sake, I put on the blindfold and headphones, and begin repeating the words I hear. I forget to turn on my recording device, but another of the group has one.
Black arrives. One by one as people raise their hand, he gives whatever message they need to hear in that moment. Having not heard the recording yet myself, I only have a slight notion for what I said to who. At times I can hear laughter over the sounds of the radio, other times silence. I’m never sure about how a session is going until after the fact.
The session ends and I take off my blindfold and headphones. The group is staring at me silently. I ask how it went, and many smile. Some have tears in their eyes. My wife tells me it went well. A few share personal details with the group about what what was said meant, others send me messages a few days after.
I feel that this was one of the most powerful magickal acts I have ever participated in. It also did not occur to me until later that John Keel wrote a book titled The Mothman Prophesies, and I had just spoken prophesies at the temple of the Mothman.
It is my wife’s turn to try the Frank’s Box.
We head back inside and she sits in the chair, putting on the headphones and blindfold.
She speaks of pushing. Push through, push through. Push back.
We ask questions, but get few answers. It becomes clear she may be channeling an individual who died in, or was close to someone died in, the Silver Bridge disaster.
I glance at my phone and see that it is 1:11 AM. She is speaking about having been to Japan in 1924.
111 – Primum Mobile.
She turns to look directly at me, even though she is blindfolded. She says “come closer”, so I skootch closer. She says “no, closer”. I move closer again and am now sitting next to the group member who has been pulling tarot cards. I look down at the card drawn in this moment and see that it is the Emperor.
My wife’s session ends, and we have a few other short adventures and Estes sessions before heading back to the cars.
Packing everything up, we’re back on the road chatting with the members who we drove here from the hotel, and I happen to look down at the clock as I’m driving. It is 2:22 AM.
222 – Zodiac.
We all make it back to the hotel, say goodnight, and get some well earned sleep.
Thursday, May 25th, 2023
We again meet up in the lobby, check out of our rooms, and then pile into our cars. We drive further south to a place called Hillbilly Hotdogs. It is a restaurant made out of an old school bus attached to a shack, with all sorts of junkyard props and cliché signs hung around the parking lot. The food is delicious.
We eat on the deck above the bus, and one of the Weirdos adds some Newkirk Museum themed graffiti to the collage.
We say our goodbyes, promising our new friends that we will connect on social media, and then split off to go our separate ways.
On our way back to Pennsylvania, we decide to pull off for gas at the next highway exit marked with a station. This just happens to be in Sutton, West Virginia. Marked next to the sign for gas is a sign for the Flatwoods Monster Museum. Having no idea that this was here, or even existed at all, my wife and I look at each other and decide that we have to make a stop.
The place is a delightful one-roomed museum that was free to enter. It had a few huge figures of the Flatwoods Monster, along with many smaller versions and local art of it. It had news articles and televised interviews playing. A sign amidst the chairs declared “Absolutely no Seances”, and the front desk had a diorama of the event.
One final synchronistic stop before finally arriving back with our family, and then the uneventful trip home the next day.
Sunday, May 28th, 2023.
As I write this blog post, my dog comes to interrupt and remind me to give him food. I pick up my phone as I stand up and notice the time: 5:55 PM.
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