We'll See You On The Other Side…

Paranormal

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. 

near-death-experience

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.

alice

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?

adyk77

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.)