July.August 2012 Paranormal Underground
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Paranormal Volume 5, Issue 4 Underground ® July/August 2012 Extreme Welcome to Ghost Hunting Terror at Grass Lake A Text Message From HEAVEN 8 Spookiest Roads You’ll Ever Travel INSIDE: • The Paranormal Nights of Sunny San Diego: Part 3 • Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel 2012 Paranormal Underground • Author Spotlight: JL Oiler — DeadJuly/August Force Rising 1 2 Paranormal Underground July/August 2012 Inside This Issue ISSUE SNAPSHOT FEATURES INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Welcome to Extreme Ghost Hunting 8 CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites 8 Spookiest Roads You’ll Ever Travel 14 Are We Alone? Terror at Grass Lake 16 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Ghost Hunter Case Files: The Paranormal Nights of Sunny San Diego: Part 3 Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel A Text Message From Heaven 18 24 26 AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT JL Oiler: Dead Force Rising 32 DEPARTMENTS Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial Snark Away, Haters 34 July/August 2012 Contributors 4 Ghost Hunter Comic 5 Publisher’s Letter 6 Paranormal Underground 3 Contributors Karen Frazier Karen is a paranormal investigator with South Sound Paranormal Research in Washington State and a frequent contributor to Paranormal Underground. She is also the cohost of Paranormal Underground Radio on www.ZtalkRadio.com and the author of Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington. Terri J. Garofalo Terri is a paranormal investigator, as well as the artist and writer behind Entities-RUs, Ghost Hunter Comic. She’s a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer in Hyde Park, New York. You can find her work on www.entities-r-us.com, or contact Terri at email@example.com. Rick E. Hale A Chicago native, Rick has been researching all aspects of the paranormal since the age of eight. A featured writer for Paranormal Underground magazine, Rick also hosts of Paranormal Underground Radio on www. ZTalkRadio.com. He is also the founder of Foundations Psychical Research. Rick is also the author of the soon-to-be-released Geek’s 4 Paranormal Underground Guide to the Paranormal: Ghosts, Poltergeists and Demons. As an investigator, Rick considers himself to be a Modern Traditionalist, meaning he believes in melding the new and old schools of psychical research. SPIRITS team conduct numerous client investigations, including an investigation for the U.S. Navy in 2010. Jack has been a technician and project leader for the Department of the Army for the past 26 years. J.D. Harrison Cheryl Knight J.D. is Paranormal Underground’s science editor. He is a working archaeologist with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and archeology and a minor in history. For the past 30 years, he has studied demonology, spirit manifestation, Cabalistic ritualism, and many other aspects of the paranormal. He has focused his studies on topics like Paganism, Wicca, Druidic, and Celtic practices, and other obscure religious ritualistic beliefs and practices. J.D. is neither a skeptic nor a believer in the paranormal, but instead believes that scientific observation is best served from a place of neither skepticism nor belief. Cheryl is editor-in-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine, director of Publications & Editing Services for Ghost Knight Media, and producer of Paranormal Underground Radio. She has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and has published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from advanced technology to paranormal investigation. Cheryl’s previous magazine experience includes roles as senior and managing editor for several business publications. John “Jack” Kenna Jack is a technical specialist and assistant case manager for the paranormal team SPIRITS of New England in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He has had a strong interest in the paranormal since he was a child and has helped his July/August 2012 Michelle Pillow Michelle is an award-winning author writing in many romance fiction genres, including futuristic and paranormal. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything paranormal. Michelle has a photography degree and is the co-owner of www.TheRavenBooks.com. You can contact Michelle at www. michellepillow.com. Ghost Hunter Comic Rob St.Helen Rob has been a paranormal investigator for more than five years. He had his first paranormal experience at the age of 11. Rob is a member of West Coast Ghost Hunters, based out of Portland, Oregon, where he was born and raised. He currently works the graveyard shift at The Heathman Hotel. He has come to find that the hotel is haunted. Josie Varga Discovering her passion for writing as a little girl growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Josie went on to earn a degree in journalism and worked her way up to director of communications and editor for an international trade association where she met and interviewed celebrities, authors, speakers, sport personalities and others. Josie later became a successful communications consultant while authoring her first book, Footprints in the Sand: A Disabled Womanâ€™s Inspiring Journey to Happiness, which was published in 2004. Since then, she has become a motivational speaker encouraging audiences to strive to overcome and sharing the importance of having a positive mental attitude in life. July/August 2012 Chad Wilson A writer of articles and fiction, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine and a partner for Ghost Knight Media. His interest in the paranormal led to the creation of www.ParanormalUnderground.net. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, and private residences among his investigations. Are you interested in contributing to Paranormal Underground magazine? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. Paranormal Underground 5 Publisher’s Letter Paranormal Underground® Volume 5, Issue 4 July/August 2012 www.ParanormalUnderground.net Blurring the Lines EDITORIAL By Chad Wilson, Publisher Publisher Chad Wilson Publisher@paranormalunderground.net Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight Editor@paranormalunderground.net Science Editor J.D. Harrison Contributors Karen Frazier Terri J. Garofalo Vanessa Grassu Rick E. Hale J.D. Harrison John “Jack” Kenna Cheryl Knight Michelle M. Pillow Rob St.Helen Josie Varga Chad Wilson Send comments and letters to: email@example.com Copyright © 2008-2012 — Paranormal Underground® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. As such, Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of its owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. Paranormal Underground magazine is a publication of Ghost Knight Media, LLC. 6 Paranormal Underground A question was recently brought to my attention recently in regards to paranormal reality shows. Is it okay to fake evidence if it is done in the name of entertainment? First off, I have to ask, is it ever okay to fake evidence? Personally, I say no. Faking evidence in the name of TV entertainment just muddies the waters. Why? Even if a paranormal TV show airs a disclaimer that its content is for “entertainment purposes only,” why does that justify faking, editing, or altering evidence? In my opinion, it just perpetuates the notion that the paranormal industry will “do anything” for entertainment or even acceptance. I think what viewers need to keep in mind is that TV shows, even paranormal reality shows, must get ratings to stay on the air. Also, the editing of the shows are often times put in the hands of producers and not the paranormal groups featured on the show itself. Why do some individuals say that it is OK to fake evidence in the name of entertainment? Some say it makes the shows more compelling and keeps viewers from getting too bored with the reality of investigations. And for those who have never had the opportunity to go on a real paranormal investigation, there is a lot of tasks that need to be done that aren’t fun or exciting. First, investigators must July/August 2012 Chad Wilson, Publisher become accustomed to their surroundings and then set up their equipment. Next, there is a lot of standing or sitting around, asking questions to empty air and hoping for a response that can’t be heard until reviewing audio tape at a later time. There is the occasional exciting moment when temperature and EMF spikes make investigators think a spirit might be present. In reality, we know nothing of why all these things happen, not even EVPs, but I will save that discussion for another time. The reality of most paranormal investigations is that they are boring most of the time. That is why some of these paranormal reality shows take creative license with investigation methods and results. What is more compelling, an hour sitting around with little to no interaction with the spirits that supposedly haunt these location or capturing EVPs and anomalous video and pictures at every turn? To me, the blurring of the lines comes when shows that do not put up disclaimers are thought of as representing “real” investigations. I can’t remember the number of times I have rolled my eyes when on an outdoor investigation a team has picked up a scream in the distance. First off, the amount of contamination that can be expected in such an investigation would lead me to treat things like that as speculative at best. Yes, I do think EVPs are compelling in their own right, but the amount of uncontrollable variables present make for a very speculative case. Animals make noise, especially at night, when most investigations take place. The drive to create evidence on such shows to gain higher ratings is what hurts the industry, because like it or not, such shows are lumped together with the paranormal field as a whole. While I initially feel the show Ghost Hunters, and a few others like it, brought light to an obscure field, I now feel that many of the paranormal shows now on air hurt the paranormal field as a whole. And there have been plenty of accusations of these shows faking evidence. So what is a viewer to think? If a show on TV they believe represents the paranormal industry could fake evidence or mislead the audience with creative editing, then could the same be true of a real paranormal investigator? Many times I’ve heard or read about TV viewers grouping TV investigators in with those of us who do so behind the scenes. And, here again, the lines are blurred. But is there anything we can do as a collective field of investigation to change this perception? What we can do as a paranormal community is learn to police our own. Again this is my own personal opinion, but I feel we have a duty as a community to shout out an emphatic “NO” to the faking of evidence, in any form. Not because I am against paranormal reality shows being entertaining, but when such shows fake evidence, even if for entertainment purposes, that discredits the paranormal community as a whole. It makes everyone’s job harder, having to assure clients that we are legitimate and don’t generally operate as TV investigators normally do. Faking evidence in any form, either on TV or off, makes it hard to prove that any evidence found on an investigation is “real” and possible evidence of an afterlife or other anomaly. The paranormal investigative community needs to speak out against fakery of any kind. We must strive to maintain ethical behavior, or we will continue to operate on the fringe of science and any compelling paranormal evidence uncovered will be relegated to the “unreliable” file. We must distinguish ourselves from fakery or trickery, or our field of investigation will never move forward. July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground® Volume 5, Issue 4 July/August 2012 www.ParanormalUnderground.net ART Art Director Chad Wilson Design and Layout Cheryl Knight ADVERTISING Cheryl Knight firstname.lastname@example.org Call 1-714-646-4197 Interested in advertising in Paranormal Underground magazine, on our Website, or during our Radio Show/Podcast? Call 1-714-646-4197 or e-mail: email@example.com SOCIAL MEDIA Twitter http://twitter.com/ParanormalUG Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Paranormal-Underground/39284418860 Tumblr www.paranormalunderground.tumblr.com MySpace www.myspace.com/paranormalunderground YouTube www.youtube.com/user/ParanormalUG Paranormal Underground Forum www.paranormalunderground.net/forum Paranormal Underground 7 Investigator Spotlight Welcome to Extreme Ghost Hunting By Cheryl Knight D o you ever question if the afterlife or ghosts are real? Are you up for the challenge to find out for yourself? If the answer to these questions is yes, and you find yourself in the UK, you’ll definitely want to check out the Extreme Ghost Hunting events offered by paranormal investigators Paul Green and Stephen Lambert. With bases in North Tyneside and North Northumberland, Paul and Stephen host paranormal investigation events in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Cumbria, County Durham, Scottish Borders, and throughout the United Kingdom. Nicknamed the Psychic Biker, Paul was once an ardent skeptic. A hard-core, no-nonsense biker, he is also an empathetic, psychic medium. While opinionated and brutally honest, Paul describes himself as “attitude with empathy.” Known as the Extreme Ghost Hunter, Stephen has vast experience investigating the paranormal, having spent countless dark hours at haunted locations while on paranormal vigils. He has also led teams of other paranormal investigators all over the British Isles. A talented historian, Stephen combines the results of his investigations with valuable academic research. The duo released a book in July 2011, called The Psychic Biker meets 8 Paranormal Underground Paul Green (at left) and Stephen Lambert (at right) offer paranormal investigation events in the UK to those paranormal enthusiasts who want to come face to face with paranormal phenomena. The Extreme Ghost Hunter. The book takes a candid look at the world of ghost hunting and the paranormal, revealing Green and Lambert’s thoughts on ghosts and hauntings. Paul and Stephen recently talked with Paranormal Underground magazine about their own paranormal experiences, investigations in the field, and their methodologies. ***** July/August 2012 Q: Paul, you used to be a skeptic when it came to the paranormal. Talk about your transition from skeptic to realizing there is an afterlife. Paul: It was a slow one. There was no massive one moment that changed my mind, sadly that is what most skeptics look for. With me it was a case of lots of small events that I could not explain logically. Some that I have even approached a friend about who has over 30 years’ experience as an electronic engineer looking for explanations. I will, however, always be a skeptical medium, always looking for a logical reason before I consider a paranormal one. Q: Paul, as a psychic, do you find people are accepting of your abilities, or do they give you a hard time? Paul: It varies, but I do enjoy the skeptical ones. On a recent ghost hunt, a couple arrived and the man had obviously been dragged along by his partner. After a table-tipping session that was spectacular, he was sitting in the base room on a break just shaking his head muttering, “I don’t believe that happened; its not possible.” He later admitted at times he tried to stop the table tipping by putting pressure on it via his fingers, but couldn’t. He was a big bloke, and the person on the other side of the table was a petite woman weighing around 8 stone. Watching people like that leave with their face still showing they were struggling to comprehend what happened is an aspect I enjoy greatly. Q: Stephen, you’ve spent countless dark hours at haunted locations working alone and doing paranormal vigils. How did prepare to do these vigils alone? Stephen: I prepare weeks or months in advance with research into the location, the history, and ghost stories. Then I normally have a visit to the location prior to my stay. I feel knowledge is power, and this at least helps me have some calm when in precarious situations on solo vigils. I have to be honest, though, and say I am never 100% calm on solo vigils. Nicknamed the Psychic Biker, Paul Green was once an ardent skeptic. Q: Stephen, when you see someone doing a vigil alone on a paranormal TV show, does it seem realistic compared to your solo investigations? Stephen: Lone vigils on TV were always my favorite parts of these TV shows. I like the idea of being at one with the elements. I think this opens your senses fully. They all appear realistic, but without actually being part of them it is hard to comment. Q: Paul and Stephen, how did you both earn your nicknames, The Psychic Biker and Extreme Ghost Hunter? Paul: With me I was given it by a woman in a bar. As with so much of my life, it came about while in a pub July/August 2012 with my bike club mates. A stranger must have been listening to our conversation, and when I went to the bar she asked if I was really a psychic medium. This is a question I am used to being asked, as I am 6 feet tall, heavily tattooed, have a shaven head, and I am told that even in a good mood I have a face that looks like a bulldog chewing a wasp. So she got the usual spiel I give to people who ask that question. As the lady was leaving, she made her goodbyes, including to me, and came out with the phrase “The Psychic Biker.” The name stuck, and I decided to use it when I set up as a professional medium. Stephen: This is a good question Paranormal Underground 9 Investigator Spotlight Q: Paul, a big issue here in the U.S. is whether we should help spirits cross over or not. Do you feel that it’s our responsibility to do so? Paul and Stephen started their own online radio show at Blog Talk Radio, called Extreme Ghost Hunting Presents. The show airs live on the third Thursday of every month. and something I don’t want people getting too hung up about. It is not extreme because we go ghost hunting on cliff edges or I run about in the dark naked. I was looking for a name when we created the company, and everything at the time on TV seemed to be extreme, so I named the company Extreme Ghost Hunting Limited. From this I took the name Extreme Ghost Hunter. Q: Paul, what is a rescue medium? Paul: There are lots of terms for this, but broadly it is someone, a medium obviously, who can help 10 Paranormal Underground people who are having unwanted spirit activity around them and/or in their home or workplace. They then can — by “talking” with the spirit energies — either persuade them to cease the activity and, if need be, help the spirit to cross over into the spirit world, or solve any problems they have that could be the reason for the activity. Sometimes, as has been the case with problems I have been called into, it is simply explaining to the spirit what the changes are within a place that was once their home. Then once they are happy, the reason for the activity is removed and the activity ceases. July/August 2012 Paul: I feel that we have to take responsibility and help any spirit that needs help. I have come across spirits that for whatever reason are still here on the earth plane. One in particular did not understand he had died due to some learning difficulties when he was alive; those difficulties would, of course, would disappear when he crossed. He did say that people from the other side had come to him trying to help him cross, but he didn’t understand and was fearful. That poor soul most definitely needed help. I have come across others who were fearful to cross due to actions on this side of life who also did need help. So to repeat myself, as medium and possibly ghost hunter, we do have responsibility and should not assume we can charge into locations without a care or thought for the spirit energies we encounter. In the case of people asking for spirits in their home who are causing problems to be crossed over, that is slightly different. I have found that in most cases once the problem is explained to the spirit person causing the activity, and the fear of the homeowners is described, the activity will cease. Or in some cases the homeowners, once they know who is causing the problems, are happy as long as it is toned down. I have encountered cases where activity was simply down to changes in a home that a prior owner was upset about. As with people on this side of life, once I explained what was happening, he ceased to cause any problems even though he did still “pop in” now and then. But the homeowners were not aware of that. The case for an exorcism is Paranormal Underground Radio Thursdays @ 9-11 p.m. ET http://ztalk radio.com/ Explore the Unexplained With Paranormal Underground With Hosts Rick Hale & Karen Frazier July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground 11 Investigator Spotlight the story, our encounters with Emma and Stephen’s relationship with her. The show culminates with a full-on ghost hunt where Emma’s lost love, Stephen, returns to the castle and Stephen and his current girlfriend are challenged to go to Emma’s room in the castle. During their time in there, we picked up some extraordinary EVPs on the camera that was not heard during the night. The show is in roll out of the pilot stage at the moment in the U.S. and going for a full launch in parts of the Far East. Q: Tell us about your radio show and media group. Paul and Stephen filmed a documentary based on a chapter from their book that focuses on a paranormal love story between a former kitchen maid at Kielder castle in Northumberland and Extreme Ghost Hunting’s Stephen Lambert. completely different and beyond the capabilities of most medium and ghost hunting groups in my opinion. Q: Stephen, I was reading your Website and came across the story of Emma. What is her connection with Extreme Ghost Hunting? Stephen: The link with the Ghost of Emma goes back to 2004 and a location called Kielder Castle in Northumberland, England. The story is that of a servant girl who died of a broken heart waiting for her lover to return from war. I was part of the first group to investigate Kielder Castle and have spent more time there investigating than any other person. It is hard to explain why but I have always believed I had a connection with Kielder Castle and Emma. During countless experiments with groups and mediums, it was being put to me that there was a connection between Emma and myself. This was from people who knew nothing about 12 Paranormal Underground me and my previous visits to Kielder. One element that I still have problems comprehending is information given to me that our relationship goes back to Ancient Egyptian times. We recently produced our pilot for TV at Kielder Castle after a local producer read the account in our book. If people search The Ghost of Emma on YouTube, they will be able to watch the pilot. Q: Tell us about the pilot. Paul: The show is based on the chapter from the book titled “The Ghost of Emma.” Broadly it is a paranormal love story between a kitchen maid at Kielder castle in Northumberland — who died of a broken heart waiting for her lover to return from the war — and her links with Stephen. Through many visits over many years, she has talked of a link between her and Stephen going back over past lives. The show tells the story of those links and our search to find the factual evidence to back up July/August 2012 Stephen: To keep in control of all of our media, we created EGH Media. As part of this, we started our own online radio show at Blog Talk Radio called Extreme Ghost Hunting Presents. Our show is on the third Thursday of every month, and we chat live to paranormal celebrities from all over the world. There is an interactive chat room for listeners to talk and ask questions to our guests. Q: What’s coming up for Extreme Ghost Hunting? Stephen: We are very hopeful that our pilot will be shown in the States this year. We are working hard with a new TV network to make this happen. Our radio network is constantly growing, and we want to keep progressing this forward. Research is presently on going for a second book. We have ideas for TV that we are looking to produce, and we still run ghost hunting events in the UK. ***** Thank you Paul and Stephen of Extreme Ghost Hunting for taking the time to answer our questions! To learn more about Paul and Stephen, visit www.extremeghosthunting.com. 100 Years After a Devastating Avalanche Took Their Lives, the “Spirits” of Wellington, Washington, Still Remain. Read One Investigator’s Account of How She Met . . . “The Ghosts of Wellington.” Book Now Available Online at July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground www.avalancheofspirits.com 13 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites 8 Spookiest Roads You’ll Ever Travel By vanessa grassi F or many of us, the roads along the way to our destinations are forgotten once we arrive at point B. But sometimes, there are roads that just give off a creepy vibe, especially when darkness sets in, that we can’t shake from our minds. There’s a reason why so many urban legends and stories have been centered on roads — they are the beginning and the end of every destination, oftentimes leading us to chilling experiences. Some people find driving along dark, quiet roads scary enough, but add tales of supernatural happenings, and you may have a recipe for a haunting ride. Here are some of the spookiest roads you’ll ever encounter. 1. Dead Man’s Curve, Ohio Nearly a 90-degree turn on Interstate 90, Dead Man’s Curve is the most dangerous turning intersection in Clermont County. Built in 1831, it has a long list of victims, and only one survivor named Rick. Rick claims that he has seen on many occasions a pitch black silhouette of a man, who has been nicknamed “The Faceless Hitchhiker.” Other people have claimed that there is just an eerie feeling about Dead Man’s Curve, and they tend to avoid it at night, if possible. Today, the actual location of 14 Paranormal Underground while stuck in traffic, they have seen ghosts that appear in the middle of the road, causing drivers to avoid hitting the “person” before them and crashing into surrounding vehicles. Surprisingly, legend of this road being haunted goes back hundreds of years, and even in its modern state, renovations have not been made to improve the driving conditions. A black silhouette of a man, nicknamed “The Faceless Hitchhiker,” has been seen on Dead Man’s Curve in Ohio. Dead Man’s Curve is a bit grey and less specific, but as you head east on 125 and the 222 intersection, take even more caution with your driving. 2. Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong Hong Kong’s most heavily used road just so happens to be notorious for its frequent traffic jam collisions. Many people have claimed that July/August 2012 3. Witches Hollow Road, New Jersey Fittingly named Witches Hollow Road, this road is adjacent to a place called Witches Hollow, which also happens to be a cemetery. The images you see while on this road are enough to scare the living daylights out of you: grey tombstones, grassy hills, dark swaying trees, and even brooding vultures that are commonly found in countryside of New Jersey. It doesn’t get any creepier than that. 4. U.S. Route 491 (formerly U.S. Route 666), Colorado & New Mexico The number “666” suggests that U.S. Route 491, nicknamed “The Devil’s Highway,” is filled with bad luck. The high fatality rate along the New Mexico border has convinced many people that this highway is cursed. Since improvement proj- ects were made, the fatality rate has lowered, but even renumbering the highway cannot shed its negative reputation for being cursed. 5. Kelly Road, Pennsylvania There have been many strange occurrences reported on Kelly Road, which connects Engle Road with Route 68 in Ohioville, PA. Some people claim to see animals that have turned rabid upon entering into the fog, bizarre apparitions, and noises that simply cannot be explained. No one can say for sure what the cause of all the paranormal activity is, but according to history, the area was near cult activity, and curses may have been placed on the land. 6. A75 Kinmont Straight, Scotland Numerous hauntings have occurred on this road during the past 50 years, giving it the nickname “The Ghost Road.” It’s thought to be Scotland’s most haunted road, after receiving hundreds of reports of unexplainable sightings and apparitions. 7. M6 Motorway, England Sometimes size does matter when it comes to creepy roads. In England, many people will agree that the longest road in the country, the M6 Motorway, is also the most Hitchhiking ghosts ... have been reported. haunted. Not only are singular apparitions known to appear out of thin air, but entire parades of Roman soldiers have supposedly appeared as well. Hitchhiking ghosts along the side of the road and ghost cars that look like they’ve just been in a serious collision have also been reported. July/August 2012 8. Bloods Point Road, Illinois Full of terrifying legends, Bloods Point Road owes its name to Arthur Blood, one of the first settlers to lay his roots in Boone County, Illinois. Local hauntings have been given nicknames — Wheeler, Flora Church, Sweeney, Pearl, and Pool are just a few examples. A number of past tragic events, including a fatal school bus crash, could be connected to all these bizarre happenings. Though residents who live along Bloods Point Road don’t like the tales that portray their town as a Halloween hotspot, visitors in the area can’t help but slow down to attempt to experience the unexplainable. ***** This article was originally published at www.travelinsurance.org/8-spookiest-roads-youll-ever-travel. Paranormal Underground 15 Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone? Terror at Grass Lake By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research H igh strangeness is generally associated with UFO cases that also include other paranormal events, such as poltergeist activity, electronic phenomena, and sightings of Men in Black. These types of cases oftentimes contain so many instances of paranormal activity that investigators are at a loss for â€œnormalâ€? explanations. In my home state of Illinois, during the 1970s, there was a case so strange that it terrified and baffled those who witness and even heard about it. The events now known as the Grass Lake Encounters lasted for more than two years. Like many reports of paranormal activity, the Grass Lake Encounters began innocently enough. On a warm summer night the local police and fire department began receiving numerous telephone calls from three separate families claiming to see large orange balls of light hovering over the small lake in their community. When the police arrived to investigate these rather odd reports, they came up with absolutely nothing. But that did not stop the families from contacting UFO and new age groups to help them understand what they were witnessing. It was at this time that the activity went from just seeing a few lights in the sky to something far more sinister, making the families believe that 16 Paranormal Underground July/August 2012 something evil was at work in their small community. One resident, we’ll call her Mrs. H, kept a journal detailing what she and her family were experiencing. On November 17, 1973, around 10 p.m., Mrs. H witnessed a dark shadow standing at the foot of her bed. At first she thought the shadow was her husband, until she turned on the light and the shadow disappeared. Later when her husband actually did come to bed she asked if he had quietly snuck in. Answering no, the H family began to believe that something dark was inhabiting their home. Phenomena Affects Multiple Residents Around Grass Lake Although their was much activity going on in the H home, other residents that lived around Grass Lake began to report eerie activity in or around their homes. On numerous occasions strange hair-covered creatures were witnessed skulking around the outside of residents homes, leaving what appeared to be long deep scratches in the siding and strange footprints in the soft soil. All families reported what appeared to be poltergeist activity in their homes. Plates and glasses would whip around the kitchen, oftentimes shattering against the walls. Voices could be heard that didn’t belong to anyone in the homes. And dark, shadowy figures that seemed to appear reptilian would be seen darting from room to room. All the homeowners who initially saw the orange lights reported the strangest thing of all: They all reported that their 100-year-oldplus homes began defying the laws of gravity. If the cops couldn’t help them try to understand just what in the Hell was going on, then who could? Simply answered: veteran paranormal investigator Dennis William Hauck. Dennis William Hauck Investigates High Strangeness When Hauck arrived in the small Northern Illinois farming community, he immediately visited the H residence because they seemed to be experiencing the brunt of the bizarre and terrifying activity. As he was interviewing Mrs. H and going over her journal of the events, all in the home heard what sounded like a sledge hammer hitting the side of the house. The interior lights in the car began turning on and off. Hauck ran outside but did not see the thing that caused the loud thump; rather, he saw the effects, as embedded in the side of the house were the deep scratch marks of a four-fingered creature that must have had very strong and very long claws. After the interview, Hauck returned to his car and began to experience some of the strange electrical activity that the families reported. The interior lights in the July/August 2012 car began turning on and off of their own volition, including the headlights that seemed to dance back and forth with each other as if they were speaking in morse code. The next day when Hauck took his car to a mechanic, the mechanic told him that nothing whatsoever was wrong with his car. The only strange thing that he noticed was that the driver’s side had somehow become magnetized and was drawing shop tools to it. Hauck also realized that a Geiger counter that he kept in his trunk was pegged out full scale and ruined beyond repair. He came to the conclusion that whatever phenomena was harassing the H family in Grass Lake, Illinois, was legitimate and could possibly be dangerous. Hauck Returns Three Years Later Three years after the initial investigation, Hauck returned to the small community and once again met with Mrs. H, only to discovered that the poor woman was nothing more than a mere shell of her former self. Mrs. H had suffered a nervous breakdown and bore the scars of electroshock therapy on the sides of her head. Her husband, sickened by the events of three years prior left her, and her family disowned her thinking she was insane. Mrs. H had lost her battle with the mysterious forces that had plagued her and the small community of Grass Lake road. She was never the same again. While the tales described here are not exhaustive, you probably get the general idea of the extent of this case. A case that will go down as one of the weirdest high strangeness cases on record. Paranormal Underground 17 Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files The Paranormal Nights of Sunny San Diego: Part 3 By Jack Kenna, SPIRITS of New England For Part 1 of this article, see our March/April 2012 issue; for Part 2, see our May/June 2012 issue. W e left off our last article on the Star of India during an investigation in San Diego, California. We were in the thick of the investigation and were moving up to the ’tween deck. There we held an EVP session along with using divining rods near the railing of the ship’s cargo opening. This is the area where the lady of the evening had either committed suicide or possibly been murdered from by one of her clients. The spirit of the woman is reported to not like men because of the life that she was forced into out of necessity and how they treated her. This is important to remember for what I am about to convey to you next. Our entire group gathered around the area as Maritza and Colleen of sdGH began asking questions and asking for the lady to come forward and talk to us. Maritza had the divining rods in her hands, and after about five to 10 minutes she began to get some reaction on them seemingly in response to her and Colleen’s questions. The responses were weak though. Remembering what Maritza had told us earlier about this person, I 18 Paranormal Underground Pictured above: The Star of India’s mess hall. (Source: http://ca.myphotoscout.com; image on opposite page: www.sdmaritime.org) told them I was going to step back from the group and also told this individual that I was not there to harm her, but that I respected what she had been put through by other men, was going to back away, and asked that she please communicate with the others. Young Jack had also asked if he should leave, but we told him to stay with the rest of the group, as he was perhaps not old enough to be considered a threat by this spirit. July/August 2012 I stepped back about 15 feet to a bench table that is set up on the deck and sat on the corner of the table. Within just a few moments, Maritza began to get much stronger responses on the divining rods to the groups questions. Now I’ve always a bit of a skeptic when it comes to divining rods. To be honest, I just never believed in them. It seems too easy to be able to manipulate them, whether on purpose or without realizing it. Al- though I didn’t try them during this first investigation, I did give them a go during our second investigation on April 9th. Trying Out the Divining Rods for the First Time During the April 9th investigation, we were doing an EVP/spirit box session on the lower deck in the work shop area. We had been getting responses on the spirit box, and Maritza had decided to also take out the divining rods and asked if anyone wanted to try them. I said that I did, and she handed them to me and showed me how to hold them. She shut off the spirit box and asked the spirit to please communicate through the divining rods that I was holding. Now again, at this point I was a total skeptic when it came to divining rods, and even when they suddenly started moving seemingly in response to Maritza’s questions, I still didn’t totally believe it. I thought maybe it was the way I was holding them, so I made sure I held them straight out and firmly. I even stopped the movement to reset them. I made a statement to the supposed spirit myself. “If you are here in front of me, move these rods please.” It’s a strange feeling when having these rods begin to move on their own. You can actually “feel” them pull toward each other. Maritza then asked, “Can you point to Jack?” At that I could feel the damn things being turned toward me. One turned clockwise, and the other turned counter clockwise, ending up pointing at me! Once they pointed at me, the damn things swung back around to cross each other in front of me again! This was a great experience, and it was definitely paranormal in nature. The problem I still have with using divining rods on investigations, and at least client investigations, is that the responses you obtain are not quantifiable. There is no data to review. You can video the activity, but There were several loud bangs from the main deck above us. it will always be subject to speculation that the rods were moved by the person holding them. They are fun to use though, especially when you realize that you “are not” the one moving them. An Extreme Temperature Change Occurs Getting back to the February 13th investigation, again we were all watching as Maritza seemed to be getting responses to questions on the divining rods, when one of the ladies started saying that she was feeling a cold spot in front of her. One of the other ladies had an July/August 2012 IR digital thermometer on her, so I asked her if I could use it. She handed it to me, and I began check the floor, walls, and their bodies to get a sense of the temperatures around them. Now, to use an IR thermometer properly, you need to realize that it is measuring the surface temperature of what you are pointing it at, and not the ambient air temperature. I asked the lady who had identified the cold spot to point out the area where she was feeling it. She pointed to an area about one foot in front of where we were. I pointed the IRT at that section of the floor and got a temperature reading of about 43ºF. I then moved it slowly to the right about six inches, and it changed to about 65ºF. I moved it back and still measured 43ºF. Then I moved it to the left six inches and measured 65ºF again. I did this until I was able to identify a small one foot diameter area that was reading about 43ºF. Then it began to dissipate, with the temperature quickly rising to 65ºF. The activity on the divining rods also began to fade at that same moment. Realizing that I had moved closer to the group again, I apologized to the spirit for getting closer and then backed away again. The activity remained weak for a bit but then ceased. Maritza began to pull out the spirit box when all of a sudden there were several extremely loud bangs from the main deck above us on the Paranormal Underground 19 Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files port side of the ship. EVPs. The best thing though I was the closest to them is that it validates that we were and went running over to the dealing with an intelligent area where I had heard them. haunting, as the soul that was Everyone began asking what there was interacting with us. that was, and for a moment I believe this EVP also helps • Launched five days before Abraham Maritza had thought that I had to solidify Maritza’s pre-in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address fallen or tripped. I told her no, vestigation method of walking that the noise came from above around a location to “stir up” • Sailed 21 times around the world my head on the main deck. the spirits before beginning • Never fitted with auxiliary power I yelled up to see if somethe investigation. • Went aground in Hawaii one had come on the ship, but If there are spirits in a • Became an “American” ship by Act of no one answered. When I went location, by wandering around Congress and checked it out, there was the location beforehand can • Trapped in ice in Alaska no one onboard and nothing help to engage them and let • Still sails in the ocean by a volunteer crew was out of place on that section them know you’re there and each November of the deck. There was also no that you want to interact with wind that night, and the water them. This is one method that Source: www.sdmaritime.org/star-of-india was as calm as glass. I plan to implement on future It didn’t click with me until investigations. later, but that was the same A Class “A” EVP Reveals Our area where Mr. Greg Gushaw had More EVPs Are Captured Team Was Not Alone fallen from the mast and hit the railDuring the Investigation Upon review of my audio the ing in the accident in July 2010. Had The last place I investigated that next day, I found I had captured an that been a residual sound of that evening was in the tool shed area on interesting EVP during this time. event that we had heard? Or was it the main deck, along with Colleen, On the audio you hear Colleen say, his way of letting us know he was Jack, his mother, and two of the “Take me to Jamaica.” And then a there, still looking over the ship? other ladies. This location did not few seconds later you hear another I have no way of knowing for disappoint either. We were using a male voice with an accent say, “Take sure, but it does seem at least poscouple of K-II units, as well as doing you to Jamaica.” sible, and we had also been discussan active EVP session. We would Besides the young teenage boy ing him earlier that night on that ask a question and then check our Jack, I was the only older male in same section of the main deck. audio for a response. the group that night, and it is not my After checking the main deck We captured two excellent class voice or young Jack speaking. This to try and identify the source of the “A” EVPs in that area. The first was sounds we had heard, and having a response to one of the lady investino luck, I returned to the group on gator’s question, “Mr. Caretaker, are the ’tween deck. We continued to you here? Are you here?” And then conduct the session using the spirit you hear a male voice respond, “Not box again, but everything seemed tonight.” to go quiet, so we began to pick up Then Colleen asked if he was to move up to the main deck and there could he please make the is why once I start an investigation, I investigate the Officers’ Quarters lights on the K-II light up. Then you turn on my recorder and never turn and the Tool Shed in which Maritza hear the same male voice respond, it off until the investigation is over. told us she had made contact with “Not really.” You just never know when you are an older gentleman on previous Again, these are very clear going to capture an EVP, and this investigations. EVPs, some of the best I have ever was a great one. As we were picking up, Colleen captured. As our night ended and The voice is pretty clear and and I began joking around talking the morning was at hand, it was now obviously not one of the investigaabout stealing the ship and taking it 4 a.m. on the following Sunday, I tors. It also shows up in the lower to Jamaica. couldn’t wait to get some rest and frequency range that is typical of Star of India Interesting Facts It validates that we were dealing with an intelligent haunting. 20 Paranormal Underground July/August 2012 July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground 21 Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files the same effect. Then I attempted to move my finger out from the camera but toward the lens, still not the same effect. Then I moved my finger up to block the flash and did variations on this as well. I still could not recreate the shadow in those first photos. It’s also important to note that these photos taken in the front living room are the only ones out of 238 photos taken with the same camera that evening that this shadow appears in. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, so let me back up a bit. Jack investigates the Whaley House General Store. then begin to go over the audio I had collected from the night to see if I had captured any EVPs. The evidence review from both investigations did not disappoint. As previously mentioned, I captured some great EVPs, disembodied voices, and disembodied footsteps. If you would like to review them, you can access them on the Internet at www. mediafire.com/?w1us5isdtx62p. Investigating the Whaley House in San Diego This was not yet the end of my adventures with sdGH though, not by a long shot. On March 12th, I again drove back to San Diego to meet my friends for an investigation of what is touted to be the number one most haunted home in the United States by the Travel Channel’s series America’s Most Haunted. Although I will say that I did not experience the amount of activity that I did on the Star, I did have some very interesting experiences there and captured some very good 22 Paranormal Underground EVPs, as well as some very interesting photographs of potential paranormal evidence. I was investigating in the front parlor of the home with Colleen and one of the Whaley House docents (tour guides). I snapped several consecutive photos of the room and then reviewed them. I could see a very obvious shadow in several of the shots. These shots were taken while Colleen was trying to make contact with who some visitors have The El Campo Santo Cemetery & Yankee Jim Robinson I met my friends Maritza and Colleen at the Whaley House around dinner time on Saturday. We had a few hours before the investigation, so we walked up the road to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. After dinner we walked back to the Whaley House to meet Julie, one of the team’s newest investigators in training. I had actually met Julie before on my first investigation of the Star of India. She was one of the other guest investigators at the time, but not yet a member of sdGH. As we still had about an hour or so before we could enter the Whaley House for the investigation, we walked up the street to El Campo Santo Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in San Diego, which These disembodied footsteps were being made by Yankee Jim Robinson. reported as being the ghost of a young boy. I immediately began to try and recreate the shadow in the photos, first by taking the same shots again in the same exact way. The shadow did not reappear in those photos. Then I attempted to recreate it by moving my finger in front of the lens little by little, it was not even close to July/August 2012 is also reported to be haunted. It is also the final resting place of Yankee Jim Robinson who was hung on the gallows in Old Town San Diego, upon which the Whaley House was later built. Yankee Jim was the first spirit ever reported to haunt the Whaley House. This was reported by Mr. Thomas Whaley himself, who had also been a specta- tor at Yankee Jim’s hanging. Mr. Whaley had reported hearing heavy footsteps that sounded like they were made by the boots of a large man. From this, Mr. Whaley eventually concluded that these disembodied footsteps were being made by Yankee Jim Robinson, who’s execution he had witnessed and was one of the last that had taken place on the property before he built his home. The El Campo Santo Cemetery today is much smaller than when it was first established in 1849. The first burial in the cemetery was that of Juan Adams in 1849. Over the years, 477 people were buried in the cemetery, the original boundaries of which stretched into what is now San Diego Avenue. A horse-drawn street car line was built through the cemetery in 1889, and in 1942 it was finally paved over. There are at least 20 graves laying under the street pavement and concrete sidewalk to this very day. They are marked by small brass circles that say “Grave Site” on them, as well as a plaque above the sidewalk outside the cemetery inscribed with the words “Remembering the more than 20 men, women, and children who lie buried beneath San Diego Avenue.” More information about this cemetery can be found at USGenWeb Archives at http://usgwarchives. net/ca/sandiego/elcampo.htm. Yankee Jim’s grave site is the second to the left as you enter the cemetery from San Diego Avenue. It is a typical plain dark wooden upright marker with a name plate engraved with the names “James W. Robinson” — “YANKEE JIM.” Paranormal Activity at El Campo Santo Cemetery Many of the paranormal reports here are of visitors feeling an “icy chill” while walking through the cemetery, even in the heat of the day. Pictured above at left: Grave site of Yankee Jim Robinson. Above at right: Headstone of Thomas W. Tanner at El Campo Santo Cemetery. Tanner was the original operator of the theater at the Whaley House. Others report seeing a misty, glowing figure moving along the sidewalk outside the cemetery; and fullbodied figures are seen in Victorian period clothing walking through the cemetery that suddenly disappear. One report is of a woman in a white Victorian dress who appears and then disappears by the south wall. Some of the apparitions seen are just partial figures of the upper half of a man or woman moving through the cemetery. Also, visitors that park their cars along the cemetery on San Diego Avenue, where most of the grave sites outside the cemetery exist, find that their car batteries have been drained or their car alarms go off on their own. I can say this for a fact: The cemetery at night is a much different place than it is during the day. At night it takes on a completely different atmosphere. The air in and around the cemetery seems heavier, denser, than during the day. You get a sense of being followed or watched, even when you are with other people. I personally cannot say that this location is haunted, as I did not experience anything paranormal there, but it is more than worth a visit, especially at night. After spending almost an July/August 2012 hour at the El Campo Santo Cemetery, and after taking numerous pictures and conducting an EVP session, we headed back down to the Whaley House to begin our investigation. The Whaley House: Labeled One of the Most Haunted Sites The Whaley House was much more than just the home of Thomas Whaley and his family. It also housed a granary, the County Court House, a General Store owned by Mr. Whaley, a Commercial Theater that was the first ever in San Diego, a polling place, a school, and much more. There is a lot of important history that took place in this relatively small building, and a lot of people’s lives were affected by the events that occurred there, for both good and bad, on a daily basis. When you think about it, given these facts, it’s not hard to imagine that some of those souls who have passed through its doorways may still be roaming its hallways. ***** See the next issue of Paranormal Underground magazine for Part 4 of “Paranormal Nights of Sunny San Diego.” Paranormal Underground 23 Personal Experiences Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel By Rob St.Helen, West Coast Ghost Hunters W hile it’s been pretty quiet here at the hotel for a while, we still see shadows every night and “people” walking through the lobby floor but we see no one is around. I’ve also had a couple of things happen to me at the hotel within the past few months. Last time I wrote my column, I talked about walking through “something” on the fifth floor, how it made me feel light headed, and how my coworker asked me if I was okay because I looked so pale. Fast forward to September 12. I had spent the previous two days at Wellington in Eastern Washington State. If you have never heard of Wellington or Tye valley, I highly suggest Karen Frazier’s book Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington. I had a great time at Wellington. I didn’t feel like my energy was gone at all, I felt just fine. That night when I was at work, I was asked to tell some ghost stories to two ladies from California. But at the time I was running around trying to complete some requests for another guest. So before talking with the women from California, I had to go to room 408 to grab a few items. Once in the room, I retrieved some things from the mini bar, closed the mini bar door, and stood up. I immediately noticed a black shadow standing at the door. As I 24 Paranormal Underground left, the shadow seemed to step aside for me to leave. It appeared that the shadow followed me down to the main lobby, because as I walked out of the elevator, my coworker told me that he had seen a black shadow follow me out. I told him, “Yep. He followed me down from the fourth floor.” I finally got to the ladies and started to tell them stories. I had mentioned that I could still feel the dark shadow standing behind me as we continued to chat. Ten minutes into our story time, one of the ladies asked me if the dark shadow was still behind me, to which I replied, “No, he’s in the lobby waiting for me.” July/August 2012 At this time, my coworker — who had been 20 yards away from me — could not hear anything I was saying. But, he came over to me and told me there was a “big black shadow walking around the lobby.” My coworker, who says he never gets headaches, told me that on this night, as long as he was about five yards away or more from me he was fine. But the second he would get within five yards of me, his head would pound and he would get chills. After a few minutes, I decided to go outside. It was 75 degrees outside, and I was freezing. The hair on my arms were standing tall, and it seemed that this dark shadow had attached itself to me. During this time, I felt sick to my stomach, weak in the knees, light headed, and at one point, I had tears in my eyes. This whole deal lasted for a few hours, and it wasn’t very fun, but I sure learned a lot. I brought up Wellington before for a reason. I think this dark shadow had no problem attaching to me due to the fact that I had spent the last two days up at Wellington. My defenses were so low, and I had nothing to protect myself from such things. Needless to say, it was an interesting night, one I hope I don’t go through again anytime soon. July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground 25 Personal Experiences A Text Message From Heaven Excerpt from Visits From Heaven by Josie Varga T his personal experience comes from author and investigator Josie Varga’s book, Visits From Heaven. In her book, Josie has collected amazing personal accounts of afterlife communication. These inspirational stories come from contributors across the globe. In “A Text Message From Heaven,” Elly Vahey of Pennsylvania shares her personal experiences after the death of her fiancé in 2005. ***** My family and I have dealt with a number of deaths throughout the years — three uncles, two grandfathers, a grandmother, and an aunt all passing before I had even become 20 years old. Death itself wasn’t new to me. What was new was the feeling of dire despair that came with losing the man that I had planned to marry. I really felt as though I was losing my mind. I could not take a deep breath; it was almost like I was afraid to deal with the reality of the situation after the exhale. But with time and great amounts of support from my family and friends, I learned to smile more often than cry when thinking about my fiancé, Gerald August Cooper. His death brought me unanswered questions and worries, and I started questioning my idea of us as a 26 Paranormal Underground July/August 2012 whole. I needed to know if he had died quickly or if he had been in pain. I wanted desperately to know if he had felt what we shared as deeply as I did, and as selfish as it sounds, I wanted to know if he still thought about me in Heaven. Gerald had passed away in June 2005 after an ATV accident in the hills of West Virginia while visiting family. I had never seen that area or its beauty until going to his deathbed to be by his side one last time. After the funeral ended and the flowers all dried up, I went home to Erie, Pennsylvania, where my family and friends were waiting to see me through this difficult time. Much to my appreciation, they would hardly leave my side. ***** Some months went by, and I met a guy in town who looked a lot like Gerald. Gerald had known of this guy who resembled him, and we had talked and joked about their similarities before he passed. At the time I was moved by very little things that seemed to be similar between the two. On our first trip to a restaurant, we were seated in the same booth that Gerald and I had been seated before his death, and now just like Gerald, this man was giving me tips on how I should’ve shaken the salt right into the salsa as opposed to on the chips. He would also say some things just as Gerald had — not big things, just normal conversational things, and I would translate them into something much more meaningful in my mind. Whereas Gerald and I had a lot in common, such as music and the fact that both of us played in bands, this man did not even come close to being my type. We really had nothing in common, but the city we lived in. However, at the time, I thought that God had intentionally sent him into my life, almost like an angel, to help me smile again because of his resemblance to Gerald. The new man moved right into my life like a train — fast and abrupt. After just a few months, I found myself in the midst of a full-blown abusive relationship, and I truly was becoming the stereotypical battered Tobias. I have never felt so blessed; their coming into this world was absolutely the best thing that could ever happen to me. Eventually, the babies’ father finally left us. I was utterly relieved, yet I couldn’t shake my inner feeling of fear. One night the babies and I were sound asleep when their father It was as though after Gerald passed, I went to sleep, only to awaken in the midst of a terrible dream. woman. You may wonder how one would let herself get into a situation like this; it just seemed to happen overnight. It was as though after Gerald passed, I went to sleep, only to awaken in the midst of a terrible dream. Nothing seemed right. Then I found out I was pregnant with twins. My entire life I had dreamed of the day that I would become a mother. Gerald and I had talked to no end about having children. My mother, the doctors, and I even talked about it when Gerald was on his deathbed; I couldn’t believe that I now was going to have children by someone else. I still rejoiced in the news, calling it the biggest blessing in my life! The months slowly passed; all the while the abuse continued in my home. I was given a black eye two days before my baby shower, at which time I was six months pregnant. I would sit in the tub every night, rubbing my huge belly just praying that my unborn babies inside couldn’t feel the stress their mother was under. At times I would try to convince myself that I was delusional and that things were wonderful, just to calm myself down. ***** On a sunny day in October 2006, I gave birth to twins Kateri and July/August 2012 showed up on my doorstep, ringing the doorbell incessantly while calling the house from his cell phone. I was petrified knowing that if I didn’t open the door, he’d gladly break it down. I opened the door and what followed was a belligerent verbal assault. He had been upset about an argument that he had earlier that night at a bar. I stood there staring, nervous, and going through all of the motions, just waiting and watching his every move to brace myself for what might happen. The difference that night was that he only talked about what he was going to do (break down the kitchen cabinets, etc.). But he never actually did anything. He just threatened that he wanted to. This was so unlike him that I even told my innermost circle of girlfriends about it the next day. I was shocked while I stood there watching him. It was as though there was a greater force holding him back. ***** The second anniversary of Gerald’s death was creeping up, and two of my girlfriends Kristy and Jill wanted me to join them at a taping of a show by a local celebrity spiritual medium, named Natalie Smith-Blakeslee, that was airing on our local cable access channel. It was Paranormal Underground 27 Personal Experiences the evening before his anniversary. I was still in my work clothes, had just finished feeding my babies dinner, and was not in the mood to leave my house. My friends picked me up, and just before leaving, on a whim I put Gerald’s old bracelet on just to feel closer to him. I asked her in disbelief, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” She said again, “He’s here.” At that point, I just lost it! I cried like a baby delighted to be in his presence even if I couldn’t actually see him. I listened to what she had to say harder than I’ve ever listened ... My cell phone buzzed, letting me know that I had received a text message. The show Messages From the Light turned out to be an unbelievable experience for me. Natalie told me everything I had desperately wanted to know and more. She started by bringing through an aunt who wanted me to say hello to my mother. She then went into the fact that my grandmother, who had passed away when I was a year old, had been witnessing all the violence and didn’t approve of the situation, but was glad that things were on an upswing. Natalie said that when looking at me, she saw a big “DV,” which stood for domestic violence. I started to cry out of embarrassment and shock. Natalie went on to ask me if there had been a time, somewhat recently, when the guy seemed to hold back from doing his normal, violent thing. She pulled her arm back to demonstrate him preparing to throw a punch. I immediately knew the exact time she spoke of as did my girlfriends who were there. She continued by telling me that it was my loved ones in Heaven who were holding him back that night. I felt unbelievably grateful to think that they “had my back” from Heaven. I couldn’t believe it, and I was in awe, to say the very least. Next Natalie mentioned the bracelet I had on and asked to whom it had belonged. I answered, and she immediately said, “He’s here.” 28 Paranormal Underground to anything in my life. It’s funny, though, even with that being said, I remember only the things that stood out the most for me, like the fact that he said to tell me he passed away quickly; he’s seen me cry at night and watches over me; he does still think of me and love me; and he cuddles in bed with me. She also said that Gerald wanted me to pick up a musical instrument (his guitar still stands next to my bed), and he wasn’t mad at me for having babies. I was just overjoyed and since then have felt a renewed sense of peace. Ever since he died, there were things that happened which made me wonder if it had been Gerald trying to communicate with me. He had bought me a beautiful white gold necklace with a little diamond “E” charm. While he was in West Virginia, I threw a birthday party for my girlfriend Lisa. The next morning the necklace was missing; my friends and I suspected that it may have been stolen the night before. Later while I was in West Virginia for his funeral, Lisa had come to my house, scrubbed it from top to bottom, done laundry and gotten the house spic-and-span to try to make it all the more comfortable for me when I came home. A few days after I came home, we ordered some food. As I went to answer the door, July/August 2012 I stepped on something and looked down to see what it was. Much to my surprise, it was the diamond “E” charm! I screamed to Lisa, who was also moved to tears, knowing that it had not been there before. ***** Moving ahead … Natalie told me to get in touch with a friend of hers, Josie Varga, who was writing a book about evidential “visits from Heaven.” She thought that Josie would like to hear about my story. I wanted to call her but kept putting it off not wanting to stroll down memory lane. When I finally did call, Josie and I had a wonderful conversation. Josie answered something for me that I had wondered since Gerald’s passing. She confirmed to me that our loved ones in Heaven can hear our thoughts. That had been a question of mine for so long; I was glad someone had finally answered it. She assured me that our loved ones are, in fact, with us. Josie was giving me some examples of stories that she wanted to include in her book and one of them had to do with a butterfly. She said that butterflies are often thought of as a symbol of our loved ones coming through to say hello. I listened, and as I did, I recalled having many odd instances with butterflies myself. When I first came home from West Virginia, I took some pictures to get developed. While looking through them, I found a very prominent butterfly in a picture. Then, when I returned to work one month after his death, I found a real butterfly just sitting in front of my chair. None of my coworkers had any idea how it had gotten there. Although it was dead, I took the butterfly home and put it in front of a picture of Gerald’s final resting place that I have on display. There were three other times when I would see a butterfly and YOUR AD HERE! Advertise in Paranormal Underground, on Our Forums, or During our Podcasts! 1-714-646-4197 • • • • • • Affordable Rates/Target Audience Long-Term Exposure More than 5,000 readers per issue More than 25,000 Unique Page views per issue Our Website is viewed by 8,000+ visitors per month, with 63% being new traffic Our podcasts have more than 6,200 iTunes subscribers plus an additional listener base of 5,200 per month. • Magazine available online and “print on demand” For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground 29 Personal Experiences say, “Hi, Gerald.” All the while, I felt crazy for doing so. Each time the butterfly landed right on my hand, which had never in my life happened before. Each time I would acknowledge Gerald, but as I said, I felt a little crazy for doing so. I told Josie that I felt bad because I had some children visit over the summer and the butterfly that I had brought home from work ended up broken. She said some things that I will never forget. She told me that signs are presented to us when we truly need them, but most importantly when we open ourselves up to receiving them and pay attention enough to notice them as signs. She said, “If you really want another sign, all you have to do is ask for one.” Now as she spoke that sentence, I thought to myself, I probably don’t really have to ask out loud because if what you said earlier is true, he should just already know! However, in my normal way, I said jokingly to her, “Yea, I will definitely be asking him for one as soon as we get off this phone.” I was talking to Josie on my house phone while my cell phone sat nearby. As I spoke to Josie, my cell phone buzzed letting me know that I had received a text message. I picked up the cell phone to try to look at the text but couldn’t because I was receiving a phone call on my cell as I tried to open the text. I missed the call but figured I’d get right back to the other call and text message in a minute. I thanked Jose for the great conversation and told her that I would, in fact, start writing this story for her to include in her book. What happened next was the biggest validation that I have ever received! After I hung up with Jose, I checked my text message inbox. My new message was from my friend Chantel who had also been a big help to me after Ger- 30 Paranormal Underground ald’s passing. Chantel and I hadn’t talked for a little while, and I found it odd that she would send me a text message at 10:30 at night. I opened the first “layer” of the text message inbox, which lists the first portion of words that you will read when you open the text. It read, “<FWD><FWD><FWD>,” leading me to believe that, like other texts, those “FWDs” would be the first things I would read when I opened up the message. When I opened up the text, however, those “FWDs” weren’t there at all. The screen, on which the texts appear on my phone, is normally silver, but in this case it was white and the only thing that appeared, much to my surprise, was “G.” This was Gerald’s nickname; everyone called him “G Coop,” to be exact. I was utterly dumbfounded but didn’t want to get my hopes up just yet. I immediately picked up my house phone and called Chantel who assured me that she hadn’t sent me a text message at all! “What?!” I told Chantel I’d call her back and immediately called Josie to tell her what had just happened. I wiped happy tears from my eyes and July/August 2012 excitedly told her this exact story; we both got the chills. To make it even more strange, the “backlight” on my cell phone is set to go off after 60 seconds. With that particular text message on the white background, the phone stayed lit up until the next morning when I started getting ready for work. I couldn’t believe it! It was truly remarkable to me. It made me think that he wanted me to know he had stayed by my side all through the night. Some of you may not believe this whole story, and that’s okay. I know it really happened, and that’s all that matters. I can’t think of a greater gift that any of us here on this earth can receive from our deceased loved ones. I feel so humbled and grateful that someone up in Heaven would love me enough to take time out of his Heavenly schedule to make my heart smile. And to me there’s nothing better for a grieving soul than a happy, smiling heart. ***** Visits From Heaven can be found on amazon.com at www.amazon.com/Visits-Heaven-Josie-Varga/ dp/0876044992. Interested in Having Paranormal Underground Magazine Mailed Directly to You? Visit: http://paranormalunderground.magcloud.com/ And Select the Issues Youâ€™d Like to Order. July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground 31 Author Spotlight JL Oiler Dead Force Rising By Michelle M. Pillow, www.MichellePillow.com S ince first being published in 2010, Paranormal Romance Author JL Oiler has published over a dozen books. She resides in the mountains of West Virginia where sometimes what seems paranormal is actually normal. An avid reader, it is not unusual for JL to devour one to two good books in an evening. Her own book, Dead Force Rising, is available as an e-book and can be found at All Romance eBooks, Bookstrand, and Amazon. ***** Q: In your book, Dead Force Rising, you delve into the world of vampires, werewolves, zombies, and ghouls. What inspired you? JL: I have always had a love for all things paranormal, and it is my preferred genre. But the idea for this story is actually credited to my five-year-old son who while watching the Syfy channel with me said that he would never worry about the monsters because he was going to be an army vampire. Q: When world-building, did you base your story off of known myths throughout history? JL: I like to find the mystery in the everyday world, so most of my stories are based off real-life places. However, 32 Paranormal Underground JL: We are creatures of habit, and this habit is not being able to resist a great mystery and delve into the unknown. After all, that’s how we ended up on the moon and in the farther reaches of our planet. We just can’t help but want to know what’s hiding in the dark. Q: Do you have any paranormal pet projects? JL Oiler likes to find the mystery in the everyday world, so most of her stories are based off real-life places. I love to find little details of the explained in history and play upon them so you never know when a detail about people or places that simply vanished or died mysteriously will pop up. Q: What myths or legends inspired you? JL: I adore all the ancient Greek, Roman, Norse, Sumerian gods/goddesses and all the critters that pop up under them. I am also currently working on a piece that involved the four horseman and a play off the whole Heaven/Hell at war theme. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? July/August 2012 JL: I currently do some blogging on my author site (www.joiler.weebly. com) and send out a quarterly newsletter (sign up at my site). However, in reality I enjoy letting others put together all the blog hops, radio shows, and groups. I then like to hop about the net and visit them all. This lets me concentrate on my writing more. Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies, and books? JL: TV, Ghost Hunters; movie, Underworld (all of them) and The Fifth Element; and books, other than my own, I love Krelsey Coles Immortals After Dark series. Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Or are you a skeptic? JL: I believe there is a lot of things in this world that cannot be explained and never will be! Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? JL: I was a paramedic for several years before returning to school to study education. One night while working midnight shift, I went looking in the kitchen fridge for something to snack on and felt someone shove me (two hands) hard head-first into the fridge. I reared back madder then heck, stomped to the dayroom, and proceeded to chew my partner out (we were the only ones in building). He stared at me confused and then asked what I was talking about because he’d been sitting right there the entire time. Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet? JL: I’d love to meet them all, as long as I was not on the menu for dinner. I think it would be exciting to see how each compares to what we envision. Q: If given the chance, would you become a shapeshifter? JL: Though I feel any of them would be cool, a shifter would be the one that Q: What does the future hold for the characters of Dead Force Rising? JL: I’m currently working on a sequel for the story, which picks up where the first ended and focuses on one of secondary characters. Q: Have you ever been to a psychic and/or had a past-life regression? What did they predict for you? allowed you the rawest experiences. I could perhaps fly as a bird one moment and swim as a fish the next. Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a ghost? JL: I would like to think I would keep my wits about me enough to further explore the entity a bit more. However, I would probably go running like a girl. July/August 2012 JL: I went to a tarot reader in the Tea Room while visiting New Orleans, and she predicted that I would find a man who made me feel complete and move toward great success in my life in an area I had not expected but always dreamed of entering into. (I think she was right. Shortly after, I met my husband and my first book was published.) ***** Thank you for joining us, JL! To learn more about JL Oiler, visit her on the Web at www.joiler.weebly.com. Paranormal Underground 33 Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial Snark Away, Haters By Karen Frazier A few years ago, there was an article about my paranormal research at Wellington in a local newspaper that was posted on the paper’s online site as well. The comments were absolutely brutal, ranging from accusing me to profiting off of fakery (although I’ve never made a cent from the paranormal, including from my book sales — so far, my expenses far outweigh any money that has come my way) to actually suggesting that because I believed in the paranormal I was somehow also a loose woman who cheated on my husband. Sadly, you see this rhetoric everywhere, something I was just reminded of today. Occasionally, I check out what people say about television shows by reading forums. On a forum just today, I saw the typical snark about paranormal television: “Oh please? Is this crap still on?” I understand. I find myself thinking that about several paranormal shows that are growing rather long in the tooth and, thus, are really not very entertaining any longer. That being said, the snark I typically see is from the paranormal haters — those who can’t imagine why anyone would ever believe a ghost existed, let alone want to investigate it. Instead of making cogent arguments, however, they resort to name calling and ad hominem attacks 34 Paranormal Underground similar to those comments brilliant posters made when I was written up in the paper. I freely admit to being a people pleaser, so I’m not going to say that when someone makes a vicious personal attack I don’t feel a tiny bit of hurt. I do. Some of those comments, ridiculous as they were, hurt my feelings. But I got over it, because haters really have nothing constructive to add to the conversation, and anything they say about me is a result of their small-minded meanness and has very little to do with who I really am. Frankly, I am really happy to July/August 2012 discuss the paranormal with people, but only with those who have open minds. I’m happy to hear people share supporting facts about why they don’t believe in ghosts as long as they are also willing to hear why I do while refraining from name calling, eye rolling, and other generalized nastiness. Still, I understand why it happens that way so often. Look at the state of discourse in this country. Our politicians can’t share information without all of that crap, so why should those of us who are so much less rarified? I fully respect the rights of others to not believe in ghosts. I’ve been there myself. I spent a significant portion of my adult life not even believing in the human soul, and even now it is a label I’m not actually sure is an appropriate one. Heck, what I know is that weird stuff happens, because I’ve experienced it, and that things do go bump in the night. I know many have taken the leap of logic suggesting this is related to ghosts, the human soul, etc., but I waver on whether those oddities are actually from a ghost or something else. The difference between me and the snarkers, however, is that I am willing to learn. I am open to discovery. I am having a really good time going out there and doing something to satisfy my curiosity rather than sitting at home coming up with nasty things to say about people who believe differently than I do. I’ve been accused of fence-sitting and waffling, but the fact remains. I don’t really know if the odd experiences I’ve had can be attributed to ghosts as classically defined — the souls of dead people. But I know something is happening, because I’ve experienced it. Rather than denying it and trying to make others feel stupid for exploring the phenomena, I’m grabbing onto it with both hands and trying to figure out just what the heck is going on. Hey haters! You can snark away all you want. My world is expanding, because I choose to explore it. I’m not sitting in a narrow, little box without examining the world around me. I’m not belittling people who think differently than me. I’m just out, kicking rocks and poking stuff with sticks, because I’d rather know what is really going on than stay trapped in a comfort zone bereft of any curiosity about the world around me. Snark away, haters, because regardless of your perceived moral superiority, I’d rather be me than you any day of the week. Wicked Entertainment That Makes You Howl For More! July/August 2012 Paranormal Underground 35 http://silentwolfproductionsco.webs.com/ For Print-on-Demand Issues of Paranormal Underground Magazine, Visit: http://paranormalunderground.magcloud.com/