Monday, February 28, 2011

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Central Wisconsin haunts - the Octagon House

This article is from the

May 11, 1:14 PM by Kathie Kessler

The ghosts of children playing, the feeling of cold hands touching you, scratching on the walls, hidden rooms and tunnels used by the underground railroad. These are all claims of the house known as “The Octagon House” located at 276 Linden Street, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

Isaac Brown, a trader with the local Indians and a carpenter erected the house in 1856 on the grounds of an old Indian village, trading post and settlement house that was originally built in 1814 . Becoming fearful of Indian attacks and planning for its use as a station on the underground railroad, he constructed an eight sided house complete with nine secret passageways, hidden spaces and a tunnel, that was only just discovered in 1975, that lead from the house, out to the woodshed.

When Isaac Brown's son Edwin married, the house was given to him as a wedding present. Edwin and his wife Ruth raised three children in the house until 1900 when the property became a rental. It remained a rental unit until the late 1960's. The house was placed on the register of historic places in 1972 but that didn't save it from almost being demolished to make room for a new high school.

Three days before its scheduled demolition, it was purchased by Helen Hanson, a local dressmaker and antique dealer without ever seeing the inside of the property. Over the next few years the Hanson family restored the twelve room, two bath house and turned into a business and museum, which is now open for tours.

Many people who have toured the house as well as paranormal groups who have investigated it, have experienced activity on the property, including a spinning wheel that was completely disassembled only seconds after it had been observed standing in its usual place. Items will go missing, voices are heard, doors slam on their own, cold spots, shadows and footsteps are a regular occurrence in this eccentric and historic home.

Are the children of Edwin Brown still lingering in the house they grew up in or are they the ghosts of the slaves that took refuge in the house on their way to Canada that still like to make themselves known? I guess that's something one has to decide for themselves.. after a trip to the haunted Octagon House!

For more information about the Octagon House, visit THEIR WEBSITE

Getting Started

This case report comes from TAPS.COM

Article by: Grant Wilson

Ok, I am drowning in the emails asking questions like:

"Grant, how do I get started in the field of paranormal research?"


"I am starting a group, man. You got any tips?"


"I toootally wanna b a ghost hunter. If U can tell me were 2 go 2 school 2 learn dat, dat wood be gr8."

So, I hope you will forgive me for not being able to take the time to reply to them all. I try to make time to help but the time-making skill is rapidly escaping me. Therefore, I must kill 326,456 birds with one proverbial stone.

Here's the stone:

1. A career?

Paranormal investigation doesn't pay squat. In fact it costs a lot. Equipment, gas, tapes, batteries, cool jackets with your group name on them, etc. So, don't expect to get into the field to get rich.

2. Schooling

If you want to take up paranormal investigation as a hobby, then go to school for something that can pay the bills, AND be of use in the paranormal research field. Forensic science, psychology, or construction are some good ones, along with maybe some computer, film, or, heck, even plumbing knowledge will give you the skills that will both, put food on the table, and make you valuable to your group.

3 . Grave Stomping

Sure it seems logical that ghosts would be found in graveyards.... I guess... but often people make the mistake of thinking that if a lot of people died in a location that there HAS to be ghosts. While that CAN be true it isn't a fact. Here's a question: How many people do you know that have actually died in a graveyard? Not many. Most people are dead for around 3 days before they are buried.

4 . Stay Legal

Most of the time, it is illegal for anyone to be in a cemetery after dark. And just because no one lives or works in a building, doesn't mean it is fair game for investigating. If you get caught trespassing, your time as a respectable paranormal investigator is over.

5 . How Do I Start?

Since graveyards are out, then how the heck do you get started? The best way is to find a friend or a relative of someone in your group that feels they might have a haunting. This is ideal because you can practice your techniques without having to worry about screwing up and upsetting a client. If this scenario is not available to you, then find another group in your area and see if they are willing to have you shadow them on a few investigations. If you do this, remember that it is THEIR case and you are just a fly on the wall. If THAT is not available then there are often public places that are known to be haunted where trespassing is not an issue. Also, there are some places that will allow you to take a "ghost tour" for a nominal fee. This is the last option though, as you often have to weed through a lot of oobie-doobie spookie nonsense, but at least you get the chance to try out your equipment.

6 . Equipment? What Do I Need?

Don't get blinded by the equipment you see us using on the show. All you really need to get started is a camcorder with night-shot or infrared. An additional infrared illuminator that attaches to the top of the camera will help out greatly.
An audio recorder of any type will help too. Make sure that if you get an analog recorder (one that uses a tape) that you also purchase an external mic. Otherwise you'll get some nasty noise from the gears in the machine.

What? No EMF detector? Nope, that can wait. EMF detectors don't find ghosts. They find false positives. We scan areas that claim to produce spooky feelings with an EMF detector in order to find a legitimate electromagnetic field. Fields with a really high reading can produce effects in people that mimic paranormal activity. For instance, paranoia, dizziness, nausea, and that general creeped-out-I-don't-wanna-go-in-there feeling.

Aaaaand no still camera? Camera's are great and all, but claiming you have paranormal activity caught in one still photo is like reading one paragraph of a book and pretending you know the whole story. You just don't know what led up to that picture being taken.

7 . Pick Me!!

How do you get your name out there? Well, most importantly, by doing a friggin good job. If you are professional and down-to-earth your name will spread fast enough. Other than that, make a well thought out web site. One that is professional, not filled with bloody fonts, creepy music and flaming skulls flying at you. Think about it, if you were genuinely terrified in your home and you needed help, do you think you'd be comforted by a barrage of flaming skulls?

8 . Salt, Lots of Salt

Don't believe everything you hear. There is very little fact in this field. It is populated primarily with theories. Face it, you can't recreate this stuff in a lab, yet. So, you have to study it when you can, and that is not often.

Therefore, there really aren't any experts. There are a lot of people who will claim they are experts, but that is another story. We just can't guarantee that there is one person who is doing it 100% correctly. In other words, gather information from where ever you can, filter through your own ideas and ideals, take the good and leave the bad. And take it all with, not a grain, but a huge friggin' block of salt.

Well, there you have it. Some decent tips to get you started in the field of paranormal investigation. I hope they help you out.

Rock on, and please do everyone, who is already out there investigating, proud.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Check out my show's website!

Rusty's StoryTime


TWO FREE TICKETS to the TAPS event will be given away to a lucky listener during the show this Sunday beginning at 8 PM Eastern. The tickets are for the March 19th event at St. Albans in Radford, VA, and will include Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson from Ghost Hunters, Bruce Tango, John Zaffis, and much MORE. Drop by for the show and you could WIN!!

The Headless Monk of Thorpe Park on Para X Radio Show SUNDAY!!


Time: 8:00PM Sunday, February 20th..

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Cottage


Plover, Wisconsin is located in the central region of the state and is historical town with many connections to the past. There is one house that ma have more of a connection to history than any other.... it seems that residents from the past are still living there.

The William Sowiak family lived in a small clapboard house in Plover from 1957 to 1982 and although they did experience some odd things during their residency, according to their son Mike, they were very reluctant to talk about it. It wasn't until the family moved out that the ghostly activity became public knowledge...and much more frightening.

In 1982, Tim and Louise Mulderink bought the 125-year old house and decided to turn it into a restaurant. They called it the Old Sherman House after one of Plover's early and influential residents, Eugene Sherman. Initially, the young couple was too busy with their extensive renovations to notice that anything odd was going on but once the bar opened for business, they realized they were not alone in the house.

Glass windows had a habit of shattering, glasses and plates would fly off bars and counters and explode in front of customers. Doors opened and closed by themselves and lights in the offices and the restaurant refused to behave normally. At one point, employees even complained that invisible forms brushed past them in some of the rooms.

Tim and Louise realized that they had a ghost. They decided to do some research into the history of the place and try to figure out why. They gathered information about the place and discovered that, although the only person to die in the house was an infant, they believed they had found the identity of the ghost. Most of the families who had lived in the house had been strict Methodists and very against the "evils" of alcohol. This was especially true of the Pierce family, who had lived in the house from 1903 to 1945. James Pierce had been a church deacon and an influential member of the local church. The Mulderink's believed that they may have offended James Pierce with the idea that they had turned his former home into a restaurant... and unwittingly turned his former bedroom into a bar!

The strange phenomena in the house continued and finally drove the Mulderink's out of the house.... they closed the restaurant after only a few years in business. Later on, the restaurant opened again, this time with the name "The Cottage House Restaurant". At this time, the status of the haunting is unknown.

Copyright 2001 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved

The Cottage has been for sale for at least 10 years now. It is now at a reduced price. Any one who has owned The Cottage, ends up selling it very quickly, only saying "it's haunted" and "do not go upstairs". Reports of employees turning off all the lights, and then going out to the parking lot to get into their cars, and seeing all the lights come back on.

Blog Owner's note:The Cottage has been for sale for years....and for years has been for sale at a reduced price.....but for some reason...its just not selling....

The Grand Opera House

this report was found at W-FILES.COM

This report comes from a 29 year old insurance manager. The incident was said to occur near the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh which is in Winnebago county. I personally am not familiar with any parking garages near the Grand, and was just there this summer. I know that area has under gone some extensive remodeling the past few years, so perhaps it is no longer there?

Details: "This goes back some time. I was a freshman at UW-Oshkosh, must have been the fall of 1993. It was late one night and my roommate and I were parking his car way downtown from campus, right across from the Oshkosh Opera House. Now, we had all heard stories time and again about the Opera House being haunted, but he and I did not believe. Well, here we were parking his car around 11:00PM on the top of a parking garage when I looked over at the roof of the Opera house and saw a man standing in the shadows wearing a black trench coat. I told my roommate about it, and he saw the man as well. We thought nothing of it and walked down the stairs of the parking garage. I remember it was a chilly night and there was nobody around. It also seemed to be a still night, but when we came down from the garage, we were both hit with large amounts of wind coming from across the street at the Opera House.

We were a little stunned by the wind and looked at the window in the Opera House which was facing us. There in the window, we could see the curtains clearly. On the right side, we saw all curtain, on the left side, we could see a dark profile of the "man" we thought we saw on the roof earlier. He just watched us and it was very eerie, so we turned and tried to run away. Yep, two nineteen year old men, scared of absolutely nothing, began to run. That's when the wind switched and came from the opposite direction of before, again right into our face. That didn't stop us, though, we did run all the way home!"

The Nature of Ghosts

Article from

Although ghosts and apparitions have been reported for thousands of years, surprisingly little information is available with regard to their nature or essence. Ghosts are elusive and unpredictable, and the ways in which they manifest are surprisingly diverse. Contrary to popular belief, most ghostly encounters are not visual, but rather consist of noises, smells, sensations, voices, cold spots, electrical disturbances such as lights switching off or on, and displacement or movement of objects. Much of the available data is anecdotal and is therefore prone to exaggeration, embellishment, and sometimes outright deceit.

Although studies suggest that approximately 1 in 10 of us has the ability to perceive ghosts, those of us who are actively looking for them are apparently the least likely to have a ghostly experience. Children seem more apt to experience manifestations, suggesting that adults develop some kind of blocking mechanism as they mature. Women seem more attuned than men, and it appears that the higher your IQ, the less likely you are to experience ghostly phenomena.

So where does this leave us? Below are five interesting theories to consider regarding the basics of ghostly manifestations......

Theory #1:

Ghosts are the earthbound souls of the deceased.

This is the most common interpretation when confronted with a visible apparition, and it certainly does fit many hauntings where the apparition is more or less recognizable as someone who is deceased. For most of us, this theory is also comforting, as it hints at a life after the physical body is gone.

One common example of this type of manifestation is when an individual suddenly becomes aware of the death of a loved one through one or more senses. This type of occurrence is often visual, but may just be a sudden "feeling" as if relayed telepathically, or may even come in the form of a vivid dream. Typically, this type of manifestation relays important information to the observer.

We know from science that everything is composed of energy. Our thoughts, feelings, sensations, experiences, and indeed our very souls are all forms of energy. The theory is that when the physical body dies, this energy continues on in some form and can be tapped by living persons sensitive enough to perceive it. Animals seem to be quite sensitive to this type of energy, and many very reliable reports of them avoiding certain rooms, chasing unseen prey, or sitting contently as if being stroked and petted have been recorded throughout history - another indication that this type of phenomena is quite interactive.

Theory #2:

Events are somehow recorded in certain surroundings to be replayed over and over to living people sensitive enough to discern them.

This theory accounts for a lot of our ghost legends and is likely the source for virtually all hauntings that repeat again and again, such as the many "lady in white" sightings and ghostly battle reenactments. These apparitions are often visual, but sounds and smells are common too. The catalyst that starts the recording is usually very emotional or violent, such as a war or a mother losing a child. These apparitions never interact with the observer or acknowledge the presence of the observer in any way. They are reported as walking through walls or just disappearing into thin air, and they do not appear to be conducive to photography, though EVP recordings are occasionally successful.

Although most concur that these types of apparitions do appear to be "recorded" somehow in the surroundings, there is disagreement on how exactly we as observers perceive these recordings. One side postulates that it is something within the observer that sets the recording in motion, and that the recording thus "plays inside our heads." The other side postulates that the recording is being played externally for all to see, but that only those with the right "antenna" can experience it.

Thus, as frightening as this type of manifestation may be, the apparition is not a thinking entity, nor does it have a will or a purpose, and it is no more of a threat to the observer than watching a character on a television show.

Theory #3:

Apparitions are created from some type of naturally-occurring electrical, magnetic, or electromagnetic condition.

Many serious paranormal researchers believe that measurable properties such as electricity or magnetism play a part in why we experience ghostly encounters. Equipment for detecting anomalies in atmospheric, electrical, and magnetic conditions for the purposes of detecting paranormal activity is big business these days.

Many different variations on this theme have been postulated through time, likely originating with the "feelings" reported by observers in the vicinity of paranormal phenomena. Feelings of "magnetism" are often reported, as are sensations that the hair is "standing on end," a common occurrence around fields of high electricity. Temperature fluctuations have become the litmus test for detecting activity, as have vague feelings of the area being "energized" by some unknown process.

Many different theories regarding how naturally-occurring elements may interact to allow for paranormal phenomena have been offered, and include exotic theories ranging from energy emitted from earth ley lines, natural geologic fault lines creating bursts of energy, or some kind of natural vibration or earth harmonic.

One of the few things we do know for sure is that paranormal phenomena is more likely to be experienced at night, and sure enough, there is an scientific explanation for why this may be. In short, the earth is covered by a fluctuating membrane we all know as the atmosphere, which is constantly being bombarded by a strong solar wind from the sun. During the day, this membrane is at its thinnest and densest because it is being directly hit by the solar wind. However, at night, when sheltered from the sun, it expands much farther into space and has much less resistance (see illustration below). This explains why television and radio stations come in better at night, and why you can tune into stations much farther away than is possible during the day.

Nature of Ghosts

Therefore, the reason we see more paranormal activity at night is because there is much less resistance to every kind of magnetic and electrical current or force, making it easier for energy-based manifestations to appear. Indeed, the best time to go on ghost hunts is widely believed to be between 9 pm and 3 am, with midnight being optimal. For these same reasons, since ancient times, total eclipses of the sun have been the source of many legends and tales of paranormal occurrences.

Anyone who has ever gone on a ghost hunt has likely realized before too long that ghosts can be annoyingly camera shy, and the explanation for this may very well be related to the above discussion of electricity and magnetism. It stands to reason that if paranormal occurrences are energy-based, the arrival on the scene of man-made energy-based devices may put a kink in the environment needed for the apparition to appear. Even a battery-operated digital camera, voice recorder, or flashlight may put out enough energy to disrupt the natural energy of an area, to the chagrin of ghost hunters everywhere. This might explain why as a whole we are remarkably unsuccessful at capturing verifiable ghosts on film.

Theory #4:

Ghosts are actual beings living in one or more parallel dimensions.

The concept of a parallel universe is a fairly complex one. To put it simply, this theory suggests that there are one or more (perhaps an infinite number) of complete universes co-existing with us on a plane we are generally not aware of. Picture a lot of soap bubbles all floating around in a room. Each soap bubble contains an entire unique universe, and though there are hundreds of bubbles in the air, each is independent of all the others. Occasionally, two bubbles will collide and stick together, creating a passageway between the two universes.

Any type of spectral appearance, sight, sound, or anomaly can fit into the theory of parallel dimensions. Thus, when we see an apparition, especially one seemingly from another time and place, it could be that we getting a rare glimpse into another dimension or reality and we are seeing events develop in that plane of existence.

Interestingly, it is also theorized that each of us even have parallel selves living on different planes in different stages of development and that we may be aware of them at times on a subconscious level. Obviously, this theory is just that - a theory - but it is a particularly tantalizing one, and hopefully we progress technologically, more scientific light will be shed on this topic. For more information in this same vein, please see Other Dimensions.

Theory #5:

Ghosts exist only as figments of our imaginations.

This theory can be made to apply to every kind of paranormal manifestation there is, and in some cases, it is probably at least in part correct. Medical studies have proven that when certain parts of the brain are stimulated, various perceptions are disturbed, such as visual, auditory, and tactile functions. Various external stimuli such as very low frequency sound waves and high fields of electricity can cause hallucinatory experiences that for the subject are indistinguishable from reality.

Indeed, schizophrenics often relate seeing, hearing, and even talking to very real entities that nobody else can see or hear, but medical science thus far has not found the cause for this. Are they really seeing things that nobody else can see or hear? The consensus seems to be no - it is "all in their heads" due to an unknown short circuit in the make-up of their brains, but nobody really knows for sure. Further study in this particular type of mental disorder may eventually shed light on some areas of the paranormal. However, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered by this theory, such as when more than one person sees the same phenomena. Skeptics use the term "mass hysteria" for situations like this, but nobody has offered an explanation for the core catalyst causing many brains to suddenly go haywire.

Obviously, this theory needs a lot of work, but it will probably be among the first to be proven or disproven by science. Time will tell....

Stahl Hunting Cabin, Hancock

This report was found at W-FILES.COM

This old cabin was built in 1904, but when owners put on an addition in 1975, strange things started to happen. A black shape wrapped in a flowing sheet is seen walking down the stairs at night. Sometimes it grabs visitors firmly on the shoulder. The identity of the newly-awakened spirit has never been determined.

(Hancock is in Waushara County, west of the Nordic Mountain Ski Area on County Road C, on U.S. Hwy 51. The two-story, wood-frame cabin is on private property 3 1/2 miles east of Hancock on County Road GG. Before visiting, contact owner Bob Stahl, 8609 West Crossfield Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53225.)

Capturing Successful Photos & EVP Recordings

Article from

This page will detail proven pitfalls and common sense issues involved in getting successful spirit photographs and EVP recordings. Many photos and recordings that could have been great have been marred by carelessness and ignorance of the basics, and as such, anyone contemplating doing serious photographic or EVP work should read through and abide by the guidelines below.


  1. REMOVE YOUR CAMERA STRAP! Removing your camera strap will eliminate reasonable doubt about the authenticity of your photo should you capture an image of a vortex, etc. If you cannot remove your camera strap, tie it tightly around your wrist or neck to keep it out of the view of the camera lens.
  2. TIE YOUR HAIR BACK! If your hair is long, simply tying it back will greatly reduce the risk of capturing false-positive images during your investigation.
  3. CLEAN YOUR CAMERA LENSES! Routinely cleaning your camera lens will reduce the problem of water-spots, dust and fingerprints and help distinguish true anomalies from typical dirt and smudges. Though sometimes it is unavoidable, we recommend avoiding ghost photography while it is raining. Also, never clean the lens while in the middle of a roll of film!
  4. DON'T SMOKE! Designate a time and place to smoke away from your investigation. This should be decided on before the actual investigation takes place. Cigar, cigarette and pipe smoke can easily be confused as an ectoplasmic cloud. These phenomena may also be caused by lens condensation, breath (if it is cold), vehicle exhaust, and fog - making it equally important to document the weather and location of the area in each and every investigation.
  5. VISIT DURING THE PSYCHIC HOURS! The best time to photograph spirit entities are during the psychic hours of 9:00 pm to 6:00 am, though it is possible to produce results at any hour - even during daylight. Trial and error has revealed that photos usually turn out better at night, but don't let that discourage you from taking them during the day. Spirits don't have a set schedule and may be present at any time.


The first and best tip for making EVP Recordings is to NEVER GIVE UP! Though it is definitely possible, EVP recordings are extremely difficult to capture on tape. Nonetheless, here are some tips that should help you in your quest for disembodied voices.

  1. Use a recorder with a separate microphone. Recorders with the microphone built inside create unwanted sounds generated by the internal motor and wheels. A separate microphone greatly diminishes this type of interference.
  2. Place the recorder in an area you feel will get the best results, and make sure no people will be present during the recording.
  3. Keep conversations to a minimum. When you do talk, speak clearly in a normal tone of voice. Never whisper. This will help you distinguish the difference between an actual EVP and the voices of your team members.

Pre Ghost Hunting Tips

Article from

So you're off to the big ghost hunt, right? You have everything packed, and all your gear is in order......Or is it? Because we've been there and done that, we have compiled a Ghost Hunting Tip Sheet so that you won't miss out on the picture or spirit recording that will rock the world! Do take a moment to scan through the list before you go - there may be something you have forgotten.....

ALWAYS carry identification (drivers license etc.) in case you are stopped by authorities - so that you can prove who you are.

ALWAYS visit the site you plan on investigating in the daylight first to familiarize yourself with any obstacles or dangerous spots you may not notice in the dark.

NEVER TRESPASS! If a No Trespassing sign is posted ANYWHERE do not enter that area. This is a violation of the law and the law will not hesitate to send you to jail, slap you with a hefty fine or both! It is possible to get permission from the owners if you are truly interested in a particular site. To find the owner of a location, you can check with the local Tax Assessors' Office.

LEAVE IMMEDIATELY if you are asked to leave a location. This is a non-negotiable situation that you will not win, and you may damage the integrity of not only your own ghost hunt, but also other ghost hunting investigations.

NEVER GO ALONE! Common sense says you should never investigate a site by yourself. If something happened to you who would get help? Besides, you want a second person as a witness to verify your findings. On the same note, avoid all areas that are potentially dangerous, including condemned areas and parts of town with reputations for violence. The point is to investigate ghosts - not become one yourself!

CARRY THE ESSENTIALS! This will include warm clothing, a flashlight and backup flashlight with extra batteries, a tape recorder and supply of tapes, any type of camera (we prefer digital), a logbook, a compass to detect magnetic fields and a tote bag to keep all of your equipment together ready to go at the spur of the moment. As a side-note for non-digital camera users - use the highest speed film you can find for best results - 400 speed is the usual recommendation. For Digital Cameras, use the highest resolution that your particular camera is capable of.

ASSIGN SOMEONE in your group to be the "secretary" to record all details of your ghost hunting event. Details to record include who is participating, changes in temperature, weather, location, and date and time of any happenings that may take place - including who witnessed them. Be sure to walk through the site beforehand to record the thoughts and the feelings that the participants may be getting from that particular site.

LEARN THE HISTORY! Before heading out, do a little research on the history of the site you are about to investigate. Knowledge is power, and if you familiarize yourself with the people and events that took place there, it can be helpful in your investigation. You can check newspapers, the Internet or contact the local Historical Society to find information about most areas.

INTERVIEW! While visiting the site, should you happen to come across someone with a ghost story of their own, interview them and be sure to log all information!

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FEELINGS! Concentrating too much on your equipment can prevent you from picking up energy from a spirit, and may prevent the spirit from contacting you. Use your senses. This is one of the most effective tools you can use to communicate with spirit entities. Be sure to keep an open mind and try to avoid any preoccupied thoughts or negative feelings that may interfere with your perception and drive spirits away. Lastly, never take drugs or drink alcohol before an investigation - this will cloud your perception and ability, and can damage your credibility.

DO NOT WEAR PERFUME OR COLOGNE! Spirits are known to use certain scents and smells to get our attention so any noticeable scent you or a team member may be wearing could easily be mistaken for a supernatural occurrence.

Protective Blessing

Article from:

Written by Carl Johnson

This blessing is intentionally devoid of any religious affiliation, as it is our view that each individual must, at such times, draw upon his/her own faith or source of inner strength.

Upon entering the site of a paranormal investigation, particularly where a hostile entity has manifested, it is advisable for the participants of the investigation to initiate a protective, "psychic shield."

One brief method of doing this is to have the participants gather in a circle, perhaps touching hands, while one of them intones the following blessing, or words to this effect:

"As we enter this place where impressions of the past are trapped and associations linger, let us do so with the assurance that we are guarded by the Power which proceeds from forthright and peaceful intent. We envision a white radiance encircling us, fortifying us and protecting us from any harm or distraction in our purpose this day."

Psychic Defense

This case report comes from TAPS.COM

Article by: Al Tyas

When I first got involved in the paranormal two years ago I have to admit one of my main purposes was experiencing something phenomenal that would blow my mind. I have seen many unusual things, and learned many important lessons about what to do on an investigation. Most of the time I learned the hard way, but I’m glad I learned.

I know now that psychic self-defense is vital for the paranormal agent. There are times when the entity in the area will make things very difficult for the investigative team, and this can really do a number on the psyche and lead to illness, psychological damage and possibly possession. If someone told me this just one year ago, chances are I would have scoffed it. Now I know how vital it is to protect yourself from entities while doing this kind of work, and how important it is to remember to protect yourself every time you enter a haunted area regardless of activity. From the smallest cold spot to the most disturbing non-human entity you must be on guard. Allow me to share my mistake with you:

Recently I was on an investigation where the entities have been becoming stronger every time we have returned. One entity in particular has become quite hostile. In my rush to pack equipment, call investigators and jot down weather patterns, I failed to do one very important thing, safeguard myself. The night became very active, and both resident ghosts were heard. The female was singing in the basement, the male was upstairs talking. To get better data, we all left the house and entered two at a time. As my and my partner explored the upstairs, I inadvertently stepped on a “hot spot” and was frozen on site. For what seemed an hour, I couldn’t move, not even to drop my flashlight to attract my partner Terry’s attention. Seeing me just standing up quiet, he didn’t think anything was wrong. Completely conscious but still, I began to feel myself move forward, and I fell completely forward flat on the floor on my stomach with only an arm breaking the major fall at the last second. By this time my partner came running after the sound of 200 pounds hit the hard wood floor. I went into a trance, and wasn’t able to get out of it until I collapsed.

This happened twice that night, and I eventually had to stay outside because my energy was so drained. The fall resulted in a bruised arm and some pains to the head, but physically I’m OK. Mentally I’m smarter. It’s very possible the male entity wanted to enter my body. Experienced investigators have seen this happen and the results can be catastrophic.

What I strongly suggest before entering any haunted location is to prepare yourself spiritually. Obviously not only good people die, and what happens to the bad people?

They die too, and they don’t get halos and wings. Toss in some non-human entities and you got yourself a smorgusboard of danger. What I’m about to say is what I learned from my experience, and I can guarantee that after awhile if an investigator is not protected from malevolent entities severe psychic breakdown can occur, especially those with latent psychic abilities.

One can prepare themselves in many ways. Some may choose to go directly to their god, others to a saint, guardian angel, or a spirit guide. However the bottom line is you have to petition something good to combat any darkness which might come after you. Top paranormal investigators will tell you this isn’t a joke, and usually they learned things the hard way as well. Meditation is another helpful method. Spend about fifteen minutes alone or with your group and envision a white light of protection.

Visualization is very helpful in these situations. Also, prayer is, of course important for staying safe. Never underestimate the good powers in the universe or you may be harmed by the bad ones. Finally, I recommend a protective charm or talisman. I have been very lucky in this realm since I have a set of beads consecrated by a voodoo queen, a St benedict relic medal, a Celtic cross blessed from the fountain in Glastonbury, and a rosary handed down to my from many other family members. Remember, it’s not the object itself, it’s the faith behind it. And don’t forget to protect yourself after the investigation since an entity can attach itself to you and follow you home!

So before you pack up the EMF meter for another investigation, protect yourself, because you never know what you’re up against when it comes to the astral limits.

Thanks, Al

Al is with the DC Metro Area Ghostwatchers

Scout it Out

Article from:

Written by Grant Wilson

Before you go on any hunt you should always take extra precautions so you don't get hurt. Usually during a hunt you become nervous, scared and your emotions are heightened. These all spell disaster if you don't know the lay of the land.

If at all possible, visit the site during the day before you go on the hunt. This will allow you to spot potential hazards that could change a full night of fruitful investigation into an even longer night listening to seventies music as you flip through Golf Digest in the waiting room of the hospital.

Not only will you be able to spot obstacles but you can also kind of set up a map in your head, taking note of where noises and cold drafts could come from, thus increasing your ability to make an accurate assessment of the paranormal activity of the property.

You might find out that if you had gone during the night, you would have missed the "TRESSPASSERS WILL BE SHOT ON SITE" sign that was easy to see during the day. If you do spot a sign, no matter how much you'd like to ignore it, try and go through the proper means, so that you're investigating legally.

So, scout it out. Take camera's, pens, paper and anything else that will help you plan the investigation and make it safe, accurate and efficient.

We'd hate for you to miss a spook fly-by because you were too busy getting your foot out of a hole.

Section 1 (Orbs and how they are created)

This case report comes from SGHA.NET

Orbs are a very controversial item in the paranormal investigation field. The fact is that all "orbs" are caused by dust, water droplets or other airborne particles. There's dust in the air all the time, even if you can't see it. The amount and type of dust varies a lot and depends on many factors, including source, climate, wind direction and activity.

Dust is generated from a range of human activities and natural sources. It may be made up of soil, pollen, volcanic emissions, vehicle exhaust, smoke, or any other particles small enough to be suspended or carried by wind. The stronger the wind, the larger the particles lifted, and the more dust carried. Clean rooms are used for testing purposes where dust must be monitored to ensure that no data is contaminated. They have classifications that are standardized classes based on airborne particle counts. For example, a class 100 clean room can have 750 particles per cubic foot that measure 0.2 µm, 300 at 0.3 µm and so on. If clean rooms can have that many particles in the air, think of what a typical living area may have.

Another common misconception is that orbs are caused by dust in the camera or on the lens. This is false, as dust orbs are caused by airborne dust particles directly in front of the camera lens.

(So how does this happen?

UV light from your camera's flash illuminates the dust and is then recorded by the camera's CCD. The same phenomena can occur in NightShot video, except this time is light from the IR emitter bouncing off the airborne particles.

The image on the left shows how dust approaching the inverted focal point of the lens look more like an orb. The camera lens's inverted focal point is the point that an object must be past to be in-focus. The closer they get to the lens the more they blur and become less distinct while dust particles near the focal point appear to be in focus and show apparent details such as a nucleus and rings (this is discussed in the next section). Dust past the focal point may or may not be recorded and if they are they simply look like white specks of light in your photograph. This is illustrated by the lower left picture. The crucial factor in the equation is the UV light source from your camera's flash.

Digital cameras are sensitive to the UV and IR spectrums of light and this is why digital cameras are more likely to capture "orbs' than 35mm cameras. Snow, rain and pollen are also subject to this type of photographic effect.)

This problem is compounded by the fact that digital cameras have an extended depth of field, which makes airborne particles even more visible than 35mm cameras. The circle of confusion, an optical spot caused by a cone of light rays from a lens not coming to a perfect focus when imaging a point source, is yet another factor that can cause "orbs".

Lens flare is another phenomena that can cause orb like images. A camera lens has a number of elements that work together to focus an image onto film. The insides of lenses are coated with an anti-reflective material to help reduce the amount of secondary reflections known as ghost. In the case where bright lights are facing the lens, the lens coating is not fully effective and secondary reflections occur producing what are known as lens flares. You can learn more about lens flares here.

Section 2. Debunking orbs in photographs using science.

Huygen's Principle predicts the future position of a wave when its earlier position is known. "Every point on a wave front can be considered as a source of tiny wavelets that spread out in the forward direction at the speed of the wave itself. The new wave front is the envelope of all the wavelets - that is, tangent to them." This principle explains what happens when a wave hits an obstacle and the wave fronts are partially obstructed. It predicts that waves bend behind an obstacle, or diffract. Since diffraction only occurs for waves, not for particles, it verifies the wave nature of light.

Diffraction is the spreading of light around the edges of a barrier. These form patterns called diffraction rings. In diffraction, the intensity of the bright lines (or fringes) is greatest for the central bright spot and decreases for the higher orders.

Except for the central bright spot, the position of the fringe depends upon the wavelength of light. As Young found, the central bright spot appears as the original, undiffracted light. The higher order fringes, contain a spectrum of the light colors comprising the original light. Their position depends upon their wavelength. Young proved that one color of light is distinguished from another color by wavelength.

(Dust orbs have certain characteristics, such as possessing some sort of nucleus, and elongation around the central axis towards the edges of the photos. These are the diffraction rings. A simple way of thinking about it is to consider a drop of water hitting a pond. Ripples are produced as the drop strikes the pond's surface. Light behaves in a similar fashion. The problem is that the ability to see the diffraction rings is dependent on the resolution of the photograph and if the "orb" is in focus (not to close to the lens). The image on the left shows a typical diffraction ring pattern that is found in dust particles.)

When light interferes, the light waves produce alternating bright and dark bands of colors (interference fringes); nodal lines appear as dark bands and antinodal lines appear as bright bands. Violet light (with the shortest wavelength) is the least diffracted and red light (with the longest wavelength)is the most diffracted.

  • Angstrom: 1 A = 1 x 10-10 m

1. Spectrum types: Continuous

  • * produced by white light
  • * contains all the colors in the rainbow
  • * red light is diffracted the most and blue (violet) light is diffracted the least

2. Absorption (dark line)

  • * consists of dark lines on a continuous spectrum background
  • * energy is absorbed at characteristic frequencies

3. Emission (bright line)

4. Energy is emitted at characteristic frequencies

Generally speaking, if you see diffraction rings, it is definitely dust as this phenomena occurs (in a photographic sense) only in very small and microscopic objects.

There are other signs to look for as well.

A corona is produced by diffraction of light by small particles. Every point on the illuminated surface is a source of scattered outgoing spherical waves ( Huygens-Fresnel Principle ).

Scattering from only two points is shown on the diagram. Along the central axis, the incident light direction, the crests of the two scattered waves always coincide to form a region where the light is strong.

Moving away from the axis, there is a direction where the crests again coincide to give beams of enhanced brightness at an angle to the incident light. In between there is a region where crests of one wave coincide with those of opposite amplitude of the other. The two waves cancel and there is darkness in those directions.

There is a another coincidence of wave crests at a larger angle and the light intensity is again enhanced. With increasing angular distance from the axis there are alternating bright and dark regions, a diffraction pattern.

In reality, light is scattered from all around the particle periphery and other low intensity waves arise from reflection and transmission through the particle. The net wave amplitude at any point is the sum of the amplitude vectors, not intensities, of all the individual waves. The result is a very bright central region surrounded by less bright rings, a corona.

Corona formation, to a good approximation, needs no knowledge of the particle's interior because the surface scattered waves predominate. It could be water, ink or coal - the pattern is almost the same. It depends primarily on the particle's size, shape and the wavelength of the light.

There is no need for the particle to be transparent nor even spherical. Small ice crystals, pollen grains and large dust particles all form corona. A white light corona is the sum of all the corona contributions from each spectral color.

Usually there will be more than one dust orbs in the photos, and you get them most of the time at the location. Note that dust orbs are more likely to show up in a large number when you disturb the environment, such as when you just step into an empty room. You can analyze this effect in an image editing program by simply increasing the brightness of the photo.

Optical Effects

Orb Effects

A. Particle is overexposed by camera flash and/or in the camera's circle of confusion. No diffraction rings are visible.

B. Particle (pollen spore) is outside of the circle of confusion and far enough away from the lens to be in focus.

C. Particle is in motion and is within the camera's circle of confusion.

D and E. Particle colors are determined by the spectral wavelengths that they can refract. Generally, blue particles are refracting Ultraviolet light while red ones are refracting a greater degree of infrared light. Photoluminescence and the optics of the camera are also factors that can affect colors.

Orb Effects

Some photographs show geometric shapes, such as diamonds and octagon . This is caused by a lens curvature error known as "Coma", cameras with very small lenses and short focal lengths (such as digital cameras) are more prone to coma than other cameras with longer focal length lenses, such as SLR cameras.

When an object with a similar shape as the aperture of the camera lens is brought out-of-focus, the object will begin to take the shape of the aperture. In other words, if the aperture of the camera is an octagon, an out-of-focus dust orb will begin to take the shape of an octagon, particularly towards the center of the image.

Summary: "Orbs" are not ghosts!

Sleep Paralysis, The Scientific Explanation...

This case report comes from TAPS.COM

Article by: Grant Wilson

The medical establishment is quite aware of this phenomenon, but has a less sensational name than "old hag syndrome" for it. They call it "sleep paralysis" or SP (sometimes ISP for "isolated sleep paralysis").

So what causes it? Dr. Max Hirshkowitz, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston, says that sleep paralysis occurs when the brain is in the transition state between deep, dreaming sleep (known as REM sleep for its rapid eye movement) and waking up. During REM dreaming sleep, the brain has turned off most of the body's muscle function so we cannot act out our dreams - we are temporarily paralyzed.

"Sometimes your brain doesn't fully switch off those dreams - or the paralysis - when you wake up," Hirshkowitz told ABC News. "That would explain the 'frozen' feeling and hallucinations associated with sleep paralysis." According to his research, the effect only really lasts from a few seconds to as long as a minute, but in this half-dream half-awake state, to the victim it can seem much longer.

In her article, "Help! I Can't Move!," Florence Cardinal,'s Guide Sleep Disorders, writes: "Sleep paralysis is often accompanied by vivid hallucinations. There may be a sense someone is in the room, or even hovering over you. At other times, there seems to be pressure on the chest, as though someone or something perched there. There may even be sexual attacks associated with the hallucinations. The sound of footsteps, doors opening and closing, voices, all can be a very frightening part of sleep paralysis. These are known as Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Experiences and they are what make people dread an episode of sleep paralysis."

- For all their explanations, however, the sleep experts still do not know what causes the brain to screw up like this, or why some people experience it more than others. But there are some theories:

- "Episodes of paralysis can occur when the body is in any position, but happen most frequently when the sleeper is lying flat on his or her back. Intense fear is common, but sometimes other strong emotions, such as sadness or anger, are present," says Florence Cardinal in "The Terror of Sleep Paralysis."

  • - For some, SP is often brought about by not getting enough sleep or being overtired.
  • - Likewise, disrupted sleep schedules or circadian rhythm disturbances can produce an episode of sleep paralysis.

  • - It is more common in people who suffer from severe anxiety or bipolar disorder.
  • - Some research shows that SP is five times more likely to occur with people who are taking such anti-anxiety drugs as Xamax or Valium.

  • - A study found that 35 percent of subjects with isolated sleep paralysis also report a history of wake panic attacks unrelated to the experience of paralysis.

How can you prevent sleep paralysis? According to clinical research, you may be able to minimize the episodes by following good sleep hygiene:

  • - get enough sleep
  • - reduce stress
  • - exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
  • - keep a regular sleep schedule

"For some people this may not be possible, however," says Florence Cardinal, "so instead let's look at ways to escape from the grip of sleep paralysis. The best remedy is to will yourself to move, even if it's only the wiggling of your little finger. This is often sufficient to break the spell. If you can manage it, scream! Your roommate may not appreciate it, but it's better than suffering through a long and fear-filled episode. If all else fails, seek professional help.

"Sounds like good advice. The bottom line is that you really have nothing to fear, in a paranormal sense, from sleep paralysis. That old hag you feel perched on your chest may be nothing more than the anxiety of living in a stressful world.

Thanks to for this helpful article.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Personal Experience

The other night in a dream I clearly saw my Paternal Grandmother, who's been dead for 9 - 10 years now.

She clearly saw me and spoke to me.

Here's the paranormal part. When I went to bed, my cell phone's battery had full charge (cause I'd just finished charging it).

The next morning after the's battery was down to 1 bar of power!

This leads me to believe it wasn't just a dream....that she actually came from the other side to me through my dream, using my cell phone's battery for energy.