Monday, January 25, 2010

What to Watch on TV

Is it just me, or are there a slew of paranormal shows now on TV?  Remember the days when no one really talked about their paranormal experiences because they didn't want to look crazy?  Remember when the only information available to someone researching the paranormal were the Time Life books at the library or the 1960's era book (yes one book)?

We've come a long way from such sparse information.  Now there are hundreds of websites dedicated to ghosts and/or investigation the paranomal.  There are many TV shows dealing with it as well.  Here are a few that I've watched, and my opinion of each:

Ghosthunters- SYFY Channel- Follows The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) on investigations.  I was excited when this show premiered as it was a bit different than "Scariest Places on Earth".  It was real investigators doing real investigations.  However, the bickering and yelling that went on completely turned me off to the show.  It was a lot like being in the room with a married couple who is arguing.  You get uncomfortable and want to leave the room.  Luckily all I had to do was change the channel.  The show does have some good qualities and did lose a lot of the negative aspects, but I just can't seem to get involved with the show.

Paranormal State- A&E Network- Investigations of the Penn State Paranormal Research Society (PRS) I have enjoyed watching this show since it started.  While I don't always like the editing and sometimes I think it's a little too dramatic, I do like that they base a lot of their investigating on researching the place in question.  Seeing psychic information validated, or the paranormal activity explained through research is fantastic.  I would like to see more of the actual evidence collected during the investigation.

A Haunting- Discovery Channel- Chronicles true stories of the paranormal told by those who experienced the phenomena.  I enjoy watching this one.  While it doesn't involve investigation, it is interesting learning about different paranormal cases and how they were resolved.

Ghost Lab- Discover Channel- With the use of a high tech "ghost lab" this team travels to investigate hauntings.  I like the scientific nature of their investigations though sometimes they push EVP translation a little.  Still, the scientific part of the show is great to watch and gives some good ideas and theories.

Destination Truth- SYFY Channel- Josh Gates' team travel around the world searching for cryptids and the occasional haunted location.  Again, very scientific, to include gathering DNA evidence.  The team has found significant evidence supporting the possibility of a Yeti in Nepal.  They also have amazing footage taken in a haunted location in Romania.  I really enjoy this show both for its paranormal investigation and the witty comments by Josh Gates.

MonsterQuest- The History Channel- Similar to Destination Truth, MonsterQuest searches primarily for cryptids.  Heavy usage of scientific equipment to gain hard evidence.  Interesting show but sometimes drags.

Ghost Adventures- Travel Channel- I had very high hopes for this show.  The concept is one that I agree is the best for paranormal investigation- 3 guys, no camera or sound crew, just 3 guys and their cameras.  I love the locations they go to and they seem to get very good evidence (and show it to you on the show).  I enjoy this show, though sometimes I think they get a little too dramatic and carried away.

Most Haunted- Travel Channel- Fake, not worth my time to watch or discuss.

Paranormal Cops- A&E- This show just started last week.  The concept is simple.  Chicago cops by day, paranormal investigators by night.  Their first episode was good.  Their investigative backgrounds in the police department may benefit them in their research abilities.  Definitely need to watch this show to see where it goes and how it develops.

Psychic Kids- A&E- I saved the best for last.  The main premise of this show is to help children who have psychic abilities learn about their gifts and how to control them.  Many of the kids featured feel like outcasts, some have treated for psychiatric conditions they don't have.  With the help from a psychologist and a psychic (Chip Coffey is the original one used, but this season has several psychics) these kids and their families learn how to empower themselves and feel better about their gifts.  They do a little investigating but the main goal is helping the kids.  Love it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Protection from the Unseen

I've had people ask me what I do to protect myself from the entities I come across.  My response is to stare blankly while a chorus of crickets chirps in the background.  That's right, I rarely remember to do anything.

My late mother-in-law, who was a psychic and an ordained minister with the Spiritualist Church in Freeville, NY, gave me a prayer to recite prior to a trip to the West Virginia State Penn and stressed the need for such things. I admit I felt quite silly standing there saying it, but did feel a little less spooked after doing so. Obviously I don't want the ghost of a former murderer following me home. I don't want any ghost following me home- I have enough issues with the ones that stop by to chat with my son.

And I admit that at one time, there was a coffee can full of Holy Water that my devoutly Catholic aunt insisted I needed to have.  The can rusted.  My aunt now provides me with the small plastic bottles of Holy Water- they don't rust.

While I enjoy being silly and sarcastic about the whole thing, I do believe that saying some type of prayer is a positive thing, and one I need to start remembering to do. The experiences I've had with my son lately have shown me that perhaps I need to be more careful and take a few seconds to protect myself and those investigating with me from something no one really completely understands.  I don't want to bring something harmful into my home or around my children.  In fact, during my latest trip to Old House Woods there was a "creepy girl" who had attached herself to my daughter- according to my son.  The walk in the woods in broad daylight was so nerve wracking that I did ask my aunt to bless the cross I wear and also the one my daughter wears.  Just in case.

So here are a couple of simple prayers you can use:

Prayer for Protection

The light of God surrounds you,
The love of God enfolds you,
The power of God protects you,
And the presence of God watches over you;
Wherever you are, God is.

This is the prayer that my mother-in-law gave me to use.  It's short and sweet and to the point, and easy enough to memorize.  I've also seen members of Paranormal State use this same prayer.  Many also use the following:

St. Michael's Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil;
may God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil
spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

And for those who prefer something slightly more pagan:

Great Spirit, Creator of all that is...
Please send to me the most positive energy and light possible in this time and space
to watch over me and those I share this experience with.
Send to us the highest force or forces possible to keep us safe,
focused and positive in our intent.
In return we give thanks and gratitude,
love and positive light for the universal good of all. Amen

It's important to remember that your belief in something is what makes it more powerful for you.  Pick the prayer that you are most comfortable with.  If you have a special "good luck charm" or talisman, it doesn't hurt to have that with you as well.  Again, your belief that it protects you is what makes it so powerful.  I wear my blessed celtic cross during all investigations now.
Look for future posts dealing more with talismans.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resoultions... and creepy girls

So I know, I am slacking in the blogging department. But, as the title suggests, I am resolving to fix that in the new decade... Luckily, I had something interesting happen this weekend that involved my 3 year old sensitive son and my aunt's haunted house.

My aunt's house in the Shenandoah Mountains has always had weird things going on. I love to visit her house. There are a few possible reasons why her house might be haunted. Her husband's, my uncle's, first wife died in the house many years ago. There was also a boy killed in the backyard near the shed. Apparently it was considered an accidental death that happened while he and another boy were wrestling. There are some who question how accidental it was. I'm sure there are ties to the Civil War and Native Americans also, though I can't say specifically what those ties are. Needless to say, there have been sightings of Civil War soldiers, a little girl, shadow figures, an old woman and chanting has been heard (this is where the Native American thought came in).

As I mentioned in my earlier blog about Ethan's "ability", he has seen a girl there, and he has been concerned over something he saw in the hallway near the doorway of one of the bedrooms... that is where this story begins (cue dramatic organ music and creepy laughing).
This past weekend we were all gathered at my aunt's for our family Christmas. Several family members were seated in the living room area eating and as I was getting ready to eat myself when I heard them asking Ethan what was the matter. He said he saw a girl. Immediately I asked him what he saw and he said he saw a girl go in the bedroom that my grandmother sleeps in. My dad asked what color hair she had and Ethan said black (even after other colors were brought up, he insisted it was black). Kelly (my cousin and investigative cohort) looked at each other. Our Uncle's first wife had black hair. Of course I had my camera and digital recorder with me- just in case- so we decided to check it out. Ethan was a little freaked out and wanted us to see what was going on. In the bedroom he proceeded to tell us that the girl was playing with my grandmother's puzzle and then went out the window. I questioned him some more and even tried to throw him off a bit but he was insistent, even getting angry with me- the girl was playing with the puzzle and went out the window. During one EVP session, we heard a tapping noise coming from the dresser. We were unable to get it to repeat itself, but we were all in agreement it came from the dresser in the corner. We did manage to get some EVP in the room that I hope to get on the website soon (my other resolution).

An interesting thing happened while we were listening to our EVP recordings. Several people heard the door knob on the door move and when we looked down the hall, the door was cracked open. My sister said she was sure she had shut it and I remember hearing the door close tight against the door jamb.

Ethan has been sleeping in my room ever since.