POLTERGEIST SATURDAY: A Biting Poltergeist?

spider-1646340__340The year was 1962, and the newspaper reported “Mysterious bat like bites” that had appeared on arms of a thirteen-year-old girl, her mom, and her grandmother. Amidst these bites, objects and movements appeared to be moving and breaking on their own. During interviews with Dr. Roll, the mother reported a cup flew across the room and broke against the wall ten feet away!

 

skeletons-1617539The grandmother in all reported 14 episodes of punctures on her body, ranging from one to fourteen punctures at a time. The majority of attacks focused on her. Roll was present for some but not all of the occurrences. Roll was never able to put the Grandmother in controlled conditions and thus was unable to rule out fraud.

 

 

skull-1651398_1280Just as Roll was about to leave the case, rapping and knocking started manifesting in the house. With help of colleague Dr. Blumenthol, knocking and rapping occurred while watching the inhabitants of the house directly. Roll found no one inside or outside the house that were likely producers of the noises. At one point, Blumenthol held the Grandmother’s hands, just to be sure the knocks were not fraud.

 

If this wasn’t enough, Roll in all logged 110 incidents in all! 76 incidents of objects moving or breaking, 25 incidents of knocks, and 14 episodes of biting. Despite rational explanations for some of the phenomena, others failed to be debunked according to Roll.

 

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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference

Roll, W. (1972).The poltergeist. New York, Doubleday.

Is a Belief in the Paranormal a Diagnosis of a Mental Disorder?

spotlightDo you believe in the paranormal? Are you depressed or suffer from other psychological issues? According to an article by Simon Dein, the prevalence of psychological issues and paranormal belief may be linked. Such as, people who heavily believe in the paranormal are more likely to display Schizophrenic symptoms. This makes sense, as some of the ways doctors diagnose schizophrenia is by asking about hearing voices, thought sharing, or other types of phenomenon that can be seen as telepathic.

people-845710_960_720People who were diagnosed with manic-depression or manic-depressive episodes had a high Idolization of magic and the paranormal. However, other studies showed that half of the participants had insignificantly low psychological behaviors, but greatly believed in the paranormal, and the other half of paranormal believers had high scores of psychological issues. This means that just because you believe in the paranormal does not necessarily mean you have or will develop a psychological disorder.

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In conclusion, there is no direct link found as of yet between psychological issues and paranormal beliefs. However, the correlation definitely exists and a sudden interest in the paranormal can be an early and important indicator that someone may need psychological help.

 

 

 

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Summited by: Ryan Malone

Reference:

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 31 (1). Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/ijts-transpersonalstudies/vol31/iss1/9

Make Campfires Cool Again

 

hands-984032_1920Ever wondered why campfire stories were never for rational thinkers? It’s because rational thinkers are less likely to believe in the paranormal. That’s not to say the experiential thinkers are ignorant for believing. They are just more likely to think with their emotions. Stress is one of those emotions that may lead to less rational thinking and more experimental thinking according to researcher Nicola Lasikiewicz. This may correlate to highly emotional and stressful life experiences leading to a higher belief in the paranormal.

tree-66465Nicola Lasikiewicz surveyed 82 men and women between the ages of 18 and 62 by measuring their own perceived stress, assessing their thinking style, and assessing their currently held beliefs in the paranormal (or lack thereof). People who had received more education were likely to be rational thinkers and there were also more likely to believe in witchcraft and extraordinary life forms. However, once Perceived Stress Levels rose one was more likely to believe in all paranormal and superstitious realms, and these individuals were more likely to be experiential thinkers.

woman-363144__180What’s interesting about this study is the rational thinkers with high stress- they had particularly strong beliefs in the paranormal. In conclusion, our tip is, the next time you want to get together and have a great night with friends exchanging ghost stories, make sure you invite the most stressed ones to the affair.

 

 
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Submitted by: Ryan Malone

Reference:

Lasikiewicz, N. (2016). Perceived Stress, Thinking Style, and Paranormal Belief. Imagination, Cognition &Personality, 35, 306-320.

Where o’ Where Has The Poltergeist Gone?

ifyourescaredgotochurchI do not regularly post personal experiences in our Paranormal Facts feature. However, you may have noticed a few things from my personal blogs. First, I love haunting and poltergeist cases, which my blog content easily proves. Second, if you have been paying attention, you may notice that many of the poltergeist cases posted here are from several decades back. Thus, the intrepid reader may ask, “What about recent poltergeist cases? Do you have an issue with the last two decades that you are not telling us about”? The simple answer is, not at all.

home-879877__180Several years ago, I had the opportunity to speak with John Palmer at the Rhine Institute. Dr. Palmer is a very distinguished parapsychologist who has been in the field for decades, with over 300 research publications to his name. Speaking with him was quite the honor. One of the few remaining parapsychology institutes in America, he was kind enough to speak with me as I was in the North Carolina area. As we talked about Haunting and Poltergeists, he mentioned that active cases of poltergeists had been waning over the last few decades, and as a result, less and less research was conducted on them.

figureAlthough not emphasized, one of the core features common to a poltergeist account is that activity tends to center around a pubescent or recently pubescent teen (although some exceptions have been noted). It is thought the change in hormones during this time may play a role in the psychokinetic behavior so common to poltergeists. Palmer, interestingly so, wondered if the increase in our society of psychotropic medications (AKA anti-depressants, anti-anxiety e.t.c.) or the increase in hormones and additives in our food might account for the decline in these cases. To date, no research has examined this possibility.

I also wonder as to why the clear cases of poltergeist activity have declined in recent decades. As our institute studies purportedly haunted locations, I sometimes wonder if all the “ghost hunting” shows sometimes contaminate/confuse potential cases that may actually better fit a poltergeist classification as opposed to haunting. Either or, if you are wondering why modern poltergeist cases are not reported here at Paranormal Facts, our answer is, they are getting harder and harder to find.

Cheer up, haunting reports have not declined.

 

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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

 

ISRAE CASE FILE: Black Moon Manor. May it Rest In Peace

smokeinforestWe normally do not report our own work for Paranormal Facts. This Christmas season, we’re going to make an exception. Enter the case of one Black Moon Manor, a location off of Indianapolis Indiana which was preparing to open as a haunted attraction (AKA people with masks and chainsaws) in the area. However, the renters of the location quickly decided to open the location to legitimate investigation after several physical assaults from unseen forces and power tools moving on their own accord started happening.

ost-places-1658263__180Unlike what you may see on T.V. shows, we investigate supposed haunted locations using scientific laboratory procedure. What that means is that we control who enters and exits, maintain cameras and audio equipment throughout a location, time stamp our audio and video, and in particular, collect data-logged readings of EMF and GMF in our investigations. All exits and entries are recorded, and we can compare any audio, video, or EMF reading for any given second of time. We typically can explain psychologically or by common explanation 95% of what some investigators would call paranormal evidence. However, Black Moon Manor did an excellent job of confounding us.

old-house-851545__180Across seven investigations, we personally witnessed objects teleporting from rooms (including a full sized plastic chair). In controlled conditions actually caught three very clear pieces of footage of seven-foot tall human shadows coming from the basement, when the room was empty. We have camera footage proving that no one was behind the camera casting shadows, and spent three hours trying to re-create the effect with no success. We also caught several EVP of clear child-like voices and were able to demonstrate with four other audio recorders that no noise was present in the house at the time the EVPs occurred. For those of you interested, we also discovered a significant relationship between brief EMF spikes and the events we have described above. We published this research in the Journal of Parapsychology in 2013.

Sadly, Black Moon Manor was torn down a few years back, so we will never get to return to further investigate the location. So far, Black Moon Manor has been our second most productive site we have ever been able to study. We at ISRAE hope we can find another site that produces the phenomena that Black Moon did. Keep your fingers crossed.
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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

 

Are you a Seeker or a Provider of the Afterlife?

my-1581429__180If you haven’t noticed less people are attending church on a regular basis. Less than 50% of Americans have great confidence in organized religion. However, people are not shedding their belief system, they are merely expanding it. More and more people are picking and choosing what they like and do not like from multiple religions to build their own spiritual belief system. Performing and participating in paranormal investigations is part of that process for finding a spiritual belief system for many people.

cemetery-1670231_1280According to the author, most people investigating the paranormal are not satisfied with what religion tells them about the afterlife and they want more tangible proof. Performing paranormal investigations has the end goal of connecting to a “spiritual world” outside of our own. The author interviewed paranormal investigators to find out their experiences and why they wanted to contact the paranormal world. The author had four groups: the people who dabble in multiple religions, “spiritual but not religious”, atheists and agnostics, and investigators that were part of organized religion.

stocksnap_8pws9yv4cuAfter interviewing and gathering why the investigators were so intent on connecting to the paranormal, the author found that those who were skeptical about an afterlife were seeking the spiritual world for evidence and those who already believed in an afterlife wanted to provide answers to the dead and the living about the afterlife. However, no matter why they are trying to connect with the paranormal- they are all connecting with each other.

 
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Submitted by: Ryan Malone

Reference:

Eaton, M. A. (2015). “Give us a Sign of Your Presence”: Paranormal Investigation as a Spiritual Practice. Sociology Of Religion, 76, 389-412.

POLTERGEIST WEDNESDAY: Germans and Poltergeists

spookycastleIn Dr. Roll’s travels during 1964, Roll had an opportunity to visit Germany and the Institut fur GrenzgebietederPsychologie und Psychohygiene, headed by Dr. Hans Bender. A German Parapsychology institute. Being allowed to study their case files, Roll recounts a particularly interesting case that occurred in 1948. The location was Vachendorf, Bavaria, and involved a refugee family and their 14-year-old daughter who were staying in a room in a local old mansion.

scary-house-677368__180The couple and daughter reported that the two beds in the room had rocks, tools and various objects thrown on it! If the account is to be believed, the tools and objects were placed in a toolbox in the room, and the mother sat on them. To her astonishment, various objects from the toolbox mysteriously started appearing in different parts of the room! The couple and daughter also witnessed linen from the attic mysteriously appear in the room and fall to the floor. The Father actually had a wooden shoe come out of a cupboard and hit him squarely in the head.

redwood-national-park-1587301__340Although these accounts were first hand, witnesses to the events were lacking other than the family. Thus, this is one of those Poltergeist cases that the skeptic or believer will have to take on face value. However, when the daughter left for the holidays, in typical poltergeist style, all activity ceased but were reported to start up again in their new location. This type of account should simply remind the reader that the story of the poltergeist is not a new phenomenon, and certainly not limited (regardless of its explanation) to America or the United Kingdom.
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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference

Roll, W. (1972).The poltergeist. New York, Doubleday.

POLTERGEIST MONDAY: Owen and the Sauchie Case

ruin-1694338__180William Roll, had an opportunity to speak with Dr. A. R. G. Owen, a recent researcher to the Poltergeist phenomena in 1964. While on vacation from Cambridge, Owen investigated a case in Sauchie Scotland. A somewhat famous case to this day, Owen had the opportunity to interview multiple witnesses over a period of 10 days.  The events took place during 1960, and focused around one Virgina Campbell and started with a series of “thunking” noises that would only stop when Virgina went to sleep.

spookycastleAccording to first-person accounts, the minister of Sauchie witnessed several disturbing phenomena. First, Rev. Lund investigated the knocking, which came from all manner of places, and could find no explanation for their occurrence. More shockingly, Lund witnessed a large linen chest levitate approximately 18 inches off the floor, move towards the bedroom and then replace itself in its original position! As if this were not enough to make the average American think of the movie the Exorcist, Lund witnessed Virgina’s pillow rotate 60 degrees with her head on it. Her hands were away from the pillow at the time.

The family physician Dr. Nisbet, confirmed Lund’s experiences, witnessing the linen chest open and close several times, as well as move on its own accord. He also saw the pillow under Virgina’s head move and ripple several times. This was confirmed with Dr. Nisbet’s colleague Dr. Logan, who was also witness to the events.

muddyplaygroundIt is also interesting that the activity with Virginia followed her to her school. Her teacher noted her desk opening and closing of its own volition. Her teacher also noted a nearby desk levitate approximately one inch, and her own desk move on its own. Virgina’s teacher noted that in all cases, Virgina was either trying to hold her desk down or in the other cases, was not touching either of the desks that moved or floated.

Take home message: Avoid schools and linen chests.
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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference

Roll, W. (1972).The poltergeist. New York, Doubleday.

Why Support ISRAE and Paranormal Facts?

stairsHopefully, some of you by now have been reading our blogs, and you might be wondering why we need your donations. The goal of ISRAE is to provide balanced research to one of the world’s oldest mysteries, hauntings, and paranormal experiences. Parapsychologists have generally (with some notable exceptions) neglected haunting phenomena in favor of tightly controlled laboratory research studies. But, you, the public, are much more affected by hauntings and paranormal experiences out in the real world.

spookywaverlyAs part of our dedication to scientific research on these fields, that’s why we provide paranormal facts. There is a host of good scientific research that can help give people reliable answers to paranormal experiences. However, there is a lot more work to be done.

Soon we will be expanding our public service to include a completely free parapsychology course for the public. Expect us to announce our grand opening of the course in late January.

We will also start the Paranormal Experience Registry soon. This site will invite all of you (and thousands in the U.S and the United Kingdom) to contribute your paranormal experiences for the purpose of scientific research. It will be completely anonymous, so you can report your experiences safely.

spookyroadMany people are unnerved by such experiences. We intend to make common findings about paranormal experiences available to anyone who visits the site. That way, if something strange happens to you, you can examine accounts and relationships between paranormal experiences to educate yourself and compare your experience with others.

If we haven’t lost your attention, we all do this work on a volunteer basis. We know those of you that give to charities can help more worthy causes than ours. But, every dollar you contribute to us goes directly to research and projects like the PER, Paranormal Facts, and our Parapsychology Class. We need your help to keep the Institute running. At least with our non-profit, you can see your donations at work.

Thanks for listening, and we hope you’ll keep reading.
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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

 

ALIENS?!

 

alien-contact-2Alien abductions accounts are everywhere, and many people believe them to be false. But, then, how are we to explain away so many similar experiences with the little green men? One such way is sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a relatively common ailment that occurs in up to 40% of people. Sometimes people are consciously aware during these episodes and they may have hallucinations, feelings of floating, and feelings of intrusion. Many alien abductions are reported to have happened while the person was sleeping.  Many scientists and doctors have been trying to discover a link between sleep paralysis and alien abductions. Many alien abductees go to specialists that can help them deal with their experience. These specialists have been criticized because of their use of hypnosis, which can create false memories. Many of the abductees have been accused of creating strongly believed false memories ‘implanted’ by the specialist, whether on purpose or not.

cambodia-1600376_960_720Another theory in disproving Alien Abductions is the movement of tectonic plates and the Geo-Magnetic field changes that result. Tectonic plates moving can also generate strong electromagnetic fields. Electronic pulses can affect the brain’s temporal lobes. This stress and over activity in the temporal lobe is often followed by seeing shadowy figures and lapses of time which is often referenced by alien abductees. However, this theory has not been fully tested with abductees.

city-35002In conclusion, there are multiple theories as to what causes people to believe they were abducted by aliens. For now, no clear answer is given and more research must be done for a definite answer.

 

 

 

 
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Submitted by: Ryan Malone

Holden, K.J., & French, C.C. (2002). Alien abduction experiences: Some clues from neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 7(3), 163-178.