When profane people hear about paranormal phenomena, they tend to imagine great wonders, such as teleporting a cow to the moon, or going to bed one night without even knowing how to spell the word “zoo” and get up in the morning speaking seven languages with their dialects. However, such phenomena are as paranormal as the simple half-inch displacement of a pen left on the table … unless, of course, you live next to an elevated railroad.
Since I’ve just mentioned the “els”, I remember a famous paranormal case that happened in New York at the beginning of the 20th century. The “Third Avenue El” that was designed to run, without leaving Manhattan, from South Ferry to 129th Street, ended sometimes in Flashing Meadows, on the other side of the East River, without anyone having clarified the phenomenon to this day. The rails were checked inch by inch and they were found to have the proper orientation. The reason why the train ended sometimes in Flushing Meadows remains a mystery that paranormal investigators do not hesitate to attribute to occult powers. The famous theosophist Alice Bailey lived near Flushing Meadows and it is known that following her visits to the Theosophical Society headquarters located in Manhattan, she used to take the “Third Avenue El”, which could shed some light on the enigma. Obviously this paranormal phenomenon caused a lot of uncertainty in the travelers, who could never be sure where they would end up. Something similar happened to George Cardiff, a Brooklyn merchant who many afternoons took the car to go to Manhattan but ended up in Rhode Island. Although this case is not so strange if you take into account that the car did not move on rails, as well as the circumstance that the man had a mistress living in Rhode Island.
The paranormal was so in vogue at the time that often the excuses that husbands gave their wives to explain certain inappropriate behaviors had to do with phenomena of this type. It is known the anecdote by the famous radio speaker Harold Quan who, having been caught by his wife in bed with another woman, he denied any responsibility in the matter, claiming that he didn’t know her at all and that she had simply appeared suddenly in his bed without him having part in it. In those Prohibition years, the paranormal also became a overused excuse during police raids to explain the presence of alcoholic beverages in lemonade glasses.