When I was little I loved to draw. I drew all the time. My subject matter centered heavily on the realm of fantasy: Unicorns in lands with green rolling hills with mountaintop castles perched above dramatic waterfalls. But I had a problem drawing the waterfalls. I had a terrific concept of what happened once the water fell. I could draw satisfactory representations of billowing clouds of overspray and the ribbon of water descending the cliff. But when it came to the origin, the place from where the water fell, I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I knew enough from pictures to know that it kind of just looked like a straight line, a horizon, but…why?
One day, I was watching one of my favorite shows and, in this particular episode it showed a waterfall from two vantage points: from the bottom looking up and from the top looking down. And at that moment, a lightbulb went on and, while it didn’t change much about the way I had been drawing waterfalls, it DID change the way I felt about drawing waterfalls. I was no longer wary when it came time to complete the picture on paper because I had a complete picture in my head.
It’s hard, even for me, to believe that the memory of seeing one scene on television but, more importantly, of having that question answered, would remain so poignant throughout my life, but it embodies a concept I’ve experienced time and again. That moment provided more than just an answer to a question. It shed some light on who I am, on how I am made.
What does any of this have to do with ghosts you ask? Well…nothing and everything. Bear with me and let me explain. I’ve had a number of really great ideas. Not to toot my own horn or anything (toot.) but I have come up with ideas that not only could make money, but DID make money…for someone else. The problem is and has always been that I am endlessly inspired. For years I thought that maybe I was just too lazy to actually accomplish something or that maybe I had some psychological dysfunction that prevented me from following through. I have spent my life steeped in worry and disappointment in myself for never finishing or achieving that one thing that I am passionate about. Of course, my passions have changed over the years. Each one starts with a burst of palpable depth and hunger that ~must~ be fulfilled. And nearly every one has ended in the worst way…petering out to nothing.
Now, to be fair, many of my ideas took me way out of my wheelhouse. One of the things I have noticed about myself (in my kinder moments) is that I like to think big. I’m like Zeigfeld. There are lights. There’s music. Shit glows! But when it comes to breaking it down into steps, I falter. I stumble. I fall. on. my. face.
If you have gotten this far, then you are likely wondering “What is the point to all of this?”
I’ve asked myself this question numerous times. I think that question, no matter how it is applied, is at the crux of everyone’s lives. It’s an answer we all search for in numerous ways regarding numerous things. It’s a large part of why I started “hunting ghosts” in the first place.
The point is that I have had one of these Ziegfeld ideas rattling around in my head for ~years~ now and I have been perpetually stymied, once again, by the question of execution. And today, with this idea, unlike the numerous others I have had, I believe I was afforded the answer; that one elusive piece of the puzzle. And it didn’t come from some lofty pursuit or a long commitment to proper meditation regarding the subject. It came while I was on the elliptical, hating life, at the gym. Ironically, ~many~ answers have come to me while on the elliptical at the gym. Though I DESPISE working out, it is like a meditation of sorts for me. I have begrudgingly accepted this.
SO, having received the link, that one suggestion that will help me deconstruct my grand idea and break it down into something I can manage, I am choosing today to begin. Today I step into the light of accountability. I am making a pledge not only to my Ziegfeld show, but to myself, that I will put my ideas out there, share what I see and how I see it. And I invite you, the reader to take this journey with me.
If I have managed to spark your curiosity even a little, I am sure you are wondering where the journey leads….what show are we putting together, you and I? That, I will not answer. I need you, dear reader. I need you to ponder, to ask questions, to challenge me. I need you to walk with me while we look at ideas, at books, at the authors who wrote them. I need you to take note about how the things we discuss fit into your lives. And I would never dream of sullying the journey by providing an answer which, in reality, will only change as things evolve, rendering that answer erroneous after all.
I promise, for better or for worse, to be one hundred percent myself, to let you see me. The goal, for now, is to use this blog as a forum to discuss all manner of things, to broaden the scope of what “Ghost Hunting” can be, to redefine many of the terms that, as people interested in the “supernatural” or the “paranormal,” are taken for granted, to broaden my horizons, with you.
So PLEASE, read, comment and subscribe. Help me achieve my goal of following through. And help EVP achieve their goal, the specifics of which will unfurl somewhere along the way.
Written By: Heather of East Valley Paranormal
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.”
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.
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:
(“Bring them in.”)
(“It’s a signal”)
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.
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.