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Archive for September, 2014

Saturday night, I went on a friends and family ghost hunt at a BPOE Lodge (Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks) that was hosted by a local paranormal research group. This is not my first time ghost hunting, though it has been quite a few years since I’ve gone on a hunt. I used to be involved in a paranormal research group years ago. I was introduced to this club through my friend whose book I mentioned in my previous post.

Taking two friends along with me, I went to the Elks Lodge at about 8pm. The leader of the group gave a basic introduction to ghost hunting and the tenets of the group. He also did something that surprised me: he guaranteed we’d have a paranormal experience. As soon as he did that, I must admit, I immediately expected absolutely nothing to happen the entire night. I’ve been around the paranormal world long enough to know that it’s difficult to make a guarantee like that.

We went to the basement of the building first, as the ballroom on the second floor was being used by a group of line dancers. In the basement, the lights were turned off and we sat at a long table to do an evp session. Electronic Voice Phenomena is when a spectral voice appears on an audio recorder that was not heard ‘live.’ We sat and asked questions for a while, pausing between them to give any entities time to answer. There were interesting pipe noises and noises from the line dancers two floors above, but otherwise, nothing else was heard.

We then split into smaller groups and my friends and I spent some time on the main floor listening to evps that the group had recorded at other hunts and trading stories with some of the members of the group about our own experiences when we were involved in a research group.

A few hours later, the line dancers finally left and I eagerly headed upstairs. I was excited at the prospect of seeing the ballroom of an almost 100 year old building. When we got up there, the lights were already off and so I made my slightly unsteady way to a bench that lined either side of the room and sat down. So far through the entire evening I had felt no inkling of paranormal activity.

After sitting there for a few minutes, I became aware of the sense that someone didn’t want us there. Immediately, my fight or flight response was triggered, as the sensation was very strong. The leader of the group was asking questions and being very aggressive saying things like, “I don’t care if you’re angry, we’re here and we’re bringing more people into this room.” “I want to know what your name is.” “I’ve dealt with you before.” All through the suddenly very aggressive questioning (this was not at all what the evp session in the basement had been like), I could feel the entity’s contempt. He (or she, I couldn’t really sense a gender) was affronted by the disrespect of the questioner and outraged that more and more people were coming into the ballroom. I didn’t get a count, but I would say the group was at least twenty strong.

I pushed a slight shield out around myself and my friends and calmly tried to convey to the entity that we were respectful, disliked the way he was being treated, and that we were here out of respectful curiosity. It was difficult to maintain the shield, though, and I soon dropped it, though my projections of respect continued. Eventually, someone said, “Are you the Great Exalted Ruler?” (This is the name for the Elks leader). The group was very quick to assume the answer to that was yes, however, I very clearly heard in my mind, “Don’t be ridiculous.” Whoever this person was, he (or she) was not this person and possibly considered themselves better than that.

Two women decided they would walk across the ballroom and enter the bar that was at the far end. Even as they were walking I knew the entity didn’t want them in the bar. One woman stopped on the threshold and said, “Nope.” She turned around and walked away saying, “I’m not allowed in there.” The group jumped to the conclusion that it was because she was a woman because the Elks was a fraternal organization back in the day. I didn’t get that sense. I felt, rather, that it was because the entity didn’t want anyone upstairs. It was interesting to me, though, that all of the ‘sensitives’ of the group who were scattered about the room were relaying the same basic information to people near them that I was relaying to my friends. This, to me, is confirmation that we were experiencing a real phenomenon.

All during this session (I have no idea how long it lasted), there was this affronted entity wanting everyone to leave. I felt frozen in place (as often happens to me when I’m exerting my abilities) and so I couldn’t go anywhere. I was also so caught up in sensing that I couldn’t even tell my friends that I was ready to leave. Eventually, as the group began what they called ‘provoking’, I managed to snap out of my semi-trance and speak to my friends.

“I don’t think I can get up on my own,” was all I said and they were both standing and pulling me to my feet. One on either side, they guided me slowly out of the room and down the stairs to the main floor. As we were leaving the ballroom, one of my friends stated that it felt to her like I was heavy and that was exactly the way I felt. I could barely move. It was like wading through molasses. As we began our slow descent down the stairs I spoke to the entity, “I’m very sorry you have to put up with this. We were respectful and we are leaving now.”

Downstairs, I felt much better, though very shaky. After eating a cookie and getting my bearings (I felt almost adrift, my head very light) we left. It took me an entire day to recover from that experience. I slept on and off Sunday, waking myself only when I began to snore and rolling over to go back to sleep again.

So, did we have a paranormal experience? I would say yes.

It is not my place to judge, especially in a field where there is so much speculation and little ‘hard proof,’ however, I believe that spirits should be spoken to with respect and treated with dignity. ‘Provoking’ should not be an acceptable behavior. I understand that it is used to try to record evidence, the idea being that if you provoke a spirit enough it will make noises or an evp, or possibly manifest itself. I understand that the area of paranormal research is all about gathering evidence, but I do not believe harassing spirits is the way to do it. That being said, most of the people in this group were good people and friendly. I have no problems with them personally, but I do question those practices.

For my return foray into paranormal research, I’d say this was pretty successful. I plan to ghost hunt again and when I do I will share my experiences with you.

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Actually, they’re already here, but ‘The Spirits Are Already Here and Watching You’ didn’t sound like a good title to me…well, actually, it kind of does, but I’m committed to the previous title.

We’re on the cusp of that time of year when the veil between the worlds thins and we can see and sense all kinds of things. I hope to be going on a ghost hunt this weekend. If I do, I will share my experiences with you.

In the spirit of the season (Ha, ha, see what I did there? Spirit? Get it?), I’d like to share my friend’s website with you. Amberrose Hammond is the author of Ghosts & Legends of Michigan’s West Coast and the web mistress of Michigan’s Otherside. She is also on Facebook.

While the book centers around the west coast of my home state, anyone interested in the paranormal will find this book to be a good read. The website also has a lot of cool information on things from Cryptozoology, local legends, and UFOs. If you post anything to her site, please let her know the Nemeton sent you!

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Throughout my life, whenever someone has hurt me, I withdraw from that person and at the most opportune time, erase them from my life. This erasure involves not only the memories of that person (bad and good), but also an avoidance of places that have significance to that relationship. It’s very similar in my mind to the way the ancient Egyptians would erase names from monuments to cause that person to no longer exist. I would make the painful things simply no longer exist.

From my mom’s drinking when I was a kid to the humiliation I suffered at my former workplace, I have erased and avoided a lot. It’s probably not the best way to deal with things, but it worked for me for a long time, especially when I was young and had no power. For those who know me, this may or may not come as a shock. I’m pretty outspoken and rarely afraid to stick up for myself or others, but there are some things that are so screwed up from the start that there’s no way fighting is going to change them. So, I don’t. By erasing them, not only do I no longer have to deal with them, but everyone around me thinks everything is fine. The damage is hidden.

Something is different now, though. I’m not sure what. I don’t know if it’s age or some culmination of experiences I’ve had recently, but I decided yesterday that I’m going to reclaim things. Maybe I’ll work on people later, but for now I want to reclaim things as simple as being able to drive a certain route without being anxious because I have to pass a certain place and as complex as reclaiming my confidence in certain areas of my life. It isn’t going to be easy, I know that. Nothing worth having is ever easy. Being damaged by something is always the easy part. Healing from it is what takes work and perseverance and I’ve noticed that it doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s an old injury or a fresh one as to how badly it hurts. Besides, I’ve never been one to let someone else get the better of me, so why start now? No one has the right to cause damage to my psyche and I won’t let them do it anymore.

So, yesterday I drove a certain route that I have avoided for a few years because I go past a place filled with bad experiences. I plan to drive by it again today. I know it seems silly, but it’s a start. It’s a nonthreatening way for me to work back to my confidence in that aspect of my life.

I hope, if you’re in need of encouragement to reclaim something from a bad time in your past (distant or recent), that this can give you some courage to go on your way. You are worth protection. You are worth fighting for. We all are.

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