Tis the Season…

Ah yes, another magical holiday has arrived. I still can’t believe that another year is about to end. 2014 will soon be passing its torch to 2015. Wow! Hope all had a Merry Christmas full of love and happiness with family and friends.

Mine went really well. Although while out Christmas eve night, the avoidance of a vehicular collision occurred. Luckily, timing was on my side as I drove through the green light and the oncoming truck that ran their red light, intersected closely behind me. For a brief moment the truck’s headlights were shining in my face. I gave way to my faith and as I said, everything was avoided. Thank goodness! But enough about that.The evening was followed by the traditional viewing of favorite Christmas movies shared by the entire family and Christmas day was as relaxing as ever! Definitely good times!

The classic novel, A Christmas Carol quickly comes to mind when talking about the holidays. You know, the story written by Charles Dickens, published in the early 1840s. One of my all time faves. A tale of morals intertwined with the paranormal…. right up my alley! Crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge and his icy heart that eventually thaws out, all thanks to three ghosts and their untimely visits throughout the night as the old man tries to slumber in his night cap. As Past, Present and Future show Ebenezer his life, he realizes the consequences of his selfish ways. He is awakened by his spectral messages and with open arms he welcomes a new life full of positive blessings. Ebenezer finally discovers the joy of giving.

Such a heartfelt story that never gets old. A tale where a few ghosts aren’t so scary. Imagine the joy of giving all year round. How awesome that could be! And no, I’m not talking about giving financially either. No one has Western Union strapped to their side. But I am referring to the simple gesture of a friendly smile, the wave of a hand or maybe even a warm greeting.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make the most profound statements!

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter @sheilarparker.

Interview with Morbid Curiosity

Today I’m welcoming paranormal investigative team, Morbid Curiosity. Thank you Traci Law, Glenn Orwan and Al Kalbach for stopping by!

 

Sheila ~ Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Traci ~ Ugh, I always hate this question lol. I’m a very random person with many interests. I am a photographer (including for Morbid Images – www.morbidimages.com) and an actor/producer as well as dabbling in archaeology. The paranormal is also a part of what I do but that has always been a part of my life. I also travel a lot, mostly for photography.

Glenn ~ I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and now live in Berlin, New Jersey. A lot of people think I do the paranormal full time, but the truth is I’m a general contractor by trade. I use my skills in the general contracting field to assist on investigations. Since entering the paranormal field, for me it’s been a wild ride!… I’ve done a few shows for the Travel Channel, and of course a few shows with my group, Morbid Curiosity, and quite a few radio shows over the years along with local TV news.

Al ~ Hi! Thank you for the interview, Sheila! I’m Al Kalbach and I have spent most of my adult life working as a firefighter – paramedic. I still teach paramedics, and now concentrate on the production company that I own.

I have a daughter, Laura, who shares many of my interests, including the paranormal. In my “spare” time I own a horse with my daughter, fish, travel, hike and do photography and videography.

 

Sheila ~ Why the paranormal? Was there a significant moment in life that started it off for you or is it just something that you’ve always been interested in?

Glenn ~ Well, I’ve always been interested in the paranormal as I guess most people are. Back in about 2005 or 2006, I had a friend of mine who had his own group and invited me out on an investigation. At that point I can honestly say I was a believing skeptic. I thought at that time that I could probably figure it all out with one investigation lol… Of all things this investigation was a daytime investigation and what happened during the investigation totally blew my mind…. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

Al ~ When I was a teen, my uncle owned and rented out the house next door to where I lived. No family ever stayed there long! Once, when the house was empty, my cousin and I decided to explore the house (my parents had a copy of the key). We were in the basement when we suddenly felt a “VIBRATION” that went through us followed by what I recall as a dark cloud. It cut off the light coming into the basement! We both ran out of that house so fast and never told anyone!

The next people to move in were nice and I was friends with the daughter. They had “experiences” and the one I remember most was the daughter coming out screaming saying someone was in the house! No one was there on looking around and the burners on the gas stove were all turned on full blast!

Supposedly there was a murder – suicide (husband / wife) back in the 1940’s.

This started my interest and I have researched the paranormal over the years.

Traci ~ I pretty much grew up in the paranormal. I didn’t live in a haunted house or anything but I was always ‘sensitive’ to presences in homes or other locations as is my mom, my grandmother and it apparently went back for many generations. We would spend weekends at cemeteries or sites rumored to be haunted – as normal kids do haha. I got involved with actual groups or teams in the early 2000’s when I was working as an archaeologist at a site in the Philadelphia area.

 

Sheila ~ Your team is called Morbid Curiosity. What is Morbid Curiosity all about?

Traci ~ It was the name of a web series we did a few years back and the name just stuck. Anyone involved in the paranormal, and even those who just have a passing interest, are curious but to those who don’t understand or are afraid of the paranormal or abandoned places, it seems a bit morbid. Thus the name. You can follow us and upcoming events at http://www.morbidcuriositytv.com/

Glenn ~ Yes, my primary group is Morbid Curiosity ( the reason I use the word primary is because we work close together. However, I work with many different groups across the country )… Morbid Curiosity was founded by Traci Law a few years back to investigate and assist historical sites in fundraising endeavors and paranormal investigations. Myself and Traci Law have been friends for quite some time now and recently Al has joined our team which has made a great fit.

Al ~ I’m fairly new to the group. Traci and Glenn have been investigating for a long time and I have learned much from them. We investigate to determine a science-based reason for what is causing the activity being reported.

Morbid Curiosity also hosts group investigations for those who would like exposure to the paranormal field and those who would otherwise would not have access to various properties.

 

Sheila ~ What’s it like working with each other?

Glenn ~ It’s great! Each of us brings a different skill set to an investigation such as equipment, being skeptic, and different styles of investigating.

Traci ~ We actually all get along great. We each have our own strengths and backgrounds that compliment each other more than anything. Glenn understand how electrical, heating, gas lines, etc. work and how to look for leaks or abnormal readings. Al is relatively new but brings an enthusiasm and fresh outlook and viewpoints that the others may not have thought of. I bring the sarcasm. I guess I also bring the more intuitive aspect (not to be confused with psychic) as well as an understanding of older homes from all my years working in archaeology as well as volunteering at historic sites. All three of us work well at trying to rule out any rational and scientific explanation before jumping to the paranormal conclusion.

Al ~ It’s really a great experience! We all have the same philosophy and our strengths work well together!

 

Sheila ~ Are you more of a skeptic or a believer when it comes to ghosts and other types of entities?

Glenn ~ Yes …. I am definitely a skeptic when it comes to an investigation. I try to look at things with an open mind constantly, but I’m also what I like to call realist. I definitely like to weigh all the options and I definitely like to use as much equipment as possible. The reason for this is straight out, the equipment tells the truth. It doesn’t need to lie or have an ego, and I’m a strong believer of scientific methods.

Al ~ I’m in the believer camp! I’ve had plenty of experiences to say so! However, I go in with a skeptical mind until the evidence is reviewed.

Traci ~ I’m a believing skeptic. I very much believe in presences, as to what they are, I tend to believe more along the lines of residual energy or angels or demons, not so much the actual person. The skeptic side comes from the quick jump many make that a creaking floorboard is automatically paranormal. More times than not a creaking floorboard or a rattling window is just that.

 

Sheila ~ Do you believe that structural issues like electrical problems, severe mold, etc. within a location can influence an individual’s experience with a haunting?

Al ~ ABSOLUTELY! Glenn and I did a recent investigation with children involved that were having night terrors and “seeing things.” Turned out that the electricity was improperly grounded and the EMF was off the charts! We also found water leaks that were causing mold in the walls and a cracked sewer pipe that alerted our gas detection meter.

As a paramedic, all these things trigger an alarm to me that there are physical problems that need to be addressed! Headaches, hallucinations, neurological symptoms (including waking & night terrors) can all be attributed to this.

Which brings me to my next point – True investigators like us are NOT just running around in the dark hearing footsteps or seeing apparitions for entertainment! We are serious about the paranormal as well as the “normal” and are there to help people!

Traci ~ Absolutely. I’m sure Glenn can explain this better but these are absolutely factors to be considered. How many times have individuals suffered from severe headaches when a weather system is approaching or when the mold count is high in the spring and fall? Some people get sick from high frequency signals. That’s why it’s always important to be rational and logical. Know your surroundings. Recognize that what is true for one place isn’t necessarily true for another. There have been many times when city investigators have gone to locations in the suburbs and swear they heard a screaming woman – not realizing what a fox sounds like (and to anyone who has ever heard a fox you know how blood curdling that is).

Glenn ~ A BIG YES !… I do believe structures and internal atmosphere definitely play a part in paranormal activity. There are times when there are structural problems such as electric, mold, mildew, creaky floorboards… stuff of this nature where people misinterpret these signs for paranormal activity, but on the flip side of the coin, sometimes homes or businesses can have the same symptoms and still have paranormal activity. This is pretty much why investigations are so important, skilled investigations.

 

Sheila ~ What has been your most frightening paranormal investigation thus far?

Traci ~ I tend to be the more Jimmy Buffett investigator, few things make me jump. That said, I’d have to go with two. The first is at the location I mentioned earlier that I was doing archaeology at. It’s a private site so I can’t really give the name but it’s history is rumored to date back to the pirate era. I was there one afternoon by myself working on cleaning artifacts. I got there and turned the heat on. There was a loud bang in the basement that had never happened before but I tried to ignore it (many paranormal things had happened in this house prior to this event). I set up and go to work. Within ten minutes there were distinct boot steps on the second floor. There was no one else in the house. I tried to ignore it as the floors were cold since it was winter. A few minutes later the steps started again. Needless to say I started cleaning up, got a friend on the phone and wouldn’t let her off till I was done. I set the alarm and, as I was closing the door, I said, “Okay, ghosts, it’s all yours”. Literally the second I finished that sentence that same bang in the cellar happened again. You’ve never seen someone close a door so fast.
The second was at Fort Delaware in Delaware. Fort Delaware is an old Civil War fort/prison. The team I was with at the time had the opportunity to do a private investigation out there. This was a few months after Ghost Hunters had been there. It was 1:30 in the morning and I was in the kitchen with two other investigators. The kitchen side door opens into a corridor where all the cannons are. We had been doing an EVP session when there was a loud bang exactly like the one on the show. It sounded like the closest canon fired. The rest of the team came running over and we spent the rest of the night trying to debunk it. We couldn’t. Though, I still believe it was more of a physics event. The corridor is arched brickwork and they do shoot canons there for demonstration all the time so I suspect the sound build up and had to release at some point – could have done without it happening at that particular time though.

Glenn ~ My most frightening paranormal investigation so far was a unique situation where I was all by myself in one of the most haunted places that I know, Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was a unique situation. There was one time where I was volunteering and I had to lock the place up at night and I was the only one there so I decided to do some investigations after an event.. Fort Mifflin is an interesting sight.. In my opinion it seems to be one of those sites that if you were there at a certain time the place just exploded with activity.. well… To say the least, the night that I was there by myself, the place exploded with activity and to be quite honest with you, even being a paranormal investigator, I just wasn’t ready for that high level of activity… I saw black masses and dark shadows walking around in a utility shed. It’s like there were people in there but I knew for a fact I was the only one that was there… It was basically overwhelming, too much too fast… so for lack of better words, I got the hell out of there ! lol … In all the years of paranormal investigation that I’ve done, Fort Mifflin is the only site that has ever run me off.

Al ~ I was grabbed on the arm by a not-so-friendly spirit (according to the Medium I was with) in a local church that has a long history, dating back to the Revolution.

Not necessarily frightening, but it was startling!

 

Sheila ~ Any words of wisdom when it comes to the paranormal? Anything you’d like to share?

Al ~ Be open minded! If you believe – or not, come into an investigation with a clean slate and let the evidence determine what is happening with the site! If you are not sure, ask others with a good reputation to help! Join our team from Morbid Curiosity for an investigation!

Traci ~ Don’t let the paranormal consume your life. I have seen far too many people live, breath and die by the paranormal. They don’t take a break. They don’t remember how to just enjoy being somewhere because they are too busy looking for ghosts. Remember not everything is paranormal. Sometimes it’s just normal, everyday things. We aren’t curing cancer, we aren’t bringing world peace by this. It’s become such a cutthroat hobby and people need to take a breath and remember to live.

Glenn ~ As far as words of wisdom go, what I would suggest to anyone entering the field is learn as much as you can from whoever you can. Be it going out with different groups, sharing evidence, talking with people at events, and try not to focus so much on learning through TV shows. Because a lot of times the shows that you see on TV are for entertainment and are not actually the way investigations go, and of course read as much as you can on the topic in the paranormal field. The knowledge is the power.

Follow Morbid Curiosity @ morbidcuriositytv.com

Check out this video on YouTube! #Paranormal Investigation: Levittown, PA

Follow Traci Law @ http://www.tracilaw.net/

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Follow Glenn Orwan on Facebook: Glenn Orwan III

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Follow Al Kalbach on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daymarksproductions

and also on http://www.naturephototravel.com/

Al Kalbach

Automatic Writing

What is this mysterious form of writing and why are some so enraptured by it while others find it insidious? The practice of automatic writing (a.k.a. psychography) is a supernatural ability used by many individuals to communicate with spirits.

Often a person will sit in a trance-like state with a small chalkboard and a piece of chalk. While channeling, the individual allows the spirit to communicate through them. The person will transcribe the spirit’s message onto the chalkboard. This can also be done with the use of pen and paper. The individual, through which the spirit is communicating, claims to have no control over what’s being written, claiming that the spirit is in total control.

The mere thought of doing such an act frightens many people because of the idea of spirits entering (even if it’s for a brief period of time) a person’s body. They fear the possibility of a spiritual attachment. The use of a Ouija Board has also been considered a form of automatic writing.

A well-known case of automatic writing comes from the nineteenth century. New York Supreme Court Judge, John Worth Edmonds didn’t express any interest in automatic writing until after the passing of his wife. Even though Judge Edmonds put his career on the line, that didn’t stop him from pursuing communication with the spiritual world. Along with the help from his spiritualist friends, the judge claimed to have communicated with both historic figures, Francis Bacon (who was England’s Lord Chancellor that died in the seventeenth century) and Emanuel Swedenborg (who was an established philosopher from Sweden that died in the eighteenth century). However popular this study is, there still is no scientific evidence that proves such theory.

But just in case such ability does exist, I recommend using extreme caution to anyone who considers performing automatic writing. In my opinion, like with the use of a Ouija Board, it may not be that easily discernible with whom one is communicating. So be careful and know that it is not a game.

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter @sheilarparker.