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Is This A Ghost I See Before Me?

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The Most Haunted Locations in the World – The Winchester Mystery House

A little history…

Often in the paranormal we are lucky enough to have several adventures in amazing locations seeking out various oddities. On occasion some of these locations are a little odd all by themselves. It’s not common place to find a location that is simply odd throughout and raises a tonne of questions all on its own. However the Winchester Mystery House does exactly what it says on the tin, providing its visitors with quite a bit of confusion as they navigate its hallways.

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However this particular story of a haunted location is less about a location becoming haunted and more about how one fascinating woman dealt with the loss of her close family. The woman was Sarah Winchester, wife of William Winchester, the only son of Oliver Winchester; owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Basically back in 1862, the Winchester’s were ‘big money’.

What should have been the beginning of an amazing life for Sarah soon turned a dark corner when she lost her only daughter at only one month old in 1866. In 1880 Sarah’s father in-law Oliver died and William inherited half of his fathers huge empire. Barely a year past and Sarah lost her husband William too, which meant his share of the family business went to Sarah.Unknown.jpeg

It was this sequence of traumatic events that Sarah lived through that possibly became the basis for the understanding that she may be cursed. A curse that Sarah possibly believed originated in the fact that the Winchester’s were responsible for creating weapon’s that had claimed possibly thousands of lives over the years. Fixated on this Sarah looked for a way to break the curse, which lead her down a more spiritual path. It was while exploring this path it’s believed a psychic medium advised her that the only way to combat the curse would be to build a house the spirits and her could both live in. The psychic went on to advise Sarah that if she stopped building the house, the curse would bring about her demise too.

It’s probably a good time to mention that although Sarah consulted with mediums and took those consultations very seriously, to the point of changing her life. This was likely driven by her grief, but it does leave us questioning things just a bit! Why would a highly intelligent, upstanding community member such as her be guided by such elaborate suggestions? Grief can certainly drive belief in such situations.

Sarah brought a six bedroom house in San Jose, which was still being built. A team were hired to carry out the work and the continuous construction of the Winchester House began.

A 1906 earthquake changed the seven story building at that point, making it only four stories. The earthquakes damage to the house was equally tied into the curse by Sarah, which highlighted that too much focus had been on the front of the house. Worked stopped on the front of the home and it has remained boarded up ever since.

A few of the Winchester House’s features…

It’s said that the number thirteen features heavily throughout the house and this could be due to Sarah’s obsession with the number. Something that may have even been a feature in her Will, which was believed to be written in thirteen sections and signed thirteen times. I always wonder how much truth there is in these numerical links; is it something that really was intended or perhaps something people have read into it after the fact? I guess the Will might help define this a little.

It is believed that in order to understand what was needed to be built next, Sarah would conduct a séance every night at midnight in the Séance Room. Perhaps this was where the design for such a collection of random and mind-boggling layouts evolved, but the why and even the how quickly returns. Was Sarah actually in communication with spirits advising her how to build her house? Were the layout designs simply from Sarah’s imagination, hence their complex random designs? Is there a possible method to the madness of the layout of the Winchester House.

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The work on the Winchester House contained for roughly thirty-eight years under Sarah’s and possibly spirits instructions. Sarah died at the impressive age of 83 in her sleep from natural causes and went on to finally join her husband and daughter in the cemetery.

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The Winchester House was auctioned and the new owners opened it as a tourist attraction. The house attracts many ghost hunters and paranormal investigators seeking the answers that the house has hidden in its walls. The place is certainly on my top ten list of places to investigate, after all I love a mystery.

The haunting of the Winchester House…

As far as paranormal activity is concerned, Winchester House presents its fair share too. Visitors have reported full-blown apparitions, odd sounds, cold spots, footsteps, strange feelings and even Sarah herself!

There is without doubt some strange things occurring at the Winchester House, some paranormal and also many secrets tied to its design too. Perhaps Sarah Winchester found a way to connect with spirits better? Maybe the whole house is some kind of psychical amplifier? One thing is certain in regards to the Winchester Mystery House, Sarah’s séance secrets remain well hidden within its walls. Walls which surround rooms that confuse, hallways to nowhere, hidden doors and a staircase into the ceiling!

Would you risk getting a little lost in the Winchester House…

The Winchester Mystery House is one of those fascinating locations that takes things far beyond the norm and most definitely into the paranormal. Although there is a part of me that wonders about the psychology here too. The very confusing ‘fun house’ layout of the house and its interesting history may just be generating the appearance of activity! However it could be genuinely haunted; after all it experienced over thirty years of continuous renovations, which has been associated with probable paranormal activity in the past too. Not to mention the nightly seances held by Sarah too. There are certainly all the ingredients for a traditional haunted house here. Why Sarah Winchester spent so much time and money putting the house together as it is will no doubt remain a mystery for years to come. In my opinion its one pretty interesting mystery too…

Don’t forget to read more haunted locations posts here…

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Sources/Further Reading : –

http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com,

https://www.livinglifeinfullspectrum.com.au/blog/the-mystery-behind-the-sarah-winchester-mystery-house/

https://ashleyknibb.com/category/psi-theories/

Information and the Akashic Records

Thinking about the Akashic Records…

As I sit in the quiet of the SPR Library looking out at the blue skies over London this afternoon, I find myself recalling a conversation on the Akashic Records that I had earlier today. If you would like to know a little more about the Akashic Records, please check out my brief Metetherial Encyclopaedia post on them here.

Obviously from a scientific stand point the records themselves are not considered a fact as their existence is very much unproven, but they are something that does come up on a regular basis in relation to the spiritual journey of some individuals. I too have encountered them both in research and during a dream like state in the past.

Now as they often seem to be related to the spiritual side of the paranormal I wondered if I could perhaps throw them into the psi theory concept and reconstruct them so to speak within a post that may present them in a different light.

Documenting everything…

So, the Akashic Records are believed to house every deed, action, thought, decision, event and interaction that has ever occurred in the past, present or future. A record of everything of all time. Which is where we begin to meet our first psi theory cross-overs in my opinion. A record of everything would be huge, in physical terms within our reality it would be an impossibility, especially if we liken it to a library. For example, I am sat in a library right now. There must be hundreds of books here, if not well over a thousand. Add in the various magazines and other documents, then you must be looking at thousands of sources of information in one room at the SPR. All on roughly the same subject area, Psychical Research. If you were to document every thought, every action, every event no matter how small that has and will occur throughout time, then I know that wont fit on my computers hard drive!

However this is where the Akashic Records come into their own in my opinion and we begin to perhaps look at other possible explanations, such as Jung’s Collective Unconscious. Oddly this also presents alternative possibilities for some of those more paranormal experiences too.

Its all about information…

One thing we must agree on here is that if the Akashic Records do store everything from all time, then what they store is information. That information will and must interrelate, as in each piece of information will link to another piece or multiple pieces of information, a little like a web. See where this is going yet?

Let’s go back to the library idea. In a library the books are usually in some sort of order, generally speaking this is related to the authors surname and they are arranged alphabetically on the shelves. So, you’ve got Sheldrake’s ‘Sense of Being Stared At’ on the same shelf as Sidgwick’s ‘A Memoir’. Their locality dependant on their author. However, Sheldrake talks of ‘telepathy’ in his book, a term coined by FWH Myers, who’s books reside on a completely different shelf, but by this and no doubt other elements are interconnected. This would be similar for all information especially if it was related to everything throughout time.

What’s even more interesting (perhaps just to me) is that these information correlations also relate to our own memories and what we know too. Think about it for a second. No matter the memory you think of there will be another living thing in proximity that will have a version of those events.

Its all in the memory…

Let me explain with two very different examples. In the first one its your first day at school, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a particular age group as it would work for any. As the child you are likely to turn up with a vague idea of where it is you are supposed to go and what you are supposed to do. Usually guidance comes from the adults around you, teachers and perhaps parents. It also will come from observing others too and what they do. However the whole event is something you remember from your perspective and experience, but there are equally multiple other memories from other perspectives too. The other children will have their memories, the adults too, but there are also possible memories beyond that which we often disregard as present. These are the memories of the animals near by too. Sounds strange to suggest that a bird flying over head may have a memory of the moments you started school or even dog outside the school gate remembers you walking to school, but these should be possibilities we consider.

The second example in this is all about you being alone. For example, you are for reasons unimportant located in a room of building. There is no one else there, you’re completely alone. At least that’s the memory you would have of that situation and there would be no human memory elsewhere to back that up. However this is also something we miss in our interpretation of what we remember. You see there is likely to be someone that witnessed your movements at some point in relation to arriving there. They may not have seen you walk in the room or even the building, but we have a human memory timeline from that. Also, there are animals around constantly, so it is likely that there would be memory of you at the location possibly even within the room from an unseen animal. Thus even a memory of an event which appears on the surface to have no connection to another memory is more than likely to have somewhere.

Our desire to appear independent and individuals is something which is constantly driven into our very being. We are presented with the tools to make decisions and walk our own paths on every opportunity. We may even fiercely deny our similarities to our parents and siblings because of this, yet we are a connected species and beyond that we are connected to the other living things around us too.

These memories like the books on the SPR shelves and that which is contained possibly in the Akashic Records is all about information. Information which is around us all the time. In fact these days with social media and cloud technology, our very memories are recorded in word, audio, video and photographs, then shared amongst many that were not present. So, a perspective of the events is even remembered by those not even present.

Now we seem to have a local and even non-local link to memories that occur on a daily basis, it sounds strange just to write it, but in reality its happening. Think about it, when you shared that picture of your birthday drinks, those not present at the events saw it possibly liked it too. Perhaps they showed someone they were stood next to, perhaps someone walking past completely unrelated saw the social media post too. All of a sudden the reach of your memory has the potential to be in several places across the world.

Memories make up a considerable amount of the information here, as those memories will link to actual events that transpired, but we put more than that out there. We share ideas and decisions, we share specific events and even history. The internet is already a huge source of information about everything really, in all forms. Granted its not quite everything of all time past, present and future. However it certainly appears to be of a similar form to the Akashic Records with the resources available to us today.

Locating the Records…

If information that covers well everything ever to happen and that will ever happen is recorded in the Akashic Records then we must discuss where they may possibly exist. Just to clarify, this part is purely theoretical and meant as simply food for thought. We are presented with a few possible locations for the records; another plane of consciousness, another dimension, etc.

I want to begin by throwing out there a truly ‘Doctor Who’ theory for the Akashic Records. What if the huge library existed within a black hole, just past the event horizon of the singularity. A place where time wasn’t normal and matter could be easily manipulated perhaps. Also, to throw caution to the wind, I believe that Hawkins had a theory where he believed information could escape a black hole. Perhaps that information is our connection to the Records themselves.

The consciousness approach is quite interesting as it feeds directly into the shared memories concept we’ve already discussed. That way it links all of our minds together making the information accessible in that way. Of course its suggested that meditation and other relaxed stated can help in accessing this form of the records. This could also be related back to Jung’s Collective Unconscious. It actually makes a lot of sense too. As a physical organ the brain has a huge capacity to store lots of information, multiply that by the number of humans, then by the number of animals and that’s a heck of a lot of storage to access. If we are all connected in that fashion then potentially we have access to well everything, as there’s bound to be someone somewhere that knows something about the one thing you believe no one does! If that makes sense? Hang on connected minds sounds a lot like a network of computers too, funny that!

Combining theories like quantum mechanics, entanglement and neurological networks could possibly be hiding the reality of the Akashic Records.

Relating Paranormal Experiences…

So how does this explain possible paranormal experiences? Without going into too much detail, think of it this way. If we continuously have access to information and its likely presented in relation to what our senses are picking up, then its almost like out minds are continuously ‘googling’ for information based on the space we are in. Add into this mix the probability of telepathic interaction and then the source of the information will be local or even non-local to the individual present. It could even be based on a thought that pops in and out of minds in a split second. Thus you could walk into a room and be presented psychically with the imagine of a past occupant in your mind. However that may relay or overlay what youre senses are acquiring, which then could make it seem as if there is a ghost present.

What you have is comprehension of information rather than survival of consciousness. Well that’s the theory!

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‘THE GHOST STUDIES’ BY BRANDON MASSULLO

A little about the author…

One of the first things that struck me as interesting about Brandon Massullo was his career background. Often the subject of the Paranormal draws in many individuals from quite a few different walks of life that have an interest in the subject matter and often apply to it things they have learnt in their day-to-day careers.

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Brandon is a clinical therapist from Northeast Ohio and has worked within the Neurological Institute for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic. Whilst he was there he conducted behavioural health consultations. He has since moved on to become the director of behavioural health at a local hospital.

With an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in clinical counselling from the university of Toledo, Brandon has some good knowledge and experience that can be applied to the Paranormal field. This is also topped off with an MSc in psychological research methods, which he picked up from the university of Edinburgh. Whilst at the university of Edinburgh he studied under the supervision of Dr Caroline Watt within the Koestler Parapsychology Unit. His research centred on neurobiological correlates of ghostly encounters, which is something else I must ask him about I feel.

Brandon’s fascination for Paranormal phenomena has lead him to participate and speak at many a paranormal forum and event. This has included the Parapsychological Associations 60th Anniversary Celebration too. With his research also cited in many Parapsychological journals, news articles and books, Brandon Massullo is certainly adding to our understanding of how this phenomena may occur.

However if you’ve not heard of Brandon, don’t panic I hadn’t, its likely because the true research side of the paranormal doesn’t get quite the recognition it should in my opinion. Which is a massive shame as there is so much we could learn, understand and use to progress our understanding here and that is where ‘The Ghost Studies’ fits in too.

On to Ghost Studies…

I will be totally honest I don’t recall how Brandon and I began to chat, but I am glad we did. It certainly wasn’t long before ‘The Ghost Studies’ arrived at my home and I set about reading it. In fact its arrival was well-timed as I was just finishing another book at the time.

What’s good to know straight of the mark is that the book is not huge in length and not written in such a fashion that you would need to have attended university to read it. As a matter of fact I found it very easy to read and it flowed from one chapter to the next with ease.

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Something else that really appealed to me about Brandon’s approach was the structure of the book. Not only did each chapter tackle a particular point in order to help build us towards the Massullo’s hypothesis, but each of those chapters were broken into smaller sections in order to look at smaller parts that make up the bigger picture. He also added a ‘summary’ at the end of each chapter to remind us what we had just read about, but also how it was beginning to tie in to the other points the book had raised in previous chapters too.

Throughout most of the chapters Brandon engaged our understanding of various points with a few anecdotal stories he had gathered from various sources. Each of which were ideal for the chapter they were placed in amongst valid points that continued to lead us towards the final understanding. In fact he even brought a couple of these stories back later on to reapply what had been learnt since and how his theories were beginning to tie into them.

All in all the book is well structured and like any good book, it builds the picture gradually before delivering in the conclusion.

What’s it all about then…

This is always the hardest part to write, as I want to tell you a great deal about the book, but equally I don’t wish to ruin it for you. Firstly, if you have an interest in the paranormal and theories surrounding what ghosts may be, then this is certainly a book you should read.

Massullo jumps straight in at the deep end and tackles some of the hard questions within the paranormal without even flinching. He looks at the cause of ghostly experiences, why some report encounters and others do not. He also takes a look at crisis apparitions and how they fit into the mix too. In fact we barely make it to the end of chapter one before he offers up his; ‘ingredients of a ghostly experience’ with an interesting little equation, so to speak.

Massullo writes; “By combining previous research in psychology, bioenergetics, and universal consciousness, this book identifies a simple equation that sheds light on ghostly experiences.”

As a matter of fact it’s a neat little equation that does make actual sense to me and is in my opinion certainly a large step in the right direction for the field. Rather than presenting a singular reason for ghosts and potentially spirits, such as that of a deceased person attempting to communicate. Massullo presents a combination of factors that are required to enable an experience. An approach I totally agree with, its not a simple singular answer that will explain these strange occurrences after all.

Throughout the book Massullo adds to his hypothesis by discussing many an interesting area of the paranormal. Looking at aspects which are favourites of the modern ghost hunter, such as energy or electricity. Which brings the latest favourite into view, EMF. He then moves onto looking for ghosts in and out of the laboratory, discussing Persinger, Koren, Braithwaite and more. Certainly a lot of detail in regards to EMF, MF and even GMF’s.

Massullo continued his journey by looking at the psychological elements of this equation and discussing Jung, Freud, Rhine, Jawer and Sidgwick, covering off a variety of considerations including repressed emotions and emotional crisis too. This lead to internal energy and bioenergetics, looking at Pert’s theory on the ‘molecules of emotion’ and beyond.

We move on from the bioenergetics to external information acquisition and once again return to the work of Jung (personal favourite), but this then took us onto the work of Sheldrake and his morphogenetic fields. Which for me was very interesting as I had too made this connection previously. It’s always good when someone else makes a similar connection as yourself in the paranormal.

Brandon even throws a little entanglement and interconnected minds in there too just at the right moment. Which is something that’s been received with a positive and negative response over the last few years. Personally I do think it plays a part and we are still a little way off figuring out exactly how.

Finally, Massullo presents his theory and its important processes to enable it to work before bringing back those all important stories to show how it fits and explains the scenarios at hand. I am not going to explain the theory here or even the hypothesis, as I feel its something you should read and gain an understanding from. Brandon applies it to haunted locations too and I have to admit the theory is quite compelling.

It is a well structured comprehension of hauntings and how they could occur, giving the reader a fascinating possible hypothesis to why they happen. One that doesn’t simple re-write old approaches, but builds on what we already know.

In my opinion…

‘The Ghost Studies’ is one of those books that if you’re into trying to understand the true questions of the paranormal like I am, you should really own. If you’re anything like me you will probably read it through in a short space of time, but then keep referring back to it, just because its full of information cover to cover.

Brandon has constructed the book really well and has been careful to make it very accessible to most in the field I would say. Its well written and engaging throughout, which keeps you turning the pages at a good pace. Although he covers a wide range of topics and disciplines within the covers, they never seem to be presented in too much of a heavy format that has you losing interest.

He sets out the plan for the readers journey right from the outset and from chapter one you know exactly where you are going, gradually building an excellent case to support his hypothesis.

If you’re interested in reading about paranormal theories and possible explanations for the cause of ghosts and hauntings, then this is the next book you should read. The hypothesis presented between the covers is well put together and to me at least made excellent sense. A quick flick through the notes section and you can easily see the work that has gone into this theory, not to mentioned the wealth of knowledge on the subject that Massullo obviously possesses.

In all honesty I am not sure if I 100% agree with the entirety of the hypothesis, but then given the subject at hand there are bound to be a few things we wouldn’t agree on. That’s half the fun of such a wide-ranging and complex subject. However please don’t misunderstand me, as I agree with a large majority of what Massullo has put forward in this excellent book. Hopefully the source for future discussions, I will certainly be applying some of what has been learnt from this book to my own research now.

Closing the cover…

This is one of those books that I was pleased to read and I am very glad that I have. The hypothesis presented in under two hundred pages is excellent and in my opinion highly probable given the extensive supporting work. It is certainly food for thought and gets the old grey matter going.

I would encourage you to grab a copy of ‘The Ghost Studies’ as its likely that it will spur additional reading and research, which is always a good thing. It may not answer the hard questions of consciousness and its survival just yet, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and cannot sing its praises enough. If you’ve enjoyed many of my psi theory posts then you will more than likely enjoy this too. Although I have now finished the book, I am more than certain that I will be referring to this one on a regular basis for a long while to date.

Finally, I would like to thank Brandon Massullo for giving me this opportunity to read his work, it was indeed an enjoyable journey.

If you want to grab a copy of ‘The Ghost Studies” by Brandon Massullo click below…

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If you have a book you would like me to review on my paranormal blog, then please get in touch…

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Looking for Patterns – Anomalous Experience Form

Investigating in a different way…

Often when we discuss the paranormal and investigating ghosts, we think about wandering around dark old buildings with various gadgets and our trusty torches.

These are concepts and approaches that have now become common place understanding, which have been backed up by mainstream media and TV.

My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in the UK - Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker

Personally my beginnings in the field involved more of a research perspective with me reading many books and constantly seeking answers. The concept of investigating over night is actually relatively new to me, I have only really been out on over night investigations for the last twelve years really. Okay so twelve years may seem a while, but before that I spent over twenty years in libraries and looking stuff up online, once that became a thing.

However early on I knew that these opportunities to visit historic locations overnight should not be wasted and I took it as a chance to try and document as much as possible. In fact that was how my website originally began, as a place I could share the details of my investigations with other like minded individuals. So, please check out some of my investigations and cases over the years.

Documenting experiences and these investigations was something that seemed relatively common place to me at that point, especially as much of what I had read had come about in a similar fashion.

Strangely as I became more involved with over night investigations or ghost hunting, I began to realise that documenting those experiences or writing up investigations was not as popular as I had first thought. Don’t get me wrong there are many out there that do document their investigations and do share them too, but many don’t leaving a wealth of information lost.

Once I joined the Society for Psychical Research I was happy to once again discover a wealth of information related to the paranormal. Most of which has now been compiled over more than one hundred years of research since the SPR was founded back in 1882. However it also highlighted the need for good hard data to back up any research I may do moving forward.

It’s not quite as exciting as ghost hunting…

The first thing I want to make clear is that by asking to look more at the data available, I am by no means saying that people should give up ghost hunting or overnight investigations. Although there is a lot of data out there that I feel needs to be ‘crunched’ in order to find patterns that could provide answers to the many questions we regularly ask.

As a matter of fact the continuation of ghost hunting may actually be key to this in order to maintain the new experiences and add them to the ones we already have. The most important thing is that we should document these experiences in order to comprehend the possible bigger picture.

I know that keeping track of all of our paranormal experiences isn’t always practical in the moment they occur, but we should do our best to do so. Granted that focussing on tracking this is considerably less exciting than standard ghost hunting, but still its something you could do afterwards.

Gathering lots of this kind of data is actually a million miles away from exciting, unless like me you have a thing for stats! Yes, I am that guy that gets a little excited about data, as you’ve probably guessed by now.

However there is a real need nowadays to capture this data in vast quantities in order to see if there are patterns, which could help us understand more. The problem that I see more and more of is that many of us are guilty of going out ghost hunting, but fail to gather any data. The strange thing about this is that these days we have so many gadgets and access to media devices, but we fail to document simple information on the experience.

Now don’t get me wrong there are a lot of people taking photos, capturing video and audio during their investigations; but we need to think a little more outside the box. Unfortunately these on their own are not really enough and if we want to gather ‘evidence’ for science we need more than that.

You may recall a previous post that I made, asking Could Artificial Intelligence Help Understand Paranormal Experiences. The cold truth is that this is already beginning with AI and Machine Learning looking at vast quantities of data in order to look at problems and seek patterns. In fact I was only contacted today by a group that are already looking into this by analysing ‘Phantasms of the Living’ using machine learning. Please take a look at what Maryland Paranormal Research have already achieved here..

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This highlighted a fantastic opportunity to start looking at some real data or information to find those all important patterns we all seek. So, hopefully I will be giving you a little more on this in the near future after a few more emails back and forth between Maryland Paranormal Research and I.

Here’s where I need your help…

In order to understand more about paranormal activity, something that I have been looking at is gathering data on experiences that many of you may have had at some point.  These experiences could be anything really in the realms of the paranormal, from simple feelings of temperature change to seeing a full blown apparition standing there waving at you. The experiences could be equally psychical too, that way even the interactions a medium has become relevant to this study. This is something that I know needs to be done in order to fully research some of my own ideas around psi and my theory of telepathic interaction too.

This approach of gathering data on the experiences of many people is certainly not new, in fact the SPR conducted a census back in the late 1800’s to first look into this. A census that has been repeated at least twice since. In fact there has been quite a few studies over the last hundred years of this manner.

As a little background on this, something else that I am doing is to gather data from other sources and reports to add into this piece of research to ensure I gather loads on this. Which means hitting the books and returning to the libraries too. So, that means the study will incorporate data from you guys using the link below, data that I have looked up in the SPR Journals and Proceedings, information from various books, information from various websites and of course my own investigations too.

However if you wish to help me out and tell me all about your experiences, please follow the link below and complete the form.

The Paranormal Activity Form

The form does ask for quite a bit of information, but don’t worry enter what you know for now, the more the better though. Also, if you’re not comfortable sharing your own home address and phone number then just enter NA in those fields. The location where the activity occurred is important though to enable me to tie it to other reports for the same location.

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What is cool about this link is once you’ve been on an investigation, if you’ve experienced something then you can simply follow the link above and detail it. Then there will be a record that only took five minutes to log. You can even do it on your phone too! Just bookmark it for use.

The form does relate to one experience at one point in time too, so not for a sequence of experiences or events that took place over a longer time frame. However if there are several significant experiences that occurred over a length of time please feel free to add one for each.

The link does use a mail list subscriber, which I manage, but will not be sending you random stuff from, as that’s just not cool right! As the list is related to documenting paranormal experiences the only thing I may use it for is to gather more information on your experience from you by email if you’re happy to do so..

So, please click on the link and tell me about your paranormal experiences. In advance I would just like to thank you all for helping me with this, its greatly appreciated and please keep an eye on this website for more details as the research progresses.

If you want to know more about my research and the data I am gathering, please comment, like and share below…

Ghost Hunting with CCTV

Ghost captured on CCTV…

I remember when I got into the overnight Paranormal investigating part of what I do well over ten years ago now, when Ghost Hunters was dominating the paranormal TV show slot, everyone had a CCTV system of some kind or another. At that point in time it seemed very much like we were all scrambling around to set up as many night vision CCTV cameras as we could. All with the intention of capturing that holy grail of evidence ‘a ghost’.

My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in the UK - Henrick's Hairdressers in Royston

Back then it seemed so easy with our limited gadgetry, rock up to the location with your ten flight cases and spend your first hour and half setting up kit like CCTV. Then you would investigate for around seven hours, moving around your location holding vigils all over the place, as you try to connect with probable entities supposedly haunting the place. Once you finish those vigils, you pack up your kit into your car and drive home on energy drinks. After you’ve caught up on the sleep you lost from a nights investigation, then you set about reviewing your footage. The likes of Ghost Hunters made the review part seem so very simple, but TV does have a way of doing this doesn’t it? In reality reviewing footage from your CCTV alone could take hours and hours; bearing in mind if you watch footage for each individual camera for the entire investigation then you would be looking at around seven times the number of cameras you had been running through the night. Forget the next day, you would be reviewing footage in your spare time for the following week.

After all that the likelihood that you may even catch something paranormal is pretty much slim to none. In fact in all my years investigating haunted locations I don’t think I have ever captured compelling footage on my CCTV systems.

However there did seem a time where CCTV was almost as popular as a black polo shirt with your teams logo on the front.

Don’t get me wrong I have heard of a few capturing some oddities on their systems and there were of course the various TV shows out there using them that often appeared to capture ‘evidence’ !

Rethinking the purpose of CCTV…

Over the years I’ve gradually re-evaluated how and when I utilise a CCTV system within a paranormal investigation. As odd as it sounds trying to focus its use on capturing paranormal activity is actually a complete waste of something that could really help you to understand the structure of your investigation.

I know, I know! You’re probably scratching your heads right now confused at what I’ve just said, right? Surely the CCTV system is perfect for capturing activity! Well of course it is, but there are major issues with this. One video image caught via one camera with little or no other supporting data, just won’t cut it as evidence.

Let me highlight this with a brief example. You set up your CCTV around a location at various ‘hotspots’. In one room where you have a CCTV camera you have a trigger object on a table. The camera monitors what’s on the table, but to do so you loose the whole table. The object moves in shot of the camera. You’ve captured a moving object with one camera. This is where the problem arises; as you’ve got areas out of shot here the validity of the video comes into question and rightly so too. As you can hopefully see with this simple example, the CCTV systems can be flawed when it comes to establishing captured video as ‘evidence’.

With an understanding in the utilisation of my CCTV changed over the years now, I tend to use the system in a different way perhaps these days.

Don’t get me wrong when approaching a new case I still may focus a camera or two on a possibly active location, but this is aimed to analyse that hotspot to see if there is anything to the claim. Pretty much as we always have. The difference is that more often than not I will use other triggers to check the footage at the same time for a cross reference of activity.

However these days I often utilise my CCTV systems more for clarification of things like the Investigators location during an investigation. The movement of the team during an investigation is actually quite an important element of the data we should look to capture. The amount of times I’ve spoken to team members following a particularly interesting part of the investigation and they have provided various pieces of information, which they believe to be correct, but actually their understanding of the time line is not quite right.

This isn’t about Investigators falsifying information to sensationalise them, it’s a simple fact that out memories aren’t quite as reliable as we would hope. This is what is often referred to as false memory. Hence the need for things to help us establish those events correctly.

Hence in any investigation establishing a time line is essential in order to comprehend when things occurred and who may have been present for those events. This is where CCTV can help you immensely, as most systems will run with a running clock giving you that time link.

Granted you may not be able to place a CCTV camera absolutely everywhere, but you can place what you have in key locations to cover your teams movement around that location. Doorways, stairways and hallways are all great locations that cover a teams movement.

Let the tech do the work…

These days CCTV systems are a bit more clever than the systems I first started using all those years ago. They can do all sorts of cool stuff, including recording only if they detect movement or generating a log of movement. Which means we can use them to gather data useful to the construction of our investigation timeline.

My own system does something similar where it creates a clever log of the recording time frame and any movement too. It doesn’t end there though as these systems can also be interconnected with other sensory systems too.

As my good friend Carl Hutchinson would agree get to know your technology and get the most out of it in order to capture good investigation data, which can be used to cross reference other data. It’s in multiple streams of data that support a single anomaly that we will find truly compelling evidence of the paranormal.

In fact when I spoke to Carl about CCTV he told me the following:-

Being a little bit of an equipment geek, sometimes I get asked by people what type of equipment I use and the reasons behind this. Ashley came to me the other day and asked me about CCTV systems, so here goes and I hope this helps.

My CCTV set is based around the Swann 1080 16 Channel DVR system with a 16 camera setup (standard 8 indoor and 8 outdoor cameras), all the cameras have motion and heat active sensors; and night vision up to 40 meters in ambient light. The system has a 2TB hard drive and also can be remotely accessed using a smart phone or tablet, so you can view the camera’s from anywhere that has a wi-fi signal. The system has been upgrade so I can connect both wi-fi and cabled camera’s. The main reason for this was to give me the flexibility, as some location you can’t cable the cameras due to the amount of cable required. The only draw back of wifi cameras is that they have to be contacted to a power supply to be able to work. Which is great when you have a location that has power plugs all over the place, but not very helpful when your in a dungeon or tunnels.

I also have the following additional camera’s that boost my capacity to cover all possible requirements that a location might kick up.

3 x Swabb Pro – 1080 FLD 1080 Micro Dome Cameras with Audio

6 x Swann wifi 1080p security cameras

1 x Swann 1080p pan and tilf zoom dome security camera

All my cameras have a great 80 degree viewing angle, both horizontally and vertically. The cable I use is standard BNC cable and I have roles of cables at different lengths because there is nothing worse than only needing 30 meters and all you have is a 100 meter roll!

There are cheaper or more expensive systems and cameras for sale. However I would suggest to anyone thinking about buying a system; do your research first and work out what you want out of it, plus how your going to use it. Most importantly stick to your budget.

Lastly one other bit of advice is about set up. Make sure this is done first when you get to a location and have it recording as soon as possible. And if you have a reported hot spot of activity then try and cover all angles, but keep in mind the IR glare. And if your setting up an area for trigger object, try and make sure you are covering all the room. So if it’s on a table make sure the camera covers all of the legs. The more camera angles you have the more chance you have of being able to debunk things and the more chance you have of capturing activity.

Thank you Carl, my Paranormal tech guru. It’s always good to obtain other perspectives in how we investigate as we can often fall into a pattern of doing the same old thing over and over again.

If you’re interested in a similar CCTV System to the one mentioned by Carl, follow this link.. 

So, when you next setup your CCTV or even camcorders, don’t just set them up with the hope of capturing activity; utilise them to establish good data of your investigations time line too.

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Identifying Intelligent Communication

The Classical Two…

Over my years of investigation I have read about and heard from others what I will now class as the classical two, when it comes to communication or indeed encounters during a haunting. There are other variations, but these are probably the two most utilised forms used when describing; a) communication with an entity; and b) a haunting of some kind.

The problem is the more I think about these pair the more I consider them not to be all that correct or perhaps not utilised in the correct manner.

I’m talking of course about Residual and Intelligent hauntings/communication.

Back in the day when I first started my journey into the paranormal, one thing that came up early on was the classification of hauntings or as it was explained to me, the types of hauntings. Now there are various versions out there defining the types, but the two that seem to remain a definitive constant throughout are the following:-

  • Residual Haunting – these are very much like a video recording that are triggered by some external stimulus unknown to the observer. Often related to the Stone Tape Theory.
  • Intelligent Haunting – these identify the entity as being aware of its surroundings and able to communicate with its observers.

However the problem is that although these particular terms have been around now for an extremely long time they are quite vague in how they should relate to that which someone may experience. Yet we all find ourselves utilising them to identify a paranormal experience or indeed define a haunting we may have investigated.

Of course that’s residual…

I have to admit and I am sure many of my fellow investigators out there will agree, there have been many an occasion whereas activity within an investigation has been quickly identified as being residual energy. Sometimes this claim would be swiftly followed by ‘that’s the Stone Tape Theory right there’.

Don’t get me wrong the Stone Tape Theory is great and does appear to help us to understand a lot of possible so called residual hauntings. However its only a theory, a very good one at that, but still unproven.

That said there has been scientific research into water which is pretty much in everything and everywhere; and that research has proven that water has memory in a way. I did read this research quite a while a go now, but its very interesting to say the least. Although it does seem to help the Stone Tape Theory, the research into water memory doesn’t look into the possibility of storing information to the level where you would witness a replay of an event.

There has also been research to counter the Stone Tape Theory suggesting that the energy required to imprint the information for a ‘video playback’ would need to be of ridiculously high amounts, from a physics point of view. However those of a more spiritual comprehension may suggest that emotional energy works differently from what we understand through materialistic science.

Years ago before I even ventured out to investigate overnight I read a book about one of the great UK paranormal investigators; although today many probably haven’t heard of him, Andrew Green. If memory serves me well (sometimes it doesn’t) I believe he once stumbled upon a case of a residual haunting, but what struck him as odd was the Haunting didn’t seem to be linked to a traumatic event as the research indicated. In fact the residual playback so to speak just appeared to be of normal activity in someone’s garden. In order to discover more about this he looked further into this and later discovered that the ‘ghosts’ on this occasion were the previous occupants of the house and the event was a normal day in the garden. However what made this particularly interesting was that the previous occupants were very much alive! Hence our comprehension of what a ghost maybe is thrown into question, especially if we are utilising the residual energy concept to identify it!

It has been conflicting research through the years, which has been compelling on both sides that has lead me to question the Stone Tape Theory or at least believe that we still have quite a bit of work to do on it. For example, most seem to comprehend the concept of residual energy being the answer as an actual thing repeating the same set of instructions over and over again there in front of their eyes, where they can see it. However these types of activity have been witnessed by one or more people at a time, but equally by one and not another in the same place. It’s been suggested that perhaps one person has the ability to see from their angle whilst another doesn’t or indeed has the ability to see a ghost whilst another doesn’t.

Confused? Well this is psi theory, so welcome to my head, lol!

For me, we have a few problems with seeing. Physical objects are seen by us all. So, I’m not sure that I am happy with seeing being selective. However, what if the manifestation isn’t in the physical environment, what if the manifestation occurs in our minds and overplayed the information we are receiving from the environment we are in. Then the possibilities of witnessing residual energy become more possible. However let’s drop the term residual energy and start calling it what it might be here, residual information.

Residual Information gives us a better explanation of why whilst you and I are stood in the same place, only one of us may see this recording. As individuals we consciously pick up on lots of things as we enter an environment from our standard senses, some of this information is discarded to our unconscious as not being required, whilst other parts are retained to be used for what we are currently doing. Perhaps we also obtain information beyond the standard senses, say telepathically too. Like a kind of telepathic google that obtains information from other sources like people or objects. Hence why one person may receive the information related to a past event and another may not. If we then experience that information in realtime as we observe what’s in front of us it may be overlaid the visual or audio information our senses are supplying, hence we see what is not there and hear what cannot be heard.

Like the Stone Tape Theory, its just a theory, an idea which needs further development and something I will work on in the background.

That’s intelligent for sure…

This brings me onto the intelligent hauntings or communications from spirit. Incidentally over the years these have also been utilised to define the difference between ghosts and spirits too. A ghost is residual whilst a spirit is intelligent.

Oddly I don’t necessarily disagree with this definition, but personally I think we need to see it better clarified and utilised correctly. All too often I see teams jump to an intelligent spirit with little or no real supporting evidence other than their own determination to contact a spirit. I will put my hand up too, I’ve probable done it over the years. You get caught up in that excitement of the ghost hunt and all of a sudden after hours of nothing you get a reaction on your EMF Meter. Has to be an intelligent spirit trying to chat, right?

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The truth of the matter is that there’s a lot ‘Paranormal red tape’ with this one. If you spend some time trying to find a logical reason behind the fluctuations or taps, if it is a spirit they may actually get bored and give up trying to communicate. However if you fail to properly establish that there is good evidence to support your reasoning that the communication is intelligent, then you’re leaving yourself open to scrutiny. In actuality you could be having a conversation with a totally normal effect, which you’ve missed.

Over the years I have been investigating this has actually happened on a few occasions to me. On one occasion we were investigating Arundle Jail (I think) and at one particular point we received a response on a KII meter. I’m not a massive fan of the KII, but on this occasion I think the reaction was also noticed on another EMF device too. We asked questions and received answers, well we asked questions and the KII flashed. Here lies the problem, perception of communication.

The problem was that we started by asking the standard questions, waiting and then the device would flash. Hence there was a response, something to work with. We would ask another question, again a flash. So, we tried a couple of control questions to determine if this was intelligent. The results were inconclusive, as in we received a flash on the KII, but shouldn’t have. However this was discussed and determined that our communicator maybe confused by our attempt to change things. Then one of the team noticed something fundamental to this little communication piece. Our responses were actually occurring in a timed pattern. Although their occurrence wasn’t at exactly the same time intervals, they were so close that there was an obvious pattern. Initially we had missed this because we were asking a question, pausing and receiving a response. Now we looked at it more closely the pattern was obvious.

Although on this occasion our intelligent communicator had now seemed to have acquired a pattern, we still had to determine source in order to ensure that it was not spirit. During those days of investigation we would either turn mobile phones off or switch them to flight mode and leave them in our bags. This was the case at Arundle and in the end we tracked the source down to a BlackBerry (possibly mine) that was in flight mode. The phone should have been totally offline, but it seems that even in flight mode it would check cell connection every ninety odd seconds (I think). This cell check fluctuated the KII at just the right moment to coincide with our questions, creating the appearance of a response.

Effectively we had a conversation with a mobile phone and not an intelligent spirit.

The reason I use this example is because with the advent of various apps, I see individuals using their mobile phones during an investigation these days. To be fair, I even use mine now for various things. Hence we have to be knowledgeable of the effect this may have and not jump to conclusions.

Another common piece of ‘evidence’ utilised to support that an intelligent conversation is actively taking place or has taken place with an intelligent spirit is that of EVP. After all if you ask a specific question and then record an audible response that appears to fit the questioning then that has to be intelligent right? The unfortunate thing here is that this is likely to be less of the case than we realise.

I have a couple of issues with EVP’S; the first is that often they are pieces of information that can lead to determine their content. Which basically means we capture the EVP, get excited and then forget to allow others to evaluate what they believe it to be, instead we tell them what we think we hear and then in a form of audio pareidolia they hear exactly that. The second issue is that there is a possibility that we are manifesting the EVPs on the devices ourselves. If you check out The Psychic Projection Experiment, this explains how you can attempt this with a group, but like most things Paranormal its not 100% repeatable. However I have seen this in action at Fort Horsted with Sage Paranormal and Brian J Cano, and to be honest it really got me thinking into the validity of EVP’s as evidence of communication with spirits. An EVP could actually be our unconscious minds or even our conscious minds projecting information onto the device and not a spirit chatting with us. For example, when we ask a question out loud into the darkness during an investigation, we also unconsciously contemplate the probable responses. If the circumstances are right we may be simply projecting those responses in our unconscious onto the device we are recording the EVP on.

Zoom out, see a bigger picture…

Often as individuals and within social groups we can easily get caught up in the moment and this can lead us to make assumptions based on that involvement. If we are out searching for ghosts then we can often believe that a response in its form is that which we seek. However as investigators we must remain objective and gather the information at the time in order to draw conclusions later.

I am not saying we should never engage in what we believe to be spirit communication, as it could be exactly that for all I know. However if you’re investigating in a team, why not have a part of the team continue with the communication gathering information on that, whilst another part of the team look into other possible causes for this communication. Balance your approach and gather all the available data you can, this will allow you to make a better judgement later on.

It’s also imperative to include your own team and yourself in that assessment too, as your presence at the location has influenced change there in various forms, but equally the teams will feel different things because they are there too. If activity does occur, try taking statements individually from those present without others in ear shot, that way you can cross reference to determine what actually occurred. Often our memories don’t recall the exact events that occur and our perceptions can provide very different conclusions.

Over the years there have been very few examples of true intelligent communication within the paranormal field that could withstand the test of scrutiny. Examples such as the Cross Correspondence and The Scole Experiment are both fantastic, but still remain examples that are questioned. Regardless of the huge amount of supporting data for both. Which is why I am not a fan of the term ‘evidence’ being associated with many EVP’s, Photo’s and Video’s out there.

Remember above all we are all looking for that intelligent communication, the communication that will answer the hard question the Survival Hypothesis asks. In order to answer it we need more than belief, more than faith; we need lots and lots of data. Which is why I am interested in all of your investigations, your experiences and more. Which is why we need to document those investigations and experiences better and more so. We live in the Information Age, so lets put it to good use within the field and start to gather some fantastic data.

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Intuitions

What is it?

It’s been called ‘the private voice’, ‘the inner voice’, a gut feeling, a hunch, it has even been related to our potential spiritual guides or protectors, but these days it’s often recognised as our intuition and it could be a fundamental building block in our paranormal experiences.

Oddly this is one thing that we have probably all experienced at some point in our lives, its just often overlooked as being a part of everyday life. However there are the odd occasions we experience something a little bit more than normality and then raises our interest slightly. These have been the kind of things like the inner voice telling you not to get on a plane or into a car, then after making that decision something happening that quantifies your fear makes the intuition all that more real.

So, basically its realising that feeling and allowing it to influence your current decision. I’m not an expert, but from what I do understand intuitions do appear to be there constantly as a part of our daily life decisions. Sometimes we take notice of them and other times, if not most of the time we dont and carry on with our normal day to day.

A Little History

This is a particular part of the Paranormal that is a little like Swiss cheese as it is often something which utilised for life changing decisions or completely passed over as irrelevant.

Sir Lauren’s van der Post (1907) recorded an anecdote about the death of his admired friend, the psychologist C.G. Jung (1875-1961). Van der Post was returning by sea from Africa. He had a kind of waking dream one afternoon of Jung lifting a hand in farewell; the following morning he looked out through the porthole of his cabin:

I saw a great, white, lone albatross gliding by it; the sun on fire on its wings. As it glided by it turned its head and looked straight at me. I had done that voyage countless times before and such a thing had never happened to me, and I had a feeling as if some tremendous ritual had been performed.

A moment later, he heard on the radio the news that Jung had died the previous day – at the precise moment, as far as he could determine, of his “vision.”

Van der Post believed that Jung had communicated with him at the moment of his death, but then taken the form of the albatross in order to reassure him. At least in order to comfort him into the belief of Jung’s continued existence.

You see although this anecdote appears to have been timely in its occurrence and many others would have discounted as simple coincidence it does have relative relation to Jung even as an anecdote. Van der Posts experiences could have been seen as a synchronicity or meaningful coincidence, something which Jung himself had theorised on.

Over the years I have read an abundance of these kind of anecdotes and heard similar stories from people I’ve met. These meaningful coincidences that occur around the time of an individuals death, but the information of said death seems to be unconsciously communicated to close friends or family, sometimes even those that were simple acquaintances too.

I believe that FWH Myers of the SPR even touched on this in his epic piece Human Personality and its Survival of Bodily Death. Myers even submitted a few examples similar to the one above regarding individuals receiving certain odd information only to discover that someone close had passed away at a similar time.

Whether it’s as simple as a small sense that we should take one option rather than another, a definite feeling that stops you in your tracks saving you from making the wrong decision or even what seems like information transmitted from someone close at the moment of their death; these intuitions have existed for all of time and appear to be part of each of us similar to our fight or flight instinct.

Intuition Today

Although many spiritual approaches have had good knowledge of intuition for what must be centuries if not longer, an understanding of them seems to be making its way into mainstream popularity these days.

Comprehending our own intuitions on a daily basis and consulting them for a part of decision making process is something many out there will offer to teach you these days. Some are obviously after your hard earned cash to line their own pockets, but a few are genuine and there to help.

Becoming mindful, meditation in order to calm the mind and enable more connection with our inner-self is now becoming more accessible to us all. It’s no longer just available in books, you can find it in an app on your phone if you look. Although I do wonder if attempting this through a phone app is really taking it in the right direction.

Personally for me intuition has become a valuable tool I use during investigations. I of course gather data and log occurrences, but it might be my own intuition that leads me to try a certain approach or venture into a particular part of a location.

In the work that I have done with mediums and during the seances; intuition could play a big part and be part of the mechanics that helps sensitives possibly communicate with spirits. It could certainly be an individuals intuition that allow them to accept certain pieces of information as communication. As we are still in the dark to whether or not this information is from spirits, telepathy with others or simply random information we may already know, we must go with what our intuition assesses it as. There are of course ways to determine information source, but even that’s not conclusive in all cases.

If indeed intuitions are instinctive then we perhaps shouldn’t simply rule them out just because on occasion they appear a little, well emotionally driven or perhaps a little crazy.

So, next time you have a decision to make, don’t forget to consult your intuition too. You never know it might just provide a better option for you to take that works out a heck of a lot better.

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