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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ouija Board: Fun or Fact?

Last night, I had the pleasure of having a discussion with a fellow paranormal investigator on the topic of the Ouija board.

My stance was and has always been that they are an instrument of danger and should not be taken lightly.
Theirs was that's its just an inanimate object and is the exact same as using a KII meter, tri-field, voice recorder or one of any of the other many tools that we use to try to communicate with spirits.

With that being said, I have heard that arguement before and I agree to a point. Using any device as means of communication with spirits can be dangerous. I admit that. But what I do not agree with is that using a Ouija board is the exact same thing as using a voice recorder.

They then brought up the Ideomotor effect, which I am familiar with. Ideomotor effect is defined as:
A psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motion unconsciously. This could also possibly be an explanation for pendulums reacting to written words and dowsing rods. To learn more, go to

That may very well be the case in 99.9% of all Ouija board sessions, however, in my opinion, when you try to interact with a spirit through the use of a Ouija board, your just asking for trouble. When we come across a case, we have a pre-interview questionnaire. On that questionnaire is the question, Have you ever used a Ouija board, tarot cards or been involved in witchcraft or black magic?.

Among the negative cases, the answer to that question is an overwhelming yes in most cases.
I do admit, also, that there is alot more in their background that lends to the negative entity or entities surrounding them, but using a voice recorder is not one of them.

They then make mention of the Ouija boards for sale to children at Toys-R-Us. They have ones that glow in the dark and one made especially for little girls, a pink one. This has to be one of the dumbest and most dangerous ideas ever. When I found out that they were selling them, I chose to boycott. I stopped using their services and buying their products and advised others to do the same. Ouija boards are not a toy, in any form or color. It is dangerous and now, I would not be surprised if the families that bought their child one of them are being tormented. Maybe tormented is a Tad bit strong, but they will definitely notice the consequences of the purchase sooner or later.

They then mention the TV show, Ghost Adventures. They stated that the GA crew attracks and taunts demonic spirits on each show. This is false. They know that if they just showed three guys sitting around in the dark, asking questions, they will not get much ratings. Ask anyone in the paranormal field and they will tell you that investigations are nothing like what you see on television. They have to act that way to get ratings. Anyone that has followed my blog knows how I feel about these paranormal TV shows. None, and I repeat none of them are entirely true. The investigation techniques, mainly of GA, should not be imitated. Provocation is a very dangerous technique to use. It can have very negative consequences, such as, being made physically ill, being physically attacked, and even having a negative attachment, like the one Aaron Goodwin of Ghost Adventures himself, stated he had received as a result from provocation at Bobby Mackeys Music World, which in his own words, was the cause of his divorce.

Be it for ratings or true, he and maybe the TV show cast and crew are the only ones that will know for sure.

This conversation that I speak of started by my noticing that they are selling a "Custom made ouija board coffee table" on eBay. This is a very bad idea. Them being paranormal investigators, they are familiar with the consequences of using an Ouija board, or their supposed lack thereof. The person who buys it, however, may not be. They may buy it because they thinks it is "cool" or another reason. Then one night they use it. That's opening a door that they may not be prepared to close. Its a never-ending cycle, as well as, being very wreckless and haphazard of the individual selling it.

If you are reading this and new to the paranormal field, please do not take your cues from paranormal TV shows. Any reputable paranormal group in your area would be glad to speak with you about the dangers that are involved with investigating the paranormal. Do your own research. Research. Research. I am contstantly learning in the paranormal field, and so is every other investigator. Paranormal investigation in not an exact science, yet.

Yes, provocation may produce results. But are those results worth your life, your family being affected negatively? No. Nothing is worth that, nothing.

Definitive proof will be found soon. That, I am certain. It shouldn't matter who happens to be the one to find it and it is certainly not worth the negative consequences of provocation.

There are many people across the world trying to prove the existence of ghosts or spirits that it is inevitable. It is going to happen.

So my plea is this: Please do not take anything lightly in the paranormal field. If you do, you may live to regret it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Apophenia...your thoughts?

Apophenia is the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.

Pareidolia, a type of Apophenia, involves more auditory senses such as hearing.

Many skeptics of the paranormal claim that this is what is happening when Paranormal Investigators claim to have gotten an EVP; or when we claim to have captured an image of someone or something on video or in a photograph.

I can see this being the result of our “minds playing tricks on us” at times, but what about the others? The times when you are certain that you have, in fact, captured something paranormal. I personally have seen and heard several instances of Apophenia and Pareidolia. I have also seen and heard sounds and images that I believe to be 100% paranormal.

In this field, we have to be very skeptical when it comes to evidence. We, as paranormal investigators, owe it to the client that calls us into to their home to be upfront and honest about our findings. If the skeptics are correct, that all of the EVPs and unusual images that have been captured over the years are just our mind playing tricks on us? If so, what about the client? These individuals are contacting total strangers, asking them to come into their homes, and find out what is happening. If all of this is just our mind playing tricks, what about the client? Are their minds playing tricks on them as well? I think not.

Millions of people around the world claim to have had some experience, which they believe to be paranormal. What about when someone sees a full body apparition? Is that their mind playing tricks on them too? I don’t think so.

I know what I believe, but what about you? Do you think that Apophenia and Pareidolia are valid explanations for electronic voice phemenon and our paranormal images? Why or why not?

Link to read more on Apophenia and Pareidolia...

Apophenia and Pareidolia

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paranormal TV show explosion!

I would like to write about the state of the paranormal television shows. I personally believe that most of the Para TV shows are for entertainment purposes only. Like the “Magic 8 Ball” or a deck of playing cards. Many of the Para TV shows out now are, in my honest opinion, only geared toward the ratings. Which show can out do the other? I admit, I do watch a few. I think to myself while I’m watching them, “That would never really happen”, or “Yeah, right!” They all are fighting with one another to get the most ratings and the most fan support. They go into a location “expecting” to find something, even though the whole time they say they are not. Why else would they have a show? If nothing out of the ordinary happens, some have even gone as far as to fake evidence. When these TV “groups” go into a location, especially Residential, do they even really care about the client? After they get the content they were after, they hardly ever have anymore contact with the client.

With the explosion of Para TV shows, it has opened the flood gates for other “groups” to pop up all over the world to exploit the individuals that are truly in need of help and assistance. One thing that the people involved with these groups have to realize, is that when a client; be it a business or residential, contacts you, they are almost to their breaking point. They have suffered through fear, insecurity, lack of knowledge, anxiety, and worries over what has been happening in their home or business. If the team they contact, asks for a "fee" or wants to charge them for coming in and doing the investigation, then they should not be in this field. I understand that everyone needs to make money, however, the paranormal field is not where you have to make it. If you are in the paranormal field to make money, please leave. You are not welcome! I understand that in this economy, you may feel asking for a fee or maybe just travel expenses would be ok. It is not. Imagine if you were not knowledgeable about the paranormal field, and you were experiencing what you believed to be paranormal activity. You look online or go by word of mouth to try to find a group in your area. You finally find one after going through 1000 different emotions worrying about whatever or whoever is in your house may injure you or your children, only to find that they ask you to pay them to come in. I would consider that a slap in the face.

One such group, that has come to my attention as of late, is a duo of ladies name “The Ghost Buster Gals”. These two ladies claim that they get rid of spirits within your home or business and it only costs a $150 “Consultation Fee” for 30-45 minutes and $250 per hour PLUS travel expenses! If you have heard of this group and are thinking about using their services, DON’T! It is a scam. There are many groups available in your area that will do the same type of services free of charge. These ladies are preying on the people that need their help the most, like vultures, flying overhead.

On their website, they claim to guarantee that the same ghost or spirit will not return. That is a pretty bold statement. I would like to hear their explanation of exactly how they are able to make that guarantee.

Now, on the flip side of the coin, the explosions of the Para TV shows have also created many professional and respectable groups, as well. A respectable and truly professional paranormal investigation group will never ask for a fee or charge you a penny! If they do ask for any type of money, run! There are plenty of other great paranormal investigation groups in your area that would be willing to conduct the investigation free of charge. These professional groups will keep you as a top priority throughout the investigation process.

During the initial interview that most paranormal groups perform, to find out what kind of activity has been happening and so forth, do not be afraid to ask up front about any money concerns that you may have. If they do state that they do, in fact, charge a fee, just tell them that you no longer require their services. Easy as pie. If you would like, just contact me and I will contact a professional group in your area and have them contact you.

So this is my plea: If you watch paranormal television shows, fine. Just don't accept them as reality, they are for entertainment purposes only. If you are an individual in need of help involving what you believe to be paranormal, you do not have to pay a dime, so do not be taken advantage of.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Responsibility of a paranormal investigator.

In this field, there are a lot of different areas that you could concentrate on. Ghosts, spirits, angels, demons, crypto-zoology, UFOs, and the list goes on and on. I have decided to focus the majority of my studies and research to ghosts, spirits and the afterlife. When I talk about what responsibility means in the paranormal field, I am talking about what I have experienced and what I have noticed that is happening within the paranormal field. There are also a lot of areas that I am going to talk about as they relate to your responsibility in the paranormal field, the first area I would like to cover and the most important, in my opinion, is the client. The client is in need of your services, not only your investigative techniques and knowledge of the paranormal field, but also your counseling skills should be taken into consideration. It would not hurt to think about having a real life counselor on your team. If you have someone that is a real life counselor, and when I say that, they could be a social worker, police officer, a member of clergy, anyone that handles extreme situations on a daily basis. That way, when a client tells you about the activity they are experiencing, and they start to cry, you have someone that deals with that type of emotion and that type of extreme situation almost daily. When someone calls or emails you, you as a paranormal investigator have to understand that they are calling in a time of crisis. Yes, the Para TV shows out there have helped make the paranormal field more widely accepted, however, most people still think that if they call a paranormal group into to their homes; that they are crazy, looney, going against their religion or just plain old weird. You have to reassure the client that you are not there to ridicule or mock them. Make them understand that helping them through this part of their life is your top priority and settle for nothing less for you and your team.

Next, you should understand how to correctly operate, clean and if you so chose, to modify your equipment. If you do not know how to properly operate a given piece of equipment, ask! It is better to ask someone who does know than to pretend you know how and produce a false positive bye mistake. Also, you should make sure that you always keep your equipment clean and in working order. I would suggest not modifying any equipment, unless you have a technical background. If you modify a piece of equipment you not only run the risk of breaking the object but also you must be aware that there are people out there that frown upon modified tools in the paranormal field, as they have more probability of giving false positives then non-modded tools.

If you’re on a paranormal investigation group, learn from the other members. Everyone is different and everyone will do things differently. Hang close to the more seasoned members and pay very close attention. I’ve noticed that you will notice several small things just by watching what they do. This can include anything from speaking to the client, set-up or operation of equipment to questions to ask during the EVP sessions. Lead by example.

I have seen in the past, people asking how much does a paranormal investigator get paid. The answer is $0.00. If they are truly in the field for the client and to advance the paranormal field, they get paid nothing at all. Some to accept donations to help with travel expenses and such but they NEVER ask for any monetary returns for their investigations or for any service they offer. NEVER! If you do come across a group offering to do an investigation for you for a fee, turn around and run! Reputable groups do not charge a dime for their services.

Never trespass. If you cannot find out who owns a certain property, move on to the next. Not only are you giving the true paranormal investigators/researchers a bad name, you could possibly be shot or arrested. Always do your research on a property and find out who owns it and go through the proper steps to obtain entry to the property. If the owner says no, move on to the next. Not every body is willing to have their location investigated. If they do agree to have an investigation done, treat their property like your own. Be extremely careful throughout the investigation. This includes from the setup of equipment to the break down and when you leave. If you use tape to tape down the wires, the best I have found is the blue painters tape. It doesn’t remove any wallpaper or such and doesn’t leave a sticky residue behind when you pull it up.

Something else you have to keep in mind in this field is that once you leave the home or business, the client still has to deal with whatever spirit is there. That is one of the main reasons we don’t provoke. If you provoke, and anger the spirit (s) in the location, you only have to deal with the repercussions for a short time. The owner/client has to deal with it forever! Please keep this in mind next time you think about provoking the spirits.

I understand that most people are simply trying to “get some action” but how would you like it if you were a spirit and some stranger was cussing at you?

Now, I would like to talk a little about the review process of the video and audio data. First off, it is not like you see on shows like Ghost Hunters or the other shows. A good general rule to add double the amount of time to review. What I mean by that is, if you have 4 hours of audio or video to review, it may take you 8 or more hours to review all of completely. The review is a very time consuming process and will not happen in just minutes.

Something else you have to worry about with your audio and video is contamination. Audio contamination can happen very easily and sometimes without you knowing it. During an investigation, especially during EVP sessions, if one of our team members makes a noise, we say “That was me” so we know that we can discredit that sound. These sounds include stomach growling, rubber on your shoes squeaking, yawning, popping knuckles, coughing, and a plethora of other sounds. You must be mindful through-out your investigation about sounds you make on your own.

So this is my plea: If you are in the paranormal field, use common sense. Use common sense and treat the client, location, and grounds with the utmost respect.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is it paranormal?

In this blog entry, I would like to mainly focus on some reasons that will cause you to obtain false positives or false results with some of your equipment. When you first see the K II meter going off, it is exciting. However, ghosts or spirits are not the only thing that can make the K II meter react. You have to keep in mind that most of the tools that we use for paranormal investigating were originally designed for the electrical field. So when your K II meter goes off, you have to be aware and verify it is not near anything electrical. Even two-way radios, flashlights, and cell phones will make the K II react. When using the K II, be sure to rule out all else so that you receive real results. If you do not, you’re not truly helping the paranormal field, yourself, or your team. Once again keep in mind that most of the equipment used in the paranormal field was originally created for the Electrical field. I just wanted to re-iterate that to make you aware that if your K II, Mel Meter, or any other device picks up something, it may not be paranormal.

Video – When reviewing your video, there are numerous factors that you have to be aware of. For instance, in a video that I was reviewing, we noticed an odd light in the frame. It seemed to appear, last for about two seconds, and then dissipate. We ruled it out due to it being the headlights from a vehicle outside. When talking about video debunking, I have to mention “Orbs”. When you are reviewing video, and see something out of the ordinary, do not jump to conclusions...ESPECIALLY with orbs! Orbs can be anything from dust to insects to hair to rain; you name it and in all probability it’s an orb. On another occasion, I saw a flashing light on a video review. It looked pretty similar to a strobe light, very small and only lasted for 3 frames in the video. After closer examination, it was clear that it was a piece of dust reflecting off of the Infrared diodes in the IR camera. The piece of dust would light up when directly in line with an IR diode then seem to fade away then re-light. I would also suggest purchasing a video editing program. Programs like Windows Media Player are fine, but with programs like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere, they allow you to go frame by frame, to cut out certain frames containing the evidence you would like to give to the client so you’re not giving them hours of nothingness, and they have the ability to enhance the video. Also, I like to add a title page at the beginning and end of the video stating the investigation group name, the date of the investigation, the group website address, the group email, and even a phone number if you would like to leave one for the client. So if the client loses your groups information, they always have it on the video, if nothing else.

Audio -- Audio review can be even more tricky than video. You really have to acquire an ear for this type of evidence, almost in the same way one acquires a taste for beer. Your first responsibility when reviewing audio is to rule out all sounds that are not paranormal. While doing an EVP session, only one person should talk at a time. During the session, if your stomach growls, you move your body, you clear your throat, you make any sound at all, simply say “That was me”. Later during the review, if you hear a growl, then you hear someone say “That was me”, you know that it was someone’s stomach. While reviewing the audio for EVPs, make sure that your “EVP” is not anyone that was present at the time. During EVP sessions, you all should be in the same room or area. No one should be walking around by themselves. If those one or two people walking around during the session say something just loud enough for the recorder to pick it up, it could be mistaken as an EVP; not to mention the footsteps and other noises they would make.

EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena. At first, reviewing audio for EVPs may be difficult but the more you do it the better you will get at picking them out. When you find your supposed EVP, do not add that many filters to it. I have seen some people add up to 8 filters to an EVP trying to “clean” it up. All that does is it takes away from the integrity of the audio and that EVP you had is now scrap. I usually do a light hiss reduction to eliminate some of the background noise, and maybe amplify the audio if the EVP is quiet. Any more than that is a waste. If you feel that you have to apply more than two filters to understand or hear the EVP, it’s probably not worth showing to the client anyway.

Photography -- There are alot of issues that possibly could arise when verifying a photograph to be genuine. If using 35mm film, always use film speed 400 or better. If you notice something unusual in the photograph, first consider double exposure. This is why I suggest using both 35mm and digital cameras. With digital cameras, you have what is called RAW data stored within an image. With film cameras, you of course, have the negative to be verified. On a typical investigation, we take upwards of 200-400 pictures. Out of all of the investigations that I have been on, only one photo had something in it that was beyond explanation.

When on an investigation, you will be doing an EVP session, ask the spirits to make a noise, and you may hear a noise. The first thing you should do is try to find out where the noise is emanating from. Do not just assume that it is paranormal. Never assume in this field.

If you are at a location that is known for several different smells or the client mentions a certain smell then be ready for that smell. If the smell is lavender, and during the investigation you smell something that smells like lavender, don’t assume that it is paranormal. The client could have an air freshener with the scent or perfume with a similar scent. Always be aware and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

So you see how important it is to be very aware of your environment during an investigation. Be aware of everyone’s location, the sounds, unusual observations, and anything else you can think of. As paranormal investigators, we have assumed the responsibility to do this for our clients. The clients are coming to you in a time of crisis, and it is your responsibility to do the best job for them.

So this is my plea, if you don’t have the best intentions for your clients in mind, please leave now, you are not welcome in the paranormal field.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Protection in the paranormal field.

I would like to cover some of the protection practices I use in the field of the paranormal. It seems like this area doesn’t get much attention even though it is one of the top priorities that you have to be aware of in the paranormal field.

First of all, when going into an investigation, every member of your team must have a positive attitude. The theory is that a spirit can pick up on your energy and if you are angry, mad, etc. that is the type of spirit or energy you will encounter.

I like for my group to say a prayer of protection upon arriving at the investigation location or prior to arriving. To say this prayer, we gather in a circle, hold hands, and then say the prayer. Below is the opening prayer of protection that we use:

“In The Name Of All That Is Goodness and Light,
Surround Our Circle In The White Light of Holy Protection.
We Ask That No Harm Befalls or Follows The Protected Circle
And That Our Quest Benefit All Who Are Among Us.
In The Name of All That Is Goodness and Light,
We Thank Thee For Your Protection of Holy White Light. Amen”

Upon completion of the investigation, we also say a closing prayer. The closing prayer is to help ensure that no spirits from the location attaches itself to anyone present. Below is the closing prayer that we use:

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I command all human spirits to be bound to
the confines of this location. I command all inhuman spirits to go where Jesus Christ tells you to go, for it is He who commands you. Amen”

For more negative energies, we say the prayer to St. Michael.
The St. Michael prayer was originally used by Catholics and started being used in 1886.
There are two version of the St. Michael prayer, but below is the version that we use:

“Saint Michael the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do though, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen”

These are the three main prayers that we use. There are also different prayers when you get into blessing the house and land.

There are also other items that you can use for protection; such as, Holy Water, crystals, etc. You can buy Holy Water at most Christian book stores. If you would rather, you can simply go to your local church and ask for a vial of blessed Holy Water. Keep in mind though, your religion or denomination may not, in general, believe in the paranormal, so you may get weird looks when going to the church.

Also, the prayers I have listed are Christian prayers. If you are a different religion, there will be similar prayers of protection.

For example, below is an example of a Jewish prayer for protection:

Psalm of Protection

“HaShem is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? HaShem is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evil doers came upon me to eat up my flesh, even mine adversaries and my foes, they stumbled and fell. Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise up against me, even then I will be confident.”

Psalms 27: 1-3

St. Michael (Michael the Archangel) is also acknowledged in the Jewish faith, so the St. Michael prayer will function as well.

Also, you can call upon Jesus to protect/surround you with his white light of hole protection. As well as, if you feel treatened, or scared, you can ask that he cover you in his blood; or ask him to send down Archangels to protect you.

This post is not meant to scare, or startle anyone; it is meant to bring more awareness to the need for protection when you are involved in the paranormal field. In fact, most paranormal investigators or ghost hunters never have a problem, but I sure want to be covered just in case…

So this is my plea: If you are involved with the paranormal, and are comfortable with praying to protect yourself, then please research and find the right prayer of protection for you and your group.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Teamwork within a paranormal group.

Teamwork within a paranormal group should come naturally. The team should be a cohesive unit, each with the main goal of helping the group succeed and move forward, as well as, looking out for the clients best interest, of course! Recently, I have seen many groups where it appears that some of its members are only out for themselves. This is neither good for the field of the paranormal nor the group itself. When someone on a team has ulterior motives, it is not at all good for the group, nor is it good for the individual. I have been witness to this personally, and let me tell you, I did not like to see it happening. Needless to say, the gentleman was removed from the group shortly thereafter. At first, yes, there will be a few minor bumps in the path, but the more that your members work together; the more smoothly it will float.

When you are on a paranormal group, your single most important priority should be the client. If you are on a paranormal group for the “thrill” factor, please leave now. You are not helping this field or the group. If you are simply doing this for the “thrill” of the 1 in a million chance that you might see a spirit, please leave now, you are not welcome in this field. Most of the investigations that you will go on, nothing will happen. Not a knock, not a voice, and certainly not an apparition; and most of that can be easily debunked if you try...

There is a lot within building and maintaining a paranormal group that many people do not realize. There is interaction with the client, making them feel comfortable with the situation they are going through, setup and breakdown of all of the equipment, paperwork (case reports, investigation logs, etc), and the review of all of the data collected, just to name a few. The review of the data can sometimes take several days depending on how long your investigation was and how much data was collected. So you can see how important teamwork can be.

If you join a group thinking you will get rich, famous, popular, or with some other ulterior motive in mind, LEAVE NOW! You are NOT welcome in this field. The above will not happen and you are in this field for the wrong reasons. What you will end up getting, after investigating for some time, you will get the satisfaction of knowing that you have helped someone. You have helped them in understanding and coping with something that they didn’t comprehend when your group came in. You will get the gratification from your clients when they are in tears, explaining what is going on within their homes and you are able to give them an answer as to why it is occurring. Be it paranormal or natural. As long as you are honest and PROFESSIONAL with the public and your clients, they will think very highly of you and your other team members.

So this is my plea: If you are in this field to truly help your clients, be professional, advance the research of this field, and promote paranormal unity, then please stay! You are welcome in it. If you are not in for most of these reasons, please leave now, you are not welcome!