Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spirit Trumpets…

The vintage find that started my quest today!

The vintage find that started my quest today!

I had a very pleasant and interesting day today. The neighbors invited Joe and I out for an afternoon of antiquing. It’s an activity we’ve only recently learned to love. We accepted the invitation, grabbed some lunch, and set off for our first store. In a booth in the very back, something caught my eye instantly. It looked to be some kind of séance or spirit trumpet. A “spirit trumpet” was often used in the early days of séance and was meant for spirits to use for amplifying their voice. A spirit trumpet? In the middle of Missouri? We’re pretty far from Lily Dale (a place I would LOVE to visit one day)! What are the chances? I took a picture of it at the antique mall, and once we returned home I was on a quest to find more information on spirit trumpets and hopefully verify if it was one or not.

Spirit trumpets have changed over the years, and you can actually still buy a manufactured trumpet. Most of them are built in sections and collapse. The item I found did not collapse. It was soldered. See the photos for examples of spirit trumpets. 

Back to my quest. Someone suggested to me that it might be an “ear trumpet“, which I believe was used as an early form of hearing aid. This seemed to be a reasonable guess… but the one I found was so tall, and I couldn’t imagine jamming the end of this thing into my ear! Most of the photos of ear trumpets curved at the ear piece. 

Modern spirit trumpets, courtesy of www.skeptiseum.org.

Modern spirit trumpets, courtesy of www.skeptiseum.org.

Then I remembered that I follow Ron Nagy on Twitter. Ron is an author and expert on all things Lily Dale and spiritualism. I contacted him and he told me it looked to be one of the oldest river driver sound horns he’d ever seen. He also said that these horns were used as the first spirit trumpets before they began making them for the purposes of  séance. Cool! I googled several things but ended up finding an almost identical horn, apparently a “boat fog horn” online (see last photo below). A few of the fog horns even had the same little metal hoop where a chain would have been attached. 

Antique spirit trumpet, courtesy of www.skeptiseum.org.

Antique spirit trumpet, courtesy of www.skeptiseum.org.

I wish I knew if this fog horn had been used for spiritualist purposes. I suspect it probably never was, but I’m still considering going back on Monday to get it before it’s gone! 🙂 The quest to figure it all out was actually very fun and interesting! 

This is a "boat fog horn" that I found on e-bay. Pretty close, wouldn't you say? My antique find does not have the reed or mouth piece on top.

This is a “boat fog horn” that I found on ebay. Pretty close, wouldn’t you say? My antique find does not have the reed or mouth piece on top.

Related Posts:

Old School Locker (Big Séance)

Highlights from our 9/15/12 Séance (Big Séance)

 


Pictorial Tour of the Beautiful Fox Theatre in St. Louis… just because…

This may seem a bit off topic, but these historic theatres are just so mysteriously beautiful to me. Built and designed in what has been called “Siamese Byzantine” style, The Fox Theatre in St. Louis is one of my current obsessions. I’ve taken so many pictures on each visit that I had a very hard time narrowing them down for this post. Like most theatres of its kind, the Fox Theatre was originally built as a movie palace in 1929… for “talkies”. It sat vacant and forgotten for several years and then in the 80s it was purchased and a $2 million renovation brought this beauty back to life. It has seen the biggest stars, and each year serves as temporary home to national tours of Broadway productions and concerts. There’s really no theatre like it! But wait! There actually is a paranormal element to this post. The Fox Theatre is supposedly home to two ghosts. I haven’t met them, but I hope to… someday. 

Not a great picture… but I couldn’t NOT show you these amazing ticket booths.

The lobby during the holidays.

Ceiling in the lobby.

Lobby. And at the top of those stairs is a restaurant for the big spenders. (Totally reminds me of the Harmonia Gardens in Hello Dolly.)

Restaurant in the lobby.

This hangs above the restaurant at the top of the lobby stairs.

Just one of the traditional “ghost lights” at the Fox Theatre.

Took a ride in this old elevator. I think it’s beautiful!

Inside the theatre (obviously).

Entrance to the backstage area.

One of the many hallways underneath the theatre.

Some of the original projection equipment outside of the screening room in the basement (next picture).

The screening room in the basement of the theatre.

Can you believe this is just one of the men’s rooms? Of course then it would have been called a “smoking lounge”.  I love the floor and the blue on the walls.

Old phone booths in the men’s room.

 

Related:

Urban Exploration and Forgotten Theatres (Big Séance)

 

 


Do You Have a Plan for Afterlife Communication?

So this weekend, among other random things, I’ve worked on getting caught up in reading my Association TransCommunication News Journals. Reading one makes you realize just how many different kinds of ITC (Instrumental TransCommunication) research is happening all over the world. It also makes me realize that just like education, technology, and communication, spirit communication techniques are constantly changing. Like a doctor or a brain surgeon, any person studying spirit communication needs to stay informed on the latest news and techniques. Besides things like mediumship and standard EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) recording, people all over the world are getting spirit communication results through the use of radios, telephones, video, photography, voice mail, ouija boards, scrying through things like water and crystals, Morse code, and even dimes being dropped around the house. What is even more interesting is that more and more people are reporting having afterlife communication through things like Skype, e-mail, and text messages. It makes sense when you think about it. Some of us can’t pry our iPhones out of our hands on most days. So as more people who rely on these devices leave the physical, it makes sense that this would be a logical way for them to make contact. Think about it. Even though I get set in my ways, it really makes plain old EVP sound like old news, doesn’t it?  I have so much to learn still…

So, I’m curious. Lately I’ve heard from many people with stories of crossed over loved ones making contact or communicating from the other side. How many of you have an agreement with your loved ones on if and how you’ll make contact after you die? This is sometimes called After Death Communication (ADC). Anyone who knows me knows that I’m going to make contact however I can. I’ll be trying everything! Facebook, cell phones, lights, dishes, garage doors, toasters, pinching butts, etc. But… I’m going to place emphases on items that are on or near night stands.

What about you?

 

Related:

Hello From Heaven: The 12 Types Of After-Death Communication (AfterlifeTV.com)

Induced After Death Communication (ChannelingErik.com)

Telephone Calls from the Dead (Big Séance)

An Afterlife Visitation (Big Séance)

Spirit Visits While You Were Sleeping (Big Séance)

EVP Update: My visit from a rapper! (Big Séance)

Communication with the dead: What do you believe? (Big Séance)

 


Analysis Timeline: Okay so maybe I am a little ridiculous…

Just some random thoughts tonight. In an earlier post, I had show-and-tell and shared with you a little of my process of putting together a rough analysis of a paranormal investigation. Well… I added a step and tried something new this time around. And I’m not going to lie… I’m kind of realizing how ridiculous I get sometimes. Sometimes I’m too OCD and detailed for my own good. This took me a few days. Helpful? Yes. But it took a lot of time… and so now I still have to finish up the evidence and final report. I’m not sure I’d be able to finish up an entire investigation, analysis, and report for a location on a time limit. 🙂 I need to hire assistance. 

So I went from 19 pages of this (rough analysis)…

Same rough analysis from my recent post.

Same portion of a rough analysis from my recent post.

 

 ...and created 24 pages of this!

The new timeline analysis that I'm trying for the first time.

The new timeline analysis that I’m trying for the first time.

 

Everything from the rough analysis in a timeline. Now you can see all “events” from every area and piece of equipment in a timeline, so that one could compare the “events” that happen at roughly the same moment. Too much? Ah… maybe I’m just stalling because I know a lot of work is still ahead of me. Perhaps it’s like when I was growing up. I HATED homework and studying… but I LOVED office supply stores and playing school! 🙂

Back to work… 

 


Spirit Bilocation: Is it possible?

This last fall I was so very excited and honored to be asked by Randall Keller, EVP researcher and paranormal investigator, to join him in an EVP experiment.  In the past I’ve thrown “no relation” in a set of parentheses after his name, but according to his research (the family tree kind, not the paranormal kind), we are third cousins, three times removed… but I don’t even understand what that means… so I just smile and nod. Cousins or not, in the last year I’ve known him as a great teacher and mentor, and I want to thank him sincerely for inviting me (ahem… and for putting up with me). As a fairly new guy on the scene, it is a great honor to be involved in this kind of research. Unfortunately we’ve not had the opportunity to shake hands since we’ve never been in the same geographic location at the same time (insert lame bilocation joke here), but we’ve done the telephone and online equivalent. We send the occasional smoke signal as well.

 

Spirit Bilocation… What is it?

Through our experiment, we hoped to achieve results that suggested bilocation in the spirit world was possible. In other words, we wanted to prove that a spirit could be in two different places (like Randy’s house in Maryland and mine in Missouri) at the same time, or be able to travel great distances instantaneously… and we’d prove it through EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena).

I believe Randy’s inspiration for this experiment came out of an earlier project where he began capturing EVP in cemeteries. He figured no one in the world would want to stand guard at their own grave site for all eternity, so since many spirits seem to be there to communicate when he records, it certainly suggests that it may be possible for them to show up if someone is paying them a visit. Are they able to be in multiple places at one time? And if not, do they just travel really fast?

 

The Experiment

So here’s a basic summary of what our experiment looked like. Using the same recording devices, Randy and I recorded for 30 minutes, 5 nights in a row, same time each night. We followed an agreed upon script that allowed for a few opportunities for improvised questioning, but was otherwise strictly timed and planned.  For the first 15 minutes I recorded in silence as Randy introduced the experiment and our intentions to any spirits present at his location.  During this time he asked these spirits to visit my location and to deliver specific answers or responses to my recorder. After 15 minutes passed, I began a similar process on my end as Randy recorded in silence.

One of the exciting elements to our experiment was that each night we agreed on what I like to call our “secret password”. For example, Randy would ask his spirits to deliver his middle name to me in Missouri while I would ask my spirits to share my middle name with him in Maryland. Each night was a different password. Similarly, each night I decided to throw a very random word on a piece of paper that was displayed next to my recorder. At some point during each session, even though I never said the word out loud, I asked for any spirit present to visit Randy and deliver the word from the paper. This was something I kind of just threw into the mix early on in the experiment. I didn’t tell Randy what word was on the paper until it was all over after the fifth night.

The next step was to review and analyze our own recordings, identifying what we felt were EVP or at least a classification that I like to use often, “possible EVP”. Anyone who follows my blogs or my thoughts on EVP knows that I have a hard time having the confidence to declare something as “EVP”. Even though there is no council or jury to say that I am right or wrong, I’m very careful and very analytical about it. Yes, it is annoying… but Randy still likes me (I think). So when it came to the last major step in our experiment, to compare and agree on our joint EVP, it was a challenge for me… but a great learning experience. Randy then put together an amazing timeline of events for each session, including questions asked and EVP responses that were documented. This way we could easily see if responses matched up to a question being asked on either end.

 

Our Results

Though we did capture EVP, most of which were from Randy’s side of the experiment (this was not a surprise), we did not capture clear evidence of bilocation. We did, however, capture one of our “password” responses on Randy’s end. Randy recorded a response of “Keith” during the session where I asked spirits present to deliver my middle name (Keith) to Randy. Really cool… but not enough to shout “Bilocation is possible!” But this certainly doesn’t mean it is not possible. We just have more work to do.

 

More to come…

I’m not sure I was completely prepared for the amount of work this experiment actually took. With a full-time job and other paranormal research happening at the same time, it really takes a nerd and a lot of time. But as I said before, I learned a lot through this process. And guess what? We’ve decided that we’re taking what we learned and will soon be organizing part two of the experiment, which will happen this summer! This time Randy is going to work me even harder. Stay tuned for more info on part two!

 

Randall Keller

Randall Keller

I encourage you to check out Randy’s Voices Podcast, episode 55, titled “Is Spirit Bilocation Possible?” to get a more thorough explanation of the experiment from Randy himself. You can also visit www.RandallKeller.com, his The Voices Blog, and The Voices Blog Unplugged. Tell him Patrick sent ya. Actually, tell him my middle name, which is “Keith”. On second thought, both of those ideas are really dorky. Just go visit Randall Keller! 🙂

 

 


Route 66: Bourbon Hotel and John’s Modern Cabins…

Yesterday I went on a mini road trip with my buddy Matt. We left O’Fallon, Missouri and headed for St. James, Missouri to spend some time with a dear friend. Since I am not from the St. Louis area, I can always count on Matt, who is a history buff, to introduce me to fascinating historical information. In this case, I learned that I knew very little about the historic Route 66. I figured Matt (who is always the navigator and tour guide) would lead me on some great site seeing adventures. We’re definitely two different kinds of nerds, but a big chunk of our nerdiness overlaps a bit. If it weren’t for the horrible sleety/icy weather, this post would probably have been quite a bit larger. (But since I forgot my “play clothes”, that’s probably a good thing.) The trip made me want to take the entire Route 66 tour someday (well… almost).  

 

The Bourbon Hotel (Bourbon, Missouri)

If you know me, you know that I think this building is beautiful and fascinating. It has so much character, and I’m here to tell you that when you’re on the porch walking by the windows, you can just feel that someone is keeping an eye on you! It was sleeting and raining on us in these shots, with a dash of lightning and thunder. 

 

The Bourbon Hotel actually faces railroad tracks.

The Bourbon Hotel dates back to the 1890s and actually faces railroad tracks.

 

The back of the Bourbon Hotel. (This is the Route 66 view.)

The back of the Bourbon Hotel. (This is the Route 66 view.)

 

Check out that amazing Mansard Roof! (Totally just learned that term, by the way.)

Check out that amazing Mansard Roof! (Totally just learned that term, by the way.)

 

I dare you to walk past those front windows. (Matt off in the distance.)

 

For more info on the Bourbon Hotel, click HERE.

 

 

John’s Modern Cabins (Newburg, Missouri)

This place has a fascinating and strange history. Clearly, this landmark is in pretty bad shape. From what I hear, it has really gotten worse in just the last couple of years.

 

From this great shot, taken by Matt, you can really see just how close to the road this place really was.

From this great shot, taken by Matt, you can really see just how close to the road this place really was.

 

 

It’s at this point (right in front of the cabins) that old Route 66 disappears for a while…

 

Love the outhouse.

Love the outhouse.

 

 

 

For more information on John’s Modern Cabins, click HERE

 

For more information on Ghosts and Hauntings on Route 66 in Missouri, I encourage you to check out the following book:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related:

National66.org

Historic66.com

 

 

 

 

 


There’s Just Something Romantic About a Staircase…

 

The famous Brown Lady of Raynham Hall (Norfolk) captured in this photo from 1936.

The famous Brown Lady of Raynham Hall (Norfolk) captured in this photo from 1936.

There’s just something romantic about a staircase. Well… isn’t there? Maybe I should be more specific. Yes, there are many Hollywood-like stories of hauntings involving stairs. You know, that one where the woman in white (why is it always a woman in white?) falls to her death in the home her and her husband built. And, of course, there’s the “Brown Lady” photo that many are instantly familiar with. But for me, it’s a ghostly, historic type of romance that I’m talking about… and I’m sort of obsessed with all forms of these staircases, especially during a paranormal investigation. In many historical buildings, for example, a staircase may have been the one and only entrance to an area or even to an entire building, in some cases. Let’s use one of these fictional buildings as an example. But first, here’s a quick story. (This is where my students will get excited… when I break the boring routine to tell a random story!) When I was a kid and lucky enough to perform on the stage of Starlight Theatre, a regional theatre in Kansas City, I couldn’t help but obsess over the fact that I was walking on the same stage where I had seen Debbie Gibson (no judgment, please) perform just months before. And really, at the time I had no clue of how many major stars had performed there in the theatre’s history. (End of random story.) If you know a famous person was once in this particular building (the one you’re imagining), you can be sure that they came through this very specific and sometimes small space. But this doesn’t have to be about famous people. If this building was a public place, such as a theatre or a school, than hundreds, thousands, or maybe even millions of souls have passed through.

I very much believe that when we leave the physical world, we leave energy behind. Even if we never return after crossing over, even if when we die we turn to dust and that’s it, a person’s energy may remain in a place that was meaningful to them. But maybe there doesn’t have to be an emotional attachment to a space. I go up and down the stairs in my home ten or more times every day. I could go up and down with my eyes closed due to the fact that I know that part of my house so well. If I was able to somehow track the amount of time I spent, or the energy I left in any part of my home, wouldn’t the stairs be off the charts compared to, let’s say… that weird corner of the living room in between the end table and the front window, or that lovely dining room where no one ever sits? 

Being a paranormal investigator has forced me to come up with theories on a few things. And during investigations I often find myself heading for the staircase with a camera and a tripod, and sometimes a digital audio recorder as well. I’ll stand at the bottom and just imagine people, in whatever time period, coming down the stairs as if it were a normal day in their life. I could be wrong, but sometimes I just feel that if we’re going to capture amazing evidence, there’s a good chance it’s going to be there. Imagine a firehouse, well over a century old, and the only staircase to what would have been the second floor living quarters of the volunteer firemen that stayed there. This was in a time before you slid down a pole. Now imagine the hurried and dramatic moments that must have occurred in that fascinating, yet very practical space! 

Show and tell time!

Here are some of the staircases that have fascinated me in recent years. Some are from investigations and some are not. 

A staircase from MOSS's most recent investigation of a 144 year old building in Lexington, Missouri. This staircase is on a second floor landing and leads to a third floor apartment. Both of these floors are above a pizza place and for the most part have not been touched or occupied since approximately 1982.

A staircase from MOSS’s most recent investigation of a 144 year old building in Lexington, Missouri. These 19 steps begin on a second floor landing and lead to a third floor apartment. Both of these floors are above a pizza place and for the most part have not been touched or occupied since approximately 1982.

 

I was absolutely fascinated by this staircase! This is the main entrance to the historical and vacant Carthage Opera House in Carthage, Missouri, built in the 1870s.

I was absolutely fascinated by this staircase! This is the main entrance to the historical and vacant Carthage Opera House in Carthage, Missouri, built in the 1870s.

 

A DVR screen shot from our investigation of an undisclosed museum in St. Charles, Missouri.

A DVR screen shot from our investigation of an undisclosed museum in St. Charles, Missouri.

 

The staircase from an old farmhouse, now the Heritage Museum in St. Peters, Missouri.

The staircase from an old farmhouse, now the Heritage Museum in St. Peters, Missouri.

 

Unfortunately, you'll just have to let your mind wonder on this one.

Unfortunately, you’ll just have to let your mind wonder on this one.

 

This has been my favorite location to take pictures lately... The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, built in 1927, was originally a movie theatre. Stay tuned for a post devoted solely to this beautiful space. It'll be coming soon!

This has been my favorite location to take pictures lately… The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis, built in 1927, was originally a movie theatre. Stay tuned for a post devoted solely to this beautiful space. It’ll be coming soon!

 

I couldn't possibly publish this post without including the famous staircase from The Stanley Hotel.

I couldn’t possibly publish this post without including the famous staircase from The Stanley Hotel.

 

And just for fun... the glass staircase from our visit to the Apple Store (still under construction at the time... or maybe they were remodeling) in New York City across from Central Park. Are there ghosts here? Who knows?!

And just for fun… the glass staircase from our visit to the Apple Store (still under construction at the time… or maybe they were remodeling) in New York City across from Central Park. Are there ghosts here? Who knows?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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