My First Paranormal Experience

I was a small child, just barely school age when I had my first experience with the paranormal. I’ve never spoken publicly about it until now, not even at my public speaking events nor book signings have I ever brought up the incident of which I’m about to tell you. Yes, I’ve openly discussed my encounters with shadow people, being touched by spirits, my ability of being an empath and also my ability of angelic communication, but never openly discussed my first recollection of a paranormal encounter. Why? Because to many people, it may sound a bit macabre and strange.

Like I said earlier, I was a small child when it happened. A little girl all dressed up in Sunday clothes right after church services were over. The day was sunny and warm, and the church members were carrying on lighthearted conversations as they were walking out of the building. As my family conversed, my attention was oddly drawn towards the cemetery for no apparent reason, which was only a few feet away. This church was a small, country one with not a very big congregation at all. So the atmosphere was safe and there was no cause for concern as I walked towards the graves. The ground had been undisturbed for quite sometime, meaning that there had been no recent funerals to speak about. Yet, I was undeniably drawn to a particular grave for which I had no connection with. The deceased wasn’t a family member, nor a friend. In fact, the individual had been dead for many years prior to our joining the church. But as I neared the grave, I began to detect a very faint smell. It was one that I had never experienced before, quite fragrant and soft. The inviting smell drew me even closer to the peaceful plot.

Now keep in mind that no one followed me and that everyone from the church were several feet away, meaning that the scent from their perfume/cologne dissipated as I walked away from them. However, this new scent grew stronger as I approached the grave. It was so beautiful and intriguing that it made me want to investigate its origin. The headstone was void of any floral arrangements that would give plausible cause for the unexplained smell. So, I continued to let my nose lead the way which made me only inches above the ground. At this point, I was literally sniffing the Earth that was immediately below my nose. Only grass separated me from the dirt. Yet, this inconceivable fragrance had become even stronger. In my innocent mind I started seeing brief images of bones, like I was looking down into the grave below. Was I led to this spot by the deceased individual? Perhaps what I was smelling was the beautiful fragrance they wore when they were alive. Maybe the spirit of the deceased noticed my gift and wanted to connect with me.

I wanted so badly to take my little fingers and dig into the dirt so I could find out more, but was abruptly stopped upon my grandmother’s discovery. And ever since then, every time I see bones, I’m quickly reminded of the beautiful fragrance I’ve never experienced again. The incident still remains a mystery to me, a fascination that I will never forget.

 

 

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

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Paranormal Investigator, Shari Marie DeBenedetti

Today I’m welcoming paranormal investigator, Shari Marie DeBenedetti from Syfy’s television series, Ghost Hunters. Thank you, Shari for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Upstate New York and moved to Boston with my family when I was 11 years old. I graduated from Lynnfield High School and attended Bentley University while working full-time at an engineering firm. I am now a real estate agent. I do many private investigations with local teams in the area and I also appear at events. I have two children, Angelina and Nico.

 

 

Why the paranormal?

I became interested in the paranormal because I experienced many strange and unexplained things growing up. I finally began to research the paranormal in my mid 20’s when my family and I had many scary experiences in the house we were living in at the time. It got to be so bad I was afraid to go into the house alone not knowing what was going to happen next. I decided to start investigating with my friends and eventually formed a team. I wanted to help others who were experiencing paranormal activity so that they would be comfortable living in their homes.

 

 

You’re a paranormal investigator on SyFy’s television series, Ghost Hunters. How did this get started for you?

I met Jason Hawes, and other T.A.P.S. members, many years ago at paranormal events and we have remained friends ever since. I was recommended, then interviewed, then I started.

 

 

In your opinion, what’s the most frightening case you and the team have investigated on the show?

There was no case that I investigated on the show that made me ‘frightened’. I, however, had many crazy experiences but I personally never felt threatened by any of them.

 

 

Has anything ghostly ever followed you home after an investigation? And if so, how did you deal with it?

I’m not positive if the spirits that I had at home are the same ones that came home with me from an investigation. I don’t investigate my own home to see who they are. If there is anything going on then I usually just ask them to move along, respectfully of course. There was one time where I did need help to get rid of someone who didn’t want to go. But otherwise, I always tell them that they are not allowed to follow me home right after the investigation.

 

 

What’s your favorite piece of paranormal equipment to use and why?

My favorite piece(s) of equipment is the Thermal Camera and the Night Vision Full Spectrum Video Camera/GoPro and a voice recorder. I have had great True results with these pieces.

 

 

How do you prepare yourself for a case? Do you practice a particular method or routine?

I always say my prayers and ask for all of my Angels to help me and guard me from any harm.

 

 

Any upcoming events you’d like to tell us?

The event that is open to the public and still has tickets available:

– June 24 in Coventry Rhode Island, I will be at the Paine House.

 

 

Any positive words of advice?

I always say ‘it is what it is’ if you can’t change it then learn from it and move on. I also believe in Karma, be nice and have a positive attitude and you will receive this in return.
Follow me:
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Facebook: @sharim.debenedetti
Facebook Page: @sharimarie826

 

 

 

Interview with Paranormal Genealogist, Shannon Bradley Byers

Today I’m welcoming Paranormal Genealogist, Shannon Bradley Byers. Thank you, Shannon for stopping by!

 

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

This is always difficult for me because I never know what people would really like to know! I was born in South Carolina, but my daddy worked for the pipeline, so we moved around a lot the first eight years of my life. In 1976, we finally settled right outside of Atlanta and I have been here ever since. In 1993, I had daughter, who is my only child, and in 2003 I met my 2nd husband, David. We married in 2005 and we spend our time on some amazing adventures. I have a passion for good old-fashioned bodice ripping romance books, especially ones by Victoria Holt. In 2006 I was introduced to the time travel romance worlds penned by author Lynn Kurland and each year I look forward to her newest book. A big guilty pleasure of mine is the supernatural romance books by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Team Ash!).

I was given a project in school in 1981, when I was 13 that introduced me to the addicting world of genealogy. I was supposed to write about a “family story” that had been handed down, and interview family member to see what kind of facts I could find about it (remember, this was before the internet!). On my daddy’s side, there was a bare bones story about a civil war soldier that had had enough of the war and decided to quit and walk home, from Virginia to mountains of North Carolina. When he was just a mile or so from home, he was shot and killed by the home guard. That was the beginning of my passion for genealogy. I love it so much, I have spent the last 36 years working on family research for just about anyone that asks me for help. As a side note, if that story sounds familiar to anyone, it would be because my cousin wrote a book in the 90s called Cold Mountain, which was later turned into an award-winning movie where Jude Law played my 3rd great uncle. The book and movie are complete fiction, with almost no resemblance to what really happened. Anyone interested in knowing the real story can visit my website and read all about.

Genealogy aside, I am also on the preservation board and historian for the Wynne-Russell house, a local historic home in our city. I work very closely with our local police as a board member for the citizens police academy and I am a member of our county’s archaeological society.

In what little spare time I have between all of the above and my paranormal pursuits, I work with other people like me who need help understanding their gifts and haunt antique markets looking for old medical equipment.

 

 

How did you become a paranormal investigator? 

When I was 8 years old, we had a book fair at school and it was then that I first laid eyes on the book Haunted Houses by Larry Kettelkamp. I decided right then and there I wanted to find a ghost on my own. Now keep in mind this was 1976 and my exposure to looking for ghosts was limited to the television show In Search of.., things written by Hans Holzer and books like the Time Life series.

My parents were big on our summer vacation spots being “historical” in some way. I spent a lot of time on St. Simons Island taking pictures at Christ Church Cemetery and the Bloody Marsh battlefield. All in the pursuit of that holy grail of paranormal evidence… a picture of an apparition, only to be disappointed weeks later when the film was developed to find out I had not. In a way, I miss film cameras, but I definitely do not miss the “wait” time of film developing.

When David and I met, we found out quickly that we both had a huge interest in the paranormal, so it was only natural that we start looking for ghosts together. This was 2003 and there was a lot more out there in the way of paranormal research, but it was still before the multitude of television shows. We went to as many historical places, cemeteries and spooky places as we could and conducted our own experiments.

In 2010, I started trying to join other groups of likeminded people, thinking that a historical researcher would be an asset, but no one would ever get back with me. In 2013 we spent a couple of months with a friend that was forming a group, but para-drama got in the way and David and I decided that we would just keep doing our own thing like we always had. The problem was, because groups of “ghost hunters” were misbehaving, historical places did not want to let us in without a resume. That was when we decided to “organize.” We came up with a name, joined the wonderful world of social media and I spent all my time sending out letters practically begging places to let us investigate and filling in the gaps with private residential and business clients around the southeast. Now, with the references we have, it is much easier to get into places that most cannot, so we just keep doing what we love as a husband and wife team.

 

 

You’re the “Paranormal Genealogist”. Tell us about that?

Many years ago, I saw an episode of one of the paranormal shows that highlighted a true crime that I had studied since I was a child, the Pearl Bryan murder (I have always had a morbid fascination with Victorian murders). Well imagine my shock and surprise when they started presenting “facts” that I knew to be untrue. Before that time, I had not realized that we were being fed a line of untruths on these shows in the way of the history they presented. That was when I really started looking into the real stories of places like Bobby Mackey’s Music World, the Old Charleston Jail, the Exorcist House, Waverly Hills Sanitarium, Sloss Furnace, etc. I used all my genealogy research skills to tract down information on the people, town, and structures that could be backed up with documented facts. I had been doing that kind of research on my own cases anyway because I am a FIRM believer that you cannot conduct an effective investigation without knowing the history. I quickly found out that most of the information we were being fed on television shows and movies was misappropriated or just plain made up so, in the interest of getting the real information out there, the Paranormal Genealogist was born. Now, I spend my time giving lectures and seminars on the real histories of these places and how you go about tracking down the information. It is my opinion that giving false history on the people that died (or did not die) at these places shows a level of disrespect that is unconscionable.

 

 

Being an empath, have you always known that you had this ability? And would you consider it a gift or a curse, or maybe even a little bit of both?

No, I have not always known, but looking back, I should have. Metaphysical things were not taught in my household when I was growing up so I had absolutely no understanding of what an empath was. As a young child and into my teen years I was described as “tender hearted” or having the ability to relate to others in a weird way, but that did not really do a whole lot in teaching me that being an empath was a “thing.” I am a southern girl, and during the time I was growing up, we still brought the dead home and laid them out in the living room so being around death never bothered or affected me other than being sad that person was no longer physically in my life. Several years ago, I lost a close friend and it was the first time I had felt complete and utter devastation by a loss. It was at that time I sought out help to understand things I had always “known” but did not understand. This was when I learned about being both an empath and a deadseer. My mentor made me realize that many things I had never understood as a child made perfect sense. For some unknown reason, I had a very hard time with my 47th birthday. As a birthday gift, my mother wrote me a long letter that detailed our lives together. That letter meant a lot to me on different levels, but there is a portion where she talks about when I was around 18 months old and she would get up every night and find me sitting up in bed talking to the “angels in the corner of my room.” It was like a flood light had been turned on for me and where maybe before that I had looked on my abilities as both a gift AND a curse, I realized what a precious gift it is IF I work with it as it was intended to be. Since that time, I have never referred to it as a “curse.”

 

 

What was the inspiration behind writing your book, “How Not To Be A Ghost Hunter”?

In 2016, a colleague and I were lamenting for the hundredth time about all the groups out there posting on Facebook and the web about their “ghost hunts” and “evidence” they had captured. A few things have bothered me for years about groups that have popped up since the television shows became so prominent. First is the fact that they think they can watch these shows and know exactly how a paranormal investigation should be conducted. Another problem is getting them to realize that their “evidence” is nothing but normal occurrences (again, thanks to television). They simply do not realize the damage they can cause and the dangers for themselves, their clients, and the spirits they may encounter. One of my biggest gripes are the people that go to a location to experiment and then just leave with no follow through for either the client or the spirit(s) who many times, are just wanting help.

My husband and I are on the preservation board for a historic home in our city, and we have been investigating there for years. To raise money for the never-ending things that have to be repaired, we hold history/paranormal tours and in the fall people can donate to investigate with us, (100% of their donation goes to the preservation fund). During the summer of 2016, we decided to hold a workshop fundraiser for the house, similar to the talks we give at DragonCon, a kind of “normal paranormal” class. Because I loathe being called a “ghost hunter,” I came up with the class name of “How NOT to be a Ghost Hunter” and wrote a 60-page book to give to the participants. I shared the book with some other colleagues and the feedback was incredible. The consensus was that I should write it as an actual book and publish it. I spent the fall rewriting, tweaking, and having it edited so I could release it in January of 2017. It does not included anything “metaphysical” because the focus was for people to understand just what it is to be a paranormal researcher and how different it is from television.

 

 

Where can readers get their very own copy of your book?

It can be purchased as a paperback or kindle version on Amazon or in e-format on iTunes.

 

 

What’s next for Shannon Bradley Byers?

I am constantly working on research to debunk the haunted fakelore of locations featured on TV, but along with that, I have two more nonfiction books in the works as well as a fiction one that I have been working on for years. Unfortunately, with a full time job and my non-work related schedule, finding time to write is extremely difficult… OR when I do have time to work on them, I get hit with a case of writers block! The next few months are going to be busy between private investigations, an archaeology dig, and teaching another paranormal class as a fundraiser. As of right now, my next big “event” is The ScareFest in Lexington, KY this fall since I have decided to forego speaking at the 2017 Dragon Con. If all goes according to plan, my next book will be out in September 2017.

 

 

Any advice for future paranormal investigators?

Before you get your first piece of equipment, come up with a catchy name, or buy your t-shirts, the first thing you need to ask yourself is “why do I want to do this?” The answer to this question will determine many things. If it is just for thrill seeking, you might want to rethink your decision. As in all things, thrill seeking can have detrimental effects on yourself and others. People have been trying to use science to prove the existence of the afterlife for centuries and you are going to have to be comfortable with the fact that it will never be a recognized “science.” There is just no way to come up with a hypothesis and test your theories because you cannot get the same results every single time you do an investigation, and consistent verifiable results is the basis of science. There will always be roadblocks along the way. People will tell you that you are wasting your time, or that you are nuts or that you are going to hell for talking to dead people. Just remember why you decided on doing it in the first place. I hope that your reason is to help.

 

 

 

 

Meet Raleigh Nichols

Have you read my paranormal romance, The Spirit Within? If so, then you’ll know who this rugged mechanic is. Meet Raleigh Nichols, the inimical boyfriend of the main character, Cassy Blakemore.

Who is this irreverent soul?

He’s a hard working mechanic who’s employed full-time at the local body shop. His name is Raleigh Nichols and is crazy in love with his girlfriend, Cassy Blakemore. Sure, he may be a tad overbearing and a bit cynical, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to please his girl with his sultry, southern charm. The way Raleigh’s sensual touch melts Cassy’s heart, gets her every time. Well, that is until the day Raleigh’s inner darkness emerges. A darkness that becomes so brutal that it creates a terrifying wedge between the two lovers.

Their love is undeniable, but the personal turmoil that Raleigh battles causes him to lose the fight to alcoholism. While his thirst grows deeper for the bottle, his anger becomes intensified as his emotions become explosively abusive towards Cassy. Raleigh’s apologies are hollow and ignored, but that doesn’t end his relentless obsession with his girlfriend.

Before the final straw breaks, Cassy discovers supernatural abilities that she never knew she had. It’s thanks to these newly found powers that keep her world from totally disintegrating.

How does Raleigh deal with Cassy mysteriously “zoning out”? And how does this volatile relationship continue….. or does it? Get your very own copy of my novel, The Spirit Within available on Amazon!

 

Here’s the sketch that I did of Raleigh Nichols from my novel, The Spirit Within. Prints of my sketch are available at…. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/raleigh-nichols-sheila-renee-parker.html

 

 

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

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

(Raleigh Nichols. Sketch by Sheila Renee Parker.)

Intelligent & Residual Hauntings: What Are They?

(Originally published on August 3, 2014)

 

Ok, everyone’s heard of Casper the Friendly Ghost, right? You know, the cute transparent guy who floats around through walls? If all the hauntings were as adorable as him, then that would be pretty amazing and all the little kiddies wouldn’t be so afraid of the things that go bump in the night.

Well, let’s take a step back and face reality here. Some hauntings can be pretty frightening and down right mind-numbing. Did you know that there are actually two known types of hauntings? Yes, intelligent and residual…

An intelligent haunting is when the spirits can interact with the living, a type of energy that DOES have consciousness. These spirits may find ways of communication much like the ways discussed in my previous blog titled, The Afterlife ~ A Corporeal’s Transition, or the spirits can often communicate through the use of a voice box; a tool that is used to collect electronic voice phenomena (EVPs). Spirits of intelligent hauntings are known to interact with the living by attempting physical contact as well. For instance, spirits can be playful in nature and a person may feel their hair being pulled or a gentle touch when no one else is to blame for the action. However, other spirits of intelligent hauntings may not be as friendly and the living can experience a sense of malevolence and often these types of spirits are more negative with their contact and might even try to inflict harm upon the living. Many people do try to provoke this type of haunting and I strongly recommend using extreme caution because one never knows what can happen. So, be wise and be careful.

The second type of haunting is known as a residual haunting. It’s more like a supernatural experience that resembles a recording of past energy. For instance, like hearing footsteps walking down an empty hallway when no one is there. It’s believed that in a location where someone has released a large amount of energy or heightened emotions were experienced and the energy attaches or “imprints” itself. As a result of the abiding energy, individuals in the future may get to experience seeing a type of “recording” of these events. Some signs of a residual haunting may be the absence of interaction from the spirit. As if the spirit doesn’t acknowledge the presence of the living person. The spirit will almost seem totally oblivious to anything that’s occurring in it’s presence.

Another sign of a residual haunting is the energy that is felt can often be quite intense for the individual experiencing it, but this isn’t anything that should be feared. The energy can also be the result of the interruptions to electricity and electrical appliances. It’s also very possible for things in the immediate area to change. For example, doors opening and shutting. Once again, this is simply energy. The spirit is completely not applying any conscious effort to these activities.

Throughout the years, I have experienced both types of hauntings. They were very mild in nature and I never felt threatened. I’ve heard footsteps jaunting down an empty hallway and creaking down an old set of stairs. I’ve seen electrical disturbances when there was no accountable reasoning for anything else. I have even experienced the gentle touches from spirits on several occasions.

So, now you know there are two kinds of hauntings. If you’ve had any experiences, please feel free to comment and share! 🙂

 

 

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

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

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The Valentine Lover

(Poem by Sheila Renee Parker)

 

The clock strikes twelve, it’s finally midnight.
Valentine’s Day has arrived.
Alone in the bed I await as the minutes slowly tick by.
Every year, this day belongs to only he and I.

Myself, I willingly give to him.
And in return, he pleasures me with salacious sin.

Suddenly, the moment is here
and I feel his presence near.
Taking his time, he enters the bed down by my feet,
kissing each toe beneath my satin red sheet.

Then, with his lengthy tongue he trails up my leg
causing me to moan and slightly beg.
He continues upward with his warm lips,
pausing ever so briefly between my hips.

My body quivers and he grins.
Paralyzed by my weakness, I allow him in.
He penetrates my being with all that he is,
consumed by desire I am rendered speechless.

Together we flow, our rhythm as one.
With amorous energy our bodies hum.
His kisses are hard, deep and long
as the sensual night lingers on.

Hours later the morning sun appears
as my sweet beloved gradually disappears.

Prior to leaving, he makes it very clear
that only one night a year
there is no other,
the Incubus is the Valentine lover.

 

 

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

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

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Doppelgangers & Black Eyed Kids

Doppelgangers and Black Eyed Kids. Are they real? What do you believe?

Doppelgangers (German for “Ghostly Double” or “Double Walker”) simply refers to a double of a living person. According to legend, these otherworldly creatures harness the ability to mirror the appearance of those they encounter. Many believe that doppelgangers are harbingers of doom. For instance, if a doppelganger was seen by a person’s loved one, then the doppelganger may be a messenger of danger or ill health. However, if one sees his or her own doppelganger, it’s said to be an omen of death.

A doppelganger is often considered to be a shadow self that is thought to follow every living person. In instances of bilocation, a person can either spontaneously or willingly project his or her double known as a “wraith” to a remote location. This double is identical to the real person and can interact with others just as the real person would.

Several well-known people in history reported seeing their doppelgangers prior to their deaths. Some of these historic figures include Abraham Lincoln, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Catherine The Great, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Maria de Jesus de Agreda just to name a few. Even Vice-Admiral, Sir George Tyron had reportedly been seen walking through the drawing room of his Eaton Square home in London at the exact time he had gone down with his ship, HMS Victoria after colliding with HMS Camperdown.

Another harbinger of doom is known as the Black Eyed Kid (also known as BEKs.) Their origin isn’t clear, but many believe that these young ones are the spirits of lost or murdered children.

Black Eyed Kids are typically known to travel in pairs. Their ages range from eight years to eighteen years old. They have very pale skin and black eyes, showing no pupil or iris. When these children make their approach, they usually ask to be invited in one’s car or home. Almost anyone who’s had an encounter with the BEKs become overwhelmed with a sudden feeling of fear or dread. When turning these kids away, the children show aggression with the intense need to be allowed inside. Those who claim to have encounters with the Black Eyed Kids report that the children refuse to go away until the said person either leaves the scene or closes the door on them. However, there are many reports of these encounters, there aren’t any confirmations of what could happen if someone actually complied with the demands of the Black Eyed Kids.

 

 

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

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

 

 

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