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PARANORMAL UNDERGROUND

®

Volume 7

Issue 2

February 2014

BEWARE!

Black-Eyed Kids! An Encounter With The

Ectoplasm Real or Not? How to Defend Against

Psychic Attacks!

Mothman

The Devil Baby of Hull House The Doppleganger

Effect

Haunted

ALSO INSIDE:

Cashtown Inn

Haunted Collector’s Brian J. Cano The Connection Between UFOs & Paranormal Activity Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now Scott Michaels of Dearly Departed Tours The American Leprechaun and His Kin February 2014 Paranormal Underground Skeptic James Randi Speaks

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PARANORMAL UNDERGROUND

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Table Of Contents CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN 26 Haunted Sites The Cashtown Inn 28 Are We Alone? The Connection Between UFOs & Paranormal Activity 30

Cryptids & Mythological Creatures The American Leprechaun and His Kin

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32 Urban Legends The Devil Baby of Hull House 34 Haunted History The Haunted U.S. Capitol Building

IN THE SPOTLIGHT 18

Para-Chat James Randi: Magician, Escape Artist, & Skeptic

20 Investigator Spotlight Brian J. Cano: “Haunted Collector”

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38 Haunted Entertainment Scott Michaels: Dearly Departed Tours 74 Author Profile N.J. Walters: “Howl of the Wolf”

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PARANORMAL INSIGHTS 24 Special Report Ectoplasm: Real or Not? 50 Inside the Psychic Mind The Art of Rebalancing Your Psychic Energy 54

The Psychic Biker: Attitude With Empathy Skeptics & The Paranormal

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Crystals & Herbology Energy-Moving Astrological Gemstones: Part 2

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Magic & Lore Mysteries & Superstitions of Salt

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Personal Experiences: Paranormal Encounters A Haunting

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Paranormal Safety The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

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The Bishop’s Corner My Experience With Mothman

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Religion and the Paranormal The Paranormal in Islam

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Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial Self-Sabotage of the Paranormal Field

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THE DARKER SIDE 44 Katie’s Conspiracy Corner The Doppelganger Effect 60 Demonology — The Dark Files Paranormal Teams & The Demonic 64 The Dark Corner With Chuck Black-Eyed Kids

DEPARTMENTS 4 Contributors 6 Publisher’s Letter 7 Calendar of Events 7 Ghost Hunter Comic 8 The Paranormal Top 10 List 12 Equipment Update

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Contributors Jackie Chin .Jackie is a paranormalist, author, and spiritual teacher. She uses her gifts to enlighten and encourage those who are seeking solutions. During her life, Jackie has seen many deaths, helped people cross over with Reiki, and counseled clients about these issues. She knows that there is life after death, but she believes that each person has their own idea about what death will be like and this influences their experience of the afterlife. (http://psychicconnextions.blogspot.com/) Katie Christopher Katie is a paranormal investigator living in North East Pennsylvania. She has been involved in paranormal investigation since 2006 with the team NEPA Paranormal. In that time, she has 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) Elaine Davison Elaine is a founding member and investigator with Western Oregon Organization of Paranormal Investigators. After an incident in 2012, when her seemingly healthy team investigated a home and then all became ill afterward, Elaine wrote a basic pamphlet called “Safety Tips for Paranormal Investigators.” Her goal is to spread the word about the health and safety issues investigators face so they are safe during investigations. (www.paranormalsafety.com) 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 co-host of Paranormal Underground Radio on www.heyzradio.com and author of Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington and Dancing With the Afterlife. 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)

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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 his teammates, they gather evidence of the paranormal and try to figure out the how’s and why’s of these events. He is also the host of In the Dark Radio on the Hey Z Radio Network. (www.inthedarkinvestigations.com) Paul Green 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) Rick E. Hale A Chicago native, Rick is co-host 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. 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.


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.

includes parapsychology, cryptozoology, Fortean phenomena, anomalies, UFOs, aliens, demonic possession, and exorcism.

Deborah Lantz Deborah is a gifted and trusted medium who enjoys the gifts she has been given. She takes her work seriously and 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 investigation and often works with her son, Nick Lantz, and his group Redemption Paranormal. (www.facebook.com/yourspiritbeacon)

Lee Tracy Lee entered military service during the Vietnam Conflict and was educated as a sonar technician and an anti-submarine warfare instructor. He worked in the defense industry as an engineering technical writer for companies based in California and Georgia. Lee received education at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy in Criminal Investigation and Crime Scene Analysis. He also graduated from the University of Great Falls with a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and criminal justice. He currently investigates the link between vortex travel and its connection to spirits and creatures from other dimensions.

Jill Marie Morris Jill is a psychic/medium, author, and documentary filmmaker. She is well-versed in the technical, investigative, and research sectors of the field. Jill uses her gifts as a medium and psychic to assist with paranormal investigations and cold cases. In July 2011, Jill published 207: A Personal Account of Love Paranormal Phenomenon and Demonic Possession, in which she details a series of real-life events and paranormal encounters that completely reshaped her life. 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) 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. (http://silvermoonmedicyn.blogspot.com/) 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

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.

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) Michael White Michael is a team leader, researcher, and investigator for Paranormal Research & Investigations. His interest in the paranormal began at age seven with his first paranormal encounter where he was thrown across a room by an unseen entity. His paranormal interests include research into hauntings, ESP, PK, OBE experiences, UFOs, and cryptozoology. Having served in the military for 21 years, Michael utilizes his experience with surveillance and data collection in the pursuit of researching the unknown. (www.pri-wa.com) Jerry Williams, Ph.D. Jerry has been a minister with New Life Ministry Church since 1995. He has been educated in demonology, including the subjects of exorcisms and deliverance, and has performed exorcisms and house blessings. Jerry has been investigating the paranormal since 1993, and he utilizes his mediumistic abilities to assist those seeking help. He recently earned his doctorate in behavioral science of ministry. A radio host on www.goingbeyondradio.com, Jerry also started a school on behalf of his church to teach demonology. (www.eastsideparanormalsociety.webs.com, www.crisedu.com)

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Publisher’s Letter PARANORMAL U N D E R G R O U N D® Volume 7, Issue 2

February 2014

www.ParanormalUnderground.net

EDITORIAL

What Awaits Us on the Other Side?

Publisher Chad Wilson

Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight

Editor@paranormalunderground.net

Science Editor J.D. Harrison

Contributors Jackie Chin Katie Christopher Elaine Davison James Franklin Dietz Karen Frazier Terri J. Garofalo Charles G. Gotski Paul Green Rick E. Hale Ashley Hall Jack Kenna Deborah Lantz Bishop James Long, D.Min. Silvermoon Medicyn Jill Marie Morris Michelle M. Pillow Jill Stefko, Ph.D. Melinda Stum, M.Div. Lee Tracy Mari Wells Jerry Williams, Ph.D. The views expressed and opinions given by our contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Paranormal Underground magazine’s owners, affiliates, or sponsors. Copyright © 2008-2014 — 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.

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hat awaits us on the law, as if the church is a moral comother side? Is it, as some pass of sorts? That’s fine and dandy believe, recompense for if you are a member of that religion, the sins we have committed in life but what about those of us who maybe in the form of Hell or some believe in something else? other place of punishment? I believe in God, plain Or is it love, understanding, and simple. When I pray and forgiveness in a place I ask for my prayers to be like Heaven? I believe it is answered in God’s name. the latter. Others don’t believe in a But why do so many god at all, and that’s okay. believe we deserve punishWhat makes us unique are ment when we break some our beliefs. Without this “moral code”? Why must unique nature, we would all Chad Wilson, spirits have to suffer at all be the same. Publisher when they die? Maybe that is how it When we come into this world, was long ago when we decided to bewe are innocent, little babes with no gin this reincarnation cycle here on idea of the drama that is about to unEarth. We are born, we live, we die, fold. This drama is our lives, starting and then, as I believe, we return to when we are young and ending up, do it all over again. Why, you might God willing, at a point in time where ask? For the experience. To help our experiences and age exceed the make us who we are at the heart of majority of those around us. it. Like I said, it would be a pretty When we leave this world, we boring place if we were all the same. take with us all of the emotional bagSo, I think that when we die we gage of long years of living, of love enter a zone of love, compassion, found and lost, moments of sadness and understanding. An understandand happiness, all going into the ing that we all do things for differmaking of the collective experience ent reason and, in the end, that it that we call our life. is okay. That’s OK because love We also go out with none of our conquers all, and we signed up for physical trappings; we are bare spirthis long ago. So we must be willing its, naked once again, making our to take the good with the bad. way through the cosmos, awaiting There is no hate, no punishthe next chapter to begin. ment, on the other side — other than At what point do we begin to what we do to ourselves — only love, think we need to be punished for compassion, understanding, and not following this or that religious finally forgiveness.

February 2014


Calendar Of Events Begins February 7

Ports of Apparitions Cruise New Orleans, Louisiana http://ghostcruise.net/

February 22–23

Grey Ghost Paracon USS Hornet Museum San Francisco Bay, California www.greyghostparacon.com

February 28–March 2

Canadian Haunted Attractions Conference Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre in Guelph, ON, Canada http://www.canadahaunts.ca/chac/

March 1–2

All Ireland Paracon Malone Lodge Hotel Belfast, Ireland www.allirelandparacon.com

March 22

Texas Paranormal Unity Fest 2014 Somervell County Expo Center Glen Rose, TX http://www.zvents.com/glen_rose_tx/ events/show/357707043-texas-paranormal-unity-fest-2014

April 10–13

Phenomacon Gettysburg, PA Eisenhower Hotel http://phenomaconcentral.com/

April 26

Ohio Bigfoot Conference Salt Fork Lodge & Conference Center East Cambridge, Ohio http://www.ohiobigfootconference.com/

PARANORMAL U N D E R G R O U N D® Volume 7, Issue 2

February 2014

www.ParanormalUnderground.net

ADVERTISING Interested in advertising in Paranormal Underground magazine or during our Radio Show/Podcast?

Contact:

April 26

VA ParaQuest Historic Avenel Plantation Bedford, Virginia http://vaparaquest.com/Home_Page.html

May 1–3

Mounds Paracon & Fundraiser Mounds Theatre St. Paul, Minnesota https://www.facebook.com/moundsparacon

Cheryl Knight 714-646-4197 editor@paranormalunderground.net

ART DIRECTION Art Director Chad Wilson

Design and Layout Cheryl Knight

On The Cover

May 16–18

Creature Weekend 2014 Salt Fork State Park Conference Center Cambridge, Ohio http://www.creatureweekend.com/

Ghost Hunter Comic

Photo © Levy Moroshan http://www.levymoroshan.com Image from the feature film: The Hunt For Black Eyed Kids Available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLP Hpv1WKeohvDHWFJ9hH5MashqY1hUD1-

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Send comments and letters to: editor@paranormalunderground.net

February 2014

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The Paranormal Top 10 List

Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now By Karen Frazier, South Sound Paranormal Research & Paranormal Underground Radio

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hat does mood have to do with the paranormal, you ask? I believe that when investigating or doing psychic work, frame of mind is essential. If you’re in a really bad mood before you begin a psychic session or a paranormal investigation, you have fewer psychic protections in place. Likewise, if you are in a negative state of mind, you may be more likely to attract negative energies. Plus, I think happy just feels better than sad, angry, or hurt. Feeling cranky? Try these simple ways to boost your happiness right now. 10. Smile My Pomeranian Sofie is perhaps the happiest critter on the entire planet. I’ve never met a dog so excited all the time or one that is as thrilled as she is just to be alive. Not surprisingly, Sofie always has a smile on her face. (Yes. Dogs can smile.) Of course, a smiling happy dog is hardly scientific proof that facial expressions can affect mood. Fortunately, researchers have moved beyond smiling dogs into the realm of real science. Recently, researchers at the University of Cardiff in Wales discovered that people who had Botox injections and were unable to frown reported higher levels of general happiness than those who didn’t. Other studies have also shown that the physical effect of smiling results in a boost in happiness and a decrease in negative emotions. So the next time you’re feeling down, smile and see if it doesn’t help lift your mood. 9. Pay Someone a Compliment Lifting someone else’s spirits can help lift your own as well. Complimenting someone forces you to explore the positive aspects of another, and focusing your mind in a positive direction may help override any negative thoughts

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Visualization and affirmation are powerful tools that can help elevate your spirits when you want to improve your mood.

driving your bad mood. Paying another a sincere compliment costs you nothing but can help boost their mood, as well as yours. 8. Seek Beauty Beauty is all around us. You can find beauty with all five of your senses, whether it’s an awe-inspiring work of art, a gorgeous piece of music, a soft kitten, a beautiful scent, or the perfect bite of food. If you’re feeling down, spend a few moments with something you find truly beautiful and see if it doesn’t elevate your mood.


7. Visualize 6. Meditate or Pray Visualization is a powerful tool that can help elevate You don’t need to be religious to meditate. However, your spirits. If you’re a visual person with a good imaginaif you are of a more spiritual or religious nature, prayer tion, it’s especially powerful. functions in much the same manner. It doesn’t need to be To visualize, close your eyes and picture yourself in a long session — just a few minutes can help you tune into a happy place. My happy place happens to be a gorgeous your inner sense of peace and wellbeing. mountain meadow with crystal blue skies and brightly For a meditation or prayer session, go someplace colored wildflowers all around. Birds sing in my meadow, quiet where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Consider and I can feel a gentle breeze blowing across my skin. The dimming the lighting and having beautiful music playing. You may even want to burn incense or use an essential oil wildflowers give off a heady scent, and I can feel the grass diffuser to scent the room. under my bare feet. Now close your eyes and bring your focus to your Occasionally, I switch it up and go to the beach in breathing. Breathe deeply for a few moments. If you are my mind instead. My beach has warm, white sands and meditating, continue to focus on a beautiful, blue ocean of waves. your breathing and gently notice The sky is clear blue, and the air A simple mood-boosting any thoughts that drift into your is scented with salt. I can feel the head. As soon as you notice you spray of the water and the sun on affirmation includes: are thinking, gently dismiss the my face, as well as hear the roar “I am joyful, peaceful, thought and return your focus to of the ocean and the calling of the and positive.” your breathing. If you are praygulls. Spend some time in your ing, begin your prayer after a few happy place, making it as full of a moments of breathing and relaxation. sensory experience as you can. I meditate for about 30 to 40 minutes each day. Since If you aren’t great at visualization (and some people I have been doing so, I have noticed a definite elevation aren’t), you may do better with affirmations, which are in my mood. Try a quick session and see if it might help also a form of visualization. A simple mood-boosting afyou as well. firmation follows: “I am joyful, peaceful, and positive.” To perform affirmations, take a deep breath and 5. Be Kind close your eyes. Now repeat your affirmation several Research shows kindness to others has a rebound times. Always use positive phrasing in an affirmation effect that increases how happy we feel as well. In my own instead of negative. For instance, “I am in a good mood” research, I spent 100 days trying to acknowledge and recworks better than “I am not in a bad mood.”

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The Paranormal Top 10 List ognize the Light of the Divine in others, something I called the Namaste Project. Namaste is derived from Sanskrit and means, “The Light in me acknowledges the Light in you.” By recognizing the same Divine light in others that existed in me, I was able to move into a place of more kindness and compassion, and it elevated my mood significantly. So if you’re feeling a bit grumpy, try seeking and acknowledging the Light in another and following it up by an act of kindness.

worst, chances are there’s some small thing you can find for which to be grateful, such a pair of toasty slippers or the warmth of the sun on your cheek. If you’re grouchy, take a moment to reflect on the blessings large and small in your life and feel grateful for their presence.

1. Be in the Moment In The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlight4. Move enment, Eckhart Tolle suggests all negativity comes from Back in the day, I was a competitive bodybuilder and remembering the past or worrying about the future. Set aerobics instructor. I spent hours at the gym each day workaside the past and the future and instead focus on this very ing out. My workout sessions became a channel for any moment, right now, as you read these words. Notice that in negative emotions I had. I quickly discovered it was nearly this moment, nothing is wrong. This moment just is. Right impossible to be in a bad mood away from the gym because now you are warm, safe, and reading an article in ParanorI took all my negativity out on the exercise equipment. mal Underground. Along with serving as a way to hammer out negative Focusing in the moment allows you to recognize beauty emotions, exercise also releases when it arises. It also forces you endorphins into your brain, which to get out of your head, where Focusing in the moment can boost your mood. So the next you replay hurt from the past or allows you to recognize delve into fears about the future. time you’re awash in negativity, Even if you had a fight with your do some form of exercise. Hit the beauty when it arises. significant other five minutes ago, gym, go for a run, or even take a it’s still in the past and any anger you are experiencing is a brisk walk. If you can’t do any of those, engage in five to 10 lingering emotion from what was, not what is right now. minutes of calisthenics. Even if you’re in the process of foreclosure and you stand to lose your house in the next few days, that’s a 3. Smell worry about the future, not what is right now. Focusing in Aromatherapists will tell you scent can affect your the now allows you to live life moment to moment, expemood. Research has shown that certain scents, such as lavriencing each moment fully instead without all the filters ender and sandalwood, are especially effective at elevating of past hurts and future fears that distort experiences. your mood. Likewise, you can also seek scents that trigger Life becomes more vivid and beautiful if you live happy memories or have positive associations. in the moment. It allows you to appreciate something For me, citrus is a huge mood booster because I asas simple as soap bubbles on your hands when you do sociate citrus with joy. Therefore, I can peel an orange or dishes or a shaft of sunlight slanting through the window take a whiff of orange, lemon, or grapefruit essential oils and lighting up a patch of floor. and instantly feel boosted and energetic. I also fill my home Try focusing on this moment, right now, releasing with these scents. I use orange peels to freshen my garbage past hurts or future expectations. I’ve found that, for me, disposal. I use a hand steamer to clean and put drops of esI am a much happier person when I do so regardless of sential oils in the water. I take essential oil baths. I even put what is occurring in my life. essential oils in my shampoo, soap, conditioner, and hand lotion (I have to use unscented, gluten-free stuff) to keep ***** my mood elevated throughout the day. You can experiment with essential oils or find scents So that’s it — my top 10 ways to feel better when I’m around your home (look in the spice cabinet for a good cranky. Although I tend to be a pretty upbeat and joyful source) that give you positive associations. person, occasionally I do get bogged down in negativity. However, I’ve discovered that my grumpiness is usually 2. Be Grateful short lived due in large part to the methods I mentioned When you focus on those things for which you are above. grateful, you take inventory of the positive things in your By using one or a combination of the techniques life. Many studies document the link between gratitude listed above, I can usually lift myself out of a bad mood and happiness. Even if it seems like things are at their and return to my typical sunny self quickly.

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Paranormal Underground Radio: In The Dark Thursdays @ 7-9 p.m. PT/10-12 p.m. ET

www.HeyZRadio.com • Ghosts & Hauntings • UFOs & Alien Encounters • Cryptozoology • Spirituality • Metaphysics

• Investigating • Crystals & Herbology • Equipment • Urban Legends • Demonology

Explore the Unexplained With Hosts Karen Frazier & Chuckie G.

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Equipment Update

What You Need to Know About Digital Cameras By Jack Kenna, Rensselaer Paranormal Research and S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England

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VPs and disembodied voices and sounds are the most common type of evidence that paranormal investigators capture. But, let’s be honest with ourselves. What most investigators truly hope for is to capture that one piece of visual evidence that will prove to others that spirits do exist and that there is something more for us beyond this physical existence. Since the first pinhole camera was invented back in 1000 A.D. by Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), we humans have been fascinated in capturing images of everything and anything in order to share our interests, ideas, and express ourselves to others. The biggest door to photography was opened by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1827 when he made the first photographic image using a camera obscura. Cameras have come a long way since 1827, but we are still using them for the same reason: to capture moments in time. The Advent of Spirit Photography What became known as “spirit photography” was first discovered by William H. Muller in the 1860s when he found a second person in a photograph he took of himself, which he quickly discovered was just a double exposure of himself. He quickly found a way to make money with this by selling himself as a medium, taking photos of his clients and then doctoring the negatives to add in a client’s “deceased loved one” and selling them the photos. As with most frauds, he was eventually discovered when he made the mistake of adding images of living Boston residents to the photos as deceased loved ones. Go figure. There have been many, many more just like Muller over the centuries, and with the advancements in technology and the advent of computers, Photoshop, and ghost images apps, it has made it harder to spot the fake images and even fake videos. It’s gotten so bad that even seasoned

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The Sony Handycam

professionals in our field can be fooled now and then. The flip side to this, though, is that the camera technology of today is giving us the best chances ever of capturing and recording actual paranormal and/or spirit activity. There are also some drawbacks to the digital technology that we need to be aware of and keep in mind as well. Let’s talk about these pros and cons for a few minutes before I get into the equipment that is available and what they cost. The Pros of Digital Camera Technology The digital age of photography has come a long way in a short time. Not many years ago you had to have a camera to take photos with and a camcorder to take video with. Now there are cameras and camcorders that do both and can be switched from one mode to the other with the simple click of a button or tap of a touchscreen. The greatest feature about these new digital cameras is the fact that you can review your photos or videos instantly! No waiting for film to be developed; no more


lugging around a 10-to-15-pound The Cons of Digital Camera VHS camcorder and VHS tapes. Technology Now you have a combined Are there any? Well, as camera/camcorder that can take with any technology, which has hundreds or even thousands issues and drawbacks, digital of photos and hours of highphotography is no different. It’s definition video and store it all not perfect, but it’s getting beton its built-in hard drive and/or ter. The fact is that digital phomicro-SD card! We even have tography works much differently cell phones that can do the same than film. In digital cameras, the thing! Granted the cell phone images are not being transferred quality is not the best compared onto film through the exposure to the cameras that are designed of light; it is not a direct transfer just for photography/video, but of what you are taking a photo they can work in a pinch. or video of. The digital camera of our Although the digital camera modern age is the greatest thing technology works similar to a to come along for the paranormal film camera at the front end community with regard to investithrough the use of a lens and gation equipment in a long time. shutter, and both are in a sealed Most of these cameras can take box to contain the incoming high-quality pictures in low light, light, the back ends are much The GoPro - Hero3+ and some even have an infrared (IR) different. In the film camera, the function. And if they don’t they can incoming light is transferred onto a be fairly easily converted to IR, Ultra chemical film that creates an actual Violet (UV), or Full Spectrum (FS) at a reasonable cost. negative of the image it sees. These spectrum options allow paranormal investiThe digital camera captures the incoming light on its gators to photograph and video in light spectrums that light sensor array that transfers the light into computer humans cannot see in. They allow us to see what we binary code (1s and 0s) and stores that data on the internormally cannot see, and we have found that spirit energy nal RAM card or hard drive. In other words, the internal typically can be seen in these far ends of the light specsensor array and computer create a “representation” of trum. This, combined with the ability to instantly review the image the digital camera’s lens viewed. the photo or video you just shot, opened the door to allow Since the light data is “interpreted” by the digital the paranormal investigator to conduct real-time investigacamera, when the sensor array picks up light that it has tions rather than having to just ask questions, take random a hard time interpreting, it will store the data to what it photos, and then go back home to review everything and thinks best fits the light data the array is reading. This is hope you captured something. the reason we see many more The instant review allows the “orbs” in digital images than we This does not mean that investigator to see if they captured do in film images. The sensor the “orbs” we see in any potential evidence while in the array is much more sensitive to actual location and to make an onlight than film is, so more light digital photos are spirits. the-spot decision to move on or to information is captured. But this stay in a location based on what was or was not captured in does not mean that the “orbs” we see in digital photos their photos or video. This increases the quality of an invesare spirits; it just means the digital camera can see much tigation, as well as the chances of the investigator to capture more natural particles in the atmosphere than a film real evidence of paranormal activity through the ability to camera can. make better decisions during the investigation. Also, sometimes the sensor array can malfunction or Lastly, you can easily plug a digital camera into your misses or adds light data, which can result in blank areas computer to transfer the images and upload them to the in a photo or video — or even the addition of something rest of your team over the Internet for faster evidence in an image that shouldn’t be there. When we see these review and easy incorporation into your reports. things, we can sometimes be too quick to interpret these

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Equipment Update anomalies as a spirit or evidence of paranormal activity, when all it may be is a malfunction of the sensor array or the wrong interpretation of the binary data by the camera. These are important things to remember when reviewing digital images. The biggest drawback is the potential for losing your images and video. While the camera storage itself can be pretty safe, it is usually during the transfer of your images and video to your computer where the data is lost. One wrong click of the mouse and you could accidently delete all your images rather than transfer them to your computer. Always copy the image and video files from your camera to your computer. This way, if something goes wrong during the copying process, you will still have all of your original files safe on your digital camera’s storage drive.

for paranormal investigating, and many were purchased by people for just that purpose during the height of the paranormal TV shows, used once or twice at an event and then put away and never used again. I have purchased four of my cameras/camcorders this way and have been using them on every investigation for the past three years. I have had no issues with this equipment and have captured some compelling evidence with them. I spent under $900 for all four cameras on eBay, which included extra batteries and even multiple lenses in one case. I own two Sony SR85s and two Sony DSC F828s. If you prefer your equipment brand new and a little more compact, then here are some other great choices that you can find online or at your local Walmart or Best Buy stores: 1. Canon — VIXIA HF R42 2.07MP, 32GB HD Flash Memory Camcorder, Night and Low Light Recording: $379.99. 2. Sony — Handycam HDR-CX430V 8.9MP, 32GB HD Flash Memory Camcorder, Night Recording: $599.99. 3. GoPro — Hero3+, Low Light Recording: $399.99> All of these cameras would need modification if you want to shoot in IR, UV, or full spectrum. There are numerous sources online for IR, UV, and full spectrum conversion; just go to Google.com and type in “digital camera conversion to IR, UV, full spectrum.” One of the companies that does these conversions is Life Pixel at http://lifepixel.com/products. You can also purchase these cameras or similar models that have already been converted through online paranormal specialty shops such as http://ghoststop.com, http://theghosthunterstore.com, and even http://amazon.com. If you have any questions regarding equipment to use for investigating the paranormal or any other paranormalrelated questions, email me at articlesbyjack@gmail.com. For more information on the history of cameras and photography, the differences between film and digital cameras, and how digital cameras work, visit the following Websites: •http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_camera •http://inventors.about.com/od/pstartinventions/a/ stilphotography.htm •http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cameras-photography/digital/digital-camera.htm •http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-doesa-digital-camera-work.html

Always copy the image and video files from your camera to your computer.

Digital Camera Choices Today, there are numerous choices and options of digital cameras and camcorders to pick from and all kinds of local and online shops to buy them from. Whether you’re a seasoned paranormal investigator or new to the field, you still want to invest into a good quality camera since you will have uses for it beyond your paranormal investigations. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, though, to get quality equipment. A good place to find digital cameras with an original factory-installed IR option is on eBay. Here are a few recent examples I found of Sony products on eBay and their asking prices. I even recently purchased several cameras myself from eBay, including some of the models listed here. Note that all prices I list for the remainder of this article are prices shown on the Websites at the time this article was written and are subject to change by the manufacturers and sellers: 1. Sony Handycam DCR-SR85 60GB HDD Hybrid Camcorder NightShot Plus: $149.95. 2. Sony DCR-SR85 60GB Camcorder + NightShot + Remote + Docking Station + Bag: $259.99. 3. Sony CyberShot DSC F717 5 Mega Pixel Digital Camera NightShot 10x Zoom & Extras: $150.00. 4. Sony CyberShot DSC-F828 8.0 MP Digital Camera with NightShot — with Extras: $400.00. My point about eBay is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good quality digital camera equipment at an affordable price. The truth is that many of these older model cameras are still high tech and high quality

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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 February 2014

Paranormal Underground 15


Equipment Update

How to Make a Spirit Box (Model P-SB7) Modification By Michael White, Paranormal Research & Investigations

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lmost every paranormal investigative team has an SB7 Spirit Box. Some teams rely heavily on the instantaneous communication that the device provides, while other teams use it sparingly and with much scrutiny. The basic assumption with the device is that unseen entities can utilize the white noise between frequency sweeps to communicate with the living; however, because of interference from broadcasting stations, the device opens itself up to auditory pareidolia. Bits of spoken words from radio broadcasts sneak in and can cause team members to infer meaning from random syllables. One way to reduce the possibility of receiving active broadcasts that interfere with spirit box sessions, especially those pesky ghosts that sound an awful lot like Casey Kasem, is to remove the antenna from the device. Though strong signals may still be audible even without an antenna, the reception of these signals is drastically reduced. Removing the antenna from the P-SB7 involves little skill but does require some attention to detail. You’ll need a well-lit work surface, a very fine-tipped Phillips-head screwdriver, rubber gloves (latex or nitrile), and a thinbladed knife. First, as when working on any electric or electronic equipment, put on your gloves and disengage the power

Figure 1

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supply: In this case, remove the batteries (Figure 1). TIP: Only keep batteries in equipment that you are currently using. Store batteries separate from devices at all times. Remove the face plate of the device using your knife (Figure 2). The face plate is made of very flimsy metal, so be sure not to bend it. There is enough adhesive on the face plate to return it to its original position without having to apply any additional glue (just make sure that you place it sticky side up while you are working).

Figures 2 and 3

With the face plate removed, you may now access the two very small front plate screws that hold half of the SB7 body together (Figure 3). Remove these screws and set them aside. Carefully turn the unit over and remove the two back plate screws located at the bottom of the battery compartment (Figure 4). Gently turn the SB7 over and remove the top of the case. This will expose the working components of the device. The reason that you are wearing gloves is so that you do not leave unwanted fingerprints on the display module and to prevent the natural acids and oils of your skin from getting on the circuit board components. In this step, you will be dealing with three screws, two that hold the antenna to the case near the top of the device and one that connects it to the circuit board. Loosen the two screws that hold the circuit board to the case, but


Figures 4 and 5

With the antenna removed, retighten the two upper screws and reinstall the antenna-attaching screw (Figure 7). Replace the front cover and turn the unit over. Reinstall the back screws and then reinstall the batteries and the battery access cover (Figure 8). Turn the unit face up and reinstall the front plate screws and the faceplate. Then turn the unit on (Figure 9). With the unit fully restored, perform an operational test using both AM and FM bands in all sweep rates.

do not remove them (Figure 5). This will allow you to release the antenna once you remove the antenna-attaching screw at the antenna base. Then, remove the antenna screw. With the antenna screw removed, gently lift the circuit board and slide the entire antenna up and out of the unit (Figure 6). Figures 8 and 9

Figures 6 and 7

To learn more about the SB7 Spirit Box, visit: • http://www.ghoststop.com/Spirit-Box-B-PSB7-EVPfor-ITC-p/evp-psb7.htm • https://www.ghostoutlet.com/store/index.php?main_ page=product_info&cPath=47_49&products_id=503&zeni d=a4afeb227cf32a2e139cb3bf9895c2e0

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Para-Chat

JAMES RANDI:

Magician, Escape Artist, & Skeptic By Paul Green, The Psychic Biker

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ater in this issue I write about skeptics, and in that article I mention the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). After writing the article, a thought floated around my head for days, and I eventually decided to send off what I thought was a cheeky invitation for Randi (Why is he always called by his surname?) to guest on Para-Chat. Honestly, I expected to be ignored or rebuffed, so I was somewhat surprised to get a reply and an acceptance from Randi. The answers were also quick in coming back. And as you will read, they are in some cases in the style to be expected. I did think long and hard about if I should submit his answers to the magazine; after all, Randi and many of his followers openly decry and mock the topics in this publication. However, two things I do admire in people is passion and commitment. While reading his responses, it is apparent that he still has fire in his belly after all the time he has spent in the world of the paranormal as a skeptic. So, I felt it was more than worth having this article here for people to read. The following is my Para-Chat with Skeptic James Randi. And just in case you don’t know who he is, I’ve included a brief resume of his career. James Randi is known internationally as a magician and escape artist. Today he is best known as a tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. He has pursued “psychic” spoonbenders, exposed faith healer trickery, and sought to expose those who try to deceive the public in the name of the supernatural. He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural. In 1996, the JREF was established to further Randi’s work, and his long-standing challenge to psychics now stands as a $1,000,000 prize administered by the Foundation. It remains unclaimed. *****

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The James Randi Educational Foundation’s “Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge” offers a $1 million prize to anyone who “can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.”

Q: What’s your earliest memory? James: I was held up to the eyepiece of the 74-inch, 23-ton telescope at the David Dunlap Observatory north of Toronto, Canada, and I saw the planet Saturn shimmering like a grapefruit on fire. I was hooked. Learning about the natural world is so much more gratifying than ignoring it and instead preferring the made-up world of the supernatural.


Q: Describe your perfect day.

Q: What’s your pet hate?

James: A perfect day for me would be hearing from someone that the efforts of the James Randi Educational Foundation have led them to the position that a rational view of the world is preferable to one fueled by ignorance and/or superstition. Nearly every week we hear from people who have been taken advantage by the purveyors of paranormal belief, and the stories are often heartbreaking. But it is a good day when we are able to help people who felt like they had nowhere else to turn.

James: I particularly detest those who take advantage of the public’s ignorance or fear by promising such chimerae as eternal life, miraculous cures, or boundless wealth, when sunsets, the smile of a baby, or the love of a puppy are so free and rewarding. And, for me, essential.

Q: Who from history would you like to share a dinner party with? James: Leo da Vinci, Sir David Brewster, and Daniel Mannix. I’d like to tell Da Vinci what a huge influence he had on the history of both art and science — and on me, personally, then to discuss with Sir David how he just missed on some of his otherwise astute guesses. And with Mannix just to chat about our mutual fascination with carny life. Q: If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? James: I would investigate such a wonder, asking how and why I was not reflecting incident light, not occulting light from other sources, or even refracting the photons.

Q: What’s your favorite book? James: I have almost 4,000 books in my library, but Martin Gardner’s Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science first brought us together, 61 years ago. I was 24. Our friendship was one of the most important and enduring connections I ever made. Q: What can’t you resist? James: Anything written or said by Richard Dawkins. Q: What’s your current or upcoming project? James: My next book, A Magician in the Laboratory, coupled with the documentary film An Honest Liar, both due out this year. ***** For more information on James Randi and the James Randi Education Foundation, visit http://www.randi.org/.

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Investigator Spotlight

Brian J. Cano: “Haunted Collector” By Paul Green, The Psychic Biker

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tephen Lambert and I recently interviewed HauntBrian: From a professional standpoint, my involvement ed Collector’s Brian J. Cano on our radio show, in the paranormal began in 2002. However, from being Extreme Ghost Hunting. This interview was done a young child and through my teens, I was fascinated by before the fate of the show became public knowledge. things that could be considered occult, strange, or unusual. In this interview, Brian talks about his philosophy and I was raised as a Catholic, which is a religion that teaches approach to paranormal investigation, the intense filming of angels, demons, and God, but it’s also a fearful religion. schedule the team was under, and one moment at the end There are things you don’t do for fear of eternal damnaof one investigation, which was not shown on TV, that tion; these were very powerful topics as a child. Hence, even left a deep impression on him. But first, here’s a look at though I had an interest, I was afraid to explore it, such Brian’s involvement on Haunted Collector and his backthings as “the Bloody Mary Challenge,” which I wouldn’t do. ground in the paranormal field. I would let a friend do it to see what happened, but not me. Brian works as the Tech Specialist on Haunted ColWhen I was 10 years old, a film called Ghostbusters lector and is responsible for the came out. I know. It’s a comedy implementation and use of the and now a classic movie, but it “I still wanted a proton team’s gadgets and gear. Best resonated with me. I saw the pack, just like any known for mixing old and new characters on screen using scitechniques of investigating, he ence to explore topics that I saw 10-year-old kid.” often finds himself doing physical as mysterious and untouchable. tasks, such as crawling up into atNot anymore. I thought I could tics and under houses. Brian’s goal as an investigator is to do this too. You just have to dig and get to the answers. I measure, quantify, and get empirical evidence to support could do that, but I still wanted a proton pack, as well, just the claims of reported paranormal activity. However, he like any 10-year-old kid. always maintains his skeptical edge. He knew he wanted to explore the unknown at a young Q: You are known within the show Haunted Colage. Growing up in Staten Island, New York, Brian began lector as the tech expert. How did you progress exploring old and abandoned buildings in the area, despite from this early interest in all things odd into the the rumors that ghosts dwelled within the structures’ walls. tech side of things? Since then, he’s been investigating the paranormal as often Brian: I feel everyone who gets involved in the paranoras possible. And there are few places he will not go. mal goes along their own path at their own pace and with When not investigating, Brian is a video editor and different goal posts. With me, when I started this in 2002, produces an independent series of paranormal documenI was a skeptic. So I set out to prove everything was wrong, taries, titled SCARED!. to disprove the reports I was hearing. I was a confirmed ***** skeptic, with a capital S, underscore, italic, and bold. But the more investigations and research I did, the Q: What was it that first sparked your interest in more doors I opened. And the more I saw, figuratively the paranormal?

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Brian J. Cano (Source: Ali Cotton)

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Investigator Spotlight speaking, changed me. Now I consider myself a skeptical believer. I think it was natural progression. Gadgets don’t lie. Evidence does not lie. It’s people’s perceptions that color what we find. Q; Tell us about SCARED! and how it came about. Brian: SCARED! is an online documentary series, part paranormal exploration and part urban exploration. Urban exploration you don’t see or hear of much. The TV shows tend to focus on the gadgets, but urban exploration, which is exploring derelict buildings, mental intuitions, and old hospitals, was where I started in 2002. In my home town of Staten Island, New York, there are many buildings like this, and with these building you get stories building up around them, such things as ghost stories, Satanic cults practicing within them, and other urban legends. We figured if there was any truth in these stories, we should be able to go into the buildings and — using our five senses plus our cameras — document them. That was the genesis of SCARED!. We’re still doing it today, 11 years later. And I think in Haunted Collector, the reason I get sent into the dark and dusty areas is due to my work on SCARED!. Q: You touched on urban explorers. In the UK, they have quite a bad reputation. What’s the situation in the U.S.? Brian: In the U.S., it has the same negative attachments to it. Many people simply compare urban explorers to vandals. However, as with anything, I feel it is about your intent. The credo of the true urban explorers is: “Take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints.” If we ever run into security, we are carrying cameras not beer cans, so they kind of know what we are there to do. Sadly, particularly in the U.S., there is also the element of blame. In that, if something is damaged or someone get hurts, the media excuse is, “Oh, there are urban explorers or ghost hunters; it must be their fault.” The whole story is spun, usually by the media, to give groups a bad name. Q: In SCARED!, the crew represents the three points of belief: the scientist, the skeptic, and the psychic. As a result of your investigations, have any of the three radically changed their views? Brian: Yes, the structure of the team is very important; we call it the three pillars system. The psychic obviously believes as she communicates, the skeptic is pulling in the other direction, while the scientist is in the middle, measuring and recording, relying on the scientific evidence. Back in 2009 we investigated a place called The Grand Midway Hotel in Windber, Pennsylvania. This case was

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“The credo of the true urban explorers is: ‘Take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints.’”

our landmark. If anyone asks us what our scariest/best case is, this is the one that we always come back to. This is the case that turned our skeptic, Chris, around, and to this day he still wears a cross as a result of some of the stuff he encountered. He said, “If there is evil, there must be good. And you have to choose a side.” That documentary is on YouTube, and if you search “SCARED! The Grand Midway Hotel,” you can watch the whole thing. It’s around 45 minutes long, and you see so much personal stuff overlapping each other. People got touched, I heard someone speaking behind me where there was only a wall, and we got some amazing EVPs. Q: How long have you known and/or worked with John Zaffis? Brian: I have known John for several years now. I don’t think you can work in this field without knowing of him. He has worked in the field for over 40 years and has a lot of knowledge. Plus, he is very personable. So the first time I met him, I was slightly intimidated by him, but after five minutes of laughing and joking with him, he came over as just a regular guy, very approachable. While he is so easy to know, he is not so easy to work with. And I will tell you why. As a teacher, the man has so much knowledge that sometimes the teaching process is never straightforward. He will let you stumble first and then pick you up and say, “Ah, see. Aha!” and let you get to the conclusion. Knowing John for so long has been a


pleasure, and I am really happy I could be on Haunted Collector. I have been a friend of John and the Zaffis family for a number of years, and what you see on the screen is simply an extension of who we are. Q: You touched on how you came to be involved in the Haunted Collector show. But how did it all come about?

peace pipe, and we all partook of it to say to the spirits that we were done here. Thank you for everything and peace. Like many people, I had heard of the Native American peace pipe, but I had never partaken in any ritual with it. Before we started the ceremony, I was on edge after all the cases we had been on. I know some of the others were feeling the same. But at the end of this ceremony, it all seemed to melt away. It was an amazing ceremony that took place near sunset, and the sky was alive with amazing colors of pink and purple. Everything was so peaceful; it felt almost as though the world paused, held its breath, and said, “OK guys. This is your time, so enjoy it.” in Virginia

Brian: I would go to visit John, often with my buddy, Chris, from SCARED!. And when we did, it was just a time to catch up, to chat, to hang out. Usually the first 45 minutes “One case or so would be, “Have you seen this? Have you heard about this?” involved a Native Q: At the end of each epiThis one particular time John sode of Haunted Collector, American fetish doll.” said, “Hey, that TV show I have the person who owns the been trying to get started — it looks object has the option to have like we are going to go through with it.” And he showed us it removed. Do you think that is the best way to a little video that the production company had done. At the resolve and conclude the problem? time it was not called Haunted Collector. It had a different Brian: I think that if things have gotten so bad that people name. It was a long process, but I was glad that someone I have called us in, then 99% of those people want to get rid knew was going to get some national recognition. of the object. Sure, you can keep it. But it’s almost like an As the show got closer to being made, the production addiction; it is a reminder of the problems. In the same company said the team needed a tech guy, someone to way that an alcoholic would remove all associations and work with gadgets. John asked me, and I accepted. But, temptation relating to alcohol from their life, sometimes originally, the show was only to be with the family, John, his it is best to remove objects that have bad memories and son, daughter, and wife. I was not planned to be part of it. emotions associated with them. Q: What’s the schedule like when you’re filming? Q: Once the objects are removed, they are taken Brian: Traditionally, Haunted Collector has had a winter back and stored by John. What is the atmosphere filming schedule. So, we start in November and can be like in the areas these objects are stored in? on the road for four months straight. With little breaks, Brian: The area is actually a museum; it’s called The of course; we will stop and get home for Christmas and John Zaffis Museum of the Paranormal. He started it so maybe New Year’s. But as we crisscross the country, it will he could keep all these potentially dangerous objects in be case after case. Because it’s a winter shoot, some of the one place under his control, with blessings and bindings places we investigate are brutally cold. over them to keep them dormant. I guess it’s a bit like the containment unit in Ghostbusters. Q: What has been your most memorable episode? It’s a cool place, and the feeling in there is literally Brian: After three seasons, that’s a tough one. We had like a museum. You don’t want to touch anything, not so one case in Ohio where we demolished an old mill, literally much for fear of breaking anything but in case you release brought it crashing to the ground. But one case in Jordan something. But on an educational level, it’s an amazing to Springs in Virginia was memorable, as it involved a Nasee all the different things that are in there. They run the tive American fetish doll. This object was created to cause full gamut, from innocent-looking items like a teddy bear harm; there was no accident about it. This was evil; someto the more garish idols that are used in rituals. one went out of their way to do this. That always stuck in my head, in addition to the object itself. However, at the ***** end of the case — this is something they didn’t screen — we For more information about Brian, visit his Facebook had called in a Shaman to remove the object, as he would page; Twitter page, @BrianJCano; or Website, http://briknow how to disassemble it and break its influence. As part anjcano.blogspot.com/. of that, we had a closing ceremony; he passed around a

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Special Report

Ectoplasm: Real or Not? By James Franklin Dietz

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he year is 1840, and a new trend is sweeping the nation, captivating the imagination of the American people. Originating out of New York, New York, Spiritualism has begun to take root across the nation. With its key tenet of physical manifestations of a spiritual presence rather than blind faith, Americans are mesmerized by stories of spiritualists who ooze a type of cosmic substance from their orifices during séances, giving credence to claims that this “goo” is absolute proof of a spiritual presence. Even the invention of the telegraph in 1844 didn’t receive as much fanfare as Spiritualism, even though it was cutting-edge technology patented as a physical communication device. On the heels of the telegraph’s debut, spiritualists fought back, claiming an unseen spiritual telegraph also existed — called Spiritualism. Now, news could travel faster and farther than ever before. Spiritualism Takes Root & Ectoplasm Emerges In the following years, and with the help of the telegraph, this trendy spiritual movement took root in America. As reports evidencing spiritual presences poured in across the newswires, so did an emerging market. Not only was mediumship a popular form of entertainment that crossed “Class” boundaries, it also proved to be a very profitable venture. Soon, showmanship became the driving force behind Spiritualism as mediums competed against each other for paying audiences, resulting in increasing reports of visible, audible, and tangible evidence of spiritual manifestations. Audiences were mesmerized by these outrageous demonstrations. During the height of the Spiritualism Movement, a French physiologist, Charles Richet, coined the word “ectoplasm” in 1894 to explain a strange third arm or pseudopod emanating from medium Eusapia Pallidino during a séance. According to Richet, ectoplasm originates from the Greek words ektos, meaning “outside,”

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This photo was taken of Helen Duncan, who claimed to be a medium, in 1928 during a séance at Duncan’s house. Some say the fake “ectoplasm” shown in this picture was made of cheesecloth and a rubber glove.

and plasma, meaning “something formed or molded.” Eventually, the idea of ectoplasm was merged into the theory of ectenic force by other early psychical researchers seeking a physical explanation for the reports of psychokinesis during séances. Other psychical researchers who studied mediumship speculated that within the human body an unidentified fluid, termed the psychode, psychic force, or ectenic force, existed and was capable of being released to influence matter on a cellular level at will. This view was also held by French astronomer and author Camille Flammarion and British chemist and physicist William Crookes. However, later, psychical researcher Hereward Carrington pointed out that the fluid was purely hypothetical and had never been discovered. Investigations Into the Ectoplasm Phenomenon Spiritualism was at its height, and so was the curiosity of the scientific community who wanted to study ectoplasm more closely in controlled research trials. Immediately, spiritualists and mediums worldwide banded


together, refusing the scientific community’s requests claiming that ectoplasm cannot appear in light conditions, otherwise it would cause them to disintegrate. Without realizing what they had done, the fate of the Spiritualism Movement was sealed. Soon, The Society for Psychical Research launched investigations into mediumship and exposed many fraudulent mediums, which contributed to the decline of interest in physical mediumship. During the investigations, psychical researchers discovered that mediums would swallow and regurgitate a wide variety of textile products soaked in potato starch to manifest ectoplasm during séances. In one case, researchers revealed that the ectoplasm was made out of paper. In another case, a medium soaked a cloth in egg whites to create the ectoplasmic effect. And still in another, a medium used butter soaked muslin to create an even more fantastic ectoplasmic manifestation. Although this evidence played a key role in exposing fraudulent mediums, as well as debunking the existence of ectoplasm, researchers were still lacking a crucial piece of evidence. They wanted to know how mediums executed this fraud during a séance session in front of a room full of witnesses. Then they remembered the earlier unwillingness of mediums to subject their ectoplasmic feats to more controlled clinical trials based on the claim that ectoplasm would be destroyed when exposed to the light. At this point, psychical researchers had a “eureka” moment when they realized that Victorian séances were conducted in low-light settings and almost complete darkness. With this information in hand, it didn’t take them long to determine that it was the combination of poor lighting and ease of constructing faux ectoplasm that facilitated the fraud carried out by some mediums. Once this information was publicized, it sounded the “death knell” for Spiritualism, as well as ectoplasm. By the end of World War II, Spiritualism had splintered apart and the word ectoplasm drifted away into a bygone era. Ectoplasm Makes a Comeback For nearly six decades, the word ectoplasm lay dormant. Then, in summer 1984, audiences across the nation heard the word ectoplasm uttered again when Hollywood’s box office hit comedy Ghostbusters made its debut on the silver screen. In the years to come, the word ectoplasm was redefined as a “seemingly lifelike substance, solid or vaporous in nature, which allegedly extrudes from the body of a medium and can be transformed into materialized limbs, faces, or entire bodies of spirits often appearing milky white in color and having the smell of ozone.” But even a Hollywood debut and a facelift wasn’t enough to restore the word ectoplasm to its original glory due to the shroud of fraud it

This photo was taken by Kasey Clark, owner of Haunted Houston Tours and Haunted Lafayette Tours, at the old Spring State Bank. Did she capture ectoplasm in this picture?

brought with it from the grave. As a paranormal investigator and researcher, I am very disappointed. Now, I must reconcile myself to the fact that the odds of winning the lottery are much better than the odds of finding evidence of an ectoplasmic anomaly. Then, I remembered a photo that was taken by Kasey Clark, owner of Haunted Houston Tours and Haunted Lafayette Tours, at the old Spring State Bank during a ghost tour she was leading. (See photo.) After reviewing the photo again, the paranormal anomaly appears to have several of the markers of an ectoplasm and falls within the parameters of the new definition. In the end, interest in the paranormal and evidence of spiritual presences are gaining in popularity once again. This is evidenced by the increasing number of ghost hunting television shows aired nationwide, as well as the evergrowing number of ghost tours offered in just about every city in the nation. Is this enough for individuals to get past the dark cloud of fraud that is associated with paranormal events? I’m not sure. Either way, the one thing I’m sure of is that the way we approach paranormal anomalies has been forever changed as a result of events that occurred over a century ago.

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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted Sites

The Cashtown Inn By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research

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tarting on July 1, 1863, the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War raged for three days in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, leaving countless dead of both the Union and the Confederacy. The Union won the battle and turned the tide of the war in their favor. And, in the end, slavery ended and after four long years of brother fighting brother, the United States was once again made whole. But at an amazing and tragic loss of life. Most investigators who have sought to learn about ghosts and hauntings know that Gettysburg and the surrounding area is one of the most haunted places in America. History buffs, as well as paranormal enthusiasts, come from every corner of the world to take in not only the history of what transpired in Gettysburg so long ago, but hope that history will come alive by witnessing the dead. And if you are looking for a place to stay that not only is a comfortable place to lay your head after exploring the battlefield, but has a well-known history of ghosts and hauntings, then The Cashtown Inn Bed and Breakfast is the place for you.

The Cashtown Inn features four rooms and three suites, each named after a Confederate general. The inn was featured during season four of the Ghost Hunters episode “The Fear Cage.� (Source: Armistead46)

The History of the Cashtown Inn Built in 1797 by local businessman Peter Marck, the Inn was a quiet place for the weary traveler to catch a bite to eat and get some much-needed sleep before they headed back out on the road. However, that quiet would change in the summer of 1863 when a great battle was fought on its front doorstep. As the battle raged, the confederacy needed a hospital to take care of injured soldiers. For three days, blood flowed through the Cashtown Inn as injured soldiers were brought in with wounds that required them to lose limbs. Many soldiers survived the brutal amputations, while some succumbed to their injuries, oftentimes clutching pictures of the wives and children they would never see again this side of life.

The Cashtown Inn Parlor. Guests report hearing disembodied noises and seeing ghostly figures on the property.

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Union dead on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photographed July 5 or July 6, 1863, by Timothy H. O’Sullivan.

The Hauntings at the Cashtown Inn Those who have stayed at the Cashtown over the years have reported hearing the sounds of anguished cries and screams coming from the kitchen of the Inn where many soldiers lost arms, legs, and their lives. The screams of tortured soldiers isn’t the only ghostly phenomenon that occurs at the Cashtown Inn Bed and Breakfast; much more is experienced here. Apart from the screams of agony, guests at the Inn

have reported hearing voices, footsteps, and even witnessing apparitions manifesting before their eyes. One such apparition is that of a young Confederate soldier who loves frightening guests with his sudden appearance in the hall leading to the bar area. He is said to be covered in blood with a grim look on his face. Guests who have dared to spend the night in the AP Hill room have reported two very frightening experiences. The rocking chair that sits in the corner of the room is said to start rocking of its own accord. While others have reported being awakened in the middle of the night by the sensation of some unseen phantom sitting on the bed. The General Lee suite is said to be haunted by the spirit of an older woman wearing a dark dress. Many who stayed in the room have reported being awakened in the middle of the night by a cold chill in the air and the apparition of the woman standing at the foot of the bed glaring at them. Loud knockings are heard, and the television and other electronic items seem to take on a mind of their own. And spectral soldiers have been seen walking around the property only to vanish before the curious onlookers’ eyes. The Cashtown Inn enjoys its haunted history and makes it an important part of their business. If you are ever in Gettysburg, please remember to be respectful of the men who lost their lives here so long ago.

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Case Files Of The Unknown: Are We Alone?

The Connection Between UFOs & Paranormal Activity By Chad Wilson

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or time immemorial the human race has experienced hauntings, strange creatures, and unknown objects and lights in the skies above. Whether the Gidim, spirits of the deceased in ancient Sumeria; the Mishibizhiw of North Native American lore; or the Viminas of ancient India, flying objects that transported the Gods across the sky; stories of the unusual and unexplained have challenged the mind of man throughout the ages. I would go one step further and ask, are paranormal events and sightings of UFOs connected? Areas of High Strangeness One clear-cut example of a connection between UFOs and an increase in paranormal activity (such as hauntings and cryptid sightings) is the Hudson Valley UFO flap of 1982 to 1995 in New York State. With the surge in UFO sightings also came an increase in reports of strange creatures and ghostly encounters in homes and businesses across the area. Putnam County, dead set in the heart of this area, has always had a connection to the strange and unusual. The region is home to hundreds of stone chambers theorized to have been built by such groups as early European settlers who used them as storage buildings. Others associate the chambers to Celtic visitors to the area who reportedly used them as astronomical instruments. Some even place an alien connection with the mysterious structures. Beginning on New Year’s Eve 1982, though some would say UFO sightings have been taking place in the

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Hudson Valley since the 1890s, and lasting until 1995, an estimated 7,000 people saw V-shaped craft of an unknown origin in the skies over both New York and Connecticut. Another such UFO/paranormal hotspot is the Skinwalker Ranch, formerly known as the Sherman Ranch, southeast of Ballard, Utah. If eyewitness claims are to be believed, then whatever haunts the Skinwalker Ranch is something not of this world. First, there are reports of lights in the sky, as well as cattle mutilations. There have also been reports of large creatures, unknown to man, stalking the ranch, and even one account of an almost invisible presence terrorizing a visitor to the farm. The creature could be heard, but not seen, except for a distortion in the air much like the creature portrayed in the movie Predator. The location of strange events for at least the past 50 years or so, the phenomena happening at the Skinwalker Ranch was first reported by George Knapp, an American investigative journalist and part-time radio host of Coast to Coast AM. The ranch was even something of an experimental paranormal playground run by the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) for several years in the 1990s. However, currently, few observations about what happens on the ranch make their way to local and national media sources. Another example of UFO sightings and a subsequent increase in paranormal activity involves the Mothman sightings in and around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. With the first appearance of the enigmatic Mothman on November


the UFO enters our world. But before it closes, other entities make their way in as well. Lack of evidence of these creatures, such as bodies or scat, may be due to them returning to where they originally came from. Or, does exposure to paranormal activity in general, including hauntings, cryptids, and UFOs, unlock the latent psychic abilities within us, allowing us to see things we could not before? Does Connecting Theories the very act of exposure make Do UFOs enter our world Some researchers have us more susceptible to further through dimensional doorways, proposed that the high levels of activity going forward, openleading the way for other ing the floodgates to a world EMF produced by UFOs trigger and fuel other paranormal expeof virtually endless possibilities entities? riences, and that when a UFO and planes of existence? flap develops in an area you have a corresponding increase in the number of ghostly encounters in the same area. My Opinion Personally, I lean more toward the dimensional Whether the UFO emits a powerful EMF pulse and that is what is driving activity remains to be seen. I guess the bigger doorway theory, as well as UFOs fueling the local EMF question would be: Do EMF meters actually detect ghosts? field in the area. I do think that EMF is connected to the But I will save that for another discussion. spiritual world. But, I also believe that we need to gain a Another theory, this one having to do with cryptids better understanding of what causes a haunting before we can go much further with discussing the ramifications of and other strange creatures, equates with the dimensional gateways that some think UFOs use to enter our world, connecting the high electromagnetic field in an area, UFO allowing access for other creatures from what some have sightings, and an increase in paranormal activity. termed the Goblin Dimension. The gateway opens and What do you think? 12, 1966, paranormal activity in the area seemed to increase. The reports of ghostly activity increased significantly, UFOs were seen in the skies over the area, and a variety of other unexplained events occurred. This all culminated with the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, with Mothman sightings, and a majority of the paranormal activity in the area stopping after the collapse.

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Case Files Of The Unknown: Cryptids & Mythological Creatures

The American Leprechaun and His Kin By Rick E. Hale, Foundations Psychical Research

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hen I was little boy, my grandfather told my cousins and I a story from his own childhood. One day as he was fishing at a local pond, he became intensely aware of being watched. He scanned the area looking for the unseen intruder. Not seeing anyone, he was about to go back to his fishing when he saw a streak of green dart behind a tree and he heard a strange laugh. Thinking one of his cousins was playing a trick, he set his fishing rod down and approached the tree where he was sure someone was hiding. When he rounded the tree, the person he came upon was anything but a prankplaying family member. Leaning against the tree was a short-bearded man, smoking a pipe and wearing green clothing. Coming from an Irish family, he knew immediately what he was seeing — a being that is said to live only in legend, a leprechaun. My grandfather approached the little man and tried to speak to him. The leprechaun merely stared off into the woods. And then my grandfather, knowing what he would gain if he caught the little man, tried to grab him. My grandpa was shocked when the leprechaun vanished into thin air. And to his surprise, his clothes vanished as well. As he approached his home, he saw his mother waiting for him at the doorstep. When he reached the door, his mother said in a thick Irish brogue, “William Mulligan Vice, how many times have I told ye not to bother with the wee folk?” To his dying day, my grandfather maintained that his tale was true. Upon reading this, a person might think this took place somewhere in Ireland. But, it took place near his childhood home outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. Folklorists believe that when Europeans came to our country in the mass immigrations of the 19th and early 20th Centuries,

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they brought with them their customs, as well as their legends and lore of fairies and other little people. While this may be true, Native American legends are filled with folktales of little people that sound oddly like the little people of Celtic and Germanic legends. But before we get to that, more on the American leprechaun. A Leprechaun Tale A few years ago in Mobile, Alabama, residents were reporting seeing a strange little creature that sounded much like the leprechaun from my grandfather’s tale. Residents reported to local news shows that a rowdy, little man with a beard and green clothing was living in a tree. When the news teams arrived, the only thing they found were dozens of people crowding the street hoping to see the leprechaun and maybe get their hands on his gold. Many theories were offered to explain what locals were witnessing. Some believed a real person was living in the tree. Others believed it was nothing more than shadows playing tricks on people’s eyes. And some believed they were seeing a leprechaun. If this can’t be attributed to Irish folklore, then maybe people were seeing something magical and wholly local. The Pukwudgie As I mentioned, Native American folklore is rich with legends of little people who lived hidden away in the vast forests that once filled the North American continent. One such race of little people lived in the forests of the American Northeast and figured heavily into the folklore of the Wampanoag tribe. The Pukwudgie was a race of little people who were believed to live in the region of what is known today as Cape Cod. The Pukwedgie were said to look very similar


to humans, except they were two to three feet tall, with a Menehune large, bulbous nose and elongated fingers and ears. The Hawaiian Islands bring a culture rich in tradiThe Wampanoag people believed the Pukwedgie were tion, as well as a rich folklore of angry volcano goddesses created by Maushop, a giant god that created the world. At and stories of little people known as the Menehune. first the Pukwudgie and humans lived side by side in relative According to Hawaiian folklore, the Menehune were the peace. One day that peace was broken, and the Pukwedgie original inhabitants of the islands before the Polynesian were forced to flee into the forests. Pukwedgie are said to be people arrived on their shores. The Menehune, who are malicious to humans and will use said to live in the many hidden magic and poison arrows to kill valleys of Hawaii, were once Native American legends humans. Humans must avoid great craftsmen who created Pukwedgie at all costs. temples, homes, and roads, are filled with folktales of some that are said to still exist little people. Cherokee Little People today. Going a little further Generally, the Menehune Southwest, another folktale of little people can be found. avoid contact with humans and locals know to avoid the Although they are very similar in appearance to the PukMenehune. However, there are a few recorded stories of wedgie of the Wampanoag, the Cherokee Little People Menehune, playing mean-spirited tricks on road workers have a much different, much friendlier disposition. that were threatening Menehune land. Tools vanished, The Little People of Cherokee legend are said to workers were mysteriously injured, and heavy equipment live in the mountains and forests of Tennessee. At night, wouldn’t work. It wasn’t uncommon for workers to halt the Cherokee claim to hear singing and drumming comconstruction until a Kahuna, a Hawaiian shaman, was ing from the mountains. The Little People are said to be brought in to appease the little people. friendly, even helpful to their human neighbors. But if These tales add merit in my grandfather’s story. Do their nighttime revelries are disturbed, the Little People will these magical beings really exist? That I do not know. Do disappear into the valleys never to help mankind again. I believe my grandfather? Yes I do.

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Case Files Of The Unknown: Urban Legends

The Devil Baby of Hull House By Ashley Hall, The Paranormal Guide

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ull House is considered to be one of Chicago’s most haunted buildings. Although the nature of the building was for all intents good, there have been several times throughout the years where events have been on the grim side. The building itself was built at 800 South Halstead Street in 1856 by Charles J. Hull (hence the name of the building). The neighborhood was seen to be quite “fashionable,” and life looked to be good for Hull, his wife, and their children. Unfortunately, Hull’s wife passed away, leaving him to care for their two children. However, the children also passed away within a decade of one another and while quite young. Hull eventually moved to another part of Chicago, but it would seem his deceased wife chose to stay, haunting the room she died in. The house itself survived the Chicago Fire of 1871, but the neighborhood did not fare so well. Soon the area became filled with immigrants, and the reputation of the area dropped significantly. In the mid-1870s, the house became a home for the elderly poor and no doubt saw more deaths during that time. Did a Devil Baby Live in Hull House? Although many more mysterious events took place in the building (small unexplainable fires, the appearance of a woman in white, figures seen about the halls, curtains

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refusing to stay closed in one of the empty rooms), it was not until 1913 that an event began that saw Hull House enter the more mysterious side of Chicago’s history. In 1889, Jane Addams and Ellen Starr cofounded Hull House, a “settlement house” where the immigrants from many nationalities and cultures could come and be socially reformed. It was here that these working class people could come and take part in programs and education to allow them a better footing in their new country. The programs were a success, and more buildings were taken on by the founders in order to spread the program wider and further afield. But it was one day in 1913, after many years of successfully running this settlement house, that events took on a strange and possibly sinister turn. Three Italian women entered the building with much fuss and excitement. They demanded to see the devil baby! The residents (Hull House volunteers) stated they had no idea what they were talking about, but the excited women persisted. They knew the devil baby was in the building, and they kept demanding to see it. If there was a devil baby on site, the residents would surely know about it as it was unmistakable with its cloven hooves, tail, pointed ears, and ability to speak even at that early age. Although the Italian women eventually left, they


were but the first of many people who made their way to the house in order to see this devil for themselves. Thousands of people from the neighborhood all made attempts to see the devil baby; some even offered to pay for the opportunity. However, none were able to see the child for the residents stated time and time again that it never existed. It was not just the poor or superstitious who made the journey to the house, but even physicians who had heard of the child wanted the opportunity to study it. Soon people from outside of the Near West Chicago area were calling by; people from all over the country wanted to have a good look. For about six weeks, there was a heavy flow of traffic throughout the Hull House at the University of Illinois at Chicago. (Source: Zagalejo) neighborhood as people made their way to Hull House, all to be told to leave and that the story was just an old wives tale, ing taken into care at Hull House. The child was said to albeit one that had gotten some pretty good legs under it. be quite a little fiend and was capable of the greatest of blasphemies. The heads of the organization took it upon Where Did the Devil Baby Legend Come From? themselves to have the child baptized in order to sooth it As for who this devil baby was and how it came to be of its demonic afflictions, but the baptism did not go as at Hull House ... there are several different versions of the planned. The child escaped their clutches at the water’s story, but two seem to have the most tellings. edge and took off skipping across the tops of the pews. The first version claims that a devoutly Catholic They were able to recapture the baby and then had it woman hanged a picture of the virgin Mary on the wall, locked in the attic of the house. From there, it is not known but her atheist husband tore it down. He stated that he what happened. Somehow this story got around, and now thousands of people were turning up to get a look. The visitors and the story eventually seemed to run The woman gave birth to a out of steam, and the legend was all but forgotten. deformed child — hooves, That’s not quite all there is to this tale. Though it claws, tail, and pointed ears. might not be connected, when the house was being renovated near the turn of this millennia, there were a number would rather have the devil himself in residence in the of reports concerning the sounds of a child’s cry coming home rather than that picture on the wall. from the attic and gardens. Several months later, the woman gave birth to a deJane Addams, although bothered by the never-ending formed child — hooves, claws, tail, and pointed ears. The flow of visitors, did find this event in the home’s history to be shock was too much for her to bear, and she passed away. interesting, so much so that she wrote quite a long and extenThe husband took the child to Hull House and left it on sive article about it in the Atlantic Monthly in 1916. You can the door step. check that out here: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ The other version concerns a man whose wife gave archive/1916/10/the-devil-baby-at-hull-house/305428/. birth to six daughters. The husband was enraged by the The Jane Addams Hull House Association closed down lack of a son and cried out one night that he would rather in January 2012. The building is still open as a museum. her give birth to the devil than another girl ... and you can What do you think? Wild imaginations? Or maybe guess what happened next. a deformed child was in care at Hull House, one that saw From here the stories converge with the child bethe start of this legend?

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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History

The Haunted U.S. Capitol building By Jill Stefko, Ph.D.

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n 1792, President Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson had a contest to see who would design the Capitol Building. Amateur architect Dr. William Thornton won. He was given a prize of $500 and some land in D.C. But the building’s progress was hampered by a lack of funds. In late 1800, President John Adams addressed the first joint session of Congress in the building — the maiden official act of business there. In 1814, British troops burned the structure, but it was later rebuilt by architect Benjamin Latrobe. Ghosts inside the Capitol building reportedly include statesmen, a military officer, an architect, one assassin, several former employees, and a black cat, called DC.

he did to design the city, but he never got paid. He looks unhappy as he hurries along the hallways. • John Quincy Adams’ luminous ghost has been seen and heard. • James Abram Garfield, the second president to be assassinated and who died four months after he was sworn into office, haunts the Capitol. • Also present is the shade of Charles Julius Guiteau, Garfield’s assassin, who has been sighted lurking on the stairs. • Vice-President Henry Wilson died of pneumonia while in office when he contracted it by bathing in a tub that had been in the basement. He haunts the Senate Wing. Guards have heard him coughing and sneezing, and people have felt a cold spot near his former office and smelled old-fashioned bath soap. • William Preston Taulbee, a representative from Kentucky, is said to haunt the Capitol. He was killed by

The apparition of General John Alexander has been spotted.

Capitol Building’s Human Haunters • Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s phantom has been seen. George Washington said he would pay him for the work

The United States Capitol building is one of many places in Washington, D.C., that is said to be haunted. Photo: aoc.gov.

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Case Files Of The Unknown: Haunted History the phantom DC. Meetings with the black phantom feline have been reported for years by those who guard the halls at night. DC appears only at night and only when the person who sights it is alone. One guard who saw it wants to remain anonymous. It happened on a January night in the 1970s. As he was walking through a passageway, he saw the black cat approach. The phantom appeared to get larger as it walked toward him. Its eyes had a reddish glow. The guard was afraid to move. Finally, the phantom cat reached the size of a tiger and its meows changed to roars. It crouched and sprang, and all the guard could do was to pray and close his eyes. Nothing happened. When the guard opened his eyes, the cat had vanished. A Capitol guard spotted the phantom cat one night. It appeared to get He told only a few trusted friends about larger as it walked toward the witness. Its eyes had a reddish glow, it reached the size of a tiger, and its meows changed to roars. the incident, because he was afraid that people would think he was insane or that he had been under the influence while working, either of which he feared would cost him his job. feuding reporter Charles Kincaid, who shot him on the Some of those who have seen the cat have fled from stairs leading to the House Press Gallery. Taulbee died it in terror. Others reportedly have fainted. When the 11 days later. The steps leading to the pressroom are still witnesses to the phantom feline regained their compostained by Taulbee’s blood. When a reporter trips on sures and tried to show others what they saw, the cat had those steps, people say his ghost is tripping them. vanished, leaving no trace. • Capitol police working at night say they have seen DC has frequently been sighted before a change in Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton working at his desk in National Statuary Hall, although he died in the 1800s, before the sightings. • The apparition of General John Alexander has appeared at 12:30 a.m., looking displeased while he stands at the door of the room once used by the Senate Committee on Military and Militia, one he had chaired in life. He has also been seen in one of the basements. administration. Although no detailed records have been • A custodian who died at work helps people do kept of the sightings, the appearance of Demon Cat is their jobs. Workers have seen a mop guided by unseen believed a bad omen because it is most often seen before hands mopping the floors. great tragic events. It was seen before the crash of 1929, which led to the Great Depression; before JFK’s assassiEncounters With DC nation; and other national tragedies. Perhaps one of the most intriguing ghosts is DC, the DC is featured in USA Today’s travel guide, in black feline named Demon Cat, who lurks in the cellars “America’s 10 Most Haunted Cities” by Jamie Moore, and is usually sighted before a tragedy and administration SmarterTravel.com: www.usatoday.com/story/travel/ changes, according to Phantom Animals author Daniel destinations/2012/10/24/americas-10-most-hauntedCohen (A Minstrel Book, 1991). cities/1655281/. In the 1800s, the Capitol Building was infested with For more information about the U.S. Capitol buildrats, so cats were brought in to control the rodents. They ing, go online to the Visitor Center Website at: http:// did their job well. Today, cats are no longer used to conwww.visitthecapitol.gov/. trol the rodent population. The only cat that remains is

The demon cat has been sighted before great tragic events.

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Paranormal Underground 37


Haunted Entertainment

Scott Michaels: Dearly Departed Tours & FindADeath.com By Jill Marie Morris, www.jillmariemorris.com

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recently drove up to Hollywood and met with Scott Michaels at the famed Cat & Fiddle on Sunset Boulevard. This allegedly haunted hotspot was the perfect venue to grab some good grub and chat with Scott about his Hollywood tour company: Dearly Departed Tours. Scott is also the founder of www.findadeath.com. The site is not for the weak of heart or squeamish, and it boasts all sorts of juicy information, chilling photos, and the 4-1-1 on just about every dearly, and not so dearly, departed Hollywood celebrity. Recently, E! Entertainment Television signed Scott to host a show titled Hollywood Death Trip, which showcases some of the most high-profile and infamous murder cases in the Hollywood. Scott presents these locations during his tour, providing insight into the grisly mayhem that has enveloped most. The pilot episode aired on October 24, 2013. Dorothy Stratten, Brittany Murphy, Ronni Chasen, and Ashley Ellerin were among the mysteries addressed during the segment. Having watched the show, I will state that it was truly an attention grabber. Additionally, the show has been well-received. Also part of the Dearly Departed Tours office, Scott boasts an impressive collection of artifacts, mementos, and ghastly memorabilia from some of the most publicized celebrity deaths. From Jayne Mansfield’s pink suitcase that was in the trunk of her car on the night she was killed, to Rock Hudson’s bedpost (yes, the actual post to his bed), to vintage clothing, movie costumes, set replicas, and pieces of stone from Sharon Tate’s fireplace on Cielo Drive, the museum is a story in and of itself. Never wanting to be the center of attention, Scott is a walking encyclopedia of information relative to the lives and deaths of the rich and famous. Able to rattle off a long list of celebrities who are buried in each one of the surrounding cemeteries — without taking a breath or batting a lash — he lends intricate details about the stars’ final moments, much of which the general public may not even be aware of.

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Scott Michaels’ Dearly Departed Tours office includes an impressive collection of artifacts, mementos, and ghastly memorabilia from publicized celebrity deaths.


Not a big fan of conspiracy theories, Scott cuts to the chase. He relies on various sources for his information, be it anonymous or through more connected individuals, such as police investigators and coroners. He presents the facts and also shares his brutally honest opinion with his guests, all presented with a dash of humor noir. So, how exactly did Scott come to open this deliciously dark tour company and museum of macabre? It all began while growing up in the Midwest, within close proximity to a very dangerous intersection. ***** Q: What you do isn’t exactly a traditional job. When, and how, did you begin collecting celebrity death memorabilia? Scott: I grew up in Detroit and lived near a busy intersection. It wasn’t unusual for accidents to happen. It’s fair to say that we saw at least one fatal accident per year; there was always an accident of some type in front of the house. We had a system down: One person would make the phone call, one person grabbed the towels — I don’t remember, but it may have been for blood. One of us would always be a witness if they had any questions. My mom was also very creative. She would draw, and now in retrospect, I realize that it was pretty amazing. She was a woman raising children and didn’t have an outlet, but would draw these cool pictures on the back of department store boxes and things like that. She once made a mosaic to go over the fireplace of the Three Kings for Christmas. It was kind of a mid-century, pop, geometric thing made out of broken glass from these accidents, and it wasn’t contrived. We used what he had. We were not a wealthy family. For this mosaic, we needed red glass for one of the kings. The red glass came from broken break light glass. We also needed silver glass, which we used from rearview mirrors. And the white glass came from headlights. There were also certain things that she used that did not come from the cars, such as the blue glass from a jar of Vick’s or green glass from a bottle of Mountain Dew. When I was about 15, one of my classmates was abducted from a pizza place near where I grew up. She was taken to a house and abused, raped, and horribly shot and killed. That winter, I think it was New Year’s Eve, we decided to go out and find the house. It was in the middle of a horrible area, and I really don’t know why I did it, but I grabbed the address from the house. There was really no reason to it. The house was abandoned — boarded up. It’s gone now. I looked it up the other day, but I still have the address from the front of the house. It’s sort of like a weird memento, in a way. It was one of the first things that I acquired. Although I didn’t know her real well, when

Scott relies on various sources for his information, including anonymous sources or through more connected individuals, such as police investigators and coroners.

somebody dies like that when you’re young, it affects you. I was exposed to weird things like that, and it sort of morphed into something that I continued to pursue. I can’t explain why. After that, I would go to places and take pieces, things, like that. Q: How did you end up in Hollywood? I understand that you went to school for broadcasting. Was that what brought you here? Scott: I just wanted to be in the entertainment industry. I was a projectionist for many years at the old movie palaces. I always liked being involved but did not necessarily have to be the focal point. Growing up in Detroit, I always knew that I wanted to

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Haunted Entertainment be in the business, but again, not the center of attention. So for me, this was the thing to do. That was why I became a projectionist and later went to school for broadcasting. I moved out here 20 years ago. I also lived in England for seven of those years. I initially worked for Grave Line Tours for awhile and then opened Dearly Departed Tours. Our first tour was on January 1, 2005. The shop has been open since April 1, 2012. Q: Relative to the tour and your collection, do you ever hear from celebrities? Scott: I generally don’t have “walk-in” celebrity traffic, although Kat Von D interviewed me and used the tour as the vehicle for her show. I also did a show for The Girls Next Door. I don’t get much feedback in that respect.

I have been ushered into the paranormal world. Although it is something that I never pursued, it’s something I’ve grown to understand. Q: What is your favorite keepsake in the shop? Scott: I love the Jayne Mansfield suitcase because it’s so kitschy. Even if you don’t know about her, or care what it is, a pink suitcase is pretty funny to see. I really like the stories. Every single thing in there has its own story, and I love that. Q: I have noticed that your collection continues to grow, even over the past year. How do you acquire your pieces? Scott: A lot of them find their way to me through the Internet and the Website. That is how I get most of my things. Before I got the Jayne Mansfield suitcase, one of the first things that I was sent were swatches of fabric from the front seat of Mansfield’s car. A man was a big fan of hers and collected all sorts of things. When he died, they didn’t know what to do with them, so someone looked on the Internet, found me, and asked if I wanted them. I look at it like I am now their guardian. There is an element of history to all of this. You either like this stuff or you really don’t. You either get it, or you really don’t. It just depends on the person. To me, I’m comfortable in my own skin, and I feel like I’m a good person, so I try to do right by these objects and things. I treat them with respect.

Q: Considering the context of the tours, have you ever had any funny or crazy reactions by people who have taken the tour? Scott: Most of the time people are out to have fun. I’ve had quite a few people burst into tears when we have passed certain places. I sit back and listen to a lot of stories that people share while on the excursions. Some people want to be directly associated with or tied to a lot of these tragic cases. Some of them feel they have to talk about it, and connect that way. It can be very interesting. Q: Do you get much feedback from paranormal groups, mediums, and psychics?

Scott: I get a fair amount of people on Q: Just to name a few, you have the tour that are affiliated with parapieces of John Denver’s airplane, In 2012, Dearly Departed Tours opened normal groups. As you know, there is parts of the Hindenburg, and the Dearly Departed Gallery on Sunset always some sort of paranormal team, bricks from Sharon Tate’s fireBlvd., which showcases rare and unique every five feet (laughter). We get a place. Do you think the shop is memorabilia related to dead celebrities. lot of interest because we are one of haunted given the number of the only “dark tours” in Los Angeles. items you have there? There really isn’t a legitimate ghost tour. Scott: I have not seen anything, but I have heard it speak. We also get a lot of attention from these groups due to Stuff does move around, though. I’m not particularly the objects I have in the cases. It’s an added “attraction.” sensitive, but there is a specific picture that falls down all Because of my interest in the deaths of these people,

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of the time. A lot of people say they can feel stuff — energy. Upstairs, there are many pieces. It’s a weird energy up there. The only thing that I don’t really like is when the hair stands up on end. It creeps me out. I never run down the stairs — I refuse to. I’m not afraid. It’s just creepy. Q: What do you consider the creepiest piece of your collection? Scott: Well, it would have to be the Gacy painting. It’s a John Wayne Gacy painting of the Seven Dwarves. Q: Yes, that is quite creepy. I have to ask: Are any clowns around you at the shop? Pictures of clown faces? Something very bad is attached to a clown symbol. Do you have anything like that in the shop? Scott: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. It is a note written by John Wayne Gacy. The border of the letterhead are skulls and clowns. He signed it. How weird is that?

“I try to do right by these objects and things. I treat them with respect,” Scott said.

Q: Amidst all of the wild wonders housed in the shop, I see stickers, t-shirts, and other collectibles embellished with the words Death Hag. What is a Death Hag? Scott: It’s so silly, actually. I was reading a book, and someone was talking about “Fame Hags.” This was around the time when I first put up my Website. I used the greeting, “Hey, Death Hags.” I thought it was kind of funny. Then, I started to receive a lot of emails with people referring to themselves as Death Hags. It’s interesting how that caught on. To define one, a Death Hag is somebody who is enamored with death. Now, I don’t ever want to see anyone get hit by a train, but if Marilyn Monroe got hit by a train, I would stop and take a look. There’s a difference: Death is interesting, but celebrity death is really fascinating. Q: Out of all the dead celebrities, who is your favorite? Scott: Oh, people like Gilda Radner and Annette Funicello — people who really pull at your heartstrings. Everyone has their Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. I love them too, Jimmy more so, but Gilda was pretty wonderful. I’ve always had a weird connection to James Dean. There was a time in my twenties when I lived in Chicago

that I went through an indescribable period. It led to my trip to Fairmont, Indiana, where I ended up with a friend at James Dean’s gravesite. We had taken a Ouija board. That wasn’t really a very good experience. That incident was the culmination of a strange weekend that didn’t go so well. Q: What happened with the Ouija board? I’m not terribly surprised to hear something went wrong (laughter). Scott: My friend was obsessed with James Dean. She would always go down to his grave. It was about a six-hour trip from Chicago. She took her Ouija board with her and said she could talk to him through it. When she was getting ready to do down to the grave, she would ask if I had any questions. And then she’d get back to me the next day with his answers. She even said he came to the cemetery and gave her rides on his motorcycle. So, I was like, “Hey! I want to go meet him.” We drove down to Indiana. At first, we went to his grave during the day. It’s pretty crazy; even though the grave is in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road, someone is always there visiting him. She then asked if I wanted to go to the farm where he grew up, so I said, “Sure!” So, we pull up, and she gets out of the car and then knocks on the door. I was like, “What is she doing?” James Dean’s cousin, Mark, answered the door. He invited us in. It was so bizarre: There we were sitting in James Dean’s living room, drinking lemonade, watching America’s Funniest Animals — or something like that. They

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Haunted Entertainment were very cool about everything though. Scott: I can’t really think of anyone in particular; howFrom there, we went to spend the night at the grave, ever, the first time you go to a place of notoriety, it can and my friend was sure that James Dean would show up. bother you — the initial impact can affect a person. For exShe pulled out the Ouija board, and it began talking. ample, Yvette Vicker’s house or where the Wonderland She asked if he was going to come visit, and off the murders took place. Going into those places, you start to board it went. The next thing we know, a motorcycle is in think about what happened there; what they went through the cemetery, under the moonlight. Literally, a guy on a — what killed these people? Who killed these people? It motorcycle. So, the guy got off the motorcycle and walked can be a little strange like that. over to us. It wasn’t James, but he was dressed in black Q: And now for some non-Dearly Departed quesleather pants, jackets, and gloves … maybe 50 years old tions. Outside of all things death-related, what with salt and pepper hair, a beard. type of music do you like to listen to? So, we ask what he was doing there. He said that he was there to say “goodnight” to his brother and then Scott: All kinds, actually. Country and Western music. walked over to the headstone and gave it a pat. Seriously, I love all types: Classic Rock, Country, Oldies. Now that I think about it, it was quite funny: I tossed The last album I bought was the latest by Men Without the Ouija board back in the bag and threw it behind Hats. I also love music from the 60s — the psychedelic the tombstone. I didn’t want stuff. It’s all good. anyone seeing me using it over his grave. For some reason, Q: What other things do the guy went behind the you like to do in your headstone, saw the board, and spare time? Do you have asked, “What’s this? What are any hobbies aside from you doing with this?” He was collecting celebrity items? shaking it in the air. Scott: I really like to travel, I told him we were talking but I hardly get a chance to to James Dean, and he said, do it. Lately, I’ve been able to “No, you’re not! You’re talking do more of it, which is a lot of to Lucifer!” He said that while fun. As for my hobby, it’s my holding the board up in the career, so I’m pretty lucky. air in one hand. This guy was yelling at us, saying that James Scott’s museum includes pieces of stone from Sharon Q: Do you have any favoris seated “at the right hand of Tate’s fireplace on Cielo Drive (pictured above), Rock ite Hollywood hangouts? Hudson’s bedpost, movie costumes, and much more. the Father.” He went on and Scott: I like bars — I love bars, on about it. It was freaky. actually. I could sit in one from noon until midnight. My And then he asks me, “How do you feel about all of favorite was the Silver Spoon over on Santa Monica Bouthis?” I told him, “I’m a little freaked out right now.” levard. It’s been torn down a while now. Unfortunately, He then got down and sat cross-legged while facing just when you find a comfortable spot, they gully it down. me and rested the board on our knees. He then asked, An old saying that I have is that “they’ve made it so “Are you freaked out now? Put your hands here (on the the people who never left Hollywood can’t afford to stick planchette).” At that point, I told him that I was done. I around anymore.” It’s very sad. was out of there. We left, and went straight home. Later, I asked my friend to talk to James Dean on the Q: Tell me how much has Hollywood changed Ouija board again to find out who that guy was. My friend over the course of the past 20 years. I would imagsaid that James told her, “God sent him.” Totally bizarre. ine it’s a much different place now. I always say the Ouija board is like a phone booth. You never know who you’re picking up or who’s calling. Scott: It has changed considerably. There was no HolNo control. lywood and Highland when I moved here. There was Q: Your tour covers a lot of ground in Los Angeles. Is there any location in particular that personally bothers you?

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the Chinese Theater (Grauman’s) and two small theaters to the side of it. The Holiday Inn was still there. Orchid Street was the place we started the Grave Line Tour on. That’s now gone too.


Scott is the go-to guy for a look at fame’s dark side, and he offers valid, factual information and wit on his tours.

We also knew the homeless people by name. There were three or four regulars who always hung around the Chinese Theater. They were quite the characters, but they were nice. You would wave, and they would wave back. Now, there are thousands more people every day. The homeless are killing people. It’s crazy! Hollywood is growing so fast. There are too many people saying, “Yes.” Not enough know how to say, “No.” It’s just getting so big. Q: One last question. If you could speak to one dead celebrity, who would it be? And what would you say or ask them? Scott: I would want to ask Jackie Kennedy, “What happened to the hat?” I mean really, where did it go? Oh, and one of the more curious things that I would really like to see is what Marilyn Monroe looks like right now. As in, right now. Q: In her crypt?! Scott: Yes! Absolutely!

***** And with an answer like that, it is no wonder Scott has made a career out of his hobby. He is a fascinating man who has carved a niche into the Hollywood landscape. He is the go-to guy for a look at fame’s dark side, and he offers valid, factual information and wit, instead of cookies, to entice his guests to come over. Perhaps not a traditionalist, he certainly has a penchant for finding the unusual inner makings and after-life performances of the rich, famous, and infamous. With unsurpassed candor, Scott will make your trip a memorable one. His shop of spooky collectibles is impressive and definitely for the curious-minded, so be prepared to set aside some time to take a gander before embarking on the tour bus. For more information about Scott Michaels, or the Dearly Departed Tour Company, please visit: www.dearlydepartedtours.com. You can also visit www.findadeath. com, a site that assembles the stories of people’s deaths, along with photographs.

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Katie’s Conspiracy Corner

The Doppelganger Effect 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.

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ave you ever had a family member tell you they swore they saw you somewhere even though you know you’ve never been there? How many times has a friend called you convinced your twin was roaming the earth? Everyone has experienced this at one time or another; some may have even seen their own twin! Imagine walking down the street, maybe in a state or even country you’ve never visited before, and seeing a living, breathing person who looks just like you. In my years as an investigator, I have seen some amazing things, but I can’t imagine anything more surreal than seeing the exact reflection of myself in someone else. The word doppelganger comes from the German language and translates to “double goer” or “double walker.” The dictionary defines a doppelganger as a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person. Theories of the phenomenon have been around for thousands of years in one form or another. In ancient Egypt, some believed in a “ka,” which was a living body double. Lore even says that a “ka” of Helen of Troy helped stop the Trojan War. Norse mythology details a being called a vardoger, which performs the actions of an individual before they do the same thing themselves. This could even loosely tie

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How They Met Themselves, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, watercolor, 1864.

in with the theory of déjà vu. So what are the theories? Some say it is simply your twin, but may project future acts you have yet to carry out. Others believe your doppelganger is really your evil twin. They are identical to you physically but your polar oppo-


site in personality. One good and one evil. Others still say if you see your doppelganger it is a foreshadowing of your death. Yet another theory says that stimulating certain areas of the brain can cause you to experience this phenomenon even though it isn’t really happening. Let’s look closer at some of the details behind this great mystery.

That apparition, sole of men, he saw. For know there are two worlds of life and death: One that which thou beholdest; but the other is underneath the grave, where do inhabit the shadows of all forms that think and live till death unite them and they part no more.

The Twin Theory Doppelgangers Foreshadowing Death This theory is probably most open to interpretation. Perhaps the most famous case of a doppelganger While almost all theories agree that a doppelganger is a foreshadowing tragedy is that of Abraham Lincoln. The form of one’s twin, in my research it was difficult to find president has been documented on many accounts as a instances of a truly evil doppelganger. These stories are superstitious man, and his wife even more so. Mary Todd more the work of horror movies and fiction. All accounts Lincoln was said to even visit mediums on a regular basis from actual people of this nature seem to be more misand had a strong belief in the paranormal. Several biograchievous than evil. This theory operates almost opposite phies about Lincoln detail his encounter with his doppelof the foreshadowing theory. Instead of a warning of ganger, including one by Noah sickness or worse to come, it is Brooks who said he heard the believed the doppelganger will Abraham Lincoln was said story from President Lincoln appear when the individual is to have encountered his himself. already sick and laid up in bed One night, Lincoln was on unable to go out, or tied down doppelganger on several a lounge in his private quarters. with something else. occasions. It was very soon after he won For example, back in 1905, the election for his first term, Sir Frederick Carne Rasch of and he was still reeling from the win. He glanced up and British Parliament was scheduled to attend a debate. He caught a look in the mirror across the room, but it was could not attend because he fell ill and needed to stay in not only his reflection staring back at him. There was a bed; however, when the day of the debate arrived, several second, almost identical image of himself. He got up to men in Parliament noted Rasch at the debate in his usual take a closer look, and the image vanished. No sooner did place. All were shocked to learn that his family at home he lay back down when the image appeared again. This confirmed he was in bed all day. time he got a better look at it and noticed that the second Another example is that of French teacher Emilie image was much paler than he was. This happened a few Sagee. One day during class, she was standing writing on times during the night and again a few days later. the chalkboard when her double appeared beside her. It Lincoln told his wife who was incredibly worried. mimicked her movements exactly, including her writing, She believed the images were a sign that Lincoln would except it held no chalk. Emilie did not see the figure, but successfully win the second election and serve a second all of the students in her class did. term, but she also said that the paleness of the second Another time, students in another class noticed her image was a bad omen, signifying that he would not live outside in the garden tending to some plants outside the to the end of his second term. Sure enough, Lincoln window. The teacher in the room had to step out for a mowon the re-election in 1864 but was assassinated in April ment, and when she did, Emilie’s double appeared in the 1865 less than a year later. Could Mary Todd Lincoln classroom. The children could clearly see Emilie still outhave been right about the elusive pale image foreshadside in the garden. A few students were courageous enough owing his death? to approach the figure in the classroom. They described English poet Percy Shelley claimed to have seen a resistance as soon as they neared. One girl was brave his doppelganger in a dream while traveling in Italy. He enough to touch her, and her hand passed right through the said the figure, an exact replica of himself, did not say a figure. She described it as feeling like cobwebs. word but pointed to the Mediterranean Sea. Less than a Another girl was able to walk right through her and year later, Shelley was in a sailing accident and drowned got the same feeling. Emilie’s double was spotted numerwhile traveling through, none other than, the Mediterous times within the school, but Emilie never saw it for ranean Sea. Interestingly enough, one of Shelley’s works, herself. The only thing she noticed was she would always Prometheus Unbound from 1820, contained a chilling feel weak and drained after someone told her a sighting passage that is almost prophetic of his experience: was reported, and her pallor would become very pale.

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Katie’s Conspiracy Corner It is also said that doppelgangers are a projection of While the woman was lying on the bed, when the our future, and when seen they are carrying out an act, stimulant was engaged, she reported the presence of anwe have yet to do. This was the case with German Poet other woman identical to her in stature and posture. The Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He was riding his horse person did not speak or move, but also lied on the bed one day on his way to Drusenheim. He happened upon a behind her almost touching her. When stimulating the gentleman on a horse traveling the opposite direction. Up electrodes again with more force, this time while she was close he realized the man was him, but dressed in a gray sitting up with her arms crossed, the woman felt another suit with gold trim. Eight years later, he was traveling the presence wrap its arms around her, again with the same road out of Drusenheim when he passed the same spot posture she had, but more intense. he encountered his double, which triggered the memory. The patient was very uncomfortable with the sensaThis time he was traveling the same direction as his tions. Lastly, they stimulated the brain again and attemptdouble was. He looked down and only then did he realize ed to perform a test with flash cards. The woman once he was wearing the exact gray suit again reported a presence behind with gold trim that he had seen her that was attempting to interfere eight years ago on his double. with the test. She was very uncomFreudian Theory actually ties fortable, so they ceased testing. in with this, suggesting that the The doctors believe these doppelganger is a projection of results were due to the area of one’s self, specifically in an area the brain being stimulated. The that individual is struggling to left temporoparietal junction is control. The “body double” has the part of the brain that controls similar physical and personality one’s body image physically in characteristics and opposing traits terms of posture, position, locaas well. The opposing traits are tion, etc. When stimulated, or usually to an extreme. The being broken, it also breaks that image represents the repressed psyche of and could cause the phenomenon the person, which must be dealt of an almost out-of-body experiwith head on and overcome before ence where one is disoriented as the doppelganger will go away. to the posture and positioning Once you defeat that which of their own body. This causes a you fear or struggle, you will be presence or image that the person free from it. In the paranormal does not realize is really a projecworld, this almost sounds to me tion of themselves. like a mild form of something similar to a poltergeist. A manifesAre doppelgangers the manifestation of a being Personal Experience tation of a being based on someA few years ago, I was at a based on something emotional, similar to what some people believe causes a poltergeist? thing emotional, just maybe not local bar having a few drinks when quite as extreme. I noticed my uncle from across the bar. I was very taken aback Science & Doppelgangers because my uncle is a recovering alcoholic and had been An article in Nature magazine details an experiment sober for about 15 years up to that point. I was shocked, that was done in an effort to remove scar tissue from the but there he was with a beer in hand talking and laughing brain of a 22-year-old woman. The scar tissue was causwith some friends I didn’t recognize. ing severe epilepsy. During this process, they accidentally I wasn’t sure what to do, and it was honestly a bit sostumbled upon something that not only produced some bering for me. Should I confront him? If he was drinking, potential information on schizophrenia, but also gave I knew it couldn’t be something random and something some insight into a potential explanation for the doppelreally bad must have happened, so maybe I should mind ganger syndrome. Testing consisted of placing electrodes my own business? Or should I just call my cousin, who is on the left temporoparietal junction of the brain. When his son, and fill him in so they can work it out as a family? stimulated in different ways, they were able to produce the I have a very close family. That cousin was one of my best feeling of being watched and visions of one’s self. friends growing up and still is today. I practically lived at

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Katie’s Conspiracy Corner their house when I was youngabout. Each personal account I er, so I knew ignoring it wasn’t looked into was so completely an option. different. I’ve explored people After some thought, I deencountering a living doppelcided to just confront him. And ganger. I’ve read about dopif things didn’t go well, I’d call pelgangers that were something my cousin. I walked over to the paranormal and never living man, calling my uncle’s name, at all. These beings were acbut he didn’t turn and look. Ficounted as being from the funally, I stepped right in front of ture, being in the present, and him, and it was a pretty remarkforeshadowing death in both a able experience. He looked at living and a dream state. me completely confused. It’s almost impossible to Up close there were very choose one theory, because subtle differences that made each one is just as intriguing me realize he really wasn’t my and has many more accounts uncle. I saw these discrepancies supporting it besides the few only because I knew him so I’ve detailed here. The only well, but still had to look closely thing I can say for sure is I do to tell. The lines in his face believe doppelgangers exwere slightly off, and he had ist somehow, but I can’t say just a bit more gray in his hair. to what degree, whether it is Someone who saw them side living, paranormal, or only a by side would swear they were manifestation. twins. I told the man briefly that I never gave my brush with I thought he was my uncle, and it much thought until I began In the 1993 movie Doppelganger, a woman moves from my research. I don’t know the the man laughed and brushed NYC to LA after a murder she is implicated in. She is it off. man whose picture I took, and then followed by what is deemed her evil alter-ego. The investigator in me I’ll probably never see him kicked in, and I knew I wasn’t again to learn more about him, leaving without evidence of what I saw. So I asked the but I have to wonder how opposite his personality really man if I could take a picture. I told him it would be funny is compared to my uncle’s. Even without knowing him, for me to show my family. He was very obliging and even I found one huge contrast between the two just based on struck a pose. I still have the picture today. I showed some the bar. My uncle was sober and still is today. At the time, of my family without explaining what had happened at first, this man was the life of the party and had a drink in hand and they all had the same reaction. What was he doing in all night. I know it’s only one thing, but it is a pretty signifia bar? When I told them it wasn’t him, they almost didn’t cant characteristic. believe me. I’ve showed my uncle, himself, the picture, I have to wonder if I had asked more questions if and he too was surprised. He couldn’t believe how much it I would have seen more contrast between the two. Is it looked like him. It was a bizarre experience for all involved. possible the twin theory was at play here? They definitely were quite opposite for looking so similar. Or was it Opinion purely coincidence? There are so many variables to the different explaAs open to interpretation as it is, I do think it would nations of what a doppelganger is. Much more than I be exciting to encounter my own doppelganger, alive or expected when I began to research it. I would probably not (so long as it wasn’t foreshadowing my own death). If give a lot more credit to the findings the scientific experishe were something paranormal, I would want to capture ment uncovered if it had not been for the fact that testing as much data as possible. If she were living, I would want was only done on one person. to speak to that person and learn everything I could about The testimonies of someone as prominent as Abraher. Either way, it would be a truly amazing experience ham Lincoln are not to be completely overlooked either. to discover more about this mysterious and intriguing Even the Freudian theory leaves something to think phenomenon.

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Inside The Psychic Mind

Psychic Attacks: The Art of Rebalancing Your Psychic Energy By Jackie Chin, http://psychicconnextions.blogspot.com

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sychic attacks and curses can occur either deliberately from another person’s desire to do harm or inadvertently sent from the subconscious thoughts and feelings deriving from resentments, anger, and/or rage. When someone is experiencing a curse or psychic attack, they may feel as though they have lost their center, their ability to focus is impaired, or their energy and power are leaking out from their body, causing them to feel drained, usually from the third chakra around the navel or lower Tan Dien (second and third together), but also from the fourth or heart center where the leakage may feel like grief, sadness, or depression. The person under attack may have a run of bad luck with strange, unwelcome occurrences happening frequently, or their timing may be off, causing them to miss out on important events. They may experience people avoiding or staying away from them, or they may see agreements or pacts that they’ve made with others dissolve or be abandoned or broken for no apparent reason. Sometimes negative energy intrusions will manifest in the form of nightmares; strange obsessions; or uncontrollable emotions, persistent phobias, or recurring fears. The Effects of Negative Thoughts and Emotions Each of us sends out various degrees and qualities of energy into our environment via our thoughts, emotions, intentions, and feelings. When these energies are negative, what we “send” out there becomes a negative influence in the energy fields of other people or life forms, including pets and plants, usually in a non-conscious way. As people, we can easily make each other sick, often without realizing it. We will define a curse as a “negative force that is

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deliberately or ritually sent to the receiver/victim’s energy field from the mind and will of another person for the purpose of weakening them, making them ill, making them off balance, confused or disoriented, or otherwise doing them some kind of harm either mild or severe.” We can define psychic attacks as similar to a curse but of lesser potency: “a negative force that is sent into the environment of another via hateful thoughts, resentments, or anger, but without an accompanying ritual.” This kind of energy is often charged with strong negative emotions, and the person who is feeling and sending these negatives will often imagine doing harm to the other’s reputation,


health, or well-being, adding more potency to the attack affect us, no matter what others may be throwing out. by doing so. From a Taoist perspective, it is imperative to stabilize Negative influence is defined as “the ‘spilling over’ of our Chi field by sealing our leaks first, closing any portals one’s own toxic emotions into the environment and personto these kinds of influences. When the sealing of leaks al energy field of others in a non-conscious or unintended becomes a regular practice, then any negative forces that manner.” This is usually the case in personal relationships may have been sent toward us will gradually lose their or families where one’s partner’s or relatives’ negative psypotency to influence us since there will be nowhere for chic and emotional energy is causing others to feel drained, them to enter. In that case, they will rebound or “boomersick, or otherwise disoriented and off balance. I have ang back,” returning to their original sender-owner with frequently observed that many people with heart problems unpleasant consequences. in particular are simply absorbing too much negative energy One way to seal your leaks is to use what is called from another family member without the knowledge or the “tortoise breath.” This is done by breathing as slowly skill to discharge or cleanse their energy field. as possible from the belly, until you feel your Chi field What is often the case is where both partners are become more compacted and “solid.” locked into a battle of control or of wills, throwing negativity into each other with the intention of throwing the other How to Banish Negative Energy partner off balance, making them feel vulnerable and/or Breathe as slowly as possible in an inaudible manner dependent and therefore more susceptible to emotional for several minutes, up to a half-hour or so, a couple of control or manipulation. times each day, especially a Of course we can also night. It is a good idea if you Breath retention invigorates curse ourselves with worry and feel that you have been cursed resentment by focusing on how to do the tortoise breath right us by filling the whole body much we hate this or that, or at bedtime and in the middle with life energy or prana. this person or thing. All we are of the night when the negative really doing in that case is pullforces are strongest. It’s also ing whatever it is we hate or worry incessantly about into a good idea first thing in the morning when awakening our energy field with our repeated negative attention to it. from sleep. In no sense can a resolution occur under these circumYou may also retain the breath in for up to 10 stances unless it simply comes about in spite of us or as seconds each time to increase the effectiveness of this divine intervention. practice. After awhile you will feel your Chi field begin to solidify, and a new strength will come into you. How Does a Psychic Attack Occur? As a yogic discipline, breath retention or kumbhaka In order to receive or be victimized by negative is one of the most direct means of effecting changes in energy from any of these sources, there must first be an consciousness. Breath retention invigorates us by filling opening in one’s own energy field, a place for the negativthe whole body with life energy or prana. In particular, ity to enter. If there is no entranceway, such as a victim breath retention stabilizes the mind and in turn seals our or “poor me” mentality, then nothing bad can come in to leaks while stimulating and forcing the kundalini shakti to

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Inside The Psychic Mind enter the central channel. This will help to purify us and keep our energy field free of external negatives. The tortoise breath is also one to use when there is a lot of anxiety or fear energy that needs to be dispersed. What the breath does is that it condenses our energy field and allows us to feel that which is essential to our being. Taoists say that when doing the tortoise breath, it is a good idea to get in the fetal position with arms and feet crossed, creating a closed circuit in order to compact and condense the energy field in a more effective manner. But any comfortable lying down or sitting position will do, as long as feet, hands, and arms are touching or crossed. Along with this, imagine a golden white light descending from the heavens into your crown, sun, and moon chakras. Breathe this light all the way down into your lower abdomen and navel, usually the sites most affected by the negative psychic energy. Feel this prana-charged light neutralizing, dissolving, and banishing all negative psychic influences. The crown chakra is located at the center, top of the head, the sun or sixth chakra is in the forehead center, and the moon chakra is directly behind and across from the sun center on the inner pathway within the brain. How to Deal With a Psychic Attack or Curse Intentionally created thought forms and negative emotions can attach themselves to their “target” only if there is a similar thought or emotional structure within the intended victim; like attracts like. So the best way to be protected from these influences is to seal our leaks, heal our energy bodies, and breathe in divine light and love energy thereby removing our “attractors.” Any thought or feeling structure that we hold within acts to attract more of the same to itself within our energy field so that the more we imagine, hold, and receive divine light and healing energies to ourselves the less we are available to being attacked or influenced from outside agents or the negative intentions and thought/feeling clusters of others. When dealing with a possible curse or psychic attack, it is important first of all to:

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1. Stay out of blame, as “blame attracts more of the same.” 2. Stay out of self-pity sentiments like, “Why me?”, which is blame turned inward. Yet it is important to understand where the influence is coming from and how we may have participated in its creation. Self-pity, in particular, only draws more toxic energy to us in order to confirm and reinforce our condition of feeling victimized. 3. With appropriate bodily movements, like hands pushing out from the lower tan dien or belly, say, “I send all negative influences and bad energy back to their source and creator.” Then imagine cutting an invisible cord at the belly where we are likely to be connected to the source of the negative energy, and see it like a rubber band that snaps back to wherever it originated from. 4. Then say, “I am unaffected and immune to all negative psychic influences,” doing a wide and expressive sweeping and clearing movement with hands and arms; then see the negative influences dissolve and disperse before they reach your energy field. You may need to do this many times before you feel relief or a sense of safety. 5. Imagine and feel yourself surrounded by a golden, divine white light that acts to protect you and seal you off further from all unwanted influences. 6. Don’t get into arguments or heated debates with anyone. Any form of resentment or anger will keep your energy body open to the forces you are trying to protect yourself from. Instead, cultivate being fierce, which is focused, intense awareness that has no anger in it or inclination to do harm. This acts as a powerful, protective shield around your energy body or Chi field. 7. Deny permission for any and all negative influences to enter your energy field or affect you “in any way, at any time, by any means, for any reason,” using words like, “no,” “away,” and “out now” with a commanding tone of voice, exaggerated gestures, and fierce attitude. 8. Finally, rest in thankfulness and gratitude, feeling and knowing that you are protected, safe, and free from all adverse energies, malicious oppositions, curses, and negative influences.


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The Psychic Biker: Attitude With Empathy

Skeptics & The Paranormal By Paul Green, Extreme Ghost Hunting

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ddly, as a psychic medium, I am also a skeptic. Right about now you might be asking, “How can you be a skeptic and be a psychic medium?” Very easy, to be honest, as it simply means I don’t assume that everything on a ghost hunt is a haunting or that every coincidence in my life is due to my psychic powers. Most are simply noises or draughts, and most coincidences are just that, nothing more. But even though I am a skeptic, and was to a greater degree before I set off on the journey that led me to becoming a medium, I don’t think I was as vehement as some I have met either face to face or via social media and forums. Lessons Learned on a Skeptic’s Forum Quite some time ago when I was just setting out on said journey, I stumbled across a forum called Bad Psychics. I won’t go into the full history of how the site came about, but broadly it was on the back of the UK TV show Most Haunted. From that start, it was a site full of in-themain skeptics with a few people such as me, the enemy, psychic mediums. Upon my joining the forum, that is just how it felt. Lamb to the slaughter is a phrase that springs to mind. Expecting a reasonable and polite style of debate, I was attacked by many of the more ardent members, including the site owner with an aggression that at first surprised me. However, as you may guess, I am not one to back down, and they got a response in kind. And, much to my surprise, after a few weeks on the forum, I was invited by the owner to become a moderator on the site, one of the first mediums to be asked to hold that position. There, in the private moderator’s chat room, I found that his public bark was not matched in private. Still a skeptic, and an ar-

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dent one, he was much more open to reasonable debate. He even took a psychic course run by one of the other psychics on the site. Though, when he came up with what sounded like a semi-psychic reading for one of the other participants in the course, including a very specific mention of a green car that had significance, he passed it off as simply luck/ coincidence. However, at least he was willing to get some


Hiding Behind a Keyboard Skeptics do have online gathering places. And possibly the most well-known is the J.R.E.F forum, which stands for the “James Randi Educational Foundation.” When Is a Skeptic a Cynic? The head of that is the world’s chief skeptic, who has a During the early years, I felt it was my role to congod-like status among other skeptics, James Randi. You vince these people, but it soon become clear that in will, I hope, have noticed the way there is an attempt to many cases their skepticism was based purely on them give the organization a pseudo-academic status by the “knowing,” not on any research, practical experience, use of the words education and foundation in the title, a or even having a mind open to the possibilities of anyruse often used by skeptics to give themselves an appearthing paranormal. Maybe the ance of greater gravitas. James problem was that despite them Randi, henceforth referred to So many skeptics feel they labeling themselves skeptics, in as JR, is well known for the have the right to decry and truth they were cynics, unwilling “million-dollar challenge,” a to even consider any possibility topic I will discuss later. destroy others’ beliefs. other than their own opinions. However, on said forum, However, even among you can watch as the skeptics those who appeared to be willing to debate and consider pat themselves on the back at how clever they are and the various possibilities or explanations for events labeled post links to psychics or mediums who they feel need the paranormal, few had practical experience or knowledge to forum’s attention. The attention is usually in the form back up their opinions. When pushed to ascertain their of trying to bombard said psychic’s/medium’s Website, level of experience and/or qualifications, many became Facebook, and Twitter pages to force them to close down hostile. Often they would cite pseudo-scientific examples, or crash that site. A more common term for that sort of usually based on experiments carried out by fellow skepbehavior is “bullying” or “keyboard warrior.” My personal tics who had similar or lower levels of knowledge. term of use is “cowards.” Think on it. You may see two people arguing about Their excuse is that they are protecting the public, the paranormal. In this case, let’s say the topic is: “Are the ones that they see as the gullible fools not endowed hauntings real?” One person is a paranormal investigawith the character and intelligence to know their being tor, and the other is a skeptic who has “learned” all his duped by said psychics or mediums. Possibly, horror of craft and knowledge from Internet forums and watching horrors, the public will make the decision to spend their paranormal shows on TV. That’s a scenario I see often, own money on visiting these mediums and psychics of mostly online but face to face as well. Who between those their own free will. Nay, they say, sallying forth on their two would you say has the greater depth of knowledge? white chargers, ready to deny the public’s right of freedom The investigator, of course. They have gone out into the of choice. “We shall protect you and tell you it’s all false, field and conducted experiments; however, good, bad, or and you’re a pitiful human for even seeking them out! fallible they may have been, at least they have some data Turn away from that path and follow us to the light of and experience. skepticism.” Why do so few skeptics do that? Is it they feel that Though I had my tongue firmly in cheek writing the they will devalue their skeptical qualifications if they last part of that paragraph, the sense of it is true. So many actually attend an investigation with an open mind, or is it skeptics feel they have the right to decry and destroy others’ simply laziness and sloppy thinking? beliefs — beliefs sometimes founded on a religious convicMaybe if more skeptics did attend events with a view tion — with scant regard to the morals of their actions. to conducting open-minded experiments, or to simply Personally, I feel it is fine if they choose to offer observe, there would be more progress in getting both evidence that they feel proves there is no such thing as life sides of the coins together to study the paranormal. I feel after. However, as I have already said, most do not have that both sides of the camps have something of value to the experience, education, or ability to be qualified to ofadd to the debate. fer that advice. Instead, they appear to seek out to destroy But in the majority of cases, it seems that skeptics others’ beliefs, often resorting to bullying if their “advice” prefer to call watching TV, reading books written by other is ignored. Why not simply say they gave it their best shot skeptics, with the occasional delving into online papers as and move on? “research.” How many people who are believers or “don’t knows” “hands-on” experience on how the process works, something that I have found is sadly lacking with many skeptics I have either encountered online or face to face.

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The Psychic Biker: Attitude With Empathy do you see on the skeptics’ tails, hounding them to give up this stupid notion and join the believers’ side of the room? There are some ardent believers who may feel the need to convert the skeptics, but far fewer than the reverse. Most try to simply ignore them as you would any annoying noise. Later in this article, I will tell of a visit Stephen Lambert, my partner in Extreme Ghost Hunting, and I made after being invited to speak to a class of parapsychology students. I feel they displayed a better way to offer skepticism as a viewpoint; though, I assume that no skeptic would take advice from a psychic. After all, what would they do if anything I said came true? Surely that would be treason in the eyes of their fellow skeptics. James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge I want to move on to the infamous million dollar challenge, if that’s still the name — it does change. This challenge was started some time ago by James Randi after being challenged to put his money where his mouth was. Since the challenge started, its terms have changed. Also, it was going to cease in 2010; then suddenly it was not. Maybe Randi needed the publicity for another book. But the widely accepted idea behind the challenge, in JREF’s own words, is: “... we offer a onemillion-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event. The JREF does not involve itself in the testing procedure, other than helping to design the protocol and approving the conditions under which a test will take place.” If you want more information about the challenge, you can find it at: http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1mchallenge.html. Reading through that admittedly brief synopsis, the whole thing sounds very fair and a genuine attempt to find a true example of the paranormal or supernatural. The challenge in the past took on all comers of any type of claimed ability, not just mediums or psychics. Since then, it has changed to target some of the more well-known mediums and psychics, asking them to take the challenge. Why the JREF chose to refocus the challenge was due to a lack of anyone passing the first part of the procedure; personally, I simply feel the public’s interest in the challenge was waning. As it’s a huge part of JR’s “brand,” maybe it was simply a rebranding exercise to reignite his career.

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However, no matter what the aim of any challenge is, we must always ask if the effort is a genuine thirst to seek knowledge. If so, why not donate the cash to a reputable and independent university to carry out the tests? I feel the problem rests in the word “independent.” The last thing JR and the other senior members of the team want is to lose control of the testing procedure. If you examine the rules — and again they have changed as has the advice that comes with the challenge application — they state that both parties must agree to the rules of the test. In reality, that means the JREF can block any testing format they don’t like or may not give an applicant a chance of passing the challenge. In addition, they also have to agree what constitutes a pass. Think on that. An organization that is openly hostile to the idea of the supernatural and/or the paranormal will decide what constitutes a pass or fail and how the test shall be conducted. I have put this point to the devotees on the JREF forum and in private via E mail, and the usual response is: “Why not? It’s their money!” However, to put it another way, say I approach them. I have a testing procedure, an agreed level that would be considered a pass that has been designed and agreed upon by a top university with some of the best minds in the UK or the US today. Under the current JREF rules, it can say no, that’s it, no argument, no debate. If they don’t like it, they will not test. They have the discretion to do that. And this, it appears, is what is considered a fair test. And, of course, it is not a fair test. In my opinion, it’s a publicity exercise that has allowed a former magician to carve out a very lucrative career selling books, doing the lecture circuit, and going on TV and radio slots. Proving Life After Death Despite my skepticism, I am open to the idea that some, if not all of the JREF members and maybe JR himself, are genuinely seeking the proof of life after death. There are other paranormal/supernatural topics, of course, but think on the consequences of this being proven, the whole idea of death not being the end. Could there ever be a charge of murder if in fact we don’t die? What about religion? Is that still valid? Is god? It’s a huge question that would affect almost every area of our lives. So, anyone who could design and then conduct an experiment that is repeatable and able to withstand peer review will have their name in the history books for eter-


nity. In which case, why wouldn’t JR want this as a legacy? civilized than those conducted by some of the keyboard He is now in the winter of his life at around the age of 85. warriors. Questions or opinions that all mediums were So, why won’t he consider approaching all those people mentally ill, hearing voices, money-grabbing scum out to who have agreed to pay up if the million-dollar chalfleece those who had lost loved ones. Questions about lenge was ever to succeed? Ask them all to give the same why the spirit realm has never been proven. amount to fund research by a university, but there will be However, on the day we arrived at the school — apart no influence from him or any other person or organizafrom finding out that instead of the 10-15 students we had tion. Let that organization seek the answer to the quesbeen told to expect, we were faced with approximately 50 tion: Is there life after death? Why would he not want to students — I was very pleasantly surprised. The class was a do that? His name would be real mix of ages, genders, and remembered for evermore if beliefs. And regardless of the “Only the one who does it was successful. And even if questions asked, which were at not question is safe from it was not successful, he would times probing, all the students still be recalled as a great man were open-minded. making a mistake.” who was selfless in his dedicaThe students asked a range —Albert Einstein tion to this quest. of questions, from exploring Is it his ego, the fact that he if low-frequency noise could and the JREF would lose control, the fact that the money explain “haunted” locations to inquiring about what the is in the form of IOUs from various people/companies spirit world might look like. This gave me hope that there and not sitting in cold hard cash in a bank — IOUs that were still people of all ages who were approaching the task would never need to be paid out anyway if the JREF and of researching the world of the paranormal with an open their “gladiator-like rules” remain in place? Maybe it is mind, willing to look at all possibilities. They also considthat JR and the organization that bears his name has no ered that the world of science, which is constantly develreal intent in finding any answers, unless the answers are oping, has not yet found an accurate way to test theories the ones that agree with their own beliefs and convictions. that could prove a spirit world, or another dimension that Possibly the latter is the reason, with a smattering of fears we lend that name to, exists. of the consequences from the other possibilities. Picture That is the attitude I would hope any skeptic would the world if life after death was proven, skeptics’ book adopt when they start to research the paranormal world, sales and work on the lecture circuit and TV, and the as opposed to the “just knowing” method of research credence of all the skeptics plummeting. that seems to be favored by some skeptics. But will some skeptics be able to turn off their negative approach to the Will Skeptics and Believers Ever Meet paranormal? Will they cease to have a “prove it” attitude at the Middle Ground? and instead approach the paranormal with an open mind? So, what next? Will life in the paranormal world While I feel the world of academia have that mindset, remain the same, with the battle lines drawn between the I seriously doubt that most amateur skeptics do. I am skeptics/cynics and the believers? Until a few weeks ago happy to agree that some ardent believers have the same I would have said yes and that there would always be the attitude, but they tend to not be out to change the skeptwo battling factions. I believed there would never be a tics’ minds. To both groups, I would say that a well-known middle ground, particularly in the academic world — the scientist made a good point: “The search for truth and real academic world, not the pseudo-scientific world that knowledge is one of the finest attributes of man — though most skeptics inhabit. often it is most loudly voiced by those who strive for it Then, as I have previously mentioned, I was invited the least.” —Albert Einstein, from The Goal of Human along with my friend and business partner Stephen LamExistence, April 11, 1943. bert to address a group of parapsychology students at a uniIf you’re a skeptic reading this, does this apply to versity in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. They wanted to you? And, if it does, are you brave enough to change? Or meet and possibly interrogate some real, live ghost hunters. to quote that same scientist: “Only the one who does not In the lead up to the day we were to attend, I spent question is safe from making a mistake.” —Albert Einmany sleepless hours rehearsing answers to some of the stein, from a letter to Gustav Bucky, 1945. questions I expected. Questions I had faced on countSo skeptics, including James Randi, are you afraid of less occasions from skeptics both on forums and face to being proven wrong? face; though, the face-to-face debates tended to be more Well are you?

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Crystals & Herbology: Mystical Etchings From A Medicyn Woman’s Grimoire

Energy-Moving Astrological Gemstones: Part 2 By Silvermoon Medicyn, http://silvermoonmedicyn.blogspot.com/ For Part 1 of this article, see the January 2014 issue.

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n case you missed part 1 in the January 2014 issue, I will repeat my explanation about this article. Most people know what their personal astrological sign is, but many can’t tell you their power stones of the stars. Each zodiac sign has a set of gemstones that assist in supporting you with your emotional energy body. We all have some type of “weakness” trait that is related to our astrological sign. These are not true weaknesses; they are challenges or character defects, which we are born under. We must overcome these obstacles in order to get our life path lessons. Gemstones are used to help one understand these trials and give us the inner knowledge to change. Depending on what book or chart you read, these stones can vary. The traditional stones are ones that were mainly picked for commercialism and look best in a jewelry setting that can cost a pretty penny. As most know, gemstones resonate with the subtle body’s energy field. This energy affects everything about us like our habits, beliefs, and emotional maturity. In this month’s column, I will list stones that support and promote long-term healing for each sign, focusing on the reduction of internal turmoil and emotional security, educating you in the deep magical lore between gems and your sign. Cancer (June 21-July 22) The traditional stone is often a ruby; this stone assists with the feeling of security within the spirit of a Cancer. Even though crabs carry their home on their back, they do not always feel at home everywhere they go. They are ruled deeply by the moon and the life cycles of the planet. Moonstone helps to level the mood and balance the

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touchy feelings. Chrysoprase helps the Cancer to not take things so personally and understand the emotional boundaries around them. Since they have a strong and natural ability with intuition and the ability to read others easily, this stone works to keep the feeling clear. Rhodonite helps them work on the huge heart chakra that they possess, reducing fear and phobias so the Cancer can cope effectively with the facts of any situation. Leo (July 23-August 22) The traditional stone of a Leo is peridot; this stone works with the human ego to feel powerful, giving the Lion the inner confidence it needs to manifest a healthy life. Larimar assists with the breaking of old habits and negative energy thought patterns, which often need to be changed as the person becomes older. Noted as a gossiper at times, this challenge can be very detrimental to a Leo’s image; onyx will help them keep judgment of others to themselves and add


by others. Bloodstone reduces stress and the worry that comes with over organizing life issues; it allows the Libra to let go of emotional baggage and release auric blockages so they can believe in the personal power they hold within.

compassion toward other people’s character defects. Adding sunstone to a Lion’s pocket will bring balance in their second chakra, opening the flow of energy so they can keep a sense of kindness, good humor, and temperament while bringing in the attention they desire. Virgo (August 23-September 22) Blue sapphire is the traditional stone of the Virgo due to the fact that this stone stands for faith and ensures loyalty and friendships. When a Virgo wears sapphire, it diverts them from feeling the pressure for their need to be right. Azurite melds the heart and throat chakras together, so they can say what they feel without the worry of retribution from the negative side of the self. It supports empathy for the self and any emotional wounding that happened while young. The mind of a Virgo is quite expansive and sodalite helps them connect with the higher power and hone their intuition, encouraging the Virgo to find some time for fantasy and not live a life filled with too much seriousness. Virgos value duty and integrity above all things; hematite helps them ground, offering them refuge from their own skeptical side without feeling guilty for stolen pleasures.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21) The traditional stone for Scorpios is citrine; it eases fears and supports living in reality and not fantasy full time. It balances the third chakra that, in turn, decreases emotional insecurities that hold them silently hostage by their own expectations. Apache tear allows them to look into the smoke screens of life and offers their heart deep protection. This stone absorbs negative energy that can weigh down the Scorpion. It removes stagnation that leaves them feeling shut down and quiet. Malachite gives a Scorpio confidence and supports the heart in finding inner self-love, reminding them to base true love off of reality and not mystery. Obsidian is a grounding stone, placing peace and harmony between the mind and soul, giving them a space to find the true self and power to remain balanced. Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) Blue topaz is the traditional stone of a Sagittarius. Sagittarians are one of the fieriest signs and have a tendency to be all over the place emotionally and mentally. This stone helps them calm down and stay motivated on end results. Sugalite helps them manifest their dreams by pushing negative emotional thinking out of their mind, stopping any detrimental over thinking that can stunt their creativity. Labradorite offers a soothing effect that quiets the nerves and slows erratic thinking. Sagittarians can be flighty and have a challenge at focusing their thought patterns. Labradorite helps them keep a clear head and open the crown chakra, building the astral connection to the one source and the earth. Merlinite helps them stay connected to their spiritual side, or it helps one find the true path of living. It offers great insights to the shadow self and brings it to a conscious level.

Libra (September 23-October 22) Libra’s traditional stone is an opal; it has a glowing fire under the outer layer much like the heart chakra of this sign. This opal supports a Libra in finding emotional balance and reminds them to embrace the ability to be spontaneous. Tourmaline keeps the mind and spirit in a state of equilibrium, lighting the path so they can see their destiny and the difficult issues that may be holding them back. Sugalite make the lines of self-definition and restraint bold and less fluid so they will not lose themselves in relationships or allow themselves to become taken for granted

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Demonology — The Dark Files

Paranormal Teams & The Demonic: Spiritual Protection By Jerry Williams, Demonologist

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recently decided to leave the field of the paranormal. However, just as soon as I announced my decision, I received many messages from people asking me to come back because they needed my help. I’m a firm believer that God called me to this field to help those who needed guidance, so I changed my decision to leave the field so that I could continue answering that call and help those who ask for assistance. Recently, paranormal teams have emailed to discuss issues they were having involving possible demonic attacks. They needed more knowledge on the subject, and they asked me to put a class together to help explain what can happen with demonic entities and how to determine if the entity is a demon or a spirit who was once human. I am happy to announce that I have a class in March for those who want to bring their team to learn more about what constitutes a possible demonic attack and how to handle it. The Importance of Spiritual Protection Let’s talk about a couple of important points. First, when a paranormal team walks into a location, they bring their equipment and they usually go straight into ghost hunting. The problem I see is that a lot of teams are not performing any kind of protection prayer or spiritual protection rituals before they begin investigating. The demonic entities know this and can then gain access to the person or the team investigating. Will performing some type of spiritual protection ritual keep you or your team 100% safe? I cannot say yes to this question, but I can say that some protection is better than no protection. So what is wrong with going into an investigation and immediately “talking” to any spirits present? It is very dangerous to do this because you do not know who or what the entity is you are speaking to.

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How do you know it’s a spirit and not a demon? When asked this question, many responses sound something like this: “They don’t feel evil” or “They haven’t harmed anyone yet.” Unfortunately, demons are deceitful and can act friendly. They can act like your family member or loved one. They can act like a guardian angel. But what many don’t realize is that the demon can and will manipulate you at any time. Demons can carry out conversations and even make you feel safe and comfortable. Just like you wouldn’t assume a finding during your investigation was real unless you could back it up with evidence, do not assume that a spirit is harmless. The Dangers of Dealing With a Demon on an Investigation If you go into an investigation and begin inviting a spirit, who actually may be a demon, to touch you, yell at you, etc., you could be in serious danger. Giving a demon an invitation such as this could even spur on a physical or psychological attack. And if you investigate at a location


with reported or known demon activity, you must take as many precautions as possible. And if you are not educated or knowledgeable in how to deal with demons, always consider calling in a demonologist or clergy. Please realize that dealing with a demon is not a game. It is a true spiritual battle, as Ephesians 6:12 states in the Bible: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

to say an explicit word along with the spiritual word, so please look out for this warning sign. Next, if you visually see the entity, look for missing limbs, missing eyes, or if the ghost looks extremely dissipated. If so, this is a good indication it may be demonic. Also, never take an item from that location because it could have a demonic or spirit attachment. Also, never say to any spirit, “Use my energy.” This is by far the worst thing you could do. If you are dealing with a demon, whether you know it or not, and you give submissive agreements like this, then you are giving a demon permission to posses your body. I think that many paranormal groups need to slow down, take their time, and focus on safety first. I have handled thousands of cases involving paranormal teams asking for help with something that has followed them home and resulted in a demonic infestation. Look at it like this: Let’s say you go to a home that has bed bugs. Then you go home, and the bugs have traveled home with you and now infest your home. Demons do the same thing. They attach to the home or the person until the demon is ready to oppress or possess the person. This is why paranormal groups must practice safety first. I will have a class in March and invite you or your team to join me. For more information or to get your team on the list, email me at jerrywilliamslive@gmail.com.

Dealing with a demon is not a game. It is a true spiritual battle.

How to Protect Yourself From Demonic Attacks So how do you keep yourself safe? First, say a protective prayer before and after you are done investigating. Consider a prayer such as this: “The light of God surrounds me. The love of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Where I am, God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is.” Next, when you are at the location and you see or witness ghostly activity, then ask it something to repeat as a verification word to know that it’s there. Ask the entity to say the word God three times or the word Jesus three times; the basic premise here is to ask it to say something spiritual by giving it a word that is spiritual. Then, if the entity repeats the name or word, you are probably dealing with a non-demonic spirit. Usually demons are known

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Magic & Lore

Mysteries & Superstitions of Salt By Mari Wells, www.mariwells.wordpress.com

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or centuries, salt has been used for protection, purification, and preservation. In Rome and Abyssinia, salt was used as currency. The word salary comes from the Latin word salarium, which means “salt allowance.” In Greece, the trade of salt for slaves gave us the term “not worth his salt.” In the Roman Empire during the year 77 A.D., Pliny wrote in Naturalis Historia, the antidote for poison was to crush some herbs and a grain of salt. It was recommended this should be taken on a fasting stomach to prevent poisonings for that day. Threats of poisoning were then taken less seriously, “with a grain of salt.” Among the Romans and Greeks, bread and salt were also associated with offerings to the gods, deemed acceptable because of its purity and rarity. In Ancient Egypt, salt was used in the mummification process. Bags of salt and Natron (a salt found in Egypt) were placed inside of the body during the 40 days of mummification. In the Middle Ages, salt was associated with witches and witchcraft. It was considered a tool to prevent witchcraft and for destroying a witch. A common belief is that salted food can’t be hexed. For witches, salt is sacred. It represents the earth element, as salt is mined from the earth. It also represents the water element, as salt can be evaporated from seawater. Some witches mark their circles with it. Making a circle of salt will protect what or whomever it encircles. It is magically considered a great defense against evil. Salt is also used in baptismal water, water that’s used in exorcism, and Holy Water. Salted water can be used as a substitute for blood in witchcraft rituals. It attracts luck and money while driving away demons and witches. Salt symbolically represents life because it’s essential to life in humans, animals, and plants. However, an overabundance of it causes death. Too much salt in a field will destroy its fertility. Vampires also have a history with salt. In the Philippines, a vampire by the name Aswang Mannanggal is a strange vampire. She separates her body below the ribs or waist and flies with dangling innards as she hunts. The

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only way to kill the Aswang Mannanggal is to find her hidden lower half and rub salt all over its skin. The salt destroys this lower half, and when the upper half returns she won’t be able to reassemble her body and will die. In Greece, more specifically the isles of Crete and Rhodes, the Catacano vampire can be trapped behind a line of saltwater. Then decapitating it will kill it. The Estrie will steal and eat bread and salt from the human who harmed it to heal any wounds it might receive in a fight. The French Gaukemares is a vampire witch. She attacks and drains the victim’s energy at night. She won’t be able to attack you in your sleep if you place some salt under your pillow. Most cultures toss a pinch of salt over their left shoulder when they spill salt to ward of any evil that may be lurking behind them, a tradition believed to originate from Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of The Last Supper. Judas Iscariot had spilled the salt, foreshadowing evil and bad luck. However, in Latin American cultures, it’s believed that spilling salt will bring a severe case of bad luck and the only thing that can stop the evil or bad luck is a cleaning from a Curandero. The term for this belief is the Spanish word Salado (salted or salty), which means you have bad luck.


Michaela Rand — Medicyn Woman & Metaphysician Specializing in Hoodoo Shamanic Root Work

http://silvermoonmedicyn.blogspot.com/ • Soul retrieval and Shamanic extraction • Walking the dead to rest • Ministry services • Blending herbs, oils, and stones for healing

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The Dark Corner With Chuck

What Are BLACK-EYED KIDS? By Charles G. Gotski, In The Dark Investigations

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his topic has intrigued me since a first heard of it. And while I’ve been in the paranormal field for a while, I just recently heard about the Black-Eyed Kid (BEK) phenomena. For some reason, I find this particular subject quite fascinating. Maybe it’s because no one is really sure what or who these kids are. Maybe it’s because of the creep factor (and I love the creep factor) to these accounts. In this article, I’d like to go over the basics and share some insight into this intriguing subject. Looking into this phenomena, it was hard for me to pinpoint exactly when this all started, but one of the most famous sightings of BEKs was during 1998. As the story goes, a journalist by the name of Brian Bethel was driving his car at approximately 10 at night when he pulled over into a parking lot of an old movie theater to write out a check. As he was doing this, two children, ages ranging from around 10 to 14 years, knocked on his window. Slightly startled, he looked up to see the children standing next to his car. The kids asked for a lift. As he sat deliberating their request, they starting getting agitated. That’s when things started to escalate, and the kids yelled at Bethel, demanding to be let in. As they yelled at him, he said that even though his subconscious was registering an overwhelming sense of fear and panic, he felt compelled to comply to their request. He could feel himself reaching to unlock his door to let them in, as though he was being manipulated somehow. As they moved closer to his window, that’s when he noticed their coal-black eyes. It was this visual that snapped him back to reality as the danger of the situation flooded back in full-bore. Quickly, he put the car in drive and stepped on the gas, leaving the area and screeching his tires along the way. Since that fateful day, a flood of sightings have turned up. Whether it is from the Internet or by word

of mouth, the sighting continue to pile up. So, who or what are these beings? Speculations range from alien/hybrids and vampires to demons, but no one really knows for sure. As far as the details to these accounts, most BEKs are between 10 and 14, though I have read reports with much younger children also being sighted. And they can approach you just about anywhere — on the road ... at your front door. Some say BEKs are just kids pulling a prank. I guess that is possible, but at a cost of $200 dollars and higher for a pair of black-colored contacts, I doubt that many kids could fund this prank. The big question is: What happens if you let BEKs into your car or house? Are they dangerous? No one knows for sure, but if they are some sort of hostile beings, nothing good could come of it. And, unfortunately, there are no reports of anyone coming forward to tell that part of the tale. So the next time a child approaches your car or home and asks to be let in, for whatever reason, you might want to think twice. Or you could become a part of the tale of the Black-Eyed Kids. Though if you did, then we might never know for sure, now would we?

Are BEKs aliens/hybrids, vampires, or demons?

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The Psychic Biker Meets The Extreme Ghost Hunter! Available on Amazon.com Today! In this book, Paul Green and Stephen Lambert take a candid look at the world of ghost hunting and the paranormal. They also reveal their thoughts on ghosts and hauntings, as they willingly seek to experience the things most people would run from in terror.

Vampires, Werewolves, & Witches! Mari Wells Delves Into The Myth Surrounding Some Of The World’s Most Feared Creatures! Join the conversation at February 2014 Paranormal Underground 65 http://mariwells.wordpress.com/


Personal Experiences: Paranormal Encounters

A Haunting By Lee Tracy

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ny person who has ever spent the night in our One day several years prior, I was standing at the home has left knowing that the house was top of the stairwell leading into our basement when I haunted. It took a lot longer for me to recognize caught sight of something passing by the bottom of the that fact because I have been surrounded by spirits for staircase. I only got a glimpse of it, but what I saw passed the better part of my life. I have not been bothered by in front of the stairwell and was heading toward a bedany spiritual inhabitant here in our home, but sometimes room located in the basement. I saw in full color a pair of spirits, like people, have issues with the people that they sallow-colored female legs attached to a man’s tan-colored surround. In our case, one of these entities had taken islong-sleeved unbuttoned shirt, with the cuffs turned up. sue with female guests. There were no feet, hands, torso, or head, just a pair of When my teenage daughter was living at home, we nice-looking female legs attached to a tan-colored shirt. I used to allow her to have sleepovers in our basement famestimated the height of the apparition to be approximately ily room from time to time. To tell five feet four inches tall. the truth, we weren’t trying to be nice Upon seeing the apparition, I to her friends but were trying to keep hesitated briefly, wondering if I had her at home to keep her away from really seen what I had just seen and the boys. It didn’t work, because if I should pursue it or stay put. I she managed to sneak the boys and was a little fearful but decided to the booze in through the basement follow it and see what it was. I ran windows (which I later nailed shut). down the stairs but could not find Each time we naively hosted one it. I did not realize it at the time, of these events the girls in attendance but this female spirit had chosen to would leave in the morning commanifest herself to me for a reason plaining that something had pulled then unknown to me. One day Lee captured this photo of the “Lady Leg their hair during the night. None Spirit” lying in his bed one night. The photo several years hence, I would come shows the back portion of the lady’s left leg. to know why. of her friends would ever return, The upper leg is obscured by white light. and my poor, little, sneaky daughter At the time this apparition would have to go out and gather a showed itself to me, I was not fully new set of friends. This hair-pulling phenomena wasn’t aware of my own abilities or that I was an attractant for limited to teenage girls but included all females, includspiritual activity. I have always been subconsciously aware ing my son’s wife. However, it never bothered my wife. I of spiritual activity around me but never so much as here can’t understand why. in our Montana home. I knew right away what was pulling everyone’s hair, I began hearing noises in the house shortly after we but I was reluctant to say anything because at that time moved in. At first I assumed the noises were just that, nobody would have believed me. It was the same spirit noises caused by settling and such. I soon realized that I that flushed the toilet while my wife was doing her nails in was the only one who could hear them. As yet not comthe bathroom. She (my wife) did not reveal that event to pletely aware of my personal sensitivities, I was careful not me right away, thinking I would not believe her either. to make too much of it lest someone consider me to be unbalanced. I heard weird noises, unintelligible voices, ***** missing property, strange odors, televisions turning on

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and off, bells sounding, and touching have all become part of the norm in our home. I also realized that sometimes I could smell when a spirit was around. Sometimes they smelled like flowers, especially lilacs. Sometimes they smelled like gunpowder and ozone. I think perhaps our dog may smell the same things. But since none of these activities have brought us to any harm, I had decided there was no cause for concern, except to keep an eye out for the presence of any stray malevolence. I do not understand why spirits are attracted to me or even if that is unusual. It may be something to do with this house, or it may have something to do with me. I suspect that it is a little of both. Over the years, either I have become more sensitive or spiritual activity in our home has increased.

to duplicate the incident, considering it may have been a fluke caused by whatever. I could not duplicate it. The thing that really bothered me was the fact that there were several pictures in frames atop the mirror shelf, but only the religious picture was moved. Was the perpetrator a demonic entity, was it meant to convey some sort of message to me, or was it just a random bit of poltergeist trickery? I do not know. This was not the only poltergeist activity in our home. We began to experience missing property, such as ashtrays, lighters, and pens. This is a phenomenon that has continued around me since I was a young man. I began to believe that there might be a spirit of some sort following me around. The items that began to go missing were the exact same items that used to come up missing when we lived in California. These things were always items associated with me.

Was the perpetrator a demonic entity? Or was it poltergeist trickery?

***** After the appearance of the “lady leg spirit,” events occurred in our home that I will attempt to relate in the order of event. We used to feed our cat on the kitchen floor. One day at feeding time, my wife scooped out a portion of cat food into his bowl and went about her business. I could see the bowl from my place at the kitchen countertop where I spent most of my day. I looked at the bowl, glanced away, and then looked back. The cat’s hair was puffed out and it took off running. The bowl had been turned upside down. At first I thought the cat must have been surprised by something and knocked over the bowl by being clumsy. But when my wife picked up the bowl, the food was lying on the floor in a perfect pile undisturbed. It wasn’t the cats fault at all. Something had turned over the bowl without making a sound or spilling any of the food. We knew that something was up with the cat lately. It was always going downstairs yowling loudly as if it were talking to someone. Oftentimes it would come running upstairs with its tail all fluffed out as if it had been scared by something. I knew right away what the problem was. After all, downstairs was where the lady spirit stayed. I told my family what I thought the problem was, but at the time they weren’t ready to believe it. On another occasion, I walked into my bedroom and a religious picture that my wife had arranged on the shelf atop our dresser-drawers mirror flew off the shelf, did a backflip, and landed on the bed about five feet away. It startled me, and I was a little amazed. I had never actually seen an object flying around the house by itself. It really was another one of those, “Did I see what I think I just saw?” moments. I tried

***** When we first moved into this house, my bedroom was quiet with no apparent spiritual activity, whereas the room directly across the hallway was always cold. Not long afterward things switched, and my bedroom became cold and the other room was no longer cold. One day, I noticed what appeared to be the impression of someone sitting on the end of my bed. This would not ordinarily cause me any concern, except that no one had been in the room for several hours. It was a clear and well-defined impression. Something had been sitting on the bed. When I showed it to my wife, she touched the impression and noted that it was still warm. I touched it too, and sure enough it was warm. The implication became clear to me. A ghost had been sitting on my bed. I realized then that spirits can physically manifest themselves into our environment. I also realized that whether we like it or not, we are under constant scrutiny from those that have gone before us. I began to suspect that what I had been sensing for a very long time was true. The female spirit I had seen in our basement was probably now residing in my room. How sad that she still remained here to move about the house as she once had done in life. I wish I understood more about this woman and about dead people in general. Eventually, I had a spiritual encounter that led to the departure of this female spirit. In fact, I received strange phone calls for several weeks after her departure. The calls were untraceable, and a high-pitched female voice always said “goodbye.” The calls continued until the very moment we realized that the spirit was actually saying goodbye.

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Paranormal Safety

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide By Elaine Davison, Western Oregon Organization of Paranormal Investigators

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arbon monoxide (CO) can build up in closed or semi-closed areas very rapidly. There have been many cases where people have become sick and died in less than an hour from this colorless and odorless gas. On average 400 people die and another 4,000 are hospitalized each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the United States. Carbon monoxide is from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon, such as gasoline, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood. In the home, likely sources of carbon monoxide are gas space heaters, boilers, leaking chimneys and furnaces, backdrafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces, and gas stoves. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, headaches, weakness, paranoia, vertigo, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, and even death. This may not seem like a matter that should be a concern for paranormal investigators. Wrong. This should be a big concern, and one of the interview questions every team should ask prior to investigating is: Do you have a combustible stove, dryer, or furnace, and if so when was it serviced last? Only 25 states have laws requiring homes to have carbon monoxide detectors present in the home where combustible heat or stoves are in use. Even then, most of the laws state the detectors should be located near the bedrooms. This is great, but it leaves the rest of the home unguarded. In 2012, two investigators went into a basement of a home with not just one, but two working carbon monoxide detectors. As they descended into the space, they

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noted the furnace was running. The investigators were down in the basement for less than 20 minutes before both succumbed to the gas and passed out. Thankfully, they were found by other teammates before any permanent damage occurred to either investigator. This could have easily been avoided if the team had placed a $15 carbon monoxide detector next to the combustible furnace prior to starting their investigation. I included warnings about carbon monoxide in the Paranormal Safety pamphlet I released in early 2013 primarily because I knew of and talked to one of the investigators in the story mentioned above. Recently, I was contacted by a team; they had read my pamphlet and began carrying carbon monoxide detectors. The writer went on to tell me that they had an investigation where the mother noticed ghosts quite frequently in the kitchen of her aging farm home. This was a concern for the woman as she was an avid baker and spent hours in her kitchen. The team noticed the gas stove, so they dutifully placed a carbon monoxide detector near the then-off stove. Toward the end of the investigation, one of the investigators decided to turn on the oven. It only took a matter of minutes for the detector to sound an alarm. The team quickly turned off the oven and reported the incident to the homeowner. After replacing the stove, the homeowner reported to the team that the ghosts had either left or she had previously been affected by the stove. Carbon monoxide detectors are a safety device and tool to seek out potential causes of “ghostly activity.�


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The Bishop’s Corner

My Experience With

Mothman

By Bishop James Long, D.Min.

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had read the stories about Mothman and was rather skeptical of such a creature, or at least I was until a summer evening in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. There is a cemetery located in Elizabethtown, and many years ago, a paranormal team that I eventually befriended coined this cemetery, “The Gates of Hell.” And I must admit, the name fits quite well considering the activity that occurs there. Kasey Cemetery is an old, abandoned cemetery, and there is one way in and one way out. To get to the cemetery, you have to drive down a single-lane road for about three to four miles. There are woods on both sides of the road, and many people say that while on this road, you can “feel” the presence or activity within the graveyard four miles away. Truth to be told, you can. An Investigator Encounters Apparitions at Kasey Cemetery My first experience with the cemetery was one that I will not forget. Prior to my visit, a paranormal investigator, who I respected a great deal, told me a story that grabbed my attention and made me question the type of activity that occurs in this particular graveyard. He stated that while driving to the cemetery late at night, he and his companions saw a little girl pushing a little boy in a wheelchair. Keep in mind that it was about 11 p.m. on a very rough road when they saw this little girl right in front of their vehicle. The girl moved to the side, and the investigator stopped near the girl to ask if she knew where the cemetery was located. The girl said nothing, but she pointed ahead and continued pushing the little boy in the wheelchair. At the time, the road was not paved and it was rather dirty and rocky. My friend said the girl must have been around 12 years old or so. My friend also asked the girl if she needed help, but the girl ignored the question. The investigator drove on but was deeply concerned

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We all saw a huge winged figure that I would estimate to be about eight foot tall within the tree.

about the kids. So he found a small section on the road where he could turn around and go back to see if he could help them. When he approached the area where the kids where, they had completely vanished. Nothing. However, he did see the tracks of the wheelchair and knew that he had not imagined this apparitions. That was his first experience.


Blessing the Cemetery I was asked by family members of those who are buried at the cemetery if I would go there and pray and offer a blessing. The families were rather concerned because there were many reports of vandalism and Satanic rituals being performed there. People have reported being attacked and severely scratched at this particular cemetery and so I agreed to offer a blessing. The single-lane road literally dead ends at the front part of the cemetery. It is not a large cemetery, but it certainly grabbed my attention when I arrived. There was no question in my mind that evil activity had occurred there, and I could feel the sensation as soon as I left my car. It was rather oppressive. We walked to the back of the cemetery, and there was a large tree where the Satanic rituals had been performed. We found animal bones and Satanic carvings near the tree. I was not alone during this time. I had brought three other individuals. The first was the investigator who had the experience with the children. Fr. David Price was the second, and the other person was a very strong skeptic. His name was Marco, and he simply refused to believe in paranormal activity. After I began to pray, the wind picked up and the trees began to sway violently back and forth. Keep in mind that there were no clouds in the sky, and it was a rather calm evening until the prayers began. The large tree where we were

We saw a huge winged figure. It’s eyes were red, and it was looking down directly at us. located was surrounded by other trees. We began to hear sounds as if things were running around us. We could clearly see the outline of shapes and shadows. They were moving so quickly, and we all felt that we were being surrounded. Even as I type this, I get chills thinking of the experience. The shadows kept running around us, and the trees were making cracking noises because of the wind. These shapes were not leaves being tossed around. Rather, we could clearly see the silhouette of a physical shape. We were not alone. Marco, the skeptic, began stating that he felt sick and needed to leave the cemetery immediately. He stated that it was time to leave. My paranormal investigator friend also stated that he was becoming incredibly uncomfortable and wanted to leave as well. We began walking back to the front of the cemetery, and everyone kept saying that we were being followed. We all felt it, and we all were seeing shadows all around us.

The cemetery where Bishop Long had his experience: Kasey Cemetery Elizabethtown, Kentucky. (Photo: http://www.findagrave.com)

An Encounter With the Mothman? Finally, we arrived at the front of the cemetery and as soon as we walked out, the wind stopped and the shadows were gone. We all began to discuss what we experienced, but Marco stopped speaking. He turned around and shined his flashlight on a tree that was at the front of the cemetery, and then we all saw him drop his light. He ran to the car and screamed for everyone to leave immediately. We turned around to look at what he was seeing, and I will never, ever forget the image. The moon was shining through this tree, so when we looked at this tree, we could see the light from the moon shining through it. However, without question and without a doubt, we all saw a huge winged figure that I would estimate to be about eight foot tall within this tree. Its eyes were red, and it was looking down directly at us. Every single one of us saw this creature, and every single one of us ran to our cars without hesitation! My paranormal investigator friend got in his car first, and within seconds he was literally gone. Even to this day, I cannot tell you what it was that I saw. I know that we all saw something, and I know that it was not something that I have ever seen before. If I were to describe what we all felt while looking at this creature, it would be that of being warned not to proceed any further. We all felt that its presence was a very firm warning. That’s the best way to describe it. I have included a picture of what this winged creature looked like (see previous page). Was it Mothman? I don’t know, but I do know that it was something that I have never seen before. And, honestly, it’s something that I have no intention of seeing again.

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Religion And The Paranormal

The Paranormal in Islam By Melinda Stum, M.Div., South Sound Paranormal Research

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lthough Islam is a spiritual tradition, as demonstrated by the mystic Sufi seeking unity with Allah, the paranormal per se is not prominent within the tradition. However, the Islamic views of the afterlife, the jinn, and the ghool are examples of paranormal existences. The Afterlife The Islamic faith holds that after death and burial, the human essence, including the soul, remains in the grave until the Day of Judgment. During this intercession, the human essence experiences a fore-taste of the eternal fate that awaits them. Those who are condemned to Jahannam (e.g., Hell) will suffer unpleasantly in the grave, meanwhile those destined for Jannah (e.g., paradise) will have a pleasant wait in the grave. Although this perspective does not directly address the potential of disembodied human spirits, it may offer a space for those who have encountered or experienced the presence of a deceased person. For example, perhaps the human soul is able to depart from the physical remains prior to or after the burial of the body. The Jinn The jinn are unseen presences. In fact, the term is derived from the Arabic verb janna, meaning to hide or to conceal. According to the Quran (Islamic holy scripture), Allah created these jinn from a flame of fire (Surah 55:15). These jinn, similar to humanity, were granted free will. Thus, the jinn can be divided into those who believe (e.g., Muslim) and those who disbelieve (e.g., kuffar or shaytan). Although invisible in their natural state, the jinn are able to manifest in a dense, visible form, according to a Muslim scholar named Rashid Rida (Tafseer al Mannaar, vol. 7, p. 525). The Jinn and Fore-Knowledge It may be understood that all human beings have a corresponding jinn who exists in a parallel realm. These

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jinn are able to gain access to the most hidden places of our minds and our hearts to reveal hidden secrets and information. The jinn are able to communicate with one another, sharing this hidden information. Additionally, the jinn are able to communicate with and relay the hidden knowledge to their corresponding human being. Additionally, the jinn are able to travel to various locations and to great heights. This ability enables the jinn to observe human activity and situations. The jinn may communicate these observations to their corresponding human being, which may be perceived as fore-knowledge or pre-knowledge. According to the Islamic tradition, neither humans nor jinn can access information about the future. This communication with the jinn is discouraged in the Islamic tradition. In order to protect the hidden information in the mind or heart, an individual can recite the Quran, call upon the protection of Allah, and not share either your name or that of your mother. The Ghool Jinn are able to manifest and manipulate their shape, which may include that of animals or as humans. Yet, the jinn that appear in horrifying and rapidly changing shape in the presence of human beings are known as ghool (plural: gheelan). According to the Prophet (Muhammad), “If the gheelan appear and transform themselves before you, call the athann� (Al Musnad, vol. 3, p. 305). The athann (or adhan) is the call to worship, which summarizes the Islamic Statement of Faith: There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. Conclusion Although the paranormal is not prominent in the Islamic tradition, the perspective of the afterlife, the jinn, and the ghool are examples of paranormal existence. Thus, there is a theological foundation in Islam that may support the paranormal experiences of their adherents.


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Author Profile

N.J. Walters

Howl of the Wolf By Michelle M. Pillow, www.MichellePillow.com

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.J. Walters loves to write in all genres of romance, including contemporary, time travel, futuristic, and erotic, but especially the paranormal. She has always been fascinated with the paranormal and even once lived in the caretaker’s house in a cemetery. Her newest release, Howl of the Wolf (Samhain Publishing, October 2013) is part of the Hades’ Carnival series. The story delves into the world of shapeshifters, where a group of immortal warriors are cursed to remain in their animal forms until they are set free. That’s when the fun really begins. N.J. has authored over 60 books. She was awarded a 2008 Eppies for Best Erotic Romance Contemporary/Suspense Mystery and nominated for the 2010 RT Book Reviews Small Press Erotic Romance award. ***** Q: Why did you want to write about shapeshifters for the Hades’ Carnival series?

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Q: Did you base Howl of the Wolf off of known myths throughout history? N.J.: I’ve built worlds around known myths throughout history. One of my favorites is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which figures prominently in my book Out of Shadows. For the Hade’s Carnival series, I did include some of the Greek gods, as well as a little known goddess — The Lady of the Beasts. I don’t like to tie myself too much to known myths. I much prefer room to play. Q: What myths or legends inspired you?

N.J.: It’s funny, but the idea for this entire series actually came from a blog quiz I did a few years ago. The quiz told you what carnival ride you were most like. Not surprisingly, I was a carousel. That got me thinking about carousels, and I started asking questions. What if the animals on the ride weren’t horses but were more exotic? What if they were really

immortal shapeshifting warriors who’d been cursed and were now stuck in their animal form? What would it take to release them? Who cursed them? It didn’t take long for the ideas to start flowing, and the Hades’ Carnival series was born. What’s wonderful about this series is I get to delve into not just one shapeshifter, but many, including a white tiger, bear, lion, and wolf.

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N.J.: Like many authors who write paranormal romance, I have to credit some of the classics like Dracula, which inspired my erotic contemporary Harker’s Journey. Then there is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I’ve written several books in which the heroes are wounded beasts in need of taming. These classic tales are


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Author Profile so original and have held up all these years. Then there is the whole myth of the werewolf. What writer can resist tapping into a creature as elemental as a wolf who is also a man? Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? N.J.: I think it’s the fact that the paranormal is outside the realm of the everyday, the normal. They tap into the more primal aspects of our nature in a safe and socially acceptable way. Plus, paranormal books are just fun to read.

N.J.: I absolutely loved the X Files and Fringe. Kindred: The Embraced was short lived, but really good. And, of course, Ghost Hunters. For movies: Dracula, Lost Boys, The Crow, and the Underworld series are at the top of my list. I could go on and on. There really are so many great paranormal shows and movies to watch.

Q: If given the chance, would you become a vampire?

N.J.: If I came face to face with a vampire, I’d probably be so scared I wouldn’t be able to run. Either that or I’d set a new land speed record. Ghosts don’t frighten me as much, but a vampire would. A ghost won’t look at me as a possible meal.

N.J.: I’m a believer. I’ve had several experiences in my life, one positive and the rest scary, that make me believe in the paranormal.

Q: Have you ever been to a psychic and/or a past-life regression?

Q: Can you tell us about this scary paranormal experience? N.J.: I lived in a haunted apartment back when I was 18 years old, and that was unnerving. I was sharing the place with two other people, and none of us was saying anything about our experiences to the others until one night it all came out. All of us had some strange experiences. I woke one morning to see purple flames coming out the top of my clock radio. Another time I saw something looking back at me from the mirror. A chair used to turn around on its own and face away from the room. It’s the one place I’ve lived where I’d reach around and turn on the light before entering a room. Needless to say, we moved out within a few months. And I’m not someone who is easily frightened, as I did at one time actually live in the caretaker’s house in a cemetery. The house faced the road, but three sides faced into the graveyard. I used to walk through the cemetery

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N.J.: That’s a tough one. An old vampire would have so much to share, so many stories to tell. But a shapeshifter would be a fascinating creature. If I have to pick one, I’d say a werewolf.

Q: How would you react if you came face to face with a vampire?

Q: Do you believe in the supernatural, or are you a skeptic?

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Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet?

N.J.: I’d love to live forever, or at least a heck of a long time. So many books to read and places to visit. It would be fun, but it would be hard to see everyone around me age and die. If given a chance, I think I’d say yes.

Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies, and books?

every day to get to the bus, and I wasn’t bothered at all.

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N.J.: I visited a psychic with some friends when I was a teenager, but nothing she said came true. I did meet a man who was psychic. He was a friend of the people I was boarding with at the time. I was a teenager, but he looked at me one day and told me I’d just met the man I was going to marry. I’d just started dating the man who would become my husband. Q: What does the future hold for your writing? N.J.: I’m currently working on a new werewolf series for Samhain Publishing — Salvation Pack. The first book is Wolf at the Door. I’m planning at least five books in this series and am having so much fun writing it. *****

Thanks for joining us, N.J.! You can learn more about N.J. and her books at www.njwalters.com.


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Paranormal Perspective: Guest Editorial

Self-Sabotage of the Paranormal Field By Deborah Lantz, www.facebook.com/yourspiritbeacon

T

he paranormal field has a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and professions, which allows for an eclectic collection of research. The more people working toward a common good, the better I would normally say. The various types of research techniques offer those of us in this field a unique opportunity to learn from each other for the advancement of this truly unique field of study, but what I have witnessed these past several years says otherwise. I have met so many wonderfully gifted and talented people in this field who are truly dedicated to the research and documentation of the paranormal that it makes me feel so blessed to have met these people. These are the behindthe-scenes type who don’t seek out acclaim or attention for their efforts but who simply keep plugging away. Unfortunately, I found these types of people are becoming a minority in this field. This is somewhat alarming behavior to me. I have been in this field for about 15 years. I have assisted several paranormal groups from around the country and conducted hundreds of readings. What I am saying is that I have been around the paranormal block, so to speak. In any field, you will have your newbies, and I think we all can agree it is wonderful to have a fresh new face and new perspective on the scene. What I take issue with are the investigators and psychics who come on so strong with a skewed perspective that they have all the answers. No One Has All the Answers No one of us has all the answers in this field, absolutely none of us. This is why it’s called the “paranormal”; by definition it means, “Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.” New psychics who start marketing themselves as being ranked “such and such” in the nation, post several dozens of pictures of themselves a

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day on social media sites, or continually post testimonials about themselves on these type of sites, are not doing any service to themselves and to other reputable psychics. This behavior is ego driven. Any authentic psychic will tell you that the ego is your worst enemy when you are psychic. The same goes for new paranormal groups or individual investigators who claim that they have the “best” evidence, the best equipment, or the only team to be allowed on a location. And I have seen many groups hoard their findings. Again, how does this serve the paranormal community? Can you say, “self serving”? Unfortunately, this type of negative behavior is not limited to the newbies. I have seen so many people I respect attacked and vilified on social media sites. I have to ask myself


again, how does this serve the community? If you have had a personal negative experience with someone or a team in the field, by all means address them with your concerns and move on. But by belittling them publicly, it looks like you are trying to gather cheerleaders to your side of an argument. Settle Your Issues Privately, Not Publicly It certainly is not uplifting to read when someone calls another team fraudulent or points out their personal issues in a public setting. These people have families, children, etc. I am not concerned with the truth of these types of defamatory statements as much as I am by how this is hurting the field. Again, address your issues with them privately and move on. Allow others to make their own decisions and create their own opinions on these people from their own experiences. After all, we are all adults in this field, are we not? Can we not determine on our own if someone or something is worth our time and energy? Attention-Grabbing Stunts Hurt the Field My final statement about this type of self-sabotage behavior is the latest craze to be seen on TV. I am carefully editing myself here. Having attended a half a dozen conventions or more a year for several years now, I have personally witnessed the media whore-like behavior of so many in this field, from psychics to paranormal groups. I have literally seen a psychic shove someone out of the way at a convention to grab a news reporter who was looking to interview people for their local news show. At one convention I sat across from a psychic at dinner who was telling our table full of celebrities that he should have his own TV show. He didn’t understand why he didn’t have his own show because he is so amazing and everyone tells him so. I could not stomach this conversation, so I excused myself from the table. I have had to endure psychics who grab attention by belittling other gifted people at conventions in the middle of their gallery readings. Horrible! No psychic has all the answers, despite what he or she may say. I have been noticing several teams putting out teasers that they are going to have the next big TV show by talking about the pilots they have filmed and the many networks gunning for their show. Is this why they are in the paranormal? To become entertainers? Please do not misunderstand me. I do not hold it against psychics and groups who have a TV show or who have been featured on a show; quite the opposite. After all, TV is a wonderful media to share what we are trying to do in the paranormal: to educate the masses on the spirit world, UFO phenomena, or cryptozoology.

Television is how most of us obtain our news. Shows like Ghost Hunters have brought the paranormal into our family rooms. It has started people discussing spirit activity and other strange phenomena. Paranormal has become mainstream due to shows like Ghost Hunters. Now, I know that everything that is seen on TV is not real. After all, it is for ratings and bringing in cashola, but it has brought our field of study more to the forefront. But, if having a TV show is your sole motivation, then please take a gracious bow and step away from the field and join a local theater group to work on your acting skills. Taking Paranormal Research Seriously My hope is that the field of paranormal research will one day be taken as a serious science. A field that schools and universities will incorporate more in their funding and curriculum. Just as what was once called alchemy is now called chemistry. I would very much like to see our field come out of the shadows, but the types of behaviors I have seen are telling me it will be some time before our field can be taken seriously. We have to stop with the childish and petty behavior. Stop seeing each other as competition and start working together. Instead, let’s start sharing our findings and research with one another. Stop with the ego-driven individuals and groups and begin to work and learn to together. For me, I will continue to support all those who keep things positive. We all come from different life experiences. Let’s try to uplift each other instead of tearing each other down and I promise you this, your life and those around you will be blessed. Let’s take the paranormal field to the next level together for future generations. “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” —Dalai Lama

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February 2014 Paranormal Underground  

In this issue of Paranormal Underground magazine, we feature Brian J. Cano of Haunted Collector, Scott Michaels of Dearly Departed Tour, and...

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