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We Need You!!!

The Data Age…

We live in a time where data has never been so important to us, it’s literally a time where everything in our lives has link to some kind of data or algorithms to comprehend what we want.

Think about that for second. I am sure there are examples you could provide that seem like they have no influence from some form of data, but do they?

Its certainly a strange concept to get your head around that a lot of what we do is likely to be because the choices we are most likely to engage with have been presented to us. Conspiracy theorist have a field day with this kind of area and the concept of being constantly watched isn’t a new. The book 1984 suggested a world monitored by CCTV for example many decades ago now. Oddly the UK is dubbed one of the most monitored countries in the world when it comes to CCTV. The recent TV series Hunted shows how hard it is to avoid the CCTV once dropped in the centre of a city. Head out into the country and even though camera coverage is more sparse, ‘big brother’ will still find you!

This disturbing fact is one aspect of information and data that is captured in huge quantities on a daily basis, where you are and what you’re doing. Now if you think it would take thousands of hours for a person to sift through any footage to track your movements individually, then you would be right. However this isn’t the case and also where the data aspect falls into this. There is now excellent software that runs facial recognition and number plate recognition, the authorities can track you through a number of systems using this. In fact the systems do all the work and simply alert when you pop up so to speak.

Wait, what, now…

Lost? Wondering why I am rambling on about CCTV instead of the paranormal? Well it’s simple really, many of us utilise audio and video as a primary tool for attempting to capture probable ‘evidence’ of the paranormal. However these are equally tools which can help us document our environments of investigation more fully. At some point, I couldn’t tell you when I stopped reviewing every piece of footage on my CCTV system post investigation. This wasn’t because I got a tag lazy, but because I soon realised whatever I found would have no meaning without additional sources to support it. So, I allowed those other source to present themselves and to utilise the CCTV to a) back those sources up and b) identify the locations of the team. The latter wasn’t because I didn’t trust my team, but actually because our memories are not quite the best at actually recalling information about an event.We needed to back our own timeline up if we were to become able to present to the academics. More information and data.

The other thing I discovered was that in order to prove what we thought we were experiencing we needed a lot of data to support that. A couple of our favourite cases with a vague comprehension of what happened with no hard evidence would never be enough. This lead me to come to the conclusion that we would need at least a couple of hundred main cases to study and they would need to be geographically and chronologically spread, but what I really wanted to include was an abundance of up to date recent cases too. Especially as these recent cases from investigators out there today doing the work may constitute current activity we could investigate further.

Which is how I came to want to seek so much data or information within the paranormal field.

Hello ‘Big Data’…

The easiest way to comprehend this and to explain how these day in our everyday life we encounter this ‘big data’ and the collection and use of it, is to bring in one thing that often seems to cause issue within the ghost hunter community. I am of course referring to the internet based social media platforms we now use day in day out. These particular system constantly gather information on what we search for, like and become interested in. Then that information is fed through algorithms that likes of Facebook and Google use in order to determine which advertisement would be best suited for us.

I have spoken about this previously, when I mentioned AI and machine learning, but now I am saying let’s take that approach of gather information and using it together to understand more about the field we all love. I totally understand that gather numbers and pieces of information isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and will never be more exciting than navigating a haunted location in the quiet of night, but whilst we do that on occasion we could grab a little information to get us going.

ParaSearch Radio interview on research…

Around this time last night (as I’m writing this post) I was talking to Kerry Greenaway on The Spirit Dimension radio show, one of Paraseach Radio’s many interesting shows about this very subject. In fact we put a call out to the Paranormal Investigators out there for assistance in gathering some of this data/information in order to add into our research and understand the Paranormal better perhaps. Links below:-

The Spirit Dimension – Research Project

ParaSearch Radio’s YouTube Channel – Subscribe for their latest

You can also gather the kind of information I am after using my Paranormal Investigators Journal. I have even created a simple form for capturing Paranormal Activity here too.

Please have a listen to my interview with Kerry as it explains what we are trying to achieve a little better, the link to YouTube is above.

If we are truly going to crack this field or at least made significant steps forward we need to start gathering huge amounts of data and information in one place so we can analyse its contents, search for significant patterns and cross match it for similarities. I hate to say it, but video, photographs and audio are always to a degree come under harsh evaluation. IT shouldn’t be a case of whether someone believes what they see in a picture or hear in an EVP, the evidence should speak for itself.

So, please join me in gathering all this data and information together from your investigations over the upcoming year to begin with and hopefully beyond. It doesn’t matter if you UK, US, German or Australian based, the more we can gather from all over the world the better. It equally doesn’t matter if it was the investigation you did last weekend, last year or a decade ago, if you have it documented I can use it.

The first sweep (as I call it) is simply to gather location details, when the event occurred, what happened and whom. I also need the source if possible, as that can help me return to that case for more details later. Any event passed onto will be logged in the sheet with that person beside it. It also doesn’t matter if four different teams send me the same piece of activity for the same location at different or even the same times. It’s all important data we can use.

So please get in contact, send me some information, use the form on my website, contact Kerry at ParaSearch; it really doesn’t matter how as long as we share this information.

WE NEED YOU!!

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Information and the Akashic Records

Thinking about the Akashic Records…

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

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

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

Documenting everything…

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

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

Its all about information…

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

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

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

Its all in the memory…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Locating the Records…

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

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

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

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

Relating Paranormal Experiences…

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

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

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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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Sporadic Eruption of Mental Images

Say what now…

Sometimes the inspiration for my blogs can come from the strangest of places, which could either be my own random thoughts on pretty much anything or simply something that someone says to me.

As much as I love the ideas I have myself, those sudden out of place nuggets of information that present themselves to me from others seem to evolve very differently. They seem to just appear in the middle of a conversation sometimes and often those conversations don’t even have to be remotely close to anything paranormal.

I have a friend that although we don’t speak or see each other often any more, when we do it’s like no time has past in between. Work, family and well life happens, which often means those friendships we make during our school years don’t stand the test of time. I’m lucky enough to have a few friends where that’s not the case. Regardless of what happens and how long the gap, our friendships continue as if they had been paused and nothing had changed.

The other night I received a random WhatsApp message from one such friend, which perhaps I should have reacted differently, but knowing him it didn’t really surprise me too much.

The message started like this…

And then continued with this…

I wasn’t expecting that…

I have to admit of all the messages I’ve received in the past from my friends, this might have been one of the oddest ones.

To begin with I had to rack my brains to remember who the annoyingly rude character was, but it didn’t take long. In fact the process picked up pace once my friend sent the second picture. Strange how that works.

As I’m always curious to where’s things like this come from and like to understand how these strange images came to be the first thing sent to me in a little while, I asked my friend.

His reply was one that triggered some inspirational thought processes of my own.

Sporadic eruption of mental images I thought I’d share !!

The very answer itself is something that weirdly just makes a lot of sense to me. Equally it’s something I could easily associate to the paranormal quite easily. You see not everything is spiritual communication or telepathic communication, it’s simply your own memories paying a little visit. The problem is it’s easy to forget what’s memory and what’s not. What’s truly relevant and that which actually has no relevance at all.

Sometimes it’s just a forgotten memory…

Memories are funny little things, well perhaps not so little, but certainly behaviour wise they appear to have a mind of their own. Yes, that was a pun and a particularly bad one at that.

I guess what I’m getting at is that we have so many memories that we don’t have a full understanding of each and everyone of those memories in any given moment. Oddly we often believe that given a certain scenario we would be able to recall all memories that could relate to that scenario in order to best deal with it, but even this appears to not to be the case on many occasions.

In fact our memories sometimes provide us with totally incorrect information or we simply recall them incorrectly. Helpful right?

Understanding our own memories and experiences in order to utilise them in any given situation is something that takes a little training or perhaps a little faith in what we believe.

There’s often a lot of confusion around memory; what’s a real memory and what’s information that’s come from somewhere beyond ourselves? When we are talking about the paranormal, especially when such information presents itself during an investigation, then it can be all to easy to constitute the source as being paranormal. However as we’ve discussed before fully understanding the true source is half the challenge in this. It’s equally a conclusion that is often made without complete thought on the manner by many in my opinion.

Perhaps some of the ‘spiritual communication’ that presents itself through mediums or that is interpreted through other means during an investigation is simply forgotten memories. Something worth exploring don’t you think?

So what’s sporadic eruption of mental images then?

That little phrase that my friend messaged me following some questionable images sparked and understanding, an explanation and a distinct possibility. I’m not saying in any shape or form that this is a sudden breakthrough in the field, but more of a food for thought scenario.

So here goes…

Sporadic eruption of mental images could be a probable explanation for anomalous interpretation of random information associated with spiritual communication.

I am not saying that this fully explains something like Mediumship, I’m simply presenting it as an additional possibility to explain the source of the information.

The question is; does memory randomly present itself into our consciousness or does it require a trigger to make its way there? Personally I would like to think there are probable triggers, at least there would be some causality then.

I’ve seen many investigation locations where there are many triggers within the environment that could spark an individual memory or at least be linked to something that most people would too. So, that possibility is certainly there I believe.

No matter what the cause may be, in order to continue to explore the paranormal to discover explanations for probable communication and activity, we should look to consider more possibilities just like this. It may even be a combination of elements, elements which could be equally spiritual and scientific.

Also, if you know the character in the photo that used to misbehave on a regular basis, please feel free to let me know?

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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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Could Artificial Intelligence Help Understand Paranormal Experiences

The Robots are coming..

Recently there has been a number of programs on TV on robots and artificial intelligence, which have been quite fascinating to watch. Especially as they have shown how real and advanced robotics are already, not to mention how intricately they are woven into our society currently.

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Now when many of us think of a robot, we quickly think of the movie robots that have been our understanding historically. These are cyborgs like the terminator, Number 5 from Short Circuit and part of the cast of Robocop. Some of these require artificial intelligence in order to work, regardless of them being fantasy. The thing is that artificial intelligence and something called machine learning is very much here already.

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Machine learning is everywhere..

In fact a lot of machine learning algorithms have been here a while and you probably use them almost every day of your life. Social media apps for example utilise algorithms in order to bring specific information to you as individual. Search engines like Google utilise these algorithms in order to find exactly what you’re looking for online. Don’t forget your smart phone either, many have voice recognition assistants like Siri on the iPhones. It doesn’t stop there though, even our entertainment is learning what we want too, Netflix does this too. We now have clever cars that can drive themselves too, a technology that is being developed at speed by many manufacturers. They are even building trucks that can drive themselves too. The point is that we are surrounded by this technology, which is learning our needs and giving us what we want or in some circumstances trying to sell us what we may not.

Robots and the paranormal..

Now by this point, you’re probably wondering where the heck I might be going with all this robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning stuff. Well, here’s the interesting thought I had recently; could a robot that has artificial intelligence experience something Paranormal similar to one of us whilst at a location that is supposed to be haunted?

Firstly, the initial response to this would be an overwhelming ‘no’ and ‘of course not’ after all how could a machine have a Paranormal experience. After all a paranormal experience is only something that a conscious being such as one of us may have and even some of us have failed to have over the years. Fundamentally we take the assumption that a machine couldn’t share the complex nature that we associate with the experiences we have as humans, but this is generally based on the concept of us being conscious and that we feel these experiences. However if we break it down it’s really all about data and information comprehension in my opinion. After all humans collect data on their environment from their senses and then utilise their knowledge, memory, experiences, etc in order to comprehend their environment and then when something Paranormal occurs individually understand it.

Data again..

Now what is really important here, possibly something I feel will really help us truly understand psi and indeed most paranormal activity, is that we really need to start gathering more data. The data itself is something that we really need as elements like machine learning could use that in order to help gain an understanding of psi. Big data is essential to gaining an understanding of psi and for any system to utilise machine learning to comprehend the Paranormal it will require an abundance of data. This wouldn’t simply be data related to the paranormal, but from all aspects of life too.

Part of the reason that I would really like to see the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in Paranormal investigation and psi research; is that a machine could be designed to work in certain ways that will help us understand the required building blocks that may deliver Paranormal experience. We could even simulate telepathic interaction by means of feeding these machines pieces of information via wireless technology.

Robot paranormal investigators..

When it comes to physically investigating a haunted location using this kind of technology we could see some really interesting developments. One approach could be to use drones with artificial intelligence that when they detect anomalies in the environment would follow that information in order to gather more data. We could utilise the work that has been done around swarm robotics to use many systems as one in order to gather lots of data at the same time and see what they may learn from that experience. Perhaps we could place a robot in a haunted location and then allow it to learn gradually to see if there is a potential point when such a system acquires knowledge enough to speculate the Paranormal.

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The potential that using artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics could bring to psi research and the paranormal could be fantastic. However it does all rely on accessing that favourite element of mine; a world of data. That data will be the foundations to the understanding of that which we all seek.

So, if you’re looking to make advancements to the field perhaps it may be worth looking into robotics and artificial intelligence too, as these could truly assist in the advancements of gathering data. They may also help us to understand many philosophical concepts of psi and could even contribute to the comprehension of consciousness too.

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