Category Archives: Paranormal

Excerpt of Forthcoming Book

Rachel Blackstone’s Greatest Challenge Yet

Anasazi Medium: A Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery  is due out in January 2020.

(Copyright 2019 by G G Collins)

They ate in silence for a few minutes. It tasted like the best meal Rachel had ever eaten. Everything always tasted better, the sun looked brighter and the birds sang sweeter after a close call. She could feel the adrenaline losing its punch as she came down and began to feel tired.

“Where did the yellow water come from?” Chloe asked.

“No clue, but I’m going to find out. I got a sample on the way home.”

“Rachel, that’s great. What made you think of that?”

“Something’s very wrong,” Rachel said. “First the bird kills, the otherworldly appearance in my backyard, his prediction, the deaths of the university officials, and now being in the right place at the right time to rescue Anna. And there is the ever growing Dog Star.

“My understanding is the yellow water and fish kill is another sign of the impending end of the fourth world.”

They were thoughtful for a few minutes.

“Rachel, I wonder,” Chloe said. “Should we visit the Valles Caldera? Is there anything we could learn there?”

“I think there might be,” Rachel said thoughtfully. “The last time I was there I did an interview for the Longmire TV series coverage, back when they were filming the series in New Mexico. We ran several stories on that production. The Valles Caldera was used as Sheriff Longmire’s ranch location.”

“Quite a drive from the Las Vegas where they filmed the downtown and sheriff’s office scenes,” Chloe said.

“Yes, I know. I drove to both sets for the interviews and again to Madrid and the Mine Shaft Tavern that was used as the Red Pony bar.”

“I hated when that series ended,” Chloe said.

“Yup, me too. Seems like the good shows always end too soon.”

“And Supernatural is ending,” Chloe added. “Don’t know what we’ll do without Sam and Dean to guide us on these, uh, mystical excursions.”

“At least they got 15 years,” Rachel said. “Longmire only got six.”

Rachel changed the subject.

“You know, I’ve had those herb plants sitting on my back porch all summer. I think after what happened today, I’d like to do a little gardening.”

“You want help?” Chloe asked.

Rachel raised an eyebrow in question. She’d never seen Chloe plant any of her gardens.

“Well, I could ask my gardener if he would have time to plant it for you.”

Rachel grinned.

“No, but thank you for the offer. I think I need to do something physical.”

“Okay,” Chloe said. “I’m going to check in at the office, see if anything critical is a foot and then go home to a hot bath and a glass of wine.”

“Do you think they will still grow?” Rachel asked.

“What?”

“The herbs.”

“Sure, everything but the parsley will likely come back in the spring. Sometimes my parsley even overwinters,” Chloe said. “Of course, as you so generously pointed out I don’t cultivate my own so my gardener may have secrets to plant longevity that I don’t know.”

“I just can’t see anything else dead for awhile,” Rachel choked.

“I know,” Chloe said and hugged her friend. “Seeing those dead men will haunt us both for a long time. Go get your hands dirty and forget about today.

“I’ll let myself out.” Chloe was gone in a whirl of her long dark hair.

Chile Pod had finished her dinner and was glazing out the kitchen window at a bird picking at the remnants left on the ground from the feeder.

“You stay there. You can watch me plant the herb bed.” Rachel grabbed a jacket off the hook near the door and went into the evening air.

She’d bought the herb plants in spring and somehow she never got around to planting them, but somehow remembered to douse them with water several times a week. There just never seemed to be a good time. Now the leggy plants were root bound. Rachel hoped she could save them.

During the spring she had bricks delivered. In a fit of energy, she had turned the soil, laid the bricks in a 6-foot square and mulched it. In the meantime, deadlines came and went. Time passed without planting the herbs.

Because she had mulched the garden all she had to do was push the organic matter away, dig a hole and add the plants. First, Rachel took a knife and cut the roots back as she remembered her father doing when she was a kid. It would help the roots grow in a more normal way. She planted lavender and then added rosemary, thyme, oregano and fennel.

With that done, Rachel picked up the bucket against her house and brought it to the garden. Inside were an assortment of stones and crystals she had collected for the past several years. She placed each among the herbs; a river stone here, a quartz there and a lovely piece of petrified wood.

When it was all watered in, Rachel went inside the house and came back with several gazing balls in purple, blue and red crackled colors. In the center of the herb bed she placed a stand and added the larger purple gazing ball. She positioned the smaller ones on the ground and stood back to survey her handiwork.

Satisfied and feeling better, she headed back inside. Before she reached the safety of the backdoor, a wolf howled. Rachel was now recognizing the various warnings that Kiyiya made to alert her. This howl was an announcement, not an urgent warning.

Rachel stopped immediately, her pulse quickened and her breath turned to fog as the temperature dropped. Once again, the rattling sound commenced, the vapors seemingly came from nowhere and formed into a column. She had no idea who or what to expect. Would it be the Native American she met most recently or someone or something altogether different?

Within a couple of minutes, it was the Native who stepped from the fog. Rachel braced herself and waited.

Again, he spoke in a language she didn’t understand, but the words appeared in her mind in English.

“The blue star grows in the sky,” he pointed.

“I know,” Rachel replied. “What I don’t know is who or what is causing it?”

“The evil men.”

“Who are the evil men? What are they doing to cause the star to grow?” Rachel asked.

“I do not know them,” he said. “They are of this time. Not of mine.”

“Do you know what they are doing that is wrong?”

“Taking from our land.”

This wasn’t going well. There was a lot of time and space between them. Rachel didn’t know if she could span the centuries. She tried to keep her words simple to enhance his comprehension.

“I’ve been looking for these men, but haven’t found them. I’ve looked to see where…where work is being done. I’ve checked for mining and drilling permits.”

“I don’t understand,” he said.

“I’m sorry. It’s when men remove earth by digging into the ground.” He nodded with some understanding.

“I’ve been trying to uncover what these men are doing along with two friends who are helping me. And I think that two men were killed who may have known what I need to know.”

The man was silent for several minutes. Rachel thought he was about to disappear leaving her in more confusion.

“Do your powers take you to the Land of the Dead?” he asked.

That took her off guard.

“I…I” she stammered. “I don’t know.”

“You must talk with the Skeleton Man.”

“How can I do that? I don’t know how.” Rachel asked.

“You have friends in spirit?” he said as though having inside knowledge.

“Uh, yes.” As far as Rachel knew that would be one spirit. The Hopi shaman, Joseph, who had helped her before.

“You should talk with spirit,” the Native said. “Time grows…” He searched for the word. “Short.  Everyone will die.”

“I understand, but I don’t know what to do,” Rachel felt panic seeping into her soul.

“You must talk with the Skeleton Man.” He faded from her view in a whiff of smoke.

Read the entire series: Click on the book.

    

Paranormal Investigation

Paranormal Investigation: Come Along, If You Dare

by G G Collins          Copyright 2019

To protect the anonymity of the investigators and their group, names have been omitted.

The theatre is in total darkness as six people grope their way through the former playhouse. Abandoned instruments stand quietly on stage as if waiting for ghostly musicians. The five members of this paranormal investigative team and this reporter carry flashlights, cameras and a variety of measuring tools to check everything from temperature to electromagnetic fields. It will be a long night. Paranormal investigations begin around 9PM and usually end in the wee hours of the morning. The hours between midnight and 3AM are the most active so an infrared camcorder must be in place to catch energies which may appear as orbs or mists of light. One investigator watches the monitor in the outer lobby as the camera rolls.

Camaraderie is abundant and I was given unlimited access to the investigation which became quite exciting as camera flashes began to strobe the thick gloom. Shouts of “I’m in” and “I’m out” indicate that a participant is taking shots. Any sounds made from a stumble or impact with furniture is acknowledged so it may be culled from the data later on.

It has been reported that a director of a play, back in the theatre’s prime, died during a performance. Will his spirit honor us with his presence? All souls are welcome tonight. We patrol the theatre from back to front, over the stage, and behind the curtains looking for cold spots and other indications that energy, physical or metaphysical, exists. At times the EMF meters (including mine) screech like Geiger counters over radioactive matter. Then the deliberation: Is it electronic equipment, plumbing or a water source far beneath the building? If all those things can be ruled out, then things get real interesting. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Bump in the Night

It begins when something goes bump in the night. We’ve all experienced an unexplained noise or odor that we generally dismiss as nothing. Although it’s very unusual to see a true apparition, reports of sightings continue. If mysterious things create conditions in homes or offices that interfere with normal daily living it may be time to call a paranormal investigation team.

The founder of the team had her first brush with the paranormal when she was taking Polaroid photos where she worked.

“I got an apparition on film. I said, ‘Oh my, I think I’ve got a ghost.’”

That wasn’t the only strange thing to happen that day. When she loaded a new cartridge all the pictures came flying out. They were blood red. Polaroid’s usually come out grey.

It turns out a woman had been murdered at her place of employment and with that in mind she went to the internet for information. She found the woman’s photo in the obits. The murder victim had long hair and was wearing a striped shirt just as the apparition appeared in her own photo.

As if this wasn’t enough, doors slammed spontaneously and her business cards would disappear. She found them stuck between the pages of her calendar.

“I thought my crew was playing a trick on me.” They weren’t.

By then, she had more than a casual interest and reached out to others involved in investigating the paranormal. She joined a ghost club in another city because at that time there wasn’t a group where she lived.

“I was with them for a year and they said I needed to start my own team—and (my city) needed a team.”

The new team became a reality within a few months. Other members include a historian with a master’s degree in history, doctorate level work in history and anthropology. Other members have varied backgrounds including one with a master’s degree in psychology.

Tools of the Trade

When the team goes into a structure to investigate what might be paranormal phenomena it is done with permission of the owner and an arsenal of equipment: recorders, electromagnetic field detectors or EMFs, infrared night shot camcorders, temperature meters to check for cold and hot spots, 35 mm digital cameras—and open minds.

First, a baseline of conditions such as temperature, humidity and moon phase are recorded. Later, readings repeated for verification. Cameras are set up at different locations for correlation. If one camera catches something that the others did not, it’s significant.

Photos reveal paranormal energy in different ways: Orbs or “glowies,” mists and vortices that appear as a white line through a photo. Once readings are completed it is time for the sit-down. The team remains quiet during that period and allows the equipment to do its job.

“If there’s an underground water source and the EMF meter is going off, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a ghost present. We look for any man-made sources first and any explanation we can find because we don’t want to harm the credibility of our group. We don’t want to fake it.”

Extensive interviews are done with clients prior to scheduling an investigation to learn as much about the history of the location as possible. That way, conclusions are reached with as many facts as possible.

Investigations take place in the overnight hours because that is when the activity is most likely to occur.

“There are lots of theories on why that is,” the founder says. “It could be the dew. Water is a conductor of energy. It could be the moon phase. It’s not real conclusive at this point.”

Light interferes with the process so all lighting is switched off. It’s easier to conduct testing at night because there is less evidence contamination with the outside world.

Invisible Friend?

The leader of the team is psychic and thus she becomes another tool in determining authenticity of possible paranormal incidents.

“Animals and children are very sensitive, so when your child walks up to you and says, ‘I’m going to go play with the little boy in my room’ and things of that nature you should pay attention.” Visual and auditory manifestations are very rare. Odors are the most common type of haunting. “That’s why it’s helpful to have someone who is clairvoyant.”

Unfriendly Ghost

It was in an abandoned, and creepy, hospital in another state an investigation became frightening. An entity is present in that building and likely evil.

“He gives off feelings of nausea, dizziness, and fear. If he preys on you, you know it. On the second night (of the investigation) we went into a lab area where we felt very strong energy. We set our recorder down and said, ‘Is anybody here who would like to join us? We’re open to that.’” Asking permission is one of the proprieties of this team. It’s respectful.

The two team members were using an external mic. It is helpful in that it doesn’t reproduce grinding noises from the recorder motor.

“It sounded like somebody sat down on the microphone. Everything on the tape from there is mush. It’s all muffled. We sat there a few minutes. We could feel something was there with us.”

They asked: ‘Would you like to talk with us?”

After a few more seconds they sensed it was time to leave. They bolted, leaving the recorder behind.

During an investigation in a structure that used to be an orphanage they felt the presence of some children and a female.

“We did get an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) of a woman singing. We kept hearing noises in the next room. We’d go into that room and investigate and there would be a noise in the next room. It kept avoiding us. We picked up a voice on our recorder saying, ‘I don’t care!’ It was none of us.” Voices of men arguing were also taped.

The team uses a computer program that filters out white noise and static. A clearer, more definitive tape is the result. The program also allows members to measure and profile their own voices so they can be identified.

During an investigation in another theatre things got far spookier. An opera singer reportedly haunts the building. Footsteps and other noises have been reported as have moving objects. It has been recounted that atrocities were conducted in the basement during a riot.

Who You Gonna Call?

What should the average person do if they fear a haunting? First, try to rule out a man-made cause. If you can’t, don’t go any further on your own. It’s not recommended that you try Ouija boards or séances as these could make the situation worse.

When looking for an investigative team, pick one that doesn’t sensationalize their findings or anger the entities in your home if you have them. Check for a professional association who specializes in paranormal research.The serious paranormal investigation teams have bylaws and regulations they follow.

“We have very strict protocol to make sure all our data is clean and we collect it in a controlled environment,” the founder says. “You have to wear your camera strap or take it off. All long hair has to be pulled back in a ponytail so hair doesn’t get in front of the camera and look anomalous. No reflective jewelry is allowed. No perfume or cologne. No smoking.”

These steps help avoid contamination of the site. Personal property is respected and the team leaves nothing but footprints much like the hiker’s motto.

Skepticism is a good thing

“We have skeptics in our group. There’s a good quote: ‘To believers no proof is necessary, to the hard-core skeptics you can’t get enough proof.’ We’re skeptics. We’ve thrown out a lot of data that is probably paranormal in nature because we couldn’t correlate.”

Did we find any evidence of paranormal activity during our investigation of the theatre? At least one photo produced an orb of blue light—blue orbs are said to be angels. The team determined that the theatre contained minor energies as a result of residual energy.

“These are event ‘imprints’ that happen over and over,” she explains.

The data collected at the theatre is being evaluated. As for the director? There’s nothing to indicate he materialized this particular evening. Maybe he didn’t care for the billing.

♦  ♦  ♦

For my post on Santa Fe Ghost Stories click here: https://reluctantmediumatlarge.wordpress.com/?s=Santa+Fe+Ghost+Stories

 

Glossary of Ghostly Terms

Anomaly: A deviation from normal.

Apparition: The manifestation of a spirit which can be seen in human form or in blobs or streaks of light.

EMF: Electromagnetic Field. Readings used to determine paranormal activity.

EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena. Captures voices on tape when no obvious source can be found.

Earthbound: A spirit unable to leave the physical world. Filmmaker M Night Shyamalan explored this in The Sixth Sense.

Encounter: There are three kinds: intelligent and formerly human; residual energy left over from the past; and malevolent.

Ghoul: A demon who enjoys a meal of human flesh.

Ghost Hunt: Investigation of a reported haunting using earthly technology to record any paranormal occurrences.

Haunting: A manifestation of unexplainable phenomena.

Orb: Seen as blotches of light in photos. This energy form is frequently dismissed.

Paranormal: The unexplained.

Poltergeist: A mischievous and sometimes malevolent spirit.

Spirit: Ghost of a deceased human.

Spirit Guide: A protective spirit who is with each person since birth.

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