Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 3
Troy Taylor Investigates Haunted History Quantum Physics & the Paranormal Diary From a Haunted Hotel
Also Inside: El Chupacabra Aliens Among Us Roundtable Debate: Psychics The Stanley Hotel Personal Experiences 1
August 2008 Paranormal Underground
Case Files of the Unknown Haunted Sites
The Stanley Hotel and 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home, and Museum are featured.
El Chupacabra: Alien or Animal?
Are We Alone?
Aliens Among Us: Reported Alien Types.
Investigator Spotlight Troy Taylor, founder and president of the American Ghost Society, has authored 55 books about history, hauntings, and the unexplained in America.
Karen Frazier explores how quantum physics might explain paranormal activity. Above all else, quantum physics is about probability and how the tiniest elements of the universe behave.
From the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Fiction: Featured Author
Author Mindy Kinnaman introduces us to Kate McAlister. Kate has always had an overactive imagination, but she refused to believe that “the fingers” weren’t real.
Reviews of the Month 54 PUG/GD Site News
Urban legends, for the most part, are like the game telephone, morphing with each telling. But are any of these seemingly far-fetched stories based in reality?
Diary From a Haunted Hotel 36 Night Auditor Carolyn Hughes documents paranormal activity from within the Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters on the Gettysburg battlefield. Carolyn never knows when “the boys” will drop by for a visit.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
From the Editor
Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 3
ur third issue of Paranormal Underground includes four new columns: Special Report, Diary From a Haunted Hotel, Roundtable Debate, and Reviews of the Month. I hope you enjoy these new features. Thanks for your feedback; keep it coming! In this month’s Special Report, Karen Frazier discusses how quantum physics just might unlock the mysteries of the paranormal. And in Diary From a Haunted Hotel, Carolyn Hughes chronicles paranormal activity at the Gettysburg hotel where she works as a night auditor. You’ll be amazed at Carolyn’s experiences. The August issue’s Roundtable Debate provides a forum for our skeptic, skeptical believer, and believer to weigh in on the authenticity of psychics. And in the Reviews of the Month, Mindy Kinnaman assesses A Dirty Job, The Orphanage, and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. Our July Investigator Spotlight features researcher Troy Taylor, author of 55 books on haunted history and founder of the American Ghost Society. Taylor’s research into the paranormal has spanned two decades, and he has no plans to slow down on his quest to uncover the secrets of the paranormal. This month’s TV Watch spotlights the paranormal docu-soap Ghost Hunters. The popular Sci Fi Channel reality series features Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson and their investigations of the paranormal. Also this month, the Haunted Sites section previews the Stanley Hotel and the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home, and Museum. In our Cryptids feature, Zoologist Jaime Johnesee talks about El Chupacabra and the likelihood that this possible cryptid might actually be a wolf or coyote with mange, or a vampire bat. And in the Are We Alone? column, Jaime also details the different alien types reported by witnesses and abductees. In his series on Cultural Beliefs, archaeologist Binoo’mukua takes a look at the most popular urban legends and reveals if there are any truths behind these fantastic tales. In the Member Profiles, we get to know more about GhostDose and Paranormal Underground members Emeraldwitch, MidniteRed, and JoeGeist. And in the Fiction: Featured Author column, Mindy Kinnaman gives us a chilling tale of being haunted by . . . fingertips. Also, make sure to check out this month’s Equipment Update review, which offers some tips on how to employ a proper methodology in paranormal investigations, as well as the possibilities of walkie talkies causing electromagnetic interference during investigations. And don’t forget that the deadline for our short story contest is fast approaching. If you are a writer of fiction, love to write about the paranormal, and would like to see your story published in one of our upcoming issues, then this contest is for you! See page 55 for more details. I hope you enjoy the August issue of Paranormal Underground!
~ Cheryl Knight Managing Editor
Design and Layout
Mindy Kinnaman Karen Frazier
Chad Wilson Jaime Johnesee
Mindy Kinnaman Karen Frazier Jaime Johnesee Chad Wilson Binoo’mukua Carolyn Hughes Emily Taylor Chris Johnesee Henry
We’d love to hear your suggestions for future issues, so please let us know what topics interest you! Send comments and letters to: Editor@paranormalunderground.net. MySpace: myspace.com/paranormalunderground YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/ParanormalUG
Copyright © 2008 — Paranormal Underground™ is a trademark of ParanormalUnderground. All rights reserved. Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of ParanormalUnderground. 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.
August 2008 Paranormal Underground
Letters to the Editor
Beyond the Norm Thank you for allowing me to review one of your eMagazine issues of Paranormal Underground. My goodness, it promises to be an exciting magazine that brings to the public everything beyond the normal everyday accepted views and limited perspectives. My best wishes for the great success of your magazine. —Mrs. V. R. Dorland
Enjoying the Ezine
Next Best Thing
I’d Pay for Paper
I think the way you layout your magazine on your Web site is ingenious. Whatever program you are using makes your magazine fun to read since it simulates the actual flipping of pages. That seems like the next best thing to actually having it in your hands.
Another month and another professional online magazine that I read from cover to cover. And I thoroughly enjoyed every article! Very professional work and interesting to boot. I would definitely pay for a subscription to a paper magazine! Wonderful work you all, so much talent!
—Michael Kleen, Publisher and Executive Editor, Black Oak Presents
Excellent Standard of Journalism
I just wanted to stop and take the time to tell everyone how much I enjoy Paranormal Underground Ezine. I have never been one to read magazines, but this magazine has me hooked. It goes a step beyond a regular bulletin board by having interesting articles. I know some of the people on the mag and hear there are even more great articles to come. I really enjoy the fact that the site has a forum and a chat. By doing that, it keeps a family feel to it. I love what has been done in the magazine already, and I anxiously await the next issue.
Wow! I thought the first issue was great, but your second issue astounded. What a talented group of people. The layout of the magazine is so professional and easy to follow. The articles and stories are VERY interesting. I really appreciate the integrity with which the articles are written. ALL of the facts are presented, even if they debunk the sensationalism. Best wishes to all of you in the future, and keep up the excellent standard of journalism. Each one of you should be extremely proud!
—C. R. Parry, Michigan
I enjoyed your last issue. I think you guys do a great job and was impressed with the format. I didn’t expect it to look so clean, and like an actual magazine. Most importantly, I thought the articles were well-written. Keep up the good work.
I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the magazine. The quality and content just keeps getting better. This is no amateur endeavor. This is a first-rate, publishable, and sellable commodity you have. It is more than obvious the amount of work that is put into it.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
Great Job! WOW guys, great job. The mag is amazing . . . it really is above and beyond. —Pynki
Real Articles For a free eMagazine, the quality of Paranormal Underground is outstanding. The writing is fantastic, the layouts are superb, and the overall feel of the magazine is very scientific and serious. We know we are in store for real articles when we look at the cover. It doesn’t remind one of a comic book the way other magazines in the field do. —Henry
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2008 HauntedCon Set for Sept. 26-28
Spookapalooza 2008 Tickets Now on Sale
aranormal Activity Search Team of Arizona and Haunted Times Magazine are holding the 2008 HauntedCon on Sept. 26-28, at the San Carlos Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz. A full day of speakers, photos, and readings are scheduled during the conference. Guest speakers include: • Chip Coffey: Psychic Kids • Ryan Buell: Paranormal State • Christopher Moon: Haunted Times Magazine • Michelle Babiarz: The Psi Network • Stacey Jones: Central New York Ghost Hunters • Carmen Reed: A Haunting in Connecticut • Christy Necaise: ICPIR • Jon Lento: Toledo Paranormal Research Society
Taps CON Held July 19-20
ickets are now on sale for Spookapalooza: The Return of the Houdini Séance! Join Host Troy Taylor and Medium Ken Berg on October 31 at the haunted Lincoln Theater in Decatur, Illinois. In addition to general admission seats, the event will offer a limited number of spots on the stage during the séance and a limited number of tickets for the late-night ghost hunt that will be taking place at the Lincoln Theater after the events of the evening are concluded. Attendees will be treated to a spooky presentation on Houdini and the spirit world, a live radio show from a 1936 Houdini séance, and a real-time séance to try and reach the spirit of famed illusionist Harry Houdini, who maintained that if it was possible to make contact from onstrations, speaking engagements, and ghost hunting equipment. Event speakers included: • Linda Blair • Ciaran O’Keeffe • Patrick Burns • Keith Johnson • Tiffany Johnson • John Zaffis • Dave Schrader
GRN Releases Episode 41
aps CON: A Paranormal Odyssey took place on July 19-20 at the Belleview Biltmore Resort Hotel & Spa in Clearwater, Florida. The two-day event featured exhibits, dem-
HOSTS R N.E.A.R. has released its 41st show, celebrating its 2nd anniversary and interviewing Dan Gordon, author of Haunted Baseball. Visit http://www.nearparanormal.com/GhostsRNEAR.html to watch the show.
the other side, he would do so. Event details: • Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and events begin at 9:00 p.m. • General admission: $13 per person (advance sales). • Admission and stage seating during the séance (limited): $40 per person. • Admission to late-night investigation after event: $30 per person. For more information, visit www. prairieghosts.com/halloween.html.
Bigfoot Conference to Be Held
he Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society presents the 2008 East Coast Bigfoot Conference, which will be held in Jeannette, Pennsylvania, on September 27, from noon to 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. Guest speakers include Diane Stocking, Bob Chance, Steve “Squatch Detective” Kulls, Billy Willard, Tom L, Joe Biello150, and Eric Altman. For more information, visit www.eastcoastbigfootconference. weebly.com or e-mail email@example.com.
August 2008 Paranormal Underground
They Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost By Mindy Kinnaman
or just over four years, viewers have tuned in to see members of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) help home and business owners determine if their properties were haunted. TAPS’ show, Ghost Hunters, has been a mainstay on the Sci Fi Channel since its debut in October 2004. The docu-soap features TAPS founders Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, Roto-Rooter plumb-
ers by day and ghost hunters by night. They are joined by their team — including Steve Gonsalves, Dustin Pari, David Tango, and Kris Williams — who moonlight as ghost hunters on the search to determine whether life after death really exists. Part of TAPS’ investigatory style includes using science to help confirm or deny the presence of paranormal activity in each of the
The Sci Fi Channel’s hit docu-soap Ghost Hunters features a team of paranormal investigators looking to capture evidence of life after death. Pictured from left to right are investigators Grant Wilson, Donna LaCroix, Brian Harnois, Steve Gonsalves, and Jason Hawes.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
sites the team visits. The crew utilizes equipment such as digital thermometers, electromagnetic field scanners, infrared and night-vision cameras, digital video and still cameras, digital audio recorders, and laptop computers.
Ghost Hunters Sets Out to Debunk Paranormal Claims Viewers can watch the steps the team undertakes for each investigation. Each case begins with Hawes, Wilson, and Gonsalves touring the property with the owner or key employee, who tells of the site’s paranormal hotspots. As the crew later sets up its equipment, focus is given to the areas in which activities have reportedly occurred. Once the equipment is ready, the investigation begins as Hawes and Wilson tell the crew to go “lights out.” Throughout a period of several nights, the crew will then try to collect evidence, which is later reviewed to determine what, if any, paranormal activity has been recorded. The crew also works to debunk any stories heard or personal experiences. If something cannot be reproduced easily, the possibility of
the property being haunted grows. TAPS does rely on personal experience, but the crew will not make the decision of haunted vs. not haunted unless something has been captured, whether it be electronic voice phenomena, video, or still photograph. If hard evidence lacks but the crew has had a personal experience, Hawes and Wilson may deem that the property has some paranormal activity, but they will not definitively call it haunted. When the show first premiered, the Warwick, R.I.-based crew primarily investigated private homes, but as the popularity of the series has grown, the members of TAPS have investigated such legendary sites as the HMS Queen Mary, Stanley Hotel, St. Augustine Lighthouse, and Eastern State Penitentiary.
Viewership Remains High After Four Seasons The show is labeled as a docusoap, because in addition to showing Hawes and Wilson working with TAPS, they are often filmed working for Roto-Rooter. In addition, the show has featured interpersonal
TAPSâ€™ investigatory style includes using science to help confirm or deny the presence of paranormal activity. drama between TAPS members, including difficulties involving former TAPS member Brian Harnois. Of course, the interpersonal drama has always taken a back seat
to the investigations, but it lends a realistic credibility to the show, as it proves that the members of TAPS are only human. The show has received its fair share of criticism, as some viewers have claimed to have debunked evidence TAPS has collected. Regardless of the criticism, viewership for the show still remains high, and it continues to be one of the Sci Fi Channelâ€™s most popular shows. Due to the popularity of the original, former Ghost Hunters crew members Harnois and Donna LaCroix teamed up with other TAPS members for Ghost Hunters International, a companion to the original series. Viewers can catch Ghost Hunters each Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST. Watch and make your own decision as to whether TAPS captures evidence of life after death.
August 2008 Paranormal Underground
Troy Taylor Investigates By Mindy Kinnaman
roy Taylor could quite possiitems, dips and cooking mixes, natuWhitechapel Press, one of Ameribly be the busiest man in the ral and organic soaps and foods, plus ca’s leading publishers of books on paranormal world today. a complete selection of books from haunted history. The Decatur, Illinois, native has worked to A Love for the prepare several books for Paranormal print, led the American Taylor normally Ghost Society, formed works on five projects at a tours of haunted Illinois time, as the pressure helps cities, opened a new store, motivate him. But, he is and held a huge Hallowalso motivated by his love een event. And that was of the paranormal. just last year. No major events “I like doing a lot of caused Taylor to love stuff,” Taylor said. “A the paranormal; he just few years back, people always found himself incomplained there wasn’t terested in the topic. As a anything to do.” teenager, he would often Fans now have take his friends on ghost plenty to keep them tours. Then he decided busy. They can read the to write his first book. book Taylor plans to “My first book was release this fall, attend something I always wanttours in cities throughed to do,” Taylor said. out the state, participate “I grew up in Central in an overnight event, or Illinois and always heard go to Spookapalooza on ghost stories. I started Halloween. collecting ghost stories.” They also can visit Nearly 20 years later, Taylor and his wife HaTaylor has written an ven’s new store, Prairie impressive 55 books. Fire, to buy any of his “I do it because I books or food items, like doing it,” he said. “I Paranormal investigator and author Troy Taylor has written 55 books, leads the including bulk herbs write books; some are not American Ghost Society, manages Haunted Decatur Tours, and operates his and spices, a wide array always read, but the love own store, Prairie Fire, a unique gift and gourmet food store in downtown Deof teas, pastas, hot food is what keeps me going.” catur. Taylor likes doing a lot of things at once and has no plans to slow down.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
Haunted History Taylor’s love for the paranormal inspires him to learn all he can about the hauntings he writes about. “I do my own research,” he said. “I love it. I use a lot of different sources. I don’t use the Internet because it’s not necessarily accurate. I use newspapers, magazines, or older books. If I get information on a haunted place and someone says they have information about it, I’ll get a first-hand account.” Taylor Branches Out It was Taylor’s knowledge that led Weird New Jersey authors Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran to seek him as a coauthor to their book Weird U.S. Due to the success of the book, Taylor was asked to write the first book in the states series that spawned from Weird New Jersey, Weird Illinois. “It was fun,” Taylor said. “I traveled all over the state to places I’ve been before and places I had never visited before.” As Taylor’s books caught on, he decided to expand upon his knowledge of the para-
normal. In 1994, five years after his first book Haunted Decatur was published, he started the Haunted Decatur Tour. Over the years, he has expanded the tours throughout Illinois as part of the Illinois Hauntings Ghost Tours. Tours are now available in Alton, Springfield, Lebanon, Chicago, and Jacksonville. Unfortunately, the economy has hit some of the tours rather hard. “This year has been tough with the newer tours due to high gas prices,” Taylor said. “Everyone will go to Chicago, and Decatur has been hosting tours for a long time. If the only reason to go to a place is for a tour, then the numbers are not going to be as high, not until things moderate in the economy.” But the economy does not mean that Taylor would rule out expanding to a new city for the ghost tours. “You never know what could drop in your lap,” he said. Taylor, instead, is looking to
Timeline • Born Sept. 24, 1966, in Decatur, Illinois. • Published his first book, Haunted Decatur, in 1989. • Began the Haunted Decatur Tour in 1994. •
Founded the American Ghost Society and began hosting Halloween Spooktacular in 1996.
• Launched the Haunted America Conference in 1997. •
Moved his operations to Alton, Illinois, and founded the History and Hauntings Book Co., in 1998.
• Returned to Decatur, Illinois, in 2005. • Began Weird Chicago Tours in 2006. •
Began tours in Lebanon and Jacksonville; incorporated Dark Haven Entertainment Inc., which oversees all of his events and books, in 2007.
• Opened Prairie Fire store, which sells books and speciality food items, in 2008.
August 2008 Paranormal Underground
Investigator Spotlight Use Common Sense The book also suggests that people be reasonable. “For someone who wants to become a paranormal investigator, the best tool is yourself,” Taylor said. “Don’t get caught up in buying cool tools and gadgets. People get caught up in equipment and technology when the best tool is to use common sense.” As the paranormal continues to rise in popularity, he hopes that people do think when it comes to investigations. “There is a lot of misinformation, like it takes one hour to do an investigation, because that’s how long it takes on TV with commercial breaks,” Taylor said. “Things don’t always happen during an investigation. Good people who understand that make an effort to stay.” Taylor said that he’s probably gotten the best results in cases by using good common sense, as well as a notebook, pen, and a good camera. He also recommends that investigators have standard and digital cameras; Tri-Field meters; motion detectors; and good audio and video Troy Taylor classifies himself as an “optimistic skeptic,” a skeptical believer. recording devices on He tries to adapt his knowledge of ghost hunting to the situation he finds each investigation. himself in while investigating, and he tries to disprove what he has heard.
focus upon the overnight tours to haunted locations. By allowing guests to spend the night, they have a destination instead of traveling to one of the Illinois Hauntings Ghost Tours town for a ghost tour that lasts a short period of time. Taylor also has found himself working as executive producer of Cringe, an online show in which a haunted place is selected and the history is gathered for each episode. Paranormal investigators and ordinary people then are sent in to investigate the property. Three episodes were filmed, and Microsoft has said that it would like to syndicate the show. Unfortunately, the show has hit a snag as Taylor and the production company, iClip, have had trouble coordinating their schedules to film more episodes. A Skeptical Believer In addition to his books and special events, Taylor also has gone on hundreds of investigations over the past 23 years. While he may come across as a full-blown believer in the paranormal, Taylor actually classifies himself as an “optimistic skeptic,” a skeptical believer. “I try to keep an open mind,” he said. “The true definition of a skeptic is someone who takes into account both sides.” Taylor took his suggestions for
how to investigate the paranormal and wrote them down in The Ghost Hunters Guidebook. He tries to adapt his knowledge of ghost hunting to the situation he finds himself in while investigating, and he tries to disprove what he has heard. “I ask myself, ‘If it isn’t haunted, what could be happening?’” Taylor said. “I take testimonials seri-
ously and try to get to the bottom of things. The worst thing an investigator can do is go into a place and say it must be haunted.”
Paranormal Underground August 2008
The Payoff Patience in paranormal investigation does indeed sometimes pay off. “The best experience is the only time I have actually seen a ghost that
looked like a person,” he said. While touring Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky, with a friend, the duo saw someone walk across the hall ahead of them and into a room. “We went to tell the person to leave, but there was no one there and no other way out of the room,” he said. Taylor also enjoyed investigating the Villisca Axe Murder House and the Ohio State Reformatory. His dream, however, is to spend the night in Alcatraz to receive the full experience of the prison. Taylor Continues to Search for Answers Moving into the future, Taylor has no plans to slow down. He will continue to work with his national network of ghost hunters and the American Ghost Society, now at 600 members and counting, to track down evidence of the supernatural and collect accounts of ghost sightings and haunted houses. In 2007, Taylor incorporated as Dark Haven Entertainment, Inc., a parent company for Whitechapel Press, the Illinois Hauntings Tours, and for the Ghosts of the Prairie Web site and magazine. The new company also handles the film rights to Troy’s ghost books and stories. Along with writing about the unusual and hosting tours, Taylor is also a public speaker on the subject of ghosts and hauntings and has spoken to literally hundreds of private and public groups on a variety of paranormal subjects. He will continue to speak around the country and host events in the hopes to further the paranormal field. To find out more about Taylor’s work, visit http://www.prairieghosts.com/.
Spookapalooza: The Return of the Houdini Séance!
his Halloween, Medium Ken Berg will attempt to contact Harry Houdini on the 82nd anniversary of the magician’s death. The séance will be among the events at Spookapalooza: The Return of the Houdini Séance!, held October 31 at the Lincoln Theater in Decatur, Illinois. “It’s going to be different,” said American Ghost Society President and Spookapalooza Host Troy Taylor. “This year, it’s built around Houdini. It’s the traditional night to attempt to contact him.” Contacting Houdini Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the excitement will begin at 9 p.m. with a visual history of Houdini’s life and the spirit world, followed by a radio broadcast of a Houdini séance from 1936. Berg will then hold his own séance to try and reach the spirit of famed illusionist Harry Houdini, who maintained that if it was possible to make contact from the other side, he would do so. “I only have a small idea of what to expect,” Taylor said. “It’s a neat way to top off Halloween.” A limited amount of seating will be available on the stage for guests to have an up-close view of Berg in action. Registered Guests Can Investigate Lincoln Theater Following the séance, registered guests can investigate the Lincoln Theater. Participants will be split into small groups and rotate through sections of the theater. Taylor has
Tickets are now on sale for Spookapalooza: The Return of the Houdini Séance! Join Host Troy Taylor and Medium Ken Berg on October 31 at the haunted Lincoln Theater in Decatur, Illinois.
high hopes for what the investigation will find, as the theater has proved active in the past. “A recent investigation found activity,” he said. “Large events like this tend to stir things up.” Taylor suggests people RSVP for both the séance and the investigation. The last séance Berg held during an American Ghost Society conference had 600 people show up at the door. Advance Tickets Now Available Tickets are $13 in advance for general admission, $40 for admission with stage seating, and $30 for the overnight investigation. To register, visit https://www.prairieghosts.com/halloween2.html.
August 2008 Paranormal Underground 11
Paranormal on Can Quantum Physics Unlock By Karen Frazier
Every great and deep difficulty bears in itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.” —Niels Bohr Journalist Karen Frazier takes us into the realm of quantum physics and offers her insight into how paranormal phenomena might be tied to something explainable. Quantum physics deals with objects too small to be seen by any microscope, almost too small to be imagined. Will an understanding of these sub-atomic particles someday lead to a logical explanation for phenomena that is, as yet, unexplained? Quantum mechanics is the branch of mathematics that seeks to explain the fundamental structure of the universe as we know it. Quantum particles exist on a scale so small that it defines the minimum size in the universe — matter cannot be divided any further than quantum particles. Nothing exists that is smaller than the Planck length, which is approximately 1.6 x 10-35 m (6.4 x 10-34 inches or 635 trillion trillion trillionths of an inch) — the size of the smallest known particles in the universe. The Planck length is the scale at which classical (Newtonian) ideas about gravity and space-time cease
to be valid, and quantum effects dominate. This is the “quantum of length,” the smallest measurement of length with any meaning. The nature of quantum physics is extremely complex. American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman is quoted as saying, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” And Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” Sub-atomic particles don’t behave in any way that we’ve come to understand in our observable universe — leading to all sorts of paradoxical outcomes that boggle the mind. Although too complex to be covered in a single magazine article, some principles of quantum physics can be explained in terms more understandable to the layperson. It is the implications of these principles that may someday lead us to a better understanding of paranormal phenomena.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
Differing Points of View There appear to be two differing extrapolations relating to quantum physics. The first is the purely scientific — dealing with mathematical probabilities, quantum spin states, paradoxes, and various interpretations that resolve these paradoxes. In the scientific world, quantum theory is mostly borne out through mathematical calculations predicting the results of experiments which are conducted in particle accelerators that are miles long.
a Planck Scale: Mysteries of the Paranormal?
These mathematical calculations are perfectly consistent in their predictions of the results. Quantum physics has become the most experimentally repeatable theory in the history of man. The second extrapolation of quantum physics may be best described as spirituality-based. Those who take a more spirituality-based view of quantum physics rely on the principles of quantum mechanics that may demonstrate the ability to manipulate the underlying energy of
the universe in order to influence outcomes. Spirituality-based quantum physics has popped up a lot in popular culture recently — with the release of the film What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? and books like Lynne McTaggart’s The Field and Gary Zukav’s The Dancing Wu Li Masters. Leaders in the field, like Dr. Dean Radin, have experimented extensively with what is termed, “The science of the Psi” — the mysteries of the human mind relating to physic phenomena such as telekinesis or remote viewing. Can the two be reconciled? Most certainly there is crossover between the two extrapolations. Some believe that both are barreling toward the same answers from different ends of the spectrum while seeking to explain the very nature of our existence. Vast, Empty Space Our view of matter and the physical is highly illusory. The universe and matter is vastly empty
space. Even the densest matter in the universe is mostly empty space with a bunch of tiny particles held together by vibrating strings of energy. What we perceive is solid and real is not. The universe has been expanding for billions of years from a tiny dot — that’s how much empty space there really is. When we touch something, we don’t actually make contact with it. What we perceive is touch is really fields surrounding the outermost surface of our skin interacting with fields surrounding the object we’re touching. So much of what we perceive of as real and solid is nothing more than the interaction of microscopic fields amongst vast empty spaces. Matter is actually an illusion created by the interaction of energy fields. Something as seemingly solid as a brick is an illusion. When viewed on a small enough scale, that brick would in reality be small islands of vibrating energy surrounded by huge areas of empty space. The fields in the empty spaces could be compared to a force field. If you run into it at high speed — even though it is energy — it would still feel as solid as if you had run into a brick wall. This is one of the basic tenants of quantum physics. The nature of matter is an illusion. Further, matter and energy are the same thing — energy
August 2008 Paranormal Underground 13
Special Report can exist as matter, or it can exist with no mass — but it is all the same. How it interacts with the local space and the energy surrounding it determines what perceptible form it takes. The form the energy takes depends entirely on how it vibrates — which is a function of the shape of the local space it is in. This could lead one to the conclusion that there may be things that are very real that we cannot perceive with all of our senses. For example, if you close your eyes and someone touches you, you would still feel the touch whether you could see, hear, or smell them. Would the touch be any different if your other senses came into play? Could there exist fields of energy that may interact with only a few of our senses? This could account for all kinds of paranormal phenomena, such as phantom smell, ghostly touches, or EVPs.
taneously, since time flows in both directions at a quantum level. Therefore, quantum computers arrive at the answer before the question is posed due to the backward flow in time of the quantum computer. This is similar to the lightning speed with which my friend, Danny, achieves the correct day of the week. In computer terms, the neural network of the brain is like the ones and zeroes in a binary computer, but the elements that make up consciousness — those things that make you YOU, such as flashes of creativity or sudden insights — may function much more like a quantum computer with multiple processes occurring simultaneously and moving backward and forward at the same time. There is still much disagreement among cognitive scientists as to whether consciousness and all of its aspects are separate from the brain. While many believe that the firing of neurons can’t Schrödinger’s Cat: A cat, along with a flask containing a poison, is placed in Quantum account for all of the a sealed box. The flask has a 50% chance of being shattered, releasing the Consciousness? complex functions that poison if a Geiger counter detects radiation. The Schrödinger Equation sugThe key to underwe process, others believe gests that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead, in a quantum superposition of simultaneous dead and alive states. Yet, when we look in the standing paranormal that the brain is perfectly box, we expect to see the cat either alive or dead, not a mixture of alive and phenomena on a capable of producing every dead, so the cat will then become one of those states. quantum level may thought, emotion, insight, lie in understanding or creative impulse. human consciousness. There is great The function of silicone transisThis is because, although scidebate among cognitive scientists as tors switching on and off is someence has come a long way in underto whether or not the current neural what analogous to the neurons in the standing how the brain functions, model of the brain can account for all brain firing. While binary computers there are still vast gaps in knowledge of the functions that consciousness is can perform calculations rapidly — so much of the workings of the able to complete at lightning speed. — as can the human brain — it still human mind remain a mystery. For instance, consider an autistic takes time to sort through the large If there is indeed a quantum savant I once knew named Danny, number of possible combination of element to consciousness with who was able to hear a date and a ones and zeroes to come up with the quantum particles that can move both year and tell you instantaneously and correct answer. backward and forward through time, with great accuracy on which day of Quantum computing, on the could this account for experiences the week it occurred. The widely other hand, calculates all possibilities such as déjà vu and clairvoyance? accepted view amongst cognitive of one and zero at the same time, Could our consciousness actually scientists and philosophers is that the and an answer is achieved instanwork a problem backward, arriving at
mind is like an algorithmic computer, and the brain’s vast neural network is the key to the mind’s complexity. Other scientists argue, however, that this model cannot explain the speed at which Danny, or others like him, are able to sort through and discard all of the possibilities and instantaneously select the correct answer. If one takes the computer model of consciousness a step further, consider the case of quantum computers. A binary computer (like the one on which you are reading these words) functions in a manner similar to the human brain — although this is a gross oversimplification.
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an answer before a question is posed? Could undetectable forces acting at the quantum level on the chemicals in our brain influence the chemical reactions of our neural network? The Observer Changes the Outcome “The atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.” —Werner Heisenberg In order to observe something, it is necessary to interact with it. As humans, we use our five senses to observe the world around us. This very act of observing changes that which is observed forever because of the interaction with the observer. On a quantum scale, everything is so far below our ability to detect, that anything we attempt to detect it with will alter its very nature. A quantum system has both position and motion. If one attempts to determine the motion, the position changes — or vice versa. This is because it is necessary to stop motion in order to determine position or change the position in order to determine motion. In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observing will make on the phenomenon being observed. A famous thought experiment called Schrödinger’s Cat, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, posed the question: When does a quantum system stop existing as a mixture of states and become one or the other? The answer appears to be that this happens only when the quantum system is observed. To quote Schrödinger: “One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat):
In a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of the hour one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer, which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. So what is the Zero Point Field? Essentially, it is a field “The psi-function of of minimal energy that exists throughout the quantum the entire system would vacuum, giving it a complex structure that can be probed experimentally. Existence of the Zero Point Field has been express this by having in demonstrated with the Casimir Effect. it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts. of our cat, the observer would come “It is typical of these cases that along and seal its fate. This interpretaan indeterminacy originally restricttion was developed by a number of ed to the atomic domain becomes scientists throughout the 20th centransformed into macroscopic tury, although the original calculation indeterminacy, which can then be of abstract mathematical and theoresolved by direct observation. That retical formulations was first done by prevents us from so naively acceptNiels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg ing as valid a ‘blurred model’ for in the course of their collaboration in representing reality. Copenhagen around 1927. “In itself it would not embody Laboratory experiments, such anything unclear or contradictory. as repeating the infamous double There is a difference between a shaky slit experiment (see sidebar on page or out-of-focus photograph and a 17), and new theories soon followed. snapshot of clouds and fog banks.” These theories predicted the several In other words, if there is a 50% consequences, including: probability that the poison gas would • The fundamental composibe released killing the cat, how tion of matter is neither wave nor would one know whether the cat was particle. alive or dead without opening the • Knowing the position of a box and observing the outcome? particle prevents us from knowing its The Copenhagen interpretation direction and speed. answers this question by theorizing • The act of observing, wheththat a system stops being a superposier a small object such as a photon or tion of quantum states and becomes electron passes through an apparatus either one or the other when an obby one path or another, can change servation takes place. So, in the case the end result of the experiment
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Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger devised a famous thought experiment called Schrödinger’s Cat.
when that small entity reaches a detection screen. Later scientists further refined the Copenhagen interpretation, adding more layers of complexity. For instance, German physicist and mathematician Max Born hypothesized that the description of nature is essentially probabilistic, while Werner Heisenberg, in his well-known Uncertainty Principle, further theorized that it is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time; those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities. For some people, these findings indicated that human beings can act as an observer and change outcomes on both quantum and macro scales. As a matter of fact, the observer effect, the Schrödinger Equation, and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle are often the basis by which those who interpret quantum physics from a spirituality-based construct refer to in support of the belief that thoughts and beliefs can influence outcome. Can human beings manifest particular outcomes by focusing their attention in that direction? Many feel that this is infinitely possible — as
evidenced by the popularity of the recent book and movie, The Secret. Is it possible that we get what we look for? If so, then multiple explanations for paranormal activity might lie in this theory. Want to see a ghost? Manifest it. Believe that during a Near-Death Experience you will travel toward a loving white light? Make it so, Number One. Of course, most hardcore quantum physicists maintain that the above interpretations are utter nonsense brought about by an oversimplification of a few principles of quantum mechanics. Further, many physicists and philosophers have objected to the Copenhagen interpretation, both on the grounds that it is non-deterministic and includes an undefined measurement process that converts probability functions into non-probabilistic measurements. This is classically illustrated by an exchange between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, in which Einstein commented, “I, at any rate, am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice,” and “Do you really think the moon isn’t there if you aren’t looking at it?” Bohr’s response? “Einstein, don’t tell God what to do.” Many Worlds Instead of One? In 1957, American physicist Hugh Everett came up with an interpretation that resolved all of the paradoxes of Newtonian and quantum physics. To grossly simplify the Many Worlds Interpretation, every possible outcome to every event defines or exists in its own “history” or “world.” In layman’s terms, this means that, in some sense, there is a very large, perhaps infinite, number of universes and that everything that could possibly happen in our universe (but doesn’t) does happen in another universe. This theory was proposed in direct opposition to
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Copenhagen and Schrödinger. As with other theories, the Many Worlds Interpretation is motivated by behavior illustrated in the double slit experiment. When particles of light (photons) are passed through the double slit, a calculation assuming wave-like behavior of light is needed to identify where the particles are likely to be observed. Yet when the particles are observed in this experiment, they appear as particles (i.e., at definite places) and not as non-localized waves. While Copenhagen explained this outcome as wave function collapse — where the various possibilities merge into one quantum state, Everett hypothesized that instead of wave function collapse, the waves are further split into as many possibilities as are available, and each continues on in its own universe. Therefore, the observed effect is merely a function of the observer’s attention being placed on only one of those outcomes. The observer would be aware of only the observed universe.
In his well-known Uncertainty Principle, German physicist and Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg theorized that it is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time; those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities.
The Double Slit Experiment: Illuminating the Central Puzzles of Quantum Physics
riginally performed in 1801 by English scientist Thomas Young, the double slit experiment became the classic experiment for expressing the central puzzles in quantum physics. Young performed the experiment to determine whether light was composed of particles or consisted of waves traveling through some type of ether. The double slit experiment was performed exclusively with light until 1961, when Claus Jönsson of the University of Tübingen performed it with electrons. In 1974, Pier Giorgio Merli at the University of Milan performed it with a single electron at a time. What Is the Double Slit Experiment? Imagine shooting marbles from a gun through a plate with either one or two slits in it. In what pattern would you expect the marbles to scatter on the wall? Logic would tell us that with a single slit, the marbles would arrange themselves in one or two simple, linear arrays that roughly lines up with the slits on the plate. This is exactly what happens with large pieces of solid matter. Now imagine what would happen if light was shined through the same plate, with only one slit open. Experimental evidence shows that the light will display a single defraction pattern on the wall. Logic would follow that if the same light was projected through a plate with double slits, it would show two lines of light defraction — much as the marbles scattered themselves on
the plate in the double slit experiment. Instead, scientists found that the light shot through two slits displayed multiple defractions. This led experimenters to determine that the light particles were interfering with one another before being projected onto the wall. The above can also be demonstrated in a similar manner with waves of water. Since electrons are solid particles of matter, it would follow that the expectation when performing the same experiment with electrons is that the electrons would behave like marbles; however, this isn’t what happened. In both cases, the electrons formed in a complex pattern in a manner similar to the light. This led scientists to conclude that the electrons, although solid matter, must be interfering with one another in much the same way that the photons did. In order to eliminate electron interference, experimenters next shot the electrons through the slits one at a time — expecting that now the electrons would scatter in a pattern similar to the marbles. But once again, experimenters were surprised to discover that shooting the electrons one at a time made no difference in the scatter pattern on the wall. Instead, the pattern was the same as if they had been shot through the slits at the same time.
What would happen if light was shined through a plate with only one slit open? Evidence shows that the light will display a single defraction pattern on the wall. So, if the same light was projected through a plate with double slits, would it show two lines of light defraction? What scientists found was that the light shot through two slits displayed multiple defractions.
This led to the conclusion that each electron somehow split apart before going through the slits, went through both slits, and then interfered with itself on the other side. But what could cause this to happen? The answer lies in particle wave duality — the concept that all matter exhibits both wave-like and particle-like properties. The electrons used in the experiment, although considered solid matter, actually exhibited properties of both solid matter and a wave. This is one of the fundamental paradoxes of quantum physics — setting up a mystery of the quantum universe that scientists have been attempting to solve since the experiments were originally performed.
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Special Report If so, is it possible to cross from universe to universe by placing our attention elsewhere? Just such a scenario has been played out many times in popular culture and science fiction — such as the popular Back to the Future series in the 1980s.
American physicist Hugh Everett postulated the Many Worlds Interpretation in 1957.
Many other physicists have expanded on the Many Worlds Interpretation since 1957, and it has become a popularly accepted interpretation in the intervening years. This theory is much more in line with the Theory of Relativity, and as such, many classical physicists feel that it is a more viable interpretation than Copenhagen as to what actually happens to quantum particles. Critics of the interpretation, on the other hand, feel that there is little evidence to bear out the theory of a quantum multiverse, nor will there be until there is a theory of everything. Keep in mind that what Everett postulated with the Many Worlds Interpretation, should it be correct, is happening on the minute Planck’s scale. Whether this then plays out on a macro scale, as well, is open to interpretation as it is yet unproven. If it does, however, could possible explanations for paranormal phenomena be found in Hugh Everett’s interpretation? If, every time there is a choice to be made (and we make millions of choices on a daily basis), could it be that our universe splits into a separate universe for each choice and continues apace — but that we are only aware of the universe in which our attention is focused?
Is Everything Tied to Everything Else? Another important principle of quantum physics is quantum entanglement, a term that was coined by Erwin Schrödinger. Quantum entanglement is, by definition, a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart — even though the individual objects may be spatially separated. To state it more simply, if you have a pair of quantum particles that are linked together, they can be separated by a great distance. When force is applied that affects the spin state of one particle, the other also changes spin state at the exact moment as its partner — no matter how vast a distance there is between the two. This is commonly referred to as spooky action at a distance, a term coined by Einstein. It is theorized that quantum particles became entangled at the Big Bang. Therefore, on this level, everything is connected to everything else. The ability to affect an entangled pair instantaneously, no matter how great the distance between the two raises the theory that space is a construct that gives the illusion of separateness; however, perhaps the perception of distance is really just that — an illusion. Perhaps what truly matters is the energy that binds it all together — and that energy is what is real, while our perception of distance and
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space/time is illusory in nature. Quantum entanglement was theorized in the 1935 by Albert Einstein as a way to prove that quantum physics was not possible, but it wasn’t proven to actually exist experimentally until the 1980s. Ironically, what Einstein envisioned as a way to disprove quantum theory actually wound up becoming one of the cornerstones of quantum mechanics. Quantum entanglement has many practical applications in today’s world. For instance, it can be used to create unbreakable encryption. If you send each half of a set of entangled pairs to either end of a communications link, then the randomly generated but linked properties can be used as a key to encrypt information. If anyone intercepts the information, it will break the entanglement, and the communication can be stopped before the eavesdropper picks up any data. Quantum computing is another practical application of quantum entanglement. Instead of storing information in bits on silicon chips, quantum computers uses quantum particles like photons to store information. Each particle can store infinitely long numbers; however, if you observe the particle, it changes the value. Entanglement means you can in-
Danish physicist Niels Bohr once said, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.”
teract with these quantum bits without damaging the quantum memory. There are several technologies being tried to build the first, basic quantum computers, but they all rely on entanglement to get information into and around the system. Even more exciting is quantum teleportation, which has been achieved on a very small scale with particles that are about the size of a germ. By interacting the particle with one half of an entangled pair and then putting the other half of the pair through a special process, it is possible to make an identical particle at a remote location. During this process, the original particle loses its properties — thus destroying the original so that the teleported copy is the only version of the particle in existence. As it exists now, it is unlikely that this technology will be used on human beings because it requires scanning every molecule down to the quantum level in the human body and then reassembling it at a remote site. Not only that, but the original human would be destroyed by the process, and the copy would take its place. Many have suggested that quantum entanglement could explain phenomena such as psychic communication; however, other scientists disagree. In his book, The God Effect: Quantum Entanglement, Science’s Strangest Phenomenon, physicist Brian Clegg draws the conclusion that people who take this interpretation are mistaken because entanglement is a wholly physical process. Still, he points out that entanglement has been used in an attempt to create a communications system that operates faster than the speed of light; however, it isn’t possible because it is not possible to know or control the information that the quantum particle is going to send to its partner. Probably a good thing, since anything oc-
curring faster than the speed of light will actually travel backwards in time in our relativistic universe. This raises the inevitable question — is it possible to travel backwards in time? Theoretically, the answer appears to be yes. If we are able to harness the power of quantum pairs so that we can control the information that is sent from one half of a pair to another, will it become possible to send information backwards through time to our earlier selves? So far, science has been unable to find any way to control information shared between entangled particles — and most scientists feel that it is a huge leap to assume that this technology will ever be possible. Folded Dimensions Current quantum theory holds that every three dimensional Planck length contains a six dimensional folded knot of space. What is in those dimensions is unknown — leading to an entire universe of possibilities. This was originally theorized by a theoretical physicist and supported mathematically. What resulted is a Calabi-Yau manifold — in which should the six extra dimensions of space/time be unfolded, it would appear something like this:
Imagine the implications of dimensions that we can not perceive in our three-dimensional world. In order to do this, let’s take a moment to visualize another world outside of
ours that is only able to perceive two dimensions — length and width. This world would exist on a plane that is flat like a piece of paper. So what would happen if someone from our three-dimensional world discovered and began to interact with beings in this two dimensional world? If viewing the world from above, our observer would be in a dimension that would be impossible to the flat world beings to perceive — because “above” is a measurement of depth, and the flat world beings only have the perceptions of length and width. But what if our observer decided to interact with the 2-D world? If he or she perhaps spoke with inhabitants of the flat world from above — how would it be perceived by the two-dimensional beings? Perhaps as spooky disembodied voices from another world. And if our 3-D observer took it a step further and actually physically touched the flat world, what then? Since the flatworlders are unable to visually perceive the third dimension, would our observer appear flat to them? Or perhaps as a shadow or translucent shape? It is difficult to know what the perception might be, but this illustration could give us an insight into a potential explanation for many of the unexplainable things that we observe back in our three-dimensional universe. Since the math has borne out that there are at least six-folded dimensions existing in our physical universe, we would be much like the flat-worlders in our perception if something outside of our perceivable dimensions attempted to interact with us. Is There a Past or Future? Not taken into account in our three-dimensional universe is the pseudo-dimension of time.
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Special Report Sometimes referred to as the fourth dimension, time has unique qualities not found in other dimensions. For instance, the faster you move throughout one of the three observable dimensions, the slower time moves. This was theorized in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. If it was possible to move at light speed through any of our three observable dimensions, time would theoretically stand still. Another element of time to take into consideration lies in how we move through time. We know observably that it is possible to move forward through time; however, Schrödinger’s Equation suggests that for every moment of now, a positive wave flows into the future and a negative wave flows into the past. Those with a more spirituality-based interpretation would argue that time is an illusion, and the only part of time that truly exists is right now. Past and future are movable targets depending on where now is, thus, they are not real. To illustrate this concept, imagine you are standing at a point on a river. To your right the river is “upstream.” To your left, the river is “downstream.” Now move. Upstream and downstream have changed relative to where you are standing, so the only point on the river that matters is where you stand. This once again raises the question of time travel. If the nature of time is illusory as postulated in the spiritual interpretation — or if it flows both backward and forward as suggested by Schrödinger, is time
travel possible? And if so, could it be that images interpreted as ghosts are merely energies from another time that have been momentarily displaced into our time? A Field of Energy Finally, we come to the Zero Point Field. This is the theory of quantum physics where many paranormal researchers believe many of the answers to the universe’s mysteries lie. In her book, The Field: the Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe, Author Lynne McTaggart describes the basic construction
of human beings as an energetic charge in which human beings are, “a coalescence of energy in a field of energy connected to every other thing in the word.” This energy field, she contends, is the Zero Point Field — and in it exists the potentiality for telepathic communication, psychokinesis, manifestation of intention, and many other psychic and spiritual phenomena. This type of phenomena has
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been studied and written about extensively by Dr. Dean Radin, who has participated in objective research on what he terms “The Science of the Psi.” The conclusions drawn from Radin’s research, as well as a host of other scientists seeking to explain psychic phenomena, is that something happens on a quantum level that allows human beings to display psychic behavior. Many feel that this is where the Zero Point Field comes into play. So what is the Zero Point Field? Essentially, it is a field of minimal energy that exists throughout the quantum vacuum, giving it a complex structure that can be probed experimentally. Existence of the Zero Point Field has been demonstrated with the Casimir Effect. A classic example of the Casimir Effect is two uncharged metallic plates in a vacuum, placed a few micrometers apart, without any external electromagnetic field. In a classical description, the lack of an external field also means that there is no field between the plates, and no force would be measured between them; however, when this field is instead studied using quantum mechanics, it is seen that the plates do affect the photons that constitute the field, and generate a net force — either an attraction or a repulsion, depending on the specific arrangement of the two plates. This force has been measured experimentally. The energy that occurs between the plates is a demonstration of the Zero Point field. McTaggart and others contend
that this underlying energetic structure of the universe can easily be tapped into in order to bring about intentional change or experience psychic phenomena. Quantum entanglement comes into play here — as the energy that makes up human beings interacts with the energy that is the very underlying structure of the universe. Other scientists dismiss this interpretation as pseudoscience, at best. Still, many respected scientists, such as physicist David Bohm, have begun looking at the relationship of the Zero Point Field to matter. Fox example, Bohm theorized that the field might be the force from which all life unfolds. He also stated that quantum entanglement could be explained through interconnections allowable via the Zero Point Field. Studies continue into the nature of the Zero Point Field and its implications both psychic and physical sciences. Where Does This Leave Us? So where does this leave us? This is a difficult question to answer. Many of the answers provided by quantum mechanics still lie in the realm of theory and mathematics. Above all else, quantum physics is about probability and how the tiniest elements of the universe behave. Whether the fascinating and often strange actions that occur on a quantum level also apply on a macro level is yet to be seen. One thing is certain — some scientists who dismiss the paranormal as far-fetched and ridiculous readily accept quantum theories and observations that are far stranger than any aspect of the paranormal will ever be. Certainly, different interpretations abound — just waiting to be proven as technology improves our ability to experiment with the very nature of our universe.
Quantum Extrapolations Musings on the Supernatural Nature of Physics By Jim Frazier
• First off, I’m not a scientist, but I’m not afraid to be seen with one in public. • My background is in nuclear engineering, so I get the basic concepts, but there’s no way I could do that kind of math. If I was smart enough to really understand quantum mechanics, it is possible no one would be able to understand what I was saying. • Every 53 feet of the universe contains one trillion-trillion-trillion possible locations, and that’s adjusted for Cosmic Inflation. Cube that, and you have the inherent density of space. Current cosmological theory holds that each of these locations contains a six-dimensional knot of folded space (the Calabi-Yau manifold). What is not understood is how the folded dimensions interact with each other — or whether they are connected outside (or beneath) the three expanded dimensions of our universe (length, width, and depth). Quantum entanglement would seem to indicate that they can connect to each other, rendering distances of space and time largely irrelevant. The unfolded dimensions in our universe could easily be folded in other universes, connecting with our universe in most unpredictable ways. It certainly could go a long way toward explaining how things could suddenly appear before us and then disappear like $3-a-gallon unleaded. • The precise shape of the CalabiYau manifold determines what type of particle occupies the local space. Particles are somewhat territorial and are divided into distinct types, depending on what other particles
Jim Frazier, nuclear engineer
with which they will interact. The local spaces can also shapeshift with no warning and transform into different particles entirely. Only a campaign staff separates them from becoming politicians. • The universe creates a new reality 18 million-trillion-trillion-trillion times per second. Human eyesight refreshes at a rate of around 30 times per second. What are we missing while our eyes are busy being slow? Not only that, but trying to see quantum particles with photons is like trying to make out the shape of a housefly by crashing a 747 into it. • How can quantum mechanics protect you from an unwanted haunting in the middle of the night? Make it part of your pillow talk. Jim Frazier is a nuclear engineer who is married to the smartest, most beautiful, and amazing woman in the universe. His quantum pillow talk inspired her to attempt to write an article explaining quantum physics. While he is highly skeptical about paranormal phenomena, he believes that there is much in the universe that is beyond our current level of understanding — so if the paranormal exists, then logical explanations lie in quantum mechanics.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
The Stanley Hotel: A
By Chad Wilson
ocated at the base of the Rocky Mountains in scenic Estes Park, Colorado, the Stanley Hotel is a 138-room building designed in the Georgian style. Built in 1909 by Freelan O. Stanley, of Stanley Steamer fame, it catered to the rich and famous, serving as a summer resort. Famous Guests Some of the many famous guests who have stayed at the Stanley include the Unsinkable Molly Brown, John Philip Sousa, Theodore Roosevelt, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and a variety of Hollywood personalities. Stephen King was inspired in his writing of The Shining while staying at the Stanley, though he wrote it at his residence in Boulder and not at the actual hotel. And Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic version of The Shining was not filmed at the Stanley Hotel. The front exterior shots were actually filmed at the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon, and the interior and back of the hotel scenes were filmed on a specially built set at Elstree Studios in London, England. However, the 1997 ABC miniseries was filmed at the Stanley.
Hotel Guests The Stanley is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of the original owner, F.O. Stanley. He is most often seen in the lobby and billiard room, which was his favorite room in life. Others have seen him standing with bartenders or taking a stroll through the bar. Music is sometimes heard filling the lower halls around the music room. Employees and guests have reported hearing music coming from the room, and upon peeking into the room, the piano keys can be seen moving. As soon as someone enters to investigate, the music stops, the keys moving no more. Most attribute the ghostly playing to Flora Stanley, wife of F.O. Stanley Built in 1909 by Freelan O. Stanley, of Stanley Steamer fame, the St and an avid piano player. resort. Some of the many famous guests who have stayed at the Sta Theodore Roosevelt. Room 217, where Stephen King and his wife stayed while visiting the hotel, garners its share of Cleaning crews have heard reported haunting by guests. The strange noises coming from room fourth floor, in particular, is rife 418 — which gets the most reports with reports of purported paranorof haunting activity — and also have mal activity. seen impressions of a person’s
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portedly checked out of the hotel very early in the morning, complaining that the children in the hallway had kept them up all night. However, there were no children booked in the hotel at the time. In 2002, a guest reportedly recorded a ghostly man wearing a cowboy hat and a mustache staring out of the window of room 408. The image stood in the window for a few minutes, then faded away. The guest reported the incident to the front desk, only to find out that nobody was checked into the room, and the window in question was high above the bathroom sink. Room 407 is also said to be haunted by Lord Dunraven, who owned the tanley Hotel catered to the rich and famous, serving as a summer land prior to F.O. Stanley. anley include the Unsinkable Molly Brown, John Philip Sousa, and Reportedly, Dunraven likes to stand in the corner of the room near the bathroom door. form on the bed when the room On one such account, witnesses has been empty. reported that a light in that corner Guests often say that they hear kept turning on and off. While the children playing in the fourth floor light was off, they told the ghost that hallway at night. One couple re-
they knew that he was there, they would only be staying two nights, so would he please turn the light back on. The light turned back on. However, later when the lights were turned off and they were trying to sleep, noises were constantly heard from the nearby elevator during a time when the elevator was not in use. At other times, a ghostly face has been reported to be looking out the window of room 407 when the room is not booked. Is It Really Haunted? Are there any intelligent or residual hauntings at the Stanley? Many hotel guests and staff would say that there is paranormal activity present. Others are left wondering if they were witness to the supernatural or only an overactive imagination. Whether haunted or not, the Stanley remains a testament to a bygone era, when presidents, emperors, and movie stars co-mingled with the rich and famous, business men and their wives, or mistresses. The Stanley is available for weddings and events, as well as for those who wish to stay overnight. Ghost and history tours are offered daily. For more information, visit www.stanleyhotel.com or call 800.976.1377.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
Jail, Marshal’s Home,
Investigating By Mindy Kinnaman
assersby may not even notice the piece of history embedded in a strip of shops on the historic Square in downtown Independence, Missouri. Closed in 1933, the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home, and Museum, located at 217 N. Main Street, served as the Jackson County Jail for nearly 75 years. It now is open to give tourists an idea of life in the prison system during that time.
Of course, the jail’s 74-year legacy includes its fair share of misery, which plays a role in its haunted reputation. A Troubled Beginning When the jail first opened, the tension between pro-slavery Missourians and abolitionist Kansans
were growing. When Missouri was declared a state in 1821, the Missouri Compromise had ensured the state would permit slavery as Maine would join the Union a free state in an effort to keep the fledgling country balanced. Unfor-
tunately, with the free state Kansas less than 25 miles from Independence, border wars erupted. During the Civil War, fuel was added to the already raging fire between the two states as General Order, No. 10, a mandate that Confederate women and children be jailed as Union troops took over the city during the First Battle of Independence, was issued. As sections of the town burnt
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around them, Union Provost Marshals nicknamed “Little Gods” forced the captured women and children into the tiny 12-cell limestone jail and other makeshift jails in Jackson County. The cramped conditions and tensions led to the deaths of several captives. Already angered by the treatment of the innocents, when William Quantrill and his gang learned of the deaths, they decided to punish Union sympathizers. And with
the row building between Missouri and Kansas, Quantrill and his men headed to Lawrence, Kansas. The event now known as the Lawrence Massacre lasted only four hours but ended with the city in ruins and most of the male population dead.
the Tales A Trail of Death The deaths of the women and children were not the only ones to occur in the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home, and Museum. During the Civil War, Marshal Jim Knowles was killed trying to halt an argument between two Union and Confederate sympathizers. Following the war, in 1866, Deputy Marshal Henry Bulger was killed in the home’s master bedroom during a jailbreak. Eighteen years later, prisoner Harry Jones was executed on the property. The jail continued to operate until 1933 and played home to criminals such as Quantrill and Frank James, who surrendered following the assassination of his brother, Jesse. Pulling Back the Curtains The jail’s sordid history is evident today as visitors and paranormal investigators have witnessed a plethora of unexplained phenomena. If asked about the haunted history, tour guide and marshal re-enactor John Cianciolo will tell several tales. As he leads the tour, which starts
through the marshal’s home, he will tell of how people driving or walking past the building after hours will relate tales of seeing someone pulling back the curtains as though peering outside. The only problem is that no one is in the building during those instances. He also will tell stories of how guests have reported hearing chains
rattle or the doors to the cells moving on their own. One guest even reported to Cianciolo how a man had been seen lying in a bed in the center cell on the north side. In order to have been inside, the man would have had to go through the Plexiglas separating the cell from the hallway.
Other guests have reported sounds of people gasping, women and children crying, and an unexplained growl. Investigating the Tales The haunted tales have spurred many investigations, including a visit by Kansas City-area psychic Sueanne Pool, most notable for her special on the hauntings of Atchison, Kansas, shown on The Travel Channel. Pool held a séance at the jail in October 2004 to help identify those who haunt the premises. While some clues exist, it is still uncertain who does haunt the jail. But you are welcome to visit and take a stab at who might be in residence. The 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home, and Museum is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., April 1 through Oct. 31. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for senior adults, $2 for youths ages five to 15, and free for children four and younger. For more information, call 816.252.1892.
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Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids
El Chupacabra: Alien or Animal? By Jaime Johnesee, Zoologist
t’s a dark moonless night in are debating and working toward Mexico. Rustling in the bushes figuring out today. Over the years, catches the villagers’ attention. many witness reports were able to They stop and stare at the row of be debunked and explained away as sagebrush, terrified of what might coyotes, grey wolves, foxes, and even leap out of the greenery. A coyote domesticated dogs. pokes his narrow head through the foliage, and a sigh of relief is heard El Chupacabra: all around. A Case of Mistaken Identity? What on earth could scare this What leads me to question the normally brave group so badly that a Chupacabra myth is the fact that witmere bush rustling could cause all to nesses paint the creature as walking go utterly still? The answer: El Chupacabra. The “goatsucker” sightings increase in frequency as the years roll on. The first sighting took place in 1995 in Puerto Rico, where eight sheep were found dead, the holes in their chest cavities and the lack of blood in the corpses causing confusion and hysteria in the local people. At first, it was believed to be the work of a Satanic cult. In 2004, a rancher killed what he believed to be El ChuOnly later did the sightings of pacabra as it attacked his livestock. A necropsy showed an unknown “beast” start being the animal the rancher killed was indeed a coyote with reported. sarcoptic mange. But what are people seeing? Is there really a large extrateron two legs, being three to four feet restrial terrorizing livestock and tall, having a reptile like appearance, feasting on the blood of animals? and hopping like a kangaroo. How Or is The Goatsucker just another then can a canid be confused for incident of a real-world animal being such a creature? confused for something alien? Surely an animal built for quaThis is what cryptozoologists drupedal movement is distinct and
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easy enough to spot. Therein lies the belief some cryptozoologists have that El Chupacabra is nothing more than cases of mistaken identity. I look at the necropsy photos of alleged victims of the El Chupacabra and immediately the vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) comes to mind. There are no other wounds or bruising on the carcasses than the puncture wounds. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to catch a sheep or goat, but I can assure you, if they don’t want to be caught, good luck. They kick, they bite, they buck. Yet on the remains of the victims there are no signs of trauma. Thus, this leads me to suspect that there is no way a fourfoot-tall alien/porcupine-looking monster could walk up to these animals and just dig in without a fight. A vampire bat, however, could manage this feat. A Likely Suspect: The Vampire Bat The vampire bat is a small species of bat (about the size of an adult human’s thumb), but their saliva contains a mild sedative. When they bite, the animal they are biting does not feel a thing aside from a small poke. They are then able to drain whatever amount of blood they wish from the puncture
wound they have created. Even cooler is that along with the anesthetic, their saliva also contains a blood thinner, allowing the blood to keep flowing from that hole and preventing clotting so that the animal can drink its fill. Scientists are actually testing this enzyme for the possibility of replacing dangerous blood thinners like Warfarin. Vampire bats have been known to communicate good feeding grounds to their colonies. A new bat will then quietly tear away the scab that forms over the old wound on their victim and feast until gorged, using use the same hole its brother made. If you have ever seen the vampire bat in action, it’s a beautiful site. They walk (sort of a scuttling, clumsy walk) over to the victim-to-be, and if the dinner to be is standing, they bite it on the ankle; if it’s laying down and sleeping, they bite on the breast or throat. The bat will also carry its young with it and allow the young to feed on the same spot that it feeds on. Do Scavengers Finish Off the Job That Vampire Bats Start? Now, are these bats what people are seeing? Probably not. But isn’t it entirely possible that after the animal has exsanguinated, scavengers like the canids I mentioned before come along to try and pick over the carcass? Could people actually be seeing coyotes or wolves with mange and attributing it to the goatsucker? In 2004, a rancher killed what he believed to be El Chupacabra as it attacked his livestock. A necropsy showed the animal the rancher killed was indeed a coyote with sarcoptic mange (a condition in which mites have infected the host and caused extreme hair loss). Whether real or imagined, the goatsucker sightings continue to cause fear and trepidation in farmers, ranchers, and even parents.
The vampire bat is about the size of an adult human’s thumb, but their saliva contains a mild sedative. When they bite, the animal they are biting does not feel a thing aside from a small poke. They are then able to drain whatever amount of blood they wish from the puncture wound they have created.
only one small bite wound and no An Eyewitness Account blood left in the remains. A woman I recently spoke with I was surprised. I really thought who had reportedly seen El Chushe had described a coyote attack pacabra said that the people in her (the grey coat, the yellow eyes). I village were so afraid that, come fully expected to hear that her puppy sundown, they would not allow their had been found in pieces. children outside. Most of the adults Her final words to me were, would not venture outside either. “El Chupacabra exists, and people Wishing to remain anonymous need to be aware of it. It will keep for fear of being ridiculed by her cohunting and one day, hopefully, it workers and friends, my source spoke will be caught. Chupacabra is not with me about the creature she saw from this world. It is evil incarnate, when she was a child. and it will kill again “It was large and Are reports of El and again because grey,” she said. “The killing.” thing that scared me Chupacabra a case of it enjoys With the interthe most was the yelmistaken identity? view over, I thanked low eyes; nothing but demons have eyes A coyote with a case her, hung up the phone, and ponlike that. It leapt onto of mange perhaps? dered my source’s our small dog, and words. Before this the snarling and wet interview, I was 100% sure that the smacking-like noises I heard from that goatsucker was simply a case of misattack will stay with me forever.” taken identity. I can hear how upset she is by And while I am still about 99% this attack on her beloved pet, and I sure that El Chupacabra’s identity tell her how sorry I am that she lost can be found within an everyday aniher dog in such a way. After a short mal, that one percent sure does give break and much sniffling, she goes me the willies. But, as always, you be on to tell me that her dog’s body was the judge. found in the area it was attacked with
August 2008 Paranormal Underground 27
Case Files of the Unknown: Are We Alone?
Aliens Among Us By Jaime Johnesee
ccording to alien abductees even in business suits, these crea6. Opaque: These aliens reportand Ufologists, there are sevtures appear fully dressed. Some edly appear to witnesses as comeral different types of aliens. even reportedly wear oxygen tanks pletely see-through. In this article, I will relate some of like a scuba diver or astronaut. 7. Gender neutral: Whether in the various types to you as cited by 3. Glowing: The whole alien is clothes or naked, the aliens seem to abductees themselves. lit up almost as though it is coming have no apparent gender, and the Along with the differing types of from within the creature. only way the abductees can tell their reported aliens, there are also con4. Animal-like: These apparisex is through a mind link. flicting reports of how each “type” tions first appear as a common earth The above variances are just difappeared. For example, an alien animal such as a deer or fox. What ferent ways aliens have appeared and might appear to one man wearthe abductees notice, however, is are not actually types themselves. ing no clothing at all; however, to that the eyes of these animals are not another man, the alien may The Grays appear fully dressed. The most common I’d like to take this motype of alien seen is The ment to remind you that I am Gray. The three separate simply relaying the informatypes of Grays reported tion I have gathered on this are Gray Type 1, Gray subject. I have never seen Type 2, and Gray Type 3. an alien myself and have no Gray Type 1: The firsthand knowledge of what most commonly sighted an alien might look like. of the three types, Type That said, let’s con1 aliens tend to be about tinue onto the classification 4-5 feet tall and have large process. Below is a listing of black eyes that seem to the varying ways aliens have wrap around their head. been reported to appear to They have limited humans. facial features and small While some abductees report feeling put at ease by their captors, slit-like mouths. They are others recount terrifying stories that would make any human wonder what we are in store for if these tales are true. Alien Encounters described as being almost 1. No clothing at all: military-like in the way they Whether their skin is gray, go about their business. pink, or covered in thick dark hair, natural and are too large to be an Gray Type 2: Similar to Type they do not wear any garments. actual deer, fox, etc. 1, Type 2 Grays differ in the fact 2. Clothed: Sometimes in a 5. Differing hands: Some have that they are quite a bit taller than silver or dark colored suit, hooded claws, some have hands with three their counterparts. Standing at 7-8 robe like that of a monk or priest, or fingers, some have hands with five. feet tall and with a larger nose than
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Type 1 Grays, Type 2 Grays tend to be slightly less aggressive toward humans, and sometimes have been known to put abductees at ease during their research of them. Gray Type 3: Standing at 3-4 feet tall, these Grays look almost exactly like Type 1 Grays, yet they tend to be much more aggressive than the other two types. All three Grays are reported to have grayish reptile-like skin, large heads and eyes, and small mouths.
ees more at ease than the other types of aliens. They also appear kinder and more sympathetic to humans than the other alien races. The Beasts The rarest of the reported encounters involve a race known as The Beasts. Small at around four feet, The Beasts are covered in fur or dark
This type of alien is reportedly most often encountered in areas where UFOs have been reported as landing. The Beasts have been considered aggressive toward humans, reportedly jumping at, scratching, and clawing those making the encounter reports.
Are We Alone? Are we alone in the universe? I’d like to think not. Are the above species actual aliens come to visit from far off galaxies to learn about us? I can’t say. The Reptilians My opinion is that Reptilian aliens are if a race is advanced reportedly as terrifying enough to have light as the Grays can be speed travel, they ought calming. The Reptilians to be advanced enough seem to enjoy bringing to have a sort of CAT fear to their captives. scan onboard their airTheir descriptions craft, making abductions range from snake- and unnecessary and cruel. lizard-like to beastly While some abductrat-like. ees report feeling put They use whatat ease by their captors, ever they can to sustain others recount terrifying terror in their subjects stories that would make throughout the entire any human wonder what abduction. Unlike the we are in store for if Grays, the Reptilians these tales are true. don’t care for their Are these actual subjects. alien encounters or the product of mentally Human-Type Aliens diseased minds tryor Nordics ing to work through a In the 5-6 foot traumatic situation by range, this race appears creating a monster that closely related to man does not exist? and is thought to be Does the condition a race created by the The different types of reported alien abductors include The Grays, The Reptilof sleep paralysis explain Grays to assist them. ians, Human-Type or Nordics, and The Beasts. And as reports of alien abducthese otherworldly Looking so much tions continue to roll in, society tries to separate fact from fiction. events? Might some of like a human, the only these stories be true? difference that can clue While we might not ever know coarse hair. Similar in description to abductees in on their true nature is the real story behind alien encounthat of a bear, Beasts tend to walk on their eyes, which appear larger and ters, society will continue to try and all fours, have glowing red eyes, and more egg shaped than human eyes. unravel the mystery. make guttural noises. They are reported to put abduct-
August 2008 Paranormal Underground 29
Urban Legends: By Binoo’mukua
I know this guy who has a cousin, whose friend seen this thing . . .” Has anyone ever related a story to you that began like this? If so, chances are they were telling you an urban legend. But what are urban legends and how do they get started? In this article, we will examine several different types of urban legends, how and why they spread, and look into the possibility that there may be an inkling of truth in some of them. According to definition, an urban legend is any fictional story told as truth, and is passed from person to person via word of mouth. While some urban legends may have been inspired by an actual event, due to being passed from person to person, they are changed in the process and difficult to trace. Have you ever played “telephone” as a kid, where someone whispers a story in your ear and you pass it on to the next person? By the time the story gets to the last person, it almost always never exists in its original form. Urban legends, for the most part, are like the game ‘telephone.’ However, some urban legends actually turn out to be true, as we will examine later. For many years the urban legend has been a part of many different cultures throughout the world.
While many are apocryphal in nature, folklorists who examine urban legends have given them different categories based on the subject matter and the outcome of the story itself. One of these categories is the “cautionary” or moral tale. Cautionary Tales: A Moral to the Story Many of us have encountered a version or two of these stories. One in particular that comes to mind concerns the escaped psychopath stalking lovers’ lane: A couple pulls into their favorite parking spot in an area known as a “lover’s lane” by the locals. As the radio plays the soft music “for lovers,” it is interrupted by a news bulletin stating that an inmate from a nearby insane asylum has escaped, and everyone should be on the lookout. Some versions of this story will even go so far as giving intricate details of the reasons for the inmate’s incarceration. The person is usually a massmurderer or psychopathic killer. After this announcement on the radio, the girl in the story is shaken and wishes for her date to return her home, but after some smooth talking from her boyfriend, she is convinced to stay and they soon pick up where they left off just before the interruption. Shortly after this, the girl is
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“Cautionary tales” are considered by many sociologists an currently exist within a social group at the time of the tale details an escaped psychopath who is stalking lovers’ lane its origins circa 1950s when it was considered taboo for a
Myth or Reality?
nd anthropologists good indicators of the fears that e’s creation. One example is the urban legend that e. Most folklorists believe that this particular story gets a girl to go “parking.”
startled by a noise and refuses to continue unless her date checks it out first. Anxious to continue, her date readily gets out of the car and goes off in search of the source of the noise. After several minutes go by, the girl hears a tapping noise on the roof of the car. Thinking that her boyfriend is playing a trick on her, she gets out of the car to confront him and demand he take her home. To her horror, she finds that her boyfriend is dead, and the sound she hears is (and the next part of the story depends on the variation of the story) 1. blood dripping onto the roof of the car as it drips from her dead lover’s corpse, which is hanging in a tree, or 2. her dead lover’s fingers as they scrape across the top of the car roof as he dangles lifeless from a tree limb. In either case, the girl rushes to the car, starts it, and drives away in panic looking for help. After traveling in a wild frenzy, she spots a police car and pulls over to tell the officers of her ordeal. This story also has several endings, and depending on the description of the inmate related earlier, it will always end relating to this. In one variation, the inmate is described as having a hook for a hand, and as the girl relates her tale to
one police officer, the other officers notices a bloody hook hanging from the door handle of the car. In another instance, the hook is replaced with a bloody hand, and in yet another instance, the officer notes a long knife scrape extending from the driver’s side door to the back of the car where the knife is still stuck in the car. In every instance, the ending infers that the young lady made the correct moral choice by wanting to go home, and narrowly escaped with her life. Most folklorists believe that this particular story gets its origins circa 1950s when it was considered taboo for a girl to go “parking.” However, stories of this type, the cautionary tale, are considered by many sociologists and anthropologists good indicators of the fears that currently exist within a social group. In this case, one of the fears existing in the 1950s was becoming pregnant out of wedlock. This fear is illustrated beautifully in this story as the overall message seems to be that bad things can happen to unchaperoned couples. Contamination Stories: Not Likely The next category of urban legend is the “Contamination” story. Scholars believe that this form of the urban legend evolved from the
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Cultural Beliefs cautionary tale, as several elements regarding morals can be found in them. These tales are considered one of the best for assessing the fears within a society, as normally they deal directly with things that we use every day, such as food, water, clothing, toys, etc. Several of the more recent ones deal with fingers found in fast food, toys designed in foreign countries for the sole purpose of hurting children (recently, toys manufactured in China were found to contain toxic levels of lead-based paint, lending some credibility to these tales), or tools that have malfunctioned catastrophically or have designs of their own. In addition to the ones mentioned above, some of the more popular legends of recent times deal with food contamination. These are usually related to popular foods or drinks that are easily recognized by everyone, and can vary from region to region. Mice in coke bottles, fried rats in Kentucky Fried Chicken, and fingers in McDonald’s French fries. These are several that have made the run in recent times, but by using a little common sense, they are easily debunked. In order to find any of these as true, the first thing that would need to occur is that the quality control within each organization would be non-existent. Let’s face it. These companies did not achieve the status they have today through shoddy practices. Each name represented above stands for a measure of assumed quality within our society, and these companies strive to maintain that status. Take the French fry incident for example. In order for this to happen, an accident would need to occur in the cooking area, and business would have to continue as normal in order for the customer to receive the result of that accident, in this case a finger.
Do you really think that if some poor soul lost a finger in the cooking area, the fry cook is going to shout, “Fries are up,” and continue serving customers? Not likely. But as you can see, these stories are designed to be more believable by using brand names than some obscure article. With fame comes recognition.
Horror Urban Legends: Ready to Be Scared? The third urban legend category, and seemingly the most persistent, is the Horror Urban Legend. This is one of my personal favorites and has many elements of the paranormal. According to scholars, this type of urban legend is designed with one purpose in mind: To scare the daylights out of you. The Horror category is probably the most well-known of all the urban legends. These are tales we tell each other by the campfire, and include many modern day ghost stories such as Chicago’s Resurrection Mary stories, or California’s Route 66 phantoms. While these stories take many forms, they are told solely for the thrill. Everyone is familiar with the giant alligators in the sewers of New York. While this legend has some element of A common urban legend told around campfires involves drugge truth, as researchers have found that one of their kidneys has been harvested by organ thieves. alligators in the sewers that were released pets, none have grown to giant proportions as In the case of Resurrection food and weather conditions within Mary, the story or variations of the sewers of a northeastern state the story can be found regionally are not conducive for the animal to throughout the country, but Chithrive. However, these stories have cago’s version is the most famous. persisted throughout the years, and Most of us are familiar with this there are many people who consider story, but for those of you who are it a documented fact. not, this is how it goes in a nutshell.
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him directions to her home, and gets into the backseat of the car after accepting the gentleman’s offer. Noticing that she is wet, the young man gives her his coat and tries to strike up a conversation. The young girl is strangely silent, but the man attributes this to the lateness of the hour and continues driving. Following the girl’s directions, the young man arrives at the young lady’s home and tells her they have arrived, but there is no response. Glancing into the rear-view mirror, he notices that both the passenger and his jacket are gone. Wondering how this could happen, the young man goes to the house and knocks on the door. An elderly woman answers, and he relates the story to her. Staring in disbelief at the young man, the elderly woman tells the young man that her daughter, while returning home from a dance alone late one night, was struck by a car and killed. She mentions that her name was Mary, and she was laid to rest in the nearby Resurrection Cemetery. Thinking this is a confused old lady, he decides to return in the morning when it is light, and to bring friends to help him with his search. The next ed travelers who awaken in an ice-filled bathtub to discover . This urban legend has been around since at least 1991. day, aided by daylight and several friends, the young man once again re-traces his route in order to find his passenger While driving home late one of the night before. night, a young man notices a young As they pass Resurrection girl walking along the side of the road. Cemetery, one of his friends notes It’s raining, and the girl is dressed in a splash of color through the ceman evening gown. Thinking she is in etery gates. As the group gets closer, trouble, the man pulls over to offer they see it is the young man’s jacket the young lady a ride. She states to folded neatly and lying on a grave. him that she does not live far, gives
The name on the headstone is Mary. This story actually has several variations depending on where in the country it takes place. In some cases, the mysterious rider is a young man, and a letterman’s jacket is found on the grave. In another variation, it is a young woman who leaves her sweater in the car, and upon returning it, the mother relates the story of her death, which always occurs some years prior to the incident, and produces an old photograph of her daughter wearing her “favorite sweater.” In any case, every version of the story has the same moral elements that deal with young people being out late and alone, and the bad things that can happen as a result. Believable Elements Make for More Believable Tales As you can hopefully see by now, most urban legends are made up by similar elements that give them an almost believable feel. They deal with popular issues of the day, and are good indicators relating the feelings and fears of a social group. So, the next time someone approaches you and says, “My girlfriend’s cousin has a friend whose brother’s teacher saw this thing,” sit back, relax, and keep an open mind. You are probably about to be told an urban legend, and if you listen close enough, you just might learn something. If you would like to see a specific topic in future issues of Paranormal Underground regarding cultures and paranormal beliefs, please drop a brief e-mail to Editor@paranormalunderground.net with your request, and we will see what we can do about getting it in a future issue. For a more in-depth discussion on this and other similar topics, visit the “Think Tank” forum at www. ghostdose.com.
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Fiction: Featured Author
Fingertips By Mindy Kinnaman
ate McAlister always had an overactive imagination, but she refused to believe that the fingers were a figment of her imagination. For one, her cat, Gabby, could see them. The tortoiseshell tabby crouched, eyeing the fingers that had reached through the crack at the bottom of the bathroom door. Her tail swished as her tension built. The cat bode her time waiting until the perfect moment to pounce upon her bizarre new toy. Across the room, Kate stood in the tub, frozen in fear as she went to reach for a towel by the four digits that lightly tapped the floor. Rivulets of water coursed down her body, but all Kate could think about were those four fingers. Had it not been for the fact that Gabby had mewed softly as Kate opened the shower curtain, Kate probably would never have noticed anything was amiss. But now that her attention had been brought to the fingers, she could look no where else. The digits consumed her mind, leaving her stunned into inaction. From her position on the floor, Gabby reached out a paw and gently prodded the index finger. In response, the digit stopped tapping the floor, instead lengthening out to stroke the cat’s silken fur. Gabby
shrank back, whipping her paw away from the finger. A guttural growl issued from deep within the feline as she stepped back. The fingers turned away from the cat and seemed to look at Kate. Finally recognizing her nakedness, she closed her hand around the towel and yanked it free, wrapping it around her body. Though she could only see the fingers, she felt as though each one stared straight at her, drinking up every inch of skin
On the floor, inches away from her toes, the tapping of the fingertips worsened, rapping fiercely against the tile. and relishing the drops of water that continued to course down her body. Kate shuddered and nausea tickled her stomach. As Kate stared at the fingers, they seemed to return the favor. She wracked her brain trying to remember if she had heard the sounds of someone inside her apartment as she stood underneath the shower’s
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coursing stream. Deep down, she knew she had not paid any attention. Sure, she took all the normal precautions, deadbolt thrown on the apartment’s main door and balcony, locks on all of the windows, but surely, someone could have found a way inside if he truly wanted to. She needed to call for help, but Kate’s phone lay in its cradle on the nightstand beside her bed. The tiny bathroom was nestled between her bedroom and the living room, so even if she screamed, her calls would be muffled and likely would go unheeded. Not to mention, she did not want to attract any more attention to herself from whomever the fingers were attached. Kate whirled through what to do. She needed something to use against the person on the other side of the door. She needed to show that she would not be intimidated. She needed to act. Recognizing that stealth would not work, Kate decided to play dumb. Humming lightly, she began to towel off her body, her eyes never leaving the four fingers. She stepped out of the bathtub, wrapping her hair inside the towel, and then set to dressing. Kate wanted to stay true to her morning routine to further the idea that she was unaware of the fingers, which had resumed their tapping once she stepped out of the tub.
After dressing, she fixed her hair, and as she ran the blow dryer through her golden punky spikes, she debated reaching down and scalding the fingers with the machine. Of course, she rationalized, that would only anger the person; it would not incapacitate him. She wanted something big, but in her tiny bathroom, the only thing that would remotely serve as a weapon was her plunger. It was not the greatest weapon, but Kate had no choice.
the tile. Kate steeled herself for what she would find on the other side of the door, but all of the imagined scenarios fell short of what she did see. Twisting the knob, she threw open the door, nearly smacking herself in the face as she had stood in the way of the door’s arc. Peering past the wooden barrier, she could only see the wall opposite the door. She looked down, thinking she had caught the owner of the
found only herself and Gabby inside the apartment. No one had entered, nor had anyone left. Slumping down on the couch in fear and frustration and gathering her cat into her lap, Kate wondered what she had seen. Was it a hallucination? But how could Gabby have seen it? How could the fingers have appeared and disappeared so easily? She assaulted herself with questions but could figure out no answers.
After putting away her blow dryer, she reached out, wrapping her fingers around the plunger’s shaft. She hefted it like a baseball bat and walked as naturally as she could with trembling knees. The hand that reached for the door knob shook worse than her knees, jittering against the metal before her fingers finally found purchase. On the floor, inches away from her toes, the tapping of the fingertips worsened, rapping fiercely against
fingers off-guard and that she would find him still crouched upon the floor. Instead, she saw only tile. No one was there. Kate raced through the apartment, peering underneath the furniture, scrounging every inch of her closets and checking the strength of each lock, but she could find no breach in the system. Looking over every section of the apartment should have uncovered whoever the fingers belong to, but instead, she
Suddenly, Gabby emitted yet another guttural growl, this time as she looked over Kate’s shoulder. Goosebumps erupted across Kate’s body, and her the hairs at the base of her neck stood at attention. Before she could move, four fingers rested upon her shoulder. Kate’s body went weak and her vision began to blacken. As she fell into a faint, her head turned. Yet again, no one was there. No one was ever there.
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Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn Hughes
y name is Carolyn Hughes, and I work as a night auditor at Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters on the Gettysburg battlefield. Some of you know me as GettysburgLady. I became aware of our spirit friends as a child and started actively reading everything I could get my hands on pertaining to this subject as a pre-teen in the late ’60s, early ’70s and have not stopped since. I am a college graduate.
I have lived in the Gettysburg area for the past eight years and have been gifted with more than 100,000 photographs of “the boys” in their various spirit forms during that time. Before that, I lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years and did many investigations there. I lived on a street in L.A. with a famous celebrity cemetery at each end, and I had a lot of “visitors.” My hotel sits on Day One battlefield. There was terrible fighting on
Friday, March 28: The cash drawer that is located behind the desk opened by itself. I watched the drawer open. No key. I thought the guest was going to have a heart attack. The drawer is always locked for obvious security reasons.
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this ground during the day-three battle. A wing of the hotel, which sits directly across from the office, was where four artillery pieces were placed and heavily engaged in the afternoon action on July 1, 1863. Two more artillery pieces were placed across a railroad cut that runs the length of the hotel at the rear of it. Confederate soldiers hid in that railroad cut and fired upon Union troops in the morning action. The afternoon action saw the roles reversed in that railroad cut. Anyway, I believe this is why cannon fire is heard so frequently (by myself, other staff, and guests). Six artillery pieces literally sat right on the hotel property and were heavily engaged. We have the house that was used by General Lee and his staff as his headquarters on our property. It is only feet from the building I work in. I have worked at the hotel since January 2007, and during my time there, I have experienced the unexplainable. I never know from one night to the next what the spirit soldiers who occupy the space and the grounds are going to do next. Sometimes, weeks go by with no reports from the guests or no personal experiences by myself or the rest of the staff. Other times, things happen almost daily and nightly. Some of the things experienced
Monday, May 5, 5:00 a.m.: Another night auditor, who is my close friend, was working this night. This is what she wrote to me in an e-mail . . . “There were sounds of battle out in front of the hotel for about five minutes. I don’t know what else it could have been. It sounded like thunder rumbling but was just continuous.”
by myself and the other two night auditors include hearing cannon fire, gunshots in the breakfast room, the sounds of voices and movement from the back laundry room, our Confederate friends walking around the attic, the front door and back doors open and close in the middle of the night, something hitting the building at night, and fife and drums playing. We feel cold breezes rushing through the office at night in the heat of summer, see cabinet doors opening, discover things on the breakfast table being moved to the edge, and get physically touched. We see shadows moving and flashes of bright blue lights shooting through the air. One of my coworkers has heard whinnying horses and the clop, clop of their hoofbeats throughout the night. She also heard civil war drums all throughout one night. In an effort to document these and other experiences as they occur, and try to detect some kind of pattern, I have started a diary during
my 16-hour shifts, which I will share with you each month.
Friday, March 28 We, as most hotels, have a cash drawer that is located behind the desk. The drawer is always locked for obvious security reasons. In our case, the lock sticks and it takes several tries to open it. I was the last to use the drawer earlier in the evening. I was checking a guest in after midnight, standing two feet away from the drawer, when a loud “pop” was heard by myself and the guest. I turned toward the sound and then watched the drawer open. No key. I thought the guest was going to have a heart attack. I spoke to the manager about the lock in the morning. We both tried everything we could (including shaking the drawer) to get it to open by itself. Nothing. She questioned the other night auditors and staff. This had never happened to any of them.
I’ll be watching to see if this occurs again or if this is a new source of entertainment for the soldier spirits who hang out at the hotel.
Thursday, April 10 3:30 a.m. I found attic light on. Must be our Confederate soldier who walks around the attic above the office letting me know he is still there. I had just been commenting to the manager the previous afternoon that I had not heard him in a while. I KNOW that attic light was off. I am constantly opening the attic door throughout the night and the light is always off.
Saturday, April 12 4:06 a.m. I heard three, successive, loud cannon blasts. Went outside, and not a cloud in the sky. I have heard
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Wednesday, May 14, 7:05 p.m., Still daylight: My coworker and I were standing about 10 feet from the front door behind the front desk chatting . . . we both heard the front door open. My coworker walked the four steps to the counter at the front desk, and there was no one there.
enough artillery demonstrations on the battlefield to know cannon when I hear them. Not unusual at the hotel in the dead of night.
Monday, April 28 5:00 a.m. I was sitting reading my book, waiting to start setting out breakfast at 5:45 a.m. I felt a hand cup the top of my head and caress me. It was more of a soothing, caring gesture and feeling. I even felt it on my bangs.
Friday, May 2 11:10 p.m. I was watching TV, waiting for midnight so that I could begin the audit. I heard several consecutive loud bangs, which rumbled like cannon fire. I immediately went to the front door and stepped outside. I heard two more blasts that faded into the distance. I watched the rooms to see if any
guests would appear in their doorways looking for the cause of the loud booms, but no one appeared.
Monday, May 5 5:00 a.m. Courtney, another night auditor, who is my close friend, was working this night. This is what she wrote to me in an e-mail: “There were sounds of battle out in front of the hotel for about five minutes. I don’t know what else it could have been. It sounded like thunder rumbling but was just continuous.”
Thursday, April 10 7:30 a.m. I went to speak with the manager. I was walking into the office where she was sitting. She looked at me as I walked in. I felt a distinct and strong tug on my right leg around my ankle, which kept me, literally, from proceeding.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
The progress of my right leg was stopped while I kept trying to move forward, stumbling somewhat. My manager saw me and asked what happened. I immediately looked down to see what was holding me back. There was nothing visible. I asked her if she saw what just happened, and she said it looked like my leg froze in place. We both checked the entire area, and there was nothing on the floor or anywhere around. When I told her it felt like someone was holding my ankle, she laughed and said, “I don’t want to know about what happens in broad daylight while I’m here.” This was the second time in successive weeks that I was touched.
Sunday, May 11 7:30 p.m. Courtney and I were standing in front of the door that leads to the attic talking. I had opened the door and called up a greeting to our Confederate soldier who makes his presence known by walking around above us at night. I had called out a greeting and asked if he would please let us know he was there. After a minute or two, we both heard the sounds of someone moving around in the attic. I was standing at the bottom of the stairs and heard what sounded like heavy items being moved around. Courtney was a few feet away, and she heard creaking noises like someone walking directly above her head. A response to a request! Awesome!
Wednesday, May 14, 7:05 p.m. Still daylight: Courtney and I were standing about 10 feet from the front
door behind the front desk chatting. We both smelled the all too familiar sweet cherry pipe tobacco. There is no smoking allowed in this area. A few minutes later, my coworker and I, still standing in this same location, both heard the front door open. The door is heavy and has a very distinct loud sound when it opens. Courtney walked the four steps to the counter at the front desk, and there was no one there. She searched the entire lobby and breakfast room located at the front of the hotel. No one. The front door is the only unlocked access into the front of the hotel. There was no wind blowing at all, and the door is too heavy for the wind to even push it a tiny bit. After consulting with my coworker, we both realized that we have had this same experience, separately, on several occasions. We both laughed because it happens a lot, and each time we hear the door, as good little hotel employees, we run to the front desk to attend to whatever guest is standing there. Since the office area is small, and only a few steps from the front desk, it literally takes us seconds to get there. The really amazing thing is that this usually happens to us AFTER the front door has been locked at midnight. This time it happened when we were together and it was still light out. Cool.
Saturday, May 17 2:38 a.m. Sitting quietly in the office reading my book. Suddenly, my heart rate sped up, and I “felt” something was going to happen. Then, loud noises started, simultaneously, from the lobby and the back room. (I’m in the middle room). Just as soon as I stood up to check out both areas, I heard the footsteps above my head coming from the at-
Monday, April 28, 5:00 a.m.: I was sitting reading my book, waiting to start setting out breakfast at 5:45 a.m. I felt a hand cup the top of my head and caress me. It was more of a soothing, caring gesture and feeling. I even felt it on my bangs.
tic. I froze and listened, watching the ceiling following the footsteps as they crossed above me. As quickly as everything started, everything stopped. The consensus amongst the employees is that there has never been so much activity as in recent weeks. Could it be that the 145th anniversary of the battle is approaching? On the 140th anniversary, all kinds of sightings and strange events occurred. I hope I’m working one of those three nights (July 1, 2, and 3). It should prove interesting.
Monday, June 2 9:30 p.m. Stepped outside and was walking through the breezeway, which is located between the office and a wing of the hotel. Heard a loud, single gunshot echo through the breezeway.
Tuesday, June 3 1:38 a.m. Sitting in the office reading and heard a loud bang coming from the
breakfast room around the corner. It sounded like something large and heavy fell. As I stepped around the corner into the breakfast room, I heard a loud gunshot that reverberated throughout the breakfast room.
Tuesday, June 3 2:15 a.m. Sitting in the office reading. Kept hearing the sounds of someone walking around in the breakfast room around the corner and in the main lobby. Several times I jumped up to investigate, but the sounds stopped as soon as I walked into the lobby and breakfast area. Note: There was a marked difference in the air temperature in these two rooms from the room I was previously sitting in — it was icy cold in these two areas.
Stay Tuned . . .
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Employing a Proper Paranormal By Binoo'mukua
ith today’s increased interest in the paranormal, and more groups forming every day to investigate activity, the use of the latest equipment is quickly becoming an essential part of almost every investigator’s tool kit. However, what do we know about the equipment we are using, is it being used properly by paranormal investigators, and is it possible to employ a solid scientific methodology around equipment use in paranormal investigations? Moving From Pseudoscience to Mainstream Science Today, paranormal investigating is more popular that it has ever been. In conjunction, highly technical equipment that just a few years ago was too expensive to own is now easily acquired by almost any budget. As a result, many paranormal groups will go into an investigation armed to the teeth with the latest gadget, feeling that by doing so, they are using a scientific approach in their investigating. In reality, they could not be further from the truth.
As an investigator, being familiar with the use of a proper scientific methodology is key if the paranormal field is ever to rise from the realm of pseudoscience into the field of mainstream science.
In order for this to happen, the proper use of a true scientific method must be employed in all
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investigations. For example, many people think that the presence of an electromagnetic field correlates to the presence of the paranormal. This is not, and has never has been, the case. So far, there is no evidence that any form of paranormal activity (ghosts, entities, shadows, etc.) can emit an electromagnetic field; therefore, the presence of paranormal activity cannot be measured by the use of an EMF detector or any other type of equipment for that matter. Evidence such as this is not considered “empirical” or valid in the scientific community. As it stands to date, no paranormal activity (sounds, movement of inanimate objects, ghosts, apparitions, etc.) have been quantified, which means there is nothing you can use to measure this activity if you are not sure of the energy (if any) it emits. So, taking ANY equipment into an investigation and trying to use the results required will never be accepted because the objects that are sought in a paranormal investigation are considered unknown variables when using the scientific method, and have not,
Methodology in Investigations to date, been quantified (measured, weighed, etc.). Equipment Use in Paranormal Investigating Is Critical If an object has not been quantified, no amount of equipment in the world (EMF meters, full spectrum cameras, thermal imaging, etc.) can be used to measure it. Does this mean that the equipment taken along is useless in paranormal investigating? Absolutely not. By understanding what constitutes a proper scientific methodology and employing equipment accordingly, the use of equipment in paranormal investigating becomes more necessary than ever. In order to understand the proper use of equipment in a paranormal investigation, we first must examine the proper use of scientific method in investigating. In science, a “correlation” does not mean “causation.” In other words, if your equipment gives you a reading, does it mean that there is a paranormal entity in the area? No. It means that some environmental variable in the area is causing your equipment to respond. Using your equipment to confirm a paranormal presence is not considered “valid” scientific
methodology. Using it as a tool to record the environmental conditions of the area being investigated is. Examining only one type of en-
ergy, such as EMF, infrared, temperature, etc., would not suffice. Investi-
gations should be established so that as many environmental variables as can be recorded could be measured. The goal would be to see if there are any changes in the environment of your location during the occurrence of any paranormal activity. Recording All Environmental Conditions Is Key Recording information and any noted changes on all spectrums of light energy, weather conditions, EMF, and any other factors that may have an influence on the location you are investigating is needed in order to establish changes in these variables and any noted paranormal activity. You must also ensure that all results or changes are carefully and accurately recorded, whether activity occurs or not. Lack of activity when a change occurs is just as important as a change occurring when activity happens. This will help to ensure that your results will not be skewed or biased. Since paranormal activity has not been quantified, the goal is to establish solid correlations that can be studied. First, a solid methodology must be established. All types of environmental conditions will need to be monitored, accurately
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documented, and then analyzed for any changes if paranormal activity occurs. Document and Understand Correlations If a seeming correlation does occur (such as the spike of an EMF meter or some other environmental change) as a paranormal event happens, then that correlation must be shown to occur under similar circumstances and similar environmental conditions in other investigations. It must be consistent, and all conditions must exist before you can consider it a possible correlation. Once changes are documented and recorded, they can be compared in future investigations to establish correlations that can be further studied. Every investigation must be approached in the same manner, and equipment must be employed using the method of the
investigation before. This is considered a “methodology,” and is extremely important if the cumulative results of investigations are to be properly analyzed. Once any correlations are realized, then postulations can be put forth. For example, if you note a drop in temperature and an EMF spike at the same time you record an EVP, you would look for this combination in future investigations to see if it occurs again under similar conditions. If this pattern is repeated in subsequent investigations, the next research question you would examine is “Did the EVP occur because of the drop in temperature and the spike in EMF, or is the EMF spike and temperature drop a result of the EVP?” This would be considered the proper use of scientific methodology. I have only touched on the
Paranormal Underground August 2008
process here in its most basic form. As you can see, it is a long process, but if the done properly, the end results will be worth the effort. Building on the Shoulders of Giants Remember that in science, we build on the shoulders of giants. Using the research that has come before us, and building onto that research to establish correlations to be studied for the determination of cause, should be the goal of every true scientific investigation. Knowing the equipment used in an investigation, and its proper use, is the first step in bringing paranormal investigating from the realm of pseudoscience to a level of true scientific investigation. For a more in-depth discussion on this and other similar topics, visit the “Think Tank” at www.ghostdose.com.
Walkie Talkies and Electromagnetic Interference By Jaime Johnesee
ne of the least-considered pieces of equipment in the ghost hunter’s arsenal is the walkie talkie. It is also a piece of equipment that can cause problems for investigators. According to the December 2006 issue of Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, walkie talkies can cause more electromagnetic interference in technical equipment than even cell phones. The study focuses on walkie talkie interference with medical equipment, but it also shows that the interference is of the electromagnetic variety. What does this mean for investigators? They need to be careful when doing EMF sweeps of an area to make sure they aren’t receiving false readings from their own equipment. They also need to beware of medical equipment that may be in the home at the time. Another problem with team members using a walkie talkie during an investigation is the possibility of picking up a stray radio signal and considering the noise heard to be paranormal when, in fact, it’s nothing more than a stray transmission. This is something that actually happened to me at one of the zoos where I was working several years ago. Apparently a passing semitruck had the same frequency as our radios, and I paused in the midst of cleaning the flamingo pond when I
heard the oddest and, shall we say, explicit transmission come over the walkie talkie at my side. After listening to the man talk to his wife for a few moments, the conversation gradually cut off and work resumed as normal. However, I wasn’t on a ghost hunt and
wasn’t trying to catch odd noises and voices. Yet, I can imagine hearing a stray transmission on evidence review of EVP sessions that isn’t marked and having the reviewer say, “That isn’t anyone in our group, it must be an EVP.” Because of stray transmissions,
walkie talkie companies have created interference eliminator codes (IEC) that automatically switch the handset to a different frequency if interference of any type is detected. While this helps it does not cut out crosswiring completely. Walkie talkies are not to be confused with two-way radios, however. Two-way radios have a slightly lesser risk of interference than walkie talkie do, but even with two-ways, the risk is still there. Some of the leading walkie talkie manufacturers are Uniden, Midland, Garmin Reno, Cherokee, and Audiovox. Having worked with both Uniden and Audiovox models, I actually preferred the Uniden, simply because it was a little sturdier and could hold up to being dropped a little better than the Audiovox. If you plan on having your team equipped with walkie talkies or twoway radios while investigating, just be aware, make a special note of any EVP sessions if transmissions come through during a particular session, and remember that although they are great for communicating with other team members, walkie talkies can cause EMF spikes and interference with some medical devices the homeowner may have in the house. Keep those facts in mind, and the walkie talkie will serve you well on your next investigation.
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Emeraldwitch Age: 44. Born: Lansing, Michigan. Currently resides: Michigan. Status: Married. Education: Computer repair school. Zodiac Sign: Capricorn. Occupation: I am now a homebody who watches little ones for spare cash. lol When did you join GhostDose? July 25, 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? I joined the Dose because Scribey was very funny at Skiffy, and when Penguinkeeper invited me, I came. Plus many of the nice and fun posters at Skiffy were already here too. The fact that GhostDose is more open to the odd group dynamic that we all share, and there have been no unexplained bannings for speaking one’s mind, has made me love being a member. What does your member name mean? I am a wiccan and chose the name Emerald — being a Green witch — it just kinda evolved into the name Emeraldwitch. Who are your heroes? That is a tough one. Penguinkeeper is on the list for sure! Who else can go through what she has and still have the great outlook on life and love. And just look what she has done for all of us here at the Dose! Other heroes are my great grandmother and my grandmother. They are both gone now but have had such influence on my life. They both lived through the rough times
in America. My great gran came here from Germany with two small children and lots of hope of a new life. They even have two streets named for them in Lansing. My grandmother survived the Great Depression without becoming bitter about it. They both loved to garden and cook, and I would sit in the kitchen and watch and taste test. It has made me realize that I can do it too, and I am going to try to pass this love of self-reliance on to my granddaughter.
Favorite music: My favorite music is ’80s rock/hard rock, Korn, Robert Palmer, even classical and Andrew Lloyd Webber. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? Most of the paranormal shows lately have left me “looking for more,” but
How would you describe yourself? I am an older, more mature gal with a beautiful head of thinning white hair, and I am fluffy (not overweight, fluffy)! I have an odd (to say the least) sense of humor, and I do try to be fair and look at both sides of any problems. I have much luck, may be slightly psychic, and am a very poor speller! I tend to just find things and have some very good insights into people. It is hard to get one by me, but it can happen. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I have many hobbies since my car accident left me unable to work at my favorite job — I used to be a greenhouse tech, but the back problems made it impossible to continue. I garden and have started trying to provide more, if not most, of our own foods. I love to take photos, and I like to learn new stuff all the time. I will be a grandma later this summer, and am sooooo looking forward to it, especially since I will get to do the daycare when my daughter goes back to work.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
Emeraldwitch (pictured third from left) poses with her fa the paranormal and is interested by full-bodied appariti
I still love a good zombie or vampire movie or show, but both of my new favorite vampire TV shows are no longer being aired (Blood Ties and Moonlight). I enjoy cooking shows, ghost show of all kinds, and Dexter.
I read so many types of books. I have more than 5,000 books so I can’t even begin to list them. Any other favorites? I enjoy cooking, eating, and light hiking. I love cuddling with little ones (nothing like that new baby smell or the toddler who just had a bath and wants to snuggle up)! I do like to make things with my hands. I have learned to crochet, and I used to paint and draw and sculpt. What are your pet peeves? I think that the worst is trolls online and the boogers that speed through my town.
amily at her daughter’s wedding. She is a believer in tions. Em loves to cook, garden, and take photos.
Are you a skeptic or believer? I am a believer in the paranormal. There are just too many things that cannot be explained to us yet. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Full-bodied appari-
tions interest me the most as I have caught out of the corner of my eye the man whose spirit lingers in my home. I have also had dreams of the people who have passed — they come to chat about how my family is doing and how they still seem to watch over us, even though they aren’t here any longer. I love that they come to see me and we chat. It is comforting that they are still around! Have you ever studied the paranormal? I have never really studied anything other than my online obsession and the fact that we used to tour old abandoned places as teens. I may have to find a group close to me and tag along. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. I have had minor experiences off and on all of my life — most in the house that I now live in. It started when I was about 9-11. It started with the feeling that someone was behind me while I had to do dishes. You could tell that someone was there, and I could even smell the scent that he (it felt like a fella) wore. I have found that scent in an old drug store. Bay rum. I grew up and moved away, got married, and then decided to buy the home that I grew up in. Needless to say that I have had just a few things happen since I came home. For instance, I have locked the door with the cat outside, gone to take a shower, and came out of the shower to find same cat inside. I think that I may have found the answer to that though . . . a ripped screen upstairs in my room. She may have found a way to get in there. But also while in the shower (no one home but me and door locked), I have had keys that I put on the baby’s highchair get hung up on the keyholder by the door. It must have a thing about the
bathroom. I will leave the shower curtain open and be the only one in the house, and I will go back into the bathroom to find the curtain closed. Mostly I feel that this spirit is here to comfort me and have almost never been scared by these happenings. Now if I could get him to clean the bathroom, I would be in love. lol What do you think happens to us when we die? I feel that I have been here before and have done things before — that I have reincarnated. I am hoping that the urgent need I have had lately to become more self-sufficient is maybe a lingering-after affect of reincarnation, not the impending fear of the total breakdown of our society. Great, now I sound like the bomb cellar-digging hoarder that my family and friends think I am. lol Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? I think that my signature says it best: “Good, Better, Best — Never let it rest until your good is better, and your better is best!” Any exciting plans for the future? I’d like to get more self-sufficient. I need to find some clay for building my earth oven, and I want to spread the word about Victory Gardens! I know that these are mostly about war gardening to make up for shortages, but in this day and age, with the gas prices and the food safety issues, I want to see a garden in every yard. I want to teach people how to save that good produce and eat better for less. I would also like to learn to take good fresh milk from a neighboring dairy farm and make my own cheese . . . now how to talk to them and do some wheeling and dealing. lol I even learned to make my own soap this year. Now if I could learn to make nice soft toilet paper, I would be ready for the apocalypse! hehehe. More member profiles
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MidniteRed Age: 40. Born: Belleville, Illinois. Currently resides: St. Louis, Missouri. Status: Single. Education: Bachelor’s degree in media communication. Zodiac Sign: Taurus/Gemini cusp. Occupation: Model/photographer. When did you join GhostDose? June 2007. What brought you to GhostDose? My good friends Penguinkeeper and Pynki from the Sci fi GH forum. What does your member name mean? MidniteRed was a name I came up with for the Sci Fi board when I felt considerably less sassy than I do now. Who are your heroes? Jimmy Carter, Dita Von Teese, and Brian Harnois. The underdog can come out on top. How would you describe yourself? Easy going, good sense of humor, open minded. Terrible with money! Tell us about your family and what you like to do. I’m in hermit mode these days, mainly because I can be!
Benny is one of MidniteRed’s pets.
I live with my mother, which has its ups and downs naturally. I don’t have kids, but I do have a goddaughter. I’d love to see her more often, but they live out in the country. I mostly do a lot of reading, watching TV, and answering messages online in an attempt to keep up interest in my soon-to-be very own Web site (adult-oriented). My life is pretty quiet right now because I’m not earning any money, but I’m hoping that changes very soon! Favorite music: Classic rock, 80s new wave, 90s alternative, and White Stripes. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? I like comedy best of all for TV: South Park, The Colbert Report, and Chelsea Lately. Some reality shows like Intervention and Celebrity Rehab. After a hiatus I’ve started watching Ghost Hunters again but prefer Ghost Hunters International. I also like Most Haunted, mainly for the locations, the initial tour, and history of the site. I’ve read a lot of books on “true” ghost stories. I’ve exhausted the libraries of new ghost material at all of the colleges and universities in Missouri! I’ve also been reading a lot of Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Dean Koontz in the past year. For movies, I enjoy arty, some drama (nothing too romantic!), and comedies. I hated horror films for most of my life but have been enjoying the less gory ones a lot for a few years now. I have a thing for ghosts and vampires in any medium. Any other favorites? Ghostdose.com
Paranormal Underground August 2008
MidniteRed is a skeptical believer who has an interest in ghosts.
of course! MySpace has provided a lot of amusement and irritation; I have to check both of my pages every day. Icanhascheezburger.com is another favorite, as many Dosers well know. What are your pet peeves? Liars and instant messaging. Are you a skeptic or believer? I’m a believer, but I try to be a skeptical one. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Ghosts. I have a hard time believing in cryptozoology and UFOs. Have you ever studied the paranormal? I’ve read every true ghost story I can get my hands on, but I’ve never participated in an investigation. I rarely learn anything new from the “informative” ghost shows out there, so I guess I can say I have studied in a casual way. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? Watch your ass and keep receipts. Any exciting plans for the future? Earning an income with my site is a very exciting thought!
JoeGeist Age: 33.
Newton, and Max Planck.
Born: Glens Falls, New York.
How would you describe yourself? I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old, with a restless mind.
Currently resides: Queensbury, New York. Status: Married. Education: College. Occupation: Education. When did you join GhostDose and Paranormal Underground? I joined Dose three months ago, and the Underground last month. What brought you to GhostDose and Paranormal Underground? I went to Dose because I noticed a bunch of people from Skiffy also went there. I went to the Underground because it sounded like an interesting idea and it sparked my curiosities.
Tell us about your family and what you like to do. My wife is a special ed teacher; together we like to camp and travel. When I annoy her, she threatens to stab me in the head, so I am always on the lookout. Luckily, I’m quick like ninja.
History Channel, and, of course, GH/GHI. Books . . . De Rarum Natura, by Lucretius; Dreams of a Final Theory, by Steven Weinberg; and all Carl Sagan books, especially DemonHaunted World. Movies . . . too many to list. What are your pet peeves? Bad spelling and inconsiderate people. Are you a skeptic or believer? Skeptic. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? Aliens. Have you ever studied the paranormal? No. Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. Thus far, I haven’t had any experiences, but I’m open and waiting . . . except for an alien abduction.
What does your member name mean? I needed a name, so I What do you think hapfigured Joe was a good pens to us when we die? JoeGeist (pictured with his wife) is a skeptic who is most interested in the all-around guy name, Matter can’t be created or alien phenomena. He hopes to one day hike all 46 peaks of the Adirondack High Peaks; so far, he’s hiked 22. and since I was on the destroyed. The possibiliGhost Hunters forum, ties are endless. I needed some clever Do you have any words of wisghost name. Favorite music: Anything with Dan dom that you live by? Turn off the So, I reached into my bag of the Automator, Jon Spencer Blues technology, be quiet, and just listen. tricks and pulled out the German Explosion, The Black Keys, Beck, You maybe surprised at what you word for ghost . . . Geist. Hardly and old Beastie Boys. discover. thought out, and hardly original, but What are your favorite TV shows, Any exciting plans for the future? it works. paranormal shows, books, movies? Hike all 46 peaks of the Adirondack Who are your heroes? Carl Sagan, TV first . . . Star Trek Enterprise, High Peaks; so far I’ve done 22. Go Einstein, Lucretius, Democritus, BSG, Doctor Who, Deadliest Catch, back to Europe.
August 2008 Paranormal Underground 47
Harassed by the Unknown By Emily Taylor
he following stories, or rather one continuous story, are true. My name is Emily W. Taylor, and although I am only 17 years old, I have seen and experienced things that, I at least, am unable to explain. I do not normally tell this to people because in retelling it, I remember it and relive what happened. I keep thinking that eventually the fear of those moments will go away, but even as I type now my hands are beginning to shake. Typing it, however, is nothing compared to verbally remembering. The last time I told it, it was to my paranormal club. I stopped midway through, shaking and almost crying without even realizing it. An Encounter at the Whaley House The stories are not very scary at all, but they have left a mark deep in my mind that I can not explain. I will tell you what happened; however, Iâ€™ve left many parts out because although it happened, even I still
canâ€™t believe it. I was raised atheist, to the fullest extent of the word. I did not believe in ghosts and thought that those who did were crazy or stupid. When I was seven or eight years old, I was on a long road trip with my family when we became lost on our way back home. We came to an old street with
old houses on it. There was a small blue house with an open door and a sign outside. My dad went in for directions. I never read the sign outside the house. It was like a museum inside . . . old furniture behind velvet ropes. There was a register in the front room. My dad was speaking to the
Paranormal Underground August 2008
man behind that register when I noticed a small gold mirror on the counter. It was obviously new and had nothing to do with the history of the house. I looked at it and saw no reflection in it. I reached out to adjust the mirror when I saw four . . . (Iâ€™m having difficulty in describing them) sort of orbs, but with a tail at the end, circling clockwise. They were red and translucent, but not like glass, as if I could see the molecules that made up their structure, individual tiny red balls. My head drew in closer at the mirror, perhaps only six inches away. Now comes the memory that has been carved into my mind never to be forgotten . . . out from the mirror came a red translucent face that looked the same as the orbs. It had no hair and no eyes, but I could make out the curve of eye sockets. And although it was very plain, I think it was the face of a woman. It was so close to me that it nearly touched my own face. I did not move or make a noise,
but felt my body thrust backwards before hitting the floor. My sister was behind me, my dad and the clerk in front, but I was the only one who saw it. I didn’t tell them. My parents never found out; they would have called me crazy or thought that I was lying. I only came to learn just recently that this house was, in fact, the Whaley House in San Diego. I saw it featured on a TV show and realized that was where I was those many years ago. Many Unexpected Turns Years went by. I still didn’t believe in ghosts. My mind wouldn’t allow me to remember what happened. My life had many unexpected turns. When I was 12, I noticed when I woke up, I would be covered in deep scratches with dried blood. I didn’t know what it was or how to explain it. Several months into the scratches, I found out the same thing was happening to my sister. I was 13 when strange things began happening around the house. Things would go missing, that wasn’t too strange, but whenever a guest came over, they almost always claimed to have seen someone in the backyard, usually asking if that was our dad or the gardener. We did not have a gardener and, the description was anything but our dad. It was always the same description though, a tall, Hispanic man in jeans and a white shirt, usually with a bag. He was always seen by the same tree as if picking oranges from it. One guest asked if he was our gardener, and upon learning that we did not have a gardener, he jumped out of his seat and chased after him. The unknown man ran to the side gate, opened it up and slammed it shut, which everyone could hear.
The Ghost at Home By Karen Frazier
hen I was in my early twenties, I lived in an apartment that was converted WWII housing. Immediately after I moved in, strange things started to happen there. Closet doors that had been firmly shut and latched would open, and later close again. Cupboard doors would do the same thing. Often, I would remember putting something in one place and find it in a totally different place. Now, this was long before I became middleaged and actually started misplacing items, but even at the time, I would try to explain logically all of these occurrences. At the time, the thought of encountering a ghost totally freaked me out, so I used logic to comfort myself. One night, I was lying in bed, and I heard the bathroom faucet turn on with its distinctive squeak, and then I heard water start to run into the sink basin. There was no way I was going to get up to look, and a few moments later, I heard the squeak again as the faucet turned off. This, I wrote off as noise from one of the neighboring apartments even though it was pretty obvious it was in my own apartment.
Then came the night where something happened that I could not logically explain away. I was lying in my bedroom when I felt something brush up against my back side, and then a voice whispered, “I love you,” in my ear. As the whispering occurred, I felt the warm brush of breath across my cheek and on my ear, and my hair fluttered up a little away from my face as if a person was actually
whispering in my ear. This same thing happened several more times while I lived in the apartment, until I was just too discombobulated to live there anymore. I wish now that I hadn’t been so frightened, because I would love to have attempted to communicate with whatever might have been in my apartment. I’d like to think now that if I came across another potential haunting, I’d be less afraid to interact with it because I’m dying to actually communicate with a ghost.
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Personal Experiences However, there was a second gate that he would have had to pass through, but that gate was never opened and closed. The man had simply vanished. It was then that we recalled that years before, a house guest said her hand was trampled on while sitting on the floor, but no one was around at the time. I had seen a tall man, whom I mistook for my dad, and followed him until he disappeared around a corner. Later, I realized the man was solid black. I did not know about “shadow people” until recently. The strangest part about the “apparition” as it might have been, was that neither of my parents had ever seen it. The Danger Increases When I was 14, things became dangerous. A cement fountain collapsed and nearly hit me for no apparent reason. An iron flew off its board hitting me on the foot. A dog door literally exploded off the door flying 15 feet with a bang louder then a firecracker. No one other than myself was near it. The same noise caused a clock on the wall fall, not off the wall, but down it about a foot. I ran out, and upon returning minutes later, I examined the clock on the wall and
found that it was hanging by a nail. There was no way that clock could have moved. I often heard knocking at my door that I ignored. One day while I was in the bathroom, I heard three distinct knocks. I said, “Come in,” which was answered by three more knocks. I said, “Come in” louder, thinking they did not hear me. It started again, and on the second knock I got mad and
screamed, “I said come in,” while opening the door. There was no one there. The following summer I was scared out of my mind one day. I was home alone in the middle of the day, reading in my back yard. I heard a voice screaming from inside the house, “Don’t do that!” I ran in thinking it was my dad. I called and called, but no one answered. I continuously went back
Paranormal Underground August 2008
and forth on the same path from my kitchen to the backyard several times feeding a pet. As I walked back to the yard for perhaps the fifth time, a rather personal article of clothing was laying in front of the screen door; I had worn it the day before and clearly recalled putting it in the laundry basket. I was terrified. I thought someone had broken in and placed it there for me to find. It was in a place where I would definitely see it, and because I was walking back and forth, I knew it wasn’t there just moments ago. I made a desperate run back to the kitchen and shut both doors not knowing what do. A long time elapsed; I called two different people who couldn’t come get me. I was about to open the door and go back when I heard what sounded like a bag of silverware jangling. I jumped back as the handle on the door began to turn, and I ran outside faster than I thought possible. I ran to the sidewalk and hid behind a bush. At that moment, I heard a banging as loud as a jack hammer. I looked at the door; it was moving. Not the whole door, but the center was going in and out like
someone was beating it. (Similar to the breathing door in the newest House on Haunted Hill movie or the one in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride.) When it finally stopped, it seemed to last a while, a thick white mist floated across the front steps, at first in the shape of a person, but then it faded away. I didn’t go back in for hours. I had waited for someone to come back home and search the house. Harassed by Something Unknown I wasn’t being robbed, I was being harassed by something unknown. Things like that have happened ever since. I’ve learned to simply vacate the room when it happens. In one recent case, it was late at night when I heard chanting outside the glass door in the kitchen. I had heard things moving slightly in there, but not enough for me to be sure of what exactly was happening. I got up and left promptly, shutting the door. When I got halfway through the door, I heard plates and glasses being knocked and moved very loudly. The odd part though, no one has ever died at my house or even lived here very long. The house had two previous owners; one never lived in the house, the other spent between five to 10 years here and moved. My dad bought it about 35 years ago when it served as the model home for the neighborhood. There is an Indian burial ground close by, but the house is not on it. What’s also unusual is most “activity” has been during the day instead of night. Other things have happened, but that’s more then enough for now.
A Family Affair By Mindy Kinnaman
hen I was in third grade, I shared a room with my two sisters. To make room, my parents installed two bunk beds in the room. I slept on the top of one, with my sister Jamie below, and my sister Brandy slept on the bottom of the other bunk bed, leaving the top reserved for friends who wanted to stay the night. When I got scared, I would crawl into bed with Brandy. One night, I was sleeping in Brandy’s bed, and something started tugging at the blankets from the foot of the bed. Brandy was snoring away beside me, and we had no indoor pets, leaving me baffled on what was pulling at the blankets. Unsure of what it was, I screamed bloody murder for my dad. He came in, turned on the lights, but all I saw at the foot of the bed was a giant teddy bear. After not seeing anything else that could have tugged the blankets, I begged my father to leave the light on. I put the cover over my head as soon as he walked out
the door, and the tugging began once more. I passed out from fright and did not wake up until the next morning. During the second experience, which was only like a week or so later, I was once again in the same bed as Brandy. This time, my older brother Paul had gotten scared and was in the guest bed above us. The four of us lay there, listening to our parents play card games and watch Saturday Night Live in the living room, only about 25 feet away. Suddenly, something started walking around the floor, practically stomping. None of us could muster the courage to look, but again, all of us were in our beds, our parents could be heard in the living room, and we had no indoor pets. The four of us freaked and began screaming for our parents. They never came. To this day, my mom swears that she never heard us scream and believes that we made up the experience.
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Psychics: Real or Fake? A Skeptical View: There Are No Psychics By Chris Johnesee
t is hard for me to believe that there are actually people out there that have some enlightened psychic ability to “see” what will happen in the future. If such people exist, then why is it that we only hear about these people after the fact? Why are we not warned of upcoming tragedies so that they can be avoided and lives saved? For example: the World Trade Center. If psychics really exist, then why didn’t they warn us of the tragedy that occurred? So many times I’ve heard psychics say that their abilities don’t give them all of the details, just some of the basics, like a plane and a building. But then after the event many psychics go public and say that they knew “it” was going to happen. If that’s the case, how come none of them came out and mentioned these “visions” before the attack? Anyone can say they knew about it afterwards. I demand proof! If there are real psychics out there, why won’t they take The Amazing Randi’s challenge and prove to the world they have this ability? Like Houdini before him, James Randi is a purveyor of truth and is con-
tinuing in Harry Houdini’s footsteps by calling out those who claim to have psychic abilities. Houdini was quite famous for debunking mediums, and Randi has taken up this mantle and is doing all of us skeptics proud. Might some psychics actually be using kinesiology (the study of body language and behavior) to translate behaviors into words? It’s something my wife does very well, and I can assure you she is not psychic. If psychics exist, why haven’t any of them won the lottery yet? The reason it has never happened is because there are no psychics. Period. Instead of putting on fancy shows, writing books about their “powers,” and taking money from paying customers who are looking for real answers, I am still waiting for proof of a real psychic. So, if there’s a “real” psychic reading this, how about you give me the winning numbers for September 16 Mega Millions drawing? I look forward to hearing from you. If you’re right, I’ll even split the money with you. Somehow, I don’t expect to get any responses. Oh well, it’ll just go to show that I’m right.
Paranormal Underground August 2008
Believer: Psychics Are Legit By Henry
sychics seem very genuine to me. They do what they do in order to help other people. Sure, sometimes some make money at it, but so did Ann Landers. I believe we all have the ability for psychic communication, and I also believe that everything that has ever happened and will ever happen is all stored in everyone’s brains. Those with psychic abilities just know how to access that information. The psychics that can communicate with animals have just opened a door that we all have in our minds. I think their ability is given to them from a higher being in order for us to understand what our animal friends are trying to tell us. I believe they are here to help us get in touch with our pets. The psychics that speak with the dead, like John Edwards, are here to comfort and give answers to those
whose friends or family members have been killed. They are not just a means of communicating with the dead, they are also grief counselors, here to help the families and friends of the deceased to move on and reclaim their own lives. They provide a connection to those who have passed on and do their best to provide those people they left behind with the answers they are seeking. Are the ones who sit at the end of telephone lines waiting for your call real? I don’t have the answer to that; I believe some are. I think that certain psychic lines are made up of real psychics and others are probably made up by frauds who just want money. I haven’t called them myself, but I have a friend who has and was given very accurate information about when and where she would meet her husband. Are all those who claim to be psychic real? Probably not, just as all those who claim to be good singers aren’t. But the real psychics stand out because they have proven what they can do time and time again. I believe because I have seen enough proof that the psychic phenomena is real. I believe because I want to believe and because I have seen the evidence. I have seen the proof of their abilities and so have most of you. The top psychics show their abilities on TV programs, for example, and prove to the world they are who they say they are. I have seen, and I believe.
Skeptical Believer: Genuine Psychics Do Exist By Jaime Johnesee
don’t believe in all psychics, in fact, I think the ones who do their best to make money off the public by claiming they can talk to the dead are full of malarkey. They are parasites that make life more difficult for the ones who actually have some sort of psychic ability. The psychics I actually believe in are the ones who hold down an average job and help police departments and PIs in finding kidnapped children or the bodies of murder victims. I’m not talking about the ones you see on TV telling the world what they are doing, I’m talking about the ones who just go about their life quietly and are ready to help when needed. They don’t ask for anything in return and most don’t even want the attention of the media. They do it because they feel the need to help. I have to be honest. People like Sylvia Browne and James Van Praagh make me ill. To violate those who have lost loved ones in such a way to further their own fame and bank account is nothing short of disgusting to me. To make these desperate and grieving people pay hundreds of dollars to cheat them is just inhuman and evil in my opinion. Using
basic and simple mentalist tricks, these charlatans convince people they are speaking to their dead relative and then make those same grief-stricken people pay huge amounts of money for false information. Boo to them! It’s the ones who stand in the shadows and help people for free with no intention other than to help people that I believe in. They do not profit from what they see; they do not go onto television talk shows and fake out the audience with simple tricks like, “You know someone with a J in their name,” knowing full well how common names like Jennifer and James are. Those who do not want recognition and use the gifts they have only to help others are the true heroes. Perhaps some of these people are faking it as well, but I feel as though there have to be some psychics out there who are reliable. Far too many police departments and even FBI field offices use psychics. Besides that, there is no fame or recognition wanted by most of these people. They are doing it simply because they feel it is their duty to use their talent for the betterment of the world.
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Reviews of the Month: By Mindy Kinnaman
Book: A Dirty Job
he birth of a child is supposed to be a new beginning for families. The birth of Charlie Asher’s daughter, Sophie, is also the start of his double life. The meek Beta Male has just learned he has become a grim reaper, but only after he catches his wife’s reaper in the act. For Charlie, as it would be for any reaper, he finds it’s “a dirty job,” but someone has got to do it. For the August Book of the
Month selection at www.ghostdose. com, we are taking a look at Christopher Moore’s 2006 novel A Dirty Job. Join us as we see what life is like for the new father and reaper. Moore’s writing and the story are so funny, you may just find yourself face to face with Charlie or one of his fellow reapers as he comes to collect your soul. • I give this book four out of four scythes!
DVD: The Orphanage
uillermo del Toro’s eye for incredible films is not contained to those he created. With the Spanish-language The Orphanage (El Orfanato), del Toro has found a winner. Serving as producer to this film, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, del Toro has helped bring this haunting tale to life. Laura (Belén Rueda) has just moved with her husband and son to the orphanage where she spent her youth. She wants to change it to a home for handicapped children, but its haunted history demands her attention.
Laura watches as her son gathers a large group of imaginary friends, all painfully familiar with the orphanage. It’s only after her son disappears that she learns the true and heartbreaking story that happened within the orphanage’s walls. Don’t let the fact that it’s a foreign film keep you from watching this — that’s what subtitles are for! Scares translate the same in any language, which is why this is my favorite spooky film of 2007. • I give this five out of five skeletons in the closet!
Paranormal Underground August 2008
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
he lovable red devil is back in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy 2: The Golden Army. The trio of Hellboy (Ron Perlman), Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), and Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) are back, and after an accident in which Hellboy is exposed to a large group of Manhattanites, are now under the leadership of Johann Krauss. (Bonus points will be given to those of you who guess who voices Krauss and the character from one of his shows who uses the same voice.) With the German on their side this time, the quartet fight to stop the uprising of the Golden Army, a battalion of indestructible — or industible if you’re Hellboy — golden robots. Joined by Princess Nuala (Anna Walton), the team works to save the earth from Nuala’s twin Prince Nuada (Luke Goss). Can they do it? How will Hellboy handle working for a German boss? Why am I asking questions? Just watch the movie! Fans of del Toro will not be disappointed. Del Toro took on the mighty task of writing, directing, and bringing the magical underworld to life. The characters are reminiscent of the beings in del Toro’s epic fairy tale Pan’s Labyrinth, and if those characters made you ooh, the Hellboy characters will make you ahh. • I give this film five out of five demons!
Paranormal Underground/GhostDose Site News
Paranormal Underground Short Story Contest
Poll Results: Do You Believe in the Paranormal?
aranormal Underground is holding its first-ever short story contest. If you are a writer of fiction, love to write about the paranormal, and would like to see your story published in one of our upcoming issues, then this contest is for you! The contest is open to members of GhostDose and Paranormal Underground, as well as nonmembers. Contest rules include: • 1,000 to 3,000 words • Due by August 15, 2008 • Submit to Editor@paranormalunderground.net The first-place winner will be published in our October issue. They will also have the option to become a regular contributor in our Featured Author column. Second and third place winners may be published in future issues. Our judges include Chad Wilson (Sithy), Jaime Johnesee (Penguinkeeper), Binoo’mukua, and Nevynmo. Judging criteria includes: • Story originality • Paranormal theme creativity • Text fluidity When e-mailing your submission to the editor, include your name, story, e-mail address, and word count. If you have any questions regarding the contest, please e-mail Editor@paranormalunderground.net. Good luck everyone, and we look forward to reading your submissions!
ast month, Paranormal Underground asked its members and site visitors if they believed in the paranormal. Just over two out of five respondents “believe in the paranormal 100%,” and 37% “believe, but are on the skeptical side.” About one-in-10 respondents would “like to believe.” Here are the final results: 42% 37% 11% 5% 5% 0% 0%
Yes I believe 100%. I believe, but I’m more on the skeptical side. If you showed me proof I might believe. I’ve had an experience that I can’t explain. I’d like to believe. I have some friends who have had experiences, and I believe them. Not one bit.
September Cayce Mark Stinson DarkMark Mom skizmflop coolfan Dreamsinger ydnim
CarolB constructor Freeman orbit charmed854 Darkness spazlamom
Friends of GhostDose and the Underground
his is where we will include a listing of our friends. If you want your site put on the list, please e-mail Penguinkeeper@ghostdose.com. Take a look at our friends’ sites and have fun. They all are wonderful and informative sites that we know you’ll enjoy.
hantasma is operated by xXSpookyXx and Hoobsmom. Featuring forums, a real-time chat, and Paraseek search engine, Phantasma has a welcoming feel and some fun and friendly members. Of course, with Spooky and Hoobsmom behind the wheel, you can expect nothing but warm, welcoming kindness. The site can be seen at http://phantasmahideout.proboards84.com/index.cgi.
ichigan Paranormal Project (MPP) was founded in April 2006 by Steven Raebel to help people. MPP Investigates haunted locations and private residences. You can check out their Web site at http://www.michiganparanormalproject.bravehost.com/. You can also find archived Webcasts of their radio show Michigan Paranormal Underground Radio there. Don’t forget to friend them at their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/MichiganParanormalProject. You’ll be able to listen to one of their radio shows there as well.
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