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Why We "Hunt"

Waverly Hills Sanatorium.  I have to tell ya, I can't wait until we make a trip there; there, and to the Eastern State Penitentiary.  I ran across this Waverly Hills website, not too long ago, where Tom Halstead of the Missouri Paranormal Research group posted quite a few incredibly disturbing spirit photos.  Full bodied apparitions in a few cases, and I'll post those here for you to catch a quick glimpse of.

The topic of "haunted places" these days seems to be more of something people talk about when they're looking for a "rush" or a "scare" than they are of places of wonder and curiosity of the human condition.   There was a time in this country, and all around the world, when people considered a haunted environment to be a friendly one.  Where spirits of past relatives came back to such places as old family homes – homes that stayed in a family for generations – to "check on" still-living relatives.  Rarely were there cases of demon possessions or evil hauntings reported, but, with the rise of modern media came the rise of modern "hauntings".  Perhaps they were always there, the demon possessions and evil spirits, and were poorly reported, or perhaps they're simply more prevalent now because, either, media sources have allowed us to become knowledgable of them, or because there are more "beings" presently in spirit form than there ever were before… who knows what the real reasons could be?

When I look at a place like Waverly Hills, or the Eastern State Penitentiary, or a more local environment such as the

Pinelands facility in Maine, I think of the people who were condemned to live their last days on earth in such deplorable conditions that their spiritual well-being never fully recovered.  People who lived a misunderstood life and who died, often times, forgotten.  I remember investigating the cemetery out at Pineland (in Maine) and feeling such a sense of grief and depression for those unnamed, forgotten souls who's only mark made in this world was the one left behind with their anonymous "number" carved on their gravestones.  They lived anonymously, died alone, and seem to exist in a  perpetual state of solitary state of irresolution.   I think that's the human connection thrill seekers lack when they walk into the space of a haunted environment looking for that perfect picture or that perfect EVP.   The thrill of the hunt supercedes the displacement of energies, which we cause as physical beings, when we put ourselves into the space of a restless soul.  We forget how to be human because we forget, lose touch, or have lost touch, with why it is we do what we do – "ghost hunt".  Is it to make a connection with the spirit world?  Or is it just to prove that spirits exist.  Because one of those options shows respect before personal satisfaction, where the other is just self-centered.

Waverly Hills represents a dying ground of immense proportion.  There's no other way to describe it.  No matter how protective the medical staff was, no matter how desperate the situation became, no matter how badly they wanted to succeed, it just wasn't meant to be at the time.  People who weren't ready to die, died miserable, long, drawn out deaths which probably resulted from a slow suffocation they could feel invading their airway(s) for … who knows how long.  Good people, strong people, kids, adults, teens, rich, poor, innocent and guilty… they all died in the same place and in a similar way.   So many, in such large numbers, that no matter what their contribution to society was, they were still a number among numbers.  Good people who'd lived Godly lives, who put family above self, watched as their livelyhood – their mothers, fathers, sons and daughters – died before their eyes, before they, themselves, passed from this world scared, alone, and probably a little ticked-off at the unfairness of the whole experience.

Yet when we think of Waverly Hills Sanatorium today we're more likely to think of TAPS and the gang "going back to Waverly", or of reality shows like "World's Scariest Places" and the rush we get when we see people walking around the place in the dead of night.   Who do we ever see walking into a spirit's "space", a space they've either chosen to walk for … eternity… or a place they've been condemned to for reasons we cannot explain, and cannot remedy for them?  Who?  As Ghost Hunters we're not looking for inanimate objects with no consciousness, we're looking for
proof of spiritual life, life-after-death, and in order to do this we must accept the possibility that if, and when, we run into something spiritual in nature, it's roots are deep within the consciousness of the human experience.  In other worse, "that's a person without a body".  The spirit isn't a thing, it's energy, it's emotion, it's all of those intangible things that make us human.   Why this is so easy for some of us Ghost Hunters to forget, is beyond me, personally.

And the Eastern State Penitentiary?  Sheesh, I didn't even want to start in on this place, but I'm here now so I might as

well do it up.  The Eastern State Penn was designed in good faith with a solid plan for psychological rehabilitation.  The model was extremely progressive.  Basically, the plan was to build a very large institution with extra thick (2+ feet) concrete walls in a strong effort to recreate the conditions of a super-quiet monastery.  This way, the criminals interred there could spend their rehabilitative time focusing on their future successes as responsible and respectful members of society.  The entire facility, from its building design to its daily breakdown of structured, rigid routines of exercise times and meal times, was focused on that 1 goal of maintaining a meditative silence which would last 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Prisoners were not allowed to communicate with each other, or the guards and any attempt at doing so was cause for strict and immediate disciplinary action.   The consequences would start with removing the prisoner's only source of light, "the window to God" which was located in the concrete ceiling.  This "window" was the only window in the prisoner's rooms, and the only thing keeping them out of complete and total darkness.  If removing this light did not work, then the physical torture began.  The torture was "by the books", not something the guards or warden made up on the spot, so it was methodical by design and follow through, which meant that all prisoners were subject to similar disciplinary standards, but that didn't make it any less tragic or traumatic.  

People, by nature, are social creatures.  To deny social creatures the inability to socialize is to deny them the right to be human.  It is also a means of torture the likes of  "no other" because verbal self expression of personal unhappiness falls on deaf ears.  There's nothing more tragic for people, or a person, than the feeling of "loneliness"; of being alone in a struggle in life or -  as we experience in our paranormal investigations – in death.  A person who truly doesn't care about the human experience of others, or of themselves, isn't just a criminal, they are a sociopath.  The criminals at the Eastern State Penitentiary may have done "bad" things, they may have done evil things in life, but if there was one thing many of them did not lack, it was a "will" to have that all important human connection.  If they didn't care about it, many of them wouldn't still be there today.  Whether they're searching for personal resolution, acceptance, or forgiveness… whether they're just looking to be recognized, or looking for a way to take care of unfinished business, the one thing most of them have in common is that they're looking for that "connection".  They're still looking for that "human connection", that "social connection".   You know a place has to be representative of abhorrent conditions when Charles Dickens, the author of some of the most bleak and depressing novels to hit bookshelves world-wide, tours it and subsequently chastises it as a place so deplorable he never wants to hear its name again.  That's the Eastern State Penitentiary; it's a good place gone bad.  Gone very, very bad.

I guess this posting is really about keeping that in mind.  That we ghost hunt, not primarily for ourselves and not primarily for the evidence or the data or the "look what I found!" factor.  We do it because we long to make that "connection".  We want the rewards that come with the struggle to find that connection, yes;  but what we really want is validation that when we reach out, we're reaching out "to" someone.  That the someone we're reaching out to is more than a concept, they're real, and they're wanting to reach back and communicate with us, in return.  If we didn't do it for those reasons we'd be better off chasing Bigfoot or hunting down UFO's because those "things" have been deemed as "physical", in nature. No, we hunt outwardly because we're constantly hunting "inwardly", and it's a good thing for ghost hunters to keep in mind.  Hunt a spirit as you would appreciate being hunted.

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What, exactly, *is* "paranormal"?

In all honesty, I think this might apply.  I find myself staring at it with a combination of confusion and childlike delight.  Naturally, I had to share.  Comments welcome, of course.

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Storms & the Paranormal

I came across these pictures on the internet and they got me to thinking about storms and their relation to increased paranormal activity.  I have to admit that I had a pretty long, and somewhat informative opinion, on the topic but I lost the post in the middle of uploading pictures, so I kind of lost my drive, but I'll do my best to recreate it as best I can.

This series of pictures was taken in the desert in Iraq.  It's an official sandstorm of magnanimous proportion, the likes of which haven't been seen since the first "The Mummy" movie was released back in the late 1990's.  All I can think of when I look at this is the enormous amount of energy there must be inside of this storm.  All the wind kicking up the sand, and all the sand particles smashing into each other… I'm thinking it might not be a bad guess to think there'd be strong possibility of seeing an occasional lightening bolt in the midst of the whole thing.  I'm also thinking about the static electricity charge, and wondering if, when the storm directly passes over (or through) people's residences, people's hair stand on end from the static charge alone.  It's an amazing thing to witness, and these pictures are incredibly awe inspiring, to some degree.

Now, given the nature of this post it would stand to reason that I'd bring up the topic of "storms" we see here in the

States, and their relation to paranormal activity during our investigations.  The theory is that spirits need energy to manifest themselves in the physical realm, the realm or dimension we live in.  And if storms carry more energy with them, as they do, then it would stand to reason that perhaps this energy source, being overwhelmingly and readily available to them, would be an easy "fix".   That said, there's also another question that hasn't been posed nearly as much as the possibility of spirits borrowing energy from the physical realm.  The question relates to us, as inquisitive and curious creatures.   Could it be that during times of storms, when energy levels are high all around us, it is we who are actually reaching into that "other" dimension?  Is it "them reaching out to us"?  Or is it "us perceiving them"?  Yes, it could be both if only the first case were true, but if you ask any psychic worth their salt they're going to tell you "everyone has this psychic ability, some are more in touch with it than others" and "there are spirits all around, it's just a matter of opening yourself up to their presence".   The truth of the science puts things into perspective, just as the truth of the psychic. 

So here you have a storm of intense magnitude, and I'm sure there's a lot of dust being kicked up in these domiciles long before the sand from the sandstorm ever reaches the actual residences, which also gets me to thinking.   With the electrical charge involved in an average thunderstorm, would it stand to reason that "orb" activity during a storm could actually be the result of "dust" being kicked up from static electricity?  Honestly, you might not even have to be walking around in a room, or have had any movement in a room during a storm to notice orbs floating around in there.  Why?  Is it because the storm allowed the spirits to present themselves?  Or is it because the increased electrical charge, the static charge, within the storm has actually charged the dust particles straight up into the air and they're suspended there for a period of time?   Either is possible, and I'm not taking a stand on which was is "more" true than the other.

My official opinion on orbs is that I have no official opinion.  I've caught pictures of orbs and have observed them while

scratching my head, wondering about the characteristice that could possibly make them "paranormal" in nature.  And then, as of just recently when I was walking in a tunnel known to be haunted by a soldier, I caught a photo of an orb after announcing I wasn't moving from my location until I took some pictures in lieu of this soldier's possible presence.  The orb was incredibly vivid, very bright, and just as "incredibly" well timed.  It's orb photos like that, that can really move a person to wonder the depth and degree paranormal happenings can impact our sense of reality, or "normality".  

Some might say "it is what it is, a speck of … something".  Others might say "you've tapped into another dimension", and there's others who might say "the other dimension has chosen to tap into ours".  Perspective, I guess, "is what it is".  People believe what they want to believe, and it's my opinion that this isn't "wrong".  It may be misguided, at times, but wrong?  Nah, just… a different direction. 

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Maine Ghost Hunters… full steam ahead

                    Well, things are really starting to shape up around here for Maine Ghost Hunters.  We're finally getting a little eye candy added to the website. Tony put together a neat little logo, and I made a super-duper-nifty Maine Ghost Hunters banner.   The pages are really starting to come together quite seamlessly, and while we're still discovering new and exciting places our pages don't quite match up on internet browsers across the board, I think we're handling the edits pretty darned smoothly.  It's not too many sites that a person can go to and actually, realistically say, "this site works on all major browsers, not just Internet Explorer, but FireFox, Safari, and Opera as well".  It's great to have a coding guru working overtime on our site, or should I say "on our side" (*chuckle*).  There are some fantastic paranormal sites out there that really make for great website presences, and they help set the standard for what a positive web experience should be.   I feel very fortunate to have the ability to say we have a talented guy like TonyL. coding his heart out to make this thing work as wonderfully as it has since it's birth less than 2 weeks ago.

Other than the obvious, the face of the site and the content that's being added daily, (!Go Tony!  As I type this out, TonyL has just completed creating a brand new RSS news feed program especially for yours truly.  Thanks Tony!) our Maine Ghost Hunters experience, as a group, has been nothing short of … amazing.  I had no idea people would take to us as well as they have, or as openly as they have, considering how young our group is.  We went to the Psychic Fair at Fort Knox this past weekend and met some incredibly interesting people.  We networked with quite a few local, and not-so-local, paranormal investigators and came away from the experience feeling emotionally charged, and with a "the sky's the limit" mentality.


The Fort Knox Psychic Fair, itself, was fantastic.  We arrived just in time to hear the Bangor Ghost Hunter's Association give a talk on the different aspects of ghost hunting and the tools, tricks of the trade, and skepticism involved in having a fair and balanced perspective to serve the best interests of the clients as well as the field of parapsychology at-large.  We met a few eager beavers from that group and learned about some interesting facets of their organization.  It was great to put into perspective "where we are" as a young group with incredible potential, and "where we could be" in just a few years down the road.

The Fort itself is such an amazing throwback to the past.  I remember being in one of the tunnel areas, a few years back, and smelling a heavy dose of cigarette smoke.  I commented, quite audibly, through the pitch-dark to my family that there's a no-smoking rule in public places, which includes, especially-so, underground tunnels.  There's no ventilation down there and the smokey smell was so obviously thick in the area that it was hard to avoid.  As we continued down the hall it became apparent that there was no one but us in the immediate, or extended, vicinity.  The smell seemed to be specifically in that small area I was standing in and my husband, who was standing a good 10+ feet away from me, claimed he couldn't smell a thing.  It never occurred to me, at the time, that we may have been in the midst of a paranormal situation.    Cigarette smoke is one of those signature smells associated with paranormal, or "haunting", situations.  I had no idea, until 

recently, that Fort Knox was considered to be haunted, but alas, apparently it is.  We learned of the depth of some of the different haunted areas of the Fort from a psychic who was offering readings in one of the officer's quarters.  She said she was involved in an investigation of the Fort with another psychic who was also offering readings that day, and that they met a few interesting spirits along the way.  She told us of one particular man, an officer, who walks a particular hallway and made contact with her.  Of course, we felt compelled to ask where this guy hung out so we could take a gander down there and have a look-see for ourselves, and sure enough, after snapping only a few pictures we each discovered an interestingly intense orb on both of our digital camera view screens.  The orb photos weren't taken at the same time, and the orbs aren't in the same exact areas, but they are stunningly similar when viewed on the digital camera view screen. I haven't seen DavidH's orb in full view yet, but I have taken the time to insert mine in this blog entry to give everyone a chance to form their own conclusions and opinions.

After emerging from the tunnels and the innards of the Fort we headed back up to the main building to catch the next oralpresentation.  This talk was on the subject of Cryptozoology and was given by Maine's very own Cryptozoology expert, Loren Coleman.  For anyone who isn't familiar with Loren, he's been involved with the study of "hidden animals" for over 25 years.  He's written 30 books and has guest authored for stateside, and international magazines,  and consulted for TV shows such as "In Search Of", "Unsolved Mysteries", "Ancient Mysteries", "In Search Of History", "History's Mysteries", "MonsterQuest", to name just a few.  Loren settled here in Maine roughly 15 years ago and owns/operates the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.  The museum is in dire circumstances right now, and is on the verge of being lost forever due to circumstances surrounding a tax audit and the IRS.  Loren has sent out a plea for help, from the East coast to the West coast, and on the internet as well.

On our way to wrapping up our adventures at The Fort Knox Psychic Fair we were approached by a Channel-2 WLBZ 

news journalist for our "take" on the fair and our reasons for making ourselves a part of the whole experience.  We were more than happy to oblige!  The camera seemed to be everywhere we went and when the news piece ran on-air we can be seen in quite a few frames.  TonyL. was given a wonderful opportunity to represent our group in a 1-on-1 impromptu interview with WLBZ Backpack Journalist Scott Sassone.  They must have talked for a good 10 minutes, or so, which gave TonyL. a good chance to convey Maine Ghost Hunters' mission and methods.  DavidH. and I spent that time taking pictures of TonyL. during the interview, which we could later use to plaster all over our website in, as I've said before, a "shameless brag" of our first "on-air TV spot".  !Go Maine Ghost Hunters!  WOO-HOO!   We thank TonyL. for sending the message, loud and clear, that Maine Ghost Hunters concerns itself with the scientific and spiritual aspects of "ghost hunting" to the best benefit of our clients, as well as peer-groups involved with paranormal research. 

Since this interview, we've experienced a pretty steady run of positive results including an invitation to be a guest on a national paranormal radio show which will air at the end of the week.  We've also been presented with a few potential future investigations and have secured, as of this morning, 2 new investigations soon to be announced on the Maine Ghost Hunters website.  We've been inundated with busy-ness and new ideas to make our website a better online experience for visitors and hope to see an increase in site memberships as time rolls on.  We're doing what we can to get the message out that Maine Ghost Hunters means business.  Our focus is tight, our direction is "straight ahead".  We have structure, organization and a plan of action that's taking us places and we couldn't be happier about it.

Come visit us as  

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