Friday, December 31, 2010

Lonely on a Friday Night--Yes, New Year's!

Yes, I'm doing lonely on a Friday night on New Year's Eve. Why??? Because I am not a celebrator of the new year. I know, that's unnatural, but I just don't get it. That being said, if you're bored and lonely tonight, jump on and comment. We will get a conversation going. I'll be here and hanging out all evening. They're having a Ghost Adventures marathon and with the drinking game in mind, I suggest you only do that for one show because you'll never remember New Year's if you do it for every episode!

Ghost Hunting Theories 2010

What a year for the blog!

I changed the look of it, but the content became more defined and more vague at the same time. The definitions were things like Dale the Doll posts, quizzes and a few ongoing series. The more vague aspects have been a wider range of paranormal topics and me giving in to my demented sense of humor and creating the LAUGH series that can be found on the bottom right hand corner of this page.

I had lots of movie reviews and interviews including my favorite one; the one-on-one with my TV crush, Ben Hansen from “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.”

I went through transitions through the year and I can tell y'all that it never ever would have happened if I didn't blog. Blogging has put me in touch with people who not only were interested in what I'm doing, but took pride in my accomplishments. In my entire life, no one had ever asked me what I did with my day, what I was up to, or took any interest in my accomplishments. This gave me strength to realize just how much I was selling myself short in my long-term relationship. I had come to accept being ridiculed and beat down emotionally, scared and uncomfortable in what should be the most trusted and intimate relationship a person has.

I filed for and completed my divorce and am living on my own for the first time in my entire life, having not dated since I was 16 years old! It was terrifying but exhilarating and your constant support kept me going when I thought “what in the hell am I doing?” I have never had a group backing me before and knowing the value of bloggers and their worth, I am still determined to make the Hug-A-Blogger project a reality and am redefining how Julie and I might go about it.

Some bloggers had huge influences on me. I met up with Julie in January and we have been inseparable since. We went on to meet other local bloggers. One talented blogger, Max Evel, managed to do something nobody else in the blog world could do, he got me to send him a photo of my face which I had been hiding from everyone. He proceeded to make me profile pic from that picture and made me realize that keeping myself cloaked wasn't a big benefit to the site and so I came forward and did some videos for y'all and contributed pics of me. This new development will expand in 2011.

What can you expect in 2011? Read tomorrow's post!

Oh, and tonight there will be a Lonely on a Friday Night here at 7 pm EST onward in case, like me, you don't celebrate the new year or simply have no date.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sexiest Movie Bad Guys

Yeah, it’s true; there are bad guy characters in film that also happen to be terribly sexy. We know a lot of the typical ones that aren’t even worth mentioning, like vampires and werewolves, but here’s some of the unexpected finds:

Quint, the potty-mouthed, sailor ditty singing, hunter of the shark in “Jaws” was played by Robert Shaw quite brilliantly. What did a shaggy-haired, rough-bearded, scarred, and rebellious sailor have to offer the female species? A body of expertise and experience, sparkling blue eyes, and a rolling dialect that made a woman wonder what he’d seen in the ports he stopped in during his long career. He didn’t seem to want or even like anyone, which made him even more intriguing and challenging.

“The Hitcher” in the 1986 movie played by Rutger Hauer. What? A nasty killer? Well, it surprised me too, but when I confessed to friends that he turned me on (and not my usual kind of guy because he's fair-haired), they actually giggled and admitted he was sexy. We thought maybe it was his eyes, but even more attractive is the fact that you never really know where he came from, what he wants or what he will do next. He represents the unknown.

Captain Daniel Gregg played by Rex Harrison in the 1947 movie “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.” Talk about a salty, naughty-mouthed sea man-this character had the corner on the market. He was intrusive, prickly, set in his ways, didn’t understand the female sex in the least, and yet was quietly humbled by a gentle voice.

Dale Massie, was a nasty, dirty, bad boy in the movie “Cold Creek Manor” played by Stephen Dorff to perfection. What did this angry, tense, resentful killer have that was attractive? Well, put simply, he was walking talking sex. Just raw, do-it-anywhere, packing powerful hips kinda guy.

You know I’m going to have to name this one, Johnny Depp’s character, Jack Sparrow. Drunken, lecherous, self-absorbed, careless and inept, yet women can’t get enough of the eye-liner wearing, unkempt pirate. Huh? Well, part of it might be the hair and the dialect. The other part is the simple promise of a fast tumble and forget you, please. Yes, even girls appreciate that fantasy. There’s also something terribly attractive about the roving eyes of a lech when it’s not done in a creepy backstreet flash-you-in-my-raincoat kind of way, but the way that sums a woman up from head to toe and a pleasant little smile of promise on his lips, or in Sparrow’s case, a pat on the fanny.

I’m very curious to see who you find to be the yummiest bad boy characters in film. I won’t even get into TV guys—there’s a lot of naughty boys nowadays from “Mad Men” to “Dexter” to “Nip/Tuck.”

Dale the Doll: What Are Ghosts?

The Human decided to let me have some space here on her blog. (Oh, aren't I the lucky fellow?) She said I could write about my take on ghosts and I have to admit that from time to time, The Human manages to have a good idea. I'm certain she was just reading my plastic head with her psychic creepiness.

I also want to tell you that I intend to do a series of interviews with The Human's abandoned doll collection. I will act as an interpreter and tell you their stories. These will be dark and creepy and you better not be a bunch of pussies when you read these interviews. This will be a Thursday posting to give you something to look forward to while you big babies are waiting for "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files" to start its second season.

What is a ghost?

I think it's kind of like doll spirits. You haven't heard of doll spirits? Didn't you see that freaking cool episode of “Destination Truth” on that doll island in Mexico? Damn! I want to retire and live there with all those gorgeous dollies. They're pretty lonely for a male doll, I'm thinking...

Anyhow, dolls have spirits. When a doll is put to rest (the destruction by human hands), he continues to haunt his owner. In fact, you can all consider yourselves followed by every Betsy Wetsy and GI Joe that you ever owned, every Teddy Bear, every Elmo and certainly every Cabbage Patch Doll.

Humans talk about the spirits of the dead attaching to objects, well objects can attach to humans too. So, be careful how you treat your Barbie doll and your Marionette and for God's sake, your ventriloquist doll!

When I come back to haunt my Human, I plan to do all the things I do now to annoy her, except she'll blame it on a ghost and I won't be relegated to the top of a shelf next to that pissy clown doll, Skittles.

What's even creepier about your doll's spirit? It's tied to the human because he projected his feelings and intimate secrets to the doll. The doll then takes on the human's spirit as well as its own. It's kind of like passing our your DNA and characteristics to your kid. So, if there was something familiar about your doll, it was a reflection of your own spirit mirrored back.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Ghosts and Flashlight Tag

Imagine living on an estate with two enormous boxwood mazes. Then, imagine having five kids in the family and parents who, no matter how well they were doing financially, didn’t buy their kids toys. They wanted them to be creative and resourceful. The land and its outbuildings alone had more than enough to work with, from building tree forts to using leftover furniture in the barn to turn it into a playhouse. One of our favorite activities was flashlight tag. It was especially fun on a hot Virginia summer’s night with lightning bugs competing for attention.

The back boxwood maze was more mature in height and an ideal place for a great game of flashlight tag. The ancient birdbath with the naked cherub statue in the center was our starting point. Usually my brother wanted to manage (or is that micromanage?) the game, so he would begin by being “it.” The rest of us would scatter like buckshot throughout the winding maze of English boxwoods to find the perfect strategic point to make our way towards the birdbath without being seen.

It was just after a particularly violent late afternoon thunderstorm that we played this one night. I was perhaps 10 at the time. I always did great at the game because I was able to hide behind most of the boxwoods with my short height and not be seen. Plus, my brother was more threatened by my two sisters who were one and two years older than him, so he’d be dogging them the entire time.

This night, however, the boxwoods were a wet mess and I opted to go hide in the hickory tree grove nearby. Between the maze and the hickory trees was a huge rectangle of about a half an acre or an acre of land that we used as the family football field on Sunday afternoons. Darting from tree to tree in the perfectly straight stand, I giggled as I saw the light click on and off and my sisters yelling at my brother and instigating his assault on them in the darkness.

Besides the buzz of mosquitoes, the hickory stand was pretty lonely and extremely dark. It lined up against the woods of an estate beside ours called “Tallwood” owned by George Mason University and left unruly and natural. The land there always bothered me and, in fact, I usually avoided the hickory stand all together because it felt like someone was at my back the whole time.

This night would prove why I instinctively avoided the grove.

The lightning bugs around me were intense since I was bottled in between the trees and the fence line where the raspberry bushes grew. Their sluggish light soothed me and made me feel sort of trance-like. I leaned against the tree, knowing I should make my run for the birdbath, but hoping he’d take out my sisters first. I had a tendency to end up in the crosshairs. Not this time. I was determined to win again.

Hushed voices sounded a few trees up from me. I leaned back and studied the line of gray tree trunks. Nothing. I looked over to the boxwood maze, the light blinking on and off. My sisters together darted through what I called “the great hall” because it was the biggest empty “room” in the maze.

Murmuring voices continued to talk. I stormed up the tree line, studying it carefully. It wasn’t unusual for local kids from the surrounding suburbs to try and sneak into the yard and play. I usually didn’t mind. It got lonely there when my siblings usually avoided me. They let me play the game along with them mostly because as the baby of the family I’d stomp and cry and get attention, so I found myself playing alone a lot. There were, however, a few unsavory neighborhood kids I didn’t want to enjoy my personal haven, so I came to a stop between the trees and waited. Scott got my sister, Kathy out and she took over the flashlight. Scott took the game like a tactile engineer so my chances of winning were looking pretty miserable. In my mind, I begged out of the game, more interested in who was in my yard.

The voices sounded again. This time they were where I had originally been standing. I rushed over fast and came to a halt. There was no one there. They sounded again like quick hushed whispers behind the berry vines. I turned and studied the darkness, unable to see anything but the pulsing of the lightning bugs.

A sense of movement behind me made me turn and study the long line of trees. I peered out from behind one, almost afraid at this point. I’d heard these hushed whispers in our house, but never on the property. A dark shadow stepped out from behind a tree about five trees up from me. Just the long length of half a body coming out from behind the tree and then—whoosh! It was gone.

Still imaging Kurt or one of the other pranksters in the neighborhood, I stomped over to the tree and looked. No one. Of course. I rolled my eyes and leaned back against the tree waiting for Scott to hopefully become “it” again so I could maybe rejoin the game. I looked down the row of trees and watched as something tall and dark stepped out from behind the tree and started a slow cruise along the tree line away from me.

Kathy? Tina? Could it be one of my sisters? No, probably Scott!

I ran towards it, feeling myself gain on it when it just vanished. It didn’t step behind anything. It didn’t run. It just suddenly wasn’t there. Winded and confused, I looked up at the cloudy sky. No moonlight. I waved my arms. No shadow. The murmuring voices started again in the raspberry bushes not far from me.

I didn’t even look this time. My mind immediately focused on reports that college people made when they rented our cottages on the property. Shadowy figures peering into windows, taking off through fields, riding horses, disappearing without notice, and murmuring voices.

As I high-tailed it towards the house, the flashlight’s beam hit me and I stopped.

“You’re it.” My sister said.

“I’m done.” I looked back at the tree line.

She looked there too.

“We don’t play outside of the boxwoods. You disqualified yourself, She-She.”

“Yeah, well I’m done.”

“I don’t go there at night.” She told me in a hushed voice.

“Why?” I looked up at her wide-eyed.

“That’s where he walks.”


“Don’t know.” She shrugged. “I think he’s having a meeting with someone. Did you see him?”

I nodded dumbly.

To Tina, none of this was unusual. She took it as part of nature. No threat to herself.

“I think he’d rather be alone, so I just give him a wide berth.” She sighed. “Take off now, I’ll tell them you were sick. I know how you hate for Scott to beat you.” She ruffled my tangled hair and I rushed off towards the relative safety of the house.

The spirits in the main house I could take.

UFOs and Ghosts: Lots in Common

UFO's and ghost hunting; both paranormal focuses, but really very very similar in how we go about tackling them.

The first step in dealing with UFO's is to debunk.
The first step in dealing with ghosts is to debunk.

Explanations for UFOs:
Airplanes/military air vehicles/drones/helicopters
Misinterpreted stars in the daytime sky
Reflections of things on the ground
Earth lights
Sprites/jets in the atmosphere

Explanations for Ghosts:

Banging pipes
Poor night vision
High EMF
Mechanical home issues
Car lights
Sleep issues

People who have had encounters with UFOs and ghosts are often ashamed, baffled, their logic is twisted in knot. They don't want to admit it, but they seek answers incessantly by either looking for more UFOs or ghostly encounters.

Both encounters have nearly impossible to prove roadblocks. You can photograph, record or film UFOs or ghosts and these modalities can be shot down by skeptics.

When pondering the origins of both UFOs and ghosts, the explanations run the gamut. UFOs could include aliens and time travelers, military craft and interdimensional travel. Ghosts are explained by history repeating itself in a loop, spirits of dead people remaining behind and interdimensional travel.

What intrigues me the most about UFOs, ghosts and even Bigfoot is that all three have been blamed on interdimensional visitors. What makes that even more intriguing is that there are places in the world where these things happen in clusters; UFOs, ghostly activity and Bigfoot sightings in short-lived hot spots that change frequently. Should all be explained by a portal for interdimensional beings, it would put a bunch of paranormal activity into one basket.

I have to admit that it's rather funny to me when UFO followers laugh at ghost hunters who laugh at Bigfoot hunters. We truly are all in the same trek, facing the same issues and tossing around the same theories. We might actually help each other more than we realize.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Would You Do? The Haunted Closet

I've been doing this blog for over 3 years now and one thing I've learned is that everyone who reads this really has a good angle on ghost hunting and hauntings in general. This is the beginning of a new series "What Would You Do?" in which I give you a hypothetical situation for a ghost hunt and you tell me how you'd approach it.

The home is a 30 years old. It's been lived in by two families. One lived there for 27 of those years. A nice family with a blue-collar working father, a mother who stayed home and two perfectly healthy and happy children. Nothing unusual occurred in the home. Nothing that would warrant a haunting, but the new tenants who had been in there for just over 2 years, but things began to fall apart six months ago when their 8-year-old daughter began to have trouble sleeping.

She complained that there was something in her closet, shuffling around, making noises. Her parents had gone way out of their way to try and ease her fears, use logic on her, inspect the closet and even let her sleep in their room, but they realized they couldn't continue that forever.

They learned something about the land and that a prior home was on the lot somewhere, perhaps not precisely where the house sat now, but it had been the site of arson, being burned down by an enraged husband who came back from war and found his wife was cohabitating with someone else. They also found out the wife died later of smoke inhalation from the event, though she did not die on site.

This made the parents even more concerned that perhaps the house was haunted. Their daughter was beginning to talk of a ghost in the closet and the mother was getting spooked by the whole thing. They call you in to investigate.

Where do you begin and how to you deal with their daughter's fears?

Mind Fuck Tuesday: Time Travel

It's not that far off the mark for me to post about time travel because a theory that runs around in the paranormal community is the possibility that what we are experiencing are not fully perceivable visits from the future or even blips from the past that cross our time period occasionally. Hence, the future might be watching us or we are watching the past.

Let's talk about what most consider to be preposterous science—the design of a traveling machine. H.G. Wells aside, most scientists take newer scientific finds to explain possibilities such as the use of a wormhole created to allow someone to go from point A to point B directly instead of indirectly. This concept is the most popular of all ideas for traveling through time; as you bend space, you bend time.

The question becomes the most classic one. What if you go back and kill your grandfather? Have you just in effect ended your own future existence and if you did that, how could you go back and kill grandpa? Everyone has their own take on this. Mine would be more of the concept that if we travel through time and encounter things, we change the course of that time line, but not the time line we came from, a sort of parallel universe concept.

Is it possible that we can walk through an historic building and feel a deja vu as if we just traveled back in time? Some people report this time shift feeling. Is it actual time shift? I would doubt it because nothing special was done to achieve this state and if it were that random, it would happen more often. More often than not, people are stimulated by sounds, smells, feelings that are deja vu-like and we interpret that as time shifts. It could be that under the right conditions we recognize the past in the form of ghosts, better known as residual hauntings. A moment in time is replayed out and seen visually or auditory or olfactory. What causes that blip in the loop of time is unknown, but it could be more in the individual as a psychic receptor than in an actual playing out of a scene. In other words, if someone were psychically sensitive (perhaps not even realizing he was so), he could visually or auditory or otherwise sense a past moment, as I can read past history in objects.

So, what is your take on time travel and the ability to change destiny?

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Ghost Hunting Wish List of Places

I did this in 2008 and forgot to do it in 2009. So, I'm remembering in 2010. I like to make a list of places I'd most like to do a hunt at. My tastes change over time, especially once the ghost hunting shows have picked over the usual culprits. I tend to not like to follow the crowd and go by my own motivations and not be outwardly directed. So, here's a list of places I most want to hunt at in order:

1. Aspen Grove. No duh. This is the scene of the crime, the place I grew up in, the one that started my whole venture into ghost hunting. This 250-year-old building was once a Civil War Hospital used by both sides at one time or other during The War. I don't just want to go back to figure out what happened there as a kid, but because since that time I moved away, my father, mother, sister, brother and dear family friend who lived at the end of our driveway all vowed to haunt it and have passed on. With them having known my desire to contact the other side, it's as close to a sure thing as possible. Really, I could just list this and stop at this point because this is what I really want.
2. The Newpoint-Comfort Lighthouse. This one is located on the Chesapeake Bay in a quiet little area few know about. We had a summer home there when I was growing up and I always wanted to go back and see if some of the strange things that occurred on that little stone island still go on there.
3. The cemetery in Newpoint-Comfort. In front of my childhood summer home, a beautiful Victorian style home, it faced a cemetery where as a kid I saw little blue balls of light dancing in and out, up and down and never could explain what the hell it was.
4. Sommerou (spelling?) It was my father's family home in Norway and it housed many of the Thorvaldsen clan and I suspect that it would have a strange effect on me or I would have a strange effect on it.
5. Bird Cage Theater, Tombstone, AZ. This is really in my own backyard and there's no reason I haven't been there other than I hear they charge a shitload to hunt there, but there's something about that town and that layout and that building that tells me it would be a really weird place to hunt.
6. Vulture Mines, AZ. Yet again, in my own backyard. I just hate when these places start charging for people to hunt and it makes me highly suspicious, but I am interesting in going to a mining area where death occurred. I have a strong belief that geology is important in places that become haunted and I would like to feel it myself and see just why.
7. Suicide Forest, Mt. Fuji, Japan. The geology, the forest, the suicides. I think it's got to be truly disturbing.
8. Shepherd Pratt. This was a fortress like old structure in Maryland where my sister was hospitalized during her troubled teens and the energy when I entered the place was like nowhere else I've ever been and I've been in prisons, other mental facilities and even worked in an ER, but never felt this before.
9. The haunted mining town in Chile where "Destination Truth" did the most eerie episode.
10. Romanian Forest. Another "Destination Truth" location that intrigued me and as a hunter and psychic, I would very much like to get into that circle and see what occurs.

So, what would be on your list?

Turn-of-the Century Spiritualists Hoaxers

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle defended the authenticity of the 1917 fairies photo (above). He believed it to be genuine. Houdini vowed to get a message from the other side to his wife. After 10 years of trying to contact her husband during a séance every Halloween night (the anniversary of his death), she never got the coded message they had designed before he died.

Ectoplasm was touted by spiritualists and mediums to be the substance of which ghosts were made. During seances and in trances they would supposedly produce ectoplasm. This hoaxed material was often made from cheesecloth, egg whites, soap and gauze.

Other methods by which spiritualists hoaxed people were seances, ouija board sessions, automatic writing, table tilting and spirit photography. As you can imagine, nowadays we haven't gotten far from this practice of looking to these methods to prove communications with ghosts. You also might notice the correlations with extreme religions that also use practices such as hands on healing and dancing with snakes as other ways to snag gullible believers.

I have a million problems with spiritualism and ghost investigations being tied together and the majority have to do with belief. Spiritualism is no different than religion and one must believe without question anything fed to them by those considered to be leaders or specialists. So long as we refer to ghosts as spirits and look to spiritualists to be conduits for interactions, we are dealing with a belief system involving life and death and how the process works.

Decades from now we will laugh at the use of electrician's tools and IR cameras as ways to hunt ghosts and KII meters as conduits for conversation with the other side. Hell, I laugh at it now.

So, how do we get past the spiritual bend and the “tool-happy” methods to get to the heart of paranormal activity?

It will take a wide variety of specialties in the sciences and some meticulous documentation in a haunted site to really get a feeling for what elements are involved, what timing is involved, what might aggravate it and alleviate it and how humans manage to detect that which cameras and audio equipment cannot.

I'm thrilled we are not as ignorant as turn-of-the-century folks, but we still ooh and ahh over some of the ghost hunting tools used today that are absurdly ridiculous, like that EMF meter that captures so much random activity in unshielded environments that it is positively useless. People who don't understand the sciences can easily be hoodwinked by it. I'm just reminded of Steve and Brian trying to figure out how a Geiger counter works while on a ghost hunt.

It's not certain just what avenue ghost hunting will take next, but I'm in favor of controlled experiments and making equipment with the same parameters as human senses to capture what we see and hear. Sometimes, it's just the simplest of approaches that make the most sense.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ghosts as Scapegoats

In working on my “Was That a Ghost?” book, I had to set aside a section just to discuss this phenomenon. No, it's not paranormal, but it is abnormal.

It has come to my attention over the years of house calls and interactions with people contacting me about their ghost problems that there are occasions (and not that infrequent) when people use ghosts as an explanation for other more weighty issues in the home.

One woman, had a bad marriage after buying a home that was way beyond their means. Her husband began working overtime, acting remote and being irritable. She didn't want to think he might be overstressed or having an affair. Instead, she started to notice noises when he left home for work. She focused on his behavior and was certain the house was haunted and somehow affecting his behavior.

Another family had an angry rebellious teen but the focus on anything out of place had them all focusing together as a group on the haunting. This brought a family together in a single purpose that was them against “it” instead of dealing with the real issue, that their daughter felt she couldn't live up to their exacting standards and as an only child she was weighted down by the responsibility.

A middle-aged man had trouble getting a job after getting laid off. With time at home and lots of anxiety and worry about finances, he started to notice he couldn't find things. He'd put them down and forget where they were. Instead of blaming it on his distraction with other matters, he decided to check into the history of the house, interviewed neighbors about the previous occupants and eventually worked him up so much he was afraid to sleep at night because of sounds and was certain they were ghosts.

Figuring out if a ghost is a scapegoat can be easy if one does a good investigation of the timing of the events in relation to any dynamics in the family or changes in family situations, whether work, financial, relationships or illness. Probing just how they began to notice it, who began to notice it and how much the other occupants are involved in the process can shed some light on it.

It's not necessarily a healthy way to handle life's issues, but it's not at all uncommon for families and individuals to look for a distraction from a real issue they don't want to face. I've seen people fall into goo-goo love and forget the rest of their lives and focus on the feeling from the new love interest as a way of escape. I've seen people seek alternative health remedies, vitamins and rigid diets to make things better. I've seen people search for escape in bottles of liquor and drugs. Ghosts as scapegoats is not that farfetched and if you watch any episodes of “Paranoid State” (okay, okay “Paranormal State”) you have seen some families who use ghosts as scapegoats.

It's not an easy task as the counselor in these situations. You can't exactly hit them in the face with this dysfunctional behavior and expect them to be happy you said that they're all messed up and it's not a ghost. Instead, it's a little like dealing with a child at the checkout stand who notices the candy for sale. You divert attention.

If a good counselor opens up about issues going on in her own life, share the up's and down's of marriage and parenthood, she can discuss that making a strong family makes a better front against anything that might be attracted to the dynamics. Discuss ways they can come together on a project that will strengthen their connections as a family unit. I often suggest time out, vacations, garden projects, renovating a bedroom or family bowling night. It's crazy, but if they just throw themselves into the real world, the spirit world explanation becomes less important.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Quiz: Which Christmas Bad Guy Are You?

It's quiz time again! In honor of this rosy happy day, let's make it a bad guy's quiz. Count your a's, b's and c's and see which one you letter get the most of, scroll down and find out which Xmas bad guy you relate to.

1. If I see a homeless person panhandling, I think...
a. I would do that in his position.
b. Get a job!
c. I would rather glom off of family/friends.

2. When I'm angry, I tend to...
a. Neglect them, sabotage them, passive-aggressive.
b. Leave, don't talk, snub them.
c. Lash out without thinking.

3. One thing that frustrates me about the world is...
a. The wealthy get wealthier.
b. People slack off and get away with what they can.
c. It's so hard to get ahead.

4. I most admire...
a. Bernie Madoff (scam artist investor)
b. Donald Trump (business mogul)
c. DB Cooper (hijacked plane and parachuted off)

5. The dream home would be...
a. An isolated country home away from the crowds.
b. A McMansion in the suburbs.
c. A city place in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

Count your a's, b'c, and c's and scroll down...

a. Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
b. Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)
c. The Wet Bandits (Home Alone)

(Xmas picture of me when I was 11. I had a new niece and I wanted to dress like Santa for her)

P.S. What am I thankful for this Christmas? It is my first Christmas in 26 years I am not "Mrs. S. Clauss" (yes, that was my married name)

Oh, and here's your laugh for today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Synesthesia: Interesting Disorder

Okay, so I just finished the last post about facial amnesia and let's move on to another disorder that is intriguing and one that I suffer from, although it hardly alters my life in any way. In fact, like my psychic abilities, I didn't know that everyone else didn't store time in their mind in the way that I do.

Now, let me explain.

Synesthesia is a condition in which basically one has a neurological confusion where he puts things together that are not usually teamed up, such as seeing numbers as colors or smelling music or in my case, storing time in a three-dimensional manner outside my body, such as time of day, days of week, hours of the day, months and years. In my case, it is also how I store information when I do psychic reads and makes it possible to store a great deal of reads and types of information I can retrieve like a file cabinet of sorts. These cross sensory confusions make for intriguing things like hearing colors and tasting music.

Types: (from this site)
Spatial sequence (number form) 8.8%
Emotions -> colors 2.8%
Flavors -> colors 6.3%
General sounds -> colors 15.1%
Graphemes -> colors 63.7%
Kinetics -> colors 0.1%
Musical notes -> colors 8.4%
Musical sounds -> colors 18.8%
Odors -> colors 6.3%0
Orgasm -> colors 2.0%
Pain -> colors 5.5%
Personalities -> colors (“auras”) 6.3%
Phonemes -> colors 7.5%
Temperatures -> colors 2.1%
Time units -> colors 23.3%
Touch -> colors 3.7%
Emotion -> smell 0.2%
Grapheme personification 4.4%
Object personification 1.7%
Ticker-tape* ?????
Emotion -> flavor 0.2%
Emotion -> pain 0.3%
Emotion -> smell 0.2%
Emotion -> temperature 0.1%
Emotion -> touch 0.1%
Flavors -> sounds 0.2%
Flavors -> temperatures 0.1%
Flavors -> touch 0.6%
Grapheme -> flavor 0.1%
Kinetics -> sounds 0.3%
Phoneme -> flavor 2.7%
Lexeme -> touch 0.1%
Mirror touch* ????
Musical notes -> flavors 0.3%
Pain -> flavor 0.1%
Pain -> smell 0.1%
Pain -> sound 0.2%
Personalities -> smells 0.4%
Personalities -> touch 0.3%
Phoneme -> touch 0.1%
Smells -> flavor 0.2%
Smells -> sounds 0.4%
Smells -> temperatures 0.1%
Smells -> touch 0.4%
Sound -> flavors 5.2%
Sounds -> kinetics 0.4%
Sounds -> smells 1.4%
Sound -> temperatures 0.5%
Sound -> touch 4.3%
Temperature -> flavors 0.1%
Temperatures -> sounds 0.1%
Touch -> emotions 0.2%
Touch -> flavors 1.0%
Touch -> smell 0.3%
Touch -> sounds 0.8%
Touch -> temperatures 0.1%
Vision -> flavors 2.8%
Vision -> kinetics 0.1%
Vision -> smells 1.3%
Vision -> sounds 2.5%
Vision -> Temperatures 0.2%
Vision -> touch 1.7%

A lot of people don't realize they have it until someone asks them if they see letters or numbers as colors and then they find out others do not store information that way. That list above might have had you observing your own mind storage unit...

A great place to test it out and see what it's about is at this site

Famous synesthetes: Billy Joel, Eddie Van Halen, Marilyn Monroe, Georgia O'Keefe,

Prosopagnosia: Interesting Disorder

Yeah, I'm a freak. I was born with two left earlobes. Not so freaky, but then I'm also psychic and synesthetic (oh yes, that's for another post following this one). As well, I have a variation of the condition called prosopagnosia or “facial amnesia.”

This is a condition in which the ability to recognize a face is impaired. Sufferers may use clothing and voices and postures to know who the person is. They also often suffer from the ability to understand facial cues, like emotions and expressions. Jane Goodall is actually a sufferer of this. Imagine meeting someone and not knowing you have met them before or not?

What causes such a condition? Some times it has occurred to people with brain injuries and other times it appears to be genetic.

My variation of this disorder is the inability to picture anyone I know's face, even my own. I don't know what I look like until I see a picture of me or see myself in the mirror, then I recognize me. Even my own dear son and loved ones, I cannot picture their faces at all in my mind no matter how much I study them. When I see them, I recognize them, but I do not carry their images with me. This is very ironic considering that as a psychic, I often pull up images of people other's know. If I study the image long enough, I can see more and more details but the face as a whole means nothing to me, only the parts are recognizable. It makes for an interesting life, as when I run into people I love, I feel almost as if I'm meeting them for the first time.

Those with the full-blown disorder know that it can be hard to recognize movie stars or television characters. Once they hear Michael Scott on “The Office” speaking or sitting in his office, they know it's him. This inability to memorize a face is even more interesting when you realize that people with this disorder have no trouble recognizing objects and other things, only faces are amnesic for them.

The next post will include synesthesia, another bizarre disorder of which I suffer. I'm a freak and you always knew it. I think you'll be surprised to see how common that disorder is and I have a theory it actually helps in my spatial gifted qualities and my psychometry talents.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Did Gigantopithecus blacki Evolve Into Bigfoot/Yeti?

(picture above from the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego taken by me on my vacation)

I wrote this post because, as I rounded the top of the stairs at the Museum of Man, I heard a kid rush to his mommy and pull on her hand saying, "look, Bigfoot!"

This brought home the thoughts about the popular theory that Bigfoot is actually a descendant of Gigantopithecus blacki. I readily admit I am of that team.

We know Giganto was in Asia and believed to many to be killed and eaten by homo erectus. Whether or not this creature was extinct has come to the forefront of Bigfoot/Yeti discussions. A creature with extremely similar physical features was in Asia, a place where Yeti is often reported and, as well, had the opportunity to cross the land bridge long ago with man into the Americas where higher elevations and colder climates would be more his preference; just like Scandinavians tended to settle in Minnesota and Asians along the Pacific waterfront.

How would Giganto have evolved given that he is no longer in the mountainous regions of China? Probably, he would be less heavy (no need for padding in a milder climate) and he would be more agile and slender. If he has taken to the forests, he might also be a bit shorter to suit the overgrowth. Even his fur would be dark to blend in with the shadows of the forest. Actually, he would be much like the descriptions of present-day Bigfoot. Given his new body structure, he might also migrate to go to more mild climates when necessary. He would differ from Yeti in many aspects. In general evolutionary terms, a creature in a colder climate becomes shorter and fatter, a hot climate produces a taller more slender creature. BF might have adapted for the Northwest much differently than his Yeti cousin who needed to remain lighter-haired and more short and heavy which is closer to the descriptions. This all makes perfect logical sense when put together with witness descriptions.

It is estimated Giganto stood about 10 feet tall and about 1200 pounds. Modern-day Bigfoot sightings have him on average around 7 feet or so tall and about 600 pounds. You can see by the photo above (a recreation of what Giganto might have looked like) that he fits the description of Bigfoot very accurately.

Some believe that Giganto and Bigfoot are not related and that they are two separate species, but for Bigfoot to have been around long enough to have made it across the land bridge, there should have been fossil evidence of him in Asia and there is not, but coincidentally there is evidence of Giganto living in the region an ancestor of Bigfoot and Yeti would have walked.

We cannot dispute Giganto existed, but the question now is; did he really go extinct?

What your opinions?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

San Diego Drive

This is the last of my trip stuff to share with y'all. I thought you'd enjoy seeing what it was like to drive through the mountainous pass into San Diego from Phoenix and then some video of Balboa Park in San Diego, a huge area filled with more museums than you can imagine and the most beautiful mission style buildings in all the world.

Okay, now back to more paranormal-related postings. Even I needed a bit of a break to reset my button for more intense posting about the world of the unexplained.

The Answer To the Clues!

The past several days I've put up pics and vids to make you wonder what's up. Just got back from my vacation as a single person. Had to go to San Diego during the entire huge storm that hit there. Howling winds, flooding rains, icy cold and generally the opposite of the desert. Except for harrowing driving conditions, it was wicked awesome and I'm compiling a video of the drive so you can see the drive from Phoenix to San Diego in one of the biggest storms in ages.

Obscure Horror Movies Rock!

I went through a phase several years ago where I was obsessed with finding all the most obscure 70s horror I could find, especially British and made-for-tv horror. I wanted to find any title I hadn’t heard of to work on extending my collection. A lot of finds were total clinkers and buying them without seeing them was probably stupid, but enlightening. Some of the really awful ones became beloved movies.

Let me tell you something about horror movies, they’re a lot like food.

How is that?

We don’t look for the great food on every intersection corner at every big franchise restaurant like Burger King and Chili’s. We go off the beaten track and see where locals are going, perhaps try something new we didn’t know about before. It’s only one restaurant, not a franchise, but the food is made with mama’s recipes or by a fine chef. Yeah, it’s not fast and easily available, but it’s sure something we haven’t had before.

Well, movies are just like that. If we go to the big box office movies, we leave feeling hungry an hour later. They aren’t satisfying and us horror lovers will not be pleased with what is being shown in every theater. We need something a bit more garage-made, Indie or perhaps with limited release or even straight to DVD. That’s where we’ll find hungers appeased that we didn’t know we had.

I suggest you think about looking for that one weird and unknown addition to your collection, something that sounds intriguing. You can always pop the title into IMDB and see what kind of comments people have made about it and more details about where it was filmed and such. Start looking at some of these places I found:

Boulevard movies
(obscure, exploitation, animal attack, giallo, film noir, et cetera)

Revenge is my Destiny
(Eurotrash, Hicksploitation, Nunsploitation, horror & gore, biker movies and more)

Rare Horror DVDs
(British site but amazing selection: Asian, splatter and gore, zombies-contamination)

Trash Palace
(giallo, horror, erotica, spaghetti western)

Twisted Anger
(apocalyptic, devils/witches/demons, supernatural/paranormal, giallo)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Zak Baby in Action

(My son created this, bless his talented and humorous heart)

Mind Fuck Tuesday: The Soul and Anesthesia

It's that time again for me to give you a great big mind fuck concept. Today's concept is regarding the soul.

The soul, as most are in agreement with, is the spiritual content of you and not the physical content. When one dies, the soul leaves the body. Many people report NDEs (near death experiences) where their soul leaves the body and hovers to see the scene.

Here's the mind fuck--when you go under anesthesia, why is your soul not alert? If it isn't conscious, then it's mortal and susceptible to anesthesia like the brain. Does this mean there is no soul?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vanished City: Desert Center

My son made this film for his senior year at ASU. His themes in art are all about memories and abandoned places and the blight on old boomtowns. This was taken at Desert Center in California and he used some interesting techniques to get the look. He wanted to do it with his 8mm camera but developing would take too long, so he found out something you often find in art, if you run into a roadblock it can take you to wonderful places. He filmed, edited, and made the sounds for the video. The idea is sort of an old home movie feel of visiting what was supposed to be a huge boomtown and visiting it like a tourist even though it's all dead. It's very haunting and at times I wish I could put my eye to the eyepiece and see it all, but that's part of the charm--it leaves you feeling like you had a strange dream...

p.s. He's always fantastic at naming projects. He looked it up and during the dustbowl era, they planted a plant call the tamarisk because it held up to the dustbowl, but it eventually took over like kudzu does in the south. I thought it was a great name

In Julie and I's series of abandoned books, the next will be vanished cities. I just did a post about Salton Sea where we want to go and this location, Desert Center, is our other choice for the book.

The place has such a whacked-out history, you should just read it here.

Another clue...

An Early Holiday Gift To Y'all!

Go here and enjoy the sketchy santas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More Clues...

Hmm...What's She Up To?

My last post had you wondering. Maybe this one will keep you wondering...

New Logo?

So, what do you think? How did she make it? Answers coming soon...

How To Do a Ghost Study in a Cemetery

There’s a lot of ways to go about doing a study in a graveyard. Why even bother? That’s a good question. I admit to being chronically open-minded about testing anything and everything. I’m always “game” for whatever. Sometimes, it’s like word association. What you’re trying may not have any value or efficacy, but it may trigger another thought that puts you on the right path, so I treat ghost hunting as a series of serendipitous growth and expansion.

I have done studies in graveyards with some very exciting results. After much observation and interaction, I’ve come to the conclusion that recent grieving and visitations at the cemetery makes things more active. As well, the longer you’re there, the more it gets “used” to you. The more frequently you go there, the more reactive it becomes. It might simply be, if you are there—they will come.

The first declaimer has to be that you’re not supposed to be in cemeteries after dark. If you are, you better have some obvious good intentions. A rural cemetery is best for many reasons; it’s quieter, it’s darker, less likely to be harassed by police or citizens for being there and it doesn’t see as much human interaction which might be to your advantage.

I am always ready by arriving before it gets dark. You need to note the entire cemetery and take daylight shots from many angles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a shot done in the dark and thought “wow, I got something!” and went back in the daylight to find out that it was a headstone or a metal sign marker I got in the shot.

Establish your alibi. Find a headstone and leave flowers there. Remember where it is and the name. You can always give the excuse that you were visiting the grave and it got dark and you realized it was time to go. With camera in hand, this sounds feasible. Good luck. People have been arrested for being there after dark.

This is a place that holds the remains of many people’s loved ones, treat it as if your own family were housed there. I must admit that the more respect and reverence you treat a cemetery with, the more pure your intentions, the more interaction you will get. I always bring a handful of flowers to leave them on the oldest most unattended graves, saying the occupant’s name because it has probably not been uttered for decades.

I have theories about it, but it seems to be true; pathways are most active in cemeteries, roads, lanes, paths. The simplest way to move about seems to have the most activity. My theories run the gamut from leylines to feng shui proving energy travels easier on a straight path, or if it’s residual trails of the living left behind by visitors that is somehow magnetically attractive to spirit activity, I don’t know. But, from much experience, I can tell you they seem to be active.

Newly visited graves have the best activity as do large groupings of one family put together. In one local cemetery here, I’ve documented for 7 years the continued activity in a family plot that holds about 19 family members. You’re going to want to go to the mossiest bad-ass scary looking headstone, but avoid that tendency. More visited areas of the cemetery have a lot more activity, as do benches. Yeah, benches. This is probably because they hold the people who grieve and whose emotions are at the surface. This seems to act like an attracting device for phenomenon.

If you’re lucky enough to find a quiet cemetery where you can do EVP, I suggest you give yourself a good 15-20 minutes before sunset to walk around, get used to the place, read some headstones, stop occasionally, move on. You will find yourself periodically going by one area over and over again with a sense of being watched from there. It will become your central point. Heed that sensation. It’s definitely telling you something. That is where you need to sit and do a study. Set up your recorder, hold your camera. You can try your hand at a pendulum or dowsing rods if you want. Graveyards are particularly good places for these devices. I personally prefer to be less hands on for this encounter. I will settle in a place and photograph and run my recorder while I carry on a conversation.

What do you talk to the dead about? A lot of people think you should be quizzing, “why are you here?” “what do you want?” “do you have a message?” I like to just shoot the breeze. My conversation might go like this. “This is a beautiful place. Your family must have loved your very much to have you placed here. I bet you like the trees the best. They make a wonderful sound when the wind blows, don’t they?” (pause for a time) “William Kimmer. Did they call you Bill, I wonder? I like Willy Kimmer. That sounds nice. You lived a long life William. You must have seen a lot in the 1920s and the depression, World War II, Vietnam. What an amazing time to be alive.” (pause for a time). So, the conversation goes on. For a time, I might talk about myself to give a reference for what kind of person I am.

My rule in EVP is always: Shoot the breeze, chit chat, laugh, reveal something about yourself that makes you vulnerable and human, never provoke, never grill with questions.

So far as taking pictures, I’ve found repeat phenomenon in some cemeteries, so if something comes up on the screen of your digital camera, take consecutive shots, take some more later on in the same spot. Have lots of comparisons to find out what might have caused it. At one particular cemetery, I have consecutive shots showing the phenomenon forming, peaking, and fading off.

Ideally, you want to go back there if you can. Cemeteries do seem to get used to people and if you found something there before, each time you come, the activity will start sooner and sooner. On average at a new cemetery if there is phenomenon to be found, it’ll take at least 30 minutes to happen, but with repeat visits, it can start the minute you climb out of the car. It almost feels like a schoolyard of children rushing to greet a favorite teacher.

I can’t tell you if I think the spirits of loved ones visit their family at cemeteries. Were such a thing possible, that is one place they would go, where the relative is forced to sit with the hard cold headstone and recall all the grief. My logic tells me that no one died in the cemetery and no one’s spirit, should such a thing be possible, left their body at the cemetery, but the phenomenon we record could very well be of an emotional imprint such as found on battlefields, a place where a great deal of agony existed and perhaps still leaves a residual. Either way, cemeteries can have activity and so I don’t think studying them is a wasted bit of time and the beauty of walking in a silent graveyard is spiritually uplifting. Instead of thinking of death, I think of the lives of the people and the impact they left behind by the grieving of their loved ones.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Might You Be a Psychic?

This post is a combination of the four main types of fledgling psychics and how to know which one you might be. With practice and focus, one can go from fledgling to full-fledged. That is one of the books I’m working on right now and I hope to shed more light onto this for everyone. For now, look over these types, see if you identify.

“Soul Seer"

They tend to be serendipitous. They end up in the right place and the right time—even if it’s something dramatic like walking past a burning building or standing next to a person about to faint.

They get gut instincts about people but can’t tell you why they feel that way. They just either trust them implicitly or don’t. They sense a person is important in their life but they don’t know why, so they pursue a friendship even if the other person is reticent.

They listen closely for words that ring true and focus on that. If someone tells them a story, certain words, phrases and ways they tell the story makes that soul seer’s senses sharpen and they feel an immediate connection. They are fantastic listeners.

They may have had one or several incidents in which they were with someone upon passing and may have had a visitation afterwards.

They tend to see dark shapes and figures when others aren’t looking in the right direction at the right time, but something inside of them has them looking up at just the right moment, or sensing something and turning to see it.

So, what does one do if he/she is a soul seer? A soul seer has the potential to be more like a ghost whisperer type of psychic, someone who can communicate with those who have crossed over. They not only have the potential so see a soul when others miss it, but also to have the soul want to present itself to them because they can discern their presence. A practicing psychic with this ability would be called a “medium.”

Knowing that one is susceptible to being a soul seer can make his life much better. It’s not some weird dark secret or some crazy madness or perhaps just horrible luck. They are meant to witness things and help people ease with transition. It’s a good thing, although it often comes with bad moments, like happening upon accidents or knowing ahead of time that someone is going to pass on.

On a daily practical basis that “gut” instinct they have about people is a fantastic talent. It can even goad them on to spend more time with someone before they pass on early, or know who to connect their soul with who is worthy of the treasure. If they fight those instincts, they are likely to have constant anxiety and fearfulness and startle reactions.

So, I suggest those with this tendency just go with the flow and let their gut make decisions when dealing with other humans. Let their minds make decisions when dealing with details like finances and choosing a car.

"Tomorrow Tumblers"

They get an invite to an event and feel a sudden dread. They will go to any lengths not to go, even though it is something they would normally love to go to. They are driving home from work and suddenly decide to take surface streets for no “apparent” reason.

The phone rings and they know who it is, they think about someone and they get an email out of the blue from her, they finish people’s sentences and shock them that they knew what was about to be said.

They tend to dream about bad events; earthquakes, plane crashes, tidal waves, hurricanes and then they happen in the near future. They tend to experience déjà vu fairly often and while in déjà vu, know what they are supposed to do next to fulfill a pre-destiny.

They know who is next to die in their family. If someone asks them “guess what happened today?” they answer it right.

What do these folks have? Precognition—the ability to have foreknowledge of future events. The fledgling form they have would be called “women’s intuition” or “déjà vu,” but the fact is that they often avoid calamities by leaving the party earlier than the others before the cops came or deciding against the vacation in Chile and then Chile has an earthquake. They seem like a lot of near-misses, but actually they are signs of listening to that intuitive voice within.

It’s not for the person with this fledgling psychic ability to explain why they “get a bad feeling” about something. Just know that they are damned good friends to have when you’re planning to take a flight. Consult them first.

"Tactile Tuners"

They often times need to touch a person on the arm or shoulder when speaking to them or they feel they have not connected. If a child acts up, they feel that yelling back isn’t going to work as well as putting a steady hand on the child to soothe him.

Without realizing it, in stores with used items like antiques and thrift finds, they touch the objects to decide if they like them rather than just looking at them. Sometimes in the grocery store or other shop, they pick up an item, set it back down and pick up another similar one without realizing why they put the first one back.

Personal space is important to them and when people encroach and get too close, they feel themselves tightening up inside. Being in crowds where they bump up against others they might feel hysteria rising.

Often times, when just sitting around, they will hold an object and switch it from hand to hand, squeeze it, toss it in the air, mess with it without realizing they are doing this.

What I can tell you about tactile tuners is that they are budding psychometrists and healers. They come in two types; senders and receivers. Senders can heal people and also are good at passing information on, such as holding an object and leaving an imprint that affects others who touch it. Receivers are good at getting the information from the object through psychometry.

If you know yourself to be tactile and to get much information from touching objects and people and maybe called it “weird vibes” or “good vibes,” then you are a fledgling. Some things to consider if you have this is to be careful what you bring home that is used from antiques to Goodwill finds to things your friends pawned off on you. Let them pass the touch test first. If you ever find yourself unexplainably uncomfortable in a chair in a large lecture hall, switch chairs. The last person who sat there might have left an imprint. When you know this about yourself, you can understand why you sometimes out-of-the-blue feel weirded out when making contact with an object, a person or a place.

"Creature Comforters"

They love the outdoors and feel more at home there than indoors. The seasons don’t discourage them and as children, they likely would have laid on the floor with the sunlight pouring down on them on a cold winter day and dream of being outside.

There is a natural love of animals but to the point of seeing them as family members and talking to them. As a child, the family dog was likely to be the very best friend of all.

When meeting people in their home, they are more distracted by the pets, wanting to greet each one and get a feel for them by touching. No matter where they go, animals seem to follow them silently as if they are a pied piper. Even the most timid pets come to seek them out.

Sometimes, it seems as if the animal knows what they are saying to them. They are often mesmerized by the talented human. Just a hand to the creature and it seems to calm its restlessness or pain. Subtle changes in the animal do not go unnoticed by this type of psychic. They are acutely attuned to the normal patterns, behaviors and expressions.

Lots of people love animals, but only some can communicate with them. They don’t just love animals, animals love them back in a noticeably unusual way. As these people walk by, dogs on leashes may even pull to get to them and act very excited, the owner telling them that they have never seen their pet get so excited by a stranger.

Pet psychics are actually a legitimate type of psychic. There is as much difference between a true pet psychic and a dog whisperer (trainer) as there is between a psychic and a mentalist. One has true PSI capabilities and the other is trained to appear so.

If you have these features, you can sometimes have the problem with putting animals before people. You also can become consumed with rescue and overwhelmed by the death of a pet. You can’t avoid involvement with animals, as it is your calling, but you can also know that the time you were in the pet’s life, you made the interaction with humans seamless. You can’t ask for more than to be a wonderful interpreter.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lonely on a Friday Night? Join Us!

It's Lonely on a Friday Night. Join us and comment back and forth. Any subject is open, chit chat, flirt, kid around, talk about Ghost Adventures. It's all good. Now, you may begin!

Finding a Psychic

In my post “Watch Your Wallet: Flim-Flam Ghost Communications” I discussed finding a psychic in a room full of psychics, but suppose you want to go to psychic’s strip mall shop or one inside a new-age store or even one your friend goes to that works from home?

Friends: Should you take the friend into the room with you? A good psychic will tell you that it’s not a good idea because it will interfere with the reading. If they don’t tell you that, then be suspicious. A good psychic would let you record the session so you can play it back later because ideally during the session you will offer nothing but a poker face—no eyes widening, no head bobbing, no signs of reassurance. This is a very hard part of a reading but if you give even a slight recognition, the psychic will repeat what they said in several different ways to reaffirm they hit the nail on the head. This is a cold reading technique and a great parlor trick used by sham artists. See this old post about whether your psychic is a mentalist. When you get a full reading, a lot of the content is lost to you because you focus on the parts that apply and ignore the ones that don’t. If you recorded it, you can play it back and see just how “on” this psychic was.

Physical contact: Ideally, the psychic will read your palm or use tarot cards or in some way touch you or pass something physically between you, perhaps have you hold a crystal and hand it back. That physical contact makes the passing of information easier. You’re going to run into a lot of different psychic types; tarot card readers, aura readers, channelers with spirit guides, tea leaf readers, palm readers, and mediums who speak to the dead, but the need to link is the same for all of them.

So, what type of psychic should you use? That will be entirely up to you. I’m going to say that fake psychics, if unprompted by you, will assume you are having relationship problems and then second assume that you are having finance/career problems. They are using cold reading techniques. If they approach you with either of this avenues, back away. I had one psychic come up to me in a shop and tap me on the shoulder and say “you shouldn’t feel guilty. It wasn’t your fault.” That was an enticement to get me to do a reading. The fact is, everyone feels guilty about something. I didn’t bite. I, in fact, had zero in my life to feel guilty about, I’m an upfront kind of gal. I declined her offer, but on a person who doesn’t know these techniques, that burst of “knowledge” spontaneously would shock them. I could come up to you and say “you’re not making yourself understood to your loved one. There is poor communication because of it.” Voila! (95% of the population if you’re dating the opposite sex). Some times, I enjoy getting my aura photo done, that’s probably one of my favorites, but if I were having a personal reading, I’d choose a palm reader for the fact that a physical connection can bring a greater depth to the reading. I read palms, but I have the advantage of the touching as well as the hand to give me a much better reading of the person.

Who do you trust? A psychic is like finding a friend. You have to look them in the eye, shake their hand, and see if you feel comfortable. A good psychic will not have a problem with eye contact. In fact, they need it. It’s a good sign if they can look you in the eye instead of summing you up head to toe as if checking how nice your purse and shoes are and hence assuming if you need cash or have cash so they can adjust the reading accordingly. If they seem to probe your eyes, they are making a connection. Good sign. Some psychics will tease you with just enough to make you come back. Avoid them at all costs! They’re like the therapist that stops the session when you just discovered you hate your father. If the psychic is in a shop and you can hear the reading they are doing with another person, definitely observe it. Is the person being read giving away information being reiterated to them by the psychic? Watch that interaction for those “gut feeling” signs that tell you this is not the one to use.

Warnings about using psychics: We all want to know what’s in store for us and many of us want someone else to make or justify our decisions, but that codependence that occurs with psychics is frightening. I know many people who have seen the same psychic weekly for many years. This is a therapist, not a psychic. A psychic should give you a few moments of a window into knowledge about you and your life and set you free to be empowered by that information. They should give you techniques to deal with it at home. I recently read a dead relative of a dear friend and I told him that the reason she showed up during the reading (something I’ve never had happen before) was because every time he thought of her, she came. She was extremely maternal and protective of her “favorite.” So, I told him that he should feel free to talk to her out loud and not feel stupid. When he has a hard time in his life, she will come and be there and he should feel her comfort and know what decision he must make because he will feel the rightness of it in his gut. He doesn’t need me anymore. He shouldn’t. He can continue on his own now after a 10-minute read. Admittedly, I don’t charge for this service, but if I decided to make my living as a psychic, I would ideally be more into helping a quantity than a chosen few who come regularly. It works my skills and it spreads the insight to more people.

Warning signs:

When you give no visual or audio feedback the psychic gets frustrated and says “the spirits aren’t talking today” or some other excuse for lack of information. If they stop and ask you “does this sound familiar?” They are hoping to get information from you. Instead, say “keep telling me more and I’ll let you know.” Put it off and do not give feedback if you can help it.

He/She wants to set up your next appointment before you leave. Congratulations, you now have an unlicensed therapist!

They want to sell you things with the treatment from crystals/stones to protective devices or charms.

Under no circumstances make the reading “fit” by twisting your knowledge. Well, she said that my sister was sick for a long time. One time she did have mono… It’s possible for a psychic to pick up stray “signals” and go down the wrong path but they should be able to have a technique to pull back in and hone in on you, whether it’s touching you, having you touch something, or restudying your eyes.

Consumer Savvy: I readily admit that the same consumer skills that keep you safe in the real world do the same here. You know how when you see a ton of cheesy godawful commercials by the same company at every commercial break you think, “I would be paying for this ads if I go there…” This applies to psychics too. Check out their clothing and jewelry and overhead of their location. It sounds cruel, but if the shop is in a strip mall or a rented building, there is a big hungry rent to pay. If they are visiting for a short time, like a weekend, in your town and asking a large sum of money because they are famous or somehow have a piece of amazing equipment or spirit guide…be very wary. Spiritualism is as big a business as the church.

What can you do on your side to prepare for a reading? My advice is, don’t seek out a psychic if there is any aspect of your life you do not want to talk about or confront. The funny thing about psychic readings is when you get a legitimate psychic they will focus on the one thing you are trying the most not to expose. So, if you go to the reading hoping to discuss your love life and prospects but the one thing you don’t want to deal with is your boss picking on you at work and making you miserable, guess that the psychic is more likely to pick up on? The thing you don’t want to face because it has a place in the mind’s storage that is like an unlocked box just waiting to be raided. Kind of like when someone says “don’t picture a wooden crate with apples in it.” What did you just do? You just envisioned it, didn’t you?

I could have probably made this post into smaller installments. There’s so much to talk about in relation to psychics. Feel free to ask me more. I know other psychics would be really angry I’m confessing all this, but hey consumerism should work in the spiritual realm too.

Honest psychics have an important role: Lots of psychics make a good living doing an honest service and I appreciate that very much. Doctors do humanitarian work and charge for what they do, so psychics certainly should feel free to. It’s not a way that I ever personally wanted to make a living doing because all readings become part of my memory as much as my own memories. They are stored a similar fashion in the brain. I have enough life content of my own and don't need others' content roaming around my thick skull. Perhaps one area I wouldn't mind utilizing my psychometry skill is in finding lost people and helping police with touching evidence. I'm not so emotionally frail that going into the head of a killer bothers me. Honestly, you view things through their own emotional content which is devoid and so there is no horror about it, just hard cold facts and detachment.

LONELY ON A FRIDAY NIGHT: Don't forget, from 7 pm EST onward tonight, we have Lonely on a Friday Night here. Just comment back and forth, chit chat, talk about anything, ask questions, discuss Ghost Adventures or what you're having to drink. Anything and everything. Flirt, chuckle, piss folks off, whatever mood you're in. I'll be here on time and ready to join in.

Ghost Adventures: Time For Drinking Game!

(Irish band Fred doing "Death Song")

Kell's Irish Pub in Seattle, the site of what was once a morgue in the early 1900s with a creepy back story. I got to early view this episode and it is creepy and good.

Drinking game rules:
1. Stay home.
2. Take a sip for every "bro," "dude," "man," every time Zak is touched by the unseen and every time Aaron's mouth drops open in horror.

The drink tonight? Well, Bailey's Irish Cream (of course) mixed in some egg nog.'s just the thing. Enjoy!

Don't forget, we're having Lonely on a Friday Night tonight starting at 7 pm EST. Join in and comment back and forth about any and everything including the show, chit chat, flirt, joke around...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chiller Friday Night!

"Chiller 13: The Decade's Scariest Movie Moments" features a diverse group of pop culture mavens and horror movie experts looking back at 13 frightening films with the most memorably spine-tingling moments. Look on SyFy tomorrow night for this. Thankfully, someone is thinking of horror during the holiday blight!

Featured participants include Kyle Massey (Dancing With The Stars finalist), renowned special makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), comedians Dan Gurewitch & David Young (, actress Betsy Russell (the Saw anthology), writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), actor Tony Todd (Final Destination) and horror film director Lucky McKee (May), among others.

If you get Chiller Channel, enjoy!

Holiday Blues? Pining Your Childhood? Get Over It!

This post is for the holiday season when many of us mourn the “idyllic” Christmas, become frustrated the season isn’t like we imagined it should be, and those who just pine for Santa again. In other words, anyone fighting change…

I was in line at Target store getting items checked out. The old man working the counter rolled his eyes when a little girl nearby screamed out. (The girl’s hair was caught in the cart when her mother pushed it forward—understandable scream). He sighed wearily and said, “I miss the old days when children didn’t run crazy and showed respect.”

Usually, I’m a very compassionate person, understanding everything is within a person’s context or the kind of day he’s having, but I couldn’t stop my mouth from blurting out to the sour old man. “Oh, you mean the good old days when we didn’t have antibiotics to cure TB and simple infections? Or the good old days where a lady like her (nod to the woman with child) had no options to get out of an abusive marriage? Or maybe the good old days where that man (pointing to the African American worker at the customer service desk) couldn’t work here? Couldn’t even ride in the front of the bus? Those good old days?

Duly chastised, the man’s face fell and he sighed again. “I never thought of it that way. Oh my.” I gave him a wink and left him to think about my words.

Sometimes, we get so focused on the negative (thank you news outlets) that we forget about the progress we’ve made. I can’t tell you how many times I turn off the news because all they do is report that someone strangled their kittens or stomped on an elderly person. A hundred years ago, the same things happened, we just didn’t get told about them every day, every hour, every minute. People could go an entire lifetime and never even see a portrait of the president, had no idea where India was, and didn’t know there was a war starting at the Mason-Dixon line. So, if people pout about the old days, they might want to keep a few things in perspective:

Remember that world where when we were kids we could wander and play outside all day long without stranger danger? (Feeling nostalgic?) Well, that was also the world where we rode in cars at 70 mph down the roadway without seat belts, played in houses made with asbestos and lead paint, had parents who smoked indoors, and completely trusted molesters because we were taught respect for elders and their orders without question.

Nostalgia has a way of distorting memories. I believe my childhood Christmases were absolute perfection. I forget, however, that we got cabin fever when it was cold and there was no snow. It only managed to snow on Christmas one year. My brother liked to throw the Monopoly pieces around the room whenever he lost at the game. The men when they had a football game on TV won out over everyone else for what to watch. I ended up having to do much of the cooking for events. Since I was so much younger than the others, no one wanted to tell me Christmas stories or watch the cartoon shows. I wasn’t trusted with the ornaments that were breakable. My parents were some of the world’s worst gift-givers and they didn’t buy toys. One Christmas, Santa brought me a large pillow??? Another year, a hair dryer (I already had a brand new one—oops!) I so related to the kid in "Home Alone!"

When I think back to youthful Christmases, what I really miss (besides all the family members who have gone) is the basic element—hope. The hope that it will snow. The hope of getting the dream gift (the child equivalent of hitting the lottery). The hope the Anderson family gave out their cookie gifts early. It’s also one time when the family is most forced to be together. Not only are there family events, but the weather simply begs everyone to stay inside. The trappings of “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer,” Christmas music, lights, egg nog, and trees were only the teasers for the big day countdown. They were like the Pavlov’s bells that made your mouth water. You get these cues and you begin to get excited. As an adult, however, you don’t get so excited because you realize you are now the gift-giver, shopper, pocketbook emptier. Christmas becomes a chore.

Oh, if only we were kids again.

I’m not in a cold snowy place anymore. My tree is artificial and not smelling of pine. I look out at a desert landscape. The daytime temperatures are in the 70s. Nearly all my family of origin is gone. Yet, Christmas is joyous to me. I am no longer the child waiting helplessly for the ideal gift. I am the giver. I am Santa. I make the cookies and gift them to people who are kind all year long. I pay attention to the tiny things about my loved ones to find the most custom and unique gift that says “I get you.” I refuse to pass a Salvation Army bucket without dropping money in it, even if I have to dig for change at the bottom of my purse. I curl up with a fire in the fireplace and hot cocoa and write out my cards. For all the exhaustion and expense, I do so love being the giver instead of the receiver.

Childhood Christmases are adorable and precious, but adult ones are a time to show your true nature, your role in your family, your appreciation for those you love.

You may never be so genuine all year long as you are on that one precious time of the year…

Embrace the change, become the giver.


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