Would You Investigate a Talking Mongoose?

Would You Investigate a Talking Mongoose?

A Talking Mongoose? Seriously?

Before getting into exactly where I am coming from on this post, let me just drop a little chunk of background in here.

For many in the paranormal field the fact that I have mentioned a talking mongoose will affiliate this post with the very famous paranormal investigator Harry Price.

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Harry writes about the case in ‘The Haunting of Cashen’s Gap: a Modern Miracle Investigated’ and its later documented in Price’s book ‘Confessions of a Ghost Hunter’. During these accounts he openly presents the oddity of the case, drawing comparison to the other strange cases he had investigated. However this particular request from a lady from the Isle of Man in 1932, was indeed strange even by the standards Harry was used to.

The communication that Harry received described the weird discovery of a creature by the lady’s farmer friend Mr. Irving, that with some coaxing had developed the power of speech.

The fanciful nature of this case is often seen as quite beyond belief with Gef the Mongoose having various conversations about town whilst riding around on the bus. It’s quite easy to see why such a case makes some wonder why Harry would even bother with something that sounded unbelievably fictitious.

However this case itself has managed to raise some very interesting points today I think.

The Mongoose Question Bet

During the Paraforce UK 2017 weekend I was lucky to attend with Kerry Greenaway from Parasearch Radio. As we approached the convention on the Sunday a conversation developed in the car between us around something to do investigation case validation. I believe I may have utilised the Talking Mongoose case as an example to back my own argument, which fundamentally was based on the fact that you can’t simply discount a case just because it sounds beyond belief or highly unlikely. After all as paranormal investigators we are in the business of beyond belief and highly unlikely.

I believe Kerry may have disagreed with this point, which in reflection makes perfect sense as there appears to be no logic in accepting that there is a possible talking mongoose at large.

So, more importantly how do two paranormal investigators that have reached an impasse on a particular point rectify the issue. Well, we could have commented on each others social media negatively, sorry couldn’t resist! We could have gone with not talking the rest of the day, was that even an option, damn it!! No, we decided to create a theory and test it. Otherwise known as a good old-fashioned bet!

You see I made the bold statement that if you asked many of the people at Paraforce if they would investigate a talking mongoose, I believed the majority would. I also added to that it was my assumption that both Joe Chin and Barry Fitzgerald from Ghost Hunters International would investigate a talking mongoose.

Kerry accepted the challenge gracefully and I looked forward to my free coffee.

Literally everyone Kerry asked said they would investigate the talking mongoose, and yes both Joe and Barry said they would too. In fact Joe was one of the first and answered with great excitement. Barry said he would, but referred to the Isle of Man, presenting the fact that he was very aware of the Price case. I think it was also around the time that Kerry asked Barry that she realised I may have made my point that day.

Thank you Kerry for being a great sport and accepting the challenge by the way.

A Talking Mongoose and Social Media

Of course there is more to the talking mongoose than the case Harry had investigated, the challenge I set Kerry and more.

You see I find some great smilies in the concept of the talking mongoose and the paranormal field’s social media activity.

I often watch the various posts, which pop up from time to time on social media within the paranormal field and some of the comments do sadden me regularly. During this time where we seem to hold a fascination in paranormal pictures, videos and audio; we are very quick to conclude the authenticity of someones ‘evidence’. I’m not saying every piece of media placed on social networks for the world to see is evidence of the paranormal, but equally I’m not condemning it as fake either!

Many draw assumptions, without looking into the stories themselves very much these days. Jumping to conclusions or not looking at all the available information leads to nothing, but assumption and unsubstantiated information.

We have all seen this before, someone will post a picture of something paranormal and various comments will follow. Often some of these comments may take the form of more negativity towards the individual or simply categorically stating that said picture is ‘obviously a fake’!

What I find slightly ironic (just a little bit) about all this is that often the very individuals that slate the proposed evidence of others, present similar evidence themselves. This is our fundamental flaw in the use of Social Media to assist us with our investigation of the paranormal. We should be using this medium to support and constructively remark on said posted ‘evidence’.

These pictures, videos and audio snippets are very similar to Harry;s talking mongoose case. You see, just like Kerry’s assumption of the talking mongoose case, many don’t take the time to assess what they see. Rather than simply claiming something to be fake or rubbish, suggest possibilities or ask questions.

Don’t get me wrong though, there are many out there that are positive and do ask questions, it’s not all bad. Just like the challenge I set Kerry, investigators of the paranormal would take up the case of a talking mongoose.

What’s truly interesting about this is; if I posted a video of a talking mongoose on social media, how many would believe it, how many would call it fake, but how many would ask questions about the video in order to understand more?

Yet so many said they would investigate a talking mongoose, when asked face to face! That tells a story in itself for me.

The Mongoose is Still Talking

We may not be investigating fanciful cases such as talking mongoose on the isle of man, but lets not discount anything without supporting our assumptions good facts.

I’ve heard some odd things communicated by mediums during many of my own investigations, but I don’t discount them simply because they sound ridiculous. In fact, often those weird and wonderful tidbits can later gain greater understanding when you look at the bigger picture.

We are dealing with an amazing field that encompasses a great deal of diverse approaches and information. Investigation of the paranormal has had me research location history in local archives, gather huge amounts of data from online sources, log data in search of patterns, learn aspects of physics and quantum physics (the basics, I am no expert lol), look at forensics, investigation techniques, and so much more.

Perception is often the one thing in every case which presents us with a different experience, especially when it comes to the paranormal. Take the Ouija Board for example; I have one in my home, used one on many occasions, know the history and have no fear of them. However talk to someone else in the paranormal and they will present a different story; they won’t have one in their home, they will never use one, believe they are dangerous. These are like polar opposites for something that has little or no evidence to support them as being evil! We have many, many more examples of these kind of things in the paranormal field too, including various perceptions of haunting.

Our perception is based on our belief and knowledge of those aspects. Which means in order to properly assess something we need to gather the data, seek the information, gain an understanding and find the alpha case (thank you Greg Lawson). We need to investigate and do the leg work.

This is why, when someone asks you if you would investigate a talking mongoose, you smile and then start to gather the data. The truth is in the leg work, its in the data and the information.

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Paraforce UK 2017 – Day Two

Paraforce UK 2017 – Day Two

Return to Cressing Temple Barns

Well after what seemed like a particularly short nights sleep, we all returned to Cressing Temple Barns for the final day of Parafource UK 2017. Day 1 had been brilliant fun and I was curious to see what Day 2 had to offer.

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As ever I wondered in bleary eyed and headed for coffee on autopilot. Once I had acquired some caffeine I decided to talk to a few people that had also arrived. It wasn’t long though before I headed off to my talk of the day and what a beginning it would be.

However this morning had already began with a small disagreement between Kerry Greenaway and myself, a disagreement based on the classic Harry Price case regarding a talking Mongoose. As Kerry couldn’t understand why I would even entertain investigating such a case, I set her a simple challenge to ask as many paranormal types at  Paraforce UK as possible to see if they would too.

Oddly the first person that fell victim to this challenge was Joe Chin, who actually agreed with me stating that he too would investigate the case of a talking mongoose.

Barry Fitzgerald and the Influence

Barry began his talk explaining a little about where this idea had come from and then with the assistance of his powerpoint presentation, dropped some pretty hard hitting points on us. Making us aware of a few cases that he had reviewed where individuals had done themselves or others considerable harm, Barry simply asked why?

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The answer was quite straight forward in that each of these people had committed their atrocities because they had heard voices telling them to do so.

Fundamentally the concept that was being suggested here was that where we might think some thoughts are our own, it could be that those thoughts were being influenced by another source.

Barry went on to explain how certain biological aspects can actually be our very filter to for understanding these influences better, but in our modern fast paced lifestyle we may be masking these simple things. One of them being the very skin that houses what is us. However we often hinder the skins ability by consuming too much junk, too much refined sugar.

The lecture was quite fascinating and I really wish I had taken more notes, but it was one of those that I was so engrossed in that I actually forgot.

Before we left, Kerry decided to pin Barry down for a future ParaSearch interview on her radio show. Also, as a part of her on going challenge she asked him about the talking mongoose investigation. He of course recognised the famous Harry Price case and agreed that he to would investigate it. I think Kerry was beginning to realise that I had made my point and the next coffee was on her.

Tomo Warrington’s Room 666 with Jason Day

When Kerry and I returned to the Granary Room, Too Warrington had already began to talk with Jason Day. As we sat down they began what Tomo calls Room 666, which is his variation on the classic Room 101.

Oddly this was a great little idea as it quickly sparked some great paranormal debate.

Jason was keen to place reality ghost hunt TV shows into Room 666. This seemed to split the audience a little too, but perhaps for good reason. Personally I had to disagree on this one as although the TV shows aren’t always fantastically loaded with good science or investigation, they have their place. It’s these shows that for many have sparked an interest and have brought individuals to the field. Regardless of their inappropriate screaming sessions the TV shows have their place and did not make it to Room 666.

Next up from Jason was the misinformation around paranormal gadgets. Obviously adding the gadgets themselves was a no, but the misinformation itself I totally agree with  to be fair. The most annoying for me begin; ‘hey look I have a KII it detects ghost’! Seriously really!! I think a little education around paranormal gadgets is needed and perhaps its something I could add to my website?

Next up Too wanted to make some suggestions from he’s apparently ‘very long list’; he kicked things off with ghost hunt false advertising. For example, ghost hunting companies claiming their location to be the UK’s most haunted. I had to side with Tomo on this to be fair as its a slight pain, if you looked across the internet and social media, you may find tens of UK’s Most Haunted location or scariest experience. Although let’s be honest here, stating your location to be reasonably active or often paranormal stuff occurs, really doesn’t sell tickets.

Tomo also threw location exclusivity into the mix for Room 666. Again I had to agree on this one too. I don’t believe that any one group should have exclusive rights to a location stopping others or perhaps restricting others from using it. In order to properly research and investigate locations purported to be haunted, we need to allow as many different teams as possible to investigate. This doesn’t have to be continuously, but allow others to try different approaches. Different techniques, ideas, approaches are need to gain more out of the field.

This lead on to a brief discussion which many in the room got involved in, which was very nice to be able to chat about the paranormal, but equally amongst a group of people that equally respected each others opinions.

We actually ran out of time on this one.

John Blackburn Working with David

Once we had grabbed some lunch we headed back to the Granary (albeit a little late) to join John Blackburn and the group as they attempted to work with the picture of David.

As we entered the closed darkened room, apologising as the group had already started we quickly joined the circle that had formed connected to the copper edges of the painting.

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As he continued to work, John created a circle within a circle. Bearing in mind that John usually works in the dark, it was very difficult to build the energy up in this scenario where it was still very light.

After a while of trying this a few of the group did say that they thought the picture was slightly vibrating, which in itself is quite interesting.

The majority of the group left the Granary leaving a few of us behind for something a little different…

John, Gert, David and a Small Group

After the main group had left Gert decided that he wanted try some trance mediumship work with John and David.

During this session, Kerry and I decided to observe rather than take part.

Gert attempted to focus on the picture of David and channel his spirit through in order to hopefully pass some information across the John.

I found this quite a fascinating little session to be honest and it certainly seemed as if Gert walked away with an emotional experience from this.

What was also interesting is that both Kerry and I picked up on some things, which we later passed onto John and Maxine after everyone had left. John acknowledged this information too. Perhaps a little more on that in the future.

John Blackburn’s physical mediumship was one of the many things over the weekend that caught my eye and has now lead to a new line of enquiry for me. As John like me has an interest in the Scole Experiment then perhaps we may even work on something similar in the future.

Barry and Joe on the GHI Adventure

The last talk of the day was quite possibly one of the funniest talks of the weekend. To say these pair were a double act is really an understatement.

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Barry and Joe shared some of their fantastic experiences from their journey around the world with Ghost Hunters International and some of the trouble they got themselves into behind the scenes.

Whether it was Joe’s use of a sharpie that could have caused an International incident, Joe’s choice of attire, some particularly pothole ridden roads, discovering a possible secret room and so much more; the pair delivered an enjoyable talk.

It was also really great to see the guys so relaxed with everyone walking about the location, popping into a few other talks and generally talking with everyone too.

The relatively informal nature of Paraforce UK that allowed the guest speakers to interact with all those in attendance really helped make this weekend in my opinion. And this is something that I love about conventions I’ve been to and it helps build bridges and create friendships.

Paraforce UK 2017 Awards

Now before we all headed off home at the end of the weekend the Paraforce UK Team had one last thing for us all to enjoy. This came in the form of the Paraforce UK 2017 Awards, a truly red carpet affair.

The majority of these awards were voted for by most of those in attendance and in all honesty most were simply a great bit of fun.

You might have to check out the Paraforce UK 2017 Facebook page for the details of the winners, which were announced in true red carpet event stating the nominees too.

It was good to see Joe Chin win male pin up I think, lol!

Paranormal research and investigation can be really serious, but we can still have fun with what we do and with others in the field. There’s nothing like chilling out, having fun and a bit of a laugh too. Not to mention the odd drink!

Thanks to Paraforce UK

I would like to end this write up with a massive thanks to the Paraforce UK Team for an excellent weekend. Thank you to Viv and Sean for working tirelessly through the year to organise the event, great job guys. Thank you to all the Guest Speakers for presenting some really interesting talks and a few surprises too.

Thank you to everyone I met and spoke to, its great to make new friends in the field and progress all our personal journeys within the paranormal.

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These kind of events are helping to bring the community back together more, back to an older way of thinking, back to standing in front of someone and discussing the paranormal. It’s all too easy to sit behind a screen on social media, but face to face we can really move things forward. To all those that are trying to encourage more discussion face to face, keep doing it and thank you…

Check out Paraforce UK 2017 – Day 1 if you’ve missed it…

Check out my main post on Paraforce UK 2017

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Paraforce UK 2017 – Day One

Paraforce UK 2017 – Day One

Welcome to Cressing Temple Barns

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Once I had doubled back and found the perfectly sign posted entrance to Cressing Temple Barns, much to the amusement of Parasearch Radio’s Kerry Greenaway, we parked up and headed in.

I had decided to give Kerry a lift to the convention because she was literally thirty minutes away and had never been to one before. Well I couldn’t have that, these paranormal conventions are essential events to help our community grow. Plus as Kerry gives a huge amount of her time to deliver many radio shows to the paranormal community each week, I figured it was an experience she shouldn’t miss and glad she didn’t. So, thank you Kerry for putting up with me all weekend. I should probably extend that thanks to Elizabeth Koert too, as she equally put up with me.

Right back to the convention!

Cressing Temple Barns is a fantastic location, not to mention beautiful. Cressing Temple is a place that is full of history, it was originally given to the Knights Templar back in the 1100’s. The site is home of three Grade I listed barns as well as a Tudor built walled garden.

The history of Cressing Temple and its Barns could easily fill a post all by itself and if you do wish to know more about the location please visit their website cressingbarns.co.uk

As we walked into the entrance foyer we greeted by the lovely Sian who quickly located our weekend passes and welcomed us to Paraforce UK 2017.

Looking through the list of talks over the two days it was clear that Viv and Sean had certainly worked hard to fill both days as much as possible. We grabbed a coffee and then it wasn’t long before we bumped into John Blackburn and Maxine Briggs. After briefly speaking to them both I was offered an early viewing of John’s strange painting of ‘David’ which I couldn’t pass up. Pretty sure my curiosity is going to get me into trouble one day!

Maxine escorted me across to the Granary to see the painting, which on this first unveiling was different from what I had expected. However still fascinating and as the day would continue I would begin to find out a little more about David and John’s story.

Viv and Sean’s Variation of the Ganzfield Experiment

As I was already in the Granary it made perfect sense to remain there for my first talk of the day. By this time I had already lost Kerry, but I think I had found my old mate Gert Brouwer another Paraforce Guest Speaker.

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After a brief intro from Sean and Viv they showed us some interesting footage of Sean using their variation on the Ganzfield Experiment. This particular approach utilises the use of white noise primarily, but also a couple of others too. In the example they presented a strobe light was used rather than a constant red light, with of course a half ping pong ball blindfold.

Their sensory altering setup was used to then place the individual in certain amount of deprivation to possibly allow them to gain access to similar information as mediums.

To give the audience a better idea of how this may work, the pair then asked for a volunteer to give it a go. In this case, if memory serves me well, Nige gave it a go and believed that he did see some kind of manifestation.

Next up Viv got John Blackburn to give it a try and as a medium John picked up considerably more, which was quite interesting.

This was certainly an interesting way to start a weekend of paranormal talks and I’m really glad that people are trying new things like this. Moving the field forward by trying new things is something we should all be looking at.

If you you would like to know more about the Ganzfield Experiment check out my outline in the Metetherial Encyclopaedia – The Ganzfeild Experiment.

 

Gert Brouwer’s Investigation Approach

Next up in the Granary was Gert Brouwer and as I was already there I decided to listen to my friend from the Netherlands.

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Gert told us a little abut how he approaches paranormal investigation, which is something I always find very interesting. If I understood correctly Gert approaches his investigations in what he called ’rounds’, where as he goes through certain aspects of the investigation in order to ascertain what was occurring.

This of course involves looking at things from both a psychical and investigative approach. Gert explained that as he works a case, he often continuously debunks aspects to rule them out and then may even revisit them too. This includes doing the research to find the facts to back up the paranormal claims.

After many years of talking with Gert online and discussing the paranormal at length with him, it was excellent to hear him speak, not to mention meeting him face to face.

 

Lunch with Two Ladies

I grabbed lunch in the restaurant with two lovely ladies, Kerry and Elizabeth. Nothing like some bacon and brie whilst chatting about the paranormal.

In regards to lunch, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Elizabeth Koert, you know why !

 

Michael Dee and an Unexpected Discussion

Hands up, I didn’t know an awful lot about Michael Dee before attending his talk, but this is exactly part of what I love about these paranormal conventions. Granted I was aware of some of the youtube work he has done, such as Merrick Alora and Scariest Places. However I had only seen snippets here and there.

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Michael (aka Michael David Roberts) began his talk by telling us all about his work and his latest production Morbid, photos of which were displayed in the background as he spoke.

The journey that Michael is currently travelling certainly seems to be an interesting one in all fairness as his passion for the work he has produced certainly was apparent as he spoke. Explaining how his chance meeting with Derrick Acorah to film a brief meeting with Merrick Alorah spring boarded the character and work. An event that has possibly lead to the Morbid production that he is currently working on.

However although Michael’s work is based around the paranormal, initially it was fictional. In order to do things from his own angle though he filmed as much of his stuff at actual haunted locations, which in time lead to some paranormal experiences of his own. Those experiences likely heightened his interest in the paranormal too.

What I really loved about this particular talk though was that Michael stood in front of us all and took the opportunity to ask some very interesting questions. Questions that may have answered some curiosities he may of had, but questions that sparked a little discussion. On this particular occasion I decided not to take part, but it was interesting to hear different members of the field present their ideas and beliefs.

All from a little question about the Stone Tape Theory which incidentally is a theory that often has me thinking – I mean, do buildings and places record the energy of events only to be played back like a video recording at a later date; or are these places just triggers for telepathic interaction. Food for thought and one of the great things about paranormal conventions.

I would also like to thank Michael for reminding me that it’s always a great idea to ask questions, especially when we still don’t have all the answers.

William Becker and Tree Spirits

I caught William’s talk almost by accident, but I am glad I did. I’ve never really spent much time researching things like tree spirits or elementals. So, my knowledge on them isn’t great I’m afraid.

That said it was an interesting talk on these strange spirits that William said had been witnessed in the mountain forestry in the states.

It reminded me of the accounts I have read of fairies over the years and I’m not talking Tinkerbell related here.

William was one of those over the weekend that I wish I had found more time to chat with. Apologies William.

John Blackburn and David

Next up was John Blackburn’s talk on his own journey and how he became connected with a probable spirit called ‘David’.

After explaining his initial experiences as a child, John told us how the painting of the Anguished Man came into his possession and with it a very interesting spiritual connection.

As John worked with the painting and ‘David’ the connection provided some very interesting instances of physical mediumship.

However after a while the owner of the Anguished Man decided to retain the painting removing it from John’s possession and stopping the work he was doing. At the time though this connection had become a friendship with emotional ties. Loosing the Anguished Man and David, upset John deeply. In fact he suffered from a period of mourning in a way. This isn’t uncommon and was also mentioned when the Scole Experiment finally came to an end.

However this wouldn’t be the end of John and David’s relationship it seemed. At a later date, I believe John came into the possession of a particular book. This was followed by a Ouija board session that John wasn’t involved in, but it appeared that David communicated and also gave the name of the book too. These events then sparked the attempt to create a new picture and attempt to transport David’s spirit from the Anguished Man to this new picture. Something which John said occurred very quickly.

This process is something John calls Karmic Transmigration.

Right at the end of the talk, John was talked into revealing the new picture to the audience. Oddly as the picture was revealed, an emotional wave appeared to hit Joe Chin, which lead to him taking some time outside.

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The picture in its new form certainly captured the audience and I do have to admit it does spark my interest too, I wonder where that will lead!

Hog Roast and a Bar

The evening segment of the weekend started with a Hog Roast and a Bar, which are two things which went down well. The Hog Roast was fantastic and the portions were very generous too. The bar was pretty good too, I’m guessing I wasn’t drinking! However the bar staff had banter, which is always good.

Actually jokes, bar and hog roast aside this was a great time for the guests and some guest speakers to gather and chat about their favourite subject; the paranormal.

I bumped into Tomo Warrington and was happy to meet another like minded individual. We spoke of the SPR, Ghost Club, concepts like telepathic interaction, what is a ghost and more. It’s always great to meet new like minded friends.

A Relaxed Ghost Hunt

Once the Hog Roast had been polished off, we headed off in various groups around the site to investigate several locations. It was good to have free time to roam around the site to investigate where we wanted to.

However it wasn’t long before Viv grabbed me and helped us to gain access to the main house so that we could check out the cella, which is always a great place to investigate.

The story is that the spirit of cavalier used to lock children down in the cellar. There were some areas where children could be locked, but on this occasion we didn’t get much. Although there were a few newts down there that I had to save, little blighters were sitting right where they would be trampled on.

Physical Mediumship with John Blackburn

A little later I joined a group on the ground floor for a little seance with a difference lead by John Blackburn. This was quite strange really as it was an interesting display of probable physical mediumship.

At one point as we all held hands John had two members raise their hands of the table, but they weren’t consciously doing this.

Next up Elizabeth found herself in the corner of the room being lifted by unseen hands, then she walked forward and made to pat another member of the group on the head. A very fascinating session that we then took to the cellar.

The cellar was a lot darker than our previous location and this was an equally interesting session. Some light anomalies were seen and individuals touched. Unfortunately I never experienced anything myself, but it was certainly an interesting session.

A Little Thanks

I would just like to say a huge thanks to Viv, Sean, the Paraforce Team and all the Guest Speakers for a great first day. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Check out more on Paraforce UK 2017 here…

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Paraforce UK 2017 – A Quick Catch Up with Sean Cadman

Paraforce UK 2017 – A Quick Catch Up with Sean Cadman

Its Paraforce Catch Up Time

Its Thursday night and we are literally a stones throw away from this years Paraforce UK 2017 Paranormal Convention at the Cressing Temple Barns in Witham. So, I figured what better time grab a quick virtual (good old social media) catch up with the conventions organiser Sean Cadman.

Sean’s Paranormal Start

It is, as I find always in these mini interviews the best place to start by asking where their paranormal interest may have began. These are often for me at least quite interesting little anecdotes and sometimes give us a little understanding of the individuals approach to the paranormal too. I asked Sean this to find out what sparked his interest;

“I’ve always had an interest from being young reading books, my interest really peaked when I saw a full apparition of a soldier that was witnessed by 4 other people.

I’ve been addicted ever since”

Many of those in the paranormal field have an account where they may have witnessed an apparition at some point and just like Sean, seeing something as unbelievable as that throws your perception of the reality you’ve been taught. Just like Sean, when this happened to me, I too was addicted! With each question answered though, ten more present themselves to be resolved, its a continuous process for those passionate about it.

How do you prefer to investigate?

There are many approaches to investigating the paranormal these days, but they all rest in a way on spiritual and scientific methods. Granted loosely on occasions. Understanding investigators preference is always interesting in my opinion, so I had to ask Sean about his preference;

“I like to mix both as I believe that both have an equal role, you need a spiritual side to believe in spirit but a scientific side to debunk etc”

Good answer Sean, balance is always important from my point of view.

Sean’s Top Five Paranormal Heroes

Well it wouldn’t be a quick interview without some standard classic questions would it, plus they can be fun too.

  • Shaggy
  • Scooby
  • Fred
  • Velma
  • Daphne

Hmm, I feel like I’ve grown up with those five prolific ghost hunters. Probably would have got away with it too, if it wasn’t for those pesky kids.

Sean’s Scariest Paranormal Experience

Back to the serious stuff. Fear is always an interesting part of the paranormal from my experience. It can easily blur our understanding of situation and can often be the reason we experience certain things.

However those experiences can be really real too and leave further questions; not to mention a desire to understand. I’m pretty sure Sean’s left him looking for more answers too.

“My scariest experience has to be being pulled violently backwards into an empty room whilst investigating an old mental hospital that has now been demolished”

The Top Five Locations Sean Has Investigated

Here’s five of Sean’s favourite investigations;

  • Woodchester mansion
  • Galleries of Justice
  • Grace Dieu Priory
  • Annesley Hall
  • Castle Rising

Some great one’s there, including Castle Rising, which keeps popping up lately. Must investigate I think.

The Top Five Locations Sean Would Like to Investigate

Well I couldn’t really find out a little about Sean’s aspirations investigations wise, plus these questions usually spark a few pieces of research for me.

  • Edinburgh Vaults
  • Hoia Baciu Forest
  • Tower of London
  • Bobby Maccys
  • Stonehenge

I certainly wouldn’t mind investigating a few of those locations myself. The Tower of London and Stonehenge are on my own list too, both places are full of English history and amazing to add to the old paranormal CV!

Sean’s Understanding of Ghosts

It may seem like a relatively odd question to ask people that have been in the field a while, but although we have ideas of what ghosts may be, we still have conclusive answers. So, with this in mind I often like to ask people in the field this question, simply to gain their take, their belief of they may be. Over the years I have stumbled on many different understandings; from some very physics based answers, to psychological ones to what I see as a mixture or more spiritual answers; similar to Sean’s;

“Energy and soul”

Plain and simple right?

Sean’s Favourite Paranormal Gadget

As Sean investigates quite a bit, I was wondering if he has a favourite gadget or a ‘go to’ bit of kit;

“I am a very back to basics investigator, usually only use camcorder, still camera and voice recorder.

I’d say my favourite is myself, always trust your body and your instincts is most important”

I’m a notepad and pen kind of a guy myself, observation and keeping record is key. Data, data, data, right! Of course our best piece of kit is ourselves, thats the element of an investigation which generally highlights everything else that needs looking at.

Sean’s Paraforce UK 2017 Expectations

I asked Sean what he was looking forward to most from this years Paraforce UK 2017;

 

“Everyone to enjoy themselves, meet new people and resting afterwards”

Conventions are a great opportunity to meet new people that have a similar interest and if you’re into the paranormal then I highly recommend you check one out.

What’s up next for Sean after Paraforce UK 2017

“Having a little rest before starting all over again with Paraforce UK 2018”

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If you’re interested in going to Paraforce UK 2017 then check out their website www.paraforceuk.com

If you would like to know a little more, why not check out my post on the upcoming Paraforce UK 2017 Paranormal Convention here…

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Sage Paracon 2017 – Warwick Castle Investigation

Sage Paracon 2017 – Warwick Castle Investigation

Some Thanks First

I want to first say a massive thank you to Jo Woolley for inviting me along with her to investigate Warwick Castle as a part of the kick off for this years Sage Paracon. Jo was lucky enough to win two tickets to the overnight investigation of Warwick Castle about a week before the event.

Due to my personal commitments I couldn’t make the entire weekend this year and in all honesty I was probably in a slight para-sulk because I was going to miss out. For me it wasn’t just the chance to stay at Warwick Castle all weekend, meet and talk to a number of big names in the paranormal field, but also that I wouldn’t have my annual catch up with some great friends that I have met over the years.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank MJ Dickson, as ever she has worked really hard to deliver a fantastic event. Overcoming many challenges along the way.

Enough of all that emotional hugging, let’s get knee-deep into this awesome investigation.

Gathering in the Undercroft

Our evening began with us all meeting up in the Undercroft Restaurant area of Warwick Castle, as this would be our base for the night. Most of the group were staying in the near by Knights Village, which is a beautiful spot in the woods along the river. A mixture of beautiful wood cabins and medieval glamping tents makes the Knights Village an excellent place to stay. Especially if you happen to find yourself investigating the historic Warwick Castle too.

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As the gathering of paranormal investigators grew, we were joined by many of the guest speakers too. During the investigation the guest speakers were in various locations around the Castle and in groups we would move between these in order to experience the varying locations and different styles that they each had in regards to the paranormal.

This was also an excellent time to catch up with old friends, make new ones and this time  round say hello to a couple of my actual family. My cousin, Medium Clare Hinks was a guest speaker at this years Sage Paracon UK 2017. It was amazing to catch up briefly with her and her husband Richard whilst we waited to begin our investigation.

After a short wait MJ placed the investigators in groups and started to send us off to our first location with our first guest speaker. As my cousin headed off to the Kenilworth Room with Robert Murch to play with Ouija Boards, I took my place in a group with Richard. After all this was Richards first ever overnight investigation and what a way to start.

The Stonemasons Den with Brian J Cano

The first area that my group headed to was an area of the Castle called the Kingmaker Area and our for this area we would be with Haunted Collectors Brian J Cano. Brian is a fantastic investigator, that I first met back in 2014 and I soon realised there was more to him than what you see on the TV. Actually a hell of a lot more. I really enjoy Brian’s approach to investigation too.

We kicked things off by walking around the area to find anything that may pick up our focus. Straight off, Paula and Wayne believed they saw a light anomaly float towards the stairs near the map of the UK. I have a feeling that they may have caught it on film, but I’m not sure.

After a little while the whole team gathered in the Stonemasons Den with Brian to work as a group together. Brian had us stand in a circle so that we could give a group EVP session a go. Now what I found fantastic here is that Brian took the time to explain the EVP concept for people new to investigations, like Richard. He also told us better ways to perform the session rather than a clinical approach, which just isn’t a natural conversation.

Brian began to record and we each asked a question in turn around the circle. As we did so we tagged any noises too, including the chiming church bells towards the end. Once completed Brian plugged in a handy speaker and we reviewed the audio for possible oddities.

First up was a slightly breathy voice, but this was a little bit of a stretch and if in doubt ‘chuck it out’ right.

However it wasn’t long before we realised that we had captured something odd. Just before Amelia asked her question, there was quite a clear ‘two’ that could be heard. After further review this did sound a little like a sequence of numbers too, possibly like ‘4 3 2..’.

We followed up our EVP session with a little bit of pendulum work. Now I am going to just put this out there, as I have a funny feeling that the launch of the new Apple iPhone may have influenced our possible communication with spirits. Brian decided to use his Apple earphones as a pendulum on this occasion, which was interesting. That said the session did yield some interesting responses. We established a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ before proceeding to ask a few simple questions.

Whatever was communicating through this setup seemed to associate itself with he numbers captured in the EVP. We then tried to establish the location of our communicator and oddly this was confirmed to be with John Zaffis. Brian then decided to try and send the word ‘stab’ back to John as he would most likely be using the Echovox.

As we came towards the end of our session with Brian we decided to give the Psychic Projection Experiment a try. Once again Brian explained this experiment in good detail for those new to it. We actually tried this twice. On the first pass, we focused on the recording device using the word ‘stab’ and on the second pass we used the word ‘believe’. Unfortunately on these occasions the words didn’t appear on the device. This is an excellent little experiment, which is so quick that I think we should be trying it more and documenting it too. At least the circumstances in order to understand why it may work and why it doesn’t.

After a fantastic start to our nights investigation, we headed back to the base room for some refreshments, before moving on.

The Music Room with John Zaffis

Next up we headed to the Music room with the ‘Godfather’ of the paranormal, John Zaffis. John has forty plus years experience in the paranormal field and has studied under his aunt and uncle; Ed and Lorraine Warren.

We setup in the Music room by sitting pretty much in a circle near the piano. John kicked things off with an Echovox (I think, I didn’t get a great look at the app) session, but what I found quite interesting was the way in which John communicated with this ITC app. I have seen many use various ITC apps in the field used, but often investigators will pose more clinical questions. However John pretty much spoke to the app as you would a normal person, responding to its answers and attempting to keep the flow of the conversation going.

A few times whilst using this the name ‘Ed’ could be heard too, which was very interesting. Especially as John would respond by asking him to let others come through.

However it wasn’t long before the focus of this session was gained. Richard picked up on the name ‘Robert’, which John confirmed as being picked up by a previous group too. As we asked questions, we seemed to establish that possibly Robert may have been gay, but had to hide this from everyone. It was possible that he was a member of the family that resided at Warwick Castle, but this was a little vague to be fair. We did establish perhaps that Robert was stood in the corner of the room behind Richard and I.

We done our best as a group with John’s assistance to continue communication with Robert and other spirits by using classic knocks for positive and negative response.

I time with John passed at speed and before we knew it we were heading back to the base room wondering where we would be heading next.

The Bear Tower with Greg Lawson

Our next location was the Bear Tower with Greg Lawson, which was going to be an odd one of course. Simply because the Bear Tower is one small room above a large pit. Plus I also knew we would be in for a treat as Greg’s approach is a little different.

After a brief discussion outside the tower, Greg lead us inside and advised us to read the three pieces of information on the walls. As I stood there I found myself wondering about more than paranormal aspects, but the historical back stories that related to them; just like Greg had mentioned.

Then Greg took the rest of the group outside for a few minutes and left three of us in there alone in the dark. Oddly Danny, Amelia and I seemed quite at home in there, so I decided to ask them both what they were feeling. Which was interesting. Some relating to the probable history of the location, but otherwise certainly not too scary.

When Greg returned with the rest of the group I communicated that I was finding myself questioning what we were presented with, the evidence so to speak wasn’t quite right. Greg continued to tell us of how he had spoken with Frank Cinelli about various things which had lead to his own re-evaluations of how he looked at the paranormal. Something which places us as probable important elements within the paranormal experience. An approach which I totally agree with, as without an observer we must question if the activity ever occurred in the first place. Its the old; if a tree fell in the woods without anyone around would it make a sound analogy.

This questioning of the facts lead us to grab a torch and peer into the pit below us to at least quantify that it was bigger enough to house bears. Which it was, but it was evident from all this that where we stood was more like a gallery area with the bears below. Still I wanted to understand more about this area in order to tie in any probable paranormal elements.

Closure of the Bear Tower vigil came around far too quickly for me as I was getting into research analysis mode. So, I would just like to stop here and thank Greg for reminding me of the importance of following the facts.

Debunking a Strange Light with Carl Hutchinson

When I returned to the base room I bumped into Carl Hutchinson, who asked me to take a look at a couple of pictures he had taken in the courtyard of the castle. In these pictures there was a odd looking little light and in the Live Photos the light danced around like it was alive.

Carl instantly knew that it was something to do with the Apple iPhone (seriously this post isn’t sponsored by Apple) that was causing the oddity, but wondered if I had ever seen something like it.

Weirdly I actually had looked into recently as I had been sent a picture by someone that featured this very strange light. It’s a blue colour around the middle of the picture below.

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Also seen in this picture too.

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After receiving these I too like Carl thought they were a technical issue and soon concluded it to be so. This was proven though when Francesca Chiorando (Access All Areas) posted a beautiful picture on Facebook of the sun breaking through into the dark wood. Sure enough in the picture was that little blue light again.

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However this wasn’t quite enough for Carl and I we had to go through the recreate process to ensure that this was a phone fault and that we weren’t seeing some kind of weird supernatural animal. So, I headed back out into the Castle courtyard to see if I could create a little blue light of my own.

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Turns out that whilst you take a photo in low light scenarios like this and when the phone is slightly angled the small little light appears. It also seems that once the little light falls into the focus box this becomes more prominent. Tech issue for sure, debunked!

It’s fantastic to catch up and chat about stuff like this with Carl again.

 

The Chapel with Jeff Belanger

My groups next location was to be the Chapel with Ghost Adventures and prolific paranormal author Jeff Belanger. We began by discussing a little of this areas history and sharing some of Jeff’s candy corn. I’m still not sure whether accepting candy from Jeff was a good idea, especially given that it was a little addictive and full of sugar. Still thank you Jeff for the candy. Yes I am aware we call them sweets in the UK, but when in Rome.

The actual front of the Chapel wasn’t accessible, but Jeff explained how the motion sensors had triggered the alarms earlier even though there was no one there. As we all discussed this we theorised the possibility that the IR lights from the teams cameras may have set off the motion detectors. Shame we couldn’t test the theory.

Oddly or not so oddly the Chapel was relatively calming for me, well up until Wayne started using a FLIR device. As he scanned the device around the room identifying the various temperatures he discovered something a little odd. There appeared to be a warm patch on the floor registering around 22 degrees. What was particularly interesting is that this warm patch on the floor just wouldn’t dissipate. We tried comparisons by having one of the group sit near by to the patch. After they moved their heat signature soon dissipated. There also didn’t appear to be any light shining into the room that could cause it. It was certainly odd and we struggled to define an explanation.

Now unfortunately we don’t know if this appeared whilst we were there or if it was always there. So, understanding more about it is difficult. Still very interesting though.

Over the weekend this played on my mind a little and one possibility could be that this particular patch of flooring was more shiny than the rest. Thus the FLIR was bouncing back creating a false reading. I seem to recall reading about such a thing previously where during an investigation a false reading was picked up from a mirror, which in the dark wasn’t identified as such.

We all headed back to the base ready for our final location of the night.

The Kenilworth Room with Robert Murch, Nikki Folsom and Clare Hinks

The Kenilworth Room is best known and mentioned several times by me on this very website. Especially due to its connections Aleister Crowley and that very strange photo that MJ took in the room too. Its a part of Warwick Castle that has never really let us down activity wise and holds a certain fascination for me.

As ever our journey to the room was lead by one of the guest speakers, Robert Murch. We walked up stairs, along a corridor, into one of the bedrooms, past a few manikins and then along a long small passageway above the banquet hall to the room. As I stepped into the dark wood panelled room I noticed that my cousin Medium Clare Hinks was playing with a Ouija Board.

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Robert quickly filled us in on some what had already occurred and then a little about the board. Then he invited some of us to join him and Clare on the board. I jumped at the chance of course.

As we played on the board listening to Roberts instructions, some information came through. A little perhaps related to Crowley, a little perhaps related to the resurrection ritual which is reported to have taken place there and other information related to those in the room.

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Many of us including Robert, MJ, Clare, others in the room, on the board and I asked questions and the board appeared to respond. Obviously there are a whole lot of probable reasons why Ouija Boards work, but in situations like this I often find it best to go with it and simply see what happens. I often see divination tools such as this as a kind of link to the unconscious.

After a short while many of the large group that had gathered in the room decided to head down to the dungeons. However on this occasion I decided to remain and work with my cousin on the board a little more. We were also joined by Nikki Folsom and on occasion Robert too.

There was some interesting information coming through board associated possibly to the location. However all of a sudden communication just a appeared to stop! We tried a few things, but still the connection remained absent. Then weirdly we began to receive a little information. I think it was fair to say that at this point both Clare and I may have recognised our spirit communicator. This was confirmed shortly when the board spelt out ‘H W Knibb’. This was our grandfather and in all fairness not the first time he’s turned up during an investigation.

Obviously there’s a distinct possibility that as we were both on the board our unconscious minds directed the planchet towards someone that has passed and connects us both. In all honesty, however it worked it was a really nice way to finish the night. If it was truly his spirit letting us know he is about, then that in itself is good to know.

In a flash it was over…

As many investigations for me, Warwick Castle flew by, but for all the right reasons. The location is undoubtedly haunted in some way, a location like it that houses so much history and still today has an abundance of visitors, really has to have something paranormal about it.

It was great to visit a few different locations from my last investigation of the castle, but also fantastic to return my very favourite room; the Kenilworth Room. As ever Mj’s setup of the investigation giving us access to the various guest speakers during the night, was spot on and enjoyed by all that attended.

This year saw pretty much completely different approaches from all the guest speakers too in the various locations. There was EVP, Psychic Projection, Pendulum Work, ITC, classical knock communication, analysing what you do and don’t know, adding yourself into the equation, looking at the history, debunking, looking at all possibilities and communicating through the Ouija Board.

To be quite frank there are not many investigation events out there that give you this many paranormal celebrities, techniques, approaches and all in a fantastic location such as Warwick Castle.

As far as paranormal events go, in my opinion this was a ten out of ten.

A Little Thanks

I would just like to say a massive thank you to MJ Dickson for putting the whole thing together, great job. I would also like to thank all the guest speakers that helped make this night a fantastic experience all the way through. So, in no particular order Brian J Cano, John Zaffis, Greg Lawson, Jeff Belanger, Robert Murch, Nikki Folsom and Clare Hinks; thank you all and great job guys.

Lastly, thank you to everyone that attended, what a great bunch of people you are. I believe MJ calls you all the Sage Tribe.

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Paraforce UK 2017 – Guest Speaker John Blackburn

Paraforce UK 2017 – Guest Speaker John Blackburn

Who is John Blackburn?

As we are now less than two weeks away from Paraforce UK 2017 I thought I would talk with a few more of the Guest Speakers and find out a little more about them prior to the event.

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Paranormal Investigator and Medium John Blackburn is one of the guest speakers at this years Paraforce UK 2017 paranormal convention. I thought I would ask him a few questions ahead of the event.

The Origins of John’s Paranormal Interest

I kicked things off by asking John about how his interest in the paranormal originated for him?

“It all started for me in 1971 when I was thirteen years of age living in Whitefield, Greater Manchester. One moonlit night I had the strangest experience that I would never forget… I was the youngest of four children; my brother Keith who was the eldest followed by my two sisters, Pam & Janice. We all lived in a house in Whitefield, my Mum was very unsettled there, she was never happy when my Dad had to work away from home due to a menacing recurring nightmare. She would often wake up screaming to the vision of a coffin lid being placed over the top of her whilst she lay in bed.

On one particular night my brother & sisters were invited to a party at their friend’s house, I of course had to stay at home as it wasn’t cool to have your thirteen year old brother in tow. Unfortunately for my Mum, Dad was working away. My brother Keith & I shared the same bedroom, we had bunk beds which were made into single beds, Keith’s was under the bedroom window & my bed was against the wall opposite the bedroom door. My Mum asked me if she could sleep in Keith’s bed that night to which I agreed.

I was in a deep sleep, to be awakened by my arm being poked three times… “Mum… leave me alone” I mumbled. Next there was a tap on my shoulder… I turned round & standing just two feet away from me was a young boy who was about the same age as me staring at me through lifeless eyes. I know it sounds strange but I turned round & went back to sleep again. The next day when I came down stairs for breakfast, my Mum asked me if I had seen anything last night, the image of my spooky visitor came back to me in a flash… “I couldn’t sleep last night, the rays from the moonlight illuminated the room and I could see a green mist swirling next to your bed” my Mum said.”

Fascinated by the fact that John appears to combine his psychical abilities alongside the logic of an investigator; I wanted to know a little more. It also occurred to me that perhaps on occasion the two sides may come into conflict and which side dominates in these scenarios.

“When I am working I never rule out what occurs on the night could be natural and not supernatural.  One thing that I strongly believe is that you are only cheating yourself if you don’t look at what could be a natural occurrence.  I have seen and experienced many amazing things whilst investigating the paranormal which I couldn’t explain and I cherish every moment and feelings I have experienced.”

The Success of Mysteria Paranormal

John’s paranormal company Mysteria Paranormal done really well and even received an award. I decided to ask what John thought attributed to his success or indeed any events company in the paranormal field.

“The simple answer to that is passion, never be money motivated. Once you are money motivated you lose the true value of why we investigate the paranormal.  Always keep people interested, one golden rule for me is never keep people sat in the dark doing nothing and when it gets quiet like all locations can be at some point you work harder.  People go on the events to have an experience and I work hard to give them the experience they expect to have and if they go home happy, I’m happy.  I am always very self critical and I am not happy if I feel I could of done better. I never look at what other people are doing; the only thing I do look at is cost so I can give good value for money.  I have never been in it for money, however what some don’t understand sometimes is that cost of locations, public liability insure and equipment are not cheap therefore you need to make a profit to keep running.”

Paranormal Tech

I decided to ask John about his opinion on the various pieces of paranormal tech currently available in the field.

“To be truthful too many people rely on them and people on the events get bored with them after a while.  I remember years ago when I used to work as a host for a well known paranormal company they used to like to give people equipment to carry round with them during the investigation. People would only use them for a short while and then at the end of the night we would spend a while looking for the equipment that some people left in the building because they got bored using them and carrying them around.  You can’t beat your own senses to know when spirit is around.  I always remember two ladies came to one of my events to check out the way I worked and one of the ladies said to me how do I know spirit is around if I don’t use a K2 meter.  That’s the main problem too many people rely on them and quite a lot of time they can give a false reading.  I have worked hard over the years in development and meduimship circles and in my opinion you will have a better experience using your natural senses and working with our energy.”

The Enigma Experiment

One of the latest projects that John is working on is the Enigma Experiments. These appear to be based on variations of psychical research areas and other experiments such as the famous Scole Experiment. However I wanted to to ask John about the concept behind the Enigma Experiments and what his end goal from them was.

“The concept is primarily based on the use of energy.  My belief is that to get success in the field study of the paranormal we need to learn and focus on manipulating spiritual energy.  At the end of the day we have to work in harmony with the spiritual world, by respect and keep them interested in the communication.  I feel we have achieved this by means of various experiments we have created which we use on the events. The end goal is the success of the Pentimento Experiment and bringing my friend/spirit guide David home closer to me and my friends on the Enigma Experiment who have all been touched by David.  David is an amazing spirit person who we all have utmost respect for. He has story to share, it’s a journey we are all focused on and we will help David achieve this goal.  Although the website and facebook groups are called “Enigma Paranormal Events” we are still really the “Enigma Experiment” which on the events is comprised of the following experiments.”

Spirit Conduction Rope Experiment

The experiment is based on the manipulation of spirit energy by encouraging spirit contact with the aid of the “Spirit Conduction Rope.” One of the most popular and most talked about experiments, exciting, totally unique and unlike anything that you have experienced before.

The Prana Experiment  

Prana is the Sanskrit word for “life force” and associated with Brahman, a spiritual concept in Hinduism. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman is everywhere and inside each living being and there is a connected spiritual oneness in all existence, it’s a key concept found in The Vedas, a large body of texts. Hindus consider The Vedas to be apauruseya “Not of Man.” Can a strong energy force connect to spirit on a higher consciousness and intelligent level?

The Zener Experiment

Is based on perceptual psychologist Dr Karl Zener’s experiment to test extra sensory perception (ESP) by the use of Zener cards, 25 in a pack made up of five symbols.  In a test of ESP. The experimenter picks up a card and records the answer of the person being tested for ESP more than three symbols answered correctly proves that the person being tested has a gift. The Enigma Experiment version is very similar, but with a frightening twist!

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Harbinger Experiment

Energy that foreshadows an omen or sign with the use of a translucent ball or other material with the belief that things can be seen. Spiritual visions coming from one’s subconscious mind. Though in the past believed to have come from gods, spirits and the devil. To gain insight into a question or situation by the ritual of scrying to communicate with spirit.

Kelpie Experiment

A shape shifter able to adopt human form and communicate with the living.  A type of ghost or supernatural being supposedly responsible for psychical disturbances such as loud noises and objects being moved or destroyed. This experiment is not for the faint hearted or of a nervous disposition an experiment closely linked to the black monk of Pontefract.  Can poltergeist activity be manifested by spirit communication?

The Mercurius Experiment

Mercurius a keeper of the boundaries a guide to the souls of the underworld.   Associated with messages of communication including various forms of divination.  A bridge between the upper and lower worlds of spirit communication.  This experiment uses both male and female energy but predominantly female energy as this is more susceptible and open.  Can female energy connect and communicate stronger with spirit?

The Pentimento Experiment

A completely unique experiment, one that will be mind-blowing.  Can the part of a human being associated with the mind, will and feelings achieve karmic Transmigration?

Probable Results from the Enigma Experiments

With a firm interest in some of these fascinating approaches I asked if the experiments had provided any particularly interesting results since they began. I was of course as ever wondering about the data too.

“We have had some amazing results which stems back from when I used to do the Anguish Man Live Experiment.  Being one of the guest speakers I have got some footage I will be showing on the Paraforce weekend which has never been seen before and hopefully if the conditions are right a live demonstration.”

Never before seen footage and a possible live demonstration, which shouldn’t be missed for sure. As I have a bit of an interest in the experiment I will have to make sure I catch that.

Classic Top Five Locations that John’s Investigated Question Time

  • Cook’s Corner in Hartlepool
  • HMS Trincomalee
  • The Chocolate Factory in Hull
  • 39 De Grey Street Hull
  • The Punch Bowl in Pendle

Classic Top Five Locations that John Would Like To Investigate

  • Aokigahara, also known as the Suicide Forest Japan.
  • Winchester Mansion, San Jose, California
  • Marie Laveau House of Voodoo, New Orleans
  • Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo
  • Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania

What’s John’s Favourite Ghost Story?

“Harry Martindale’s account of the famous Roman soldier’s apparition that he witnessed in the Treasures House Cellar in York.”

Coming Up Next for John Blackburn

“Yes to move forward with the Pentimento Experiment which I will discuss at Paraforce and to look for more interesting and extreme locations which we will announce towards the end of the year.”

Thank You John Blackburn

I would like to thank you John for taking the time to answer my questions and help provide this little post ahead of the Paraforce UK 2017 paranormal convention.

The Enigma Experiment

If you would like to read more on the convention then please follow the link below to find out more:-

Paraforce UK 2017

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Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm? – The Untold Secrets

Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm? – The Untold Secrets

The Original Tale of Bella

The story of Bella begins back in April 1943 during early evening time at Hagley Woods in Stourbridge. Four boys in search of bird nests found a striking elm tree that caught their eye. One of the four climbed up to take a closer look only to peer into the hollow and discover a human skull.

As the boys were not supposed to be in Hagley Woods, they decided to head home and keep this to themselves through fear of getting themselves in trouble. However one of them decided to tell his father, who in turn rang the police and the story of Bella in the Wych-Elm was born.

Okay granted, that is likely to be a very short version of the tale, but you get the idea. Jayne Harris covers it much better in her documentary, which is what this post is about of course.  I recently watched Jayne’s film and to be honest I was pleasantly surprised. So, I thought I would post a little review of it for you all.

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Looking At A Few Theories Surrounding Bella!

Jayne isn’t shy about looking at several of the prominent theories regarding Bella, which is one of the reasons I really enjoyed the film.

One of the most spoken about theories is that the events that lead to Bella’s demise were related to Witchcraft in some way and thats why she was placed in the elm tree. Jayne tackles this theory head on, gathering the related information attributed to this line of enquiry and then follows it up with a smart approach. After all when the stories of Bella seem to be related to Witchcraft, who better to talk to about this possibility than a Witch of course. In this case Jayne speaks to Ashley Mortimer, a friend of mine and someone whom I consider very knowledgeable in all things to do with Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism and the very interesting Doreen Valiente. This all presents very well in the film and gives us an interesting perspective on this theory.

Next up was the espionage theory which I found equally interesting as the witchcraft theory. Jayne done a fantastic job at looking into this theory in detail, chasing up quite a few leads to ensure that the evidence supported what was believed. Not to mention dismissing a few parts of this theory that were more fiction than fact. However the trail for this theory was well followed and documented in film.

The final theory that was looked at in the film was that of either unfortunate events or good old fashion murder. Jayne looked at the possibility that Bella had either walked through Hagley Woods and someone had either robbed and murdered her or her body had been hidden there following her unfortunate demise.

Who Was Bella?

However Jayne didn’t just leave the case here looking at those three probable theories, she continued to look at some aspects of the case that may have been overlooked in the past. This was something that really made the film for me, as Jayne took a look at who Bella might have been, which may also help to explain why she ended up in the Wych-Elm.

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Drawing from the facts in the police reports Jayne makes comparisons in order to discuss some of the possible candidates for Bella. I like the way that the candidates are logically assessed by Jayne and found myself nodding in agreement with her conclusions of this.

Although I am not familiar with the case of Bella it certainly seemed as if ‘no stone was left unturned’ by Jayne and this approach shone through in her film. I could see that the evidence and details of the case had been followed. This was made evident in how the film presented Jayne’s findings, remaining true to the case and its facts. Rather than seeking a supernatural answer.

Not Entirely Without Supernatural Links!

However at a couple of points during the film Jayne interviewed and utilised what could be said to be more psychical resources, with the interview of a Psychic Medium and also a Remote Viewer. Given the rest of the films approach, this should have been the bit where I felt a little disappointed and possibly rolled my eyes a little. Not because I dismiss these approaches, but because the film may not have seemed like these approaches would fit the format. This I am happy to say was not the case though. Both individuals were interviewed well and utilised in conjunction with matters relating to the case, presenting them as valid rather than a supernatural inclusion.

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Personally I especially liked the use of a Remote Viewer, as this particular approach is something that has been heavily documented over the years, but often dismissed. However many law enforcement departments (certainly in the States) have utilised them on active cases productively. The use of a Remote Viewer also resulted in some fascinating responses, no spoilers, but keep an eye out for them.

Recommendations

If you’re like me and find yourself looking into the facts behind cases that often have supernatural links, then ‘Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm – The Untold Secrets’ is a must for you without a doubt!

Jayne Harris has produced an excellent film covering the case excellently and in a way that captivated me throughout. The documentary was at a good pace too and didn’t just deliver the facts or analyse the possibilities, it told the story!

I have to be honest I went into this with an open mind, but was prepared for a film that wasn’t going to be let’s say of TV professional standards. Perhaps because I didn’t want to set my expectations too high and then be disappointed. However I have to admit, I was wrong to do so. Jayne Harris has delivered a fantastic film, which in my opinion is every bit professional as many of the paranormal shows I have seen on TV, if not better. It’s certainly up there as a good documentary, which would not be out of place on TV.

Great job Jayne I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm – The Untold Secret’ and I look forward to your next film.

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If you’ve not seen the film, please do and also check out more of Jayne Harris’s work at www.jayne-harris.com.

A DVD of Who Put Bella in the Wych-Elm – The Untold Secrets is available here www.hdparanormal.com/product-page

Jayne also has a Halloween screening of the film coming up, tickets are available here at www.boroughhalls.co.uk/who-put-bella-in-the-wych-elm.html

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