Category Archives: Paranormal Facts

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.

POLTERGEIST MONDAY: Strange Lights in an Empty House

spookyhouseStrange lights in windows of a nondescript house in North Carolina? An unusual start to a poltergeist case to be sure. Yet, with the entire family out of the house, all sides watched, and no lights, a series of neon like flashes were seen through the windows. Paranormal or prank? William Roll was willing to investigate and find out.

 

images-4According to police, the lights were faster than photo flashbulb lights and often stronger than ordinary lights. The lights were thought to surround the daughter of the family, 19-year-old Frances. Consulting with engineers from UNC, the house was searched for lighting remote controls, but nothing was found. No smells or chemical burns were present in the home either. For 1962, there were little other explanations for technological lights.

download-1Despite multiple calls to the police, several instances of lights rapidly flashing continued to occur in rooms that were demonstrably empty. Although not witnessed, Frances claimed that the light “hit her car” at one point while pulling out. Despite days of investigation and stake outs by multiple police, several professors and experts, electricians, and a running theory of a stalker/prowler, the lights were never explained.

 

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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference

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

Are Symbols in Dreams Portents of the Future?

spiderweb-19178In a case study examining the content of 3920 of his own dreams, Paquette asks the question if dream content contains meaningful symbols and content that may indicate psychic information. Although not commonly known, a great deal of debate has occurred within psychology over the meaning of dreams. Some researchers claim that dreams are just the brain processing information collected over the day. Others claim that dream content has symbols that access our unconscious minds. Some parapsychologists have had previous success with psychic dreams.

raven-1002849Paquette discovered that less than one percent of the reviewed dreams contained clear symbol content. This finding was in contrast to 11 dreams that represented psychic content that was later experienced (precognition). Paquette, although analyzing his own content, makes the case that symbols alone are relatively rare in his dream cycles.

halloween-22055So are we more likely to have a precognitive dream with a direct image of events to come? Or, is it more likely the case that we will see some type of symbol that we have to interpret? Paquette’s experiences suggest that our dream images, if precognitive, will contain very direct imagery, which we will experience later. Reader beware, case studies are often not reflective of large sample studies, but Paquette’s research may tell us something down the road about psychic dreaming.    

 

 

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Paquette, A. (2016). The rarity of unambiguous symbols in dreams: A case study. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 30, 199-216.

New Cases of Out of Body Experiences!

monster-1454286Carlos Alvarado, a very dedicated and published parapsychologist, reports on the rare phenomena out-of-body experiences (OBEs). OBE’s are when a person finds themselves outside of their bodies, often looking down on themselves. Alvarado in this article focuses on the rare instances when OBE’s occur while people are physically active and reports four new cases. Some interesting trends are shown.

blogger-336371When people are active, OBE’s are relatively rare. Alvarado examines twenty two cases of physically active OBEs. Results show that women are slightly more prone to an active OBE (27.3% versus 22.7% for men). In terms of what these people were doing when they had the OBE, the majority were talking , or driving a vehicle (Yikes). In all of these cases, people who experienced OBEs watched themselves as they continued their various activities!

cityscape-871743Alvarado concludes that OBE’s have often been researched alongside near death experiences (NDE). As a result, not as much research has been conducted on physically active OBE. The experience of either NDE or OBE is still debated by science as to whether or not these experiences are generated by the brain, or representative of a paranormal experience. Although associated with a psychological tendency to detach the waking self from the body (Dissociation), in depth brain studies to date, have not been conducted.

 

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Alvarado, C. S. (2016). Out of body experiences during physical activity: Report of four new cases. Journal for the Society for Psychical Research, 80, 1-12.

POLTERGEIST MONDAY: Do Séances Produce Actual Phenomena?

bunker-1569723In a 2010 study by Wilson et al., researchers actually had participants perform over 15 sessions of séances. Their goal was to see if table lifting or floating would occur (Psychokinesis). Researchers were also interested in whether or not random number generators (RNG) would be affected by the séance sessions to produce non-random number series. Several meters and devices were also used during one session to examine changes in light and electromagnetic fields (EMF).

death-614644_960_720The researchers found that while RNG generators were not affected, but there were several instances of bizarre table behavior. In two instances the table appeared to move around on its own. In other sessions, the table tilted on two legs. In many of the sessions, rapping noises and knocks were heard. The researchers make no definitive claims that these events were faked, but do not claim that the movement was factual Psychokinesis.

eye-1192189In the session where light and electromagnetic fields were measured, there was a noticeable drop in infrared light (which is invisible to the human eye). Visual light also dropped to a noticeable level. Finally, equipment detected a noticeable increase of DC electromagnetic fields in the séance area, without any electronics or alternate sources that could account for the increase in field strength.

Fact or Fiction? You decide.

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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Wilson, M., Williams, B., Hart, T., & Roll, W. (2010). The Daniel experiment: Sitter group contributions with field RNG and MESA environmental recordings. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 24, 611-636.

 

Does Your Religious Belief Make You More Likely to Believe in the Paranormal?

whitby-abbey-1016212_960_720Is it the case that having religious beliefs makes you believe in paranormal events heard about on television and society? According to Hergovich and colleagues, the answer is yes. But, there are a lot of conditions that make a difference. For instance, only people that reported strong belief in traditional or older styles of religious belief were strongly related to high degrees of paranormal belief.

florence-378070_960_720When looking more closely, the style of a person’s religious belief made a difference. People who were religious for spiritual reasons tended to have higher scores in paranormal belief. Paranormal belief was unaffected with people who were religious for the benefits they received. Also, being Catholic or Protestant showed slightly different degrees of relationship to having paranormal beliefs.

dome-382125_960_720In closing, it is worth noting that the relationships in this study of religion to paranormal belief were rather small. In many instances, a person’s religious belief influenced paranormal belief scores by less than 5%. The exception were people who scored highly on the traditional religious belief measure within the paranormal belief scale. These individuals beliefs were strongly associated with paranormal beliefs. In some cases, traditional religious belief influenced paranormal belief scores by 36%!

Long story short, being religious influences your belief in the paranormal; but not necessarily by very much.

 

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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Hergovich, A., Schott, R. Arendasy, M. (2005) Paranormal belief and religiosity. The Journal of Parapsychology, 69, 293-303.

 

 

 

Do People Believe That the Soul is Separate From The Mind And Body?

cropped-sky-690293.jpgA recent study in Finland looked at how people see the role of the brain, the mind, and the soul in death. Do people believe in an immortal soul? Do those that hold a firm religious belief differ in their belief about the soul compared to those that also believe in the paranormal?

montalcino-195003Out of the five hundred and fifty-two volunteers, seventy percent believed in God. They were asked questions in reference to their belief about the mind, body, and soul in regards to their religious and paranormal beliefs. Another set of questions asked “The soul continues to exist though the body may die”, other questions included beliefs on witchcraft, superstition and religion/spirituality.

cambodia-1600376_960_720Results showed that most people do believe that the soul is immortal and does not die when the body dies. It was also found that some people believe that the brain is more important than the mind. It was also discovered that the volunteers that had spiritual/religious beliefs along with paranormal beliefs felt more strongly about the continuation of an immortal soul. Many people believe that even in death that a person can still feel emotions, desires and continue to see, think and feel.

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Submitted by: Bridget Cotton

Reference

Lindeman, M. Riekki, T, and Svedholm-Hakkinen, A (2015). Individual Differences in Conceptions of Soul, Mind, and Brain. Journal of Individual Differences, 36(3):157–162.

Can Magnetic Waves Produce False Paranormal Memories?

skull-1626815Michael Persinger, a famous neuroscientist in paranormal circles, has spent decades studying electromagnetic fields and their effects on humans in the laboratory. In this study, their goal was to determine if magnetic fields could produce false memories in humans. After attempting to induce hypnosis with forty-eight subjects, people were given a narrative to listen to. Some people were subjected to weak magnetic fields during this period, and others were left alone.  

dsc_0115People were brought back a week later to be tested for memory recall. Persinger found that individuals who were subjected to magnetic fields produced three times more false memories about the story they listened to compared to the group that did not receive a magnetic field treatment. However, the group that did not receive magnetic fields also produced some false memories.

power-1549119In the closing of the article, Persinger states that function of the temporal lobes of the brain was related to false memory production when treated with electromagnetic waves. He also found that false memories were more likely from this group when remembering the end of the narrative, but less likely during the beginning of the recalled narrative.

Just to be safe, don’t study near power lines.

 

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Submitted By: Brian Laythe

Reference

Healey, F., & Persinger, M. A. (2001). Experimental production of illusory (false) memories in reconstructions of narratives: Effect size and potential mediation by right hemispheric stimulation from complex, weak magnetic fields. International Journal of Neuroscience,106, 195-207.

Paranormal Facts: Parapsychological Research Everyone Can Access

dsc_0048The Institute for the Study of Religious and Anomalous Experience (ISRAE) believes in education and providing quality information to the public about events and experiences that are labeled “paranormal”. For several years, we have been conducting research to understand and explore the strange, the haunted, and the supernatural. Our mission is to publish scientific papers on the topic.

dsc_0119Most people don’t know that a small group of scientists around the world have been studying phenomena like psychism, hauntings,seances, remote viewing, and near death experiences. For over a 100 years. To read the research you have to find the journals that publish this kind of work. Unfortunately, most people can’t get access to these journals. We’re bringing the parapsychology to the people. Every week, we will be posting easy to understand blogs summarizing the science and the findings of parapsychology. We’ll make sure you get the core results from the science that has been conducted. Hopefully, you’ll be entertained as well.

tablet-690032Sign up, Visit our website. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. We promise you this: In a month of reading Paranormal Facts, you’ll learn more facts about the paranormal than from years of watching spooky television shows. It’s all free.

If you’re in trouble and need some reliable information, then write us. Send us requests for topics. That’s what this nonprofit is for. We’ll try to get you the information you need. If you like what we’re doing, we hope you’ll check out our research projects and mission. Choose to donate if you can. But everyone should get access to good information.

Stay Tuned, and We Hope You Enjoy The Show.

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Are Psychic Experiments Legitimate or Bad Science?


tumblr_ny6bejqjha1u60tx6o1_1280It’s not commonly known, but parapsychology receives a lot of criticism from mainstream science. Although most of this criticism is often unfounded, parapsychology has taken its reputation of scientific accuracy very seriously. Baptista and Derakhshani do just that. One of the common criticisms of ESP research is what is called the “file drawer effect”. Essentially this claim is that non-significant ESP studies never get published, thus, the studies available on ESP are cherry picked. Baptista and Derakhshani show that unpublished studies in ESP canceling out published studies is very very unlikely.

blogger-336371Other criticisms involve the mathematical power used in studies of ESP. These researchers show that the mathematical power of ESP studies are actually higher than those used in many mainstream scientific fields. Baptista and Derakhshani also show that declines in ESP findings are being replaced with more recent studies showing consistent ESP effects.

dsc_0130What should you the reader conclude about ESP and parapsychology? Every science has its weaknesses, and parapsychology is no exception. However, critics and skeptics time and time again have failed to invalidate the findings of this controversial science. Parapsychology, as an underdog, has taken great lengths to use scientific methods that are often more stringent than mainstream science. Unfortunately, unpopular in science sometimes means unfair criticism in science. Beliefs can influence the most reasonable of people. Scientists are no exception.

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Baptista, J., & Derakhshani, M (2014). Beyond the coin toss: Examining Wiseman’s criticisms of parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 78, 56-79.