Tag Archives: The Phil Factor

The Top Ten Best Fictional Paranormal Shows of All Time

This isn’t a list of reality shows. Feel like watching something scary this week but don’t want to sit through a two hour movie? I’ve got your back. There’s nothing I enjoy more than being on the edge of my seat. I’m not talking horror or gore. I’m talking pure, can’t take your eyes off the screen, I can’t believe this is happening suspense. Since it’s National Paranormal Month, I got to thinking about the best paranormal TV shows I’ve watched. I’ve watched 8 of the 10 on the list and included the two others on reputation. This is a very subjective list, so if you have other suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Twilight Zone: This may be the original classic suspense paranormal show. I didn’t see it in it’s first run, but saw it later in re-runs. I fly fairly regularly for my job and I’m always tempted to yell ‘There’s a man on the wing!” If you get the reference, in the comments tell me what actor screamed it.


The X-Files: A 90’s classic that returned to the small screen for a limited run a few years ago. It was great in it’s time and improved as it grew in popularity. Not every episode was the perfect cocktail of suspense and disbelief, but it was often enough to make my list.


American Gothic: Maybe I just like this because I have the painting on a tie. Which is more famous, the painting or the show? Who heard of one but not the other? I didn’t see this show, but loved the title and heard others give it high praise. You win 50 points to spend in The Phil Factor gift shop if you can tell me, without looking it up, what artist did the famous painting.

Twilight Zone: This may be the original classic suspense show. I didn’t see it in it’s first run, but saw it later in re-runs. I fly fairly regularly for my job and I’m always tempted to yell ‘There’s a man on the wing!” If you get the reference, in the comments tell me what actor screamed it.


The X-Files: A 90’s classic that returned to the small screen for a limited run a few years ago. It was great in it’s time and improved as it grew in popularity. Not every episode was the perfect cocktail of suspense and disbelief, but it was often enough to make my list.

American Gothic: Maybe I just like this because I have the painting on a tie. Which is more famous, the painting or the show? Who heard of one but not the other? I didn’t see this show, but loved the title and heard others give it high praise. You win 50 points to spend in The Phil Factor gift shop if you can tell me, without looking it up, what artist did the famous painting.

LOST: Apparently I’m stuck in the 90’s. For one glorious season LOST was awesomely suspenseful and mysterious. Then the writers all seemed to lose their minds.

The Walking Dead: There’s just so many. So many zombies. Just the tiniest scratch. Any moment you could become one of them. Your group is getting picked off one by one. There could be one or one hundred around any corner. You just never know.

American Horror Story: I haven’t watched this one. Yet. I plan to, No one else in my family wants to see it, so I have to find some time to watch when no one is around. That’s the best time to watch scary stuff anyway, right? In the picture on the right, that’s the original American Horror Story house that my son and I tracked down while I was in California a few weeks ago.

In Search Of… Leonard Nimoy rest in peace.  This was a late 70’s-early 80’s show that was part documentary, part reality show where they tried to debunk paranormal phenomena. As a kid I wanted to watch but it always freaked me out.

Kingdom Hospital: Also known as Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital. This was a one season series that was based on a Danish show.  Look it up on Netflix or Hulu. Completely creepy, suspenseful and weird. I loved it.


Stranger Things:  It was a new series in 2016. Season 4 was out this past summer and there will be a season 5.  This show set out to capture the aura of those cool, creepy 80’s Stephen King based movies and it succeeded brilliantly.


Twin Peaks: As I said, I recently began re-watching the original series and it stands the test of time. It’s still awesomely creepy and weird. If you were a fan of the show and want to see a funny, hour-long spoof featuring many of the actors and actresses from the original look up the show Psych on Netflix and find the Dual Spires episode in 2010/5th season of the show. After you do that, go back and watch the entire Psych series from season 1. It’s brilliantly funny with a little suspense.

So what did I miss? What would you add to the list and what would you take away? Please give opinions and suggestions. I’d love some good, new or old shows to watch. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

An Interview with Real Ghostbusters Part 2

Who remembers what movie those ghosts are from? It’s one of my favorite paranormal movies. If you haven’t read Part 1 of my interview with the paranormal investigators from the Monroe County Paranormal Investigations, scroll back and read that too. These guys are interesting and funny.

Me: What was the funniest thing that ever happened during an investigation?

Rob: “The bed” is probably the funniest. So we’re investigating this house in the city.  I am not a little person.

Brian: Neither am I.

Rob: Brian and I together; not little people. We’re investigating this home. We have two brand new investigators working together downstairs. We’re upstairs. I’m sitting on a bed, and I say, “Brian, come over here and look at this. You’ll see how the light is reflecting.” He sits on the bed and the bed collapses.

Brian: Not quietly! Baboom!

Rob: There’s a huge crash and between the two of us there’s 140 pounds of humanity. It lands on the floor. The two brand new investigators were downstairs and the homeowner says, “What was that?”

Brian: I was on the floor crying, laughing thinking “Oh my God. What are we gonna do?” One of the new investigators yells up the stairs “Are you ok?”

Rob: Do you know how hard it is to yell “We’re ok” while you’re laughing?

Later the whole team talked a lot about feeling evil in the air when they enter some haunted places. All four of them indicated that at one time or another they had felt something, an energy upon entering a structure or room that had made them emotionally upset or fearful.

Rob: It was an explosion of energy in that one location.  It was such an emotional intense event that I didn’t sleep for a week. I slept maybe ten minutes at a stretch and every time I closed my eyes  I would wake up and I would swear my hands were covered in blood and there were police cars in my driveway coming to get me. I texted Stacey and I said “I don’t know what any of this means, but there’s a rose colored heart, there’s an egg, somebody painted the word love, and there’s a motorcycle. I don’t know what any of that means.”

Stacey: So I was doing research on the case Rob is referring to. I wanted to know more and know where the person was buried. I went to the cemetery. The stone was rose colored, and there was her face.

Rob: It was an old picture and it had faded so it was just an oval egg. The guy behind her stone was a biker so he had put a Harley Davidson little thing on top of his gravestone.

Stacey: Then there was a little plaque that said “love” in white.

Brian: The only kind of advice that I’ll typically give to people, if you have activity in your home is this. Imagine, if you’re dead and don’t know, if somebody comes into their home, you’re going to be like “Hey! Hello? What are you doing here?” And they’re not hearing or responding to you, you’re going to make noise, Smack, bang bang bang, right?

What if instead, when you get home you said, “Hey, thanks for watching the house for us today”? You just acknowledge them. It is amazing how many times that when we tell people to do that, everything quiets down.”

Me: I agree with that last piece of advice. It’s what I did in my last house. After moving in there were often sounds of footsteps upstairs when no one was there. Other times there were unidentifiable noises. A couple times I smelled cigarette smoke when no one had smoked in the house. So I began greeting the spirits each time I returned, and the mysterious noises eventually disappeared.

There’s so much more they said that I could go on a few more pages. I sincerely want to thank everyone at M.C.P.I. for enduring my questions and allowing me to accompany them on a ghost hunt two days later. If you want to hear how that went, come back on Tuesday!

Have a great Sunday! ~Phil

An Interview with Real Ghostbusters: Part 1

Happy Paranormal Month! Here’s Part 1 of my interview with some real ghost hunters. To be fair, I’ll say that they are not ghostbusters or ghost hunters. They are Paranormal Investigators, and I was fortunate to spend some time with them.

The gentlemen in question are not all gentlemen. There are some ladies that like to get spooky too. About a week and a half ago I went to a presentation by the members of the Monroe County Paranormal Investigations. The MCPI is a not-for-profit organization. When a home or business owner calls them to request an investigation they will not be charged a penny. To me, that gives this organization credibility. They do what they do for the mystery and science of it. As an organization, they have done investigations in over one thousand homes and businesses.  Below are my questions and their answers edited for length.

Me: Do you ever disagree about what you’ve seen, heard, or experienced?

Rob: “Every. Single. Investigation.”

Brian: Yep. The one with the football thing; we almost had a knock-down, drag-out over that. I’m just like Nope. Nope.”

Rob: “He was convinced that because it was only moving, the little lights on the wall were only moving that much, that it wasn’t movement. But that much is movement! If  it moves that much it’s moving!”

Brian: But I was arguing that the thing is this big and it’s only moving such a…”

Rob: Movement is movement! It moved Jerry! (Seinfeld reference. If you get it, you win 50 Phil Factor dollars to spend in the gift shop on the way out)

Picture courtesy of Live Science

Me: Has there ever been a time when you were emotionally moved by an encounter?

Rob: Brian and I were called to a case. Healthy 27 year old people die. It sucks. We went out, we sat down for over three hours. We investigated for maybe 20 minutes. For the other two hours and forty minutes we listened to this woman’s story. Her 27 y.o. daughter went to a doctors appointment on Thursday, was given a clean bill of health. She was dead on Saturday. The only thing that happened was on Friday, her husband, who was in the military had come home. They knew that the husband was both verbally and physically abusive. So they attributed that to what happened.

Brian: The girls mother was insistent, obsessed.

Rob: Because of this, she had lost her job, alienated her husband, and basically made her other younger daughter feel like she was completely invisible because she became obsessed. There was an autopsy done. Natural causes. There was nothing founded. There was a second autopsy, same result. The state reviewed the autopsy and found nothing different. She got so obsessed that she was collecting cans and bottles to come up with $5000 for a renowned expert to do another autopsy. We got so emotionally involved in that case that Brian has actually been to the cemetery with flowers for the young ladies grave.

Brian: The mother, I think we’re kind of painting her in a negative light. She was a sweetheart. Her grief had driven her to do all this stuff. As paranormal investigators, there’s a lot of grief that we deal with. A lot of times what we do ends up being counseling. Sometimes there may not be anything going on in their home. They just want there to be.

Rob: Do you think people want to be haunted? Of course. You had an argument with someone and they pass away and you didn’t get a chance to resolve the argument.

Phil speaking to my readers:  There is plenty more to the interview. Part 2 will post on tomorrow. I found that last story about the grieving woman surprising and fascinating. You never see that side of paranormal investigations on the ghost hunting TV shows. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.  In the coming week I will post my story about going on a ghost hunt with these guys.

Thanks for reading! ~Phil

That Time A Ghost Saw Me

That’s right. I didn’t see a ghost but apparently a ghost saw me. He probably went back to his ghost blog and told all his friends.

The picture above was taken of me  six years ago as I was assembling a pergola together. See that cloud to the left of me? The photographer didn’t see that when she took the picture. The picture was a “Live” picture on an iPhone7 that has about 3 seconds of movement. In the live version that cloud moved from one side of the picture to the other. If you look very closely at the top of the cloud you can see what, to me, looks like a face. Where I was is only about 15 yards from where the ashes of the former owner of the house is buried.

In addition to this we often had nights where would wake up to find that the television or gas fire place turned on in the middle of the night.

So what do you think? Was a ghost keeping an eye on me?

Happy Saturday! ~ Phil

Paranormal Day? Not on My Watch!

I’d spend the night here. Would you?

Based on my poll from last week, most of my readers are interested in reading more about the paranormal.

The paranormal is a wide ranging subject that includes witchcraft, tarot reading, ghosts, psychic skills, UFO’s/aliens, demons, cryptids, and haunted/cursed objects. If there are other things that you’d qualify as paranormal, please add them in the comments and I’ll make sure to hit on them this month.

I know that May 3rd is the official government sanctioned Paranormal Day in the United States, but dammit, one day to celebrate all of the weird, spooky, and unexplainable things in our world is not enough. So, although I am not yet elected President or Sexiest Man Alive, I, Phil, do hereby declare the month of May to be Paranormal Month, and shall be celebrated as such to the end of time.

So, to start the awesome month of May off, I’ll tell you about a paranormal themed holiday that you’ve probably never heard of. Last night, the last day of April going into May, the eve of May Day is known as Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Nacht in Germany (Sprechen sie Deutsch?). The eve of May Day is the night on which witches are believed to be riding to an appointed rendezvous. (To me, anyone who can confidently spell rendezvous without spellchecking is paranormal). It’s like a girls trip for witches! Although, lets not get too gender specific because dudes can also be witches, except witchy dudes are called Warlocks, which is a pretty damn cool title, right?

This is not at all super creepy, right?

It is not a singular holiday. In other parts of the world it is called Beltane and is celebrated with massive bonfires. Beltane and other festivals are celebrating the coming of Spring. The celebrations however have a certain wiccan-witch type vibe, especially when they’re burning a giant effigy of a person like that pic above. Or maybe dancing around like the couple below:

Yep, this isn’t creepy at all, right?

If you’ve been to one of these celebrations, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Suffice it to say, if you and I have woken up this Monday morning and haven’t found ourselves cursed in any way, then we have survived one of the world’s most interesting holidays and we can go ahead and enjoy the April rain that we have in much of the northeast. Stay tuned, more and even weirder/interesting blog posts are on their way through the rest of Paranormal Month!

Thanks for reading me today! ~Phil

May You Have a Great Month!

A gathering for May 1 “Eid il Fitr” ,which translates to “When Phil Posts to His Blog”

When people think of “the holidays” they usually think of the November-February stretch that includes many of the popular holidays in the English speaking world. If you look a little further, you’ll see that in both English speaking countries and other countries there are a lot of underrated great holidays that occur in the month of May. I’m going to spend the month posting about and making good natured fun of most of these holidays.

Cinco De Mayo Fiesta on the plaza in Mesilla, New Mexico May 06, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PAUL RATJE (Photo credit: PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images)

Three of these awesome holidays occur consecutively during the first week of May. I will list them in a poll below and please vote for the one that you want to learn the most about.

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Whichever holiday is chosen will be the first post in May. If you have one that’s not on the list, please shout it at me in the comments!

Thank you for your participation! ~ Phil

Happy 18th Birthday To The Phil Factor

*Actual picture of me

Am I the only one on the internet who celebrates their blog’s birthday? I hope not. I may not post as often as I did in the past, but I’m still proud that The Phil Factor is one of the longest continuous running blogs in the history of the world.

My blog is legally old enough to join the military, commit felonies, drink legally in Canada and buy weed in the States, so who knows what I might blog about in the next year.

As I do on my blogs birthday every year, I’m going to post the first blog post I ever wrote in April of 2005. Here it is:

What Up Dawg?

Is it just me or is everyone sick of Randy Jackson’s act on American Idol? How many times can we hear, “What up dawg?” Or his other favorite, “It was a little pitchy in spots,” or “It was just ahh ight for me.” The dude is like one of those action figures where you squeeze him and he has three pre-programmed phrases he rotates through.

Nearly as bad is Paula Abdul. Has anyone else noticed that this season she seems drunk every week? She loves everyone this season and seems to find an excuse to physically grab Simon Cowell every week. Considering her recent charge of leaving the scene of an accident after she clipped another car on the freeway, how ironic is it that her big 1988 hit song, Straight Up, included the line “caught in a hit and run”?

That was it. And I’m still proud of it. Especially that last line.

That’s how I introduced myself to the blogging world and I was rewarded with ZERO comments or likes. Also, I’d like to give a shout out to my longtime blogging friend Jennifer of Not Quite Perfect  ,and several other blogs, who has been blogging longer than me and is still at it. Visit her site and give her a like or comment.

I do have a couple blog posts planned, so like Spring, maybe my writing drive is being reborn.  Lastly, I want to say a sincere thank you to each and everyone of you that has visited, liked and commented on my blog for the last 18 years. You have made my life immeasurably better. Have a great weekend!


The Original Artificial Intelligence: Magic 8 Ball

After a few artificial intelligent chat bots had some disturbing conversations with members of the media, people the world over are freaked out by the possibilities of A.I.  They’re asking things like “Will robots and computers take over the world?” or “Could an A.I. entity start a war?”  “Is artificial intelligence going to put us all out of our jobs?”

When I was a kid growing up, there was no Google, so we asked the Magic 8 Ball. So, why not bring the Magic 8 Ball back to solve all of our problems. And no, I don’t mean Magic 8 Ball, the epic British band that Americans have never heard of. If you want to see them, they’re playing in Portland, Maine in June.

In addition to the real Magic 8 Ball, there are also several Magic 8 Ball apps you can download to help you solve all your problems. I’ve got one and we’re going to ask it all the most pertinent questions that todays world leaders are dealing with.

1. Will there be another big banking crisis: Yes definitely was the reply, so cash out your retirement account and store that money under your mattress.

2. Is TikTok stealing all our personal data? Signs point to yes, so get off TikTok and get back on IG and Facebook with your parents and grandparents.

3. Is Donald Trump going to be President again?: 

4. Should we fear robots and A.I.? My sources say no. Hey, if the original A.I., aka The Magic 8 Ball, isn’t afraid of  A.I. taking it’s job then I’m not worried either.

5. Should you keep scrolling and read more of ThePhilFactor? Signs point to yes. Who are you to argue? Keep reading!

6. Are ghosts and extraterrestrials real? It is decidely so. Well if the original A.I. say yes, then head for Area 51 and and plan for a kick ass afterlife party!

It looks to be unanimous. The Magic 8 Ball is wise and still in control of our universe. If you had a Magic 8 Ball right now, what would you ask it? Click THIS LINK and come back and tell me what it told you!

Have a great Monday! ~Phil

Is Walled Lake, Michigan Cursed?

Four children were murdered in Oakland County, Michigan in 1976-1977. The small rural county was paralyzed with fear as a killer preyed upon their children. Folklore has it that in the 1970’s The Walled Lake Killer would kidnap children from the Walled Lake Amusement park pictured above.


He or she then allegedly took the children to the tree at night, where he murdered them, tossed their shoes up in the tree, and buried them in a nearby field. The tale is purportedly an urban legend, but the fact remains that there was a shoe tree and the four deaths have never been solved. The killer was never captured. Perhaps he or she moved on to another town.

The previous two paragraphs above were written by me in November of 2013 as I teased the upcoming release of my fictional book The Sneaker Tree.

If you like Stranger Things, you’ll love this weekend beach read book.

The book isn’t about the deaths in Michigan, but the history of Walled Lake, Michigan had some eerie similarities with the plot of my book.

Walled Lake looks like a beautiful place doesn’t it?

Walled Lake was founded in 1825. The sleepy, little town is a western suburb of  big city Detroit. In 2010 it’s census revealed less than 7,000 residents and the crime rates are relatively low.

This past September another tragedy rocked this lake town. A Walled Lake man shot his wife, daughter and dog before being shot to death by police. His daughter was the only survivor. Since that day I’ve noticed a fair amount of traffic coming to The Phil Factor to read my 2013 post about sneaker trees and The Walled Lake Killer. That got me to wondering if other people were thinking the same thing as me?

With these two horrific tragedies having occurred in the same small town, I started to wonder if it’s possible that Walled Lake Michigan is cursed just like Hawkins, Indiana in Netflix’s Stranger Things?  What do you think? Can a place be cursed or forever haunted?

Have a great Fri-Yay! ~Phil


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होली होली टू यूज or Happy Holi To You

I’d like to wish a sincere Happy Holi to my Hindu and Hindi friends out there! Thank you for all your views of my blog over the past several years!

Today the Hindu holiday of Holi began. It is the annual Spring festival of colors. So, why am I wishing a Happy Holi or होली होली to readers of my blog? Because I have many Hindi speaking readers. Just to be clear though, not all Hindi speaking people are Hindu and not all Hindus speak Hindi, but the majority of each is also the other, got it? Hindi is a language and Hindu is a religion.

So what exactly is Holi? It’s a Hindu Spring festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil and light over the darkness. It is a time of  forgiveness and repairing relationships. Holi is not only a celebration of Spring, it is also a known as The Festival of Love, celebrating the eternal love of Radha-Krishna, the masculine and feminine realities of God. And it involves drinking a lot of Feni, a lot of fireworks, and everyone getting covered in colorful powder.

So why do so many Hindi speaking people read my blog? Because of three posts about हिंदी सेक्स over the last several years my blog has become a hotspot for the Hindi speaking crowd. I imagine that in India there are entire internet message boards dedicated to discussing फिल फैक्टर (Phil Factor). What posts are those? I’m glad you asked:

Real Sexting Conversations to Read In Hindi? 

Hindi Sexting is Back!

How Ron Burgundy Will Save Hindi Sex

The rest of this post will be in Hindi in deference to my many Hindi speaking readers and friends. होली मुबारक! फिल फैक्टर दुनिया का सबसे अच्छा ब्लॉग है! मेरी किताबें खरीदें और आप अपने सपनों के साथ मिलेंगे!

Have a great Wednesday! ~फिल


copyright ThePhilFactor 2023