Back in the day…
When I was younger the paranormal seemed to be quite the elusive subject, with little represented in the media, few books on the library shelves and certainly not something that everyone had an interest in. It was the definitive of a taboo subject.
Well that’s at least how it seemed, but perception is a wonderful thing and often why many answers often elude us resulting in an ‘oh I see now’ kind of situation when you least expect it.
Although my interest began at an early age with a few weird goings on in my parents Guest House, which were quickly explained by my father with a relatively good scientific explanation; I didn’t really become actively inquisitive until around the age of eleven. As I have mentioned before and now documented in Paul Adams book on the Paranormal activity around Stevenage, this was when I believe I encountered my first apparition. This encounter sparked two things; a) an attempt to locate the entity within the empty Manor House, which ended with us group of kids running away rather than investigating; and b) a new thirst for research and reading.
The problem was at that time life got very much in the way and my wish to know more on the paranormal got a little lost while I focussed on school work. However the urge was always there in the background and brought to the front each time something Paranormal was presented to me.
Of course around this time there were a few TV programmes available to me to quench my thirst for the unknown, but unlike today we had fewer TV’s in our house and a heck of a lot less channels.
I was also lucky enough to have an understanding family, not to mention parents that encouraged research and understanding of all things. Perhaps this balanced diet of logic, research and simply asking why, was what brought me to the paranormal field.
Never far from the paranormal…
The other aspect of my life which I didn’t really take into consideration was how elements of the Paranormal field have often been around me constantly throughout my life, making me extremely lucky in that regards I suppose.
When I was younger I first encountered my cousins mediumship ability, oddly it was at the Wake of our Grandfather, but hey what better time to engage in a little paranormal. However in thinking back, even then I approached this discovery with a methodology to establish what was going on.
On this particularly occasion (forgive me if I have mentioned this before) I asked my cousin Clare Hinks to describe the inside of my friends house for me. A house that she had never visited in her life. Clare asked simply for a person in spirit that she could connect with in order to attempt this and I advised her that my friends grandfather was in spirit, but I didn’t know his name. So, with only my friends name and the knowledge that his grandfather was in spirit she attempted something that I didn’t have much hope of success at the time. How wrong was I!
Clare immediately confessed to have contact with my friends grandfather and as we both sat there on the floor, adults smartly dressed in black passing us by, she began to describe the inside of my friends house. To my amazement what she described was pretty accurate and detailed. Clare was spot on regarding the layout, but for some reason it was like she was describing a mirror image, lefts were rights, that kind of thing. However she threw in details that could only be related to my friends house, I was pretty convinced at the time that she was communicating to my friends grandfather. At that age I had no other probable explanation. Later on in life and through my research other possibilities presented themselves.
However as she continued to grow in confidence she described a painting in my friends livingroom, she was adamant that what she described was correct too. The problem was, in the years that I had visited my friends home I had never seen such a painting on the wall. We disagreed on this point at the time!
When I returned home and saw my friend next I explained the strange events at my grandfathers wake, which he listened to with a level of scepticism I think. What was particularly odd was when I described the painting that Clare said was on the wall, he explained that actually that painting was there when his grandfather was alive!
Initially I had seen this as some amazing proof that mediums could connect with the spirits of those that have passed and actually that could still be the case. However years later I stumbled on Remote Viewing and began to wonder if Clare had actually remote viewed the location on that occasion. Remote Viewing has also shown that those taking part can also view locations at various time frames too. Perhaps this occurred on this occasion. Then as I continued to research and stumbled on loads of information regarding telepathy and collective consciousness I began to ask myself if Clare had obtained the information from my mind, or my friends, or perhaps both or more! For me the possibility of telepathic interaction seems far more logical and likely than communication with the spirit of my friends grandfather, but both remain to be proven. Although there is more scientific data to support Telepathy, just saying Clare!
Fast forward a few years and I was living with a girlfriend in Coventry. At that point in my life, early twenties, the paranormal had become only a flicker in my usual thinking. Life had got in the way a little, jobs and relationships were top of the list. At least that’s what I thought until I met my girlfriends mum. She was into the paranormal and spiritualism, which once again began to spark that interest. I encountered spiritual circles, Tarot Cards, EVP, and so much more. As ever I found it fascinating. This was also the time when I discovered the research that CIA had done on remote viewing and began to understand that the Paranormal wasn’t simply about ghosts and hauntings, there was so much unknown out there that we should all be aware of.
After my time in Coventry the Paranormal took a back seat whilst life took over again. However it never stayed down for long and came back years later only a few years before my first overnight investigation and the beginning of this blog site. The rest is history as they say, but its also documented on here if you wish to take a look!
The rise of the reality Paranormal TV show…
Over the last ten years or so there has been definitive increase in TV shows based on the Paranormal, all approaching the subject using he reality TV concept. Each approaching various locations and cases in order to investigate and capture that Paranormal ‘evidence’ whilst the viewers watch on the edge of their seats.
I will be honest as I am not an avid TV watcher I may have missed the beginnings of this, but from what I do remember it all seemed to happen after a Halloween hoax show called Ghostwatch. This live reality approach had a group in the studio whilst a team on location at a known poltergeist haunted house investigated. The show switched between the pair as the story unravelled throughout the nights viewing. It was of course a complete hoax setup with actors, but was interesting viewing.
I’m convinced that the Most Haunted team saw this format presented in Ghostwatch and said what if we do that seriously and investigate locations then deliver each as an episode. It was well timed and an instant hit, as the growing Paranormal community and those with an interest were crying out for such a show. I have to admit back in the day I would have watched an odd episode from time to time too.
Across the pond in the states, Ghost Hunters seemed to appear around the same time. I’ll be honest I am not sure on the timings around all these TV shows, but these are the pair that popped up first and appeared to be more in your face than others. Ghost Hunters initial approach seemed to be one of logical explanation, seeking to debunk in order to leave unexplained elements as just that. Something that many like instantly.
After these many other TV shows began to come to the surface like Haunted Collector, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, Paranormal Lock Down, and so many more. Each attempting that similar approach of investigation with their own little spin on it. All great entertainment and like attending a paranormal event, as that’s now a thing, not quite a proper investigation, but a bloody good experience.
The internet radio shows…
Over the years I have been on a number of internet based Paranormal radio shows to do various interviews. I have even attempted to run one myself, so can feel happy in saying doing a weekly Paranormal radio show takes some commitment. Especially if you want it to be good and contain decent information, information that would require research.
I am lucky enough to know a lady that runs a station and is involved in one radio show at least five days a week. Kerry Greenaway runs her own crystal business at Spirit Soul Island Crystals, but also helps to run a Paranormal radio almost every night of the week on ParaSearch Radio UK.
I have had the pleasure of being both a guest and co-presenter on some of her shows and this helped to identify how much work that Kerry puts into the radio work, with an abundance of research throughout the week. Kerry often has her head in a book bless her. It was this approach that has also lead me to work with Kerry on a few investigation projects.
Check out her radio shows and website.
The Paranormal blogs…
This is of course where this site fits into the grand scheme of things and I often to aim to deliver as many and wide varying ideas as possible. However it wouldn’t be fair to mentioned just my own blog as you’re already here.
Sarah Chumacero is an excellent Paranormal blogger from Australia, who’s blogs not only cover the essentials of the Paranormal, but equally step out of the normal approaches to tease the imagination into thinking outside of that paranormal box.
Please check out Sarah’s excellent blog site Living Life in Full Spectrum for some of her blogs.
Rise of the Paranormal conventions..
In the last few years something new has become a regular on the UK paranormal scene, Paranormal conventions. For many Ghost Hunters and Investigators this appears to be something quite new, but in reality its something that’s been around for quite a while. The US has had conventions across the country for years now and they work quite well. Here in the UK we have had a similar thing from the likes of the SPR and ASSAP, but delivered from a relatively academic approach.
As you may have seen on my blog since the one off Paracon UK back in 2014, there have been two relatively dominant conventions in the UK. It’s important to recognise too that these pair are very different in the way they deliver and both equally hold a valid spot in the UK Paranormal Convention circuit.
Sage Paracon UK brings that US convention experience to the UK with some big names in the field and from those TV shows we all recognise. I have spoken at Sage Paracon UK and was there for the investigation last year, its always an excellent weekend packed full of Paranormal and a great place to make new friends in the field.
Paraforce UK is also an excellent convention with some excellent UK speakers and a few high profile speakers too. I have blogged on Paraforce UK a few times and its a great convention for making new friends with a similar interest too.
2018 is already seeing a few more conventions to add to the UK’s list and we look forward to seeing what they are like too. In my opinion the conventions are great as you get to spend a whole a weekend listening to talks on the paranormal and pretty much chatting Paranormal the whole time, my kind of weekend.
Over the years I’ve continued to seek out more and more sources of information to assist in my endeavours to understand the paranormal. It was, you could say, inevitable that at some point in my research I would stumble upon the on of the most oldest paranormal societies in the world. Founded back in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research now has over one hundred years of research data. The SPR also has a headquarters in central London with a great library and lecture room. They also have a regular Journal and Magazine too.
The SPR have investigated many cases over the years and some of which have become quite well known too. The likes of the Enfield Haunting and the Scole Experiment were both investigated by the SPR.
If you are like me and very serious about your paranormal research then I would recommend joining the SPR or at least check out their website – The Society for Psychical Research
If you wish to take it even further then extending your education into the realms of psychology and then parapsychology is also and excellent place to take your passion for the paranormal if you can. There are now a number of universities around the UK and indeed the world that cater for these kinds of studies. Here in the UK the university of Northampton and Edinburgh University are two of many that have strong parapsychology links. Especially with the Koestler Parapsychology Unit in Edinburgh.
Of course the best thing I found was to read as much as I could as often as possible on the subject. Keeping what I read as varied as possible allowing each new question that came to me to lead my way into the next book. A path which has taken me all over the place from ghost stories to quantum physics. Why not allow your imagination to lead the way a little.
The paranormal these days…
These days the paranormal is certainly a little more accepted thanks to TV shows and general social acceptance. Where my interest in the Paranormal used to be something never really spoken about, these days even work colleagues mention it freely to me. In fact complete strangers will approach me whilst I grab a coffee trying to read nowadays. Their interest often heightened by the title of the book I am reading or something scribbled in my open notebook.
It certainly seems that these days the paranormal is no longer such a taboo subject, in fact I think interest in the subject is growing, but equally evolving as it does. Many like me are now seeing beyond simple ghost hunting and the investigation of probable haunted locations, they are looking for theories to help explain the mechanics of the Paranormal, the source of the activity.
Where do we go next, anywhere we wish to allow our imaginations to take our research really. Dont be restricted by our beliefs and certainly dont allow older ideas to map out your understanding. Question everything until we find hard facts, should be our approach.
So, the next time you hear someone in the field mention that paranormal investigation or ghost hunting hasn’t changed in over one hundred years, then please remind them that these days we have so much more available to us. We have strong societies such as the SPR with a wealth of experience under their roof, libraries of books on the subject and also a multitude of documents too. We have the anecdotal experiences of hundreds of investigation groups and individuals thanks to them being out there week on week at those haunted locations the world over. We have mainstream research underway through universities like Northampton and Edinburgh, plus many other universities and organisations across the world. The likes of Rhine have been adding to what we know about ESP for decades. Research into Remote Viewing and Telepathy is finding out fascinating things about our very minds and understanding of reality, some of which often makes us question what we know.
There is so very much more that it’s almost unbelievable what this field actually looks in to. So next time you are out Investigating a probable haunted location chasing down that elusive ghost, trying your best to answer the hard question; does human consciousness survive bodily death, then perhaps it might be time to ask what the mind is capable of instead.