Volume 6 Issue 11
The Legend of Slender Man
Wallaw Cinema The Zamora
Encounter The Roots of
Hoodoo Herbology The Doll That
The Great Orb Debate Paranormal Encounters: Ghost Dog Chillingham Castle’s Graham Burney Paranormal Researchers Of Odd Findings November 2013 Top 3 Items to Take on Your Next Investigation
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• Haunted Sites
• The Psychic Mind
• Crystals & Herbology
• Magic & Lore
• Conspiracy Theories
• Investigator Spotlight
• And More!
November 2013 Explore the Unexplained With Us Today!
Table Of Contents CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN 22 Haunted Sites The Galleries of Justice: Nottingham, England 24 Haunted Objects/Curses The Doll That Aged 26 Cryptids & Mythological Creatures Zombies Really Exist in Haiti! 28 Are We Alone? The Zamora Encounter 30 Urban Legends Slender Man 32 Haunted History Hollymont Haunting: As Good As It Gets: Part 2 38 Haunted Hospitality The Congress Plaza Hotel 40 Haunted Cemeteries Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery
IN THE SPOTLIGHT 14 Para-Chat Chillingham Castle Head Ghost Guide Graham Burney 16 Investigator Spotlight Paranormal Researchers Of Odd Findings 80 Author Profile Devon Ellington (aka Annabel Aidan)
PARANORMAL INSIGHTS 20 Special Report Gifted Souls 42 Katie’s Conspiracy Corner Mind Control 48 Inside the Psychic Mind Honoring the Requests of the Spirits 50 The Psychic Biker: Attitude With Empathy The Great Orb Debate 54 Crystals & Herbology The Roots of Hoodoo Herbology 56 Demonology — The Dark Files Confronting the Demonic at Bobby Mackey’s 58 Magic & Lore Romania’s Varacolaci 60 The Dark Corner With Chuck The Haunting of Matilda 76 The Bishop’s Corner The Importance of Being Pastoral 78 Religion and the Paranormal Judaism and the Paranormal 83 Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial Science, Paranormal Research, and Pop Culture 86 Featured Author: Paranormal Fiction “The Scent of Fear” by Mari Wells
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES 66 68 72 74
Ghost Hunter Case Files A Family Haunted: A True Case File: Part 3 The Extreme Ghost Hunter Investigates The Wallaw Cinema Paranormal Encounters Ghost Dog Tales From The Haunted Heathman Hotel A Time to Share
DEPARTMENTS 4 Contributors 7 Calendar of Events 8 Paranormal Top 10 List
6 Publisher’s Letter 7 Ghost Hunter Comic 12 Equipment Update
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. (nwghosttours.com and www.paranormalinsights.net)
Maureen Burgess, Ph.D. Maureen earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and master’s and doctorate in American history from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has always loved ghost stories and found a way to integrate them with academia. She is the author of The Cup of Ruin and Desolation: Witchcraft in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2011).
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 investigated over 400 cases. 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. (www.ghostdetectives.tv)
James Franklin Dietz Ever since James was old enough to watch TV, he had a fascination with horror movies, sci-fi, and unexplained phenomena. He is a paranormal researcher and investigator who writes articles on the paranormal. He created Asylum Paranormal in 2012 and operates Haunted Houston Tours and Haunted Lafayette Tours.
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 and 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. (www.entities-r-us.com)
Charles G. Gotski Chuck is a native of Chicago and also an accomplished filmmaker and writer. His interest in the paranormal started at an early age due to a personal experience. With more than 20 years of experience under his belt, he started his own team, In the Dark Investigations, in 2010. With the help of Larry, Al, and Janine, they have moved into the field by gathering evidence of the paranormal, as well as figuring out the how’s and why’s of these events. (www.inthedarkinvestigations.com)
Paul Green, The Psychic Biker, is a gifted medium and psychic who was once an ardent skeptic. He is a hard-core, no-nonsense biker who would look more at home on the door of a nightclub than offering his services as an empathetic psychic medium. Make no mistake, Paul is opinionated and brutally honest, yet he is respected by all who know him, or as he would describe himself: “Attitude with Empathy.” (www.extremeghosthunting.com)
Jenny Gurney Jenny is an investigator with Proximity Paranormal. The mystery surrounding the paranormal field has always interested Jenny. She is on a quest to find out why spirits are around us. Jenny has investigated many sites, including Waverly Hills, Bobby Mackey’s, the Villisca Ax Murder House, and First Ward School House. Jenny also hosts her own Web radio show, Paranormal Hotspot on Z Talk Radio.
Rick E. Hale A Chicago native, Rick is cohost of Paranormal Underground Radio on www.heyzradio.com. He is the founder of Foundations Psychical Research and the author of the recently released Geek’s Guide to the Strange & Unusual. As an investigator, Rick considers himself to be a Modern Traditionalist, meaning he believes in melding the new and old schools of psychical research.
Ashley Hall Ashley Hall resides in Adelaide, South Australia, where he has researched and investigated the paranormal for more than 15 years. As well as having worked for many of the state’s most professional teams, he founded The Paranormal Guide. Ashley is open-minded toward all aspects of the paranormal. He has written more than 200 articles on paranormal and macabre subjects that have appeared in magazines and on Websites worldwide.
Kristen Hoffert Kristen graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in English literature and research distinction. She worked as the Administrative Assistant and Assistant Curator at the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, and is now the coordinator for the Galion Historical Society, where she runs the Historic Brownella Cottage. One of her goals while working in the paranormal field is to bring awareness about the importance of historical sites and their preservation. She is currently a member of two paranormal groups, the Historians and B2B Paranormal.
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.
Stephen Lambert Stephen is co-owner of Extreme Ghost Hunting Limited and EGH Media. Based in the Northeast of England, he likes nothing better than researching and spending the night alone in haunted locations. He is a Peoples Book Prize finalist as coauthor on The Psychic Biker Meets The Extreme Ghost Hunter and producer and host of online radio shows as part of the EGH Media Network. (www.extremeghosthunting.com and www. eghmedia.com)
Deborah Lantz Deborah is a gifted and trusted medium. She thoroughly enjoys the gifts she has been given and takes her work very seriously. She works with integrity and compassion. Deborah’s abilities enable her to connect with the Angelic Realm and Spirits on the other side. She uses her gift to assist in paranormal investigative work and often works with her son, Nick Lantz, and his group Redemption Paranormal. (www.facebook.com/yourspiritbeacon)
Bishop James Long, D.Min. Bishop James Long studied for the Roman Catholic Priesthood for six years. It was during his years in the seminary that Bishop Long received solid formation, both academic and spiritual. Through prayer and discernment, Bishop Long accepted Gods call to become an Independent Catholic Priest. He was ordained a Deacon and Priest and was consecrated a Bishop within the Old Catholic Church. Currently, he serves as the Presiding Archbishop for the United States Old Catholic Church. He holds a doctorate of ministry, master’s of divinity, master’s of education, bachelor’s of communication theory, and associate’s of philosophy.
Cheryl is editor-in-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine 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.
Michelle M. 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. (www.michellepillow.com)
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 Bridgetown Paranormal, 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 Stefko, Ph.D. Jill is a feature writer for suite101.com. She has studied the paranormal since childhood. 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.
Melinda Stum, M.Div Melinda graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in [Comparative] Religion. She served as an intern pastor while completing her master’s of Divinity. She is also a member of South Sound Paranormal Research.
Barry Taff, Ph.D. Barry holds a doctorate in psychophysiology with a minor in biomedical engineering. He is a worldrenowned 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. (http://barrytaff.net)
Mari Wells Mari’s love of vampires goes back to her tween years. Recently, she has increased her vampire knowledge and expanded it to other paranormal beings. Her paranormal fictional pieces have been included in supernatural magazines. (www.mariwells.wordpress.com)
JERRY WILLIAMS Jerry is a radio host of Eastside Paranormal Radio and an investigator with Eastside Paranormal Society. He is also a minister in Ohio and has performed exorcisms and house blessings. Jerry has been investigating the paranormal since 1993. He also has mediumistic abilities and tries to assist those seeking help. Visit www.eastsideparanormalsociety.webs.com for more information.
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. (Silvermoonmedicyn.com)
A freelance writer, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine. His interest in the paranormal led to the creation of www.ParanormalUnderground.net. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, and private residences among his investigations.
Publisher’s Letter PARANORMAL U N D E R G R O U N D® Volume 6, Issue 11
EDITORIAL Publisher Chad Wilson
Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight
Science Editor J.D. Harrison
Contributors William Becker Maureen Burgess, Ph.D. Katie Christopher James Franklin Dietz Karen Frazier Terri J. Garofalo Charles G. Gotski Paul Green Rick E. Hale Ashley Hall Kristen Hoffert John “Jack” Kenna Stephen Lambert Deborah Lantz Bishop James Long Silvermoon Medicyn Michelle M. Pillow Rob St.Helen Jill Stefko, Ph.D. Melinda Stum Barry Taff, Ph.D. Mari Wells Jerry Williams 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.
Echoing Through the Ages
ith the fall season and Halloween upon us, some say the veil between this world and the spirit world is thinner than ever. Questions about the afterlife and what happens when we die invariably lead back to hauntings. Is there a connection between our souls, if you believe we even have one, and the purported hauntings people have been experiencing for hundreds, if not thousands of years?
has been crumpled up. And maybe time is the same way, being so closely connected to the spatial universe around us. This could make it possible for the past, present, and even future to overlap in spots, each affecting the other.
Are We Present in All Times at the Same Time? Or, is it, as posited by some, that we are present in all times at all times? We only see time in our Chad Wilson, physical forms, as it helps us Do We Return After Publisher delineate the days, and lets Death? us know the approximate time until The first question in our search we can expect to die, though life has is do we return after death? And, if a way of spoiling even the best laid we do, then in what form? Are we plans. But what is time to an immorshades of our former selves, attached tal soul? If we lived in spirit for 1,000 to the places where we once lived and years, would it seem any different frequented during life? Or are hauntthan a day? I don’t think so. ings something else, maybe an echo of a past that no longer exists. Or does it When We Experience a Hauntexist still, even though we can’t see it? ing, Are We Only Experiencing Are Hauntings Just Echoes Something as It Is Happening, Only It Is Filtered Somehow? From the Past? In essence, a haunting could be Let me reiterate, when we us looking at the past as it touches experience a haunting, is it the past our present physical realm, however coming through to the present, or is it merely an imprint, a recording of briefly. It is like looking through a dark, smoky glass as events unfold, events long past? If so, then how do with the occasional breakthrough we explain intelligent hauntings? and contact. Maybe someday we will know Does Time Really Exist? Hauntings could be a glimpse some of the answers we seek. Until then we will continue to look for into actual past events, or at least the those answers in our quest to better “ghost” of them. It’s been theorized understand this strange, yet wonderthat space is curved. I personally feel ful world around us. like it is like a big piece of paper that
Calendar Of Events November 2
Pittsburgh Area MUFON Conference Westmoreland Community College Youngwood, Pennsylvania http://mufonpa.com/wp1/?page_ id=929
NJ UFO Paranormal Conference Hamilton Hilton Hamilton, New Jersey http://www.njufoc.com/main.html
In Search of The Afterlife: Forever Family Foundation’s 7th Original Afterlife Conference Double Tree by Hilton Golf Resort San Diego, CA http://events.r20.constantcontact. com/register/event?oeidk=a07e7g3z 9058e09c9e3&llr=ydrsgxbab
Begins February 7
Ports of Apparitions Cruise New Orleans, Louisiana http://ghostcruise.net/
Volume 6, Issue 11
Grey Ghost Paracon USS Hornet Museum San Francisco Bay, California www.greyghostparacon.com
ART DIRECTION Art Director Chad Wilson
All Ireland Paracon Malone Lodge Hotel Belfast, Ireland www.allirelandparacon.com
Phenomacon Gettysburg, PA Eisenhower Hotel http://phenomaconcentral.com/
Victory of Light: Cincinnati’s Premier Body, Mind & Spirit Event Sharonville Convention Center Cincinnati, Ohio www.victoryoflight.com/pages/index. cgi/201311_festival?disp=Welcome
PARANORMAL U N D E R G R O U N D®
VA ParaQuest Historic Avenel Plantation Bedford, Virginia http://vaparaquest.com/Home_Page. html
Design and Layout Cheryl Knight
On The Cover Matilda The Haunted Doll (Photo by Chuck Gotski)
ADVERTISING & Media Advertising Director Lori Houston For Ad Inquiries, Call 1-563-357-8934 or e-mail:
Ghost Hunter Comic
Leitreanna Brown Leitreanna@gmail.com
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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.
The Paranormal Top 10 List
Top 10 Reasons Being on Reality TV Might Not Be as Awesome as it Seems By Karen Frazier, South Sound Paranormal Research & Paranormal Underground Radio
h, reality television. These days it seems like so many people are vying for a TV show, “in talks” with producers, or engaging in attention-seeking behaviors in hopes of being discovered and cast for a show. Reality TV isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, however. Whether it’s “real” housewives, bachelors, and bachelorettes looking for love or paranormal investigators stumbling around in the dark, reality television fame has a dark side, and many have paid the price. So you still think you’d be perfect for reality television? You may want to reconsider after reading my top 10 list of why being on reality TV might not be as awesome as it seems: 10. Producers Use Frankenbiting You’ve probably heard people say the following about reality television shows: “Well, if they didn’t say it, then the editors wouldn’t be able to show it.” It turns out that’s not really true. If you don’t see someone’s lips moving as they are speaking, then the editors may be using something called “frankenbiting.” Frankenbiting goes a little something like this: Clever sound editors string together words or phrases from different sentences in a way that shapes the story. For example, suppose in one talking head I said, “I love to ride my bike,” and in another I said, “I just don’t know what’s up with Rick.” A talented Frankenbiter could easily parse each of these statements seamlessly, making a sound bite where I say, “I love Rick.” Suddenly, Rick and I have a budding romance. The trick with frankenbiting is that it’s used to shape the story via voiceovers, when a reality show participant is speaking off screen, during cutaways, or when you see a character from the back or in a faraway shot where you can’t see their lips move as they speak. It’s an easy (and cheap) way to shape the story.
9. You Have to Sign Release Forms From Hell Reality show participants might be better off striking a deal with the Devil. Reality participants sign their lives away in tightly binding contracts filled with indecipherable legalese. For example, take a look at this excerpt from a popular reality television show release: I understand that, in and in connection with the Program (including, without limitation, in my Appearance and in the Material), I may reveal and/or relate, other parties
(including, without limitation, other Program participants and/or Producer) may reveal and/or relate, or the Producer may thus edit, information about me of a personal, surprising, defamatory, disparaging, embarrassing or unfavorable nature. I further understand that my appearance, depiction, and/or portrayal in or in connection with the Program, and my actions and the actions of others displayed in or in connection with the Program, may be disparaging, defamatory, embarrassing or of an otherwise unfavorable nature, and may expose me to public ridicule, humiliation or condemnation. I acknowledge and agree that Producer shall have, in its sole discretion and editorial control, the right to include any such information and any such appearance, depiction, portrayal, actions and statements in and in connection with the Program. Some of the rights that reality show participants typically sign away include: • Privacy • Ability to sue for defamation or personal injury • Publicity • Control of use of your name, image, voice, poses, statements, etc. • The legitimate right to win a reality contest (i.e., competitive reality show releases typically contain a clause stating the producers can make anyone they want the winner for any reason, in spite of outcomes of objective contests).
Reality TV shows have a team of writers who craft storylines. I understand people wanting their day in the sun, but words such as public ridicule and editorial control should at least alert you to the fact that there’s a good chance editing will play a strong role in shaping the “story.” 8. Reality Shows Have Writers While these shows are “unscripted” in that participants aren’t reading lines from scripts or cue cards, the shows do have a team of writers who craft storylines in order to heighten drama or shape the narrative altogether. These writers can and will do anything they can to shape reality show participants into a “character” that fits one of the archetypes viewers enjoy. So unless you sit there the entire time with a pleasant smile on your face and interact with no one, your words and actions could be twisted into all kinds of characters, such as the villain, the airhead, the jerk, or the liar.
If you care about your personal image more than you care about being famous, it’s definitely something to consider. 7. Reality Shows Look Deep Production companies dig into the backgrounds of their contestants/stars, partially in an attempt to limit liability. That’s not the only reason they perform the equivalent of a presidential candidate’s background check, however. They also do it to dig up potential ways to stir up drama. So, if you have something you’re hiding, whether it be unpaid speeding tickets or a string of bounced checks, you can be sure they’ll find it and possibly use it to further their agenda. 6. You’re Under Around-the-Clock Surveillance Even when camera operators aren’t present, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook on a reality television show. Production companies use a camera called a Pelco, which is mounted and controlled by joystick to record the action when camera crews aren’t present. 5. You May Not Be Able to Have Contact With Loved Ones During Filming While this isn’t always the case for every show, reality sets are often tightly controlled. According to an anonymous reality TV producer quoted in Esquire, “People don’t realize that the cast isn’t allowed to do anything. We basically own them. They’re like our puppets — our pris-
The Paranormal Top 10 List minutes, and the show gives very respectful edits because it isn’t about drama. I was lucky. You may not be. It’s just something to consider. 2. Very Little of the Time You Spend on Camera Actually Winds Up on Television In order to have the most material to craft stories, producers film for hours and hours. Trust me, it’s difficult to be on your best behavior for that long. For my three minutes of television glory, I filmed for about 11 long hours with a short break for lunch. After a while, I forgot I was wearing my microphone pack, which is on at all times. I wore it into the bathroom and didn’t think about it until I came out and Jim asked if I’d turned it off. I hadn’t. Fortunately, Optomen (the production company) didn’t use the recording. That would have been a difficult one to explain away to my parents.
oners. We’re monitoring them 24 hours per day, making sure they adhere to our rules. They barely have contact with family and friends.” 4. You May Not Make Much Money While some reality stars make big bucks, if you’re entering a show as an unknown, chances are you’re not going to make much money. According to AOL Jobs, there is no minimum wage for reality newcomers, nor are there benefits. Some do it for free for exposure or notoriety, while others may make as little as $50 to $100 per episode. It all depends on the show’s budget, whether you’re a main character or a peripheral one, and other factors. 3. Your Reality Show Edit Will Follow You for a Long, Long Time That’s all well and good if you get a great edit, but what happens if the producers cast you in a negative light? If it’s a widely viewed show, then people will recognize you for quite a while. What if you got the jerk edit and you went to apply for a job five years down the line? Here’s a little perspective. In 2010, I appeared in an eight-minute segment of Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum as an “expert.” The episode has continued to be rebroadcast, and three years later people still ask me about it because they just saw me last night on a television show. I was onscreen for probably less than three
1. Producers Have All Kinds of Tricks to Make it Look Like You’re Doing Something You’re Not Sarah Kozer, a contestant on the show Joe Millionaire, learned this the hard way. Twice, the producers of the show made it appear like Kozer was sleeping with the show’s star, Evan Marriott. In one scene, they showed her standing on the balcony in a bathrobe, but timed it in such a way that they made it look like she’d spent the night with Marriott. In another, they used subtitles with sex noises to make it appear she was behind a tree with Marriott, performing a sex act. Kozer denies both of the events and says it was all producer manipulation. Imagine your future children, spouse, coworkers, or boss watching such a scene that never happened, only due to your non-disclosure agreements you aren’t free to deny it. The Harsh Reality of Reality TV This is often the harsh reality of reality television. While some shows take a more documentary approach (such as Mysteries at the Museum and others like it), other shows are all about the drama they can create in order to keep their audience entertained. If being on reality TV is on your bucket list, you may want to think twice before you toss yourself in with the masses of reality stars for fame. In reality TV, it’s equally likely you’ll end up infamous.
Have a suggestion for The Paranormal Top 10 List? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions today!
The Geek’s Guide to the Strange & Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghosts, and Demons Rick E. Hale’s book about unexplainable paranormal phenomena explores many of the world’s most intriguing paranormal cases and haunted locations, including the Demon Drummer of Tedworth, Lucedio Abbey, the Dagg poltergeist, and three cases of possession, among many others.
Book Now Available Online at Amazon.com November 2013
Paranormal Underground 11
TOP 3 ITEMS TO TAKE ON YOUR NEXT INVESTIGATION By Jack Kenna, Rensselaer Paranormal Research and S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England
eing the technical specialist on a paranormal team, one of the most common questions I’m asked by people is: “What is the most important piece of equipment I should have to investigate with?” The second most common question is: “What equipment do I need to have to investigate with?” The answer to the first question is easy. The most important piece of equipment you have to investigate with is “you.” Your senses of sight, smell, sound, touch, and feelings (like those goose bumps you get when something just doesn’t feel quite right) are the most important things you can use during a paranormal investigation. The second question can be a bit less obvious, or perhaps I should say it’s a bit more fluid/changing based on the circumstances and knowledge of the investigation. Every investigation has its own unique set of circumstances. Investigating a client’s home is much different than investigating a historical building, which is different than an old factory, which is different than a cemetery, and so on. I could recommend different equipment for each of those investigations, but there will always be a few items that you will need to bring on every investigation, so for the purposes of this article lets identify those top three items I personally recommend for every investigation, what their uses are, and why they are a must-have for every investigation. Just for fun, I am going to do this as a countdown, starting with the number 3 choice, and working our way up to number 1. And the number 3 choice is ... 3. K-II EMF Device Although the K-II is an “open” EMF device, meaning it can be affected by numerous electrical frequencies, such as cell phone signals, house wiring, radio signals,
etc., it does provide a multi-function device at a relatively reasonable cost, approximately $60. The K-II is a good device for measuring the Electro-magnetic Fields (EMF) in a home/location in order to baseline the location you’re investigating. It’s important to know just how much EMF is being emitted in a location in order to properly examine potential paranormal claims, such as people feeling as though they are being watched, feeling nervous/anxious in a location, constant headaches, and feelings of nausea. All of these are just a few of the symptoms that can be caused by high EMF levels. Once you have used the K-II to establish the EMF baseline of a location and where the hotspots are, you can now use it to attempt communication with any spirit that might inhabit that location. I recommend the K-II as the third of the top three because of its simplicity and clear visual LED lights. With regards to EMF, if the device is showing one or two lights consistently lit, you know the EMF measurements are within acceptable levels. If three or more lights are lit, you are measuring high EMF levels that could have a physical impact on your client or even potentially provide an energy source for any spirits within the location. Also, the LED lights make it easy to identify any potential communication by a spirit as they flash in direct response to questions you ask. It’s a great “visual” device for investigating in the dark. Now, on to number 2!
2. Digital IR Camera With Video/Audio Capability Although most of the evidence you will capture on an investigation is of the audio type (EVPs), you never know when you might capture something paranormal on video or in a photo. As a paranormal investigator you have to be prepared for anything, but even more important, you do need some type of device that can help you see in the dark and also see in a spectrum of light that we don’t, such as Infrared (IR) Light or Ultra-Violet (UV) Light. Almost all of the mini video cameras sold today can take photos and video with the flip of a switch. This makes for a great combination and reduces the amount of equipment you need to carry. Finding a new camera that can film in IR or Full Spectrum (IR thru UV) is more difficult. You typically can’t get these off the shelf anymore. You can still find the older IR camcorders on eBay, but for the newer equipment you have to go to Website stores like ghoststop.com or theghosthunterstore.com or have your new camera/camcorder converted to IR, UV, or Full Spectrum through a company like lifepixel.com, which has the expertise to do it correctly. The fact that you can use this device to see in the dark by looking through the viewfinder as you’re investigating, while at the same time using it to capture any potential visual and/or audio evidence, makes this an indispensable tool for the paranormal investigator. I’ve personally captured some very interesting and exciting video and audio evidence on my IR camcorder during investigations when I least expected it. It’s also helped me to avoid tripping over a few items while investigating in the pitch black as well. In addition, it feeds well into item number 3 above (The K-II Meter), as you can use it to film any potential communication you might have with a spirit through the K-II. The fact that it’s digital makes it easy to download and review any video/audio and photos on your computer. Although a digital IR, UV, or Full Spectrum camcorder/camera can be a bit expensive, $300 and up, it is well worth the expense. And my NUMBER 1 choice for the TOP 3 pieces of equipment to take on any investigation ... I KNOW you already guessed it ...
1. The Digital Voice Recorder Was there ever really any question that this would be the number 1 pick? Seriously, where would any paranormal investigator be without their digital voice recorder? This one little item is the absolute life blood of the paranormal investigator. Without it, we would be all but lost. Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs) make up at least 90% of the evidence we collect as paranormal investigators; a smaller percentage are Disembodied Voices (DEVs), and an even smaller percentage is video or photo evidence. Given this knowledge it would be unthinkable, criminal even, for any modern-day paranormal investigator or team to conduct an investigation without having this device with them. Even the simplest of these recording devices is better than none. The most rudimentary recorder that almost anyone can access in today’s world is the one on their smartphone or iPhone. It’s a simple App that allows the owner to use their phone as a voice recorder and saves the compressed file to their phone. It’s not the best quality because the microphone isn’t high quality and the file is a compressed format, but it does work in a pinch. I do recommend using a highquality, stereo, digital audio recorder that saves in an uncompressed file format such as .wav or at least a high-quality .mp3 file, as compression distorts the sound quality for playback. If you’re serious about investigating the paranormal, then don’t go cheap on your recorder, but also buy smart and remember that quality equipment means quality audio and quality EVPs or DEVs when they are captured. Also remember that high price doesn’t always mean high quality. Do your research first, and then decide what to buy. Again we’re talking digital recorders here because they are easy to use, don’t require “tapes” that you will need to mark and store, and easily interface with your PC or MAC to download and review your audio files after the investigation. You can find a large variety of digital voice recorders online at Amazon.com. 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 email at email@example.com.
Paranormal Underground 13
Chillingham Castle Head Ghost Guide Graham Burney By Paul Green, The Psychic Biker
any readers of this magazine will have gone on a paranormal investigation/ghost hunt, whatever term you use. These investigations often happen at a location that hosts regular tours or overnight investigations. But have you ever wondered when you leave what it is like for the people who work there — the people who organize and host the events and spend many hours at the location either with groups or alone while preparing for the events? Just such a person is the guest of this month’s ParaChat. Meet Graham Burney, head ghost guide at Chillingham Castle, reputed to be the most haunted castle in the UK. How did the castle earn its notorious label of “most haunted”? The castle was built for one reason and one reason alone, killing. It sits in the heart of Northumberland, England, only 10 miles from where I write this. The castle was the first line of defense, preventing the Scots getting over the border to invade England back in the days of William Wallace, when the castle was ruled over by King Edward I (Edward Longshanks). It has a truly amazing, yet horrific, history. Chillingham has also been visited by many TV crews including Most Haunted, I’m Famous and Frightened, Scariest Places on Earth, and many others. It’s safe to say there have been many examples of paranormal activity recorded there by many people, both professional and amateur crews. Graham along with his wife, Jill, and his team have spent countless hours at the castle and its grounds. He has hosted hundreds of vigils and ghost tours, spent many nights in the apartments there, and experienced countless unexplained happenings during that time, including one weekend where he and Jill castle-sat for the owner Sir Humphrey Wakefield. That night, he and Jill encountered a past resident of the castle who came knocking on their door. You will hear more of that encounter in a future article. But, for now, we present Graham’s Para-Chat. *****
Q: What’s your earliest memory? Graham: Standing with an orange flavored ice lolly, orange shorts, and a white-and-orange-checked shirt outside the caravan with one of my brothers, Paul, at Berwick on holiday. I was about three years old. Q: Describe your perfect day. Graham: Up at 8 a.m., bacon sandwich, cup of Yorkshire tea. Shower and shave. Walking in the countryside with my wife, Jill, and then having a picnic in the sunshine watching the world go by. Home and finish the day with a drumming session to AC/DC. Then relaxing with the wife.
Graham Burney is the lead paranormal investigator and head ghost guide at Chillingham Castle in the UK.
Q: Who from history would you like to share a dinner party with? Graham: Jesus Christ to hopefully shed light on why there is so much negativity in the world. Q: If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Graham: Can’t resist trying to make people happy. Q: What’s your current or upcoming project? Graham: Life itself. *****
Q: What can’t you resist?
Graham and his team host several events at Chillingham Castle during the year. The Chillingham Uncovered events sell out very quickly, often fully booked by March each year. They do, however, also run shorter ghost tours throughout the year, which last about two hours and costs £20.00 per person. If you are feeling very adventurous, you can rent the apartments at the castle, most with a wicked reputation for paranormal activity. For more information, visit the Chillingham Castle’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/ChillinghamCastle/290442884308187) or Website (www.chillinghamcastle.com).
Graham: Explore the Vatican and its hidden treasures. Q: What’s your pet hate? Graham: Self-obsessed, manipulative people who use and take advantage of someone’s good nature to benefit themselves. Q: What’s your favorite book? Graham: Never read a book in my life.
Paranormal Underground 15
Paranormal Researchers Of Odd Findings By Cheryl Knight
ounded in December 2008 by Joseph Gallant, Paranormal Researchers Of Odd Findings (P.R.O.O.F.) specializes in paranormal phenomena and cold case forensic investigation. The team’s investigators, sensitives, and occult specialists come from all walks of life and provide assistance to community facilities, museums, cemeteries, private residences, and individuals either suffering paranormal re-occurrence or individualized phenomena. They also assist families in solving cold cases. A Connecticut-based paranormal research society, P.R.O.O.F. offers its services at no cost to the community. The group strives to educate others on the paranormal and its diverse complexities and, ultimately, hopes to restore faith and re-establish fact in eternal existence. The team’s founder, Joseph (Joe) Gallant recently talked with Paranormal Underground about his paranormal experiences, P.R.O.O.F.’s investigations and methods, and the team’s new para-crisis initiative. ***** Q: Tell us about yourself, both personally and professionally. Joe: I am that average Joe you hear about every so often. I work Monday through Friday trying to make a difference in the lives of children with criminal limitations at a local juvenile detention facility. During what little free time my job allows me, you can find me either in a cemetery or investigating a local haunt. I try and live a simplified existence as I know the consequences of jamming too much on one plate, at one time. Q: How did you become interested in the paranormal? Joe: My interest in the paranormal began nine years ago immediately following the unexpected death of my grandmother. Before this time, I considered myself a
P.R.O.O.F. founder Joe Gallant and Executive Director Amanda DeVivo before investigating the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, Connecticut.
non-believer or, in better terms, a skeptic. I was raised to believe that once you die, you’re dead and that’s it. The existence of life after death and ghosts was a topic that was not viewed as an “appropriate” topic of discussion. My grandmother and I were rather close, and her sudden death sent me into a state of emotional seclusion. I wasn’t given the opportunity to say goodbye or express to her what she meant to me. I had overheard a friend of mine talking to his co-worker over the phone about “ghost hunting” and the ability to make electronic contact with the dead. Without alerting anyone’s attention, I decided
ries sustained as cause to the activity • Environmental and hazard assessment and report • Confidentiality consent or release form (client preferred) • Temporary Relocation Protocol (TRP) evaluation and implementation If there are children involved in the case or there is reason to believe that there is a threat to the occupants, P.R.O.O.F. requires the family to vacate the dwelling and provides full relocation following the conclusion of the investigation or until the residence is presumed safe. Following the completion of these steps and within 96 hours, the pre-investigation stages are set into play with a detailed team briefing, site visit, and plan of action. Q: Talk about P.R.O.O.F. and its mission. Joe: P.R.O.O.F. was founded four years ago and represents and services both the paraThe team’s command center during a recent investigation. normal and the forensic community. The paranormal division’s primary objective is to to give this “ghost communication” a go. I returned to the restore faith and reestablish fact in eternal existence. The area in which she passed, and with a camera and recorder forensic division is guided in providing a wide range of in hand I walked the property. Before I left the last thing I specialized services to families affected by murder. said was “I love you.” Our promise to clients follows: When I returned home, I listened to the audio and to • To serve with excellence and dedication. my utter surprise after I had said “I love you,” my grand• To always keep open-mindedness a priority in all of mother, in her own, distinct voice, replied, “I love you. our investigative attempts. Move along.” From this day on, I have been obsessed with • To provide peace of mind and comfort for those understanding the components into life beyond living. who depend on us most. • To vow and practice the importance of confidentiQ: How do you decide which cases you are going ality and rights to privacy. to take? • To provide cost-free and unlimited paranormal Joe: Each case is different. When P.R.O.O.F. receives a services to our cliental and to the community. request for assistance, whether it involves the paranormal • To enrich the lives and overall prosperity of our division or the forensic division, there is a lengthy intake members and the communities in which we serve. and evaluation process that follows. Before a case will be accepted, P.R.O.O.F. must: Q: What type of cases have you investigated, and A. Obtain a full and detailed testimony from the cliwhat were some of the highlights from those ent and any witnesses or recipients of the activity. cases? B. A home visit and preliminary intake must be conJoe: The vast majority of our cases consist of private residucted within 72 hours following initial contact. This dences and historical landmarks, most of which fall under process involves: the residual and intelligent categories of a haunting. • 1:1 recorded consultation We have very little experience with malevolent or • Functional walk-through diabolic cases, with the exception to the Haunting of • Intake report and assessment Mansfield Mansion and the Bradshaw residence, both of • Risk assessment which have stuck with us indefinitely. • Incident reporting assessment to identify any inju-
Paranormal Underground 17
Investigator Spotlight Q: What type of equipment do you use while investigating, and what methodologies do you utilize? Joe: This is a question that everyone seems to be particularly curious about. The truth of the matter is, the only logical equipment an investigator needs to utilize during an investigation is a camera and a digital or analog recorder, and sometimes a surveillance feed. Sure, P.R.O.O.F. spent a ridiculous amount of money on all the “newest” technologies known to the paranormal community, yet we rarely ever use any of it. Most of the equipment nowadays is for pure show and thrill seekers. Q: What are the best pieces of paranormal evidence that you’ve ever captured? Joe: For me, audio evidence has always been a key factor in determining whether a haunting exists or doesn’t! Spirit photography and video imaging is also an essential piece to evidence gathering and data collection. I have hundreds of photos that depict what could be or may not be proof of life after death, yet when it comes to audio, its concrete and undeniable. If I had to pick “best” evidence, I would have to choose the apparition captured from a local cemetery in the middle of the day. We have several apparitions standing in full, both at night and during the afternoon hours! Q: What are the most common misconceptions about paranormal investigations, or the paranormal, in general?
Joe: One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the supernatural community is that not everything is paranormal. Often times, a “paranormal-like” activity or incident can be explained through the examination of environmental factors. I think another big misconception in the paranormal community is the overwhelming lack in understanding the seriousness of the supernatural and its many diverse complexities. Q: What are the potential dangers of paranormal investigation for investigators, as well as those just “ghost hunting” for fun? Joe: The dangers or potential for danger is high whether you are a professional and seasoned paranormal investigator or a beginner. In most instances, an investigation will conclude with very little to no incident, this referring to activity or para-crisis. Generally speaking, the dangers during an investigation generally occur for three specific reasons: 1. The investigator begins provoking or instigating in order to obtain his/her desired outcome. 2). The investigator is inexperienced and silently, but unknowingly, evokes an unpleasant energy. 3. The investigator does not consider the case to be as serious as initially reported and does not take the necessary precautions to protect one’s self. This happened to me during a case I investigated. Sometimes investigators forget that when investigating the paranormal, you are entering a domain of unpredictability and uncertainty. The dangers of investigating are endless. Q: You had a very dangerous encounter while investigating a home. Can you talk about what happened and how you recovered?
The P.R.O.O.F. team investigates on location.
Joe: While conducting a banishing ritual in a home that I initially considered mildly haunted, I came face to face with a situation that I would have never imagined possible. I encountered my first ever physical attack that later landed me in the hospital with 48 stitches and a diagnosis of PTSD. Unfortunately, in my case, recovery is nowhere in sight; the day of the attack continues to haunt me and is my constant reminder of the seriousness of the paranormal.
Q: How does an encounter like this affect an investigator long term? Joe: It depends on the investigator. Each person is different and when faced with a life altering and traumatic event, depending on that persons experience and level of coping, will determine how one will recover long term. If this question was tailored specifically for me, I would say that the aftereffects of a trauma-focused event stick with you indefinitely, and regardless of what steps you take in recovery, the fear will always linger within you. Q: P.R.O.O.F. recently started a Para-Crisis Program for children and others affected negatively by the paranormal. Can you tell us about the program? Joe: The program entitled “Para-Crisis Recovery & Management” is a unique self-help initiative providing support groups geared in servicing children and families adversely affected by the paranormal or para-crisis. Our support groups provide a safe and judgment-free environment wherein victims of paranormal-related crises can share their experiences in an open forum! There are two current-running programs to date: 1. Para-Crisis Module I: Children Adversely Affected by the Paranormal (CAAP). The CAAP program is geared in helping children understand the diverse complexities surrounding para-crisis and how to effectively overcome their fears of the unknown. CAAP will give children of all ages the open opportunity to share their experiences and discuss possible solutions and helpful strategies with their fellow peers. CAAP program facilitators will provide additional support and resources as the children advance through the program and during the process of CAAP’s para-crisis recovery module. 2. Para-Crisis Module II: Psychic Adolescent Support Services (PASS). The PASS program is a support group that focuses on children and adolescents with extraordinary intuitive abilities. Often times, children and adolescents experiencing such a phenomena feel isolated from their peers and withdrawn from the sense of normalcy. In a large percentage of cases, children and adolescents with these special gifts are often neglected by their friends and family, not because they don’t care, but rather because there is a lack in understanding and knowledge on the subject. The PASS program will afford members the opportunity to speak openly about their gifts with their peers in a judgment-free and supportive environment. The primary mission of the PASS program is to teach children and adolescents the importance of understanding and embrac-
Amanda and one of P.R.O.O.F.’s junior investigators riding in the Willimantic 4th of July Boom Box Parade.
ing their abilities and, in the long term, utilize them to their fullest potential. Q: How can those who need help get involved in the program? Joe: As of right now, our para-crisis support services are limited to residents living in the state of Connecticut or within the New England area. However, as the services become more known to outside communities, we hope to eventually have the resources to provide out-of-state assistance to include traveling facilitators. We do currently offer brochures and informational assistance to children and families living out of the service areas that are dealing with a para-crisis. Q: What investigations do you have upcoming? Joe: We have three private residence investigations, all of which are reported on the intelligent level of interaction. We also have a forensic intake that we are working with. Q: How can our readers find out more about you and PR.O.O.F.? Joe: As of right now, I am working with a private Web designer on a new and improved Website for www.teamproof.com. Facebook/teamproof is the best form of open communication and contact until the development of the new site!
Paranormal Underground 19
Gifted Souls By Kristen Hoffert
hen we hear the term “developmental disability,” we are conditioned to associate that term with impairment, not enrichment. Yet people with developmental disabilities can display remarkable, if not unimaginable, skills. While some children struggle to draw straight lines and are scribbling, there are children with autism drawing threedimensional, realistic pictures beyond what many adults can achieve. These displays of “splinter skills” — specific talents or skills in which they excel — are rare, but raise the question as to what is cognitively at work. Scientifically, people with disabilities are typically measured by their limitations and occasionally for their amazing memory, artistic, or calculation skills. Nonetheless, time and again the accounts of the paranormal by the developmentally disabled are disregarded as unreliable fabrications of overactive imaginations. If we think of developmental disabilities as a special gift like we view other forms of extrasensory perception, then these individuals offer a great deal to the field of paranormal investigation. In the paranormal field, openmindedness plays a key role in investigation, but it is not commonly acknowledged that those with developmental disabilities may have an unseen advantage. In a sense, these individuals are wired differently. The key filtering devices — the brain and sensory systems — are impaired, which eliminates the key enemies of sensitivity to the paranormal. When these walls to the consciousness are breached by some form of damage, individuals may become more accessible to altered states of being and the unknown. Origins of Altered Perceptions Typically, traumatic and near-death experiences are acknowledged to act as triggers for opening the mind to other levels of cognition. What we fail to recognize is that many forms of developmental disabilities result from some kind of trauma to the body, brain, or nervous system before, during, or after birth. Often times, the causes are not known, but the result is the same, an altered filtering system. There have been documented occurrences of brain
injuries leading to heightened sensitivity, and we acknowledge many of these events to be legitimate. So, why is it not possible for those with developmental disabilities to have the same ability? Physical traumas present a unique situation that many would not consider cause for altered perception. The physical body has experienced severe shock, but often the brain appears, at least medically, to be healthy. Many times the brain may appear to have no abnormal processes by such scientific standards, but trauma impacts the brain as well. Although the brain may not have suffered the injury, whenever a traumatic event occurs, cognitively there are repercussions that make the mind more receptive to energies than it was before. Most people seek rationalized evidence for unexplainable occurrences, but there are some that remain unconvinced when all logical possibilities are eliminated. Of course, some skepticism is needed to not be fooled into believing every occurrence is paranormal, but when disbelief is not suspended long enough to explore possibility, it makes perception even more difficult. Much like children, people with developmental disabilities are incredibly receptive to energies, making them much more in tune with their surroundings. Often times, we act under the assumption that if someone with autism does not verbally communicate that they do not comprehend what is said to them and therefore their perception
is damaged. What we fail to acknowledge is that what we believe to be perception is in fact limited. As we age, the daily strains of life take a toll, causing the loss of openness to the unknown. The anxieties of our reality become more than just a source of stress in our lives; instead they act as a suppressant to otherworldly influence, eliminating the sensitivity and awareness that we once possessed as children. Just as children are discouraged from the belief in their imaginary friends as they grow older, many adults discount any acknowledgement of the paranormal. Whatever receptiveness that was once present was lost, but this is not the case for people with altered states of perception. Gifted Souls It has been my experience that the loved ones of someone who is developmentally disabled often seek solace in religion or science. Embracing their chosen faith or medical reasoning, they seek answers to understand what has happened, often failing to acknowledge the unique gift their loved one may possess. These gifted souls have a broadened concept of our reality. Without even realizing it, telepathy, merging energies, phasing thought forms, and being in tune with the unknown can become a part of their existence. Despite all this, we continuously under-utilize and misunderstand those labeled developmentally disabled, because our one dimensional thought processes place limitations on their capabilities. Demonstrations of knowledge of existence before birth, precognition or premonition, and telepathy are widely recognized and documented, but very rarely are these phenomena discussed in terms of those with developmental disabilities. Unfortunately, many times these displays go unnoticed because we fail to realize that there is much more at work than an overactive imagination. In a way, these people have a gift beyond what many of us could comprehend. They are perpetually in a state of awareness, open and in tune with elements beyond our perception. Controversial Treatment In the past, there have been brief conversations about the possibility of paranormal investigation as an unorthodox form of therapy for those with developmental disabilities. Typically, scientists and medical professionals discredited such endeavors, stating that there is no recordable proof of treatment and progress. This, however, may not be entirely true. Although by medical standards there is little noteworthy progress of this form of treatment, it still offers a unique approach to a difficult subject. There is no known cure for a developmental disability, and, often times, treatments offer little improvement. So, what is left when all
options seem to have failed? Often times we desperately seek the quick fix, the end all be all option that is the last resort when everything else has been unsuccessful. But perhaps there is a more valuable option. During my time as a teaching assistant at Ohio State, I encountered a young woman who had a two-year-old daughter that had been plagued with countless health issues. After dozens of tests, the doctors diagnosed her with autism. It was very difficult for her to adjust to her daughter’s condition, and she was extremely worried. When she learned of my interest in the paranormal field, she disclosed to me that her daughter’s behaviors were starting to trouble her. At two years old, this little girl was drawing pictures of the “old lady” that visited her at night that looked like her grandma. Just like most parents, the young mother wrote off her daughter’s claims as an overactive imagination. Finally, she became a believer when unexplained occurrences began in their home. At first it was subtle, things that she ignored, thinking it was just the creaks and squeaks of an old house. Gradually, after months, the events became more blatant — heavy footsteps, moved items, odd shadows at night — making her concerned whenever she left her daughter at home with her grandmother. Finally, the young woman’s mother saw an apparition — a woman standing in the kitchen, dressed in a high-collard dress and grey hair — exactly what the little girl had drawn. After the grandmother became aware of this presence, the activity calmed by all accounts. There were still subtle disturbances, but nothing that impacted their daily life. Once the mother began to understand and believe her daughter, the little girl started developing mild social skills when talking about her experiences. Though this progress may seem minor, what if there is unrecognized potential in these gifted souls? What if we can use paranormal investigation to help these gifted souls just as much as they can help us?
Paranormal Underground 21
Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted Sites
By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research and Paranormal Underground Radio
or more than 600 years, The Galleries of Justice in Nottingham, England, was used for the purposes of law enforcement. First used by the Normans in 1375 CE to house the famous Sheriff of Nottingham, in 1449 it was converted into a prison. For centuries, men, women, and even children were imprisoned and hanged here for every violation of the law, from failure to pay taxes to petty theft. Normans were notorious for having very little tolerance for lawbreakers. If you committed a crime, you would be forced to pay dearly â€” even with life. Today, The Galleries of Justice is a museum. And a 10-year-old can even have a birthday party among the methods and machinery of pain and torture. Although the Galleries stopped taking prisoners many years ago, it has not stopped the specters from its notorious past from making their presence well known. It would seem that the entire building is haunted, yet there are areas that are more active than others. Entrance Hall Over the years, the Entrance Hall has proven to be such a place of terror that many employees, including the cleaning crews, refuse to enter. Those brave enough to enter the Entrance Hall have reported witnessing three very interactive spirits. A soldier is seen marching about the hall. He is said to give anyone who enters the hall a nasty scowl and then vanishes. The other two spirits are that of a kindly gentleman wearing Victorian-era clothing and a mean, old woman who makes it known that she does not want you there. The Courtroom When the galleries were used as a prison, many a criminal met their fate at the hands of swift justice. Others were sent to rot in jail for the rest of their days, or they
were sent to the gallows to be hanged. Many prisoners were handed their fates in the Courtroom, so it should come as no surprise that it is a haunted hotspot in The Galleries of Justice. Large balls of crackling energy have been seen zipping around the room at all hours of the day and night. Large, looming shadows have also been seen. Knocks have been heard on the walls, and screaming and crying have been heard as well, presumably from those sentenced to hang on the gallows. The Caves/Chapel This area of the Galleries is said to be the most haunted place in the building. The Caves/Chapel is home to a very nasty and ill-tempered spirit who has been known to tear a cross from the wall and throw it at those who enter the room. Noises that sound like furniture being moved have been heard, as well as loud bangs on the wall and stones being thrown by an unseen agent. The Galleries of Justice is not a place that takes its hauntings lightly. Museums like those at The Galleries of Justice are places where history and hauntings are kept alive by all those who visit.
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Explore the Unexplained With Hosts Rick Hale & Karen Frazier November 2013
Paranormal Underground 23
Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted Objects/Curses
By Ashley Hall, The Paranormal Guide
bjects age. That is simply a fact. They crack, they peel, they get dusty, and they degrade. This being known, there are still many who believe that the way one strange doll has “aged” is something more, something infinitely creepy — something paranormal. The family in question has never been named due to wanting anonymity, but the story is simple enough. They were an average couple who had children, and on one special occasion they bought their young daughter a regular, run-of-the-mill doll. The doll was loved by the young girl, but as with most toys and children’s possessions, the doll was later largely forgotten as the daughter outgrew it. Eventually, the children moved out and the parents, rather than throw the toys and memories away, decided to store them in the attic. Although the doll had been well played with, it was still in rather good condition when it was placed in a box and forgotten about. About 11 years later, the family was cleaning out the attic when they stumbled across a rather odd-looking doll. The doll was wrinkled and aged, like that of a very old person. The arms were stiff and mummified, wrinkles running along their length. It was when they recognized the clothing and other items in the box that their blood ran cold. It was their daughter’s doll, once baby-faced, it had now aged. Incredibly, it had aged in much the same way a human does. The wrinkles were in the right areas, but it was the eyes that were most haunting. Once those of a doll’s, they now looked human — looking into them, they could almost detect a presence, a wisdom ... a spirit? The family got rid of the doll, and the new owners of the doll soon parted ways with it, giving it to another individual. It is not known where the doll is today or even
what it looks like. There is a bit of debate as to how the doll aged. A few people, doll collectors and the like, say that the plastic or organic material had degraded, a kind of rot. However, many counter those claims with the fact that “doll rot” generally leaves a doll cracked and brittle but not wrinkled like this doll was. Those who take the “paranormal” stance in regards to this curiosity believe it possibly has an attachment. Maybe some entity has taken up residence within the doll, possibly way back when the daughter would still play with it. Or maybe there is someone out there retaining their youth and beauty, well past their “best before” date, as the doll bears the burden of age? (Yes, a throwback to The Picture of Dorian Gray.) Either way, it is a creepy-looking doll and an interesting story. What do you think? Doll rot? Haunted? Something else entirely?
Does it seem impossible to find help with spirit removals? Master Psychic Dave Gerke offers his services to help rid you of Attachments, unwanted Spirit attacks, and/or home invasion. $50 consultant fee required. Serious inquiries only. To set up payment for consultation fees, contact Assistant Stephen Frey at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Dave, check out his writings, including “The Story of a Master Psychic,” “Billy the Kid, Serial Killer, revised,” and other informative writings. For book purchases online, just click the links listed below. Story of a Master Psychic (Adventures, Tales, Happenings, and Tips for Becoming a Master Psychic): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/story-of-a-master-psychic-david-l-gerke/1111725972
Billy The Kid, Serial Killer Revised (Billy’s Own Words of His Killings, Mutilations, and November 2013 Paranormal Underground 25 Loves as Told to Master Psychic): http://www.amazon.com/Billy-The-Kid-Serial-Killer/dp/1478719621
Case Files Of The Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures
Zombies Really Exist in Haiti! By Jill Stefko, Ph.D., Suite 101 Contributing Writer
aitians don’t fear zombies as much as becoming one. A person is given a toxic mixture to induce a coma, “resurrected,” and given another potion to ensure domination. Wade Davis, a Harvard ethno-botanist, went to Haiti to perform zombie research in 1982. He interviewed Clairvius Narcisse, a man, and Ti Femme, a woman, who claimed to be zombies. Both told him how they died, witnessed their own funerals, and how a bokor, Black-Magic Voodoo hougan (priest), woke them. It took Davis months of research talking to hougans to confirm his suspicions that some form of drug was involved in the creation of zombies. How Are Zombies Created? The bokor creates a highly toxic mixture that includes poisonous plants and animals. Dumbcane is added because it harms the larynx, making breathing difficult and vocalizations impossible. The poison is mixed with food to be ingested or placed over an open wound to ensure it gets absorbed into the victim’s bloodstream. The person will lapse into a deep coma-like state so life cannot be detected, then buried before being “resurrected” by the bokor. The victim is aware of what is happening, but cannot react. The zombie is “resurrected” by being force-fed a mixture of sweet potatoes, sugar cane, and Datura stramonium, referred to as zombie’s cucumber. The potion causes disorientation and hallucinations. The bokor gives the zombie a new name and a new life. Confused, the victim follows and totally obeys the bokor and his or her new master. There’s no antidote for the potions, and zombies require little food. Salt is withheld because it’s believed that it can bring back the ability to speak and taste. Voodoo beliefs play an important role.
Modern Zombies Traditionally, zombies worked in fields at night. Some Haitians considered to be zombies lead normal daily lives with families and jobs. Papa Doc Duvallier, former Haitian dictator, reportedly had a private army of tonton macoutes, said to be in trances, who obeyed all commands. He had his own Voodoo church with many followers. Duvallier promised to return after his death; he didn’t return, but a guard was placed at his tomb to ensure that he wouldn’t try to escape and that no one would steal his body. There are stories of people who have died and then returned. A student from Port-au-Prince was shot during a robbery attempt. Six months later, he returned to his parent’s house as a zombie. He said a bokor stole his body from the ambulance and transformed him into a zombie. As time went by, the student lost his ability to communicate, grew increasingly lethargic, and then died. Today, according to Haitian Penal Code Article 249, zombification is illegal. It’s considered a form of attempted murder when a person is given substances to induce a prolonged lethargic coma; it becomes murder when the person has been buried, whether or not she/ he dies.
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Paranormal Underground 27
Case Files Of The Unknown: Are We Alone?
The Zamora Encounter By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research and Paranormal Underground Radio
n April 24, 1964, police officer Lonnie Zamora experienced something completely unexpected. While on patrol on the outskirts of Socorro, New Mexico, Zamora was lying in wait for speeders. Soon enough, a car flew past him at an excessive speed. Zamora flipped on the lights and siren and gave chase. Just as Zamora was about to catch up with the leadfooted speed demon, his attention was drawn out to the desert when he heard a loud, deafening roar and saw a bluish, orange flame shoot into the sky. Thinking that a dynamite shack had exploded and fearing somebody may be hurt, Zamora broke off the chase and drove into the desert in the direction of the explosion. After making it over a steep hill, the area that Zamora was headed for came into view. What he saw was anything but a TNT shack. About 200 yards from Zamora’s position, he saw a strange vehicle. At first he thought it was an upside down car sitting in the middle of the desert. He reported that the vehicle looked oval-shaped with white aluminum foil and an insignia written in a bright red color along the midsection. As Zamora watched, he saw two little men in white coveralls come from behind the vehicle. They acted as if they were taking soil samples with odd-looking equipment. Zamora got in his patrol car and slowly drove toward the odd vehicle. When Zamora got within a few yards, he exited his car. He was about to inquire if the two people needed assistance, but one of the strange men acted as if he was startled by Zamora’s presence. Zamora reported that the two men gathered up their equipment and ran into the vehicle. Zamora watched as a bluish flame shot out from the vehicle and made the same deafening roar that he heard moments before. Zamora, shocked by what he was
In 1964, police officer Lonnie Zamora witnessed a UFO on the outskirts of Socorro, New Mexico. The UFO was witnessed by others, who described it as a white vehicle with a bluish flame flying in the sky.
seeing, took cover behind his car and watched the craft lift into the sky. When he regained his composure, he immediately radioed Nep Lopez, the dispatcher, frantically asking if he could see anything weird in the sky outside his window. By that time Zamora was joined by his commanding officer, Sergeant Chavez. The two men walked to the area where the vehicle was and inspected the scene. They discovered that the sand was fused and glassy around four prints in the ground. It looked like the signs of landing gear. The two men left. Chavez knew his colleague saw something unexplainable, as he had never seen Zamora so shaken. Within hours of Zamora’s encounter, numerous eyewitnesses came forth giving the exact same description of what Zamora had seen in the New Mexico desert. Reporters from the Associated Press and United Press
International arrived to interview the eyewitnesses, who all had the same story. They had witnessed a white vehicle with a bluish flame flying in the sky. The next day, investigators from the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO), a civilian UFO investigation group, and investigators from Project Blue Book arrived in town to interview eyewitnesses, specifically Lonnie Zamora. Zamora was visited at the police station by Captain Richard T. Holder, the ranking officer at the White Sands Missile Range. He was accompanied by Arthur Byrnes, junior FBI agent. When they questioned Zamora, the police man did not think that he saw a UFO. He believed it was an experimental craft from White Sands. Both the Captain and the agent shot down the notion, saying nothing like that existed at White Sands or anywhere else for that matter. If it wasnâ€™t ours, then whose? J. Allen Hynek, consultant for Project Blue Book and hardened skeptic, arrived in Socorro to look into the matter for himself. After interviewing Zamora and the other eyewitnesses, and taking a trip out to the alleged landing site, Hynek was convinced that this may just very well be the site of an alien visitation to our world. After that investigation, Hynek went from hard-
ened skeptic to believer. After the mysterious affair, Zamora refused to do anymore interviews. He passed away in 2009 from heart failure and went to his grave never changing one bit of his story. Over the years many skeptics have attempted to debunk Zamoraâ€™s story. They proposed everything from a high school prank to ball lightening. Two things are certain in this case. One man (Zamora) went to his grave with the truth. The other man (Hynek) went to his grave a believer.
This newspaper clipping reports eyewitness accounts of a UFO in New Mexico.
Paranormal Underground 29
Case Files Of The Unknown: Urban Legends
By Ashley Hall, The Paranormal Guide
ometimes, and I do find this strange, but I get messages asking me if the “Slender Man” is real. I was first asked about this about a year ago, and I really had no idea what the people who had asked were talking about. I did take a quick look and a search for this Slender Man and only came up with Photoshopped images. Surely these manipulated images were not what people were talking to me about? Well, it turns out they were. Every now and then I will receive an image of the Slender Man or a link to a story about this character. And since I received one just the other night, I thought I might take a closer look into Slender Man and the history of how this modern piece of folklore/urban legend came to be. First of all, for those of you who do not know what Slender Man is, here is a brief description: He is very thin (hence the name “slender man”) and quite tall, at times unnaturally so. He has a featureless face, though you can see shadow where his features should be. His attire appears to be that of a dark suit — though his tailor must have nightmares, as sometimes Slender Man is seen with many arms/tentacles. Slender Man likes to stalk people, particularly children, driving them to fear and insanity. Many missing people, supposedly his victims, seem to have Slender Man appear in photos with them. Of course, the victim is not quite aware of this, but he can sometimes be found there in the background, watching the victim or looking directly at the camera. His stalking can go on for months or years, slowly tormenting his chosen prey. As the stalking continues, the victim will begin to suffer from memory loss, insomnia, and paranoia. This is referred to as “slendersickness.” When Slender Man decides the time is right, he will start to get closer to the victim, following them and forcing them into a situation where he can be alone with them,
Slender Man likes to stalk people, particularly children, driving them to fear and insanity.
(though he has been known to take multiple victims at once). From this point on, the prey is doomed. They will know he is close, as Slender Man can cause distortions in electronic equipment. Run all you want, but he will generally get you in the end, as it would seem he can teleport at will. When he gets you, you are gone. There is more to it than that, but that’s the general gist of the story. A thing of pure horror, and nothing worse than being stalked by an unknown entity. There have been many reported sightings and many missing people attributed to Slender Man. And all official law and protective services treat evidence for Slender‘s existence as paranoia and any photo documentation as anomalies in the technology or processing of the images themselves, etc. However, the truth behind Slender Man is that he was part of an elaborate story created for an online contest,
One of the original photos of the Slender Man (see background of photo), originally posted on the Something Awful forums.
from which it went viral. In June 2009, the Something Awful forums launched a contest requiring participants to turn ordinary photographs into something creepy, with supernatural elements, through digital manipulation. One such entrant provided two photographs of groups of children. The entrant had added in a tall, thin entity in a black suit to the background, as if stalking the children. However, as if that was not creepy enough on its own, the entrant went one step further. To add to the creep factor, and to form a background of “legitimacy” to the photos, he added some text to go along with the images: The first: “We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time … 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.” The second: “One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which 14 children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man.” Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986.”
It was the text that really added to the photos and formed a basis for the fiction. The idea of this Slender Man had gone from a few creepy photos to having the starts of a background story. Over the weeks, months, then years, Slender Man became one of the Internet’s most popular pieces of modern folklore. His background story grew, as did the collections of photographs. People began to create “found video” short films, the incredibly popular Marble Hornets series began, and games were created where you were to avoid Slender Man at all cost. Those games proved to be so popular that “reaction” videos of people playing the game were filmed and posted online, quickly becoming very popular. Stories surrounding Slender Man continue to pop up, along with new images and videos. Elaborate stories and Websites have been created as the mythos, this “fakelore,” evolves and becomes more “real” in the eyes of those who read it. For those who stumble upon a decently realized Website on Slender Man and do not know of the origins to the story, it can all seem too real. Real to the point that some people question whether Slender Man is a work of fact or fiction.
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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History
Hollymont Haunting: As Good As It Gets: Part 2 By Dr. Barry Taff, http://barrytaff.net/ For Part 1 of this article, see our October 2013 issue.
hinking that the case was now in a waning mode, we were really shocked when approximately two months later, the neighbor to the immediate east, Dexter Grey, who was renovating that house for his sister, made an interesting discovery associated with the Jolly home. He accidentally discovered that one of the built-in bookshelves pushed inward, revealing a secret passageway leading beneath the basement of the house. Apparently, several of the homes on that particular hill were connected by a subterranean passageway dating back to the prohibition era. In all likelihood, liquor was run through it. While Grey was exploring this tunnel with his girlfriend and a neighbor, they found the remains of an old, makeshift grave with an engraved headstone that read Regina. The inscribed date of death was 1922. However, to the best of our knowledge, the Coroner’s Office was never contacted, nor were the remains, if any, exhumed. Interestingly, the Jolly house was built in 1924! Perhaps someone was using that plot of land as a cemetery plot? A Strange Case of Apportation The last occurrence in this case was one of high strangeness indeed. Just before we abandoned the house prior to the new tenants moving in, we left a note on NPI/ UCLA stationary informing the new residents that their house was haunted and if they wanted us to continue our investigation (free of charge, of course) to contact us directly by telephone. Several weeks later, I received a peculiar phone call from a young lady who lived several miles east of the Hollymont house. She asked if I was the author of a note
Strange occurrences took place inside this Hollywood Hills house, including objects moving on their own, apportation, sightings of full-bodied apparitions, etc.
she found stuck to the inside door of her bedroom closet at home. Somehow, the note I had left on the inside of the kitchen cupboard ended up in someone else’s closet many miles away who had absolutely no relationship to the old or new owners of the house. I’ve heard of apports, but this was ridiculous. Revisiting the Hollymont House On several occasions throughout the 1980s, I was able to re-visit the Hollymont house, once in October 1986 for the syndicated TV show Two On the Town. At that time, three gay men were sharing the house. Their experiences were consistent with those of Don Jolly, others, and myself. However, there was one particular aspect regarding their encounters that was unique. Apparently, the ghost in the Hollymont house may have been homophobic. Phe-
nomena only occurred when straight men or heterosexual couples were over, never when the three men were there which each other or their significant others. Since 1986, after one of the men died of AIDS and the others moved, there have been many different occupants residing in the Hollymont house. Various rooms are frequently rented out to different people. From time to time we have had sporadic contact with individuals living within the house and learned that phenomena still occurs. Unfortunately, the new tenants would not give us permission to continue our investigation. Until now, that is. Recent Investigations at the Hollymont House I have had occasional contact with Dexter Grey in the last 15 years, and, if he is to be believed, his house is almost as haunted as Jolly’s, although we never experienced any phenomena there. According to Grey, he has had numerous guests over the years who were so terrified by strange sounds and apparitions that they fled in the middle of the night. However, I personally question Grey’s credibility and memory because his apparent obsession of promoting and publicizing his haunted house is a little too important to him. He’ll apparently talk to anyone within earshot about events transpiring in his house and provides copies of “ancient” tabloid stories regarding paranormal events within his house to literal strangers walking in front of his home. Think about the fallout such random disclosure could have on your life. Would you want to tell the whole world about such occurrences in your home? In late summer 2008, we (Jack Rourke and this author) trekked up to Hollymont to show the location to a producer friend, Mark Downie, visiting from New York. While we were all speaking in front of the property, Jack (a gifted Los Angeles psychic who had been working with us for several years) turned to this author and asked if there was a river running under the property. My reply was that I knew nothing of the subterranean features of this area. Shortly thereafter, we were fortunate to meet one of the 6221 house’s new tenants, who invited us in. While walking up the steeply inclined stairway, Jack started feeling dizzy and nauseous, unaware that this author was having the exact same reaction at precisely the same moment, walking just several steps ahead of him. The house looked pretty much the same as it did in 1976, although now badly in need of restoration. There had been substantial remodeling of the kitchen, though, which now extends into the area that was once the pantry, where pennies once fell from nothingness decades earlier. In October 2008, we (Barry Conrad, Paul Clemens, Todd and Annie Fariss, Laurie Jacobson, Alex Mistretta,
Jack Rourke, and this author) returned to 6221 Hollymont on an investigation for the first time in more than 25 years. A local businessman by the name of Abdi Manavi now owns this fascinating house and was very gracious in allowing us access to his residence, given that he didn’t know any of us. Abdi is what I call a true gentleman. Abdi (knowing a great deal of what transpired on his property three decades earlier) casually spoke of recent paranormal events, such as books flying off shelves, disembodied voices, chandeliers swinging from no apparent cause, items disappearing and reappearing (apports), numerous light bulbs being removed from their sockets and left in a neatly formed triangular pile on the ground floor, and the very rare apparition of a young woman, whom Abdi believes to be Regina, whose body, allegedly, still remains buried beneath the house. Perhaps the most intriguing information Abdi spoke of was his belief that the ghost or presence seemed to be very reactive to skeptics, in that the more skeptical guests
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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History were regarding such phenomena, the more responsive the phenomenon was. Abdi’s belief is very interesting, in that it might help explain why this particular house was so very volatile during this author’s initial investigation during the mid70s, as the Los Angeles Times’ reporter and the KTTV news camera crew with their reporter Psychic Jack Rourke (Connie Fox) were extremely skeptical, as was their nature. The underground tunnel, within which Regina’s remains allegedly still reside, has long since collapsed due to the frequent earthquake activity in the Southern California area since 1976. The tunnel would have to be excavated and shored up before anyone could safely enter it again. One major difference in this current investigational visit was that we brought our suite of instruments to measure the environment. Back in 1976, portable, handheld instrumentation to measure the Earth’s geomagnetic field, electromagnetic (EM) fields, ion concentration and density, ULF/ELF EM spectrum analyzer, temperature and humidity were only science-fiction pipe dreams in the minds of parapsychologists. In spite of our strong expectations given the 1976 investigation, we were not prepared for what we were about to learn. By checking on the US Geological Survey (USGS) Website, we discovered that several earthquake faults intersect almost directly under Abdi’s home. New Discoveries Are Made at Hollymont Adding even more fuel to our anticipation was additional USGS data indicating that a shallow river runs beneath the homes on this side of this particular hill, precisely as Jack Rourke had sensed. What a coincidence! I knew there was a reason I wanted to work with Jack, and I guess I was right. Jack is the only psychic I’ve ever worked with due to his emotional grounding, intellect, healthy ego, and comprehensive knowledge of clinical psychology and the paranormal, coupled with an intense desire to learn. This man knows more about clinical psychology than this author forgot over the decades. This psychically gifted young man is a steadfast seeker of truth and knowledge in his insatiable quest to understand and improve the quality of life. Most, if not all, of the psychics I’ve met prior to Jack, and there has been thousands, had one disturbing trait in common (besides being emotionally unstable with borderline personalities and frequently dissociative), which was
very unnerving and a little frightening to this author. That most disturbing characteristic was that everything they did (psychically, that is) was about them. Their continual reference to “I” was indicative of pretentious egomania, almost never about improving the human condition through acquired knowledge. About the only improving these “gifted” individuals were after was that of their wallet or purse size. What made and makes such a person intolerable to this author is their overt sense of self-righteousness combined with incredible ignorance and arrogance. A dysfunctional combination of qualities, to be sure. Jack possesses not even a trace of these less-than-desirable behavioral qualities. In true science, there is no such thing as “I,” as it is not about the people; it is about the advancement of the human race through what we learn and how we apply it. Decades earlier, this author briefly worked with another psychic. However, there is one caveat here, she was my girlfriend at the time. And although truly gifted, she had an emotional meltdown due to an intense trauma she suffered. Back in Hollywood Hills, perhaps it was the aforementioned geophysical forces underlying the Hollymont
The more that skeptical guests were regarding such phenomena, the more responsive the phenomena was. property that made Jack and this author mildly disoriented while ascending the stairway on our prior visit? Well, at least we now know where the energy comes from that possibly feeds and sustains the paranormal activity in Abdi’s house over the years. But why did we not again feel ill during this most recent visit? Probably because these geophysical forces are in a constant state of flux and therefore will not always exert the same physical effects every time one is present. Given this, it was certainly unfortunate that even in the face of such extraordinary accumulated evidence as cited above, every one of our instruments read the environment as “normal,” as there did not appear to be anything unusual or anomalous about this location at that particular moment in time. However, we do know that such geophysical forces wax and wane over time due to numerous factors, none of which are predictable or controllable. A Respected Historian Joins the Investigation Laurie Jacobson, author of Hollywood Haunted, showed up about two hours after the rest of us. Only
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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History then did anything seemingly paranormal begin to occur. Maybe it was the sheer presence of a particularly unique lady? Or, maybe it was the fact of Laurie’s being a wellrespected Hollywood Author Laurie Jacobson historian who’s been very interested in this particular case for decades. In point of fact, Laurie dedicated an entire chapter of her aforementioned book to this specific house and case. In the end, who knows? When we ventured upstairs with Laurie, it felt as if we were in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, where the atmospheric pressure was well above normal, that of 14.7 pounds per-square-inch. It was actually quite painful to this author, as well as to several others. This sense of overpressure is commonly associated with certain “haunted” environments and is frequently felt as pressure around the head, ears, mastoid region, and neck. It felt like being at the bottom of a very deep swimming pool or scuba diving a little too deep for comfort. Suddenly, the chandelier in the small, front, southern bedroom began to swing on its own. While Paul Clemens was videotaping that action, he captured a large luminous anomaly that was not visible to the naked eye. There was no wind, and the anomaly looked very different than what some commonly refer to as an “orb,” which for the most part is explainable as tiny particulates or what’s more commonly referred to as dust (which is everywhere) being illuminated by bright light sources at specific angles. This anomaly was definitely not dust. While Barry Conrad was shooting with one of his cameras into Abdi’s bedroom, a large, bright, red luminous anomaly was recorded that, once again, was not visible to any of us. And still, the sense of overpressure lingered. Then, as suddenly as it began, the events ceased. Once again, things unfortunately returned to normal. The hour was late, and we decided to call it an evening, but not before thanking Abdi for his hospitality and asking him to keep a journal or log of events as best he could in the hope of discerning a pattern to the phenomena transpiring in his home. As I was packing up our Pelican instrument case, I noticed what appeared to be an unusual marking on the bottom of it. Upon examination, it looked as if someone, or something, had carved a bizarre shape into the case. Closer scrutiny of the carving depicted a large, backwards “R” (a lazy “R”?) as in Regina! What? There definitely was not any such physical damage of the case
when we arrived at Abdi’s, but there was when we were about to depart. Hmm. If the carving didn’t appear as a backwards “R,” that in itself would still be very interesting, especially as these Pelican cases are very strong and durable, not prone to being easily damaged. The only other time this case was damaged was in 2005 when something very sharp tore into the middle and backward underside of the case while on another investigation. Those marks were very distinctive and looked as if a wild animal had torn into the case’s belly, which was all the while resting upon a soft sofa top where that type of damage could not have occurred. What Caused the Extreme Paranormal Activity at Hollymont? Maybe what the Hollymont location requires to bring it back up to the frequency and magnitude of phenomena it displayed in 1976 is a collection of much younger people (with their concomitant high-energy nervous systems, glandular systems, and emotions) attending such an investigation.
Did Regina’s spirit cause the damage to our instrument case by carving a backwards “R” into it? When the 6221 Hollymont house was under investigation in 1976, other than Don Jolly, the property’s owner, who was 33 at the time, I was perhaps the oldest person present, all of 27. This time around, this author was only … well let’s just say a lot older. You do the math this time, for when I think about the passage of years, it’s somewhat depressing. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun? The real question now is: Did Regina’s spirit cause the damage to our instrument, which just happens to be in the shape of a backwards “R”? Many questions, but as yet, no real answers. Hopefully, we will return again to this fascinating Hollymont home when feasible. The sad news is that this house is once again up for sale, as its condition has deteriorated so severely over the decades from water damage, earthquakes, a sinking foundation, mysterious fires, etc., that it might not be worth restoring at any price. This brings up the thought that if said property is demolished, will the vacant lot or any new house experience the same types of paranormal events as the current one? Only time and patience will tell.
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.
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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted Hospitality
The Congress Plaza Hotel By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research and Paranormal Underground Radio
hicago is a very special kind of city that boasts great nightlife, great food, and beautiful architecture. It’s even the city that spawned the country’s first serial killer, HH Holmes. Chicago’s got it all, including ghosts. When the 1893 World’s Fair came to Chicago, the city planners needed to build a hotel that would house the attendees of the Columbian Expo, so the Congress Plaza Hotel was built. The Congress, as the locals call it, is a beautifully appointed hotel and features luxurious accommodations for those traveling to the Windy City. One of the most famous guests of the hotel was none other than Chicago’s crown prince of crime, Al Capone — the powerful leader of the Southside mob and the man who thumbed his nose at prohibition and left a trail of bodies to prove it. In a city that has seen the best of times and the worst of times, it should come as no surprise that the place is crawling with the spirits of the dead. And the Congress Plaza Hotel is perhaps the most haunted location in a city that was built on booze, bullets, and babes. If you speak to the management of the Congress, they deny that their establishment is haunted by numerous lost souls. The staff, on the other hand, have a much different story to tell. On many occasions, staff have witnessed a spirit they affectionately call Peg Leg Johnny. He is the spirit of a homeless man that was believed to have been murdered on the premises back in the early days of the hotel. Johnny has been witnessed in various areas of the hotel. He doesn’t really say much, and some investigators believe he is nothing more than a psychic imprint. However, a few employees who have encountered old Peg Leg Johnny have reported him looking in their general direction with a nod of his head. If you should happen to stay at the Congress, strike up a conversation with the security staff. On the night watch, security personnel have reported what sounds like
The Congress Plaza Hotel is home to a haunted ballroom, a ghost affectionately nicknamed Peg Leg Johnny, and a phantom gloved hand that sticks out of the structure’s walls.
a party coming from the grand ballroom. As they pass by, they hear the sounds of laughter, music, and a ghostly toast being presented with clinking glasses and all. When they enter the ballroom, they find nothing. No party. No revelers. Just an empty room. Not all ghosts are partygoers or the apparition of a homeless man. The Congress Hotel boasts one the strangest hauntings that I have ever heard of. The Hand of Mystery, a gloved hand that sticks out from the walls of the hotel. The gloved hand is said to belong to a workman who got dry walled into the structure. There really is no historical proof that such a horrible way to die ever actually happened, but people have claimed to see the hand nevertheless. If you should come to Chicago, and you’re looking for ghosts at the city’s many haunted locations, might I suggest you start with The Congress Plaza Hotel.
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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted Cemeteries
Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery By Deborah Lantz, www.facebook.com/yourspiritbeacon
n the heart of downtown Columbus Ohio is a well-kept secret, a Confederate prisoner of war camp that was established during our own country’s war between the states. Originally, Camp Chase was established as a training camp for the Union Army. Today, it’s a cemetery. The History of Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, there was an enormous outpouring of volunteers. If you lived in Central Ohio at this time you would have been sent to Columbus Ohio. Tent cities were established to house all these young and eager volunteers, anywhere open land was available, including Goodale Park, located in Columbus Ohio. The state of Ohio soon realized that it would need to organize, so in 1861 Camp Chase was formed, named after the Governor of Ohio at that time, Salmon P. Chase. The camp produced the first two Ohio infantry regiments organized for the war. These units were shortly dispatched to Washington, D.C., to protect the capitol. All this happened only several days after President Lincoln called for volunteers. Ohio’s governor sent other units to Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, to help defend Ohio’s Southern border from possible Confederate attack. Camp Chase’s recruits were not at the camp for long. They were quickly trained and poorly prepared before they were shipped off to war. Many of these young men had never left their home towns, and many of them would never see home again. During the early part of 1861, the camp saw thousands of Union soldiers pass through its gates during this terrible war, freshly trained and sent off to battle. It was in November 1861 that Camp Chase was converted to a prisoner of war camp to house Confederate captives. There were 160 buildings at this time, but most of the prisoners of war were housed in tents. The camp was roughly six acres of land, and it was in essence its own small city. Over 25,000 Southern prisoners were confined there during the war. It is interesting to note that during the early part of the
war, Southern officers were treated exceptionally well at the Camp. They were permitted to leave the confines of camp to dine or even spend the night in Columbus, as long as they promised to return. The regular enlisted men were not afforded such luxuries. The camp even offered tours to its Columbus residents willing to pay a small fee. This practice was short-lived due to the deteriorating quality of life at camp, as the war raged on much longer than anticipated. The Southern officers right to leave camp was shortly revoked as well. The Hauntings at the Cemetery A cemetery was originally established at the Camp at the end of 1863. When Camp Chase closed in July 1865, three months after the war ended, more than 100,000
A Camp Chase Prisoner’s Letter The following letter was published in the Avalanche newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee. It was written by Mr.
A.J. Morey, who escaped from prison and later wrote about his time spent at Camp Chase: “Having made my escape from the Federal prison located near Columbus, Ohio, I deem it due to the 240 brave but unfortunate Southern men whom I left incarcerated there on the 29th of October last to make known to the South and to the world the suffering and indignities to which they are subjected by their inhuman jailers. “It will be remembered that Columbus is in a very cold country. The winter winds blow fiercely from those Northern fresh-water lakes over the State of Ohio and Camp Chase prison receives its full share of the chilling blasts. Yet while I was prisoner there, including the month of October, when the weather was very rainy and cold, no fires were allowed in the prison to warm the half naked and shivering prisoners. Promises were made from time to time by the subordinate officers that the prison should be warmed either by stoves or by a steam-heating apparatus but up to the 29th day of October no steps had been taken looking to that end. To add to the discomfort of the poor prisoners the wretched shanties, their only shelter, leaked badly, keeping the floors, their only bed, and even their scanty bed clothing soaked with water. This treatment of human beings by those calling themselves Christians is unparalleled. “The food furnished the prisoners, with the exception of the bread, was of the most inferior kind and in insufficient quantities for the sustenance of the famishing men. The pork was absolutely rotten. But the great complaint was the difficulty in obtaining enough wood to cook the half-spoiled and scanty meal, only five small sticks per day being allowed for a mess of twenty-five men and that often not furnished until away in the night, leaving the men starving for want of their scanty meals during the entire day. It is but justice to the ladies of Columbus to say that they offered to furnish comfortable beds and bedding for us but were denied the privilege by the commandant because he said it was not permitted by the orders. When these kind-hearted ladies visited us in our vile prison and beheld our wretched condition they involuntarily burst into tears. They gave us all they were permitted to bestow — their sympathy and tears. “I do not whine nor ask the sympathies of any one. I am loose from Yankee despotism and with my musket in one hand and the black flag of extermination to the foe in the other I intend to avenge my own and my country’s wrongs.” The Cemetery (2900 Sullivan Ave., Columbus 43204) is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis Day (June 3). For more information about the Cemetery, contact Dayton National Cemetery at 937-262-2115.
Union troops had passed through the camp, as well as 25,000 Confederate prisoners. The camp was destroyed and the cemetery left in disrepair. In 1894, Union veteran Colonel Knauss set out to improve the grounds. It wasn’t until 1902 that a new wall was built to enclose the cemetery, and a memorial arch was also added. While the boulder underneath the arch reads, “2260 Confederate Soldiers of the War 1861-1865 Buried in this Enclosure,” official records cite an estimate of 2,168 remains in 2,122 gravesites. The cemetery is currently overseen by Dayton National Cemetery. After such chaos, tragedy, and death, it should be no surprise that spirits still reside at the Cemetery. Soldiers died on the land from hunger, abuse, and diseases like Smallpox. The paranormal activity described at the cemetery includes sightings of full-bodied apparitions, disembodied voices and footsteps, and frequent sightings of a female spirit deemed the Lady in Gray. According to legend, the Lady is Louisiana Rainsburgh Briggs, who searches for her lost love, Benjamin F. Allen, a private in the 50th Tennessee Regiment, Company D. The Lady has been described as wearing a grey traveling suit from the Civil War time period, complete with a grey veil worn over her face. She has been seen weeping over Private Allen’s grave. His grave number is 233. She has been seen by multiple tour guides and paranormal groups. War is tragedy and the sight of a woman weeping for her loved one for 150 years is a perfect example of the horrors of war. It is a great sadness that surrounds war. Wives, sweethearts, children, mothers, and fathers, all left without their loved one. Perhaps that is the reason why Camp Chase is considered so haunted. That energy of longing for one’s loved one and longing for home.
Paranormal Underground 41
Katie’s Conspiracy Corner
Mind Control By Katie Christopher, NEPA Paranormal’s Ghost Detectives
The purpose of this article is to educate readers on the facts behind some of the most popular and controversial paranormal conspiracy theories. 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. You will be given details and theories about each topic, and in the end, it is for you to decide what you believe. Please e-mail me at KatiesConspiracyCorner@yahoo. com with any questions or topic suggestions.
hat is Mind Control? Wikipedia defines it as a process in which a group or individual “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated.” It is also commonly referred to as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, thought control, or thought reform. Mind control applies to any situation where any process is used to take away one’s control over their own thinking, emotions, or actions. This is done to an individual who is completely mentally stable and often times results in permanent mental and physical damage. Mind control is probably most well known to be used as a means of torturing prisoners of war. During the Korean War, Chinese soldiers were said to have used mind-control tactics to force their prisoners to accept the new Chinese social system. It was also effective in preventing prisoners from escaping. Tactics of sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, psychological harassment, and even physical abuse were used. It was later proven that these methods did succeed in a result of American troops making anti-American statements; however, it also proved that many American troops went along with what they needed to say and do only to avoid further torture.
Another well-known area of mind control is religious persuasion, specifically with cult activity. Cults use mind control by means of fear and intimidation. They wear down a person by convincing them first of their authority and respect, and then begin to wear a person down by convincing them terrible things will happen to them and their families if they leave the cult. They continue to push these ideas, playing on the weakness of the individual. They intimidate their followers into believing they are more powerful and knowledgeable than they really are until the person actually believes leaving will cause serious harm to themselves and those they care most about. Government Mind Control: MKUltra So what does all of this have to do with conspiracies? This is not a concept that needs to be proven or disproved, because it is clear it is a real and effective form of torture. This month’s conspiracy will focus on government mind control. Not in the event of a war as history has shown us, but on our own American citizens. One conspiracy theory states that it happens all the time as
MKUltra developed mindcontrol drugs for use against U.S. citizens and the Soviet Bloc. a means of quieting radicals who speak out against the government, or even to train individuals on the ideals our government wants them to have. Let’s take a look at some facts surrounding these accusations. Perhaps the most documented and chilling area of government mind control revolves around the CIA and their project MKUltra. MKUltra started in the early 1950s and was an operation in the CIA focusing on experiments
with behavioral engineering of humans. The project went on until 1973 when it was officially halted and soon after investigated and brought before the Supreme Court. Some individuals involved were even accused of destroying files of patients, forcing the court to rely almost solely on individual testimony. Years later, the little documentation available was declassified and is a matter of public record available for anyone to read. During its operation, MKUltra was undertaken by many organizations, including colleges, prisons, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. These institutions served as the front runners for the project, with only privileged individuals knowing of the CIA involvement. According to the Supreme Court, MKUltra was “concerned with the research and development of chemical, biological, and radiological materials capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior.” The program consisted of some 149 subprojects, which the Agency contracted out to various universities, research foundations, and similar institutions. At least 80 institutions and 185 private researchers participated. Because the Agency funded MKUltra indirectly, many of the participating individuals were unaware that they were dealing with the Agency. The official purpose of MKUltra was to develop mind-control drugs for use against US citizens and the Soviet Bloc. This may have been a result of similar methods used by the Soviets and Chinese during the Korean War.
The CIA desperately wanted access to these methods for their own prisoners, with specific interest in foreign leaders, namely Fidel Castro. Sadly, the bulk of testing throughout the project was done without the individual’s knowledge or consent.
MKUltra Mind Control Methods MKUltra involved the use of many methods to manipulate people’s mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, and various forms of torture In a document revealed after the project was stopped, the main methods and forms of torture used throughout the MKUltra experiments were as follows: 1. Substances that promoted illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public. 2. Substances that increased the efficiency of mentation and perception. 3. Materials that caused the victim to age faster/slower in maturity. 4. Materials that promoted the intoxicating effect of alcohol. 5. Materials that produced the signs and symptoms of recognized diseases in a reversible way so that they may be used for malingering, etc. 6. Materials that caused temporary/permanent brain
Paranormal Underground 43
Katie’s Conspiracy Corner
damage and loss of memory. 7. Substances that enhanced the ability of individuals to withstand privation, torture, and coercion during interrogation and so-called “brain-washing.” 8. Materials and physical methods that produced amnesia for events preceding and during their use. 9. Physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use. 10. Substances that produced physical disablement, including paralysis of the legs, acute anemia, etc. 11. Substances that produced a chemical that can cause blisters. 12. Substances that altered personality structure in such a way that the tendency of the recipient to become dependent upon another person was enhanced. 13. A material that caused mental confusion of such a type that the individual under its influence found it difficult to maintain a fabrication under questioning. 14. Substances that lowered the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts. 15. Substances that promoted weakness or distortion of the eyesight or hearing faculties, preferably without permanent effects. 16. A knockout pill that was surreptitiously administered in drinks, food, cigarettes, as an aerosol, etc., which was safe to use, provided a maximum of amnesia, and was suitable for use by agent types on an ad hoc basis. 17. A material that was surreptitiously administered by the above routes and which in very small amounts made it impossible for a person to perform physical activity. A Mad Scientist at Work? As the experiment went on, testing also began outside the United States. It is said this was done to avoid being tried within our country should there be repercussions from the
experiment. One gentleman particularly involved in this portion of the experiment was Donald Ewen Cameron. Cameron served as president of the American Psychiatric Association from 1952-1953. His studies worked toward curing schizophrenia by erasing existing memories and reprogramming them. Cameron began work with MKUltra in 1957. During his involvement with MKUltra, he commuted from Albany, New York, to Montreal to conduct his research at the Allan Memorial Institute. He conducted experiments with LSD, as well as several other paralytic drugs. He also used electroconvulsive therapy at 30-40 times the normal level. He would put patients in drug-induced comas for weeks at a time, up to three months for one patient. While they were in these comas, he would play tapes with a loop of white noise and simple statements. These experiments were done on unknowing patients admitted to the institute for simple psychiatric disorders. Most suffered unparalleled damage, including incontinence, amnesia, forgetting how to talk, forgetting their parents and loved ones, thinking their parents and loved ones were the people who performed the experiment instead of Cameron, permanent psychological damage, and even death. Cameron also headed the MKUltra Subproject 68. According to an article in Nexus Magazine, the methods of this experiment were “a combination of particularly intensive electroshock, intensive repetition of prearranged verbal signals, partial sensory isolation, and repression of
Hallucinogenic drugs were regularly used on patients, and they spent long periods in the “sleep room.” the driving period carried out by inducing continuous sleep for seven to 10 days at the end of the treatment period.” During research on sensory deprivation, Cameron used curare to immobilize his patients. After one test he noted: “Although the patient was prepared by both prolonged sensory isolation (35 days) and by repeated depatterning, and although she received 101 days of positive driving, no favorable results were obtained.” Hallucinogenic drugs were regularly used on patients, and they spent long periods in the “sleep room.” They also were subjected to testing in the Radio Telemetry Laboratory, which was built under Cameron’s direction. At the Lab, patients were exposed to a range of RF and electromagnetic signals and monitored for changes in behavior. Staff members who had worked at the Institute during this time later revealed that not one patient sent to the Radio Telemetry Lab showed any signs of improvement afterwards.
Paranormal Underground 45
Katie’s Conspiracy Corner They were now certain Olsen was murdered to keep The Fallout From MKUltra him quiet. Unfortunately, the case was dismissed largely When MKUltra was shut down after thousands had because of the original accepted settlement. Where is participated, most unwillingly, many deaths occurred. the accountability? Others lost complete mental stability, never to be the So what does this project have to do with the present? same again. Deaths were ruled as suicides, and every Today, the CIA swears MKUltra efforts have stopped excuse was used to cover it up. But due to the nature of since the time they were shut down. Many believe that the the experiments, and the fact that the records from the same operation runs under a different acronym. Victor project were intentionally destroyed, the full impact of the Marchetti who worked for the CIA for 14 years has been project may never be known. quoted several times as saying that to the present day the One death in particular that stands out is that of CIA continues researching mind control and conducting Frank Olsen, a U.S. Army biochemist and biological the same experiments as used during MKUltra. He also weapons researcher. Olsen was the Chief of Special Operspecifically states that the claim ations at Fort Detrick and quit of MKUltra shutting down was his job days before his death. Olsen was given LSD drugs only a cover story to stop the According to his family, he quit without consent and died masses from panicking, but it because he did not agree with suspiciously days later. is now done on a much more the work being done there. He classified level. felt it was morally wrong. His family said he told them of his involvement in Concluding Opinion the development of assassination materials for the CIA, I think the facts here speak for themselves. It is a experimentation with biological weapons in populated armatter of public record that our own government has eas, collaboration with former Nazi-scientists, LSD mind done mind-control experiments on unknowing and control research, the use of anthrax during the Korean unwilling innocent citizens. Many of those people are War, the use of psychoactive drugs during interrogations, either dead or forever changed in a mental stupor. This and research with Project ARTICHOKE and MKDelta, is downright horrifying. Our leaders are supposed to which were mind control experiments similar to but preprotect our citizens and make decisions in our best interceding MKUltra. est. This is what we trust them to do when we vote and Olsen was given LSD drugs without consent and died elect those in power. How is it OK for our people to be suspiciously days later. He was only told after ingestion treated this way? what he was given. The official report is that the doctor I know the official reason for the experiment was to who was watching Olsen had fallen asleep, and Olsen develop methods to use on enemy leaders and prisoners, jumped from a 13-story window to his death. It was rebut it was also stated it was to be used on U.S. citizens ported as a suicide. It was said Olsen had suicidal tendenwho would likely be considered traitors or terrorists. That cies prior to ingesting the drugs, which were not taken into opens up a whole new discussion because that definition account. The LSD magnified these tendencies and caused is so broad. The laws in place regarding terrorism are him to go through with suicide. The man who gave him so loosely defined that I myself could be considered a the drugs was “reprimanded.” terrorist just for the opinions I write in this article alone. Olsen’s family believed he was intentionally given the I certainly don’t think I’ve done anything that would wardrugs and murdered because of the classified information rant I be tortured in this nature. he had. They felt that once he left his job, the CIA was Personally, I am appalled by the things I found reafraid he would leak the information. The family continsearching this topic. I do believe these methods are used ued to push for justice, and in 1994, forensic evidence was on foreign enemies, but I also believe the methods are discovered that posed a potential conflict in the official abused. There are so many people out there who disagree death report. It was enough to have Olsen’s body exwith government ideas and theories who are more than humed. Upon examination and autopsy, cranial injuries willing to speak up. There are also many documented were discovered, which proved Olsen was struck in the disappearances, accidents, and suicides of these same head and knocked out before he exited the window. His people, just as Frank Olsen met his end. death was officially ruled as a homicide. Is it possible that these inhumane methods are used The family was given a $750,000 settlement at as a means of silencing these individuals? The facts are Olsen’s time of death, but in 2012, they filed an official here, and the rest is for you to decide. suit against the U.S. government for his wrongful death.
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Inside the Psychic Mind
Honoring the Requests of the Spirits By William Becker, Paranormal Insights
s a psychic, one of the big responsibilities I feel that I have is to honor the requests of the entities I encounter who ask that I tell their stories. One night I was walking along an old wagon road that had been part of the route settlers had used to head south from the end of the Oregon Trail to points further down the Willamette Valley and on to California. The area had been a major seasonal and year-round camping area for many of the Native American tribes, not only from the area, but from hundreds of miles away. It was also the area where pioneers made repairs to their wagons and stocked up with water for the continuation of their journey. As I was walking, I felt someone pull at my pants leg. A bit further, I had a very uneasy feeling. I don’t get those uneasy feelings often when working with the paranormal. I stopped to see who was around. It was a large group of Native Americans. They wanted their stories told, and they wanted me to tell them, but not to hang around while they told me! One of the great things about psychic communication is that it is often easy to get a long story quickly. I hear and see the story inside me. Thus, long periods of history can make their impression in just a few minutes. That was important in this case! A Story Told to Me Psychically The area had been a scene of violence and disease for some time before the white settlers came. Disease preceded the settlers — coming with the trappers and spreading among the tribes. Also, there was competition for the resources of the area. One local tribe held the best areas for hunting, gathering, and fishing — camas ovens are still found in the area because there was so much food gathering going on. Weakened by illness and death, a tribe from nearby
During a long walk one night, I was given a message by spirits of the Native American tribes who used to live in the area. They asked me to tell their story to others.
attacked and displaced the locals for a brief time before they regained their territory. These were not friendly little touch-your-enemy battles. These were battles of life and death, and many died. All of this is part of the historic record (though not well known and not talked about), and it is also part of what they were telling and showing me. What follows is not part of any historical records I’ve seen, but is part of what they showed me. There was also inner tribal violence, theft, and other crimes. Murder did happen. One tribal member would steal from another. This was particularly true after the tribes had been badly diminished. There had always been some of this activity, but it seemed as though there was a sort of decline in values and morality as survival became more precarious and people and communities became weaker. It became more of an individualistic settlement in some ways, instead of a community surviving together. Many mothers allowed me to see and experience the
grief they held for their lost children. Men were full of society fell victim to itself and outside forces and lost its sorrow, and many also full of shame for what their societway. They wanted the truth about what really happened ies had become and how badly they had deteriorated. to be made known, and to tell the world the dangers for They grieved for their lost friends and loved ones, and everyone when a people is denigrated, marginalized, they grieved for the lost soul of abused, and treated as other. the community and of so many They wanted the affects of These Native American souls individuals. They grieved for violence to be made known — aren’t trapped. Their energy, what they had become. affects to both the victim and the victimizers. Everyone loses, thoughts, and emotions are The Entities Wanted Their and everyone is dehumanized. implanted into the land. Story Told For those of you who are Some of the overly proud worried that these are poor only wanted me to tell the stories of what white man’s trapped spirits, they aren’t. What is there is the energy, diseases and wars and treachery had done to them. And thoughts, and emotions the people implanted into the the white settlers had done a great deal. They abused and land with their lives. It’s a consciousness and intellect, used the native peoples in many ways. They didn’t honor but not a trapped soul. I think a few souls did come to bargains, and they stole land and goods. So many, but not visit to help articulate the stories, but that is all, and they all by any means, killed, robbed, pillaged, and burned, didn’t linger. and treated the natives as sub-human. I find these experiences to be very humbling and a The majority of these entities, though, had a larger great honor and obligation. The entities are giving me their vision. They wanted the whole story told. All of it, includstories because they trust me to do the right thing with them ing that which showed the native populations as being and honor their wishes. It’s a responsibility that I took up human beings with human weaknesses and responses to when I allowed my own psychic abilities to come through the destruction of their lives. These men, women, and and when I decided to let the entities in. It’s an honor to be children wanted everyone to know what happened when their voice for which I am very grateful.
Paranormal Underground 49
The Psychic Biker: Attitude With Empathy
The Great Orb Debate By Paul Green, Extreme Ghost Hunting
he topic for this month is a one that appears to polarize the paranormal community ... orbs. Are they really indicators of spirit activity? Or are they just insects and dust? Maybe they are just reflections of a cheap camera with low-quality, anti-reflective coating? As with any topic, there is no simple answer, and all of the above may apply in some cases. First, despite extensive research for this piece, I could not determine when it was first postulated that orbs in pictures were possibly spirit activity. So how did it come to be that people began thinking that these seemingly random spots of light on pictures were spirit activity? I don’t know, and if anyone else does, let me know. With that, I’d like to make my opinion clear about orbs. I feel that 99.9% of orbs have simple explanations that are non-paranormal. Below, I have reproduced part of an article from Kodak in response to customer complaints about spots on their pictures, not in any way paranormal-related, but from people confused as to what the problem was and if the camera was faulty. An Explanation From Kodak About Orbs A excerpt from an article about orbs from Kodak: Lens flares can cause “orbs.” Lens are coated with an anti-reflective material; this helps reduce secondary reflections. But when bright lights are facing the camera lens the coating is not as affective and causes lens flare (Secondary reflection). The camera flash bounces back from something reflective in range of the camera; this creates a round ball of light. Dust — Dust particles are directly in front of the camera, the flash illuminates the dust and at 15 degrees of the lens central axis. Dust is not distributed evenly and therefore you could capture a dust orb and nothing in the
A giant orb captured at the steps of Chillingham Castle in the UK with Graham Burney, head ghost guide. Photo by Jill Burney.
next picture or before the orb picture. Insects — Orbs are formed from the brightest high light and expand the circle of confusion. Reflections — Usually more than one orb, and one orb is more intense than the others and the orbs appear in a straight line from any direction to the more intense one. Moisture/Fog/Mist, etc. — Tends to fade from solid to transparent, and mist tends to produce more orbs than rain. Rain can be interpreted by the camera as an incorrect lens.
Bright light sources — Lamps, the Sun, etc., can cause orbs. So in that extract there are many elements that would apply to most of the pictures from paranormal investigation that people claim are spirit activity. Where Have the Orbs Been? Looking around the Net, it seems that the whole orb thing has now snowballed, moving from assumptions of spirit activity to people deciding that orbs they photograph in their own homes are there to guide them, that they are passing on messages to them on how to develop spirituality. Where on earth did that idea come from? Let’s face it; if all of these little balls of lights are really there to educate and/or communicate with humans, how come it took the development of the digital camera for it to happen. Surely they would have been around for longer than that. What were they doing? Twiddling paranormal thumbs and awaiting someone at Kodak to have a eureka moment? Somehow I doubt that. But then why are there still a hard-core group of people who seem to feel that almost any orb in a picture is somehow spirit? If a photograph from a wedding or christening contains an orb then instantly the assumption is granny has popped in to have a look. I would love to know what these same people would think if they saw amateur porn pictures with orbs present — come on ... most of us have seen them on the Net even if by accident. Are they also a representation of a relative who wanted to stay “close” to you? A little too close for comfort, I would feel.
Orbs captured by Andy West at an industrial location in London.
this by reflecting off shiny surfaces that can’t be seen except during the 1/10000th of a sec (or shorter) duration.”
It is also interesting that the presence of these orbs is drastically reduced when we look at pictures taken with a decent camera, such as a 35 mm SLR set up with the flash positioned away from the lens. That does not mean there are never any orbs. They still occur, and on that point I approached a friend who has vast photography experience, not only in digital work but also film (yes, kids, like me he is that old). This is his response: “Every one I have seen can be explained by lens flare. With between 3 and 12 glass elements in a lens, there are lots of potential surfaces to cause a reflection, especially where there is a strong light source in dark surroundings. Flash photography, especially, can cause
My Own Experience With Film Photography I also used to work with film photography, including the developing and printing of my own films at home. This was done in a blacked out bathroom, much to my wife’s annoyance when she needed to use the toilet when I was at a critical phase and could not open the door. Now, in any home darkroom you can never rid it of all dust; the consequence was there would be white marks on the print where dust had lain when I exposed the paper, and thus the image never got through so to speak. This was not acceptable for competitions; I entered a few and won a few, so you had to do what was called “spotting.” This was by using a very fine brush, sometimes with only 2/3 hairs. And using water-based ink you slowly blotted out the white spots to match the background. The point of telling you this is that you can guess that I used to pour over pictures with a magnifying glass; I cannot recall ever seeing anything that would match what we now called an orb. That may mean that somehow it is only digital cameras that can capture orbs. I have yet to hear a convincing and logical explanation as to why that is the case. Myself, I feel it is more to do with the flash on most phones and budget cameras, in that the positioning of the lens added to the focal length of the lens resulting in the appearance of orbs. That opinion is based on experience and research. I have looked through many photographic forums, too many to reproduce here.
The presence of orbs is drastically reduced when we look at pictures taken with a decent camera.
Paranormal Underground 51
The Psychic Biker: Attitude With Empathy a huge amount of anecdotal evidence that the spirit world exists. I believe it’s no longer anecdotal. Thanks to digital technology, we can see it for the first time. We are dealing with a non-physical — albeit real — phenomenon.” Sounds convincing, and that is only part of the article. The full article by Hazel Courteney is here: http://www. dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-469849/Is-proof-spirits-DOexist.html.
Margret Straker captured this orb (see right side of picture) while taking a photo at a war memorial/cemetery during her travels.
An Interesting Experiment by an Ex-NASA Researcher So does all this mean orbs are just anomalies with no relation to spirit activity? After all, most pictures are just snaps by amateurs with no scientific knowledge using cheapie cameras. At least I thought so, till I came across this article written during 2007 in the UK paper The Daily Mail. An ex-NASA researcher Professor Klaus Heinemann, who after seeing a collection of orbs in pictures his wife had taken at a “gathering of spiritual healers,” was intrigued enough to conduct some experiments. This is what he did and concluded, according to the article: Heinemann set up dozens of experiments using two cameras on static tripods under controlled conditions. His early experiments found that orbs can move very fast, up to 500 mph or more. Heinemann also found that during his numerous dual camera experiments, when he used twin cameras to capture an object from two different angles, a single orb shape would often appear — but only in one of the two images taken simultaneously. It was as if the orbs somehow chose which camera to appear on, or whether to appear at all. Eventually, Heinemann was left with only one conclusion: that he was witnessing some form of paranormal intelligence. “There is no doubt in my mind that the orbs may well be one of the most significant ‘outside of this reality’ phenomena mankind has ever witnessed,” Professor Heinemann said in the article. “Until now, there has been
The Great Orb Debate With so much confusing evidence for and against orbs being spirits attempting to make themselves known and communicate with us, where does it leave paranormal investigators? As I said at the start of this piece, I feel that 99.9% of orb pictures are easily explainable. I stand by that statement and know some will disagree. My problem is that those people in the paranormal world who seemingly accept that any picture anomaly is proof of spirit activity are doing the whole world of paranormal research harm. Simply put, it is a godsend for those skeptics out there looking to debunk any possibility of another world beyond the physical one we inhabit and see around us. Those pseudo scientists who inhabit such forums as the JREF pages react with glee when socalled paranormal investigators cite orbs as proof of the afterlife.
“... orbs may well be one of the most significant ‘outside of this reality’ phenomena mankind has ever witnessed.” I feel if we as paranormal investigators do not apply a rigorous and ruthless approach to all examples of proof, particularly orbs, we risk simply looking like deluded fools. There are some orb pictures that appear to be hard or impossible to explain, but only a few. This means, of course, we may upset those people who want to desperately believe that they have captured proof of life after death, proof that every human living would delight in seeing — no matter if a believer, skeptic, or a “don’t know.” But by refusing to accept pictures of orbs as proof when there may be another logical explanation, we are left with a smaller amount of pictures to debate. Analyzing the pictures that remain unexplainable helps offer greater proof of the afterlife than a million easily explained pictures. The question that remains is: Are you willing to adopt that hard-nosed attitude?
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Paranormal Underground 53
Crystals & Herbology: Mystical Etchings From A Medicyn Woman’s Grimoire
The Roots of
Hoodoo Herbology By Silvermoon Medicyn, www.silvermoonmedicyn.com
he word hoodoo was originally documented in American English in the mid-1800s. Back then it meant one would “intentionally” cause harm to others for self-gain, translating into “I hoodoo you” in spell work. The meaning nowadays has changed dramatically in the areas it is practiced in, but unfortunately it still has a negative undertone to it, largely due to the strict beliefs of our Christian-based society. Perceptions of Hoodoo Hoodoo spiritualism practices and principles began evolving in the early 1930s in America with a large concentration near the Mississippi Delta. It began spreading rapidly throughout the Southern states with its largest population of practitioners in New Orleans. Hoodoo in American terms is known as Conjure or Rootwork. This type of practice originated as African American folk magic. It is mainly compromised of a mixture of cultures like Haitian, Cuban, and Jamaican; this is largely due to the fact that the original practitioners were slaves brought here from those countries. In some areas of the world there is still a strong prejudice against these types of practices. Hoodoo is not the same as Voodoo or Santeria; it was created to protect and heal the indigenous people of the land. Unlike some religious practices that hold onto idols and iconic beliefs even if they are outdated, Hoodoo practice takes into consideration the folks of each tribe and adapts the practice to fit the culture of those people, creating a flexible and fluid-like belief system. One of the main reasons it is shunned by religions is because it incorporated the Christian icon figures into its practice; this creates a sense of blasphemy amongst those believers. Hoodoo remains progressive and ever evolving without all the formal rituals that structure our other religions of today.
Acacia, also called Cassie flower, can be used to create Arabic gum, which is a type of binding agent.
Herbs and Roots Used in Hoodoo Practice Most of the herbs and roots that are used in Hoodoo practice have names that are not so appealing to the common man, like “Snake Root.” This plant is found growing on prairies and in woodlands all around the world. All of the roots and herbs are mainly found in the natural landscaping and not known to be found in common everyday herb gardens. Often practitioners must grow their supply or buy them from reputable companies. Many of them prefer to go out and gather straight from the land, that way they can choose the most magical part of the plant they want to harvest and can be sure of what they are getting. Since most of these types of plants are not grown in common herb gardens, it is wise to look them up before using them. Many of these plants come with some type of warning or could cause grave harm in some way to the person using the spell or remedy. Some of the warnings seen include emetic (causing vomiting), laxative (causing
Five Finger Grass (above at left) is commonly used in washes to clear energy and change someone’s luck. Devil Pod (above center) is mainly used to turn away evil and is considered to be a good luck charm in some cultures. Lucky Hand Root (above at right) helps chase away bad energy connections and clears up the energy channels of the wearer/holder.
diarrhea), or pruritus (itching). They can also cause allergic reactions to a person to the point of death, but this is a rare occasion. Over all, if you’re going to use the herbs and roots of the world then it is best to know something about them. I will share a few of my favorites that a paranormal specialist or researcher might want to know about. Acacia Acacia, also called Cassie flower, can be used to create Arabic gum, which is a type of binding agent. Only two types of these plants are used for this specific purpose. They look like a small shrub or tree and often have many thorns plus sweet smelling flowers. There are about 1,200 types, but the most famous ones were used as the “crown of thorns” on Jesus Christ, used in Egyptian funeral wreaths, or placed on graves in other cultures. They are also burned to contact the dead and used to increase one’s psychic vision.
you interpret the pod’s look, you may see a flying bat, raging bull, goat or buffalo’s head, each symbolizing something different. This exotic-looking seed pod is an aquatic Asian plant. It’s mainly used to turn away evil and is considered to be a good luck charm in some cultures. They can be carried in your pocket like a protective guardian or hung in the doorway facing outward, casting its glare. Lucky Hand Root Lucky Hand Root is the root of a few specific types of orchids. These root formations look like hands with fingers. It’s offering the holder a hand, per se, and gives you just the lift you need. The fingers of the hand encourage you to move things out of your way like a swooshing motion, chasing away bad energy connections and clearing up the energy channels of the wearer/holder. This forces you to ground and allows good fortune to come streaming in.
Five-Finger Grass Five-Finger Grass is otherwise Angelica known as Cinquefoil and can be found Angelica, also called Dong Quai Angelica is used in healing women creeping around yards and in places or Master Root, comes highly revered and children. like meadows or pastures. It has large, as a Yerba Santa, meaning “sacred yellow flowers and distinctive leaves that resemble fingers herb.” This blessed herb has powerful female energy and with fine hairs on the surface. The reason for a number is used in healing women and children. It is part of the five is because each stem has five leaves on it, pointing out Parsley family, making it completely edible. It is known like an open hand. Five Finger Grass is commonly used in for some of its medical cures, as well as its spiritual powwashes to clear energy and change someone’s luck. ers. It can be made into wine, flavored liquors, or even served candied in sugar. On a spiritual level this herb is Devil Pod called Holy Ghost Root, because it decreases anger and Devil Pod has a few names it is known as: Bat Nut, calms the savage beast in raging spirits. This herb can help Bull Nut, Buffalo Nut, or Goat Head. Depending on how to quiet the knockings or trickery of ghosts.
Paranormal Underground 55
Demonology — The Dark Files
Confronting the Demonic at Bobby mack ey’s By Jerry Williams, Demonologist
obby Mackey’s Music World is one of the most haunted bars I know of. It is full of stories of ghostly encounters, but even more so of demonic occurrences. I once traveled to the site with my team, and we captured some very interesting EVPs. I was there with the team to investigate possible Demonic entities at the location. One EVP I captured at Bobby Mackey’s sounded like a deep-voiced male. It said, “Don’t let him pray.” When this audio was captured, I was standing in a room near a well. I then started praying and sprinkled holy water in the well. I immediately felt as if I was being attacked. It felt as if I had been burned on my forearm. I continued to pray as I walked in the room they called “The Room of Faces.” I started a spirit box session, and the first voice that came through was a girl who said, “Hey there butt face.” Then an older man’s voice came across like you would imagine an “old timer” would sound saying, “You’re going to pay for this one.” Then, we heard a deep, demonic voice growl and then say, “Marcus.” The little girl then said, “He’s bad.” Next, I asked the question: Did you possess Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures?” and the old timer’s voice said, “Is that what we’re gonna do to him?” These were clear-voiced EVPs. On our initial walk-through, we heard disembodied footsteps upstairs that sounded like cowboy boots or hardsole shoes. No one was upstairs, and the bar was locked and empty. We continued upstairs and a person who was with us was scratched on the back of her neck. She began to feel ill and left the property for good. I will say that I felt as if something was really attacking me hard at Bobby Mackey’s. It felt demonic and full of hatred. I felt as if I had rage flowing through me. I also got nauseous and stopped investigating and blessing the areas of the property. Another minister who was with us made sure we didn’t leave with possession or attachments. He didn’t go into the property, but met us at the end of the investigation outside.
I believe that Bobby Mackey’s contains a “doorway to Hell” within its walls.
Now, I will tell you all this. Never, ever take property or any souvenirs, like rocks, bottles, or anything you come across, from a property. The reason: These items can contain spiritual or demonic attachments. This is another way demons can get to you. I’ve had several cases that I’ve been called to because paranormal investigators had taken items during an investigation as a memorial of that haunt. But, by doing so, they end up having paranormal activity and/or being attacked themselves. I have had a few investigators call me who went to Bobby Mackey’s. What I encountered at Bobby Mackey’s were, in my opinion and expertise, demons and bad human spirits. The pain, hate, and rage that one encounters there is unbelievable. We encountered other things that I will not bring up here. I feel this place is 100% haunted and has pure evil within its walls. I’m on Ghost Adventures’ side on this one. I have been to Bobby Mackey’s to investigate twice, and I will never go back. It is the creepiest place I have ever been to, and I do believe it is “the doorway to Hell.” If you go, be careful, say a prayer, and don’t take a piece of memorabilia home with you from the property.
Paranormal Underground 57
Magic & Lore
Romania’s Varacolaci By Mari Wells, www.mariwells.wordpress.com
omanian folklore believes a Varacolaci vampire can be created in a few ways. Hereditary is one of them; becoming a Varacolaci can be passed down a bloodline for generations. In addition, any baby who died and hadn’t been baptized or a person who commits suicide would also create a Varacolaci. The Varacolaci hunts all year long but is more active on the eve of the feast days of St. George’s, which is April 25, and St. Andrew’s, which is November 30. Interestingly, both saints were patrons of wolves. Garlic was widely used on both feast days, although only St. Andrew was a patron of garlic. It was widely believed that vampires and witches would gather outside of villages on the eve of St. George Day to plan their evil activities for the next year. Homeowners would rub windows and doors along with any livestock with garlic on these nights in hopes of keeping their property safe from the Varacolaci. The Varacolaci is considered the strongest of the undead. It can go into a deep trance and cause lunar and solar eclipses. It has psychic abilities to safely travel anywhere it wants by astral projection, called “midnight spinning.” Its astral form looks like a dragon or an unknown animal with many mouths. If the body is moved while in one of these trances, its spirit will not be able to find its body, causing it to sleep forever. When this vampire revenant rises from its grave, it looks like it did in life, but it has very pale skin that has dried out. When attacking, it drains the entire victim’s blood. The bite doesn’t leave a wound, leaving no tell-tale signs on its victims. Adding to the Varocalaci’s power is its ability to shape-shift into a cat, dog, flea, frog, or spider. If a deceased person is suspected of being a Varacolaci, his resurrection can be prevented if a thorny bush is planted on top of the grave. If the person died from suicide, the body should be thrown into running water as
The Varacolaci is considered the strongest of the undead.
soon as possible. A complete and complex set of rituals must be properly done to destroy a Varacolaci. First, the Varacolaci must rise and be captured. If it’s a male, its heart must be removed and cut in half. A nail has to be driven into its forehead and a whole bulb of garlic placed into its mouth. In newer times, the mouth was filled with quicklime. The body was to be covered with pig fat that was taken from a pig slaughtered on St. Ignatius’ Day, which is celebrated on December 20 in the Eastern Orthodox Church. A burial shroud was then sprinkled with Holy Water and wrapped around the body. The wrapped body was taken to a secluded place and abandoned. If the Varacolaci is female, iron forks must be driven through her heart and eyes. Then the body would be buried in a very deep grave.
Thursday & Saturday at 11 p.m. Eastern
Paranormal and Conspiracy Radio With Demonologist Bishop Jerry Williams
For information, November visit: 2013 Paranormal Underground
The Dark Corner With Chuck
The Haunting Of Matilda
By Charles G. Gotski, In The Dark Investigations
o tell this tale I guess I should explain my feverish passion with haunted artifacts. I find it extremely interesting that an entity can become attached to an item. And that even when it’s taken somewhere else, it stays attached to that item and then resides wherever it is put. It doesn’t jump away from it and stay where it started from to begin with. No, it just kind of goes with the flow to where it winds up and then makes itself known. I mean I know sometimes the artifact might be within the home that it originated from, but oftentimes it’s not. Someone might have picked it up at an auction, an antique store, or from a friend or family member. And then it begins its trip to where it eventually winds up. That bond to that item must be extremely strong for it to stay attached and not just jump ship along the way.
But is it really happening? Are entities really connected to such objects? As an investigator, I know homes can be haunted. The land that it stands on can be haunted. Even a person can be haunted, and I have seen this all firsthand. So, why not any other kind of item? I mean I’ve heard about it happening quite a bit. Though, for all the investigations I have been on, I hadn’t had my chance yet to experience this phenomenon firsthand.
On the Search for a Haunted Doll So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find something that was supposed to be haunted by an entity connected to it. Then I planned to try to make contact and see for myself. That’s when I came across a page on Facebook called Haunted Dolls. It seemed that these people colWhat kind of item might Objects With Spirit lected haunted dolls from various have a spirit attached to Attachments places, and then they would find it? Furniture, jewelry, a So what kind of item might people to take them into their have a spirit attached to it. Well homes for whatever reason. painting ... a doll? So, I contacted them and it could be anything really, a piece of furniture, some jewelry, spoke to someone about how I a painting — almost anything. So what kind of article am I remight procure one of these dolls. That’s when I found out ally fascinated by? Well that would most definitely be a doll. there was a price for them, as they themselves had paid As for why, I’m not quite sure. Maybe it’s because they’re to obtain them and then there would be shipping costs. kinda creepy to begin with, and I like creepy. Maybe it’s beYes, I know what you’re thinking: Why would you buy cause I can relate to the idea that if I were deceased I might something from someone just because they say it has an want to be attached to something that kind of resembled attachment to it? Well, you see, I wouldn’t. As much as what I remember my human form to look like, at least to I wanted to study this phenomena, I wasn’t about to give some extent. You know verses a chair or some other item. them my hard-earned cash just because they proclaimed I think that’s why dolls are said to have more attachthese dolls to be the real deal. ments than any other item. I mean, basically, it mimics what Now, I’m not making any judgment on them, but I a human being looks like. Face, body, clothes, and even didn’t know them from Adam, and there was really no way different facial features. Some are small, and some large. of knowing for sure if it was legit. I mean the lady I spoke to There are dolls of all ethnicities and resemble their human was very nice and assured me of the legitimacy, but even if counterpart. A doll represents a way to stay connected to a I felt they were on the up and up, I couldn’t afford the cost world that the spirit was once a part of. So, this I think is a anyway. So I thanked them for their time and moved on to pretty solid reason for the connection. see if I could figure another way of getting what I needed.
Paranormal Underground 61
The Dark Corner With Chuck
Matilda died in the 1930s at the age of 12.
Then a couple weeks later I noticed they were having a contest. Enter your name and if you were picked you could win a haunted doll at no cost to you. OK, now they had my attention. So, I entered the contest not even thinking I had a chance to win. I mean, for me, when it comes to winning a contest the odds are definitely against me, so I entered and then forgot about it. I figured somewhere down the line I would get my opportunity to get my hands on a haunted item, and at that time I would do my experimentation and research of said item. The Arrival of Matilda One day, after a month or so, I went to grab the mail and found an unmarked brown box. All that was written on the package was my name and address and a postmark stating Royal Mail. Confused, I took the box inside and set it down on the kitchen table. I turned to my wife and told her that I had received a strange, unmarked box in the mail. Low and behold, I opened it to find a doll inside with a tag saying it was from the haunted doll Website. Also contained in the box was a white light prayer, which I was told would make the entity feel at home in its new location. I was a bit confused about why I received the doll, until it hit me that I had won the contest. Although I had never received a notice that I had won. I hopped on my computer and clicked on the Haunted Dolls Facebook page, and there it was, a picture of “Matilda” with my name posted below it as the winner. Blind luck? Or was it meant to be? Well, I believe everything happens for a reason. So, for me there was no doubt in my mind it was given to me to answer questions that I always had about this particular aspect of the paranormal. And I was definitely going to do so. A few days later I contacted the woman who ran the Haunted Dolls page to thank her and get some background on the
doll. She ended up sending me the following information: “Hi Chuck. In short, Matilda came to me just over one year ago through a church warden at one of my fairly local churches in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. She had been experiencing the spirit of a young girl for awhile in her home and also in church. She had heard faint sounds, humming, footsteps, etc., and felt the girl was choral. She felt the spirit was roaming lost and that she needed something to anchor herself. That’s why she chose this doll. “As soon as she saw the doll she knew she was perfect. Without our help she successfully managed to connect the child’s spirit, and in thanks, the child appeared to her one evening in a dream and told her to call her Matilda. She also told her she was 12 years old and liked roses. “Over the course of five weeks, Matilda appeared most evenings in dreams, relaying various pieces of information. She died in the 1930s, but she wasn’t clear how. She had no mother and her father worked away a lot, leaving her with her grandmother. The dreams started becoming more vivid and more frequent, and it was decided that the doll needed to be recognized for what it was and dealt with appropriately. That’s when I received the message to pay her a visit. As I say, that was just over a year ago. Since then Matilda has had active periods followed by quieter periods in that time. I too have had several dreams. Matilda actually has blonde hair.” Now I had what info was available as far as history, sparse as it was. But now it was time to start documenting this haunted object, something I had always wanted to do. Can “things” really hold attachments? I firmly believed they could considering the field that I’m in and all the things that I have seen. This was a chance to really document it and gather the evidence needed to prove that it happens. I was ready and excited, so I began investigating. The following is a diary of the five days I spent documenting my experiments. I broke those five days up over the course of two weeks or so to give the entity a break in between sessions. I also wanted to see if some time in between would allow the entity to get comfortable within its surrounding. Also, some sessions were done during the day and others at night to mix it up a bit. I wanted to see if one period (day or night) was better than the other. I will give you what I tried and then what transpired. I want to state that I went back through all of the footage recently and found more interesting things that occurred that were not found at first, which has added to the validity of the findings with these sessions. Day 1: August 4, 2013 — Daytime I started with an EVP session in my office to see if I could make any contact with Matilda. (We will use this name
because it is what I was given, but it’s quite possible it could be something completely different.) When first talking to her, the K-II lit up a bit. Nothing was captured with the digital recorder at this time, but at the same time on the IR camcorder several clicking sounds were caught (sounding like it was next to the mic on the camcorder). The camera was also shut off during the session. I checked the batteries for the IR and found them to be fine and still full of juice. So were the clicking sounds something trying to manipulate the camera? Did the spirit finally figure out how to control it, which then led to the camera being shut off? The same sounds the camera picked up are not heard on the digital recorder. Day 1: August 4 — Nighttime In the office, I set up the digital recorder, IR camcorder, and K-II with Matilda in front of them. I let the equipment run all night. The next day on my recordings, I uncovered a strange humming noise, a loud bang within the room, and two possible female voices. One voice sounded like a verbalization and the other was possible singing. However, they are so faint that I deemed them inconclusive. Nothing was found visually. DAY 2: August 8 — Night Only In my office, the digital recorder picked up a sliding sound, some unknown noises, and a loud slam coming from within the room. There was nothing found visually on the IR camcorder, but it did capture the same sounds as described above so they were consistent between both pieces of equipment.
response. This makes sense since most beings like to have interaction with other beings. I started an EVP session once again, but I felt I needed to do something different to elicit a stronger response — one that would at least tell me that a spirit was really connected to the doll. And that’s when it hit me. I remembered in the letter I had received from the Haunted Dolls Webpage it stated that Matilda really loved roses. That’s it! That’s what I would talk about to help to trigger a response. So, I began slow and asked things like how Matilda liked it here in my home, did she miss the UK (as that’s where she was from), and if she was affecting the equipment, etc. I then said I had heard she loved roses and told her that if she gave me a sign of her presence, I would go to the store and bring one back for her. And as soon as I finished this sentence, the room atmosphere changed (the easiest way to explain what I mean is that my skin suddenly felt tingly and the hairs on my arms were starting to stand up). And as if on cue to my question, the K-II lit up like a Christmas tree. Eureka! Contact finally! After that, I let everything run the rest of the night as I slept. And the digital recorder caught some more bangs and one unusual grunt sound or low voice. That was it. Needless to say, the next day I went out and picked up a rose and brought it home. Hey, a promise is a promise! Day 5: August 16 — Night Only On the last day of the documentation, I decided it was time to change the surroundings and to also bring in someone different into the mix. I felt that I needed a female, someone around Matilda’s age (she appeared in
Day 3: August 9 — Night Only In the office: Again the camcorder was set up and fully charged, yet within about 10 minutes after it was turned on and left in the office, it once again shut off. And when I say “shut off,” I mean the power button was pressed, because the only other way it will go off is from lack of power. Again, I checked to make sure it still had a charge, and it did. I also tested it the following day, letting it run for hours. It had no problem on the same charged battery that I used during the experiment. The K-II spiked before recording and then again when I first started recording. This was captured on camera. These are the only two times the K-II went off the entire night. Note: This occurred while I was still in the room talking to Matilda. Day 4: August 12 — Night Only All of the same equipment was set up in my office. I noticed that when I interact with Matilda, I get the best
During one session, I uncovered a strange humming noise, a loud bang within the room, and two possible female voices.
Paranormal Underground 63
The Dark Corner With Chuck the previous owner’s dreams as a 12-year-old). I thought this might help to bring Matilda out and to communicate more. I felt that, so far, I had gotten one good, solid response. Could I get a little more before I was done? So I asked my 16-year-old daughter Rachel if she would like to help me with my last day’s events. She agreed, so I moved forward with the set-up. This time we brought Matilda outside to our backyard and set her on a table, making sure she was far enough away from the house so as to not pick up any high Electromagnetic Field (EMF) readings from within or near it. It was a weekday, so it was pretty quiet outside. We brought out the digital recorder, the IR camcorder, the K-II, and a Mel Meter to check for EMF spikes and temp changes. Also, as I did on each day’s investigation, I used my SLR camera to take pictures. We also brought out music from the 1920s and 30s as a trigger to help elicit a response. I started by using the Mel Meter to get baseline readings on both EMF and temperature. EMF fluctuated between 0.0 to 0.6 milligauss, which I find is fairly typical when dealing with outside elements, as pockets on EMF can occur naturally. We also had a temperature baseline of between 74 to 76 degrees. I started out the session having Rachel ask general questions and just talk to her like she would talk with her friends. I figured the more normal the conversation, the better it would work. I was right. Slowly the Mel Meter started to spike and the K-II would light up. Rachel started telling Matilda that she had some music for her and then would play small pieces asking Matilda to raise the numbers on the Mel Meter when she liked a song. We both were amazed when the Meter hit 1.1 to 1.2 (for which the setting we were in was out of the norm) and would quickly drop when Rachel would turn off the music or stop talking to Matilda. The measurements would then go back up again when Rachel played the music again. Just so we’re clear, the music was played on Rachel’s cell phone, which was placed far away as to not set off the equipment, and we tested it accordingly to make sure it didn’t. Finally! I had gotten the answer to my question: Can a spirit attach itself to an item? Yes, it could. The in-themoment responses to our questions and stimuli proved it. And there were two witnesses to these events. The next day, to rule out anything in the yard that could cause the reading from the night before, I took new
baseline readings in the same exact location that we had Matilda sitting at during the experiment. The readings were between 0.0 to 0.3 milligauss and the temperature had climbed of course due to the daytime hours. Did the Experiments Work? At the beginning of the experiment, the results seemed rather weak. However, with time and patience, the tests gathered momentum. It seemed that when human interaction was entered into the equation, things picked up. This makes perfect sense, since most humans like to interact with others in some way. Can I say 100 percent that this proves that a spirit was attached to Matilda? Probably not, as there are always variables to these events. Do I believe that a spirit is attached to the doll? I can say yes considering all the unusual occurrences that were observed. The experiments did make me believe someone is attached to Matilda. Will this prove to others that there is something attached to the doll? I would assume that would depend on whether you believe in these things or not, but it’s really not what I set out to do. I set out to answer a question for myself, and I feel I got my answer. For now, I’ll give Matilda a break, but at some time I will go back again and see if I can reconnect with her. It was an exciting quest to take, and I enjoyed every minute. So how to end this article ... OK, how’s this? When you delve into a mystery that is not proven, there comes a point when you have to tear away all the theories and take away all the tools. And at that point it really doesn’t matter if anyone else believes it or not, as long as in your heart you feel secure in what you believe to be true. It’s what I like to call having a little faith, because belief is all in the heart and mind of the beholder.
My 16-year-old daughter, Rachel, helped conduct an experiment with Matilda in our backyard.
Paranormal Underground 65
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files
A Family Haunted:
A True Case File: Part 3 By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research and Cohost of Paranormal Underground Radio For Part 1 of this article, see our September 2013 issue. For Part 2, see our October 2013 issue. Note: All names of the clients have been changed to protect their identity.
hen it comes to ghost-hunting equipment, I have one very simple rule: If I can’t fit it in my pocket, then I don’t want to use it. And this is where the trickster comes in. When Amy and I left the daughter’s room, we decided to make our way to the master bedroom to check out claims of activity in the walk-in closet. When we walked into the bedroom, I reached for my super sweet, new $30 EMF detector in my back pocket and was shocked to discover that it was gone. Amy looked at me and asked what the problem was. I laughed and replied, “My meter is gone.” I knew I had put it in my pocket. Then I began to wonder if I had left it in the daughter’s room earlier. I walked across the hall and looked in the daughter’s room and found nothing. As I made my way back to the master bedroom, I was about to say something to my partner when I noticed that my meter was sitting on the sink in the bathroom, and it was on. Neither of us had gone into the bathroom. In all my years of hunting ghosts, I have never had something like that happen. I’m sure whichever spirit snatched it was having a big, old laugh at my expense. After placing my meter back in my pocket, we walked into the closet and almost immediately felt a change in the environment. The closet seemed a bit colder and it gave us a kind of prickly feeling. I started an EVP session and asked Amy to measure the temperature in the closet, and there was definitely a difference between the temperature in the room and the closet. So, then we began to experiment.
As Amy held the thermometer, we began asking questions. First we asked the entity in the closet to lower the temperature. Sure enough, it did. We asked numerous questions and each time the temp went down with a yes and up for a no. Amy had said that she had a feeling that the spirit’s name was Steven. When we asked if his name was Steven, the temperature went down. In my eyes, this was direct communication with an unseen entity. After a few minutes of questioning, the temperature fluctuations stopped. Apparently, Steven was done for now. Was Steven the one who took the meter from my back pocket? Probably. However, in the next area of the house where we investigated, the basement, we encountered a much different kind of spirit. One not so playful. The lady of the house was a hairdresser by trade, and she had a studio in her basement. Although it seemed to be a pleasant enough place, it did have a slight feeling of unease. And everyone who came down to the basement reported that same feeling.
man of my word and when that temp on that thermometer hit 45.5, I knew it was time to go. As Amy and I walked out the door, the door began to close. The entity did want us gone. I felt bad for his sadness, but like I said, I’m a man of my word. The investigation ended, and it was time to talk with the client, but not before three out of the four people we interviewed led us to the exact same spot where we encountered the sad, lonely spirit. The witnesses each said it was the spot where they felt the most sadness. When we reconvened at the table with the client, Amy and I both explained that whatever entities were in their home did not mean them any harm. These appeared to be transient spirits. Some came and left, and some stayed. It was my opinion that the concentrated psychic abilities that the family possessed attracted these spirits to their home.
After a few moments of checking out the hair studio, Amy and I walked into a storage area of the basement and immediately felt our unease turn to dread. It’s very rare for me to say that I don’t like being in an area during an investigation. This was one of those times. For whatever reason, our attention was drawn to a small cubby area under the stairs, and it was here that the feeling of dread got turned up and the knob ripped off. Amy and I could both feel a strong, sad presence in the cubby. I bent down and looked in and began an EVP session. Whomever was hiding there did not like me looking into its little hidey hole. After a few moments of EVP Q&A, I decided to pull out my digital thermometer I had used earlier upstairs. I began asking questions, and each time the temperature went down and the feeling of dread grew greater. I then asked the entity that if it could lower the temperature to 45.5, I would go. Now I’m a
Paranormal Underground 67
Personal Experiences: The Extreme Ghost Hunter Investigates
THE WALLAW CINEMA By Stephen Lambert, Extreme Ghost Hunting
he Wallaw Cinema was built by Percy Lindsay We were granted a pre-investigation visit to the CinBrowne, Son & Harding and opened on Noema. To any passing observer, we would have looked revember 16, 1937. The architect is believed to be markably like the two excited kids from years ago queuing Charles Alfred Harding. Further research has indicated to get into the pictures — albeit with a few more wrinkles that this firm and its forebears were a leading and prolific and a lot less hair in one case. This was our first time and cinema practice in Northeast England, and this is said to probably the only time any members of the public had be their best surviving work. The plasterwork was combeen in the cinema for years. pleted by Webster Davison and Co Ltd. of Sunderland, From chatting to the representative of the owners, it and the streamlined, modern light fixtures are by Dewas obvious we were going to get the full tour, getting to see vereux Moody and Co Ltd of Newcastle. the places behind the scenes. And there were many. The There were once four cinemas in Blyth, but with the main entry foyer area where you used to queue for your closure of the Wallaw in 2004 there are now none. The ticket and food was covered in broken glass from smashed others, The Central, The Essoldo, and The Roxy, were windows. Either side of the ticket booth were two sets of all closed down in the 1960s and 1970s. stairs up to the art deco foyer. When the cinema was first built it had 1,600 seats. As with many cinemas of this era, the building had In 1987, it was subdivided into Mini, Minor, and Major been portioned off into smaller “cinemas/screens” — in screens. Both the Mini and Minor screens where set this case, The Major, Minor, and Mini screens. The Mabeneath the balcony of the jor screen was entered through Major screen area. In 1998, the doors at the top of the stairs, When looking out from Wallaw was refurbished and and the other two through the stage, I was sure I saw designated a Grade II-listed doors at the base of the stairs, things moving in the seats building by English Heritage. the stairs being arranged in a Finally, and sadly, the cinema horseshoe configuration. The and aisles ... closed in 2004 with a final deco was that of a pink color, showing of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and which we both recalled from our boyhood years. has remained empty since that time. Obviously, everywhere was covered in dust, but we both felt this just added to the whole atmosphere of the The Walkaround place. It seemed like after the last person left the cinema, When my co-investigator Paul Green and I were growthe doors were closed and the cinema became like a ing up in Blyth, Northumberland, we could recall visiting this ghost town. Pardon the pun. local cinema with our respective parents, and later as we grew On the walk down to the stage, we saw many little older with friends. Compared to the modern generation of rooms leading off the stairs. Some had been used as cinemas, it was pretty tame, but at the time (to a pair of small dressing rooms, others as storerooms, and some as both. boys), it seemed like a massive place with an abundance of At a guess it would have depended on the status of the character. We both recall queuing for ages outside to see the artiste to what size of dressing room they were given. blockbuster film Ghostbusters, which we both confess seems My first venture treading the boards had an effect on weird as they we are now writing about spending the night me. When I got down onto the stage area of the Major there as so called “ghost busters.” I had always thought the screen and looked out over all the empty seats, I was lost Wallaw would be a great place to investigate. for words. I was nervous, and there wasn’t anyone there.
Well, unless the spirits were having a good look at me. I have never worked on stage, but anyone performing on stage in front of whatever size audience must have similar feelings and emotions. When looking out from the stage, I was sure I saw things moving in the seats and aisles. Maybe a trick on the eyes? But very strange if, like me, you have never been on stage and looked out into a dark, empty-seated auditorium. Standing on the stage similarly effected Paul, though for different reasons. He could feel the energy of the place, the nerves some of the performers (both professionals and amateurs) who had trod the boards had felt. The Investigation In the weeks leading up to the investigation, I assembled a group of friends to join Paul and me on the investigation. On the night we entered the foyer, and whilst the team were sorting out their equipment, Paul was drawn to the balcony area at the top the stairs leading from the foyer. He told the team that he could see the spirit person
of an elderly man dressed in a full evening suit leaning over the handrail looking down on them, seemingly a little irritated at the noise. Paul did say later that he was at first rather hesitant to say anything about this man, as the thought of anyone in an evening suit at a cinema struck him as odd. However, he was reassured when the ex-projectionist confirmed that the father of the previous owner had often stood in that place collecting tickets. Back then, tickets were issued and then collected by an usherette, or in this case, this man. The tickets were then torn in half, with one half being returned to the customer and the other collected on a spike. The night was off to a good start already, and spirit activity was already showing itself. We set off upstairs into the behind-the-scenes areas and cafĂŠ area for the Major screen. Even this simple task was an adventure, as a long spiral staircase that just oozed character accessed it. The rest of the group headed to the stage area of the Major screen. As we walked, I was explaining to Paul that I felt I had some psychic, medium ability. We then entered a small, dark room, Paul asked me
Paranormal Underground 69
Personal Experiences: The Extreme Ghost Hunter Investigates
to walk around the room and stop in any area that I felt drawn to. It appeared to me that I was being asked to stop where I thought a ghost might be. I was not totally at ease with doing this. But I agreed and for some strange reason found myself in a doorway to another room. The atmosphere in this area was different than the rest of the room. I can’t explain really how I felt, apart from being a bit lightheaded. That feeling is a common one experienced by those who, while not trained mediums, have a degree of sensitivity. The theory is that being close to the spirit energy of a “ghost” causes it. Paul told me there was a girl standing in the same spot, which did not scare me as much as he thought it would. He also told me that he sensed this girl had a liking for me, but Paul was not too happy about me staying there too long in case she became attached. At the time, I was not sure what “attached” meant but, I wasn’t taking any chances and moved away from the spot I was standing in. Later, Paul explained that he felt a yearning from the girl to be reconnected with the physical side of life, though despite him asking the girl, he could not establish why this was. But he was concerned that I, as a talented but untrained sensitive, could inadvertently invite the energy of the spirit girl to attach to me. Following on from this we both then moved downstairs into the café area of the Mini and Minor screens. In this area, Paul picked up on the psychic energies of a fight that ended up in a person dying from their injuries. He described the scene as a group of four or five young men. Some were dressed in what he could only describe as “teddy boy suits,” while the rest were in dark suits with thin ties. One of them was stabbed by a small-bladed knife during a fight between the two groups. While Paul could not be sure if this person had died there, as he was only picking up on the history of the event rather than that young man haunting the cinema, he was sure it was an event that would
have been reported as a serious altercation. Whilst Paul was still in the café area, I moved into the Mini screen seating area. I was trying to open up my senses again and was drawn to four seats not too far from the front. I had no clue why, but called for Paul. Without telling him which seats I had been drawn to, I asked him to walk around and see if he picked up on anything. Apart from being one seat out, Paul was drawn to the same area of seats that I had been drawn to. Paul said he was picking up on a family who had died in a house fire locally. It was not clear to him if they had all died in the fire or if all but the father died, who had died at a later point from his injuries. What was clear to Paul was that the family were back in visitation at the Wallaw, doing something they enjoyed whilst they were all alive. Paul did say later that the emotions of the scene shown in front of him almost overwhelmed him at first. The feeling of guilt and protection flowing from the father was intense. Paul said it felt as though he was an invader on a family day out, and after briefly attempting to find out some more detailed information from the father on the family’s demise, he felt compelled to, as he put it, “leave the family in peace.” It was felt that this would be a good time to take a break and recover from the intense emotions that we both had felt. After supper the group descended on the stage area. Some members of the group carried out a Ouija board session and séance with some success. Numerous unknown characters were coming through, but, unfortunately, the team could not validate the names. There was also a lot of noise activity during this time, including bangs from the back of the stage and what sounded like footsteps from the same area of the stage. The steps sounded like they headed toward the center of the stage and then stopped. Paul had not taken part in the séance, preferring to stand back to observe the surrounding areas and the participants at the table. This was something that he had not planned to do, but he instinctively felt that he needed to remove himself from the energy of the circle around
the board. He did say that the stage area almost felt like a gathering point for energies, though none remained there; instead they seemed to flow on and off the stage. Although one spirit seemed different: the spirit of an elderly man who had died of a heart attack whilst on stage as an announcer or amateur actor. Paul could not tell for sure if the spirit energy of the man was simply showing an image of himself while alive, standing at the front of the stage orating. Though from his attire and manner, Paul felt that he was most likely an amateur performer who lived locally and this was a passionate hobby of his. Nevertheless, many of the team complained of feeling unwell or “woozy.” At one time, a member of the team, Jon, who Paul had already sensed had psychic talent, felt compelled to take a break from the séance. Keeping a close eye on him, Paul was not too surprised to see him take only a few steps before collapsing at the side of the stage. Paul was quickly at his side, and as he later reported: “I knew that he had simply drained himself of nervous energy during the séance, and I needed to keep him calm and quiet while surrounding him with a protective aura of energy to give his system time to recover.” Jon was soon on his feet, if a little woozy, and there were no lasting effects of his episode. When all this was over, I said to a friend that I had to go to the seats in the back corner of the theater. I didn’t know why, but I just had to go. So compelled, that I simply climbed off the stage,
The Investigation Wraps Up Investigations into all areas of the Wallaw were coming to a close as morning was approaching. At this point I decided to take a break by myself in the foyer entrance area. As I was just about to sit down, I got a call on the radio from the group on the main stage. They did not say why but asked if I could make my way to the upper seating area of the Major screen. I slowly, and for some reason a little warily, made my
way through the dark into the upper areas and found myself the cleanest seat I could before I sat down. The rest of the team told me that the girl from earlier in the dark room upstairs — the one that Paul had concerns about — had come through on the Ouija board. She wanted me to go into the upper seating area that I was sitting in now. When I got there she would try and show herself. Very naughty of them to tell me this after I sat down. Would anyone, no matter how keen a ghost hunter they are, be happy to be alone in an area after being told that a ghost was about to materialize? The group on the stage was asking questions of the girl and trying to get her to make noises or move seats near where I was sitting. The hairs on the back of my neck were up and my senses heightened to their fullest. There were definite noises not far from me in response to the group’s requests for the spirit girl to do something. I had one hand gripping the seat and the other with my finger on the on/off button of the flashlight. I turned around and saw what I can only describe as a massive white butterfly moving along the aisle in a slow arc up and down. It obviously wasn’t a massive butterfly, but that is the only way I can describe it. I had never seen anything like this before, nor have I since. I then went to turn my flashlight on only to find the batteries had run out. Luckily, I had spares in my pocket. Have you ever seen those films where the bad guy is coming and the good guy has ran out of bullets and can’t get the new ones in for shaking? Well that is what was happening, but in my case it was batteries not bullets. I dropped the new ones on the floor and decided to cut my losses and make a hasty retreat for the exit. Little or no activity occurred after this event, and as morning drew nearer, we called it a night at the Wallaw. We expected some activity at the Wallaw Cinema, but this can never be guaranteed. Overall, it was a great night and one I can personally say I got more than I bargained for.
Paul picked up on the psychic energies of a fight that ended up in a person dying from their injuries. leaving the rest of the team, and made my way to that point in the building. To my amazement, when I got there one of the seats was down in the sitting position. Amazing, because prior to going onto the stage area earlier, I had rigorously checked every row of seats to make sure they were all upright. I still do not know what pulled me to go to that area. Had the seat came down of its own accord or at the hands of some unseen entity? I will never know.
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Personal Experiences: Paranormal Encounters
Ghost Dog By James Franklin Dietz, asylumparanormal.com
n addition to being a paranormal investigator and office manager of two historical ghost tour companies, I’m also a pet parent to three dogs. Needless to say, the thought of “ghost dogs” or other “ghost animals” never entered my mind at all ... until I moved into a house where one existed. It was a “ghost dog,” and there were many nights that I was awakened to hear a dog’s bark coming from the living room area. At first, I thought it was one of my dogs, but when I checked, they were fast asleep in my bed. Then, my paranormal investigator side kicked in and I tried to rationalize the occurrence away by thinking maybe I was just dreaming or it was the result of an overactive imagination. When I got up the next morning, I completely put the events of the night out of my mind and continued on with my day as usual. Several days passed and I was woken up again by the sound of a dog running around on the hardwood floor in the dining room. Once again I checked, and all of my dogs were fast asleep in my bed. I got up and walked out into the hall and was surprised to find one of their balls, which are kept in the living room, rolling down the hall toward me. I was both shocked and amazed. I bent down and picked up the ball and then rolled it back down the hall toward the dining room. I immediately heard the pattering of dog paws on the hardwood floor. I then took one step forward, and the ball came rolling back down the hall toward me a second time. At this point, I switched on the hall lights and proceeded cautiously down the hall toward the dining room. I then switched on the light for both the kitchen and dining room and continued to walk throughout my house switching on the lights in every room. I also checked all the doors and windows, and everything was secure with no evidence of anyone being in my house other than myself and my dogs. I even went out into the garage, retrieved a level, and checked every room, including the hallway, to see if, maybe, just maybe, the house had settled and was off level. To my amazement, everything was fine. I turned off all of the lights and went back to my bedroom. As soon as I closed my bedroom door, I heard a dog’s bark coming from the living room. Again, I checked and my fur babies were fast asleep in my bed. Then, about a year after my personal experience with a
Is this photo evidence of a ghost dog? Do you see an apparition of a dog in the lap of the woman in the back of the photo?
“ghost dog,” a photograph crossed my desk for authentication. At first glance, it was a picture of one of our tour guides sitting on a bench surrounded with unexplained light streams in the background. I figured that the unexplained light streaks could be debunked as flash flare. However, upon closer examination, something else caught my eye, completely isolated from the original question about the lights. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Yet, there it was plain as day. Lying in my tour guide’s lap was an apparition of a dog. Finally, I was holding in my hands hard evidence of a “ghost dog.” After these two experiences, my style of paranormal investigation was forever changed. I soon began thinking about the very real possibility of the existence of “ghost dogs” and/or other “ghost animals.” I found that this experience was leading me down a path into uncharted territory with a plethora of new questions that are unique in one way, but somewhat familiar in another, such as “Why are they here?”, “What are they attached to?”, “Did they just fail to cross-over?”, and “Is there more evidence?” Needless to say, I have quite a bit of research to do before reaching a definitive answer to these questions.
Vampires, Werewolves, & Witches! Mari Wells Delves Into The Myth Surrounding Some Of The Worldâ€™s Most Feared Creatures! Join the conversation at http://mariwells.wordpress.com/
Paranormal Underground 73
Personal Experiences: Tales From The Haunted Heathman Hotel
A Time to Share By Rob St.Helen, Bridgetown Paranormal
ello once again from the Haunted Heathman Hotel. This month’s article isn’t about the hotel, or even anything paranormal. It is about something that I have been dealing with for many years, and more recently during the past month. I am about to open up, which is a huge step for me. I have autoimmune disease of the liver, and I have had it for 15 years. I take pills every day for it in hopes that they work to slow down the cirrhosis and other damage that has happened to my liver over the past 15 years. When I first became ill, my son was seven months old. I went to the doctors feeling horrible, and after a huge amount of tests and x-rays, they came back to tell me that I had liver disease. They also told me that I was so bad off that they did not know if I would be around to see my son turn one. Doctors told me that! While my liver disease is in the hepatitis family, I do not have hepatitis A, B, C, D, or even the newly found E. There is no way anyone could “catch” what I have, even if you shared a glass, hugged me, or whatever. There is no way this could be spread to another person. It’s been 15 years, and I am still battling this disease. Today my son is 15, and my daughter is almost 13 (YIKES). I haven’t told them much about it yet, but that day is coming. They need to know what’s going on with Dad. Fast forward to the present day, and for the past month or so I have had a flare-up with my liver. It’s certainly not fun feeling nauseated for weeks on end, with pain shooting down the right side of the body. You get the point. Some numbers for you: A normal adults liver size is just about 14cm. With my flare-up (this time), mine was at 22cm, and when this happens it feels like I have a fist pushing outwards on my sternum all the time (again, add in the constant sick feeling) and it’s very hard to sleep in any position. A jaundice level for a normal adult is about 4 or so; last week my level was at 18. I was starting to look a little like Bart Simpson! Try working at a hotel with that. Yes, during all this I continued to work my night shifts. The pills (knock on wood) seem to be working again after my doctor upped the amount. I am still waiting for some test results (ultra sound), but the pressure on my sternum feels as if it’s going
away and the nauseated feeling is not there every minute of every day any longer. The shooting pains are still there, but sadly that is very normal. Strangely it’s the days without the shooting pains that worry me the most. Normally, if they stop, something is wrong. When I sit back and think of everything I have had to deal with over the years, it really hits me that I do flirt with death every day. If the liver stops working, a partial liver transplant will not work. I need a full transplant, and it is very hard to find a match or a partial, let alone a full. That being said, I still feel very, very lucky. I will wake up tomorrow. I will play my ice hockey on Tuesday nights with the boys. And I know somewhere in a hospital someone just lost a loved one. They won’t get that chance to wake up in the morning. I am lucky!
Paranormal Underground 75
The Bishopâ€™s Corner
The Importance of Being Pastoral By Bishop James Long, D.Min.
have been in the field for quite some time, and I must to tell you that I have had the opportunity to investigate some of the most amazing places. One such place was the former home of Herbert Richard Baumeister. His home was known as the Fox Hollow Farm. Herbert was a serial killer from Westfield, Indiana, and he would drug his male victims in a pool that was located in the basement of his house. Needless to say, I was able to capture some amazing evidence at the site. However, the Baumeister case is not the topic of this monthâ€™s article. Instead, I want to discuss a topic that I believe is imperative to spotlight within the paranormal community: Being pastoral is equally important as obtaining evidence during a paranormal investigations. Is Being Pastoral More Important Than Collecting Evidence? You may ask, why is being pastoral so important? After all, the real job of a paranormal investigator or investigating team is to document the evidence. Correct? Wrong. While it is important that the paranormal investigators document evidence, it is equally important, and some may argue more important, for the investigator to remain pastoral throughout the entire investigation. I cannot begin to tell you how many paranormal investigators have entered the home of a family that was truly terrified and told the family they were dealing with serious demonic issues. After they tell the family this incredibly disturbing news, the family is even more distraught, but yet the investigators seem to be only focused on obtaining evidence. Evidence that they can quickly post on their Websites and boast to the world that they captured something amazing. Now some may argue that the homeowners need to do their own homework and just because a team says that
My investigation at the Fox Hollow Farm, where serial killer Herbert Richard Baumeister lived, yielded amazing paranormal evidence. But just as important during investigations is being pastoral.
their home has demonic infestation issues, they should take that with a grain of salt. And while I can understand that argument, we must never forget that homeowners are typically not involved within the paranormal community and many are legitimately frightened as to the activity that may be occurring within their home. Paranormal investigators forget that the general public does not wish or want paranormal activity to occur in their home and, for many, it is a terrifying experience. But for the seasoned investigator, it becomes an opportunity. We live and exist in two different worlds. While the investigators are excited about their findings, the family is stunned. And with the information that the paranormal team has provided about the alleged demonic activity, the family feels completely vulnerable. This is NOT how paranormal investigators or teams should ever behave. But yet, it happens all the time. I have seen this occur so many times that I have stopped counting, and that is a major issue. I would bet that those reading this article right now have heard or witnessed this very same problem, and I know that many of you are incredibly frustrated with it.
I have witnessed a team tell a family who had two small children that the demon in their home wanted to hurt the kids. Then the paranormal team wished them well and left the family in complete shambles. This is unethical, immoral, and an abomination. To cause such extreme emotional distress to an innocent family is beyond comprehension, and it should never be tolerated in this field. Were the actions of the paranormal team pastoral? I think not. Rather, I believe it was sadistic. Investigators Should Know Their Complete Responsibility Before Investigating I know that there are many investigators out there who do not wish to investigate residential cases and that is completely and perfectly acceptable. However, when a team or investigator chooses to enter a home in which the family is terrified, the investigator must be fully aware that their job is MUCH more than just capturing evidence. Their job becomes pastoral. Once they step foot in the family’s home, then they should be prepared to offer comfort, encouragement, and evidence to the family. It is not acceptable to simply document the evidence and then walk away. How is that helping the family? If the evidence captured clearly indicates that activity is occurring and the family is asking for assistance, then the investigating team has a moral obligation to assist the family. If the team does not offer help, then they should not be investigating in the first place. Investigators Should Not Take on Demonic Cases Unless They Have Adequate Experience Dealing With Such Cases I also want to make this abundantly clear. I am not or never have been in favor of paranormal investigators taking on demonic cases without experience. I have said that for years, and I want to make this crystal clear. If a team investigates a home and based on the evidence captured, there is clear indication that demonic infestation is the cause of the activity, then the team must be prepared and willing to network with clergy so that the family is not left alone. This is the proper way to handle those cases. Capturing evidence is one thing, but when investigators accept a case, they must accept that their job becomes much more than just investigating an alleged haunted location. We must never forget that the haunted location is someone’s home, and they are terrified.
Ask the Bishop Q: How does a “normal” person distinguish when it’s a demon or just paranormal? —From Vicky A: Hello Vicky. Thank you for the question, and that is definitely a question that I get asked a lot. First, I have to say that demonic infestation is very, very rare. It does occur but it’s rare. I think that far too often, people think that demons are in every haunted home, and that is just not the case. Now, in saying that, demonic infestation does occur, and here is how you can differentiate between a simple haunting versus a true demonic infestation. First, you always must look at the intent of the entity that is haunting a home. When you are dealing with human spirits whose main goal is to let the homeowners know that they exist, their intent is rather different from a demonic entity. Human spirit who simply wants the homeowners to know that they are present will do simple things. They are able to move light objects, turn lights on and off, and emit certain smells (perfume, etc). They do not wish harm on the homeowners at all. They just want to let them know that they are there. A demonic entity has the intent to cause harm. It’s very violent, and the overwhelming oppression is quite daunting. A demonic entity will desecrate religious objects, animals can be harmed, scratches can occur, loud banging often happens, and a horrible, rotten odor will emit from rooms of the house and the source of the smell cannot be established. The goal of the demonic is to eradicate the intellect and will of the individual through the stages of infestation and oppression. When that occurs, the individual can no longer fight and they ultimately give in to the demonic’s will. ***** Q: Do children who read books that contain the names of demons unknowingly create connections by joking around with others and saying the names they learn? —From Dave
I invite you to write in with your questions, and I will answer them in the next issue. Please submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A: Hey Dave. Dave???? Can you read this? Now Dave, if you are reading this, you and I now have a connection. You now know that I am aware of your identity, and now you are aware of mine. And, therefore, a connection has been made. That is why I tell people to avoid using the names of demons. Great question.
Paranormal Underground 77
Religion And The Paranormal
Judaism and the Paranormal By Melinda Stum, M.Div., South Sound Paranormal Research
udaism offers brief glimpses of paranormal experiences, including disembodied human spirits, mediums, prophecies and prophetic dreams, and potentially spiritual beings. These glimpses are portrayed in the narrative of the medium at Endor (1 Samuel 28:7-25), the folklore of Lilith, and the Dibbuk (or Dybbuk) Box.
yne); however, the more popular folklore is Lilith. According to folklore, Lilith was the first wife to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Lilith was an assertive woman who rebelled against Adam and God, and who was replaced by another woman named Eve. When Lilith left, God sent angels to retrieve her, but she was uncooperative. Instead, Lilith claimed dominion over infants The Medium at Endor for the first days of their lives: eight days for The Judeo-Christian scriptures include males and 12 days for females. She would several references to mediums, who compromise with these angels to not harm communicate with the deceased. Unfortu(or curse) those infants wearing an amulet nately, these references are often negative. bearing the angelsâ€™ names. This dominion The narrative of the medium at Endor, is associated as a curse upon Eve and her however, is intriguingly different. off-spring (e.g., humankind). The narrative begins with Saul, the King As time has continued, the folklore of Lilith (1892) by John Collier in of Israel. Saul had illegalized the consultLilith has been expanded, modified, and Southport Atkinson Art Gallery. debated. Lilith would become associated as ing of spirits and persecuted the mediums who summoned these spirits. However, the first disembodied spirit, a demonized God had discontinued communication through prophets succubus, a vampire, and the mother or queen of demons. and dreams with Saul. In a moment of desperation, Saul disguises himself and journeys to the medium at Endor. Dibbuk (or Dybbuk) Box The medium recognizes Saul, who promises that A dibbuk is a malevolent disembodied spirit in no persecution will come to her. He requests that she Judaism, which has been identified as demonic by some. summon Samuel, a deceased prophet. The disembodThe Dibbuk Box was created by an individual in order ied Samuel is annoyed, questioning why Saul disturbed to restrain a dibbuk that sought to enter into our realm. him, summoning him up (from Shoel). Saul explains the This Dibbuk Box provides a glimpse for the existence of lack of communication with God and admits his fear of disembodied forces. impending military doom. This Dibbuk Box has captivated the paranormal comThis narrative of Saul and the medium at Endor demmunity via Paranormal Underground Radio, Paranormal onstrates the coexistence of mediums, communication Witness, and The Possession. with disembodied spirits, and the interruption of prophecies and dreams within the faith tradition of Judaism. Conclusion In conclusion, the faith tradition of Judaism does offer Lilith glimpses and support for paranormal experiences. The In the Book of Genesis, there are two creation narparanormal experiences include, but are not limited to, meratives offering different accounts. Jewish tradition offers diums, the disembodied human soul, and prophecies and folklores, or extra-biblical narrative, that seeks to explain dreams. In addition, the folklore of Lilith and the Dibbuk these differing creation accounts. One folklore is that the Box may provide support for the exploration of paranorfirst human was created as male and female (e.g., androgmal beings, including vampires, succubus, and demons.
Paranormal Underground 79
Devon Ellington (aka Annabel Aidan)
By Michelle M. Pillow, www.MichellePillow.com
evon Ellington (aka Annabel Aidan) is a full-time writer, publishing under half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction and providing writing and editing services for an international client base. She is an internationally produced playwright and teaches online and in-person all over the world. ***** Q: Under the pen name, Annabel Aidan you write romantic suspense with a hint of magic. The latest, Assumption of Right, is about practicing witch Morgan D’Anneville, who has her hands full when the right-wing Vice President has a guest role in the Broadway show she works on. Secret Service agent Simon Keane wonders if their presence disturbs the theatre ghosts or if something more threatening — and human — is the culprit. Assumption of Right takes place backstage at a Broadway theatre. Was this location inspired by experience? Devon: I worked backstage on Broadway and in film and television production for many years. Theatres are known for their ghosts. Assumption of Right is a mash-up of the Belasco and the Gershwin theatres. The Belasco, in particular, has a delightful history — David was quite the impresario and is still around. I’ve worked there and love that place. Plus, add in that he lived in an apartment over the theatre and had a one-way mirror into the chorus girls’ dressing room! I thought it would be fun to play with that.
I’ve worked with the Secret Service several times, having them backstage (although not in quite as much detail as Simon and Morag work together), and always enjoyed my time with them. Add to that too many novels pretending to take place backstage on Broadway were written by someone who went to one community dinner theatre and has no clue how it actually works back there. So I was killing several ghosts with one stone, so to speak. Q: In the first The Jain Lazarus Adventure book Hex Breaker, Jain Lazarus helps out old friends on the set of a film, teaming up with skeptical detective Wyatt East to defeat zombies, the town wife beater, and come to terms with a cranky god. In this series, you delve into the world of hex breaking. What inspired you to write about this? Devon: As far as the Jain Lazarus Adventures went, the scene where Jain cuts off the zombie’s head early in the book came to me one day when I was working on an independent film and exhausted. I’m not a big zombie person, but we felt like zombies working on set after a few days, so it was apt! The other scene that came to me early on was the scene with Jain, Nick, and Billy in the car, followed by the guys trying to run them off the road, and rescued by the Chaos dragon. I built the book up from that. Initially, Nick was supposed to be the love interest in the series, but once Wyatt walked in, he sort of took over and had such exceptional
chemistry with Jain that we all fell for Wyatt. And Billy’s so great, he’s got a big fan following and his own blog. Billy’s encounter with the chaos dragon in that initial scene is very important later in the book, and sets up the third book in the series, Crave the Hunt, which is, basically, his comingof-age and coming into his own as someone who deals with paranormal creatures. Old-Fashioned Detective Work, the second book in the series (and the one I’m supposed to be talking about), is told from Wyatt’s POV, when Jain disappears after a romantic weekend. He’s a homicide detective and a practical sort, so when he gets caught up with shape shifters and mermaids and yes, another dragon — it was fun to approach those paranormal elements from his point of view. What interests me about developing Jain over the course of the seven-book series is that she is a hex breaker, which means she deals with different types of magic. She’s welltrained, she knows a lot, but she’s always learning more. She’s always growing and changing and getting stronger. As her relationship with Wyatt grows, they both get stronger, both paranormally and humanly. I wanted to explore how a stable, growing, healthy relationship could enhance one’s magical abilities. Q: When world building, did you base your story off of known myths? Devon: I use a lot of Celtic myth, and Greek and Roman myths, and then give them a twist. I like to read different versions of a myth, and then see how I can explore it and make it relevant to us today. I use variations on the Medusa myths in my paranormal mystery Tracking Medusa, which is now on submission, variations on the harpies/furies/erinyes myths for an upcoming urban fantasy trilogy, and variations on the Goddess of Sovereignty married to the King myth for an epic fantasy trilogy (which also explores the boundaries/limitations of love and monogamy). I like to dissect myths and turn them inside out.
where I now live, and North Shore of MA. I work with the National Marine Life Center and seals — there’s definitely a selkie-based book in my future —- and deal with the changing oceanscape and climate change. Ocean-based myths and legends are having more and more impact on me, because I deal with ocean-based issues in daily life. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Devon: I think it’s a way to explore more primal parts of our nature that we (especially women) are told to repress growing up. It’s a way to explore attitudes we can’t get away with in ordinary life. We want our heroes and heroines to be MORE than we are anyway — why not stronger, more animalistic, more magical? Q: Who are your favorite paranormal authors? Devon: My favorite authors include Sharon Shinn, Yasmine Galenorn, Nicole Peeler, Kevin Hearne — all kick-ass paranormal/urban fantasy authors. Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Devon: There’s definitely more in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than we can explain. I think a lot of people use paranormal experiences as excuses for bad behavior, instead of looking at them in a more Jungian sense and figuring out WHY that’s how their desires/troubles/fears manifest. Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Devon: For Old-Fashioned Detective Work, I wanted to explore mermaid myths. It takes place on Cape Cod,
Devon: Well, I’ve worked in theatre for years, so I have a cache of ghost stories! David Belasco’s ghost has this thing for lingerie. I used to stay with a friend who had to do laundry after the show, because she’d hang up the bras, and suddenly they’d go flying around the room without any breeze. I’d say, “Cut it out, David, you letch!” It was kind of funny. Once, in the same theatre, I tripped going down the stairs carrying laundry baskets and invisible hands caught me and put me back on my feet. Another time, I was running through the crossover under the stage, and
Q: What other myths or legends inspired you?
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Author Profile Q: What does the future hold for Jain (The Jain Lazarus Adventures) and Morag (Assumption of Right)?
I saw a woman in a lavender gown (the color of the number on stage) standing by the sound console. Her back was to me, and I thought maybe her dresser missed a change, so I went over to help and when I got there, she was gone. That kind of thing. I never felt threatened or creeped out at the Belasco, though, I always felt the ghosts there took care of their own. I have dozens of theatre ghost stories! Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet? Devon: Selkie. With all the work I do with seals at the National Marine Life Center, selkies have become an obsession. Seals are such amazing, intelligent, soulful individuals. Spend time with a seal, and you can understand how these myths start! Q: If given the chance, would you become a selkie? Devon: I would not become a selkie because there are too many predators on seals — especially humans. There are humans who boast about killing seals (in defiance of the Marine Mammal Protection Act) and, in several of my books, they get gory, poetic justice on the level of Greek myth. Mostly because I can’t get away with doing it in real life, and wish I COULD do that to these guys in real life. If I could become another type of animal, it would be a dragon because of the primal, elemental power and the old magic. Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a ghost? Devon: Ghosts really don’t freak me out. A friend of mine in New Orleans believes it’s rather discriminatory to stop dealing with someone just because they’re dead, and I think that’s a rather good attitude. I’m tired of the vampire stories at this point, and the werewolves — I think it’s time to give them a rest for a bit and explore some of the more under-reported beings. It’s hard for a new-to-me paranormal author to engage with vampires and werewolves at this point, because the same ground is being repeated in book after book. Turn them myths inside out. Give us a new perspective!
Devon: Jain is going to continue to grow and come into her power during the course of the series. Her relationship with Wyatt will strengthen, but there will be some obstacles and a shocking twist in books six and seven. I promise, Jain and Wyatt will go out with a BANG! Morag and Simon’s story is done, although they are peripheral characters in the next books under the Annabel Aidan name. The next book in that world, The Spirit Repository, has Bonnie, the editor for the esoteric press, at the center. She sublet Morag’s apartment near the end of Assumption of Right. Bonnie falls in love with a guy who runs a second-hand bookstore in a building that his family has owned since New York was New Amsterdam. He’s used to living with ghosts, but someone is holding ghosts hostage. Q: Have you ever been to a psychic? Devon: Well, I read tarot. I teach tarot. I do a lot of work with tarot. So I do a lot of my own work. Sometimes I do trades with other psychics. I’ve had past-life regression work done and was told that I had lives in Elizabethan England (explains my obsession with Shakespeare and Marlowe, perhaps?), Yoruba culture, and Ancient China, but I have yet to find its relevance in my life now, so I don’t pay too much attention. If it’s helpful for others, great. For me, past-life regression hasn’t been a practical working tool. Tarot is, though, and so are the runes. Q: Have you ever been abducted by aliens? Devon: No. I think it’s egotistical to think we are the only life in the Universe, but I think most other cultures think we’re morons — especially the way we’re destroying our own planet — and are passing us by. We’re not worth the time for contact.
To learn more, visit Devon’s Website at www.devonellingtonwork.com and her blog on the writing life, Ink in My Coffee at http://devonellington.wordpress.com.
Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial
Things That Go Bump in the Night: Science, Paranormal Research, and Pop Culture By Maureen Burgess
hen we look at the origins of science in the Western world, we look to Thales of Miletus (circa 620 B.C.E.), who is accredited with seeking natural explanations for the phenomena he observed around him. This departure from Divine explanations to natural ones has become one of the major hallmarks of contemporary, global science. When coupled with the paradigm shifts of the Scientific Revolution (circa 1500-1700 C.E.), we see the emergence of contemporary philosophy of science as defined by the incorporation of empirical data in conjunction with natural explanations. Scientific Theory The catch is that natural explanations must meet the criteria of a scientifically defined theory — it must be able to be used through time and space. Failure to meet this standard leaves many scholarly fields in the dust. For example, evolutionary theory explains variations within a species through time and space because of genetic mutation. The nemesis of scientific theory is the dreaded empirical generalization. A classic example of an empirical generalization is to put a bottle of beer in the freezer and forget about it. When the poor, thirsty individual goes to retrieve the beer, there is nothing left but shards of glass with beer icicles all over the freezer. The sum of the empirical generalization is that leaving a bottle of beer in the freezer will cause it to explode. This tells what happened, the bottle shattered, without explaining why it shattered. To get the shattering beer bottle more in line with a scientific theory, we would include the idea that when temperatures drops, atoms/molecules slow down and expand, therefore, exerting enough pressure to break the bottle and leaving a sheet of frozen beer on the Tater
Tots. This model can be used through time and space — in other words, identical beer bottles under identical conditions will experience the same shattering if they are in Siberia in the year 600 C.E. or Fargo in 1960 because of molecular movement caused by temperature. This begs the question of why such formalities are so important. The answer to this is two-fold. First, scientists hold a special place in Western culture. The first scientists in early modern history, then known as natural philosophers, came from the ranks of the gentry who had the time and money to sit around contemplating the nature of the universe. By the virtue of their rank in society, they expected and received deference. Even the poorest of scientist today have inherited some of this deference. The dawn of the Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, roughly dated from the Glorious Revolution to the French Revolution, added even more value to knowledge gained through methodical research and the conclusions drawn from reason rather than revelation. Beyond the ivory towers of academia, we often hear the phrase, “Scientists say ... .” This phrase leaves the average listener with the loaded pause of, “Oh ... ?” Mention the same thing to a denizen of the ivory towers and the response will be, “So?” And the individual meanders back to the thought of, “How could I forget the beer was in the freezer?” The difference between these groups, both in academia and out, is exacerbated by empirical data explained by theory. While those in the ivory towers argue amongst themselves about who is the real scientist among them, many disapprovingly cast their eyes down on the contemporary paranormal researchers thinking that all the researchers are doing is going on a wild ghost chase. The few exceptions in academia would include the
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Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial
folklorists who catalogue ghost stories and the cultural anthropologists who attempt to put the beliefs into a meaningful, cultural-specific context. The very fact that ghosts appear to be cultural universals, that is that they appear to be in all cultures through time and space, should warrant a more serious attitude in regard to their investigation. Blame It on Superstition Without a doubt, the biggest blow to ghosts, along with other supernatural beliefs, in Western culture was the Enlightenment. Many of that time deemed that disembodied souls causing a ruckus in our plain of existence were nothing more than superstitions. However, as historian Jeffrey Burton Russell has pointed out in numerous books and essays, something is only a superstition when it is inconsistent with an individual’s world view. For example, if we dismiss witchcraft prosecutions as the folly of the ignorant and superstitious, then we fail to understand what was going on in that historical context where witches were a reality. In addition, we fall into the presentist trap of expecting those from centuries before us to be as enlightened as we are. Until the rising popularity of television shows such as Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, paranormal research was limited to a handful of parapsychologists, most notably from Duke University (although it is rumored that the CIA engaged in mind-reading experiments). The increased variety of technical devices and their affordability have expanded the number of researchers, as well as the types of data they are collecting. Despite the meticulous collection of data, scientists and skeptics still scoff at paranormal research. They recognize that without an overarching theory to explain the data within the parameters of contemporary science, all paranormal researchers are doing is collecting data. Paranormal researchers, on the other hand, fail to understand that no matter how methodically data is collected and recorded, it remains just odd facts without a meaningful context. Neither of these perceptions warrants casting the para-
normal aside as a cheap parlor amusement or an unscientific endeavor. What is called for is a meeting of the minds with the recognition that paranormal researchers are recording something that is beyond normal experiences. This is where skeptics can think outside of the box and approach the paranormal with the attitude something is happening, but it could quite possibly be beyond the realm of supernatural origins. For years people thought that it was man’s bad behavior that led to natural disasters created by the Divine to punish sinners. Now we know that earthquakes are caused by shifting tectonic plates that have nothing to do with the piety of the area’s inhabitants. The possibilities of explanations of incidents without supernatural origins should be a draw for the most curious scientist, especially since contemporary researchers have placed less of an emphasis on using mediums or feelings to tangible data from mechanical devices. This is not to say perceptions or feelings do not have a place in paranormal research because they emphatically do if for no other reason than they provide a unique insight into our culture. This may not be a convincing argument for short-sighted skeptics, but the more detailed the information gathered, the better future generations will understand our world views. Should Paranormal Researchers Be Scientific? Perhaps one question that might be posed is should paranormal researchers strive to be “scientific”? The simplest answer is that the collection of any data that adds to the body of knowledge of our world and beyond — especially if there can be an independent means of verification — is valuable. Given that archaeologists have argued for years whether archaeology is a science has not stopped any research or excavations. This is where paranormal researchers might benefit from the archaeological theorists who have concluded that archaeology is not and will never be a science. These archaeologists still excavate sites and analyze artifacts; but without the dogmatic restraints of scientific theory, these archaeologists are free to use other interpretive tools to understand the people they are studying. In other words, they can interpret the site and people by placing a primacy on different aspects of culture such as subsistence practices. Granted, there is always room for other interpretations, such as are cave paintings really indicative of a hunting cult? Or are they just a form a prehistoric teenage graffiti? No matter what the case, the reader is still invited to be part of the analysis by the virtue of providing as much information as possible. Should paranormal researchers take this path, then they are free to use supernatural explanations for the observed phenomena. For example, any discussion of demons usually is excluded as a part of a scientific explana-
for sale that claim to catch the wispiest of wisps? tion because of demons’ supernatural origins. By discardFinancial gain is not the goal for the serious investigaing a scientific explanation of demonic phenomenon, researchers are free to explore the religious and theologitors. The most respected ones do not charge for their sercal theories while still collecting empirical data that can be vices when they investigate a home or business. They do so measured independently by other researchers. out of curiosity and passion. Investigators spend their own time, and money on equipment, out of a genuine desire to In addition to using religious explanations to explain help others. For this alone, they should be applauded. the paranormal, researchers have the opportunity to obParanormal investigators do play several important serve paranormal beliefs from a cultural anthropologists’ point of view. Returning to the example of demons, how roles in our society. In years gone by, people experiencing strong are the influences of movies and television in our incidents beyond the mundane happenings of the day-today routines might call a man of the cloth or some type determination of what is demonic? Are the chills we feel of folk practitioner to rid their homes of their uninvited when we hear a gravelly voice influenced by The Exorguests. After the introduction and popularity of Poltergeist cist? This is precisely where paranormal researchers can take a step back to examine their own assumptions and (1982), people began to turn more often to scientists and beliefs. The results should be more descriptive and introparapsychologists rather than a member of the clergy. On the downside, now everyone’s spective than simply saying, “A Through parapsychology, scihome or business is built on an demonic voice was heard to say, ence, the supernatural, and pop ancient — and sometimes not ‘Get out.’” In some ways, this so ancient — burial ground. Oh, could provide a more profound culture have come together ... and lots of people died there. analysis than any attempt to be Nevertheless, it is through parapsychology that sciscientific. ence, the supernatural, and popular culture come together The Evolution of Paranormal Beliefs to provide basic answers as to what is causing extraordinary things in our homes, offices, and schools. There are The history of the evolution of paranormal beliefs many paranormal research groups that have emerged in sometimes takes a rather convoluted path. With the school the last 10 or so years looking for such answers. And most of high magic during the Middle Ages, the beliefs tended groups’ first priority is to help those in need. This takes to originate with the educated classes and filter down to the lower classes. In the case of low magic and beliefs related to a strong commitment from the members of the group to each other and to the group as a whole, as well as an witchcraft during the same period, beliefs originated in the equally strong commitment to help others. This leaves common populace and rose to the educated classes. The those who are suffering from activity with the knowledge advent of contemporary mandatory public education has that these volunteers will help them as if they were part of narrowed the gap between the educated and uneducated to the educated and the more educated. their own family. Most researchers’ goals do not begin and end with Since we have already established that traditional scijust helping others. Part of the purpose for all their entists avoid paranormal research in much the same way investigations is to understand the extraordinary phea Salem minister would avoid a witch, it is safe to assume nomena around us. This includes research, investigating, that paranormal beliefs originate in the general populace making contributions to the very nebulous body of beliefs documenting, debunking, explanations, and solutions. As is typical of many paranormal researchers, investigators and practices known as popular culture. The contributions that paranormal research can make are constantly looking at phenomena in new ways and reevaluating traditional assumptions. Just as it is important to pop culture studies cannot be emphasized enough. They to them to bring to any investigation open hearts, they also act as a unique window into our lives, death, and beyond bring with them open minds. in a way no other area of study can provide. Even though It is these small groups of researchers who are making the belief in ghosts may be considered nothing more than superstitious remnants of years gone by in some corners of valuable contributions to our knowledge of parapsychology. Without them, ghost stories would be left in our cultural society, the popularity of paranormal television shows sugclosets only to be taken out and dusted off for Halloween gest that there is a strong enough interest in the paranormal before being promptly replaced and forgotten until the next that translates into commercial viability. How much publicyear. If anything, our ghosts remind us of the incredible ity has Roto Rooter received by having two of their employees fix drains by day and investigate the sound of rattling people who came before us, survived incredible odds, and inspire us to be more than what we are now. chains by night? How many new and affordable gadgets are
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Featured Author: Paranormal Fiction
The Scent of Fear By Mari Wells
he walked down the dark sidewalk. Why did I stay late tonight? she thought to herself. A chill ran down her back, and she looked over her shoulder. Nothing was there. She sighed. Why am I always so afraid? Seriously, what’s going to happen? She wished she was cozy at home, snuggled into her bed and peacefully asleep. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a shadow. She stopped and spun around. The can of mace was ready in her left hand. Again, there wasn’t anything. She rolled her eyes, frustrated with herself. Her apartment was only two blocks away; she almost ran, bumping into a man walking down the street. “I’m sorry,” she said. “No problem, honey. You shouldn’t be out alone in a place like this. Get yourself home.” She nodded and started on her way. He watched her a moment before he started walking. Another tall, thin man stopped where the incident occurred. He bent down and touched his fingertips to the cement. He raised them to his nose and inhaled deeply. “Not yet,” he whispered as he licked his lips. Slowly he started walking in the same direction the woman had gone. He saw the door close behind her. He leaned against the building across the alley for a short moment scanning his surroundings. ***** She pushed her door open, flicked on the light, and dropped her bag beside the door. Latches and locks were pushed and pulled, each one double-checked before she was satisfied they were locked. She took a step backwards. Her eyes followed the top lock across, locked, the second lock, the third, the fourth, and finally the deadbolt and knob lock. She pulled off her jacket and hung it up. In the kitchen, she put the kettle on the stove, pulled out a saucepot, and dumped in a can of soup. Then she walked to her room, unbuttoning her shirt. A chill ran down her spine as she undressed. Quickly she spun around to look at the window. Why am I so
scared tonight? How would someone be in my window? It’s the third floor for crying out loud. She pulled on a pair of sweat pants and a T-shirt and then bent down to pick up the pile of clothes. A draft caressed her back. She carried her pile to the bathroom and dropped them into the hamper. The tall man bent; his fingers dragged across the bedroom floor. He inhaled deeply. “Soon.” ***** She stood in front of the mirror, pulling her hair into a ponytail. A dark figure floated behind her. She froze. Her heart pounded against her ribs. Slowly she moved from the sink. Very slowly, she walked into the hallway. I know something is here. I’m not over reacting, she thought. Her hair stood on end as she walked toward her room. The kettle screeched. She jumped. Shaking her head and laughing at herself, she went to the kitchen to remove the kettle. The tall man inhaled again. He smiled
and nodded. He went to the kitchen. The room felt colder. She turned to turn up the heat, when she saw his tall dark figure leaning against the doorframe. Her heart dropped to her stomach and thumped once within her belly. She gasped for air. “No, that won’t be fun,” he said shaking his head. “You must continue to breath.” Her heart pounded now in her throat. She forced herself to breath, to think of some way to escape. The boiling soup; could I throw it at him? she wondered. Her hand wrapped around the pot handle. “There, that is better now,” he inhaled again. “Yes, now it will be fun.” She flung the pot at him. Steam came off his body. He chuckled. “You are feisty. That will make this that much more enjoyable.” She climbed over the counter dividing the kitchen from the living room. She picked up the receiver and punched at the numbers. He pulled the line ripping it from the wall and shook his head from side to side. She threw the receiver at him. He accepted her effort of self-defense; it hit him in the chest. The tall man looked down at the phone, bent and picked it up, and crushed it in his hand. She ran toward the door. Catching her by the hair,
he started to raise her from the ground. Ice cold fingers wrapped around her throat. He carried her a few steps until her back pressed against the wall. He moved his head close to her neck. His cold smooth tongue ran up the jugular vein on the left side of her neck. “Hmmm, close, but not yet.” He flung her across the room. She landed on the side table; it cracked under her. He moved closer. She scurried on her hands and knees to the corner of the room. Tears burned in her eyes, blurring her sight. There was no getting away from him now, she thought. He bent down beside her. “Yes.” His voice vibrated through her body. The freezing fingers weaved into her hair. He pulled her head to his. His mouth pressed to hers. She tried to pull away from him. Hands pushed into his chest, her feet dangled helplessly. His right hand caressed her left cheek. He dug his fingers into her cheek, holding her in the position he desired. His lips forced hers open. “Please, don’t,” she tried to say, breathless. With his mouth pressed against hers, he inhaled deeply. Her body went limp. He pulled away from her lifeless body. He looked down at her, crumpled on the floor, smiled, and then vanished.
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