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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ghost Hunting Equipment: Past, Present and Future

It seems that with all of the technological advances in science comes another piece of equipment that can be adapted to help validate the evidence that we gather in the paranormal field. In the past, starting out for Thomas Edison, I'm sure he was using the most up to date technology for the time. Some say that Edison is the leading pioneer in the seach for evps or disembodied human voices. Electronic Voice Phenomena has blasted into the fore-front as of late with the numerous ghost hunting television shows such as, Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, and Ghost Adventures, among many others. Some say that Edison was working on a "telephone to the dead". There's no blueprints, no schematics, or anything found that correlates with this theory, but only a quote by Edison himself:
"Nobody knows whether our personalities pass on to another existence or sphere, but it is possible to construct an apparatus which existence or sphere who wish to get in touch with us in this extince or sphere, this apparatus will at least give them a better opportunity and Ouija boards and mediums and the other crude methods now purported to be the only means of communication."

The above statement seems like Edison was in fact, trying to construct a device to speak with the dead. Imagine what our efforts would be, if Edison had been able to fully develop this "apparatus". How far would we be from where we are now?

Another leading EVP researcher, Friedrich Jurgenson, while listening and watching birds, would occasionally bring an anolog recorder along to record the tweety bird songs. Upon listening to his recordings one time, he noticed what seemed to be an actual human voice. The voice that Jurgenson heard, he believed, to be his own mother.

As of more recently, paranormal investigators have been using mostly tools developed to the electrical field: Gauss meter, K2 meter, ELF meter, Trifield meter, magnetic field sensor, digital thermal hydrometer, and the like. It is believed that spirits generate a disturbance in the electromagnetic field when trying to manifest, speak, or interact with the living. Many skeptics believe that these tools hold no validation at all in the paranormal field.

When it comes to video and photography, with all of the digital cameras used in the paranormal field today, it is easy to falsify evidence with the many photo editing software available. The best way, I believe, is the older 35mm type of camera. If someone questions your photo, you have the negative to fall back on. If you are using a digital camera, most of the newer digital cameras have a format known as RAW format. These RAW files are uncompressed and any RAW image that you believe to have anything interesting in, can be authenticated somewhat easily. Another good thing about digital photographs, is the data stored within them. Most state the camera make and model, as well as, the time and date the picture was snapped.

I recently started using a "Ghost box" or "Spirit box". Popularized by Frank Sumption, his creation of the "Ghost box" is what he says is a direct link to the other side. His version of the "Ghost box" is of course extremely more advanced than the one that I am currently using. The one I own is a regular as/fm radio modifed to constantly scan the band. One theory of paranormal research is that spirits speak on a different frequency than humans can hear. So if the radio is constantly scanning the many radio frequencies out there, it will be able to pick up the voice of a spirit that is trying to communicate. On one occasion, I had some interesting results. I was using my "Ghost box", and met a spirit named Jeff. He stated his age, his mothers name, his mothers city of residence, along with a message for her. He also was able to give me a full ten digit telephone number for his mother. The entire experience was unbelievable. It truly was as if I were on a telephone with him. I would ask a question, and get an almost immediate response. The last thing he said to me, after letting me know what he wanted me to pass along to his mother, was "I have other business to take care of now" and just like that, he was gone; or he quit speaking with me.

You may not believe the veracity of the "Ghost box", but after that session, I do. I would advise anyone even vaguely interested in paranormal research to buy a regular am/fm radio and go to and modify it for use as a "Ghost box". It has paid for itself several times over as it related to the advancement of paranormal research. While listening to a "Ghost box", you do have to remain skeptical. You will hear bits and pieces of radio fragments and you have to build an ear for it just as you do for your EVPs in your audio.

So I ask you this, if the project that Edison was working on was in fact something like a "Ghost box" as we know it, how far could we have come if he had produced one? Who knows what the future holds. Many people say that there will never be proof of the afterlife. I believe that we, as a paranormal community, are not too far away from proving, without a doubt, that spirits are around us, and that they are trying to communicate with anyone who will listen. Even with the many paranormal researchers across the world constantly doing everything they can to help prove the existence of spirits, we may never know until we're on the other side.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Starting out...

I guess a good start to this blog would be, me letting you know what got me interested in the paranormal. It all started when I was about 16 years old. When I was 16, when I would get off of work, a few friends and I would visit local "haunted" spots in search of a thrill. One night we decided to visit a place, known locally as "Dead Children's Playground". It is a small playground set in the ground behind a prominent cemetery here in town. I had been there a few times before, with very little happening except for the local police department running us kids away...
But little did I know, this night would change my life forever.

The rumor about the playground was that children were supposed to haunt the area. The swings would reportedly swing by themselves, you would sometimes be able to hear children laughing and playing in the dead of night, and of course...full body apparitions. The night we decided to go to DCP, the moon was bright, and there was an eerie mist in the air. It was the middle of summer, so temperatures were pretty warm. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was sitting on the swing, just trying to waste time, and all of the sudden, the swing immediately to my left starting moving. At first, just a little, then it was as if someone was sitting in it. The rubber seat actually took form to appear as if someone was in it, and then it got faster and farther.

I was in shock as to what I was witnessing, because there was no breeze, no wind, it was a hot, humid night during an Alabama summer. As I stood up, the swing next to me came to a slow stop. I went and told the others what had happened, and of course, they didn't believe me. That's fine with me, I know what I saw that night, I know it happened. Ever since then, I have been trying to learn everything I could about the paranormal phenomena.

Several years later, I was living in a house that I believed to be haunted. The only thing was that the house was built in 1998 so I was thinking that the haunting probably had more to do with the land than the house. The house that I am speaking of is one that my mother bought in 2004 and still has to this day. My mom was so excited to have bought this house. She told me of a story once that I still remember to this day. The night before she was to close on the house, she visited it once last time. When she arrived, the door was locked so she used her key and unlocked the door. She opened the door to find a woman sitting on the hardwood floor of the living room crying hysterically with only the light of a candle flickering off of the flooring. My mother assumed that the woman was the previous homeowner saying her final goodbyes and recounting all of the memories made in the house. So my mother, feeling as if she was intruding, left. The next day when it came time to officially close on the house, my mother went to the closing appointment. The former homeowner was an hour late, when she finally arrived, she was in good spirits and sincerely apologized for being so late. She stated that her flight was delayed and she had just gotten back into town only moments before.

Had the woman my mother saw sitting on the living room floor crying hysterically been a ghost? A full body apparition? After the house closing papers were signed and the house was officially hers, she went over to try to create a layout for the furniture. There was no sign at all of the woman or the candle who's light had been flickering on the hardwood floor the night before.

When I was living in her house, I noticed several odd occurrences myself. As you were going down the stairs, I would always get the feeling as if someone was right behind me urging me to go faster, or perhaps trying to push me down the stairs...We all would hear unusual sounds. Like one day, my fiance was in the only person in the house, I had run to the store to pick up a few things. He was intently playing my Xbox when I left, shortly after my leaving, she hears heavy footsteps coming from what was my bedroom. She pauses the game and yells for me, no answer. She then proceeds to walk up the stairs, about half way up she remembers that I had just left, still hearing the sound of footsteps and papers being shuffled around, she goes to the front porch and waits. That is where I find her when I arrive back at home. On the front porch. She then tells me what she had heard, I automatically assume someone was in the house, so I search the house inside-out, finding no one.

After that, we then decide to do our first EVP session. At the time, all we had was an old analog tape recorder, so that is what we used. We had read somewhere that it is good to use background noises such as white noise. So taking their advice, we turned the television on a snow channel and turned the volume low. With me sitting on the side of the bed and my fiance setting on the foot, we had every area visually covered, just in case something or someone did appear. Towards the end of the EVP session, I asked if the spirit would do something to let us know of their presence. I didn't expect what was coming next. Immediately after I asked that question, the television turned off. Here we are, setting in complete darkness, doing our first EVP can imagine our feelings at the time. I knew that some televisions are set to turn themselves off after a certain amount of inactivity. We began testing that theory, by seeing how long the TV took to turn off by itself. To this day, we both believe that it was a spirit turning off the TV that night, after me asking for prove of their presence. We ran the test on the TV several times and each and every time, it turned off at exactly 16 minutes. When I had asked the question, it had only been 9 minutes.

Up until 2007, I was very interested in the paranormal. Watching the numerous ghost hunting shows that were out at the time, but in mid 2007 we really wanted to learn more. I did a google search on local paranormal groups and we found the North Alabama Paranormal Society meetup. My fiance and I thought that we would check it out because we really wanted to learn more about the paranormal than the ghost hunting shows teach

We attended our first meetup and we were hooked. Everyone attending the meetup was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the paranormal. My fiance, who is empathic and psychic has learned alot on how to handle and cope with the information, visions, and emotions she is given. Everyone at the meetup has been extremely helpful. Shortly after joining the TNAPS meetup, we were approached by Leilani Catalan, the founder of the Alabama Paranormal Society. She first asked me if I would like to be a member of APS and a short time later, she asked my fiance to become a member. Of course, we said yes. Being part of APS has been one of the best things that could have happened to us. We have learned to so much from everyone that we have crossed paths with. Alabama Paranormal Society has had the opportunity to work with the likes of the Paranormal State team, as well as, the Ghost Adventures guys. I took on the role of the Tech Manager, and my fiance is an Investigator. I love going on investigations and setting up the video cameras, CCTV system. I would have to say that my favorite part of all of this is the review or explaining exactly what is going on to the client. Giving them at least some relief as to what is going on in their home. APS does not use psychics so no one uses their gifts during an investigation.

As of late, my fiance and I have come on hard financial times. Meaning, we are not able to go on many investigations due to work schedules. Right now, unfortunately, a job is top priority. I wish we could do paranormal investigations for a living, that would be the life! On a more personal note, I am a volunteer firefighter for my local fire department. I am hoping that will lead to a permanent position with our major city fire department, if not, I would like to work as a Corrections/Detention Officer, Police Officer, or a Paramedic with HEMSI. My fiance is trying to obtain her Bachelors degree in Atmoshperic Sciences. She would like to work with The National Weather Service.

Sorry this entry was so long, I was just laying the ground works... Maybe my future posts won't be so long, no promises!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, it is greatly appreciated!