Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Communicating With the Dead

Shamans and spiritualist mediums and channelers have all appreciated their own methods for speaking with the dead. The fact is, we really can’t ever truly know for sure if the dead still exist and if they do exist, if they can hear us. But, we’ve come a long way in figuring out the possibilities and testing them.

Ouija, spirit guides, vision quests, and séances aside, the 21st Century asks for more than dramatics. We really want something that any Joe or Jane on the street can hear and receive. The ghost hunting world in the past several decades has undergone what the Christian church has undergone in the past centuries; the concept that perhaps you don’t need a special interpreter to speak to the source, but you yourself can simply talk directly to the spirit world. No cash exchanging hands. Just you and a microphone…or perhaps another method (explained in this post).

EVPs are the most popular form nowadays of talking with the dead. The concept is to record yourself asking questions and pausing for answers and play it back on your computer and listen for any potential answers. There are drawbacks to this method. For one, how do we know spirits here us at the Hertz level in which we communicate? Humans speak between 800-1200 Hertz. Supposedly, according to those who regularly capture EVPs, they are speaking in an infrasound level (too low for human ears to hear) at as low as 19 Hertz. For EVPs to be truly effective, we should both be using a meter to measure if anything in that Hertz range is sounding in environment while recording and also be taking our questions and translating them to an infrasound level so they can hear and understand. EVPs are also tricky because recording devices are receivers and anything from radio waves to walkie talkies to satellite phones could be sending signals that are picked up. You hear a blip of a few words and you can make it fit your answer. When I was a kid, we had a game we’d play when we were bored witless. You take the Bible and ask a question, open it up and read the first thing your eyes see. It always sounded like it answered the question! The other game was to go through the Psalms and pick out the one that was the number of the year. If it was 1974, you’d look up the 74th Psalm and it seemed to describe the year in the world. So, saying that you got a direct and intelligent response is a hard thing to prove, especially if you asked a “yes” or “no” question. I want a class A recording that is clearly language and is understood as the same words by everyone who hears it without prompting them. I also want to ask questions that are not easy to answer such as “do you want us here?” I’d rather ask, “I was in the bedroom and now I’m in the kitchen. Which room do you want me to stay in?”

Another way to attempt a communication with the dead is to do what Pagans do. On Samhain, when they believe the veil between the living and dead is the thinnest, they remember the dead. They put out photos, candles, mementos and even the favorite food of the deceased loved one. It’s an invitation to witness that they hve not been forgotten. There is something to be said about this. As a ghost hunter, I have noticed that recently visited graves in cemeteries have a lot more activity. The family was just there concentrating on them, talking to them, remembering them, missing them… It seems to draw a spirit to them. A Joe or Jane on the street could create this sort of working shrine in their home. If they had a recorder or a K-II meter or even a lit candle, they could try to create a conversation. Speak out loud. Talk to the loved one. Bring up memories, look at pictures, touch objects. Open the conversation, let them know how to reply—whether it’s to talk to the recorder, blow out the candle, or get near the meter. This is a sort of updated version of a séance. If the spirit does not need a body, then the spirit can go anywhere it wants.

This I believe will be the next generation of ghost hunting—bring the ghosts to you instead of going to the ghosts.

Psychics? I understand people seek out psychics to talk to the dead and I understand psychics need to make money too. I personally have problems with the concept of paying someone for a service that has no product and no verification of its truth. The problem is that with no licensing or regulation or verification, it’s like the clergy. They can feed you bits and tantalizing pieces knowing they can keep you coming back each week to pay more. No one is to say they do or do not have a line to the other side or God. If you want them talking to the dead, know this; you have no way of knowing if they’re reading the dead or reading you. If you think you might want to see them again, they better have told you something that shocks your socks off. And don’t feed them any info. There’s a lot of cold readers out there who can make things fit depending on your reactions. Keep your poker face on and make them work for it. It will ultimately come to you to figure out if they are reading what you know of the dead or reading the dead or reading your body language and suppositions based on how you’re dressed or what you look like. I’m not saying psychics can’t talk to the dead, but like the mall Santa, they can’t all be Santa and like the clergy, they don’t all have a direct line to God. Be skeptical, be wise, try not to get in awe of someone who supposedly sees and hears things you don’t. In other words, be a good consumer.

Communicating with the dead often times feels as if we do all the talking and they do all the...nothing. All of us who've lost a loved one know that at some moment in time, we cave in and beg and plead for them to be there when we go through a bad incident in our life and need their advice. We are met with a considerable silence and an ice cold feeling in our bellies that maybe they simple do not exist anymore. The thing to remember; however, is that we communicate as spiritual beings inside of human bodies. That means our only way of communicating is through our senses. The deaf use sign language, the blind use their sense of touch, we all use what we have. But, if you do not have a body and 5 senses, what is your means of communication?

Really think about this one.

You can't make a living person hear you, however, sometimes they can capture a sound. You can't make them feel you, although at times they can get a sense of something there. You can't make them see you, except faint glimmers occasionally. What is left to you? Their soul can communicate--but only with your soul. In that moment you beg your deceased father to guide you, you begin to feel a peace and then a moment of quiet and introspection and then a realization of what your father would do. From a moment of frenzied desperation to resolution and peace. It would be my guess that the soul does communicate, but not with the human body.


  1. I believe that the deceased can communicate with those of us still of this earth.

    My Mother and my Husband's Grandmother have and still do communicate with me. I don't 'hear' them with my ears but with my soul, my very being. I hear thoughts, sentences - not just mere random words. We don't necessarily hold complete conversations but I will put my thoughts or questions out there into the universe and I will receive an answer(s). I will get an image of who is speaking to me in my mind's eye as well as what they have said.

    I also receive 'visits' from deceased family members in my dreams. I feel that I am more receptive to some family members (those who I wasn't real close to) while I am sleeping than when I am awake.

    I also feel that the the deceased person's depth of physic abilities has a correlation to how well they can communicate with the living. Also the deceased's depth of attachment to a place or person can affect their communicative abilities.

  2. Jeanne;
    Great observations. It's true that spirits reaching you in your sleep is very common and is quite different than usual dreams. Most people how've had it happen know what I mean. The quality of the communication and the tactile feel of it are way too real. I believe when you most need it, you feel them sort of give you the advice and comfort you needed. At times, I swear something very weird occurs in life that I look at it and go--I know my sister did that!

  3. I believe that the dead communicate with us through our dreams. I've received visits from deceased family members. My hubby and his family all have premonition dreams in which they dead come and tell them things that are going to happen. In December, my hubby lost his job, and his sister called the very next day to say that their deceased mother had come to her in a dream to tell her that something bad happened to him and that she should call.

  4. Mary;
    It's the only time our minds are really accessible unless we're good at meditation and some of the techniques psychics use. I agree--they do come at night. It's quite a different interaction than normal. They look you directly in the face to tell you things and it feels very much like they were real and not dream-like.

  5. That was absolutely fascinating. You also wrote it all in a very logical, precise and compelling way. And you've given me so much food for thought for something I've been trying to work out in 'The Astronaut Dropped'.

    Thank you, Autumn Forest!

    Steph x

  6. Steph;
    Glad to inspire thoughts on the subject. If you ever have more questions,

  7. I've been through some VERY though times in my life and you know, I've never had anything like this happen to me which makes me left feeling like it's all either BS, my dead relatives are a bunch of stiffs (har-har), or in some non-communicative way I was being told to toughen up. The end result kinda worked, I guess, if the latter is true. I can stand on my own two feet emotionally now, and through damn near anything. Good post though.

  8. Grim;
    I'm with you. Someone once told me to write my life story and I told them that no one would ever believe it wasn't a work of fiction. I've seen it all and lost over 2 dozen loved ones, as well. So, yeah, I get ya. That's probably why I'm in this business. I've witnessed things that defy any logical explanation (and I'm a freaking logical Virgo) and I've worked hard to establish if ghosts are truly souls of departed or just memories imprinted in environments and no matter how I play it, I always come up with some strange and amazing sign that there's something to the soul business. My father had an NDE a few days before he died. He was dead for 4 minutes. The paramedics announced it, we began to grieve. When they brought him back with the paddles, he told me "I was near a fiord. My family was there. There were colors that don't exist and flowers that don't exist" and he was so happy and looked so young as they carted him away. I never forgot that experience he had and am reminded of the stories of NDEs and how very universally the same they are. As a person in the medical field, I can try to make brain conditions fit the descriptions, but there is truly nothing that can explain that set of symptoms. Why can't we have open conversations with the dead? Well, hell, I talk to my family lots of times. I update them on my life, ask their advice, tell them I need them. I don't feel some magical gush of tingling or a voice in my year, although sometimes I do think I can hear their voice deep within me telling me what they would say. If they could talk to us readily, certainly they would. I always say, "well, when I die, I'll nag my son to death!" But, the fact is that obviously it's not that easy or perhaps it's not that necessary. We're expecting to hear with human ears, see with human eyes. Only the soul should be able to detect them. That's why in the sleep state, they seem to be most accessible. Any time I'm faced with them, I have the comfort of knowing the majority of my family is on the other side and that's a helluva a team to have behind you. This is my venture and they must not give me any coaching or nudge me in any way. I need to do this, but with the knowledge of how they influenced me and what they would think was best to help me make my decisions. Hope that makes sense.

  9. Thanks for the email address. I may take you up on the offer.

    Steph x