Saturday, February 08, 2014

Guest Post by Justin Gutainis

Ley, Lady, Ley

By Justin Gustainis

Detective Sergeant Stan Markowski of the Scranton Police Department’s Occult Crimes Unit, lives in a world like ours, but … different. In this “alternate” universe, virtually all the supernatural creatures of myth and legend really exist. Fearing persecution (sometimes with good reason) these beings kept a low profile for most of human history. But that changed after World War Two, when the creatures of the night began to crawl out of the coffin, er, closet.

Although supernatural entities are to be found everywhere in Stan’s world,

many people have noticed that the area in and around Scranton is home to many more “supes” per capita than a lot of other places. This remained a mystery, until 1966.

That was the year that a couple of scientists at the University of Scranton

published a paper, “Ley Line Intersection in Northeast Pennsylvania: Myth or Magnet?” in the Journal of the American Magical Association. The scientists, Richard Passon and Edward Warner, argued that scores of ley lines intersect in and around Scranton.

The concept of ley lines is derived in part from the Chinese notion of feng shui, which holds that there are invisible forces that bind humans, spirits, and land together. Ley lines, some say, trace the movement of supernatural creatures across the earth tens of thousands of years ago – when it was easier for such individuals to move about undetected. Others maintain that the lines represent the cosmic flow of energy across the planet.

According to Passon and Warner, there are four points in and around Scranton

where at least ten different ley lines come together. More recent research argues that there may be as many as twenty such intersections within a fifty-mile radius of the city. There are those who claim that the extensive coal mining that once was the area’s mainstay had something to do with directing the flow of cosmic energy.

As Stan puts it, “The intersecting ley lines are like a magnet for supes, which explains why we’ve got so many. They were drawn here over the years, even if they didn’t realize why. Weres, vamps, ghouls, witches, trolls – you name it. We’ve got ‘em all in Scranton. Lucky us.”

So, by all means, come to visit Haunted Scranton and see what all of those intersecting lay lines have wrought in this beautiful city. But you might want to bring a few religious icons (any faith will do), some garlic, and a few sprigs of wolfsbane with you – just in case any of the locals you encounter might be … hungry.


Justin Gustainis was born in Northeast Pennsylvania in 1951. He attended college at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university that figures prominently in several of his writings.

After earning both Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the U. S. Army. Following military service, he held a variety of jobs, including speechwriter and professional bodyguard, before earning a Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He was married to Patricia A. Grogan of Toledo, Ohio, from 1977 until her death in 2007. He misses her a lot.

Mr. Gustainis currently lives in Plattsburgh, New York. He is a Professor of Communication at Plattsburgh State University, where he earned the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002.

*Photo via author's Goodreads and Biography via author's website

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