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    Across the Great Divide

      “Stump the Ghost Guy” I wouldn’t say that I have a unique point of view among paranormal researchers, but it is a rather rare one. Most people exist huddled at opposite extremes; that is, they either have a passionate belief in paranormal phenomena, convinced by the tiniest shreds of evidence, or they think it’s all a bunch of superstition and Hollywood hogwash and keep their worldview locked behind a steel door. There are a few of us in the middle, though. We are both scientist and mystic; believer and skeptic. For as much as I am a fervent supporter of paranormal happenings- be it the adventurer in me or…

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    Across the Great Divide

        “Paranormal Healing” I’d like to tell a story that happened many, many moons ago when I was a wee little wolf cub. When I was a child we went to Italy to visit family and we were staying in a house at the top of a mountain. A relative happened to be very ill for several days at the time with high fever to the point of delusions and was passed out from sheer exhaustion and medication. It was a quiet night with only a few of us sleeping in the house when we heard voices and saw small lights coming from a very…very…old cemetery down the way…

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    Across the Great Divide

    “The Minefield between Paranormal Belief and Religion” We’ve covered how to blend spiritual work into paranormal investigations in one of the earliest series for this column; and how the psychology of perception shapes our paranormal experiences; as well as a plethora of discussions on how scientific principles and methods apply to paranormal research. Through it all, we’ve seen that the realm of parapsychology is a very unique and complex field with theories that span the entire spectrum of human experience- from philosophy and spirituality to environmental science and physics. Recent surveys suggest that more than 67% of Americans hold some sort of belief in paranormal activity, and that number is…

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    Across the Great Divide

    “Some Debts are Hard to Pay” Many of us have visited a casino at least once for a number of reasons- perhaps some time in the limelight with friends at the slots amid conversation and drinks or walking in the shadows feeding the crave of a gambling addiction. Gambling conjures up some rather strong images and opinions on all sides; this is neither the time nor place to debate those points- I only mention this because there arise, from time to time, some bizarre events that are connected with this highly-charged activity. On these rare occasions, such events can leave a chill running up your spine and a lingering wonder…

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    Across the Great Divide

      “Packing Up and Moving a Haunted House” A rigging crew in Monroe, Iowa spent February 19, 2013 slowly moving a 100-ton house; and that has local ghost hunters anxiously waiting to see if any paranormal activity follows the reportedly haunted dwelling after it moves. The home, which had to be moved after one person bought the land and another person bought the house, will be relocated about five miles from where it has existed since 1865. A photo gallery highlighting the move can be viewed on station KCCI 8’s website. Known as Maple Grove Hill, it is the oldest wood frame historical house in Jasper County and believed to…

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    Across the Great Divide

    “What does science have to fear from parapsychology?” Last month we discussed some interesting points about science and the unanswered questions raised by parapsychology; a noted professor even attempted to explain some of the principles studied by researchers through the application of mathematical reasoning. However, the underlying question remains: just why, more than 100 years later, does mainstream science still laugh off members of the field as one would their wacky uncle at Thanksgiving dinner? The clichéd question many skeptics like to use is that if psychics are real, why do none of them ever win the lottery? In “Science & Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics,”…

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    Across the Great Divide

    “The Unanswered Question” If you’re reading this, then that means we’ve survived the apocalypse. *Whew…what a relief that is. I really wasn’t looking forward to poor hygiene, scavenging for food and energy, and martial law in a wasteland of zombies and Mad Max wannabes. So now that the doomsday prophesies have failed to come true (yet again) and we chuckle at the silliness of the paranoia that has raided the airwaves over the last few years we can return to the business of science and the quest for answers to questions that have yet to be fully understood and explained. I’m a believer in the theories and principles of parapsychology-…

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    Across the Great Divide

     “The Gray Lady” Most people mistakenly combine all apparitions under the blanket “ghost” moniker, or laughingly think of the pop culture image of the ghost of librarian Eleanor Twitty, the very first entity the Ghostbusters were spooked by before hightailing it out of a New York library; but there are actually very distinct differences in the appearance and behavior regarding these phenomena. In proper parapsychological terms an apparition is defined as the projection or manifestation of a quasi-physical entity, the rarest being a full-body apparition. A specific type of apparition includes the gray lady, often in folklore described as a female ghost who awaits the appearance or return of her long lost…

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    Across the Great Divide

     “Haunted Hotels”     Most fans of horror know that the backdrop of Stephen King’s classic The Shining was prompted by the wordsmith’s stay at the famous Stanley Hotel. Contrary to popular belief, King was living in Boulder at the time and did not write the novel while staying at the hotel- unlike the character of Jack Torrance, immortalized on screen by Jack Nickolson. He had the idea after staying in room 217 of the almost-empty hotel on the night before it closed for an extended period. The legend continues, though, and many believe it to be haunted, reporting any number of ghostly encounters- primarily in the ballroom- during their stay.…

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    Across the Great Divide

     “Innovations in Paranormal Tech”     Put away your proton packs and your PKE Valiance devices. While the theories behind Egon’s famous PKE meter are based on actual parapsychological research, the toys of Hollywood’s Ghostbusters are just that. Out in the real world, however, their influence has been ingeniously innovative, often practical, and sometimes just silly. Investigative technologies in the field of paranormal research have been adapted, tweaked, modified, and reimagined over the past 100 years to further the quest for that paradigm-shifting piece of evidence that will duct tape the mouths of the skeptics shut. These tools of the trade have evolved from the days of bulky cassette recorders…