All day Saturday July 21, it threatened to rain. The sky was an illuminated, swollen gray that was seeping thick humidity all over South Slope. This was remarked upon quite a few times by members of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, as we waited on a strangers couch to have our fortunes. Eight members of BKPS were scheduled to meet for an impromptu session of Psychic On Your Couch.
BKPS met to investigate whether BAM could home the spirit of Marian Anderson.
Born to blue-collar Philadelphians, Marian Anderson expressed talent in singing from a young age.
She began studying music independently in her teens and early twenties, after being turned away from the Philadelphia Music Academy. At the time, the institution upheld a whites-only policy.
Far from being deterred by racial prejudice and economic disadvantage, Marian gained notoriety as an opera singer and went on to tour Europe extensively in the 1920s.
Unlike their American counterparts, European audiences were seemingly more accepting of a black contralto, and Marian was beloved by her fans.
Back on American soil, Marian faced severe opposition from the white elite. She performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1938, but a year later, the tides turned.
During a historic turning point in the civil rights movement, Anderson was denied the opportunity to perform on Washington, DC’s prestigious Constitution Hall stage. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) who owned the hall and oversaw its performances were unwilling to offer non-segregated seating.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who served on the board, was unnerved by the blatant racism of her fellow Daughters and chose to resign out of respect for Marian. She went a step further and organized a special Easter Sunday performance for Marian at the Lincoln Memorial.
To a crowd of 75,000, Marian, raised a devout Baptist, performed a series of traditional hymns in her operatic style said to be full of “intrinsic beauty.” Later, she expressed gratitude to her audience, stating, “I am just so overwhelmed today that I cannot express myself properly. You don’t know what you have done for me.”
While stories like Ms. Anderson’s may sound antiquated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
If perhaps she, like us, was disturbed by the racial divisions in modern-day America, and hoped to offer some positivity to the brokenhearted and the downcast. This was no small feat. I understood the gravity of what I was attempting.
With nothing but respect for the Anderson family, I decided to invite a small group of members to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where Marian performed over a dozen times in the late 1930s.
If she was, in fact, still lingering around Brooklyn, this seemed the most likely place to investigate.
Female psychics, and detectives set out to explore BAM for Marian Anderson’s spirit.
It was this knowledge that inspired my latest venture into the paranormal side of Brooklyn. I wondered if perhaps Marian Anderson’s spirit was still within reach.
The coven consisted of psychic-empath Cindy and psychic-medium Elaine, investigator Tina, and student-journalist Comice.
Housed in an old garage space in the Gowanus neighborhood, Douglass Recording opened after a half-decade of planning and development. Since opening, the studio has attracted stars such as Vanessa Carlton and Grace Mitchell.
Acting on a tip that indicated the studio was hosting a spiritual entity, BKPS reached out for comment. Chris Gilroy producer & house engineer at Douglass Recording stated “Ghosts can be felt in our walls…”.
Over many hundred years, the Gowanus Canal has hosted incidents ranging from Revolutionary War ambushes, to bodies being dumped gangland style.
The busy cargo hub is now recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in the US, and allegedly hosts numerous spirits.
Brooklyn Paranormal Society members have studied The Revolutionary War extensively as a pre-requisite for our investigations.
Our previous visits have been met with some of the must unusual spiritual, and physical activity the group has ever encountered.
Near the Canal we’ve confirmed:
- Incredible odor, may be spectral.
More to come!
As a means for communicating with the dead, the seance has a dicey reputation. The history of spirit channeling is mired in controversy and fraud. As a form of entertainment however, few things can surpass the seance for drama and theatrics. This ceremony of spirit-calling combines mysticism, showmanship, audience participation and, when done right, can offer spooky excitement.
It’s with great pleasure I announce Brooklyn Paranormal Society has been invited to watch an early screening of the new movie IT, AND we’ve been given exclusive access to investigate the House of Wax!
The House of Wax is a beautiful, and CREEPY bar inside Alamo Drafthouse that combines mixology with the macabre; it’s Brooklyn’s most curious, full service bar!
We will be investigating the House of Wax from 5:30 to 7:45, immediately followed by the screening.
Please arrive as close to 5:30 as possible.
Known in modern times for their Mexican Car Crash, our investigation in to the Charleston centers around a haunting event in 1889, in which a 53 year old widow was unable to find work and decided to tragically end it all by hanging herself from her own ceiling. Of course, this was before it was a bar known for its free pizza and punk shows. It is said that her restless spirit haunts the bar to this day.
Special BKPS Extended Happy Hour:
7PM – 9PM
Drink specials + Free Pizza with drink purchase!