1000th Post: Thank You!

The Occult Section - 1000th PostI don’t typically like self-congratulatory stuff. Especially when it comes to silly things, like my little paranormal blog. But I couldn’t help but notice that this is our 1000th post on here, and that felt pretty cool to me. The blog has been a passion project of mine for years now. It started as a column (unsurprisingly called “The Occult Section”) on my original but now-defunct website TheUnexplained.net. That was then repurposed as a blog for our paranormal group. That blog then became its own separate entity back in 2010, which is where we are today. What started as a goofy blog poking fun at paranormal stories and tropes has morphed into a…goofy blog poking fun at paranormal stories and tropes that has gotten way more hits and attention than we expected, or perhaps deserve. But I didn’t do this alone…

Thank You!

First and foremost, I have to thank my wonderful, lovely, and talented wife, Laura. She was a frequent contributor to the site when we first started, and she really helped set the tone for the blog. Luckily we share a very similar sense of humor, though her proofreading is far superior. Plus, she indulges my ridiculousness when I need to spend money on the site for hosting, security, and general fixes. Of which there have been many, recently. More on that later.

Secondly, I want to thank my paranormal teammates: Jimmy Bricks, Collette Povich, Michelle Mason (also an early and frequent contributor), and Stacey Conway. They have always been more than teammates, and have become very close friends, and none of this – the blog our our group, the New York Paranormal Society – could be possible. We’ve been through many adventures – cold, drafty houses. Dark, spooky woods. Long road trips to the middle of nowhere, and short road trips right around our own neighborhood. Ridiculous “in-jokes.” Too many memories to count, and all of them great. I will be forever grateful for them.

More Thanks!

In the early days of this site, I was a bit lost, and turned to some other bloggers for assistance and advice. It was a long shot. I didn’t think I’d come across anyone who’d want to help me. Especially because I was afraid my blog would be seen as competition. But then I met Courtney Mroch of Haunt Jaunts and Dinell Holmes, formerly of The Weekly Specter. Court was extremely helpful, and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. She gave me tons of advice and guidance, and always made time for me. Over the years we’ve become friends, and have even collaborated on some projects. We’ve even written for each others’ sites. Dinell was also super supportive and extremely helpful, and is an absolute firecracker of a friend. We make each other laugh a lot on Facebook these days. Thank you, ladies!

We have also had other contributors to the site over the years, and I need to thank them as well. They have helped bring some different perspectives to the blog. A much needed change of pace, their pieces always made me strive to be a bit better, and to see the paranormal world through different lenses. So thank you to Gwendoline Kiste, Alexa Ducksworth, Corey Bartlett, Jessi Riese, Jannika Coons, Gabi Sifre, Jade Friedensohn, Katie Carman, Lydia Mondy, Mandy Collins, and Sara Harvey. You’ve all made this space a lot better!

Lastly, I have to thank you. Everyone who reads my site often and regularly. My mother-in-law. Cheryl, Josh, Scott, Paula. Everyone else, even if I’m not mentioning you by name, I see you. And I appreciate you. All of you frequent, regular readers are what keeps this site going. So thank you!

Recent Troubles

I mentioned earlier some recent troubles the site has had, and that is a huge understatement. Back in May, Google changed their algorithms, and my site dropped a lot in the rankings. We lost about half of our hits. Ok, fine. I educated myself and then had to adjust a few things on the site in order to climb back up. But in January of 2021, disaster struck. One of my plugins, All In One SEO, changed my robots.txt file, and prevented Google from crawling the site. More loss of ranking and hits. Ugh.

Then while trying to fix that issue, the solution I used essentially “no indexed” my site, essentially removing all of my pages from the Google search engine. In layman’s terms, essentially my site could not be found by Google, even if you were specifically looking for my site. Pages that ranked high, with hundreds of hits per day, were now invisible to Google. And to anyone searching for any subject we covered. Just not on Google. Anywhere.

Which brings me back to my wife being so indulgent. She has let me spend countless hours in my office trying to rebuild the site. Allowed me to spend money on GoDaddy consultants to fix backend things that were way out of my range of expertise. And she has listened to me ramble on about the fascinating subject of search engine optimization ad nauseum. But most of the issues are fixed, and we are slowly but steadily climbing the rankings again. After 10 years and 1,000 posts, it’s been quite a rollercoaster.

Going Through Changes

The site has changed and grown over the past few years. Whereas we originally just sort of commented on paranormal news stories or had the random Bigfoot book review, we’ve grown to cover much more ground. Movie reviews have become a staple (can you say Small Town Monsters?). I’ve begun documenting some personal experiences. Mostly my trips to the Adirondacks to look for Bigfoot and hunt ghosts, or look for the occasional UFO. Lots more original content, and far less of the snarky commentary.

But in the end, we still have our skeptical yet humorous view of the paranormal. Bigfoot, UFOs, ghosts and ghost hunting. Cryptozoology. Anything paranormal, supernatural, or unexplained. We live and breathe it, and we know when we have to just laugh at ourselves and the paranormal community at large. But also when to give respect to those that actually help the field as a whole.

Funny PhotoShopped Pics

Full disclosure time. Most of my efforts on this site are directed at PhotoShopping funny photos for the blog posts, so what better way to end our 1000th post than with some comedy? Most of these, at the very least, made me laugh at my own humor. Maybe you’ll find them funny too. Enjoy!

 

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Kermit the Frog & the Loveland Frogman. Can you tell which is which?

 

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