Monthly Archives: May 2013

Death Perception’s Kennet Singleton: A Psychic Medium

I am honored to present this guest post by the amazing Lee Allen Howard!

 

Are the paranormal abilities of psychics and mediums gifts possessed by only a chosen few? I discuss this topic at Building the Bridge. But it’s a question I also consider in my latest supernatural crime novel, DEATH PERCEPTION.

The notion that certain people are born with these supernormal abilities persists in books, movies, and television shows. The popular TV series Medium, starring Patricia Arquette, portrayed protagonist Allison DuBois as someone whose gifts invade her life and overtake her. Dreams haunt her, and dead people show up when she least expects it, forcing her to deal with their demands.

The spiritual abilities of some people may be so powerful that they overrun waking consciousness. Such individuals are described as “natural mediums.” Natural mediums are rare in real life. The majority of individuals who work as psychics and mediums had only an inkling of a gift in the beginning, but studied and trained to develop it, like I did. Kennet Singleton, the young protagonist in DEATH PERCEPTION, is a bit of both.

Like some psychics, Kennet has suffered a troublesome childhood marred by paternal abuse, making him hypersensitive to changes in mood energy. He’s also encountered an old Pentecostal prophetess, who lays her hands on him, prophesies his future, and imparts a gift to him.

His psychic abilities crop up at age 19 when he toasts marshmallows over the ashes of someone he’s just cremated. Later, after a near-death experience, his mediumistic abilities flower, enabling him to see and hear the dead—and solve murders.

Kennet has come by his abilities both naturally through his past and supernaturally through the ministry of the prophetess. After an accidental consciousness-expanding event, his prescient hunches develop dramatically into something useful in avenging victimized spirits.

My personal study of Spiritualism and mediumship furnished the knowledge I needed to write about such abilities with authority. Having experienced psychic phenomena myself, I was able to add realism to Kennet’s otherwordly perceptions. (For more about this, see “Visitation from the Summerland” at Building the Bridge.)

DEATH PERCEPTION is the story of Kennet Singleton, crematory operator at a local funeral home. The crimes of the past pave the way for him to discover and accept the unique gifts he must use to help others—good inspiration for any kind of story. Especially if it includes ghosts!

DEATH PERCEPTION is available in trade paperback, Kindle (.mobi) and Nook (.epub) at http://leeallenhoward.com/death-perception/.

BIO           

Lee Allen Howard writes horror, dark fantasy, and supernatural crime. He’s been a professional writer and editor of both fiction and nonfiction since 1985. His publications include The Sixth Seed, Desperate Spirits, Night Monsters, “Mama Said,” “Stray,” and DEATH PERCEPTION, available in various formats at http://leeallenhoward.com.

You can keep in touch with Lee on his Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lee-Allen-Howard-author/117844011639457. Follow him on Twitter @LeeAllenHoward

 


Dreaming of Flying… and Dogs?

I don’t remember dreams often, but when I do have interesting dreams, I try to share them here. And I feel like I need to point out that this week I also had my experience with the voice in my car

This is Meril ready for a trip to the tennis coart!

This is Meril ready for a trip to the tennis court!

Within the last week I’d say I’ve had two separate panicky dreams about losing our four-legged son, Meril. (I don’t mean losing as in death… but misplacing or not being able to find him.) I even have a Facebook friend who mentioned in a status that she was experiencing the same kind of dreams this week. I’m known to be very over protective with Meril and hyper sensitive about opened doors, where he is at all times, holding the leash super tight on walks, wondering if he’s okay or lonely while we’re gone, what happens while we’re gone and there’s a fire or tornado, and the worrying goes on and on… But I can’t think of anything specifically that has worried me more than usual recently in the waking hours. My only guess is that Joe was gone for most of this week and so Meril and I were on our own, which is unusual. Also, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and videos online lately involving pets being found in the rubble of the Oklahoma tornadoes. Perhaps that’s it. Or maybe it’s more literal than that. Maybe I’m supposed to keep my eyes open. 

 

Flying…

But my big reason for writing this dream post tonight is to tell you about my flying dream last night. It was an unusual sleeping night for me. Due to eating dinner so late after picking Joe up from the airport that night, I was waking up every hour with heart burn and unable to sleep (if this is TMI, I apologize). All of these short sessions of sleep possibly explains why I remember details vividly. I think many, if not most people, have experienced dreams of flying. I have a friend who sprouts wings when she flies. As you’ll see, my flying experiences are different. 

 

Soaring Over the Trees…

The details before the flying are somewhat fuzzy, but it took place in a fictional, beautiful, older, and urban neighborhood, possibly even a cutesy shopping district. In my dream I seemed to understand that it was somewhere in Kansas City, and possibly a location from a previous dream. One thing I can tell you for sure is that it was a pleasant atmosphere with people out and walking around. But the thing I remembered so vividly were the tall, mature, and green trees. I was either waiting to meet someone or I was on my way to meet them. Suddenly I jumped, and as if weightless in space, I was sort of suspended in the air. But my feet gradually fell back to the sidewalk. That’s when I think I knew I was dreaming and I remembered how this flying stuff worked. I jumped again, only this time I tried to remember how to get higher, to really soar. I worked my energy so that I was suddenly high above the trees and moving forward at a pretty quick speed… but I was gradually falling. I started bracing for a fall and was a little scared all of a sudden. As soon as I worried about falling, I fell faster. As I began falling into the trees I decided to relax and let go of the fear. As soon as that happened I shot back up above the trees and soared. It was so beautiful. I remember thinking “Okay now I remember how it works.” It was all coming back to me. I could somehow shift my energy or my weight to “steer” to wherever I wanted to go. It was very cool. And again, I’m pretty sure I knew I was dreaming. I don’t remember landing at a destination or the rest of the details of the dream. It was probably me waking up to take another walk around the house that ended it. 

 

So was I dreaming? Was I astral traveling? (I don’t recall seeing a cord.) Do you dream of flying? How does it work for you? 

 

Related

Fly Away With Me (healing.about.com)

Brown Bananas (The Voices Blog)

“So, I had this dream…” (The Voices Blog)

Bring Out the Fire (Big Séance)

Why Did the Full-Blown Apparition Cross the Road? (Big Séance)

The Hand that Rocks Your Dreams (Big Séance)

Being Able To Read In Your Dreams (Big Séance)

Apocalypse Dream (Big Séance)

 


The Voice in the Car…

 

My favorite stretch of road near my neighborhood.

My favorite stretch of road near my neighborhood.

Today was already an unusual day. Due to being a single father for a week, and because my schedule was going to keep me at school late today, I had to skip my lunch and my planning period  to come home to walk my 4-legged son, Meril. Because of the time it takes to get to work, I usually don’t drive to and from work more than once in a day, and I’ve never attempted a trip home and back during the school day. I knew I was going to have just the right amount of time to make it all happen. 

One of the greatest parts about the drive to and from our neighborhood is a stretch of black top road with several winding hills and lots of trees, a small bridge over a creek, and it’s not uncommon to see an occasional deer just relaxing and enjoying the same setting as your drive by. It’s the part of the drive that creates the illusion that you’re not in strip mall and parking lot filled suburbia. It reminds me of growing up in small town country. I was about halfway through this stretch of road, on the way home, and was busy listening to MSNBC on my SiriusXM radio. I was very tired. I wasn’t nodding off, but I was definitely tired and relaxed, one of those times you’re on auto pilot and suddenly you’re at your destination but don’t remember the drive. I also remember that around this time I was thinking of someone who recently lost their mother. All of a sudden, mixed in with the drone of the female news reporter, I heard my name, “Patrick”, clearly and almost sternly. It seemed to come through the radio, or at least from the speakers in my car. I felt that familiar charge over my body and I’m sure I had goosebumps. Whatever happened just instantly got my attention.

This kind of experience has only happened to me once before. It was an average day while I was going about my normal routine. I was walking into the front door from an early walk with Meril before leaving the house. I heard my father’s voice say my name like he does when he’s trying to get my attention. The first weird thing about that was my father is very much alive and lives three hours away. I called my parents on the way to work to find my mother had a similar experience a few hours earlier when she woke up in the middle of the night to find my father not in the room. Very strange. 

Anyway… back to the voice in the car. Within seconds of hearing this voice I was alert and waiting for a sign or another voice, and I asked out loud if someone was trying to get my attention. Nothing. Was this pareidolia (matrixing)? Did the consonants and fricatives in of this woman’s voice in between words just magically fall into place to form my name? Is it possible that the report really did just say “Patrick” for some reason and it grabbed my focus? Or was this a completely separate entity using my car’s radio or speakers to get my attention? Or perhaps I’m just simply crazy. I found myself comparing this experience to spirit box sessions and how easily you can force yourself to hear something. But in this situation I wasn’t forcing myself at all. I wasn’t even actively listening, and other thoughts were in my head during this time as well. But it was sharp and clear and got my attention. Was this a spirit guide waking me up? Was it the crossed over parent of the person that was in my thoughts?

I suppose I need to stay alert for a while. 

 

Recent Related Posts:

Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11

Do You Have a Plan for Afterlife Communication?

Join the Radio Sweep Experiment… What do you hear?

 

 

 


The Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, AZ

Inside the Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ Photo courtesy of www.theexpressionist.com

Inside the Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ
Photo courtesy of www.theexpressionist.com

In a recent post I mentioned that I had been developing an appreciation for the Ghost Adventures series. Well I’ve been catching up on various episodes from random seasons that my DVR catches and records. Today I watched their investigation of the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona from 2009. When I saw the description I was really excited because one of my all-time favorite Ghost Hunters episodes from two years earlier is from Bird Cage Theatre. This GH episode goes way back to season 3. Brian Harnois was still a big part of the show, and Tango was still an “Investigator in Training”. I’ve not been to Tombstone, but I’d love to if I ever get the chance! The area, which includes the famous O.K. Corral, is such a historical gem and is supposed to be a hotbed for paranormal activity.

The Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ. Photo courtesy of www.legendsofamerica.com

The Bird Cage Theatre, located in Tombstone, AZ.
Photo courtesy of www.legendsofamerica.com

In the Ghost Hunters episode, the most exciting evidence for me was when the TAPS team captured perfectly clear and obviously dated music somehow being played in the background. I remember getting chills the first time I heard it. They also captured the grainy DVR video of an electrical cord being lifted off a bell hanging on the wall and falling to the floor. I found it interesting that both TAPS and the Ghost Adventures crew had the kind of dramatic personal experiences involving full blown apparitions that you just don’t see often. They weren’t your typical “what the frig” personal experiences, they seemed to be incredibly authentic and real. I mean, in both situations they had to stop to catch their breath. Of course, who knows? Both teams also captured audio of the sound of shuffling cards. This makes sense since the Bird Cage was a popular site for gambling. Ghost Adventures recorded some amazing EVP as well as clearly audible disembodied voices (these voices are similar to EVP but are heard in real time without the aid of recording devices).

Embedded in this post will be the first of the three-part Ghost Hunters episode and the entire Ghost Adventures episode. Like most videos of this nature, I’m sure they’ll disappear or be taken down eventually, so if you can’t get to them below, search YouTube or get the episodes somehow. Do any of my readers have a favorite location from paranormal TV? Have you been to Tombstone?

 

 

 

 


Ghost Adventures & Weird or What?

Weird or What? 

My dad called me about this one. “Hey! Turn it on SyFy. There’s a new show and they’re talking about séances!” This seems to be a goofy show that tastes a little like Unsolved Mysteries to me. Maybe it’s the reenactments that give me that vibe, because it’s certainly not the goofiness. And that’s not horrible, I guess… because I love me some old school Unsolved Mysteries. To this day the old theme song can make me pull the covers over my head, but musically I just love it! But Weird or What? is hosted by William Shatner (which explains the goofiness).

William Shatner hosting Weird or What?

William Shatner hosting Weird or What?

The particular episode that I watched was episode #2 and titled “Life After Death”. In this episode, Mr. Shatner makes his entrance on a Segway…. ??? I was delighted to see that the séance material ended up being about the Scole Experiment, which I’ve discussed on this blog quite a bit (see related links below). Most of the information was watered down to fit a small segment, but it was nice to see some fresh discussion on the topic with people involved. Other segments include a man who has been told and is convinced that in a past life he was a general in the Civil War Battle of Antietam, and a man who comes back from the dead after 18 years. That last one, of course, is trying to take advantage of the huge zombie craze that the American culture is going through right now. 

Some of the interviews in this episode include a scientist who discusses his theory about the soul and quantum physics (that’s when I started seeing chickens out of the corner of my eye and thought about going downstairs for a snack),  a photography expert that analyzes some of the Scole evidence (even though it has already been done), and a Harvard psychologist and a scientist who both play the part of skeptics. The scientist sets up an almost insulting and fake séance for unsuspecting sitters. Of course, this is his way of saying it’s all an illusion. 

So what did I think? It’s the only episode I’ve watched and my DVR is not set to record anymore episodes. 

 

Ghost Adventures: Glen Tavern Inn

I used to not like the boys from Ghost Adventures at all. In fact (as if I knew it all), I would roll my eyes and tell you all about why I thought they were giant asses (though they have been in the past). I’ve talked to other GA fans who believe that they’re softening up a bit and getting more serious. That might be true, but I think I just didn’t really give them a chance before because of the first impression. I began really checking them out in preparation for my Fort Chaffee Prison investigation with JPRS. They had investigated that location a year or so before and I studied that episode. Some people turn their noses up and pretend that all paranormal television (Ghost Hunters, etc.) are nonsense and had nothing to do with why they do whatever it is they do in this field, but I’ve learned to appreciate them for what we can get out of them. I suppose there are pioneers out there who have been at it for years, but the vast majority of people in this field joined AFTER the great paranormal craze of the early 2000s. (Warning: Completely random comment. I think we need to start using the term “ott” or “ot” again when referring to the first ten years of the century. Thoughts?) I can’t pretend Ghost Hunters wasn’t one of the biggest inspirations for why I do what I do. 

The Goldfield Hotel

The Goldfield Hotel

Anyway… (Look! There goes another chicken!) I’ve been watching more Ghost Adventures episodes recently. The episode of their most recent visit to the Goldfield Hotel was outstanding, but just the other night I watched the Glen Tavern Inn episode. What fascinated me about this one? Not only did they get some really great EVP, and they gave us plenty of shots of the beauty of the hotel, but they conducted a séance! I was pleased to see Zak and the boys be open to doing that. The fact that they (like Ghost Hunters) have been having celebrity guests lately has been getting on my  nerves, but I guess they gotta do what they gotta do. 

Has anyone else been watching?

Glen Tavern Inn

Glen Tavern Inn

Related Posts:

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters… So What?

Video Highlights from our 9/15/12 Séance

Exciting News! Beyond the Scole Experiment!

The Scole Experiment… My Review… 

The Scole Group’s “A Basic Guide”

More Random Bits and Thoughts on Scole

Some Random Bits and Thoughts on Scole

 

 


Sylvia Browne: In her own words…

My last post on the recent and ongoing backlash and criticism of the psychic medium, Sylvia Browne, brought on more discussion and comments than we’ve seen here at the Big Séance in a while. It’s still a hot topic among bloggers and in online paranormal and spiritual circles.  

Since that post I’ve discovered that Sylvia responded in a statement. 

“For more than 50 years as a spiritual psychic and guide, when called upon to either help authorities with missing person cases or to help families with questions about their loved ones, I have been more right than wrong. If ever there was a time to be grateful and relieved for being mistaken, this is that time. Only God is right all the time. My heart goes out to Amanda Berry, her family, the other victims and their families. I wish you a peaceful recovery.” – From the Huffington Post

Regarding the other similar highly publicized case involving Shawn Hornbeck in 2007, Browne’s publicist told CNN “She cannot possibly be 100 percent correct in each and every one of her predictions. She has, during a career of over 50 years, helped literally tens of thousands of people.”

Psychic Medium Sylvia Browne

 

Since it is highly unlikely that Sylvia Browne would pop in to defend herself on my blog, and since I own many of her books, I decided I would highlight just a few of her statements that seem to fit this situation. 

 

“I have never used a ‘ringer’ in my life, or participated in a hoax. I would never forfeit my credibility, my career, and my life’s work for the sake of a cheap trick.”
From Life on the Other Side: A Psychic’s Tour of the Afterlife

 

“Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some mistakes along the way — and I mean some real whoppers — that if you don’t know the whole story could make it look as if my integrity was a little blurry from time to time. Again, ask me and I’ll tell you exactly how stupid I’ve been, how naive and inappropriately trusting of the wrong people I can be, and just how incredibly unpsychic I am about myself. But accuse me of ever being deliberately dishonest, or indiscreet, or greedy and ambitious at someone else’s expense, or careless about the issue of integrity, you’ll have a fight on your hands, and that includes the subject of celebrities, both past and present.”
From Visits from the Afterlife: The Truth about Hauntings, Spirits, and Reunions with Lost Loved Ones

 

“I love being right. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. My career depends on my being right a lot more often than I’m wrong, and I’ve been tested at somewhere between 85- and 90-percent accuracy as a psychic. Averaging, let’s say, twenty clients a day for fifty years, plus another forty years of lectures, print interviews, radio and television appearances, added to several decades of very private pro bono work with the medical and psychiatric communities and various law enforcement agencies, and my own extensive research and writing, I wouldn’t have the strength, the skill, or the courage to try to calculate the number of hours of information I’ve transmitted in my sixty-six years on earth this time around, and I’d be ecstatic to find out that 95 to 90 percent of that information has been accurate and give all the credit to God where it belongs. 

There’s no doubt about it, either, that when I miss something, I miss it, and when I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to point it out. The terrorist attacks of September 11? Not one inkling. The sniper killings that held the Washington, D.C., area hostage in the fall of 2002? I called Lindsay and recorded detailed descriptions of the two suspects several days before any arrests were made. They turned out to be very accurate descriptions of the two alleged suspects who were mistakenly surrounded by the authorities at a gas station and completely exonerated several hours later. I’ve been thrilled to hear it when I turned out to be wrong about the outcome of a missing-persons case or two, and heartbroken on more occasions when I turned out to be right.”
From Visits from the Afterlife: The Truth about Hauntings, Spirits, and Reunions with Lost Loved Ones

 

“Psychics don’t solve crimes. Law enforcement solves crimes. We simply bring another set of tools to what’s usually a long, exhaustive, difficult process of identifying criminals and putting them behind bars. We’re no different from the criminal profilers, the geographic profilers, the forensic anthropologists, the sculptors and other experts who were viewed with initial skepticism until they proved their worth, as any participant in an investigation should be expected to do.”
Included in her section on “Psychic Forensics” from Phenomenon: Everything You Need to Know About the Paranormal

 

“However, Mr. Randi and other anti-psychic skeptics have called me a liar and a charlatan numerous times, and there are even entire Websites devoted to trying to stop my work for God. How miserable is it that instead of helping others, some people choose to start atheistic or skeptical societies and ridicule, or even try to destroy, the men and women who are trying to help others?”
From
Mystical Traveler: How to Advance to a Higher Level of Spirituality

 

Update for 5/13/13

I have been reading Prophecy: What the Future Holds for You by Sylvia Browne and had actually started it just before the women in Ohio were found. Today I came across a passage that I sure wish I would have found before I put this post together. In this particular section she was discussing the prophesies of Edgar Cayce. It’s the perfect response to this situation. I probably wouldn’t have even needed the passages I included above. Here it is.

“There are prophesies of Edgar Cayce’s that haven’t come true. I wouldn’t presume to speak for him, but my guess would be that his explanation for that would be similar to mine when I find out I was wrong about a reading or a prediction. Any prophet, psychic, clairvoyant, medium or other paranormalist who claims to be accurate 100 percent of the time is a fraud and a liar. Only God is right 100 percent of the time. All the rest of us can do is receive and transmit information we’re given, and stay out of the way as best we can. We can’t take credit for any of the information, but blame for inaccuracy falls justifiably on our shoulders, because it means that somewhere along the line we misspoke, misunderstood, misinterpreted and/or somehow involuntarily interfered, and the messages suffered in the translation.”

 

 


Sylvia Browne: Are members of the “spiritual community” turning on her?

Psychic medium, Sylvia Browne

Psychic medium, Sylvia Browne

I have to admit I didn’t necessarily think much about the psychic medium, Sylvia Browne, until I read a few of her books. Seriously, you should read one. I really do think that her unusually gruff voice and appearance causes people to form unfortunate opinions of her when they may know nothing about her. For many people, her appearances on the Montel Williams Show (cancelled in 2008) may be all they know about her and her work.

Most likely you’ve run across some statements or articles being passed around social media this week following the shocking, sad, yet celebratory news of three missing women in Ohio escaping the hell where they were held captive for a decade or more. In 2004 Browne told the mother of one of the missing women that her daughter, Amanda Berry, was dead. The other big miss that people remember and refer to was in the case of Shawn Hornbeck. For me, this story was close to home and I remember it well. I had just moved to the St. Louis area to begin my teaching career when the young man went missing. In 2004 Sylvia told his parents that he was dead and a few years later he was found alive. (Click here for Shawn’s recent interview by the St. Louis Post Dispatch in light of this week’s events.) These were two very unfortunate blunders that no doubt caused pain and suffering.

This week I’ve seen some people from what I’ll call the “paranormal” and “spiritual community”, some psychic/medium personalities, turn on Sylvia Browne so very easily and quickly. Some of these community members constantly plaster statements all over social media about how everyone can learn to use their natural psychic abilities, trust your intuition, use your third eye, kum ba yah, etc. Most psychics and mediums (including Sylvia) will tell you that not all readings or predictions will be accurate. They are human just like anyone else. Apparently for some people, practicing what they preach doesn’t count in some situations. I don’t have any personal experience to back up whether or not Sylvia truly has the abilities she claims to possess, but scientists have gone back and forth for over a century trying to prove or disprove these phenomena. With so many psychics and mediums popping up on the scene, most of whom are relatively unknown, how is anyone to know who truly is “the real deal”? Is someone keeping track of and publicizing all of the misses of every local psychic/medium? Perhaps shaming another while they’re down will make them look more real and put some distance between them and the skeptics? 

This has definitely caused a setback for those of us interested in learning and researching all things paranormal or spiritual. All of this just shows how very careful a psychic/medium should be with their gift. Maybe these very heavy and emotional statements should never happen in such a public forum, and maybe they shouldn’t even be stated if they can’t be more certain of their accuracy.

But… a few highly publicized misses does not make someone a horrible fraud.

I hope I never have to eat my words from this post, but I’m not jumping on the tar and feather wagon just yet. Maybe I’m a fool. For now, my thoughts and prayers go out to those women and their families, and to the many missing people in this world who are holding on and just waiting to be found. 

Sylvia Browne during one of her many appearances on the Montel Williams Show.

Sylvia Browne during one of her many appearances on the Montel Williams Show.


%d bloggers like this: