Saturday, November 13, 2010

Skeptical Reality of Ghost Hunting

I typically ignore what the hardcore skeptics have to say about the paranormal field. A healthy dose of skepticism is good for any type of scientific endeavor in order to keep things balanced, but many times the hardcore skeptics have an axe to grind and will argue just for the sake of arguing. I will admit, however, that I will frequently read skeptical magazines and view skeptical websites just to see what is going on with the other side as well as to keep myself grounded.

Please click here to read the rest of this blog post on my ParaNexus blog home. I will be adding some new blog posts here in the future (including the rest of this one), but have concentrated my efforts into generating some traffic for ParaNexus.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Book Release- Handbook for the Amateur Paranormal Investigator II: The Art and Science of Paranormal Investigation Share

"The Art and Science of Paranormal Investigation" picks up where “How to Become a Successful Paranormal Group”, the first book in this series, left off. This book is geared toward those who know the basics beyond what is portrayed on television and the internet and this next chapter takes a step forward into the world of client centered paranormal investigations. Learn the art of the interview including basic body language that can help in interviews as well as everyday situations. Learn advanced interview techniques that are simple to use that will help your client remember the most detail and provide you with an accurate picture of your upcoming investigation of the location. Evidence review, and other topics that are rarely mentioned with investigations, are discussed tool by tool. Learn the reality behind the tools and methods used in the field of paranormal investigation that goes against the popular ways of doing things.

The above is from the back cover of the book and serves as the general description. It's actually my third book, but the second book ("Betty's Ghost: A Guide to Paranormal Investigation") was a companion written for the first book since I was unable to put that content into the first book. The problem for me is that I publish these books through a print on demand company. While this cuts out a lot of hands, time and expenses, it actually drives the cost of a single book up. My first book was a slender 135 pages, which I had to thin out to that size to keep the overall cost of the book to under $20 and still make a little money. The good news is since the costs of doing business for a print on demand company have gone down over the past two years I have been able to put a bit more content into a book for a much more affordable price. The first book is available at most online book stores, but this new release won't hit the virtual book shelves for a few weeks or months, but it is available (along with my other two titles) at Lulu. However, the best deal to get my book without the middle man is from me directly. I'll be at the Ohio Paranormal Convention in August and the Other Side Symposium in November (and hopefully another library tour in between).

My passion for writing these books comes from my frustration felt about the direction in this field years ago as well as my natural urge to want to pass on what I know by teaching others. I have been at my wits end in years past and was told by others in this field to either quit complaining or do something about it, I decided to do both!

My overall goal with these books is to help raise the bar when it comes to the average paranormal group and get groups to understand the difference between having fun, being scientific, as well as helping a client and releasing the urge to "be a part of" the investigation. Along with this, I hope to educate groups and individuals on what science really is, as well as other skills that they won't learn on television, and ultimately pass on some of the knowledge, skills, and resources I have gained in my time in this field. When it's all said and done, I can leave a lasting mark on the paranormal field and culture whether I actually accomplish anything of scientific, or other value, in the field or not.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Farnam Manor Investigation: I

We (Ohio Paranormal Investigation Network) conducted our first formal investigation of Farnam Manor in Richfield, Ohio on March 6, 2010. Our hopes were high as we had collected some great EVPs while just touring the building a couple of weeks prior. We had collected numerous personal stories from the owners, Tim and Kathy, and were excited to investigate this inviting old building in detail. Our focus was also to collect investigation evidence for our presentation at the Farnam Manor Spirit Tour, which was a fundraiser for the Farnam Foundation to help raise some money and awareness for this historical building.

The investigation began slowly as we had to wait for the owners to get us into the building as they had thought we would be there on a different day. We ended up conducting our team meeting in our Equipment Manager's truck while waiting. A few of us were a bit hungry and we decided to send out one of our investigators for food. Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers, Barnum and Bailey Circus, and many hundreds of concerts used to take place less than five miles from this location there are few places to eat, especially fast food nearby. The Cleveland Coliseum was once located on route 303 and Interstate 271 in between the cities of Cleveland and Akron just down the street from where we sat. It was torn down in 1999 and is now just a field returned back to nature.

Once we got into the location we began to haul in all of our pelican and other cases, spools of video wire, extension cords, body bag (yes, we have a bag large enough for a body), and all of our other needed equipment for documentation purposes. We decided to set up shop in the center area of the building, which was the main dining room area. Not too much had been documented there, other than a seance that was conducted there about two years prior. After getting much of our cameras set up and wires run we realized this location was bad because of the sound that was created in this room was heard all over the house (which is very wide open inside to begin with).

We spent a lot of time making sure everything was ready before we began our actual investigation and really didn't start until 9 P.M. We conducted five separate EVP based vigils with the various investigators as well as the owners, who we wanted to have involved since they are already "part of the environment". Bob, our equipment manager, was armed with his laptop which had EVP maker installed and running. We had four separate digital recorders placed near a few of our infra red cameras. I carried a digital recorder to monitor the events as they happened and I used two others to conduct various attempts at capturing EVP in various parts of the house. We had a command center person who watched our 6 IR shots continuously while taking notes on internal and external noises and walkie talkie traffic.

We were very optimistic that we would walk away with something that we would be able to show to the crowd that would be gathering at the Manor later that month. After spending several days reviewing my three digital recorders I found nothing. We also found nothing on our video surveillance, as well as all of the other digital recorders we had set up throughout the location. We were a bit surprised, but understood that we more than likely brought out too much technology at once. In future investigations we promised to break out the equipment piece by piece. We will also put our command center off to the side of the Manor near the entry way which will keep the tech out of the majority of the home and may help allow the spirts to be seen.

At our private investigation/fund raiser on March 27 we used seven IR cameras, yet fewer digital recorders (due to the extra investigators that attended the event creating noise). We were suprised to see a curtain moving upstiars. One of our investigators was outside on her phone and saw the drapes move apart. She quickly came inside and discovered no one had been upstairs at the time. We had noted movement from another set of curtains in that room, which we quickly discovered was from the heat vents. The one in question is also close to vents, but we observed the drapes as the heat went full blast and they didn't move a whisker. We have this on video and will be reviewing it as time allows. We also caputed some potential EVPs during our group vigils, but the contamination possibility was high.

We are also going to conduct some mini vigils during the day with two investigators. Our sensitive/pyschic Erica has already spent time alone this week collecting audio and we will soon up the ante with more recorders as well as video to capture the whole EVP collection experience.

Below is the video presentation we put together for showing at the Farnam Manor Spirit Tour showcasing our first investigation of the Manor:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

O.P.I.N. Punderson Manor Investigation

Ohio Paranormal Investigation Network, of which I am the Director of, investigated Punderson Manor in Newbury, Ohio on January 23, 2010. Our investigation was very fun, actually relaxing, and we learned a few things along the way. I produced a short documentary which discusses the history of the location as well as what we did during our investigation.

If you have any questions, comments, observations about what we did and how we did it, please let me know. We didn't observe the activity that the Manor has purported in the past, but even after some disappoining results we feel that there is still something lingering at the Manor.