Random thoughts from a paranormal investigator who should be sleeping…

Since I can’t sleep due to already being on my whacky summer sleeping schedule, please excuse the following rambling. This evening I made a return visit to the old abandoned farmhouse that MOSS investigated a month ago. By the way, can I please have a badge or something for being on my own and investigating in the dark for twenty minutes… in an old house in the middle of nowhere? I’ve certainly overcome some fears working in this field. In the last hour of our original investigation we had what may have been some really intense paranormal activity, but heavy rain crashed the investigation. In any normal situation I would have taken the time to “debunk” (I hate that term) what we were experiencing, but due to our command central being located out in the elements (under a tent) and the condition of the house itself, we had no choice but to pack up quickly and leave. For a whole month my mind has been going crazy, not knowing if what we experienced was real or not.

The activity we were getting at the time seemed amazing, and it is so easy to let your mind run off with what you’re seeing and experiencing… especially when you’re passionate about the paranormal and really truly want to experience it. This home was built in 1901, and though just about all evidence of beauty is gone now, it has so much character. I can’t help wondering what stories the place could tell… the memories, the holidays, the good times and the bad. When people visit the battlefields of Gettysburg, for example, they find it nearly impossible to not imagine themselves in the middle of the time period. Wouldn’t you? You’d stare off into the distance and imagine the thousands of soldiers battling… the sounds… the smell of smoke… the loss of life. You would try to imagine what things happened in the very spot you were standing in, right? My mind just goes there when I’m in a historical location.

Back to that evening a month ago… I was being a DJ for this ghost party, going down my playlist of trigger music from 1901 through to the 1940s. It was very cool to hear the crackling music, some of the very first recordings ever, bouncing and echoing off the walls and imagining a lazy Sunday afternoon in the same house in the early 1900s. Did they listen to music like this? Did they have the means of playing recordings? Did they produce or sing music themselves? My mind raced. If you ask my sister, she’ll tell you how incredibly spooky the whole experience was from outside, hearing the music and staring at the old house.

For those of us inside the house, imagine what was going on in our minds as our K-II meter began flashing (for some songs more than others… favorites?), almost as if someone was singing along. It had to be real, right? I practically saw a family, dressed in period clothing, singing in the room with me.

When I returned this evening I invited the same guests to another party and played the same playlist. Nothing. Were they just not there tonight? It seems that my suspicions about what could have been causing the activity a month ago (my iPhone that I turned on just for the purpose of playing the music) may be accurate. In a way it feels better knowing, and that’s my job, but I’m bummed out.

Lesson learned… AGAIN! In one of our first investigations we learned the hard lesson about walking around with the new and exciting iPhones.  Now I get frustrated every time I watch a paranormal investigator on TV, holding or using an iPhone in one of the shots. Since then, all phones are turned off for our investigations. But at the farmhouse I turned on the phone just to play the music… and it was six feet away. What could go wrong? I’d know if it were my phone, right? I still find it hard to believe that my phone caused lights to flash almost perfectly to the rhythm of Amazing Grace. And maybe there really was someone there singing along… and maybe not. Maybe my only guest to this party was the bird flying in the other room… or the raccoon in the attic.

Even when we think we know, we really don’t… do we?

About Patrick Keller

Patrick Keller is an educator, blogger, and the host of the Big Séance Podcast, which is a place for paranerds to have an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts and hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics and mediums, and life after death. He’s the founder of the now inactive Missouri Spirit Seekers and has spent a lot of time experimenting with spirit communication tools and techniques, such as EVP. Patrick also has a passion for spending hours at a time in cemeteries and loves cemetery photography. Visit BigSeance.com! View all posts by Patrick Keller

8 responses to “Random thoughts from a paranormal investigator who should be sleeping…

  • Paranormalogistically

    Why not go ahead and do a series of experiments at home with the phone and K-II meter, with music and without, and see what happens. Put a camcorder on it to show the relation between cell phone/radio signals and electromagnetic fields. I know that around Christmas, my lights, on the tree, set to random patterns, can keep time with almost any kind of music you throw at it. It is a type of pareidolia combined with apophenia no matter how cool it is. The paranormal world could use a well researched report on this subject right about now.

    • Patrick

      Well I was going to run a series of tests here, but that’s when I decided I needed to do it at the location, and I used a camcorder on a tripod focused on the K-II and a Mel Meter. At the start and finish of the 20 minute investigation, I turned my phone on and then off again and announced it. The K-II went crazy. What is interesting is that the Mel Meter stayed on zero the entire time (at least what I saw with my eyes… I haven’t watched the video yet). But yeah, I’d really like to do some tests with an iPhone in the room… what happens when a text comes in, an e-mail, etc. And do you really have to have been texted or e-mailed for it to produce “activity”? And does putting it in airplane mode solve anything? So many questions… so little time… 😉

  • Randall Keller

    What a totally fascinating post! And very well written too. I love it when I hear or read someone who has a passion for the subject and not the typical “i caught a ghost” mentality. I think this is the kind of attitude it takes to actually contribute to the field.

    That aside, I have strong opinions on cell phones becoming a “player” in any investigation, but only because the skeptic world has a field day with the idea of any transmitting or receiving device being in the same county. In reality, I don’t think your phone interfered with a thing. I think it’s remotely possible, but certainly no more possible than the notion of getting results by way of spirit. Airplane mode should make things even less prohibitive. I think the time will come when smart phones (by way of WavePad’ mobile app) will serve as excellent digital recorders in that regard.

    Its tough to prove kII lights as paranormal anyway. Whenever someone tells you what you can and cannot do on an investigation, it feels suspicious. ‘Whatever brings results” has a familiar ring to it, but in reality, it is apparently only when “others” approve of both the results AND the whatever. The fact that you state everything up front, are honest in explaining your methods, and take great pains to educate yourself, shows me that the best piece of equipment you have going for you is yourself.

    BY the way, I’ve been doing the family tree thing, and sadly, I think we are cousins in name only. 🙂

    • Patrick

      Well, cousin… I’m once again very appreciative of the kind comments. They mean a lot.

      For my return visit I ended up using an old iPod and a battery operated case/speakers that I got from Best Buy. I could not believe how loud and powerful it was. This house obviously had no power, so it would have been really nice to get the same responses on the K-II with no iPhone around… but oh well. 🙂 Back to my 18 pages of time stamped audio to finish up this report… FROM A MONTH AGO! 🙂 Then I can move on to Fort Chaffee Prison evidence! 🙂

  • Brandie Sellers

    Wow! You’re a brave little toaster for going by yourself! I have to say though , I do the same thing with old places – imagine the people, the stories…all of it! I’d suggest you go again with your team. There may be something there.

    • Patrick

      I felt SO GOOD after leaving that day. 🙂 I was very proud of myself. I have to say though, other than a few likely EVP that we captured, and this trigger music that is kind of still a big question mark, most everything else I was able to “debunk”. It has been a lot of great experience. But it is a really cool place with some interesting character and beauty.

      • Brandie Sellers

        I love old places like that where you can still imagine the grandeur of the place. I almost feel like you should test out that music thing again in this place and with your team. Just as an experiment.

      • Patrick

        Well I did return… I did the experiment again and I feel I got what I needed. I’ll leave the house and the critters alone for a while. 🙂

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