Just because the world made it through Dec. 21 without spinning off its axis or suffering something similarly nasty doesn’t mean our apocalyptic obsession is over. In fact, 2013 looks to continue the doomsday trend. On the entertainment front, we’ll get comedies like The World’s End from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) and Seth Rogen’s This Is the End, along with hardcore video games such as “The Last of Us” and “Wasteland 2.” Meanwhile, in the real world, some preppers fear a devastating solar storm they say will hit the Earth in May. Also in May is the cryptic “5/19/13 Expect Us” Operation Apocalypse event. With its origins on the random “/b/” boards of website 4chan, the goal of the movement is to spread the message in a variety of locations and stir up fear or speculation. The seemingly meaningless message might be a warning of a worldwide event -- or is just a giant prank.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which was the turning point in the Civil War. Fought July 1-3, 1863, the 3-day battle resulted in more than 50,000 casualties, making it the bloodiest conflict of the war. In recent years, Gettysburg, PA, has become as much of a mecca for paranormal enthusiasts as for history buffs. Ghost hunts and tours at Civil War landmarks such as the Jennie Wade house or Gen. Lee’s headquarters are major attractions, and gift shops cater to the paranormal tourist. With a year full of anniversary events, 2013 is a great time to march on Gettysburg.
Zombies Shamble On
The zombie trend isn’t dead yet! In fact, in 2013, reanimated corpses are shambling along in even more force. The beginning of February sees the release of Warm Bodies, the zombie answer to The Twilight Saga, but with more comedy. The Walking Dead also returns in February for the second half of season 3. The mega-budget movie World War Z (based on the book by Paranormal Paparazzi guest Max Brooks) starring Brad Pitt puts perhaps the most zombies ever on the big screen in June. The Run For Your Lives zombie 5k obstacle course continues throughout the year with nationwide infections (aka race locations). But the coolest new zombie entry in 2013 is the Zombie Scholars Academy, an educational summer camp through Truman State University in Missouri, which utilizes the Zombocalypse to teach high school students about disaster preparedness, orienteering, first aid, neurobiology and literature.
An Unlucky Year?
It is a bad year to suffer from Triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number 13. The unlucky number associated with, among other things, Judas being the 13th guest at the Last Supper -- and Norse god Loki’s 13th spot at the Valhalla banquet -- has led to some buildings skipping the 13th floor and airports not having Gate 13. And if 2013 is a bad luck year, then Sept. 13 and Dec. 13 -- both Friday the 13ths -- might be particularly ugly. Some superstitions say this isn’t a good time to get married, but it’s a great time for visiting Rhode Island, the 13th state to join the Union. You might also want to head to Blairstown, NJ, the filming location for the 1980 flick Friday the 13th, where you can dine at the Blairstown Diner seen in the movie.
Paranormal Pop AnniversariesParanormal pop culture fans will have much to celebrate in 2013 with several milestones. Anniversaries within the entertainment of the unexplained include: King Kong, 80th anniversary, March 2; I Walked With a Zombie, 70th anniversary, March 17; The Birds, 50th anniversary, March 28; The Exorcist, 40th anniversary, Dec. 26; The Evil Dead, 30th anniversary, April 24; Beetlejuice, 25th anniversary, March 30; Scrooged, 25th anniversary, Nov. 23; Groundhog Day, 20th anniversary, Feb. 12; Army of Darkness, 20th anniversary, Feb. 19; The X-Files, 20th anniversary, Sept. 10; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 10th anniversary, July 9. So grab a bucket of popcorn and settle in for several spooky paranormal marathons this year.
Big Year for Bigfoot
Although this is the Year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar, cryptid fans are hoping 2013 is the Year of the Bigfoot. In addition to awaiting the peer review results from Texas veterinarian Melba Ketchum’s “Bigfoot DNA” samples, paranormal author (and “Paranormal Paparazzi” guest) Lee Speigel reports that the popular Facebook group, FindBigfoot (FBFB), has dubbed this the hairy dude’s year due to a noted spike -- in quantity and quality -- of submitted Bigfoot videos and images. Additionally, Idaho State University anthropologist Jeff Meldrum hopes to raise enough funds through his Kickstarter campaign to launch “The Falcon Project” this year. The unmanned airship with high definition thermal imaging camera, basically a sasquatch-seeking drone craft, will scan the landscape night and day from 3,000 feet in the air to discover definitive proof of the hominid.
While not strictly a paranormal event, Comic-Con is an unexplainably fun celebration of the supernatural, super heroes, horror and sci-fi. Held July 18-21, the convention attracts more than 150,000 attendees (many decked out in costumes) who show up to meet icons from comics, movies and TV shows, as well as get sneak peeks at upcoming releases and join in fan gatherings and panels. In its 44th year, the event should be a bucket list item for anyone, but if you’re here for paranormal purposes, check out the convention’s Zombie Walk or visit The Haunted Hotel scare attraction, which opens especially for Comic-Con. And don’t forget to say hi to the Ghost Adventures crew of Zak, Nick and Aaron while here.
The Ed and Lorraine Warren movie
Whether they love or loathe them, any good paranormal researcher knows the work of investigators/demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Most famous for their involvement with cases like “The Amityville Horror” house, the Smurl haunting, the Snedeker “Haunting in Connecticut” and the Demon Murder Trial, the Warrens will be portrayed in The Conjuring, a new movie opening July 19. Directed by James Wan (Insidious, Saw), the ’70s-set film occurs before the couple became famous for Amityville, and focuses on the “true story” of the Perron family of Rhode Island. Ed and Lorraine are played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who actually visited the Warren home to examine their haunted objects collection. Opening at the height of summer blockbusters, there are a lot of expectations placed on the movie, and other paranormal investigators are sure to have much to say about it.
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