He saw an orb of light with his naked eye

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I visited a friend on a weekend evening.  It was a nice night, cool with a clear sky and scant breeze.  We hanged out in his backyard talking about this and that, politics and the future of America.  My friend George is very pessimistic about the future of America.  He predicts an economic collapse like what happened to Greece within the next 15 years.  Myself, I’m not quite so pessimistic.  But George is preparing for doom by stocking up on food like rice and beans that will not spoil, just in case.

As we chatted, he pointed behind me and said, “What is that?  Between the neighbor’s garage and the fence.”  Since he was pointing behind me, I had no idea; I thought maybe somebody had entered his yard.  I turned around and saw nothing.

“What is it?  What did you see?” I asked.

George replied, “I saw a light.  It lasted for a couple of seconds and was gone.  It was a ball of light.”

George was not joking; he was startled.  He got up and walked to the opposite side of the yard where he saw this light and held up arms up in a circle over his head showing the approximate size and location of this ball of light.  George saw something, but what could it have been?

Could it have been ball lightning?  There were no storms that night.  Perhaps earth lights?  There is a theory that stress deep underground where fault lines grind can create static electricity resulting in earthlights.  In folklore they have been called these ghost lights, spooklights, or the will-o’-the-wisp.  And right here in a backyard in the heart of Chicago, a ghost light was observed.  However, Chicago is not prone to earthquakes.

There is a belief that orbs could be light of an actual ghost.  Some suggest orbs that appear in photographs could be the “energy” of a ghost.  I had a camera in my car, so I got my camera to take photos of George’s yard.  Maybe I’d catch something.  I got orbs, but orbs can easily be just the flash reflecting off of dust.  However, when I showed a photo of an orb (pictured above), he said that was what he saw except by the neighbor’s garage.  He apparently saw an orb with his naked eye.

Orbs of light often precede contact with spiritual forces.  A bright cloud often precedes religious apparitions.  The UFO’s circle of light precedes contact with “aliens”.  It seems like there is an astral light which signals impending contact with spirit beings.  I asked George to be aware…he might encounter something.  He didn’t believe in such things, but he saw the light.

I also keep a set of dollar store tarot cards in my car’s glove compartment.  Just like with the camera, one never knows when I’ll need tarot cards.  I used the cards in an attempt to attract whatever George has seen to reappear.  I asked George for what the reading should be concerned with, and he suggested we return to our discussion that was taking place when the light appeared.  He wanted to know the destiny of America.  And so above is America’s reading, for what it is worth.  And a short video below caught nothing except darkness.  However, I did take the pictures in my previous post that night.  The pictures in this blog post  http://occultview.com/2012/09/20/the-dark-fairies-of-nighttime/  were taken at the same time as these photos.  In fact these “dark fairies” were taken right behind George’s chair where he sat and saw the orb of light.  Could he have seen a fairy light?

Any ghosts in the old condominium?

GHOSTS, ORBS 9 Comments »


There is an idea that ghosts haunt cemeteries or desolate, abandoned ruins. Why would a ghost want to wander such areas? Ghosts would likely haunt the location of where they died or experienced a tragedy and not where they were buried. I’d guess hospitals are likely the most haunted of places but you won’t find ghost hunters getting permission to wander hospital corridors with EMF meters.

If possible ghost enthusiasts should check out places where people die regularly. I did this recently. I went to a high-rise condominium that was built in the 1960s. Over the decades this building had a lot of older people living in it…and dying in it. Dozens of people have passed away at this place. However, the tricky part is trying to investigate the premises without drawing attention to one’s self. Who wants to get arrested for trespassing/ghost hunting?

Fortunately the hallways of this old condominium building are mostly empty. I wandered around discreetly taking pictures of the empty corridors. However, the longer I lingered the greater the chance someone would pay attention to what I was doing. My level of anxiety eventually prodded me to the sensible decision not linger for long.

Afterwards is the fun part, checking out the photos. Would anything anomalous appear in them? In one corridor I got orbs. Some consider orbs as potential manifestations of ghostly energies. Usually they’re just dust near the camera’s lens reflecting the camera’s flash. An orb has to have something special to be considered even remotely paranormal.

In this corridor I caught what appeared to be an orb in motion (pictured above). I find these intriguing. Usually an orb-in-motion is a raindrop or a bug caught in the camera’s flash. However there was no rain or insects in this hallway. Could it be dust in motion? Can’t rule that out. There is only one way to know for sure and that is to take pictures with a 3D camera. If an orb or apparition appears in 3D, then we have something. Otherwise we are wasting time. It is time for ghost enthusiasts (myself included) to put away the digital camera and invest in a digital 3D camera.

SEANCE ORBS

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Seance Orbs

Seance Orbs

On Halloween Eve, this Saturday night before Halloween I visited some friends.  In the spirit of the holiday I suggested an impromptu informal seance.  My friends were a bit hesitant at first but I convinced them. 

After midnight we lit a candle dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel.  We held hands and spoke with the departed, those we knew who had recently passed away.  Mostly it was ourselves expressing our feelings concerning those who had died, sharing our memories.  If the dead could actually hear us is anyone’s guess.  But I wouldn’t discount it.  The holding of hands is the essence of what a seance is about; the rest is window dressing.  There is something about the shared experience that gives the seance its significance.

Tarot cards used in seance

Tarot cards used in seance

Afterwards I did some tarot card readings, which I also feel is an effective tool for contacting the spirit world.  I read the cards rarely.  My personal experience is the more I use them the less effective they become.  However Halloween Eve is a great time for tarot readings!

When we had finished, I took some pictures.  One never knows if we will capture something.  I randomly took pictures all around.  The next day I checked out my photos, and I saw something.  A few orb photos.  In general orbs in photos don’t mean anything; they are the flash reflecting off of dust or such.  But in this case I caught orbs in the same general location, which was curious.  I combined them into an animated gif and the result was interesting, as shown above.  It feels like the orb is moving, perhaps having passed through the wall, and was now…hovering.  Was this orb a visitor to our seance?  Could it be a spark of life force that remained?  Or just dust?

Large Seance Orb

Large Seance Orb

Forest Home Cemetery UAOD Druid Monument

CEMETERY, ORBS 4 Comments »
uaod-druid-monument

Forest Home Cemetery UAOD Druid Monument

In 1888 the United Ancient Order of Druids (U.A.O.D.), a fraternal order, erected a monument in the Forest Home Cemetery outside Chicago.  This cemetery, in the past know as German Waldheim Cemetery, was one of the few non-denominational cemeteries in the Chicago area, attracting an eclectic mix of graves sites, including masons, gypsies, radicals and atheists.  I revisited the UAOD monument for a closer look, wanting to examine the symbolism of the monument.

The picture above was taken from a rear view; all photos I have seen of this monument are from the face view of the druid at the top of the pillar.  You can see the concentric rings in the form of stone logs surrounding the monument.  Within the rings are gravestones, which I assume were members or family of members of the fraternity.  Several stones around the monument have Masonic symbols on it, as pictured below.

mason-gravestone-symbols

Mason Gravestone Symbols

druid-monument-symbol

Druid Monument All Seeing Eye

There is an image on the pillar (pictured left), of an eye in an upside down triangle, sort of the reverse of the image of the great seal on our dollar bill, the All Seeing Eye.  Looking at the details of the druid atop the pillar, I’m not sure what the symbolism stands for.  The druid has a sickle over his right shoulder, and holds a staff with the head of a cherub at the tip.  He stands with a foot on four stacked stones.  The druid’s expression is curious…sort of melancholy.  Perhaps the druid, in empathy, is expressing the emotions of those who will visit their departed loved ones here.

druid-monument

Druid Monument

Looking at the dates of the gravestones circling the druid, nobody has been interred here for a long time.  This curious monument is a part of a history long past, an organization that may have in time become forgotten, except for this monument as a reminder.  A dramatic monument is a good way to keep their history alive when all their members are gone.  After all, I am writing about this in 2010, 122 years after it was erected.

I took many pictures of the monument with the hope a few would turn out well.  It was an intensely hot and sunny day.  In one photo below, I captured an orb.  It is a photo of the statue from the shaded side, and at first I did not notice it.  But then it caught my eye.  Orbs are almost always captured as the result of a camera’s flash reflecting off of dust or raindrops.  In the sunlight a flash was not happening.  Daylight orbs are pretty rare.  For sure it could just be an optical affect.  Yet we have bright purple orb in the shadow of the druid.  The romantic in me likes to imagine there is still a spiritual energy around this wonderful monument, and I caught a glimpse of it.

druid-monument-orb

Druid Monument Orb

An experiment in summoning ghosts and spirits

GHOSTS, ORBS 5 Comments »

 

Strange Orb

Strange Orb

A decade ago ghost hunting used to be considered a bizarre pastime.  Few people were involved in the hobby and most people never head of the concept.  Back then ghost enthusiasts were on a cutting edge with the possibility of actually discovering something new. Then TV started multiple ghost hunting series and suddenly the subculture has become mainstream.  The movie Paranormal Activity made over 100 million dollars showing how widely recognized the concept has become.  In the process there seems to be less activity with the amateur community, many who have lost interest and left “ghosting” behind.

The difficult part in trying to record paranormal phenomena is finding a genuine haunting.  Spirits come and go, and a location with a reputation for being haunting one decade may no longer be haunted another decade.  Spirits of the dead may linger for a short time after their death, but a long-term haunting is really rare.  If someone encounters a true spirit once or twice in a lifetime they are lucky. 

I suspect the world is filled with temporary ghosts, as nearly everybody who dies will have a brief period of time when their spirit is earthbound before they depart the physical world forever.  I’d guess a hospital would be filled with such spirits.  However, most spirits don’t have the capacity to interact with the physical and let their presence be known.  Only those who are sensitives may notice signs of their presence.  Most of us would be oblivious if a ghost stood next to us.

Sometimes a spirit may be so attached to the physical world they refuse to let go.  Terrible tragedies, extreme emotional states, unfinished earthly business, or deep regrets can trap a soul.  It they are able to retain a connection to this world, they become that rare thing…a ghost.

necromany

Necromancy

For the ghost enthusiasts the lack of ghosts is a hindrance to the hobby.  However, if the world is filled with temporary ghosts, instead of trying to find the ghost, why not invite the ghost to visit us instead?  This could have a higher (albeit still slim) chance at success then walking around cemeteries at night.

In the distant past sorcerers would try to contact the dead with necromancy.  Necromancers would use ceremonial magic, elaborate rituals using magic circles inscribed on the floor to protect the operator from hostile spirits.  Eventually these involved rituals were abandoned for a more direct method to contact the dead…spiritualism.  Mediumship and channeling came into fashion.  Seances, Ouija boards, and automatic writing replaced the old style necromancy.

If we want to photograph the souls of the dead, why not ask them to appear for us?  How to accomplish that?  Many methods could be tried.  I’ll relate my own experiment at summoning the spirits of the dead.

1.  The timing

the-witching-hour

The Witching Hour

Awhile ago I visited a friend on a Saturday evening. My friend and I decided to try summoning any wandering spirit to join us late night.  Timing is very important when it comes to summoning spirits. It was 2 am, the perfect time for this operation.  It is said that during the “witching hour” the spirits have a highest capability to manifest their presence.  It is suggested spirits are somehow able to manipulate electromagnetism, explaining much of ghostly phenomena.  The Earth’s electromagnetic field is at its quietest point opposite the sun during the dead of night.  Less “static” allow ghosts to interact with the physical world. 

In addition, late night is a time when the environment turns quiet.   Most people are asleep, or preparing for slumber.  Importantly, there is less distraction for the attention of wandering spirits.  With less going on late at night it is easier to attract the notice of a passing lost soul.  The point is to be the only game in town.

2.  Choosing the place

It is assumed that cemeteries are the best place to encounter ghosts.  I doubt that.  The dead tend to dwell at the places they knew in life.  If we were spirits, why would we want to stand around a desolate cemetery without anything to do?  If a known haunted location is not available, the best place to summon the dead would be in a populated area.  It makes sense, since cities and towns are where most people pass away, sometimes tragically.  The chance of someone dead being close by is pretty good.

Our experiment took place in the backyard of a crowded city neighborhood home.  By day this residential city neighborhood was busy but late at night it became very quiet. The backyards were fairly sizeable and all were empty that night.  We were alone and it almost felt like we were in a rural area.

3.  Attracting the dead’s attention

A spirit may be in a semi-somnambulant state, half conscious and vaguely aware of its surroundings…drifting imprisoned unable to free itself.  But if a ghost has retained a sufficient measure of consciousness, it will be an observer of its surroundings.  What strikes its interest will attract its attention…and presence. 

I wonder if the point of elaborate magic rituals is simply to attract attention to its self.  Rituals for attracting spirits often included ceremonial costumes, masks, drumming, dancing or unusual physical movements and proclamations.  If we were walking by and saw people engaged in a weird ritual, we would want to stop and see what was going on.  So it is for the spirit world. 

We decided to use music to attract spiritual attention.  What music would work best?  Since the dead tend to be older people, and since a ghost remains among the living usually for tragic reasons, we played the Blues.  Muddy Waters in particular.  In the quiet of the night, if a soul passed by they would hear blues in the distance…and might want to see what was going on.

4. The invitation and an offering

As we sat listening to the music, we would talk to any invisible presence and invite them to stay with us.  We welcomed all who wished to share our music and our company.  We set aside a spot at the table for any invisible visitors.  There was an empty chair with a drink sitting there as if it were waiting for someone.  An offering is important, and is a part of many ceremonial rituals.  A spirit cannot partake of the physical substance, but it can remind them of what it was like in life.

A proper, respectful attitude is required.  If this is attempted in jest, like a big joke, don‘t expect results.  One should open their mind and accept the possibility.  The dead may want to contact you and it takes a heightened sense of awareness to perceive clues to their presence.  If we are perceptive, we’ll notice something.  It could be a sudden cold spot, a tingling, a feeling that someone is beside you.  How far you want to open your mind to communicate with spirits is a personal choice.

 5.  Recording

It will become time to capture any results from the summoning, depending on your equipment.  Eventually I began to take pictures, after a polite request to any unseen visitors for their indulgence.  If someone wanted they could use a digital recorder for any EVPs, or set up a camcorder and just let it record. 

Summoning Orbs

Summoning Orbs

On a chilly autumn night we tried our experiment.  We invited any wandering spirit to hang out with us.  I took a number of photos and caught an orb that seemed to float around in different photos (images shown at the top and bottom of this page).  My friend felt a presence behind him and asked me to quickly take his picture.  I took two pictures in sequence and sure enough there was an orb right beside him and behind his head.  The orb in motion is intriguing.  Ghosts or just a trick of the camera? Either way it was an uncanny coincidence.  I’d like to imagine a friendly entity spent some time with us that night.

big-orb

CHRISTMAS GHOST ORBS

GHOSTS, ORBS 6 Comments »
Santa's Christmas Orbs

Santa's Christmas Orbs

Above are pictures taken at a Christmas party in a previous year, combined into an animated image.  That is I in the Santa suit.  And swirling around the Christmas tree are a bunch of orbs.  An invasion of holiday spirit orbs!

Sometimes I get drafted to be the Santa.  And drafted is the right word because it gets hot and uncomfortable wearing that suit.  Being Santa is not easy; it takes more then a hearty “HO HO HO”.  Beforehand I ask the parents for a list of who has been naughty or nice for the children so I can praise each child for doing something nice, or become a disapproving Santa if the parents need Santa’s help with their behavior.  It is a clever trick and the young children are shocked when Santa actually knows their stuff.

Under the Hot Santa Suit

Under the Hot Santa Suit

Back to the photos; the pictures above of Santa have orbs.  Orbs in a picture really don’t prove anything paranormal.  Orb photos are a dime a dozen.  However, there were several pictures taken with orbs, one after the other.  Combined as an animated GIF, I was surprised to see what appeared to be the motion of the orbs.  They seem to be circling the center of activity.  Curious.

Let’s play with the possibility these orbs could actually be genuine spirits, ghosts visiting this home a few days before Christmas.  Where did they come from and why where they here?

These photos were photographed at a home which was practically a new house.  There should be no reason this residence would be haunted; there wasn’t any history to warrant that.  So why are these orbs there, again on the remote chance these were reflections of the spirit world?  I have a couple of theories.

First idea…one of the children may be the cause of the effect.  There is an idea children are the cause of the mysterious poltergeist phenomena.  Perhaps one of these children is the source or a magnet for paranormal activity.   Could a child’s emotional state, when encountering the famous Santa, create paranormal manifestations?

A second theory is possible.  From personal experience I believe in wandering spirits.  There are ghosts of the dead, restless and wandering the earth, who are not attached to a surrounding as most ghosts are reputed to do.  Such wandering ghosts would react like the living and be attracted to festivities.  Imagine ourselves as a ghost, and how we would behave if we were invisible and immaterial.  Ghostly passer-by’s might have seen a party and joined in. I think this happens far more often then anybody imagines.  If such was the situation, wandering ghosts are harmless and they’d soon move on elsewhere.

Shaman used to wear ceremonial costumes to attract the attention these wandering spirits.  Something out of the ordinary was used to catch the eye of spirits like colorful costumes, ceremonial dancing, and drumming.  Perhaps my Santa suit did the exact same thing.  Shaman Santa!

Can an orb in a photo actually be a spirit?

ORBS 5 Comments »
Halloween Party Orb

Halloween Party Orb

interesting-orbOrbs can be the result of many things; a camera’s flash reflecting off dust, raindrops or some shiny surface.  Yet from my experience, on rare occasions an orb could be something more, perhaps the reflection of an invisible energy, or even paranormal.  Is it possible to tell if an orb is natural or that rare instance of the paranormal?

It would be great if there were some clues that might hint an orb is more then just an orb.  There are many clues when an orb is a trick of the camera.  A strong clue orbs are only natural are when many orbs appear in a photo.  That is very likely a cloud of dust at work.  Take a flash photo in the rain and you’ll see for yourself.  If a reflective surface is reflecting the flash, guess what, that orb is nothing.

If detecting natural orbs are fairly easy, is it possible to assess if an orb is more then natural?  That is tricky.  Most orbs seem to be flat, pale and “lifeless” and so they are.  The more intriguing orbs seem to have a feeling of solidity to them.  Even at best nothing is ever really conclusive.  The best, maybe only clue is the context in which the orb appears.  What is happening at the time and what is its significance? 

halloween-orbHere are examples of orbs that seem interesting even if they are only tricks of the camera, taken at a Halloween party at a nightclub.  There are so many possible sources of reflection that nothing can be trusted.  Yet examples with interesting patterns emerge. 

In the photo above it looks like somebody is pointing at the orb…only coincidence?  Then there is an orb that seems too symmetrical with concentric circles.  Finally a jolly green giant has an orb over his shoulder.  It is hard to imagine these orbs are anything other then an optical effect.  Yet in my imagination I like the idea spirits visited a costume party.

At the bottom is an orb taken at daytime in a cemetery.  This cemetery had a reputation for haunting.  Orbs taken without a flash in the light of day are pretty hard to catch.  Daylight orbs get my attention.  Another intriguing clue would be if an orb were partly covered by something so that it could not be an optical effect.  Then again anybody could digitally manipulate any photo, so nothing can be trusted unless we took the picture ourselves.  In the end encountering the paranormal is really a personal experience. 

Daylight Cemetery Orb

Daylight Cemetery Orb

Did mother visit us after her death?

ORBS 18 Comments »
An orb over mom's favorite couch

An orb over mom's favorite couch

Since my mother passed away,  I’ve been wondering how much I should write about her death.  It is appropriate for someone to discuss such a personal event in a blog?  This question especially comes up when I have some pictures.  Yet, I think exploring the possibility of existence after death is something important for everyone.

My mom had her favorite place to sit at home.  It was a comfortable couch in my parent’s living room.   She would sit in the same spot listening to the radio or watching television.  When I stopped by to visit, I often saw mom sitting on her couch.  When she got ill, she spent most of her time on the couch, even napping on it.  Finally, my mom could not get up off the couch without help.  When my dad could not help her anymore he had her taken to the hospital.   After a short time in the hospital, she died of her cancer. 

Sitting Orb

Sitting Orb

As the days went by I tried to spend as much time as I could with my dad to comfort him.  One such time I brought my camera with me.  I thought to myself…could mom still be around watching over us?  Both mom and dad knew about my blog devoted to alternative spirituality and the paranormal.  Mom would ask about my blog.   She did not know much about computers and the idea of a blog didn’t make much sense to her, but she was interested.  I thought maybe mom wouldn’t mind if I tried to get a picture of her, if she chose to visit home after her death.

I took some pictures around the house, mostly at the places she spent most of her time.  To my amazement, I caught images of orbs around her favorite couch (picture above).   Now, in themselves orbs don’t prove anything as there are many natural explanations for them.  But sometimes it seems as if orbs can be a manifestation of an invisible energy.  The merit of such photography depends on the context.  Capturing these orbs where my mother used to sit sent a chill up my spine. 

Orb by brother

Orb by brother

My brother entered the room, and I took his picture.  Then I asked mom, if she were around, to give my brother a hug.  I took another picture and now it had an orb right beside him.  I immediately showed the image to my brother, who normally scoffed at such nonsense, and even he was taken aback by that.  Here is that picture.

Was my mom still at home, watching over us, before her decision to depart the world forever?  Her family and home were her life, and if she did linger, home would have been the place.  Not long afterwards, my father had a personal experience.  While he was in the basement working on his PC (and wide awake), he saw a moving column of bright light accompanied by a powerful scent of lavender and flowers.  The scent reminded him of the perfume my mom wore as a young lady.  He was a skeptic before, but not so much now. I don’t know if these pictures really mean anything, but I like the idea they might.  

As I post this today, it has been one month since my mom died.  Below is a picture of mom on her couch during happier times.  I miss her.

My mom during happier times

My mom during happier times

Orbs in strange places

ORBS 4 Comments »
Chicago's Field Museum Orbs

Chicago's Field Museum Orbs

Orbs taken in photography are sometimes thought to be the result of paranormal forces.  It is easy to believe in this when we capture orbs at a cemetery or a supposedly haunted house.  It confirms our suspicions!  But what about when we capture intriguing orbs in the strangest of places?  For instance, a strange place to photograph an orb would be a tourist spot.  Here are some pictures of orbs that I caught in very public places.  If these same orbs were photographed at some mysterious destination, we might be willing to suspend disbelief and think something odd is going on.   Take away the mystery and we only have optical effects.

Above is an orb photographed at a balcony in Chicago’s Field Museum of National History.  The two images were taken within seconds of each other and you can see the people below walked a few steps.  One picture is normal.  The next picture…ORBS!   Amazing!   Astounding! Is the museum haunted?  The idea appeals to me since a museum is full of old bones and mummies and ancient artifacts.  Sort of like the “Night at the Museum” movies.  Nah, I don’t think so.  Still, maybe a museum of history is not the best example.

How about the Chicago Auto Show?  Below is a pair of photos taken at the McCormick Place convention center where the annual Auto Show is held.   Vivid blue orbs!  Well, is the Chicago Auto Show haunted?  That’s really hard to imagine.

If we look at all our family photos, and look carefully for orbs, we’ll see an orb here and there.  They are not overly common, but they are not really rare either.  I still believe it is possible for an orb to be a reflection of the paranormal.  How do we tell if the rare orb might actually be something more then an optical effect?  I think the only way to even guess is the context of the situation.  Does something else happen along with the orb being photographed?  An example would be if an orb responded to a verbal command. 

Otherwise orbs don’t prove anything.  For ghost enthusiasts, photographing an orb is fun.  To never photography anything would take the steam out of the hobby.  Thinking maybe we photographed the real deal keeps the imagination wondering.

Chicago Auto Show Orbs

Chicago Auto Show Orbs

Ghost hunting at a Victorian antique shop apartment

CHICAGO, GHOSTS, ORBS 17 Comments »

 

Orb at the floor

Orb at the floor

I will recount a genuine ghost hunt.  For ghost enthusiasts the chance to investigate a true haunting is very rare.  It really is a privilege.  Most famous, publicly known hauntings have ceased being haunted long ago.  Nearly every haunting is a private affair and rarely attracts any attention outside of the individuals involved.  I got a chance at a combination of both.  I think these are important stories and need to be recorded.

It was March of 2002.  Jamie was a ghost enthusiast, and he invited me on what we loosely call an investigation.  I use the term “enthusiast” instead of “ghost hunter” because ghost hunting suggests a professional enterprise, and there is no such thing.  I believe there are no experts concerning the topic of ghosts.  We can only hope to be at the right place at the right time. 

In Jamie’s words, “Well the tentative ghost hunt I mentioned is on. We have a location. It’s at a private location with the owner’s permission near the former site of Victorian house antique shop. Victorian house is a well known haunted spot with lots of activity. I am going to contact the owners of the Victorian house and see if I can get permission to get in there too. The house now is standing vacant. If anyone is interested in going. I require an rsvp on this one and a debriefing as it is at a private site.  Jamie”

This supposedly haunted location was a Victorian style building near downtown Chicago, an antique shop that has long since been closed.  It had a reputation for being haunted.  The facts are hearsay.  It was built around 1880.  The story was four people died in an attic fire.  Another story concerned a woman murdered at this shop in the late 1800s.  Customers have reported hearing strange sounds and witnessed apparitions in this shop.

I met Jamie and Jason (another ghost enthusiast) and two ladies who I did not know outside the closed Victorian Antique shop.  We were not entering the actual store.  It was closed and the owners had no interest in entertaining visitors.  But the apartments opposite to this shop were a different story, and Jamie got an invitation to investigate from one of these renters.

We were invited in.  The residents of the apartment were interested in discovering what was happening.  They were experiencing a haunting phenomenon.  At first they looked at us with some skepticism.  But Jamie had a friendly, unpretentious southern demeanor that was disarming.  Right away we wanted to know their stories.  Why did they invite us here?  What was going on?

A young man and woman lived in this apartment.  Outside of their stories of odd sounds, footsteps and doors that closed by its self, I vividly recall the young lady’s story.  Late one night the lady of the apartment got up from her bed and went into the kitchen, and she was absolutely startled to see a man sitting at her kitchen table.  She was stunned.  He was smoking a cigarette, and he seemed very depressed, with his head was laid low.  He looked up at her sadly…and vanished.  She was unnerved by this experience, seeing a stranger in her apartment.  Except she had experienced other unseen people existing in this apartment.  She called him the “sad one”.  There were others.  She said that this spirit was not associated with the others…not popular.  The other spirits hanged together. 

Intrigued, we took out our cameras.  Jason had an EMP device.  Myself I preferred a film camera figuring a film’s negative offered physical evidence.  Jamie had his digital camera and right way he caught orbs.   Orbs are frowned on, and properly so.  Most orbs are nothing, yet they are not easy to get…random chance. But when we are in a haunting situation and orbs are photographed left and right, it is time for a serious heads up.  Jamie showed the tenants the orbs on his digital.  The guy started off skeptical, but when he was saw these orbs on Jamie’s camera he became immediately interested in what we were doing. Maybe his girlfriend’s experiences were not only in her imagination?

Above is a photo I took of their entrance door.  There are obvious orbs by the door.  However, what I think is remarkable about this film photo is the tiny orb by the floor.  There is a small glob of light and below it is a ring of light, as if the orb actually reflected the camera’s flash on the shiny floor.  I include a picture of their cat for perspective on the reflective nature of the floor, and what I imagine was captured.  Could a flash capture the actual physical reflection of an orb?

We wandered around their apartment, with their permission, taking pictures and listening to more stories. I was attentive to the details of our “investigation”. I did not know the two ladies who joined us.  They were of the pagan faith and suggested they could talk to the dead.  Mediums.  I thought to myself…uh-huh.  Yeah right, ok whatever. On the other hand I had an open mind. 

Jason and myself both experienced cold spots.  There was no breeze whatsoever.  I looked at him and he looked at he and me said,”did you feel that?”  It was truly a physical coldness…as if something cold passed through you. Contact.  We were in the real thing…this lady’s story was not only her imagination. 

haunted-tarot-card-layoutI did my usual tarot card layout as a means to attract the attention of any spirits.  In this place it was not necessary.  The layout is still interesting. What do the cards say about this haunting?  The final card is…Death.

While the mediums were talking to the spirits us guys were doing our “scientific” guy-thing, taking pictures and measurements with EMF meters (electromagnetic radiation detectors) and recordings for EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena).  Science?  Not really.

Everybody gathered in the living room as the mediums began to talk with the lost haunted souls.  I listened carefully.  Were they the real deal or only pretenders?  The ladies said there was a terrible tragedy in the past.  And there were a number of spirits here; it was not a solitary haunting.  They also thought that not all the tragedies happened in the antique shop.  They just congregated here, and there was an anchor spirit that drew them here.

They said there were maybe five spirits present.  Three women and two men.  One of the spirits did not associate with the others.  He was in the grip of a deep personal darkness and could not move on.  Another was a young woman who was deeply in love and died.  They spoke of  one of the girl ghosts.  This ghost thought Jason was cute. They said this ghost was sitting on Jason’s lap at this very minute!  As Jason was sitting in a chair both Jamie and I caught these photos.

Orb sitting on Jason's lap

Orb sitting on Jason's lap

Jamie took a photo of an orb buy Jason’s left leg.  Jamie’s photo is remarkable. This orb seems to have physicality, like a blob.  My picture taken a few minutes afterwards shows another orb hovering by Jason.  Notice that the wall’s shadow is cast on the orb.  What the @%#@!  An orb photo becomes more then an orb photo depending on the context. 

The two ladies said we needed to free these lost souls.  They began using smudge sticks.  They lit the smudge sticks and let the smoke flow…and spoke to the lost souls…go home…go home and  “Be free.”   They talked directly to these souls asking them to let go of any hurt or tragedy. Whatever tragedies held them, don’t let any other spirit hold you back.  They went room to room with their smudging. 

We left, and I considered our ghost investigation as one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had.  It really sparked my interest in the paranormal to a new level. 

Here is what Jason wrote us afterwards:

“Hi. This is Jason. From the Victorian house. Just wanted to thank all of you for coming out to this place and sharing the knowledge and helping. That picture from the living room is amazing!!!  There can be no other explanation for those orbs! And they are exactly where she said they would be. Thanks ladies too, for sending them home.”

We have many other intriguing photos from this visit, but since they include people in them and we need to protect people’s privacy, I can’t post them. 

Here is Jamie’s ghost website, Jamie’s Chicago Gangsterland Ghost Page at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/2007/ and he has a Yahoo Group for local Chicago ghost fans, ChicagolandGhostClub

An Orb and myself in the corner

An Orb and myself in the corner