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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Paraforce UK 2017 – A Quick Catch Up with Sean Cadman

Its Paraforce Catch Up Time

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

Sean’s Paranormal Start

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

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

I’ve been addicted ever since”

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

How do you prefer to investigate?

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

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

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

Sean’s Top Five Paranormal Heroes

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

  • Shaggy
  • Scooby
  • Fred
  • Velma
  • Daphne

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

Sean’s Scariest Paranormal Experience

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

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

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

The Top Five Locations Sean Has Investigated

Here’s five of Sean’s favourite investigations;

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

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

The Top Five Locations Sean Would Like to Investigate

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

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

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

Sean’s Understanding of Ghosts

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

“Energy and soul”

Plain and simple right?

Sean’s Favourite Paranormal Gadget

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

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

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

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

Sean’s Paraforce UK 2017 Expectations

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

 

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

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

What’s up next for Sean after Paraforce UK 2017

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

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

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

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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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Paraforce UK 2017 – Guest Speaker David Farrant

A Little on David Farrant

Often when the name ‘David Farrant’ is mentioned the now infamous case of the Highgate Vampire is generally thought of, but there’s much more to David than one case which hit headlines back in the 1960’s and 70’s.

However let’s deal with the whole Highgate thing right away and ensure its covered. Oddly when I interviewed David this was kind of how we tackled it, so I figured why not write it in the same manner.

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During the 1960’s there were various reports of a phantom that was spotted around the Highgate area. The phantom in question was described as odd and hypnotic. It was also seen specifically around the Highgate Cemetery area. What was particularly interesting regarding the witnesses was that they were not known to each other, but delivered similar accounts.

At the time David had an interest in the paranormal, so a local case such as this seemed far to convenient to pass up. He’s initial understanding was that the reported phantom wasn’t a vampire, but more likely some kind of earth bound phenomena.

It’s probably important to add here something that was quite fundamental to the Highgate Vampire case. Whilst all these reports of odd phantoms were popping up in the Highgate area the Hammer Horror Film company was filming at the cemetery as a back drop for their classic horror films. It’s a distinct possibility that this could have added to the confusion of the case and the locals may have associated those Hammer characters with the spirits. All of a sudden we have a vampire in Highgate Cemetery, a place which you can easily get lost in.

When speaking to David he did mention that he had encountered the phantom of Highgate at one point himself. In the December of 1969 David was passing the Cemetery on the way to a friends when something caught his attention. Initially he thought it was possibly some kind of wildlife, which would have fitted with the logical explanation that he already in mind for the reported activity. However this wasn’t to be the case, as he caught sight of something in the Cemetery, which didn’t move. David told me that he sensed it wasn’t human, but equally it was alive and it knew that David was there too. He described to me a feeling that it was draining his energy. Within seconds the experience was over and although obvious shaken by the experience he continued on his way.

I asked David if he classed himself as medium, but he responded ‘no’, but he mentioned that if you work in this field long enough you become relatively sensitive.

Although there were reports that the ‘Highgate Vampire’ had been destroyed in literally classic horror film style; David told me that there have still been similar more recent reports of the entity around Highgate Cemetery. Those reports have been as recent as within the last two years. Perhaps its time to re-investigate the case?

What Is B.P.O.S.?

Wanting to know a little more about David outside of the Highgate case, I decided to ask him about British Psychic Occult Society (B.P.O.S.). This was originally a group of four that had similar interests in the paranormal formed back in 1964. The group would simply meet up to discuss their shared interest and it literally grew from that. What I love about this, is that B.P.O.S. spread through word of mouth, the old fashion social media. It wasn’t long before the group had established itself.

The Society itself looked at paranormal cases in much the same way as I would too. Fundamentally considering the logical and natural reasons for a probable hunting before looking into the more psychical or occult reasoning.

Over the years the Society has investigated many alleged haunted locations across the country, working with established Mediums and Paranormal Groups too. This has allowed them to gather a large archive of reports from individuals describing their experiences.

The Society still maintains an excellent membership today, with publications of books on the subject areas of psychic, paranormal and the occult.

One Of David’s Favourite Cases

With anyone that has been studying and investigating the paranormal and occult as long as David has it must be near on impossible to pinpoint a favourite case or location. However I decided to see if there was one case that came to mind for David.

David’s immediate response was Castle Rising, a location which he has managed to visit on two or three occasions. On one such visit, he told me how he encountered an entity on the ground floor, before the steps. He said that he found the encounter; ‘a little over bearing’.

He told me that he learnt that others had also encountered exactly the same thing along with the over bearing feeling too. Interestingly I bumped into a friend just last week and we caught up after the school holidays and what we had been up to. They told me of their visit to Castle Rising and remarkably how they too had encountered a similar entity and feeling. They also seemed surprised that this encounter occurred during the day too, which is often something overlooked these days. This was a complete ‘no way’ moment for me, as I recalled this interview with David.

Looks like I need to visit Castle Rising! Incidentally David said he would like to return too, perhaps a joint investigation.

What’s David Currently Up To

Of course you can’t end an interview without finding out exactly what the person you’re interviewing is up to currently.

David is helping a friend of his, Patsy Langley to put together a new version of  ‘The Highgate Case Book’. This will be a new revised version of the Case Book with more up to date information in it. Surely a must for anyone that is interested in the Highgate Vampire Case.

Of course David will a Guest Speaker at Paraforce UK 2017 at the end of the month, which I am looking forward to.

David is also working on a case at the moment, although as it’s a private case he is unable to divulge much on it, I did ask for more information. David told me that it’s a haunting where the residence of the property are having some very weird experiences. Something odd in the premises has been seen by a few of the residents, usually at night. It has actually woken them up too. It’s still very much under investigation at the moment, so a conclusion is a way off. I wish David well with the case.

Thank You David

I would just like to thank David for taking the time to answer my questions for this brief little interview for the Paraforce UK 2017 Paranormal Convention. I look forward to meeting him in person at the event at the end of the month.

You can check out a lot more on David Farrant on his website www.davidfarrant.org

Don’t forget you can find out more about Paraforce UK 2017 here..

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Paraforce UK 2017 – Gert Brouwer Talks to Me Ahead of the Convention

Who’s Gert Brouwer?

Gert Brouwer has many years experience in the Paranormal Field, which has given him quite a bit of exposure to various hauntings in several different countries too.

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As founder of the Paranormal Society World he has made many paranormal connections all around the world from his home in the Netherlands.

Gert has been sensitive to spirit from a young age and could communicate with them using his senses alone. In his 20’s Gert experienced his first violent haunting which introduced him to a Demon. It was this experience that opened his eyes to the subject of the Occult and Exorcisms.

More recently Gert has been a great advocate for bringing the paranormal community together through good communication and the Paranormal Society World Awards. The Awards are particularly good as they allow the community to nominate those that it feels are contributing in various ways. This could be through writing books, research achievements, mediumship and more.

How Did Gert First Become Interested in the Paranormal Field?

I asked Gert where his interest in the paranormal field first began? Was there any specific events which stick in his mind that lead to his interest in the paranormal

When I went to live to Bergen op Zoom, I noticed enormous changes. The city has an ancient history. I was then repeatedly faced with the paranormal in a very short time. In 1995 one of the people was murdered around me and a medium pointed out to me that I would know the perpetrator. Finally, a name came out. As a result, a neighbor died and soon visited me. I heard his voice talking. In the apartment that I lived that year everything was painted black. Then the whole apartment was refurbished and made very light. It dates back to 1936 and was a former place for soldiers. Also, the Germans had occupied it during the war. The people who had been in there were also quite simple people. When I lived for a few months, all of the crazy things started to happen. Seen all kinds of things that were not there. Also the feeling always felt that I was strangled. Also had hand prints in my neck several times. I did not suffer from it anytime outside the apartment. Soon this story will be featured on my show, the Paranormal Explorer!”

Gert’s Approach to the Paranormal

Often we all have various approaches to how we investigate the paranormal, be it a more scientific approach, or through various gadgets or perhaps a more spiritual approach trusting those gifts that so many are beginning to become more in tune with. In my opinion the lines between those approaches are becoming more and more blurred these days, which isn’t entirely a bad thing either. I think that in order to understand more about that which is effectively ‘unknown’ we need to keep an open mind and use all resources available to us.

It was this that had me wondering more about Gert’s approach given that he has that ability to be sensitive to the probable information from spirits and given his interests, how could this define his approach to investigating the paranormal?

It is a mixture of psychology (physical, mental and medicine), the occult, engineering, scientific and paranormal. All of these facts give you a quick and professional conclusion. Usually at the first or two conversations you are done!”

Like most in the field these days, Gert realises the importance of all approaches and indeed beliefs. In a field that is dominated by unknowns we need to take this approach, but dont get me wrong of course, its still important to think logically and not jump to probable conclusions.

Gert’s Paranormal Influences

I often find it fascinating to ask others in the field where they have found inspiration from others, whom may have influenced their way of thinking and those they see as pioneers of our field. This dont just have to be investigators of old or even television personalities, they could be people out their int he field doing their thing right now. Curious to understand a little about Gert’s thinking I asked him who his top five were?

He answered as follows:-

  • Randy R. Ervan
  • Ton Bons
  • Trevor and Corrie Burgoyne
  • Vivien Powell
  • Klinge Brothers

What I always find interesting about questions like this is that it throws up a few unknowns sometimes, which means I get to find out about someone I never knew about and their contributions to the field. Something I think we should all do from time to time. I’m not going to explain the details of the work of the above, apart from Vivien Powell, who we will talk about soon in a future Paraforce UK 2017 blog post. After all Vivien is one of the organisers of the event.

Please do google (other search engines are available) some of these people though to gain an understanding of their work.

Where Would Gert Like To See The Paranormal Field Go?

Another interesting question I often like to ask those in the paranormal community is where they may anticipate the paranormal field going in the next five to ten years. How it might progress or at least how they may like to see it progress. So, I threw this one at Gert too, to understand his perspective on the matter.

How to see the paranormal circuit within 5 to 10 years! Let’s first learn the basic investigations to people. Phones and tablets total out of order that it can not deliver a wifi signal. Thus, there are more of the steps that need to be taken. Hope that people will continue to expand the research. Also, know how to do it. Many do research on an evening and call this research. For me, research is done 20 times in a location and then after a few years again. The hope is that people are going to make this doubt. Think that most become laconic. For the Netherlands, it’s time for a TV show that shows attention here.”

Interestingly enough Gert has touched on something quite close to my heart here regarding time spent at a particular location. Don’t get me wrong I think one night at a location can help us gather additional anecdotal data, but it doesn’t make for a thorough investigation or piece of research. In order to fully understand a location or indeed a haunting if you prefer, we need to start conducting longer term research and investigation in order to gather that all important data. Yes data, the thing I am always banging on about! Harry Price done this with Borley Rectory and we have seen many cases over the last hundred years where this has been done, the Enfield Haunting probably being the most well known these days thanks to its movie and TV revival recently. So, I am with Gert on this, we need to try more variations of approaches and also spend longer than a single night at a location in order to gather that all important data.

Gert’s Most Scariest Experience

Okay it wouldn’t be a classic interview ahead of a convention without touching on those questions which often generate a good bit discussion amongst everyone, even those with a passing interest in the paranormal. I’m of course referring to the good old ‘Scariest experience’ question! One I had to ask Gert of course..

“Location names we always keep secret! To ensure the ownership of owners and administrators. Many people go illegal or abusive locations. The location I’m talking about now has several demonstrated that it’s a place to watch. We call this location the hell house where a handful of people could explore. Now I’m the only one that still can go.This research is now underway for two years. After a screening, the owners gave me permission to start the investigation. The research is still ongoing! The number of facts that happened to us over the past two years! Some people came out with a burning feeling on body parts. Later it appeared that they had scratches on their bodies. Couldn’t breathe a stingy feeling. You must literally go outside to get back. A huge smell that forces you to leave the building. Different sounds, grumble, whisper, scratchy sound over doors, bouncing on doors and voices. Doors that slam shut, people emotional problems. This house is several times blessed but has no influence. People literally keep up to 15 minutes in the house. As a result, it was called hell house.”

I always find locations such as these quite interesting and I suppose fortunately have had little experience of such oppressive locations myself. Although I must admit, they are locations which I would like to investigate simply because the concept of these physical hauntings intrigue me greatly. I have seen some strange stuff over the years myself and thus never completely rule out the possibility of greater supernatural forces being out there, but equally wonder to the source of these kind of hauntings. Are these kind of entities really out there waiting in the shadows to do us harm or do they exist in the depths of our own psyche actuated by circumstance? Something I personally have yet to fully decide on, but still have the greatest respect for others that have experienced such things and have formulated their opinion on.

Top Five Locations, Investigated By Gert

Well it wouldn’t be a convention interview without a couple of top fives would it. So, here’s Gert’s top five locations, that he has investigated.

  • Shanghai Tunnels, Portland, Oregon USA
  • Hellhouse, Netherlands
  • Chateau Noisy, Dinant, Belgium
  • The Dutch Coin, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Fort Darkness, Netherlands

Actually from speaking with Gert a few times now there’s a few in this list that I wouldn’t mind investigating myself. I wonder if I did I would get my International Investigator badge lol!

Top Five Locations Gert Would Like To Investigate

Following on from where Gert’s been, let’s find out where he would still like to investigate in the world.

  • Shanghai Tunnels, Portland, Oregon USA (I’m guessing he didn’t manage to see it all last time)
  • Dracula Castle, Transylvania, Romania
  • Poveglia Island, Italy
  • De Koepel, Netherlands
  • Oregon Trail, Oregon USA

Now there are few interesting places to put on the old investigation hit list for sure.

Gert’s Team

Here’s a new kind of top five which I have thrown into the mix for the Paraforce UK convention interviews. This one is something I was thinking about not so long ago after reading a book on Harry Price’s Rosalie Case. I was wondering if I could choose a team of five from anywhere in the world and from any time, who would I have on my team. So, I figured this would be a great question to ask those speaking at Paraforce UK 2017 too. Here’s Gert’s response.

  • Kala Ojala, USA – Historian
  • Peter Hurkos, Netherlands – Medium
  • Greysen Smitt, USA – Technical
  • Chantal Flooren, Netherlands – Theory Investigator
  • Casey Goodwin, USA – Investigator

Some interesting choices there from Gert I think, but who might you choose?

Gert’s Favourite Ghost Story

Often I find it interesting to find out those ghost stories which other investigators have read or even been told over the years. After all apart from personal experiences it’s those stories which may spark our interest in the paranormal. Over the years ghost stories have developed into the movies and also TV shows, it could even be argued that our method of telling such tales has now developed into the media experience that many of us regularly watch. With all of this in mind I wondered what Gert’s was?

“The story from Randy R. Ervan, it’s called the house on Churchstreet! I read his book but the great thing is that I talked to him for many hours. He told me everything and after many hours of research, I can say it’s all for real. There are many stories where people have psychological problems.”

Personally I am not familiar with this particular account, but may have to add it to my ever growing reading list. It sounds quite interesting to be fair. I also totally understand where Gert is coming from in regards to being able to speak with the author. Often I have managed to speak with some that have written books on various paranormal encounters and hearing those accounts first hand helps to understand more about this experience.

The Paranormal Society World Awards

As I mentioned earlier Gert started the Paranormal Society World Awards and I was interested to learn a little more about these, as it is a great way to bring some of the community together.

“The awards were setup for fun! First year, there were so many responses so we go on. Researchers and other people got to know each other and they can work together. Negativity about it is a pity. It’s about the people who can vote for their favorite. Even though this is well known or not! The nice contacts among each other also produce a lot. The movies are fun and funny. Looking forward who are the winners.”

I have been lucky to be nominated for awards for the last couple of years and even won too, which was extremely humbling. It’s really nice to know that there are others in the field that recognise you for what you do and helps to drive you forward a little more. I personally have also found it a great place to connect with others out there in the field that I may not have connected with otherwise.

I hope the awards continue for many years still and please dont forget to check out the Paranormal Society World website to find out more about them. Also, dont forget to vote or me either as I am up for a couple again this year.

What’s Next For Gert

Finally I asked Gert to tell us a little bit about what he may have coming up and it seems like he may just be a busy man.

“The coming months will come up with some special things! Giving two lectures on Paraforce UK. Giving a workshop in Septemer. Doing a shoot for the TV show at different locations.”

Don’t forget to catch Gert Brouwer at Paraforce UK 2017 as one of the many guest speakers.

Thank You Gert

As ever I would like to say a huge thank you to Gert Brouwer for talking to me ahead of Paraforce UK and I look forward to seeing him next month. Keep an eye on my YouTube Channel though because at some point I am going to try and get him on there for another interview or at least a chat about something paranormal.

Paraforce UK 2017 – The Paranormal Convention

As we progress towards the convention at the end of September I hope to bring you more interviews from the guest speakers, perhaps some background and a few posts from the event itself.

Check out the main post on the convention below for links to other guest speaker interviews –

Paraforce UK 2017 Paranormal Convention

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