06/15/14

The Research Phenomenon

If history has taught us anything, it’s that being wrong is normal but also that anyone who stubbornly holds on to a particular concept without the willingness to change stands a fair chance of growing obsolete as the rest of the ‘thinking’ world moves forward. The study of anomalous phenomena is certainly no exception to that rule, but unfortunately when you’re dealing with the unknown, what’s right and what’s wrong isn’t always so clearly defined and that’s where the quality and diversity of your own research is vital to justifying your theoretical position.

When I started my research nearly a decade ago I, like most people adopted the rationale of the popular perception. I was inexperienced and uneducated to what had become a  monumental task at hand and so, initially, I followed the path I was shown. “Ghost Hunters” had just hit it big on television and the world exploded with thousands of paranormal team’s armed with gear and concepts, that for the most part, they didn’t really understand.  Still, they carried on hell bent on capturing that elusive golden flag – proof – and possibly scoring an element of popularity (maybe even a television appearance) in the process.

The caveat to that endeavor is that in the non-conventional science realm “proof” is sort of a dirty word. The truth is, unless you can get the activity to repeat on demand for all to see, the best you can ever hope for is “supporting evidence”. The preponderance of that evidence is the big vat from which so many people draw their conclusions, but proof has yet to be found.

My first exposure to the paranormal research world came a midst my research for a documentary film I was making at the time called “14 Degrees”. The dozens of investigation teams and individuals I encountered during that time painted a fairly clear picture of the current “state of the union” and as inexperienced as I was, what I saw was quite a disappointment.

Nearly everyone I encountered seemed to be mimicking what they saw on television. They used the same equipment, had the same theories, and used the same techniques. All in homage to their Sci-Fi television leaders, one group even carried around a plunger in tribute to Jason & Grant (the founders of our proverbial feast).  I couldn’t help but think “How could any discoveries be made under these conditions?”  Nobody was breaking any new ground. No one was really trying anything different or thinking outside what was clearly a very defined and restricting box.

It  was clear to me that what I was witnessing were not researchers, but thrill seekers who were simply there for the experience. Even worse was the foundation (or lack thereof) of their pseudo “research”. Hardly anyone could tell me anything about the history behind the principles and claims that they not only followed but would publicly TEACH at seminars and conventions.

I admit I was disillusioned and disappointed by the experience. I had always thought there was so much more to being a researcher than just copying what you see on television… and as it turns out…I was right.

In the world of paranormal research there is a clear divide between the serious and supercilious and the most important qualification is understanding.  Not an understanding of the legendary hokum handed down through generations, not an understanding of the popular concepts of what makes up a “haunting”, not an understanding of demons, ghosts, angels, poltergeists or which hyped up divining gadget works best, but a good thorough, unbiased understanding of the real world (not your perception of the world), the physics behind it and above all the fallible, inaccurate, emotional beast that is the human element.

Over the next month (June) I will be publishing a 4 part series on the tangible scientific elements of paranormal research.

In the coming weeks I will present the following:

  • A history of study – Some of the popular and productive experiments and studies of the 20th century.
  • Elements of human perception and how understanding the behavioral processes of human mind can adversely affect the outcome of your research.
  • The various aspects of the technological approach as applied to field research & why most modern equipment just isn’t good enough.
  • The application of critical thinking and identifying the potential for misconception.

Stay tuned…

05/22/14

Albania…

One thing that I enjoy as a paranormal investigator is meeting people. Most of the people we’ve meet have genuine concerns and for the most part are basing those concerns on things like pop culture, TV , books, and even the media. But once in a while we meet people who’s beliefs are based in their culture. Last summer we received a call from a family in Hyde Park that had emigrated from Albania in search of a better, more stable life. Not knowing much about Albania, we did some research.

This is a brief overview. Albania is situated on the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, with Montenegro and Serbia to the north, Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south. Slightly larger than Maryland, Albania is composed of two major regions: a mountainous highland region (north, east, and south) constituting 70% of the land area, and a western coastal lowland region that contains nearly all of the country’s agricultural land and is the most densely populated part of Albania. Largely agricultural, Albania is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The government in Albania been in turmoil for years, shifting from Communism to Socialism to Democracy, all wrought with corruption. The most common religions practiced in Albania are Islam and Christianity, but there is a mixture of various religious traditions and pagan traditions coming from the time before Christianity and Islam. It is common for people of Albania to believe in witchcraft and evil spirits and to use talismans for protection against such things. After learning a little about the family’s culture and beliefs we proceeded with the interview and walk through of their home.

The oldest of two daughters (around 35) contacted us with a concern that there was an evil spirit in their home. I will call her Angela (not her real name). She shared the home with her mother, father and younger sister. They were some of the politest people we’ve met and warmly welcomed us into their home. The parents spoke very little English and relied on the daughters to translate. We found out that Angela was feeling like the energy was being sucked out of her while she was at home, mostly in her room. She told us that she only wanted to sleep while in there and had a hard time getting up at all, but once she was out of the house she felt better and had more energy. The mother believed that there was a spirit of a soldier in the home and he had appeared to her. She felt that he had been a previous owner of the house. The younger sister hadn’t experienced anything herself, but was petrified by the thoughts of a spirit being in their home. The father didn’t really believe but was very concerned about Angela’s issues. We set up a date to come back with our equipment.

The night of the investigation we set up video and audio and did an EMF sweep of the home. We focused on Angela’s bed room, looking for anything out of the ordinary that could cause her energy to be drained. After spending a few minutes in there we all developed a headache. The room had a strange feel to it, almost like a strange pressure. We did exstensive EMF testing in there and found no high readings, but still felt as though it was something environmental that was affecting us and Angela for that matter. We did several EVP sessions in the different parts of the house, and had one interesting thing happen. I was asking questions in the younger sisters room and our EMF detector was on. I asked the question” Did you own this house?” and the meters reading climbed several points. As I noticed this I asked more questions about the owning the home and whether or not they built it and the reading stayed high. I then asked a random question about fishing and the meter dropped back to its original reading. Later when we reviewed the audio there weren’t any answers to our questions to help validate the readings, so was this evidence or a coincidence? We’ll never know for sure, so we’ll call it interesting. We found nothing paranormal to report and nothing out of the ordinary, other than our reactions to being in Angela’s room. We made the suggestion for the family to install carbon monoxide detectors and also to do a mold test and more air quality testing too. We also recomended that Angela sleep in another room and spend as litlle time as possible in her room for a week to see if the issues subsided.

We checked back after a couple weeks and Angella reported very little change in her energy level after sleeping in a different room for a week and still felt lousey. Her mother had suggested that she see her doctor to see if it was a medical issue. Her father had installed the CO detectors and was waiting for the results of the mold test.

05/22/14

Living Next to Woodlawn Cemetery

A few Years ago around Halloween, a family in Everett, MA contacted us with concerns about their daughter. Whenever someone calls with concerns about a child we take it very serious and put top priority on the case so we rushed out to do an interview and walk through The mother was in her early 20’s and her daughter was around 4 years old. They lived with the mother’s boyfriend in the upstairs apartment of a two family home. In the down stairs apartment live the grand parents and the mother’s younger sister.The house was located in a nice, quiet neighborhood that bordered the Woodlawn Cemetery. When we arrived, we noticed they had decorated for Halloween and even had a little grave yard set up in the front yard. We were met by the family and several neighbors and invited into the grand parents apartment. The mother of the little girl told us that her daughter had been talking to someone in her bedroom and seeing shadows. At one point she had pointed out of an upstairs window at the little grave yard and said “That’s where we’re going !” The mother was extremely concerned and we couldn’t blame her. She felt that being located next to that cemetery that they were being visited by spirits, and that they were affecting her daughter. But as the interview continued, we heard story after story from all the people that were there of paranormal experiences from their pasts. The interview took on an almost party atmosphere.The grand father told stories of manifestations from when he lived in another town, the grand mother saw shadow figures in the house as she was falling asleep. One neighbor saw apartitians and glowing lights in the cemetery from her bedroom window. They had so many stories that it was almost over whelming, One of our members asked if they watched the TV shows and the whole conversation turned to what episode was just on, where they were going next, and what show they liked the best. We just sat and took it all in while the mother sat, not saying a lot and looking upset. There was a break in the conversation, so we asked to see the upstairs apartment and the daughter took us up. We got a few minutes alone with her and she began to tell us that her daughter spent a lot of time around the other family members and that they spoke freely in front of her about spirits, hauntings and the TV shows. At age 4 she knew more about the TV shows than I did. They had very little furniture, not too much as far as decorations on the walls and there wasn’t much in the kitchen for plates,utensils or even food. From looking around the place and talking to the mother, we realized that they didn’t spend much time up there. It was obvious that they spent most of their time down stairs and only slept up there. Even though we didn’t feel that anything was going on, we agreed to come back and do an investigation. We did have to make sure that the rest of the family wouldn’t be home, so one of the neighbors agreed to have them all over the night of the investigation and have a party. We set up audio and video both upstairs and down. Between all the video and all the audio, we had close to a hundred hours of recordings to review. We had a few strange noises that we couldn’t identify from the downstairs and a couple bangs upstairs, but nothing that we could label paranormal. After discussing this case among the members of the group, we came to the conclusion that the adults were affected by living next to the cemetery and the child was reacting to all the paranormal optimism of the adults. Unfortunately children emulate their environment and that in our opinion was the case here.

05/9/14

Look a Mouse – EEEEEEEKK !!!!!!

You can probably already tell how this one ended…. We received a call from a family in Billerica, MA with claims of activity in their home. After talking with one of our members we thought we should have a look and get more details from the family. The mother greeted us at the door and invited us into their living room. She started right in telling us all her claims and it became apparent that she was the one who believed there was activity in their house. Her boyfriend, who was also present barely said a word. When he did speak, he said that he didn’t really think anything was going on, but with some of the things that had happened he was starting to wonder. One thing we did find out was, they’re big fans of the TV shows and had even bought a “Ghost Hunting Kit”on the internet. The woman was convinced that they had a ghost in their home, and wasn’t going to listen to any explanations or debunking of the activity. She told how they would find things spilled on their kitchen counter and the cupboard doors open in the morning when they woke up. She also told of how their keys and cell phones would disappear from where they left them and always be found in the same spot, which was down inside a recliner in the living room. She then told how she was fondled in the shower, which she demonstrated on one of our members, Calvin much to his chagrin.( I don’t think he’s recovered from it to this day !) We listened to the rest of her claims and then asked if we could look around the rest of the house. I went to the basement and found the back door wide open. There was no screen door so anything could have walked right in. We looked for any high EMF sources or anything else that could cause anything out of the ordinary, which we found nothing. But, when we did go back up to the living room to talk with the people, one of our members noticed a set of keys and a cell phone on the back of the recliner where all the items were found. I was standing so that I could see into the kitchen while we were talking and something drew my eye to the counter. A mouse ran from one end to the other and ducked behind some clutter that was there. I spoke up and said something about it to the lady, and she was appalled and insulted, claiming there was no mouse in her kitchen! We also pointed out the keys and phone that were on the recliner, and that could be the reason that stuff was found in the chair and she was adamant that they never leave stuff there. Later that evening we got together and discussed the interview. We couldn’t explain the fondling in the shower, but from talking with the woman and what we saw, we came to the conclusion that she needed to stop watching the TV shows and either get a cat or call an exterminator!

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 !

04/16/14

The Near Death Experience of Dr. Eben Alexander

Dr. Eben Alexander III is a neurosurgeon and author of the best selling book, “Proof of Heaven”.

Dr. Eben Alexander graduated from Duke University in 1980 and was a resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery and American College of surgeons. He has been employed at some of the top hospitals in the world. These hospitals include Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Boston, Dana-Farber Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Alexander comes from a scientific background and has followed in his fathers footsteps in neurosurgery. Once a true believer that there is nothing after death, which his upbringing and education taught him, Dr. Alexander now questions everything he has learned since suffering from a meningitis induced coma in 2008.

His book claims that our consciousness is independent from the brain and that death is simply an illusion. He also says there is a perfect life after death that includes butterflies, Angels, clouds, and our departed loved ones.

Dr. Alexander slipped into a coma as a result of severe bacterial meningitis. Having no brain activity he was considered “brain dead”. His journey began in a dark formless place without memory, language, or time. He was saved by a spinning melody of light that came closer and closer until it opened up to a world full of vivid colors and millions of butterflies. Flowers blooming and blossoming as he floated by. By his side was a beautiful girl with blue eyes. She would look at him without saying a word and the thought would mystically enter his mind that she was telling him he was loved and cherished but he must go back, it was not his time. After seven days in a coma, he miraculously opened his eyes. Due to his amazing experience Dr. Alexander had a different view of life and life after death.

After going public with his story prior to the publication of his book, he has been terminated or suspended from multiple hospital positions and subject to several malpractice lawsuits. Other medical professionals claimed that Dr. Alexander was in a medically induced coma and was conscious and hallucinating.

Although Dr. Alexander states his near death experience occurred while his cerebral cortex was shut down and inactive, neuro-scientist Sam Harris disagrees. He states Dr. Alexander’s claims are not only inadequate but insults him by saying he doesn’t know anything about the relevant brain science. Neurologist Oliver Sacks states that it was impossible to establish a near death experience while the brain was shut down. The most plausible explanation is that it occurred not during the coma but as he was resurfacing from it and his cortex was returning to full function.

What is your opinion? Do you believe in life after death or is it just a hallucination?

04/9/14

The Lady in Black

 

I know you like ghosts, but,do you like Civil War history? Do you like forts? How about a nice boat ride in Boston Harbor? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you need to check out Fort Warren. Its located on Georges Island at the entrance of Boston Harbor, which is operated by the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation.

 

Check out: http://www.bostonharborislands.org for more information and how to get there.

 

My wife and I go every year and end up finding something new every time. We haven’t seen the lady in black yet, but we have heard an eerie harmonica playing from a chimney located on top of the wall, way in the back of the fort. The Lady in Black is supposedly an apparition on George’s Island, a young woman in black robes that wanders about the grounds. She is believed to be Mrs. Andrew Lanier, wife of a Confederate soldier that was imprisoned there in 1861. Edward Rowe Snow, a 20th century local historian, had popularized the myth, and the following is his version of the story:

“Mrs. Lanier received a letter from her husband that he had been imprisoned at Fort Warren. She was compelled to free him, making an epic journey from Georgia to Hull, Massachusetts and the home of a Confederate sympathizer. Hull is only about a mile away from George’s Island. Mrs. Lanier systematically observed the fort with a spy-glass, and on a stormy night in January 1862, had rowed across to George’s Island and went ashore. She cut her hair short and dressed as a man, and brought with her an old pistol and small pick-axe. She made her way to the dungeon cells, and from outside the fort signaled to her husband by whistling an obscure southern tune, to which he signaled back. Mrs. Lanier was able to squeeze through the slit-window of his cell, and was then hidden by the Confederate soldiers. With the use of the pick-axe, the soldiers contrived to tunnel to the center of the fort, and then overtake the guards and obtain weapons. The tunnel took several weeks to dig, and on the eve of finishing the tunnel, a sharp blow of the pick had alerted a guard. The alarm was sounded, and the tunnel quickly discovered. As each of the Confederate soldiers was removed from the tunnel, a tally was taken. When all the prisoners were accounted for, Mrs. Lanier was to spring from the tunnel and capture a Union officer with the old pistol. Mrs. Lanier succeeded in surprising the officer, but he slapped the pistol from her hand. The pistol went off and the bullet struck and killed her husband. As punishment for her deeds, Mrs. Lanier was condemned to death by hanging. Her final request was to be given female clothing, and a search of the fort produced nothing but some old black robes. She was executed in these robes and buried on George’s Island.”

So if you dare to explore the Fort Warren keep your eyes and ears open you never know what may be waiting for you…

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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!

03/30/14

No…Really we’ve got Ghosts !

A nice lady contacted us a while back who was having some experiences. Three of us went to her home for a walk through and interview. She was very nice, but so hyper that we had a hard time following her descriptions of the activity in her home. She spoke very fast and would jump from subject to another  in one breath. She didn’t sit still either, she would get up and walk around  and  then sit down again. From what we could follow she was seeing things, hearing noises, and lights were turning on and off in the attic. While interviewing her, we found out that she was recovering from brain cancer. She spoke freely and told us that some of the meds that she was taking would make her hyper to the point that she would need to take double the prescribed amount of sleeping pills every night so she could sleep.  Her husband wasn’t there to interview, but we were told that he wasn’t having experiences and didn’t believe there was anything going on either.

Her 3 children on the other hand were. They told us how a tennis ball flew from a bedroom across the living room at one of the boys and the girl woke up with scratches and bruises. While we were there the children were playing really rough. They were wrestling and punching each other and at times would throw stuff at each other. Needless to say it was a three ring circus in their house. We were able to get the kids to sit down for a bit and talk to us. We found out that they watched all the paranormal tv shows and could name all the characters and episodes. They were obsessed with it.

We went back to do a formal investigation and weren’t able to capture any evidence for them. From what we saw when we interviewed them, and experienced at the investigation, we were pretty sure there wasn’t anything going on. We felt that with the mothers issues she was jumping to conclusions, and with the kids’ fascination with the tv show’s we felt that there was some wishful thinking going on. We explained our findings but, no matter what we reported they still believed.

03/27/14

BRRRRR! It’s Cold in Here!

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In December we received a call from a super nice family from Saugus, MA. The mother, father, and son all reported some sort of activity. The daughter had no claims, but was a little nervous because of her families’ claims. One of the mother’s claims was being pushed off the edge of her bed while she had the flue. The son had claimed to see an apparition out of the corner of his eye while watching TV in the living room. The father reported being pushed while climbing up the stairs from the basement.

We arrived for the investigation and toured the home. The first thing that we noticed was the ceiling in the kitchen was pulled down. It seems that they had a major leak in the upstairs bathroom and it ruined the ceiling. We noticed some black discoloration on the joists and with closer inspection it appeared to be mold. The living room, where the son saw the apparition, had by-fold doors that were mirrored and allowed you to see out into the kitchen. We noticed a slight buzzing noise that was hard to locate. With an emf detector, we found the buzzing. It was a dimmer switch in the hallway that was defective and emitting high levels of EMF. The family was used to the sound and didn’t pay any attention to it. We then went to the basement and while looking around we noticed a fairly new gas furnace. Once we looked a little closer we noticed a hole about the size of a dime in the flu pipe. Our first thought was to get the groups carbon monoxide detector and test the basement. It went off as soon as we got close to the furnace.

The mold in the ceiling could have caused or contributed to the mother’s flue symptoms. Having been really sick at one or two times in my life myself, I can see someone feeling unstable and falling as they get out of bed. Reflections in the mirrored doors could have looked like an apparition. The carbon monoxide could have made the dad dizzy as he climbed the stairs and fall. The bad dimmer switch could have burned the house down. The daughter being scarred….well if your whole family watched the Paranormal TV shows and said that things were happening in your house, wouldn’t you be nervous too? Sometimes the claims or causes of presumed paranormal activity are explainable, but it may be tough to see when you’re too close to the situation, it may take an outsider to see the obvious.

I’m not trying to tell you that we have all the answers or that there wasn’t activity going on in their home. All I’m telling you is what we found and pointed out to the family. Hopefully it helped them.

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.

03/18/14

A Tall Case Of Fraud

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On July 24th 2010 we conducted a joint investigation of the Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts.  Our team was invited to attend per the courtesy of PRI-ME. Maine (A scientific research group from the Portland area).  They had purchased an “investigative” tour of the forest which had been the subject of many paranormal claims throughout the years. The tour was to be conducted by man named John (last name omitted intentionally) a very tall heavy set man who happens to be the founder of a New England paranormal research group located on the Massachusetts south shore.  The charge for this tour was $300 which included two guided SUV rentals and unlimited access into some of the more restricted areas of the forest.   You see John had access to these areas because of a family lumber business that happened to have associated interest in the area.

During the course that night’s investigation,  KII Meter activity was rampant and at several points these moments of activity were audibly and visually recorded.  Just what any good team might do right?

It should be noted that later on in the evening (near the end of the night) the KII meter was placed into a Faraday Cage and subsequently all of the KII activity had ceased. We were suspicious of radio interference and one particular curiosity stood out. In-spite of our splitting into several varied groups throughout the night all of the activity seemed to occur in the presence of only one person…John.

Video containing cell phone pulses:


Upon reviewing the recorded evidence, members of PRI-ME noticed a peculiar pulsing which occurred during and preceding each KII event. These files were sent to us for analysis and using spectrum analysis software we were able to determine the frequency of the pulses as 22Hz. On further investigation it was found that the iDEN cell phone network, (Nextel/Sprint) which is known for its audio electronics interference in hearing devices, just happens to produce a leader signal of 22 pulses per second (i.e. 22Hz). The only individual in attendance that night with an active Nextel Sprint phone was (you guessed it) John.

fraud1

A frequency is determined by calculating the number of occurrences within a one second period. One wave or pulse in one second = 1hz. Within the Freetown sample files we see pulses like the ones shown here occurring during each of the KII hits. To determine the frequency of these pulses, I have measured the time elapsed for each group of pulses.

fraud2

The sample I used above contains 9 pulses which have an approximate total duration of .4 seconds (that’s just over one third of a second.) If we take 1 second and divide it by .4 we get 2.5 which means that this set of 9 pulses can occur 2.5 times per second. If we then multiply that by 9 (the number of pulses) we will see that within a one second period this pulse occurs 22 times making the frequency of the pulse approximately 22hz.

The pulsing signal certainly raised serious questions about the authenticity of the KII hits, and many agreed that it did sound like cell phone interference. However, this discovery was noted and put aside and a second investigation was conducted on July 30th.

For this investigation I decided to test the hypothesis that radio frequencies indeed caused the excessive KII activity. To achieve this I built a KII meter directly into a Faraday Cage and utilized a Radio Frequency Meter along with a standard KII meter. If this activity was caused by a radio frequency, it would be detected on the RF meter and would not affect the KII inside the Faraday Cage.

For the majority of the night on July 30th activity was scarce. We found out that John had purchased a new phone prior to this investigation and we were wondering if the possible charade of foolishness was over. Later on in the night however, KII Activity started once again. As suspected the RF meter peaked with every KII hit and the meter inside the cage wasn’t activated at all showing that radio frequencies were in fact causing the KII spikes. Like before, all of the activity occurred within the presence of John.

When the night ended, one of the leaders of PRI-ME was given the old Blackberry phone (previously owned by John) as a gift. He said he had no further use for it and she took it home in the hopes of using it herself.

Evidence for the investigation on the 30th came up clear of any unusual sound anomalies (i.e. pulsing) but what did pose a question were the records contained in the Blackberry phone.

When the PRI-ME member reviewed the call records in the phone for July 24th she found seven calls to a number labeled “Ghost Phone”. It was later determined that the times of these calls coincided with the KII hits from the July 24th investigation. The number called was 207-618-1454.

When the team called this number it was answered by an automated service which expressed the importance of your call and abruptly put you on hold for a one minute period until it eventually hung up on you. It was also discovered that this number belonged to a land line phone in Portland Maine. The call times were very short (2 minutes and under) and the shortest was only 13 seconds in duration. It should be noted that no one on either investigation ever saw John speaking on his phone (which was in his pants pocket), and the Bluetooth earpiece he always wears was placed in his shirt pocket.

These discrepancies (pulsing and phone records) were brought up to John during a group phone conversation. He had no real explanation for the pulses that were found surrounding the KII activity, but conceded that they could have been caused by radio waves. When asked to explain the seven calls to the mysterious “Ghost Phone” his reply was that his phone is voice activated and he must have said the word “ghost” at some point during the night and the phone auto dialed from his pocket.

This statement came across as false since the Blackberry model phone used at the time requires that you push a button on the phone to voice dial and there are audible cues to this feature (which no one heard). Also the calls were in such staggered lengths that it was clear he was aware they were being made and stopped them at various times. Yet as it was mentioned before, no one saw him with a phone that night so it is assumed he triggered the calls using his Bluetooth earpiece. Everyone on the team agreed that any honest investigator who was aware of their phone dialing accidentally during activity spikes would mention something to their team. Yet John never mentioned a word about it.

John then claimed the phone number was part of an application which could be used through Skype and worked in a similar way to the Ovilus (paranormal divining equipment). He also claimed that his group partner had the same application on his phone and assumed everyone knew about it. Of course we asked and his partner knew nothing of this application. Also upon inspection of John’s phone there weren’t any applications installed. The “Ghost Phone” was simply a phone contact entry.

I personally tried to replicate the voice dial feature and even when pushing the correct buttons, the phone did not dial the “Ghost Phone” simply by saying “Ghost”.  It was painfully clear that John was lying.

The specific details of exactly how John committed this heinous fraud is something we will never truly know, but it is our suspicion that since John kept his Bluetooth earpiece in his shirt pocket and often crossed his arms, it would have been easy for him to redial the last number called and hang up when needed simply by pushing the Bluetooth button through his shirt pocket.

Again we will never truly know.  Sadly John is still in the public eye, volleying for his 15 minutes of fame wherever he can get it. If you ever decide to take a tour of the Hockomock Swamp, the Freetown State Forest, or anywhere in the Bridgewater Triangle – do yourself a favor and steer clear of one of scariest and most infuriating elements you may have yet to encounter – a lying giant named John.

 

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 – 

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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

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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

03/13/14

Studying Human Energy Transference: A Paranormal Analysis

qi gongSince 2004, the New England Center for the Advancement of Paranormal Studies (NECAPS) has been  involved with a multitude of studies including: Phonetic Pattern Calculations in Electronic Voice Phenomena, Electro-magnetic Transference, Electromagnetic Effects on Human Perceptions, Exploring Claims of Psychic Abilities, Understanding Human Misperceptions as well as claims of paranormal activity and human abilities.

As investigators with the New England Center for the Advancement of Paranormal Science (NECAPS), we are often contacted by individuals who would like a location investigated for paranormal activity. We approach self-proclaimed “psychics” and request their participation with our testing of their “abilities, but not surprisingly, none have elected to to be tested – to date. Imagine our excitement when we were contacted in late 2013 by an individual who claimed to have the power to transfer his energy to another human being.

“Fei” a 31 year old student from China studying in Boston, Massachusetts was eager to have his “power” tested and was willing to undergo any amount of examination and scrutiny. He wanted testing performed to both validate his claims of “Qi” energy transference and to determine if he possesses the ability to “heal”, or reduce pain symptoms in another person.

Qi, or biomagnetism, is thought to be a bioelectric current, or life energy field, measured in biophotons running through our nerves which send signals back and forth to our brains.

After researching similar claims of “energy healing”, we determined that Qigong, purportedly an energy flow one uses through non-contact to guide their body’s energy force into the body of another person, is the closest “energy transference” practice as that of Fei.

On November 16, 2013, we had our second meeting with Fei and we interviewed him further.  we also performed a series of energy flow experiments with him on that day. In an effort to prevent a placebo effect, several systems were put into place to lower the possibility of bias in the results.

We used a variety of equipment to measure EEG (electroencephalogram), respiratory rate, heart rate, galvanic skin response and blood pressure on three test volunteers. Additionally, we used blindfolds, ear plugs, thermal photography, a video camera and a control subject . Each of the three blindfolded and soundproofed volunteers had baseline readings performed before, during and after each test. There was a noticeable change concerning the galvanic skin response and thermal photos in two of the three test subjects. Skin conductivity decreased from 320KOhms to 440KOhms and the series of thermal photos appear to show a different heat response between Fei, Michael (the Control Subject), as well as two of the three volunteers.

Reports of feeling “tingling”, “static” and “heaviness” in the hand and fingertips were the most common descriptive terms used to describe the sensation during this non-skin contact testing from the two test volunteers..

There were periods of not feeling anything, including when Michael, our Control Subject, mimicked what Fei was doing. Also reported was a slight residual tingling sensation that continued for approximately 30 minutes after the testing was completed.

Upon the conclusion of the testing, thermal imaging photographic evidence was reviewed and a preliminary analysis seems to corroborate the instances that a sensation was felt during the instances that Fei was conducting his “energy transference”. The thermal images of his hands and the test subject’s hands before, during and after the sessions showed this correlation. These pictures appear to show that two of the test subject’s hands were cool, then got hotter when Fei conducted his energy transference, then got cooler after he was done, and stayed cooler when Michael did his placebo energy transference. Also interesting to note is that the third test subject felt nothing and her hands thermal images did not change during or after both Fei’s testing and Michael our Control Subject’s testing.

Though this November trial showed changes in skin conductivity and heat response, no definitive conclusions could yet be reached.

Meta-analysis shows that evidence for the effectiveness of external qigong is encouraging, though further studies are warranted due to the small number of studies and participants involved which precluded any firm conclusions about the specific effects of qigong on pain.

In addition, vast amounts of quantitative data, as well as qualitative data collected on studies demonstrate impressive effects of this life energy in: accelerating bone repair, controlling seizures, stimulating nerve regeneration, suppressing inflammation and promoting healing of wounds, and elimination of infections, warts, tumors, lesions, and other diseased tissue.

Another session is being scheduled to carry out a stricter experiment where we intend on testing Fei’s ability to detect pain areas on test subjects as well as testing Fei’s claims of his healing abilities.

03/13/14

Colonial Haunts

Historical places have always been intriguing and battlefields have set the stage for this country’s freedom. So having an opportunity to investigate Lexington’s Battle Road I was excited. Walking the paths the patriots marched, the history was palpable to me! My experience on Battle Road by Hartwell’s Tavern just down from the infamous Bloody Angle still baffles me.

I just finished using the restroom (nature calls lol) and began walking back to the group of people I was with. I had to stop and remove a pebble from my sandal. After removing the stone, I stood up and started walking again, and from behind me on my left side, I saw a hand reaching over my shoulder. I clearly saw a palm and the thumb come back at my face, as if to brush a bug (or spider, I hate spiders) away from me. I turned and looked back, thinking it was my husband, and no one was behind me…..momentarily startled, what just happened? I still question just what I saw?

Interestingly, about 15 minutes later I captured a picture that appears to have an anomaly, perhaps a soldier on horseback with a tri-corner hat, crossing the path in front of me? Check it out.

lexington and NEGC class 093

What do you think?
I still believe there is more to discover in Lexington, the Birthplace of our Nation and I cannot wait to go back again!

03/12/14

Nothing To Fear But The Living – Munchhausen By Proxy

On December 16, 2010 I was contacted about activity that was purported to be occurring at the home of a family in Whitman, Massachusetts. The woman who called me (a friend of the family) mentioned that the activity in the home had increased in recent days and was mainly focused around The mom who and her two daughters. Although the father and other occupants in the home have also had various experiences.

The caller mentioned that she is a medium with psychic ability and has been in contact with the entities that she says inhabit the family’s home. According to her she has identified three entities named Benjamin Jackson (or Smith), Tyler (no last name) and Beverly (no last name). One or more of these beings are alleged to be “attacking” the mom through the evocation of serious effects on her health.  The caller has also mentioned that the attacks and activity continue in spite of her multiple attempts at clearing the home. At the time of the reporting phone call she mentioned the spirits would simply “push her aside” following any attempt to keep them in order or remove them.

She has contacted us out of concern for the families well being and safety.  In response to the initial report we phoned the family to follow up and arrange for a preliminary meeting/interview as well as schedule a subsequent investigation of the home and activity.

According to the family, the activity truly started to manifest following the additional “awareness” brought by the family friends psychic communication with the spirits alleged to occupy the home. The eldest daughter is believed to have been channeling the spirits through various automatic writing sessions. As of Dec 16th 2010 she has channeled the spirits three times.  (See sample of writing below). In addition to the psychic communication, the family also claims to have experienced the gamut of paranormal activity ranging from moving objects, footsteps and voices to shadow figures and full bodied apparitions.

All of the  family along with their visitors claim to feel a very heavy presence in the home and many claims of headaches and chest pains.

Prior to the full investigation of the family’s claims, we conducted preliminary research in the hopes of qualifying some of the factual data presented during the initial interview.  We researched the names “Benjamin”, “Smith”, “Tyler” and “Beverly”and other details given by the family in the hopes validating some of their claims. We were not successful.

The following images represent visual input from the family’s children.

1 This image shows a drawing made by the youngest daughter.  It shows a general representation of how she sees these entities.
2    This image shows a drawing made by the eldest daughter.  It shows her interpretation of Beverly. Note the apron on the figure suggesting that she was a cleaning woman or servant of some kind.
3 This image is a sample of an automatic writing session conducted by The eldest daughter.  (See notes below)
 4 This image is a restatement of the automatic writing session in  eldest daughter’s own hand for comparison. (See notes below)

 The automatic writing sample provided by  eldest daughter contains various statements and information segments acquired by her during her session.  Our first step in this analysis was to verify the integrity of the writing. To do this we had her write a sample of the same statement in her own hand, while not in a meditative state.

Graphology analysis was done to compare slant, size and pressure in both the upper, middle and lower zones of the sample. We have found definite similarities between the two samples and have concluded there is very little difference between the two writings.  To further analyze this sample we have checked the structure and patterns between other automatic writing samples presented over the years and found several concerning discrepancies with this sample:

1.)    Misspelled names:  In a traditional automatic writing session, the spirit is said to channel their energy through the subject’s body and write the dialogue themselves.  The person doing the channeling becomes only a tool for the encompassing entity. In many historical recorded sessions the channeling individuals have been known to write in foreign languages typically the style and handwriting of the spirit they are channeling. While the channeling entity may misspell various words in the channeling session, it is unlikely they would misspell their own name, in the sample provided here, the name Benjamin is misspelled as “Benjamine”.

2.)    Modern Terms: This sample contains many modern terms such as “Awesome” and “On-line” (referring to internet usage). Since channeling spirits are typically known to communicate in the “language of their era” this presentation does not fit the traditional criteria.

3.)    Writing Fluidity:  In traditional writing samples the pen or pencil movement is fluid and swift and typically done with the hand least used by the medium. This sample shows slow, choppy pen movements and “normal hand” penmanship.

These issues present problems with the validity of the sample and therefore cannot be considered with any other evidence of paranormal activity that may be found in this case.

Our Investigation: 

The team arrived at the home at approximately 7:00PM on January 15, 2011. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the father.  The team proceeded to load in our equipment, introduced each investigator to the clients and began our camera setup.

One notable and concerning aspect of this investigation was discovered during the preliminary walkthrough conducted on December 29, 2010 and involves highly excessive levels of electric and electro-magnetic fields. These fields are strong and present throughout various areas of the home reaching levels in excess of 325mg in multiple locations.

Many of these affected “high energy” locations are in common areas of the home or places where the family members and guests might spend extended periods of time (i.e. near beds, chairs, etc.)  Upon further investigation our team discovered that these high energy fields are caused by a large assortment of devices within the home including but not limited to the following:  Fans, Heaters, Air Purifiers, Alarm Clocks, Lamps and Decorative String Lighting.

Although these devices are used for functional and decorative purposes we feel the side effects of their high EMF output can (in some cases) be dangerous and damaging to the occupant’s physical and mental health.

The World Health Organization warns that electro-magnetic fields in excess of 20 milligauss can have adverse health effects with prolonged exposure. The levels measured in this home are twelve times higher than the world health organization’s recommended limit.  This coupled with the families constant occupancy of the home for extended periods of time raises concerns about their overall health.  Even members of our team became sick during the investigation.  Sick to the point of vomiting.

None of the 13 team members personally experienced or recorded anything beyond the excessive and heavy man-made energy levels within the home, but based on our four independent preliminary interviews with members of the family we have found that due to the family’s firm belief and interest in the activity and causes presented by the family friend and parents, there is some evidence of possible coequal testimonial influence as well as Munchhausen by proxy.

Several of our investigators have noticed key changes to the younger daughters testimony in the light of evidence or testimony presented by other family members. For example on one occasion when asked if she had heard Benjamin speak, she firmly replied “no”, however after hearing her older sister  talk about hearing Benjamin’s voice, her testimony changed and she began telling of her experiences hearing his voice. This form of testimony change occurred several times within the interview process. She and her older sister were also inclined to change their claims in accordance with their mothers testimony.

We have also found that this family has been encouraged to identify their experiences with sources of a paranormal nature all with little or no research to support the assumption.  The eldest daughter has been told by the family friend she is a crystal child and possesses the ability to channel the spirits which allegedly reside in the home. However, there is no empirical evidence to support the claims of this child’s abilities and the child herself was unaware of these abilities before being told she had them.

However, she is still encouraged to develop her abilities, and assured by her mother that her results are valid. Again, this assurance is from unsubstantiated sources. We do feel as though outside influences and sympathetic behaviors are influencing the families overall viewpoint and experiences with regards to the environment in their home.

The sad ending to this story is that during this investigation and our individual, private interviews with the family member we had discovered several signs of child abuse which manifested in several recorded claims made by the children in the home.  The oldest daughter had made a list of the hurtful things her mother had done and said to her and her sister on a repeated basis. She had even written it down. The specific details of this aspect of the case must remain private but following our research we felt it necessary to report these issues to the Department of Social Services to ensure the children’s safety.

Call it Munchhausen by proxy, call it misinterpretation of natural influences or call it demonic possession.  At the end of the day it was still the case of a family so desperately in need of help and one we couldn’t ignore.  Maybe we cleansed the home of one kind of demon after all.

 

03/11/14

Evil Does Exist

I believe that we witnessed evil in an investigation in Boston a few years ago. A man named Tony lived in a low income housing project and called us with claims of hearing voices and noises from the other rooms in his apartment. Sometimes it would say things like “Get Out!” or just whisper things that he couldn’t understand. He also told about hearing things being moved in the kitchen, but by the time he got there, everything was quiet. Also there were claims of weird shadows on a wall in the living room and noises coming from the upstairs apartment when nobody was there. He was upset and afraid and was looking for help.

Tony was a nice enough guy, but he had some severe psychological issues. We weren’t sure what they were, but paranoia definitely was one of them. We talked with him on several occasions leading up to the investigation and he always spoke about his friend, Adam and that he could corroborate all of his claims. We scheduled the investigation and asked Tony if Adam could also be there. We arrived and set up audio and video to record all the rooms in his apartment.

While the set up was taking place we spoke with Adam to get his opinion on the claims. He was a smooth talker and was very slick, but not that slick. There were holes in his stories and he would scramble to come up with a lame reason or excuses to explain things. As the night went on it became apparent the claims were Adam’s not Tony’s. When we would ask a question about clarifying something, Tony would ask Adam to elaborate because he either didn’t know or wasn’t sure what had happened. As we interviewed Adam throughout the night, we started to see that he had an agenda. He never came out and said it, but it became apparent that he wanted Tony’s apartment and by scaring him out of his wits with all the paranormal claims, he figured he could get him to leave and he would slide himself right in there.

Part of Adam’s story was that he had recently moved into a nearby apartment. The apartment belonged to an 80 year old lady and he was sleeping on her couch. Adam even bragged that he had convinced her that she shouldn’t be alone and even convinced her to make him her medical Proxy. We all came to the same conclusion that Adam was preying on Tony and the old lady too. Needless to say that we found nothing to report for evidence. We tried to explain away the paranormal claims for Tony, but he was convinced that Adam was his friend and all these things were real. We haven’t yet witnessed “EVIL” in the form of Paranormal Activity, but I truly believe that evil does exist even if its only in the living.

03/11/14

Psychics: Helpful or Harmful?

If you are a paranormal investigator, or you are interested in the paranormal, do you think a psychic should be used or consulted with?

Many claim to be psychic and really there is no way to prove or disprove if they are or are not. Claiming to be psychic is often a fast way to gain popularity, respect and sometimes money. I’ve been on investigations before with a self-proclaimed psychic who got the details of the case confused. She said she was doing an on-going communication session with the spirit of someone she referred to by name and that she was asking specific questions of this spirits and she was “receiving specific answers”. She even claimed to cross over the spirit. The problem was that she confused the details of two cases and was supposedly communicating with spirit A but was doing so in location B.

I would very much like to know what you think of psychics and what your experience has been.

03/9/14

Grief – An Investigation Into a Mother’s Love

In the Spring of 2011 our team was contacted by a family from Springfield, MA. We don’t usually get calls for investigations of private residences from over a 100 miles away, but when this one came in we felt the need to go right away. A year prior to the call the family’s teenage son who was autistic had passed on. They felt that the spirit of the child had not passed over and was still hanging on to the family. In actuality the mother was convinced of the presence.

The husband and son, who did not believe in hauntings or ghosts only tolerated her claims because of her profound grief. When we arrived at the home for the investigation the mother showed us in and retold the story of her son’s death and showed us his Urn that she had in the living room.

She then showed us his room, and upon entering we realized that it was set up as a shrine to  her son. When he was alive they had a fan running and a TV on at all times to help him feel calm and relaxed. The TV and the fan were still on over a year later, the mother felt that he was still there and needed them on. She also explained that she would put his urn in his bedroom every night when it was his bed time. She had claims of visions of things in mirrors and would see shadows and images on a wall in the hallway outside his room. We set up audio, video and did some EVP sessions in which nothing was found .This saddened us because she was so desperate for proof that he was still there.

I think that we all left that night with the same sad feeling that this woman was suffering. The loss and the belief that her son’s spirit was still there was her only way of dealing with it. This investigation made such an impression on me that I still feel for this woman all these years later.

Food for thought….Many people believe that a person’s spirit or soul passes over to another realm or lets say Heaven. Is it possible that a mother’s love could be so powerful that it could hold them back?