Why We Love The Traveling Museum!
We here at Sticks and Stones Magic absolutely love the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult because it is our first experience with a museum whose curators, Greg and Dana Newkirk, are passionately dedicated to experiencing, learning about and sharing the haunted objects within.
While other museums lock their objects behind glass boxes, assume their purpose, and seek to keep their museum members at a distance with “Please do not touch” placards, the Traveling Museum is the only one of its kind that we have encountered whose purpose is interaction and education. Greg and Dana are on a supernatural quest to bring these objects to you, where you can learn, understand, touch, feel, and EXPERIENCE them up close and really, really personal!
They put a lot of thought and intention into what they bring to their events. There really is something for everyone, from cryptid enthusiasts to lovers of magic to paranormal seekers. Their unique method of blending magic with the paranormal is what has made us such huge fans. We attend every event we can that features this Dynamic Duo. We have experienced the Museum at seven different haunted locations, from one coast to another, and even sailed on a paranormal cruise with them through the Bermuda triangle. I have done paranormal investigations with them, side-by-side with their “unofficial mascot” Billy the Idol of Nightmares, and I am happy to say that they have become personal friends.
My First Time
My own experience with the Traveling Museum was at a Strange Escapes event (an event put together by Amy Bruni of Kindred Spirits and GhostHunters fame) at the Stanley Hotel. After hearing them speak, I was hooked. Their presentation that weekend was on the theory that Big Foot is a Ghost, which I can write another whole blog about, but it was their unique perspective on paranormal or haunted objects that hooked me. They were fascinating in their desire to learn about the items, and their story of being “accidental collectors” was truly engaging.
When I first looked in on the area that housed their collection during the event, I admit, I was sort of overwhelmed. While I am sensitive, and have many years under my belt as a paranormal investigator/seeker, their collection was so diverse and so interesting, I truly didn’t know where to start. On one side of the room, I recognized Greg, a very handsome and gregarious gentleman, mixing it up with the crowd, holding a scrying mirror while ensuring everyone had signed their waiver. And then I see Dana, a tall rather striking woman, holding the haunted doll known as Ruby on her hip, sort of swaying back and forth in a baby-soothing motion (as I found myself doing too, later in the evening while holding Ruby) while answering questions from the group, inviting others to hold the doll, and explaining more about the items on display. After spending more time with Dana, I recognized a soul-sister, a magic enchantress, who I would later look to for further insight in mixing the metaphysical and magic into my paranormal investigations.
New Additions, Experiences and Experiments
Since my first experience with the Museum, some really shocking and interesting additions have made their way into the Newkirk’s hands. Items such as the Fetid Face (a mask that arrived smelling of human feces, and had to be handled with gloves until cleaned and is considered a trance mask); Simon, the doll that was owned by a young boy and who caused mischief and a particularly disturbing incident with knives collected under a bed; the begging box containing a Tibetan monkey skull that is reported to have caused the family that owned it unease and distress when it demanded to be “fed”, and most recently the addition of an item known only as “Hatred” that is still being investigated. The video feed from their experience collecting “Hatred” is equal parts disturbing, unnerving and terrifying.
They have also just recently begun hosting private investigations at haunted locations – they are smaller, more intimate gatherings with a select group of people, hands-on experiments, and the assistance of their haunted objects to amp up the energy and the opportunity to experience paranormal activity firsthand. They have special guest investigators and restrict the number to a small manageable group, which makes the experience much more personal and fulfilling. Their upcoming event (featuring special guest John Tenney) was recently offered for presale to the museum members and it sold out in less than an hour, a full 6 months before the event!
Their live investigations now include new experimental investigation techniques such as the Estes experiment – completely blocking out your senses, and listening to a spirit box and white noise, and calling out what you are hearing. It is uncanny and amazing – the only two words I can think of to describe it. It is an experiment started by Karl Pfeiffer and Connor Randall at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, (which is how it got its name). I personally witnessed Karl and Connor use this technique at the Stanley Hotel a few years ago, and it was groundbreaking then, and has proven to be even more exciting today. Dana is exceptionally gifted at using this method, but I have recently been privileged to watch Greg try it, and he was very connected to spirit during the investigation!
The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult Membership funds help support projects aimed at expanding the museum’s ability to educate the public about the paranormal, stimulate research into the unexplained, and preserve artifacts that may be haunted, cursed or paranormally-significant such as:
- Large-scale 3D scanning initiative and searchable database
- Expansion of 24/7 artifact live stream to a multiple camera set up
- Physical expansion of the museum (and permanent space)
- Adding more exhibitions in more cities around the country
- Restoration and preservation of artifacts
- Museum website overhaul with artifact/evidence catalog
There are multiple levels of membership in the Museum: Some of the membership benefits are listed below (taken directly from their membership page).
Members of all levels get access to exclusive patron-only updates, which include video evidence, photos, and museum news, but different membership levels provide even cooler perks like:
- Twice-monthly live video chats and experiments with the artifacts
- Access to the museum evidence files (including artifacts that will never be on display)
- Signed pre-release copies of our upcoming books
- Regular shipments of museum merchandise as it’s released
- 3D-Printed miniatures of museum artifacts each month
- Our private Skype number, whether for advice or closer looks at artifacts
- The ability to join the museum’s advisory board
- Private events in a haunted location, with all the museum artifacts, just for you.
One of the coolest membership levels, though, is the Magic of the Month Club, where each month Dana will send you a unique, hand-made package tailored to that month’s specific theme. Whether for luck, love, prosperity, or protection, her favorite crystals, hand-crafted incense, and other magical goodies will arrive at your doorstep each month with instructions for their usage. Unveiled this month, Dana began doing live-streamed classes to teach us magic. It is such an enjoyable time, and we have learned so much! Her first class focused on the different types of magic and different beliefs, a meditation experience with homework for next time, how to cast a powerful circle for protection while doing magic, and much more. This is a totally kick-ass addition to the already awesome Magic of the Month level – a monthly class to help us learn more about ourselves, trust ourselves, enhance our intentions and bond with each other. While we have only had one class so far, we all look forward to the monthly boxes of goodies, and now our live monthly classes as well.