A candid conversation with author, paranormal investigator, and Spiritualist minister, Tim Shaw. Hear about everything from his fascinating childhood experiences at Lily Dale, to his research into the C2D1 Haunting!
A candid conversation with author, paranormal investigator, and Spiritualist minister, Tim Shaw. Hear about everything from his fascinating childhood experiences at Lily Dale, to his research into the C2D1 Haunting!
Researcher and photojournalist, Shannon Taggart, shares stories from her 16 years of photographing Spiritualism for a project called SÉANCE: Spiritualist Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm.
Check out Shannon’s work as you listen – SÉANCE: Spiritualist Ritual and the Search for Ectoplasm
Pssst… Want to leave voice feedback? Use the SpeakPipe Link!
Wow! It has been so long since I’ve uploaded audio to this site, that I nearly forgot how to do it. It definitely took longer than it used to! In this post, and what will probably be the last of the Belvoir Winery T.A.P.S. Event series of posts, I wanted to share some highlights from two of the spirit box sessions, and one of the flashlight communication sessions. Obviously, video highlights would have been more entertaining, but if you’ve been following this series, you know about the frustrating, yet very paranormal disappearance of my video. I’ve not decided if I’m blaming aliens, the spirits of Belvoir, or a great conspiracy by Amy and Adam (so that their cute pose on my NightShot camera wouldn’t go public). Oh I’m only kidding, you two… kind of…
As an investigator and researcher, I tend to be very careful when declaring or classifying something as “paranormal”, and in these highlights, you won’t see any of that. So here’s my disclaimer. The highlights below are simply a collection of interesting clips from my evening at Belvoir Winery. I’ve not combed through the audio completely, and since the environment was not controlled, and since the group was large and meant to be just for fun, I probably won’t. When it comes to the Spirit Box (sometimes referred to as a “ghost box” or “Frank’s Box”), which uses a somewhat controversial technique called “radio sweep”, I remain fascinated, but openly skeptic about certain responses, specifically those that are short or one-syllable. Along with standard EVP, radio sweep falls under the category of ITC or Instrumental TransCommunication. For more on radio sweep or the spirit box, simply type “spirit box” into the search field above and to the right.
When it comes to flashlight communication, I’ve tried in my own investigating several times and got no results. I felt like many of the flashlight responses seemed more than coincidence, and could very well have been paranormal. With that being said, I don’t have a lot of experience in this area.
These highlights are taken from two different spirit box sessions in two different locations on the Belvoir Winery property. Together they lasted about 40 minutes. The P-SB7 spirit box we’re using is one that I got secondhand from Stephen Hill. In the first short clip in the highlights, you’ll hear Britt Griffith demonstrating it. Other voices you hear are of myself, Adam Berry, and other guests in our group for the evening. Toward the end of these highlights, you’ll hear the group laugh as the box froze on a few radio stations as I was adjusting. I thought they were funny. The “thank you” that just about everyone in the group heard at the very end was kind of a powerful moment. There are a few cuts in the audio, either to save time or because of unnecessary noise, otherwise these clips are unenhanced.
Though it’s hard to imagine exactly what’s happening, you’ll hear that the group is clearly impressed or moved by several of the responses. You’ll hear myself, our group’s wonderful guide, as well as other guests from our group. You’ll also hear some of the super creepy wind that we were hearing at this location. There were actually two flashlight communication sessions, but only one of them was captured in my audio recorder. The session that wasn’t captured was probably more impressive. I really wish the video of these moments could have been saved. Again, there are a few cuts in the audio, either to save time or because of unnecessary noise, otherwise these clips are unenhanced.
I canNOT believe that it is possible for this to be my 200th post… but it IS! I’m not going to give a tear-filled Oscar speech or anything. I just want to thank you, my readers for making me feel like someone is there and interested in my blabbering. 🙂 Now I’ll move on to the actual post.
Dar, founder of Joplin Paranormal Research Society (JPRS) has put together several amazing videos from the two joint investigations that I have been lucky enough to be a part of. The first of these investigations was at Fort Chaffee Prison in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
The video below is her most recent and highlights our spirit box session (Dar calls it a “Ghost Box” and we’ll still like her for that 🙂 ) from the latrine at the prison. Her video is a compilation of video and audio from several of our devices. Our visit to the latrine was actually a spur of the moment session at the end of our investigation that ended up giving us some of the more fascinating moments from the whole night. I wish we would have had the chance to spend more time there.
Dar was actually the first person to really introduce me to the spirit box (or radio sweep) and I’ve learned a lot from her. Since then I’ve researched it a bit, and I now have my own box that has been used on investigations and for experiments quite a bit. Unfortunately, I’ve not had the wealth of success with my spirit box that JPRS tends to get on their investigations. Though I think there is clearly something to this radio sweep stuff, my regular readers know that I am very cautious to claim any radio sweep responses are solid pieces of paranormal evidence. With that being said, it’s a regular and fascinating tool in my paranormal toolbox.
I’ve been working very hard for months on a previous investigation from Papa Jack’s Pizza in Lexington, Missouri. Click HERE for more information about Papa Jack’s. The analysis is complete and I’ve put together a 27-page report with 83 audio and video artifacts for the owners. Very soon I’ll publish a summarized online version of this report with some of the evidence. Until then, below is a look at probably our strangest and most mysterious evidence from the investigation, directly from the report. We don’t have an explanation yet for what you’ll hear below. The owners don’t either. We’re open to suggestions, especially from Lexington residents who may be more familiar with the environment of the area.
At around midnight we took our investigation to the basement, where there have been past reports of paranormal activity. These reports included hearing singing and whistling.
12:05am – As we were passing the stalls and stepping down from where it drops off (near the shower), Cassie heard 3 quick clicks or taps and asked if we heard it. It is picked up in the audio and the NightShot. It apparently stood out to Cassie, but it would be impossible to know if it was one of us or paranormal.
Just seconds later is where we first heard what we’ve been referring to as repeating “moaning” sounds. It was picked up in the audio and NightShot with investigators. Norman did not hear it (which is funny because he was holding the digital audio recorder) and Cassie said later that she only heard a little of it. It seemed to come from the stairway to the basement or upstairs in that area. At the time, Bailey and I were in front of the wooden stalls near the spot where you have to step down to go the other half of the basement. We hadn’t stepped down yet. Norman had just walked in and out of one of the stalls and then joined Cassie near the shower, further into the basement (past where you step down). Linda also heard it from upstairs in the main level restaurant dining room at command central near the front entrance. Unfortunately, her digital audio recorder stopped a while before this experience, but she said it was pretty clear and loud. I noted that this was where the service person heard the singing (next to the generator). Also, it was NOT picked up in either the Tascam or the New Camcorder Video in the main level restaurant kitchen. I later described it as overlapping, almost like a siren. When it repeated it started at the same pitch and descended, but seemed to start again while still descending.
We later made a request for whoever made the sound to do it again. No response.
Toward the end of our investigation we decided to make another visit to the basement. It was almost an exact replay of events, although this time all investigators in the basement heard it, and those upstairs in the main level restaurant dining room did not.
3:11am – At this point we heard the “moaning” sound again. This time Bailey commented that “it sounds like a siren”. Norman mentioned that each time we’ve heard the moaning it was right after he came out of one of the stalls. I mentioned it didn’t sound so much like a voice to me this time. Bailey agreed. I also mentioned it sounded lower this time. It was captured on the audio and both videos, although of the videos, it is much clearer and lasts quite a bit longer in NightShotA. Later we learned that Cassie and Linda (both at Command Central this time around) did not hear it upstairs.
3:12am – While discussing it, I thought I heard it starting to come back again, but it was apparently so soft that the recorder didn’t pick it up. Neither did the NightShot videos.
Norman walked into the stall again, attempted some communication, and then walked out to see if he could re-create the “moaning” sound once again. No luck this time.
Below is a video compilation that I initially put together for the owners to see if they’d heard this noise or had any answers for us. The video contains all of the audio and video mentioned above.
Other than one moment where we believe we may have heard this same sound very softly on the third floor of the building (not loud enough to be caught on audio or video), at no other time or location did we hear the “moaning” sound that evening.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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! 🙂
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.
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 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.)
As promised, I want to keep my readers posted on this last session. On the late afternoon of December 26th, 2012 I held another Ouija board session, once again incorporating the spirit box and recording it all on a digital audio recorder. This would be the first time I held a Ouija session on my own. Other than Meril (my four-legged son), no one was in the house. And no, his paws are not allowed on the planchette. After a very brief meditation and stating my respectful intentions, the session began and lasted about 25 minutes.
The conversation on my end went pretty much like one of my typical EVP sessions with a few added questions specifically aimed at the topic of the Ouija. I also made sure to ask for any feedback or suggestions on how to make the communication more successful.
Once again there was no communication via the Ouija board.
I encouraged any spirit present to also communicate through standard EVP and my audio recorder. Other than one small instance where there is an unintelligible and very soft possible response that may or may not be paranormal, no voices were captured.
For the second half of the session I turned on the spirit box and continued to wait for a response through the Ouija board. The radio waves were very active with chatter, but at one point in the recording I can hear a possible response of “spirit”. Later, after I asked “What am I touching?” I can make out a fuzzy robot-like “Ouija… board”. A response like this (since my brain is wanting to hear “ouija board” anyway) could easily be pareidolia (matrixing), but I’m open to the possibility.
Oh… and I almost forgot. Toward the very end of the session while the spirit box was buzzing away, Meril growled as he stared down the steps to the lower level. It is pretty unusual for him to growl inside randomly so it caught me off guard. There were no relevant spirit box responses and there was no movement from the board. This may have been nothing, or possibly he was distracted by the spirit box itself, but I felt it was worthy of mentioning.
Due to life and work I’ve definitely not been regularly conducting spirit communication experiments in the last several months, but when I have I’ve been disappointed, for the most part. I’m trying to keep my spirits up (no pun intended).
Until next time…