March 2013 Paranormal Underground
In this issue of “Paranormal Underground” magazine, we profile Amy Allan & Steve DiSchiavi from Travel Channel’s The Dead Files; feature Area 51 conspiracy theories, children and the demonic, and Talismans, Amulets, and Charms; and spotlight the amazing world of herbology, UFOs over South America, an encounter with Bigfoot, and the haunted Magnolia Plantation. This issue also explores how to recognize a psychic attack, ponders what happens when we die, and offers safety tips for paranormal investigators, as well as much more. Join us as we Explore the Unexplained at www.paranormalunderground.net!
PARANORMAL UNDERGROUND Volume 6 Issue 3 速 March 2013 Psychic Attack Area 51 Conspiracy Theories What Happens ? When We How to Recognize a The Dead Files Amy Allan & Steve DiSchiavi DIE Children And the Demonic The Amazing World ALSO INSIDE: Haunted Magnolia Plantation UFOs Over South America Man Meets Bigfoot March 2013 Safety Tips for Paranormal Investigators of Herbology 1 Paranormal Underground 2 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Table Of Contents CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN 30 Haunted Sites Haunted Magnolia Plantation: Voodoo & Ghostly Activity Man Meets Bigfoot UFOs Over South America 32 Cryptids & Mythological Creatures 34 Are We Alone? 36 16 42 Haunted History A Hazardous Haunting: Part 3 IN THE SPOTLIGHT 16 Investigator Spotlight The Dead Files’ Dynamic Duo Amy Allan & Steve DiSchiavi Team Up to Help the Haunted 48 Haunted Hospitality The Royal Hotel Harrisville: Queensland, Australia Nancy du Tertre: “Psychic Intuition” 30 52 68 Author Spotlight PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 60 Ghost Hunter Case Files The House That Freedom Built ... And Haunts: Part 1 Investigating With Respect 62 Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel 64 Reader Encounters Affair at the Old Post Office 44 66 PARANORMAL INSIGHTS 24 Special Report Safety Tips for Paranormal Investigators 42 Demonology — The Dark Files Children & The Demonic Fulfillment in The Psychic Life How to Recognize a Psychic Attack The Amazing World of Herbology 44 Inside the Psychic Mind 50 DEPARTMENTS 4 Contributors 7 Calendar of Events 8 Paranormal News 12 Equipment Update 74 Guest Editorial 54 6 Publisher’s Letter 7 Ghost Hunter Comic 10 The Paranormal Top 10 List 72 Media Watch 50 Crystals & Herbology 52 Magic & Lore The Nitty-Gritty on ... Talismans, Amulets, and Charms Inside Area 51 54 Katie’s Conspiracy Corner 66 Religion and the Paranormal What Happens When We Die? March 2013 Paranormal Underground 3 Contributors WILLIAM BECKER William is a psychic medium and paranormal investigator and researcher, as well as tour guide with Northwest Ghost Tours. William’s interest in the paranormal goes back to his early childhood when he saw his first full apparition. With this interest in the paranormal along with a degree in history, it was only natural that he would jump at the chance to combine the two by giving tours. For more information about William and his work, visit nwghosttours.com and www.paranormalinsights.net. JACKIE CHIN .Jackie is a nationally known paranormalist, author, and spiritual teacher. She uses her gifts to enlighten and encourage those who are seeking solutions. During her life, Jackie has seen many deaths, helped people cross over with Reiki, and counseled clients about these issues. She knows that there is life after death, but she believes that each person has their own idea about what death will be like and this influences their experience of the afterlife. For more information, visit Jackie’s Website, http://psychicconnextions.blogspot.com/. Katie Christopher Katie is a paranormal investigator living in North East Pennsylvania. She has been involved in paranormal investigation since 2006 with the team NEPA Paranormal. In that time, she has done over 400 cases. Aside from being an investigator, Katie also handles all of the case management for her team. In 2011, her team formed the sub group Ghost Detectives, which is a ghost hunting TV show that is now in its 4th season. Visit www.ghostdetectives.tv or www.facebook. com Keyword: Ghost Detectives for more info. Elaine Davison Elaine is a founding member of the Western Oregon Organization of Paranormal Investigators (W.O.O.P.I). Her team was established in 2010 as a not-for-profit organization of investigators who investigate and document any scientific and photographic evidence of paranormal phenomena in Oregon. Elaine recently researched and created a pamphlet that outlined the dangers of paranormal investigation in an effort to help inform researchers about how to safely investigate a location. Karen Frazier Karen is a paranormal investigator with South Sound Paranormal Research in Washington State and a frequent contributor to Paranormal Underground. She is also the cohost of “Paranormal Underground Radio” on www. HeyZRadio.com, author of Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington and Dancing With the Afterlife, and coauthor of Lessons of Many Lives. Terri J. Garofalo Terri is a paranormal investigator, as well as the artist and writer behind Entities-R-Us, Ghost Hunter Comic. She’s a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer in Hyde Park, New York. You can find her work on www.entities-r-us.com, or contact Terri at email@example.com. Rick E. Hale A Chicago native, Rick is a featured writer for Paranormal Underground magazine and cohost of “Paranormal Underground Radio” on www.HeyZRadio.com. He is the founder of Foundations Psychical Research and the author of the soonto-be-released Geek’s Guide to the Paranormal: Ghosts, Poltergeists, and Demons. As an investigator, Rick considers himself to be a Modern Traditionalist, meaning he believes in melding the new and old schools of psychical research. John “Jack” Kenna Jack is a technical specialist and assistant case manager for the paranormal team SPIRITS of New England in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He has had a strong interest in the paranormal since he was a child and has helped his SPIRITS team conduct numerous client investigations, including an investigation for the U.S. Navy in 2010. Jack has been a technician and project leader for the Department of the Army for more than 26 years. Cheryl Knight Cheryl is editor-in-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine, director of Publications & Editing Services for Ghost Knight Media, and producer of Paranormal Underground Radio. She has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer and editor and has published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from advanced technology to paranormal investigation. Cheryl’s previous magazine experience includes roles as senior and managing editor for several business publications. Jim MacDonald Jim (aka Highlanderthor) was born with the abilities to see, hear, and talk with spirits from beyond the grave. He can also read palms, do crystal ball gazing, and photograph spirits. Jim has been published in books and magazines, and he has a blog with his wife, Carol, that is full of personal experiences: www.highlanderthorsbeyondthegrave.blogspot.com. 4 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Jill Marie Morris Jill is a psychic/medium, author, and documentary filmmaker. She is well-versed in the technical, investigative, and research sectors of the field. Jill uses her gifts as a medium and psychic to assist with paranormal investigations and cold cases. In July 2011, Jill published 207: A Personal Account of Love Paranormal Phenomenon and Demonic Possession, in which she details a series of horrific and real-life events and paranormal encounters that completely reshaped her life. Jill is currently writing a follow-up of 207, titled Saints Sinners and Sacred Ground. Adam Neal Adam Neal is the creator of Paranormalyte.com, a blog dedicated to the discussion of psi-related experiences that defy mainstream scientific explanation. A Magna cum Laude graduate of Muhlenberg College, he began reading Tarot and studying psi research in 2005. He finished WEGO this year, a play dealing with near-death experiences and parapsychology, which he is seeking to get produced by next year. He resides in Brooklyn, NY. Michelle Pillow Michelle is an award-winning author writing in many romance fiction genres, including futuristic and paranormal. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything paranormal. Michelle has a photography degree and is the co-owner of www. TheRavenBooks.com. You can contact Michelle at www.michellepillow.com. Michaela Rand (Silvermoon Medicyn) Michaela is a Medicyn Woman. Her life threads are woven between symbiotic psychic vampire and shamanism, working closely with awakening souls looking to balance the dark and light within themselves. Her favorite tools to use are crystals, herbs, and oils. She is a Universal Life Ordained Minister and performs many services, including soul retrieval, shamanic extraction, and walking the dead to rest. Visit Silvermoonmedicyn.com for more information. Rob St.Helen Rob has been a paranormal investigator for more than five years. He had his first paranormal experience at the age of 11. Rob is a member of West Coast Ghost Hunters, based out of Portland, Oregon, where he was born and raised. He currently works the graveyard shift at The Heathman Hotel. He has come to find that the hotel is haunted. Jill is the Topic Editor for Paranormal and Feature Writer for suite101.com. She has studied the paranormal since 1957, when, as a child, she bought her first parapsychology book, The Unknown Guest. In fall 1965, she conducted her first investigation. Jill gives workshops and lectures and writes for selected Internet Websites. Her expertise in the paranormal includes parapsychology, cryptozoology, Fortean phenomena, anomalies, UFOs, aliens and demonic possession, and exorcism. Barry Taff, Ph.D. Barry holds a doctorate in psychophysiology with a minor in biomedical engineering. He is a world-renowned parapsychologist who worked out of UCLA’s former parapsychology laboratory from 1969 through 1978 as a research associate. During his 40-plus-year career, Barry has investigated more than 4,500 cases of ghosts, hauntings, and poltergeists and conducted extensive studies in telepathy and precognition. For more information, visit http://barrytaff.net. JERRY WILLIAMS Jerry is a radio host of Eastside Paranormal Radio and an investigator with Eastside Paranormal Society. He is also a Minister of Ohio, and he has performed exorcisms and house blessings. Jerry has been investigating the paranormal since 1993. He also has mediumistic abilities and tries to help those seeking help. Visit www.eastsideparanormalsociety.webs.com for more information about Jerry and his work. Chad Wilson A freelance writer, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine and a partner for Ghost Knight Media. His interest in the paranormal led to the creation of www. ParanormalUnderground.net. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, the Hotel Alex Johnson, and private residences among his investigations. Chad believes in keeping an open mind while investigating paranormal claims. Jill Stefko, Ph.D. Please visit our contributors’ Websites to learn more about them and their involvement in the paranormal field. If you are interested in contributing blogs to Paranormal Underground’s Website, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We are seeking to further the sharing of knowledge and ideas through our blog site. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 5 Publisher’s Letter PARANORMAL U N D E R G R O U N D® Volume 6, Issue 3 March 2013 www.ParanormalUnderground.net We Are Creators EDITORIAL Publisher Publisher@paranormalunderground.net Chad Wilson W Editor-in-Chief Editor@paranormalunderground.net Cheryl Knight Science Editor J.D. Harrison Contributors William Becker Jackie Chin Katie Christopher Elaine Davison Karen Frazier Terri J. Garofalo Rick E. Hale John “Jack” Kenna Jim MacDonald Silvermoon Medicyn Jill Marie Morris Adam Neal Michelle M. Pillow Rob St.Helen Jill Stefko, Ph.D. Barry Taff, Ph.D. Jerry Williams The views expressed and opinions given by our contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Paranormal Underground magazine’s owners or its affiliates or sponsors. Copyright © 2008-2013 — Paranormal Underground® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. As such, Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of its owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. Paranormal Underground magazine is a publication of Ghost Knight Media, LLC. And there I sat, at the age of 37, realizing that I was living life just to get by, not to make a difference or reach my dreams. It was then I vowed that if I pulled through I was going to change. Change my life and everything else. Just reaching for my dreams. I walked into the doctor’s office and was told that the precancerous patch would get better if I stopped using tobacco. I stopped chewing the same December 2006 day. From there it was a I really thought I was whirlwind series of events. going to die. The dentist I got divorced, met the had done a biopsy on the Chad Wilson, love of my life, and began inside of my jaw. You see, I Publisher a journey to explore the had used chewing tobacco mysteries of the world, something I since I was 13 years old. By the time had always wanted to do but felt was I quit, I was 37. So, for 24 years I beyond my reach. How wrong I was. had been using tobacco in one form I also became a writer, something I or another. Then the dentist found a had always dreamed of. rough patch in my mouth and cut it Now, here I sit a little over six out. That was one of the scariest and years later, writing about how we worst situations in my life. Not only control our own reality for a magazine was cancer a possibility, but I had to I helped start. I now live by the mantra face the biopsy and results, as well as the prospect of death, alone. that we each have the power to change for the better — to make a difference. It was while sitting in the parking lot, waiting to go in and get my results We Are the Masters of Our Destiny that I had an awakening. I had recently So, we do control our own reality. begun questioning what I believed about God, the world in which we I am living proof. And through this change other lives have been affected lived, and the mysteries that have too — from those who have had their haunted men since time immemorial. dreams realized to those who have At that moment, as I sat there in my journeyed with me to learn and grow. truck waiting to go in and get my prognosis, I realized how unhappy I was. I To me change is inevitable; it is the only constant in life. How we was desperately unhappy for many reaeffect that change is the important sons. Don’t get me wrong; I had some part. Do we let the world make of us great things in my life as well. For one, what it wants, or do we grab the reigns my children, the greatest bright spot in my life. But, overall, I felt I could not of our life and take charge, and in essence create our own reality? be myself. I needed a change. e are the creators of our own reality. We make the choices about who and what we want to be. We make the decisions that send us down one path or another. And if we believe greatly enough, we can affect real change in our life, consciously or subconsciously. You see, I am a believer that our higher self guides us. 6 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Calendar Of Events March 8–10 PARANORMAL U N D E R G R O U N D® Volume 6, Issue 3 March 2013 Oregon Ghost Conference Pioneer Community Center Oregon City, Oregon www.oregonghostconference.com www.ParanormalUnderground.net April 6 ART DIRECTION May 11 Lost Limbs Foundation Charity Event with special guest John Tenney 6 p.m. EDT, Roads Hotel Atlanta, Indiana www.lostlimbsfoundation.org/events.asp Ozark Paracon Springfield, MO www.ozarksparacon.com Art Director Chad Wilson April 13 Paranormal for Paws Expo The Knights of Columbus Worcester, Massachusetts https://www.facebook.com/ events/127239167426732/?fref=ts Design and Layout Cheryl Knight May 18 April 26–27 VA Paraquest Holiday Inn in Lynchburg, Virginia http://vaparaquest.com/Home_Page.html Granbury Paranormal Expo 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Granbury Resort Conference Center Granbury, Texas www.GranburyTours.com On The Cover Amy Allan & Steve DiSchiavi MEDIA & ADVERTISING MEDIA AGENT Leitreanna Brown Leitreanna@gmail.com May 18–19 April 26–28 EerieCon 15 Holiday Inn Grand Island Grand Island, New York www.eeriecon.org Paranormal Unity Summit Hosted by the Pollak Hospital, Bartonville Insane Asylum Bartonville, Illinois http://www.eventbrite.com/ event/5281571322# Ad Sales Assistant Chris Davis For Ad Inquiries, Call 1-714-646-4197 or e-mail: April 27–May 4 Haunted West Coast Cruise Sapphire Princess Long Beach, California http://allevents.in/Sapphire/2013HAUNTED-WEST-COASTCRUISE/164024030375990 June 7 Lost Limbs Foundation Charity Event with special guests Paul Bradford and Scott Tepperman, 8 p.m. ET Morrison Lodge in Elizabethtown, Kentucky www.lostlimbsfoundation.org/events.asp email@example.com SOCIAL MEDIA http://twitter.com/ParanormalUG Twitter Ghost Hunter Comic www.facebook.com/pages/Paranormal-Underground/39284418860 Facebook www.paranormalunderground.tumblr.com Tumblr www.myspace.com/paranormalunderground MySpace YouTube www.youtube.com/user/ParanormalUG Send comments and letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org March 2013 Paranormal Underground 7 Paranormal News Man Killed by Spontaneous Human Combustion? Bigfoot Sighted in Texas A A 65-year-old man may have died from spontaneous human combustion, according to the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office, which ruled out homicide following the state medical examiner’s findings. The man lived in Muldrow, Oklahoma. “It’s very unusual and it’s bizarre and I can’t explain it,” said Sheriff Ron Lockhart, as quoted by http://5newsonline.com. “The body is burned, incinerated, like I’ve never seen before, and it’s some kind of chemical reaction or something the way I can see it.” After responding to the scene, fire crews found the body of a badly burned man in the kitchen. Lockhart told the media that because no items or furniture near the body were burned, the cause of death could be spontaneous human combustion. There were also no signs of a struggle. The sheriff assured the media that he was serious about his findings. “I’m not saying this happened. I’m just saying that we haven’t ruled it out.” When the sheriff was asked whether the victim might have accidentally dropped a cigarette onto himself, he said the body was “burned in such a way as to make it inconsistent with such accidents.” ccording to The Port Arthur News, a man photographed two Bigfoot-like creatures with his cell phone. The incident took place near Oak Bluff Cemetery in Texas. David Arceneaux says that he was near the cemetery one December morning when he looked across Block Bayou at a line of trees that stood about 100 yards away. He could not believe what he saw. “I heard a blood curdling scream and a lady nearby asked me if I was OK. I told her Pictured above: Cell phone it wasn’t me,” Arceneaux told the PA News photo taken by David Arceneaux reporter. “We walked over to the water and of what he thinks are Bigfootlooked to the left then straight ahead.” like creatures (near Oak Bluff Arceneaux and the woman saw the Cemetery in Port Neches). Photo creatures. One stood next to a tree, arms published by http://panews.com. wrapped around the trunk, and the other was squatting down. “All of a sudden they started walking then running through the woods. When they began to run, the lady said ‘I’m leaving’ and left. I stayed a few more seconds and then thought there may be a way for them to cross here so I left, scared.” Illinois College Offers Paranormal Courses H arper College, in Palatine, IL, is offering 10 courses for those interested in the paranormal. Courses include: •Paranormal Investigation: A Global Perspective •Paranormal Investigation II: Introduction to Investigating •Paranormal Investigation III: Harper college offers new Site Investigation paranormal courses. •Paranormal Investigation: Local History Research •Paranormal Investigation: Managing a Team •The Extraterrestrial Life Debate: Are We Alone? •Explaining UFOs: History, Science, and Extraterrestrials •Ghosts, Paranormal, and American Culture •Gothic in America: More Than Vampires, Ghosts, and Nightmares •Hysterics: Horror and Hysteria in Film For more information on each of these courses, visit http://goforward. harpercollege.edu/ce/enrichment/paranormal.php. 8 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Paranormal Underground Radio Thursdays @ 9-11 p.m. ET/6-8 p.m. PT www.heyzradionetwork.com Paranormal Investigation UFOs & Alien Encounters Cryptozoology Spiritualism Conspiracy Theories Explore the Unexplained With Hosts Rick Hale & Karen Frazier March 2013 Paranormal Underground 9 The Paranormal Top 10 List Top 10 Crazy Coincidences (Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor) By Karen Frazier, South Sound Paranormal Research & Paranormal Underground Radio I have a lot of New Agey friends who tell me there’s no such thing as coincidence. While I sort of believe this, I also sort of believe that, sometimes, a coincidence is just that: coincidence. According to mathematician, John Allen Paulos, “The most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidences.” So whether it’s coincidence or not, here are the top 10 crazy coincidences. 10. Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson Wouldn’t it be weird if someone wrote a book about an unsinkable ship hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinking in 1989 — 14 years before the Titanic actually sank? Turns out Morgan Robertson did! The similarities between Robertson’s novella and the actual wreck of the Titanic are many: • Both boats were called “unsinkable.” • Both were short of lifeboats. • Both sank anyway, killing more than 2,000 passengers and crew. • Both sank bow first. There are three possible interpretations of this “coincidence.” 1. The White Star line read the novella and thought it sounded like a really cool idea. 2. Morgan was somehow precognitive. 3. It was just a really creepy coincidence. It’s up to you to decide which you believe. 9. Green, Berry, and Hill November 1911 saw the hanging of three men convicted of murdering Sir Edmund Berry. They were hanged on Greenberry Hill in London. Their names? Did author Morgan Robertson have a premonition about the Titanic and document it in his book? Or was it all just coincidence? Green, Berry, and Hill. That’s almost as weird as a urologist named Dick Johnson. 8. Mother of the Year, Two Years Running Say you’re just some Schmo walking down the street when, suddenly, a baby falls from above and lands on you. “It’s raining babies!” you think, startled. Fortunately, the little guy is okay, and the mother who allowed him to fall out her window is relieved and grateful. Now imagine it’s a year later, and you’re walking down the street again. What should happen? A toddler lands on you after falling from high above. It’s the same kid. Fortunately, you’re both okay, and the mother is once again grateful. This actually happened to a guy in Detroit in the 1930s. If I were Joseph Figlock, baby catcher, I’d either start rolling down that street in an inflatable hamster ball or stop walking down it, because in a few years that kid’s gonna keep growing and pretty soon somebody’s going to get hurt. 10 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Mark Twain seems to have a connection to Halley’s Comet. Or is it all just coincidence? 7. The Little Bullet That Could It’s an age-old story. Guy dumps girl. Girl kills herself. Girl’s brother, enraged, hunts guy down and tries to shoot him. Guy dodges bullet, which lodges in tree. Years later, guy decides to cut down tree. He decides the best way to bring down tree is dynamite. Dynamite propels bullet, which lodges in guy’s head. Darwin has another award winner. Starring: Henry Ziegland of Honey Grove, Texas. 6. Star Child Mark Twain was born when Halley’s Comet appeared in 1835. Then, I hear, he wrote some stuff. In 1910, the day the comet appeared again, Twain died. Alien arriving and leaving on the mother ship? You decide. 5. Busby Stoop Chair At the Thirsk Museum in North Yorkshire, a chair hangs on a wall so no one can sit in it. The Busby Stoop Chair is, after all, a fabled chair of death. It seems everyone who sits in the chair dies, so now nobody can sit in it. Of course, 100 percent of people who sit on the throne die eventually, as well. Some (I’m looking at you, Elvis), are even rumored to die while sitting on it. You may want to hang your toilet on the wall, just to be safe. 4. The Buck Stops (and Starts) Here Grocer Wilmer McLean played a pretty unique role in the Civil War. His house in Virginia sat right along the road where the first battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Bull Run, was fought. To get away from all the shooting, McLean moved. Four years later, Lee surrendered to Grant in the parlor of McLean’s new home. According to McLean, the war started in his front yard and ended in his parlor. 3. I’ll Have What He’s Having Author Edgar Alan Poe wrote a book called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. In it, Poe described shipwreck survivors killing and eating a cabin boy, Richard Parker. Many years later, a real boat, Mignonette, wrecked. Three crewmembers killed and ate the cabin boy. His name was Richard Parker. 2. Oh Henry One Christmas, I sold my hair to buy my husband, Techie McScienceGeek, a chain for his watch. He sold his watch to buy me combs for my hair. Or maybe I read that somewhere. 1. Fleeing the Planet I’ll end with a quote from one of my favorite comics: Stephen Colbert. “Twenty-two astronauts were born in Ohio. What is it about your state that makes people want to flee the Earth?” Did Edgar Alan Poe predict the future, or are cabin boys named Richard Parker just popular? Will you die if you sit in this chair? Well, eventually you will! Have suggestions for The Paranormal Top 10 List? E-mail email@example.com. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 11 Equipment Update All You Need to Know About Laser Grids By Jack Kenna, S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England A lthough many investigators believe that lasers are a new addition to the field of paranormal research, the truth is that the old timers in this field have been experimenting with the use of lasers to detect shadows since the first affordable laser pointers were introduced back in the 1980s. These early simple lasers produced a deep red light near the 670/650 nanometers (nm) wavelength. These were single beam laser lights and did not produce a grid like we now have available in some of the newer lasers that include a diffuser or kaleidoscope lens, which breaks up the single beam into multiple beams of various size and light strength, creating what we call a “grid.” Looking at Lasers, Old and New: How Have They Changed? Originally, lasers came in only one color, red, but now are available in red, green, yellow, and blue-violet. Each color is based on the wavelength in which it operates. The most popular and widely used right now is the green laser. This also shows up well in the IR spectrum. The strength of the beam is measured in milliwatts (mw). The higher the milliwatts, the stronger the beam is and the farther the beam will reach. For instance, a 500 mw single light laser has an effective range, the range at which the light begins to diffuse, of approximately one (1) mile when tested in a vacuum environment (i.e.: Space). It is important to understand though that environmental factors have significant impact on the effective range of a single laser light. When the laser beam is diffused through a lens, the effective range of even a 500 mw laser reduces to about 50 feet or less, depending on the amount the laser light is diffused. The original concept behind using lasers for paraThe laser grid. Originally, lasers came in only one color, red, but now are available in red, green, yellow, and blue-violet. normal investigation was still the same back in the 1980s as it is today: Set up the laser and watch for something to break the beam. The lack of a grid back in the ’80s and ’90s, though, meant that you could only cover a small region of an area you were investigating, such as the center of a hallway or the threshold of a doorway, so the use was very limited unless you were using more than one laser. This is why not much was heard about the use of lasers in paranormal research until the development of the micro diffuser/kaleidoscope lens attachment that allowed the laser’s light to project a large grid pattern. Ghost Hunters Brings Laser Grids into the Mainstream One of the first companies to release this lens with its lasers was LazerPoint in the early 2000s, but the actual turning point for the almost immediate and widespread 12 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Shannon Sylvia did the first serious ground-breaking work with the laser grid in the paranormal field. Laser grid used in hallway during a S.P.I.R.I.T.S. investigation with an IR camera. use of the laser grid in paranormal research took place on August 25, 2010, after the Season 6, Episode 11 airing of Ghost Hunters, Haunted Hotel. During this episode, the TAPS team investigated the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, NY. At one point during the investigation, Amy Bruni and Kris Williams went to the third floor and set up a laser grid for the first time on television. Amy explained that the purpose of the laser grid is to detect shadow movement using light patterns. After this episode Amy was inundated on Twitter and Facebook with questions about the laser grid and where one could be obtained. She posted on these sites that she had obtained her laser grid from her friend and former member of Ghost Hunters International, Shannon Sylvia. I know this because I follow both Shannon and Amy on these sites and saw the postings myself as did many other people. I am also good friends with Shannon, and this is why I know something else about Shannon and the laser grid. While many people know that Shannon Sylvia sells the high-quality laser grids on her Website, unlike the ones that are sold on Amazon.com, what most people donâ€™t know is that Shannon did the first serious groundbreaking work with the laser grid in the paranormal field. She used them on numerous investigations prior to offer- ing them through her Website. She and her husband, Jeff, documented their usefulness in capturing shadow figures and other movement before any other team began using them. They even developed their own simple tripod stand for it. So this is the background of the laser grid and how its use in the paranormal field came to be. But is this device truly useful for our research? What benefits does it really offer to the paranormal investigator? The rest of this article will be devoted to trying to answer those questions. My Experience With Laser Grids S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England, the paranormal team I am the Tech Specialist for, has been using the laser grid since we were first introduced to it by our friend Shannon in 2010. We have put it to use on every investigation since. In that time, I cannot say that we have captured any shadow figures with it, but that doesnâ€™t mean it has not been useful, because it has. I have found that the laser grid is most useful when combined with an IR camera/DVR system for monitoring a room or hallway. But there is a limit to the size of a room that these lasers can cover effectively. They are next to useless in a large, open warehouse, as the grid disperses too much A laser grid can actually help you better discern between orbs, dust, and bugs. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 13 Equipment Update Figure 1: The red lines indicate the grid coverage of the laser. Figure 2: The red lines indicate the grid coverage of each laser. and is not easily visible on an IR or full-spectrum camera. I do not like to use them for anything over 30 feet, except for hallways, as the narrowness of a hallway keeps the grid confined and will allow for good coverage up to the point of the vision of the camera (see Figure 1 on the next page). When using them in rooms, I actually like to setup two lasers and have the grids cross each other in order to get solid coverage, especially in large rooms up to 30 ft x 30 ft. In cases like this it’s OK, if not necessary, to “cross the streams” so to speak (see Figure 2 on the next page). In rooms smaller than 20 feet square you can use just one laser grid and still obtain good coverage of the room. But how does this help an investigation? The laser grid itself allows you to better monitor an area for movement of any kind, not just shadows but also doors, door knobs, chairs, and curtains, basically anything that’s in the room/area you are monitoring. With the laser grid, if anything moves at all you are going to know it’s due to a change in the laser grid. Also, if you’re an investigator who likes orb activity, the grid can actually help you better discern between orbs, dust, and bugs. Dust and its directional pattern will be much more obvious in the grid, and bugs will block out lights and cause distortion in the grid. But true orbs will actually not cause a distortion or blocking out of the grid lights, and they will typically appear bright/glowing, somewhat like the grid but they will be moving through the grid. It’s because of the grid that you can better see when they first appear, their exact movement, and when/where they disappear or move out of the frame of the camera. The laser grid itself allows you to better monitor an area for movement of any kind. The Cost of a Quality Laser Grid So there is much more use to the laser grid than just trying to capture shadow movement/figures. And because of the low cost of these items they are a great addition to any paranormal investigators tool box. I would stay clear of the cheaper models and look for a laser with at least a 200 mw output with a diffuser/ kaleidoscope lens attachment. The price range for one of these quality lasers should run you between $35 to $45, but they are well worth the cost. The only real drawback to the laser grid is its battery use. Most of these laser pointers use two AAA batteries to power them, so you can expect to get about four hours of continuous use with the laser grid. Be sure to carry extra batteries with you when conducting a long investigation. If you have any questions regarding equipment to use for investigating the paranormal or any other paranormal-related questions, feel free to contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the laser grids and laser tripods sold by Shannon Sylvia, you can check out her Website at http://www.shannonsylvia.com/equipment. html. Another good source for information on quality laser pointers and grids is www.lazerpoint.com. Fun Fact: The use of laser grids in paranormal investigation skyrocketed after a 2010 episode of Ghost Hunters. Amy Bruni and Kris Williams went to the third floor and set up a laser grid during the investigation, a first on television. 14 Paranormal Underground March 2013 March 2013 Paranormal Underground 15 Investigator Spotlight The Dead Files’ Dynam Steve DiSchiavi Team U T By Karen Frazier & Rick E. Hale he Dead Files returns to Travel Channel with 13 new episodes on March 8, 2013, 10:00 p.m. ET/ PT. Homicide Detective Steve DiSchiavi and Physical Medium Amy Allan make the ultimate paranormal investigation team. With DiSchiavi’s investigation skills and ability to get to the bottom of things and Allan’s ability to communicate and understand spirits, The Dead Files provides viewers with unique insight into the frightening hauntings the team encounters across America. Season four begins in Egg Harbor City, NJ, where one couple’s home turns from a cozy fixer-upper into a living hell. Despite renovating the property, “dark feelings” intensify and manifest into unexplained voices, shadow figures, and an intense feeling of being watched, frightening the couple and their five-year-old son. As Amy and Steve try to help the family, Steve discovers the house was previously the site of a suicide and next to a former sanatorium that saw its share of death. When Amy makes contact with the spirits, she discovers something far more dark and frightening. Additional locations investigated this season include a house in Browns Summit, NC, where haunted activity adversely affects one family’s health; a childhood home in Wabash, IN, that takes on paranormal activity after it was rebuilt following a mysterious fire; the former home to a murderous mobster in Rock Island, IL, that’s ridden with unexplained shadows and noises; a Watervleit, MI, home overcome with aggressive activity that terrorizes its inhabitants; a 19th Century mansion in Buchanan, VA, with dark secrets; and two haunted hotels — the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, WY, and The Amargosa Hotel & Opera House in Death Valley, CA — both of which are rapidly losing business due to terrified guests. Rick and I recently had the opportunity to talk with Steve and Amy about their partnership, their past cases, and what’s coming up for the show. ***** Q: Steve, what did you think about this type of work before you got involved with the Dead Files? Steve: I didn’t think anything of it, to be honest with you. I never had an interest in it. Everyone has that big question. Everyone wants to know what happens after you die. That’s a healthy question. I don’t care who you are, every- 16 Paranormal Underground March 2013 mic Duo Amy Allan & Up to Help the Haunted Q: When investigating each case for the show, do you keep a psychologist or psychiatrist on staff to help these families? Some of these families are in a very bad place. Steve: With Amy’s background, it helps. She has a psychology degree. And because I worked the streets for all those years as a detective, I pretty much have my own psychology degree. We don’t have a psychologist on staff, but Amy gives the clients a lot of guidance on how to take care of themselves and what to do. Q: Amy, during some of your case investigations, you mention spirits fragmenting into more than one entity or multiple spirits coming together to form one entity. Can you talk about that? Amy: At times, when people die, either their soul has shattered before or upon death it can splinter. So they’ll have fragments at various locations, depending on the past trauma that they experienced at that location. It’s similar to Native American practices for soul retrieval where someone will go on a journey to make their souls or persons whole again. It’s by going through and re-experiencing these traumas that happen to them throughout their lives. I’ve witnessed people going back to specific locations where maybe they’ve suffered some type of trauma and then making a reconnection with that part of them and then being able to move forward from that. But, unfortunately, sometimes people aren’t capable of doing that for whatever reason. And when they die, these fragments still exist. And then there’s also where you’ll have (usually in cases with PK manifestations) where there will be a medium on location who also has PK abilities and they have formed or created a poltergeist haunting. It may eventually escalate to the point where it manifests into an entity. And on occasion, if there’s dead people present at that location, they can get trapped and become part of that entity. one wants to know the answer, even if you’re a skeptic. On the police department, I was always dealing with what humans do to each other, and I never thought about this aspect. But once I started working with Amy, my questioning changed a lot. I think I’ve grown as a person. I’m learning as I go. If you told me five years ago that I’d be doing this, I would have never believed you. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 17 Investigator Spotlight If you look at residual haunting, those stem from emotional traumas or even excessive happiness, and they stay imprinted at that location. And that’s the same thing for when you’re splintering off, but it’s just more substantial because it’s a piece of that person remaining behind. Not the whole person; just an aspect. And as far as forming a PK manifestation, the more energy the medium utilizes in their environment the better, as far as really creating an entity outside of themselves. So if there’s a dead person there, they are going to reach out and kind of capture their energy and put it into the being they’re creating. You’ve got to go where each case takes you, so I never know where it’s going to take me. It’s very similar in some ways to what I used to do, but there are some big differences as well. I don’t get to really interrogate anybody like I used to. When I’m questioning clients, I do a lot of listening. I’m really sizing up the whole situation. It’s a lot like detective work. It’s the same thing, except that I’m not investigating with a dead body in front of me. Q: Do you have a limited time frame in which to conduct your investigations because you have a certain number of shows to film? When I studied under Dr. Roll, his background was really in poltergeist phenomena. I’ve learned that it’s so much broader than we ever gave it credit for. Q: Steve, how does being a former NYC homicide detective work in your favor during investigations? Steve: Being a former detective and having my own P.I. company open a lot more doors for me than an amateur researcher might get. I get a lot more cooperation wherever we go because of my background. Steve: When we first get a case, I do as much background research as I possibly can until I sit down and talk with people. So I need to have everything on standby in case I want to talk to a historian or author. I have to reach out to them way in advance. It’s very difficult to get people to cooperate that way, because I have to tell them, “Hey, I’ll be out there in two months. I may need to talk to you, but I’m not really sure yet.” It takes us eight days to do an episode, and there’s a lot to do in eight days. In season 1, we did each episode in four days. 18 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Q: Steve, logistically, is your job on an investigation the most difficult? Steve: It’s not difficult physically, like with what Amy goes through, but I spend more time filming because I have a lot of interviews to do. Probably, seven out of 10 interviews make it to air. In fact, I get comments on Facebook asking me, “What didn’t you ask about this?” What the viewers may not realize is I’ve probably asked every question they’re thinking about, but it never made it to air. It’s a little more taxing on me as far as time, but it’s part of the job. Trust me; I wouldn’t want to go through what Amy has to. I’d rather do what I do. Amy: I only let them put their arms into my body. That’s it. I won’t let them take me over completely. I’ve learned how to control it. Q: Amy, are you exhausted at the end of a walkthrough? Do you have any physical or psychological after-affects you have to deal with? Amy: Yes. Because I’m a physical medium, I see and hear spirits like I see and hear living people. As a physical mediums I can also channel the spirits, so they can take over my body physically. I don’t allow that to happen, but the way that I interact with them is extremely physical. Q: Amy, when you do a walk-through, sometimes your voice changes and your facial expressions and mannerisms seem different. How present are you? Are you there 100%? Amy: No, not at all. That’s why I curse a lot. I’m in and out of awareness, and I don’t really remember a lot from the walk-through. That’s why we record the walk-throughs and take notes. Q: So is that channeling? So I have experienced a thousand deaths and that does harm the body, because it’s dead energy and I’m alive. It’s not particularly healthy. And I’ll have emotional hangovers. When I’m on location and if someone was stabbed to death, for instance, I’ll physically and empathically feel that. After one investigation in New York, I had to get a blood transfusion. Things like that happen after investigations. But, I detox with salt baths, meditation, eating, and getting rest. Q: What would you say to someone who watches March 2013 Paranormal Underground 19 Investigator Spotlight you on TV, thinks they might have abilities, and decides they want to go out and investigate? Amy: Don’t just run out and do it. Go down to your local metaphysical store. Reach out to other sensitives. Talk to everyone you can. Everyone’s experience is unique and different, but I believe that everyone has something that you can learn from them. And it’s important to do that. Take your time before going on an investigation. Learn how to protect yourself. Learn how to communicate well with your guides. Work with other sensitives. In my business, I work with many sensitives. And I always try to help, because when I went through it I didn’t really have anybody. But I did read and try to learn as much as I possibly could. That’s why in my business I work with many different types of sensitives. We’re there for each other, and we’re there for whoever wants help. But you have to be careful. Very careful. Q: Steve, have you ever had a personal experience where you’ve seen a ghost or experienced something spiritual? Steve: No, I haven’t, and I don’t really want to. I spend a lot of time with the clients, and just dealing with what they’re going through emotionally is almost equivalent to, say, making a notification to a parent about their child being killed. I hear about all the heartbreak they’ve been going through for years. These last few cases have been really tough on me emotionally because there are kids involved. As far as seeing apparitions and feeling coldness in a room, I don’t feel any of that stuff. I probably never will because I don’t think I’m open for it. I don’t dismiss it, obviously, or I wouldn’t be doing the show. Q: One of the episodes focused on a family that included eight children. Can you talk about that case and how the kids were involved, because they seemed extremely frightened. Steve: The oldest daughter was being tormented. Not only was she being tormented by what was going on in the house, but she was tormented because she wanted to protect her younger siblings. And if you saw the interview I had with her, where she breaks down and starts crying, to have an 18-year-old girl break down in front of you, it’s very difficult to not get emotional. I’m an Italian guy from 20 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Brooklyn. I’m going to be emotional anyway. It broke my heart to see this kid crying, because I just wanted to hug her and tell her it’s going to be OK. My problem is that I don’t know if it’s going to be OK until the end when I sit down with Amy. I’m just hoping there is a solution so these people can get back to being normal and not having to go through a crisis every day. When following up on submissions for the show, our priority are cases where children are involved. They’re innocent and don’t understand what’s going on. Most of the time, the parents don’t know how to handle it because there’s no rulebook for this stuff. Q: Amy, at the end of that episode, you had a sketch artist draw a picture that looked like a science fiction bad guy rather than a Civil War military officer. How can certain entities present themselves in a manner that is completely unlike who they really are? Amy: To me it’s always been them trying to intimidate me or deter me from continuing on in the investigation. If they have the ability to project themselves in a manner that you will fear, they are going to try and do that if you are finding out things that may not flatter them. Q: When you were investigating a case in Seattle, you were in the basement and saw a bunch of small crab-like creatures. What were those? Amy: I think that those were individuals who were slaves or indentured servants. It seemed like they were trapped somewhere or couldn’t get out of wherever they were and ended up dying because of that. They were very upset and kind of lost their humanity because of the anger and vengeance that took them over. And so they kind of became these little creatures. The creatures seemed to represent what they felt, which is why vengeance shouldn’t be in your heart. If people could see these things, they could really see human nature. It’s very upsetting. Q: Have you done any follow-up with Darcy from the Seattle episode? Amy: I give everybody my personal contact information, and some of the clients I talk to on a weekly basis. But some never contact me. We actually haven’t had much contact with Darcy. From what I understand, she did not follow through with the instructions initially and unfortunately became more ill. Then I found out she was going forward and finding a medium and an exorcist. Q: When you say exorcist, do you mean the actual Roman ritual of banning the enemy of God? Or do you mean something a little bit more tailor made? Amy: It does depend on the situation. In that particular case, yes, it is a banishment. It depends on what the dead person believes in. It also depends on what the living people believe in. Q: In season 3 you were in Belvidere, Illinois. Can you tell us about that case, because it seemed really frightening. Steve: There were a lot of things going on there. Three different generations of a family were being affected. And Judy’s son was being affected by it from when he was a kid. The stuff that happened on that farm ... I did police work for a long time, and I’ve never heard of two brothers killing themselves in the same manner and with the same gun, years apart. So that kind of blew my mind. At least we were able to give the family some answers, and the son now knows why he was seeing these things as a kid. Q: Amy, spirits sometimes threaten you. How do you protect yourself from that, and do you ever get concerned? Amy: I do get concerned, but I have to do this job. And March 2013 Paranormal Underground 21 Investigator Spotlight that’s all there is to it. I do the best I can to protect myself, and I know my guides are looking out for me. Q: What has been your toughest case to date? Steve: I think the toughest one for me we just filmed for the fourth season. I never felt a heartache for a family as I felt for this family. Seeing a dead body in the street doesn’t bother me. Seeing the heartache of a family, that is devastating, especially when there are children involved. Q: Have you ever told a client that they just needed to get out of the home or business? Steve: There were a few, like in Cedar Park, Texas; Acampo, California; and Austin, Texas. Q: How do you handle it when there is no solution for families after investigating a case? Steve: I always put out a disclaimer at the beginning before we even get there to let them know we don’t pull punches. We’re going to tell you what we found. I always tell people that we don’t know what we’re going to find. Amy may tell them to burn the house down, or she may tell them to bless the house and sprinkle some salt and they’ll be good. So I always tell them to be prepared for that. In our case, I think we’re the final straw for a lot of people. A lot of our clients have had investigative teams go in and just confirm the activity and then leave, which in my book is not OK. But a lot of times these groups don’t have access to the history and background of a location so it’s tougher for them. Amy: Or teams may not have access to someone who has degrees in psychology and has studied for years in spirituality and various religions, as well as worked with people who utilized different manners of approaching a case and dealing with the outcome of it to make sure there is a resolution. Steve: We had a case recently that hasn’t aired yet, but the woman had two different paranormal investigative teams come in. Things got progressively worse each time a new team came in. Q: Amy, how do you decide what recommendations to give the client? Amy: I studied under Dr. William Roll for four years, 22 Paranormal Underground March 2013 and at that point he was in his 70s. And he had done so many investigations. I also do have a degree in psychology, which taught me to not only look at what the dead are going through but what the living are going through. I look at the psychological dynamics. Having studied various cultures and religions also helps. So I bring all of these things in and work with my awesome guides. I have a tool bag that I created from all of these people who I’ve been fortunate enough to work with or under, and they’ve given me the tools to be able to help. Q: What one thing would you really like people to know about your work? Steve: There’s a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that gets edited. I ask a lot of questions. My interview could last up to two hours, and you may only see three minutes of it on the show. It’s frustrating for me, because people might think I’m not doing my job. If someone is watching the show and they have a question in their head, they may wonder why I didn’t ask it. I can almost guarantee you that I asked it, and it didn’t make it to air. It’s not the show’s fault or the editor’s fault. If I do five interviews, for example, how are they going to fit that in 42 minutes of TV? You can’t. I just want our viewers to know that I’m asking every question that needs to be asked. Also, our reveals last anywhere from two to four hours and there’s nine minutes of it on TV. Amy: My walk-throughs take hours, I do take protective measures, and I do have to take care of myself afterward. And we’re there for the people. We try to have lasting relationships with the clients and help them through everything, because that’s why we’re doing this. Q: What’s coming up for the show? Steve: We’re filming season 4 right now. Our investigations are getting a lot more intense and a lot more personal than in the past. The clients we are meeting now have a lot issues, and it’s not just about stuff going on in their homes. They have a lot of personal issues going on with them. And we’re able to help, which makes it much better. To find out more about The Dead Files, visit www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/the-dead-files. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 23 Special Report Safety Tips for Paranormal Investigators Intro by Karen Frazier, South Sound Paranormal Research & Paranormal Underground Radio Safety information compiled by Elaine Davison, Western Oregon Organization of Paranormal Investigators W hen is the last time your team thought about safety on investigations? In their eagerness to discover the roots of paranormal activity, many teams fail to consider their personal safety. Certainly, Shane Harris didn’t consider it much until his wife Sara died from severe lung injuries. While the autopsy report is inconclusive as to the exact cause of her lung injuries, Shane began thinking about safety on paranormal investigations and founded the Sara Harris Foundation in her honor. His ultimate purpose is to provide paranormal teams with the information they need to protect themselves when they investigate. Elaine Davison, of the Western Oregon Organization of Paranormal Investigators (WOOPI), started thinking about safety several months ago when her team investigated a “dirty house.” Confronted with mold and other potential hazards, Elaine realized her team needed to focus on environmental and personal safety practices during investigations in order to protect their health and wellbeing. Elaine began doing research, interviewing physicians, and discovering the causes of injury and illness during paranormal investigations. What resulted is the safety information that follows. Elaine distributes the information as a safety pamphlet, and the Sara Harris Foundation provides the results of Elaine’s research on its Website, as well. While safety isn’t a “sexy” paranormal topic, it is an important one. Please read the information below and make your next team meeting the one where you create your team’s safety plan so no one will lose a spouse, friend, sibling, parent, or child due to preventable illness or injury. ***** Paranormal investigators — in particular “ghost hunters” — often fail to recognize the dangers in front of them. The purpose of the following material is to educate investigators so they can remain safe while in the field. General Guidelines for Staying Healthy • People with a cold or otherwise compromised immune system should not investigate. Stay home and rest. The team and clients don’t want to get sick either. • Drink plenty of water. Investigating can be intense, so your body will produce more cortisol in response to the stress. Cortisol is a stress hormone that causes increased heart rate and respiration, as well as weakening the immune system. When you do not drink enough water during a paranormal investigation, you may experience a “hangover” the day after the investigation due to this increase in cortisol. A good rule of thumb is to drink four to six ounces of water for every hour of investigating. If you actually get thirsty while investigating, double this amount. • Get your shots. –Getting a flu shot will reduce the likelihood of getting influenza or a cold. Even if you do contract the flu, studies show the influenza vaccine can lessen the severity and duration. –Keep your DTP (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) shot up to date, as well. Whooping cough has 24 Paranormal Underground March 2013 reached the highest incident rates since the 1960s, and it can be very dangerous, particularly in people with weakened immune systems. • Use a hand sanitizer with alcohol every hour. This will greatly reduce your risk of growing ill after an investigation. Investigators often don’t know who may have been at a location before them or what, if any, illnesses they may have had. Using sanitizer could ward off a nasty illness. Alcohol will kill bacteria and fungi by breaking down (denaturing) the cell’s processes. • Cover open sores and those already scabbed over with an antibacterial ointment and a bandage. • Immediately remove and wash your clothes and shower after an investigation. You can’t be certain what fungus, virus, or bacteria came home with you on your clothes/skin. • In areas where mold, dust, and animal waste might be an issue, use a disposable N95 respirator (10 packs are about $15 at most home supply stores). In addition to the N95 designation, the mask must fit well so contaminated air can’t seep in around the edges. Wearing a mask in these areas will reduce the chances of contracting a respiratory infection by 90 to 95%. • Take along a carbon monoxide detector. Not all homes have them or place them where they are most needed. Place detectors near any stoves or furnaces. CO (carbon monoxide) emissions can sometimes rise quickly. When you are investigating, you need something to warn you that there is a colorless, odorless gas present. Environmental Hazards • People Dangers: While many clients are of sound mind, others may be schizophrenic or have some other mental disorder. Living people can be more terrifying than any spirit you encounter. Check out the client prior to showing up for a pre-investigation. A quick Internet search of the address and contact person can sometimes be enlightening. Never go alone to someone’s home, ever! • Structural Hazards: There are documented cases of people falling through ceilings of older homes during investigations. Always do a walkthrough in the light and treat all floors as if they could collapse until proven safe. If an area is questionable, mark it off before turning off the lights by stringing painter tape at chest height. • Electrical Hazards: Every year, hundreds of people are killed in homes by electrocution. If there is a low-hanging wire, test it with a voltmeter or multimeter before touching. Assume all wires are live until proven otherwise. Metal is an excellent electrical conductor, so be careful around vents and pipes, as well. If a live wire is touching them, then they are likely to carry a charge that can hurt you or even kill you. • Electromagnetic Fields: Governmental agencies differ on the safe level for EMF exposure. Some agencies even believe there is no danger from EMF fields; however, other agencies disagree and cite problems associated with EMF that include mental and physical health issues. Safe levels of EMF are hotly debated in the scientific field, so it’s best to err on the side of caution. Some studies show exposure to levels of over 1 mG for more than an hour may cause digestive tract issues. These studies conclude that if you are entering an area where potentially high EMF exists, you should limit food intake for four hours before exposure and two hours after. Visit the World Health Organization’s Website for more information: http://www.who.int/ peh-emf/publications/risk_hand/en/index.html. • Mold: You can find mold everywhere — both indoors and outside —- but it thrives mostly in damp March 2013 Paranormal Underground 25 Special Report environments. There are thousands of strains of mold, which are broken down into tens of thousands of sub classes. You can identify mold by its fuzzy appearance, which can be orange, green, black, brown, pink, or purple. Most people do not experience any health effects from mold exposure. However, some molds can cause nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, throat irritation, and coughing or wheezing. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and those with asthma may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. Sometimes, even seemingly healthy people come down with respiratory infections after exposure to mold. • Mildew: There are two main types of mildew. Downy mildew starts as yellow spots, and then the color changes to brown. Powdery mildew is whitish in color and looks like talcum powder. Inhaling mildew can cause coughing, headache, scratchy throat, and lung problems. Mildew can also start growing in lungs and cause other serious issues. • Carbon Monoxide: Often referred to as a silent killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, gas ranges, and heating systems. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. • Fiberglass Insulation: Casual exposure to fiberglass is not a huge concern unless it is being moved or installed. However, in attics and under homes, you should wear a N95 disposable respirator where fiberglass insulation is present to avoid a potential lung infection. • Asbestos: Investigating in areas with asbestos is dangerous because exposure can cause serious lung damage and cancers. In areas where asbestos is not contained, the only protection from danger is a respirator equipped with HEPA-filtered cartridges (color-coded purple) or an N-100, P-100, or R-100 NIOSH rating. These cartridges are specific for filtering out asbestos fibers. A N95 disposable respirator paper mask is not adequate. You should always ask potential clients about the presence of asbestos before an investigation. Critter Dangers • Bats and Birds: Bat guano and bird droppings often grow a fungus that releases spores into the air. These spores can cause histoplasmosis in humans. Bats are known for carrying rabies, as well. However, this is only a concern if they bite you. • Raccoons: Raccoons like to create nests in sheltered, warm places where they can feel safe. This makes attics, chimneys, and foundations likely places where paranormal investigators may encounter them. Not only will a raccoon bite or scratch if they feel threatened or trapped, but they can carry rabies, leptospirosis, and parasites that can be transmitted directly to humans. • Mice and Rats: These little creatures are known to spread more than 35 different diseases throughout the world. Only a few are known to exist in the United States, but several of these diseases can be life threatening. Illnesses associated with mice and rats include histoplasmosis, hantavirus, pulmonary syndrome, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM), plague, rat bite fever, murine typhus, and rickettsialpox. • Opossums: These marsupials typically avoid humans unless they are ill with the plague or rabies. They also carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. • Skunks: These animals prefer to make their dens under homes, porches and decks. Their presence is often noted by their aromatic scent. They carry rabies, leptospirosis, listeriosis, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, Q-fever, tularemia, and trypanosoma. • Spiders: There are over 3,500 types of spiders. Only two types have the potential to inflict a single fatal bite: Latrodecus (aka the widows; black, brown, and red) and Loxosceles (brown recluse). The bites from the Tegenaria (hobo spider) are not known to be fatal to humans, but a substantial envenomation that causes prolonged systemic effects can lead to death if untreated. Most spiders are venomous; however, except for those listed above they generally only cause a mild irritation. Multiple bites from any spider, on the other hand, can cause a variety of health issues. 26 Paranormal Underground March 2013 • Snakes: Five to eight thousand people in the United States are bitten by venomous snakes each year. On average, only five die from the bite because most seek out immediate medical care. The venomous snakes indigenous to the U.S. are rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths/water moccasins, and coral snakes. Even non-venomous snakes can cause a reaction if the person bit is allergic to the snake’s bite. their urine and droppings, or being bitten by a rodent. Onset of symptoms usually occurs eight to 13 days after exposure. Symptoms include fever, malaise, lack of appetite, muscle aches, headache, nausea, and vomiting. This infection is rarely fatal but can cause serious complications if not treated. • Plague: An infectious disease of animals and humans caused by Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) bacteria. The disease is uncommon and can be treated with antibiotics Diseases/Infections with early treatment, although it can be fatal. The sympWhile most people would not intentionally eat and or toms include fever, headache, weakness, and a bloody or drink animal/rodent waste, it is possible to unintentionally watery cough due to infection of the lungs (pneumonia). It consume them by eating or drinking in a contaminated spreads by being bitten by an infected flea or having direct area or by not washing your hands after being around contact with an infected animal. rodent waste. • Rat-Bite Fever: Typically is caused by a bite or • Histoplasmosis: Causes fever and chest pains. scratch wound from an infected rodent, contact with a dead Untreated, histoplasmosis can turn into a chronic lung rodent, and eating or drinking food or water that is contamdisease resembling tuberculosis. The disease can be fatal inated by rat feces. There are actually two types of Rat-Bite in people with a compromised immune system. Ocular Fever (RBF): streptobacillary RBF and spirillary RBF. histoplasmosis syndrome, which destroys the central (not –The streptobacillary RBF symptoms most often peripheral) vision, can also develop. While lung problems appear three to 10 days after exposure but sometimes can can be cured with anti-fungal medications, the ocular take up to 21 days. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, disease has no cure. headache, muscle pain, joint • Hantavirus Pulmopain, and rash. A maculopapuUse an N95 respirator nary Syndrome: Can occur by lar rash with red patches and when investigating where breathing in dust that is consmall bumps may appear two taminated with rodent urine or to four days after the onset of mold, dust, and animal droppings, direct contact with the fever, and joints may be waste are present. rodents or their urine and dropswollen and painful. pings, or bite wounds. Early –The signs of spirillary RBF symptoms typically appear nine occur seven to 21 days after to 33 days after exposure. Symptoms, which occur in exposure and consist of fever (that may occur repeatedly), anyone infected, include fatigue and fever. Muscle aches, swelling near the wound, swollen lymph nodes, and rash. particularly in the large muscle groups — thighs, hips, In most cases simple antibiotics can treat Rat Bite Feback, and sometimes shoulders — are also present. Four ver if treated early. Left untreated, deadly complications to 10 days after the onset of the initial symptoms, addican develop, like endocarditis, myocarditis or pericarditis, tional symptoms set in, including coughing and shortness meningitis, pneumonia, and abscesses in internal organs. of breath as the lungs fill with fluid. • Murine Typhus & Epidemic Typhus: Both are • Leptospirosis: A bacterial infection usually caused bacterial infections. Murine Typhus most often is related from eating food or drinking water contaminated with to some type of rodent exposure and is more prevalent in urine from infected animals. It can also be contracted via California and Texas during the summer and fall. Howcontact on the skin or mucous membranes (such as inside ever, it has been seen throughout most of the lower 48 the nose) with water or soil that is contaminated with the states. A lice bite is most often the cause for Epidemic Tyurine from infected animals. Symptoms usually appear after phus, and only a couple of cases are reported in the U.S. a four to 14-day incubation period and include high fever, each year. Symptoms for both include headache, fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches, and vomiting. Addimuscle pain, joint pain, nausea, and vomiting. About half tional symptoms may include jaundice, red eyes, abdominal of infected people will develop a discrete rash six days pain, diarrhea, and rash. The symptoms may grow more after the onset of signs, as well as neurological symptoms severe if you don’t seek early medical treatment. such as confusion, stupor, seizures, or imbalance. • Lymphocytic Chorio-Meningitis (LCM): A virus –Treatment for Murine Typhus is antibiotics; howcontracted by breathing in dust that is contaminated with ever, a large number of cases in California have required rodent urine or droppings, direct contact with rodents or hospitalization. Death from Murine Typhus is rare — March 2013 Paranormal Underground 27 Special Report sion Disorder. People with this affliction start dropping everything to pursue their addiction. Often, these people destroy family ties, lose jobs and friendships, suddenly show signs of reckless behavior, become reclusive, and may have changes in their personality. Much like an alcoholic or a drug addict, people with mental disorders need help to overcome their issues. Health and Safety Equipment Every team should have a health and safety kit they carry with them on every investigation containing the following items. • CPR Pocket Mask: Hopefully, you’ll never need to use this item, but in case someone needs CPR, several team members should be certified to administer it. • Disposable N95 Respirator Masks: These are inexpensive, and you should always wear them in areas where there is mold, heavy dust, or evidence of animal excrement. • Emergency Blanket: These little mylar blankets may not look like much, but if a team member is injured and goes into shock, they are better than nothing. • Polysporin Antibiotic Cream: Apply to simple wounds or put on existing sores and scabs before an investigation, as well as on new ones that show up during the investigation. • Bandages: Adhesive bandages (all sizes), adhesive tape, nonadhesive pads (Telfa), and 4” x 4” sterile gauze pads are essential for wound care. • Anesthetic Spray or Lotion Like Bactine or Calamine: Use these for rashes and insect bites. • 2”, 3”, and 4” Ace Bandages: Use these for sprains or strains, as well as for wrapping gauze onto wounds or securing splints. • Benadryl: Use this oral antihistamine for allergic reactions and itchy rashes. • Exam Gloves: Use for infection protection. They can also be made into ice packs if filled with water and frozen. • Safety Pins (large and small): You need these for splints and ace bandages. • Scissors: Use these to cut tape and bandages. • Tweezers: Use for splinter, stinger, or tick removal. • Trash Bags: These are good for a variety of things, such as making ice packs or covering a large wound. • Hand Sanitizer: Use this often to protect against fungal, bacterial and viral infections. • Carbon Monoxide Detector: Place these near furnaces and stoves to prevent accidental poisoning. • Painters Masking Tape or Caution Tape: Use to mark off dangerous areas. about two to four percent without treatment. –Epidemic Typhus is treated with antibiotics. Close to 90 percent of the cases require hospitalization to stabilize the patient. The mortality rate is 10 to 60 percent. If the patient seeks treatment early, the mortality rate is significantly lower. • Rickettsialpox: A bacterium originally found in mice caused when mites feeding on mice become affected. The disease is transmitted to humans when an infected mite bites them. Many of the symptoms are flulike and include fever, chills, weakness, and achy muscles. The most distinctive symptom is the rash that breaks out, usually beginning with a bump formed by the bite that eventually results in a black, crusty scab. The rash spreads over time, spanning the infected person’s entire body. Even untreated, rickettsialpox usually will resolve itself in two to three weeks. Treated, the symptoms often resolve within 72 hours. Mental Health Despite some skeptics believing all paranormal investigators are mentally ill, it is not the case. However, there are a small percentage of people who are mentally ill and seek refuge in the paranormal community. They may also contact teams to validate themselves. Some of these people may suffer from Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD), a group of mental illnesses where the individual needs to draw attention to him/herself. People with HPD often behave in overly emotional and dramatic ways to gain attention. Munchausen Syndrome falls into this classification of illness. Often people with these issues are only a danger to themselves. However, if a person with HPD doesn’t receive the attention he or she desires, he/she may engage in behaviors that put other investigators in danger in order to play the part of a hero to gain the craved attention. Team members also may become obsessed with the paranormal. This most often occurs with Intrusive Obses- 28 Paranormal Underground March 2013 March 2013 Paranormal Underground 29 Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted Sites Haunted Magnolia Plantation: Voodoo & Ghostly Activity By Jill Stefko, Ph.D., Suite 101 Contributing Writer M agnolia Plantation saw murder, death, and cruelty to slaves, as well as Voodoo practices. During the Civil War, it was a Union prison. Now, it’s known for ghostly activity. In 1830, Ambrose LeComte II and his wife, Julia Buard, created the Magnolia Plantation in Natchitoches, Louisiana, not to be confused with Charleston, South Carolina’s Magnolia Plantation. The slaves’ quarters, slaves’ hospital, blacksmith shop, and store still stand. Today’s main house is a replica of the original. Abundant crops allowed the LeComtes to establish two other plantations, with Magnolia being the headquarters and their home. Magnolia fared better than the other LeComte plantations. People were still picking cotton by hand until the 1970s. The farm didn’t last in the 1980s, but the store remained open. By 1990, the store was closed and the property deteriorated. In 1994, the plantation was donated to the National Park Service, which now maintains it. Magnolia Plantation: Haunted History The plantation was the hub for a community of Creoles of Color and blacks who lived and worked there as tenant farmers and laborers. Slaves cleared the land, constructed the main house and store, and planted and harvested the cotton and tobacco crops. The brick slave quarters had two rooms in each unit and were intended to shelter a family. At times, as many as 10 family members were crowded into the minute space. Living conditions were cramped and oppressive, at best. There was only one small fireplace for heat and cooking. Slaves were brutalized by torture and other forms of abuse. Leg stocks, used for public humiliation, punishment, and starvation, still stand on the grounds. Run- During full moons, the Magnolia Plantation’s kitchen door is said to open and misty entities crawl about on their hands and knees. They Dying Room is said to be home to intense paranormal activity as well. away slaves were hunted like prey. In return, slaves used Voodoo as “pay back” for their cruel treatment. Blacksmith slaves incorporated covert Voodoo symbols in the Christian crosses’ designs that were used as LeComte grave markers. Magnolia Plantation: Haunted Civil War History During the Civil War, the slave quarters were used to house Confederate prisoners, with up to 25 captured soldiers in each unit. Some prisoners died from suffocation. Their bodies, allegedly, are buried in shallow graves surrounding the unit; however, no one has done a thorough search for them. When the main house was set on fire by retreating Union troops, wood from the slaves’ quarters was used to restore it. Some people believe that using wood from 30 Paranormal Underground March 2013 the slaves’ quarters to restore the main house is one of the horror for slaves and a site of paranormal activity, is the reasons why the main house is haunted. The theory is that LaLaurie House, the Haunted New Orleans House of energy from Voodoo and the slaves’ brutal experiences in Horrors and Paranormal Activity. Dr. Louis and Mme. Magnolia Plantation is embedded in the wood. Delphine Lalaurie were a high society Creole couple, part There is “The Dying Room” in the main house. It’s of the Crescent City’s aristocratic society. They hosted said that many of Magnolia’s lavish parties attended by the residents went to this room to city’s elite, but always kept one uring the ivil ar die. The room housed a Union door locked. What was behind Major who was slowly poisoned the door shocked society: evithe agnolia lanta and driven to insanity by his dence of slaves being tortured. Confederate prisoners. Some people say Magnolia tion was a nion prison plantation is the most haunted; Magnolia Plantation: however, there’s another one who was given this title: the Paranormal Happenings Myrtles Plantation. It was also the scene of murders, was Ghosts are said to haunt the buildings and grounds. home to Voodoo practitioners, and reportedly has more Neighbors say they hear the murdered overseer’s ghost, ghosts than Magnolia Plantation. Mr. Miller, screaming and can feel his presence. WitThe oldest haunted plantation house is Destrehan nesses have reported seeing a man’s distorted face in the Manor, a place of legends and paranormal activity. The window of The Dying Room. Destrahans were far kinder toward the slaves than the During full moons, the kitchen door opens, and misty LeComtes were. After the Civil War, their plantation was entities crawl about on their hands and knees. Ghosts a facility to teach trades to the newly freed slaves. are seen and spectral voices are heard in the main house. Motion detectors on the grounds are often triggered by Article originally published at http://suite101.com/ themselves. article/haunted-magnolia-plantation-voodoo-and-ghostlyactivity-a395616. Sources include Arthur Meyers, The Magnolia Plantation: Ghostly Register, Contemporary Bo Inc., 1986 and MiKindred Haunted Places chael Norman & Beth Scott, Historic Haunted America, Like the Magnolia main house, another scene of Tor, 1995. D C W M P , - U . March 2013 Paranormal Underground 31 Case Files Of The Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Bigfoot By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research Man Meets I believe that Sasquatch exists. After all, these are creatures that have been reported all over the world. From the European Wodewose, which may have been a surviving population of Neanderthal man, to the North American Sasquatch, which may be related to Gigantopithecus. Although I have never seen him, or God forbid smelled him, there is one man of the 20th Century that knows full well that such creatures exist. Prospector, hunter, and symbol of Canadian backwoods badassery, Albert Ostman, or the only man to have ever been abducted and escaped the furry clutches of a family of Sasquatch. An Encounter With Sasquatch In summer 1924, Ostman was on vacation in British Columbia nosing around the Toba Inlet on Lake Powell. He was searching for a fabled lost gold mine. After a hard day of work, Ostman unrolled his sleeping bag and fell asleep. Sometime during the course of the night, Ostman was awakened when a large, hairy something snatched him up in his sleeping bag, slung him over its shoulder like a sack of old potatoes, and proceeded to make a long trek into the dense forests of British Columbia. Hours after being taken from his campsite, Ostman emerged from his sleeping bag. He reported that he found himself in a clearing surrounded by a family of four large, hairy ... creatures. Ostman came to the conclusion that he was abducted by a family of the fabled Sasquatch: three adults and one child. For a full week, Ostman observed the family of hirsute man things. Ostman claimed that he made a break for it after giving chewing tobacco to the eight-foot-tall male, making it violently ill. For 24 years, Ostman kept his bizarre story to himself because he was afraid people would either think he was a liar or completely crazy. Canadian prospector Albert Ostman claimed that he was abducted by a Sasquatch and held captive for six days. However in 1957, after hearing others stories of coming face to face with the legendary creature, Ostman decided it was time to tell his tale to a local newspaper. Upon reading Ostman’s tale in the newspaper, a police magistrate decided to investigate Albert Ostman. Albert Ostman Is tested After subjecting Ostman to some rigorous questioning, the magistrate signed an affidavit saying that Ostman was completely sane, pleasant, and funny. Most of all, he believed Ostman’s wild tale of being abducted and escaping from something that we are told isn’t supposed to exist, but apparently does. While some believe Ostman, others don’t. In 2007, writer Joe Nickell said the story was a hoax. Primatologist John Napier was quoted as saying, “Ostman’s story fails to convince me primarily on the grounds of the limited food resources available.” And Bigfoot researcher Peter Byrne says he needs more evidence to accept Ostman’s story. I have personally always believed the strange story of Albert Ostman, basically because the old prospector maintained that his story was true even upon his deathbed when he went to his final reward in 1975. What do you think? 32 Paranormal Underground March 2013 March 2013 Paranormal Underground 33 Case Files Of The Unknown: Are We Alone? UFOs OVER South America By Chad Wilson F or time immemorial, the human race has told myths of those who came from the sky or the sea. With them they brought the secrets of civilization, such as farming, animal husbandry, astronomy, and other skills that bespoke of an advanced culture. In their wake, these beings from the stars left their legend. But one must ask, were they really from the stars or might they have been from a little closer to home? Maybe planet Earth, under the waters of the world’s oceans? With the number of UFO sightings in the South American region, this could very well be the case. It would seem there is more than one underwater base too, as witnesses will attest in the areas of Venezuela, Argentina, and other locations across the globe. Secret Underwater Base What lurks beneath the waters off the coast of the South American nation of Argentina? Some believe that a secret underwater UFO base exists in the region off of the Southern Coast of Patagonia. Most UFOs in the South American country move by silently overhead, while those below watch in awe, wondering what they have experienced. Few get a close-up glimpse of such phenomena, but the case of Doctor Botta and the UFO tells a different tale. The Case of Doctor Botta and the UFO The year was 1950, and Dr. Enrique Caretenuto Botta, in his 40s, had just gotten off work at his job as an architectural engineer. A well-respected man, Dr. Botta was educated as an aeronautical engineer and had served as a pilot during World War II. While driving back to his hotel after work, he had to pass through an isolated area known as Bahia Blanca. Just off the roadway ahead of him he saw a discshaped object sitting on the grass. The good doctor, a cu- Few get a close-up glimpse of UFOs, but the case of “Doctor Botta and the UFO” tells a different tale. rious man of science, stopped his car to watch the object. When nothing untoward happened, his curiosity got the better of him and he decided to get a closer look. Approaching the object carefully, he saw an opening in the side of the UFO. The brave doctor figured he had nothing to lose, and he went inside of the craft. Dead Aliens Upon entering the craft, all Dr. Botta could see was a blinking red light in a domed top. Making his way further into the craft, he came upon a curved divan occupied by three small beings. About four feet high, the creatures wore gray overalls that fit tightly over their small frames. A control panel consisting of various gauges, lights, and meters sat before the beings. Not wanting to disturb the creatures, Dr. Botta stood quietly behind them. The pressure was too much, though, and tempting fate he reached out and touched one of the small beings. His touch was met with the feeling of a rigid, almost burnt texture. From all appearances the creatures were dead. Terrified, Dr. Botta ran from the saucer. 34 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Jumping in his car, he sped down the highway to his hotel. Arriving at his hotel, he sought out his two closest friends. He related to them his experiences. Determined to check the saucer out, all three men armed themselves to return to the spot where the craft sat, but upon leaving the hotel decided against it. The hour was late, and it could be dangerous in that area due to its isolation. They decided to reconvene in the morning and investigate the site then. A Mystery Is Born Early the next morning, Dr. Botta and his three friends returned to the site of the mysterious craft, but as one would expect in all strange cases like this, the craft was gone. All that remained was a pile of ash. Poking through the ash, one of the men picked up a scoop. He dropped it in horror as his hand turned purple. Consequently, his hand remained purple for days before returning to its normal color. Discouraged, the men decided to search the surrounding area for evidence of the craftâ€™s landing. While searching, one of the men looked up. Above them three objects sat in the sky. The largest object was Dr. Botta came down with blisters on his skin and a fever. cigar-shaped, while the other two smaller objects were in the shape of a disc. Eventually, the two smaller objects joined with the larger one, forming one object. The large object then took on an blood red hue and disappeared from view. Dr. Botta had tried to photograph the objects, but upon review later saw that only two of the pictures showed anything, and those were only vague images. Conclusion Dr. Botta came down with blisters on his skin and a fever in the days immediately following his strange encounter. The symptoms lasted for several weeks following the incident, but Dr. Botta eventually recovered. While tests showed no signs of radiation, the sunglasses he had worn into the disc-shaped craft had left an impression on his face. Dr. Botta was probably lucky to get away with his life, and his curiosity almost got the better of him. Have aliens been visiting Earth, or have they always been here, just out of sight beneath the Earthâ€™s oceans? With over 90% of the worldâ€™s oceans unexplored, it may come as no surprise that visitors from another world have decided to make their bases there. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 35 Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History A Hazardous Haunting: Part 3 By Barry E. Taff, Ph.D., http://barrytaff.net/ For Part 1 of this article, see our January 2013 issue. For part 2, see our February 2013 issue. I n August 1996, a video crew from the United Paramount (television) Network series Strange Universe visited Jackie’s original house in San Pedro after interviewing Jackie, Conrad, and myself to obtain some B-roll footage to accompany the segment on air. Upon arriving at Jackie’s original San Pedro home, they discovered that the house was again vacant, which allowed them access to its interior rather than relying only on exterior shots. While initially touring the house, they heard strange pounding noises emanating from the attic, just as our group did the first night of the investigation back in August 1989. As they began taping, their Betacam suddenly and inexplicably shut down. Apparently, all their freshly charged batteries had failed, just as ours did during many early visits to the house. As they were unable to continue shooting in the house, they went outside. Once away from the bungalow, their Betacam and audio equipment came back to life. Intrigued, they again entered the house in an effort to continue taping. To the crew’s astonishment and growing anxiety, their recording instruments once again failed. When they finally exited the little bungalow and were talking in the front yard, their equipment again sprang back to life. Needless to say, the crew was somewhat perplexed and unnerved by this experience, as they knew their equipment to be very dependable and reliable. Adding more fuel to the belief that the property is haunted (as opposed to nothing other than Jackie’s psychokinesis) was the fact that we spoke with the relatively new property owners (a husband and wife) residing in the front house. They told us that in the years since they had been there, the longest anyone had resided in Jackie’s old house was approximately six months. What a surprise? An exterior shot of the San Pedro, California, house where Jackie Hernandez experienced a violent haunting. This could more readily be explained by the fact that this area of San Pedro is a very low-rent district attracting a lot of transients, thus having a high rate of turnover as many residents simply cannot afford rent and skip out. However, the owners spoke of loose objects being hurled at them while in the house and items that initially sat on the countertop in the kitchen frequently ending up on the floor many feet away. This strongly suggested that there continued to be considerable phenomena associated with the property. A Haunting or A Poltergeist? After we spent a small amount of time in the house around the middle of September 1996, nothing in the way of phenomena was experienced, although every member of our investigative group did experience a strong sense of overpressure that appeared to build in intensity. This follow-up investigation strongly suggested that 36 Paranormal Underground March 2013 this case might be a haunting as opposed to a poltergeist. Still, how does one account for Jackie’s continuing to manifest phenomena around herself long after she abandoned the 11th Street house in conjunction with the fact that she claims to have never experienced any type of phenomena whatsoever prior to living in this particular house? It’s always been assumed that phenomena were of one type or the other. Could it be that there is another possibility? Postulate that there are certain environments that have experienced violent traumatic events in their past and somehow became charged with the energy of human consciousness, and that this residual consciousness is in some form intelligent, not random psychokinetic force. That this charge of consciousness is composed of energy that has properties akin to bacteria and viruses in that it can “infect” certain individuals who are susceptible to its influence. Enter the unsuspecting individual into this unique energetic environment. If this person is highly susceptible to the energetic charge, they might become infected. Such an infection would subtly alter the neuro-chemical and electrochemical composition of the person’s physiology. One of the results of this “infection” might be to generate various forms of psychokinetic phenomena mediated by the host’s unconscious mind. And of course, once infected, they might carry this force within them to other locations where they continue to propagate phenomena. Simply put in biophysical/electronic terms, the psychokinetic agent acts as an inductively coupled trigger for the charged environment. Such an environment would likely be composed of a geomagnetic anomaly and/or high amplitude 60 Hz electromagnetic noise. This then conveys the impression that the phenomenon is non-localized, as it appears to follow the individual from house to house, when in reality all that’s occurring is the outward manifestation of a unique psychic infection or “psycho-virus.” Who Could Be Poltergeist or Psychokinetic Agent? The type of individual who is susceptible to this charge is perhaps that person we now define as a polter- geist or psychokinetic agent. Perhaps their unstable nature, both at the neuro-chemical and emotional level, may allow the Earth’s charge to easily couple with them. In point of fact, there is more than ample evidence supporting the theory that the majority of these poltergeist agents are either seizure prone or epileptic. Adding more weight to this theory comes from numerous individuals this author has interviewed who suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy. Most, if not all of such uniquely wired individuals said that when they correctly take medication to inhibit their seizures, the psychokinetic events cease as well. What a coincidence. In parapsychological research, there are two known types of psychokinesis. At one end of the spectrum is the microscopic form that is somewhat volitional and has been documented as affecting random events and random number generators. When this level of PK is demonstrated there is fatigue observed in those triggering it. At the other end of the scale is the macroscopic form of PK that appears to be at the root of poltergeist cases and is frequently referred to as recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis, more simply, RSPK. Surprisingly, macroscopic PK is not volitional, and the suspected agents of such show absolutely no signs whatsoever of fatigue after such occurrences. The majority of individuals who suffer from epilepsy do not experience poltergeist outbreaks, while almost all macroscopic psychokinetic agents do. Therefore, somewhere in the middle is a missing or unknown variable. Could that variable be as simple as one’s chemically imbalanced emotions? We will never know as to whether Jackie suffered from such neurological problems, as she was extremely reluctant to pursue this type of inquiry. That being said, it is important to emphasize that the forces at work regarding psychokinetic/poltergeist outbreaks are almost certainly not electromagnetic in nature, as they affect matter that is both diamagnetic and dielectric. Well if not electromagnetic, then what? Is it possible for a psychokinetic agent to act as an inductively coupled trigger for the charged environment? March 2013 Paranormal Underground 37 Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History Examining the Forces of Nature Gravity as we understand it requires a substantial mass, as do black holes and their less destructive cousin, wormholes, so we can rule them out. The strong and weak nuclear forces would not generate sufficient force other than through heat to be of any use in psychokinesis. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that all of the aforementioned forces would be self-injurious to the extreme if humanly generated. Where then does that leave us in search of a power source? The answer to this question may be hidden within the nature of what repeatedly happened to Jeff Wheatcraft. When he was physically thrown around like a rag doll, his immediate surroundings should have dramatically heated up due to the liberated heat generated as a by-product of the work being done. It’s the old F = MA or, more simply, force equals mass times acceleration. The result of which is the simple, straightforward, second law of thermodynamics at its best, and there’s no way around it. Or is there? Long before Jeff’s 6’2”, 215-lb. frame could be tossed across a room, the generated heat would set his clothing, the carpet, and every piece of furniture ablaze. And, of course, he would be instantly immolated by such an intense exothermic reaction. But again, this is how the forces we know of function. There is but one candidate remaining that could theoretically fill the bill. We now must address something called Zero Point energy — that ubiquitous form of energy that may be related to dark energy and dark matter and that may generate cold as opposed to heat when doing work and could possibly neutralize inertia and gravity. Given the potentially deadly consequences of biologically generating such power, it’s far more logical to assume that Poltergeist Agents (PGAs) are not producing such force, but rather tapping into what’s already present. If this theory is correct, then such PGAs would be little more than biological operational amplifiers and waveguides. However, the ways in which such energies couple with PGAs most assuredly are electromagnetic, at least the portion of it we can currently detect and measure. It goes without saying that we cannot measure what we do not know. All we are able to detect and analyze at this relatively primitive stage of paranormal research is how such unknown paranormal forces affect the matter and energy we currently are aware of. Untestable Theories and Assumptions As intriguing as this theory may appear, parts of it generically resemble a pseudo-scientific definition of possession, which of course, is an untestable hypothesis and conjures up the notion where spirits of deceased individuals are controlling and directing actions of living persons. Right, and I can fly without a plane? There is no suggestion here that a discarnate intelligence has entered into and taken control of an individual. What is being proposed here bears only the crudest generic similarity to it. Moreover, there is absolutely no suggestion here that the dead are in any way influencing the living. However, it must be reiterated at this point that these descriptions are artful speculation based on observation, collection, and analysis of data and analogy. While some of these theories may make sense to us rationally, they cannot be proved or disproved. This disclaimer is made for those who question whether this investigation was a serious scientific inquiry. It has been 20 years since our involvement in this case began, and, for the most part, we are just as much in the dark as to the exact nature of the phenomena as we were when it started. Although, a PGA inductively coupling with the environment seems to theoretically provide us with a testable working hypothesis. If this theoretical inductive coupling between PGAs and the electromagnetic environments is correct, then it should be possible to artificially “drive” such coupling by modifying said environments within which PGAs are enclosed. However, there are several major concerns regarding this specific approach. The most crucial of which 38 Paranormal Underground March 2013 is the problem of modifying said environments might prove to be very dangerous to the occupants, both physically and emotionally, making such a venture immoral and unethical. Secondly, each electromagnetic variable (frequency, amplitude, pulse duration, pulse interval, pulse repetition rate, ion concentration/density, etc.) would have to be individually manipulated in order to determine which specific independent variable, if any, produces a given result. Monsters From the Id In a peculiar sort of way, this whole scenario is somewhat reminiscent of “Monsters From the Id” as depicted in the 1956 motion picture Forbidden Planet, a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, wherein the indigenous alien residents (the Krell) of a planet within a distant star system developed technology that could translate their thoughts into energy and matter, which they could then project anywhere on the planet. Only later did the Krell discover that their unconscious whims, wants, needs, and fears were guiding the process, eventually leading to their own destruction. Does this science fiction plot seem familiar? What’s being theoretically postulated here regarding humanly mediated psychokinesis is pretty much the same as in Forbidden Planet, with one glaring exception — we don’t have the technology to create such incredible effects. Although, in the real world, it appears as if the interrelationship between certain individuals and their physical environment may serve as a poor man’s substitute. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing that we do not possess such highly advanced psychotronic technology given our predilection for violence? What do you think? The Hernandez case will go down in parapsychological history as a unique one. Does Human Consciousness Survive Death? The final question that needs to be answered is whether there indeed is some form of human consciousness that survives corporeal death, and if so, does it play any role whatsoever in such paranormal events? Or are we just anthropomorphizing occurrences that we cannot explain? Many questions, but as yet, no definitive answers. Sure, we successfully recorded a significant amount of phenomena on videotape and 35mm film, and personally experienced even more activity (including the near-death of an acquaintance that resulted in a severe personality breakdown). But in the end, Jackie’s life is still in shambles much as it was before we met her and began our investigation. Although admittedly, the 26 years preceding our involvement was not exactly a walk in the park, either. The Hernandez case will certainly go down in parapsychological history as a unique one, perhaps even more so than The Entity case, if for no other reason than the sheer volume and magnitude of phenomena captured on film and videotape. Another Bit of High Strangeness There is one last bit of high strangeness regarding Wheatcraft and the continuing onslaught of psychokinetic attacks plaguing him. By spring 1993, Wheatcraft’s behavior became demonstrably odd as discussed earlier. This resulted in both Conrad and I breaking off any and all contact with him. We did not have contact with Wheatcraft again until early summer 2007 when we all worked on a DVD at Warner Bros. In March 2008, Conrad and I were invited to Wheatcraft’s 60th birthday party at his sister’s house here in West Los Angeles. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 39 Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History Unfortunately, Wheatcraft’s answers to this comprehensive test failed to indicate any aspects of low selfesteem and self-loathing. Now what? Where does this leave us in terms of trying to understand the nature of this phenomenon? Absolutely nowhere! However, the question of whether we were dealing with a complex situation of intense, biologically mediated psychokinesis or potential discarnate intelligence is better left to future academic interpretation, at a time perhaps when those conducting such research possess tools that are designed to measure what we do not as yet know. Just because we, in the modern age of electronic wonders, as scientifically trained and oriented academic researchers, find the notion of survival and discarnate intelligence intolerable, it does not preclude or prevent its occurrence. It is still unknown whether Jackie Hernandez’ case was a haunting or poltergeist phenomena, or both. While at the party, both Conrad and I met one of Wheatcraft’s ex-girlfriends that he met with us on a case during summer 1992 just following the San Pedro case. Sandra Ramirez told us of an incredible account of Wheatcraft being attacked once again, but this time within her home in San Gabriel. It was summer 1995, and Wheatcraft was at Sandra’s house. There had just been a rather heated, emotional exchange between Sandra and her kids, which was quite common. Moments later, Wheatcraft was walking toward Sandra in the living room when suddenly he was violently pulled backward, arcing up to meet the ceiling and finally impacting the wall and landing on the floor. Sandra immediately let out a loud scream and momentarily froze. Unfortunately, this type of psychokinetic belligerence was all too familiar to Jeff had he remained conscious. Sandra ran over to find Wheatcraft lying unconscious on the floor. When he came to he described feeling the same bodily sensation during this attack as that of the one up in Weldon years earlier. As this last psychokinetic attack on Wheatcraft came at least three or four years after the last time he was around Jackie, what was it that lashed out at him? Certainly not Jackie. In search of answers to these continuing belligerent episodes, I had Wheatcraft take the Personality Assessment Inventory psychological test provided by my colleague and friend, parapsychologist Dr. Andrew Nichols. This specific test looks for indicators of self-loathing, which some academic researchers suspect might help explain these types of recurring psychokinetic hostilities. Your theory must fit the data you’ve collected. Entertainment and Nothing More In closing, there is but one salient point to remember; in all forms of scientific research, your theory must fit the data you’ve collected. To only seek out data that conforms to your predetermined beliefs is not science, it’s quackery and pseudoscience, which is what we see practiced on the majority, if not all, of the paranormally themed reality shows of today. Unfortunately, this is one of the fundamental reasons why mainstream science tends to ignore much of what they hear and see within the paranormal research community (especially if it’s on TV or the Internet), as the majority of it is conducted by individuals with no credentials and who have absolutely no training whatsoever in the methods by which such research needs to be conducted. If one does not know how the physical world around them works, how then can they know what lies beyond its boundaries? That’s entertainment and nothing more. Even though Jackie Hernandez’s psychological profile fits precisely what we have come to expect in poltergeist agents, it still does not fully explain or account for a substantial portion of the experienced phenomena. Unless we begin to open up our all-but-made-up minds and let ourselves not be confused by what we think this phenomena might be, and at least accept (without necessarily conceding) the possibility of the improbable, our ability to properly evaluate and learn from these encounters will significantly diminish, if not totally cease. The above content was republished from Dr. Barry Taff’s book, “Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown,” available at www.amazon.com. 40 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Within the pages of “The Harvey Boat,” Spiritual Medium Robyne Marie tells the story given to her from “behind the veil,” after connecting with a spirit who passed away on 9/11. The spirit asked for his powerful, touching, and heartfelt message to be shared with “the children,” so Robyne Marie set out to make this request a reality. Book Now Available Online at March 2013 Paranormal Underground Amazon.com 41 Demonology — The Dark Files Children & The Demonic By Bishop Jerry Williams, Eastside Paranormal Society & Demonologist O ftentimes a demon presents itself as a child. I have seen this many times. The demon shows itself as a child to a family, minister, and/or demonologist in an attempt to trick the person into having sympathy toward it. The demon, in child form, also pretends to need help and attempts to lull everyone involved into feeling safe. Personally, I have seen and heard about many cases where the demon appears as a young child and asks for help or forgiveness. And when the demon is seen and its voice is heard, it can sound and look a lot like the child it is portraying. My First Encounter With a Demon My first encounter with a demon included the demon acting out as a child, asking me to “stop” the house blessing. I couldn’t hear the voice with my ears, but when I went back to play the audio I heard it clearly say in a child’s voice, “Please stop.” I learned extremely quickly that demons will do anything to trick and control a human being. Demons have even appeared to me visually as a young child asking for help. They look so close to a real person that it can be shocking. The one thing everyone should look for in cases such as these is a flaw in the child’s (demon’s) appearance. The demon will look like a human body, but if you look close enough you will see some part of the body missing, such as the eyes, nose, torso, legs, fingers, and other parts of the body. If you see this then it could be a demon acting in the form of a person or child. Demons pick children because they are innocent and they believe the minister or demonologist will feel sorry for them and succumb to their trickery. Children also are magnets for demons. One demon in general is Belial, which will try to take over a child’s body or spiritual form. The demon will possess a child very quickly and will not stop until it has fully possessed the child. What Are Demonic Babies? I’ve been asked about demonic babies. The first thing you should know is that there are not many cases of demon babies out there. It is said that incubi and succubi attacks are a way for the demon to enter a body. This is true to a point. But remember this: How many times do you see demon babies out there? Most cases involve mentally disturbed individuals who kill their babies because they think they are possessed. Join my Facebook at DemonologistJerryWilliams or check out my radio show on Saturdays, 11 p.m. ET, at www.goingbeyondradio.com. Question of the Month: What demon is popular in the month of March? (E-mail me your answers at email@example.com.) 42 Paranormal Underground March 2013 The Northwestâ€™s Haunted Hot Spots: Presents Old Wheeler Hotel 495 N Hwy 101, Wheeler, OR Saturday, April 13, 2013 Paranormal Insights is proud to bring you special classes in some of the Pacific Northwestâ€™s most haunted locations. These extended classes give participants the opportunity to develop their psychic talents in fantastic locations around the Northwest. Join me for a special class and psychic-based investigation of this magnificent, and very haunted location. Contact William at: William@paranormalinsights.net or www.paranormalinsights.net Thursday & Saturday at 11 p.m. Eastern Paranormal and Conspiracy Radio With Demonologist Bishop Jerry Williams http://goingbeyondradio.com/jerrywilliamslive/ For information, March visit: 2013 Paranormal Underground 43 Inside the Psychic Mind Fulfillment in The Psychic Life By William Becker, Paranormal Insights & Northwest Ghost Tours I ’d like to address a couple of the comments I often hear from people that see me in action working with the paranormal entities around us. People often express that while being able to see and talk to entities must be rewarding, it must also be overwhelming. They ask if I wish I could turn it off at times ... Being able to communicate with so many entities is a very rewarding experience, and one I’m extremely grateful for. I’ve had some very meaningful conversations and developed a good understanding with so many that are no longer living in the plane. They often feel they can share their stories with me — open up about their lives in a way that they couldn’t when they were living. Communicating With Spirits Some of the time, spirits can relate to me as a kindred spirit of sorts. They know that we have similarities in our lives and backgrounds that help me to understand them, support them, and listen without judgment. Sometimes I am able to tell them of the changes in culture that would allow them to be more fully themselves now, where as they had to live secret lives when they existed on this plane. Most of the ones I’ve talked to are pleased to see the changes that have occurred, often in my lifetime, let alone from the time of their deaths. Others know that they can trust me even though our experiences haven’t been the same. One example of this is the entity of a boy that lived in a haunted house in a very haunted small town. This poor child of about 9, I think he was, had been physically abused by the minister of the local church (not Catholic), had been beaten by adult male relatives, and had been severely punished for minor offenses or no offense at all. He couldn’t tell anyone about the abuse. Doing so would have resulted in more of the same. His father was powerless to protect him and didn’t really know the depths of what was going on. This was a small company town, and you didn’t question or raise concerns. Doing so only escalated the violence, and there was no place to run and no one to turn to. This sweet little boy was often locked into a closet as a punishment. Part of what was interesting to me though is that even though that closet was a place of punishment, it was also the place he could go and hide in the dark and try to escape. As was typical of the time, he was ashamed and embarrassed about what happened to him, even though he was completely innocent of any blame. He called me to join him inside his closest and proceeded to tell me the story of his life, or at least that part of his life. He told me not to tell anyone — that’s why he called me into the closet, so we couldn’t be overheard. I asked him if I could tell my team the basics of what he 44 Paranormal Underground March 2013 had told me. He gave me permission, provided that I do so off the premises so that he wouldn’t have to listen. I honored his wish and told my teammate the basics once were outside. I had left the closet with tears streaming down my eyes, and they had wondered what had happened to me in there! This was a very emotional and heartfelt experience, and one for which I was extremely grateful. Helping the Spirits One of the things I was able to do for this little boy was tell him that it wasn’t his fault. I could assure him of the love of his parents and their heartbroken helplessness. I was able to also make contact with the boy’s father and reassured him that he didn’t have any good options at the time. I was also able to tell them both that though people still had the same issues, we had made much progress in all of these areas that had terrified him and we now had laws to protect against such horrible offenses. I had never experienced the abuse this boy had to go through, but I know people who have. Because I was willing to listen and not judge or condemn him, he was able to open up and tell his story. And I think that I was able to bring some peace to him and his parents. Communicating with so many entities is a very rewarding experience. I’ve had similar experiences with adult entities as well, particularly men who were persecuted and abused for simply being who they were. Giving these entities a chance to be heard, an opportunity to be valued and not judged, and to let them know of the changes in the world is part of why I’m so grateful to be able to do what I do, and why I am overjoyed when I see my students progress down this very real, but seemingly unreal, path. How to Turn Off Psychic Abilities As to turning “it” off, I treat the entities with respect and they return that to me. They tend to give me my space when I need it. I also do know how to turn off and work with my students to do so. One of the easy ways is to simply get distracted by something else, and the connection is broken for the time being. But I always try to let the entities know that I don’t mean to be rude and that we can talk later. We live in a world that is not as clear or cut and dried as our society would like it to be. There is so much going on around us that is only visible and audible to the inner eye and ear. Opening up to this other part of life can be a source of great fulfillment for which I am grateful. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 45 Inside the Psychic Mind How to Recognize a Psychic Attack By Jackie Chin, http://psychicconnextions.blogspot.com/ V ery often I am asked if a client has been cursed or is under a psychic attack. I tend to err on the conservative side where this topic is concerned, and I will ask the client a series of questions regarding mental, physical, and spiritual behaviors. I am always of the mindset that as long as you are of sound mind, do not fret about what others think of you, and have a good handle on your spiritual belief system, outside denser energies cannot invade your personal space. I also realize that energies are changing on the planet, and sometimes, because of stress, denser energies can intrude into the thought process. This is why it is important to be mindful. In this I mean do not partake in things that are unhealthy in any area of your life, including those who you associate with, what you eat, what you read, etc. The most important thing to help keep you balanced and free from unwanted energies is to use the tools of your spiritual beliefs. You cannot just pick up a tool that you’re unfamiliar with and expect it to work for you. You should be trained in what works within your spiritual belief system and stick to those methods. If for some reason you need extra help, seek out people you trust and find individuals or teams well versed in assisting those in spiritual need. Signs of a Psychic Attack Here are some indications that you may have dense energy around your personal space: • Do you feel unbalanced, as if something is out of sync with the norm? • Do you have a hard time focusing on projects or things that are important to you? • Do you feel overly tired when you think on certain issues or go to certain places? • Do you experience a tingling sensation at your crown or third eye when you are not purposely focusing on your spiritual body? These feelings may be equated with stress, sadness, and/or depression. Please make sure to speak with your doctor regarding your physical and mental health. If findings result in no medical rationale behind the abovedescribed symptoms, you may be experiencing psychic energy attacks. Considering this possibility, you may also be experiencing a lot of incidents that are unfavorable. Loved ones may act as if you are not important to them; they may avoid you or talk to you in such a manner that you feel you just don’t know who they are any more. This type of energy can manifest itself in dream time, or even while you are awake. If you are feeling like you have a lot of unreasonable fears, speak to your doctors, a trusted friend, or a trusted medium. Under no circumstances should you consult with anyone who demands a large amount of money by creating more fear in you and saying you or your family members are cursed. If the medium/psychic is legit, they will work with you on your level and never demand anything from you that will cause you further emotional harm/or financial damage. 46 Paranormal Underground March 2013 100 Years After a Devastating Avalanche Took Their Lives, the “Spirits” of Wellington, Washington, Still Remain. Read One Investigator’s Account of How She Met . . . “The Ghosts of Wellington.” Book Now Available Online at March 2013 Paranormal Underground www.avalancheofspirits.com 47 Haunted Hospitality The Royal Hotel Harrisville: Queensland, Australia By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research G ’day mate, and welcome to the land down under. A land of kangaroos, shrimps on the barbie, and home to one of the most haunted inns in the entire world, The Royal Hotel Harrisville (or as the locals know it, “The Bottom Pub”) in Queensland, Australia. Harrisville is a small, rural town with a small population of just over 400. The Royal Hotel was constructed in 1875 as a stop-off point for a long-distance coaching route. It enjoyed a reputation as being a place where the travel weary could grab a bite, a beer, and a decent night’s sleep. However, those days came to a screeching halt when one night in 1916, The Royal Hotel burned to the ground. No one was ever apprehended for arson, and no explanation was ever found. It inexplicably burned to a cinder. After the owners rebuilt the hotel, visitors and staff alike began reporting strange phenomena that seemed to defy logic. At all hours of the day, patrons and employees reported witnessing small and large objects floating around, as if some unseen person was carrying them. Others reported watching as chairs in the dining room would slide across the floor, rearranging themselves for a large party of people. Disembodied footsteps and voices The Royal Hotel Harrisville is said to house strange phenomena, including disembodied footsteps and moving furniture. The woman circled in red above is said to be The Lady in Black. While alive when this photo was taken, witnesses say her apparition now haunts the Hotel. are heard rather frequently in the long hallway that runs down the middle of the establishment. But has anyone at the property seen an actual ghost? You bet your wallaby they have. Over the years, guests have reported two apparitions, and they are not friendly by any means. A tall, chubby, broad-shouldered, roughly dressed man has been seen wandering the premises inside and out. Eyewitnesses report that this bloke has a look on his face as if he’s on his way to kill someone. When people have tried to approach him to inquire why he’s there, he just scowls and fades away. Although no one is certain who this mean-looking spirit is, many identify the other apparition as The Lady in Black. Some say The Lady was captured during life in the photo to the left. Witnesses report seeing The Lady’s spirit wandering the halls and hanging around the kitchen and dining room area. The Victorian-era dressed woman has been chased down by eyewitnesses only to disappear around corners with nowhere to go. Although no one knows her name or the name of the angry-looking man, it is believed they are former employees who may have died in the fire that destroyed the original structure. These days The Royal Hotel Harrisville no longer takes in overnight lodgers. It operates solely as a restaurant and pub. If you are ever Down Under, you may want to stop in at The Royal Hotel Harrisville. 48 Paranormal Underground March 2013 March 2013 Paranormal Underground 49 Crystals & Herbology: Mystical Etchings From A Medicyn Woman’s Grimoire The Amazing World of Herbology By Silvermoon Medicyn, www.silvermoonmedicyn.com W here does the word herbology come from, and what is it all about? Herbology is actually not a word, but it has been used to describe the trade of medicinal and New-Age healing. It is the study of herbs and how to use them. Herbs have been used back as far as ancient Egypt to the biblical times. I am sure they could have been used long before recorded time, but until writing began we had no proof. No one really knows where or how long ago those old wives tales and home remedies go back, but we know for sure that they have stood the test of time. Herbs have been used by many types of healers on down to common folk. It is noted that shamans, druids, and medicine people have even used them for deeper, more magical purposes. Five Types of Herbology There are five distinct types of Herbology. Western is the type most of us are used to; it combines European and Native American herbs for medicinal purposes. This type of study classifies herbs in three ways: by the potency, the side effects, and the composition of the herb itself. Chinese herbology is the combination of herbs and acupuncture. The philosophy is not focused on specific symptoms, but to treat the whole body. The herbal prescriptions are always very individualized for each specific person since they believe that no two people are alike. Ayurvedic herbology is approached with the idea to heal the complete soul, including the mind, body, and spirit. The word “ayurveda” in Sanskrit translates to “knowledge of life.” Its main concept is to balance our three doshas — Vata (nervous system), Pitta (digestive system), and Kapha (lymph system) — by using a sense of balance between eating healthy, exercising, the proper use Witch’s cabinet. 50 Paranormal Underground March 2013 of herbs and spiritual contentment. European herbology derives its roots from the Greek and Roman times of medicine. It is known as the most traditional type of medicine. European herbalism treats mainly the physical body and aliments with no focus on the soul. The last type is known as Native American herbology, or a New-Age concept to the uses of herbs; some call it “magical herbology.” This way treats the whole person, believing that what we hold inside and conditions we live in can make us ill. When we harbor negative emotions, it creates “dis”-“eases” that make our souls unwell. So a healer’s goal would be to establish balance in one’s self first to be able to heal others. Choosing a Type of Herbology Knowing that there are so many types to choose from, you can either specialize or use a generalized path of herbology. The herbal basics are the same for all types of study, except the Native American/New-Age herbologist often believes that the power of the earth is in each herb, not just chemistry and chemical properties. Practitioners can use fresh or dried plants, simple extracts by mixing only one herb called tinctures, or standardized extracts like essential oils. They can be found in concentrated form or a set dose, in loose pills, or liquid form. Just figure out what way is best for the people using them or the ones you serve. Herbs at one point only included leafy varieties, but now include roots. Finding herbs nowadays is very easy with the Internet, but I heed caution — some people will not be true to the craft by selling similar things in place of other herbs to mislead you. Finding someone you trust is best; many bigger towns and cities have shops that are quite reputable. You can also find some in tea shops and naturopathic supplement stores. But the best way to ensure your herbs are pure is to grow them yourself; they can be grown almost anywhere. Herbology roots. Herbology bowl. Important Notes of Caution I will at this point remind you about the warnings! Yes, herbs are natural and wonderful, but there are ways they can cause harm. I mainly caution on internal use, but some can cause issues even if used externally. There are herbs that are used to cause negative interacts and grave side effects or allergic reactions, like Calamus Root (Sweet Flag), which is often used in western medicine. It needs to be used in small doses and is mainly used as an aphrodisiac. Some users report mild hallucinations and increased delusional thinking. Asafoetida (Devils Dung), known for its bitter taste, is used for stomach issues and upper respiratory infections, but if not used in moderation it can cause blood disorders, seizures or convulsions, and very high blood pressure. Be careful of self-diagnosis. It is best to seek professional help first until you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Symptoms/signs in our bodies can look like many things, and knowing the facts can make a big difference on how you would use herbs to help rather than to hinder. Herb and prescription drug interactions can make for a deadly combination if you don’t know the chemical makeup of the drugs and herbs. So check with your doctor, or better yet pharmacist, to assist you in these matters. The last warnings are to be very careful treating children and pregnant women or breast-feeding mothers. These groups of people have not had sufficient studies done, and unless we have done proper clinical testing and research we cannot be sure as to the interactions. It is very important to learn all the side effects of the herbs you are using, but don’t be afraid to try out some tried-and-true recipes that have been used by our foremothers and fathers. You just may find that something as simple as a bit of mint tea will help you move on to a new level. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 51 Magic & Lore: When The Mystical And Paranormal Blur Talismans, Amulets, and Charms By Silvermoon Medicyn, www.silvermoonmedicyn.com The Nitty-Gritty on ... M any think that talismans, amulets, and charms are the same thing, but in essence they are not. Each has its own special talent and power in the magical world, laced with enchantments that are set to mean change or protection. Talismans are used for special tasks, an amulet’s main purpose is protection, and charms are always for good luck. There is no limit to what you can empower them to do, and these objects can be made of anything. How to Use Talismans, Amulets, and Charms Talisman comes from the Greek word teleo, meaning “to devote or dedicate.” A talisman must be charged by its creator, using deep magic and symbology. These items can be created to attain the highest and best powers, especially if made by the one who is wishing. It is meant to have a specifically designed reason for the wearer or holder; they are personalized. Many have some type of written language or numbers on them using special alchemy, astrological, and other symbols as a visual reminder to its great powers. They can often be parts of animal, like bones, fur, or claws. An amulet is an object with naturally occurring magical properties. It can be used for generic purposes, such as attracting good luck, but they are mostly known for blocking bad luck and danger by protecting the bearer. Commonly known amulets are hamsa hands, the evil eye, keys &lock, ankh, and a crucifix. Knots in the past were used to add an extra finishing touch to some amulets and to catch evil spirits. The Bible and sacred texts have been carried as amulets by mystic people, but these types of magical implements do blur the lines between what is a true amulet. Charms are used to attract and invite only good luck. At one point in history, they were only sung. The charm was the enchantment of the song and the singer. Physi- Talismans are used for special tasks, an amulet’s main purpose is protection, and charms are always for good luck. cal charms are often an upside down horse shoe, rabbit’s foot, four-leaf clover, feathers, and stars. Often charms inspire a positive outlook toward the general thoughts of the holder, giving them a sense that they are lucky. These types of charms are also known for granting wishes. They are believed to change one’s destiny and increase your good karma. How to Find and Use These Items No matter which one you choose, they are usually all strung and worn, but can be sewn in clothing or even carried in wallets or shoes. Some of these can be made 52 Paranormal Underground March 2013 into sachets, often called spell bags. They contain herbs, stones, and meaningful objects. When choosing one, notice what draws you in and also what triggers feelings of anxiousness or fear. If you get one that makes you feel unwell, then donâ€™t keep it around. Most of these are really geared to the proper wearer. Often, most of these objects will find you. They could be so appealing that you canâ€™t get them off your mind until you possess it. So by being mindful and paying attention to the symbols in your life, you will find the one(s) that work best for you. Charging, Dedicating, and Deactivating Your Talisman Some come naturally charged, but no matter what there will always be an intense connection between you and the object. When you decide on one, take it in your cupped hands and raise the talisman to the sky. Thank all that are present, for they are witnesses to the connection between you and the talisman. Then say a few words to each direction of the compass. You can light candles or incense and stand somewhere that adds to your power, like in a wind gust, a rain storm, or the sun/moon light. To deactivate one, you must destroy it however you see fit. You must do the same as when you dedicated it; hold it up and thank the talisman for its help and assistance, but now free it from its charge. Some people will finish the deactivation by burning, burying or crushing. Remember, its power comes from your intention, so do what works best for you and the final connection. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 53 Katie’s Conspiracy Corner Inside Area 51 By Katie Christopher, NEPA Paranormal’s Ghost Detectives T he purpose of this article is to educate the readers on the facts behind some of the most popular and controversial paranormal conspiracy theories in existence. There are many things out there being hidden and covered up. But we have a right to know the truth. Each month I will cover a different conspiracy theory — some well known and some a bit more obscure, but all that have compelling evidence supporting the fact that the truth is being hidden by either our own government or a private source. You will be given the details behind each angle of the topic at hand, and in the end, it is for you to decide what you believe. Any questions, concerns, or suggestions are welcome and can be e-mailed to me at KatiesConspiracyCorner@yahoo.com. Area 51: Top Secret Facility Tucked away in the desert just an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States sits Area 51 — a top secret government facility that is all but barely acknowledged to the general public. Security surrounding Area 51 is as tight as it gets. Air travel is absolutely prohibited not only for the civilians, but also for normal military operations; so even if you are on the inside, if you are not specifically chosen to be granted access, you will not get near the place. Signs scattered around the border prohibit entry and the use of cameras anywhere surrounding it. Warnings are also littered about enforcing the policy’s that plainly state that deadly force will be used against anyone who violates the rules. Armed guards protect the borders night and day and are given full clearance to shoot if their warnings to halt are not adhered to. While many have tried to get close, there have not been any reports of deadly force being used, thankfully; however, there have been an endless string of fines handed out to those who have gotten too close for comfort. And even still, just because death has not been officially report- The front gate of Area 51 warns visitors to stay away. (Source: http://www.lazygranch.com/a51sel.htm) ed, it’s certainly not proof that it hasn’t happened. Employees are not even allowed to drive into Area 51. They all must commute via a jet provided by the government. So what exactly is the purpose of Area 51? The government will have you believe it is a military testing facility with conditions that are too potentially threatening to the average person. The government says the happenings at Area 51 are related to the Air Force and weaponry aircrafts, so security must be kept at a maximum. There are many others out there who believe Area 51 is something much more though. The biggest conspiracy behind area 51 is that it is a holding and testing facility for signs and proof of the existence of extraterrestrials and UFOs. These theories have been around for years, and there is some compelling evidence out there that suggests those who believe it are on to something. Area 51 54 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Tucked away in the desert just an hour’s drive from Las Vegas sits Area 51 — a top secret government facility. Source: http://www.lazygranch.com/a51sel.htm) has become so notorious for such activity that it has even crossed over into pop culture. The final battle scenes in the movie Independence Day take place at Area 51, the TV show Seven Days was set within Area 51, and there is even a video game of the same name set within the confines of Area 51. Another largely believed theory is that Area 51 is the set of the moon landing hoax. Shocking evidence suggests that man in fact has not walked on the moon, and footage presented to our country is actually some really great special effects engineered and filmed within Area 51. So let’s take a closer look at what exactly could be going on within the confines of this heavily secured area ... The Conspiracy Theories There are many conspiracy theories behind Area 51. We will touch on the move prevalent ones: • Military Testing Base • Alien Cover-Up • Moon Landing Hoax Is Area 51 home to extraterrestrial life? Some say yes. Military Testing Base The government has been extremely tight-lipped on any discussion of Area 51. In fact, they did not even officially acknowledge its existence until September 2005. Since that time, they have only officially confirmed that there is an operating location near Groom Lake, but the U.S. government declines any further comment. It does not even appear on public government maps. Since 2005, some cases have been declassified, and minimal pieces of information have become available. One previous employee who participated in a mission that has since been declassified was working in a spy plane that, during testing, was launched over 2,000 times. It is believed the flashes of light from these launches may have been a contributing factor to the rumors of UFOs within the facility. The previous employee even said that the theories of UFOs helped keep secret what they were really doing at Area 51. Those who disagree with any type of conspiracy theory have gone on to say that Area 51 is no more than a secret military testing facility. Once testing is complete and a particular aircraft is ready to be deployed, it is moved to a different facility where its process of becoming standard use continues. Others who have worked at Area 51 have commented that conspiracy theories surrounding the site are greatly amusing, and one had even said he found his time working at Area 51 particularly boring work. So could this really be nothing more than aircraft testing that needs to be kept top secret? Or are employees under an oath forcing them to give such an impression? Or even still, are the majority of employees even aware of what goes on? Are there an even smaller team of individuals privy to the most top-secret information? Alien Cover-Up There are many who believe Area 51 is the place where the government is hiding signs and evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life. It is believed that there is not only proof of their existence to be found, but also, it is a holding facility for actual bodies of aliens found and seized by the government for several reasons. The first reason being that the government certainly does not want to cause a panic within the nation. This is an incredibly believable theory, because in reality, if the government told our nation that without a doubt, alien March 2013 Paranormal Underground 55 Katie’s Conspiracy Corner ing to learn about us as we are them? Or are they here to gather resources or even scout our planet to see if the conditions that exist here are more desirable to live in? The problem is, the majority of our population is going to assume immediately that we are under attack, and our lives as we know them are being threatened, but that may not be the case. Think of how much we can learn from another life form if they are willing to cooperate. They could have more advanced computer systems and technology, more efficient means for fuel, they could even have a cure for cancer! Wouldn’t we want to try to learn as much as we can? Several men who have worked within Area 51 have claimed to have connections with research on both UFOs and alien life forms. In the 1980s, a man named Bob Lazar who claimed to have previously worked as a scientist within Area 51, at a facility within the grounds he called S4, came forward with an exposé. He stated that he worked underground with UFOs that were seized from Roswell and relocated to Area 51. He claimed his work was to reverse the engineering on the craft in an attempt to create a craft of our own capable of the same type of travel as the one found at Roswell. He also claimed that the alien drivers of the crafts recovered at Roswell resided in Area 51 where they were tested and probed. In 1996, another gentleman not only confirmed these allegations, but also claimed to have worked with a live extraterrestrial named J-Rod who he described as a telepathic translator. In 2004, yet another person came forward confirming the existence and identity of the lifeform know as J-Rod, and stated his role was in working to clone alien viruses. One of the many security cameras monitoring Area 51. (Source: http://www.lazygranch.com/a51sel.htm) life forms exist and they have been found either dead or alive roaming the United States, chances are there would be mass chaos in our country. It’s a good thing we all have our zombie apocalypse kits ready, because they would turn into alien apocalypse survival kits in about 2.5 seconds. Aside from us paranormal geeks who would love the chance to get up close and personal with alien research, the general population would panic, and there could be some grave consequences. Safety would certainly be an issue as well, so there really is no way the government would release this information willingly. This is just one of the many factors that strengthen the theory that they are hiding something from us. Another reason we may be in the dark is because the government truly doesn’t know what we are up against, and they are relying on their intelligence teams to do the proper research first. If extraterrestrials are making contact, we would have no idea what their intelligence level was, how advanced their technology is — though one would assume up front it is likely more advanced than ours if they found us here before we had the technology to go into the universe to find them — and most important of all, what exactly they are doing here. Are they just look- AREA 51: a military testing facility or UFO base? You Decide. Since these admissions, the creditability of all of these individuals has been questioned, and Mr. Lazar was accused of falsifying his education credentials. Research proved that his degrees in fact were not on record, but Mr. Lazar is convinced that his records have been manipulated by the government as a way of discrediting his claims of the experiences he had at Area 51 during his brief employment. But who can blame anyone for questioning something so shocking? Speaking as a paranormal investigator, it is always important to review the facts surrounding a situ- 56 Paranormal Underground March 2013 ation, but sometimes just because something is hard to believe or grasp, doesn’t mean it’s not true. Moon Landing Hoax On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong walked for the first time ever on the moon. This “one small step” was a feat that, while duplicated soon after, has not been attempted again in almost 40 years. America replayed footage of the moon landing over and over again, and our country was riveted. With the Russians having just launched Sputnik, the fear of nuclear war in light of the recent Cold War, and Russia right at our tails on space technology, being the first (and only) country to land on the moon was a giant step for mankind, but even more, a giant step up from Russia for the United States. It was believed the first to land on the moon would potentially be able to build a nuclear missile base, and with the Russian technology being as dangerous to us as it was at the time, it was crucial for us as a country to get there first. Our country united once again and celebrated that day, but what exactly were we celebrating? Strong evidence suggests that the moon Mr. Armstrong made his fateful speech on was actually a soundstage within a hangar located where else, but Area 51. The desert surrounding Area 51 has shocking likeness to the surface of the moon and could easily have been edited to look as if it was the surface of the moon. Satellite images also show large buildings that look to be movie sets. This alone proves nothing, but closer inspection of the footage captured on the moon proves to be more solid evidence. Once fact lies within the American flag that was planted in the ground. When we watch the image of the flag blowing in the wind, you can almost hear the cue of the national anthem to signal such an important event in history. But wait a minute … scientific evidence has proven there is no wind on the moon. This is a fact we are certain of. So how is the flag blowing? Those looking to debunk the theory will tell you a rod was placed horizontally across the flag to hold it out. To this, those still questioning have asked, if that was the case, can’t we see satellite images of the flag to prove it’s there? Scientists say no; we do not have that type of technology because the flag is too small. It’s a bit strange that we don’t have the technology in the present day to capture a satellite image of a flag on the moon’s surface, but they want us to believe that 45 years ago we did have the technology to send our own people there! Another scientific fact states that the only light source on the moon is the sun. Review of the footage shows shadows being cast in multiple directions. How can this be when the sun should only cast the shadows in one direction? To take this one step further, the lighting is perfect and in some angles almost looks like the men are under spotlights. What about the quality of sound? For the most part, you can hear crystal-clear sound, which is strange because you cannot hear the sound of the spacecraft’s engine. And what about the footprints the astronauts made? With the level of gravity on the moon, the dust should have been rising up, but the footprints were perfect. Looking even deeper into the debate, examination of the background images shows that not only are stars missing from the backdrop, but also, the images are identical, even though they supposedly covered a two-mile stretch. Another question would be in relation to the Van Allen Radiation Belt, located 500 miles from Earth, deadly with radiation and impossible to avoid when traveling to the moon. It is estimated that to survive, you would require the protection of six feet of lead, but these astronauts Astronauts Buzz Aldrin Jr. (at left) and Neil A. Armstrong (at right) were part of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. Both astronauts participated in a simulation of deploying and using lunar tools on the surface of the Moon during a training exercise on April 22, 1969. In the background is a Lunar Module mockup. Conspiracy theorists say that the film of the moon mission was made using sets similar to the training mockup pictured above. (Source: NASA) March 2013 Paranormal Underground 57 Katie’s Conspiracy Corner made it through fine with only their space suits and the thin layer of protection their craft provided? That would be nowhere near the six-foot requirement. Since the moon landing, no mission has ever crossed through the belt again. These are just a handful of the discrepancies associated with the moon landing. Further evidence is available, and can even be watched on the documentary Did We Go to the Moon, which originally aired in 2001. These facts are all but shocking, and with all of the secrecy and security surrounding Area 51, it is believed there is no other set that could be better for a hoax of this nature. For those of you who think that there are only a few radicals who believe this information, think again. It is estimated that 20% of the American population now believes that we have not traveled to the moon, and the footage supposedly taken on the moon is nothing more than an elaborate production engineered by the brilliant masterminds working in Area 51 — the result of desperate leaders looking to regain status within the world. Every day, more and more people research and open their eyes to something that clearly at least deserves a second look from all of us. Opinion There are so many factors to consider here. For me, one of the most convincing arguments that Area 51 is nothing more than a top-secret military test site is the testimonials from previous employees. It’s hard to deny something when the source is from the inside; however, I personally believe that even those on the inside were not privy to the entire goings on within Area 51. Testimonials can also be used to argue the side that there is something else going on though. With that said, there are a lot of factors supporting strange activities outside of what the government will have you believe. The fact that the government wouldn’t even admit Area 51 existed until 2005 is a red flag for me. There are top-secret military facilities spread throughout the U.S. that do not get the same treatment — not to mention all of the supporting arguments. As far as the alien theory goes, can all of the personal testimonies be ignored? Not just by those on the inside, but by those just like you and I who happened to see something in the skies that didn’t look quite right. Can all of these people really be wrong? Maybe, but there seems to be too many accounts to ignore. To touch on the moon theory, to me it’s even more compelling then the alien theory. There are cold, hard facts supporting the notion that we have never walked on the moon, and there is a strong motive as to why the U.S. government would fake it. I am a firm believer that the moon landing was a hoax. Some of these claims are just too suspicious to not question. There are all too many people in this country who trust those in power completely, but unfortunately, those of us who are up to the research can see that’s not always the case. Sometimes the last person you can trust is the one you should be able to trust the most. Based on that information, I think there is more going on with Area 51 than meets the eye. With security measures as high as they are, we may never know the truth. But I do believe it’s highly possible that our leaders know a lot more about extraterrestrials than they let on, and it’s possible that somewhere hidden in a hangar are the remains of one of the greatest hoaxes of all time, the moon landing. To the readers, get all the fact before forming your opinion. Next Up In next month’s article, we will cover the extremely controversial theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks. While most believe this tragedy was a result of terrorism of the worst kind, there are some out there who bring forth facts that there may be something else to the story. Some believe our own government orchestrated the entire event, and others still believe that it may have been a result of a death ray similar to those seen in a science fiction movie capable of bringing down a plane at a far distance with no problem. Is it possible that this horrific event in our country’s history was not an act of terrorism? Stay tuned next month to find out! There are too many eyewitness accounts to ignore. 58 Paranormal Underground March 2013 Interested in Having Paranormal Underground Magazine Mailed Directly to You? http://paranormalunderground.magcloud.com/ And Select the Issues Youâ€™d Like to Order. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 59 Visit: Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files The House That Freedom Built ... And Haunts: Part 1 By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research S everal years ago I was able to participate in the investigation of a case that was right up my alley. You see, I love history, and I excelled in it in high school. I was investigating with a group I belonged to at the time, and the home in question was built sometime in the early 1860s. Some say the site may have been a stop on the famous Underground Railroad. I knew that this was going to be a great investigation. Even if we didn’t find anything paranormal, just to be in a home that helped our fellow human beings escape from slavery made me positively ecstatic. Arriving at the Home When I arrived at the home on a cool mid-November night, I noticed that the house was everything I thought it would be. Two stories, white, with a little porch on the front — you know, the kind you see in old photographs of your great, great grandparents when our nation was still young. When I got out of the car, I met up with the other group members. One of the team members explained that the home was being renovated by the Lake County Historical Society, and the property was owned by one of the Society’s members. Since the renovations began, they had experienced numerous kinds of activity. However, none of the activity seems negative. With that, we approached the porch. As it turned out, this night would change my life forever. The Adventure Begins It’s a long-standing theory in paranormal research and investigation that if a spirit or spirits lay dormant in a house, renovations can awaken them and stir up activity. If such a thing is true, then this home was being more The owner of the old home said that they had witnessed strange lights and shadowy figures in the treehouse outside. than just renovated, it was being disemboweled. It really was a bit sad to see such a great historic home come to almost the point of ruin. The owner told us before we entered the home that when she bought it and walked inside, she knew that this house was for her. It was almost as if it called to her. As we stood in what I can only imagine was once the foyer and unpacked the gear, I was handed an EMF 60 Paranormal Underground March 2013 detector by our team leader. First, we started out back by a tree where a treehouse sat. The owner said that they had witnessed strange lights and shadowy figures in the treehouse. When we arrived outside, I looked straight up at the tree, which appeared to be much older than the home itself. I was startled when one of the team’s mediums walked up behind us and announced, “This tree has a lot of history and has seen much.” At that point, our team leader showed me his digital camera. I was shocked to see what looked like a strange, wispy purple blur. I shined my flashlight into the tree and looked around for anything that could cause a reflection or a refraction of light. I took my camera out of my back pocket and began snapping pictures. I could only take two photos before my camera turned off and wouldn’t turn back on. It had contained new batteries. Some researchers believe that battery drain during a paranormal investigation can indicate the presence of something supernatural. They believe that if an entity is present, it needs energy to manifest; and oftentimes battery-powered gizmos are the first to go. My usual skepticism was begging to melt away as I considered this theory. We stayed out by the tree for a few moments as I continually attempted to turn my cam- The above photo provides a look at a typical entrance into the Underground Railroad, which was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century slaves in the United States to escape to freedom. era back on. But, it was time to check out the house, so we turned and headed back inside the house. Not even 10 feet away from the tree and my camera suddenly came to life — batteries and all. Cool! Maybe there was something to this house after all! Stay tuned for Part 2 next month ... March 2013 Paranormal Underground 61 Personal Experiences Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel By Rob St.Helen, West Coast Ghost Hunters H ello once again from the haunted Heathman Hotel! It’s weird to sit here and think about all the things I have seen and learned about this hotel in the short five years I have been here. I have met a ton of wonderful people who have traveled through our doors, some who know that the hotel is haunted, some who have no clue, and those that I think are most fun, visitors who know, but at first don’t want to hear anything about it, but eventually can’t help but ask about the activity. Investigations at the Hotel I have seen and dealt with a number of paranormal teams. Most have done a great job, and some have investigated with different styles. But, most important, all have been very nice to our spirit friends here. I tell teams before they get here, you’re coming into THEIR place. They are not coming into your place. We do not invite teams in to cleanse or banish the spirits here at the hotel away. The spirits are here for a reason. They are part of the history of the hotel, but they may leave any time they wish. I don’t care too much for teams that come into the hotel and try to get too mouthy or swear. In my five years here, I have only had to tell one team to, “Break it down; you’re done.” Respecting What You Can’t See I work here. I learned the hard way about respecting what most people cannot see here. I won’t put up with anyone coming in thinking they will run the show the way they feel they need too. They must respect the spirits. To all my friends that read this every month, I thank When inviting teams in to investigate the hotel, we ask them to be respectful of both the living and the dead. you. To Paranormal Underground, I thank you. I have never been a writer, never claimed to be, so a very special thanks goes out to Cheryl for “cleaning” and “re-writing” the column from month to month — oh and especially for dealing with my late entry all the time! I am not too sure how many more of these columns I will be doing, as I will be leaving the Heathman Hotel. At this time, I am not sure what I will be doing, but there comes a time when change is necessary. I am so feeling in need of a change right now. One final note: Please be safe out there! Safety in the paranormal field is oftentimes ignored, which can put our health, even our lives, in danger. 62 Paranormal Underground March 2013 March 2013 Paranormal Underground 63 Personal Experiences: Reader Encounters AFFAIR AT THE OLD POST OFFICE By Jim MacDonald, www.highlanderthorsbeyondthegrave.blogspot.com H ello. My name is Jim MacDonald. I was born with the abilities to see, hear, and talk with spirits from beyond the grave. I wanted to share an experience that happened to me some time ago. I was driving to work on my way to Kitchener, Ontario. I passed by the Old Post Office in Cambridge. It was now a bar called Fiddlers Green Pub. I stopped in for a pint, and I felt someone was watching me, not of the living. There wasn’t anyone in the bar except for the bar tender. I sensed it was a girl. The wash room was in the basement, and as I went down the stairs I felt a male’s presence. I started to wash my hands, and the stall door opened. No one else was in the wash room but me. I opened the door of the wash room and started walking out, and a shadow of a man was there. He said to me, “She’s mine.” I went back upstairs to the bar, ordered another beer, and asked the waitress if there was a death in the basement. She said, “This place has a couple of strange things happening in it, like slamming doors and an apparition of a man in the basement.” I asked her if I could come back and do an investigation, because I did stories for a Hamilton Internet Company. She proceeded to call the owner over and he said sure. We set up an appointment for a 9 p.m. date in October. I called the couple that I worked with and asked them if they wanted to do an investigation with me. It wasn’t a problem; they would come. The Investigation As we arrived, we parked in the lot across from the old post office. The lady with us took out her video camera and started to take video. The camera fogged up. It was then that I saw an apparition of a light in the third floor. It looked like a girl. As she was waiting and watching me, the camera started working. However, instantly The Old Post Office was once the site of personal tragedy. It’s now home to spirits from beyond. we smelled something burning. It was the camera! It died! My friends went back to the vehicle and got out the back-up camera, and we decided not to take video outside. We went in and met with the owner, and he told the waitress to walk us around. We started in the basement. As I was walking down, about half way, it got very cold. I asked the waitress if there was heat on in the basement, and she said, “Yes, but this happens from time to time.” The waitress went back upstairs, because she doesn’t like coming down to the basement. As we were standing there, the mans voice said to me, “I told you; she’s mine.” At that time the camera fogged up again. We decided to go up to the second floor, and I saw a warm but peaceful light that moved across the ceiling and 64 Paranormal Underground March 2013 then came down the wall. The camera picked this up, so I went to the window to make sure it was not a car’s headlights. As I walked around the room, the light followed me and there were no cars around. It was the girl whom I had seen in the window from outside. She spoke to me saying her name was Emily. I turned to the couple with me and told them what she had said. They were both freaked with excitement. We then worked our way up to the third floor. The light went up to the rafters, and then we all witnessed the apparition of a girl in white. She was hanging. I asked her if that was her, Emily. She came down and stood beside me, took my hand, and said she was sorry; she didn’t know what to do. A Spirit Asks for Forgiveness Emily had a long-time affair with the post master and was with child. Emily continued to say the post master gave her many false promises of the two of them being together. She was starting to show in her pregnancy, and the post master told her he didn’t want to see her anymore and if she said the child was his to anyone that he would deny it. He told her she would look stupid and would be outcast. Emily said, “I was so scared and didn’t know what to do. I was so heartbroken and so upset with nowhere to Emily had a longtime affair with the post master. go. So, I did this. I am so sorry.” Emily seemed like she was ready to move on and wanted someone to forgive her. I told her that love does lots of strange things to people, and it wasn’t her fault. I asked Emily if she wanted to go, and she said, “He won’t let me go.” I took her by the hand, and I said, “Let’s go.” We went down to the bar, and the old post master was standing in the doorway to the outside. The camera caught a big orb by the door and a little white light beside me. I walked over to the post master and said, “Emily is leaving” and that he, the post master, did enough damage. “You didn’t want her when she needed you the most, so stand aside!” Emily and I walked outside. I said to her, “You are free now,” and she said, “Thank you.” The camera caught an orb gently floating high up into the dark night sky. There was a really good peaceful feeling. I said to the couple, “That was pretty cool.” They couldn’t believe what they saw. The couple were amazed. I asked them if they wanted to go for a beer and talk about all of what happened, and they agreed. Several years later I found out there is another part to the story ... Stay tuned for part 2! March 2013 Paranormal Underground 65 Religion And The Paranormal What Happens When We Die? By Adam Neal, www.paranormalyte.com W hen investigating our beliefs about death, an average, secular American will have one of two common opinions: 1. When I die, Iâ€™ll go to some kind of heaven with other decent people. 2. When I die, the lightsâ€™ll go out and thatâ€™ll be that. The first is the more agnostic approach, and the second the more atheist approach. For my purposes, I will not expound on the differences and facets of either irreligious philosophy. It will suffice to say that I believe both opinions are logical and true. As a Catholic American, one might explain the necessity of living as Christ would approve, barring oneself from the potential annals of hellfire and demons. Religious Jews believe that mitzvoth (good deeds) and commitment to Hashem (God) will maintain their relationship at a divine level, so that when death is imminent, the closeness of the spirit with the Lord will remain. In Eastern traditions, the emphasis is placed on the attainment of enlightenment through the Eightfold Path (a Buddhist tenet) or through a constant reincarnation of earthly lives by the divine forces governing human interests (a Hindu belief). When we break each of these (and other) traditions down to its actual scripture relating to the death experience itself, we come up with little more than anecdotes and expansive figurative language. This lack of concrete death evidence is unsurprising for obvious reasons. If a human had come back from the death experience to write about it in detail, the results would inevitably offend, exclude, and confuse most of the population to the point of disbelief. No Hindu or Jew would want to know that when a Protestant Christian passed away, she first encountered Jesus and several apostles on her way to the spiritual place of repose. And even if this were the case, no self-respecting Hindu or Jew would believe her, preferring instead to believe that she How is the experience of death universal if we all have beliefs that completely oppose each other? is merely another charlatan, a fraud purporting her own religious beliefs for the purpose of mass delusion. Is the Experience of Death Universal? The question becomes: How is the experience of death universal if we all have beliefs that completely oppose each other? And, perhaps more probing, IS the experience of death universal? Obviously, I am not suggesting that some of us are immortal, much as I would love to be. The imminence of death is a concept we learn during our foundational years. We are trained to believe that nothing lasts forever, least of all our lives. Most of our lives are spent fearing the end, pushing the end back as far as possible through healthy maintenance of ourselves, and secretly maintaining the so-called 66 Paranormal Underground March 2013 “Hero Complex,” which places us above our contemporaries in the chain of “living importance.” While we acknowledge our eventual death, we tell ourselves that the world would not be able to go on the same way without us. And perhaps we’re right, because if this weren’t true, what are we doing here to begin with? When we seek the “meaning of life,” we are also asking about the meaning of death. For in death, we’re meant to believe we will somehow understand what our purpose has been. Having read multiple books, articles, and viewed multiple films relating to the subject, here is my decent, terse description of the so-called “Meaning of Life” from the perspective of parapsychologists, mediums, and psychics. Life is for learning. The expression “Life is for living” is not productive. Neither is the expression “Life is for the living.” We aren’t aware of living while not alive nor the possible lives of the currently non-living, so what use is it to qualify what life should be for? While we are physically alive, we are living, regardless of our ambitions and efforts toward self-fulfillment. From the moment we are born, our lives are completely devoted to self-education. Each movement, interaction, and experience we undergo is a chance to assimilate further knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. We Are Here to Learn If not for learning, what is the purpose of anything? No argument can nullify this idea, because education is implicit within every action we take. Every day of our lives is a chance to be further educated about what life is and how we exist in it. Each time you act, you are learning. Take a destructive example, one that shouldn’t teach us anything: One could ask, “How is it learning to smoke cigarettes? I’ve smoked for years. How is this thousandth cigarette teaching me anything?” The answer is not obvious the way that trying that first cigarette is a learning experience. However, what has one learned that has created this cycle of smoke-inhalation? If anything, the opposite would be argued: “If one has learned that smoking is negative, why would one continue to do it?” Perhaps the reason is not rooted in cause-effect education, but rather experiential education. While lighting this thousandth cigarette, our subconscious may be saying, “How will this cigarette feel TODAY, with the body I have right now?” “Will this cigarette feel different from the others?” “Am I happy today, smoking this cigarette?” Each time you act, you are learning, even if the act is repeated on a superficial level. Doing the same action and having the same experience are two completely separate ideas, and combining them is dangerous. What would be the point of repeating an action if it were the same every time? It is intrinsic to human experience that no two experiences are alike. Hence, the desire to learn is a foundational part of existence. How many of us wonder what we will have accomplished by the end of our lives? And, as we lie on our “deathbeds,” what will we be pondering? We will hopefully think of our successes — measured in loved ones, self-love, and readiness to depart for whatever lies in the hereafter. The most important question remaining will be — “What have I learned from my life?” March 2013 Paranormal Underground 67 Author Spotlight Nancy du Tertre: “Psychic Intuition” N By Michelle M. Pillow, www.MichellePillow.com ew Science/New Age writer Nancy du Tertre’s latest book, Psychic Intuition: Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask But Were Afraid to Know, released August 22, 2012, and is currently being sold in e-book and print. I recently talked with Nancy about her inspirations, psychic phenomena, and intuition. ***** Q: What inspired you to write your book, Psychic Intuition? Du Tertre: I was not psychic growing up. I had no real interest in psychic phenomena or the paranormal. I was a business woman who became an attorney specialized in securities litigation. I had a full-blown mediumship experience at the age of about 35, but even that was not enough to peak my interest in the field. It wasn’t until I offered to help my mentor, Dr. Ron DeAngelo, write his book about a new type of psychology called Intuitive Gestalt Psychotherapy. After he declined to write the book, I decided I would write a book about the psychology of intuition. I thought it would be a book about psychology, but I quickly discovered that psychologists have chosen, in general, to ignore this human capacity or call it other names. I studied neuroscience, but found neuroscientists were even less interested in the field. So I began to interview people I would never have otherwise known — world famous psychics, mediums, medical intuitives, plant emotion specialists, CIA remote viewers, NASA consultants, and so on. I then decided I would have to train in order to learn what it felt like “from the inside” to be psychic — and was apprenticed to a famous psychic detective for nearly a decade and learned I actually seem to have a knack for doing this stuff! Known as The Skeptical Psychic, Nancy du Tertre advocates a new approach to psychic ability that combines intuitive imaging with rational feedback. Q: How does an attorney go about becoming a psychic medium, and was the legal background helpful or a hindrance? Du Tertre: The legal background is both a hindrance and a help. It is a hindrance because it keeps you rooted in a left-brained type of thinking, which is exclusively focused on sequential, logical, rational thinking using only acceptable forms of “evidence” in order to produce 68 Paranormal Underground March 2013 a conclusion or an argument in favor of a theory. This type of thinking, as I have learned and explain in my book, actually blocks psychic ability and causes certain pieces of “reality” to become completely invisible or disappear. On the positive side, I don’t know any other psychic lawyers. It has helped me write a book that explains — for the first time ever — how psychic ability actually functions in the brain. This has permitted me to describe psychic functioning (things like clairvoyance, ESP, telepathy, ghosts) in terms that are not at all “woo-woo” or so over the top that they immediately get dismissed by skeptics. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Du Tertre: People are fascinated with the paranormal because it addresses the piece of reality against which most people have brushed up against, touched, felt, known, or experienced but couldn’t fully explain or understand. It speaks to our greatest fears — death, consciousness beyond awareness, and interconnectedness of matter, dimensions, and time. That is why the subtitle of my book is “Everything You Ever Wanted to Ask But Were Afraid to Know.” Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Du Tertre: Yes, of course. That is what formed the basis, after continuous testing and feedback, for my own theories and positions on the importance of “the paranormal” within our existence. Over decades of testing, I have been able to accurately “guess” or “intuit” a person’s thoughts, medical condition, state of mind, future, and connect with the spirits The book Psychic Intuition delves into how psychic ability works and if you have the potential to be psychic. People are fascinated with the paranormal because it addresses the piece of reality against which most people have ... experienced but couldn’t fully explain or understand. of the dead. I am not always correct in my information or interpretations — but the truth is that no one is. But I learned over time that I was accurate enough, based on little to no information, that I could no longer chalk it up to coincidence, lucky guessing, or probability. I have seen the spirits of the dead with my own eyes, smelled ghosts, interacted with ghosts, and accurately deliv- ered truly bizarre information from the spirit world to the living. I have seen heavy tables fly up in the air and land as if on clouds, predicted future events, and worked with law enforcement and victims’ families on missing persons and homicide cases to contribute valuable information. Q: How does one train in psychic intuition and to what extent does it work? Du Tertre: I believe that “training” in the art of psychic intuition is primarily a matter of training oneself to “unlearn” certain processes of the mind that we have acquired over a lifetime. I explain this in great detail in my book, and I include training exercises with every chapter. In a nutshell, you have to learn how to think without the benefit of words and how to remember things that seem like nonsense or gibberish. Once you start doing this, you must then learn to distinguish psychic data from mind chatter. Then you must learn how to properly develop and interpret your own individual sensory code of meanings. This sounds easy, but it takes a tremendous March 2013 Paranormal Underground 69 Author Spotlight Du Tertre: Since I explain in my book that psychic ability can be explained, first and foremost, by understanding our senses — that we have as many as 40 and probably will learn that we have hundreds in the near future; that we can’t really define medically what constitutes a sense; that perception occurs at the hybrid intersection of thinking and sensing; and that our mind and thoughts can dramatically alter what we think we are “sensing” — I also explain that women, as a group, are more intuitive than men because, as a group, every single one of the five senses is heightened more than men. With a broader spectrum of sensory information, women have access to data that is simply invisible to men. This invisible data is chalked up to something mysterious like “intuition” or “psychic ability.” “ Then there are many different ways in which a person experiences and gathers their psychic information — through the various psychic senses, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and so on.” Q: What are the implications of your book? Du Tertre: Huge, I hope! I’ve never seen anyone else attempt to explain how psychic ability works. Most people try to teach you how to become psychic in 12 easy steps or talk about their amazing lives as psychics by talking exclusively about anecdotal stories. But my book explains why and how it works. Q: Can you tell us how you’ve made a career out of psychic intuition? Du Tertre: I am an author, of course. I also give readings to private clients, work with law enforcement as a psychic detective, teach workshops in the New York City area, lecture to university psychology students and paranormal groups, and host a CBS radio show called “Hot Leads Cold Cases” on Friday nights, 8-9 p.m. ET. I am affiliated with several paranormal groups, including New Jersey Ghost Investigations, and founded the New York and New Jersey Skeptical Psychic Societies. I am a frequent media guest on Internet, radio, and television. Q: Do you have any paranormal pet projects? Du Tertre: My Website contains lots of information — about my radio show, my media events and appearances, a psychic blog, a bulletin board for psychic predictions (and verifications), ghost photography, collaborative work on Reverse Speech, collaborative work with a retired New Jersey detective, my workshop schedule, and other events. ***** amount of discipline and practice to get it right. But I am living proof that psychic ability can be trained. Q: How does a person know they have psychic ability? Are there certain kinds of experiences that are indicative of this? Du Tertre: There are many different types of psychic abilities — telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, prophecy, healing, reading auras, experiencing ghosts, medical intuition, mediumship, and so on. Then there are many different ways in which a person experiences and gathers their psychic information — through the various psychic senses, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, and so on. Q: Can anyone become a trained psychic, or is it a gift with which you must be born? Du Tertre: Most people are of the opinion that psychic ability cannot be trained. Obviously, I disagree. I am living proof. No one in my family is psychic. We never discussed it, and it did not exist for anyone in my family. I come from a very academic family full of lawyers and doctors. However, I believe that everyone is probably born with innate psychic abilities. Most of these abilities are lost somewhere between the ages of 3-6 years old — which happens to coincide with the window of time when it is believed we can best learn a second language and lose our natural inborn perfect musical pitch. Q: Are women more psychic or intuitive than men, and if so, why? To read more about Nancy du Tertre and her work, visit her Website at www.TheSkepticalPsychic.com. 70 Paranormal Underground March 2013 YOUR AD HERE! Advertise in Paranormal Underground, on Our Forums, or During our Podcasts! 1-714-646-4197 • • • • • • • Affordable Rates/Target Audience Long-Term Exposure More than 5,000 readers per issue More than 25,000 Unique Page views per issue Our Website is viewed by 8,000+ visitors per month, with 80% being new traffic Our podcasts have more than 8,000 listeners on iTunes and Podbean. Magazine available online and “print on demand” For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org March 2013 Paranormal Underground 71 Media Watch Dancing With the Afterlife Book By Karen Frazier I n her new book, Dancing with the Afterlife — A Paranormal Memoir, Paranormal Underground’s Karen Frazier shares the results of a lifetime of afterlife research. While the book continues the story she started in Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington, it goes beyond the Wellington story, placing Karen’s paranormal research into the context of a lifetime of unexplained experiences. In the excerpt below, Karen shares the paranormal experience that started it all. Wide Awake at the Super 8 When I was 21, I left college and married my high school sweetheart. He was a nuclear electronics technician (a “nuke”) stationed aboard a submarine at the Naval Submarine Base Bangor in Washington State. We moved into a tiny apartment in East Bremerton that had been WWII naval officers’ housing. My husband, David, spent three months at a time out to sea aboard a Trident nuclear submarine. While he was gone, I was alone in the apartment. It was the first time I’d lived completely by myself, without parents, siblings, roommates, or dorm dwellers all around me. While I was proud to be living alone, the nights in that tiny apartment really freaked me out. It started simply enough with things that went bump in the night. One night shortly after David deployed, I was in the bedroom reading. I heard a soft click in our kitchen, followed by a thunk. I got up and peeked out my bedroom door and into the kitchen (it was a very tiny apartment). I noticed a latched cupboard door had come open. The first click was the latch, and the thunk was the door reaching its full open capacity. Breathing a sigh of relief, I went and closed the cupboard. As I walked away, there was another click and thunk behind me. I turned, and a different cupboard door was standing open. I closed it and went to bed. That night, I slept with the bathroom light on. I also turned on the radio next to the bed so I wouldn’t have to hear anything else. ***** Long before Karen’s adventures at Wellington, she first experienced the paranormal while living in an apartment building that was formerly WWII navel officers’ housing. A few nights later, I was in my living room when I heard the creak of our bathroom faucet. Then, water started splashing into the basin. Suspecting I was hearing the guy upstairs, I checked the bathroom. Water ran in the sink. My entire body was overcome with chills. That night, I was in a hyper-vigilant state when I went to bed. As I lay in the dark with my eyes tightly closed and my back to the door, I heard the sound of soft footsteps that started near my front door. The footsteps walked across the hardwood floor, through my bedroom door, and to the side of my bed. I was paralyzed. While my body felt as if it couldn’t move, my mind was racing — rationalizing what I was really hearing was the guy upstairs coming home. Then the mattress next to me depressed as if someone 72 Paranormal Underground March 2013 sat on the edge of my bed. A voice whispered in my ear, “I love you.” I could feel moist breath on my cheek. My hair fluttered as if someone truly was whispering in my ear. Adrenaline surged, and I broke through my paralysis. I sprang out of bed and turned on the light. Carefully searching every nook and cranny of the apartment, I realized there was no one there. I told myself it was just a dream. Then I called a local Super 8 motel to see if they had vacancy, grabbed a few things for work the next day, and fled the apartment. I spent the night wide awake in the Super 8. ***** I didn’t return home to my apartment until after work the next afternoon. I was exhausted from my sleepless night, and I planned to take a nap before teaching my 6 p.m. aerobics class at a nearby gym. I told myself I’d have no trouble sleeping during the daytime, especially given my present state of exhaustion. When I arrived at my apartment, I cautiously peeked through the front door. I was surprised to see the hall closet door open and blocking the view into my bedroom. Telling myself I must have opened the closet door in my terror-filled flight from my apartment the night before, I closed it and jumped a mile high. A six-foot-tall inflatable green Godzilla, the questionable decorating choice of my young sailor husband, was somehow sitting on the middle of my bed. Normally, it resided in a corner of our living room, just behind the television set. Now, there it sat atop my mattress, its plastic reptilian eyes mocking my fear. In my kitchen, the cupboard doors all stood open. Water ran in the sink. I made a beeline out the front door and down to the apartment manager’s office. “Has anyone been in my apartment today?” I asked the manager. She looked baffled and scratched her head. “No,” she told me. “We won’t enter without your permission, and if we have to come in for an emergency, we’ll leave a note.” “I think I’ve had a break-in, then.” I told her. I ex- plained what I’d found. “Was your front door unlocked?” she asked. “Any windows open, broken, or other points of entry?” We returned to my apartment and found it had, indeed, been buttoned up tight. The manager suggested I call the police. I can’t remember why I chose not to, but I didn’t. Instead, I returned home and locked myself in, checking every door and window several times to make sure they were secure. They were. David and I were near penniless in those days, and I knew I couldn’t afford to stay at the Super 8 every night until he returned from sea in a few months. Instead I did what I considered the next best thing. I got two cats. ***** I began sleeping at night with the lights shining, the television on, and the radio playing next to my bed. When I crawled in bed after checking the front door and every window in the place several times, I would pull my comforter up over my head so only the part in my hair stuck out. I surrounded myself with pillows so nobody could get to me. Every night, I tried to bring the cats into my bedroom. As soon as their feet hit the mattress, they’d bolt and curl up on the living room couch. They were having none of the bedroom, period. In spite of my protections, something in that apartment continued to haunt me. Some nights, the “I love you” spirit would visit me. On others, the water would turn on in the bathroom. Sometimes, it was just latched doors and cupboards that would open and close. All the while, I would lie under my comforter with my eyes squeezed tightly shut, telling myself it wasn’t happening. I was certain it was just my imagination on overdrive because I was living alone. When my husband came home from sea, I begged him to move. Before he deployed the next time, we were living in a new apartment on the other side of town. A six-foot-tall inflatable green godzilla sat on the middle of my bed. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 73 Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial Paranormal Poptarts By Jill Marie Morris, www.jillmariemorris.com H ave you ever watched an episode of Ghost Hunters? What about Ghost Adventures or My Ghost Story? The pool of paranormal programming that has undoubtedly caused many a heart to virtually jump from the anxious chests of viewing audiences both domestic and abroad continues to widen into an ocean of unfathomable creatures and dastardly demons, with each passing series creation. It seems almost everyone wants his or her “big break” — a skyrocketing ticket to celebrity, but since when has spooky storytelling become such a gold mine of gaudy? Thousands of people suddenly have taken it upon themselves to lose all sense of integrity, relinquishing dignity for a life of moral turpitude, in the sanctum realm of the paranormal. And to think: all of this for fame and fortune. Admitting that an intense, action-packed, nail-biter of a show is always good for ratings, it does appear that many, yet not all paranormal programs, have lost focus on what is fact and what is fiction. Gone, are the Scooby Doo days when a story could be told and appreciated, without scrutinizing its origin, or becoming a bickering platform for paranormal investigators, demonologists (you know, the “ordained” men and women who have seemingly leaked out of the woodwork faster than water rushing forth from a crack in the Hoover Dam), mediums and psychics alike, just to outright bash one another via social media venues. Such public tirades from individuals with egos bigger than the Universe itself have made for a new breed in the field: The Paranormal Poptarts. There is a fine line of distinction by which show writers, producers, and directors walk. Too easily, tweaking a storyline has led to gross embellishment and even outright brazen lies in order to achieve higher ratings. Paranormal Poptarts Are All the Rage That’s right, Paranormal Poptarts are all the rage with the poster children dressed in black hoodies, advertising obscenely neon, green team names in garbled, bold font, or modeling micro-mini skirts, with halter tops spewing forth cleavage that would make even Dolly Parton blush. Yes, these are the latest Lords and Lasses of the Darkside. Despite their shallow origins, exactly what kind of messages are the Paranormal Poptarts sending the general viewing audience, let alone to the Junior Ghost Hunters 74 Paranormal Underground March 2013 and Huntresses? It won’t take long to discern that it is not a positive one. To heck with simplistic, mundane, spirits, it’s time for the Paranormal Poptarts to conjure up the most evil of terrifying specters on the planet. From staged crucifixes made of plaster precariously placed yards away from their starting point, barring not a scratch during their otherworldly flight, to entire rooms that become scenes of mayhem and destruction the moment the cameraperson turns their back and leaves, the Paranormal Poptarts are there to make it look good. More predominantly, a trend is being seen that in order to shine in the field — or industry — as anything remotely paranormal related, one must exude mega levels of machoism, or reek of intergalactic sexiness. The ability to amp-up the audience is a big plus too, be it by screaming loud enough to break the sound barrier when alleged evidence is captured on camera, or in some cases, prancing around in the dark, sewn into the tightest, black leather pants and knee-high, laced, spiked boots one could find. Time to Go Back to the Basics In summary, the Paranormal Poptart behavior conveys to girls and boys all around the world that bullying and arguing will get you everywhere, and that bust size is more important than an IQ. After losing sight of the fundamentals of the field, things need to be stripped-down (no pun intended), to the basics. A great, factual story told in the right setting, focusing on subtle nuances, proper Put the “real” back into reality paranormal television ... portrayal of evidence, combined with a captivating orator who is enveloped in the simplest of ambient lighting and costume, can be more terrifying than Joe Testosterone and Paranormal Patty during a weekend bender on the Sunset Strip. It’s time to get back to the meat and potatoes of the paranormal — and back to a good tale that can make a person squirm, jump, and think. In a world where “less is more,” more substance needs to take center stage. Differentiating between what is real and what is not needs to find root in the culture, rather than the overabundance of blatant fantasy nonsense. Hunting ghosts and goblins in jeans and a t-shirt, sweltering on a hot summer night, or investigating while wrapped up like a mummy during a mid-winter run carries much more credibility than a wagon of Paranormal Poptarts taking five and seeking respite in their show trailers. Put the “real” back into reality paranormal television programming and give the viewing audience a good, healthy scare. After all, there’s a lot to say for someone who is scared out of their pants, as opposed to watching someone wearing saggy pants around their ankles on a hunt as a fashion statement. Oh, and one, last word of advice for all of you paranormal fans: As with any junk food, keep the Paranormal Poptarts in the same cupboard as the Frosted Flakes. Check the expiration date for shelf life, and toss in the trash accordingly. Keep it real. March 2013 Paranormal Underground 75 For Back Issues of Paranormal Underground Magazine, Visit www.paranormalunderground.net!