We'll See You On The Other Side…

Paranormal

The Danger With the Dead

Paranormal Investigating is dangerous. A blanket statement I’ve heard many times from many sources more specifically regarding the effects of actively seeking to contact the dead. But what does it mean? Where does it come from? Why and how should we heed the warning?

As someone who feels called to do work with the paranormal,  I have pondered this question for years. I have often heard: “The living scare me more than the dead.”  And a calm, methodical, and nearly emotionless approach to investigations is worn as a badge of honor by most investigators who are still struggling to be taken seriously in a field that is slow to yield “scientifically accepted” methods.e362ef3bd89172805e449b33a8f909d9

Most religions teach that the living should not seek to interact with the dead. Some go so far as to call it a sin. And these days, it is not only organized religion asserting that the danger is real.  Investigators both on and off television have gone so far as to say that “ghost hunting” has ruined their lives.

So…should we stop? I believe all things come down to finding a balance. For most of us, investigating is a passion. We would leap at the chance to make it our profession. We envision ourselves as the ones who can help bring more credibility to the field, to show the world that place ~where spirit meets science.~ I know I do. Because of this, we would love to believe that the supposed dangers are largely blown out of proportion. But that would be foolish and irresponsible.

There is an array of methods in the name of protection. From visualizing a protective bubble of white light, to saints medals, to crystals and smudging, an investigator’s kit is not complete without the tools that help to make the job safe. But what, exactly, are we protecting ourselves from? And how can we be sure our methods are correct?

A few weeks ago I had an interaction with a living person that shed some new light on this subject. This girl was a crater of desperation. She was desperate to be heard, desperate to be important, desperate to be validated. The need was so deep it bordered on panic.  She was a black hole looking for stars to eat…a sucking wound. Our conversation left me exhausted and obsessively pondering how I could have better made my point with her. The truth is, there was nothing I could have said or done to help her short of giving her everything she felt entitled to. Her whole world revolved around her. The rest of us were supporting characters in her drama.

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I don’t know what circumstances she has had to deal with in her life. And it doest matter because circumstances are neither good nor bad. Our outlook colors them for better or for worse. Her reactions created the person she is now. The same is true for us in the afterlife.

As I spoke with her, I felt more and more like I had to carefully choose my words to the point where I found myself silent for fear of saying the wrong thing and losing any chance of being heard. There was a manipulation at work, I was sure. But it was so fine that I could not identify the how or the why of it. It just yielded the feeling that the only right thing to say was that which she wanted to hear. It was oppressive.

In the days to follow, my thoughts returned not to the conversation, but to the feelings it provoked; anger, hopelessness, frustration, coupled with a need to go back and try again. Insanity. And I could see a clear correlation between what I had experienced with a living being and with what many people report when it comes to oppressive hauntings.

I believe there are many paths that lead to ghostly outcomes like a death so sudden the soul doesn’t realize it has occurred, but when there are reports of angry spirits, vengeful ghosts, the dead who attack, oppress and possess the living, it is no different than the girl I dealt with. Okay…it is SLIGHTLY different. She couldn’t follow me home.

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But take into consideration someone like that, someone who feels their plight is so desperate that they must resort to whatever means are necessary to get that which they need. As living beings we enjoy the relative safety of physical boundaries. You can see a person wielding weapons. You can log out, hang up, move away. But the dead have a whole other arsenal. Bodiless, they resort to energetic attacks and attachments. They prey on your nervous system, causing symptoms, the source of which remains a mystery. From depression and rage to physical ailments like heart attack, fibromyalgia, and autoimmune diseases, something as simple as trying to get your attention can be harmful.

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Strangerdimensions.com

The souls who fail to crossover, those who are clinging in a futile attempt to hang onto   the things they had or the life they knew, are lingering in a world reflective of their fears and the negativity they attached to the circumstances of their lives. Some are trapped in their death states, others may be trapped in the mental illness from which they suffered, confused and looking for someone with which to share their pain. And since they cannot tell you, they might do whatever they can to show you.

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Many people believe that their interaction with the dead can’t be harmful if it is born of good intentions. But there is a cliche about that for a reason. If a spirit is lost to a perpetual state of fear and confusion, the offer of help may be enough to attract attention but might be too little to do any good leading to unwanted attachments for the investigator or increased activity at the location. It is like deciding to save a drowning man. If you jump in the water while they are flailing, there is a chance they will take you right down with them.

As with all jobs, paranormal investigating presents very real dangers. And it is up to the individual to decide what risks are worth taking. As for me, I choose to stay away from the darker locations: asylums, hospitals, places plagued with stories of malevolent or “demonic” activity. Investigating has helped me become more sensitive to the paranormal and I choose to be mindful of the situations I put myself in. I don’t pursue living emotional vampires in my daily life. And I’m not going to pursue the dead ones either!

 

 


Do They Visit in Your Dreams?

My parents have been dead for some time. My mom died first. My dad died a few years later. It took a while for my mom to make contact with me. I was pretty angry about it because we were very close and I was not prepared to wait years in order to hear from her again. Of course my expectations were unrealistic. I know now that when a loved one dies it takes some time to figure things out. There is work to do on the other side and I am sure there are protocols for contacting the living.

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My mom has never been good at the dream thing. She was more partial to being “the voice inside my head.” She was great at that from the beginning. When planning her, I guess you could call it “wake,” I wanted to line the mantle of the fireplace with pictures of he when she was young and performing on stage. I wanted them all in black frames but when I went to the store to get them, I was having a hard time finding enough to fit the pictures. In my head I could hear her: “Oh honey, you don’t have to do that. All this trouble is not necessary!” And though I knew it was her intention to take some of the stress off of me, her arguing was STRESSING ME OUT! I finally got fed up and said out-loud,”Mom! I know! Let me do this,” just in time for the sales clerk to ask if I needed help. I’m arguing with a ghost, dude. What do YOU think?

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She died after a long battle with breast cancer and I was her primary caretaker. The disease transformed our relationship. It broke us down and brought us together. When she finally started showing up in my dreams she was always sick. It’s hard to explain how I knew that the dreams were her attempts at contacting me. I guess the biggest clue was that I felt somehow removed from the flow and context of the dream. I would reluctantly go along with the images and/or story line waiting for “the point” because the things she usually showed me pissed me off. ~I~ knew she was dead. And even though I felt instinctively that she was using the experience of her illness to get my attention (because it was the only way she knew how) I remember that there was always a point in the dream, usually very early on if not immediately, where I would give her a ~look~ and say “You’re not sick. You’re dead.”

I know! I sound like a horribly impatient daughter! And, admittedly, I was! The only good thing that came from her death was the fact that neither of us had to deal with the pain and struggle anymore. The last thing I wanted to do in my sleep was revisit it!

Now…my dad was a different story. We were mostly estranged during the later years of his life. We had only been in contact for the last few and even then, it was only by phone. He was living in a different state when he died.

The first time I saw him in a dream, my mom was the one to bring him through. I had just gotten my first tattoo. It memorialized them. That night, my dad showed up. He had so much to say! He wanted to apologize for all the things and was eager to show me where he had lived out the last years of his life. You would think that I would have been overjoyed to get a visit from both parents. But forgiveness does not equal trust. The energy he put forth reminded me of who he was when he died. And it garnered a ~look~ to my mom who told me to “Just let him do this.” I understood then that this visit was for him, not for me.

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Of course, I acquiesced, if not a little reluctantly. I let him take me by the hand and give me a tour of the life he lived during our time apart. Mom stayed mostly quiet. She was aloft, somehow, her presence much more ethereal, like a shepherd watching the flock.

Dad’s visits weren’t always in my dreams. But, save for one particularly memorable incident (which I will likely write about in a future blog), my mom was always the one to bring him. Keep in mind that my parents went through a ~bitter~ divorce. But that divorce did not change or nullify the dynamic of their relationship. She was destined to be his guide in both life and death. Even though I knew that things were exactly as they were meant to be, I felt a little bad for her! Would she never be rid of this child she has to raise? Well, last week I think I got my answer.

Thursday morning I woke up from a dream. My Dad had visited. My reaction: “Huh! Interesting.” I got up, walked the dog, and, while making breakfast, began telling a friend about it.  Thank goodness I was talking about it over text because as I relayed the details, I found myself moved to tears which caught me entirely off guard.

The actual dream was brief but I realized that it was full of symbolism. I was leaving my bedroom and, as I tried to close the door behind me, it was pulled from my fingertips which caused me to stumble forward. I was on the verge of anger. My thought? “Is there another ghost in my room because I JUST SMUDGED!” (I actually did just smudge my room for reasons I’ll explain later.) Ready to deal with this disturbance, I flung the door open and, as I suspected, there was a ghost. It was my dad. He was standing next to my bed. I think I caught him just as he was materializing because one of his arms was not yet fully formed.  Really weird.

I paused for a moment, stunned, before I finally spoke: “Daddy?” I knew he was dead. He knew he was dead. And when I rushed forward to hug him, I expected him to disappear like some kind of cruel joke. But he didn’t. He stayed. He felt solid and real. And I remember thinking how odd my reaction was but I didn’t have time to dwell on it. I started crying and said “I miss having parents.” To which he replied, “I know.” And that was it!

As I relayed the simple details, I realized how much meaning they contained. The outfit he chose was from a time in our relationship before disillusionment, when I trusted him and saw him as my father instead of a child. It cut straight through my defenses and rationalizations regarding his ~many~ poor choices and it brought me instantly back to the foundation of trust on which our relationship had been built. Our very brief conversation represented my deepest grief, a grief which, as of late has been heavy on my mind. Most importantly, for the first time, my mom did not have to bring him through. He came on his own. He was responsible, had a purpose, was more mature. He had continued to learn and grow and he was ready to be my ~dad~ again.

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A week prior to this dream I was working in my studio. It’s the room (more like a glorified hallway) in between my bedroom and the back bedroom.  My brother came walking through to continue a conversation we were having. I watched him walk right by me, focused on my room. Out the other door he went at which point I said “Where are you going?” He stopped, looked back, blinked, then turned and looked at my room. Confused, he came back and stared at me. Apparently, he thought I was in my room. He thought this because he saw what looked like someone climbing into my bed and he assumed that someone was me.

Ghosts are not allowed to visit my room. I say that like it’s a normal every day standard rule of all households. And I get that, for most households, it is not. However, I have found this boundary necessary to set and to maintain. Rarely is it usurped. This is why I smudged my room. As I was doing it, I felt like whoever my brother had seen was not a random visitor. It made me second guess my wording. In the middle of saying: “Unless you’re my mom, you need to leave,” I stopped with the need to rethink my words. The feeling, though subtle, was notable. But I stood by my original boundaries. Less than a week later, I dreamt of my dad.

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Yes. I think that the shadowy visitor was him. I think he was trying to figure out the best way to get my attention so that he could convey his message. I’m glad he stopped trying to materialize in my bedroom..cuz..creepy. The dream was more real than any apparition could ever be. His symbol language was perfect; memorable and visceral. It will remain one of the most memorable interactions with “the other side” I’ve had.

Written by: Heather of EVP

 


Paranormal Shower

On Wednesday, Jamie and I (Heather) headed down to EVP’s favorite haunt, The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca. Armed with nothing more than our cell phone cameras, our goal was simple: to view the ship through fresh eyes.  Between changing lease holders and pending developments for the land adjacent, there has been a lot of buzz regarding the ship. Though we are privy to the now age-old and glaringly obvious issues surrounding Her care and maintenance, we wondered what the public, who know nothing of the battle over her treatment, see when they tour her historic decks.

Of course, a trip to the RMS Queen Mary would not be complete without an honorable mention for her resident spirits, of which there are many. However, this time, we also encountered some unusual energies we could not quite place. Before I continue, let me state that this story comes with no proof. For the skeptic it will be, at best, conjecture and, at worst, a fairy tale woven around delusions. But for the many of you out there who have visited the ship and come away with a sense that something strange is afoot, I think you will understand.

I’m not a psychic; however, I do tend to be very sensitive to energies and emotions, particularly when I am on the ship. And when Jamie and I are together, for whatever reason, it seems to amplify our receptiveness. (Jamie doesn’t identify as a psychic either but she totally is one. Sorry about it Jamie!)

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Wonder Twin powers…ACTIVATE!

Our team has been on many private investigations and we’ve made countless casual visits. The ship is active at all times of the day but when it is crowded, the energy of the living is like a buffer of white noise that sometimes makes it difficult to focus on which spirits may be coming around to say “hi.” It was nice to be aboard on a quiet day, left to stroll this familiar piece of history without the need to escape a million screaming children or to avoid the large tours.

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A quiet Promenade.

Our walk took us down The Promenade Deck where we were greeted by what felt like four men. I could feel their presence so strongly that they felt almost visible and I paused. It’s interesting but dismissible when you feel/see something like that on your own. But when you have a trusted friend with you who also sees it, it’s a relief. After years of dealing with this sort of thing I STILL wonder if I am crazy or making things up. And Jamie’s immediate acknowledgment of exactly what I am picking up on settles what would otherwise be an endlessly muttering argument that does nothing but cast doubts on my perceptions and degrades any further experiences.

The men were standing side by side, lined up and staring at us, their expressions unmoving and rather blank. Their clothes were dirty and their energy was heavy. It felt like they were lost. We concluded that they must have been related to the boiler room and moved on, asking that the spirits give us some space so that we could continue our visit without feeling like we were going to fall over.

Let me explain a bit. I’m sure that different people experience the paranormal in different ways. But our team has come up with a saying that we use amongst ourselves. We call it being “on the boat,” and, amazingly, it did not originate from our experiences with The Queen Mary. Originally, the saying was born from a very horrible cruise I took down to Mexico for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. It think that “my grandmother’s 90th birthday” pretty much sums up my experience but, in case you’re having a hard time visualizing it, let me just say that it felt very much like this:

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Anyway, once I was released from the boat-prison disguised as a pleasure cruise and my feet were on solid ground, I noticed the most peculiar sensation. For several days I felt as if I was still on the boat. It took a while to regain my equilibrium. It was actually the best part of the cruise. As it turns out, this is also how it feels when our team comes into contact with spirits. When the energy is particularly strong, it can make you stumble like a drunk. And when we see each other doing this, we now ask “Are you on the boat?”

Energy came and went as we went about our day. We experienced a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar energies that, for the most part, were fleeting. However, neither of us could rid ourselves of the nagging feeling that the four men we first encountered were very out of place. Though we had dismissed them as having come up from the boiler rooms, neither of us were satisfied with this assumption. This may sound too ethereal for some but, it just didn’t feel right.

Towards the end of our day, as we ended our self-guided tour on R Deck in front of the entrance to the First Class Pool, we sat on the steps in front of the now defunct elevators, and began laying out our feelings regarding these gentleman. We concluded that, they could not get back to wherever they had come from, an unusual conclusion to reach for any of the ship’s own ghostly residents, most of whom, in our experience, can find their way with ease throughout the ship.

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R-deck. Original entrance to The First Class Pool

If those men had come from the boilers or engine room, was there something going on that would displace them? Wondering if maybe management was doing work in those areas of the ship we headed down to The Queen Mary Story which is housed close to what remains of those areas to see if it would provide us with any obvious answers. Much to our surprise, it did.

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Upon entering the lower levels of the museum, we were immediately greeted by a mess of what, at first glance,  looked like construction and some pretty chaotic energy. Turns out, a recent temporary exhibit, “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock,” had just ended.  The exhibit space now empty, they were in the process of breaking down the remainder of the sets and displays. I imagine that whatever artifacts they had on loan were already on their way back to the lender.

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As we sat there, feeling the place out and assembling the pieces of the day’s puzzle, we wondered if the four men we saw on The Promenade Deck had not come from the ship at all, but had instead,  arrived with the Alcatraz artifacts. Had they missed their ride home?

Of course, we couldn’t be sure but it felt plausible and likely that this was the case. None too creeped out, we were lucky that our next stop was an awesome metaphysical store called Sage Goddess where we were able to clear ourselves of any unwanted attachments. (Because really, who wants to bring home one or four Alcatraz inmates?)

I’ll taaaake THAT ONE…

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On second thought….

We mentioned where we had been, what we had encountered and the lovely running the store immediately got out the sage and smudged us. I do not know WHY we have never done this. I can’t count the number of times one or all of us have brought something home from haunted locations. We often wake up the next day feeling horrible; exhausted, used up, foggy, sore and depressed. Have we ever smudged ourselves? No. Downright irresponsible in retrospect. Why would we cleanse our spaces and not ourselves! It’s a paranormal shower.

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I dig Palo Santo wood because Sage smells like armpit.

We learned a lot during our latest visit to The Queen Mary. We saw her through fresh eyes, noticed details we had never seen, met a few surprising historical ghosts and, most importantly, we were reminded of how important it is to protect yourself when dealing with haunted locations. Even when you know a location well and her spirits feel like old friends ready to welcome you back, it is possible that surprises are lurking. So go in and enjoy your experiences but make sure you leave the ghosts behind!

Aside from the link to Sage Goddess above, you can also find Athena’s offerings in her brick and mortar in Torrance, Ca, OR on Etsy!


Can the Living Help the Dead?

During the morning scroll of the Facebook feed I came across this:

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These pop up all the time. They ask questions like: “Would you stay in this house for the night?” or “Do you think dead loved ones can communicate from beyond?” Asking questions like this of a paranormal enthusiast is like asking: “Do you believe in ghosts.” The answer is always “yes.” So I usually just scroll right by.

But this one caught my attention because the answer is not that simple. As I sat there trying to compose an answer short enough for Facebook but long enough to convey my point, I realized that my thoughts were sprawling. There was more to this question than first met the eye. So…to the blog with it!

First, let’s define the terms. It may seem granular, but the small task of defining the words “spirit” and “help” can go a long way in clearing up any possible confusion. In this case, I understand the term “spirit” to mean human spirits who have not fully transitioned into the spirit realm. They have one foot in our world and one foot in the next. What kind of “help” could we possibly offer to a soul in this predicament? Many people believe that the best way to help a spirit suspended between worlds is to listen, that they just want their stories to be heard. But I don’t think it’s that easy.

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As above, so below.

It’s true that all humans want to be seen. And I don’t just mean visually. I mean that our soul’s seek acknowledgment. In this way, it makes sense that allowing a spirit to convey its message is “helpful.” But all of us have run into people who can never tell their stories enough. Whether it is the eighteenth time they show us pictures of their newest grandchild or the hundredth time they convey their tales of woe, all of us have encountered people who hold us hostage with their need for validation. Most of the time it doesn’t even matter if we are listening! In fact, many of them are so trapped in their stories that they do not want us to respond. These people are not actually looking for help. They are looking for attention. And they will gladly sacrifice your comfort and well being in order to get that which they think they need.  If this is the case for those of us living within our physical forms, why wouldn’t it be the case for those without? In fact, I argue it could be worse.

Take the television show “The Dead Files.” Psychic Amy Allen, is forever coming into contact with spirits who are “trapped in their death states” or looking to “exact revenge upon the living.”

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Setting aside the argument that “you can’t trust what you see on reality TV,” these claims make sense. Just like in life, there are those of us who are clinging desperately to the past. Many people live their lives steeped in regret, wishing they had made different choices. They become addicted to their story and refuse to move beyond it. Have YOU ever tried helping someone who refuses to accept things and move on?

The answer to the question lies somewhere in the balance. Just like in life, there are souls who are open to receiving help. Whether they just want their story to be heard, they need kindness and understanding, or are simply in need of a little guidance, this kind of help is ours to offer. However, just like in life, there are souls who are NOT open to receiving help. It is up to us as investigators to choose our interactions wisely. Deciding what types of interactions we wish to have with the dead is every bit as important as deciding what types of interactions we want to have with the living. We must always remain mindful of that which we want to manifest in our lives. I’ve heard numerous investigators say “I’m less afraid of the dead than I am of the living.” But I’m not so sure that is wise. It is easier to walk away from a toxic living person than it is to walk away from one who is dead.

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I’d like to thank my friends at the “Queen Mary Beyond The Veil” Facebook page for setting my mind in motion this week! For those of you interested in the paranormal, there is always something fascinating to be found on  the QMBV page!

Written by: Heather of EVP!


A Force Push to the Dark Side

When it comes to paranormal phenomena, apporting (the ability to disassemble matter and have it reassemble somewhere else) is, perhaps, the one that baffles me the most followed closely by poltergeist (a noisy or, literally “pounding” ghost). And last week I had my own close encounter, the details of which left me shaking my head and pondering both phenomena from an uncomfortably personal perspective.

A common claim associated with hauntings is: “items go missing.” It is believed that some ghosts are capable of apporting objects like keys or jewelry causing them to disappear from the place their owner had put them only to reappear in another location. I have a really difficult time wrapping my head around this. My inner skeptic bucks wildly against belief. It’s one thing to experience objects moving on their own. I’ve experienced this more than once. I ~know~ this happens. But for a complex piece of matter to be disassembled and reassembled in another location? That’s CRAZY. (You’ll notice the term “crazy” becomes increasingly relative the more you delve into the world of spirit and the paranormal.)

Regarding Poltergeist, one of the things that makes this activity incredibly unsettling is that it is believed to be generated from a living agent. That means that these “ghosts” are created from suppressed emotions in conjunction with unacknowledged or un-channeled psychic gifts. When people say “Don’t bottle it all up inside,” there is a good reason. Negative emotions are like poison. They grow and fester when we refuse to deal with them. This is true for everyone. But for some with special gifts, this denial of self manifests in disruptive, other-worldly, ways.

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Stacking. Another reason Poltergeists are so dang creepy. WAY worse than the big ol’ monster at the end! But maybe…not quite as scary as the clown.

Every Monday night I meet up with my best friend and we head to our favorite all night diner. It’s tradition. Date night with the wife, we call it. It’s the one night a week we can lay out all of our turmoil and drama on the table along with our eggs and toast and show it to the only other person on the planet who knows us as well as we know ourselves. Together, there is nothing we can’t tackle. And while we might not solve it with the expedience of an early eighties sitcom, we never fail to find a new facet or shed a new light on whatever ails us.

A couple of Mondays ago it was my turn to bring crazy to the table and I did so MOST epically. My ego was throwing the biggest tantrum, possibly, of my life. I was shrouded in a layer of anger comprised of hurt, fear, offense, abandonment, and most powerfully, panic. The culmination of a slow and slippery slope on which I embarked after a particularly shocking and damaging break-up that is now more than a year old, this Monday found me on the pinnacle of a breakthrough. But to get there, I had to traverse what felt like a forest of flame.

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There really are no words to describe how ensconced I was in this torrent of negative emotion. Convinced I had been wronged that very day by another long time friend; convinced he had abandoned me, forgotten me, cheated and lied to me, I was pointing finger after finger at him whilst completely disregarding the three pointing back at me.

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So there I sat in the sanctity of our Monday night, needing so desperately to tell my story to the one person who always “gets it.” Though I tried not to direct my rage at my oldest friend, knowing she is ~always~ there to listen and support, my words spilled from my lips with an indiscriminate venom. I was battling everything; myself, my emotions, my past, my future, and my friend. I could feel my anger spilling onto the table. I was a woman possessed. I could see her hackles raise in response to it. I could see her rein herself in, reminding herself that this was not about her, that I was not, despite how it felt, attacking ~her~.

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As I was flooding the air between us with words I can’t remember, my fist came down on the table to illustrate a point and for the briefest moment, there was a silence in my head. Like I had left myself for just a fraction of a second. It all happened so quickly that I barely broke stride until my friend’s eyes widened and she looked down at the seat next to her. I stopped and said, “What?”

From the seat she slowly lifted her knife. Again, I said “What?” dismissing the incident as a result of the knife falling off the table. But I could tell from her reaction that she was already convinced that this was not the case. We took a moment to ponder it, but apparently, I was not yet ready for this night to be about anything else aside from ME. And after a little bit of consideration, I continued talking.

A week later, I was over myself and Monday night was once again a calm and balanced pursuit. (In the interest of staying on target, I will leave that journey for another post.) After a brief update of how I managed my over-ness, we shifted once again to what had happened with the knife. Though logic insisted it was nothing, instinct continued to argue we pay more attention.

At the time it occurred, we were both very aware that the knife made no sound until we heard the gentle thud it made when it landed. It had been perched across her saucer next to her coffee cup. After it fell, she put it back where it had been and I banged on the table a few more times to see if it would fall again but it didn’t budge. We tried this same thing again a week later and it yielded the same results. In fact, it did not budge when we placed it near the edge of the table either. After running several experiments, all with the same results, we gave up and started reconstructing what had happened.

I was facing her and, subsequently, the knife when it moved but I saw nothing. No flash of metal or reflection of light. No movement of any kind. It is ENTIRELY possible that nothing could have distracted me from my rage. But I did hear the thud as it landed on the seat next to her which came shortly but not directly after I hit the table. We also noted that both the knife as well as the saucer on which it was resting were several inches away from the edge of the table. This meant that in order for it to slip, slide, or fall onto the seat next to her, it would first have to hit the table which would make more noise than it made upon landing.

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It was kind of like this only with a knife!

I had only experienced something similar once before. I was at lunch with Jamie and I was describing something (I can’t even remember what) passionately. I remember the feeling behind the words. I felt like I could lift up the whole world. Suddenly, her empty cracker wrapper slid across the table and into my fingers as I lifted them up. I stopped talking and looked at the cracker wrapper, slightly confused. WHY was it in my fingers?

Granted, a small wisp of cellophane like that could have easily caught a subtle draft. But the way in which it moved toward me as my emotions crescendoed and went right to my fingertips as I pinched and lifted struck both Jamie and myself as extremely odd.

Both the cracker wrapper and the knife incident were accompanied by the same feelings from both observers. It stopped us in our tracks. It made us try to figure out what happened. It sent us into disbelief. And it left us questioning an otherwise forgettable experience for weeks.

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By now you are probably asking yourself what this has to do with apporting and poltergeists.

If we entertain the possibility that the knife did not fall off the table but was in fact moved, we are talking about psycho or telekinesis which in and of itself is fantastic enough. But to both of us, it felt like the knife disappeared from the saucer and reappeared an inch or two above the seat cushion. Neither of us saw or heard it move. It was just sitting there one moment and landing on the seat the next. It’s not something I expect anyone to believe for I hardly believe it myself. I’m still stuck somewhere on a sliding scale between “Oh yeah right” and “WTFWASTHAT!” But given my state of mind at the time, I do feel like if anything moved it, it was me. I could feel a surge of energy within me and it felt like it had nowhere to go.

And that leads me back to poltergeists. Regardless of whether or not I moved an object through the sheer force of pent up emotions and unfocused will, the feeling that I might have is enough to drive home the gravity of the resulting implications. There was undeniable power in that stockade of negative emotion. And something in me wanted this hoarding to continue.

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As I was sitting there across from my support system, peering out through a heavy veil of bitterness and rage, I felt like I was battling death. While my life wasn’t threatened, it felt like my identity was. I felt crazy. The idea of moving objects with my mind would have been akin to the joy of finally having a super power were it not for the great cost at which it came.

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That night in our diner, the night my emotions threatened to consume me, the night we both wondered if my rage was to blame for throwing a knife off the table, reminded me on a visceral level of how easy it is to become unconscious, to disconnect  from my self. At some point I told myself I was too good to fall prey to such a thing. I knew too much about how people worked to become so unaware. And from there it grew.

We humans are powerful creatures, more powerful than most of us realize. We are connected to everything around us, wrapped in the fabric of space and time. Having had a taste of what it might be like to be so disconnected from my own heart that I could cause disturbances around me was quite a wakeup call. It made me wonder how deeply emotions need be buried in order to seek other, more uncommon ways in which to manifest. The knife helped me see the first subtle step I took to this end. Its silent descent cut through the rage that was drowning out the world creating an opening for self-realization. I’m just thankful it was an isolated incident, for as nice as it would be to have a “super power,” I can say now, after experiencing the trade-off, I feel much more empowered by taking responsibility for my own emotional state.


The EVP Perspective of The Los Feliz Murder Mansion

I think every investigative team has a local bucket list, a group of places they hear about or stumble upon during their travels that fascinate the hell out of them and, regardless of whether or not they can get in to investigate, rest assured that these places are always on their mind leaving them open to every tidbit of information that might cross their path. Recently, one of our places resurfaced with interesting developments.

I came upon the place known as “Murder Mansion” in Los Feliz one night while researching the crazy life and former home sight of actor Errol Flynn. One blog led to another and, as I was wending my way along the internet current, I crossed the path of a house that looked familiar. Apparently this house had been a curiosity to many urban explorers and paranormal enthusiasts before me, and yet, upon talking to my teammates and our friends, no one had ever heard of it.

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The Los Feliz property sits atop a hill on a quiet cul de sac in a neighborhood where houses sell for millions of dollars. Its nickname makes the tragedy that occurred there obvious. On December 6, 1959 Dr. Harold Perelson bludgeoned his wife, asleep in their bed, to death with a ball-peen hammer. He then went through the jack and jill bathroom to his daughter Judye’s room and attempted to do the same to her. She suffered a glancing blow and managed to flee the house.

Awakened by their sister’s screams, the younger children were told by their father that they were having a nightmare and to go back to bed. As Judye ran to the neighbors for help and the police were called, Dr. Perelson returned to the upstairs bathroom where he took a concoction of drugs which killed him by the time the police arrived at the scene.

The story of affluent 1950’s family life taking such a tragic and fractured turn is fascinating in and of itself. But what happened to the property afterward truly adds to the macabre fascination. A year after the murder-suicide the property was sold in a probate auction to a couple from Lincoln Heights who never moved in. In fact, it remained stagnant, a time capsule of the life that ended that cold night in 1959. Our first visit revealed the same sight we found pictured online. Through dusty living room windows you could see much of the original furniture still in place while other rooms were filled with magazines and junk dated years after the murder. Even as the property passed to the son of the couple who bought it decades ago, it was left to itself, used for little more than storage.

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Photo Courtesy of: Thelosangelesbeat.com

Our first visit there, Brian stayed in the car while Jamie and I made the trek up the many stairs to the house. The energy was incredibly stagnant. Inside we saw the now familiar mustard living room chairs and the loom still in the corner. And though we saw no Christmas tree or presents, there was indeed, a jumble of christmas wrapping paper and bows.

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Photo courtesy of: Mylabucketlist.com

Knowing the local residents were fed up with tourists, we tried to keep our visit quiet and brief. But we couldn’t leave before getting a feel for what might be going on with the house spiritually. After all, the energy of that horrible night was essentially locked up and incubated over a period of decades.

Sitting on steps beside the driveway as it wound behind the house, we took a few moments to be silent and still. And it didn’t take long for Jamie to have a reaction the likes of which she had never experienced. Even after personally noting that the energy of the house was not right, the fear and the pain that Jamie was connecting with was difficult to watch. The skeptic in me jumped to disbelief at the sight of tears and trembling even though I ~knew~ she was no huckster. I didn’t know what to do for her or how to help. I just did my best to get her to talk about what she was experiencing hoping that putting it into words would make it feel less urgent or personal.

Though it was possible that Jamie was picking up on a general imprint of the past, their was the feeling that the energy was too alive, too current, to be as simple as a scar left on the location. We concluded that even though Judye survived the attack, the fear, the pain, the panic she experienced that night was still there, desperately chasing down help, needing to be heard. It took Jamie a while to gather herself. And even after we made it back down the hill and drove off, the reaction lingered. For me it was an interesting experience, viewed through the lens of detachment that so often affords me an ~appearance~ of calm when things get crazy during investigations.

Judy Switchplate

Photo courtesy of: laist.com

Although I trust in my investigating partners, the nature of our experiences always leaves me wondering about the parts that make up the whole. What part is the environment? What part is due to the events of the past? How strong is that which lingers there? And how sensitive or even over-reactive was might we be? The new developments in this story led me to another personal account that bore a striking resemblance to Jamie’s. For me, it was a step towards validation.

…Just then, Jennifer felt “something ominous.”

Maybe it was the same feeling that drove away the homeless, who once tried to shelter there many years ago, but fled citing unsettling chills, mystery footsteps, unholy noises at night. Maybe it was the feeling described by neighbors in a newspaper that they were being “followed.” Adrenaline squirted in her veins now. She found the concrete steps again. Her footsteps retraced the escape route taken by one of the doctor’s daughters, who fled the house soaked in blood. “I imagined her running away from her crazy dad,” Jennifer says, “and just how awful that must have been…I almost got the same feeling.” She was running now, her hands covered in decades of black dust. She cared no longer for answers, for adventure, or her bucket list. “Oh my gosh,” she thought, “I can’t get away from this house fast enough.”

Perhaps this account is sensationalized. But given what I witnessed during our first visit to this house, it is not too far off from the truth.

It was some time before we returned. My curiosity piqued last year the night before the team was supposed to head out to Downtown L.A. and on the way back, I asked if Jamie and Brian wanted to take a look and see if anything had changed. Much to my surprise, they said okay. This time, we pulled up to the house but didn’t get out of the car. Sitting in the back seat and peering up that dusty hill, the house remained visibly unchanged. But it felt different. I was reluctant to say it, but as we began discussing it, I mentioned that the energy was moving again. The house felt excited, like someone was cleaning it. Perhaps the owner had finally decided to sell. I had no proof, of course, but I voiced my thoughts in the safety of their company just in case I was right. And yesterday, I discovered that I wasn’t wrong.

Murder Mansion Clean Living Room

Photo courtesy of: last.com

It turns out that the owner died last year. And the house has been cleaned out and put up for sale. The time capsule of despair and life lost has been opened and emptied and, judging by the feeling I had during our last visit, the house is happy about it. Many speculate that the it is a complete tear down. As one neighbor put it:

“You can’t have a house sit empty for 50 years and not expect it to fall apart.”

Murder Mansion Decay Walls

Photo courtesy of:  cultofweird.com

As a history and architecture buff, the thought makes me cringe. What a shame an estate from the 1920’s would suffer such a dark history and meet its demise as a result. But I feel sure that whatever remnants were left behind from that terrifying night are happy for their release.

If you find your curiosity for this story is not satiated, please check out the links below amongst which are Jennifer’s original blog post containing many pictures from before the house was cleaned and a link to a series of pictures taken since the clean out. And check the  link to a STELLAR article by Jeff Maysh detailing the events of the murder-suicide and containing interviews from the neighbors that knew the Perelson family.

Written By: Heather of EVP

A visit to the murder house in Los Feliz. BUCKET LIST!

LA Murder Mansion is on the Market for the First Time in 50 Years

http://laist.com/2016/03/30/photos_inside_the_los_feliz_murder.php#photo-7

The Los Feliz Murder House

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

 

View at Medium.com


Building The Psychic Muscle

 

 

If hiding under the bleachers could have gotten me out of Phys Ed when I was a kid, I would have never gone. I did not like running, hitting things or being hit by things much less doing any of those things in front of a group of my peers.

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And while I LOVED gymnastics and Ice skating, it only took one rotation around the bar for me to realize that I did not like the feeling of having my guts crushed by my own weight and one awkward lap around the ice rink in those green vinyl rental skates to dash my delusions of Olympic gold.

With practice, I could have advanced past my discomfort and fear. I could have achieved some measure of success. But I knew from those first experiences that those muscles would require more work to build than I wanted to put in. In fact, exercise in general would never  come naturally to me.

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People often wonder if they have psychic ability or if it is something that can be developed. The answer is: YES. You have psychic ability and YES it can be developed. But like everything else, we are each born with an individual aptitude that is part of what determines the ease of our developmental success.

I’ve always been sensitive. When I was little I had no idea that it was unusual. I remember my first trip, of course, to The Queen Mary. It sounds funny but, I had a feeling we were being followed by three unseen people. It didn’t feel unusual. It wasn’t scary. I just took for granted that there were extra kids and, possibly, an extra adult with our group. They followed us on our guided tour and I wondered why the tour guide didn’t mention them.

This type of experience continued as I grew up but it was no more than a peripheral curiosity. I never considered myself “psychic” or a “medium.” And while several people I met throughout the years looked at me and said, “You’re an empath.” I didn’t even know what that meant.

When East Valley Paranormal began pursuing investigations, I noticed that my abilities grew. Just like athletes work out their physical muscles, I was working out my psychic muscle. Repeated contact with the dead expanded my awareness; leaving me open to clearer connections. What once were just “feelings” expanded into very palpable interactions.

I remember our first investigation. It was a large group of people. There was a lot of noise. But I remember Bob Davis of Planet Paranormal could hear familiar voices that belonged to no one in our group. I watched him closely that night. And I wondered if he was fooling himself….until I listened to the audio recordings. Sure enough, when he heard something, we would inevitably catch something on audio.

As we continued investigating, I found that I could hear more than I previously could. “Did you hear that?” became my catch phrase to the point where I became so conscious of it that I had to make myself stop saying it!

Here are a couple of clips from a pretty wild investigation we did in Pasadena. The first, is a clip of me talking about something (I have no idea what). You can hear Brian respond but in the middle, I heard something say my name. It felt like they were right in my ear…like a bug had flown into it. It still makes me cringe when I hear it.

You can hear in my tone how uncomfortable it made me.

This is the sound I heard, isolated.

It STILL makes me uncomfortable!

While investigating is one way to stretch and build your psychic muscle, it is by no means the only way to improve it! In fact, The hardest step in learning to use your psychic muscle is following your intuition; having faith in what your gut tells you. Remember multiple choices tests?

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Test tip: If you are unsure of the answer, follow your first instinct.

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It sounded so easy! But it  wasn’t! The moment you tried to let go and fill in the bubble to which your first instinct guided you, you paused, grunted, thought about it, and changed your mind. Why? Were you afraid of getting it wrong? I know I was. In fact, fear like this guides most of what we do.

But the illusion of control to which we cling is holding us back in so many ways. Intuition is our introduction to the unseen world we want to understand. And we have little to lose when it comes to listening to it. It taps into knowledge we have tucked away, information we are not conscious of. To access it, we must learn to hear and then listen to our inner voice, a voice we ALL have. Practicing this helps us learn not only to trust ourselves, but to open ourselves to a source of guidance we often disregard. And the more we listen, the better we hear. It speaks to us more often than you think! But we must be willing to risk being wrong or feeling “crazy” in order to reap the possible rewards.

Another method for building that psychic muscle is meditation. This is something that I am usually too lazy or unmotivated to do. Interestingly, there is science behind the act of meditation. Time even did an article on it!

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(TIME also did an article drawing a link between farting and how it may cure cancer but, I’m sure this proved to be a better day for them.)

Meditation is a way to put the computer at the front of your brain at the disposal of the automated processes in the back of your brain. Your task as the executive (of your life) is to be presented with information, and then to decide how important it is. You tell the rest of the computer if it needs to continue processing it as a high priority. The goal is for your decision process to remain passive. Whatever comes up for you in the meditation, you observe and assign no importance to it. Whatever meditation presents you, you let it pass by.  It’s all just data. This does two things.First, you are assigning a low emotional valence to the thoughts. This lowers the priority it gets for consolidation. That lightens your processing demands. Secondly, your undivided attention is actually providing additional processing power to the thoughts. Once you become aware of them, it takes less time to put them in long-term storage. Most of what we think is fairly repetitive. Processing through them with meditation frees up your computer to do other things. 

Edited excerpt from Synchronicity by Dr. Kirby Surprise

I’ve been thinking a lot about investigating lately and how it has changed my awareness regarding my own array of abilities. It’s been quite a while since the team has been out on an official hunt (official defined as: darkness, equipment, free run of an historic locale, the whole nine yards); amazing how one’s life can get in the way of one’s predilection with death. But while other obligations keep us from collecting our cameras, audio recorders and meters, I will continue to build my psychic muscles through research and by listening to my intuition. Sometimes you need only focus on the first step of a journey in order to embark.


Soul Singularities

Though anecdotal evidence is all we have to go on, the stories of near death experiences (NDE’s) are all relatively the same. Some sort of trauma, usually the result of an accident, results in a short span of time in which the victim is declared dead. During the period of death, the victim’s soul separates from their body and floats upward. They are able to see themselves from this detached perspective but feel no pain. They then travel through or are sucked into a dark tunnel. 

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The depictions and descriptions of this always remind me of a black hole. In fact,the pervasive theory regarding black holes says that if you were to travel into one, it would happen at the speed of light. [livescience.com] And that’s what I would call a ~very~ rapid journey.

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Reports of NDE’s speak of a spiritual singularity which again, shares commonalities with black hole theory. The soul reaches a place of “…all consciousness, all knowingness.”Often, one undergoes a partial or, in some instances, a complete “life review” whereby one sees their entire life history in detail from a meta-perspective.

This meta perspective would also be theoretically achieved if you traveled into a black hole. The faster you move through space, the slower you move through time. If you looked into one as you fell, you would be able to see every object that fell in before you and every object that fell in after.

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In 2014 Stephen Hawking released a paper in which he made changes to his own theories regarding aspects of black holes. (You can read about it here.) Hawking proposes “apparent horizons” which allow for the eventual escape of information. Where it was once theorized that what went into a black hole was destroyed, it is now suggested that, since information cannot be destroyed, only transformed, whatever goes into a black hole will eventually come out. The caveat to this is that when it is released, it will be somehow transformed and unrecognizable.

This falls right in line with the pervading ideas about death. Western religions believe that death is the final journey from which we do not return. It is our “event horizon.” However, Eastern religions tend to subscribe to the idea of reincarnation whereby, once the body,  dies, the soul goes back from whence it came only to return to earth in a new form making death only an “apparent horizon.”

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I’m the first to admit that drawing parallels between these two concepts could very well be over-reaching. After all, the evidence is considered mostly theory or anecdotal. But I also believe that our lives are filled with echoes, repeating patterns that, once identified, help us find the answers to the questions that mystify us. So let’s take one more step in this crazy journey and flirt with the concept that originally spawned this post.

While looking for some interesting things to share on the EVP Facebook page, I came across this video of a TED talk by Lewis Brown Griggs at TEDxAmericanRiviera 2012. This is to blame for this train of thought for, in watching it, I was reminded of some things I have often pondered over the years, especially when interacting with spirits while on investigations or even while casually exploring historical buildings that happen to have some lingering residents.

Usually, descriptions of NDE’s conjure an image of the soul detaching completely from the body and floating upward through that dark tunnel about which I previously spoke. But what if this journey is not so clean cut? Once again, I turn to the parallels between NDE’s and black holes.

“Spaghettification,” a term coined by British astrophysicist Sir Martin Rees, theorizes that, upon diving into a black hole, the top of your head would feel so much more gravitational pull than the tips of your toes that you would be stretched, longer and longer, like toothpaste extruded from a tube. Is it possible that something similar happens during a near death experience?

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What if that link to our body remains in tact and instead, we stretch, the bulk of our consciousness remaining at the forefront of that journey, pulling our focus forward so that the turmoil surrounding the body is unnoticed and the return to the singular consciousness can be fully appreciated? It is purely conjecture, of course, but it seems to me that it would be natural to keep a toe-hold on our bodies during such a journey lest the door to our physical world slam shut. 

And this brings me back to my original pondering over “ghosts.” Let me state up front  that I find the term “ghost” woefully deficient. It offers little information regarding what it is we are actually experiencing. The connotations alone conjure images that instill fear and encourage reactionary thinking. It implies that someone has been prevented from moving on. We hear things like “they had unfinished business.” Or we associate the thought of restless spirits as having had lives that were cut tragically short. “They don’t know that they are dead.” Everything leads back to feelings of abandonment, imprisonment and punishment which leaves little chance of entertaining kinder, more natural ideology.

It is possible that what we experience as “ghosts,” as remnants of other times or people, are actually symptoms of several if not many different phenomena. It is in thinking about these possibilities that I began to wonder if some of what we interact with, especially what we consider to be “intelligent haunts” (they respond and demonstrate a conscious awareness of us),  are not trapped souls but are instead, shards of consciousness that have been left behind.

Let’s look once more at the idea of “Spaghettification.” If the commonalities between black hole theory and NDE’s represent mirroring patterns, could it be that in instances of traumatic or sudden death, the soul, instead of leaving the body completely, cleaves, leaving a piece behind? There is a school of thought that believes the soul is actually holographic in nature, that the parts contains the whole. If this is so, then it could account for the intelligent “ghosts” we encounter.

There is a ghost on The Queen Mary known as Jackie. Jackie is approximately five years old. She reportedly died in a tragic accident, drowning in the second class pool. She has been seen numerous times by numerous people over a span of several decades. She speaks out-loud wth relative ease to the extent that she has engaged in conversations. (You can hear segments of Jackie talking to our good friend Bob Davis of Planet Paranormal on the EVP website.) Often times when people hear about her, they feel a sense of sadness that a child spirit has been left behind or trapped.

Jamie at the party explained

Captured by Jamie, we believe the little girl looking profile is either Jackie or Sarah.

But I can assure you, Jackie is well taken care of. She very much enjoys her place on that ship and the many children that filter through on any given day, especially on the weekends. She is perpetually at play. And while she has demonstrated on many occasions just how sentient she is, I’ve always wondered if the five year old is just one aspect of a soul that crossed over and possibly reincarnated years ago. Perhaps it is only a piece of her that remains. 

Sometimes thinking about this stuff is overwhelming. It’s like getting sucked into a black hole. But even when thoughts and theories become long, dark tunnels, the journey is worth it because, just like after a near death experience, they emerge transformed. And that is the ultimate goal!

 

 


Past Lives: Opening Your Mind to the Possibility of Multiple Lifetimes

We have found that once you start looking for it, experiences with the paranormal are more common than we could have ever imagined. One phenomenon in particular that I have always found fascinating and falsely believed to be rare is remembering past lives. I always believed in past lives. And I have even had my own memories. But it wasn’t until I started dipping into research that I became aware of just how common it is. Admittedly, it isn’t  the “casual party goer conversation” kind of common but, it does happen more than one might think…especially with children.

The theory is that children have had less time to forget. Granted, not all children remember who they were or how they died, but it seems to be somewhat common to those who suffered a sudden and/or tragic death. Instead of holding on to that lifetime in such a way as to prevent themselves from moving on in the afterlife (ie: the old adage of ghosts having unfinished business) the soul is reincarnated and the memories of that lifetime are carried forward both consciously and, often, subconsciously, in the form of nightmares.

Though past lives have always been a part of many cultures, here in the states, it is only now reaching mainstream consciousness with shows like LMN’s (Lifetime Movie Network) The Ghost Inside My Child. Each episode follows a couple of different stories. Parents are interviewed about the details of the collective struggle over watching their children deal with the often horrific details of the lives they left behind.

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Now, if the thought of gleaning information from a reality television show about a topic over which you might already be wary makes you uncomfortable, rest assured that there are other sources to choose from. The topic of past life memories has been studied for decades and anecdotal evidence was recorded long before that.

One book that blows my mind is Old Souls. Written by journalist,Tom Shroder, Old Souls is an account of his travels with Dr. Ian Stevenson, a physician and psychiatrist who had been braving the dangerous back roads of India and Beirut for over thirty years to bring back reports of children who speak of remembering past lives and provide detailed accounts of who they were before they were born.

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Shroder’s writing is immersive and the subject matter couldn’t be more interesting. He even includes pictures of some of the subjects interviewed in comparison to the people they claimed to be and, the resemblance is often uncanny. This book is an awesome and dependable source for accounts of past life memories which will move even the staunchest skeptics toward opening their minds.

While the topic has now been brought to television and has been written about for decades, it is likely that the first awareness the general public has of this concept is in conjunction with hypnosis. Past life regression is fascinating to some and scary to others. Personally, I’ve always wanted to have it done but I was worried about it being too expensive or worse, that I would pay someone to guide me through one and find out that they really didn’t know what they were doing or turned out to be somehow undeserving of my trust. A certain level of vulnerability is required to sit in a chair or lay on a couch with the hope of uncovering dependable information. and it’s tough to achieve that without an equal level of trust in the person you have guiding you.

Recently, EVP team member, Jamie found a series of videos on Youtube, of all places, by a guy named Michael Sealey. Among them is a session for past life regression. She listened to several of his recordings before attempting the regression. It helped her get used to the sound of his voice and provided practice in giving herself over to it. Not expecting definitive results, she went through the exercise just to see if anything would happen. What she experienced was way beyond her expectations.

While the entire video lasts about one hour, Jamie was only under a short time before she gleaned some important information. As with most of us, Jamie noted that she finds meditation difficult. It’s hard turning off our brains. We are inundated with thoughts: things we need to get done, worries for the next day or week or month, things we forgot to do. All these things keep us busy and it isn’t until we try to turn them off that we realize how they rule our lives. However, in this instance, Jamie found the experience came quite easy. It felt brief and concise, not at all the jumbled mess of images and quick camera edits we see from things like re-creations on tv.

The meditation guided her to a clearing, an open neutral spot. For Jamie, this looked like a large meadow with hills on either side and a grove of trees at her back. Once there, she was told to call forth whoever was going to come forth. Having done this, the rest came to her without thought which seemed unusual given her tendency to over-think.

A name popped into her head and she turned toward the trees. A woman stepped out.  Jamie looked at her and the conversation, telepathic in nature, began. As they interacted, a few more names popped up and they transitioned from the meadow to a large hallway. The floors were wood. The walls were stone and lined with family portraits, all which were familiar to Jamie. This woman was one of many in a line of the same name. And Jamie knew she had been this person more than once. This woman told Jamie that she was the record keeper. And she told Jamie that she was the one to seek if more information was needed.

Though brief, the interaction provided information that Jamie could research online. And it didn’t take long to verify that the person Jamie had spoken with was real and many details of her life were readily available. Though Jamie asked me not to reveal the name of the woman she spoke to, she did give me permission to post their pictures side by side which, for me, takes this story from interesting to amazing.

This is the woman Jamie met during her meditation.

This is Jamie as pictured on the EVP Website

When I was little the thought of past lives mystified me even though it felt “correct.” I was content to believe in them on a basis of faith never dreaming that I would come close to obtaining actual proof that they were real. But as I’ve grown and remained open to new sources of information, I’ve come to realize that many of the things we consider to be unusual, out of the ordinary or “paranormal” are actually anything but. I’ve heard many convincing stories throughout the years that support those things widely considered to be “phenomena.” And though I am continuously fascinated by every piece of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, I never expect to find it right beneath my nose. Maybe Dorothy Gale was right when she said, “…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”


A Residual Haunt

Eleven years ago my mother died. It was a ten year battle. By the time she passed she had both breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer with metastasis to chest, neck, and face. Yeah. It was pretty brutal. 

The day of her death was a release for us both. A few months prior she had chosen to stop treatment and began the process of hospice care. You know how they say the treatment is often worse than the disease? Well, hospice was worse than the treatments. After a couple of months of watching the cancer overtake her throat and face to the point where she could no longer see or swallow, her pain became too great and I ended up rushing her to the hospital so that she could die a kinder death. She couldn’t have an iv in hospice care and the pain patches were making her violently ill. 

It took six days for her to pass. I stayed at her side the entire time, afraid that if I left, I would miss her departure. It was really important to see her go and to be the one to mark the time of death. I did both. I left the hospital with a couple of family friends, went home to a quiet house, sat down on my bed, and burst into tears. By my feet, I found her box of tissues that had been in her room. To this day I have no idea how it got into my room. But I like to think, and you will allow me leeway when I say, she put them there for me knowing I would need them. 

The first few years, the impending anniversary came and went with the expected gloom. But, much to my surprise, the more distance I gained from the year she died, the harder the anniversary became. Last year’s was the worst. I really thought I was going crazy. The pain began a few months prior. I’m not one for remembering dates (I actually had to look up the date of her death the first few years the anniversary rolled around) but last year the gloom began on July 4th. I was spending Independence Day with my best friend and her mom. It was difficult watching them interact and enjoy each other. 

As the months progressed I found myself detaching from friends and family. I would go through bouts of rage many of which were triggered by little to nothing. Depression wove in and out of my days. I went through the motions of living but I could feel myself compressing internally, preparing, bracing. 

After an epically crappy September (September ALWAYS seems to be especially bad for annoying life events. Last year, amidst family drama, I had to move out of my house to have it fumigated during a heatwave. On paper it seems like nothing more than an inconvenience, but that’s how September rolls. One inconvenience splinters into a thousand more. My friend calls it the death of a thousand paper-cuts.), I experienced the release I always feel a few days prior to the anniversary. It took me several months to realize that year marked the ten year anniversary. 

It took me a while to connect with the reason why I had such a hard time in the months leading up to the anniversary. I assumed it was the impending doom of an awful experience. But when I thought about it, that didn’t ring true. It didn’t feel like enough.  I talked it over with my friends but I felt like I was missing something. I knew what was happening wasn’t just the result of a countdown to the day of her loss. It was something more. 

Months later, when I gained some distance from the oppression I was feeling, I finally put my finger on why the months leading up to her death were so difficult; why the tension released a few days before the actual date. It occurred to me that I was experiencing a residual haunt of sorts. But instead of the haunting coming from an external source (like energy trapped in rocks and replaying itself under a certain set of circumstances) it was coming from within me. It was trapped in my bones, my tissues, my cells. THE CALL WAS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE. 

I wasn’t just grieving a loss. I was unconsciously re-living  the journey that culminated in those last six days in the hospital. Looking back on it, September had provided events in my life that triggered those emotions; the feeling of being invaded as hospice care came in and set up was replaced with tiny creatures eating my house and fluttering around my den. The hospital was replaced with a crappy hotel room. And the list goes on. 

This was not the first September to walk me down this parallel path. Thank goodness for friends who remember the events in your life. When I mentioned my revelation, I was reminded of other Septembers that had brought with them events with similar outcomes.   Now, I am not saying that some unseen force was creating something akin to my own personal groundhog’s day so that I could work through unrecognized grief. The debate over whether I created the events or whether the events were created for me is better left to another post. But I -am- saying that the events occurred and struck an eerie familiarity with emotions that were still laden in the very fiber of my being.

This year’s journey to the anniversary was difficult. In true September form there were many fires in need of extinguishing. But, knowing what I know now, I was able to prepare for that unconscious release of emotion. I was better able to manage the grief not of my mom’s passing, but of the journey that led to it. 

Eleven years ago my mother died. But with each passing year, our relationship continues to grow. I always feel her with me. And though I often long for one more hug, I am comforted by the fact that her spirit still guides me. I miss her physical presence, but her spiritual presence is no less diminished. And, at times like this, when I am grieving her loss through tears, she never fails to find ways to comfort me, even if it’s with a carefully and surprisingly placed box of tissues.

 


Shopping For Truth

Throughout my journey as a paranormal investigator I have had to adopt, avoid or come to terms with many labels; mostly because they are over-used in the field. Here is how I see it, and why.

– I am a sensitive with intermittent/situational medium capabilities, but I do not consider myself a psychic.

– I am a professional paranormal investigator. I call myself this because I believe that I work with a professional team who behaves and works in a professional manner. We have put in the time and the research to back up our claims and have surrounded ourselves with teams who have done the same. We will never stop learning or growing in this field and I believe that is the true mark of a professional. Period.

– I am not a ghost hunter!  This might be a fun term that we all throw around from time to time, but it in no way defines what I do or who I am. I’m not out trying to wrangle ghosts. I don’t intend on capturing them and sending them to the other-side or containing them in a special vault beneath the city.

I do this because I have respect for who these people were when they walked on this earth with their earthly bodies. I’m intrigued by the life they lived and I honor them by taking that extra step of learning all that I can about them even beyond death.

Spirit has a lot to teach us and tell us if we’d only pay attention. I believe that history is not complete without their story, so I openly seek it.

If you wanted to call me something “catchy” then call me a History Hunter, but even so, I don’t stalk it in the woods or plan on “bringing it down” with a rifle.

I’m not a scientist. I do, however, respect science and want to learn how to present spirit in a way that science can agree with. There has to be a balance and I intend on finding that balance and presenting it to those who would not believe it to be possible.

These are all things that I’ve thought about often as of late.

For those of us in this field, or for those of you who are interested in this field, these can be very important topics. It seems like every week there is a new T.V. show or a new Facebook page where people throw these terms around with reckless abandon. Are they all fakes? No, I don’t believe so. Are they all the seasoned professionals that snappy photos, web pages, and creative filming might lead you to believe? No, I don’t believe so. So how do you know who you can trust? As with anything, DO YOUR HOMEWORK !

You wouldn’t go off and buy a car just because it’s shiny. You have to take it for a test drive first. Check out the mileage, see what kind of options it has. Look at the reviews. And you can’t just rely on a fast-talking sales pitch. You wouldn’t leave the lot with a brand you’ve never heard of unless the experts gave it a thumbs up. It’s the same with this. It might be just a night’s worth of entrainment for some of you, but even so, you owe it to yourself to actually learn something truthful while you’re having fun.

We’ve had the pleasure of working with some extraordinary people in this field. We are honored to call these people friends and mentors. They’ve worked long and hard and put out quality work, but don’t just take our word for it. Follow the links and decide for yourself. We believe in giving credit to those who have come before us, to those who have helped shape us into who we are. We seek to learn from them and we are honored when they consider us colleagues and friends. They may not be on your television every week., the website you have bookmarked or the tour guide you walked with, but they’re the real deal. They hold the keys to the doors that have yet to be unlocked and they are the ones you should be seeking out and supporting.

Just  something to think about that the next time you’re in the market for the truth.

http://www.facebook.com/QueenMaryShadows?fref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/groups/117382441618300/?fref=ts

http://www.ghostpublishingco.com

http://www.planetparanormal.com

Brought to you by: Jamie of East Valley Paranormal

Please see the links page @ www.eastvalleyparanormal.com for more.


Seeing Dead People

It is a natural cycle. When a pendulum swings too far in a particular direction, its inclination is to swing back the other way, arcing from one extreme to the other. It’s time in the center of its arc is minimal. But it is that center that the pendulum slowly seeks, venturing less into the extreme with each swing. It seeks balance.

The “emotional” side of investigating is the one aspect I talk about the least. There are many times in the field when your feeling or your gut instinct is all you have to go on. If you are lucky, you record evidence to back up the dizziness, the feeling of being watched, or the weird melancholy that isn’t your own but, if no corroborating evidence is captured, then it is ~just~ a personal experience, something that you are trained to minimize. In an attempt to battle the skeptics, general protocol for “evidence” is, understandably, stringent. But is it too stringent? Are we ignoring our instincts in favor of meters and the various array of hand-held tools which we have adapted to our purpose?

Since we started investigating, I have found that my instincts, empathy, physical reactions to possible paranormal phenomena have increased. Fellow investigator Jamie has been my touchstone for this because she has dealt with psychic sensitivity all her life. (I’ll let her tell you her story in her own time.) For me, my sensitivity was always in the form of empathy. I could tell when someone was having a bad day just by seeing a text message that said nothing more than, “Hey.” Often times I would pre-empt someone’s thoughts by speaking them first. Though my experiences were often uncanny, I explained it all away by simply saying “Great minds think alike,” or something along those lines. And maybe my propensity for detailed and accurate first impressions was just a heightened ability for reading the hundreds of minute facial movements that form the most subtle of expressions or a fast take on body language. Perhaps I was just attuned to the details.

Lately, I have been questioning whether these are explanations or excuses. In the past few years I have randomly connected with strangers’ loved-ones begging me to give their daughters or granddaughters messages. (Yeah. It’s seems mother/daughter connections are my “forte”) Often times these instances begin with uncontrollable tears. I hate crying in public. People look at you like you are crazy. On investigations, I “hear” evp’s. Now, I’m not sure if they are evp’s once I have heard them, but I call them that because I am also not sure if I am ~actually~ hearing them or if it is all in my head. Thankfully, in these situations, more often than not, what I hear is captured on audio. It always makes me feel better when that happens. At one time I thought having things like this occur more often would help me feel LESS crazy. Logically, I believed that if the experiences increased, they would become more dependable or I would get used to them or SOMETHING. But no….on the contrary! They happen more often and I feel MORE crazy.

In an effort to combat the “more crazy,” Jamie, Brian, and I use some of our time away from official investigation to casually explore reportedly haunted locations. We use day trips not only to take a break from the usual routine, but to test our feelings about locations we are unfamiliar with. For the most part, these locations are bustling tourists destinations. One recent Saturday found us at just such a location when we visited  local Mission San Juan Capistrano in Southern California.

It was an awesome outing! The weather was perfect. Big blue skies were interrupted by the occasional fluffy white cloud and there was a chill in the air. The area around the mission which is filled with boutiques and restaurants was busy but not over-crowded which gave the street a very upbeat energy. We began our exploration in the Los Rios Historic District. Known as the oldest residential street in California, many of these historic dwellings have been turned into retail establishments which means they are accessible to the public. I love places where you can shop and saturate yourself with history at the same time!

From Los Rios, we made our way back to the main street, Camino Capistrano where we decided food would be the next order of business. As I was waiting at the corner for the light to change, I noticed a house down at the far end of the street opposite the mission. I’m not sure what drew my attention, but I felt a pull towards it. Upon looking at the second floor, I saw a man standing in the window. And it felt like he saw me. When I say “saw a man” I mean that I saw him in my mind’s eye. Usually when this happens, the images are fleeting and I attribute them to my great imagination. But I couldn’t do that this time. This time, I was captivated.

Egan House

Here is a shot of the house as we got closer. I actually noticed the man from a block away.

That's the window he was standing in. It offers a view of the entire street all the way down to the mission.

That’s the window he was standing in. It offers a view of the entire street all the way down to the mission.

The man was tall, slender, grey hair, a beard, dark suit, white starched collar, dark tie, and he was standing with his arms behind his back surveying the street. Something in my head said “He’s a judge but he’s not a judge.” Of course, I had no idea what that meant. In fact, I dismissed it because it didn’t make any sense at all. The only other thing I picked up was that he despised the cars on the street. The image was so striking that I gasped. Then I smacked Jamie in the arm and pointed to the house eager to see if she knew anything about the building or if she had picked up on the same thing I had. Jamie said she thought the building was the old courthouse, but she didn’t know much about it. (I always ask her to join me in my crazy because that way I know that one of two things is happening: Either there really is a dead guy telepathically communicating with me from a block away, OR I have finally lost the last of my marbles. Of course, if she is able to validate what I am sensing, there is always the possibility that she is crazy too! But I am alright with that because, as the saying goes, misery loves company.)

Our quest for food took us down the street towards the house with the man in the window and he stared at me the entire time. We finally stopped when our noses detected the smell of yummy coming from the historic adobe right across the street. The rule of thumb for finding  a good restaurant in an unfamiliar place is to follow your nose. If you are lucky enough to say the words “I want to eat that smell,” that is where you go! And we did! El Adobe de Capistrano was once home to Miguel Yorba. It was used as the Justice Court, the jail, hospital, post office, store, and stage depot. Now it is the home of yummy smells and weddings. Talk about repurposing.

Jamie and Brian made me sit through an entire meal before checking out my ghost. Luckily, worthy food and a beautiful building made the wait much less painful. We were seated promptly, the service was excellent, and the food was great. We left their hospitality both fat and happy.

I waisted no time heading over to the building across the street. It was closed. (Figures.) But there was a plaque on the front with information about it.

Judge Egan Plaque

There he was, in all his historical glory: Judge Richard Egan. That was the man who was staring at me and watching the street. It was his house. I couldn’t believe it. They were nice enough to include a picture. Immediate gratification never felt so good! But what about that whole “He’s a judge but not a judge thing?” Well, my jaw dropped when I read:

“Egan was elected as Justice of the Peace in 1870 and while he was not an official judge, legend survives that the local populace named him “juez de plano” or judge of the plains.”

SHUT UP!

Well, that pretty much left me silent. Or…it should’ve. It actually left me repeating useless things like “SHUT UP! No way! I TOLD you! I can’t believe I told you.” Incidentally, that made me sound much more crazy than I felt.

After receiving confirmation about Judge Egan, we decided to head to the mission. Now, I was pretty pleased with my experience with the Judge, but then it happened AGAIN! Towards the end of our tour the three of us wandered off in different directions. I walked into a room and it felt odd. To be honest, I don’t have the right words to describe the feeling. It just felt like there was someone else there, or that something was going to happen that was out of the ordinary. The energy was just…different. Sure enough, not thirty seconds later, an old padre appeared before me as if in mid-step, and hobbled off into the next room, unaware that I was there.

Again, the image was startlingly clear. I wasn’t actually seeing it. Like the judge, this old gentleman appeared in my mind’s eye. After he disappeared, Jamie found me. She told me that section of the mission always made her feel weird. I told her that I had just seen a man appear. When her description of him matched mine, I felt a bit better. “He’s old and bent and doesn’t like the stairs,” she said. But the real relief came when we both entered the next room, the same one the old padre walked into. Just as Jamie realized that was the room where she always picked him up, I saw this:

Father Engelhardt

Yup! That’s the man I saw. It was really unbelievable. I showed the picture to Jamie who always seems to take these things in stride. (It’s actually pretty annoying. I’m freaking out and she offers a shrug and a “Yeah, that looks like him.” WORK WITH ME PEOPLE!)

I am often reluctant to admit that the evidence we capture when we are at our utmost methodical is still not scientific. Though I am always studying and looking for more resources that will help me scientifically understand the phenomena I am experiencing, a captured disembodied voice or manifested apparition does not explain the means by which these things occur. And if you are going to approach these things “scientifically,” you must strive to understand the “how” just as much as the “what.” Perhaps as an investigator I get wrapped up more in my quest to prove it to the skeptic and in doing so, I leave my personal quest, the thing that inspired me to take this journey in the first place, behind. Perhaps that is the spectrum along which ~my~ pendulum swings and the reason why days like that Saturday in San Juan Capistrano are so important.


Investigation: The Warner Grand

In January we ventured to lovely scenic San Pedro, Ca. at the invitation of fellow investigator Gerald Reynolds for an investigation of the historic Warner Grand Theater.

WG auditorium

Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca (who also designed Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre), this lavish movie palace was dubbed “The Castle of Your Dreams” by Jack Warner, the driving force behind the Warner Brother’s Studios. Some say that Mr. Warner was so proud of this theatre that his ghost is still haunting it’s aisles. We didn’t run into Mr. Warner while we were there but, we did run into a few other possible visitors that were not shy about making their presence known.

The moment I (Heather) walked into the auditorium, I could hear a woman mumbling. It felt like she was in her early twenties, and though she seemed rather desperate to connect with me, I could never understand what she was saying. Throughout the night I continued to hear her and, thankfully I was not the only one. It was not long before Jamie was hearing the same thing I was hearing and there were several other investigators who were able to confirm that they too were picking up on an unintelligible female voice.

This first EVP was the one that ~literally~ got my attention. Jamie and I were walking down the corridor between the dressing rooms and I heard the same female I had been hearing since we arrived. The male you hear in the background is Jerry. He and a couple of other investigators were doing an EVP/Shack-hack session in the small room beneath the stage. I suppose, technically, this is a disembodied voice, though I struggle with the difference between the two because there are many times when I hear voices others don’t. Does that make them EVP’s for other investigators and disembodied voices just for me? AM I SPECIAL LIKE THAT? Don’t answer.

Honestly, the mutter was so soft that, as an EVP, it is entirely unimpressive. But three things make this catch significant. First, I heard the voice at the time. Second, it matched what I had been hearing throughout the night. Third, another investigator in the same room as Jerry also heard it and he was a good twenty feet away. I called out to the guys and asked them  if they had heard a female and they confirmed it. They thought it was one of us because it coincided with us walking by but we hadn’t been talking. How can something so soft be heard by two people so far apart?

After hearing her in that area, we decided to stick around  to see if she cared to talk some more. Once settled, Jamie and I were both overcome by the familiar feeling of dizziness that often accompanies spikes in paranormal activity. The guys told us that they had gotten the name “Katherine” through the spirit box. While we don’t know if that has any connection with our female mumbler, it’s as good a name as any for her, at least until she tells us her name. During our time under the stage, Jamie’s connection to “Katherine” grew. She felt a sense of fear and panic from her. Interestingly, we did receive a few EVPs that seem to coincide with these feelings.

Once again, that is Jerry in the background. Jamie was sitting next to me and I was the one holding the recorder. You can hear her say “We’re here to help you.” And, as Jerry continues to talk, another female comes in and asks “Can you help me?” I find it interesting that the girl speaks right as Jamie finishes speaking. That’s more than coincidental if you ask me.

This next one happens quickly and it occurs along with Jerry.

I find it interesting that she asks,”Can you hear me?” We couldn’t hear her. But we could feel her. I remember saying at one point: “I feel like I’m going to melt out of my chair,” because the energy in the room was so… strong? Heavy? Honestly, I don’t have a good adjective to describe what it feels like when that happens but, I can tell you connecting with spirits practically turns me into a puddle.

Here is another one that speaks of the connection that “Katherine” felt with Jamie.

She must have been paying attention because in that clip, she said Jamie’s name. Now if we could just get her not to talk to us while Jerry is talking!

While “Katherine” stayed with us throughout the theatre, other beings seemed less concerned with us. The one thing that held true was that, no matter where we went, there was someone we couldn’t see interacting with us. For instance, we began our investigation in the projection booth. That’s always the first place I like to go in a theatre because every time I hear of haunted theatres, there is always some story of a former projectionist still performing his duties. And, according to my research, the Warner Grand is no different.

“The ghost is thought to be the spirit of an old projectionist who loved his job so much that he has never really left.”

~Suite 101~

After huffing and puffing our way up to the booth (I really thought my cardio endurance was better than that), our friend, Joe, gave us a quick tour. He pointed out oddities like the butter knives sticking out of the concrete (Sorry, we didn’t get a picture of that), and a discarded theatre seat that began rocking on its own the last time he investigated the place. Just as we got the equipment set up and settled into our places, Brian had to leave us to feed the parking meter. (Isn’t that always the way of things?) That meant that Jamie and I had to contend with some extra equipment. So, in the shuffle, I ended up putting one of our video cameras down on a counter.

Here's a shot of the camera on the counter and the ugly orange chair before we set the MEL up.

Here’s a shot of the camera on the counter and the ugly orange chair before we set the MEL up.

I didn’t feel like anything was going on up there. I bore easily! So soon after the camera was set, my curiosity got the better of me (as it is often want to do) and I wandered through another door which led back to the balcony seats. In the meantime, Joe and Jamie made their way to the other part of the projection room leaving the camera focused on a MEL meter which was placed in an ugly old orange seat. While the camera was left to its own devices, it moved. The movements were tiny, but they struck us as particularly odd because no one was near the camera at the time. There were no loud booms or tremors. No one was in the room to bump the table. And this was the same room where Joe had captured the chair rocking on its own the last time he was there. At the same time, the MEL meter started to signal a change in temperature and, if you listen closely, there is a male whisper in the midst of the small movements. This is not an investigator and it occurs very close to the camera’s microphone. Is it paranormal? I dunno. But it was certainly interesting. To view the video, Check out our YouTube channel!

Along with that video, we captured some odd EVP’s on our audio. You will hear Joe to whom I respond, then a whisper comes in.

It’s creepy when someone you don’t know whispers “We want you,” especially when they are “dead.”

The next one is reeeally strange. I wasn’t even sure it was an EVP when I first marked it. Listen for the “ribbit.” That’s right, I said listen for the “ribbit!” It sounds like a frog croaking. But if you listen closely, it says something. You kind of have to work backwards from the croaking sound in order to hear the rest of the EVP.

I want you frightened? I want to thank you? I want to ribbit? I’m not exactly sure! But I had to include it for weird’s sake.

Nearly everywhere we went we captured some sort of voice. In the generator room we captured words which seemed to come out of the droning breaker boxes:

The basement aka: The Land of Eternal White Noise.

The basement aka: The Land of Eternal White Noise.

(“Bring them in.”)

(“It’s a signal”)

(“That’s bullshit.”)

These captures are faster than normal speech (a phenomena thought to occur do to the higher frequency on which these sound vibrations are sometimes received) which made them hard for me to hear at first. If you blink, swallow, or yawn, you could miss them!

We captured audio in the auditorium:

The first voice you hear is Brian, but then a low and distant male voice comes in and takes forever to say “Thank you for being here.”

Overall, it was a great introductory investigation to the Warner Grand. The building is beautiful and its history is quite interactive. And to the occupant of this, “The Castle of [our] dreams,” who said “Thank you for being here,” we here at EVP would just like to say “Thank you for having us!”

Written by: Heather from East Valley Paranormal of Southern California.


Crafty Ghost Nails Paranormal Investigator

When you investigate the paranormal, you quickly learn that ghosts can be anywhere. But it isn’t until it surprises you in some random place that this fact really hits home. Last night, Jamie, Brian and I (Heather) were hanging out together celebrating the approach of Halloween by driving around town in search of festively decorated houses. After satiating our desire for giant spiders and bodies hanging from trees, we decided to stop by one of many in a chain of craft stores for a couple of supplies before heading home.

Our mission was simple. We needed glow-sticks and glitter to recreate a neat little project Jamie had seen online. When mixed together, the contents of the glow-stick and the glitter were supposed to look like glowing fairies in a jar. While wandering through the store, we literally ran into the paranormal. Or rather, it ran into us. Well…it ran into Jamie to be exact.

Let me see if I can paint a bit of a picture for you. Jamie was walking down one of the main aisles toward the front of the store. I (Heather) had just stepped into the same aisle from one of the smaller off-shoots. Brian, who was already up front, had just stepped into the aisle to see if we were on our way to him. As I came out from the smaller aisle, Jamie stopped and turned around to make sure I was in tow. Next to her was a wire display. The framework had dump bins on the long sides. The ends were capped with pegs and stocked with lenticular portraits; the kind that morph depending on the angle from which they are viewed.

Brian was looking at Jamie and I. Jamie was just turning to look at me. And I came around the corner just in time to see one of the lenticulars lift off its peg, levitate for a split second, then hurl itself sideways and hit Jamie. And it hit her hard! It took us all a minute to process what we had just experienced. I immediately checked for someone on the other side of the display, thinking that they had hit it causing the picture to fly off. There was no one there. Jamie was as confused as we were. Both Brian and she were looking at me as if I was going to explain it away but I couldn’t. Brian and I moved toward Jamie as she turned around to stare at the picture which was now laying on the floor silently professing its innocence and claiming its status as an inanimate object. But no amount of silent protest could change what Brian and I had both seen and what Jamie had felt.

Upon inspection, we noticed that the piece of cardboard from which the picture had been suspended was ripped. Luckily, the object was light, so Jamie wasn’t hurt. We stood there, completely stunned, our mouths agape, when an employee came strolling up the aisle. We didn’t even tell him what had happened before he casually dropped this little nugget: “Yeah….our store is haunted.” He didn’t even break his stride. Figuring he was just being a smart-ass, we stopped him and made him explain. As he did, we realized that he was being serious. He told us he heard voices in the back on more than one occasion and that the television in the break room turns itself on. We promptly handed him our card.

Had he told us his experiences before the picture had attacked, we probably would have been less likely to take them at face value.  But seeing that picture fly off the rack was incredible. I’m still having a hard time believing it. Before you get all excited and start trying to disprove the experience, let me mention that we did take a few minutes to try to figure out if there was anything that could have caused the event.

The closest set of circumstances consisted of the picture falling off the peg. Perhaps the cardboard it was hanging from finally ripped through and released it letting it fall onto the peg below. We tried to reenact the scenario, but when it bounced, it didn’t go nearly as far as what we had witnessed. And it certainly didn’t have the thrust. Jamie was standing at least three feet from the picture. Had it bounced off the peg after falling from its perch, it would have landed beside her at best. Eager to create some magic at home, we left the store with glitter, some glow sticks, and a whole lot of questions.

If you are wondering how our quest to make fairies in a jar turned out, let me help you with your curiosity. The original picture that stirred our imagination looked like this:

Obviously photoshopped!

While we didn’t think it would turn out quite like that, we thought it was at least worth a try. We ended up making something that looked more like radioactive goop in a jar. Much less charming.

This isn’t ours. This example was brought to you by: iamjolene.blogspot.com. It is much closer to what we ended up with. We used glitter. First it clumped together. Then it coated the jar. Not at all fairy-esque.

(If you want to try this project for yourself, try going to The Gold Jellybean.com. She offers nice step by step directions and she adds a bit of extra advice that makes the finished product look more like fairies and less like radioactive goop.)

It’s always nice when time with friends leaves you with warm memories. But it is even better when your time together both surprises and teaches you.  And this night taught us plenty!

1. Glitter and glow-stick juice doesn’t  make for very good fairies.

2. The Michael’s arts and crafts store we went to? Totally haunted. (All right…it’s at least a good candidate for an investigation.)


Source for Public Backlash Quietly Disappears

In preparation for The Queen Mary’s 2012 Dark Harbor event, a great deal of press flooded media venues regarding the haunt’s newest maze entitled “Deadrise.” Originally themed around a tragedy that took place on October 2, 1942 where the Queen Mary accidentally cut her escort, the “Curacao,” in half, publicity for the attraction focused on the macabre idea that Dark Harbor’s mazes were heavily themed around the ship’s real-life history.

When word got out, social media sites exploded with posts expressing disgust over what was construed as the mocking of a very real tragedy where hundreds of soldiers lost their lives. A recent check of the Queen Mary’s website revealed that all mention of the “Curacao” and the newest maze’s  link to actual events has mysteriously disappeared. Though no mention of the change has popped up on The Queen Mary’s Facebook and no apology  has been issued, the move has quelled the public’s backlash. Many negative posts were removed by their authors as a show of good faith towards this latest move by the ship’s management team.

Whether they were truly sorry for any offense they caused or they were testing the theory that “even bad publicity is good publicity” remains to be seen. Regardless, it is likely they are hoping now that the haunt is open for business, the descent the public was so deeply feeling will fade as silently as its cause has.


Ghost: A Definition Expanded

During this investigation the investigators were being investigated.

Ghost:

1. the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined,usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons.

                                 ~Dictionary.com~

2. the seat of life or intelligence : soul <give up the ghost. A disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness.

                                         ~Merriam Webster~

When I was little, I watched this television show called “That’s Incredible.” It was made up of segments that showed amazing stunts, highlighted advancements in medicine and, on occasion, aired stories about paranormal activity. One segment in particular captured my imagination and stayed with me through the years. The story was about a historic inn where the employees heard old-fashioned music, the clinking of glasses, talking, and other sounds that made it seem like there was a party going on. All this occurred in the late evening/early morning hours when most people were asleep or when the inn was vacant. The place was investigated and the sounds were captured on tape. This was the first time I heard about “residual haunting.” Dubbed “The Stone Tape Theory,” the investigators believed that the sounds were emanating from the structure and/or its foundation, and originated from the 1700’s when the in was first built. What employees and residents were hearing was history literally repeating itself.

I had seen movies and shows and I had heard stories about ghosts before. But something about this story in particular intrigued me. It captured my imagination. While the interest in the supernatural was always there, this was the story that made me want to become a paranormal investigator. The idea of witnessing what had happened hundreds of years before was the most amazing possibility I could imagine.

As much as it intrigued me, it bothered me too. Up until that point I had always assumed that ghosts were intelligent spirits of the dead. But this report was telling me ghosts were actually just recordings of the past; organized energy trapped in wood and stone leaking out and allowing us a glimpse at how things used to be. It conflicted what I thought I knew.

As my quest for answers expanded, I learned that ghosts were thought to be both. Some were intelligent and some were simply a recording of the past trapped in objects, structures or minerals. It wasn’t until I began investigating them regularly that I started to suspect that the definition of the word “ghost,” even in its duality, was incomplete.  But have we come across enough information from our investigations to flesh the definition out? Here’s what I have managed to put together for myself.

Spirit

For me, there is a difference between a ghost and a spirit. Hence the heading! Simply put, a spirit has fully transitioned to “the other side” whereas a ghost is caught somewhere in the middle. Generally, a full transition to the spirit world implies that the soul has left the body and has been welcomed back into the loving arms of those who have gone before them. I believe they are welcomed back into the fold of greater energy. This greater energy could be referred to as one god or many gods. Regardless, the work we are born to do here on Earth, is continued on “the other side.” We are not dormant in between lifetimes.

I know that not everyone believes in reincarnation. And I know that many people get immediately butt-hurt at the mere mention of many gods. So if it makes you feel better to think that when we die, we transition to “heaven,” fine. The point is, that when we make a full and proper transition, we are conscious of the freedom we have from our bodies. We are aware of the difference between this world and the next. We can watch over and even communicate with our loved ones until they are ready to make their own transition.

Many people experience visits from loved-ones passed. My mom, who died in 2002, visits me all the time. Spirits can come to us visually or audibly. They can appear in our dreams or send us signs that will make us think of them. They can even interact with the physical world. These things, the reality of which is still thought of by many as debatable, are not figments of our imaginations or a desperate attempt to comfort ourselves over our losses.

Are they haunting us? Technically, I guess the answer is yes. However, the connotation of the word implies that the activity is creepy or unwanted; a bunch of crazy-making experiences perpetrated by some unfamiliar and freaky being. And I suppose that assumption is  understandable if it is happening to someone who is unaware that it is a loved-one trying to say “Hey! What up?” But a spirit who is trying to communicate with you generally has your best interest at heart (even if you aren’t aware of it) and, hopefully the activity reflects that.

Residual Ghost

A residual ghost is exactly what I described in the introduction to this post. It is a recording of the past that, under the right circumstance(s) plays itself back. Some are thought to replay at a certain time of day or a certain time of year. Some are triggered by people who have the right combination of attributes including psychic ability or stress level. This theory behind residual haunting is colloquially referred to as “The Stone Tape Theory.”

The important distinction is that the phenomena is benign. You can experience it, but it can’t experience you. It is like a psychic video tape. It behaves the same regardless of whether or not you are there.

Captured during an investigation at The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca, this loud bang was recorded in the bow of the ship on what we later realized was the anniversary of the day she plowed through her wartime escort the Curacao leaving over two hundred men to perish. Later, we found out that this type of noise had been reported numerous times in this section of the ship. It was thought to be the residual sounds of the crew of the Curacao banging on the hull of The Queen Mary with their wrenches as their ship was torn in half.

Intelligent Ghost

Here’s where things get tricky. Intelligent ghosts linger, as far as we know, in a state of neither here nor there.  They are entities who did not make a full transition after death. Perhaps this means that their world is some combination of our classical world, and whatever lies beyond.

Thinking about how and why this may happen brings forth so many questions! I mean, the thought of existing “in between” anything feels foreign. We are predisposed to “achieving” or “accomplishing.” The state of being “stuck” makes us uncomfortable. Perhaps that is why the thought of becoming a “ghost” is so frightening to so many people.

Like spirit, ghosts can affect the classical world. The motivation behind the communication is where they differ. When an intelligent spirit interacts with or “haunts” us, it is because ~they~ need ~us~ to know or do something for them. When spirit communicates with us, it’s because they want to express love or let us know they are still with us. It is something they do for us.

Though the motivation for ghostly communication appears selfish, that selfishness is not necessarily a negative thing. One of our favorite ghosts, the ghost of a man named William Erik Stark, most commonly communicated with us by growling. But early on I decided not to assume he was a negative entity. Instead, I found his “grumpiness” funny. When he started picking on Jamie, it made me cackle. Now before you get mad at me for being mean, let me explain what I mean by “picking on.” Stark learned early on that he could pull Jamie’s hair and, by pulling her hair, I mean just yanking at a couple of strands at a time. You have to see it in person, but Jamie’s reaction is hilarious.

When it first started happening, she blamed her husband Brian which only added to the funny. Anyway, over time, and many investigations, we realized that Stark wasn’t a bad guy. He just didn’t want to be bothered. After all, the place he resides is known for its many tourists. And those tourists are often not respectful to Stark’s beloved abode. I think over time he grew bitter and assumed that we were just like the scores of assholes that drunkenly roamed his home. At least, that’s what he assumed until we proved him wrong.

Now, he communicates with us all the time. He watches over us in much the same way as he watches over some of the ghosts he shares his home with. And now, he has no problem pulling my hair. It doesn’t hurt. He’s just playing. And it lets us know he’s there.

It’s understandable that people assume ghosts are negative, or scary, or even evil. Interacting with someone you don’t know is nerve-wracking enough without the added fact that they cannot be seen. But “ghosts” are neither good nor evil. The term “Ghost” describes a state of being. It is the motivation behind the ghost that is positive or negative and that must be studied on a case by case basis just like we do with the living.  We must remember that ghosts are simply human souls minus the machine (body). Or..are they?

Cleaved Energy

Is the explanation of an intelligent ghost as simple as a soul that, for some reason, is trapped between our world and the next? Perhaps, in some cases, it is. But I suspect there may be other explanations.  Maybe there are times when the intelligent energy that “haunts” us is but a fragment of what once was a whole soul. What if there are some people who, in life, experience events so poignant, that, as they transition in death, the part of their being that was the most deeply affected remains  behind while the rest of the soul crosses over? After-all, once free of our bodies, we are nothing but an assembly of energy. Intelligent haunts suggest that we are in death the same as we were in life. This means that our personalities, our character traits, and our thoughts are part of our souls, and not just the outcome of firing neurons or brain chemicals.

Perhaps some events, such as the ones responsible for a traumatic death are so damaging to the psyche that an intelligent imprint of us is left behind which, in those instances, is only capable of  focusing on the trauma. Take, for example, the Civil War soldier who is still wandering the battle field wondering what the hell happened. There are numerous evp recordings of soldiers who are still trying to figure out what is going on. Did the war end? We assume that an intelligent response to a question means that we are communicating with a whole complete consciousness. But what if it’s only a piece of that person left behind; the piece that is trapped in the traumatized emotional state?

But why would a piece of someone’s soul be left behind? Perhaps it is like when a branch from a tree dies and falls off. The tree still lives, but the branch is no longer nourished or able to grow. It doesn’t have the strength to stay with the tree and the tree no longer has a use for it. The tree is better off without the dead limb. Thankfully, dead tree limbs don’t wander around banging on things and expressing their constant distress. But maybe humans do?

While we are on the subject, I have to wonder: If the energy of the dead can cleave as or before “crossing over,” can the energy of the living do the same? Is it possible for us to haunt ourselves? It seems logical to assume that while we are here on Earth, our energies are contained within our bodies. We eat, sleep, travel, and affect the classical world all from within the skin we’re in. But those of us who are obsessed with looking more closely at ourselves and what lies beyond ourselves have seen proof that our energy radiates. It does not stop at the physical boundary of our bodies. Eastern religion has taught the many ways in which our energies mingle beyond the sensation of touch. And it is with these teachings that the western world is just beginning to catch up.

In Tibetan mysticism, it is believed that people create what are known as “Tulpas,” which are manifestations of intentions that take form in the ethereal plane. Once created, they can take on a life or sentience of their own growing stronger  as belief in their existence expands. Also called, a “forced haunt,” there have been cases where reported activity  was theorized to be the result of entities which sprang from urban legends and grew stronger from people’s fear of or belief in their existence.

From auras to that heavy feeling left in a room after a heated argument, energy takes up space. If it is possible for pieces of us to linger after death, it stands to reason, or, at the very least, should not be discounted, that pieces of us can be left behind while we are still alive. Whether these pieces are discarded subconsciously, or they separate because they stymie our growth, our souls as a whole are not necessarily absolute.  If these pieces are discarded prematurely, is it not possible for them, in whatever intelligence they possess to want what all humans want; to be noticed or accepted? At the same time, if they are intelligent or possess their own consciousness, however limited, is it not also possible for them to be angry over their abandonment or lack of recognition?

Parallel Realities

While we are breaking down boundaries, it makes sense to mention the theory that those of us who find ourselves haunted by “ghosts” might very well be the ones haunting them. I know! It sounds pretty “out there.” But what if some of our interactions are occurring because, in some other reality or parallel universe, those who have died in our world, are still alive in another?

In 1954, a Princeton physics student by the name of Hugh Everett III began work on his dissertation: “Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics,” which later evolved and gained popularity as “The Many Worlds Theory.”  Boiled down, the theory asserts that every time a decision is made, the universe splits into enough realities to accommodate all possible choices. Hence, while in our reality we see that we have taken an umbrella to stay dry while we walk through the rain, there is another reality in which we did not touch that umbrella. Somewhere, out there, in another dimension, we are soaking wet.

I know. It’s a terrible example. It’s an almost irreverent simplification of a theory that broke through a glass ceiling which physicists had been bruising themselves on since the 1920’s. But if I started bombarding you with explanations of “superposition” and the argument over collapsing waveforms, this would very quickly become a different blog!

The point is that if Everett’s theory, or the other theories that have since evolved turn out to be true, then could some of our “ghosts” actually be embodied spirits that exist in parallel universes with which we come into contact due to some weird dimensional proximity? If that is the case, then that would mean the haunt is also the haunted.

Shadow Man

Here is out watcher lightened up.

Ghosts have come a long way from corny images of floating sheets or semi-transparent beings drifting aimlessly in a darkened hall.  From loved-ones visiting us from beyond, to pieces of ourselves somehow left behind, to other human beings living separate lives in separate dimensions, the  understanding of the word “ghost” has grown deeper and more complex throughout the years. The question “Do you believe in…” is quickly becoming “What do you believe in?” And those who are daring enough to examine their own experiences and compare them to those of many others, are finding the word representative of childhood anecdotes to be much more fascinating than stories around campfires once led them to believe.

To view case files from some of our team’s past investigations please visit our website at www.EastValleyParanormal.com.  We look forward to your visit and we’ll see you on the other side! This is Heather, signing off!


…Don’t try this at home!

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So my friends it’s that time of year when Macy’s starts to proudly display all of their coats, fur-lined sweaters and boots (even though it’s still 103F outside). Spirit Stores start popping up in your local abandoned Circuit City and the smell of latex and over priced grocery store pumpkins fill the air.

Yes! It’s fall!  With fall comes an amazing amount of paranormal activity. Already our email has exploded with “amped up” activity from around the city. Some of this is simply due to the beginning of the holiday season. Loved ones want to pop in and say hello.They want to reassure us that they are ok on the other side and that they still want to take part in family traditions.

Additional activity can also be attributed to changes in the atmosphere. Has there been a recent flow of thunderstorms through your area? See? And you thought it was the coming of Gozer…Nah.

There is one more thing that often brings about activity during this time of year and it happens to be the key topic of this post. Are you ready for it? Drum roll please ………………….DABBLERS!

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Yes folks it’s the season of what WE like to call DABBLERS!

Merriam Webster defines a Dabbler as such:

Dabbler

: one that dabbles: as
a : one not deeply engaged in or concerned with something
b : a duck (as a mallard or shoveler) that feeds by dabbling—called also dabbling duck, puddle duck, river duck  
          Obviously we’re not talking about ducks, so let’s go with that first one. We’ll elaborate for you. To us a dabbler is someone who: sees a movie, reads a book or does an internet sweep of a subject and then deems themselves appropriately schooled to call forth spirit. A dabbler doesn’t care to or doesn’t feel the need to learn the responsibility of what they might be getting into. They also never seem to know how to get themselves out of it.
          We have found that the most popular tool for dabbling during this season is the Ouija Board, once called a “spirit board.” It was patented in 1891, although such items date back to approx. 1100A.D. in China. They are currently on the shelves of your local Toys “R” Us and Target with board games and are marketed as such.
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          Hmmmm- calling to the great beyond is a game? This is what we found on drugstore.comEight years and up! Great for sleep overs!  Please tell us the general public is smarter than this? We understand people are curious. Someone hands you what appears to be a harmless board game, it’s practically giving you permission to be an idiot, right?
This is a toy:
                   
 This is not a toy:
 
In the spirit world, it is theorized that:
          Catch our drift? We thought you might. The Ouija Board is not a toy. It’s a tool. There is no one that we would trust at this point in time to use this competently as a tool for spiritual connection. Our views come from a place of knowing. When you choose to dabble in things that you are not schooled in, you are opening yourself to a world of the unknown. Your intentions can be heard in places that you can’t even fathom right now.
          We operate under the rule of 3 fold (more like 10 fold really) here is a little rhyme to help you remember:
“Mind ye three-fold law ye should, three times bad and three times good.”
                                                                                                                                              ~The Wiccan Rede~
          It’s all about intent. This simply means that what ever your intentions are, you will get back 3x what you put out. Remember this when you are looking for something “fun” to do this Halloween season. When you blindly open yourself to things beyond this realm of living with out proper training and guidance you open yourself to EVERYTHING : good and bad, light and dark.
           These so-called toys and even books that you read innocently or scenes you try to recreate from a movie are all subject to creating an “opening”. Yes, congratulations! You just gave everything on the other side(s) permission to enter not only your home, but to enter you. You opened a doorway, and we are guessing that you have no idea how you did it, or how to close it. 98% of all residential cases we’ve encountered have been connected to someone dabbling. Here’s the real rub, we were not there, we don’t know what you did exactly so how are we supposed to help you?
          Paranormal investigators do not, let me repeat, DO NOT GET RID OF GHOSTS. We are there to research, to document and try to discover the cause of disturbances. We can give you suggestions on how to deal with what is there, but we can not guarantee it’s removal. Often times certain groups may specialize in other methods that can help, but we don’t carry proton packs and we don’t have a nuclear vault under a firehouse that holds ill-mannered entities.
          Okay, okay.  We know it’s been a lot of finger wagging up to this point. As you may be able to tell, we are passionate about the subject.
Insert deep relaxing breath here :

Deep relaxing breath

          We are not trying to tell you that you should never try to seek out what can no longer be seen.  There are easier and better ways to connect with those who have passed. The easiest way is to simply talk to them as though they were right there next to you. Most of the time they are. Did you happen to get a warm fuzzy feeling or suddenly smell your loved one’s favorite scent? They are just letting you know that they are with you at that moment.
          There are also many traditions from around the world that are centered around honoring and communicating with the dead. Here are a couple of examples from Wikipedia:
Day of the Dead (SpanishDía de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1st, in connection with theCatholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skullsmarigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
or:
Obon (お盆?) or just Bon (盆?) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
          See? There are ways to responsibly and safely connect with those on the other side. If you still have questions or concerns try contacting a local group and asking them for advice. It’s better to ask and be sure than to not ask and be sorry. If you are having trouble connecting with someone near you for answers you can always contact our team. We will do our best to help you find the right team near you.
          You can contact us and some of our favorite teams by visiting our website @ www.eastvalleyparanormal.com or contact us via email @ eastvalleyparanormal@gmail.com

Future Cyborg/Future Ghost Hunter

Cruisin the front page of Yahoo this morning, I came across this:

Go ahead! Click the link!

The Future of Ghost Hunting?

CLICK IT!

Why didn’t I think of this! Is ~this~ the future of Ghost Hunting? An EMF detector at your fingertips? I want a different color light in each fingertip to show the strength of the field my “magnetic earth mineral” (otherwise known as hematite) is sensing! I’m sure if we work on this new technology as a community we could really flesh this idea out! Get it? FLESH..cuz the magnet is implanted…yeah. Anyway, talk amongst yourselves.


Spirit Meets Science?

Yesterday, I decided to venture further into the WordPress Blogging Community by seeking out other blogs similar to ours. I gotta say, pick’ns were slim. I searched paranormal, ghosts, and evp’s. Then I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Right before I gave up, I found one pretty cool blog. You can and should check it out here: www.ghostguys.wordpress.com. Granted, it doesn’t seem like it has been updated since 2010 but, if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!

While sifting through the categories I came across a post that was right up my alley: “EMF Detection and the Higgs Field.”

Higgs Field? That’s like…physics and shit! Awesome!

The post was brief. It mentioned things like neutralinos and vector bosons which …kind of made me ~grateful~ that it was brief. Now, keep in mind, I’m not stupid, but when you start throwing words like “vector bosons” around, my brain cramps a little, and I find myself reciting calming mantras and visualizing my happy place.

After a few moments of rocking and muttering, I talked myself down from the mental ledge and really put my reading comprehension skills to work. Once I mastered my panic, I found the author’s (Michael Clark’s) theory very interesting. In a nutshell, and hopefully I am getting this right, “Spirits are intelligent collections of electromagnetic energy and massless photons…” When they interact with the Higgs Field ( a field made up of particles that is believed to give all matter its mass), a certain amount of their photons temporarily gain mass which gives them the ability to interact with our physical world ie: move objects or make sounds.

What really resonated with me was how the Higgs Field resembled what is often referred to spiritually as “The Veil” (the term that refers to the barrier or curtain between this world and the afterlife). So, if Mike’s theory has legs, it would make the Higgs Field the place where science and spirit meet.

Obviously, this thought tickled me to no end. Hell, we’ve been using it as our catchy tagline since our team’s inception. Just look at the top of this page! It inspired me to write a new post. But in order to write a proper post, I needed to do my own research into Higgs and bosons and neutralinos. So, to Wikipedia I went. Surely my beloved wiki would have some entries that could explain this vast field of study in a way that this commoner could understand. Surely.

It should be noted that more than one source of mass is known to exist, but in the Standard Model the term “Higgs mechanism” almost always signifies the mechanism responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking… The leading and simplest theory for how this effect takes place in nature is that if a particular kind of “field” (known as the Higgs field) existed, which in contrast to the more familiar gravitational field and electromagnetic field had a constant strength everywhere, then this field would give rise to a Higgs mechanism in nature, and would therefore allow particles interacting with this field to acquire a mass. During the 1960s and 1970s the Standard Model of physics was developed on this basis, and it included a prediction and requirement that for these things to be true, there had to be an undiscovered fundamental particle as the counterpart of this field. This particle would be the Higgs boson.

So there ya go! Electroweak symmetry breaking aside, the explanation of the theory is fairly straightforward and does indeed match what Mr. Clark wrote about in his blog. There are a whole bunch of symmetrical particles floating around out there without mass. Then they collide with the Higgs field and BAM they get all lopsided and suddenly have mass.

I made a scientific model to better demonstrate this complex principle:

Science!

Okay…I’ll admit I heard a symphony of crickets in the silent moments after I read that. My brain got stuck on what exactly gives these symmetrical particles mass. It just seems like something is missing. But I allowed myself to temporarily set that little query aside, opting instead to continue my initial quest for a better understanding of the specific terms referenced in the original article.

Once I checked into the Higgs Field, I had to know what a “neutralino” or “neutrino” particle was. Once again, I looked to Wikipedia for a decent explanation in laymen’s terms. This is what I found:

In particle physics, the neutralino[1] is a hypothetical particle predicted by supersymmetry. There are four neutralinos that are fermions and are electrically neutral, the lightest of which is typically stable. They are typically labeled N͂0
1 (the lightest), N͂0
2, N͂0
3 and N͂0
4 (the heaviest) although sometimes  \tilde{\chi}_1^0, \ldots, \tilde{\chi}_4^0 is also used when  \tilde{\chi}_i^\pm is used to refer to charginos. These four states are mixtures of the bino and the neutral wino (which are the neutral electroweak gauginos), and the neutral higgsinos. As the neutralinos are Majorana fermions, each of them is identical with its antiparticle. Because these particles only interact with the weak vector bosons, they are not directly produced at hadron colliders in copious numbers. They primarily appear as particles in cascade decays of heavier particles (decays that happen in multiple steps) usually originating from colored supersymmetric particles such as squarks or gluinos.

So…the neutralinos are Majorana fermions. I suspected as much. And they like…fall off of the larger squarks and gluinos as they decay. Sure. That makes sense. Clearly, ghosts are not made of such things! To assume they are would be like assuming they are made up of snips, snails, and puppy dog tails. And that’s just silly!

So much for layman’s terms. Again, I heard crickets..many many crickets… they were laughing at me…chirpy mocking laughter. And I heard one say, “You asked!” Wikipedia managed an explanation so complex, that when I copied and pasted it, WordPress didn’t know exactly how to type it.

I’ll admit that at this point, I was willing to give up and let Mr. Michael “Smarty-pants” Clark be the brainiest ghost hunter on the block. But I had one more query. Has the science of physics made mention of anything having to do with ghosts? Ever? Though I knew the chances were slim, I returned to Wikipedia (for consistency’s sake) and ran a search for “ghost physics.” Several things came up, none of which had anything to do with the kind of ghosts I was talking about. Still, I clicked on a link that looked interesting. This is what awaited me:

In theoretical physicsBRST quantization (where the BRST refers to Becchi, Rouet, Stora and Tyutin) is a relatively rigorous mathematical approach to quantizing a field theory with a gauge symmetryQuantization rules in earlier QFT frameworks resembled “prescriptions” or “heuristics” more than proofs, especially in non-abelian QFT, where the use of “ghost fields” with superficially bizarre properties is almost unavoidable for technical reasons related to renormalization and anomaly cancellation. The BRST supersymmetry was introduced in the mid-1970s and was quickly understood to justify the introduction of these Faddeev–Popov ghosts and their exclusion from “physical” asymptotic states when performing QFT calculations. Work by other authors a few years later related the BRST operator to the existence of a rigorous alternative to path integrals when quantizing a gauge theory.

It’s a “relatively rigorous” approach. This silenced even the crickets. It was like I landed in the middle of an episode of  “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s  Halloween and Penny wants Sheldon to prove that ghosts exist. Is this what the writers do when they give them all that brainy stuff to say? The explanation was so theoretical, that if you spoke it out-loud half of the terms would be in air quotes! Physics makes me cry.

My quest for a better understanding of the article which seemed so innocent in the beginning led me through a maze of terms and names and air quotes. Though it offered little ground towards a better understanding of where spirit meets science, it did make me thankful for the inspiration I drew from the original post. And it made me that much more thankful that Michael Clark’s original post… was brief.


Respecting History?

It was recently brought to my attention that a historical location that is very near and dear to our organization is once again being mishandled by its management group.

The Queen Mary which is docked in Long Beach as a “floating” hotel/ museum and is registered as both a historical site and a historical hotel:

National Historical Registry

RMS QUEEN MARY *** (added 1993 – – #92001714)

Also known as HMT QUEEN MARY

Pier J, 1126 Queensway Hwy. , Long Beach

Historic Significance: Event

Area of Significance: Military, Entertainment/Recreation, Social History

Period of Significance: 1925-1949

Owner: Local

Historic Function: Defense, Transportation

Historic Sub-function: Naval Facility, Water-Related

Current Function: Domestic, Recreation And Culture

Current Sub-function: Hotel, Museum

Here is the purpose of the National Historical Registry noted from their website:

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Queen Mary is also listed on the website of  Historic Hotels of America. This is what they have to say about the Queen Mary:

The Queen Mary

Los Angeles, California

Rich in history, The Queen Mary® is renowned as the grandest ocean liner ever built since her maiden voyage in 1936. These early years distinguished the majestic steamship as the only civilized way to travel for high society’s elite, and instantly drew the attention of celebrities like Fred Astaire, political figures like Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, and dignitaries such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

It is quite clear that our country on a whole recognizes the historical importance and significance of this grand ship.

So why is it so difficult for the ship’s current management to get with the program?

Time after time we’ve heard complaints that there is no money to restore her to her former glory. We’ve been told that making changes like including iPod docks in all of the staterooms is a valid way to stimulate the ship’s revenue. Some improvements have been made in the last fifteen years. A huge section of promenade decking was re-finished and replaced a few years ago by a former management company.

This ship is a virtual roller coaster of  management companies. Each one swears that it’s bigger, better, and more knowledgeable than it’s predecessor.

It’s ultimately assumed that everything the previous company did is wrong and that the new team must start over from scratch. The management companies they hire are only experienced in managing a hotel. The Queen Mary is much more than a hotel. It’s an experience. And the experience that the customer is getting leaves much to be desired.

If you come to the Queen Mary for the first time today, you will be disappointed. If you are planning to stay in a stateroom reminiscent of the opulent 30’s & 40’s you can lay that dream to rest. What you will find is  late 80’s decor covering up what’s left of the 1930’s interior: cheap carpet, ugly bedspreads, chintzy window treatments, along-side beautiful 1930’s fans that no longer work.

English: Cabin on the RMS Queen Mary.

English: Cabin on the RMS Queen Mary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you roam the decks you’ll find sad displays haphazardly assembled with no regards for the integrity of the historical documents and artifacts inside. They are dusty, and often littered with rat fecal matter.

You will also find poor patch jobs in the ceiling where water damage occurs. The beautiful wood paneling which Winston Churchill himself told the soldiers during WWII mustn’t be touched is now showing the wear of its 76+ years at sea, and still awaiting restoration.

The Spa which inhabits some of the ship’s former suites has a decrepit & lackluster sign pointing the way to your “luxury” services.

If you overlook the staterooms and hallways and look instead towards the ship’s restaurants, I have some good news and some bad news. Sir Winston’s is the premiere restaurant on the ship…and for good reason. The restaurant manager J.B. is amazing. He’s been with the ship for over 10 years and truly understands how to accommodate his guests, giving them the grand reception that they would expect from a luxury liner. You will however, pay well for this privilege.

The other restaurants on the ship are poorly managed with mediocre food at best. Imagine a Denny’s ….in Compton…at midnight and you’ll begin to get a grasp for what they offer: over priced, over cooked, under whelming food. The service is slow and surly. The prices average  $15 per plate.  Oh, and by the way, if you thought you could just sit by the window while you sip your morning English Tea and pretend you’re in South Hampton, think again. The only tea you’ll find on this English ship is Lipton’s. The Duchess of Windsor is turning in her grave at this very moment.

The Queen Mary is also touted as a museum. It’s true. There are scattered exhibits (which are poorly maintained). But the guides really understand her history, architecture and art. They keep her spirit alive and are some of the nicest people I’ve met aboard the ship. They stay, not because of the great pay, nor do they stay to support her ever-changing management. They stay out of loyalty and love for this Grand Lady.

Now, so far this might just sound like another bitter yelp review(of which there are plenty). But, it was a recent find from a fellow investigator  that prompted this blog post.

In an attempt to draw in a bigger, more diverse audience and make some cold,hard cash the management has decided to let a team of motocross performers loose on the ship.

Yes , you heard me, ON THE SHIP.

This is wear I had posted a link to the YouTube video. It has since been made private.

This video demonstrates just how much these management companies understand about the property they are running.

After the video started receiving some unfavorable press there was a comment posted by one of the riders:

“All this was taken into consideration prior to filming. We worked long and hard with the Queen Mary to preserve the integrity of the ship. The locations that were used were places that had already been remodeled or altered. No historic or original locations were used. The idea was to make something cool to bring attention to such an awesome ship. There was no more harm than the average foot traffic from tourists”.

This is a still from the promo video showing the rider on the staircase of the first-class pool which is historical, original and is in serious need of repair.

If you know the ship at all, you understand that areas like the First Class Pool, the engine room, and boiler rooms are indeed original and historical areas. While they weren’t doing burn-outs on board, the weight and pressure of the bike is damaging and disrespectful. This isn’t the type of attention or the type of event that the ship needs . I don’t blame the riders. I blame the management for, once again, sending the wrong message to the public.

They need to restore the ship and teach the public how to appreciate her rich history. Instead, they throw money away on poorly thought out, poorly planned events which further her destruction. We should treat her as we would the White House, not treat her like a convention center filled with carnival acts. We should continue to view her as she was intended. She might not sail any longer but she could still offer people the experience of a lifetime.

It’s time for the company who manages her to show that they understand the difference between RENOVATION and RESTORATION.  She is an important part of history and instead of updating her, she needs to be brought back to life.

A friend recently posted this information for those of us who like to become more active in helping The Queen Mary:

If you want to voice your concerns and speak out about the horrible mistreatment of the Queen Mary, send an email or call the following:

Long Beach’s Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal – The Queen Mary is in her district (she is also counsel person for district 2), so she should be watching out for the damage being done to historic landmarks on 2 levels. She can be reached at district2@longbeach.gov,   Suja.Lowenthal@longbeach.gov,   ph:562-570-6684.

Mr. Milford Wayne Donaldson – Head of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  They can take a more active role in trying to stop the management where we can’t. You can read more about the SHPO and get further contact information here:http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21755,  mwdonaldson@parks.ca.gov,   ph: 916-445-7050.

If enough of us speak out and demand they do something, there is a good chance they will. Please spread this information to as many people you know and get them to write or call in too.


A Ton of Bricks

Recently, the team did a local investigation in Pasadena, California. Beneath the historical National Bank building which dates back to the 1800’s, is an annual commercial haunted house (www.oldtownhaunt.com). Built within the original catacombs where the bank placed their vaults, this is one Halloween attraction that is truly haunted. Our chaperone, Gary, was a great guy; enthusiastic about the night’s activities, ready to listen and learn, he proved an awesome guide and ensured our time beneath the city was problem-free.

After a quick tour, the investigation began, and activity started right away. We started in the old vault where we experienced cold spots, captured EVPs, and felt the tickle of spider webs (though there was nothing tangible to create the tickle). But after about an hour and a half, things got really interesting.

We moved from the vault to the southwest corner of the maze which was not ideal. From the top-notch horn player farting out tunes on the sidewalk above to the traffic, proximity to the busy street outside threatened to provide some serious audio contamination. Regardless, we settled there, noting the noise  and marking our audio well, especially for any conversations that drifted in.

Little did we know, audio phenomena would not be our best shot at compelling evidence. We were in our new spot about ten minutes before something hard hit the concrete floor nearby.

We were not expecting things to start flying through the air. This particular piece of brick landed behind us. It came from the empty and unwatched end of the corridor in which we were standing. We walked toward the sound immediately, trying to figure out if there was anything in the area that could have made the sound we heard.

There were three “rocks” on the floor where the noise had come from. As you can hear, all three were examined. The first piece of debris turned out to be foam.  Though it is only open for part of the year, the haunt remains in tact year round, so we were literally wandering through a maze full of hanging corpses and false walls, many of which were made of foam. We were not sure where the other pieces of stone came from because there were no real exposed walls in the area. Perhaps it fell from the ceiling? Or, perhaps Chaperone Gary was having some fun with us? Because the location is set up for maximum scare potential, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that Gary, a guy who works the haunt every year, would have some tricks we might not know about.

Our question would be answered during evidence review. If you listen closely to the end of the first clip, you will hear the voice of a little girl we call Sarah. (Not to be confused with the Sarah we regularly talk to aboard the Queen Mary) I isolated the EVP out of the longer clip so it would be easier to hear.

Having trouble hearing it? Here’s some advice: Make sure you have ear buds or headphones on and, instead of turning the sound up, try turning it down. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it really works!

Though faint, the answer is there. “It was me.” She was trying to get our attention, and it worked.

Sarah wasn’t the only one speaking to us. Apparently we had an audience while trying to figure out what had occurred. At the end of the clip where we are examining the pieces of stone on the floor, we captured this faint EVP.

Though it is quick, there is a whisper there that says “we know” and it seems to be in response to us figuring out which piece of brick was the one that actually made the sound we heard.

It’s funny. When you start getting crazy activity, the skeptic in you wants to dismiss it. There is a part of you that would prefer the culprit was living, because it would be easier for your brain to make sense out of it. But, as important as it was for us to dismiss that first noise, or, at the very least, set it aside for later analysis, it was just as important for Sarah to make herself known. Just five minutes later, it happened again. And, this time, it was louder.

That piece of debris was actually hurled parallel to the floor along the corridor adjoining ours. As you can probably tell, it hit a wood wall at the end and then skidded along the floor. Again, we did not actually see the rock fly through the air. And we did not have eyes on the end of the darkened corridor from which it came. But, as you can hear on the audio, the rock was thrown with a great deal of force. And our tosser wasn’t finished.

Less than five minutes later, it happened again. And this time, we knew it had to be paranormal. Once again, we missed the throw. But while there wasn’t enough light in the tunnels to catch the piece of brick in mid-air, there was certainly enough light by which to see a human figure. However, there were no human figures to see.

As you can hear on the audio, it hit a foam hook that was hanging in front of a metal gate. Like most ghost hunters, I had that annoying habit of pointing the camera in the wrong direction every time another piece of brick took flight. I know. I know. It’s annoying as hell. But while I didn’t catch the brick in flight, I did manage to capture the swinging hook and the piece of brick that caused it to swing. You can check out the video on our YouTube channel.

Now, so far, I have to say, this is a pretty epic display. I mean, it’s up there with what we call our “Party In The Mirror” picture. It took us months of theorizing and debunking before we finally gave in to the fact that there is no natural explanation for the image. But the activity wasn’t finished. Another piece of brick was tossed about fifteen minutes later. This fourth and final piece was the largest piece thrown.

As you can probably tell, that one freaked me out. It was a big piece of brick! And it hit really close to where I was. (And I STILL didn’t capture it on video.) We immediately started looking for a place where the brick could have come from, and it seemed like the most likely point of origin was an exposed brick wall about five or six feet away. This particular wall was originally an entrance to more tunnels that had been blocked off years before.

While we were trying to figure out the point of origin of the latest piece of brick, we captured an EVP. I’m not sure if it should be classified as an EVP or a disembodied voice because, as you can hear in this next clip, I heard “someone” at the time. I know that what I heard made me uncomfortable even though I couldn’t tell what had been said.  It felt like whoever spoke was right by me, in my personal space. CREEPER.

Did you catch that? Just after I say “It has to be ~covered~” there is an EVP of someone saying my name…which was in my ear…and all up in my business. Here it is isolated.

So not right. I theorize that the ghosts know me by name because I have a big mouth and never shut up. That’s just how I roll.

Now, you would think that our playful ghostly friend would be worn out by now. That’s four pieces of brick she just sent flying through the air in less than an hour. About twenty minutes passed, and we were fairly sure the ghost who, at the time, I nicknamed “Gus,” was exhausted. Out of boredom, I began to playfully taunt the spirit just to see if we could squeeze some more activity out of it. And it worked. A little more than twenty minutes later, we heard this:

Our recorder, which had been sitting safely on a ledge, suddenly fell to the floor and started playback. Brian had just walked away from the device before it fell. Immediately, we put it back where it was and started jumping around the base of the set-piece on which it was resting, wondering if the vibration from traffic outside could have made it suddenly jump to its doom. Nothing happened. We then shook the pillar trying to get it to fall. It didn’t budge.

Later, while going through evidence, I discovered something that boggled my mind. The previous audio clip was captured on the recorder I was holding. The following clip is what it sounded like from the perspective of the recorder that was knocked down.

     It took listening to it a few times before I was able to comprehend what I was hearing. I had fully expected to hear the recorder move followed by a loud bang. Instead, my ears were met with the sound of someone touching the recorder and turning it off. The device stopped recording before it ever left the ledge. WHO? WHAT? HOW? Are you kidding?
     I took a few minutes to process what I had just heard, then I tried to recreate it using the same recorder. The only way I could match what I heard was to press the stop button. If I picked up the recorder, the sound of my fingers was too loud to match what was captured on the device at the time. This means the spirit pressed “stop,” then knocked it to the ground.
     Shortly after this last effort by our paranormal friend, Chaperone Gary came to collect our team and move us to the next location. By this time we were exhausted and apparently, so was our company. Activity died, no pun intended. We could feel the change in energy as we settled into our new location. Though we hung out for a while longer, our quest for evidence had been more than fulfilled. Eager to get some sleep so that we could dive into the evidence, we ended up leaving the location early.
     A couple of months have passed since this investigation and we are still amazed by what we experienced. Accompanied by a soundtrack of top-notch tunes like “Tequila” and “My Country Tis of Thee” farted into the basement by the horn outside, the location delivered some stellar activity that we can’t deny. Thanks to a very persistent ghost, Chaperone Gary’s name has been cleared, and our team, after an investigation that turned out to be as subtle as a ton of bricks, feels quite comfortable in labeling the old bank: haunted.

A Few Days With Friends

Super special night-time investigations are not the only times evidence of our friends aboard the Queen Mary can be captured. Some of our most recent visits occurred during the day and early evening. There have been many times when we have gone to the ship just to hang out. Generally, we settle in the lobby just outside the First Class Pool. The Pool is the heart of the ship. Traffic, both living and dead, converges there. We have heard the girls playing behind closed doors, and we have met other paranormal investigators who have gotten lost while looking for different areas. Recent renovations have caused us to change our usual routine. This has afforded us some very valuable information: our ghostly friends will follow us wherever we go.

The following clips are EVPs we picked up on our casual trips to the ship.

September 19, 2011 was the first time we ventured into the lobby of the First Class Pool only to find an event taking place in the ballroom, and the bathrooms around the corner under renovation. (That renovation has since been completed and they did a beautiful job by the way.) Given all of the noise and living energy, we decided it was useless to try to record even casual conversation. So we decided to head to the area just outside the Third Class Playroom. We hung out there for about twenty minutes before activity started. During our stay (about two and a half hours) we saw unexplainable shadows and reflections, heard knocking from inside an elevator shaft that has long been closed, and we captured EVP’s and disembodied voices on our audio recorders. The activity was especially high that evening. But, as always, those we could feel but could not see just wanted to chat and find out how we were.

Last year during an evening investigation, I asked Jackie if she could tell me what her favorite color was. And though I did receive a response to my question, it was Sarah that answered. I’ve tried several times to double-check the answer we got, but had been unable to do so until this night.

As I mentioned before, we were hearing knocking coming from inside the elevator shaft. Jamie and I were sitting on either side of it, and the knocking sounded as if it were on the other side of the door. Of course, that’s impossible…or…is it?

Sarah is no longer shy around us. In fact, she answers many of our questions. If you listen closely, you can hear her response. “Me pounding?” (One of the ways we can always tell Sarah’s voice is that she tends to make statements into questions.)  In this next clip, Jamie asks “Who’s knocking?” And Sarah responds.

If you had a hard time hearing it, you might want to try lowering the volume a bit. I often find that listening to the clips at a softer volume helps my ears pick up changes in tone which, in turn, helps me focus on the EVP.

Our next visit to the ship was on September 30,2011. We were there to introduce our new friend Brittany to the ship before she joined us for a night investigation. We began our tour in the lobby of the First Class Swimming Pool. Sarah and Stark picked us up right away. After a short EVP session in the newly finished bathroom, we took a moment to discuss what parts of the ship we should show Brittany.  While we were talking, Jamie mentioned feeling as if someone had grabbed hold of her heart and squeezed. She likened the feeling to one she had experienced when we investigated Linda Vista Hospital in Boyle Heights. She equated it to something she would feel from a heart-attack patient. I told her it was Sarah. But Jamie couldn’t reconcile herself to that explanation because Sarah was too young to have died of a heart-attack. Having felt that before, I knew it was Sarah saying “Hi.” About thirty seconds later we captured this EVP.

Sarah’s voice came in beneath us talking. I mentioned wanting to give Brittany a sweeping overview of the ship. Then Jamie said she wanted to turn off her recorder because the battery was low. In fact, the battery on her recorder was low from the moment she turned it on. While we didn’t equate it to anything paranormal at the time, listening to the audio later revealed a burst of EMF interference the moment she turned it on.  It sounded like Morse Code. I now suspect the battery in Jamie’s recorder was drained. This seems to happen mostly when Sarah is around. You could hear a small amount of that same interference as Sarah said “That was me?”

Our tour that day took us to the upper decks towards the bow of the ship where we spent some time studying the exhibits. We looked at the uniforms that William Stark would have worn, mock-ups of officers quarters, and spent some time hanging out in the bridge. It seemed that our friends were taking a tour with us. In this next clip, Sarah and Stark both chime in while Jamie tries to read an old and sun-bleached document in one of the displays.

As Jamie says “I can’t see the date on it,” two voices overlap each other in agreement. Sarah says “uh-huh,” and Stark sort of growls out a “Yeah.” Then I chime in with “I know, right?” It feels as if they were looking over our shoulders while we studied the display. We were the only ones there at the time.

Now, fast forward past our night-time investigation, to our final visit. On October 22, 2011, we went to hang out for the last time before Halloween. Though we had been there three times in a month, we couldn’t resist going back again to see if we could experience more heightened activity. Unfortunately, the energy had changed. Our friends seemed distant and the energy on the ship was chaotic. This was no surprise as it was time for the Dark Harbor haunted maze event. Most of the EVPs we captured were soft and very difficult to hear. One answer to a direct question kind of summed up the trip:

Jamie asks if Stark is around and we get a very soft, very low, “No?”

Distant or not, the carnival of gratuitous fake ghosts didn’t keep one phenomena from occurring.

You can hear Brittany say “I’m feelin’ a little somethin’,” And Jamie agreeing. But towards the end of the clip, there is a “who.” This one is tough to hear, but the smooth, low, tone is definitely there.

This next one is a bit easier to hear. Though soft, the tone is higher, and it is the only thing in the clip.

So our little game of “Who” continues!  That is the fourth visit in a row where we came up with those kinds of EVPs.

Recently, I went over recordings from a few investigations we did on the ship at the end of last year and, while there were no “who’s” in them, there were a lot of other interesting EVP’s. Keep checking back at our website! http://www.EastValleyParanormal.com  I just posted some interesting photographic evidence, and EVP updates are coming! In the meantime, feel free to direct comments or questions to us here or on Facebook, and we’ll see you on the other side!