Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘paranormal’

Written by:
Wendi Friend
2006

Pale skin; full, blood-red lips; sleek black hair; long, flowing cape over formal-wear; piercing eyes; sharpened teeth – Surely, you’d recognize a vampire if you saw one, right? We know things about them too, don’t we? We know they can’t stand daylight, that they shape-shift into bats, they have psychic powers to stun their potential victims for erotic blood-drinking, that they can be put off with garlic or a crucifix, or that we can remove their eternal un-dead status with a stake through the heart, right? Wrong. While these assumptions may be proven true in works of fiction, they have not much bearing in reality. That’s right, I said reality. Modern vampires are, in fact, a reality. However, much of what we think we know about vampires, how they live and what powers they possess, are deeply steeped in fiction and not at all true in the real world of modern vampires.

What about witches – would you know one if you saw one? Surely the green skin, wart infested nose, shaggy hair, pointed boots, cone-shaped hat, and bubbling cauldron would be clues, right? Wrong. While we all love, or at least relate to, the Halloween representation of the haggard witch, this stereotype is sadly misleading, as are the beliefs about the origins of a witch’s power coming from evil, such as devil-worship.

Grouped with vampires and witches are the infamous werewolves, humans who transform to wolves during full moons. Some say these transformations are involuntary and that they take place only after one has been attacked and bitten by another werewolf. Others suggest werewolves are nothing other than witches who use drugs, herbs, and ointments in conjunction with spells to consciously transform themselves to werewolves. But can werewolves be real in our modern world? Through mental illness, physical conditions, and other circumstances, werewolves do exist in the here and now.

Vampires, witches, and werewolves are often thought to be a form of satanic followers – evil concoctions created when a person has no morals and sells their soul to the devil in exchange for phenomenal powers beyond human reach. This is a misconception founded in fiction, stretched truths, or, with all due respect, ignorance. The truth is, there are modern vampires, witches, and werewolves intermingled with us every day and we rarely recognize them. They work at our banks, our doctors’ offices; they are postal workers, school teachers, housewives, and business men. Unlike myths and legends, these very real humans are not lurking in the shadows awaiting their prey. On the contrary, some may lurk in the shadows for fear of being discovered! Because they live unconventional lifestyles that are often ridiculed due to fear and lack of understanding, these lifestyles can be quite difficult to endure!

Abraham (Bram) Stoker did a spectacular job of romanticizing the image of vampires and shrouding the lifestyle in mystery and myth. Though Bram Stoker did his homework and began his writings based on research, his creativity played a dominant role in adding elaborate mistruths to the existence of vampires. Vampires of legend are said to be un-dead and immortal. During the supposed eternal existence of the vampire, they use their supernatural powers and prowess to entice and entrap their unsuspecting prey. Once the vampire has secured their prey, they use razor sharp teeth to pierce the neck of their victim and drain the blood and life-force. This act serves not only as food for the vampire, but also as procreation as the bite of a vampire thus transforms the victim into a vampire as well. According to the fiction tales vampires are afflicted by sunlight, sleep in coffins, can shape-shift into bats, can be repelled with garlic or a cross, and can be killed with a stake through the heart. None of these characteristics are attributed to or claimed by modern vampires.

Modern vampires can be divided into two categories, as different from one another as day and night. The first type of vampire is, indeed, a blood-drinker. The second type of vampire is known as a psychic vampire who preys on the psychic energies of their victims rather than blood.

Blood drinking vampires are nothing at all like what the fiction tales have portrayed. Not to be mistaken for “goth” lifestyles, modern blood-drinking vampires can and often do appear as normal as your next door neighbor or grocery store clerk. They are born, age, and die as every other human. They require the same nutrition as other people, and can get sick with any number of illnesses from the common cold to terminal cancer, and even AIDS. In fact, AIDS and other blood-related illnesses are a serious concern for modern blood-drinking vampires.

Modern vampires do not attack unsuspecting prey, nor do they seek to kill their “donors” or “partners”. Quite the opposite, blood-drinking vampires of this age seek permission from partners and usually consume only small amounts of blood. Because of the risks involved with blood transfers, partners in blood-drinking will often responsibly seek medical screening prior to partaking in the sharing of blood. Teeth are rarely used to make puncture wounds. Instead, a small knife is used, often by the “donor”, to make a small incision from which blood can be drawn. Many modern vampires state that there’s nothing erotic or sexual in the exchange of blood, but more that the need for blood is an overbearing physical craving. Such is the lack of romance in their lifestyle, they say, that they find it difficult, if not insulting, when others desire to be “turned” into a vampire.

Modern blood-drinking vampires, in most cases, claim absolutely no supernatural or psychic abilities. Most modern vampires will not draw attention to themselves by way of elaborate formal wardrobes or “costume” appearances. More often, true vampires are discrete with their lifestyles for fear of being misunderstood or treated abnormally. This is not to presume they are ashamed, but that they feel alienated and can experience great obstacles in personal relationships and otherwise ordinary circumstances.

Psychic vampires prey not on blood, but on energy. Unlike the permission-seeking blood-drinking vampires, psychic vampires are said to draw energy from unsuspecting victims through meditation and focused intent. To psychic vampires, not “feeding” on the energy of others can result in the same way as not eating a meal, leaving them weak and tired. Psychic vampires are much more likely to express flamboyant styles in their appearance, openly displaying their hierarchy in the “energy” food chain, which can be an intimidation tactic for unnerving potential prey.

Like the misconceptions with modern vampires, modern witches are largely misunderstood and wrongly judged based on stereotypes. Most belief systems existing before the advent of Christianity are grouped into one label: Pagan. This label is unjust because so many differing belief structures and lifestyles existed before Christianity and do not deserve to be grouped with one another. The modern conception of the word “pagan” is often associated through ignorance with devil-worship. The majority of modern witches don’t believe in the existence of Satan, or a devil. Modern witches are very connected with the natural seasons and cycles of the Earth, drawing on the Earth’s resources to increase energy, develop self-actualization, and for healing purposes.

Modern witches are attuned to the earth and its seasons; they embrace the gifts of the earth such as crystals, herbs, and the elements. Likewise, modern witches align themselves with planetary movements and lunar tides. It is the solstices and full moons in the wheel of the year celebrated by witches, traditions that have lasted since before the days of Christianity. Many of today’s mainstream holidays were originally pagan celebrations, having been absorbed and modified by Christianity in the days when Christians strove to abolish the ancient rituals.

Stories and legends may portray witches as turning people into toads or casting upon them evil spells, but these stereotypes couldn’t be further from the truth. While there are sometimes a few bad apples in a crop and not all generalizations apply to all people of a certain lifestyle, witches live life by the creed, “Do as ye will an’ it harm none”. Harming none is the foundation for any action taken by a modern witch. Sadly, it is the conflict between religions hundreds of years ago that spawned many of the misconceptions, fears, and stereotypes associated with witchcraft. The symbols and tools used by modern witches, when not understood by the general public, inspire unfounded negative reactions. With a little bit of research and open perspectives, many of the reservations associated with witchcraft would cease to exist.

Werewolves, perhaps, get the worst rap of these three lifestyles because being a werewolf, in modern terms, is harder to hide, more difficult to control, and is more often than not an unwanted affliction rather than a conscious choice. Why? Modern werewolves can be divided into two categories, or conditions known as Lycanthropic Disorder and Porphyria.

Lycanthropic Disorder is a mental condition in which the afflicted believes whole-heartedly that they are part wolf although there are no physical indications. In some cases, the condition is intentionally or unintentionally drug-induced, but it can occur in people who have never used drugs or alcohol and have, until the point of affliction, been considered “normal” by all standards. Unfortunately, if a person in this condition truly believes themselves to be part wolf, they can commit crimes against humanity, including their own family, in playing out their role as the hunter seeking prey. Because this is considered to be a psychological condition, medications can be effective in treating some cases of Lycanthropic Disorder.

Porphyria, unlike the mental condition of Lycanthropic Disorder, is a variety of physical conditions that can produce werewolf-like features in an otherwise normal and healthy individual. In some cases of Porphyria, excess body hair is developed in both male and female persons; fingernails can be discolored and misshapen, causing them to seem claw-like. Porphyria can also produce skin conditions in which the color of skin appears abnormal.

Many myths and legends do stem from some element of truth, but are often twisted and contorted into misconceptions and false understandings of real life experiences, lifestyles, and conditions. We cannot shun the creatives for their role in perpetuating such stereotypes and fears, but at the same time, we must accept our own responsibility in sifting fact from fiction. Living an unconventional lifestyle is difficult enough in its own right. When the public reacts to such lifestyles in harsh ways based on fear or ignorance, it can be extremely damaging to the individual who may not have a choice in the lifestyle they’re living.

Vampires, witches, and werewolves are not (in most cases) servants of the devil, nor do they feel they have a choice in who or what or how they are. It’s not always by bite or birthright that vampires, witches, and werewolves come to be. They simply discover in time that their lifestyle and needs are what most people consider “alternative”.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Written by:
Wendi Friend

More and more, people are trying to find ways to provide scientific proof that ghosts, spirits, and elemental beings do exist in our realm. As technology advances, so do the tools used for serious ghost hunters! While some of the technology may provide adrenaline-pumping results, that same technology can be attributed to many “false” validations of supposedly haunted locations.

Let’s take a look, first, at what tools are currently being used in the field of paranormal investigators, and a bit of background information on why these tools are used. Then, we can take a more objective look at how and why some of these tools can be deceiving, and why, with all this technical advancement and “scientific investigations”, the existence of ghosts or ghostly beings has yet to be “proven”.

The most basic of tools includes:

• Pen/pencil and a notebook. This is to jot down any notes and to record details of the investigation.
• Flashlights: This one’s easy. Most paranormal investigations are done in the dark.
• Cables & extension cords: why, to plug in all the high tech gadgets, of course.
• Extra batteries, cassette tapes, and film.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Here’s the latest craze of tech tools for the paranormal investigators, “professionals” and amateurs alike:

• Digital Camera: For catching strange phenomena in still shot photos
• Standard 35mm camera: to offset shortcomings with digital results
• Video/Surveillance cameras: for recording strange movements or apparitions
• Infrared cameras for recording photos/videos in the dark
• EMF Meters: For locating fluctuations in the electromagnetic fields
• Compass: the non-digital tool of choice for locating electromagnetic field fluctuations
• Audio Recorder: for recording E.V.P.s, or Electronic Voice Phenomenon, with a special microphone for filtering out background noise
• Digital audio editing software: to analyze E.V.P.s
• Thermal Scanner: a no contact thermometer for recording temperature variations.
• Motion Detectors: to be used in rooms without human observation/interaction to detect motion where people aren’t present.
• Ion Particle Counter: Used in conjunction with photo/video anomalies to do determine if the anomalies have actual substance as opposed to light reflections.

Of course, there are always the good, old fashioned ghost-hunting tools, too:

• Dowsing Rods: Copper rods used for locating spiritual entities and/or portals (also used for locating water and/or energy sources).
• Pendulums: for divination purposes

Psychic mediums are also often employed as “tools” during paranormal investigations.

The list of tools is impressive, and there are variations and extensions of each on the market today, including special “ghost hunter” watches – wrist watches that detect beta, gamma, x-ray and radiant energy! With all of these tools and tricks of the trade, why hasn’t anyone produced solid scientific proof that ghosts or other spiritual entities exist? One of the problems, I believe, is too many cooks in the kitchen.

With the rise of popularity of paranormal activity, everyone wants to be an investigator. The Internet has made it possible for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to fully equip themselves with the latest fashion in gadgets. There’s an impressive variety of “Ghost Hunting Starter Kits” available on the market ranging from the cheap to the incredibly expensive! Television has assisted this boom with such shows as Ghost Hunters, Most Haunted, Haunted Hotels, and a multitude of other programs fuelling the paranormal fire. Unfortunately, the one thing many of these amateur investigators aren’t equipped with is objectivity and/or scientific perspective. Anything that registers on the amateur’s radar becomes “proof”.

One of the biggest culprits in providing false “evidence” is the digital camera. Oh, I’ve been known to fall prey to its sly tricks, too, so don’t feel bad. We snap a shot with our handy dandy digital photo and abracadabra, we have ORBS, or bubbles of light! Orbs have been a major cause of excitement for many paranormal investigators or common civilians who catch the orbs unexpectedly on their digital camera. Some have even gone so far as to say they see faces in the orbs. Dust particles can be blamed for a good percentage of those orbs, but it was later discovered that another common factor in catching photos with orbs is the camera itself. The cameras aren’t malfunctioning or broken, but because of their make up and design, they often capture images of the light reflected from their own flash or other lights in their casing. Not all orbs can be discounted due to these facts, but the good majority of them can. Isn’t that a bubble buster?

Well, how about those EMF meters then? Surely there must be some accuracy in those, right? There are two major malfunctions in trusting EMF readings. The first problem is that “spikes” on the meter can be caused by common sources such as wiring in the wall or other sources of electricity. The second problem is that electromagnetic fields are thought to produce reactions in the human brain that cause hallucinogenic effects. A person standing in an area of concentrated electromagnetic energy may genuinely feel they’re seeing, hearing, or feeling things when, in reality, it’s only their mind firing off reactions to the energy itself.

E.V.P.s can be fascinating to listen to, but the problem with electronic voice phenomena is that it’s subjective. One person may hear something that sounds like, “run” and another person hears the same thing and perceives it as “gun”. Furthermore, because it’s a sound caught on audio and not experienced physically, it can’t be proven where the source of the sound came from. Was it a ghost or a humming generator in the background?

The tools are cool, don’t get me wrong. I love exploring the possibilities of the paranormal and am tickled pink that we’re on the road to trying to establish rock-solid proof for paranormal encounters. I’m looking forward to conducting my own amateur investigations or tagging along with friends on ghost hunts. However, I do believe it’s utterly important that we don’t believe everything we read, that we don’t buy into the media hype, and that we remain objective in our efforts.

Read Full Post »

Written by:
Wendi Friend

It has long been assumed that the human race of the twenty-first century is the most technologically advanced civilization of all time. Well, all time on planet Earth, that is. This isn’t necessarily an unreasonable assumption providing what archaeologists and scientists have learned to date about our planet as well as our ancestors.

We’ve unearthed Egyptian mummies, the tools of cave men, ancient artifacts, and even entire races of ancient “little people”. We’ve been able to determine the course of several ancient tribes and spiritual civilizations. Yet, nothing from science or history, until now, indicates there may have been, once upon a time, a civilization much more advanced than we are today. But what if our assumptions are wrong? What if there really was a life form in Earth’s history that was technologically advanced beyond our wildest dreams? That would raise a few questions, wouldn’t it? Thanks to the discovery of a collection of inexplicably created crystal skulls, such questions are now coming to the forefront.

Shrouded in mystery, several presumably ancient skulls have been discovered in areas of Central America, South America, and Mexico. No one has yet been able to identify their origin, although the locations at which most the skulls had been found were near Aztec and Ancient Mayan ruins.

While one’s first instinct might be to categorize these relics as tribal artwork, modern science has been unable to define exactly how these skulls came to be. On the authentic, presumably ancient skulls, there are no tool markings, no indication of hand carving, and modern man would be incapable of reproducing the skulls with such craftsmanship. In fact, according to modern science, these skulls shouldn’t exist at all! But if they weren’t made by hand, and they weren’t made by tools, then how did these skulls come to be?

Equally curious to how they were made are the questions of why they were made and what powers they may possess. Some suggest the skulls have miraculous healing ability, others suggest the skulls are packed with unimaginable amounts of information designed to aid future civilizations such as our own. This theory of “ancient computers” doesn’t seem too far fetched considering the materials with which the skulls are made – quartz crystal – the same raw material used by modern man to store vast amounts of information in the form of silicone crystal computer chips. One tiny computer chip of modern day holds great amounts of information. Imagine: What could be stored in a crystal skull several inches in diameter and weighing several pounds?

Aside from theories of powerful healing and potential ancient computers, it has been claimed by some who have worked closely with the skulls that the skulls themselves have the ability to communicate telepathically, which is how one of the skulls, “Max”, got his name. As the story goes, the skull communicated its name to the woman who owned it.

To be fair, it should be stated that of the multiple skulls found to date, at least two were proven to be fakes. Not surprising. However, not all of the skulls are frauds, and some have been deemed ancient, although dating the skulls is a difficult task since carbon dating methods cannot be applied to quartz crystal. It has been suggested that one of the skulls was thought to have been created using methods from five-thousand years ago, in which case it would have taken several generations, at least three-hundred years, to craft a single skull.

Of the most popular skulls found to date, one is said to resemble an extra-terrestrial more than a human skull, which has led to theories that alien life forms bestowed the crystals upon us as gifts of information and healing. This likeness to an alien life form also led to the naming of this skull as “E.T.”.

Not only has the scientific community taken great interest in the discovery of the presumably authentic, inexplicably carved crystal skulls, but the paranormal community has vested interest as well. The skulls found were of varying colors, including clear quarts, smoky quartz, amethyst, and rose quarts, each of which is thought amongst the psychic community to have healing abilities and energy vibrations conducive to human emotions and conditions. Of the skulls deemed authentic, each was carved against the grain of the crystal, something considered impossible by today’s standards and inconceivable for ancient knowledge and tools to have created.

There are several legends from varying cultures about the creation and purpose of these skulls. Native American legend, which tells of 13 skulls all together, relays that each of the thirteen human-sized skulls had movable jaws that could speak and sing. Incidentally, of the skulls we know of today, at least two were discovered with the jaw-bone detached. According to this legend, the skulls contain great knowledge of Earth’s past and then when humanity finds itself in a time of great peril, the skulls will be reunited, like a puzzle, at which time they’ll reveal their complete truths.

The Seneca legend connects the skulls to the city of Atlantis, a place thought mythological by modern man. This legend states that abuse of the powers of the skulls, coupled with greed and refusal to share the knowledge obtained through the skulls, caused the destruction of Atlantis.

Cherokee legend associates the crystal skulls with extra-terrestrials, imbedded with knowledge from a dozen planetary civilizations. This legend attributes powers to the skulls, such as the ability to start fire.

There’s another legend from a group of various Indian tribes known as “twisted-hairs” that accounts for thirteen skulls as well. Twelve of the skulls represented twelve planetary systems while the 13th skull represented collective consciousness.

Legends also exist connecting the skulls to secret chambers under the Sphinx in Egypt, as well as to Israel and the Bible!

Where exactly these skulls came from, how they were made, by whom they were made, and what their purpose and powers are remains a mystery today.

Sources:
http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_6_1.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/CrystalSkulls.html
http://www.freewebs.com/biblical_prophecy/thirteencrystalskulls.htm

skepdic.com/crystalskull.html

Read Full Post »