Friday, July 31, 2009

Flying Humanoids

History Channel’s Monsterquest show did an episode entitled “Terror From the Sky” on 07/29/2009 about flying humanoids, a new phenomenon being reported mostly in the Southwest, Northwest, and Mexico. In fact, this episode actually creeped me out so much, I had nightmares. That’s pretty rare for me, but when I run into a new novel phenomenon, I tend to get very engrossed with the puzzle. BTW: They are reshowing this one on Saturday August 8 at 2 pm (check local times)

This one is definitely a puzzle.

The film above shows interviews and film footage people have taken in Arizona by interviewer Scott Davis, a great local guy who loves the paranormal stuff. The episode of Monsterquest, however, went on to show the skeleton of a tiny creature that appeared to be monkey-like but walked on two legs. DNA testing, as always, was inconclusive. It could be a hoax, but should the pictures taken of it while it was alive be real, I’d say it would more likely be a cave-dwelling monkey creature with large eyes for vision in the dark and translucent skin as most creatures from caves possess. I don’t know if the two types of phenomenon relate to each other at all. This thing certainly had no wings.

Take a look at the film. I’d like to hear your input. Some folks say flying balloons. Could be. I’ve seen them picked up by the wind and carried pretty steadily before, but always far away, getting smaller and smaller. These things seem to stay on an even elevation. Very freaky-deeky. And it struck a nerve with me after reading "Hunt for the Skinwalkers" about that ranch in NE Utah that had such phenomenon.


"The Melungeons Are Gonna Get Ya!"

I’m always intrigued by legends. When I was a kid, I remember someone telling me briskly that if I didn’t behave, he’d send the Melungeons after me.

I quietly asked my brother what a Melungeon was and he told me a horror story of a strange race of people in Appalachia who grew to be giants and ate everything in sight. Other kids I asked told me they were half Indian/half white, half Portuguese/half white, half African/half white, half Turkish/half white and one kid even told me they were three different races. Either way, they didn’t sound that scary to me. After all, I knew a lot of kids who were half this/half that.

Of course, their social isolation in a small region of Appalachia made them seem rather mysterious, but if they were a mixed race of people hundreds of years ago, that might have been necessary. America was still in its infancy with regards to mixing races.

Being a skeptic about anything others said from an early age, I sought my own answers. Back in the early 70s, there weren’t a lot of answers, but with new DNA research and more knowledge about their kind, the Melungeons become more of an exotic breed of American than any terror that’ll make children behave.

From Wayne Winkler’s article
“A Brief Overview of the Melungeons,” The Melungeons are a group of mixed ethnic ancestry, found primarily in northeastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia, southeastern Kentucky. Similar groups of “mysterious” people, or at least remnants of these groups, are found all along the Atlantic seaboard. While these other groups have no known connection to the Melungeons, they have suffered similar problems due to the difficulty of placing them within an established racial category. Anthropologists called them “racial islands” or “tri-racial isolates.” Several surnames are associated with the Melungeons, including Collins, Gibson, Goins, Mullins, Bowlin. Early accounts reflect the Melungeons’ self-description as “Indians.” Some Melungeons reportedly described themselves a “Portuguese,” or, as many pronounced it, “Portyghee.” Most of their white neighbors considered the Melungeons a mixture of black and Indian, or white, black, and Indian.

Some of the more popular legends about the origins of the Melungeons were that they were from the lost colonists of Roanoke Island, that they were the survivors of a shipwreck of slaves, runaway slaves, or from pirates of different nationalities. The majority of the Melungeons fought alongside their white friends for the North in the Civil War. After the war, the Melungeons were accused of bushwhacking and raiding white settlements, but these incidents likely exaggerated over the years. And hence the tales of Melungeons going after misbehaving children.

One of the really amazing things to me as an American is how much better our society gets the more it mixes, whether it’s whites living in black neighborhoods, blacks living in Asian neighborhoods, or Hispanics living in Greek neighborhoods. The more we intermarry and mix it up, it seems the more we get closer to a new advanced human being. Through interbreeding we receive double blessings with the characteristic strengths and talents of both races of our parentage. On top of that, we create a boundary-less attitude about skin color and ethnicity to the point that "what race are you?" is no longer even an accurate or relevent question.

I think of other countries where a person could say they were “Spanish” and mean that their family had intermated with only those born and raised in Spain for generations, and then I think of saying you’re an “American” and no one can tell you what you are.

I like to think the Melungeons are a microcosim of America. They should be extremely proud of their heritage and their strength, even back when mixing it up wasn’t part of society’s guidelines. They might have paved the way for us all. No need to look at someone and say “what are you?” They would say “I am Melungeon.” And we can say “I am American” and that should end the discussion.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Montauk: Remote Viewing

What? No Takers? I thought I'd go ahead and share what I got on my remote viewing when I focused on the "secret" Montauk base.

This sketch above shows the basics of what I viewed and the arrows at each “living thing’s” spot shows which direction the characters were facing.

Details are sometimes the hardest thing to hone in on, but emotions are very easy when doing remote viewing. Sometimes I sense temperature or scent or light. I usually start with a sense of happiness or joy or curiosity or other appropriate emotion and then am able to see more of the field of vision.

In this instance, I feel unescorted and alone and sort of invisible because the players in the environment don’t react to me. I’m walking down a stairway that curves and the walls of this stairway are nondescript, perhaps cave-like and bumpy with some kind of stippled white dotted pattern that looks maybe like natural stone striae.

When I reach the bottom, I am facing “something” that is ranting and raving, swinging arms, angry, having a “hissy fit.” I don’t at first see what it is very well, but it doesn’t quite seem human, yet that could be because of its strong emotion. It seems to be limited in space by perhaps glass walls or some invisible barrier that keeps it from leaving its area. Of course, this interpretation could go anywhere from a test creature to an angry employee. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the gestures and the tone that I can't pick up the real details, but I did move closer to look at it (more later).

The wall for the staircase stops me from being able to see the observer, but I know he is there. This is some kind of sentinel watching the raving “thing.” Behind the raving thing, there seems to be an alcove that is perhaps more space for it to move into and rest.

To the left of the ranting thing is a hallway. It feels as if the hallway goes down and turns and there’s a row of windows with other “things” in them, although many seem to be empty. The halls feel as if they are rather dark in color and seem almost unfinished, but it might be just my inability to focus on them. It really felt very cave-like down there, overall.

Now, over my right shoulder is another hall that goes down to double doors like used in hospitals where you have to punch the button to get them open. I get the sense researchers and people and labs are back there.

When I try to move closer to the ranting “thing,” I can only make out that it is dark, stocky, with a broad nose and flat features, meaty fists. I turn to look at the observer and I get a sense of a military-like man who is rather bored by and used to the ranting. He stands “at ease” and seems unaware of my presence in this scene.

I would have liked to venture further into the scene. I have a sense of what’s there, but not a great deal of detail. It seems that this facility has half for storing these “things” and half for actual labs, hence it appears the double doors are necessary for gurney transport from the holding cells to the labs.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has results from their remote viewing. They might be able to place themselves further into the facility.

Thank you, Aliens!

This bit of news hit the press recently and it had me wondering how long it'll be before people proclaim that reverse engineering of alien technology is slowly being leaked into our world by drips and drabs (so as not to look too obvious by having it all arrive at the same time).

Transparent aluminum! Apparently, scientists used a soft x-ray laser on aluminum to discover a new kind of matter that is transparent. The implications are truly amazing, and as a result in the future we can expect them to try this on different kinds of materials to see what other new kinds of matter we can discover.

Ain't science grand?

I used to say scientists should be treated like football players and rock stars and make money and get attention, but all that worthless partying would take away from lab time, so I say "let's keep them in cloaked nerddom, but just fund them really well."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Montauk Project: Our Remote Viewing Experiment

Interestingly, this subject matter is a followup of my last post on “The Philadelphia Experiment,” as many people believe that the Montauk Project was an extension of that experiment. Thanks Gummerfan for bringing up this subject matter.

There’s no easy way to describe “The Montauk Project” but to take it straight from Wikipedia; “The Montauk Project was alleged to be a series of secret United States government projects conducted at Camp Hero or Montauk Air Force Station on Montauk, Long Island for the purpose of developing psychological warfare techniques and exotic research including time travel… No longer used as a military facility, the Montauk Air Force Station has been open to the public for several years, although public access to the old military building is prohibited.”

The story goes that the military wished to play around with magnetic fields for the purpose of using it as a potential psychological warfare. By recreating some of what was done during the Philadelphia Experiment, they were able to create schizophrenia and psychosis. Conspiracy theorists claim that during the 80s the experiments began in earnest with time travel, teleportation, the creation of portals, and communication with extraterrastrials occurring.

Nearly anything secretive occurring in our country is going to be put on the shoulders of Area 51 in Nevada, The Montauk Project, and Brookhaven Institute (often linked with lots of UFO action and Montauk Project).

Because I enjoy experimenting with things and because this subject is oh so secret and intriguing, I thought I’d propose that we all enjoy a little exercise in remote viewing to see what we can pick up at this target of Montauk. This would involve being able to take yourself into alpha and then theta brainwaves (more easily reached with binaural beats, audio programs that help you reach this deeper level, a 2 minute sample for theta frequency can be found on this site).

Before beginning your journey, you might want to think of “Montauk Air Force Base secret underground facility” while looking at the picture above, then read the coordinates for Montauk: Latitude 41.044078, longitude –71.949982.

Now, take yourself into that deeper relaxation state and allow your mind to enter a place you’ve never seen. Try to visualize as much as you can of the surroundings and goings on. When you are done with this relaxed state and bring yourself back into your usual state of mind, you can sketch up or write down the details.

If you’re willing to comment on what you found, we might see if we all attended the same site. Of course, we can’t possibly verify if what we find is accurate, but I’d be very curious to see if any of you got similar findings.

The Philadelphia Experiment: An Interesting Notion

I’m guessing quite a few of you have heard of the Philadelphia Experiment, an urban legend that won’t die. I wanted to bring up the story because I think it’s sort of like technology ideas in Star Trek, not being that off the possibilities in the near future. Fantasy, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s concepts for a helicopter or a robot, becomes tomorrow’s fact.

Here’s the concept for the Philadelphia Experiment:

The legend revolves around a supposed 1943 experiment led by the Navy at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard on a ship called the USS Eldridge. According to the tale, this was an attempt at trying out the unified field theory laid out by Albert Einstein. The idea was to find a way to bend light around an object so it becomes invisible, thus making an ideal warship in dealing with the enemy during WWII. The ship was reported to be rigged with four immense generators along with Tesla coils, electron tubes and many miles of inch-thick cable running throughout the ship’s cables.

The ship took off from Philly to Norfolk, turning on this equipment, whereupon it was shrouded in a green fog and then disappeared. This resulted in an accidental teleportation back to Philly from Norfolk. When the ship arrived, accounts say that the men were in agony, sick, mentally crippled, and many were dead, some even fused to the hull of the ship!

Although it made for a fantastic movie (a must see), the Philadelphia Experiment is regarded by the military as a bunch of hooey. There’s still conspiracy folks who hang onto it and, why not? After all, aren’t we the folks who sent chimps into space? Had our own astronauts burn on a launch pad? Tested nuclear weapons with visitors gazing upon the glory on the New Mexico sands? Dropped bombs on Japan that caused huge devastation? Built a secret base in Nevada? It doesn’t seem our government/military has a lot of boundaries when it comes to our individual welfare, only our welfare as a conglomerate(save our country), screw the individuals (people are expendable, countries are not). So, there is that excuse for people to hang onto the notion of such an horrendous experiment.

For me, it’s more about the experiment of working for antigravity or teleportation or cloaking. From what I’ve been learning about haunted sites and sites with lots of paranormal activity, it always seems to come back to geomagnetic energy. When we talk UFOs and their odd flying habits and ability to hover, we often contemplate they follow Earth’s ley lines or use our earth’s magnetism to its advantage to do maneuvers we have yet to do with any efficiency of fuel.

Experiments similar to this were reported to be done by a scientist called John Hutchison (Wikipedia). This Canadian man supposedly put together a great deal of EMF-emitting equipment and was able to bend metal, make things levitate, and create all kinds of phenomenon associated with hauntings. There’s been no proof that this man actually achieved any of these tests, but he certainly has a following of believers.

Whether or not Hutchison was successful, the question seems to plague man: What would happen if we did tests using high EMF emissions?

It amazes me that something like the legend of the Philadelphia Experiment, the recent findings of EMF correlations amongst hauntings by more truth-based hunters, and the boasts of Hutchison aren’t being taken more seriously as potential research. I have absolutely no doubt the government has and probably does fiddle with EMF. An interesting government experiment in Alaska called "HAARP" has many wondering what the effects of so many antennae can have on the earth's weather conditions. This is a supposed experiment in ionospheric science and radiowaves. As humans, we seem to understand the gravity of just tinkering with such things and yet we have no idea what our government does behind our backs and sometimes out in the open (such as HAARP).

Although these supposed experiments by the navy and Hutchison are not verified, should a town of people become plagued by madness, I would not be surprised that a government station was nearby doing covert testing. In fact, that’s such a good idea, I might use it for the next novel…

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ghost Hunting Equipment Ideas - New Stuff!

I often like to cover new finds in the ghost hunting field, but today I came across a few that I absolutely have to add to my collection. Because ghost hunting is often in locations I don’t know and I can wander the grounds and surrounding woods and such, I’d like to know I’m going to get back safely. For this purpose, I found the Bushnell Backtrack. This simple handheld device makes it possible to arrive, mark a spot with GPS, and then travel around all you wish and find your way back to your car, the abandoned building, or group meeting spot with no trouble at all. It also has a compass as well. It even has a loop so it can be hung on a chain around your neck, leaving you hands free.

Another cool other is a Highgear Terrapod hand-held weather station. This can give you the wind chill factor, temperature, and barometer. Many people report the sensation of their head crushing and ears popping (signs of a dropping barometric pressure) and temperature drops too are associated with ghostly activity. This one is easy to hold, small, and once again—could be hung on the cord with the GPS device above.

Yeah, I may be a nerd, but my hands are free when I’m hunting.

The Brinno BirdWatchCam can be mounted to take motion-activated pic’s. I thought of getting this one for Bigfoot hunts, but honestly I thought about it and a ghost hunt might be an ideal place for this one. Some people do set up motion-activated lights, but this would click a picture instead.

The MacDaddy piece of equipment I would get if I won the lottery tomorrow, is night vision goggles. Not having to use a flashlight and being able to walk around as if it’s daylight is an amazing thing, as well as making it possible to view things your eyes can’t view well in the dark. Admittedly, as we age our night vision gets worse and worse and we can see things that aren’t there because of variations in our field of vision with decreased light.

There’s lots of fun options for geek-dom in the ghost world, I thought I’d keep you up on the possibilities. I personally use a fanny pack made for photographers to put all my instruments in. I have it so well memorized, that I can pull things out of the pouches without looking, knowing where my EMF meter is, the thermometer, et cetera. Some people use fishing vests too. Honestly, any good sporting good stores will give you endless ideas for how to be more hands free and able to crawl and get dirty while knowing where your equipment is.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Abandoned Mental Wards: Buildings of Pain

There’s a s#$%-load of abandoned mental hospitals around the country. The majority of them built in the late 1800s and early 1900s were considered to be a new and humane way to deal with the mentally ill population, and often times just those who acted up. Enough time has passed that these buildings are no longer safe and have been closed down. They were cold and without utilities and often times downright dangerous and dirty. The newer more antiseptic “day-spa-looking” mental hospitals have taken over the landscape. Some day, they too will be abandoned and picked over by the curious locals who will be amazed at how “barbaric” they were, including still using electroconvulsive therapy.

The treatments were even more barbaric before there was an understanding that illnesses of the mind are no different than illnesses of the body. To put someone aside for having a sickness of the gallbladder is as ridiculous as telling someone with dysfunctioning of the brain to please go away. We’ve made some strides and yet we still cling to old methods of dealing with mental patients from overmedicating to “talk” therapy where they cry about all the wrongs done to them, stuck in time and therapy forever blaming missed opportunities and misunderstanding parents instead of learning skills to become strong and productive. Hopefully, with enough time, cognitive-behavioral therapies will catch hold more in mental hospitals and allow patients to learn to live with deficiencies in one area while learning strengths in other areas to help compensate, as you would do with rehabilitating a paraplegic, even allowing them to rejoin us in society once again as productive human beings.

At the turn of the last century, lobotomies were one of the first experiments used, as were things like sensory deprivation and isolation, ice water baths until they passed out, and bleeding them to get these “feelings” out of their bodies.

So, it’s no wonder that as ghost hunters we are endlessly fascinated with abandoned mental hospitals, TB clinics, hospitals, and jails, perhaps because so much human suffering, grief, anger, and pain were held within their walls for decades on end. Its no coincidence that they are the first places we seek out when entering the industry. And, they are also the places we are most likely to go back to over and over again and again, each time finding something new, something provoking, even if it’s just a visceral response genetically predisposed in our DNA that makes us feel compassion and fear at foul treatment.

If we seek the tormented, we do so in these places.

An abandoned asylum wasn’t my first foray into a mental hospital. When I was quite young, my oldest sister had difficulties. She ran away from home and was molested. My parents didn’t know what to do about it and since it was 1970s and the peak of hippie lifestyles, they assumed she must be doing drugs and took her to a local mental hospital to heal the carvings she made in her arms and let her think about what she’d done.

She went into Shepherd Pratt and then later Taylor Manor where over 18 months she received over 100 electroshock therapies resulting in my 18-year-old sister coming home with no memory of her upbringing. We were all strangers to her. The only reason she ever left the expensive Taylor Manor facility was because my father yanked her out against medical advice out of fear of the amount of heavy-duty drugs that they had her on. She was the sister who babysat me and braided my hair and was my “Lillamor” or “little mother” to me. I really didn’t know how to handle this stranger that came home. She looked like my sister (but a lot paler) sounded like my sister, but looked bewildered.

Over time and lots of love, she realized how close we all were and became one of the family again, but still talk of the “old days” made her frown again in puzzlement. We developed a new relationship and she went on to have a perfectly happy life, married, had kids, was a compassionate nurse at a prison where she felt a great deal of understanding for the tormented individuals within.

What amazes me most about this whole thing is that it was not so long ago in the scheme of things, in 1970, when patients were turned into zombies with Haldol and shocked to bring “sense” to them. It was an expensive industry at $100 a day to stay there in 1970. It paid the facility to keep their patients no longer independent.

Admittedly, walking through the halls of the places my sister stayed at was much the same as walking through these abandoned sites. I could hear the faint wailing of torment and the stern footsteps of an angry nurse, and I could imagine just how much a person’s memories could be imprinted into a building, the huddling fear, their loneliness, their confusion.

Some people says prisons are super haunted, but most prisoners have only remorse when they know they’ve been caught, and the greater majority feel justified in what they did and terribly out of touch with their own emotions other than anger and resentment. But human agony, that’s another thing. I say mental hospitals are the wards of the most extremes of human emotions and if a place is to be haunted by lingering human drama, these would be the seats of agony and hopelessness.

Perhaps these remaining skeletal buildings will teach us something about where we put our mentally ill people and how we isolate them. Just spending one night ghost hunting in such a place gives people so many unsettling feelings they can't shake the memories. To me, they're mausoleums of the "old ways," may they rest in peace.

A fantastic site with a list of abandoned mental hospitals can be found here.

The Wedding With the Ghostly Hitch

It was the summer of 1971 and I was all of 8 years old when my brother and his fiancée asked me to be their flower girl. I was thrilled by the gig. After all, I had plans to become a model/actress at the time (pre-Charlie’s Angel time when I wanted to be a PI and pre-fifth grade when I wanted to be a cartographer, and pre-seventh grade when I wanted to be an archaeologist). Okay, you get the picture, I was hyped to do a modeling runway job at that time of my life, even if it was in a backwater Baptist church in the hills of West Virginia.

My assignment would involve the wearing of a homemade dress (by the bride) and stepping before her to toss down rose petals. It sounded like a pretty cushy job and lots of eyes upon me. I just hoped the dress was cool and mod. It ended up being rather “Partridge Family” meets “Brady Bunch” which was ideal for my liking.

We arrived in West Virginia to rehearse and prepare for the wedding. The dress was laid out on my hotel room bed and I was taken in jammies to the church that night to practice for my first modeling show (only an 8-year-old can call it that). The ring bearer had bright red hair and ran around in his footie pajamas like I did. I felt an immediate crush developing. Odd, because I wasn’t a red-headed kind of girl, but then any boy available was the object of my interest. I had another older brother (5 years older). I followed him everywhere. My assumption from a young age was that boys did more fun things (like build tree houses) and they had toys that were more fun (Matchbox cars and walkie talkies). Whatever they were doing, I wanted to be doing it. I was the quintessential half tomboy and competitive with boys/half precocious flirt. Unfortunately, ginger-boy wasn’t taking any of it. He avoided me like the plague. But, then, so did all other 8-year-old boys.

I tried not to take it personally and so I waited in the hall for my turn as the adults went into the church. The ring bearer went rushing in with them and managed to climb over ever pew and stick his head into the rectory. I waited patiently and paced the floor, studying the religious pictures on the walls that always looked so sad and melancholy. Not a smile in the bunch. It didn’t say a lot for those fundamentalists who seemed to be salivating at the concept of Armageddon and loved to talk about the Devil and Hell more than God and Heaven. I felt a little shudder of discomfort and eager to go back to my progressive Methodist Church and our long-haired preacher with his rock-music-playing hippie wife.

A soft whispering voice beside me alerted me and I turned, preparing to enter the church when I realized there was no one there. The doors were still shut. The hall had no one else present, the lights turned off in the distance, only shining where I stood. I walked up and down the hall and studied the rooms. The doors were all shut. I came back and picked up my empty basket. I had hoped to have real petals to throw, but I could mime it. I was, after all, a budding actress.

I practiced my gestures and the soft murmuring voice startled me again. It sounded as if it were right beside the doors. I stepped closer, head tilted, studying the doors to be certain they were closed when one began to open slowly but steadily. I stepped into the church and looked at the bottom of the aisle where everyone was gathered near the minister. The ring bearer was sleeping on the floor near my brother’s feet. I peered to the left and right. No one opened the door.

It’s okay. Go ahead.”

That phrase I very clearly heard and the hairs on my neck rose, my head felt a strange pressure. The voice was clearly a female, very soft, motherly in tone. Being a good kid, I went ahead and followed the instructions blindly, stepping down the aisle, pretending to toss my pedals, but looking back for the elusive person attached to the voice. I grew up in a haunted house. The sensations were exactly like I felt when something was about to occur. The spirits we seemed to hear and encounter at our home; however, were all male. This new voice intrigued me.

I could barely sleep that night in the hotel room. I kept thinking about the voice and wondering what it meant. That area of SoutheasternWest Virginia was stuck in time. No one ever left. The generations kept growing up in the same houses, going to the same churches. I was certain it was seriously haunted, but then when you grow up around those conditions, you recognize them right away.

The next day, I asked my mother about any dead female relatives who might have wanted to attend the wedding. She smiled and said that she wished her mother were there. She lived just a few houses down and would have attended that church. She would have liked to see her grandson marrying, especially since he was marrying a woman that grandmother had been the midwife for her birth. I wondered if grandma had been there. I never met her. My parents had me later in life and I missed the grandparent thing. I liked this lady. She seemed very gentle. I hoped she’d be attending.

Just before the wedding, a relative took me aside and gave me a pack of gum, ruffled my hair, and said, “It’s okay, go ahead.”

I felt a spark of recognition at the tone and the words.

“Why’d you say that?” I asked suspiciously.

He smiled and said, “I don’t know. Some folks get nervous at weddings. Some folks cry. It’s happiness, not sadness, though. I was trying to comfort you, kid.” The gruff old man grumbled.

On the way to the church, I asked my mother if grandma ever said, “It’s okay, go ahead.”

My mother stopped what she was doing in the passenger seat, turned to me and asked urgently. “Why did you ask that?”

I shrugged. She wasn’t really appreciative of my ability to read objects and wanted me to keep that to myself. I didn’t think she’d like to know grandma might be attending the wedding.

“My mother loved to say that. You must have heard me talk about that. It was one of her favorite things to say when we left for school every day.” My mother told me.

I asked her if the male relative knew the phrase.

She thought a moment. “I suppose he might have. We all grew up together. He was at our house all the time.”

The wedding went off well. Not one thing to report went wrong. Well, except for the lady in the hall. This time I had a churchgoer directing me when to leave to go down the aisle. I didn’t hear the voice and worried she wasn’t attending. The piano played music so loudly it reverberated through the room. I turned to the right and left as I entered the doors and expected to hear her say her phrase, but it was too loud.

Slowly I made my little steps down the aisle, throwing my pedals, forgetting everyone was watching me and this was my big event. I stood next to the bride’s maids and the maid of honor, all of them sobbing hysterically (you can probably tell in the picture above—taken after the service and yeah, that’s my mom in the mod hat in the background). I was smiling. I had a grand time. I was glad to have the camera on me, hamming it up. A future model being born.

Everyone left the church for the reception and the ring bearer darted in and out of the pews with me. (I considered that a first date at the ripe age of 8). When he made his way to the hall, I followed him, but the door abruptly shut in front of me. I stopped and stumbled back.

“Is it you?” I whispered nervously. I opened the door and looked into the hall. The ring bearer was already outside with everyone else. I stepped through, but not before hearing the tail end of, “...go ahead.”

“Thank you.” I whispered back and then ran as the hairs on the back of my neck rose and my limbs became icy cold.

Did grandma attend the wedding? I couldn’t ever prove it. I can tell you instinctively it sure felt like someone wanted to see what the fuss was about. I never felt threatened and as a kid I used my instincts a lot to tell me if it was good or bad energy. I felt very safe but also a bit creeped out. My mom’s house caught fire as a child and I’d never seen a photo of grandma, so to have her voice speaking to me without picturing her face made her seem even more ghostly and disembodied.

Years later, I dug through the photos a relative had left behind after passing on and found a picture of grandma at 20. I took a picture of me at the same age and put them side-by-side. Look at the picture above. Tell me what you think? I might have been her favorite if she could have met me.

Oh, but maybe she did.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hollow Earth Theory

How many times have you started a “google” search only to be led on other pathways until you have no idea how you started out? Today was one of those days. I went looking for something about vortexes and ended up finding out about a culture of people who believe in a massive underground network of tunnels that link countries around the globe and perhaps are associated with UFOs and reptilian folks.

You know where I’m going with this (like a dog with a bone).

I’m fascinated with any kind of conjecture, so I began to search for more about this fascinating concept. Chapter four of the book “In Search of Shambhala” by Mary Sutherland tells of places around the world where cave entrances lead to a network of caves that once were all interconnected; however, some supposedly were ruined by subterranean activity over time. The locations are interesting and the Mt. Shasta site is linked to reptilian people and Bigfoot. Honestly, after reading about this stuff, all I can do is imagine the fascinating worlds a special effects person could enjoy in creating this plot for a movie.

Some report that the descendents of Atlantis inhabit it, others claim they are bases for extraterrestrials.

It goes even further into conspiracy when reports surfaced of a man claiming to know that there are huge caverns under California and much of the land floats atop of ocean-filled hollows in which a nuclear submarine even disappeared. This is referred to as the “Underground Empire

There’s been a lot of talk about underground bases and UFO relationships with these places from Nazi Germany’s history to the New Mexico desert. “UFO Hunters” show has covered this aspect several times and each time just as exciting and tantalizing as the last. I hope they continue to cover the subject.

If you’re interested in this Hollow Earth Theory, here’s a great page with loads of links on interesting aspects of the theory. As always, I'm curious what your take is on this subject.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Theory Soup

I have to admit that my questions and correlations seem to take me to a place that I’m certain others must have visited; the realm of tectonics/geology/paranormal/human minds. I don’t think this is a new observation by man, or else Stonehenge and Machu Pichu might never have been built. The question is, what theories are out there?

Here are some theories I’ve found that can perhaps tie together the findings I’ve had on haunted sites in my last post pertaining to paranormal clusters. You can look these theories up in Wikipedia for more info:

“Tectonic Strain Theory”
The brainchild of Michael Persinger, a researcher in cognitive neuroscience. This hypothesis ties together such phenomenon as UFOs, religious experiences, and other paranormal experiences. Persinger argued that strain within the earth's crust near seismic faults produces intense electromagnetic (EM) fields, creating bodies of light that some interpret as glowing UFOs. Alternatively, he argued that the EM fields generate hallucinations in the temporal lobe, based on images from popular culture, of alien craft, beings, communications, or creatures. When you hear TAPS talking about EMF causing hallucinations, feelings of being watched, and such, this is what they’re talking about.

“Electromagnetic Field Theory of Consciousness”
This theory was proposed by Susan Pockett, Johnjoe McFadden, and E. Roy John. This theory says that the electromagnetic field generated by the brain (measurable by electrocorticography) is the actual carrier of conscious experience. Locating consciousness in the brain's EM field, rather than the neurons, has the advantage of neatly accounting for how information located in millions of neurons scattered throughout the brain can be unified into a single conscious experience (sometimes called the binding problem): the information is unified in the EM field. In this way EM field consciousness can be considered to be 'joined-up information'.

“Quantum Mind Theories”
Quantum mind theories are based on the premise that quantum mechanics is necessary to fully understand the mind and brain, particularly concerning an explanation of consciousness. This approach is considered a minority opinion in science, although it does have the support of the well-known Roger Penrose, who has proposed a quantum mind theory in conjunction with Stuart Hameroff. Karl H. Pribram and Henry Stapp have also proposed variations.

What intrigues me most about these theories out there are the ties with EMF and the mind. As a ghost hunter, I’ve found interesting things in EMF readings in places I wouldn’t have expected to find readings. It’s always made me wonder. Perhaps what we can conclude from this is that our consciousness uses EMF to function, perhaps even beyond the parameters of our body when we pass, in which case measuring the fields might be helpful. Our only problem there is that EMF is everywhere and it’s hard to get a controlled place to observe the activity. Unless you find a nice haunted cave somewhere, it could be quite hard with our present instruments to take accurate measurements and make conclusions about ghostly activity. I do own a KII meter and I must admit that I’ve never ever had it go off during interviews. It’ll go off if you hold it right up to electrical, but sitting on a table in the middle of the room, it won’t do a blessed thing. Is it possible that when Jason and Grant from TAPS (aka “Ghost Hunting” show) use it and get answers, they’re talking to spirits or could their own brains be such that they can actually emit enough EMF to set off the sensor? I guess we'll always wonder if the ghosts are outside or internally generated.

Lots of questions, lots of theories. Some day, someone’s going to tie it all together into something we can not only weigh and measure but repeat and control. I can hardly wait!

Friday, July 24, 2009


I tell you, some days I feel like a magnet for serendipity and everything weird just falls into my lap.

Today was one of those days. I was researching an urban legend of a region of Massachusetts called the “Bridgewater Triangle” when I couldn’t help but notice the same descriptions coming up that other sites around the US also report. I used to think these clusters of sightings and experiences were relegated to just the west, but apparently the east can get them too.

I love a puzzle, so my goal here is to write up these places, their reported events, and then check into the geology of the land and the history of it, as well. There are actually more places than these, but I looked for ones that had multiple similar occurrences.

I’d really like to get the opinion of my readers on these findings. Speculation is a fun hobby and I know ya’all are super great at that activity, so bring it on. I think we have a real earth mystery on our hands. I’ll put my 2-cents worth in at the end of this post.

Bridgewater Triangle (Massachusetts)

This region is a 200 square mile area with a swamp smack dab in the middle. The swamp by early settlers was referred to as “The Devil’s Swamp.” There are lots of Indian burial grounds here and many conflicts between settlers and the Native’s. The land is granite. They have sand and gravel mining here.

Reports include:

Will-o-the-wisps (phosphorescent lights)
Men in Black/helicopters
Strange beasts
Animal mutilations

If you want more in the creep factor, read this Wikipedia entry about it: “Among the recorded homicides are over a dozen confirmed murders in the forest over 1978 to 1988, as well as on-going police investigations in discovered mutilated remains of cattle and goats.Another gruesome discovery by Freetown police, following the report by the victim of a previous sexual assault at the site, was an underground bunker otherwise hidden from view. Upon investigation police found a number of strange objects, including small chairs with belts or restraints, seemingly made for children. Also found within the boundaries of the Bridgewater Triangle is the Dighton Rock. The source of great controversy, the rock contains a number of inscriptions by possibly pre-Columbian visitors ranging from Vikings, to Portuguese to Phoenicians (characteristics of each of these languages can be found on the rock.) ”

Brown Mountain Lights (North Carolina)

The Cherokee Indians 800 years ago reported these lights and they persist today. They are described in many different ways and have been studied by the geological survey. Still, no answers yet on what cause these lights along the Blue Ridge Parkway around Morgantown, North Carolina. The land is granite. There are gold mines in this area.

Reported things are:

Strange lights of varying color, size, duration, and amount
UFO sightings
Static electricity/lightheaded feelings

Skinwalker Ranch Utah

This ranch is on ancient Indian ground. Local Native Americans are very wary of going to that area. They don’t like the land at all, and with good reason. The owners of the ranch experienced a wide variety of strange and horrifying events depicted in the book “Hunt for the Skinwalker” (great book, by the way—cannot put it down!) The land here is sedimentary with coal and petroleum. There is petroleum and natural gas mining in this area.

Reported things are:

UFO sightings
Rift in time/space
Strange creatures
Animal mutilations
Strange lights
Crop circles

Wikipedia creeps it up better than I could when they wrote: “Some Utes who live in the region believe the phenomena are related to a Navajo curse. Their folklore tells that the Navajo sent Skinwalkers to punish the Ute. The ranch is off limits to the Ute as they are reported to say, "The ranch is in the path of the Skinwalker."[2] Junior Hicks, a retired schoolteacher and local researcher living in the Uinta region, claims contacts amongst the Ute have told him that the Skinwalker lives in Dark Canyon, beyond the ranch, within a cave decorated with centuries-old petroglyph depicting Skinwalkers[citation needed]. Another general explanation is the intrusion of alternate realities, parallel universes, higher dimensions, or rips in spacetime, which may be connected with the orange portal. Both the Apache and the Hopi have folk traditions which might be interpreted as depicting travel between different dimensions.[1] This explanation might explain the diverse array of phenomena encountered at the ranch, but is problematic given the current lack of understanding about time travel and quantum physics.”

Lucky Point (Indiana)

This is an area of southern Indiana known for strange paranormal phenomenon. Known as a great place to look for UFOs, this area also has reported many other weird occurrences. Locals believe this might have something to do with Indians and burial grounds. Strange creatures, cattle mutilations, weird lights, and UFOs. What more could you ask for? The land is shale and sandstone. There is coal mining in this region.

Reported here are:

Spook lights/orange ball light
Cattle mutilations

Other places exist, such as Marfa Lights, Cleburne County Alabama, Sedona, and more, but these ones really caught my attention for their similarities. Do you note a running Native American/geology theme? Granite, sandstone, mining areas, and limestone—all very related to haunted places.

Theories anyone?

Bunnyman: Virginia's Biggest Urban Legend

This is the beginning of a series I’m doing about local urban legends, those spinetinglers that make you creeped out to be in the dark alone. You know the ones, men with hooks for hands, a flying bat-like jersey devil, and escaped mental patients. They make for great ways to keep the kids under the watchful eye of parents and create cautionary tales that stick with us even as a adults.

The story of the Bunnyman is one such tale:

I cowered in my tent one summer in1970 when Pat Danaher, a renter of one of the cottages on our property, told my brother and I the story of the Bunnyman. It was our first campout in a tent that we plunked down between the two slave cottages, so that we wouldn’t be entirely alone on the property. What we didn’t expect was that the mulberry tree would sway and cast reaching shadows that resembled crooked arms tugging at the nylon walls.

Pat stooped down at our tiny opening and proceeded to tell us there was a 6’ tall man in a bunny suit running around Fairfax axing people to death. At the end of his scary tale, he casually announced to us that the last one axed to death was at the end of our very own street of Roberts Road.

I didn’t sleep the entire night. It probably wasn’t the best story for a 7-year-old girl on her first campout. My brother who was all of 12 at the time thought the story was awesome when Pat was there telling it, but when his hero left, Scott’s face turned kind of ashen and he ducked down deep in his sleeping bag, scooting towards the center of the tent. It was my first experience with self-sufficiency in being able to camp without adults, but more importantly, it taught me something about myself. Not only did a scary tale set me on edge, but I found I was also a survivalist, as I studied the contents of the tent for my plan of action should the Bunnyman appear. Finding nothing worthy of defending myself (the flashlight was lightweight plastic) and admittedly Scott would be the first to run, I decided I would appeal to him as a child and pretend I thought he was the Easter Bunny come to chop down a tree. My insight into psychology was precocious, but I found as a cute little girl that it usually bought me a certain amount of charm to soothe even a savage beast.

That was my introduction to the legend. There are a lot of people who still believe in the tale. In fact, it began with one completely different legend and evolved over time. Apparently, historically they are riddled with inconsistencies, but the stories are still terrifying.

The legend began in the early 1900s when an asylum in the woods of Clifton Virginia was closed and patients moved to Lorton Prison. Apparently, two had escaped during transport. One had died, the other was never found. Subsequently, the skins of bunnies were found (someone having eaten them) and then one day a few children’s bodies were found hanging at the opening of a single-lane tunnel that went under a railroad bridge. It was thereafter referred to as “The Bunnyman Bridge.” Lots of legends grew from this initial one and everything happening locally was blamed upon it.

Over decades this changed to a story of a man in a bunny suit, axing people in Northern Virginia and Maryland. I do recall a few summers of fear in Northern Virginia regarding the mixing of these two stories. According to sources who studied it, the asylum in Clifton never existed, therefore making the original store null and void. However, there were two vandalism reports associated with a man in a bunny costume.

I will copy this from Wikipedia because they did an excellent job of explaining the hysteria this legend grew when I was of impressionable age. I remember everyone fearing to let their kids out or their pets. I still to this day feel a freaky wicked chill when I see someone in a bunny suit. The ones at the mall used to send me into shivering hysterics and my parents would have to whisk me away from Tyson’s Corner when he’d make his Easter visits. I still see the Easter Bunny as a demented tortured soul. That’s the power of the urban legend.

From Wikipedia:
Fairfax County Public Library Historian-Archivist, Brian A. Conley, has conducted extensive research on the Bunny Man legend. He has only located two incidents of a man in a rabbit costume threatening people with an axe. The vandalism reports occurred a week apart in 1970 in Burke, Virginia.
The first incident was reported the evening of October 20, 1970 by USAFA Cadet Bob Bennett and his fiancée, Dusty, who were visiting relatives on Guinea Road in Burke. Around midnight, while returning from a football game, they parked their car in a field on Guinea Road to talk. As they sat in the front seat with the car running, they noticed something moving outside the rear window. Moments later the front passenger window was smashed and there was a white-clad figure standing near the broken window. Bennett turned the car around while the man screamed at them about trespassing, including "You're on private property and I have your tag number." As they drove down the road they discovered a hatchet on the car floor.
When the police asked for a description of the man, Bob insisted he was wearing a white suit with long bunny ears, but Dusty remembered something white and pointed like a Ku Klux Klan outfit. They both remembered seeing his face clearly, but in the darkness they could not determine his race. The police returned the hatchet to Bennett after examination. Bennett was required to report the incident upon his return to the USAFA. It was later confirmed in Fairfax Police records that the man was in fact wearing a bunny suit with ears instead of a Ku Klux Klan suit.
The second reported sighting occurred the evening of October 29, 1970, when construction security guard Paul Phillips approached a man standing on the porch of an unfinished home in Kings Park West on Guinea Road. Phillips said the marn was wearing a gray, black and white bunny suit and was around 20 years old, 5 feet 8 inches (1.7 m) and weighing about 175 pounds (79 kg). The man began chopping at a porch post with a long handled axe saying "All you people trespass around here. If you don't get out of here, I'm going to bust you on the head." The man then ran into the woods.
Both incidents were investigated by Fairfax County Police. The investigations were eventually closed for lack of evidence. In the weeks following the incidents, over 50 people contacted the police to report sighting the "bunny man". Several newspapers reported the incidents.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ghost Adventures--Friday's Episode

The team is going to the Ancient Ram Inn in England.

The Colony

Thank you Discovery Channel for a reality show that’s actually intriguing! “The Colony” premiered last Tuesday night on Discovery Channel at 10 pm. I highly recommend the show. It’s a great social statement, as well as being something in the back of everyone’s minds; how would we survive?

In brief, this is how Discovery Channel describes it:

What would you do in the wake of a global catastrophe? How would you find food? Water? Shelter?

The Colony is a controlled experiment to see exactly what it would take to survive and rebuild under these circumstances. For 10 weeks, a group of 10 volunteers, whose backgrounds and expertise represent a cross-section of modern society, are isolated in an urban environment outside Los Angeles and tasked with creating a livable society.

With no electricity from the grid, no running water and no communication with the outside world, all the volunteers have to work with are their skills and whatever tools and supplies they can scavenge from their surroundings.

Experts from the fields of homeland security, engineering and psychology have helped design the world of The Colony to reflect elements from both real-life disasters and models of what the future could look like after a global viral outbreak.

Over the course of the 10-week experiment, the Colonists must work together to build the necessities of survival, such as a water-filtration system, a battery bank that powered their electricity, a solar cooker, a shower system and a greenhouse – and even some niceties (a coffee maker!).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phantom Limb Syndrome: Phantom Body Syndrome

Humor me. I enjoy giving ya’all something to think about in the field of ghost hunting. I don’t think any knowledge is ever irrelevant and in the scheme of things, the more knowledge, the wider variety, the more it fits together. Here’s today’s point to ponder (and don’t be surprised if I leave you up in the air to think about it):

There’s a condition called “phantom limb syndrome” in which an amputee still feels the limb as if it were there, feels as if it’s moving, feels pain in it. This is believed to be the brain still receiving messages from the nerves that would carry impulses from the missing limb. If a person’s body still believes it extends beyond where it actually extends following surgery, it is because the mind and the nerves have not had time to catch up with this change. We use the term “phantom limb” in lots of ways in conversations and the concept is understood even to those who are not amputees. Mothers often report something similar following giving birth. People even report it after having an eye eviscerated or a breast removed in a mastectomy.

Next, imagine your day as it plays out right now. You’re half here, half in the future. You’re considering tomorrow and the next day, shoes laid out for the morning, vitamin container on the counter to remind you to stick to your new health regimen. You’re daydreaming about taking time off work to go fishing in two weeks, you’re considering how you’ll answer your boss when he approaches you tomorrow about a new task. There is a phantom part of you, your intention. It extends beyond you and into the next few minutes, the next hour, the next week, the next year. When a person’s life is cut short, where does that intention go, that forward thrust that has nothing to do with the physical limitations of your body and a lot to do with your purpose?

So, what does phantom limb syndrome have to do with phantom bodies?

Many people in the ghost hunting industry repeat the mantra “he haunts the place because he doesn’t know he’s dead.” Putting aside the concept of whether heaven would allow stragglers, let’s look at that concept more closely. Are they actually saying that this person died but their consciousness believes they still possess body?

Do they have a phantom body syndrome?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Noctophile: Lover of the Night

It’s probably not a natural thing for a child to like the night, but my love of nighttime had so many influences, it’s hard to tell exactly when I found it a fond companion.

At one point, I do recall having the screen porch bedroom. It was upstairs, a newer addition to the ancient house. It never had any haunting activity, but it did have huge wrap-around windows. From there, I had full view of the nighttime property, the beautiful gardens, the orchard, the outbuildings, the swaying walnut, willow, sycamore, and honey locust trees and my lonely tire swing bouncing in the breeze. If I turned off my lights, I could see deer grazing near the creek and the occasional raccoon scurrying up a tree nearby.

I became extremely aware of the moonlight and its play on the landscape. I sat there in my room staring out longingly for a world where five kids weren’t fighting for space. A place where I could break into full run and enjoy myself without being seen by prying eyes and family members telling me to leave that old pear tree alone and don’t break through the boxwood gardens and stop throwing stones at that wasp’s nest.

Yes, I’m certain that was the first hint that the night held all the productivity that the distractible day and the humans occupying it could never achieve.

Sometimes, the night was about independence. Having those rare friends over who were brave enough to stay in a haunted house, we’d own the downstairs for the night, TV blaring, painting toenails, talking about boys. Well, at least I was. I was always talking about boys. They were that other thing like the night that was forbidden to explore but held so much beauty and mystery.

I was perhaps 9 or 10 when I first decided to sneak out at night. It was a full moon and the boxwood maze out front looked like a wonderland from up above. Donned in my white flannel gown, I dashed in and out of the “rooms” within the maze like some ghostly wraith. One harbored rose bushes, their scent at full force in the dewy night. Another room held raised flowerbeds where strawberries had yet to be picked. I found a large room within and laid down on the plush grass and sighed, studying the moon. He was my witness that night and He seemed to wink at me through some thin clouds, so I assumed I had His approval to be there.

We developed a relationship of sorts, the moon witnessing my every nocturnal foray like a heavenly babysitter. The next time in the summer, I slipped out to the grape arbor. An ancient 40-foot structure completely encased in elderly grape vines bursting with so much sweet fruit it smelled sickening. I sat within and ate a few grapes while the moonlight dared to peak through the leaves and paint my legs and arms in lacy patterns, fascinating me with the bejeweled look of it.

I decided then and there that I was the queen of the night, my little secret world. I ruled it completely and gently, admiring things I never took time to enjoy in the daylight. I visited the barn and the tree fort in the apple orchard, the back boxwood maze, and the creek. I was an equal opportunity explorer, getting braver with each venture out. I encountered the other timid creatures who knew to stay away from humans in the daytime, as well. They regarded me with suspicion but allowed my presence and so I felt strangely honored. I was one of them now, a creature on the prowl for whatever the night might offer that the daytime denied.

The little pagan in me felt more herself in the cloak of darkness when everyone else was unconscious than at any other time. During the daytime, I vied for attention from my overstressed parents and elbowed my siblings for space and worried over everyone else’s feelings as only the youngest child can do. I didn’t have to be anything, get anything done, attain anything, or consider anyone else when I had free run of the property in the nighttime.

Then, in a moment of midnight madness on a chilly autumn night with a full harvest moon, I paced down the center of the boxwood maze, studied the glowing orange moon so huge on the horizon, and gazed at my long shadow. In an act of complete and utter abandoned and reverence, I shed my robe and exposed my bare self to the moon as if He were the only one able to discern my soul.

Awaiting some wild crescendo of music to envelope me, I stood there not feeling the cold air around me, not hearing the rustle of autumn leaves on the crabapple tree, but sensing it. Something silent. Something life-changing. I was no longer a visitor of the night, I was now a participant.

The moon’s light was enough to warm me, the grass enough to soothe my bare chilled toes, and the bushes around me protected me from the winds, and I felt like I’d come home and I was accepted and I was important to the dance of the night. Without me, there would be no witness to the march of the nighttime towards the day. I was a part of something bigger, something natural, a pattern of sorts. One never saw the moon get angry and stomp away not to come out the next night. What an amazingly beautiful and unconditional thing nature was.

All you noctophiles out there, when did you fall in love with the night?

Put Me in the Halloween Mood

If you want a respite from a sizzling summer and to remember what it’s like when the world is darker, cooler, and the crackles of leaves on the ground forewarn coming Samhain, here are some things to put you in the seasonal mood. These will leave the taste of Halloween in your mouth, the hum of it in your body, and the dark spooky parameters just out of your reach…

Movies to give you autumnal chills and thrills:

Sleepy Hollow (Johnny Depp)
In Dreams
The Blair Witch Project
Shattered Silence

Music that’s spooky, dark, and kind of witchy:

Muse “Absolution” (my cemetery visiting music)
Soundtrack from “Highlander: The Source”
The soundtrack from “The Craft”
The soundtrack from “Twilight”
The soundtrack from “Practical Magic”
Anything Stevie Nicks
Anything Rob Zombie

TV shows that release goosebumps at an alarming rate:

Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Twilight Zone
Outer Limits
Night Gallery
American Gothic
Dark Shadows
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
True Blood

Foods that evoke Halloween senses:

Chili with melted cheese on top and cornbread
Candy corn (try sprinkling on vanilla ice cream for summer version)
Apple pie with caramel candies mixed in before baking
Hot cider, touch of rum, sprinkle of nutmeg
A bag of mixed miniature candies
Spicy pumpkin seeds

Scents that bring Halloween to life (try a candle while watching a movie or use a good bathing scent)

Heat a pan of water with a mix of cinnamon sticks, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice
Bath & Body works “Pumpkin Patch” candles and home scents
Bath & Body works “Sensual Apple” candles and home scents
Bath & Body works “Sensual Amber” shower gel
Origins “Ginger whipped soufflé” body cream
Origins “Ginger Essence” skin scent

Other ways to bring Halloween home:

The color orange
Candles in the fireplace
Darken the room
Put lap blankets on the sofa arm for movie-time cuddling
Keep the room cool

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ohm...The Zen of Ghost Hunting

I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with the mind/body connection and how it’s possible for one person to feel immense pain and another one a “nagging bother,” how one person can have an adrenalin rush on a rollercoaster and and feel like he's conquering something and scream with joy, and another can feel scared out of his wits and scream in terror.

Some people are very attuned to their body’s signals and notice being short of breath, feeling weak, and not themselves, and others are oblivious and only notice things are wrong when they have a heart attack. The former person is ideal for a ghost hunter; the latter is not.

Our relationship with our bodies starts at a young age and is promoted or disregarded depending upon our parents’ attitudes about their physical selves. You begin your trek into listening to body signals; drinking water or ignoring hydration, mindlessly eating in front of the TV or seeing food as a preparation and celebration of earth’s bounty in modest portions, by the example your upbringing has given you. People who are in the moment can realize when these habits are wrong and decide as an adult to do things differently or they can continue the family habits per routine and fall victim to the same health conditions.

How in touch or out of touch a person is with his body shows outwardly through his grooming, muscle tone, overall health, vigor, and aging. So, he may be pulling the wool over his own eyes by ignoring these things, but everyone else sees what’s going on because they’re not in the same state of “dis-ownership.” (Don’t you love when I make up words?)

There is a zen saying “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Someone who can ignore his own internal cues can also ignore his children’s cues, his partner’s cues, the economy’s cues, his boss’s cues, and other great hints that we’re given along the way to warn us. Some call it “signs” or “fate,” others call it “karma.”

If you ignore your “check engine” light on your life’s panel, then you’re doing so with the fate that you are simply driving faster and arriving sooner to your disaster. Paying attention to your body is paying attention to the other details of your life and results in a higher payoff in well-being, confidence, and self-sufficiency. The payments come back in how others regard you, how you regard yourself, the example that you set, and your overall health. It’s like the ripples in a pond, the reaction to one pebble being tossed, far reaching and stirring up the contents, changing the pond forever.

So, it’s by no stretch of the imagination that some folks are better adapted to being successful ghost hunters or psychics or healers depending upon how good they are at understanding and explaining their body’s reactions to stimuli, both external and internal. I am always suspicious of people who disregard their body’s signals and shovel down a couple Big Mac’s before a hunt and then wheeze and gasp around the hunt site. This is not a person who is “in” his body. To him, the body is just a place to house the brain and a general nuisance. The brain and body must be in an active relationship to be able to pick up external clues and act upon them, both in your personal life and in your ghost hunts.

Ask yourself how often in the day do you stop and look at the food you’re eating and not the television or some other diversion. How often do you drive to work and actually recall the entire drive without having a mind full of “when I get to the office, I need to do this and that?” Being present while in a haunted space and being present in your body and noting its cues from chills and goosebumps to hunger and fullness, are all one in the same.

Being able to be present and aware is a practice that can be advanced through regular meditation. To be in the moment is critical as a ghost hunter. There is nothing worse than someone who’s thinking of tomorrow and next week and missing important environmental clues, i.e. sounds, temperature changes, static electricity, etc., or people who sit like zombies through reviewing video. The more time you spend in the “now,” the more you notice the good stuff and the bad stuff. The good stuff you appreciate, i.e. your cat sleeping on a windowsill, the smell of fresh-baked bread. The bad stuff you decide to do something about like the numbness in your fingers when you’re sleeping or the ragged hem on your jacket.

We dream of tomorrow and reminisce about yesterday and that’s part of our day and shouldn’t be ignored, but many days we can start anticipating the work ahead of us and finish it reviewing all that went wrong with the day, and never really encountered one moment of presence. It’s a wonder we’re motivated to repeat it the next day.

Ask yourself how present you are in your day. Some people begin with listing the things they were thankful for that day. Those things they were thankful for were tiny moments of being present and recognizing the little things. It improves your relationship with yourself when you credit your day with having pleasant surprises. It works in relationships too. Children and companions like to be noted for the little things they do and that helps them to feel better about their selves and better about your presence, as well.

These principles of being alert and in the moment, which are required in ghost hunting are also meditative practices and good for your overall well being. If you can just be present when you eat each time you eat, you will discover weight loss without even trying by being attuned to hunger and fullness. You also learn to appreciate things like the pretty sunset on the way home from work and clues that your spouse might be having a bad day.

It pays off in more ways than just the hunt, it pays off in quality and quantity of life.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Are You Having a Piloerection? Goosebumps and Ghost Hunts

Piloerection is the fancy word for goosebumps. This is caused by the muscles at the bases of the hairs on our bodies reacting to cold or fear. The body hairs become erect in a desire to insulate the body better by trapping air within the pores. Static electrical charges cause hairs to stand away from other hairs or repel (kind of like that magnet trick in elementary school). Rub a balloon against your shirt and then run it over your hair and it stands on end much the same as what your body hairs do. Encountering static electricity, fear, or cold can cause goosebumps in haunted locations, but can the paranormal do it?

I’m studying static electricity a bit further in my ghost hunting theories. I’ve noticed a trend on ghost hunts between electrical storms and dry windy conditions and higher incidence of phenomenon.

You’ve had it happen before on a dry day, in a dry environment, you reach for a doorknob and zap! Here in the Arizona desert, you get real scared around metal objects. You approach them much as someone would approach an angry dog; from the side, coming up from behind, gently, slowly, nonthreatening. Once while my son was playing a videogame, I reached to tap him and you could actually see the lightning-bolt- like spark several inches between us before I even touched him. Damn that hurt! We were both whimpering for a while after that.

But, do the sensations of hair standing on end during paranormal activity correlate with static electricity or changes in temperature or fear or perhaps a side effect of spirit activity manifesting? My mother used to say (in a soft West Virginia drawl),“I think someone just walked over my grave,” when she got goosebumps. Upon further questioning, she would admit that it came on all of a sudden and left just as quickly. The sensation of being watched was overwhelming when this occurred. That happened quite often at Aspen Grove. In my present day, inactive house, it very rarely occurs.

One thing I have observed about goosebumps is that you almost never get them when you’re at home reading a book or watching TV (unless it’s a spine-tingling read or movie). But, in reportedly haunted locations it almost always happens at least a few times throughout the evening. What’s with that? Is it because were are on constant alert and fearful or is it related to the supernatural? I tend towards the idea that our bodies are more on the alert in such a place and our hearing is keener, our vision, and all other senses we use to interpret our environment. The goosebump phenomenon would then occur more often because our largest organ, the skin on our bodies, would be much more attuned to changes around us.

Admittedly, I’ve been to lots of late night visits to spooky places and I am the most hardcore “walk into complete darkness, completely alone, sit there and listen and never get scared even one iota” type of person, so when I get goosebumps in such places, I have to wonder if something other than fear is occurring. Perhaps a heightened sense of awareness or perhaps even a static electricity situation generated by the phenomenon itself.

The issues of static electricity around electronics is so serious that great measures are taken when dealing with components to assure no static discharges that might ruin the parts. This is very telling in just how much that little spark can affect change in what it comes into contact with. Of course, that telltale zap usually alerts us, but more subtle charges could affect us and make us break into goosebumps for no apparent reason.

I’ve discussed other potential earthly conditions such as geology, waterways, construction, and geomagnetic/solar activity on hauntings, but now I’m studying the static electricity aspect. I’m hoping that the more I learn about each feature, the more I might see how they relate.

My goal eventually is to come up with a way of knowing the most likely haunted sites (by the physical features and history) and the most ideal days of the week to visit them (depending on weather conditions and geomagnetic activity) to almost guarantee a good hunt. I can then begin to keep a log that addresses all of these conditions and helps me find out commonalities on successful nights compared to lame-o nights (you know, like most of the nights TAPS went out on their 4th season). Perhaps such information could help us to not waste time in the field and also see how physical aspects of our natural world enhance or react with that which is paranormal. Most ghost hunters will tell you, “it was a slow night, maybe we just chose the wrong time to be there.” I'd like to make it so that they have the optimal chances of encountering action.

I’ll continue in my ghost hunting theories to probe this and many other aspects of our physical world and the paranormal world, hoping to find the point where they two meet.

Thanks for following the trek.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Geomagnetic Effects on the Human Body

Did you know that studies have shown that at times when there is solar activity and resultant geomagnetic activity on Earth, more people undergo psychiatric issues and hospitalization? The term “lunacy” has always been associated with cycles of the moon affecting a person’s state of mind, but it appears we might need a new term for this phenomenon, how about “geomagneticopathy”? Or “solarcy?”

In my studies of the 50 haunted places, I found very strong trends in more well known haunted sites with lots of activity existing in certain geological conditions, along with certain construction materials. I began to wonder if perhaps (note, I am not a scientist), geomagnetic changes can be attenuated better through certain types of geology like limestone, shale, sandstone, granite, and quartz as were the geological conditions that had high incidences of haunting. And, what if the human body or the environment reacts with it to make connections with the paranormal more possible?

Now, my studies have taken me off in the direction of geomagneticism and its effects on human beings. I have found from my notes on ghost hunts that nights with a good deal of activity always correlate with solar/geomagnetic activity, especially electron flux alerts.

Scientists have just learned that migrating birds can actually see magnetic activity of the Earth and the helps guide them in their treks. As earthbound humans, we certainly must have some reading on the electromagnetic activity of our own planet. Our bones certainly let us know when barometers drop. Some of the noted sensations in haunted sites include that crushing skull feeling and “heavy” sensation that accompanies a drop in barometer; often a forewarning of activity about to occur.

Can it be that, in the right conditions, our bodies are affected by geomagnetic changes and we are able to interact with activity, perceive activity, or perhaps even create activity with our own body’s psychokinetic capabilities?

Scientists have been able to correlate changes in geomagnetic activity with altering melatonin in the human body, a necessary hormone for the sleep state. Have you ever had a weird night’s sleep and strange dreams and tell someone else and they report something similar that night? It probably isn’t coincidence. Geomagnetic activity could be the culprit.

The part of your brain associated with psi (psychic) activity is the pineal gland and it has been observed to react to geomagnetic activity on Earth by affecting melatonin levels. This part of the brain is also affected by EMF (that wonderful ghost hunting term for electromagnetic fields). See the correlation here? This article further discusses the correlations between PSI abilities and geomagnetic activity. It also discusses sacred sites and dowsing in relation to EMF.

I haven’t come to any conclusions yet about these things, but one thing I am sure about is that the direction my studies have been going seem to definitely be interrelated. What the final conclusion will be…don’t know yet. I would really love to hear some of your conclusions, as well. We'll learn a lot more, the more we toss out ideas back and forth.

If this subject fascinates you and you want to know more in depth about archaeological correlations with geomagnetic shifts, consider reading this very good article. Now, if you’d like the Sunday paper’s review version of it that’s brief and easy, try this one.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Extreme Pumpkins

You will be getting probably once-a-week reminders that Halloween is coming (I got a three-month jump, but hey, it's my time of the year!) These books by Tom Nardone, "Extreme Pumpkins" are ridiculously fantastic. They make great Halloween gifts, but most of all, they're just so funny you can't put them down. He has tons and tons of crazy Jack-O-Lantern designs that are over the top and easy to do! He goes to great detail to explain the techniques too.

He has Jack-O-Lanterns barfing up their insides, baby ones with poopy diapers, aliens, tiki's, Frankenstein, and even one eating a Barbie doll. You'll never look at carving the same way again!

They're like $7-8 on Amazon or you can get them used (they way I buy) for a penny and $3.99 shipping ($4 total).


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Is There An Aura About You?

Although no actual scientific evidence exists proving an auric field surrounding all living things, psychics persist that there is, in fact, what appears to be shining lights surrounding us and by examining the colors they are able to discern our moods and well being.

I have to admit that yearly since way back in the mid 90s, I’ve gotten one aura photo done a year. I do this up in Sedona at a cute little new age shop across from T’Laquepaque. Depending on the person reading the aura, I get many different responses. One time, the woman proceeded to tell me I was burned as a witch in Salem, to which I responded, “weren’t they hung?” Hmm… So, you never really know what kind of an intuitive will be reading your aura. If you’re lucky, you get a super insightful one.

Whether there’s any validity to this Kirlian photography, I’m not sure. I do know, however, that human bodies give off a certain amount of electromagnetic energy. Whether this is what is shown in this photographs, I can’t be certain. Disputers of the efficacy of aura photography say that body temperature (like a mood ring) is what is being captured. If your hands are warm, they are likely to produce a different color than cold hands.

I’ve studied my photographs extensively over the years. My very first one scared me, it was a deep red. I thought it meant I was mad. Apparently, it meant that I am very strong and am survival-oriented, which was probably a pretty accurate description. One year, I prepared by meditating on having as many spirits enter the photo with me as possible and got tons of white dots all over (they claim this is spirit activity). Another year, right after my brother passed on and I felt his presence over my right shoulder, I got the photo taken and sure enough, there was a white human-shaped glow over my right shoulder—at his height too! (photo above) The indigo apparently is spirituality and third eye/psychic abilities and the white is spirit. One time I decided to meditate on the real me, without all the bullshit and the roles I have to play and the hurts and injuries of the past, just the real me when nothing was in the way. The entire aura was green. Apparently, this meant I was an extremely loving person who loves people and nature. That was pretty darned accurate as far as my core goes. I get hurt by people and I just get up and keep loving, don’t know any better, don’t take it personally. One of those people with a really tender heart and won’t change it for anyone or any life events. They liked it so much, they photocopied it and hung it up. Seemed kind of lame to me to be just one color, but whatever floats your boat. Yet, another time, I looked to a certain spot in the room and said “this is where I get my psychic information” and sure enough it was indigo with a white ball of energy in the middle.

Coincidence? I can’t really say, but when I go in there with my friends, I tell them each what color I know they’re going to have (knowing what’s going on in their lives and their personalities) and once each has gotten her photo, we sit together while they’re developing and have the woman interpret them with the others listening so we have witnesses who remember what was said. Sometimes the readings can get so deep, we forget all the details. Sure enough, my color guesses are spot on. What am I picking up? I have rarely seen aura’s so much as a hazy mirage-like glow around people but without colors so much. One time, I do admit a work crew was cutting huge pieces of our tree off in the yard and I looked out to see them pulling the pile of limbs away and I looked up and saw the entire tree intact. I knew it couldn’t be, so I closed my eyes and reopened them and it was gone. I believed I was still seeing life extending from the tree like a phantom limb—literally.

I am reminded of that exercise that’s taught to those learning hands-on healing. You put your hands in front of you cupped as if you’re holding a small ball on both sides. Push against the ball and feel a tiny bit of pressure as if there is a real ball there. Continue doing this, slowly taking your hands out further and further until you can no longer see the ball anymore. Are you feeling your aura? Does the reason people need personal space from others because they don’t want their aura rubbing up against another’s and being “polluted by it?” Can our bodies actually read other energies from people and decide we don’t like them upon meeting them, but not know why? Yet more questions to ponder.

For now, I’ll still keep getting aura shots. They’re darn fun!

My Research Results Are In

Next time I decide to study 50 places around the US, tell me I'm nuts. The final research excluded waterways, age, and train tracks, but it did come down to this:
1. Most important of all - longest history of trauma/emotional upset/death
2. Second most important, geology (ideally, limestone, shale, sandstone, granite, quartz).
3. Third most important factor, the construction of the building itself (ideally stone, block, brick, least best--frame).

Now, when reading these hauntings in their order, remember that I had to consider these three aspects in choosing their order and some had very similar contents in which case time would rule one in as higher on the list or perhaps if they were so equally matched, I had to consider if they were near cemeteries or waterways or the type of death/trauma that existed there.

Note that this list has only 50 sites, so if you see #50 and think it's the least haunted in America, it's not. It's least haunted of these 50 sites. Another thing that cannot be accounted for is undocumented torment and emotional upheaval in a building that wasn't reported, such as a family living there with an emotionally upset occupant or an abusive parent. Those sort of things simply can't be accounted for, so the overall history of the building that is known must be the deciding factor. These are also listed by haunting for their physical features and history, not for evidence accrued by teams.

As you will note, some places seem very low on the list, such as the Stanley Hotel which has a great reputation for hauntings and some pretty solid proof. That's where the second sweep of research is important. Researching the evidence for hauntings. I do believe that a place can have ideal conditions of geology and construction such as the Stanley is a perfect vessel and really no history of death or trauma there (there is some talk about a homeless person freezing to death in one of the buildings, but it's rather vague), and still manage to be receptive to hauntings. There will be more on that later in my research, as well as how geomagnetic activity may be a contributor to the activation of residual hauntings being "played out."

1. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (WV)
2. Essex Mountain Sanitorium (NJ)
3. West Virginia Penitentiary Moundsville(WV)
4. Ohio Reformatory (OH)
5. Waverly Hills Sanitorium (KY)
6. Ft. Mifflin (PA)
7. Eastern State Penitentiary (PA)
8. Glenn Dale Hospital TB clinic (MD)
9. Boehne Camp Hospital TB clinic (ID)
10. Central State Hospital (ID)
11. Aspen Grove field hospital (VA)
12. Cashtown Inn field hospital (PA)
13. Hickory Hill "Old Slave House" (IL)
14. Crescent Hotel (AK)
15. Gila County Jail (AZ)
16. Alcatraz (CA)
17. Madam LaLaurie House (LA)
18. Bird Cage Theater (AZ)
19. St. James Hotel (NM)
20. Kehoe House (GA)
21. St. Augustine Lighthouse (FL)
22. Myrtles Plantation (LA)
23 Bobby MacKeys Music World (KY)
24. Queen Mary (CA)
25. Shanghai Tunnels (OR)
26. John Stone Inn (MA)
27. Lizzie Borden House (MA)
28. Amityville House (NY)
29. Moore House (IA)
30. Copper Queen Hotel (AZ)
31. Lemp Mansion (MO)
32. Battery Carriage Inn (SC)
33. Seguin Island Lighthouse (ME)
34. Sorrel Weed House (GA)
35. Gargoyle House (KS)
36. Saginaw Lighthouse (MI)
37. Karsten Inn (WI)
38. Lincoln Theater (IL)
39. Stanley Hotel (CO)
40. Iron Island (NY)
41. Chateau Marmont (CA)
42. Bullock Hotel (SD)
43. Winchester House (CA)
44. Hollywood Sign (CA)
45. Bell Witch Cave (TN)
46. Belmont Mansion (TN)
47. Townsend Hotel (WY)
48. Ogden Station (UT)
49. Bachelor's Grove (IL)
50. White House (Washington, D.C.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eye Positioning

Yeah, you're probably wondering--what is she thinking now? I'm always interested in different subjects and the curiosity about eye positioning came to me honestly. When I do psychic readings, my eyes have to be in a certain position for me to access the information. You can learn a lot about a person's truthfulness by their eye positioning.

For example, if you look to the right upper position, you are accessing visual memory as it pertains to the conversation. If someone said, "what color are Uncle Lou's eyes?" You'd more than likely recall that looking to your upper right.

If you look to the middle right, you are recalling auditory. You are likely to recall a song looking in this position. This intrigues me because when I do psychic reads, I go between upper right and middle right and yet I have absolutely no auditory talents in the psychic realm, at least not that I'm aware of.

You'll see people often look down right during conversations, that shows that they are considering what they are going to say next. If you ask someone how their talk with their boss went, they'll more than likely look down right.

If you look upper left, you are accessing your visual imagination. If I were to ask you to picture a dog with no hair, you'd probably look to your upper left.

If they look to their middle left, they are in the auditory range again. Here, they are likely to do things like make up a song, or even imaging what their dream man's voice might sound like.

The last position is probably the most telling. The lower left is where a person has their feelings. If someone asks you how you feel about something, you're likely to access it there.

Why does eye positioning intrigue me? Because, as I've mentioned before, I'm synesthetic when it comes to time/days/months/years. I see them tracking out of my body in a strange 3-dimensional zig-zag. When I do psychic read's, it's much the same. The information is out there and I just have to position my eyes and pick out the right quadrant to access it. Experiment with this a bit and see how you do. I tried looking to the right middle when I wanted to remember the lyrics to a song and it really helped!