Paranormal Road Trip: Day 3 Events—Magic, Haunted Honky Tonk & 2 Public Events!

Rebecca, Richard, and Jon survived day 2, thanks in no small part to Richard’s sophisticated visual deception techniques. (That’s not a Beatle. It’s Richard Wiseman! I know, right?!) You can check out some more photos from the trip here, or catch them all by following them on Twitter (@CSIRoadTrip, @RichardWiseman, @RebeccaWatson, @JonRonson). Find out what’s in store for them on day 3 after the jump.

Even Richard may meet his match in the art of deception today in Loveland, OH, at Ken Klosterman’s Salon de Magie, an enormous private collection of magic paraphernalia, including thousands of props and other apparatus used by history’s most famous magicians. Then the traveling skeptics are off to Wilder, KY, to investigate Bobby Mackey’s Haunted Honky Tonk, before settling in for two public events in Cincinnati.


Meet Jon, Richard, and Rebecca Tonight in Cincinnati!

Book signing: The first public event this evening is a presentation, Q&A, and book signing, where you can get a signed copy of Jon’s recent The Psychopath Test, or his bestsellers THEM: Adventures with Extremists or The Men Who Stare at Goats. Richard will be signing his latest, Rip It Up, but now is also your chance to get a signed copy of any of his other bestselling titles (Paranormality, 59 Seconds, Quirkology, etc.).

Where: Joseph-Beth Booksellers (in the Rookwood Pavilion), 2692 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH (map)

When: 8 pm

Observatory event: After the book signing, Richard, Jon, and Rebecca will head up the road to the Cincinnati Observatory to share their road trip stories under the stars as well as hear a few ghost stories from the history of the observatory itself at an event organized by Colin Thornton and Travis Dick of the Skeptical Society of Cincinnati.

Where: Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Place (up the road from Joseph-Beth), Cincinnati, OH (map)

When: 9:30 pm

Cost: $5

More info here!


DAY 3, STOP 1: Salon de Magie, Loveland, OH

Rebecca, Jon, and Richard are going underground, to explore the contents of Ken Klosterman’s Salon de Magie, an astoundingly comprehensive private museum of magic-related books, posters, and apparatus housed in a mineshaft 83 feet beneath Klosterman’s home—complete with hidden doors and secret passages.

The place is a magician’s (and a skeptic’s) paradise, including the most important books ever written about magic, dating as far back as the sixteenth century. Klosterman’s posters visually document the history of magical acts, such as those of Adelaide Hermann, one of the first women magicians in the U.S.

And of course, the place is filled with original pieces once used by the world’s most famous magicians (as well as the obscure), from Harry Kellar’s levitation wires and Houdini’s lock-pick box to the light and heavy chest of mid-nineteenth-century magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, one of the first magic tricks to use electromagnetism.

Klosterman has thousands upon thousands of tricks at his disposal, and a history of welcoming magicians as his guests. So aside from hearing more about the museum’s incredible contents, I think I’m most curious about what tricks he’ll demonstrate and whether he’ll be able to stump the magic-savvy skeptics.


DAY 3, STOP 2: Bobby Mackey’s Haunted
Honky Tonk, Wilder, KY

The story behind Bobby Mackey’s Haunted Honky Tonk is as packed with paranormal varieties as the site is with ads capitalizing them. Poltergeists, Satanists, demonic possession, Hell’s Gate in the basement; ghosts of all varieties, including a few “attractive” formerly pregnant women, one of them who had “luxurious blond hair” in life but in death is headless—murdered by her Satanist boyfriend after a botched abortion. Let this be a lesson, ladies (pretty ones, anyway, ‘cause ugly chicks don’t get laid, amiright?). Loose women who try to abort their babies will suffer the worst fate ever:

Being stuck haunting a country bar for eternity. <shudder>

With the site having a long history of violence and so much paranormal activity, you’d think there’d be a ton of evidence. I don’t know what Jon, Richard, and Rebecca are going to dig up in person, but here’s just a small sampling of proof from the website:


    • Sworn affidavits—29 of them. Booyah. In. Your. Face, skeptics.
    • EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) of the many bad actors who apparently died there.
    • Expert opinions from people like Echo Bodine, psychic, spiritual healer, and ghost counsellor (Bobby Mackey’s must have some comprehensive health insurance) and Dr. Peter D. Moscow. After all, if you can’t trust a doctor (of hypnotherapy) and the president of the U.S. Psychotronics Association, then you should really consider the new synergistic quantum mechanics paradigm so clearly described on the association’s website. Who better to judge a haunted honky tonk than a man so well versed in quantum mechanical bull? (I know, I know. Too easy.)

Bobby Mackey’s clearly represents the biggest challenge yet to the Paranormal Road Trip crew. If they find evidence of paranormal activity, their futures in the skeptic community may take a dramatic turn. And if they don’t, well, how do we know they aren’t just possessed?

After this leg of the trip, they will head back to Ohio for the book signing followed by the Cincinnati Observatory event. Tomorrow’s itinerary takes them back into Kentucky to check out  the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum in Petersburg, which will no doubt drive them to drink at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, which is rumored to have amazing bourbon. And ghosts. And also bourbon. They’ll wrap up the day with another public event, at Patrick O’Shea’s in Louisville (More details about that event here.)

Image credits: Chris Garrison

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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    1. Those were probably ghosts, not clouds, all pissed off at the skeptics. :-P

      Glad it went well otherwise! Having the meetup at the observatory was a great idea.

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