Tag Archives: exorcism

Part 2 of the Story of a True Haunting with Edwin F. Becker – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #21

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True Haunting by Edwin F. Becker, Big Séance Podcast

 

In Part 2 of 2, Edwin F. Becker shares his story of the very real haunting experiences that he and his family experienced in 1970. The story, which involves the very first televised exorcism by NBC, and was featured on an episode of Paranormal Witness, is told in his bestselling book, True Haunting.

 

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

CLICK HERE for the 1971 televised NBC coverage of the famous exorcism on YouTube.

Check out my review of Edwin’s book, True Haunting.

 

For More on Edwin F. Becker, visit:

Edwin F. Becker, author of "True Haunting" - The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal WorldTrueHaunting.com

EdwinBecker.com

“True Haunting” on Amazon

 

Miss Part 1? Click HERE!

 

Thanks, Edwin!

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


The Story of a True Haunting with Edwin F. Becker, Part 1 – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #20

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Edwin F. Becker, author of "True Haunting" - The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal WorldIn Part 1 of 2, Edwin F. Becker shares his story of the very real haunting experiences that he and his family experienced in 1970. The story, which involves the very first televised exorcism by NBC, and was featured on an episode of Paranormal Witness, is told in his bestselling book, True Haunting.

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

CLICK HERE for the 1971 televised NBC coverage of the famous exorcism on YouTube.

Check out my review of Edwin’s book, True Haunting.

 

True Haunting by Edwin F. Becker, Big Séance PodcastFor More on Edwin F. Becker, visit:

TrueHaunting.com

EdwinBecker.com

“True Haunting” on Amazon

 

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2!

 

Thanks, Edwin!

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


Demons, Possession, and the Book I Almost Didn’t Finish

 

A photo I took from inside the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri.

A photo I took from inside the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri.

I’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding the subject of demons or demonic possession on this blog. This isn’t due to being afraid of the topic or needing to leave the closet light on when I talk about it, but because the BS-o-meter tends to immediately start flashing in my head when the topic is brought up. It’s not something I do on purpose, and it’s not that I’m trying to be a jerk, it just doesn’t resonate with me, I guess. I’ve always done my best to not offend anyone in discussions about their beliefs, or when people recount their demonic experiences. As Jim Harold famously says, “I keep an open mind, but not so open that my brains fall out.” Most of the time I just listen and try to see the activity as simply paranormal, just like any other experience that may or may not be explainable, rather than attach a demonic name or entity to it. 

 

I admit it! 

But I think I need to finally come clean and admit that I have issues believing in the concept. Oh I know what some of you will use to argue already. Light can’t exist without darkness. A belief in angels requires a belief in demons. Those arguments sound nice, but they don’t settle anything for me, and to be fair, I have the same issues wrapping my head around angels sometimes too, with their names and their color coded wings. For a while last year I was involved in a few phone conversations with a popular television production company about the possibility of being involved in a pilot about angels and investigating whether or not they really existed. I’m not sure where the project ended up going, but many of the personalities they were interested in just had a knowing that angels existed, and that’s not what they were looking for. They wanted someone who needed the proof. It was exciting to be approached, but I’m not sure the topic of angels would have been enough to keep me focused or serious for a whole series. One thing is for sure, though. I’d have to see some evidence before I could confidently say I believed in angels. Now ask me if I believe in spirit guides. (Well… I can’t wait all night for you to ask, but just know the answer is YES. My regular readers already knew this.)

Oh I believe in evil, in a sense that there are bad people, good people, and a whole spectrum of people in between. Those same people may just end up being either the innocent ghost or the trouble-making poltergeist in a haunted house. Many people believe, as I do, that we’re placed here on earth, maybe more than once, to learn lessons and allow our souls to grow spiritually. Perhaps these “bad people” are here to be a part of those lessons, and maybe their struggle with being bad has something to do with their own lesson. But believing in an inhuman demonic entity, or the devil himself, is something that I admittedly struggle to take seriously. Some popular paranormal television shows haven’t helped my opinion, either. Often those suddenly possessed investigators or home owners seem to look like they’re simply starving for attention, and oh look, there just happens to be a camera rolling! The spotlight is on me! I don’t mean to be flip, but that’s how it appears. I have absolutely no doubt that spirit can make use of our energy, or manipulate the world around us, and I believe in some cases a person with a gift can be used as a channel for spirit. But sometimes I wonder if people confuse being mentally unstable, or just plain drama, with demon possession. 

 

The book

This post was originally intended to be a book review, but like it or not, I’ve always had a policy about not mentioning a book by name if I don’t have many good things to say about it. Therefore, I’ll be somewhat cryptic in talking about it, and I hope that isn’t seen as poor taste. I’m far from being qualified to be an English teacher, but if I have the urge to take out a red pen to correct grammar and spelling in every chapter of your book, you simply didn’t try very hard to edit it, and so that certainly means I’m going to have a hard time taking you seriously or trusting your qualifications. The book contains story after story of what is supposed to be taken from actual case files of demonic activity, but they just sounded like good fictional storytelling to me… and I’m not big on reading fiction. I simply don’t believe much of those events happened. And people shouldn’t be led to believe that a simple creek, a rap on the wall in response to a question, or an occasional shadow is a reason to convert to Catholicism, get a crucifix for every room, or look for an exorcist.

If you know me, you know that I can’t NOT finish a book, even if I’m not enjoying it. I take pride in finishing the last word and shelving it ceremoniously. But for the first time in years, I considered not finishing this one. I felt a little silly spending the time on it. It took me forever, but I finished it, sighed, and moved on to the next book on my “to be read” shelf.

 

But…

Like some things I’ve brought up in this blog, I might change my mind about all of this in a year or two, or maybe even next week! If I’m suddenly involved in an investigation where I have pea soup spat by someone walking across the ceiling while cursing me in 12 different languages, you’ll be the first to hear from me. Until then, this is where I am with it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not out in search of evil. I’ve always preferred pleasant spirits “from the light”, but until I’ve experienced it, I refuse to make it something dramatic to fear.

 

Now it’s your turn to tell me why I’m right or wrong.

I know that many of my readers will disagree with me on this. As I say to my students, “you’ll still like me, right?”

As a counter to probably every opinion I just gave here, you may be interested in checking out the ongoing Hidden Astral World series from Gary Leigh’s Psychic Empaths blog, where he quite literally introduces you to Omen, who he claims is a demonic entity. Gary is a loyal reader of the Big Séance and I have a lot of respect for him, so I hope he chooses to still like me after this post. He’s writing about fascinating stuff. I’m just not sure where I am with it all or how to respond. Go check it out!  

 

You might also like:

Categorizing Hauntings (Big Séance)

Categorizing Hauntings (Big Séance)


The Conjuring movie review

First of all, if you are a fan of this genre of film, YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! You WILL see this movie! (Although… some of you may want to see an afternoon matinee so that when you leave the theater you can go to a park, watch the bunny rabbits play, and soak in the last hours of sunlight before you’re home checking rooms and corners.)

Okay, now that I have that out of my system, we can get to the review and the details. Last night I attended an advanced screening of the much anticipated film, The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson (Insidious, Evening), Vera Farmiga (A&E’s Bates Motel), Ron Livingston (The Odd Life of Timothy Green), and Lili Taylor (The Haunting, HBO’s Six Feet Under, and TV’s Hemlock Grove). The film is directed by James Wan (Saw, Insidious), is rated R, and opens in the United States on July 19, 2013.

There are multiple reasons why I’ve been so excited to see this film, but one of them has to do with the fact that the screenplay for The Conjuring (written by Chad and Carey Hayes) is based on the case files from actual events involving the Perron family in Harrisville, Rhode Island in 1971. These files are from two of America’s earliest, most experienced, and most loved paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Wilson and Farmiga). Outside of the paranormal circle, this married paranormal team will be most remembered for their involvement in the real events of the Amityville haunting that later spawned a book and movie. Many of the people more intimately involved in the field know this duo to be paranormal rock stars.  But the events depicted in this film happened before Amityville and before this rock-star status.

Even though the film is told from the perspective of the Warrens, there is a tormented family in this story as well (as is common in the haunting genre) … the Perrons. Livingston and Taylor take on the roles of real life Roger and Carolyn Perron who struggle to keep their five daughters safe and protected from the horrors going on in their secluded country house (built in 1736) which has an incredibly dark history. Many of the ads, trailers, and TV spots for the movie have been playing up the fact that this case might not be known to you because it was just too disturbing for you to know and was kept quiet for almost 40 years. But now the world is ready … or so the ads say.

It is my understanding that after Andrea Perron, one of the daughters, wrote two volumes about the experiences in 2011 entitled House of Darkness House of Light, it drew more attention to the story. The movie is not based on this book, but as I mentioned earlier, the screenplay is based on the Warrens’ case files. As far as I’ve read, the family and Lorraine (Ed Warren passed away in 2006) seem to approve of the film and are fully behind the events depicted in it. In a YouTube video where Andrea reviews the upcoming film, she states “I expected something entirely different. I expected Hollywood to do what Hollywood does, and yet in some ways this is a very quiet and studious film. You would never know that from the trailers, but that’s their job… to entice an audience. It’s also about the love of a family. It’s also about people who came to help, who felt that this was the most significant and compelling, and dark and disturbing story that they had ever heard in the course of a fifty year career.” She also mentions that the film “truly captured what we endured.”

According to the production notes (a lengthy but fascinating read that can be downloaded from the movie site), Lorraine Warren, who is looking good and in her 80s, is quoted as saying “When I walked inside, I immediately knew it was haunted. There’s a feeling that comes over you, almost like a veil, it draws your energy because the entity needs it in order to manifest; the only way to get that energy is from you. It was really heavy in that house and being on the set brought all that back. It was uncanny. I’m very fond of James. He wanted to get everything right, and I’m excited about the film.” According to the Warrens, this case was the “most intense, compelling, disturbing and significant investigation.”

I found the film incredibly spooky and satisfying, and in a way felt like I was watching something that was released from a time capsule. You really do feel as if you’re watching events from 1971. I don’t have the film production vocabulary to accurately describe it, but the whole thing was shot in a stylistically retro way. Even the design of the ads and the title seem very period. Along the same lines, I’m a huge fan of minimal special effects and computer generated imagery in horror films, and I feel like this had to have been a goal of the production team. Instead, for the most part they used sound, dark corners, squeaky doors, and a really good makeup team… just like the old days. It made the whole thing way more believable, and spookier, in my opinion. The last film from this genre that I saw do this so well was The Woman In Black. But before I move onto the next paragraph, let me be very clear. Like me, you may be fascinated with the history and story, and it is truly a great film, but… This. Film. Is. Scary.

I’m going to avoid busting out spoilers, but the acting in this film was spectacular. Lili Taylor for sure had what must have been some incredibly difficult scenes to film. In the production notes she has some interesting things to say about preparing for her character and blowing her vocal cords. I love Patrick Wilson (who doesn’t?) and Vera Farmiga earned my respect after being hooked on the first season of Bates Motel this year. In such an uncomfortable story, seeing the very loving and beautiful relationship and camaraderie between Ed and Lorraine made me very comfortable when I needed it.

A few interesting bits of information about the production. James Wan decided to film The Conjuring in chronological order. I don’t know why this always makes me happy to hear, but it just makes sense to me. Also, as with many famous films of this type, according to production notes there were apparently several strangely paranormal incidents that happened to various individuals involved in the production of the film, including incidents involving Lorraine Warren and the Perron family members visiting the set.  

Now before you run off to buy your tickets (and remember, it doesn’t open for a few days), let’s stop for a minute and discuss the ads and trailers. Don’t try to pretend like the television spots with the two claps and the sharp tug of the leg in bed didn’t horrify you. And if you think those were the only two scary parts that were thrown away for advertising, think again. I find it interesting that in only one of the three main movie trailers do they even introduce us to perhaps the two main characters, Ed and Lorraine Warren. The other two are your typical “family in a haunted house” trailers, although in the third trailer they made an interesting decision to add commentary from the real Perron family members. So depending on what trailer you saw, you may have been expecting a slightly different movie. The shorter TV spots have had a mix of all of the trailers and include the Warrens.

Thank you for visiting the Big Séance! Check out the trailers below and make sure to go see The Conjuring! (Leave the bunnies at the park.)

 

 

Related Articles:

The Conjuring and its True Story (rhinews.wordpress.com)

‘The Conjuring’ commercials are freaking me out! (Entertainment Weekly)

 


True Haunting: Reads Like Fiction… But it’s Not!

Today I want to tell you about a great book I just finished! True Haunting by Edwin F. Becker is the true story of the incredible experiences that Edwin and his young family experienced in Chicago in 1970. In a time before there were thousands of paranormal groups and Ghost Hunters on TV, this family had to make quite a few brave decisions to survive. It ended up being the first haunting and exorcism to be reported on and covered on the news. I shared the old video footage in a previous post, but I’ll include it at the end of this one as well. I’ve read that the house had been empty for quite some time, recently. But I also found a photo online of a clearly remodeled home… and it looked fairly current. One can only imagine what, if anything, still goes on there.

How often have you or anyone you know asked any one of these questions?

  • Can a ghost move an object? 
  • Do they hear us?
  • Can they hurt us?
  • Could they be demonic?
  • Should we be giving them attention?
  • Is it okay to show them off?
  • Can we get rid of them?
  • Should we move?

Most of these questions are still being asked today… and the “paranormal field”, for lack of a better term, has come a long way since 1970. Or has it? For sure, finding access to information, the ability to find and communicate with people having similar experiences, and finding help is a lot easier to accomplish today, but there are still individuals and families out there going through similar experiences. I know, because I get contacted often. They’ll sometimes ask for advice, they’ll often seem embarrassed, but most of the time they just need someone to listen… to tell them they’re not crazy. And that’s a good thing, because do I always know what to say? Of course not! But I sure try… and sometimes it’s just about getting them hooked up with the right resource.

Most of the paranormal books that I read tend to be more technical in nature. I try to learn as much as I can. This book reads like fiction… but it’s not! I clearly got into this book, because I read it in considerably less time than most of my recent reads. I have come to the realization that I can learn a lot from books like this, and there are a lot of them out there. It very much reminded me of Graves End: A True Ghost Story by Elaine Mercado. You’ll find it on my recommended reading list.

So check this book out! I heard in an interview that Edwin documented all of these experiences a decade ago and meant for it to be just for the family to have. Apparently there was never a goal of getting it published, until a loved one convinced him just recently. It was published in 2011. Also, the family’s story was featured on the SyFy show, Paranormal Witness. According to Ed, the producers predictably embellished some of their story, but for the most part did an “amazing job”. You can find the complete Paranormal Witness episode, named “The Tenants”, HERE

And as promised, here is the 1970 NBC footage.

 

Related: 

True Haunting (the author’s interview on Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast)

I Still Watch Ghost Hunters… So What? (BigSéance.com)


The latest books to land on my doorstep!

I’m excited to share with you the latest books to land on my doorstep. I started Speaking to the Dead with Radios today and am considering being brave and reading both of these at the same time. I don’t do that often. I’ve read several “spiritual” books recently so I feel it’s time to once again dig deep into some “ghostie” books. Sometimes I just feel the need to do some homework. 

True Haunting by Edwin F. Becker

This is the story of a true haunting. It was the first ever filmed and televised by NBC in 1971. A young couple purchases a building that was built and occupied by a single family that refused to relinquish their hold, even after death. Investigated and verified by experts, this residence brought chaos to the lives of those who chose to reside there. Unlike a horror novel, this chronicles what a real ghostly experience would resemble. Long before the laws of disclosure, a young couple winds up in the midst of strange occurrences prior to the term ‘paranormal’ becoming a common description. Searching for help at time when supernatural events were a taboo subject and being ignored by the Church, sent them into a desperate search for any assistance. Only a little known organization came to their aid. Author Tom Valentine, brought in a nationally known psychic, Joseph DeLouise, who then asked assistance of an exorcist from England, Reverend William Derl-Davis. Together, they gave their best effort at exorcising the multiple spirits inhabiting the building and disrupting the lives of the living. Events were filmed by NBC, who sent their most prominent Chicago journalist, Carole Simpson, to cover the event. Follow a young couple with a newborn as they attempt to cope with inexplicable events, experience denial, plead for help from their Church, and step into the world of the paranormal. Understand why ghosts cannot be exorcised and a true example of their strong sense of domain, even after death. Learn what experts and gifted people did in a failed attempt to assist this desperate couple. There is no happy ending, as the young couple suffers emotionally, are physically threatened, have their pets terrorized, and eventually suffer financially by actually “giving” their building away. What was intended as a financial answer to their prayers became, instead, a curse to be abolished. Learn many of the various manifestations that can be common in haunting. Ghosts can be seen and heard. They can propel objects and interrupt utilities. They can affect your moods and feed off of your emotions. They can appear as solid as you and me. They can react and become hostile if threatened or violated. Most important, as this young couple learned, they can harm you and cannot be removed. This is a firsthand accounting of what a true haunting is like. There are certain subtle occurrences you may find the most frightening, because you just might relate and recognize them. If so, guess what? You may have a ghost! (Book description from Amazon.com.)

 

Speaking to the Dead with Radios by Michael Hobert Edwards

Speaking to the Dead with Radios I will tell you is not this just another fish story to reel in readers for momentary mind entertainment. Communicating with the dead using a radio with recorder is achievable and any person can do it. You do not need to be a psychic, a medium or have any paranormal gifts to make contact with the dead using these devices, and that my friend is the luxury of this in that you do not have to pay someone else hundreds or even thousands of dollars to contact your deceased family members or friends as you can do it yourself in the privacy of your own home. (Book description from Amazon.com.)

 


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