Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ghost Hunters' investigator Grant Wilson leaving series

Ghosts can get a little more rest in peace soon: "Ghost Hunters" co-lead investigator Grant Wilson announced during Wednesday's (Feb. 15) episode that he would be leaving the Syfy series.

"It is with mixed emotion that I am announcing my departure from the cast of 'Ghost Hunters.' While paranormal investigating has always been and will remain a passion for me, after enjoying nearly eight successful seasons on television, I have made the decision to leave the series in order to focus on other aspects of my personal life," Wilson says.

"I will deeply miss working with Jason [Hawes] and the rest of the dedicated investigators and crew that have become like family, and I wish them all the best as they continue to follow their passion and realize the vision of TAPS [The Atlantic Paranormal Society]. I will also miss interacting with our wonderful fans worldwide. You are all at the heart of what we do on 'Ghost Hunters,' and I'm grateful to have gotten to know many of you over the years," Wilson adds.

TAPS says on its website that the departure was amicable, Wilson was not fired and the show is not being canceled -- 20 new episodes are planned for this year. Currently there are no plans to bring in a new lead.

TAPS co-founder and "Ghost Hunters" co-lead investigator Hawes released a statement saying, "I will miss working with Grant on a daily basis, and am indebted to the level of dedication and expertise he has brought to our field. I can't imagine having a better partner through it all -- both on the show and off. Grant and I, along with our spouses and children, are all like one big family. While I fully support his decision to move on from the series, this longtime friendship -- as well as our business partnership -- will continue off-camera for years to come."

Wilson's last episode airs March 16.

(EVP) Electronic Voice Phenomena

Article from CPS Paranormal

EVP Is the term traditionally used to describe anomalous, intelligible speech recorded in or produced by electronic devices, and for which no currently understood physical explanations can account. EVP initially involved audio tape recorders, but in later years, virtually any recording medium became a vehicle for phenomena, and today, digital voice recorders are the device of choice for traditional EVP experimentation.

The popular A-B-C classification system developed by Sarah Estep, Founder of the American Association—Electronic Voice Phenomena has proven to be somewhat dated in classifying Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) for paranormal research and understanding. The recently re-worded AA-EVP system distinguishes EVP based simply on the quality and clarity of the EVP recording. Furthermore, broad subjectivity when classifying EVP is an inherent challenge of this system. As a reminder, the AA-EVP system is:

  • Class A: EVP is a message that can be heard without headphones and that people can generally agree on its content.
  • Class B: EVP requires a headphone to distinguish message content and not everyone will agree on the message.
  • Class C: EVP requires headphone, often needs amplification and filtering and will seldom even be heard by others.

While the quality of the EVP recording is important, it is the potential message contained within it that is of the utmost value in discovering more about life after death. Therefore, the EVP naming conventions below approach the classification of EVP primarily from the standpoint of how meaningful they are in helping humans to understand the spirit realm and spirit psychology, rather than simply how intelligible the EVP may be (although this is included). Please note that EVP by definition are voices and/or sounds captured on recorded media and not voices and/or sounds heard audibly. The goal of the following conventions is to make the classifying of EVP as objective as possible in order to minimize researcher subjectivity.


Spirit voice is a direct response to a human statement / question / action / activity, or spirit voices respond to each other

Most or all of the words are clear and intelligible, with or without headphones

Spirit voice communicates comprehensible and existentially meaningful expressions of thoughts / feelings / emotions / opinions / actions / intentions

Class 2 (Non-Interactive):

Voice is a general statement and not a direct response to a statement/question/action/activity by humans

Most or all of the words are generally clear and understandable, with or without headphones

Spirit voice communicates comprehensible and existentially meaningful expressions of thoughts / feelings / emotions / opinions / actions / intentions

Class 3 (Non-Speech):

Spirit voice is a sound other than the spoken word

Growls, screams, humming, etc.

Musical instruments, TV, radio, concerts, footsteps, rapping, banging, etc.

Null EVP (Valueless)

The EVP contains nothing of value in understanding the spirit realm or spirit psychology

Words are unintelligible, with or without headphones

Spirit voice does not communicate comprehensible and existentially meaningful expressions of thoughts / feelings / emotions / opinions / actions / intentions, although the word(s) may be intelligible

Signs of a possible haunting

Article from CPS Paranormal

The first step is to determine, as best you can, whether or not you truly have a legitimate case of a haunting. Not all hauntings are alike, and they may exhibit a variety of phenomena. Some hauntings feature a single phenomenon - such as a particular door slamming shut that occurs repeatedly - while others consist of many different phenomena, ranging from odd noises to full-blown apparitions.

Here's a partial list of phenomena that might indicate that your house is haunted:

Unexplained noises: Footsteps; knocks, banging, rapping; scratching sounds; sounds of something being dropped. Sometimes these noises can be subtle and other times they can be quite loud.

Doors, cabinets and cupboards opening and closing:
Most often, these phenomena are not seen directly. The experiencer either hears the distinct sounds of the doors opening and closing (homeowners get to know quite well the distinctive sounds their houses make) or the experiencer will return to a room to find a door open or closed when they are certain that it was left in the opposite position. Sometimes furniture, like kitchen chairs, are perceived to have been moved. Very rarely will the experiencer actually witness the phenomenon taking place.

Lights turning off and on:
Likewise, these events are seldom seen actually occurring, but the lights are switched on or off when the experiencer knows they were not left that way. This can also happen with TVs, radios and other electrically powered items.

Items disappearing and reappearing:
This phenomenon, which we have dubbed "the DOPler Effect" (DOP = Disappearing Object Phenomenon), has been examined in the article "The DOPler Effect." Others have called this "the borrowers" phenomenon, and it's the familiar experience of not being able to find a regularly used item - say, your set of car keys - which you believe you placed in a spot you routinely place them. But they're gone and you look high and low for them with no success. Some time later, the keys are found - in exactly the place you normally put them. It's as if the object was borrowed by someone or something for a short time, then returned. Sometimes they are not returned for days or even weeks, but when they are, it's in an obvious place that could not have been missed by even a casual search.

Unexplained shadows:
The sighting of fleeting shapes and shadows, usually seen out of the corner of the eye. This phenomenon has also been discussed in some detail in "Shadow People." Many times, the shadows have vaguely human forms, while other times they are less distinguishable or smaller.

Strange animal behavior:
A dog, cat or other pet behaves strangely. Dogs may bark at something unseen, cower without apparent reason or refuse to enter a room they normally do. Cats may seem to be "watching" something cross a room. Animals have sharper senses than humans, and many researchers think their psychic abilities might be more finely tuned also.

Feelings of being watched:
This is not an uncommon feeling and can be attributed to many things, but it could have a paranormal source if the feeling consistently occurs in a particular part of the house at a particular time.

Those are some of the most common experiences of those who think their houses are haunted. Yet even stranger things can happen...

Stronger Evidence

The following phenomena are more rare, but could be stronger evidence of a haunting:

Mild psychokinetic phenomena:
Hearing a door open or close is one thing. Actually seeing it happen is quite another. Similarly, actually seeing a light go on or off by itself is greater proof that something unexplained is happening. Do you see the TV or radio turn on? Or perhaps you're present when a child's powered toy begins to operate on its own. Doors and windows are locked or unlocked. Some people report that when they are in bed they can feel and/or hear something sitting on the bed.

Feelings of being touched:
The feeling of being watched is one thing, and actually feeling like you are being touched is quite another. Some people feel something brush past them, something touching their hair or "a hand" on the shoulder. Some feel a gentle poke, push or nudge.

Cries and whispers:
On occasion, muffled voices, whispering and crying can be heard. Sometimes it's music from some unknown source. People hear their names being said. This phenomenon, as is true for the one above, gains more credibility if more than one person hears or sees the same thing at the same time.

Cold or hot spots:
Cold spots are classic haunting symptoms, but any instance of a noticeable variance in temperature without a discernable cause could be evidence.

Unexplained smells - the distinct fragrance of a perfume or cologne that you do not have in your house. This phenomenon comes and goes without any apparent cause and may accompany other phenomena, such as shadows, voices or psychokinetic phenomena. Foul odors can happen in the same way.

Rarer still are more extreme phenomena, some of which have been called poltergeist phenomena, and can be quite strong evidence of a true haunting:

Moving or Levitating Objects:
(severe psychokinetic phenomena) - dinner plates sliding across the table; pictures flying off walls; doors slamming shut with great force; furniture sliding across the floor.

Physical assault:
Scratches, slaps and hard shoves. This kind of personal assault is extremely rare, but obviously highly disturbing.

Other physical evidence:
Unexplained writing on paper or walls; handprints and footprints.

Apparitions :

Physical manifestation of a spirit or entity. These phenomena are also very rare and can take many forms: human-shaped mists or forming mists of some indistinguishable shape; transparent human forms that disappear quickly; and most rarely, human forms that look as real and solid as any living person, but that disappear into a room or even while being viewed.

Rule Out Rational Explanations

A person who has experienced some of these phenomena might have cause to believe that his or her house is haunted. But maybe not. In fact, according to most experts, probably not. The human mind and human senses (as any magician will tell you) are easily fooled. And people can often mistake explainable (if unusual) occurrences in their homes for the paranormal.

Before you decide there's a ghost in your house or move out from fear, do your best to find rational explanations for what you are experiencing. Virtually all of the phenomena listed on the previous page could have perfectly natural causes:

Of course, the more extreme the phenomena, the harder they are to dismiss. And, as noted above, if multiple witnesses experience the same phenomena, they are likely to be taken more seriously.

Get help in finding rational explanations for the phenomena. A plumber might help you find the cause of that banging. A carpenter can fix that door from closing on its own. A friend or neighbor might be able to look at your particular experience in a different way and offer a reasonable explanation for your "haunting" that you might not have though of. In short, make every possible effort to prove that your house is not haunted.

Keep A Journal

If you feel you have ruled out rational explanations for the phenomena that are taking place in your house, and they are still occurring on a more or less regular basis, document them. Keep a journal of the phenomena as they happen. For example:

June 2, 2002; 10:30 p.m. - Was sitting watch TV when the bathroom light switched on by itself. Went in and turned it off again.

June 10, 2002; 9:14 p.m. - Was in the kitchen and heard the footsteps crossing the upstairs hallway again. No one was up there. Went up to investigate and could find no cause.

A journal such as this could help with any formal investigation of the phenomena by experts.

If you hear unexplained noises, attempt to record them with a portable tape recorder. If there are physical phenomena of any kind, photograph or videotape them. Keep your journal, recording and camera equipment readily available so you can document the phenomena as it happens.

Call the Experts
When should you call a paranormal investigator? Only when you have ruled out any rational explanations for the phenomena you are experiencing and are thoroughly convinced that your house is truly haunted should you contact CPS. Of course, if the phenomena are extreme and you feel that you and your family are in any kind of physical or psychological danger, you should call for help right away

Fairlawn Mansion, Superior Wi

Article from Phantasmagoria Photo

Fairlawn Mansion

In early October, 2009, Anna and I drove to the northern part of the state for a competitive run. Ashland, a small former fishing and shipping hub on Lake Superior, was about two hours away and made for a long but enjoyable drive to a part of the state that I hadn't seen much of.

With the race's popularity, we were unable to gain a hotel close to the race area so we had to stay in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. For dinner we took part in a regional tradition, a fish boil, afterward caught Zombieland at a local 80's era movie house, then went to bed.

We woke to two inches of snow and a frantic drive back into Wisconsin along the lakeshore to the race staging area. Anna ran and she did a fantastic job, her fastest and best time yet, despite the very cold weather. After two hours standing in the cold to cheer her on, I warmed up while we got her metal engraved. We loaded into the car and continued northwest along the coastline to Bayfield, another small town along Lake Superior, known for the Apostle Islands and its history as an important fishing and shipping village, similar to Ashland. Between the two towns we stopped in an artist town, to pick up two very flaky turnovers from a small bakery and browse an interesting second-hand store. There we picked through the costumes and vintage clothes, coming away with two plastic dime-store Halloween masks from the 70's, which now hang in our kitchen. We visited the local shops and artist studios after arriving in Bayfield. Then as the light outside grew dim we decided to take a Ghost tour. We hoped to find some information about other haunted places to photograph. The guide had a knack for story-telling, which helped us forget about the biting lake-wind tearing through the town as we wandered from street to street hearing the tales of haunted Bayfield. Disappointingly, the tour guide made vague references to each place to protect homeowners who frowned upon ghost-seekers.

After the bitter-cold walk on the hour and a half tour we headed in the car towards Superior, just east of Minnesota exactly on the border, to meet up with friends and find our hotel. On the way we both talked about photographing the Victorian mansion, rumored to be haunted, in town the next morning. We arrived and settled in for the night. Upon waking, we asked the hotel staff for directions to coffeehouses or Starbucks to help start our day. The person at the front desk of the hotel suggested the Red Mug Espresso. We drove off into Superior.

Finding the place was a bit tricky since it was located on a lower level of the Trade and Commerce Marketplace, formerly the police station and jail. The Red Mug was wonderful, filled with artwork by local artists and a stage for music on certain nights. We both ordered a drink and talked about the events of the weekend. The coffee was so well brewed Anna ordered a second. After the coffee kicked in, we headed towards the mansion we wanted to see and photograph.

We arrived at the mansion and were immediately impressed by its size and Queen Anne style of architecture. We could not enter the house due to a tour at the time so we were unable to view the 42 rooms feature in the home. We walked around the lawn taking pictures, trying to include the four-story turret that loomed overhead. With the prominent porch, steeply gabled roof, and use of contrasting colors and textures the beauty of the house struck us.

Built in 1891 for wealthy lumber and mining baron Martin Pattison and family, Fairlawn sits on the shore overlooking Lake Superior. After Martin’s death in 1918, wife Grace Pattison donated the mansion to the Superior Children’s Home and Refuge Association and was turned into an orphanage. The mansion served as an orphanage for about 42 years, after which the City of Superior purchased Fairlawn in 1963 for demolition in accordance with Grace Pattison’s will. Fortunately civic leaders and members of the Pattison family were able to save the mansion due to a legal loophole and turned it into a city owned museum.

Visitors taking tours of the house have reported seeing a woman dressed in period clothing guiding them to specific displays then vanishing, leaving a cold damp chill in the air. Many believe it’s a servant girl that was murdered by her husband shortly after leaving the mansion. Some feel she haunts Fairlawn Mansion because it was the one place she felt happiest in her life. The ghosts of two children have been seen and heard playing near the old swimming pool in the basement. No records indicate that any children died in the house; some feel they may have accidentally drowned during the time the mansion served as an orphanage. Records have remained sealed by the county.

Fairlawn Mansion

Debunking Paranormal Activity

Article from CPS Paranormal

One of the first things you should do is attempt to debunk the activity. Maybe what you thought was paranormal actually has a rational, every day explanation. You should try to look at the situation from every angle before deciding whether the activity is paranormal or not. Some things to try:

If doors are opening on their own: Check to see if the door latches. Sometimes it may seem like a door is latched, but it isn't, and any gust of wind/draft or pressure from opening/closing another door or window can cause the door to open. If this is the case, simply replace the latch. Another reason doors may seem to open on their own is due to the material of the door itself expanding or contracting from the weather.

If doors are closing: Sometimes the building may be just slightly tilted in one direction, which can cause doors to close simply from gravity, especially if the door is heavy.

If there is audio/visual activity: Check the EMF (electro-magnetic field) levels in the area, using an EMF detector, which can be bought at a hardware store or online. You can also use a compass. The needle will turn away from north when placed near high EMF; just make sure to know which direction north is and hold the compass level. High EMFs can cause headaches, nausea, rashes, feelings of being watched, and hallucinations. Some ways to remedy high EMF are to make sure wires and electrical boxes are shielded. Also make sure to place appliances that give off high EMF away from areas where a person may be for a long period of time, or replace the appliance with newer ones that give off less EMF. Some things that typically give off EMF are: wiring, computers, refrigerators, TVs, radios, alarm clocks, lights, fans, some pipes, and other electronic devices. Also make sure the sounds are not something else, like the motor on a fan whirring, people talking in another room and the sound is carried through a vent, people talking outside and the sound is carried in through the window, etc.

Cold spots/drafts: Make sure that all doors and windows are sealed tightly and remember that windows are often much colder than room temperature, so the area around a window will naturally be colder. Also check the placement of A/C units or other things that give off cold air.

Feelings of being watched or dizziness: Again check EMF levels. Also check for tilted or slanted floors, ceilings, walls, or stairs, as this can cause the "Funhouse Effect".

Footsteps/scratching sounds/knocks/bangs: Some houses are just noisy, especially older ones. Old houses creak a lot; it's usually just the house settling. Another possible explanation for knocks and bangs could be plumbing/heating systems. Sometimes as a heating or cooling unit kicks on or off, it may make some noise. This can usually be remedied by making sure pipes are secured. Make sure scratching sounds aren't from pets or other animals, such as mice.

Faucets that turn on by themselves: Check the seals in the handle. Sometimes when a seal is old or worn out, the faucet can "turn itself on"; this usually happens with the hot water, because the heat can make the seal loose. To fix this, just replace the seal.

Light phenomena: This may be just a car's headlights shining in through a window, maybe even bouncing off something, like mirror, and into view. Check to see if this could explain it. ("Orbs" caught on tape/in photos are usually just dust, bugs, or moisture on the lens. They seem to be illuminated and round, because the camera is trying to focus on the spec of dust etc.)

Silverware/objects moving: I saw this on TV and thought it was awesome debunking. There was a report of silverware moving in a restaurant after it had been placed on the tables. It turns out that the silverware had become magnetized and the magnetism was pulling them together. This could also be applied to other objects made of metal that seem to move on their own.

TVs that turn on/off/change channels: This is often caused by a neighbor or someone in another room using a TV remote, other remote, or other device (like walkie-talkies) that cause interference with the TV, causing it to change channels, turn off or on, etc.

Demonology FAQ's

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Keith Johnson

Q: Are Ouija boards really dangerous?

A: It is not the Ouija board itself which is dangerous. The potential danger stems from the fact that by using a Ouija board to communicate with spirits (or any similar divination device), an individual is opening up his or her free will, thereby leaving oneself vulnerable to an invading spirit presence. There are a great many examples of individuals successfully contacting what at first appear to be "nice" spirits through the use of o Ouija board...only to have these spirits turn on them once they have gained a foothold. Demons can be very adept at masquerading as departed loved ones, even going so far as to reveal hidden knowledge, which was supposedly known only to the deceased...and this hidden information will often eventually prove to be verifiable. However, once demonic spirits have gained someone's trust, they will then cleverly begin mixing lies with the truth, in an effort to confuse. Some individuals eventually become emotionally dependant upon these "spirit friends"...and a demonic presence will have no reservations about using a person's loneliness or emotional vulnerabilities to gain a stronger foothold. By the time it is too late, and a hostile entity has revealed it's true colors, the person who has unwittingly been communicating with these types of spirits will often find that they are much harder to get rid of, than they were to bring in. Also, under no circumstances should anyone ask a spirit to manifest itself (appear) to them through the use of a Ouija board...since a demonic spirit will consider this an open invitation to infiltrate that person's life!

Q: How true to life are the events portrayed in "The Exorcist"?

A: "The Exorcist", written by William Peter Blattey, is based upon an actual case of demonic possession, and the subsequent exorcism, of a fourteen-year-old boy, which took place in the U.S. in 1949. Some of the events are documented as having actually occurred, such as writing appearing on the boy's flesh, and his ability (while under possession) of speaking in foreign languages. In the actual case, the exorcism eventually proved successful, and the boy went on to live a normal, healthy life. None of the priests involved actually died as the result of the exorcism, or became possessed themselves, although one priest did suffer a broken nose. Some of the more bizarre phenomena portrayed in both the book and the movie never actually happened, such as the head spinning and the "spider walk". Some of the events portrayed in "The Exorcist", however, when taken in context, are actually supposed to be telepathically projected into the minds of certain characters.
One thing I should mention about "The Exorcist" which happens to be very true to life, is that these types of parasitic, hostile entities are often initially and inadvertently "invited" in to begin oppressing certain individuals, through the use of a Ouija board.

Q: What exactly are Demons?

A: In the Judeo/Christian belief, demons are "fallen angels" who conspired against the Heavenly Kingdom under the leadership of Satan, were defeated by the Archangel Michael and the holy angels, and were cast out of the Heavenly Realm...banished to roam the earth and the earthly heavens. Although we know very little about this terrible incident, it is assumed to have taken place long before recorded human history. Demons, like Satan and like their angelic counterparts, are inhuman spirit beings, never having been human...NOT the damned souls of evil humans.

Q: Are Demons the same as “Ghosts"?

A: Ultimately, no. Whereas a ghost is generally considered to be the disembodied spirit essence of a deceased person (or animal, in some cases), a demon was never physically alive, in the way in which we are familiar with life. Because demons are spirit beings, and sometimes function in similar ways - even sometimes intentionally masquerading as ghosts - they are often mistaken as being ghosts. However, there is actually quite a difference between the two, both in character and abilities.

Q: Can Demons materialize themselves as humans or animals?

A: Yes, although their ability to do so seems limited. Also, seemingly as a rule, even on the rare occasions where they manifest themselves in photographs, they are never "complete"...that is to say, either a body part is missing (eyes, legs, or the entire head, etc.), or they are disfigured in some noticeable way. Perhaps this is God's cosmic law at work, commanding that they must in some way display that they are not of human origin.

Q: Can demons actually possess dolls and statues?

A: Although demons do not technically "possess" inanimate objects such as dolls and statues, they will sometimes attach or link themselves to certain objects. Although there are a variety of reasons for this, the most obvious cause would be if a doll or a statue has been "personified," or given recognition as an object of profane worship, or used in a ceremonial practice in which demonic entities were invoked. (Two Scriptural references which specifically refer to this as the worship of idols are: 1) Revelation 9:20, and 2) 1 Corinthians 10:20.) Incidentally, demonic attachments to inanimate objects are not limited to dolls and statues. In fact, I once knew someone who, as a young boy of about five years old, picked up a glove which had been left in a cemetery...and a demonic entity instantly began harassing him! The vehicle in which screen idol Jimmy Dean was killed in is another example. Also, it almost goes without saying that the most common inanimate object to which a demonic entity will attach itself is the infamous Ouija board.

Another cause of demonic entities having attached themselves to inanimate objects such as dolls or statues, is if someone who was demon possessed or severely oppressed, has owned or venerated this particular object.
Of course, there is no reason to go through your house searching out every inanimate object which you've ever felt slightly unnerved about. However, if you do seriously feel there is something unnatural about an abject in your it a doll, statue, Ouija board or what have might just be a good idea to look up the history of this object, if possible. For information pertaining to the disposal of such an object, you may wish to contact a member of the clergy of your particular faith, or perhaps a reputable paranormal research organization.

Names and Rank in the Infernal Region (alphabetically)

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Heather Drolet

  • Apollyon (Abaddon) : King of Demons
  • Abigor: Horseman with a scepter and lance, commanding 60 legions
  • Adremelech: Chancellor and High Council of Demons
  • Aguares : Grand Duke of Eastern region, commanding 30 legions
  • Alocer : Grand Duke , commanding 36 legions
  • Amduscius : Grand Duke, commanding 29 legions
  • Andras : Marquis , commanding 30 legions
  • Asmodeus (Asmoday) : Head of Casinos, banished to the desert by Raphael
  • Astaroth : Grand Duke of Western region, Lord Treasurer
  • Aym : Grand Duke , commanding 26 legions
  • Ayperos : Prince, commanding 36 legions
  • Azazel : Standard Bearer of Armies, also known as Satanael.
  • Baal : Commanding General of the Infernal Armies
  • Baalberith : Chief Secretary and Archivist (second order demon, Berith)
  • Balan : Prince
  • Bearded Demon : Remains nameless to avoid his use in search of the Philosopher's Stone (King Solomon)
  • Beelzebub (Beelzebuth) : Prince of the Demons, Lord of the Flies, second only to Satan
  • Belial : Prince of Trickery, Demon of Sodomy
  • Belphegor : Demon of Ingenious discoveries and wealth
  • Buer : Second order demon but commands 50 legions
  • Caym : Grand President of the Infernal
  • Charon : Boatman who ferries souls across the river Styx
  • Chax : Grand Duke
  • Cresil : Demon of Impurity and slovinliness
  • Dagon : Baker and member of the House
  • Eurynomus : Prince who feeds on corpses
  • Furfur : Count , commanding 26 legions
  • Geryon : Giant centaur, guards hell
  • Jezebeth : Demon of Falsehoods
  • Kasdeya : According to the "Book of Enoch", the fifth Satan
  • Kobal : Entertainment Director, patron of Comedy
  • Leonard : Inspector General of Black Magic and Sorcery
  • Leviathan : Grand Admiral: androgynous ( Christian myth says he seduced both Adam and Eve)
  • Lilith : Princess of Hell. ( Hebrew myth is that she is a succubus)
  • Malphas : Grand President, commanding 40 legions
  • Mammon : Demon of Avarice
  • Mastema : Leader of the offspring of fallen angels by humans
  • Melchom : Treasurer of the House
  • Mephistopheles : Some versions a servant of Lucifer, others Satan himself
  • Merihim : Prince of Pestilence
  • Moloch : Another demon of Hebrew lore
  • Mullin : Servant of the House of Princes, Lieutenant to Leonard
  • Murmur : Count, Demon of Music
  • Naburus : Marquis, connected with Cerberus
  • Nergal : Chief of Secret Police, second order demon
  • Nybras : Grand Publisist of Pleasures, inferior
  • Nysrogh : Chief of the House of Princes, second order demon
  • Orias : Marquis, Demon of Diabolic Astrologers and Diviners
  • Paymon : Master of Ceremonies
  • Philatanus : Demon assisting Belial in furthering sodomy and pedophile behaviors
  • Proserpine : Princess of Hell ( some say, close to Persephone of Pagan traditions)
  • Pyro : Prince of Falsehoods
  • Raum : Count, commanding 30 legions
  • Rimmon : Ambassador from hell to Russia, also known as Damas
  • Ronwe : Inferior, yet commands 19 legions
  • Samael : Angel of Death, Prince of Air
  • Semiazas : Chief of Fallen Angels
  • Shalbriri : Demon that strikes people blind
  • Sonneillon : Demon of Hate (Michaelis )
  • Succorbenoth : Chief Eunuch of the House of Princes, Demon of Gates and Jealousy
  • Thamuz : Ambassador of hell, Creator of the Holy Inquisition, Inventor of Artillery
  • Ukobach : Stationary Engineer
  • Uphir : Demon physician
  • Valafar : Grand Duke
  • Verdelet : Master of Ceremonies of the House of Princes
  • Verin : Demon of Impatience
  • Vetis : demon who specializes in corrupting and tempting the holy
  • Xaphan : Stokes the furnace of hell, second order demon
  • Zaebros : Animal - human combination
  • Zagan : Demon of Deceit and counterfeiting

Why Go Dark

Article from CPS Paranormal

Going dark, works on the fact that there’s less noise, less traffic and less people outside making sounds that could potentially contaminate your investigation data. By removing as much outside contamination your effectively attempting to control the audio aspect of the investigation. Its also a matter on convenience, many people work during the day and so evenings are the only available time to conduct an investigation. Another is the belief that spirits draw upon energy to manifest, so during the day the spirits can simply draw off the natural energies from the sun BUT by removing the sun (not literally) and limiting the power being used your essentially forcing the manifestation to draw upon your own energies or that of your kit. A phenomenon known as battery drain, though battery drain is yet to be a proven factor of an investigation again it remains an inconclusive theory.

Control is a such an important part of an investigation that you really have so little anything you believe you can control is a must, from noises outside to whose where and when in the location being investigated. Being able to identify the different light sources makes analyzing evidence easier. So by ‘going dark’ you are controlling the various different sources of light from that of a flashlight, IR illumination to the LCD screen of a camcorder. This also comes back to the idea of less traffic, so by going dark your heightening your senses, your attempting to control not only the energies that a spirit or ghost can use to manifest but also the light sources making evidence review easier and potentially eliminating false positives.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Demonology 101 Part III

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Carl Johnson

In Parts I and II we touched on a few explanations offered for the existence of those spirit entities categorized as demons, as well as outlined the characteristics they manifest, and some basic methods of dealing with the inconvenience of their presence. I would like to continue with further speculation on their origins and nature, in an effort to establish a working theorem regarding this area of study.

What factors initially spawned them, we cannot for certain say, and it follows our rigid concept of lineal time, with absolute beginning and endings, does not wholly govern the less substantial realm of spirit. Perhaps a demon could be described as an energy displacement, a sort of poltergeist in which a consciousness has evolved. It exists (yet doesn't in a purely physical sense), it knows there are other entities like unto itself, and it senses the living beings (us) moving in a dimensional plane apart from their own. But why, then, should they resent us? Well, maybe not all are resentful, and we just notice the ones that are.

It is conceivable that a demon, never having been embodied, might envy the humanity, which it can never experience: the physical sensations, the interaction, the companionship, the hopes and aspirations.

Opportunities for a demon to enter our world and wreak its havoc - that is, in overt, obvious ways - must be limited. Evidence would seem to support the notion that it must first be invited in, though even a subtle invitation can suffice. Once the demon has an "in," it will feed upon the energies expelled by negative emotions such as anxiety, fear and anger, especially those directed at itself.

The state of mind conducive to expelling a demonic presence is a resolute dedication to purpose and a sense of unity on the part of those who confront this nightmarish force.

Related Posts: Demonology Part 1

Demonology Part 2

Demonology 101 Part II

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Carl Johnson

Denizens of the "Demonic Realm" - are they invariably of non-human origin, or can the human psyche generate such a negativity that a soul can somehow degenerate into the form of that which we name a demon? It has even been conjectured that demonic "thought forms" could, under extraordinary conditions, be created by a human being and take on a sort of "life" or "lives" of their own. And some contend that they are fallen angels.

This is all speculative; what is certain (that is, what experience has borne out) is that in some dimensional reality apart from our own, there exist seething, resentful, debased entities which occasionally make their way into the living world, seeking human subjects to prey upon and torment.

At times these shadow creatures appear attracted to a particular person or locale, and are inexplicably "just there." In other instances, someone has inadvertently opened a psychic porthole, or chasm, to their netherworld and allowed them access, perhaps by means of a séance or Ouija board use, sometimes through reckless magical conjurations (for a demon may not consider itself "banished" at the close of a ceremony), or even via one's psychological imbalance (such as excessive sorrow, hostility or psychosis). And having achieved a foothold in this plane, they can become insidious, formidable adversaries, wholly devoted to inflicting despair, and notoriously difficult to expunge.

One method of dispelling a demonic presence is to remove oneself from its presence, from the setting of the infestation, allowing it to simply dissipate for lack of the psychic energy which it provokes through fear and frustration, and upon which it seems to feed. Obviously, this isn't always practical, nor do demons always so easily relinquish their holds. This is when intervention and assistance is called for, either from open-minded clergy who accept the existence of such phenomena, or from experienced and competent paranormal investigators.

The investigating team will endeavor to find the source of the trouble, determine the type of haunting ('intelligent,' 'residual,' or 'inhuman'), log and analyze all available data, then decide what measures should be taken to counter the harmful influence(s). If it is judged to be a demonic agent, what must be avoided is a personal, one-on-one confrontation with these forces, which would be dangerous and most likely ineffective. Never meet the demon for a showdown on its own terms; exasperated rage serves only to strengthen them, and most seem adept at bringing out the very worst in people. Once they incite conflict within a family or group, cause panic, or drive someone to the point of exclaiming "Damn you! What do you want from us?", they then have the upper (invisible) hand.

Remaining as calm and scientific as possible in the midst of a demonic assault is unquestionably a trying discipline, but it is developed through experience, and with the essential support of fellow investigative team members. A paranormal investigator needn't be fearless, or saintly. (Hopefully not, since I fall far short of both.) However, he or she must assess his or her own strengths, as well as limitations.

Related Posts: Demonology 101 Part 1

Demonology 101

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Carl Johnson

A "Demon" was originally a Greek term which meant a wise, guardian spirit. In present day spiritualism and parapsychology, the word connotes an entity which appears to have a malicious and resentful nature, and is possibly of a non-human origin: differentiated from a spirit which proceeded from a once-living person.

What characteristics do these entities evince?

  1. 1- They seem interested in, and often resentful (perhaps envious?) of living human beings.
  2. 2- Although they have been known to inflict minor injuries on people, such as scratches, welts and even what appear to be bite marks, primarily they assault the human mind through oppressive anxiety and fear.
  3. 3- They sometimes make their presence known through our senses, such as inexplicable foul odors and low gutteral growling (examples of which have been recorded during TAPS investigations as well as investigations by other paranormal research groups).

Demons may exist as a "quasi life-form," intelligent though not reasoning as do human beings, and existing outside the boundaries of our experience of linear time.

An exorcism or spiritual cleansing may provide a remedy, either temporary or hopefully permanent, against demonic infestation by making the environment hostile for the entity or entities.

Here's a topic for speculation: Obviously, not much is known for certain regarding these entities called demons other than their presence is quite inconvenient. Consider, could a human spirit become demonic, or be assimilated by the demonic entities? Are they always of non-human origin?

What do you think?

Related Posts:Demonology Part 2

The IR Thermometer Pitfall

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: David Betz

The measurement of temperature is an important component of any standard investigation and the proper collection of this type of environmental evidence can assist in validating the overall phenomenon. Paranormal research is not an exact science and relies heavily on circumstantial evidence. "I heard a noise" or "I feel cold here" are some basic examples of claims normally linked to something paranormal. Though attention to the feelings that one has should never be overlooked, it would seem logical that both of these claims, if happening outside the head of the witness, are fully able to be verified via the accepted sciences and the tools used to measure their deviations. Obviously, the more of this direct evidence that is collected, in support of the overall evidence, the more credible the claim will be.

Given the importance most reputable investigation organizations apply to temperature measurement, the IR thermometer has made the list of recommended tools for every investigator's toolbox. The simplicity of use and the accessibility is, no doubt, the primary goal driving these recommendations. However, I do see an inherent problem in the recognized use of this instrument in the types of measurements I have seen being taken from it.

Surface Temperature versus Air Temperature

IR thermometers are a wonderful invention and very accurate when used for what they are intended. These devices were designed to measure the surface temperature of an object that cannot, for whatever reason, be touched with a temperature probe. Whether you are trying to measure the temperature of molten steel or the body temperature via the ear canal, there is an IR thermometer to fit your application; however, these thermometers are grossly inadequate for measuring ambient air temperature. It is in this difference, surface temperature versus ambient air temperature, where I feel the error is being made.

Surface temperature, in essence, is the temperature as measured at the "skin" of a specific object. It isn't necessarily the temperature of the object itself, but rather the temperature just at the outside of the object, being that surface temperature is affected by A) the temperature of the surrounding air (ambient air) and B) the temperature of the core that the object and C) the surface temperatures of any other objects that may be touching the object (i.e. a temperature probe). Each of these systems push and pull the temperature of the object's surface until a thermodynamic equilibrium is reached between all the relevant thermal systems. The time in which equilibrium is met depends greatly on the temperatures differentials between the systems, the materials involved as well as the density of the object that is being measured. Granted, the surface temperature is a relatively accurate measurement for the overall temperature of the object, but this wouldn't be true if the object was in the state of being heated or cooled from within. Barring that, and for most cases that a paranormal investigator would run across, this wouldn't much matter. However, to understand this dynamic can assist when temperature readings are unusual and a rational reason for the unique data point is being sought.

Ambient air temperature is basically the temperature of the surrounding air. Most of us should be aware of the ambient air temperature in our daily lives. It is given to us during weather forecasts each and everyday. Most of us have a certain air temperature for which we are most comfortable. And if you have ever lived with someone that enjoys a different air temperature than you, it can be the source of a good deal of household tension to say the least.

The point I am trying to drive home is this, surface temperature and ambient air temperature are two completely different measurements and do require a different tool to properly and accurately measure.

The Pitfall

Simply pointing your IR thermometer in some general direction will give a reading, but that reading would never stand up to any scrutiny of the evidence and has the potential of all collected evidence to be called into question. After all, if this measurement was wrong, how can the rest of the evidence be trusted? Why let the good evidence get holes unnecessarily shot through it, because of an improperly collected set of evidence that could have otherwise supported the rest of the evidence?

Through my own experiences on investigations and my reading of many investigation reports, it is my opinion that many investigators are mistaking the readings provided by their IR thermometers. When an area feels cold, a quick reading is taken and offered up as a validation for what they are experiencing. I have also seen good investigators discounting their own logic by refusing to question what their equipment is telling them. If the meter reads 35 degrees, it must be 35 degrees regardless of what their senses are telling them. Either way, this type of data collection is wasteful and misleading, resulting in a false positive that can waste hours of valuable investigation time and provide for some red faces when the data is scrutinized.

What does an IR thermometer measure?

An IR thermometer was designed specifically to measure the surface temperature of an object. If the intension is to measure the temperature of a particular object rather than the ambient air temperature, then this is definitely the tool that would need to be used. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to use this tool on an object that someone claims to have an energy attached to it. The beauty of the tool is that you aren't touching it; therefore you are not risking the transfer of heat between the object and a temperature probe nor your hands, which could be a significant factor when dealing with phenomenon that lasts seconds in duration. This tool is perfect for this application as this is the intended design of this type of thermometer.

In my research of this device, I have heard the incorrect claim that these devices, much like a camera, have a focal point and if you simply stand far enough away from any object, you are measuring the heat at that point in space. In a round about way, the claimants are stating that an IR thermometer is essentially measuring the temperature of the air out in front of the sensor. This is simply not true and, in fact, this action may give bizarre readings making the investigator wonder if something is there or not.

Heat is transferred in three distinct ways - conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction involves the transfer of heat through solids. Convection involves the transfer of heat through liquids or gases. Radiation involves the transfer of heat through empty space, or a vacuum. These are all simple statements, but what really should understood is that IR thermometers deal with only one of these measurable properties - radiation. Electromagnetic energy, such as light or radio waves, are familiar examples of radiation. Heat is also transferred via radiation just as the sun warms the Earth through radiated energy traveling through 93 million miles of empty space. The amount of heat that is being radiated is directly proportional to the intensity (amount of light energy) the object emits. IR thermometers simply measure the intensity of the infrared radiation at a specific infrared wavelength, as defined by the specific IR thermometer's specifications.

To directly address the belief that an IR thermometer can be used to measure air temperature, it should be understood that the absorption coefficient (how much heat an object can store) of air is very small in the infrared wavelength ranges. This means that you will pickup a very small amount of the infrared from the surrounding air, but the radiance from the objects in front of the sensor are more likely to sum into your reading. Therefore, you are effectively measuring the small amount of radiance from the air between the sensor and any stray radiance from other objects that the sensor happens to be pointing at, regardless of how far away it is. The properties of infrared light is the same as visible light, particularly that it will travel through clear air without much loss in intensity.

This isn't to say that the distance between the sensor and the object isn't important; however, the importance isn't in "what" you are measuring, but how accurate the measurement is. Most IR thermometer manufactures recommend a 1.5 to 2 target size to distance ratio. What this means is that you multiply the size of the object by 1.5 to 2 to come up with the distance that the sensors should be away from the object in order to give the most accurate measurement.

What is the alternative?

I believe the starting point in a paranormal investigation, when considering temperature, is the measurement of the ambient air temperature. From what I have read in past investigation reports and from what I could glean from the descriptions in the various equipment recommendations, this seems to be what most investigators are looking for in a general temperature measurement tool for their investigation toolbox.

My recommendation is to use a thermocouple based temperature measurement device. Most thermocouple devices have a measuring unit of less than 3cm which would be more capable of accurately and decisively measuring rapid changes of ambient air temperature. It is feasible that a moving cold spot could be followed and/or mapped with such a tool that could react quickly to changes in air temperature. It is my opinion that these types of thermometers are far better suited for the purposes of the average paranormal investigator.

In making the selection for my recommendation, I was looking for something accurate, easy to use and comparable in price to the average recommended IR thermometer. I have chosen the Omega HH501AT digital thermometer as my recommendation for this application. This device comes with a "T" type thermocouple, which has faster response times in the temperature ranges that a paranormal investigator is concerned with. Overall, this was the best all around meter that I could find that works right out of the box.

What should I do with my IR Thermometer then?

I am not saying that you should toss your IR thermometer out the window. It does have applications in a paranormal investigation, but it should compliment your temperature measurement tools rather than be the focus. An IR thermometer, used in conjunction with a thermocouple device, could be used to provide more compelling data. For example, "the ambient air temperature was 85 degrees, as measured with our thermocouple thermometer, but the object stayed at a consistent 74 degrees, as measured with our IR thermometer." That is fairly significant and compelling data that would be difficult, at best, to discount provided all the data was collected properly.

What can affect the IR thermometer measurements?

There are a few things that can throw off an IR thermometer reading and should be in the minds of the investigator as they are collecting temperature data with this device. Just as you would look for reflective areas when taking stills and ensuring that a fresh tape is used in your audio recorders, you would need to be mindful of these following conditions while you are taking measurements with your IR thermometer.

The emission from an object may be influenced by absorption and scattering in the optical path. Given that the only thing the IR Thermometer measures is emission of radiated energy, this means a lot. Water vapor, smoke, dust and various gases, such as CO2, can drastically affect these measurements. Think about it this way, if the object is being obstructed by a slightly opaque material, the radiated energy is obviously lessened. Remember that infrared light is subject to the same physics as visible light.
If there is excessive dust, dirt, fingerprints, etc collecting on the sensor's glass plate an accurate temperature measurement would be next tom impossible. As with any piece of equipment, your IR Thermometer will need to have some basic general maintenance.
Polished metal and mirrored surfaces are impossible to get an accurate measurement from without a modification to your IR Thermometer. What actually ends up happening is that you measure the surface temperature of the glass plate that protects the sensor housing of your IR Thermometer. Simply said, you are measuring the temperature of your IR Thermometer, because you are essentially looking at your temperature probe in a mirror. There are special glass coverings that can be used to do this, but don't look for it in a low end IR Thermometer.
Depending on the manufacturer, EMF could play havoc on your IR Thermometer. This is obviously true with any electronic device, but nonetheless worth mentioning.

Needless to say, care must be taken with taking temperature measurements, with this device, to ensure the best overall accuracy in your temperature measurements of an object and to keep you from chasing your tail from a false positive.


I believe the first rule of any investigation is to seek the truth, regardless of what that truth may be. As much as any paranormal investigator, I would certainly like to believe that I am surrounded by the unknown and the unknown is interacting with my physicalness when I am on an investigation. But I refuse to excite myself and my colleagues with data that I know to be collected improperly, because I wasn't using the right tool for the job. Such shortcomings are so easy to overcome if a little bit of rationalization, knowledge and experience is applied to the equation. To me, it makes the real data, collected in a rational, professional manner, which supports the feelings and sensations we all have had or heard about, that really excites me and makes me want to continue.

Who's Who in the Underworld

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Heather Drolet

The existance of evil and its demonic deliverers has been pondered since the beginning of time. There are many views on the subject, as well as many people who have dedicated their lives to demonology.

Some will be mentioned throughout this essay. Their work through the centuries has been agreed upon, argued over and the validity, at times, by some, completely ignored. I suspect that this is due to the controversial nature of the subject. Varying religions and cultural backgrounds certainly have affected the information passed down to us by the brilliant researchers, philosophers and historians of centuries past. However, there are too many similarities to ignore. In light of this, in some instances, the information may be in conflict with information found through resources other than those I have utilized here.

Alphonsus de Spina, in 1467, published his Fortalicium Fidei (Fortress of the Faith). He became a professor at the University of Salamanca and later a bishop of the church. He was considered an authority on all things theological, including demonology. He concluded that there are ten orders of demons and that they totaled in the millions. He categorized the demons as falling into nine specific types. He also divided them into classes according to what their purposes are. Following the list of the demonic names and ranks are the explanations of the types and orders as de Spina recorded them.

Johannes Weyer (Weir), another authority in demonic studies, wrote his De Praestigiis Daemonum in the 16th century. He studied the works of such authorities as Diodorus Siculus of the 1st century, the philosopher Apaleius of the 2nd century and many other notable historians. It is noted that Weyer said that the infernal regions had 66 princes that commanded 6,666 legions and each legion being comprised of 6,666 demons or devils.

The figures here bring to mind the well recognized "number of the beast", 666. Some Cabalists believe that this is 600 (false religion), 66 (greed) and 6 (this world). Weyer felt that the names of the demons explained what their intentions and/or duties were to be. many demonics in Hebrew tradition were named after places (Astaroth) or qualities (Remmen, meaning loftiness).

Alphonsus de Spina's Nine Types of Demon

1. False gods 4. Vengeful 7. Furies
2. Lying spirits 5. Deluding 8. Accusers
3. Inquisitors 6. Creators of Tempests 9. Tempters

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de Spina's Division of Classes

Fates Poltergeists Incubi and Succubi
Armies Familiar spirits Nightmares

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Those produced by intercourse with humans

Those in disguise Those who assail saints Those who persuade

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Ten Orders of the Demonic

Seraphim Angels Principalities Virtues Thrones
Cherubim Domination Powers Potentates Archangels

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There is a supposed pattern to their specific lull and peak in activity, our own yearly calendar. Here is a list of the Chief entities that are most active during the corresponding months.

January Belial
February Leviathan
March Satan
April Astarte
May Lucifer
June Baalberith
July Beelzebub
August Astaroth
September Thamuz
October Baal
November Unknown
December Moloch

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The " Lesser Key of Solomon" or the " Lemegeton", plays an important role in the history, study of, summoning of and exorcising of demonics. The first part of the book, Goetia, gives the conjurations for 72 different spirits or demons. It also includes the ranks and offices of the demonic hierarchy.

The second part of the book, Theurgia Goetia, deals with the sprits at the cardinal points. The third part is called the "Pauline Art" ( reason unknown), it concerns the spirits of the hours of the days and nights of the Zodiac. The fourth part, the Almadel, deals with the " Quarternary of the Attitude", or the four other choirs of spirits inhabiting hell. The last part of the Key of Solomon is the Book of Orations and Prayers, said to have been used by King Solomon himself.

Another controversial demonologist that received much criticism on her work was the Latin American, Rita Cabezas. The criticism was not in her findings, yet in her means of attaining the information. She spent some time communicating with those residing in the Infernal regions. Her work was built, according to her, on the word of the demonic themselves. This may have been through conjuration, summonings, channeling or even séance type activities. As we are all aware, this was an extremely risky approach. Her findings were that there were the following six principalities (in spanish): Damian, Asmodeo, Menguelesh, Arios, Beelzebub and Nosferateus. Under each of these were six governors for each nation. She claimed that in Costa Rica, for example, are Shiebo, Quiebo, Ameneo, Mephistopheles, Nostrodamus and Azazel. The United States, in her findings, was territory to Ralphes, Anoritho, Manchester, Apolion, Deviltook and alas, one unnamed. The word from the mouths of demonic beings could be considered incredulous, to say the least. Please note some of the similarities in her findings. Apolion, in her findings, seems surely to be Apollyon from the research done by the great demonologists mentioned previously. Also, Asmodeo is clearly the same entity as Asmodeus. Another similar entity to Ralphes, is none other than Raphael, the very one that did banish Asmodeus to the desert. Mephistopheles, Azazel and Beelzebub are mentioned in a multitude of other literary pieces on the subject, dating back centuries.
There are a number of other names that have been documented as that of demons. Some may be cultural or regional names given to already listed entities. However, the following is included to avoid any erroneous omittances.

Agliarept Tarchimache
Lucifuge Rofocale Fleurety
Sargatanas Pu Satanachia

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There are some noted as being demonics that also have a very high reverence as being benign and even maternal/paternal figures, in pagan cultures from past and present. They are as follows:

Hecate Kali
Pan Loki
Lilith Baphomet

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Cultural differences may divide humanity in many ways, however, we are unified in our intrigue and in our fear when it comes to the Infernal regions. Here are some examples of the evil that plagues our other lands.

  • - Apep (Egypt) Opposer of the sun god Ra. Takes the form of a serpent/crocodile.
  • - Chernobog (Baltic/Slavic) "The Black God", rules evil, misfortune, death and night.
  • - Elathan (Celtic) Domain is the darkness
  • - Erebus (Greek) Son of Chaos, guardian of the darkness surrounding hell.
  • - Grand Bois (Hailti) Master of the forest and of night
  • - Hatu-Atu-Topun (Polynesia) Dangerous female demon specifically at dawn and dusk.
  • - Ikwaokinyapippilele (Panama) Causes ills of all kinds.
  • - Lilitu (Hebrew) Ancient female demon connected with Lilith.
  • - Manuval (New Guinea) Active only at night, spreading ills, chaos, and the like.
  • - Mush (Iran) Demon of eclipses and of night.
  • - Nyx (Greek) Daughter of Chaos, sister to Erebus.
  • - Oroan (Guyana) Another demon of the eclipse
  • - Sakarabu (West Africa ) Judge and demon of darkness
  • - Oni (Japan) Demon that creates and lives in the eye of its tempests.

With the findings of our predecessors and our ambition to discover more about the inhuman entities that walk among us and reside below us, we hope over time to unfold these most intriguing mysteries of the Infernal regions. Knowledge is power.

Making Friends With Your IR Camera

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Al Tyas

Okay, so you finally broke down and bought an Infrared Camera. You’ve spent about $100, and eagerly waited for the delivery of your latest E-Bay bid, and when it arrives you hook it all up (or you think you do) correctly and suddenly you realize you have no clue what you’re doing! Sound familiar? If it doesn’t your definitely one step ahead of me when I first started working with infra-red! When I first hooked up my infra-red camera I thought my bedroom was full of paranormal activity with “orbs” flying around everywhere! Much to my embarrassment I soon realized these “orbs” were simply products of two hyper cats and a man who fails to dust! I do have to admit it freaked me out though ?.

Infra-red picks up much that can’t be seen with the naked eye. Not only would that include possible orbs, but also dust balls, hair, insects, and any other small particles that can drift around a room in a very weak airflow.

As most of us already know, infra-red is hard to define. Here’s a hopefully straightforward definition. Our eyes are very limited in the total darkness. They’re also quite limited in what we see on the color spectrum. Infra red cameras aim in the part of the spectrum we’re unable to see, the infra-red, or deep red, section. Think of a spectrum.

We generally see from violet to red, but we can’t see other colors that go beyond that spectrum, both infra-red and ultra-violet. The infra red camera uses the infra red beams to “see” in this band. This imaging makes use of the infrared spectral band. At the short-wavelength end of the boundary is the limit of visual perception, in the deep red. At the long-wavelength end it merges with the microwave radio wavelengths.

In other words, the camera sees what we can’t see in that infra-red band. Since the infra red band is so extreme on the end of the spectrum, the image appears opposite with the lighter being darker and vice-versa. Black looks white. Color cannot be seen on the infra-red image, since there is no “white light” to produce color images and were working beyond the color spectrum. So what you need to know in a nutshell is simply that we can’t see certain things with our own eyes, infra red imaging can see some of those images, and many paranormal researches believe we can catch images on infra-red such as orbs and ghosts.

OK, now that I confused you, let’s see what can be seen with infra-red. Many researchers claim to see orbs on the infra red cam. However, the problem comes when we can’t tell what is an orb and what’s a piece of dust, or cat-hair or an insect, or a reflection. I would advise putting the camera in a room with the door closed and allow about fifteen minutes to let the dust settle. Then watch the monitor to see what happens. If something is just going with a possible current across the camera chances are it’s dust. If it’s brighter and jumps around and acts completely random it may be an orb, but it could be a fly as well.
The best bet would be to examine the room where the camera is and check for bugs.

You really need to dismiss anything natural before it is deemed “unexplained”.

Some people claim they have had seen full apparitions on the IR monitor. This may be possible, but we have not had any recorded experiences of this as of yet. Personally I have heard stories of this, but no footage. So it may happen. I Hope someday to see this with my own eyes, and get it on tape! One of our guys did see a female figure on the infra red camera, but sadly no other team members saw her. Hopefully we will catch her on tape, but it seems like they can never be recorded!

Finally, one more thing. For some reason, the IR monitor always seems to attract everyone, and quite often several team members will flock to the monitor and just gaze at the screen while chatting slowly increases. Please remember that the IR camera is only one part of the investigation. Try not to focus all your time on just this device. There are plenty of other things involved, and if you choose to (and it’s adaptable) the IR monitor can be hooked up to a VCR and can be viewed at a later time. If it can be recorded, that’s your best bet. If you do have people watch the monitor, have just two, and have them limit their conversations. Conversations can be distracting, and the watchers really need to focus on what they see.

Just remember the IR camera can be used for a variety of purposes, both natural and supernatural. Not only can it monitor a sleeping infant or catch a thief in action, but it can possibly catch some good paranormal footage as well. Just remember it’s only one piece of equipment and it should have its place on an investigation. It’s not the nucleus of an investigation just an equal part like all other pieces of equipment. If you DO get any really interesting experiences on IR, please email me. I would love to hear from you!

Al is the founder of Washington D.C. Metro Area Ghost Watchers

More on Matrixing

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Michael Richie

Grant has well covered the phenomena that we at TAPS refer to as “matrixing”. In my research I have also found numerous occasions where this has led to problems within the paranormal field. However, do not think that ours is the only branch of study that has taken casualties from it. The following should help us understand the consequences of falling into the dual traps of matrixing and an over-zealous desire to prove a haunting.

During the late nineteen hundreds there was widespread speculation that there was life on Mars. Not simple single cell life, but a technologically advanced species. Telescopes at this time were not nearly as advanced as they are today, and many astronomers scurried to decipher the images that they saw of the red planet through these scopes. In 1877 an Italian astronomer named Giovanni Schiaparelli observed what appeared to be faint lines crisscrossing the surface of Mars. He named these in his notes “canalli” meaning channels. Other contemporaries of Giovanni also made similar observations and a few began mapping them, such as an Irish astronomer Charles M. Burton. Others across the globe began mapping these features with varying degrees of complexity.

One American astronomer, Percival Lowell seemed bent on proving that there was indeed advanced life on Mars. He took Schaparelli’s work to an extreme. Perhaps his first mistake was that “canalli” was misinterpreted in English to “canals” rather then “channels” as was meant. Percival pushed this idea, and did extend his findings to the public. His mapping was very in-depth; insomuch that even Schiaparelli doubted Lowell’s research. Still, Lowell was unbending in his discoveries. Not all agreed with him, however. In 1903 experiments were conducted by scientists J.E. Evans and Edward Maunder proving that the apparent lines seen on Mars were in fact a form of optical illusion mentally enhanced by those seeking to prove the life on Mars theory. It was also noted that the maps of the various canals by different astronomers did not match. By 1909 with the use of an 83 cm telescope Eugene Antonaidi helped to disprove the theory. It was finally laid to rest in 1965 when space probe Mariner four arrived at the much-debated planet.

This should show the inherent danger in both matrixing as well as the need to substantiate at whatever cost. So, by all means, keep taking those pictures. The evidence will come faster if we all keep Grant’s simple protocols in mind. We may have these astronomers to thank though. It was widely speculated that many Science fiction writers drew inspiration from this debate including H.G. Wells.

Related Post: Photographic Analysis Matrixing

Monday, February 13, 2012

Passing Over : Legend & Lore

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Heather Drolet

One of the eternally unanswered questions of the living is, "what happens when we die?"
An infinite array of beliefs on this ponderance has been written over many millennia. Cultural belief and tradition concerning death and the passage into the afterlife can vary considerably.

Myths originating from far and near give us a tapestry of multi-faceted views on passing over, the afterlife and reincarnation. Many cultures in the world today still adhere to some piece of their particular myths concerning death and that which is associated with it. To follow I have included various examples of the cultural and traditional beliefs that have been passed down from many areas of the world.

Anubis, is the jackal-headed, Egyptian god of death. He also presides over the ritual of embalming. Myth states that he performed this service on the great god Osiris. His Egyptian names were Inpu and Wepwawet, which means "opener of the ways". It is believed that he led the souls of the dead into the west to the Hall of Judgment.

Hades, the Greek ruler of the Underworld, was the brother of the Olympian god Zeus. Passage in Greek myth was processional. The Greek, Hermes Psychopompos led the dead down into Hades. The ferryman, Charon, took the dead across the infernal rivers. The infernal rivers are the River Styx (river of hate), Achoron (river of woe), Lethe (river of forgetfulness), Cocytos (river of wailing) and the Phlegthon(river of fire). Traveling these rivers represented leaving each of the ill-feelings behind you, a purifying before entering the afterlife.

A great many myths surrounding the dead come from Celtic cultures. One transformation theme, stemming from Celtic belief, is that of turning into a bird upon one's death. The raven is a strong example here.

Warriors of Northern Europe who died in battle, might go to the god Odin's Great Hall of Valhalla. The goddess Freyja received slain warriors as well as the souls of women. Those dying of age, illness or accident went to Hel, overseen by the God Loki's daughter, also named Hel (not to be confused with the Christian "Hell"). Those who were chosen to die in battle were done so on Odin's behalf by the Valkyries. The name Valkyrie means "chooser of the slain". The female spirits went to the battlefields and claimed the slain, bringing them back to Valhalla.

In Ireland, Badb, "the boiling one", presides over the great cauldron. The great cauldron is, in myth and modern pagan belief, a place to which all life goes upon death and from which it waits to be reborn.

Scottish lore provides that "willing" a dying loved one to live, traps their spirit and prevents them from passing over, thereby prolonging their suffering. The author and poet Thomas Campbell wrote "to live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die".

Loved ones earthly forms may leave us but within our hearts and memories their spirits live on. The common denominator in most myths associated with death is that their is always a "higher being" to welcome and guide you into the afterlife - but that is just a pagan's perspective.

Photographic Analysis: Matrixing

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Grant Wilson

I love receiving tons of pictures of potential paranormal evidence every day in my email. The willingness of everyone to share what they have found is astonishing, and I am honored that they trust TAPS to offer an honest, objective analysis of their evidence.

In analyzing the evidence that is presented to us, we scrutinize every possibility before calling it possible evidence. In so doing, I have found that there is one major mistake made by both amateur and experienced paranormal investigators alike. I receive multiple promises of demonic faces, full apparitions, faces galore, only to open the email attachment and find a serious case of matrixing.

Matrixing is a term we use here at TAPS to describe the human mind's natural tendency to find familiar shapes in complex shapes or colors. In other words finding a face in the shapes and shadows of a collection of objects.

Ever sit back on the grass as a child and watch the clouds roll through the sky, pointing out the shapes of rabbits or dragons? How about the man in the moon? There isn't really the face of a man on the moon. It is the complex pattern of craters and ravines that causes our mind to form a face. This is matrixing.

Matrixing can be deceiving but if it were not for this ability we wouldn't be able to recognize each other. In fact it is due to the effects of matrixing that we are able to recognize varying types of fonts. If our minds weren't able to distinguish the subtle nuances of each letter then, we would only be able to read one font. Unfortunately, it is also matrixing which causes people to see skulls and faces in tree branches, mirrors, shiny furniture, cluttered closets, etc.

So, Matrixing exists and is a big problem in the paranormal investigation field. What, then, can we do about it? Here are a few ways to identify it and eliminate it before someone else does, and ends up ruining your credibility.

  • - First, look at the type of photograph you are analyzing. Pictures of trees, fields, cluttered up closets, mirrors and glass are a few of the prime candidates for matrixing issues. They include very complex shapes and patterns and, therefore, a high potential for the mind to construct a face or body out of something that isn't there.
  • - Second, look at the potential face or figure. If it is truly paranormal then, the face or figure would be made up of its own material, not the material that is comprising the picture. Let me explain; if the picture is of a forest, and your mind tells you that there is a face in it. Look to see if the face is made up of the branches and leaves from the trees in the picture, or if the face is separated from them and a completely separate material from the trees.
  • - Third, once you have eliminated the top two issues, look at the face or figure as a real face or figure. Look at the proportions of the face. Are they "cartoony" and disproportionate or are they realistic? I have art training and can easily determine if a face has realistic proportions or not. If you do not have this training, you can go to any art supply store and pick up a book that explains these proportions.

Once you have taken the above steps, you may have something worth looking at. Now you just have to determine if the picture is of a real entity or if it was faked. But that is another article that will be coming up later.

So, don't succumb to the rising trend of matrixing an entity out of every picture that is taken. Take the time to scrutinize your own evidence before someone else does and comes to the conclusion that you've just got an over-active imagination. Please, consider matrixing before you present evidence to the world and help us all gain more respect for the field of paranormal investigation.

Related Post:More On Matrixing

Working With Psychics: Striking a Happy Medium

This article is from TAPS.Com

Article by: Al Tyas

Recently there seems to be a trend when it comes to paranormal investigation
groups using psychics and mediums. Groups appear to follow two schools of
thought: "Old School" which mainly uses psychics and mediums on investigations to communicate with the entities, and "new school" which uses high-tech equipment and the latest scientific advances to track down the entities. More and more newer novice group are coming with the stance they refuse to use any sort of metaphysics to document paranormal activity, despite the fact that hard science has proved nothing in the existence of paranormal entities. Perhaps the pendulum is swinging too far to the science side and as a result something pertinent may be missing!

DCMAG now has a "sensitive" on our team. A man with a gift passed through
his family for many generations. We feel very lucky to have this agent on our team, and his contributions to the cases we work on are as vital to any other members'. In his own quiet, humble way, he expresses his insights and experiences, sharing them with both the group and the client. Having a man like this on our team with a natural gift puts our clients at ease, and often gives the closure needed to a restless soul as well as to the bereaved loved ones or terrified residents still left with us. I feel privileged to have him on our team.

Sadly, the reputation of sensitive people has somewhat plundered over the past decade or so and has lost much credibility. Money making charlatans, fame seekers and modern day dooms-day criers very much hurt the field of Psychic Phenomenon. As a result, many people, despite still being intrigued by psychics and mediums are refusing to use them on paranormal investigations. On one hand it's understandable due to the somewhat floundering reputation psychics have, but on the other hand truly gifted people can be very strong assets to investigations.

The most important thing about using sensitive people is to remember they are just one member of the team equal to all other members. I have been on investigations where the case winds up revolving entirely around the medium while little was being documented data-wise. This is where the problem arises with too much emphasis on one aspect of the investigation and not enough on others, similar to 5 people flocking over the infrared monitor when one person is stuck handling the other equipment. It has to be made clear that everyone has a job on an investigation and all jobs are equally important.

My experience tells me there are a few things to look for when using a sensitive on your team, and they're really not too much different from what should be expected from the rest of your members. A good sensitive is humble, and if they're picking nothing up they accept it and don't try to force or fudge something. A good sensitive is honest, and will reveal only what they are experiencing without exaggeration or drama tactics. A good
sensitive is adaptable, and will do other things for the team as needed, and will be a team player. Finally a good sensitive is experienced. Everyone has a certain degree of psychic ability, but to be considered a sensitive means more. There should be some sort of training, either through a class or the family. Most qualified sensitives do have people in their lives who have taught them how to develop their gifts, and know how to use them.

So if you choose to use a sensitive on your team, treat him or her the same as the rest of your team, but be aware they have special gifts. Psychics and mediums have been used in many highly respectable jobs (law enforcement, FBI, and even the medical field), and despite a few bad apples (that exist in ALL professions, including paranormal investigators) they can be a very strong asset to any team. In addition, since the main mission of a paranormal group should be helping others, NO method of finding out what is happening should be completely eliminated, metaphysical or not. A good-hearted, qualified, and trained sensitive will never hinder an investigation, and used positively as a team player can only help on an investigation. So don't be so quick to turn away from sensitives and psychics.

Al is the founder of Washington D.C. Metro Area Ghost Watchers

Mistaken Evidence

This article is from Midwest Preternatural Research

Orb photos

Orbs are believed by some to be spirit energy. Personally they don't impress us.

"Dust orbs"

It is important to keep your camera lens clean. A dirty lens can make it look like there are orbs everywhere. Don't take pictures while walking down a dirt road or while moving about in a dusty room, because you will be kicking dust up into the air. Remember that just because you didn't see any dust in the pictures you took right before and right after you got an orb pic does not mean there was no dust. The dust was there, it was just out of frame.




Don't take pictures in any kind of precipitation. Even when it has just stopped raining, there's still moisture in the air and the water droplets can look like orbs. This is a picture of snow.


Some other things that are commonly mistaken as orbs are glares, lens flares, and light refractions.

Mist photos

If you're taking a picture and it's cold out, hold your breath so it doesn't show up in the photo. Also, don't smoke or light candles when taking pictures. Moving rapidly from a cold to warm temperature may cause condensation on the camera's external and internal surfaces, which can look like a mist. The photo below is of breath in front of a camera on a cold night.

. Mist photos

Camera straps, body parts in view

Be mindful of your camera strap, finger, hair, or anything else getting in front of the picture. These can look like anomalies when illuminated by the camera flash. Here are some examples of what a finger can look like.

Camera straps, body parts in view

Camera straps, body parts in view

This is a camera strap...

This is a camera strap

And hair...


Camera problems

You should read through your camera's manual so you know when you're doing something wrong, and you can become familiar with all the different kinds of camera defects.

Long exposure time

If someone walks quickly by the camera with no flash and a longer exposure time, the result will be a semi-transparent image that looks like a ghost. If they're wearing black, they will look like a shadow person.

Long exposure time

They can appear to be missing an arm or a leg, because they're moving so fast.

Long exposure time

Also if your camera is set to a longer exposure time and you move your hand, it can create blurs and streaks. If an insect flies past, it will look like a "rod". Rods are not paranormal.


In theory, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs) are ghost voices caught on tape. You don't hear anything when you're recording, but then when you play back your recording you do. While there are some audio clips we haven't been able to explain, we believe that real EVPs are not as common as many paranormal groups believe, and about 80% of the EVPs posted on the internet are explainable. When we record for EVPs we always have two voice recorders running at the same time so we can cross reference, and we have a video camera recording us with everybody sitting so they're in frame and facing the camera. We begin every investigation by allowing a half an hour of controlled silence so that we can document the regular sounds the building makes, then when we're ready to start recording we sit together and have everyone identify themselves into the recorder. If anyone makes a sound or hears something that could later be mistaken as an EVP, we say "that was a stomach" or "that was me shifting" into the recorder.

Some EVP could just be bleeds from CB radios, wishful hearing, or noises made by living people or the environment. If you're using a cassette recorder without an external microphone, you will record the sounds the gears make inside your recorder. Also, never rerecord over a used tape as voices can bleed through.