Tag Archives: spiritualist

Spirit Guides, Ancestors, and Being an Alchemist with Danielle M Holdman Part 1 – Big Seance Podcast #90

An Interview with Danielle M. Holdman, Part 1 - Spiritual Guides and Ancestors, Bridging Practical and the Spiritual, and Her Unique Approach to Coaching - The Big Seance Podcast: My Paranormal World #90 - BigSeance.com

 

Part ONE of a conversation with self-proclaimed personal, business, and spiritual alchemist, Danielle M. Holdman. She’s also the host of The Coaching Parlour Podcast. We talk spirit guides, ancestors, and bridging the gap between the practical and the spiritual.

 

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No One Dies in Lily Dale

I don’t remember who recommended it or brought it to my attention. It may have been one of you. So I purchased No One Dies in Lily Dale, the 2010 HBO Documentary, from Amazon and it arrived on the doorstep this evening. I didn’t waste much time before settling down with some coffee and a blanket, and throwing the DVD in the computer.

I’ve wanted to visit Lily Dale since I learned about it for the first time a few years back. I know several of you have been… I enjoy seeing the pictures. I can think of three major reasons I want to go: to surround yourself by open and enlightened people, many who are psychics and/or mediums who have the ability to give readings or deliver messages from loved ones; to see the physical beauty of the homes, the nature, and the surroundings of the peaceful community; and lastly, to be in a place with so much history and so many artifacts from the early days of the spiritualist movement.

This documentary captures everything that I was curious about, like just what is a reading like there? Are there community members that just live there all year? Is everyone nice and friendly? Is there a gate? (Seriously, that has been one of my questions.) You’ll also see skeptics or open skeptics roaming around. But for sure, it seems that in the documentary,  many of the visitors had recently lost loved ones. 

Check this documentary out. I think my Lily Dale book might just be next. 

For more on Lily Dale and its history, visit www.lilydaleassembly.com

See the trailer below. 

 

 


How to Evaluate the Authenticity of an Observer’s Supernatural Encounter

Tonight I wanted to share an article written by David Almeida, a fascinating person who I’ve had the great opportunity to chat with online recently. You can catch his bio at the end of the post. After some discussion, he directed me to this article. He has kindly given me permission to share it with you. It just happens to fit in with discussion I’ve had with a few of you in the comments to some recent posts. Thanks, David!

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I wrote this article to address the use of objectivity in evaluating a witness’s account of a supernatural event.  In a sense, almost all of our judgments are based on our experiences.  They may also be grounded (in part) in what other people have told us about the world.  For example, there are endless degradations of color and sound.  If a person says “The apple is red.”  What shade of red is it?  For this reason, I believe that an objective statement can be construed as opinion.

 

This article is only addressing certain kinds of paranormal experiences such as hauntings and physical paranormal manifestations.  It’s difficult to assess out of body experiences and other psychic or mental occurrences using this method.

 

Before asking the reporter (observer or witness) a slew of questions, I let the person tell his or her story with minimal interruption.  Constantly breaking into the reporter’s story can lead the person losing his or her thoughts, which can result in the unintentional omission of important details.  A witness will typically give the investigator all of the answers he or she requires during the interview process.  In fact, I’ve found that most witnesses give more information than they need to. 

 

If the investigator chooses to use this interview method, it’s essential to ask the reporter to start at the beginning of the story and guide him or her through it.  You have to keep the reporter focused.  A person will often become excited and jump all over the place while relating his or her story.  This leads to confusion and pertinent details may be inadvertently skipped over.

 

It’s advisable that the investigator ask the reporter to use descriptive (objective) words to relate the experience.  You don’t want the reporter making subjective statements like “The shadow person was big, bad and scary.  That description doesn’t help anyone, although the investigator may want to get the observer’s impressions at the end of the interview. 

 

A person may describe a flower as beautiful.  Everybody has their own conception of a beautiful flower.  It would be better for the person say “I saw a flower.”  It is helpful if the person can identify the type of flower.  “It was a rose.”  If that is not possible, the person should describe the qualities of the flower.

 

Whether the investigator is interviewing a witness to a crime or conducting a paranormal investigation, the interviewer will find information that appears false or contradictory.  These discrepancies need to be clarified before the interview is completed.  An investigator might ask questions such as the ones that follow if the reporter has not provided this information in his or her statement:

 

How long did the incident last?  “I saw it for about two seconds.

 

How far away were you?  “I was ten feet away?”

 

What did it look like?  “The thing was approximately six feet tall.  It had a round head and a broad boxy build.  It looked like a dark shadow.  It made no sound, and it moved quickly” Etcetera. 

 

“Where did you see it?”  “I was in bed sleeping, and I saw it in the doorway”

 

“When did you see it?”  “It was last Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at midnight.”

 

Some other questions you might ask would be:

 

Are you taking any medications or illegal substances?

 

Do you have a medical condition?

 

Have you been sick recently?

 

What is your opinion of the supernatural?  The answer to this question is significant to the investigation.  The reporter may say “I feel that the Exorcist was the best movie ever made!”

 

Have you ever had a paranormal experience?  Here again, the answer is important.  “I am visited by the shadow people at least twice a week.”  “When the moon is full we have a party.”  I’m just kidding.

 

I have learned through personal experience that when two or more witnesses to a crime describe a suspect, each witness will provide a different description.  That’s why we have lawyers and jury trials in this country.  Does anyone remember the movie, My Cousin Vinny?  It’s essential to get to the bottom of things and determine what happened.  It does little good to tell someone that you saw a ghost without elaborating on the event in a rational manner.  

 

On the other hand, it’s difficult to describe something that a person has never seen.  I saw something in an out of body experience once that I cannot describe at all.  It’s hard enough to describe an out of body experience.  It’s easy for a skeptic to say that I was just dreaming.  When we listen to these stories we have to keep an open mind.  I can tell a person that I observed my body from outside of myself while it lay sleeping.  Once again that’s easy to refute.  If five million people have had a similar experience, does that mean it is true?  Maybe not.  Most people also dream.  Hundreds of thousands of people thought that the Earth was flat at one time (I realize this is a widely used example).  Are there really shadow people, or is this phenomenon a mass hallucination?  Maybe people want to believe in it, so they conveniently see it. 

 

In my own mind, I can confidently state that the shadow people exist.  I had no prior knowledge of shadow people when I observed it.  Not to mention that two people saw it at the same time.  Does that fact change things?  I don’t know.  It may make the event more credible.  If I could have caught the thing in a net for scientists to examine, that would have made the encounter much more conclusive.  Unfortunately, such events rarely have such an outcome.

 

Explaining a metaphysical theory is different from a scientific theory in that researchers are using known scientific principles.  It’s difficult to positively answer a metaphysical and philosophical question such as: “What is consciousness?” We only know that consciousness exists by the fact we that we are animated beings, who have an awareness of our existence.  Then again, I’m not a proponent of the big bang theory (I don’t mean the TV show).   I feel that this theory has no more basis in fact than some of my own theories.  I say this with the understanding that scientists claim that they have reasonable evidence to support their theory.  I am more inclined to accept the unfashionable steady state theory of the universe, which states that the universe is continuously expanding. 

 

I claim that Arthur Edward Waite contributed to my theories.  Is that reasonable statement?  It depends on who you ask.  The six or seven mediums who evidently communicated with him might lend their support to my claim.  If a person does not believe in mediumship, then what I say about A.E. Waite would be of little value to him or her.  A metaphysical theory is one of those things that a person accepts because it strikes a chord in his or her inner being.  Such theories typically have insufficient (if any) evidence to lean on.  This does not mean that the theories are devoid of truth.  It’s just that humans have not discovered the necessary tools to conduct a proper examination of these advanced theories.  Metaphysical theories generally involve arcane mystical principles, unknown energies, and references to strange dimensional locales that we cannot verify using modern scientific protocol.  That day will come.

 

 

Bio

David Almeida is a Spiritualist and researcher of Rosicrucian philosophy and esoteric knowledge. David is a past article contributor to the Sedona Journal of Emergence. He is also a Board Certified Hypnotist and Reiki healer. David is the author of The First Truth: A Book of Metaphysical Theories and Illusion of the Body: Introducing the Body Alive Principle. Both books can be purchased at Amazon.com. Visit http://www.findyourdivinelight.com

 

 


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)

 


The Woman In Black…

It’s the kind of scary movie that I just love, and unfortunately they’re never made anymore. There’s no gore, no overly intense computer generated imagery (a pet peeve of mine), just an incredibly pimped out and abandoned mansion in the late 1800s that is just as spooky as you would expect it to be. Hammer Film Productions, from the UK (The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy), makes a comeback to produce this film.  Their heyday was from the 1950s into the 70s.

 

 

After seeing the trailer I knew I’d love this movie. But I had no idea that there were so many references to spiritualism, including a scene where Daniel Radcliffe’s character notices an add in a newspaper mentioning a spiritualist and séances. I knew then that I was meant to see this movie. I’ve been reading a book about Kate and Maggie Fox, the sisters who are widely credited for starting the whole Spiritualism movement from the 1850s to the late 1800s. I blogged about them recently. Anyway, this is all from roughly the same time period.

There are several clips and trailers, but this one is my favorite. If you haven’t seen the film I think you should! This might be a DVD purchase for me!

 

 


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