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Do You Seek Evidence or Experience ?

What are you looking for?

As many of us know that pass up on sleep in order to try and gain an understanding of those elusive haunted locations around the world, often we head home with more questions than we first arrived with. The paranormal field for me has always done this and each time I feel I find an answer, ten more questions come to mind off the back of the discovery of that one answer. However this may be the very thing that keeps us fuelled on energy drinks and giving up that all important nights sleep. The problem is though that there often becomes a point where you come to a conclusion that the approach may not be benefiting your progress after all. At least that’s something I came to realise over the years.

It’s at this point that generally we begin to question exactly what we may be looking for and why!

A particular term (and I’ve mentioned this before I know) that I am beginning to hear more and more recently is; that many ghost hunters out there just appear to be doing the same old that they’ve been doing for years and in fact; things in the field haven’t really moved forward since the Victorian era. As much as this may be correct it couldn’t be more from the truth and oddly is only based within the ghost hunter community itself. Perhaps within the spiritual field too.

This is really where as an individual and to an extent a team you must begin to ask what it is exactly you are looking for whilst you are giving up you hours of sleep?

Let me explain a little from my own perspective. When I first began to do overnight investigations I started from an understanding that I would aim to debunk in order to leave anything unknown as anomalous phenomena. What happened though was that whilst debunking I found more questions along the way. Part of this approach was to gather ‘evidence’ or at least what we called ‘evidence’ back then. I am of course referring to audio, video and photographic captures, which is something that has become common place representation of ‘evidence’ especially thanks to the boom in paranormal reality TV shows.

In fact it was these three types of ‘evidence’ that helped me to see that as a matter of fact they are far from categorical evidence of the paranormal at all. You see I managed to capture two things during some of my investigations; 1) crystal clear audio or EVP, and 2) video of a moving object. Both of these communicate as being fantastic proof of Paranormal activity by todays comprehension of the ghost hunting approach we have been made all so familiar of thanks to those reality TV shows. The problem was something I hadn’t been expecting at that time, but comprehend much better now. Both elements were rigorously questioned and alternatives were presented which placed the ‘evidence’ I had into question, in fact it highlighted them as being very weak evidence of the paranormal. Now I am sure there maybe individuals or teams out there reading this thinking that perhaps they may be able to provide better ‘evidence’ to support the paranormal in the form of audio, photographic or video. However let me just say, what you know about a piece of ‘evidence’ needs to be beyond doubt when it is comprehended by others that were not present when the said ‘evidence’ was captured. I guarantee that those not present will always have more questions and will be less likely to accept what you have captured, which in reality is how it should be.

This for me, this presented the question ‘what are you looking for exactly?’

A personal experience is okay too…

Over the years one thing I have realised is that although I enjoy the research and searching for solid answers, from time to time I do enjoy a good old fashioned ghost hunt. Now I often approach these in a couple of ways, which is often defined by whether its my investigation or an investigation ran by a friend where they wish to obtain good data; or its an event someone else is running.

I often like to just join a group or head out on a Paranormal event to visit a public location that has had reports of various paranormal activity over the years. It is actually these such events which may lead to me returning to a location to conduct my own more in depth investigation later on. These kind of events are excellent for allowing yourself to simply immerse yourself in the location and its potential haunting. This is usually the time where experience is the more likely result rather than something a little more solid. That said personally, and this is only a personal choice, I still like to jot down a few notes in my journal.

Anomalous experiences after all are where Paranormal research and investigation may begin, understanding what someone believes had occurred somewhere and then looking deeper into that occurrence to gain a better understanding is where my research once began.

The problem I find and this is perhaps a personal thing too being I do love a bit of data, is that often those personal experiences are not documented properly and remain events in memory alone. Alternatively only part of the experience is documented leaving out fundamental details, which when questioned often end up discounting the experience.

Remember its those experiences that if they are documented and analysed properly could help us understand a locations activity or even activity as a whole. Which is why it’s so important to gather some information, if you do experience something.

I know that if your aim is an experience and you’re not really concerned with an understanding or even documenting then that is absolutely fine. At the end of the day we spend our lives having experiences and learning new things, so if that is your approach then to be quite frank that life.

I guess for me I am always thinking about various elements of the paranormal, so even an experience is documented to help with that comprehension of how it all works. Which is why I tend to keep notes on my investigations and experiences on a regular basis.

Searching for evidence and meaning…

Of course if you’re looking for a little more than a random experience that if you’re like me leaves you with a tonne more questions than when you started out, then you are probably trying to find some evidence or meaning in the Paranormal.

Let’s return to that earlier statement about approaches not having moved on since the Victorian era. This is actually extremely far from the truth. Ghost Hunters utilise all kinds of tech these days in order to discover elements of the paranormal, where back in the day the approaches were relatively limited. However the approaches adopted by modern day ghost hunters are on the surface appearing a little stagnant these days.

One of the problems is something I am going to call; ‘the reality TV format mirror approach’! Basically this means that the team or organisation approach their ghost hunt from the perspective similar to that of a TV show. They walk the location discussing its history and activity, then they setup equipment, conduct vigils and then pack up and conclude. This isn’t a bad approach in reality, personally back in the day my investigations followed a very similar structure and it was one that many were happy with. However if change is to occur then perhaps these approaches need to be evaluated and new ones proposed.

Whilst looking for good data and understating within an investigation, one approach that I adopted at smaller locations (especially free ones) was to focus the investigation in one area/room for the night or even bring in approaches such as seances to bridge the gap between the spiritual and the science. These more focused approaches would make documenting the location and events more easier too. Especially as you can cover off the variables in a small area easier and keep an eye on one room much easier.

The problem is cost in regards to most of the locations many of us seek to investigate, you simply couldn’t justify paying for a location and only focussing on one room. Which is a shame, but we understand why the places charge as they do. Well in most cases we do as its to assist with the upkeep and maintenance of a historic location, which we are lucky enough to explore in quiet of night. Granted there may be some out there that the intentions for their high changes may fall into question, but the simple answer is if you don’t like or cant afford it, don’t pay it!

Sometimes the answers aren’t in the dark…

I would like to finish this particular post by highlighting a place that has provided me with more information on the subject of the paranormal than any overnight investigation ever. I am of course referring to the library and the extensive amount of resources that are out there available to those with an interest in the field of the Paranormal.

These days, a little like the odd tech a modern day ghost hunter may have, a library isn’t just a building in the centre of your town governed over by a stern librarian that peers over her glasses at you as you head towards the Paranormal section. Our local libraries are much more interactive and modernised, there is a tonne of online information if you search beyond Wikipedia and there are many academic resources that provide access to some very interesting information.

For example; back in the late 1800 the SPR conducted a census of hallucinations in order to gain a better understanding of anomalous phenomena. Bearing in mind that their use of the term ‘hallucinations’ didn’t mean that people were seeing things due to mental illness as we often associate it today, but more along gathering information on the things people had seen which were not physically present. ‘Phantasms of the Living’ was published around this time by the SPR and discussed more than 600 cases of apparitions probably linked to telepathy. Think about that for a second, 600 cases discussed in one place. That as a resource to build on nowadays is fantastic.

The point I am trying to make here is simple; if you wish to progress the field then you need to build on what has actually already been achieved. Those achievements are not by the popular TV shows, although they have brought more to the field which is great. The advancements were made by the giants of science, the fellows of the SPR and Ghost Club alike as they built the foundations of the field and research approaches. However that has now been picked up by more and more universities pushing the boundaries of research into the field of psi. I remember the day I read my first Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, I immediately thought I had to up my game and do so much more in order to become published in such a journal.

So, as you investigate in a darkened historic location, simply ask; what do you truly seek?

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20 of the Most Haunted Locations in the World

Tell me your top 5…

Often as investigators we are asked; ‘what is your top five most haunted locations’ or ‘if you could investigate anywhere in the world, where would you pick?’ These are often questions asked on Paranormal radio shows and sometimes by bloggers like me when interviewing someone for a blog piece. The results provide an interesting insight into the individual, but also spur on the classic; ‘oh god yeah, that’s an awesome choice’ from fellow investigators. Talking about locations we have investigated or would like to investigate is common place in the field. Everyone has their bucket lists, investigators generally have theirs too, but the difference being that the places we want to visit may not be considered potential holiday locations. That’s not even mentioning the small fact that we would probably prefer to visit them overnight too.

Lizzie Borden House

I often engage in such conversations with others in the field and last night was no different. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I found myself talking to a couple of great friends and fellow paranormal enthusiasts just last night, Kerry Greenaway and Carl Hutchinson. Suffice to say at some point in our six hour (yes six hour) skype conversation, the subject switched to our Paranormal bucket lists and this got me thinking of an idea for a little blog series.

I done something a little similar a couple of years back when I wrote about My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in UK, but the difference with them was that I had already investigated those locations.

So, whilst chatting away at my desk last night around 1am to both Kerry and Carl, I decided to start a ‘kind of’ bucket list of my own. I have started with a nice simple twenty locations, but who knows perhaps as I begin to write and receive suggestions from my readers, then I may expand the list slightly.

The top twenty most haunted locations in the world…

Here they are and in no particular order. As I write them up I will add a link below and tie them all together.

Alcatraz

However I don’t want it to be just about these twenty locations, as the world has far more places than this and I would like to add them not only to my blog, but to a kind of database too. If I ever get the chance to travel the world investigating haunted locations then I will certainly be using this list. It’s a little like a paranormal travel guide!

Here goes then, the first twenty locations:-

Waverley Hills Sanatorium, USA

Corvin Castle, Romania

Mary Kings Close, Scotland

Alcatraz, USA

Aradale Asylum, Australia

Devils Pool, Australia

Salem, USA

Eastern State Penitentiary, USA

Poveglia, Italy

Tower of London, England

Akershus Fortress, Norway

The Queen Mary Hotel, USA

The White House, USA

The Houses Of Parliament, England

The Winchester Mystery House, USA

Lizzie Borden House, USA

The Stanley Hotel, USA

Castle of Good Hope, South Africa

The Catacombs, France

Gettysburg Battlefield, USA

Less heard of locations…

I know this particular series of posts is focussing on the most haunted locations, but I would be happy to add in many more moving forward to expand the series and also the database of locations. After all its more data and I do love a bit of data!

So, please if you have any particular locations that you know of or have investigated then I would be happy to write about them too. If you have an online write up about the location I may even add a link to that too.

The concept of a haunted location…

In a few previous posts I have often discussed the concept of a haunted location and various theories that may surround it and explain it. The most well known theory being that of the Stone Tape Theory of course, but I have equally questioned the acceptance of locations as being haunted. After all without a proper comprehensive understanding of what ‘haunted’ means we are still beginning to understand what it means. Granted there could be ghosts and spirits wandering the corridors of various historical locations around the world, but equally their existence could simply be in our minds and there could be a more interesting reason for their existence.

The Catacombs in Paris

All that said, many individuals around the world do appear to have these paranormal experience more so at these specific locations. Does that mean they’re haunted with the spirits of individuals that passed away there or something else? I mean what the heck is a haunting anyway?

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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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What If The Ghost Was Me!

Something Sean said…

Recently I was chatting to Sean Cadman, one of the organisers of Paraforce UK regarding a recent investigation that he been on and he offered up an interesting point. Interesting enough to make it here to the Psi Theory Blog.

Basically Sean was taking part in John Blackburns Event at the Old Victorian School in Long Eaton and something rather strange occurred to him. He found himself in a corridor alone at one point and as he walked along it in the dim light, he felt as if he had bumped into someone. You know the kind of situation, the one where you accidentally catch their arm and/or shoulder as you pass them, so much so that it catches you and throws you off course a little. Like most of us in this situation Sean instinctively apologised, how very British of him right. The problem was that he didn’t receive an apology in return, in fact there was total silence and well no one there either. Sean checked the area and from where he was walking there wasn’t anything that could have had this effect on him. So he left the area slightly puzzled with an experience under his belt.

This seemingly paranormal encounter appeared to leave Sean thinking deeply though and rather than attributing this to a physical manifestation of a ghost from the location, he theorised quite a different idea.

Sean wondered about all this talk of multiverses and wondered if in some other reality he may have walked the opposite direction down the corridor, but because this reality was close to ours there was a cross over so to speak. Hence as he walked the corridor he may have bumped into himself from another reality. Now that’s thinking out of the box and my kind of thinking too.

Obviously playing on Sean’s mind a little, he decided to post this thought on social media and it sparked a little discussion on the topic. Something else I am a fan of too, friendly discussion on out of the box ideas around the Paranormal.

Not such a crazy idea…

The interesting thing here is that I don’t discount Sean’s thought process on this and as a matter of fact it is one possibility, if the multiverse Theory is correct, that could potentially explain ghosts in my opinion.

Now I am not going to claim to have a working knowledge of quantum mechanics or the multiverse theory here, so please feel free to comment if I get something wrong or miss something fundamental here. Small scientific disclaimer to say the least there.

Here’s where I like Sean’s thinking on this, the concept of multiverses is something that serious mainstream science is looking into, its a modern day version of the world being round argument. That being said we may be a long way off proving the existence of multiverses just yet, whereas the Earth being round was kind of obvious when you start to look. Yes, I know back in the day there was less tech so probably not that obvious or easy to prove. However the fact of the matter is that we managed to prove it in the end and that was built on a theory, an idea that someone had.

So, lets assume that multiverse theory is accepted to a degree and let’s equally assume that each new reality is created from a point of decision or change. A point whereas there was a possible number of outcomes and for each of those outcomes a new reality formed. As I write this blog I am listening to a track by the Cranberries from their recently released album, a decision made based on the loss of their lead singer not long ago. A talent that will be greatly missed. However in another reality I would be listening to a different track and in yet another reality I wouldn’t be listening to music at all. You get the idea right?

In Sean’s case he was walking one way down the corridor, but in a similar reality he was walking the opposite direction. This is what spiked my interest in this theory. You see in these two realities we can assume that Sean was pretty much doing exactly the same thing; he was at the Old Victorian School, he was there on the same relative date and time, he was investigating the paranormal, he was probably there with the same people too, he was even walking the same corridor for the same reason. There was only one difference, the direction of travel down that corridor. Now the reason for the difference in direction could be for a multitude of reasons. It could be the orientation of the other reality is the opposite to our own, hence what seemed like the opposite direction was kind of the same direction. Perhaps the decision that lead to the split between these realities was Seans choice to walk the corridor a certain way. Regardless it lead to there being more similarities between the two realities than differences, which could possibly bring the two closer together almost overlapping each other. Hence the reason Sean bumped into himself was that he was the only thing not behaving the same as the other reality. Now that’s some paranormal thinking right there, but something based on scientific theory! I’m not saying that this is indeed the case and Sean bumped in to himself from an alternate reality, there could be a logical explanation for this too, but I am glad there are more people thinking beyond that standard form. Let’s face it Sean could have said he bumped into a ghost in the corridor, but equally this would have not really told us much other than a common understanding of a ghost is a recording of someone that has passed away.

Touching on the logical…

Earlier I mentioned the possibility of a logical explanation and well I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t touch on it briefly here. There is also a distinct possibility that this entire experience could be a complete misconception of something rather simple. Its important to mention that I am not discounting Sean’s experience here, but simply offering up an alternative possibility and one that could often be overlooked.

This explanation could be one of a physiological involuntary response or as I like to call them, an oddly timed muscle spasm. So, basically as Sean walks down the corridor he is focused on investigating the Paranormal, which effectively means he is looking for ghosts already. This mindset already in play can influence his comprehension of his environment and the events which occur within it. As he makes his way along the corridor he has a muscle spasm, which feels very much like he bumped into someone. Given that he is seeking ghosts he concludes he bumped into one, probably not even giving a muscle spasm a second thought. This isn’t saying that Sean is discounting the logical though, remember he took the time to look for an explanation, but couldn’t find one. However not every explanation that’s logical is obvious either, often these are clouded by are own perception.

However what’s important to mention at this point is that although I offered up a muscle spasm as a logical explanation, its still only a theory of what may have occurred. At the end of the day we really only have the anecdotal experience of Sean on this one and he’s memories of the event that occurred. The human mind isn’t always the best for giving accurate reports of the events that have occurred and in situations like this we are often left with a theory of the events explanation.

What do you think?

Given this is an actual situation that occurred to Sean recently I thought it might be great to open this up to everyone else out there. If you were at the Old Victorian School with Sean and John Blackburn, what were your thoughts when you first heard about this experience? Have you experienced anything similar to this during any of the investigations you’ve attended? Do you have a theory of what you think ghosts are? Let’s start a discussion..

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Paranormal, From Taboo to Mainstream…

Back in the day…

When I was younger the paranormal seemed to be quite the elusive subject, with little represented in the media, few books on the library shelves and certainly not something that everyone had an interest in. It was the definitive of a taboo subject.

Well that’s at least how it seemed, but perception is a wonderful thing and often why many answers often elude us resulting in an ‘oh I see now’ kind of situation when you least expect it.

Although my interest began at an early age with a few weird goings on in my parents Guest House, which were quickly explained by my father with a relatively good scientific explanation; I didn’t really become actively inquisitive until around the age of eleven. As I have mentioned before and now documented in Paul Adams book on the Paranormal activity around Stevenage, this was when I believe I encountered my first apparition. This encounter sparked two things; a) an attempt to locate the entity within the empty Manor House, which ended with us group of kids running away rather than investigating; and b) a new thirst for research and reading.

The problem was at that time life got very much in the way and my wish to know more on the paranormal got a little lost while I focussed on school work. However the urge was always there in the background and brought to the front each time something Paranormal was presented to me.

Of course around this time there were a few TV programmes available to me to quench my thirst for the unknown, but unlike today we had fewer TV’s in our house and a heck of a lot less channels.

I was also lucky enough to have an understanding family, not to mention parents that encouraged research and understanding of all things. Perhaps this balanced diet of logic, research and simply asking why, was what brought me to the paranormal field.

Never far from the paranormal…

The other aspect of my life which I didn’t really take into consideration was how elements of the Paranormal field have often been around me constantly throughout my life, making me extremely lucky in that regards I suppose.

When I was younger I first encountered my cousins mediumship ability, oddly it was at the Wake of our Grandfather, but hey what better time to engage in a little paranormal. However in thinking back, even then I approached this discovery with a methodology to establish what was going on.

On this particularly occasion (forgive me if I have mentioned this before) I asked my cousin Clare Hinks to describe the inside of my friends house for me. A house that she had never visited in her life. Clare asked simply for a person in spirit that she could connect with in order to attempt this and I advised her that my friends grandfather was in spirit, but I didn’t know his name. So, with only my friends name and the knowledge that his grandfather was in spirit she attempted something that I didn’t have much hope of success at the time. How wrong was I!

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Clare immediately confessed to have contact with my friends grandfather and as we both sat there on the floor, adults smartly dressed in black passing us by, she began to describe the inside of my friends house. To my amazement what she described was pretty accurate and detailed. Clare was spot on regarding the layout, but for some reason it was like she was describing a mirror image, lefts were rights, that kind of thing. However she threw in details that could only be related to my friends house, I was pretty convinced at the time that she was communicating to my friends grandfather. At that age I had no other probable explanation. Later on in life and through my research other possibilities presented themselves.

However as she continued to grow in confidence she described a painting in my friends livingroom, she was adamant that what she described was correct too. The problem was, in the years that I had visited my friends home I had never seen such a painting on the wall. We disagreed on this point at the time!

When I returned home and saw my friend next I explained the strange events at my grandfathers wake, which he listened to with a level of scepticism I think. What was particularly odd was when I described the painting that Clare said was on the wall, he explained that actually that painting was there when his grandfather was alive!

Initially I had seen this as some amazing proof that mediums could connect with the spirits of those that have passed and actually that could still be the case. However years later I stumbled on Remote Viewing and began to wonder if Clare had actually remote viewed the location on that occasion. Remote Viewing has also shown that those taking part can also view locations at various time frames too. Perhaps this occurred on this occasion. Then as I continued to research and stumbled on loads of information regarding telepathy and collective consciousness I began to ask myself if Clare had obtained the information from my mind, or my friends, or perhaps both or more! For me the possibility of telepathic interaction seems far more logical and likely than communication with the spirit of my friends grandfather, but both remain to be proven. Although there is more scientific data to support Telepathy, just saying Clare!

Fast forward a few years and I was living with a girlfriend in Coventry. At that point in my life, early twenties, the paranormal had become only a flicker in my usual thinking. Life had got in the way a little, jobs and relationships were top of the list. At least that’s what I thought until I met my girlfriends mum. She was into the paranormal and spiritualism, which once again began to spark that interest. I encountered spiritual circles, Tarot Cards, EVP, and so much more. As ever I found it fascinating. This was also the time when I discovered the research that CIA had done on remote viewing and began to understand that the Paranormal wasn’t simply about ghosts and hauntings, there was so much unknown out there that we should all be aware of.

After my time in Coventry the Paranormal took a back seat whilst life took over again. However it never stayed down for long and came back years later only a few years before my first overnight investigation and the beginning of this blog site. The rest is history as they say, but its also documented on here if you wish to take a look!

The rise of the reality Paranormal TV show…

Over the last ten years or so there has been definitive increase in TV shows based on the Paranormal, all approaching the subject using he reality TV concept. Each approaching various locations and cases in order to investigate and capture that Paranormal ‘evidence’ whilst the viewers watch on the edge of their seats.

I will be honest as I am not an avid TV watcher I may have missed the beginnings of this, but from what I do remember it all seemed to happen after a Halloween hoax show called Ghostwatch. This live reality approach had a group in the studio whilst a team on location at a known poltergeist haunted house investigated. The show switched between the pair as the story unravelled throughout the nights viewing. It was of course a complete hoax setup with actors, but was interesting viewing.

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I’m convinced that the Most Haunted team saw this format presented in Ghostwatch and said what if we do that seriously and investigate locations then deliver each as an episode. It was well timed and an instant hit, as the growing Paranormal community and those with an interest were crying out for such a show. I have to admit back in the day I would have watched an odd episode from time to time too.

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Across the pond in the states, Ghost Hunters seemed to appear around the same time. I’ll be honest I am not sure on the timings around all these TV shows, but these are the pair that popped up first and appeared to be more in your face than others. Ghost Hunters initial approach seemed to be one of logical explanation, seeking to debunk in order to leave unexplained elements as just that. Something that many like instantly.

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After these many other TV shows began to come to the surface like Haunted Collector, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, Paranormal Lock Down, and so many more. Each attempting that similar approach of investigation with their own little spin on it. All great entertainment and like attending a paranormal event, as that’s now a thing, not quite a proper investigation, but a bloody good experience.

The internet radio shows…

Over the years I have been on a number of internet based Paranormal radio shows to do various interviews. I have even attempted to run one myself, so can feel happy in saying doing a weekly Paranormal radio show takes some commitment. Especially if you want it to be good and contain decent information, information that would require research.

I am lucky enough to know a lady that runs a station and is involved in one radio show at least five days a week. Kerry Greenaway runs her own crystal business at Spirit Soul Island Crystals, but also helps to run a Paranormal radio almost every night of the week on ParaSearch Radio UK.

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I have had the pleasure of being both a guest and co-presenter on some of her shows and this helped to identify how much work that Kerry puts into the radio work, with an abundance of research throughout the week. Kerry often has her head in a book bless her. It was this approach that has also lead me to work with Kerry on a few investigation projects.

Check out her radio shows and website.

The Paranormal blogs…

This is of course where this site fits into the grand scheme of things and I often to aim to deliver as many and wide varying ideas as possible. However it wouldn’t be fair to mentioned just my own blog as you’re already here.

Sarah Chumacero is an excellent Paranormal blogger from Australia, who’s blogs not only cover the essentials of the Paranormal, but equally step out of the normal approaches to tease the imagination into thinking outside of that paranormal box.

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Please check out Sarah’s excellent blog site Living Life in Full Spectrum for some of her blogs.

Rise of the Paranormal conventions..

In the last few years something new has become a regular on the UK paranormal scene, Paranormal conventions. For many Ghost Hunters and Investigators this appears to be something quite new, but in reality its something that’s been around for quite a while. The US has had conventions across the country for years now and they work quite well. Here in the UK we have had a similar thing from the likes of the SPR and ASSAP, but delivered from a relatively academic approach.

As you may have seen on my blog since the one off Paracon UK back in 2014, there have been two relatively dominant conventions in the UK. It’s important to recognise too that these pair are very different in the way they deliver and both equally hold a valid spot in the UK Paranormal Convention circuit.

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Sage Paracon UK brings that US convention experience to the UK with some big names in the field and from those TV shows we all recognise. I have spoken at Sage Paracon UK and was there for the investigation last year, its always an excellent weekend packed full of Paranormal and a great place to make new friends in the field.

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Paraforce UK is also an excellent convention with some excellent UK speakers and a few high profile speakers too. I have blogged on Paraforce UK a few times and its a great convention for making new friends with a similar interest too.

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2018 is already seeing a few more conventions to add to the UK’s list and we look forward to seeing what they are like too. In my opinion the conventions are great as you get to spend a whole a weekend listening to talks on the paranormal and pretty much chatting Paranormal the whole time, my kind of weekend.

Where next…

Over the years I’ve continued to seek out more and more sources of information to assist in my endeavours to understand the paranormal. It was, you could say, inevitable that at some point in my research I would stumble upon the on of the most oldest paranormal societies in the world. Founded back in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research now has over one hundred years of research data. The SPR also has a headquarters in central London with a great library and lecture room. They also have a regular Journal and Magazine too.

The SPR have investigated many cases over the years and some of which have become quite well known too. The likes of the Enfield Haunting and the Scole Experiment were both investigated by the SPR.

If you are like me and very serious about your paranormal research then I would recommend joining the SPR or at least check out their website – The Society for Psychical Research

If you wish to take it even further then extending your education into the realms of psychology and then parapsychology is also and excellent place to take your passion for the paranormal if you can. There are now a number of universities around the UK and indeed the world that cater for these kinds of studies. Here in the UK the university of Northampton and Edinburgh University are two of many that have strong parapsychology links. Especially with the Koestler Parapsychology Unit in Edinburgh.

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Of course the best thing I found was to read as much as I could as often as possible on the subject. Keeping what I read as varied as possible allowing each new question that came to me to lead my way into the next book. A path which has taken me all over the place from ghost stories to quantum physics. Why not allow your imagination to lead the way a little.

The paranormal these days…

These days the paranormal is certainly a little more accepted thanks to TV shows and general social acceptance. Where my interest in the Paranormal used to be something never really spoken about, these days even work colleagues mention it freely to me. In fact complete strangers will approach me whilst I grab a coffee trying to read nowadays. Their interest often heightened by the title of the book I am reading or something scribbled in my open notebook.

It certainly seems that these days the paranormal is no longer such a taboo subject, in fact I think interest in the subject is growing, but equally evolving as it does. Many like me are now seeing beyond simple ghost hunting and the investigation of probable haunted locations, they are looking for theories to help explain the mechanics of the Paranormal, the source of the activity.

Where do we go next, anywhere we wish to allow our imaginations to take our research really. Dont be restricted by our beliefs and certainly dont allow older ideas to map out your understanding. Question everything until we find hard facts, should be our approach.

So, the next time you hear someone in the field mention that paranormal investigation or ghost hunting hasn’t changed in over one hundred years, then please remind them that these days we have so much more available to us. We have strong societies such as the SPR with a wealth of experience under their roof, libraries of books on the subject and also a multitude of documents too. We have the anecdotal experiences of hundreds of investigation groups and individuals thanks to them being out there week on week at those haunted locations the world over. We have mainstream research underway through universities like Northampton and Edinburgh, plus many other universities and organisations across the world. The likes of Rhine have been adding to what we know about ESP for decades. Research into Remote Viewing and Telepathy is finding out fascinating things about our very minds and understanding of reality, some of which often makes us question what we know.

There is so very much more that it’s almost unbelievable what this field actually looks in to. So next time you are out Investigating a probable haunted location chasing down that elusive ghost, trying your best to answer the hard question; does human consciousness survive bodily death, then perhaps it might be time to ask what the mind is capable of instead.

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Has The Black Monk Been Given The Boot!

30 East Drive gets cleared…

Social Media has been a buzz of activity recently with the news that Psychic Nick Sage has cleared 30 East Drive. A location I’ve written about previously before on my blog.

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Initial responses to this across the social platforms seem to be screaming that this cleansing has been performed without the owners consent though. There are also claims that there are specific instructions not to attempt to cleanse the property inside it, which have clearly been disregarded here.

During my scan through the angry posts I even stumbled upon a photo of the fireplace with a little evidence of smudging, something else visitors are told not to do.

That’s not to mention the claims that this may indeed be ‘fake news’ put out into the vast internet for means of publicity only. Whether that’s publicity for 30 East Drive or indeed for Nick Sage, that remains to be clarified. I must admit at this point I’ve not researched into the article in the Sun on Sunday in enough detail to determine the articles authenticity.

From belief to manifestation…

What captured me about this particular story was the passionate response that some in the paranormal community have given. It’s these responses that also highlight a valid point regarding the 30 East Drive Case and cases of a similar nature, a point which actually brings the subject of a haunting into question. It could be possible that without the belief in the probable story behind most hauntings then activity wouldn’t manifest at the location for those that visit.

So, basically the activity isn’t the product of someone’s consciousness surviving death, but those that visit or focus on the supposed haunted history of the location. Thus they are all like variations of the Phillip Experiment, albeit the intent is unconscious.

When it comes to 30 East Drive this has been massively evident over the years. Could the events that terrified the Pritchard’s, investigations highlighted by TV companies and experiences of many visitors to the property, be manifestations of the minds of believers that are convinced the Black Monk lurks in the shadows?

Everyone’s heard of 30 East Drive…

Thanks to the movie on the case and a few TV series conducting investigations, the story of the black monk is well known in the paranormal community and little outside of it too. Throw in a couple of mentions in a few books too and we have a whole lot of information out there.

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However could that knowledge of the story be equally something that enables the manifestations of paranormal activity to actually occur. Think of it like everyone’s memories and experiences are social media posts. One post per memory let’s say. The more visits people make to the location based on the previous individuals visits, the more posts appear on social media, but equally that presents more information that everyone can access. Let’s equally say that each thought of 30 East Drive automatically allows the thinker to access all that social media information.  A bit like scanning through your news feed and it being flooded with similar stories. Thus the information becomes ever present filling up your social feeds. Also the more information there is sitting up there in the cloud the more details are present in our story of 30 East Drive.

However if all this information was actually the product of the previous piece of information, then it means our location quickly becomes flooded with misinformation. Perhaps in these situations we should work back to understand what the original cause may have been. After all its always important to identify that original report, the ‘alpha case’ and its details. In this case that would likely be the Pritchard’s original 1966 report.

This kind of thinking often raises a lot of questions; is the location still haunted? Don’t poltergeists only hang around for a short period of time? It’s worth keeping an open mind and gathering more of that critical information.

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to gather data…

Obviously as I have a bit of thing about data I feel this might be great opportunity to gain a better understanding of 30 East Drive and what happens when the lights go out!

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So, here’s what I would like to do. I would like to gain an understanding of the who, when and where of the location. Pretty simple stuff really; who’s visited 30 East Drive, when they visited and how long for, plus each visit if they’ve been a few times, if any Paranormal activity was experienced then where in the building did it occur and what happened exactly. Might be good to throw in who was present too if you can.

Right, got all that ??

If you’ve visited 30 East Drive then I would like to know the following regarding your visit:-

  • Who visited on the occasion in question?
  • When you visited, dates and times?
  • How long you visited for, hours, days, etc?
  • What activity was experienced, audible, visual, psychical, etc?
  • Where said activity was experienced in the location, down stairs lounge, upstairs bedroom 1, etc. ? (Plan below)
  • Who was present / witnessed the activity, so we know if the team were split, etc?

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You can simply email info@ashleyknibb.com with those details above. Then I’ll collate the details so we can understand this unique location. If we continue this into the future too then we can equally understand if this recent cleansing has had an effect or not.

This could make for a really interesting study of a location moving forward.

If you visited 30 East Drive and experienced no activity I would equally like to hear about this too in order build a full picture of the timeline.

Please share this post with any you know have visited 30 East Drive so we can reach as many Investigators as possible that have been to the location.

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Visit Your Imagination

An Experiment in thought…

As odd as it sounds, we are often focused on finding evidence that supports the paranormal, but in doing so we may breeze passed the ideas that help comprehend the mechanics of the subject. Sometimes great advancements are born of imagination though and that is indeed evident throughout history.

Perhaps some of the most famous uses of pure imagination that have helped to solve problems are those of thought experiments. Some of which Einstein used to help explain his concepts of relativity if memory serves me.

These curiously strange minds of ours are capable of so much that it often feels they’re just not doing all they could. However we are equally quick to blame them for our misunderstanding or the world around us too.

The weird thing is that our minds could be as much a hindrance to our investigations as they could be an explanation. After all determining the reality of a situation, especially within a paranormal investigation may not be quite as simple as we would like it to be.

Could science have an explanation…

More recently the likes of quantum mechanics has given us some interesting explanations for the weirdness of our world. One such possible explanation suggests the possibility of multiple worlds or dimensions of existence. This states in some cases that with each decision made reality splits off into all possible outcomes and plays it out, thus creating multiple realities with the number continuing to grow. This means that if this is true then almost any possibility could present itself at any point.

The writers realities…

This understanding of there being other realities beyond our own isn’t something that only exists within the field of science. Over the years we have seen various pieces fiction from some brilliant writers that help us to see a world beyond our own. I remember as I was growing up I read quite a few different fiction books and of course was aware of many others. Two such authors that produced some classics in this very area were Lewis Carroll and C. S. Lewis; Carroll giving us Wonderland where Alice took a very interesting adventure, and Lewis gave us Narnia where a group of siblings discovered a land beyond belief of talking animals. In relation to our own reality both of these fantasy worlds seem beyond belief, but if there are multiple worlds where all possibilities could be true, then the worlds of Carroll and Lewis could equally be out there.

Often I feel that imagination can play a very important part in a paranormal investigation. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of facts and data, but sometimes in order to get beyond that and find the answers a little imagination can help us to make those all important links. Especially as that which we can prove, the facts are generally known and understood to be well normal rather than paranormal. These days this often formulates the part of your investigation defined as being debunked. It’s often debunked on the basis that we feel there to be a normal reasonable explanation rather than a spooky paranormal one.

Just because it’s logical doesn’t make it right…

However we must also ensure that we don’t sell ourselves short in jumping to that logical explanation. It can be very easy to attribute a logical explanation to something paranormal, even more so when you’re in the throws of an overnight investigation. Hence why I often ask those that investigate with me to prove their hypothesis, whether it’s paranormal or normal in nature. Either way it’s going to take a little imagination to put it all together.

When you research and investigate the paranormal I believe that critical thinking, theorising on your feet is imperative to moving your investigation and your overall understanding forwards. This is what a good friend of mine called para-theory, which in reality is what the whole field is, theory. At least until we score some solid facts to support our ideas. However once we prove something within the paranormal as fact, then doesn’t it just become normal?

Spend time with your imagination…

So, don’t be afraid to visit your imagination from time to time whilst you’re investigating the paranormal or at anytime to be fair. You may find that it might just have you questioning a little more than the normal, it may have you wondering a little more about the paranormal too.