A decade ago I became casually involved with ghost hunting. I didn’t intend to get involved with ghost enthusiasts and their investigations. However, I had a friend Jamie who introduced me to the ghost hunting subculture, and I was intrigued.
Back then (not really long ago) ghost hunting was a true subculture few people heard about. That is hard to believe today. However not long ago the concept simply didn’t register on the public’s radar. If I talked about the topic, nobody heard of it. Blank stares. “What is ghost hunting?”
It was an interesting and exciting time. We felt we were entering a truly unknown world. Imagine doing something new, possibly groundbreaking. When I discussed our activities with non-enthusiasts, they thought I was…well, goofy. That was part of the thrill of an emerging subculture. We were doing something special yet it was not recognized by those outside the culture.
Today the story has changed. The media has totally absorbed this subculture, embraced it and commercialized it. Ghost hunting has gone mainstream. It is amazing how fast popular culture will consume a good idea. Ghost hunting makes for a cheap reality TV show. There are multiple successful cable TV reality series about ghost hunting. The Paranormal Activity movie franchise is making hundreds of millions of dollars. Once the wider world embraces a subculture, the subculture gets compromised. Mainstream acceptance pretty much extinguishes a subculture.
The original ghost hunters I’ve known have long lost interest in the pursuit. TV ghost hunting shows created an illusion of “expert” which does not exist. I can tell you for certain there are no experts. Nobody understands this phenomena; it is a true mystery.
Many ghost enthusiasts have moved on to newer things, as I have. My blog is one example of this new direction. This subculture still thrives but the wider culture has yet to recognize this new direction. We are still are on the cutting edge, but we now travel on a new blade.
Jamie had a ghost theme website on Geocities. Geocities, owned by Yahoo, was a hugely popular place for people to create websites long before WordPress or Facebook. Unfortunately Yahoo ended Geocities and all these sites created by the passion of thousands of individuals just simply vanished. The early history of the Internet, its Stone Age, was extinguished. Do Internet fossils exist?
It seemed all the content from the early days of the Internet had been lost. However, there is a site named Oocities
They saved many of these sites before they vanished forever. Digital fossils still exist!
The Oocities statement: “In October 2009 we archived many of the unique pages on GeoCities before they were taken down. Geocities started in 1994 and was one of the most important websites in the world until it was closed on 27.10.2009. Our aim is to save those pages which are worthy and unique scientific sources or are of great public interest as well as those, which are historically interesting or just representing the 90?s website culture and style.”
This is a great resource for older content, and I am glad Jamie’s ghost website had been included. Unfortunately not all his content has been brought across, but most has. Here is a reference to the early days of ghost hunting before it became popularized:
My blog the Occult View will be moving to a new hosting service shortly. I expect everything to move across without mishap, but there is always the chance of technical difficulties. If something goes amiss and the Occult View disappears, it should return shortly. Knock on wood.
I started my blog on Christmas Day, 2008. Why? One cold and dreary night a week before Christmas, while walking down a blustery snowy street, I slipped on ice and badly twisted my ankle. I was able to get to my day job utilizing crutches and a garbage bag wrapped around my swollen foot. But at home I was not moving. I was stuck on the couch with my foot raised and nothing to do. So I decided to start a blog.
My first idea was a blog about doodling. After a few minutes I realized that was a bad idea. So I started a blog about a lifelong interest of mine: the paranormal, the occult and beliefs outside the mainstream. I don’t sell anything on my blog. I write because I feel these topics are important. There really is another level to reality which is hard to see or understand. It should not be ignored.
Upgrade Update: On Saturday December 10 my site was “suspended”. I am using too much of this service’s server space. I have clearly outgrown my current hosting service. To upgrade with them could cost 4 times a month what other hosting services charge. I don’t think so. I am back up temporarily, but the final move has yet to be made. My technical skills are wobbly, but I have a talented young lady who will help me. Thank you E!
On my sidebar is a cool widget, a Flag Counter. It shows the daily visitors to this blog. Well, Saturday it descended into oblivion. My worry is that people will think my site is gone and never visit again. That is why I posted my “technical difficulties” warning ahead of time. I’m still here!
A Muslim Australian citizen, on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, was arrested for blasphemy. Apparently he insulted the relatives of Mohammed. He will have a year in prison and suffer 500 lashes. According to this news account below his health and maybe his life will be at stake:
“Family members said they are worried about his health. “He is sick, and he has back injuries and he has diabetes,” his son, Issam Almaribe, told CNN affiliate 9 News Australia.””
500 lashes, if done properly, can kill someone. His flesh will be shred from his back and his bare bones and spine will be exposed. If he survives he could be crippled for life.
Which begs the question, is it dangerous for any Westerner to be a Muslim? According to Islam all of the faithful are required to make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Westerners generally speak their minds, are irreverent and take their freedom of speech for granted. We don’t understand the mind-locked nature of some Islamic cultures. Going to Saudi Arabia can be a life threatening situation. Yet, all Muslims are still required to make the haij (pilgrimage) to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
I have an answer for avoiding such a dangerous trip to Saudi Arabia. We need an alternative Mecca for Western Muslims, perhaps a new Mecca somewhere in the West. Is there a reason why Western Muslims can’t establish a new version of Mecca elsewhere? I’d suggest they create one in the United States, where we have freedom of religion combined with the separation of church and state. Those uncomfortable with traveling to the Middle East could come to our “Mecca of the West” where they would be safe from getting lashed.
Maybe it is time for a split between Eastern and Western Islam. Each really does live in different worlds. I think it is time for a liberal form of Islam to emerge, starting with a new center.
A decade ago I was casually involved with ghost enthusiasts and their investigations of hauntings. Back then there were rumors of an unrecognized haunted cemetery in northern Illinois. It was said to be an old, crumbling cemetery with incidents of genuine paranormal activity. However, nobody really knew where it was for sure. There are a great many cemeteries in northern Illinois including some that have never been made public. This rumored cemetery was simply called Cemetery Z.
There are a plenty of renowned and famous haunts; we know them by their reputation. Resurrection Cemetery had such a reputation because of the famous vanishing ghost hitchhiker named Resurrection Mary. Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, suffering from decades of vandalism and desecration, was viewed as one of the most haunted of cemeteries.
However there are haunted sites without any reputation whatsoever, but are often equally significant. Nearly all hauntings remain unpublicized. Most people who experience such things don’t even talk about it, or if they do it’s just word of mouth. My blog reports actual incidents of the paranormal when I come across them. How many never see the light of day? Nearly all.
And so there was the rumor of the haunted Cemetery Z. Were stories of it only an urban legend? Years ago I was invited to join a couple of ghost hunting enthusiasts to check out the possible location of Cemetery Z. They said it was a small, obscure cemetery in an urban area. It fit the rumors. It was very old and suffered from the same type of desecration that possibility turned Bachelor’s Grove into a ghostly place.
The two ghost hunters and myself went to check out Cemetery Z. Unfortunately I didn’t know where this cemetery was. They didn’t tell me. I was just to follow them in my car. When we got there, we checked it out. They brought an EMF meter and a recorder for any EVP. I brought my tarot cards to attract the attention of any spirits around.
Many of the tombstones were very old. The date on the picture to the left is 1862. The cemetery was in a populated area yet it was in bad shape. There was awful graffiti on a crumbling abandoned mausoleum; inside it was worse.
Gravestones were broken and toppled. A cross is missing its arm. I could imagine this site would become a future Bachelor’s Grove type cemetery.
The graffiti on the mausoleum symbolized the type of desecration that could open the door to occult activity, which in turn might result in paranormal activity. Is this the famed Cemetery Z? It is a good candidate. However, we’d need to talk to local residents to hear if anyone experienced anything unusual around it. The problem is we have all left ghost hunting behind us.
Does this cemetery still look the same since I took these pictures many years ago? Worse? I should go back again, but I don’t know where this Cemetery Z is. Does anybody know the name of this cemetery? If I can find out, I’d like to return for another visit.
Below is a video I took inside the crumbing graffiti covered mausoleum.
Above is a clip from the documentary series Through the Wormhole. This episode dealt with the near-death experience of Dr. Eben Alexander. He had one of the most unique near-death experiences I’ve ever heard about. He had a multiple NDE while he was in a coma. And he was able to recall it with remarkable detail. Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon. It is rare for a medical professional to have an NDE and he is in a unique position to understand what he went through.
Dr. Alexander gave an interview on Skeptiko. You can listen to the podcast or read the transcript here:
The doctor is a very smart and impressive individual. We have two choices…either he was deluded, or his experience was as he related. I assume his experience was exactly what he said it was…a genuine NDE.
During this excellent Skeptiko interview, Dr. Alexander said he had a transcendent experience where he attained incredible knowledge but was unable to bring it back. It seemed transcendence is beyond human understanding. However, I feel a great deal of transcendent information was brought back from the other side anyway.
Dr. Alexander is writing a book on his experience, and I look forward to reading it in great detail. We can learn secrets from these mystical experiences. For now, I will examine a few points from his Skeptiko interview:
Dr. Alexander went into an NDE several times during his coma, and each time he encountered what he described as a guardian angel. Again, assuming this is real, and then we all have a guardian angel, spirit guide or possibly a “higher self”. These are ancient beliefs and it appears there is merit in the concept of spiritual guides. That is a comforting thought. However, if we all have a holy spiritual companion, would we want to disappoint them? I’d want to make my spiritual companion proud of me!
During the Skeptiko interview Dr. Alexander said he saw arcs of silver-gold light in the sky emitting stunning hymns that descended from them. He said the most accurate word to describe these arcs of light and their hymns was “angels”. At the same time he described seeing waterfalls and pools of water. These arcs of lights occurred while his NDE was still apparently confined to the physical world. Afterwards he described leaving the physical universe.
How to interpret this information? Earth has planetary angels working on our planet, just as individuals have personal guardian angels. Interesting…earth may have its own planetary guardian angels. And that brings up the same question…do we want to make our world’s angels proud of us or not?
For myself, this passage from the Skeptiko interview was the most interesting since it may be useful in our daily living existence:
Dr. Alexander said:
“But suffice it to say that I would find myself back at the earthworm eye-view. What I learned was that if I could recall the notes of that melody, the spinning melody, that would start the melody spinning again and that would take me back into that beautiful, crisp, clear hyper-real valley on the butterfly wing. My guardian angel was always there and she was always very comforting.”
When Dr. Alexander talked about the melody, he reminded me of Esther Hicks. Esther Hicks is the famed author of the book Law of Attraction and is the leading voice on the topic. She essentially described the Law of Attraction as attaining the same “vibration” as the universal “source”. The goal is to attune our own personal vibration so it is in tune with this source. It is achieved thru how we think and feel. Thoughts are vibration and can connect by vibrating in harmony with the universe.
What are vibrations if not a melody? Music and hymns are vibration. Dr. Alexander was able to return to the “source” by remembering his melody/vibration. Can we do the same without having first hearing the divine melody?
Dr. Alexander shared his mystical experience with us, and it connects with other mystical experiences. Isn’t it interesting that mysticism shares a common theme?
The Advanced Hypersonic Weapon can travel multiples the speed of sound, and is maneuverable. They had a successful test of this weapon on November 17. It has the ability to strike anywhere on earth within an hour.
“Today the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command conducted the first test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) concept. At 6:30 a.m. EST (1:30 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Time), a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range, was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii to the Reagan Test Site, U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll.”
Why is this test being publicized? You’d imagine it would be kept top secret. I’d suggest these tests are meant as a message to the world, including China and Iran. I wonder if this weapon is the only such craft that has been developed? There must be other secret crafts as well that remain top secret. Are these secret craft responsible for UFO sightings?
Triangular UFOs have been the most common shape of UFOs sighted in the past decade. The flying saucer has pretty much disappeared to be replaced by the mysterious triangle. If the triangle is a secret weapon, do extraterrestrial UFOs exist? What are the flying saucers of the past since it is unlikely super weapons existed decades ago? Where have they gone?
On another UFO related topic, the U.S. government put out an official response to a petition asking about government knowledge of an extraterrestrial presence. Here it is below:
“Official White House Response to formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race – Disclosure.”
By Phil Larson
“Thank you for signing the petition asking the Obama Administration to acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence here on Earth. The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public’s eye. However, that doesn’t mean the subject of life outside our planet isn’t being discussed or explored. In fact, there are a number of projects working toward the goal of understanding if life can or does exist off Earth.”
Ok, that seems pretty clear cut. The U.S. government denies knoweldge of ET. But who exactly is Phil Larson? Is he qualified to answer this question?
“Phil Larson works on space policy and communications at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy”
I suppose Phil Larson is a White House science PR guy. Public relations! I’d think he’d be the last person to be told if ET was a reality. Yet it is still nice to have an official statement from the government. I like the last line: “The fact is we have no credible evidence of extraterrestrial presence here on Earth.” How do we define “credible”? There have been a lot of very strange sightings over the years, some very strange indeed. It seems we’ll have to solve this mystery without them.
Below is a curious video of a triangular UFO. Alien…or American?
There are beliefs that no one truly dies until all living memory of the deceased vanishes from the earth. So long as a single person…a spouse, sibling, child or friend remembers someone they knew in life, the deceased are not truly dead. Final death occurs only when all living memory of a person is gone; when the last person who personally remembers the deceased has also passed away. Then an individual passes into history and is nevermore.
There is some truth with this idea. The dead really do continue to exist in our memories. And the memory can seem so real it appears as if they are still alive, mostly in our dreams. In our dreams we have far more vivid memories then possible when awake. The dreams can become so clear, we may question if it was only a dream, or if the dead actually visited us while we dreamed.
My mom died two years ago of cancer. It was a horrible experience, and I blogged about it back then. It was hard for my dad, but he is ok now. He is a tough guy. He was born in Lithuania and experienced WWII as a child in Eastern Europe. After the war his family immigrated to America, and I am his son. So he is a tough guy, having faced horrible events as a child. He was in Nazi Germany during WWII while the Allies were bombing German cities. He recalls seeing a woman fleeing a flaming building covered with fire as she clasping her child to her breast trying to escape. Horrible, terrible stuff. Those experiences formed my dad’s view of life.
The point is my father is not a sentimental guy given to emotional flights of fancy. Yet sometimes he dreams of his wife, my mom. Last week I asked him if he still thinks of mom. He said he had a very vivid dream of her.
He dreamt he was in the first apartment he and mom lived in. It was in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago long ago. He is now 79 years old. Mom was in the doorway of a hallway, standing there just looking at him. She did not say a word, just made eye contact. And she was happy, with a compassionate gaze. She was not the age when they lived in the apartment when they first married, but at her prime.
However, she wore the robe she had when she was sick, when she died of cancer. Dad mentioned that…she was wearing her last robe. The robe she had at the hospital.
He said in his dream, it was so clear, that he felt she was right there before him. Even after he awoke it was clear in his mind. When I chatted with him later, he said he could visualize the dream.
I asked him if he thought mom actually visited him in his dream? Just to say hi? I’m still here, and I am watching over you and I love you? Or was it just a dream. He didn’t know.
Merely a dream or more, the dead are not dead until the last person who remembers them no longer exists.
The King of Hearts playing card has an intriguing, even mysterious image. People have long noticed the King of Hearts’ curious pose. It shows the king holding a sword behind his head. Or is he stabbing himself? Because of his pose the card has been called the suicide king.
In some playing cards the design makes it appear as if the sword-wielding hand belongs to another person: a third hand. Perhaps it belongs to an assassin? On many of these designs the sleeves of his two hands don’t exactly match. The reverse side of the card also gives the appearance of both hands holding his wardrobe while a mysterious third hand appears from behind wielding a weapon.
Above is an example where the sleeves have different colors. The hand with the sword has a red sleeve, plus an additional bracelet. Who is actually holding that sword if not the king? It’s not hard to imagine this was the intent of the designer, hidden in plain sight for centuries. Could there be a subtle rebellious, anti-royalty/authority element created by the original designer? Down with the world power structure!
There is another more esoteric, occult possibility behind the mystery of the King of Heart’s curious sword position. Tarot decks inspired modern playing cards. The tarot is filled with strange imagery in strange poses. The awkward stance of the card’s characters served a symbolic purpose; they are not by accident or due to poor artistry.
An example is the tarot’s first card, the Juggler or Magician. The occult symbolism in the Tarot of Marseilles was recognized and made more explicit in later renderings. The strange stance of the juggler, the very design of the card all has meaning. The table in the lower half forms a square, which is an alchemical symbol for matter and the physical world. And so the top and legs of the table frame a square containing the soil of the earth. On the table are the tools of juggling/magic, used to manipulate the world of matter.
In the center is the body of the juggler. His left hand points to the sky with a wand, his right hand points to the table, or the world of matter. The shape of the arms and body resembles the Hebrew letter Aleph. His motion signifies action, which is the result of the mind’s will.
On the juggler’s head is a hat that forms the symbol of infinity. The magician/juggler is summoning divine/celestial forces to influence the physical world of matter. As above, so below is a central esoteric belief. The role of the juggler/magician is to tap into that higher reality.
What does this have to do with the King of Hearts? The awkward pose of the heart king reminds me of the tarot’s juggler/magician. In early renderings of this card, it seems he is not holding a sword at all, but a wand of some sort aimed at his head. His right hand is pointed downward towards the earth. Could the symbolism of the tarot been transposed onto the King of Hearts?
When it comes to weird, bent-out-of-shape imagery in playing cards, there is a history of occult significance. Did the first card of the tarot, the Juggler, inspire the King of Hearts? Below is a site showing some images of very old playing cards. Check out the King of Hearts and his wand: Establishing a Standard
For a couple of days the asteroid 2055 YU55 got a lot of media attention. An asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier approached earth traveling 30,000 miles an hour passing by closer then the moon’s orbit. The media was all over the story, yet astronomers knew it posed no threat to earth.
The asteroid served as a useful reminder. The earth got hit in the past, as recently as the Tunguska event in 1908. The Tunguska event devastated an unpopulated region of Siberia with the force of an atomic bomb.
Thankfully today we can track asteroids. If we spot one, we can determine if it might hit earth decades before its arrival. In that time it would be fairly easy to divert such an object with current technology. We already crashed probes into asteroids, no problem. We are safe from asteroids…as long as we are not caught by surprise.
Yet, the greatest prophecy of all time predicts a large asteroid will create an extinction level event, similar to what wiped out the dinosaurs. I feel the bible’s Book Of Revelation accurately describes such an event. The accuracy of this vision is scary. Thousands of years ago nobody had an inkling meteoroids existed let alone an asteroid. Rocks falling from the sky? Impossible!
The trick to understanding the bible’s final chapter is to realize it is not in sequential order; it jumps back and forth describing the same event several times. The sixth chapter begins with a description of the consequence of an asteroid strike.
Example, chapter 6: “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.”
That sounds like the aftermath of an asteroid strike. The earth shakes and debris is thrown into the atmosphere darkening the sky. I like the imagery of the sky receding like a scroll as rolling clouds of debris gradually cover the planet.
Check this out: “Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.”
It sounds like the world’s leaders will head for their underground shelters. It seems the kings of the earth will be well aware of the approaching asteroid. But they won’t do anything to stop it! Why?
Look at chapter 8, which repeats chapter 6, but with more detail:
“The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”
“The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”
“The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.”
Fascinating. The key to this prophecy is…”something like a huge mountain, all ablaze was thrown into a sea”.What else could a flaming mountain be other then an asteroid or comet falling in the ocean causing a worldwide earthquake and throwing up fiery debris that burns much of the planet, poisons the waters and obscures the sun.
This horrible fate could be avoided if we watched the skies. It is always possible an asteroid might surprise us, but not if we are diligent. We have NASA’s Near Earth Object Program watching the skies for such dangers.
Yet bible prophecy clearly suggests we will stop looking. The only way an extinction-sized asteroid could hit earth is if we stop paying attention. Why would we do something so foolish? What could make us take our eyes off the skies?
You know, we have to balance the budget. America is struggling with massive government fiscal deficits. Who worries about asteroids? Politicians want to cut spending, and that includes NASA. I imagine one of the first places to cut federal spending will be with astronomy.
According to the bible, the “big one”‘ will certainly hit us one day, and it can only happen if the small government crowd succeeds in ending our watchfulness of the skies. Yes, we have to cut the budget. Who worries about asteroids or the end of the world?
I know someone who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He told me a story, which sounded like folklore, but he insisted this actually happened to his uncle. My acquaintance said his uncle was a real son-of-a-bitch. His uncle was not a nice guy, but a womanizer and a drinker and he would tangle with anyone who looked at him the wrong way.
Long ago, his uncle was walking down an empty rural road towards his home in his Puerto Rican village. His uncle was alone on the road with only the moon to accompany him. Then he saw a something very strange. A light appeared on the road, which started to follow him. It came closer and closer.
Now this part is hard to believe, but the uncle said he saw a fiery demon, a devil with hooves and horns, all enveloped in fire. It chased him, and he ran as if his life depended it. The flaming demon continued to chase him and he didn’t look back until he finally did. The fiery demon was gone.
My friend said the fiery demon was a part of local Puerto Rican folklore. This devil would carry a whip and chase the wicked to chastise them. I told him this sounded like a boogeyman designed to scare children into behaving themselves. However, assuming his uncle actually did encounter something, what exactly did his uncle see? Was this sinner actually chased by the devil? That is what the villagers assumed. But what really happened?
I wonder if his uncle was wandering past a marsh or swamp? There is a well known phenomena commonly called the will-o-the-wisp, or corpse candles, ghost orbs, spook lights and so on. There are instances when a luminance appears in the dark. Did the uncle, perhaps drunk, witness flaming swamp gas? That sounded like the easy answer. Yet, he said the light followed him, even chased him. That is a telling detail.
How about ball lightning? Ball lightning is an anomalous phenomenon that is still in dispute but seems real enough. Ball lightning in motion could appear to have followed the uncle. The superstitious might imagine such a mysterious light would be explained by their folklore…a flaming devil.
Or earth lights? It is thought that stresses underground, minor fault lines grinding against each other, can create atmospheric lights called earth lights. Again, there is no solid evidence earth lights exist.
Another option was what the uncle experienced was real paranormal activity. If not the literal devil, perhaps a spirit nevertheless. Below is a video of an orb from the Black Forest in Colorado. Imagine encountering this on a lonely road. I could see how someone might imagine the devil is chasing them.