March 2009 Paranormal Underground
At Paranormal Underground, our mission is to publish the highest-quality e-Magazine for our readers. We strive to keep you updated on news from the paranormal world, as well as tackle the topics that most interest paranormal enthusiasts, researchers, and investigators. We hope you’ll find our publication entertaining and informative.
Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 3 March 2009 Spirit Photography Issue Investigator Spotlight: Mark Macy Special Reports: —Spirit Photography —Gettysburg Spirits —Artist Spotlight —The Novice Ghost Hunter Haunted History: Resurrection Mary Tales From the Road: The Attic That Screamed Also Inside: Spirit Photography: A Victorian Perspective Diary From a Haunted Hotel Ghost Hunting on the Cheap Part 3 Haunted Sites: Meeker Mansion T.V. Watch: Sanctuary March 2009 Paranormal Underground 1 Roundtable Debate: Spirit Photography Spirit Photog INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Mark Macy’s Connection to the Other Side: Investigating Through ITC and Spirit Photography SPECIAL REPORTS 10 Spirits of Gettysburg 16 18 Artist Spotlight: C3: Unlocking the Institution Within 28 The Novice Ghost Hunter 34 Spirit Photography CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites: The Ghost of Meeker Mansion Paranormal History: Chicago’s Flaxen Fantasy: The Legend of Resurrection Mary 2 Paranormal Underground March 2009 36 38 Depart Publisher’s Note 4 From the Editor 6 Paranormal News 7 T.V. Watch: 9 Sanctuary Recommended Reading: 27 Spirit Photography Member Profile: 51 LCpunk graphy Issue CULTURAL BELIEFS A Victorian Perspective: Paranormal Views, Beliefs, and Practices in 19th Century America 44 QUANTUM MUSINGS 48 A Neutron Dies Alone FICTION: FEATURED AUTHOR “The True Account of Vlad Dracula” by Scott Mannen 52 PERSONAL EXPERIENCES tments The Whaley House Ghost 55 Equipment Update: 64 Ghost Hunting on the Cheap Diary From a Haunted Hotel 56 Roundtable Debate: Spirit Photography Tales From the Road — The Hunter Speaks: The Attic That Screamed 58 66 Reviews of the Month: 68 Book: Ghosts Caught on Film DVD: Shutter Theater: Friday the 13th March 2009 Paranormal Underground 3 Publisher’s Note Paranormal Underground Volume 2, Issue 3 Standing Up March 2009 www.ParanormalUnderground.net EDITORIAL By Chad Wils Publisher Chad Wilson Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight Managing Editor Karen Frazier Assistant Editors Lauren Fletcher Mindy Kinnaman Lisajoyce Vergara Contributing Editors Jaime Johnesee Chad Wilson Science Editor J.D. Harrison Contributing Authors Dave Galvan Claudia Ghidella Karen Frazier Jim Frazier J.D. Harrison Carolyn M. Hughes Jaime Johnesee Mindy Kinnaman Cheryl Knight Ryan Tackitt Lisajoyce Vergara Chad Wilson O ne common dilemma for those who have had a paranormal experience is the fear of speaking up. Will they be ridiculed or ostracized by others? Those who have had an experience know something strange has happened to them — they’ve seen something unexplainable but don’t exactly know how to explain it. Many wonder, “Who will believe this is true?” So, some are left to hide what has happened to them, always knowing that they will never see life in the same light again. Even worse are those who continue to suffer, unable to seek help, because they might not know where to turn. Those who do speak up often seek out investigative or religious groups, which provide some support, answers, and, in the best case, a solution. To me, this makes those who Send comments and letters to: Editor@paranormalunderground.net. Paranormal Researcher Harry Price. 4 Paranormal Underground March 2009 Duke University Parapsychologist J.B. Rhine. stand up for their beliefs in the paranormal field that much more special. Yes, we are all unique individuals worthy of the respect of our fellow man/woman, but I greatly admire those individuals who are willing to stand up to ridicule for their ideals. Like those before them, these true pioneers in the paranormal field will lead us into a new understanding of this hard-to-define subject. To name a few of these pioneers, there is: • Harry Price, one of the early pioneers of paranormal research. • Charles Fort, a collector of paranormal happenings that led to his writing of books and the creation of the Fortean Society. He is Paranormal Underground p for an Idea Volume 2, Issue 3 March 2009 www.ParanormalUnderground.net ART son, Publisher Art Director Chad Wilson also known as the father of modern paranormalism, or the study of the paranormal. • J. B. Rhine, an early parapsychologist with Duke University who popularized the use of Zener Cards. These are just a few of the many who have led this wonderful field forward through the years. It is now up to future generations to uncover new discoveries and develop new theories that might help explain the paranormal. To me, the use of equipment to measure paranormal occurrences is tantamount to finding answers that have been sought for time immemorial. Maybe the equipment currently in use is not the best for the job, but we will not know unless we try. The father of modern paranormalism, Charles Fort. Design and Layout Lauren Fletcher Karen Frasier Cheryl Knight Cover/Graphic Artist Claudia Ghidella Zener Cards, which were popularized by J.B. Rhine. PROMOTIONS Methodologies need to be developed, and findings need to be shared in order for research to be truly fruitful. So, the first step in the search for the truth needs to be the development of a specific methodology or methodologies. For those who are in the limelight, the ghost hunters, ghost adventurers, and the like, we may not always agree with the way they do things, but I thank you for bringing the paranormal field to the forefront. And I wholeheartedly thank those paranormal investigators and researchers in the background, the ones who will stand up for an idea that differs from the acceptable norm. It will be these investigators who will advance this field into the mainstream. I hope you enjoy the March issue of Paranormal Underground, which features Spirit Photography. Marketing Karen Frasier Jaime Johnesee MySpace Admin. Chad Wilson www.myspace.com/paranormalunderground YouTube Channel Admin. Karen Frazier www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG Copyright © 2008-2009 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of ParanormalUnderground magazine. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of ParanormalUnderground magazine. 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. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 5 From the Editor Ghosts on Film T his month’s issue of Paranormal Underground features Spirit Photography, a controversial topic that raises protests from skeptics and claims of proof of an afterlife from believers. Paranormal Underground Managing Editor Karen Frazier talks to Mark Macy, a researcher who uses ITC (instrumental trans-communication) and spirit photography to connect with the dead. Through ITC, Macy experiences communication with the other side over the telephone, through video, via Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), and on computer screens. And utilizing a controversial piece of equipment, called the luminator, Macy snaps spirit photos with the help of a Polaroid camera. Our Diary From a Haunted Hotel columnist Carolyn M. Hughes shares with us dozens of her spirit photos direct from the Gettysburg battlefield. Carolyn has taken well over 100,000 photographs on the Gettysburg battlefield. By day, Carolyn studies, regiment by regiment, Union and Confederate, what the young men and boys did there in battle on three days in July 1863. By night, she visits them, seeking to capture their presence on camera. And in this month’s Cultural Beliefs column, Science Editor J.D. Harrison looks at paranormal views, 6 beliefs, and practices in 19th Century America, including how spirit photography was viewed by the masses. In particular, J.D. discusses the invention of photography and the Victorian era of 19th Century America, as well as Victorian ideologies on the paranormal, spirit photography, and mediums. He also takes a look at the many ways in which cultural beliefs of the times were exploited to the advantage of a few. Our Roundtable panel presents their views on spirit photography and the likelihood of spirits being captured on camera, as well as the increasing use of Photoshop and similar programs to manipulate photographs. This issue, we also feature Meeker Mansion in Haunted Sites, Resurrection Mary in Haunted History, and the T.V. show Sanctuary. Paranormal Underground March 2009 I’d also like to invite our readers to listen to our new podcasts, called Paranormal Underground Presents. Just go to www. paranormalunderground.net and click on our Podcasts tab. In our very first podcast, we talk to world-renowned Ufologist Stanton T. Friedman, author of Flying Saucers and Science and many other books. Our panelists included Karen Frazier, managing editor; Scott Mannen, contributing author; Jim Frazier, columnist, Quantum Musings; and Bri Larkin, columnist, Life With the Breathing Impaired. And in our second podcast, Jeffrey Keene, author of the book Someone Else’s Yesterday, joined us to discuss reincarnation. He talked with our panel about his past life as Civil War General John B. Gordon and some of the compelling evidence that convinced him that he is, indeed, the reincarnation of the general. Panelists included Karen Frazier, managing editor; J.D. Harrison, science editor; Cheryl Knight, editor-in-chief; and Chad Wilson, publisher. If you have any suggestions for future Podcasts, please let us know by e-mailing email@example.com. Happy reading! ~ Cheryl Knight Editor-in-Chief Paranormal News T.V. Update Ghost Adventures Season 2 to Premiere in June After an extremely successful first season, the Ghost Adventures crew has signed on for 26 more episodes on the Travel Channel. Season 2 is scheduled to premiere in June. Production has already begun, and Zak Bagans (host/lead investigator), Nick Groff (investigator), and Aaron Goodwin (equipment tech) are traveling all over the world conducting intense investigations at locations rife with paranormal activity. Saturn Awards Announces Nominees Recognizing the best in sciencefiction, horror, and fantasy, the Saturn Awards has announced its list of nominees. ABC’s LOST was honored with 11 nominations this year, almost doubling the second-highest total in the television category. Best network television series nominations went to LOST, Heroes, Fringe, Life on Mars, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and Supernatural. On the cable side of things, Battlestar Galactica, The Closer, Dexter, Leverage, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and True Blood were also nominated. On the film side of things, The Dark Knight grabbed 11 nominations, with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Iron Man right behind with nine and eight, respectively. Paranormal News Experts Gather to Investigate Ghosts in Edinburgh Experts from across the globe are taking part in a series of spooky investigations in Edinburgh to find out if ghosts really do exist, according to http://news.stv.tv. And on April 4, Psychology Professor Richard Wiseman and a host of other experts will gather to examine the science and history of hauntings. This one-day public event forms part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, and consists of seven talks exploring: • The truth about scientific investigations into ‘haunted’ houses. • How the brain can be fooled into seeing apparitions. • Whether spirit photographs offer evidence of the afterlife. • How poltergeists once panicked the nation. The event will take place in the University of Edinburgh’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre. For more information, visit www.scienceofghosts.com/. Secret Danish UFO Archives Opened The Danish Air Force has opened its UFO archives, providing information on more than 15,000 reported extraterrestrial sightings to the public. UFO archives are now available to the public, detailing sightings from over the past 30 years, according to www.cphpost.dk. The Danish Air Force published the archive online because it felt that “there was nothing secret in the files.” The Air Force said that while most of the sightings remained “unidentified,” some of the reports contained enough description to rule out the UFOs as aircraft, weather phenomenon, or paper lanterns. Ghost Photographed in Haunted Hotel A hotel in Romania is said to be haunted by the ghost of a tall woman. A hotel in Romania has become a local attraction after a photograph of a ghost was published by newspapers and television, according to www.ananova.com/news/ story/sm_3122408.html?menu=. The ghost of a tall woman in a long, white dress reportedly watches the hallways and staircases of the Decebal hotel in the Baile Herculane mountain spa. According to the report, the 150-year-old hotel is believed to hide ancient Roman treasure under its foundations and the ghost is said by locals to keep treasure hunters away. While the hotel has been closed for renovations for five years, people who have still ventured inside claim to have seen and photographed the ghost. Victoria Iovan, 33, from Baile Herculane, said, “I photographed my boyfriend in the hotel. Back home I was shocked to see another woman’s shadow in the picture. She looked like a priestess in long white clothes,” according to www. ananova.com. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 7 Paranormal News Calendar of Events ParaCon 2009 March 21 Reno, Oklahoma (with a live broadcast by Ghostology Radio) www.ghouli.org ComParaCon April 4 Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park Carlisle, Kentucky www.commonwealth-paranormal.net Women’s International Study of the Paranormal Conference May 29-31 Mansfield Reformatory Prison Mansfield, Ohio www.wispexpo.com “ghostock7” April 16-19 Salem, Massachusetts http://ghostock.com Waverly Experience 2009 May 29-30 Waverly Hills Sanatorium Louisville, Kentucky http://www.para-x.com/waverly.html X-Conference 2009 April 17-19 Gaithersburg, Maryland www.paradigmresearchgroup. org/X-Conference2009/X-Conference2009.htm Western Pennsylvania Paranormal Conference May 30 Julian’s Banquet Hall Washington, Pennsylvania WPPA.eventbrite.com 2009 Rose City Paranormal Conference & Mt. Hood Ghost Conference April 25-26 Welches, Oregon http://rosecityparanormalconference. bravehost.com/ 1st Annual North Central Indiana Meet & Greet and EXPO June 6 Honeywell Center Gym Wabash, Indiana firstname.lastname@example.org Indiana Paranormal 2009 Convention May 8-10 Indianapolis, Indiana www.indyparacon.com Psychic and Paranormal Fair May 10 USS Salem Quincy, Massachusetts www.massparanormal.net Paranormacon 2009 May 16-17 Fort Wayne Masonic Temple Fort Wayne, Indiana www.paranormacon.com 8 Kansas City Paranormal Conferences June 19-21 Kansas City, Missouri www.kcparacon.com East Central Indiana Paranormal Conference July 9-11 Ball State University Muncie, Indiana http://bsuparanormal.org/ecipc/ Paranormal Underground March 2009 1st Annual “NorCal-ParaCon 2009” Paranormal Conference July 17-19 Monterey Marriott Monterey, California http://norcalghosthunters.com/norcalparacon09.html MUFON 2009 International Symposium August 6-9 Denver, Colorado www.mufon.com The Ohio Paranormal Convention August 14-16 Hara Arena Dayton, Ohio http://ohiocon.southernohioparanormal.org The Mystic Carnival Convention August 28 Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel Vancourver www.forthecauseentertainment.com/ East Coast Paranormal Investigators Conference 2009 October 9-11 Fort Mifflin on the Delaware Philadelphia, Pennsylvania http://aphs.org ParaNooga — A Paranormal Investigator’s Convention December 11-13 Chattanooga, Tennessee www.paranooga.com If you have a conference that you’d like listed in our calendar, e-mail editor@ paranormalunderground.net. T.V. Watch Creatures Come Alive on “Sanctuary” By Jaime Johnesee S ci Fi Channel’s new hit series Sanctuary is a treat for fans of Star Gate SG1’s Amanda Tapping. Playing Dr. Helen Magnus, Tapping delivers a performance not to be missed. Magnus owns and operates Sanctuary House, a safe haven for those deemed “abnormals.” Rife with bizarre creatures and top-of-theline technology, Sanctuary House is the stuff dreams and nightmares are made of. And only here will you see a mermaid and a werewolf having a conversation. Being served high tea by the missing link and scaling a mountain in search of a Yeti is commonplace. Magnus doesn’t work alone and teams up with her daughter, Ashley; Dr. Will Zimmerman; and tech guru Henry. The team does their best to seek out and help odd creatures and evolved humans. Upon finding their target, the team then captures or convinces the animal or hybrid to return with them to Sanctuary House where they will be given a better life and three square meals a day. Fighting the Forces of Evil All is not so easy for Magnus’ team. Another group — known as the Cabala — does their best to get to the creatures first. However, their intentions are sinister, and they have far different futures in mind for the “abnormal” than does the Sanctuary House team. The continuing pressure of the Cabala always being right behind Magnus offers viewers an intriguing and suspenseful show. Add to all of this an exhusband who cannot be killed who started off as evil, and you have a very bizarre but easy-toenjoy show. If you enjoy fictional cryptozoology, you’ll definitely enjoy Sanctuary. Terrific Acting Makes the Show Believable The actors do a fantastic job in making you believe the CGI creations are sitting opposite them. Robin Dunne’s portrayal Will Zimmerman, a naïve yet keen-eyed psychiatrist is spot-on. The hard-hitting, gun toting, martial arts expert, Ashley, is played by actress Emilie Ullerup. Rounding out the cast is Ryan Robbins, who does an amazing job playing the gentle, tech-minded ubergeek (and occasional were- Amanda Tapping leads a talented cast in Sci Fi’s Sanctuary. wolf) Henry. Where the writers and directors will take this show is still unknown, but so far they have done a wonderful job in bringing Sanctuary to life. With creatures like the Nubbins (a small Furby-looking critter that reproduces faster than rabbits) and the microscopic single-celled organism found inside the severed head of a mermaid, this show urges its viewers to use and enjoy their imaginations. So put on your creativity caps and tune in. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 9 Investigator Spotlight Mark Macy’s Connection to the Other Side Investigating Through ITC and Spirit Photography By Karen Frazier M ark Macy can communicate with the dead. No — he’s not a psychic or a medium. He is a researcher whose focus on bridging the gap between the spirit world and this one has yielded some startling results. Prior to his personal battle with colon cancer that nearly resulted in his death in 1988, Macy was a self-described agnostic. He had no belief in an afterlife, spirits, or God. Then, as he stared death in the face, he began to ponder what happens to us after we die. The question consumed him. In his book, Spirit Faces: Truth About the Afterlife, Macy describes being gripped by the fear that led to his quest to discover our destination after death. According to Macy, “At some level I knew the answer was the only thing that would alleviate my fears.” Since then, Macy has embarked on an amazing journey into the realm of spirit communication. Using ITC (instrumental trans-communication) and spirit photography, his results have been nothing short of phenomenal, with implications that could affect how we, as humans, see our place in the universe. Macy’s ITC work is well- 10 documented on the Web site www. worlditc.org and in his book Miracles in the Storm. In a nutshell, ITC is the process of using technologies available to us on Earth to establish communication with the spirit world. In his ITC research, Macy has experienced communication from the other side over the telephone, through video, via Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP), and on computer screens. In Spirit Faces, excerpted in part on his Web site, www.spiritfaces. com, Macy shows pictures taken with a Polaroid camera in the presence of a piece of equipment called a luminator. Many of the pictures show strange faces that appear to be superimposed over the face of his Paranormal Underground March 2009 subject. These faces look entirely different from the person in the photo, but they are often recognizable to the subject as loved ones who have died. If the thought of all of this boggles your mind, Macy would be the first to let you know you are not alone. In Spirit Faces, he describes the “boggle point” — the point at which new information is just too much to process and our minds shut down. However, just because your mind shuts down, Macy cautions, it doesn’t mean the information it is receiving isn’t valid. He has a point. Macy’s books are well-researched but don’t read like a dry academic paper. Instead, his materials are presented in an entertaining manner that will keep you turning pages — boggled minds or not. Throughout all of his work, Macy presents a compelling picture of another realm. A realm of spirit that exists right here where we are, but that is more profoundly beautiful and loving than we could ever possibly imagine. Recently, Macy was kind enough to answer the questions I had about his work. ***** Q: Can you briefly describe the method you use to take spirit photographs using the luminator? Q: Have you used the luminator with digital mediums? Macy: The luminator does most of the work, generating a strong field of subtle energy that makes the spiritface pictures possible. I just take pictures of people with a Polaroid camera that has black electrician’s tape over the flash unit. Macy: Luminator users have tried everything — digital photos, 35-mm photos, digital video, and analog video — and the only thing that produces spirit faces with any regularity is the Polaroid camera. I’m assuming the new Fuji process will work, but so far I’ve heard no reports, pro or con. Q: How did you come up with your technique? Q: How did you come by the luminator? Macy: The technique was developed by the inventor of the luminator, Patrick Richards of Michigan, who died last year. Macy: In 1999, I attended the ISSSEEM conference in Boulder, not far from my home. There I met Jack Stucki, a therapist who’d been using a luminator for several years. When I saw clear spirit faces in several pictures he’d taken of his clients, I knew I had to get a luminator for ITC applications — despite the five-figure price tag. Q: What can you tell me about the luminator? Macy: It has two counter-rotating fans that create a vortex of wind, similar to a little tornado that spins in a Plexiglas barrel lined with liquidfilled rings. There’s been a lot of study of vortices and the anomalies they seem to produce. Q: Can you explain the effect the luminator has on pictures? Macy: The subtle energy field seems to sort of “melt away” the barriers, or veil, between our world and the denser spirit worlds so that the two realities come closer together in terms of vibration. Spirit bodies apparently become dense enough to show up on the film, but not quite dense enough to become visible to the naked eye. Q: Why do you use low flash? Macy: We’ve just found that the photographic anomalies don’t work in sunlight, halogen light, and light from a flash unit. Normal indoor lighting conditions — screw-in incandescent bulbs and ceiling mounted fluorescent light fixtures — seem to work the best. Q: Do you still take Polaroids? Do they still make Polaroid film? Macy: I have about a dozen packs of film in my lab, which I’ll probably go through in the coming months. Then it’s on to the new Fuji camera and film. Q: Do you ever get pictures with the luminator that just look like a normal photograph? Macy: Depending on the lighting in the room, I believe about half the pictures I take come out clear, with no obvious anomalies. Maybe 10-20 percent come out with spirit faces, and 30-40 percent have other anomalies, such as small fractal designs along the edges of the photos, faint spiritual garments (e.g., robes) or hands, and a visual incoherence of the picture — a sort of blurred effect. Q: Why are spirits showing up in the pictures? Macy: The spirits who show up in Macy’s Book, Spirit Faces, explores images he has taken using the luminator. our pictures might be near us at the moment for a number of reasons. When I give seminars there’s always a large crowd of spirits present. They include my own guides and my spirit group. Also, loved ones and supporters of the people attending the seminars are there. Other spirits show up just because they want to make some kind of contact with people on Earth. Some are just curious. Sometimes there might be a few confused spirits who have attached themselves to someone. Q: Do we look the same as spirits as we do in life, so that we can recognize a spirit? Macy: A lifetime on Earth fills our minds with patterns of human thought that can’t just disappear when we die. So we act human and look human in subtle Earth-like surroundings when we awaken in our astral body and get settled into the astral worlds. Eventually, we’ll reincarnate in another physical body or evolve spiritually into formless ethereal beings residing in light, ethereal realms. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 11 Investigator Spotlight Q: Describe some of your work with ITC. they get started? What might they expect from their experiments? Macy: I began EVP experiments in the early ’90s after befriending George Meek, who along with Bill O’Neil developed the Spiricom device. George set fire to my mind, and through him I met some of the main ITC researchers in Europe. Connecting with them also forged a connection with the spirit group that was working hard with them, trying to open ITC bridges with the Earth. The results were miraculous. I started to get phone calls and good radio contacts from the spirit group. Some of my colleagues were also getting T.V. images, and files planted on their computer hard drives containing long text letters and detailed images of the astral worlds. Those advanced contacts ended around 1999 or 2000. Since then, we’ve all gone back to EVP recordings and other research activities besides spirit communications. I also have the luminator, which for several years has been providing some remarkable spirit faces on Polaroid film. Macy: All the researchers I know began with EVP — what used to be called “taping.” Now, of course, we have digital recorders and computer recording, so it’s no longer called taping. But that’s a good way of getting started in this work — EVP experiments. There are plenty of directions on the Internet on how to get started, including our own Web site www.worlditc.org. Most basic EVP experiments, when successful, typically provide short, faint voices that last 1-2 seconds and are inaudible until playback. Most of the researchers I know who were getting miraculous contacts before, are now getting EVP voices at this time. Even Maggy in Luxembourg, who was getting the most amazing contacts imaginable, is now doing EVP, I’m told by a colleague of hers. Q: If someone wanted to begin experimenting with ITC, how could Q: Is there a way for an average person, without technical equipment or expertise, to communicate with the other side? Macy: The most natural way of communicating with the other side is telepathy, and that’s a skill we all have to some degree. Most of us have it dormant, and we have to learn to foster it. For most people, opening communications with the other side involves meditation or some other means of slowing the mind to finer levels of consciousness. We begin to receive impressions from intelligent minds in nonphysical realms. Fostering that higher sense also provides important resources for EVP and ITC experiments, which isn’t really a case of information coming through the equipment, it’s a marriage of the mind’s life energies and equipment’s electromagnetic energies. Q: You mention phone calls with spirits. Can you tell me more about this? How is this accomplished? Macy: Phone calls come through from the other side only when a number of important factors are in place. First, there must be a dedicated team of capable spirits working with ethereal beings that have the knowledge and power to penetrate the veil in that way. In addition, a factor on this side is a strong, focused will that penetrates the veil like a lance and creates reali- (Left) Doc Mueller – in life and as he appeared to ITC researchers on a television screen (below). 12 Paranormal Underground March 2009 ties in other realms. Most important, maybe, is an attitude of goodwill and friendship among a team of researchers on this side and their spirit friends. That resonance among everyone on the project establishes a clear, stable vibration they can work with. Without that resonance, there can be no ITC. Once all such factors are in place, a number of miraculous contacts can start to take place through equipment, including long phone dialogs. Q: What is required for the average person to communicate with spirits? Macy: Equipment-wise, it doesn’t really matter that much at first — just some kind of audio recording equipment and some sort of background noise source. That could be an elaborate set of multiband radios, or it could just be running water or the sounds of a coffee percolator. In my opinion, the main thing a person needs to communicate with spirits is the right attitude. If you feel a happiness and goodwill about living in the world and sharing it with the people around you, then you attract loving, supportive spirits into your life and into your work that can make wonderful things happen. In 1993, contact was initiated by a young woman who called herself Anne Guigne. Her photograph in life is above on the far left. The image in the upper right appeared to ITC researchers on a computer screen, and the image to the right appeared to ITC researchers on a television screen. But, if you have fears, doubts, and animosities in your life, then it’s not a good time to experiment, because you resonate with troubled and confused spirits who can badly stir things up in your life and in your experiments. So, it’s important that you’ve found peace in your life and are happy. Establish a place in your house where you can go to meditate, pray, and experiment — a place where you always bring joy with you when you get there, and you take it with you when you leave. Then you’ll see miracles happening in your work and in your life. Q: Please explain the ITC bridge. Macy: The ITC bridge is also called a contact field. It’s a pool of all the thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings of everyone working together on an ITC project, as well as their spirit group. All of this life energy from both sides forms this pool of consciousness that spans many dimensions. If everyone’s in harmony, and if the field is clear, then the other side can work with us and our equipment. But if fears or animosities cause the field to be unstable and cloudy, the ITC bridge breaks down. Q: What would be needed for an ITC bridge to be established? Macy: As I mentioned, the main ingredient of an ITC bridge is the right attitude. Q: Why are spirits trying to communicate with us? Macy: Many spirits from many worlds have always wanted to be in touch with our world. Just as there are many reasons for people to log into a computer and get on the Internet — anything from gaining wisdom, spiritual inspiration, and technical advice, to visiting porn sites and sending hate e-mails — there are many reasons for spirits to be in touch with the Earth — for better or worse. Some have loving, positive intentions for us and our world. Others are troubled and latch onto any insecurities we may have. There are countless reasons spirits get close to our world. Q: Can you describe some of the more significant information gleaned from communications with “The Seven”? Macy: The Seven Ethereal beings told us what it’s like for them when (L) Photograph of John Denver. (R) A photograph taken with a Polaroid in the presence of the luminator. Is this the face of John Denver? Notice that the subject’s face is entirely different from the close up of the spirit face (center). March 2009 Paranormal Underground 13 Investigator Spotlight they come to “take us home” at the end of our Earthly lives. It’s good for us to take off our masks in front of each other to show who we really are, and not assume we must have led a perfect life to find a beautiful afterlife. They tell us to relax. We’re not being judged after a single lesson but after the entire schooling of many lifetimes. But the most important information they gave us related to a paradise world long ago inhabited by super, god-like humans who became marooned on Earth when their home planet was destroyed by runaway technology. We, today, are the products of cross-breeding between the ancient superhumans and animalistic humans who came to predominate on Earth. As such, we have a noble side that wants to be wise stewards of the Earth and to love and trust each other. We also have a savage side that wants to be ruthless enough to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the hostile environment of this world, where life has always killed life to survive. That story is all what my new book is about, The Project; the Past, Present and Future of Humanity. It was published in February. Q: Is there any one photograph or communication that stands out in your mind as the most significant you’ve experienced? Macy: The most amazing image I received was the face of John Denver’s spirit posing with the human subject of the Polaroid picture I took in the presence of the luminator. Overall, the most important visual that’s ever come through from the other side is a full-color TV picture of two ethereal beings. They were very subtle, human-like bodies that glow in rainbow colors and a golden aura. The most important communications by far, I believe, are the ones that tell us about our ancient heritage and paradise destiny, which I described earlier. Other communications talked about Atlantis and about the correct role of humans as stewards of the Earth rather than manipulators. It’s all in my new book, The Project. Q: In your book, Spirit Faces, you talk about the spirit world being essentially right here, superimposed over our world. Can you explain this a little further? Macy: There have been many In this series of photographs, the image on the upper left shows a face free of spirits. Now look at the photograph of the same subject in the lower left. Does the face resemble the man above? 14 Paranormal Underground March 2009 descriptions of the other side sent to us through ITC systems. Just as we have many ways to describe our world from many different perspectives, spirits describe the spirit worlds from many perspectives based on their experiences over there. Through the centuries, however, much of the information coming from the other side has been refined by esoteric and spiritual thinkers who assimilated the information and put it together in ways that give a good picture of the afterlife. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my Websites and books, especially the newest book — The Project. Q: Do all of the contacts on the other side describe where they are in the same way? Macy: Some people talk about meadows and mountains and the beautiful nature on the other side. Some people talk about tropical islands, and others talk about the super high-tech laboratories where they feel comfortable. One person talked about feasts at large banquet tables covered with the most amazing foods imaginable. It depends on the experiences of the person over there. (Above) Macy and his luminator. (R) Macy and his spirit friend. Q: What is the description of the other side? Macy: In a nutshell, there are countless worlds and universes beyond our physical universe that are all jumbled together in the same, what we call, space. They’re separated not by distance from each other, but by vibration. So, moving worlds away can be done instantly because it doesn’t require any sort of elaborate space travel contrivances. Some people say there are seven levels, some say 13 or 21. That doesn’t really matter; it’s all arbitrary. The truth is there are many universes. I like a simple model that includes ethereal worlds inhabited by brilliant light beings and energy beings that have no form until they descend in vibration into the astral worlds. My model also includes astral worlds where people who once lived on physical worlds like ours now reside in lovely paradise worlds that are a lot like the Earth, only nicer. Finally, my model includes what I call dismal worlds where troubled or troublesome people sometimes awaken after they die. It’s a dark, unhappy place where some people get stuck for awhile before moving on to the paradise worlds where we all belong after we die. In the center of everything is the Source, what religions call God, Yaweh, Allah, or Brahman. It emits a perfect, nonvibrating consciousness that then starts to vibrate at various rates and manifests as everything everywhere. Q: Do any of the spirits describe a typical NDE on the way to the other side? Macy: Sir Richard Francis Burton was an English explorer who died and said that he first woke up in an Arabian village after he died, similar to what he’d experienced on Earth while living in the Middle East and translating 1001 Arabian Nights into English. So when Englishman Sir Richard died, he had an Arabian experience. The French science fiction writer Jules Verne said he died after years of suffering and awakened feeling great in an elaborate temple where beautiful girls offered to get him whatever he needed. Another fellow, a friend of the Luxembourg researchers, died and said that after he awakened in paradise he was reunited with his late wife, and the two of them were busy enjoying their “newly discovered young bodies” along the banks of the River of Eternity where “butterflies with wings the size of soup plates” landed on flowers — and he was busy at the moment typing ITC letters into a spirit world computer terminal. So there are many different experiences once we cross into the light and get settled into paradise. There are many contacts of these kinds, and I reported most of them in the Contact! journal at the time, which is now accessible on my Web site, www.spiritfaces.com. Q: Do those in the spirit world have relationships to God that are similar to those people have on Earth? Macy: As far as I can tell, people on the other side have the same relationship with God that we have here on Earth. Some people accept God as a reality and embrace that force. Others deny it. To most people over there, God is close and personal, and at the same time worlds removed, just as that power is to us here on Earth. Q: Do you plan any more books? Macy: My new book is The Project; the Past, Present, and Future of Humanity. With that book, I feel like I’ve completed my main purpose for coming to Earth in this lifetime. But I’m a writer, so I’m sure I’ll have more books to write now that this one’s done. Macy’s new book, The Project, was released in February. This book describes our ancient heritage many millions of years ago, which helps explain why we are who we are today. And, it sheds light on bright paradise future scenarios, which are our destiny once we can accept the knowledge and responsibility it involves, and once we can tame our savage side. Q: Is there anything else that you’d like to communicate to our readers? Macy: In a nutshell, we humans on Earth over millions of years have developed two sides to our nature. Our noble side, fostered by our ancient, superhuman, god-like ancestors, wants to be wise stewards of the planet; we want to love and trust each other. Everything is beautiful for the noble side of humanity. There’s also what I call the savage side, which is a ruthless, aggressive creature developed so that our ancestors could survive in a harsh, wild world where life kills life to survive. Today, we live in a gentler world, but the savage side still stirs up a lot of troubles for us. We need to deal with that for the sake of inner peace, for the sake of ITC, and for the sake of the planet. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 15 Special Report Spirit Photography By Karen Frazier S ince man developed the ability to take photographs, there have been ones of ghosts and spirits. There have also been equally many ways to fake such photographs. With the advent of the technology age, the possibilities for capturing photographs of spirits has opened up the possibilities in the medium — both for fraud and gaining genuine evidence. It is an interesting doubleedged sword. On one hand, a genuine photograph of a ghost is the holy grail of the paranormal investigator. On the other, any picture captured is immediately suspect — especially with the ease of digital manipulation today. The definition of what constitutes a spirit photograph varies from person to person. They run the gamut from orbs to misty figures. One needs to only type “Ghost Pictures” or “Spirit Photographs” into Google to see just how varied the definition is of what makes a paranormal photograph. Orbs Orbs are perhaps the most hotly debated photographic artifact in the paranormal world. Those who believe orbs are paranormal in nature have several theories as to what they are. Some believe orbs are balls of energy totally unrelated to 16 spirits. Others believe orbs are the beginning of a spirit manifestation. Still others believe orbs are ghosts or spirits manifested and traveling as balls of light. Skeptics — and there are many — say orbs are merely photographic artifacts, caused by dust, water spots, malfunctions of the flash, or bugs traveling in front of the camera lens. Orbs Mists Like orbs, mists can develop in photographs that leave some investigators scratching their heads. Mists can take on any number of different forms — from shapeless blobs to images with clearly defined shapes and edges. Many paranormal researchers believe mists appearing in photographs are ectoplasm, or manifestations of spirit energy. Debunkers of such photographs Paranormal Underground March 2009 point out how many things could produce a mist or the image of a mist on camera. For instance, when taking a photograph outside in the cold air, if the photographer (or subject) exhales while snapping the photograph, the result can be condensation appearing on film as mist. Where I live, in the Costal Pacific Northwest, mists are quite common year round. Just driving to the store, I can observe random mists that spring up in odd spots caused by the sheer amount of moisture in the ground. Other things that can appear in photographs or videos as mists include anything moving quickly past the lens of the camera (such as bugs or moths), the camera strap, overexposure, cigarette smoke, and moving while taking the picture — just to name a few. Mist Flares and Streaks of Light Many photographs classified as paranormal contain strange light anomalies some believe to be ghostly or energetic in origin. Some such photographs are interpreted as angels, or light beings. However, many explain these types of photos as being caused by dust, slow shutter speed, or improper lighting capturing insects of far-off light sources. spiritualism movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time, many photographers — either deliberately or accidentally — double exposed photographs (such as the one to the lower left), causing many to believe ghosts were, indeed, captured in photographs. Today, digital manipulation makes it easy to “fake” a spirit photograph. This does not, however, mean every photograph with an anomaly is a fake. There are many photographs of spirits that experts have not been able to debunk. So, are we capturing ghosts on our cameras? Debunkers say no, and that for every photographic anomaly, there is a logical explanation. Believers, on the other hand, caution against dismissing every spirit photograph as invalid, pointing out that a genuine picture of a spirit Mary Todd Lincoln . . . and Abe would provide the strongest evidence that we are, indeed, in contact with the other side. One of the most famous spirit photographs from the Victorian spiritualism movement is of Mary Todd Lincoln with her deceased husband’s hands resting on her shoulders (above). Photographs taken at night, can be caused by bugs flying past a light source such as a flashlight or the flash. Full-Bodied Apparition It’s the holy grail of spirit photography — an apparition with definable features. The term Spirit Photography is closely associated with the Victorian Full-bodied apparation March 2009 Paranormal Underground 17 Special Report Spirits of Gettysburg By Carolyn M. Hughes I moved from L.A. to Gettysburg other experiences I have had at othBy day, I study, regiment by regieight years ago. The first six er locations around this country in ment, Union and Confederate, what years, I visited the battlefield the last 20 years. I have seen them, I the young men and boys did there in three to four nights a week. Each have heard them, I have communibattle on three days in July 1863. By night, I would take approximately cated and interacted with them, and night, I visit them, speaking out loud 900 photos. I have photographed them. to them and acknowledging what they As a result, I have taken well over What I do when I visit the Getdid on whatever particular part of the 100,000 photographs on the Getbattlefield that I may be visiting tysburg battlefield. My job these on that particular evening. past two years as night auditor/ And the entire time I am manager in a hotel on the Getvisiting, I have nothing but the tysburg battlefield has prevented utmost respect for what occurred me from spending as much time on the 25-square mile battlefield as I’d like visiting my friends. and for the tens of thousands of In the beginning, I was giftyoung men and boys who died ed with many wonderful spirit in excruciating agony and in photographs, but as my visits horrifying ways, leaving behind increased, so did my experiencrivers of blood to soak the fields es and quantity and quality of and hills of Gettysburg. the photographs I was given. My I have chosen to share digital recordings of the soldier some of the photographs I have spirits increased as well. taken on the Gettysburg battleWhen I visit the Gettysfield because of the diversity of burg battlefield, I’m not there paranormal phenomenon I have Approximately 2.7 million people per year visit the taking photographs to prove encountered, and because it is National Park at Gettysburg, the site where more than there that I have experienced it or disprove with photographic 51,000 men and boys lost their lives during a threeevidence the existence of ghosts with such frequency. That latter day battle in July 1863. or spirits. I know they exist from point will be demonstrated by the thousands of experiences the multiple photographs I have I have personally had on the been given of the same spirits, battlefield itself and from the experitysburg battlefield is just that — visit always shot in sequence. ences I and the other staff have had with friends, old and new. I don’t As a matter of fact, the first time I at the hotel where I work. (See “Di“hunt” because I abhor that term. saw with my naked eyes and photoary of a Haunted Hotel,” published I don’t capture anything but am graphed the same spirit over a period monthly in this magazine.) “gifted” with whatever form and phoof 10 to 20 minutes, I was stunned. I also know they exist from the tograph they choose to give me. The amount of energy it must take 18 Paranormal Underground March 2009 to maintain their form in order for me to photograph up to 200 shots at a time has to be enormous. But, this did and does occur frequently. And it has occurred for others who have accompanied me as well, for my friends were also allowed to see and photograph the same spirit I was seeing and photographing while using completely different cameras (both 35 mm film and digital). What you may view on these next few pages may be questioned by many of you. But, as I said, I’m not here to prove or disprove anything. You can accept or discount whatever you like. It makes no difference to me. I am only sharing some of the thousands of photographs that I have taken over the years on the Gettysburg battlefield. For you purists, the photographs presented herein were all taken using three cameras: two Sony Mavica FD-88 digital cameras and many “throw-away” 35 mm film cameras. The photographs presented were taken in calm conditions (no wind, rain, or snow), in summer, fall, spring, and winter months. While photographing in extreme cold, I always hold my breath while snapping a picture. I also look in front of the camera while shooting because then I am able to actually see with my naked eye what has ended up in the photograph. In 2005, I began using a Quantaray slave flash, model MS-1 (auto flash booster) to cover a greater area. All photographs used in this article are copyrighted and owned by Carolyn M. Hughes. No photograph is to be reproduced, duplicated, copied, sold, resold, or otherwise used for commercial purposes without the express written consent of Carolyn M. Hughes. If Carolyn M. Hughes discovers illegal use of any of the copyrighted photographs used in this article, she may bring legal proceedings against the offending party, seeking monetary damages and an injunction to cease use of the aforementioned photographs. The offending party could also be ordered to pay legal costs. 20th Maine Monument on Little Round Top The Wheatfield Devil’s Den The Angle March 2009 Paranormal Underground 19 Special Report Ectoplasm T hese shots show what many paranormal investigators call ectoplasm. They were taken around the battlefield, including at Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, South Cavalry Field, and the Wheatfield. South Cavalry Field (third shot): This is the path into South Cavalry Field. It was behind the rock wall on the right that Confederate troops lie in wait for the Union cavalry charge. This particular photo looks like a Union cavalry soldier sitting with either his rifle or saber. You can see his arms and kepi. South Cavalry Field (fourth shot): I was visiting South Cavalry Field with my friend who is a Licensed Battlefield Guide. We were doing research on the area and had just found a farm lane that was key to her research. She related the story to me from the Official Records from several accounts of soldiers Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-28-04 — Devil’s Den 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-28-04 — Devil’s Den 3 20 Paranormal Underground March 2009 who fought here. They mentioned that during the heat of battle, a Union cavalry horse had been hit by artillery, having its right, rear leg shot off. They all commented on watching the horse hobbling down the farm lane screaming in agony until it passed their position and dropped dead. As soon as she finished the story, I took this shot in the direction of the farm lane. Spirit horse? Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-28-04 — Devil’s Den 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 11-12-02 — Little Round Top: 20th Maine Monument Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-15-05 — South Cavalry Field 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-15-05 — South Cavalry Field 3 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 1-1-02 — Wheatfield 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-15-05 — South Cavalry Field 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-15-05 — South Cavalry Field 4 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 1-1-02 — Wheatfield 2 March 2009 Paranormal Underground 21 Special Report R o d s / Vo r t i c e s T he following pictures are of what I call “rods or vortices.” They were taken in the following areas of the battlefield: The Angle, Hancock Ave., Confederate Ave., U.S. Ave., and The Wheatfield. The Angle (three shots below): I first met these soldier-spirits in 2002. I was walking around East Cavalry Field taking shots when I saw a very bright flash directly in front of me. I immediately took a picture and this showed up. I had no idea what it was. I then took another shot, looking in front of my camera and saw what appeared to be something extremely bright and taller than I am in the flash. I continued shooting for 25 minutes. The entire time, he was moving up and down, left and right, but staying within my shots. Over 200 shots later, he faded away. Several months later, he showed up again, at another location on Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 8-14-04 — The Angle 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 8-14-04 — The Angle 3 22 Paranormal Underground March 2009 the battlefield. The same scenario repeated itself. The more excited I became, the brighter he got. And, each and every time, I could see him with my naked eye. Over the years, he has visited me many times at different locations of the battlefield. On three occasions, I had friends with me who saw and photographed him as well. These are just a few of the hundreds of pictures he has gifted me with. Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 8-14-04 — The Angle 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 4-25-05 — Hancock Ave. Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 7-4-07 1 — Confederate Ave. 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 8-29-04 — U.S. Ave. 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 8-29-04 — U.S. Ave. 3 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 7-4-07 1 — Confederate Ave. 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 8-29-04 — U.S. Ave. 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 6-17-06 — The Wheatfield March 2009 Paranormal Underground 23 Special Report Orbs/Other T he four photos below I took on 9-3-03 at the East Cavalry Field represent soldier spirits I first met in 2001. These first four shots were taken in sequence to demonstrate how they appear then slowly fade away. My mom and I were taking shots when one bright red spirit appeared in my LCD. I started shooting and, while watching in front of the camera, began to see him with my naked eye while photographing him. Then, he disappeared. Two minutes later, while shooting and, once again, looking in front of my camera, I saw a very bright flash. When I looked at what I had photographed, I was amazed. There was a whole group of different colored spirits, and it appeared they had shot forth through a bright light on the right side of the camera. I continued shooting and actually saw them for several shots. Then two more different colored spirits appeared on the left. They “glowed” for approximately five minutes while I took pictures, before fading away. Three months later, on another part of the battlefield, my “little red buddy” appeared again. I asked him to go get the “rest of the Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-3-03 — East Cavalry Field 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-3-03 — East Cavalry Field 3 24 Paranormal Underground March 2009 boys,” and they appeared again. For the past six years, I have been photographing my “brigade.” I have shots of them shooting out of a brilliant light, in various shades of brilliance, and then fading slowly away. My mom has been with me many times and seen them, as well as my Licensed Battlefield Guide friend. The Ayres Avenue and Wheatfield photos on the next page shows a pink spirit, which has shown up many times for me. He is always alone and usually in the area of the Wheatfield. Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-3-03 — East Cavalry Field 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-3-03 — East Cavalry Field 4 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 2-5-03 — The Wheatfield Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 10-6-01 — Brook Ave. Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 5-19-07 — The Wheatfield Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 6-7-06 — The Angle Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 12-30-02 — East Cavalry Field Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 5-19-07 — Ayres Ave. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 25 Special Report Orbs/Other T he following photos are what I classify as “orbs or other.” These first four shots were taken on the Wheatfield on 9-01-05. I was once again visiting the battlefield with my friend, who is a Licensed Battlefield Guide. We were totally alone on a clear, crisp night in the Wheatfield. As I was taking shots and looking in front of my camera, I saw something very bright appear. I checked what I had photographed and called my friend over. She began taking shots, and we both saw with our naked eyes and photographed these pink spirits. We were very excited and started laughing. The more we laughed, the brighter they became. This went on for about 15 minutes until they started to get dimmer and dimmer. Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-1-05 — The Wheatfield 1 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-1-05 — The Wheatfield 3 26 Paranormal Underground March 2009 We both walked away with more than 100 shots. Over time, I have photographed this group many times. Several psychics, independent of the other, have told me that pink denotes the very young. That would certainly apply to a great many who fought at Gettysburg. The majority of men, or boys, who fought ranged from age 15 to 21 years of age. Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-1-05 — The Wheatfield 2 Copyright Carolyn M. Hughes 9-1-05 — The Wheatfield 4 Recommended Reading Spirit Photography W ant to learn more about spirit photography? Here are some books and Web sites to check out: BOOKS By Dale D. Kaczmarek: —A Field Guide to Spirit Photography —Evidence For Spirit Photography By Mark Macy: —Spirit Faces: Truth About the Afterlife —The Project By Melvyn Willin By Arthur Conan Doyle By Rolf Krauss — An Historical Survey —Beyond Light and Shadow: The Role of Photography in Certain Paranormal Phenomena —The Case for Spirit Photography with Corroborative Evidence By Experienced Researchers and Photographers, 1st American Edition By Orin Bridges —Photographing Beings of Light: Images of Nature and Beyond By Cyril Permutt —Photographing the Spirit World —Beyond the Spectrum: A Survey of Supernormal Photography By Jim Eaton —Ghosts Caught on Film —Ghost Photos — The Unexplained Caught on Film —The Paranormal Caught on Film By Louis Kaplan By Katie Hall —The Strange Case of William Mumler Spirit Photographer —Beyond Photography: Encounters with Orbs, Angels and Light-Forms By Martyn Jolly —Faces of the Living Dead By Stuart L. Schneider and Rebecca Benjamin —Ghosts in the Cemetery: A Pictorial Study By Fred Gettings —Ghosts in Photographs: The Extraordinary Story of Spirit Photography By James Coates —Photographing the Invisible By Robert Rickard and Richard Kelly — Photographs of the Unknown By Hans Holzer —Psychic Photography: Threshold of a New Science By Lenore Sweet —How to Photograph the Paranormal By Orin Bridges —Photographing Beings of Light: Images of Nature and Beyond By Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann —The Orb Project By Robert A. Sobieszek —Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul, 1850-2000 By Dee Chandler, Dee Chandler Esq. Blakemore, and Beaux —GhostHunt: A Tuide to Ghost Photography & Field Investigations: Featuring True Stories & Photographs From Colorado & the U.S. Web Sites —www.spiritfaces.com —www.worlditc.org —www.prairieghosts.com/ph_history. html —www.ghostresearch.org/ghostpics/articles/tips.html —www.photographymuseum.com/ believe1.html —www.ghostvillage.com/legends/spiritphotography.shtml —www.angelsghosts.com/ spirit_photography_ ghost_photographs.html —www.ourcuriousworld. com/FavGhostPXs.htm —http://paranormal. about.com/od/ghostphotos/ig/Best-GhostPhotos/ —www.prairieghosts. com/trouble.html —http://ginalanier.com/ ghostsphotosparanormal.php March 2009 Paranormal Underground 27 Special Report: Artist Spotlight C3: Unlocking the Institution Within “We all go a little mad sometimes, don’t you?” —Norman Bates (Psycho, 1960) By Lisajoyce Vergara S an Francisco, California, is home to frequent Golden Gate Bridge suicides, the unsolved murder mysteries of the acclaimed “Zodiac” serial killer, and the hauntings that still remain on Alcatraz Island. This is where 27-year-old artist Christopher C. Curtis (AKA C3) resides. Last October, Curtis showcased his artwork — entitled “Within This Institution . . .” — at the Babylon Falling bookstore in the Lower Knob Hill area in San Francisco. His work was inspired by the film Lunacy, directed by Czech surrealist artist Jan Svankmajer. In the beginning of the film, Svankmajer presents two ways to run an institution — to let the lunatics run free or to control them. Today’s society is built up into the worst of both worlds, according to the filmmaker. Curtis incorporates the colors black and green to enforce the idea of emptiness for his “Within This Institution” series. “I like seeing things that are aesthetically beautiful. I want things to be beautiful even if they are very dark. They are dark (artwork) 28 because I am doing them to get out the darkest part of myself,” Curtis said. “I try to emulate what I want to see.” The young artist prefers artwork that is extremely detail-oriented. “I like lithograph type because of its smoothness and free-flowing nature. The shades perfectly blend together,” Curtis said. “The more detailed the artwork is, the more Artist Chris C. Curtis creates the world as an emotionally impacting it institution through his artwork. is. It gives me a sense of Photo by: Jen Choe, 2009. whoever worked on it put their blood, sweet, tears, and soul that it all comes Aside from being inspired by down to caring and love for your pop culture (artists, music, movies, work. If you love your work, you’d etc.), Curtis said that life itself is his be to that extent and extreme. It’s greatest inspiration. craftsmanship.” “What does life mean, if anyGrowing up as a kid, Curtis thing? Where does life take us, and would draw based on artwork he saw what comes next after we’re gone?” in comic books. Curtis will be featuring his lat“I used to draw Ninja Turtles and est artwork in an upcoming show Calvin & Hobbes mostly,” he said. “As entitled “777” on Mar. 13–Apr. 3 at I got older I started drawing things out Gallery Three at 66 Sixth St. in San of my head. Monsters mostly.” Francisco, California. Paranormal Underground March 2009 â€œ4th Floor Corridorâ€? was drawn on graphite and white charcoal on cardstock. This was an earlier piece inspired by a picture Curtis saw in a newspaper on a hospital opening. Artwork by Chris C. Curtis March 2009 Paranormal Underground 29 Special Report: Artist Spotlight Artwork by Chris C. Curtis “Release” (above) is about letting go or freeing one’s spirit. The final sleep. “Night Nurse” (at right) was based on a picture Curtis saw of a nurse holding a cat. In his version, the nurse is filled with darkness, and the cat is separating from its shadow. It’s a symbol of total chaos. 30 Paranormal Underground March 2009 Artwork by Chris C. Curtis March 2009 Paranormal Underground 31 Special Report: Artist Spotlight â€œFractureâ€? (below) deals with the subject of death. It also refers to the crack in the indicator that resembles a broken heart. Artwork by Chris C. Curtis 32 Paranormal Underground March 2009 â€œPhotographing Ghostsâ€? (below), drawn on oil canvas, is about a man who gets frightened to death in his quest to find life after death. Artwork by Chris C. Curtis March 2009 Paranormal Underground 33 Special Report The Novice Ghost Hunter By Ryan Tackitt Y ou have decided to do some ghost hunting. You’ve watched all the television shows, and you think you know what you are doing. Right? Perhaps not. First, you need to decide why you want to do this. Do you want to help clients out or just find ghosts with some friends? This is the most important step for the new beginner. Helping clients will cost money, and you have to provide results. Just hanging out with friends will cost little money, and if you don’t find anything, no one cares. Let’s say you just want to spend time with friends, the only equipment you really need for this is a friend and a safety plan. You don’t need a state-of-the-art camcorder or a thermal imaging camera for this. But you do need to be safe and not get hurt. This is why having a friend with you at all times is important. Know the place you are going, have a flashlight if it’s dark, a cell phone if you need to call someone, and a first aid kit if someone gets hurt. Now, you are wondering who is this guy, and why is he trying to 34 Refer to books, magazines, and Websites to learn more about ghost hunting. tell me what to do. Well, I’m a new person to ghost hunting myself. I’ve just gone through what you are deciding to do right now. My group was put together just a few months ago and we’ve done just a few investigations around our area. We set up to help clients, so we spent a little money to accomplish this task. Putting Together a Team First, we had to find people to join the group. This can be done in different ways. You can try talking to friends if you feel comfortable talking about ghosts to them. Warning: Some people might think you are strange for this. Get used to it. Paranormal Underground March 2009 Second, if that doesn’t work, you can try the Internet. You can go to paranormal Websites and look for local established groups, or find people looking to join or start a group and work from there. This is another time to be safe. Don’t meet strangers in nonpublic places by yourself. Bring a friend and meet at a mall or other common meeting place. Organizing Your Team How your group is run is up to you and the group. Our team is a democratic group. I don’t decide what is good for the team by myself; it’s voted on by the majority. If this works for your team, then so be it. Just remember your team is most likely volunteering their time and money. Get the Word Out So, what’s next? Well, you need to get word out about what you are doing. The Internet works well, but I’ve found having a few friends or relatives that think their house is haunted comes in handy. Our first few investigations we did were like this. Working with other groups in your area can come in handy also. Beware that some groups may not like to share their area. If this happens, don’t fret, just move on. What About Cemeteries? Now you’re asking “what about cemeteries?” This is my opinion about these places; they can be a wealth of training and experiences if they are done correctly. First, go during the daytime and be careful where you tread. I strongly believe it is disrespectful to the dead if you step on their resting place. If it is a private cemetery, get permission. Heck, it’s good to get permission even if it’s a public cemetery. I’m really against going at night because it’s dangerous, and you could get hurt. Now read the next sentence a couple of times before moving on. Do not do anything illegal. Prisons are not good places to investigate the paranormal. Also, it will tarnish your team’s reputation. Gadgets for Novice Ghost Hunters Now, let’s get down to the equipment. You want some cool gadgets to play with right? The best advice I can give you is to keep it simple. I’d start with a cheap but decent digital voice recorder. They are easy to use and easy to come by. Wal-Mart sells RCA brands, which are what my group uses. Radio Shack sells Olympus brand, and they are reported to be a good brand. Whichever you get, make sure it has a PC link via USB or something similar. Next, a decent digital camera is a good investment. There are so many brands out there, so I am not going to recommend one or another. I use a Kodak Easyshare camera, which actually belongs to my wife; I just borrow it every now and again. This is really the guts of ghost hunting. These two pieces of equipment are easy to get and will be used a lot. Everything else is a luxury for the team. This includes EMF detectors, IR cameras, camcorders, and other really cool gadgets that make James Bond jealous. Start Simple; Stay Simple I can’t stress enough about starting simple and keeping it that way. What happens if you buy over a thousand dollars worth of stuff and the group disbands? Now you are stuck with stuff that might not have other uses. Find out if this is a hobby for you to enjoy. There is no need to buy equip- Start Simple; Stay Simple. ment that says it’s made for ghost hunting. Not a single piece of technology ever made in the history of mankind has proven the existence of ghosts. So, if the plain and simple EMF detector is $10 cheaper because it doesn’t say “Ghost hunter approved,” then so be it. Save yourself some money. Use it to buy extra batteries — you are going to need them. The cheapest way to get information about ghost hunting is via the Internet. There are thousands of Websites out there about ghosts, spirits, and poltergeists. If you are reading this article, then chances are you found a good site, called Paranormal Underground. You can check out back issues, hit the forums or the chat room, and listen to people that share your interests. Then, there are the libraries and bookstores. I would find a list of books that others recommend before buying books that are not going to do you any good. There are also paper magazines you can subscribe to or buy from the newsstand. So in a nutshell, start slowly and go slowly. It took my group three months to do our first investigation. Do you know how hard it can be to find a single day (or night) that everyone can attend? Then it’s a matter of making sure that date is right for the client. Don’t fret if you don’t have any investigations planned for a couple of months. Just remember, you always have your house to investigate; this is a great way to train and work out the bugs for your team. It’s really embarrassing if your team shows up at a client’s house and something went wrong that could have been easily fixed by training first. What else am I forgetting? Probably a lot that I can’t remember. Don’t worry; you will make mistakes doing this. Everyone else has. If they say they haven’t, then they are lying to you. We all started out as novices, and we learned what works best for us doesn’t always work best for others. Remember, there are no experts in this field; we are all making wild guesses about ghosts. Ryan Tackitt is the founder of Paranormal Investigators of Central Texas. You can e-mail Ryan at email@example.com for more information. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 35 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites The Ghost of Meeker Mansion By Karen Frazier I n 1890, Ezra Meeker returned to Puyallup, Wash., from a trip to Europe with his young wife, Eliza Jane. On their trip, Eliza met Queen Victoria and fell in love with the finer things in life. And so, Ezra Meeker built his wife a 17-room mansion — all for $26,000. The Meekers lived in their mansion for 20 years until Eliza’s death. Shortly after, Ezra left the mansion, never to return. Instead, he spent the remainder of his life chasing his passion — marking the legendary Oregon Trail, the path taken by Lewis and Clark. In the intervening years, the city of Puyallup has grown up all around Meeker Mansion. Like many large buildings, it has gone through many incarnations — including one as a nursing home. Today, it sits alone, hidden by tall hedges and gates, in the middle of the city. A Haunted Butt Print? Rumor has it Meeker Mansion is haunted. In the bedroom of Eliza Jane, the bed 36 has a permanent butt print. When employees attempt to straighten the bedspread, the butt print immediately reappears. Not only that, but Eliza’s bed chamber is often filled with the lingering scent of old-fashioned perfume. One employee of Meeker Mansion, who is also a member of a paranormal investigation society, used to play a game with Eliza. Every day upon entering the mansion, he went upstairs to her second floor room and turned a cup on its side. Every day, the cup righted itself. Voices in the Attic Paranormal group, Wash.-based APART, has investigated Meeker Mansion numerous times. On one visit, the team was up in the attic when one of the group’s psychics thought she sensed something. Upon checking their voice recorders, three of the team members were surprised to hear a girl’s voice saying “mama” at the exact moment the psychic sensed energy. The Ezra Meeker Historical Society is currently restoring Meeker Mansion to its original condition, complete with period furnishings. Could it be that Eliza Jane has been in Meeker Mansion all these years, awaiting a return to the mansions former glory? I recently had the opportunity to accompany APART on a follow-up investigation of Meeker Mansion. Look for my The Ezra Meeker Historical Society is currently restorarticle in next month’s Paranoring Meeker Mansion to its original condition, complete mal Underground. with period furnishings. Paranormal Underground March 2009 Interested in Writing for Paranormal Underground? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your article ideas! March 2009 Paranormal Underground 37 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History Chicago’s Fla The Legend of By Michael Kleen I was driving my Stutz Blackhawk through Justice in the dark, when suddenly the blood froze in my veins. She was standing by the road in an incandescent glow, my heart stood still, my foot slammed on the brakes. —Ian Hunter, “Resurrection Mary” A dark winter night, a lonely young woman in distress, unrequited romance, and an old Catholic cemetery make the story of Resurrection Mary the ultimate tale of Chicago Gothic. Always virginal yet slightly dangerous, Mary has inspired the retelling of her spectral carousing in books, novels, movies, song, and in the dingy taverns of Chicago’s southwest side. Yet no one knows if Mary is real or simply a localized version of a popular tale, “The Vanishing Hitchhiker.” For decades, men and women have poured over documents and testimony searching for the answer, but the truth may lie somewhere 38 in between. Resurrection Mary is undoubtedly Chicagoland’s most famous ghost, hitching rides from unsuspecting commuters in the southwest suburbs for decades. Folklorists and ghost enthusiasts alike claim Mary’s story dates back to the 1930s, when the ghost of a burgeoning Polish girl was first seen along Archer Avenue near Resurrection Cemetery. Kenan Heise, who would later go on to write a novel about the ghost, said of Mary, “She is a minor cult, a shared belief and an initiation rite for teenagers. When you learn to drive . . . you test the myth’s reality,” according to the Chicago Tribune (Oct. 29, 1982). Richard Crowe originally popularized the story in the 1970s when he began collecting firsthand accounts and theorized that the real-life Mary had perished in a car accident in the early 1930s. Paranormal Underground March 2009 Stories of Mary date back to the 1930s, when the gh Archer Avenue near Re axen Fantasy: Resurrection Mary “Mary supposedly was killed in a car wreck 40 years ago, and she’s been coming back and going dancing ever since,” he remarked in a 1974 Tribune article. Later, in a 1985 Tribune article, he elaborated that the sightings usually occurred around 1:30 a.m. and that “Women rarely encounter Mary — unless they are with men.” host of a burgeoning Polish girl was first seen along esurrection Cemetery. A Paranormal Macy’s? Mary’s paraphysical appearance has been disputed over the years, leading some to speculate that more than one ghost may be involved. According to Peter Gorner of the Tribune , Mary materializes as “a pretty Polish girl, about 18, with long blonde hair, wearing a white dancing dress.” Michael Norman and Beth Scott, in Haunted Heartland: True Ghost Stories from the American Midwest, more or less agreed, calling her specter a “captivating, blue-eyed, flaxenhaired girl in her late teens” who wears a “long, off-white ball gown and dancing shoes.” However, according to Ursula Bielski in Chicago Haunts: Ghost lore of the Windy City, Mary “wore a beautiful white party dress and patent leather dancing shoes,” and in the mind of Jo-Anne Christensen in Ghost Stories of Illinois, Mary is a “breathtaking blonde with light blue eyes, dressed elegantly in a snowy white cocktail dress with matching satin dancing shoes.” In his Haunted Illinois, Troy Taylor added a “thin shawl” to her appearance. Rachel Brooks romantically portrayed Mary in her novel, Chicago Ghosts, as “an innocent young woman . . . stranded and alone.” She is “soaked to the bone . . . with beautiful blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes.” In Kenan Heise’s novel, Resurrection Mary: a Ghost Story, Mary was a young woman dressed in “a gown of a thin, chiffon-like material,” or a “long, white gown with a cape.” Which of these descriptions is correct? Either these authors are taking some creative license or there March 2009 Paranormal Underground 39 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History Most accounts of the 1976 or 1977 cemetery vaguely refer to a “man” or “someone” at “sometime” having seen a woman in white clasping the bars of the cemetery gate. is a supernatural Macy’s somewhere. It is not uncommon for eyewitnesses to give varying descriptions of living persons they had just seen moments ago, let alone ghosts, so there is plenty of room for speculation. The First Mary Sighting Despite some minor disagreements, it is generally acknowledged Mary sightings first began in the 1930s. In 1936, a man named Jerry Palus picked up a mysterious girl at the Liberty Grove Hall and Ballroom in Brighton Park. She instructed him to drive her down Archer Avenue and asked to be let out near Resurrection Cemetery. The young woman reportedly told him something to the effect of, “Where I’m going you cannot follow,” before she disappeared through the gates. Years later, Jerry’s brother Chester would claim that a friend, and not Jerry, had been driving the car that night. 40 Other early sightings include the specter of Mary causing a scene as she threw herself at passing cars. Over the years, Mary would resort to materializing as an accident victim, always vanishing as bewildered drivers exited their cars to survey the damage. This bloody behavior either shows two ghosts at work, as Crowe suggested in Chicago’s Street Guide to the Supernatural, or it shows the ghost of Mary cannot be pigeonholed as easily as just another urban legend. In July 1979, the Tribune published a letter that claimed the last time the ghost of Mary had been seen was August 1976 or 1977 by two policemen near the gate of Resurrection Cemetery. That anonymous writer was probably referring to the most intriguing event of all related to this saga: the night Mary left physical evidence behind. Although most accounts of the incident vaguely refer to a “man” or Paranormal Underground March 2009 “someone” at “sometime” having seen a woman in white clasping the bars of the cemetery gate, Crowe revealed the man in question was none other than Pat Homa, a Justice police officer who had responded to a trespassing call the night of August 10, 1976 and discovered two of the bars burnt and bent irregularly with what looked like finger impressions melted into the bronze. As crowds began to gather, the Cemetery Board tried to smooth the bars with blowtorches, which only made the “handprints” more conspicuous. Finally, the caretakers removed the bars altogether and sent them off to be straightened. According to Crowe, the bars were put back in December 1978, but the discoloration remained. Officially, the incident originated in an accident involving cemetery workers who had accidentally backed into the gate with a truck. The “handprints” were made when one of the workers tried to bend it back into place using a blow torch and heavy-duty gloves. Sightings of Mary, along with ghostly phenomena attributed to her presence, continue to this day, especially among the patrons of Chet’s Melody Lounge, a large pub located across the street from Resurrection Cemetery. Every weekend, its bartenders leave a Bloody Mary at the end of the bar in case the ghost makes an appearance. “A lot of my friends have felt someone tap them on the shoulder when they were the only person in the bar. They turn around: nothing. Or someone behind them will ruffle their collar and they feel a chill,” Tony Zaleski, a longtime employee at Chet’s, told Michael McCarty and Connie Corcoran Wilson, authors of Ghostly Tales of Route 66: from Chicago to Oklahoma. In 1973, a cab driver is said to have burst into Chet’s demanding to know where the blonde went that had left him waiting outside. He was rebuffed by the employees, who told him no such woman had come inside that night. So, Who Is Mary? Mary’s earthly origins are as elusive as her ghost, and several historical candidates are put forward. A commonly articulated candidate was a 21 year-old woman named Mary Bregovy, who died in a car accident while (allegedly) returning home from the O’ Henry Ballroom March 11, 1934. However, Bregovy died in downtown Chicago, nowhere near Resurrection Cemetery even though she was interred there. Also, this Mary had short, dark blond or brown hair and was buried in an orchid dress. According to Chicago Haunts author Bielski, a cemetery worker had told a nearby funeral director he had seen Bregovy’s ghost in Resurrection Cemetery during the 1950s. Apparently, the two stories became enmeshed, and Bregovy was henceforth regarded as Mary’s physical and historical counterpart. A second candidate was one Mary Miskowski, who was struck by a car and killed on her way to a Halloween party sometime in the 1930s. Another Mary died in a car accident in the 1940s, Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk reported in The Illinois Road Guide to Haunted Locations; however, as they point out, the first sightings of the ghost occurred a decade earlier. The least likely candidate for Resurrection Mary was a 12-year-old Lithuanian girl named Anna Norkus, who took on Marija (Mary) as a favored middle name. She was killed in a car accident on her way to the O’ Henry Ballroom on July 20, 1927. Her existence as a ghost, according to Bielski, largely depends on a “what if” scenario that may have resulted in her body being mistakenly laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Resurrection Cemetery. The age of Mary the ghost, however, is always described as mature or between 17 and 21, not a young girl of 12. Just Another Urban Legend? To skeptics and folklorists, the story of Resurrection Mary is obviously a retelling of the popular urban legend, “The Vanishing Hitchhiker.” Jan Harold Brunvand, who wrote Too Good to be True: the Colossal Book of Urban Legends, explained, “ ‘The Vanishing Hitchhiker’ has international distribution as one of the oldest and most widely told of all urban legends. As such, it has long attracted the attention of folklore scholars.” Brunvand noted in the U.S., the story often takes the form of a mysterious young woman who gets a ride home from her dancing partner, only to vanish before arriving. In some versions, the unlucky man finds his sweater draped over her headstone after being informed that she died in a car accident years ago. In Alvin Schwartz’s retelling of the tale in Scary Stories Treasury: Three Books to Chill Your Bones — More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the item recovered is Christmas tinsel. Christmas is an important element to the story, because many of the sightings of Resurrection Mary allegedly occurred in wintertime. In Chicago Ghosts, Bielski related the story of a taxi driver who picked up a young woman — Mary — outside a shopping center in January. He was surprised by the girl’s dress, which was inadequate for the cold. “The snow came early this year,” she told him before vanishing. As in the version of the “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” where the man’s sweater was left on her grave, the mysterious girl wore a dress without a coat despite the season. (Left) Is Mary Rozanc, who is buried in Resurrection Cemetery, the Mary of legend? (Above) Or is it some other unknown “Mary” grave? March 2009 Paranormal Underground 41 Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History The fact Mary commented on the weather in January, as though she was surprised it was snowing, indicated that at least in her world, it was still not quite the dead of winter. The comment about the weather with Mary’s other eerie final remarks also reflect a similarity with “The Vanishing Hitchhiker.” In other parts of the country, such as along I-29 in South Dakota and Route 61 in Pennsylvania, the phantom hitchhiker told his startled benefactors the world was going to end. In those tales, the hitchhiker remained stoic through most of the drive, just like Mary. “Quiet and non-talkative,” as Crowe described her. That some authors claim Palus, the first man to have reported an encounter with Mary, went the following morning to the address she gave him to see if she made it home okay, only to have an old woman inform him her daughter died years before, should be familiar to students of “The Vanishing Hitchhiker.” That particular detail is alternatively ascribed to, or omitted from, different Mary encounters suggesting the line between urban legend and eyewitness accounts often disappears. But some of Mary’s behavior, such as throwing herself in front of oncoming cars or putting on similar bloody displays do not match the urban legend, so which came first, the ghost stories or the legend? Did the legend inspire the ghost stories, or did the ghost stories inspire the legend? In truth, they probably possess a symbiotic relationship. Every time a young woman named Mary met her fate along Archer Avenue in the early 20th Century, someone tied her death to the stories of a vanishing hitchhiker along the road. Real events or cases of mistaken identity reinforced the stories until they became uniquely Chicagoan, especially in ascribing a Polish ancestry to the ghost. Mary’s Legacy Continues On In the end, the connection between our ghost and the urban legend blurred, if not vanished in our minds. It is worth noting Mary is not the only phantom hitchhiker in Chicago. Many annals of local ghost lore also relate the story of the “flapper” ghost Sightings of Mary, along with ghostly phenomena atof North Riverside’s tributed to her presence, continue to this day, especially Melody Mill Ballroom among the patrons of Chet’s Melody Lounge. 42 Paranormal Underground March 2009 Every weekend, bartenders at Chet’s Melody Lounge leave a Bloody Mary at the end of the bar in case the ghost makes an appearance. and Jewish Waldheim Cemetery. Like Mary, this young woman died in the 1920s or the early 1930s and her ghost danced the night away with strangers, vanishing on her ride home; however, unlike Mary she dressed much more flamboyantly and possessed brunette, bobbed hair. The ballroom was eventually demolished, but sightings of the flapper continued into the 1990s. Whoever or whatever Resurrection Mary was in the past or is today, her legacy will always remain one of the most beloved specters of Chicagoland. She is our own romantic fantasy — a forlorn young woman, draped in a thin gown, wandering dark avenues looking for help from her knight in shining armor. As long as the wind whips down Archer Avenue, writers, musicians, folklorists, ghost hunters, and surprised motorists will continue to reinvent and retell her story for generations to come. Michael Kleen is the publisher and executive editor of Black Oak Presents, a digital journal of Middle America art and culture (www.blackoakmedia.org/Magazine.html). Do You Have Topic Suggestions for Future â€œParanormal Underground Presentsâ€? Podcasts? e-mail email@example.com and let us know! March 2009 Paranormal Underground 43 Cultural Beliefs A Victorian Perspective: Paranormal Views, Beliefs, and Practices in 19th Century America By J.D. Harrison W ithin any culture, the introduction of a new technology almost always leads to the advent of new ideas and the altering of one’s world view, helping people realize there is more to their world than once was realized. This basic premise has driven societies since time immemorial to strive for bigger, better things in order to improve their ways of life. However, with new invention always comes new thought on ways to use it, and a person’s cultural perspective influences these ideas. This concept is illustrated beautifully with the invention of photography and the Victorian era of 19th Century America. In this article, we will examine Victorian ideologies on the paranormal, spirit photography, and mediums, and look at the many ways in which cultural beliefs of the times were exploited to the advantage of a few. A New World-View about our Place in the Universe Historians describe the Victorian Era as correlating to the reign of Queen Victoria in England from 1839-1901. The period is character- 44 ized for its strict moral code, emphasis on modesty and virtue, and heightened sense of social order and responsibility. It was also a time in which new ideas in science were emerging, and an industrial revolution was underway. As a result, new worldviews concerning our place in the universe Two of the most influential scientific theories to emerge during the Victorian Era were the discovery of fossils and Darwin’s theory of evolution. began to appear as people marveled at the wonders of a “modern” society. During the Victorian period, belief in the paranormal throughout society reached epic proportions. It was “all the rage,” as an article written on psychic mediums of the period puts it, as belief in paranormal activity was a socially acceptable practice. As advances in science took Paranormal Underground March 2009 place during this period, people began to question the world around them and the old ideologies that had formed their worldviews. The field of medicine made great strides compared to what was practiced a century before, but the process of death still was little understood and delimited by superstitious beliefs of the time. Religion also played a key role in cultural beliefs of the period, as up until this time, many paradigms of science had been dictated in support of the religious doctrine of the period. Two of the most influential scientific theories to emerge during this era, and the ones that can be directly related to the changing worldview of many, are the discovery of fossils and Darwin’s theory of evolution. Paleontology, a budding science of the period that sprung from the field of geology, reported the finding of fossils, which at one time had been living creatures but had long vanished from the face of the Earth. As geologists, they realized that in order for fossilization to occur, long periods of time needed to pass. This led early geologists to conclude, contrary to the beliefs of creationists, that the age of the Earth could reported durnot be measured ing the period, in thousands of people began years as taught to look beyond by religious what they knew beliefs of the and naturally time, but must wondered if be measured in there was more. millions of years. One invention Initially that helped fuel controversial, belief in the this new ideolparanormal at ogy of the world the time was and its age was photography. in direct contrast While to the religious objects such as doctrine of the pinhole camtime. With the eras and the concept of the camera obscure Charles Darwin changed the way we Earth being had been know looked at science. much older and studied than previously since the 5th believed, the religious views that had Century B.C.E., no medium existed influenced early scientific thought to permanently record images. began to give way. Photography: A New and A New Approach to Little-Understood Process Introduced to America in the Scientific Thought 1830s, photography was a relaIn 1831, a young British naturaltively new, little-understood process. ist and Cambridge scholar accepted People marveled at the fact that a a position on the H.M.S. Beagle, a “box” could capture their image for research vessel bound for the Galaall to see. pagos Islands. Intending to study Early cameras were primitive and record the various geologic by today’s standards. They required formations and fossils that existed long exposure times to record an there, he would fill his journal with image, and the lenses used were very observances of the flora and fauna basic and responsible for many aberhe encountered, noting variations rations and anomalies that appeared within them. in the photographs. Returning home to England, he Also, due to the long expowould pour over his notes, and for sure time required to take the the next 28 years, he would study his photograph, any findings. movement by the In 1859, Charles Darwin pubsubject or within lished his results in the book, On the scene being the Origin of Species, and shook the photographed world. With his theory of evoluwould show as an tion, Darwin would not only alter indistinct blur. worldviews, but also change the way While many science is approached to this day. of the era’s With discoveries such as these photographers were familiar with the distortions caused by problems such as movement within the scene or by the subject, other inconsistencies that showed up on their photographic plates were not as readily explained. Abnormalities within the photographs, such as light reflection, lens imperfections, over and under exposure processes, etc., could not be explained away by early photographers, and they found themselves at a loss as to what caused them. Enter the Victorian worldview regarding the paranormal. As mentioned earlier, long exposure times were required by early cameras to obtain a photograph. If a person within a scene would leave the area before the exposure time was completed, their image would show up in the photograph as a transparent form. Of course, many persons interpreted these images as spirits of the deceased, and believed not only could the camera record images of the living, but the dead as well. In 1856, Sir David Brewster, an optical scientist, published a book, The Sterescope, a work on photography and ways in which it could be utilized. In his book he states: “For the purpose of amusement, the photographer may carry us even into the realms of the supernatural. His art enables him to give a spiritual appearance to one or more of his figures, and to exhibit them as ‘thin air’ amid the solid realities of the stereoscopic picture.” While this statement was referring to stereoscopic imaging, a nov- With his book, On the Origin of Species, Darwin shook the world. His theory of evolution would alter worldviews and change the way science is approached to this day. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 45 Cultural Beliefs elty of the time, and inferring to the reader this could be accomplished as an added form of entertainment, his statement was taken out of context by many who assumed it was actually possible to photograph “those from beyond.” As a result, in 1861, William H. Mumler, an engraver from Boston, alleged he had taken an actual photograph of a spirit, and could do so consistently. As interest in this phenomenon grew, people clamored to see photographs of spirits and soon the field of spirit photography came to life. Scientists of the time rejected the idea spirits could be photographed, and a controversy lasting well into the present era has ensued. Easily Altered Images? For those photographers in the know, a picture from the period was easily altered. Negatives were usually recorded on glass plates, and a few etchings later, an image could easily be made to appear. Another common practice was the double exposure. After photographing the subject, negatives were re-used to take another photograph of persons dressed in flowing robes and obscured faces placed around the area of the original subject. The final photo gave the impression of the person being surrounded by spiritual beings. While many of the pictures are easily identified as fakes today by even an untrained person, to the Victorian they seemed real. Photographers could charge exorbitant prices for taking an “authentic” spiritual photograph, and it was not long before others decided to cash in on this newfound fad. Spiritualism, or the attempt by the living to contact the dead, was another great passion of Victorian society. In this practice, a medium — or person who supposedly could communicate with the dead — was used in order to make contact with the deceased. Séance parties were a regular occurrence, and it was not considered out of the ordinary for a person to consult a medium for Double exposure photographs, such as the images to the right and left, convinced many in the Victorian period that cameras could capture spirits. 46 Paranormal Underground March 2009 advice on a regular basis. While there were some mediums of the time who were sincere about their talents and would refuse payment, others went to exorbitant measures to put on what could only be called a “paranormal extravaganza” that would rival any magician’s act of today. Using Victorian Society’s overwhelming belief in all things paranormal, many charlatans arose eager to separate the wealthy from their cash. During their séances, bells would ring, items on the table would levitate, ghostly voices would speak, and images of supposed loved ones would appear. The more sensational the act, the more the medium could charge, and the more willing people were to pay it. In one famous instance, after her husband’s assassination in 1865, Mary Todd Lincoln consulted a medium in an attempt to make contact with her late husband and possibly the sons that had preceded him. The medium claimed to have made contact with the late president, and said she could prove it. She called in a spirit photographer of the time and had Mrs. Lincoln sit for a photograph. When the picture was revealed, to everyone’s amazement, a ghostly image of the late president was seen standing behind Mrs. Lincoln with his hands resting gently on her shoulders. It is not known what Mrs. Lincoln paid for this session, but it is known that throughout the remainder of her life, she consulted mediums in an attempt to make contact with her lost family members. Practices such as these continued well into the early Twentieth Century, until a famed magician decided that enough was enough. Harry Houdini: Exposing Charlatans Harry Houdini did not start out as a skeptic, as many people believe. Considered one of the world’s greatest magicians, he began contacting mediums in the early 1920s in an attempt to make contact with his recently deceased mother. After visiting several mediums, Houdini noticed many of the occurrences during séances he attended were of a similar nature, and could be reproduced using simple parlor tricks. Houdini was an intelligent man, and one not to be trifled with. Soon, he made it his mission to expose every fraudulent medium of the era. Offering a $2,500 cash reward to any medium able to produce any type of paranormal manifestation, Houdini would often attend the séances in disguise and expose the medium as they attempted to produce their fakery. In one famous case, Houdini offered a medium $10,000 if she could produce a paranormal manifestation he could not duplicate. When the medium refused, Houdini reproduced the medium’s entire séance routine before a live audience reproducing every part of the routine that the medium claimed was paranormal. While interest in the paranormal remained steady throughout society, interest in the spiriHarry Houdini made it his mission to expose charlatans. tual medium waned as a result and their practices faded into obscurity. past? Interest in the paranormal has In today’s society, interest in always been and always will be a part the paranormal is once again at a of our cultural belief. It represents peak. The introduction of the digital that which is unknown, and we as camera has again sparked an interest humans are an inquisitive species. in spirit photography, digital voice Until we can scientifically recorders have opened a new area of answer the questions the paranorinvestigation with the EVP, and spirimal poses to us as a society, we will tual mediums are still around, though continue to seek answers based on their practices are much more subour worldviews. dued and they I would like to leave you with have been subthis thought to ponder, one repeated jected to intense to me on numerous occasions by psychological my mentor and dear friend, “Always and sociological keep an open mind, but not so open studies. that your brain falls out.” However, as Until next time. a culture, have we learned anyJ.D. Harrison formerly wrote under thing from the the name Binoo’mukua. Interest in the paranormal has always been, and will always be part of our cultural belief. It represents that which is unknown, and we as humans are an inquisitive species. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 47 Quantum Musings A Neutron Dies Alone By Jim Frazier (a.k.a. Jimmy Neutron) W then I was a kid, I watched a lot of Star Trek. One of my favorite episodes involved a giant Doomsday Machine that ate entire planets. Apparently, somebody in some long-forgotten galactic war built it as a weapon, but forgot to call tech support before they tried to program it. It then proceeded to destroy its creators, and pretty much everything else in its path. Right up until it got between Captain Kirk and some alien babe he wanted to sleep with. What I really thought was so cool about it was that it had a pure Neutronium shell that no weapon or force could penetrate. We geeks just can’t resist the word indestructible. Its the Force That Matters Neutronium is (theoretically) a giant nucleus of nothing but neutrons all bundled together. No protons, no electrons, no electrical charges to make the protons avoid each other (like charges repel, after all). None of that drama. Just uberstable neutrons all happily glued together with the strong force. 48 With nothing but strong force bonds, it would be, well, nigh indestructible, since everyone knows it’s called the strong force for a reason. The force carriers of the strong force are even called Gluons. The chemical bonds in Superglue are like wet Kleenex by comparison. How strong is the strong force? Just call it 160 trillion-trillion-trillion times as strong as gravity. Its range is limited to the protons or neutrons touching it, which is why a really heavy nucleus like Uranium (with 92 protons) can sometimes split apart when the nucleus vibrates a certain way. Paranormal Underground March 2009 Of course, the energy liberated when that bond is severed is what makes an atom bomb go boom. Some things really shouldn’t be tried at home. For you non-Trekkies who missed that episode (or had a life in the late 60s), here’s what happened. The Doomsday Machine’s Neutronium shell was so hard that all the phasers and photon torpedoes in the galaxy couldn’t so much as scratch it. Kirk had to kill it from the inside by blowing up a wrecked starship. It took the kind of H-bomb indigestion that only a 98-megaton impulse drive overload can produce, and even then the Neutronium shell was left without a mark on it. Anybody need a giant deep space storage unit? So, does this mythical substance actually exist? We can’t manufacture it yet, but it does sometimes occur in nature when a star collapses on itself. It may also be what sits at the bottom of black holes . . . but we won’t be finding out for sure anytime soon. NASA has enough problems without trying to probe something that even light can’t escape from. Ghost Particles The first thing I learned about atoms is that the nucleus (the small, heavy part at the center) is made up of a roughly equal number of protons and neutrons, which differed only in that protons had a +1 electrical charge while neutrons had no charge. Electrons orbited the nucleus and had a -1 electrical charge to balance out the protons. Electrons tend to group in rings of either 2, 8, or 18, which is what causes chemical reactions to occur as atoms either share their outer electrons or give them away completely. Mr. Chlorine can always get a loan from his cousin Mr. Sodium, so long as the transfer is completed electronically, but the Bank of Xenon is still waiting for its government bailout before it will give you the time of day. It turns out that protons and neutrons are in turn made up of smaller parts, called quarks, that come in six known varieties (called flavors). The two smallest flavors of quarks, called Up and Down, make up virtually all of the matter in the universe. The other four varieties are massive and unstable, and are called Charm, Strange, Top, and Bottom. Each proton and neutron has three quarks, either two Up and one Down (proton), or two Down and one Up (neutron). An Up quark has a +2/3 electrical charge, while Free neutrons are inherently unstable. a Down quark has a -1/3 charge. A little simple math and voila, everything balances out neatly. Imagine my surprise when later, in the course of my nuclear studies, I learned that free neutrons are inherently unstable, with only a 15-minute life expectancy. For some strange reason, if a neutron is left to wan- der the countryside unbound in a nucleus, it will spontaneously decay into a proton, an electron, and an electron antineutrino (a do-nothing particle if ever there was one). Protons, on the other hand, do just fine on their own, living under the assumed name of Hydrogen. Granted, Hydrogen prefers to exist with another Hydrogen atom, but it certainly doesnâ€™t have to. Even if you take its one and only electron away, a proton still lives to the ripe old age of 100 trillion years or so. Single men die younger too. You might think that a proton and an electron, having equal and opposite electric charge, would simply combine to make a neutron with no net charge, and that this reaction would be completely reversible. That, of course, would be entirely too easy for our universe. It turns out that one of the Down quarks in the neutron turns into an Up quark, boosting the net electric charge (from 0 to 1) to become a proton. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 49 Quantum Musings And to think they call ghosts paranormal! In doing so, it ejects a rather large particle with almost 90 times the mass of the neutron it came from. This massive particle, called a W boson, spontaneously decays into an electron and electron antineutrino so quickly that it almost isn’t there. A ghost particle, as it were. The Power of the Quark So how can a tiny quark release a particle 90 times as massive as the entire neutron (that the quark was only a third of)? This is where it gets truly freaky, especially in light of the fact that a neutron has an almost identical mass to a proton plus an electron. The large particle has equivalent mass, but only because it has the energy equal to 90 neutrons. It’s as though the energy materialized out of nowhere. As a weak force carrier (mediator), it has an extremely short range, about 1/1000 the width of a proton. Its mass is not the type that interacts with the force of gravity, so it weighs nothing. In fact, the whole reason its range is so short is that its mass-energy is so high. If 50 it travelled any further, its energy would have to be constrained by uncertainty at the speed of light, and it would interact with a mass field. Even though you can make energy out of a vacuum, you can’t remove the energy without it coming from somewhere else. Think of it as having a trillion dollars in your bank account, but being out of checks and having an ATM card with a $500/day withdrawal limit. If you can’t spend it, is it really even there? The whole point being, in our whacked-out universe, energy and mass/matter are the same thing. It depends entirely on the frame of reference and the force mediator involved. Energy is only matter in the presence of a mass field. Certain types of matter only interact in certain ways. Simply stating that e=mc2 is like saying that water boils at 212°F. It’s true, but only under a certain predefined set of circumstances. While all of the energy in the universe is fundamentally the same, it differs greatly in how it interacts with the other energy around it. Just because a particle has energy equivalent to a certain mass doesn’t actually give it mass. It only has mass in the presence of a mass force mediator, a still-theoretical particle called a Higgs boson, which is the main particle Paranormal Underground March 2009 that the $8 billion Large Hadron Collider in Geneva was built to create and study. Why would someone spend the annual gross national product of Nepal to study one little force carrier? Because scientists still don’t completely understand how mass and gravity work, and rumor has it that they might be important. The Weirdness of It All So how does all of this relate to the ultra-stable neutron dying of loneliness? In a nutshell, the strong force mediators (gluons) that hold hold quarks together in a proton (or neutron) have just enough range to affect the quarks in the proton (or neutron) next to them. Without the moderating effect of the other quarks, the neutron itself is unstable, despite being electrically neutral. The scary part is, this level of weirdness only scratches the surface of the most run-ofthe-mill particles. Don’t even get me started on the quantum aspects of symmetry breaking. And to think they call ghosts paranormal. Jim Frazier is a nuclear engineer. While he is highly skeptical about paranormal phenomena, he believes that there is much in the universe that is beyond our current level of understanding — so if the paranormal exists, then logical explanations lie in quantum mechanics. Member Profile Laura (LCpunk) Age: 20. Born/Currently resides: Howard County, Maryland/Las Vegas, Nevada. Status: Work in progress. Education: I’m in my third year of college. I am working toward a degree in Elementary Education. Zodiac Sign: Leo. Occupation: Student/Information Receptionist. What does your member name mean? LCpunk because my initials are LC, and I like punk. I’m sure I could be described as one also by those who know me. How would you describe yourself? Randomly super-tastic, with a little bit of serious and insanity thrown in. Always fun though. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I live with my parents and two siblings. We basically like to talk loud, annoy each other, and laugh. We also have a dog and two cats that think they’re humans. What are your favorite T.V. shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? I have a lot of favorite T.V. shows, and they’re all in different genres. I bought myself the seasons of Angel and Supernatural on DVD, and I really enjoy both those paranormal shows. Favorite music? Rock, Punk, Country, Hip Hop, Pop . . . and the list goes on. I love music of any variety. My favorite band is the Foo Fighters. Any other favorites? Will Ferrell. I’m pretty sure if I could meet him, it would be the greatest thing ever. What are your pet peeves? Hypocrites, people going in the exit door at Wal-Mart, and carry-on luggage on airlines. Laura is a skeptic who loves reading and hearing about weird news and stories. Are you a skeptic or believer? Skeptic. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Ghosts used to, but for the most part, I’m interested in a broad range of things. I like weird news and stories. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. I’ve had some strange things happen to me, but nothing that has affected me in any way. What do you think happens to us when we die? We get dry-cleaned and put back into a brand new body. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? I love quotes of any variety, and I have numerous quotes from various places that I love. I look for them everywhere and keep them with me to always remember. I’m currently taking a children’s literature class at school, and I have been collecting many new ones from all the books we have been reading. Any exciting plans for the future? Life hopefully. I’m excited about getting into classrooms more for my degree and maybe moving away from Vegas. Traveling, reading books, watching movies, and turning 21! March 2009 Paranormal Underground 51 Fiction: Featured Author The True Account of Vlad Dracula By Scott Mannen I t is 1462, and my kingdom of Transylvania is at war with the Turkish Empire. Know that I am Vlad Dracula prince ruler of Wallachia and its people. This is the untold true account of the great war of my time and the ordeal that followed. ***** It was the coldest night of the winter, and I had ordered my army to kill everyone in the city. 30,000 men, women, and children were put to the death. The order I gave was to put them on stakes, alive. It was almost as if it wasn’t me speaking when I gave the order. Rather, it was something from within me — a monster born from my hatred of the Turks. Murdering my family, burying my dear brother alive, and branding his eyes. I would have revenge for these atrocities with my response. Had I taken it too far? I would learn later that I had, for no such human on God’s Earth should have done what I did. The soldiers in my army started to become sick that night, not due to any illness, but sick to their stomachs from the screams and pleas from the peasants staked and crying for swift death. Cries that 52 would go unanswered. It was a sight no one would ever forget. There was a sea of bodies on poles lined up for five miles, 10 people deep across our border with the Turks. It was a slow agonizing death. The more they struggled, the further they would slide down the splintered wooden poles. An impaled child no more than 11, obviously in shock, cried out for his mother in front of me. It was true horror. My God would not forgive me for this — I knew that Paranormal Underground March 2009 evening what I had ordered done was beyond terror, beyond salvation . . . I had committed a sin beyond repentance. Perhaps it was why “he” arrived; I do not know. ***** That evening in my ready tent, I dismissed my generals as we prepared for the Turkish army to arrive. My plan was to scare them — scare them with the horror of the gruesome spectacle. As the Turkish army crested the hillside in preparation to attack my country, they would see their countrymen impaled and begging for death. My sin would disarm their strongest warriors and plant the seeds of fear and horror in their minds. Their army outnumbered us five to one, so this seemed my only option to give us any advantage. That’s what I kept telling myself at least. I sat down with a cup of tea. My ready tent was empty now — only the screams of the dying from the fields outside to keep me company along with the low murmur of my army outside, which, for 5,000 men, was understandably silent this chilled night. It was then that he appeared in the door of my tent, unannounced and uninvited. He wore a long black cape and a nobleman’s attire. “Good evening Prince, allow me to introduce myself: Lord Danesti Corvinus,” he said as he bowed politely. The room grew colder as he entered, and a sudden urge to expel what little I had eaten for dinner came over me, yet I held it back. The aura that this man gave off was something evil and dark. The oil lamp flames dimmed slightly in the tent and suddenly the wind seemed to stop, leaving nothing but the cold . . . and the evil aura. “How did you get in here? What is the meaning of this?” I stuttered as my breath materialized in the cold in front of me. “Good Prince, I would like to offer you my services, for you ARE in mortal danger.” He removed his cloak in one single smooth gesture that seemed to allow it to float to its destination on the travel wardrobe. “Please call me Danesti.” It was then that the conversation became unbelievable, yet somehow every fiber of my being knew that “Your actions have attracted the attention of my master, and he has sent me to assist you,” he sneered from one corner of his mouth, showing his horrific teeth. It was then that I noticed his snow-pale skin, his perfect long, black hair, and his teeth . . . dear God, his teeth resembled the fangs of a wolf. His eyes were an unnatural blood red and felt as though they looked right into my very soul . . . if I even had one left that is. “How can a vampire help the people of Wallachia? We are outnumbered five to one, and the Turkish army marches on our position as we speak. It is a losing battle, but it is one that I am obligated to fight for my country,” I managed to state in as honorable and proud a statement as I could. It was the truth; within hours the Turks would arrive and engage us, and we would lose. What little tactical advantage I had given us with the horrific spectacle would not be enough. “You will soon learn, young Prince, that the and scope of It was then that I noticed his breadth my powers are beyond snow-pale skin, his perfect your mortal comprehension. We will let long, black hair, and his teeth the invaders absorb your ‘creation.’” . . . dear God, his teeth resemAgain he sneered, but with pleasure this bled the fangs of a wolf. time. It was then that he seemed to phase a good every word he was telling me was 10 feet across the room in an instant, true. I did not need a truthsayer. I slamming his fist into my map table to just believed. drive home his determination. “I am a vampire. A Moroi. A “It is then that I will kill their creature of the supernatural realm, leaders, leaving them scattered and and I have come to aid you in your divided with no direction, allowfight against your enemies.” He gesing you to strike at will among their tured toward me as he said this. disorganized forces.” “Why do you want to help me? What is in this arrangement for a vampire . . . a Moroi?” I corrected myself. I knew that seldom good fortune such as this would come without a price. What could a creature of such evil power want from a Transylvanian Prince who was about to die? Had he come to collect my soul for my earlier transgressions? “All I ask in return is blood. Being that I am Moroi or vampire, as you humans prefer, I must drink blood nightly. Two, sometimes three, humans per night. And since I prefer my presence to remain . . . discreet . . . I would ask that you keep it as such.” It wasn’t a hard decision to make. Face obliteration at the hands of the incoming Turk army, or form a pact with this devil for the good of my countrymen. “Deal,” I eagerly said. He reached out to shake my hand to seal the deal, and it was then that I touched his cold skin. It was like stone in winter, so cold it almost burned my hand to touch it. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 53 Fiction: Featured Author It is on this day that my ordeal began. My life intertwined with an evil that walked unrestrained on Earth. ***** The army came, and as Danesti promised, he killed their leaders. We conquered the invaders. The enemy troops were horrified at the sight of their countrymen dead and dying on display. Women and children impaled 24 hours earlier still gasping for air. The spectacle incurred its intended effect quite well. With their leaders murdered by Danesti, it was almost too easy for my troops to kill the terrified and confused opponents. With our newfound power, we did not stop with these Turks; we pushed into their country laying waste. Using our newfound advantage, we conquered all. It was the same each time. Danesti would disappear before the battle behind enemy lines and return with the heads of the their military leaders — leaving in his wake a confused and disorganized enemy for us to pick off. 54 Eventually, we conquered all that could be conquered in the Turks’ homeland, and the times of war ended in my country. We returned to my home castle victorious. I was known as the hero prince, the champion of our people. Statues were created, monuments were erected, and I had appointed new boyers. What better place for a vampire to hide then alongside the bloody rule of Vlad Dracula, I thought. Danesti went virtually unseen for many years during the wars. He lived alongside such brutal carnage that his feeding practices went virtually unnoticed. For what were four bodies among the hundreds we killed daily? I thought about this often. ***** Now that wartime was complete, my end of the bargain must still be completed. He would take four prisoners from the castle dungeons per night to feast upon, leaving nothing but empty husks of flesh for the servants to dispose of. Paranormal Underground March 2009 Eventually, there were no more prisoners left. Yet, I MUST placate him, and the peasants of Wallachia provided. At first, we apprehended the criminals from the town beyond my keep until there was no crime among the population. The peasants seemed to quickly learn that criminals would mysteriously disappear and never return from the keep. Eventually, with no criminals left, we had to resort to taking whole families in the night to sate his bottomless devil thirst. My guard was something to be feared in the town, for when they came, those who left with them were never to return again. The bodies we buried in the field behind the castle, thousands upon thousands of my countrymen. Perhaps that is when the people began to refer to me as a devil vampire myself, which of course is not true. Word of the disappearances quickly spread to the capitals of neighboring countries, and our trade relations were eventually cut off. For all intents and purposes, the world looked upon castle Dracula as a beacon of death. ***** It was five years from the day that Danesti Corvinus arrived that I, Vlad Dracula, decided to take action against this demon, for it had gone too far now. Birds no longer flew through the castle walls; greenery would no longer grow in the keep, not even a blade of grass. It was then that I knew this curse was upon us and something had to be done. —end of chapter 1 “Danesti” Personal Experiences The Whaley House Ghost By G. Lewis I t was 1977, and I was visiting the Whaley House in San Diego, California. We had joined a tour group and walked up the stairs to the second floor. There was a bedroom restored to period (about 1880 or so, perhaps before then) that would have been used by a traveling acting troop. I stayed back behind everyone and looked around the room. I casually looked behind me. It was then that I saw a small boy wearing short pants, a jacket that had rounded edges, and brown-up-theside button boots. He was wearing a white frilly shirt. His hair cut was obviously home done. I looked at him, and he looked directly at me. Then, he turned and ran, disappearing before he reached the door. At first I thought that I just didn’t see the boy go through the door because he ran so fast. It struck me as odd that he ran so quickly. I turned my attention back to the tour group. The Docent was talking about an acting troop that had used that room on many occasions. They regularly came through San Diego and stopped to put on plays. There were hostile Indians in the area, a few who were openly violent and were upset that someone had built something on their land. They would occasionally attack the house/hotel. One day, a few Indians showed up and started to shoot arrows into the open window of that bedroom. One freak shot went through the window and killed a little boy. I didn’t make a connection to what I’d seen. The group broke up to go into the next room. Another Docent had come up the stairs and stood near The Whaley House in San Diego, California. me. I turned to her and remarked about the little boy in period clothes. I thought he was part of the tour. After I’d made my comment, she said, “We don’t have people in period dress,” then walked away. I was stunned because of what I’d seen. To this day, there’s no story about the little boy being killed in any of the Whaley literature. However, the Docents knew of the little boy as he had been seen by many of the Docents. They just accepted him being there. I was actually quite shaken up after I found this out and wanted to leave. As we walked through the house/hotel/courtroom, we passed under a doorway, and I instantly couldn’t move me feet. My husband had to pull me away. I was filled with the most incredible feeling of dread, anger, and sorrow. My entire body ached, but it wasn’t anything I’d felt, before. I found out later that the arch of that doorway had actually been a gallows at one time. Many people had been hanged, innocent and guilty. I’d found out this information after I’d been there. I had no knowledge of the Whaley House prior to going there. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 55 Personal Experiences Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn M. Hughes W hen I began working as a night auditor a year and a half ago at Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters, located on the Gettysburg battlefield, I anticipated experiencing nothing more interesting than having some bizarre request from a guest. However, I never expected my spirit friends to visit so often or to hear so many accounts of activity from unsuspecting guests. I never thought they would alert us to their presence in so many creative ways, or for there to be so much activity involved. I am of the personal belief that spirits only want us to know they are still here and not to forget what happened here, for it is on this ground that they truly gave their “last full measure of devotion.” Here is my ongoing diary of my experiences within the hotel . . . Wed., Dec. 31 11:49 p.m. My mom and I were in the manager’s office chatting. I was getting everything together necessary to complete an audit. We both heard a creaking noise coming from the direction of the middle room, which is located between the manager’s office and the laundry room. It is in this 56 middle room where the attic door is located. Having heard this many times before and suspecting it, I grabbed my mom and took her into that middle room. “See mom, this is what happens with the attic door. Sometimes you hear it opening and sometimes you don’t.” The attic door was wide open. Thurs., Jan. 1 2:40 a.m. & 2:04 a.m. This is where I saw the soldier standing to the right of the front door. Each of the two times herein listed, my mom and I heard a loud thud as if something large hit the front of the lobby portion of the building. I immediately went to the front door and stepped outside. There was nothing on the ground and no damage to the front of the building. Thurs., Jan. 1 1 a.m. & 2:25 a.m. My mom was sitting at the manager’s desk reading a book while I Paranormal Underground March 2009 was reading in my usual spot, which is a lounge chair across the room. A movement caught my mom’s eye, and she watched the attic door opening on its own. My mom has been with me many times on the battlefield and experienced many things with me there. Her reaction both times was: “Happy New Year’s Boys.” Sat., Jan. 3 4:35 p.m. Barb, Carrie, and I were standing behind the front desk in the lobby and watched the front door open. No one came in. Mon., Jan. 5 7:30 a.m. Two guests came to the front desk and asked Courtney if there was anything strange going on at the hotel. Courtney asked them what they meant by strange. They wanted to know if the hotel was haunted. Courtney asked them why there were inquiring. The two guests reported that late on the previous evening, they were in bed and watching T.V. when the drapes started to move violently, as if someone was pulling them open. They investigated, and there was no draft of any kind to make the drapes move at all. They also reported waking up all night long and seeing “bright balls of light flying around room.” Of course, I had to know which room this incident occurred in. It happened in a room in a wing where we have heard other stories, so I was not surprised. However, this was the first time any of us have heard about “bright balls of light flying around the room.” On a side note, they checked out that morning and came back that evening and stayed another night. Sat., Jan. 10 9:12 p.m. I was sitting at the manager’s desk watching T.V. when I heard a crinkling sound directly behind me. I turned the chair around toward the direction of the sound and looked down to the floor where the sound was emanating from. I saw a WalMart bag that contained four cans of furniture polish, which were standing upright. I watched in amazement as one-by-one each can was knocked over on its side and slipped out of the bag. Hi Boys! Two hotel guests reported curtains moving violently (above) when no draft was present and bright balls of light flying around the room (right). Sun., Jan. 11 1:40 a.m. I was in the middle room checking to make sure everything I needed for breakfast was out and ready to go in the morning. I heard one loud thud that sounded like something large hitting the front lobby portion of the building. I immediately went to the front door and stepped outside. There was nothing on the ground and no damage to the front of the building. I e-mailed Courtney the next day to ask her if she had been experiencing these strange thuds as well. She told me that she, too, had been hearing them every night she had been working. We conferred on the times, and they all appear to be happening between midnight and 3 a.m. Sun., Jan. 11 2:43 a.m. I was approaching the lobby with my coffee on my way back to the manager’s office and once again witnessed those flashing lights — like lightening rods — at various heights just above the ground and spaced apart, outside the front of building. This time they appeared near the middle wing of the hotel. Once again, there were no cars or trucks on the adjacent road. Once again, I observed the security lights and nothing was amiss. Once again, I reported the incident to maintenance in the morning. Although, each time I see these flashes, they are never even close to the 20-foot security lights. Mon., Jan. 12 3:35 a.m. I was coming back from the breakfast room with another cup of coffee when movement by the front door caught my eye. I immediately looked over to the door and saw a figure just inside the lobby to the right of the door. The figure was solid and only appeared for approximately two to three seconds, but is strongly impressed upon my mind’s eye. It was a Union soldier. The blue of his uniform and gold of his buttons were easily and clearly seen. However, he appeared minus his head and legs, with just his torso and arms. This is not the first time I have seen one of the spirit soldier boys, but it is certainly the first time I have seen one in that partial form. I did not need any more coffee for the rest of the night. Stay Tuned . . . March 2009 Paranormal Underground 57 Personal Experiences: Tales From the Road — The Hunter Speaks The Attic That Screamed By Dave Galvan, Paranormal League of America I pulled my car up in the driveway, and Adam and I got out. I wasn’t expecting this case to be much of anything, so Adam was the only person I asked to come along with me. We stood in the fog while he smoked a cigarette, and soon we began unloading the gear out of the car. I took this case because of the simplicity; it was a retired couple who lived on an old farm. Elderly “George and Martha Jones” lived there for decades while suburban Portland rose quietly around them, until one day they woke up and found their house sandwiched between fast food restaurants and coffee huts. They had one child, a son who died in Vietnam, so the old farm became just that, a piece of land where nothing now stands. There were fields of overgrown weeds and a barn hopelessly in need of painting, which was filled with rusting farm equipment. Earlier in the year, Martha was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and George spent most of his time looking after her. She had responded fairly well to medications prescribed by her 58 doctors. Because of this, she was quite lucid while we spoke with her, but one couldn’t help but look at her with a certain amount of pity. She lived through the Depression and several wars, and was an early supporter of Bobby Kennedy. She protested Apartheid and Watergate and lived through two Darrens on Bewitched. It’s sad that this is George went through the kitchen and heard the same laugh Martha had described to him. The next day, he called me. how she was going to have to live the last years of her life. This amazing woman who stood up for what she believed in when this country was darker and less diverse did what many people today wouldn’t have the guts to do. She stood up and said “no more.” When I met with them a few days before, I decided to take this case just because I enjoyed their Paranormal Underground March 2009 company. I liked their moxie. I respected their life experiences and their ability to stand up for what they believed in. Laughing in the Attic? Their story, on the other hand, seemed a little fishy — possibly born from one part overactive imagination and two parts illness. Very simply, they have been hearing a laugh coming from their attic, a rather large, angular room not used for much of anything these days except storing a few boxes. Martha experienced it first, hearing what she described as a slow laugh coming from the room up the stairs one evening. George figured it was the same thing I was thinking; Martha was simply having a delusion caused by her illness. After she heard it a few times over a couple of months, George finally heard it too. One night, he got up because he couldn’t sleep. He had been cleaning out the attic to get rid of some things all that week, and the door was left open. He went through the kitchen on his way to the living room and heard the same laugh Martha had described to him. The next day, he called me. I have been investigating claims of ghosts for years, but I’ve noticed claims of hauntings have skyrocketed in recent years. I’ve always felt many claims are born out of overactive imaginations and half-baked T.V. shows about real hauntings, where the cases look about as credible as professional wrestling. This case? I figured the least I could do is put their minds at ease so they didn’t get weirded out. George had enough stress in his life as it was, so I figured we’d get in there and try and disprove what they thought was actually there. Adam and I grabbed our gear and headed up to the door. The house looked more simplistic in the dark then I remembered it being during the day. The darkness and fog of the countryside engulfed the property in a blanket of dark, broken only by the two lights on the front porch. Up Into the Attic George let us in the house and led us up to the attic. We decided to use the living room as a base of operations, a place to put the computer and our lunches. We hauled the cameras and audio recording equipment upstairs. At the time I had two video cameras; one I owned and one I borrowed from a friend. The attic was long, narrow, and angled in such a way that made you have to bend over the closer you get to the walls. I like to have my cameras set up to cover every square inch of a room in a situation like this; however, that by itself has some unique difficulties. Infrared cameras have a usefulness in this field, but without proper knowledge, one can get results that either mimic false positives or cre- ate unwatchable video altogether. The lights around the camera’s lens shoot an infrared beam that reaches about 20 feet. The lens then only films in the infrared light, putting it on video to be watched later. The problem is that the lens, depending on the camera, can be so sensitive that if you cross the infrared beams — such as when you put two cameras in two opposite corners of the room and angle them in such a way that the light beams would actually cross — you can get a large glowing object that almost looks like a ghost. Of course, it doesn’t move, it just sits there on the screen, and you can’t see much of anything else. I placed one camcorder in the corner of the room and ran the extension cord down the stairs. I decided to position the second camera at the bottom of the attic stairs pointing up the staircase. This allowed me to eliminate the “beam crossing” issue all together, while giving me a different angle to see and hear. At the time, we had one digital voice recorder to use. Even though this was only a few years ago, the price of these items weren’t as affordable as they are now. My wife and I recently had a baby born 12 ½ weeks premature, and the hospital bills were staggering. I wasn’t able to upgrade my equipment as quickly as I wanted to in those days. As a result, we had no choice but to go a little low tech on some items. We put the digital audio recorder on a milk crate and sat it in the middle of the attic with a folded towel between the recorder and the crate to help absorb any shock from things such as walking. We carried standard tape recorders, similar to the ones we used to play with when we were kids, except with decent quality external microphones to help keep the recording as clean as possible. Adam and I agreed not to start at the house, but next door about 25 acres over. It turned out the property bordered a cemetery on the eastern side. I hadn’t noticed this fact on my initial visit. We turned all the equipment in the attic to ‘record,’ and then we turned on our flashlights and took a walk . . . The attic was long, narrow, and angled in such a way that made you have to bend over the closer you got to the walls. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 59 Personal Experiences: Tales From the Road — The Hunter Speaks Trekking Through the Fields During this small trek through the fields, we discussed the probability of the house actually being haunted. I couldn’t help but feel there wasn’t anything going on in the place other than imagination, but you never can tell in cases like this. Portland has a bit of a reputation as a good haunted city; however, I always personally felt it was a little over deserved. On the flip side, I do believe the suburbs of Portland are completely under-rated when it comes to hauntings. I have documented more hauntings outside of Portland then I have in the city, and I can’t help but feel the suburbs are often overlooked. While this area has a current reputation as being a city filled with progressive, coffee-drinking hippies, about 60 years ago Portland, like most cities, was rife with organized crime. So much so, in fact, that while Bugsy Seigal and Meyer Lansky were building the Flamingo in Las Vegas, they flew up here to Portland to see if another casino could be built for high rollers. The point of this story is, the entire Portland area has had a sordid past, and with that comes violence and even death. With violence and death can come paranormal activity. We reached the edge of the cemetery and stopped at the property line, which had been marked by a caretaker who was trimming trees. We stopped for a moment and took in the sights and sounds. We were a little higher in elevation, so the fog was mostly non-existent there. It was kind of bizarre looking behind me at the house to see it covered in fog when the cemetery wasn’t. We didn’t enter the cemetery at all that night. We had a waiver signed by George to be on his property, but we didn’t have one to be in the cemetery. Since the cemetery had posted hours of operations, we didn’t feel like getting arrested. So, we sat on the grass for a bit and turned off the lights and watched the cemetery in the dark. We sat there for about 45 minutes, mostly in quiet, but then we started to ask some questions. Collecting EVPs is a fun process; however, it can get rather tedious sometimes since you can’t actually hear any answers. You have to wait It turned out the property bordered a cemetery on the eastern side. 60 Paranormal Underground March 2009 until you review the tape. We sat there in the quiet asking questions such as “What is your name?” and “Are you haunting the house down the hill?” We waited a good minute between questions to make sure we didn’t talk over anyone who wasn’t actually there. The cemetery was an old historical one that looked its age. It doesn’t really take much to be considered a historical cemetery, all it has to have is someone buried there prior to 1908. It was the look of the place that I found rather creepy. There were a few crypts and large markers that looked a hundred years old at least, judging by the moss and mold growing on them. Maniacal Laughter After we were done, we headed down the hill back to the house. We were both wearing two layers of clothes, but it wasn’t enough to keep our faces and hands warm in the cold Oregon October weather. Sometimes, I swear to myself, I am moving to Arizona. We got back to the house and quietly entered. George and Martha had both gone to bed for the night and left us to do our work. We sat down in the living room to take off a layer of clothes and came up with a game plan for the attic. We got as far as taking off our shoes and one pair of pants when we heard it. The most evil, maniacal, disturbing laugh you have ever heard. And it came from upstairs. In the attic. Adam and I looked at each other with a “Holy s*@$!!” look that tends to follow a situation like this. We didn’t even put on our shoes. We ran straight to the attic with our tape recorders and cameras. We quickly walked up the stairs and noticed the room was completely empty, save for our equipment and boxes left over from when George was moving things. The room was quiet. It was also rather warm. I tried to ignore the heat and concentrate on my work. That laugh was like something out of a James Bond movie. One of those evil laughs. We’re talking Anthony Ainley from Doctor Who evil. We looked around the room and saw nothing. There wasn’t a closet where a person could hide or a place where speakers could be disguised. It was just a big empty attic with a couple of boxes in it we had already opened to inspect. Other than that, the attic was empty. Adam and I sat on the floor for a while after looking around the room. We had nothing else to do but sit and wait for it to happen again. Our adrenaline was still pumping from experiencing something like this. In one instant, this little investigation went from dud to legit. All I could think of was trying to get it to happen again. Activity can occur due to someone doing something, such as walking across a room, or by nothing, it just happens by itself. It can also happen by being in a room. Or, by not being in a room. We weren’t going to chance it. We were going to stay in the room until it happened again. Missing Evidence? It was Adam who thought of it first — why not play the recorder that was sitting up there and listen to it again? I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of it. We rewound the recorder until about two minutes before we heard the noise and we listened. We listened for five minutes. Silence. How could this be? We knew for a fact the laugh came from up We got as far as taking off our shoes and one pair of pants when we heard it. The most evil, maniacal, disturbing laugh you ever heard. here in the attic, and then when we played the tape we got nothing except the faint conversation we were having downstairs trying to talk quietly while we warmed up. There have been cases recorded where people have heard or seen something paranormal only to find the recording equipment didn’t pick it up. As though it never happened. But, I have never had this happen to me, and I always wondered if this was caused simply by overactive imaginations or improper medications. Never in a million years did I think this would ever happen on my watch. A few times I did come close to an experience such as this. One night, I was (rather illegally) spending the night in the woods just off the Oregon Coast hunting down the ghost of what we commonly refer to as “Bandage Man,” the spirit of a criminal that escaped 70-90 years ago, depending on which story you are told. During the search, I heard voices coming from nearby. I put on my night vision goggles so I didn’t trip over anything, and walked 500 feet carefully and quietly in approximately 10 minutes . . . only to find nothing and hear nothing. My audio recorder was going the whole time, and it picked up nothing except my footsteps and the sound of traffic coming off the nearby highway. No logical explanation can be given for it, except my imagination. Another time I was in a house about an hour outside of Portland. I was told by the owner of the place that the house was originally owned by a man who headed up the Portland chapter of the Ku Klux Klan back in the 1930s, and for that rea- And it came from upstairs. In the attic. son he said he sometimes felt a lot of negative feeling in certain rooms, and a lot of his African-American friends didn’t want to come over as they always felt uncomfortable. For this reason, I wanted to rid this house of the negative energy that could be plaguing it. When I was in the living room of the house, I could hear what sounded like footsteps in the next room, but upon reviewing the audio tape I heard nothing at all. As though the walking didn’t exist. This wasn’t a vague thing like faint whispers in the woods, or the sounds of quiet footsteps in another room. This was a laugh that could only come from one place, a place with a digital audio recorder recording in the middle of the room. And now, the best recorder we had hadn’t picked it up. Hours of EVP Work Our tape recorders were running at the time too; however, we decided to keep those going while we continued investigating upstairs. We started up with the EVP work. “Was that you that laughed?” “Can you do it again?” “Why did you laugh like that?” “Why are you laughing at the people who live here?” We literally did only that for the next four and a half hours. We March 2009 Paranormal Underground 61 Personal Experiences: Tales From the Road — The Hunter Speaks didn’t leave the attic once, nor did we get anything positive while we were there. We were going to have to rely on the video and audio recordings. Around 5 a.m., we decided to pack it in. We worked all night and the fatigue had gotten to us. We tore down the cameras and all the equipment, put it in the tubs, and said good morning to the homeowners as they were just waking up. The drive back was quieter than I would have imagined. Adam and I were spending our whole time thinking about the night we had just had. What did we hear? Was this an intelligent spirit laughing at us? Or, was it simply residual energy that was replaying its laugh for us like it did the for the couple who resided there? Either way, why didn’t our audio recorder pick it up? I sat there and wrote my final report. A report I always share with the clients. When I do an investigation, they get every piece of information I have copies of. My report came up inconclusive. I know what we heard that night. I have told the story a million times. But I have no idea why the sound we heard didn’t present itself to us either on magnetic tape or on the digital recorder. ing how they were doing. About two weeks later, I picked up my phone and called them to check in. The line was busy. I tried to call a couple more times, and always the line was busy. Shortly after the New Year, I finally found the time to go out to the house to visit them and talk to them personally. When I pulled up the driveway, I saw a sign that marked the house ‘For Sale.’ I drove up, stepped out of my car, and found A Final Meeting the home empty of everything I made the drive out the Jones inside. They had, for whatever reahome about two weeks later. I son, moved out of the house. sat down with both of them and About a year later, I happened to be driving around the area when I decided to take a quick peek at the house. My curiosity got to me. I wanted to know if the people living there now were experiencing the same thing. The Evidence Review Imagine my surprise when I We spent the next couple looked up and saw the house of days listening to the tapes, no longer stood there. Torn as well as watching the video down and erased from histocameras. This would make a ry as though it never existed, total of three audio recordings the whole land had been that should have picked up the subdivided with homes built I know what we heard that night. I have told the story a laugh, including the one in the up on the old farm, house million times. But I have no idea why the sound we heard and barn that were gone from attic itself, the one camcorder didn’t present itself to us either on magnetic tape or on that was also in the attic, and the the face of the Earth. the digital recorder. second camcorder that was just I pulled my flyers out downstairs pointing straight up. of my backseats and placed Adam and I both listened them on the doors of all the to the audio recorder numerous explained the situation and how, homes there, advertising Paranormal times and agreed that we heard notheven though we did hear something, Investigations. ing. When we watched the two video none of our recorders had picked recorders all we could hear were up a trace of it. Dave Galvan has been huntour voices as we were changing our They were kind and gracious to ing ghosts for the better part of a clothes downstairs, followed by the our explanations, and understood decade. He is the founder/director sounds of us running by the cameras why I had to call it all inconclusive. of Paranormal League of America as we rushed to react to the laugh. I was sad on the drive home. I (PLA), a ghost hunting group based There were no sounds on the wasn’t able to give them the answers in Portland Oregon. He will be audio portion of the video tape they deserved. speaking at the Mount Hood where you could hear the laughter Before I left, I gave them my Paranormal Conference April 25that we clearly both heard. Our tape home phone number in case they 26. Visit www.paranormalleagueoneeded it. I thought about them recorders? You guessed it. Nothing famerica.org for more information there as well. through Thanksgiving, wonderabout PLA. 62 Paranormal Underground March 2009 Join Paranormal Undergroundâ€™s MEMBER FORUMS Discuss Topics Ranging From Ghosts to Cryptids to UFOs www.paranormalunderground.net March 2009 Paranormal Underground 63 Equipment Update Ghost Hunting on the Cheap: Part III By Dave Galvan, Paranormal League of America I n “Ghost Hunting on the Cheap: Part I and II,” I discussed audio recorders, digital video recorders, camcorders, as well as EMF detectors. This time, I am going to discuss certain tools ghost hunters should always keep in their tool box. sales on flashlights. Also, sporting good stores like to advertise ones joggers will wear on their heads. Walkie Talkies If you are in a big enough structure and have four or more people every step of the way. For safety and for simple communication needs, walkie talkies are the easiest way to go. The problem is, they can get expensive. This is another item you can keep your eye on at the sporting goods store. A lot of the times they will run great prices on walkie talkies, especially during holidays. Flashlights I know it goes without saying, but a flashlight is always needed. I don’t know First Aid Kit how many times I thought I No matter how careful you could quickly memorize the try to be on ghost hunts, aclayout of a room, only to find cidents do happen. What you I am always hitting my need are Band-Aids, bandages, shin on coffee tables. I swear and non-aspirin pain reliever. I must have a permanent dent If you are investigating on my legs from all the tables outside, keep some Deet I have run into. spray with you to ward of I have one giant flashlight mosquitoes, as well as someI purchased on sale for under thing that can help with itch$10 at a sporting goods store ing caused by poison oak/ivy. about a year ago. It’s 1 milFlashlights come in handy to avoid injuring your shins on lion candle power and fully coffee tables in the dark. They can be purchased for less than Compass $10 at some sporting good stores. rechargeable. Instead of an expenA couple of smaller lights sive EMF detector, I carry a are a good idea; one that will compass with me. It helps me easily fit in your fingers and easily with you, you will need to break up detect slight fluctuations in magnetic slip into your pocket. into at least two groups. You will fields around me. It’s also fairly cheap Check your local newspaper for need to communicate with them to purchase at an auto-parts store. 64 Paranormal Underground March 2009 Barometer A portable barometer can be tricky to find; however, I find it useful. Whenever a spirit manifests itself, you sometimes find that the barometric pressure drops. Keep your eyes open at secondhand stores for a unit you can easily carry or clip onto a piece of clothing. Baby Monitor Yes, I know, not very conventional. But here is how I use it: Sometimes you get cases where you get reports of a lot of sounds in a certain room. You can’t always be in that one room, nor can you be sure to be there in time to experience those sounds. Enter the baby monitor. Place the base/broadcaster in the room in question, and then either carry the receiver or have someone monitor it. Today’s baby monitors no longer simply rely on sound, they also have lights that light on the display if the receiver picks up sound. So, you don’t always have to have the volume up on it. I got mine for $15 at my local Goodwill, or you can just wait for your kids to grow out of it. Always place an audio recorder next to the base unit to pick up the little sounds your baby monitor might not be able to. While not conventional, baby monitors can be used in situations such as a room with a lot of sounds. These items can act as a “second set of ears” when it’s not possible to be in more than room at a time. Cell Phone Yes, I know everyone has one of these days; however, I don’t believe you should turn them off while investigating. Beware, they can give you false readings on some EMF detectors, but I simply keep it in a pocket on silent mode, that way it’s not in the way. This will keep you handy with other team members as well. I’ve also been known to whip it out in a pinch when I need a small light. Cell phones can give false EMF readings. While some don’t like to turn them off, it can be wise to turn them to silent mode so they do not get in the way. Religious Icons Depending on your faith, some investigators carry some sort of religious icon with them to assist in protection. I personally believe it is a good idea because you never know what you are going up against. The Bible I carry was printed in 1896, and literally is falling apart. Extension Cords/Surge Protectors I wouldn’t recommend purchasing these at dollar stores. Buy the regular ones you would plug your computers and TVs into. You will be surprised how much you use them. No matter what’s in your tool box, remember the most important tool you have is YOU! Trust your instincts and your thoughts and you will do fine. Dave Galvan has been hunting ghosts for the better part of a decade. He is the founder/director of Paranormal League of America (PLA), a ghost hunting group based in Portland Oregon. He will be speaking at the Mount Hood Paranormal Conference April 25-26. Visit www.paranormalleagueofamerica.org for more information about PLA. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 65 Roundtable Debate: Spirit Photography Believer: Ghosts Can Be Photographed Skeptical Authentic Spirit Ph By Claudia Ghidella F H ere I am in the believer’s chair again! Do I believe in spirit photography? Of course I do! Why not? But I guess we have to back up a little bit and ask first if spirits or ghosts exist, and then if they do, can they be photographed? I do believe that after death something of us continues, and some or all of that something could stay in this Earthly realm. That something could take many forms, from an energy signature of the deceased person, some remnant of their personality, or perhaps even the spirit or soul of a dead person can actually remain in our realm, stuck. There is another option as well. That life does continue after death, and those that have gone beyond do want to communicate with us directly or voluntarily, and they will do so by whatever means they can. In the past, spirit contact was managed usually through a medium like John Edward, or perhaps through a séance where some mechanical means are used, such as a Ouija board. The concept of the Ouija board being that the disincarnate spirit could manipulate an object on the board in order to answer questions, moving the object to spell out their answer or indicate “yes” or “no.” So, if they can manipulate a small object, why couldn’t they manipulate other mechanisms, such as answering machines, computers, telephones, and cameras? In order to manipulate such 66 By Mindy Claudia believes that ghosts can be captured on film and digital camera. machinery and to communicate with us, many spirits have informed us that they must change their vibration in order to do so. They must lower their vibration to come closer to ours, a much denser realm. If they can lower it enough to be able to move what we consider a solid object, perhaps they could lower their vibration enough to materialize for the naked eye or to be captured on film. Photographing a spirit sounds implausible, but if we can catch a glimpse of a ghost with our eyes, not a very sensitive means, why not via a camera? Since cameras were invented, they have been picking up all sorts of things that are not visible through the view finder only to show up once the picture is developed. Orbs show up, swirling lights, strange mists. Why not ghosts? Paranormal Underground March 2009 or years, I longed to be a professional photographer, but I never moved beyond amateur status. To this day, I lug around camera equipment to graveyards, my setting of choice, trying to capture the beauty that lives on in death. I will not lie, though. Like anyone interested in the paranormal, I would not mind at all if I were to ever capture a spirit on film. My work has taught me a great deal about the photographic process. I have learned how normal things can cause paranormal effects to appear. Dust, water, and snow can show up as orbs in photographs. A hair, camera strap, or lens cap cord can create vortexes, as can Mindy says that any type of smoke. on camera is po Sometimes, though, things are now too occur that cannot be explained on the away. Shapes, shadows, halfformed bodies, and other spectral anomalies can and have occurred. With film cameras, it is easier to investigate such claims. The negatives can be submitted for professional analysis to determine the cause of the anomaly. Unfortunately, the film cameras are becoming a dying breed as more and more places are discontinuing film processing. What is your opinion of Spirit Photo on the subject by e-mailing edito l Believer: hotograph Is Possble Skeptic: Paranormal Photoshopography By Jim Fazier Kinnaman Digital cameras complicate matters. If I can see the image on a camera, I am somewhat likely to accept it, but I will only fully believe it if I were in the room as the photograph is taken to ensure that there is no funny business happening at the time of the shoot. If I do not see the picture on the camera, I cannot believe that it is real. With the ease of access to digital photography programs and the fact that so many people are learning how to use such programs, it is too easy for a photograph to be faked. All over the Internet you can find examples of fakes. Some are glaringly obvious, like the picture of the Willard Library ghost that features t catching ghosts Slimer of Ghost Busters fame. ossible, but there Others, however, look so o many fakes realistic, such as the face of e Net. the devil that supposedly was seen in a cloud over a military strike. Too bad a photographer lost his job and credibility after it was revealed he had faked the face to boost newspaper sales. A photograph of a full-bodied apparition is considered to be the Holy Grail of ghost hunting. While I do believe it can occur, the only way I will believe it is if I am the one taking it. ography? Let us know your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org. B ack when I was a young lad, about 30 years ago, I took a photography class in high school. It seemed like a good excuse to wander around the school taking pictures of any and everything. One day, as I developed a roll of Kodak’s finest, I noticed that a surreptitious shot of my favorite cheerleader had an unearthly glow to it. In fact, it looked suspiciously like the light fixture in my parents’ hallway, which I had taken a picture of while advancing the film after loading. Voila, my first double exposure, and I won the monthly prize in my photography class. Fast-forward to 2009, when anyone can Photoshop their face onto Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body, or composite pieces of 17 different pictures into one final image. And hardly anyone shoots with actual film anymore. A purely digital image can be manipulated at the pixel level, and then reformatted back into the raw image file structure. Every pixel is just a series of ones and zeroes, and software is very good at rearranging them. As for film, an image can be digitized, manipulated, interpolated to increase the pixel count, then blown up, printed, and re-photographed. If someone really wants to, they can fool an expert. I used to think that Polaroids were beyond reproach. It featured a self-contained film and developer that couldn’t be manipulated because it printed itself. Any attempt to mess Jim says he’ll believe spirit photography when he sees it for himself. with an ejected print would destroy the film. Turns out that you can double expose a Polaroid camera by holding down the shutter and flipping the lens cover open and closed twice before releasing the shutter. If that doesn’t get you the desired effect, see the above paragraph on re-photographing a blown up print. Polaroids aren’t exactly known for the fine granularity of their film. So where am I going with all of this, and how does it affect the veracity of pictures that fall into the realm of the paranormal? The short answer is that you can’t believe anything you see unless you see it in person. Do I think that all of these “unbelievable” images are faked? Of course not. They could very well be real. Of course, they could also be as phony as a Mafia boss’ tax return. Photographic evidence has become an oxymoron. Maybe not on a par with military intelligence, but just like the government, it really can’t be trusted. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 67 Reviews of the Month: By Mindy Kinnaman In Your Library: Ghosts Caught on Film W hen can you find a pretty sizeable group of Ghosts Caught on Film? In Dr. Melvyn Willin’s book of the same name, of course. Willin collected some of the most famous and infamous photographs of paranormal phenomena, along with a few never-before-seen photographs for this book. With each picture, even the notable fakes, Willin provides analysis of what could have happened. While the book excels in showing a good number of paranormal photographs, the analysis is lacking. At times, Willin seems to miss obvious questions about what is going on in the photograph, and each I t is no longer safe to go in the woods . . . unless you have no problem being slaughtered by a hockey mask-wearing giant wielding a machete. photograph only receives a short amount of analysis. This book is enjoyable, but could use a little hug evidence-wise. • I give Ghosts Caught on Film 3 out of 5 “orbs.” On Your Small Screen: Shutter S o, you just got married and decided to move to Japan with your new hubby. Sounds like a dream come true. In Shutter, it is . . . except the dream is a nightmare. Jane Shaw (played by Rachael Taylor) and her husband Benjamin (Joshua Jackson) find their idyllic move haunted by a very disgruntled ghost, who starts killing off Benjamin’s coworkers and sets her sights on terrorizing the newlyweds. 68 Now Playing: Friday the 13th As typical with most J-horror films, the ghost begins wreaking vengeance, which as you later learn, is with good cause. Who is killed is a bit predictable, but the deaths are a bit creative. The ending, though, makes it all worthwhile. Go ahead and move to Japan; just don’t upset the locals. Paranormal Underground March 2009 • I give Shutter 3 out of 5 “angry Japanese ghosts.” Yes, the loveable Jason Vorhees is back in Marcus Nispel’s 2009 reimaging of Friday the 13th, and no camper is safe. Nothing much has changed since Jason first began terrorizing sexually rambunctious teens back in 1980. That, of course, is the problem. Just like the previous Jason films, teens who drink, do drugs, and have sex will wind up getting the axe, sometimes literally. While the plot remains the same, Nispel does a great job of creating tension. Viewers will think, Oh, so-anso’s going to die, (and of course, they are right), but the film still manages to work up the viewer’s nerves so that they are hanging by tenterhooks in anticipation of the death. It is not the greatest horror movie ever made, but for a remake, it is not the worst horror movie ever made. • I give this movie 2.5 out of 5 “slaughtered teens.” Paranormal Underground Presents . . . Monthly Podcasts Our first two podcasts feature Stanton Friedman and Jeffrey Keene. Check them out today at www.paranormalunderground.net. March 2009 Paranormal Underground 69