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Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 4

The Reincarnation of Jeffrey Keene Past-Life Regression Case Studies Reincarnation: A New You?

Past-Life memories in Children

September 2008

Also Inside: Diary From a Haunted Hotel Cat-Like Cryptids Strange Happenings at Edgefield Manor

September 2008 Paranormal Underground


Life With the Breathing Impaired

The Reincar INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHTS Dealing With Past-Life Memories in Children


Interview With a Hypnotherapist: Past-Life Regression


SPECIAL REPORTS Reincarnation: A New You?


One Christian’s View on Reincarnation


A Confederate Soldier in the Modern World: The Case of Jeffrey Keene/General John B. Gordon


Someone Else’s Yesterday: A Book Review


Reflections on Reincarnation


A Peek Into the Past: Exploring Past Lives Through Hypnosis


Past-Life Regression Case Studies


CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites: Strange Happenings at Edgefield Manor


Cryptids: Cat-Like Cryptids


Paranormal Underground September 2008


Depart From the Editor




Paranormal News


TV Watch: Most Haunted


Recommended Reading 17 Reader Feedback


Member Profile: SinisterGrin


rnation Issue HAUNTED HISTORY The Ghost of ‘Little Boots’


CULTURAL BELIEFS Reincarnation Cultural Beliefs and Case Studies: Do We Come Back?


The Allure of Thanatos


Quantum Musings An Inside Look at Paranormal Aspects of Normal, Everyday Quantum Mechanics

tments Paranormal Poetry


Member Insights: Starscream77


Roundtable Debate: Reincarnation


Fiction: Featured Author Haunting Anna


Personal Experiences

Reviews of the Month: 86 Book: Old Souls DVD: Dead Again Theater: Mirrors PUG/GD Site News


Diary From a Haunted Hotel


The Dorm


Life With the Breathing Impaired


87 September 2008 Paranormal Underground


Paranormal Underground Volume 1, Issue 4

September 2008

From the Editor


Chad Wilson

Managing Editor

Cheryl Knight

Marketing Director

Jaime Johnesee

Assistant Editors

Karen Frazier Mindy Kinnaman


Science Editor

Contributing Editors

Chad Wilson Jaime Johnesee

Art Director

Chad Wilson

Design and Layout

Cheryl Knight

Contributing Authors

Mindy Kinnaman Cheryl Knight Chad Wilson Karen Frazier Jaime Johnesee Carolyn M. Hughes Binoo’mukua Michael Kleen Jim Frazier Bri Larkin Valarie Wood Danny Kutrick Rob Neilands

Cover Art

Claudia Ghidella

Web Site Admin.

Chris Johnesee

MySpace Admin.

Chad Wilson

YouTube Admin.

Cheryl Knight

Send comments and letters to: MySpace: YouTube Channel: 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.



he fourth issue of Paranormal Underground is a special issue dealing primarily with reincarnation and past lives. We’ve also added a new feature, called “Life With the Breathing Impaired,” which provides an inside look at living in a haunted house. Haunted History makes its debut this issue with a look at Caligula, the beloved son of Rome, whose spirit was said to haunt the Lamian Gardens, the place where his charred corpse was dumped without a proper burial. Several of our readers have requested a ‘recommended reading list.’ This month’s debut list contains books dealing with past lives and reincarnation. We have two Investigator Spotlights in this issue — a profile on Carol Bowman, a leading researcher into children’s past-life memories, and an interview with hypnotherapist Rita Ballard, who specializes in past-life regression. The September issue’s Roundtable Debate panel provides their perspectives on reincarnation. And in the Reviews of the Month, Mindy Kinnaman gives her take on the book Old Souls by Tom Schroder, the DVD Dead Again, and the movie Mirrors. September’s Special Reports feature Jeffrey Keene, a retired Westport, Connecticut, assistant fire chief, who believes himself to be the reincarnation of Civil War General John B. Gordon. Come along as Keene reveals one of the most recent and compelling cases in support of reincarnation. Most Haunted is the subject of this month’s TV Watch. The British program, now in its 11th season, has entertained and even delighted its audience. Haunted Sites takes us to Edgefield Manor, located in the town of Troutdale, Oregon. Strange happenings abound in and around the manor. Jaime Johnesee brings us cat-like cryptids in our cryptids feature. Also in this issue, we profile Karen Frazier’s own past-life regression. Karen reveals what she discovered during her journey. In addition to Karen’s experience, we feature some of our members’ past-life regressions in three case studies. In his series on Cultural Beliefs, archaeologist Binoo’mukua takes a look at reincarnation and its place in various cultures around the world. And writer Michael Kleen offers his view on why life after death appeals to so many. In the Member Profile, we get to know more about Paranormal Underground and GhostDose member SinisterGrin, and in the Member Insights story, Starscream77 shares his battle with Cystic Fibrosis. Our Fiction: Featured Author column showcases Karen Frazier, who takes us on a journey of murder, consequences, and an ending you wouldn’t quite expect. I’d like to give a very special thank you to Claudia Ghidella, who provided us with our cover art this month, as well as other original artwork. I hope you enjoy the September issue of Paranormal Underground! In our October issue, we’ll take a look at demonology, witchcraft, and vampirism, and talk with Keith and Sandra Johnson of New England Anomalies Research. We’ll also reveal the winners of our first paranormal short story contest.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

~ Cheryl Knight Managing Editor

Letters Add Book Recommendations

Curious About the Unknown

Add a Section on Paranormal Groups

Hello! Great magazine! Very interested in the paranormal, and I’m glad I found this site! Also, I know there is an author spotlight, but I do a lot of reading, especially non-fiction, and I would like to see book recommendations in addition to the author spotlight. —Damini

WOW! The August issue is great! Something for everyone curious about the unknown. Just keeps getting better and better! Kudos to everyone involved. —Carolyn Hughes

Hey, great job guys and gals. I really find your magazine so informative and interesting, it really stimulates my brain. I look forward to reading the new issue at the first of each month; it is so up-to-date and refreshing. Aliens, ghosts, Bigfoot, you name it, it’s all in there. Yes, I know there are other magazines out there, but yours has a special feel. It seems that your writers relish the opportunity to write about the subject matter at hand. Plus, it’s free. You can’t beat that. I especially enjoy your spotlights, as they allow me to learn about the leading stories and personalities in the paranormal field. Laura Locke, the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull, Troy Taylor . . . makes me wonder what will be next. Maybe you could spotlight various paranormal groups, tell a little about them, and highlight a prominent case of theirs. I have always wondered how the different groups out there operate. Also, if there was some way you could let the reader know what is coming up in the next issue, it would make me want to read the next issue even more.

Holding My Attention I had recently been invited to check out Paranormal Underground magazine while in a chat room at Phantasma. So, being the curious one that I am, I decided to check it out. I found it interesting and entertaining. The articles and stories actually held my attention. I am looking forward to more great issues in the coming months. Keep up the good work! —Val

Continued Good Luck I just wanted to write and say congratulations on such a great new ezine. I enjoy the high quality of the articles and the layout; it’s all very well done. I have let my friends know about your publication and have encouraged them to take a look. Continued good luck! —Claudia Ghidella

Cultural Beliefs Article Enjoyable I really enjoyed reading this month’s Cultural Beliefs article. It makes me want to go out and do something that will scare the hell out of me. I also really like the subsection on the horror stories; the Mary story is my favorite. —Jordan Burnes

Crystal Skull Article Interesting Just read the article on the Crystal Skulls, did any of you see the article in Archaeology magazine two issues ago? Very interesting stuff. —VonKarolinas

Reading All Night I am so impressed, I think I will be reading all night! I was wondering if the past issues were posted somewhere to download or view? —Ginners

—Liam Winslow

If you’d like to submit a letter to the editor, provide feedback on magazine content, make suggestions for future issues, or submit news items, please e-mail

September 2008 Paranormal Underground


Paranormal News

Project GHOSTLIGHT to Spotlight the Supernatural

Bigfoot Hoax Taken Too Far



n August 15, 2008, press conference in Palo Alto, California, supposedly revealed the first capture of a deceased Bigfoot. However, the claims were quickly revealed as a hoax by an independent investigator. The press conference’s circuslike atmosphere included dozens of reporters snapping pictures and yelling out questions to three individuals who claimed to be in possession of a dead Bigfoot. owner Tom Biscardi had reportedly paid an “undisclosed sum” to Georgia residents Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer for their frozen Bigfoot corpse. But, the Bigfoot turned out to be just a rubber suit. Whitton and Dyer claimed they “stumbled on the creature” while out hiking in the woods, but they would not reveal more because they were concerned about it being an “endangered species.” According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization Web site,, a “growing pile of contradictions” in the Whitton and Dyer’s story immediately cast suspicion on their claims.


fter shooting the pilot episode at the historic former Repertory Theatre of Boston in January, PROJECT GHOSTLIGHT is ready for the spotlight. The series, created by SchoonerScout productions, explores the lost history of America’s theatres. Legend, lore, and the lure of the supernatural set the stage for a haunting experience. GHOSTLIGHT plans to venture across the United States in search of stories told in the dark wings of old theatre houses. “Every theatre has a story to tell, every actor is dying to tell it, and we want to be there when the spirits are stirred up by the tale,” said Steve Maihack and Michael Todd Cohen, the show’s creators and hosts. More than just a history lesson, GHOSTLIGHT includes an overnight stay in the darkened theatre for three up-and-coming actors, calling out the spirits of the theatre just outside the glow of the footlights. The show combines both documentary and reality filming styles. When asked to describe the show’s overall tone, Maihack and Cohen said, “Project Ghostlight offers up a piece of the past, a better understanding of our present, an undeniable rush of excitement in the telling “Whitton actually said they had no interest in Bigfoots, and were not looking for one, before they ‘stumbled upon’ the body,” the Web site said. “That’s in very sharp contrast to what he claimed on his YouTube videos, where he

Paranormal Underground September 2008

of the tale, and the ever-present sense of danger in the exploration of the paranormal.” Episode stars include Ryan Serhant from As The World Turns, Stephanie Carey from The Education of Max Bickford, and Allie Schulz — a finalist on Grease: You’re the One That I Want. GHOSTLIGHT is narrated by actor Philip Bosco (Damages on FX). GHOSTLIGHT offers a new view on theatres of old in the United States, unveiling centuries of buried stories by illuminating the ghosts of America’s stage. The show has been named an official selection in the fourth annual New York Television Festival (NYTVF) held September 12-17, 2008, at New World Stages in New York. As part of the NYTVF, PROJECT GHOSTLIGHT will receive full pilot episode hosting on and screenings open to the public at New World Stages, New York. PROJECT GHOSTLIGHT is produced by SchoonerScout Productions, LLC. A preview of the show is available on YouTube by searching “Project Ghostlight.” For more information, visit www. said he has dreamed about being a bigfoot researcher since he was a kid. These two clowns were trying to promote a bigfoot expedition business several weeks before they started spouting claims about having a body.”

British Comedian Spooked at Hotel


ritsh comedian Ricky Gervais got a fright while promoting his new movie at a Hollywood Hotel. Office star Gervais was recently hosting a series of press junkets for his new movie, Ghost Town, at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, but left suddenly when spooky occurrences scared him and his coworkers. A terrified movie executive revealed that their work was disrupted by a string of supernatural events. The exec told the British newspaper the Daily Star, “We wanted the junkets at the Roosevelt because of its ghostly reputation. But we got so much more than we bargained for. A photoshoot we prepared was wrecked and two runners say they saw the figure of a lady in the fulllength mirror. “The final straw came when a production assistant stayed in the room earmarked for Ricky and claimed to have been freezing cold on the hottest day of the year. He said he woke up with someone whistling in his ear, even though he was alone, then heard a giggle before being pushed out of bed.” The Roosevelt has long been known as the most haunted hotel in Hollywood after years of reported ghostly sightings.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium Could Become a Hotel by 2010


averly Hills Sanatorium could become a luxury hotel. According to Waverly owner Charlie Mattingly, the ex-sanatorium might indeed be converted into a 78-room boutique hotel with a spa, fitness center, and meeting space for business groups. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Waverly is an old, five-story building with a morgue, a “body chute,” and guest rooms where people once lay dying of tuberculosis. Currently, Waverly is visited by thousands of ghost hunters each year, as they search for proof of the paranormal. Mattingly became a believer in Waverly Hills’ haunted reputation when he began recording video inside the location and captured streaks of light and glowing orbs. Mattingly and his wife, Tina, bought the 30-acre property for $225,000 in 2001. The couple said

Paranormal Event Calendar

the largest paranormal events in the United States. The coordinators of the conference have put together a diverse group of speakers, workshops, events, and research-oriented agendas to appeal to fans of paranormal research, investigators, and serious researchers.

UNIV-CON: The National Paranormal Conference • September 11-14 • State College in Pennsylvania UNIV-CON Seven is one of

The ScareFest • September 12-14 • Lexington Center in Kentucky Multiple paranormal and horror movie stars will be appearing and

that preserving the site’s haunted character will be a key part of an $18 million renovation. Mattingly said the hotel could open in early 2010. He is hoping that construction will start late this year. For the last year, the Mattinglys have lived on the property, where Tina Mattingly runs the nonprofit Waverly Hills Historical Society. The main hospital building, with 160,000 square feet, was built in 1926. The hotel plans call for a solar-powered electric system, floors made of sustainable materials such as cork or recycled rubber, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. A parking structure would be built in front of the hospital, with a rooftop garden visible from the long concrete sun porches. Waverly is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. holding lectures and workshops. Hundreds of vendors will be on hand. ScareFest features events, movies, ghost tours, and haunted houses. LGHS 2008 Midsouth Paranormal Convention • September 26-28 • Louisville, Kentucky The Louisville Ghost Hunters Society convention features nationally known guest speakers, vendor booths, and an offsite paranormal investigation.

September 2008 Paranormal Underground


TV Watch

Most Haunted Hits the United States By Mindy Kinnaman


s Most Haunted gears up for its 11th season, the British once again will invade American soil. The cast will present a live show of its investigation of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 10 on The Travel Channel. Most Haunted, which first aired in 2002, features the investigation of notoriously haunted locations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, The Netherlands, and the United States.

A skeptic by nature, O’Keeffe looks to scientifically prove the existence or non-existence of ghosts at any location. As O’Keeffe uses technology and science, the team psychics use less-than-scientific methods to connect with the deceased. Former show psychic David Wells, who was on Series 4-9, used

The Voice of Reason The husband and wife team of Karl Beattie and Yvette Fielding serve as investigators of each site. The duo are joined by psychics, paranormal investigators, historians, and sometimes even celebrity guests. Serving on the current crew are psychic Brian The husband and wife team of Karl Beattie and Yvette Shepherd, parapsychologist Dr. Fielding serve as investigators of each site. The duo are Ciaran O’Keeffe, and historian joined by psychics, paranormal investigators, historians, Lesley Smith. and sometimes even celebrity guests. The diversity of the crew allows the Most Haunted team to utilize various tactics to determine himself as a spiritual medium to whether the site contains paranormal connect with any spirits that were activity. O’Keeffe, often called “the reportedly onsite. One of Wells’ voice of reason” by other members of controversial tactics, scrying, resulted the crew, uses equipment standard to in a spirit breaking the mirror he most paranormal researchers. used as a visual conduit.


Paranormal Underground September 2008

In addition to following O’Keeffe and Shepherd, viewers can watch as Fielding and Beattie walk through the site and have personal experiences. Night-vision cameras are employed, resulting in a show that is visibly different from its paranormal contemporaries. Some viewers have likened the first-hand camera work to those used in the film The Blair Witch Project or the 1990s MTV show Fear. Controversy The paranormal field can seem quite controversial as evidence is questioned. Most Haunted had its fair share in regard to Wells’ predecessor, psychic Derek Acorah. A flamboyant character in comparison to Wells, Acorah would often appear to become possessed by spirits inhabiting the various locales. On one occasion, O’Keeffe purposely fed Acorah a fake name, and during filming, later in the day, Acorah reportedly claimed to be possessed by the fake spirit. On a separate occasion, Acorah also came under fire for claiming to be in contact with the same spirit at two different locations, the first was

Most Haunted Live Episodes Turin: March 2008 Transylvania: February 2007 Edinburgh, Scotland: October 2006 Llanelli: June 2006 Portsmouth: May 2006 Liverpool: December 2005 London: October 2005 While Most Haunted has not found the holy grail of hauntings — a full-bodied apparition — it has caught some compelling evidence of the paranormal.

a site with which the purported spirit was unaffiliated. O’Keeffe related the story to the United Kingdom newspaper, The Mirror, and critics of the show went wild, complaining to the United Kingdom television regulator Ofcom, which ruled that “Most Haunted is an entertainment show, not a legitimate investigation into the paranormal and should not be taken seriously.” Acorah left the show soon after the story ran, and Fielding later admitted that she did not believe Acorah had really been possessed by spirits. The roars of controversy soon quelled. Findings While Most Haunted has not found the holy grail of hauntings — a full-bodied apparition — it has caught some compelling evidence of the paranormal. During Wells’ first investigation, at Greengate Brewery, a beer barrel rolled across the floor

toward him. While visiting Theatre Royale on Drury Lane in London during the first season, crew members saw a pair of legs in a doorway and man walking up the stairs with chains in his hands. That same night, crew members found the ‘Man in Grey’s’ seat lowered, though it had been raised earlier in the night. Throughout the show’s 10 seasons, viewers have had an opportunity to witness the bumps, thumps, whispers, and images of paranormal activity in the haunted locales. With the Gettysburg episode set to air soon, viewers have an opportunity to see what activity lurks on one of America’s most famous national landmarks. For those who cannot wait until Oct. 10, past episodes of the show air each Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on the Travel Channel. Most Haunted will do a 12th series with all of the locations from the United States, and a 13th series is in talks.

Manchester: September 2005 Summer Solstice, Wakefield: June 2005 Elstree Studios: May 2005 Brixham, Devon Blackpool: December 2004 Pendle Hell: October/November 2004 Maes Artro Heritage: September 2004 Derby, Derbyshire: June 2004 The Search for Matthew Hopkins: April 2004 Stratford Upon Avon: February 2004 The Search for Dick Turpin: December 2003 Beaulieu Abbey: October 2003 Woodchester Mansion: June 2003 Dover Castle: December 2002 Dudley Castle

September 2008 Paranormal Underground


Investigator Spotlight

Dealing Wit Memories in By Cheryl Knight


arol and Steve Bowman nected with them, his fear of loud and Return from Heaven (Harpersettled in for a July 4th firesounds disappeared, as did the skin Collins, 2001) have been published works show with their chilrash on his wrist. and read around the world in 16 dren, Sarah and Chase, ages 9 and Carol Bowman’s personal expeforeign editions. 5. It was 1988. But as the fireworks riences with her children’s past-life Bowman’s research chronicles began exploding high up in the air, recall prompted her to devote her the spontaneous past-life recall of Chase became immediately terrified life to researching the phenomena. very young children, most under the of the loud, booming sounds. In fact, she has spent the past 18 age of five. No hypnotherapy or reChase’s fear of loud sounds, an years delving into children’s past-life gression is ever involved with children unexplainable rash on his wrist, this young, since these memoand specific comments about beries are coming up spontaneousing a real soldier led Carol and ly. And according to Bowman, Steve to believe that something very young children make poor unexplainable was happening. subjects for hypnosis. Chase had never been Bowman has been a pracinterested in war toys and had ticing PLR therapist for adults never even owned a toy gun. for almost two decades. She He always preferred games has studied with pioneers in and construction toys; he the field of PLR, and holds an would spend hours at a time M.S. in counseling from Vilhappily building with blocks lanova University. and Legos, and playing with She occasionally counsels his wooden trains. His teleparents of young children as vision watching was strictly part of her practice, and she limited to Sesame Street and has regressed children over Carol Bowman, M.S., past-life therapist and researcher, has Mr. Rogers, and none of the devoted more than 18 years to studying spontaneous past-life the age of seven on a few rare memories in children. Disney movies he had seen occasions. depicted war. Bowman’s book, ChilAfter undergoing hypnodren’s Past Lives, is really therapy, Chase revealed that he memories and is known as a pioneer two books in one: a memoir and a remembered being a black soldier in reincarnation studies. guidebook for parents. Inside the in the American Civil War, who had An internationally known book’s pages, Bowman tells the story been first shot in the wrist and then author, lecturer, counselor, and of how her own two children led her fatally wounded. past-life regression (PLR) therapist, to discover children’s past lives. After Chase remembered these Bowman’s first two books, ChilThen through cases of other events and expressed the fear condren’s Past Lives (Bantam, 1997) children, she describes the practi-


Paranormal Underground September 2008

th Past-Life n Children cal aspects of these memories: what they look and sound like, how to distinguish between genuine past-life memories and fantasy, how they are triggered, how they affect dreams, and how adults should respond. Return from Heaven explores the phenomenon of reincarnation in the same family. The book features true stories of very young children who remember the lives of recently deceased relatives, and documents how a child’s past-life memory profoundly affects different members of the family. Bowman recently answered questions for Paranormal Underground regarding her PLR research, methods, and beliefs.

When I started researching past-life memories in children, I interviewed parents. I asked them if their children had past-life memories, and, if so, how they expressed them. I gathered information on many cases, and by 1994, I got a call from Oprah to do a show on children’s past lives. After appearing on Oprah, I knew there was interest in this field, so I began writing a book, which

***** Q: When and why did you get involved in this field of study?

Bowman: When my own children had past-life memories, I was shocked at first, but also very intrigued. For my son, the memories were very close to the surface, and it had a really positive effect on him to recall and verbalize it. So, I wondered if other children had these memories too. I began my research at this point. I felt that the implications could be great for other children too.

universal phenomenon, so I find people in other countries and different cultures who have had the same experiences and are eager to hear about it. Q: Talk about the studies you have undertaken during your career as a PLR therapist.

Bowman: I had a degree in English, so I didn’t have a background in this field before my personal experiences. But after that, I started taking hypnotherapy classes and training with people in the field. I went to graduate school and got master’s degree in counseling. I did my own extensive research to get educated in field, including traditional training in counseling and therapy. Q: How do you go about determining whether you have uncovered a past-life memory or just imagination in the children that you work with?

Chase Bowman, age 5, at the time he had his first past-life memories.

was published in 1997. Then we launched a Web site. I’ve studied hundreds, probably into the thousands, of children’s cases. My day job is working with adults doing PLR therapy. I speak and do workshops around the world on children’s past lives. This is a

Bowman: My approach is very practical. At the time my children had their experiences, there was no guide on how to deal with past-life memories, so I wanted to write something practical for other parents that encountered this. Children need to process these memories and learn how to deal with troubling memories, such as a

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 11

Investigator Spotlight traumatic death. Children can experience post-traumatic stress disorder even connected with a past life. Parents can most likely differentiate imagination from memory based on very emotional reactions. Q: How do you elicit past-life memories from children without leading them?

Q: If a past-life recall is very strong in a child, do the impressions and memories linger throughout their lives?

Bowman: They can. Even if they don’t have images, they might have feelings, phobias, abilities, or behaviors related to past lives. Not all past lives are traumatic. But those are the ones that come out because we pay more attention to things that are disturbing. Maybe a talent exhibited in this life is carried over from a previous life.

safe and that whatever happened is over and in the past. Ground them in the present reality. Say, “I’m here, your sister’s her.” Make sure they know they are in another life and that the past-life reality is not the present-life reality. Q: I would imagine that hearing your child talk matter-of-factly about events in past lives could be frightening for some parents. What would you say to those parents?

Bowman: The memories that I work with are spontaneous. They usually come up spontaneously in children Bowman: This is normal. And as until the age of 5. I give advice on it’s happening, remain open to what how to deal with these memories your child is trying to tell you. Don’t Q: What should parents do if their without prompting. It is important child talks about something from a dismiss them or what they’re trying for parents to listen to what their to say. Don’t tell them, child is saying and ask “No that didn’t happen.” questions calmly, without leading them into a certain Q: Would you ever recomarea. If you feel the child mend PLR hypnosis for needs to further process children, or is it best to the memory, wait until they allow spontaneous recall? are relaxed, bring it up, and Bowman: It gets tricky. let them lead and use their There are very few theraown words. pists who work with chilCatch it as it’s coming dren in this manner. Parup naturally in the child. ents’ options are limited. It is important for people Sometimes memories to be aware that this hapdo come up in regular play pens so that they aren’t too shocked when it comes up. Carol Bowman (left) is pictured with her son, Chase, daughter, Sarah, and therapy with children. It’s husband, Steve. important for parents to remember that my recomQ: Why do you think that children are more receptive than mendations are for spontaneous past life that is particularly painful adults to past-life memory? or traumatic? memories. If parents can’t talk them through Bowman: It’s a natural phenomenon Bowman: First, parents need to get it first, trying a traditional therapeutic that when we come into this life over their shock and ask open-ended route might help. Maybe one day, some memories still have an emoquestions. Join the child’s reality and there will be more therapists that will tional charge, and as young children, believe you are listening to a true work with children in this regard. we don’t have the layering of this memory. Engage them. Ask, them life’s experience to buffer the memowhat they are experiencing, feeling, Q: Do you think that it’s important ries. Sometimes, children talk about and seeing. for children to keep their awarememories as soon as they can talk. Don’t suggest anything, but give ness of their previous lifetimes? Maybe even fussy infants or colicky them an opportunity to express Bowman: No it’s not. It’s a developinfants are experiencing memories. something that might be troubling mental process, and it’s not benefiI’ve found that in every culthem. That can go a long way. cial to keep the memories alive. It’s ture, these memories generally fade Sometimes it’s not that simple to more beneficial to allow them to between the ages of five and seven. It resolve. It might take time for them work through them and take their seems to be a natural developmental to resolve the issue. lead with it. part of a child’s spiritual development. Assure them that they are now


Paranormal Underground September 2008

But do acknowledge what they’re saying because some kids have memories for years. Sometimes in teenage years, memories might resurface if not dealt with. And sometimes, if the memories are not dealt with, they become subconscious and manifest in other areas. Q: Can you share details of any compelling cases that you’ve worked on?

Bowman: In one case, a boy in Louisiana started having nightmares about four to five times per week that his plane was crashing. But when he started talking about the nightmares, they dramatically diminished to once every three weeks. Then, he started recalling lots of details about being a 1945 WWII pilot who was shot down in the Pacific. The details he provided were verified by a surviving sister of the pilot, who was living in California. She verified all the memories of the child, including the name of the plane he flew, the name of the aircraft carrier, and the name of a close friend. There was a healing for this child after he was able to recall his past life. Q: Whose research in reincarnation and PLR do you admire and why?

Bowman: Ian Stevenson because he left his comfortable position as chairman of a department of psychiatry to do this research. He was very brave and faced ridicule from his peers. He is a brilliant man who gave everything to do this research. Not too many people on the planet would do that. He wrote volumes about past-life memories and never sought publicity. Roger Woolger was one of my teachers in past-life therapy. He is a great theorist and practitioner. His writing is excellent, and his explanation is very good.

Q: Is there any type of scientific evidence that exists to support the theory of reincarnation?

Bowman: The case studies of children are the closest kind of evidence that we’ll ever find. Knowing intimate details about someone else’s life that the child could not possibly be exposed to at such a young age is compelling. And verification of those facts helps provide that evidence. Ian Stephenson documented almost 3,000 cases of past-life recall in children, and about 1,000 cases were verified in Asia. The Asian children remember more detail about their past lives, including proper names, whereas European and American children generally don’t recall things in as much detail. It’s a mystery as to why. It could

“A belief in reincarnation does not exclude a belief in ‘spirits or ghosts.’ It’s all related.” be a cultural consciousness. If they feel more comfortable expressing it, that might be why. It’s mystifying. But as more people are exposed to this possibility, more cases might be reported. The quality of the memories might change in the West. Q: Have you ever doubted that reincarnation is a reality?

Bowman: I can’t say I’ve doubted it since the age of 19, about 40 years ago. When my kids had memories, it became more real. In all the cases, one after the other, I have no doubt. There is something happening here. It seems to be rebirth. They have

some of the consciousness of people who have lived before, as well as physical similarities too. To me, reincarnation is not an abstract religious concept or a philosophy, but a natural phenomenon. Understanding the connection between past lives and present reality leads to profound personal benefits, both spiritual and practical. Q: Could imaginary playmates have anything to do with past lives?

Bowman: I think there is such a thing as having an imaginary playmate. I had an imaginary rabbit named Betty who rode on my bike. But it was clear that it was imaginary, and I knew the difference. Some children name pets or dolls after people they’ve known in previous lives, and they have dialogue with people they’ve known in previous lives. Q: Do you believe in ghosts? If so, how do you think that ghosts fit into the reincarnation spectrum?

Bowman: I don’t know the definition, but I think there are discarnate beings around us. Call them what you will. They could be fragments of ancestors or people who didn’t fully pass into other dimensions. But I know that there are people who can communicate with that phenomena and are aware of it. I believe in that. And I’ve felt other presences around me. There are many dimensions around us or are a part of us, or we are part of them. I don’t know how it works. A belief in reincarnation does not exclude a belief in ‘spirits or ghosts.’ It’s all related. A part of us does not die with physical death. That’s the essence of the belief. An energy and even identity exists after we die. You can visit Carol Bowman’s Web site at

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 13

Investigator Spotlight

Interview With a Hypnotherapist: Past-Life Regression By Karen Frazier


ypnotherapy, the practice of treating a symptom, disease, or addiction by means of hypnotism, is said to modify a subject’s behavior, emotional content, and attitudes. Often, patients seek treatment for a wide range of conditions, including dysfunctional habits, anxiety, stressrelated illness, pain management, and personal development. Another possible application for hypnotherapy is past-life regression (also known as PLR). PLR is deemed by many hypnotherapists to be a journey into one’s past lives while hypnotized. The practice, while controversial to some, has been studied by therapists and doctors since the 1950s. In fact, many current-day therapists are convinced that hypnosis opens a window to the unconscious mind to reveal memories of past lives. Rita Ballard, CHT, is a consulting hypnotherapist and comfort therapist in Chehalis, Washington. She received her training through the Threshold University of Mind/ Body Science in 1997. I recently underwent a PLR hypnosis session with Ballard (see “A Peek Into the Past” on page 36), and afterward, she graciously agreed to sit down with me for an interview about PLR hypnotherapy.


***** Q: What are the education requirements for hypnotherapy?

Ballard: All that’s required to practice hypnosis in this state [Washington] is that you register with the state. The rules are different depending on where you live. There are three states that have really rigorous requirements.

biggest international hypnosis association. Through there, you are required to have continuing education credits. Q: Why did you want to become a hypnotherapist?

Ballard: All my life I’ve been fascinated with how the brain works and why. Why is a big question for me. Q: Have you gotten any answers?

Ballard: Yes — some answers. Mostly esoteric. I think there’s a lot more that we don’t use that you work with in hypnosis. I’ve also discovered answers to why not. It’s because people are comfortable where they are. If you can get them to believe in something better, if they can feel the results of that belief, then hypnosis will work.

Rita Ballard, CHT, is a consulting hypnotherapist in Chehalis, Washington. She received her training through the Threshold University of Mind/Body Science in 1997.

Q: What is the most common reason that people seek hypnotherapy?

Ballard: Probably the most common reason would be to quit smoking.

Q: What is your education?

Q: What is your success rate with that?

Ballard: I took a training that was four or five months long. It was 150 hours. Then I joined the National Guild of Hypnotists, which is the

Ballard: I would say that it is absolutely dependent on the person’s commitment to succeed. My rate is about 50/50.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

PLR is deemed by many hypnotherapists to be a journey into one’s past lives while hypnotized. The practice, while controversial to some, has been studied by therapists and doctors since the 1950s. In fact, many current-day therapists are convinced that hypnosis opens a window to the unconscious mind to reveal memories of past lives.

Q: Does it work because people are suggestible?

Ballard: It works because of a person’s desire. It works with your ability to believe what you tell it — I guess that is suggestion. You could say to a person, “I don’t know how soon you’ll quit smoking, but you do.” It’s entirely up to them. Q: Do you do much PLR?

Ballard: Not a lot. It is one of the things that I love, but I don’t get to do a lot of it. Q: I noticed that you worked from a script when you regressed me. Do you always work from a script?

Ballard: I use standard scripts that I will alter according to the person. Sometimes I change it as I go along. Q: What reasons do people give for wanting PLR?

Ballard: Curiosity. A long time ago, I had a guy who kept getting these feelings of guilt, and he thought it was related to possibly him having committed a murder in a past life. Unfortunately, he tried three times to discover it and couldn’t do it. I think he was blocking something. Q: Any other clients that you can tell me about?

Ballard: One client that really sticks

out prominently is a guy who was a woman. He was a woman of higher class who had never been married. She/he died from her house burning down. Q: If people have died traumatically in a past life, do they carry it with them?

Ballard: Some people experience pain, but go to a doctor and can find no reason for the pain. They could possibly discover that it was from a past life. For instance, if someone had a pain in their side, they might discover they were killed by a spear to the side in a past life.

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 15

Investigator Spotlight Q: Can you take somebody to where they want to go — to a certain moment in a past life?

Ballard: Yes, I can take them to the beginning of a specific fear or feeling. Q: Do most people seeking PLR have a strong belief that it will work?

Ballard: Most people do, yes. I think it’s really hard to get someone in here for a PLR if they don’t believe it intellectually. Q: If people believe that PLR doesn’t work, will they still be able to experience a past life during regression?

If a person is engaged in a PLR in a pure and honest way, then you will get pure and honest results. I think most people would be more likely to remember nothing than to make things up.

purpose-driven. Tapping into what we call past and future, I consider to be a seed of now. I don’t think there’s a purpose. I think it’s an ability that we all have but just don’t use.

Q: What would you say to skeptics?

Q: You mentioned the future. Can you take people forward in hypnosis?

Ballard: Probably what I would say is, “You don’t know until you’ve tried it.” Sometimes even after we’ve tried it, we don’t know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained — and it’s worth it to do.

Ballard: The expectation of the outcome is a large part of the experience.

Ballard: Yes. I have taken people forward. We call it future progression. Sometimes you want to have people see themselves five years in the future as a non-smoker or two years in the future being thin and healthy. It’s a visualization tool. I don’t see it as being any different than PLR. Q: I’ve seen hypnotherapists on TV, and they have people on stage who are fully aware. The hypnotherapist pops them on the head, and they are out. Are those people prehypnotized?

Q: Have you ever had PLR?

Ballard: Yes. It was during class. I find myself to be a little more resistant than I like. I think my mind doesn’t shut off.

Ballard: Those hypnotists are trained at being extremely Q: Any past-life experiskilled at picking out people in ences you want to share the audience who will be the with me? most susceptible — through body language, posture, and Ballard: I personally didn’t other things. see anything, although I’ve “I have taken people forward. We call it future progression. Instant induction — I don’t gone to people who have told Sometimes you want to have people see themselves five years use it — it works on the elein the future as a non-smoker or two years in the future being me about past lives I’ve had. thin and healthy. It’s a visualization tool. I don’t see it as being ment of surprise. It alters that any different than PLR.” person’s train of thought. The Q: Can people hypnotize element of surprise switches themselves to do PLR? that person’s brain waves into Ballard: All hypnosis is self-hypnowhat you see as trance. sis. You could make a recording of Q: Do you believe in reincarnayour session and make a recording Q: When someone is hypnotized, tion? just of the parts I did, and then use it what part of the person do you Ballard: I definitely do. to regress yourself. think is talking to you? Q: What are your thoughts regarding cryptomnesia?

Ballard: You can’t debunk the whole science because of a few instances.


Q: What do you think is the purpose of being able to recall past lives?

Ballard: I don’t know that it is

Paranormal Underground September 2008

Ballard: I don’t think it’s their brain. I think it is a combination of other things — their higher self, feelings, and emotions. Probably 90% is feelings and emotions.

Q: Have you ever had a client whom you felt was making it all up during hypnosis?

else’s memories or the collective unconscious.

Ballard: One time, there was one person who I wondered whether or not she was just going along with it. It seemed too quick and easy that she would access certain things on prompting. She was a repeat for almost a year, so in retrospect, she might not have been making it up.

Q: Do you think that we are the same soul in every life?

Q: When you’ve done PLR with people, do they often see people they recognize from this life?

Ballard: Nobody’s ever told me they have. Probably most people don’t because we have so many filters in place. Q: I answered, “I don’t know” a few times during my session. Is that common?

Ballard: Yes, that is fairly typical. Sometimes we don’t know; we can look right at it and not know.

Q: How do you avoid asking leading questions?

Ballard: What I do is constantly remember that this is not about me at all. It is totally about the person sitting there. I won’t ask questions like “would you,” “did you,” or “can you.” They have to be open-ended questions where the person can gather information instead of taking information I’ve given and expanding on it. They have to be pure thoughts.

“I think if a person is curious but skeptical, they ought to try it. They have nothing to lose and nothing to fear.”

Q: I really questioned the authenticity of some of the memories I had during my PLR — even from this life. Is that common?

Ballard: Oh yes — very common. And it really doesn’t matter. If it was a genuine memory and there was something that they need to get, then they will get it. It could be symbolic; symbolism works. Q: What do you believe it is that is being accessed during PLR?

Ballard: I think people are accessing their own past lives. I think it would be really difficult to access someone

Ballard: The essence of you lives on. It’s like there’s a balloon filled with water, and the balloon bursts and drops of water splatter everywhere. Each drop is a soul — it is part of the contents of the balloon, but it is individual, as well.

Q: Any books or authors that you’d recommend?

Ballard: Remarkable Healings by Shankuntala Modi, MD. Q: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about PLR?

Ballard: I think if a person is curious but skeptical, they ought to try it. They have nothing to lose and nothing to fear. Rita Ballard is located in Chehalis, Washington. You can visit her Web site at

Recommended Reading Old Souls — by Tom Schroder Remarkable Healings — by Shankuntala Modi Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child — by Carol Bowman Someone Else’s Yesterday: The Confederate General and Connecticut Yankee — A Past Life Remembered — by Jeffrey Keene Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives — by Brian Weiss Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation — by Ian Stevenson Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects — by Ian Stevenson Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives — by Michael Newton Courageous Souls: Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth? — by Robert Schwartz Reincarnation & Karma — by Edgar Cayce One Soul, Many Lives: First Hand Stories of Reincarnation and the Striking Evidence of Past Lives — by Roy Stemman Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery: An East-West Dialogue on Death and Rebirth From the Worlds of Religion, Science, Psychology, Philosophy — by Joseph Head and S. L. Cranston

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 17

Special Report

Reincarnatio By Chad Wilson

The soul . . . comes from without into the human body, as into a momentary abode, it goes out of it anew . . . it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal . . . It is the secret of the world that all things subsist, and do not die, but only retire a little from sight, and afterwards return again . . . Nothing is dead: men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals . . . and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange disguise.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson For eons, the burning question has been, what happens after death? Do we die, only to succumb to the cool embrace of everlasting darkness, never to return from the sleep of oblivion? Or, do we move on to Heaven or Hell, or some other like destination, a final resting place or a personal limbo of eternal torment? Is it possible that we live again, returning to this Earthly plane to walk under the sun once more, continuing our journey toward spiritual enlightenment? Man has asked himself these questions for time immemorial, debating various beliefs all because of man’s primal fear of death and the unknown that it represents. In the following article, I will ex-


plore the subject of reincarnation and the different beliefs within the various religions and spiritual movements that proclaim the rebirth of the soul as a basic truth. I will also explore the potential undertones of reincarnation within Christianity and Islam, profile various personalities throughout history who professed a belief in the transmigration of the soul, and examine scientific evidence supporting the theory of reincarnation. A Worldwide Phenomenon What is reincarnation? According to the dictionary, reincarnation is “the belief that the soul, upon death, comes back to Earth in another body or form.” Though first attributed to the Egyptians, reincarnation most likely finds its roots in the Pagan practices of man’s first religions, before the organized entities that later developed. Throughout history, reincarnation has played a role in various modern religions, including Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Jainism, and even some early forms of Christianity. Modern-day spirituality also has heavy undertones in support of reincarnation of the spirit, with hypnosis, past-life regression, and even future life progression being a central theme of some present

Paranormal Underground September 2008

Modern-day spirituality also has heavy undertones in sup regression, and even future life progression being a centra

Artwork by Claudia Ghidella

on: a New You?

pport of reincarnation of the spirit, with hypnosis, past-life al theme of some present spiritual beliefs.

spiritual beliefs. Even psychotherapy has touched upon this controversial area with the use of past-life regression therapy. A 2003 survey by the Rick A. Ross Institute, a New Jersey nonprofit organization devoted to public education and research, found that 27% of Americans polled held a belief in reincarnation. A more recent 2005 survey by Gallup, Inc. had this number at 20%, and recent surveys by the Barna Group, a Christian research nonprofit organization, have found that a quarter of U.S. Christians, including 10 percent of all born-again Christians, embrace reincarnation as their favored end-oflife view. A 1999-2002 survey in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Nordic countries revealed the following percentages: 22% of people from Nordic countries believe in reincarnation. In Eastern Europe, belief in reincarnation is particularly high in the Baltic countries, with Lithuania leading those polled with 44% believing in the concept of rebirth of the soul. The lowest figure (12%) was East Germany, possibly a result of communist anti-religious beliefs. Russia, on the other hand, had a high percentage of those who believe, at about one-third. Also according to the survey data, about

22% of respondents in Western Europe believed in reincarnation. Unquestionably, interest in the question of what happens to us after death is a worldwide phenomenon. And, let’s face it, reincarnation is an interesting theory. The idea that we are born, live, die, and are born again is fascinating. Who’s to say that you couldn’t have been Charlie Chaplin, Mark Twain, or even Alexander the Great at some time in the past? Are you a good writer because you were once Mark Twain or a good actor because Chaplin runs in your veins? Why do you have that overwhelming desire to conquer the world, or at least the world in your tabletop war games? Maybe you are Alexander the Great reborn. Interesting prospects to ponder!

“God generates beings, and sends them back over and over again, till they return to Him.” — Koran The Ideas Behind the Belief Metempsychosis, transmigration of the soul, rebirth, and reincarnation are all terms for the same or similar ideas. Metempsychosis was an early Greek philosophical term for transmigration of the soul, and more specifically reincarnation itself.

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Special Report Transmigration of the soul was belief, merely passes at death from of transmigration of the soul. This a concept heavily favored by the one tenement to another; for by is where the soul moves from one ancient Egyptians. Even though it such doctrine alone, they say, which body to another without an actual has been called by different names, robs death of all its terrors, can the birth taking place. This was one of and some of the basic ideas on how highest form of human courage be the reasons their priesthood went to reincarnation works differ, it all boils developed.” such pains to preserve the bodies of down to this: the continuation of the This belief in rebirth of the soul the recently deceased; that way, the soul upon Earth in a physical form. would lead the Gauls, under the souls, or Ba, would have a place to Reincarnation of the soul is esindirect leadership of the Druids, return to. poused by as many different and varto fight with increased vigor against Jewish Kabbalah, the discipline ied groups as there are concepts that Caesar and his Roman legions durand school of thought dealing with deal with reincarnation. There are so ing the Gallic Wars. the mystical aspects of Judaism, also many different beliefs out there, it is Hinduism, which originated in supports the return of the soul to no wonder that a general consensus the Indus Valley sometime between the Earthly plane. Our souls, which can’t be reached as to how reincar4000 and 2500 BCE, states as a belief were present at the fall of Adam nation actually works or even what of faith that we are born, accumuand Eve, according to Kabbahlistic it is. Do we become karmic force? late karma through our deeds and teachings, seek to correct our collecOr does our current spiritual form thoughts, die, and are reborn with our tive misjudgment. Once we have all continue after death? Are we born caste being determined by the karma achieved this, “The Final Redempimmediately after death, tion,” we will once again or is there a period of time be returned to our unified between incarnations? And state with God. many more questions such One religious moveas these are left to individument that was a great influal interpretation. ence on Judaism, and in Each individual sees turn early Christianity, was reincarnation in their own Zoroastrianism. Believed light, interpreting it to fit to be the first monotheistic their world view. Maybe religion, it later became breaking it down into what dualistic with the addition some of the individual of an opposing evil deity, groups believe might help Ahriman, to Ahura Mazda’s gain a basic understanding. good; it was founded by ZoWho’s to say that you couldn’t have been Charlie Chaplin, Mark Twain, Beginning with early roaster, an ancient Iranian or even Alexander the Great at some time in the past? pagans, who believed in the prophet and religious poet. birth/death/rebirth cycle as The religion presents an ever-present theme within Nature from our previous life. Our station the idea of the human soul under— as evidenced by the changing either increases or decreases dependgoing various experiences, good and of the seasons — reincarnation or ing on this karma, even to the point bad, throughout countless reincarrebirth of the soul has played a part of being reborn as animals. nations, the final result being the in our everyday beliefs about life Thus, we continue through varitriumph of good over evil, with the after death and what happens once ous reincarnations until we learn the good going to heaven, and the evil we die. basic tenant that we are all a part of in this world being punished and Case in point are the Druids, God, and that everything is concleansed through fire in a tempowho Julius Caesar described as, nected; this totality of the unity of rary hell. “With regard to their actual course everything is called Brahman. Once Another popular religion that of studies, the main object of all we realize this basic truth, we are espouses the idea of reincarnation, education is, in their opinion, to imthen able to rejoin God. and also which has many adherbue their scholars with a firm belief The Ancient Egyptians did not ents, is Buddhism. Founded by in the indestructibility of the huprofess a belief in reincarnation per Siddhartha Gautama, who attained man soul, which, according to their se, but were more in the mindset enlightenment in 535 BCE and as-


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Special Report sumed the title of Buddha, it teaches the principal of “The Middle Way,” an attempt to escape the karmic trap that is reincarnation. By not building up karmic debt, good or bad, one is able to attain Nirvana, thus escaping the pain of the material world. Jainism, which is heavily influenced by the Hindu religion and Buddhism, is another of the world’s religions that encompasses the concept of reincarnation. Their religious practices are more along an ascetic line, as they follow fruititarianism, or the practice of only eating that which will not kill the plant or animal from which it is taken. They also practice ahimsa, non-violence, because any act of violence against a living thing creates negative karma, which will adversely affect one’s next life.

teachings to survive to this day. Even the Koran is purported to support the idea of rebirth. “And you were dead, and He brought you back to life. And He shall cause you to die, and shall bring you back to life, and in the end shall gather you unto Himself.” (2:28) Controversial in nature, yet there it is, the writings of the Prophet Mohammad.

“That which is part of our souls is eternal . . . Those lives are countless, but the soul or spirit that animates us throughout these myriads of existences is the same; and though

“‘But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.” — Jesus (Matthew 17:12, 13) Early Christianity was heavily influenced by the ideas of Jewish Kabbalah and the teachings of Zoroaster, thus leading to sub-sects such as Mystical Christianity and Gnosticism. It was these variants of the Christian religion that believed in reincarnation up until reincarnation was declared heresy by the council of Constantinople in 533 CE. Persecuted by the Church, following the council of Nicaea in 325 CE, some of the major writings upon which the Gnostic faith was based were summarily burned and destroyed after being declared heretical. Only with the foresight of Monks at Nag Hammadi were some of the texts preserved, thus allowing the Gnostic

A 2005 Gallup Poll survey found that 20% of Americans polled believed in reincarnation.

‘the book and volume’ of the physical brain may forget events within the scope of one terrestrial life, the bulk of collective recollections can never desert the divine soul within us. Its whispers may be too soft, the sound of its words too far off the plane perceived by our physical senses; yet the shadow of events that were, just as much as the shadow of the events that are to come, is within its perceptive powers, and is ever present before its mind’s eye.” — Helena Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine, Vol. II, p. 424

A more modern, spiritual movement that supports reincarnation is Theosophy. Founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky in 1875, the Theosophical Society holds that, “There is no religion higher than Truth.” They also believe that all religions are attempts by the ‘Spiritual Hierarchy’ to help humanity in evolving to greater perfection, and that each religion therefore has a portion of the truth, and that we are all part of one unified soul. Wicca, while not pushing any one belief over another, lends itself to the idea of rebirth of the soul. Also in its belief structure are references to a place called Summerland, a spiritual realm where the spirits rest between incarnations. An interesting variant on religions or groups that profess a belief in reincarnation is Odinism. Odinism holds that reincarnations only occur within a given tribe, race, or family. And I’m sure there are other beliefs in reincarnation, too numerous to list here.

“I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence.” — Socrates Belief Among the Popular Masses History is filled with famous personalities who believe and have believed in reincarnation. They come from all walks of life and varied religious beliefs. In a nutshell, neither social status nor education deems whether one believes in reincarnation or not. Pythagoras, in addition to being the inventor of the Pythagorean Theorem, was also a spiritual leader who believed in metempsychosis, or

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 21

transmigration of the soul. The religion he founded had as central themes reincarnation and the equality of all humans: male, female, and slave. Pythagoras also taught vegetarianism, not only because it was wrong to kill another being, but also because he believed that meat disturbed the humors of the body. Even into the 1700s, a vegetarian was also known as a Pythagorean. His ideas inspired such philosophers as Socrates and Plato. Various writers also professed a belief in reincarnation, though sometimes tongue-in-cheek as was the case with Mark Twain when he professed, “I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna.” And then there was Jack London and his novel The Star Rover. Published in 1915, it details the story of Professor Darrel Standing, imprisoned for life in San Quentin for murder. Though prison officials try to break his spirit through the means of ‘the jacket,’ he finds a way to resist by entering a trance during which he walks amongst the stars, experiencing portions of past lives.

“I trod interstellar space, exalted by the knowledge that I was bound on vast adventure, where, at the end, I would find all the cosmic formulae and have made clear to me the ultimate secret of the universe. In my hand I carried a long glass wand. It was borne in upon me that with the tip of this wand I must touch each star in passing. And I knew, in all absoluteness, that did I but miss one star I should be precipitated into some unplummeted abyss of unthinkable and eternal punishment and guilt.” — The Star Rover It is the recollection of these past lives that form the body of the work. Powerfully written, these series of disconnected and unresolved short


stories, sometimes poetic and other times purple prose, tell the tale of one who finds solace in the idea that this life is not the end, but that death is a sort of new beginning. Voltaire professed, “It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, and Johan Wolfgang von Goethe are but a few other writers who believed in the concept of reincarnation. Great leaders and innovators who also believed in reincarnation

Various writers also professed a belief in reincarnation, including Jack London, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

include Frederick the Great, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Carl Jung, and Count Leo Tolstoy. It was General George S. Patton who believed he had fought as a Roman, though he could not remember it with any great detail. Origen of Alexandria, one of Christianity’s greatest systematic theologians, also believed in reincarnation. Origen was a person devoted to scriptural authority, a scourge to

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the enemies of the church, and a martyr for the faith. He was the spiritual teacher of a large and grateful posterity, and yet his teachings were declared heresy in 553 CE. The debates and controversies that flared up around his teachings are, in fact, the record of reincarnation in the church. Eventually, his ideas were declared anathema by the Second council of Constantinople, and his chief theological work, On First Principles, was forgotten to history in his condemnation. On the other end of the spectrum we have Aleister Crowley, once known as the wickedest man alive. Crowley believed he was Pope Alexander VI, who was renowned for his love of physical pleasures, as well as Edward Kelly, the assistant of the Elizabethan occultist and magician John Dee. He also believed he was Count Alessandro Cagliostro, an Italian occultist, and Eliphas Levi, who died on the same day as Crowley was born. Continuing back further, Crowley believed he had been Ankh-fn-Khonsu, an Egyptian priest of the XXVIth dynasty. As you can see, many famous people from all walks of life believed in reincarnation, and as time continues to pass, reincarnation becomes more accepted by the public at large. Might reincarnation someday be as accepted as the concepts of Heaven and Hell?

“Live so that thou mayest desire to live again — that is thy duty — for in any case thou wilt live again!” — Freidrich Nietzsche A Scientific View So, how does one go about proving reincarnation? Most scientists will agree, there really is no conclusive proof that rebirth of the soul is a possibility, or even a likelihood. But through the work of noted scientists

Special Report Professor Ian Stevenson, whose case studies involving children have gone a long way toward providing the most convincing proof of reincarnation, and Dr. Brian Weiss, who has written such books as Many Lives, Many Masters, the idea of reincarnation might one day be known as scientific fact. Another bit of evidence is the various past-life regressions where some of the facts of the regression are able to be proven. However, most scientist doubt the reliability of hypnosis, as a subject might make up, even if subconsciously, what they deem the hypnotherapist wants to hear. Others say that all evidence provided by the method of regression therapy cannot be discounted.

“If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you must not seek to show that no crows are: it is enough to prove one single crow to be white. My white crow is Leonora Piper.” — Dr. William James India is rife with stories of children and their past-life memories. Maybe this has to do with the general acceptance of the belief in reincarnation in India. However, bringing up such memories is generally frowned upon in this culture, the theory being that the past life has already been lived and that the child is now here to live a new life with new lessons. A major researcher in India at a time when reincarnation was drawing much attention in the scientific world, as in the case of Shanti Devi below, was Dr. Ian Stevenson. According to researchers like Stevenson, very often children are born with memories of past lives. As in the case of Shanti Devi, who was born in India in 1926, and was in-

vestigated by a special committee of professionals appointed by Mahatma Gandhi himself. Devi’s life stands as one of the most famous, thoroughly documented cases of reincarnation on record. Here is her story . . . An Indian wife, named Lugdi, died in childbirth in 1924. Then in 1926, Shanti Devi was born in a village near Delhi, and around the age of four, she began to speak of herself as a woman named Lugdi who lived with her husband and several children

describe details of her former life that only Lugdi and her husband would have known. For 40 years, Dr. Stevenson meticulously documented more than 3,000 cases of children who had been reincarnated. As one of the first major scientific researchers in this field, Stevenson published numerous studies, the most famous of which is his 1974 book, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. The most convincing evidence includes children who have been photographed with birthmarks that coincide exactly with autopsy wounds of the murdered adults that these children had claimed to have been in previous lives. The famous English biologist Thomas Huxley wrote of reincarnation in his book Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays, saying it was a plausible idea. There are many people, such as Peter Ramster and Dr. Walter Semkiw, who have investigated reincarnation and come to the conclusion that it is a legitimate phenomenon, but their work is generally ignored by the scientific community. Many reincarnation researchers have concluded that there is more evidence of reincarnation Hinduism states as a belief of faith that we are born, than there is of evolution. But, accumulate karma through our deeds and thoughts, die, evidence supporting reincarnaand are reborn with our caste being determined by the tion will be hard to come by. It karma from our previous life. is more a matter of belief and personal preference. in the village of Mathura, about 100 Then again, scientific theory miles to the South of Delhi. almost always begins with individual She spoke in great detail about thought and belief on a subject and her past life, including information then grows from there. such as the house she lived in to the “I know I am deathless. No food she ate. Eventually convincing doubt I have died myself ten thouher parents to take her to Mathura, sand times before. I laugh at what Shanti correctly led them to the you call dissolution, and I know the house where she claimed to live. amplitude of time.” Once there, she proceeded to — Walt Whitman

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Evidence supporting reincarnation will be hard to come by. It is more a matter of belief and personal preference. Then again, scientific theory almost always begins with individual thought and belief on a subject and then grows from there.

My Take on Reincarnation Personally, I believe in an afterlife and a creator, but I also believe in reincarnation as well. Starting in Heaven as divine beings, our spirits are initially born into this world as physical human beings, our journey thus beginning. We live through various lives, learning the lessons our own soul chooses, returning over and over until we have achieved a sort of spiritual enlightenment, finally returning to Heaven as complete and individual spirits. I have always had an interest in the unknown. It was in the past few years while studying the paranormal that I came across an obscure religion known as Gnosticism. It was an immediate connection for me,


as what Gnostics believe now and believed in the past seemed so right. In my mind, I knew I had found the answer to the burning question, What happens after we die? To me, rebirth of the soul fits in with the natural order of things. The seasons and cycles of the planet all point to the renewal of life with the essence of those who trod here once before. Huge Consequences In this article, we have talked about what reincarnation is, the various groups and religions that profess a belief in rebirth of the soul, as well as the many and varied personalities throughout history who believed in reincarnation. We have also explored potential evidence supporting the possibility of reincarnation.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

What does the future hold as far as reincarnation is concerned? Will it someday be considered a fact, much like evolution is now? One thing is for sure, rebirth of the soul has grabbed the attention of people around the world, leading us to bigger and greater eventualities as we re-evaluate our lives in light of the possibilities that reincarnation presents. If we do reincarnate, the consequences could be huge. Maybe someday we will know for sure. Until then, we are left to ponder the possibilities.

“So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me.� — General George S. Patton

One Christian’s View on Reincarnation By Jaime Johnesee


spent many years searching for a religion that I could feel comfortable calling my own. I read about 14 different major world religions and spent countless hours hunched over hundreds of books, until one day, something clicked in my head. I decided organized religion might not be for me. I had found so many ideas that rang true in my mind from all different religions, and I knew at that point there would never be a set religion I could conform to. My Religious Beliefs Overall, I am a Christian. I was raised Methodist, and I believe the stories and accounts of Christ and his sacrifice. I don’t believe that he was the biological son of God. But I do believe he had a connection to God that most never have or ever will have. I believe he gave his life so that we might also feel a small piece of that connection. It is written in more places than just the Bible how Christ lifted his face up and begged God to forgive those who persecuted and ultimately killed him. This, to me, is not normal behavior for a human in insufferable pain and agony. So now you know a bit about my beliefs as far as being a Christian, and so far it’s pretty much basic Christianity. Getting it Right Now we are about to get into the not-so-mainstream Christian ideas of my belief system. I do not believe that those who do not accept Christ are doomed to Hell. I believe that if

God loves us so much as to give us his only son, he loves us enough to give us as many chances as it takes to get our lives on the right path. I am indeed talking about reincarnation. It is my belief that when we die, we get the chance to come back and better ourselves so that one day we can ultimately return to God as pure as we once left him. I believe that we are all allowed as many chances as necessary. Yes,

Old Souls Have you ever come across someone you’d consider an old soul? Someone who seems wise far beyond their years? Someone who is kind and compassionate and does the best they can to make you feel comfortable and at ease when you are around them? These are the people I like to think of as old souls. They seem to have a serenity around them like no one else. They do not brag or complain, yet are always there to congratulate or offer sympathy to me and others when we brag or whine. These are the people that really have made me feel more comfortable in my belief in reincarnation. I have no doubt that my ideas will be called wrong by others, and that’s okay by me. As far as religion goes, none of us has one right answer. We only have the right answer for us, and we can only go by what our hearts tell us.

this belief would basically make the reality we live in Purgatory. Yet, I prefer to think of it as a field for learning and growing. I believe that we are all part of the same creator, and when we are ready, we return to him. I also believe others join us on our journey. Have you ever met someone and you felt like you had already known them forever? I believe that the people that drift into and out of our lives have been doing so from the beginning of our trip.

Walking the Path Each soul has their own path they must travel, and no one person’s belief can neatly fit every person’s life. I do my best not to force my beliefs on anyone. If asked, I will tell you what I believe (as I have just done), but I don’t expect you to believe the same or even close to the same. I do, however, wish you all the best on your voyage through this life and will do my best to help you if you ask me to.

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Special Report

A Confederate Soldier

The Case of Jeffrey Keene/ By Karen Frazier


effrey Keene is a man with a past. A very long past. A retired Assistant Fire Chief in Westport, Connecticut, Keene has one of the most evidentially compelling cases for reincarnation known. In his book, Someone Else’s Yesterday (please see book review on page 33), Keene details the strange events that led to how he learned of his past life as Civil War General John B. Gordon. His journey into the world of reincarnation began in 1991, when Keene and his wife, Anna, were on an antiquing trip to Pennsylvania. Impulsively stopping at the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland, Keene had a strong physical and emotional reaction while walking by himself down the Sunken Road. In the book, Keene describes his experience. “A wave of grief and sadness washed over me. Without warning, I was suddenly being consumed by sensations. Burning tears ran down my cheeks. It became difficult to breathe. I gasped for air as I stood transfixed in the old roadbed. To this day, I cannot tell you how much time transpired, but as these feelings, this emotional overload passed, I found myself exhausted as if I had run a marathon.” Keene’s experience took place on the very spot in the Sunken Road


where Gordon was wounded. So began the series of strange coincidences that led Keene to his journey of discovery into reincarnation and his past life as General John B. Gordon.

A Compelling Case The evidence in Keene’s case is compelling. • There is an uncanny physical resemblance between Keene and Gordon, including scars and marks on Keene’s body in five places that match Gordon’s wounds suffered in the Civil War. • Linguistics experts have studied samples of Keene’s and Gordon’s writings and note the similarity in writing style. • There are people in Keene’s life today that closely re- In his book, Someone Else’s Yesterday, Jeffrey Keene (pictured of his past life as Civil War General John B. Gordon (pictured at semble people in Gordon’s life. • There are similar personality traits and taste in clothing hospital ER with a severe mysterithat match. ous pain in his face. No reason for • Keene was born on Septemthe pain was ever found, but Keene ber 9, 1947 — a date that coincides learned many years later that the with events occurring on September pain in his face on his 30th birthday 9, 1862, that led to the battle of Ancoincided exactly with where Gortietam, where Gordon was severely don was shot in the face during the wounded. Battle of Antietam when he was 30 Then there’s the incident that years old. transpired on Keene’s 30th birthday. While skeptics may dismiss On that day, Keene was taken to the all of this evidence as coincidence,

Paranormal Underground September 2008

in the Modern World:

/General John B. Gordon

War and worked it backwards to John Gordon,” Keene said. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Keene pointed out that prior to his experience at Antietam, he’d never had an interest in the Civil War. He had viewed a few episodes of the Ken Burns series Civil War in which John B. Gordon was mentioned, but he had not singled him out for any reason. Keene had never read any books on the Civil War. I recently had the opportunity to speak to Jeffrey Keene on the telephone. Warm and personable, Jeffrey Keene was happy to share his experiences and what he believes is the greater meaning behind them.

d at left) details the strange events that led to how he learned t right).

Keene and many others have a different view of it all. “How many coincidences are there to be before it is no longer coincidence?” Keene wonders. “Ten? Twenty?” Keene himself was initially skeptical; however, the evidence kept building in ways that were difficult to ignore. “Many people think that I must have always been interested in the Civil


Q: In your book, you describe a time while you were in the military where you had a nighttime encounter with a shadowy figure standing by your bed. Later, you mention the face was that of Gordon. What do you think it was?

Keene: I don’t know. I believe we have a lot of input into our lives. There are events that trigger things for us and lead us to where we need to go. My experience at Antietam was

a trigger. So was the shadowy figure. It was full figure that looked a lot like Abraham Lincoln — very gaunt with sunken eyes. Of course, Gordon was very gaunt during his war experience. Later I recognized from a picture of him taken during the war that the figure I had seen was John Gordon. Was it a self-produced hologram? Is our soul in pieces? I’ve never really figured out what it was. What I do believe is that we are given signs and directions about where we are supposed to go. Maybe this was a sign for me. Q: I was unclear after reading your book how much of your knowledge of General Gordon came from past-life memory, and how much came from your meditation and spontaneous writing. How clear are your memories of your life as Gordon?

Keene: It’s strange. A lot of my personality is similar to his. In her book A Change of Heart: a Memoir, Claire Sylvia talks about going through a heart and lung transplant and afterward experiencing many differences in her personality — including her likes and dislikes, such as a craving for chicken McNuggets. It turns out that the organs she had received

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Special Report were from a little boy who ate these things together, there is only ting more and more psychic from chicken McNuggets a lot. one explanation that makes any the meditation. I would have songs That is cellular memory. I have sense — reincarnation. in my head and be singing them, a cellular memory from a past life. and it would be a song that had Q: Did you use spontaneous writJust look at how I look and the been running through someone ing often? And, if you did, how markings I have. I have markings else’s head. did it occur? in five places where Gordon was I don’t need or desire to be psywounded during the war. I look in chic. I don’t really need to go into Keene: It didn’t really work for me. I the mirror, I look at these markings, any more past lives either. was more successful with meditation. and then I look at my experiences. I was trying to say in the book To me, it all adds up — it can’t be that you need to live in this life. Q: Was your reaction at Antietam anything other than that I had been the most you’ve emotionally and The past may be interesting, but it physically connected to the battleGeneral Gordon. is gone. So many people get caught fields where Gordon fought? The spontaneous writing didn’t up in their past lives and ignore work too much for me. A psychic this one. I think it is best to stay Keene: Years ago, I went to a Civil named Jean Loomis taught me how present in the life that you are livWar battlefield with my parents. to meditate, and I meditated a lot. ing now. I wasn’t much into it. What hapDreams that hadn’t made sense pened to me at Antietam was the Q: When you come into contact before started to make sense. trigger for everything that came with a relative of Gordon’s, do I was skeptical — but you feel any special conevery time I started to doubt, nection to that person? something would come down the pike to whack me Keene: Most have been in the head. It comes with written letters, e-mails, knowing — you don’t know phone calls. One time, I how you know, you just met with John B. Gordon’s know it. It isn’t a belief, it is great-great-nephew Steve a knowing. Smith in person. It is always In meditation, someinteresting. times there are vignettes. I had one of General Gordon Q: You talk about soul groups and reincarnating helping his wife, Fanny, out with people in your soul of a carriage. It was so vivid, group. Have you experiso real, that I have but to enced some special kind of close my eyes, and I can still recognition when you’ve feel my hands around her come across them? Keene is pictured having a reading with psychic Candace Zellner in tiny waist. Keene: Yes — for sure. I It is like putting together which she confirmed memories he’d had of his life as a French or English soldier. am married to one. My a puzzle, where all of the wife, Anna, was either Fanpuzzle pieces keep fitting into ny Gordon (John Gordon’s place. There are bits and pieces of after it. It was the first time I had wife) or one of her sisters. I think everything. A word here, a sound you any sense that there was something probably she was one of Fanny’s hear there, a dream, a picture that larger going on. sisters. She literally saved my life. arises in your mind. Anna was an answer to a prayer. Sometimes it’s an experience Q: Since you completed your book, I was going through a rough that happens — like the time on my have you continued to experience time, and I prayed for someone more waking memories, emotions, 30th birthday when I went to the and/or impressions about John B. with certain qualities. And there was hospital ER with severe pain in my Gordon? Anna — she was exactly what I had face exactly where Gordon was shot asked for. We’ve been married for through the face at Antietam when Keene: I stopped doing meditanearly 18 years. he was 30. When you start to put tion. I pray now instead. I was get-


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Q: I notice in your book that you refer to Gordon in the third person throughout the book. How much connection do you feel to your past -life incarnations?

to meet. Synchronicity is this guidance in action. There really isn’t any such thing as coincidence. So many times, my instincts led me to where I needed to be to get the information that I needed to Keene: I feel a strong connection get. When I first visited Antietam, to the Gordon lifetime, but it is we hadn’t planned to go to any Civil important to understand that I am War battlefields. Instead, I saw the not John Gordon. It would be more sign and said, “Let’s go here.” correct to say he is part of me — Later, when I went to Peterspart of my spiritual DNA — you burg — a city of 45 square miles; in might say. I was him. I am in this the dead of night, with no direclife now and need to live Jeffrey tions, I took the right exit (there Keene’s life. were five) and drove to the exact Q: There seem to be recurrent street that I sought. themes that run through many of When I was looking for the only the lives that you’ve experienced. copy of Gordon’s article for Youth Companion magazine, it was in a Keene: My theme seems to be warroom at the library where the key rior priest. had been lost for a long time. They found the key to the room right Q: How many past lives have you before I showed remembered? up asking for Keene: Samurai, “I feel a strong connecthe article. I’ve WWII British strange tion to the Gordon life- had soldier, Irish girl, things happen Tibetan monk, time, but it is important like this all Franciscan friar, throughout my Druid priest, two to understand that I am life. Native Amerinot John Gordon.” cans (Anasazi Q: How can you and Mariposa), tell the differa Knight Temence between something that is just plar or someone fighting against the a random thought and something Knights Templar. that is guiding you toward some Q: When you are drawn into a remembrance of a past life, how fully do you experience it?

Keene: It is like a puzzle. You just look at all of the things that arise in your life and put it all together. Your job is to listen — and you will be directed where you need to go. Q: Tell me about the role that synchronicity has played in your life.

Keene: We’re guided. We’re led to the places we’re supposed to go, and we meet the people we’re supposed

insight? Or is there a difference?

Keene: That’s a tough one. If I knew the answer for that, I’d probably have avoided a lot of the difficult situations in my life. Although, sometimes what seems like the wrong decision isn’t the wrong decision, at all. Sometimes you need to go through the suffering and pain to learn a lesson. How many times has someone had something seemingly bad happen to them, just to hear them say, “That’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” because it led to

TIMELINE • Jeffrey J. Keene was born in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1947 and grew up in the town of Westport, Connecticut, attending Staples High School. • He joined the Air Force after his graduation in 1965. Following basic training, Keene specialized as a medic and received an honorable discharge in 1969 at the rank of sergeant. • Returning to Westport, Keene joined the town’s fire department in 1976. In his 28 years in the fire service, Keene studied Fire Science at Norwalk State Technical College and attended Delaware State Fire School, where he progressed to the fire instructor level. One of the state’s first hazardous materials technicians, he also developed a Mock Crash Program to educate local high school students on the dangers of drinking and driving, gaining recognition for his efforts from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. • Jeffrey Keene is a decorated firefighter, and in 2003, he retired as an assistant fire chief with the Westport Fire Department. Keene had spent his last 15 years as a shift commander and was charged with the development and implementation of standard operation procedures for the department. • After retiring from the fire department, Keene became an accomplished Civil War researcher and speaker. He has lectured on Civil War topics to groups ranging from elementary students to peer experts. • Someone Else’s Yesterday was a finalist in the 2004 Visionary Awards held at the International New Age Trade Show in Denver, Colorado, in June 2004. • Keene resides with his wife Anna in Trumbull, Connecticut.

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Special Report something that they needed. We judge too quickly. Things are neither good nor bad, they just are. The secret of life is life. Q: Do you have any advice for others who wish to become more aware of the guidance they are receiving?

Keene: Pay attention. Stop to spend time with yourself. Quiet yourself down and ask, “Show me the things that I need to see.” Then pay attention to what happens. Keep a pad and write down dreams, thoughts, impressions. These are all messages we are giving ourselves.

Q: Why do you feel that some people have seemingly ready access to past lives, while others never have any past-life recall?

Keene: Everyone remembers — they just don’t know that they do. An example of this: I have always wanted to go to Killarney. One day, I saw a magazine on a table with a picture on the cover. I said, “That’s the road to Killarney.” I opened the magazine and found the caption for the photo and it read, “Cover Photo Road to Killarney.” How would I know that? Another time, I was at a visitor center at Appomattox Courthouse.

aware that they do. Sometimes people ask me, “Why can’t we remember every moment of every past life?” We’ve lived many, many lifetimes. Can you imagine how schizophrenic we’d be if we recalled every moment of every life? We remember what we need to remember. Q: I read in an interview that you did with Psychic and Spirit magazine that you hope you are at the end of your incarnations. Do you believe you are? What do you believe will happen with your spirit after it is done reincarnating?

Keene: I hope I don’t have to come back here. I’ve gotten a little weary of this Q: How about advice world and how people treat for people who want to one another. Why can’t remember past lives. people realize that we are Keene: Trust yourself. Find all one? We need to realize your own way of meditatthat all people we see are ing. Keep track of all of us. We’re all just trying the stuff that comes to you to get back to where we — a word, numbers — and started from. somewhere down the line, There is no reason they will make sense. why there should be one If I could say one thing person hungry in this to people about this, it is world. We should have this: You remember, you weaned ourselves off of just don’t know you do. fossil fuels 50 years ago. Everything in your life is a Keene’s experience took place on the very spot in the Sunken Road But we haven’t. I have to reminder of what you need where Gordon was wounded. So began the series of strange coincidences that led Keene to his journey of discovery into reincarnation and his think that there are better to know — from your taste past life as General John B. Gordon. places to incarnate to. But in clothes and the way you then, I tend to be the guy decorate your house to who volunteers for things. I saw a flag that was used during the songs that move you to relationships They ask for volunteers, my hand surrender of the South to the North that you choose. goes up, so I may be back. during the war — but there was a Ultimately, where, when, who, print of the surrender showing a difQ: You describe memories from and whether we incarnate is up to us. many past lives. What purpose do ferent flag being used. We have free will and get to choose you feel it serves to have past-life I asked the Park Ranger at the what we do. recall? visitor center if the flag I saw was the If I don’t reincarnate here, what one actually used in the surrender Keene: To help others. We’re here would I do? There could be other rather than the one in the picture. as teachers, we’re here as students, planes of existence, other worlds. It’s The answer was, “Yes.” I just knew we’re here to pay back debts. Maybe a big universe. How arrogant are we — it came across me as a knowing. we have karma we need to work out, that we believe we’re the only ones? I think if people pay attention, or maybe we need to help someone Maybe I could incarnate somewhere they know far more than they are else with resolution of their karma.


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According to one account, John Gordon received a grazing blow from musket fire on his forehead above his left eye, which was not serious but bled profusely. Jeffrey Keene suggests that this mark on Gordon’s forehead (image at right) may have come from this incident. Note the smaller star-shaped mark on Keene’s forehead (image at left).

else. Maybe I could study and learn. Or teach. I won’t know until I get to the Other Side, Heaven, Home, whatever name you care to use. An example that there is more going on than we know: We tend to think of things as so solid in our world. Look at a brick — it appears solid. You touch it, it feels solid. But if you look at it on a microscopic level, it is atoms and empty space. Things aren’t what they seem, and so much of this world is illusion. That brick would be better described as an event happening before our eyes. There are some people that have the need to fear that they have a soul. We are subject to karma. This isn’t necessarily punitive — it just is. Some people don’t want to believe that they will come back to this to face their karma. Some people need to believe that this life is all there is and that death is the end of it. This world is not an easy place to come back to. Q: You spend some time in your book talking about past-life recall in very young children, and you relay stories about several children

you’ve encountered who seem to have significant past-life recall. Do you think there’s a way that we can keep children’s minds more connected to their spirits as they mature and grow?

Keene: They haven’t forgotten and don’t forget — it’s in the subconscious. We carry it all with us — it is written on the soul. The connection can be made through meditation. There is an interesting Web site: On the forums, there are several mothers whose two- and three-year-olds are having memories of being firefighters in the World Trade Center on September 11. These kids know the things a firefighter would know — and they speak the way firefighters speak. I have told these mothers that some of the things their children say are things that only a firefighter would know, which points to the truthfulness of their statements. Q: If two- to three-year-old children are reincarnations of firefighters who perished on 9/11, that’s a pretty fast turn-around in lives. Don’t we get time to rest?

Keene: Do you want to know what the rule is? You could come back five minutes after death, five years after death, 500 years after death or never. There is no rule, because we come back when we feel we need to. Q: In your book, you make it very clear that you’d never had any past-life regression hypnosis up to the point the book was published. Does this remain true? Do you feel that hypnotherapy is a valid method for past-life recall?

Keene: I never have. Not because it is a bad tool, but because there is a stigma attached to it. There is the belief among skeptics that the therapist leads their subject, so any memories obtained are tainted. I wanted to be able to have my evidence stand on its own so that I can get my message out. When I did the Sci Fi show, Proof Positive, I passed a threehour polygraph test with a 99.6% accuracy that I was not being deceitful. The only thing I didn’t do was the past-life regression — because that would be the one thing that people would remember about my appearance.

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Special Report

Jeffrey Keen bears marks, one of which looks like a long scar, on his right cheek (image at right) for which he can remember no physical causes. General Gordon bears a wound from battle across the right cheek (image at left).

Q: You mention that one of the first significant books you read on reincarnation is Brian Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters. In that book, he discusses life between lives. Do you have any recall of life between lives?

Keene: In Dr. Weiss’ books, one of the things that always frustrated me was that he never said beyond a shadow of a doubt that he believed in reincarnation. He always said that the evidence seemed to point in that direction, but that it didn’t matter if it was real or not as long as it helped the patient. Of course it matters. Think of how we would all live if we understood that we are all one, and that we realized we came back again and again with the same group of people that we loved. Recently, he finally said that he believes in reincarnation. I was happy to see that. I have some recall of life between lives in that I remember leaving my body, heading to the light, and being welcomed. It stops there. Q: I’ve read that many say yours is one of the most compelling evidential cases for reincarnation. Do you feel this gives you some re-


sponsibility for ambassadorship?

Keene: No. The evidence makes my case stronger. It’s proof to me. It is the strongest case I’ve seen. I don’t care whether others believe or not. My purpose is to put the story out there. I feel like this is one of the things I am supposed to be doing. I didn’t realize I was writing a book. I was just noting the things

“Love is forever. Everyone we love, have loved, and will love continues to exist. The meaning of life is life.” that had happened. It turned into a book. Long after I was convinced, things just kept happening. I figured there must be some purpose to that. The only conclusion I could come up with was that I was to put it all out in book form. Q: You touch on genetic memory in the book. Can you explain this concept?

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Keene: An example of genetic memory is where someone’s grandfather fought in the Civil War, and they have some of their grandfather’s memories. Frankly, I find that harder to believe than reincarnation. I keep an open mind — but reincarnation makes more sense to me than genetic memory. Q: What is the primary understanding you have taken away from your experiences?

Keene: The documentary Beyond Death asked that as their last question. I said, “Isn’t it amazing that there is no death as we know it? We live forever. We’re immortal. Love is forever. Everyone we love, have loved, and will love continues to exist. The meaning of life is life.” They didn’t include that in the documentary, which is funny because to me, that is the essence of all I have experienced. Q: How do you think people can internalize these understandings?

Keene: When the student is ready, the teacher will come. Like my trigger event at Antietam. I was in a state of readiness for that. Some people are ready now. Some will never be

Someone Else’s Yesterday: A Book Review By Carolyn M. Hughes

Not yet” was the order given by Colonel John B. Gordon in the Sunken Road to the 6th Alabama soldiers under his command on September 17, 1862. “Not yet” was the response uttered by Jeffrey Keene on October 31, 1992, to a palm reader who had just told him that he died in that Sunken Road on the Antietam battlefield. Not yet . . . The 2003 book, Someone Else’s Yesterday, chronicles a Connecticut fireman’s amazing discovery that, not only had he lived before, but that he was one of the South’s greatest Civil War heros. Jeffrey Keene’s book records one of the most startling “waking memory” reincarnations documented to date. A Journey Begins Having no real interest in the Civil War, Keene’s journey began innocently enough while on vacation with his wife in Maryland during May 1991. Though Keene had never read a book on the Civil War before or had any affinity for that era, he felt compelled to visit the Antietam National Park Battlefield. His account of what happened to him while standing in what is known today as “the Sunken Road” or “Bloody Lane” is riveting. A wave of grief, sadness and anger washed over me. Without warning, I was suddenly being consumed by sensations. Burning tears ran down my cheeks. It became difficult to breathe. I gasped for air, as I

stood transfixed in the old roadbed. To this day I could not tell you how much time transpired, but as these feelings, this emotional overload passed, I found myself exhausted as if I had run a marathon. Crawling up the steep embankment to get out of the road, I turned and looked back. I was a bit shaken to say the least and wondered at what had just taken place. It was difficult getting back to the car because I felt so weak. I did

not have any answers, just questions. I would one day receive my answers, but not until more than a year later and then from a most unusual source . . .” Startling Findings It wasn’t until 18 months later, at a Halloween party, a palm reader asked Keene: “Do you believe in

past lives?” Thus begins one man’s incredible journey of discovery. In his book, Keene freely shares his thoughts and confusion as he delves into Colonel John B. Gordon’s history and discovers parallel events in both his and Gordon’s life that are undeniable. Events that are too specific to be coincidence. Two of Keene’s most startling findings are that not only does he share an incredible physical “mirror” likeness to Gordon, but that he has birthmarks and scars that match Gordon’s battle wounds, which Keene illustrates through photographs. He also shares photographs of notable Civil War era soldiers that bear a striking resemblance to people he either works with today or has worked with in the past. The latter evidence gives credence to the theory of “soul groups” — reincarnating groups of souls with a common purpose and common level/state of advancement/enlightenment, who work together toward a common goal. And whether that common goal of Keene’s “soul group” was to win a Civil War battle or to suppress a raging fire, the soul group theory comparison detailed in Someone Else’s Yesterday is compelling. I highly recommend Jeffrey Keene’s spellbinding book, Someone Else’s Yesterday. You may find yourself questioning your ideas about reincarnation!

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Special Report ready. Pay attention, watch where life leads you. Follow it. Q: You touch on physical resemblances throughout incarnations. Do you believe these physical resemblances transcend gender and race? Do we look the same (or similar) in every incarnation?

Keene: Dr. Walter Semkiw (who believes he is the reincarnation of John Adams — says there is, that the underlying “facial architecture” remains the same from lifetime to lifetime. I say there may be similarities, but it’s not always a great resemblance. How strong can a resemblance be if you are a six-foot Nordic man in one life and a five-foot African woman in the next? I do believe that the eyes tend to stay the same. I believe it is true that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Q: You’ve been in touch with your reincarnations for a long time now. Are there ever times that you doubt yourself?

Keene: It’s very complicated. People think there was a line across the United States, with the North being the angels and the South being the devils. That’s the farthest thing from the truth. There were racists in the North as well as the South. The War Between The States did not start solely to end slavery. Horace Greeley wrote a scath-

Q: Given the cost of human lives of the Civil War, do you feel that it was worth it to keep the country in one piece?

Keene: There are many who say that the South won because things didn’t change much after the war. I do think we’re stronger as a group and a nation because we are all together.

Keene: It would behoove people to spend more time looking within and learn about themselves so they can learn about where they came from and where they are going.

There is an uncanny physical resemblance between Keene and Gordon, including scars and marks on Keene’s body in five places that match Gordon’s wounds suffered in the Civil War.

Q: What about others who choose to ignore the guidance they are being given?

Keene: It happens. Probably a lot. Above all else, we have free will.


Q: How accurately do you feel the reasons for the Civil War are portrayed in modern history?

lot of money. The war didn’t become about slavery until two years into the war, after the Battle of Antietam. Lincoln waited to write the Emancipation Proclamation until after the North had a victory. This was a way to keep France and England out of the war because they would have sided with the South. After the Proclamation came out, there were riots and lynching of blacks in the North, as well as large desertions of Union troops who felt that they hadn’t signed up to fight for that cause.

Q: Any last thoughts you’d like to leave our readers with?

Keene: Not anymore. I am 99.99999999999% — however many nines I can throw in there — certain that what I know is real. When this all started to happen, I had a choice — either look into it or forget about it. I chose to look into it.

If we ignore the guidance, our life might go in directions that are more difficult. The guidance is always there if we just pay attention.

ing letter about the Lincoln administration. Lincoln wrote back in his response that if he could free all the slaves and keep the states together, he’d do that. If he could keep the states together and free half of the slaves, he’d do that. If he could keep the states together without freeing any slaves, he’d do that. The Civil War was about money and keeping the states together. If the South was no longer part of the Union, the government would lose a

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Keene’s Web site is www. Keene’s book, Someone Else’s Yesterday, is available from and More information about the Jeffrey Keene/John B. Gordon case can be found on Walter Semkiw’s site, and at experiences/reincarnation07.html.

Reflections on Reincarnation By Karen Frazier


fter reading Jeffrey Keene’s book, Someone Else’s Yesterday, and then interviewing the author, I am finding that my position on reincarnation is shifting — from skeptical believer to believer. When I look at my past beliefs on reincarnation, I’ve always leaned more toward belief than disbelief. I have that weird combination of spiritual and scientist in my makeup. I guess you could say that I am one who seeks to find the nature of the universe from both sides of the spectrum — science and spirit. And I’m not so sure that the two aren’t moving toward meeting in the middle. (Don’t tell the scientists or spiritualists I said that!) When I look at quantum physics (and I do look at quantum physics an awful lot), it is hard not to notice that at the tiniest level we can observe, we are all made up of the same stuff that everything else is made up of. It is also pretty clear that what we observe and experience in our universe on a macro level is illusion on a grand scale. Knowing that, how can one not be open to the possibilities? For the past several weeks, I have been immersed in the subject of reincarnation — first with my past-life regression hypnotherapy followed by my research for that article,

then reading Keene’s book and talking with him, and finally following up with some of the resources with which he supplied me. I’ve read about the history of past-life regression. I’ve interviewed a practitioner of past-life regression hypnosis. I’ve read what skeptics have to say, and I’ve read what be-

lievers have to say. I’ve viewed Web sites and read books from several experts in the field. I’ve perused bulletin boards where people discuss their experiences with reincarnation — some with amazing and compelling stories. And I’ve spoken with a man who has perhaps the most compelling case out there toward proving that he has lived another life as a Civil War general.

There’s a legal term — preponderance of evidence. From all I’ve heard, read, studied, and viewed, I would say that the preponderance of the evidence points toward reincarnation being a reality. Imagine the implications. How would you choose to live if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can come back? How would you choose to live if you realized that there was an overarching purpose to not only this life, but to all of your lives and your very existence? For that matter, how would you choose to live if you knew that you were made up of the same stuff as your best friend and your worst enemy — so much so that it was hard to tell where you left off and the other person began — and that all of you were here working toward a common purpose? If I am you and you are me at our very basic level and we both know this, imagine how it could change the ways in which we interact. In a world that is often harsh and cruel, the message of reincarnation is ultimately one of hope. In the words of Jeffrey Keene, “love never dies.” It goes on forever and ever, and we are lucky enough to have a chance to get it right. Maybe someday we will.

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Special Report

A Peek Into the Past: Exploring Past Lives Through Hypnosis By Karen Frazier


s long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the subject of past-life regression hypnosis. When I was a teenager, I had an extremely vivid dream in which I was speaking a different language. In the dream, I was me, yet not me. The woman in the dream was in her late-20s or early-30s and living in a burned out shell of a house on the bank of a river that ran through a forest. She had children with her, as well. An injured man in a uniform appeared in the woods. He spoke a language that the woman didn’t understand, but I knew he was an American. The woman and her children hid him in the woods and nursed him to health. I mentioned the dream to someone, and they suggested that perhaps it was a recollection from a past life. Since then, past lives have been an interest of mine, and I always thought that it would be fascinating to have a past-life regression through hypnotherapy. Fast forward into my mid-20s. I had been suffering from a severe sore throat for several weeks and couldn’t get it to go away. I was lamenting this in a conversation with my friend Nicholas one night, when he suggested I close my eyes, pay attention to my throat and see if there were any images that


sprang to mind. Immediately, a picture of a noose appeared in my head. When I told him that it was a noose, he asked me, “Why a noose?” The story behind the noose instantaneously appeared in my mind. It was about a slave who developed a friendship with his owner’s daughter, who was secretly teaching him to read. When the friendship was discovered by the girl’s father, the girl panicked and told him that the slave had

Once again, I was on the boat, drifting, this time to a time before I was born. raped her rather than risk getting in trouble for her friendship with the slave. The father hanged the slave. Great stories, both of them, and I wondered what their source was and why they had appeared in my mind. Were they the plot of a movie I’d seen or a book I’d read and forgotten? Did I just have a vivid imagination? Were they free-floating memories of other people that I somehow connected with? Or could it be that these were elements of past lives that

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I had personally experienced? These questions remained in the back of my mind, brought forward only occasionally when I would read case studies of people who had been hypnotized for past-life recall. Boy, would that be interesting to try, I thought. And yet, I never really considered having the experience myself. Part of the reason is that I always believed I would be a poor subject for hypnosis. I have a highly active and critical brain that never seems to shut off. I am constantly questioning and evaluating experiences, even as I am having them. Additionally, as a teen, I participated in a group-guided imagery session, and I was unable to shut my mind off enough to allow the imagery to take over. The other reason that I never considered past-life regression hypnosis for myself is that I tend to be somewhat skeptical. I want to believe in things like past-life regression, but my overriding skepticism often gets in the way. After reading several case studies of past-life regression hypnosis, however, I was ready to finally take the plunge. The Hypnotherapist I began researching local hypnotherapists on the Internet. I live in a relatively small and conserva-

Artwork by Claudia Ghidella

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Special Report

I got in the boat, laid down on the cushions, and the boat began to drift downstream. This was the boat to my past. The boat drifted down the river until it bumped up against the bank.

tive town, so I was expecting that I’d have to head into the big city (or at least slightly bigger town) for my session. I Googled the name of my town along with the term “hypnosis.” Surprisingly, there were two local hypnotherapists, and both listed past-life regression (PLR) among the services they provided. I e-mailed one, Rita Ballard, CHT, and told her I was writing an article about past-life regression hypnotherapy and would like to experience it for myself. Rita e-mailed me back right away and said she would be willing to work with me. We set up an appointment for Thursday of the following week. Rita received her training from the Threshold University of Body/ Mind Science in 1997. Along with hypnosis services, Rita also offers therapeutic touch, a form of energy healing. For more information about Rita’s take on PLR hypnosis, see the Investigator Spotlight on page 14. Before I Was Hypnotized I deliberately avoided doing any research prior to my hypnosis so that


I could have my session in the realm of pure experience. Still, I couldn’t help considering what my experience would be. I was surprised to find that I was somewhat apprehensive. When I arrived at Rita’s office, I filled out an intake form that included questions about my fears and phobias (SNAKES! BATS!!); favorite colors and places; wishes, concerns, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as more traditional questions about my health status. Before we began, Rita and I chatted for a while, which helped to put me at ease. Then Rita explained a little of what I might experience during hypnosis. She told me that hypnosis was essentially a heightened state of awareness and focused concentration brought about by extreme relaxation. For many people, she told me, it was a lot like daydreaming. During the session, I might be fully conscious of everything that was happening and my surroundings, or I could drift in and out of that awareness. She told me that the only thing I needed to do was let the little girl in me who liked to go out and play be present in the experience. Then it was time to begin. Inducing the Hypnotic State Once I felt comfortable and ready, I reclined in the comfy chair and closed my eyes. We started with some deep breathing — taking deep breaths and letting tension flow out of my body with the breath. The deep breathing and relaxing went on for quite some time as I relaxed and let Rita’s voice guide me. She used the words, “deeper and deeper” frequently. I would have been disappointed if she hadn’t. After a time with the deep breathing, Rita told me to visualize a house in which generations of families had lived out happy lives. She walked me through several occasions

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and rooms in the house. These were all designed to put me in a comfortable and happy place. Next, Rita told me that the house had a stairway with a door at the bottom. She counted me down the 10-stair steps to the door (mine was red with a crystal doorknob), and then told me when I was ready, I could go through the door. I signaled my readiness by raising a finger. Once through the door, I entered a room filled with all of the people who had loved me in my life and all of the people that I loved. She walked me through the room, greeting these people, and then guided me to a door to the outside. Once I went through the door, I walked down a gravel path to a river, where there was a rowboat with big, soft cushions in it. I got in the boat, laid down on the cushions, and the boat began to drift downstream. This was the boat to my past. Into My Past The boat drifted down the river until it bumped up against the bank. On the bank, Rita told me, was a scene from my childhood when I was a pre-teen or teen. It was a happy scene. In my mind, I saw the image of me playing volleyball at the beach with my sisters. We were playing with a giant, colorful beach ball. Rita asked me what I saw, and I told her we were playing volleyball at the beach. She asked where we were, and I said, “Ocean Shores.” She then asked how old I was, and I said that I was 10. The boat drifted away from the bank and moved further downstream. Once again, it bumped up against the riverbank, and Rita asked if I could see a happy scene from my life from when I was pre-kindergarten. Immediately in my head I saw my sisters and me playing dress-up in a green room with a fireplace and

a chair. She asked how old I was, and my very much younger-sounding voice popped out and said, “Four.” Once again, I was on the boat, drifting, this time to a time before I was born. Then Rita asked me to look into the water and allow my mind to sink deep down through the water. Another Life As I sank deeper down through the water, I was instructed to become aware of a scene in front of me in which there was a bridge with a thick mist or fog halfway across the bridge. I walked across the bridge and into the fog. Rita told me that once I was in the fog, I was free to move in any direction in which I felt pulled. When the fog cleared, I would see a scene from another time. Slowly the mist cleared away to reveal a garden. It was an interesting garden — a combination of lush, tropical-appearing greenery and more traditional-looking flowers. It was afternoon, and the temperature was warm but not overpoweringly so. I was alone in the garden taking a walk toward a gazebo. When Rita asked where the garden was, my answer was, “I don’t know.” Rita asked me to look down at my feet and tell her what I saw. Immediately into my mind came a vision of pink boots with laces or buttons up the front made from a shiny material — satin or silk? Then she asked what I was wearing, and I saw a voluminous pink skirt with lots of ruffles that reached all the way down to the boots. Rita began to question me. What year is it? “1865.” Why was I in the garden? “Taking a walk.” How old was I? “30.” What was the occasion? “A birthday party.”

For whom? “My mother.” How old is your mother? “65.” Next, Rita asked me to move forward in time to a significant moment in this woman’s life. Immediately, I was in a room with a big, heavy four-poster canopied bed. It was late afternoon — so the room was lit by sunlight. Rita asked why it was a significant day, and to my surprise, I started to cry and said, “My husband is dying.” We didn’t linger long in the room. Instead she asked me to move forward again to the time moments before the woman’s death. She told me that I would be able to view this event off to the side as an observer. Then she asked how old the woman was. “43.” She asked why the woman was dying. I saw her in bed, coughing, and the word “consumption” popped into my head. She asked if the woman was alone and I said, “No — her daughter is there.” Now she told me to connect with the woman and ask her if she had a message for me. Into my head popped, “Cherish what you have in the moment, because everything

in life is so fleeting that it will pass before you know it.” Back to the Future Now it was time to come back to the present time, and Rita walked me back along the same path I’d traveled into the past. When I was walking along the gravel path again, she told me that I would come to a road that was the road I travel every day to my home. As I walked along the road, she gave me affirmations for a future of health, happiness, success, and a long life. Then she counted from one to five to bring me back to the present. On five, I opened my eyes, and the session was over. Critical Brain vs. Subconscious Mind My critical brain was far more actively involved than I ever imagined it would be. While I was being hypnotized, my critical brain (which I had the impression was coming from the right side of me — I have

Pictured are two Victorian-era beds — both circa 1940. The bed I saw during my past-life regression was a cross between these two.

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Special Report no idea why) was very aware, active and coolly assessing the process all of the time. It constantly popped up with skeptical comments and continued on with very conscious thought. Some other part of my mind (it felt to be on the left side) was responding to the hypnosis — to the point that if my critical brain tried to change the answers or images I was seeing, I wasn’t able to. For instance, when Rita would ask me an age or a year, the number would appear in the half of my brain that was responding to her. At the same time, my critical brain would say, “That can’t be right — make something up.” So I would try to make something up, but the answer that had popped into my head would pop out of my mouth. I’ve never experienced such a separation between my conscious and subconscious before, or at least not that I have been aware of. Further, there was the point in the session where, much to the shock (and horror) of my critical brain, I actually started to cry in response to the woman’s husband dying. It was something I felt I had no conscious control over at the time, which was a very odd feeling. Throughout the entire session, I questioned everything that came up with the critical brain. I even went as far as to wonder whether or not the information that would pop into the other part of my head could possibly be historically accurate (more about that later). Verifying Childhood Memories The memories from my childhood were interesting, especially the one from when I was 10. I have no conscious recollection of ever playing on a beach with a colorful beach ball. My family used to go to the beach on vacation — so it could


be true, or it could be something thentic to me than the memory from that I was making up so that I had an when I was 10. answer for Rita. The other thing that surprised With my conscious mind, I me during the four-year-old phase actually tried to steer my vision away of my hypnosis was that my voice — from that scene on the beach because both during hypnosis and as I listened I didn’t remember it. I tried, instead, to the recorded playback — sounded to remember Disneyland or some young and hesitant. As I listened to similar memory, but the scene with the recorded playback, I noticed that the beach ball kept popping into the there were subtle changes in my voice other side of my head, so that is what throughout the session. I said. I seemed to not have conscious I had recorded a conversation control of the things that came out of with Rita from before the session, as my mouth. well, and I listened carefully to how I The memory from when I was sounded then (very normal) vs. how four and playing dress-up I know to be at least plausible. My sisters and I had a big box of dress-up clothes from a dance studio, and we would wear them and dance around our living room. The description of the room is a little more difficult. I had to call my mother to ask what the color of the living room was in that house (we moved when I was five). Modern boots fashioned after boots from the 1800s — note the buttons and lac According to my during my past-life regression. mother, it was an off white — not green I sounded throughout the hypnosis — although there was green in the (sometimes very different). room in the form of an ugly 70s-style green chair (I was four in 1969/1970), Historical Accuracy which I also saw during that part of During the past-life section of the regression. There was also a stone the session, I gave a specific year — fireplace in that house. 1865 — and a fairly specific clothing In the memory, I was wearstyle. In my head, I saw pink shiny ing something shiny purple and (satin or silk) boots with either laces spangled. My mom verified that one or buttons up the front and a ruffled, of the things in the dress-up box was voluminous pink skirt. I researched spangled purple. It could be that this the fashions for the year 1865, was an actual memory, or it could and found nearly the exact dress I be that I have seen pictures of us imagined, and boots that were very playing dress-up. It’s hard to know similar to those that I saw on the for sure. This memory felt more au-

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woman’s feet. (She had to push her skirt aside to look at them.) The location was a bit more difficult to pin down. I had the impression of lush, tropical greenery rimming the outer edge of the garden, as if a clearing had been cut in the jungle, but the flowers in the actual garden were much more of a traditional type. It was as if someone had plopped an English garden in the middle of a tropical forest. When I was asked, “Where is this place?” I responded, “I don’t know,” so my answer doesn’t give

to research or prove this part of the regression because the details were fairly sketchy. The bed that I saw, both when the husband was dying and later at the death of the woman are consistent with Victorian era (1837-1901) furniture. Let’s move forward to the death of the woman. If she was 30 in 1865 and died at the age of 43, that would put the year of her death at approximately 1878. Her death was from consumption. Consumption was a commonly used name for tuberculosis (TB) in the 1800s because the disease seemed to consume the body from within. Sanatoriums for consumption weren’t especially prevalent until the late 1800s, which could be consistent with the woman’s death at home in bed. During the midto late-1800s, there was a high mortality rate from TB because doctors had ces on the front. The center pair is similar to the style of buttons and laces I saw yet to understand what caused it. Also, tuberculosis is a any further insight. disease that is much more rampant In 1865, the United States was in tropical areas, so if the garden at the tail end of the Civil War. The carved in the tropics has merit, then only place in the contiguous United it follows that people living in such States that might have lush, tropian area would be much more suscal vegetation would possibly be in ceptible to TB. the South, so it is unlikely that this garden would be in the United States The Argument for the given the state of the South at the Experience Being Real end of the war. As I said before, I am a skeptical The British Empire did begin believer. I have an open mind — but establishing colonies in the tropics, also need to question things and find however, in the 1850s and 1860s, evidence and science to back up my which could potentially fit in with beliefs. I must admit that I also do a what I saw. There is no absolute way “gut check” to see what my intuition

tells me, but if that intuition can’t be backed up with evidence, then I am unlikely to trust it. It has been several days since my session, and I have had adequate time to process the experience and research the facts behind what I experienced during my past-life regression. I have a list of items that could convince me of the reality of the session, and a list of items that are difficult to get past my inner skeptic. Let’s start with those things that make me feel that the experience could have been valid: • I wasn’t able to control the part of my brain that was “going places.” Even when I tried to consciously change my answer, I couldn’t. • The remarkable historical accuracy of the clothing, footware, and furniture seems a strong argument for the plausibility of my experience. • A traditional English garden in the tropics makes sense in light of tropical British settlements in the 1800s. • Death from TB is very historically plausible, as is the use of the term “consumption.” Consumption is not a term that is commonly used for TB, nor has it been in my lifetime. • There was a great deal of emotion attached to emotional events. Even though I was very detached in my critical brain, in the part of my brain that was undergoing hypnosis, I was obviously very emotionally “there.” This was evidenced by my crying at the death of the woman’s husband. • I just “knew” answers in response to the questions. In most cases, I didn’t have to think of answers — they were right there in my brain without conscious thought. • The answers to the questions arose in the form of images and pictures. I do not think in pictures — I am very much one who thinks in words.

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Special Report The Argument Against the Experience Being Real There are, however, other explanations for each of these things other than that I was experiencing a past life. Being unable to control the images that arose in my brain and the answers I gave are not necessarily indicative of a past life. It could be that I was under hypnosis and that the part of me that was hypnotized was confabulating answers based on a phenomenon called cryptomnesia. Cryptomnesia is a term used to describe how someone can think that they are having an original memory, when, in fact, it is a combination of imagination and normally acquired information that has been forgotten. Consider the infamous case of Bridey Murphy, one of the first widely publicized past-life regressions. In 1952, an amateur hypnotist named Morey Bernstein put Pueblo, Colorado, housewife Virginia Tighe in a hypnotic trance. While in the trance, Tighe spoke with an Irish brogue and made revelations about a past life in Cork, Ireland, as Bridey Murphy. During the sessions, Tighe would tell Irish stories, sing Irish songs, and relate the life and death of Bridey Murphy in startling detail. Bernstein published a book called The Search for Bridey Murphy. He also made recordings of the sessions, which sold all over the world and sparked a past-life regression hypnosis craze. This caused a media frenzy, and reporters began looking into the story of Bridey Murphy and the life of Virginia Tighe. A reporter from the Chicago American discovered that a woman named Bridie Murphy Corkell had lived across the street from where Tighe grew up. Other reporters soon discovered that Tighe often spoke


with an Irish brogue as a child. Reporters were unable to verify birth or death records in Cork of Bridey Murphy based on the details outlined by Tighe during her hypnotherapy sessions. Despite the holes in the story, the fact remained that the account that Tighe gave of life in Ireland was extremely detailed — more so than a woman from Pueblo, Colorado, would know off of the top of her head. Psychologists studied the case and determined that, in her hypnotic state of high suggestibility, it was very possible that Tighe had managed to come up with her detailed accounts from books and information she’d read that were long forgotten. In essence, their conclusion was that Tighe was not lying, but rather had succumbed to cryptomnesia and believed fully that her accounts were truthful. In my case, it could be possible that I have more knowledge of 1865 than I know. In this way, it would be possible for me to also succumb to cryptomnesia and recall information from media I’ve experienced and long forgotten. With regard to the crying, it is possible that in my highly suggestive hypnotic state, I felt that I should feel some emotion surrounding the death of a spouse, and I reacted accordingly. Or, on some level, I may have linked the death of the woman’s husband with how I would feel if my husband died. Again, people in hypnosis are highly suggestible. Most are probably even open to suggestions from their conscious selves. It is possible that I consciously felt like I should cry, so I did. What Skeptics Say There are many people who are highly skeptical of past-life regres-

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sion. They point to Bridey Murphy and another case that is referred to as the Bloxham Tapes. In the 1970s, Welsh hypnotherapist Arnall Bloxham made more than 400 recordings of his sessions with a woman named Ann Evans. During her sessions, Evans recalled six past lives. Later, Evans was put under hyp-

Parisian fashions from 1865. This skirt is remarka

nosis on television, and viewers were astounded by the depth of detail in her recall of her past lives. The producer of the show searched through history and found many facts that corroborated the details provided

during the sessions. Melvin Harris, a notorious skeptic, also searched historical records along with popular literature and media. Harris found that the stories of Evan’s past lives closely matched the plots, characters, and details of several different novels, including Louis de Whol’s 1947 novel The Living Wood.

ably similar to what I saw in my session.

The novel told the same story with the same characters that Evans did. Harris also looked at historical facts and found many inconsistencies between the Evan’s experiences and history. His conclusion was that

Evans’ sessions were a display of cryptomnesia in action. Skeptics point to cryptomnesia, confabulation, the desire to please the hypnotherapist, and false memories as explanations for past-life regression experiences. In their book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, authors Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson discuss how brain scientists studying human memory have shown that human beings create false memories as a matter of course. The need to support our view of ourselves drives memory, so if a memory doesn’t support our selfconcept, then we misremember it in a way that does. The authors go on to explain that memory is not stored as a whole memory, but rather we reconstruct the memory every time it is accessed. In this way, it becomes easy to reconstruct a memory falsely in order to fit our self-concept. This is the birthplace of false memories. Another skeptic, psychologist Robert Baker performed a study of 60 students divided into three groups to determine whether belief influenced outcomes with regard to past-life regression. The first group was told that they were about to experience an exciting new therapy to uncover past lives before leading them through past-life regression. In this group, 85% of the group were successful in remembering a past life. The second group was told that they were about to experience a therapy that may or may not help them experience past lives. In this group, 60% were successful at remembering past lives. The third group was told that the therapy was crazy, and that normal people generally don’t experience a past life. In this group, only 10% were successful at remembering a past life.

Baker’s conclusion from the study was that belief in past lives is the biggest predictor of whether or not a person will experience a past life when undergoing past-life regression. Another theory of skeptics is that clients are so highly suggestible in hypnotic states that the therapist may unintentionally steer their clients in the direction of remembering a past life, whether there is a past life to remember or not. What Believers Say Those who believe in the validity of past-life regression say that we carry every memory our spirit has ever experienced with us; however, our conscious mind sets up blocks that keep us from remembering. Hypnosis enables one to set aside the conscious brain and let the subconscious come forward. In this way, we can recall everything we’ve lived in this life and all other lives. There are many seminal works by proponents of past-life regression. Reliving Past Lives, by Helen Wambach, is based on a 10-year study of 1,088 clients undergoing past-life regression hypnosis. Wambach initially set out to debunk past-life regression; however, in asking very specific questions of her subjects, Wamabach found their accounts to be verifiably historically accurate in the case of all but 11 of her clients. By doing a further scientific analysis of past lives recalled by 10,000 volunteers, Wambach concluded: • 50.6% of the past lives reported were male and 49.4% were female — this is exactly in accordance with biological fact. • The number of people reporting upper class or comfortable lives was in exactly the same proportion to the estimates of historians of the class distribution of the period. • The recall by subjects of clothing, footwear, type of food, and

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 43

Special Report utensils used was better than that in popular history books. She found over and over again that her subjects knew better than most historians — when she went to obscure experts her subjects were invariably correct. Wambach’s conclusion was that past lives were a reality, and past-life regression was a viable way to tap into those memories. Canadian doctor Ian Stephenson, M.D., wrote the book Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. It was a series of case studies from clients undergoing past-life regression with historically verifiable details. His conclusion was also that past-life regression is indeed, viable, and real. Skeptic and psychologist Brian Weiss, M.D., became a convert to the belief in past lives when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. His skepticism started to fade when his client began to channel messages from “the space between lives,” which contained verifiable revelations about Dr. Weiss’ family and his dead son. This was the beginning of Weiss’ prolific writing career that includes many books about past lives and past-life regression, including his first book, Many Lives, Many Masters. Past-life regression therapists point to the curative powers of pastlife regression as further proof of its validity. Many believe that past-life regression has a variety of therapeutic uses. One such use is discovering a past-life ability and integrating it into the current life. For instance, there are stories of past-life regression clients who discovered that they could paint or play piano in a past life who were then able to bring those abilities forward into their lives when they’d never had ability to do so before the past-life regression session.


Another therapeutic use of past-life regression is clearing pastlife trauma, like the case of my sore throat that cleared up after I had my strange flash of the hanged slave. Others who have experienced past lives during regression have discovered the root causes of fears and phobias, illnesses, chronic pain, or they’ve found the origin of core beliefs that limit their success in this life. Many patients who have discovered these things during past-life regression have experienced release from the fears and conditions after discovering their origin. Back on the Fence So where does all of this leave me? I remain undecided as to whether my experience was real, symbolic, or a case of cryptomnesia. Other possibilities also remain in play. Perhaps, as Carl Jung suggests, I tapped into some kind of a collective unconscious and recalled memories of a real person, but it wasn’t a past life specific to me. Perhaps I had a waking dream. Maybe I was in communication with a restless spirit. Or maybe I made it all up. Just because cases like Bridey Murphy and the Boxham tapes were discredited does not necessarily mean that all cases of past-life regression are invalid. Disproving a few examples doesn’t disprove the phenomenon as a whole. There are many documented cases that have been verified as historically accurate. In the end, my experience didn’t provide enough detail to be verified any more than I have previously outlined. Further, I was a fairly difficult subject for hypnosis. My critical brain didn’t shut off for very long, and it spent a lot of the session vying for my attention with the part of me that was under hypnosis. This could have blocked my ability to see/hear the recall of important detail that could have been verified.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

I hoped going in that I would come out with more clarity about past-life regression. There were moments during the session where I was able to see things clearly, and I felt that it must be valid. At other times, everything was hazy. I wasn’t able to access any names or places — but then I wasn’t

asked what the woman’s name was. Since my answers arose only in response to direct questions, it may be that my attention wasn’t focused in the direction of names. I had also hoped that I would see

someone I recognized during the pastlife regression. Many people who have experienced past-life regression discuss recognizing people from their current lives as significant players in their past lives. This didn’t happen to me. I did, however, come out of the experience with an enhanced view of consciousness. The hypnosis got me

thinking about consciousness vs. brain. Could it be that what was happening was that my brain was actively involved in its usual brain activities, thoughts, analysis, etc., while it was my consciousness that was going through the

hypnosis? I truly felt as if I had two very separate and disparate thought processes occurring simultaneously, something that brain science says is impossible. According to most brain scientists, it is impossible to focus your brain in more than one direction at a time. This flies in the face of my experience — not just during hypnosis, but in my life in general. I constantly have multiple layers of thoughts that feel as if they are occurring simultaneously. Additionally, while all of these thoughts are occurring, other things are arising as well — images and impressions that are a constant undercurrent to every thought I have. Still, it is possible that all of those thoughts and images are occurring independently of one another at separate times, but the time between each is so miniscule that they appear to overlap one another. If consciousness is truly separate from the brain, then perhaps what I experienced during hypnosis — and what I experience in my everyday life — is consciousness arising and layering with the thoughts of my brain. I’ve always been aware of all of these layers, but the hypnosis made the difference between my critical mind and whatever was going along for the ride in hypnosis extremely obvious. I don’t know that I have any more answers about consciousness than I did before. Possibly I have even more questions. What I did come away with was an understanding that somehow there is a separation that occurred inside my head that may indicate that my consciousness is something that occurs entirely separately from my brain. I also know this. I enjoyed my session very much. Rita did a wonderful job working with a very difficult subject. I am unable to reach any conclusions as to the validity of my past-life regression; however, I would love to try it again some time in order to better form an opinion. Perhaps in another session with the

same therapist, I would have more trust in the process and be more able to set aside that part of my brain that yammered throughout my pastlife regression experience. Full disclosure — I am a believer in reincarnation. I also think that it is very possible that people undergoing past-life regression hypnosis are having genuine experiences. After my personal experience with past-life regression — before I started doing research — I leaned somewhat in the direction of the experience being real. Further research into the accuracy of what I had seen strengthened that impression; however, my research into past-life regression hypnosis pulled me slightly back in the other direction and plopped me firmly on the fence. I have no idea whether what I experienced was a genuine instance of past-life memory or not. I’d like to think it was. I think my husband summed it up best. When I told him that if the woman I saw was real, she was obviously a person of some financial means and fashion sense. His response? “Oh, then it must have been real — you were high maintenance even two lifetimes ago.” There you have it. It must have been real. Past-Life Regression: Postscript In an odd postscript, since I experienced my past-life regression, something strange has been happening. For absolutely no reason that I can discern, I keep trying to put my watch on my right wrist (being righthanded, I always wear it on my left). I have never done this before, yet since my session, I’ve done it about half a dozen times. I checked — and wrist watches were not common in 1865. Is this related to my past-life regression? I don’t know — but it is certainly interesting to note.

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 45

Special Report

Past-Life Regression: Case Study #1 — Bill


actually didn’t sign up for I would tilt with my breath, past-life regression. I went causing small stones to roll and to a masseuse because I was produce a sound. having some pain and numbness I felt that I was calling the in my legs and feet. spirits. I told the therapist I I was going through a series had lost my family and that anof treatments that included other tribe had attacked while “guided visualizations,” which I was hunting, stealing everyI thought were flummery, but I thing and killing the women played along anyway. The masand children. sages were good. I had climbed a mountain At one point, the therapist without food or water until I said, “I want you to think back could no longer climb, and was to a time when your head was now waiting for the spirits to shaved,” and I suddenly saw come take me. My breath bemyself in a room with maybe 50 came very slow and ragged. other small boys. The therapist, concerned, I appeared to be somebegan a more vigorous maswhere in Asia, perhaps closer sage, and I returned to my to India. There were ornate surroundings. designs on the stone walls and columns, and I knew the doors A Creative Event? were locked. I was later unable to find any I had been brought by my evidence of children enslaved as I told the therapist I had lost my family and that another parents on the promise to teach scribes anywhere in the world. I tribe had attacked while I was hunting, stealing everything me to be a scribe, and I was inalso have not found any sign that and killing the women and children. deed learning to copy print, but I American Indians used a covwould not be going home. ered bowl with stones as a drum rhythmic rocking of my torso, I was The visualization ended with of any sort. asked to remember a time when it what I knew were enemies breaking Both of those could be true, but was very warm. I found myself on down the door to capture us, as slave it is not common knowledge. an exposed rock, lying on my back scribes were a valuable commodity. I have since come to view my exwith the smell of overheated granite perience as a creative event, tapping around me. Visions of the Past my subconscious for images that I had a bowl covered with In another treatment, during a expressed my feelings of alienation stretched skin on my naval, which part of the massage that involved a and abandonment.


Paranormal Underground September 2008

More case studies

Reader Feedback

Do you Believe in Reincarnation?


aranormal Underground recently asked a few of its readers: “What are your thoughts on reincarnation?” Here’s what they had to say: Aprilee (RBGTL): Those who have spent any time studying Eastern religion are familiar with their beliefs that reincarnation is an inevitable part of the process of attaining true spiritual enlightenment. For the uninitiated, they believe our souls are reincarnated (possibly hundreds of times), as a learning experience for the soul. Each lifetime presents different challenges resulting in differing learning experiences. When one attains true enlightenment, they no longer reincarnate and may reside in a Heaven-like existence. It is believed that the soul itself decides when to become Earthbound, even picking their own parents based on the lessons that soul requires. Since there is no sense of time, a soul may not reemerge for centuries. These theories make sense to me, and I do feel that life is nothing more than a learning experience. ***** Foz: To be honest, my beliefs about reincarnation aren’t really defined right now. Sometimes I wonder if people may come back to Earth for another life if their last life did not go according to God’s plan.

Perhaps the person was supposed to accomplish something in his/her previous life, was given all the abilities and tools to do so, but for some reason failed. But how does God determine who gets a second chance since we all make mistakes in life? Do only people who made a sincere effort to live their lives according to plan get the second chance or does everyone? Those are questions that I haven’t answered for myself yet. ***** Bill A.: Reincarnation is an odd subject. Many religions believe in it wholeheartedly; others shun the idea as impossible due to its conflicts with their particular doctrine. I’ve heard stories and seen oddities to make me think it as plausible regurgitation of the human soul, but I have no proof either direction. While you won’t find me defending the thought of reincarnation down to my last drop of blood, you won’t find me throwing rocks at it either. It’d be nice to think that we get a chance to come back again and again like an onion burp, it might give us a chance to right wrongs we did this pass through, or maybe achieve some greatness we stumbled past in pursuit of distractive goals and pleasures. ***** Sandstone: My brain tells me that such a thing isn’t possible. It doesn’t seem logical or necessary. We have

to make the most of the time we are given. What we experience here, in this lifetime, needs to be enough. But then I meet someone for the first time who I can’t help but feel is an old friend. One of those immediate connections that we’ve all had. I don’t usually open up to new people quickly, but sometimes it feels like I’ve known someone forever. Such experiences suggest possibilities to me. ***** Cougar Bob: The Hindus believe that the soul goes through a series of progressions as it makes its way through the lifetimes. It is up to each individual to strive to improve him/herself, thus becoming a better human being. Eventually, an individual reaches the highest form of existence and becomes one with the universal soul where all is one. As for myself, I am still pondering the question as to whether souls are recycled. I think it is possible that they may get re-mixed. Each time we are born, our soul is an amalgam of other souls. Because of this, we have partial memories of past lives at the same time as others having similar memories. It is likely that this spiritual melting pot eventually becomes the universal soul and we’ve used up all of our chances. Or, it all could be a one-shot deal and we’ve been wasting a lot of time.

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 47

Special Report

Past-Life Regression: Case Study #2 — Claudia


n the early 90s, I was fortunate enough to attend hypnosis school in Oakland, California. The program was arranged so that working adults could attend school and work their regular jobs at the same time. This made for some very intense weekends, completely full of instruction and ‘hands-on’ training. Instead of going back to work on Mondays dog tired from the intensity, though, I went back full of excitement and stories of past-life regressions, healings — both physical and emotional — and lots and lots of fun. Creating a Balance We learned how to induce a hypnotic state, how to watch our client’s body for clues, how to intensify a signal from a client, but most of all, how to sit back and allow a client’s subconscious to take the person exactly where they needed to go for that session. There is a balance to creating a successful session, one that is perhaps described best as a cocreation of the experience. The hypnotherapist is there as both a helper and a witness, but oddly enough, not a guide! Yes, the hypnotherapist can bring you to the door to go through, but once there, the client becomes


the guide through their mind’s maze. A client could come in to do past-life regression, and something entirely different could happen, depending on where the subconscious wants to go and what it wants to bring forth for the client. On one occasion, we had a guest teacher, a highly respected hypnotherapist, an elderly woman who had been doing hypnotherapy since the time of Mezmer. Her class was our first on past-life regression, and of course, we were to be our own guinea pigs on the first go around.

I sensed that I was male, perhaps around 13 years old. I felt that I was somewhere in the Middle East or in Egypt . . .

Paranormal Underground September 2008

My First Regression We all staked out a piece of the floor in the house we were working in and sprawled out getting as comfortable as we could. After an induction, the part of hypnosis where the therapist takes you into your internal realm, we were asked to look down, in our minds, at our shoes. I looked down at my shoes and saw the dirtiest pair of feet I had ever seen, coated with dust and dirt, wearing a pair of sandals made of leather and woven grass straps. We were next instructed to look up and look around at our surroundings. I did so and saw a dusty desert town, a hot, bright sun, and an intense yellowish color emanating from the sand and the clay buildings. The air was absolutely dry as a bone. I sensed that I was male, perhaps around 13 years old. I felt that I was somewhere in the Middle East or in Egypt, somewhere quite arid and definitely not modern times . . . those shoes would be in a museum somewhere if ever dug up. Unfortunately, that’s as far as I got in that session. Experiencing My Ancestry The next exercise she had us do was very fun and very emotional for many of us. In a form of pastlife regression, you can look back

into your own ancestry in this life, visiting your own genetic history. My ties to my Italian grandparents had always been a strong one, loving how closely they lived to the seasons, the moon, the earth, and its rhythms. My experience visiting their early lives in Italy, and their parents’ lives, not only echoed the wonderful experiences I had at my grandparent’s house in Berkeley, but intensified it. Their lives were void of anything that separated them from their surroundings; there was no middleman that we take for granted in our sterile lives. You dealt directly with the animals and plants that were your life and livelihood, and that sustained you. You grew everything yourself, made everything yourself, and used herbs you grew as medicines. As unimaginable as it was to me, their lives were even more connected to the Earth than my own very Earthy grandparents. It seemed a horribly difficult yet intensely beautiful life.

Remembering Another Life Our next assignment was to practice on each other, regressing a fellow student. In my regression session, I found myself in the Middle East, perhaps Persia. I was a dancer in a group of women; we danced for rich men. Our dancing wear was beautiful and colorful, and we danced

I was a dancer in a group of woman; we danced for rich men. barefooted with lots of flowing veils and skirts. I was the property of the men in my family, my father of course, but just as strictly owned by my brothers, who both beat me and protected me from other men. I was property, not human. I lived pretty much in a state of fear a lot of the time, never knowing

which male member of my family would take their anger out on me. Hypnotherapy Has Different Results In using hypnotherapy in any form, for any result, what your subconscious presents for you to see can be something that quite literally happened, or it can be a metaphor for something going on in your life. For instance, hypnosis can be used to help a crime witness see a license plate better that they only remember partially in a waking state. My last regression, to me, didn’t have the feel of a literal past life, because while it could have been, it mirrored a feeling that I had in my present life. As mentioned before, I come from an Italian family, and while I was never beaten, I did have the sense that any man coming into my life would have to get past my father and brothers first! I hope this has given some insight into past-life regression, as well as what it’s like to learn to use hypnosis for personal growth. More case studies

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 49

Special Report

Past-Life Regression: Case Study #3 — Amara


belong to a group that looks into the spiritual as well as the scientific part of ghost hunting. We hold classes every week researching different aspects of religion and cultural belief systems and how their teachings and ideas deal with life and death. One of the members of our group is a spiritualist and also a Native American healer. Over several classes, we dealt with the idea of past lives, what could hold a person to this plane, or how they affect us in our lives today. The regression was done in a cerimonialistic way with smudging, chanting, and meditation. Different Planes of Existence The basis is that Native Americans believe in different planes of existence, an upper world, middle world, and lower world (to simplify things). A patient, as I will call it, takes a shamanic journey to either the upper world or lower world to seek answers, or for any number of reasons. The upper world mostly deals with the higher conscience, the middle world is this plane, and the lower world deals with inner powers and issues. I chose to partake the journey the clean way (no drugs) and was


guided into meditation. When the vision took over, it’s kind of hard to describe, it was like walking through a kaleidoscope, but when I came out of it, it was like I wasn’t me, but was. There was a woman there whom I spoke with, and from what I gathered, she was my guardian spirit. I explained why I was there, and she led me to a waterfall that had a small lake at the bottom. She told me to look into the water, and when I did, I saw a woman that I somehow knew was myself. She told me I had lived many lives, and this was one of the forms. We continued to talk as she told me about the life I had lead. As

she was talking, it was almost like I could see the events passing before me. Sadly, before I knew it, the person guiding my regression was calling me back. Over a series of four regressions, I got to experience four different lives. It actually answered a lot of questions as to why I had some of the phobias in this life that I had, and the weird sense of knowing facts without ever really learning them in the first place.

My First Regression: Wearing Animal Skins Out of the regressions I had, one was extremely prominent and the others were just brief glimpses. I was always called back before I could find out too much information. I know in one life that I was a man in what looked like pre-Christian times. I wore animal skins for clothing, and I think I was hunting some sort of animal. There were people with me, who I think were family. It was strange because I wasn’t speaking a language I knew in this life, but in a way, I could understand what was being said. I know I was in a forest, and there was water I know in one life that I was a man in what looked nearby. This one was the briefest, like pre-Christian times. I wore animal skins for because it was difficult for me to clothing, and I think I was hunting some sort of concentrate and relax. animal.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

Before I knew it, the drums were calling me back. My Second Regression: My Name Is Milly The second regression was just about as brief as the first. I was an old woman, and I was sitting down working on some sort of quilt. It was so realistic. I remember rubbing my hands together, almost in awe of how gnarled they looked, but I could still do the work. There was a fire nearby, wooden chairs, and a table. It seemed like I was in a little cottage, and I was by myself. I can remember thinking, my name is Milly, and I wasn’t always this old. I was about to find a mirror to look in, because I remembered the Shamanka (female medicine healer) telling me to try and get a glimpse of what my face looked like this time, when I heard the signal to come back. I was almost sad to leave this regression because I knew I lived alone and had been alone for a long time; and it was almost like who I was in that past life, knew that I was there. I heard myself say it was OK, and I took the journey back. My Third Regression: On a Battlefield The next regression took me to a battlefield. It was like I was hovering above myself, but I knew it was me who was fighting. I was painted in blue, and I was a female in this life. During this regression, I mostly watched rather than searched. I wasn’t sure, because of the last one, what would happen if I said or did anything. My Fourth Regression: A Secret Love The most in-depth one was

I was also a woman in this time . . . I believe my name was Moorna, or close to that spelling. I also knew that there was a man that I loved, but I couldn’t be with him for some reason. His name was Aiden, and I know we met in secret in a garden.

like living in a dream. I became met in secret in a garden. that person, walked as that person, This regression was a little harder breathed as that person. Everything to come back from; it was almost as was so realistic. I interacted with if I couldn’t disengage my conscious people, and part of me knew who from the woman I was then. they were. The Shamanka had to come in I was also a woman in this time, and lead me back. She had to actualand I want to ly do a cleansing say it was right to disentangle after the coming emotions I This regression was a the of Christianhad from back little harder to come ity because my then. There was father was coma lot of sorrow, back from; it was plaining about and I came back the priests and almost as if I couldn’t knowing that I how they were had taken my disengage my constarting to take own life. over. I still get scious from the I believe glimpses of that woman I was then. my name was life, and I even Moorna, or have dreams close to that about it from spelling. I also knew that there was time to time. a man that I loved, but I couldn’t I’m actually about to go on be with him for some reason. His another journey, and I am looking name was Aiden, and I know we forward to it!

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 51

Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites

Strange Happenings at Edgefield Manor By Karen Frazier


ifteen minutes east of Portland, Edgefield Manor was originally In 1947, the property was Oregon, in the town of TroutMultnomah County’s poor farm. converted to a nursing home, and dale, sits a destination resort Occupied by the disabled, menin the 1960s, part of the site housed that is one of Citysearch’s top 10 tally challenged, elderly, poor, and troubled children. The nursing haunted hotels in the United States. infirm, poor farms (or poor houses) home closed in 1982, and the farm Reports of strange happenings were established by Federal mandate was vacant until 1990, when it was pour in from guests and employees, and set up by local governments in purchased by Mike and Brian Mcincluding reports of a woman who the days before social assistance. Menamin and subsequently conwakes people by shaking their feet, a The Multnomah Poor Farm verted to a destination resort. ghostly black dog that sticks its nose was self-sustaining, with a farm and The McMenamins converted in the faces of sleeping guests, an orchards on the land. Residents the 38-acre property with its multiple invisible cat meowoutbuildings in ing to be let out of phases over the a bathroom, spirits next four years. peeking into or out of windows and wanMcMenamins dering the parking Transformed lot, and the sound Into Resort of children crying Now McMeand playing when no namins Edgefield children are present. is a thriving comBut the most replex and destinaports come in about At Edgefield Manor, reports of strange happenings include reports of a woman who wakes tion resort that is people by shaking their feet, spirits peeking into or out of windows and wandering the Althea’s Room, a a wine and diner’s parking lot, and the sound of children crying and playing when no children are present. third floor attic room adult Disneyland. in the main manor. The Georgian In this room, guests are awakened by harvested the produce, farmed hogs, Revival building that housed poor a ghostly young girl who serenades and operated a dairy and cannery. farm residents is now a National histhem with nursery rhymes and then The poor farm also housed a toric landmark and has been dubbed asks them to play with her. sanatorium. Residents were often Edgefield Manor. frail and sick, and there was minimal The main manor has been Edgefield Began as a Poor Farm medical care. As a result, deaths converted to European-style lodging Edgefield Manor’s history at the Poor Farm were common. and a hostel, complete with old-style certainly could be consistent with Those who died were often buried ambience and funky art on all of the multiple hauntings. Built in 1911, in unmarked plots. walls and guest doors. It is here that


Paranormal Underground September 2008

sphere — from the gently undulating hills that hold vineyards to the gorgeous orchards and gardens. All together, the Edgefield has eight different restaurants/pubs that feature wines, beers, and spirits from the onsite winery, brewery, and distillery. Vegetables and fruits abound on the restaurant menus, McMenamins Edgefield is a thriving complex and destination resort that is a wine and diner’s adult Disneyland. The Georgian picked fresh from the Revival building that housed poor farm residents is now a Nagardens and orchards tional historic landmark and has been dubbed Edgefield Manor. on the property. Just wandering the complex reveals the ghost of a young girl reportedly many surprises — like the old style serenades guests with nursery rhymes pool hall in the basement of the in the third floor Althea’s Room. manor; the cozy 12 table Little Red Across from the manor is Ad Shed bar that features fine scotch House. Formerly the home of the and spirits; Jerry’s Ice House, which poor farm administrator and his could best be described as a tribute family, the Ad House is now a bed bar to the Grateful Dead; an onsite and breakfast with a ghost of its own. potter and glass blower; and a funky Also on the property is the Powstatue of Jerry Garcia that is on hole er Station, a charming movie theater 10 of the 18-hole par 3 pitch-and-put and pub where moviegoers can sit golf course. back in comfy chairs, have a drink Guests can also go soak in the and something to eat, and watch a

soaking pool, relax with a number of spa services at Ruby’s Spa, or enjoy one of the summer concerts on the lawn that feature performers like Sheryl Crowe, Death Cab for Cutie, Lyle Lovett, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Edgefield Pricing and Location Pricing at Edgefield Manor is eminently reasonable. Hostel guests can stay for $20 a night, and European-style lodging (bathroom down the hall) ranges from $50 a night to around $110 a night. Suites with bathrooms are also available for around $150 a night. McMenamins Edgefield is sure to offer travelers a unique experience, steeped in history. And while you’re exploring all of its fascinating nooks and crannies, who knows — you just might come across a ghost. No extra charge. Edgefield McMenamins is located at 2126 SW Halsey Street, Troutdale, Oregon 97060, 800-669-8610. You can learn more about Edgefield and McMenamins’ other Pacific Northwest destination resorts on their Web site at www.

recent-release movie. Formerly the laundry and power facilities for the poor farm, the Power Station may also house a ghost. Employees here feel as if they are watched by an unseen presence. The wine tasting room is reportedly haunted by the specter of a mysterious black cat, and there are some rumors that seasoned employees stay out of the cellar and send the new employees down in their stead because of spooky occurrences there. Atmosphere Abounds at the Edgefield Manor The entire 38 acres of McMenamins Edgefield is filled with atmo-

Just wandering the complex reveals many surprises — like the old style pool hall in the basement of the manor; the cozy 12 table Little Red Shed bar (pictured) that features fine scotch and spirits; and a funky statue of Jerry Garcia that is on hole 10 of the 18-hole par 3 pitch-andput golf course.

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 53

Case Files of the Unknown: Cryptids

Cat-Like Cryptids By Jaime Johnesee, Zoologist


oday I am going to take you on a tour of some of the cat-like cryptids throughout the world. Please keep all hands and arms inside the article at all times, and whatever you do, don’t say, “Here kitty, kitty.” They really don’t like that! Just sit back, take in the facts, and draw your own conclusions as to what these ‘not so very domestic’ cat-like creatures are.

claimed the reward money; however, a few photos of the Beast of Exmoor have surfaced. One thing the photos and eyewitness stories have in common is that a fairly large, dark furred cat walks on four legs and is around four to eight feet long from nose to tail. Witnesses say the Beast can hop

a six-foot-tall fence with the ease of a man jumping over a rain puddle. What they seem to be describing and what the photos seem to show is a black leopard. Cryptozoologists and zoologists believe the creature to be nothing more than a black leopard, black jaguar, or even a cougar set free or having escaped during the time when British officials cracked down on owning exotic cats without being a licensed zoo or animal rescue center. The current sightings of the animal have convinced cryptozoologists and zoologists even further that the Beast of Exmoor is nothing more than a case of mistaken identity. The current and far less frequent sightings state a more dog-like creature is the culprit, causing most to believe that the Beast of Exmoor was really several different animals being confused as one. Is the Beast real, or is it a case of mistaken identity? Only time, and a good crisp photo, will tell.

The Beast of Exmoor The Beast of Exmoor is a quite famous British cryptid. Sightings of the Beast began in the 1970s, but they really increased in frequency in 1983. Resembling a large panther or cougar, the beast was seen primarily in and around Exmoor National Park in England. In 1983, Eric Ley swore up and down that in a period of three months more than 100 of his sheep were slain and partially eaten in a violent manner. The South Moulton farmer placed the blame for his animals’ deaths squarely upon the shoulders of the Beast. The local paper then offered a reward for the capture or slaying of the mysteriCryptozoologists and zoologists believe that the Beast of Exmoor is nothing more than a black leopard or black jaguar. ous Beast. No one has yet


Paranormal Underground September 2008

The Blue Tiger The Blue Tiger sure sounds like the name of some new celebrity eatery, but in all reality it is a current cryptid.

tigers that controlled that area of the closer to and spy on the men in her Also known as the Maltese Tiger, the jungle for so long rather than a single tribe as they gathered around a fire blue coloration of this cat makes witanimal. I think that this is more than telling the same sort of ‘the one that nesses take a second and third look. likely the case. got away’ type stories that hunters First spotted in the early 1900s, For those that don’t know how today still tell. the Blue was thought to be a new the solitary tigers keep their own terAlthough dressed like a couspecies of tiger unknown to the ritory, it’s pretty much like a title belt gar, she did not have the stealth of Fujian Province of China. Infrequent and a boxing match, winner take all. one and was eventually discovered. sightings have made this creature A male can hold onto his territory Her punishment was for the tribe’s hard to pin down. and the females that reside within if medicine man to turn her into a What most do agree on, howhe can win the fight. half cat/half woman and curse her ever, is the fact that the Blue Tiger An entire line of these cats ‘winto haunt the forests of what is now is most likely a genetic mutation ning’ could explain why Blue Tigers Eastern Tennessee. similar to what occurred in an Does the Wampus cat exanimal at the Oklahoma Zoo in ist? Probably not. There have 1964; unfortunately the cub did been no documented sightings not survive but was kept as a wet of one and considering the Florspecimen for further study. ida Panther (a type of cougar) What caused the blue colorused to set up camp in the same ation in the tiger cub is the same area, it is more than possible sort of aberration that causes any sightings that might possibly the so-called ‘black panther’ ever be reported could be of a (which is usually either a leopard panther and not a Wampus. or jaguar with the same color Still, if you’re in the woods distortion) to appear fully black. on a dark Tennessee night A recessive melanistic mutant and hear the growling noise allele and a recessive dilute muof a large cat, it’s probably tant allele cause the fur coloring best to hightail it out of there to be duskier than the norm. rather than wax philosophic With a black leopard/jaguar, on whether it’s a Wampus or it mostly covers the spots (or Florida panther. rosettes) so that they can not be seen until closer inspection. Cat-Like Cryptids Real? With the Blue Tiger it turns the Well there you have it. normal orange and black color Three of the several cat-like pattern into a blue or grey and cryptids and my take on them. As black pattern. First spotted in the early 1900s, the Blue Tiger was thought always, it’s ultimately up to you to The last known reported to be a new species of tiger unknown to the Fujian Provdecide if you think they are cases sighting of the Blue Tiger was ince of China. Infrequent sightings have made this creature of mistaken identities, mythologiduring the Korean war. If it hard to pin down. cal tales, or the real deal. was an albino genetic mutation, If you believe they are real it would have died off rather were seen in the area for such long and they are out there, there’s only quickly the same way a white tiger a period. one thing you can do. Set out a tray will in the wild. (When your prey of tuna and a pan of kitty litter, and can see you coming from a mile The Wampus Cat hope one of these beasties comes to away, it makes it hard to catch dinLet’s discuss Tennessee’s own visit you in the night. ner, and when your enemies can see Wampus Cat. A mythical creature Of course, you might also want you before you can see them, you’re rumored to have been brought into to hope that they haven’t learned in trouble.) the world when a Native American to open doors yet. Oh and that the The fact that the sightings lasted woman dressed in the hide of a neighborhood strays don’t swarm so long makes some wonder if it mountain lion in order to sneak your house too badly. were a family line of these mutant

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 55

Haunted History

The Ghost of ‘Little Boots’ By Jaime Johnesee


n August 30, 12, AD Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was born. He spent a great deal of time with his father’s (Germanicus) army and was so loved by the men that he earned himself the nickname ‘Caligula,’ which meant little boots. Germanicus, a great and well respected general, was the favorite to replace Augustus and rule the empire. Germanicus claimed on his death bed to have been poisoned by Tiberius, his uncle whom had adopted him in his youth. Mysterious Deaths This accusation caused Germanicus’ wife, Agrippina, to become infuriated with Tiberius, and she sought revenge for her husband’s supposed murder. After speaking out against Emperor Tiberius in public, Agrippina and several of Caligula’s family members died mysteriously and were thought to have been put to death by Tiberius as punishment for speaking against him.


Tiberius allowed Caligula and his sisters to live, sending them to Tiberius’ mother Livia’s home. When Livia died, Caligula was sent to live with his grandmother Antonia.

Not long after, Caligula’s brother, Drusus, was imprisoned and his other brother, Nero, died in exile. It was said that Caligula and his sisters were nothing more than slaves and prisoners of Tiberius, as they were closely guarded by his soldiers. In 31 AD, Caligula was sent to live with Tiberius in Capri, where it is said he was taught a very cruel and sadistic way of life. Always one step ahead of being put to death himself by Tiberius, ‘Little Boots’ was a fantastic actor and hid his hatred for the man extremely well.

Caligula, the beloved son of Rome, the adored ‘Little Boots’ of his father’s army, was not allowed a proper burial. He was partially cremated and not given the ceremony that allowed the dead to move on. His spirit was said to haunt the Lamian Gardens, the place where his charred corpse had been “dumped like garbage.”

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Heirs to the Throne On Tiberius’ death, Caligula and his cousin, Gemellus, were named joint heirs to the throne. The people remembered Germanicus, and after Tiberius’ cruel and harsh leadership, they cheered for Caligula to take the throne by himself, hoping that he would be the kind and wonderful man his father had been. For a time they were right. In October of 37 AD, Gaius ‘Caligula’ fell very ill and nearly died. Not long

Roman sestertius depicting Caligula, c. 38. The reverse shows Caligula’s three sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla, and Iulia Livilla.

after his recovery, he had several loyal individuals killed because they had promised their lives for his, he felt they ought to fulfill that promise. He also forced his cousin and fellow heir to the throne, Gemellus, to commit suicide. From then until 40 AD, Caligula’s descent into madness was slight, but little by little his tortured mind showed its true colors, and in 40 AD, he went way too far for most when he declared himself to be a living God. A Spirit Remains On January 24 of the year 41, Caligula was murdered by members of the Praetorian Guard. The very company designed for his safety plotted and carried out his demise. Led by a man named Cassius Longinus, the group stabbed Gaius more than 30 times. But to them, the mere death of the madman was no longer enough. They wanted even harsher vengeance, and his wife and child were also murdered . . .

Caligula, the beloved son of Rome, the adored ‘Little Boots’ of his father’s army, was not allowed a proper burial. He was partially cremated and not given the ceremony that allowed the dead to move on. His spirit was said to haunt the Lamian Gardens, the place where his charred corpse had been dumped like garbage. Years later, his sisters dug his remains up and gave them a proper burial, allowing the much aggrieved soul of Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus to be free. The ceremony had his sisters dress the shell of the once great Emperor in finery, then they had his remains carried through the streets to their final resting place. After undergoing cleansing rituals (you were considered unclean when someone nearest you died and their body was touched or looked upon by you), they followed his corpse to the site where he would be laid to rest. They finished the cremation

and interred his ashes into the tomb. Once done, Caligula’s ghost was not seen again, but all in Rome knew of his ghost and knew of the horrible injustice ‘Little Boots’ had suffered. Fact of Fiction? Was Caligula’s spirit really haunting the Lamian Gardens, or were the superstitions of the time regarding burials the basis for this famous ghostly legend? We may never know for sure, but the idea of a once popular, quite insane Emperor wandering the area his body was dumped at is an intriguing thought. If such a grand historical figure could hang around after death, who’s to say the rest of us couldn’t as well? While this is definitely not the first ghost tale in history, it was one that made a lasting impact on many people. The legend of Caligula’s ghost is one that makes you wonder whether or not the legend could be fact.

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Cultural Beliefs

Reincarnation Cultural B

Do We Co

By Binoo’mukua

I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning.” And, “Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other always exist.” — Benjamin Franklin Reincarnation: The belief that after death the soul is born again into another form with the ultimate goal of achieving perfection. This belief is the basic premise of many Eastern religions, which are considered some of the oldest religions in the world. But similar beliefs have also existed throughout other cultures since time immemorial. In this article, I will examine the religious and cultural beliefs of reincarnation, and also delve into several case studies of those who claim to have had a past life.


time they spread rapidly throughout the world. Each of these religions has varying beliefs on how and why the soul is reincarnated, but the basic concept is the same: The soul is eternal and strives for perfection through numerous lives. Other ancient religions, especially those of the Mediterranean, also have parts of their doctrine rooted in the reincarnation belief. One such religion is Greek Platonism. Evidenced in the teachings and writings of the Greek philosopher Plato, he believed that the soul lived in perfection in a celestial world, but due to sin or some other transgression, it was forced to live in a terrestrial form until atonement was achieved.

One controversial case involving past-life regression was that of Virginia Tighe. In 1952, Tighe was regressed by hypnosis and then claimed that she was a 19th century Irish woman from Cork named Bridey Murphy.

Roots of Reincarnation The belief in reincarnation is felt by many scholars to have its roots in India. During the 9th century BC, the Brahmana writings were composed. The Brahman was considered at the time the highest form of holy man

in ancient Indian religion, and these writings set forth concepts and ideas on religious practice and ritual. The premise of reincarnation is felt by scholars to have originated in these texts. They speak of the belief that according to one’s deed in Earthly life, a person’s soul will

be rewarded in heaven accordingly, and then be returned to an Earthly existence in the continual cycle for perfection. As these beliefs and practices evolved over time, they were adopted by many early Eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Jainism, upon which

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Religion and Reincarnation Later in the 3rd century BC the Neo-Platonism movement began, adopting a more Hinduistic view of reincarnation. This movement to a more Hindu like belief coincides with a period of increased contact with Eastern cultures during this time, and their religious ideologies through the trade of goods and Greek expansion.

Beliefs and Case Studies:

ome Back?

Western ideas on reincarnaand to establish a uniform church many scholars ascertain that the tion are relatively new, taking shape doctrine. As a doctrine was agreed origins of these omitted books are of mainly during the late 19th and early upon by vote of the bishops, some questionable origin, as their prov20th centuries. As more people works attributed to those who lived enance cannot be traced for certain. began to explore the doctrines of and wrote during the time of Christ However, it is not unreasonable to religions other than Christianity, the were omitted because they did not assume that given the time that these belief in reincarnation in the West conform to the doctrine of the time. events took place, a strong worldbegan to rise. One of these books, Pistis view based on early Greek docHowever, as the basic principle Sophia, comes from the Gnostic trine would have been widespread of Christianity is based amongst those living on resurrection and not during biblical times, and reincarnation, there are they would have been famany proponents of the miliar with the principals reincarnation belief that use of Greek Platonism and biblical text to support their Neo-Platonism. ideas that reincarnation is a Christian principle. Beliefs in ReincarOne such text comes nation Continue to from the “Book of JeremiStrengthen ah,” and concerns the prophAs you can see, the et Isaiah: “Before I formed belief in reincarnation you in the womb I knew you, is old, but why is it so and before you were born I persistent in so many culconsecrated you.” tures today? One thought Another verse comes is that as more people from the Apocryphal texts. explore techniques such These are books attributed as past-life regression or Dr. Ian Stevenson was a leading researcher in the field of past-life regresto Christian biblical times, spontaneous past-life resion and published several books on the subject. In his studies, Stevenbut were excluded from the son revealed that ‘cryptomnesia’ may be the cause of many accounts of call, the proof of reincarBible we know today during past lives when hypnosis is used. nation becomes evident. the first and second councils But are these cases true? of Nicaea. In the next section In the year 325, the Roman Gospels and is attributed to Jesus of this article, we will explore several Emperor Constantine I evoked a Christ. It states, “Souls are poured cases of hypnotic past-life recall and council of church bishops to settle a from one into another of different spontaneous past-life recall, and exdispute in the church regarding the kinds of bodies of the world.” amine the pros and cons of each case. relationship of Jesus and the Father, Considering these early works, Hypnotic past-life regression

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Cultural Beliefs is the process by which a person is hypnotically regressed to recall any past life that he or she may have had. During this process, many people will begin to speak with accents or recall moments of time gone by, claiming to be someone who lived during a certain period. The Regression of Virginia Tighe: Bridey Murphy In many of these instances, the person will recall specific details of that person’s life and describe in detail different aspects of the period they have regressed to. One such case is that of Virginia Tighe. In 1952, Tighe was regressed by hypnosis and then claimed that she was a 19th century Irish woman from Cork named Bridey Murphy. Proponents of reincarnation claim that this is proof positive of reincarnation. Virginia Tighe recounted many aspects of Bridey Murphy’s life, including her date of birth, how she died, her husband and her parents’ names, and many other details that seemed to corroborate what 19th century Irish life should be. Upon further investigation, researchers could not verify if a Bridey Murphy actually existed as no birth or death records could be found. However, other details of Virginia’s account seemed accurate, such as her description of the Irish coastline and her naming of the grocer that Bridey Murphy dealt with. After years of study, scientists came to the conclusion that under hypnosis, Virginia Tighe was relating events of her childhood. This conclusion was arrived at when it was discovered


that both of Virginia’s parents were of Irish decent, and that an Irish immigrant named Bridie Murphy Corkell lived across the street from Tighe’s childhood home in Chicago, Illinois. Was Virginia Tighe faking the whole incident? Probably not. Science has shown that under hypnosis, the mind is very susceptible to suggestion. It can also relate events that we have witnessed in our lives but not recorded to memory, such as a passing conversation or the glancing

at the pages of a book. While we are exposed to a myriad of sights, sounds, sensations, and other events every day, only those that we deem important to us are registered as memory. Under normal circumstances, the conscious mind filters out the ‘noise’ and

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registers the pertinent information accordingly. The subconscious mind is a different story. It records everything it encounters, and under hypnosis, things that we cannot remember under normal circumstances can be recalled. This phenomenon is known as cryptomnesia, and is illustrated in this next case. Cryptomnesia Accounts for Some Cases of Past-Life Recall Dr. Ian Stevenson is a leading researcher in the field of past-life regression and has published several books on the subject. In his studies, Stevenson revealed that cryptomnesia may be the cause of many accounts of past lives when hypnosis is used. To illuminate this point, Stevenson related this account of a young Englishwoman. Under hypnosis this woman claimed that she was a person related to the court of King Richard II in the 14th century. She gave names and details of others who were related to the court of the King, and included details of her life and those in it. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the details had come from a fictional novel that had been published in the latter half of the 19th century, detailing the life of a countess in the court of Richard the II. It was discovered that her aunt had a copy of this book, and while having never read it, as a child she had glanced at the pages. Under hypnosis, this young woman believed that she had once been a member of King Richard’s court, but in truth, her subcon-

scious mind was just recounting information that it had stored years earlier. While the mind can do amazing things — and under hypnosis our subconscious can relate things that we have encountered but cannot recall — the next phenomenon offers a more compelling argument for supporters of the belief in reincarnation. A Compelling Argument for Reincarnation Spontaneous past-life recall is a phenomenon that occurs in some children under the age of 10. While rare, they may represent some of the most compelling evidence for the believers of reincarnation. Spontaneous past-life recall occurs when a young child, usually between the ages of two and four will suddenly, without coaxing or the aid of hypnosis, claim to be someone who has lived before, usually in a place the child is not aware of or has never visited. The child will go on to relate details so intricate about the person’s life and where they lived that researchers have difficulty attributing it to chance. These children will describe belongings and how they were acquired, details of rooms, friends, family, and neighbors. In many instances, when taken to the locations they describe, which in some cases are located hundreds of miles away from where they were born, they can navigate the area and illustrate the details of their location as if they had lived there all of their lives. In one such case in 1964, a young man from Lebanon claimed to be from another village, describing in detail his family and the village itself, even though he had never been there. Refusing to take him to visit the village he described, his parents discounted his stories until one day a stranger from the described village arrived in the young man’s town.

Upon seeing the stranger, the young man ran to him and embraced him shouting, “You were my neighbor.” The young man went on to describe in detail who he was and the relationship he had with this “neighbor.” Being a member of the Druzes religion, a group whose doctrine is rooted strongly in reincarnation, the stranger corroborated the young man’s story as accurate and explained the man he claimed to be had died of tuberculosis in 1949. In many cases of spontaneous past-life recall, children will begin speaking of their past lives almost as soon as they themselves learn to

In many cases of spontaneous pastlife recall, children will begin speaking of their past lives almost as soon as they themselves learn to speak. speak. Their claims are accurate, their descriptions are detailed, and both researchers and witnesses to the life of the person in question can corroborate the accounts given by the children. Does Empirical Evidence Exist on Reincarnation? Is this the proof that science needs? The answer is unequivocally no. While these cases are compelling, they cannot be considered empirical evidence. However, they are scientifically compelling enough to warrant further investigation in the

field, and many mainstream scientists such as Dr. Ian Stevenson, are doing just that. By now, some of you are probably wondering what my beliefs on reincarnation are. As an anthropologist, I realize that reincarnation is the basic premise of some of the oldest religions in the world. I also realize that all cultures and their beliefs are valid, and would never say or do anything to ridicule or belittle the belief of another. One thing that I have learned over the years is that all religions, regardless of the culture they sprang from or the foundations of their doctrines, have one thing in common: its members must have faith. Faith is believing in that which you cannot see or prove, it is believing in that one thing that you are not sure of, but yet still believing. That is faith. Do I have enough faith to believe in reincarnation? Let’s just say that I’m on the fence with this one. I neither believe, nor disbelieve. While some evidence is truly compelling, some of it can be explained in relatively simple measures. But do we need proof? My feelings as a scientist are that, with this being a matter of religion, isn’t faith enough? The question then should not be, “Is reincarnation real?” The question should be “Do you believe in reincarnation?” In next month’s issue, I will explore the subject of demonology across cultures. And 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 with your request. For a more in-depth discussion on this and other similar topics, visit The “Think Tank” at

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 61

Cultural Beliefs

The Allure o By Michael Kleen


was eight years old when my uncle died suddenly. I still remember the icy chill that ran through my small body when I realized for the first time that I too — despite all denials, pleading, and protest — was going to die some day. Both of my grandfathers passed away a few short years later, and I shivered in fear each night after their funerals. What a cruel joke life seemed to me; we are born without consultation, and at any time can be hurled back into that empty void. I began reading books about death. I prayed for some kind of sign from the other side. I visited cemeteries. I even wrote my own will. None of it alleviated that ominous feeling of mortality. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was slowly joining a rich tradition in Western culture, a tradition that embraces rather than denies the unpleasant facts of life, and that seeks to understand the meaning of our mortality through a submergence in its imagery. Lord, bring on the night. A Fascination With Death Anthropologists tell us that some primitive precursor to humankind realized its mortality between 50,000 and 150,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic Period on the continent of Europe. They have


uncovered Neanderthal and early human skeletons carefully laid in the cool, murky depths of Spanish caves. Small artifacts occasionally accompanied the remains. It is fitting that these token expressions of loss, along with the artwork that still adorns cavern walls, are the earliest evidence of something uniquely human lurking behind the simian eyes of our distant ancestors. Ever since we emerged into the daylight of consciousness, humankind has expressed a fascination with the limits of our mortality through the mediums of art, ritual, and music. The contemporary Goth, Industrial, Dark Wave, Heavy Metal, horror, paranormal, and various occult subcultures, as well as their hybrids, all share a common desire to embrace the allure of Thanatos — the Greek god of death — and explore his depths. Exploring the Dark Side This siren song is certainly not new, and our contemporary exploration of the dark side owes its existence to a long history of Thanatophilia in Western culture. Every ancient civilization had its personification of death and its ruler of the underworld, of course. The Hindus called him Yamaraj; the Aztecs — Mictlantecuhtli; and the Egyptians — Anubis. In Japan, death

Paranormal Underground September 2008

Our fascination with death stems from a deep curiosity curiosity leads us to embrace the trappings of Thanato connection with the cultural expressions of our innerm

was a female spirit named Izanami. But most contemporary expressions of our fascination for the macabre can simply be traced back to the Romantic Movement of 18th and 19th century Europe and North America. The Romantics certainly did not create this culture out of thin air, but they molded preexisting symbolism into the familiar form we see today. The Romantics revolted against both the rationalism of science

of Thanatos Romanticism gave us The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820), Gothic horror novels such as Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), authors and poets such as Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ann Radcliffe, and Lord Byron, and even composers like Richard Wagner, who some have called the grandfather of heavy metal.

y of an unavoidable and ultimate experience. This os, and to seek understanding through an intimate most fears.

and the old order in Europe. They believed in exalting the irrational, emotional, and imaginative side of the human experience. For instance, Goethe’s novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), a classic in Romantic fiction that heavily influenced the “Sturm und Drang” literary movement, caused some young readers to follow the novel’s protagonist in taking their own lives.

The Emergence of Spiritualism Spiritualism, and the field of ‘psychical research’ that grew up as a reaction to it, emerged out of the same cultural milieu. The Romantics were also responsible for preserving and recording most of the folktales and legends that provide the fodder for so many modern horror movies and heavy metal albums. It was no accident then that the Victorians, who were raised under the influence of Romanticism and who eagerly embraced the aesthetic of Gothic Revival, were some of the most morbid people who have ever lived. They adorned their front parlors (when they weren’t being used to display actual corpses before burial) with memento mori — pictures of deceased relatives, and their contributions to cemetery art are still unrivaled in beauty and sublimity. The Victorians, as I had after

the death of my uncle, desperately tried to contact their departed loved ones. Mediums claiming to be able to manifest all kinds of supernatural phenomenon flourished on both sides of the Atlantic, alongside an unquenchable public thirst for ghostly tales and dime novels starring vampires, werewolves, mad scientists, and maniac killers. In inter-war Paris, spectators packed the Grand Guignol, a theater that offered live action horror shows replete with insanity, bondage, and mutilations. But despite a brief rebirth of the Gothic in German and American cinema in the 1920s, which gave us F. W. Murnau’s silent classic Nosferatu (1922), Hollywood’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), and The Phantom of the Opera (1925), the two world wars permanently shattered our Romantic and Victorian sensibilities. Humankind no longer seemed dignified in the face of our mortality; we appeared to have been transformed into the very beasts we always assumed were only lurking in the recesses of our imaginations. Between 1918 and 1945, the old order in Europe collapsed in an apocalyptic inferno. Out of its ruins rose a new, consumer-driven popular culture. On both sides of the Atlantic, Thanatophilia would never be the same.

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Cultural Beliefs Hollywood Popularizes Horror America was largely untouched by either world wars, and during the 1930s, Hollywood popularized horror in a series of movies we are all still familiar with today. Among these were Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), all of which had been adapted for the screen from the classic Gothic fiction of the Romantic era. Charles Addams’ morbid and satirical cartoons also found their way into the pages of The New Yorker during that time period. By the 1950s and early 1960s, popular culture in the United States had split into two distinct categories. On one hand stood television shows such as Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963) and My Three Sons (1960-1972), muscle cars, and Elvis, and on the other stood horror comics, TV shows like The Adam’s Family (1964-1966), movies such as What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), and real-life killers Ed Gein and Charles Starkweather. The existence of a shiny, polished surface and a gritty underbelly would henceforth be characteristic of American culture. This reacquaintance with the death culture might have faded away if it hadn’t been for a series of important events: the Vietnam War and the industrial depression of the 1970s. The Darker Side of Music As American prosperity vanished, the British Empire collapsed, and the cities fell into disrepair after urban rioting and white flight, three important music genres were formed: Punk, Heavy Metal, and Rockabilly. Drawing from historical themes, as well as the dystopia that surrounded them, these musical genres flirted with the darker side of the postmodern landscape. Their lyrics were filled with violence, pain, nihilism, and death.


The turmoil of the Vietnam War era gave birth to a new generation of horror films, whose creators drew direct inspiration from the tumult they witnessed at home and abroad. In the 1970s, Alice Cooper’s stage theatrics, accompanied by the growing popularity of graphic horror movies like The Last House on the Left (1972), threw Evangelicals and local police into a panic over prepubescent Satan worshipers. Every abandoned cemetery — a longtime setting of Gothic fiction — was rumored to be the stomping grounds of occultists ready to engage in ritual murder. It wasn’t long before Punk, Heavy Metal, and Rockabilly

Michael Kleen (pictured) reveals his insights on humankinds’ struggle with its own mortality.

splintered into more extreme forms. Death Rock, Goth Punk, Death Metal, Black Metal, Psychobilly, and Horrorcore all joined the scene in the late 1980s and 1990s. The Goths especially drew their inspiration, as well as their name, from Victorian death culture. But other genres, such as Horrorcore and Psychobilly, drank from the deep well of 20th century horror films, and as an extension, the old Victorian Gothic novels that had inspired them. These new urban subcultures,

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while they embraced distinctive musical forms, all shared virtually the same aesthetics and owed their existence to the same pool of cultural references. For instance, the music videos for Type O Negative’s “Love You to Death” and Cradle of Filth’s “Her Ghost in the Fog” could have both rested comfortably in the pages of an Ann Radcliffe novel. Even the dark, brooding, and sorrowful tones of Bella Morte and The Crüxshadows, while found in a neon-filled techno landscape, are all reminiscent of 19th century Romantic sentiment. Contemporary Gothic fashion, characterized by black dresses, tight corsets, high boots, and porcelain skin tone, are all reclamations of Victorian mourning and funerary costumes. Embracing the Trappings of Thanatos It is not only our Thanatophilia that we share with the Victorians of yore, it is the burning desire to understand and come to grips with our mortality. Sigmund Freud believed that we developed a death drive — the primal urge to return to our pre-existing, inanimate state — as a way to mitigate the trauma of unpleasant experiences. Similarly, I believe our fascination with death stems from a deep curiosity of an unavoidable and ultimate experience. This curiosity leads us to embrace the trappings of Thanatos, and to seek understanding through an intimate connection with the cultural expressions of our innermost fears. That is what I, Goths, Metal Heads, horror movie buffs, paranormal enthusiasts, and cemetery stalkers all have in common — a desire to come to grips with our mortality on death’s terms. Like Horace Walpole, who penned the first Gothic novel over 240 years ago, and like our simian ancestors before us, we seek to slowly alleviate the fear of our own deaths, one artifact at a time.

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2nd Annual Halloween Chat! Date/Time: Oct. 31, 8 EST/7Central/6 PST Where: (home page)

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 65

Quantum Musings

An Inside Look at Pa Normal, Everyday Q By Jim Frazier


ime keeps on slipping, into the future . . . Why only in one direction? Einstein’s Theory of Relativity showed that the closer you get to the speed of light, the slower time moves for you. Time is often referred to as the fourth dimension, but it’s really more of a frame of reference. If the universe, itself, is moving at light-speed, any motion relative to it would change the rate at which the observer interacts with the rest of the universe. Old Universes: Where Do They Go? We obviously can’t go forward or backward at will, like we can in the other dimensions, and we have no real way of knowing what happens to the ‘old universe’ that gets left behind (18 million-trillion-trillion-trillion times per second). Does it go somewhere else? Parallel universe theories abound, but given the rate at which the universe ‘refreshes,’ and the estimated 15 billion year age of our universe, the ‘past’ would use a considerable amount of storage . . . although I’m sure many parents would dearly love


to download it from Napster. The simplest explanation is that reality is over-written, including everything that remains the same from one instant to the next. However, if you look deep enough, nothing stays the same from one moment to the next. Atoms move within molecules and vibrate freely at any temperature above absolute zero. Electrons orbit an atom’s nucleus, with their position constantly changing. Even a pet rock has a lot going on if you look deep enough. Therefore, even a simple explanation is anything but.

The Entropy of the Universe Scientists generally accept Jim Frazier, nuclear engineer, provides us with what he deems that space contains tiny knots of folded dimensions, which So why does time inexorably could be unfolded in other grind in one direction only? This is universes. This would explain some one of the great head-scratchers of of the weirder aspects of ‘quanour age, and no one really knows. tum entanglement,’ including how One theory recently proposed separated particles can interact with that time is linked to the ever-ineach other outside the confines of creasing entropy of the universe. Ennormal space and time. tropy is a little-understood concept What happens in Vegas only that geeks use to make themselves stays there in this continuum.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

aranormal Aspects of Quantum Mechanics things tend to become diffusely clumped in a random, chaotic manner. Entropy can be locally restored to an initial lower value, but only by effort, which comes at the expense of higher entropy elsewhere. Any expenditure of energy always increases entropy, which is why nothing is ever 100 percent efficient, and perpetual motion has never been achieved. Think of it in terms of how much more easily your kitchen gets dirty than it gets clean, and how much of a mess you make while cleaning it. It won’t make you really understand entropy, but it’s nice to know it’s not your fault the garbage can is full again.

s his “quantum foaming at the mouth.”

sound more intelligent, usually in the context of something Mr. Spock said during an episode of Star Trek. In a nutshell, entropy is a measure of the disorder in the universe, which was originally very hot, compressed, and exceedingly uniform (and thus in perfect order). As our universe expands,

The Folding and Unfolding of Our Universe Just because our universe is currently expanding doesn’t mean that other universes have to be. Time could be going in the opposite direction in the folded dimensions of our universe that are unfolded in another universe, creating microscopic loops between the past, present, and future.

‘Quarks’ make up all other particles from protons to photons, and since only six types of quarks are known to have ever existed (the four heaviest have been extinct since the universe was in its first few seconds), all matter and energy is essentially the same at a basic level. Human thought and consciousness is really all just a very complex pattern of quarks. If our thoughts can resonate in the folded dimensions, then why can’t they pop back into our universe from time to time? How else could we explain those vague little inklings of the future that we all seem to get, or the apparent psychic abilities of a select few. You know — like déjà vu all over again. Personally, I have no problem with an occasional visit from the future, as long as it doesn’t come back with a trunk full of laundry. Jim Frazier is a nuclear engineer. While he is highly skeptical about paranormal phenomena, he believes that there is much in the universe that is beyond our current level of understanding — so if the paranormal exists, then logical explanations lie in quantum mechanics.

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Fiction: Featured Author

Haunting Anna By Karen Frazier


hese are the things I never thought I would do in my life: climb Mount Everest, participate in a triathlon, fight in a war, give up ice cream, kill my husband. These are the things I still haven’t done in my life: climb Mount Everest, participate in a triathlon, fight in a war, give up ice cream. If I was going to choose one to check off of my list, I don’t think it would have been that one. It’s true. I killed Aaron. I can still see my two hands pulling away from protecting my face from his blows and opening the balcony door. In the fading twilight, my hands look like small, white moths flailing at a light. As if in slow motion, the moths reach out to ward off his punches as he rushes out after me, and then they push him away as he grabs for my hair. Now they fly out of my field of vision, and I can feel them covering my mouth as Aaron pitches over the balcony railing and disappears from my field of view. Then, an ungodly wail pierces the air, and I realize I am screaming Aaron’s name. The investigation and funeral appear to me now in snapshots. There is no feeling there — I am numb. I am vaguely aware that people are talking to me. Asking me questions and carefully watching my responses. I don’t care what they do to me or if they believe me at all. My sister, an attorney, stays with me. It seems


that she cares enough for both of us, and it is she who leads the police investigators to friends and neighbors who are aware of the secret life that Aaron and I led, no matter how hard I had tried to conceal it. I can see a snapshot of my sister, smiling triumphantly as she tells me that no charges will be brought because the police are convinced I was acting in self-defense. More snapshots of the funeral. Aaron asleep in a box. A sting on my cheek from where his mother slaps

Once again, the night is filled with the sounds of otherworldly screams. me. My mother crying and leading me away. The smell of flowers — everywhere flowers, until I feel like my head will explode with their cloying scent. ***** Now Aaron comes to me every night. He is the Aaron I remember from the beginning — sweet, tender, and smiling. In these night visits, he is the Aaron that I always wanted near me — not the one whose approaching footsteps beat a pattern of fear into my thundering heart.

Paranormal Underground September 2008

Aaron’s visits must be a dream — and yet they don’t have the hazy confusing quality of a dream. He is so real and vivid. I can feel each of his touches, and his whispered words of love brush against my ear like a soft sigh. Surely it must be wishful thinking on my part, because he tells me that it wasn’t my fault and that he forgives me. And then he brushes away my tears and takes me in his arms. ***** It is Saturday morning, and I am aimlessly browsing through a rack of shirts when I feel a warm hand on my shoulder. “Anna — is that you?” Looking up, I am surprised to see Marc, my college boyfriend. His handsome face is softer around the eyes than I remember, and there is gray in his temples — but it is clearly him. My stomach clutches, and I feel as if my arms are paralyzed. I am rooted to my spot, but his face breaks into a boyish smile, and I am enveloped in warmth and strength as he hugs me. He is saying something — but it is muffled by the wool arms that are scratching at my ears. I am not sure whether I am going to laugh or burst into tears. Both feelings are inside of me, and I can only sit back inside of myself and watch to see which one comes out. I want his hug to go on forever — but he pulls

away and holds me at arms’ length. To my surprise — I neither laugh nor cry. Instead I smile and look into the eyes that I have never forgotten. Marc is laughing. “I was just talking about you to someone the other day, and here you are,” he says. And then his eyes go to the small jade pendant I have around my neck. He reaches out to touch it. “You still have it,” he says. “I never imagined you would still have it.” And suddenly I am right back to where we were. Marc and I always had a pull between us that was stronger than gravity — and as his hand brushes against my throat, I can feel the gravity pulling me toward him as if there were not 15 years of distance between us. Marc and I go for coffee. Coffee becomes lunch, lunch becomes dinner, and dinner ends at Marc’s house. I feel as if I am waking up for the first time since I killed Aaron. Marc tells me about his marriage and divorce, and then asks me about mine. I try to tell him only the good parts about Aaron, but somehow the rest slips out in a rush of unintended words. After I tell him, I feel as if I have swallowed a hot stone that is burning in the pit of my stomach — but when I look up into Marc’s eyes I see no condemnation.

condo for Marc. We laugh constantly. Suddenly I can see that maybe there is something ahead for me other than the vast emptiness in which I have existed. Later I am violently awakened by something pummeling my head. Reflexively, I reach up to protect myself, but find only air. I see Marc sleeping peacefully next to me and decide I must have been dreaming in spite of my throbbing head. I am ready to lie back down and go to sleep when my hair is yanked back, and I hear Aaron’s voice hissing in my ear. “Who is that, slut?” I try to cry out, but it feels as if a

***** It is Sunday morning, and Marc returns with me to my condo. I change my clothes, and we head off to Alki Beach. It is one of those brilliant autumn days where beneath the warmth of the sun and brilliant blue sky is the scent of a crisp chill. We walk along the beach, and I find myself spontaneously bubbling over with laughter — something that I can’t remember doing, it has been so long. In the afternoon, we pick up some groceries, and I cook dinner at my

rag has been stuffed into my mouth. I reach up to yank it out, but there is nothing there. Another blow whaps me on the side of the head. Instantly my ears start to ring, and hot tears leap to my eyes. I try to fight back, but I am fighting only air. Next to me, Marc sits up and sees me struggling against an invisible force that is pinning me to the bed. “Anna, wake up, you are having a dream,” he says and reaches over to touch me. “DON’T TOUCH HER,”

Aaron’s voice roars from somewhere behind me, and Marc is slammed backwards and off of the bed. Suddenly, I am free, but I don’t know where to run or what to do. From the edge of the bed, I can hear Marc struggling as if he is fighting for his life. I roll off of my side of the bed and run around to Marc. I reach to pull him away from the unseen force that is pummeling him, but I am flung backwards and smack against the wall, dazed. Now, Marc is on his feet, and it appears he is being driven backwards toward the balcony doors. The doors open, and Marc stumbles backwards onto the balcony. Time slows to a stop-motion crawl. I am filled with icy dread as I suddenly realize Aaron’s intention. Snapshot of me running toward the balcony. Snapshot of Marc punching at an invisible force. Snapshot of the horror on Marc’s face as he realizes he is about to go over the railing. And then once again the night is filled with the sounds of otherworldly screams, which I vaguely recognize as my own. Just like that, clarity dawns. I can see the road ahead of me like I am reading pages from a book. And the future I see is unacceptable. I know what I must do. I am no longer in a dream, and the balcony rail beckons. I imagine what my flight to the ground will be — a slow tumble with the white moths that are my hands fluttering gracefully out to my sides. I step up to the railing and look down at Marc’s broken body on the concrete below. Briefly I worry that I will be condemned to spend eternity with Aaron — but I can feel in my gut that this isn’t true. There is only one way to end this. This is my path, and this is all I know.

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Personal Experiences

Diary From a Haunted Hotel By Carolyn M. Hughes


hen I began working as a night auditor a year and a half ago at Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters, which is located on the Gettysburg battlefield, I anticipated experiencing nothing more interesting than having some bizarre request from a guest. Yes, I knew what happened on this particular part of the 25-squaremile battlefield on July 1, 1863, where I would be spending my 16-hour shift. And, I had already amassed thousands of photographs and voice recordings on my nightly visits with my “spirit friends” who inhabit the entire town and battlefield. I had even seen the soldiers on three different occasions, with witnesses, who appeared only a few feet away, looking as alive and real as you or I. That is, they appeared alive and real until they disappeared before our eyes. But, I never expected my “spirit” friends to visit so often or to hear so many accounts of activity from unsuspecting guests. I never thought they would alert us to their presence in so many creative ways, or for there to be so much activity involved. Sometimes, weeks go by with nothing unusual reported by an excited guest and/or nothing personally experienced by myself or reported


by the rest of the staff. And then, unaccountably, there is a flurry of incredible activity. Working on a Civil War battlefield during the daylight hours and throughout the night gave me a unique opportunity to document and share not only my personal experiences, but also those of other staff members and guests who have no previous knowledge of exactly

those men and boys in blue and gray who fought valiantly for what they believed in on this hallowed ground during those three days in July of 1863. Owning and having read more than 200 books on the battle itself, I am sometimes horrified, but mostly in awe of, what they did here. I am of the personal belief that they only want us to know that they are still here and not to forget what happened here, for it is on this ground that they truly gave their “last full measure of devotion.”

Tuesday, July 1 1:30 a.m.

Courtney . . . walked into the lobby and looked over to the four-foot-tall painting of General Robert E. Lee. She said that it looked blurry. Then, she realized that she was looking at the painting thru ecto . . .

what happens in this space and on this ground where so many lost their lives. It was with that thought in mind, that I began this diary. I have the utmost respect for

Paranormal Underground September 2008

I was sitting and reading, having finished the night audit. I heard a loud bang that sounded very close and appeared to come from the direction of the room where the breakfast is prepared. I could clearly see the entire area from where I was sitting. Nothing had fallen, and nothing was disturbed.

Wednesday, July 2 8:00 a.m. Guest checking out asked front desk clerk: “Is there something that you neglected to tell me about the

Courtney was working her all-night shift. At 9:50 p.m., the front door opened, and there was no one there. In the next few seconds, Courtney heard one loud cannon blast. Minutes later, Courtney was in the office and saw an impression being made in the recliner there that appeared as if someone sat down in it. (I have witnessed this myself on numerous occasions.)

suite I stayed in last night?” Front desk clerk, who knew what goes on in that particular suite but was afraid to acknowledge this, said, “Why, what happened”? Guest: “There was an apparition that appeared in the living room of the suite last night.” Front desk clerk: “What did it look like?” Guest: “A big white cloud.” This incident with the guest occurred on the evening of July 1. My incident also occurred on July 1. July 1 is the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. A great part of the fighting that took place on July 1 occurred on and around the ground where the hotel sits. On a side note, the suite the guest was staying in has a Confederate soldier (who has been seen) who walks up and down the stairs (it is a

two-story suite). The guests tell us they wake up hearing someone coming up the stairs with a heavy foot. When they go to investigate, there is no one there. The Confederate soldier was seen on the staircase by my friends, who often stay in that suite. I missed him by a minute because I was on my way over to visit them. I’m working tomorrow, Friday, July 4. There will be fireworks very near to the hotel. There is usually activity after this (it sounds very much like cannon fire). I’ll let you know if anything happens tomorrow night.

Friday, July 4 8:00 p.m. I forgot to shut the track overhead lights off in the manager’s office.

They give off a lot of heat, and the air conditioner in the office is not the best as it is. I turned and walked toward the panel in the wall where the switch for the lights is located. Before I even reached for it, I heard the switch “flip” and the overhead track lights went off. The panel door was closed at the time. Thanks boys! No fireworks in town this night (much to the guests’ chagrin). No one could figure out why as there are always July 4 fireworks in Gettysburg. Oh well.

Saturday, July 5 2:30 a.m. As soon as I stepped outside to the breezeway, a strong aroma hit me. It smelled exactly like the

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 71

Personal Experiences smoke that comes from a campfire. It was overpowering. I walked up and down the breezeway and around to the front of the hotel. The aroma permeated the area. I looked out at the battlefield expecting to see campfires, but there was nothing. The aroma remained for about five minutes, and then it completely disappeared. I have never smelled this distinct aroma in this area before. I have worked at the hotel for more than a year and a half (this being my second summer, tourist season). There was no breeze this night. The temperature was approximately 75 degrees. It was warm in the hotel, and I had to keep turning down the air to cool it off. There are no campgrounds even remotely close to the hotel.

Monday, July 7 5:00 a.m. The following events were described to me by my coworker: Courtney was sitting in the office when she heard what she described as sounding like a deck of cards being shuffled. She walked over to the desk and saw the employees’ timecards, which were in a stack. All the cards were bent. Courtney then went back to the laundry room. She keeps the lights off back there. (I always keep them on.) The light was on. Courtney also noted that the housekeepers’ carts (which weigh more than 100 pounds) were moved from their original locations and placed at odd angles. Courtney then went into the breakfast room to get a cup of coffee. There is a new juice machine there. The light inside the machine was turned on. Courtney said she would have noticed that on her frequent trips for coffee because it lights up the whole room. She returned to the office.


It was at this point that Courtney noticed that it was extremely cold. She walked into the lobby and looked over to the four-foot-tall painting of General Robert E. Lee. She said that it looked blurry. Then, she realized that she was looking at the painting through ecto, which was directly in front of the painting. She said it didn’t stay long, but it was definitely there for several seconds before it disappeared. Then Courtney went to work getting the breakfast together. Geez! I wish I would see ecto in the lobby! That is the second sighting of ecto on the property in a week. Cool!

a room that is located next to the fitness center called the front desk. They said they were there all night but suddenly started hearing loud talking and music coming from the fitness room. I asked if her husband was dressed and if he would meet me outside to check on it. She said, “Absolutely.” They were both outside waiting for me when I got there. I unlocked the door and turned on the light and

Sunday, July 13 9:50 p.m. Courtney was working her allnight shift. At 9:50 p.m., the front door opened, and there was no one there. In the next few seconds, Courtney heard one loud cannon blast. Minutes later, Courtney was in the office and saw an impression being made in the recliner there that appeared as if someone sat down in it. (I have witnessed this myself on numerous occasions.)

Monday, July 14 A Few Minutes After Midnight Courtney was in the laundry room attending to business and heard our Confederate friend walking in the attic above her head.

Tuesday, July 15 12:05 a.m. I was getting ready to do the audit and closing everything up at midnight. Five after 12, a couple in

Paranormal Underground September 2008

Courtney then went back to the laundry room. She keeps th was on. Courtney also noted that the housekeepers’ carts (w original locations and placed at odd angles.

saw that the radio in there was on. The guy and I looked at it together, and I shut it off. He picked it up and looked at it, saw that the off button was in the right position, and said, “That should do it.” I stood outside with them for a few minutes chatting. While we were talking, we heard the music start up

again. I said, “Do you hear that”? We all looked at the door and could not believe it. I unlocked the door, and the guy and I went inside again. The button on the thing was in the “off” position. We were both shocked. I reached down and pulled the plug out of the wall. I stood outside and talked with them for at least another 1/2 hour to make sure it would stop. It did.

Friday, July 18 8:30 p.m.

I received my new camera yesterday and took it to work with me to take some pictures. Most of the guests had been checked in, and I was taking a quick minute to snap a few shots. I snapped two quick pictures of the breakfast area (where cabinets open, gunshots are heard, etc.) and decided to take some pictures of the office. I was at the doorway to the office, walking in and looking down at the camera when it went dead. Not my new camera! I had placed a fully-charged battery in the camera before coming to work. But, this has happened to me twice before while taking pictures in a certain area on the battlefield known for people having their batteries mysteriously drained. Since I have experienced this battery-draining phenomenon before, I was pretty sure this is exactly what I had experienced. However, just to be certain, when I arrived home, I plugged in the battery to be re-charged. Sure enough, after re-charging the battery and trying it in the camera, it worked perfectly! Those boys! Of course, suspecting that battery draining stunt, I expected some fun activity in the hotel last night. They were very quiet. However, I learned that we did have a paranormal group staying in one of the historic suites last night. Maybe the boys used their he lights off back there. (I always keep them on.) The light which weigh more than 100 pounds) were moved from their new found energy to play with them! I have taken my camera to work many times and this has never happened before. And, as I said above, it has only happened to me in that one As far as I know, this is the first area on the battlefield where it has time this has happened. Although, been reported to occur frequently. On speaking with the breakfast person a side note, the area on the battlefield this morning, I learned that the radio where this battery draining occurs has in the laundry room does the same been researched by historians. The rething all the time (suddenly turning sults of that intensive research revealed on and/or off) and it freaks out the that an American Indian village was laundry room staff. once located on that land.

Monday, July 28 10:03 p.m. I had stepped out to the front desk to answer the phone. I was in the process of taking a reservation when I looked up and noticed that the lights located in the portico, which illuminate the outside of the building entrance, were turned off. The last time I had been in this area was at 9:17 p.m. to check in a guest, and the lights were on at that time. I went back to the box in the office where the switches are located and the switch for those lights was in the “off” position. I turned it back on. No more incidents with the lights the rest of the night.

Monday, August 4 1:08 a.m. Courtney walked into the middle room next to the office and noticed the light in the laundry room was on. She had turned it off a 1/2 hour before. 5:45 a.m.: Courtney went to retrieve the morning newspapers that are dropped off outside the front door. The front door was unlocked. She had locked it, as is procedure, at midnight. 6:30 a.m.: Courtney went into the laundry room to pick up some refrigerated items to set out for breakfast. She noticed that the back door was unlocked. She had locked it at 7:10 p.m. on the previous evening. Courtney stopped by the hotel to tell me about these occurrences because she was concerned and quite unnerved. I kindly asked the boys not to unlock any doors anymore at night. Thankfully, everything stayed locked, as I requested. Good boys!

Stay Tuned . . .

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 73

Personal Experiences

The Dorm By Mindy Kinnaman


n the fall of 2002, I was offered a job as a Residence Life Coordinator for a private all-girl high school in San Antonio, which was operated by one of the local universities. Essentially, the position was that of a Dorm Mom. One of my perks was an apartment on the floor. All of the girls and staff lived in traditional-style dorms; however, my room was an actual apartment. If you entered my door you ended up directly outside my bedroom door with a hallway running off to the right. That hallway led to my living room, kitchen, and bath area. The residence hall itself was a giant L, with the entrance on one end and my room at the other end of the L. At the end of my hall, was an entrance into the high school. No one was ever allowed to enter or leave that door for security reasons, so an alarm was installed on it. My staff and I were the only ones with keys to the door. During the school day, I would be the only person in the building with the exception of our cleaning woman, who had no keys and would rely on me if she needed a room opened or locked. ***** I had moved in over one October weekend but had yet to unpack more than my bedding by


the time I stayed the night for the first time. That night, I crawled into bed, exhausted and nervous about starting the new job, mainly because I had one other staff member and a third who was volunteering just through my first weekend. I awoke a few hours later to my door bounding open and a boy of approximately 10 years of age jumping on the bed

“When I went to bed, I made sure that both of my doors were shut tight. When I awoke, both stood wide open again.” while another older male watched from the door way. I woke up the next morning thinking that it had to be a dream. Yeah, my door had been closed when I went to sleep and was wide open in the morning, but I could have just not shut it tight enough. ***** The following Tuesday, when I went to bed, I made sure that both

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of my doors were shut tight. When I awoke, both stood wide open again. After the girls left for school, I let in the cleaning woman, who asked me to make sure all the doors were left unlocked since she did not have a key. I then left to run some errands, leaving her alone. I returned at about 3 p.m., literally minutes before my girls got home from school. My one employee, Marissa, had been out all day and wouldn’t return until closer to 6 p.m. One by one, the girls trudged in, ready to change out of their uniforms and go roam around the college campus. Each one came back to the lobby where I sat waiting to check the girls in and asked me to unlock their doors. Every single door on the floor was locked from the inside. As I had said before, the cleaning woman had no keys, and I had been the only other person on the floor. ***** Two nights later, I once again found myself to be the only staff member on the floor. Marissa had decided earlier in the day that she would move to another room because it had a private bathroom. She moved a couple of boxes into the room, which was located at the corner where the two halls

I had moved in over one October weekend but had yet to unpack more than my bedding by the time I stayed the night for the first time. That night, I crawled into bed, exhausted and nervous about starting the new job . . . I awoke a few hours later to my door bounding open and a boy of approximately 10 years of age jumping on the bed while another older male watched from the door way.

intersected. She did not leave any windows open, nor had she turned on the air conditioner. When Marissa left, she locked the door behind her, so that there was no way anyone could enter. About an hour after Marissa had gone, I sat on the floor near her door talking to one of the high school girls, Yassi. I was telling her about all the weird stuff that had happened to me in the week that I had been living there and how my friend Amanda, who used to work for the university, said that people had complained that the floor was haunted. No sooner had I begun telling my tales when Marissa’s door

began shaking as though someone was on the inside wanting out. Yassi screamed and practically jumped into my lap. Out of fear, I began laughing nervously. Yassi looked at me and screamed, “Why are you laughing?” I was so scared that it was the only response my body made. Other little events happened to me throughout the school year. Some of my girls would call me mom, and after they had gone to sleep, I would hear a voice say, “Mom.” Each time I heard it, it sounded like a different girl. I would stick my head outside of the door, but I saw no one. There is no way someone

could have run off, because I would have either heard her running down the empty hallway, saw that her door was open, or I would have heard her shut it. That never happened. ***** In November, for a period of a couple of weeks, whatever had been visiting me would flick the blinds in my living room. They were made of metal, so I would hear little ping sounds. One night, I had been asleep, but it must have been making a real racket, because I awoke screaming, “For the love of God, stop it!” I never heard the blinds ping again.

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Personal Experiences Twice, I had been in deep slumber and awoke to something terrifying. It was almost as though someone had snapped their fingers, instantly waking me up. The first time, my eyes flew open to see a large black shadow looming at the end of my bed. Whatever it was, it solid black and towered over six feet in height. I should have been able to see my door, as behind my head was a wall-length window in which a street light would shine, lighting up my room. Instead, I only saw a deep, black mass. I was instantly filled with fear, threw the blanket over my head and began praying. I eventually fell asleep. The second time I saw the mass, I had moved my bed from the foot of the bed being by the door to it facing the eastern wall. I woke up, instantly filled with fear and looked over by my door to see a black cloud begin to form. Knowing that I would probably see the shadow, I once again threw the cover over my head and began praying.

cabinets. When I stepped into the hallway, unimaginable terror took over. My knees shook and my chest tightened almost like I was having a panic attack. I looked at Marissa; she did not feel it but did not argue when I said, “Let’s get out of here.” Toward the end of the school year, my neighbor Cata and I began having a similar event occur. At 12:30 a.m., I would hear one individual knock on my bedroom door. No one


***** The other frightening event I had happened in late November or early December. Marissa and I were asked to inventory the rooms on the first floor of the building (we lived up on the third floor). Everything was okay until we went into this huge storage room that was located directly under my part of the hall. It was a dark, intimidating room filled with all sorts of junk. As soon as we managed to get the door open, Marissa said it did not feel right. We closed the door and moved over to the laundry room that was directly below my room. At the back of the laundry room was an S-shaped hall. Each wall was lined with huge storage


moving out, she heard a woman’s voice saying a prayer in Latin. We had always heard that the floor was haunted by a nun, but that was our first run-in with her. No one had mentioned the other two ghosts, but after everything that had happened and the stories I heard from others, I knew that there had to be a little boy that liked to play practical jokes, as well as whatever that evil entity was that appeared as a black mass.

Twice, I had been in deep slumber and awoke to something terrifying. The first time, my eyes flew open to see a large black shadow looming at the end of my bed.

had entered my apartment — I know because the main door had a very loud and distinct squeal. The same thing would happen to Cata five minutes later. She would open her door to find the hall quiet and empty. ***** Once, as one of the girls was

Paranormal Underground September 2008

After all the girls had gone home for the summer, I had the building to myself. At first, I was really intimidated to be in a haunted building alone, but after a while, I grew comfortable with my surroundings. But something weird started happening at night when I went to bed. I am the type of person who cannot sleep without a cover over my feet. With such an active imagination, I have always feared something grabbing my feet. As I would lay there on my stomach trying to fall asleep, I would feel the covers flatten against my legs and feel a depression form between them. Whatever it was would then begin to lightly stoke my calves. Instead of being frightened, I felt soothed and would usually fall asleep pretty quickly. I like to believe that it was the nun helping calm me down with all the stress I was dealing with in my personal and professional life. ***** Since then, I have moved away and have not heard any of my girls complain about ghosts. Funny, but I actually miss it. It was always exciting, and I usually had a great story to tell the next day.

Personal Experiences

Life With the Breathing Impaired By Bri Larkin


hen it comes to society, the paranormal can bring out a broad spectrum of emotions in people. They can be anywhere from fascinated about the subject to disgusted. They can be blindingly accepting, or skeptical to a fault There seems to be very little gray area when dealing with this subject. Those of us who reside in the gray area have many questions and experiences that we want resolved. No cookie-cutter answer is quite good enough for our unique situations. Before I relay my story, I must tell you, the readers, that before I had my experiences, I was pretty much what you would call an atheist. I really didn’t see or sense anything that would lead me to believe that there was anything beyond what I could see in day-to-day life. To this day, even after everything I’ve experienced, I’m still searching for answers. I will say that I’m now agnostic. I just simply don’t know what’s out there, although I’m trying my hardest to figure it out. My plan is to portray to you the different phenomenon we have witnessed while living in this house. This is the first of those portrayals. ***** We bought this house in the spring of 2002. There were always bangs and bumps in the night,

nothing one wouldn’t expect from a 70-year-old farmhouse. That fall, we started hearing door slams. It would happen at any time. We couldn’t explain it. We could actually feel the floor shudder when the slams occurred. I could never tell exactly where the slams were originating from. It happened at least three to four times a week.

In my mind, it was a weird occurrence, yet it really didn’t rattle me that much. It could have been anything. It really didn’t bother me that much until a month or so later, when the footsteps started. We have a big bedroom upstairs that we use for storage, mostly. During the first six months of our marriage, being the avid reader I am, I would use the extra bed upstairs at night to read so I didn’t bother my husband. It was warm one night, so I had a fan on a chair next to the bed, running on high. I remember dozing off, with

the book on my chest, when I first heard it. Big, heavy boots were stomping up the stairs. They were so loud, they jerked me from my pre-sleep doze. I could hear them over the fan. My eyes popped open, and I stared at the landing. Did someone break in? Was something wrong? Where was my husband? I counted, one by one, as the footsteps clomped to the top. There seemed to be a momentary, soft stomp, like someone adjusting their stance after climbing a flight of steps. If there was anyone there at that moment, they’d see me in the bed, peering back at them in the shadows. There was no one. I shot out of bed in terror. I danced around a bit, knowing the only way down was where the footsteps had been moments before. I grabbed my book, turned off the fan, and took a breath. I ran (skidded) down in record time. If only stair-sprinting was an Olympic event. Hey, curling is, right? I didn’t say anything about what happened until guests who were sleeping upstairs started complaining about the same thing. It’s funny. When it happens to you and you alone, you can always dismiss it in your mind. When it starts happening to other people, it gives you pause. It gives you really, really big pause. I wish we could say those were the only strange things to happen in my house. Little did we know, it was just the beginning.

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Member Profile

Bri Larkin (SinisterGrin) Age: 30. Born: Oelwein, Iowa. Currently resides: Missouri. Status: Married to an absolutely wonderful guy. Seriously! He’s tops!

are many of these people sprinkled throughout history. How would you describe yourself? A giraffe on roller skates. I’m very clumsy, but good-natured. I feel that

Education: Early Childhood Education with Child Development Endorsement. No, I mean, I have MORE than an early childhood education. I mean, that’s what I received. In college. Zodiac Sign: Scorpio! Huzzah! Occupation: Human slave. When did you join GhostDose and Paranormal Underground? October 29, 2007/April 23, 2008. What brought you to GhostDose and the Underground? The death of the former glory of the Sci Fi Forums. (A moment of silence, please). Bri is a skeptic who is science-minded. She loves What does your member name technology and astronomy. mean? The Sinister Grin was a terrific stomping ground in my college days. Much money was humor is a vital part of bringing out spent, much booze was consumed, the best in people. I like to laugh at and many friends were made. Good myself and others. times, good times. I’m science-minded and love technology and astronomy. I like Who are your heroes? Anyone who video games, books, and music. stands up for the truth and the less In fact, I majored in music perforfortunate, regardless of what the mance with a minor in education masses might think or do. There


Paranormal Underground September 2008

before I dropped into Early Childhood Ed. I sucked at theory. Totally, thoroughly sucked. Tell us about your family and what you like to do. We’re a small tribe of nomads who love going to movies, traveling, (that’s what nomads do!), gardening, and regular ol’ family stuff. If it’s fun, or if something blows up, we’re game. Favorite music: Rock, blues, folk, oldies, etc. I pretty much listen to everything except New Country (TM). I stopped listening to that pop-induced drivel awhile ago. What are your favorite TV shows, paranormal shows, books, movies? Ah, well, as people from The Dose know, I love The Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, The Universe, The Office, The Venture Bros., you get the gist. I’ve lost a lot of faith in paranormal shows recently, but if I have to pick one, as of today, it would probably be Monster Quest. The one I hate? Paranormal State. As far as books go, I’ve read so many that are so good I couldn’t possibly list them all. I do love Robert Jordan (RIP) and Douglas Adams (RIP). And *cough* Laura Ingalls Wilder (who’s been RIP’ing for quite awhile now). I’ve read them since I was a kid. I love those stories! Any other favorites? My favorite color is plum, my favorite animal is

a dog, my favorite number is four, and my favorite fictional character is Ford Prefect. What are your pet peeves? People who can’t drive, June bugs, dirty dishes, Big Oil, and people who pick at their cuticles. Dear God in Heaven, I cringe just thinking about it. Are you a skeptic or believer? Hmmm, probably in the middle somewhere. If I had to choose an absolute direction, it’d be skeptic. I think. What areas of the paranormal interest you the most? The sexy kind. ;) Oh, and ghostly activity and UFOs. (Even though I believe we’re making most of them.) Have you ever studied the paranormal? Yes I have.

“If there is an afterlife . . . I seem to think of it as more of a cosmic occurrence.”

Talk about any paranormal experiences you might have had and how they have affected you. This section would be waaaaay too long if I were to describe my journey that got me to where I am today, but let’s just say that multiple people have experienced weird, unexplainable things in my house. And they’ve come across some paranormal activity, too! (bah dum bah, tish!) I’ve also recently seen some things in the sky that I can’t explain. I’m not saying they were bona fide extraterrestrials, but they were interesting to see, regardless. (Also, I’m writing a new column for Paranormal Underground about my experiences. Read “Life With the Breathing Impaired” to find out more. Go on. You know you want to.) What do you think happens to us when we die? We decompose. Sunrise, sunset.

No, really, being the agnostic that I am, I really don’t know what happens. I can’t claim to be positive on anything that might happen after I buy the farm. I won’t know until it happens. (And if I can, I’ll come back and haunt ya!) Personally, if there is an afterlife, I really don’t think it’s what we envision as a culture. I seem to think of it as more of a cosmic occurrence. Our energy leaves our body, releases into the planet or into the great, vast universe itself. Biologically, we’re made of the same stuff as the planets, the comets, the stars, the galaxy; the very universe is inside each one of us. (Dr. Neil deGrassi Tyson helped me put my thoughts in order on this. Thanks, Doc!) Maybe the energy of the cosmos is what we would call “God.” Not so much as a personified being, but the energy itself. Maybe the unspeakable beauty we see in Hubble photographs is looking at God, him/her/itself. Whatever it is, we were there before we were born, and we’ll go back to it when we die. Or maybe I’m totally blowing smoke up your bum. Again, I really don’t know. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by? This, too, shall pass, so make the most of it. To thine own self, be true. Any exciting plans for the future? We are currently gearing up for a small family-owned business to start within the next year or two. We are also looking forward to adding another wee one to our family. No time frame on that, though. :)

Paranormal Poetry i have moved into a home that to me was new working hard to get settled as we all do the house is not young nor is it old has some history or so I’m told when alone in the house on this one night i heard something that gave me a fright sounds of footsteps from the room overhead put it off as settling or so i said then there was a rattling of something up there should i check it out or did i not dare it sounded like a window whose pane was not tight and floor boards getting just right took up my courage and thought to have a look went up the stairs a bat with me i took went down the hall knowing its my room i sought went very quietly hoping for naught i looked into the doorway and right in front of me was a large shadow i really need not see with bat raised high over my head i took a step into the room and reached for the light switch with a feeling of doom turned on the light and what did i see? across the room was none other than me did some rearranging and never again will there be a mirror across from the door to ever scare me — Valarie Wood

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Member Insights

Starscream77’s Battle With Cystic Fibrosis


y name is Danny Kutrick, and I was diagnosed with a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis (CF for short) when I was six days old. It was July 27, 1977, at Children’s Hospital Washington D.C. I know a lot of folks don’t even know what CF is, or if they have heard of it, they know very little because we are not a large population (there are only around 30,000 of us in North America today). I will tell you some things about CF . . . the good, the bad, and the ugly, scientific, and personal.

from as little as miniscule to so much that you have to go to the hospital to get surgery to mend the hole. Aspergillus is another nasty fiend we have to ward off; basically, it’s common mold kept in the lung and is caused from being in moist places. Aspergillus is a nasty predator that eats your lung; turning my lung into essentially soup. I personally had three golf ball-sized holes in my right lung from it. Burkholderia cepacia is another fungus that gets us. It’s a common mold used in fertilizers and other organic soil treatments. It will do nothing ***** to the average Joe, but to those with respiratory illness or poor Cystic Fibrosis is the number Danny holds his daughter Alyssa, who was born January immune systems, it will act the 17, 2008. one genetic killer of children in same as Aspergillus. But, if you the world. It mainly affects Anglo test positive for this fungus, it is a Saxon kids, but there are many death sentence. You cannot get a the constant CF cough. It also colcases of it in the Latino and Asian transplant if you culture it, and your lects all kinds of nasty bacterias and communities along with a couple lung function will drop like a rock in keeps them there, giving CFers concases in the African communities. a matter of weeks. stant infections that scar our lungs CF affects the lungs and digestive In the digestive system, the liver and cause irreparable damage. system by secreting very thick mucus and pancreas are coated with the Our immune systems are always into the lungs and around the panmucus, inflaming them to the point in overdrive, working our bodies’ creas and the liver. where we must take enzymes to defenses to the bone; viruses find In the lungs, mucus clogs up the digest our food. We don’t secrete it easy to attack . . . pseudomonas, airways and destroys the hairs that enough insulin to break down all our a form of pneumonia, is the most move foreign matter out, so as not to food because of the mucus coverage. common. It scars the lungs and eats allow the vital O2 Co2 transfer giving The pills do the rest. away at the tissue; in a bad case, us an appearance of our shoulders Our livers can’t break down the we will cough up blood in amounts up around our ears, and giving us


Paranormal Underground September 2008

toxins in the food or drink very well, so every once in a while we have to take meds to stop the inflammation from all the toxic build up . . . it is not uncommon for CFers to go into complete liver failure and need a liver transplant. That’s it in a nut shell. I could go into the delta F508 gene defect, but that is boring and too high brow for me. So, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my life with CF. If you are sensitive, you may not want to read this. I’m going to be blunt.

just hang out. I asked why she wasn’t going home, and she told me she needed a transplant but no one in her family was compatible so she had to wait. She got her transplant finally in 1993 and died three weeks later from an infection that developed during surgery that infected her new lobe. When I hit high school, I met Chris. She worked at our local Pizza joint. After a bit, she began to date my Aunt (yes she is gay). We were very close, like family. I learned all kinds of naughty tricks we could pull ***** with our meds, like how to cheat at The first real poker while drinkexperience I had with ing (our enzymes my CF was at age 6 break down the or 7. I was in a public sugars in alcohol, elementary school making it hard for and was not shy at all us to get drunk. about speaking about She taught me my CF. I told all my the signs that I was little friends why I getting sick, all the had to take meds little nuances. Chris and, in turn, they told began to decline their parents . . . I got in 1994 and had to expelled from school. quit her job. Like The parents all of us, hardthought I would give headed CFers, she all their kids somekept on trucking, thing, so they had me going around with a kicked out. It took portable IV pumpme three weeks to get At 9 a.m., they took me to the OR. I don’t remember the ride down. What I do remem- ing her full of meds back into school after ber is my surgeon looking at me and saying that I had a 40% chance to die on the table. and an oxygen tank my CF doctor went I told him that without this operation I had a 100% chance to die. Then it all went dark. over her shoulder. to the school to meet She got on the with all the parents. transplant list and I was allowed back into school, became fast friends, and I learned a was ready for her transplant. One but I was constantly harassed and lot from her. She was six years older day when heading to the Airport beat up; the teachers and administrathan me. to pick up my aunt, Chris began to tors turned a blind eye to it, and the We would hang out in each cough up a lot of blood. We put parents of the other kids encourother’s room and play the Nintendo her in a wheel chair and called for aged them to keep doing it. We had in the game room. But then I left, an ambulance. She was taken to to move so I could go to another and she was still there. I never could Hopkins and rushed into surgery to school, and I didn’t speak of my CF have imagined how sick she was; she fix the hemothorax. When she was for many, many years. hid it well. I would go to the hospital out of surgery, she was put on a vent When I hit middle school, I to visit once a week, and we would until she could get a transplant.

began to meet other CF kids. I first met Dean and Damion, two brothers with CF. But a year later, one of the brothers became really sick and was in the hospital all the time. Within that year he had to have a transplant, but back then, they only did lobe-ectomies (just replacing a lobe). He got one from his mother, but died two days after surgery . . . he was only 15. A few years later, I met Marry when I was in the hospital with my first bought of pneumonia. We

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Member Insight

Cystic Fibrosis is the number one genetic killer of children in the world.

Over a few weeks she got better, and the tube was taken out. She was put on a nasal cannula. Chris knew she was dying and pleaded for days to die at home. The docs agreed. We went to pick her up the next morning, and to our surprise she was on the vent again. Overnight, she went downhill. We sat in her room, me on one side of her bed my aunt and her mother on the other. Chris took a deep breath, coughed up a good amount of blood out her nose, and went into respiratory arrest. She died five minutes later. That was 1996. ***** I started to decline in health in 2006. I got a terrible pneumonia, and my doctor told me I had to quit my job or I would die, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I stayed in the telemetry unit for three weeks on constant monitoring. I left the hospital 20 points lower on my FEV-1 (forced expiratory volume). It had been at 40% volume for years, but that bug really kicked my ass.


Over the weeks of home IV treatment I felt a lot better, and my FEV-1 went up five points. The summer was quite unremarkable in terms of health. I did everything that I loved to do, a bit slower, but I did them. I felt good until the following February when I got another pneumonia … a bug called Aspergillus, a fungus that loves to infect folks with worn out immune systems. I again got IV therapy, and again my FEV-1 dropped and continued to do so. I ended up in the hospital about once a month from there until August. My lung function plummeted to 16% . . . then came August 28, 2007. I woke up very short of breath, so I turned my oxygen up all the way to five liters; it didn’t help. My chest hurt really badly and just walking to the next room was like running a thousand miles. My wife called the ambulance, and I was taken lights and siren to the ER. When I got there, I found out that an old clot in my neck caused by the several IVs I had over the months had broken loose and caused mul-

Paranormal Underground September 2008

tiple pulmonary embolisms, or blood clots in my lungs that could be fatal. I was transferred to Hopkins and placed in a monitored room. I would go back and forth from low-level floors to critical at least half a dozen times. Then came the news I was dreading. My doctor told me that I wouldn’t be leaving until I got a transplant, if I even got that. In a nutshell, I was there until I died or got fixed, whichever came first. It took a week to finally get on the transplant list, all the while being bedridden, sick as hell, and hooked up to 80% high flow 02, which only got my stats into the low 90s — a moderate hypoxia. Two days after being listed, a nurse came into my room about midnight all excited. She shook me awake and told me she had good news . . . she said they thought that they had found lungs for me. Oddly enough, I got pissed because I thought she was screwing with me in some kind of twisted sick way. Just then, the surgical team came in, and I was inundated with papers to sign. I was in a haze of emotions. I was excited to have an opportunity to live; then it hit me that someone lost a person they loved to give me this chance. My emotions ran wild as I called my wife and mother to tell them to head up to the hospital. We sat there all night waiting, my mind was so full of thoughts that I don’t even remember most of the time that passed. At 9 a.m., they took me to the OR. I don’t remember the ride down. What I do remember is my surgeon looking at me and saying that I had a 40% chance to die on the table. I told him that without this op-

eration I had a 100% chance to die. Then it all went dark. ***** I was out of it for two days and don’t remember anything but little snap shots from the ICU; I knew that I now had a paralyzed foot. I was then taken to the thoracic heart and lung floor for recovery. I was so happy to get something to drink and eat, and everything looked great . . . at least for a week. Exactly one week after the transplant my blood pressure dropped really low and when they came to take an X-ray, I began to have a seizure. (They are really weird, not painful but like a hazy dream.) They looked at the X-ray and saw that I was bleeding out from my lung, and they had to put an emergency chest tube in. They cut me with no anesthesia and shoved it in; it was the most pain I have ever felt in my life. For weeks after that I feared leaving my bed and had horrible panic attacks. I had to walk to get the lungs working well, but I was so screwed up in the head that they had to force me up. For four weeks I would go through that routine. The pain of my emaciated muscle growing back was awful, the tightness of my chest made me feel like I as suffocating, and I wondered if it was all worth it or not. Eventually, all the IV meds were taken away, the catheter was pulled, and one by one I had chest tubes taken out till that faithful day of October 9 . . . I got to go home. ***** None of my clothes fit when I left because I lost 30% of my body mass; I looked like a bum leaving. I jumped into the back seat of the car and was on my way. I was still

Cystic fibrosis (also known as CF, mucoviscoidosis, or mucoviscidosis) is a hereditary disease affecting the exocrine (mucus) glands of the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines, causing progressive disability due to multisystem failure.

so weak after getting home that I couldn’t support my weight and fell getting up the stairs to my house. My foot paralysis didn’t help. That night was the first time I tried to walk up a flight of stairs. I think it took me a good 20 minutes to climb 14 steps. After about two weeks, I had the hang of it, and my foot had gotten a good deal of movement back. I started therapy shortly thereafter. The first day my therapy consisted of getting there, then I was just too worn out. I worked for about two months there, and by the end, the wheel chair rides there turned into running, and I have never looked back. To this day,

I have no rejection at all. ***** On June 20, I finished the Great Strides walk for cystic fibrosis, a mere three hours after leaving the hospital for a nasty small bowel obstruction of meconium (that means thick mucus clogging up the small bowel). Combined, the walk raised $25,000. That’s a lot, seeing as how CF gets no government funding. I plan on running the St. Patties day fun run in Baltimore City. I’m gonna wear my “Fuck CF” shirt and my transplant hat that says, “Scars are a mark of victory.”

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Roundtable Debate: Reincarnation

Believer: Why I Believe By Chad Wilson

By Mindy


Many hold the hope that when believe in reincarnation because we die, it is not the end of the line, the idea of rebirth of the soul a hope that we continue on in some seems right; it just fits. The fashion, whether that be in Heaven idea that we return to continue our or Hell, or whatever particular belief journey, trying to achieve spiritual each individual holds in regard to enlightenment, is very intriguing. the afterlife. To me, nature itself echoes the My particular belief is that the concept of rebirth. The seasons come soul does reincarnate and that this and go, the cycle is never ending, and presents each soul unlimited poseverything dies. Born in the spring, sibilities. Possibilities in the conthen living a furious life in the summer tinuation of a of our youth, only lifetime’s work, to pass into the leading to a bettwilight of life in ter state of life the fall, dying with for all involved. the coming of the Possibilities winter, only to even in so-called be reborn in the soul groups, or Spring, and on the idea that we and on for time return and are immemorial. with those souls Past-life we are most remembrance familiar with. seems to support Chad Wilson believes that rebirth of the soul In the end, the concept of “fits” with nature. whether reincarreincarnation, nation plays out including specific to be true will details emerging be determined, — either sponI believe, in the experiences of taneously or through hypnosis — of young children who say they have names, places, and events that are lived before. later proven accurate. I think this research is at the Some also say that there is forefront of the search for the truth physical evidence of reincarnation, behind rebirth of the soul. including birthmarks and congeniIt will change the way we tal deformities that match wounds see life, and even how we might suffered in a particular past life. conduct ourselves toward othThese specific details and physiers, knowing that what we do now cal similarities lead me to believe might have an effect down the road that there is something there to be in another lifetime. investigated further.


Skeptical Reincarnation M

Paranormal Underground September 2008


rowing up, I found the idea of having lived a past life a romantic notion, along the same lines as being a princess or growing up to become a rock star. But as I began to learn more about the paranormal and developed my belief in life after death, I began to speculate that there possibly could be something to the idea. As I read Tom Schroder’s book Old Souls in preparation of writing the “Book of the Month” review in this issue, I once again started pondering whether reinMindy Kinnaman thin carnation was possible. can definitely be mad of reincarnation. Now, that does not mean that I believe the people who say they were historical figures like Napoleon, Cleopatra, or Abraham Lincoln. If I am to believe in past lives, I am much more likely to believe a person who said that he or she slaved in a sweatshop at the turn of the 20th Century or worked as a serf during the Renaissance Era. Seriously, who is going to lie about having a hard life when he or she could easily lie, saying he or she was important.

Skeptic: We Don’t Have Souls

Believer: Might Be Possible Kinnaman

Dr. Ian Stevenson, the subject of Schroder’s book, spent his time researching just those cases, and while I still do not fully believe in reincarnation, I do think that it is a possibility. During his life, Stevenson worked for many years to capture and research the stories of past lives told by children. In some instances, children’s first words were in regard to their past lives. Their first sentences spoke of how they had died previously or how their present family was not their real family, nks that an argument instead only seeing the de for the possibility families of the past lives as their own. Adding to the argument is the fact that, in some cases, children who claim to have lived previously have birthmarks that correspond to the way in which they died. Is that just coincidence? I cannot say definitively at this time, but I cannot wait to see what science will say one way or the other. As scientists pick up on Stevenson’s life work, maybe an answer will come sooner than we think.

By Rob Neilands


he belief in reincarnation form upon death. goes back centuries and Proven rules of physics state that spans many belief systems. matter can’t be created or destroyed. Its development served a few purMass in the conventional sense can poses: hope in an afterlife; a hope be destroyed, but mass is conserved that the spirit is carried on to some into various forms of energy: heat type of living form, thus adding and light, to name a couple. This is a small part of what Einhope and purpose to a person’s curstein was referring to in his famous rent existence; and an idea that one E=MC2 equation. may correct previous life Knowing all this, I unmistakes. derstand my body will There have been, be broken back down and still are, whole reliinto its constituent elegions based on the idea ments and/or stored as of reincarnation. Hindupotential energies. ism is one example of Invariably, some this. Hinduism actually of these elements will believes that the human make there way back form will keep being reinto animate objects, born until finally it joins but this does not conthe cosmic spirit. stitute reincarnation in It’s nice to assume my mind. that our lives will be To date, there reborn again and again in has been no empirical a new body, or another Rob Neilands believes that evidence to support life form upon death. people are the sum of their reincarnation as a true However this idea is hard genetics and life experiences. scientific theory. This for me to believe. is problematic beMy skepticism cause this phenomena largely stems from being cannot be physically measured or an atheist. This also leads me to observed, therefore, it’s impossible believe that we don’t have souls. to make any type of prediction or to I think people are the sum of formulate a hypothesis. their genetics and life experiences. Any hypothesis that is made Our experiences create new denwould be inferred from heresay or dritic connections in the brain that conjecture according to an individuultimately lead into an organized way al’s belief system. of thinking and feeling; this, in turn, In this way, just because somegives us our personality, or indithing is believed or hoped to be corvidual spark. I don’t believe there is rect does not make it a truism. anyway to transfer this into a new life

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Reviews of the Month: By Mindy Kinnaman

Movie: Mirrors

Book: Old Souls


ven the most skeptical readers will find Tom Schroder’s 1999 book Old Souls an interesting read. The book follows Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia as he travels through Lebanon, India, and the Southeastern United States, detailing the stories of children who claimed to have lived past lives. The idea of children remembering their past lives may seem too fantastical to some, and Schroder presents the book with a skeptical point of view. But as you read the children’s stories, both you and Schroder begin to believe that

something paranormal is definitely at play. Stevenson spent his career working on reincarnation cases, and in Schroder’s book, the reader can get an idea of his methods. He met with the children and both their current and alleged former families to hear the stories and spent time gathering as much evidence as possible to say one way or the other whether reincarnation truly exists. Before making up your mind, take a look at Old Souls. • I give Old Souls 4 out of 5 past lives.

DVD: Dead Again


rutally murdered in your past life? Back in present day trying to sort things out? No, this is not the story of my life, but it is the plot of the 1991 psychological thriller Dead Again. The film features Kenneth Branaugh and his then real-wife Emma Thompson playing star-crossed lovers Roman and Margaret Strauss in the 1940s, as well as present-day Mike Church and Grace. Grace is brought to Church’s attention, as the orphanage where he spent his youth calls on him to help Grace


overcome amnesia and find out who she really is. A quick hypnosis by Franklyn Madson, played by Derek Jacobi, confirms that there is more to Grace and Church’s relationship. Turns out, they’re reincarnations of the Strausses. Even though it is 17 years old, the film will take you on a rollercoaster ride through the past and present. The twist at the end caught me off guard now just as easily as it did when I first saw this film more than a decade ago. • I give Dead Again 4 out of 5 reincarnations.

Paranormal Underground September 2008


t’s up to Jack Bauer, I mean Ben Carson, to save the people of the world from their own reflections in the season premiere of 24, I mean the summer film Mirrors. Kiefer Sutherland stars in this summer horror flick as Carson, a former cop who is looking to take charge of his life after accidentally killing a fellow cop in the line of duty. He takes a job as a night watchman at a department store that had burnt down 10 years earlier. The stately building’s only survivors of the disaster are giant mirrors, all of which harbor a terrifying force. No one is safe so long as there are reflective surfaces around, from doorknobs to bathtubs. It is safe to say that Mirrors does for the tub what Psycho did for the shower. At this rate, no one will be clean. The plot of the story is intriguing, but the pace can be a bit slow at times, leaving the viewer to wish that Jack Bauer would just find a nuke and get things over with. There were a few scares, but this horror movie buff did not jump once. Others, however, may find this terrifying. So, check it out yourself and see if Jack Bauer, I mean Kiefer Sutherland, can save the day. • I give Mirrors 3 out of 5 reflections.

Paranormal Underground/GhostDose Site News

Poll Results: What Areas of the Paranormal Interest You the Most?


ast month, Paranormal Underground asked its members and site visitors what area of the paranormal they were most interested in. Here are the final results: 73% 17% 7% 1%

Hauntings Psychic Phenomenon (ESP, Psychokinesis, Telekinesis, Psychometry) Cryptids (Bigfoot, Nessie, etc.) UFOs/Aliens

Slogan Contest Results


ongratulations to PenguinKeeper, who won GhostDose’s recent slogan contest! The winning slogan was: “Where the insane run the asylum.” Sithy and Nevynmo were runners up. Way to go! And thanks to everyone for participating and making the contest so much fun.

Live Halloween Chat Set for Oct. 31


t’s almost time for our annual Halloween chat! We hope you join and for our 2nd Annual Halloween Chat. Here are the details: • Time: 8 EST/7 Central/6 PST • Where: on the home page Hope to see you there!

GD/Underground Members Investigate Waverly/Villisca


hostDose and Paranormal Underground member Sithy investigated Waverly Hills Sanatorium on August 30 and the Villisca Axe Murder House on September 2. He will reveal details about his Waverly investigation in the October issue, as well as his findings from Villisca in the November issue. Joining Sithy at Villisca were Cowbud, SinisterGrin, and Dejvu!

Birthdays September

Paranormal Underground Short Story Contest


hanks to everyone who entered the Paranormal Underground short story contest! Results will be announced soon.

Cayce Mark Stinson DarkMark Mom Orbit Charmed854 Darkness Spazlamom Ydnim

CarolB Constructor Freeman74 Jordan Burnes Skizmflop Coolfan Dreamsinger Lotto

Friends of GhostDose and the Underground


n this month’s issue, we profile Make sure to check out this informative site, which covers everything from haunted locations throughout the United States to new books offered by author Troy Taylor.


t, you can explore the History & Hauntings of Illinois and America with Author Troy Taylor and the American Ghost Society. The site includes information on ghostly books, research, articles, and links to other paranormal organizations. The site also features upcoming haunted events, Troy Taylor’s History & Hauntings Ghost Tour information, and American Hauntings: Road Guide to the Supernatural. The American Ghost Society section includes information on “What to Do if Your House Is Haunted,” “The Trouble With ‘Orbs,’” and “Ghost Hunting Equipment.” In the Behind the Legends: True Stories of American Hauntings section, a collection of articles show that sometimes what we think may be the real story of a famous haunting may not actually be true. Cases examined include: • Myrtles Plantation • St. Louis Exorcism • Amityville • Dudleytown • The Black Angel And make sure to check out Troy Taylor’s “America’s Most Haunted Places” list, which includes information about The Bell Witch Cave, Lincoln Theater, Waverly Hills Sanatorium, and the Villisca Axe Murder House.

September 2008 Paranormal Underground 87

September 2008 Paranormal Underground  
September 2008 Paranormal Underground  

Paranormal Underground Sept. 2008 Issue