03/29/13

      12:38:00 pm, by Sue   , 254 words  
    Categories: Off Topic Posts

    Canadian Legal Services

    It has come to my attention that one of our fellow paranormal enthusiasts may be in need of, or looking for, a Canadian legal service that offers Canada specific information online. This person, who I won't name in a public blog has had some financial difficulties of late, and could you some debt councelling.

    The problem with looking for debt settlement advice or helpful information online is that more often than not the sites that pop up in a search will cater to Americans and American law. This is obviously not useful or appropriate for a Canadian who has found themselves in poor financial circumstances. Therefore the best thing one can do is look for a Canadian legal expert that can provide the appropriate information, and advice that a Canadian would need.

    The sponsors of this post the Law Office of Cockburn & Associate LLP have a website that offers the right information and support for us Canadians. Their website has FAQs that anyone can access to get the scoop on what help is available to them. Contact info is also provided where you can speak to one of their councellors directly, and begin the process towards debt freedom.

    I know how our fellow enthusiast feels. Being overburdened with debt can be depressing to the point of affecting one's health, relationships, even marriage, and certainly one's own dignity. Hopefully this information will help not only help them, but you too gentle reader, or perhaps someone you know who may need debt relief for Canadians.

     

    03/17/13

      03:12:00 pm, by Admin   , 584 words  
    Categories: Things that go Debunk!

    TED bows to the bullying tactics of The Church of Non-Belief...

    BOYCOTT TED if you enjoy challenging conversation and thought.

    TED sucks

    TED talks, I was reliably told, were about getting people to talk, think, and look at things in new ways... ...of course, this is NOT the case if those views don't jive with The Church of Non-Belief... in which case, like the semi-radical religious sects and other dogmatic "coalitions" that NEED to save our souls, petitions are signed, "discussions" are held, and the faithless are CAST OUT for their beliefs... thus silencing the thoughts, the challenges, and the alternative viewpoints to that church through TED.

    The Church of Non-Belief, in this case, is a couple of the usual suspects in the bodies of Pontiff P.Z. Myers and Archbishop Jerry Coyne who were so worried that talks by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock that they managed to get TED to remove the offensive talks from their online offerings. (All be praised! The heathen were STOPPED!)

    I mean, had these talks been allowed to stay online, all Meyer's and Coyne's flock would be ALL the vapours!  Pearls would be CLUTCHED!  Hankies would be WRUNG!  Fainting couches would be "HIT"!  I mean... DANGEROUS BLASPHEMOUS TALKS!!!!  EEEEEK!!!!

    Nothin' like a good ol' digital aged book burnin' to keep those JEST DERN WRONG thoughts and ideas from the masses!

    I mean, what were Meyers and Coyne to do? I mean, the HORRIBLE thoughts and ideas HAD BEEN BROADCAST ALREADY!!!!  Did you really want them to use PROPER discussion, data, evidence, convince people with FACTS that there might be flaws in the opposing views to their own as opposed to whining on a blog and starting a campaign of censorship? I mean, did you REALLY expect them to LOWER themselves to adult debate on the data at hand!?!

    BURN, baby, BURN!

    THANK YOU, MEYERS AND COYNE AND FRIENDS, FOR SAVING US FROM THESE BLASPHEMERS! ALL HAIL YOU! After all, we're too stupid to think without you guiding our way by stopping these awful people from distracting us with their "thoughts" and "ideas"... and indeed, "data" and "work"!

    Spacebar! I'll have a Martian martini!

    Look, this is all the 'digital' ink I'm going to spill on this utter stupidity, and indeed, I'm through in any way, shape, or form with listening to, reading about, or otherwise promoting TED talks (and I was a devotee for several years,) due to this ignorance of them silencing thought and idea by acquiescing to the bullies...

    ...and if you, like me, believe that this censorship - that was promoted by a small group of small minded people who are genuinely worried YOU might get "the wrong ideas" in your head - kinda doesn't seem like it has a place with a group that bills ITSELF as a group that...

    "...believe(s) passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."

    ...then let them know.

    Here's a link to TED's site: http://www.ted.com/

    Here's a link to TED's curator's Twitter account: https://twitter.com/TEDchris

    Here's a link to TED's e-mail form: http://support.ted.com/customer/portal/emails/new

    ...and let them know you are (oddly enough) capable of thinking FOR YOURSELF and doing YOUR OWN RESEARCH and that no super-dogmatic twit should keep you from hearing or seeing something... especially when there's a chance the super-dogmatic folks MIGHT, JUST MIGHT be wrong.

    LINK: Article on The Daily Grail about this...

    LINK: Article on The Weiler Psi about this...

    This Is The End My Friend

    02/09/13

      12:44:00 pm, by Admin   , 3671 words  
    Categories: Ghosts & Hauntings, Ghost Tours & Travel, How We Do The Things We Do

    So, you wanna go ghost hunting in that historic site...

    Generic Mansion

    Before getting underway, let's start with my feelings on "ghost hunting".  The government issues no licenses to hunt ghosts (nor have they ever) and even if they did, taxidermy would be problematic at best.  I prefer the term "investigation" or "data collection at..." and not because "hunting" is a violent term or the like, it's just the public perception of that term which is rather comical.  GRANTED, if you're aiming to be comical, go with the term "Ghost Hunting" or "Ghost Busting"... and enjoy.

    Next, I want to clear up a few things so you don't waste your time reading this...

    #1: If you're hoping this article will tell you how to get into a place so you can cosplay (costume play) your favourite reality-ish television program with you running about a historic home or building saying, "What the hell was that?" ever few minutes and screaming like a frightened child surrounded by creepy circus clowns, go away and stop reading this... in fact, avoid this blog and our sites.  We will not make you happy at all.

    #2: If you think this will be a "How To Instantly Gain Access To These Buildings With These Simple Contacts" and tell you how, in less than an hour, you can have run of a museum of the like, stop reading... it doesn't work that way unless they already advertise they're open to 'ghost hunters'... and that's RARE and Google should let you know if they do.

    #3: If you think this will tell you how to break in or otherwise gain access in illegal or illicit ways, not only stop reading, but please, find another interest... stay out of my field, k thx bai!

    Still with me?  Excellent!

    Go Team!


    Okay, so you want to set up an investigation of a haunted location that is either a business, museum, or otherwise open public site... the FIRST question you should ask is, "Why?"

    Okay, not the "Why?" in terms of WHAT you want to do, but why this place?  Are there existing stories and reports?  How many?  Can you cite more than one or two sources?  Does the historic site acknowledge the stories themselves?

    If you can say, "Yes!" to either multiple sources of information on their "ghostly" lore, or indeed that the site acknowledges their reports, then great!  We can move on...

    If not, slow down and ask yourself... "Am I going there because I hope it's haunted?"  or "Am I going there because it looks haunted?"  If it's either of these two answers or a variant of them, find another place.   This is like assuming that since anacondas are found in tropical rain forests, you should be able to find one "in the wild" in a florists that specialises in exotic plants or certain restaurant chains and/or retail stores that advertise connections to "rain forests".  In short, if you want to look into ghostly reports, then it just makes sense to go where there ARE ghostly reports you can read about.

    "Reading" brings us to the next step...

    Reading may be a new experience for most ghost hunters we've seen...


    Before even venturing into the site, read every report you can find.  Look into them and research them.  How many witnesses have experienced things?  When did these experiences happen?  What is considered the "cause" of the ghost (in a folkloric and/or historical sense)?  If you were in there and had your own "experience", based on the statistics of what else has been experienced there, what are you most likely to find?

    Let me give you an example... a "fake" one, to be sure, but it'll give you an idea...

    There's a historic home operating as a museum that you want to go in and have a look about.  If they advertise on their website or in pamphlets that they have a ghost and have "deals" or the like for people wanting to do stuff specifically about said ghost, AWESOME!   Contact them and make plans!

    ...but if they don't advertise their ghostly lore (and remember, you know they have one through your research,) OR if they do mention their ghostly lore, but don't advertise any sort of "special" thing for those interested in ghosts, then you have more research to do.

    Let's say the historic home has an apparition of a weeping little boy in one of the bedrooms that's been seen on and off.  First of all, collect any or all books on these sightings... including ones that may not be specific to the house, but to the area in general as there may even be a paragraph or small entry about the house and the boy... and the more info, the better.  Don't be afraid to look at who the book(s) cite as sources... and find those sources and double-check them too!

    Now, find the arguments AGAINST the ghost of the boy.  Are there any historical situations that may have led to him being (or not being) in the home?  When is the apparition "dated to" according to the witness accounts?  (How was he dressed?  Is there any tips there as to definitely say "who" he is?)  Learn all the possibilities... build your own hypothesis as to "who" and "why" he may be, and accept any or all ideas that don't agree with yours... including the notion it's all bunk.

    Well, I don't expect THIS level of history, but who knows?


    Next, why is this place "historic"?  What's the general history of the site?  Why is it operating as it is?  Learn about the place in general... You don't need to concentrate on this research as hard as on our "ghost", but you should be informed... because the next step will help fill in any blanks.

    Let's say this...

    The little boy COULD be a "Victorian" (by his dressing gown and hair style) child which COULD be from a family that lived in the house... but is it?  Have you ensured the age of the boy you (or the witnesses and/or the previous authors,) assumes it is?  Is there historical data that could support or indeed potentially invalidate this thought?  Know as much as you can...

    Now, here's where blanks get filled in - in terms of the site's general history.

    Visit the site AS A TOURIST.

    Yes, THIS should be your initial Ghost Hunting uniform!


    Pay the money for a tour and take it!  Let the guides do what they're paid to do and if you have non-ghostly questions, ask... *IF* they mention the ghost, you can pursue questions about it, but I'd go easy... don't show your hand...

    Why?

    Well, thanks to groups like CSI/CFI (formerly CSICOP), the misconception exists to some that acknowledging or spending too much time discussing ghosts at museums or historic sites is "selling hoaxes and frauds" and real academics and educators just wouldn't do that!  Basically, the concept that a historian is a moron and helping promote moronic beliefs if they go ghostly is more prevalent than many people realise.  Even if the site manager or guides are "okay" with their lore, in the back of their heads are the people that fund them... and again, most of them have formal educational  history backgrounds and the taint of being considered a "woo" or promoting something that isn't "real" lingers almost as a fear at worst... something to scoff at if you're lucky... rarely is it embraced...

    ...which, yes, is sad... because you can really teach a lot of history with folklore by telling the "tale" and then explaining the history behind them... after all, most of the best ghost stories aren't ghost stories... the ghost is only at the back-end of it with words like, "...and to this day, they say the ghost haunts..." and the story ends.

    Another fear is from the optics of "ghost hunting".

    Not as harmless as one might think!


    In and around Toronto, at the time of writing this, there are three places that less than five years were good to us... that being PSICAN/Torontoghosts/ParaResearchers... who will now no longer touch us with a ten foot pole.

    One was because a "ghost hunter" doing a tour, used their site... not actually going in, but walking outside it, and suggesting all manner of stupid Hollywood nonsense to explain the ghosts, including things that would upset the family that once owned the home because they were beyond silly, they were insulting.  They had no historical evidence to support them, and indeed, a quick study would prove they were wrong... Oh wait, did I say "would" upset?  I meant DID... the family who donated the home are still very much with us... and are huge patrons of historical societies in Toronto... and are indeed one of the wealthiest families in Canada.  The damage this moron did could have been way worse, but luckily, it simply closed off one site to all of us.

    The second was used for a "ghost hunters" television show... Not only was the history "sexed up" to make the site and it's ghosts more "interesting" to viewers, but the crew didn't care about the site and scratched the floors and damaged some displays with their lights and cameras... No one is welcome inside the house now to look into ghostly things.

    The last one was because a cosplaying ghost hunter who was there with permission and during good hours did a super-dumb thing... they decided it would be cool to go "Lights Out!" in the historic building... that was still open... and still contained tourists... who were now trapped in other areas of the building in the dark.  Once that was quickly remedied, the same cosplayer also was belligerent to staff and volunteers demanding to know their personal ghost stories of the building when, most didn't have any... and those who did were now offended... not to mention major insurance concerns that could have arisen if one of those tourists plunged into darkness had hurt themselves.  No one can go there for investigations or even information either.

    Mackenzie House


    As an easy-to-find historical example, Mackenzie House in Toronto is probably one of the better known "haunted houses" in Canada... and if you read through the history of the ghost stories attached to it, once they were initially published in the early 1960's-70's, the site became a hot spot for thrill seekers and vandals.  That lesson has been learned by others... and is not lost on most historic sites who are overly concerned with damage by those who WILL do these things.

    Oh, and if anyone (ANYONE) reading this assumes a historic site "NEEDS" a ghost hunter to boost tourism, lose the delusion and again, look for another hobby.  Most historic sites and museums are funded as educational places by various governments... they make their bread and butter being a place for students and historians... they don't need anything more really... and when you make demands, you usually make yourself look unbelievably stupid. (See this post for an example...)  One place in Toronto is now so hostile due to ghost hunters, that they've requested a local ghostly walking tour to not even stop and chat about the house on the same side of the street as it's on... the tours must be across the street at a reasonable distance.

    Remember:  Whereas I could list a bunch of names from noted parapsychologists like Loyd Auerbach or Arthur Koestler and famed "ghost hunters" like Hans Holzer and Harry Price and even a handful of paracelebrities from the latest crop of reality-ish television programs, YOU might see them as all unique, different, and looking at things in their own way.  To the average non-enthusiast, they're all people that are into ghosts.  Period.  We are ALL painted with the same brushes in the majority of "normal folks" eyes.

    So Hip it Hurts!

    (The guy above thinks you're nuts.)


    So, when you approach a site, you're battling this...

    #1: A potential pseudo-intellectual who'll poo-poo ghostly things as nonsense to seem brighter than they are.

    #2: Someone worried about being considered a "woo woo".

    #3: Someone who's scared of the attention of "ghost hunters".

    ...so you have to watch your step!

    So, like I said, go in, do the tour, ask questions about the history of the site (especially if the answer might aid in your research), and don't bring up ghosts unless it's brought up to you.

    Once you're done, almost every museum or historic site has a shop or at the very least, a place to make a donation.... do so.  Buy something from the shop... anything... and/or make a small donation.

    Once done, see if you can chat up the guides or even the clerk at the store about the history... and it's HERE you can mention ghosts.

    ASK their opinion on the stories first... and wait.

    - You may get a non-believer who blows you off.

    - You may get a "sceptic" who will scoff and tell you why they don't believe in that sort of thing,

    - You may just get gentle chat leading really nowhere that you haven't already been on with your research.

    - You may get a believer or experient that opens up.

    Now, as if this wasn't long enough, allow me to break down how to handle each type of person...

    The person who blows you off?  Won't answer your questions or deem it with an answer, ask someone else.  Find another staffer or volunteer, and mention to them that you HAD asked the first person who either didn't or couldn't answer the question... see what they say,  If there is no one, come back another day and try again with new faces (hopefully) at the site.  If you still can't crack the nut, you can try contacting the historical society or government agency that runs the place, let them know you're doing a project on what people have experienced there and why with an emphasis on the real history, and see what pops out.  If nothing, sorry to say, find a new site,

    The "sceptic" who scoffs?  Usually, this is a pseudo-intellectual activity played by people who think, "Smart people don't believe in this and I wanna look smart so I don't either just like them smart people!"  Play RIGHT into that hand by AGREEING with them that's it's likely foolish and tell them the reports you know of and then ask them, "Why do you think people experience this?"  Switching back to my example, "Why do you think people see this boy?  Is there something in that room that could lead them to see him... like a painting, a blowing curtain, something?"  Usually at this point, they'll be as interested in things as you and will usually let you have a look for yourself and voila! The door is SOMEWHAT open...  at this point, tell the "sceptic" that you're trying to figure it - the reports - out (which is true!) and ask if they know of any of the staff who might have had an experience or at least, might believe in things and have some ideas... Again, you're foot's now in the door... you can move on from here.

    The gentle chatter?  See if they can recommend other sources of materials.  Ask them to go to their strengths... If it's a guide, what's a good history book to learn more about the families that were in here so you can understand the ghostly folklore better... if it's the person in the shop, ask if they HAVE a book in hand you can purchase (now or later) to do the same.  Do they know anyone personally that's had an experience?  Do the know of a staff member who might know of someone or something?  Let them know you're just trying to fill in the holes in your project on the experiences... or if you notice they are leaning towards disbelief, don't say experiences, say "stories".  Experiences and reports sound like pure data... stories sound like they may be made up.  It's all optics, but you can't afford to turn anyone off when you're looking into things.

    If they are an experient or a believer, get their information... reports... experiences... and/or indeed, stories.  LET THEM TALK and tell you and listen.  Don't argue or correct, and let them say what they like.  After they tell you what they know, don't be afraid to double-check that anything claimed to be "paranormal" was examined reasonably to ensure there wasn't a "normal" or natural answer for what happened and the experience was not a mistake... and again, DON'T be afraid to ask to see where things happened.

    So, with the exception of the first folks (the one's that won't or don't talk,) you're ready to DEMAND the keys and boot everyone out for an overnight because YOU ARE A GHOST HUNTER!!!

    Not as harmless as one might think!


    Yeah, that won't fly... or work... well, really, if you read to this point, you know this already.

    No, the next step (since in all cases you've eluded to "your project" and have said you want more information,) is to ask if there's a good DAY (yes, day.. as in business day,) to come back maybe with one friend to take some photos and measurements and look into why people have these experiences.  A good day being a quiet one... with few or no tourists and/or tours when the staff might be bored and okay with you being around.  You'd be PLEASANTLY shocked at how this usually works quite well.  Also, any "non-believing" (or waffling) staff will tend to help you pick a day where they may know that the more open and potentially believing (or those who are experients) are going to be "in"... this makes life LOTS easier.

    Now, go back on that day... and go to the focal points of the reports... and do what you need to do RESPECTFULLY!

    Ask to do anything!  "Can I leave a voice recorder here?"  "Can I take flash photos?"  "Can I take photos without a flash?"  "Can I just move in past the barrier for a close-up look of that thing?"  Be respectful, polite, and listen!  Don't push ANY boundaries.

    ASK!

     

    You might even consider being proactive in showing of respect to the physical site (and to the staff and management) by making sure you have equipment that will not scratch floors (if using a tripod) or shelves (if it's meant to be "left" somewhere,) that you avoid flashes on cameras or bright lights (to preserve fabrics and paintings) and/or that won't be "noticeable" if you are using it during business hours. This sort of consideration in advance is a VERY good thing... but make sure you mean it!

    Next, if you're planning on publishing anything about this work (on a website, blog, or even through YouTube,) give the site the ability to look through what you're making public FIRST!  Let them know that if there's any errors or corrections to be made, you would be happy to make them before letting anything loose on the Internet... and yes, other than squashing things completely, offer to allow them editing abilities through you on your work.

    If they ask to suppress the whole thing, remind them that burying an already known story only makes it more difficult for the truth and facts to come out as it moves into legend.  Better to have some control over the reality then any misunderstood facts.... using this logic, I've never been asked to remove anything... except for genuine errors on my part.

    So, in (worst case) three visits, you've now established a trust with the site and even a quasi-working relationship...

    NOW, and only now, could you venture a request to come in "after hours"... and I would point out, "after hours" does not need nor have to be "overnight".  Look at your sightings?  How many happened at 3am?  Probably not many as you need a human witness to experience them and report them!  Also, asking to go late or after hours is a hardship to the staff and volunteers.  They have homes and this is their work... and you're asking them to stay late... so be mighty respectful.

    Next, do you NEED to be there late?  Again, look at those reports... if enough are from daylight or operating hours, maybe you just need to organise more "good days" and establish a trust to help during operating hours... and maybe even help them out by being a quasi-volunteer... you could even (once you've established the trust,) offer help with people solely interested in the ghostly lore and working with them into facts and history and perhaps even good science.

    To be honest, we have established several good relationships around our home province... and they are mostly based on this sort of model.

    Yes, a couple of places did approach us first... but that's RARE in the extreme...

    1812ers


    It also doesn't hurt that Sue and myself are active in the War of 1812 re-enactors community and with historic sites... to be honest, we're not there due to ghostly things, (we love re-enactments and encampments!) but it parleys nicely and has made us some good friends and contacts we work with... and the point is, getting involved in these sites or the history of them on some level helps.

    I also have had four "paid events" where I paid to rent historic sites for evenings and whatnot.  This established a "work/customer" relationship, but we then continued to foster good will by working with, not just at, the sites.

    In closing, just remember this...

    The historic site or museum doesn't need you... you need them.

    Their job is to run the site and teach history.  Let them and learn from them.

    Be respectful of people and property to the umpteenth degree.

    Ask for anything and everything.  The worst they will say is no...

    Be gentle, polite, and nice.

    Don't assume anything will be handed to you "just 'cuz".

    Assume ALWAYS that you will wish to return so you should make sure you look after the site, your relationships at the site, and the feelings of everyone involved.

    My only other addition is use common sense in everything you do.

    Like I said, this is how it usually works with us... let's hope it works for you too if you're interested.

    SPACE! Not a final frontier this time...
    To anyone who read the above and says, "...but DUDE! You're telling people who AREN'T into history how to FAKE being into history and getting into a historic site!!!"

    Yes, I am...

    ...by telling them to read, learn, be respectful, be courteous, and propagate the truth and facts, and work with others.  It is how we have done (and still do) things.

    Not really a bad thing in my opinion.

    This Is The End My Friend

      10:10:00 am, by Admin   , 3223 words  
    Categories: Ghosts & Hauntings

    Common Senses - or (potentially) how to increase your chances of an experience with a ghost.

    Eeek! Ghosts Everywhere!

    I've probably dragged in more than a few people into reading this that assume I'm going to tell people how to be psychic... I'm not.  A few people may now assume I'm going to "guarantee" how to spot a ghost... I'm not. 

    Worst of all for some folks - the advice I'm about to give will -potentially at some point - help you NOT spot a ghost, but potentially spot what you think is a ghost, but explain what it really is.  Granted, it also, indeed, may help you spot a ghost.

    Confused? Well, bear with me. It's going to take a little time, but it will help everyone.

    Radar Love

    Right now, while reading this, I want you to become silent.  Lower your breathing levels so you can't hear them (Please! Continue to breath! Just quietly...) and if there's any radio or music playing, silence it just for a bit...

    Now sit... as silently as you can...

    Try to determine EVERY noise you can still hear.  I know this SEEMS weird, but bear with me... and while you're listening, quick story and a weird admission...

    First, the admission that you will assume makes NO sense and has no or little relevance, but it's something I share with Goldie Hawn (of all people... yes, the actress...) and that is, I can not meditate.  It's impossible for me.  I've tried, had people try to teach me, read books... I can't do it.  It's not because my mind is whizzing away on the day's problems or I'm being overly creative... it's because I begin to listen and dissect what's happening around me.

    Ohmmmmmm....


    I have little doubt that this stems from when I was a kid. (Story time!)

    I used to spend Summers at my family cottage on a wee island in The Haliburton Highlands area of Ontario... Stanhope Township, to be more precise... Beech Lake to be spot-on.

    Since I spent the vast majority of my life primarily in the city and the suburbs, going "up North" brought three things.  The first was the experience of absolute darkness.  When you spend all your formative time in a large city, to suddenly be without light pollution takes getting used to.  The second was wild life... REAL wild life.  Sure, not too many creatures different from our urban experiences... mostly squirrels, chipmunks, and racoons... but thanks to the occasional "other" animal... ranging from pileated woodpeckers to small brown bears, it was "fun" as a very young man to discover new creatures... which brings the third point.... which will bring things full circle.  

    Serene and Calming - Until the ski boats come.


    Before the lake we were on was inundated with cottagers moreso than when we first started going up to it, it wasn't unusual to have almost dead silence... to the point where I could hear a car literally a mile away on a country road... or the distant hum of a power boat on another lake... or even the "splish" sound paddles make when someone dips it into the water in their canoe.

    I could (and often did) head to quiet spots on the island and just wait... not making a sound.  I would become acquainted with wind in the trees (even to the slightest breeze,) and the sounds of waves lapping on the shore (small lake, so usually not at all large waves,) any sound of people even though they may be up to a mile away... and wait... all in expectation of seeing some sort of animal and being able to "report back" to the family about what I saw.

    Of course, it didn't hurt that being a "city kid", at night when things went pitch black and the silence enveloped the cottage, in fear of insects and other nasty creatures, I became accustomed to looking for the slightest movement or shadow with the smallest of motion and the tiniest bit of light that a star or the moon might afford me through my bedroom window.   To this day, I swear... I can her a large ant crawl across a Styrofoam insulation tile and catch it's exoskeleton's shimmer in less than 0.01 candle power... (Okay, maybe not THAT good, but close...)

    This said, I did develop a kind of aural radar... in that en route to a late night... um... "break"(?), I'd need to negotiate around the cottage.  Some of this COULD be done by memory, but otherwise, I was blind... but I quickly learned that if you move slow enough to really listen, you'll hear what little background noises there are either echo off or be absorbed by any materials in front of you.  Dry wall and/or panelling gave you an echo, fabric would absorb the sounds... even of your own breathing.

    In those days of trying to become hyper-sensitive to every sound I heard, no matter how faint, and every movement I saw, no matter how trivial... I ended up being able to hear my own heart beat, my own breathing, my own swallowing noises... and all in absolute silence.

    This is what now gives me troubles trying to meditate... I sit, I do anything that is "recommended"... and I start to become hyper-aware of everything.  Instead of "clearing my mind", I'm listening to the pattern of my heart, my lungs, even the faintest rustle of my own clothes.  It's one-hundred times worse if there's someone else nearby and then I start listening to them... it's even worse when there's a visual distraction of any sort.

    Before going any further, I am not "special"... everyone does this to a degree... some more than me!  It gave me satisfaction to hear that Goldy Hawn has potentially similar issues.

    Okay... now, after reading that... can you become hyper sensitive?

    Listen right now to your surroundings...

    LISTEN!


    Every hum of a fan... the almost silent buzz of a light bulb... the sound of a stove cooling off or heating up... the creak of a radiator... the fact that most old radios, if plugged in, still give out a very faint sound from the primary station they're tuned to... the breathing of a pet... the bubble of an aquarium... the sounds from the nearby street...

    We live in a shockingly noisy world... we just don't notice every sound... which is actually a good thing.  It would drive you nuts if you did!

    Want proof?

    Actually, allow me to specify that offer of proof to a specific group... Do you own a car?

    Ever have your car make the SLIGHTEST little strange noise that you hadn't heard before... the engine isn't "quite right" or there's a very quiet knocking sound almost unnoticed by anyone... but you. Why do you notice?  Because you've been in your car, most likely alone at some point, and have had no other sounds but your car and are used to it... so when something changes or is different...

    Broken Down Car


    Homes are the same.  Lying in bed, late at night... your home probably makes a myriad of odd noises that you're used to... from pet sounds to heating to anything.  When one noise is "off" or a weird one is added, you notice.  You probably wouldn't notice in the hustle and bustle of normal "trafficked" daytime, but you notice when you're quiet... when you're still...

    Okay, now that we've done all that... have you figured out EVERY noise near you right now?

    Good!  Subconsciously, you've probably been aware of those sounds you're noticing now and the way they echo (or don't) around you. You may even notice the way light plays around the room you're in... and have dones so for ages, but until now, if you weren't before, you're consciously aware of them.

    At this point, if you haven't given up on me, you're might be asking, "HOW ON EARTH DOES THIS FIT INTO THE PARANORMAL!?!"

    Yeah? How do I fit into this crap?


    Ever notice how when someone experiences the paranormal once, they usually (not always, but usually,) experience it again?

    Why is that, do you suppose?

    Some people say, potentially correctly, that these people are "psychically tuned in"... Perhaps.

    Some people say it's because they are now showing signs of their insanity and hallucinatory issues... unlikely in the extreme.

    I would posit this to you...

    In pitch dark, I can stand in a room, and tell you if someone is in there with me thanks to the echo and the sound of the movement of their clothes... even if they don't move, and assuming they're alive, I'll hear them breathing.  I can probably give you information like how tall they are and their gender based on their clothing, potential movements, and indeed, breathing again.  (Remember, you breath past your throat and mouth... the shape of which, along with your vocal chords, gives you your "tone"... and yes, years ago I worked at a call centre and indeed, you can hear a "smile" in the subtle ways a smile changes a person's voice... a smile will also change their breathing...)   I should (and probably can) give you approximate dimensions of the space, and while I'm there, even count out my own heart beats... all while trying to find any reflection or light source (which I might find thanks to a watch or a crack in the wall/curtains/whatever,) which will help me determine movements with visual stimulus.

    Not Really Sherlock Worthy


    ...and this isn't a super-power.  You can most likely do all (or at least some) of this yourself.

    Think about this... imagine standing in a bright living room, a large window in front of you with light streaming in... the entrance door to this room is about fifteen feet (five meters) behind you and you're not facing it at all... there's no obstruction between you and that door.  If a person walked in, even in socks so as not to make any footstep sounds, would you know?  Most of you said, "Probably." and yes, you're right... because you'd notice the subtle changes in sound as they blocked the sound coming into the room from beyond the entrance and (assuming they're clothed,) they would be now absorbing even some of the subtle sounds that already existed around you. You might even notice, very subtly, what little light is now being absorbed by that person just being there in the room.

    Now, again. seemingly going off topic (but not really!) I'm sure you can tell by reading the stories above that even now, I can usually spot a beaver in a river hundreds of yards (meters) away... or notice a raccoon blocks away on an evening walk.

    Again, nothing special..  A good hunter or even a "birder" is capable of something similar...

    Once you see how a pileated woodpecker looks in a tree and what it's movements are like, you will be able to pick them up almost by reflex...

    Once a hunter has enough experience finding deer, he or she knows the sounds, smells, sights, and the environment to find their quarry...

    Once you get used to those things, they become second nature...

    Back to the paranormal now...

    Imagine you "see" what seems to be an apparition... or hear an errant sound that seems to defy logical human explanation... or notice an object that shouldn't be moving on it's own doing just that, moving without seemingly natural assistance...

    That moment would stick out in your mind... and you'd probably become hyper aware... especially if unnerved you.

    The human "fight or flight" response (when startled or scared,) rushes chemicals and blood to certain areas to prepare us, as humans, to either get ready to duke-it-out with the threat or run like heck... one of the places that is rushed stuff is your regular senses... eyes and ears especially.

    ...but even without that help, if you're curious (which is the most common response to something odd,) you start taking stock to find explanations.  In all honesty, it's no uncommon for someone to say that they saw "something" long before they attempt to suggest it's paranormal in nature.

    Now, being hyper aware, would you not start looking for those situations to repeat?  When the sound is "just so", the air is "right", and/or the sounds are changing... you might perk up and know what to look for?

    All Roads Will Potentially Lead to Rome

    Now, much like that hunter in the woods, you spot the right stuff to say there's a "deer over there" and they start to stalk it...

    ...or, using ghosts as an example, but it could be anything else, they sense the right combination of environmental elements into place and they know, "here it comes", so they start extending their senses... and I shan't lie, sometimes they get "false positives" as they extend to the point that a mouse scuffling in a floorboard rooms away becomes absolute evidence of a ghost... but often times, not.

    People have always asked me "how" to experience something paranormal... and oddly enough, I often point out the similarities in coming to me asking to see a wild bear.

    Step one would be "go to the woods" to see the bear as that's their habitat (and a very small amount of research will show you lots of people find wild bears in woods.)

    Step two would be wait, watch, and look... and be patient...

    ...and realise that there's woods like the kind found in Northern British Columbia, and woods like you find in High Park in the middle of Toronto... and you are far and away more likely to find that wild bear the forests of BC then in a park in a big city... so choose wisely your site.

    ...the same way you're more likely to POTENTIALLY find a paranormal experience in a place where people have said they've had a paranormal experience rather then somewhere that "looks like a good spot" based on who know's what... and again, you should choose your site wisely.

    If I take you into the deep woods of BC, will we see a wild bear?  Maybe... probably not as they, as a rule, don't want truck or trade with humans and avoid us like the plague... and have the senses (mostly smell and hearing) that will tell them to move on and away from us people.  Granted, if a few people have said "THIS SITE" is a good place and they've seen bears "here", chances are you may bump into a bear... or you may not... but your likelihood in a sighting has improved.

    If I take you to a site where "X" paranormal event was experienced, will you experience something?  Maybe... not likely.  If we had a place where things happened "all the time" (or better yet, scheduled!) this wouldn't be a study of the unknown... it would be the measurement and observation of the proven... it isn't that yet... so don't hold your breath.

    In both cases though... when you notice something "odd"... be that large bushes moving in the woods nearby or a weird noise in the house you're in... then stop everything.  Become hypersensitive.  Doubt yourself and try to explain everything you hear as something other than what you're looking for and try to explain those things as best you can...

    Large bushes moving?  Wind?
    Weird noises in the hall?  Heating vent knocking?

    Eliminate as much as you can and then carefully investigate and indeed, you might get lucky... and then you'll know what to look for in the future.

    (By the way, best NOT to look for a wild bear in the forests of British Columbia... Your local zoos are probably better and way more safe!)

    Not a ghost! Do not approach! Do not look tasty!


    Once you see it, you'll know... and yes, you can look for the same things again... and potentially, have another experience.

    CAN YOU learn to be more psychic?  Who knows... I certainly couldn't say and to be frank, I'm a touch jaded on this sort of thing as the idea of course and training for psychical "power" have been abused by hoaxers and frauds many times in the past... but perhaps it's possible... "Caveat Emptor".

    CAN YOU learn to be more alert?  To be more observant?  Yes... by practicing...

    DO EITHER OF THESE GUARANTEE a better chance at any sort of experience?  Yes... the latter for sure.  If you see and understand more, you'll experience more... and perhaps answer more questions for yourself... or pose better ones at least.  Even if you don't experience more "paranormal" things, when you're around when others experience things, you might be able to explain "what" happened and why thanks to just being very aware of the environment.

    So, again... let me (RIGHT NOW) help you train to potentially experience something weird and maybe "paranormal" in nature...

    Get quiet again... and listen... find EVERY sound... see EVERY shadow... feel EVERY breeze...

    It will help.

    SPACE! Not a final frontier this time...

    Okay, CAVEAT TIME!  Those who read this, (or to be more accurate and address the right people, those that - if I'm lucky - skimmed this, or more likely read the title and then looked through the pictures,) I am NOT saying this is the ONLY way one might experience things... I'm perfectly happy to consider hallucination, psychical "playback" (only in one's head, but brought on by psychical 'recordings/messages',) and a plethora of other thoughts and hypotheses, BUT THIS is how one could more effectively monitor the environment they're in and hopefully make some determinations... it is NOT put here as an absolute answer on "how to", but to perhaps spur thought, discussion, and ideas...

    SPACE! Not a final frontier this time...

    ONE LAST THING: ...and it involves mosquitos.

    The idea that some people's sense may be more highly atuned or capable of more than the next soul is pretty much born out... and I can offer some potential proof.

    Click here. Don't worry, it's an MP3 or sound file... nothing to worry about...

    Can you hear it?

    Play it to EVERYONE in the room... or in the house... or wherever you can (if allowed)...

    You'll find some people can hear the sound and some people can't.

    This is the sometime questioned "Mosquito Sound" that, like it or not, seems to be only heard by some people and not others due to it's frequency.  In our home, I can hear it clearly... the teenager here can too... Sue can't.

    Oh, and I tricked the teen by NOT telling her I was going to play it, and then, without notice, warning, or any sort of set-up... it's while she was sitting with her phone texting and drinking a hot chocolate, I hit the sound... and she complained.

    On the PSICAN Message Board I've posted a thread about this sound... (Click Here to read it... sign up to read it if you don't have an account yet... it's a freebie!) and kinda hinted that this post would be related to it...

    Some people have posted that they can hear it... other's can't.

    IS IT POSSIBLE that this genuine "true normal sense" (not an "extra" sense,) that allows this sound for some and not others is similar, on a really basic "normal sense" concept as to why some people might experience ghosts and some don't? It would also potentially explain why reports from sites with multiple witnesses can vary in terms of experience, but have enough threads to seem similar... think "depending on the acuteness of the sense"...

    ...and I'm NOT only talking about the sound... what if it's a visual element and some people have a level of vision others don't... or a general environmental variable and some people can feel cold/air pressure/air quality/whatever moreso than the next...

    ...or, perhaps, a "psychical" thing?

    ...or maybe this whole thing amounts to nothing?

    COULD we train our senses then? Help them along to see/feel/hear that element?  In all honesty, from a strictly bio-mechanical level, not really... but...

    Feel free to discuss ALL this mess on our message board if you'd like to join in!

    This Is The End My Friend

    01/29/13

      08:46:00 pm, by Admin   , 1050 words  
    Categories: Paranormal - Rants

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of existence...

    I'm not here, so obviously I am!

    Didn't I just semi-apologise for writing up a debating point that has been misused and abused by some folks and therefore is missing it's target mark?  Oh yeah, I did...

    ...so it's only fair I write up another semi-apology for another debating point that some people just aren't getting.

    Flashback (again) to my last blog post about "There Are No Experts" and you'll note I cite (at the bottom) the late Marcello Truzzi, suggesting I had a "Truzzi Moment" in the idea that I seem (might have?) coined a phrase (or argument) that was too broad a coverall and was now being misused by people as a shouting-point to stifle potentially good discussion.  For Truzzi, he coined the phrase, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."  Truzzi had said, later in life, that he wished he'd simply said, "Claims Require Evidence" as indeed, there's truth and not-truth... there's no weight to evidence, it either proves or disproves something.  Truzzi amended his statement long after he'd left CSICOP (which he helped build,) as they had stopped being sceptical, and simply moved to being deniers... and all claims, he felt, required evidence.

    I have long stated that if someone comes up to me as says, point blank, that "X" paranormal thing does not exist, that is a claim and should be backed up.

    Now, here's the thing...

    In order for a blanket statement like this to be backed up, you would need to show why this is a fact... and a claim of non-existence is still a claim and indeed, it requires evidence... however, and this is the part that some people are missing, if someone makes a blanket claim that "X" does not exist and can not produce evidence to back up the blanket statement, this DOES NOT PROVE THE EXISTENCE OF "X".

    All it does is moves the claim into being a hypothesis... or statement of opinion... it does not invalidate the claim nor does it now prove the opposite of the claim to be true.

    The only thing it does do is says that the opposite or a modified version of the claim could ALSO be true... that is, until evidence is brought to light.

    Famed Ufologist, Dr. J Allen Hynek debated Dr. Carl Sagan on the potential existence of UFOs.  Of course, Sagan would dismiss the notions as silly and Hynek would ask about specific cases... "What about the Homer, New York case?" and "What about the Monticello Wisconsin case?" and each time, case after case, Sagan would say he'd never heard of them.  Finally, Dr. Hynek pointed out that as a scientist, in order to speak properly about a situation, he should at least have studied the materials and been able to speak with some authority on it, Sagan replied that he didn't have time for "that stuff".

    This incident did NOT mean that Hynek "won" the debate, it simply removed most of the validity of Sagans arguments as he was not prepared to look at cases and address them.  (Click here for a sound bite of Dr. Hynek being interviews and telling that story... thanks to Wendy Connors on the UFO Updates Board for the file...)

    In a potential formal debatings points sense, yes, Hynek dealt a good blow against Sagan, but as much as Sagan didn't make his case, neither (in effect) did Hynek by pointing out Sagan's fallacy.

    So, if someone told me, "There is no such thing as Sasquatch.", I would not simply say, "Oh yeah? That's a claim! Where's your evidence to back it up? You have none! HA! I win! Sasquatch exists!"

    No...

    If someone says, "There is no such thing as Sasquatch.", I would simply start to cite accounts, eyewitness testimony, and even historical and even folkloric data... and then ask if all of it is rubbish and if so, why.

    At THAT point, I have not proven the existence of Sasquatch, but I have eliminated the potential coverall statement of non-existence.

    OH, and before ANYONE reading this gives me the canard about "You Can't Prove a Negative"... don't.

    Mathematically:  What's seven minus ten?

    Physically: I was not on the surface of the moon last night as evidenced by me being with {insert name here or insert situation here}.

    Paranormally: That was NOT a ghost you saw, it was a blowing curtain which I can show you like this.

    So, apparently, you CAN prove a negative...

    ...but claims of either a positive or a negative still require evidence if presented as absolute fact.

    If you ask someone to "prove" anything and they can't, it does NOT mean you've proven the opposite to be true, all you've done is opened the door to another hypothesis... and indeed, if you're truly open minded, you should accept it.

    After all, maybe Sagan was right and no UFOs are flying?  Maybe Sasquatch isn't "out there"?  Maybe ghosts aren't anything more than errant wind gusts?

    Hypothetically, it's all possible... perhaps even probable... but then again, I can't give you perfect natural/man-made explanations for all UFO encounters... I can't explain why every Sasquatch is/was encountered and described... and no, not every ghosts is the wind.

    The one thing anyone with an IQ greater than a ping-pong ball should agree on is that to some people, these experiences are VERY real... and that should never leave anyone's mind.

    This said, if you're going to make a blanket statement of existence or non-existence, then be prepared... and perhaps amend the statement to, "I believe that..." or "In my opinion..."

    ...unless you have really great evidence to make your case for a blanket statement, and if so, PLEASE bring it forward ASAP!  If you can prove EVERYTHING I'm looking into is bunk or of a single causation, I'd be SO happy and have a lot of spare time... and I still have things to do in Skyrim and really, at the moment, do not have the time to accomplish them!

    SPACE! Not a final frontier this time...

    FOR THE RECORD: My last blog post about "experts" was spurred by a quick rant from noted parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach... this one can be blamed on a comic strip on Facebook showing someone "winning" and argument with the whole, "You can't prove it THEREFORE it is!" argument in a dumb way... but lo and behold if I didn't find other's using the argument in other forums online in non-comic form "reality"... or as close as the internets come to non-comic reality... so voila! Todays apology/rant!

    This Is The End My Friend

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    The entries found on this blog are based on the thoughts and discussions of Sue Demeter-St Clair and Matthew James Didier....two paranormal investigators/researchers based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The blog is now archived, but will remain online for those interested in reading it. Please have a look for us via these websites:

    The Ghosts and Hauntings Research Societies, Paranormal Studies & Investigations Canada - PSICAN, and Pararesearchers of Ontario We are also members and supporters of The Society of Psychical Research, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences

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