Archive for September, 2013

28
Sep

The Eddy Brothers

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

The Eddy Brothers

Imagine: The Year is 1874.

You plan to attend an open séance at a small farm in Vermont.

Many will be in attendance.
You know that with so many present there is little chance that you might hear from your loved one on the other side but you travel miles and miles on the thinnest of hope, on the slimmest of chances.

As you travel you think of your loved one but you tell no one his name and no one at the séance even knows who you are or why you have come. You never told anyone of your intention.

The meeting finally begins.

The mediums, two brothers William and Horatio, are at the font of the room.

You watch in astonishment as spirits manifest not in the way you are accustomed to seeing, they don’t speak through the medium, they don’t make raps on walls, they don’t move furniture in response to questions, no, these spirits appear in full physical form, their features and clothing clearly distinguishable, their own voice clearly heard.

The emotion around you is intense and you feel deeply satisfied that, even though your loved one did not show, you have witnessed the reunion of many others in pain like your own.
They are happy and their happiness is contagious.

The meeting is about to end and you weep silently.
You are changed by what you have seen but disappointed that your loved one didn’t show.
You dry your eyes and when you look up again the room is silent and everyone’s attention is on you.

There before you, is the man you loved and lost, the man you mourn for is standing in front of you smiling.

He tells you he loves you still.
He tells you he has seen your despair and that he has longed to reach you.
He tells you he will always be near.
And then he fades as quickly as he came.

This was no fantasy.
This was the daily occurrence at the Eddy farm in Chittenden Vermont in 1874.

The brothers were investigated time and again and made believers out of many a materialist debunker.

Among those that investigated the Eddy brothers was Henry Steel Olcott.

Henry was sent to the Eddy farm with newspaper artist Alfred Kappes to conduct a thorough investigation and report his findings back to the New York Sun and the New York Daily Graphic; papers hungry for scandal.

Henry was a Union officer during the war. It was his responsibility to investigate fraud and corruption within the ranks of the Union army. As a civilian he was a journalist and lawyer. His life was changed by what he witnessed at the Eddy farm. His full account is available today in reprints of his book, “People from the Other World.”

People from the Other World is in the public domain. You may find it by using any search engine. For your convenience I have posted some samples below.

olcott 1

Olcott 2

olcott 3

olcott 4

olcott 5

olcott 6

Much love,
David

26
Sep

Book Review: Ghosts by Gaslight

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

Book Review: Ghosts by Gaslight

Ghost by Gaslight by Troy Taylor is good fun. It is easy to read, well written, engaging, and loaded with illustrations and photographs.

Taylor deals with the usual personalities of Spiritualism and paranormal research in the Victorian age. There is a chapter on the Fox sisters, Daniel Douglas Home, the Davenports, the Eddy brothers, Eusapia Palladino, and the great Leonora Piper to name just a few.

He also covers the researchers like Sir William Crookes, Sir Oliver Lodge, Harry Price, and Harry Houdini. And, he devoted four pages to the history of Ouija.

I think his treatment is as fair as it is entertaining.

One story of note that I had not encountered before I read this book was the story of the National Laboratory of Psychical Research séance of October 7, 1930. The story is told on pages 121 to 125.

The source text that Taylor used might have been Leaves from a Psychic’s Case Book published in 1933 by Harry Price however Taylor really doesn’t give his source material.

The purpose of the séance was to attempt contact with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The medium was Eileen Garrett. Eileen is one of the finest but least heralded mediums of history. Her autobiography, which is well worth your time, is Adventures in the Supernormal.

Taylor relates the story of the October séance in which Eileen is supposed to reach out to Conan Doyle but instead encounters the spirit of Lieutenant H. Carmichael Irwin. Irwin was piloting the British Airship R101 when it went down in flames on October 5, 1930 killing 48 of 53 passengers including Irwin.

R-101-002

The séance was under the scientific scrutiny of Harry Price and it established Garrett as one of the truly great mediums of all time.

During the séance, Garrett more or less channeled Irwin while she remained in a trance state. Irwin provided details and used terms that only he could have known. Garrett was also able to provide confidential details known only to the builder of the aircraft who later became a Spiritualist after examining the record of the séance.

Taylor credits Garrett as turning Spiritualism away from physical and toward mental mediumship. I’m not sure that any one person can be credited with this turn. The national leadership of the Spiritualist faith knew that physical mediumship had a tendency to be sensationalized, exploited, and fraudulently produced. The primary goal of Spiritualism has always been to provide scientific proof of the continuity of life. As a faith and as a science, Spiritualism recognized that proof of the continuity of life was best provided by verifiable information provided through a medium that only the deceased could have known.

At the very least Eileen Garrett was among the first of the modern medium. She was a lady of brilliance, talent, and class. An examination of her life would convince most of the reality of the continuity of life.

I hope I have inspired you to go out and buy Troy’s book. The book is well worth your time and the value is well beyond the price of the book.

Much love,
David

Mediumship: An overview of my personal experience from early childhood to Lily Dale Part Four

“Oh you had a ‘growler,’” a friend of mine said when I told her of my experience.
She acted as if it was a common occurrence.
As far as I know few people have problems with spirit beings that, at first breathe, and then growl in your ear.

In an earlier post I described my childhood experiences with séance.
I mentioned the Native American figure I used instead of a candle as the focal point and the entity that threw open my window and screamed like a Banshee, not that I have ever heard a Banshee scream but I imagine it is probably something like the yell I and my terrified neighbors heard that day.

I was eight at that time. From age twelve to fourteen I suffered teenage-itis, a very common disease that often affects parents a great deal more than their children who suffer from it.
I was in a lost and desperate state.

One night a friend, sensing my need, invited me to a “bible study.”
“Ick,” was my first reaction.
I recalled confirmation class and I frankly hated church so bible study was the last thing on my mind however I liked this person and I thought, ‘isn’t that nice. He’s asking me to a meeting that is important to him.’ So, I went.

The year was 1974, a year after the premier of The Exorcist.
I consider The Exorcist a landmark film for a number of reasons.

It devastated the reputation of Ouija.
Pre and post Exorcist perceptions of Ouija in popular culture are dramatically different.

Second, it gave entities with malicious intent a distinct advantage.

These entities thrive on fear the way cars run on gasoline.

The film suggested that a “demon,” (I have issues with the term ‘demon’) can take possession of your body, cut it, slice it, twist its head around, and give those who come to help a fight they will never forget and perhaps never survive.

The Exorcist was great propaganda for these types of entities.
The nasty ones could not have done a better job if they had produced the film themselves.
Maybe they did.

I too was somewhat the victim of fear following my visit to the theatre to see that wretched film.

By the way, fear is also very attractive to this kind of entity.

I realize that when you have a spirit presence in your home that is not polite it is hard to resist the temptation to be afraid but if you can you will literally starve the little bugger out.

“Resist the devil and he will flee from you,” James 4:7

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment,” 1 John 4:18

“Fear hath torment,” think about that.

The best way to deal with fear: laugh at it.

Oh and by the way, when you know you are surrounded by perfect love, the white light of God, “nothing shall by any means hurt you,” Luke 10:19.

If you are called to a life of spirit communication I pray that the vast majority of your experiences will be pleasant. But from time to time, be ready to help when the pesky ones are tormenting a family or an individual.

Guard your mind because it is in your mind that the battle will be won or lost.
Personally I recommend that you refrain from watching horror films or television that sensationalize or glorify the nasty haunts. You must not be afraid. You are the one that the terrorized will look to for answers and for deliverance and you can do it if you are prepared. Part of that preparation is carefully screening what you put into your mind.

Do I watch horror films or those sensational paranormal programs on Sci-Fi? Sure I do from time to time but I do not make a habit out of it and usually I regret that I have seen what little I watch.

One night after falling asleep reading a book about a particular kind of entity I was shoved across the bed by that entity at, you guessed it, 3 am. I learned another important lesson that night: don’t study the negative right before sleep. Make sure that what goes into your mind at bed time is positive and uplifting.

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things,” Philippians 4:8

So, anyway, back to the growler.

I was 14 years old.
I had a very rough adolescence.
I was in a desperate state.
A friend invited me to (yuck) bible study.

I could not have been more surprised when I got there.

The people were older than me. They were early twenties like the friend that invited me.
The leader was not dressed in a robe.
He was a brick layer.
He wore dirty jeans and his hands were calloused from hard work.

The girls had long straight hair that fell to their waist; they wore bell bottom jeans, and halter tops. Yes I fell in love with a few of them quickly despite our difference in age.

Once I put on too much cologne for a date I had with one. I was, by this time 17 and she was 24.
I told her I wanted a serious relationship and she patted me on the head and told me I was cute.

These were the “Jesus People,” hippies who had found a genuine faith based experience in dry bones Christianity. I had never seen a living faith before. All I had ever seen was lifeless ritual.

Those people changed my life.

That night, after I got home, I heard breathing in my ear.
At first I thought it was my own breathing.
I would hold my breath but still the breathing continued.
That first night wasn’t so bad but each night thereafter the breathing got louder until finally it was an all-out howl, a growl, thus the name, “Growler.”

I sat up in bed unable to sleep and I asked God to show me what was causing the disturbance.

How did I do this?

Did I consult a prayer book?

Did I do it in Latin?

No, I said, “God would you please help me out here?”

At that moment, it was as if a dresser drawer began to glow.
Have you ever highlighted a passage in a book?
It was like that.
I went over to the dresser.
I pulled that drawer open.
I removed the clothes.
Underneath all of the clothes at the bottom was that Native American carving I had used years before in séance.

At the time I knew nothing of “haunted objects” but I knew it was the cause of the disturbance.

I prayed a little impromptu prayer over the object, tossed it out, and the Growler went with it never to return.

Until next time, take care loved ones,
David

18
Sep

Ethics

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

Ethics

I recently decided to have my cards read by “professionals,” that is, people who make their living as readers. My expectation was that doing it professionally they would be polished and their readings would be excellent.

I went to two local readers, the kind with the neon sign out front. Both advertised one rate for the reading but charged another higher rate for reasons I did not understand but they made some attempt to explain. In “the business” they call it the “fluster.” The hope is that you won’t put up too much of a fight as they attempt to fluster you into the higher fee.

Their readings were not only bad and off the mark they were the worst I have ever had. They used more cards than any spread I have ever seen and what they “read” wasn’t in the cards. The information they told me was based on psychological averages, demographics, and observations instead of what was actually in the cards. In other words, they were frauds, in my opinion.

They each told me I had this problem or that and that additional services could help me clear up this problem or that. I went along to a point for two reasons: I am a gentleman and I wanted to treat them kindly despite their inappropriate behavior toward me. Second, I wanted to see what they would do.

The tragedy of it is, as a true reader, I get many who want repeat readings and they want them with some frequency. I don’t want to foster dependence so I restrict the number of readings I will do for a person in a given period of time. I don’t have a rule but if I sense a person is placing too much importance on the reading or if they are becoming dependent I wean them off, slow them down, change the pace, or direct them to other professional services.

These two “professionals” attempted to foster dependence.

They could have offered me a genuine reading. It may or may not have “hit the mark,” either way, I would have appreciated their sincere attempt and I would have gone back at some time in the future for another reading. I wanted to make friends with professional piers. Instead, they will never see me again.

Those that we read for place a certain trust in us. When one reader violates that trust it damages the reputation of all of us.

I am developing both as a medium and as a reader.

As a medium I am working with a mentor. My mentor is certified by the National Spiritualist Association of Churches. I know that she has met a minimum standard in order to be certified and I know what that standard is because I aspire to be certified as well.

The tarot has the American Tarot Association.

Membership in the National Spiritualist Association of Churches and in the American Tarot Association is voluntary. There are good mediums and good readers who are not members.

Personally I am repulsed by institutional religion and by any “authority” that seeks to impose dogma over individual conscience. The notion is repugnant to me. However, where a certain amount of regulation can minimize abuse I am all for it.

If you are an aspiring reader or an established reader but you have not given membership in the American Tarot Association a chance I would like to recommend that you reconsider. Once you pay minimal dues they will send you their code of ethics and ask that you abide.

The American Tarot Association Code of Ethics:

I will serve the best interests of my clients, conducting my professional activities without causing or intending to cause harm.

I will treat all my clients with equal respect, regardless of their origin, race, religion, gender, age, or sexual preference.

I will represent honestly my Tarot qualifications, including educational credentials and levels of certification.

I will keep confidential the names of clients and all information shared or discussed during readings, unless otherwise requested by the client or required by a court of law.

I will recommend clients consult a licensed professional for advice of a legal, financial, medical, or psychological nature that I am not qualified to provide. If trained in one of these areas, I will clearly differentiate between the tarot reading and any professional advice additionally provided.

I will respect my clients’ right to refuse or terminate their reading at any time, regardless of prior consent.

To this code of conduct I would add:

I will treat others exactly as I would wish to be treated.

I will not lie, I will not misrepresent, and I will always represent what I see in the cards to the best of my ability.

The short story is this, if you are in the psychic business whether as a professional or amateur you are mucking with the lives of human beings. You need a code of ethics, you need honor and integrity, and above all you need to be motivated by love and not by greed.

Much love to you my friends,
David

15
Sep

The Baltimore Museum of Industry Ouija® Exhibit

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

The Baltimore Museum of Industry Ouija® Exhibit

A little over a year ago on September 2nd 2012, I went to The Baltimore Museum of Industry for what they called “the most extensive Ouija® exhibit ever assembled.” The exhibit ran through Jan. 27, 2013. I wish it never left. It should have never left. There really needs to be a permanent museum dedicated to Ouija and the spirit board in Baltimore, the original home town of Ouija.

I hope to one day open that museum.

Until that time, I am available for appearances with key items from my collection and to the best of my knowledge so is Robert Murch who has a collection that makes mine look sad by comparison.

The on-line article that attracted my attention said that, “The Ouija Board, which is arguably one of the most mysterious games ever created, has its roots in the cities of Baltimore and Chestertown and celebrates a spirited 122 year history.

“The exhibit will highlight this history and tell the story about how the Ouija Board was born in Maryland and made in Baltimore from 1890 – 1966. Additionally it will feature boards, manufacturers, and memorabilia from the private collections of Robert Murch, the world’s foremost collector, historian and expert on Ouija and Talking Boards and Kathy Fuld, granddaughter of the great Ouija manufacturer William Fuld, as well as Brandon Hodge, Andrew Vespia, Mike Buchner, Calvin Von Crush, Tim Gross and Janet Mattei-Romano Curran.

“Ouija® historian Robert Murch has spent over 18 years working tirelessly with the Maryland Archives, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore City Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation, Baltimore Mayor’s office, the Fuld Family and the Historical Society of Kent County to document and preserve the history of this U.S. pop icon. Much of this Ouija and Talking Board history, along with boards from around the world, are being made available for the first time to the public outside of private collections.”

The exhibit was amazing.

I took roughly 300 photos.

I have selected some of my favourites to give you a feel for what the exhibit was like and to give you a sense for what a Spirit Board Museum can and should be.

I hope you enjoy the tour.

Much love,

David

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12
Sep

William James

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

William James

williamjames

One of the great privileges of being a blogger in the paranormal field is that I have the opportunity to write about my heroes, those people who have most influenced me. William James is one of those people. My research into the life and career of William James is a work in progress so I will likely revisit the contributions of this great man at another time on this blog.

My interest in William James began when I took a winter semester course in comparative religious studies offered by the psychology department over thirty years ago while I was working on my undergraduate degree in psychology.

The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James was required reading. I found the book difficult and challenging. It was difficult because it was written at an intellectual level that required me to stretch. It was challenging because William James demonstrated some commonalities in religious experience that, until that time, I believed were unique to my own religion and to my own experience. I recall an odd feeling when I saw displayed in a formal study experiences that I thought were deeply personal and that I had shared with no one. William James was not writing about me of course but those he was writing about described exactly what I had experienced and they came from every belief system.

The reality is people of every faith and no faith at all have encounters with an intelligent entity that many think of as divine. We all have moments of profound epiphany that change the course of our lives. These experiences are not confined to one religion or any religion at all. Mountain top experiences, moments of shear bliss or clarity, those times when we feel connected to everything and everyone, there experiences are common to humankind. Dogmatism is arrogance and pride. Claiming to have an exclusive on god is, in my view, ideological bigotry. In the Victorian age, William James was a remarkable voice for diversity of religious ideology.

The Varieties of Religious Experience was one of my first exposures to the Victorian intellect. If you start reading Victorian literature, and you must if you have an interest in paranormal studies, it will take some getting used to. I suggest that you read with a dictionary nearby. But the effort is worth it.

In the review section of this blog I’ve been reviewing books that use Victorian material as primary source material. There is no better way to learn about the world of the paranormal than to start at the beginning and read the first-hand accounts and the first-hand studies of the great men and women of science that investigated the paranormal activity of the Victorian age.

In some ways I think we, in our culture today, have lost the ability to think. William James is a thinker and he will challenge you to do the same.

William James was born on January 11, 1842 and he crossed to the other side on August 26, 1910. He was trained as a physician but devoted his life to psychology and later parapsychology. Those that know him have called him a leader, a philosopher, even the Father of American Psychology.

The father of William James was a Swedenborgian theologian. Swedenborg is often associated with Spiritualist thinking. I think this is important since William went on to become a pioneer in the field of paranormal investigation and his brother Henry is the author of The Turn of the Screw (1898), one of the most influential ghost stories of all time.

William’s godfather was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

William was Harvard educated. He began the study of medicine at Harvard in 1864. He earned his M.D. degree in 1869. In 1882, he joined the Theosophical Society. In 1873, William became an instructor in physiology at Harvard. In 1889, he became the chair of the department of psychology at Harvard University.

While many of his colleagues were afraid of the professional repercussions of devoting time and energy to the investigation of the paranormal, William James put his reputation on the line. He traveled to places where activity was taking place, he conducted investigations, and he published his findings.

James attracted the lively discussion of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Peirce. Soon their discussion group flourished and in 1872 became The Metaphysical Club. For more information on The Metaphysical Club please see The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America by Louis Menand. The Metaphysical Club is the winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for History.

William James was the first president of the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research and his research on the medium Leonora Piper provides what I believe is definitive proof of the reality of mediumship and more importantly of the continuity of life after death, that our personality does indeed survive the transition called death, and that we can in fact communicate with the living after crossing over.

To his colleagues and critics at the time of his study of Ms. Leonora Piper he said, “If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, it is enough if you prove that one crow is white. My white crow is Mrs. Piper.”

His colleagues were arguing that all mediums were frauds i.e. “black.” His proof that all mediums were not frauds was Leonora Piper. The details of his study of Leonora Piper are available in libraries and at the touch of your fingers via an internet search. Most of the material is, at this point, public domain.

Leonora was all the proof William James, chair of the department of psychology at Harvard ever needed. My own experience is all the proof I will ever need.

The following quotes represent but do not encompass the genius of William James.
Among other things, he said,

“Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dust-cloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves easier to ignore than to attend to… Anyone will renovate his science who will steadily look after the irregular phenomena, and when science is renewed, its new formulas often have more of the voice of the exceptions in them than of what were supposed to be the rules.”

“Religious genius (experience) should be the primary topic in the study of religion, rather than religious institutions—since institutions are merely the social descendant of genius.”

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.”

8
Sep

Convention Review: Parafest 2013

   Posted by: David    in Uncategorized

 

Convention Review: Parafest 2013

Only two weeks ago I was searching the internet for paranormal meet-ups, gatherings, and conventions. There were a few in the autumn as you might imagine but Parafest stood out to me because Grant Wilson, Robert Murch, and Rosemary Ellen Guiley were scheduled to attend.

I have been looking for an opportunity to meet Grant Wilson for many years. For those of you who may not know, Grant is the co-founder (with Jason Hawes) of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS), based in Warwick, Rhode Island, and co-star and co-producer of the Sci-Fi Channel’s Ghost Hunters, which premiered in 2004.

Jason and Grant wanted the show to be called “Paranormal Investigators.” They objected to the title “Ghost Hunters,” because, according to Grant, they don’t hunt for ghosts. Instead they investigate paranormal activity in an attempt to ascertain the truth behind the activity.

Grant says he is never disappointed when he doesn’t encounter genuine paranormal activity because he isn’t necessarily looking for it. He wants to help families, especially families with children, find the causal factors behind the disturbances and resolve the problems.

Originally the show was supposed to be a drama based on the life and investigations of Jason and
Grant with actors playing the parts of Jason and Grant but the producers opted for a reality show instead and, in my opinion, Ghost Hunters brought paranormal studies to mainstream culture. The only other period in history I know of in which the study of the paranormal was mainstream, was during the Victorian era and even then the investigation of the paranormal was looked upon with suspicion.

If you are comfortable socially and professionally as a student of the paranormal you have Jason and Grant to thank for it. Not only did they succeed at bringing paranormal studies to the mainstream, they also made it popular. But, for me, there is more to Grant than his historic significance or even his significance to the field of paranormal research. If you have ever watched the show then you know this man’s character. I wanted to meet Grant because I admire Grant. He is a definite role model for me.

I booked a hotel room for two nights and bought tickets to the event hoping I might get to see Grant present in a lecture hall. I never expected to have the opportunity to meet and chat with him personally but on Friday night, September 6, 2013, that is exactly what happened.

I was browsing the vendor area, chatting with a number of authors and bloggers in the paranormal field when I noticed Grant standing at a vendor table with very few people around him. I made my way over and found him to be warm, friendly, kind, and very personable.

I was delighted when he agreed to pose for the image below:

Parafest 2013 001

And in case you can’t read what he wrote on the next photo, it says, “Scare ‘em back!”
Our generation is truly blessed to have men like Grant in the paranormal field and in the public eye as role models of what good people can be.

Grant

For your convenience I am posting 4 pages from the program below. These pages really do tell the full story of the event. I was obviously not able to attend every session but those I did attend were excellent.

1 ParafestCover

1 seminars

2 vendors

1 autograph alley

On Friday night I attended History of the Ouija Board with Robert Murch and Brandon Hodge.

Robert Murch 

Brandon Hodge

Robert is the world’s foremost collector, historian, and expert on Ouija. I have an extensive Ouija collection but Robert’s makes mine look sad by comparison.

Brandon is a planchette expert. The planchette of course is one of the forerunners to the spirit board.

Parafest 2013 006

Robert and Brandon’s work is on-going and it is always good to catch up on the latest research in the area of talking board history. Robert believes that a company in the Boston area mass produced a talking board they called a Witch board years before Ouija was born in Baltimore. There is no doubt the board was in use throughout the nation prior to the Baltimore patents.

Another interesting piece of information that came out of this seminar was the naming of the board. Robert believes the board named itself in a session but one of the sitters had a locket on which was written the name of then celebrity Ouida. The D of Ouida was written with a downward D that made the D look like a J.

On Saturday morning I attended the demonology panel.
Pictured below from left to right is Corvis Nocturnum (Satanist/skeptic), Bill Bean (Christian exorcist), Michelle Belanger (pagan), Rosemary Ellen Guiley (Christian-esk according to her own confession), and hosting the event was Jeff Belanger, no relation to Michelle.

Parafest 2013 024

I only mentioned their ideological affiliation above because it was the first question that Jeff asked. As it turned out the panel’s diversity made for some very interesting discussion. Every panelist had a different idea of what a demon is, how it operates, and what can be done to get rid of it.

The next event I attended was a panel discussion on paranormal investigations.
In the first photo from left to right are Mark and Debbie Constantino and Jay Wasley.

Parafest 2013 032a

In the second photo are Jay Wasley, Jeff Belanger, and Dave Schrader.

Parafest 2013 032b

The best story of that panel was one that Debbie told. They went into a haunted area to record EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon). When they played the recording back they heard one spirit telling another to “be quiet because they are trying to record us.” That was a laugh out loud moment for me.

I am pictured below with Robert Murch. I spoke with briefly about the new book I am working on about the Ouija board. I asked if he might be willing to participate and he seemed agreeable so I will be maintaining contact as that project develops. At the moment I am still assembling the first draft. As I am seeking primary sources I am spending a good deal of time in research. I hope to have the book available for purchase after the first of the year.

Parafest 2013 036

I am pictured below with Rosemary Ellen Guiley. She is a prolific author. She recently published a book of her own on Ouija called Ouija Gone Wild. The book is mostly a collection of Ouija related personal and news stories.

Parafest 2013 037

The next seminar I attended was Rosemary’s called, “Solutions for Negative Hauntings.” The general consensus seems to be that the solution to a particular negative haunting depends very much on the ideology and faith of the people being haunted and most importantly their willingness to be delivered. Those that want to be free usually are. Those that do not want to be free may endanger themselves and everyone trying to help them.

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The final seminar of the event for me was the Ghost Hunters panel.
Pictured from left to right are Jason Gates, Brian Cano, Bruce Tango, Dave Tango, Steve Gonsalves, Grant Wilson, and the MC for the panel, a person I believe to be Aaron Sagers but I am sorry to say I am not absolutely certain of the identity of the MC.

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The panel was mostly Q&A. People lined up down the center isle to ask questions. The conference area, by the way, was standing room only and it was the only seminar I attended that had a line waiting at the door before the doors opened.

Grant was asked if he might return to Ghost Hunters. He told the audience he would if the demands of the production did not interfere with his family life. Grant didn’t see much chance of that happening. Again I had to admire the man for putting his family’s needs above the needs of the show.

Conferences give us all a chance to gather, meet, and learn from each other. I am an avid conference attender. I have produced two conferences myself, and I will be vending at a few in the near future.

I will do my best to keep you informed of the latest and greatest paranormal events.

Much love,
David

Mediumship: An overview of my personal experience from early childhood to Lily Dale Part Three

Scrying was a favorite pastime for me when I was a child.
No one ever told me it was called scrying and I knew nothing of crystal gazing.

At one point in my childhood I came down with a fever.
My temperature increased to a life threatening point and it lasted for many days.

At that time, Doctors made house calls.
They would show up dressed in a suit like a banker carrying the typical black leather doctor bag filled with, what to me, were wonders.
The doctor’s visits during my fever were frequent.
There was talk of Lyme disease and assorted other possibilities.
My parents were concerned, my doctor was concerned, and I was more or less between worlds.
I had spirit visitors though at this point those visits are as misty as the dream I had at 5 am this morning.

One day during my illness my father brought a crystal home from work.
It was a smoky quartz. I still have it and it is pictured below.

Quartz 002

As I turned that crystal in my hand I saw images, I saw faraway places, and faces of people I didn’t know. I entertained myself for hours with that crystal and long after my recovery it remained an important part of my life.

I am relating this story because, as an adult, I decided to give scrying another try.
I had fallen out of the habit and out of practice.
By this time I knew what scrying was and I fully expected to re-engage and have the same level of experience as an adult that I had as a child.

I picked up my crystal and gazed – nothing.
It was a smoky empty crystal to me, nothing more.
I tried for a few days without success then I tried a crystal ball, then another.
I had a little more success with the crystal balls but no where near what I had experienced as a child.

A friend recommended a black scrying mirror.

I have always been a bit too impulsive and in spiritual matters impulsivity can be reckless and dangerous. Purchasing the mirror wasn’t the dangerous impulse but what I did with it after it arrived in the mail was.

I was resting in bed.
It was late, at least by my standards, after 9 pm.
I am usually in bed by 9 and out of bed by 6 am.
It is not a routine I prefer but I have an executive day job and I work hard.
So I was in bed before 9 getting ready for sleep.
I had the box sitting on top of a pillow that was resting on my lap.
I had the phone held by my shoulder to my ear because I was chatting with a friend at the time.

I opened the box.

Have you ever seen a black mirror?

It is like looking into a bottomless pit.
I felt a check in the pit of my stomach immediately but as I was casually chatting I didn’t pay attention to the warning my chakra was sending me.

I held the mirror out in my left hand and gazed across its surface.
A face emerged out of the darkness, an unnatural, and in my opinion, not human face.
It had no eyes but it looked straight at me and seemed to pass in and through me.

I ended my conversation immediately.

A stench filled my house like something had crawled into the ventilation system and died.

I realized in that moment that a black scrying mirror is not a scrying mirror at all.

Scrying is an exercise in clairvoyance.
Mediumship may involve clairvoyant skills but those skills are specifically directed at the spirit realm.
Black mirrors are the single most powerful portal to the spirit world that I have ever encountered. They make Ouija look like a child’s game which, though marketed as such, it is not.

It was too late to close the portal.
I didn’t know it was a portal to begin with.
I am telling you the story in the hope that you will benefit from my stupidity.

If you use a black scrying mirror you should not approach it as you would any other scrying device. When you gaze into a black mirror you are opening a portal. The safest way to approach a black mirror is with the same preparation and precaution that you would exercise for any form of spirit communication because that is what a black mirror is, a spirit contact tool very similar to Ouija but in my opinion much more dangerous.

I was exhausted and in no position to fight a spiritual battle.
I knew that who ever it was that came through that portal and into my home that night was not particularly friendly but I also knew that the time between 9 pm and 6 am was his strongest and my weakest time. I hoped that he wouldn’t make too much of a mess and that during the daylight hours on the following day I could deal with him.

He toyed with my subconscious mind as I slept.
I saw what appeared to be another floor on my house.
It was as if I was caught between floors on an elevator.
I could see the material world below and the legs of those in the world of spirit above.
When I regained full consciousness at 3 am he was right beside me.
It was going to be a long night.

The next day my wife asked me why I was roaming the halls in my long black coat.
She’d seen a shadow figure in the hallway and assumed it was me.
The figure, she described was roughly my height but all black from head to toe, in essence, a shadow.

I was disturbed that my wife had seen him but also impressed that she had the ability to.
Not everyone can see even the most obvious entity that is standing right beside them.

The next day I cleansed the house.
I opened the windows and the fire place flue.
I started on the top floors.
I invoked the name and prayed in the presence of Jesus.
I went in and out of every room on every floor and the basement.
The entity left.
We hired a ventilation cleaning service to get the stench out of the house.
No dead rodent was ever found.

A dear friend of mine who has remarkable skill in the psychic herself called me the day after I gazed into the mirror and said, “What did you do?”

Though she lives miles away she felt instantly the shift in energy in my home.
It was a very long time before she agreed to come over to my home again.

Until next time, take care,
David