Category Archive: Health and Safety

Oct 19

Abnormal Activity in the Retina

Katie Snow

Katie Snow

Chair: Aliens & UFO's at Dead Ringer Paranormal
My name is Kathy Snow however in the Paranormal world I am simply known as katie! My team and I take the paranormal field very seriously and have been up and down the eastern seaboard investigating known and unknown locations. My team consists of all family members giving us the opportunity to work well together with no drama. I am a national as well as internationally published paranormal writer. Our evidence has been shown on My ghost story caught on camera and we work hard within our community to bring awareness and understanding to the field. There are four ordained ministers on the team. After 16 years in the field we no longer do in house investigations as we are out trying to find unknown haunted locations and we consult on cases other teams may have questions on. After founding 3 teams, we have recently relocated and our new team name is Dead Ringer Paranormal. We are proud of the work we do and try to show the community it is a scientific field of study and a lot of work goes into what we all do. We are an old world team meaning we investigate with just what we need, we do not hook up wires and tons of equipment, we believe in studying the paranormal in traditional proven ways. I am excited and proud to have been asked to be a rep for NPS..
Katie Snow

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Abnormal Activity in the Retina
By Katie Snow

 

Many people go to the doctor and though they are on anti-depressant medications the rest of their health gets an A+ from their physician. Did you know that even if they go to the eye doctor they will come forth with a clean bill of health. However, as an investigator we all ask our clients if they are on meds and they say yes, but all is well with everything else they exclaim! But all may not be as well as they think when on anti-depressants. The client may say they see blurs or fuzzy beings in their homes and we will ask, have you seen an eye doctor? They swear their eyesight is 20/20 and they just had their eyes examined however anti-depressants will and do cause blurred vision at times that will go un-noticed and undetected by even the best ophthalmologist.

Side effects from these drugs can cause many things that can seem like a paranormal experience to our clients such as;
Blurred vision that doesn’t seem to be picked up in a standard eye test.
Reduced vision in low lighting this is called nyctalopia.
Bright lights remaining as after-images for longer than normal.
When looking at a plain background say a wall in low light it can seem to show a speckled haze or visual snow or graininess making it appear there are shadows on the wall.

It seems that unless a client gets a full electroretinogram that will bring up a side effect that will show as abnormal electrical activity within the retina this side effect will go totally undiagnosed. So when you are with your client take heed that what they are experiencing may truly be a side effect from an anti-depressant and even though they get a clean bill of health from their health care professional there still may be an underlying reason that remains unseen.

Source – WEBMD
Photo Source – Google Images

Oct 19

Fall Thunderstorms & Investigating

Katie Snow

Katie Snow

Chair: Aliens & UFO's at Dead Ringer Paranormal
My name is Kathy Snow however in the Paranormal world I am simply known as katie! My team and I take the paranormal field very seriously and have been up and down the eastern seaboard investigating known and unknown locations. My team consists of all family members giving us the opportunity to work well together with no drama. I am a national as well as internationally published paranormal writer. Our evidence has been shown on My ghost story caught on camera and we work hard within our community to bring awareness and understanding to the field. There are four ordained ministers on the team. After 16 years in the field we no longer do in house investigations as we are out trying to find unknown haunted locations and we consult on cases other teams may have questions on. After founding 3 teams, we have recently relocated and our new team name is Dead Ringer Paranormal. We are proud of the work we do and try to show the community it is a scientific field of study and a lot of work goes into what we all do. We are an old world team meaning we investigate with just what we need, we do not hook up wires and tons of equipment, we believe in studying the paranormal in traditional proven ways. I am excited and proud to have been asked to be a rep for NPS..
Katie Snow

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Fall Thunderstorms & Investigating
By Katie Snow
Many of us never think of checking weather conditions prior to doing an outdoor investigation. We pack our gear and off we go to an outdoor location previously chosen by our teams as a collaborated effort. Where I live a storm can whip up at anytime without notice and during the fall season those in the storm prone areas of the country where warm and cold fronts meet are sure to keep an eye to the sky. But what if your in an area that isn’t prone to fall storms and one brews up and your in a cemetery at 11pm with no one around but the rest of your team? Well the only way to be safe is getting in a shelter or a car. However, if getting inside is not an option, you can lessen the threat of being struck by lightning with the following tips. But don’t lull yourself into thinking you are safe as you are NEVER safe outside in a storm.

Know the weather patterns of the area you plan to visit. For example, in mountainous areas, thunderstorms typically develop in the early afternoon. There are many areas of the country that do have patterns. Always listen to the weather forecast for the area you plan to visit. The forecast may be very different from the one near your home. If there is a high chance of thunderstorms do not go investigating!

Here are a few tips from NOAA on safety during weather threats.

Avoid open fields, the top of a hill or a ridge top.
Stay away from tall or isolated trees or other tall objects.
Your team should spread out to avoid the current traveling between team members.
Stay away from water and wet items, such as ropes, and metal objects, like fences and poles. Water and metal do not attract lightning but they are excellent conductors of electricity. The current from a lightning flash will easily travel for long distances.
Remember There is little you can do to substantially reduce your risk if you are outside in a thunderstorm. The only completely safe action is to get inside a safe building or vehicle.

Source: NOAA
Photo Source: Dubois County Herald

Oct 19

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning & The Paranormal

Katie Snow

Katie Snow

Chair: Aliens & UFO's at Dead Ringer Paranormal
My name is Kathy Snow however in the Paranormal world I am simply known as katie! My team and I take the paranormal field very seriously and have been up and down the eastern seaboard investigating known and unknown locations. My team consists of all family members giving us the opportunity to work well together with no drama. I am a national as well as internationally published paranormal writer. Our evidence has been shown on My ghost story caught on camera and we work hard within our community to bring awareness and understanding to the field. There are four ordained ministers on the team. After 16 years in the field we no longer do in house investigations as we are out trying to find unknown haunted locations and we consult on cases other teams may have questions on. After founding 3 teams, we have recently relocated and our new team name is Dead Ringer Paranormal. We are proud of the work we do and try to show the community it is a scientific field of study and a lot of work goes into what we all do. We are an old world team meaning we investigate with just what we need, we do not hook up wires and tons of equipment, we believe in studying the paranormal in traditional proven ways. I am excited and proud to have been asked to be a rep for NPS..
Katie Snow

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning & The Paranormal
By Katie Snow

 

As the time of year that heaters are turned on it is also the culprit of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is an odor as well as colorless gas and is very dangerous. It can and has caused sudden illness and eventually death. The gas is found in most combustible fumes and can be found in and out of our homes.
Fumes can be created by –
cars and trucks
lanterns
stoves
gas ranges
gas fireplaces
and our heating systems. Carbon Monoxide can build up in places that don’t have flow of fresh air.

Did you know there have also been reports of paranormal hallucinations that can occur with it. In one such case the the American Journal of Ophthalmology published a case study involving a couple who moved into a house and promptly began to suffer headaches, listlessness and strange auditory and visual hallucinations (footsteps, mysterious figures, strange sensations, etc.).

Their symptoms were finally traced to a faulty furnace. A more recent case of theirs in 2005 involved a woman who was found delirious and hyperventilating after seeing a “ghost” while taking a shower; respondents discovered a new gas water heater had been improperly installed, flooding her house with carbon monoxide.
If you find yourself expierencing any of the following while in a closed space;

Headache
Dizziness
Weakness
Nausea
Vomiting
Chest pain
Confusion

Get to the fresh air as soon as possible. It is important to research the areas you plan to investigate so that you know if any such perils can befall you or your teammates. It is also important that if you take on a new client you check the home for any CO leaks so that you can cross out CO poisoning during the heating months.

Source – Medline Plus

Sep 24

Common Hazards of the Fall Season

Katie Snow

Katie Snow

Chair: Aliens & UFO's at Dead Ringer Paranormal
My name is Kathy Snow however in the Paranormal world I am simply known as katie! My team and I take the paranormal field very seriously and have been up and down the eastern seaboard investigating known and unknown locations. My team consists of all family members giving us the opportunity to work well together with no drama. I am a national as well as internationally published paranormal writer. Our evidence has been shown on My ghost story caught on camera and we work hard within our community to bring awareness and understanding to the field. There are four ordained ministers on the team. After 16 years in the field we no longer do in house investigations as we are out trying to find unknown haunted locations and we consult on cases other teams may have questions on. After founding 3 teams, we have recently relocated and our new team name is Dead Ringer Paranormal. We are proud of the work we do and try to show the community it is a scientific field of study and a lot of work goes into what we all do. We are an old world team meaning we investigate with just what we need, we do not hook up wires and tons of equipment, we believe in studying the paranormal in traditional proven ways. I am excited and proud to have been asked to be a rep for NPS..
Katie Snow

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Common Hazards of the Fall Season
By Katie Snow

We all love the fall! A chill in the air, bonfires and the perfect time of the year for tripping hazards when paranormal investigating. The onset of fall brings many areas more rain and with rain comes slip hazards. It can take some time to adjust to the suddenly wet conditions brought about by rainy weather. Rain will lead to wetter sidewalks which will lead to wet floors in the entry ways of buildings and stairwells. When going on an investigation stay mindful of where you step.

Autumn also brings slippery leaves. We all love to peek at the bounty of beauty bestowed upon us and the trees are certainly one of them. Like a paintbrush taken to branches the beauty of the leaf changing season brings us leaves upon the ground in abundance. In abandoned areas, buildings and in many cemeteries this presents a trip hazard. In older cemeteries stone markers are short and many hard enough to see when uncovered but in Autumn the leaves cover them making them unnoticeable so make sure you scout out an area prior to going in darkness. With the wetness comes slippery leaves making them like a sheet of ice. Keep notice of where they pile up and on the weather conditions as being aware helps with most of the Autumn hazards.
If you are going into an area where current residents reside watch out for Halloween decor and wires leading to the yard. Tripping while on an investigation is no joke and could lead to injury. Many of the larger yard decorations have darker color wires to blend in with the ground so watch where you step.

To help always wear proper shoes. If it is going to rain rubber soles may be your best bet. Falling can be traumatic so before getting up regain your composure and make sure you are not seriously hurt. Once you regained your footing take your first few steps slowly making sure nothing is broken. If something seems not quite right tell a teammate and ask for help, there is nothing wrong with asking to stay with someone for a bit.

Autumn is my favorite time of the year though in Florida we get very little of it. It is a fun time for investigating and offers many opportunities to do ghost walks and harvest hayrides, just when you do, make sure you remember that your safety comes first.
photo source – Asheville daily photo

Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature

Sep 24

Paranormal Activity Can Be Beneficial To Your Health!

Katie Snow

Katie Snow

Chair: Aliens & UFO's at Dead Ringer Paranormal
My name is Kathy Snow however in the Paranormal world I am simply known as katie! My team and I take the paranormal field very seriously and have been up and down the eastern seaboard investigating known and unknown locations. My team consists of all family members giving us the opportunity to work well together with no drama. I am a national as well as internationally published paranormal writer. Our evidence has been shown on My ghost story caught on camera and we work hard within our community to bring awareness and understanding to the field. There are four ordained ministers on the team. After 16 years in the field we no longer do in house investigations as we are out trying to find unknown haunted locations and we consult on cases other teams may have questions on. After founding 3 teams, we have recently relocated and our new team name is Dead Ringer Paranormal. We are proud of the work we do and try to show the community it is a scientific field of study and a lot of work goes into what we all do. We are an old world team meaning we investigate with just what we need, we do not hook up wires and tons of equipment, we believe in studying the paranormal in traditional proven ways. I am excited and proud to have been asked to be a rep for NPS..
Katie Snow

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Paranormal Activity Can Be Beneficial To Your Health!
By Katie Snow

 

I have seen many articles claiming the ill effects on the mind to those who may have been met with mental issues of a client, however, did you know there are also many mental health benefits to someone encountering paranormal activity in their life? There certainly are two sides of this argument but I wanted to bring you a bit of information that was a positive benefit to those of us whom feel we have had an encounter without explanation.

As I was searching the Internet I bumped into an article written for the well known magazine called “Psychology Today”. I was please that they offered a flip side to the mental health issue making “seeing ghosts” a positive verses negative impact on the brain and I thought I would share a bit about what they reported.

According to them belief in the paranormal can have a positive psychological effect by aiding many who are going through the grieving process. It seems it can help with the life coping mechanism giving many hope where perhaps there was none. The also go on to say “It can be a key to living. Knowing that you never really lose the ones you love brings peace. Just the knowledge that we go on after we die is enough for people to make positive changes in their lives.”

They do state that “It would be easy to dismiss these claims as a product of a grieving mind. However, there are just as many cases where there has been no trauma in the life of the person who experienced spirit contact.”

I find it a fresh way for the medical field to understand and perhaps change some of their thinking to be more compassionate to those of us who can not prove an experience but know in our heart of hearts we have had an encounter with something other worldly that simply not always has an explanation.

Source – Psychology Today
Photo – Goggle Images

Katie Snow's photo.

Jan 24

Mirror-touch Synthesia

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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m1In order to understand the topic of this article, we must first understand the term synesthesia. Synesthesia is defined as a perception of mixed sensations: stimulating one sense involuntarily causes a person to perceive it with another sense, for example a sound being perceived visually. [3] Synesthesia is usually a developmental condition, however recent research has shown that mirror touch synesthesia can be acquired after sensory loss following amputation. [2] There are several types of synesthesia, which have been recognized and studied for quite some times. Others are relatively new to the medical forefront, such as Mirror-Touch Synesthesia (herein referred to as MTS), which was first noted in 2005. Synesthesia are hereditary, passed through the X chromosome (females possess 2 X chromosomes and males 1); likewise, a person who has one type of synesthesia is likely to have other types as well. [1,2,3]

Mirror-Touch Synesthesia is a rare neurological condition in which the “synesthete” (person with synesthesia) physically feels what others experience. One example is that if another person is stroked on their arm, the individual with MTS would feel the sensation of their arm being stroked. [2] This condition has received attention recently due to a neurologist with the condition, Joel Salinas, MD a neurology resident at Harvard Medical School. Salinas in one noted example, physically felt the sensation of his tapping a patient’s knee to test reflexes, despite the patient showing no clear reflexes. [1]

One can imagine the difficulty that Dr. Salinas must face every day, being a neurologist and working with people suffering from dystonias (disorders of muscle tone/spasticity), stroke, multiple sclerosis, etc. One early synesthete reportedly witnessed a man being punched and passed out in her car. [1] MTS for many can be debilitating. Imagine having this condition and witnessing a fatal car accident or murder. Some synesthetes become homebound, even unable to watch television lest they have a physical reaction to what they are watching. Studies show that the intensity of the stimulus does correlate to the intensity of the perceived sensation by the synesthete. For example, a touch vs. a punch. [2] When Salinas performs a spinal tap on a patient, he can feel the needle going into his own lower back. “When a psychotic patient goes into a rage, Salinas feels himself getting worked up. Even when patients die, Salinas feels an involuntary glimmer of the event firsthand. His body starts to feel vacant—empty, like a limp balloon.” [1]

m2MTS “has aroused significant interest among neuroscientists in recent years because it appears to be an extreme form of a basic human trait. In all of us, mirror neurons in the premotor cortex and other areas of the brain activate when we watch someone else’s behaviors and actions. Our brains map the regions of the body where we see someone else caressed, jabbed, or whacked, and they mimic just a shade of that feeling on the same spots on our own bodies. For mirror-touch synesthetes like Salinas, that mental simulacrum is so strong that it crosses a threshold into near-tactile sensation, sometimes indistinguishable from one’s own. Neuroscientists regard the condition as a state of ‘heightened empathic ability.’ “ [1] As you might guess from that quote, those with MTS have responses not only to physical stimulus of others, but also emotions. Studies show that persons with MTS “scored significantly higher…on reading social cues that indicated that a person was feeling confident, stressed, sad, perplexed, or mystified. They’ve also found that mirror-touch synesthetes tend to have a greater volume of gray matter in areas of the brain linked to social cognition and empathy, and less brain volume in the temporoparietal junction, which plays a key role in distinguishing self from other.” [1] Hence the relevance to National Paranormal Society.

MTS differs from other synesthesia in that it may be genetic in origin, or may develop following a trauma. Some amputees studied perceived stimulus of pain, touch, movement or cold, for example, in limbs which had been amputated. “Phantom pains” are reported by 98% of amputees. [1,2] Personally I recall a relative having excruciating pain in a leg that had been amputated due to complications of diabetes. Stroke patients with paralysis on one side rendered similar results.

Diagnosis of MTS depends on the presence of three criteria: 1) the synesthete’s response upon seeing another being touched must feel like a conscious sensation (i.e. not a delusion or imagination); 2) the responses are induced by a stimulus would not generally cause this response; 3) these sensations must be involuntary, i.e. not by conscious thought. [2] While quite rare, MTS is among the more prevalent types of synesthesia. It has two sub-types: one, a true mirror touch, where the sensation is felt on the opposite side as that of the person who actually receives the stimulus (as in a reflection), and the other in which the sensation is felt on the same side. [2]

MTS is a relatively new condition which places scientific research and data in the form of brain-mapping, and the relative mass of certain areas of the brain governing traits collectively assigned to empaths, with neuroscientists describing it as basically a hyper-sensitive form of physical and emotional empathy. MTS is still being studied; however, the results thus far are fascinating.

SOURCES:
Pacific Standard Magazine (psmag.com) [1]
Wikipedia [2]
Synesthete.org [3]

Dec 31

Is The Thing That Goes “Bump In The Night” Caffiene?

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

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coWhat was that noise? Did you see that shadow? Is your house, school, place of employment the home of all manner or paranormal entities? Or is it possible you have just had to much caffeine?

Caffiene – that glorious substance that helps wake us up in the morning in a cup of coffee or gives us that extra boost through an energy drink at the end of a long day at work. We consume caffiene in many ways. Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, even chocolate has it. Did you know that caffiene, although it is completely legal and unregulated is actually a psychoactive drug?

According to recent studies in both Australia and the UK, high levels of caffiene use have been linked to auditory and visual hallucinations. According to researchers at La Trobe university as few as 5 cups of coffee a day can cause auditory hallucinations. This was determined through a study of 92 non-clinical participants measuring high levels of caffiene and high levels of stressful life events.

Durham University in the UK conducted a similar study with 200 non smoking students. Students were asked about their caffiene intake including coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate and caffiene tablets. Stress levels and incidents of hallucinatory experiences were assessed as well. Seeing things, hearing voices and sensing dead people were among the things reported.

The possible explanation is that caffiene has been found to exacerbate the physiological effects of stress on the body.Stress causes the body to release a hormone known as Cortisol. Studies have shown more of this hormone is released in response to stress in people who have recently consumed caffiene. There is a possible link between this increase in Cortisol release and hallucinations according to study leader Simon Jones.

Since Jones and his collegues believe that psychotic experiences, including hallucinations exist in the healthy population as well as the mentally ill the study was conducted on subjects with no known mental illnesses or antiphsycotic medication use. According to Jones. Hallucinations are not necessarily a sign of mental illness. Given the link between “food and mood” he and his collegues feel that the link between nutrition and hallucinations is a sensible area to study. This research is ongoing.

According to the FDA and most experts consumption of up to 300mg of caffiene (the equivelant one to two 12oz cups of coffee or 6 to 8 12ox sodas a day) is within the “safe” range. According to Jack Bergman, a behavioral pharmacologist at Harvard Medical school , overdose of caffiene can produce a myriad of adverse effects including hallucinations. He also noted at that it is important to remember that hallucinations can be simply defined as sensory disturbances. There are many reports that extremely high intakes of caffiene can produce complex sensory disturbances. Another thing to note is that overdose of caffiene in some people can also produce paranoia which intesifies the sensory disturbances.

Given all of this data I would conclude that when one is experiencing a sudden onset of hearing, seeing or sensing things it would be prudent to examine that individuals caffiene intake. This information will certainly have me thinking twice before reaching for that third cup of coffee.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/…/090114-caffeine-halluc…
http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/…/424-too-much-coffee-can-ma…
http://www.livescience.com/3230-caffeine-hallucinations.html

Oct 24

Tinnitus

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

Latest posts by Sara Fawley (see all)

Tinnitus
By Sara Fawley

Most of us have heard of Tinnitus , pronounced ti-NIGHT-us or TINN-a-tus, both are correct. When we think of Tinnitus, we typically thing of “ringing in the ears”. The truth is Tinnitus can manifest in many different ways such as ringing, roaring, swishing, clicking, whistling and even in rare cases music or singing.

According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control nearly 15% of the general public experience some form of Tinnitus. That is over 45 million Americans alone. Up to 2 million of those have extreme and debilitating cases.

Tinnitus is not a disease itself. It is a symptom of an underlying health condition. While it can be a symptom of a wide range of diseases , it is most frequently associated with some level of hearing loss.

Generally speaking, there are two forms of Tinnitus:

Subjective Tinnitus- Head or ear noise only heard by the patient. It can usually be traced to auditory and neurological reactions to hearing loss, although it can be caused by other illnesses. 99% of all reported Tinnitus cases are subjective.

Objective Tinnitus- Head or ear noises that are heard by other people as well as the patient. These sounds are usually produced by internal functions in the bodies circulatory (blood flow) and somatic (musculo- skeletal movement) systems. Objective Tinnitus is very rare. Less than 1% of all reported Tinnitus cases fall into this category.

There are three general ways to describe the patients perception of the Tinnitus:

Tonal Tinnitus: The perception of near continuous sound or over-lapping sounds. The volume can fluctuate greatly. This type of Tinnitus is associated with subjective Tinnitus.

Pulsatile Tinnitus: The perception of of pulsing sounds, often in beat with the patients own heart. This type of Tinnitus is associated with objective Tinnitus.

Musical Tinnitus: The perception of music or singing, sometimes the same song on a constant loop. This form of Tinnitus is also known as Musical Ear Syndrome and is very rare.

Tinnitus in any form can either be acute ( temporary sudden onset and sudden ceasing of symptoms) or chronic ( continuous recurring symptoms).

In most cases, Tinnitus is a sensorineural reaction in the brain to damage in the ear and auditory system. While most Tinnitus is triggered by hearing loss, there are around 200 different health disorders that can cause Tinnitus. Here is a list of some of the most common:

Middle ear obstructions such as excessive wax build-up,head congestion, loose hair from the ear canal, dirt or foreign objects. In most cases removal of the object will clear up the Tinnitus symptom.

Head and Neck Trauma- Severe injury to the head or neck can cause nerve, blood-flow and muscle issues that can cause Tinnitus.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) – The Tinnitus associated with this disease is of the somatic type of Tinnitus. The TMJ is where the lower jaw connects to the skull and is in front of the ears. Damage to the muscles, ligaments or cartilage in the TMJ can cause Tinnitus.

Sinus Pressure- Nasal congestion for a cold, flu or sinus infection can cause abnormal pressure in the middle ear causing Tinnitus symptoms.

Acute Barotrauma-This is caused by extreme or rapid changes in air or water pressure causing damage to the middle ear.

Traumatic Brain Injury- This can damage the brain’s auditory processing centers causing Tinnitus.

Ototoxic Drugs- Many prescription medications can cause temporary Tinnitus symptoms including NSAIDS, Quinie-based medications and diuretics.

This is not a complete list there are other categories of illness such as Metabolic Disorders, Auto-immune disorders and Blood-Vessel disorders that can cause Tinnitus symptoms.

What does all of this have to do with the paranormal? It is just one other possible reason for that whistling , banging, knocking, whooshing or singing you may be hearing. This is why it is so important when we hear recurring unidentified noises that we check with our doctors to rule out medical implications before going to the paranormal.

https://www.ata.org/

Sara Fawley's photo.

Oct 24

Demonic Possession and the resemblance to Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis

Holly Moreland

Holly Moreland

Director - Div 2 at National Paranormal Society
Hi, My name is Holly. I live in the middle of Michigan on a small quiet lake with my significant other. I have 2 children, and a couple I choose to also call my own! I have had a few experiences that have made me scratch my head about so I reached out to see what others have encountered! I love to research and communicate what I find in any aspect of life! I also seem to have a need to help others or I could say others seem to seek me out for help! Happy to be part of the group!!.
Holly Moreland

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Demonic Possession and the resemblance to Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis.

By Holly Moreland

 

Lets talk today about “demonic possession” and the resemblance to Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis. What is Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis you ask? I will get to that in a minute. I first want to tell you what originally sparked my interest in this particular subject. I am guilty! My interest did not come from the very well known movie “The Exorcist”, but came from watching a movie “Exorcism of Emily Rose”. Many of you may have watched this movie based on the case of Anneliese Michel. Now I am not saying that Anneliese suffered from this disease. Only that it peeked my interest and some of the symptoms are so similar. Makes one wonder if this disease had been discovered back then if it was possible it could have been the cause and had a different outcome.

I came across an actual case of Susannah Cahalan. A healthy 24 year old reporter for the New York Post. She was the 217th person to be diagnosed with this disease in 2009. The disease was first identified in 2007. I have attached a link to one of many articles telling her story.

Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis is a rare autoimmune disease that can attack the brain. Antibodies turn on the brain its self and causes it to swell. The disease mostly infects young women and is often mis diagnosed as psychological disorders, and possibly demonic possession. Although extremely rare, you can see why asking the tough questions and searching for all answers is crucial to the paranormal community.

Main symptoms

Flu-like symptoms

Memory deficits, including loss of short-term memory;

Sleep disorders;

Speech dysfunction – the patient is no longer able to produce coherent language or may be completely unable to communicate

Cognitive and behavioral disturbances – confused thinking, hallucinations, delusional thinking, dis inhibited behaviors;

Seizures;

Movement disorders – usually of the arms and legs and the mouth and tongue, but may include full body spasms. These types of movements are very common in Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis and the patient is unable to control them. They are often quite severe, requiring the patient to be restrained and sedated for their own safety and those of their care-givers. Sometimes patients are unable to move, and may appear like a statue, holding the same position for hours or days (catatonia);

Loss of consciousness – The patient may be semi-conscious or may slip into a coma;

Autonomic dysfunction – erratic breathing, heartbeat and blood pressure; loss of bladder control and bowel movements;

Central hypoventilation – the patient may stop breathing, and may require a mechanical breathing machine.

Vision and/or hearing may also be impaired.

I encourage you to read Susannah’s story! How her life was turned upside down! Her symptoms were mimicking that of what some people believe to be demonic possession. Also read the article attached on the disease. What are your thoughts? What might we ask or do if we come across such a case this extreme?

http://www.antinmdafoundation.org/…/what-is-anti-nmda-rece…/

Oct 24

St. Michaels Prayer for Protection

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
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.
Lillee Allee

Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)

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

The Physically Challenged Investigator

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
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.
Lillee Allee

Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)

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 01

Migraines – more than a headache

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
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.
Lillee Allee

Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)

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

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

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
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.
Lillee Allee

Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)

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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Aug 31

Tick Borne Illnesses

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

Latest posts by Sara Fawley (see all)

unoParanormal researchers and investigators can wind up in some pretty remote areas especially those in search of cryptids or who enjoy investigating overgrown, rundown building and cemeteries. When in these areas there are all kinds of things to look out for other than what you are searching for. Critters, snakes, spiders and ticks.

Today I want to discuss ticks and tick borne illnesses. When most of us hear ticks we think of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There are actually a total of 14 tick borne illnesses that can affect humans. I will give a brief outline of these illnesses and then discuss precautions that should be taken when investigating areas where ticks can be encountered.

Anaplasmosis – Caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagoctophilum and primarily carried by the black-legged(deer) tick in the northeastern and upper midwestern US and the western black-legged tick along the pacific coast.

Babesiosis- Caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Mostly occurs in parts of the Northeast and Upper Midwest and usually peaks during warm months. Is carried by the nymph stage of the black-legged(deer) tick.

Borrelia miyamotoi- A spiral-shaped bacteria that is closely related to the bacteria causing tick-borne relapsing fever and more distantly related to the bacteria causing Lyme disease. It is carried by the black-legged (deer) tick and western black-legged tick.

Colorado Tick Fever- A virus causing chills, fever, headache and body aches. There are no medications to treat it. Occurs in the Rocky Mountain states at elevations of 4000 to 10,500 feet. Carried by the Rocky Mountain wood tick.

Ehrlichiosis- A bacterial disease causing fever, headache, musle aches and fatigue. Occurs primarily in southcentral and eastern states. Carried by the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum).

Heartland Virus- Since it was first described in 2012 has only been found in Tennessee and Missouri. Symptoms of this virus include fever, chills, body aches, nausea, vomitting ,diarrhea and loss of appetite. Causes a loss of cells that fight infection and help blood clot. Carried by the lone star tick.

Lyme disease- Caused by the bacteriu Borrelia burfdorferi. One of the most well known tick-borne illnesses. Carried by the black-legged (deer) tick in the northeastern and upper midwestern and the western black-legged tick along the pacific coast.

Powassan disease-An infection that can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness , confusion, seizures and other neurological problems including swelling of the brain. Occurs in the Northeast and Great Lakes region. Carried by the black-legged(deer) tick and the groundhog tick.

Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis- A type of spotted fever. Various forms of this fever can occur all over the United States as well as internationally. Carried by the Gulf Coast tick.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever- Caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii and is potentially fatal. Occurs all over the United States as well as South and Central America. Carried by the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick and the brown dog tick.

STARI(Southern tick-associated rash illness)- A rash similar to the rash of Lyme disease which may be accompanied by fatigue, fever,headache, muscle and joint pains. Occurs in the southeastern and eastern states. Carried by the lone star tick.

Tickborne relapsing fever- Bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia spirochetes. Characterized by recurring episodes of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea. Occurs in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Carried by soft ticks.

Tularemia- Infection that can be fatal but can generally be sucessfully treated successfully with antibiotics. Occurs throughout the United States. Is carried by the dog tick, the wood tick and the lone star tick.

364D rickettsiosis- A spotted fever virus. Only reported in California at this time. Carried by the pacific coast tick.

Tickborne illnesses can be reduced or prevented by taking proper precautions when entering potentially tick infested areas. Try to avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Walk in the center of paths and trails.

Use repellents that contain 20 to 30% DEET on exposed skin and clothing. Use products that contain permethrin on clothing.Treat clothing such as boots, socks and pants. Treat gear like packs, sleeping bags and tents.

Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors. This will wash off any ticks crawling on you and help find any that may have attached. Do a full body check with a hand mirror or full length wall mirror.

Check clothing and gear. Ticks can hitch a ride on these things and attach to you later. Tumble clothing in the dryer on high heat for 30 mins to an hour to kill any ticks hiding in the cloth.

Following these basic suggestions can greatly reduce your risk of contracting one of the above listed tickborne illnesses.

Source:

Preventing tick bites. (2015, June 1). Retrieved August 31, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html

Aug 25

Prescription Medications and the Paranormal

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

Latest posts by Sara Fawley (see all)

prescription drugsWhen someone reports that they may be having a paranormal experience because they are seeing things (shadows, movement, strange anomalies) , hearing things (knocks, footsteps, voices), smelling strange smells, feeling something touch them, getting strange marks on their skin having frightening dreams we typically ask a series of questions to help rule out non paranormal reasons. One of the most obvious questions, of course is drug use.

When we think of drug use, the first thing that comes to mind is illegal drugs. Then we may think about drugs used for mental illness. What about commonly prescribed drugs like antibiotics, sleep medications, blood pressure medicines and smoking cesstation drugs?

In doing some research I have found that a lot of commonly prescribed antibiotics, sleep aids and blood pressure medications have little known side effects such as hallucinations, strange skin rashes, vivid night terrors, memory loss, sleep- walking, eating, driving and any number of other things ou might attribute as being paranormal and probably would not associate with these commonly prescribed medications. With some medications such as fluoroquinolone antibiotics (Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox to name a few) the effects can last for months after stopping the medication.

Along with the above mentioned fluoroquinolone antibiotics some blood pressure medications such as Lisinopril, sleep medications like Lunesta and corticosteroids have been known to have the side effect of hallucinations, even after having taken them for a while with no ill effects.

Sleep medications like Lunesta and Ambien have been known to cause vivid night terrors or strange “waking dreams”. There have also been reports of them causing people to perform actions (such as eating, gambling, walking even driving) in their sleep with no waking knowledge of it.

Smoking cesstation drugs like Chantix have been known to cause depression, anxiety, and hallucinations.

Erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra can cause visual anomalies such as spots, flashes and blank spots in vision.

I cannot list all the medications and their possible effects or this article would go on forever. The point is that when something unusual happens and we are looking for a reason for it something like the antibiotic we are taking for our sinus infection or our blood pressure medication is probably not going to be something we think about. This is why it is very important to discuss any unusual experiences we may have with our doctors especially if we are on long term medications. They just might be the culprit. It should also be noted that you should never stop any medications without first fully discussing it with your doctor.

We cannot say that medications are the reason for any experiences we have Most of the time it is probably not since these are not common side effects. The important thing to remember is that knowledge is power and prescription medications are just one more thing to consider when ruling out possible causes of unusual experiences.

Sources:

WorstPills.org -. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://www.worstpills.org/includes/page.cfm?op_id=459

Popular Antibiotics May Carry Serious Side Effects. (2012, September 10). Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/popular-antibiotics-may-carry-serious-side-effects/?_r=0

6 Of The Strangest Prescription Drug Side Effects. (2014, October 2). Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://www.medicaldaily.com/side-effects-may-vary-wildly-6-strangest-things-prescription-drugs-are-capable-306142

Medicine triggers hallucinations. (n.d.). Retrieved August 25, 2015, from http://onlineathens.com/stories/122308/liv_370237719.shtml#.Vdxk5PlViko

Feb 13

Spiritual Shielding

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Latest posts by Lisa Shaner-Hilty (see all)

shiedThe spiritual practice of building such an energy field around oneself and strengthening it regularly is called Shielding. A shield is a protective covering around an individual. Spiritual shields are invisible energy fields which safeguard an individual from external negativities and harm. They also act as containers to hold and prevent the loss of important energies from his/her system.

In these turbulent times, there exists a decisive battle between light and dark. The practice of shielding protects an individual from the influence of dark forces and helps him/her to evolve spiritually. Particularly persons who possess and utilize psychic gifts/abilities, and those who investigate paranormal phenomenon which hold the potential to be negative, shielding is needed to protect body, mind, and spirit. An empath, for example, may have a particularly difficult time in crowded areas, such as malls, hospitals, etc. due to the energy and physical/psychic pain of those sharing the area. Similarly, should a psychic or empath participate in a paranormal investigation, it is vital to shield oneself from a negative entity interfering with or spiritually attacking them.

The basic function of a shield is to protect the individual from any external harm or negative effect. This negative effect arrives in the form of energies which enter an individual and disrupt his health and well- being, potentially creating dangerous situations in the individual’s life. They can pervert his thinking/perception and influence his interaction with others. Most importantly, they can weaken the positive energies and faculties inside his system. They can influence and divert his attention away from spiritual growth and evolution.

How does shielding work? The Shield forms a layer around the individual. With regular strengthening, the individual will be surrounded by a protective covering of Light. A strong shield around the individual acts as a barrier for such harmful energies. If the shield is strengthened regularly, it does not allow any negativity to enter and influence the individual in any of the above ways. People with psychic powers can read others’ minds and gather information about the person. A shield around us prevents such mind-readings done by others.

For the individuals who are not spiritually advanced, the shield usually repels the negative energies, even purely dark energies. If the negative energy is very strong, then the shield will not be able to stop everything, and the individual will be affected. These individuals must strengthen their shield and strive for spiritual growth and healing to reverse this effect.

For spiritually advanced individuals, the shield works by both repelling and absorbing the negative energies. In cases where a negative energy is sent consciously to harm an individual, the shield absorbs it for a period of time and then, at an appropriate time, rebounds the dark energies back to the attacker.
In certain cases, the shield just absorbs the negativity. It accepts the core aspect of the negative energy and then dissipates or transmutes that energy. Shields protect us not just at the physical but also at the astral levels. They safeguard our astral bodies from attacks at that level. A strong shield acts like a magnet and attracts positive light and energies which are required for the physical and astral bodies.

If we harbor negative thoughts, emotions or actions, they can weaken and even destroy our shields. So, transcending our weaknesses and negativities is as important as strengthening the shields around us.

The shields that are used regularly must also be strengthened regularly. If one is lax in this practice, the shield gets weakened over a period of time. Also practicing wrong spiritual techniques can weaken the shields. When an individual receives very strong energies, if he/she is not able to handle it, the shield can break.

How to form and maintain a Shield: The easiest and most efficient way to build a shield and strengthen it is to be regular in meditations. A dedicated effort at spiritual growth creates a shield automatically and also keeps it vibrant and strong. And when we relate to Light all the time and be aware of its presence in our system, this Light itself acts as a shield—protecting, guiding and nurturing us.

According to Vishwa Amara, one of the most effective ways to build and maintain a shield is to take the help of Light as follows:
Sit cross legged on a mat facing North
Imagine that you are inside a Blue globe of Light, of any size with which you are comfortable.
Pray to this Blue Light and also to Lord Hanuman, for protection and positivity.
Experience this Light for 3 minutes.

Not comfortable with this type of activity? Another method involves consciously thinking of this shield for a minute whenever we go out of our homes. Some invoke protection from St. Michael the Archangel, asking for prayers of protection from a religious or spiritual community. Still others use spells or incantations. Amulets may be used as well. Visualization of spheres, globes or grids of protection seem to be a prevalent method, used along with meditation. Again, finding the method that fits with your comfort and belief system is the one that will work for you. Shielding is used for protection in combination with Grounding and Centering, each covered in individual articles.

Sources:
vishwaamara.com
soul-healer.com

Feb 13

Spiritual Centering

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Latest posts by Lisa Shaner-Hilty (see all)

spiritualSpiritual centering is a foundational principle of manifestation. A true spiritual practice evokes spiritual centering, perhaps in a time of meditation, attunement or prayer. The daily application of the practice maintains spiritual centering while engaging in the activities of life. Spiritual centering is the simplest and most foundational of principles. It is the consistent practice of it throughout life that brings fulfillment. Neglect of the practice dissipates the experience of life. Centering is believed to bring more life current to your body and spirit.

The principles of manifestation are the principles that create the magic of life. For a person who harmonizes with those principles, the energy of the universe that is within all creation flows freely in their experience, according to David Karchere. These are the principles that bring the manifestation of life, and life more abundantly, in and through a person and in the creative field that surrounds that person. When these principles are not followed, the universal energy goes nowhere. It is not flowing creatively for the people involved.

The manifestation of life on earth relies on the already-existing energy of the universe. We as human beings don’t have to make that up; it’s already there. We are not making our heart beat, and we are not consciously orchestrating many of the other vital processes that are going on within us. That is all happening because of the universal energy that is at work. There is power within all creation. There is an intelligent pattern to the manifestation of life. There is both intelligence and power at work in the principles of manifestation. Using other words for the same realities, there is both truth and love.

Centering is done prior to grounding, which is covered in a separate article. Take time to turn your attention to the intelligent power within you; stop obsessing in thought and emotion about what is happening to you. Invite peace. Invite the possible. When you do, you will immediately notice that there is a new flow in your thoughts and your emotions. They begin to entertain the creative possibility of what could happen. They begin to paint the world of your observation with a vision of beauty. This change in orientation is the process of spiritual centering. As human beings, we are designed to be centered.

Methods of Centering:
Many feel that spiritual centering consists of the personal philosophy of life. A spiritual centering should include the five principles of love, peace, truth, strength and joy. If we live with wisdom according to these five principles, we grow into happiness, into enlightenment, into a life in the light (in God, in fulfillment).

The easiest way of spiritual centering is the daily reading in a spiritual book or internet. We must not read much. A small text, a meditation a day, is enough to keep us on the path to lasting happiness. For many people a daily oracle card is helpful to get a positive outlook on life. For this we need each day just a minute. In that short time, which we all can spare in a daily, long term gain may be immeasurable.

Some center using physical activity in which they are able to clear their mind and spirit of negative energy and draw in positive energy and life force. Yoga, meditation, diet, and working on one’s mental status – both from within and without, by eliminating negative stimulus, relationships, etc.

Others center by directing spiritual energy toward your personal center or core, whether you feel this is your third eye, heart, or solar plexus chakra. Draw upon your energies, inhale deeply, then release any negative or unproductive energy as you exhale deeply. Finally, visualize yourself balancing on a beam of light. Stand straight and tall with arms outstretched. Feel yourself swaying until you come to a perfect point of balance on the beam of Light.

In short, there are several methods which prove effective in centering one’s spiritual being. You simply need to try different methods until you find the method with which you are comfortable. Many use centering in combination with grounding and shielding as spiritual protection when investigating. Similarly persons with psychic, empathic, and other abilities use these techniques for the same reason. Shielding will be discussed in another article.

Sources:

David Karchere of http://emissaries.org/
https://www.wikiversity.org/

Feb 09

The Philip Experiment

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

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philioIs it possible to create an “entity” using nothing more than your mind? Many believe that this was done back in the 70’s ,by a group of parapsychologists in Canada, while others believe it was nothing more than parlor tricks of the time. Keep in mind that this experiment was recorded and is accessible on line for viewing. Instead of me telling you my thoughts, I think it is best I give you the account of what supposedly went down and let you decide if they definitely created “PHILIP”, or if it was something else entirely. I hope you enjoy.

The story begins in 1972 in Toronto, Canada. Dr. A.R.G. Owen (self proclaimed poltergeist expert and mathematician by trade), along with eight people from the Toronto Society for Psychical Research, decided to conduct a study to prove that an entity could manifest itself by using nothing but the thoughts of individuals. The theory in itself is not a new one. Buddhists have long believed this to be true, they called this entity a Tulpa. Anyway, back to the story. They first had to come up with a backstory to really give this entity a “life” is you will. The following is the biography they came up with:

“Philip was an aristocratic Englishman, living in the middle 1600s at the time of Oliver Cromwell. He had been a supporter of the King, and was a Catholic. He was married to a beautiful but cold and frigid wife, Dorothea, the daughter of a neighboring nobleman.

One day, when out riding on the boundaries of his estates, Philip came across a gypsy encampment and saw there a beautiful dark-eyed girl. Her name was Margo, and he fell instantly in love with her.

He brought her back secretly to live in the gatehouse, near the stables of Diddington Manor – his family home.

For some time he kept his love-nest secret, but eventually Dorothea, realizing he was keeping someone else there, found Margo, and accused her of witchcraft and stealing her husband. Philip was too scared of losing his reputation and his possessions to protest at the trial of Margo, and she was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake.

Philip was subsequently stricken with remorse that he had not tried to defend Margo, and would pace the battlements of Diddington in despair. Finally, one morning his body was found at the bottom of the battlements, whence he had cast himself in a fit of agony and remorse.”

Now that they had his biography, they needed to come up with a visualization of what they thought “Philip” should look like. One of the researchers came up with what they thought he should look like. Some say that the recreation of “Philip” looked a lot like Jesus is supposed to look. The picture included is Philip.

All aspects of “Philip” had now been created. It was time to go ahead with the experiment. The group would get together and talk of “Philip’s” life, as if they had really known him. As well as talking about his life, they would also meditate about him. I’m not real sure on how many times a week they met, but this continued for a year. “Philip” never showed any sign that he was there. When he had not showed himself they decided to take the experiment on a new approach that had shown some interesting results in the 19th century, a seance.

The new way of conducting this study continued for about a month, when finally, “Philip” made himself known. At first the table would vibrate and shake but later on in the experiment he began to answer questions. He would answer the questions with knocks on the table. One knock for yes and two for no. With all of the researchers having input on his life, they all knew what his answer should be. This continued for some time and he even started to add his own input into his story with historical accuracy and sometimes inaccuracy. This isn’t the only activity that they would experience. It is said the table itself would move around the room. He was also said to control the lighting in the room on command.

Now that they were getting activity they needed to make sure that none of the researchers were making it happen. As a way to make sure that none of the researchers were moving the table, it’s said that paper doilies were placed under there hands to make sure they could not move the table. They also went as far as to record each person making knocks in different audible ranges and comparing them to “Philip’s” knocks. They were said to not have the same reverberation as his did. They even videoed their sessions and invited the public in to view their seance. At one point a whole new group was used and the same results ensued. To view on the experiments you an go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2lGPT2J1cc

Now…..what was really happening? I will give you some possiblities, but like I stated above I will not lead you one way or the other. This is where I want you to do some more research on “Philip” and come to your conclusion. Now to the possibilities:

1) They actually produced a Tulpa through mere thought.

2) It was actually all a big hoax and all the activities were staged and rehearsed.

3) What they actually produced was a poltergeist, as it is believed that poltergeists are merely produced by ones subconscious.

4) It was something else coming through giving them the false hope and lying that they were indeed “Philip”. When in actuality they were not.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Jan 30

Spiritual Cleansing

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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special-chakra-training-226x300What is spiritual cleansing? It is a type of healing – not a medical treatment for any physical, emotional or mental ailment, but an energetic healing that involves cleansing a person’s energy of negativity. Spiritual cleansing can also be used to release negative energy from a physical location, according to Silva Method Life. This will be covered in the latter half of this article.

How important is a spiritual cleansing? Think of yourself as an energetic being instead of a physical being; your energy can be polluted with negativity, which creates a very chaotic energy field that cannot be focused on what you desire. If you’ve ever been happily immersed in doing something you love, you know how important focused energy is. But if your mind is racing with worries, you cannot focus your energy on creating the life you want. More importantly, other people will be affected by your energy. Many believe that by cleansing your spirit of negative energy, positive people and situations will come into your life. Cleansing must be done in a positive spirit. It will not be effective if you are angry.

Cleansing generally consists of cleaning your living area of clutter, as well as meditation and visualization. Silva Method reminds us that the state of your home reflects the state of your spirit. If it is dirty, clean it. If it is cluttered, get rid of anything that you don’t use regularly or that no longer brings you joy. If things are in disrepair or broken, fix or get rid of them. This will help cleanse your own energy, leaving you feeling lighter and cleaner energetically. Lighten the load – give away anything you don’t use or that holds no meaning for you and do a thorough cleaning. This will automatically raise the energetic vibration of the room, as well as yours.

If you are familiar with meditation, follow your usual routine; if you’re new to meditation, use one of the exercises found online or in related literature to enter the meditative state; the Centering Exercise is a good one to put you in the right frame of mind for spiritual cleansing. As you meditate, visualize pure, white light and unconditional love emanating from your heart and filling every cell in your body; then outward to every part of the room you’re in; your entire home; your town; your country; your planet; solar system; galaxy; universe…

Visualize the light and love in your heart filling every ‘dark’ space in your energy. Just as a single candle lights up a dark room, the more light you introduce, the less negative energy or ‘darkness’ will remain. Allow light and love to flood your entire being. Feel the light and love replace all negativity. Next, visualize what you want in life. Visualize yourself doing, being and having what you desire and give no thought whatsoever to any negativity in your life. Allow light and love to replace the negativity. Focus on what you want, and only on what you want. Anytime you give thought energy to the situation you’re trying to escape, you are polluting your energy.

Source: Silva Method Life

CLEANSING A HOME OF NEGATIVE

Spiritual research has revealed that most houses around the world have some form of negative vibrations. These negative vibrations can be due to a number of reasons such as: the people in the premises, whether they are doing spiritual practice; psychological profile of the residents; purpose for which the premises are being used; type of construction, cleanliness of the house, the items in the house and their placement, etc.; land on which the house has been built, as well as the surrounding area. It is felt that negative energy attracts ghosts, departed ancestors or former residents, more negative energies, demons, etc. This information is according to the Spiritual Science Research Foundation. Cleansing homes has been in practice for centuries, practices by Native Americans, Chinese, Medieval Europeans, to name a few. Cleansings are used at any time from moving into a new home, to having a bad run of luck, suspected paranormal activity, after ill ness or heartbreak, again to name a few.

Similar to cleansing of your spirit, the first step to cleansing your home to free it of dirt and clutter. Next open your windows and doors, including closets, cabinet, microwave and traditional ovens, etc. Walk throughout the house in a counterclockwise direction, starting either at the bottom and working your way up. A wide variety of methods may be used including burning incense which may be from various woods or herbs (each has a specific purpose), using sea salt, oils and/ or holy water, candles and prayers, sage smudging, St. Michael, sounds, or even spells. The method you choose should reflect your personal beliefs. An array of cleansing and smudging kits are available on line or in specialty shops. Some follow this banishment of the negative with burning sweet grass, as one example, to bring up the positive energy. Many also finally perform a binding ceremony to keep the energy from returning or following participants home. A prayer of protection may also be included.

Source: Spiritual Coach

Jan 30

Sleep Related Disorders

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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sleepAbout 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. Sleep deprivation is associated with injuries, chronic diseases, mental illnesses, poor quality of life and well-being, increased health care costs, and lost work productivity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Psychology Today” estimates the prevalence world-wide as 150 million. Sleep disorders are becoming more and more common, with significant impact on physical and mental health.

Sleep related disorders are more prevalent in women and the elderly. Sleep problems are more often found among people with lower education, people who are not living with a partner, and those who report lower self-rated quality of life. They are strongly linked to rates of anxiety and depression; several of these associations—particularly the link between poor sleep and depression and anxiety—are similar to those associations that have been found with sleep problems in developed countries, “Psychology Today” states.

Sleep disorders are divided into the following types: Insomnias, or inability to fall or stay asleep; Hypersomnias or excessive sleepiness; Parasomnias, or unpleasant occurrences upon falling asleep, during sleep or upon waking; Breathing related sleep disorders; Circadian Rhythm disorders, in which sleep/awake cycles are out of synch; and Sleep Movement disorders, which cause movement before or during sleep.

Insomnias: “Sleep Education” cites three types of insomnias: insomnia, which we will explore in further detail; childhood insomnia, in which a child will not go to sleep without an enforced bedtime; and short sleep, which describes people who function optimally with about five hours of sleep. Most people are somewhat familiar with insomnia. This is when a person is unable to fall asleep, stay asleep or waking too early. Many mistake the occasional night(s) with poor sleep with insomnia. This is not the case. Insomnia is considered short term if lasts three months, and long term if beyond three months.

Insomnia involves both a sleep disturbance and daytime symptoms. The effects of insomnia can impact nearly every aspect of your life. Studies show that insomnia negatively affects work performance, impairs decision-making and can damage relationships. In most cases, people with insomnia report a worse overall quality of life. Long term insomnia may significantly impact thought processes and ability to function day to day. In some cases, serious mental impact develops including hallucinations (see article on hallucinations for details).

Hypersomnias: People who live with hypersomnias may fall asleep several times daily, including at inappropriate times (at work) or dangerous situations (while driving). As in insomnia, hypersomnia causes unclear thought processes. The most familiar hypersomnia is narcolepsy, a lifelong sleep disorder that makes you feel overwhelmingly tired, and in severe cases, have sudden uncontrollable sleep attacks. Narcolepsy can impact nearly every aspect of your life. It is dangerous because you can have excessive sleepiness or a sleep attack at any time of the day, in the middle of any activity including eating, walking or driving. Operating a vehicle with untreated narcolepsy can be very dangerous and some states even have laws against it. Narcolepsy has a typical onset between fifteen and twenty-five years of age. Symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness; one may feel refreshed after a short nap, but the sleepiness quickly returns; Hallucinations involving all five senses; Sleep Paralysis, where one loses the ability to move and feel paralyzed when you are falling asleep or waking up. This usually lasts a few seconds or minutes. This can be frightening, but it is not associated with an inability to breathe. Sleep paralysis can sometimes be paired with hallucinations, which are especially upsetting; Disturbed Nighttime Sleep, when people with narcolepsy waken frequently during night and are unable to go back to sleep; Memory Problems; and Cataplexy, or sudden loss of muscle tone which includes the musculature used in speech.

Other hypersomnias include; Ideopathic Hypersomnia which causes debilitating day time sleepiness despite normal or even more sleep at night; Insufficient Sleep Syndrome, in which a person is consistently unable to get enough sleep, resulting in sleep deprivation; and Long Sleepers who despite quality sleep, require more sleep than most others. Given restraints on sleep time such as need to wake for work/school, these individuals may have difficulty feeling awake and active during the day.

Sleep Related Breathing Disorders: This class of sleep disorders is straightforward and includes Obstructive Sleep Apnea, during which the sleeper briefly stops breathing multiple times; Snoring; Child Sleep Apnea; Infant Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea which is actually caused by a brain or heart issue rather than airway blockage. Again, a lack of restorative sleep over long periods of time may result in significant physical and mental issues.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders: An article on Circadian Rhythm Disorders appears on the NPA website. These occur when the natural life rhythms are disrupted, impacting the body’s natural asleep-awake cycles.

Parasomnias: “Sleep Education” describes parasomnias as a group of sleep disorders that involve unwanted events or experiences that occur while you are falling asleep, sleeping or waking up. Parasomnias may include abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions or dreams. Although the behaviors may be complex and appear purposeful to others, you remain asleep during the event and often have no memory that it occurred. If you have a parasomnia, you may find it hard to sleep through the night. These include confusional arousals, in which the sleeps awakens unsure of where they are and how they came to be there; sleep terrors detailed in a separate article; sleep eating disorder; REM sleep behavior disorder, in which vivid dreams are acted out in sleep; sleep paralysis where one is unable to move their body upon falling asleep or waking; nightmares; bed-wetting; sleep hallucinations; exploding head syndrome detailed in article of same name; and sleep talking.

Sleep Movement Disorders: This group of sleep disorders is self-explanatory, and can make falling asleep, staying asleep and feeling rested a challenge. These include Restless Leg Syndrome, in which a person feels itching or burning sensation in their legs when they lie down, making it difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep; Periodic Limb Movements, marked by a series of uncontrollable limb movements during the night, usually the lower leg, which significantly impact sleep; Sleep Leg Cramps, which occur usually I the lower leg or foot; Sleep Rhythmic Disorder occurs mostly in children. It consists of rhythmic movements such as rocking, head rolling or head banging during sleep.

As you may have noticed, some disorders include symptoms which are frightening, disorienting, or result in sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation may cause hallucinations, making the sufferer see, hear, smell, taste or feel things that are not there. This may result in claims of paranormal activity. Disorientation may cause feelings of having been “taken” by unseen forces. Sleep paralysis is quite frequently perceived as a spirit holding the body down. Night terrors are also often perceived as spirits or demons trying to harm. Similarly upon seeing your child banging their head in their sleep or a loved one flailing in their sleep, the same conclusion may be drawn. Again, these questions should be raised during debunking process should these claims be made.

Jan 28

Exploding Head Syndrome

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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ilness14Exploding Head Syndrome is in a class of sleep related disorders called parasomnias. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the term “parasomnia” refers to all the abnormal things that can happen to people while they sleep, apart from sleep apnea. Parasomnias can occur as a person is falling asleep or at any point in the sleep cycle. Parasomnias, as a whole effect 10% of the population, most often children.

Exploding Head Syndrome, or EHS, is a parasomnia which, while quite rare, has been discussed more frequently on social media of late. EHS, as described by the American Sleep Association, occurs when the subject experiences a loud bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, a clash of cymbals or any other form of loud, indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head. Contrary to the name, exploding head syndrome has no elements of pain, swelling or any other physical trait associated with it. They may be perceived as having bright flashes of light accompanying them, or result in shortness of breath, though this is likely caused by the increased heart rate of the subject after experiencing it. It most often occurs just before deep sleep, and sometimes upon coming out of deep sleep. Unlike most parasomnias, EHS is found most often in persons 50 and older, but may be found as young as age 10.

Episodes can cause a high level of distress and fear. Many people think that they are having a stroke. The number of attacks varies. They can happen very rarely. They can also occur many times in one night. Having many episodes can greatly disturb your sleep. Some people report having a cluster of attacks over several nights. Then a few weeks or months will pass before it occurs again.

EHS is thought to be highly connected with stress and extreme fatigue in most individuals. What actually causes the sensation in individuals is still unknown, though speculation of possible sources includes minor seizures affecting the temporal lobe, or sudden shifts in middle ear components. It may occur more often when you are very tired or under stress. In many people the episodes occur less often over a period of years. Since EHS is rare and does not significantly impact sleep, it goes largely unreported and therefore untreated. Other sleep disorders need to be ruled out before attributing experiences to EHS. Some find relief with certain anti-depressants. If source is suspected to be stress, relaxation techniques may help.

Due to the oddity of this experience, and how little is reported regarding EHS, sufferers are likely to be confused about the source of the sound. Some report the sensation of re-entering their bodies when experiencing episodes of EHS. If a client of a paranormal research team experiences these sensations together, a sleep disorder specialist should be consulted rule our EHS or other sleep disorders prior to coming to any conclusions. This should be a part of debunking routine.

Jan 28

Phobias

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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PhobiasAll humans are born with the ability to experience fear. When a threat is perceived, we feel fear, and instincts kick in – do we fight or take flight? Fear, according to the American Psychiatric Association, is a normal response to danger. In the case of phobias, the fear triggered is either irrational (in response to something that is in fact not a danger) or excessive (the reaction is far beyond the actual threat level). People of all ages, countries, and backgrounds may develop phobias, generally to animals (spiders or snakes for example), situations (small spaces, heights) or activities (flying, being in/on water). Phobias in some cases are triggered by one or a series of unpleasant events, or may have no clear trigger. Studies are being conducted at present to determine whether phobias have an inborn, primitive genesis that has carried through the centuries. Treatment consists of anti-anxiety medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Symptomology: According to the American Psychiatric Association, phobias cause an emotional and physical response to feared things, activities, and situations. Symptoms include:
– Feelings of panic, dread, horror, or terror
– Recognition that the fear goes beyond normal boundaries and the actual threat of danger
– Reactions that are automatic and uncontrollable, practically taking over the person’s thoughts
– Rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, and an overwhelming desire to flee the situation—all the physical reactions associated with extreme fear
– Extreme measures taken to avoid the feared object or situation

Types: There are far too many specific phobias to detail in the confines of this article. For our purposes, we will discuss those that may be relevant to this field of study. Agoraphobia, commonly recognized as a fear of wide, open spaces includes the fear of being alone in places perceived to be dangerous as well. This may include being in tunnels, crowded concerts, or busy city streets. This phobia begins in early adulthood to mid-thirties, and may have a sudden trigger or more gradual development. The person feels paralyzed with fear and unable to function when finding themselves in these areas. They may be unable to predict which situations will trigger this terror until they are in it. Once the panic attack symptoms occur in a particular place a few times, they are likely to recur there, due to the memory of the experience. The brain may then generalize this “memory” to similar places/situations, to the point that they may become unable to leave their home without great effort and physical support of a trusted person. Agoraphobia may be of relevance to the field of paranormal study, as a person confined to their home for long periods of time are subject to social isolation, which can result in hallucinations or delusions, as detailed in the articles on those topics.

Eichophobia, or fear of the home or home surroundings, may cause an individual to believe there is something evil in their home in order to rationalize their fear or excuse their inability to remain inside their home to others.

Phobias related to common claims of paranormal activity: Many phobias have more than one name; I will not be covering all of the terms in this article. Please recall that phobias manifest as outright terror of the object, situation. It is this terror that may lead a person with phobia to report paranormal claims. One of the most common claims investigators encounter are shadows or shadow figures. Sciophobia is the irrational fear of shadows. This may result in a person feeling that shadows which naturally occur from televisions on in adjacent rooms, people moving about or cars going by to be paranormal in nature. Amychophobia is the irrational fear of scratches or being scratched. Those suffering from this phobia, upon discovering a scratch, may fear it is from an unseen force, spirit or demon. Catoptrophobia is the fear of mirrors. Often clients claim to see or photograph spirits in mirrors. In certain time periods, this phobia was so common that mirrors were covered by black cloth to keep the spirits from exiting the mirror. Another frequent claim is sleep paralysis, as well as night terrors. Somniphobia is the fear of sleep. Other articles have detailed the results of sleep deprivation, which may include hallucinations of all five senses. It can result in paranoia, unusual behavior, and altered states of consciousness. These may not only result in the sleep deprived person making claims of activity, but may also cause others to feel that person is possessed. This information does not imply that the potential claims above are not possible. It is intended to assist in the debunking process necessary to paranormal research.

More directly related phobias include Phasmophobia, fear of ghosts; Pneumatiphobia, that of spirits; Daemonophobia, that of demons; Satanophobia, fear of Satan; and Hadephobia, fear of hell. No doubt most of us have seen a large number of people on social media who jump to the conclusion of demons, possession, etc. seemingly at every turn. Individuals with the phobias listed here are quite likely to interpret tapping sounds, scratching sounds from rodents, growling from neighboring dogs, etc. which may not be audible during the active daylight or evening hours, but are audible at night, as demonic activity. My own team has been called in for these claims on numerous occasions, only to easily debunk the claims. This in no way implies that such activity does not exist. It simply states that these phobia are not uncommon and need to be ruled out in considering such claims.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are a group of phobias which may result in relatively similar claims. These include: Hagiophobia, fear of saints or holy things; Hierophobia, fear of priests or sacred things; Staurophobia, fear of crosses or crucifixes; and Uranophobia, fear of Heaven. Persons who display the terror common to phobias in reaction to the people/things listed here may well be thought to be Satanic, demonic, possessed, or generally evil. One could easily picture the scenes from movies involving exorcisms in these cases. Again, this is not to imply that these conditions do not exist, just to consider in routine debunking efforts.

Phobia that may impact team members’ performance on investigation: Seasoned paranormal investigators are familiar with the conditions and creatures that may be encountered on a case. When training new team members, as well as enthusiasts just starting, should be cognizant of the following possibilities in order to deal with them if necessary: Most investigations are performed in the dark, as night is quieter with fewer distractions; photo or video evidence with full spectrum or IR lighting more effective. Nyctophobia, or fear of the dark, may cause an inexperienced investigator to misinterpret things they see, hear or feel in the dark. Arachnophobia, or fear of spiders, is well-known. Spending time in dark basements, attics, outdoors, etc. one is likely to encounter spiders and their webs; Claustrophobia, fear of closed in spaces, may impact an investigation in crawl spaces, coal cellars, etc.; Chiroptophobia, fear of bats, may come into play in barns, covered bridges, outdoors, etc. Prepare your team for these eventualities. If your team is aware of all possibilities, new recruits may err on the side of caution and choose not to participate if they have a phobia detailed above.

Jan 26

Night Terrors

Holly Moreland

Holly Moreland

Director - Div 2 at National Paranormal Society
Hi, My name is Holly. I live in the middle of Michigan on a small quiet lake with my significant other. I have 2 children, and a couple I choose to also call my own! I have had a few experiences that have made me scratch my head about so I reached out to see what others have encountered! I love to research and communicate what I find in any aspect of life! I also seem to have a need to help others or I could say others seem to seek me out for help! Happy to be part of the group!!.
Holly Moreland

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gr2Although night terrors typically occur in children ages 3-12, they can happen to anyone of any age.

Night terrors are not like nightmares, most children do not recall the event while some adults may remember a fragment of a dream.

Some of the symptoms of a night terror include increase heart rate and breathing, and sweating. It typically begins approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The child sits up in bed and screams, appearing awake but is confused, disoriented, and un-responsive to stimuli. The child may have recurrent episodes of intense crying and fear. They may get up out of bed and sleepwalk. The child seems unresponsive to the parents trying to comfort or wake them. Although most episodes last 1-2 minutes, they may last up to 30 minutes before the child relaxes and returns to normal sleep.

Night Terrors may be caused by the following:

  • Stressful life events
    Fever
    Sleep deprivation
    Medications that affect the central nervous system
    Recent anesthesia given for surgery

Home Remedies for Night Terrors:

  • Make sure child’s room is safe to try to prevent injury during episode.
    Eliminate all sources of sleep disturbances.
    Maintain consistent bedtime routine and wake-up time.

Night Terror Prevention:

  • First, note how many minutes the night terror occurs from your child’s
    bedtime.
    Then, awaken your child 15 minutes before the expected night
    terror, and keep her awake and out of bed for 5 minutes. You
    may want to see if she will urinate.
    Continue this routine for a week.

Night terrors are typically short lived and usually occur over several weeks. Nearly all children will outgrow night terrors by adolescence. If night terrors persist, seeking the advice of your physician may ease your mind. They may be able to help by doing a complete history and physical examination.

For more information see the link provided.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/night-terrors

Jan 26

Psychological Effects of Narcotics

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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hedrugNarcotics are a class of drugs which affect mood or behavior. These may be prescribed or illegal. A common example of prescription drugs classified as narcotic include pain killers or sleeping pills. Illegal narcotics include heroin and cocaine. Narcotics in general dull the senses, induce sleep and relieve pain. In excessive doses or in substance abuse, they suppress brain activity, and may result in euphoria, stupor, coma, convulsions, insensibility, even brain damage or death. Narcotics, both prescription and illegal, or “street drugs” are widely abused and have heightened potential for addiction.

While initial use of narcotics may cause the user to feel a reduction of pain and anxiety, even euphoria, continued use may cause a tolerance to build requiring greater and greater amounts of the drug to feel those effects. Regular use of narcotics may cause those feelings to dissipate, though the user will continue to use the drug in attempts to recapture those feelings. Addiction to narcotics is quite difficult to treat successfully. Long-term use is likely to induce temporary or long-term psychological effects, including those described above.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: Long term euphoria may lead to hallucinations, which have been detailed in several other articles. The person may see, hear, feel, taste or smell things that are not present, and truly believe that their claims are true. This will persist, even if no evidence of these phantom sensations is found. Hallucinations are at times present in seizure activity, which is a potential result of addiction to narcotics.

Jan 26

Chronobiology: Circadian Rhythm Disorder

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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chronoChronobiology simply refers to the study of how the brain’s internal clock interacts with the daily alteration of light and dark in the environment, according to the University of Columbia’s School of Psychiatry. The field of chronobiology is an interdisciplinary field of study, combining aspects of molecular genetics, anatomy, physiology, endocrinology, behavior, physics, cell biology, neurology, and chemistry.

Light and dark are the predominant cues the human brain uses to keep in synch with the outside world. As you are no doubt aware, there is no shortness of regular cycles of light and dark in our world. That said, today’s society with its more indoor lifestyles, tends to spend significantly less time outdoors than previous generations, cutting ourselves off from these vital cues or links that keep the brain in synch with the world around us. When these cues of light and dark are absent or weak, our circadian rhythms of body temperature, hormones, sleep and alertness — and yes, even mood — get out of adjustment with earth’s rotation about the sun, says Dr. Michael Terman of UCSP. This leaves us open to “down” moods.

Other examples of chronobiology include hibernation in certain animal species and photosynthesis on plant life. The most vital rhythm in chronobiology is the Circadian Rhythm, the approximately 24 hour cycle of light and dark by which living creatures synch with their environment. Circadian is a term meaning “approximately a day”, simply enough. There are three basic circadian rhythms: Nocturnal, or mostly active at night; Diurnal, or mostly active during the day, and Crepuscular, or mostly active around dusk or dawn. Most of us are aware that there are “morning people” and “night owls”; these are examples of differing circadian rhythms within the population.

When normal rhythms are disturbed, whether by environment, lifestyle, or physiology a living being may be plagued by insomnia or other disruptions in sleep patterns. In some neurological patients, for example those with Multiple Sclerosis, the need to sleep may be almost insatiable; in others the awake portion of the cycle can last for literally several days, until the body can no longer sustain and “crashes”.

There are other rhythms of lesser importance, the most discussed for our purposes being Lunar rhythms. There is much discussion in the field of psychology and behavioral sciences of the effect of lunar phases on human, and some animal – wolves for example, behavior.

Treatment: Dr. Terman’s methods used in clinical chronobiology include timed exposure to bright artificial light to reduce insomnia or sleep-awake disturbances due to shift work, and the use of a spring-like lighting environment to fight winter depression. New applications include light therapy for chronic depression and depression during pregnancy. In some cases, medications are used to fight fatigue during the day, allowing the patient a greater likelihood of sleep at night.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: In many cases where the awake/asleep cycles are disrupted to the extent described above, intense fatigue or insomnia result. With either of these conditions over a period of time, such issues as hallucinations or paranoia may manifest. These may compromise the credibility of claims and should be considered when preparing for an investigation.

Jan 26

Delusional Disorder

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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ddisDelusional Disorder is one of the category of psychotic disorders. Not surprisingly, it is marked by the prevalence of delusions. Delusions may be non-bizarre or bizarre. Delusions in general are persistent, unyielding beliefs that are not true. These beliefs must persist for more than a month to be considered delusional, and must not be attributable to another disorder such as Schizophrenia, symptoms of which include delusions. Beliefs must also not be attributable to substance use. Persons with Delusional Disorder may function fairly well in society, hold a job, etc. Treatment includes medication and psychotherapy.

Non-bizarre delusions are false, persisting beliefs that while in some cases may be possible, are not true. A common example would be that their significant other is cheating. While possible, to meet the criteria, the individual would have investigated, and repeatedly rechecked the possibility, found it to be untrue, yet persist in the belief. A belief that he/she has a serious health condition that has been definitively ruled out is another common example.

Bizarre delusions are, again not surprisingly, beyond the realm of possibility in the eyes of the vast majority. One example of a bizarre delusion cited in “Psych Central” is that a stranger has removed all their internal organs, closing the wound without leaving a scar.

Delusions may also be categorized based on the nature of the belief. Likely the more well-known delusions include those of grandeur, in which the person believes themselves to be of grossly inflated power, notoriety, etc. (royalty, for example) as well as those of persecution in which the person believes that someone or some group is plotting against them. Other types include somatic delusions, in which he or she would focus on a health issue as described above. I erotomanic delusions, he/she believes someone of higher social status to be in love with them. The example above regarding the cheating lover is a jealous type of delusion. There are also mixed types (combination of types) and unspecified.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society is transparent. A person who lives with Delusional Disorder truly believes their delusion. If this belief is that they are being persecuted by a spirit for example, which as an investigator I personally have encountered, it is extremely difficult to convince this person, despite a lack of evidence, that this is not happening to them. In the case I encountered, the client continues to request I re-investigate despite having done so numerous times with no findings.

A person may claim that they were abducted by aliens and used for experimentation. To a growing number of people, this is in the realm of possibility. In these cases, it may be necessary to gain as much knowledge of the client as possible before drawing any conclusions.

Jan 26

Hallucinations

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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hallucinatioHallucinations are defined as the perception of something that is not present. Hallucinations are commonly associated with Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders. However, “Healthline” notes that they may be caused by several other factors, including prolonged lack of sleep, brain cancer, high fever, migraines, seizure activity, social isolation, dementia, loss of effective use of one or more of the senses, alcohol withdrawal, very low sodium or glucose levels in the blood, and others.

The general population is familiar with the term hallucination; however, not many are aware that these can be perceived by any of the five senses. The classic example of a hallucination is the man wandering lost in the desert and suddenly sees a lush oasis. He plunges his hands into the crystal clear water, only to find it is just sand. The oasis was not really there. This is a visual hallucination, the type most associate with the term. Visual hallucinations may also include flashes or other forms of light (please note light anomalies may be aura preceding migraines or seizure), or any other form that is seen with the eye.

Hallucinations may be auditory, as in voices which in the case of persons with psychotic disorders may tell them to do things or that someone is plotting against them. Other examples include tapping, footsteps, creaking floor boards.

Tactile hallucinations are the perception that someone or something is touching, pushing, grabbing or holding someone down. These could also manifest as the feeling of bugs or rodents crawling over the skin. Tactile hallucinations can be quite traumatic.

Olfactory hallucinations are odors that no one else smells (it should be noted that this can also be an aura preceding migraines or seizures as well). Hallucinations of taste are self-explanatory, a metallic taste on the tongue, pipe tobacco taste in non-smoker’s mouth for example.

As you looked through the potential causes of hallucinations, you no doubt surmised that some are temporary in nature, as in high fevers, seizures, etc. Others, as in those associated with the psychotic disorders, are chronic (ongoing in nature). These are treated with psychotropic medications and psychotherapy.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: The very nature of a hallucination makes the relevance quite apparent. It is nearly impossible to give credence to claims made by an individual who exhibits these symptoms. In some cases, as in hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level in the blood; also occurs from time to time in diabetics) this condition can be easily remedied. As an investigator, a team member had a disturbingly odd experience. Knowing the person was diabetic, blood sugar was immediately checked to rule out hypoglycemia while other team members continued to investigate. It is important to watch for these symptoms and to seek the cause in a respectful, gentle manner. Also note that some persons with challenges may also live in active homes!

Jan 26

ADHD & Hyperfocus

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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asdhd

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has become one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders. ADHD is generally diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. In recent years, Adult Attention Deficit Disorder has gained recognition. ADHD presents as difficulty with attending to task, impulse control (acting without thinking about consequences of the behavior), and difficulty being still and calm. A person with ADHD may exhibit predominantly inattentive behavior (ADD), predominantly hyperactive behavior (HD), or the combination of the two (ADHD). Persons with ADHD often are challenged in getting along with peers, keeping track of their belongings, remembering, being able to not talk or be still in appropriate settings, taking turns in games or conversations.

Hyperfocus is not considered a diagnosis in itself in the DSM-5. It is in fact, according to “Psychology Today”, an interesting and seemingly contradictory, symptom of Attention Deficit Disorder. Hyperfocus is an unwavering fixation on a topic or event, complete submersion. This fixation causes the individual to lose all attention to self-care, relationships, and other necessary activities, so all-encompassing is the focus on the event or topic. Should an interpersonal relationship become the object of hyperfocus, serious implications often arise.

Contrary to what the general public may think when observing a child with ADHD, consumption of sweets, excessive television, poor parenting are not believed to be associated with the condition. Risk factors include low birth weight, premature delivery, brain injury, substance use during pregnancy, and exposure to environmental dangers such as lead, according to CDC. Treatment consists of medication and psychotherapies. Adult ADHD is treated in the same manner.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: Medication used to treat ADHD, in some cases may have side effects including: confusion; feeling that surroundings are not real; seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there; sudden loud verbal outbursts or body movements. The first three side effects noted may cause a person to feel that there is something haunting them. The latter two may cause others to suspect possession. It should be noted that these side effects are not among the most common to these medications.

 

Jan 23

Psychotic Disorders (Generalized)

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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The disorders that fall under the umbrella of Psychosis are marked by the individual having a break with reality. He or she will be unsure what is real and what is not. Psychosis effects approximately 1% of the population, and impacts each gender equally. Psychoses may run in families and can be treated using psychotherapy and antipsychotic medications. See article on Schizophrenia for more detail on these medications and their side effects.

In the Schizophrenia article, the symptoms of auditory, visual, olfactory, and tactile hallucinations as well as delusions of grandeur or persecution were detailed. Likewise disorganized and confused speech and behavior were discussed. Schizophrenia is the most common psychotic disorder. Symptoms must present for 6 months or more for an accurate diagnosis.

Other types of psychoses are closely related and include Paraphrenia which is simply Schizophrenia presenting in the elder years. Other individuals experience acute (sudden in onset and lasting generally a month or less) incidence of psychotic behavior known as Brief Psychosis. This is commonly brought on by severe stress. Medical issues such as a brain tumor or other physiological condition may trigger Medically Induced Psychosis. This is self-explanatory, as is Substance-induced Psychosis from use of methamphetamines, alcohol, etc.

Schizoaffective Disorder presents as a combination of Schizophrenia and a mood disorder such as mania, depression, etc. Schizophreniform Disorder is diagnosed when a person exhibits symptoms of Schizophrenia for fewer than 6 months.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: Given the nature of psychotic symptoms, it is clear that claims of phantom sounds and smells are likely in a person living with a psychotic disorder. Likewise feeling touched, seeing things that are not physically present are also common. Observation of a client requesting an investigation of their home is important; the nature of the claims will likely trigger concern. Is the person confused, feeling persecuted by what they feel is in their home? Are they claiming seeing, hearing, smelling things that do not add up? Since a person living with a psychotic disorder is not sure of what is real and what is not, knowing their status, if possible, is important and must be handled gently. Debunking skills would be in the forefront of an investigator’s tools.

Jan 22

Pareidolia Art

Shellie Langdeau

Shellie Langdeau

Health & Safety
Department Chair

Hi all! My name is Shellie. I live in Rockville, Rhode Island. Born and raised in “the sticks”, so to speak. I’ve been a social worker for very close to 25 years, working directly with people who suffer from chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues. I didn’t have my first paranormal experience till I was in my early 30’s. Since that time, I’ve been infatuated with the unknown. My mind is driven to want provable facts though. I will search and search to find a logical explanation for everything lol.
Shellie Langdeau

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Screenshot_2Pareidolia (pronounced pa-ri-DOE-lee-a) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or a sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples including seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.
It is thought that there may be some kind of evolutionary advantage to this malfunctioning of the perceptual
apparatus, particularly with regard to our tendency to see faces in commonplace objects. Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are “hard-wired” from birth to identify the human face. While this allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor
visibility, it also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces. The evolutionary advantages of being able to identify friend from foe, with split second accuracy, are numerous; prehistoric (and even modern) men and women who accidentally identify an enemy a a fried could face deadly consequences for their mistake. This is only one among many evolutionary pressures responsible for the development of the modern facial recognition capability of humans.
In 2009, a magnetoencephalography study found that objects incidentally perceived as faces, evoke an early
activation in the ventral fusiform cortex, at a time and location similar to that evoked by faces, whereas other
common objects do not evoke such activation. This activation is similar to a slightly earlier peak seen for
images of real faces. The authors suggest that face perception evoked by face-like objects is a relatively
early process, and not a late cognitive reinterpretation phenomenon.
This study has helped to explain why people identify the “face” features, as in the picture below, so quickly
and without hesitation. Precognitive processes are activated by the “face-like” object, which alert the
observer to the emotional state and identity of the subject….even before the conscious mind begins to process
or even receive the information. The “stick figure face”, despite its simplicity, conveys mood information (in

this case, disappointment or mild unhappiness). It would be just as simple to draw a stick figure face that

would be perceived as hostile and aggressive. This robust and subtle capability is the result of eons of natural
selection favoring people most able to quickly identify the mental state, for example, of threatening people,
thus providing the individual an opportunity to flee and fight another day. In other words, processing this
information subcortically (and, therefore, subconsciously and before it is passed on to the rest of the brain for
detailed processing, accelerates judgment and decision making when alacrity is paramount. This ability,
though highly specializes for the processing and recognition of human emotions, also functions to determine
the demeanor of wildlife.
Screenshot_1

Jan 22

Sleep Paralysis: Is It Paranormal?

Written by APS Founder and Mid-Atlantic Director: Alex Matsuophoto-on-2013-01-19-at-09-17

Probably one of the most popular emails I receive involves the client being awakened for whatever reason, they’re not able to move or speak, they feel a weight on their chest, and they may feel a dark presence in the room. The client may even see things around the room like a ghost, spirit, demon, lights, colors, just to name a few. For anyone, this is a terrifying experience no matter who you are. As someone who dealt with this myself, I know how scary it is when your eyes open and you can’t even move, let alone let out a noise.

It should come as a relief for many that there is actually a logical explanation for this phenomenon. It’s very important to know the difference between sleep paralysis and a paranormal occurrence in this area. Of course, there are always exceptions and variables to this, but generally, this frightening experience can be explained using some logic and science.

tumblr_m7pof6la081qahgwao1_500

When we sleep, our body goes through a series of different stages of sleep that involve REM (rapid eye movement) and Non-rapid eye movement (NREM). Our body cycles in and out of REM and NREM and progress through about four stages of sleep, appropriately called Stage 1-5. Our bodies typically spend the most time in the state of NREM and a shorter time in REM, which is where our dreams occur. Studies have shown that the REM stage starts about 90 minutes into sleep.

Here are the different stages of sleep

  • Stage 1: Starts about 5-10 minutes into sleep, and the eyes are closed. It’s not hard to wake up from this stage, however, you won’t feel like you got any rest. Have you ever had a dream early on in your sleeping time where you trip and fall and your body jolts you awake? That’s called hypnic myoclonia. Also at this stage, the brain begins to produce theta waves, which are slow brain waves.
  • Stage 2: This is a period of light sleep while the muscles relax that help you transition into a deeper sleep. This lasts about 20 minutes.
  • Stage 3: This is officially the stage between light sleep and deep sleep and deeper, slow brain waves occur.
  • Stage 4: This is a deep sleep that lasts about 30 minutes, and also known as delta sleep due to the delta brain waves that are occurring.
  • Stage 5: The body enters into REM sleep and this is where dreaming occurs.

Now, keep in mind that the body cycles through stages of sleep, and sometimes it is out-of-order. This is all fine and dandy, but what does this have to do with sleep paralysis?

Well, when we enter the stage of REM sleep, our brain emit a chemical that paralyzes our body. This is so that we don’t physically act out our dreams. During the REM stage, our minds are very vivid with intense dreams, and it can be dangerous for our bodies to physically act out what’s going on in our minds. This chemical paralyzes everything from legs to arms, to fingers and toes.

When our body is awakened, for whatever reason, sometimes our body is still under this paralyzing chemical. Our eyes are open and we’re awake, but our body is still asleep, which can bring on the effect of feeling like you’re being pinned down. In some cases, our brains are still dreaming, which can cause hallucinations or literally seeing our dreams before our eyes.

Of course, there are always variables and exceptions. But knowing the possible explanations for this scary occurrence is very important before immediately resorting to a paranormal explanation. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis regularly, you may want to see your doctor and look into possible being tested for a sleep disorder. For me personally, I was able to stop my own sleep paralysis incidents by stopping my consumption of caffeine by noon and not watching TV immediately before bed.

But if you’re experiencing the effect of being pinned down, and seeing things before you’re even asleep, then perhaps there’s something more going on, and it would be worth it to contact a local paranormal team to ask some questions. Most importantly, rule out logical explanation before moving on to the next step. Below are some reference links with much more in-depth information, and I encourage you all to read them with a fine-toothed comb and look into more books and websites with information if this interests you.

(You can visit the most impressive blog of Alex Matsuo here: Association of Paranormal Study)

References:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/sleep-101

http://www.livescience.com/21653-brain-chemicals-sleep-paralysis.html

http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/a/SleepStages.htm

Jan 22

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)

Multiple-personality_inkonpaper_210x297mm

The diagnosis most know as Multiple Personality Disorder was renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder in 1994. This condition is often mistaken for Schizophrenia due to the etymology (or origin) of the word schizophrenia being split brain. These are two distinct disorders (see article on Schizophrenia). While Hollywood portrays Dissociative Identity Disorder, herein referred to as DID, often in movies and television, true DID is quite rare. DID is strongly associated with sexual abuse at a young age. In DID, two or more distinct personalities are present in the same person, each being dominant at varying times. When each alternate personality takes control, the individual experiences long periods of memory loss while “dormant”. Certain personalities may take control based on situations/stressors experienced at the time.

Symptomology: The individual living with DID’s personality is splintered. The individual does not “grow” new identities, as the former diagnosis of MPD would suggest; hence the name change. “DID reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and consciousness in a single multidimensional self. Usually, a primary identity carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent, guilty and depressed. When in control, each personality state, or alter, may be experienced as if it has a distinct history, self-image and identity. The alters’ characteristics—including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary, general knowledge, and predominant mood—contrast with those of the primary identity. Certain circumstances or stressors can cause a particular alter to emerge. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.” – “Psychology Today” 11/14

Treatment and Prognosis: There are currently no medications to treat or cure DID, though psychotropic medications are used to assist in coping. Long-term intensive psychotherapy attempt to reassociate the fragments.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: Since personalities present in an individual living with DID vary as do those among a group of typical persons, it would be likely that claims of activity are parts of the fragmented memories of that particular personality, rather than what was actually occurring in the presenting situation.

 

 

Jan 22

Gaslighting

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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gaslightHave you ever met someone who seemed to always recall events in a completely different manner than how you know they occurred? No matter how sure you are, they glibly dismiss what you say, insisting on an opposite chain of events? Did you find yourself second-guessing your every move, not wanting to make decisions because you knew they would be wrong? Find yourself constantly apologizing? You may have been a victim of gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a behavioral trait of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is a complicated form of psychological abuse used by these individuals on family, friends, employees, significant others, to gain and maintain control. Gaslighting refers to gradually manipulating or twisting the truth over a period of time in order to cause the partner to doubt what they see, feel, think and know to be true. Victims will at times doubt their sanity. While some in early use of this trait are less skilled and more easily spotted, others have developed significant subtly and finesse over time, and may not be noticed until significant damage has been done. Over time the narcissist has redefined the reality of his/her victim and uses this as a control mechanism. Control may be over not only important aspects of the relationship, but also insignificant aspects: choice of clothes, how tasks are performed, even facial expression.

“Psychology Today” describes stages of gaslighting from the victim’s standpoint. First, the reaction is disbelief. “How could he possibly say that “I” was flirting with a man, when I know for a fact that it was he who was flirting with another woman?” for example. The victim finds the behavior strange, but thinks it is just an off moment, and may even make up excuses for the incident.

The second stage is defensiveness. The victim has realized that something just isn’t right. I KNOW I was not rude to him/her. Why are they insisting I insulted them? The victim questions the manipulations and asserts their knowledge of what they know is true. However, the conversation goes in a continuous loop with the narcissist continuing, with increasing incredulity, to insist that what they are saying is fact. This causes increasing stress and frustration to the victim. No matter what they do, or how hard they try to please this person, they are met with the same “flipping of the script”.

Finally depression sets in as the third stage. The victim gives up and has no faith in their own knowledge, memory, or abilities. The victim is unable to feel joy, and does not recognize him- or herself (again according to “Psychology Today”). They feel as if they cannot do even the most mundane tasks right. The victim blames themselves for not being a good enough wife, boyfriend, employee, friend, parent…

Once the gaslighting is recognized, this cycle of mental abuse can be broken, with time and support to regain the inner strength, and sanity, that were there, but called into doubt.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: The incidence of psychological and other abuse is staggering. Narcissistic personalities are more common than one would think, and exist in differing degrees. Once a person doubts what they see, hear, feel, they are more likely to buy into the group mentality…”if others believe this, then I will too, since I can’t think for myself”. They may avoid looking for an explanation for activity due to low self-confidence. They may state whatever the gaslighter convinces them that they see/do not see, hear/do not hear. An objective investigator should watch the relationship dynamic. As investigators are not generally trained in this area, they should not attempt to intervene beyond their training, but consider this in their interactions and evidence analysis.

 

 

Jan 22

Schizophrenia

Brain-Inflammation-Linked-To-Schizophrenia-Study Schizophrenia is a frequently misunderstood psychotic disorder; psychotic disorders are distinguished by the individual’s “break” from reality. The term itself comes from the Greek words for ”split mind”. For this reason, schizophrenia is often mistaken for Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD will be addressed in a separate article). The two diagnoses are by no means interchangeable. Schizophrenia is among the most severe and debilitating forms of psychological disorders, and itself has multiple forms. Until recent years, Schizophrenia was classified in 5 types: Paranoid, Catatonic, Disorganized, Undifferentiated, and Residual. This disorder has now become recognized as a “spectrum” disorder, since the manifestations among patients were prone to change or were not clearly one type versus another, according to the DSM-5 (the predominant diagnostic tool and classification system).

Symptomology: Five key symptoms of Schizophrenia are: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms. The number and/or combination of symptoms needed for diagnosis is irrelevant for this writing. Delusions most commonly are thought processes in which the individual believes he or she is either being persecuted, or conversely, that they are of lofty status (delusions of grandeur).
Hallucinations may be of several types. Some persons may hear voices “inside their heads” (auditory hallucinations); these voices may tell them to do things which may pose a risk to themselves or others. In some cases these voices tell the individual that outside forces or persons are plotting against them, trying to harm them or reading their thoughts. Some individuals may see things, people, etc. that are not there or are misperceived (visual hallucinations). These too may pose a threat to the individual; they may believe someone has actually performed a harmful act on them. They may smell odors others do not (olfactory), feel fingers/hands touching them that are not there (tactile). It is important to be aware that to the person living with Schizophrenia, these hallucinations are real. They are unable to distinguish reality from fantasy/hallucinations. Since these individuals are able to express themselves and their emotions fairly effectively, they may seem typical until these dysfunctional thoughts, ideas or hallucinations are expressed aloud or acted upon. These are symptoms commonly associated with the former paranoid type.

Other people living with Schizophrenia may exhibit speech or behavior which makes no sense to the observer. Emotions that are inappropriate to a situation may be expressed, such as laughing aloud when told of a death. These are examples of disorganized speech and disorganized behavior. Others may be motionless for hours or days; this is catatonic behavior. Flat affect, or lack of expressed emotion, is an example of negative symptoms.

Treatment: Schizophrenia may be treated to varying degrees, though not cured, using antipsychotic medications, such as Haldol, Risperdol, Clozaril, to name only a few. Side effects are common but diminish with time, and include sun sensitivity, drowsiness, headache, etc. Long term use may lead to Tardive Dyskinesia, a condition which manifests as uncontrolled muscle movements and tremors. Weight gain and symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia, some patients may stop taking their medications.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: As you read the information above, you no doubt noticed some symptoms which could be misinterpreted as paranormal activity. Most notably, auditory hallucinations could be interpreted as sprit voices; visual hallucinations as apparitions. Likewise, phantom odors and feelings of fingers/hands touching a person are common claims of paranormal activity. Unintelligible speech, inappropriate expression of emotion, or disorganized behavior all have potential to be mistaken for demon possession.

Remember that not all persons living with Schizophrenia are easily recognized as such. Due to the stigma associated with mental health disorders, the individual is unlikely to divulge their diagnosis or whether they are on or off their medications. When objectively investigating claims of paranormal activity, it is helpful to keep this information in mind. In some cases it is necessary to gently ask a client about their psychological history, request a client be seen to rule out any psychological influence on his or her perception of activity. Done properly, this can and has been a productive part of objective investigating and debunking.

Jan 22

Lead Poisoning

Shellie Langdeau

Shellie Langdeau

Health & Safety
Department Chair

Hi all! My name is Shellie. I live in Rockville, Rhode Island. Born and raised in “the sticks”, so to speak. I’ve been a social worker for very close to 25 years, working directly with people who suffer from chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues. I didn’t have my first paranormal experience till I was in my early 30’s. Since that time, I’ve been infatuated with the unknown. My mind is driven to want provable facts though. I will search and search to find a logical explanation for everything lol.
Shellie Langdeau

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Screenshot_6Another environmental factor and danger to think about before investigating a site, is lead. Lead
poisoning is a serious and sometimes fatal condition. Lead is a highly toxic metal and is a very strong
poison. It can be found in lead-based paints, including paint of the walls of old houses and buildings
and on toys. It can also be found in contaminated dust and art supplies.
Lead poisoning usually occurs over a period of months or years and can cause severe physical and
mental impairment. Young children are most vulnerable to lead poisoning due to their behavior of
putting things into their mouth.
Lead poisoning occurs when lead is ingested. It can also be caused by breathing in dust that contains
lead. You cannot smell or taste lead and it is not visible to the naked eye.
Lead use to be common in household paint and gasoline in the United States. Although these products
are no longer produced with lead, lead is still present everywhere, especially in older homes and
buildings.
A few common sources of lead include:
House paint from before 1978
Toys made and painted outside the US
Toys and household items painted before 1978
Bullets, curtain weights, and fishing sinkers made of lead
Pipes and sink faucets, which can contaminate water
Chipping house paint and soil polluted by car exhaust
Jewelry, pottery and lead figures
Storage batteries
The symptoms of lead poisoning are varied and the may affect many parts of the body. Most of the
time, lead poisoning builds up slowly. It follows repeated exposures to small quantities of lead. Lead
toxicity is rare after a single exposure.
Signs of repeated exposure include:
Abdominal pain
Abdominal cramps
Aggressive behavior
Sleep problems
Constipation
Irritability
Headaches
Loss of appetite
Fatigue
High blood pressure
Memory Loss
Numbness or tingling in extremities
Kidney dysfunction
Anemia

 

Loss of development skills in children
Since a child’s brain is still developing, lead can lead to mental impairment. Signs of this can include:
Behavior problems
Poor grades
Low IQ
Problems with hearing
Growth delays
Learning difficulties (short and long term)
A high, toxic dose may lead to more emergency symptoms such as:
Severe abdominal pain and cramping
Muscle weakness
Stumbling when walking
Vomiting
Seizures
Coma
Encephalopathy, which manifests as confusion, coma and seizures
Lead poisoning is diagnosed through a blood lead test. This test is performed on a standard blood
sample.
Low levels in adults is common. However, low levels in children are a cause for concern. Normal lead
levels vary by age group. The amount of lead in the blood is measured in micrograms per deciliter
(mcg/dL).
For adults, the normal the normal result is less than 20 mcg/dL. Slightly higher levels may not be
serious. Treatment is recommended if the adult is experiencing symptoms. It is also recommended for
a blood lead level greater than 60 mcg/dL.
For children, a normal result is less than 10 mcg/dL. Any higher level than normal should be
monitored closely and the source of the lead should be removed immediately. A level greater than 45
mcg/dL should always be treated. Levels of 10-25 mcg/dL have been associated with impaired
neurobehavioral development in children. Levels of 25-50 mcg/dL may be associated with headache,
irritability, and early nerve problems. Levels of 50-70 are associated with moderate toxicity, and levels
greater than 70-100 mcg/dL are associated with severe poisoning.
Additional tests may include blood tests to look at the amount of iron storing cells in the blood, x-rays,
and possibly a bone marrow biopsy.
The first step of treatment is to locate and remove the lead source. If it cannot be removed then it
should be sealed. Call your local health department for information on how to remove lead. They can
also help you reduce the likelihood of lead exposure.
Simple steps can help you avoid lead poisoning. Some steps include:
Avoid areas where lead-based paint may have been used
Keep your home free of dust

Test your water for lead. If lead levels are high, consider using a filtering device.
Teach your children to wash their hands after playing.
Clean faucets and aerators regularly.
Make sure any contractor doing work in your house is certified in lead control.
Screen young children for blood lead levels.
Use cold water to prepare any foods or drinks
In researching lead poisoning for this article I discovered a plethora of information out there regarding

this topic. As always, stay safe out there!
Information gathered from www.healthline.com

Jan 18

The 5 stages of grief

Bethany Schelling

Bethany Schelling

Assistant Director - Div 6 at National Paranormal Society
Hey everyone. My name is Bethany Schelling. I'm a mother of a beautiful 10 year old daughter. I'm a bartender/waitress and studying cosmetology. I love in a small town in Amish country. A far cry from the Philadelphia, I know. I have been interested in the paranormal since I was a kid. I've always asked a ton of questions and never really got answers that made sense. After having a few unexplained experiences myself, I started looking for serious answers. Belief isn't enough for me. I want evidence that can stand for itself. I come from a logical point of view and believe science is going to help answer the questions we have. I want to continue to learn and help anyway I can.
Bethany Schelling

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NPSGraphic
Losing a family member or someone close to us can be one of the hardest things we go through. Many of us have either someone close to us pass or know someone that has. We want answers and conformation that they are safe and at peace. In searching for that, we don’t give ourselves the time to go through the grief process.

Grief: a multifaceted response to a loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has passed to which a bond or affection was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions

Grief is a natural response to loss. I have seen and have been one of the people that jump right in to trying to make contact with those that have passed or are looking for proof of their afterlife existence. It is extremely important that we allow ourselves the time to go through the process of grieving. There is no right or wrong way to grieve but many of us go through different stages.

1. Denial and Isolation
The first reaction to learning of terminal illness or death of a cherished loved one is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

2. Anger
As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends or family. Anger may be directed at our dying or deceased loved one. Rationally, we know the person is not to be blamed. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain or for leaving us. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us more angry.

3. Bargaining
The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control. This is where the what ifs come in. Most of us have done this to ourselves at one time or another. What if we got them medical attention sooner? What if we got another opinion? What if I was a better person to them? Secretly, we may try and make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is the weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

4. Depression
Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret predominate this type of depression. We worry about the costs and burial. We worry about if they are at peace and well. We worry that, in our grief, we have spent less time with the others that depend on us. This phase may be eased by simple reassurance and clarification. A little cooperation and a few kinds words can really be of help. The second type is more subtle and in a sense more private. It is our quiet preparation to separate and to bid our loved ones farewell.

5. Acceptance
Reaching this stage of mourning is a gift not afforded to everyone. Death may be sudden and unexpected or we may never see beyond our anger or denial. Loved ones that are terminally ill or aging appear to go through a final period of withdrawal. Their behavior implies that it is natural to reach a stage at which social interaction is limited. The dignity and grace shown by our loved ones at this time may be their last gift to us.

Coping with loss is ultimately a deeply personal and singular experience. Nobody can help you go through it more easily or understand all the emotions that you are going through. But others can be there for you and help comfort you through the process. The best thing you can do for your well-being is to allow yourself the time to feel and go through process. Resisting it will only prolong the natural process of healing.

Jan 15

What is histoplasmosis?

Shellie Langdeau

Shellie Langdeau

Health & Safety
Department Chair

Hi all! My name is Shellie. I live in Rockville, Rhode Island. Born and raised in “the sticks”, so to speak. I’ve been a social worker for very close to 25 years, working directly with people who suffer from chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues. I didn’t have my first paranormal experience till I was in my early 30’s. Since that time, I’ve been infatuated with the unknown. My mind is driven to want provable facts though. I will search and search to find a logical explanation for everything lol.
Shellie Langdeau

Latest posts by Shellie Langdeau (see all)

histoI can just imagine the excitement and adrenaline rush of going on a investigation in an old, dilapidated, abandoned building! But beware! Histoplasmosis may be the only thing you “catch”……

Wait…what?? What is histoplasmosis??? Why do I need to know this, you ask??

Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. It is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne. Most people who develop histoplasmosis never develop symptoms and are not aware they are infected. For people with already compromised immune systems, histoplasmosis can be serious.

Several types of histoplasmosis exist, from the mildest form producing no symptoms, to the most severe infections which can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms will usually occur 3-17 days after exposure and may include the following:
– fever
– chills
– headache
– muscle spasms
– dry cough
– chest discomfort

“Chronic” histoplasmosis may include weight loss and a cough that may produce blood and can mimic the symptoms of tuberculosis. The most severe cases of histoplasmosis occur in people with compromised immune systems, as mentioned above, and can effect nearly any part of your body, including your mouth, liver, central nervous system, skin and adrenal glands. If untreated, this variety is usually fatal.

In closing, as investigators, please do your due diligence in always being aware of your surroundings and the physical dangers of the area you are investigating. Contact your doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms after being exposed to bird or bat droppings. And, as always, stay safe out there!

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/histoplasmosis/basics/symptoms/con-20026585

Jan 15

CPR and AED

Ted Milam

Ted Milam

Ted grew up in Maryland and spent his early years near Antietam Battlefield, where he witnessed a few unexplained things as a young kid. When Ted graduated high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps, and spent 10 years on active duty traveling the United States and quite a few Countries along the way. After a paranormal experience while serving in Japan, Ted knew he had to find out some answers. After leaving the Marines in 2002, Ted was hired as a Firefighter in the San Diego area, where he spent the next 6 years. In 2008, he went to Iraq as a contractor for a year, then in 2009, moved to Georgia where he works today as a Firefighter in the Savannah area. Ted founded Ghost Watchers Paranormal Investigations – Savannah, in 2010. Ted’s goal is to find some common answers in the paranormal field.
Ted Milam

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NPSGraphic

I think by now most of us have heard of CPR and AED. What is it?  “CPR” is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and “AED” is Automated External Defibrillator.

Why is it important? Sudden cardiac arrest can happen suddenly for many reasons. It is important to know what to do when it happens. A good tool is called the “Chain of survival”

1. Early access

Call 911 Immediately…the sooner Advanced care arrives the chance are better for survival. This should be done within seconds.

2. Early CPR

Chest compressions and rescue breathing at a rate of 30:2…refer to the American Heart Association guidelines

3. Early defibrillation

Automated External Defibrillator is a small machine normally located in public places such as airport terminals and malls. It is a self functioning system that will prompt the user what to do.

Refer to the American Heart Association guidelines

4. Early advanced care

The Golden Hour. It is important to have the person be seen by advanced care as soon as possible for the best recovery chances.

Source:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

Jan 03

What is Radon?

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

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radon

In the past couple of months we have discussed environmental hazards paranormal investigators should be aware of such as black mold and allergens. Today, I’d like to touch upon Radon.

What Is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found at different levels in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into ground water and surface water. It is present outdoors, as well as indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from river and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.

How Are People Exposed To Radon?
For both adults and children, most exposure comes from being indoors in homes, commercial buildings, schools and other places. The levels of radon in homes and other buildings depend on the characteristics of the rock and soil in the area. As a result, radon levels vary greatly in different parts of the United States, even within neighborhoods. Elevated radon levels have been found in every state.

Radon gas, given off by rock or soil, can enter buildings through cracks in floors or walls; construction joints; or gaps in foundations around pipes, wires or pumps. Levels are usually highest in the basement or crawl space due to these areas being closest to the soil or the rock that is the source of the radon. Therefore, people who spend much of their time in basement rooms have a greater risk for being exposed. Small amounts of radon can also be released from the water supply into the air, especially if the water source is underground. As the radon moves from the water to the air, it can be inhaled. Water that comes from deep, underground wells in rock may have higher levels, whereas, surface water (drawn from rivers or lakes) usually has very low levels of radon. For the most part, water does not contribute much to the overall exposure. Exposure can also occur from building materials if they are made from radon-containing substances. Almost any building material made from natural substances, including concrete and wallboard, may give off some level of radon. In most cases, these level are very low, but in a few instances these materials may contribute significantly to radon exposure.

Some granite countertops may expose people to different levels of radon. Most health and radiation experts agree that while a small portion of granite countertops may give off increased level of radon, most countertops give off extremely low levels.

Symptoms Of Radon Poisoning
You cannot see or smell radon gas, making it very difficult for people to even know they’ve been exposed. This radioactive gas causes damage to our cells deep within the lungs. Radon gas exposure has no early discernible symptoms. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer, especially in smokers.

How To Avoid Radon Exposure
Radon is in the air we breath, both indoors and out, so it is not possible to avoid it completely. But there may be things you can do to lower your exposure.

For most people, the largest potential source of radon is in the home. You can check radon levels in your home to determine if steps are needed to lower them. Do-it-yourself radon kits can be ordered through the mail or bought in hardware or home supply stores. The kits are placed in the home for a period of time then mailed to a lab for analysis. The EPA recommends testing all homes below the 3rd floor, even new homes that were built “radon-resistant”. Another way is to hire a professional. Qualified contractors can be found on the EPA website.

It is very important for paranormal investigators to be aware of all environmental hazards when investigating. Happy, safe investigating!

http://www.cancer.org/…/ca…/othercarcinogens/pollution/radon

Dec 06

Something is in the air…..Airborne allergens

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Millions of people suffer each year with airborne allergies. Airborne allergens include, dust, pet dander, pollen and mold. Did you know that the most common culprit, worldwide, is dust? I’m sure many a Paranormal Investigator has dealt with these varying allergens, at one time or another, on an investigation.

SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIES TO AIRBORNE SUBSTANCES
1. Sneezing often accompanied by a runny or clogged nose
2. Coughing and post nasal drip
3. Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
4. Allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes caused by increased blood flow near the sinuses)
5. The “allergic salute” (in a child, persistent upward rubbing of the nose causing a crease mark on the nose)
6. Watery eyes
7. Conjunctivitis

So how to you protect yourself on an investigation?

If you have known allergies, you should always take precautions! Masks are very important along with any prescribed allergy medications to keep yourself healthy!

For more information, please click the link below
http://www.medicinenet.com

Nov 25

Training & Equipment

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

I figured I would post some links where you can find training and equipment that can help keep you safe on paranormal investigations. This is just a short list and definitely not the only places to find these products and training. Feel free to post more below, especially if you have interacted and had good experiences with them.

 CPR & FIRST AID:

http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/CommunityCPRandFirstAid/Community-CPR-First-Aid_UCM_001123_SubHomePage.jsp

 

WILDERNESS TRAINING:

http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wfr.shtml

http://www.wildmed.com/wilderness-medical-courses/

 

SUPPLIES:

http://www.firstaidsuppliesonline.com

https://www.e-firstaidsupplies.com

http://www.bettymills.com

http://www.gemplers.com/tech/sresp.htm

http://www.grainger.com

http://www.enviroequipment.com

 

RESEARCH:

http://www.gemplers.com/tech/sresp.htm

http://www.cdc.gov

http://www.epa.gov/mold/

http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos

Sep 08

Dangers Unseen

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

dangerclosegames_logoOver the next few months we will be taking a look at the dangers that you may face while conducting paranormal investigations. For the first few topics we will be focusing on the dangers that you may not see, and effects that may not show themselves until later down the road. I am going to be straight and to the point with these. I will list the danger, where it can be found, and the symptoms that one will face if effected,etc. In this article we will look at two dangers, the next article a few more and so on. I hope these will give you the knowledge to keep you and your team safe and healthy.

 

ASBESTOS

What is it?

Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate. Asbestos is resistant to heat, flames, and chemical action. Some forms have been shown to cause lung diseases.

Where can it be found?

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes
  • In soil and rocks

How can you be exposed?

In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air. The greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.

Sign and Symptoms

Sign and symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness.
  • A persistent cough that gets worse over time.
  • Blood in sputum
  • Pain or tightening in the chest.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Swelling of the neck or face.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue or Anemia

Effects from exposure

Asbestos-related conditions can be difficult to identify. Healthcare providers usually identify the possibility of asbestos exposure and related health conditions like lung disease by taking a thorough medical history. This includes looking at the person’s medical, work, cultural and environmental history. After a doctor suspects an asbestos-related health condition, he or she can use a number of tools to help make the actual diagnosis. Some of these tools are physical examination, chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats diseases caused by asbestos.

The possible diseases are:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma- a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart
  • asbestosis- a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs

How to protect against it:

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators that fit properly should be worn by investigators when asbestos disturbance could have occurred or may occur.

MOLD

What is it?

  •  Molds are fungi that grow both indoors and outdoors.

Where can it be found?

  • Indoors: anywhere there are high humidity levels
  • Outdoors: damp and shady areas where there is decomposition taking place

How can you be exposed?

Most if not all exposures come from touching or inhaling the mold or it’s spores.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Throat irritation
  • Chest tightness

Effects from Mold Exposure

(taken form American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
Molds and other fungi may adversely affect human health through three processes: 1) allergy; 2) infection; or 3) toxicity. It is estimated that about 10% of the population has allergic antibodies to fungal antigens. Only half of these, or 5%, would be expected to show clinical illness. Furthermore, outdoor molds are generally more abundant and important in airway allergic disease than indoor molds — leaving the latter with an important, but minor overall role in allergic airway disease. Allergic responses are most commonly experienced as allergic asthma or allergic rhinitis (“hay fever”. A rare, but much more serious immune-related condition, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), may follow exposure (usually occupational) to very high concentrations of fungal (and other microbial) proteins. Most fungi generally are not pathogenic to healthy humans. A number of fungi commonly cause superficial infections involving the feet (tinea pedis), groin (tinea cruris), dry body skin (tinea corporis), or nails (tinea onychomycosis). A very limited number of pathogenic fungi — such as Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, and Histoplasma — infect non-immunocompromised individuals. In contrast, persons with severely impaired immune function, e.g., cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, organ transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, AIDS patients, and patients with uncontrolled diabetes, are at significant risk for more severe opportunistic fungal infection.

See more at: http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx#sthash.ie827nu6.dpuf (Not accessible without membership.)

Sep 06

Lets Get Started

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

 

Safety 2

I am sure that most of you have been riding down the road and noticed a building that you would love to investigate. The one that when you look at it, you get cold chills down your spine just because of pure excitement of the possibility of crossing the threshold of its doors. This is the point that your mind starts racing trying to figure out the right way to go about investigating this location, not only legally but SAFELY. How many of us really know the right way to go about investigating a location that appears to be abandoned? In this article I will outline the proper ways to go about getting permission to investigate these buildings, as well as steps to ensure your safety while conducting said investigation.

 

1.) Find out the owner of the building: This can be achieved in a number of ways. If there are other buildings and businesses adjacent to the building, stop in and ask if they know who owns the structure. If you can’t get any information from them, many counties and cities use what is known as GIS that you can use to get this information from  the computer to trace the address and find the owner. If they do not use this system you can go to the county office or city hall and they can instruct you on how to obtain the owners name and in some cases they may be able to tell you right there.

2.) Contact the owner: Before you contact the owner have what you want to say already in writing so that when you get in touch with them you already know what to say and you can sound as professional as possible. Let the owner know that you will do no harm to the structure and you are only there to conduct an investigation. They may or may not agree to let you do so. If they say no, thank them for the consideration and leave your contacts and let them know that if they ever change their mind you are still interested in investigating there. However if they do say yes, setup a date and time that you can meet with them at the location and go over the property with them.

3.) Pre-investigation Investigation: Make sure that you bring a notebook, a permission to investigate form for the owner to sign and date as well as other forms that your teams utilize, caution or flagging tape, a camera, and possibly a video camera. Go through the location and note any belongings etc. That are still in the structure and photograph them as well so it shows their condition before conducting the investigation. Take notice of any hazards that you come across and flag them with your tape and photograph them. If there are any hazards that could be a respiratory hazard please make notation that you will need to include respiratory protection while the investigation is being conducted. Also, keep an eye out for any indications that squatters or vagrants could be possibly be taking up residence in the building and let the owner know. This probably goes without saying, but make sure to take as many pictures, and possibly video, of the location so that you will have them for comparison when reviewing your investigation pictures and video. Also make sure to make note of any background noise that you may hear such as heavy traffic, domesticated animals, farm animals, etc. You can also use this time to go over the history of the structure with the owner. Find out if there are any stories or legends associated with the building, as well as former tenants that may wish to share there experiences. Go to the records hall or the internet and get as much history as possible on the location. This can include what the place was used for, any noted deaths, year it was built, and so on.

4.) Gearing Up: Take the information that you collected during your pre-investigation investigation and make a checklist for your team that includes any special equipment, as well as the standard equipment you already bring with you. Aside from investigative equipment make sure that you at least have a basic first aid kit. If your members have any allergies you should ask them to include any medications for the kit that can be used to combat such allergies. If you use certain items for paranormal protection, you may want to include this on your list as to not forget them on investigation day.

5.) Investigation Day: On investigation day, show up to the location a little bit early so that you can do a quick walk through noting any changes that have occurred since the pre-investigation, and look for any hazards again such as slips, trips, and falls. If anything has changed make notations as well as photograph the changes. Go ahead and do your investigation as soon as everyone is ready and acclimated to the structure. Make sure to use all the protection equipment that you have listed. NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL before or during your investigation. At the end of the investigation, take a few extra moments to run through and photograph the location one last time to show the condition of everything as you left it.

6.) After the investigation: Of course review your evidence a couple of times as to not miss anything. Send the owner a thank you letter and include a list of any evidence that you find. Also give them an invitation to contact you if they would like to experience the said evidence. This could aid you in gaining another investigation due to the this client giving you a good reference. This is a just a list that I feel will keep you legally and physically safe when conducting investigations in abandoned locations. I know that every investigation is different so this list can be altered to suit your needs for whatever investigation you may have. Make sure to abide by all state and local rules. Try to think about what things may physically occur and try to have a game plan for such instances and what items may be needed for them.

Above all stay professional, stay safe, and HAVE FUN (safely)

Jan 05

Exposure to electromagnetic fields – what happens

Todd Wayne Knipple

Todd Wayne Knipple

I was awakened to the reality of the paranormal at the age of 12 while at a friend’s home. What happened that one night back in 1983 kept me awake for three days. After that incident I was left with many questions. My determination to find answers to what had happened that night became an obsession that would lead me down a path into investigating the paranormal. I found myself consumed by these strange anomalies that were captured on video, audio and photographs, and the strange feelings and sensations I would have from walking into old buildings or a person’s home.
For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to finding these answers by using a scientific approach to fully understand and bring explanations to those who seek help and who are experiencing themselves the same things I experienced some 30 years ago. I can say that out of all of the cases I have investigated over the years as a paranormal investigator, 99% can be explained as a product of environment. There is, however, that 1% that can only be considered Beyond The Grave.
Todd Wayne Knipple

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NPSGraphic
What happens when you are exposed to electromagnetic fields?

Exposure to electromagnetic fields is not a new phenomenon. However, during the 20th century, environmental exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields has been steadily increasing as growing electricity demand, ever-advancing technologies and changes in social behaviour have created more and more artificial sources. Everyone is exposed to a complex mix of weak electric and magnetic fields, both at home and at work, from the generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipment, to telecommunications and broadcasting.

Tiny electrical currents exist in the human body due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal bodily functions, even in the absence of external electric fields. For example, nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses. Most biochemical reactions from digestion to brain activities go along with the rearrangement of charged particles. Even the heart is electrically active – an activity that your doctor can trace with the help of an electrocardiogram.

Low-frequency electric fields influence the human body just as they influence any other material made up of charged particles. When electric fields act on conductive materials, they influence the distribution of electric charges at their surface. They cause current to flow through the body to the ground.

Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body. The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field. If sufficiently large, these currents could cause stimulation of nerves and muscles or affect other biological processes.

Both electric and magnetic fields induce voltages and currents in the body but even directly beneath a high voltage transmission line, the induced currents are very small compared to thresholds for producing shock and other electrical effects.

Heating is the main biological effect of the electromagnetic fields of radiofrequency fields. In microwave ovens this fact is employed to warm up food. The levels of radiofrequency fields to which people are normally exposed are very much lower than those needed to produce significant heating. The heating effect of radiowaves forms the underlying basis for current guidelines. Scientists are also investigating the possibility that effects below the threshold level for body heating occur as a result of long-term exposure. To date, no adverse health effects from low level, long-term exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed, but scientists are actively continuing to research this area.

Biological effects or health effects? What is a health hazard?

Biological effects are measurable responses to a stimulus or to a change in the environment. These changes are not necessarily harmful to your health. For example, listening to music, reading a book, eating an apple or playing tennis will produce a range of biological effects. Nevertheless, none of these activities is expected to cause health effects. The body has sophisticated mechanisms to adjust to the many and varied influences we encounter in our environment. Ongoing change forms a normal part of our lives. But, of course, the body does not possess adequate compensation mechanisms for all biological effects. Changes that are irreversible and stress the system for long periods of time may constitute a health hazard.

An adverse health effect causes detectable impairment of the health of the exposed individual or of his or her offspring; a biological effect, on the other hand, may or may not result in an adverse health effect.

It is not disputed that electromagnetic fields above certain levels can trigger biological effects. Experiments with healthy volunteers indicate that short-term exposure at the levels present in the environment or in the home do not cause any apparent detrimental effects. Exposures to higher levels that might be harmful are restricted by national and international guidelines. The current debate is centred on whether long-term low level exposure can evoke biological responses and influence people’s well being.

Widespread concerns for health

A look at the news headlines of recent years allows some insight into the various areas of public concern. Over the course of the past decade, numerous electromagnetic field sources have become the focus of health concerns, including power lines, microwave ovens, computer and TV screens, security devices, radars and most recently mobile phones and their base stations.

The International EMF Project

In response to growing public health concerns over possible health effects from exposure to an ever increasing number and diversity of electromagnetic field sources, in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a large, multidisciplinary research effort. The International EMF Project brings together current knowledge and available resources of key international and national agencies and scientific institutions.

Conclusions from scientific research In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.

Effects on general health Some members of the public have attributed a diffuse collection of symptoms to low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields at home. Reported symptoms include headaches, anxiety, suicide and depression, nausea, fatigue and loss of libido. To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to electromagnetic fields. At least some of these health problems may be caused by noise or other factors in the environment, or by anxiety related to the presence of new technologies.

Effects on pregnancy outcome Many different sources and exposures to electromagnetic fields in the living and working environment, including computer screens, water beds and electric blankets, radiofrequency welding machines, diathermy equipment and radar, have been evaluated by the WHO and other organizations. The overall weight of evidence shows that exposure to fields at typical environmental levels does not increase the risk of any adverse outcome such as spontaneous abortions, malformations, low birth weight, and congenital diseases. There have been occasional reports of associations between health problems and presumed exposure to electromagnetic fields, such as reports of prematurity and low birth weight in children of workers in the electronics industry, but these have not been regarded by the scientific community as being necessarily caused by the field exposures (as opposed to factors such as exposure to solvents).

Cataracts General eye irritation and cataracts have sometimes been reported in workers exposed to high levels of radiofrequency and microwave radiation, but animal studies do not support the idea that such forms of eye damage can be produced at levels that are not thermally hazardous. There is no evidence that these effects occur at levels experienced by the general public.

Electromagnetic fields and cancer Despite many studies, the evidence for any effect remains highly controversial. However, it is clear that if electromagnetic fields do have an effect on cancer, then any increase in risk will be extremely small. The results to date contain many inconsistencies, but no large increases in risk have been found for any cancer in children or adults.

A number of epidemiological studies suggest small increases in risk of childhood leukemia with exposure to low frequency magnetic fields in the home. However, scientists have not generally concluded that these results indicate a cause-effect relation between exposure to the fields and disease (as opposed to artifacts in the study or effects unrelated to field exposure). In part, this conclusion has been reached because animal and laboratory studies fail to demonstrate any reproducible effects that are consistent with the hypothesis that fields cause or promote cancer. Large-scale studies are currently underway in several countries and may help resolve these issues.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity and depression Some individuals report “hypersensitivity” to electric or magnetic fields. They ask whether aches and pains, headaches, depression, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and even convulsions and epileptic seizures could be associated with electromagnetic field exposure.

There is little scientific evidence to support the idea of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Recent Scandinavian studies found that individuals do not show consistent reactions under properly

controlled conditions of electromagnetic field exposure. Nor is there any accepted biological mechanism to explain hypersensitivity. Research on this subject is difficult because many other subjective responses may be involved, apart from direct effects of fields themselves. More studies are continuing on the subject.

The focus of current and future research Much effort is currently being directed towards the study of electromagnetic fields in relation to cancer. Studies in search for possible carcinogenic (cancer-producing) effects of power frequency fields is continuing, although at a reduced level compared to that of the late 1990’s.

The long-term health effects of mobile telephone use is another topic of much current research. No obvious adverse effect of exposure to low level radiofrequency fields has been discovered. However, given public concerns regarding the safety of cellular telephones, further research aims to determine whether any less obvious effects might occur at very low exposure levels.

Key points

* A wide range of environmental influences causes biological effects. ‘Biological effect’ does not equal ‘health hazard’. Special research is needed to identify and measure health hazards.

* At low frequencies, external electric and magnetic fields induce small circulating currents within the body. In virtually all ordinary environments, the levels of induced currents inside the body are too small to produce obvious effects.

* The main effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is heating of body tissues. * There is no doubt that short-term exposure to very high levels of electromagnetic fields can be harmful to health. Current public concern focuses on possible long-term health effects caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below those required to trigger acute biological responses.

* WHO’s International EMF Project was launched to provide scientifically sound and objective answers to public concerns about possible hazards of low level electromagnetic fields.

* Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.

* The focus of international research is the investigation of possible links between cancer and electromagnetic fields, at power line and radiofrequencies.

Source: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/

Nov 25

First-Aid Kit

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

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Here is a checklist that you can use to build your own first-aid kit if you decide to not buy one of the pre-made kits.
Not only can it be cheaper, but it can be customized to meet your needs better. What I have put together is a basic kit, so feel free to add anything else that you see fit. I have deliberately not added a quantity so that you can build your kit to fit your teams needs.

 

____ Watertight container able to hold all the contents

____ First-Aid Manual

____ Non-Latex Gloves

____ CPR mask with one-way valve

____ A few disposable N95 masks

____ Multiple sizes of Adhesive Bandages (Band-Aids)

____ Gauze Bandages of various sizes (sterile and non-sterile)

____ Adhesive bandage tape of various sizes

____ Roller Gauze

____ Triangular Bandages (Used to make a sling and swathe)

____ Antibiotic Ointment

____ Antiseptic (can be wipes or sprays)

____ Hydrocortisone (ointment or spray)

____ Sterile water (for irrigation of wound)

____ Hemostatic agent (used to help clot bigger wounds)

____ Alcohol (liquid or wipes.If liquid add cotton balls)

____ Any medication your team takes for emergencies

____ Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

____ 81 mg aspirin

____ Pain relievers of your choice

____ Instant cold packs

____ Instant heat packs

____ Space blanket

____ Tweezers

____ Sewing Needle or Kit

____ Safety Pin

____ Small Sharp scissors or Trauma sheers

____ Thermometer

____ Hand Sanitizer

 

Optional:

____ Bug Spray

____ Sunscreen

____ Blister protection (Mole Skin, Liquid bandage etc.)

____ Tincture of Benzoin ( Used to apply tape etc. to moist skin. Can also be used for blisters!)

Nov 25

Health and Safety as a whole

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

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Today’s post is going to be thinking a little outside of the box. We have discussed our physical and spiritual health
and safety a well as the safety of our clients. Today we will discuss the health of the field as a whole. In the last decade or so there has been a huge “paranormal boom” if you will. Things that were taboo to discus in every
day life have become more acceptable. With the acceptability rising so have the number of teams out there. Many people have seen the rise of teams as a negative for many reasons, but this in fact is an AWESOME thing. Not only are we more able to blanket the planet with investigators, it gives a chance to discuss and test out more theories than ever before. However, for the health of the field there should be some guidelines that we all need to adhere to.

Before I get a little more in depth with I would like to make this one statement: I am not an expert, nor will I profess
to be. Hmm, I guess this would be a great place to start this off. When talking to other teams or posting in forums or FB pages you will ALWAYS see a few people that seem to be or claim to be experts in the paranormal field. To be completely honest, there are no EXPERTS in this field nor will there ever be until this is a proven science.Yes there are people that are knowledgeable in certain areas and do know what they are talking about. However, in my opinion the most credible people in the field tend to be the ones that keep an open mind and actually discuss each others theories and stay pigeon holed to one way of thought. Always keep the mentality that you are a student of the field (a friend of mine expressed it this way and it has stuck with me since) always learning and never an expert. But no matter what STAY PROFESSIONAL in every thing you do related to the field.

This leads us into evidence. This one aspect is probably where the field loses a lot of it’s credibility. Every teams
wants to be the one that discovers the one piece of evidence that proves it all. How many times have seen or heard evidence that you know can be discounted very easily? I know that all of you who have been on the page for a while have seen this. You have probably seen many people asking questions that could seem that they don’t believe what is shown. Most of time it’s just someone who is passionate about the field and want to see the field progress. Don’t see the questions as a negative, use it as a positive to help you decipher what could be seen as a credible piece of evidence before you post or release it. WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT. With that being said the one thing that really brings the field down is faking evidence. NEVER, NEVER, and I say it again NEVER falsify evidence! By doing that you are doing nothing to help advance the field, you’re only bringing it down.

There are more things that need to be discussed but this is getting pretty lengthy so I will sum it up like this. 1.)
Always be professional 2.) Always be a student of the field 3. )DO NOT FAKE EVIDENCE 4.) When in doubt throw it out 5.) Take criticism and learn from it 6.) Always be courteous to others theories and thoughts.

This by no means are the only ways to keep the field healthy. I would LOVE to hear from all of you your views on the things that are keeping the field healthy and what is making it sick. What are your thoughts?

Nov 25

Client Safety

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

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We have been discussing how to keep ourselves physically and spiritually safe from harm during paranormal investigations over the last few days.  We all try to do what we can to keep ourself and our team safe, but how many of us actually think about the client? There have been accounts of teams, new and well established, that have gone into a residential investigation with the wrong frame of mind or investigative tactics  and actually made the home worse for their owners I live in. A good friend of mine explained something to me a good while ago that has stuck with me and fits really well when going into investigations. He stated, “When going into a new place to investigate, look at it the same as you would going into a persons house you have just met. You’re not going to just walk in and start shouting and demanding things, your more than likely going to be very respectful. Talk to them as you would a new friend and you’ll be doing two things at once. One, you’ll be opening a healthy line of communication and two, you won’t be stirring up things and making the atmosphere worse for your client.” The things we say and do can and will have an impact on the location after you leave.

I know some would like to believe that have to provoke an entity to get results, but what are they really doing? Whether it is true or not, I like to believe you get what you give. If you give out negative vibes etc., that’s what you’re
going to get. With that being said, what are some do’s and don’ts that you recommend for teams doing home investigations to help keep their client safe? It doesn’t matter if you are a new team or an established team we ALL have something to contribute.

Nov 25

Spiritual Safety

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

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Over the last few few days I have been posting about the physical health and safety considerations while conducting paranormal investigations. Now that we have taken a look at the physical side of it, it’s time to look at the spiritual side of it. We are all aware that there are spiritual hazards out there that can harm or do other things to us. What are some steps that you take to protect yourself or your team? ALL opinions are welcome!!

Nov 25

What are you breathing?

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

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I want to take a look today at respiratory considerations while conducting paranormal investigations. We all know there are many contaminates that we encounter every day that can cause us harm, and most of them we can’t do anything about. What about the ones that we put our own selves in jeopardy of when we go on investigations?   A little bit of research before you go can save you from a lifetime of problems.

The first one I would like to take a look at is asbestos. It was used in many applications such as insulation, floor
tiles, roof tiles, joint compound and many other products. Many homes and buildings built before 1977 will contain some sort of asbestos. It has been said that it is harmless unless it has been broken in any way to where it has made dust fibers. Who know the ORB you have seen may indeed be asbestos! N95 masks will provide a little bit of protection but aren’t really advised for a prolonged exposure. A respirator with a HEPA filter is advised as is a mask by 3M with the classification 8511 Dust Mask. Unfortunately the hazards of being exposed do not show up immediately.

The second thing I would like to address is mold. We all know what mold is or where it’s found so lets just look at what you can do to protect yourself from it.  For the most part an N95 mask can provide a good amount of protection from it. Exposure can range from just an allergic reaction to more long term consequences.

A few that I would also like to mention without going into detail are: particulates from animal fecal matter and urine, radon- from decaying rock etc., dust itself, as well as many other allergens. All of these can be protected against by wearing a particulate filter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it can help you stay safe on your investigations. Please feel free to
add anything you want as I am no expert and would love to get y’alls view on the subject.

Nov 25

What’s in your kit?

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

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When we go out on investigations we try to prepare for anything that may occur paranormal wise. We’ve always got our recorders, EMF detectors, cameras, video cameras, etc. packed away in our kits for every investigation that we go on. How many of us are actually prepared for real world occurrences such as broken bones, twisted ankles, allergic reactions and the such? One thing that EVERY team should have with them on EVERY investigation is an emergency medical kit.

You can go out and buy one of those expensive pre-made kits if you want, but why waste your hard earned money when you can build your own for a fraction of the cost and use the savings for more equipment. Instead of me going in to detail about what you should be including in your kit, I would like to know what you or your team includes in theirs or if you even carry a kit at all. This information can be valuable to other teams to help them understand what is needed and what is not when building their own kits.

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