Can’t Fight Hate with Hate (Or, That Time I Got Jumped by a Dead Pope)

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It just doesn’t work. I recently had this confirmed for me with stunning clarity while I was traveling in Rome. I was attacked by a very powerful male spirit while touring the summer home of the Pope. It was one of the most disturbing and powerful psychic attacks I’ve ever experienced.

Then, I got to talk about it on Coast to Coast AM. On October 27th, I called in for open lines. Dave Schrader was hosting, and said he wanted to hear “Your scariest paranormal experiences.” I got lucky, and got right through. Big thanks to Dave and the Coast to Coast team for taking my call!

I was hesitant at first, and a little nervous. Sure, it’s one thing to type away, and hit post on my blog. Quite another to have my voice instantly projected around the world. The enormity of it hit me, and I felt like I was stumbling, reaching for how to describe what I’d gone through. Then my Guides whispered in my ear, and I knew what I had to say.

It’s all about Love. Love really will overcome all, heal all, even if at times it doesn’t seem possible. It’s often a nasty, painful process, and holding onto Love is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. When you come out the other side though, you’ll see how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve grown.

We have the free will to accept it, or not. But Love is always the answer. Everyone needs to hear this right now. The time right now is crucial. This is why my Guides nudged me to get up and call when I heard Dave say the phone lines were open. Why I got through without any trouble. The world needs to hear, in as many voices, and languages, and ways possible, that Love is the answer.

The challenge is accepting that truth. It’s easy to say, “Love is the answer, Love wins” when the sun is shining, and life is rosy. Holding on to Love though, in your darkest moments, will be your biggest challenge. You may find though, that it’s also your greatest strength.

I’ve had some astral fights. Actual battles. Throwing energy bolts, shaping weapons and dueling it out. There’s definitely an empowering sense of accomplishment to it. You’ve just vanquished evil! Or have you?

In my experience, anything I’ve fought has come back at me again, at some point in time. I haven’t defeated anything. I’ve even had my battle energies absorbed, and make the being I’m confronting stronger. That’s generally not helpful.

But evil cannot stand before Love. When I switched my strategy to loving anything that came at me, I was far more successful. Instead of being drained and vulnerable after meeting up with some nasty astral being, I was filled with gentle, energizing warmth. And the “bad guy?” Gone, not a problem anymore.

I had always wondered though; just how effective would Love be against some really Big Baddie? I don’t run into much more than very angry dead people in Seattle. I do encounter nasty critters sometimes while out travelling astrally, but that’s rare. I tend to stick to the lighter astral planes, avoiding the darker, lower levels. I know there’s bigger baddies out there than I’ve run across, and so the question has crossed my mind more than once.

I was answered on my recent trip to Rome. Absolutely, unequivocally.

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Castel Gandolfo is perched on the lip of dormant volcano. Until Pope Francis, the tiny hilltop community has been home to the Pope during the sweltering summer months. Pope Francis though has declined it’s use, and recently opened the palace and extensive gardens up for tours.

It was while wandering through this light, airy building, filled with paintings of past Popes, and some really spectacular antiques and paintings, that I was confronted by an angry male spirit. My Guides tell me it was a past Pope, but I was not given a name. He certainly considered himself of primary importance in the church. Swelling with righteous indignation he swirled around me, arrogant and commanding. “You don’t belong here. This is a holy place. You defile it! Witch! Evil!” And there was more, in increasingly rude and vile terms. Heat too; I was swamped in it. Yes, it was late summer, but we were above the hotter temperatures of Rome itself. The rooms were pleasantly cool, until sudden, thick heat swaddled me. Dark tentacles of negative energy wrapped around my auric field, probing, seeking to pierce through my shields to attach to my physical body.

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A headache started to throb. I pulled out my selenite disc, holding the protective crystal to my solar plexus. The pressure of his hatred eased, pushed back by the cleansing crystal, but the headache continued to grow. He poked and tested at my shields as I walked, “Begone! Leave my home! I will not tolerate such foulness polluting my chambers!”

So we traded, back and forth. I would push him away, or he would back off, judging how next to strike. The full pressure of his aggression eased when I got out of the palace but the headache continued to grow. He followed me – sometimes closely, sometimes distantly – as we continued on our tours. Always there though, reaching with his tentacles of black energy, probing, testing.

Our last stop was the Catacombs. They don’t even know how many are buried there, and it was used by ancient Christians because it gave them a relatively safe space to gather that was outside the official city limits.

I heard the screaming before I got off the bus. I’d already told my husband I couldn’t go in. I wasn’t up for it. He wasn’t either, although for non-paranormal reasons, and we called for a car to take us back to the hotel.

Ordinarily I would ground and use the Earth’s energy to augment my shields and energies, but this path was closed, horribly so. The ground, even outside the Catacombs was saturated with death, grounding just tapped into the energy of all those souls.

Not helpful. All I could do was focus on holding my shields and expanding my heart chakra field so that it encompassed all of me. My Guides gave me their love and support, helping keep the physical symptoms at tolerable levels. The angry Pope’s malice was lost in the overwhelming energies of the Catacombs.

Finally, the driver arrived, and the heavily tainted energy receded as we sped away. The pressure against my shields eased, as did the headache and the nausea. By the time we reached the hotel, I was feeling much better. Enough to go out shopping around Rome with my husband through the late afternoon and evening.

All was fine until night fell. The headache and nausea crept back, and I started to feel dizzy as well. I realized that the angry male spirit, who I thought I’d shaken off, still lingered. It might have just been that it was night, but his energy levels were stronger, and he was relentless. Heavy black limbs struck again and again, wrapping around my shields and squeezing while trying to worm in toward my body. I was in an astral fight, struggling to look and act normal for my husband as we wandered the streets of Rome.

At times, I was able to override the physical sensations when I was able to hold my energies and shields at full capacity. But it was draining, holding my shields in that manner. Returning to the hotel, I lost sight of the angry Pope again in the general psychic noisiness of the old building. Exhausted, I immediately fell asleep. Only to bolt awake around 1:30 am. Crushing fear and anxiety had my thoughts racing and my heart pounding. Gradually it slowed, even as the consuming fear grew.

He wanted to kill me, he said so, over and over. He was the source of the fear. He was proud of the anguish he inflicted, grinning as he drove harsh waves of negative energy at me. The level of his power, and the depth of his anger – which to his thinking was fully justified – only confirmed what my Guides had already told me.

Away from the death-soaked grounds of the Catacombs however, I was able to ground, drawing the loving, healing energy of Mother Gaia up into my physical form. It washed through me, soothing, and energizing. I reached for my Guides, and was bathed in their loving support. I took it all in, and the darkness and fear fled from my being, shrinking from Love.

I offered Reiki to the Pope. I offered the Bridge of Light to help him cross over, and be healed of his hate and anger. I showed him the path. I filled the room with the loving energies from my heart chakra, from Mother Gaia, and my many astral allies. He hissed at me, and vanished completely. The nausea and dizziness from his attacks dissipated like mist in the sun. I was whole, and my heart filled with bliss, banishing any lingering shadows. “He’s truly gone this time.” My Guides whispered with absolute assurance. I slept peacefully then for the first time since leaving home.

You might never be in an astral fight, but at some point in your life, you are going to face Love and Fear. Probably more than once. Each time you choose Love, you heal yourself. Maybe just a little, maybe a whole lot at once, but the healing is real. Let yourself feel it.

CGGardenMary

Why Do You Believe in the Paranormal?

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Losing Mom wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part is dealing with the aftermath. Trying to keep siblings from gouging each other’s hearts out ranks right up there in the Top Two Most Difficult Aspects of Losing a Parent. Then there’s cleaning out the mountains of debris and accumulated detritus crowding Mom’s home of close to 50 years. And oh boy, could she pack it in! Every crevice and cranny was stuffed, quite literally to the rafters, with…everything. I found report cards from every grade. Every. One. The silly notes I passed between friends at school. Faded art projects. And while I have no desire to actually keep the majority of the stuff I unearthed, it still gave me a pretty serious pang to have to throw it all away.

Now comes the paranormal part…

Mom’s house is 1500 miles away from the home I live in now, in Seattle. I was last there a couple months ago, after Mom passed, to help with cleaning and to pick up some items. I stayed in my old bedroom and listened to the sounds of the house around me as I lay awake late at night. This creak, or that sigh as it shifted in the wind, and the clicks and whirrs of the appliances and heating system were all so very familiar.

Also familiar was the sound of Mom’s footsteps as she’d walk down the hall to the bathroom. Her tread was light, but still thudded softly on the thick carpet of the upstairs hall. And there – the squeak of the loose floorboard right outside my room. Two nights in a row, I heard those footsteps, and that distinct squeal that could only be the sound of weight pressing on that creaky spot. The first night, she even paused outside my door, and tapped on it softly.

Did I get up and answer? Nope. I’m ashamed to admit that when the absolute reality of life after death smacked me in the face at 1 a.m. I was afraid. Not of Mom. I wasn’t afraid of her spirit standing there on the other side of the door.

Nope.

It was a purely visceral reaction to the validation of everything I believed. The fear was because I sorta held onto a bit of doubt about – everything. That night, that tiny bit of doubt was obliterated.

Even after decades of paranormal experiences – physically running into ghosts, communicating with them, and having those experiences validated by other sources, I still held onto a tiny kernel of skepticism. And I was okay with that. I was okay with the dichotomy of believing and not believing. My own Schroedinger’s Cat scenario – both real and not real. I could tell people, “Well, this happened, but…” As if that ‘but’ gave me, and everyone else, a way to dismiss what I was legitimately experiencing.

Hearing Mom walk the hallway, just like she did in life, erased forever any lingering doubt I might have had. And that was just a bit terrifying.

It was also freeing. I no longer had to cling to that little kernel. There was simply no other explanation for the sound of her footsteps, and the creak of the floorboard than the presence of her spirit walking past my door. Period. And if her spirit was real, then it suddenly made everything else I’d seen, or heard, or felt, just as real.

The second night, Mom once more stood outside my bedroom door and gently tapped. This time, I talked to her. She was concerned about some family stuff, and I reassured her. She wanted to let me know she was okay, and still around. I told her I was grateful she came back this night, after I was so afraid the night before. We had a good talk, comforting, and she faded away. I knew she wouldn’t be back.

And that was okay. Because although her body was gone, her spirit lives on. I no longer have any doubts about that at all.

Tell me, what made you believe? I would love to hear your stories!

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Where Can You Find Ghosts, Aliens and Bigfoot? Paracon!

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On Saturday, Oct. 22, I drove out to Concrete, WA for Forest Moon Paranormal’s first Paracon. Concrete is tucked in the mountains near the Washington-Canada border, at the base of Mt.Baker. Multiple UFO sightings, an active Bigfoot population, and the town of Concrete itself is extremely haunted. You couldn’t ask for a more perfect location for this event. And it is unbelievably beautiful. I mean really, just look at this!

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Paracon = Paranormal Conference, in case you were wondering. It was my first, and I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping to hear some interesting speakers, maybe learn something, and this Paracon really delivered.

Every speaker that I heard did such a great job of presenting their topic, answering questions, and being available to talk with anyone. I got there late, so I missed the Bigfoot presentation, and only caught the very end of the UFO talk, but here’s what I did hear.

Ghostology 101 with S.J. and Russ Wells of F.O.G. Paranormal.

A thorough, basic primer on the how-to’s of paranormal investigation. Their discussion included definitions of common paranormal terms, safety considerations, and some really amazing pictures they’ve taken on investigations. What I really liked, and haven’t seen in many paranormal groups, was the respect and compassion F.O.G. maintains for their human clients AND the spirits they find during investigations.

S.J. and Russ have been investigating the paranormal for well over 30 years. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, and are experiencing paranormal activity you would like investigated, contact S.J. and Russ at F.O.G. Paranormal

Tying the Paranormal Together with Christina George.

Christina George is a paranormal investigator and radio host with Paranormal Connections. Christina’s talk centered on the idea that all paranormal aspects are linked. Historically, this idea has not been popular in the para-community. The ghost investigators didn’t have much to do with the UFO peeps, and neither had anything to do with Bigfoot crowd.

Christina has over 20 years in the paranormal field, and has found that people who experience the paranormal often experience all of it – spirit contact, seeing UFO’s, developing psychic abilities. So if you’re going to investigate, it makes sense to expand and investigate all of it. Otherwise, links and commonalities that are vital to understanding these phenomena can easily be missed.

Experiencers: The Importance of the First Hand Account with Dave Scott of Spaced Out Radio.

Dave shared his personal experiences – with ghosts, aliens and Bigfoot. More than just telling his stories, Dave’s presentation illustrated something that everyone who’s had a brush with the paranormal thinks at one point or another – Am I the only one who’s experienced this?

No. You’re not. You’re not crazy, you’re not alone. And it is critical to get out, find like-minded folks and share what you’ve seen. Many experiencers never speak up because they’re afraid; of losing family or friends, of being ostracized, even of losing their job. Dave pointed out that even in paranormal investigations, the person’s individual experience is sometimes cast aside as unimportant – because it cannot be measured, or otherwise validated. This is inherently wrong. Our experience is crucial; what we see, what we feel, must also be recorded and shared.

He did point out that it’s important we do this in a safe environment. But those places are out there. The three groups I’ve mentioned are all a really good place to start.

I was so impressed with all the speakers. The common thread through all the presentations was one of respect. Respect for people telling their stories. Respect for the beings who trigger the phenomena. Respect for other investigators. There was a definite sense of cooperation and camaraderie between all the participants and speakers. I have been experiencing the paranormal my whole life, but I am a total newbie when it comes to trying to network with others who have. The people at this Paracon were all welcoming, friendly and it was a huge relief to be able to talk and share openly.

I have to give big kudos to Eric Cooper, his wife Issy, and everyone who worked so hard to put together and pull off this event. Eric is the founder of Forest Moon Paranormal, a paranormal crisis team. Forest Moon is one of the few groups I’ve found (the other being F.O.G) that considers the spirit’s well-being when they are helping clients affected by paranormal activity.

What so many people forget is that ghosts are people, usually people who have suffered a terrible, traumatic event in addition to dying. These spirits are often in pain, frightened and confused, which can cause them to lash out in anger. As I nurse, I can attest to the fact that living humans do this – I’ve seen it first hand. Humans in fear and pain, whether they’re alive or dead, deserve to be treated with compassion and respect to help ease that fear and pain. The good people at Forest Moon and F.O.G. never lose sight of that when they respond to a client’s request for help.

This event will be back next year. I know I’m planning on being there.

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5 Psychic Protections for Paranormal Investigations

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License: <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>    photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/133488379@N08/28420111343″>Spooky old house</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Ghost hunting is the new, fun thing. The plethora of paranormal reality shows on multiple cable channels testifies to the popularity of experiencing a touch of the spirit world.

Want to try it yourself? Plenty of paranormal groups offer tours and pay-to-play ghost hunts. If you’re in a city, chances are good a quick Internet search will hook you up with local investigators. You might make new friends and want to get even more involved.

If you’re going to go a-hunting, you must take steps to protect yourself. All the rules for self-protection in non-paranormal situations apply.

  • Stay alert.
  • Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Go with at least one other person.
  • Tell others where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Don’t trespass; always get permission to enter.

Haunted locations are sometimes off the beaten path, far from the safety of a fast 911 reaction time. They’re also sometimes inhabited by purely physical beings who may or may not be there legally. They may not appreciate your wanderings if you’re in what they consider “their space.”

 

SDGraffitiHall
License: <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;   photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/60579074@N03/27474606271″>IMG_9424</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Physical preparedness is only half the equation, though. What do you do once you’re there, in the space, and shit starts to get weird? The atmosphere shifts, cold settles over you, you feel waves of unsettling emotions, or even a touch, shove or scratch?

Well, damn! Too real for you now? You were hoping for “something” but now you’re getting more than you hoped for? This is not the time to suddenly try and slap up some psychic protections. Take some time before heading out to tune into your own awareness, and take protective measures.

Ummm, psychic what? Whether you think you’re talented in the psy department or not, everyone who walks into a paranormal situation should have some protection, and not the kind you buy in little foil wrappers. Because you’re dealing with beings who may be angry, or may want to try and do you harm, you need to ensure your safety – mental, emotional, spiritual and physical.

If you walk into a situation unprepared, you increase your risk. That’s just basic common sense. You need to wrap your head around the fact that protecting yourself from discarnate beings is part of interacting with the spiritual realms. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for a world of hurt.

How do you do that though?

  1. Stay calm. Breathe, meditate, pray, take a walk, do whatever works for you to put you in a calm state of mind. It is not a good idea to walk into a location with heightened emotions running through you. An argument with your significant other, road rage, a bad day at work will all wreak havoc on your peace of mind, generating stress, anger, frustration, sadness. There are discarnate beings who love the taste of these emotions. Quite literally they feed off of them, and if you walk in seething from whatever, you are going to ring like a dinner bell and light up like a neon sign blazing “Come and Get It!” into the aether. So get your head in a Zen space before you get to the location.

 

  1. Ask for your allies to be near you and keep you safe. Work within whatever spiritual framework resonates with you. Pray for your angels, invoke your guardian spirits, call for your guides, or totem animals. Take time to center yourself, and connect strongly with those beings who love and protect you. Ask that they work with you for the highest good.

 

  1. Be confident. Not arrogant. Not in the “I’m the baddest bad ass in the place. I will mess you up, demon! Who wants some?” sense. Arrogance and pride are also delicious for these beings. Be confident in your heart that you are coming from a place of compassion. Set your intention that you are trying to help all beings reach a safe, loving place. Be confident that your allies and your protections will keep you safe.

 

Bragging and taunting have no place in this work. You might certainly get a TV worthy response, but what you are doing in most cases is tormenting a being who is already in excruciating pain. That’s not brave, or admirable – it puts you in the same class as bullies who kick puppies.

  1. Surround yourself with protective, white light. I know, we’ve all heard this one a bazillion times. The White Light, blah, blah. Except, this one works. It does. Plain, simple, effective.

There is a catch though – you gotta feel it and see it. In psychic work, often our other senses kick in and we experience sensations of touch, or scents, hearing voices or seeing visions – either with our physical eyes or 3rd eye. Use this to your advantage when setting up protective shields.

So when I say, see it, I mean I want you to visualize a brilliant white light surrounding you, enveloping you completely. Use your imagination, close your eyes if you need to and see this light around you. If you like, it can be tinged with silver, or blue, or purple, but make it bright and make it white.

When I say feel it, I want you to imagine what it feels like when this light surrounds you. Does it feel cozy and warm? Or pleasantly cool? Is it smooth against your skin? Or soft and fuzzy like a snuggly blanket? What sensations make you feel safe? Imagine those accompany this white light.

Next, set the intention in your mind that this white light will surround you until you consciously remove it. See it, feel it, and then tell yourself this will be with you, protecting you, the whole time.

If at any time you feel like it’s slipping or fading, stop, and re-build it in your mind.

You may want to leave the white light up until you get home. Then remember to consciously take it down.

  1. It’s not just your imagination. Or rather, it is, but your imagination is far more powerful than you probably think. When working in the astral realms or with discarnate beings, thoughts are things. You create with your mind, and you do that with your imagination. It is therefore imperative that you keep your thoughts calm, and clear

It’s a really good idea to cleanse yourself when you leave. Brush a selenite wand over your aura, burn some sage and smudge, whatever cleansing acts work for you. I’ll cover cleansing in detail in another post.

I’m happy to see that interest in the paranormal is on the rise. More and more are waking up to the fact that the world is much bigger, and weirder, than they realized. New investigations, new information are all necessary if we are to truly learn about and understand these strange realms.

Exploring new worlds though, requires caution. Go out there, but do so safely. Common sense and respect are essential.

SDNightGYard
License: <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>   photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/134810115@N04/23530101673″>IMG_1893-2</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Haunted Hiking Trails

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I love hiking! Ok, so I don’t backpack into the back country. Yet anyway. But I am so fortunate that here in the Puget Sound I have access to so many different types of hiking trails to explore.

Being out in Nature forges a connection between you and the Earth that you just can’t get in the city. The energies of the water, the trees and the animals all combine in a way that can only be described as magical. It’s good for you on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

If you’re at all sensitive to these subtle energies, you very quickly realize that you aren’t the only one out there on the trail.

Hauntings don’t only happen in the city. The spirits and energies of the dead can be found anywhere people have been, even if no one lives there now. Haunted forests, trails, ghost towns are found around the world.

I know what you’re thinking. “I want to go to there.”

You can start here, with this article. It says it’s a list of most haunted hikes in every state, but a number of them are abandoned asylums or other facilities that appear to require more like a short walk from the street rather than a hike through some wilderness. But maybe that suits your hiking style – no judgement here! They all have suitably spooky histories attached. In my home state of Washington they list the Iron Goat Trail, site of an avalanche that caused two trains to derail. Now I know my next hiking trip.

So maybe you pick a spot from the list above, or maybe you google “Haunted Hiking Trails in California” (or Rhode Island, or  – you get the idea) and set off on your adventure. Here’s tip Number One.

Don’t build up a great big set of expectations. Don’t count on the fact that you’re going to see or feel all the stuff from the descriptions. Because that’s one of the best ways I know of to not experience the paranormal.

Yes, some people have big encounters – physical, audible, visual – that are stunning. And yes, some places are notorious for consistent encounters. You may very well be that lucky; and if you are I want to hear about it!

Typically though these energies are subtle, and you need to practice tuning in to them. We can all do it to a certain degree. But it does take a conscious effort. The following can help you refine your paranormal senses.

Quiet your mind. Easier said than done, right? Thoughts creep, flit and fly through our minds constantly, and often we are not consciously aware of them. Thoughts resist being stilled and will work doubly hard to get your attention; especially when you first start practicing. Meditation is an excellent teacher of quieting the mind. It’s a skill you want to work on every day, so that when you are out in the field, you already know what to do and how to achieve that quiet mind.

Open your senses. More than what you see, what do you hear? Is there a smell that doesn’t belong – pipe smoke in an otherwise empty cemetery? Perfume in an abandoned cabin? Avoid attaching a judgement or analysis to what you experience such as, “that must be the miner’s pipe” or “the wife must’ve worn that perfume.” Did you feel a touch on your hair? Or feel someone brush past you who isn’t there? Be aware of, notice everything going on around you.

Go beyond your physical senses. Do you feel an emotion that seems to well up from nowhere? Or a thought that pushes at you from outside your skull? Again, avoid judgements and simply experience it. Or – do you get a sense of rushing or prickling inside your skin, like energy moving from one spot to another?

Wait patiently. You must be willing to sit in a quiet space for some period of time. Spirits do not appear on schedule like a show. This isn’t Ghost Theater. Sit. Breathe. Quiet your mind. Open all your senses. What do you experience?

Hiking a haunted trail gives you a twofer. You can connect with the nature spirits AND commune with the departed. Even if the haunted area does not bring forth ghosts, you can still use all of the above to reach out and connect with Nature. Water, Earth and Sky spirits are all around you. Can you sense them and hear their messages?

Is there a downside?

What do you do if the spirits you connect with aren’t entirely friendly? If you’re going to embark on psychic adventures you should probably have some psychic defenses. Because not everything out there in the other dimensions wants to be your friend.

Read about steps you can take to protect yourself next.

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Paranormal Pictures – Orbs!

I love ghost pics and videos. Ok, I know. They’re super easy to fake. I get it. That does nothing to diminish their allure.

Because some of them are real. How to tell the difference though is pretty tricky. I’m certainly no photography expert, however there are some quick and easy things to look for when you’re scanning a bunch of spooky pics late at night freaking yourself out doing research.

Easy stuff first – Orbs! They’re usually dust. Yes. If you have a pic with potential paranormal phenomena (try saying that fast!) most sites that do photo analysis do not even want to even look at orb pics.

Here’s what dust turned to orbs looks like.

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These are faint and far away, but if you look close you’ll see more than just the three I’ve highlighted. But wait, it gets better.

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So many ghosts! Nope, just so much dust stirred up from walking on that dirt floor. Your first clue is how many orbs are floating around. With this pic too, the more you look the more you see.

But sometimes an orb appears to be a genuine manifestation of spirit activity. A sizeable chunk of ghost hunting involves the use of technology – EMF meters, laser arrays, voice recorders – to name just a few. If we’re going to accept that discarnate entities have the ability to manifest through some manipulation of energy to affect these devices then it’s reasonable to presume that they could manifest as an orb in a photograph.

So what’s the difference? Look for:

  • A singular orb instead of a flock.
  • A distinct or unusual shape. Not perfectly round.

When I took the photos above I wasn’t trying to connect psychically with anything. In these two below, I sensed the presence of a spirit and asked them to manifest as an orb. This is what I got in response.

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Ghosts? I took these pictures in a location that is notorious for spirit activity – Seattle’s Underground. While these two pics are both singular orbs, and I was getting a response psychically, it is still hard for me to say that yes, these are spirits manifesting. My sense is the top photo has more potential than the bottom picture. But I would not consider either of these good evidence.

Have I seen orbs that I thought looked genuine? Yes, taken by other people. Do a quick search and you’ll find them too. See if you start to get a sense for what is dust and what may be spirits. I have yet to take a really solid orb photo that I’m confident represents genuine paranormal activity. When I do you can be sure I’ll post it. Until then, I’ll keep trying…

Want to see some really good, unexplained photos? Check out here.

Have you taken pics of orbs, apparitions or other unexplained phenomena?

 

 

 

 

 

Paranormal Career?

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Not a picture of Garnet, just a spooky looking house.

Or at least the start of one. How would you like to be paid to work in and staff a ghost town? The Bureau of Land Management wants YOU to come and work to help preserve the ghost town of Garnet, Montana.

According to this article from Wide Open Country (.com) Garnet was once a frontier mining town but has been “mostly abandoned” for the last century. In an effort to preserve the town the BLM put out a call for volunteers. Ok, they call it volunteer but then state a stipend is provided as well as a food allowance (sweet!). Huh, every volunteer job I ever had paid zip. Duties are described as giving tours and working in the gift shop. Taxing, very taxing. (I’m using my sarcasm font here. Just so you know.)

The best part – the freedom to explore after closing time and apparently lots of paranormal happenings have been experienced. Second best part, sleeping on site in a provided cabin is FREE! Sounds more like an expense paid vacation at Club Ghost Town.

I’d sign up, but down at the bottom of the article it says they’re no longer accepting applications because they’ve received too many. Ha! Actually I’m really happy and excited for them and the ‘volunteers.’ Sounds like a fantastic opportunity for paranormal investigators and kudos to the BLM for some really clever marketing to get the staffing they need.

Maybe next year…

Would you go and stay for the summer?

 

Cat Ghosts And Halloween

It’s that most wonderful time of the year. No I don’t mean Christmas!

Halloween! Yep, you’re all nodding your heads and smiling right now. If you’re a paranomo-phile (yes, I made up that word) you love this time. The veil between the worlds thins out and we all hope for that contact, a brush with the beyond. Maybe you’ve lost someone special and you’d like just a little touch to show you they’re okay.

That’s what happened to me.

CMagic

In the week or so leading up to last night I’d been seeing little black flashes out of the corner of my eye, especially in her favorite spots; on my shoes, on top of the couch. Magic was only 14, but I wasn’t ready to lose her. Oh, I suppose you never are ready to lose one of your fur kids. It feels like they take a piece of your soul when they leave. I’d lost Jasper two years ago but while Magic and her older sibling Sage were older kitties, they seemed to be in excellent health. Until I noticed she was losing weight, then I felt that tiny lump under her jaw. So little, I thought Sage bit her while they were playing. Except it got bigger, and in just under a month I was crying at the vet over my sweet little girl. She had bone cancer, a very fast, aggressive one. It had already destroyed her jaw. As soon as I saw her x-ray I knew I wouldn’t be taking my little girl home and I had to say goodbye.

Every scrap of clinical and spiritual knowledge in my extensive experience couldn’t ease my breaking heart. It was the right thing, the compassionate thing to do. I knew her little spirit was only transitioning over, and as she passed I watched her move out of her body and into the loving arms of my spirit guide, surrounded by my other departed pets. But I still missed my sweet editor kitty, and how she used to lay on my hands and “help” me write. My writing corner is just a little colder in the weeks and months since she passed. It hurts still to sit and work, and tears often spill when I prop my feet up on the foot stool under my desk where she loved to sleep while I worked.

This is how she helped me write.
This is how she helped me write.

But this week, I’ve felt her near, seen her little black body flash from place to place. She tapped on the shower door like she used to the other night, making it shake and rattle strongly, and I saw a black spot dash away around the corner. But as I sat down to write a Halloween blog, wondering which topic I should address I swept my feet up onto my footstool and pushed a heavy little furry body onto the floor. Magic wasn’t exactly a svelte kitty.

I see and sense spirits on a daily basis, but actual physical encounters with them are rare for me. As with every other time I have physically touched a ghost I didn’t think it was a paranormal encounter at first. My first thought was, When did Sage start sleeping in Magic’s old spot? I actually got up out of the chair and poked my head under the desk, calling to Sage. And before the skeptics can say he ran out the other side, my desk sits in a corner and the only way out from under it is past me. The space under the desk was empty.

I knew my little girl had come to visit again and my heart felt just a little lighter. Magic has been the most present of all my departed animal companions. About 4 or 5 days after I put her to sleep I was sitting on the couch crying, when amazingly, I felt paws press into my arm and phantom weight settle onto my shoulder. She loved to cuddle and would often snuggle onto my arm and shoulder where it rested on the arm of the couch. I waited a few moments, breathless to see if the weight would fade. Instead a slight vibration buzzed on the skin of my shoulder through my shirt. My ghostly kitty was purring! Although her body was gone her little spirit was still very much present and very happy to cuddle with me one more time.

Have you ever wondered if your pet has a soul? They do. Our animal companions are beautiful spirits, and to share a life with them is a magical blessing indeed.

Girls Gone Ghost Hunting Part One

TJShipPic

A few weeks ago my friend Kim took me on a ghost tour of downtown Seattle for my birthday. On the tour we found out Spooked in Seattle also hosts ghost hunts for the public to participate in. Kim and looked at each other and didn’t really have to say anything, we knew we were going there next.

“Next” was an investigation on the USS Turner Joy, a decommissioned Naval Destroyer that’s also a museum. The Turner Joy is moored in Bremerton, Washington – just a short hop across the water from where I live in Seattle. Kim and I signed up for the overnight event – Saturday October 3rd to the morning of the 4th. You too can participate in Spooked in Seattle’s public ghost hunts by visiting their web page. The investigation on the 3rd was the last overnight event for the year, but they do have two-hour events listed for November.

I had no clue what to expect. Sure I bump into spirits all the time – it happens when you’re psychic. But I have zero experience when it comes to the technological side of the paranormal. Truthfully, I’m not very tech-y. I feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to ‘build my author platform’, and half the time I think Siri is smarter than me and plotting against me. You should hear how she says my husband’s name when I ask her to call him.

There were several pieces of equipment provided that night by Ross of AGHOST. EMF meters, a laser grid array, plus ping-pong balls to encourage the spirits to manifest and move something. I brought my own camera and digital recorder. On my phone I had a number of ghost hunting apps, but as I talked about in this post, the general consensus is that while you can sometimes get an EVP or actual EMF reading, the apps do not produce valid data.

We got there at 9 and met the group. There were about 20 or so people there for the two-hour event, but for the overnight there were just four other women in addition to Kim and I. I’m not sure which is a scarier thought – that there are ghosts on the ship or that the six of us would be crawling around the ship into the witching hours of the night. But after 11 that’s what it came down to, and I gotta say, the Turner Joy did not disappoint.

During the first two hours on the ship I picked up the energies of a spirit nearby in several locations, but nothing I could truly call definitive spirit contact. Kim and I both saw a shadow move on a wall of one of the berthing quarters where EVP’s and and other activity have been recorded. No one was in the immediate area that could have caused the movement, but neither did we catch it with the camera.

Later, when it was just the six of us for the night, Kim and I were alone in another berthing area. In this part of the ship an EVP from an earlier investigation caught the word “Sweetie”. As we sat there, talking to the darkness surrounding us, I noticed a clicking sound, repeating at irregular intervals. Looking up I saw this light flashing on and off.

TJMotionSensorThe one hanging on the silver locker, just to the left of the word BURMA. I would love to say it flashed in direct answer to our queries. I really would, but I can’t definitively say that. I can say though, that we weren’t moving around and we found out after the fact that it was a motion sensor set to capture movement on the ladders behind us. We were pretty pleased though to just get some activity early on in the night.

But, as the night deepened it seemed that was all we were going to get. No knocking spirits had answered our queries, no obvious phenomena appeared on the pictures. Only time will tell if the recordings made will yield an EVP. (Yeah, I’m still going through those.) If you thought ghost hunting was glamorous, let me tell you it doesn’t get any better than this! Three tired women sitting at a table asking questions to thin, and kinda stinky, air. The smell of ship is unique, a little diesel, some musty fragrance and others I did not really want to identify.

Melissa had joined us from the other group of women after her friends retired for the night. At one point she left us briefly, taking a journey through a doorway and up a ladder. Kim and I leaned on the table across from each other, sagging just a little lower, our energy levels ebbing. My eyes slipped closed for just a moment and I considered laying my head down…

Then Kim let out a truly blood-curdling scream! I was awake now, standing up and hearing an answering cry from the doorway where Melissa had just descended back down the ladder behind me.

“What the &*^%?” Escaped my lips. Yes, I said a bad word. Maybe a few times. And then I doubled over laughing when I realized Kim had mistaken Melissa for an apparition.

Kim and Melissa were likewise bent over and we all belly laughed for a good minute or so. “I swear I thought she was going to come back from behind me!” Kim gasped. “It looked like she was floating! I didn’t recognize her at first!” Still laughing, we settled back and the table, now refreshed and ready to continue.

Maybe the spirits thought it was funny too, because after that we got more activity…but that’s going to have to wait for the next post.

Have you been on a ghost hunt? Have you tried to capture EVP’s or used other technological toys to capture paranormal phenomena? Tell me about your ghost adventures!

Paranormal? There’s An App For That!

CreepyTree

I’ve been talking to dead people for a very long time. It started when I was just a kid and I would see the old lady in my house. Over time I’ve developed my own inner system for communicating with the other side. But in the interest of full disclosure, it is just kinda all in my head.

It’s sort of the big elephant in the room, and the main way that skeptics and debunkers dismiss psychic phenomena. But I presume, since you’re here and all, that you’re okay with the whole psychic, telepathic, etc., experience. And until fairly recently, the only way to know if a spirit was around was either some sort of physical manifestation, or a psychic medium told you what the being on the other side was saying.

Enter technology. Modern ghosthunters have adapted devices to measure the electromagnetic spectrum and record voices that are not immediately audible to the humans present. In the early days these devices were rather large and bulky. Today you can buy a variety of apps to download on to your smartphone. Which I did before heading out on the ghost tour I did last weekend.

In my excitement I started randomly downloading apps that looked good, and then I went and did some research. A lot of the apps were rated as crap less than useful when seriously looking for paranormal phenomena. They all state plainly that they are strictly for “entertainment”. Remember how we creeped ourselves out with the Ouija board in dark closets when we were kids? And you were scared even though you were sure someone was really pushing that planchette? This is the new brand of that. Is it real? Hard to say. I suspect in the presence of other paranormal activity – knocking, orbs, apparitions – that a positive reading on these apps could be considered confirmatory. But if it’s just randoms bleeps on a screen with no other data, well, you have to be your own judge on that.

In this Wall Street Journal article, it describes how some pro ghosthunters think they work, and some don’t. Seems opinions can get fairly heated.

I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not very techno-savvy. I’m still surprised I manage to get blog posts up. But it was fun to play with the apps I downloaded, and I did find one in particular, Ghosthunter M2 by Jedasoft that has produced some surprising results. I saw a fair-ish number of positive reviews. It even has it’s own Facebook page. While the ones that liked it made a point to say that it couldn’t be used to produce viable scientific data, they noted that it could be useful to get a sample of spirit activity.

Now normally when I attempt to interact with the spirit realm, I take steps to protect myself. I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t really expect the apps to work, or I was just lazy, but I started turning the app on at random times without engaging any of my spiritual protections. And I got a mixed bag of results – some blips on the screen, high EMF readings where there was no other source of EMF nearby, creepy digitized voices pronouncing random words.

But then…

I started to notice my senses tingling a little more than usual around my house. Yeah. I turned those apps on in my house and around my yard. I keep my home pretty clean spiritually. Usually negative entities don’t even bother because I move them on as soon as I detect them. This was definitely something of a darker aspect, and it was elusive. It hid from me when I actively searched for it, retreating beyond the borders of my yard.

The first night, my dreams were only vaguely unsettling and quickly faded out on waking. The second night it was a completely different story. This being attacked me in my dream, multiple times. The dream evolved through several scenes, and in each one a person was trying to do me harm. In each case the people would grab me and draw me toward them, attempting to pass the negative energies into me. In the last attempt, a woman pretended to know me, to be my friend. She drew me in close to give me a friendly kiss, but at the last moment I saw her eyes change to a weirdly pale light. For a flash, they went milky white. Behind her shoulder I saw a dark hooded figure appear and place it’s hand on her, lending her strength. A dark fog rolled out of her mouth and she stabbed one finger into the hollow of my throat in an attempt to distract me so this fog could move into me.

I woke with a start and could still feel the pain of her finger digging into my throat. My arms were crunched up protectively toward my face and throat and my muscles were still shaking and cramping from fighting against her pull.

So here’s the deal, I haven’t had a bad nightmare like this in a very long time. I’m not the best, most all-powerful psychic there is, but I have spent a good deal of time honing my skills. Let’s just say that I usually have sufficient protections that my dreams are typically untroubled by beings attacking me. This thing had gone right through those protections and had managed to attach itself to me.

Awake now, I scanned the room and saw it looking at my husband next. I quickly centered and grounded myself, called in my spirit allies and protectors and did the psychic equivalent of tapping it on the shoulder.

Hey. You’re really not welcome here. And what you just did was really rude. I told it. So I’m asking you to leave. Now.

Awake, I could see this being was just a small, confused creature. It wasn’t even fully human, more like just a fragment of some poor soul’s anger and pain. In short, it wasn’t very smart. All it knew was how to cause pain and terror, because that was all it had ever experienced.

When it realized I could see it, it went into The Scary Dance. This is something spirits will do when they’re trying to convince you they’re big and bad. Sometimes it works, because the spirit I’m up against is one of significant power. This little being dancing around my bedroom was hardly that. It’s gyrations were almost cute.

Let me tell you, spirits hate it when you’re only amused by their Scary Dance. They try harder.

Look, I told it, You have exactly two choices. I can help you. I can point you toward the Veil and help you get to the other side so you can find the rest of you and be healed. Or you can leave.

It laughed and gnashed phantasmal teeth and told me it was going to kill me.

Um, no, you’re not. I said. You’re going to make your choice. Cross over or leave my premises.

You can’t make me! It cackled. I do whatever I want.

You’re right. I can’t make you. But They can make it very uncomfortable for you to stay here.

When dealing with beings who project negative energies, it’s important to maintain your own center and calm. If you maintain your heart and mind in a loving space then the power these beings have is greatly reduced. Plus I had help.

“They”are my allies in spirit. Big, bright, beautiful beings who help me in my work. They manifested their presence in my room, and though the room itself remained dark the energies of love and light poured in. The little being took one look, squeaked in dismay and popped out of my awareness.

I did an energy sweep of my house, and my allies likewise assured me it was gone. Then told me using the phone apps had opened me up and called it in. Because I didn’t have all my usual protections in place it had found a weak spot to slip through.

Lesson learned.

Have you tried any of the ghost hunting apps? Been on a ghost tour or a ghost hunt? I’d love to hear your experiences.