Lillee Allee

Author's details

Name: Lillee Allee
Date registered: March 13, 2015

Biography

Lillee Allee has studied religion, spirituality and paranormal investigation for over 40 years. She is the widow of John D. Allee, an internationally known dark magician. She continues to consult in paranormal investigation. Her specialties include: Marian and cultural spiritual phenomena/apparitions, spiritual support to teams and clients who want spiritual counseling after investigation, evp work and old school audio, the accuracy and research of past life regression and seance, and spiritual protection. Lillee was also one of the first to incorporate trained canines into paranormal investigations. She hosts a radio program on the para-x.com network, Happy Mediums, with Debra Ann Freeman, who also consults with paranormal investigative teams in Southern New England. Lillee is a published author and journalist, and legal clergy with degrees in psychology and mass communication. Lillee walks on the middle path sees learning as a life-long endeavor and is looking to make a difference and contribution to this field before she too will be heard on someone’s EVP. Lillee is always available to educate and consult and continues to enjoy guesting on other’s radio and television programs.

Latest posts

  1. The Breastplate of St Patrick — January 31, 2017
  2. Laser Grids More than just cool-looking Technology? — January 31, 2017
  3. Tokeland Hotel — April 27, 2016
  4. Northern State Mental Hospital — April 27, 2016
  5. Boldt Castle — February 28, 2016

Author's posts listings

Jan 31

The Breastplate of St Patrick

The Breastplate of St Patrick

By Lillee Allee

Many paranormal teams choose to use a protection prayer. Some are self-written, some are said with the group and some are said privately. While many people know of the St Michael Prayer from the Catholic Church, few know or utilize the Breastplate of St. Patrick, also known as the Lorica.

The site Ancient Texts (ancienttexts.com) explains that the prayer itself is to be authentic. It is similar to the early Irish bard’s poetic verse and is the origin of Patrick’s Rune, another prayer. According to folklore, this recitation turned St Patrick and other believers into deer so that the King’s men could not persecute them. This is why Lorica is used as it means “cry of the deer.” However, lorica also refers to a prayer of protection, Latin for breastplate. Originally a morning prayer, it is now used for protection.

St. Patrick is one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church. He was a missionary in the 5th century. It is also said he was the first bishop of his region. On March 17th, the day of his death, the Catholic Church celebrates his service, and it has also been a day to honor Ireland.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength,

the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Onenessof the Creator of creation.

I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today

Through the strength of the love of cherubim,

In the obedience of angels,

In the service of archangels,

In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

In the prayers of patriarchs,

In the predictions of prophets,

In the preaching of apostles,

In the faith of confessors,

In the innocence of holy virgins,

In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today,

throughThe strength of heaven,

The light of the sun,

The radiance of the moon,

The splendor of fire,

The speed of lightning,

The swiftness of wind,

The depth of the sea,

The stability of the earth,

The firmness of rock.

I arise today,

throughGod’s strength to pilot me,

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save meFrom snares of devils,

From temptation of vices,

From everyone who shall wish me ill,afar and near.

I summon today

All these powers between me and those evils,

Against every cruel and merciless powerthat may oppose my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;

Christ to shield me today

Against poison,

against burning,

Against drowning,

against wounding,

So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

[Note that people sometimes pray a shorter version of this prayer just with these 15 lines about Christ above. This is particularly a good choice for Christians who are not Catholic, or can edit to fit their beliefs. The conclusion follows below.]

I arise todayThrough a mighty strength,

the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

of the Creator of creation.

This prayer is particularly good for paranormal investigators as it basically creates a psychic shield around the individual and seals all five senses.

There are also pagan versions. While the original pagan Lorica was written by Ian Corrigan. The following version was written by Morgan:

A Modern Irish Pagan’s Lorica

“I arise today in joy

Through the strength of the sea,

Stability of the strong earth,

Endlessness of the eternal sky.

I bind to myself

The endurance of my ancestors,

The eloquence of the poets,

The truth of the ancient Druids.

I bind to myself

The speed of the hawk

The courage of the deer

The wisdom of the salmon.

I bind to myself

The inspiration of the Gods

The mystery of the Otherworld

The illumination of Spirit

I summon today all these powers

between me and any dangers

Every day that I recite this prayer

I am protected from harm

In the names of my gods

and by sea, earth, and sky”

Morgan. The Lorica . March 3, 2012. Retrieved from http://lairbhan.blogspot.com/search/label/lorica

St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Retrieved October 1, 2015 from http://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/st-patricks-breastplate.h…

The Lorica of Patrick. Retrieved October 4, 2015 from http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/p03.html

Jan 31

Laser Grids More than just cool-looking Technology?

Laser Grids More than just cool-looking Technology

By Lillee Allee

The paranormal reality shows seem to bask in the green glow (or red) of a laser grid system. The idea certainly sounds appealing, but is it affordable to the average investigator and does it really make a distinct difference in the quality of evidence? Does the cost outweigh the interest in such a device?

Let’s look at what a laser grid is capable of producing for the team. First, the grid is turned on, and maps the area in question. Investigators will be able to see and record whether the grid is breached or not. After the breach, this equipment will allow the user to track the speed and size of an anomaly (or anyone or thing that passes through the grid). Grid equipment can range from using dots to visually see the grid or lines which resemble a three dimensional piece of graph paper placed on the area. Once the grid is focused on a solid area, the anomalies can be tracked and measured.

Tri-C Ghost Hunters use the grid system. Founders Greg and Kathy Feketik Jake Tolin and Todd S. Schelat founded this organization which has three teams in Ohio. Schelat is also lead investigator and tech specialist for the Canton, Ohio team. Schelat uses laser grids as part of the equipment for the team’s paranormal research and investigations. He states that a green grid tends to work better than the red. According to Schelat, “the theory behind the use of the laser grid is that it is projected in a hallway of in any area for investigating. If an entity passes by the lights it will break the beams and will show itself.”

Schelat cautions that when using laser grid penlights, the external IR lights must be turned off while recording on video. Otherwise the lights will “drown out” the laser grid. He also recommends that the grid should be used for a short time, such as ten minutes or so as they can overheat. Schelat would prefer a laser grid with its own cooling system, but they require an AC (electrical outlet) current and can be financially taxing to the team. Schelat also believes that false positives can occur with the use of the grid, as insects and other airborne contamination can affect the evidence adversely. The savvy investigator will use the grid and look for a full body shape, and discount any flicker or slight disruption on the grid.

Schelat states that his team so far has not captured anything significant with their laser grid, but will continue to use the grid during investigations.

A lot of people feel that these grids are out of their price range. Like so many other pieces of technology, they are surprisingly affordable for some. The GS1 (ghost-stop.com) sells for $89.95. It comes with a tri-pod mount, but the tri-pod itself is $14.95. A laser grid pen is usually under 30 dollars, and get the side on/off clap for the pen for $4.95. You can also add a laser mount head with the tripod for 26.95. Of course, the cost of batteries will be incurred for use, but that is true with most equipment today. The GS1 with all the gadgets, and with some deals, should cost less than 200 hundred dollars.

Techies may prefer at least one (they are stackable) of the Puck 360 degree GS1 (ghost-stop.com.) These actually look like a hockey puck, hence the name. Eeach one will set you back about 200 dollars and the more you stack the more, the more power you get. For those who have become frustrated over the years with all “the good stuff” happening just outside of camera view, this is a panacea.

It is important that while the new gear is lots of fun and opens up the field, one also needs the electronic equipment (such as cameras, computers and programs) to be able to read and evaluate the data. The best advice before investing is to talk to teams that are already using the grid system to assist you in deciding whether the laser grid is appropriate for your team and your budget.

Sources

LaserGrid GS1, Puck 360 degree GS1. Retrieved September 10, 2015 from http://www.ghoststop.com/Laser-Grid…/laser-lasergrid-gs1.htm

Schelat, Todd S. Interview via internet on September 14, 2015.

Apr 27

Tokeland Hotel

Tokeland Hotel
100 Hotel Road
Tokeland, Washington 98590
360-267-7006
http://www.tokelandhotel.com/home.html

Originally a private home built in 1885, it was expanded and was called the Kindred Inn, named for its owner and was a popular beach resort. Today the hotel offers turn of the century décor with the rooms on the second floor.
“Charlie,” a Chinese immigrant who allegedly ended up suffocated in a hiding place by the fireplace, is the resident ghost. Since the early 1900s, he is said to wander through the hotel and restaurant. There is also a ghost cat on the premises. Reports suggest that Room 7 may be the most active. The owner, Scott White, has been featured in the media talking about this haunted locale.

Sources
http://www.hauntedplaces.org/item/tokeland-hotel/
http://kiroradio.com/listen/35308/
http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/washington/wa-haunted/

Lillee Allee's photo.

Apr 27

Northern State Mental Hospital

Northern State Mental Hospital (also known as Northern State Hospital for the Insane and Northern State Hospital for the Criminally Insane)
Sedro-Woolley, Washington State
By: Lillee Allee

Northern State Mental Hospital, near Sedro-Woolley, was built in 1912 due to the overcrowding at the two asylums in the region. This cottage plan was designed so the institution could be be self-sufficient and to offer therapeutic work for the patients. The first homicide of one patient by another offered in February 1922.Throughout its history, the actual diagnoses were questionable as patients were placed in the hospital by well-meaning and perhaps not so well-meaning family members. Deaths occurred due to such reasons as excessive labor, electroshock therapy, and lobotomies. Though many felt that the name “the Bughouse” as it was locally known was a derogative term, Bugtown was actually the name of the area before the asylum was ever built. By the 1950s, the facility housed 2,700 residents, which was its full capacity. The hospital was closed in 1973. There were 1,500 unmarked burials in cemetery, and at its closing, 204 containers of cremated remains were found in the morgue. These were later buried in Mount Vernon at the Hawthorne Cemetery.

Part of the complex is used as a Job Corps office and a drug treatment center. Some of the building have been torn down or condemned so trespassing would be a dangerous as well as illegal behavior.

Hauntings reportedly include a little girl playing with a ball, a man who seems to follow her, and a nurse who is pushing a male patient in a wheelchair. In 2006, a paranormal group got permission to investigate and caught some compelling evidence on film.

Sources
http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/washington/wa-haunted/
http://www.skagitriverjournal.com/NearbyS…/…/NSH1-Intro.html
http://www.weirdus.com/…/…/northern_state_hospital/index.php
http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/northern-state-ghost-town

Lillee Allee's photo.

Feb 28

Boldt Castle

Boldt Castle

by Lillee Allee
Alexandria Bay, New York
1-800-847-5263
Open May through October with access by boat or shuttle from Canada and the United States. The gorgeous grounds are also available for private weddings.

Mr. Boldt ran the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. During vacations, the Boldts stayed at a family home on the St . Lawrence River. In 1900, Boldt commissioned 300 builders to erect the beautiful 120 room fairytale resort on Heart Island, with gardens, a yacht house and a children’s playhouse.
This beautiful castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of Mrs Boldt. Mr. Boldt had it built as a labor of love for his wife. After her sudden death in 1904, he ordered all work stopped. It was never completed, and left on its own for 74 years. Boldt himself never returned to the island. In 1977, the Thousand Island Bridge Authority would open the castle and use all monies for the enjoyment of future generations. Since then, several million dollars have been spent or restoration and rehabilitation. Lights are often reported in the windows of the castle, long after the last boat has left.

http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/
theshadowlands.net/places/newyork.htm

Jan 06

Unidentified Flying Objects in New York State

Lake-Tiorati-UFO-Orange-County-New-York-19661New York State historically has had more than its share of reports of strange craft in the sky, crop circles, interruptions of the electrical grid, and other unusual occurrences. While some incidents such as the Hudson Valley sightings and the big blackout of 1965 were widely reported, others have received less media attention. Author Preston Dennett points out that New York State is arguably the most politically powerful in the country, and states it is no surprise that there is a wealth of reports and encounters. He also points out that there are sightings in rural areas as well as in New York City.

The first challenge in looking at New York State encounters may stem from the fact there are many military bases, diverse industry in a state that within an hour’s drive one can experience densely populated areas to farm land, woodlands and parks which are sparsely populated. Some cities and collegetowns of New York State are very open to watching the skies and discussing unusual encounters whereas others quietly keep to themselves. The problems may first lie in descriptions of the state as well as references as to where sightings occur.

Most people think of New York City, when they hear the words “New York.” Many who have never visited this large state do not realize that New York boasts not only a world-class financial district, but acres of farm land, a variety of cultures and mountainous regions. One of the most confusing aspects in studying unidentified flying objects (UFOs) in New York State is that many do not understand the vast size and unusual shape of the state. There is also the confusion regarding the term “upstate” as it is defined differently by New Yorkers themselves. Those in the far southern section, who live in and around New York City, the Big Apple itself, consider “upstate” as the bedroom communities within an hour and half north of the metropolis. However, the state is much bigger than that. The area known as Central New York, or the heart of the state, stretches from the small city of Utica to just east of Rochester. Western New York includes Rochester, Buffalo and Niagara Falls, bordered by Lake Ontario to the north. The southern tier is based on the Binghamton and Elmira areas and is bordered by Pennsylvania to the south. Yet the southern tier is “less southern” than Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. Northern NY is the home of the Adirondacks, and below that is Capital land, where the state capital, Albany is located, along with Troy, Schenectady and Rensselaer on the eastern side of the state at approximately its midpoint. Confused? The irregular shape makes it hard to understand for residents.

Cheryl Costa has been following the statistics regarding UFOs in New York State for a weekly newspaper in Syracuse, NY. Her records show that 2012 had inordinate online casino amount of sightings, but this number decreased greatly in 2013. There were 648 reports in 2012 but only 433 in 2013, similar to the 415 reported in 2011. To look at her statistics on the new millennium, despite some fluctuation year to year, the sightings have significantly increased. 2000 saw 139 sightings, 2007 hit 227, 2008 hit 301, with every year since hitting over 400, with the exception of 2010 with only 310. Clearly the statistics clearly show that sightings are increasing, and research is needed to not only ascertain why, but also why some years are more active than others.

Tom Conwell, author, paranormal expert and ufologist has been watching the statistics of the sightings, from 1999 and has compiled data that takes this to a different direction than Costa’s work. He has categorized the sightings according to the shape of the objects witnessed. He states in his presentations that in New York,
reports of cigar-shaped objects, triangle craft and discs have decreased, reports of strange lights and shapes have remained the same. However, reports of spherical shapes and fireballs have increased. He feels that the sighting are changing and there may be yet, unknown or undisclosed reason for this.

Is the truth stranger than fiction? Author Whitley Strieber, became famous for writing about his abductee experiences in his “Communion” series of books. His initial experience took place while on vacation in a cabin in Northern New York and his accounts of interactions with UFOs and their occupants became an international sensation. It might be a nightmare from the mind of an accomplished horror writer, but what if there is more to this?

Booth, Billy. (undated) 1985-Alien Abduction of Whitley Streiber. Retrieved from
http://ufos.about.com/od/aliensalienabduction/p/strieber.htm

Conwell, Tom. UFOs in New York; Data-Mining for Meaning (from Extreme Paranormal Encounter Response Team); personal interviews, conversations.

Costa, Cheryl. (January 30, 2014) New York State UFO Tally for 2013. Syracuse New Times. Retrieved January 2, 2016 fromhttp://www.syracusenewtimes.com/new-york-state-ufo-sightin…/.

Dennett, Preston. (2008) UFOs Over New York: A True History of Extra-terrestrial Encounters in the Empire State. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing.

Dec 23

New Year’s Celebrations and Resolutions: An Occult Perspective

1While some people spend New Year’s eve entertaining with fortune-telling and séances, most folks are busy enjoying good company, great food and even better legal beverages. Many in America cuddle up with family and good friends and watch the annual ball drop in New York City. Others throughout the world have more traditional pursuits where the emphasis may be on superstitious or occult traditions.

History.com offers a wide perspective of celebrations country to country. Some countries have come to think of peas, beans or other legumes as resembling money. These foods, thought to resemble discs or coins, were used in traditional meals, to bring financial success to friends and family. Lentils are an Italians favorite, while black-eyed peas are the choice in the deep South of the United States. For Spanish-speaking cultures, a dozen grapes are eaten to bring in wish fulfillment. Pork is considered, by Cubans, Austrians, Hungarians and others, to ring in progress and prosperity. For the Netherlands, Holland, Greece and others, a round cake or a cake in the shape of a ring, states that the year has come full circle. The Swedes and Norwegians make a rice pudding with an almond in it. The lucky diner who gets the nut will have great luck in the new year.

The idea of making resolutions goes back much farther than one would think. It was first found among the ancient Babylonians who made promises to please their gods and start the new year with a clean slate. This even extended to repaying debts. Many in the English speaking countries believed that this was to be a time of forgiveness of wrongs and slights by others.

Bill Petro explains that resolutions were also a part of ancient Roman life, and January comes from the name of the two-faced god, Janus, known for beginnings and endings, and protection while crossing bridges. In pagan Rome, most resolutions were about improving one’s morality and behaviors toward others. After Christianization, Romans focused on prayers and petitions and fasting. Early American Puritans rejected the pagan name of January, according to Petro, and called it simply first month, but interestingly the celebrations were non-existent but the resolutions returned to being about being a better person to others.

2Many point to the fact that many well-meaning people think about resolutions, but fail to act and achieve. Alex Epstein, ignores the naysayers about New Years Resolutions and the sad statistics about how many people actually follow through on their good intentions. He suggests making a resolution “to do the most important thing of all: to take your happiness seriously.”

From an occult perspective, we are simply talking about manifestations. It is important to note that manifestations are not miracles. To simply it even further, occultists will often say “as above, so below.” A secular viewpoint would change this to from the mind to the mundane. Thus, do not make a resolution to quit smoking, the resolution would be to make a serious attempt. Do not say you will lose 50 lbs, state that your weight will be at a healthier point in 6 months. Never say that you will marry “John or Jane Doe” but instead ask for the perfect person for you to come into your life. And… as for money… never ask for dollars, ask instead for financial comfort in the coming months. Do not visualize how to do it, visualize the results.

May you have a healthier, happier and more prosperous year to come!

Sources:

http://billpetro.com/history-of-new-years-resolutions

Epstein, Alex. (2006). The Meaning of New Year Resolutions. Retrieved from http://www.aim.org/gu…/the-meaning-of-new-years-resolutions/

http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/new-years

Dec 22

Lens Flare need not Scare!

7Professional photographers and videographers learn to avoid the traps of amateur shooting, such as lens flare. For paranormal photographers, lens flare can provide anomalies that not only can damage evidence but ruin a serious investigation. Why? The interpretation may adversely affect the reveal and final findings.

Lens flare happens when direct light hits a lens (known as non-image forming light enters though the lens and hits the camera’s sensors) and an array of anomalies is found on the product (be it from photography or film). In other words, a bright light source (the sun is a great example) shines into the camera lens and affects the picture presented. Lens flare can also cause glare or unwanted artifacts of light which can appear in a polygonal shape. The shape is dependent on the shape of the lens diaphragm.

There are two types of flare. The first is specular flare where you will see circular blobs (some call them orbs) or streaks of light in the photo. The second is veiling flare which reduces the contrast between the dark and the light. This affects shadows, sharpness and definition and can lead to mystery figures (One can use auto-level or auto-contrast functions in the Photoshop application for regular photos, but for paranormal investigators – beware! Do not manipulate your images and offer them as evidence.

It is important to note that lens flare never useful for paranormal investigators, but it can be and is used creatively by amateur and professional photographers.

How to AVOID lens flare:
1) Do not allow sunlight, streetlights or any other direct source of light to hit the front element of your lens. Remember flare is caused by light reflection internally through the elements of an optical lens.
2) Wide-angle lenses are more prone to flare than longer focal lengths
3) Flare can be reduced or eliminated using a lens hood or shade. Some lens will come with a hood. Check your instruction manual to see what works best with your lens. The hood works simply by casting a shadow over the front element of the lens. It also will protect your lens from chips and scratches.
4) When using a tri-pod, you can use your hand or cardboard for shade.
5) Prime lenses are more resistant to flares than zooms. With fewer elements there is a lesser chance of flare.

But wait … there is always more … to learn. Professional photographer Bob Shell emphasizes the use of a lens hood. He points out that flare is an optical phenomena that can turn a great surprise into a daunting disappointment. You may not know if you have a lens flare problem until the photo is processed or until you get the digital up on your monitor. Shell points to another problem: every lens surface where lens meets air will reflect a certain amount of light. While modern lenses have coating to reduce this reflection, flare is still a concern. For those with zoom lenses, check the lens specifications. The higher the numbers, the better chance of lens flare. Do not use filters, says Shell, as they often make the flare worse. His belief is that there is no excuse for a good lens hood — for protection and flare reduction.

When you are not paranormal investigating, experiment with you camera. Artistic photographers suggest these tips for ACHIEVING lens flare:
1) Look into the sun! Aim toward the light source, use the spot metering mode and appropriate exposure. Unless you want to achieve a silhouette pose, set your camera to manual and adjust the exposure. This can help you achieve mystical rays or beams for a pretty picture.
2) Flash it! Flashes provide needed light for a dark scene – through flash reflection you can get a soft feel to a photo and get a nice effect from the flash itself. Remember to aim a bit away from the subjects to the right, left or above.
3) Open up! Your aperture blades cause the shape of your flare. The better the flare, the more lush and smooth the product will be. Open it up all the way, and the blades allow all the light in.
4) Focus first! In trying to achieve lens flare, you need the right point of focus. Many professionals offer three choices:
a) Control it yourself and go manual.
b) The focal lock allows you to lock your focus without direct light, and then take the shot.
c) Narrow down your choices: a narrow aperture and this adds depth to your field.
5) Angle it! You want the light to pass across your photo to get a cool effect. Try one side, then the other. Experiment!

Sources:

cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/lens-flare.htm

dptips-central.com

Gibson, Andrew S. How to prevent lens flare. Retrieved from digital-photography-school.com/how-to-prevent-lens-flare/

jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/glossary

Lens flare – 30 day challenge. Retrieved December 16, 2015 fromexpertphotography.com/lens-flare-30-day-photography-challen…

pixalo.com/articles/ A-Z-glossary-of-photographic-terms.php

photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials

Shell, Bob. Lens flare: what is it and how do you prevent it? Retrieved December 15, 2015 from
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=article_012703

Dec 22

“Demonic Orbs” and Other Fallacies and Facts

6When one popular paranormal show’s host described footage of an anomaly and declared it a “demonic orb,” it was time to admit the orb debate had sunk to a new low.

Most serious paranormal investigators react negatively to the “orbinators.” I use this term to describe those who are on the precarious far right of the orb debate. These are the people who will argue voraciously at the idea that an orb is anything but a spirit. Through paredolia, they insist that there are faces or figures in the orbs, as if each orb was a windowed Christmas ornament. Further, they connect the color of the orb with some spiritual meaning, the colors taken from magical practices or that of a chakra chart.

On the far left, we have those that insist that an orb is never anything paranormal, no matter what. They have debunked enough orbs that they are now convinced that even if the orb is waving at them with a connected EVP saying look at me, that this is not evidenceas if each orb was a windowed Christmas ornament. Further, they connect the color of the orb with some spiritual meaning, the colors taken from magical practices or that of a chakra chart.

The middle majority is where you find those committed to scientific investigation. These people understand the gravity of their work and significance of their evidence. They seek to eliminate all mundane probabilities, before moving into the area of paranormal possibilities. And yet, this is the group that often receives the most negative reactions from the blind believers. Why? It is much easier to believe (or want to believe) that this is Aunt Helen rather than dust contamination.

To start a discussion it is best to go to the beginning and look at the original or mundane definition: an orb is simply a sphere or a globe. The definition itself describes a three-dimensional body. From literary prose, orbs can be used as a verb that means to enclose, contain or encircle. The paranormal encyclopedia online offers this definition: “synonymous with sphere, when used in association with the paranormal, an orb is an anomalous globe-shaped spot, either white or colored, that shows up in photographs taken at allegedly haunted locations.” Yet just as we have a working definition, it seems that people other than myself.

The Paranormal Encyclopedia site offers these points to ponder:
1. “Ghosts” have been alleged seen in photos since the 1880s (birth of celluloid film)
2. Orbs were not a topic of discussion until built-in flash pocket cameras went on the market.
a) Orbs usually appear in the dark with flash digital still photography.
b) Orbs were first seen on video footage moving.
c) From the early nineties on, with new digital technology, orbs became popular.
d) All anomalous spots became labeled as orbs.
3) Ghost hunters of all abilities latched onto orbs and began claiming these were “proof” of spirits.
a) The Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society (GHRS), and other reputable paranormal organizations, stopped accepting them as proof of paranormal activity.
b) When an editor of the Paranormal Encyclopedia did the research for their article, it was found that every source of information from “orbinators” had an agenda to make money on their orbital insights be it a book, conference or video program.
4) Fuji Films in response to a question from Helena Cowell stated that floating dust may be the culprit in flash pictures, causing white spots due to reflection. Besides dust, this may also ring true with rain, snow, pollen, moisture or any particles floating in the air at the time of the shot.
a) Further, Fuji stated that the contaminant will appear big and light and out of focus and may form a shape that corresponds to the camera’s aperture (round)
b) Scott Denning, a paranormal investigator interviewed for their article questions how many control shots have been taken in areas with little contaminants or in places not without the haunted reputation.
d) The final answer from this piece may be that multiple shots must be taken, with and without flash.

Just when your amateur ghost hunter thinks they understand orbs and can debunk appropriately, the next problem occurs. People are offering their own form of cataloging orbs so that any chance of comparative or correlative studies is stopped before it can begin. At the popular Ghoststudy site, an article there suggests there are two classifications of orbs: busters and talents. Buster orbs are caused by the use of digital cameras with flash as noted above and are described as “false positives.” The sound advice offered is to document the weather and other conditions around at the time. However, this site believes talent orbs are real spiritual phenomena in a spherical or oblong shape. They do offer the caveat that a paranormal investigator will rarely witness such an orb a few times, and it may even be seen with the naked eye. To make it even more confusing, the article states that most talent orbs are human and might possibly also involve animals.

While the site, paranormal.lovetoknow.com, agrees that the debate is real, this site also points out that all information regarding the colors of orbs is theory and has no scientific basis. The site also points out that another problem is that if an image file is intentionally or unintentionally manipulated, orbs can occur due to distortion, pixilation or other problems.

Hazel Courteney, a writer with the Daily Mail, reports that Kalus Heinemann, a NASA researcher, studied pictures of spiritual healers with anomalies and at first thought it was contamination. Using scientific methods including microscopes, he failed to find a direct answer regarding causation. When even the camera itself checked out, he found himself asking people about these circles and spiritual healers said they could make them appear, especially at spiritual events. Heineman began to set up experiments, one involving two cameras taking the same picture at the same time, and he found orbs on only one photograph. He also estimated that orbs can move at around 500 miles per hour. Courteney reports that Heineman stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that the orbs may well be one of the most significant “outside of this reality” phenomena mankind has ever witnessed.” However, many of Heineman’s peers do not agree with this link to the spirit world. If you have been reading this article, it will not surprise you to note that this became a major topic for the world’s first orb convention, in 2007, in Sedona, Arizona. Thus with the help of a few scientists, a theology expert, and a group of healers, the “orbinators” became a part of the paranormal community.

Obviously, the rift began. Troy Taylor, author and president of the American Ghost Society, firmly states that orbs are not paranormal. While Troy Taylor calls the blind believers “orb-a-philes,” many of us have our own terms for the emotional outbursts from this group. Taylor offers a great list of tips to debunk orbs:

1) Rule out all possible explanations. Clean your lens regularly and more often if the environment warrants it. Keep all lenses free of dirt, water, smudges and fingertips.
2) Dust is the biggest problem – and this includes dead skin cells to pet dander.
3) Insects are drawn to light and may be filmed. The in-flight bug may cause an orb to appear to have a trail or tail.
4) Moisture can appear and does, whether it is raining or not. Water can be a variety of shapes and colors.
5) Light can cause orbs whether due to a flashlight or flash of another investigator, light can cause the lens of the camera to react and so many of these problems will be user-related. According to Taylor, there is a term from the science of physics, called back-scattering, that explains the phenomena of orbs in photos. This diffuse reflection of waves, particles and signals sends these back to the direction they came from. In physics, the phenomenon that creates orbs in photography is actually referred to as back-scattering. Back-scattering is a diffuse reflection of waves, particles, or signals traveling back to the direction it came from. And this can occur and does occur with all mentioned above, and more!
6. Patterns in orbs can be caused by pareidolia. This is a when the brain processes what it sees into a familiar pattern: a face, skull, flower or figure.
7. Always document the conditions that you are investigating in – weather, light, temperature, and bugs.

In conclusion, while the debate will continue, there is no hard evidence that orbs do exist and many professionals no longer will examine orb photographs. Those who are sure they can discern a “real” orb from a fake orb, no matter what you choose to call them, is at best difficult, because there is no hard evidence or photographs confirmed to be “real” orbs. While the scientist may think he is onto something, and he may be, there are orbs reported in every-day photos every day and these are posted on many paranormal websites. The majority is from people as confused and as the paranormal investigators try to discuss the mundane effects, it begins to move into belief defense and then pointless argument. Will this end in the near future? Orb-so-lutely not!

Sources:
Courteney, Hazel. July 20, 2007. Is this proof that spirits DO exist? Retrieved from dailymail.co.uk/…/article-46…/Is-proof-spirits-DO-exist.html

ghoststudy.com/new12/what_are_orbs.htm
hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Tips-on-Debunking-Orbs
paranormal.about.com/od/ghostphotos/a/aa102207.htm
paranormal-encyclopedia.com/o/orbs/
paranormal.lovetoknow.com/Ghost_Orbs_Different_Colors
prairieghosts.com/trouble.html

Oct 24

St. Michaels Prayer for Protection

St. Michael’s Prayer for Protection

By Lillee Allee

 

There is only one entity in the history of the Church that is both an angel and a saint: St. Michael the Archangel. This protection prayer is particularly good for paranormal teams, though St Michael is the patron saint of the military and the police. He also is patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, and sickness. The story around the creation of this prayer is particularly unusual.

In 1884, Pope Leo XIII was in conference with Cardinals (high priests of the Catholic Church). He celebrated Mass, and suddenly fainted. Physicians were called and found no pulse. Suddenly, the pontiff came back and explained that he had had a horrible vision of evil spirits released from their captivity in hell in order to destroy the Church. He then saw St. Michael appear and threw them all back into the pit. He then wrote out the long prayer you will find below. It was also part of practice for the St. Michael Prayer to be said in church after a low mass during Vatican I. This practice vanished with the beginning of Vatican II.

St. Michael’s feast day was originally September 29th and some still celebrate that today. His color (for candles, for example) is red, and his direction is south when occult rituals place angels in every quarter of a ritual. His name, which a direct nod to his story in the Christian Bible, means “Who is like God?” In angel hierarchy, he is a prince of the Seraphim.

Sacred places devoted to Michael first appeared in the 4th century, as a healing angel, and then believers saw him as a protector and the leader of the army of God against By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern and Western Churches. Today Christians and others venerate St. Michael.

 

The popular short version (most common:

 

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice 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

 

In Latin, the Vatican I version:

 

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen

 

 

 

The long original version:

 

 

“O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

 

 

 

 

“Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

 

“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

 

“Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.

R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.

V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.

R. As we have hoped in Thee.

V. O Lord, hear my prayer.

R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

 

Let us pray.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

Roman Raccolta, July 23, 1898, supplement approved July 31,1902, London: Burnes, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1935, 12th edition.

 

St. Michael the Archangel. Retrieved October 5, 2015 from http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=308

 

St. Michael the Archangel Prayer. Retrieved October 4, 2015 from http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/b009rpMichael.htm

Oct 24

Strengths and Limitations of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Strengths and Limitations of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

By Lillee Allee

 

Research methods in social sciences fall into two basic categories: qualitative or quantative. Simply defined, qualitative research involves open-ended questions, diaries and interviews. While these studies are helpful, actual analysis can be difficult. Quantitative research can be ranked, reduced to numbers, measurements and ratings. Thus, analysis is made easier with clearer conclusions. Some work offers quantitative and qualitative data such as a questionnaire which will have yes/no answers (reduced to numbers) and descriptions of events (which are qualitative.

 

Qualitative studies have many strengths and limitations, as do quantitative works.

Leedy and Ormond (2005) point out that problems may arise with quantitative research because it is often in a manipulated, experimental setting (such as a laboratory). While the researcher’s level of control is high in a quantitative study, there is also a chance that the results may not transfer to the general population in natural settings

 

Case studies would fall under qualitative research. Qualitative methods are invaluable to explore an issue and to gain some understanding, but also can be very limited in terms of generalizations. As Leedy and Ormond also note, with some qualitative studies, again such as an investigation, the researcher becomes a part of the experiment itself and this can cause some problems relating to objectivity. There is also a need for the researcher to remain understanding and willing to spend time understanding his or her role and not bring personal bias into the equation. This could inevitably cause confusion in later analysis and in provided conclusions that the data seems to support, but is ultimately flawed.

 

Gathering data can also be tricky. If there is more than one observer, it is very important that their results agree in terms of actual behaviors observed. Inter-rater reliability is defined as “the correlation between several ratings by independent evaluators of a variable (for example, participant’s performance) that is, the extent of agreement among the evaluators” (Corsini, 2002, p. 502). Leedy and Ormrod state it “is the extent to which two or more individuals evaluating the same product or performance give identical judgments” (p. 97). This is an important area that needs to be discussed between paranormal teams and the entire community.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Corsini, R. (2002) The Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Brunner Routledge.

Gladding, S. T. (2005). The counseling dictionary. (2nd ed.) Upper Saddle River,

NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.

Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2005). Practical research: Planning and design (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.

McLeod, Saul. Qualitative Quantitative (2008) Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/qualitative-quantitative.html

 

Oct 24

Beginner’s Guide to screenshots with Apple Products

Beginner’s Guide to screenshots with Apple Products

By Lillee Allee

 

Apple users are still in the minority compared to PC users with computers, though the IPhones and IPads certainly are popular. One of the big questions is how to screen shot as it is different for Apple Users

 

On your Apple computer:

  • Make sure that everything that you want to shoot is visible on your screen.
  • Hold down shift and command
  • Hit the #4 key
  • Beginning at the top left corner with your cursor, select the entire item you want to shoot.
  • With sound on, you will here the shutter
  • You will see your screen shot on your desktop
  • Hint: label each item you have for better identification when you need to choose it to place on your webpage, facebook etc.

 

On Your IPhone:

  • On the right side of the phone, near the top, you will find your sleep/wake button that you use to power down your phone
  • Hold your sleep/wake button down.
  • Press and release the home button (bottom center)
  • You will here a shutter sound effect.
  • Your screenshot will be automatically placed in your photo library.

 

On Your IPad:

  • Make sure that everything that you want to shoot is visible on your screen.
  • On the right side of the phone, near the top, you will find your sleep/wake button that you use to power down your pad
  • Find your home button, located in the center, bottom of your pad
  • Press the sleep/wake button and the home button at the same time (you only need to do this for a second –if you wait longer the pad will turn off)
  • With sound on, you will hear a shutter sound
  • You will see a white screen
  • Just look through your Camera Roll to see your shot. Camera Roll, click on the “Photos” app on your home screen.

 

  • “Camera Roll” will be listed as your first album.
  • Look for the final image at the bottom – there it is!

 

Sources

support.apple.com

 

http://www.wikihow.com/Take-a-Screenshot-With-an-iPad

Oct 24

The Physically Challenged Investigator

The Physically Challenged Investigator

By Lillee Allee

 

Today we have more and more individuals with physical disabilities, some are obviously apparent; others are invisible. The goal of this article is to encourage those with physical disabilities who enjoy the paranormal to be a part of a team. Like with anything in life, the challenged individual will need to share information and communicate with the team members.

While we humans have longer lives through the miracles of science, many maturing adults end up with some form of disability. Knees, ankles, shoulders and wrists may be affected from years of wear. Others may have back issues that can occur at any age. Using computers in various positions can affect one’s neck adversely. There are also those who have had challenges since birth. The physically challenged investigator can be valuable to paranormal teams. It is all about finding a position for yourself that includes your interest and can reasonably accommodate your disability.

There isn’t research available on how many disabled individuals are currently on paranormal teams. However, one gentleman by the name of Tom Miles from the Dover Paranormal team blogged about his work with his team. His disability was work-related and today has foot and leg issues that have changed his life considerably. He was forced to leave his career and go on disability. At first, he was very depressed about having to give up his professional position. He also had to give up driving due to the lack of sensation in his feet and because he had to wear a corrective boot. With the help of family, he began to realize that instead of seeing this as a liability, he could start following his passion with the paranormal. Miles stated that because his mother had been disabled before him, he already had gained understanding of how a disability can affect your entire life. He stated:

 

“I also leaned that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. But sometimes you just need a little help. There are many things that a person with a disability can do for a paranormal team. Just because a certain part of the body doesn’t function right doesn’t mean the person can still do his job.”

 

Kelly Spina, a representative for the National Paranormal Society has a different type of disability, but she can be accommodated by her team. Her disability can affect her general health and is affected by the weather. Her team allows her to skype into meetings if she is not up to going to the meeting. Her main position is the occult specialist, so she can do her work at anytime. When a client works with her team, other members work on the scientific end, while she researches the supernatural aspects and how to deal with what they may encounter.She is considered an alternative investigator, so she can attend according to her ability on that day.

Spina has learned to work well with team members. They understand her limitations and the team strives to work around them She is limited in mobility, having trouble with stairs and uneven ground, such as in a graveyard. The team accommodates her by having her partner with another investigator so she will not fall or become lost (since phones are not allowed at these investigations.) If there are levels to the site, she takes the ground level for observation.

Spina stated that she has found a team and can enjoy her investigating. She offered this advice:

“Don’t let anyone treat you like you’re an inconvenience, but also know your limits. I walk with a Canadian crutch when it’s cold or rainy, and I have to speak up for what my body is and isn’t capable of doing. They won’t know unless I speak up. I also take it upon myself to suggest what ways they can accommodate me. I never want to be viewed as an inconvenience by my team, I only want to be viewed as an asset.”

 

What positions are best for the disabled? It depends on the individual and their particular physical disability. Here are some examples:

 

 

Things that a disabled person can do to help a paranormal team with an investigation:

 

Case Management

You can’t be a team if you have nowhere to investigate. The case manager often will be looking for public places to peruse. This position may also involve being in touch with local networking with businesses and organizations. He/she may also be involved with intake: initial interviews with the clients, keeping folders with information for the members, planning the dates and times, organizing the appropriate group for a particular case and set up any and all meetings. All of these tasks may be done from home, and meetings can be online or through a group phone call as needed. Talents needed: organization, communication, basic internet experience.

 

Research

Research is an important aspect of any case, and it in fact could be considered the backbone of the case itself. Without knowing the history of the area, the specific site, police reports, etc, one could only go on the words of the client, who is looking for answers outside of his/herself. This can be done through short walks or entirely on the phone and computer. This is particularly an exciting job for older individuals who need to get out of the house. Those who are retired may have some excellent contacts and insight as to the resources in the area. This work can also be done among a number of members, accommodating and highlighting each person’s strength. The talents needed for research involve writing, patience and the ability to offer theories to the team.

 

Evidence Review

The reality shows do not show you the reality of evidence review. Audio and video needs to be reviewed and analyzed. A sight-challenged individual would work well with the audio; while a hearing-challenged individual may be able to do some of the video. Those who are confined to the home may also be able to sift through all the information. Miles points out that this is a great position for someone who cannot physically go on the investigation, as they can experience the investigation from the evidence. Sometimes the best eyes and ears on these “tapes” are those who are fresh and who were not there. It also avoids investigator bias.

 

Lead Investigator’s Assistant

Some lead investigators would welcome someone who would review the Reveal with them before the Lead has to present it to the client. An assistant can also interface with the case manager to schedule team members, confirm availability and collect the information from the case manager and the researchers.

 

Marketing and Public Relations/Website

One of the most important people on the team are those who work on the website and interface with organizations and other groups. The website is often the first impression any potential clients have. A strong presentation also offers credibility to the team. These individuals must have strong web experience but today there are also aids in building a website that there were not available in the past. The public relations end would involve fundraisers and the occasional press release as needed. These individuals may also be strong writers and editors so the page is easy to read and again, offers a professional presentation.

 

Record-Keeper and Case Closer

This individual will keep a record of all the investigations with the evidence and information. This person would also involve him/herself with a study such as Project Endeavor from the National Paranormal Society to aid in finding answers as to what teams are experiencing in the field.

 

These are just some of the wonderful opportunities for disabled individuals to involve themselves with the paranormal field. As Miles said:

 

“ If you have a disability, there are places you can go and I know there are teams out there who have a place for you just as our team has made a place for us. If you have a team in search of team members to help with evidence review, case management, research, monitoring equipment in the field, give a disabled person a chance, you may just be surprised!

 

Sources:

Miles, Tom. Ghost Hunting with a Disability – Dover Paranormal Team. May 13, 2014. Retrieved October 1, 2015 from https://tipaonline.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/ghost-hunting-with-a-disability/.

 

Spina, Kelly. Personal Interview. October 2015.

 

Oct 24

Blessings, Banishings, Bindings and Curses

Blessings, Banishings, Bindings and Curses

By Lillee Allee

 

 “I never saw no miracle of science

That didn’t go from a blessing to a curse…”

-Sting

 

You may run across those in the occult who will tell you that blessings, bindings and curses are very different forms of magic.  While the result may be different, the intent, which is the crux of magic, is the same. One cannot do magic with the intent or will to visualize the results. Further, while it can be argued that some intents can be seen objectively as harmful or beneficial, most are subjective to the individuals involved.

Two examples of an objective intent would be “I hope you feel better,” or “I hope you die.” While most people would see one as a blessing and a positive projection, and the second as a harmful projection, these must be taken in context.  If “I hope you get better” is said to someone who wants to die due to an incurable disease, some could take this as a negative projection, where as “I hope you can die” would then be seen as positive to the individual. Basically, whether the intent is positive or harmful will depend on the two individuals involved, the sender and receiver, their personal situations and cultural context.

The next myth is that blessings are always good and not manipulative. All magic involves manipulation and ego, The experienced practitioner knows there must be will and belief for any spell or prayer to work. This is where the ego fits in, if you believe for example, prayers are not heard by deity, then what would be the point of praying? Secondly,

If your intent involves another individual or thing, you are seeking to manipulate the situation. This is true in the most innocuous sounding prayer “I hope that Joe Smith gets the job he wants,” to “Joe Smith must fall in love with me.” While the manipulation is obvious in the latter example, it is also present in the prayer. Why? The intent being sent out is that Joe Smith, not Jane Doe or Will Jones, will get the job. While this is wonderful for Joe Smith, what about Jane or Will? This is not so much an ethical concern, because Joe does need a job, but recognizing that due to the law of cause and effect, there will be effects whether Joe or someone else gets the job. This is often why you will find that genuine practitioners may not do magic for others, First, the practitioner may not want involvement in another’s business, and second the practitioner may not be able to summon the same intent as Joe himself would.

With this in mind, lets look at some definitions. A blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, divine will, or one’s hopes. (Wikipedia). Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate with a deity or spirit. Purposes for this may include worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. The words of the prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation or a spontaneous utterance in the person’s praying words. Secularly, the term can also be used as an alternative to “hope”. Praying can be done in public, as a group, or in private. While 99% of the time a blessing or prayer will be with good intention, one has to account for the fact that it may be meant to be manipulative. An example would be to use prayer to try to change another’s religious view.

In his book, Magick in Theory and Practice, magician Aleister Crowley describes “magick as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” While other great practitioners have added to this definition, it still remains as one of the best definitions today. Crowley always added a “k” to discriminate between occult/ceremonial magic and stage magic. To do a working there needs to be: thought (air), action/will (fire) emotions (water) and silence (earth). It is easy to see how intent is creative and used.

A curse is any manner of adversity believed to be inflicted by any supernatural power (such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, a god, a natural force, or a spirit.)  The forms of curses found in various pre-scientific cultures comprise a significant proportion of the study of both folk religion and folklore. While many forms of magic allow for curses, the fact is that it takes a lot of energy to create the force to make it work, and further one has to be sure that the law of cause and effect does not cause it to “bounce back” on the practitioner. In general, the use of a curse must be well thought out and the practitioner must weigh the benefits versus the liabilities of such a working. The Law of Cause and Effect still applies.

There are however magical remedies to help oneself or another with so called “negative” experiences. Banishings would be an occult solution for change to Banishings are a form of prayer, projection or spell to magically and willfully end something or remove the unwanted energy or remove people, things, thoughts of influences, or clear an area, aura, situation or mind of unwanted influence. This is done most often by using sympathetic magic. Sympathetic magic, also known as imitative magic, is a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence. Imitation involves using effigies or poppets to affect the environment of people, or occasionally people themselves. Correspondence is based on the idea that one can influence something based on its relationship to another thing. (Wikipedia). Imitation can also be affected by putting that energy into a photograph, verse or written statement of name or through candle magic itself.

 

 

this is a general word also for what I call the four Bs :buring, binding burning and brrrring (or freezing). Any of all of the elements can be used. (lca)

BIND: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically restrains, wraps up, or contains the energy or influence of a person, place or thing, often using the energy of air. (lca)

BRRR or FREEZE: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically restrains, wraps up, or contains the energy or influence of a person, place or thing. This is done often by literally freezing (putting in a freezer or a body of water that will freeze over) the person, plae or thing, using sympathetic magic. This is often done using the energy of water. (lca)

BURN: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically ends the connection to a person, place or thing using sympathetic magic. This is done often by literally burning a likeness and containing the ashes.  Note: one can also burn projections as sympathetic magic used to effect a spell, often done using the energy of fire and/or air and/or earth. (lca)

BURY:  A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically ends the connection to a peron, place or thing using sympathetic magic through burning a likeness or effigy or even the thing itself. This uses the power of earth (lca)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

Allee, John D. and Lillee C. (2007) Right and Left of Center. Outskirts Publishing

 

Crowley, Aleister (1997), Magick (Book 4), Weiser Books

 

Sumner, Gordon.(1993) “If every I lose my faith in you.” Song lyrics. Retrieved from Lyric Find: http://www.bing.com/search?q=Sting+If+every+I+lose+my+faith+in+you+lyrics&form=APMCS1

 

Oct 24

Wewelsburg Castle

Wewelsburg Castle

By Lillee Allee

 

The Wewelsburg Castle was built from two existing structures in the 17th century. It had already had an interesting history prior to that. Two witch trials took place in the Wewelsburg in 1631 (a former inquisition room was found in the basement next to the east tower).

During the Seven Years’ War (1756–1763), the basement rooms were probably used as a military prison.

The castle is located in the village of Wewelsburg, which is a district of the town of Büren, Westphalia, in the Landkreis of Paderborn in the northeast of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. T By 1933, the castle had been very neglected with some exterior issues to its triangular and serious degradation of the interior. However, to one man he saw great promise with its hilltop locale.

Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (Protection Squadron; SS), and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP) of Nazi Germany, saw potential in this building as a training center for his SS troops. The occult enthusiast engaged in a century lease for the property. He added occult, mythology and folklore to the training of his staff and this property was to be focused on pagan rituals to increase the soldiers’ focus on world domination. It is said that one cistern was used to baptize and another became a crypt.     While the structure remained in Nazi hands for 12 years, Himmler’s dreams were never fully realized. He had hoped to fortify the castle and create a giant moat for privacy and protection. In 1941, he hoped to re-create the castle as “the center of the world.”

While Himmler set up concentration camps for Hitler that led to the death of 6 million Jews and others not wanted in Nazi society, Himmler also created his own camp that held criminals, war prisoners and Roma people. These people were treated as slaves to do the work in fixing up the castle to his specifications. This concentration camp, called Niederhagen, held 4,000 people. More than half of these individuals died or were killed.

Hitler became nervous late in the war and gave command of the Army Group Upper Rhine and the Army Group Vistula, but Himmler failed to reach his goals. He was replaced. Realizing that the war was lost, he attempted to open peace talks with the western Allies without Hitler’s knowledge shortly before the war ended. Hearing of this, Hitler dismissed him from all his posts in April 1945 and ordered his arrest. Himmler attempted to go into hiding, but was caught and identified. While in British custody, he committed suicide on May 23, 1945. Many of the secrets of Wewelsburg castle died with him.

As the tide changed in the war, and Himmler realized the end was near. Himmler immediately ordered that a fire was set in the castle and much of the exterior was irreparably damaged. His alleged interest in the Grail myths gained weight after an interesting discovery. Once they gained entry, a round table and12 chairs were found by Allied Forces.

The castle was left in the same condition as it was in 1933. By 1950, it was transformed into a museum and a youth hostel. The castle today houses the Historical Museum of the Prince Bishopric of Paderborn and the Wewelsburg 1933-1945 Memorial Museum.

 

Sources

 

Heinrich Himmler. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Himmler

 

Wewelsburg. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wewelsburg

 

Wewelsburg Castle. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/infamous-castle-of-wewelsburg

 

Oct 24

Spandau Citadel

Spandau Citadel

By Lillee Allee

 

The Spandau Citadel (German: Zitadelle Spandau) is a fortress in Berlin, Germany, one of the best-preserved Renaissance military structures of Europe. Built from 1559–1594, it was built on top of a previous fort from the middle ages. The Citadel sits on an island between the Havel and the Spree rivers. It was a great locale to protect the town of Spandau, which is now part of Berlin. The four symmetrical

Bastions with its curtain walls; the Spandau citadel is an ideal example of a fortress. Its structure offers no place for enemies to remain undetected.

Troops were assigned in 1580, before it was even completed. The Swedes attacked in 1675 and Napoleon was victorious in 1806. The French left the structure in ruins on April 27, 1813. By 1935, it was restored and repurposed for a gas military nerve gas laboratory.

As World War II was ending, during the Battle in Berlin, the citadel became a defense again against the Soviets. The old building proved to be difficult to penetrate. The Soviets circled the structure to prevent any entrance or exist. The citadel’s commander surrendered to the Lieutenant-General Perkhorovitch’s 47th Army just after 3 pm on May 1, 1945.

Thus, after the war ended, Soviet troops occupied the Citadel. After Berlin was divided, the British got the Citadel.

The citadel was used as a prison for Prussian state prisoners such as German nationalist Friedrich Ludwig Jahn. It was not used as the prison for National Socialist war criminals, who were housed at Spandau prison in the same Berlin borough. It is important not to confuse these two buildings.

The Citadel has a gate house with a draw bridge used to stop unwanted entrance. The Gothic hall building palace was living quarters. In the bastion Königin, 70 medieval gravestones were found bearing witness of Jewish life in the important trade town and the function of the citadel as a refuge. Julius tower is Spandau’s most famous watchtower with its Romantic flair.. After the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871, France, paid 120 million marks in gold coin, kept in the Julius tower until returned to France in 1919. The word Juliusturm has since been used in Germany for governmental budget surpluses.

From 1950 to 1986, the citadel housed a vocational school Today you can find museums and exhibition halls. Spandau Citadel is famous for its open-air concerts during the Citadel Music Festival.

The Spandau Citadel has become a popular tourist spot. Considered as one of Germany’s 10 most haunted places, the Citadel has a sad ghost story. Anna Sydow, the ex lover of ruler Joachim II in the 15th century, was locked in the structure when it was briefly a prison. While Joachim II had asked his son to care for Anna, he put her in the prison. According to the legends, Anna remains there today, still imprisoned, walking the halls.

 

Sources

 

Halloween. The Spookiest Spots, Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.thelocal.de/galleries/travel/germanys-10-most-haunted-spots

 

Spandau Citadel. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandau_Citadel

 

Welcome to Spandau Citadel. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.zitadelle-spandau.de/English_Version/english_version.html

 

Oct 24

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

By Lillee Allee

You are driving down the road and see a huge rock supported by some smaller stones, and it is guaranteed to pique your interest. The North Salem dolmen or also known as The Balanced Rock is found in North Salem, New York State is on Route 121/116 south of Keeler Road, on the left. The barn next to the rock is a town building that has a small pull-off area out front.

Balanced Rock is what is known as a propped boulder. According to Nativestones.com, a propped boulder is a huge stone supported with one or more stones under them. The big stone, lifted by the smaller ones, shows a gap between the boulder and the soil. When lifted above the land, the structure is called a dolmen (Gaelic for table). The main boulder, that measures 16 x 14 x 10 feet, is a pink granite boulder balanced on five limestone (or marble) supports.

While no one questions its existence, there are theories and debates about what has caused or who has built this dolmen in the state of New York.

It is important to remember that some propped boulders were naturally created by glaciers during their recession at the end of the ice age. Others say that it was a construction by Native Americans as a worship site. Still others saw that it was constructed by Celts who had come to North America before Columbus. The Celts would have constructed the dolman for tombs, worship or ceremonial rituals. This Celtic theory also allows that the dolmen was built to honor a king, such as in Ireland,

The roadside informational sign adjacent to the boulder long maintained the stone was a glacial erratic.  In recent years, the possibility of it being a Viking construction has also been added to this sign, despite the fact that there is no evidence of Vikings in New York.

It is up to the observer to make his own conclusions. If you visit the site, first look at the smaller stones. Natural creation would show evidence of the stones being tumbled with round edges. Check the measurements between the stones. Decide if these stones may have been purposely positioned by a human being. Rounded smaller stones cannot automatically be considered as natural, so look at the evidence.

In the larger boulder, many see pronounced striping that is visible in some photos. Some visitors even believe that there is evidence of old paint on the stone.

Judge for yourself. who or what set these stones up? Native Americans? Glaciers? Nordic visitors? Celts? Or, is there another possible answer?

 

 

Sources

 

Balanced Rock, North Salem, NY. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.adventuresaroundputnam.com/day-trips-outside-putnam/balanced-rocknorth-salem-ny/

 

The Balanced Rock, Town of North Salem. Retrieved October 10, 2015

from http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3099_The_Balanced_Rock_Town_of_North_Salem_NY

 

North Salem Dolmen. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=15600

 

Propped Boulders. Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.nativestones.com/prop.htm

 

Sacred sites of Northeast USA: North Salem Dolman or Balanced Rock

(May 9, 2010). Retrieved October 10, 2015 from http://www.examiner.com/article/sacred-sites-of-northeast-usa-new-york-north-salem-dolmen-or-balanced-rock-north-salem-ny

Oct 24

Christmas Ghosts Stories

Why are Ghost Stories associated with Christmas?

By Lillee Allee

 

This is a question that many people have asked, and the answer goes farther than Charles Dickens, though his may arguably be the best ghost story for Christmas of all. In the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Edward Pola and George Wyle, and recorded by Andy Williams in 1963:

“ . . . There’ll be scary ghost stories


And tales of the glories
of

 Christmases long, long ago…”

What would families do today without the help of recorded music, the Christmas log on a cable channel, or the plethora of great Christmas specials and shows for the season. How would you entertain guests? Looking at the fire in the fireplace is nice, but this was not a special event back then but simply a way to keep the family from freezing. There are three theories as to how ghost stories ended up as a part of the Christmas tradition: the pagan theory, the Dickens theory, and the Victorian theory.

The pagan theory involves pre-Christian traditions and beliefs. Yule was the darkest night of the year, and oral stories were shared. In Northern Europe, it was called the dark half of the year, and other than taking care of the animals, farming was at a standstill. It was time to explain why it was so cold and the sun disappeared so early. With the dark, may have come the stories of ghosts and ghouls as this was the dead season in so many ways. Scholars cannot make a definite connection, so this remains a theory at best.

The Dickens theory is that Charles Dickens first created the Christmas Ghost Story, and while this is the popular opinion, it is not accurate. He remains, however, the best known and most loved Christmas ghost story. Even towns across America commemorate Dicken’s story with actors on the streets.

Victorians loved their “penny dreadfuls,” their new technologies and became interested in death and communication with those who have passed. While this is a romantic idea, it is not going far enough into the history.

In the end, it may be a combination from all of the above and more. Researchers have found that Christmas scary stories appeared as early as the 1500s by Christopher Marlowe, from Shakespeare in the 1600s and even other writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Alan Poe, Joseph Glanvilll and Washington Irving. At present, Christmas ghost stories can be traced back definitively to the 16th century, but many wonder if such stories appeared earlier than that.

 

Sources

Christmas Ghost Stories: The Ghost of Christmas Past goes back farther than you might realize. Retrieved October 11,2015 from http://www.gothichorrorstories.com/classic-gothic-ghost-stories/christmas-ghost-stories-the-ghost-of-christmas-past-goes-further-back-than-you-might-realize-2/

Christmas Ghost Stories. Retrieved October 11, 2015 from http://www.thisishorror.co.uk/features/christmas-ghost-stories/

Christmas Spirits Part I: The Origin of Ghost Stories at Christmas. Retrieved October 11, 2015 from http://www.hypnogoria.com/html/ghoststoriesforchristmas.html

Oct 24

Wild, Wooly and Weird: The Beast of Dartmoor

 

Lillee Allee's photo.

 

What is the Beast of Dartmoor? It seems to depend on whom you speak to or what you believe. Most individuals report a reflection from two big green eyes or hear a very scary howling sound. Other than that, there seems to be little agreement. Many say this wooly mammal is a lion-pig or a boar, horse, wolverine, bear, cougar, panther, sheep or a dog. There are many stories, but little evidence. Most researchers only have a blurry video on youtube.com

or the blurry photograph above taken near Hound Tor near Dartmoor in 2007 by a falconer. It is important to note that a party of school children was close to the location when this photograph was taken; none were afraid or harmed. The animal was not alarmed. A similar sighting occurred in the same area a year later, and was described as a bear. One extreme claim is that this creature somehow survived the ice age and has since thrived. Since no one can even agree on whether it is feline or canine, the mystery deepens.
According to Rebecca Camber, it may have all started with the centuries-old myth about black dogs in the British Isles. These canines are said to inhabit the moors, but there has been no proof to this story. The truth is that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his mystery, the Hound of the Baskervilles, on myths of the Whist hounds or Hounds of Hell and Squire Richard Cabell’s story.
The myth about the Squire may shed some light on the origins of the Hell Hounds. This man, who died in July 5, 1677, allegedly sold his soul to the Christian Devil. After his body was placed in its tomb, a allegedly big black dogs with red eyes appeared and made horrible sound as fire was ejected with their every breath. After that, the myths claim they showed up for every anniversary of his death to collect his soul. How this turned into legends of random sightings throughout the year remains unclear, but these may be the roots of the canine connection with this beast.Some say that the superstitions and stories about black cats are a more modern continuation of the black dog myths. Both dogs and cats come from myth; a medieval Welsh poem explains how a clawing cat roamed about who was the offspring of a sow.
While the original cause was said to be supernatural, today more believe that these odd animals are escapees from zoos or have been released from private estates. Like a fish tale, the cats became bigger and came in a variety of colors. This only contributed to the urban legend.
The site Crytidz Wikia tries to solve the mystery of the Beast of Dartmoor by proclaiming it a puma (felis concolor.) Pumas, cougars or mountain lions can survive in a variety of environments. Pumas eat quite a spectrum of animals from deer to rabbit. Cumber found that others did not immediately rush to the same explanation. Mark Fraser, founder of the national research organization Big Cats has been surprised by the variety of witness descriptions. Some attribute this to what is seen at a distance may possibly be explicable. For example, if a domestic cat is seen at a distance, without proper lighting and no available measurements in the landscape (such as in the moors) a person may be mistaken as to its features and how large the animal really is.
Those who follow feline sightings describe cats that allegedly live in Britain but are not indigenous. This includes pumas, but also panthers and big black cats. While most reports cannot be confirmed, the list of the reports throughout the years is interesting. The first description of big cats came from mid-eighteenth century author, William Cobbett. He not only claimed he once saw a cat the size of a larger dog, but also saw a lynx. Later, a Canadian lynx was reportedly shot in 1903. In 1927, a sighting of a lynx was described in the local paper. . A puma was captured alive in Scotland in 1980. A type of jungle cat was reportedly run over by a car in Shopshire in 1989. A Eurasian lynx was shot in Norfolk in 1991, and in the midst of the controversy, a police report finally confirmed the veracity of the story. In 1993, another puma was reportedly recovered in Scotland. In 1994, a farmer reported he had shot a large cat that looked like a leopard on the Isle of Wight but police reported it was possibly an ocelot. Even in Northern Ireland in 1996, authorities reported a shooting of a caracal (sometimes referred to as desert lynx), a medium-sized wildcat native to Africa and Asia, but the police report stated it was a lynx. This only added to the confusion. In 2001,authorities trapped a young Eurasian lynx in North London after a long chase.
In this age of technology, one has to look at videos, photographs and possible DNA evidence.Around 1993, people reported a large black cat around Bodmin Moor, nicknamed the ‘Beast of Bodmin’. Government scientists debunked the videos saying that these were simply domestic black cats. In 1994 another black cat was videotaped in Cambridgeshire and the media christened it the “Fen Tiger”. But again, there is no scientific proof. From 2004 to 2011, each year brought videos of black cats, one allegedly responsible for killing sheep. However, the videos did not offer conclusive evidence. During a physical attack on a 11 year old boy in Monmouthshire in 2000, the victim claimed it was a big black cat. In 2005, another Southeast London, a large man struggled with a large black cat. At the time the BBC reported that a police officer confirmed that it was the size of a large dog. DNA evidence so far has been disappointing and does not support the claims. Hairs given to Durham University, found in North Devon, seemed to confirm the possibility of a leopard. After examining two dead deer in Gloucestershire, though witnesses had reported a large black cat, the DNA said foxes were responsible. In 2012, there was a similar incident, and the DNA came back with foxes again as the culprits.
One of the most amusing stories came in August 2012, when it was rumored that a lion was loose in Essex. While there was extensive air and land investigation, no big cat was found. A local resident reported that the animal photographed was her own Maine Coon named Teddy.
The search for the Beast and its sightings continued. Fifteen people claimed they saw it in Haldon Forest in 2011. In 2013, a large black cat was allegedly spotted, but a former zookeeper in the area said the paw prints were too small to be a panther but could be those of an extremely large domestic cat.
Is the best evidence the photo above that was taken by Falconer Martin Whitley, who saw the animal from 200 yards away? Cumber reports that Whitley is sure it was not a dog; he has worked with dogs all his life. He described a shaggy coat, rounded ears and large powerful front legs. He claims he saw a huge cat over a decade ago, but this was not the same, this was much bigger. He described it as having both feline and bear-like characteristics that is confusing at best.
Whatever these creatures are, they are not the farmers’ friends. In 1988, after a myriad of complains over dead livestock, the Ministry of Agriculture actually sent out the Royal Marines to find the Beast of Exmoor. While several Marines said they spotted a cat, only evidence of foxes was confirmed.
The farmers also have another foe according to Cumber. Al Dedames’ farm in North Devon was raided by animal rights activists who destroyed fencing. He lost over 100 boars. While some ended up dead through shooting by hunters or other farmers, and others died in road accidents, almost 200 could still be wandering.
In searching for the Beast of Dartmoor, Tim Sandles compiled government research and found from 2001 to the end of 2004, 48 strange animals were reported: 5 confirmed wild boar sightings with 20 out of 27 big cat sightings remained inconclusive. While these numbers sound extreme, consider the location that also adds to the mystery. The common location for the Beast of Dartmoor, Dartmoor National Park, experiences much fog and the land can be hard to navigate due to the rather treacherous terrain. Crytidz Wikia states Dartmoor is said to be inhabited by anomalies ranging from little people to large monsters. The Beast of Dartmoor remains an unconfirmed cryptid. This means it may exist, but there is simply not enough evidence to confirm it at this time. The mystery continues.

Sources

Beast of Dartmoor. Retrieved October 14, 2015 fromhttp://cryptidz.wikia.com/wiki/Beast_of_Dartmoor

British Big Cats. Retrieved October 14, 2015 fromhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_big_cats

Camber, Rebecca (July 29,2007). Demon of Dartmoor: Mystery beast seen at hell hound’s haunt. Retrieved October 14, 2015 from
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Demon-Dartmoor-Mystery-beast-s…

List of Cryptids. Retrieved October14, 2015 fromhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cryptids

Sandles, Tim.Beast of Dartmoor. Retrieved October 14, 2015 from
http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/beast_dart.htm

Oct 06

St. Michael’s Prayer for Protection

12079177_1168810169801092_9132659252124991635_nThere is only one entity in the history of the Church that is both an angel and a saint: St. Michael the Archangel. This protection prayer is particularly good for paranormal teams, though St Michael is the patron saint of the military and the police. He also is patron of grocers, mariners, paratroopers, and sickness. The story around the creation of this prayer is particularly unusual.
In 1884, Pope Leo XIII was in conference with Cardinals (high priests of the Catholic Church). He celebrated Mass, and suddenly fainted. Physicians were called and found no pulse. Suddenly, the pontiff came back and explained that he had had a horrible vision of evil spirits released from their captivity in hell in order to destroy the Church. He then saw St. Michael appear and threw them all back into the pit. He then wrote out the long prayer you will find below. It was also part of practice for the St. Michael Prayer to be said in church after a low mass during Vatican I. This practice vanished with the beginning of Vatican II.
St. Michael’s feast day was originally September 29th and some still celebrate that today. His color (for candles, for example) is red, and his direction is south when occult rituals place angels in every quarter of a ritual. His name, which a direct nod to his story in the Christian Bible, means “Who is like God?” In angel hierarchy, he is a prince of the Seraphim.
Sacred places devoted to Michael first appeared in the 4th century, as a healing angel, and then believers saw him as a protector and the leader of the army of God against By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern and Western Churches. Today Christians and others venerate St. Michael.

The popular short version (most common:

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice 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

In Latin, the Vatican I version:

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen

The long original version:

“O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

“Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

“Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.
V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.
O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.”

Sources:

Roman Raccolta, July 23, 1898, supplement approved July 31,1902, London: Burnes, Oates & Washbourne Ltd., 1935, 12th edition.

St. Michael the Archangel. Retrieved October 5, 2015 from http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=308

St. Michael the Archangel Prayer. Retrieved October 4, 2015 from http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/b009rpMichael.htm

Oct 06

A Quick Occult Reference for Beginners

ac4f510155b4db73009f6c99150914d2BANISH: A form of prayer, projection or spell to magically and willfully end something or remove the unwanted energy or remove people, things, thoughts of influences. Remove the presence of above, or clear an area, situation or mind of unwanted influence.
Most often using sympathetic magic; this is a general word also for what is called the four Bs :buring, binding, burning and brrrring (or freezing). Any of all of the elements can be used. (lca)
BIND: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically restrains, wraps up, or contains the energy or influence of a person, place or thing, often using the energy of air. (lca)
BRRR or FREEZE: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically restrains, wraps up, or contains the energy or influence of a person, place or thing. This is done often by literally freezing (putting in a freezer or a body of water that will freeze over) the person, plae or thing, using sympathetic magic. This is often done using the energy of water. (lca)
BURN: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically ends the connection to a person, place or thing using sympathetic magic. This is done often by literally burning a likeness and containing the ashes. Note: one can also burn projections as sympathetic magic used to effect a spell, often done using the energy of fire and/or air and/or earth. (lca)
BURY: A spell that willfully, purposefully and magically ends the connection to a person, place or thing using sympathetic magic through burning a likeness or effigy or even the thing itself. This uses the power of earth (lca)

 

BLESSING: A blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, divine will, or one’s hopes. (Wikipedia)

CURSE: A curse is any manner of adversity thought to be inflicted by any supernatural power (such as a spell, a prayer, an imprecation, an execration, magic, witchcraft, a god, a natural force, or a spirit.) The forms of curses found in various pre-scientific cultures comprise a significant proportion of the study of both folk religion and folklore.
Prayer: Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate with a deity or spirit. Purposes for this may include worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. The words of the prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation or a spontaneous utterance in the person’s praying words. Secularly, the term can also be used as an alternative to “hope”. Praying can be done in public, as a group, or in private. Most major religions in the world involve prayer in one way or another.

ETHICS: Ethics is a major branch of philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life. It is significantly broader than the common conception of analyzing right and wrong. A central aspect of ethics is “the good life”, the life worth living or life that is simply not satisfying, which is held by many philosophers to be more important than moral conduct
(Wikipedia)

KARMA: The eastern belief that one’s thoughts and deeds can be either counted against them or added to their spiritual path during several life times. In Sanskirt it means “action.” It could all so be a warning to follow the law of cause and effect. (Wikipedia)

LEFT-HAND PATH: A term that points to those people who feel that they are justified in using magick for purposes that are not constructive to other human beings. It is a reference that they are possibly a self-serving individual. Conversely, the right-hand path is considered positive in nature. (from Witchs-brew.org)

MAGICIAN: (in this context) A person who performs acts, workings or magic using paranormal, supernatural or metaphysical means. He exercises his will and imagination to affect changes in his environment. A K (magick, magical, magickian) can be added to separate occult workings from magicians such as David Copperfield. (jda/lca)

NEO-PAGANISM: an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by historical pre-Christian European “pagan” religions. (Wikipedia) and those who are earth-based (lca)

PROJECTION: Projection is attributing your own repressed thoughts to someone else. (changingminds.org) Projection in witchcraft is sending your will or desire to cause change in a person, place or thing (lca)

PROJECTIVE ENERGY: That which is directive, masculine, electrical, forward-moving, dominant and active. (lca)

RECEPTIVE ENERGY: That which is directed, feminine, inward moving, and passive. (lca)

RULE OF THREE: (also threefold law or law of return) is a tenet of the Neopagan religion of Wicca. It claims that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times. John J. Coughlin states that ” . . . there is a literal reward or punishment tied to one’s actions, particularly when it comes to working magic,” and that “there are many Wiccans, experienced and new alike, who view the Law of Return as an over-elaboration on the Wiccan Rede.” The Rule of Three has been compared by Karl Lembke to other ethics of reciprocity, such as the concept of karma in Dharmic religions and the Christian edict, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12), also called the “Golden Rule.” The Rule of Three has its possible prototype in a piece of Wiccan liturgy that first appeared in print in Gerald Gardner’s 1949 novel High Magic’s Aid (Wikipedia)

SPELL: Extended mental and emotional energy spoken aloud, written, spoken to oneself, drawn or even danced. To work, it should be clear, concise, focused and emotional. The need must be present to bring any spell to a successful culmination.

SYMPATHETIC MAGIC: Sympathetic magic, also known as imitative magic, is a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence. Imitation involves using effigies or poppets to affect the environment of people, or occasionally people themselves. Correspondence is based on the idea that one can influence something based on its relationship to another thing. (Wikipedia). Imitation can also be affected by putting that energy into a photograph, verse or written statement of name (lca)

WICCA: The spelling Wica first appears in the writings of Gerald Gardner (Witchcraft Today, 1954; The Meaning of Witchcraft, 1959). He used the word as a mass noun referring to the adherents of his tradition of witchcraft (‘the Wica’), rather than the religion itself. He referred to the religion as witchcraft, never Wica. The word seems to be based on the Old English word wicca IPA: [ˈwɪtʃɑ]; similarly, wicca and its feminine form wice are the predecessors of the modern English witch. (Wikipedia) (Note: Wicca=male witch; wicce or wice=female witch. – lca)
The spelling Wicca was not used by Gardner and the term Wiccan (both as an adjective and a noun) was not used until much later, but it is now the prevalent term to refer to followers of Wicca. (Wikipedia)

WITCH: Male or female that uses magical practices, or practices Witchcraft. (lca)
Witchcraft still exists in a number of belief systems, and indeed there are many today who identify with the term “witch” (Wikipedia)

WORKING/MAGICAL WORKING: Active use of magic to consciously, willfully and purposefully reach a desired positive goal. Also know as spell-casting, projecting, willing a change to occur. (lca)

Oct 01

Migraines – more than a headache

dt_141229_migraine_headache_brain_800x600Many have experienced headaches, and some realize there are a variety of headaches the average person can experience such as sinus or tension, but once a person has had a migraine, they realize it is in a different category. Often with a migraine, a person can experience what they may describe as paranormal experiences, however, that is all part of the migraine experience.

The average symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic staff, normally include sensitivity to light and sound (both are magnified often to unbearable levels), nausea and vomiting. The pain can be so debilitating that the individual may be confined to the bed for hours or days. The University of Maryland Medical System states migraines are believed to be neurovascular. This condition, (including cluster headaches which are more common to men) may be caused by blood vessel and nerve issues. Migraines may be felt on one side of the head or the headache can expand to encompass the entire skull and neck. These headaches are called classic (which come with the aura/sensory experience). Those with no warning aura are called common migraines. It is important to note that the cause of migraines have not been definitively diagnosed which adds to the mystery of this condition. Other types of migraines include menstrual, basilar (neck area), abdominal, opthalmoplegic, retinal, vestibular (where some experience blindness in one eye), familial hemiplegic (which has genetic roots) and status migrainosus (symptoms are so severe, hospitalization may be needed.

Many believe they are experiencing something supernatural because precursors to the migraine may include this aura experience of colors and lights, flashing lights, strange sounds, seeing an aura around people or things, blind spots, tunnel vision or tingling in one or all extremities. Further, these symptoms may continue throughout the headache.

Erin Dean explains a “silent” migraine as a painless but psychologically and physically disturbing experience that adds to paranormal fears. With silent migraines, there is no pain in the head, but the flashing lights can often appear so that the individual’s sight is negatively impacted. It is during a silent migraine that some report seeing “orbs,” “uneven lines, problems with speech and slight physical paralysis that may feel like someone is holding the body or an extremity down and making it difficult to move.

While some sufferers seem to never find a way to avoid the experience, others have found food triggers such as alcohol, chocolate or cheese, beer, caffeine and food additives. Some medication triggers are the contraceptive pill or recreational drugs. Health triggers can be high blood pressure, environmental factors such as dust, rugs, mold and mildew, weather changes, bright lights and smells. Behavioral triggers include sleep deprivation, increased emotional or physical stress, skipping meals, being at a high altitude, travel by train, plane or car, and even exercise.

It is important to note that those who have experienced such a headache of any type should not self-diagnose but immediately see a doctor and neurologist. While many live with these headaches all their lives without any other complications, studies from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the Migraine Trust in Britain show that there may be a connection to stroke. Because the symptoms can also be associated with far worse medical conditions, a diagnosis is essential.

As a paranormal investigator, when a client reports such experiences as above, it is important to know whether the client has been diagnosed and is on medication. If no definitive diagnosis has been made, the investigator should stress an appointment with a medical professional for the safety of the client. Undiagnosed migraine may also skew evidence in the wrong direction, so these are questions in the intake questionnaire that must be asked for the safety of the client and the quality of the investigation itself.

The author had experienced severe migraines several times a month for over thirty years. As she has aged, and with the correct medication, she experiences about one a year for the last ten years. Diagnosis and prevention and treatment can positively change one’s life.

Sources

Dean, Erin. They don’t give you a headache, but ‘silent migraines’ can be devastating. Daily Mail (UK) published January 6, 2014. Retrieved September 19, 2015 from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/…/They-dont-headache-silent-migr…

Mayo Clinic Staff. Migraine. Retrieved September 19, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/…/…/basics/definition/CON-20026358

University of Maryland Medical System. Migraine headaches. Retrieved September 19, 2015 from http://ummidtown.org/…/…/reports/articles/migraine-headaches

Sep 17

Gimme that old time technology!

basic-stationary-utensilsYou’ve heard of doing a variety of things “old-school,” but before there were television reality shows and phones and digital, just what did a paranormal investigator use? Believe it or not, the toolbox carried a variety of common household items (depending on what one could afford), yet a fairly scientific approach could be utilized.

Analog tape recorders

There was a time when analog tape and equipment was the standard for the broadcast industry and in the home. To get technical about this, analog technology involves information sent in electronic pulses, where the amplitude changes. Digital technology involves a binary code (each bit is two amplitudes). There is also a difference in the waves: analog uses sine waves, where digital employs square waves. To make it easier, you can touch feel and physically edit an analog tape, while editing digital is easier and utilizes a computer screen. If this is still a hard concept for you, with old telephone answering machines and cassette tape players, you need to often flip the cassette to continue to use the tape. With digital this is not needed. You would simply delete excess data for more space. Noise reduction can also be more problematic as you filter with analog; digital is superior for this as well. Today’s investigators may have a preference. For some, because of the electronic pulse aspect, the belief is that you may pick up sounds better with an analog recorder or film. Others find that after the initial expense, digital delivers better quality and can be edited much more easily. It is a choice. However, many of the more involved teams use both, and that is fine as well. There was a time though when analog was the only choice. The wise idea is to always use a clear fresh tape every time that you embark on an investigation to avoid artifacts that bulking (erasing) a tape can leave. Thus, there is a cost to incur with all those cassette tapes or reel tapes that will break down in quality over time.

Batteries

It has been established for a long time that either through the mundane Murphy’s Law or unexplained draining of batteries that extra batteries for all equipment are essential.

Flashlight

The flashlight was for investigatory and safety purposes. It is unclear when they started to be used for a spirit to turn them on and off at will, but that remains an unscientific method to detect activity.

Household tape

Good ol’ scotch tape, packing tape, duct tape, double-sided tape and electrical tape were kept on hand for those odd jobs as needed.

Level

A level is a piece of equipment consisting of a sealed glass tube partially filled with alcohol or other liquid, containing an air bubble whose position reveals whether a surface is perfectly level or not.

Mapping

Without being able to video tape everything in your walk-through, investigators would often use graph paper and map out the house to mark the “targets” where study would take place.

Measurement

Again, without the ease of a video camera, one would need to detect a movement of furniture and objects from the baseline (original) to what might occur.

Baseline photographs were utilized. Until the automatic camera was developed that popped out a developing picture. One had to wait to develop the film, which was frustrating to say the least, but needed for the study. A ruler and tape measure were employed again to take your baseline measurements (chair is 1 foot from wall) to establish possible movement.

Mirrors

Some investigators used mirrors to check if they could see their breath in a cold spot. Others would leave a mirror as a trigger object (see below) to catch possible touches or other evidence in a room.

Notepad, pen and pencil.

One would sit for hours and make notes with time stamps regarding any sounds or abnormalities. This is still a good suggestion in case your electronics go awry.

Powder

Baby or talcum powder was lightly spread on hard floors (not carpets) to see if there were any signs of activity. Clean-up at the time was achieved with double-sided tape. Today a cordless mini-vac is a wonderful new technology that makes clean up a breeze.

String

Thin string or dental floss was used to lightly mark an area to see if the string was broken by another investigator (contamination) or if something had entered the room. String was also handy if you wanted to hang your thermometer (see below). One would never use wire or heavy string that could damage another investigator by cutting an ankle or tripping the person.

Thermometers

A regular thermometer was placed in rooms or areas that were reported to be colder than others, with a baseline thermometer placed outside of the area.

Trigger Objects

Trigger objects were left and their place was measured and a piece of tape placed accordingly. Depending on the alleged haunting, one might use a doll, a screwdriver, an old piece of jewelry, a ball or a coin.

Please remember this is by no means an official or exhaustive list, but an example of equipment used “back then” that you may want to consider today.

Source
Analog vs. Digital. Retrieved September 8, 2015 from http://www.diffen.com/difference/Analog_vs_Digital

Sep 17

The Brain Waves 101

brainwavesThere are many parts of our body that go through regular cycles. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences state that “Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes. The study of circadian rhythms is called chronobiology (para 1). It is related to our biological clock. Further, circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature and other important bodily functions. They have been linked to various sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (para 7). Females often are aware of their position on their monthly cycle which ultimate determines and controls fertility. Other cycles include the elimination of what you have ingested, eating and digestion, and absorption and use.

The average person is usually shocked to find that the brain actually also goes through cycles. How do these waves happen? They occur naturally in our brains from the firing of neurons – there are electrical cells in our brain who communicate with each other and can be measured with an electroencephalogram, better known as an EEG. From studies in the 1930’s and 40s, scientists discovered these cycles and found the higher the cycle, the higher the awareness. Subsequent studies found sensory motor rhythm (SMR, 14 Hz) which links brain and body functions and gamma brain waves (39-100 Hz) are found in highly trained mind such as highly experienced meditators and highly focused work and the integration of data in the mind.

Many believe that these cycles can be manipulated and used to assist one to train their brain (or maybe be trained by their brain). On those days, that you feel focused, alert and ready to work, your brain is in beta. Beta waves range from 40-13 Hertz. Hertz is a scale of measurement, The hertz (symbol Hz) is the unit of frequency in the International System of Units (SI) and is defined as one cycle per second (cps). Heinrich Rudolf Hertz first established conclusive evidence of the existence of electromagnetic waves.

When you are in a creative, laid-back, relaxed state, you have lowered your cycles per second to the Alpha state. That sharp state has slowly transitioned to a calmer brain wave. Many find this helpful for creativity, creative visualization, prayer and light meditation, grounding and centering one’s self, stress and anxiety reduction. Alpha is also the gateway to other states of consciousness. At this Hz of 12-7, some way it is an optimum way to reduce blood pressure and increase health. You are right below consciousness, or have descended to below the level of normal awareness. According to Tools for Wellness, “alpha is also the home of the window frequency known as the Schuman Resonance – the resonant frequency of the earth’s electromagnetic field. From this scientific, measurable state, many say this is where the metaphysics begin. Is this the window that those who claim to have the gifts of prophecy, psychic work or mediumship as well as the place where behavior change can work more easily?

Theta is the next level, 7-4 Hz, it is lower and some claim it to be the place where the brain is working much slower. Some psychic healers say this is where the deepest spiritualist work can come. Some say this is a where your brain is said to be when you are in surgery or even in a coma. You are so close to sleep, but yet still retain a tiny amount of awareness. This is the area where one can work on intuition, memory, and deep meditation. This is where the brain can help one in overcoming addictions, quicker learning and retention, dream recall and deep hypnosis.

The final state is Delta,4-0 Hz, the slowest brain waves possible before death, but similar to a deep, deep sleep It has been said this is where one can experience an increase of the human growth hormone. Delta is an area that is best used only for sleep and with the assistance of professionals.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Imagine the applications! This is science that meets the medical community, the psychological fields and adds an interesting twinge to the fringe science known as parapsychology.

Sources

Hertz. Retrieved September 6, 2015 from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hertz

National Institute of General Medical Science. Circadian Rhythms Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 6, 2015 from http://www.nigms.nih.gov/…/…/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx

The Basics of Brain Waves. Retrieved September 6, 2015 from
http://www.brainandhealth.com/Brain-Waves.html

The Four Brain States. Retrieved September 6, 2015 from
http://www.toolsforwellness.com/brainstates.html

The Three Body States. Retrieved September 6, 2015 from
http://public.thinkmoreraw.com/3-body-cycles

Sep 17

When the bad feelings linger: Post Traumatic Embitterment Syndrome (PTED)

illo2Being on the cutting edge of science and academic study can certainly help assess a client’s situation without getting overly involved or acting outside of the sphere of your ability (such as diagnosing a client). However, understand the various stress syndromes can assist you in understanding where your clients are at. Once you better understand why they are acting and reacting, this compassionate approach can assist you with appropriate communication skills and better boundary building. A case manager can fully benefit from understanding the kinds of stress disorders a client may be suffering from due to the situation or from past events that are now impacting on their current mood. Depending on what type of phenomenon is going on, sometimes the behavior may look like post-traumatic stress disorder (hyper-vigilance, agitation, etc) but really may be part of how the haunting is affecting the family unit. Women are more likely to talk about their emotional feelings to generalize, of course, but men in particular may not state that that have a diagnosis because they fear it may make them look less virile. It also important to note that different people react differently to the same situation because like snowflakes, we are all different. Some of us have cultural and social supports that will make us less susceptible to these effects, but there are not guarantees.

To make this as simplistic as possible, BOO!, something scary has happened. What can happen immediately or later on to a client or to a member of your team?

Acute Stress Disorder

Scientists of all types uses scales and standardized descriptions to discuss a particular pattern of events. Today the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV or V) is used for diagnosis and treatment. After this event, we shall call BOO!, Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) occurs in some individuals after experiencing of an extremely emotional or traumatic event, such as the terrorism that occurred in America on September 11, 2001. For this particular stress diagnosis, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2000) states that symptoms must be present in the client for at least 48 hours and up to 30 days. At this point, either the condition will have been ameliorated or the diagnosis will change.

Morrissette (2004) describes a sufferer of this disorder as “an individual who has been exposed to a traumatic event, develops anxiety symptoms, re-experiences the event, and avoids stimuli related the event for less than four weeks afterward” (p. 38). Other sources such as the APA note that symptoms may involve disassociation, depersonalization and lack of feeling or specific memories of the event. Morrissette also explains emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioral symptoms for this disorder, yet research remains relatively sparse and has mainly focused on the experiences of police and rescue personnel. The APA also notes that though there has not been a lot of research completed, the information available suggests that up to 33 percent of those exposed to a traumatic event may exhibit symptoms of ASD. Further, Morrissette states there is no journal or organization working towards creating awareness and research with this particular stress disorder. Bryant, Harvey, Dang and Sackville (1998) note that this disorder first was recognized in the last version, DSM-IV. They offered promising results on the use of an Acute Stress Disorder Interview (ASDI) to not only identify those with ASD, but also at risk for later Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. ASD is a controversial diagnosis. There are theories as to whether there is a directly connection between ASD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some wonder whether ASD can stand as a disorder on its own, or as simply a possible precursor to PTSD. The impact of social, economic, historical, and political forces, such as terrorism have legitimized and shaped the development of this disorder’s description. A comparison of research styles and subjects before and after the terrorism attacks on September 11, 2001 show that the direction of the study of this disorder has dramatically changed.

Harvey, Bryant and Dang (1998) note the lack of specific detail recall that seems to be an identifying component of ASD. The cognitive theories will also come into play as well. Bryant, Harvey, Dang, Sackville and Basten (1998) found that cognitive behavioral therapy could be effective in treating ASD specifically. The social/interpersonal approaches will look toward external stressors such as culture and interactions with others will affect not only whether the individual acquires the symptoms of this disorder but also whether they continue to later change the diagnosis to PTSD or not. Bonanno, Galea, Bucciarelli and Vlahov (2007) found that socioeconomic factors and prior trauma exposure may have an effect on whether the individual develops a stress disorder or not.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event meeting two criteria and symptoms from each of three symptom clusters: intrusive recollections, avoidant/numbing symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. A fifth criterion concerns duration of symptoms and a sixth assesses functioning. The Mayo Clinic Staff (2015) explains that many people do not understand that the symptoms have no start and or range of timelines. PTSD can rear its ugly head from 3 months after BOO! to years or decades later. Friendships, relationships, and work experience can become harshly affected. The four types of symptoms are memory intrusion, avoidance, negativity and emotional or mood change. According the Mayo Clinic:

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

• Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
• Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
• Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event or severe emotional distress
• Physical reactions to something that reminds you of the event
Avoidance is trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event. Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
• Negative changes in thinking and mood may include:
• Negative feelings about yourself or other people
• Inability to experience positive emotions
• Feeling emotionally numb
• Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
• Hopelessness about the future
• Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
• Difficulty maintaining close relationships
Changes in emotional reactions (arousal symptoms) may include:
• Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
• Always being on guard for danger
• Overwhelming guilt or shame
• Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
• Trouble concentrating
• Trouble sleeping
• Being easily startled or frightened
PTSD does not go away or ameliorate over time. It can become overwhelming and therapy is advised at the very least after the diagnosis by a medical professional is made.

Secondary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Secondary Stress Disorder or Secondary Post Traumatic Stress disorder is also a relatively new diagnosis. It gained more recognition during the 9/11 attack on America. Just by watching the news or hearing stories from loved ones, family and friends found that they were have a disturbing change in their stress reactions. This can also occur if people lived with someone (such as a military veteran) who suffers from PTSD, they may notice themselves beginning to “mirror” some of the vet’s behaviors (Familyofavet.com, 2015). Those who are caretakers for relatives with long-term debilitating or terminal disorders or injuries (such as cancer or third degree burns)

However, it currently is not recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder

Another controversial category not well known or accepted in the United States is post-traumatic embitterment disorder (PTED) discovered by Linden in Germany after the fall of the Berlin wall. He studied people who were adversely affected by the re-unification of Germany that involved job displacement, and political and social confusion. These individuals had aspects of PTSD but did not adequately match the criteria. Linden (2003) offered the definition and core criteria for PTED as a legitimate subgroup of the adjustment disorders. PTED was also distinguished and differentiated from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTED is a universal condition that can happen after a significant, but not life-threatening event. Embitterment is different from depression, adjustment issues and PTSD in that there are issues of self-blame, feelings of revenge and injustice. It is not clear that treatment for PTSD, depression or adjustment disorder will be sufficient for these individuals, as a change of world-view or schema may be necessary for full relief. Linden offers seven areas for focus to differentiate PTED from other disorders: the life event (trigger); pre-morbid personality and functioning; subjective interpretation of the event; emotional reaction; modulation of effect; duration of the condition/symptoms; and social consequences.

Linden, Baumann, Rotter and Schippan (2008a) confirmed that patients with PTED had symptoms that included feelings of injustice, embitterment, revenge, resentment and rage. With PTED, patients rarely experience remission and continue ruminating over the negative life event. It is the level and overwhelming pre-occupation with these feelings that are characteristic of PTED. The intensity of these emotions affects the individual’s mental and physical health and general functioning. Linden, Baumann, Rotter, and Schippan, (2008b) compared PTED to other mental disorders and found that PTED can be differentiated from other diagnoses as PTED patients had less anxiety, and reported a higher rate of disability and symptomatology prior to admission. The authors note that 50 percent of PTED patients do score significantly for major depression, but the PTED patients do not have any consistent problems with affect. Further, there has to be a causal relationship in the PTED patients with the onset of symptoms and a major negative life event. Finally, while PTSD can be seen as a problem that causes feelings of anxiety, PTED can be described as one that involves feelings of revenge and injustice. One of the symptoms of PTED involves the issue of assigning blame and personal failure. While PTED patients externalize the feelings and identify them as unjust, harboring resentment and feelings of revenge, there still is a component of self-blame. Bodner and Mikulincer (1998) developed a study where participants either experienced “universal” failure or “personal” failure after being presented with some problem-solving exercises. The authors found that those who were to take the failure as a personal flaw or weakness experienced symptoms similar to depression and paranoia. There may be a relationship between attentional focus and the assigned responsibility for failure. This is also important to PTED investigation as Linden speculates that multiple events and/or past negative experiences may affect the reaction to the critical negative event.

Additional symptoms of PTED involves intrusive thoughts and ruminations. Boelen and Huntjens (2008) studied intrusive images during grieving. They discovered that intrusive events were common while grieving. The authors found that intrusions are caused by ineffective functioning in processing the loss and may lead to the negative cognitions and evasive behaviors. More frequent intrusions also appear linked to deeper grieving, depression and anxiety. Frequent death images and views of a bleak future seemed to result in anxious symptoms while re-enactment fantasies and negative thoughts of the future were linked to depression.

Those with this disorder are resistant to traditional therapy. Linden devised a form of cognitive therapy, called wisdom therapy, that works to develop new perspectives, empathy and an increase in active and positive coping behaviors. Eventually, the negative life event is evaluated, the consequences are explored, the motivation to change is illustrated and the acceptance of the reaction and feelings are encouraged. The counselor then works with the client to change. Basically, the negative life event has violated the person’s beliefs about the world and herself and this has led to doubt and humiliation. Linden stresses that the processing of the resentment and anger are important so that integration of the event can happen.

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Sep 05

Black Dogs

q2We have all seen black dogs and rarely do we wonder whether they are ghosts or portents of doom. However, because of the myths, folklore and unexplained stories, many people have a fear of black dogs. While the superstitions regarding black cats are far more common, both black cats and black dogs are least likely to be adopted at a shelter.

The origins of these stories remain unclear. However, there is a clear connection to myths of Rome and Greece, the British Isles and Germany. Many of these phantoms are seen as guardians to the Underworld or to the entrance to the land of the dead. In Roman history, who can forget the myth of Cerebus, the three headed dog now made popular in the Harry Potter series? While white dogs were associated with the Celtic underworld, the Celts shared their stories of nefarious black dogs. In Germany, with their fear and stories about wolves, a large black dog was a warning that the Devil was near. While the majority of stories equate evil with black dogs, there are reports of good, protective black dogs in Somerset and Connecticut. In mainland Europe, especially Belgium, the stories are familiar.

In the British Isles, seeing a black dog on the road at night can bring chills to many. These cultural beliefs see the dog as a ghost or a demonic spirit as larger than expected with eyes that glow in the dark. (Though dog’s eyes naturally reflect light and can give a glowing effect.) Sightings are usually reported with crossroads, sites of execution or death and ley lines. They may cause or be involved with electrical storms or death. A dog by the name of Black Shuck in Bungay, Suffolk has often been sighted. In fact, these dogs moved to fiction. In the The Hounds of the Baskervilles with Sherlock Holmes, author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his story on the ghostly canines in Dartmoor. Black dog sightings have been reported in almost every county of England. In Scotland, these dogs were even thought to steal one’s soul.

In Latin America, these dogs are seen as demonic or a form that a shape-shifting sorcerer has chosen to use for his own purposes. Dogs in China are seen in general as positive influences, in fact the stories of foo-dogs, otherwise known as lion dogs, are supposedly just a myth, however, this author has interviewed an individual who claims to have seen one, quiet alive and in this world. In even more ancient times the dogs, as scavengers were seen as eating the soul of a corpse. There are also animal-headed gods such as Anubis from Egyptian mythology, the goddess Bau in Sumeria and in Rome, the Lycian Apollo. The dogs are also found in Hindu text. As Bob Trubshaw remind us, the dog was the first animal to be domesticated so it is not unusual there are so many tales about canines.

Even the color can be debated, as the Mythical Creatures Guide equates these dogs with hellhounds and claims they can be white, yellow, brown or a combination of colors. With this general description, it is no wonder that the stories of black dogs lay shrouded in mystery.
Yet the stories continue, travel from person to person and even among over the road truckers, who according to Wendy Parker, love the black dog and vanishing hitchhiker stories. We all love these stories, and while sightings continue, one has to wonder what is a real dog or a phantom dog plotting to take your soul.Recent sightings have been reported from New Hampshire, USA to Wales. Maybe it is best to be careful on the roads at night as either way a run-in with a dog can be bad luck. However at the shelter, the one with a waggly tail is probably a loving addition to your family.

*Lillee Allee, the author, owns four black dogs, with no ill effects, so far.

Black Dogs (ghosts). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_dog_(ghost) on September 1, 2015.

Black Dogs. Retrieved from http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Black+Dogs on September 1, 2015.

Martin Fund. “Contrary to Ordinary”: the black pearl of the dog world. Retrieved frm blackpearldogs.com on September 1, 2015

Parker, Wendy. How old is that story, bro? Trucking tales, legends and ghosts.(9/20/13) Retrieved from http://www.overdriveonline.com/how-old-is-that-story-bro/ on September 1, 2015.

Trubshaw, Bob. Black Dogs: Guardians of the Corpse Ways. Retrieved from http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/bdogs.htm on September 1, 2015.

Sep 05

Those persistent Pukwudgies

q1These little but vicious pukwudgies are very similar to the European troll. At first glance of a drawing, you may think the pukwudgie is some form of Bavarian or English gremlin. Some even think of a grey alien after an alleged sighting. However, the truth is closer to home if you are an American and live in the northeast part of the country. While some claim to have seen these little monsters as far away as Virginia, Alabama, Michigan and Louisiana. There is a reason that they are most often found in New England.

Andy Gliddon is a self-proclaimed pukwudgie (notice there is no “y” even in the single tense of the word) enthusiast who runs his own web domain, pukwudgie.com, he states that their home is found in the forest of the Northeast, particularly New England due to their Native American origins. Glidden states that these little guys are from two to four feet tall, with large noses, fat fingers, and prominent ears. Their skin is grey and some claim that the creatures will glow.

According to Glidden, pukwudgies are not that hard to identify when you notice they are:
• Tricksters that appear, and then disappear within seconds
• Shape-shifters that can morph into animal forms
• Magicians that can create fire and defend themselves with arrows that are poisoned as weapons
• Soul-catchers that control the souls of Native Americans they have murdered.

Humans have been advised to avoid interaction with Pukwudgies at all cost, lest they be bothered, blinded or killed. They like to use sand, cliffs, knives or spears to dispense with people, since they once were friendly but turned against the human race due to jealousy regarding the creation of Cape Cod by a creation giant named Maushop.

While Glidden’s site is tongue-in-cheek humor, the legend of the pukwudgie come from the Wampanoag Indians and may be no joke. Forests around Fall River, Massachusetts, and in the reservation itself, have had sightings of the Pukwudgie Whispers continue that many of the unexplained suicides at a cliff in a state park there may be perpetrated by the Pukwudgie. Andrew, from Paranormal Encounters, states that as far away as Anderson, Indiana, the Mounds State Park may be harboring pukwudgies. He also adds a bit of intrigue to the story and harkens back to the possible Nordic connection to these creatures. A festival named after Round Rock’s Hairy Man is based on a story where a young boy left society to live alone in the woods. After he died, he created a haunting on Hairy Man Road. Why? There is no proof, but locals claimed this boy magically contacted a troll using runes and the troll remains on the road to cause accidents and harass walkers or bikers. However, the pukwudgie is known among many tribes: the Objibwe, Algonquin, Abenaki and Mohican. There are related creatures known to the Micmac and Miami. Native American Languages of the Americas in fact states that the Algonquins are the ones who first spoke of these creatures, and states they are known throughout Southern Canada and the Great Lakes region.

An acclaimed book for children, grades 1-4, is The Good Giants and the Bad Pukwudgies (1982) by J. Fritz with illustrations by Tomie dePaola. Another book,
Giants of the Dawnland (2010) by Alice Mead and Arthur Neptune share Penobscot stories, and includes two tales of the pukwudgie. The Deetkatoo (1998) by John Bierhorst and illustrated by Ron Hilbert Coy shares folklore about the pukwudgies and other little people from 14 different tribes.

This author had an encounter with what she believes was a pukwudgie in the basement of an old brownstone on Beacon Street in Boston in winter of 1982. She was in the laundry room and heard footsteps. She watched silently as this creature passed by. Eyes never met so that the story of the stare of the Pukwudgie causing problems cannot be verified. However, upon speaking to the landlord, while he would not state that there had been other sightings, it was strange to him that the last three people had broken their leases early and paid the financial penalty. Could that have been so these individuals would avoid something else?

Andrew. “What Exactly is a Pukwudgie?” Retrieved from http://www.paranormal-encounters.com/…/what-exactly-is-a-…/… on September 1, 2015.

Gliddon, Andy. “Pukwudgie beginnings.” Retrieved from Pukwudgie.com on September 1, 2015.

Gliddon, Andy. “Pukwudgie origins.” Retrieved from Pukwudgie.com on September 1, 2015.

“Legendary Native American Figures – Pukwudgie. Retrieved from http://www.native-languages.org/pukwudgie.htm on September 1, 2015.

Feb 16

Dr. John E. Mack – A Positive Perspective on Inter-Species Communication

jm

Dr. John E. Mack graduated from Oberlin College and Harvard Medical School. A rather traditional practitioner in the beginning of his career, Mack was a graduate of Boston analytical society and received his certifications in psychoanalysis for adults and children. One of his main interested was how one uses cognitive skills to create their Weltanschauug. One’s worldview is a combination of ethics, beliefs and philosophies which lead to particular behaviors or actions. These orientations added to his interest in dreams and teen suicide. He was awarded a Pulitzer prize for his biography of British officer T.E. Lawrence, known commonly as Lawrence of Arabia.

His curiosity was piqued by the psychological implications of the Cold War that led him to interview a variety of politicians. He was an active member of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

While a noted and highly respected psychiatrist and writer, his work took a rather unexpected turn. Many were shocked that a renowned Harvard psychiatrist would move into alien abduction research, but he did. Most likely, John E Mack will best be remembered as a ground-breaking researcher in the field of alien abduction. His first studies centered around a theory that this phenomena may be related to mental illness. He retained an interest in people’s idea of connectedness to others, and studied visionary experiences and spiritual quests.

The interest in Mack’s theories continues to be strong. His original book on aliens, Abduction, was recently released for Kindle and in trade paperback, with a new edition and format, based on Mack’s personal preferences. The significance of this book is found in its hypothesis that both species could benefit from such interaction, and detracted from the then-more popular view of humans being victims of a more intelligent or advanced species. While Abduction is based mainly on interviews and the idea of connections between cultures, Passport to Cosmos deals more with the philosophy and psychology behind such experiences.

A film version of his life is currently being developed by Makemagic Productions with one of Rob14619_886204754743631_424831510683728602_nert Redford’s companies. Mack died at the age of 74 in 2004. William Shatner, in May 2014, stated to Larry King that he is writing a novel based on Dr. Mack’s work with the abduction phenomena.

The John E. Mack Institute’s (JEMI) mission is “to explore the frontiers of human experience, to serve the transformation of individual consciousness, and to further the evolution of the paradigms by which we understand human identity.” The organization, named in recognition of “John E. Mack, M.D. (1929-2004), Pulitzer prize-winning author and psychiatry professor at the Harvard Medical School, has the goal of continuing to honor his courageous examination of human experience and the ways in which perceptions and beliefs about reality shape the global condition.”

The Written Works of John E. Mack, MD

As author:

*Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters (1999)

*Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens (1994)

*A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence (1976)

*Nightmares and Human Conflict (1970)

As collaborator:

*The Alchemy of Survival: One Woman’s Journey (1988)

*Vivienne: The Life and Suicide of an Adolescent School Girl (1977)

As editor:

*Mind Before Matter: Vision of a New Science of Consciousness (2007; replaced by Paul Devereux)

*Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference Held at M.I.T. Cambridge, MA (1995)

*Human Feelings: Explorations in Affect Development and Meaning (1993)

*Development and Sustenance of Self-Esteem in Childhood (1984)

*Borderline States in Psychiatry – Seminars in Psychiatry (1975)

Unpublished:

*When Worldviews Collide: A Paradigmatic Passion Play, a manuscript about the Harvard inquiry, was largely complete at the time of his death and is in-development as a motion picture, according to The John Mack Project: A True Story”. MakeMagic Productions. 2011.

* *Elisabeth and Mark Before and After Death: The Power of a Field of Love, the story of Dr. Elisabeth Targ, outline and interview transcripts only. (Blumenthal, Ralph (May 9, 2013). “Alien Nation”. Vanity Fair.)

Foreword:

*Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision (1993). *The PK Man: A True Story of Mind Over Matter (2000) by Jeffrey Mishlove *Secret Life (1992) by David M. Jacobs.

Chapter contribution:

*The Long Darkness: Psychological and Moral Perspectives on Nuclear Winter (1986)

*The Psychology of Terrorism Vol. 1: A Public Understanding (2002), *The Psychospiritual Clinician’s Handbook (2005).

Sources for this article include: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Mack. Retrieved February 13, 2015. John E Mack Institute, http://johnemackinstitute.org. Retrieved February 14, 2015. MakeMagic Productions, http://makemagicproductions.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015

Images from google search. Retrieved February 15, 2015.

Feb 11

Marriott Syracuse Downtown

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By: Lillee Allee

The Marriott Syracuse Downtown (Formerly the Hotel Syracuse)
500 S Warren St,
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 422-5121

Definitely historical, but possibly haunted?

The 1920s were a time of growth for cities such as Syracuse, New York. In 1921, to solve the need for more hotel rooms in the city, a group of businessmen were able to raise $3.8 million to build a hotel. Construction began in 1922 on Warren Street. George B. Post built the Hotel Syracuse and then moved on to the Waldorf Astoria. After a few problems with financing, the 600 room hotel opened in 1924. Its beauty and feeling of opulence were unmatched in the city. Parties and weddings were held in the gorgeous Grand Ballroom or the later added Persian Terrace. The Rainbow Lounge with its unique bar, and the Cavalier Room, with men-only hours, were frequented by locals and guests. The hotel was not built on an empty lot, but a hotel, the 4-story Truax, was already on the location. This building was moved by rollers across the street and turned so that it still faced Onondaga Street. Amazingly, the workers stayed in the hotel as it was slowly wheeled, inch by inch. It remained in full operation during this 90 day endeavor. A church and some homes were demolished for the build.

Jackie Coogan, the child star who worked with Charlie Chaplin and later played “Fester” in the Addams Family television series was present for the grand opening and the first to sign in as a guest. The flood of celebrities continued through the years including Babe Ruth,, Mickey Mantle, Charles Lindbergh, Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and George W. Bush. Guests also included Nelson Eddy, Jean Harlow, Redd Skelton , Whitney Houston, Kim Basinger, skater Katarina Witt, Nata King Cole, Bob Hope, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. In 1971, John Lennon escorted his wife, Yoko Ono on her trip to Syracuse for the opening of her art exhibit “This is not Here” at the nearby Everson Museum. The couple stayed in the hotel for John’s 30th birthday and were joined by Phil Spector, and Ringo Starr. John asked an employee to procure some guitars, this lucky man ended up jamming with John on several songs for the party. The Lennons thoroughly enjoyed their stay and spoke highly of the hotel.A historic reunion of the Beatles was planned for Syracuse in 1974, but sadly it never took place … anywhere.

syr4Early on, radio station WSYR moved into the hotel and made the place famous by recording and broadcasting bands in the Persian terrace. In 1954, the television station WSYR started broadcasting a fashion show for ladies at home with a full orchestra present.. The fashions were by the buyer of the Addis Company, who had won the award of “best hatted woman in Central New York “ by the National Millinery Institute. The Walnut, a private dining room became a popular officers’ club during World War II. The hotel’s famous mural, currently being cleaned, was put up above the check-in desk in the lobby. It shows many important events in the history of the area including the Iroquois Confederacy and the Jerry Rescue.

The hotel has lots of interesting history with all types of mysteries.. On March 22, 1954, on the 9th floor, a guest found a burglar in her room rummaging through her jewelry. The man escaped through a window. At that time, there were hotel detectives to protect guests. These employees watched out for the very well-to-do who frequented the hotel. It was around this time when paranormal events were first recorded. Employees were reporting feeling a hand on their shoulder, but there was no one there. The mystery of the empty bucket also became one of the well-known stories where bartenders deposited the remains of drinks not finished in a bucket and every night take it to the main kitchen to be cleaned. The bucket was often found empty even when the room was locked.

Like any other hotel, this site has had its shares of guest deaths. The most frightening occurred on New Year’s Eve, 1984. In the new part of the hotel, the Hilton Tower, built in 1980, an elevator stalled with about 20 people in it. According to the Associated Press, it stopped between the 10th and 11th floors. Two men pried open the doors and helped others from the elevator onto the 10th floor. A 31 year old man jumped into a crouching position, but fell backward and fell down a 100 foot elevator shaft. The paranormal events continued.. A psychic claimed there was a male ghost in Room 517. Doors would lock and unlock without individuals. Stories continued to circulate among the staff about a lady in a blue dress covered in blood. Staff reported doors opening or closing by themselves, phones ringing from empty rooms, and the feeling of someone in an empty corridor with them.

For 80 years, the Hotel survived, but closed its doors in 2004. However, the hotel remained secure so the building was spared any vandalism but still damage was done due to the deterioration on the inside. Many companies had promised the city that the hotel would open its doors, but none came to fruition and this led to just more physical neglect. The hotel remains on the registry of historic places.. The Hotel Syracuse will shine again, however, and after a 57 million dollar renovation to the original splendor and modernization of all floors, is planned to open in March 2016. Due to changes in guest habits, the rooms will be enlarged and will have less than 300 available, over half of what it originally had. The Hotel has survived, while all of the other grand hotels in the city of Syracuse have not. One has to wonder who continues to walk the halls when no humans are present.

Sources:

Onondaga Historical Association, “Suite Stories Ghostwalk.” December 28. 2014.

The Region, elevator stalls, man falls to death. New York Times, January 2, 1984.

Personal interviews 1985-1999.

Jan 15

When art imitates personal life

NPSGraphic
When Art Imitates Paranormal Life

We have all visited paranormal locations, and read paranormal books, but rarely does one come upon a paranormal art exhibit. From September to January, the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York hosted an exhibit by Fernando Orellana entitled Shadows,

Each work of art blends modern paranormal research with spiritual and beliefs. Each offers a way for the dead to communicate with the living and the living to appreciate those that have passed on. The modern paranormal equipment measures temperature, infrared and electromagnetic frequency so visitors can view any anomalies as they view each work of art. The exhibit also incorporates items from estate sales in the Syracuse area. The artist interviews those living family members to find objects that were meaningful to the dead.

Her Child of Prague is a piece with a religious statue that had lovingly been repaired through the years. A piece with a particular presence, Their Songs, is an old piano that served one family for over a century. Other more interesting pieces are Her Bell, which highlights a hand bell, Their Words, which is a well-used family dictionary and Their Dolls, with a collection of well-worn dolls. Each item is attached to modern equipment so that the connection between the dead and the living remains, from our tradition senses to our scientific approaches.

. Orellana’s interactive exhibit underscores his predilection to merge media to provide a social commentary. An associate professor of digital art at Union College in Schnectady, this exhibit can delight, frighten and illustrate the questions we all have about life after life.

Sources: www.fernandoorellana.com

Shadows – By Fernando Orellana, pamphlet provided by the Everson Museum of Art, 2014

Jan 15

The Untold Story of the Utica Asylum

utixcaThe Untold Story of the Utica Asylum

By: Lillie Allee

Also knows as: Utica State Hospital and Old Main
1400 Noyes Street
Utica, New York
315-738-3800

Utica is at the foothills of the Adirondack mountains in central New York. For over 100 years, visitors have toured the F.X Matt Brewery where they are enchanted by the history of Saranac products and Utica Club. Few, if any, are aware of the dark history regarding the Utica Crib.

The Utica Crib was an actual cage that patients were kept in allegedly to calm them down and ensure the safety of staff members. It was developed at this facility. In this bed within a cage contraption a “dangerous” patient could be wheeled around like a circus animal from room to room or to the outside of the building for fresh air. While this in itself is horrific, the patients had no rights and were subjected to lobotomies and procedures that would never be considered acceptable practice today. According to the Utica Historical Society, the chains in the basement, which most likely had been used on patients, remain in the walls today. Like so many other asylums of that time, the building became overcrowded and according to the Greater Utica Landmark Society, showed a recovery rate of only 26% in 1869.

The building, known as Utica State Hospital, the Utica Lunatic Asylum or Old Main, was the first facility of its kind in New York State. On 130 acres, it opened in 1843 and operated for 135 years. It is still owned and operated by the state as a daytime mental health facility. While the campus is sprawling and contains several buildings, today the actual area used is far less than what it was 50 years ago.

This past August, the facility was opened for a tour, and hundreds showed up to see what this building had to offer. For years, locals have believed the buildings and campus have residents who have never left, and rumors of paranormal experiences are common. .The paranormal ghost society addresses the history of the buildings on their website and claims to have gotten photos of ectoplasm, orbs and EVPs during their visit. Currently, access is limited and teams must receive approval from the state.

Sources:

Edmonson, Brad., Greater Utica Landmark Society Tour Leaflet (1981_ Rose, Julia. Jhttp://www.cnyhomepage.com/story/d/story/hundreds-line-up-to-tour-former-utica-lunatic-asyl/32928/mQHhsKRot06Hvxyg2BONVA

Paranormal Ghost Society http://www.paranormalghostsociety.org/Utica%20Lunatic%20Asylum.htm

Photo credits: www.westernillinoismuseum.org www.en.wikipedia.org

Jan 15

Ghost in the gardens!

ggarGhosts in the Gardens?

There is a colony tucked into the pines of Saratoga Springs, NY that caters to the creatives: artists, writers, singers and more. There are some that believe that Yaddo has a mystical effect on those in residence. Originally the area housed a mill, farm and tavern owned by a Revolutionary War hero. In the mid 1800s many writers enjoyed the hospitality of the tavern, one of them being Edgar Allen Poe. It is said he put his finishing touches on “The Raven” while in Saratoga Springs.

A family took over the 400 acre plot in 1881, Spencer and Katrina Trask who named it Yaddo. The name allegedly came from a suggestion from their daughter. Katrina, a poet, loved the land and saw it as a creative spring. After the original home burned, the current mansion was built in 1893. Yaddo was founded in 1990. After the tragic loss of all four of their children, Katrina felt that a spiritual influence gave her a vision of many, many future creative professionals benefiting from their home. Her vision has come true. According to the official website of Yaddo, 72 Pulitzer prizes, 68 National Book awards, a Nobel prize and dozens of other accolades have been bestowed on work completed at Yaddo.

With all this creative and spiritual history, are there ghosts at Yaddo? Carol Goodman, a prolific author and graduate of Vassar, wrote “The Ghost Orchid” about séances and hauntings at the fictional Bosco colony which she tailored after the real world Yaddo. Interestingly, Goodman, as a young woman, worked as a secretary at Yaddo for eight months. However, no one is talking about any actual ghostly encounters. Could it be due to the need for privacy for the creatives who still today walk the paths?

Interestingly, from the end of September until October 31st, there are tours of the amazing grotto and garden area that are open to the public. This historical guided event, entitled “Ghosts in the Yaddo Garden” offers historical anecdotes of the Trask family, such visitors as Poe and the Native American influences. The gardens do host weddings, and the public is invited just to the gardens during the summers during daylight hours.

Sources:

Goodman, Carol. The Ghost Orchid. New York: Ballantine Books, 2006. ISBN 978-0-345-46214-5

http://www.yaddo.org

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