Ouija Boards – Fun For The Whole Family!
A Ouija Board is a flat board with all the letters of the alphabet, numbers 0-9, the words “yes”, “no”, “hello” and “goodbye”. It uses a planchette, usually triangular, that indicates the spirit’s words by pointing out the letters to spell words when your fingers lightly touch the piece. Typically used during a séance, these were also the must-have accessory for every slumber party I’ve ever attended growing up.
Now my question was whether people took these boards seriously or whether people just used them for fun. I got a lot of responses off Twitter that many people had tried them one time or another and had “responses” to their questions, but usually at a party setting and/or alcohol was involved, which suggests to me that most average people treat the Ouija Board as a novelty item. But there are those that associate the Ouija with demonic possessions, spirit attachments, and swear that there is something occult about them and warn of their use.
Ouija believers believe the paranormal/supernatural is responsible for the movement of the planchette while those with a more skeptical view say it can be explained by the “ideomotor effect”, which is the psychological phenomena of unconscious movements, like our reflex response to pain which can reflex to even the idea of pain alone.
Now, I’m not a 100% believer, I’m not a non-believer either. I too have had “unexplained” occurrences with the Ouija Board as another PROF member has too. I thought by looking into Ouija Boards that I could be pushed to one side of the fence or the other, but I think I’m more mystified than before. In my opinion I don’t think it’s the board that would be dangerous but perhaps instead people’s intent. If the laws of attraction play in then maybe you should be careful what you wish for. Even if you’re hoping to speak to your Great Aunt Ethel, you could somehow get Zaphod, Lord of the Underworld. In theory you can’t control who you’re contacting. But now, any paranormal investigator could bring up the question of how this is different than trying to get an EVP? Essentially aren’t these both just forms of spirit communication? Why is it okay to tote around a digital recorder and try to communicate with whomever you want, but do so with a Ouija Board and you’re worried you’re about to open a portal to Hell? The only difference I could come up with is while an EVP is recorded onto a digital recorder a spirit would have to communicate through you when using a Ouija Board, which is where the spirit attachment fear may play in. After seeing the movie “White Noise” another problem I would worry about is those who may become addicted to their advice/answers as there are many cases of this when it comes to psychics, mediums, or even a Magic 8 Ball. A Ouija Board could almost become a crutch to those who have the “I just want to speak to them one last time” and the “I need to know” need.
Because everything you read on the internet is true, here are some helpful hints that I’ve come across for the next time you decide to dig out your board:
Never ask abort God
Don’t ask when you’re going to die.
Don’t ask where the gold is buried.
Don’t let the spirits count down through the numbers/go though the alphabet as they can get out of the board this way.
You should never use the Ouija Board if you are a skeptic or an Atheist because you could get an evil spirit or demon.
Never use a Ouija Board if you are depressed, stressed, angry, upset, bored, furious, sad, scared, afraid, shocked, overconfident, or drowsy, as you could let a demon into your life.
The fact that you can purchase a mass produced Hasbro Ouija Board from the local toy store takes a bit of the evil edge off them for me. Next time you’re in Toys ‘R Us and are tempted to take the mantic plunge may I suggest Clue instead. Y’know, just in case.
No More Games Boy, So What Ya Saying…
Last year I wrote a blog “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” on the topic of Paranormal Unity. But perhaps “unity” was the incorrect word to use. At the time I thought I was very pro unity, not suggesting that we all sing “Kumbaya” and hold hands with one another, but maybe that we could all interact in an amicable manner. But over the past few months my opinion have changed. A lot.
Now that everyone is jumping on the paranormal bandwagon there seem to be teams popping up out of the woodwork. Like in all professions, especially where the paranormal field isn’t completely understood, everyone will have different investigative methods and opinions of what could be considered paranormal evidence. Now, I completely understand that respect has to be earned, and under no circumstance does PROF support anyone who manipulates and fakes data, but I find that there are some groups out there that it seems like their sole mission is to discredit others. They say they’re not attacking or tearing them apart, only questioning. But there is a huge difference between constructive criticism and just being an asshole. Another team introduced me to the term “Flamebait”, which is something done to “stir the pot”. No matter how different in methodologies groups are, this is unacceptable.
I have thought of two main reasons why we don’t all get along. The first is that the paranormal field isn’t a science, it isn’t something that can be tested or proved. Therefore, who is right and who is wrong? The second reason is that paranormal investigators are in this all for different reasons. Some are looking to validate personal experiences, some seek that holy grail piece of evidence that will finally prove the existence of ghosts, some genuinely want to make advancements in the paranormal field and move it forward, and some are just looking for their fifteen minutes of fame. Paranormal “reality” shows are given to almost anyone these days, and funny those who are the ones who are the loudest speaking out against the fakery of para-reality are the ones who are appearing on those shows. That my friends, was an example of “flamebaiting”.
And what I really don’t understand is why some teams believe that they are superior or have prestige. If you belong to a “society” that one of your friends runs that doesn’t actually give you any more credentials. Back in elementary school my best friend had a New Kids On The Block club that she let me be a part of. But that didn’t make me a Donnie Wahlberg expert, it just demonstrated that I could lip sync all their songs just like everyone else. I think some need to have a sit-down with their ego and realize that because you own an EMF meter that doesn’t make you a professor of pseudoscience.
“Unity” to me doesn’t mean you have to agree with everyone, in my previous blog I was referring more to the need to drop the competition between the groups. As I mentioned before there are so many paranormal groups now all over the world. Can you imagine if we did all unite and network? Think of how many people we could actually help. With this many great minds out there I’m sure we could all learn from one another. If we could just learn to challenge each other affably and not concentrate on who is the best, a united paranormal field could make us look more credible, as if we’re an organized field and not just some people with flashlights.
In the end, if you don’t like what we do or how we do it, just ignore us. It’s that simple.
“…but it’s time to step up to the stand, ’cause we ain’t going out like that. Back, huh, stronger than ever, did you think we’d sever? Never. We’re too clever to be taken down clown, by your ignorant state of mind, I ain’t blind but every time I look I find you dissin’ a mission that strictly be righteous, we gotta fight this so now I think I might just take a stand, man, like never before, and I’m sure that we’ll endure so now it’s time to even the score. I hear you knocking me but you ain’t shocking me, ’cause jealousy is telling me that you’re just jocking me. So keep on talking skee, with pride I’m walking see, because on anybody’s block is where I’m gonna be rockin’ gee….” – New Kids On The Block
2012 – The Final Countdown
The Mayans were once the most sophisticated astronomers on the planet. Also advanced in math and art, these Sun worshipers had knowledge of our skys that would almost be parallel to ours today. They have what’s called a long count calendar that ends on December 21, 2012 which is speculated to be “the end of days”. To their defence, they don’t say the world will end per se, but more of a beginning of a “New Age”. The Mayans predicted: “global chaos in the form of severe weather, and upheaval across the planet would precede these times”. Don’t believe the Mayans? The Qur’an and The Bible’s Book of Relevations both mention similar scenarios that lead to the end of the world too.
And I can’t talk about predictions and prophecies without mentioning Nostradamus. He is by far the best known predictor of things, predicting The French Revolution, the rise of both Napoleon and Hitler (and a 3rd who hasn’t arrived yet), the Great fire of London, and even the Holocaust of WWII. With a track record like that I’m more inclined to pay attention to what he has to say. Nostradamus predicts the world ends in 3797 and not 2012, but the method is very similar. He predicts that at 48° of Latitude “fish in the sea, rivers, and lakes will become boiled”, possibly interpreted as the Earth heating up due to Global Warming, and that the world will end because of “burning stones from the heavens bombarding the Earth”, again possibly a comet or asteroid?
Are you aware of the Hopi Indians in Arizona? They have a sacred prophecy that is again eerily like Nostradamus’ and the Mayans. And to them, their “end of days” prophecy has already begun. The Hopi believe that the world had been destroyed 3 times before. First through fire, second by ice, the third by a great flood, and we’re currently approaching the fourth now. This prophecy is 1000’s of years old and tells of 9 signs that the impending “end of the 4th world” is coming, and many signs have already come true. Although completely open for interpretation, the Hopi’s signs includes “an iron snake that crossed the land” (the railroad), “spinning wheels filled with voices” (cars), and “land crossed by a giant spiderweb” (internet). The 7th sign is “the sea will turn black and living creatures in the sea will die” (remember 2010’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill?). The 8th sign says “a dwelling place in the heavens will crash to Earth and a blue star will appear to signal that the purification has begun.” Want to hear something scary? NASA recently has discovered a blue star: HE0437. Although NASA scientists it would take hundreds of millions of years for the star to ever reach us, if ever at all, it gets a little uncomfortable when science starts to agree with these prophecies. The Hopi also say that water will rise up to fill the land, and that there will be 3 shakings of the Earth. The idea that massive floods and earthquakes will destroy the Earth is common in many religions and cultures. And scientists will tell you that there has been an increase in seismic activity all across the globe. Could the Hopi’s “blue star” also be interpreted as an comet or asteroid? Astronomers say this is what we should be worried about. They travel so fast towards the Earth that a piece could easily wipe out hundreds of kilometres. Even worse would be if it were to hit in the ocean, which they say is more likely too given the amount of surface of the Earth that’s covered with ocean. The heat and energy from the asteroid or comet would vaporize the ocean’s water creating a hole that other water would pour into causing walls of water thousands of feet high to pound the shores. They say it would dwarf any tsunami the world has ever seen before, putting coastal cities underwater. And we’re all aware that the asteroid belt is close to Earth, and orbits are always changing. It’s not a matter of “if” this will ever happen, but “when”.
So why is everyone talking about December 21, 2012? Like mentioned before the Mayan’s calendar ends on this date. This is also the day that the Sun will be in perfect alignment in the centre of our galaxy. Solar flares are also anticipated for this year. They occur in cycles with maximum intensity every 11 years. If you remember in 1989, Canada experienced flares that knocked out electricity for 6 million people and was bright enough to be seen all the way from Texas. 2001’s solar flares were relatively quiet (the calm before the storm?), slating the next set of intense solar flares for you guessed it, 2012. According to NASA solar flares are going to be our greatest threat for this year. These flares have to ability to knock out communication, satellites, and electricity, and have the potential to devastate all electronics on Earth.
This is what scares me. We are too dependant on our electricity. A power outage, and we’re not talking a couple days here, would destroy us. Think about it. How long can you survive on the food that’s in your fridge? You local store will quickly run out of food without having electricity or transportation. When the food and clean water run out, we’re going to start taking it from one other. Tell me, what are you willing to do to when your child becomes hungry. Civility and humanity are going to disappear. Suddenly, the “Survivalists” don’t seem so crazy. I have the benefit of living in a rural area, can you imagine what’s going to happen in the cities? Riots and looting. And I know you probably think I’m crazy by now, but open your eyes, these blackouts and natural disasters are a real possibility. The young and old will have the hardest time, diseases will be prevalent, there will be no access to medications or supplies, Darwin’s natural selection will quickly come into play.
So, do I think I’m going to wake up to Armageddon on December 21st? No. Do I think these prophecies have some merit to them? Yes. The underlying message here is that we need to change. We can no longer continue to live the way we do. Like the Mayans before us, we have the Earth at a crisis point. We are accelerating climate change at an alarming rate. Ronald Wright wrote of civilizations and “progress traps”. A progress trap is the seduction of success. We as humans always want more and better. This often creates problems that we can’t solve, like the extinction of our resources, and ironically prevents future progress. In a nutshell, it’s success at the cost of sustainability. The Mayans developed too fast and over hunted and deforested their land, and no one noticed until it was too late. I hope it’s just not too late for us.
Nightmares to Dreams
Since when did necrophilia become so romantic? Not sure what I’m talking about? Today, millions of tween girls have posters of the Twilight “hunks” on their walls, middle ages women fight over “Team Edward” or “Team The-Guy-Who-Never-Wears-A-Shirt”, guys and gals alike drool over True Blood. Lets face it, vampires are the pop-culture heartthrobs. And this isn’t right. Vampires are parasites, they stalk the living, they’re a carcass of death. They should be out for blood, not bringing sexy back! (Sorry JT) And many think Stephenie Meyer is to blame, but this isn’t true. Sure she wrote about a human girl who falls in love with a vampire who won’t drink human blood. But that’s already been done. And better. Joss Whedon turned his craptastic 1992 movie Buffy The Vampire Slayer into a cult TV show that will remain my all-time favourite until the day I die. The lust between a slayer and notorious vampire is the true forbidden love. And sure I subscribed into the “Angel is a dreamboat” like everyone else, but because he was a vampire, but because David Boreanaz is hot. (Dave, if you’re reading this call me, it’s not too late.) And in Season 2 Angel lost his soul and reverted back into evil Angelus, Spike is portrayed as an immortal Billy Idol, so maybe there is a little truth behind the “all girls are attracted to the bad boy” theory. And we have sympathy for these creatures! What does that say about our society today? Poor vampire, you have a soul. Poor vampire, you sparkle. (Okay, I’m not being sarcastic about that one. That really is tragic.)
A finger must also be pointed at Anne Rice. Her Gothic style books have made her one of the best selling authors of all time. Casting Tom cruise (before he was jumping on the couch crazy) and Brad Pitt as the lead characters in Interview With The Vampire only adds to this situation. Some even argue that Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which IS the best selling novel of all time, is filled with sex metaphors.
Besides being in found in cultures all over the world, many people don’t realize that the Dracula character is based on an actual person, Vlad Tepes. Known as “Vlad The Impaler”, he was known for just that. Impaling. Now THERE is a bad-ass.
Stephen King, horror master extraordinaire, knows what a vampire is supposed to be. He created one of my favourite vampires, Barlow from Salem’s Lot. In the intro to his comic book “American Vampire” King writes “What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type A.”
So, until vampires become scary again, I will probably continue to confuse them with the Emo kids at the mall. Thanks Twilight, thanks.
Do YOU Believe?
Christmas is a magical time, full of excitement, joy… and miracles? A miracle is an extraordinary or unexplained event said to defy the laws of nature, or even be the divine work of God. With such a world of turmoil around us we need something good to believe in, that there’s hope in life. So it’s not hard to believe that 79% of our population are believers. A terminal cancer patient suddenly in remission could be considered a miracle. Seeing Jesus on your toast is not.
Pareidolia is our mind associating abstract shapes into recognizable patterns. We all have at one point or another found shapes in the clouds, or maybe even have seen Ronald Reagan’s face in your cinnamon bun. No? Just me? Pareidolia also provides an explanation for many paranormal claims, especially photos, based upon our sense perception. Checking out some photos in a lot of Facebook’s ghost enthusiast groups will completely validate that statement. Astronomer Carl Sagan once said “As soon as the infant can see, it recognizes faces, and we now know that this skill is hardwired in our brains.”, and later refers to how pareidolia could be an evolutionary trait. To me this may be a stretch, but I think that we’re prone to see faces is bang on.
So, what if a miracle isn’t really a miracle, but is just a coincidence or an accident without significance? Or is it all in the eye of the beholder? What if no matter how hard I try I can’t believe in miracles? I like to think I have an open mind, but like Sir Issac Newton I believe that the forces of nature are unalterable. Philosopher Benedict Spinoza thought if an event appears to be a miracle it’s only because we haven’t found the natural explanation yet. But then again I haven’t been in the situation to experience a “miracle”, so is that why I dismiss them? There’s an old saying “Nothing is true, ’till it happens to you”. So until the Virgin Mary appears to me in person instead of on my burnt tortilla, I’m going to have to remain a healthy skeptic on this one.
Bondo – P.R.O.F.
Some People’s Children…
(Black Eyed Kids)
When I was asked to write a bit about the Black Eyed Kids it reminded me of how much I dislike Fergie, and that I don’t know much on the subject. I had to do some research online (take that for what it’s worth), and in the end I think I wound up with more questions than answers.
Black Eyed Kids (BEK) are frequently described as children, usually pre-teen males, and always in pairs. Reports differ between them having pale or olive skin tones, and they’re always polite, articulate themselves well, and are well mannered… until you don’t give into their demands for some sort of assistance.
The first well documented BEK experience was only back in 1998 by journalist Brian Bethel. Long story short, two kids came up to his car in a parking lot, knocked on the window, and asked for a ride home because they had forgotten their money to see a movie. Like many other accounts I read about, after seeing their coal black eyes Brian was overcome with panic and fear, his “fight or flight” instinct almost immediately kicked in. But even with all the terror he felt he still had to resist the urge to obey the BEK’s requests. With the BEK becoming more demanding and insistent Brian finally drove off, seeing nothing in his rear view mirror as he looked back.
More commonly BEK show up to a person’s home in the evening/after dark and ask to be invited inside the home to use their phone, whether it’s because they’re lost, need to be picked up, etc. Whomever answers the door feels that same fear and threat that Brian did. Their appearance seems to be normal, current era clothing, but again they have those large black eyes. All accounts I have read describe the home owner having to resist the urge to obey the children at the door. I mean, they’re only children, right? What’s the worst that could happen? That’s a great question because there are no accounts of that happening. So… either no one has ever invited them in… or no one is still around to tell the tale.
Now, there are a few things that bother me about the BEK. They usually only show up to isolated homes where the home owner is alone. With no other witnesses to corroborate the experience does this mean the BEK are extremely clever or is it purely coincidental? What do they really want? What would actually happen if you let them in? After the home owner closes the door and peeks out the window only to have the “children” no where to be found, where did they go so quickly? Why haven’t any of them just burst through the door? And I mean, if these BEK are trying to look “normal” so they’ll be invited into a stranger’s home why don’t they cover their frightening black eyes? Corey Hart made it okay to wear sunglasses at night.
While trying to figure out some rational ideas of what these BEK could actually be I came across some theories that puzzled me more than the thought of BEK in itself. The idea that there are tweens out there running around being a nuisance and wearing all-black contacts (which do exist) may not be too far fetched, but is pretty unlikely. Some also believe they are evil spirits and/or demons. Evil needing permission to enter a home is a deep-seated belief in many religions. And I’m not even going to pretend I know what Black Arts golem is… Many associate the BEK descriptions to have very similar qualities as a “grey” alien, and even suggest they’re human-alien hybrids.
Is it possible that these experiences could be the result of an overactive imagination? Copy cat stories, or people just looking for attention? I’m sure the low light of an evening could make your eyes look black if you angle your head the right way, especially when the BEK are said to often be wearing hoodies or other similar clothing. Going out on a limb I could say that the feeling of anxiety and uneasiness is because these home owners are out of their comfort zone when strange children randomly approach them in the night.
Can I say for certain what I think the BEK actually are? No. But I can say for certain that I won’t be answering my door in the middle of the night. Period.
Can’t We All Just Get Along?
Is it just me, or do other people notice the tension and competition between paranormal groups? There are some groups/teams out there that are fantastic to work with, share techniques, and bounce theories off one another. Then there are those that I find treat their team as a social event, or believe that they have “paranormal prestige”. Why can’t there be unity in the paranormal community? Or is there even a paranormal community at all? Instead of bringing one another down shouldn’t we be supporting each other? I mean, even though I’m sure we all have different methods of doing it, aren’t we all working towards the same goal? Trying to gain a better understanding of the paranormal? If you boast about your integrity and respect towards your clients, have the courtesy to extend that towards your other paranormal enthusiasts as well.
The Joke’s On Me?
Why Paranormal Investigators Are Not Taken Seriously
I am a paranormal investigator, and no, I don’t own a proton pack.
There are many reasons why the paranormal community isn’t taken seriously. One reason is because of these types of stereotypes. There are too many skeptics watching paranormal television shows, reading cheesy books and websites. What you see on TV isn’t what really happens.
But in my opinion, the main reason the paranormal isn’t taken seriously is because of some of the people involved in the paranormal community themselves. There are some people that just need to tone it down a bit. We have seen some of those that carry a sense of entitlement because they’re like “Oooh, I’m a psychic/medium,” etc. If you’re going to make such claims then be ready to back them up. Anyone can claim anything, so either put up or shut up. Then there are the people who are too accepting which are just as bad. Those who remarkably have a 100% success rate finding paranormal evidence. The people who think everything is evidence, that everywhere is haunted. They capture orbs and EVP’s without considering the innumerable rational or natural explanations of where they could have originated. They interpret everything with a paranormal bias. And what’s even worse is that with the accessibility to so much software, evidence is so easily forged and hoaxes are created. How are we ever to gain credibility? This only makes it even harder for us to gather cases and investigation invitations.
So what are we to do? Maybe if we had more serious discussions people would quit abstaining from asking real questions. Instead of degrading me for my interest in the paranormal, try to understand that all I’m trying to do is further my knowledge. My/our research isn’t taken seriously because it isn’t a real science. But hopefully we as a community can one day gather enough facts to maybe entertain a plausibility within the skeptic scientific community. People have a hard time believing in what they can’t see, and this prevents other people from wanting to come forward with their experiences in fear of being persecuted for believing in such things. So, even though I may continue to be criticized for what I do, I will continue our research. We’ll never find the evidence if we don’t look.