04/17/14

Rocks Will Remember….

A term heard often in paranormal field is The Stone Tape Theory.  Term was first coined in a BBC film of the same name. What is this theory, is there anything to it? I am Researching this because the inquiring mind wants to know.  This theory was first proposed in the 1970’s.  Hypothesis was, that in times of high stress or high emotions could somehow help transfer memory to an inanimate object, and actual recording of the event.  This energy would playback in a non-interactive way (a residual haunting).

Researcher Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick claimed objects could retain, record or absorb the “psychic energy” of a tragic event.

William G Roll, Parapsychologist and Professor at State University of West Georgia, agreed with this stone tape theory.  Believing the mind can create apparitions from “psychic traces of the past”   by their “psi field”.  psi field is defined as subtle energy that unites the mind and body, a universal life force running between all things.  Energy in Chinese medicine– Qi;  in Indian Yoga–Prana or Kundalini  energy is also described as an aura, rays, field, audible or tactile vibrations.

Barrett stated that certain cases were imprints or “echoes”somehow become “perceptible to those living”.  He became interested in the paranormal in the 1860’s after an experience with Mesmerism (hypnosis).  He hypothesized these echoes were thought transferences or“place memories”.  Suggesting that hauntings are memories “lost” from an individuals mind, attaching itself to the environment, showing up and replaying back as hallucinations in sensitive people.

Barrett was a member of the Spiritualist movement and was said to be duped by a medium.  later founding The Society of Psychical Research in 1882.

I have not found a reasonable explanation for this theory of stone taping.  Some claim it is geological,  iron oxide, or rust particles, with electromagnetic fields acting as a recording device changing a persons perception of what is seen.  Others refer to the water memory theory (see Water, a Ghost Essential Element) and plate tectonics, an electromagnetic charge caused by quartz in earth that carries  an electric charge from movement of a fault lines.  Fascinating tales of phantoms, echoes and spirits all on the rocks. Cheers !

04/8/14

Show Me The Money !

I’ve thought a lot about the paranormal world lately. It makes me sad and sometimes angry to see all the scams that are going on.  Are we our own worst enemy? Have we allowed ourselves to be sucked in to the hype? TV shows tell us that there is activity everywhere and that you too could be experiencing phenomena. Gee, isn’t it funny how a certain paranormal TV show used to air episodes where they would debunk the claims and rarely find anything worth mentioning in their first season, but now they find multiple pieces of evidence every episode. Would it have anything to do with ratings (which equates to money), Hmm???  Or how about psychic’s? They are telling anyone who is willing to buy what they are selling, that they can communicate with late Aunt Pearl, all for the measly sum of $200.00 an hour. Its no wonder that a certain psychic who has a popular TV show, lives on Long Island and drives a Land Rover, Hmm? Or how about the  guy and his wife who bought a money pit of an old Victorian mansion in central MA and  charge admission to investigate their home. People line up with money in hand, waiting to get in and snap their very own picture of a full body apparition. Well at least that’s what the last TV show they were on said. Funny how that TV show was shot in Canada and not MA, Hmm??? Or how about the Hotel on the Cape that claims to have activity in a certain guest room. The story has it that the original owner was a sea captain. One day he sailed off only to never return and his wife’s ghost waits for him in that room to this day. Funny how that room number changes every time you call for a reservation.

I find it amazing that the haunted room is always available! It’s really nice that they quote you a special discounted rate too, funny how its $10.00 more than the sign in the lobby says, Hmm???  My favorite of all is the multi-million dollar Ghost Hunting Equipment Industry. There’s a multitude of boxes sold today that use electronics to allow a ghost or spirit to communicate with you. Funny how a spirit that passed away 50 years ago can manipulate today’s electronics. I’d be surprised if they could even turn on a TV.

Technology and science are advancing at a tremendous rate.  We are living in a society that is highly educated, but we are ALL susceptible to being scammed. I suppose if we want to believe bad enough, the wool can be pulled over our eyes. I must admit, I have been scammed! I believed! I spent my hard earned money! But hopefully I have learned something along the way. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I’ve got a box full of old ghost hunting equipment for sale, if you know anybody?

My real reason for writing this is to challenge everyone to be skeptical, and have fun with your paranormal research. That’s what Ghost Hunting really should be,  FUN! I do believe there is something to all of this, and hopefully someday, someone will figure it out!

04/8/14

14 Degrees – A Paranormal Documentary

In 2007 myself and two great friends (then known as New Gravity Media) released our first full length documentary “14 Degrees”. The film which took two years to complete involved nearly 6000 miles of travel and investigations with dozens of teams across the northeastern U.S. This film, which now tops out at a whopping 2 hours and 16 minutes was intended to be a short film no longer than 15 minutes. However, after receiving interest from so many teams, we just couldn’t stop. Because of the overwhelming response the project was produced “backwards”. Instead of having a plan for a beginning, middle and end, we instead simply filmed everything and put the pieces together into a documentary format. The raw footage features over 275 hours of film footage and took 6 months in post production. Some popular names appear in the film such as John Zaffis, Steve Gonsalves and Keith Johnson. It was a first attempt that won us the 2008 Aegis film award. That film in it’s entirety is now available to the public for the low price of FREE. I hope you enjoy!

03/25/14

Trigger Objects

Sometimes in paranormal investigating, the use of trigger objects are thought to be useful. A trigger object is an object either owned by the deceased person in question or something of their time period. The theory is that it may illicit activity, communication or perhaps the trigger object may move. It is also referred to as the Singapore Theory. The theory is based on familiarization and if the spirits occupying the location are familiar with the object or music, etc – they will be more drawn to it and possibly become more “active”. The ultimate goal is that this process is so effective and stimulating – that the end result is an apparition.

We have brought an orange to an old Colonial house in Coventry CT both because the homeowners thought an orange they had in the house kept showing up in odd places and because an orange was a rarity, like a gift, back in the Colonial times.

We have used a family Bible, a toy ball, stuffed animals, an old Sanitarium bedsheet, we have played various period music, and tried many experiments using many trigger objects.

There are many ghost hunting techniques out there and we use a multitude of approaches custom-fit to each and every investigation.

Objects already found on the location of the paranormal investigation which the homeowner’s state have already moved on their own are  ideal trigger objects. Of course there is no guarantee, but it is one of the best situations to test the theory. Also ideal is if the object belonged to, or held some significance to the spirit when alive.

It is often thought that getting the personal item of the spirit that has been known to move in the past is the goal. Don’t limit yourself to just that. There may be other personal items on-site that belonged to the spirit when alive: jewelry, coins, clothes, books, furniture, toys (avoid battery, activated or computer chip toys that can react on their own and be incorrectly thought to react because of a spirit), photos, religious items, war memorabilia, etc.  Some theorize that metal objects (coins, jewelry etc) may store and conduct energy. I have never run across this – but there are many stories of movement of human vices like tobacco, drinks, cigars, pipes.

No one knows if the spirits are a residual haunting (they don’t know you are there, but they or their energy are caught in time) or if they are intelligent (they know you are there and can communicate).

When using trigger objects keep in mind the environment. Is it somewhere sturdy? Will it get bumped? Is the floor slanted so the ball will roll? Is there an open window, an air vent or draft? Put the trigger object on a piece of paper and draw an outline around it and videotape the entire process. You may think something moved but it hasn’t or maybe the homeowner’s unsocial pet bumped it while you were out of the room. We’ve used devices that detect a floor’s vibration to rule out various situations (nearby trains, construction, etc) that may cause slight movement.

There are many theories and they are largely operating on hypothetical principles about what “ghosts” are and how they can operate in our physical realm.  Whatever the case, all we can do is try to illicit activity in as controlled environment as possible and as scientifically as possible. Happy hunting and let me know what types of trigger objects you have used and what happened! I’d love to hear about it.

03/21/14

The Farnsworth House Inn

“The Farnsworth house, located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, is named in honor of Brigadier General Elon John Farnsworth. General Farnsworth led an ill-fated charge after the failure of Pickett’s charge, claiming the lives of Farnsworth and 65 of his men during the battle of Gettysburg which took place July 1-3, 1863.

The original part of the house was built in 1810, followed by the brick structure in 1833. The house sheltered Confederate sharpshooters during the three-day conflict, one of whom it is believed to have accidentally shot 20 year-old Mary Virginia “Jennie”  Wade, the only civilian who died during the battle. More than 100 bullet holes pock the walls. Following the battle, the house served as a hospital.

The Lincoln procession also passed the Farnsworth House on November 19, 1863, on the way to the National Cemetery where he delivered the famous Gettysburg Address.”

The Farnsworth House stands as an Inn today, with further additions having been built in later years.  One of the rooms is named the McFarlane room, after John McFarlane, who built the brick structure of the house in 1833. The room itself is located in the original part of the house, which was built in 1810.

Rumors of Gettysburg’s haunted history have been floating around for decades, calling to many a paranormal group to make the journey to Pennsylvania to check things out for themselves.

Six investigators from Para-Boston decided to take a road trip in June 2011 to tour the Battlefield, and investigate some of the local haunts. Before the trip began, Bree asked one of her fellow investigators, Michael Baker, which Inn he felt may have more ‘genuine’ activity in his opinion, as he had been to Gettysburg in the past. The two choices were the Cashtown Inn, and the Farnsworth House. Mike immediately suggested that the Farnsworth House would be a great place to stay. He did not mention at this time what he may or may not have experienced there during his previous trip the year before. Bree went ahead, and made reservations for two nights at the Farnsworth House, in the McFarlane room, as that was the only room in the original part of the house that had both Thursday and Friday nights available.

Bree and fellow investigator, Paula, arrived on a Thursday evening to check in. The room was decorated to suit the time period, right down to the claw-footed bathtub, and the toilet tank with the pull chain. As the evening wore on, Paula and Bree both noted the room had a “strange feeling” about it, making you feel as if you could not relax in the room. We were both tired after an 8 hour drive to Pennsylvania all the way from Massachusetts, but sleep would not come easy that first night.

There was an older couple staying in the Eisenhower room across the hall, who also seemed to settle in for an early night around 9pm, as we didn’t hear any sound coming from their room the rest of the night. Beneath these two rooms, was the dining room and kitchen. At check-in, the receptionist told us that the staff only remained on site until around 9pm, but would return around 6am to start setting up for breakfast.

Footsteps heard at the Inn:

Around 12:32am, Bree and Paula both woke to what sounded like a squeaky wheel sound in the hall outside the room – almost as if someone were pushing a cart with a squeaky wheel past the room, except no footsteps were heard, just the squeaking. This only lasted a few minutes. At this time, Bree got up and turned on her recorder at about 12:40am to let it record while the two attempted to sleep. The decision was also made to turn off the air conditioner, so that any subtle sounds could be picked up by the recorder, even though it was probably around 80 degrees in the room! After attempting to fall back asleep again, around 1:22am, we were once again awakened to the sound of footsteps, and the floorboards creaking under someone’s weight. It was heard to discern where they were coming from, either the hallway outside our room, or from within our room! We did notice though, that they just seemed to start and then fade off, without hearing any doors open or close. Thankfully, these footsteps were captured on our audio recorder so we could share this experience with our group.  The next morning at breakfast, the couple who had been staying in the Eisenhower room came into the dining room, so just be sure, Bree asked them about their night in the Eisenhower room across the hall, and if they heard anything strange the night before. They said they hadn’t, but that they also fell asleep early, around 9pm-ish. Bree then asked them, if by chance they had gotten up in the night at all, around 1:20am or so. With this question, Bree got a strange look, so she went on to explain that she and Paula heard footsteps in and around the vicinity of the room or hallway, and just wanted to be sure it wasn’t them who had been doing the walking. The older man let out a surprised laugh, and assured us he had not gotten out of bed that night.

After returning back to Massachusetts, Bree told Mike of her and Paula’s experience at the Farnsworth House, and played the audio for him. What was really interesting, was that Mike had also previously stayed in the same room in his past trip to the Farnsworth House, and had the same experience hearing the footsteps!

 

 

03/15/14

The Wayside Inn

 

www.wayside.org

Unlike many other investigations we have done, the Wayside Inn is a prime location for experimentation with new equipment and an excellent resource for authentic tangible, and fairly reliable activity. The target rooms in the facility (9 & 10) have all of the elements of a good investigation destination, privacy, history and countless experiences documented in thousands of letters hidden in the room by the numerous guests throughout the years (Thanks to the Secret Drawer Society). I have investigated this exciting location at least 6 times prior and the vast majority of my visits have produced what I feel are fairly un-explainable experiences that keep me coming back for more.

The Inn, which dates back to 1716, is believed to be the haunted stomping ground of several dis-incarnate beings. Not the least of which is the enchanting Jerusha Howe, “the Belle of Sudbury”, the eldest sibling of one of the Inn’s original owners and the prime target of our in-depth investigation. 

It should be noted that both my team and I do not yet hold a firm belief that the experiences had at the Inn over the years are the result of “intelligent” interaction. Such a concept in this field of research has yet to be proven to our satisfaction and until such a time that gathered evidence supports the claim of “intelligence” by repeated and demonstrable  experiences, our research will focus on the elements that can be tangibly analyzed in the hopes of uncovering the statistical, environmental and / or physical makeup of the activity at hand.

Evidence History

THE KNOCK – 

My first experience at the Inn was shared with 10 other individuals (many of whom are current members of our team). During an investigation of Room 9  a very clear and apparent knock was heard on the room door. 11 individuals turned to look at the door and within seconds of the knock the door was opened and no one was there.  The stairway outside the door is very steep and very creaky.  It was very unlikely that anyone could have knocked on that door and escaped down the stairs while going unnoticed.  Everyone in the room that day concurred.

 

THE PIANO – 

7486149_orig

On July 26th 2011, I recorded nearly 20 minutes of random piano playing at 4:10 AM. The piano, while faint, was heard audibly. Knowing that Jerusha’s piano still existed in the Inn, I went downstairs to the museum to have a look. The 19th century piano was not only unoccupied, but sealed up and behind glass.  It should be noted that the piano music did not emanate from the museum room.  In fact, the piano music faded the further away from Rm 9 I got. The next morning I confirmed with the front desk that the piano I saw in the museum was the only piano in the Inn, and other guests claimed to have heard the piano as well.  Our sample below is noisy due to a faulty audio recorder.  But the piano is clearly heard.

 

THE SHADOW – 

These videos represent some of the finest visual evidence we’ve seen. Para~Boston Investigator Jonathan Smith reserved room 9 at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA. Claims from other Inn residents stated that the spirit of Jerusha tends to bother male occupants while they sleep, and many times people have seen shadows moving in the corner of the room. This video captures just that. To the right of the bed you will see a faint shadow leave the floor and fly upward. This was not caused by any external means and we deem this video to be 100% authentic.

Equipment Developed For This Investigation

IMG_5829

For this investigation, we have decided to try a new piece of equipment that I have created for capturing both EVP’s and Electro-Magnetic fields simultaneously.  The scientific principles employed  in this “microphone” have been used in this field before, both intentionally and accidentally.  This device functions on the principle of magnetic induction, the same way a traditional dynamic microphone works, however there are slight alterations in this particular device that make it unique. In addition to two large copper plates creating a tune-able condenser element, combinations of multiple coils tuned for specific frequency ranges using different winding amounts and wire gauges are select-able via a switching system that is used in conjunction with a 153 lb neodymium magnet for increased sensitivity. It should be noted that this microphone has NO diaphragm and is incapable of recording standard audio.

Two of these devices (each tuned differently and on separate axis) will be used on site and record to two 24bit recording devices.   Because of their design they will not only capture EVP without the intrusive background audio, but they will serve as a very sensitive EMF meter that will display full spectrum analysis of any stray EMF field in the area allowing us to discern between different EMF fields and rule out any “man-made” sources.


IMG_5833Another experiment to be performed here involves the reactions and sensitivity of plant life during paranormal activity. The principles behind this experiment were first made popular by Cleve Baxter during the 1970’s. Baxter claimed that all living things are linked and therefore even plants can show fear and anticipation of other living beings in the room. To my knowledge, however, these ideas were never applied to paranormal research until now. To conduct this experiment I needed to create a skin galvanization meter that could record data for the entire night. A picture of the device I created is to the left. This meters probes will be clipped to a plant’s leaf and 240 samples per second of the leafs conductivity will be recorded. If the plant reacts to the environment (as Baxter claims) the plant’s conductivity (or Galvanization) will increase and show a reading on the meter. Will it work? Time will tell.

The Investigation…

Because numerous claims from previous occupants of the room seem to mention that the activity often centers around male guests, we have elected a volunteer to stay in the room overnight while our equipment records any potential activity.

Our team arrived at the Inn in the early afternoon hours of May 26th and proceeded to set up our equipment. Video cameras were strategically placed to cover all angles of the room, and in addition to our DVR night vision camera set, we employed one professional Panasonic AG100X which would be focused primarily on the bed and wall where the shadows previously appeared. Ultimately our goal was to mimic the camera angle of the “shadow figure” video shown above. Also, in hopes of having similar results, we decided to leave the lights on just as they were in the original evidence video.

A high powered shotgun microphone was employed to capture even the smallest audible sounds in the room.  This was done to create a suitable reference track should we need to correlate any of the camera footage. The microphone may also prove useful should the piano music manifest again.

On the dresser we placed a house plant and tablet that were both hooked to the galvanization meter. Tests were performed and the meter was properly calibrated for the evening ahead. Additionally the two EMVP coils were placed on a single microphone stand approximately 4 feet high. The coils were positioned to cover two primary axis (Z and X) and the output was connected to a high quality audio recorder set to record .wav files at a 48K sample rate (the highest quality setting available).  The recorders had enough memory and battery life to record continuously for 36 hours (although we wouldn’t need that much space).

All of the cameras in the room (8 in total) were wired back to room 10 and plugged into the DVR system. Recording began immediately. The majority of team left the Inn around 8:30 PM, with the exception of myself and our test subject Jason.  I would occupy room 10 and monitor the equipment and Jason would occupy the target room (9). It should be noted that Jason has not had any previous paranormal investigation experience.

During the night I noticed no strange activity first hand, but Jason, in room 9, had an unusual experience as soon as the evening began.  When returning to his room and preparing to settle in for the night, he noticed the sound of water coming from the bathroom. Upon opening the door, he noticed the water had been running — the faucet was fully open.  Assuming that one of the members of the team left it on before leaving the Inn, he simply shut it off and went to bed.

The next morning, Jason informed me of the water experience and demonstrated what he saw. During our evidence review, we carefully examined the video to see who the last person was to enter the bathroom.  It was Jason. Of course it would seem that Jason simply left the water on himself, but the audio from the high-powered microphone tells another story. As you will see below, Jason first used the bathroom at 7:51 PM and exited the bathroom at 7:52 PM. During the moments he had the door open (average 10 seconds each) running water was not heard on the microphone. However, when he re-entered the bathroom at 8:42 — the running water is clearly heard.  See this and additional evidence below:

THE WATER – 
First time entering the bathroom - Water Off

First time entering the bathroom – Water Off

First time exiting the bathroom - Water Off

First time exiting the bathroom – Water Off

Second time entering the batheroom - Water On

Second time entering the bathroom – Water On

Second time exiting the bathroom - Water Off

Second time exiting the bathroom – Water Off

The following is an analysis of the audio captured of the bathroom that evening.  The first time Jason enters the bathroom running water is not shown.  However in the second graph the running water can clearly be seen at 2Khz.
Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water is NOT present.

Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water is NOT present.

Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water IS present.

Audio Spectrograph showing the sound of running water IS present.

THE CRY – 

At 3:45 AM the EMVP Wand captured an evidence sample. The image (below) shows a spectro-graph of the EMVP output during that time. The dark purple area represents the hiss noise from the audio recorder and the light pink areas represent complex waves of EMF that can be audibly heard in the recording (i.e. an EVP).  The recording is what appears to be a woman crying – and quite aggressively. The sound is faint mainly due to the EMVP wand design and the source distance from the wand. But the definition is clear. (You will need headphones to hear this sample.) Because of the extremely low noise of this design, and the absence of recorded audio, this sample was identified. Traditional audio samples such as the ones above contain far too much background noise to identify recordings of this nature.  From this experiment we now have sufficient data to effectively redesign the EMVP device and specifically target the frequencies and components needed to capture this vocal phenomena  in a greater, more defined volume.

Woman Crying:

Woman Crying (Volume Enhanced):

The light pink areas represent the frequencies of the crying sound.

The light pink areas represent the frequencies of the crying sound.

THE LETTERS –

Anyone who has ever stayed at the Wayside Inn knows about “The Secret Drawer Society”.  Over the past four decades, visitors to the Inn have left notes describing their experience at the Inn.  Out of the 3000+ letters we found (and yes we went through them all) most seem to be about personal events such as weddings and anniversaries spent at the Inn.  But there were nearly 200 of them that mentioned paranormal experiences at the Inn. That was evidence we just had to have, so over the course of a couple nights spent at the Inn, we read and scanned every paranormal letter we could find and put them in a database (Link Below).  What surprised us about these letters is that we read testimony from people all the way back to the 80’s describing paranormal experiences which support the evidence we captured nearly 30 years later! For example, in spite of our extensive research before going into the Inn, we were unaware about the claims of the water faucets in the bathroom turning on.  The letters were an excellent confirmation of our evidence because we captured it and then learned about the claims.  That is a very difficult thing to do in this day and age.

The letters that you will find here are in the process of being transcribed for easy reading and searching. It is our hope gather very important statistics from the letters to aid in our research.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LETTERS