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Quaerere,  Perceptum et Docere

The I.C.P.R.P.I. is a not-for-profit research consortium and educational resource centre. The purpose of the consortium is to firstly; gain a better understanding about the enigmatic nature of psi-phenomena as related to the human condition. Secondly, to act as a depository for related research into the investigation of psi-phenomena, which is to be made available for all interested persons world-wide, and finally, to uphold and positively augment the reasoning and purpose of psychical and parapsychological research in order to better the discipline as an accepted, and respected aspect of science and philosophical inquiry. 

The I.C.P.R.P.I. is invested to research and scholarly contribution, yet not limited to of the following areas of such thought: Hauntings, Apparitions and Poltergeist phenomena, Extra Sensory Perception (ESP), Post-Mortem Survival (PMS), Psychokinesis (PK), Metaphysical Studies, Dream-State Research and Astral Projection, Out‑of‑Body Experiences (OBE) and Near-Death Experiences (NDE), Mediumship and Spirit Channeling, The Occult and Magical Arts as related to the paranormal, Altered States of Consciousness, Ecto-Connectivity (EC), Religious Experiences and Beliefs (Sympathetic/Contagious Magic), Psychic Healing and Alternative Medicine, Astrology and Divination, Demon Possession and Demonology. In addition to this, The I.C.P.R.P.I. is also interested in regional and international aspects of Folklore and Urban Legends, Cryptozoology, as well as UFO incidents, Alien and Abduction phenomena.

We welcome all to participate in our investigations, and welcome your individual input in order to better the understanding of these and other controversial subjects.

“…Scientia potentia est, sed parva; quia scientia egregia rara est, nec proinde apparens nisi paucissimis, et in paucis rebus. Scientiae enim ea natura est, ut esse intelligi non possit, nisi ab illis qui sunt scientia praediti…”

Thomas Hobbes, De Homine, 1658.

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The following listing of organizations, agencies and private groups and societies constitutes a primary listing of affiliates, and which represents the professional end of the field of psychical research and related paranormal investigations. These organizations have been chosen by the I.C.P.R.P.I. as the main source for investigating this field from a professional and exact standpoint, and are of such advised for serious scholars to take part in. Having said that; it is important to realize that other groups and organizations that refer to themselves as professional and/or as ‘parapsychologists,’ though not having a scientific background, or at least having an actual working knowledge of the profession, should instead, begin taking part in serious research in order to better acquaint themselves to this profession as a whole…Its not only about ghosts and poltergeists. Although I can certainly respect the interesting nature of the popular ‘ghost hunting/reality “in-your-face” television shows,’ it would be a good choice to ‘investigate’ from another perspective. Furthermore, though this blog page is a retrospective of popular notions and concepts; almost entirely from a ‘folkloric’ perspective, we do indeed value the importance of the purely scientific quest to get the truth by scientific means. I hope you will too.

Training and Research

        If you’re looking for down-to-earth training in parapsychology, consciousness studies or transpersonal psychology, there are several organizations that can offer this, either from a scholastic, hard science foundation (listed later on in this report), or from a more hands-on foundation, taught by real-time professionals in the field. My first recommendation is Loyd Auerbach, a well-known expert on ghosts and psychic experience, holding a Master’s degree in Parapsychology; is director of the Office of Paranormal Investigations, as well as a professor at JFK University. He is the creator and instructor of the Certificate Program in Parapsychological Studies at HCH Institute, and hosts many lecture series both from a distance perspective and in California. Professor Auerbach is known to be open to questions and for offering sound advice for those who are serious about the profession.

For more information, please visit: http://www.atlanticuniv.edu/index.html and http://www.ghostvillage.com/ghostvillageu/parapsychologycourses.shtml For professor Auerbach’s Blog page, visit: http://mindreader.com/

 My second recommendation is Dr. Andrew Nichols, Ph.D., a well known figure in the psychical research community, having been seen in dozens of documentaries, is author of Ghost Detective: Adventures of a Parapsychologist and who is director of the American Institute of Parapsychology (AIP), a non-profit research and educational organization based in Gainesville, Florida. AIP’s purpose is to foster to its students a greater understanding about the anomalous aspects of the human experience, which of course includes the subjects of ghosts and hauntings. AIP conducts various courses in parapsychology, aimed at the general public, and maintains a library specializing in parapsychology, abnormal psychology and occult/mystical studies (a collection that includes hundreds of books, audio-visual materials and issues of the main parapsychology journals for students). Dr. Nichols and his staff offers top-notch instruction, but don’t expect silliness or reality show drama — This is the real thing, and will offer its students a chance to explore this topic from a direct point-of-view.

            For more information, please visit: http://parapsychologylab.com/  

           

 Top Organizations in Parapsychology and Psychical Research 

 

        The following organizations are among my favorites, and are ones I am involved with directly, or indirectly. I hope you, the reader, will take a moment to look at these groups and institutions and see how the ‘Real Ghost Hunters’ operate within the profession of psychical research. This listing should be regarded as the best of the professional organizations affiliated with the methodology utilized by the ICPRPI, and is recommended for the serious researcher to take part in, and/or join. No doubt, there are other groups and organizations befitting this listing, so if I missed anyone, my apologies. Please send your details for review, and we’ll be happy list you here. Otherwise, enjoy the grand opportunity you have to take part in the actual study of parapsychology from the top listing below. 

 

  • Rhine Research Center (USA)

 http://www.rhine.org/

Based in Durham, USA, the Center continues and expands the work of J.B. and Louisa Rhine, the Rhine Research Center is an integrative center for the study of consciousness. It serves as the hub for ground-breaking research and educational activities on the nature of human consciousness, which includes all aspects of paranormal and psychical research. This organization offers a scholarly listing of lecture and conference series, as well as resources that will aid the researcher in all areas of the field.

2741 Campus Walk Ave # 500
Durham, NC 27705-8878 — (919) 309-4600

 

  • Society for Psychical Research (UK)

http://www.spr.ac.uk/main/

The SPR was first overseen by Henry Sidgwick, Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge University, and the society’s first president. The SPR is the ‘first learned society’ of its kind, founded in London in 1882 for the purpose of “investigating that large body of debatable phenomena designated by such terms as mesmeric, psychical and spiritualistic, and to do so in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned inquiry which has enabled science to solve so many problems.” Among the early members of the SPR were such prominent figures as the physicist William Barrett; the experimental physicist Lord Rayleigh; Arthur Balfour, philosopher and Prime Minister Gerald Balfour, a classical scholar and philosopher As this is the first such organization to openly research and ponder such things; other than another of England’s premier psychical organization; ‘The Ghost Club,’ the SPR continues to be the pentacle of such societies, offering students, researchers and the public a plethora of resources regarding this area of scientific inquiry, though lecture and conference series, library inter-loan privileges and much more.

For further information: The SPR
49 Marloes Road, Kensington, London.

W8 6LA — Tel:  0207 9378984        

 

·         The Parapsychological Association, Inc. (USA)

http://www.parapsych.org/

The Parapsychological Association, Inc. (PA) is the international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of ‘psi’ (or ‘psychic’) experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition. It is also engaged in the more traditional aspects of the research, such as ghosts, haunting and related paranormal events.

 

·         The Parapsychology Foundation (USA)

http://www.parapsychology.org/

The Parapsychology Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation which provides a worldwide forum supporting the scientific investigation of psychic phenomena. The Foundation gives grants, publishes pamphlets, monographs, conference proceedings and the International Journal of Parapsychology, hosts the Perspectives Lecture Series, and even conducts an Outreach Program. In addition to this, it also operates The Psychic Explorers Club, operated by world-renowned psychic, Eileen J. Garrett. Visit  www.psychicexplorers.org/ for more information.

 

·         The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research P.E.A.R. program (USA)

http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/

The (PEAR) program, an organization that has existed  for nearly three decades under the aegis of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, has completed its experimental agenda of studying the interaction of human consciousness with sensitive physical devices, systems, and processes, and developing complementary theoretical models to enable better understanding of the role of consciousness in the establishment of physical reality. It continues to research various aspects of anomalous phenomena.  This unique organization also housed the International Consciousness Research Laboratory http://www.icrl.org/home/an international, interdisciplinary consortium. Its goal is to foster a broader range of inquiry; to encourage a new generation of deeply creative investigators to expand the boundaries of scientific understanding; and to strengthen the foundations of science by reclaiming its spiritual heritage. 

 

  • Society for Scientific Exploration (USA)

http://www.scientificexploration.org/

The SSE is a multidisciplinary professional organization; the SSE is committed to the study of phenomena that cross traditional scientific boundaries. Designed as a professional organization for scientists and scholars who study unusual and unexplained phenomena, the SSE intermingles the foundations of mainstream science and technology with such concepts as consciousness, UFO research, and alternative medicine, yet often offers profound implications for human knowledge and technology. The SSE provides a professional forum for presentations, criticism, and debate concerning topics which are for various reasons ignored or studied inadequately within mainstream science. Their secondary goal is to promote an improved understanding of those factors that unnecessarily limit the scope of scientific inquiry, such as sociological constraints, restrictive world views, hidden theoretical assumptions, and the temptation to convert prevailing theory into prevailing dogma.

 

  • Institute for Scientific Exploration 

http://instituteforscientificexploration.org/

            The ISE conducts groundbreaking research in the biomedical, natural sciences, and social sciences fields, as well as investigates alternative practices, such as alternative medicine therapies, and alternative scientific theories and hypotheses, in order to help explain the many unanswered scientific questions, as well as, the many scientific anomalies and other unexplained phenomena of all kinds that have been observed in these fields. Secondly, based on research findings, ISE’s mission is to develop novel services and technologies that will benefit people, and help solve the major problems faced by corporations, government agencies, and other organizations and institutions that serve society, worldwide. This organization should be considered among the more scientific, though not entirely from the psychical perspective. This is an excellent organization for those who hold degrees in a scientific discipline, who wish to get active in a present field, and/or to publish though their network.

 

  • The Ghost Club (UK)

http://www.ghostclub.org.uk/

Noted as the original ghost-lore and paranormal organization in history (founded in 1862) the Ghost Club has had an illustrious membership. From Charles Dickens, Siegfried Sassoon, Harry Price, Peter Cushing, Peter Underwood, Maurice Grosse and many others, today the Ghost Club is a non-profit, social club run by an elected Council of volunteers. Its purpose remains true to its roots; the Ghost Club offers open-minded, curious individuals the opportunity to debate, explore and investigate unexplained phenomena with like-minded people and record the results for posterity.   The Ghost Club offers overnight and on-site investigations (Throughout the United Kingdom), as well as club meetings and a newsletter for its members.

 

  • Cognitive Sciences Laboratory (USA)

http://www.lfr.org/LFR/csl/

The Laboratory conducts Parapsychological research, and is part of The Laboratories for Fundamental Research based at Palo Alto, USA.

 

·         The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (USA)

http://www.csicop.org/

The purpose of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is to promote serious investigation and critical thinking in the areas of the claims of the paranormal and similar concepts of a controversial nature. Though at first this organization appears to be the international naysayer of the paranormal investigator, it is vital for said researcher to view the opposite spectrum of the paranormal debate, and learn from their studies and contributions in order to better our own scholarly database. To that end, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry serves as a staging point from the skeptic’s point of view, and then to consider their findings in spite of the oftentimes demeaning approach in doing so.  

 

  • Department of Psychology, University of Goeteborg (Germany)

http://parapsykologi.se/artiklar/ganzfeld.html  

The Ganzfeld project at the University of Göteborg (Gothenburg) is aimed at bringing so-called subjective psi-experiences into a laboratory setting which will the exact nature of the experiences and the conditions influencing their occurrence to be studied. It incorporates the essential features relating to the occurrences of the spontaneous phenomena. The focus of research interest is the nature of consciousness and its relation to brain processes and human potential.

 

  • Division of Perceptual Studies, University of Virginia (USA)

http://www.medicine.virginia.edu/clinical/departments/psychiatry/sections/cspp/dops/home-page

Founded by the late Professor Ian Stevenson, the main purpose of the unit is the scientific investigation of phenomena that suggest that currently accepted scientific assumptions and theories about the nature of mind or consciousness, and its relationship to matter, may be incomplete. Examples of such phenomena include various types of extrasensory perception, apparitions and deathbed visions, poltergeists, near-death experiences (NDEs), out-of-body experiences (OBEs), and claimed memories of previous lives.

 

  • Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (USA)

http://www.igpp.de/english/welcome.htm

The Institute, based at Freiburg in Germany, engages in research concerning insufficiently understood phenomena and anomalies at the frontiers of current scientific knowledge.

 

  • Institute of Noetic Sciences (USA)

http://noetic.org/

The Institute is based in California and conducts research into consciousness-related matters. Founded by astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, now serving as a board member for the institute, he continues to be active at institute events, including lectures and conferences. The institute is an excellent way to find scholarly information and related referrals within the psi related communities, as well as offering a way to contribute and gain knowledge in this arena.

 

·         Berkeley Psychic Institute (USA)

http://www.berkeleypsychic.com/

Also known as the “psychic kindergarten,” founded in 1973, the institute is designed to further education in various aspects of psychic research, and teaches how to recognize and develop psychic abilities through classes in clairvoyance, meditation, healing and energy. This is an excellent resource for those living on the west coast of the United States.

 

·         The Boundary Institute (USA)

http://www.boundaryinstitute.org/bi/index.html

Boundary Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization dedicated to the advancement of 21st-Century science. We are currently pursuing two major research themes, one concerning the foundations of physics, the other the foundations of mathematics and computer science.

 

  • Centre for Fundamental and Anomalies Research C-FAR(USA)

http://www.c-far.org/

The Centre for Fundamental & Anomalies Research aims to encourage, sponsor and conduct research into controversial or open issues in science and philosophy, and to use findings to promote positive social change.

 

·         The Koestler Parapsychology Unit KPU (UK)

http://www.koestler-parapsychology.psy.ed.ac.uk/

·         The Koestler Parapsychology Unit is a research group based in the Psychology Department at the University of Edinburgh. This scholarly organization consists of academic staff and postgraduate students who teach and research various aspects of parapsychology and psychical-based research, including: the possible existence of psychic ability, the belief in the paranormal the psychology of anomalous experiences, pseudo-psychic deception and other aspects of the field.

 

·         Pacific Neuropsychiatric Institute PNI (USA)

http://www.pni.org/esp/

PNI researches, among other topics, the anomalous experiences (those of a person’s having a paranormal, psychic or otherwise bizarre experience) that it cannot easily be explained using our conventional laws of science. Subjective paranormal experiences in temporal lobe dysfunction Déjà Vu, Out of body Experience and Vortex Pluralism to name a few.

 

·         The Paranormal Network/The Office of Paranormal Investigation (USA)

http://www.mindreader.com/

The OPI draws on the investigative and research traditions of parapsychology, psychical research and other fields of science to provide information and consulting services for the general public, Media, Business, the Legal Community, Law Enforcement, Realtors, and other specialized audiences. It is interested in potential applications of psi experiences in those arenas.

 

  • ASSAP (USA)

http://www.assap.org/

The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena is a scientifically-oriented educational charity and amateur research organization dedicated to a better understanding of anomalous phenomena.

 

  • Austrian Society for Parapsychology (Austria)

 http://www.parapsychologie.at/index.htm

Based at Vienna University, the society organizes public lectures and maintains a library, and serves as an excellent resource for our German/Austrian scholars and Germanic speaking students of the paranormal who are looking for related information and lecture series in their home countries. It also offers good resources for contacts and links, as well as having an excellent archival section of past and ongoing investigations and symposiums on the many aspects of psychical research.

 

  • Exceptional Human Experience (USA)

http://ehe.org/display/splash.html

Here’s another excellent web community that focuses on fascinating topics regarding   everything within the realm of parapsychology, but also the concepts of psychology, anthropology, sociology and all things akin to the human condition. Although the founder and primary contributor, Rhea White, passed away in 2007, the contents of this scholarly community continue, with their exceptional web journal ‘Psiline.’ For more information, on the subject of psychical experiences, contact http://www.parapsychology.org directly.  

 

  • The European Paranormal Society Germany (German)

http://www.teps-germany.de/english.html

Teps-Germany is located in Essen, Ruhr, and investigates throughout Europe. Because the founders have typical occupations, their meeting times are by appointment arrangement to be determined. This is a new organization which is dedicated to serious research and for the collection and preservation of all findings.   

 

  • The International Institute of Metaphysics IMI (France)

http://www.metapsychique.org/

The L’Institut Metapsychique International (IMI) or ‘The International Institute of Metaphysics’ is another excellent resource and scholarly organization/society for French-speaking students of the paranormal. Located in Paris, and established in 1919, the IMI supports the scientific study of phenomena related to paranormal, psychical and occult research. It houses an excellent library at its headquarters, and hosts lectures and related symposiums throughout Paris. 

 

  • Psychic Science (UK)

http://www.psychicscience.org/daniels.aspx

Dr. Michael Daniels BSc (Hons, 1st Class), PhD, AFBPsS, CPsychol. Is the administrator of the Psychic Science web page. He is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Program Leader for the M.Sc in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom. He is the author of several books and many academic articles and chapters in the areas of transpersonal psychology, parapsychology, psychical research and Jungian psychology. This site offers an introduction to parapsychology and a number of psi tests online. It is an excellent resource for those interested in the other aspects of Parapsychological research, which has been neglected in recent years. It retains a professional and courteous way in teaching this area of psychical research.

 

  • Paranormal Database (UK)

http://www.paranormaldatabase.com/

The Paranormal Database is a serious ongoing project to quantitatively document as many locations with paranormal/cryptozoological interest as possible, region by region throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Ninety-four areas are currently covered, now totaling over 9600 entries, with frequent additions and current stories continuously updated. This is website will offer the serious investigator a chance to explore the United Kingdom from an insider’s point of view. For our world travelers, this association will prove invaluable.   

 

  • The Princeton University School of Engineering Anomalies (USA)

http://www.princeton.edu/~pear/

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program is a scholarly aspect of Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. Its primary goal was to experiment the interaction of human consciousness with sensitive physical devices, such as systems and processes, and developing complementary theoretical models to enable better understanding of the role of consciousness in the establishment of physical reality. Though this organization is comprised of scientists and engineers who take their craft very seriously, they are open to ideas about the paranormal from a purely scientific stance, and have a plethora of scholarly contributions to the field. Their theoretical models and detail to proposed implications will serve the technical student of psychical research with favor. 

 

  • Scottish Society for Psychical Research (UK)

http://www.sspr.co.uk/

The SSPR was founded by Professor Archie Roy in 1987, and aims to investigate all types of phenomena known as Paranormal or Parapsychological, and collect, classify and study reports of such phenomena. There are monthly lectures in Glasgow, (Sept. through April) which usually take place in the Boyd Orr Building of the University of Glasgow. These lectures cover everything from medium-ship and psychic detection to ghost and haunting research. The SSPR also has the PSI Report Magazine, which covers its meeting minutes and offers information of upcoming lecture series and referrals. 

 

  • The Harry Price Website (UK)

http://www.harrypricewebsite.co.uk/index.html 

This web page is dedicated to the life and work of England’s most famous ghost hunter and controversial psychical researcher, Harry Price (1881-1948). Harry Price had offered a great deal to the exploits of the historical psychical researcher, as well as for modern-day researcher. Though the constant victim from naysayers and critics of his day, he had investigated the concept of parapsychology with a certain zeal that continues to be used to this day. Best remembered for his research into Borley Rectory ‘The Most Haunted House in England,’ Price was one of the first researchers to use animals, primarily dogs, to accompany him on overnight vigils, as he believed that such animals had a keener sense of the unseen world around us. This concept, which is hardly refuted today, was an topic of humor in his day. This website will offer researcher a good look into the paranormal investigation of the past.  

* Please note: All stories, conjectures and resources have been written by the author, Greg Jenkins. All photos used are either those of the author, or are from a non-licensed source, such as from a public domain.  As the stories are in part from the author’s books, and owned by Pineapple Press, Inc., permission must be secured before any story, in part or in whole is reproduced, outside of being used as a cited quotation.       

Source:

http://new.pineapplepress.com/booksummary.asp

 

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-loch-ness-monster

Strange, massive image caught on satellite…What is it?

This story came in from the Independent UK online News Service, Monday 21 April 2014.

In what may be a game changer in the Scottish independence referendum this September, the elusive Loch Ness Monster has reportedly been spotted on Apple Maps.  Images on the satellite mapping service shows what appears to be a 100-ft-long floating creature, using its flippers to wade through the Loch in the Scottish Highlands with its neck dipped down into the water.

26-year-old Andrew Dixon, one of two people who separately spotted the Nessie-like figure, told the Daily Mail: “It was a total fluke that I found it. I was looking at satellite images of my town and then just thought I’d have a look at Loch Ness.”

The charity worker for the Great North Air Ambulance from Darlington, County Durham, added: “The first thing that came into my head when I saw it was, “That’s the Loch Ness Monster”. It was the shape of it I thought it had to be something more than a shadow.”

Mr. Dixon alerted the President of the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club to the picture six months ago, who was pleased that the beast had been “seen” for the first time in 18 months.  Mr. Campbell, who keeps a register of sightings, told the newspaper: “We’ve been looking at it for a long time trying to work out exactly what it is.

“It looks like a boat wake, but the boat is missing. You can see some boats moored at the shore, but there isn’t one here. We’ve shown it to boat experts and they don’t know what it is.

“Whatever this is, it is under the water and heading south, so unless there have been secret submarine trials going on in the loch, the size of the object would make it likely to be Nessie.”

He also dismissed other “logical” explanations, including that the image merely shows a floating log or a seal causing ripples.

 

Whether or not it is Nessie is anyone’s guess. It looks more like a giant catfish than a prehistoric dinosaur, so maybe there are more than a few odd creatures lurking under the waves of the famous Loch….Either way, keep watching the water!  For now though, be sure to check out more news of the strange on the Independent at: http://www.independent.co.uk/

 

 

 

 

st.aug pics 105

36 Charlotte St, St Augustine

Here’s a locale I have been visiting since the mid 1990s. It’s one of those places that will find favor with travelers through St. Augustine honorably, as it offers a cool, dark atmosphere that’s inviting when the summer heat is on, and in the evenings when you want an exotic beer or wine, surrounded by cool jazz echoing in the air. Stogies Jazz Bar is one of my must-go destinations every time I’m in the ancient city. Stogies Jazz Bar is certainly a quaint location, in that it’s not over-assuming or overdressed as many cigar bars can be. It’s down to earth with a relaxed atmosphere, and of course, it has a wide selection of libations to aid in one’s relaxation. Indeed, they have over 100 imported beers, with 7 on tap, 55 different kinds of local and imported wines and 65 varieties of port that will amaze any connoisseur.

The home was built around 1856, later having additions added to the structure in the late 1880s during St. Augustine’s Flagler era. It served as a private residence for many years, as well as a parcel post office for a short time. By the 1920s it became a small lodging house for weary travelers, and then again as a home until the late 1940s when it was used as a storage unit for a prominent family in town. It was vacant for several years during the 1950s and then became a modest tee shirt store during the later part of the 1960s. During this time, several families lived here in a kind of makeshift commune until the mid 1970s, when it was used as an office for various businesses up until 1990 when it was closed due to severe termite damage. The building stood vacant again until 1994 when it was rented by Jeff Holleran and his brother Jack, who are the current proprietors.

Jeff and his brother fixed the place up, added another bathroom and gave the place a well-need paint job. A bar and walk-in humidor was installed for the imported and domestic cigars, and an outside patio was designed for added comfort. They opened for business soon thereafter, and found themselves welcomed to a steady parade of loyal customers and jazz artists from near and far to make this establishment a favorite location in the ancient city.

In the evenings, Stogies hosts an easy-going atmosphere with many local and visiting jazz musicians. In fact, Stogies has hosted such notable artists as Steve Nichols and Steve Robinson, whose saxophone and flute performances have recreated a sound reminiscent of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Miles Davis and Jethro Tull. They offer many different venues, so you’ll never know what kind of jazz will be playing, though you can be sure it will be over the top, and true to the coffee and wine houses of old. Certainly, though the visitor will have a relaxing experience at Stogies, they are likely to get a little more. From having the feeling of being watched, as so many others have over the years, to spotting spectral children frolicking about, there seems to be quite a bit going on here. Though for the most part, these events are not as much threatening or menacing as they are spooky, there are a few people here; guest and employee alike that will tell you that Stogies is without a doubt haunted.

 

A history of paranormal activity and unexplained events

The haunted bathroom?

During my a visit to St. Augustine in 2012, I had the chance to interview the owner, Jeff Holleran about this location’s history and its various haunted events to have occurred here over the years. To no surprise, there have been many incidents reported at Stogie’s that are certainly worth relating. I began my interview with the owner Jeff, to see if he had had any personal encounters. Though he has not had any overt paranormal experiences inside the place, other than having the occasional feeling that he was being watched by some unknown observer, he did say that his brother Jack had a frightening experience during the renovation period in the home back around 1994. Evidently, it was while the renovation was taking place that Jack decided to spend one evening in the upstairs loft in order to watch over the house and the supply inside that his experience occurred. And it turned out to be a night he will never forget.

Jack brought his dog ‘Delilah’ with him both as companionship and as protection. Delilah was a large dog, and very protective of Jack, so having her with him during the night was not only a good idea, it turned out to be the best idea he had all week. It was around 2:45 AM, when Delilah began to growl and bark intermittently. Then, she stood over Jeff as if to protect him, while the whole time staring at the newly refurbished bathroom area. Jeff got up, and cautiously walked toward the darkened interior that seemed to peer through the half-opened door of the bathroom. He pushed the door open to reveal absolutely nothing. He told himself there were no problems and certainly nothing to be scared of…But he was scared.

Interestingly, though there seems to be no logical reason for the dog to react in such a manner, I did find a few interesting facts about this location later on that made me consider the haunted legends to be accurate. As I opted to interview a few of the long-time locals in the area, I was able to unearth several tidbits of a dubious nature. Apparently, one lady who has lived in the area for close to 50 years, and whom wishes to remain anonymous, told me of several historical events regarding this home that most are not aware of. One incident revolves around one of the original residents of the home dating back the early 1900s, who allegedly fell down the winding stairs from the second floor and died. Though this tale closely resembles a similar death that occurred within another St. Augustine home, which has also become a pub in recent years, my informant was certain that such an accident did take place here too. And it is this accident that has spurred a few tales of ghostly visitations, where a spectral woman has been seen descending and ascending the stairs in a milky-like mist.

 

Stogies upstairs

The upstairs loft where strange things occur

Another legend was born during the 1960s, when the house was being used as a tee shirt store, where at least one death occurred on the second floor of this home. The area where the bathroom is now was simple attic space, only later converted into a bedroom. My informant went on to tell me that there may have been more deaths around this time, as this area had a less than favorable reputation in those days. Evidently, before St. Augustine officials started making serious city-wide renovations, the old section of town had its share of problems, which included some drug related issues and various crimes. Therefore, many things could have gone on in this quaint home of yesteryear that might have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity.

When I interviewed the bartender, he described a few incidents he couldn’t readily explain. One episode involved the inexplicable sounds of breaking glass that he heard one early evening. It was while he was working behind the bar, stocking and cleaning up that he began hearing the sounds of glass breaking, as if someone had either dropped a glass, or had tossed it against a wall on purpose. The bartender understandably went to investigate, and walked over to the area where the sound was coming from. He found nothing out of the ordinary. As soon as he walked away, however, a fan blade from the overhead paddle fan flew off and smashed into the cigar humidor where he had been standing only seconds earlier, shattering the glass and sending it all across the tables and floor. Whether simply a coincidence or the angry response from some form of spirit entity, the bartender believes that if he would have been standing there a few moments longer, he would have been hit by that detached fan blade or cut by the shattering glass. He didn’t know whether to be frightened or grateful.

The bartender went on to tell me of other weird incidents to have taken place at Stogies, such as the time chess pieces from the first floor sitting area were being thrown at him from some unseen assailant, even though no one was in the bar yet. This occurred on several occasions. People have claimed to have seen or heard children inside the bar, though none where in the building at all. Indeed, on several occasions patrons reported to the bartender on duty that there was a child, sometimes two children running around upstairs, or that they heard a child giggling or laughing from behind a wall or from within a cabinet on the second floor. When someone goes to investigate, no one is ever found.

Over the years, self-styled ghost hunters and psychics have come to Stogies in search of ghosts. One local psychic has made several claims that a young spirit of a little girl named ‘Anne’ haunts the place. Though there is some conjecture as to who she was in life, many have said that she was once the child of a former family who died in an accident. Another psychic has claimed that she was a neighborhood child who died after a long illness, and had wandered into Stogies, making it her home. Yet another psychic has claimed that there are in fact several ghostly children haunting the jazz bar, simply coming and going as they please. Without a doubt, some very odd things have taken place in this jazzy little cigar bar on Charlotte Street, and the strangeness is still going on.

When visiting St. Augustine, make Stogies one of your destinations. Whether escaping the blazing, mid-day sun or to just relax with a cool drink, this is a good place to do it, even if you’re not looking for ghosts. If, however, you are looking for ghosts, you might just get lucky here too. Because many parapsychologists feel that the residual energy of a once living thing may be collected and stored within the very fabric of material objects, such as wood and stone, the presence of a ghost, per se may actually be a part of the home in question, replaying its actions over and over. Other possibilities are that these paranormal events are indeed manifestations of a sentient entity that can somehow interact with the living, in which case people who have reported feeling like they’re being watched may be quite accurate in that assumption. Though it’s difficult to be absolutely certain who these spirits might be, historically speaking, one thing seems to be certain — There are more spirits lurking within Stogies Jazz Club than just beer and wine.

 

 The House Cats Jazz Band

 The House Cats Jazz Band, one of the many bands that play at Stogies

 

 

Stogies Jazz Club & Listening Room is located on Charlotte Street, just north of Hypolita Street, in the heart of downtown, and near the shopping district.

For more information on Stogies Jazz Club:                                                                         

36 Charlotte Street, Saint Augustine, FL 32084                                                                       

Phone: (904) 826-4008                                

 

 

 

zzzz-test4

Bill Murray as a Ghostbuster conducting an experiment…Well, sort of

Introduction

During the last century and a half, scientists of all categories; clergyman and philosophers of all disciplines, as well as various scholars and academics have posed many questions into the almost countless examples of hauntings and associated psychic phenomena. These inquisitive people had conducted various individual surveys; recorded certain events and finally culminated in thesis’ regarding their questions, observations and overall findings. They may not, however, have concluded with a definite answer to any one question; deduced a quantitative report of acceptable ratios, nor devised any list of systematic empirical data, statistical, mathematical or computational information that could be considered fact in all collegiate institutions. Regardless, such scholarly behaviors always point to the one aspect of critical thinking that must always be applied to every scientific inquiry — The scientific method.

In the arena of science, whether chemistry, biology or physics, it is necessary to follow various rules and regulations for any inquiry to be accepted as proper research into a scholarly discipline, regardless of that discipline. To exemplify the scientific method directly we will need to survey a scientific discipline and its particular area of research. As all disciplines make their assumptions by posing questions, observing to support that question and experimenting to accept or reject the overall findings, the importance of such a study process becomes clear. To briefly exemplify this process, we might observe the methodology of the ornithologist in the course of his or her research. Hypothetically speaking, the researcher in question is searching for the reason why certain birds of a certain genus are behaving differently from others in that same grouping, possibly through a differential situation, such as one genus living in another region; food type consumption or yearly weather conditions. Moreover, because the birds are behaving differently even though they belong to the same genus, the researcher will need to question what could be the causation of such behaviors; if there is a biological reason; an effect by way of nature or from a nurturing perspective and other pertinent inquiries. Following that agenda, the researcher will need to pose a general hypothesis for the behaviors; likely by adding a series of sub-hypotheses to best support that assumption. Then he will need observe each group of birds from that specific genus, and then follow up by conducting a series of experiments of various natures to test the hypothesis and its additions. Finally, the researcher will pick and choose which individual or set of hypothesis could be applied to the overall inquiry, and then culminate in either accepting or rejecting that hypothesis all together.

For the aforementioned researcher, the proper agenda was followed, and the end result yielded several possibilities that could explain why the birds were behaving differently. Whether the reasoning was associated to weather changes, food differentials or possibly breeding compatibility of the two genuses of birds might have offered the proper information for the researcher to use. In short, because the scientific method was properly applied to the researcher’s inquiry, he was able to conclude and reject various previously conceived theories as to why the birds were behaving differently, and then applying his or her newly found data for other researchers to consider. Without that method being properly utilized to the outstanding inquiry, the answer would have been mute in the eyes of the scientific community, and summarily ignored. Because the researcher did use the proper method, the findings were accepted and duly assigned further research into the inquiry; considered as fact by that researcher’s peers and community, or abandoned all together.  Now that we have at least a working understanding of how the aforementioned hypothetical researcher applied the scientific method to the ornithological inquires, can such a process be applied to psychical research as well? The answer is absolutely yes, and should be done each and every time in spite of the fact that the subject matter is highly subjective and difficult to document. Moreover, though the lay researcher considers the collection of photographs and associated video examples of alleged ghosts, as well as audio surveys of alleged sounds thought to be the voices of discarnate spirits to be both compelling and examples of proof, the scientific community largely ignores this data as either highly subjective itself, due mostly to the reality of fakery or misrepresentations of known phenomena, thus becoming disqualified for further inquiry, or simply labeled as from a misidentified source that cannot be considered acceptable, and duly dismissed.

For the proper researcher of psychic phenomena, it is firstly to apply a broad observation to the subject matter in general, which will create a foundation to the items being examined. For this example, I will use the alleged ghost lights of Route 520, a section of road in the state of Florida of the United States. This will be done in order to formulate the best answer to what might be causing the seemingly paranormal responses as witnessed or otherwise felt by many observers. The background and location history will be discussed fully, followed by a detailed listing of haunting events and occurrences by firstly, gathering information about the biological world that could be playing a part in this inquiry, and secondly, how and why we must always apply two important mechanisms in our research, which is sensory perception and our ability to reason. Finally, we will examine the reasoning and possibilities of said occurrences in order to best apply such findings to the case study, and then culminate with the findings of the overall methodological process.

The scientific method in practice

As stated, in the proper search for an answer to any scientifically based inquiry, a detailed study must first be secured in order for the subject matter to be found both logical and acceptable within the scientific community. In short, if such an inquiry cannot be properly challenged and found true or false by way of observation, hypothesis, educated prediction of test processes and outcomes, followed by the performance of experiments, submitting to a thorough analysis of the experiments, and finally drawing a conclusion that proves or disproves; often finding a null or alternate hypothesis in the process, then the scientific method is not complete. In spite of rationale and reason, the method is not considered satisfactory unless these basic steps are completed in detail. In the case of psychical research, this can be applied equally to various forms of said research, such as in cases of telepathy, which is the transference of various forms of information, both on emotional and base-thought foundations between individuals by senses other than the five classical senses, sight, hearing, taste et al. This methodical series of steps can also be applied to other aspects of this discipline, such as psychokinesis, or the ability of a mental influence over or beside matter, and/or time-spatial issues. Moreover, it may also prove practical in other forms of research like that of precognition and remote viewing, where both issues can be tested not by addressing topics of perception and information gathering, but by being able to account for the information being collected during the process, and then proving the information correct. Some topics of a psychical nature that may prove the most difficult might be in the arenas of clairvoyance, which entails the gathering of information about places or events, and often regarding remote locations; clairaudience, a form in hearing that transcends the physical form of acoustics by psychic means; clairsentience, which enables one to receive information by way of “feeling” and clairscent, where one is able to detect otherworldly or otherwise discarnate odors by a psychic response. Although these psychic responses may prove difficult to measure, it is possible to apply the scientific method equally by ways of testing the information, such as authenticity of the subject’s findings, especially when the information is not public knowledge; names of people or places within the context of the investigation and so forth, so long as the process remains within provable guidelines.  Moreover, apparitional and related experiences and near-death experiences, specifically phenomena attributed to ghosts and haunted locations represent that which is still in the realms of testability, though considerably difficult to authenticate as factual due to possibilities of fraud, misunderstanding about normal phenomena that may seem unnatural and a general lack of information suitable to prove the observations of the experiencer. In addition to this, long standing legends about a particular location being “haunted” may influence the experiencer into elevating his or her natural senses, in effect, prompting that person in believing that an event is occurring when it is not.

Because a person or people can be coerced by word-of-mouth events, whether historical events or recent events that might create a general belief system due to the emotional factors involved, such as a place where a crime had occurred, or where people may have died, might influence false emotions or experiences, in effect, making the experiencer see, hear, feel or smell things that are not actually there. Such a response is not dissimilar from people suffering from group hysteria, or when a neurosurgeon probes a section of a patient’s brain, eliciting physical sensations from the patient that are not actually occurring. In such cases, many wakeful patients may very well experience visual anomalies, such as seeing colors and images that are not there; olfactory events, such as smelling particular foods or experiencing motor activity not sanctioned by the patient, aspects that all represent the power of the mind, albeit an unknown power. And though such sensations are not factual for the patient, this serves as a logical example for some who make claim to psychical, or otherwise “paranormal” events, and it is for this reason that psychical researchers must apply the scientific method along with well-thought reasoning to their investigations in order to best separate possible physical, mental or emotional issues from genuine psychic phenomena.

Background research and understanding fact from fiction

     As with any astute study, psychical research requires and equal share of in-depth analysis. Though the subject of ghost lights and tales of apparitions and hauntings may hang on the ledge of the fantastic, in fact being regarded as folk custom to that of existing on the plane of reality; not falling in a bracket that can be diagnosed from a scientific foundation; such is not entirely true. Indeed, there are many ways to investigate such experiences directly, though not all aspects will be answered completely. To begin with, we will have to investigate the history and general background of the location in order to have a clear knowledge of what exactly is going on, and why the legend is occurring in the first place. To do this, we’ll start with research at the local library and that city’s public records department to find clues that may lead to explicit answers to why these events might be taking place. We should then interview professionals in the areas of nature, like forest rangers and fish and game officers who will likely know of the legends, and who may have actually witnessed them. We will also interview scholars in the fields of chemistry, biology and ecology to see if there is a natural explanation to the mysterious ghost lights. When these interviews and the initial library research are complete, we’ll begin the weigh the evidence.

The following serves as a detailed background of the legends that continues today:

 

History and general background

The legend has and continues to occur just south-east of the busy city of Orlando, Florida, on a dark and oftentimes ominous stretch of road known as Route 520. This road runs about 35-miles through dense forests and musty swamplands straight past Interstate-95, through the busy U. S. Federal Highway-1, and on to the Cocoa Beach seashores. Having served as a time efficient shortcut for Floridian travelers over the many years, this road expedites the journey from central Florida to the sunny beaches in half the time to that of other roads. Though efficient and cost effective, Route 520 has a lethal and foreboding reputation as being one of the most deadly roads in the state of Florida, and ranking the 3rd most dangerous roadway in the United States by the Florida Highway Patrol. While Route 520 has served motorists for the past 30 years, it is still only a two-lane road in most sections, and a bumpy one at that. Because of these setbacks, there have been many fatal accidents over the years, some killing entire families while en route for Disney World, Universal Studios or any number of theme parks throughout central Florida. Sometimes, tragedy would come to those in a hurry to get home after a long day’s work or after a full night of partying in downtown Orlando. As such, this dark and tattered path has earned the appropriate nickname “Bloody 520 — Road of Broken Dreams.”  The location in question is a long and winding highway that runs through a mostly unlit and rather dense section of central Florida. And as this area is dark and winding, it stands to reason that the opportunity for accidents is more likely here. Whether by driving intoxicated or having fallen asleep at the wheel, Route 520 has claimed many lives. For certain, any Florida State Trooper or Sheriff’s Deputy will tell you, far too many people have lost their lives on this most deadly of Florida’s roadways.

 

Legends and belief systems

For at least the past 35 years, Route 520 has taken on a more supernatural reputation to that of merely being known as a dangerous route to travel. Many local Floridians have claimed strange and even frightening events to have taken place there over the years. From UFOs hovering in the darkened skies over this long stretch of unlit road and nearby swamplands, to the elusive Skunk Ape; Florida’s answer to the Bigfoot creature prowling the nearby thickets and woodlands, such constitute a few excellent examples of Route 520’s oral traditions of the strange and uncanny. Yet, even with such folklore, there is one story that keeps popping up; a time-honored legend that has many late night motorists stepping on the gas peddle just a bit harder in order to quickly pass this dark and foreboding road without catching a glimpse of those frightening glowing orbs known as ghost lights.

For roughly the last four decades Route 520 has been the home to one of the oddest forms of ghostly phenomena known to psychical researchers and paranormal investigators. Well known as ghost lights, spook lights, ignis fatuus (foolish fire) and willow o’ the wisps, these strange luminous balls of mysterious matter may not be as unique as one might believe. In fact, radiant orbs like the ones observed near Route 520 have been experienced all over the world, sharing similar qualities and behaviors since ancient times. Even though many have tried to find reasoning behind these ghostly lights; with such ideas as swamp gas or reflections of disembodied headlights from distant cars, hard evidence to what they truly are, their nature and purpose have never been conclusively established by scientist or layperson.

The 520 ghost lights are said to be greenish-yellow iridescent balls of light, which are sometimes seen floating on the sides of the roads or hovering through the nearby woods. Often witnessed as a single orb that bobs up and down erratically, and sometimes seen in pairs acting as one or as independent entities, these intriguing glowing anomalies have become a part of Florida’s unique and very interesting folklore. One aspect to this legend, which alters their playful reputation, are reports that these ghostly lights will sometimes act with almost human qualities, mimicking a playful dance through the treetops, or jotting to and fro around the darkened road. Local legend goes on to tell that sometimes these enigmatic orbs of light will actually chase people and cars as they pass by. Some of these legends however, are a bit more frightening. According to one gentleman living in the Cocoa Beach area since the late 1950s, a pair spook lights followed his wife home one evening in 1979. As the story goes, when his wife was coming home from visiting her sister in Orlando, while driving through the dead center of Route 520, she began seeing a glowing ball of light bobbing up and down near the passenger side of her car. This ball of light kept pace with her for several minutes. She tried to reason what she was seeing, thinking it might be a reflection of another car’s lights hitting her window, or perhaps it was a light from her dashboard somehow casting the glow on the passenger-side window. Regardless how hard she tried to find an answer, the eerie light continued to keep up with her car as if the light were somehow alive.

As the now thoroughly frightened woman continued to drive as fast as she could, the ghostly orbs appeared to subside, and then stopped all together, hovering still on the side of the road, and then slowly slipping into the adjacent woodlands. The poor woman later related her terrifying story to friends and family, in effect, inaugurating this spooky legend to Florida’s robust ghost lore.  A similar story occurred in 1998 from a man walking home from work. This man, a short-order cook at one of Cocoa Beach’s roadside diners, was preparing to walk home after closing for the evening. His car was not running at the time, but as his home was only about a mile and a half down Route 520, it wasn’t too much of a problem for him. As this man was on his trek home around 2:30 A.M., while walking on the left shoulder of the road, he noticed a faint greenish glow about fifty yards ahead of him within the dense woods. This light was pulsating from bright to a dull hue much like an old time railroad lantern, so he thought it must have been local hunters looking for raccoon or opossum. Yet, he just could not help thinking that something was wrong about the nature of this light, thinking it just didn’t look right.

As the weary cook continued for home, he noticed that the odd light was keeping pace with his every step, as if mocking his every move. Then suddenly, a second light appeared behind the first. Though much dimmer than the first light. It proved without a shadow of a doubt that the light was not from a hunter’s lantern, and the cook later admitted that he was becoming quite nervous about the whole affair. Nonetheless, the strange lights continued to follow him for nearly twenty minutes, all the time bobbing up and down as if taunting his every move. Within a few moments, the first light seemed to move upward, as if climbing a nearby tree, with the second light becoming very dim, and then reducing itself to a pinpoint of light, then disappearing altogether. By this time, the cook was becoming frightened, and decided to pick up his pace in order to elude this bizarre occurrence. As he was reaching a turn to his housing development, he saw the saving glow of car headlights about a mile ahead. Pleased that at least someone was close by, the cook gazed back only to find the floating orb of light now in the center of the road, as if watching him. The cook later stated he was getting more than a little perturbed at the evening’s events. He was tired, and he wanted to get home, take a shower and go to bed, but felt that someone or something was playing with him, and he had had enough. The out of breath cook decided to stop and hold his ground and prepare to fight if need be, but as he turned, he noticed that the light was becoming denser, flicking a bit, and then extinguished all together. The man never witnessed the ghostly lights again. Although this short-order cook, now a bartender in downtown Cocoa Beach was more than happy to relate this story to me, he admitted that even though his car is up and running today, that if for any reason he was ever stranded again, he would take a cab instead rather than waling that stretch of road.

 

 Possible explanations 

The legend dictates that the best time to witness the ghost lights of Route 520 lights are between 5:00 P.M. and 3:30 A.M., and have several individual legendary examples to offer a reason for the lights themselves, but what of more plausible reasons? As there have been many scientists and self-styled paranormal investigators over the years to claim that these lights are a result of nature en flux; a simple break down of plant and animal deposits, which creates methane gases, and when ignited through natural causes, the end result may produce an upward dispersal and instant glow or “burn-off,” thus creating the seemingly spooky event. The process is usually instant and can reach to several feet, only to fizzle out. This event is in fact a true scientific occurrence, which takes place in most estuaries, swamps and other bodies of stagnant water. And though Route 520’s ghostly lights show some similarities in behavior, the particulars are certainly different.

The natural process of burning swamp gas will usually take place within the summer months when it is balmy and humid, and even at night when there is a slight cool down in temperature. Because of such explanations, it would be logical to assume that these strange lights are completely natural in origin. Swamp gas does not, however, float through the woods and follow cars or people as they pass by. This is more the nature of the so called “ignis fatuus” or foolish fire. And although the ghost lights of Route 520 have been reported as being playful in nature, as if playing hide and seek with those lucky or unlucky enough to experience them, there is a feeling of malevolence to their odd nature nonetheless. Even though there has never been a report of these luminous orbs of light having caused physical harm to anyone, the nature of these anomalies remains a frightening subject for anyone who experiences them. Moreover, while these particular ghost lights appear to be more entertaining than anything dangerous or evil, their presence in the realms of psychical research and world folklore shall always remain a mystery.

 

Understanding the scientific method – Separating the wheat from the chaff

Before a research problem like ghost lights can be honestly explored, said researcher must first do a complete background investigation for the question; its means, value to the study and the purpose of the interest. For the supposition of ghost lights being of intelligent origin; or from the folkloric perspective, an entity of discarnate origin, we are certainly taking a huge leap of faith. That is to say, the possibilities of defining the lights being observed in a swampy region in the southern states in America as “paranormal” is indeed a huge leap of faith, considering that methane gas burn-off is a simple and quite natural response to nature. Dead matter decomposes, is rendered active from the state of simple change to another, and then responds to that change. In this case, the decomposing matter becomes gaseous, which in turn ignites and takes various patterns before dissolving. The legend, in contrast is rich in folklore, finding various homes of thought regarding the so-called supernatural. From the discarnate spirits of pioneers and long-dead native Indians, to ghostly locomotives, jackrabbits with lanterns strapped to their backs and luminous creatures of a fantastic nature, the ghost lights have been witnessed since ancient times. But how do psychical researchers investigate and catalog them?

In the course of any psychical investigation, it will be necessary to address the mundane along with the seemingly fantastic. In cases of the survival hypothesis, which this work is dedicated, the subject of alleged accounts of hauntings and poltergeist incidents will glean a heightened chance of experiencing fantasy prone personalities, mental illness and outright fraud. Indeed, researchers will hear every kind of tale imaginable; most that may not warrant further attention. However, when dealing with the experiencer, specifically those within the public domain, the researcher will have to apply the scientific method to all aspects of the investigation, a reality that is equally true when working alone or with other researchers.

To best exemplify this process, we will apply the example case study to the methodology process accordingly, and in the following manner:

 

                       zzz-Research-Process-Methodology1

 

Step 1: Make observations.

This process might at first appear obvious, but in truth can be the most taxing within the investigation. Outside of initial and preliminary investigations; interviewing the experiencer(s) and collecting general information, on most occasions the researcher will have to deal with many hours of waiting and observing at the location. Unlike a chemist who can watch a reaction to a chemical experiment in a matter of moments, the psychical researcher might have to sit in a parked car, remain still within a dwelling or in the elements waiting for an alleged event to occur (e.g., an apparition making a presence as according to folklore, ghost lights “ignis fatuus” or similar phenomena). In spite of the sacrifice of time, this aspect of the scientific method is the most vital part of the process, largely because what the researcher observes or does not observe will fortify the study, and construct the foundation for the following elements of his or her research and eventual presentation.

 

Step 2: Form a hypothesis.

In general, the hypothesis is a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation. It serves as the base reasoning of your investigation, and typically has the following characteristics:

a.)          It should consist of a general principle that holds across all spans of knowledge

b.)         It should consist of an idea, though tentative; or otherwise pliable for further research

c.)         It should coincide with available observations

d.)         It should be simplistic and easy to comprehend.

e.)         It should be testable; possibly provable and possibly falsifiable, meaning that there should be a way for the hypothesis to be disproven as well, which will make your research unbiased. If, however, there is not enough evidence to complete the observation point of the method, then it will have to be listed as missing information, just as in any mathematical study. Because there may not be enough information, the scientific method cannot satisfy its peers; the scientific community, thus rendering the study incomplete. However, a general answer might result as a null hypothesis or as an alternate hypothesis in order to dismiss or hold the study until such time as the study can be explored again. In psychical research, this is a common and unavoidable factor, until such time as proper information can be collected in order to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Example: If researching ghost lights “ignis fatuus” as an intelligent form of haunting, for instance, various scientific apparatus might be used to take samples of air, methane and other gasses, ions and various aspects of a chemical nature in order to rule out a simple answer for the visual effects witnessed by people. The collection of such elements or a lack of such elements would be considered a testable measurement, which would offer an unbiased result, assuming the information collected is provable and acceptable by authorities in that field of study. If, however, you are unable to collect the proper data to prove that the “ghost lights” are actually related to ghosts or otherwise paranormal activity, then the study will likely result as a null hypothesis. An alternate hypothesis, in contrast remains true to the original theory, and that an observed effect will occur, in this case, there may be intelligence behind the ghost lights, and not a result of swamp gasses or other natural phenomena. Or, that the events are indeed a natural cause, and not of a “paranormal” nature. It all depends on the position of your hypothesis.

 

Step 3: Make a prediction.

Decide on what you will expect from your hypothesis from step 2. At this stage you understand that your hypothesis is tentative and may or may not be factual. Keep notes about what you think you’ll discover during your testing stage. As the location appears to have unforeseen, luminous lights existing where there should be no such lights, you “predict” two possibilities: (1.) The effects are a natural phenomena, a result of methane gasses burning off during the summer months and (2.) the lights could be another concept of nature, albeit a controversial concept known as the “Corpuscular Theory,” whereby billions of microscopic points of light attract to each other, congeal by means yet unknown, and become mobile; are able to float and motivate by unknown means. The first theory simply relates to methane gasses burning off naturally, a common effect in marshy terrain during certain times of the year, while the second appears as real, though being on a different plane of physics as simple as reflective or refractive light; ball lightning or the spontaneous combustion of living or inert materials. You make a prediction that these are of the two possible causes, and not a “paranormal” manifestation as local legend attests.

Note: If the experiment doses not work accordingly to your hypothesis, then you will have to modify your hypothesis in order to proceed. This can occur by margins or by proposing an entirely new hypothesis, though for the most part it may only require you to add or subtract variables in your theory, or force you to reconsider original ideas. If you need to modify your hypothesis, return to Step 2, and then proceed with another experiment.

 

Step 4: Perform the experiment.

We rely again on our sensory perception to collect information, and design an experiment based on our predictions. In the case of the ghost lights, the first necessity is time, patience and keen observation. The legend gives us testimony that strange, greenish-yellow and sometimes bluish-colored lights are seen hovering near an embankment that is close to Route 520, roughly 155-yards. The road itself has a long history in this sleepy part of Cocoa Beach, Florida; a small seaside city of less than 18,000 residents, and resting between the cities of Melbourne and Titusville. The history dates to roughly the early 1760s, but northern settlers didn’t start setting up homes here until the 1860s. The route has been a main link to the busy city of Orlando, and runs about 35 miles. It has a long list of road fatalities and has a reputation of being haunted as a result. This is the local folklore that has generated interest in the subject of ghosts and hauntings for this area since at least the 1960s. The first step is to locate the section where the ghost lights have been witnessed. Then the researchers will set up a temporary camp and employ the tools of their trade in order to measure and collect data regarding the alleged events, and then apply the scientific method in resolving the mystery (the question) if possible. The following list of equipment will be used in the investigation.

1.)         Eudiometer; a laboratory device that measures the change in volume of a gas-mixture following a physical or chemical change.

 

2.)         Sensit Gold C – model; a gas sensitive detector that can pick up and record levels of various gasses, both natural and synthetic.

 

3.)         MSA Altair, Single-Gas H2S Detector; a device able to pick up and record hydrogen sulfides (H2S), which is both toxic and flammable, causing a variety of problems, including causing visual hallucinations.

 

4.)         Magnetometer-Tri-Field meters with a magnetic setting calibrated for 60 Hz-sine waves and Analog Electro-Static Voltmeter (AEV). The Tri-Field Meters determined various magnetic strengths at this location, both inside and outside where no electric sources could be found. AEV is used primarily for checking surface and ambient electrostatic charges.

 

5.)          Non-Contact Infrared Radiometer-Thermometer and Digital Hygro-Thermometer. The basic temperature reading detected massive temperature differentials at the site, where some levels differed to 32 degrees hotter in a space of one hour. Hygrometer-related temperatures found barometric pressure and relative humidity to change by at least 18 degrees inside a confined space, and close to 22 degrees outside, though levels may vary.

 

6.)         Infrared 35-mm camera with 50 mm (171.8 lens) with a Kodak No. 25-Filter, High Speed Infrared Film (HIE 135-36) 36 X 3 exposures are sensitive enough to detect shadow-like images, as well as photographic curvatures otherwise not detectable on standard film.

 

7.)         Digital Cameras/Video Recorders (various brands) with night vision attachments, as well as infrared capabilities for capturing evidence of Orb and/or Vortex activity, regardless of personal theories of significance. Though possible explanations for the majority of orbs photographed may be due to duct, mist and other water-related causes, the anomalies may not be acceptable in moisture-prone locations.

 

8.)         Ion Survey Meter (ISM) used for the detection of ion particles and various forms of low-level radiation. Ions, both positive and negative can cause various mood and emotional variations, and are able to cause intense fear, anxiety and dread, or unwarranted elation and happiness without logical circumstances.

Now that the equipment is ready, the primary researcher and others will choose the proper location where to set up for their experiment. Unlike the average scientist of chemistry, physics and such, who might have a well fortified laboratory to work from, these psychical researchers will have to submit to harsh environments in order to perform their experiments. Here, the researchers are looking for the alleged ghost lights to appear, so they are on location, two researchers near the marshlands and another two near the roadway. They will sit up throughout the night, and observe the area were the anomalies have been witnessed. Because the researchers have agreed upon a hypothesis model, they will begin with the use of their equipment. The experiment will last for three consecutive nights within the same hours as a guideline. They set up two (2) video cameras with night vision attachments, as well as infrared capabilities. Each camera is set to two separate points of location, and will be running at a long-play setting in order to last for the hours expected. Next, they will use their testing equipment, such as the eudiometer, a laboratory device to measure the change in volume of a gas mixture following a physical or chemical change. This will be used in water beds and nearby estuaries, and will follow a typical protocol. Also in use will be the Non-contact infrared radiometer-thermometer and digital hygro-thermometer, to be used for scanning the general and surrounding areas. These tests will be ongoing throughout the experiment to record any changes and variables that may cause the effects observed by witnesses in the past, as well as to formulate why such an event might occur in the first place. Next, the researchers will employ the MSA Altair, single-gas H2S and the Sensit Model-C detectors in order to collect and analyze the various gasses collecting around the general locale, as well as near the road where the events are said to have occurred. This is done to rule out or prove the existence of such gasses, as well as to possibly add to the concept that such gasses are contributing to the effects witnessed.

Once the gas count is concluded, an ion count will be taken with the Ion Survey Meter in order to ascertain if the effect of either positive or negative ions are present in any great or otherwise exaggerated number. As either pronounced levels could point to elevated moods, such as depression, fear and anger, or happiness and euphoria, such could possibly have altered moods and outlooks of the experiencer, making them, in effect, “see ghosts.” Finally, the researchers will submit to taking photographs with the Infrared 35-mm camera using 50 mm (171.8 lenses) with a Kodak No. 25-filter, high speed infrared film throughout the experiment timeline. Such will be conducted throughout the time spent at the location; from dusk until daybreak (approximately from 6:45 P.M. to 6:00 A.M.). Each researcher is given two rolls of film for conventional cameras, and a new Scandisk chip for each digital camera.                  In addition to the primary study, the researchers will also use a Magnetometer and various tri-field meters to rule out electromagnetic responses, where there should be none. As the phone lines and its electrical components are at least 135-yards from the observation location within the swamp area, only the lowest levels should be detected, if at all. Other tools like a tape recorder, notepads, pens, small LED lights, as well as a large battery lamp and food and drinks will be provided for the researchers.

Note: Cell phones are permitted, but must be turned off during the experiment. And no radio, television or other entertainment devices will be allowed. Furthermore, researchers will refrain from smoking or wearing colognes as such might interfere with the experiment. The researchers will take their meals and spend their day-time sleeping hours at a nearby hotel.

 

The experiment

The researchers were able to find the proper locations, and dutifully set up a small camp, which would be used only during the hours of testing. The first two nights are spent without issue, and make no observations of unexplainable lights or otherwise experience anything out of the ordinary. A series of tests with the aforementioned equipment was used each night with normal or otherwise typical responses regarding natural gasses, sights, sounds and expectations for the terrain the researchers were in. On the third day, however (5:35 P.M.), the researchers witnessed what appeared to be a soft glow coming from the marshlands just northeast of their location, approximately 155-yards from the westbound road of Route 520. The color of the light was bluish-drab with hints of yellow at its core. The researchers began an immediate series of tests with their equipment. They captured photos, and video evidence of what could be detected on their digital and video cameras, authenticating a visual existence. Moreover, there was a scent collected, albeit largely undetectable to the researchers, but found on the gas detection devises, offering the following readings in Step 5:

 

Step 5: Analyze the results of the experiment. 

(1.)        Upon initial, secondary and tertiary experiments with the equipment listed in Step 4, the researchers discovered the presence of phosphine (PH3) in the gasses collected. Understanding that Phosphine (phosphorus trihydride) is a highly poisonous gas naturally and synthetically created by watery soils, and resulting from the natural decay of plant and animal proteins and other phosphate-bearing matter, such serves as the primary cause for said accounts of so-called “ghost lights” observed in the research area. Moreover, trace amounts of phosphorous tetrahydride (P2H4) have been found, and clinically determined that when a tetrahydride-carrying phosphine is introduced into methane, a self-ignition occurs.

(2.)        As a result, the flame should appear as a bright greenish-blue in color, accompanied by fair amount of smoke from the burn-off. There was also a distinctly unique odor as a result of the burn-off. In spite of this evidence, it is common knowledge, as well as through Folkloristics that “ghost lights” do no emit an odor. However, because the majority of witnesses have reported these oddities from a distance, and rarely up-close, it appears likely that the “ghost lights” in question are a combination of simple and complex gasses igniting as a result of temperature, which was agitated by the time of year July 23-25, with a mean temperature of 92 degrees Fahrenheit or 33.3333 Celsius.

(3.)        In addition, a series of in-lab experiments at the Chemistry Departments-University of Central Florida and the University of Chicago was conducted. The research team used an Aerograph gas separator-vapor phase chromatography in order to complete a detailed analysis of collected water samples from the testing location. The final report submitted from an x-3 test resulted in a failure to detect a part-per-million trace of phosphine in the laboratory samples.

(4.)        Non-contact infrared radiometer-thermometer/digital hygro-thermometer was able to record readings that were unremarkable for the locale. Temperature readings fluxed between 92 degrees Fahrenheit/33.3333 Degrees Celsius to 79 degrees Fahrenheit/26.1111 degrees Celsius through the duration of testing time.

(5.)        Photographs, both 35 mm and digital cameras were able to catch images of what appeared to look like balls of light rising up from the marsh and nearby estuary. The balls were wisp-like, and had resin upward only, and did not travel or move horizontally as local legend attests. The lights followed the first behavior by dissipating altogether, leaving a momentary trace of smoke, or something resembling smoke. The event lasted approximately 3-4 minutes, as opposed to the estimated duration of witnessed ghost lights, which have been reported to last up to several hours.

(6.)       Magnetometer and various tri-field meter readings: Inconclusive/Null

(7.)       Ion Survey Meter: Trace elements/positive count of 2,500 per cc to the millionth per location of 50-yards from road area estimated. As positive ions, or the lack of a certain amount of negative ions may cause a condition known as serotonin hyper-function syndrome or “irritation syndrome,” which may involve irritability, tension, sleeplessness, , migraine headaches, heart palpitations, hot flashes, sweating, chills, tremors, nausea and dizziness, such may have caused a general sense of fear and anger for sensitive individuals. Note: The acceptable minimum concentration of negative ions indoors is 200-300 ions per cc, while the optimal level is 1000-1500 negative ions per cc.

(8.)       Spectral activity: Null

(9.)       Out-of-place sounds, scents or feelings experienced by researchers: No extra or out of the ordinary scent or feelings occurred for the researchers, save that for a pungent scent as a result of the marshlands and stagnant waters near the test location.

(10.)          Adverse effects reported by researchers: Negative

Sample report from research team:

“The water of the marsh is ferruginous, and covered with an iridescent crust. During the day bubbles of air were seen rising from it, and in the night blue flames were observed shooting from and playing over its surface. As I suspected that there was some connection between these flames and the bubbles of air, I marked during the day-time the place where the latter rose up most abundantly, and repaired thither during the night; to my great joy I actually observed bluish-purple flames, and did not hesitate to approach them. On reaching the spot they retired, and I pursued them in vain; all attempts to examine them closely were ineffectual. I went to the place, where I waited the approach of night; the flames became gradually visible, but redder than formerly, thus showing that they burnt also during the day; I approached nearer and they retired. Convinced that they would return again to their place of origin, when the agitation of the air ceased, I remained stationary and motionless, and observed them again gradually approach…The gas was evidently flammable, and not a phosphorescent one, as some have maintained. But how do these lights originate?”

(1.)   From an 1832 account recorded in Newmark, Germany, courtesy the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal)

 

Step 6: Formulate a conclusion

AND

Step 7: Report your results.

(Partial conclusion) The final analysis of the test location gives credence for typical experiences that may be found at such locations that are surrounded by brackish water, primarily stagnate or non-flowing water like that of this region of central Florida. Because the test results proved positive for its gas readings, which are comparable in some aspects to sewer water, where the decay of plant and animal remains have been broken down to form said gasses, it stands to reason that for the most part this area is experiencing a natural burn-off of such decayed matter to form balls of luminous, gaseous light, followed by various forms or “wisps” of smoke. It is our contention that the majority of witness accounts were of this simple methane burn-off. Unlike other enigmas like ball lightning and spontaneous combustion of living or inert properties, this particular event is short-lived, causes no damage to the surrounding area, or is mobile from its initial location save that from moving upward to dissolve.

zzz-Research-Process-Methodology-methane

Fig.2 Report of gas count – methane et al

100,000 and we reject the null then we must conclude that the alternate is true and the ghost lights are paranormal in nature; if we fail to reject it is plausible; that the ghost lights are not of a paranormal foundation, we will not use it. In this case, with the evidence collected, our findings could be viewed both ways; both meaningful in result because the gasses, ions and photo evidence seem to prove that this may in fact are the causes of the ghost lights. However, because the behaviors and responses are not like those of the ghost lights as witnessed in folklore and urban legend, we may conclude that the hypothesis is alternative, because there may yet be another, yet undiscovered reason that the ghost lights are in fact based in some paranormal arena, respectfully. value is greater than the significance level, then we must reject the null hypothesis and consider the test example as it is plausible. Understanding the null or alternate hypothesis in this question, and considering a hypothesis against the null hypothesis, meaning that the ghost lights are natural and the cause of this otherwise paranormal event; the data collected being evidence against the mean, and assuming the mean is factual, trying to prove it untrue; the question remains open for further exploration.

In short, after finding the test statistic and p-value, if the p-value is less than or equal to the significance level of the test, then we must reject the null hypothesis and conclude the alternate hypothesis is the most logical. If, however, the p-value is greater than the significance level then we might conclude it is plausible. In contrast to this, if the question statement asks you to determine if there is a difference between the statistic and a value, the hypothesis becomes a two-tail test; meaning that the null hypothesis, for example, could be μ = d to that of the alternate hypothesis, which could in turn become μ ≠ d…An interesting concept to say the least.

zzzz-test

Fig. 3 Possible viewpoints of the hypothesis

Regardless of the science that could be applied to an otherwise religious or metaphysical question only asks us to continue searching. Because an alternate hypothesis is a prediction that we could make when using a non-experimental method for our research, such as creating a questionnaire, lickert scale and survey, or when observing an experiment, the predication may continue in spite of the initial findings or lack thereof. The alternate hypothesis dictates that the researchers will observe some kind of effect during their test experiments.

Note: For future reference, in statistics the formulation of an alternate hypothesis is shown as either Ha or by H1 symbols. The null hypothesis says that the researcher will find no observed effect for the ghost lights during the experiment. In statistics and mathematical formulations for such will be denoted by H0.

 

 

In conclusion

When conducting authorized experiments, scientists will ultimately publish their findings in various scientific periodicals and trade magazines; they will report their findings at symposiums and share their concepts in books. They’ll give lectures at international meetings and in seminars held at the most prestigious colleges and universities throughout the world. So, understanding that everything is on the line, the researcher in question will work hard to assure his or her work is perfect, logical and above all, acceptable. I say acceptable because proving some theories are simply not possible, even if the author of such a theory claims it with great fervor. After all, even though humans make up the names of planets and galaxies, periodic tables and the nomenclatures of all things, such does not mean they are correct — It only assures us that their suppositions were accepted as correct, mostly by concurrence of their peers, and on more than one occasion by popular vote. Incorrect theories like phrenology and supreme eugenics, among many have gone the wayside because they found no basis in a science that can be proven. And though many people would like to think that their suppositions are correct, even when it proves false time and time again, we must remember that even when our theories fail and our methods prove fruitless, the importance for disseminating our results is the most essential aspect of the scientific method as a whole. Because doing so allows others to investigate, and verify your results when correct, or develop additional hypotheses to retest them when they are false, and entices critical thinking and an eventual advancement of that discipline. In the end, you will be known for your contribution to that question, no matter where the answers lay.

For the psychical researcher, the need for the scientific method is just as important for the research scientist with NASA or for the professor of physics who is composing a new theory. Indeed, if truth be known, this sentiment is even truer for the psychical researcher, as this discipline unfortunately remains in the ether realms of fringe science, magic or metaphysical philosophy, having yet to receive a fair enlistment into founded academia, or a warm embrace by fellow researchers in the field of science and social significance. Therefore, the scientific method becomes the very foundation of everything the psychical researcher is striving to prove. It becomes the one completely accepted aspect of all the sciences in spite of the reputation of the few.  In the end, more than the methods and systems you’ll use during the creation of your hypothesis, whether you will need to augment or totally rewrite your supposition in order for it to function in the experiment process, the one aspect that must be applied each and every time is critical thinking. More than anything else, the scientific method relies on critical thinking because it is the process of examining current beliefs and accepted explanations, with a goal to distinguish logic from popular conceptions. Those without the proper level of adequate evidence or rational foundations to their theories will be summarily denied. Therefore, without solid arguments to back up your theory, consisting of one or more premises, along with a thorough and comprehensible conclusion, your method process will simply not be complete.

If we are to weigh the importance of one research question to another, we might find that we are comparing apples to oranges. That is to say the psychical researcher is among the few pioneers left to true and unfettered science as we know it. We are among the last to represent the great unknown; the undiscovered country that so diligently wishes to be explored. Though the true researcher will always be at odds in the unforeseeable ocean of naysayers and skeptics, it is the unknown that continues to act as a beacon that heralds the wise and dedicated alike to continue the search. As the only way to achieve an acceptance by mainstream researchers within the scientific community is to adhere to time-honored and accepted systems that they recognize, the importance of this process becomes clear. The television ghost hunters and psychic spook detectors will simply not do outside of an entertainment program, offering little more than a sideshow-like atmosphere to fill an hour of your time. In the true pursuit of scientific knowledge, the psychical researcher will have to brave the waters of hard science in order to reach the other side safely, if not only to be revered. Those who cannot or will not adapt to this simple edict will not survive. Therefore, for the honest and dedicated researcher, he or she must begin with the undemanding practice of actual research; diligence in that study; a sacrifice of many hours to his or her research, and above all, always applying the scientific method to each and every aspect of research within their discipline. Doing any less is just not science.

 

 

Reference

Bauer, Henry H., Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, University of Illinois Press, Champaign,

IL, 1992

Bloom, B. (1956). Major categories in the taxonomy of educational objectives. Retrieved January 17, 2012 from the

University of Washington-Seattle Website: http://faculty.washington.edu/~krumme/guides/bloom.htm

 

Brody, Baruch A. and Capaldi, Nicholas, Science: Men, Methods, Goals: A Reader: Methods of Physical Science, W. A.

Benjamin, 1968

 

Burks, Arthur W., Chance, Cause, Reason – An Inquiry into the Nature of Scientific Evidence, University of Chicago Press,

Chicago, IL, 1977.

 

Frizzell, Michael A. & George F. Walls. Stalking The Mysterious Lights; Pursuit Magazine, Volume 20, Fourth Quarter, 1987

 

Soyka, F. 1977. The ion effect. Lester and Orpen Limited

Figure 2 courtesy RapidTables.com

http://www.rapidtables.com/math/symbols/Statistical_Symbols.htm

 

Figure 3 courtesy Statistics Symbol sheet:

http://www.tc3.edu/instruct/sbrown/swt/symbol.htm

 

(1.)       This account took place in Newmark, Germany and was documented in an 1832 edition of the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal and was recaptured for posterity by William R. Corliss in Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights and Related Luminous Phenomena , pp. 168, 175.

 

 

 

monster3.jpg

  “This All Hallows’ Eve, why not take an excursion into some of Hollywood’s best and beloved films about ghosts, hauntings and psychical research in general. Though filmmakers often add that something special to catch the eye of the moviegoer; moving beyond the fact and into the ultra-fantasy, once in a while they hit it on the spot.”

Now that Halloween is upon us again, let us take a moment to look at some really good films and documentaries; I should say the most accurate films that best portray psychical research and otherwise paranormal phenomena for this year. In my first review in 2012, my picks were my all-time favorites like The Changeling (1980), The Uninvited (1944), The haunting (1963) and The Entity (1982), among a few other notables that tended to range among the most accurate from a paranormal point-of-view. And though I’m sure there are others we might suggest as really cool and spooky, such as the recent “Insidious” films and “The Conjuring,” suggesting the exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren and the unfortunate “Paranormal Activity” films, the fact is that these movies rank along with the haunted house attractions one might find at the Disney theme parks, the annual Universal Horror Nights or the countless spook shows and walk-through attractions we will find each year around the nation. Yes, they are a blast and fulfill our desire for a jump and scare, but rarely point to honesty and truth when it comes to true psychical research and, for a lack of a better word, “ghost hunting.” In truth, what we watch today would be like comparing the Star Trek and Star Wars films to the “National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” and believing that the exploits of Capt. Kirk and Mr. Spock, or the battles of Luke Skywalker and his X-Wing space fighter to be truthful in every way – Such is just not logical to conceive, nor would it honor the real life astronauts and scientists that devote their lives to true space exploration. Indeed, they might truly enjoy these films as much as we do, but if they took green, dancing Orion space women or Wookiees as truth, they would likely be out of a job…

In that vein, I and other serious psychical researchers believe that complete honesty in our quest is always best, regardless if the source material is mundane or completely boring, we feel that tampering or falsifying the facts is a wrong as lying to a congressional court, or plagiarizing a dissertation in order to achieve a PhD. We must at all times be vigilant and true. Having said that, it would certainly be impetuous of me to suggest that even the best television documentaries and Hollywood films on ghosts are 100 % accurate and honest, yet I can say that there are a few that best display and host actual concepts that are directly related to psychical research and do so in an entertaining fashion that might just suit the researcher’s pallet for accuracy. To that end, the following documentaries and feature films are my picks for this year’s PSI Researcher awards.

Hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!

 

 

NUMBER 1 – Documentary-Drama

A Haunting in Georgia (2002)

 

A TV movie that never steps outside the boundaries of the medium, keeping to the facts as far as the actual investigation occurred. This case handled by the famous parapsychologist Dr. William G. Roll, the tales revolves around a family who moves into a new home and gradually starts to experience paranormal incidents. The daughter, a young girl named “Heidi” and an old man named “Mr. Gordy,” keeps seeing people that nobody else can and she feels the strangeness around them more than any of the other family members. Ghosts? The imagination of a child? Too many positive ions in the air? The family seeks answers.

This film shows how the late parapsychologist actually dealt with clients, having a healthy dose of doubt, but working to find the possible explanations to such incidents as seen and felt by the family members, in an honest manner. This TV Docu-film ranks high among the torrential flood of such shows that would follow, and remained true without the nonsense that the latter group was saturated with.

 

NUMBER 2 – Documentary-Drama

A Haunting in Connecticut (2002)

 

Another TV movie that accompanied the Haunting in Georgia segment, this film chronicles the paranormal dealings of Karen and Ed Parker, who move into their dream home, but soon discover the ominous clues of its chilling funeral parlor past. Crucifixes on doors, toe tags and coffin keys in the basement, so forth and so on, there is plenty of spookiness.  Their 14-year-old son, Paul, claims he sees apparitions and hears voices. Soon, the house is plagued by dark forces that torment the entire family, and it will take a desperate call to the famous publicity hounds; Ed and Lorraine Warren (the investigators of the Amityville haunting) to offer any hope of relief. Okay, such might account for the 2009 feature film of the same title that has all manner of demon and ghastly ghost in it, complete with a box of dried eyelids…Such is the fodder of the Warrens. Nonetheless, this modest TV docu-drama holds its water well, and along with A haunting in Georgia, makes for a great show for those who want a good dose of what actually goes on in a haunting and how people deal with it.

 

NUMBER 3 – Feature Film

Stir of Echoes (1999)

 

Stir of Echoes is an excellent film on the supernatural, starring Kevin Bacon and directed by David Koepp. Based loosely based on the novel A Stir of Echoes by the famous and most-superb author Richard Matheson, this film offers a modern look into a well-deserved haunt. Again pointing to the unfinished business motif, we see how a mentally-challenged girl, played by Jennifer Morrison is lured into a vacant home by a couple of neighborhood dudes in order to take sexually advantage of her. But, when she freaks out and tries to escape, the scumbag dudes end up killing her, and naturally try to cover up their crime by walling her up in the walls of the old root cellar, with the help of their just-as-evil fathers. The end result is a missing kid and her mournful mother and sister, who haven’t given up hope. The scumbag dudes would have gotten away with it if Kevin Bacon’s character would not have been hypnotized by his wife’s new age sister. Now, he’s seeing ghosts and has an unnatural desire to dig around his home for something yet unknown. And to make matters worse, his son seems to have the gift for talking with spirits, which only furthers the mystery in the house, and causes even more havoc to boot.  This is a great film, and really shows us the meaning of being haunted, even though certain Hollywood licensure occurs.

 

NUMBER 4 – Documentary-Drama

Ghost Hunters: Stories from the Other Side (2007)

 

Here’s one of my favorite series from the United Kingdom. These shows are produced from a serious vein of both science and folklore, whereby the legend of an alleged haunted location is housed by reason to that of the tabloid, consisting of the legend, which is usually quite ancient from most standards, due largely because England is so old to begin with. Moreover, the show also interviews the experiencer, as well as professionals in the field of psychical research, such as those involved with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Of the many time-honored stories investigated:

 

NUMBER 5 – Documentary-Drama

Ghost Hunters: Back From the Dead (2007)

 

Another series by the “real” Ghost Hunters of the UK, this series brings us such topics as: The Severn Triangle, In The Shadow of Snowdonia, The Haunting Of County Wicklow and covers some of Great Britain’s most beloved ghost tales as the Ghosts of the Battlefield of The Somme, the Haunted By-Pass and ponders on subjects as: The Phantoms of Chingle Hall, Men Who Talk To Ghosts, Invisible Intelligences and Holy Ghostbusters. This series tackles other intriguing topics as well, including the famous the Case of Gorton Poltergeist and others that will keep you guessing and pondering for the truth about the things that go bump in the night. If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, at least cerebrally, then check these shows out, and remember, England is just haunted, it’s very haunted!

 

NUMBER 6 – Documentary-Drama

Ghost Hunters: Spirits of Bodmin Moor – Mysteries at George Inn/Phantom Pilot (2002)

 

The third in this series explores unexplained incidents and extraordinary phenomena are told in these stories that happened at everyday places. Volume 4 takes a look at three incidents. In Spirits of Bodmin Moor we are taken to a place of history and intrigue where, among other events, King Arthur was supposed to have lived. Some of the locals claim to have experienced many paranormal incidents, including encounters with King Arthur himself. In Mysteries at George Inn, an 18th century drinking house is the site of some eerie hauntings and exorcisms. In Phantom Pilot, a recently deceased pilot appears at an airport lounge in Scotland and chats with a fellow pilot…All in all, fascinating material from credible witnesses.

 

NUMBER 7 – Documentary-Drama

Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers (1980)

 

This show, being one of the key shows to enlighten and inspire me to research and write about the unknown, Arthur C. Clarke, the notable scientist and author, investigates from a scholarly foundation, and offers the viewer a chance to understand various aspects of what we consider strange or paranormal. In World of Strange Powers, this thirteen-part television series, first broadcast in 1985 in the UK by Independent Television Network (ITV), the sequel to the 1980 series Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, is introduced by the acclaimed scientist and fiction writer in short sequences filmed at his home in Sri Lanka. The show covers many aspects of parapsychology, fringe science and Cryptozoology respectfully, giving the audience a scholarly, yet enjoyable format.  With such topics as: Monsters of the Deep, Ancient Wisdom, The Missing Apeman, Giants For the Gods, Monsters of the Lakes and The Great Siberian Explosion, you’ll be treated to some of the greatest mysteries that have ever been. Along with this, there’s the the Riddle of the Stones, Out of the Blue, U.F.O.’s, Dragons, Dinosaurs and Giant Snakes, Strange Skies and Clarke’s Cabinet of Curiosities. A great series that continues to inspire new generation when seen on late-night television. You can find Dr. Clarke’s DVDs on Amazon and through English sources too, and well worth the money.

 

NUMBER 8 – Documentary-Drama

Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World (1985)

 

The follow-up to Clarke’s World of Strange Powers offers us a continued look into the unknown by the famous scientists, who continues to relate the stories with dignity, yet not simply debunking them in a tirade as does Bill Nye – The Science Gut dies when you mention alien life. No, Dr. Clarke simply notes that something is “unlikely” to that of being insulting or rubbish. Indeed, Clarke investigates such topics as UFOs in the episode Warnings from the Future, as well as ghosts and poltergeists in Things That Go Bump in the Night. Other shows such as: From Mind to Mind, Stigmata: The Wounds of Christ, Ghosts, Apparitions and Haunted Houses and Have We Lived Before? Show this scientist’s keen interest in such concepts, and goes beyond that with such episodes as: Fairies, Phantoms and Fantastic Photographs, Walking on Fire, Message from the Dead and The Roots of Evil, which discusses Voodoo and magic. And offers some interesting ideas on Metal Bending, Magic and Mind Over Matter, culminating with Strange Powers: The Verdict. All in all, Clarke gives the viewer a chance to examine the many dark and spooky aspects to our strange universe. This is a great show, and can be purchased online, and many cases, in region 1 format.

 

NUMBER 9 – Documentary-Drama

In Search of… (1977-1982)

 

This fantastic television series, hosted my star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy “Mr. Spock,” was devoted to every mystery and mysterious phenomena imaginable. It was originally created after the success of three one-hour TV documentaries produced by creator Alan Landsburg: In Search of Ancient Astronauts in 1973 (based on the book Chariots of the Gods? by Erich von Däniken, In Search of Ancient Mysteries and The Outer Space Connection. All three featured narration by Rod Serling, who was the initial choice to host the spin-off show, but was offered to Nimoy as host after Serling’s untimely death. Regardless, the show was a hit, and remains a sought-after series to this day, in spite of its obvious age. In 2002, the show was giving another opportunity, but the ratings were so low, it died at the gate. Thankfully, you can now buy the complete set of DVDs online, and relive some of television’s better moments in “paranormal TV.”  With such episodes as: Ghosts, which studies specters and a parapsychologist’s theory that they are troubled earthbound souls in need of help. UFO Captives, which meets people who believe they have been held captive aboard alien spacecraft – close encounters of the fourth kind and Spirit Voices, which asks “Do loved ones call back to us from their next lives?” Nimoy and others examine the historical claims of voices from the beyond, as well as the scientific research that goes into the possibility of spirit voices. And these are just a few of the 144 episodes that will keep you guessing and thinking for years to come. This is a great program of the whole family, and an excellent way to entice kids to read more about the actual and factual cases of the unknown, from ghosts and UFOs to sea serpents and the lost city of Atlantis, you can’t go wrong here. Best Docu-drams there is, hands down.

 

NUMBER 10 – Feature Film

Ghost (1990)

 

Ghost is an American romantic fantasy film starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg. It was written by Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Jerry Zucker. The film follows Sam Wheat (Swayze), who is murdered by his evil business partner and soon becomes a ghost; teams up with a fake psychic (Goldberg) in an effort to avenge his death and resolve matters with his fiancé. The film is all Hollywood, but poses the seemingly common paranormal issue of “unfinished” business well, and having many of the now expected overtones of the afterlife, such as the unfortunate plight of suicides, having to ride a New York subway for eternity (a fate worse than hell), and of course, those dark and completely-creepy entities that will drag you down to the ninth level of hell, getting revenge on all the scumbags, in the tradition often reserved for lawyers and politicians; Swayze’s evil partner gets this awesome punishment in the end, thus rounding out this cool flick nicely. As for authenticity, we can only guess what waits for us after death, but if we are to follow the contemporary ideas of what comes after death, and what happens “when we go into the light,” than this film might be for you. It’s a fun movie suitable for today’s kids, and perfect for date night too.

 

 

And these are my picks. Even though I’ve said this before, I do indeed enjoy such shows as Poltergeist, by the great Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper, The Fog, by John Carpenter and The Grudge series by Takashi Shimizu and Stephen Susco, all, filled with the most amazing special effects and horror-filled elements of the genera. And sure, they’re fun to watch, but they go far beyond the reality of ghostly phenomena, and in a way, smudge the true elements of such research. Indeed, if such was true, I fear even the bravest ghost hunter would be cowering under his bed in fear for his life. Yet, on occasion, Hollywood does create a worthy film that captures the feel and drama of the world of parapsychology and psychical research, and fosters a sense of awe and interest for the ghost hunter in all of us… Regardless, check out my Top 10 for last year, as they remain my true-to-heart favorites.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

For the Top ten Ghost Story Films (2012) visit the following link:

http://psiresearcher.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/top-ten-ghost-story-films-for-halloween/

 

 

Sources:

The International Movie Data Base http://www.imdb.com/

Wallpapers and more:  http://crazy-frankenstein.com/

 

 

biltmore1

The end of an American tradition

            The Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa was a turn-of-the-century architectural masterpiece. Located on a 30-foot bluff and nestled on the western Intracoastal Waterway in the beautiful township of Belleair, just west of Clearwater, Florida, it was one of the most exquisite hotels in America. This marvelous hotel was one of the best- loved landmarks, and best kept secrets on the West Coast for over a century. Indeed, the Belleview Biltmore was one of the oldest existing structures in America, and is considered by many historians to have been one of great significance, as it was one of the last remaining grand hotels from that period in all of Florida. Built in 1897 by railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant as an ending destination for his southbound railroad lines, the Biltmore Hotel was designed to offer a convenient way to usher his guests to the hotel and the lovely township in complete elegance. As doing so would also increase the number of tourists vacationing in his hotel, and in nearby Tampa and St. Petersburg, Henry Plant’s vision proved both wise and profitable.  Upon arrival, guests would be welcomed by swaying tropical palm trees, and huge lazy live oaks draped with Spanish moss. They would experience the exuberance and elegance of the Victorian ideal toward social rapport and class, where every niche and block would be perfect in every detail. As there were several Victorian homes built around the hotel grounds to serve Mr. Plant’s  family and friends, as well as visiting dignitaries, the Biltmore literally became a township in of itself, complete with a general store, stables and various shops to handle all of the guest’s needs. From laundering to shoe shining, the visitor here was completely pampered in every way. The beauty of the Biltmore is understandable, as its Lincoln-green sloped roof, and white wood-sided exteriors eloquently demonstrated the class and love of this generation, especially in its extensive hand-crafted woodwork throughout the interior of the hotel. With its now famous collection of antiques and semi-modern amenities, there’s little doubt why this elegant resort hotel was so beloved. Sadly, by the early 1990s the hotel was showing signs of it age, and began being sold to various new owners, only to continue this hand-me down status until 2004, when the Biltmore, one of last remaining hotels constructed by Henry Plant still was in financial and political dire straits. And by 2009, it was announced that the grand hotel of yesteryear would be demolished, and its land to be sold for an extensive condominiums and townhomes. What the future brings for this locale remains to be seen thus far, but the Gulf Coast, especially those in the Clearwater and surrounding areas, a wonderful landmark is gone.

At present, the hotel’s empty hulk remains, awaiting the swift crash of construction equipment and bulldozers. Though the once glorious resort, its fabulous 244 guestrooms, each uniquely designed to inspire and gratify the guest in every way, some rooms with ornately sculptured 14-foot ceilings and period mahogany furnishings, luxury linens and decorative fireplaces, while all resting on the lazy Clearwater Bay, it makes sense that so many people desired this stately masterpiece of the hotel kingdom. Indeed, the Biltmore had hosted many famous people and dignitaries over the many years, including Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford, along with Joe DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and even the Duke of Windsor and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It was and will be remembered as one of the most luxurious landmarks in the Sunshine State’s history. It might also interest us to know that since the hotel’s grand opening, a few of the hotel’s lesser-known guests have apparently chosen to stay at this remarkable resort of yesteryear, where they had vacationed so long ago. Evidently, within the dusty remains of the Belleview Biltmore Resort, a few of its past guests have found it too delightful to leave — Even for the afterlife.

 

 

Bob302FS

Stately Ghosts and Phantom Phone Calls from the Dead

 

The Belleview Biltmore Resort and Spa was indisputably one of my favorite places to visit and stay. There is an old-world charm to the place that always enlightened me every time I would visit. Though there seemed to have been a darker side to this lovely hotel resort, I can’t help recalling Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film The Shining every time I would visit, largely because so many ghosts were said to walk the halls and hidden passageways here. And though there have been no reports of evil spirits roaming the grounds here, there seems to be a plethora of ethereal entities coexisting in this most lovely hotel nonetheless. With rumors of ghosts lurking within this once grand hotel probably date as far back as the 1900′s, when guests began complaining of hearing strange noises in the upper floors late at night. Of course, the fact that the hotel was one of the largest wood-frame constructions in the United States might suggest that such noises are nothing more than the creaky wood settling.  Perhaps this would have been a logical and down-to-earth explanation; though such does not explain the many strange occurrences reported by both guest and staff member over the years. Something else was living here then, and likely does still.   Of the most noted paranormal occurrences to have been reported are the incorporeal phone calls said to come from a closed-off room in an unused section of the 5th floor. If that’s not strange enough, these phone calls were said to come from an old rotary phone which had no cord connected to it. And because such older phones had the cord permanently attached to them, it’s safe to assume it had been cut or torn off, making it impossible to receive or transmit any calls, whatsoever. This being the case, that phone should never have worked again, let alone being heard ringing. When I interviewed a few staff members about the mysterious phone and its ghostly ringing, all were willing and even proud to tell me stories of their haunted workplace. Most told me that that phone was no longer in that shuttered room, and had been gone for several years. Others told me that the phone was actually much older, and had been in that room since at least the late 1930′s. Some had said they believed that the phone was still there, and that it continued to ring on various late nights, sometimes waking guests on that floor, as well as alerting suspicion from maids and staff working in that area. What’s odder is that the ringing would cease when security or maintenance would go up to investigate.  Although there appears to be several aspects to this story, almost everyone knows about the eerie phone and its late night ringing. Several people over the years have divulged to me that a few of the hotel’s staff members had actually found the phone, and picked up the receiver to inquire who was calling, only to be greeted with light breathing sounds, and nothing else. And on at least three separate occasions a startled employee had answered the phone and heard a faint, echo-like voice on the other end simply saying “hello…hello?” If that’s not weird enough, this voice was reported as sounding like a woman who was calling from an outside location with a lot of wind or rain blowing, making her words almost impossible to understand. On another occasion, many muffled voices, as if coming from a distant conference room was heard, which had that particular employee racing away when he noticed that that phone wasn’t even connected to an outlet. Were these phone calls from the dead as many believed them to be?

Over the year, paranormal researchers were given permission to see this creepy, sealed-off and unused section of the 5th floor, which resembled an unfinished construction site from the turn-of-the-century. Ragged and discarded lumber sat in piles, along with old rugs, boxes and various artifacts from the hotel’s past. Those intrepid investigators would report the smell the heavy scent of pine from the unfinished timbers, as well as notice a foggy haze that seemed to permeate everything there. Most felt that they were being watched, as if many eyes were constantly upon them, or as if something unearthly waited around the corner, ready to lunge from behind a rafter or beam. In some sections it was so dark that it seemed to defy just how dark a place could actually be. Indeed, the feeling in this area of the hotel was one of dread.  Among the other oddities to occur within this elegant monument to the past, which seems to be many, includes disembodied voices being heard throughout the empty hallways and from within the huge Candlelight Ballroom. Guest would hear low, muffled voices being muttered, and would see the ornate chandeliers rocking back and forth by themselves. There had also been reports of faces being seen from outside the hotel late at night, and on occasion, when a security guard was making his rounds, or when a late night worker was closing up and is leaving for home, he or she might notice a face staring at them from one of the many small windows on the fifth floor. Sometimes there would be a cascade of faces staring down on an unnerved witness — Faces that appeared to be foggy and just out of view. When someone would investigate, there would be no sign of anyone on the other side of those windows, nor any trace that anyone was ever there.  In addition to these creepy happenings, there were other spirits said to lurk in the darker avenues of this charming hotel resort. Among them, there appears to have been a myriad of ghostly children who were sometimes heard running down the hallways of the upper floors, especially the fourth and fifth floors in the wee hours of the morning. Their tiny faces; some smiling and some grimacing, were occasionally seen peering out of the darkened windows in the dead of night. On occasion, a few of these youthful specters had startled more than one late night employee by shacking the leaves on potted palm trees, or by knocking something over accompanied by eerie giggles that would fade as if they were running away. Still others had reported actually seeing two or more children running out of view on these upper floors, only to disappear when pursued by the curious. And there are many, many more stories of the macabre to honor this once fantastic hotel.

One of the best ghost stories told at the Biltmore was the story of “Maisie,” the spirit of the grief-stricken lady who would constantly search for her lost pearls. Hers is a story of love and possession; a story worthy enough for any movie-of-the-week. Indeed, history tells us that when Morton Plant, the son of railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant met this charming woman named Mae “Maisie” Cadwell Manwaring, he fell head-over-heels in love with her. Since the beautiful Maisie was a married woman, he had to make another move in order to have her. What did he do? He paid Maisie’s current husband $8 million to walk away from his marriage. Apparently the money sounded good, because Morton and Maisie were soon married, and thus the legend began. Soon thereafter, Morton bought his not-so blushing bride a set of pearls from Pierre Cartier with a net worth of $1.2 million as a gift. She so loved those pearls that they were around her neck almost all the time, especially when there was a fancy function or stately banquet going on. Indeed, it must have been quite a commotion when she lost them. Though no one is quite sure how this happened, the loss of her pearl necklace was enough to drive her to a deep depression that lasted all the days of her life, and apparently, into the afterlife. Over the years, the ghost of Maisie had been seen wandering the halls looking for her pearls in a mournful fashion. A ghostly apparition would be seen bending over and looking in small, out-of-the-way places and under tables as if searching for something lost. Her spirit had been witnessed by many employees and guests alike, culminating in a time-honored legend that has lasted through the ages.

There is speculation, however, that this spirit is not the ghost of Maisie, but that of a woman who jumped to her death in the 1930′s. This woman, named “Anne,” is said to have been a new bride honeymooning with her husband at the hotel when she took her life. Hotel records tell us that her husband was killed in a car crash while the two newlyweds were staying in the hotel, and it was this tragedy that prompted her to leap from the fourth floor Presidential Suite’s balcony to her death. Up until just before the hotel had closed its doors, the spirit of a woman dressed in white had been seen, and since at least the 1950′s. Exactly who she was in life may be a mystery, but she has become a part of this once grand hotel’s haunted history, with much love and admiration, as well as becoming the subject of many hotel ghost hunters, though there are a few more ghosts believed to haunt the empty hallways; rooms and closed-off areas of this charming hotel.   There is the story of a tall, dark man who would ride the elevators, and who apparently would enjoy spooking not only the guests, but a few reluctant staff members as well. In addition to this, there was an unseen spirit who enjoyed startling the kitchen staff by placing a heavy hand on the shoulder of an employee, only to quickly disappear as soon as that employee turned around to see who it was. Sometimes the pesky spirit would make its presence known by rattling the pots and pans from a darkened corner of the kitchen. Such events would almost always happen when there is a lone female worker in the room, and almost always at closing time. Needless to say, there was little doubt by staff and long-time guests visiting the Biltmore that there are a few amusing spirits living at the Biltmore that were reluctant to check out.

 

 

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In October, 2006 the Biltmore was featured in a segment of the Weird Travels television series, a popular program hosted by The Travel Channel. Not only did the producers and staff produce a great show, they also came out with a few personal experiences they could not explain. Indeed, more than one crew member told of having a weird experience, or saw something they could not explain.  Almost the entire crew witnessed the lights flickering on and off on the upper floors, as well as hearing faint voices echo from various places where none should be.  When all is said and done, the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa certainly appeared to have had something going on inside and around its grounds that pointed to classic haunts. And though it’s not one of the most haunted locations on the West Coast; let alone in the state of Florida, it was definitely an excellent location worth investigating when looking for things of a paranormal nature. Even if you’re a staunch skeptic, after visiting this charming hotel during its heyday, you might have found yourself walking away feeling a little differently about ghosts and hauntings, as so many others had over the years.

 

Considerations

            Though this grand hotel is gone, and soon will have cater to a new crowd of up and coming folks, the well-to-do and those seeking a tranquil locale for their retirement, try to remember the lives that passed through the once stately halls of this now lost example of American architecture and culture; those who lived and died here. Try to remember that with every splinter of wood and grain of stone, a memory had been stored like a great recording device. No matter what new structure is placed over the soon to be scrapped hotel, know that such spirit may still reside, going about their playful, and often times frightening ways, spooking the living as they had done for at least the last century. Whether it’s Maisie pacing the halls in search of her lost peals, or the tall dark man who searches for his elevator, try to remember that these behaviors were so strong in their lives that each vibration and recording might very well have survived through the ages, and even beyond death. The Belleview Biltmore was one of those rare hotels that were proud of their ghosts, so much so that they hosted a few of their own ghost hunting excursions that would take the guest deep within the hotel’s rich history, and educate them in the popular methods used by modern paranormal investigators. They even had a team of paranormal investigators from Orlando Ghost Tours Inc. who offered a tour to the public every Saturday night, taking the guest through the stately ballrooms, hallways, lounges and even the closed-off areas of the hotel which were said to be haunted. They would take the guest on an exciting journey inside the hotel’s preternatural side, where during the course of the tour, would receive a working education in parapsychology and the investigation of paranormal phenomena. In addition to the ghost tours, the hotel even hosted spooky events around Halloween time, where the friendly Belleview “ghosts” would host a weekend of fun and festivities for everyone. From haunted houses, mystery dinners, historical tours, and even a masquerade ball, the guest staying the weekend will have more to do than imagined.

In the end, we should remember above all the great loss it is when losing a landmark like the Belleview Biltmore, a sit not only dislodges fond memories, but also the wandering spirits that have found themselves without a home. If and when the now rotting corpse of this once beloved hotel of the past is torn down, such restless spirits might just find a new home in the newer structures that will usurp the charming locale that once the Biltmore sat…But that will be a different ghost story.

 

The Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa is located at 25 Belleview Blvd., Clearwater Florida. Though it’s no longer in service, you can visit the area or visit a few websites of interest at: http://clearwaterghosthunter.com/ and http://www.belleviewbiltmoregolf.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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This article is dedicated to the memory of Sinthia Rose; operator of the Miami Paranormal Research Society who sadly passed away this year. She was an ardent psychical researcher who fought for author rights and justice. She brought us many interesting legends regarding ghost stories throughout Florida and Illinois, and abroad, and is remembered for her honesty in the field, which is always a pleasant thing. One of her favorite haunts was Bachelors Grove Cemetery, a small, abandoned cemetery in section 8 of Bremen Township of Cook County, Illinois. The location is just northwest of Midlothian and Oak Forest, near the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve on the Midlothian Turnpike, in the southwest Chicago suburbs. As the majority of paranormal investigators are familiar with this fascinating locale, especially for us Mid-Westerners, it is always a treat to walk around the grounds looking for clues of the many allegedly haunted incidents that have occurred here over the last 100 years. There’s no doubt that something is taking place here, though what exactly, we may never know for sure. Regardless, Sinthia had devoted a good amount of her time in search of these tidbits of weirdness, and happily bring her research findings and reaming questions of the unknown for those in the International Consortium for Psychical Research and Paranormal Inquiry, and its readers. For her memory – Enjoy!

 

Sinthia Rose

Sinthia Rose c. 2007
Originally published in 2008, Miami Paranormal Research Society

As much as I have come to love the state of Florida, there are days when I do miss Illinois and its haunts! St. James is without a doubt, one of my favorite haunts! I’m not quite sure why there seems to be so much paranormal activity here in the south suburbs of Chicago. I’m glad there are-it makes my job much easier and much more fascinating. St. James is located in Lemont and is a lesser known haunt, as compared to Bachelors Grove, Resurrection and Holy Sepulcher Cemeteries. As a matter of fact, St. James and Resurrection seem to share a reported apparition of a hearse with no driver. I have heard of several sightings of this ghostly funeral car. However, I have recently heard that the hearse appears in front of Resurrection Cemetery and travels along Archer avenue to St. James.  St. James at Sag Bridge is most commonly known as Monk’s Castle to the locals. Burials here began around 1834.  The first person to be buried here was a lady named Honora Ford in 1834. St. James church sits in gothic splendor upon a hill in the middle of the graveyard. When you are here, it is difficult to remember that you are in Illinois and not in a churchyard somewhere in Europe. There are three structures on this property; the church, the rectory and Saginaw Hall. A French fort once stood on the same spot where the church is located. Since 1650 Catholic missionaries held mass for traders and for the Saganauskee Tribe, whose village was about a mile away. Although burials here had taken place since 1834 {and I suspect much earlier than that}, Two gentlemen, James Murphy and John Sullivan granted the right acre graveyard to St. James church in 1858. There was a stipulation in the deed that said anyone who could not otherwise afford burial, could bury their dead in these hallowed grounds for free. Provided that one be willing to dig the graves themselves. Needless to say, St. James is filled with unmarked pauper’s graves, which makes it impossible to determine just how many graves are located here. Of the first one thousand burials, about seven hundred are unmarked and no church records exist to say who was buried here or where. It is worth a mention that Mr. and Mrs. John Sullivan are buried somewhere in this graveyard in unmarked graves.  What I find most interesting is that this European-looking churchyard had a very liberal burial policy.

The NW corner of churchyards, historically have held a dubious distinction. This tradition of reserving the North West corner for suicide victims is one that comes from Europe, before the implementation of our modern park style cemeteries. Even in death, your social rank or class dictated your final resting place. The preferred location was burial within the church itself and this of course was a privilege of the high society. For the middle class, interment within the gates of the churchyard was their favored location. The middle class considered the East section most auspicious and the goal was to obtain a spot as close to the church as possible. The closer you were buried to the church, the more prestigious you were. The lower class were buried in the south sections and the North corner was considered evil- the worst place you could be buried. This area was reserved for what were considered the “undesirable” individuals. By this definition I mean those who died by suicide. At this time, most churches didn’t even allow the burial of suicide victims within their grounds. If they did, their caskets had to be passed over the gate, rather than being allowed to pass thru it. This practice was especially true in Europe.

 
The reason I say that Saint James at Sag Bridge had a very liberal burial policy is because here, your social class didn’t matter; a poor man could spend eternity besides a millionaire. Everyone is equal, in the eyes of God. This was and still is, to my knowledge, the only churchyard of its kind in the world and St. James still accepts burials. However, it is within the North section of the graveyard that many tales of curious goings on and colorful characters are told. There are countless stories of the poor coming to bury deceased family members, only to engage in drunken orgies and brawls. Marshall Edward Coen told the Chicago Tribune in an article that Tim Carroll {a legendary gravedigger at St. James} was responsible for having to re-bury the dead after such spectacles. He stated that Mr. Carroll had witnessed many men literally throwing punches as they attempted to dig the graves. Quite often, the mourners would not bury their dead at all, but instead would storm off in a drunken rage. In these cases, Mr. Carroll had the task of burying the abandoned remains himself and without extra compensation. This was during the time that Rev. Joseph A. Bollmann served here {1882-1903. Father Bollman died ,March, 23, 1922 and buried in Mt. Carmel Cemetery}.  An interesting side note to this story is that the first grave digger of St. James was a woman! A man was officially appointed, but he didn’t know the first thing about digging graves, so his wife did it.  One of the bodies interred here in this section is that of John McMahon who died in 1880 at the age of thirty-three. We know that he was murdered, but the question is, by whom? This crime has never been solved. Mr. McMahon was alleged to have been fatally shot in a home invasion, as he lay in bed beside his wife Mary {Holligan} McMahon. Mrs. McMahon reported that she did not see or hear anything. In the seventeen years that followed the murder of John McMahon, Mary had buried three husbands. I have not yet been able to find out what the other husbands died of, but I suspect that they died under questionable circumstances as well. In those days, a woman was considered too fragile to even contemplate such a thing. What a gruesome sight this corner of the churchyard must have been! Most of the pauper’s graves had to be exhumed and re-buried, sometimes in old graves, because people would only dig these graves two feet deep. If you have ever visited here, you already know about the extremely uneven terrain and its potential for soil erosion. With that in mind, I can just imagine some of the surprises that have been discovered.

 
In 1885, a stranger visited the parish and put a curse on the church, the graveyard and all members of this parish. A mysterious man had come to St. James seeking alms, for which he reportedly was refused. Shortly after, disturbing notes were found tacked to the church door and on the doors of Sag Bridge residents. A man by the name of Mr. Marks had arrived at the church at about one o’clock to toll the bells and he was the first to discover the ominous note on the door. The matter was immediately reported to the police, who treated it as a joke. Neither Mr. Marks nor the other church members found this the least bit amusing. It goes to show how times have changed because today, because the author of these notes would have been charged with stalking, harassment and the threat of bodily harm. After a half-hearted attempt to investigate this, the police never did positively identify the culprit. All believed that the person responsible was the mysterious man who came calling and legend says that this stranger was not a beggar at all, but Satan himself!  Bachelors Grove Cemetery is a small cemetery in Midlothian Illinois. Being from Chicago, this is one of my favorite haunts. Bachelors Grove was the first haunted location that I have visited and it was the last one I visited before I left. If you are not a believer in the paranormal, pay a visit to Bachelor’s Grove. I can almost guarantee that by the time you leave, you will no longer be a skeptic. Not much is left of Bachelors Grove, accept for about nineteen grave markers.

 

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Bachelors Grove is a place of overwhelming sadness and neglect

The path to Bachelors Grove Cemetery was a two car road that lead directly past Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. I have a bit of a funny story about driving past Bachelors Grove Cemetery. It made no difference if I was visiting the cemetery or just driving past, but every time I was on this stretch of the Midlothian turnpike, the song by AC/DC, Highway to hell always played on the radio. So as I talk about Bachelors Grove, I have that song stuck in my head. It was just the oddest thing, but very appropriate.  This is how the path looked like during my last visit in October 2007. The once paved road is cracked and overgrown with plants and weeds. It is barely wide enough for one person to walk. This is me just before maneuvering past a fallen tree that was blocking the path. Bachelors Grove Cemetery is currently owned by Cook County and each time I have gone out there, the condition of this historic cemetery has deteriorated. I took this photo  I took this photo in 2007 from the same spot as the previous photo. You cannot even see the fence through all of the overgrown weeds. In fact, the town of Midlothian has attempted to conceal the exact location and existence of this cemetery.

Bachelors Grove has seen more than its share of neglect and desecration and regardless of any attempts to conceal it or pretend it never existed; the ghostly tales of this one acre cemetery endure.  This once two lane street has been closed to traffic for decades. During my last visit in 2007, the sign itself had been stolen. This street was once the main street through this area before the construction of the Midlothian turnpike. It is also an historic Indian trail. In fact, I came across some evidence that Bachelors Grove Cemetery was used as an Indian Burial ground long before modern burials took place here.  Bachelors Grove Cemetery is located just off Rubio Woods. The Rubio Woods Sign is just across the street from the path that leads into the cemetery. By discussing Bachelors Grove this evening, I am not encouraging anyone to go out there. In fact I hope that this information and my photographs will be enough to satisfy people’s curiosities about this cemetery so that they don’t go out there.  With all the desecration it is not surprising that the souls of those buried here cannot rest. It is this unrest that has earned Bachelors Grove Cemetery the title of one of the most haunted places in the world.  This is the Fulton Tomb. It is the largest monument in the cemetery and although there was fresh graffiti on it during my last visit, it is the only monument that has not been move, pushed over or broken.

 

 

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This photograph was taken at Bachelor’s Grove in 1991 on an investigation by the Ghost Research Society using infrared film

There are many ghostly legends told about this cemetery including the sightings of apparitions, unexplained lights, mists, disembodies voices, glowing balls of light. Along the path leading up to the cemetery, there have also been many sightings of a phantom farmhouse which despite being viewed by independent witnesses, is always described the same way. The ghostly abode is always described as a white farm house from the Victorian era, having porch pillars, a swing and a light in the window. But as any of the witnesses approached it always disappears.  The Satanic rituals, suicides and murders have all added to the legends and the over 100 accounts of strange activity in this area. The haunted history of Bachelors Grove begins in November 1843 with its first documented burial of Elizabeth Scott. Bachelors Grove, formerly known as Everdon’s, was a popular cemetery until the mid 1960’s. Bachelor’s Grove was also named Smith Cemetery in some historical documents. The last known funeral service took place here in 1965 and the last internments were the ashes of Robert Shields in 1989. This was the current state of the Shields plot during my last visit.

The cemetery was renamed Bachelors Grove in the mid-1800’s. Although the origins of the name are uncertain, there are two popular theories. The first one tells us that this area was inhabited by unmarried men-German immigrants who found employment building the Illinois-Michigan Canal. Hence, this area became known as Bachelors Grove.  Another theory alleges that Bachelors Grove was named after the Batchelder family who settled in this area in 1845. Although there are no historical records supporting this theory, old cemetery records do spell Bachelors with a T, which is the German spelling and accepted by most historians as the official or authentic spelling of Bachelors Grove. On the opposite side of the cemetery, is a small lagoon. Here you can see the metal guardrail across the lagoon that boarders the Midlothian turnpike. There are many ghosts said to haunt this lagoon as well.  The most famous tales about this lagoon which are far from being urban legend involve gangsters. Al Capone, one of the most famous of them all, owned a house a few blocks from Bachelors Grove and this lagoon was a popular spot where he would dispose of his victims. The souls of those he murdered still linger here. Another apparition that has been reported near this lagoon is that of a farmer and his plow horse. Back in the 1870’s a farmer was pulled into this pond by his horse. The horse drowned under the weight of the plow, pulling the farmer in with it. More than a century later, forest rangers have spotted the phantom farmer being pulled to his death. What lies beneath the murky water are not only bodies but over the years many missing tombstones have been found there too.  Even police officers that frequently patrol the area have documented their personal encounters with apparitions, ghostly lights and phantom cars and car accidents along the turnpike. Bachelors Grove cemetery has long been considered a thorn in the side of Cook County since the 1960’s when the cemetery became a hangout for teenagers. I have spoken with some older residents who described Bachelors Grove as a place where people would come to picnic and swim in the lagoon. It was once a very grand cemetery. That is at least until the vandals and grave robbers discovered it. Let me show you some examples of the desecration. This is the grave of William Hamilton as it looked at my last visit. And this is how the grave of William Hamilton appeared after a robbery attempt in 1997.

 
Time certainly has not been kind to Bachelors Grove. Vandals have left few graves untouched and most of the tombstones have disappeared. It’s a rare occasion if you come out here and you don’t feel like you are trekking through a jungle rather than paying homage to pioneer graves.  The cemetery is always littered with trash as well. There are many people who care so much about this cemetery and preserving its history. There are groups who want to volunteer their time to come out here and pick up the trash and cut the grass in Bachelors Grove which is currently owned by Cook County.  Despite the fact that there is no shortage of volunteers, the county stands in the way of the cleanup and actually sells permits to volunteers on Sundays to provide a much needed cleanup. Kind of ironic that the county sells permits to clean a property they seem not to care about. On the internet, as some of you may have read the cemetery is in the hands of the Land Management office of Cook county and I have been in touch with some officials from the Forest Preserve district to try to persuade them to sell the land to me.  One of the most frequent sightings reported in this cemetery are of phantom monks. They are said to be the guardians of the grove. One thing is for certain, when you are in the cemetery, despite the fact that it lies in a secluded wooded area, you always get the feeling that you are never alone. On my first visit to Bachelors Grove, I captured photographic evidence that I really wasn’t alone. As I walked down the path toward the cemetery, there was no one else on the path. In this photo, you can see what looks like someone wearing a brown or black monks robe. A few moments later, I took this photograph, which showed nothing. The shadowy figure was underneath the branch that curves above the path.  A settlement known as Goeselville was located near Bachelors Grove Cemetery. Strangely enough this lost settlement still appears on modern maps. Christian Goesel settled along 147th and Oak Park Avenue (then Bachelor’s Grove Road) in 1861 in a community named Goeselville. In its heyday there were about 30 residents in this area with a few general stores that supplied goods to area farmers.

 

 

map

Popular map of Bachelors Grove

Another famous ghost of this cemetery is known as the Madonna of Bachelors Grove. Mrs. Rogers is thought to be this famous ghost also known as the white lady. She supposedly wanders the cemetery with a baby and legend says she died in childbirth. The only Mrs. Rogers that I have a record of is Luella Fulton Rogers. She was the wife of Daniel W. Rogers. Luella died at age 65. It is extremely unlikely that a 65 year old woman was pregnant. Let’s hope that the vandalism at Bachelors Grove Cemetery will stop and those buried here may finally rest in peace. I hope you enjoyed this look into one of Chicago’s famous haunts.

If you have any photos, video or your own personal stories from Bachelors Grove Cemetery, please contact the ICPRPI in care of the Miami Paranormal Research Society. We would love to know about them and perhaps feature them here.

 

Fin

Chicago-Haunting-Tours

THE CHICAGO HAUNTINGS TOUR

 VOTED THE BEST GHOST TOUR IN CHICAGO, the BEST TOUR IN CHICAGO, and ONE OF THE TOP TEN HAUNTED TOURS IN THE NATION, Our acclaimed, nightly interactive tour of Chicago’s haunted history will thrill you with our award-winning guides and in-depth history! Designed by Ursula Bielski, author, ghost hunter and 25-year veteran Chicago ghostlorist, our tours are led by the finest of Chicago’s historians and ghost hunters and visit the city’s most supernaturally active sites, inviting you to delve into the city’s most disturbingly haunted locations. Bring an open mind and a camera, and step inside our world tonight . . . . For reservations visit their website at: http://www.chicagohauntings.com/ 

 

seville

 

 

Seville+Quarter

Historic downtown Seville Quarter

 

                As we begin our ghostly journey, this time through the darker regions of Pensacola, Florida, we will start in the historic downtown Seville Quarter, located on Government Street. While working and traveling in the Sunshine State, I make it a habit to stop at one of my favorite eateries; Rosie O’Grady’s Bar & Grill. The food is good and spirits always welcoming after a long, hot day of sightseeing and ghost hunting. This has little to do with the fact that this particular restaurant appears to have a ghostly employee on its staff – No, really, I just like the place. My wife and I love the atmosphere is great, and we love the bands that place here. Beside, everyone knows about the ghost named Wesley…Right?  I first heard about this ghost back in 2006 when I began working on my third book on Florida’s ghosts and hauntings. It was while enjoying the bar after one such hot, summer’s day after sightseeing when I asked a waitress if there were any ghosts there. Sure enough, there was a few ghosts aid to roam the place, though she only knew of one, which she said was named “Wesley.” Though she only had general information for me, she did say that he was once a faithful customer who enjoyed the restaurant’s fine dining and lively music, and loved it so much that he was hired as one of the bartenders at Rosie O’Grady’s. He was a good worker, and had a good work history as a bartender; having a better than average knowledge of various mixed drinks from all over the world. The waitress continued to say that he worked the afternoon and happy-hour shifts; sometimes until the bar and restaurant closed. This she knew through word-of-mouth, since she was a new employee, and hadn’t had any paranormal experiences.   But, there were others however, who did.   

            As I was staying in the Pensacola area for a few days, I knew I had to get more details on this story, as the legend of Wesley seemed to have various angles to it that were too good to miss. After a little research, I found that there was indeed a man by that name who lived in town, and who was a long-time patron of the Seville Quarter, and who worked at Rose O’Grady’s as a bartender. He worked there between 1991 and 1993, and many of the people I interviewed claimed to have known him personally. The problem to this legend are the specifics, as no one is exactly sure when he worked there, or for how long, nor of the exact circumstances as to how he died, or even what he had looked like. Although this would create more disbelief than anything else about a ghost or haunting, many people believe in this elusive specter, nonetheless.  After speaking with several waitresses and waiters, and a few bartenders about the haunted legend, I was able to conclude that Wesley worked at the restaurant in the early 1990s, was a man in his late 30s or early 40s, was tall, had short receding dark hair and, after a few years working both at Rosie O’Grady’s and throughout the Seville Quarter district, died as the result of a heart attack. There are many variations as to where he died, however, some insisting that he died on the front stoop of the restaurant, within the restaurant itself or while at home; others believe that Wesley died as he was cooling off in a walk-in beer cooler behind the restaurant one early afternoon, apparently slipping and falling there, and hitting his head on a shelf. It is believed that he was knocked unconscious and died of hyperthermia as no one knew he was there. The latter seems to be the fact, according to staff and a little research with the city’s archives. Regardless, the majority of my interviewees believe in the spectre of this man, and that he haunts Rosie O’Grady’s to this day.  The description of his spirit appears to be different from person to person, as some remembered him as a tall dark man, while others remember him as shorter and having light hair, an observation that has some questioning if there’s yet another spirit coexisting at the restaurant. Either way, the reports of Wesley’s ghost, if indeed it is the former employee, is that he’s more of a smoke-like entity which lurks around the corners of the restaurant and even throughout the Seville Quarter late at night. This spirit is said to have a human form, sometimes almost solid with augmented facial features, such as heavy eyebrows and dark eye sockets, and sometimes having a simple human outline that hides when spotted. Others report only the feeling of being watched after hours, when the manager and staff are preparing to lock up, or as a lone worker is cleaning tables in a darkened dining room, or when stocking the back storage rooms and refrigerators. Sometimes a restaurant staff member or patron will spot Wesley walking from around the bar, or near the bathrooms. Indeed, people have also witnessed this loyal worker throughout the entire Seville Quarter compound walking under the New Orleans-like building awnings and porches with his head lowered, as if sad or pondering on something deep. On some occasions, this spirit appears to be mischievous, when his presence is felt in the downstairs men’s bathroom, turning the water and the hand dryers on and off, while people are using them. It would seem that this spirit seems more of a prankster than that of anything scary.                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

ghost bar

Does the ghost of Wesley still haunt?

 

 

           Of the more mischievous behaviors, which seem almost like poltergeist events than a true haunting, there have been reports of glassware falling off the shelves and bar-hooks, and sometimes even being thrown across the rooms by their own accord. On occasion, when someone is talking about this bartender from beyond, or when mocks him jokingly, that person might get an unsuspected surprise. From time to time, a patron might feel a disembodied hand on their back or neck, or perhaps a female guest might feel a pinch on their backside. Though not completely rude or frightening, such events appear more playful that meant to scare. In addition to these simple events at Rosie O’Grady’s, ghostly events have been witnessed throughout the Seville Quarter’s restaurant and café district too. Moving salt and pepper shakers, dishes and glasses, ashtrays and stools will be seen on occasion, as well as the faint sound of someone walking through the courtyard near the End O’ the Ally Bar, when no one is there. Other eateries like Apple Anne’s Courtyard has seen its share of spookiness, mostly to young female patrons, who claim feeling someone whispering on the back of their necks, only to turn and find no one there. Even the Palace Café has claimed a little weirdness, with ghostly knockings emanating from the French doors, as if someone or something wants to come in. When an employee goes to look out at the sidewalk or street, no one is there. But, we have to keep in mind that this location, and the majority of the Seville Quarter dates back to the early 19th Century, and most of the architecture in the area dates to hundreds of years before that. So, it might be safe to say, that there is more than a few ghosts haunting this festive and lively selection of eateries and pubs. Indeed, there appears to be a lady ghost too, and she’s just as curious as the others.          

 

 

The tale of a lonely ghost named Sarah

 

GhostBride1

Dear Sarah, may you find peace 

 

 

 

           There is yet another spirit said to haunt the upstairs area; the business offices; the historic district and throughout the Seville Quarter. She has been seen along nearby Romano Street and in the gardens around certain homes. This feminine spirit is said to be the ghost of Sarah Wharton, the daughter of a well-to-do Pensacola businessman, and a hapless victim of a pirate raid during the early nineteenth century. It was while Sarah and her father were taking an evening stroll down Romano Street when the vicious attack took place. Unlike the humorous Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew of misfits from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, genuine pirates were anything but funny, and the pirates that sailed Florida’s waters were simply evil. The seaworthy rogues that landed in Pensacola quickly ran from street to street and robbed everyone they could; and killing all those that appeared as a possible threat. During this particular raid, the band of wicked men murdered several people immediately, but when one of the scoundrels saw beautiful Sarah, he ran quickly to take her as his prize. The cad killed Mr. Wharton with one shot from his black powder pistol, and then snatched up the hysterical woman in his arms, and began to run back to the docks where a longboat was moored. Sarah, however, in a fit of rage, began fighting the thug by biting, scratching and hitting as hard as she could. In the process, she gouged out one of the pirate’s eyes with her diamond ring, forcing him to drop her. In his anger, the pirate removed his cutlass, and quickly loped off her head with one tremendous blow; her lifeless body falling limp in the city street.  Since that time many people, both locals and visitors alike have reported seeing the vision of a pre-Victorian era lady silently gliding down Romano and other local streets. Some believe that Sarah enjoys the silent Seville Quarter long after the party crowd goes home, as she has been witnessed by the storefronts and gardens.   Some have reported seeing a woman dressed in the clothing of that era, silently walking past office doors, or hearing knocking sounds coming from empty rooms and closet spaces. On occasion, this spirit plays with office copy machines and telephones, turning the devices on and off, making copies of absolutely nothing, where the paper exiting the machine will be pure white, or black and hazy, as if someone lifted the cover while the machine was printing. Phones will ring, and in some cases, found disconnected and in different places the following morning.  Whether or not this is simply a late night worker’s imagination has rarely been questioned, since far too many people, including office workers, local patrons and visitors, all know of the enchanted Seville Quarter and its playful ghosts.

 

Considerations

 

            When visiting the festive Seville Quarter, prepare to make a day and night of it. There’s always something to do here, both entertaining and pleasurable. As you walk the wonderful cobblestone trails and magnificent pathways, remember those who made their living here over the years, and the many who lost their lives in the process. Don’t forget the bartender and his somewhat spooky, yet playful legend, and the unfortunate lady who met her end at the hands of a murdering pirate. There seems to be a ghost around every corner in this festive locale, so be sure to keep an eye out for the misty shapes in the darker corners of the restaurants, and watch for faucets that turn on and off when visiting restroom. You might just be surprised that someone or something is watching you. When at Rose O’ Grady’s, have a beer for the spirited bartender of yesterday, and say thanks for his service. You might even want to leave an extra tip in his honor, for he died doing what he loved.  From a ghost hunter’s point-of-view, the spirit of Wesley may very well be a repeating phantasm, where it is more or less a psychical play-back of the once day-by-day lifestyle of a person. This event, sometimes called a “Residual Haunting” is known professionally as a “Place Even Haunting” for most parapsychologists, though we are still unsure for the cause and reasoning for such events. Regardless, the fact that there is a form of interaction in the downstairs restroom implies this spirit is somewhat intelligent and aware of its actions and the reaction of its victims. Because playing with the living in a lighthearted manner would appear to take a form of conscious to do so, therefore Wesley might appear as something more than a mere recording of past actions and reactions. Then again, there may be more than one spirit residing within the Seville Quarter property. Sarah Wharton, the pre-Victorian era spirit might very well be an emanation of Pensacola’s earlier residents who had died in the area. Perhaps the nicely paved roads and brick lanes of this village are in fact covering some obscure graveyard of yesteryear? We may never know for sure, though the history of this area is quite ancient by American standards. What we do know is that there is something going on here that simply cannot be overlooked. When conducting your search into the preternatural world of Pensacola’s downtown village, feel free to ask the locals and those operating the stores, restaurants and bars their opinions on the paranormal within their city — You just might be surprised at how open they are about their ghosts.                        

          Happy ghost hunting!

 

 

http://www.pineapplepress.com/floridasghostlylegendsvolumethree.html

floridas-ghostly-legends-and-haunted-folklore-volume-3-the-gulf-coast-and-pensacola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting links:

http://www.sevillequarter.com/rosie-ogradys-gallery

http://www.sevillequarter.com/

http://www.letterboxing.org/BoxView.php?boxnum=50364&boxname=Haunted_Pensacola_Series:_Box_1_-_Seville_Quarter

 

Ghost Tours: http://www.pensacolaghost.com/  AND  http://www.pensacolahistoryandhauntings.com/

 

Pensacola Ghost Walk http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=iv10Jgsu0IQ

And

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IbXiEvea9iU

 

Pensacola Para Con Sept 18 and 19 with TV Celebrity Paranormal http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=FEj6S9uH_kg

        

Pensacola Historical Society TV Show – Pensacola Ghost Stories with Ted Brown and Don Parker http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=igtn86LKJWU

 

 

 

 

 

 

psi

 

Just a quick note, please check out our sister site: The Florida Academy of Psychical Sciences. It is a professional, academic association whose purpose is to advance the field of psychical research. We were formally established in 2006. We are a group of distinguished parapsychologists and researchers. We concern ourselves with the study of ghosts, spirits, unexplained phenomena that are collectively considered “paranormal” in nature. We prefer to use the term “anomalies” rather than “paranormal” as the usage of the term “paranormal” assumes that such activity cannot be scientifically explained. Just because it hasn’t been scientifically explained, does not mean that it cannot be. The areas of our study includes: near death experiences, premonitions, spontaneous healing, clairvoyance, divination, communication with spirits.

We do not train anyone in the development of psychic abilities. Rather, the Florida Academy of Psychical Sciences conducts research into the realm of the unconscious mind and the possibility of life after death. We provide educational opportunities by way of special events, lectures, workshops, and literature. Our members make themselves available for consultation to the news media, radio and television show producers, students and teachers.  Membership is obtained by application or by recommendation by a current member only.

If you believe that you are experiencing “paranormal “activity, and would like services from our organization, please understand the following:

 

 

1. We have a strict confidentiality policy. Your case will never be publically discussed unless you consent to it.

2. If you have previously worked with another “paranormal research” group and they have gathered what they believe to be evidence, we will require that we conduct our own independent research.

3. Upon our own findings during our initial research and interview process, we reserve the right to decline to take a case.

If you are a psychic or a medium interested in joining our association, please know that:

1. We do not accept mediums looking to use our organization as a way to gain paying clients.

2. Any and all work is done solely on a volunteer basis.

3. We have an application and screening process to maintain the integrity of this organization and we require valid references pertaining to your psychic abilities or a recommendation from a current member of our society. We are highly interested in those with a demonstrated ability of clairvoyance.

4. We do not use any type of bartering system here (i.e., if we refer clients to you, then you offer to give our members free or discounted readings).

The Florida Academy of Psychical Sciences members who are ordained ministers, which allows us, when deemed necessary to conduct cleansings and exorcisms. A word of caution: there are many amateur “paranormal” groups who claim to also perform exorcisms. To do so is beyond the scope of paranormal investigation. This requires special training and without it, can be dangerous for both exorcist and the client. As you read the information presented on our website, you may choose to believe all of it, some of it or you may also choose not to believe any of it. That is entirely up to you. We only request that you keep an open mind. It is on that middle ground that this organization operates.

All inquiries should be sent to psychicalsciences@hotmail.com

Website: http://miamiparanormal.com/blog/

 

 

Ghost Club UK

 

 

If you have an interest in ghost stories and all things of a haunted nature, you’re likely to know of the famous ‘Ghost Club’ located in South East England. This time-honored and highly respected organization has its beginnings when several colligates at the prestigious Trinity College, Cambridge gathered to investigate and ponder on the subjects of psychic phenomena and ghosts in 1855. Its early members consisted of scientists and various academics; clergyman and mystics, and even the famed author Charles Dickens. The Ghost Club began its serious inquiries into the unknown and responded to many claims of spiritualism, from talking boards, spirit cabinets and what sundry séances that were all the rage in Victorian England. Indeed, this group of scholars was able to keep an open mind regarding their quest, though able to expose various hoaxers of the day, decades before the magician Harry Houdini would do the same. The group would continue at full steam until around 1870 when Charles Dickens passed away, temporarily ceasing its gatherings for a hiatus. Happily, it was revived in 1882 by a Mr. Alfred Alaric Watts and a medium named Reverend Stainton Moses. Around this time, another scholarly organization was born, ‘The Society for Psychical Research.’ The SPR, in contrast to the Ghost Club was primarily devoted to the scientific standards of such interests, where the Ghost Club was more a collection of believers to that of merely pondering on the collection of empirical data regarding psychical phenomena. And though there was a mix of members betwixt these two organizations, each is specific in its goals and standards that today have found a working conjunction of both scholar and faithful researcher honorably.

 

Although there have been many changes to befall the Ghost Club over the last century and a half, it continues to follow to its standards of professionalism, and remains devout in its pursuits to understand the greatest question of thinking man – What happens to our corporeal souls when we die, and what comes next?  Today, the Ghost Club continues its valiant search for things of a psychical nature by hosting meetings, lectures and overnight investigations throughout the year in the UK, and invites members to join in the hunt for experiences and answers to such questions that have fascinated us for ages. Among the many locales investigated are the Coalhouse Fort in Essex, Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, Culcreuch Castle Hotel in Fintry, Scotland, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline, just a few of the many places visited. The Ghost Club also publishes their own journal, for which are available, as well as books written by its members. Of the most historically notable members and those involved with the Ghost Club are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes; Nandor Fodor, the famous psychologist; Frederick Bligh Bond, archaeologist and architect; the poet W. B. Yeats; Professor C.E.M. Joad, Algernon Blackwood, as well as the controversial ghost hunter Harry Price; the famous Hammer Film star Peter Cushing and Maurice Grosse, the psychical researcher who investigated the famous Enfield poltergeist case. There are many, many more, of course, but the Ghost Club values all their members equally, so you’ll be in good company.

 

To become a member, the Ghost Club tells us that if you are genuinely open-minded, curious, an interested skeptic, an academic or scientist with an interest in research, why not join their friendly community? The club is non-funded and non-profit making, remaining completely voluntary.  Member fees are nominal, and fund the operation of the Club.  So why not join?

 

For more information please visit their website at: http://www.ghostclub.org.uk/

Or you may write to them at:  The Ghost Club — c/o 41 Pigott Road, Wokingham, Berkshire,
RG40 1PZ. UK.

Sources:

 

The Ghost Club UK http://www.ghostclub.org.uk/, retrieved 1 June, 2013

 

Rosemary Ellen Guiley (1992) The Encyclopaedia of Ghosts and Spirits, Checkmark Books,

New York

 

 

Clyde Lewis -- Talk Show Host

Clyde Lewis — Talk Show Host

 

 

Likely one of the most innovative talk radio shows on the air today, ‘Ground Zero’ has been pulling in audiences like no other due largely for the topics and candor of its host, Clyde Lewis.  Not afraid of the naysayers or his competitors, Mr. Lewis is straightforward and content with his beliefs, and is willing to hear what his callers have to say; but be assured, if you verbally attack him, he’ll give it right back at you. Concerned with everything from UFOs, ghosts and haunted locations, demons, possession and all the things that go bump in the night, he also covers the issues of the day respectfully, but boldly. In the tradition of Alex Jones, Art Bell and Jesse Ventura, he has no problems covering topics that fall under the title “Conspicuity Theory,” which he understands to be a group title that houses all the things that are to be poked fun of and tossed aside as nonsense. Regardless, he covers many topics that should have all of us nervous, like what the government is denying, cover-ups and various sundry issues like drone attacks on American citizens, corrupt politicians and what have you, though the topics are always fun and thought-provoking.

Ground Zero’s guest have been many; from authors like Robert Anton Wilson, David Icke and Duncan Lunan, to actors like Robert Englund, Bruce Campbell and Mark Hamill, as well as notable conspiracy researchers like Robert C. Hoagland, Alex Jones and Jessie Ventura, the show will always entertain, but leave you feeling like you learned something that maybe others don’t want you to know.

All in all, if you’re looking to fill your late nights with some thoughtful and highly energetic talk radio, Ground Zero is the show to listen to. Thankfully, you can also listen to the show, read articles and watch videos via the Internet at any time, as well as listen to past shows via iTunes and Podcast, so you’ll never be bored again. This is a show worthy for anyone who is brave enough to question what we see, hear and think, and for those who wonder what’s really going on around us, in our skies or under our seas.

In the end, don’t be surprised if you hear Clyde telling you — “I told you so…”

 

For more information, visit the Ground Zero website at:

http://www.groundzeromedia.org/  or to call in: 1-888-673-3700

 

 

 

 

 

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