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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/

Paraforce UK 2017 – Guest Speaker John Blackburn

Who is John Blackburn?

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

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

The Origins of John’s Paranormal Interest

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Success of Mysteria Paranormal

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

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

Paranormal Tech

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

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

The Enigma Experiment

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

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

Spirit Conduction Rope Experiment

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

The Prana Experiment  

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

The Zener Experiment

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

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Harbinger Experiment

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

Kelpie Experiment

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

The Mercurius Experiment

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

The Pentimento Experiment

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

Probable Results from the Enigma Experiments

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

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

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

Classic Top Five Locations that John’s Investigated Question Time

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

Classic Top Five Locations that John Would Like To Investigate

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

What’s John’s Favourite Ghost Story?

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

Coming Up Next for John Blackburn

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

Thank You John Blackburn

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

The Enigma Experiment

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

Paraforce UK 2017

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