ARTICLES BY FRIENDS
This section is for articles written by my friends, that I thought would be of interest to my readers and my clients. There are many interesting articles here. Scroll down the page to see them all.
The latest article here is by one of my long time friends in the field. His name is Don Ford and he heads up VIPS at: http://www.voyageintoparanormalsociety.webs.com/
Don Ford's article" Infra sound and it's Effects in the Paranormal
This latest article comes to us from a good friend of mine and one of my former clients. His own experience with the paranormal moved him to create resources for others who are being haunted. He has a website called "Scatterjaw" and is a member of this website. I asked him to post this article here because I liked it very much and it is a topic that many people may have questions about. I agree with some of his suggestions here and wanted to share the article with my readers.
Talking to Children About Ghosts
If your child comes to you and says, “I saw a ghost,” you may not know how to handle this situation in a way that will not frighten yourself and your child. Below are some of the do’s and don’ts of talking to children about ghosts.
A question asked frequently by parents, “How do you talk to your children about ghosts”?
The first thing you should not do is dismiss what your child is trying to convey to you or your partner. Children will know when you’re not paying attention, comfort them and listen to what they are saying.
If your child is under the age of twelve, we suggest taking this approach:
Calmly and gently ask only three questions of the seven, One through three preferably for the first encounter, four through six for the second same encounter; lastly, seven should be asked if there is a third encounter.
1. Can you tell me what he/she looked liked?
2. Does he/she talk to you?
3. If yes, what has he/she said?
4. Does he/she have a name?
5. Where is it you see he/she?
6. How long do you see him/her for?
7. What does he/she do when you see him/her?
Note: Frustration and confusion sets in when children are questioned repeatedly regarding a dramatic event. Hence, the three questions and stop rule. On the other hand, your child may volunteer this information to you. If this happens do not probe the subject matter, merely take mental notes of the answers to the questions you have already received. Just listen!
By encouraging your child to always share their stories, helps to build trust between you and your child; at the same time giving the child an opportunity to talk to you about other things that may be going on in his or her life.
The answers received from the questions above should be written down. Keep a record of all events to reference at a later time, for comparability and investigation purposes. If the problem continues, do some research on your property and surrounding areas.
Take the time to get the whole story.
While your child is telling you about the experience, give your full attention. This will make your son or daughter, feel more comfortable. As well as, convey that what you are hearing is important. It will also encourage your child to tell you the entire story and not just parts of it. If children don’t think they have your full attention, they will not tell you everything that happened.
If your child seems to be too upset or afraid to talk, take the time to snuggle up together. Wait for your child to calm down and feel safe, then ask that he or she tell you what caused the upset or fear.
As a parent, your child looks to you for protection. Make sure you tell your children that you will help them understand their experience and that they are not alone. Always be sure to thank them for telling you what happened, and assure them that you will do everything you can to make this problem go away so they won’t be scared or upset anymore.
Remember to apply the three questions and stop rule
You don’t want to confuse children by telling them that ghosts don’t exist. Nor, do you want to make your child feel that they made up the whole story. If your child really did have a paranormal experience and yet you say that ghosts don’t exist, it could be very confusing. Moreover, your kids might not tell you about any other paranormal experiences they have because they feel you don’t believe them.
Our children mimic our behavior. If you become upset, frustrated, or hysterical because of what your children tell you, you could scare them tremendously and put them under an undue amount of unnecessary stress. As a parent, you need to remain calm and really listen to what your child is telling you about any experience.
In many cases, it takes a lot of courage for children, especially older children, to confide in their parents. When they are telling you about their experience, remain objective and don’t express any doubt about how they perceived the events they are describing. Don’t tell them that they just have an overactive imagination or otherwise dismiss what they are telling you. If your kids think that you don’t believe them, you have shut the door of communication, and they may not tell you about something worse that happens to them later on.
If you decide to share what your child told you with family members, friends, or co-workers, you will probably get a heap of advice on how to handle the situation. While these people mean well and are only trying to help, follow your instincts and only do what you feel comfortable with.
Be careful, there is a wealth of information on the Internet about Ghosts and Hauntings, and not all of it is accurate. If you are uncomfortable about what exactly to do when your child comes to you saying he or she has seen a ghost, you can contact us anytime. Do not be afraid to ask for help in dealing with this situation. You are not alone!
This next article comes to us from our web site member Alan S. Alan and I have had many discussions on many topics and he usually has a lot to offer. While I personally believe in psychic ability and mediumship, I agree with Alan that no one should charge money for such things. I have found that most of the people that do use their supposed gift to line their pockets are usually not the real deal anyway. Alan has his own views about this so here is his article :
by Alan S.
Last Halloween, Goldsmiths University tested two professional psychics to determine whether they actually had psychic abilities and both failed. What was interesting was that both psychics heard the conditions of the experiment and felt it was a fair test and neither one was in any doubt that they were truly psychic after they had failed what they both saw as a simple test.
If you read about the test, you'll see that the subjects that they were supposed to be read were behind a screen which prevented them from being observed by the psychics. The psychics didn't feel it was an obstruction to their abilities and yet failed while claiming that they do better in face-to-face encounters. The screen was to prevent these psychics from receiving impressions from observation such as police interrogators do by watching body posture, pupil dilation, increases in respiration, facial tics or even observing a person's dress and mannerisms. I believe that these impressions of a person might well be subconscious in nature but not based on anything psychic at all. Just speculation based on observation.
If one reads the stories of Sherlock Holmes or watches the episodes of "The Mentalist", a person gets an idea of how people might be "read" by a keen observer. Now, I'm often amazed that there have been standardized tests for psychic abilities since the 60s and no psychic I've ever encountered mentioned that they took these tests and got anything resembling a passing score. Many of them feel they have no need to prove their psychic abilities because they just "know" they have them and that is the nature of faith.... no proof required. The question would then be "What harm does it do for a person to believe that they are psychic?" None.... unless they're professional psychics like the ones tested at Goldsmiths. Accepting money for an ability you can't actually prove you have borders on the area of fraud, whether you believe in yourself or not.
In my opinion, real psychics, assuming they exist, were probably born psychic which meant they had troubled childhoods. The ability to see things others can't must have gotten them into all kinds of trouble with parents, peers, school counselors and psychologists and might even have gotten them at least medicated if not institutionalized. People who wake up one day and realize that they're psychic are the ones I'm the most skeptical about. While I've considered the possibility a person could be struck by lightning or wake from a coma and find they've changed and found they suddenly have psychic abilites, it is not that common of a story.
This next article comes to us from CJ Moshchetto, a good friend of mine from E.N.E.M.I. paranormal group. I think this article covers something that I try to get people to understand all the time and he showcases it well here. CJ also wrote for the Paranormal underground: http://theparanormalunderground.com/index.html I am sad to report that we lost CJ to a heart attack on 4/27/ 2013. He was far too young to die and the paranormal field lost a great man.
JESUS IN MY TOAST...
Have you ever seen Jesus in your toast? Perhaps you saw the virgin Mary in your tortilla chip? Well allow me to congratulate you, and welcome you to the wonderful world of PAREIDOLIA!PAREIDOLIA: is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus ( often an image or a sound ) being perceived as significant. You remember picking out animals and stuff in the clouds as a child? That is pareidolia. This is vital knowledge to any aspiring paranormal investigator, because this is a natural thing that occurs to us humans. Now I am certainly no expert on anything in this field, but I do read a lot about different things, I figure if someone is going to run their mouth as much as I do I better be able to at least know what I am talking about! haha
So from what I gather on the topic it works something like this: Our brains are hardwired to try and distinguish and recognize faces, our brains will compile information or stimulus and process it into something we can identify. Now way back in the prehistoric days this was vital to ancient man, the ability to recognize faces as threats or enemies swiftly was a vital ability. So basically our brain will always try and interpret what our eyes see into something familiar to us.
This may have saved the caveman's ass back then, but in the paranormal field it is just a pain in the ass! How do you distinguish a possible apparition from pareidolia? Did you really just see that or is your mind truely playing tricks on you? I personally feel just being aware of how our minds work will help cut down on "sightings" that may not be true. Of course if you have a few other pieces of evidence to go along with your "sighting" then perhaps you really do have something paranormal going on.
They say the best piece of equipment you have on an investigation is yourself, but if you don't educate yourself across the board you could turn out to be your own worst enemy as well. A little knowledge can go a long way people, and I would encourage everyone to look up pareidolia and understand it. Haha because believe me if you start posting bullshit pictures all over the internet there are people just like me who will pull your card and call you out on bogus evidence. Be smart, be aware, and honestly pursue the truth and you will be just fine.
This next article comes to us from Krystal Porras of the 3:33 Paranormal Research group located in Northern Virginia
Paranormal Thrill Seekers
Over the past several years the paranormal field has been flooded with new groups springing up every day at an astonishing rate. With new shows popping up every season, it seems to have encouraged many people to explore the unknown. Although these shows have really opened some doors it has also created a nightmarish reality for clients looking for real help and for the people who are dabbling in the paranormal as a hobby.
First off let’s examine the shows themselves. All of these shows that are currently on television have been produced by people who have never ever been a paranormal investigator or actually researched the paranormal. These producers are out there to entertain and have no idea what it actually is like to be a paranormal investigator. All of the paranormal teams receive emails from producers looking for locations. They are very quick to fly out to a location and interview clients without following any protocols or concerns for their actions. I have personally received complaints of location producers interviewing clients with negative hauntings in their home and making false promises to help them. Of course they leave and all hell breaks loose in the client’s home and they never hear back from the producer. These shows are out there for ratings, nothing more than that. They are happy to exploit the teams for personal information on case files. No team should ever give up client information without contacting the client first. Even then it makes me question the teams themselves and wonder if they are media hogs wanting their 15 minutes of fame. These producers have no morals and are happy to exaggerate, exploit and stage evidence in order to gain more ratings.
Now let’s take a look at the type of investigators these shows are inspiring. Remember when watching these shows they are for pure entertainment purposes only. Too bad this has been the only education that new investigators receive. So many young investigators follow their lead without seeking any training or education. The biggest pet-peeve that I personally have with this is the fact so many feel that provocation is the best method of investigating hauntings. They never stop to consider the fact that most hauntings are people, human and deserve respect not belittling vulgar comments. So many of them are thrill seekers and nothing more. Very few of them analyze audio or do evidence review. They live in the moment and have no care for actually being a productive part of the paranormal research.
The other nightmare that has stemmed from these new teams is the chaos of them working on private cases. Most of these teams are not out there to help but thrill seekers wanting to push the limits. They have no understanding of types of entities and have no care what their actions will result in. I have personally been horrified with the stories my clients and even other investigators divulge to me. The most recent one was from an investigator who openly told me that they brought an Ouija board into a client’s home just to see if it worked. The thing that made this even more horrifying is that I personally told this investigator the ground rules months ago, which they broke every one of them without ever thinking what it would cause for the clients or themselves. This just sickens me and boils my blood to no end.
These shows also hardly ever talk about dangers within the paranormal field. Most new investigators don’t ever stop to consider there are dangers in this field. Of course there are the obvious dangers of hazardous conditions of the locations but there are also other dangers. When going out to investigate there is protective measure that should be followed. The biggest danger is taking a hitchhiker home. Every investigator has the possibilities of developing an attachment, even when you follow the rules. Attachments happen often within the field but mostly with hot headed newbies who tend to challenge entities then find themselves up a creek without a paddle. Over the past year I have received five new clients that are actually investigators themselves. It just makes me cringe! It is all fun and games until they find themselves in a situation that they have no clue on how to resolve.
Another danger is the lack of education and narrow minded individuals who have no clue about the types of entities. So many of these people only classify entities into either human or demonic. Mainly this occurs due to television. So many shows throw out the word demonic for ratings and the scare factor. These teams have only used television as role models and never consider elementals, thought-forms, psychic vampires, and parasitic entities to name a few. There are many different types of spirits but so many jump to the big D word, Demonic. Personally I do believe in demonic spirits but over the many years of investigating there is not one case I would ever label as demonic. Let’s face it; on the food chain we are pretty low on the totem pole, only ants to such ancient entities as these things Television has flooded the minds of many people that their homes are demonically possessed. This has created a nightmare in itself. There are certain methods in identifying what type of entity you are dealing with but, most of these newbies have no clue on how to do so. The cold hard fact, if you can’t identify the type of spirit, you can’t resolve the problem.
Now let’s look at how to identify the type of team you are searching for. This is especially vital if you are suffering from a hostile haunting:
1) What is the mission statement?
2) How much experience do they have and what are they considering as experience? Watching television and reading books is not considered experience.
3) Look at the team itself and each investigator. What is their paying professions, educational backgrounds and read their bios if available. Make sure they are not letting just anyone into their team. Also it very important to see if the team does a background checks on each of their investigators.
4) Does the group have a formal set of investigation guidelines and rules? Are they requiring each investigator to attend seminars and other forms of training? Do they have liability disclosures and client contracts? This can indicate how serious and professional the team is.
5) Are they going to public investigations or holding meet-up groups? Note: Any group that is willing to take anyone on any person wanting to explore the paranormal is not a real team. They are only meet-ups, a group of people out for the thrill of it.
6) One major problem in this field is self-titling. Anyone can earn the title Reverend or Minister by purchasing it through the Internet. Authentic means they have theological training through either a college or a church. Also note the newest addition to these self-titles is the term demonologist. True demonologists have spent many years in a formal educational system studying theology and the occult. Most people who hold these titles on Facebook are self-titled and not authentic. This can actually make the problem worse than better, so be careful.
7) Do they charge for their services? Never ever pay any team to come out to investigate or preform a cleansing. This is a major red flag… No one can ever guarantee to rid your home of spirits.
8) Guaranteed services: Again no one can ever promise to rid your home of spirits. Also remember not all spirits need to be removed. Only small percentages are considered hostile and most are misunderstood due to television programs creating fear and terror.
9) Get references if they are available. If not you can also Google the team to see what others are saying about them and to perform a background check.
10) Examine their website with a fine tooth comb. Especially pay attention to their evidence if they have it available. If they have clips or videos of them investigating are they using provocation? Are the disclosing private information? There are many teams out there that are happy to post a picture of your home all over the internet without ever thinking of privacy.
11) What methods do they follow? Are they 100% science based or spiritual? If it involves a private case that needs help it is best to have a mixture of science and spiritual aspects. Also make sure the group is not 100% male or 100% female. There should be an equal balance.
Lastly, it is up to the client looking for help or the person wanting to join a paranormal team to make sure the team is reputable. There are no governing authorities over the paranormal field. This makes it even more important to do your research beforehand. With so many new shows coming out has only created a side show carnival of thrill seekers. Be careful and educate yourself before ever becoming involved with any team. Always remember the television shows are only entertainment and there is a lot of exaggeration and staging involved with them. They are only out for ratings and not out to educate the public. Eventually I do believe there will be some sort of governing body over the paranormal field but until then it is essential to do your research and don’t buy into the television hype!
BY Krystal Porras
This article comes to us from Charles Swearengin the founder of Tipps:
The First Documentation's of Hauntings
By Charles Swearengin
Do you ever wonder when the first documentation's of haunting began in history? You may be surprised...
Ancient Rome is one of the first places in history were documentation about an alleged haunted house. In a letter written by Pliny the young in the year (A.D .62) to a roman patron Lucia’s Sara where he describes owning a villa in Athens, that no one will rent because of the ghost that haunts it. According to Pliny the ghost would rattle chains and take the form of an old man with a beard.
Around the same time period a Greek biographer Plutarch (A.D.46) wrote in his life, of a ghost, of a murdered man that was haunting the baths at Chaeronea. Greeks also believed cemeteries and graveyards to be haunted by these evil spirits of the dead. These locations of the final resting places were highly avoided. Public ceremonies of mourning became a sacrificial ritual to ward off the evil spirits, in the case of a possible return. The ancient Greeks also invited spirits to annual feasts to honor the families of the dead; although once the feast had ended the spirits were kindly asked to leave and to only return during the same time next year.
King Hsian (827-783 BC) according to Chinese legend executed his minister, To Po, on false charges even after being warned that Tu Po's ghost would seek revenge. Three years later, according to historical chronicles, Tu Po's ghost shot and killed Hsian with a bow and arrow before an assembly of feudal lords.
The first Poltergeist ever recorded was in 856 AD at a farmhouse on the banks of the River Rhine in Germany. The spirit tormented the family by throwing stones, banging on walls and making fires. Even when several priests armed with holy relics came to visit, they were scared away from the house followed with a hail of stones.
An apparition of a ghost was documented from the year 1211 which at the time was the Albigensian Crusade. Garvase of Tilbury wrote that the image of a boy named Guilhem who was murdered, appeared in his cousin’s home in Beaucaire near Avignon in France. Speaking through his cousin, Guilhem allegedly held conversations with anyone who wished to speak with him until the local priest requested to speak to Guilhem directly. This led to an extended disquisition on theology. It was believed that Guilhem also narrated the trauma of human death and the unhappiness of his fellow souls stuck in Purgatory. He also reported that God was most pleased with the ongoing Crusade against the Cathar heretics which was launched three years earlier. The time of the Albigensian Crusade in southern France was marked by intense and prolonged warfare with constant bloodshed and dislocation of populations which were the context of the reported visits by the murdered Guilhem.
Our history on earth is full of ghostly haunting or activity around the world. One of the most famous ancient stories may be the story of Jesus Christ as he is believed to have risen from the dead and spoke to those still alive. We also have stories of ancient battle field ghost still fighting even after death from every corner of the earth.
Some of the earliest formal inquiries into apparitions and hauntings began in the mid 19th century primarily in England. One of the first groups formed in Western society was the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) which was founded in London, England in the late 1880s. As an interesting side-note, the SPR and psychical research has been in existence for about as long as physicists have been studying quantum mechanics.
One of the first major treatises published by the SPR is also one of the first major works on the topic, The Census of Hallucinations appeared in the late 1890s followed in 1901 by the landmark work of the then late F. W. H. Myers Human Personality and Survival of Bodily Death.
In the 20th century the scientific field of parapsychology came into existence worldwide. There are a few hundred people working in this field in the entire world. Parapsychology is perhaps the most under-funded and least represented in terms of workers in the field of all the sciences. This is particularly astounding considering that parapsychology is one of the few sciences that actually seeks to unify or integrate notions of physical science with scientific psychology.
Modern "paranormal investigators", "paranormal researchers", "ghost hunters", "ghost researchers" and "ghost investigators" are not research parapsychologists. These latter groups do not adhere rigidly to the scientific method and often mix metaphors of physical science with metaphysics and spirituality in their work.
Just think until just recently hauntings were not investigated. One day the haunting we investigate now will also be ancient and will be documented like never before and when you are in a location trying to find the truth remember this:You are writing and making history and one day somebody maybe researching what we as investigators left behind…
The next article here is by a very good friend of mine, Chip De Pew. Chip is going to be handling my hostile haunts cases in his neck of the woods. Chip is a very bright and educated guy who cares about his clients. He has great insight and the right agenda for being in this field. His open minded and rational approach to the paranormal is refreshing and I am glad to have met him. It is with great pleasure that I present his article here at out site. We are so happy to have him as part of our hostile haunts network.
Truths of the Paranormal: Ghost Hunting and Supernatural Social Work
By Chip DePew
In response to the latest trends in entertainment, there has been a boon in the number of people with an interest in paranormal phenomena. It could be said that the overwhelming popularity of these television shows and films indicate a trend towards a willingness to believe in an afterlife, the existence of spirits and other personalities, and that they do indeed cross paths with the living more frequently than commonly believed. With this shift in belief has come a secondary shift, a desire to interact with these personalities, to explore and experience paranormal activity first hand. Much like the California Gold Rush, individuals are flocking into the field with little more than a digital voice recorder, camera, and hundreds of hours of Ghost Hunters to fall back on for guidance.
A recent Google search of the terms “ghost hunters, paranormal researchers / investigators” yielded a collective 9,000,000+ results and 89,000 hits for “demonologist(s).” These numbers will change, but they are a rough indicator of what the general public must wade through when seeking answers or assistance in regards to the paranormal. Unlike other social services, paranormal research is ungoverned; another frontier where good pictures and an even better story can lead to fifteen minutes of fame even if that story or photograph is fabricated. Ethics and professionalism are touted as canon, yet more often than not fall to the wayside without any meaningful accountability. It is the clients that unfortunately discover this first hand.
The overabundance of people involved in ghost hunting overshadows the number of individuals involved with actual haunt resolution. Yes, there is a difference. There are more than ghost hunters in the paranormal field, just as there is more than one motivating factor in getting involved with this sort of thing in the first place.
There are at least two distinct groups of researchers / investigators in the paranormal umbrella. The primary concern of a “ghost hunter” is collecting data and translating it into information. The information is then used to verify the existence of paranormal activity from a scientific standpoint. Some teams utilize personal feelings and experiences in arriving at their overall decision of whether or not a place is haunted. However, without “scientific” evidence to support a haunt, generally they do not continue on with the client.
The sum of the collected elements do not coincide with the teams paradigm of what a haunting should or should not be, and move on to the next case. The burden of “proof” is relative to the data and interpretation thereof, gathered on a set date during an allotted amount of time. So-called proof relies upon the quality and diversity of equipment utilized. The primary mindset is that the client is misinterpreting natural phenomena as paranormal; the focus of the investigation is debunking. What can’t be debunked may be classified as paranormal. The evidence is (usually) shared with the client before being posted on the web, and the team promises to return if the situation escalates.
The second type of researcher often utilizes the same types of equipment as a ghost hunter, but the dynamics of verifying a “haunt” are drastically different. A good example of this would be how evidence is viewed differently in a civil court case versus a criminal court case. OJ Simpson was acquitted in a criminal court for double homicide, yet found guilty for wrongful death in a civil action against him. The rules of admissible evidence and the interpretation of such evidence are very different aspects.
I dub the second type of researcher “supernatural social workers”. Supernatural social workers are usually ghost hunters whose ambitions have been altered either by personal experiences or by the circumstances of a case or two. The ghost hunter falls short of achieving the goal of helping a client, and possibly even a spirit. Psychology is the ultimate tool of the supernatural social worker, not electronics. The focus is on the well being of the client, the gathering of audio and visual evidence a close second. To the ghost hunter, the audio/visual evidence is paramount. The supernatural social worker utilizes gathered evidence to interpret the circumstances surrounding the client in hopes to find a clue as to the reason for the client’s duress. Ghost hunters usually are out to disprove events as paranormal, whereas supernatural social workers enter a situation with the mindset that there is something going on, be it paranormal or otherwise.
As far as the quality of paranormal research organizations that “specialize” in diabolical haunting, I am unaware of anyone who has actually dealt with the darker elements of the paranormal who realistically relishes confrontations with the nastiest of the nasty.
I thoroughly believe that the overwhelming majority of ghost hunters have come in contact with non-human entities. However, due to personal beliefs or lack of experience, these individuals did not recognize the signs when presented to them. A quick glance at the majority of web pages belonging to this particular breed of team can be very telling, if you know what you are looking at.
Claims such as “expertise,” usually amounts to having read a slew of books written on the subject by others. Regurgitation of facts does not constitute expertise, any more than finger painting makes you akin to Rembrandt or Monet. You will very often find that one group’s profile is incredibly similar to another. The information is the same, the warnings are the same, and the Biblical passages for protection are the same.
The truth: These things do not follow a text book, and the vast majority of available “information” on the subject is superficial and misleading. Violent and hostile haunts, including the demonic, are like fingerprints; they are always unique, but there are trends and patterns. Correlations can be made between them, so identifying the difference between human and non-human personalities is possible.
The moment a ghost hunter walks into an individual’s life and home under the guise of helping their client, they are doing two monumental things. The first is that they are in essence pledging to help. It is implied that the ghost hunter(s) will be aligning themselves to assist the living. It is implied that the help offered to the client will be unconditional. No team of ghost hunters, eager for the opportunity to gather evidence, states from the start that they will do everything to assist their client through their situation unless, of course, a spirit is mean, cranky, or possibly inhuman.
The second commitment is that by simply offering to help and by physically stepping into the “realm” of a spirit (human or otherwise), the ghost hunters are inadvertently provoking the personality present. Paranormal activity is a potential tinderbox. Friendly personalities are subject to mood swings just as they were when they were alive. Even animals in a petting zoo, well accustomed to the prodding hands of children, sometimes bite and can leave a very nasty mark.
Just by doing what we do, ghost hunters and supernatural social worker alike, are entering as a third party into a relationship between the client and a personality, or personalities. In essence, the ghost hunter or supernatural social worker is intruding on a domestic dispute that is private in nature. We've made a conscious decision to become involved and attempt to act, perhaps unwittingly, as a mediator. By this point, we’re already committed. What we do and how we act from that point on makes all the difference between a ghost hunter and a supernatural social worker.
Some doors, once opened, can never be closed.
Instinct tells me that the overwhelming majority of these “violent and hostile” haunt teams are merely so in name. While this is merely my humble opinion, having worked in the paranormal field for several years, I have only met one team that I believe full embraces the ramifications of this kind of work. I am by no means implying that there are no other squads out there that are trustworthy, but it’s been my experience that they are few and far between. Those who openly declare themselves as “demon hunters” oftentimes have such a narrow view of the label of “demon” that they misdiagnose their supernatural opponent as diabolical, when in fact it is something else entirely.
Both ghost hunters and supernatural social workers may perpetually find themselves in the line of fire, though they may be completely unaware of it. Many individuals will tell you that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning while eating shrimp casserole than encountering something truly demonic, but this is of zero consolation when you happen to become one of the few. Because of this fact, ghost hunters and supernatural social workers should not only be aware and willing to accept the responsibilities of their endeavors, but plan at some point to be tested.
Those who willingly and knowingly step onto the battlefield of a hostile haunt should do so understanding the very real risk of becoming a target. It is possible to remove oneself from a hostile case. However, if you appear weaker in mind and spirit than the original participant, you will very likely find yourself at the epicenter of your own haunting. There is a chance that loved ones could become victims.
Despite these risks, there is a very strong need for compassionate, understanding people to intervene and coach these terrified clients that most ghost hunters shun. The intense personal, spiritual satisfaction of intervening in these dire situations appears to outweigh the potential consequences for failure.
I must state that I do not look down upon anyone in the paranormal field. Becoming involved in this field of study may lead to a path that is not always well lit or comfortable. It is inherently dangerous, but given enough time in the field, openness to being mentally dexterous and confident in your purpose, you can learn the behaviors of the paranormal’s most fearsome predators.
Involving oneself with paranormal entities can sometimes be akin to shark diving without a cage. Caught unaware of the unseen in open waters, one does not always have an “expert” as a companion. It is up to everyone who decides to “ghost hunt” to consider the dangers and what tactics to employ, should the situation call for it. Those who delve into the paranormal haphazardly, or as weekend warriors because it’s “cool” and “fun,” have a special designation in my book.
I refer to them as future clients.
One of our site members Michele raven Bentley was kind enough to share her amazing story with us about her encounter with the ghost of Resurrection Mary. This is a rare first hand encounter that everyone I am sure will find interesting, and maybe even a bit unsettling...Thanks Raven
This article below comes from my very good friend Merita King a UK medium and author of many science fiction books, such as "The Lillian Chronicles" and the series books to follow. Merita oversees the psychic development sections of this website. Merita King and I founded the Intuitive Alliance group that works missing persons and unsolved murder cases as well as provides practice for budding mediums and psychics.
The Real Responsibilities of Todays Mediums.
If you asked 50 different people what being a medium is, you'd probably get 50 different answers. is not an exact science, you can't go to college to study it and there is no laid out corriculum for learning it. Because of this, every medium is different in the way they work, their level of knowledge/wisdom, their opinions of what they should/shouldn't do and in their viewpoints on mediumship, spirits and all related subjects. Over the last 100 years or so, mediumship has changed dramatically and today we look back to the mediums of the victorian era and think of their way of working as strange and not valid today. One thing that hasn't changed though, is propensity for fraud in this field, that hasn't changed since victorian times except that todays fraudulent mediums are better at their fraud than those of the past were.
Ask any medium why they do what they do and most, if not all will say "to help people". That is honourable and to be commended of course, if it were true. The vast majority of the mediums you will see advertised in todays media will however, be just in it for the money. This in itself wouldn't be a totally bad thing, if the standard of their mediumship and the help they actually provided was of a sufficiently high standard. The problem is, it often falls way short and sometimes causes much emotional damage that can take years for people to recover from. The lack of any real legislation in this field doesn't really help matters either. Although the legalities differ from country to country, there is still no real governing or controlling body to which we must answer for our actions as mediums. This is the reason for the prevalance of fake psychics that we are seeing today.
So what are our responsibilities as mediums and psychics? What set of 'codes' should we really be adhering to? Let's start with the one thing they all say - "I want to help people". What exactly does 'help' mean? It means different things to different people. What is help to one will be a hindrance to another and as mediums we have to have sufficient awareness to know what to say to our customers and how much to say to them. Most people will gain comfort from knowing that their deceased loved ones are still with them and the way to provide this knowledge is to give them evidence. This evidence must be specific to the deceased individual and should contain information that only the sitter would know. It is no good simply telling your sitter that their loved ones are with them and that they love them and don't have any more pain. The medium should be providing relavant details of the person so that the sitter can be in no doubt that that person is indeed with them. Names, dates, method of passing, area in which they lived, how they earned their living, their hobbies, physical appearance and character specifics, all these specifics are what the medium should be providing.
Some mediums are in the habit of 'forcing' their readings upon unsuspecting members of the public without waiting for them to ask for a reading. This is an absolute no-no and should never be done. This sort of thing is a total invasion of a persons privacy but unfortunately many behave in such a way and feel it's 'their duty' to give the reading simply because they have the information given to them. Just because spirit have allowed you to know something, doesn't automatically mean that you must force it upon someone else who may not want it. If they do want it, they will ask for it.
I have also known 'mediums' who feel it's ok to tell people how they will die. Most who claim to know this information are decieving themselves anyway, but as it's not a thing that can be verified until the time comes, the person who has this information forced upon them may spend the rest of their lives worrying about it. There are very few occasions when it would be right for a person to know when and how they are going to die and I would never pass on such information to anyone.
Care should be taken when passing on information relating to the death of a deceased loved one. It may be accurate that they suffered dreadful pain, torment and fear as they passed, but would their surviving relatives be helped to know this? No. Again it is our responsibility to use the right judgement when giving information to our sitters. It is just as important to know what not to say, than to know what to say to a sitter. We are not here to cause more pain and suffering to those already grieving and as mediums we are sometimes given knowledge that would not be of help to the sitter and it is our responsibility to hold onto it and not pass it on.
Being a medium often involves more than just doing readings and we can often find ourselves asked to help in other ways too. People may ask for help with what they feel is paranormal phenomena in their homes. They will see us as someone who knows about it and who has the knowledge and wisdom to understand it and deal with it for them. We have to use our judgement and discretion when informing the home owner of what we feel is going on. Not only this, but we must actually have the knowledge to know what is going on and understand why and then know how to best deal with it. This is an area where so many so called mediums show their lack of knowledge and experience but yet it is also an area that so many are attracted to working in. These 'mediums' often have views and opinions that are both outdated and just plain wrong. For instance, a lot of mediums will say that any spirit who is haunting automatically needs our help to 'cross over' and that it is their duty as a medium to 'send them over'. Not only is this egotistical in the extreme, but it is totally wrong.
Another popular belief is that all spirits who make their presence known in a physical way, are evil poltergeists or demons who need to be exorcised. Such views, when expressed by these inexperienced wannabe mediums, only serves to cause more fear amongst people.
Nowadays there is a huge increase in the numbers of people offering card readings of various sorts. This sort of reading will often involve predictions of future events. Here in the UK predicting the future is now covered by legislation and mediums can be sued for this type of reading. This type of reading allows the inexperienced medium the opportunity to appear to 'know their stuff'. They can sound and appear to know what they're talking about but as they're talking of the future, it cannot be verified as accurate. Every decision we make, every action we take, changes our future possibilities from moment to moment and if you've been given a prediction of something that may happen 5 years in the future, it's a long time to wait for validation that you probably won't receive anyway.
It is our duty as mediums to inform our customers. People still have very strange ideas of what we do and how we work. Some still believe that we can 'call up' the spirits, that we can 'summon them' against their will. Some believe what we do is evil, that we are cavorting with demons and such like. It is our duty to give knowledge to people so that they know what we do, that they can see we are ordinary folk with higher developed senses and not some crazed evil demon worshippers that dabble in the forbidden. Too many so called mediums play on this hazy half knowledge that people have in order to make themselves seem mysterious and to create a demand for their services. Our customers shouldn't fear us or our work, they need to know what we really do and how we do it and that we are just like them.
If you want to help someone, then help them. Help them by giving them the knowledge they need to progress forward in their lives, not by creating fear and anguish. Help them by giving them the specific information they need to aid them in their grief, not generalities that apply to everyone. Help them by giving them the information they need to understand the spirit world and how it interacts with ours, not by instilling more fear and misunderstanding that makes them afraid to be in their own homes. Help them by giving them the right information, when they ask for it and not before.
It is our responsibility to use our abilities to help souls progress in their lives. Use it wisely and properly and your mediumship will continue to grow and strengthen. Use it with the wrong motives and if you actually have any abilities, they will be taken away from you. Karma is a universal law and what you sow, so shall you reap. Spread love, understanding and compassion and that is what you shall recieve. Spread fear and anguish and misunderstanding and you will reap exactly that in return in this life and the next.
It's quite simple really, help people, be honest, get the knowledge and experience before you set yourself up as available as a source of knowledge and help. Give people verifiable accurate information with specifics. Know what NOT to tell them and know why they should not be told.
copyright Merita King C.A.A - October 2010
To read more by Merita, who is my best friend in the UK go to: http://www.meritaking.com
The next article is by a good friend James Coffey, who teaches at the St. Petersburg college university.
Recognizing Signs of Paranormal Activity in the Archaeological Record by James R. Coffey
One of the most controversial challenges facing field archaeologists today is the identification of ritual activity in the prehistoric fossil record. As no site to date has contained artifacts labeled, For Ritual Use Only, it’s always a daunting challenge in itself to delineate utilitarian artifacts from ceremonial--a challenge beyond the purview of most archaeologists of the past. In recent years, however, a number of cross-disciplined specialists (like myself)--with concentrations in psychology, religious studies, and ancient history--have emerged from the field of anthropology, educated in recognizing the signs of ritual activity, and thus the realm of the paranormal.
From January to August of 2009, I was part of a team excavating a 1,500--1,800-year-old Weeden Island/Safety Harbor shoreline midden (debris deposit) at Parque Narvaez on Boca Ciega Bay in St Petersburg, Florida, part of a site containing a large platform mound and two burial mounds first investigated by famed Florida archaeologist William Sears in the 1950s. Our primary objective was the retrieval of shell tools, animal bones, ornamentation, and other artifacts indicative of Weeden day-to-day life. Although a limited history of these industrious peoples has been slowly pieced together over the past 85 years, there is much we still don’t know about their social structure, division of labor, diet and food procurement, trade system, and religious practices, so this was an opportunity to add key elements to a prehistoric picture that could illuminate virtually every aspect of this remarkable culture. And while thousands of pots and pottery sherds, arrow and spear points, shell tools, shell and stone beads, bone hair pins, carved figurines, black pearls, and even articulated (in tact) skeletons have been unearthed from the vicinity, clear evidence of ritual activity has been elusive. And even though one can reasonably assume that any human remains found in this setting would have been ritually interred (and therefore done in accordance with early man‘s understanding of the paranormal realm), recognizing artifacts that reflect this supernatural relationship takes a keen eye for detail and an even keener understanding of human behavior.
To recognize signs of paranormal activity in the archaeo-record, one must first be well-versed on all that is known about a given culture. As regards the Weeden Island people of Florida, we know that they were among the most southern indigenous groups to be part of the Ohio Hopewellian “sphere” of influence which began about 2400 BP in southern Ohio. Best known for their elaborate mound and earthwork complexes built all across the Eastern half of what is present-day United States, the Hopewell are believed to have influenced architectural, artifact, and settlement design for virtually all native groups from the Rockies to the East Coast, as well as instituted the first continent-wide religious practices even known. And while we can’t know exactly what their rituals entailed, evidence of ritual behavior appearing repeatedly in thousands of mounds and ritual setting across the continent--from Maine to Florida--suggests a thoroughly integrated--almost intimate--relationship with paranormal activity.
In July of ’09 while digging down about 90 centimeters into a midden at the Parque Narvaez site, uncovering the occasional pottery fragment and mammalian vertebrae, we hit a deposit of pen shells. This particular variety of Gulf Coast shell (common to Tampa Bay) is very thin and fragile, almost translucent, with a pearl-like, opaline finish. Although it isn’t rare to find this type of clam shell in a Florida midden--the Weeden people ate millions of them--this specific deposit lay absolutely flat in the ground, as if placed in a layer rather than haphazardly tossed--as would be expected. As I brushed away the sand, a thin and even lens (a continuous layer) was revealed that shimmered in the sun like a glistening sheet of mother-of-pearl--a phenomenon virtually impossible to have occurred naturally. I was quickly reminded of Hopewellian archaeologist Warren Moorehead’s description of the striking layers of mica (a type of highly reflective, silicate mineral that comes in sheets and superficially resembles pin shell) he’d uncovered during his excavation of the Hopewell Mound Group in southern Ohio, and wondered if in the absence of mica, Weeden people had used pen shells. (Moorehead had assumed the layer he’d discovered was ritual in nature, and subsequently discovered this mica lens in many burial settings.) Carefully removing each shell, I discovered a human hand bone and a single large spear point lying together--the first of either we’d excavated from this midden. Though we cannot know the significance of these artifacts, it seems likely that the ritual capping was indicative of a ritual event; a prescribed behavior based on the Weeden people’s understanding of the paranormal. I’d uncovered what I believe to be a ritual/paranormal event reflective of countless others that took place over the course of 2,000 years across the vast expanses of the Hopewellian sphere by countless indigenous peoples.
While the field of archaeology categorically dismisses “paranormal activity” as improvable, there can be no denying that to understand a given culture, one must not only acknowledge their understanding of the supernatural realm, one must view their material culture with an eye toward paranormal interaction. For centuries, archaeologists haphazardly classified all artifacts as utilitarian, never stopping to consider the significance of those used for ritual. As a result, cultures like the Anasazi of the US Southwest, and the Hopewell to a lesser degree, continue to elude our understanding because we persist in undervaluing their relationship with the paranormal; a relationship that has pervaded virtually all known cultures both past and present day. I believe that as the field of anthropology evolves, they’ll be a greater need for archaeologists who can recognize signs of paranormal activity in the archaeological record to make the cultural picture complete.
Archaeology’s Dark Past on the Dark Continent @
Dirt Archaeology: Where Does the Archaeological Record Really Begin? @
as well as a number of other related articles @
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