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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

 

G. Jenkins, Ph.D., (Th.D.), M.Sc.:

Here’s an excellent blog page by an equally excellent colleague of the unknown, Dr. David Clarke; senior lecturer in journalism at Sheffield Hallam University (UK). Please read “Nessie: shoot on sight!” as seen in ‘The Sunday Express,’ by Mark Branagan.

Originally posted on :

The Sunday Express has published a summary of my research into official files on The Loch Ness Monster. The article by Mark Branagan is headlined: ‘The day big game hunters were called in to kill Nessie…and almost sparked war’ and begins:

‘It was a tourist attraction and a national treasure to those dreaming of an independent Scotland. Now previously unpublished documents can reveal that when London put a bounty on landing the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, big game hunters were not the only ones sharpening their harpoons for the kill….

‘Now previously unpublished documents can reveal that when London put a bounty on landing the Loch Ness Monster in the 1930s, big game hunters were not the only ones sharpening their harpoons for the kill.

A Nessie cartoon from 1933  that appears in the Scottish Office file at The National Archives of Scotland (Crown Copyright)

A Nessie cartoon from 1933 that appears in the Scottish Office file at The National Archives of Scotland (Crown Copyright)

‘In fact…

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G. Jenkins, Ph.D., (Th.D.), M.Sc.:

Here’s a great opportunity to get serious about parapsychology, and all things of a psychical nature. Take part in the Rhine Research Center’s programs, and get a first hand look into the strange and fascinating world of psychical research!

Originally posted on Parapsychology:

Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Rhine Research Center

Irwin Education in ParapsychologyWhile parapsychology is an underdeveloped academic field, many of us involved in it have been concerned for years about the lack of proper training and education in the field (for my distinctions between training and education click here). Recent discussions of the problems with this enterprise and the need to improve and expand it have been presented by Harvey J. Irwin  in his monograph Education in Parapsychology  and by Nancy L. Zingrone in her video “Education in Parapsychology: Context, Problems, Needs” (see also one of my blogs).

Zingrone Education in Parapsychology

While there are lists presenting places where courses (click here  and here) and some general thoughtful advice can be found, my interest here is to offer some practical advice regarding choosing courses.

Unfortunately the Web is full of courses that seem to be of low quality and that…

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O.C.

O. C. White’s Seafood & Spirits Restaurant 

O.C. White’s Restaurant is one of the mainstays of St. Augustine eateries. I have been enjoying this restaurant for several decades due largely because of the particular class it resonates, and of course the fine food. When dining at O.C. White’s with friends and family, I always suggest they try one of the restaurant’s specialty drinks, like the Pirate’s Lemonade, made with Citron vodka with fresh lemons and limes, or one of their fantastic strawberry or banana daiquiris. After this, you can sample a number of their festive starters, like the mini Blue Crab cakes, coconut shrimp and my favorite, Gouda crab-stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Along with a great selection of artistically-presented entrées of fish and beef, you’ll receive an excellent education on true Florida cuisine that will have you coming back for years to come.   

Designed to offer a sophisticated, yet laid-back atmosphere, this huge, three-story coquina block restaurant has a long and illustrious history that most out-of-state visitors and even many Floridians are unaware of. The original structure was designed and erected by an influential St. Augustine shipping ‘armador’ and building contractor named Don Miguel YsNardy in 1791. He built this remarkable mansion in the Spanish Colonial style with leftover coquina blocks from nearby quarries. The structure would rest on the west side of Marine Street, as it was close to one of the original shipping lanes. Don Miguel lived in the home until 1799 when he sold it and the parcel of land to an entrepreneur from South Carolina, who then transformed it into a prominent hotel. The structure remained in use as a hotel for over fifty years, having such stately names as The Union and the Hotel Levington, until it served as commercial property for local businesses by the middle half of the 19th century.

 

Gen. Worth

General William J. Worth

By 1852, the structure was purchased by Margaret Stafford Worth, the recent widow of the distinguished military hero, General William J. Worth; for which the city of Lake Worth, Florida was named for. He died of Cholera in 1849, and shortly after that, Mrs. Worth decided to reinvent herself by moving to St. Augustine to begin a new life. She completely renovated the old hotel back into a beautiful private home, by making extensive renovations over a period of four years. She had the wood flooring replaced and stained, new wall and railing casings added, windows replaced and adorned the interior with expensive draperies, fine art and a modest staff to maintain it. Ms. Worth would live there with her daughter Mary and her husband, Col. John T. Sprague throughout the Civil War until Ms. Worth’s death in 1869. Mary and her family would stay there until 1903, when the home was sold to a prominent cigar maker. The home remained in this family until the mid 1940s, and then became vacant for a few years as the owner was convalescing elsewhere.  By 1948 the home was sold to George L. Potter, the onetime owner of Potter’s Wax Museum, which is located just up the road on 17 King Street. There is speculation that Mr. Potter had plans to convert the home into one of his popular museums of oddities, and in 1961 he had the entire structure dismantled and relocated to its new location, directly across the street. Though many feel this is mere conjecture, others believe that he wanted to sell the bay area property, and secure more land with the proceeds. Mr. Potter apparently had a good understanding and love of all things historic, as he would have the home renovated back to its antiquated, yet posh look of Margret Worth’s mansion of the mid 19th century.

After many years of existing as a private home for the well-to-do, a young businessman named Dave White bought the old Worth Mansion in the early 1990s. He had high hopes of turning the stately mansion into a shanty-like seafood restaurant and pub. After extensive renovations in order to create space and amenities suitable for restaurant clientele, though a lot of work had to be done, he managed to finish on schedule. Strangely, an unforeseen event would occur just before the planned grand opening. It was during the evening hours, on Friday the 13th, 1992 when a mysterious fire blazed out of control within the newly reimaged restaurant. The second and third floors burned to a cinder, leaving the rest of the structure completely unusable. The fire marshal concluded that the fire started in one of the storage closets, though no evidence of anything flammable was ever found. The fire remains a complete mystery.

Though the entire second and third floors were gutted by the fire, where furniture and woodwork were blackened and warped, a few items that should have been destroyed, miraculously survived the blaze. One item in particular was an antique, framed photograph of the Worth family, which was found still hanging on the wall of the owner’s office. Though the office was completely destroyed, where even the walls were blackened and blistered, the photo was completely unharmed, save that for a few small burn marks on the frame. Another item was a genuine heirloom from Margret Worth’s silver collection. This 18th century candelabra was found on the floor completely untouched by the flames, with scorched flooring around it, as if the fire deliberately avoided the artifact. Dave still cannot figure out how such a thing could have happened, though it didn’t take long for him to consider the idea that his restaurant might be haunted. He considered the age of the building, its use as a private residence for several families and as various hotels as a possible reasoning for the strange occurrences, though as the months and years passed, he, his staff and even patrons would marvel at the downright frightening events that would follow.

Haunting Events and Ghostly Manifestations

As owner and manager, this unfortunate turn of events must have been completely overwhelming for Dave. Knowing that your fledgling business actually burned to the ground just before it was to open would be a sure sign to vacate any further attempts to take part in such a venture, yet Dave didn’t have a reputation for quitting, so he marched on, and began to rebuild his dream from the bottom up. It was while he was making his initial inspections and boarding up the blown-out windows that the first paranormal events occurred. Firstly, it was while he entered the scorched building that late night, as he was walking up stairs that he heard a loud female scream directly behind him. Understandably startled, he jumped back, maybe expecting to be mugged, no doubt. But as he searched the immediate area, he found absolutely no one there. Later, he would find the framed photograph of the Worth family still fastened to his office wall, and the candelabra resting on the floor, both which survived the intense heat it took to ravage the upper floors, to the point of turning his entire office into a charred mess. These things should have been destroyed.

 

030

                                           

The stairwell where screams were heard in the dead of night…

Can you see a ghostly image?

The restaurant was opened later than expected, but it opened with great success all the same. As the manager and staff were becoming accustomed to their surroundings, they began to notice a few things that just did not seem right. First of all, things would appear or disappear all the time, such as personal items like car keys or a waitress’s purse. These little oddities make some of the staff think that a prank is being played on them, though there is never any evidence of that going on. Other incidents like phantom smells will confound all who detect them, as these unknown scents, like that of intense body odor will waft through the air, usually after closing time or while Dave’s doing paperwork in his office. At times, the distinct feeling of being watched is quite common, like someone is standing behind a half-opened closet door and just staring at you is one of the most popular experiences. Such feelings continue to be typical reactions for certain female staff members, and some of these young ladies will not go on the upper floors without an escort.  Among the odd incidents that occasionally take place are doors that lock and unlock seemingly by themselves. For instance, when the manager will head up to his office; fumbling for his keys in anticipation of unlocking the door, he’ll hear a ‘click’ and the door will come ajar, just enough to show the dark room within. Unnerved, he’ll open the door slowly to see who was unlocking the door from inside, only to find an empty room when he does. Other times, if he leaves the office for just a moment, expecting to return in a minute or so, he’ll intentionally leave the door unlocked. When he returns, however, the door will be found locked again. On some occasions staff will hear this door slamming when no one is there, only furthering the belief that something very strange is going on in this otherwise light and airy restaurant.

On several occasions a cook will come in to work in the mornings and find pots, pans and flatware scattered about the floor as if someone had a fit the night before. Sometimes, both staff and guest will observe things they cannot readily explain. In one retelling of one such an event, several waiters and patrons saw a set of salt and pepper shakers move on their own accord on a table top. The shakers didn’t just move, they tittered and rolled on the table by themselves, as if some unseen person was playing with them. There was no wind inside the restaurant and no human interaction, so the fact that these relatively solid shakers could be manipulated in such a way without physical assistance has remained one of the many mysteries here. Another mystery concerns candles that evidently light themselves. On occasion Dave has climbed the stairs to find the table candles lit when no one else was in the building. As he makes sure all lit candles are properly extinguished at closing time for safety reasons, the fact that they are glowing when staff comes in the following day is certainly unsettling, but characteristic of a playful spirit.

031

The dining hall where many strange things have taken place

 

I had the opportunity to interview several of O.C. White’s staff over the last year, where their testimonies seem to prove the presence of something uncanny. According to one young bartender named Ryan, when she came in one late morning to set up for the busy day ahead, she and the other staff members found the liquor bottle rack placed neatly on the floor behind the bar. These racks are screwed into the wood bar itself, but on this occasion, the rack, with all the bottles in it was apparently removed and placed on the floor by unknown means. Because the alarm system was still set, and no code entered during the night made this a head-scratching mystery indeed. If that’s not strange enough, each of the screws were neatly placed on the floor next to the rack, as if some ghostly repairman was doing a little midnight work. Someone or something unscrewed the rack from the wood. Over the years, Dave and his staff have come to the conclusion that the majority of these incidents; primarily the doors opening and closing, locking and unlocking, as well as the sense of being watched are coming from the late Margaret Worth. Because she held strong, loving feelings about her home during her life, some feel that she created a psychic impression or bond with the home during her lifetime, and that these psychic emotions carried over to evolve with the home as time went on. Indeed, some parapsychologists feel that such emotions in themselves may forge unto material objects like that of stone, crystal or even wood, and then remain there for various periods of time. Others believe that a significant part of the human spirit may remain between the living plane of existence and that of the netherworld or afterlife, which may then interact with the living in many ways. Apparitions are a good example of this, where the living can view such etheric impressions, as well as hearing thuds, rapping sounds or even music by such psychic impressions. Some people may detect strange smells like those experienced in the restaurant after hours…The possibilities are vast.

The question of O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits Restaurant being haunted seems quite possible judging by the events to have taken place here. Moreover, practically every staff member including the owner himself believes the place is haunted. By the sheer uniqueness of the seemingly paranormal events that have been reported here over the years seems to suggest at least one entity involved, but we must consider other possibilities too. Firstly, the restaurant was once home to several families since the turn of the 19th century. Secondly, this location was also used as a hotel for several years, where people could have left their personal impressions long after they left. Some of these people may have died while staying here without it being recorded in the ledgers of the day. Furthermore, because finding any records from these hotels are far and few in between, we simply have no knowledge of any deaths taking place or not. Finally, we have the paranormal incidents and the eyewitness accounts themselves, which are quite compelling to say the least. When all these elements are combined, we have more than just a simple ghost story for the visiting vacationer; just ask the staff members for yourself.

When enjoying O.C. White’s for cocktails, dinner or for a Sunday Brunch, try to remember the intense history, both known and obscure that has taken place here. From the simple lives that enjoyed this beautiful mansion as a home, or the many souls that have passed through here when it was a posh hotel of yesteryear, know that perhaps a part of each personality may have been etched in the vary stone walls here. Perhaps; like a beacon to the spirit world, entities beyond our understanding roam the hallways here as their earthly abode. Perhaps the table next to you is indeed occupied by an unseen patron of the past, or maybe Margret Worth herself is simply watching over the place she called home. Either way, this uniquely Floridian restaurant is not just an enchanting eatery, it’s downright haunted!

 

O. C. White’s Seafood and Spirits is located right on the bay, on Avenida Menendez, between Cadis Street and Artillery lane, near the Saint Augustine Marina and the Lion’s Gate Bridge.

 118 Avenida Menendez, St Augustine, Florida 32084                                                 

Phone: (904) 824-0808                                                                                                  

Website: http://www.ocwhites.com/

 

More info….

http://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/o-c-whites-seafood-and-spirits/

http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/fl/oc-whites.htm

 

 

Originally posted on The Theban Oracle by Greg Jenkins:

The Theban Oracle

Discover the Magic of the Ancient Alphabet That Changes Lives

Interpreted and Designed

by

Greg Jenkins, Ph.D., (Th.D.) M.Sc., C.E.A.T.

           “Since the dawn of time men and women found ways of holding the greatest of secrets to the written page. Whether written upon ancient papyrus or within the studious tomes of history, humankind’s most beguiling mysteries had coexisted with us throughout time. From King Solomon and Zoroaster, and from Nostradamus to Cornelius Agrippa, the masters of ancient magick had secured their goodly works to secret tomes for safe keeping. Yet, many of these manuscripts containing the wisdom of the ages would lapse into obscurity — seemingly lost forever.

In recent years, however, the literary efforts of Honorius of Thebes, the 13th century magi have been rediscovered by contemporary seekers of truth and scholarship.  For it was this ancient master of the occult sciences…

View original 8,005 more words

Theban Oracle by GJ

 

All too often, authors will find negative reviews and even a little biased reaction from individuals and masses that profess to be professionals in the field or interest of that author and/or reviewer. When their efforts to produce a worthy addition to his or her interest, or hinder it, however, going beyond the normal review requirements, it sours the very nature of the source material, and eventually takes away from that review. Moreover, if that reviewer attacks the author in a vile and unprofessional manner, it nullifies the foundation of his or her review all together. And though it is perfectly legal to “offer your heartfelt opinion,” such an opinion might reveal that reviewer’s true nature in spite of how neatly and professional the review is written. Below is a grand way to exemplify this idea, as it is intended to not only discredit the book, in this case The Theban Oracle, but inadvertently casts the reality of that reviewer in a light that may eventually harm his integrity as an honest scholar.

I enjoy a good review, whether of literature, film or other artistic performance. It may have various elements of personal opinion, a professionally-related review and suggestions as to how that (the subject) can be improved. But, when a review is set like an attack, filled with demeaning remarks in order to poke fun of or discredit the author in question, the entire review just becomes another rant typical of bad tabloid television. It removes the credibility of the person or persons reviewing that subject, and ultimately tarnishes that reviewer’s motives. In an online blog review of my latest book we will observe just such a negative review, and how it is designed to not only take away from a book and its premise, but we will see how one little word takes that concept to a whole new, and hated level of verbal violence — Plagiarism.

 

Patrick Dunn2

Professor Dunn

            The author of the review, Dr. Patrick Dunn, Assistant Professor of English Literature and Poetry with Aurora University, in Aurora, Illinois, and self-proclaimed pagan of high standard since childhood, best exemplifies not only an unprofessional review, but also shows us his personal arrogance about such things, and ignorance toward a subject, where he is unbendable under any circumstance to admit such. Moreover, the examples of personal distain will also be highlighted and expounded upon for purposes of education, and what not to do in a critical review of another’s creation. Like or dislike, professionalism is always desired. Moreover, this is a critical defensive review, and is intended for both authors and budding students with otherwise arrogant professors and/or general naysayers (Yes, they’re out there), so please take all within as a professional response to a verbal attack and accusation.

 

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary, Tenth Edition 2002:

“Negative: 2. a: lacking positive qualities; especially: disagreeable b: marked by features of hostility, withdrawal, or pessimism that hinder or oppose constructive treatment or development negative outlook…”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/negative

 

“pla·gia·rism: the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person: the act of plagiarizing something

   http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plagiarism

 

According to Indiana University:

“Plagiarism indicates that [students] may be disciplined for several different kinds of academic misconduct. These include cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, and violation of course rules…In particular the code states: #3. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else’s work, including the work of other students, as one’s own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is common knowledge. What is considered [common knowledge] may differ from course to course.”

The Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (2005)

www.indiana.edu/~istd/definition.html

 

As a notation the above definition of “negative,” as a concept offers us a reasonable understanding, and certainly adds up to the review that follows. Constructive, in contrast is defined as: Promoting improvement or development, a concept that will not be observed by Dr. Dunn in any way. Moreover, the concept of plagiarism and its basic understanding will be exemplified here too, in order to prove that the attack-points of the reviewer are indeed misjudged. Note: Dr. Dunn had made several grammatical errors throughout his review, so I took the liberty to correct them here for easy reading.

 

Dr. Dunn’s review:

Section 1 – Example of incorrect observation, incomplete reading and lack of proper research:

“This book is set on an intriguing foundation: take the symbols of the Theban alphabet, assign each to a famous occult figure, and use them for divination. This idea is so rich and interesting; it’s easy to imagine productively pondering the biography of some famous occultist, and trying to weave his or her life into your own in a relevant and meaningful way. I wish I could say The Theban Oracle lives up to that very rich premise. But it just doesn’t. Worse, it pollutes the whole concept. Greg Jenkins has plagiarized portions of The Theban Oracle.” 

 

For example, in the entry on Paracelsus, we read:

“At the age of sixteen, Paracelsus began his formal education at the University of Basel, where he studied alchemy, surgery, and medicine. . . . By adulthood, he had become known as the precursor of modern chemical pharmacology and therapeutics, and as the most original medical thinker of the century.” (pp. 134-135)

 

Alchemylab.com’s page on Paracelsus has this to say:

“At the age of sixteen, Paracelsus entered the University at Basle [sic] where he applied himself to the study of alchemy, surgery, and medicine” and “Manly Hall called him ‘the precursor of chemical pharmacology and therapeutics and the most original medical thinker of the sixteenth century.’”

http://alchemylab.com/paracelsus.htm

 

Summary by Dr. Jenkins:

As we can see, there are elements of similarity, in that the paragraphs exemplified both states that Paracelsus went to the “University at Basle,” and it is this partial sentence that appears identical, only because of the date and the school information given. The [Jenkins] sentence: “…By adulthood, he had become known as the precursor of modern chemical pharmacology and therapeutics, and as the most original medical thinker of the century” is not alike, largely because there are no other words for modern English to represent “chemical pharmacology and therapeutics,” not to mention that such is completely out of context to the one issued by [Alchemy Lab.com]: “where “Manly Hall called him ‘the precursor of chemical pharmacology and therapeutics and the most original medical thinker of the sixteenth century.” Please note that the “Manly Hall” addition found in [Alchemy lab.com], is written at the end of the ‘Paracelsus’ paragraph, and not as he listed it above. Dr. Dunn added that section directly himself. Furthermore, and more importantly, the [Alchemy Lab.com] website had itself [plagiarized] this source material from other books without proper citation. The website’s entry is written by “A. Cockren,” author of Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored (July, 1999), and had been taken from at least nine separate sources with sentence structures similar to Dr. Dunn’s focus points on The Theban Oracle, which will be listed at the end of this section.

Please note: Mr. A. Cockren did not write this passage; a passage that has been conservatively dated to be a product of the mid-seventeenth century, but has been used extensively since that time.

*Dr. Dunn provides another example, this time regarding “Simon Forman,” but admits it’s better disguised. When researching the accusation of plagiarism here, take into account that the same logic applied to the topic of “Paracelsus,” is also applied here.

It is important to realize that the “common knowledge” aspect that comes into the rules regarding plagiarism, as seen by Indiana University, for instance, comes in because the aforementioned passage commits to literature already stated in great number, and worldwide. In fact, these paragraphs that have caused Dr. Dunn his focus point were actually written more than 200 years ago, putting the basic structure of the paragraph well within the public domain. In contrast to this, when a writer “directly quotes another person’s actual words, whether orally or written; using another person’s ideas, opinions, or theories as their own, and without acknowledgment,” then the concept of plagiarism should be considered as legal. Though in-paragraph citation does not exist in the Theban Oracle, a choice made by the publisher, source information can be found in the book’s reference/bibliography section.

In this case, regarding “Paracelsus,” there are several books to find this quite basic sentence, in at least a similar voice, which would be considered plagiarism my Dr. Dunn.

 

“At the age of 16 he started studying medicine at the University of Basel, later moving to Vienna. He gained his doctorate degree from the University of Ferrara in 1515 or 1516.”  [1], [2]

 

I submitted these entire sections to the publisher’s plagiarism checking systems, including ‘PlagScan’ (http://www.plagscan.com/seesources/search.php?PlagSessID=q05r718e5kejh4e0664kekd216) to take the Dr. Dunn challenge. Guess what?

The results came back as: No strongly similar text sources found on the Internet” AND “No Deep Search Necessary,” which scanned, among others: Wikipedia and Alchemy Lab, with no plagiarism found. This is only one system used by colleges and universities. So……. 

I guess the only real problem is the fact that the “Alchemy Lab.com” material, which claims to come from: Cockren, Archibald (1999) Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored. Book Tree Pub., in fact is taken verbatim from the following two sources:

 

(1.) Johannes Schaber (1993). Paracelsus, lat. Pseudonym von {Philippus Aureolus} Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German) 6. Herzberg: Bautz. cols. 1502–1528. ISBN 3-88309-044-1.

AND

(2.) Marshall James L; Marshall Virginia R. (2005). “Rediscovery of the Elements: Paracelsus” (PDF). The Hexagon of Alpha Chi Sigma (Winter): 71–8. ISSN 0164-6109. OCLC4478114

 

The Alchemy Lab.com does not (as of this defensive review) offer the above books as a source. This means that the authors of Alchemy Lab.com have [plagiarized] said material, without giving proper in-text citation, or in a bib/reference section (as of this date). Dr. Dunn, having missed this simple fact through a lack of proper research necessary before his attack, is highlighted here. My direct sources, which are cited, can be found in my reference section are from my private collections, and are:

 

(1.) The Architoxes of Magic. Translated by Robert Turner, London, 1656

AND

(2.) Thorndike, Lynn. History of Magic & Experimental Science, (Volumes V and VI, Sixteenth

            Century). New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.

 

Partial listing:

The following is a list of books, websites and related documents that exemplify the same target paragraphs within Dr. Dunn’s critique. This list was compiled by a Dr. E. S. Cavallo-Voss, Ph.D. as a response to me, and then to Dr. Dunn’s blog page.

Here are [9 links] to references of this exact same sentence, without the type of in-verse quoting Mr. Dunn was speaking of. As you will find, from the earliest examples (1923-1965 to the more recent), this sentence example is profoundly similar. Please note, I found close to 68 of such references before I got tired of looking. In short, I think Mr. Jenkins was just paraphrasing related and common documentation for the sake of getting his point across. When I asked Red Wheel Weiser [publisher] about this fact, they noted that the Theban book was not meant to be an exhaustive resource of magical figures from history, rather to give a simple, and more importantly “short” example in order to get to the subject matter across to the common person, or as a brief introduction. Also, that resource material was offered in the back sections, which I found in order.

 

Dated from a 1965 treatise: http://www.teosofia.com/Mumbai/7207movement.html New World Encyclopedia: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Paracelsus University of Pennsylvania. http://knarf.english.upenn.edu/People/paracels.html From the book: The life of Paracelsus, Theophrastus von Hohenheim, 1493-1541 by Anna M. Stoddart (1923): http://www.amazon.com/The-Life-Paracelsus-Theophrastus-Hohenheim-ebook/dp/B009OLV00A The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy By Dennis Hauck:http://books.google.com/books?id=x9PCBsiP4oIC&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=At+the+age+of+sixteen,+Paracelsus+entered+the+University+at+Basel&source=bl&ots=UAaRzXoGvP&sig=3IHIysvkFPVtJACg2ZRJ_f-pZic&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B0kNVJfdKba1sQT8w4GoDw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAjgU#v=onepage&q=At%20the%20age%20of%20sixteen%2C%20Paracelsus%20entered%20the%20University%20at%20Basel&f=false http://cdict.net/q/Paracelsus http://www.cosmovisions.com/Williams020701.htm http://www.refdictionary.com/d/p/a/r/a/paracelsus.html http://www.lindakayeastrology.com/documents/MedievalAlchemyMedicineAstrologyandParacelsustheGreat.pdf The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature: http://books.google.com/books?id=yyTKrDK2c0sC&pg=PA749&lpg=PA749&dq=At+the+age+of+sixteen,+Paracelsus+entered+the+University+at+Basel&source=bl&ots=YqhmVyNOUd&sig=1AozDO19KQL-9AkpP2MoIvm5yII&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4UYNVIOTD8XCsATjx4GADg&ved=0CFAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=At%20the%20age%20of%20sixteen%2C%20Paracelsus%20entered%20the%20University%20at%20Basel&f=false

And the list goes on….

 

Dr. Dunn’s review:

Section 2 – Example of unprofessional comments intended to reduce or destroy credibility:

In this section, I’m listing the best source examples of what NOT to do in a critique, especially if you are a professional, and doubly so if an educator (See the end of this blog for advice on proper etiquette). Such only exhibits and instructs in poor behavior, but also offers nothing but a lack of common respect. Even in a duel to the death, there is an assembly of honor and respect. Moreover, because it offers no positive viewpoints on instruction, or how to “make it better,” for instance, and because it’s filled with cruel and demeaning remarks that have no place in a professor’s diction, the following rant should provide ample reasoning for concern.

 

Example 1: Unacceptable

“If you have a Ph.D., and if you choose to advertise that fact on the cover of your book, and if you make a statement in the introduction about being “engaged in the task of scholarly research” (XI), then you do not get to copy people’s exact words and claim them as your own, whether those words come from the internet or a published book. And changing a few words around does not make it your own words. College sophomores know this. High-school freshmen know this, for goodness’s sake!”

AND

“These last points — the lack of diversity, the inadequate biographies, the lack of citations, and the impenetrable prose — are quibbles in the face of the plagiarism. It is possible for an author to be confused, to forget that a set of notes were copied verbatim rather than original, or just lose track of citations between drafts. This kind of carelessness is forgivable. However, when an author puts Ph.D. after his or her name, it’s a promise of a certain kind of intellectual training and carefulness. Even a Ph.D. may make an accidental slip. But a Ph.D. should know that you cannot use another author’s unique words or ideas without quotation marks and a citation, and you cannot use another author’s ideas without indicating their origin.” 

Example 2: Personal observations, but acceptable

“When the author is writing his own prose, it is often turgid, sometimes bizarre. Take this example from early in the book: “In what appears to be a simple cipher-like code, and having no bearing in any known language, nor able to form the necessary elements to create verbiage as we might understand it, the alphabet has no other purpose other than to code common words” (21).

AND

“I read that four times (five, as I copied it here), and I still have no idea what it might mean. A “cipher-like code” — well, a cipher is a kind of code, so does that just mean “cipher”? How does something have “no bearing in . . . “? Don’t things usually have a bearing on, rather than a bearing in, and moreover, what does that mean? Does that mean we can’t link it to a known language?”

AND

 “The author admits that there are just far too many “luminaries” to include, which is fair. But those sensitive to diversity at all will be disappointed by the inclusion of only three women and few people of color. This dead-white-man list might be due, in large part, to the time-period he has selected from which to draw the names of important figures; but since this time period stretches back to Hypatia, perhaps there could be room for one or two other important women, here or there. There’s also no clear rhyme or reason why certain figures are assigned to certain letters.”

 

Summary by Dr. Jenkins:

After a careful review of Dr. Dunn’s findings, I have come to the conclusion on several very simple concepts to his personality and why he writes reviews like these. And though I cannot honestly say that all his reviews are tainted with libelous statements, such as the accusation of plagiarism, I can say without doubt that he is simply unwilling to take any debate into consideration, nor explained his findings to the author. When I tried to confront him, referring to him as an attacker in another’s query, I received the following remark:

 

“I reviewed your book honestly, offering my honest reaction to it and to the fact of your plagiarism. That honesty is the obligation of a reviewer, whether or not it may hurt someone’s feelings. I did not attack you and have no intention of attacking you. I’m sorry you’ve received hate mail; I would certainly never send someone any such thing. If people are sending it in reaction to this review, then I would want them to stop immediately. A review exists so that you can judge whether or not you wish to read a book, not so you can attack the author.” 

 

Here he again offers his original idea that he is giving an honest opinion and review. That’s fine, but his stance of plagiarism still stands regardless of constant proof to the opposite, as well as examples in proving that he is indeed incorrect. Moreover, he only responded to my words with another person, placing himself in a position of royalty, as if too important to address those he reviews. That’s too is fine, but those who dwell in an ivory tower seldom know every truth.

The first thing I noticed was his complete inability to comprehend simple and straightforward writing style. He remarks that he just couldn’t see the relation between the word cipher and the word “like” put together [cipher-like]. Apparently, Dr. Dunn is unaware of the Theban alphabet and what it “might” have been used for in history. It’s important to remember here that every aspect of the “Theban Oracle” is highly subjective only because there is no concrete history to this alphabet; its true origins or even who created it. Subjective, as any scholar should know is something that is based on or influenced by one’s personal feelings, tastes, or opinions. The Theban alphabet “might” have been used as a cipher, and to be sure, history tells us practically nothing, which is why I, the author, used this form of writing. Whether used as a code, as suspected by some historians or is nothing more than a writing system designed as an art form is anyone’s guess. When Dr. Dunn refers to this process as “polluting” the idea of magic and the occult, is like saying the color green has no right being a color at all. For even if one does not like the color green, one should be able to admit that that color has a right to be in the spectrum all the same. The occult in itself is as subjective as abstract art. What pleases one, disgusts another; what is considered truth is true one, while fictitious to another.

Dr. Dunn, a self-professed expert on the occult, having been a pagan since childhood (his words), takes an odd stance in the wake of his views. He remarks that the luminaries I used were nothing more than a “list of dead-white-men,” implying that I was deliberately, or irresponsibly leaving out the female element, highlighting only a few that didn’t fit in his understanding. Firstly, there really were not a large list of female magi to make a note of, but more importantly, the entire system is designed to follow traits as seen within a persona of the human condition, as well as that person’s gift to the world, in spite of one’s gender…Such an observation is redundant. Furthermore, whether signifying concepts like “A New Beginning” and “Change,” for instance, simply act as one or more positive, as well as potentially hazardous traits found in all of us…Its designed to make us think, and learn from it, and is a personal designation by the author. Though Dr. Dunn is trying to make his readers think that I’m a self-absorbed woman-hater because there are not an equal amount of females highlighted is also quite irresponsible, and untrue.

*The most fascinating conundrum to this aspect of the Theban Oracle and the many reviews that followed, which incidentally have been penned primarily by men, have all been negative. Indeed, they all professed “not to get it.” Those reviews by women, however, have been far more positive, but also in that “they got it!” To that end, I think Dr. Dunn should be happy that the “female” population that I obviously have forgotten on purpose, are my champions, in addition to being wiser than the men who lambast the Theban Oracle as a concept and as a divinatory process or as a relevant and original idea.

 

Dr. Dunn says:

“There’s a general narrative thread of a liberal, proto-New-Age, gentle soul being savaged by poor, ignorant, usually Christian, fools. Historical facts are glossed over. It matters why the church killed Giordano Bruno, and it had little to do with his magical work. Sometimes minor facts are also changed.”

 

Again, the Theban Oracle is a brief, pocket-size book that is meant to me a “game-like, divinatory system.” (I do hope everyone understands the word game-like). It’s not, nor ever had been rationalized as some ancient and time-revered tome, or major treatise on the occult or on magick. Historical facts here are not “glossed over,” they have been, for lack of a better word “annotated” for the reader to receive a very basic, but to-the-point rendering of an historical event, and then to lead the reader to the overall point of the process. It is done so to lay a foundation about the character or “luminary” so the reader can understand what was going on, and why its relevant in the first place…Nothing more. Furthermore, when Dr. Dunn writes: “It matters why the church killed Giordano Bruno, and [that the book] had little to do with his magical work” is incorrect, as such does “matter,” as well as his magical works, in spite of their circumference in length and prowess are actually irrelevant. At the very least, these generalizations might very well entice the reader to research further. That is after all, the catalyst for many occultists, and magi to become who they were meant to become.

The unacceptable words by Dr. Dunn do not, as he has suggested “hurt my feelings.” On the contrary, his words will, if not presently only show his ignorance to the concept of Theban Oracle, and what it stands for; its purpose and its reasoning. It will likely exemplify that he’s simply an angry man with some sort of agenda yet to be discovered or that he may have had a similar idea, which was not realized in time…Such is life.

On a more personal note, and to explain why I chose to title of this defensive review “When the witch becomes the witch finder general,” was done to ask the unfathomable question: Why do so many pagans reenact the behaviors of their ancient enemies, where thousands died as a result of intolerance or even the detractors in modern days who happily degrade and condemn for their path. This is a concept that has always confused me. Indeed, I have met many pleasant and open-minded witch, wizard and sage, just as I have met the opposite populations. This is simply a human condition, but those who consider themselves wise and knowledgeable of otherwise hidden things, they should conduct themselves as such, and not take on the behaviors of the many detractors of the ages. [We] should be better than that.

One sad element discovered after the seemingly overnight barrage of negative reviews, was when I learned that the editor of Dr. Dunn’s host blog page, a women named Sheta Kaey (http://www.gofundme.com/Help-Shetan-Kaey), is also one of Dr. Dunn’s staunch champions. This is certainly fine, and common for those involved in magick and the occult to belong to various groups. Such will pick and choose groups and authors like others pick football teams; indeed, this is all a part of the natural order of the human condition to pick a publisher as a ‘team,’ so to speak, where a rivalry can be as daunting as any bar room fight. In this case, its a competition between the biggest publishers on the block; Red Wheel/Weiser Publishing and Llewellyn Worldwide. Both are excellent book publishers with a long and lustrous history, though there does seem to be bad-blood between some rival authors. This too is all a matter of form, so its important for the reader of such reviews to realize that “motives” and “agendas” can sometimes exist, which can make for an extremely biased review.  Moreover, when a group of said reviewers are on the same ‘team,’ it can become their job to downplay the competition, so please remember  — Its [your] opinion and review that counts the most.

In the end, I wish to thank the contributors that wrote to me about the book, with either negativity, praise or to offer advice of Dr. Dunn’s blog page, specifically Dr. Cavallo-Voss, Ph.D. and Mr. Gray Gorjan. Their candor and in some cases even defense from a seemingly harsh review, will add to the concept of individual thinking, and form those who take reviews; all reviews with a grain of salt, and with the knowledge that opinions are like bellybuttons…Everyone has one. Though I’m sure Dr. Dunn is a competent educator on the subjects of literature and poetry, and perhaps even magick and soothsaying, he nonetheless has much to learn about etiquette. For indeed, a mere 150 years ago, if such a review took place, the articles of ‘Code Duello’ might have followed, and one poor soul would not have left some field of glory. Today, thankfully, and especially, in the United States, one can say as much as they wish, and demean anyone they wish without such threats. Regardless, we should know how to govern ourselves and how to act accordingly, as a lady or as a gentleman. It’s the civil thing to do.

…Even for learned professors

 

Bibliography

This section is taken from the “Further Reading and Internet Resources” section, which holds all the information regarding works used in the book; citation information and a way to research. Dr. Dunn should have these books in his personal library as I do, but if not, many universities and larger libraries should have access to them, or through a lending library. 

 

Burnham, Sophy. A Book of Angels New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.

Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, New York: The Free Press, 1994.

Gaebelein, A.C. What the Bible Says About Angels, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,

1987.

Godwin, Malcolm. Angels. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Graham, Billy. Angels. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1986.

Leavell, Landrum P. Angels, Angels, Angels. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press,

1973.

Lewis, James and Oliver, Evelyn Angels A to Z, Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press,

1996.

Luk, A. D. K. The Law of Life: Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A. D. K. Luk Publications, 1989.

Masello, Robert Fallen Angels. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1994.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare How To Work With Angels. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1996.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark L. Saint Germain on Alchemy: For the Adept

            in the Aquarian Age. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1986.

            The Open Bible, Nashville and New York: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1977

            Seven Beloved Archangels Speak, Voice of the — I AM Schaumburg, Illinois: Saint

            Germain Press Inc.

Web Page Resources 

            Copeland, Mark. Ministering Spirits: Angels In The Old Testament http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/angel/angel_02.htm. Executable Outlines.

Copeland, Mark. Terms And Descriptions Of Angels http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_outlines/angel/angel_01.htm. Executable Outlines.

Fares, Aymen. Angelics and the Angelic Realm http://www.spiritual.com.au/articles/angels/angels_uk.htm. and Spiritual.com.au Pty. Ltd.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Hierarchical Chart of Angels http://radicalgrace.com/creat15.htm. Worldnet Grace Ministries.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Distinguishing the Higher Ranked Angels (http://radicalgrace.com/creat11.htm). Worldnet Grace Ministries. The Bible Searchable online version http://bible.com/bible_read.html)

 

Bibliography

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Translated by James

French, London, 1651

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Antwerp, 1539;

Edited and translated by Donald Tyson, Llewellyn Publications, 2004.

Barrett, Francis. The Magus. London: Lackington, Allen, and Co., Temple of the

Muses,1801.

Bias, Clifford. Ritual Book of Magic. York Beach, Maine: Weiser, 1981.

Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine (3 Vols.) The Theosophical Publishing House Ltd,

London, 1928.

Buckland, Raymond. Advanced Candle Magick: More Spells and Rituals for Every Purpose.

Llewellyn Worldwide, 1996.

Buckland, Raymond. Practical Candleburning Rituals. Llewellyn Publications, (1987).

Butler, E. M. Ritual Magic. Cambridge University Press, 1949.

Burnham, Sophy A Book of Angels (New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.

Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Llewellyn

Publications, 1993.

Davis, R. T. Four Centuries of Witch Beliefs. London: Methuen, 1947.

Davidson, Gustav. A Dictionary of Angels, New York: The Free Press, 1994.

Fischer, Lynn. Original paintings of the Seven Beloved Archangels and Their Archeiai.

Marius Michael-George Angels of Love and Light, South Yarmouth, MA:

Transformational Media Publications, 1996.

Frazer, Sir James George. The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion.

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1922.

Gaebelein, A.C. What the Bible Says About Angels, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House,

1987.

Godwin, Malcolm. Angels. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.

Graham, Billy. Angels. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1986.

Grimble, Arthur. Return to the Islands. London: John Murray, 1957.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Angels. Checkmark Books, 2004.

Guiley, Rosemary Ellen. Witches & Witchcraft, 2nd Ed. Checkmark Books, 1999.

Hedegård, Gösta. Liber Iuratus Honorii: A Critical Edition of the Latin Version of the Sworn

Book of Honorius. Stockholm: Almovist & Wiksell International, 2002.

King, Francis, X. Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Hamlyn Pub., 1987.

Kirby, W. F. Kalevala. London: J. M. Dent, 1907.

Leavell, Landrum P. Angels, Angels, Angels. Nashville, Tennessee: Broadman Press,

1973.

Lewis, James and Oliver, Evelyn Angels A to Z, Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press,

1996.

Luk, A.D.K. The Law of Life: Book II. Pueblo, Colorado: A. D. K. Luk Publications, 1989.

Masello, Robert Fallen Angels. New York: Berkley Publishing Group, 1994.

Morgan, Lawrence, Flute of the Sand. London: Odhams Press, 1956.

Morrison, Dorothy. Everyday magic: Spells & Rituals for Modern Living. Llewellyn Worldwide,   1998.

Paracelsus. The Architoxes of Magic. Translated by Robert Turner, London, 1656.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare How To Work With Angels. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1996.

Prophet, Elizabeth Clare and Prophet, Mark L. Saint Germain on Alchemy: For the Adept

            in the Aquarian Age. Livingston, Montana: Summit University Press, 1986.

Silver Raven Wolf, To Stir a Magic Cauldron: A Witch’s Guide to Casting and Conjuring.

Llewellyn Worldwide, 1996.

Thorndike, Lynn. History of Magic & Experimental Science, Volumes V and VI, Sixteenth

            Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 1941.

Thompson, R. C. Semitic Magic. London: Luzac and Co., 1908.

Trachtenberg, J. Semitic Magic and Superstition. New York: Behrman House, 1939.

Waite, Arthur Edward. The Book of Ceremonial Magic. New York: Bell Publishing, 1889.

Whitcomb, Bill, The Magician’s Companion: A Practical & Encyclopedic Guide to Magical &    Religious Symbolism. Llewellyn Publications, 1993.

Yasmine Galenorn. Embracing the moon: A Witch’s Guide to Rituals, Spellcrafts and

Shadow Work. Llewellyn Worldwide, 1998.

Zolar. Zolar’s Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge. New York: Prentice Hall,  1970.

Manuscripts

Magical Treatises by Caius, Forman, Dee and Kelly; British Museum, Add. MS. 36,674,

16th century.

Tractacus Magici et Astrologici, British Museum, Sloane 3821.

Schema Magicum, British Museum, Sloane 430, 14th century.

De Maleficiis, British Museum, Sloane 3529, 16th century. Liber Iuratus Honorii: The

Sworne Booke of Honoryus: A Translation of a Book of Magic. British Museum,

Sloane MS. 3854, 15th century.

 

Web Page References 

Copeland, Mark. Ministering Spirits: Angels In The Old Testament: http://www.ccel.org/             contrib/exec_outlines/angel/angel_02.htm. Executable Outlines.

Copeland, Mark. Terms And Descriptions Of Angels: http://www.ccel.org/contrib/exec_             outlines/angel/angel_01.htm. Executable Outlines.

Fares, Aymen. Angelics and the Angelic Realm: http://www.spiritual.com.au/articles/    

            angels/angels _uk.htm. Spiritual.com.au Pty. Ltd.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Hierarchical Chart of Angels:

http://radicalgrace.com/creat15.htm. Worldnet Grace Ministries.

Tatum, Johnny. The Hierarchy of Angels: Distinguishing the Higher Ranked             http://radicalgrace.com/creat11.htm. World-net Grace Ministries.

The Bible Searchable online version http://bible.com/bible_read.html

 

*****************************************************************

Elements of a proper critique

For your interest, here is a basic set of guidelines rendered by Ms. Stivers-Isakova of the Huffington Post. I think she sums the concept of proper critique in a clean and respectful manner, which should be followed by all, whether student or teacher. Moreover, concepts like liable and slander should also be understood and reviewed thoroughly, as accusations can be considered defensive by a court if deformation of character is found. It’s always best to follow the rules of etiquette no matter who you are.

 

According to Ms. Stivers-Isakova:

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being mean in book reviews, or rather, how to strike a balance between honest and being fair, and if meaningful critique is worth doing in a small book-reviewing world where the de facto style seems to be politeness, encouragement and praise. And then, this ranty rant in Book-Riot, anti the New York Times, inspired me to formulate some rules…”

  1. Do write a brilliant, opinionated takedown of a major literary figure. Everyone will read it, talk about it and give you lots of attention, bad or good. Which, let’s face it, if you are a book reviewer, is an unfamiliar sensation.
  2. But, make sure the figure you critique isn’t someone likely to cause you any harm. Old Canadian ladies, popular authors, authors not in New York, authors so famous and remote that it really won’t matter. Dead authors. All good choices.
  3. In all other cases, write something positive, even if doing so requires sophisticated acrobatics. It’s a small literary world, and either you may know the author you’re reviewing, or definitely you have friends who know them, or you may need them for career advancement later.
  4. Try to congratulate yourself on your acrobatics. Saying something good about a terrible book takes some doing.
  5. Be aware that if you are writing for a major mainstream publication, you will get pushback on any note of critique, even in an otherwise glowing review. This can be from your editor, or from the book’s author, publisher, publicist, friends, etc., on Twitter, on Facebook, in person. The editor version is particularly insidious, because editors tend to say “If you didn’t like this, let’s not run it,” on the valid-ish grounds that the readers want recommendations. In that case, you read a bad book, wasted your time, got a fraction of your fee, and had an aura of failure hang about the venture, not likely to lead to more assignments.
  6. Admit to yourself that all this pressure is quelling. I have written decent-ish reviews of books I thought sucked. I have written nice things with no critical notes about friends’ books. I have elected to not review bad books by distant acquaintances. And every time I do criticize a book, I imagine its author’s child denying my child a job someday, when I am dead, and the world is 200 degrees, and a spot in the air-conditioning in a corporate tower of the future is a matter of life or death.
  7. Wonder why you — ok, this list is about me — why I am doing this, anyway. I started writing about books, despite the low pay and small audiences, because I love to read, and I love books, and I wanted to speak eloquently about them. If I’m not being honest in a book review on my personal blog, what, dear god, is the point? 8. Read this Tweedledum and Tweedledee debate about book reviewers. Are they in decline? Do we even need book reviewers, when we have Amazon and our friends to recommend books? Can anyone make money at this these days? — besides writer Peter Damien of Book Riot, whose myriad well-paying alternative press editors, unicorns all, with long silky manes, if they’re reading this, please call me!
  8. Remember that in our fairly bleak and corrupt world, literature and the arts are one of our few forms of enlightenment, transcendence and salvation. Great books matter, and intelligent debate about them matters. A problem with the culture of toothless commentary is that people seem to forget there’s a difference between saying something well and having something to say. What does a book mean? What is its message? Does it display any moral depth? The author can talk, but are they worth listening to? I find that’s the question I most often have to steer away from, if I want to be diplomatic…There are books that save lives, books that change lives, books that crack your head open and pour in a new substance and you walk around with your brain sloshing for weeks. There are books you’ll never forget. There is a difference between these books and most others, and that difference is worth articulating.
  9. Have integrity. Write the truest thing you can about what you read, in the most generous way possible. I do not always succeed, but I do try.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-stiversisakova/10-rules-of-writing-a-bad_b_4572229.html

 

Fin – Pax

 

Dr. Joe Kiray

Dr. Joe “Squatch” Kiray on the court

Every  once and a while there comes along a serious, but down-to-earth researcher of the unknown, who adds to the circumference of our interests, whether its in psychical research, Ufology or cryptozoology. Fortunately, I received an email from a gentlemen, who just happens to be just such a person: Joe Kiray, a professional Chiropractor from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Though he’s a professional healer, he’s also a racquetball enthusiast; camper; a hunter; angler and loves to do what he likes to call “Bigfooting.”

He has just released a fascinating video on YouTube (below) that shows what might be considered a creature like a bigfoot, though could very well be something totally different. To me, this very cool clip shows a very strange image that I have yet to figure out just what it is…Bizarre! When you look at the face (track to 1:31/4:35 and 3:25/4:35 for a better look). When close-up, it almost looks like a typical troll from Norse mythology, at least to me, though a face can be made out. Far-spread eyes, what appears to be a large, bulbous nose. And no way is it a bear, as Dr. Kiray has no doubt seen his fair share of bears, and he says it isn’t one of our fuzzy friends. If it is, its been spending too much time near a nuclear reactor, and has the patience of a priest. No, can’t figure out what it is, but just to be sure, the researchers should go back and have another look to make sure its not something more explainable. This way, the naysayers cannot find fault…Though they will regardless.

 

Taken from Bigfoot and Beyond: Breathtaking footage of something in the bushes! Did we make history and film the legendary creature known as Bigfoot, Wild Man, Bear Man, Dogface? You decide!  The team was out scouting a location for some evidence Bigfoot evidence, while we scout locations Dr. Squatch always films with his cell phone just in case we miss something with our eyes. Well this video right here shows why that is such a great idea.

Hopefully we’ll see some results on this weird creature, so be sure to sign up to Dr. Kiray’s blog page

…Keep up the great work Doc!

 

For a full write up of the days events click the link below:
http://www.bigfootandbeyond.com/bigfo…

Join the forum: http://www.bigfootandbeyond.com/
Follow them on Twitter: @BigfootandByond
Like them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigfootandbe…

“A lot of our officers have seen certain things. Some of our officers have felt what appears to be someone breathing down their neck as they’re working on reports in the briefing room…I do believe in ghosts…It’s hard to say but I do believe it was a ghost.”

Those words come from Detective Solomon Romero of the Espanola Police Department in New Mexico, in what was a recent brush with the paranormal. Apparently, and what can only be considered as evidence by these law enforcement officers, was what can only be construed as a ghost, which was caught on the station’s surveillance cameras.  The story soon captured the attention of the local newspapers after the event, and then was broadcast nationwide on the ‘Good Morning America’ television show.  The night duty officer spotted a foggy image of what appears to be a human-like figure casually walking in a slight angle and then straight through a highly secure fenced-in area. This area is under constant surveillance, and is armed with a police-grade alarm system, though no alarm went off, and no tampering was discovered after the event.

Courtesy Good Morning America

 

The on-duty officer, and others at the Espanola Police Department have expressed that ghostly-like antics have been observed there over the years, including staff hearing heavy breathing, and other strange noises at night, and having the feeling someone was watching them, or that some one or something was nearby. Some have claimed to have seen strange images in the lobby too. And although the cops say the building is not built on an ancient Indian burial ground, or that an officer has died at the location, we should take a few things into account before we make a solid judgment and toss the matter to a strange, unforeseen event. Firstly, history does to record every detail, nor does recorded history always come up accurate. Many times a death may occur where no one finds out about it; maybe a man died near that locale 100 or so years ago, and whose body remains there still, buried under rubble and dust. If we think about, historically speaking, the whole world is a vast graveyard, where bones riddle practically every area, literally right under our feet…Creepy, huh?  Secondly, who’s to say that ghosts, if indeed there is a ghost in this case, cannot travel at will? This spectre could very well have traveled from Albuquerque or Flagstaff for all we know. Thirdly, if indeed a ghost, and not at all uncommon in police lore, this spirit could be a fallen cop of long ago, or even that of a deceased officer simply making his or her rounds…Just to check in. Certainly, the possibilities could be tiring.

What I know for sure is that cops are normally down-to-earth and straight forward, so when we hear of such stories, along with some fairly logical evidence to boot, we should at least take a closer look.

Who ya gonna call?   Try New Mexico’s finest!

 

http://cityofespanola.org/

http://www.koat.com/news/ghost-caught-on-camera-at-espanola-police-station-officer-says/28236272

 

cropsey-house_farm-colony_9616_10801

Photo courtesy of AbandonedNYC – http://abandonednyc.com/

 

I bring you this documentary, which highlights the horror and gross abuse of mentally and physically handicapped children and adults at the now defunct Willowbrook State School to light only because it has such strong overtones to one of Florida’s own hospital of horrors, the Sunland Hospitals. Here, the Willowbrook 1997 Documentary titled Unforgotten: 25 Years After Willowbrook offers a near perfect example of how the Sunland Hospitals were seen during the 1981 – 82 government inspections throughout the state of Florida. Though many deny that the problems were as bad as seen in this documentary, a former registered nurse, whom I interviewed on several occasions agreed that the similarities are uncanny. Having worked for 8 years at the Tallahassee Sunland Hospital, we can at least have a good look at these similarities. If only Geraldo Rivera would have lived in Florida during Sunland’s reign of terror, we might have had justice sooner. Please read the Sunland stories on this blog page and decide for yourself.

 

 

Although the Willowbrook State School has inspired many ghost hunters and even film makers to retell the horrors that went on there, the true horror was what occurred for those poor people. Even if there are no ghosts to speak of, at least now we know that monsters once operated a hospital. At least, we can secure for ourselves the memory of what took place at these hospitals, and make sure such things never happen again.

 

How could have happened

 

 

Some links for you…

 

Florida’s Sunland Hospitals:

http://psiresearcher.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/sunland-hospital/

http://psiresearcher.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/sunland-hospital-pine-hills-a-horror-story-that-still-lingers/

 

Willowbrook State School

http://www.silive.com/westshore/index.ssf/2014/05/willowbrook_state_school.html

http://www.hauntedstatenisland.com/index.php/places/willowbrook-state-school

http://willowbrookstateschool.blogspot.com/p/history.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willowbrook_State_School

 

Here’s an interesting video caught in one of the once many, but now defunct Blockbuster Video Stores on their close-circuit TV cameras. It shows what can only be considered the effects of a poltergeist; otherwise known as “psychokinesis,” which are events caused by a living agent to that of a spirit. Though certainly controversial concept, having been divided between psychical researchers, it nonetheless remains a compelling idea. Either way, watch how this playful interaction with the living makes for a jumpy worker.

 

What do you think…Ghost, trickery, or something else?

 

This video is brought to you by Paranormal 360, and excellent resource of all things paranormal. It is your on-line source for news and entertainment about ghosts, hauntings, spirits and everything else paranormal from all over the world.

Please check them out at: http://www.paranormal360.co.uk/

Contact them at: info@paranormal360.co.uk

 

 

What do the experts think about Poltergeists?

Parapsychologists such as Nandor Fodor and William Roll wrote that poltergeist activity can be explained by psychokinesis.[ 1][2]

Poltergeist activity has often been believed to be the work of malicious spirits. According to Allan Kardec, the founder of Spiritism, poltergeists are manifestations of disembodied spirits of low level, belonging to the sixth class of the third order. They are believed to be closely associated with the elements (fire, air, water, earth).[3]

Physicists Pierro Brovetto and Vera Maxia hypothesise that poltergeist have for origin a reduction in strength of molecular bonds due to an enhancement in polarization of vacuum which decreases the actual electron charge. Arguments based on Prigogine’ nonequilibrium thermodynamics are proposed, which show how transformations in brain of some pubescent children or young women might be the cause of these effects.[4]

 

References

  1.  Fodor, N. (1964). Between Two Worlds. West Nyack, NY: Parker Publishing.
  2. James Houran, Rense Lange. (2007). Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. McFarland. p. 290. ISBN 978-0786432493
  3. Allan Kardec, Le Livre des Esprits. (2000). chapter 106, Jean de Bonnot. p.46.
  4. ‘They’re here': The mechanism of poltergeist activity – physics-math – 01 April 2008″. New Scientist. Retrieved 2014-06-15.

 

 

The St. Francis, St. Augustine

The St. Francis Inn B&B

 

One of my favorite haunts is the St. Francis Inn Bed & Breakfast. I’m sure to stay here whenever I’m visiting northeast Florida. Let’s take a look at one of St. Augustine’s most beloved inns. Located at 279 St. George Street, the St. Francis stands as one of the most beloved inns in St. Augustine. During one of my trips to the ancient city, and subsequently my second investigation into St. Augustine’s ghosts and haunted inns while writing a book on the subject, I made my way down beautiful St. George Street to revisit this lovely inn, one of the city’s oldest bed and breakfast establishments, dating back to 1791. I have had the distinct pleasure of having stayed here on several occasions over the years, and always find it comforting to know that it will likely be here as long as there are such resorts in the world.

When visiting the St. Francis, you’ll notice the many amenities that make this inn one of the quintessential destinations for many travelers. All of the rooms and suites are exceedingly beautiful, yet reminiscent of a simpler time and age, when one could relax without the necessity of computers and high-tech gadgetry. Though suggesting an antiquated stay, the guest can expect many conveniences as soon as they get settled, such as using the inn’s bicycles to tour the ancient city before heading out to any number of fine restaurants in town. When you return, you’ll be treated to the inn’s popular social hour, where guests can meet and have a drink together, and enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres prepared by an experienced on-site chef. The inn also offers complimentary deserts and gourmet coffees and teas in the evening to help you wind down, and in the morning, expect a fabulous breakfast you won’t soon forget.

The St. Francis also has a number of package deals and specials for the guest, such as the romance package, perfect for newlyweds and second honeymoons. Couples can enjoy a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride through the ancient city, while enjoying Champaign and local-made chocolates. The inn will schedule guided tours through the St. Augustine Lighthouse, as well as a scenic cruise on the Matanzas Bay. Other packages include eco and nature tours, where guests can spend the day watching dolphins swim and play, visit the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park or enjoy a beach get-away with a ready-made picnic basket for two. The guest may wish to partake in one of my favorite packages known as “The Paranormal Paranoia Package,” where the guest can make reservations in one of the inn’s actively haunted rooms, such as Lilly’s or Anna’s Room, or perhaps Elizabeth’s Suite. The guest will also get tickets for one of the city’s famous ghost tours, and a few ghostly related books to boot. Indeed, the guest of the St. Francis Inn may expect excellent service for either the active vacationer, or for those just wanting a peaceful respite from a busy lifestyle.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll find the St. Francis of significance too, as the inn’s rich history and culture is quite detailed. Beginning during the Second Spanish Period, the architecture reflects a simple, but fortified design. Although it was a time when the citizen’s safety and protection against invaders was paramount, you can still see how the simple design was constructed with comfort in mind, even though there was a constant threat of invasion. Because of this, most of the homes from this period had to be constructed to serve as a fortress against such incidents, so strong, high walls made of coquina and tapia-shell were implemented to that of simple wood-framed homes found in later years.

 

Col. Dummett

Former owner Col. Thomas Dummett, c. 1820s

 

When the St. Francis was a simple home, its first owner was Gaspar Garcia, a sergeant in the 3rd Battalion Infantry Regiment. Garcia was granted the home and the adjacent tract of land, and the home was actually designed by the King of Spain himself. By 1802, the property was bought up by a ship’s captain named Juan Ruggiers, until 1838 when Colonel Thomas Henry Dummett, a prominent officer with England’s Royal Marines bought the St. Francis, including several hundred acres along the Tomoka River, just south of St. Augustine, where he would have a sugar mill plantation constructed for the purpose of rum making. After his death, his eldest daughter, Anna converted the home into a lodging establishment in 1845, lasting until 1888, when philanthropist John L. Wilson purchased the Inn. Many renovations were made, as well as the addition of the third floor and new mansard-style roof, so the inn has remained very much the same as it was from the dawning of the 20th century.

 

 old inn

The original structure, courtesy The Florida Archives

 

Though several families had owned the St. Francis since, it was during the reign of Major William Hardee and his family in the mid 19th century that a budding, albeit forbidden romance took place. This tale of two star-crossed lovers involved a family member and a beautiful maidservant named “Lilly.” She is said to have been a slave woman from Barbados who worked for this prominent military family. She was said to have been one of the loveliest women in St. Augustine during that time. Legend tells us that a young Spanish soldier fell in love with her, and a torrid romance began soon thereafter. The two held their love affair secret for as long as they could; sneaking into the rooms of the St. Francis to make love, until one day, the soldier’s uncle walked in on them. His reaction was less than pleasant. This forbidden love affair would not take place in this home, nor anywhere else for that matter, and made it very clear that it would end immediately. Not only did he deny their romance in his home, but made sure the soldier would cease the affair altogether.

This soldier, who was denied his Lilly, could not abide to his superior’s regulations, so he decided to climb the stairs to a third floor room for one final mission. While overlooking the quaint courtyard below where the two would once go to embrace; noticing that the room was now cold and barren of his love, he stood on a chair, anchored a rope through a space in a rafter, and fashioned a noose. He then placed it around his neck and leapt to a halting snap. The soldier was dead. What happened after this is a matter of conjecture with many local historians and folklorists. Though the majority of historical records had been lost over the years, some speculate that Lilly, equally distraught of the broken romance, killed herself in the same fashion as her lover. Moreover, she is said to have been with child when she did. Others, however, believe she lived and remained at the inn, while still others say she was relocated to another home, and died of a broken heart. Regardless of the details, however, the story doesn’t end here, nor does Lilly’s presence.

 

 Haunting manifestations and strange occurrences

            The St. Francis Inn, like many of the bed and breakfast inns and many other establishments in St. Augustine, has several time-honored ghost stories attached to it. The legend of Lilly’s gentle spirit is likely the most popular here, though her soldier lover is also observed on occasion. Though the majority of the paranormal events to have taken place here for the better part of one hundred and sixty years are typical of a classic haunting, there are reports of poltergeist activity as well. With the enigma of doors slamming when no one is at the inn, and the lamps and overhead lights flickering, many of the ghost hunters to have researcher the inn have pointed to the possible presence of a spirit entity being responsible. Whether the activity is associated to an ethereal presence or is residual in nature, the St. Francis seems to be an active location nonetheless.

During a visit in 2012, I had the chance to interview an innkeeper named Adele Wright, who had several fascinating paranormal accounts to share with me. Having worked at the St. Francis for many years, she has had the opportunity to hear many stories from the guests throughout that time that certainly piqued her interest in ghosts. Later, personal experiences would finalize such beliefs, with the antics of a playful spirit the staff simply refers to as part of the St. Francis family. According to Adele, the most observed ghost at the inn has to be that of Lilly, who seems to get the blame for the many spooky pranks to take place at the inn. On occasion, she has been seen by a few special guests and staff.

In one instance, while Adele was manning the front desk, while preparing to begin her day, she went through her normal routine of cleaning up, filing information in their rightful places and the usual tasks of an innkeeper. Just as she was about finished, while preparing to put the last of the vacant room keys in the slots for future guests, her encounter took place. It was as she reached for the key to the Overlook Suite, she noticed it wasn’t in the spot where it was only moments ago. She looked all around, under the stationary mat, on the floor and in her pockets, but found no key. By the end of the day, while cleaning, Adele prepared to empty the trash. She stepped on the lid-opener peddle, and reached in the take the full bag of trash out. As she did so, she noticed the key resting on the bottom of the little trash can, which was underneath the bag the whole time…It was just another gag played on the living!

Lilly has been blamed for many creepy accounts to take place at the inn over the years, where many have considered the events related to poltergeist activity. Parapsychologists disagree, however, insisting that such events would be short-lived activity, meaning that poltergeist behavior is both sporadic and brief. The events recorded at the St. Frances are certainly more of longevity and tradition. One visiting gentleman, for instance, woke up from a deep sleep, and found himself underneath his bed, actually wedged under the frame. The poor fellow was so tightly wedged-in that the St. Augustine Fire Department had to be called to set him free. Though this gentleman didn’t say for sure if Lilly was responsible, he did say that he caught an image of a dark woman in his suite’s mirror just for a moment before he went to bed that evening. He went on the say that he dreamt of her leading him by the hand throughout his room. She was wearing a light-colored scarf on her head, and she was gently smiling at him. The gentleman went on to say that perhaps she lead him under the bed as a joke.

Other supernatural occurrences that are considered poltergeist activity involve objects being hurled across rooms by themselves, sometimes making such a racket, that some of the inn’s maids will refuse to work in those rooms alone. Once, the contents of a lady’s handbag were thrown all over her room when she awoke one morning. She thought that perhaps the handbag simply fell off her bed, and let the event go as being an accident. But when her handbag was found full of water the following morning; she left the St. Francis in a hurry. In addition to these paranormal events, television sets and radios will sometimes go on and off by their own accord, even changing stations while the occupant is witnessing the event. Although some of the guests have left in the middle of the night all together when the occurrences got a little too weird, for the most part however, these uncanny activities always seem to reflect a playful spirit rather than one of harmful mischief.

One of the reasons most paranormal researchers believe the activity is caused by Lilly, is because there have been reports of a ghostly, disembodied hand seen descending the rail of a staircase that once lead down to the servant’s quarters. The slender feminine hand is said to have belonged to a dark-skinned woman, silently gliding down the railing. As Lilly was said to be affectionate and good-natured in life, it stands to reason for most that the primary spirit at the St. Francis is hers, however, some believe there are yet other spirits here, such as the soldier who had took his own life in an upstairs room, who is said to walk the grounds of the St. Francis, sometimes seen gazing out one of the third floor windows. The soldier is reported to have an extremely sad demeanor, melancholy and distant, as if looking for something. Though many feel that the two lovers no longer meet in secret, it stands to reason that he is searching for Lilly even to this day.

Of the other paranormal incidents to have occurred at the St. Francis, the sounds of childish giggling has been detected in the Elizabeth Suite, where on occasion, both staff and guest have heard the jovial, sprite-like giggles coming from this room, only to revel empty space when someone investigates. In most cases, a guest might hear the giggling just as they are leaving their room, which of course makes them wander back in the see how someone’s kids had got past them without noticing. When they do, they find no children, nor anyone else inside. On another occasion, while one couple had just fallen asleep in Lilly’s Suite, all was well until 3:00 A.M. when the lady woke up to a chilly room. The room was so cold, in fact, that she could see her breath. Just then, she observed a whitish light glowing from the bottom of her bed, which seemed to pulsate and throb as if it were alive in some way. A moment later, the misty-light appeared to race directly toward her face, and then hover over her for a few seconds, only to disappear. On yet another occasion, while a couple was soundly asleep in this room, they were awoken to scraping sounds coming from the corner of the room. The husband reached over to get his cell phone to activate the camera. He had hoped to record whatever it was making the scratching noise. Just as he did, both he and his wife saw a white, glowing cloud pass right before their faces, and then dissipate altogether. The couple later showed the innkeeper their evidence of the ghostly presence, though no one could identify the strange glowing mist.

The innkeeper, Adele Wright, also related to me that there were other strange happenings that have both amused and frightened guests during her time at the inn. Events like the full-bodied apparitions of a man and woman in period clothing leaning over the second floor balcony, and of eerie faces seemingly materializing within the walls of the inn and then vanishing have been taking place here for years. Cold spots and phantom sounds have been reported too, suggesting that the inn certainly has more going on in it than just fine service. No, the staff and guests know that St. Francis Bed and Breakfast Inn is quite haunted.

 

 The haunted stairwell

One of the haunted stairwells were Lilly has been seen

 

            Although I have not experienced any out-and-out ghostly activity here, I can relate an incident from my last visit that has me believing. Just after my interview with Adele, I asked if I could walk about the inn, and snap a few photos. As I was doing so, walking about the floors and around the patio area, I made a final journey into the dining room. Not wanting to disturb the guest enjoying their morning meal, I was as polite as possible, and when finished, I began walking through the archways to the main desk. As I did, I quietly whispered thank you to the spirit of Lilly and her spirited cast of ghosts. A few seconds after that, I heard an equally soft, whispering voice respond “You’re Welcome.” It was the voice of a young woman. Now, I’m not sure if that was Lilly giving me her approval for being polite while visiting her inn, but I could not find anyone remotely near me who could have said that, let alone heard me say thank you in the first place. In the end, the St. Francis Inn has proven itself time and time again to be one of Florida’s most lovely and downright pleasant bed and breakfast inns. Whether spirits roam throughout its stately hallways will certainly be defended by those who have experienced them. For those who deny the existence of such things, however, are likely to miss out on a large, albeit somewhat hidden part of the Sunshine State’s most spirited city, St. Augustine. Either way, the St. Francis will delight everyone equally.

Have a lovely stay….

For more information:

 

  • Call us toll free at 1-800-824-6062 (USA & Canada)
  • Call us at 1-904-824-6068 (International)
  • Fax us at 1-904-810-5525

E-mail: info@stfrancisinn.com

 

You can also check the availability for any of rooms or suites online, and even book your reservation online: http://www.stfrancisinn.com/index.html

 

 

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