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Larry King Live
Are There Ghosts?Aired April 3, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you?
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LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, do you believe in ghosts? Whether you're terrified or totally skeptical, you're in for a very spirited hour. We're going to go live to the historic Waverly Plantation in Mississippi. The people living there say it is haunted by a long-dead little girl. We'll also visit a house in Vancouver, Washington. The folks there say they have multiple ghosts.
From San Francisco, parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach,, director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations. In Los Angeles, Father Michael Manning. He recently blessed a house the homeowners say came with a restless ghost. In Miami, the renowned James Randi, devoted much of his life to debunking the paranormal. And back in L.A., the publisher and editor-in-chief of "Skeptic Magazine," Michael Shermer.
Plus, she was the star of "The Exorcist," one of the most frightening movies ever made, and now Linda Blair hosts a new TV show, "Scariest Places on Earth."
Guiding the families who take part in that nail-biting program, British radio host Alan Robson, author of "Grisly Tales and Ghostly Tales."
And in Boston, members of a family that endured a terrifying night at a notorious castle in Ireland.
But first, we'll hear from a man whose son is one of the 24 Americans caught in that spy plane standoff with China. Mike Cecka will join us from Seattle. From Beijing, the U.S. ambassador to China, Joseph Prueher. And in Washington, in his first TV interview since the standoff began, Republican Senator John Warner, chairman of Armed Services. All next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Mike Cecka is in Seattle. His son David is a member of the U.S. spy plane crew. He's an aviation electronic technician second class.
Has anyone from the government spoken to you, Mike? MIKE CECKA, SON WAS ON U.S. SPY PLANE: We've been receiving regular contacts from personnel at Whidbey Island with the Navy.
KING: And what's the latest they have told you about David and the others?
CECKA: Well, we received a very encouraging phone call this afternoon, as a result of the ambassador's efforts, during the meeting with the crew. They apparently were allowed to prepare brief messages to family members, and that message was relayed to us by the Navy.
KING: And is your son in good shape?
CECKA: He says all is well.
KING: Ambassador Prueher, what can you -- what's the latest you can tell us -- this standoff, do you see any encouraging signs?
JOSEPH PRUEHER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: Well, we see some encouraging signs, Larry. We were pretty pleased to finally have the meeting with the crew last night, and we are also reassured about the family of the crew that they are well, they are healthy, they are engaged. And America should be proud of the way they're acting and reassured to their well-being.
We also learned a couple of other things, which is that the aircraft is not flyable at this point, the one that's sitting there at the airfield in Hainan, and our big priority right now is working on release for the aircrew and then release of our aircraft.
KING: What does the Chinese government want, Mr. Ambassador?
PRUEHER: Well, right now, the Chinese government is saying that they want an apology (UNINTELLIGIBLE) context they're saying that they want an explanation. And we are engaged on that.
We disagree quite strongly with the facts as presented by the Chinese government on what's going -- on what has gone on with this collision, and the continued controlled access to the crew and aircraft.
And really, as we look at this and the facts unfold, the little bit that was added from the meeting last night, after a fairly severe midair collision, the aircrew did a marvelous job of saving the aircraft. The pilot, after a lot of damage to the aircraft, was faced with a situation of either ditching the aircraft in the ocean or bailing out or landing the aircraft, and he made the choice that everyone would have wanted him to make: to land at the nearest available airfield, which happened to be on Chinese soil. And he did it well.
KING: Senator -- Senator Warner, how well is the administration handling this?
SEN. JOHN WARNER (R-VA), CHAIRMAN, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Exceedingly well. We commend our president for keeping a steady, calm hand but a firm hand on the wheel, when his first concern is for the crew of this plane and their families, and to send our plane home.
China is being examined by not only the United States but the whole world as to how they handle this accident. And I say "accident" because we're -- I'm convinced and others are -- the leadership of China did not direct one of its planes to crash into ours nor did we crash into theirs. It was an accident. Soon we'll learn exactly the facts, hopefully.
But the whole world is looking to see how China handles this crisis, because, for example, it is common practice when ships are Navy are at sea and lose power or sustain other damage, which is nonbelligerent, they go to the nearest port where the nations respect the sovereignty of that ship, they do not try and forcibly come on the ship or seize the crew.
And this is a situation where the admiral, who's handled this very well, has explained we were acting within international law. This accident took place. We had a right to seek the nearest airfield, and bring this plane and crew to safety.
KING: Mike, do you expect -- do you want the government to apologize? Do you want them to do anything like that?
CECKA: Larry, I wouldn't comment on that. That's not my arena at all.
KING: Are you confident that your son is going to come back healthy?
CECKA: Oh, absolutely.
KING: Ambassador, are you confident that these boys are going to come back?
PRUEHER: I'm extremely confident that they're going to come back. We are (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for how soon, and we're looking for a speedy release rather than one that is (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And if I could just make a quick addition to the kudos that Senator Warner gave, is the coordination with the administration and here and certainly (UNINTELLIGIBLE) General Sealock down to the aircrew has been good. And for the Chinese, the longer this protracts, the more difficult it becomes to keep it out of the international incident stage and handle it well.
KING: Boy, well said. Senator Warner, some say that one of the outs could be that we express regret over the death of the Chinese pilot.
WARNER: I've spent a lot of time in the past few days examining this incident. As a former secretary of the Navy, I worked with the then Soviet Union to analyze how we could reach a formal agreement, which we did, to prevent aircraft and ships of the fleets having these accidents.
It's interesting: Russia has very calmly and very correctly analyzed this situation. And other nations are doing it. That's why I firmly believe that the leadership in China will soon realize it's in their interests as an emerging nation to do just that.
Also, think of the businessmen and the contacts, not just here in the United States but all over the world, making decisions today: Do we or do we not do business with China? So they've got at stake...
KING: Yeah, well-said.
WARNER: ... a great deal.
KING: Senator John Warner, ambassador, thanks. We'll be checking back with you again tomorrow. And Mike, best of luck, Mike.
CECKA: Thanks a lot.
KING: Hope you see David like tomorrow.
CECKA: I'd love it.
WARNER: Good luck, admiral.
KING: Ambassador Prueher, Senator John Warner and Mike Cecka.
Now we're going to talk about the possibility of could there be ghosts. Next, don't go away.
KING: By the way, I referred to the men on that plane. There are men and women on that plane as well.
Let's meet our panel as we get into our discussion of the paranormal and the possibility of ghosts and haunted houses. They are, in San Francisco, Loyd Auerbach, parapsychologist, director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations. In Los Angeles, Father Michael Manning, Roman Catholic priest, recently performed a blessing in a haunted house, host of a TV program, "The Word in the World."
In Miami, James Randi, president of the James Randi Foundation, has devoted much of his life to investigating and demystifying paranormal and pseudosciences. And also in Los Angeles, Michael Shermer, publisher and editor in chief of "Skeptic Magazine." He wrote a book called "How We Believe."
Joining us in Columbus, Mississippi is Cindy Snow-Henson -- she was raised on the Waverly Plantation -- and Melyssa Rodriguez, who helps out at that plantation.
But before we talk to them, we want to show you a tape. Watch.
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CINDY SNOW-HENSON, SAYS HOUSE IS HAUNTED: The first time my mother ever saw the little girl was several years after my last sighting. Mother was downstairs on the first floor about to come up stairs. She looked up and saw the little girl on the balcony in the same place I had seen her. The little girl went up the stairs, but rather than walking out of my mother's sight she slowly disappeared in front of her eyes.
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SNOW-HENSON: One night my sister and a friend of hers came through this room late at night to stop at the powder room before they went back upstairs to bed. So they came here and opened the door, and just as they opened it, they heard a loud noise, almost like an explosion, and a bright light flooded past them into the room.
They stood here just wide-eyed and surprised, and when they went into the powder room, they found that all of her cosmetic bags, makeup kits had been scattered around and gotten into as though a little girl had been playing makeup.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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SNOW-HENSON: One evening about a year ago, about this time of the year, my sister was visiting home, and she and my father were the only two in the house at the time. My father was in the kitchen and my sister was in the library next door.
Well, they both started hearing a strange noise, and met each other here in the dining room to try to figure out what the sound was when they both discovered that this brass pot was spinning rapidly on its axis as though someone was standing there spinning it. And it continued to do that for a good two or three minutes until finally it slowed to a complete still. And they both just stood here with their mouths agape and wondering what had made the bucket spin like that.
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KING: Joining us now at the Waverly Plantation in Columbus, Mississippi is Cindy Snow-Henson, who was raised on that plantation, and Melyssa Rodriguez, who helps out.
Cindy, why didn't you leave?
SNOW-HENSON: Well, we were never frightened by the little girl. She was never ominous, and she was just as sweet as could be and never presented any threat to us.
KING: So what do you believe that little girl is?
SNOW-HENSON: I believe that little girl is a spirit who was left behind in this house for some reason after she left this Earth in her physical. I have seen her on three different occasions, and I can guarantee you that she's here.
KING: Now, Melyssa, you help out at the Waverly plantation. Doing what, Melyssa? MELYSSA RODRIGUEZ, BELIEVES PLANTATION HAUNTED: I was director of touring for 2 1/2 years and conducted the tours in the mansion.
KING: Have you ever seen the little girl?
RODRIGUEZ: I have never seen the apparition of the little girl, but she does pull a little prank of sleeping on this bed behind us, and she leaves the impression of her body on the bed. You can definitely see where she is lying, and I have dealt with that.
KING: And you have seen that impression?
RODRIGUEZ: Yes, I have. I've straightened it out and had it come back repeatedly.
KING: All right. I want to bring our panel in. You stay right there, Cindy. We're going to go back to you and Melyssa.
Michael, what's wrong with what we -- why -- I mean, you're not saying they're lying, are you?
MICHAEL SHERMER, "SKEPTIC" MAGAZINE: Oh, no. I think...
KING: What do you think it is?
SHERMER: ... there's a powerful psychology of belief going on here. Two aspects, the physics of ghosts -- that is haunted houses tend to be old, creaky houses that make noise. Often these things happen at night...
KING: Do you think Cindy is imagining it?
SHERMER: No. Well, no. No, two things. There's the physics of it: She's hearing things. But particularly at night, the air is colder, denser, sound travels further. So a noise you might hear during the day that's coming from the other side of the room, it actually sounds like it's now right here next to me. And also, if you are in the state of mind that you're in a, you know, a ghost-haunted house, then all those little noises, which are lost during the day, become part of that sort of spooky story.
KING: How about seeing something?
SHERMER: Seeing things could be two different things. It could be some sort of a hallucination in the mind of the fantasy-prone person, or there could be some apparition that's explained by physics here.
KING: Now, Loyd, what do you think it is?
LOYD AUERBACH, PARAPSYCHOLOGIST: Well, I have to say that Michael makes some very good points. And in fact, when we do our investigations, we really do try to find normal explanations possible. We consider the things that he's talking about.
It's very hard for me to say, to make a judgment call on what's being explained for the Mississippi case.
But the fact is that we have cases like this, where we have gone through all the circumstances. A lot of things don't happen at night. A lot of things do happen during the day.
There is an awful lot of focus being put on seeing apparitions when in fact the other senses are involved as well. And we have some multiple witness sightings of similar apparitions.
KING: And what do you believe they are, Loyd?
AUERBACH: Well, we have to break them down in a couple of categories. In the case of apparitions, or true ghosts, it's the idea of the human consciousness surviving the death of the body and sticking around and somehow being capable of communicating or interacting with us. The other side of it, which is more common, is that somehow the environment picks up information and records information you might say of its past. And people are capable.
And this is not necessarily a psychic thing. This is something we're looking at from a nonpsychic perspective.
KING: Let me pick right up in a minute. We'll take a break and we'll come right back with our guests and the other panelists as well. Lots more to come. Don't go away.
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SNOW-HENSON: We continue to see an indentation in this one bedroom (UNINTELLIGIBLE), in particular, where you can tell a small child was taking a nap on the bed. One afternoon my parents decided to watch to see what happened to the indentation, and they sat here that Sunday afternoon for hours talking with one another. And at about 4:30 in the afternoon, the little indentation started to rise and the bed spread ruffled down the side, just as though a small child slid off the side of the bed. And then everything was quiet.
KING: James Randi in Miami, are these folks, are they living in another world, what?
JAMES RANDI, PARANORMAL DEBUNKER: It is very hard to handle, Larry, stories like this, because you are perceived as someone who's saying, oh, these folks are lying or they're crazy. I don't say either one of those things, of course.
I think that what's been lost sight of here is a psychological phenomenon known as hypnopompic or hypnagogic experiences, in which people do honestly hallucinate these things.
Now, many people say it wasn't a hallucination, I saw it myself, it was real. But the definition of a hallucination is something which is not there, but it's so real that it appears as if it's real. I mean, you can't deny it.
KING: So they're not lying, they're seeing it?
RANDI: I believe that they are seeing something, but remember, we're also hearing a lot of anecdotal material here, stuff that's being told second- and third-hand. And these stories also have a way of growing, so a slight improvement can make a lot of difference.
KING: Before we get another comment from Cindy and Melyssa, father, what do you think?
FATHER MICHAEL MANNING, BLESSED "HAUNTED" HOUSE: Well, I believe that, as a Catholic, I believe that when we die and we're in the grace of God we're going to live and we're going to continue to live. I believe tat there might even be a state of imperfection before we reach the fullness of what it means to be encountering with God. We, as Catholics, talks about purgatory.
KING: You think there might be a little girl?
MANNING: There might even be there. And I think, we also speak of prayer, I was down at a house in San Diego praying, and asking protection of this house in there was something that was going wrong that the house would be safe from that.
KING: And you believe someone is listening to that prayer?
MANNING: Very much so. God is listening and I believe there are angels and I believe that there are spirits; I can intercede with people. Yes.
KING: Melyssa Rodriguez, do friends laugh at you?
MELYSSA RODRIGUEZ, BELIEVES PLANTATION HAUNTED: Oh, of course. Yes, tourists.
KING: Do you ever doubt your own eyes? Ever doubt your own feelings?
RODRIGUEZ: Sure, and I think whenever you see something that doesn't fit your concept of reality, it is frightening, but, I can't explain it; I'm not an expert; I just know what I have seen and heard.
KING: All right, Cindy Henson and Melyssa Rodriguez, they're in Columbus, Mississippi. We will take a break and when we come back, we are going to meet Mary and Ed Woods in Vancouver. They say that their house is haunted. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, ABC'S "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We begin at the water where all life begins. However, the water here, is far more to do with death than with life. It isn't a game. And it isn't a joke. It isn't a show. What you experience is real, and believe me, real is much more frightening than storybook.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Joining us now from Vancouver, Washington, Mary and Ed Woods. They say that their house is haunted. Ed, haunted how?
ED WOODS: Well, we have a number of different things that show up here, we have people that we can actually see moving through the house. We have stationary people that we can sometimes see, we also have, occasionally, heard a person or two, and we also have physical manifestations of things moving around.
KING: When you see -- and you hear same things, Mary, and see them?
MARY WOODS: Yes, I do.
KING: Mary, a obvious question. Why don't you move?
M. WOODS: Actually they don't bother me. I'm used to it.
KING: You like them.
M. WOODS: Yeah, I guess. You could say I do -- part of the house.
KING : When you say you see them, are they ghostlike like we see in moves? Or are they people?
M.WOODS: Not really, it is like seeing a slide projected a slide or photograph projected against a wall, you can see the wall behind it. But it is enough that you can make out details.
KING: When you saw the first one, Ed, first time you saw it, what did you think?
E. WOODS: Well, first one I saw it, I thought we had an intruder in the house, and then I looked again, and it faded out so I knew it was something else.
KING: Do you believe in all this, Ed?
E. WOODS: Well, originally I didn't. I was the skeptic here, until I started seeing things that I just couldn't explain, things moving around, and, things of that nature.
KING: Mary, do friends or relatives come by and see the same things?
M. WOODS: Yes, they do. I have a very good friend that lives in Longview, she would come and spend the weekend with me. After one weekend she looked at me and she said, Mary, I will visit you during the day any time, but I am never spending the night in this house again.
KING : Michael, supposing it is not there, supposing it is imagination and you are right. So what? MANNING: Well, we want to live in a world of reality, and instead of fantasy, and the further away we get from this real world by pretending and basing our lives on wishful thinking, the more we can slide down the road toward more dangerous beliefs.
KING: Loyd, if it is right, then we live on; right? And spirits exist and anything is possible.
AUERBACH: Well, we have some serious implications for human consciousness for our lives. It is really interesting in a lot of the cases because we have so many of the recording type of cases, that there are very few, apparent ghosts out there, and I think it's more important that people consider that these ghosts can't hurt them that it shouldn't be fear related, and I would rather people don't believe in this stuff altogether, than to be afraid by what is portrayed in the TV programs today.
E. WOODS: He is a skeptic.
KING : Do you feel damaged at all, Mary, by all of this? Do you feel harmed?
M. WOODS: Not at all. In fact, as an anthropologist I kind of find it interesting, because there is a history of ghosts, and ancestral worship cross culturally throughout the world and it has been going on for hundreds of years, so, who knows? There might be something to it.
KING : Randi, it's true isn't it? People have written about this as long as writing?
RANDI: Oh, yes indeed. As a matter of fact, I have a theory, Larry. It says that a man with beard can't be all bad, in that case Ed is going to be a very good man, and I think that maybe the million dollar prize that we offer here at the James Randi Educational Foundation might be his, I think I better take a trip out to Washington.
KING : What is that prize? Randi, what is it for?
RANDI: The prize is offered, as you know, a lady took it up on your program a week ago but we haven't heard from her in 29 days. The prize is awardable to any person or persons, who can provide evidence of any paranormal, occult, or supernatural event of any of kind, under proper observing conditions, so Ed, I might be seeing you.
KING : Would you go to Ed's house, sit there, and if you saw somebody cruise through that wasn't there, and you saw them there, Ed gets a million bucks?
RANDI: It is about like that, Larry. But it would be a little more involved, for a million dollars, we take a lot of precautions.
AUERBACH: I think Randi has challenged a little more involved than just making a visit to the house. KING: Stay right there. When we come back, Father Manning, one of our panelists, will show us a blessing of that San Diego house he talked about before. We will show you what he did. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joined this with water, holy water we spread it around the whole house, protective, allowing the angels, the holy good spirits to be present. And the sacredness of this water, the life that comes through baptism, touching everything that we do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back. Jesse and Juan Martinez live in San Diego, and they had a little problem. Here is Jesse. Watch.
JESSE MARTINEZ, SAN DIEGO RESIDENT: There was this one day, I was standing in the kitchen, and I started talking to her. And I said, "You know what? All morning, I have been wanting to meet with you. I want to see you. I want to see who you are." And she came to me right here. She was right here.
I could first see the outer image, she had -- her hair came through first. It was up to her shoulders, it was light brown. And then -- and I couldn't believe it, OK, I could not believe it was happening. I kept looking at her, and I said, "Oh, my God, it's happening."
And I could see her eyes. Her eyes were dark brown, and they started forming. Her nose, her mouth, and she was looking at me. And then when I saw her, I started saying, "You know what? Never mind, never mind. Just go back, just go back. I can't take it, I can't take it." And I said, "I told you I was a chicken. I thought I was ready for you, but I'm not. So please go back." And when I started saying, "Please go back," she started going back.
KING: And she -- what did you do, Father Manning?
MANNING: Well, this seemed to have happened a couple days prior to my coming down. I didn't know about this at all, and they asked me to come down and bless the house...
KING: Who did?
MANNING: The family. They had just purchased the house.
KING: To take it away?
MANNING: No, no, it's a common thing, to bless a car, to bless a house, to bring protection. To bring the Lord's presence to the...
KING: What did you make of her story?
MANNING: I don't know. I don't know. She's a great lady, and I am very confident that something happened to her. I'm not sure what. But I think that there was something good that came out of this, calling. I don't know, but I...
KING: Do you feel -- I mean, when you make this kind of blessing, do you feel it helps?
MANNING: Oh, very much so. Oh, I'm convinced. Yes, I'm convinced that the power of God comes and brings protection.
KING: Now, Michael, as with all the other people so far on this show, that lady looked like a wonderful, innocent, nice lady.
KING: She saw something, Michael.
SHERMER: The experiences are real. The question is are they in here or are they out there? Here is a number: 3 percent of the population is fantasy- prone, psychologists estimate, so they have these fantastic experiences. For them, they're very real. Just like the schizophrenic hears the voice, he really hears the voice. The voice is very real, but the voice is in there, not out there.
So my question for the paranormalist is roughly 70 billion people have lived in the history of humanity. Six billion are alive now. Are we to understand that 74 billion are floating around here? Must be a crowded place.
KING: Yeah, Loyd, where are they all?
AUERBACH: I actually -- I don't know where they all are. I don't buy that they are all around here, which is something that the amateur ghost hunters have been stating.
It seems that only certain people can stick around as ghosts and even try to communicate, to try to do the interaction. And, I tend to believe, that they're -- and this is pure speculation -- that it has something to do with the psychology of the person who's just died, with their desire to stick around, and probably some environmental conditions. Just as there have been other environmental conditions tied to perception in other ways.
KING: The truth, James Randi, is you can't disprove it, can you?
RANDI: No you can't disprove -- you can't prove some negatives, that's the point. But I'm asking them to make their claim. They are making a claim that there is something here. If they can provide evidence for it, hey, a million dollars. Not only that, but they can make me look like some sort of a fool.
KING: Don't you -- don't you want them, Randi, to be right?
RANDI: I have no particular ax to grind in this sort of thing, Larry. I just want to know what it is. I want to know one way or the other. I don't want it to be true or to be false. I have no desires on the matter. KING: Is it -- Father, is it anti-Christian?
MANNING: Oh, well, to believe that Christ has come and given life to everyone, and that when I die, I'm going to live forever, is a very Christian thing.
KING: So you should believe this all of this.
MANNING: I can believe that there are -- the question comes to balance. Where do you go? Can you start seeing ghosts all around like this? I do believe that when I'm going to die that I'm going to live. I'm going to be out of my body, but in the presence of God, and that moves me out of time and space.
KING: And you don't believe that, Michael.
SHERMER: What's difference between everything we're talking about here, and say, the Yanamamo Indians of inner Brazil, who believe that the rocks have spirits, and the trees have spirits, and everything is alive.
MANNING: But it's a person. It's my person, my mom, my dad, they're alive. They're alive in the presence of God right now, I'm confident.
SHERMER: Of course, but then, the Yanamamo believe this, too, in their own way.
MANNING: But there you were talking about a tree or something like...
SHERMER: But they believe their ancestors live on.
KING: No, it's their belief is as strong as the father's belief.
SHERMER: Absolutely. And I see no difference, other than ours sounds a little more sophisticated. It's a monotheism rather than a polytheism. But it's still this transcendent desire to leave the material world.
MANNING: Sure, sure.
KING: And, Loyd, what you're saying is you believe it's possible? Is that what you're saying? Is that what the office of paranormal investigations looks at?
AUERBACH: Yeah. In every single case, we try to look for normal explanations, and we often find those normal explanations, but my own personal belief is that there are some situations where ghosts are around. And we try to explain away as many of them as we can, but I still come to that conclusion.
KING: Now, we all know the name Linda Blair, do we not, and before we bring her on and go to a break, do you believe in the devil coming into someone? Do you believe...
MANNING: Yes, I do. Yes, I do.
KING: Probably the most famous move made in this regard -- not probably, definitely -- was "The Exorcist." Linda Blair starred in that. She now hosts a new TV show called "Scariest Places on Earth." We'll meet her and the host of a popular show in London, Alan Robson, who works with her on location for that show. Linda and Alan and the Ulrich family in Boston will join us right after you see a little bit of "The Exorcist."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Of our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Amen.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Defender of the human race. Look down in pity!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You killed -- you left her alone to die!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Shut up!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You shouldn't.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Shut up!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Bastard!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I command you, by judge of the living and the dead, to depart from this servant of God!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE and our look at the paranormal, the weird, the different.
Joining us now, what a familiar face -- look at that! Linda Blair! She lives, she breaths, and nothing's coming out between the teeth.
KING: She is host of the TV show "Scariest Places on Earth," seen on Fox Family, and she starred in one of the most frightening movies Hollywood ever made, "The Exorcist."
Also with us here in L.A. is Alan Robson, who works with families on location for "Scariest Places on Earth." He's the author of "Grisly Trails and Ghostly Tales," and he's the host of a popular British radio phone-in show called "Night Owls." We can only imagine who calls in and what that is like. And in Boston, the Ulrich family, Mary, Susan, Ann, Paul and Timothy. That family all spent the night at the Charleville castle in Tullamor, Ireland, as part of the show "Scariest Places on Earth."
And before we talk to the people, let's see a scene from that program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need to meet. You want to come here with me, so...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, so stay there if you want. OK. Good, good. In fact, let's go back into that room. Find out what happened. What's...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, yeah.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go back into the room and photograph this. But we can't. OK! OK!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't want to be in this room.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's OK. I think we should photograph it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I think we need to get out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we talk to some of the Ulriches, how did this show come about, Linda?
LINDA BLAIR, HOST "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH": I was working for Fox Family last year, and they came up with a show, and they said, I wonder who we could get to host this.
KING: Did you like it right away, the idea?
BLAIR: What I think is that, you know, we will always be curious. When we were kids, we used to tell ghost stories, but as we've gotten older -- I have friends who are scientific researchers, and I ask them questions.
My mother has passed on. I choose to think she is in a wonderful, other place that we all will go. But I think that some people are trapped here.
KING: But you call it scariest places.
BLAIR: Scariest places on Earth.
KING: Shouldn't we like it rather than be scared by it?
BLAIR: Well, these are the places that people have talked about for years, and years, that they go in, and you physically feel something is wrong. Some people do see things. Whether it's in a mind, we don't know.
KING: When you made "The Exorcist," did you think possession was possible?
BLAIR: No, see, I wasn't raised Catholic. So that was probably a blessing for me, because I was able to look at it as, well, this is just a movie, I'm just playing a creature. And I think for me it was the best thing. I did not know who the devil was.
KING: Alan, are you a hired hand on this show, or are you a believer, or a journalist?
ALAN ROBSON, "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH": I was a skeptic for 20 years, and things have happened to me that I can't explain.
KING: Like -- give me one example.
ROBSON: Something that just happened in Ireland. I was there with five executives in the red room of Charleville castle, and something black, shadowy, walked through the middle of six of us, and we all saw it, we all reacted to it. And I keep hearing people who are skeptics, and I say, I respect you for your beliefs, but you are wrong.
KING: All right, let's go to the Ulrich family in Boston, who we now -- we got everybody. Susan, you appeared you were the most frightened. What were you doing in Ireland?
SUSAN ULRICH, STAYED IN HAUNTED CASTLE: I don't know. You know, we went on the show and we thought that maybe -- I thought that it would be fun, and I didn't -- I didn't expect what I got. And it was just horror.
KING: You stayed overnight there?
ULRICH: It was -- yeah.
KING: Why? Why did do you this?
ULRICH: Because I was curious, and, you know, the rest of my family was curious, and we just -- I think that I was -- I wanted -- I wanted to know if there, you know, if ghosts existed or...
KING: Do you now know?
ULRICH: Oh, yes, I do.
KING: No doubt in your mind?
ULRICH: There is no doubt in my mind.
KING: All right. We will talk to Ann in a moment. What did you see? What scared you?
ANN ULRICH GALVER, STAYED IN HAUNTED CASTLE: I think what scared me most was not so much things flying around, but the feeling you got in certain areas. On the stairs in the castle, you were horrified, you were -- you got an overwhelming feeling of just death.
But there was a second level -- second landing on the stairs that you could get to, and you were perfectly fine. You were very calm, I could have sat there all night while the whole castle fell down around me.
So I think that it was more the feelings. Not so much what you saw, or -- it was more the feelings and smells that you got going into different rooms.
KING: Do you think, Ann, you might have been preconditioned to that?
GALVER: I think that it is a very unnerving place. You know, it's very dark, old, but I think I have never experienced anything like that in all my life, and I don't think I ever want to again.
KING: Would a skeptic, Michael, would you walk through a dark graveyard at night?
SHERMER: Sure, I would, and it would be fun. And in a way, if this just ghost story-telling kind of thing, since humans are story- telling animals, then this is just good fun.
KING: Nothing wrong with going to castle?
SHERMER: Not at all.
KING: Good fun. You don't have any objections to it.
SHERMER: No, of course not. But think about this analogy: let's say the L.A. Police Department solves 95 percent of all homicides every year. The other 5 percent are unsolved. Are we to assume that these other 5 percent were abducted by aliens, killed by ghosts and poltergeist? No, we just know they can't explain everything.
So look, skeptics, scientists, we can't explain all these things that go bump in the night. There will always be mysteries in the unexplained. That's just part of the fun.
KING: Why do we go into that house?
BLAIR: Well, I think a lot of people love the thrill. They love to be scared, and so...
KING: They love to be scared.
BLAIR: They do! Well, look at "The Exorcist," very popular film. So they love to be scared. When they actually get on these locations, not one family has made it through the night. Why? They are terrified.
ROBSON: Well, the truth of the matter is that there is a huge gray are that nobody wants to accept. And we have people that want to put everything in a neat locked box. KING: Randi, can't you accept that that there are just things that you don't know, and Ulrich family doesn't know, and Linda doesn't know, and the father doesn't know?
RANDI: I admit my ignorance on that, Larry. Of course, there are lots of things we don't know. I don't know what makes Sophia Loren look so good at her age, that is a mystery to me, but it doesn't mean it's supernatural.
KING: Would you spend the night in that castle with no qualms?
RANDI: Oh, I want to buy the place. Never mind spend the night there, I want to buy the place and live in it for the rest of my life. And Michael Shermer can come and visit if he wants.
KING: We'll be right back with more on our ghostly night. Everybody will be back at the end, Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH")
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, can we please go. I'm hearing things...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Eaton family of Gloucester, Massachusetts, takes the final step on their journey to Magnolia, Maine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are they doing to my family?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the family survive?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard things, I don't -- I want to go home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SCARIEST PLACES ON EARTH")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the classic anatomy of a haunted...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want to go back in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the first time, actually, it threw something at us that we weren't really expecting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, tonight was a little different than what we normally get here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our preliminary -- wow!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What just happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just right now, just a second ago, the power line across the street -- it snapped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ignited, it snapped and ignited and burned through both power poles. Wooden power poles are down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there, the power lines are down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was weird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, that was weird.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I declare this property pretty, well, haunted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Susan Ulrich in Boston, Ann told us her frightening moment. What was most frightening to you?
ULRICH: I think what frightened me the most wasn't really the things moving. It was more -- when I would go in certain rooms, it would be a feeling of -- I would get a panicked feeling, and certain times when we were in certain areas of the house, you could hear a little girl laughing. And I could hear it, and then I would hear footsteps after it, almost as if someone was walking toward her, and...
KING: Did you scream?
ULRICH: A lot.
KING: You are a big screamer; right?
ULRICH: I think so.
KING : Were all of the Ulriches frightened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think so; yes.
KING: Everyone of you were frightened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
KING: Father, why do we want to be frightened?
MANNING: Why do we want to be frightened?
KING : Why go there?
MANNING: I suppose we want to make life exciting, as if it weren't enough. Aren't we looking for something more than just the ordinary. I think we are all looking for some answer beyond what seems so concrete; we are looking for a spiritual dimension that is going to open our world.
SHERMER: There's an old saying, "If there is no spirits, there is no devil; no devil, no God." That is what scares people. So this concrete evidence for some people that there is a God.
MANNING: It opens us up. All of a sudden, realizing...
KING: But Alan was a skeptic and he changed.
I think a lot of people think there are not really ghosts, and that is why they nominate to go on the show themselves and they get there, and they have a completely different experience.
KING: We will take a break and we'll get a final comment from everybody who has been on the show. And by the way, "Scariest Places on Earth," the host of that show Linda Blair, is with us. That show airs Fridays 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Since that's directly opposite this show, you can tape it, play it later, watch us live, we are making news.
We'll be right back, don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where are you?
Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Get me out of here. Please, get me out of here. Get me out of here, now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We are back, let's round up everyone, and we will start with Cindy in Columbus, Mississippi. Do you want to know more about this little girl, Cindy?
HENSON: Sorry, I'm having trouble picking you up.
KING: OK, can you hear me now?
HENSON: Yes, a little better.
KING: Do you want to know more about this little girl?
HENSON: What has happened to the little girl.
KING: Do you want to know more about her?
HENSON: I would like to know who she is for sure and why she remains in Waverly if she needs help assistance in some way to become comfortable with the state she is in. I like to think...
KING: Ed Woods, what do you want to learn more that you don't know now? E. WOODS: I would like to know -- I would like to know a little bit more about what causes this to happen. You know, I could almost buy the argument that the visual and auditory parts could be possibly imagined or something like that, but the physical manifestations convinced me otherwise.
KING: Susan, are you -- no skepticism in you? You believe in ghosts.
ULRICH: Well, I definitely believe and that night I spent in that castle convinced me.
KING: OK, we have heard the arguments from them. By the way, "The Exorcist" is available on DVD; you have a Web site.
BLAIR: I do. the alternate.com. And we too will be researching more on the paranormal up there.
KING: The more you do this show, the more you believe.
BLAIR: You know, I have always been a believer, but I want to understand it. I do want to understand it.
KING: Loyd, from all your studies, what do you know?
AUERBACH: Well, we know a lot about the behavior of the phenomena; we also know people make mistakes and misinterpret things. We know that these are mysteries to be explored and understood, and not to be afraid of. In all the years I've been doing cases, the only thing I have run into that I have been afraid of, have been living people, because ghosts can't carry guns and knifes.
KING: Randi, have you ever seen anything in all your travels in life as a magician that still puzzles you?
RANDI: Oh, a number of things, Larry, yes, but not things I don't think can be explained by perfectly ordinary means. Linda said something very interesting, there, in her opening comments, she said I choose to believe that, now that phrase itself I can certainly understand, and I applaud it. I choose to believe, and that is what a lot of this is, people choose to believe something fantastic rather than something mundane.
KING: Alan, are you choosing to believe?
ROBSON: I'm not choosing to believe. I believe because I have seen it, I have felt it, but 90 percent of ghosts are not real; 90 percent of people who say they see them are not real, but that 10 percent is amazing it is real and out there.
KING: You don't think about that 10 percent.
SHERMER: Why not -- the 10 percent is just the unexplained; we can't answer everything. We have a limited time in this world; why not the limited as much as we can, the fate of the paranormal is that it becomes normal as our horizons expand, and we understand the world. KING: Father?
MANNING: Well, my question so is what? So what? If it is going to allow us to start to understand God, and realize that there is a presence of God, there is a presence of life beyond what we can understand, amen. But let's don't go crazy; let's keep that in perspective with good balance. So what? So what?
KING: My question is: why go into the house?
Vancouver, out of the house, sell the house! The people in Mississippi, they're doing tours! Tours!
My tour has been New Orleans. All right, anyway, this has been an illuminating show and thank you all very much. Thanks to our guests everywhere for appearing with us on this edition -- a very different edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
"CNN TONIGHT" is next, or maybe something else.
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